A at 10 Months

A was 10 months old September 30! I didn’t post then because the boy in question has been battling a fever for two-three days now. He’s sitting beside me happily munching on pears so, thanks, ibuprofen. Hopefully we’re all good again soon!

Stats:

He was 21 pounds at the clinic last week! I did not pay attention to any of the other measurements. #secondchildproblems He has at least eight teeth, four on the top and four on the bottom, and may be growing more but nobody wants to stick their finger in his very bitey mouth to confirm it.

Nicknames:

M calling him ‘boy’ has transferred to Matt calling him ‘boyo.’ Aside from that he’s got some variations of his name happening — Abrummy, A-bums, A-boom.

Temperament:

SO MUCH HAPPIER. My goodness. He can move around fairly freely now, and his stomach has adjusted to solids, so he’s less angry in general. Now he’s a smirking baby instead of a screaming baby. When he gets mad he still can shout at top volume, but instead of that happening all the time, it’s reserved for situations like falling over, not being allowed in the kitchen, or not being picked up immediately after waking up.

Skills:

He started crawling fully with hands and knees (vs. army crawling), then started pulling himself up confidently. Now he cruises more than anything. He will stand holding onto something lightly with one hand, but hasn’t attempted to stand without support yet. He likes to dance, is signing ‘more’ (though it may just mean ‘food’ to him at this point), and says a few consistent words: mama, baba, num num.

Eating:

Still a wide variety of food! There’s not much, if anything, that he doesn’t enjoy. He is starting to have preferences, though — if there are a few things available to him, he has his favourites. He also doesn’t like it if other people are eating something different than what he is eating, and he wants to use a fork or spoon if he sees others doing it. Now that M comes home  from school and has a snack, he also expects an afternoon snack and will get quite mad if it doesn’t appear! Sometimes she shares hers, which is pretty cute to see.

Sleeping:

I long for the day when I get to sleep again! Between teeth and illness, his already poor sleep is even more poor. Twice in the past two-ish weeks, he’s kept me up ’till 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. which has been… not fun. He consistently naps in the morning, but the afternoon nap is cut short by having to grab M from school, and then nighttime is very, very hit and miss. Add in M’s apparent lack of need for sleep, and I find myself wondering what I did in a past life to get kids who don’t sleep! 😉

Clothing:

He’s in some 12-to-18-month clothing and the 6-12s and 9-12s are just about maxed out. I saw the weight limit on one 6-12 piece was 22 lbs. so that makes sense! I just washed a load of his next size up and dude definitely has a lot of plaid shirts for fall. I’m getting him used to socks but he still hates shoes and hats, so things could get interesting when winter arrives.

Loves:

His sister, music, a tug-along snail toy and baby glowworm hand-me-down from M, chasing the cats, major splashing in the tub, opening and closing doors and drawers, visiting new places and seeing new people, scavenging for food everywhere.

Doesn’t Love:

Having to lay back for any reason, especially diaper changes — we are firmly in the wiggle phase here. Having his noise cleaned, getting kicked out of rooms via baby gate, being put into the car seat if he’s tired.

Things to Remember:

Over the Labour Day long weekend we had Matt’s brother, his wife, and their daughter (four days younger than A!) at our house, which was a blast, especially seeing the babies play.

He had his first mini-daycare experience; I took him to a mom’s group where they have childcare for babies over six months old for the hour-long meeting, and I wasn’t sure how he’d do, but he happily played and the caregivers later told me that he was super cheerful, wanted to keep up with all the big kids, and REALLY wanted to eat the snack. Seeing him connect the ‘more’ sign was neat, and it didn’t take that long to teach him!

Mom and Dad:

Trying to slow things down and relax our pace, for everyone. It’s a lot of haste and hurrying with M needing to get to and from school, and extracurriculars, and appointments and plans (you should have seen our September calendar!) so we are aiming to focus on positive interactions, working at our kids’ pace where we can, and not being busy for the sake of busy.

Looking Forward To:

This illness being over, for one. We have family photos coming up this month, which will be nice — we have no formal photos with A outside of my belly! And of course, Halloween. M chose our family theme again and kids in Halloween gear are always adorable, especially babies and their first costumes.


Dear A,

Before my eyes your babyhood is falling away, and the little boy version of you emerges more and more each day. I suppose we don’t really realize when the last baby moment is until it’s gone. I don’t want to keep you as a teeny baby, of course, and I love seeing this almost-toddler personality develop, but even though I’ve been through this before I’m still amazed at how fast it happens.

