Gelato- 15 Months

We went to Gelato’s 15 month appointment this morning.

He has stayed small: he weighs 22 lbs 2 oz, which puts him in the 25th percentile for weight; he is 30.5 inches tall, which puts him in the 25th percentile for height; and his head circumference is in the 10th percentile.

I find it interesting that he has not gained weight in the past two months. We’ve been a couple times for an ear infection and then another suspected ear infection, and his weight has hovered right around 22 pounds. I know that he eats a lot, but he’s also a very active little guy. He burns it off quickly!

According to the (very accurate, I’m sure) development assessment that I complete each well check, he’s on par with a typical 21-month-old as far as cognitive, language, and physical skills are concerned. I found it funny that there was a question related to how many words he can say outside of family members’ names; if he could say more than 3, I was to circle Yes. This would have been indicative of a typical 20-month-old’s language ability. Knowing I was to fill out one of these questionnaires today, I laid in bed this morning counting the words I can think of off-hand that Gelato already uses on his own, and I got over 100 before I stopped counting. He even uses 2-3 word phrases frequently, like “What’s that?” or “Get it!” or “Wear it!” or “Up there!”

I love that Gelato still has a passion for accessorizing. He wears Hula Girl’s necklaces, headbands, bracelets, belts, and purses all around the house. He puts on my shoes, Jonathan’s slippers, and Hula Girl’s boots all the time. He tries to put on his own shoes but since they’re shoes that actually fit him, it’s too hard for him to wrangle them onto his feet.

Gelato loves to talk on the phone. He will carry around the toy phones (he no longer uses the dollhouse sink/mirror as a phone, much to my chagrin!) and talk all day long. He says, “Heddo, doing? Dood!” (Hello, what are you doing? Good!) Then he tells the person on the other end what he’s doing- sliding, climbing on the chairs, eating play fruit, reading a book, throwing a ball, etc. It’s pretty funny.

He still loves to climb. Lately this has taken him on top of the table in the playroom and on the dining room chairs. I don’t like him up on the dining room chairs since the floor in there is tile, so now I have a strict push-in-your-chairs rule at the end of every meal. He also climbs outside, and has gotten really good at climbing up and down the ladders on the playset. He doesn’t let go mid-ladder anymore, which saves me a bit of my sanity.

He has also discovered the joy of sliding. Since the slide from the playset is pretty steep and a bumpy slide, I make sure to be right there slowing his descent. He really enjoys the slide in the playroom and will slide down it over and over all day long.

He is not afraid of anything, which scares me to death. Moms of boys, I totally get you now. He does things that make my heart stop. Literally, I feel it stop momentarily when he does some of the things he does. WHY are boys so daring?!

Gelato certainly has his own opinions about… everything. I am thinking we might be investing in Dr. Dobson’s The New Strong Willed Child somewhere here in our future. I’m not trying to imply he’s a naughty boy; he’s just very determined. This is a great characteristic when he’s trying to learn how to take off his shoes. But when he’s trying to run after the neighbor’s dog and it’s time for us to go inside for dinner, it can be quite ear-splitting. 🙂

Gelato has some loveys that sleep in his crib with him now. He has his blanket with an owl on it, a stuffed owl, and a bunny that’s larger than he is. The bunny was a gift from the Easter bunny, who brought Hula Girl her giant sheep that she slept with for months as well. He will ask for his “Nanket” while I sing to him, then when I lay him down, he says, “Owl? Bunny?” Then he squeezes his little arms around his blanket over his chest and laughs.

Oh, he laughs, and the boy’s laugh is absolutely the best sound in the world. He laughs all day long. He finds delight in what he does and in what his family members do. Hula Girl will be sitting in her chair kicking her feet and he will notice and burst out in a huge belly laugh. Or Jonathan will peek around the corner and he’ll grin and giggle until Daddy pops out, then the chortle ensues. He loves when I say “Alligator, alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp,” and tickle his little collarbone super gently. He just laughs and laughs. He laughs when he succeeds in doing what he wanted to do. He laughs when he’s surprised, like when a ball rolls off the table. He just laughs SO much.

And he sings. All the time. If he’s not talking on the phone or laughing, he’s singing. And dancing. His current favorite is the same as Hula Girl’s was at his age- Abiyoyo. It’s a song from a book based on a South African folk tale about a giant. A boy tames the giant with his ukelele and then the boy’s father makes the giant disappear with his magic wand. Then all the townspeople join the boy in his song, “Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo…” Pete Seeger wrote it, in case you care. 😉

Gelato decided to try something out this past week- not napping in the afternoon. It’s kind of a bummer deal for him, because then he has to go to bed super early, like 5:30 early. Today is the first day in over a week that he’s actually taken an afternoon nap. I think he got overtired from the time change and then he just hasn’t been able to figure out what to do. I put him down super early this morning for his nap, and he fell asleep quickly, but I wasn’t sure today’s nap would work… yay, it did! I think we’ll stick to slightly early nap times in the next few days to see if he self-corrects. I remember Hula Girl went through a non-afternoon-napping phase at 15 months as well, but then she went back to sleeping twice daily until 17.5 months old. I am holding out hope. Gelato doesn’t get cranky with just one nap, but he DOES sleep really restlessly at night and we are wakened several times per night by him crying out or flopping around. I could do with a good solid night’s sleep again.

