You should probably just start walking already

Dear Mac,

You are 11 months old.  WHOA.  That’s all I have to say about that.  Moving on.

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Moving is actually the name of the game for you these days.  You want to be on your feet!  You want to be walking!  You have places to go and people to see and things to put in your mouth!  You still can’t do any of this unassisted, but it doesn’t stop you.  You just reach out your hands and expect your entourage to enable you.  (They frequently do.)

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You have zero interest in crawling.  You will flop all the way forward, rotate 360 degrees, or “walk” a few steps and plop before you will even think about making a crawling motion.  Instead, you have cultivated some pretty aggressive pointing.  That.  That, woman.  Bring me THAT.  I try not to cave, but . . .

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You have also become a lot more demanding.  What happened to my easygoing baby??  Now, you generally cry if I try to leave the room.  Whether this is because you miss me or because I can’t hold your hands to help you walk when I’m gone, I am unsure.  But we are talking piercing shrieks that turn your face red.  Screams the likes of which you have NEVER before uttered.  This turnabout is a little shocking.

I get it.  You’re frustrated.  I’m frustrated too.  I know you can’t move how you want to, and it is driving you bonkers.  I feel bad that I’m frustrated.  You were low key for months; who am I to complain now?  You’ve just thrown a curve ball.  I’m still trying to catch up.  I never thought I’d encourage having a mobile baby, but you should probably just start walking.  Or crawling.  Or SOMETHING already.  I think we’ll all be happier.

I'll keep you in the carrier until I fall over though

I’ll keep you in the carrier until I fall over though

I doubt walking would help on bathtime though.  Here, you have just flipped a switch and decided you hate it.  You scream throughout your entire bath.  Whether sitting up or sitting in your chair, sitting with your brother or alone, being offered toys or not.  Everything is awful.  I’m hoping we can come to some kind of understanding on this.  Bathing is not optional.  I promise, we’re not even doing it every day!  (The usual routine is Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.)

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Big doings though on the sleep front.  Something has clicked this month, and you are generally sleeping through the night.  w00t!  (Furiously knocks on wood.)  Sometimes you have a nighttime, uh, movement that awakens you, but I don’t think there is anything we can do about that.  Sometimes you wake up early and sing to yourself.  It is pretty adorable.

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This is not new, but I’m not sure I’ve covered your usual sleep positioning here.  We call your sleep “move,” kissing the bicep.  You curl one arm up to your head and turn your head towards it.  But not until you’ve done the pacifier shuffle.  You sleep with four pacifiers, and I have no idea why, but the first thing you do after being laid down is to spit your current pacifier, grope for new ones and replace.  Weirdo.

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I’ll be curious to see your new stats at your upcoming doctor’s appointment.  You’ve slowed down a little on your food adventuresomeness, but you are still huge.  I tend not to fully credit your hugeness because I see you next to a two year old every day, but you’re a chunk.  Your favorite food is probably banana.  It makes your eyes light up in a way that is endearing and also a little disturbing.  (It’s just a banana, kid.)  You’ve also gotten on the noodle bandwagon, and you can slurp with the best of them.  You have this “charming” habit of working your food over in your mouth and then just letting it fall.  I’ve seen you “eat” an entire piece of pizza this way.  But, overall, not too shabby for someone with four teeth.

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You may have noticed a distinct Alfalfa look on your recent pictures.  Don’t worry, you don’t have a cowlick, and we aren’t gunking your hair with product.  This phenomenon happens because of your hooded bath towel, and I must confess that I do my best to encourage it.  It just looks so right.  Like you have a crest.  I love it.

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You and Henry are still the Odd Couple.  You guys will be face-meltingly sweet to each other and then one of you is trying to pummel the other with tiny fists.  You are able to play more and more together, which I love.  If I’d like to “steer” you on your walkabouts, I only need to ask your brother to go ahead.  Sometimes your route veers just to copy something your brother did.

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And now you are almost the big 0-1.  What a year, baby.  What a year.