A few days ago I scrolled through photos from your birthday up until now and marveled at how much you’ve grown; how your entire body used to fit in my arms with room to spare, how your tiny eyes were swallowed up by your chubby baby face. I ached a little bit for those days of just sitting with you for half the day, while you snoozed and ate and snoozed and ate. But these days you make me laugh with your antics, and you astonish with your abilities and the way you keep discovering new things. I like seeing the world through your eyes.

You are a delight, always.

Love,

Mama

A at Four Months

Stats:

We did a quick measurement estimate at home because I’m actually worried this kid is gonna grow out of his car seat soon! We figure he’s around 17 lbs. and about 24 inches long.

Nicknames:

Nothing new!

Temperament:

He had a super grumpy stretch for awhile, there. He’s more cheerful lately, but will protest loudly and immediately if he wants attention and the person giving it to him dares look away even momentarily. Dude holds a grudge. He’s usually happiest first thing in the morning and often wakes up with a smile.

Skills:

He’s easily grasping things and bringing them to his mouth in a much more controlled fashion. He rolled once, front to back, but we all missed it because I stepped out to help M with the potty, and Matt was getting ready for work. And he won’t do it again, hah. He ‘chats’ now and has definitely found his voice. He can kind of bounce in the Jolly Jumper but doesn’t quite get it yet. And, he’s doing a lot better with tummy time and holding up his head without complaint.

Sleep:

One week of awfulness at night just prior to turning four months old, and now he’s up maybe once or twice. Luckily he goes back down quickly and easily after being fed (M used to wake up every time I put her down). Daytime naps are more sporadic — he’s easy to get to sleep, but hard to keep sleeping on any surface but me. Still, if the four month sleep regression is more of a naptime problem than a nighttime problem I can deal with it.

Eating:

Clearly gaining lots of weight on breastmilk! He’s been fussy with nursing and twists his head around a lot, and I can’t quite figure out why. It doesn’t seem to be a supply issue, because he’s gaining and having lots of wet diapers. A friend suggested he may be slowly teething. It mostly happens during the day, and in the morning and at night he’s a lot more focused so I think he might just be snacky.

He’s also still really, really eager to eat real food like the rest of us! He is a puddle of drool when we sit him on someone’s lap during meal times, and yesterday when I gave him a fork he stuffed in it his mouth, hah. I just ordered a Bumbo-like seat so he’ll have more of a chance to watch us, and I think he’ll be very ready when he hits the six month mark.

Clothing:

Much like he grew out of 0-3 month clothing overnight, he grew out of a lot of 3-6 month clothing overnight! Pants are hard — he has this big ol’ waist and stubby short legs, and a long torso. Onesies are always pulling at the shoulders, and he needs to size up in pants and have the legs rolled. I can’t believe how much he’s grown.

Loves:

Going for walks — Matt took them both out for a long long walk a few days ago and A was flushed with excitement when they got back! He loves one-on-one interaction, still, as well as attention from his sister specifically. He has an Oball loopy toy that he loves the best, and really likes one of M’s stuffed poodle toys. He had a blast having a bath and splashing in the big tub (with his little tub inside of it).

Doesn’t Love

Having to wait three seconds for me to latch him on at night. Not being able to eat real food. Not being able to move of his own accord. Even slightly-wet diapers.

Things to Remember

We all went to the town multicultural feast which was fun! He’s always pretty happy in public with things to look at and people to meet, and was happy being held by our seatmates a few times. We also had a good March Break with M, during which A got to get out and explore quite a bit.

Mom & Dad

Still striving to find that elusive balance. I’ve been spending more time doing self-care things like eating well and walking, which take up more of the day but leave me feeling better. This is the time of year where Matt comes out of his winter funk so I think he’s feeling good!

Looking Forward To:

This is likely my last month with just A until September — we’re almost positive M will be leaving preschool in May. So I’m looking forward to this next month of just-us time, and I’m also looking forward to a busy summer with both of them.

Dear A,

Today I loaded you into the car and we set off to visit Daddy’s work. There, you were not only fawned over by so many people, you relished in that fawning. They said, “Oh, he’s such a friendly baby! Not fussy at all!” and I told them that you love, love, LOVE being out in the world. Your eyes shine bright as you take in everything, whether it’s my face through the cart at the grocery store, the bright lights at the hospital, or the different faces you see in town.

They don’t know that sometimes, at home, you scream so loud that it’s almost awe-inspiring, but that’s okay. As long as you have somewhere to be, whether it’s gallivanting around town, or snuggled in my arms, you’re happy. You just don’t like to be alone, and I get it — why SHOULD you be alone, when you’re such a great partner in crime?

