May 16, 2013

Santiago James: 8 Months

Oh my. He is 8 months old, which is close to 9 months old, which might as well be a year old, which translates to pretty much a two year old, which means he's going to school and getting a job and marrying and starting a family.

This boy is so much fun! A recent activity he has decided to participate in is talking, babbling, goo-ing and boo-boo-ing while nursing. It's complicated. He does it often while touching my hair or pulling on my t-shirt. Sometimes he twists and turns while doing this, rolling over almost completely, and observes that-thing-over-there-behind-me-that-is-oh-so-distracting. It doesn't feel great to me, but he isn't showing signs of stopping this new way of nursing, so I'm accepting it.

Solids! I was all for baby-led weaning and giving him adult foods from the start, but I ended up making it harder on myself. Instead of feeding him what we were eating, I would make him his own meal of steamed vegetables or unsalted grains/legumes. It was extra work that I quickly became annoyed by, so now we're doing things the more practical way. If we are eating it, he is eating it. If it has salt or Serrano chili peppers in it, he has a plate set aside for him before I add these ingredients. It is so much easier! And he loves his: waffle Sunday, quinoa with veg and Thai almond sauce, lentil burgers and lentil balls with tomato basil sauce. He LOVES banana, has eaten up to an entire half of a banana in one sitting (overdoing it? I d'nno), as well as sweet potatoes (steamed in cubes or baked as fries), broccoli, carrots, blueberries and mango. You give it to him, he puts it in his mouth. He also has mastered the technique of feeding himself with a spoon - left handed. Lefty?! Cool beans!

Rolling over. He still dislikes tummy time and cannot seem to roll from tummy to back with much ease. The arm on the side he wants to roll onto is always sticking straight out, making it close to physically impossible to roll without pain. This causes him great distress and frustration, so he screams. I would, too. The one milestone he has successfully reached is the art of rolling from back to tummy during his nap time, causing him to go from joyous baby to life-is-INSANITY baby. Silly child. This forces us to intervene- entering the room, rolling him over to his back, giving him hope that I am there to "rescue" him and pick him up - all because he can't roll over on his own. Oh the madness.

He stands! Oh, yeah, he did this last month, too. Well, he still does it!

Separate anxiety? Stranger anxiety.. So we had this happen just once with a friend of my hubby's: Santi saw the man, held on to Edu with all his might, and proceeded to burst into uncontrollable crying when the man held him. When Santi was given back to his papa, all he could do the rest of the visit was stare at this fella attentively, "who and why and when and make it stop" was written on his face. Another time it happened with a good friend of mine: she came over to visit, Santi hugged me like a koala would its favorite tree, and stared for a good, long period of time as we chatted. Once I passed him over to her for a hug, he froze, made a pouty face, cried and looked back at me. Telling you, this is stranger anxiety.

Sign language and words! We are trying to teach him a few words (because when we aren't saying words we are making noises like Charlie Brown's teacher). So right now our focus is on "food/comida" "more/más" "banana/platano" "milk/leche" which we do sign language with, and then "kiss/beso" when we lean in to give him a kiss or ask him to plant a wet one on us (since his are all open-mouthed gems). He responds like magic to "milk/leche" by kicking his feet, flapping his arms and looking right at me as if to anxiously say, "Where?! When?! Now?!" And when we lean in for a kiss/beso he also anticipates it, waiting for us to lean in and seems like he's holding his breath. Goof!

EC: less BM in potty but frequent peepee success! We sort of take him to the potty after diaper changes, naps, long car rides. I am also trying to catch his 1 BM/day so it ends up in his potty and not his diaper, but not with much luck. He definitely makes the classic "poopy face" so that's a good hint to bring him over to his potty, but I have yet to successfully do that all but one time out of three hundred (exaggeration?). It's still fun!

12-18month clothes! He is still a pretty chunky baby, really long, too. But I definitely feel like he isn't growing like a weed, at rapid, uncontrollable speeds - otherwise he would be like my friend's bebe and be exclusively wearing 24 month clothes. But he's growing, so no worries there!

