Wow, Buddy Bear, we made it to double digits! What a big guy you are getting to be! I know I’ve been saying this for a few months now, but I can hardly get over the fact that you don’t even seem like a baby anymore. You are well on your way to toddlerhood and are very much your own person, with a strong personality, distinct preferences, quirks, and hilarious expressions.
It’s amazing how quickly you are acquiring new skills. The biggest change in you this month has been your increased mobility. You’ve gone from professional army-crawler to crawling around like a big kid (though you still revert to your belly when you get excited and want to move more efficiently). It’s funny to watch you move to different surfaces: you slip around on wood and tile, and you’re always a bit cautious when crossing a threshold, but as soon as you find your bearings you are ready to GO. You have an insatiable curiosity and love exploring everything in our home, from drawers to shelves. You pull out anything new and of course have to put each new item in your mouth, just to see how it tastes. As you move around the house, you pull to standing at any opportunity. You especially like standing up against our mirrored closets and “hugging” yourself, or standing in your playpen and smashing your face up against the mesh; you look ridiculous when you do these things, yet you seem so proud of yourself!
Whenever we let you explore, you have a few spots where you predictably head to first: you always go straight to your Snuggles bear and you pull him down from his spot on your nightstand—you never actually play with him, you just seem to think that he shouldn’t be sitting on that shelf! You also like to head towards the wheels of your stroller (which we keep in the hallway) and to Sunnybird’s cage—you really wish he would come out to play with you!
Speaking of Sunny, you are quite the animal lover. You are mesmerized by the animals we see on our walks. Dogs are always a big hit with you, and you crack up at the horses and geese that make noises as we pass them. You’ve made friends with Grandma and Grandpa’s German Shepherds—I’m so glad they don’t scare you anymore—and you loved getting to pet their kitty. I wish that we could get you a cat or dog of your own, because I know it would make you so happy. Hopefully one day we will live somewhere that allows pets.
You are generally a very happy kid, full of giggles and smiles. You rarely cry when we are out and about, and everyone comments on how well-behaved you are. You tend to be pretty easy-going, happy to have playtime companions but also willing to play independently. You like to be held when you are tired or upset, but generally you prefer to be moving around. You are one of the most active babies I’ve ever seen! This is particularly challenging during diaper and outfit changes: you HATE being changed, and you scream and try to wriggle away the entire time we’re trying to change you.
Other than changing time, your fussy moments mostly come when we are trying to get you to sleep. You’re still an unpredictable and reluctant napper. Whenever we seem to be getting into a better rhythm you get sick (you’ve had three colds in six weeks), and your congestion makes it hard for you to get any rest. You’ve been spending a lot of your daytime naps in your glider, which seems to be a better position for your stuffy nose; that glider has been a lifesaver and I’m thankful that you still fit in it!
Even when you’re not sick, you still hate sleeping alone in your crib, and the instant you wake up in your crib you pull to standing and cry to us from the railing. It would be adorable if it wasn’t so sad. . . and if we weren’t so tired. You’re still spending at least half the night in bed with me, but as soon as you get overstimulated I have to move you back to your crib because you try to crawl out of bed. Your doctor suggested we move our mattress to the floor so we can keep you in bed with us the whole night, and we just might give that a try so that we can all get a bit more sleep!
I am amazed at how well you are doing with your self feeding! You are eating a variety of foods now and are usually willing to try a new food at least once, though it’s hard to get you to try something again once you’ve determined that you don’t like it. You are not a fan of eggs, avocado, or any form of bread (tortillas, pancakes, etc.), but you love corn, rice, peas, beans, banana, and of course puffs. You’re learning how to drink water out of a sippy cup but you haven’t quite mastered it yet. In addition to eating meals with us, you’re still breastfeeding. You love to practice your gymnastics while you nurse, and you crack me up with the positions you end up in—we definitely weren’t taught any of these “holds” in my breastfeeding courses.