And you guys, Gelato is so smart. I have said this before about him, but it is more and more apparent to us every day. He learns so quickly, he speaks so clearly (and so abundantly!), and he is so independent! We are so blessed to have two amazingly bright children who love to learn and who pursue knowledge and skills on their own, without me having to direct them at all. It is such a joy to see their little eyes light up and the looks of consternation on their faces while they’re trying to figure something out. The two of them share a look that says, “I’m thinking really hard about this right now!” It’s so cute.

Oh, I should mention that he is fully weaned now, as of a week and a half ago. It’s nice, but bittersweet. Good thing he drinks well from a sippy cup now.

I love my little man.

Changing Tastes…

I love how fast things change as a young toddler develops. A couple weeks ago, I posted Gelato’s 14-month update. Now that he’s 14.5 months old, so many things are different! In just two weeks!

I want to capture his interests right now so that I can remember him THIS way. He is such a funny little guy!

Gelato does not like Baby Beluga any longer. If I bring it out, he says, “No, Bu-ga! No, Bu-gah!” He pushes the book away. He was really into Margaret Wise Brown’s I Like Stars for about a week and a half. That’s all he wanted to read. He’d say, “Stars? Stars? Read-ee? Stars?” But now he’s so over it. He also had a couple days of being really into “A B C?” Which stands for Dr. Seuss’ ABCs. That book is old hat, so he has moved on to a book called Who’s Hiding? It’s about a mama owl who is looking for her baby, and Gelato LOVES opening all the flaps. He calls it, “Ow-el? Ow-el?”

He loves to wear necklaces. My little guy just adores necklaces. He walks around with about five of Hula Girl’s dress-up necklaces (think pink pearls, sparkly blue beads, purple butterflies, etc.) strung around his neck. Fortunately Hula Girl inherited about a million necklaces from our neighbor before we moved, so there are plenty of necklaces for both children. He will come down the stairs, walk to the dress-up “closet,” and stand there saying, “Neck-iss? Neck-iss?” until I finally get him some. Never just one. If he can’t wear a necklace, he will find his special blue ribbon and drape it across his shoulders, behind his neck. If it falls off, he will stop and pick it up and re-drape it before moving on. I think this is such a silly and cute little phase. I kind of want him to keep it until he’s four or so.

Gelato loves apples. Like, apples are his very favorite food. He will walk around with an apple in his hand and eat the entire thing, down to the core. I bought him an apple in the grocery store a while ago just to keep his tummy from eating itself alive while I rushed around getting last-minute ingredients for our (very late) dinner. The clerk thought I was nuts for buying him an apple, saying, “He’ll never eat that. You should get him chips or something.” When I went back through her lane 15 minutes later, he had eaten about half his apple, and she was pretty much in shock. “He did eat the apple? That’s amazing. I have never seen a kid eat an apple before.” Um, what? Anyway, apples. He also likes applesauce. He calls it, “ap-poh AHS? Ap-poh AHS?” Today he found an applesauce cup in the fridge just before lunch and asked for it. I told him he could eat it at lunch, and let him wander with it a bit. I was surprised when he wasn’t following me and whining about eating it. When I stopped to look at him, I saw he had bitten a hole in the foil and was slurping it through like a smoothie. “Mmmm, Mummy! Mum! Mummmy!!!”

I am currently weaning Gelato. He used to nurse four times a day: 7, 11, 3, and 7. I have slowly dropped one feeding a week, so that now he is only nursing at bedtime. Next Friday will be the last day I nurse him. I am so sad about it, but so happy all at the very same time. I love that I have nursed both my babies until 14.5 months old, but I really feel like that’s about my limit. 🙂

Gelato is a little independent guy. He does not want to be held or pushed in a stroller; he wants to WALK. He doesn’t want to walk with me, though, so he tries to wander. Too bad for him when he tries to wander and I don’t let him. He can also be a bit disobedient at times. ‘Tis the nature of the age, I suppose. He is truly a toddler now- when I tell him to come, he grins, turns, and RUNS the other way. Goober.

All in all, Gelato is just a delight. Still.

Oh, and one more story. The other night Gelato was told a firm, “No, you may not throw your food off your tray.” I removed his dinner. Hula Girl clapped and shouted, “Hooray! [Gelato] got his first consequence!!!!!” It was hilarious.

Gelato- 14 Months

My little boy just melts my heart.

There is only one thing about him that annoys me right now: he is the world’s messiest eater. It doesn’t help that I feed him messy foods like rice, cottage cheese, yogurt, and the like. But he drops it on the nice, clean, freshly-mopped-tile-and-scrubbed-grout floor! I keep telling Jonathan we need to invest in a splash mat or just an old shower curtain, but I keep forgetting.

Gelato is a climber. He has always been, as long as he could. He will climb anything. Rocks, trees, ladders, people, tables, chairs, desks, bookcases, cribs (we’ll be turning his around when he gets big enough- I have a feeling it will be a struggle to keep him in his crib as long as we did his sister!), couches, dirt piles, fences, cars. His favorite thing to climb right now is the “rock wall” that goes up into their playset. I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but that rock wall is over six feet high, it’s at about an 85° angle, and it has plastic rocks to hold or step onto. And he has been doing this since before he was even 13 months old. Now that he’s a seasoned pro, he’s making some careless mistakes. Just today I had to catch him (my hands were 3 inches from his body, so it more of a “steady” than a “catch”) when he decided to take his hat off mid-climb. Who knows what he’ll climb next?

