Fifteen Months

21 Mar


At 15 months, Charlie…

:: is finally walking! He is still very cautious and crawls more often than not, but he’s walked up to six feet or so on his own. He much prefers holding our hands, which is fine by me because I know he’ll be running off before we know it.

:: has started connecting more and more words with objects. Some favorites right now are: ball, shoe, cheese, cat, dog, bye, hiya, nana (banana), nah (no), eat, more, and of course mama and da (dad).

:: likes copying what we do with our hands. We have an awesome print in his room from my sister-in-law, Angela, and sometimes I’ll point to it and read it to him. He smiles really big, points back, and “reads” it back to me.

:: loves riding on his dad’s shoulders.

:: opens and closes everything he can, especially doors (and unfortunately, the toilet seat). He really, really likes “doing laundry”: opening the washer door, putting a dishrag in, closing it, and pushing the “on” button (which beeps because of the childproof setting). Then he’ll open the door, take the rag out, and start over.

:: is getting better at eating with a spoon (and using his fork), so mealtimes are more 50/50 utensils and hands.

:: could eat a block of cheese a day if I let him.

:: makes me both proud and terrified with his climbing skills. There will be some falls in our future, no doubt about that. Hopefully just not big ones!

:: wants to be involved in everything we do in the kitchen. We are working on a learning tower for him this weekend that should make his time while we are cooking a lot more enjoyable.

:: loves looking for cats and dogs. If you say “cat” or “dog” he will immediately repeat it and then point outside. If he gets to pet one, he’s in heaven!

:: loves reading: current book obsessions are Hands Can and Have You Seen My Cat?

:: has started sleeping much better at night, which has been wonderful. It looks like we are coming up on the transition from two naps to one soon, which I’m both looking forward to (much easier to schedule around one nap) and dreading (because it’s nice to have two little breaks in my day, and transitions are usually tough).

:: is such a goof. I love that he is still such a happy, silly boy!


Fourteen Months

3 Mar


At 14 months, Charlie…

:: is really starting to look like a little boy (and not a baby!). I’m proud, but also a bit sad!

:: has taken his first steps! It’s only happened a few times, but he gets braver every day.

:: hands down, favorite activity right now is dropping/throwing/hiding things and then throwing his hands up in a “What happened?” or “Where did it go?” gesture. Usually I’ll pretend to look around and then he will go “find” it.

:: likes to repeat noises I make, especially if it’s got a musical tone to it.

:: loves to “brush” his teeth. He’s actually doing some semblance of brushing, which is a step up from just sucking on the brush. He also enjoys brushing his hair and using the handkerchief to dab his nose (although not when it’s actually runny). I’d like to set up a better “care of self” area for him soon.

:: eats with a fork and spoon (if I pre-load them). The spoon eating is definitely messy, but I am trying to let go and embrace the mealtime mess as he learns.

:: enjoys eating his snacks at his little table in the living room (when we are at home).

:: enjoys watching the blender when we make smoothies, and has a blast drinking them (especially because it usually involves a smoothiestache).

:: gets really excited whenever I say, “Do you want to find Dad?” and starts chanting, “Da! Da! Da!!!”

:: does the signs for “milk”, “more” and “all done.” He understands the sign for “book” and we are also working on “dog.”

:: hates being strapped in his car seat. He’s fine once he’s in, but ever since he figured out how to climb out after being unstrapped, he doesn’t want to sit in it until he’s buckled. We will probably move up to an extended rear-facing seat in a few months (hopefully we can fit one in our car and can find a decent price), but for now he is still fine in the smaller seat (since he’s such a small fry).

:: likes to bend over and do a mini downward facing dog pose. He also loves flipping backwards when we are holding him and looking at the world upside down.

:: loves animals. He likes to stand in his window (with me behind him, of course) and watch the cats and dogs that are frequently seen in our court.

:: has lots of fun playing with the few Schleich animals I got for him, especially the sheep. He says, “baa, baa” when he picks it up and if I ask him to get the sheep, he will crawl over and take it out of the basket.

