12-month update

One!  Year! Old!

And yet, life goes on as usual. Turning one seems like such a big milestone for a baby, but I think it’s actually a bigger milestone for the parents. Corban continued to do his little almost-toddler thing all week, while I found myself replaying the week before Corban was born over and over in my mind. Each day I would think, exactly one year ago today I was [fill in the blank]. 

The most vivid parallel moment for me was driving home from work Thursday night, thinking about how exactly 52 weeks prior, I drove that same route at that same time. In 2011, I was on the phone with Peter, trying not to freak out about the fact that I was going into labor. When I hung up the phone, I just drove silently, a million thoughts, lists, questions racing through my head as I wondered what the future would hold.

In 2012, again I was on the phone with Peter, but this time asking how Corban was doing, if he had eaten dinner, how long he had napped. When I hung up the phone, I drove silently, remembering the past, reliving that night 52 weeks prior, my last drive home before my baby was born, and the year that followed.

What an amazing year it has been.

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But back to the present… here’s the quick take on Corban’s 12th month:

Age: 12 months
Weight: 23 lb. 1 oz.
Clothes: 12-month and 18-month
Diapers: 
Size 3 during the day, size 4 at night
Teeth: 
Two on top and four on bottom (one new bottom tooth this month)
Sleep:
 Same as last month — asleep around 7 or a few minutes after, most often wakes up between 2 and 4 a.m., then up for the day around 6:30 a.m.
Naps: Morning nap is getting later (10:30ish) and afternoon nap is starting to disappear
Noises: Makes little “vroom” noises for cars and airplanes; no clear words yet but lots of noises
Nursing: Last month before starting to wean 😦 So, still 4-5 times a day, but that will be changing soon.
Pumping: One pumping session a day when at work (around 1 or 2 p.m.) Will probably be stopping that this week, though.
Solids: 3 meals a day plus snack some days.
Mobility: Climbs up stairs like a pro; can climb down with some help; learning to climb down from couch; no interest in walking.
New skills: Pointing, throwing a ball
Favorites: Dancing, balloons, turning pages of books, eskimo kisses, slides, plastic tupperware

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Making baby “vroom” noises with the paper airplane.

It seems like Corban’s communication skills really took off this month. Even before he was pointing with his fingers, he would stretch his arm out toward things he was interested in, or reach his arms up if he wanted us to pick him up.

He started to really quickly pick up on our actions and imitate them. I showed him how to comb his hair once, and now he wants to do it every time he picks up the comb (even if he’s not very effective).

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He started initiating games, like shaking his head back and forth (then it’s our turn to do it, etc. — yes that is a game to a one-year-old) or sticking his face in a tupperware container to play peek-a-boo.

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And I just love that he understands how books work and loves to flip through the pages, even on his own.

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Of course, it’s even better with Mama or Daddy reading, but you have to read really fast because he doesn’t like to sit for long on most pages. Exceptions are the page in “Spot Says Goodnight” when Spot is in the bathtub (playing peek-a-boo with a lift-the-flap towel) and the page where Cookie Monster is popping bubbles in this book called “Bubbles, Bubbles.”

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“Bubbles, bubbles, float on top. Bubbles, bubbles, pop, pop, pop!” We have been reading the same 4-5 books before naps, and I have all of them memorized.

We had some incredibly nice days this month (for Wisconsin in November/December), so we got a few more trips to the park in, and let Corban slide a few feet by himself (with Peter and I at both ends, of course). The boy loves free falling.

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Also loves: dirt.

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Caught with his hands dirty.

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He has become quite good at entertaining himself these days. Dirt, a ball, a toy or a good view out the window are enough to keep him content if he’s in the right mood.

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Of course, he still has his moments where he doesn’t want to be put down, and with those newly pointing fingers he can get a little bossy.

This month also brought Corban’s first real sickness. Poor baby. We did enjoy lots of snuggles that weekend though. There’s nothing quite as sweet as a soft mop of hair resting on your shoulder.

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He felt better just in time for his first Thanksgiving! After several days of barely eating, Corban feasted with us at the Thanksgiving table. He loved the turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and green beans.

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I was a tiny bit worried that he’d attack the Christmas tree, but he has been fairly disinterested so far. He did try to eat an ornament, but I was sure to put only baby-safe ornaments at the bottom.

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This bell, however, was a huge hit. At least until he started to get curious and try to pull the ringer out of the inside.

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I have felt this way at every age so far, but I am just loving where we are at right now. Corban is so curious, enthusiastic and full of joy, and it’s so much fun to be able to engage with him on a slightly deeper level now. I know it will get even more fun as he develops further.

On workdays, I don’t get a lot of time with C, but it’s still the best part of my day. As I’m trying to get him into his pajamas, he squirms away and crawls around his room in his diaper. I think he realizes it’s his last chance to play before bed, so he gets extra energetic. I’m often sucked into his happy world and end up playing with him for an extra few minutes until he can’t resist rubbing his eyes, and I know it’s definitely time for bed.

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Now that we’re at the one year mark, we decided it’s time to start weaning. He already is, technically, weaned during the day when I’m at work, so the first step is me weaning from the pump (we have a LOT of breastmilk in the freezer, so we still have a while before transitioning to cow’s milk). I can handle the idea of that, but the thought of him not nursing first thing in the morning or right before bed makes me all teary-eyed. For now I’ll just enjoy those sweet moments and try not to think about it!

