Thursday, February 7, 2013

15ish months

PB is awesome. I remember reading blogs of other moms who said, every month, "this is my favorite age!" and I'm seeing how that feels. Every new thing is fun.

Size: He's still holding steady in the 90th-95th percentile for everything. At his 15 month appointment, the pediatrician noted that he's as tall as a two-year old. 

What he's eating: The short answer is: basically, all real food. 3 meals and two snacks a day, with cow's  milk or water to drink.

The longer/mammary answer is:  He nurses once a day now, in the mornings. This was entirely his choice: some time around when he turned 15 months old, he suddenly acted offended when I offered him a nursing session at bedtime. It was kind of weird, but I mentioned it to my mom and she said something similar happened with her - all three of her kids moved down to one nursing session around the 15-month mark, and then weaned around 16-17 months. (Interestingly, I'm the only one who chose a morning nurse - my siblings both opted for bedtime. PB's like me!) So we changed up his bedtime routine. Now, once he's in his pajamas, we read a few storybooks and sing a song, rather than nurse. I just took on a volunteer gig that keeps me out past PB's bedtime one evening a week, and it's kind of nice to not worry about whether there's breastmilk in the fridge and when I have to pump. (It's also nice to volunteer again, after a long time - but that's another story).

One nursing session a day is nice. I feel like we can still connect a little before I leave for work, when PB is at his just-woke-up snuggliest. I'm simultaneously feeling a little sad about weaning - he could decide any day that he doesn't want the milk any more - but also looking forward to it. I haven't had a weekend morning when I could just sleep in since he was born. But the tradeoff will be that we're not nursing any more, so I'm happy to wait a few more weeks, or months, for that. My mental cutoff point is age two, but I'll be very  surprised if he's still nursing in October. Again, I've got mixed emotions about that thought: my baby is growing up, but I'm proud of us for sticking through the tough first months and going this long.  

Physical skills: PB can now climb up on the couch and our living room chair on his own, and he climbs off backwards, which is great. I think he's starting to try to figure out how to climb out of his crib, but between the height and slippery finish of the crib, and the fact that he sleeps in a sleep sack, I think we're safe. For at least 5 more minutes.

Teeth: Holding steady at whatever the number is. 14? Not sure. He still hasn't cut his canines so he has these cute gaps in his teeth. We're working on teaching him to use a toothbrush, with moderate success.

Favorite toys: DH and I had been pondering getting a teddy bear for a little while, and this week DH found one. PB is in love with his "beeeeeeear!" He also loves playing with his small green playground bouncy ball, the variety of cool wooden Plan Toys he got for Christmas, and the electronic keyboard DH sometimes sets up for him - he bangs away at the keys. We also got something packaged in a cardboard poster tube, and that was the most fantastic multi-purpose toy ever for a few days.

Social skills: One of the greatest recent developments is that PB understands simple questions and commands. "Where is the ball?" sends him off on the search, and he returns with his ball. "Let's go upstairs for lunch" should only be said if you already standing at the base of the stairs, because he'll try to tear the gate down if you aren't fast enough. Last weekend, using simple commands, I made up a simplified version of basketball with a laundry basket: I would dribble the ball across the room and pass it to PB, and he'd toss it in the basket and we'd all cheer. He's happy to join in on new games with made up rules for as long as his brief attention span allows... but often he toddles away for a moment and then comes back for round two.

WORDS! This is why I really wanted to write this all down. PB's definitely talking, and I think we're almost on the cusp of a word explosion. Words he has right now: dada, mama (though he called me "baba" for a while when I had a bad cold over the holidays), cheese (a distinctive sound, rather than a word, but we know exactly what he means), oink, quack, bow wow (sounds are used to indicate the animal making them), ball, bear ("beeeeeeeeer!"), water (sort of, it's the sign for water combined with "wa wa wa wa"), bowl, bye-bye, bottle (bockle-bockle-bockle-bockle), truck (a growling motor sound). "Lalala" means it's time to read a Sandra Boynton book (Moo,Baa, Lalala is a favorite). This morning he said "nana" while signing for a banana, so I think that's on the horizon, and DH said that yesterday they were eating some canned fruit and PB was working on an f sound, trying to say "fruit". The adorable lip-buzzing that he did as a smaller baby is back - I think he's working out how to form sounds of different words.