Thirteen Months

2 Feb


At 13 months, Charlie…

:: makes me smile more every day. He is just so, so happy.

:: has yet to take his first official steps, but is getting much closer. He loves walking with me holding his hands, but still zooms across the floor crawling most of the time. He’s gotten to be ridiculously fast at going up and down the stairs, which makes me both proud and nervous.

:: also makes me nervous by standing on his own…in scary places, like on top of his little chair, or the top steps.

:: has started singing in his sleep, which is pretty much the cutest thing ever.

:: loves looking at his books. They’re upside down half the time, but he’s obsessed with opening and closing them and turning the pages.

:: is also fascinated by putting things in other things, and opening and closing containers. He has a new respect for his nesting cups!

:: has tooth number six, with number seven almost through. Teeth, man, they are not fun.

:: said “Bye dad!” the other day when Caleb was leaving and it blew us away.

:: does the sign for “all done” as well as his own new sign for “more” (which looks nearly identical to “all done”).

:: likes to push things across the floor, such as the laundry basket, the trash can, chairs, his high chair…

:: has explored our neighborhood and the mountain path near our house in the Ergo. Looking forward to better weather when we can get outside a bit more!

:: is an eating machine. He would eat meat all day long, and also loves cheese, eggs, broccoli, mangos and yogurt. So far the only things he won’t eat is grapes, raisins, or tomatoes (which is funny because he used to eat all of them).

:: has started rocking a bit of a baby mullet. I think we can get by for a few more weeks but at some point I’m going to have to attempt a haircut.

:: thinks it’s hilarious when we brush our teeth. He mainly just sucks on his toothbrush but cracks up at me brushing my teeth.

:: still hates wearing hats inside, and will do everything in his power to remove bibs the second they’re around his neck.

:: sings all the time. Baby singing, it is so adorable. I hope he sings to himself for a long time to come.

Twelve Months

18 Dec


At 12 months, Charlie…

:: is still ridiculously happy, amazingly cute, and a total adventurer.

:: crawls like a maniac. No walking yet, but he has just started standing without holding on to anything. He still loves pushing his walker wagon and cursing on furniture but when he wants to book it somewhere, crawling is the mode of choice.

:: made yet another international flight and was informed he was the “best baby traveler ever” by a super-persnickity old lady who complained about everything else on the flight. We were pretty proud.

:: spent his first Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, visited friends in New Jersey, and is enjoying the month of December (including celebrating his first birthday and his second Christmas) in Florida.

:: had his first bout with being ill. We all came down with what we are pretty sure was Bronchitis, and the poor guy was sad and sick and tired for nearly four days. It was so heartbreaking seeing him so quiet and serious and not-himself. He got lots of rest, cuddles, and love, and a few days after we arrived in Florida he was 100% again.

:: has been enjoying so much love from friends and family here in the States who don’t get to see him on a daily basis. Which also means that Caleb and I have gotten a few much-needed date nights!

:: is a real big fan of organic berry yogurt melts. I generally avoid the “baby snacks” but with all of our traveling we’ve had to grab some less-mess eating options, and the boy likes his yogurt melts.

:: is also a fan of chicken wings. We went to a BBQ place and Caleb gave him some meat and a big wing bone to (carefully) chew on. Yes, we kept an eye on him and no, it wasn’t small enough for him to choke on. He loooooved it.

:: crawled on the beach and left some pretty awesome sand tracks.

:: is currently saying: mama, dada, gogo, oh, bye bye, baa, muh (for more), ni ni ni (for no).

:: thinks that an empty water bottle is pretty much the coolest thing ever. He is also a fan of most of the things on this 10 month old’s Christmas List (warning, there’s a tiny bit of language)

:: enjoyed celebrating his first birthday twice, once in Pennsylvania and once in Florida! He had fun with balloons, tearing at his presents, and smiling at all of his admirers. He wasn’t very interested in his cake, but still managed to give it a good smash.