Love, Mom

P.S.  More Mac at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 8 months, 9 months, and 10 months.

5 Things I Wish I’d Known When Going Back to Work After Baby

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It’s hard.  Whether you are going back after a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, going back to work after welcoming your bundle of joy is tough.  Your body is still healing, you are faced with the delightful choice of putting on the maternity clothes AGAIN or stuffing your body into your prebaby duds, and you will be spending a bit less time with your new arrival.

Even if you are psyched about the prospect of picking up where you left off or just enjoying conversations with other adults that don’t revolve around poop–no judgment here–change is hard.  Going back to work is definitely a change.  On top of that oh, you know, no-big-deal-you-just-produced-another-human-being change.

Here a few tips to help you keep your sanity during this super fun time.  I certainly don’t have anything figured out, but I wish I’d thought of these before.

1. Just go ahead and get some labels already.

If your child is going to be cared for in any setting that will involve multiple children, just get some nice labels.  After months of cobbling together schemes of permanent marker and painters tape, we finally got some Mabel’s Labels.  I immediately wondered why I had not done this sooner.  See, for daycare, you have to label EVERYTHING.  Bottles, bottoms AND lids.  Pacifiers.  Sippy cups.  Onesies.  Shoes.  I heard of a friend’s daycare where you actually had to label individual diapers.  Say what?

I would do things like, of course, label the spare outfit, but then forget to label the outfit the baby was wearing, which was much less obviously your baby’s once it was removed.  Just do it.  Invest in some labels.  The ones we got have survived eleventy billion dishwasherings and umpteen laundryings.  It will keep your daycare providers from silently, politely cursing you out and from you losing that one Ralph Lauren ensem you got as a gift.  (Aside: labels are a great gift for a new baby.  They would make a great shower gift, except no one shares that name anymore.)

2. Think about a schedule.

That’s right.  I said it.  The controversial “s” word.  This one applies to babies that are more in the months-old rather than weeks-old stage.  If you aren’t into schedules, that is totally cool.  Do you.  But I posit that it is less stressful to hand your baby over when you can provide clear guidance on what the baby likes.  At least for me, being able to say “he eats around 11:00 and around 3:00” was more calming than having to say “oh, just feed him whenever you think he seems hungry.”  You know your baby better than anybody.  Being able to share some of that knowledge can give you peace of mind.  Also, some daycares have schedules they do for all the kids.  It’s worth checking on to see if you should be working toward that schedule.

And I don’t just mean schedule for the baby.  Think about your schedule.  You and your partner have to now–on a daily basis–perform a coordinated operation on the level of planning of some military attacks, just to get your baby out the door and back in.  (This applies less if you have a nanny or someone coming to you.)  First, think about what makes sense given your work.  Do you always have a client calling you at 5:00 pm?  Maybe pick up is not for you.  Dreading the psychological toll of drop off every day?  Maybe you can negotiate with your partner and do pick up.  Doing extra stuff (aka retrieving your very precious cargo) on top of your work day is hard.  Think about how you can do this as painlessly as possible.

Also, make a plan for getting out the door.  For a long time, I had a post it on our front door with a list of what was needed each day for the baby.  It did not prevent all failures, but I’d like to think it helped on some.  If your partner is in charge of dropping off a stroller so that you can walk home with the baby, you don’t want to just leave that to chance.  (Or vice versa of course.)

In addition to making a plan for the stuff, plan on the time suck.  I swear there is a time vortex that eats about 15 minutes between when I lock my house door and get in the car.  I don’t know where the time goes, but the vortex is real and that time is gone forever.  You cannot prevent the vortex, but knowing is half the battle.

3. Make a plan for washing ALL THAT STUFF.

You are probably already accustomed to an uptick on the laundry front. If you have to dress up for work, I recommend waiting until the very last minute to put on your fancy clothes and then taking them off immediately upon setting foot back in the door.  This will save on laundry and dry cleaning.  Trust.