On a happier note, we celebrated Corban’s first birthday with a little party this past weekend. I’ll write about it in another post, but here he is eating refined sugar for the first time:

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I’m kind of obsessive about him not eating anything remotely unhealthy, so there won’t be any more cake in the near future, but on his birthday I couldn’t have been happier to see him create a sugary mess.

So there you have it. Month 12. My son is now a year old, and it doesn’t feel any different. Unless you go back a year. Everything’s different since then. Different, but better.

11-month update

Age: 11 months
Weight: ~22.5 lb.
Clothes: 12-month and 18-month
Diapers:
Size 3 during the day, size 4 at night
Teeth:
Two on top and three on bottom (last month I falsely reported four on bottom)
Sleep:
Bedtime is now usually more in the 7-7:15 range than 6:45-7. About 1/3 of the time he sleeps through the night. Usually up for the day around 6:45. Small improvements!
Naps: Morning nap at about 9:30 or 10 and afternoon nap at 3. Usually one of them is 1.5 hours and the other is shorter.
Noises: Still no real words, but makes pfffft (motorboat) sound when he doesn’t like something, and says ma, da and other syllables
Nursing: Not as interested in nursing as he once was. Doesn’t nurse very long, even before bed. Still nurses ~5 times: when he wakes up in the morning, after each nap (usually those are bottles of breastmilk because I am at work), before bed and usually around 4 a.m.
Pumping: One pumping session a day (around 12:30)
Solids: Breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. Still a great eater, but showing more preferences with food.
Mobility: Super fast crawler, pulls up on furniture and moves around while holding onto things.
Favorite games: Dancing to music, pulling things out of boxes and putting them back in, stacking the cats’ food bowls, peekaboo, being tickled, bubbles, what I like to call “assisted falling”

In the words of my dad, every day’s a party with Corban. He is into everything, and so easily entertained (also starting to be more easily upset, but that never lasts long).

We see him learn more and more each day. He has picked up on the fact that the remote control works with the TV, so he will grab it and point it at the TV or hold it up to it. I desperately don’t want him to actually watch any TV, but I’m married to a media junkie so, alas, Corban is learning the ways of the digital world at a young age. (We don’t let him watch anything, but Peter will have it on while Corban’s in the room.)

We took him to the zoo for the first time this month – the St. Louis zoo – and he wasn’t too impressed. I think most of the animals were too far away or not active enough to really catch his attention, but he loved the penguins and couldn’t keep his eyes off them.

He also got to sit less than two feet away from a gorilla.

See? Not impressed.

I’m trying to be better about expanding his diet, and we’ve learned that certain things he just isn’t into (see below for what he thinks of tomatoes). One trick I’ve learned is that tomato sauce can instantly make anything palatable for him.

Fruit is still his favorite, but he eats lots of veggies, grains and yogurt. One day he got really mad at his pumpkin/yogurt/oats mixture and smeared it all over his face.

This is why I love table foods so much more than anything that needs a spoon!

One really handy “game” that we’ve taught him (actually, Peter gets all the credit on this) is the sharing game. We hold out our hand and say “Can I have that please?” and Corban hands us whatever he is holding. Then we get excited and say “Thank you!” and he is very pleased. I use this when he grabs the spoon to feed himself and doesn’t want to give it back. If I ask, he always hands it over.

It’s actually kind of funny how much he likes sharing. He finds it hilarious to stick his pacifier in our mouths.

Corban also learned how clap this month! It is still rare that he will do it, but sometimes when he’s dancing he will throw a few claps in there.

Speaking of dancing… it is my favorite! He has a few toys that play songs that he absolutely loves to dance to. He gets a serious look on his face and just fist pumps and waves his arms, or gets on his hands and knees and rocks in time to the music.

Some other new skills include opening and closing drawers:

Climbing up stairs:

Taking big boy baths:

Corban still loves the cats, and Biggles still lets him abuse him. This happens just about every day:

Basil is still the smart one and tries not to let Corban near her, although when he picks up their “cat dancer” (toy wire that they chase around) and starts waving it, she usually can’t resist.

We were able to see a lot of family this month. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents. They all adore Little C.

I’m still in disbelief that it has been 11 months since Corban’s birth. One year ago today we graffiti-ed our basement walls in preparation for our basement finishing project.

Corban was still in my very large belly, and I was running around Mayfair Mall modeling ugly shoes for a scavenger hunt with women from my church.

A year later, we’ve got a sweet little ball of energy that lights up our each and every day with his giggles and antics.

Life is so different in so many ways, and so much better in ways I never could have imagined. Being a mom is way more awesome than I expected.

10-month update

Ten months old! Eep! This year has flown by, and motherhood just keeps getting better and better thanks to this little guy.

Age 10 months
Weight: ~22 lb.
Clothes: 12-month and 18-month
Teeth:
Two more bottom teeth are coming in, for a total of six
Sleep:
Still not sleeping through the night, and still trying to figure out a plan for how to proceed, but he goes down easy at 6:45 or 7 p.m. and is up for the day around 6:30 a.m.
Naps: Two naps a day, and it needs to be quiet for them
Noises: Makes silly sounds all the time, and says lots of “da,” “ma” and “na.” Sometimes will try to imitate your sounds and words.
Nursing: No changes really – still nurses or has a bottle of breast milk 5 times a day. No formula.
Pumping: I’m starting to pump only once a day some days because it ends up being close to the same amount if I time it right
Solids: Three meals a day and loving it. Great eater.
Crawling: Everywhere.
Standing: Pulls up on furniture.
Favorite games: Bubbles, peek-a-boo, toy cars, playing music
Favorite books: “Bunny and Friends,” “Spot Says Goodnight,” “Goodnight Gorilla.” Loves lifting flaps, turning pages and petting touch-and-feel books.