He's also signing all the time: eat/food/hungry, milk, water, potty (no real action, but he likes to sit on it and read books), banana (he made up his own sign - looks just like an NFL ref declaring a touchdown), itsy bitsy spider - he learned this at the library at story time last week, and DH and I now both sing it roughly four thousand times a day. Also, he points to his head to indicate I should sing "head, shoulders knees and toes". He picks up a book and pats his chest to command "read to me". He'll stand in place and bop his bottom up and down if he wants to dance to some music, which is sort of a sign. If you say "itchy itchy!" he will pretend to scratch his tummy, a la the itchy iguanas in the Sandra Boynton ABC book. He sometimes signs "thank you", also.

He knows quite a few body parts, too: ears, nose, fingers, tummy, bellybutton, head, hair, teeth. 

Sleep: A few things happened at once with PB over the past month or so: he dropped the morning nap, he dropped the bedtime nursing session, and his night sleep patterns shifted. He's started waking up REALLY early some mornings - sometimes before 5:30am. Most of the time he's content to just chat with the stuffed monkey that stays in the crib with him until I come in at 6:30-6:45ish to nurse him and start the day. One morning this week, I heard him chatting around 5:45, but I went back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 6:45, PB had fallen back asleep! So I let him snooze until 7:15 - I made some coffee and got some of my work stuff packed up in the interim.

We shuffled his bed time a little later, to 7:30/7:45ish, but that hasn't seemed to help the early wakeups. It's not a huge deal, especially since he's so content. His afternoon nap is getting fairly consistent: usually 1pm - 3:30pm. One nap per day opens up the mornings so DH and PB can do fun stuff like library story time and other adventures, which is nice for everyone.

Overall, PB is a lot of fun at this age. It's so fun to watch him learn!

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 months/ 1 year

I started this in October and then - well, it's a little late. But it still happened, so here: 

1 year. ONE YEAR. That seems wrong in both directions - how have I only known this kid for a year? But at the same time, how is he already a one-year-old?

At the end of September, PB figured out walking. It was a pretty amazing development: on Sunday afternoon he was taking one or two tentative steps. By Thursday he would walk about 10 steps, stop, turn around, and walk back! It was one of the first times I have felt like I am really missing out on his development by working away from home, as I was rushing home each evening to see how much he's pieced together. PB loves walking, and it's been fun to watch him figure it out. For the most part he's in shoes or socks, because he's supposed to be wearing those soft-bottomed shoes while his feet get strong, but his feet are TOO BIG. Once you get to a size shoe that fits him (baby shoe size 5), those only come in hard-bottomed shoes because no 12-month-old would have feet that big.

When we made this discovery, I was with DH and his mom at a Carter's store. His mom laughed one of those sympathetic laughs while DH just said, "I think you need to get used to this problem..."

So my son is like a puppy in every way, including his overly large paws.

For his first birthday, we had a party at our house: just family and his godmother, but it would up being 17 people. PB is so social that he was kind of buzzed all day, since he woke up in the morning to his grandparents and aunt who had all come in the day before. He took a too-short nap because he didn't want to miss out on anything, I think. He totally didn't get what the presents were about, so DH and I sat on the floor of the living room, opening things and trying to get PB's attention while he checked out all the people there: all four of his grandparents, two great-grandparents, a great-aunt and -uncle, two aunts, two uncles, one brand-new cousin, and his godparents.

So he really didn't care about the gifts. But we were happy about them: a new car seat since he was getting completely scrunched in the old one, a variety of musical instruments, a pile of new books (still no repeats! This amazes me) and a few other cool toys and things. Once he got a hold of his Cubs baseball bat he wanted to hold on to it for a while, which pleased the Cubs fans at the party and made the Sox fans grumble (I am from Ohio, and thus claim agnosticism on this front).