Jogging stroller with mami! So, technically if you find yourself with prolapse and a weak pelvic floor after giving birth (or at any time in your life), you shouldn't really go running all that often. This is especially true if you had to go to physical therapy for over 7 months just to strengthen those unbelievably weak pelvic floor, abdomen, lower back and gluteus maximus muscles. Alas, I am a human being, stubborn to wait until my time has come to return to running, and motivated to sweat - so on our walks in the neighborhood, I have been jogging uphill once a week or so. The exciting part is that the BOB stroller company recommends baby's be at least 8 months old before you start jogging with them in the stroller, and it's downright crazy that we are at that point of his life already. I remember looking at that stroller online and wondering, "wait - so I can't jog with a newborn? Foolishness!" but the wait was not long, and here we are jogging up a hill.

Nursing once a night at times! So we nap trained and sleep trained a few weeks ago, and now Santi is down to only needing a belly-refill once or twice a night. It's really, really nice, and very unexpected. He does eat more frequently during the day (breast milk and solids) which is awesome since I don't have to worry about his calorie intake since he is not taking in a whole lot in the nighttime. Sleeping is pretty incredible, too! Sometimes random 8 hour stretches, but for the most part he wakes around midnight and 4-5am, then arises for the day around 6:30am or 7. Sleeping is a joy.

Sleep trained! I had ever intention of writing an entire post about this, but decided not to - or didn't make time to, I should say. What we did was try the "no tears method" which is where you basically pick your baby up each time they cry and then lie them back down. Repeat eight hundred times, then go make breakfast because your night just escaped you. It broke my heart to realize that this method was not going to work for little Santiago and we were going to have to do some form of Crying it Out. He simply needed to learn to go to sleep on his own, so each time he woke he would look for us to put him back to sleep. Our nighttime routine (that we changed a handful of times until we figured out what worked) went like this: feed him, remove him from latch so he wouldn't fall asleep eating, lie him in crib, leave room. Crying? Look at the time, go into his room after 5 minutes, soothe without picking him up for 1 minute, leave room. Repeat as many times necessary. In about 2 weeks he was sleeping without crying, waking only to eat, going back to sleep on his own, and we were praising our loving Father in Heaven for the patience and determination He gave us!

Nap trained! We decided the best idea would be to do both nap training and sleep training all at once. So the first thing we did was made a naptime routine for him. I used a lot of advice from the lovely mom's over at the Hellobee website (check them out, it's a great website for tips and tricks and everything under the sun related to parenting!). The routine went like this: go to room 10-15 minutes before nap time with white noise on (his wake times are about 2 hour stretches), check diaper, potty opportunity, read a book or three, put on sleep sack, pick up, close blinds, sing "Jesus Loves Me" once while patting his back (head over shoulder, upright), lie in crib, say, "night night, love you" kiss, leave room. The same 5 minute checks as nighttime sleep. This also took about 10 days to 2 weeks, and now he sometimes falls asleep in 2 minutes, other times he talks and plays for a little bit, every once in a while he'll remind us of training week and scream and cry - needing a check or two. Again, all the thanks goes to God for strengthening us during this time. It isn't easy, and we might have to do it all over again if life hits (sickness, teething, travel?) but leaving it in God's hands and depending on HIM and not on our own ability makes it a lot less overwhelming. Happy sleeping baby!

He stares! Okay, this is the greatest: recently he has been very, very into "what is THAT?! over THERE?!" which is my way of saying he is slightly nosy, wants to know the who's and why's of the world, and he has a slight staring problem. While sitting in his car seat as we drive around, he will lift his neck and shoulders away from the carseat and stare out the window, as if to say, "what is that? How do I get a closer look?" Likewise, when we play on the back deck and he is surrounded by toys and books, he will turn his head and neck, and with a very intentional gaze will look at the neighbor's deck, or a tree, or into someone's window to see what they're eating for lunch. Call him a Nosy Nancy, call him a baby. We think it's funny.

Teeth? No. Hopefully the fever/discomfort he is going through as I write this post is going to result in some teeth popping through! We'll see at the 9 month update!

Crawling? No. Rolling from back to tummy in his crib, but that's it. We're okay with that, though. Hooray for not having to baby proof our home yet!

the end. Love this gift from God!

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