First haircut

And just like that, he went from baby to toddler.

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Up until this point, Corban was still a little baby in my eyes. I thought maybe that would change on his first birthday, or when he started walking, or when he weaned from breastfeeding. But it turns out that the first haircut is the true marker of change from baby to little boy.

I had put off the first haircut for so long because I liked his sweet, shaggy wisps. But then it got really, really long. Like, in his eyes all the time — past his eyes and touching his tiny nose. My family nagged me. Several people threatened to cut it when I wasn’t looking. I finally conceded that it needed to be cut, but still put it off for a few more weeks purely out of signature Alison procrastination.

Actually, I had been procrastinating on a haircut for myself too, so on Saturday I booked an appointment for both Corban and I. Yes, my son had his first haircut at an Aveda salon, but the stylist was nice and only charged me $10 for him so I think I got quite a steal.

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If you’ve met Corban, this probably goes without saying, but he did great during the haircut. He just hung out, looked around, played with combs, brushes and my iPhone and stared at other patrons. I’m sure he had no idea what was going on, but he didn’t seem to mind being prodded by a stranger.

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Although the photo below makes it look like I’m freaking out, I actually was fine during the cut.

 

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It was looking at him afterward that made me (sort of ) freak out. I was NOT prepared for how different he would look at the end! This is partially because we kind of told the stylist to go all out since we didn’t want to book another haircut anytime soon (or have to deal with cutting it ourselves). I spent the rest of the day gushing about how I didn’t recognize my own son.

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It’s just that… he’s really a little boy now. The babyness is gone. And that does make me sad. I keep reminding myself that he needed it cut really, really badly. And it will grow back.

Here’s an after of both of us with our new ‘dos. I got a good 3 inches off and it feels sooo good.

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I think the haircut really went to his head, because now he’s all like, “Sorry, Mom, we can play later. I’ve gotta take this one.”

 

 

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Weaned.

After 14 months, we are officially done breastfeeding.

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All I can think about in summation of that 14 months is WOW — breastfeeding is a wild, emotional ride. I had absolutely NO idea it was so emotionally complex. In fact, I basically knew nothing about it 14 months ago except what I learned in the class I took before Corban was born. I don’t think it’s even possible to really understand all the facets of breastfeeding until you experience it.

I’m so very thankful that, overall, Corban and I had a beautiful experience with it. (And I realize that sounds creepy to anyone who hasn’t done it!)

In the beginning, I had no idea how I would survive the pain, sleeplessness and long hours of nursing.

But slowly it got easier. And by six months I couldn’t bear to think of the day when I wouldn’t nurse my baby — or, rather, when he wouldn’t depend on me in that way. Just imagining it made my eyes well up.

But each new milestone and development that seems so distant eventually comes in perfect timing. So last week, when Corban nursed for the final time, it seemed a natural conclusion.

How did we get to that point? I admit, weaning was something that seemed intimidating at first, but we took it one step at a time. Here’s what that looked like for us:

0-6 months: Exclusively breastfed. No food except breastmilk for Little C.

6 months: Start introducing solid foods, but still nursing the same amount as before — almost all nutrition is still coming from breastmilk.

7 months: I go back to work full time (previously was part time) and Corban has two bottles a day while I’m at work. I pump twice a day at work.

10-11 months: I drop down to pumping once a day at work. All this time, Corban’s solids intake is increasing, and milk intake is slowly decreasing naturally.

12 months: We officially begin what I considered weaning. I stop pumping completely, and begin to wean Corban from nursing in the middle of the night. So we are down to nursing right when he wakes up and right before bed, and he has bottles of breastmilk during the day. I also stop nursing him during the day on weekends.

13ish months: He doesn’t seem to be very into the nighttime nursing, so we drop that but still feed him as much breastmilk as he will drink before bed. Still nursing first thing in the morning (my favorite feeding because it’s done while lying in bed).

14 months: By this point, he is nursing very little in the morning and only on the left side. He usually has a bottle after he nurses. We finally reach the very end of our freezer supply of breastmilk. So at 14 months and one week old, Corban nurses for the final time and switches fully to cow’s milk.

To be honest, the real reason we completely quit when we did is because Peter and I went out of town with friends — without Corban — and so that just seemed like a natural cut off point. I sure as heckfire wasn’t going to pump while we were away — and I don’t even think there was much left to pump anyway. Although I did have some times of discomfort at various points during the weaning process (most notably when weaning from the pump!), I didn’t feel anything at the end.

 

On our last morning of breastfeeding, I was a little nostalgic, but it just seemed right. Corban is a little toddler now, and though we both still enjoy plenty of snuggle time each morning and night (and during the day when I’m home), he hasn’t seemed to miss nursing.

