Firsts and lasts

With bébé’s first birthday behind us and his first steps coming soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about firsts. As a mother who works outside of the home, it’s inevitable that I miss a fair number of firsts. Almost without fail, when I see him doing something new, I yell for my husband, “Look! See what he’s doing!” and, much to my chagrin, he almost always answers “Yeah, he’s been doing that for awhile”. I usually try to hide my disappointment, though I definitely got visibly cranky when my mother-in-law gave him his first baby teething cookie the other week, because I wanted to be there to see how he reacted the first time.

Lately I’ve been trying to reign in these feelings, and to put things into perspective. I’m still trying to keep a positive outlook and not react so negatively to what is a very common situation for many people (being away from home and bébé for most of the day).

 

First of all, besides things you control, like first visits somewhere or first foods, it can be very hard to determine when the exact “first” time something happens. Was that a smile, or gas? Do we count rolling over by accident, or just when he meant to do it? Did he put the banana in his mouth on purpose, or just because he puts everything in there?

While it is very exciting to see him do something for the “first” time, unless it’s a truly unique face or word, it’s never going to be the last time, so I’ll always have another chance. Sometimes it can take a few days, but it’ll happen. When he first started eating bits of banana, he did it once, then seemed to forget how for a few weeks. Babies don’t work on the same skills all the time, and tend to do one thing a lot for a bit, then stop and do something else. This also makes the true “first” time difficult to pinpoint, because is he really doing something if he only does it once or twice, and then doesn’t do it again for awhile?

Also, he obviously doesn’t do things particularly well at first, and while his attempts can be heartbreakingly cute, it can also be frustrating. I think it took about 30 minutes for him to gnaw his way through a cookie with me, meanwhile getting it all over his face, hair, and clothes. It’ll be nice when he can just take a few bites and be done with it!

Finally, there are some firsts that I’m not too fussed about because I know he won’t remember. I spent a fair amount of time planning his first birthday, but that was more for the adults (we called it our “one year anniversary of being parents”!) And his first Christmas and Easter were cute, but I know he didn’t really care one way or another, as long as there were people to pay attention to him.

 

This first year has also been full of last times, which are more bittersweet, but at least we have a little more control over them. My last day on leave before going back to work, the last night he slept in his bassinet before switching to the crib, the last time he was in his baby stroller.
I decided when to stop breastfeeding, and made sure to get a few pictures of those last few nights, and really be present in those moments with him.

There will be more things like this in the future that we can predict, like his last night his crib before a big bed. But there are others that will be more fleeting. I don’t remember the exact last time he fell asleep nursing, or the last time he took a nap in our arms. So when I read that you have to cherish every moment (seriously, every single thing you’ll ever read about being a parent includes these words, it must be a law or something), I really try to, since for every first, there’s also a last. The first time is the first of many, and it will happen again and again. But the last time means it won’t happen ever again, and that part of “growing up” is over.

There are important milestones coming, and I’m not going to purposely be absent for them, but he’ll always be learning and doing new things (he already does certain things only for me, and other things only for my husband). I’m looking forward to his first steps, but I’m also trying hard to get these last few weeks of crawling and wobbly standing on film, knowing that the last time he crawls instead of walks to greet me at the door is right around the corner. And while we’re super excited for his growing language skills (he could just be playing with noises, but it really sounds like he can say both “cat” and the equivalent French word “chat”), his baby babbles are so funny and fleeting, I want to follow him around with a tape recorder all day.

 

I’d rather save my energy for trying to remember and capture those unexpected lasts, rather than stress about missing a few firsts.

 

 

Bébé is one!

Already my 12th monthly letter to bébé, who, at one year old, is less of a baby and more a little boy!

 

Dear bébé,

You are one!

You can push/pull yourself up to standing very easily, and stand up for a few seconds on your own. Walking didn’t happen by your birthday, but you’re so very close!

You sleep through the night most nights (7pm to at least 5am, though momma and daddy prefer when you make it to 6am). Usually you get about 30 minutes of books, a bottle, and a few songs before bed and you drift off pretty easily.

You love to smile and show off your two teeth. You love to laugh and make fart noises with your mouth on your arm (daddy’s very proud of that). Peekaboo is guaranteed to get a smile or laugh out of you.

