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Category Archives: Child Development

12 Months

What a great month it has been. A great year, too, but a particularly good month. We’re all completely settled into our routines now, Baby2 is fairly predictable and all that “normalness” does ease the mind a bit.

I’m pretty sure Baby2 said her first word this month, and I think she understood the context as well. We were looking at her books and she made the “wa” noise, so I said, “wow,” at the book and she said wow too! I swear she did. She says it now still, mostly when she’s looking at her books. I swear she’s saying wow when she likes something. I swear.

Mr. Handsome and I both think we’ve heard her say “hi” and “bye” in the appropriate context too, mostly when one of us is leaving for work (he says bye to me in the mornings and I say bye to him when I get home in the afternoons). She also just started waving too which, like the clapping she started doing last month, is just super adorable. She has a whole-forearm kind of wave, and she often waves both arms at once. Either she waves or she does this cute thing with her arm where she reaches out for… something… air? Recognition? It’s almost a ballet arm pose, but I’m not sure what to call it. It looks sort of like this blurry picture:

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She moves so quickly most of my pictures of her lately are blurry. A few days ago, Mr. Handsome asked me to take some pictures of her in this cute dress I bought her.

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I got maybe three pictures before she made a bee-line for my camera/phone.

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I turned the camera to front-facing and she took a few funny pictures.

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And a video. I love this video so much because you can hear her little noises, it’s almost like you can hear her learning and thinking about the camera. Plus I like that her face just kind of randomly appears. You just have to get past my obnoxious commentary!

She’s so fun. She was also doing this one day, which was just hilarious:

What a silly crawler! She just laughed and laughed, and kept going for at least three minutes.

She’s been really wanting to crawl through small spaces lately (that’s not at all nerve-wrecking) so we got her one of these collapsable tunnels at IKEA. Not only does she love it, but Kiddo1 took to it right away as well. They have spent a lot of time chasing each other through the tunnel. Kiddo1 has even worn it a few times. $14.72 well spent.

When she’s not crawling through the tunnel, we’re attempting to work on our walking. She’s just so good at crawling that I don’t think she cares too much about walking. She will walk around with her push toy:

Just as happy as can be. She has risen to standing without holding onto something a few times and if she does pull herself up with assistance she lets go and stands on her own for a couple seconds. She is testing her limits I think.

She is getting more and more independent. She loves figuring things out for herself and she usually pushes away any form of assistance. Except when it comes to food! Like last month, she still doesn’t really get much in the way of “real food” unless it is a puree. She does enjoy a good gnaw on a strawberry or a cool steamed carrot, but she won’t take in much from that and she still has a bit of a gag reflex. Even on her birthday she wasn’t interested in the cake!

Purees are going better and better though. The last couple days she has had a least a couple tablespoons instead of a couple small bites. Progress! And getting her on goat’s milk is still going really well. We’re down to our last jar of breastmilk in the fridge so the switch is about to be complete! She’s still nursing at night, too.

Her sleep hasn’t changed too much lately. Her naps have been fairly predictable for awhile. She still wakes a few times a night to nurse but goes right back to sleep. The past couple nights she’s had a hard time getting down to sleep BUT yesterday she had two vaccination shots and we think she might be getting a whole slew of teeth now that one little guy has pooped through those gums.

It’s still quite difficult to get a picture of the lone tooth so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it is indeed there.

What’s also getting a little teeny bit difficult is Baby2 when you try to take something away from her or do something she doesn’t like (like change her diaper). She is starting to make the tantrum noise, this whinny high-pitched squeal that sounds like frustration and anger and sadness all mixed into one. I dread the tantrum phase, but honestly, if that’s the worst thing going on right now then I consider us extremely lucky!

Baby2 is such a good baby, such a happy baby. Being around her is just pure joy, even when she makes the tantrum noise (well, most of those times).

Finally, I leave you with another super cute video! Kiddo1 renamed this Tommy Toot toy, “Professor Joe.”

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8 Months

 photo F61A1642-EEC1-4B2B-AC6C-94D31C335B8E-1095-000000C659F68994_zps89debb74.jpgBaby2 has gotten to be so animated this month. She’s developed her “confused” face… or maybe it’s more like a “what the bleep is going on around here?!” face. This picture just doesn’t capture the clear distinction between her looks of upset/about-to-cry versus this newest look of bewilderment. It’s really cute – she wrinkles up her whole face. Such a departure from her usual smiley face but so funny!