Now on top of the laundry, be prepared to tackle things in the kitchen.  If you have a young baby, that probably means bottles.  If you are pumping, that also means pump parts.  Even with nifty sterilization bags and trays and whatnot, you still have to go through several steps that you did not have to do before.  This is eating into your work or family or TV or whatever time.  Make a plan with your partner.  I don’t know how to make it take less time, but expecting that it will take time can save your sanity.  I also don’t know how to make it fun, but throw in a podcast or glass of wine and it is practically “me” time.  Snort.

4. You found childcare you like?  Great, GET MORE.

You can plan for the known.  You should also plan for the known unknowns.  Right now this means snow days and sick days. You don’t know when they are coming, but they are definitely barreling your way.

I don’t have a good answer for this; it was an area where I failed.  Who will watch a sick kid without notice and who can get to you in the snow anyway?  But, especially if you don’t have family close by, you should try in case your boss still believes in deadlines even when day care is closed.

At least talk about a plan with your partner because this will come up.  Some services watch sick kids.  Your work may have a suggestion.  This would be a good time to make friends with the neighbors as well.  On snow days, maybe you guys could trade watching kids so that you could each at least get a half day of work in.

Also, if your work offers any sort of possibility to work remotely, make sure you have that all set up and ready to go.  You don’t want to wait until there is ice on the road and your kid is streaming snot to find out your VPN fob is only a decorative key chain.

5. Expect it to suck for awhile.

You may hate the first day.  You may hate the first week.  Don’t make any snap decisions.  I’ll grudgingly admit our moms were right; time does help.  It takes awhile to settle into any new routine.  Give it some time.

You are returning to work a changed person.  Your world has been turned upside down and put back together with gummy smiles and spit up.  But you are returning to a world where little has changed.  Your colleagues, who may have been covering your TPS reports while you were out, are likely dealing with the same problems, same clients, and same everything.  They just don’t understand how fully your world has been rocked.

Maybe it will be smooth sailing.  But I say to treat it as I advise all my friends interested in breastfeeding:  expect it to be the worst thing ever and be pleasantly surprised if it isn’t.  If you are a month or two in and everything is awful, maybe think about some other options.  But remember, give it some time.

How was your transition?  Any other tips?

And in the 9th month, there was tooth

Dear Mac,

You did it!  You now have a tiny sliver of your right bottom tooth sticking out from your gum.  At first, I could only feel it.  Now I can see it in certain lights and angles.  No word yet from its tooth brethren.  I was starting to think I’d be pureeing your steak for the next five years.  (Or, you know, more steak for me.)  But now, tooth!  (Also, we don’t eat much steak.  This isn’t really steak country.)

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You are also SUPER into pulling up.  Not yet on furniture, but on people.  You will be sitting and practically lunge at my hands.  You want to be up, Up, UP.  You stand up for minutes at a time if someone holds you.  You love it.  You haven’t really taken any steps yet, but at this rate, you may just skip crawling.

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Your love affair with food continues.  You have discovered the colorful world of puffs and they are your everything.  The subtleties of the snack pack container currently elude you, but you will not be denied.  You cram a few puffs in your fist at once and then work them out to your mouth.  It is quite the operation.  Your love affair with puffs has, of course, rekindled your brother’s previously dormant desire for puffs.  Choline for everyone!  Including the floor.  Especially the floor.  These things are like a magnet for the feets.

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You are becoming pretty sensitive about noticing that you do not have what others have.  “I have apple bits, but you have apple slice!  Unfair!!”  Things like this.  I promise to try to provide you with as many developmentally appropriate equivalents as possible, but as my mom always says, life isn’t fair.

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You’ve been bunking in our room because of Nana’s visit.  I’d endure much more to spend time with Nana, but I’ll be glad for you to go back to your room.  Man, you make some noise at night.  First, there is the serious leg jackknifing.  Then, in the early morning hours, you start conducting your own talk show.  I don’t know what it’s about or who your guests are, but everyone sounds pretty happy.  A few times I know I’ve fed you when I probably wouldn’t have usually, just to get you to wrap up your set.  Maybe you and your brother will be ready to try bunking together for our next guests this spring.  (We opted not to try this visit after Munich when your brother would scream “MACKLES” at your crib once you finally settled down.)