Gelato is a water baby. I have been able to take him to the Y a few times lately, and since he can walk now, the toddler pool is just way more fun. The only issues come when he gets knocked over by a big kid splashing him or a current under the water that pulls his feet out from under him. Then he falls down into the water and doesn’t even try to get back up. So my hands are, again, always within a foot of him. I don’t touch him unless I have to. He needs to learn it on his own. But I have had to several times. Silly boy. He really enjoys getting his face wet, too. He’ll crouch down and bend his neck so his face just barely touches the water, then he jumps up and lets out a little shriek of happiness. So cute.

Gelato is a bookworm. Whereas Hula Girl would just come sit on my lap for hours and hours, Gelato has resisted the sitting for reading time his whole life. The only time he sits still for a book is just before nap, because that’s part of our nap routine and he’s used to it. Otherwise, he will carry a book all the way across the house and cry out, “Read-ee! Read-ee!” until I read the book. He will sit next to me for a page or two, but then he gets up and wanders off, but he still expects me to keep reading. If I stop, he will come back, open the book to the last page I read, hand the book to me while giving me a very convincing eyebrow-raise, and say, “Read-ee!” Aye, aye. His favorite right now is Baby Beluga. He calls it “Goo-gah? Baby Goo-Gah?” He loves the pictures.

Gelato is a dog lover. And a polar bear lover. If we are reading and come across a dog or polar bear picture, he gets quite excited. Our neighbor has a dog who is allowed to roam freely. Her name is Scampers. Gelato calls her “Mamper? Mamper?” He looks out the window for her every few minutes and chases her around with random objects whenever she’s outside and we go on walks. She doesn’t like that part very much, but she does like to come out and sniff us and then she takes off in one direction or another like an unpaid tour guide, and Gelato follows her wherever she leads. He adores her.

Gelato is a BOY. Kid picked up a beetle today. I think he wanted to eat it, but Hula Girl smacked it down out of his hand because she was so terrified of the thing. (You go, Girl!) Instead of letting him pick it up again, I told him he could just look at it. He followed it around for a while, saying, “Beeboh! Beeboh!” Then he forgot about it, played with a stick, and was disappointed when he remembered about it and it was gone. (Aw, shucks.)

Gelato is a Mama’s boy. This one is my favorite. He just loves me. He likes Jonathan and Hula Girl, too, but he loves me. Probably because he likes to nurse. But really, it’s so cute. He’ll just wander into the room and hug my leg. Or he’ll sit on my lap and grab my hand so he can interlock his fingers and hold my hand for a while. He likes to give me kisses all day long (“mmmm-ah! mmmmm-ah!”), and he pats my face so gently while he tells me about my eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hair.

Gelato is a listener. He obeys really really well. The other day I called both kids into the kitchen and asked them to clean up the kid dishes they’d spilled out of the drawer in their hunt for breakfast utensils. He grabbed some cups, put them away, and said, “All done!” Smartie boy. He also tests quite a bit already, which shows me he understands what I’m saying. For example, I tell him stop before he gets out into the street in front of our house (we live on a very sparsely used dirt road, or else he wouldn’t be getting to the road before me). He stops, turns, grins like a little imp, and takes a few more steps before stopping, turning, and grinning again. Test, test, test. I take his hand and move him back to where he was when I said it first, and reinforce. Repeat. It’s a long process, but he really does listen well.

One more thing I just want to record for posterity: I’m beginning to wean him now. Hula Girl was weaned at 14.5 months, and Gelato will likely be weaned by then as well. We’re putting him on coconut milk and we’re trying to cut out all dairy for both kids as soon as we can. He is really excited to drink milk, because he’s seen his idol (big sis) drinking milk so much and now any time she has it, he wants it, too. Her influence can be so great. 🙂

In the Morning, Gelato Says…

Gelato… that boy will be one in a week. WHERE DOES TIME GO?!?!?!

He has been talking since he was seven months old. For real. Actual words. Kid is NOT your typical “second child, boy.” Talk talk talk talk talk. All day long. It’s pretty great. His voice is pretty deep for a child his age. (He gets that from me. I had a super deep voice as a baby.) It makes all his talking just that much more enjoyable.

Every morning I go in to nurse him and he looks at me with glee from his crib and says, “Hi-yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Then he quickly moves on to the topic that is ALWAYS on his mind: “Doggie. Woof, woof.” He repeats this phrase at least twelve times while I nurse him. He unlatches, looks at me, smiles huge and says, “Doggie. Woof, woof.” Over and over. It’s hilarious. His pronunciation is pretty good, but he whispers the woofs.

When we finish nursing, he starts talking about my facial features. All through the diaper change, he points out my “no, eye, owwww!” (Nose, eyes, hair. You can probably figure out why he calls hair “ow!”)

As we exit his room, he whispers, “Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy.” This goes on all the way down the hall until we find Jonathan getting dressed for work. Gelato gets very excited at this point in the day, and starts chirping out, “Money! Money! Money!” (“Money” is how he says button.) He points to Jonathan’s shirt and his back pants pockets and just wants to touch every button he can find. He smiles SO huge. And his dimples are amazing.

When we go upstairs to get Hula Girl from her room, he says, “Up! Up! Up!” and then he says her name over and over. I would put how he says it but then the general reader who doesn’t know me or my kids would know her name. And we all know that’s a no-no in my little blogland.

Breakfast is filled with “pease!” and “nana!” and “day-koo!” (please! banana! thank you!) He also laughs at whatever Hula Girl is doing and copies whatever she says. (“Gelato, can you say, ‘gorilla munch?'” “Yeeda mum!”)

The rest of the morning is filled with chatter and lots of “no-no” as he shakes his head and does all the things I tell him not to do. He is a little punk sometimes and he likes to smile at me while he disobeys. Imp much?