PB's first cake experience was fun - what I caught of it. I made an applesauce spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting - the perfect autumn cake - and we cut a slice for PB because I am not about to bake a separate "smash cake" for a one year old. I think that's weird and wasteful.

PB did what he often does with a new experience and spent a moment studying the cake. Then he poked his finger in to the frosting and found the seam between the two layers. I helped pull the two layers apart, and then he started to get the picture and picked up a large hunk of cake and took a tentative bite. About that time DH told me I should serve cake to everyone else, and I regret that I listened to him - I should have delegated that to someone else. I had just walked in to the kitchen to start slicing the cake when the whole living room cheered. I missed him actually smashing the cake.

That seems dumb, but it was PB's first cake, and I baked it. I'm the cake-baker in the family and cake kind of matters to me. And anyway, I wanted to see him smash it. Not a mistake I'll make again.

Anyway, the party went well, we got some family pictures, and PB was so exhausted at the end of it that the last guest left at 6pm and he was unconscious in his crib before 7.

Now... on to the stats!

Weight: 25 pounds, 11 ounces (95th percentile)

Length: 31 inches (90th percentile)

What he's eating: He's nursing at bedtime and in the morning. Otherwise, I am now not really pumping any more (Hallelujah!). He gets a little bottle of breastmilk with his vitamins, but that's usually thawed stuff from the freezer stash. We made the transition to cow's milk and he likes it just fine. Also, he now eats cake when given the opportunity (He's only gotten the opportunity one other time - at his uncle Jon's birthday the weekend after his). We also tried peanut butter - no reaction, thankfully. And he can now eat honey, so graham crackers have made it in to the rotation. They are a hit.

Physical skills: He wants to practice walking all the time, and we let him! He has also figured out things like how to climb up on his new little chair and then stand on it to reach things on the windowsill.

Teeth: 8 teeth total. Chewing a lot so maybe more to come soon...

Favorite toys: He's getting more in to stuffed animals - he likes to talk to them and hand them to you. We pretend they're kissing him, which he thinks is funny.

Verbal skills: He has a wide variety of syllables, and is frequently mimicking tones he hears (even things like the squeak of the refrigerator door). He says "ooh" a lot while he points at things, and he has a particular sound he makes when he sees a dog: kind of like a barking sound. But no real words just yet, I don't think.
Social skills: Pointing, mimicking, clapping, and more and more dancing - he bops up and down in the cutest way when he hears a tune or some rhythm. He also likes playing with musical instrument toys, especially if one of his parents is trying to play something. Also: this has been brewing for a while, but he and I like to chase each other around the couch (I have to crawl so he can't see me over the couch, now that he's walking!). He thinks chasing me is fun, but when I turn around and very quickly run up to him from the front, he shrieks laughing - I think he likes being startled that way. He's also starting to play peekaboo himself, holding a hat or something over his eyes so we ask "where's PB?". And he has started doing this hammy hug thing, especially when he's sleepy, where he'll walk up to you and rest his head on you. Melts me every time.

Sleep: Now that it's colder we got him some large-size fleece sleep sacks because we keep the house pretty cool at night. Overnight, he's been sleeping like a champ - I think it helps that he's snuggly but the room is cool. The sleep sacks seem to help for naps, too, though we're still in this transitional period: two naps or one? Each day is a crapshoot.

And speaking of crapshoot, the potty experiment continues. I think it will be many months before there's anything consistent to report, but we're all still having a good time with it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

11 months

This morning, I walked in to PB's room and he stood up in his crib when he saw me. He'd been relaxing and babbling to himself, already awake but not feeling impatient. He reached up for me and I hefted him up and had the same thought I've been having each morning for the last couple of weeks: you're not a baby any more. PB is big. Picking him up is not like picking up a baby, it's like picking up a little kid. And now we're a few weeks away from a first birthday party, and he's starting to take steps and he's approximating words, and he's so much more like a walking, talking toddler than a little lump of a baby.

