Yes, this update includes three months worth of rambles. No, I’m not expecting you to read the entire thing. But this blog has gone from a creative outlet to my baby book, and I’ll be damned if I don’t finish out these monthly updates before it goes back to being a creative (and sometimes baby-filled) outlet someday. Plus, my baby book doesn’t nearly have enough lines or space for all of these memories. And I don’t have to use white out here when I mess up 54 times.
I crammed these three months here because I’m gearing up for Leo’s one-year post (which I haven’t written yet) and his one-year party this weekend (which I haven’t finished shopping, crafting or planning for yet). I can’t BELIEVE my baby is going to be one! And that I haven’t started crying yet.
Before I go through my Costco 12-pack of tissues, let’s recap the last three months of Leo:
Highlights: Starting in Buffalo for Leo’s first Thanksgiving and ending in Jacksonville for Leo’s first Christmas, this month was packed to the brim with family love, holiday cheer and big baby milestones! Leo met Santa again, played in the snow (in Austin of all places), tasted all sorts of new foods and officially became mobile. Meaning I officially have not sat down since. He continues to be a ray of sunshine, always smiling, laughing and cuddling.
Growth Chart: At his nine-month appointment, Leo weighed 19 lbs and stretched 29.3 inches tall! He is in the 39th percentile for weight, 80th for height and 93rd for head circumference! (He has an 18.5 inch dome!) :)
Leo Sleep Chronicles, Vol. 9: In daytime sleep news, this month saw the end of the third late afternoon catnap (which had become an “Ergo nap” as I was over trying to get him to sleep for 30 minutes just to have him sleep for 30 minutes) and the debut of a few two-hour morning naps. Key words: a few. Enough to get me excited that Leo’s nap habits had turned a corner and too few to let me know that they had not. I still mainly rock him to sleep for naps, because I am a glutton for baby cuddles, but he did fall asleep a few times by himself for naps this month. And I loved it but I secretly missed rocking him.
On the night front, we are still riding this sleep rollercoaster. He was sleeping GREAT in the beginning of the month – even sleeping through the night a couple of times! – but by the end of the month? Dear Lord. HOWEVER…as I will write more about in the 10-month section, this poor little guy came down with yet another double ear infection after Christmas. So, night wakings were pretty expected. But still not fun.
I’m still nursing him to sleep for bedtime and then for any subsequent night wakings thereafter. I know I need to stop nursing him to sleep, but I just can’t. I LOVE IT. I love our bedtime routine (bath, books, boob) and I love the extra snuggles I get at the very end of our day together. I love watching his little lips smack and flutter softly when he is asleep, and most times I get all teary-eyed watching his little angel face in my arms. I talk to him and tell him how much he is loved, and I send prayers of gratitude that he is all ours. I know this time will go all too fast, and while some nights may seem like they will never end, I know that they will. And that I’ll strangely miss when he needed me in the wee small hours. (Remind me that I wrote this if he is still waking up in the middle of the night at 3 years old.)
ALSO, Leo started sitting up in his crib in the morning, which, for some reason, melts my heart. Something about him just sitting there, looking around and waiting for us to come in just turns me into a puddle. But he ALSO started pulling himself up on his crib rails towards the end of this month, meaning we had to lower the crib not once, but twice – the last time all the way to the lowest setting. And I honestly don’t know if that is low enough.
On the Move: People, WE OFFICIALLY HAVE A CRAWLER. Leo had been rocking back and forth on his hands and knees for a couple weeks, but as we got closer and closer to the end of the month he began to mobilize. Starting with little frog hops, Leo pretty much went from not crawling to crawling at light speed within three days. And I went from being able to multitask to being a full-time baby shadow. It has been so fun and hilarious watching him explore the world around him now that he can actually move from place to place. He loves crawling out of his room now (“I’m free of these four walls!”) and out into the rest of the house. Especially the guest bathroom. What is with babies and toilets? And why do I feel like it is going to be so ironic when we are potty training in a couple years?
Christmas with Leo: I knew the holidays would be much more magical with Leo here to share in them, but I never anticipated the amount of feels I would have watching him look at Christmas lights or “opening” presents. I was basically a total sap all month, as we we did a lot of Christmas-y things in Buffalo with my fam before we left at the beginning of December, and then celebrated the actual holiday and New Year’s in Jacksonville with Matt’s side of the family. And in between, we squeezed in a ton of holiday fun in Austin – including Leo’s first snow day! Highlights of the holidays include: watching Leo watch the Mozart’s Christmas light show; teaching him how to open presents and then laughing as he was much more enthralled with the wrapping paper than the actual toy gift; thinking it was a good idea to let Leo “decorate” a cookie…but it turned into Leo’s first cookie and frosting tasting; Leo pulling on Santa’s beard more than a few times, and more than gently, showing Leo the Christmas tree every morning when he woke up, as well as realizing we need a LOT more soft/felt/unbreakable ornaments; and, of course, getting to share Leo’s first Christmas with all of our family and friends in both Buffalo and Jacksonville.