:: is still long and lean. He is right on target with his own personal growth, but he is definitely a little dude! I have a number of friends who had babies within a month or so of Charlie, and it’s been really neat seeing all of their different sizes and stages.

:: has four teeth. Only. Still. I feel like teeth five and six should have been here by now, and sometimes they taunt us by poking out a bit and then disappearing again. We had a solid week of him waking up angry and biting and upset, and then back to normal again, but still no new teeth. Teething really is the worst.

:: started doing this ridiculous sticking-out-his-tongue-twist. He decided to start on the day we had family photos taken, so there should be quite a few funny outtakes!

:: learned how to clap! We don’t really talk to him in “baby voices” or clap very much, so he learned this a little later than a lot of his counterparts, but it’s pretty cute.

:: is getting more and more hair by the minute. Right now he can rock a little faux hawk (or kewpie curl) depending on the wind strength.

:: is the happiest. For real, the boy just loves to smile at others. We’ve watched him make the connection that when he smiles at other people, they smile, and it’s so much fun when we are out and about.

:: is a YEAR OLD!!! I can hardly believe it. We are so blessed by him and I am so thankful that he is part of our family.

Charlie’s Birth Story

12 Dec


I can’t believe that Charlie is one year old today and I’m just now posting his birth story. I wrote it all out a long time ago but until recently, hadn’t gone back through to edit it. Of course, if ever there’s a good day to share it, it would be his first birthday. Warning — it’s long. So it you’re into birth stories, then march on ahead.

Monday, December 10th, was a normal day, except for one thing  – I had an insane amount of energy. I actually posted on Facebook that I’d felt like I drank a triple espresso. It was bordering on ridiculous. I cleaned, ran a ton of errands, went to the thrift store. The weather was pretty dreary but I was completely wired.

That night I had a really vivid dream about various early labor signs happening to me. I also woke up a number of times feeling a little discomfort, like I might be having a contraction. They mostly felt like Braxton-Hicks, but just seemed a little bit different. Tuesday morning (the 11th), I woke up around 8am and felt enough of a difference in what I thought were Braxton-Hicks to download a contraction app and start timing them. I laid in bed for about an hour, timing the start and end. They were pretty far apart, but seemed to be consistent. With my due date still two weeks away (and this being my first baby), I knew that it was very likely just false labor. I went about my morning as usual, including my 38 week appointment with my midwife, Tara. We talked about the contractions and she told me not to get my hopes up but to try and get a little rest that day, just in case.


I ran a few errands, including a trip to Target to buy some diapers (just in case, since we didn’t have any!). I stopped by our church’s office to see Caleb–I had mentioned that something might be up, but he was also convinced it was way too early for anything to be happening. Some of our friends were having a holiday potluck lunch at their flower shop, so I ate with them — all while continuing to feel consistant contractions. I had a haircut scheduled for later that week, but decided to move it up to the afternoon (I even told them I thought I might be in labor, which I think made my stylist somewhat nervous). After a nice new haircut, I stopped by the Hyppo Cafe to see Caleb and get some dinner, then went over to a friend’s house to watch New Girl. At this point, I’d also alerted my doula, Cee, because not only were the contractions continuing, but they were getting a bit more uncomfortable. I actually had to stop and breathe through some of them, and to me that was the biggest sign that this was probably it.


Caleb had planned to go out that night with some of his friends as a last little “hurrah” before being home early each night (or, as he called it, “babywatch”). I told him to go ahead, but to keep his phone close. Around 11:00, I gave him a call and decided to take a bath. Things definitely started amping up at that point, and he helped me relax until about 2am, when they seemed to be getting much closer together. I told him to go ahead and call both Tara and Cee, since I had no idea how quickly things would progress (hah, little did I know). They arrived and Tara started getting everything set up. They both suggested that I try and labor in bed as long as I could, sleeping in between contractions (or at least trying to) so that my body could get some rest. I’m so glad I was able to do that and store up energy–Caleb and I laid in bed and I don’t think I slept much, but I was able to conserve quite a bit of energy (and Caleb did sleep).