You get about 5 minutes of “screen time” per day (weekly Skype with grandma and grandaddy doesn’t count), and you just love “Hakuna Matata” and “Make a man out of you” from momma and daddy’s favorite Disney movies. Other than that, you don’t seem too interested in the computer or television, though remote controls are still a big favorite.

You like books a lot, and you insist on turning the pages yourself, and can recognize your favorite parts. You look at the same pages over and over, trying to figure things out, or maybe you just like the colors. There’s one book with a squirrel in it, and you always give the squirrel a kiss (well, put your mouth/tongue on it, so maybe you’re trying to eat it?). When we read the book when the seal claps his hands, you clap your hands. When the animals in Goodnight Gorilla al say “goodnight” together, it makes you laugh.

You really like your little “tut tut bolides” vehicles, and you got a cool airport set for your birthday, so you’ll have lots of fun with that. You like to put small objects into bigger ones, like your nesting cups, and shake them.

You love watching daddy play bass, and always try to play a little too. At mamie’s house, you also love play the piano. Everyone is always singing to you, in French, in English, in German, in Gibberish. You got a xylophone and tambourine for your birthday, to encourage this love of music to continue.

You are working hard on your first word – “cat” ! You love our cat, though you seem a hesitant to touch him. Maybe you realize he isn’t too keen on you, or maybe you’re picking up on momma and daddy’s nervousness whenever you get near. So far, no scratches and no tail pulling . . .

Your other noises are sounding more and more like words. It changed very suddenly, going from “noises” to syllable-ish sounds and sentence-like babbling in the space of a few days.

You are fully weaned from breastfeeding. It went very smoothly, and probably could have happened a while ago, but momma liked having that closeness.

But there’s a new kind of closeness because you’re starting to cuddle and hug a lot. You can really cling now with your arms and legs, which is nice now, but will probably be troublesome later on as you get bigger and heavier!

You’ll go to the doctor’s this week for weight and height, but you seem to be following your pattern of average height and slightly lower than average weight. Tall and lean, rather than a little chubby baby. Your hair is so long now, it’s got a definite Beatles vibe, and seems to have decided to stay a light brown/dark blond. Your beautiful blue eyes are still what everyone talks about. You are seriously cute, in a handsome little man way, rather than a bald and chubby baby way.

You did very well at your birthday party, despite the 35c/95f degree heat. There were lots of people, and lots of presents, and while you mostly kind of hung out by yourself playing with the grass, you didn’t seem afraid, just chill. You only cried when the hose was brought out and the combination of cold water plus people shrieking understandably freaked you out. Your favorite present so far seems to be the SmarTrike from your uncle, which you didn’t want to get out of.

You definitely already know what you want and are vocal about it! But in general, you’re still a pretty chill baby, who deals well with new situations, is easy to smile, is easy to laugh, and who loves to play. This year has gone by so fast, but momma isn’t that sad, because the next year is sure to be even more fun! Now that you’re mobile, communicating, and interacting, everything is going to be an adventure. This summer will be so different from last year, full of visits to the pool, and the zoo, and riding bikes down the river for picnics . . .

This time last year it was two people with a new little baby. Now it feels like a family, exploring the world together!

Bisous & kisses,

your momma

Fair-weather blogging

It always seems easier to find things to write about when life is hard. The need to vent and the need for sympathy make blogging during hard times easy. But fair-weather blogging is harder. Especially when the weather actually is very fair and Sunday afternoons are spent in the park rather than inside in front of the computer.

Bébé has been sleeping much better, between 10 and 11 hours straight every night the past few weeks. The first few nights he did it, I woke automatically at 2am like usual. And then my allergies were horrible and I was up most nights sneezing and coughing. But I can already feel the difference this weekend, having nearly a full week of almost 7 solid hours. I am crossing my fingers that this is his new pattern and waking up at night (like last night, ugh) will be the exception now instead of the rule!