Leo’s Favorite Things:
- Santa’s beard. While we were in Buffalo, my mom and I took him to Kelly’s Country Store, where she used to being me and my brothers when we were little. That store and Santa experience were pure magic for me as a child, and so bringing Leo was pure magic x100! So much so that I had him sit on Santa’s lap twice so I could really take it all in, after I spent the entire time he first sat on his lap videoing and taking pictures. (Luckily we went during the week when I could afford to be that annoying).
- The color yellow. It was the Wheat Thins box that tipped us off.
- Laying in bed with me in the morning. Well, this is probably more MY favorite thing. During some of Leo’s rougher nights, I often bring him in bed with me for the last stretch of sleep, so we can both actually get that last stretch of sleep. I love watching him wake up – I squint my eyes so that he can’t fully tell that I am awake and watching him. He slowly blinks his eyes open, looks around the room like “where the hell am I?” and then looks over at me and smiles immediately, like “ahh, right. I’m with my mom.” Then he crawls over to me and headbutts me to wake me up. Even in my most exhausted moments, this baby makes my heart jump outside of my body.
- His VTech Sit-to-Stand walker. My mom bought him one for Christmas that we kept in Buffalo, and then we bought him one for Austin. Between this and the cube, the voice of the Vtech lady haunts my dreams. (Ring a ling! The animals sing!)
- Playing with his cousins in Buffalo and in Jacksonville – he is so enamored with all of them. And they all have the amazing ability to make him stop fussing and smile, even when he is super overtired or sick. I need to have one of them on call at all times.
- Practicing his pincher grasp – we gave him Cheerios in Buffalo and while it took him a little bit to get the hang of it, he was picking each one up within minutes! Puffs quickly entered our daily vocabulary and shopping carts.
- Furrowing his brows in concentration when he is studying a new toy, a book page or a piece of lint he discovered on the floor.
- Playing with all of his light-up/singing/moving toys. We spend a lot of time in his room now, especially in the mornings, playing with all the things. I love watching him discover new aspects of his toys every day. He still really likes flipping them all over in his lap and studying the tiniest details – he has an eye, this one. And his concentrating face is SO CUTE.
- Crawling to his nursery door and pushing it away from him and then crawling forward to swing it back open again. (As I stand there secretly controlling the door as I am paranoid he is going to accidentally jam his little tiny fingers.) This can go on for like 10 minutes at a time, until he catches a glimpse of the toilet in the guest bathroom and remembers that is his favorite.
- Crawling to the treadmill and pulling up on it so he can run his hands along the bumpy track. Think we have a future runner on our hands….help me.
- That said, crawling to every single cord, outlet and other totally-not-kid-friendly-object we have in the house. I swear, I could put every loud, colorful toy in his path and he would crawl right around them to get to something he shouldn’t be getting to. Like, again, the freaking toilet.
- Being mommy’s shadow. Now that he is mobile, everywhere I go, he goes. He also is very big on crawling on top of me when I am sitting down, especially when we are at someone else’s house. His separation anxiety is in full force this month…and I LOVE IT.
- Eating the tail on his lion rug. Didn’t see that one coming when I bought it eight months ago.
- Looking in the mirror – ain’t nobody love Leo like Leo loves Leo! Well, except for me.
- Moving his little body when we sing songs or play music. He kills me.
- Fighting like hell when we try and put him in his car seat! I can’t help but laugh at his determination to not be strapped into that thing – he arches his whole body up, refusing to sit his butt down. It takes a few tries and usually some sort of toy bribery – or my phone, keys or sunglasses – to distract him enough to get him in and secured.
- Babbling that babble. Lots of ba ba ba ba ba ba ma ma ma ma da da da da and some pretty hilarious lisp-type sounds.
- Baby swings! He LOVESSS to swing – smiles so big as soon as I put him in!
- Kneeling on the window sill in his bedroom and being our little neighborhood watchdog. Every morning he has to kneel up there and check out the scene!
- Taking a bath in his little tub without the netting. He wasn’t too sure about it the first few times, as he refused to lean back and would only will sit up straight with his hands clutching the sides of the tub! If his hands weren’t so chubby, I swear you would see white knuckles he would clutch the sides so hard. Eventually, he relaxed enough to let go and play with his bath toys.
- His lion bath towel…especially when Matt and I put it on our heads. It started out of desperation to keep him still when I was trying to wrangle a diaper and pajamas on him one night, but he laughed so hard that I kinda stopped using the towel as a towel and more so as a costume. He laughs AND lays still. Whatever works, people!
- Being tickled – the anticipation of being tickled also gets him laughing, which gets us laughing even harder!
- Playing on the kitchen floor with pots, pans and Tupperware. It is crazy how fast our kitchen cabinets can be emptied when I need to keep him preoccupied.
- Making this hilarious scrunched-up stink face! He randomly started doing it one day and I think I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. He still does it all of the time – so much so that I’m beginning to think it is how he smiles now, Chandler Bing style.
- Dropping toys, sip cups and food from his high-chair. Then once he drops it, he likes to lean over the high chair to see where it landed on the floor.
- Along that same note, he loves to push toys he is no longer interested over the side of this car seat. I always give him a few things to play with before even the shortest of distances, and find it hilarious when I go to get him out and find them all tossed overboard.
