Nap teaching

I hate sleep, seriously. Albie is generally the best of my sleepers, but it’s still often a struggle. Today it took 40 minutes, a head but to the nose, and 5 minutes of crying in his pack n play while I took a breather to help him get to the point of sleep. If I were a full time parent and not also working full time, this would be slightly more manageable, but the stay at home, no sleep, need to keep a schedule, no reasonable childcare options where he could wear himself out Corovavirus world we’re living in is wearing me down. Not to mention dealing with the remnants of my old life. Y’all. I’m tired.

Ten months

It’s been a busy couple months, and I’ve missed updating as a result. Working full time, taking care of kids, the continual march of unpacking and sorting out 16 years worth of back junk, processing a year’s worth of individual trauma and months of collective corona-trauma has made many of my parenting days feel like treading water. And through all of this Albie is thriving.

What does ten months look like for this cool baby? Crawling, pulling up, climbing on anything low enough. Eating all the food, pounding and clapping at the table to get what he wants. Pointing, shear joy that he can communicate his desires and have them fulfilled.

Albie had his 9 month checkup and passed with flying colors. Only one shot and barely put off by the masks. He even went to the pediatrician happily (she never asks to hold the babies, and clearly she needed a baby fix. Good job Albie!)

Sleep has been up and down. For a long time Albie napped on stroller walks, until I asked my parents to bring him home after he fell asleep so he could sleep in the bedroom. But now the stroller has stopped being a surefire nap, so I have the delightful task of doing some nap training. Meaning I lay with him until he falls asleep, typically after 5-20 minutes of thrashing protestations (his, not mine). Night time sleep is still ok. It’s actually hard only because the big kids also wake me up. When they’re not here I can usually get a couple of nights with more than 5 or 6 hours, which is the only silver lining to their absence.

Back to happier things! Albie is truck and bird obsessed. When asked what a crow says, he answers “caw!” and looks around expectantly. Ground has broken at other home sites, and he is very excited by the trucks and cranes.

And I’ll leave you all with the best beach days all year. Side note, some kids actually do like to eat sand. 🤷‍♀️

Clock

Albie has clearly landed on his first word, a clicking “k-k” in his throat every time he sees a clock. His favorite clock is one of my parent’s, and he becomes so animated when he sees it. Hard to believe my little bub is already making these connections.

Seven months

Albie, the firefly, is seven months old! This month brings with it sleeplessness, rolling (rather than crawling, his mode of movement is the log-roll), giggling, hugging, flapping with joy, babbling like wild, and eating everything he can get into his mouth. I did the grown up scale math to discover this boy has hit about 22.6 lbs, maintaining his high-90’s percentile. My arms, and my parents arms, can feel it. Darwin doesn’t hold him for as long anymore (although that could be the squirming), and Linnea has begun hugging rather than holding.

Darwin, Linnea, and my dad appear to be his favorite people in the whole world (after me, but, you know, attachment). He grudgingly goes to my mom, but is happy once he can no longer see me. I think. Darwin decidedly preferred my mother (and still does), so maybe there’s some balance here. Although Albie takes many naps on his grandmother, so I feel he should be more grateful. Ha.

Speaking of grandparents, we’re officially a multigenerational household! I haven’t discussed it in any detail, but with the unexpected end of my marriage last summer my parents and I discussed what it would look like to purchase a home together. That dream came to fruition a month ago, right before the Great COVID lock down. They have been invaluable in terms of support and childcare during this time. And I believe they have found great joy in being a part of their grandchildren’s lives as well! Albie has certainly taken to having more adults in the household, as have the girls, who now get more of my attention again.

That’s all for this month, hopefully I’ll be back in about four weeks!

The other side of baby teeth

Darwin hit the major milestone of losing her first baby tooth this morning. She wasn’t with me, which broke my heart a bit, but her pure exuberance at showing me made up for the little sting of loss. My oldest is growing up so fast it’s hard to believe it. First baby tooth, learning to read, becoming a kind and capable big sister to Linnea and Albie. She amazes me every day.

Darwin, enticed to smile for the camera, showing off her newly emptied spot for her emerging adult teeth!

6 months

After missing month 5 I thought I’d be on top of month six, but so much is going on it’s been difficult to get everything done. After 6 months of single (co)parenting, I’m buying a home with my parents for support in both directions, and that closed last week. I’m starting work full time as of Thursday, which is strangely anticlimactic in the current state of the shutdown. Then yesterday my oldest cat had to be euthanized due to renal failure. Needless to say, I’ve been overwhelmed and under-writing for this sweet baby, who is patient and calm, but still needs all the things a baby needs.

Mostly importantly, at 6 months Albie is a healthy, active 21 lbs, 27 inches long! He is rolling everywhere, working hard on crawling, and biting anything that gets close enough to his mouth because his top incisors are working their way down. I started him on solid food nearly a month ago now, and he loves to eat. So far pear, apple, avocado, peanut butter (early introduction to help avoid allergies), beans, bananas, carrots, blueberries, and more. He loves it all.

Baths are probably his single most favorite thing in the world. He kicks and splashes, and I’m super sad he won’t be able to take swim lessons for a few more months. Some days, when it’s just the two of us, I’ll have him in the bath u took he finally tires of it, which can take upwards of an hour, with multiple warmups of the water.

Big kid at his 6 month wellbaby check

All-in-all, Albie is doing brilliantly. Outside of the moments where I’m packing up his baby clothes as he outgrows them, I’m thrilled at watching him get bigger and become him own little creature. I’m still shocked that he’s already half a year- that we made it this far together. He’s my little light.

4 month stats

Albie weighed in at 18 lbs 11oz, 25.5 inches long, and basically that makes him a little butterball. I think my midwife’s joke that I make cream rather than milk is accurate. Four month vaccinations were a dream compared to two months. Last night he slept with only three wake ups (typical for an average normal night) and woke up for the day at 9:30. This could be a combination of things, including three vaccines, yesterday was a poop day (still every fifth day with this kid…), and both bottom front incisors are fully through good poor little gums. Whatever the cause, I’m celebrating a night of decent sleep!

4 months, the story of a tooth

It’s true! Albie cut his first tooth three days ago now and the next one is working its way through now. This makes him the youngest teether of all my kids. He’s now figuring out how to latch with a tooth while nursing, and I think he’s just about there. I forgot they have to relearn with teeth!

Four month old Albie is sweet and smiley. His current favorite toys are a cloth book and a red rattle ball. Everything goes straight into his mouth if given any opportunity at all, and I’m starting to think about how best to keep the girl’s small toys away from him when he becomes mobile.

3.5 years

I began this post on Linnea’s half birthday, but life intervened. Only a few days late!

A year ago, my sweet 2.5 year old began preschool with her big sister, and wow what a difference a year makes. At 3.5, Linnea is a bright, funny, sweet child. She takes after Darwin in her love of letters and numbers, and also her ability to scream like the world is crumbling. Thankfully, her tantrums are much shorter lived, and often are the result of exhaustion, hunger, or transitions.

Linnea’s favorite colors change daily, she loves to work with tools, and she sings like a little bird. This week the girls began ballet classes and it was such a joy to see her following along, a giant smile on her face much of the time.