I’m so impressed with how much smarter Corban seems this month than last month. Now he understands how books work and loves to be read to (especially interactive books), he is starting to problem solve and he knows how to use toys properly. Like this car ramp – he picks up the car and drops it down the ramp. If it gets stuck, he tries to push it through.

Peter and I noticed one morning that he kept pressing the button on his Baby Einstein music player to skip through the songs, but he would stop on this one particular song and listen all the way through. Three times in a row he went directly to that song and listened calmly. Apparently he has a favorite. It just overwhelms me that he figured that out (not that I think he’s a genius or anything… I’m just amazed by baby development in general).

Now that he’s fully mobile, Corban is into everything. Things like the central vac duct are fascinating (he plays with it every day, usually multiple times).

No more sitting on a blanket outside, content with a few toys. Now we take our eyes off him for a few minutes and he’s eating dirt.

Of course, that means I have to grab a few pictures before cleaning him up…

He is pulling himself up on furniture, so we had to lower the crib. As soon as I walked in one morning and saw this, I knew it was time:

Now I come in after naps and he is standing up against the side of the crib, ready to roll. On the flip side, if he doesn’t want to go down, he will stand up and cry. Not cool, C-man.

We upped Corban’s solids consumption this month, so now he eats three squares a day. It’s still mostly fruits and vegetables, with some toast and yogurt thrown in there, but I also started giving him more of what we’re eating as long as it’s healthy. He’s had lasagna, pork, squash soup and duck. He is an enthusiastic eater and hasn’t rejected anything in a long time.

We also introduced a straw cup this month. He drinks a little water at some meals, but hasn’t quite mastered it yet. Sometimes he sucks it in but just lets it dribble back out while he continues drinking more. It’s messy, but he’s slowly getting better, and he sure loves grabbing that cup.

We took a trip to Peter’s hometown in Missouri this past month for his mom’s 60th birthday, and Corban met his canine cousin, Forrest — not for the first time ever, but for the first time since he’s become more aware of the world around him. Corban was a little bit afraid at first – he’s a giant dog – but warmed up pretty quickly.

His true love is for the cats though. Basil stays out of range of little hands, but Biggles takes astounding abuse from Corban and doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by it. It’s kind of amusing what he’ll put up with.

I feel so blessed to have this happy little boy in my life. Corban’s incessant joy is infectious. My dad always says “it’s a party all the time with him” and that’s the truth. His laugh is the greatest sound, and I’ll do anything to hear it.

Working full time is a challenge, but we’re doing fine so far. Some days are really tough to be away from Corban (Mondays are the worst, after a weekend full of fun). Other days it just feels normal. One thing is certain, though: Anytime during the week when I’m home and Corban’s awake, I’m 100% focused on him. Our time is so painfully limited during the week that I forget about everything but him for those minutes (sadly not even hours most days).

Here are some of his current favorite activities:

  • Sorting the paper recycling (taking it out of the bin and putting it back in)
  • Smothering Biggles
  • Opening the central vac ducts
  • Splashing in the cats’ water bowl (we have to move it to the counter when he’s out and about)
  • Touch-and-feel books and lift the flap books — also loves turning pages of board books
  • Watching us blow bubbles
  • Splashing in the bath
  • Rinsing his hands in the sink
  • Drumming on anything
  • When you quickly zoom in close to his face
  • Grass, leaves, dirt, sticks

He’s almost always happy, except for…

  • The minute you first lay him in the crib
  • Lying still for diaper or clothes changes
  • Having his face or nose wiped
  • Being closed out of the laundry room (a.k.a. the cats’ room)

Hard to believe we’re only two months away from Corban’s first birthday. I want him to stay this age forever, but I’m also excited for what’s to come. I guess the only thing to do is enjoy each day.

9-month update

The other week when my parents were visiting, my mom asked me, “Did you ever think your life would be like this? That he (Corban) would be so much fun?”

Truthfully, I didn’t have very many expectations going into this whole parenting thing, but I definitely had no idea it would be this great, that each stage would just get better and that one little life could bring so much joy. Again, I want to pause time and enjoy my little 9-month-old a little longer.

Age 9 months
Weight: ~21 lb. (doc appointment tomorrow for the official stats)
Clothes: 9-month and 12-month (though some 9-month stuff is starting to get tight)
Hair: Light brown, silky and ever growing
Eyes: Looking more brown than blue, but still multi-hued when you inspect
Teeth:
Two more – top front – just broke through, for a total of four
Sleep:
Change diaper, put on PJs and nurse to sleep at 6:45. Wakes once, either at 2 or 4 a.m., to eat. Up for the day between 6 and 7 a.m. No changes from last month.
Naps: Starting to only nap twice a day, but unfortunately they aren’t consistently any longer than 45 minutes each.
Noises: Loves to blow raspberries. Will repeat baby language words over and over, as if he’s telling you something totally normal. One he says a lot sounds like “habla” so I always ask him, “Habla Español?”
Nursing: No changes really – still nurses or has a bottle of breast milk 5 times a day.
Pumping: I have maximized efficiency with it at work and managed to stay ahead of demand without needing to dip into the excessive freezer supply.
Solids: Up to two meals a day usually, mostly pieces of fruit and cooked vegetables. Loves, loves, loves watermelon. Doesn’t like black beans or green beans.
Crawling: Yeah, baby. And good at it too.
Favorite games: “Where’s Corban?”, me holding him and pretending to trip, playing the keyboard, peek-a-boo, patty cake, being tickled
Favorite book: Still loves “Spot Says Goodnight.” Also has started to love touch and feel books, especially ones with soft, fuzzy fur.