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Speaking of your brother, the Stockholm syndrome continues.  You look at him like a brainwashed cult member.  James commented that some highlights of your day were being tackled by Henry.  You don’t always love being manhandled, but you do love your brother.  One of my favorite parts of the day is at bedtime when Henry tells you goodnight and “I’ll love you in the morning.”  This seems to be Henry’s mashup of hearing “I love you” and “I’ll see you in the morning.”  This could definitely be a new family phrase.

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Your brother just started day care a few mornings each week.  This means that you and I have some quality togetherness time to take on Rome.  Unfortunately, I’ve been developing some soreness in my side after wearing you in your carrier, but I never let silly little things like that stop me.  Let’s see what mischief we can get up to.

Love, Mom

 

Thoughts from my Sick 8 Month Old

[This was written earlier.  He’s not sick again.]

Poor little guy.  My baby is having his first real illness.  Fever, cough, and runny nose.  My sleep-deprived little brain put together some thoughts from the baby as I went in to administer his first Tylenol of the day.

Hey, Mom.  Mom.  Mom. MOM.  Where are you going?  Don’t go!  Let’s stay and cuddle.  Come on, you look like you need this.  You look tired and a little out of it and, dare I say, cranky?

Ah, that’s better.  Weren’t you just saying how I never cuddle anymore?  I know I’m all independent and #bossbaby all the time, but I still love you.  Let’s have a cuddle.  This one’s on me.

Ooo, the rocker.  Good call.  Let’s get comfortable.  Not there.  Uh, not there.  Ah, yes.  That’s better, right?  I mean, I’m really comfortable!  Your arm is kind of at a funny angle, but you aren’t moving so we’re cool, right?

You have a lovely singing voice.  Were you classically trained?  NO?!?  Well, it’s beautiful.  Don’t ever stop.  Haha, just kidding.  OK, not really.  Don’t stop.  Did I say stop?

Isn’t this nice?  It’s just like when I was really little and we used to cuddle and watch crap TV and you felt kinda guilty about sending my brother to day care so that we could cuddle and watch crap TV.  It went pretty fast didn’t it?

Haha, nice try, Mom.  I know you think I want to be put back in my crib, but I am willing to make this sacrifice FOR YOU.  Don’t put me down.  You need this cuddle.  I’ll let you cuddle me instead of getting beauty sleep back in my crib.  It’s just my generous nature.  That’s right.  I’m a giver.

Is it time for more Tylenol yet?  No?  Well, that’s OK.  We’ll get through this day together, Mommy.  Promise.  I’ll be with you every step of the way.  I’ll never leave your side!  My brother can take care of himself I’m sure.  Toddlers are known for their resilience and ability to entertain themselves.  You and me.  Let’s have a cuddle.

Crazy Eights

Dear Mac,

You are somehow eight months old.  You have lived outside the U.S. longer than you lived there.  Wild.  When we first moved here, we met an eight month old.  She seemed so impossibly big and capable and it all seemed so far away, but I knew it would be fast.  And here we are.

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You are quite the little roly poly.  Not just because of your adorable squish, of which there is plenty.  (Your dad said your thigh crease looked like a second butt the other day.  A very cute butt, of course.  And I mean booty, don’t say butt.)  No, you are a roll-a-mus because you are literally on a roll.  After showing very little interest in rolling at all, you can now flop from front to back AND back to front effortlessly.  We can put you down at one end of the carpet and you end up all the way at the other end.  You are going to be crawling any day now, I’m sure.  Although we said the same thing about your teeth . . .

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Even though you have been teething for at least four months, you refuse to sprout any teeth.  I can only imagine this is some sort of Benjamin Buttons situation where you are not growing teeth because you lost them already.  (If it was not abundantly clear from the previous sentence, I have not actually seen the movie.)  Every day we keep checking, but no dice.