- Avocado, still reigning champ
- Refried beans
- Mashed potatoes
- Happy Baby Organic pouches – so many fruits/veggies, so little time I have to spend preparing them.
- ICE CREAM. My brother Joe gave him a little bit when we were visiting, and I’m pretty sure he learned the “more” sign right then and there. He is my son, after all.
- Also, not a food but related – Leo started drinking out of a straw sip cup this month! After he sucked down a HappyBaby pouch, it dawned on me that he would probably like drinking from a straw. Little baby basically chugged so hard I had to take the sip cup away at one point!
Parenting Lessons Learned:
- Sharing a hotel room with a baby that now does not share your room is not fun or really doable anymore. We went to San Antonio for the night and while we were pretty great at talking, eating and getting ready for bed with minimal noises, housekeeping and the homeless guy across the street from our hotel PLAYING THE DRUMS AT 2, 3 and again at 4 AM were not. It was the.night.from.hell.
- Playpens are awesome, in theory – we got this Summer Infant one this week – but one day, your baby will eventually realize you’ve pent him up and strongly protest every time you put him down in it thereafter. We can still get 5-10 minutes out of him in there before he starts pressing his whole face into the mesh siding…which, actually, is highly entertaining.
- We should have really started thinking about baby proofing sooner.
- People on planes who help you with your bags and your baby as well as let you use your tray for the snacks and drinks are angels. PURE ANGELS.
Highlights: Leo rang in his tenth month and 2018 with quite the bang, including two ear infections, a cold and many a sleepless nights. (We rang in the new year together as Leo woke up right after the ball dropped.) Thankfully, the month went up from there, as it included many exciting, new things like peanut butter (not allergic and not a weirdo who doesn’t like peanut butter…not sure which brought me more relief!), learning to pull up to stand and visits from his Uncle Bryan and the one and only Mama Ro!
Growth Chart: At his appointment in January (one of many… ear infections = meeting your deductible real quick) Leo weighed 19 pounds and stretched 29 inches long. Hard to believe this baby almost tripled his weight and expanded nine inches since he was born! My arms should be SO RIPPED from lugging this chunk around all of the time.
Leo Sleep Chronicles, Vol. 10: After we got past the double ear infection, Leo’s sleep improved ten-fold this month. He not only started taking longer morning naps (some were two hours long!), but he surprised me with much longer stretches at night…even some all-night sleep fests! Of course, for every decent night of sleep there were two bad sleeps, but I will take any great night sleep I can get. He did have a weird stretch one week where he woke up 20-30 minutes after I put him down to bed, like clockwork, but as with all things in this baby life, that was just a phase. Towards the end of the month, most nights he was only waking up once around 3 or 4 a.m. to nurse and then would sleep until about 7 or 7:30. But he had a few nights where he woke up around 10 or 11, nursed and then slept al the way to after 7 the next morning. Ah, that was so, so nice. Sleep is so, so nice. Not that I remember how it feels to be rested, as all of these great sleeping habits would all soon change come February when ANOTHER double ear infection came to swoop up all the fun. Spoiler alert!
On the nap front, Leo is taking two naps a day – one in the morning, around 9 or 10, and one in the afternoon, around 1 or 2. I’m loosely following the 2,3,4 schedule still, but bedtime usually falls around 7-7:30 no matter what. We had a few rough days of nap resistance and cat naps, which is probably why I’m still breaking all of the rules by nursing him to sleep or wearing him in the Ergo for naps. It’s just…so easy. I know I will have to sleep train someday but I keep avoiding it, much like the new treadmill we bought. Even typing about it is giving me anxiety. Stop pressuring me, mom sleep blogs!
Leo’s Favorite Things:
- Smiling/flirting/staring at every person near us on the plane to and from Florida. He has always been a sociable babe, but I kept reminding him that not everyone has the stamina to smile and wave back at him for the entirety of our 2 1/2 hour flight. To those people that did….bless you.
- Smiling/flirting/waving at strangers in grocery stores. I can’t get him to eave bye bye to me but the random person in the checkout behind me at Target can.
- While he is a total flirt, he also loves to play bashful and lean his little smiling head into my chest whenever someone new approaches him.
- Sharing toys and food when asked, “can I see it?” Alas, this lasts for one second until he gently takes it back but still, it is so cute.
- Being home. I mean, this kid is the best traveler in the world but after two months of being on and off planes up North and down South, you could actually see his excitement to be back home and around all of his toys again. He was crawling all over the house, picking up all of his favorite toys and objects and smiling at them before putting them down and crawling to the next. I feel ya, babydoll.
- Wrapping paper. I still had a couple tiny presents wrapped for Leo when we got home, and in true baby fashion, Leo was way more into the paper than the super cool A Very Hungry Caterpillar finger book I found at Home Goods. He loved it so much that he decided to crawl all around the house with a piece of it, stopping to sit up, wave it around in the air and then continue to crawl for a few more feet before repeating the sit and wave thing. This went on for a good 20 minutes. And every other day since when I needed to distract him. Would it be weird if I gave him a piece of wrapping paper to sleep with as a comfort object?
