Becoming a big boy – Bo at 15 months

I feel as though I owe you (or, if nothing else, I owe myself) an update about Bo.  I feel as though I did a pretty decent job of avoiding the whole “second child syndrome” and I actually documented his first year of life fairly decently.  Of course, I was on maternity leave and his older brother was in daycare so I didn’t really have much of an excuse to be delinquent.  However, since returning to work right after his first birthday, I’ve failed miserably at keeping track of his milestones and development.

So, here we go…

Growth
At his 15 month check-up (which was a month ago), he weighed 24lbs 7oz and was 31 inches tall.  That put him in the 73rd percentile for weight and the 41st for height.  Of course, he still has a giant head (which I’ve heard is common among screen stars, so we’ll see where that leads him…)

Development
Bo likes to take things at his own speed.  He has been behind his older brother when it comes to hitting developmental milestones and he still seems like such a baby to me.  He was in absolutely no rush to walk and was happy as can be to remain on all fours.  He enjoyed cruising and climbing (stairs, couches, you name it) but would drop to his knees immediately if you tried to place him on his feet.  He finally took his first real steps at daycare a couple of weeks ago (and the daycare ladies did an amazing job of catching it on video and emailing it to me at work, where I got teary at my desk, obv!)  Now, he practically runs and it has made our lives so much easier.  One might expect it to be harder to have a walker vs a crawler, however it was making it really difficult to spend time outdoors.  Bo hated being held or strapped into the stroller for long periods, but putting him down meant he was always in the dirt.  Plus, every pair of pants had ripped knees and he couldn’t wear shorts.

In other developmental news, he finally popped three more teeth, which has improved his mood drastically.  For a while there, the poor kid was a whiny mess with hands in his mouth all the time.

Personality
Between the new walking skills and the new chompers, he has settled back into his generally happy self.  It was touch and go for a while and I was worried that our good-natured baby was turning into a  grumpy toddler.  But I think it was just his body that was brining him down.  He’s much happier now.  He still loves Littleman more than anyone in the world.  Except for maybe me.  He is a MAJOR mama’s boy.  I’m not gonna lie…it’s kind of sweet.  By this age, Littleman was already totally into daddy and I was a second class citizen.  But Bo makes it perfectly clear (in a variety of ways) that I’m still his number one.  Sometimes I wish he’d give me a bit of a break, but I know it won’t last forever so I’m cherishing it for now.

Eating
So, feeding a toddler’s always fun, isn’t it?  The teeth situation made eating a disaster for a while.  He’s gotten a bit better now, but it’s still a challenge to figure out what he’ll eat.  He used to love sandwiches, but now he tries to stuff the whole thing into his mouth rather than taking bites.  He ends up gagging on it and spitting it out.  So I’ve learned to break things up into bite sized bits but, if I’m not watching carefully, he’ll jam too much into his cheeks and then, again, have to spit it all out.  Ugh.  He loves to feed himself and is good at eating oatmeal, yogurt, Cheerios with milk and, his favourite, egg salad.

Also, I’m still nursing.  I didn’t expect to still be at it, but, hence, this is where we are.  I’m only nursing him first thing in the morning and then right before bed, but he’s showing no signs of being done with it.  Littleman breastfed until about 14 months (and we had dropped down to only the bedtime feed by the end).  At 16+ months, Bo is still going strong.

Likes, dislikes and such…
Bo has a few favourite things.  He loves his stuffed bunny, which he sleeps with and likes to cuddle.  He enjoys books, but doesn’t really want to hear you read them out loud.  Instead, he insists on holding them himself and flipping pages.  His preference is books with textures (think fluffy animals or rough trucks) and he now knows when a book is upside down and promptly flips it over.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the pool at the farm this week and he really enjoys the water.  He was unsure at first (I never did parent-and-baby swimming lessons with him – mommy fail) so it took him some time to adjust.  Now, though, he wants to “jump” off the side and doesn’t mind going under water at all.

He pretty much enjoys anything that his big brother is doing, which sometimes leads to some unhappiness.  Luckily, Littleman is very good with him and will usually give up whatever toy he’s using to avoid a meltdown.  We’re so grateful that he’s such a good big brother.

Well, this turned out longer than I expected but, if you’re still actually reading, I think you get a sense of what Bo is like these days.  I’ll leave you with a few pics. 

    
    
 

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The joys of living with boys

Sometimes I still can’t believe that I live in a house of all boys.  Growing up with a sister, a stay-at-home-mom and a dad who worked long hours, I wasn’t really prepared for living amongst all this maleness.