This month’s big milestone: crawling! At the end of month eight he was starting to push up on all fours and rock forward and back. Within a week or so he was scooting a little on his stomach, then scooting everywhere on his stomach, and as of a couple weeks ago, full on crawling. He is getting fast, and has good form too.

This newfound independence has been good for him. He no longer cries if you put him down and walk away for a minute. He loves being able to explore, but he’s sneaky. We have to keep the laundry room door closed because he loves going in there and stealing the cats’ toys and playing in their water bowl. In fact, any time you leave him alone for even a second, he goes racing for the laundry room.

He’s also really into door stoppers.

I never knew they could be so loud and annoying!

Another sign that our little boy is growing up: he started sitting up on his own early in the month. Imagine our surprise to walk in after his nap and find him just sitting there, sweetly talking to himself.

Although recently Corban has been almost 100% happy, he went through a slightly cranky spurt early in the month. We attributed it partially to teething and partially to having a stuffy nose. He HATES having his nose wiped, or his face touched in any manner similar to that.

He still loves the kitties and will now attempt to chase them. Fortunately for the cats, they still have the upper hand. Corban is getting ever-so-slightly better at petting them gently when I control the situation though.

Truly, he just keeps getting more and more fun. In the car, if I’m in the passenger seat and look back at him in the mirror attached to his headrest, he grins at me without fail. He also loves seeing himself in the mirror. It’s our guaranteed method to get a big smile out of him.

A few weeks ago I dusted off our hand-me-down keyboard we got from our neighbors, and it’s been a huge hit ever since.

Corban also enjoys playing the xylophone our nanny brought over. It’s amazing to watch him learn how things work and improve his fine motor skills.

Another favorite toy is his bag of groceries. We take the little cloth sack with produce rattles with us everywhere. He enjoys taking things out of the bag, and carrying them around in his mouth like a puppy.

We’ve successfully eaten out at several restaurants with Corban this month. The key: a spoon to play with before the food arrives (he won’t settle for his usual toys when there’s silverware on the table), and small pieces of food in front of him at all times after that. I always try to order something that comes with a side he can eat (usually fruit), and once he starts eating it’s imperative to keep the food coming. Otherwise our little fruit monster grabs for anything within reach.

Corban also successfully attended two weddings in the past month. The first, my sister’s, you already heard about. The second was our friends’ wedding, and C-baby actually came to both the ceremony and the reception. During the outdoor ceremony, he sat in the grass at my feet and quietly played with flower petals from the aisle. At the reception, the server brought him a plate of chicken fingers and French fries and a coloring book (does he really look that big?), he ate pieces of bread and roasted potatoes and passed out in his car seat under the table once the dancing started. We have seriously been blessed with a baby who does well in any situation.

The next big thing will be standing, and I’m sure it will happen by next month’s update. Sleeping through the night would be nice too, but I’m starting to think I’m destined to be a zombie mom for the rest of my life.

When I was pregnant, I would sometimes get annoyed with people asking me day after day, “How are you feeling?” because the answer was always more or less the same. But now, when co-workers ask how Corban is doing on a weekly, or even daily, basis, I usually have something new and fun to report. Everything changes so quickly, it’s hard even for me to keep up!

8-month update

Another month, another update. It’s hard to believe!

Age: 8 months
Weight: ~20 lb. 9 oz. (according to our scale)
Clothes: 9-month and 12-month (though 12-month is pretty loose on him)
Diapers: Size 3, Target brand (Up and Up)
Hair: Light brown, blondish on the sides and getting longer in the front
Eyes: Same blue-on-the-outside-golden-on-the-inside color. Wondering if/when they will change?
Sleep:
Asleep by 7 p.m. Wakes once, either at 2 or 4 a.m., to eat. Up for the day between 6 and 7 a.m. Hates naps, but still needs 2-3 a day.
Noises: Babbles all the time! “Ah-da-da-da-da-da” and “bah bah bah bah bah” are his most common phrases, with lots of raspberries and high “ahh”s. A lot of the time it sounds like singing.
Nursing: Still at least 5 times a day when I’m not working
Pumping: Still twice a day at work, unless I get super busy or (GASP) forget all the parts, which is horrifying. I also usually have to pump a few times on the weekends just to stay comfortable as my body adjusts to nursing more and pumping less when I’m home.
Solids: Starting to be more consistent with at least one meal a day of any of the following: sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, peaches, cantaloupe, honey dew, banana, avocado or toast. No purees.
Sitting: All the time, except when he gets on his hands and knees, preparing for…
Crawling: Not yet, but any day now. Rocks back and forth on his hands and knees and can squirm/scoot a little.
Favorite games: Peek-a-boo, flying, patty cake, being tickled, “Round and round the garden…” (does anyone besides me know what that is?)
Favorite book: “Spot Says Goodnight.” We both adore it. (And by adore, I mean Corban always sits quietly for it, and only it.)