Around six am, I felt like I needed to start moving around, because the contractions were getting a bit longer and had more pressure. Caleb was still sleeping, so Cee suggested that I walk around the house a bit. Things felt like they were spacing out, which discouraged me a little. I feel like this was the first mental block I had to get past: without much sleep, and feeling like I’d reached a little bit of a plateau, I really had to push myself not to feel bummed out and worry that it was going to get really hard (and long).

Thankfully, after another hour or so, I decided to have Tara check me to see how dilated I was. This was actually the first time I’d been checked since I was pregnant, so I was a little apprehensive about how my progress would be. I think Cee and Tara were too, and it felt like we were all holding our breaths. When she told me I was between 6 and 7 cm, I felt like dancing! I knew I still had a ways to go, but that was definitely progress! I felt like I had renewed energy after that, and Caleb woke up shortly after. I used the birthing ball to rock back and forth and had him pressing on my hips to relieve the pressure, which was really helpful. I feel like we tried most of the positions we’d learned in our Bradley Class, but that one was my favorite.

Around 11:00, I told Tara that I thought my water was going to break, and less than 30 seconds later, it did! After that, things definitely picked up. Contractions intensified even more and became longer. Caleb and Tara started filling up the birth pool, which took quite some time because our sink had some sort of funky connection and the water was coming out really slowly. Tara checked me again and I was between 8 and 9 cm! When the tub was filled and I finally got in, it felt amazing. I felt so good and the contractions seemed to become much more dull. I relaxed for a while, just floating in the water while Caleb would squeeze my neck. I waited for the urge to push, but nothing seemed to be happening. After about an hour, I got out and Tara checked me once more. My water had resealed (apparently the result of having a really healthy sac/eating healthy during pregnancy). She gave me the option to wait for it to break again, but I decided to have her go ahead and break it, since it had already broken naturally and I was starting to get pretty tired.


After that, I got in the shower so I was upright for a bit, and wow. The next contraction that hit was the only one where I felt like I was completely out of my body. Or like I had gotten hit by a cement truck. I think it had been the combination of my water breaking again and being out of the tub after having so many contractions in the water. I yelled for Caleb and he helped me get to the tub quickly, where I felt much more comfortable. I finally felt the urge to push, and I was so excited because it seemed like we had almost reached the end. Hah! If only. Pushing was tough. I think part of it was that I had expected the pushing to be fairly short — because for most people, it is. But the actual pushing, during a contraction…well, it’s not fun. For the first two hours, I was progressing (that is, Charlie was moving down). Then, for the next two hours, things were staying the same. Yes, that’s four hours of pushing, half of which wasn’t actually doing anything. We left the tub about halfway through to try some different positions in the hopes that it would help move things along. After being awake (and in labor) for 36 hours, I was starting to run out of energy.

As we got towards the end of the last two hours, I could tell by Tara’s face that we were probably going to have to transfer. We were so close to having the homebirth that Caleb and I wanted (and had planned and worked for), but baby Charlie just didn’t seem to want to budge. Tara and Cee talked for a minute, then came back to let me know we had one last position we could try, but if that didn’t work then we would need to transfer. Legally, Florida midwives are required to transfer if a laboring mother has been pushing for more than two hours without progress, which is where we were at.

Caleb and I prayed together, and we all got into position for the last option. I think at that point I knew we’d probably be heading to the hospital. I put all the energy I could into those pushes, but he still wasn’t moving down. I was so ready to meet him, so ready for him to be out! My biggest fear at that point was that they’d have to use forceps or a vacuum. I wouldn’t even let myself think about the chance of a C-section. We’d cross that bridge if we came to it. Everyone started gathering things up, including the “just in case” bag I’d packed, and I put on a comfy dress. It was so cold and misty outside, and walking to the car was the last thing I wanted to be doing at that point. The ride to the hospital wasn’t fun, but it also wasn’t as bad as you might imagine. The contractions weren’t any stronger than they had been, but now I was trying not to push with as much effort (because once you start pushing, you can’t NOT push — you can only put less energy into it). I had two contractions during the short, five minute ride to the hospital, then one in the elevator and another when were filling out the registration form. Tara had called ahead, so thankfully we were able to go straight into L&D.