When I put him down for his nap, he likes to read the book with the bunny on the front, so he will say, “Book? Bunny! Book? Bunny!” until I bring it out. Then I sing to him (Jesus Loves Me) and he likes to sing along with the end,
“Bah-boh ee-mee ohhhhh!” (Bible tells me so.) Then he blows me a kiss. Love.

…and that is his morning talk show. I’ll write more about his noon edition and his late afternoon broadcast another time. That boy. A mile a minute. And we though his sister was bad. 🙂

Gelato- 11 Month Update

Gelato was 11 months old yesterday! I will no longer have a baby in less than a month. (I told Jonathan yesterday that seven sounds like a good number. He just laughed. But I kinda meant it. Babies. I love them.)

Nursing: Yep, still nursing. His teeth are kind of an issue. He doesn’t bite me, but the way he latches really irritates my skin. It’s like he rests his top teeth against me. But if I hold his head in really close we avoid pain/broken skin. One more month.

Eating Solids: Gelato likes to eat. When he finds a food tasty he will sit there and say, “Yum, yum, yum!” over and over. His absolute favorite food is peach-apple sauce. He gets so shrieky with excitement when I serve it! He doesn’t like watermelon, pears, peanut butter (Jonathan about disowned him), or red plums. Yesterday I gave him half an apple and he really liked that. He has stopped (for now) throwing his food off the tray.

Sippy Cup: After trying every type of cup imaginable- soft spout, hard spout, straw, open cup, syringe, bottle, etc.- I finally found a cup he will drink out of on purpose. Yesterday we went shopping and bought him a NUK learner cup (thanks, Rachel A, for the suggestion) AND HE DRANK FIVE OUNCES OF WATER! You guys, he has only had that much water to drink over the course of a week before. Not a day. I know, that sounds so small. But this has been hugely encouraging to me, since I have been freaking out about getting him to drink out of a cup when I wean him, especially now that his teeth are hurting me when he nurses. Hallelujah for the NUK learner cups.

Brushing Teeth: I had to go get a real toothbrush for him once his top teeth came in. The silicone finger one was not protective enough of my fingernail bed. He absolutely loves to brush his teeth. He says, “Teeth! Teeth! Ahhh,” and grabs for the toothbrush. I brush first and then let him go to town. He cries whenever I take the toothbrush away.

Sleeping: Yeah. Kid doesn’t sleep nearly as much as his sister did. And she wasn’t a huge sleeper. He sleeps about 10.5 -11 hours at night and MAYBE 3 hours during the day. Hula Girl really spoiled me as far as a sleeping kiddo goes. But we consistently reinforce good sleep habits, so he naps and goes to bed around the same times every day, and he hardly fights it at all- maybe a bit of crying when he knows it’s naptime. But we don’t have bedtime “battles” at all.

Talking: Still talking up a storm. His favorite words right now are bye, button, hi, ball, teeth, nose, hat, play, amen, apple, eat, nurse, daddy, and night night. He is a very talkative little chap, and his words sound great! I hang out with a lot of little kids, and his pronunciation beats at least two 2-year-olds’. Crazy kid.

Free Play- Gelato is cruising and as of yesterday, he’s letting go and trying out his legs. He’s quite stable- he lasted about 5 seconds before having to grab on again this morning. I was impressed. He can also squat all the way down (while holding on) to pick up a toy. He hasn’t been too interested in a lot of toys lately because he just wants to MOVE. But he does love balls. He’ll toss/push a ball all around the house and chase after it. He also likes obstacle courses with pillows, my body, toys, chairs, or whatever. He loves to scramble from one end of the couch to the other.

Independent Playtime- Still about 30 minutes each day. He’s in the “toss everything out of the pack-and-play” phase. I often come in to find him standing up, chewing on the rail, and waiting for me to put his toys back in. At least he doesn’t cry while he waits!

Personality- here’s an illustration- he skipped his first nap today (totally out of the blue, I have NO idea what caused this) so he was up 6.25 hours before his nap. He was laughing, giggling, and smiling while I put him down. He is just one delightful little man.

Our Schedule:

5:45-6:15 wakes up, plays around in crib
6:45 nurse, eat breakfast, free play
8:45 nap
10:30/45ish wake, nurse, independent playtime, walk, sibling play, lunch, play with Mommy
1:30ish nap
3:00/3:30ish wake, nurse, afternoon whatevers with Mommy and Hula Girl (sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay home)
5:15 eat dinner, then family time
6:00/15 bath, pjs
6:15/30 nurse, bedtime story
6:30/45 bed

Watch for his next summary… one year old. Whoa.

Gelato- 7 Month Update

Well, the little Monkey Man is getting older. And for some reason, I feel like he’s SO much older this month than he was last month. Time just really keeps on flying. He was 7 months old yesterday.

Physical Development

Gelato can sit up unsupported for several minutes at a time. The only time he really falls over now is if his sister bonks him on accident or if he’s reaching for the cat. (Nothing is so wonderful as the cat.) He can’t crawl yet, but he can roll anywhere he wants to go and he can spin on his tummy like a seasoned member of the Step Up cast. So basically, we have to keep an extra eye on him now. Jonathan stopped him from eating cat food a couple days ago. Crunch, crunch.

His pincer grasp is coming right along. He can grab things with both hands, transfer toys and food from one hand to the other, and doesn’t have to “swipe” at things at all anymore- he can just reach out and get whatever he wants. He tends to leave his fingers open to feel an object for a few seconds before closing his fist around it. This gives me enough time to realize he’s reaching for my bangs before he gives them a good yank. Thank goodness.