I don’t know if this is possible, but I feel like my bond with and love for Corban grew to a new level this month. Maybe it’s because I went back to work full time and spent a long weekend apart from him, so I’ve missed him more. Maybe it’s because he’s become so much more aware of everything, including me, and even started to show a bit of a preference for me. Maybe it’s simply because it’s so easy to get him to laugh like he’s never been happier. Whatever the reason, my heart just keeps getting bigger for this little boy.

And yes, he seems (well, almost) like a little boy now. He’s definitely not a tiny infant. Baby, sure. But his face is looking more and more boyish. And his thighs aren’t quite as chubby as they once were. His knuckles are still dimpled and his neck nonexistent, but he doesn’t look quite as round as he did a month or two ago.

We spent the first part of the month being totally lax with solids, skipping days when I got home from work late and sticking to the easy things like bananas and cantaloupe (which he absolutely loves). For the past couple weeks though, he’s gotten at least one solid meal a day. This is thanks mostly to the fact that our nanny shares our preference for baby led weaning and feeds him at least one solid meal when she watches him. He’s gotten really good at picking up tiny pieces of food and putting them in his mouth. Sometimes he eats so fast that I get suspicious that he’s dropping it all on the floor or in his lap. If he is, I have yet to find his secret hiding place.

Corban is starting to have real preferences. Like when he tries to grab a knife off the table at a restaurant and we pull it away, he cries. Or when we lay him down in his crib for a nap, he really cries. No matter what. He also cries when he thinks I’m walking away from him, like if I set him down on the floor in the family room and walk into the kitchen to make breakfast (still within view). I have to reassure him and get his attention so he knows I’m still there. Long gone are the days of an oblivious little sweetheart.

Don’t get me wrong, though, he still is a total sweetheart, and though he throws little mini-fits these days, he more often can be found asserting his positive preferences with big grins or laughs. He’s also easily distracted out of his tears. He basically loves any kind of attention, and the more ridiculous you act, the better.

I’m amazed at how much detail he notices now, like the diamond on my engagement ring (he sometimes grabs at it with his fingers) or tiny pieces of fuzz on the carpet. It’s nearly impossible to change his diaper on the changing table because he sees things out of the corner of his eye on the tabletop and relentlessly tries to turn over to grab them.

He still loves the cats and grabs at them whenever they dare to come close enough. Poor Biggles and Basil have lost several handfuls of fur thanks to Corban, and he’s made Biggles yipe from grabbing his paw a few times. We’re lucky they’re such nice kitties and put up with his antics, but they had better watch out, because crawling is coming soon.

In fact, he may have done his first official crawl today! Nothing fancy, but more real than the squirming around he’s been doing.

Month nine is looking like it will be just as exciting and fun as month eight!

7-month update

What a month! I’ve been absent here because I’ve been so busy, but this month has brought lots of fun and some new milestones.

Age: 7 months
Weight: ~20 pounds (has slowed down on the gaining)
Clothes: 9-month onesies, but still wearing 6-month too (ok, even thought they’re a little tight…)
Hair: Light brown, super soft, bald spot has filled in
Eyes: Deep blue on the outside with golden brown around the pupil
Sleep:
Was sleeping through the night for a few weeks, then started waking consistently at 3:30 a.m.; Still usually takes 3 naps a day and cries for a few minutes at the beginning of each
Noises: Lots of loud laughs, grunts and high-pitched “Ah”s
Nursing: Still at least 5 times a day when I’m not working
Solids: Feeding himself soft pieces of broccoli, sweet potato, avocado, banana and cantaloupe once a day; sometimes we skip days
Teething: Two bottom teeth!
Sitting: Unsteadily, but yes.
Mobility: So squirmy and wishes he could crawl
Essential items: Play mat, plastic links

A closer look at the elusive eye color.

Teeth! Sitting! Solids! Lots of big developments this month, though after looking back on his 6-month update, it doesn’t seem like he’s changed that much. Corban is still a happy little dude who does well in almost any situation.

Case in point: Aside from all the drooling, you wouldn’t have known he was teething. No fussing for no reason or loss of sleep (though I’m not too happy with the recent resurgence of his 3:30 a.m. wakeup) and he never seemed to be in pain. The only ones hurting are Peter and me, as he still loves putting our fingers in his mouth, and those chompers are razor sharp.

I’m sure the teeth are helping at least a little with eating solids. We are not entirely consistent with his meals, as I haven’t had our nanny feeding him anything but milk, so we skip days here and there when things get busy. But he is getting pretty good at picking little pieces up and eating them. Or, more often, chewing them until they come falling back out of his mouth. Manners will come later.

With the super slippery foods like avocado, if he gets frustrated I will put a piece on the tips of my fingers and let him bring my hand to his mouth like a spoon. I finally gave him his first fruit on the Fourth of July (banana) and it was the first food that didn’t cause him to make a funny face when it hit his tongue. But even if he doesn’t love the taste of the vegetables, he still is eager to eat them.

He is getting more coordinated in endeavors aside from eating, too. He loves banging his hands on his high chair, legs or anywhere he can find a flat surface. He has become a serial hair grabber, and has a painfully strong grip. He even grabs his own hair sometimes. Corban also enjoys holding onto his toes and removing/replacing his pacifier when he doesn’t want to go to sleep.

23 seconds of banging:

Rockin’ the mom tankini.