Your physicality doesn’t end with breastfeeding sessions. You like to tumble and wrestle with us, and you ADORE being dangled upside down, doing somersaults, and wheelbarrowing with us holding your feet. Other favorite activities include playing ball (you throw it across the room then chase after it), stacking blocks and cups, and playing with your cars. It’s awesome to see how entertained you can be with the simplest toys.
You have developed a few of the cutest quirks that I have to record, because I don’t ever want to forget how adorable they are:
- You haven’t figured out how to wave yet, but you lift up your hand in a sort of salute. You frequently do this to your reflection in the mirror, then smile back at yourself.
- Sporadically throughout the day, you will start to rhythmically bob your head and smack your lips. I’m not sure what you’re doing—dancing? trying to blow kisses?—but it’s such a quirky, endearing little movement, and we both end up in a heap of laughter when you start to do it because of course I mimic you, and you find that simply hilarious.
- Remember when you used to scream during our car rides? Now, you almost always fall asleep in the car—which is a good thing, unless we are almost home and I know it will spoil your nap. When that happens, I reach back to your carseat and tickle you to try to keep you awake. Watching you in my rear-view mirror, I see you smirk at me and even giggle, but your eyes stay closed and I don’t know if you are awake or asleep. I’ve yet to succeed at keeping you awake—and yes, it usually does spoil a decent nap—but I have fun trying.
I definitely feel like your communication skills are improving. You don’t respond to instructions yet, but it seems like you at least understand what we say to you. And though you haven’t started talking, you make very clear sounds and gestures to express how you are feeling. Whenever we’re in a new environment you are pretty quiet (most people think you never make any noise) but at home you are a chatterbox. Your go-to sounds are “mama” and “baba” but you’ve done “dada” a few times. You also have a squeal noise that I call your dinosaur impression, and you will often “sing” along with me, changing your pitch to match my tones. I look forward to teaching you all my favorite songs, and I hope that you love singing as much as your mama.
You’ve had a few fun “firsts” this month. You attended your first wedding (and you were a GROUCH through the whole thing!) as well as your first kids’ birthday party, where you got to go in a bounce house, swing at a piñata (with a little help from Grandpa), and wear your Superman costume (the party had a Superhero theme). This month you also went on a playground for the first time, but I was surprised how little you seemed to care for the swings or the slide. They’ll grow on you, I promise!
You also had your first Halloween. We kicked off the holiday a couple weeks early with a trip to the pumpkin patch, which we thought you would enjoy more than you did. You and I both had colds on the day of Halloween, but I was determined to make the most of your first Halloween experience. During the day we dressed you up in costume #1 (Superman!) and walked to our little Old Town down the street for some Trick or Treating. When we got home, we carved a pumpkin and you got to help scoop out the seeds (yet another thing that you will enjoy much more when you get older).
On Halloween evening we dressed you in costume #2 (world’s cutest little dragon!) and headed to the Harvest fest at a local church, followed by some Trick or Treating on our street. You were pretty unimpressed with all the festivities, but when we got home we let you play with your little pumpkin full of candy and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you have so much fun. You pulled out and inspected each piece, tossing one candy after the other across the room then chasing after it. Who knew that uneaten sugar could be so entertaining?!
Thanks for another incredible month as your mom, buddy! Every day with you is an adventure, and I love you more than I ever thought possible.
Weight: 16.8 pounds (according to our scale at home)
Length: 26.25 inches (home measurements)
Clothing Size: 6 months
Tooth Status: Two bottom teeth. Still no signs of any more teeth coming in.
Milestone Events: First Time on a Playground, First Time as a Guest at a Kids’ Birthday Party, First Time at a Wedding
Likes: Animals, Exploring, Eating Finger Foods (especially corn, puffs, and banana), Playing in Your Playpen, Playing With Cars and Balls (you like to play “fetch” with yourself), Peek-a-Boo, Hanging Upside-down
Dislikes: Diaper and Outfit Changes, Sleeping Alone in Your Crib, Having Your Face Wiped, Transitions
New Skills: Crawling