Language Development

Gelato can make all kinds of sounds, starting most frequently with /d/. He also has the /b/, /g/, /y/, /h/, and /w/ sounds down pat. He likes to talk all the time. Our friend from the library says he’s got “the talkies” whenever she sees him. That’s pretty accurate. Jonathan is 100% convinced Gelato knows how to sing, and we’re both pretty sure he’s already using some of his own “words.” Whenever he sees Riley, the cat, he says, “gee-gee!” It sounds like a very babyish approximation of “kitty.” He also makes specific noises when he first sees Jonathan.

He is learning to sign. He has attempted to sign “all done” at the table a few times. I really need to get on this whole signing thing with him. Hula Girl had signs coming her way from like 4 months of age! Ah, well, the second child is supposed to reach milestones later than the first… anyone wonder why?

Nourishment

Gelato is still nursing 5 times a day. He nurses fast and well. I am not on any kind of restrictions in my diet any longer, except caffeine. That one’s just common sense.

We have started solids with him (actually, we started a week before he turned 6 months old). We use Baby-Led Weaning, which basically means we skip the purees and go straight to letting the baby feed himself (finger-sized wedge-shaped pieces at first so the baby can grab it and have enough left hanging out of his fist to take some bites). It’s a lot less work (you know I’d be all up in the making-my-own-purees-from-100%-organic-ingredients-and-breastmilk business) and it’s pretty much hilarious to watch a baby munch away on a half of a banana. I was getting sort of worried about his intake- he wasn’t really interested in eating very much. Tidbits were making their way into his diapers, but he’d really only lick the food and then play with it, squish it, and generally make a huge mess. I know that food is just for fun before they’re one, but my only other REAL frame of reference was Hula Girl, who demolished a whole cucumber quarter the first time she ever had solids at all, and she never looked back. Girl’s always eaten like a fiend.

Two nights ago, I gave him some roast chicken, carrots, and potatoes, and mango for dessert. Apparently it pleased his palate. He gobbled it down and has been eating like crazy ever since. He had sweet potatoes last night, and this morning I gave him banana. He actually managed to eat over half of both. And his diaper this morning had evidence of what he’s been ingesting! 🙂

Sleeping

Yes, he does sleep. I would not say he is a better or worse sleeper than Hula Girl. I would just say he’s a different kid and has different sleep needs and challenges. He goes down between 6 and 6:30, and wakes between 5:30 and 5:45. I used to get him up and nurse him for a half-feeding, then put him back down… but that was just getting ridiculous. So now he’s just awake until I get him. Here’s a typical day in his life:

5:45 wake, play, coo

6:15 nurse, play with Daddy, breakfast

7:45 nap

9:30 nurse, independent playtime, go for a walk, sibling playtime

11:15ish nap

12:45/1 nurse, 1-on-1 time with Mommy, read books

2:15/30 nap

3:15/30/45/4:00 nurse, hang out with Mommy and Hula Girl, jumperoo time

5:00 dinner

5:45 bath/bedtime routine with Daddy

6:15 nurse

6:30 in bed (earlier if he wakes from nap earlier than 3:30ish)

Personality

Gelato is a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. Not much bothers him. He rarely cries. He rarely fusses. He’s really active and always wants to be able to see what’s happening. He likes playing games that include a lot of 1-on-1 interaction, especially with Daddy. He thinks the world of Hula Girl- you can see it in the way he watches her and smiles at her. He is only snuggly when he is tired, but he will tolerate a little kiss-and-tickle-fest every now and then. He is extremely inquisitive and very much a go-getter.

We are very excited to see him growing into an actual person rather than just a little blobby baby. I had forgotten how much fun it is when they really start interacting a lot. It is also nice when naps lengthen (for the most part) and our days become predictable!

I expect he’ll start crawling and get some teeth within the next month. Watch out, world!

Gelato- 5 Month Update

Not very much has changed in the life of our littlest man (actually, I think he outweighed our cat at birth… so maybe… our middlest man?) in the past month. Here’s his summary at 4 months, in case you’re wondering.

I suppose the easiest thing would be to walk you through a day in the life of Gelato.

5:30 a.m. wake, coo, giggle, talk, fuss, fall back asleep

6:30 a.m. wake, nurse, go cuddle with Mommy and Daddy in their bed for a few minutes, go downstairs with Mommy and Big Sister, lay on the floor and laugh/squeal while everyone gets breakfast ready

7:40 a.m. have a nap

9:15ish a.m. wake up from nap, hang out with Mommy until it’s time to nurse, nurse, independent playtime, play with Mommy and Big Sister

10:30 a.m. have another nap

12:15ish p.m. wake up from nap, hang out with Mommy and Big Sister while she finishes lunch, help Mommy put Big Sister down for her nap, nurse, play with Mommy on the floor (usually gets to play naked during this time- soak up the sun!)

1:30 p.m. have another nap

3:15ish p.m. wake up from nap, hang out with Mommy until it’s time to nurse, nurse, go for a walk with Mommy and Big Sister, lay on floor and play while Mommy starts dinner

4:45ish p.m. attempt a final nap

if nap happened, 5:15 p.m. wake up from nap, sit in high chair while family eats, play with family, have a bath

if nap didn’t happen, 5:15 p.m. out of crib, sit in high chair while family eats, have a bath

if nap happened, 6:15 p.m. nurse and go to bed

if nap didn’t happen, 5:45 nurse and go to bed

10:00 p.m. dreamfeed

Recap: he nurses 6 times a day, sleeps about 4-4.5 hours of day sleep plus 11.5-12 hours of night sleep. Got it.