She’s starting to rub her eyes when she’s tired which is adorable! Not only is it a cute move but it’s also a much clearer sign that she’s sleepy. Before all we had to go on was this sort of whiny sound she made. And she leans forward as if her head is starting to get a little harder to hold up. She wears herself out so fast because she’s busy scooting all over the house. I have a video I will post as soon as I can get on our desktop computer. She isn’t  crawling yet, but certainly moving in a forward direction.

She can also do this cool “plank-”style trick where she balances on her hands and toes. She’ll only hold it for a second so it’s hard to get a picture of, but here’s an attempt.

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Look at her little toes pushing her up! Sometimes she’ll push up to her hands and knees but same thing as the plank – she only holds it for a second. She’s only been doing this for a week or so, though, so perhaps as she gets stronger she’ll add the scooting element and be an official crawler. We’ll see!

Until then, Baby2 will gladly roll herself right off everything, apparently. She would certainly have rolled off the changing table dozens of times if we weren’t so diligent in never leaving her alone on it. The second I sit her down sometimes she flips right over! And now she knows the knobs on the dresser (which we use as a changing table) are shiny so she wants to flip over so she can reach down and play with them. I can distract her sometimes with cleaver objects such as her comb or a bracelet but diaper changes have certainly taken on a whole new rhythm. She’s a smart cookie – she knows what she wants.

She’s very distractable in general. When I’m feeding her she’s all over the place – unlatching and arching her back to see what’s going on behind her, twisting her head all around while still latched (ouch, but at least she doesn’t have teeth!), flailing her arms all about so she can find something to play with, etc. At the same time, though, I can still distract her back to focus (if that makes sense) by just flickering my fingers or making a funny noise.

Oh and she reads. I’m sure she’s well above the 8-month reading level.

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7 Months

This baby, I tell you what. She has got us all wrapped around her little finger! Even Kiddo1 is pretty enamored with this precious girl. She’s the kind of baby that makes you want to have so, so many more babies because this age of babyhood is amazing. She sits, she rolls, she discovers something new AND AWESOME every day. It’s pretty sweet to watch her learn new skills and take in new observations. There’s nothing like watching a baby grow!

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Valentine’s Day fun

She’s still rolling everywhere. She started really pushing up and getting her belly off the floor a bit just a couple weeks ago. She will also scoot forward a little by pushing her feet on the floor. So once she gets enough arm strength to get her belly completely off the floor… watch out.

She’s getting her fine motor skills down so well. She’s pinching objects with her thumb and forefinger in order to pick up small things, like bits of food. When she has something in her hand, like a spoon or her hairbrush, she twists her wrist around to make the object rotate. She passes things back in forth between her hands in order to study them completely. She’s so inquisitive, so smart. Can I please brag some more about my genius baby?!?

Okay, I will! She babbles constantly now – she’s really discovering her voice! She can get so loud just with her babble that we can’t hear each other talk! She tends to say “dadadada” sounds when she’s playing, or super happy, or she sees her wonderful daddy. Interestingly enough, when she’s a little upset or hungry it’s “mamamama” or more of a “nananana” sound. That’s a funny joke, kid.

I suppose her life is not all sweet milk and roses, though. She’s sleeping okay. Naps are getting a lot better. She takes 2-3 naps a day. I’m only home three days a week (I work from home on Fridays now!) but on those days she seems to take one good morning nap about 1.5-2 hours after she gets up, another nap around mid-day, then maybe one mid- to late-afternoon. Some naps are 90 minutes, some get to even 2+ hours, a few here-and-there are only 45 minutes. Those shorts ones are when you know she just couldn’t get in her nap groove for one reason or another so her sleep cycle like totally sucked and she’s over it quickly.

 photo 0F4E9516-7030-46B8-B666-BBD57FF16AD4-5344-000003CDF5B1D3BD_zps4a9d6006.jpgNighttime sleep is better than last month. She goes down around 7 and usually gets up once around 10, then she’s out until maybe 3, but sometimes 5. She wakes at 5 consistently, regardless. And she’d be up for the day at that point if I’d let her. But if she eats while she’s still a little groggy, she’ll usually nap for an hour or two.

Honestly, at this point I’m fine with her waking up at night. For one, I’m paranoid about supply problems so 7 hours without feeding her is long enough. I haven’t had any reduction in supply and I’m still donating, but maybe that’s because I’m still feeding her at night. I guess I won’t know until it changes! It only bothers me on the nights that she has an extra wake-up at 2 or 3, which is fairly rare but always seems to happen on the nights that I really need that full night’s sleep.