They had us go to the triage room, which is super tiny. I’m still not sure why they didn’t send us to a normal delivery room. As I was getting onto the bed, Tara saw Missy, one of the hospital’s nurse midwives in the hallway and pulled her in to help us. I’d actually visited Missy before for routine appointments, and she’s delivered a number of my friends’ babies, so I was really glad she was there. Missy and two of the nurses started directing my pushing, which was actually pretty helpful. Tara and Cee and Caleb were all cheering me on, and I knew we were almost there. I think the drive to the hospital and the walking helped move him down quite a bit. The pushing was painful, certainly, but there was never a point during the entire labor when I felt like I “couldn’t do it anymore” or that I was screaming for drugs.

As we were working through the pushes, the room seemed like it filled with people — I guess they were trying to be prepared if his heart rate changed, or if another procedure had to be done, but it was seriously chaotic. It was such a huge contrast to the quiet house we’d left, but at that point I was completely in the zone and focused on getting this baby out! The doctor who was on call arrived at the very end, during the second to last push.

We geared up for the last push, with everyone cheering, telling me to get angry, that this was it and I was going to push him out! The contraction started, I took a deep breath, let it out, took another and then shut my eyes tightly, and pushed with everything I had. Then wonderful, sweet relief and he was born! As the nurses checked him and wrapped him in a blanket, the doctor immediately started reaching to clamp and cut his cord, which we didn’t want (delayed cord clamping is much better for the baby). Missy tried to tell him, but he wasn’t listening, so Caleb yelled, “Doctor, do NOT cut his cord!” He put the clamp down. It might sound silly, but I was so proud of Caleb and the way he stood up for the things that were important to us. They put Charlie on my chest and he was crying away, pink and excited and a baby–our baby. It was completely surreal. It felt like I had waited so very long to meet him, but that I already knew him. We snuggled and he began to calm down as we looked at all of his sweet features. It was 8:46pm on 12/12/12 and he was born just twenty minutes after we arrived at the hospital.


It was kind of amazing how normal I felt immediately afterwards. Yes, I was a bit sore, but other than that I felt great. Not woozy or out of it, but full of adrenaline and happy hormones. We put a hat on Charlie and had great skin-to-skin contact. After we cuddled a bit, I started nursing him and he latched on immediately! I had been a bit worried about how that would be, but we’ve honestly had a really easy time of it. He was so alert and I think that was a great help. Tara went out and got us some food from Arby’s, and so I have an awesome picture that Caleb took of me holding a nursing Charlie with one hand and a roast beef sandwich with another!

We spent the next two days in the hospital, because they require any babies born there to stay for 48 hours of observation. It was actually pretty nice to have the nurses and the meals and the remote-controlled bed. Charlie was with us the entire time — he stayed in our room and Caleb went with him any time they needed to take him to the nursery to check his weight or check him over. The hospital was really great about our requests — the only shot he got was the Vitamin K (since we’d had such a long pushing stage), and they didn’t weigh him until we’d spent a few hours together (he was 6lbs, 8 oz). It’s taken me some time to fully come to terms with the fact that we weren’t able to have him at home, but I feel like 99% of his birth was a homebirth and while I wish we hadn’t had to go to the hospital, I’m so thankful that we still had a natural birth with minimal interventions. I definitely plan to birth at home with our next one, especially since this time the pushing stage should be much easier.