Gelato spends a lot of time laying on the floor playing with toys. He lies on his tummy or his back, depending on which way I’ve put him down. If he’s on his tummy, he can scoot himself around a bit. He can roll over both directions, so it’s not surprising to find him a different way after his independent playtime.

Gelato likes to laugh and smile. He rarely cries or fusses. He’ll maybe whimper a time or two.

He’s good at peek-a-boo. Good meaning he laughs every time. 😉

He goes to anyone easily, but always keeps his eyes on Mama. That’s the way.

He’s got cradle cap again. We’re working to get rid of it. Seems like an olive oil + baking soda paste scrubbed on there and then brushed with a soft brush followed by a shampoo does the trick. Poor little guy is so flaky.

His eyes are changing color. I believe he’ll end up with greenish hazel eyes like his Daddy.

His fingernails have slowed down their growth. Thank goodness. I was clipping them every other day. No joke. Now we’re down to every 4 days or so.

HE. IS. CHUBBY. He has thigh dimples. And I adore them. Also, his ankles are bigger around than my wrists. Which isn’t saying much; I’ve always had really skinny wrists. But it’s just funny to say that my 5-month-old has such huge ankles.

He is quite alert and interactive in every situation. He is more interested in interacting than observing. I think he’ll be quite outgoing.

He completes our family in ways we never imagined possible. Hula Girl is always telling me that she loves him, even when he’s down for a nap. Out of the blue, she’ll be all like, “I just YOVE [Gelato].” And he adores her. His eyes are glued to her anytime she’s near. I just love snuggling the two of them on my lap (quite a feat!) and watching them hold hands and bring their foreheads together in some kind of secret sibling moment. Precious.

You know how Luke talks about how Mary treasured all these things in her heart? Well, I’m glad I have a heart to store things in, too. And a blog to help jog my heart’s memory in the future and to share my treasures with my friends and family.

Oh, Gelato. It is the easiest thing I have ever done to love you. (Let’s hope it remains this easy as you pass through your toddler phase later on, hmm?)

Gelato-4 Month Update

Yep, they all said it would happen. The second child syndrome- Mom wasted all her energy on documenting and fawning over the first child’s “firsts” so the second child has no pictures, no dates, and no mementoes to prove he even existed apart from big sib. Well, Gelato, you are not the exception to the rule. Sure, I have some great shots of you throughout your life. But they’re basically all of you doing the exact same thing- lying on your back and looking up. You just do it so cute!

Plus, you haven’t really done much else yet. I am not going to make this a compare-you-to-your-sister post, but let me just remind the readers: by 4 months of age, Hula Girl was proficient at rolling both ways, grabbing on to toys, playing with her feet, and was well on her way to crawling and sitting up. Little Man, on the other hand, has rolled a grand total of maybe 10 times in his life (always front to back), can hold toys that are handed to him (actually, he did work for and grab onto a toy today during tummy time), doesn’t know his body exists beyond his hands and ears, and slumps over like a little ol’ grandpa any time we try to sit him vertical. 🙂

That’s not to say he’s not reaching age-appropriate milestones. We had his 4-month checkup yesterday and he actually tested at 5 months 3 weeks according to the pediatrician’s development “test”. I circled yes for everything up until “pushes body up with arms fully extended” and “swallows purees off a spoon”. Poor little guy. He hasn’t even had a chance to try purees- he never will! We’ll always have to circle no on that one! (We will be using Baby-Led Weaning again with him.)

Gelato is 16 pounds 4 ounces, up 4 ounces since I took him about a week ago. That means he’s actually on trajectory to double his birth weight by 6 months. Wowza. He’s in the 75th percentile for weight. He’s 25 inches long, in the 50th percentile, and his head is back up into the 50th percentile as well. Basically, he’s growing along his growth curves nicely.

He is healthy in every way. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chest, hips, skin. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. The doctor noted that his top two teeth are definitely moving down through the gum; it’s only a matter of time until we see those little pearly whites. I will be sad, again, to see my baby get his first teeth. I just adore those gummy baby smiles so very much, and once they get teeth, it’s like they grow up SO much SO fast and the sweet infant days are gone forever. I think my heart just shed a tear in preparation for Gelato’s first tooth breaking through.

I really am hating having him grow up. It is flying by so fast, too fast. I remember just being so darn bored with Hula Girl because she couldn’t DO anything at this stage. But now that I have a toddler who does it all, I am rather enjoying the do-nothingness that comes with the infant stage. I am SO glad this boy isn’t light years ahead of his peers. Who needs to roll when Big Sister just fetches toys for you? Stay still, Little Man, there’s no rush.

I will, however, be glad to have a 12-hour sleeper sometime. I definitely took that for granted when Hula Girl was the only little munchkin boppin’ around the house. 12 whole hours to rest, relax, enjoy my husband, pig out on popcorn and ice cream (without having to share it or do “duck-under-the-kitchen-counter-while-she-sits-at-the-table-so-she-can’t-see-you-take-a-bite-of-that-cookie” maneuvers), and sleep.