This month I was away from Corban for three entire days, at my friend’s wedding in Virginia Beach. Thankfully I was so busy enjoying every minute with my college girlfriends and participating in all the wedding festivities that I didn’t have much time to miss Little C. He got to see all four of his great-grandparents on my side that weekend when Peter took a trip to visit my family.

Corban also attended his first wedding, which, oddly, Peter and I didn’t go to. While we were at my friend’s wedding in St. Louis, Corban went with Peter’s brothers and parents to his cousin’s wedding two hours away. He stayed up an hour or two past his bed time without getting too upset, and Peter and I spent our first night together away from C. It was a little strange being able to sleep in!

Dolled up for his first wedding.

Corban is becoming a little daredevil. While loud sounds tend to scare him (he sometimes cries when I use the blender – it is so sad!), he laughs when I hold him high up above me or lean him all the way backwards, almost completely upside down, in my lap. He also laughs at peek-a-boo, with an intense emphasis on the “boo.”

My bad mommy award moment happened the other week, just as C was getting decent at sitting up on his own for a few seconds at a time. I sat him down in front of me, then reached for my camera to take a picture. A second after I took my hands off him, he fell backwards like a tree, hitting his head on the carpet. Poor baby cried hard, probably more from shock than anything else.

He still isn’t fully stable sitting up on his own, but there has been marked improvement over the past week or two, and I know he’ll be sitting, crawling, walking (oh my!) in no time.

It’s really amazing to see Corban doing things that never seemed possible just a month or two ago. Babies grow and develop so quickly, and I feel privileged to watch it all unfold before me. Every time I see his sweet little lump of a body sleeping peacefully in his crib, I just want to freeze time so I can kiss his chubby cheeks, grab his soft toes and see that giant gummy smile every day forever. At the same time, I know each new stage brings new fun to be had, and I look forward to enjoying whatever comes next.

6-month update

My dear baby is six months old today! I absolutely love this age.

Age: 6 months
Weight: 19 lb. 3 oz.
Diapers: Size 3
Clothes: Some of the 6-month clothes are getting tight, some still fit, and a few 9-month items fit
Hair: Light brown, thickening, with bald spot on back of the head!
Eyes: Blue with brown flecks
Sleep:
Asleep between 6:30 and 7 p.m.; wakes once (sometimes not at all) to eat; up for the day between 6 and 6:45 a.m.; early morning nap, early afternoon nap and late afternoon (short) nap
Noises: “Ha,” “Hoo” and high-pitched “Ah”s are the most common
Nursing: Still at least 5 times a day when I’m not working
Solids: Started 3 days ago on brown rice cereal and tried a little sweet potato today
Teething: Probably? He drools a lot and puts everything in his mouth; no teeth yet though
Sitting: Too wobbly to sit on his own – always tips over after a couple seconds
Mobility: Rolls from back to front all the time; wants to crawl but nowhere near capable yet
Essential items: Sophie giraffe, Fischer Price Jumperoo, cloth books

Here are 12 milestones and memories from Corban’s sixth month:

1) He is always, always reaching and grabbing. Then, if possible, whatever he grabs goes in his mouth. This includes burp cloths, clean diapers, hands (ours or his) and even cats’ tails (see #3).

2) His hands are in a constant state of opening and closing. If there’s nothing to grab, he’ll rhythmically and lightly scratch whatever his hand is on (mattress, wall, table, etc.)

3) He is becoming more and more interested in the cats. If given the opportunity, he will place his hands on them and, of course, grab (see #1). This usually results in a fistful of fur and a kitty trying to make a quick exit. Biggles is slightly more tolerant of him; Basil just stays far away. He also loves just watching them move around.

4) He gets distracted really easily. I can no longer have conversations with Peter while nursing because Corban’s head will snap up to watch us. This morning I tried to get his attention to get him to try the sweet potatoes, but he would not take his eyes off Biggles, who was rolling around across the room.

5) Sometimes while nursing (if he’s not super hungry) he’ll pull back, look up at me, smile and then return to eating. And then I melt.

6) This month I got hardcore about healthy sleep and instituted a nap schedule of sorts. It was looking pretty hopeless at first, but after a couple weeks of nap training, things are pretty good now. The key for us was to maintain a similar wake time every morning by not letting him doze in bed with us after he wakes up for the day. We also started letting him cry it out for naps, and as hard as it was (and still is sometimes), it works for us. We aren’t Nazis about it and we know Corban well enough to know when he needs a little extra soothing and when he just needs to soothe himself. Now we’ve got a pretty good routine of going down for a nap between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (depending on how long the morning nap was). He also usually needs a short late afternoon nap too.

7) The Jumperoo is such a help in the mornings! I usually put him in it while I eat breakfast and start getting ready, and he stays entertained bouncing and playing with the toys on it. Of course he also loves being talked to while bouncing, and will look up and give me a big grin every time I say something to him. It’s a good way to start the day, and it gets him nice and tired for his morning nap.

8) Corban still does really well with strangers. No separation anxiety – yet. He actually thrives in big group settings where he’s being passed around between eager sets of arms. At my sister’s bridal shower, he even fell asleep on a friend’s shoulder amid the din of the party.

9) He laughs the hardest when Peter roughhouses with him (a baby version of roughhousing, of course). He saves those big belly laughs for Daddy.

10) His thighs are so juicy! I could squeeze them all day. I’m also constantly amazed by their softness.

11) He still loves to “fly,” and without fail makes an open-mouthed, rock concert “Yeah!” face every time he swings in close to my face.