First, there’s the potty talk.  Why is it that boys find anything that has to do with bodily functions totally hilarious?  Sometimes, my older son will have a whole conversation using only bathroom-related words.  If he is in a bad mood, all I have to say is “toot” and he’s howling.  If we want him to smile for a photo, we just need to say “poop” or make a fart sound and he’s good go… a totally natural smile.  It all starts so young, too.  The baby let out a giant belch the other day.  Then, he looked up at me and burst out laughing, like it was the funniest sound he’d ever heard.

Then, there’s their junk.  Boys appear to born knowing where their man parts are and they take any and every opportunity to touch them.  The moment the diaper comes off, my ten-month-old reaches down for a quick grab.  In the bath, my older son is fascinated by his package.  I try not to say anything and let them explore without making it a thing, but why?  Why the fascination?  Why?

Of course, we can’t forget the stink.  I can only imagine (with terror) what my house will smell like in a few more years.  Right now, I’m only dealing with one man, one kid and a baby, but already, they’re stinking me out!  Smelly little bums.  Foul smelling bathrooms.  And how, just how, does my sweet little baby manage to have man farts?

The girly girl in me is slowly disappearing as I learn to navigate toilet seats that have been left up and pee that’s just missed its mark.  My tolerance for odour is getting much higher (there’s nothing like wiping someone’s butt while pregnant to test your ability to keep down your lunch!)

Despite the grossness that lives in my house, I wouldn’t trade away my boys.  At the end of day, there is nothing better than burying my face into my sweet baby’s neck or having my older son climb into my lap for a bedtime story or collapsing on the couch with my husband to watch some tv.  I may be the lone lady in this house of hooligans, but I love them.  If anyone wants to lend me their daughter, though, I’d be cool with that.  Seriously.

The things we do

Sometimes, after a particularly tough day of parenting, I step back and think about how I never would have imagined myself in some of these situations.  This past week has been an excellent example of that.

We’ve been dealing with a whole lot of barf.  Feel free to click away now if you are squeamish.

Littleman started first, coming down with some sort of stomach virus after attending a Christmas party last weekend.  Being almost four, he’s getting a lot better at signalling that he’s going to be sick, but he still doesn’t have the speed and/or control needed to make it to the toilet every time.  Enter the barf bowl.  After spending a horrific night up to my elbows in vomit while cleaning the bathroom and all Littleman’s bedding (alone, since D was working night shift!), Littleman finally got the hang of using the bowl that I’d place strategically beside him wherever he was playing.  After 24 hours of illness, Littleman was playing while I took a shower.  D was hanging with Littleman until Bo woke up from a nap.  Both us parents were upstairs when we heard Littleman calling for us.  I bolted down the stairs and saw him, standing on the bottom step, barf bowl in his arms.  I was so proud!  “Way to go, buddy!  Did you get any on you?” I asked.  “No,” he said.  “But my feet have pee on them.”  Oops.  Poor little guy had peed his pants when he threw up.  Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.

After a few days in the clear, Bo got it.  After his first nursing session of the morning, he promptly spewed it all back out on me.  Kind of gross, but nothing like cleaning up after his brother.  Or so I thought.  Later that evening, I took him upstairs for bed.  He’d nursed well throughout the day, so I wasn’t really worried about it.  Then, boom, he hit me again.  I jumped up out of the chair and called for D to come help me clean up.  That was when the real barf hit.  OMG.  It felt like someone threw a bucket of puke at me.  My bra was soaked through my clothes.  My belt was covered.  My jeans.  My socks.  I gingerly stepped out of my clothes as barf ran down my belly.  Oh god, it was disgusting.

It’s funny when you’re thinking of (and hoping to) become a parent, you picture yourself cradling a sweet infant or playing at the park with a smiling preschooler.  You don’t, typically, envision yourself covered in someone else’s vomit.  Or with someone’s poo on your arm.  Or standing in someone’s pee.  But, as it turns out, I love these two boys, bodily fluids and all.  Let’s just hope they can keep it to a minimum for a while… this mama needs a break!

Nine months

Bo turned nine months old this past weekend.  It’s crazy to think that he’s been here (almost!) as long as he was cooking inside me!

Personality

He continues to be a sweet and happy little guy.  We have started to notice, though, that he’s getting a little more shy these days.  Where he used to smile openly at strangers in the grocery store, now he glances away or tries to shield his face when someone looks at him.  But, if you give it a bit of time, you can always win him over.

Sleep

Things were going really well in the sleep department (even one or two nights of 11 hours straight!) but then Bo caught a cold from his big brother.  Anyone with kiddies knows that a cold can mess up sleep, even long after the child is better.  A couple of nights ago, I was up every two hours with Bo, which is killer.  I’m hoping, praying, that we can back into a better routine of only one or two wakings per night.

