Sunday, July 10, 2016

Adventures in Parenting: Month 9

We had our 9 month checkup earlier this week (no shots, yay!!!), so here's the official stats:

Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 29 inches
Teeth: 6, with 2 threatening to make an appearance.

Firsts:  Before you become a parent, you only think of the *big* firsts-- first smile, first laugh, first step, first word...  But there are SO many firsts.  And you don't realize how each of those little firsts is going to smack you in the face. 

We were at a friend's house for a BBQ and I was chatting with the group while keeping an eye on the kiddo in the next room. He is laying on his back, shaking a toy above his head.  I go back to my conversation. Not 30 seconds later, I look back over...and he's sitting up.  He went from laying down to sitting up ON HIS OWN.
And then of course there's the first time he realizes people laugh when he smashes his face against the side of the PNP.

A few days later, I was laying on the floor with him, holding a ball, and I dropped it and let it roll past him.  He watched it, picked it up, and then put it back in my hand. It was the first time he had ever handed me anything.  Thinking it might be a fluke, I rolled the ball again.  He picked it up, and put it back in my hand.  Four or five more times before he got distracted! My brain exploded. OMG, I thought, we're actually PLAYING together!  Not like when I tell him all the colors of the stacking rings as I put them on the pillar, at which point he looks at the tower, grabs the base and dumps all the rings off. Or when I say the color and shape of the block I'm putting into his shape-sorting bucket and he proceeds to grab the lid and start chewing on it.  We are actually interacting.

Every. Time.  Though usually not this neatly.

Eating:  Food is delicious.  Nearly all foods.  So far, the only things that he's not liked are:
A) Stage 3 Gerber "mac 'n cheese": Honestly, can't blame him here.  It doesn't taste like mac 'n cheese at all. I added some cumin and he was much more amenable to finishing it off, but it still took 3 days.
B) Crab-boiled new potatoes:  I think it was too spicy for him.
C) A mushroom from stir fry at HuHot.  Again, I think it just had a little more heat than he could deal with.  Not at all surprising, but a little disappointing, as I was hoping with his parents' love for all things spicy he might have sprung from the womb with a yearning for cayenne.  Alas, this is not the case.  We'll work back up to that later.

Otherwise, he's a fan of potatoes in all forms, peas, green beans, pasta salad, pasta sauce, cinnamon applesauce, mini Club crackers, bread, bananas, Greek yogurt, avocado, hummus, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, Salisbury steak, biscuits, gravy, Popeye's chicken, pad thai, strawberry shortcake, Cool Whip, ice cream, cheese, sausage...
Nomming on ground beef and diced green beans.

Can we talk honestly for a sec?  Feeding my kid "real" food is such a mixed experience.  Part of me is excited by the idea of him being able to share a meal with us, watching his face as he tastes something new for the first time, trying new textures and learning to feed himself.  And yet, at the exact same time...another part of me is fairly sure that he's either going to choke to death or have a lethal allergic reaction and die, right there in front of me.  Welcome to momhood.

And then there's the mess...I know, learning to feed oneself is an experience, it takes time, and I should beam with motherly delight as he smears blueberries around on the tray of his high chair because they make a pretty color and "he's learning to paint!"...but then there's the "no, don't drop that..." *yells to dog to come eat blueberries off the floor* "no, don't touch the wall..."  "don't touch your EYES!"  And why don't pints of blueberries come with a warning? "These contain seeds.  Like, LOTS of seeds.  So you're gonna be cleaning blueberries seeds off your son's hands for like an hour."

Outgrowing Everything:  We packed up the swing a month or two ago.  Well, looks like it's time for the bouncer to possibly go too.  Even buckled in, he tries to sit up in it, roll over, grab for things around him, instead of just laying back and chilling with his paci until he falls asleep (our at-home naptime crutch).  It's probably well overdue to just start putting him down for naps in his crib at home on the weekends, but we'd been rolling with what was easiest (for us) and habit.  He naps fine in a crib at daycare so I'm sure he'll probably do fine at home too, but old habits are hard to break.

We've also had to move his exersaucer up to the highest setting, move his car seat straps, drop his crib mattress down, and put bumpers in his crib to help keep his feet and pacifiers INSIDE the crib. 