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That final morning, Peter left early for a men’s church group, so Corban and I had time to ourselves. He nursed for a minute or so, then sat up. I asked if he wanted more, and he nursed a bit longer, then sat up again. Not quite ready to be done, I encouraged him to nurse one last time. He did, briefly.

When he finished, I just lay there, smiling at his sweet mass of bedhead. He sat on a pile of covers, laughing and making silly faces, and eventually crawling off to climb down and explore on his own.

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Groundhog Day and Corban’s first steps

Everyone keeps referring to this weekend as Super Bowl weekend, but to us it was Groundhog Day weekend.

Peter has always adored the movie “Groundhog Day,” and he successfully got me on board with it shortly after we started dating. It’s a movie we can both watch over and over (how appropriate). So this year we took advantage of February 2nd falling on a Saturday and decided to celebrate the holiday and the movie with a bunch of friends from church.

There were groundhog cookies…

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(Decorating cutout cookies makes me crazy! I must remember this next time I am tempted to make cutesy cookies.)

Groundhog cupcakes…

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(Thanks, Laura!)

Woodchuck cider…

(Did you know groundhog = woodchuck?)

And acorns.

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(Because groundhogs are similar to squirrels, right?)

Corban actually got his first taste of chocolate after snatching one of the acorns out of the bowl while I was photographing them. He loved it, of course.

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Other than that, it was just a normal party with lots and lots of food. I went with my tried and true menu of homemade barbecue pulled pork, Chinese salad, green salad and baked beans. Plus lots of snacks and desserts provided by our guests.

Peter and I love to have people over, and we usually throw at least one decent party each year. Strangely, I’ve found that the more planning I put into an event, the more stressed I am during the party. This is probably because when I plan in too much detail, I overcomplicate it by doing things like beer-tasting tournaments, overly ambitious meals and detailed decorating.

This party was quite low stress, despite including lots of homemade food. No decorating, no worrying about friend groups mixing awkwardly, no activities planned (besides some people watching the movie). We kept it simple, and therefore were able to have fun during the party. I love party planning, but too often I end up enjoying the planning but stressing during the party itself — I should be able to enjoy both!

—–

In even more exciting news (more exciting than Groundhog Day? No kidding)… Corban took his first steps on Thursday!

This was one of the coolest parenting moments for me so far. It was unexpected, too. He’s been standing on his own and cruising along furniture, but none of us expected him to just get up out of his mini rocking chair and walk. But that’s exactly what happened. Two unanticipated steps. We all (meaning Peter, my friend Litzy, who was over for dinner, and I) just laughed in astonishment.

Aforementioned rocking chair, though not on the day he walked.

Aforementioned rocking chair, though not on the day he walked.

I also breathed a huge sigh of relief that I was there to see it. The sad truth is that I am at work during more than half of his waking hours, so there was a good chance I would miss this milestone. I’m thanking God that I didn’t!

Aside from a few other single steps that we coaxed out of him that night, he hasn’t done any more walking. He’s still content with his expert crawling. So for now I’ll just continue to enjoy my baby who loves to be held, cuddled and chauffeured around on my hip before he turns into an independent toddler.

—–

In other news, I missed the halftime show, but enjoyed an even better splashtime show instead.

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13.5-month update

13.5 months? Wouldn’t you just round that to one year? That’s what I always thought before having Corban. I actually thought it was kind of ridiculous when people would say their baby was “13 months old.”

But now I’m the one doing that, because, as it turns out, a lot can happen in a month.

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It’s hard to believe it’s only been roughly six weeks since Corban’s first birthday. It seems like he’s changed so much in that time, but then again, I think I say that every month. Here are some milestones of the past month and a half:

Communication Skills

He is getting much more proficient at communicating with us. It’s amazing to witness this process! He points to his mouth if he sees food and he’s hungry. He will clap and sometimes wave on command. He gives sloppy, open-mouthed kisses if you ask for one  (the best!). He will say “woof, woof” if he hears someone talking about a dog or sees any animal resembling a dog (this includes cats — both live and in books — and just about every farm animal). Actually, we’re pretty sure he just thinks animals in general are called “woof, woofs.” We’re working on introducing some meows and moos into his vocabulary.

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Standing

The biggest physical development of these past six weeks is his ability to stand unsupported. He usually will only do this if you’re sitting on the floor with him and stand him up, but he finds it hilarious and waves and laughs the entire time he’s up (the video at the end of this post demonstrates this). We think his record is about 15 seconds. This new ability has made him much more proficient at walking while holding our hand(s), and he can walk across the entire house this way. If he really wants to get somewhere though, he’ll crawl (super fast) or reach for us to pick him up and then point to where he wants to be carried.

