… to a lesbian conception adventure!

8 months

J turned 8 months old on K’s third birthday.

He continues to be a delightful baby, smiley and cheerful most of the time with very few tears except when he is hungry or hurts himself, which happens more with each passing day as he explores his world.  He does not startle easily, which was good not only during the fourth of July fireworks, but also when his sister yells in his face to “make him laugh” (which, to be fair, he often does).

He has become increasingly vocal and we have heard “ma” sounds on more than one occasion, sometimes seemingly connected to wanting milk or more.  He also signs milk and we could probably teach him other signs but have not really bothered, partly because there hasn’t been a need and probably also because he is insistent enough with the milk sign that we’re not convinced he (we) needs others.  He has also taken to grunting when he wants to eat and in between every bite to show that you are not feeding him fast enough.

Which leads us to eating.  This month, we learned that J has an eggplant allergy when the eggplant that he was eating left a rash all around his mouth and on his leg where it touched.  It remained just a rash, fortunately, but it was unpleasant for a while for us moms.  J just went merrily about his life without any particular reaction.  Other than the eggplant, he has eaten so many new vegetables and fruits along with a bit of most things that we eat.  He has a voracious appetite and if he is at the table with fellow eaters, he wants something in his mouth.  We have used a lot more jarred foods this time around, but he seems to prefer texture and we give that to him whenever we can.  He has gotten better and better at feeding himself, though we are happy to feed him some of the messier foods in a way we never did with K, mostly because the cleanup is twice as challenging with a three year old underfoot.  J’s favorite foods are probably his oatmeal and his bananas, but he will eat almost anything, so long as it is not cold.  To be fair, when something is cold, he will usually still eat it after making some of the most dissatisfied faces you’ve ever seen.

In terms of movement, look out world.  J continues to army crawl everywhere he wants to go – and fast!  He has at times gotten up on his hands and knees but has little interest when he needs to get somewhere.  He loves to stand and likes bouncing up and down when standing.  At 8 months, he was also just getting the hang of sitting, though that has gotten better and he finds himself in a sitting position more frequently now.

Loves include his food, his sister, and his moms.  Dislikes include hurting himself and getting startled.  He also dislikes being hungry and/or not being able to eat when others are eating.  We can never move fast enough to feed him – whether to keep up putting food into his mouth or onto his tray.

Overall, still an awesome baby!  We’ll keep him 🙂

Advertisements

Three.

K is three, as of two Wednesdays ago.

She is radiant.  And joyful.  And independent.  And stubborn.

She loves her “friends” (read: any other child within eyesight) and she loves her “babies” (read: any toy animal of the stuffed or non-stuffed variety, some imaginary babies as well, including her imaginary “baby neverbeast” from a movie she watches with grandma).  She gets shy and silly around new or unfamiliar people but has become warmer and warmer with her family and does not take nearly as long to get used to someone when they come to the house.  She loves spending time with my mother, including their Friday visits to the library, and also loves spending time with her cousin.

She adores being outside.  She has the best adventures as she explores the natural world, adventures that sometimes include picking the tomatoes and putting them on the ground so we don’t see that she has picked them.  We have gone to a nearby river a few times this summer and she is fearless as she splashes around, throws rocks, puts her face to the water.  A gym membership that includes a pool has not hurt her water-loving either; with her float she is happy to swim independently and she gets braver every time we get in the water.

For her birthday, we both took off and surprised her with a boat ride and time splashing in fountains.  Stripped to her underwear, running around as water shot up from the ground, she was so free.  She collected all the leaves that had fallen into the fountain area and brought them to the table to dry.  We stopped for a lunch appetizer of ice cream – because why not – and then it was back to splashing until it was time to get back on the boat and go to lunch.  We went light on the gifts because less stuff is always a goal, but we did get her a scooter and little animal dolls for the old-school dollhouse built by the father of a friend when that friend was a child.  We had cupcakes on her birthday with plans for more sweets for her birthday party.