I don't get sad about this the way I thought I would. When I anticipate changes in him, I do get sad: I still remember thinking "I know I'm going to miss his gummy smile" when he'd beam at me around three months old. But then each thing I love about him gets replaced with something of equal or greater loveability. His toothy smile is adorable, and I love the way he plays with his teeth when he's eating, trying to chew a sweet pea with just his three lower teeth, for instance.

As we prepare to cross that one-year threshold, I find myself doing a lot more looking forward and a lot less looking back than I expected that I would. PB will always be my baby boy, even when he's 6'4" tall and can pick me up. So he doesn't have to remain an infant.

Weight: According to the scale at home, roughly 26 pounds.

Length: Tall.

What he's eating: He nurses in the morning and at bedtime. On weekdays he has three 5-ish ounce bottles during the day. And then he has 3 meals and the occasional afternoon snack. On weekends we still basically nurse on demand, bit it's about the same: 4 or 5 times a day, total.

Physical skills: He's practically walking. He will take about 2 steps unsupported, from the table to the couch, for instance. Much more than that and he falls down... which means he falls down all. the. time. I've seen him get frustrated about it a couple of time, which is a sign that he's about to take off, I think. If he wants to get somewhere in a hurry, he crawls, but he is really working hard on the walking.

He's also getting better at doing things like taking apart his Mega Blocks and he's starting to figure out how to put them together.

Teeth: That fourth one on the bottom still hasn't shown up.

Favorite toys: The remote control (DH found an old remote and took out the batteries, so now he plays with that), mega blocks, anything with wheels.

Verbal skills: He's playing with sounds a lot these days. Over Labor Day weekend, DH's mom was in town so we left PB with her for a day while we painted our kitchen (this was something we needed to do before the days started getting darker - the kitchen is so much brighter now!). Then we went to visit with various in-laws for a while after a long day of painting. When we walked in to the room, PB was standing up in front of a chair and looked at me, smiled, and yelled, "MAMA". The whole room stopped, and then everyone repeated it: "mama! He said mama." So I think that counts. He's also had a few moments with me when he's said (and, I think, asked for) "dada" or "daddy". Once was at bedtime about a week ago when I was nursing him. He heard footsteps in the hall outside his room, and he stopped nursing for a moment to listen, then looked at me and said, "daddy", and pointed toward his door. That level of comprehension and communication is pretty cool to see.   

I do think "mama" is sometimes his sound for milk, and sometimes for me, but half the time the desire for the two is basically the same thing.

Social skills: PB likes to point at things, and sometimes he'll point just so DH or I will turn to where he's pointing. He's mimicking us a lot these days, including doing a big, loud fake laugh if we laugh at something. So, sometimes I just fake laugh to make him fake laugh.

Sleep: It got much cooler this week, and PB started pretty consistently sleeping through the night, 7:30pm to 6:30am, once it cooled down. I'm not sure if the correlation indicates causation, but I'm sure cooler weather and snuggly pajamas don't hurt. Except for one recent rough night (teeth? Overstimulation because my parents were staying with us? A random day? Who knows?) last weekend, he's sleeping either all night long or with one wakeup at 5am for nursing. 

His naps have just shifted completely: about a week and a half ago, DH told me he put PB down for his morning nap, and the kid just didn't sleep. By the normal time of his afternoon nap, he was beat. After a couple of days of transition, PB is now down to one nap that starts around 11:30 or noonish and is generally around 3 hours long (unless he poops himself awake, which happened yesterday). This has shifted our schedule so we can't really be out and about at lunch time any more, but that isn't a huge deal.

New category! Potty time: We know a couple of people who have done the potty training boot camp 3 day process, and it sounded both exhausting and ineffective. One of the moms involved said potty training (using the 3-day program) was the absolute worst thing about parenting for her. So I asked myself: "what is the opposite of that approach?" and without too much effort I found a wealth of information about what is variously called Elimination Communication or Early Potty Training or the like. We checked out Diaper Free Before Three from the library, and DH and I both read it. We like the approach and the philosophy fits with our lives. So we're trying it.

Side note: My mother has already pretty much told me I'm stupid for doing this, but I think she sees this as a referendum on how she potty trained us. Note to grandparents: it's not. There's more than one way to parent and most of them are fine.