This boy’s sleep is taking a LOOOOOONG time to iron itself out. But we’re getting there. Right now, we’re basically doing this schedule (within 30 minutes)

  • 6:30 wake, nurse, lay in Mommy and Daddy’s bed laughing and squealing and talking
  • 7:30 nap
  • 9:30 wake, nurse, independent playtime, possible sibling time, read books, some tummy time
  • 10:35 nap
  • 12:30 wake, nurse, tummy time, outside time (unless it’s FREEZING), lots of physical activities
  • 1:40 nap
  • 3:30 wake, nurse, sibling time, read books, hang out
  • 4:40 catnap
  • 5:20 wake, family time
  • 6:00 bath, lotion, jammies (all with Daddy)
  • 6:30 nurse
  • 6:45 bed
  • 10:00 dreamfeed (I take him out of his crib and nurse him without waking him)

SOMETIMES he has a middle-of-the-night feeding… other times he sleeps until our waketime in the morning. I can’t WAIT for this to get consistent.

He is in the middle of a wonder week. I have definitely noticed it for the past week or so. He has been waking 45 minutes into his naps and has not fallen back asleep easily. This is common during this stage, but it’s hard on me when I am trying to keep things normal for Hula Girl while balancing his needs as well. It’s extra hard because Gelato will not fall back asleep with ANY kind of help- he will not be rocked to sleep, he will not sleep in his swing, he will not take a pacifier. So it’s either let him talk/play/cry in his crib until the next feeding time or get him up early and hope we can adjust somehow. We usually opt for the second choice  because I can’t emotionally hack it when I have to listen to him crying and Hula Girl whining (another post, coming later tonight).

Nursing is going well regardless of his crazy sleeping habits. If I am not sure he’ll be  hungry enough to eat in the morning (due to eating in the early hours, close to our waketime), I just have to get him as soon as he stirs and nurse him while he’s drowsy. Then he’ll eat.

Also, I am still doing a partial elimination diet. I tried introducing wheat and soy a couple months ago- that didn’t go too well. His arms and legs got some eczema. However, I’m not sure if it was diet related or if it was because we had just switched his soap and lotion (we switched back). Anyway, his skin is all cleared up again (has been for a month) and so I decided to try introducing something else. This time I tried dairy. I had lasagna (with rice noodles) on Sunday night, and so far things seem to be going fine! I’m going to eat some cheese again tonight and if he’s still doing okay by the end of the week, I’m going to get myself some yogurt this weekend so I can munch on that next week. If dairy goes smoothly, I will try the soy again. I will keep wheat for last. I am very excited to eat something terribly delicious again soon, though. Like cheesecake. Mmmmm.

Anyway, let me share something else with you. I may have written it somewhere in a previous post, but even if I have, it’s worth restating. My friend Jennie once posted on her blog something that her mom said. It was something like, “As a mom, you will love your daughter so deeply it will hurt and then some. But you will have a crush on your son.”

OH.MY.GOODNESS. It is so true. I have the biggest crush on this little guy. Perhaps it’s because he looks so much like his Daddy? Maybe it’s because he has the qualities I have always admired so much in others (mild-tempered, easygoing)? Maybe it’s because he’s just so darn sweet? I don’t know what it is. But I cannot tell you just how much happiness is squeezed into my heart whenever I’m with that baby boy. It doesn’t hurt- it just makes my heart feel glad. I am so thankful that God allowed me to feel that way about this child- what a blessing to rejoice SO MUCH in someone five or six times daily!

He really rounds out our family, and I think all of us have little crushes on him, even Hula Girl. Several times a day, I hear her saying, “I just YOVE [Gelato]!” Melt.

Catching Up

It’s officially fall here, folks. Today’s high was 54°. When Hula Girl and I went outside to play on the swing, the wind chill was 36°. Yep. Chilly.

I wish I had posted on Monday. We had a perfect day on Monday. Perfect. I loved my children like mad because I didn’t even have to think in order to get through the day. Hula Girl was on best behavior, she was well rested, and I enjoyed spending every moment with her. Gelato slept well for all his naps and was cooing and smiling up a storm. Ah.  The good ol’ days.

Today I was struck yet again with how very sporadic the early baby days, weeks, and months can be. As soon as we hit our “groove” in the earlier part of this week (hey! We beat the 45-minute intruder!!!!!!), today was crazy because Gelato is now experiencing Wonder Week 8. Basically, his sleeping, eating, etc., are going to be “off” for a few days because his brain is experiencing a huge developmental leap. So yeah. We had a perfect little 3-hour schedule happening for a few days… and today he ate every 2-2.5 hours. It’s not like his naps were short, either. That’s what kills me. With the 45-minute intruder, I felt confident letting him fuss or helping him get back to sleep because I know a 45-minute nap is just not long enough. However, with his naps today, I had no justification for trying to let him/help him fall back to sleep because each time he’d been sleeping for over an hour and a half. That is a decent length for a nap! So when he woke early, I went ahead and got him. We ended up adding a feeding and a nap today. Ugh. SO not my favorite thing.

Also, because of Gelato’s unpredictability today, Hula Girl’s schedule shifted. She didn’t get roomtime until 5:00 this evening… and that was just crazy. She needs her morning roomtime in order to make it to lunch happily. I have made it my personal goal to ensure she has roomtime in the morning tomorrow.