12) At bedtime, he almost always falls asleep nursing. I like to take a few extra minutes and sit there, with his sweet, snuggly body in my lap, and stare at his precious sleeping face before placing him in his crib. It’s one of my favorite moments every day.

5-month update

My baby is five months old today! He has grown and changed so much over the past two months (since my last Corban update) and especially in the last couple weeks.

Age: 5 months
Weight: ~18 pounds
Diapers: Just started in on size 3
Clothes: Still in 6-month size for tops and pants, but 9-month fits better for rompers (what a silly word)
Hair: Not a ton left, but starting to grow in blonde underneath
Eyes: Grayish blue (still haven’t changed)
Swaddle: No more as of four months; now sleeps in a zippered sleep sack-type number
Bedtime:
Falls asleep easily at 7 p.m. and wakes up 1-2 times during the night
Smiles: Almost any time we talk to him in an excited voice
Laughs: When we play silly games
Coos: Often, and is starting to make other noises too
Nursing: 5 times a day when I’m not working
Pumping: Sick of it, but do it twice during the workday (probably excessive)
Solids: Not yet
Mobility: Rolls over (as of one week ago) and is always on his stomach when I get him from the crib
Essential item: Oball rattle – he can easily grab and hold onto it (see below)

Corban is such a joy! He’s a very content baby and can happily hang out with me when I’m out and about or at Bible study, bridal showers, etc. just enjoying sitting in people’s laps. He gets passed around a LOT at church and with friends, family and coworkers, and he doesn’t mind a bit. I love that we have so many people in our life who want to hold him and be a part of his life.

He saves his biggest smiles and laughs for Mommy and Daddy, though. He loves to interact with Peter and me and laughs when we zoom our faces close to his or lift him up and down above our heads. His laughs, as of the past couple days, have gotten more boisterous, and therefore, of course, even more irresistible. I live for his open-mouth grins, which are increasingly easy to coax out of him.

In the past month he has really developed his grabbing skills, and now always wants to have either something in his hand or his hand in his mouth. He loves the pacifier – and can both remove it from and sometimes replace it in his mouth – and has increasingly started to suck his thumb. He was a drooly McDroolerson in month four, but has dried up a bit in month five. Now his slobber is mostly from trying to suck on his fingers.

A few weeks ago my mom bought Corban a Jumperoo and we all sat around, eyes glued to him like he was a zoo exhibit, waiting to see his reaction as he played in it for the first time. He was a little overwhelmed by the sounds, flashing lights and toys, but now he has fun grabbing at the toys and bouncing. He loves to stand on his chubby little legs (assisted, of course) in our laps.

It has been amazing to watch this tiny human develop thus far. A month ago it was hard to picture him being coordinated enough to roll over, and now he’s got his method down: turn head to the side and look back as far as you can, reach arm over until torso is flipped over then let legs follow. He still loves to play and kick on his back, but at night he usually ends up on his stomach.

(Above: Unsuccessful attempt at rolling over on April 17. Below: Rolling like a pro on May 3.)

Speaking of nights, while he still wakes up to eat at least once, he enjoys sleeping in in the mornings (just like Mom). I’ll often bring him into our bed when he wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. and he usually falls back to sleep until 8:30 or 9 – one time he even slept until 10:15! Um, yeah, he definitely takes after me.

Our four-month pediatrician visit was all about starting solids. I’m holding off though, partly because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months and partly because I’m not yet ready for the added work of food prep, feeding and cleanup. Of course, Corban is also still doing just fine on breastmilk alone, so I think we’re fine waiting another month. I am excited to see his reaction to it!

Overall, we’re at a really lovely stage in our parenting journey. I know things will get more challenging once he starts moving and eating real food, so I’m trying to enjoy this time of convenience where we’re beyond the no sleep, crazy newborn time, into the interactive smiling and laughing stage, but not quite to the chasing and constantly entertaining stage.

It’s hard to believe that one year ago on May 6th, Peter and I stood in the bathroom of a hotel room in Cincinnati and stared in disbelief at a positive pregnancy test. My, how a year can both seem like a lifetime and yet whiz by before you realize it. I love rewinding my mind to that weekend and remembering how simultaneously shocked, terrified and excited I felt. It seemed so surreal, and yet one year later that miniscule embryo is the boy I kiss every single day. God is good.

3-month update

Oh dear, blog, I’ve missed you! It’s been a whirlwind past month (wow, does the time fly) with lots of out-of-town visitors and out-of-town visiting as my maternity leave continues and I continue to maximize my time off.

Some stats on our favorite little man:

Age: 3 months, 10 days
Weight: Over 15 pounds
Diapers: Size 2
Clothes: Outgrew 3-month before he even wore all his outfits; it’s all 6-month now
Hair: Starting to thin
Eyes: Still blue!
Swaddle: One-armed, since he could roll over any day, but still needs some arm-taming
Sleep: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. with usually two feedings during that time (one if it’s a good night)
Smiles: Lots, on visual cues in addition to auditory cues
Laughs: No real ones yet
Coos: More and more (love this)
Nursing: Going great, eating 6-7 times a day
Pumping: Goal is 10 ounces a day (usually pumped after middle-of-the-night feeding because I’m crazy)
Tummy Time: Getting better at it, but still not liking it
Essential item: Mamaroo – for naps and hanging out when we need to put him down during the day

Yay 10-second increments of serious head-holding-up!

Since my last update, Corban has…

…worn that cute swim outfit I bought him

…and liked it.

