Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 11-01-2013

Andrew is getting so big, so fast! At 10 months, he pretty much has perfected cruising. Every now and then we’ll catch him letting go of what he’s holding onto, briefly, but for the most part he has no interest in independent standing. When I try to play with him with it, he refuses to put his feet down and stand! I’m in no rush, though, so he can be a crawler all he wants. For all he is not walking, though, he is climbing – he will push things around so that he can climb onto them and, from there, further up. He’s managed to get onto his brothers’ desk in their room, onto the couch, onto the kitchen table… You name it. He has, at least, had the decency to master going down though, so he is no longer stranded or prone to falling all over the place; he very neatly turns around and goes feet first off everything.

With tooth #5 being cut this month, he took a bit of a…break from eating solids. He would still munch down purees, but until the end of the month, he wanted little to do with finger food. He’d eat a little, and expand his horizons some, but it was always in small quantities. Along with the food “regression” or sorts came a sleep regression, and hooooooly cow, the kid slept terribly! Waking 3-4 times a night has been the norm around here. He uses the awake time, it seems, to figure out babbling, because he’s been a pretty vocal kid with his /d/ and /b/ sound busting out again.

The most exciting part of 10 months, though, is the communication. Now, I’m not talking speech – there’s been no first word yet – but he’s getting the back and forth of communication down. We will blow raspberries at each other with great turn taking, and he’ll pause and wait for me to blow one (or his brothers, even Danny gets in on this action) before he goes on. Danny and I play an “ah-choo” game, and Andrew has picked up on it… If I sneeze (legitimately or not), often he will gives a squeal (very high pitched “ahhhhh!!”) and then blow a raspberry, which is how Danny play-sneezes a lot of the time. It kind of cracks me up, and I hope to catch it on video soon! He’s also been experimenting with signing “milk” when he nurses, and “all done” at times as well. He’s figuring out waving and will sometimes wave when someone waves to him…though more often than not, it’s after they disappear out of sight. He’s putting his arms up/out when he wants up, as well. Receptively, he’s understanding more and more, which is exciting and says to me that a word or two will probably be coming soon!

Andrew’s favorite games this month have been the drop game (yep, we’ve hit that stage) and crawling around the house making as big a mess as possible. He is starting to experiment with putting things back in though too, and will diligently empty and then refill stuff…at least part way, before getting distracted. You can just watch him and see him trying to figure out how things go together; I love watching the gears turn in his little head!

We are onward and upward to big things around here :)


Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 12-12-2012

Catch up time!

By 7 months, Andrew was crawling full speed, cruising along furniture, and climbing – including going up stairs. He could not go down, though; he would just crawl right off and fall if allowed to. He just barely started to babble dada. He started to eat solids, but did not like purees at all, preferring to feed himself puffs and yogurt melts.

At 8 months, he was still crawling and cruising, bridging between things if they were right beside each other. He was broadening his horizon on finger foods, loving it when I gave him half a banana or something similar that he could gnaw on. He switched to babbling baba, and started to get more vocal.

At 9 months, he was starting to eat purees too along with more finger foods. His favorites were whole steamed green beans and Cheerios. He was still babbling primarily baba, with lots of great intonation. His pincer grasp was fully developed, and he could bridge between things cruising a bit further apart, but still no independent steps. He also cut his next 2 teeth, bringing his total to 4.


Filed Under (Milestones, Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 09-09-2012

I set out, while pregnant, to make sure I kept better track of milestones with Andrew – both before and after birth. I did a horrible, horrible job! Completely dropped the ball, I did.

So let’s catch up. At 6 months…

  • Andrew is making physical stuff a bit priority! In the last month, he has mastered sitting, army crawling, rolling back to front, and pulling up to stand. He is still working on hands and knees crawling, but doesn’t seem to be too enthused about it since he can already get around just fine.
  • He is sleeping very poorly, something that started about a month ago. He seems to often take forever to get to go down at night, and he wakes often. He is worse now than he was as a newborn! It’s making for one seriously tired mama.
  • His firsts this month included his first tooth (broke through on the 3rd, six months old exactly!), first tastes of food (baby food and tiny bites of table food), and first time swinging at the park (he smiled, but seemed to enjoy watching the big kids swing more).
  • He started wearing 6-9 month clothes this month, more for length than weight.
  • Halfway through a year, his darn tear ducts are still not fully open, especially on the right! He has some serious cradle cap going on too. Blech.
  • Andrew’s favorite things are sticking things in his mouth (especially crinkly stuff), watching his brothers play, peek-a-boo, books, and watching and/or chasing the cats.

We made it halfway through the first year – I can’t wait to see what the second half has in store for us!


Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 01-09-2012

Andrew and I spend much of our time upstairs – either in the living room and kitchen or in one of the bedrooms. I love my office very much, and my computer very much, but the cats have taken to…um…not making it very safe for crawling babies down there, let’s say. (They aren’t vicious, but they do yucky stuff!) I cleaned up down there today and figured I would give it a go to see how Andrew liked the change of scenery, since already today he has made it into the kitchen to start playing with the cat food, get stuck under the kitchen table, and generally just disappear out of sight.