I’m finishing up 2 online courses, and am on schedule to finish the whole certificate by the end of August, which is exciting. I also started running again regularly this month, so that takes up my evenings when I’m not studying. And while I’m able to go to bed a little later than I have been the past year (around 9:30 instead of 8:30 . . .), summer evenings mean apéros along the river, so I seem to have even less time to get everything done in the one or two nights a week I’m not running or studying. Finally, my husband has gotten very involved in his political party and even started a blog of his own, so there is a nightly discussion of who gets to use the computer after dinner.

So we’ll see what happens to the blog over the summer. Looking back, I’m glad I made the effort  to post the monthly letters to bébé (and there’s another one coming for his birthday next week!) because there are so many little things I’ve already forgotten about his first year. But I’m not sure if I’ll do it another year or not. I’m reading a lot of different types of blogs right now, and trying to figure out in which direction I want to take mine. It will be fun to experiment a little this summer, maybe try writing about some new subjects, or writing about old ones in new ways.

But if it’s another few weeks before I post, it’s probably just because everything is fine, the weather is great, and life is too busy being lived to be written about :-)

Eleven months

It’s hard to believe it’s already my 11th monthly letter to our (not so little) baby boy!

Dear bébé,

This month you seem to have crossed some sort of line between babyish and boyish. Your actions, your noises, even your face have changed so much.

For starters, your smile is much toothier! It’s a little crazy that a month ago you had no teeth, and now you have two! Well, one and a half at least. You eat very well with your hands, but still only banana and a little sweet potato. Now with a few teeth to help, mealtime will be a little more interesting. You had quite a growth spurt this month in the weight department, and really packed on the grams. You’re eating beef now, and fish. You seem to prefer vegetables mixed now, rather than individually, with pumpkin being an exception. This is probably the last month you’ll be breastfed, so momma’s trying to enjoy every last minute of it.

Though it didn’t seem like it at the beginning of the month, you love standing up! You pull yourself up so well, on the couch, on chairs, on people’s legs . . . You didn’t gain as much in height as compared to weight, only a centimetre, but you seem so tall when you’re standing up! You’ve managed a few halting seconds with no support, and everyone will be surprised if you’re not walking by your first birthday. You like to climb things, but especially people.

Your favorite thing to climb is momma and daddy when they’re on the phone. You LOVE phones. And the Ipad, and the computer, and the remote control . . . Anything with buttons. But you still love books too, and are particularly interested in the page of “Everywhere babies” with the walking baby. You must be trying to pick up some tips!

You can point with your finger, and can (sort of) do the motions to a few of you favorite songs. You love to play peekaboo with clothes and blankets, and even did it a few times with your hands over your eyes. You also put your hand to your head and said “da” a few times, so the sign language seems to be catching on! You say “dadada” more than “mamma” for the moment, and lots of “yayaya.”  Your inflection is becoming a little more word-like, though it’s still mostly babbling.

You did NOT like getting your shots this month. You huddled in daddy’s arms and cried. You seek out cuddles a little more, but you’re still very independent and curious. You have discovered the cat’s water bowl is lots of fun, and you are very interested in how your stroller works. You can spend ages holding the same object, trying to figure it out. And once you do figure out how to get something to make noise or light up, you do it over and over and over again! But no two days are ever the same; you discover something new every day and it’s amazing to watch.

Nothing else special is planned in the coming weeks, since there’s your big birthday to look forward to at the end of the month! There will be more evening strolls in the park now that the weather is warm. You were so tiny last summer, it will be fun to see you running around and giggling this year!

Bisous & kisses,

Your momma

Feeling grown-up

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the difference between feeling grown-up and feeling like you’re still faking it. For whatever reason having a baby doesn’t actually help me feel grown-up. I suspect it’s because most of the time as a new parent, you feel quite incompetent, so it’s a lot more faking it than most non-parents realize . . .

This week at work there was a big financing thing to send off to the government, and it meant dealing with auditors and courriers, and triple checking numbers, and getting signatures, etc. It was a relief to finally send it off, and while it wasn’t really a “little” thing, the fact that I was the one to send it and not my more senior colleague felt pretty good (even if technically it was because she was out that day). Just being the one to have the final say whether something is ready or not definitely made me feel like a grown-up.

