Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Eighth Month

I am aware that I say this every month, but I can't help it - it's true. Kaitlin's eighth month was her biggest one yet. She celebrated her first Christmas, her first New Years (even though she slept through it), she got two more teeth, learned how to pull herself to standing and last, but not least, learned how to crawl. Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

The picture theme of this post is definitely "food"...I can't help it - it's the only time she sits still nowadays!

Kaitlin spent her first Christmas with family in New York. She had a wonderful time visiting with family, learning how to stand, and eating way too many sweet potatoes. Once we were back in Texas she continued her standing practice on two new toys she got from both Grandparents. At the same time she really started trying to crawl. She started getting on her hands and knees while we were at my parents house before Christmas and by the middle of January she was crawling. She learns so quickly and tries, tries and tries again. Just the other day she spent a good twenty minutes pulling herself up, letting go and falling. She was practicing standing on her own, and while she only lasted a fraction of a second, she kept at it. She's building up her little muscles to finally be strong enough to stand on her own.

I started giving Kaitlin purees a couple weeks after she turned six months. While she was interested in everything that I gave her and ate with enthusiasm, I knew there was a better way for her to be introduced to solid foods. She was so enthusiastic about food on a spoon - always trying to feed herself - I decided to switch to the Baby Led Weaning (or BLW) method of introducing solid foods. Now she eats what we eat, including toast with avocado, spaghetti and bananas. There is nothing she won't try and she is eating with even more enthusiasm. Her fine motor skills have vastly improved in the few short weeks that we've been doing it - I can't wait to see how much further she develops! We might have a little foodie on our hands!

I absolutely love watching her crawl. She is getting pretty fast now that she's had some more practice! She's so little and the way she kind of shuffles along the ground just melts my heart. She always has the biggest smile on her face when she gets to where she wanted to go - you can tell she's proud and excited about her accomplishment! I think the only thing I love more is watching her stand. This might sound a little weird, and slightly creepy, but I am obsessed with her little butt. I've started putting her in real pants, like jeans and corduroys, and they are just the cutest thing over. She does this thing now when she's standing, she bops around and acts like she's dancing, I literally want to eat her every time she does it. She gets cuter and cuter every day.

God, I'm annoying about my kid, aren't I??

A few more things that I have learned...

Clean as you go
I learned this quite a few months ago but it has become even more critical now that I have a mover and a shaker on my hands. I'm sure all of you that have older toddlers and more than one child will laugh at my naivety of preaching "clean as you go" but please - let me live in my innocence for a bit longer. Now that Kaitlin is playing with more toys and has some bigger toys (walkers, music machines, etc) our living room becomes more and more of a mess as the day goes on. Throw in all of the food that gets, ahem, thrown around during meal time and our downstairs can become a disaster very quickly. I have learned, for me, it works best if I clean as the day goes on. As soon as meal time is over I let Kaitlin play quietly by herself for 10-15 minutes while I clean up. Not only is the food impossible to remove once it's dried on, it also makes me feel better to see a clean table instead of mess everywhere. When she goes down for a nap I do a quick 5 minute tidy of her toys. I put everything in her toy bin and straighten out her play mat. Why put it all away if she is just going to get it back out again? Well, for one I like to change up what toys she is playing with. It adds a little variety and lets her practice different skills (we might play with music toys in the morning and then play with balls in the afternoon). Also, we might need to go out and run an errand or go to the park once she wakes up. I feel so much more relaxed and happier if things are in order when we leave the house. Now, I'm not saying everything has to be spotless, that's just crazy talk, but it helps me stay sane to have everything picked up. It also helps with cleaning up the house at the end of the day. Instead of having to do a big clean at the end of the day and have it take 30-60 minutes, I just have to clean up her dinner dishes and put the afternoon toys in the bin and I'm done - fifteen minutes max. That gives me more time to relax, spend time with my husband or watch TV. 

At the end of the day - restock, restock, restock
This is another thing that I learned early and has become more important as Kaitlin gets older. I have found it to be a huge time saver in the long run if I restock things we use daily, at the end of each day. I'm mainly referring to her diaper bag and changing table (but feel free to apply it to whatever you use daily). If I have gone out and used some of her stuff in the diaper bag, at the end of the day I take a minute to replenish what is gone. I make sure that I have enough diapers (I usually keep five in there at all times - and yes, I have gone through all of them during one outing before), wipes, an extra change of clothes and a couple of toys ready to go. That way when I need to take it with me the next day I don't have to scramble around getting it ready. I inevitably forget something and I feel like a mess. This way, particularly if when we are running late I know that my bag is already packed and ready to go. I do the same thing with her changing table downstairs. There have been too many times when I have an open, smelly, very dirty diaper and a very squirmy baby on my hands only to find that I don't have any more wipes/diapers/diaper cream at the ready. Then I have to get said dirty, smelly, squirmy baby upstairs to change her and one of us (ok, both) always ends up a mess. Or, more than likely, I end up reaching for my diaper bag which, hopefully, I have restocked the night before.

Parenting is sad. Like, really, really sad
Sad in the best, happiest way possible. If that makes any sense. Stay with me here, let me try to explain. The last couple of months with Kaitlin have been awesome. I mean, the beginning was awesome too but in a WEEEE-WHAT-THE-HELL-AM-I-DOING-THIS-IS-CRAZY!!! kind of way. Now that we have gotten to know each other a bit more, her personality is starting to come out, I've chilled out about naps (um, kinda) and she's reaching milestone after milestone - it's been really awesome. And it makes me sad. Like, really, really sad. One of my favorite parts of the day is when I go and get her from her crib and bring her downstairs. She is so incredibly happy she starts bouncing and wiggling in my arms as we walk down the stairs and has a huge grin on her face. She squeals with delight and pulls my hair (a good sign...I think). It's so super cute (GOD - here I go gushing again. SORRY) and it devastates me that she will never remember being so happy. So happy about the simplest thing. She thinks that playing peek-a-boo with me or her father is the BEST THING EVERRRR and LOVES "flying" through the air. She is so happy 95% of the time that she's awake and is totally loving life - laughing all the time now, talking more and more and smiles all around. I know that later there will be tantrums and teenage hormones and a heck of a lot of really hard stuff to deal with. Which is why I am sad that she won't remember all of these happy times and happy memories. It encourages me even more to make the good times last, let her know that she is loved every day all day and document, document, document in case she ever has any doubts about anything. 

(Which, by the way, doesn't mean that I am going to spoil her rotten. Though at this point I can't make any promises)

1 comment:

  1. I love how you put it about 'making you sad but in the happiest way'. It's so true, and I really haven't slowed down to process that and 'picture' the future. It's so crazy. I still feel like I'm babysitting. I just can't get it through my head that we actually have children?!?

    crackers & carrots