Can I just put another little complaint out there (in the hopes that some of my BW mom friends will chime in)? I have been doing everything by the book since Gelato was born. I made sure we got full feedings. I woke him every three hours during the day, every 5 hours at night. He was on track- sleeping 5 hours at night during his fifth week. Then he regressed during his 6-week growth spurt and we haven’t seen a nighttime stretch longer than 4 hours since. Some might say that I should drop the “dreamfeed” (his 10 p.m. feeding that I wake him for) but even if I do that, he still wakes around that time. And after his late evening feeding (around 10ish) he consistently wakes every three hours afterward. Feed him at 10? He wakes at 1 and 4 a.m. Feed him at 11? 2 and 5. He is so stuck on eating every 3 hours!!! So I try letting him sleep. He’ll wake at 10:30 or 11:30. And wake every 3 hours after that. BAH. By 8 weeks, he’s supposed to be able to sleep 7-8 hours at night. If you ask any pediatrician, babies can “sleep through the night” (general definition of that is about 6 hours) by the time they’re 12 pounds. My kid passed 12 pounds about 2 pounds ago… and here we are. Awake every flipping 3 hours. What am I doing wrong here?!!??!?!?!?!?! Vent over.

On the bright side of things, Hula Girl is getting funnier and funnier and more sophisticated in her conversational skills lately. She has started giving out step-by-step directions. “Here, I will show you. First you… Then you….” So funny to hear her describing things like how to put her blankie in the proper corner of her crib! It’s also a great experience to finally have a child who is able to express every thought she has in her head so that I can actually understand her the majority of the time. Some of her thoughts are supercute due to the fact that she’s two and can’t conceptualize things yet. For instance, yesterday we were talking about how my grandma turned 90. I said, “Isn’t it amazing that Great Gramma is 90 years old today? Do you think you want to be 90 years old someday?” She said, “Yes! I want to be 90 years old. And Great Gramma will hold me!” So I guess 90 years old is actually destination where your loved ones will wrap their arms around you and hold you. Hm. Might not be too bad after all!

Gelato is developing in his own little baby way. He has discovered his little hands and is perfectly content to sit and suck his knuckles all during his waketime. He’s learning to laugh and to use his consonants. He’s good with /g/ these days. He also likes to squeal, coo, and gasp. But his laugh is the best. I also enjoy his willingness to just sit and stare into my eyes while smiling his gummy little baby smile. He knows his Mommy. And I love that.

Something else I want to make note of for my own future reference (as if I could ever forget) is the differences in the ways my children smell. I swear their scents match their personalities. Hula Girl has always had more of a “sharp” smell to her. When I nursed her I could smell her sharpness mingled with the smell of the milk. However, Gelato has more of a soft, fresh smell. I have also not noticed the scent of the milk when I nurse him. That’s probably because he gulps it all down faster than I ever imagined possible.

Jonathan and I have gotten into Grey’s Anatomy. We just finished season 1 tonight. So far, it’s an okay show. Nothing to write home about. But we will continue to watch, because we are deprived of the ability to actually leave the house much. Here’s hoping it gets…better?

Well, it’s 10:00… time to do the dreamfeed. Let’s hope we don’t do another feeding at 1 and 4! Maybe my littlest man will surprise me!

Yowza, Today was Bad.

I rescind my optimism from last night. That’s because Gelato has repealed his offer to become more stabilized.

Today was a mess. Gelato has this really great/obnoxious tendency to not ever be hungry before 3 hours have passed between feedings. Great because, well, who wants to spend all day and all night feeding a baby who wants to nurse constantly? (BTDT with Hula Girl. She spit up on the t-shirt.) Obnoxious because I am shooting for an eat/wake/sleep pattern throughout his day, and when he eats for 7 minutes, tops, followed by a wake time of about 40 minutes, followed by a 45 minute nap, he ends up being awake around every 1.5 hours, and he refuses to eat that soon. So the pattern is gone! Sometimes I get him up and do a short wake time and then put him down for Nap Round Two. So then the pattern becomes eat/wake/sleep/wake/sleep/eat. Sometimes I can get him to fall back asleep for the rest of his nap and preserve the original pattern. But that takes work and time, my friends. I don’t have a lot of time. I am also a mommy of a two-year-old.

Hula Girl was actually really good all day long. She has not let me down in believing that she’s getting the hang of this “big sister” thing. She looooooooves her “edoo bahbah” very very much. So much, in fact, that she wants to kiss him and hug him and move his arms and feet around and pat him on the head while he’s nursing. All while screaming, “He’s moving! He’s nursing! He’s awake! His eyes are open!” All of which startle the moving/nursing/awake/wide-eyed child who then becomes a crying/not-nursing/shocked/eyes-squeezed-shut banshee. Delightful. Then we have the problem of him not taking a full feeding. And the cycle continues. But really, Hula Girl is learning how to be a sibling. It’s amazing to me that when I’m thinking about her, the old “only child” identity is super fuzzy in my mind. I can barely recall the two years we spent without Gelato in our lives. It’s almost like she was always a big sister and now her little brother has finally come to meet us. Isn’t that funny? Seven weeks is all it takes to knock out two years’ worth of programming in my brain.

Anyway, I am going to try some new things just to see how we can make this work. I’m going to try skipping his “dreamfeed” and just let him wake on his own in the night. Hopefully that will put his super early morning waking somewhere around 4ish, so I can get him up at 7 and have him take a full feeding to start the day. I just know that if I can rely on full feedings and get his wake times figured out, we can beat those pesky 45-minute naps he’s been having. I must have timed his first wake time just right this morning (35 minutes), because he actually took a 2-hour nap. Hula Girl and I used that time to have a lot of fun together- and the time flew! In fact, when he woke up I almost thought I had to go and resettle him because I thought the nap was another short one. Then I looked at the clock and realized how long it had been, and I almost jumped for joy! Of course, the rest of the day was a disaster… but we did have that one shining moment.

I apologize for the nitty gritty complainy post. But it’s good to get it out there.

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