Anyway, when she does go down to sleep she gets to use her pacifier. She has gotten really good at getting it in her mouth all by herself. It’s really quite adorable when she grabs the paci (such joy in her face when she gets a hold of it), twists and turns it around and moves it to her mouth just so.

 photo 538ECEB4-DC1A-4B02-8828-C1BFE65C87F4-5344-000003CC633A34F9_zpscaa25664.jpgShe has been eating solids for a couple months. She’s had avocado, sweet potato, banana, carrots, kiwi and egg. She doesn’t eat much, but solids are really all for practice now anyway. Sometimes we puree the food, sometimes just mash it, sometimes just give it to her, like scrambled eggs or a chunk of banana to nom-nom on. She explores her food, taking it in with touch, sight and smell as much as taste.

So I said before that Kiddo1 is “enamored” with her. Well oh my goodness, lately there has really been a shift with him and he has been smiling at his sister, talking to her and playing with her and she just smiles and smiles at him. Last month he would pick her toys up off the floor, but now he makes faces at her to make her laugh when they’re sitting at the table together (she’s been sitting in her chair at the table for a couple months now – it’s one of those that just pulls up to the table which has been awesome). It took us seven months to get here, but things are finally feeling like they should be between our two children. I’m sure it won’t always be smiles and fun faces, but I’ll take every bit of it that I can get!

Six in One Hand, Half-Dozen in the Other

Baby2 has really come into her own this sixth month. Her personality shines through in everything she does. Her face still looks very much like her brother’s but also more like other family members; she’s coming into her own unique “look.” She’s quickly becoming more and more independent (for a six-month-old; independence at this age does have its limits).

As we have already seen in the proceeding months, Baby2 is such a happy girl. When she catches our eyes her whole face smiles with joy. When we have a dance party together she laughs and squeals with excitement. She bats her eyelashes and shields her gaze when you smile back. Her little cheeks puff up when she smiles and her dark blue eyes sparkle.

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Look at those faces! Mr. Handsome and I believe they are the two cutest faces we have ever seen (although I know every parent says that!). Kiddo1 at six months (ish) is on the left and a pic of Baby2 from the other day is on the right. They could be twins! But I think Baby2 has a more feminine look. That’s good, considering she’s a girl…

Baby2 has grown so much! Now that I have had two children and they have similar growth patterns I can safely determine that Mr. Handsome and I simply do not have big babies. Baby2 is just now doubling her birth weight, for example. But our pediatrician certifies that she’s super healthy. We also saw a heart specialist last week (to proactively check out a supposed heart murmur that was not found by the specialist and is said to come and go in young children) and that doctor said she is “in picture-perfect health.” I feel incredibly fortunate to have such healthy children.

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She is mobile already. Last month she would roll from side-to-side but now she’s rolling clear across the floor. I put her down, turn around to grab something and she’s already like 10 feet away. Time to get the power strips and tiny Lego pieces off the floor I suppose. Oh baby-proofed house, how I’ve missed you (insert sarcastic face here). She will usually start on her back playing on her little “ocean” thing there but she’ll escape it and roll away in a flash!

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She wants to do things for herself. We have started giving her solid foods and she already wants to hold the spoon, mostly because she wants to grab at anything in front of her. We are giving her whole foods: we started with avacado, mashed with a spoon and mixed with a bit of breastmilk. She wasn’t too fond of the avacado and I can’t blame her – this recipe is no guacamole, folks. It’s pretty bland. Yes I tasted it. We are on bananas now. We just scrape a bit of banana on a spoon and serve it up. And then I eat the rest of the banana. Yum! She loves the banana. She probably eats twice as much of it in one sitting than the avacado. So like two-peas-size worth instead of one. She has a tummy the size of her fist and she’s already full of breastmilk when she’s fed a solid, so I’m not expecting much yet. Mr. Handsome says her poo is already more green though. This will be our cloth diaper test I believe. Stay tuned.

As for me, I’m feeling pretty fantastic. I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I don’t feel the “squishness” in my midsection that I had felt even just last month (just feeling my normal squishiness now). I recall that after Kiddo1 was born it took a good six months before I felt “normal” again. Seems like six months is my adjustment period, which is just fine with me. If only I could have taken a six-month maternity leave, eh? However normal I feel, though, I still have my linea negra and I still have not had a period (and I’m pretty sure I’m not pregnant) so I’m just patiently – very, very patiently – waiting for the last piece of “normal” to fall into place. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it just never came back?!

