Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baby Ty: 7 months - 9.5 months

Tyler is such a cute little baby goober bear! Yep, that's my nickname for my baby. There are also variations on it, such as teeny, tiny, Tyler goober bear, baby goober boy, goobster beary boy, etc. My parents did the same thing with me when I was a baby. I was named little bird after my long skinny legs, which evolved over time into birdee, dee, kadeeder, and the final variation by the time I was a teenager - kadeeder mouse. It drove me crazy, yet here I am doing the same thing to my own child. 

Ty goes to the gym kids club pretty regularly, and actually gets a good workout from crawling around in their enormous space. The caregivers tell us he's nearly always happy, energetic, and playful. He loves people, noise, colors, and craziness, so it's the perfect place for him. I remember one time there were about 8 kids in the room, but when I walked in after my workout, I found both caregivers doting on Ty. He's so dote-able!

He's definitely at that stage where he's no longer snuggly, which I have to admit I miss a lot. The tradeoff is that he puts himself to sleep now after several months of sleep difficulties (more on that in a later post). At one point in early January I simply gave up trying to rock him to sleep anymore because he just squirms so much when I hold him. Fortunately by that time he'd also stopped spitting up such massive amounts, and he didn't become traumatized after being put in the crib awake. It was actually a much easier transition than I was expecting. There is a negative side, though. As wonderful as it is that he can put himself down, it makes his getting sleep anywhere but a crib or playpen incredibly difficult. Sometimes he'll fall asleep in our arms in a dark room, but even then we're lucky if we get a half hour nap out of him. Going to church is always a challenge, and even leaving the house for more than 2 hours after his last nap is typically more trouble than it's worth. The extremely rare occasion I successfully rock him to sleep now is lovely!

Ty spits up much less these days, but he still spits up, and now that he can crawl, he ends up rolling around in it if I don't get to it quickly enough. We joke about it by singing "just do the spit-n-roll" (to the tune of tootsie roll)! He also likes to finger paint with it.

Ty didn't have a ton of interest in solids at first. He liked the taste but hated eating from a spoon. He's a bit of a control freak since he wants to be feeding himself or at least controlling the flow from a breast/bottle. In January he started eating more solids (2-3 meals a day), and he eats nearly everything we've given him. He's definitely got a sweet tooth like his mama since he loves any sort of fruit or yogurt. It took him a bit to warm up to savory foods, but by mid February, he started eating at least as much savory as he eats sweets.

At the beginning of February Tyler ate almost a whole avocado after not liking it the first time he'd tried it. I think that's because when I mash up avocado for myself, I put garlic salt in it, and out of habit I did it that time. Apparently he likes his food seasoned. This was also when he was able to feed himself puffs for the first time. He'd picked them up before but had never actually managed to get them into his mouth. Now he demands to self feed at every meal.

Tyler had always liked most of the solids he'd tried, including peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash, but the first time I tried giving him baby food meat, he cried when I tried to give him a second bite. However, I then mixed it with applesauce, and he ate half the jar! There are jars of beef, chicken, and turkey just sitting in the mother's room at our stake center. Someone must have bought a bunch only to have their baby not like them, so they decided to donate them. They've been there for months (few babies like straight baby food meat) and the best by date is July 2014, so I took several and thought I'd try them with Ty. Since he's used to breast milk, he has a natural preference for things that are sweet, which is probably why he didn't take to it immediately but did with the applesauce. I tried the chicken alone again after he'd gotten used to eating more savory foods. He ate more of it this time (about 6 bites), but then started complaining. Fortunately he likes the baby food we make for him by pureeing portions from the meals we make for ourselves, and he'll happily eat the baby food jars that are meat mixed with other foods.

Leela, however, thinks the baby food meat is the most delicious treat she's ever eaten. She cleans out the container and then sticks her paw in to get every last possible taste. Nibbler will eat it, but he doesn't seem any more interested in it than in his dry food, and Fry doesn't even realize it's food. Nibbler's really only interested in it when Leela's eating it. He'll push Leela out of the way, take a few bites, leave, and then repeat when he sees her eating it again. I've started putting him in the bathroom for 10 minutes so she can enjoy her treat without being bullied.