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Your lack of teeth has not deterred your love of solid food though.  Man, you love to eat.  There is no combination of baby food too disgusting for you to ingest with relish.  You will eat pork, mixed veggies, and prunes together and then probably wonder about a second course.  You are a little more skeptical on some of your less pureed foods.  The chopped fish and green bean situation was not your jam.  We give you little bits of things to try to pick up, a challenge you seem to enjoy.  You will happily gum a hunk of apple all through breakfast.  You have tried rabbit baby food, but I think we will skip the recently-spotted horse.

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You had a fun Christmas with your brother.  Wrapping paper was a big hit.  Speaking of your brother, even since I last covered him, he has taken his play up a level.  He can now do imaginative play, particularly with his new Christmas cars and trucks.  The cars go on adventures and eat pancakes.  It feels like a little mini game of improv.  The cars jump off the building?  Yes AND they land at the octopus park!  I love this so much.  I really do.  But I find it to be draining.  I’m not sure why.  I can read the same book 12 times in a row without complaint, but for some reason “being the firetruck” takes a lot out of me.  Needless to say, I’m really excited to see you and Henry play this way when you are older.  I have very fond memories of playing Barbies, or My Little Ponies, or both with my sister for hours.  Her memories may be less fond because I know I was teeniest bit cough cough bossy.  I hope you and Henry have excellent memories together.  And if you can “be the firetruck” for a bit, that is all the better for me.  (I am always fire truck.  I don’t mind.  I’m just curious what made the kid look at me and think, yup, you are definitely firetruck material.)

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For being a baby, I am always impressed how hard you can troll your brother.  You guys seems to have a strange symbiotic relationship where you can’t stand to be apart but often can’t stand to be together.  It usually starts when Henry insists on playing right beside you.  You grab all the toys he doesn’t want you to grab.  He melts down.  You melt down.  Repeat.

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You also seem to have fun together.  I think you could watch Henry for hours.  I get pretty indignant when he causes you harm.  (I do try and avoid this, prevent it, and police it.)  You look at him with such admiration and trust and when he hurts you it feels like a punch to the gut.  Every time.  You never see it coming and your eyes go from trust to naked disbelief that this would happen.  And then you flip over on the bed and put your feet all over your brother.  I think you’ll be fending for yourself before I know it.

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I keep sleep stalking you.  At the risk of waking you, I even take pictures.  Or ask your dad to do it.  You still aren’t quite making it through the night, but your wakeups are getting closer to five or six AM.  I keep telling myself that we’re getting there . . .

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Speaking of sleep, you seem to be dropping your morning nap.  I’m OK with this.  It frees us up for more morning adventures and you can cat nap if you need it.  I am not OK with the state some days which seems to be a crankypants baby who refuses to sleep.  Your choices are be asleep or be awake and pleasant.  Thank you in advance.

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I really can’t complain because you continue to be the happiest, most cheerful little dude.  I think you are getting a little slower to smile at strangers; you like to analyze the situation first.  You don’t mind not being around me, but you often get upset when I leave the room.  This always surprises me because many times you are doing your own thing, and I didn’t think I was even on your radar.

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Being on a cute baby’s radar.  There are worse places to be.  🙂

Love, Mom

P.S.  Whoops, didn’t write about 7 months (I swear we took pics!), but more on Mac at 4 months, 5 months, and 6 months.

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Are things different? Glad you asked: Starting Solids Edition

As I mentioned recently, we just started solid foods with Mac.  I forgot how much of a pain solids are.  Yeah, it is awesome seeing your kid doing a new thing.  Yeah, they look really adorable.  But, man, it is messy.  Now I get spit up and random bits of food.  Cleaning the giant high chair tray in the not-quite- big-enough sink is a pain.  And then you have to remember to bring food for them when you go out.  And spoons.  And bibs.  And even more wipes than usual.  Luckily, we haven’t reached that point because we’re just dabbling with one meal (or so) a day, but it is coming.  And soon.