He still naps pretty well – usually 1.5-2 hours, twice a day.  The key, I’ve discovered, is to stay the hell away from his room at the 45-minute mark.  That seems to be the end of his sleep cycle and time at which he’ll wake up if he hears a noise.  If we make it past that time, he’ll like do another 45 minutes-one hour.  Oh crap… just jinxed myself.  There he is, crying now…

…four hours later I was back on the couch to complete this update and then promptly lost the rest of the post.  Sometimes technology drives me crazy.  Oh well, the jist of it is that it seems that sleep is still a bit unpredictable around here.

Eating

Still chugging along.  He really enjoys purees of all kinds and opens his mouth freely to be fed (this is still quite amazing to me!).  His favourite seems to be spinach and rutabaga… weird.  He also loves cheese but hates yogurt.  He’s getting really good at picking up small bits of food with his fingers and feeding himself.

Development

Still no legitimate crawling, but he’s so, so close.  He gets up on his hands and knees, but then pushes himself backwards.  He gets down on his stomach and spins in all directions.  And, we’ve noticed this week that he can now get from his stomach back up into sitting.  He’s still very wobbly when he stands so he isn’t into cruising yet.

Of course, he probably hasn’t had much time to work on crawling because he’s been so busy teething!  This guy now has six teeth.  I’m sure this has something to do with the erratic sleep we’ve been dealing with.

Anyway, all that being said, he’s doing awesome and I love him to bits.

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Santa Claus is coming to town

The boys had their picture taken with Santa today.  It was a bit of a gong show, but in then end, I’ll call it a success.

Littleman’s daycare organizes Santa photos as a little fundraiser. One of the parents is a photographer so he volunteers his time to come in a take the photos.  The daycare puts up a tree and sets up a nice little area for the kids to visit with and have their photo taken with Santa.

In theory, this is great.  It means not having to drag the kids to a crowded shopping mall to stand in line with a bunch of screaming kids in fancy dresses, waiting for a turn to visit with jolly old Saint Nick.  Unfortunately, although they mean well, the daycare staff can be a little disorganized when it comes to stuff like this.

Since Bo is still at home with me, I made arrangements with the daycare to bring him in during the day today so that he and Littleman could visit Santa together.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, two hours after I arrived (with one long walk and a bunch of time spent playing with my two boys in the daycare gym) the boys finally got their chance to sit on Santa’s knee.

Littleman did great this year!  His first two Christmases were ridiculous, with him sobbing and thrashing in my arms, flat out refusing to go anywhere near Santa.  Last year, we took a different approach and didn’t even attempt to place him near Santa on his own.  We did a family photo instead, with D holding Littleman on one side of Santa and me standing on the other side.

This year, D had to work so I really, really didn’t want to have to get into the picture myself.  We prepped Littleman all week by talking to him about it and reminding him that he’s the big brother now so he has to show Bo how it’s done.  Luckily, he took his  job seriously!  He walked up to Santa and answered his questions, telling him what he and his brother want for Christmas.  Bo, usually a happy and smiley boy, was a little concerned about the whole thing.  Amazingly, though, there were no tears.

I haven’t seen the photos yet, but I’m hoping we’ll get at least one decent one.

And, just for fun, here is a pic of my sister and I thirty-something years ago with one grumpy looking Santa!  No wonder my sister is screaming…

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Eight months

Another month has passed and Bo seems more and more grown-up each day.

Personality

People comment all the time about how happy Bo is.  It’s quite amazing, really.  He’s just a really good-natured little man.

Now that he’s sitting up without any support, he’s even happier.  We have lots of fun playing together on the floor and I love when he laughs at me.  Of course, he laughs even harder at his brother and dad!  I have a feeling the three men in my life are really going to have fun together as the boys get older.

Bo’s getting chattier too!  He babbles and especially enjoys when you mimic his sounds.  Sometimes we end up laughing hysterically after having a “conversation” of babble.

Sleep

Napping is still going really well.  His morning nap is almost always 1.5 hours or a little longer.  The afternoon nap is often a bit shorter and depends a lot on what we’ve done in between naps and how long I’ve kept him awake (i.e. too long awake = shittier nap!)

Nighttime sleep is hit and miss.  Typically, Bo wakes twice per night to nurse.  If I’m lucky (or if I decide to dream feed) then I can squeeze in one of the feeds before I go to sleep.  Then, he sometimes only wakes one more time.  I know that I could sleep train him at this point and that he probably doesn’t actually need to wake to eat in the night, but, for the most part, it doesn’t bother me.  Sure, I’m tired.  But at least he eats quickly and goes back to sleep without any trouble.  So I don’t really mind the extra time and cuddles with him.  (Ask me if I feel the same way in a few months when I’m back at work!)