- Our “Guess Who” game. What started as a “here, look at this!” distraction on a very cold and rainy day spent in the house turned into a full-blown OBSESSION. Maybe it is his love for all things yellow or maybe he is just like his great grandmother when it comes to cards, but this boy crawls all around the house with cards in his hands, waves them in the air and then tries to eat them. Well, in some case, does eat them. Max, Anita, Maria and Joe all had to be sacrificed.
- His Leonardo ninja turtle! He gets SO PUMPED when he sees it, then crawls over to it and tackles it down. Between that and his bear blanket/throw, he loves rolling around with his face stuffed into stuffed animals.
- Not sitting still for diaper changes or outfit changes. These are now my cardio intervals.
- Showing off all of his new tricks his dad taught him, including “hands up!” “how big is Leo?” and my personal favorite, “where’s your tongue?” He also responds to “where’s dada? and “where’s mama?”
- Playing with each one of his toys in the morning for 10 seconds before tossing it aside and moving onto the next. I don’t know if he has a short attention span or if he is just super excited to keep learning or if the coffee I drink is getting into my breastmilk. But he is an energizer bunny allllll day.
- Fake crying, which he always pulls when we put him in the Summer Infant play yard. He whines “mmm ma ma ma” or “de de de de da da daaaa!!” but if you do anything, like peek-a-boo, he instantly starts giggling. And then immediately gets his way as I pick him up bc he is too adorable.
- Practicing pulling up to stand! He did it first when he was doing his daily front-window watching, and then again a couple of times on the edge of the treadmill. It was so exciting yet so terrifying because after standing comes cruising and after cruising comes walking and after walking comes my life is over.
- Baby play dates. (Who am I kidding…this is also my favorite thing. I’m SO lucky to have the such amazing friends/fellow mamas around me to hang out with during the week, as they provide much needed laughter, support and coffee refills.)
- Laughing hysterically when I play peek-a-boo under his high chair. It started when I went to pick up all of the food he dropped one day, and now the second I bend down to get something he squeals in delight and also sticks his feet out for me to tickle. It certainly makes clean up a lot more fun!
- Library story time, although this month’s visit was bit different as it was the first time going since Leo learned how to crawl. Before, he would sit happily on my lap, bouncing up and down for songs and watching in awe as the other babies’ cruised the carpet. This time…Leo was all about showing off his new skill. He was hilarious – he would crawl to the middle of the circle, sit up and look back at me, then crawl back on my lap. On repeat. Towards the end, I had to go retrieve him from the personal space of those around us, as Leo was after all the toys, all the iPhones and all the bubbles.
- Making this hilarious scrunched up stink face while also breathing loudly. With his little bald head, it makes him look like Mr. Magoo.
- Giving me hugs and kisses. It is the sweetest thing EVER and I think I might die from my heart exploding every time he does it!
- Balloons, as we discovered while grocery shopping the day before Valentine’s Day. I almost bought him five heart balloons, but thankfully came to my senses and only bought him one. Which he loved for a day and then quickly forgot about.
- Staring at me when he is nursing. If I even try to look at my phone he swats his hands around at it. He wants my boob and my full undivided attention.
- Speaking of attention, the millisecond he is done nursing, he pops up immediately and lunges forward at his toys on the ground of his nursery. Then he goes from toy to toy, leaving a trail of wreckage in his crawly path.
- Clacking his tongue (is that the right word?) and sticking it outlay the way on cue when you ask, “where’s your tongue?”
- BATH TIME. Oh, how this boy loves bath time. From watching his tub fill up to splashing water EVERYWHERE, it is hard to get him out of the tub and ready for bed these days!
- The remote control. He normally doesn’t get mad when you take something away from him, but he was so attached to that remote that I finally had to take the one out of the guest room to be his permanent toy. Sorry, guest room guests.
- Playing with my hair when he eats, especially when he is sleepy. He will now grab onto it and rub the ends against his cheek while he is falling asleep. Which makes me wonder if I’m going to have to cut off a chunk of it and make it into a really weird security blanket if I ever want him to fall asleep independently.
- Making this hilarious noise when he is excited – it’s basically him sucking in air while he flails his legs and arms around.
- Spending time with his Mama Ro. Although he hadn’t seen her in about a month, he smiled SO BIG when she walked in the door and immediately reached out to go to her. We had the best week all together, spending many days at the trail, exploring the new downtown library and just hanging out at the house.
- Leaning his head sideways in the high chair. He randomly did this one day (probably when he had an ear infection and his ears were bugging him) and it quickly turned into our new “sideways!” game. He will now follow your head to the left and to the right with a huge grin on his face.
- Our days at the trail – we go walk, stop at Juiceland for smoothies and then Leo passes out in the Ergo while I continue walking. These are my favorite days, especially because I used to walk the trail almost every night after work when I was pregnant with him. He used to move so much in my belly as I walked
Baby-Led Weaning/Throwing: Leo started protesting the spoon over Christmas, so since then I have focused more on a baby-led weaning approach to feeding (basically offering small bites of food on his tray and letting him feed himself). This works out great some days for Leo and not-so-great some days for me and our kitchen floor. There is now one large area of our brand new hardwood floors that will never, ever, EVER be clean again.