There was also my first “lunch” at work this week. Most days, around 11am, we all look around the open space and ask “So, what are we doing for lunch?”. I’ve heard everyone else say “Oh, I have a lunch today” at least once (in French they all say “J’ai un lunch” which makes me laugh and cry at the same time). So this week it was my turn! I finally worked up the courage to ask someone from another department if she wanted to eat lunch together. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I am quite shy/awkward, and even eating in the cafeteria is hard for me since I’m a classic introvert who needs lots of alone time. If she wasn’t fairly new to the company, and if she hadn’t mentioned it in passing one day (“oh, we should do lunch to talk about xyz”) and if my colleague hadn’t agreed to go with me, I never would have done it. In the end, my colleague couldn’t go, so I was on my own, and more than a little nervous. It felt like being a freshman and asking to sit with a senior varsity (insert popular sport in your school) player at lunch. But of course it went fine, because being a grown-up is not only sometimes like high school . . .

And finally, the most grown-up thing I did this week was renew my monthly train pass BEFORE the end of the month instead of remembering on the way to the train station and waiting in the huge line the first morning of the month and being late to work.

Ten months

My tenth monthly letter to my baby boy.

Dear bébé,

This month you’ve been “on the move” in more ways than one!

Crawling is fully acquired, and you can go fast enough to make the cat nervous. You always have a big smile for momma when she gets home from work and you crawl to her as fast as you can. You hold up your arms to get picked up, and you’re a little cuddlier this month than the past few months. You’ve given a few “kisses” lately, which were really just opening your mouth and putting it on a cheek or a nose. A little icky, but very cute. You probably like to do it because it makes everyone laugh, and you love people laughing. Giving kisses or “tickling” momma and daddy’s feet and tummies makes everyone laugh.

If you’re held up by your arms, you can stand and do a little dance. You’ve even started to push up on things a bit to try and stand on your own. But walking and standing don’t seem to be your priorities quite yet. Still a few more months until you’re running around the apartment. You seem to be focusing more on mastering your hands. Banging your stacking cups together always makes you smile. You’ve started bringing your hands together, maybe to sign “more”, maybe to try and clap, or maybe both. You smile when other people clap.

You smile a lot, actually. You still don’t have any teeth, so it’s an adorable gummy smile. No teeth hasn’t stopped you from eating bananas, however, and you even manage to get a few pieces in your mouth yourself sometimes. Usually you prefer when someone else feeds you though, since it’s faster. You get breastfed in the morning and at night, and bottles during the day. Plus yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, veggies and chicken for lunch, and more fruit and veggies in the afternoon. You can hold your bottle, but haven’t figured out you need to tip your head back to drink from it. But you eat and drink plenty with help, and you’re growing right on schedule.

Most of your onesies are 12 month sizes. A few 6 month jackets still fit, and the rest of your clothes are mostly 9 month. Your hair is still getting a tiny bit lighter, but no haircuts this month, even though you could use one. Everyone comments on what beautiful big blue eyes you have. Your dry skin has almost disappeared, so maybe it was just a cold weather reaction, rather than a food reaction.

You had a great time on your first family vacation to Bordeaux. You saw (and felt!) the ocean for the first time, and really enjoyed crawling in the sand. Crawling in the grass at the park near home is not something you like, however. Expressing your likes and dislikes is happening more and more, and your personality is starting to show. You’re pretty chill and happy about most things, as long as it’s new and interesting. You get grumpy when you’re tried and hungry, which is normal. You’re still waking up once at night to eat, but really just a few minutes, then right back to sleep. Though there are still more than a few nights when you wake up a second time for some unknown reason and then everyone is grumpy the next day. Momma and daddy are still going to bed around 9 to try and get as much sleep as possible to be able to keep up with you during the day.

Babbling is starting to become a little bit more intentional. “Dadadadada” definitely comes out more often when you see daddy. “Buh” and “guh” sounds are fairly common. But your favorite sound to make right now is “yahyahyahyah.” Maybe it means “yes” or “hi” or maybe you just like the noise, or the feeling it makes in your mouth. You make a clicking noise as well when you’re particularly happy, which worried momma until Dr. Google assured her that lots of babies do it and you’re not spontaneously speaking Khosian. You’re getting about even input from French and English; more French on the weekends spent with mamie, and more English the weeks momma is on vacation.