Speaking of patience, Kiddo1 is getting better at connecting with his sister. He started actually acknowledging her at Christmas. Now he will sit at the table with her in the morning, eating his breakfast and not complain too much that she is staring at him (she loves to look at him!). He even picked up her toys when she dropped them to the floor the other day. We call this the “drop-pick-it-up game” in which the baby drops a toy over and over while someone picks it up for her every time. Kiddo1 invented this game so to see him play with his sister is pretty sweet. He was reluctant to play but he did it! They’re taking baby steps toward playing together.

I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!

Five Months

Baby2 is SUCH a happy baby. Not only is she an absolute delight when she wakes in the morning, but the evenings after work with her have been nothing short of fantastic. She babbles on and on in Baby Talk and will make her little squeal-type laugh at so many things. She loves playing with toys now and seeing a new one makes her little arms quiver with excitement.

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Mr. Handsome got her the exersaucer-stand-up-toy thing this month. At first I wondered if it would be uncomfortable for her since she doesn’t sit yet (so she doesn’t have the core sense to keep to balanced) but she does pretty well on her own. And by standing supported she’s probably working on strengthening those standing muscles! She loves the toy and we love getting things done in the kitchen.

Sometimes she can sit with support and maybe she will hold the sit for a least a second if she’s on my lap and I let go with my hands (ready to catch her when she starts to lean, of course!). When on the floor, Baby2 can roll both from front to back and back to front; she’ll go back and forth but she’s not rolling through the living room or anything. Occasionally she will roll in her crib and we’ll find her stuck in a corner, just kind of hanging out and talking to the mattress.

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Her sleeping patterns haven’t changed too much lately, which for nighttime sleep is kind of a bummer. She was doing these great six or seven hour stretches but those scaled back to three hours at the start of this month. I thought maybe it was the Four Month Regression (a temporary period in which babies regress to earlier sleeping patterns). But three weeks later and she’s still waking about three hours after she goes down. Huh. Well maybe it’s really supposed to be called the Four-to-Five Month Regression but that title was just too long. That’s got to be it…

Honestly, I don’t mind the waking too much, IF she gives me that at least a five hour stretch. ‘Cause that’s mama’s beer time. I’m not drinking a beer every night, but a couple nights a week I would like to have one. And yes, I could just give her a bottle, but I don’t want to. That’s kind of the point of breastfeeding. She gets enough bottles and I pump enough during the day and I don’t want to do that if I’m right there. But I would like one beer, once in awhile. So Baby2, if you’re listening, sleep.

We started a new bedtime routine so she can start associating something other than eating with bedtime, since I’m trying not to nurse her to sleep as often (unfortunately that happens more often than not, but sometimes I can’t help myself. What if she’s hungry? She needs to eat! It almost always quiets her cries, of course). Now every night she gets fed, then changed into PJs, we read a book and I brush her pretty little head which is slowly starting to accumulate more hair. I would love it if she started associating sleep with hair brushing. There are certainly worse things to associate sleep with. After all the brushing I put some coconut oil on her scalp to combat a small case of cradle cap (coconut oil has been working wonders! And she smells like cookies. Our ped says she also “loves coconut oil right now” for dry skin too. She’s a pretty fun doctor.) Then Baby2 goes to bed. Sometimes she goes right down, sometimes not so much. We roll with the punches.

Breastfeeding is still fantastic, even with all the pumping at work. I’m feeling pretty good about my one year goal right now; with Kiddo1 I had stopped by the time he was five months old due to supply issues. I’ve made it longer than last time now and the supply is certainly going strong! So much so that I’ve started donating some of my stash (which I will try to post about this week if I can ever wrap it up!).

A couple interesting post-partum tid-bits at five months (is it still considered “postpartum” at five months?):

I’m five pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I don’t feel like I am at all. I stepped on the scale the other day and I was a little shocked that I was lighter. Some of my clothes are more loose. But I haven’t been doing anything. Honestly I have “worked out” maybe once since Baby2 was born. I suppose I’m just okay with having a little extra fluff lately. I don’t think I’ll feel completely normal until I stop breastfeeding anyway, so I’m having a much easier time with feeling “different.” My linea negra is also still not completely gone (I cannot remember when it went away last time) and the “monthly gift” has not yet returned, thankyoubreastfeeding.

With that, I’m off to enjoy Christmas cookies!

Four Months Old!