These are his least-likely-to-throw-on-the-floor foods:
- Peanut butter toast. Like…he eats it every day as it is one of the only things he will eat for breakfast. Or lunch… or dinner. Boy after my own belly.
- Any sort of bread, but especially blueberry and banana bread
- Cheese! Leo LOVESSSSS cheese, cheese and more cheese. Probably why he went two days without pooping this month.
- Quesadillas (Man, typing this all out makes me sound like mom of the year. Let me redeem myself…)
- Cucumbers and Lantana cucumber hummus
- Juiceland green smoothies
Parenting Lessons Learned:
- You will jinx yourself if you whisper “Happy New Year, baby, see you next year!” when you put your baby to bed on New Year’s Eve. Leo obviously couldn’t wait to see me in 2018, waking up at 12:04 a.m.
- Bask in home renovations BEFORE you have a baby, as there is nothing like trying to clean bits of mushed broccoli caked in between your new hardwood floors. Broccoli is just part of our decor now.
- Never underestimate the power of baby distraction. Or the source of it. You’ll be amazed at what you can get down while your baby sits on the floor and rips apart your grocery receipt.
Highlights: In the month before the big O-N-E, Leo became more and more of a little boy and less of a little babe. Which was amazing and heartbreaking to watch, as I am so proud of all that he is doing yet so sad that it is all happening so fast and that he isn’t my teeny tiny newborn anymore. I thought time moved fast before…now it’s showing off. Bah. Anyways, this month gave us a week of playtime with Mama Ro, another week playtime with some of his Minnuto cousins and a Valentine’s Day full of more love than I ever thought possible.
Growth Chart: Since Leo didn’t have any well-check visits this month, I don’t have an official weight or height. BUT, since he did have plenty of sick visits due to his never-ending ear infections, he weighed 20 pounds as of the last visit. Which my aching back could have told you without the $70 copay.
Leo Sleep Chronicles, Vol. 11: Oh my gosh y’all, I am already exhausted just thinking about typing about Leo’s sleep this month. It’s not that he doesn’t sleep…it’s that how he gets to sleep and how long he sleeps for and how many times he wakes up at night must be in coordination with the moon’s orbit. I can’t keep up (sometimes literally, I cannot get up out of bed) with the inconsistency, and at times I’ve just thrown in the towel to do whatever works. Which I know won’t help me in the long run, but I’m too tired to fight. I’ve been nursing him to sleep for naps and bedtime, which I have to admit, are becoming less of a novelty. Well, I take that back – NAP nursing to sleep is becoming less of a novelty. Nighttime nursing I still love, as he passes out so easily and transfers so easily and sometimes sleeps until 4 a.m. (With a few sprinklings of waking up 20 minutes after I put him down and a few times during the night sprinkled in for good measure). But nap time…woof. On the days when I’m able to transfer him successfully, it is usually always for his morning nap and he then would sleep for 1-2 hours. (Again, we still have 45 minute catnap days). But on the days the transfer is a disaster and I wind up holding him for his entire nap and get NOTHING done that I would like to get done? Eh, I’m okay with changing those days. Don’t get me wrong – I am so lucky to stay at home with Leo and give him all of my time and energy. This is my job now, and I understand that doing the dishes or folding laundry are not as important as this time with my son. Hence why I still haven’t sleep trained him at all, I secretly am a glutton for punishment. And baby snuggles.
But it is wearing on me, especially on days where Matt is home and my mom and I are out at this super cool Austin event and I have to cut our time out of the house short because Leo won’t nap without me there. And speaking of wearing, the second nap of the day has become an Ergo nap. Half because I am prone to stir-craziness and want to stay out of the house, and half because it’s so much easier than getting him to sleep at home in the crib. And partly because I love when he sleeps on me in the Ergo. See! Glutton for baby snuggle punishment! I do it all to myself.
Anyways, this month was a bit trying on the sleep front, and made me realize that sleep training is in our definite future. I’m obviously going to put it off as long as possible because I secretly hope everything will just resolve itself…but I know it is unavoidable at some point.
But gah! Let me end this section on a positive note. When Leo does sleep well in his crib, whether it be for naps or at night, there is NOTHING better than going into his room to get him when he wakes up. NOTHING. He smiles so big and crawls up to the crib railings (if he isn’t already standing on them) and just beams at you with that perfect little face of his. It makes any sleep struggle memory melt totally out of my tired mind while my heart grows three sizes.
Leo’s Favorite Things:
- His mama. :) He loves crawling on me, hugging me, kissing me, being held by me, being rocked by me, being put back to sleep at 3 am by me (and only me). It is both exhausting and inexplicably perfect.</li> <li>His mama. :) He loves crawling on me, hugging me, kissing me, being held by me, being rocked by me, being put back to sleep at 3 am by me (and only me). It is both exhausting and inexplicably perfect
- Crawling up behind me when I’m making something in the kitchen and pulling himself up on my legs, like “whatcha doing mom?”
- Sitting on his daddy’s shoulders
- Crawling and standing up on me when we are sitting playing with his toys, just to give me a hug and then going back to playing. HEART MELTING. He is the sweetest little mama’s boy in all of the land!