So all the elements are in place for walking, talking, and developing into an independent little guy. Momma and daddy are having so much fun with you right now, figuring out who you are and who you’re becoming. You seem so big yet so tiny at the same time. This is definitely one of the fun ages, and watching you explore and test your independence is exciting and sad all at the same time. Your babyhood is reaching its end, and toddlerhood is right around the corner. This nice in-between time is something really special.

Bisous & kisses,

Your momma

 

Bébé’s future royal wife

For a few days in July of 2013 I was glued to the television and live feeds online to catch the first glimpse of Prince George. My husband put up with it because a) he loves me and b) while waiting to find out the gender, I made both blue and pink cookies to take to work and he got to eat the pink ones. While my husband’s own birthday celebrations yesterday meant I couldn’t follow the coverage in the same way this year, I am currently in the middle of making pink cookies for work tomorrow.

I unashamedly love all things royal. Being at the right age that I could have theoretically married either English prince probably helps. You “grow up” with them, but in a different way than pop or movie stars. They didn’t spend high school on a tour bus, or in exotic locations filming movies. They actually went to high school. Sure, it was a private, expensive one, but you know their lives were probably much closer to “normal” than Justin Bieber or Britney Spears.

So as we all grow up, it’s fun to note when things in my life sometimes seem similar to William and Kate’s: I studied art history at college, my husband is a few months younger than me, we got married on the 29th of the month, our baby boy was born in July . . . Okay, so maybe that’s it! Though tere’s also the whole “outsider coming into a situation governed by rules that are hard to adapt to” that I could compare to being an expatriate, but I’m pretty sure Kate had to deal with slightly more complicated things than bises and apéros. (But still, the stress over behaving correctly at the first family dinner had to be similar, right?)

Having had my baby boy in the intervening year between royal babies, it was interesting to see how my reaction had changed this time around. In 2013, I remember thinking “Gahh, whyyy is this taking so long?? Why isn’t she coming out yet?? Where is he?!”

Yesterday afternoon, it was more along the lines of “Holy cow, the baby was born less than three hours after getting to the hospital? She must be relieved it didn’t last ages!” and “What?! They’re leaving today?? Doesn’t she want to rest with someone else to clean and cook and . . . oh, yeah, she already has that.” And while I am maybe a tiny bit jealous how good she looked, despite knowing she has a team of people to help, I do feel bad for her, that she had to face the world so soon. I remember being a little annoyed when my mother-in-law came by the hospital the same day bébé was born, because it meant having to look fairly presentable and not do anything too embarrassing that showed her I didn’t 100% have things under control. (Basically Sunday lunch at her house, but with a lot more pain in unmentionable places.) So I imagine Kate maybe felt like that, just multiplied by a thousand.

She does give the impression that giving birth is easy, and maybe it is for her. Mine was certainly far from horrible, though it’s not something I’d want to do every day. With all the tests and stuff new babies have to do, how much they sleep the first few days, and a helpful husband on hand, there totally would have been time for me to see a team of stylists, had one been available. Plus, this is her second time around so she knew what to expect, what to pack, which clothes would feel best . . . There are plenty of other people who will tell you the horror stories of birth, but sometimes things go really well and you feel great, and that’s fine too!

Honestly, it’s just like Facebook, where new moms meticulously scrutinise which post-birth picture to post first. As silly/superficial/whatever people may find it, it’s actually a good thing to care so much, because it means everyone is healthy and you can focus on the superficial, silly stuff. (Whether or not it “should” matter is an entirely different conversation I am not in the mood to discuss while my pink princess cookies are baking!)

While I don’t intend to be a copy-Kate and give my husband a little princess anytime soon, it will be fun to see our kids “grow up together.” And who knows, maybe bébé’s future wife was born yesterday . . . After all, the Middletons didn’t start their business until Kate was a few years old, so we still have some time to work on getting a coat of arms!

Positive outlook

A few weeks ago, I read one of those “A few simple things to increase your happiness” type articles. Since it was almost the beginning of the month, and they really were pretty simple, I decided to try them to see what would happen.