I love that you love the world so much. I hope you don’t ever lose that. It’s hard to picture you any older than you already are — though looking at your sister, I know that it happens all too fast — but when my mind can stretch to you as a toddler, a preschooler, a teenager, a man, I envision someone with the same mix of easygoing and fiery that you are, now.

You love your sister so much that it’s plainly obvious even though you can’t speak yet, and though I don’t think you understand the concept of summer or school breaks I think you’ll be quite pleased to discover that you’ll be spending more time with her, soon. I suspect it’s going to be an exhausting summer for me — and maybe for you, a bit, because she’s not much for letting you nap — but it’s going to be a blast, and it’s going to be right up your social butterfly alley. And I’m totally willing to be tired so that you two can have fun.

As always, you’re the perfect companion for our whole family.

Love,

Mama

M at Seven Months

M’s seven month-iversary was on Saturday! This was a travel-heavy weekend for us so I’m posting about it three days late.

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Stats:

It’s a long story, but we’re still waiting on that six month check-up! All is well, though, so I’m not worried – I recently weighed M at playgroup and she was pushing 18 pounds so she’s right on track in that regard (and has possibly jumped a few percentiles). As usual I have no idea how long she is, but she’s in danger of outgrowing her infant seat very soon.

Nicknames:

I realized she doesn’t have nicknames, but she does have pet names (there’s a difference). I’ll call her bug, or buddy – not in place of her actual name, and generally not in public, just when I’m chatting to her by myself. 🙂

Temperament:

Always with the smiles, except for when she’s hungry or tired (or bored, which is a new one). However — she was just thrilled to have company this month, and when everyone went home she sunk into a cranky mood, likely helped along by an emerging top tooth and me trying to convince her to sleep in her crib for naps. Even when I took her to playgroup she was uncharacteristically quiet! I think she got used to everyone being home and then when it was just me left over, she was upset, but hopefully she’ll be back to her cheerful self soon.

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Skills:

Oh, man. This was the month of skills. Sitting turned very quickly into crawling which has in turn become pulling up on evvvverything. Bath time is stand up in the tub time. Reading time is knock over the baskets and try to stand on them time. Playgroup? Climb up the adults’ legs time. She is a literal ankle biter.

She shakes noisemaking toys, is attempting to climb up things AND sit on top of them (and has been successful a few times), and is testing her balance by hanging onto furniture with one hand while swaying. She pokes and prods and grasps and fidgets. And oh, the smacking. Especially if you give her a spoon.

Sleep:

On and off — I’m kinda used to it now. While my dad and niece were here, M was so stimulated that three times she fell asleep at 6 p.m. and would have made that her bed time if we hadn’t had to wake her for a diaper change and nursing. After they went home, though, she struggled with naps and could only get through the first, half hour long sleep cycle before waking. I’m trying to encourage crib naps so we’re all suffering through it because I know she’s capable, and she did do almost two hours in the crib, putting herself back to sleep, earlier last week!

At night, sometimes she sleeps through, and sometimes she wakes up. Lately it’s been one wakeup between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., after which she either stays in the bed with me or heads back to her crib when she’s done eating, depending on how groggy I am. I miss her guaranteed nighttime sleep but she’s working on a lot of development right now!

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Eating:

She loves, loves loves her food. Raspberries were a new treat this month and she went nuts for them. Homemade potato soup is another favourite, which is challenging because she can’t quite handle a spoon but I want to stick to baby led weaning as much as possible. We do lunches and dinners and the occasional breakfast and she’s getting very good at handling everything from tiny peas to hunks of muffin.

As for nursing, it’s just as frequent, which is fine by me (she needs the nutrients still!). With the arrival of her first top tooth she’s getting kind of bitey which is not fun, but she got over that with the bottom teeth eventually so I’m hoping she’ll get it under control soon. Still not having much luck mastering the sippy cup, but it’s not essential at all right now so I’m not concerned about it.

Clothing:

I’ve got a few 3-6 month tops hanging out in the closet but they’re getting tight! Now that she’s eating regularly we mostly keep her in two piece outfits because onesies are a pain to take off. Her 6-9 month wardrobe is full of adorable dresses and tops, and I’ve got some consignment credit headed my way soon to add some more things to the closet.

One challenge? Sunglasses. I’ve tried the regular style and the kind with a band that is allegedly supposed to keep her from removing them — nothing works.

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Loves:

Eating, chasing cats, grabbing cables and cords and paper, standing up, pulling at hair and skin (ouch!). She still smiles at strangers but isn’t often happy about being picked up or touched until she’s gotten used to someone. She will gladly divebomb defenseless babies, though.