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Hair

His hair is out of control! Actually, it’s just the front that is an issue. It doesn’t like to stay brushed to the side and is getting quite long. But I’m still not emotionally ready for the first haircut, so we’ll continue to attempt to sweep it out of his eyes. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

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Play Time

He loves zooming cars around on the floor, especially little Hot Wheels. Still enjoys dancing, and sometimes “singing” with us. Buttons and touch screens are absolutely fascinating.

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He’s really into books, and has definite preferences for certain books. If he’s in a picky mood he will reject each book you offer until you hold up the one he wants. This is usually any of the three “Spot” books we own (they are the best! Perfect size, storylines, flaps, pictures, etc.), “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear?” or “Where is Baby’s Bellybutton?”

Corban now uses his shape sorter as a shape sorter (rather than just a bucket) and after a few tries can usually fit the shape through the correct slot. He adores his counting piggy bank my parents gave him for his birthday, and also got tons of use out of his Little People nativity set from Peter’s parents before we put it away for the season.

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He also loves putting this plastic bucket on his head – his “helmet” – and wearing it around while talking to himself in the echo chamber.

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Weaning

Ah, yes. Right when he turned one, it seemed time to officially start the process of weaning. We are now down to one nursing session a day, in the morning right when he wakes up. I always thought the bedtime nursing would be the last to go, but we both seem to enjoy it most in the morning. I’m guessing my milk supply will naturally deplete over the next few weeks and that will probably be the end. *Tear!* But weaning has actually been very natural and comfortable (minus a few days of physical discomfort for me) for us both so far. I’m thankful for that.

Thanks to my ridiculous freezer stock of breast milk, he still has at least three bottles of breast milk a day and we probably have another month of milk left. I admit, it is nice to clear some space in the freezer, though.

I will probably do a separate post about the weaning process, so leave a comment or email me if you have any questions!

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Holidays

I almost forgot, Corban experienced his second Christmas and New Year’s Eve this past month. He got to see two cousins who are a little bit older than him.

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Can you handle this?

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Christmas Eve was such a sweet (and toy-filled) night with my mom’s side of the family.

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We didn’t spoil him on Christmas Day, but he loved his new sled.

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Corban also got a kick out of riding around in Pa’s walker like it was a stroller.

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Sleep

Huge improvements/changes in sleep this past month! I finally weaned him from nursing in the middle of the night, which doesn’t mean he is consistently sleeping through the night (yet, at least), but he is sleeping through the night a lot more. Peter and I switch off nights getting up and getting him back to sleep if need be. This usually involves replacing the pacifier, re-covering him with his blanket and rubbing his back for a couple minutes. I’d like the back-rubbing part to go down the drain, but we’re taking this one step at a time.

He is definitely down to one nap a day now. That was a somewhat rocky transition, but now he naps for 1.5 to 2 hours starting in the late morning or early afternoon. This is much better than our previous mid-morning and late-afternoon nap schedule, which often involved either a battle for the second nap or a cranky, awake baby.

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Food

Corban’s appetite is sometimes shocking. He’s unleashed an undying love for frozen peas/carrots blend, and if he’s in the right mood he can eat half a bag in one sitting. I maintain that he is welcome to eat as many veggies as his little stomach desires! His other main food groups are bread, Cheerios, bananas, grapes, scrambled eggs, plain yogurt and cantaloupe. I need to find some more easy foods for him because the aforementioned make up probably 90% of his diet.

He has mastered the art of drinking water from his straw cup, and we also introduced a travel mug-like sippy cup (this one, specifically). It’s basically a baby version of a travel coffee mug, with a lid with a small opening. I like it because he is learning to drink like you drink from a regular cup (which is the end goal) — just with less spillage. I took the no-spill suction thing out so he can drink it without sucking like he would from a bottle.

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Life is good with this little one in it. My love for him grows as he grows. Each new development and personality quirk is such a blessing.

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In Action!

Here’s a video of Corban from earlier this month when he first started standing on his own (right at 13 months old). Note how thrilling the novelty of it is to him!

P.S. I completed my attempt at taking and posting a photo of Corban each day of his first year. Here is the finished project.

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.

Sick.

On Thursday, I started writing a post about our pretty predictable schedule these days. Then, of course, the next three days were completely erratic and unpredictable. Little baby was sick for the first time.

In the past Corban has had runny noses from teething, itchy eyes from plugged tear ducts and mild fevers from vaccines, but Friday he got sick for real, with conjunctivitis (pink eye), a cough and a fever.

It really wasn’t terrible considering how much worse there is out there, but he was crabby and listless most of the weekend. As Peter put it, he had a heavy head – always resting against our chests.

He napped a ton, often in our arms or with us on the couch. One time my little boy who needs things just so to go down for a nap passed out within seconds of me lifting him into my lap.

Corban also, surprisingly, didn’t want to nurse much this weekend. He would take a bottle of breast milk though. We’re guessing he was just uncomfortable lying down to eat.