I know that birth is different for every person, and with every baby, but I can truly say there was never a point when I thought we couldn’t do it. It was hard work, and it took a lot of energy, but it wasn’t torture. It wasn’t impossible. And it was so very, incredibly rewarding. Our recovery was really fast and went so well, and I know that not having drugs in our systems was a huge part of that. I am so grateful for the support I had — especially from Caleb. He was so encouraging and such an incredible partner. I’m also grateful for the knowledge we had and the preparation we did. It was all very much worth it. Just knowing what to expect, even if it wasn’t exactly how we thought it would be, made a huge difference in getting through labor. I am in awe of the way that God designed our bodies, and the birth process. I’m so glad He delivered Charlie safely and kept me healthy, and that thanks to him, we are now a family of three.


Eleven Months

11 Nov


At 11 months, Charlie…

:: Is a ridiculously fast crawler. Especially when the toilet seat is up or the fridge door is open — he’s like lightning!

:: Decided that he really isn’t a fan of staying still long enough to take his weekly photo. We’re still managing to get them, but it takes me and Caleb and quite a bit of effort.

:: Has just started looking at various things and saying, “Oh. Oh. Oh.” It’s pretty awesome.

:: Loves to “chase” me with his wooden walker wagon (while wearing a giant grin).

:: Doesn’t seem too interested in actually walking. There’s lots of cruising, but he’s loving how fast he is at crawling. I’ve been hoping he’d walk by the time we fly to the USA (since crawling on a plane is a bit more of an ordeal than walking up and down the aisles), but I’m not counting on it.

:: Has quite a bit more hair. It’s lighter than I thought it would be, and is thin and wispy (like his mamas) but still seems to have a bit of a curl to it.

:: Currently loves to eat: plums, sauteed mushrooms, chicken, “eggy bread” (french toast), and of course, bananas.

:: Still hasn’t quite figured out how much water to drink. He LOVES to drink it…and then spit it right back out.

:: Can stand on his own but doesn’t quite realize it yet. He does it every now and again when he’s distracted.

:: Crawls both up and down the stairs. He still needs help going down, but with three (half) flights of stairs in our new house, we’re glad he’s catching on quickly.

:: Is still teething but tooth number five has yet to crack the surface. I think we are going to try out one of the amber teething necklaces soon — some days he seems more bothered than others, and even if it helps a little, it’s worth it.

:: Waves and says “Bye bye” (except for when we are trying to show someone, in which case he will wait until they are gone, and then do it).

:: Has definitely associated “ma ma” and “da da” with me and Caleb. The best is when one of us comes home after running an errand and he comes crawling over saying “Ma ma ma ma” or “da da da da!”

:: Still has the best laugh in the entire world. There is usually a squeal or two mixed in for good measure as well.

:: Is heading to the USA next week! I’m glad Caleb will be with us for the flight this time, but it’s definitely going to be a long one. He loves to get into everything now and so eight and a half hours in a confined space will be interesting, to say the least. But I know he is going to have so much fun seeing all of his relatives.

:: Will be turning one in less than a month! It’s so surreal and I can hardly believe it’s almost been a year that he’s been part of our lives. I’m hoping to (finally) get his birth story up before his birthday.

Ten Months

18 Oct


At ten months, Charlie…

:: Pulls up on everything. I mean, e-ve-ry-thing. My legs, the window ledge, chairs, stools — he’s even begun climbing up steps and trying to crawl out of the bathtub. The kid is ready to go.

:: Is a pro at our wooden walker. He smiles so big when he pushes it across the room, then waits for one of us to turn it around so he can go back again.

:: Just started “properly” crawling. He rocked the army crawl for quite a while (until it turned into the modified pirate crawl), but just two days ago he broke out the classic hands and knees crawl. I know I was impressed.

:: Loves our hair dryer. This isn’t a new thing, but I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it before. Every morning, when I blow dry my hair, I count to three before turning it on. The second the noise starts, he grins like crazy, and starts to say, “Ahhhhhhhh,” imitating the noise of the hair dryer. I love how fascinated he is by it!

:: Enjoys drinking out of a cup but has also learned how to use a sippy cup, which is a bit less messy when we are out and about. I’d like to transition him to a simple free-flow one soon, but hate to keep buying different kinds of sippy cups when he enjoys drinking out of a glass so much when we are at home.