K is an awesome big sister and she has been trying harder and harder to engage with J.  She likes to try to make him laugh and sometimes likes to give him things that don’t belong to him (or take away things that do).  Sometimes she is big girl proud and other times she is little girl needy, and at least some of that has to do with her brother and the responses he might be getting at any given time.  She has also taken to wanting more hugs and cuddles than ever before and I think at least a little of it has to do with him, though I also think she is coming into her more in a way that is uniquely K.

Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, noodles (it used to be mac & cheese but she had started asking us to “take the cheese off” before requesting ‘plain noodles”), any kind of fruit, pancakes, black beans, oatmeal, waffles, crackers, raisins, and sometimes chips.  Somewhere along the way she realized that we sometimes didn’t ask her to eat things that are “spicy” so she has taken to calling any food that she does not care for “too spicy” to eat.  She has developed more of a sweet tooth and will at times try to negotiate getting dessert for eating her dinner, which we sometimes indulge.  Dessert can be anything from a cookie to a piece of fruit to a popsicle made from the strawberries we picked in June.

She says the best things.  She makes us laugh and she is starting to fully grasp the power in that and in her charming little smile.  She tries to explain away misbehavior (and sometimes makes good points).  She almost always has a reason for doing what she does, except when she is over-tired or over-excited, at which point she becomes destructive to a fault, eventually needing some space or hugs or both.  She also just started getting into asking us fascinating why questions, like “why are the walls so tall?” (referring to ceiling height).

She has always liked music.  Over the past year she has moved from us singing to her, to her singing “all by myself – you no sing” to singing together (which is my favorite).  She has learned several little poems that she will say for you if you ask (and sometimes if you don’t… sometimes on repeat).  She also likes books and reading and has memorized the texts of several different books that we regularly read.  We have a book that features several beginner stories and she likes being able to choose a book within the book.    The other day she “read” us “The pok.ey litt.le pup.py” and made us smile as she talked about the puppy being “happy as  a lark”  Many an afternoon or evening when it is time to lay down we can find her with a book in hand “reading” to herself.  I love it and encourage it and rarely go a day without reading at least one book if not many.  Favorite books right now include Dr. Se.uss, a book that was written by a friend of a friend,  and her highlights stories.

K had a birthday party this past weekend.  It had a butterfly theme and she was given play butterfly wings to wear.  We played butterfly catching games and hung out in the backyard with her aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and a few little friends who are children of our big friends.  We ate good food and finished with strawberry shortcake “with strawberries AND blueberries” and chocolate cupcakes with a cherry on top, mini replicas of the big cake she saw at the bakery.  She was thrilled to have both to eat.

And for my part, I am amazed that I have been doing this three years.  And grateful for (almost) every second.  I feel so lucky to have such a neat kid and even more lucky to have the resources I have to be close to the parent I want to be.  If I could steal her birthday wishes, I would be wishing for another year of growth and love and fun.  Another year to be an awesome kid and to keep growing into whatever person she is meant to be.

7 1/2 months

I keep trying to write these “on time” and it keeps not happening.

At 7 1/2 months, J is a super mover.  He can army crawl everywhere and make it across a room in the blink of an eye.  He gets up on his hands and knees sometimes – and sometimes up on his hands and feet – but at the end of the day seems satisfied with his successful army crawling skills.  He also likes to stand and bounce and is a fan of his jump up bouncer, which is very different from K, who regarded it with indifference.  He can sit, sort of, but quickly leans himself over and begins crawling.

J is an eager eater.  He never seems as pleased by food as his sister did, but he is always looking for more and will say “meh! meh!” when he wants more.  He likes his oatmeal in the morning and also enjoys snap peas, bananas, and blueberries.  He seems to prefer textured foods and wants whatever we are eating (as compared to jarred foods).  He still loves his milk and will say “meh” for milk, too, while attempting to sign by waving his hands out at his sides.

He loves people.  He adores his sister – thinks she is so funny and lights up when she enters a room.  He lights up for each of us, too, and, my favorite, continues to look all over when he hears my voice.  He makes funny sounds and funny faces and brightens our days.