- Wanting to try different food that I’m snacking on, especially if it involved chips and hummus</li> <li>Wanting to try different food that I’m snacking on, especially if it involved chips and hummus
- Reading his books! Not only does he love when we read him books – he leans back on us, turns the pages, lifts the flaps (he pushes my hand away when I try to help him) and really studies each page – he also loves sitting and “reading” his books by himself. I love catching him sitting queitly in his little play area. I’m first suspect because he is so quiet, but then when I see him hold a book between his little chunky hands and flip the pages pack and forth…oh sweet heavens, it is the cutest thing! He also likes to read books in the car now too.
- Besides when he is sitting with his books, Leo never ever ever sitting still for more than one minute at a time.</li> <li>Besides when he is sitting with his books, Leo never ever ever sitting still for more than one minute at a time.
- Talking all of the time. He doesn’t really say any words consistently or purposefully, but his baby babbles of ma ma ma da da da wa wa wa na na na tell the most interesting of stories. We get such a kick out of him, especially when you think that he is really trying to say something.</li> <li>Talking all of the time. He doesn’t really say any words consistently or purposefully, but his baby babbles of ma ma ma da da da wa wa wa na na na tell the most interesting of stories. We get such a kick out of him, especially when you think that he is really trying to say something.
- Playing chase all over the house. He gets SO EXCITED when I say, “mommy’s going to get youuuu” and he squeals and starts crawling as fast as he can, with his little head down and butt swaying back and forth, before he stops to look back at me, squeal again and continue on his run. Then when I “get him” he giggles and then starts the game all over again, looking back at me with his little “come and get me” trouble face. He covers every square inch of our house – no wonder all of his pajamas have holes in the knees.
- Fighting like hell with his car seat, and flailing out of it the millisecond I unsnap him. I have to actually catch him sometimes before he falls out of it! Baby does not like to be confined.
- Waterbottles/straw cups. I can get a good 20 minutes of undisturbed time in the kitchen if I just give him water bottles to play with. He is obsessed with the Camelbaks we have, as well as Matt’s mom’s water container with a hard plastic straw. Of course, these are now all “his” water bottles, spit and all.
- And well, kinda obvious from the last bullet but…this kid also LOVES water. I have to only fill up Leo’s sippy cups with two ounces of water at a time as he would pound the entire thing otherwise. He moves around so much that I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe he is always thirsty? Whatever it is, giving him a straw sippy cup with water is a no-fail way to make him happy. Therefore I always, always have one on hand when I’m about to plop Leo in the carseat. make him happy. Therefore I always, always have one on hand when I’m about to plop Leo in the carseat.</li>
- Playing with my hair as he nurses, especially when he is falling asleep. He twists it around his hands and then rubs my split ends against his eyes and cheeks. It is beyond adorable. Safe to say I’m never rocking a pixie anytime soon.</li> <li>Playing with my hair as he nurses, especially when he is falling asleep. He twists it around his hands and then rubs my split ends against his eyes and cheeks. It is beyond adorable. Safe to say I’m never rocking a pixie anytime soon.
- Still making that scrunched up, Mr. Magoo face. Especially when the wind blows on him. He kills me.</li> <li>Still making that scrunched up, Mr. Magoo face. Especially when the wind blows on him. He kills me.</li>
- Crawling around outside on the grass. I try to be a good mom and bring huge blankets, but the boy just wants to roll around in the dirt, try and eat grass and climb on top of dirt stroller wheels. I gave up within the first five minutes.</li> <li>Crawling around outside on the grass. I try to be a good mom and bring huge blankets, but the boy just wants to roll around in the dirt, try and eat grass and climb on top of dirt stroller wheels. I gave up within the first five minutes.
- Playing with his baby girlfriends Emily and Marlow. Ladies Love Cool Leo.</li> <li>Playing with his baby girlfriends Emily and Marlow. Ladies Love Cool Leo.
- Brushing his teeth with his Banana Brush. Probably not actually doing anything bc I let him hold it and basically just bite on it, but it is the closest we are going to get to “brushing” for awhile.
- Pulling up to standing on everythingggg. He especially likes climbing on Matt’s chair when he is working as well as the treadmill, his activity center and his crib.
- Playing “where’s your head?” and “where is your belly?” and his latest and greatest, “where’s my nose?” Still loves sticking his tongue out when prompted as well as making “fish face!” all of the time.</li> <li>Playing “where’s your head?” and “where is your belly?” and his latest and greatest, “where’s my nose?” Still loves sticking his tongue out when prompted as well as making “fish face!” all of the time.</li>
- POINTING! So much pointing! It came out of nowhere – one day, Matt causally said “Leo, where is the fan?” and Leo looked up and pointed at it. From there, his little pointer finger has barely relaxed. From the moment he gets up in the morning to the second he gets in his bathtub at night, this little guy is pointing everywhere and everything, especially at light switches, our kitchen cabinets and trees on the trail when we walk. Pointing is also usually accompanied by a “bwoaaaaaaa” sound effect, which just amplifies the amazingness x100.</li> <li>POINTING! So much pointing! It came out of nowhere – one day, Matt causally said “Leo, where is the fan?” and Leo looked up and pointed at it. From there, his little pointer finger has barely relaxed. From the moment he gets up in the morning to the second he gets in his bathtub at night, this little guy is pointing everywhere and everything, especially at light switches, our kitchen cabinets and trees on the trail when we walk. Pointing is also usually accompanied by a “bwoaaaaaaa” sound effect, which just amplifies the amazingness x100.