And you know something’s up when your enthusiastic eater sits with a tray full of cantaloupe in front of him, just staring blankly ahead.

We got a few laughs out of him this weekend, though. The boy still loves to dance, even when sick, and he can always find it in him to knock down some block towers. And sometimes kitties are the best medicine (shout out to Biggles for being such a good big brother and letting Corban swat at his face).

Last night, he either felt better or worse – I’m not entirely sure – because he was alert and ready to play for about three hours in the middle of the night, but he would scream and writhe hysterically if we tried to soothe him to sleep. It was definitely a throwback to the newborn days when we had no idea a) how to get him to sleep at night and b) if we would get any sleep at all ourselves. It actually made me a bit nostalgic for that era when clocks were meaningless and Peter and I had one singular focus: take care of Corban.

That said, I do hope he sleeps tonight. I have no problem with a weekend spent at home – mostly on the couch, napping a lot, snuggling always – but our usual routine means Corban is healthy, and for that reason I think we’re all ready to welcome back the predictable schedule.

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.

Halloween fun

Because Milwaukee is strange and holds trick-or-treating on weekend days if Halloween falls on a weekday, I feel like it’s already over. I guess it pretty much is, since we had trick-or-treating tonight, so there isn’t really much left to celebrate. Still three more days till the actual holiday though!

Corban’s first Halloween was pretty low key, but we had a great time.

Friday, we carved/decorated pumpkins with friends. I got Corban his own baby pumpkin – a pie pumpkin, actually, so perhaps I’ll roast it at some point – and while the rest of the kids painted and carved, he sat and held it (and probably had just as much fun). We like to keep things simple.

An ice cream scoop also provided some entertainment.

I enjoyed carving my own pumpkin – one of my favorite annual traditions that has been forsaken the past couple years.

For a while, Corban had a crayon in his hand, and when we got home I noticed his pumpkin looked like this:

That seems a little advanced for a 10-month-old, so I’m guessing someone else did it, but it’s proudly displayed as part of our kitchen table centerpiece anyway.

Those flowers were a great investment. I bought them several weeks ago at the grocery store and they still look relatively fresh.

Anyway, tonight Corban debuted his very first Halloween costume! I had started brainstorming ideas last month for a cute baby costume before I remembered that I already had one – and actually had for several years. It’s a costume that has a special meaning too.

Back in high school, my friends and I were obsessed with lobsters. We had a lobster hat that bonded us together in a lifelong sisterhood.

Lobster even came to my wedding.

These are the kinds of photos that happen at a 22-year-old’s wedding.

Anyway, suffice to say lobsters have a special place in my heart. A friend sent me the baby lobster costume four years ago, and it’s been sitting in my closet ever since. It fits Corban perfectly right now, so my baby Halloween costume search was cut short and made very easy.

He’s ready for candy!

Just kidding.

We just spent the evening visiting with our neighbors. C was a trooper, as always, tolerating the bonnet like a champ. He did look like a girl with his pink pacifier, though.

By the time it was dark enough for my pumpkin to come to life, trick-or-treating was over.

I lit it anyway.

—–

Halloween costumes: please share! What are you or your kids dressing up as?

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.

Apples, pumpkins and family fun

We had a fun little family day today, just the three of us enjoying perfectly sunny, warm weather and getting some essential fall activities in – apple picking and pumpkin patch time. It was another one of those “better with kids” moments.

Not that pumpkin patches aren’t fun without kids – flashback to almost one year ago:

…but Little Boy is more fun outside of me than inside.

We headed to The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, where they actually did have some apples on the trees despite a devastating year for apple orchards (warm spring, then frost, then drought). It was ridiculously packed with families getting their fall on in the incredible 77-degree weather. Once we got out into the orchard, the crowd thinned out though.

We did do a little picking, though due to the aforementioned terrible apple-growing conditions, it was slim.

This contraption is the best.

Corban loves being outside. So much to see, hear and taste.

We tried to get him to stand (assisted) by the growth chart, but he was not in a standing mood. Mr. Jelly Legs was a hard sell on this one.

Some bubbles got him smiling though. No photos, but even tiny bubbles far from expertly blown by Daddy are absolutely fascinating to a 9.5-month-old. Instant success!

Our pumpkin patch experience started with a cute pumpkin-sitting photo op…

…and ended with a parenting fail.

If Corban looks like he is defying gravity in the above pic, I assure you, unfortunately, he isn’t. I unknowingly captured him on his way down. Poor boy!

The tears only lasted a few seconds, and then we were on the hayride to head back. That sun was brutal.

Much better.

With a layer of dust on our skin, a peck of apples in our basket and a tired baby in our arms, we headed home with smiles on our faces.