J remains a calm and cheerful baby, even in challenging circumstances.  We had to go to the hospital this past week (a post for another day) and even though it was miserable in so many ways, he was still a very relaxed baby to the extent that anyone could expect him to be.  He can be determined – he flat-out yells when he is hungry and wants to eat; he maneuvers himself where he wants to go; he uses all kinds of motor skills to get food and toys to his mouth – but he is generally calm with whatever happens.

As always, it shocks me how big he is getting.  I cuddle him extra hard these days, much like I did with his sister.  The same old nostalgia of him “growing up” and getting bigger is still around, though I will say it is easier when I look toward the future and imagine the awesome little person he is becoming each and every day.

Half birthday

J turned six months old a couple weeks ago.

Isn’t it funny how we see personality so early on and how it endures?

J is still a calm, relaxed, chilled out baby.  He will snuggle when he is nursing but, like his sister before him, does not want to miss any action.  And unlike his sister, when we put him on the floor, he is a moving machine!  He loves grabbing things with his hands and will drag himself across the floor zombie-style to get his hands on all the things, particularly the teeny tiny things that his sister puts in eyesight.  He has been practicing push-ups and can get his belly off the ground, though at 6 months he hadn’t quite started the rocking back and forth that he has been doing recently.   We fully anticipate having a crawler by 7 months – maybe 7 1/2.  That being said, sitting, the more appropriate (and more easily supervised) milestone, is not a milestone that he has mastered, though he likes to sit between our legs and weeble-wobble into them and our arms.

He likes milk still (of course), but we also started some solids, including butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and watermelon.  While he will eat, he seems to like the mechanics of grabbing food and putting it in his mouth more than the actual eating, with the exception of watermelon.

He babbles with us and with his pop and the pediatrician noted his ability to make “complex sounds.”  It seems like he sometimes says “meh” when he wants milk, but that might just be the sound he makes.  He has a great little giggle and a wide closed mouth smile with a little dimple right above the right hand side of his smile.  His open mouth smile includes the addition of one (at six months) – now two – bottom teeth.

He still sleeps in our bedroom, though C is lobbying for a move sometime soon.  He wakes up at least once a night, often twice, but is easy to nurse and put down.  I am also blessed with a baby who is generally fairly easy to put to bed, which means that long days usually aren’t made longer by rounds of holding, rocking, gently putting down, followed by holding and rocking when that doesn’t work.  I can even put him down awake some nights, which is great.

The other big six month milestone is greater awareness of the world.  He is definitely more interested in the dog and his sister – he saves the best smiles for her and she gets more and more into playing with him by the day (alternating with ignoring him or taking toys from him because they are “her babies”).  He likes when she – or anyone – makes funny sounds or does something that might surprise him (he also makes the best shocked face when we blow on his head and flashes the best smiles when we say “ah ah ah chooo!”

One other thing from this month – we took him and K to a nearby beach with their cousin.  There are waves and we let the (chilly) waves wash over his feet.  My son is a big fusser but man did he pull those little legs up and make the saddest, saddest face as he began to cry.  Despite his reluctance, I am so excited about the beach this summer with him and his sister.

5 months old

Almost 6, really, but who’s counting?

J continues to be as delightful as ever.  He is the definition of chill baby – calm and relaxed 90% of the time, with most of his tears reserved for the rare time food does not get to him fast enough.  He loves being with people but tolerates “alone” time and – even more significantly – tolerates the daily interest of his big sister, in all of its rough and tumble forms.  He simply does not fuss about much, including naps and bedtime, though naps have recently been starting with a little moaning and rolling about before he drifts off.

He is a mover.  He loves to go go go and I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t start crawling in the next month or two.  He learned to roll from back to front several weeks ago and has been doing it effortlessly ever since.  When he is on his tummy, he “swims” and just this past week he started doing push ups with his stomach off the ground.  We haven’t been able to leave him in one place for some time, but each day it seems that he is able to get further and further away from where he starts – and closer and closer to whatever small toys K has left laying around.  He fixates on objects from time to time and will do his best to get them – and is really quite good at the hand-eye coordination necessary to bring items from wherever and into his mouth.