Anyway, the gist of this is, we have a little potty chair (like this one) and a few weeks ago we started sitting PB on the potty a few times a day when we change his diaper. This is nice because it gives one the chance to tidy up a bit and prepare the clean diaper while PB sits and "reads" a book or plays with a toy. In his usual easygoing fashion, he enjoys sitting on the potty. He's taken a pee in the potty a few times now, and each time he's been praised, but there's really no pressure to do anything at this stage in the game: we're just getting him comfortable with the potty and showing him that this is what folks do in the bathroom. (We had already moved his whole diaper-changing station in to the bathroom, so we were unwittingly primed for this)

Frankly, if we do things this way and it takes a year and a half to have him fully "trained", that is completely cool by me, because this doesn't feel like training, it's just establishing another pleasant little routine in PB's day (The book claims kids will be fully trained by 18 months! But the book was written to... sell books). My aim is to avoid tantrums, battles, screaming, and feces everywhere, all of which is the experience of folks I know who have done (and redone and re-re-done) the boot camp thing. So, pleasant potty time is here for now, and I suspect it's for keeps in our household.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

10 months

I have a new nephew! This means that PB had only 10 months to be the new grandchild for my parents. Now my brother's son is the newbie, and PB has to prepare to teach his cousin the ways of the world.

Weight: I'm presuming around 24 pounds. Definitely still hefty.

Length: No appointment this month, so I'm not sure.

What he's eating: These days, PB generally nurses in the morning (every other night or so, he's up around 5am to nurse and then go back to sleep. Otherwise he's up around when my alarm goes off - 6:30 or so - for the day), has breakfast with us, has some milk before his morning nap, eats lunch with whoever is around, has milk again before his afternoon nap, has another bottle around 4:30, eats dinner with us and then nurses before bed at night. His solid meals are becoming more complete, but he's definitely still getting much of his nutrition from milk.

Except for avoiding things made with nuts and honey (ahem - my extended in-laws must have missed ALL the memos, as they fed my child Honey Nut Cheerios when we were all on vacation together. Fortunately he neither had an allergic reaction nor contracted botulism but I was pretty pissed), we're mostly just feeding him whatever we're eating, or modified versions of the same. Except for tuna salad, he hasn't acted like there's any food he won't eat. (And he even ate that, just not much of it). 

Physical skills: He's downright graceful with getting himself up to a standing position, and more and more frequently he will forget himself: holding a book or a toy while he's standing, not supporting himself on anything. There have been a couple of instances when he's half-stumbled-half-stepped from the chair to the couch in our living room. He also likes to bop up and down to music, which I'm sure is not just adorable (though it truly is) but is also making his legs even stronger.

Besides working on those pre-walking skills, he's just getting better at getting in to EVERYTHING. I bought a pack of cabinet door locks and really need to get them installed, because opening cabinet doors and removing all the contents is PB's idea of a party.

He crawls very quickly. One of our new favorite games is chasing each other around the couch. Sometimes PB and I just stake out on opposite ends of the couch, giggling uncontrollably while we're hiding from each other. Then one of us hears the other one's giggles getting closer, and the chase is on! I have had evenings recently when my knees were practically raw after crawling around the couch so many times. PB must have kevlar in his knees or something.

Teeth: Seven... or eight? On of his eyeteeth is definitely through. I haven't made visual confirmation of the other one, but I suspect it's there.

Favorite toys: A week ago, there was a town-wide yard sale in the suburb next to ours, and I found the raddest Caterpillar front-loader toy for $3: it's huge and yellow and has giant wheels, and seemed like it had hardly been played with. PB loves it. When we first put it out for him, he lit up and zoomed right over to it.
Verbal skills: He babbles a lot, and often he seems to just be playing with the sound of his voice. One day recently I was walking down the stairs and he was playing in the living room, standing up in front of the couch, and he looked up at me and said, "MOM-EE". Clear as day. DH and I both repeated it back to him: "Did you say 'mommy?' " But I'm still pretty sure he's not actually connecting that word with me. I do think he connects some sounds with us: for a few months he has said "ma-ma-ma-ma" when he's hungry, and he says "dadadada" around DH at times.

