September 13, 2013

One Year Old.

He went and did it. He turned 365 days old.

On The Move!
He crawls one legged, he stands from sitting, sits (with a thud) from standing, falls from standing and scares me because I never know what he is going to land on, and he walks with help, as long as you hold one of his hands. His crawl has increased in speed, especially when he is determined to reach whatever it is that is calling his attention, which is either a family member, another child, or kitchen tools (I'm leaving out iPhones, iPads and Androids since we normally don't place those as "bate" for him to grab, only to take them from him and say, "no, not a toy, Sants pants!"). He loves balancing in stand mode, holding onto the camera lens, tortilla warmer or other random object that fits well in his hands. He is capable of taking a few short steps on his own but isn't confident or fantastic at balance yet, so walking may be months away (or days away, ahhhh!)

Speaking Santi!
He has been babbling a whole, whole lot. So much so that most of the time we stop mid sentence and just look at him as he says his long sentences in babe language. His favorite words are, "dadada" and "oh, oh, oh!" But he has yet to consistently point at something and associate it with a specific sound. He does love interrupting us adults, though, and brings his voice up a few octaves when we are deep in conversation around him. I love mimicking him like I know his secret language, but then I realize I should probably be the one encouraging him to say actual words. I'm convinced his babe language is legit, though, since I have caught him numerous times, when we are out and about, immediately turning his head toward other babies as they begin to talk. WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?!

Baby Potty Training
So we initially were doing well with this. Every time we saw Santi bearing down to go #2, we would sit him on the potty and voila! It was pretty fantastic and made us feel like we had an awesome, gifted, easy-to-potty-train baby boy that only exists in parent's dreams. Then we got a little lazy, realizing he was ready to poo and telling him, "poopy!" But not dropping what we were doing to bring him to the potty. That brings us to where we are now: we sit him on the potty upon waking up in the morning, after car rides if he hasn't had a poo in a while, or after his nap (again, only if we think he is ready to poo). If we notice him going in his diaper during the day, we half the time bring him to his potty. Sometimes we are too late, and he already magically filled his diaper in less than 2 seconds, and other times he goes. Moments occur when he is playing while I cook, I notice him bearing down and decide not to stop mid-food prep and bring him to go potty. I can't imagine what trying to catch all their "#1's" would be like. Numbah 2 is pretty easy, but 1? At nighttime? Oh man. I know it's doable, we just have to decide whether we want to take it head on now or later.

On Sleep and Naps
I'm glad I didn't hear a voice inside of me over the past months, telling me to give you all an update on "sleep training at ___ months!" because my oh my does this boy's schedule change! Like you always hear, baby's sleep schedules change often. Again, like you have been told, right when you figured them out and they are sleeping oh my goodness perfectly, they will completely change on you and you will stay up later than late on mama forum's reading, "7 month old not napping" or "11 month old waking 13 times in the night" or "1 year old sitting up in his crib and deciding that he forgot completely how to nap and only remembers the art of screaming and is a new born baby apparently since I have to nurse him to sleep every single time and... my head hurts". So, instead of giving you a run down. Here is where he is at right now:
  • he wakes around 7:45-8:30am
  • first nap after about 3-4 hours of wake time (11:30 or so)
  • naps for 1-1.5 hours
  • second nap "attempt" after 3-4 hours of wake time (4:30 or so)
  • naps 40 mins to an hour (ish)
  • bedtime around 8pm
  • wakes to nurse around 4am-5am then sleeps some more
Every day is different, every night is different. I am still surprised when he sleeps "through the night" from 8pm to 4am. He acts like he doesn't ever want or need the second nap, but we changed the routine to follow papa bear (who is with him all day on Mondays) who is convinced his routine is pretty stellar since, well, it works, and now Santi has taken a 2nd nap three times for me! That's huge. I think he went weeks without taking his PM nap, and on Monday my hubs told me he slept for 40 minutes in the afternoon. I was amazed. So I tried his routine the next day and it worked. The following day, not so much, the day after, it worked in full throttle 'cause we had to wake up Santi for swim lessons! My husband is a gift from the Lord.