Eating

Better!!  So much better!  Finally, the kid actually opens his mouth when a spoon comes near it (sometimes) and meals aren’t nearly as stressful as they were with his older brother.

Aside from a variety of purees, this baby loves cheese (extra old cheddar, obviously), toast (dry and cut into strips), scrambled eggs and O cereal.  He’s tried rainbow trout (loved) and pork tenderloin (not as much).  He gags much less often now and is getting pretty good at putting things in his mouth himself.

Development

I’ve noticed that a lot of babies Bo’s age are crawling now.  He’s not crawling yet, but he pushes himself backwards or pivots around if you place him on his front.  He also manages to scoot forward when he’s sitting on his bum.

The biggest change this month was the appearance of his first two teeth!  The bottom front teeth popped through his gums earlier this week and they sure are sharp!  When he opens up his mouth and dives towards my nipple to nurse, I have a brief moment of fear.  Luckily, he’s only nipped at me once since the teeth arrived.

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Seven months

We just passed Bo’s seven month birthday and his development is really starting to blow my mind.  I’m starting to feel some anxiety about going back to work, but people keep reminding me that I still have a few months to go.  I know I say this every month, but time is flying by way too fast for my liking!

The kid is growing so fast and, at his last pediatrician appointment a couple of weeks ago he weighed almost 20lbs and was 27″ long.  His head size was in the 99th percentile, which makes him look even bigger than he is.  It also makes finding hats that fit him very difficult!  Too bad it’s getting cold and hat season is upon us!

Personality

I’ve started to notice that my happy little guy is getting fussier these days.  He still doesn’t cry very much and will smile for just about anybody.  But, when we’re home alone all day, I think he’s starting to get a bit bored.  He used to be happy to lie on his play mat or hang out in his exersaucer while I ran around and cleaned up/made dinner/folded laundry/etc.  Now, I can only get a few minutes at a time before he starts whining and wants a change of scenery.

He also seems to have realized that I can walk away and he gets pretty annoyed if I leave the room.  Luckily our house is pretty small (can’t believe I’m actually saying that my small house is a good thing!) so he can hang out in the living room and still see me when I’m in the kitchen.

The one thing that always makes Bo happy is his big brother.  Littleman can do no wrong in Bo’s eyes.  The two of them have so much fun together already and I can already imagine what life will be like around here once Bo gets a bit bigger.  Total chaos!

Sleep

Sleep is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get.

For example, last night, Bo did two 5-hr stretches of sleep, followed by an almost-2-hr stretch.  Pretty decent.  But on Saturday night, he woke every hour.  Ugh.

Naps, too, are kind of all over the place.  I know this is partially my fault.  He seems to want/need a decent morning nap, but some of our regular activities interfere with the nap timing and I end up having to wake him before he’s ready.  The afternoon nap(s) are all over the place but often seem to be better if he’s had a good morning nap.  All this means that I end up with an over tired, fussy baby on the days that we have morning activities.  Unfortunately, for my own sanity (and physical well-being), I’m not ready to give up our exercise class to allow for longer naps.

Eating

We’re still working on solids but it’s been slow going.  We’ve tried offering him some “finger foods” such as steamed veggies, shredded meat, soft fruits and pieces of turkey meatloaf.  Most made him gag and I don’t think he actually “ate” any of them.  We’ve also continued to feed him some purees, which have been somewhat more successful.  Keyword being “somewhat.”   I’ve made most of the purees myself, with the favourites being zucchini and butternut squash.

We’ve tried offering the bottle and/or sippy cup with formula every so often, just to see if he’s interested.  It certainly isn’t an effective way to feed him (he chews on it more than he drinks it) but it’s a good distraction if we’re out somewhere and he starts to get fussy.

Breastfeeding is still going well, although he gets distracted very easily so I have to take him into his room if I want to make sure he gets a good feed.  Otherwise he pulls off constantly to look around while I frantically try to stop my milk from spraying all over the place (which is somewhat awkward when I’m anywhere but home!)

Development

He’s sitting on his own!  In the past week, we had a huge breakthrough when it comes to sitting up and he rarely tips over anymore.  Being able to sit up on his own seems to make him much happier.

If we put him on the floor on his back, he pretty much always rolls onto his stomach.  He’s relatively content there for a while, then he gets annoyed and seems to have forgotten how to roll back over onto his back.  He sleeps on his side but if I put him in his crib and he doesn’t feel like sleeping, he rolls onto his stomach and then screams bloody murder until I come and get him.  I think he’s discovered that this is the best way to get my attention and he’s totally playing me.  I’m a sucker.

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