I’m not unprepared! We have an awesome set of fun kid stuff down in the office, which I have already gone through to ensure all those little big-boy things that aren’t safe for baby have been moved out of reach.

If that’s not enough, I brought a few bins of some of his toys from upstairs that we play with, so he has another “station” he can crawl over to and play with.

Getting a little obsessive, I brought down a few of our favorite touch and feel books and laid them out in a third “station” for him, and added Eric’s pillow pet for something soft and snuggly.

I set him down in the middle of all 3 of these fabulous places and turn around for 2 seconds to plug my camera in and download pictures to my computer. It gets quiet. I look over, and what has he decided to play with?

Yeah. I took him away from there, twice, and he crawled right back. The third time, he just laid down and screamed at me.

He’s now sitting on my lap with a toy, blowing raspberries at it, while all these awesome toys and stuff lay ignored behind us.

Why do I bother?


Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 30-08-2012

We’ve had the same set of stacking cups forever. I have no idea exactly when we got them or where we got them; they are just a part of the decor, moving around occasionally from bedroom to bathroom to living room and, heck, sometimes the car. Now that Andrew is able to (mostly) sit up, I brought them out and let him go to town.

The first thing I always like to do when I have a new toy is to just kind of put it out there and see what happens. I’ve learned a lot of structured play ideas over the years, but I have a great appreciation for the organic. (Plus, what better way to get 10 minutes of time to fold laundry, or eat lunch, or sit and read than to toss a new toy at a kid and say, “Here! Have at it!”)

I know that, when I first got the cups, I was mystified by them. I knew how to make a tower with them, but baby Eric couldn’t do that. So now, enlightened as I am in baby play, here’s how Andrew and I roll:

  • Nest them and practice pulling them out. I’ll do one, Andrew will do 3, stick them in his mouth, topple over, and knock the remaining ones all over the place.
  • Build a tower – my job, not his. I’ve discovered that, if I build it, he will come…to knock it down.
  • Lay a cup on it’s side and roll it. Before long, Andrew pushes the cup himself, then crawls after it. Rinse and repeat!
  • Cover one or more cups with a blanket. Pull the blanket off a few times with a flourish – watch the sheer delight on his face when it is revealed! Then, leave it covered… Sometimes, Andrew goes to find it. Sometimes, he gets distracted by the blanket himself. Yum! Blanket!
  • Practice nesting the cups. Andrew won’t master this one for a while, at 5 months, but every now and then he tries!
  • Turn the cups upside down and arrange them in a pyramid. Throw things at it, or just knock it down straight. Babies love destruction for some reason!
  • Eric invented this one, and it absolutely cracked Andrew up. He would pick up the set, and one by one drop them onto the floor (at a distance from Andrew, of course) while singing, “It’s raining, it’s pouring!”
  • Ours have small holes in the bottom, so they are fun in the tub too…or will be once he is sitting a little better!

Now, being a mom of a CI kid, it goes without saying that I narrate the whole process. Up, down, crash, in, out, on top, big, small, colors… For older kids, there are plenty of language games to be had, but at this point I’m just pouring the language in.

What fun stuff do you do with stacking cups? I’d love some more ideas!


Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 26-08-2012

There comes a point where I almost have to call foul on this baby. Let’s recap: at 5 months, Andrew is army crawling, sitting independently for short spans, squealing at the top of his lungs, reaching for and exploring everything, playing with toys like neither of our other babies did, standing at the couch with just a little help from us, and almost demanding to be entertained.

Seriously? I go out, and when people are all like, “Wow, he’s holding his head up so well!” I almost laugh in their face.

“Can I play too??”

I appreciate it though. After all the worrying I did about Danny’s development, Andrew is going so fast I have no time to doubt. Of course, I worry a little about not being ready for a mobile baby, but I can’t find it in me to complain.

Andrew is just so…different. He is this whole other child that throws us for a loop quite often. He is an easy baby, and yet he is high needs – the highest need being the need for All Mommy, All the Time. If I leave the room? He cries. If I leave him with dad for an hour? He screams for an hour. Some say I should feel loved, and I do, but it’s kind of exhausting. I try to pass the baby off to dad for a minute so I can pee, and he screams and screams until I get back.

I just want to pee, kid!

Naps are still short for him – maybe a half an hour at a time – and nights have been wild, probably because of all the development he’s doing. Or teething. Or a growth spurt, heck, I don’t know.

What I do know is that this kid is figuring things out real fast. He’s going places…and he’s taking us with him, at least as the hired help. He can crawl all over the place for anything he wants, and does, unless he wants picked up. Then, he gets eye contact, kicks his legs like he’s pretending he can’t crawl, and fusses until you pick him up.

Andrew, dear – you’re too young for this stuff!

Who, me?

All of this means, though, that it’s time to entertain him! Watch out soon… As I start busting out some new activities and finding stuff he likes, I’ll be sharing some of our favorites here. I know I’m going into this very much thinking, “What on earth do you do to keep a 5 month old entertained??” So I figure I ought to pay it forward.