Here we are in mid-July and I finally see what people meant when they told me how fast it all goes. Honestly, in the first few (challenging) months people would tell me “It goes so fast!” and I would say, “Really? Because today felt like a week.” But now, as we are just a few weeks away from Max’s first birthday I am a bit shocked. Max is almost a toddler? I feel a mixture of excitement and sadness. The sadness surprises me. I cherish the baby days right now. He is so darn precious.
Max has turned into a happy, curious, and playful little guy. He has moments where he protests being put down because he wants to continue being held, or where he fights nap time. But generally, he has become quite independent and fun. He is very affectionate and loves his parents (especially his mommy). He gives kisses, waves goodbye, and gives high fives. We’re still working on fist bumps.
Favorite activities: His favorite overall thing to do is play any variation of peekaboo. This could involve opening and closing doors, putting a dishtowel over his face, or watching us hide behind things. His laugh is so beautiful and it makes all of the problems in the world melt away.
Max crawls fast! He loves to get around. We got him a little Elmo play tent which he loves to crawl in and out of. He also loves pushing around his walker toy/wagon.
Electronics are his favorite things to play with. He loves the TV remote control so much that I bought him his own remote at the dollar store. It was only an hour before he had it in pieces so it is now wrapped in tape. Very classy, but still one of his favorite toys. He goes nuts for my cell phone whenever he sees it. He will dig through my purse to find it.
He has just started dancing, which may or may not be to music. Any beat will do, even one he creates by banging on a diaper box. He smiles, bounces, and even claps his hands.
Perhaps his real favorite toy/activity is our cat Pepper. Poor Pepper. I think the most frequently uttered word in our house is “Gentle.” Pepper has a pretty high tolerance though. Earl, the other cat, is another story for another time. Sigh.
Milestones: Last Saturday Max took his first steps. We were playing with the letters from his name stool. I put one on my head, he was standing at arms distance and I let go of his hands. He was so distracted trying to get the letter off my head he took two solid steps towards me and retrieved the letter. It was joyous. Then we did it again. Since then he hasn’t really repeated the feat like he did then, but he has taken a step here or there.
Another cool milestone is that he has started to squat from a sitting position and started standing from a squatting. As soon as he strings all of these things together we are in BIG trouble.
The other day Max, aka the Little Monkey, shocked me with a new trick. I was sitting on the bed and put him down on the floor. We have a vintage platform bed that is low to the ground – the top of the mattress is probably 18 inches off the ground. He hiked a leg up, grasped the comforter, and climbed right up onto the bed. Bing, bam, boom. No problem, Mom! I was struck with a mixture of elated, shocked, and impressed.
He is babbling a lot but has not yet said his first real words. I predict his first word will be Dada because that is the syllable that he babbles the most. It seems like he says “Hi” back to us when we say hello to him, but we can’t be sure.
Eating: Max is still eating like a champ. He has become more discerning though. He usually feeds himself, unless it is something that is best eaten with a spoon like oatmeal or a puree. For the most part, though, he eats solids. He will no longer eat whatever we give him. Sometimes he likes lima beans, other times not. His latest move is simply ejecting any food he finds displeasing. It goes in, he evaluates, and if he doesn’t like it he opens his mouth and either pushes it out with his tongue or removes it with his hand and gives it to you. Ha!
Overall, he eats most things, but the toddler pickiness is starting to set in. He loves flavor and prefers strongly seasoned food to mild. Spicy is just fine. He is good about eating his veggies, although the one thing he won’t eat is broccoli. He loves peas, cauliflower, asparagus and spinach though. He devours chicken and even eats venison. Hummus is a staple, especially since we can use it to hide his liquid vitamins. He adores fruit and we have to give it to him last otherwise he might not eat anything else. This kid can down half a banana in the blink of an eye. Seriously, there have been times where I look around thinking he must have dropped it because it is gone so quickly.
Breastfeeding: I am still breastfeeding Max, though I have started to taper my pumping sessions with the goal of being done with the pump the week of his first birthday. My plan is to continue feeding him in the mornings and evenings for a few more months and to utilize my small freezer stash.
It is harder than I expected to let go of breastfeeding. For as long as I have looked forward to stopping, the mix of emotions has surprised me. The biggest thing has been the hormonal impact of weaning. Holy Toldeo! That combined with the incredible stress I am dealing with at work has made for a very moody mama. We are working through all of that.
As far as going forward, I have been having ongoing discussions with the nurse practitioner at our pediatrician’s office. She is an angel, and is especially sympathetic to our situation since her son is also MSPI (milk soy protein intolerant). At yesterday’s appointment we came up with a plan. It involves first testing his reaction to dairy. From that point, we have a number of options depending on how he reacts. If dairy is still a problem we will do a combination of other milks (coconut, hemp, etc.) and evaluate his growth after 6 weeks. It is scary and overwhelming but we are fortunate that at this point he is a good eater because we can address much of his nutritional needs with solids. Fingers crossed that we continue to be so lucky.
Naps: Naps used to be one of our biggest challenges, but that is no longer the case. Currently, Max takes two naps each day, mid-morning and early afternoon. Most of the time he cries when we put him down, but that usually only last for a minute before he settles down and goes to sleep. Nap duration varies greatly, but is longest when there is someplace to be. It never fails that if I think we can leave the house by a certain time, he will sleep much longer than usual and throw the whole thing off.
As we head into fall, we will try to transition to one nap per day. The daycare center he will attend beginning in September naps from noon to 2:30 or 3:00. So we are going to start trying to transition him over the next month and a half.
Growing up: My little boy is getting so big! Every now and then I see Max and see a little boy instead of a baby. He is such a handsome little devil. My once bald baby is, according to the Knight, looking like a hippie these days. Haha. His hair is getting long and it is definitely time for his first haircut. We are going to try to find a place to get his haircut this weekend.
Well, so much for my short update. I like to write this all down because you really do forget. We are really enjoying our time with our little guy and cherish every day.
Not so happy about this pool idea at first
Pool time isn’t so bad