Doesn’t Love:

She cries literally every time we put her on the change table. The only way to keep her somewhat happy is to stand her up but then she rips the picture frames off the wall (in hindsight, that was probably a silly spot to hang things). Does not like being denied food, people eating in front of her without sharing, being placed in her crib for safekeeping (even for a moment!), Matt’s Oscar the Grouch voice.

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Things to Remember:

The joy of having my niece here with M! They made quite the pair. Her first dip in the lake (just her toes — she tried to eat the sand). Her first real ride on the swings at the playground, being pushed by her daddy. That time she ate a whole banana, a strawberry muffin, and a bunch of toast all in one sitting. Her first ‘dada’, her first triumphant crawl across the room, her glee at standing — and her utter happiness at leaning out of the shopping cart in the hardware store to boing a door stopper for a solid two minutes. And Father’s Day!

Mom and Dad:

Enjoying this baby stage! The lack of sleep can be frustrating but we are so much more able to deal with it than we were when she was tiny. She is just independent enough that it doesn’t feel so daunting. I’m still losing my mind over childcare, though.

Looking Forward To:

The damn caterpillars going away so we can go back outside! Maybe some beach time one of these weekends? A few more trips upcoming, and more chances to see family.

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Dear M,

I keep telling people that I am really enjoying this stage of your life — gone are the days of shushing and rocking and worrying. We have hit more of a comfortable stride, and you are cruising right along into every next development, with glee. You want to go, and go you will. Up on the couch, on the table stretching for magazines and coasters and toys, after the cats, across the floor — you are forging your path and nothing can get in your way. Even if we redirect you (because do you really want to eat cat food?), you take it as a challenge, turn yourself around, and head right back over to your intended target. The only thing that can distract you? Something different but equally forbidden.

If you hang onto that nothing can stop me attitude and harness its power for achieving goals loftier than Whiskas — jobs, relationships, dreams — you will serve yourself well. At seven months old, you are a determined whirlwind, and I hope the same remains true at seven years old, seventeen years old — heck, seventy years old. You are going places, kid.

Behind all of your braveness and vigor you are still my sweet baby, though. I joke that you hate cuddling, and you mostly do, but sometimes you just need mama and daddy. This past weekend we went for a long drive and you were very upset to be sitting in your car seat. I moved to the back with you and you grinned at me and held my hand until you fell asleep. It made my heart swell, knowing that despite all your independence, which we celebrate and encourage, there will always be space for softness and sharing love, for holding hands.

You may be two steps ahead of me, reaching, moving — and that is wonderful, my dear. I’m here, behind you, for when you need comfort and calm.

Love always,

Mama

Three Month Letter

Dear M,

I totally forgot to write you a letter with your three month milestone post. You will learn, pretty quickly, that your mama is forgetful. You will witness a lot of scrambling around the house looking for keys, mad dashes back to the grocery store to pick up the forgotten bag, and numerous trips to the bank for replacement debit cards. I hope you have somehow inherited someone else’s capacity for remembering things, someone who is not me nor your father.

I can see already, though, that you have inherited your dad’s curiosity. Put you down in front of something and you are all over it, poking, grabbing, hitting, smiling. Sometimes you have my cautiousness, though. It takes you a few minutes of studying before you decide what you’re going to do, but once you’ve worked up the nerve, BAM, that toy is now halfway across the room.

You have quite the little personality, my girl. You are very insistent about what you want and when you want it. Yesterday your dad was trying to burp you, but you wanted to stand up. You won, and he burped you with one hand while helping you balance with the other. For a three month old, you spend a lot of time on your feet. You’ll extend your legs and lock them at the knee and refuse to sit, or lie down — you want to be up on your feet, looking at the world.

You do everything with gusto, whether it’s crying, laughing, playing or eating. The most common thing we hear about you? She’s so alert! And you are. You are captivated by lights, sound, people. You’re so determined to get at what you want, even if it’s a scaredy cat named Marbles who runs the moment you lock eyes on him. I can only imagine what you’re going to get up to once you get those legs going for real.

M, I am so glad you are such a bright girl. Not bright in the sense of smart, although you are, and that’s good. But bright in that you light up the room, the house, our lives. Winter is long and dark, here, but inside our home we have a tiny ball of sunshine. You wake up every morning with huge grins, kicking your legs and shuffling your way around the crib inch by inch. And some nights — most nights — you fall asleep with a smile on your face, carefully studying your dad or me through half-shut eyes. Those nights feel like a victory. No matter what the day has held — because some are good, and some are bad — those smiles are a trophy and a treasure.

I hope the world always returns the joy you give it. I hope you always wake up with a smile, and go to sleep the same.

Love,

Mama