The two things that seem to be making the biggest difference are 5 minutes of meditation per day, and writing down 5 things I’m grateful for/happy about. I do both of these before I go to bed, and it really helps to reflect on the positive things that happened during the day, rather than grumble about the negative. The meditation is good practice for calming my mind, since it’s usually all over the place at a hundred miles an hour. I try to picture myself on a beach, and the sound of my breathing as the waves. Definitely a peaceful way to end the day.

I didn’t think these things were really changing anything until yesterday, which should have been a bad day. My new shampoo is awful and my hair looked even dirtier than before my shower. The trains were all sorts of messed up, we had to get off and change to a different one, so I was later than usual to work. I spilled tea on my pants I’ve only worn once or twice. Lots of higher-ups were stressed and needed my help, which should have stressed me too.

However, the entire day I was in a good mood. Nothing really bothered me.

Once I realized this, I consciously focused on the positive throughout the day. Sushi at lunch was delicious. The sun was shining. It was the last day of work before a week of vacation. And I feel like this positive outlook was showing through and my interactions with people (even the super stressed higher-ups) were all very pleasant.

I’ll admit towards the end of the day, things were a little more frantic as I prepared to leave for a week. But overall, it was a really good day.

Having a little more time to exercise the past few weeks, as well as suddenly sunny and warm weather may be helping too. Whatever the reason, I’m hoping this positive outlook sticks around. If all it takes is 10 minutes before bed to reflect and meditate, it’s definitely time well spent.

 

Nine months

Ninth monthly letter to bébé.

Dear bébé,

The (almost) nine months it took you to get ready to meet the world went by much slower than the past nine months since you were born! You’ve started to interact a lot more with things, people, and food.

You’ve started eating little bits of banana and cooked sweet potato, though getting it into your mouth yourself is still a challenge. You’ve managed a few times, but mostly you seem happy to smash it in your hands while someone else feeds you. You’ll sometimes hold the bottle too, but not always. You seem to like holding the regular bottles more than the “trainer” bottle with handles. You switch between sucking your thumb and using a pacifier, though you seem to prefer the pacifier, since then you can use your hands for all sorts of things.

Things like “reading” your books. You’ve been turning pages for awhile now, but you’ll pick out your favorite between two, and even lift one off the bookshelf. When you open and close the book repeatedly, it seems like you’re trying to find the cover image inside the book. You also like to grab at things on the pages, picking out different colours and favorite faces. So maybe “Where’s Waldo?” would be a good present! “Goodnight gorilla” and “Where’s my hat?” are two of your favorites right now, and you giggle at your favorite parts. Reading is still a big part of your bedtime routine. Your skin is much better this month, but you still only get a bath every other day. Momma’s trying to switch it up and feed your first, then read, to see if that helps with night waking.

You still eat once at night usually, and have been falling back asleep easily most nights to get around 10.5 to 11 hours total. But you’ve gone twice now 9.5 hours straight, which was great. Starting the day at 4:30 wasn’t so fun, but things seem to be heading towards that magical and elusive “sleeping through the night” thing.

However, sleep might be changing soon, since your mattress is in the lower setting now. You sat up and looked over the edge once, so it seemed safer to lower it sooner rather than later. The next step will probably be pulling yourself up to standing in your new, lower crib. You can stand with (lots of) help, and kick your legs like you want to run. You’re starting to use your knees a little bit when crawling, but mostly you like to push up into that downward dog position, or into a sitting position.

You love taking off momma’s glasses, whether to see her better, or just chew on them. You also love anything that crinkles: your toys, paper, bags, clothes . . . Momma and daddy want you to explore, but you’re starting to hear “no” a lot more, and cry a bit when you’re not allowed to put pieces of paper or plastic bags in your mouth. Wires and cords are another high fascination area that unfortunately involves a lot of “no” and crying.

Except for rare occasions (like when you’re crying because you bumped your head while exploring), you’re not much of a cuddler. You need to be facing the world, no matter who’s holding you. So far there’s not a lot of separation anxiety, other than a tiny bit of crying when momma leaves for work in the morning. You don’t really have a “lovey” since anything that’s soft makes you happy. This all seems to be changing slowly, but so far, no dramatic meltdowns at the nanny’s or in new situations.