The Nap Time Routine
This is key. Find a routine. Never change it unless under crazy circumstances. Your baby will thank you for consistency and your body will thank you for the extra sleep/rest/free time you obtain from having a good sleeper. Here is our nap time routine.
  • Nurse (papa gives him bottle)
  • Play for a little bit (less than 10 mins)
  • Diaper check
  • Let him play while I tend to diaper
  • Sleep sack
  • Story
  • Close blinds
  • Turn on white noise
  • Sing, "Jesus Loves Me" 3-4 times while holding him upright with his head on my shoulder
  • Kiss, say "night night" lie in crib
  • Leave, shutting door
I think the gem is singing, "Jesus Loves Me" so many times. I used to sing it once, hum it a second time while putting him in the crib toward the end of the second time. By singing it so many times, his mind has a chance to slow down, his brain gets in the zone, his body feels sleepy and sluggish and zzzz... Beautiful. We'll see what the rest of this week/month brings!

Swimming Classes! We enrolled him in swimming lessons this week! It is so much fun, he has never really felt water except for a little bit on his feet at the beach. Oh, and we bath him sometimes so I guess he has felt water somewhat often. The classes are two days a week for just 25 minutes. We sing, we help baby Santi kick, blow bubbles under water to encourage him to stick his face in the chlorine-filled, basically bacteria infested water and not drink it but to breathe outward(ly?) and enjoy deep water diving. He almost fell asleep the first class as we swam on our backs (well, him on my shoulder lying down with his ears under the water as I walk backwards) and yesterday he giggled as I blew bubbles. That's progress! The goal of the class, or so I have taken it, is to make the children comfortable with diving their heads under. It's pretty amazing seeing the kiddos that are ready for this already! I think the 6 month old, chubby blond baby boy in our class isn't ready for it, and neither is Santi.

Eat Plants
On food! During the day, he eats like his mama which is all fruit and greens. He nurses early morning, around 4-5am. Watermelon or cantaloupe in the morning, as much as he wants which is a lot. Mid morning an entire banana and a green smoothie made of banana and kale, banana and spinach, or banana and swiss chard. He nurses mid morning as well. He drinks out of my jar, so I don't know how much. I'd say a couple ounces. Later he will have another small fruit meal if he is hungry, or we wait until early dinner time with his papa. He then has steamed vegetables (all variety) and always half an avocado. Then he nurses another 2 times before bed. We offer him water in the day, as well. I'm going to up his fat intake by adding ground flaxseed to one of his banana meals. Sometimes he has grains cooked in water with nothing added to them, but only about 3 times in his life since we don't normally have "just rice" or "just quinoa" prepared, it usually has seasoning (for hubs) and lots of spice.

Spicy Baby
Side note. The other day papa Edu offered Santi some of his guacamole, which I usually mash avocado with lime juice to make, and add lots of salsa (serrano chili, tomato, salt and water) but recently I have just mashed avocado and lime together. So he offered him a bit, and I didn't think about it. Then Santi made the face - but not the, "woah, lime" face. It was "woah, woah, woah, what, ah ah ah ah ahhhh!" face. It was a guacamole I had put spoonful after spoonful of salsa in. He got over it. I was nervous. Enjoy, Santiago's digest system, your first serrano chilis.

Motor Skills to the Max
I think this is the right category for the following... Sometimes that has fascinated me for the past couple months are his motor skills. Watching him intentionally placing a toy cup inside of another cup, then taking it out and repeating time after time, marvels me. Just this week he started to put lids back onto everything, including the lens cover on our camera as I took photos of him. I take off the lid of his bottom-butter, hand it to him to play with while I change his diaper, only to see him placing the lid back onto the jar lying next to him.

He also has helped me stack his blocks, but not just one block on top of the other 3 that I stacked, he stacks and stacks up and up, block after block. He has only done this once, but it was so cool! He places toys inside of other toys, toys inside of the toy bin when we begin cleaning up. How does he know how to do that. God's complex creation of the human brain that starts off as a baby brain is absolutely a miracle and can only be explained because God is GOD and He is so great.

 One Year Old. 
We feel so full of the Lord's blessings. To look back on the year and all that He has taught us leaves us in awe of His grace, forgiveness and mercy. He is out source of strength when we are completely out, He is our Light when we find ourselves lost. Jesus is the example of how to be a self-less servant when all I want to do and find myself doing is putting my needs first, selfishly. He has opened my eyes to my flesh's sin nature, and daily I pray that by His grace I would be able to break free from the chains and live to serve Him by serving my family. It is a gift. Every hour of depending on Him is a blessing. Every day I fall, He picks me up before the evening. Every morning I dread x, y, or z, He comforts me through time in His Word and in His presence. We are praying that His will be done with our future, that we would be able to raise Santiago James in a way that honors Him and guides our little boy to Jesus. And we leave our desire for baby #2 in His good hands.

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