Baby2 has really been coming into her own lately – in just four short months she has grown and changed so much. This is Mr. Handsome’s and my second time watching a baby become a little person and we still can’t believe how amazing it is. Here are some of the things she’s been working on…

She has the sweetest smile. Ever. When she wakes up in the morning she is just the happiest thing that has ever lived, smiling and giggling and batting her adorable eye lashes. She grunts and coos and squeals. She squirms her little body all around and clenches her fists in excitement. It is very fun to watch.

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She’s all smiles at home but she seems to be a bit weary of strangers lately. In the last month, we’ve had a couple events out and and about and she hasn’t been too excited about them. I think being around a lot of people is a little over-stimulating for her at times, especially if she’s being passed around. Too many faces for her or something.

Baby2 starting recognizing and zoning out on her hands sometime around six weeks I think, but this month she has started to have a bit more control of those little hands. She can get her thumb in her mouth with fairly consistent success.

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She reaches out for things that she wants badly enough. Her concentration is palpable: she stares at the object, she shakes her arm as her little hand starts to move, fingers moving, trying to get all the needed parts working together to achieve her goal of grabbing her toy. She’s started to enjoying “playing” and she seems to show some excitement when shown a familiar toy. Her eyes get wide, her hands shake a little, maybe she lets out a little squeal. Adorable!

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She rolled over this month from front to back. She can get from her back to her side very easily so I’m sure it won’t be long until she is rolling from back to front, too. She is also quite good at rotating her body around when lying on her back. Most nights she’ll fall asleep in her crib with her feet pointing one direction but by the time I come back and check on her she’s rotated around so her head is where her feet were. Now she does it when on her play mat which is quite fun to watch as she moves her little legs and pushes around.

She’s started to get much better at napping. As I type, Baby2 has been asleep for almost two hours and is on her second extended (meaning more than 45-minute) nap of the day (of course she just woke up). Mr. Handsome is feeling very happy about this as her naps either enable or distract from him getting to accomplish much during the day (he’s a SAHD).

As far as night-time sleep, just does pretty well. I’ve stopped giving a shit about all the “rules” I had established for sleep. My methods worked so well for Kiddo1 but with Baby2 I feel differently. I’m just kind of rolling with the punches now. She wakes up sometime between midnight and two or three am. I don’t pay attention to the time at all, I just pull Baby2 in bed with me and relax. She probably wakes up two or three times per night but I hardly notice. She eats, we sleep, it works out pretty well.

Eventually I’d like to get back to having her in her crib all night, but I have time. I also want to make sure my breast milk supply stays up and I recall that once Kiddo1 started sleeping through the night my supply dipped pretty fast and breastfeeding was over. So I’m trying to prevent that this time around by keeping up the night-time feedings. It may be establishing the wrong sleep routine but I suppose I’ll tackle that issue once it actually becomes an issue. Again, I’m going with the flow rather than trying to keep over-thinking things.

Finally, we did celebrate Halloween this year, even though I didn’t write a post about it at all. I leave with a few snapshots.

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Pumpkin farming

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Baby2 and her little punkin

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Kiddo1 trick-or-treating with friends (he was a zombie)

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Baby2 and I in our homemade two-peas-in-a-pod costume

The Surprises Keep Rolling In

On Monday morning I was walking through the halls at work (on my way to pump, of course) and thinking about my amazing Baby2. I was contemplating when she would roll over because I was thinking its about time for her to do that already. I made a mental commitment to do more tummy time to help her along.

A couple hours later, I left work because of the cold I had woken up with on Sunday morning (Mr. Handsome had it first!). I had lots of soup and fluids but I still feel yucky today and I’m home for the morning at least.

Anyway, I put Baby2 on her belly for a bit yesterday afternoon. She was doing so well at baby push-ups so I pulled out my phone. To my surprise she decided to roll over then and there! And I caught it on video!

I feel super lucky to have been around for this first, but catching it on camera is a sweet bonus! I’m trying not to think that I would have missed the moment if I hadn’t left work to nurse my cold. Sigh.

Here’s the video (hopefully I embedded it correctly; it’s been awhile since I’ve linked a video anywhere! The footage is dark and shaky but it was captured nonetheless!):

 

In other surprises, this weekend we had a surprise birthday party for Mr. Handsome. Kiddo1 helped me organize it and it was very fun. We had a good time planning it together – he helped me pull off the secret for over two weeks!

Mr. Handsome seemed pretty surprised. We had a pretty good turnout, lots of kids playing arcade games and friends sharing beers. I hope Mr. Handsome enjoyed his birthday!

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