As many things, Italians have a different approach on starting solids.  Our pediatrician is supportive of us doing it “the American way,” aka rice cereal with milk or formula, but wanted us to know about “the Italian way.”  (She is also supportive of our current approach for Mac, “the what worked for Henry way,” aka bypassing rice cereal and jumping into veggies and fruits.  Henry is a pretty great eater; I’d like to replicate as much as possible.  If only I could remember what we did!)

Here is a snippet of the instructions she provided:

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Making your own broth for cereal?  Cool, sounds good to me.  What cracks me up is that the Italian approach adds Parmesan cheese and olive oil right away.  Priorities!  What cracks me up even more is that an “espresso size spoon” is used for measurement.  Because, of course it is.

After the cereal, babies work on veggies and fruits.  And eventually work their way up to:

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Yes, rabbit and veal.  It is safe to say that baby food looks a little different here.  No judgment.  I just have to laugh that they put the most adorable magician’s- hat, want-to-be-your-pet, snowy rabbit on the packaging.

So far Mac has done carrots, zucchini, sweet potato, banana, apple, and pears.  He was tentative for anything non-sweet at first, but now is pretty enthusiastic about whatever we throw his way.

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We have plans to start with the white meats on Thanksgiving.  Still working up to rabbit . . .

What was your approach on solids?  Did it include cereal?  Veal?  Espresso?  🙂

Want more differences?  Differences around the house here.  Differences on lifestyle here.

Mac is 6 months

Dear Mac,

You are really killing it right now as a baby.  You just make this look easy.  You are teething so hard, but you’d hardly know it other than the drool and chewing on your fingers.  Every day I keep expecting those teeth to pop out, but they remain elusive.

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You’ve really stepped up your sitting game.  You can go for minutes at a time unassisted, and you love to sit in the boppy.  This is sort of your rotation.  Absolutely engrossed with your toys sitting in the boppy.  Absolutely engrossed with your toys in the Exersaucer.  Pissed off about tummy time.  Repeat.  You are so consumed by what you are doing that sometimes you barely notice your brother and me.  Except when we are singing and having dance parties.  That you really love to watch.  It makes me smile that you seem to like my singing.

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You are still huge.  Your recent doctor’s visit had you at 18 lbs 5 oz (a full pound and a third more than your brother).  Now that you are six months, we are starting to play with solids.  At the doctor’s suggestion, you did some grated apple.  You had the most priceless “bitter beer” face at first, but you seem to be getting the hang of it.  (If I’m being honest, your first food was technically gelato when you attacked your dad’s spoon.  You also enjoyed some ice cream cone after Henry stared wistfully at the gelato place and the gelato lady brought him an empty cone and then gave you one because she didn’t want you to be left out.  I think you gummed half of it down before I turned around to take it from you.)  You have also had banana, but that is because you were sitting in my lap and pretty much took down the banana I was eating.  We tried some zucchini.  You weren’t feeling it, but in your defense, it looked pretty gross.  I promise to step up my baby food prep game.  You have tried carrots and sweet potatoes, but you only have a taste for the sweet stuff.  We’ll see what comes next.  You like to drink out of cups.  Like a lot.

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I will admit that things are different with you than they were for your brother.  With Henry, I think we had pictures and videos for most new foods tried.  For you, we do have a video with your first food (not the gelato, the other first food).  But your typical experience is eating banana that I mushed with my fingers while sitting in my lap so I can’t take a picture.  (I can’t put you in your highchair because Henry’s baby is in there and he will freak if I move it.)

Even though everything isn’t documented, you do have something your brother didn’t, which is the constant source of encouragement and entertainment that is Henry.  You never get tired of watching him.  And most of the time, he’s your biggest fan.  You guys are so fun to watch together.  I hope you will be tight.

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Brothers don’t shake hands . . . brothers gotta hug

You have more hair than I think your brother grew in over a year, but that isn’t say much for either of you.  You have this one extra long hair right above your forehead that sometimes sticks straight up and I will be so sad when it falls out.  I call it your unicorn horn.