One difficult thing about having a sleep trained baby is not being able to tell what his cries mean when he's in the crib. Is he just crying because he's overtired or is there a legitimate need I should be taking care of? I remember one day feeling like a horrible mom after letting him cry himself to sleep. I'd assumed he was tired, but it turns out he was just hungry. I didn't think he could be since I'd just nursed him, but I later realized that my body wasn't producing as much milk as it used to. He started getting fussy after nursing again the next day, and to my surprise he had completely emptied me in less than 5 minutes. I gave him solids right afterwards, and he was perfectly happy. I really think these days he's only interested in nursing to satisfy his thirst. He could easily consume his entire day's worth of nutrients from solids, but he hasn't mastered the skill of drinking from a sippy cup or bottle on his own yet, so he needs to nurse or be bottle fed in order to make sure he's had enough liquid.

Here he is being adorable in his funky little fox onesie.

Such a cute little boy joy! 
Here he is crawling around and playing with daddy on the day he turned 8 months old. His younger self would be shocked to see how much he LOVES being on his tummy now.

And mommy's just crazy about her little man!

One of these things is not like the other :) Nibbler and Fry both like curling up in Tyler's blankets. The blankets get used much less these days because Ty sleeps in sleep sacks now. He'll just kick off a blanket if we give him one. They're really only useful in the car seat or stroller.

Nibbler and Tyler have all kinds of fun together these days. Fortunately Nibbler is sweet and is very affectionate with Ty. Ty can be pretty rough with him, but Nibbler never retaliates, even when Ty stuck his hand in Nibbler's mouth and pulled on the back of his teeth. I was afraid Nibbler would bite him, but Nibbler just pulled away and went right back to playing with him.

Nibbler usually comes in when I get Ty out of bed in the morning, hops on my lap and lets Ty pet him as I get Ty's sleep sack off. There's been a lot of cute interaction between those two. They had fun with this laundry basket the other day. I'm sure they'll be best friends for a long time.

Sitting up is the only major milestone so far that Ty was behind on. He didn't sit solidly until 8 and 1/2 months. The doctor had said he might not sit at the typical age of 6 months due to his size, but I think it was also related to the fact that he crawled first. He lost interest in trying to sit and stay in one place once he could move around. He stopped working on sitting and started working on crawling in late November, and we never saw him even attempting to sit until mid January, though he'd been practicing crunches since he was a newborn. 

Most babies will sit before they crawl. Usually they have to stabilize the back muscles from sitting before they can figure out crawling. Ty could crawl across the floor by Christmas but didn't sit solidly and consistently until early February. About mid January he started trying to learn how to sit again, usually by leaning on an arm. He'd bonk his head several times collapsing on our hardwood floor as he'd move the arm he was leaning on in order to reach for a toy (or a cat walking by). He learned quickly to avoid that by holding up his head and rolling as he falls. Later he started being able to sit up securely on his knees, like in the picture above. It's so adorable when he puts himself in "baby prison" under our chairs. It's even cuter when he would do it with that outfit on, which someone once told me looks almost like a prison jumpsuit. For the first couple weeks we'd have to rescue him since he couldn't figure out how to get out.

The pics here were from February 5th, the first time I ever saw him sitting without leaning on an arm. I was very happy since we went to Disneyland a week later (read more about that in future posts), and several of the rides won't allow lap riders but will let him sit up next to you. It's also made giving him solids a ton easier, which was very useful on the trip since we didn't have a high chair with us to sit him up for us.

Ty already had very strong legs, but it took work for him to stabilize his core due to his extra baby chunks. Once he could sit though, he pulled himself to stand 5 days later. For most babies sitting comes at 6 months and standing comes at 8. Ty started pulling himself to stand on Oscar's grandparents' furniture just after we arrived in Burbank on February 10th, and he just learned how to climb all the way up the stairs on March 1st. We're making use of 3 baby gates these days.

During January we had stake choir practice each Sunday evening, and Oscar would usually hold Ty during rehearsals. Ty was always so adorable at choir practice since he's so happy just sitting on daddy. He's way too squirmy on me, but he'll stay reasonably still for Oscar. Ty also liked holding onto the music staring at it, so it looked like he was a mini choir member. Sometimes he'd even make cute little coos like he was singing along. Even though our director doesn't expect you to stand during rehearsals when you're holding a baby, Oscar would do it anyway, and it was so cute it would just melt my heart!