:: Has recently started saying “Ba Ba” when we get to the page with the sheep in “The Very Busy Spider.” He says “Ba” a lot anyway, but I can definitely tell that he’s imitating me when I say “Ba” on that page. I have a feeling more animal noises are soon to follow.

:: Has four teeth — two on the top, two on the bottom. The top two aren’t completely finished coming in, but they are nearly there.

:: Got to see his Grandad and Uncle Josh! They had a layover at Heathrow on their way to Egypt to help at an orphanage. We only had a few hours, but he really enjoyed seeing them and getting lots of love. We’ll be with them again for a visit in less than a month and a half!

:: Isn’t a huge fan of sleep right now. Between learning how to properly crawl, two teeth coming in at the same time, a cold, and the standard 10 month sleep regression, it’s taken a lot more to get him down to sleep. There have been a number of nights when he’s up at three, ready to party — whew! It’s honestly been more exhausting than when he was a newborn, and this past week is the first time we’ve actually felt like “new parent zombies.” I know that it’s a phase, though, and even last night he slept a bit more solidly than before, so hopefully we’re on the downward curve towards easier settling (I don’t expect sleep to be a simple, thru-the-night thing until he’s much older, because it’s actually super normal for babies to wake in the night until they are nearly past toddlerhood).

:: Current favorite playthings — his walker wagon, crocheted balls, homemade noise shakers, books.

:: Is still called by lots of nicknames — Dr. McHappy, Nugget, Goober, Bug, Goof, Mr. Crazy.

:: Has started getting really sweet and snuggly (or “cwtchy” as the Welsh would say) when he’s sleepy. He’s never been a huge cuddler, so I’m really enjoying it.

Nine Months

7 Oct


A bit belated, but at nine months, Charlie…

:: Figured out how to pull himself up to stand in his crib. We are excited and proud and love to walk in his room when he wakes up from a nap to see him standing at the end of the crib, grinning. It does, however, make going to sleep seem slightly boring to him, which means our nap/night routine has taken a bit of shifting around. Eventually the novelty will wear off…right?

:: Crawls all over the place. We are pretty babyproofed (at least in the rooms where he is the most), and now have a stair gate and a doorway gate. Thankfully they are fairly easy to open, and they also give him something else fun to pull up on.

:: Still thinks bath time is the BEST. THING. EVER. He loves to splash from one end to the other, pull himself up on the sides of the tub, play with the faucets, splash some more–he has a blast. When I carry him up to the bathroom after dinner he starts kicking and wiggling with excitement because he knows bath time is on its way!

:: Speaking of dinner time, we’ve gotten messy again. He’s enjoyed bacon, figs, salmon, cauliflower, pieces of chicken, curry, courgettes…pretty much whatever we are eating, with lots of sliced fruit/veg when we have things that are too soupy.

:: Says “mama”, “dada”, and “bop bop bop,” along with a bunch of other great little nonsense words. I don’t think he relates them to us yet, but he says them all the time.

:: Passed his 9 month review with flying colors! The Health Visitor (a community nurse with a focus on children/family who does home visits) came and checked him over, asking lots of questions about things he does and observing him playing. He scored above his age in every cognitive area (he was pretty much up with the 11-12 month olds)! Yes, I am a proud mama.

:: Has two bottom teeth, and the top two finally cut through two nights ago (okay, technically I should save that for the ten month update)!

:: Visited Pennard Castle & Three Cliffs Bay, Sheffield, a weightlifting competition, celebrated his dad’s birthday, chased ducks at the Baddesley Clinton Gardens…it was a busy (and fun) month.

(This is a recap of what was going on between August 12th and September 12th…his ten month update will be in just a week, so yes, there’s even more happening with this busy baby!)

A Quiet Day

12 Sep


It’s been a quiet day. I love the way our weekly rhythm balances out — a busy day with errands and mom group, then a slow day at home. I definitely believe in the importance of balancing busy days, especially with little ones. A chill day at home makes going out much easier and is a nice recovery from all the outside sights and sounds.

