Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Look Who's Talking: 9 months old

Y,all…I cannot believe I have a 9 month old!!! He’s officially closer to being a toddler than a newborn and he demonstrates this daily by exhibiting his various new skills. He loves pulling up on everything he can get his grubby hands on and easily cruises and crawls wherever he wants to go. 

Over the past week he has turned into a speed demon on all fours so I definitely have to be hyper vigilant about making sure he doesn’t get into anything dangerous. Here he is to give you a rundown of his current likes and dislikes. Please give a warm welcome to *9 month old* Forest Alexander! 
P.S. It's getting nearly impossible to take a good picture of this busy boy!
Hey guys! It’s good to be back blogging. I’ve had a very busy month of play groups, visitors, and working on my mobility. My new-found independence has led to some developing interests. My current likes and dislikes are as follows: 

1) My daddy. He's full of fun games and have y'all seen this guy throw a ball in the air? Hilarious!  
My biggest smile of the day is reserved for when my dada gets home from work at which point I follow him around like a puppy dog.  

2) Puppy dogs. Speaking of puppy dogs, I can’t get enough of Bailey and Samson, even though they don’t seem to feel the same. 
I will not be discouraged however, and persist in chasing  them around the house all day. For some reason, Bailey has taken to hiding under my mom's bed, whereas Sam just moves from one end of the couch to the other while I cruise after him. 
Mom just laughs and says at least we are both getting our exercise.  

3) Visitors. Sometimes I can get a little bored with my mom’s company day-in and day out. It’s nice to see some new faces every now and then. This month, my Nana and Pops came to visit and y’all already know how I feel about grandparents. They are probably the best thing ever invented.
Also, Miss Nary and Mr. Gerald came to visit last weekend. 
And my momma also took me on a road trip to have lunch with her super nice and super pretty BFF, Miss Talia, while she was visiting Napa. 
Of course they all loved me just as much as I loved them, but that goes without saying.  

4) Cheese! 
5) Or even better….Cheerios! 
All food is created equal but some foods are more equal than others. Cheerios would fall into this category for sure. Nom nom nom. 

6) FaceTime. As soon as I hear the ringing of an incoming call, I break into a sprint towards the iPad. 

7)Cruising. This is a much more efficient mode of transportation than army crawling. 
And I’ve been getting sooooo close to petting Samson! 

8) Splashing water. I’m not picky. I like to splash water in all sorts of places: the pool, the bath, the sink, the dog bowl, the toilet…

1) Stomach Bugs. So I finally have a month where I didn’t get a single tooth and instead I’m struck down by a stomach virus. Can’t a baby get a break? Sheesh! (Maybe my mom has a point that I should stay away from toilets and dog bowls….) 

2)Afternoon naps. I mean, I usually take a good morning nap, but my mom is just greedy-greedy and wants me to take a snooze in the afternoon as well. I always feel better once I wake up but falling asleep for my siesta is a drag and sometimes I boycott it altogether. 

3) Strangers, especially strange men. I’m a pretty social guy but lately I’m a bit picky about who I offer a smile too. I like my mom to be near me most of the time, especially when I’m meeting a bunch of new people. 

4) Waiting for my bottle in the morning. Anyone one else wake up a hungry monster? Meanwhile my mom is lollygagging changing my diaper, feeding the dogs, brewing a cuppa tea and I’m over here crying ‘Just give me the milk, woman!’. Once I’ve had my bottle I’m happy as a lark but before that, forget about it. I would not label myself a ‘morning person’ that’s for sure.

Alrighty folks, that's about all I have for y'all today. I've got some pretty important things to do like eat, poop, nap, and practice two-legged transportation. Two legs good, four legs bad. Yep, I sure did reference George Orwell's Animal Farm twice in this blog post. I'm not just a pretty face, my friends. Though indeed, I do have quite the pretty face. See for yourselves...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crusin' for a Bruisin' (9 month summary)

It's been a while since I wrote up a summary of our day-to-day lives, so I figured since we are approaching Forest's *9 month* birthday, I'd go ahead and write up a little post novel. 

