Posts tagged ‘baby’

A portrait of 8 months

Baby J turned 8 months old (or 2/3 of a year!) this week, and this is my favourite age so far.

He is freakishly mobile for his age. While that means he can, and does, get into all kinds of trouble, it also makes him such a happy baby to be able to explore. With basic kidproofing of our main living areas in place, he can entertain himself for minutes at a time. No more indignant squawking when you put him down. Now he follows his adults and the cat around from room to room at a great clip, his palms smacking on the wood floor.

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Just in the last 2 weeks or so, he has started really eating the food he is offered, instead of just playing with it. It’s still a really minor source of nutrition, but it gives me faith that I will not be doomed to a life of eternal pumping once I’m back at work.

What else? He babbles, laughs, and claps, and loves buttons, ties, going routside and being picked up. (Dislikes: going to sleep, waking up alone, diaper changes, having his face washed, not being allowed to eat library books, manicures, pedicures, and the vacuum cleaner.)

So, yay for a fun, expressive little person. I know this stage will be so fleeting like the others before it, so I am trying to make the most of it, and take lots of pictures too.

For the record

Before Baby J was born, I thought the year of (Canadian) maternity leave might get old fast. To the outside observer, staying at home with a baby looks like a lot of work, or at least a lot of doing mundane things in isolation. I expected to miss work and related life.

But, at 7.5 months into this endeavour, let the record show that I am really grateful to have this time. It is a relief that my one priority is the care and nutrurance of this little person. I try to clean and make dinner too, and keep in touch with friends, but my main job is child care, and there aren’t serious conflicts for that time or head space.

So tonight, even though between J’s bedtime and mine, he had 5 wakeups(!) I am not getting further behind on homework or some such by spending all my time shushing the snotty, teething baby. It’s nice and relaxed, and I’m a little afraid of the shitstorm that going back to work is going to bring early next year. Yiiii.

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Baby J himself is a fascinating little person these days, super mobile, curious, and fearless, so long as he’s not alone. Yesterday morning, he actually crawled down off the mattress where we sleep (hitherto a fortress with invisible moat) and he came to find me brushing my teeth in the bathroom. I was pretty surprised to see him travel smacking around the corner! (Mobile, yes. Quiet and sneaky, no.)

I guess this post is fashionably late but appropriate for Thanksgiving. I’m super grateful for the charge of this fascinating little person, and the life circumstances that make our current time together possible.

5 months!

So! I have a 5-month-old! And not a lot of computer time! Funny how that goes.

In the last month or two, Baby J has been turning into such a little person instead of a grub. He wants things and grabs them (and then chews the crap out of them). He has one little sharp jaggedy tooth poking through his bottom gums. And, in just the last few days, he has vastly improved his powers of locomotion, to the point where he can slowly and painfully wiggle his way over to whatever he is after. He is driven to practice this locomotion at every opportunity, including while trying to fall asleep, and again immediately upon waking. This last bit has made night wakings a bit more of a pain, but it is balanced out by the miraculous fact that, in the last week or two, J sleeps unswaddled. I was really starting to think I’d one day be swaddling a 7-year-old, but once his movements became coordinated enough that he could roll around in the swaddle, he simultaneously outgrew the need for it. Yay!

Oh, one more baby ability/obsession (for babies are obsessed with everything they do): consonants. One generic consonant. He flaps his mouth wide open and closed like a fish while yelling Bababababa! BA! It’s cute, except when it’s apparent that I am being sternly critiqued. BA!

That, above, is a lot of changes. Who is this kid?! Mostly he’s a lot of fun. OF COURSE I get frustrated being alone with him most of the time (and it’s mutual), and OF COURSE I feel guilty all the time for not being an awesome enough parent, and I do wish there were more awesome parents and baby friends nearby in our lives so we could have more of a little community and see OTHER people more often, but hopefully that stuff will come.

I am enjoying maternity leave a lot more than I expected. The last few years, I was so focused on grad school and on working that it’s a breath of fresh air to have some time. We go slowly and take walks with no need to dress up or impress anybody. I have a simultaneously terrible and wonderful habit of staying up super late after baby and husband are in bed to play music, sew or whatever in the attic, which makes me tired but is good for sanity. I can’t even imagine what going back to work will be like, but time will tell.

Meanwhile, J has learned to take naps that don’t necessarily involve me lying next to him the whole time, but they are by no means long. Which is to say, he’s up!

On the Virtues of Printed Photo Albums

Oh HAI. I forgot about this blog for awhile. Actually, I didn’t forget. I just wasn’t allowed to write here until I finished sending all the thank you cards for new baby gifts, and that just happened last week. Yes, the baby is 4 months old. Shaddup.

The thought of trying to summarize the last 2.5 months of rapidly evolving baby gives me a headache, so instead, here’s what I’m mentally chewing on right now: photo albums. (Well, that and WordPress’ new dashboard layout which is frankly making me stabby.)

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A photo of me as a baby from an aunt’s family album. Nice haircut there, older cousin! My parents never kept albums when I was little, but I’m so grateful to have a few old family photos like this from other relatives.

I want us to have real physical photo albums of J’s childhood. A million cell phone pictures are nice and all, but I have zero faith those are going to be accessible for the kid when he is grown up. A print book you have to save in a fire, but otherwise should be around regardless of electrical or computing systems, file formats, or whatever. Since getting access to my first digital camera in about 2004, there is zero printed photographic evidence of our lives, and that needs to change.

So I’m trying to be catch up on family photo albums. I still need to make a wedding one, which will be verrry short. We have a honeymoon one already.┬áNow I’m getting started on a book for J’s first year. This is all incredibly time-consuming, but hopefully once a process is in place (i.e. photo editing and book layout programs are set up on my computer so I can work on layout incrementally as photos get taken) it should be manageable. Even short little books would be way better then nothing.

And now: diaper laundry and pumping! Life around here continues to be glamourous.