I also really enjoyed doing a lot of observing today. Sitting on the floor, drinking a cup of tea, just watching Charlie play with blocks and dig through his treasure basket. Kylie over at How We Montessori wrote a wonderful post on observing your children that I love. It’s so easy to do a chore here and there, check the internet, etc while happy play is going on, and before you know it you’ve missed some great chances to enjoy new discoveries and see through little eyes.

Oh, and yes, in case you are wondering, lately I’ve been diving headfirst into learning more about Montessori. So many of the principles align with things I love and think are important, and the more I read the more I see how well it fits our family. I’ve been enjoying reading about Waldorf methods as well, especially for younger ages. My favorite parenting book, Simplicity Parenting, draws from both methods and is a great resource for minimizing a lot of the stress that can go along with parenting in a culture of noise and “more, more more.”

It’s funny how you don’t think much about the rhythm of your days or the little philosophies in the things you do before you have a baby, but as they grow you start to slowly chip away and discover the kind of parent you are. And as in life, every season is different; every child is different. What works now may not work in the future, or for every family. But I am thoroughly enjoying discovering the kind of mama I am, and the kind of child that we have right now.

Eight Months

19 Aug


At eight months, Charlie…

:: Is all about standing! He still needs to hold on to the couch, coffee table, or our hands, but he’s slowly starting to let go every now and again to test the waters. He can pull himself up quite well and still grins like a nut once he’s in standing position. He’s also a fan of taking steps when we’re holding both his hands…walking may not be far away (yikes)!

:: Loves crawling nearly as much as standing. He does a really fast army crawl that gets him pretty much any where he wants to go. Usually he’ll pause for a moment and then breathe excitedly as he elbows his way towards his destination. We’ve begun the babyproofing and have a free “home safety visit” on Wednesday, where I’m sure we’ll be told that every room is packed with danger.

:: Sits up like a pro. He can even go from sitting to crawling forward, especially if he’s in the bathtub (the kid’s a huge fan of pulling the drain plug out).

:: Thinks bathtime is the best. We put a couple of inches of water in the tub and then he wiggles around on his belly, splashing like crazy.

:: Has gotten a lot more hair, although it’s super fine and thin like his mama’s. It still has a bit of curl to it, but nothing like his dad’s. We aren’t totally sure what color it will be once it thickens up, but probably a light brown with a little auburn.

:: Makes a much wider variety of sounds, but still lots of pterodactyl screeches and puppy dog squeaks. He yells really loudly whenever I blowdry my hair or use the vacuum and seems to get quite a kick out of it.

:: Other favorite pastimes – strumming the doorstops, digging through his treasure basket, rolling various crochet/felt balls, laughing at mom and dad when they make silly faces.

:: Still loves smiling at everyone and doesn’t mind when people stop to say hello. We haven’t had much separation anxiety or “stranger danger” which has been really nice.

:: Has one tooth and another one (hopefully quickly) on its way. Teething…not fun. He tends to get pretty grumpy and moody when his teeth are bugging him, which is rough simply because he’s normally so happy! He also doesn’t like to chew on any of the “teething” toys or standard remedies (cold cloth, etc), preferring hands instead (his, mine, dad’s).

:: Decided to forget that he can roll over if he’s not happy on his back — instead, he grunts loudly and slams his legs on the floor. This typically happens during diaper-changing time, which can sometimes make the process a bit cumbersome.

:: Is totally fine with loud gunfire. Haha. We stopped at a WWII reenactment last Saturday and saw an incredible battle scene, complete with lots of loud shooting. Charlie just watched, no big deal. Dyson air blade hand dryers, however…are apparently the most frightening thing ever.

:: Likes peaches, apples, and parsnips…probably because I have them in the fridge more often than not, so this is what he tastes the most. I’ve been giving him a variety of things from our meals, but tend to go with the “less messy” foods for right now.

:: Loves being read to, especially his alphabet book, a crab finger-puppet book, or the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

:: Has the absolute best, squealy, shrieky laugh.

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