Forest is a funny guy. I just love watching him discover new skills and to see his face light up as if he has a bona fide superpower. And it seems that way to me as well because sometimes these things honestly show up out of no where, as if by magic. One day he’s laying on his back; the next he’s flopping onto his tummy.  Then he’s sitting. Then crawling. Then standing. Now cruising. Ya’ll know what comes next in this sequence, right? 
Lordy, I don’t even want to think about my baby getting around on two legs. He’s already a handful. Plenty of handfuls, actually. He is super independent , super smart, super curious (i.e. nosy) and super energetic. He sort of reminds me of someone else I know…
...and I learned from her that smart, energetic, independent and curious can lead to some major momma anxiety. Yes, walking is on the horizon, but for now Forest is content to cruise (or ‘furniture walk’ for those of you who don’t know the 6-12 month lingo). 
We laugh and tell him he’s “cruising for a bruising” all the time because once he started pulling up on furniture, suddenly his perfect baby complexion was constantly marred with scrapes and scratches. He quickly received his first boo-boo when he caught a coffee table to the nose. 
And it wasn’t long before he got his second boo-boo. Then this third, followed by his 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. I’ve lost count by now. 
I have a feeling his face will always have some sort of imperfection from now until he’s 6 or 7 and that’s if we can escape toddlerhood without any permanent scars! 
I told y’all, he’s a handful. And on top of being smart, curious, energetic, and independent, he is also fearless and full of charm. I’m telling ya, it’s quite the combination! But it’s also super fun and I really wouldn’t trade him for any other baby in the world. 
These past few weeks have felt so much easier (knock on wood). He’s playing hard and sleeping hard and at the moment he isn’t teething too severely which is a nice change (though we can see an upper canine making its way through. Yikes!).   
His independence also makes my days a bit easier. He’s totally content to explore the baby-proofed areas of the house and practice pulling up and cruising on anything he can get his hands on.   
He also still loves his jumperoo which means that for the time being I can still steal 15 minutes away to take a shower/cook/do laundry while he blissfully (and safely) entertains himself. 

He’s talking up a storm and I’m pretty sure he’s intentionally saying ‘mom/momma’ (or maybe it’s ‘more’ since he always says it during meal times). Whatever he’s saying, it’s exciting to see him intentionally try to communicate verbally with us. He hasn’t started gesturing much (pointing, waving, etc) but he will give us high 5’s and will lift his arms up when he wants to be picked up. 

We’ve been working a bit with sign language (mostly ‘milk’ and ‘more’) but we’re pretty inconsistent so I doubt he learns much from us. 

We have just survived the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression (KNOCK ON WOOD) where a combo of teething and pulling up in the crib leads babies to have more difficulty falling and staying asleep. 
We had a few night wakings and early mornings, but nothing as bad as I was expecting. Probably because he got  the majority of his teething over with before he learned that he could pull up in his crib.

Of course, he isn’t 10 months yet so there could be more where that came from, but I hope not. Sleeping through the night makes the whole family so much happier, but I know we aren’t out of the woods yet…

As far as his schedule goes, on a good day, he is generally waking up between 6:30/6:45 and eating a 6/7 oz bottle and 4 oz of solids (generally rice cereal mixed with fruit) for breakfast. We jog to the park and do our morning chores and he goes down for a 1-1.5 hour nap around 9:45. At 11ish he gets another 6/7 oz bottle and we usually have an outing whether that is a play date or running errands. 
Between 1:30-2 he goes down for another 1-1.5 hour nap (on a good day, of course). When he gets up he gets another 6/7 oz bottle and another 4 oz of solids plus finger foods. 
Jonathan usually gets home around 4:30 at which point we go to the park or play in the baby pool in the backyard depending on how hot it is outside. 

At 5:30 he gets abother 4 oz of baby food and some finger foods. We try to eat as a family so we are starting to give him appropriate table food more and more. He's been eating beans, sweet potatoes, bread, etc and is really good at self feeding and chewing. After dinner we either read or give him a bath. 

We try to bath him every other night unless he's unusually dirty for some reason. And he usually doesn’t get a bath if he’s been in the baby pool before dinner just because he has dry skin and we don’t want to complicate that by double-dunking him. Around 6:40 we get him all ready for bed, give him a final bottle and put him down to sleep around 7 pm and he hopefully sleeps for 11.5/12 hours (sometimes its more like 10.5/11 but as long as he's sleeping all night long I am not complaining!). 

I’m still struggling with patience, especially when he has a regression due to a new skill or teething. I hate not knowing what  to expect or how to plan my day but that’s parenthood, I guess. I’m really missing my Aberdeen life and having extra-curricular activities. Even when Forest was very young I was still active in book club, mahjong and AWA so I felt like I had an outlet to have some identity other than ‘Forest’s mom’. I’m actually attending my very first California book club tonight so I think that will be good for me to leave the house without Forest and talk about something other than baby food/sleep/poop/milestones/etc. 

Alright, well that was just a quick run down of how this baby business is going around the 9 month mark. Forest will hopefully have his 9 month guest post up later this week.