It makes me wonder: how do people distinguish a kid's actual first word? Because it's clear to me that he's experimenting with syllables and sounds, and taking in to account when we reinforce or repeat certain sounds to him. So eventually "dadadada" will work itself in to "daddy", but I think it's going to be hard to pinpoint the moment when those sounds become a word for him. It's all a lot more gradual than I expected it to be.  
Social skills: He's started doing some direct imitation: this past weekend, DH and I were both drinking Cokes out of bottles. I took a sip of mine and made a refreshed "aaah" sound afterward. Then DH did the same thing. PB watched us with interest, so we both did it again. Then he turned to me and went "hhhaaahhh". It was exceptionally cute. The three of us spent the rest of the afternoon all sounding very refreshed at each other.

This past Sunday, PB had breakfast with his grandparents and dinner with his great-grandparents, so there were two meals in the same day when he had an audience of 4. He becomes a complete jibber-jabber box when there is conversation around the dinner table. He hams it up a lot more when there are other people besides his boring parents around: babbling, pretending (briefly) to be shy, holding up pieces of food, clapping... it's quite the show.

Sleep: Overall, PB's sleep has been pretty good. He's had his first real cold for the past 5 days or so, and there were a couple of nights of coughing himself awake and wanting to nurse more than usual, but it was all pretty understandable. I think he's over the worst of the cold now, and is just gunky, so he's mostly been sleeping 7:30pm to 6:30ish am, with two naps during the day.

Oh yeah, the cold:  I always used to think little kids with snotty noses are gross: like, I'd get a little bile-in-the-back-of-the-throat thing when I saw a super-snotted kid. Now I'm basically unfazed by it, and am all about cleaning up that nose. PB is not thrilled about my enthusiasm. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

9 months

PB had his 9-month doctor appointment on Tuesday, and he's huge. He's also awesome. 
Weight: 23 pounds, 11 ounces - 95th percentile

Length: 29.5 inches - 90th percentile. He's also in the 95th percentile for head size.

What he's eating: Lots of solids! We're steadily moving toward a life where PB can just eat what we're eating, with minor modifications - no cow's milk, honey or nut things yet, and limited salt. But each day the solids are getting easier, it seems. We just try to give him a variety of colors and generally some protein, some carbs and lots of fruit and veggies.

Acidic things bother him a little bit - I was feeding him a bunch of pineapple (and eating some myself) and then PB was spitting up a lot, all the sudden. DH connected those dots.This makes sense - I haven't been drinking orange juice because he spit up all the time when he was new if I'd have citrus. So I think we need to go easy on the pineapple, too.

He is also trying to figure out how to drink from a cup - especially with his stacking cups in the bath tub. I'm pretty sure he's chugged some bath water at this point. Parenting win. I just picked up a couple of straw cups (rated for kids 12-months-plus, but he'll be there soon enough) so we'll see if he likes those.

We're still nursing, too. He either nurses or has a bottle 5-6 times in 24 hours.

Physical skills: Lightning-fast crawling, cruising along furniture and baby gates, and wiggling impossibly during diaper changes. This kid is on the move. His pincer grasp is very fine - he can easily pluck an individual pea off the high chair tray and put it in his mouth - and he enjoys taking apart his big Mega Blocks if we put them together.

Also, we'd been in the new house for less than 2 weeks when he figured out how to climb stairs and proceeded to climb a whole flight (with DH spotting him) on June 26. DH bought one of those baby corrals the next day.

Teeth: SIX. Four of his top teeth came in over the past month. Poor dude had a couple of rough nights, and I dosed him with Tylenol on two different midnights when he was clearly suffering. He's such a trooper... I hate how painful it is for him. We seem to be in a teething pause now, for which I'm thankful.