A few weeks ago we were watching "Life of Pi"on TV after Ty had gone to bed, and during the part where Pi bonds with the tiger and puts the tiger's head on his lap, we looked at each other and said "where are our kitties when we need them?" Immediately Nibbler and Leela came out of nowhere and hopped onto our laps for cuddles until the movie was over. Awwwwww! I swear our cats are learning to read our minds. It must be because they get much less attention now that Tyler's joined our family, so they're on the lookout for any they can get!

One random sunny day, the angle of the sun cast this bizarre shadow onto our stairs just from the tiny peephole on our front door.

Tyler had zero interest in going down the stairs until one day when he was watching Leela and wanted to follow her as she went down the stairs. I decided to stand on the 3rd stair so that he could feel what going down the stairs was like, but I could be there to catch him before he hurt himself. Somehow he still managed to hurt himself. He rolled over with the force of gravity and bonked his head on the wall. There was no lasting damage and he calmed down as soon as I picked him up, but it was a lot worse than I thought he could do by only coming down one stair.

One of Ty's favorite things to play with is our swing. He never sits in it anymore (that's too confining), but he loves playing with the buttons. We have several other toys with buttons that light up or play music, but for some reason he's especially fascinated with the swing buttons. He'll even crawl through to the from behind (left pic) and get himself stuck (video). Just today (March 4th, 2014), he figured out how to navigate that obstacle and go straight through the underside of the swing. He also crawled through the underside of his walker.
Bathtime is so much more fun now that Ty can sit. He loves to play with the running water and his rubber ducky toys.

Though daddy's head is the best toy ever!

Daddy's head may be the best toy ever, but kitties are a close second!

Ty had his first real illness (fever of 100.6) on January 27th, and he seems to always be a bit snotty since then. He gets better, but the stuffed nose and sneeze never clear up. The fever came back when we arrived in Burbank on February 9th, and today (March 4th), he seems sick again. One of these days I'd like my baby to have a clear nose! The only nice thing about a sick baby is that it's one of the rare times he's actually snuggly.

At his 9 month check up he weighed in at 22 pounds and 2.25 ounces. Since he'd just eaten 7 ounces of solids, that means he'd only gained about a pound in 3 months. The weight gain has slowed down significantly, and since he'd also grown 2 inches (now he's 28.5 inches), it means he's actually started slimming down. This is great news for my arms as well as my pocketbook since we're also back to size 3 diapers. He went up to size 4 in December, but a few weeks ago I noticed they were very becoming large on him. The crawling is toning up his lower body, right where the diapers fit.

He had a foot prick on the day of his 9 month check up, and by that afternoon he'd managed to get the bandaid off his toe and stick it in his mouth. Everything else goes in his mouth these days, especially things like lint and cat hair. No matter how much I vacuum, he finds a piece somewhere. He followed me into the bathroom yesterday and tried to play in the cat litter. He also grabbed the plunger by the handle and went to latch on it right as I pulled him away. He cried over it, but I'm sure one day he'll thank me for it.

Ty lost interest in the bouncer after he started sitting up and crawling (like the swing, it's too confining), so now Nibbler's claiming it for himself. He was even playing with the toys on it before I grabbed the camera.

"I'm so glad when daddy comes home, glad as I can be."
This fun happened during Oscar's lunch hour one day after Ty had been super crabby for several hours.

I love the random things Tyler laughs at. Apparently daddy cutting steak is the funniest thing in the world. Tyler once had a huge giggle fit as Oscar was cutting up steak for our dinner. We tried getting the giggles again by having Oscar cut chicken and a banana. He still smiled, but neither was as amusing to him as the steak was.

Just chillin' out and being cute in some new outfits grandma Jinks picked up and brought down to southern California.

I'm the church choir director and we hold practice right after the service at a ward member's home. We attempted to get him to sleep during rehearsal by bringing the pack and play, but he just stood and cooed in it the whole time. We walked in at the end to find him like this. He'd only been asleep for about 5 minutes.

Such a cute little monkey man!

Daddy may be his favorite playmate, but Tyler loves everyone. He even crawled up to this man he'd never seen before, reached out his arms to be held, and sat there contentedly for about 5 minutes.

Ty really loves pushing and walking, so Oscar made him a do-it-yourself push walker from our step stool. After a few mishaps, Oscar ductaped a couple of two pound weighted balls to the legs so Ty can't knock the stool over on himself.

Ty just loves sticking out that long tongue for all to see. I'm looking forward to many more years of laughter and smiles with this little boy!

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