We finally saw the return of our smiley, happy baby in her tenth month. Sure, she still cries and gets frustrated, but she is slowly learning how to handle those emotions and I am getting better at recognizing them. It helps that her two front teeth have now come it - they were tough ones and seemed to really bother her a lot. As Kaitlin approaches her one year birthday I can see more and more toddler in her every day. She is becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler - and as cute and fun as it is, it makes me really sad too. She is becoming more and more independent and I know once she starts walking I'll be lucky if I can grab her for a few seconds for a quick cuddle. I'm really taking in these last few "baby" months and trying to enjoy every minute of it.
This truly is the golden age of babies. Kaitlin's personality continues to emerge and shine through a little more each day. She is starting to really laugh and come out of her shell, even when we are around other people. She loves to "talk", especially while eating or in the car - Brian says she sings along to the music on the radio. She shows true pleasure and displeasure from playing with a toy (or when a toy is taken away from her).
Her top two middle teeth have finally come in, and although it took a couple rough weeks of skipped naps/tons of drool/chewing on EVERYTHING, she is finally back to her normal self. That makes a total of SIX teeth as of today. And the road to walking continues. She is so much more confident on her feet now than she was a month ago. There is no piece of furniture that she can't cruise on and she easily moves from on piece to another. She crawls super fast too, zooming around the house to get to whatever she wants to play with. She's discovered that she can open cabinets and drawers, and could spend endless hours in the kitchen and pantry pulling things down and playing with them. No hand towel is safe from being pulled down and thrown around the room.
|I love how calm and relaxed she looks in this picture - just chillin' at the grocery store!|
Kaitlin is also starting to become one smart cookie. Long gone are the days when I could hide something from her so she wouldn't play/drool/chew on it. Now when I hide something from her (usually my iPhone or the remote) she goes right for it - whether I hide it behind my back or up on the chair - she knows where I put it and tries to get it. And you can't just shake another toy in front of her face and hope that it distracts her long enough for her to forget about it. Believe me, I've tried. She basically gives me a blank stare long enough to say, "Seriously mom? Is that the best you've got?" and then goes right back to trying to get whatever I've "hidden" from her.
Another exciting thing that has been developing over the last month is how much Kaitlin loves to play on the playground - and not just the swings. Sure, she still LOVES to swing and is still obsessed. But now that she can climb up stairs and stand easily and crawl like a crazy person she really enjoys going on the play set/jungle gym (what are they called these days?!) She crawls up the stairs, loves to "drive" with the wheel and even go down the slide! And I think most of all she loves all the other kids that are playing too. She is constantly observing them and watching what they are doing. You can see the little wheels in her head turning trying to figure out if she can do it to and how much she wants to play with them. I think its great for her to be around slightly older babies/toddlers to watch them walk and play, hopefully it encourages her to take those first steps. Although I'm sure as soon as she does I am going to regret saying that :)
I had to think pretty long and hard about what I've learned this month. While I am always learning more about being a parent, I feel like those monumental, big realizations and lessons have slowly tapered off and aren't popping up as often as they used to. Either that or my head is so full of nursery rhymes, diaper orders and nursery school applications that I just can't remember them. Alas, I managed to scrounge up a couple of nuggets of lessons learned this past month...
Sometimes, showers are overrated...
As you may or may not remember, one of the first lessons I learned after becoming a mom was that a nice, hot shower will make you feel human again. I still very strongly believe that. However, I used to need to take a shower to make me feel more like myself, and to give myself a break from the baby. But now...now that I have a better handle on things and we are in more of a routine and I am a lot less frazzled by being a mom (but still frazzled, let's be real here), I feel less of a need to take a shower every single day. And let's be honest - who has time for that $h*t?! Now that my business is starting to pick up and with tons of house projects that always seem to be lurking on my to-do list, sometimes I feel much better and much more sane NOT taking a shower. Sometimes I just don't want to waste one of the two breaks I get in a day (ie, nap time) taking a shower and getting dressed. Dude, embrace the yoga pants and a pony tail and get on with your day!
Routine, routine, routine
If you have read this blog for any length of time you probably know that naps are not Kaitlin's strong suit. Other than that, she's a really good baby. One thing that I have learned - particularly over the last month - is that routine matters. What's that old saying - you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink? With all the obstacles and growing pains that babies go through it is imperative to have a stable routine that they can depend on. Whether or not Kaitlin ends up taking her two naps a day, that's anyones guess. But the important thing is that I put her down for those naps at (roughly) the same time every day. She knows that we will have her solid breakfast an hour after she wakes up in the morning. If we haven't made it out of the house all morning she is crawling over to her stroller in the afternoon wanting to go outside and take one of our walks. Babies are smart and even if you don't think they remember certain things it's amazing what they will surprise you with. Also, when they are going through rough times of change - think teething, growth spurts, cognitive leaps - it's important for the rest of their life to stay stable. I am convinced that if you stick to your routine during these times of change (as much as you can, of course, and afterwards you might need to tweek your routine depending on what milestone has just passed) it helps them get through them faster and easier.