- He also loves using his little pointer fingers to inspect everything, especially straws, the tops of fruit pouches (he likes to stick his finger right in there, which is super sanitary after he’s been crawling on the ground) and door hinges. This kid loves door hinges.</li> <li>He also loves using his little pointer fingers to inspect everything, especially straws, the tops of fruit pouches (he likes to stick his finger right in there, which is super sanitary after he’s been crawling on the ground) and door hinges. This kid loves door hinges.
- Bathtime! He actually whines now when we take him out of the tub, which is hilarious when you compare it to a few months ago when he was so uncomfortable in it that he wouldn’t let go of the sides of the tub!</li> <li>Bathtime! He actually whines now when we take him out of the tub, which is hilarious when you compare it to a few months ago when he was so uncomfortable in it that he wouldn’t let go of the sides of the tub!</li>
- Clucking his little tongue and finding it hilarious when you do it back to him</li> <li>Clucking his little tongue and finding it hilarious when you do it back to him.
- Animal noises. We have a ton of animal books that we read, plus his bath toys are all little farm animals so we go through all of them and the sound they are every night. He’s mastered the owl’s “whooo whoo whoooo,” which is amazing not only because how cute it sounds but how cute his little face and lips are when he says it!
- Playing around in his high chair. He still finds it HILARIOUS when I pop my head up from underneath his tray, and sometimes I need to put a hard stop to our game when I remember he alsooooo has food in his mouth. But baby giggles are just the best.
- Playing around in his high chair. He still finds it HILARIOUS when I pop my head up from underneath his tray, and sometimes I need to put a hard stop to our game when I remember he alsooooo has food in his mouth. But baby giggles are just the best.
- Music! Since he was a wee babe, Leo always loved when I sang to him or put on music in his swing. Now, like a true Austinite, he loves jamming to live music all around town. He was enthralled with a guitar player we listened to at a flea market downtown, and then we took him to see live music at Austin Beer Garden Brewing when Joe, Janice and the kids were here and he would not turn his head away from the stage. Any time someone even tested the microphone, his eyes were glued.
- High-fiving – his cousin Cecilia taught him that party trick!</li> <li>High-fiving – his cousin Cecilia taught him that party trick!
- Bubbles, obviously, as we can now count that as his first non-mama/dada word. (His first will always be MAMA. IT WAS MAMA.)
- Hanging out at breweries with his baby friends and his parents and their parent friends. Okay, maybe this is my favorite thing.
Look Who’s “Talking:” While Leo is lightyears from talking, this month he has surprised us with a couple of “words!” While freaking out over the bubble machine with his cousins, Leo started saying “bubbo” over and over again, and when pointing at his books on his book shelf, said “bwoooo, bwoooo” which I am totally counting for “book.” I mean, still counting “mama” as his first word and all, but these may have been his actual first word words, if you know what I mean. <strong>Look Who’s Talking:</strong> While Leo is lightyears from talking, this month he has surprised us with a couple of “words!” While freaking out over the bubble machine with his cousins, Leo started saying “bubbo” over and over again, and when pointing at his books on his book shelf, said “bwoooo, bwoooo” which I am totally counting for “book.” I mean, still counting “mama” as his first word and all, but these may have been his actual first word words, if you know what I mean.
New Teeth! While Leo still only has two teefers on the bottom, he is working on a few up top! At his nine-month appointment, his pedi said that his top gums were swollen and we will probably see teeth poking through soon. Therefore I blamed every rough night of sleep on those top teeth. For two months. I’m here to report that NO new teeth have made their debut since that day, although I am starting to see the top front teeth underneath his gums, ready to poke their way out. Meaning “it has to be his teeth” has become a daily and nightly phrase for every fussy spell or frequent waking. <strong>TEETH:</strong> While Leo still only has two teefers on the bottom, he is working on a few up top! At his nine-month appointment, his pedi said that his top gums were swollen and we will probably see teeth poking through soon. Therefore I blamed every rough night of sleep on those top teeth. For two months. I’m here to report that NO new teeth have made their debut since that day, although I am starting to see the top front teeth underneath his gums, ready to poke their way out. Meaning “it has to be his teeth” has become a daily and nightly phrase for every fussy spell or frequent waking.
Speaking of teeth…let’s talk about BITING: We had a few “incidents” this month with boob biting while nursing. Ugh…even typing that out makes me cross my arms around my boobs and shudder. It was right before we realized he had anther double ear infection – and of course, it was an immediate, painful trigger that something had to be up. But at first, it seemed like he was just messing with me – he would eat for a few seconds, and then, almost like he was bored, just clamp down. My initial and incontrollable “OW!” scared him and amused him, as he stared at me like “hmmm, never seen her do that before. Let’s try it again…” Which he did. Multiple times.