Speaking of new situations, you did great in Paris, and will hopefully be just as good in Bordeaux later this month. Other plans for this month include another nighttime party for momma and daddy while mamie babysits, and you definitely need a haircut. It’s long enough to get in your eyes, and even covers your ears a little. It’s still a medium brown, but sometimes there are reddish highlights in the sun. Your big blue eyes just make everyone fall in love. You have more and more “chatty” days, still lots of “singing” and a few syllables like “ma” “ba” and “da,” though without attaching them to any objects with consistency yet.

You are tons of fun, and a happy, sociable baby. While your exploration is starting to get safety limits as you get more mobile, it’s still amazing seeing how much you can already do and understand. Full speed crawling and walking is right around the corner, just in time to start exploring outside in the nice weather. This will be a fun month!

Bisous & kisses,

Your momma

Eight months

My 8th monthly letter to bébé.

 

Dear bébé,

It’s official – you’re on the move! You figured out the “Rambo” style crawl this month (pulling forward with just your arms), and you get faster every day. Favorite targets include the computer, the playstation, and cell phones. You still roll a lot as well, to get from one place to another. You can get on your knees and sway back and forth, so full on crawling is just around the corner. There were a few days where it looked like you were doing a plank position, by pushing on your arms and toes at the same time. You sit up really well on your own and are working on going from on your back to sitting up by yourself, and you practice by pulling on who/whatever is around you. With all this movement and activity, childproofing needs to happen soon!

You eat solid foods three times a day now, and have started eating chicken and yoghurt, and a few other new fruits and veggies. Your favorite is pears and avocados. You’ve started getting bits of banana, but all you do is smash them and push them on the floor. You seem similarly disinterested in transitioning from a bottle to a cup. So those are things to keep working on this month.

Another thing to work on this month is night waking. For a few weeks, you’ve only woken up once to eat, so that probably won’t change anymore and you’re eating less and less. Any other wakings before midnight, you can be calmed in a few minutes with a cuddle. Those 4 am wakings though are another story, and it takes at least an hour for you to stop giggling/talking to yourself and go back to sleep. It’s like you know you’ve hit the 10 hour mark and have decided that’s enough. If that’s really the case, and that’s just your nighttime number, momma and daddy need to figure out a new schedule that gets you to bed a little later.

Recently, you’ve been asleep by 6:30, since you’ve stopped taking a second nap in the afternoon. You nap around 9 and again around 1. It varies a bit, but the nap in the morning tends to be longer than in the afternoon. You sleep really well at the new nanny’s, and not so well at mamie’s (probably because you know you can get away with anything with your grandparents!) So if there’s a way to get you to take a short nap around 4:30, then maybe you’ll go to bed closer to 7 . . . But with your first tooth still hanging out under the gums, sleep may not make any sense until it finally cuts through.

You’re back on track for weight, still in the 10th percentile like you have been since birth. 50th percentile for length, so you’re more the “tall and lean” type of baby rather than the “round and chubby” variety. Your hair seems a little lighter, but definitely brown. Eyes still a gorgeous blue. Your eczema has gotten a lot better, whether because of the creams, or switching laundry detergent, or the slightly warmer weather, who knows. It might have be allergies, but you’re eating all the same foods as before.

This month finally feels like we have a good routine down, which probably means next month will be craziness! There’s a trip to Paris planned, and a party momma and daddy will go to while you stay with mamie, so hopefully none of that will bother you much. You haven’t shown too much separation anxiety yet, though the one night daddy slept away from home, you seemed to be looking for him in the morning. And there was one day you cried “ma!” right as momma left to go to work, which was pretty heartbreaking.

However, it probably didn’t really mean momma, since while you’re pretty good at the “mama” and “dada” noises, you seem to say them randomly, along with “buh” and “nuh”. Your screechy dinosaur noises have calmed down, and you’ve started occasionally making this rising intonation noise like “eah?” when you see yourself in the mirror or on the camera, which is beyond cute.

“Beyond cute” describes you pretty perfectly right now. You’re an adorable little rolling, creeping, giggling, babbling baby, and momma and daddy just love seeing you discover new things in the world and new things you can do every day.

Bisous & kisses,

Your momma