Favorite toys: This is typical: I was trying to tidy up the baby corral area in the family room, and we had these stackable plastic drawers that I've had since college that have moved with me many times. They didn't have an assigned place, so I put all the random toys in one drawer and the Mega Blocks in another and stacked them up in the corral area one night. The next morning, PB behaved like it was a Christmas Miracle in July, and proceeded to dismantle the entire set of drawers, including flipping over the Mega Blocks drawer so the blocks went everywhere. This is now one of his daily projects: we put everything together overnight, and he takes it all apart in the morning. I feel like the Drawer Fairy or something.

Verbal skills: He's babbling all the time, still a lot of "mamamama", and more of a variety of vowel sounds. 
Social skills: He has learned how to clap, and if one of us says "yay!" and claps our hands, he busts out a huge smile and claps, too. He also claps when I come home from work in the evening sometimes. This makes my heart explode.

We visited our good friends Bro and the Speaker and their little guy, who is 5 months old, last week. PB had a lot of interaction with the other baby and Bro's three pets: two cats and a dog. DH and I are brokenhearted cat people, of course, so we were anxious to see how PB did with the cats. Happily, he LOVED them. When he saw Layla, a tuxedo kitty, he immediately started laughing with excitement. I almost had to go elsewhere and cry because dear departed Corina was a tuxedo kitty and now I'm convinced he would have loved her as much as we did.

Bro's pets are really calm and used to a baby - though not one who's quite as mobile as ours - so they were good for him to be around. Their big sweet golden retriever gave him lots of licks on the face, which startled him sometimes, but he seemed to like it.

Overall, he's still pretty good with strangers. If we're in a store or something and a random person walks up and talks to him, he's generally pretty quick to smile.

Sleep: A couple of weeks ago I decided to try "dream feeding" - nursing him when he's basically still asleep around 10:30 or so before I go to bed. And since I've been doing that (with the exception of a couple of rough teething nights) he's been sleeping through the night: 7:30ish pm to 6:30ish am. Naps are getting fairly consistent: a morning nap of about an hour around 9:30, and a longer afternoon nap in the 1:30-2:00 range.

I may regret typing it in public, but I'm less tired these days. I am also, overall, less stressed at the moment, which I think helps with everything. A few weeks ago I had a low-grade fever for several days, and it wasn't until day 3 that I actually realized I was sick and not just exhausted. This kind of scared me. DH and I have been working on some medium-term plans to make sure we don't let ourselves get that overstressed (um, starting with not moving twice and having a baby all within 10 months - that's a poor plan). 

Friday, June 22, 2012

8 months

Over the last month, we moved. All our stuff is at the new house and we technically live in it, but it's going to be a long while before I feel settled. For the most part, PB handled the transition like a champ, and he had no difficulty settling in to his new room and getting down to the business of exploring all the new space.

Also, the new house has central air, just in time for the hottest June around these parts in 40 years. I keep wavering between being grateful and wondering if we're going to raise a spoiled kid who can't live without central air. (I have this concern because I have never lived in a building with central air before and thus presume people who grow up with it are spoiled. This may not be accurate.)

Weight: 22.4 pounds, according to the not-super-accurate scale at home.

Length: tall. His next appointment will be at 9 months so we'll see how tall then.

What he's eating: I'll admit that there were a few days during the move (which was a two-week-plus project) when PB ate cheerios, puffs and... that's about it. Now that we're settling in, we're being more intentional about the solids, and trying to make sure he gets a bit of protein (so far he's had chicken and turkey and really liked both) and some fruits and veggies. I picked up a pint of sugar snap peas at a farmer's market last week, and he couldn't get enough of them - we spent a pleasant late afternoon sitting on the deck, PB in my lap while I snapped the peas open and handed them to him, one by one. The advantage of this baby-led weaning we're doing is that, at a bit over 7 months old, his pincer grasp is so developed he can pick a pea out of my palm and pop it in his mouth, no trouble. It makes eating at outdoor events really simple.

This month he also tried Cheerios for the first through zillionth time, cornbread, some bagel, and a blueberry pancake. He ate the ENTIRE normal-sized pancake!