J is a talker at times, particularly when he is with my father, who he just loves (probably because my dad invests so much time into talking to him).  He can make “ma” sounds and at times sounds like “meh” (as in milk) or “ma” (as in me, of course!) and while I know they are just sounds, I encourage them just the same!  He is also a huge smiler – a little bit of eye contact, a little bit of cheerful talking and that boy is smiling like it is his best day.

He hasn’t had any stranger concerns just yet – he goes to everybody – but at the end of the day, it is pretty clear that he belongs to me (or, more accurately, that I belong to him).  He will turn his whole body to find me if he hears my voice and he lights up when I talk to him.  He gets almost as excited for his mama and for his sister (sometimes more excited for his sister, especially if she is making silly sounds or faces just to get him to laugh).

I could make a ton of comparisons to his sister, without value judgments and instead filled with wonder about the differences that make them unique and the similarities that show their roots. I will make a comparison between myself now and myself with K – while I adore this baby and this season and while time is flying by as quickly as it ever has in my life, I do not feel the same urgency to make it stop.  Yes, I would still love to bottle a little bit of baby J for a nostalgic time in the future when I need a squishy baby fix, but I am so excited to see what comes next, because it has been so wonderful with K and each new day is a great adventure.

4 months

J turned four months old on March 29th.  And he is excellent.

What can I say about him?  He eats like a champ, sleeps pretty well, and is a super chill baby.  There are whole days where he only cries once or twice if that – and that’s mostly when he is hungry, I am not around, and he has to wait for a bottle.

He loves to grab things – things hanging over his head, things in front of him, my face.  He has gotten to that terrible stage of pointy fingernails that are pointy no matter what we do and perfect for painful grabs during nursing.  He likes putting his hands in his mouth and will nom and nom on them as much as he can.

He can roll from front to back but still struggles with back to front.  He can sit up when propped against something – for about 2.5 seconds before he slumps over to one side or the other.

He is a talker, a smiler, a laugher.  He likes to make noises and likes when we make them back to him.  He is also a splasher in the bathtub, ferociously kicking his “kicky feet.”

He seems to watch and observe everything – possible trouble for later?

I simultaneously cannot get over how big he is and how small he is.  How much he can do and how much he has to learn.  It is impossible not to compare him to his sister at this age and, because he is so different, impossible to compare him, too.

Worn

In two days, we’ll hit four months with J.

In that four months, we’ve been to the doctor a few extra times, the ER twice, had multiple and expensive problems with both of our vehicles, lost (and replaced) a dryer, faced serious family illness, experienced major job changes at both of our jobs (both by choice and chance), were rear-ended with both babies in the car (it was very minor but still frightening) and I’m sure more that I’m not remembering.  And in between did our best at those jobs, volunteered, visited family, and kept on raising our children.

No wonder I’m tired.  No wonder I haven’t written.  Or kept a terrifically clean house.  Or accomplished many of my goals each week.

This week has been particularly rough.  I am in the midst of some career changes which I am hoping will ultimately benefit everyone but right now are nothing but stress.  And J has suddenly decided he loves his bottles so much that he will take more than I can pump in a day.  And my supply has dropped a little.  And even when K goes to bed (which she thankfully does very well), J is up a bit longer.  Being back to work and hardly having a minute for myself means being hit with the reality of just how needy the baby is, just how needy the toddler is, and just the little bit extra time I wish I had for myself and my relationship.  As it stands now, the extra time is so little that I have to choose between me or the relationship and it feels like neither is winning.

Despite all of this, overall, I am happy.  K is at this great age where she is better than ever at clarifying her thoughts, and boy are some of them funny.  J is at the age where he feels like what I think of when I think of baby – solid and squishy and perfect.  We often have fun together as a family.

I just need a way to make more hours in the day.