…and gone swimming in it.

…been to the beach.

…watched a Florida sunset (or at least has been present for one).

…met lots of new family and friends.

(Great-grandparents Nanie and Pops)

(Great Aunt Kathy and Great Uncle Jim)

(Friend Bill)

(Friends Jay and Leslie)

(Friend Patrick)

…cheered for his parents’ alma mater during a very sad exhibit of March Madness.

…and celebrated his first St. Patrick’s Day with a festive outfit and a smile.

We were blessed with one laid back little guy. He just loves to be talked to, smiled at, fed when he’s hungry and given a pacifier when he’s sleepy. I’m content just to smell his silky smooth hair and rub his velvety skin, and my goal is to take advantage of every opportunity to do so. This means some days I don’t get a whole lot done, but I’m OK with that for now.

10 weeks old and the key to better sleep

Corban is nearly two and a half months old and life is good.

Right at the two month mark everything seemed to get drastically easier. Up until that point, nights were a gamble at best, and a huge sleepless struggle at worst. He was sleeping in a Pack ‘N’ Play in our bedroom and waking up every 2 to 3 hours, sometimes more often than that. In the wee hours, usually around 3 or 4, it would get harder to get him to fall back to sleep, so I couldn’t count on much good sleep at all for half the night.

Based on the fact that he was growing at superspeed and definitely at the size and age when they shouldn’t need to nurse every 2 hours, I figured he just really liked sucking for comfort, so I tried more diligently with the pacifier (which before he could never seem to keep in his mouth). Success! He actually liked the Nuk brand pacifiers I had gotten with some coupon package when I was pregnant. That definitely helped comfort him when he was just wanting to suck.

I was also sensing that it was time for a nighttime change — time for Little C to move into his own room.

At our two-month appointment, our pediatrician confirmed those thoughts and said it was definitely time to move him to his crib in the nursery and that at his size — a hefty 12 pounds 13 ounces and 24 inches (the 70th and 85th percentiles respectively) — he is probably not getting too hungry in the middle of the night, so if he wakes up after only two hours it’s fine to offer the pacifier.

The first night we put Corban in his crib was magical! I swaddled him, fed him and read to him, then put down our sleepy little man. He fussed for a couple minutes, but then passed out for a good five hours!

Not every night is that easy, but we can usually get him to sleep within 10 minutes of putting him in his crib. We’re sort of taking a modified cry it out approach, where we never let him fuss for more than five minutes. After five minutes, we go it, soothe him, give him the pacifier if he’ll take it and turn on soothing music (a removable attachment from the Pack ‘N’ Play that we moved to the crib).

On a good night, he’s in bed by 7 p.m., then wakes up twice in the middle of the night to eat (usually around midnight and 4:30 a.m.) and is up for the day at 7 a.m. on the dot. Sometimes then Peter will bring him into our bed and he’ll be happy or sleepy enough to lie there another hour or so while I nap or cuddle with him.

I think the fact that we don’t wake up at his every noise really helps. If he’s crying, we hear it on the monitor, but if he’s just making baby noises, it’s not loud enough to wake us up anymore. It’s also a good thing that I have to get out of bed and walk across the house to feed him. It helps me stay awake while feeding, which makes everything much more efficient.

Our evenings feel so free now that I’m not confined to the couch with a baby wanting to nurse incessantly. It’s refreshing! (Although sometimes around 10 p.m. I’ll see a picture of him and miss his warm little body that is glued to me during the day. I just have to remember he’ll be awake all too soon enough and I can snuggle him then…)

It’s amazing what a huge difference the simple act of moving him into the nursery has made! We went from unpredictable and waking 4+ times per night to a fairly reliable sleep pattern. I never thought that would happen!

In other 10-week (actually 10.5-week) news, he is smiling more and more and I cannot get enough of it! Now if he’s in a good mood (fed, rested and with a clean diaper) all it takes is someone talking to him in an overly excited voice or even making funny faces and noises and he’ll bust out a grin. Peter is trying to train him to smile at the sight of a clean diaper, and he often does, though I think it’s more because the changing table is comfortable and at the perfect height to get a good view of mom or dad.

He is definitely more visually stimulated these days, and we’ve even caught him smiling at the mobile over his swing with no other stimulation. His eyes follow us around and he loves – LOVES – to stare at lights. Anything bright and shiny, his eyes will find it and never want to turn away.

He also recently started sticking his tongue out. It is pretty cute, and I’ve been working on getting him to stick his tongue out when I stick mine out at him. I think he’s slowly starting to catch on. It’s amazing to watch his little brain develop!

Napping is the next issue that needs to be tackled. He is fine falling asleep in his crib at night, but it’s really hit or miss for naps. He prefers to nap on peoples’ chests. This is a good thing for weekends like this past one, filled with family lined up to hold him, but not so good for days like today when I need to pack for our trip to Florida and he will only sleep in his crib for a short time before getting fussy.

Side note, I think he was dreaming about flying for the 30 minutes he slept in his crib this afternoon:

I sometimes swaddle him for naps, but it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference.

As I type, he’s sleeping peacefully while I wear him in the Baby Bjorn and I’m OK with that as a short-term fix. But after our trip, naps is the next order of business.

On that note, time to get some more packing done! We will be spending the week relaxing with my grandparents and enjoying some pool and beach time. I can’t wait to dip Corban’s toes in the ocean! (Well, Gulf.)