We had a breakthrough on sleeping very recently.  You’ve been consistently getting up once a night.  It was at 4, then at 2:30, then at 2:00.  The night you got up at 12:30, I put my foot down and we put in the work of helping you sooth yourself.  It took an hour and half before you settled, but every night since then you’ve been sleeping straight on through.  It’s amazing and wonderful and I’m scared to even type it here to jinx it, but you’ve been going strong for over a week now and I hope it is the new normal.

I still usually come in and creepily stare at you sleeping before I go to bed.  You look even more like your brother when asleep.  And you look younger.  And you look huge.  Sigh, it does go so fast.

Love, Mom

Mac is 5 months

Dear Mac,

I can’t believe you are five months already.  After I spent two months telling everyone you were four months old, I can’t seem to advance your age now.  You are just squeezing into your 3-6 months outfits, and I don’t think that will fly much longer.  You are almost 18 pounds.

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You are so happy.  Everyone who sees you comments that you never cry.  Which isn’t exactly true, but you are usually cheerful to be outside and excited to see people.  Even though you are teething hard right now, you would hardly know, aside from all the drool, as you are such a good sport about it.

Before I forget or they morph again, I wanted to share some of your nicknames.  Although your brother’s nicknames mostly derived from Henry-kins (Kinz, Kensington, etc.) or “Squeaks,” yours come from “Squish.”  So you have Squishimi, Squishimus, Squishipuss, and my recent reversing, Pusslesquish.  Your dad calls you Mackleton and Mackle Tackle.  I am guilty of calling you Big Mac, Smacks, Smack, and similar and apologize profusely for drug-related nicknames.  #smackiswhack

Kind of looks like a minion here, right?

Kind of looks like a minion here, right?

You rolled today!  Front to back.  You had a five month appointment at the doctor, because apparently that is a thing here, and you rolled for the first time.  It was as if on command.  Show off!  Everyone at the doctor was charmed by your squish and smiles, even though you skipped your morning nap.

You have quite the grip.  You can manipulate toys like nobody’s business.  We’ll wait a tiny bit more on solids, but I think you will be ready.  You have been enjoying spoon/fork time and you are about to grab all the food off our plates.  You are still getting up around once a night.  I keep hoping that maybe solids will help on that.  We shall see!

Ball so hard

Ball so hard

Love, Mom

Mac is 4 months

Dear Mac,

Happy 4 months old!  (Just a few days late.)  It feels as though you hit this milestone awhile ago, mostly because you had your 4 month pediatrician checkup over two weeks early and I’ve been telling everyone you are “almost 4 months” for probably the last month.  But now you can really own it.

Wut up

You are huge.  And oh, so squishy.  Even though you were measured two weeks early, you still hit 99th percentile on height.  You are wearing clothes labeled for six months all the way up to one year.  When you sit on my lap, it seems that more of you hangs off than on.  You have go-go-Gadget monkey arms that lately you are deploying to reach stuff I didn’t think you could.  Like my glasses.  And that butter knife on the table.

Monkey arm in action

You are so sweet, tolerant, and patient.  You usually calmly wait for the rest of us when we eat our meals.  You are accepting of your brother’s hugs, kisses, mano holdings, and tackles.  You are quick to smile, and I’m hearing more laughs these days.

Lately, you love being upright, whether being held, in your Bumbo, or in the Exersaucer you recently started dabbling with.  Your hand control is improving by the day.  You can now grab, deliberately it seems, toys and your chupito (pacifier).  And those elusive feet have also succumbed to your grasp.

Still working on sitting

You are eating 5-6 times a day.  I’d love for you to drop your pre-dawn meal, but, after stalling out for a bit, you seem to be making strides on sleep.  One day this week we didn’t hear a peep out of you until 700!  But usually we hear from you between 4 and 5.  You are a pro at your morning nap, and although you aren’t doing it today, you have been making progress on a two-hour afternoon nap, that blessedly aligns with your brother’s.

I love that you are growing and becoming more aware.  I just wish you weren’t doing it so fast!

Love, Mom