He's still nursing, too, of course. For a few days I was worried that, thanks to the stress of moving, thrush was making a return, as the familiar burn/pain was hitting me on the left side. I still had some APNO on hand and used that after each feeding for a while and it seems to be clearing up, thankfully.

We're trying to get more protein in to him so he's not just eating carbs all the time, so I think we're going to try yogurt soon and see how that goes, and add some beans to the mix. Most of his solid food protein has been from chicken or turkey so far. 

Physical skills: PB is pulling up on everything and likes to spend his time crawling around, finding places he can stand up. He's getting way more confident with standing: often he'll be holding a toy or reaching for something with one hand while supporting himself with the other - or he'll hold on with two hands and make a march-in-place step. Yikes! This makes for exciting times and the occasional tumble and head bonk, though 9 times out of 10 he catches himself and manages to plop on to his well-padded behind.

Despite his obvious trajectory toward walking, his crawling skills have continued to improve, too. He is FAST. It's fun to watch how quickly he can get himself across the room if he sees something (usually sharp or electrical) he wants to play with. 

Teeth: Technically, there are still only two. Still. After another MONTH of extreme drooling, constant chewing, and now waking up twice a night again to nurse away what I suspect is gum pain, we have... nothing. DH and I have both noticed a bump in the upper front gums, so I'm presuming that's the culprit. But at the rate it's going I think this tooth will never break through. PB's overall mood has still been happy, though - I think he just spends all day chewing so he doesn't feel too bad.

Favorite toys: Everything! We've been moving and the house is chaos. Fun toys have included a hand-me-down tea kettle, various cardboard boxes, and anything which will make noise when drummed upon.

Verbal skills: Still a lot of "mamamama" and "bababa", but we're seeing more and more variety in PB's tone of voice. Lately he's been speaking in this sweet, happy, higher pitched voice. I think it's his coversational tone. It's hard to convey how completely adorable it is. I had him in our bedroom this past weekend while I was trying to sort out our clothes in to the closet. PB was pulling skirts down from hangers and chattering away while he explored the space. It was way too cute to be mad at.

Also, this is more of an aural skill, I suppose, but in his bath each night I try to clean his teeth with a washcloth, as recommended by our pediatrician. PB now understands me when I say "let's clean your teeth!"  He thinks it's a fun thing to do, so he grins and tries to chomp the washcloth when I say it now. I'm trying to be better about repeating words and phrases when I'm doing things with him, so he'll understand more things like this, but so far that's the only one I've noticed.

Social skills: This past month featured a few social situations that were a  lot of fun. PB got to spend a couple of the moving days with his great aunt, who also babysits his 1-year-old cousin. I'll call his cousin Blanche. PB loves Blanche like... like bees loves flowers? I don't know, he just thinks she is the greatest. Since they're only 5 months apart they make good playmates. A big part of the reason we moved was so PB could be closer to the other kids in the family, so this development has been gratifying for us to see.

I also went to a picnic wedding reception, just me and PB because DH was working on moving stuff, and PB was such a charmer even though he'd never met anyone there before. It helped that the groom, like DH, has a sizeable beard. I think that put PB at ease.

That is one really cute thing: PB loves facial hair, so any man with a beard is automatically getting it tugged - sometimes HARD - when he's close enough.

Sleep: This has been on-again, off-again, and I blame the dang teeth. The other night he was awake at 1am and 4am. Both times he nursed and went right back to sleep, and then he slept until almost 7, which was great, but I am tired. My completely made-up theory is that his gums just start to ache after a few hours of not-chewing when he's asleep.

I'm also thinking the phrase "I am tired" is just going to be in all these updates. Tired and happy, at least.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

So long, DOMA?

Let's hope. This looks like some progress from the courts: Federal Appeals Court Calls Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

I don't know if it's the nitty-gritty work DH and I have been doing while we raise an ever-more-mobile tyke and tackle buying a house together, or if it's that our recent method of unwinding at the end of the day has been to catch reruns of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" on Netflix (Oh, Thom. Can you please come decorate my house for me?), but I've been feeling really impatient about this issue lately.

If people want to get married, let 'em. End of story. Let's focus our energy on some actual problems.