I know.  Bumpers are evil. It's a temporary measure because he's in this "creep backwards" phase, so at least a couple times a night we were being woken up because he'd gotten himself backed into a corner with both feet sticking out between the slats and nothing to push off of to get back to the middle of the crib.  He also tends to drop his paci off the backside of the crib and frankly, we only have so many paci's he can go through in a night.  Since he's outside of the high risk age for SIDS and can easily turn his head (let alone his whole body) if he's not feeling comfy, we'll use the bumpers until he starts pulling himself up on the edges of the crib. (I stood him up for the photo above, he hasn't tried it himself yet.) [ETA: scratch that.  See "Mobility" section.]

Sippy Cups:  At the beach we discovered that El Kiddo will drink anything at any temp as long as it comes from a straw.  Since he's weirdly temperature-sensitive about his bottles, we took this as our "aha" moment to try to get him used to cold/lukewarm liquids since they'll be giving him cold cow's milk in 3 months when he moves into the Toddler room at daycare.  We were gifted several types of sippy cups but so far have had the best luck with the Munchkin 360 cups (which are the most like a regular cup), and the straw sippy cups.  But, these are also larger, heavier projectiles for him to chuck around the kitchen, so there's that to look forward to.
Digging his Munchkin 360 cup.

Mobility:  I think we're in a heavy development time period, so I'm going to break this down by date, since if I type one thing it will surely change by the time this post goes live.
6/20/16:  He mostly just creeps backward, but can spin side-to side quickly to reach things. Also, a lot of rolling to get to things (Dad's PS3 controllers are of particular interest.)  He is starting to get his belly off the ground in a stationary position, sometimes just planking for a few seconds at a time, and every so often actually getting his knees up under him and rocking back and forth a bit.  Sitting, he can scoot on his butt a little to get to things, and he like to stand holding on to fingers or the coffee table, but he forgets that he can't let go without falling.
6/25/16: Today he managed to get himself from laying down to sitting all by himself.
6/29/16: Pulled himself up to standing at the coffee table for the first time. Spends a lot of time on his hands and knees rocking back and forth, but no forward motion yet.  I'm convinced he is pretending to be making his way through some elaborate laser maze via scooting on his butt, then creeping backward, rolling, and spinning on his belly.
7/4/16: Pulling himself up at the coffee table regularly, first time side-stepping (aka "cruising") to maneuver his way along the edge.
7/7/16: Sat up in his crib on his own for the first time.
7/8/16:  We have forward motion!!!  He's still clumsy, but it's official, he's crawling. And always toward the things he shouldn't be getting into. Also cruising around the coffee table with ease, primarily motivated by wherever the remote control happens to be sitting.
7/10/16: Pulled himself up to standing in his crib for the first time.  Guess we gotta pull those bumpers back out.
"Oh, you know, just checkin' Facebook."

BabyProofing:  We've been putting this off, because we're lazy busy people.  I mean, we've had outlet covers installed since before he was born, but we haven't gotten around to dealing with surge protectors, cords, baby gates, the fireplace, the entertainment center, the gravel in the base of the fake plant in our living room, etc. However, we did accomplish one important thing:  We replaced our coffee table.  Before, we had a lovely glass set that Lil' Man loves to pull himself up on...and to bonk his head on.  

As much as I like the look of the glass, it just gave me a panic attack every time he got close to it, anticipating him cracking his head wide open.  So we got a faux leather storage bench instead.  I'm sure he'll still find ways to terrify his poor mother, but at least now I know he's not going to knock all his teeth out or split his head open.  At least...not on THAT piece of furniture.
Old vs. New.

Fourth of July:  Fireworks are N.B.D. to this kiddo.  I was nursing and rocking him around 9pm on Independence Day, and it sounded like a war zone outside our house.  Not once did he even turn or twitch.  Conked out and stayed that way all night.  I guess having action movies on in the background while he was napping in his bouncer as a newborn paid off!
Explosions outside...sawing logs inside.

Me:   Okay, so we're nine months in...exactly when is my hair supposed to STOP falling out in droves?  How am I not bald right now?  And for every hair that falls seems to be replaced by a gray one.  So it's official, my kid is making me go gray.  

Solo Parenting:  Can I just give some seriously mad props to all the single parents out there?  You do NOT get the respect you deserve.  The Hubs is currently out of town for work, and has been for the last 7 days.  Prior to this, I'd only been alone with the kid for about 48 hours.  This is ROUGH.  Even with being able to take him to day care, and having my folks help me out over the's HARD.  Maybe it doesn't feel as hard to a single parent who's always had to do it on their own because that's all they've ever known, but for someone who's always been able to share the duties (packing, carrying, napping, wake-ups, feeding), it's a real challenge.  And there are people who do this every day.  You guys are ROCK STARS.  

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