I then spiraled into a full-blown panic attack, as he wouldn’t eat without biting unless it was right before he was going to sleep. And even that was an issue (hi, undiagnosed ear infection!) and bedtime became intolerable (because I nurse him to sleep). I didn’t have much a freezer stash of milk at this point, so I started pumping every chance I got to make sure Leo was drinking enough. But that was a challenge, as I was so stressed that I wasn’t able to pump that much at once. I felt like a new mom again, carting my pump around the house and pumping every second I got. (Which proved to be unsuccessful once Leo discovered my pump and TURNED UP THE SUCTION when I wasn’t looking.) I even rang the lactation consultants I worked with at the hospital when Leo was born, holding back tears as I talked a million miles a minute about what was happening. Right when I was about to lose it, Leo started nursing again and I was able to pump more. Of course, all at once. My poor boobs.
Long story short (which is funny to say when this blog post is now at 38,4702 words), I took him to the doc. He had two ear infections. He was also teething. This was also a phase. Long story short (which is funny to say when this blog post is now at 38,4702 words), I took him to the doc. He had two ear infections. He was also teething. This was also a phase.
As for the biting, I decided to follow advice I read online: When baby bites, you take him off the boob (no kidding), look at him and firmly say “no biting!” Then try and latch again. If they bite again, put him down on the ground. If he whines and tries to crawl back on you, then he really is hungry and you should try again (I know, it is terrifying). But if he crawls away happily, maybe he wasn’t that hungry to begin with and you should wait a little while and try again. Within a couple days, Leo stopped biting and I stopped clenching my jaw every time he latched. As for the biting, I decided to follow advice I read online: When baby bites, you take him off the boob (no kidding), look at him and firmly say “no biting!” Then try and latch again. If they bite again, put him down on the ground. If he whines and tries to crawl back on you, then he really is hungry and you should try again (I know, it is terrifying). But if he crawls away happily, maybe he wasn’t that hungry to begin with and you should wait a little while and try again. Within a couple days, Leo stopped biting and I stopped clenching my jaw every time he latched.
All Ears (Infection): Okay, let’s talk about the ear infections that have rocked our baby boat the past TWO months. Leo got a double ear infection in the very beginning of January, then another one in the beginning of February. I honestly don’t think the one in January ever cleared, even though we went to the doctor to check after the antibiotics were done. That means he has had three double ear infections in under six months…not so good for a baby who is exclusively breastfed, doesn’t go to daycare and isn’t around anyone who smokes. (Common factors in babies with a lot of ear infections.) Therefore, our doctor referred to an ENT specialist to talk about the possibility of getting tubes put in. Especially because this last infection took two rounds of two different antibiotics to clear up. So all together, it lasted for about a month.
The specialist told me that getting tubes wasn’t an urgent matter – we could wait out the rest of the year and see how his ears fare in the spring/summer months when infections are less common, – but at the end of the day, he was obviously prone to infections. And their ear anatomy doesn’t change until they are about two years old, meaning we were going to have to get tubes put in at some point. After 20 days of antibiotics, pain and terrible sleep, I knew tubes were the best bet to help our little boy finally get back to himself. We scheduled the procedure for March 13th. I know it is a super simple and very common procedure, but I am still a wreck about it! Although, when it is 4 a.m. and I’ve decided to put Leo in bed with me in hopes of at least getting a couple hours of sleep, the day can’t come soon enough.
Mangia Mangia: Leo really caught the hang of baby-led weaning this month, picking up pieces of food and – most of the time- aiming correctly towards his mouth and not the floor. I’m still breastfeeding him first and foremost, with “real” food being a bonus. There are still some days he isn’t into eating (hey, teething) and other days where he houses peanut butter toast, string cheese and avocado quesadillas like a boss. And then there are plenty of days when he will only eat bread and cheese. Or Juiceland smoothies (so far, I am 0-3 on homemade smoothies with this kid).
Current favorites this month are bagels (they must feel so good on his little swollen gums!), naan bread and every.single.Costco sample. (That I then buy and that he then refuses to eat at home.)
Parenting Lessons Learned, No Sleep ’til Ear Tubes Edition:
- Never say you won’t co-sleep. Because you will, multiple times, for a long time. I don’t know how I would have gotten any sleep otherwise this month.
- It’s okay to cry more than your baby sometimes. And in my case, since Leo never really cries, it is okay to just be a mom who cries. At 1 a.m., 7 a.m., 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. at Target on a Tuesday.
- This too, shall pass. Ear infections, boob biting, waking-up-the-moment-you-put-baby-down-nights. They will all go away and be replaced by the next challenge
- You would give anything to swap places with your baby and take away their hurt. Also, to be put down for naps multiple times a day and to be in bed by 7 o’clock.
- Babies are CHAMPS. For the most part, Leo was still so happy and smiley all month even though he was under the weather for most of it. That said, Matt also got a cold this month and Leo wins, HANDS DOWN on the toughness/complaining scale. The “man flu” is real, y’all.
Whew…okay. ONTO ONE YEAR! Anyone still out there?