Skip to main content

2015, October: Wisdom from the Eighth Month

Seven whole months ago I wrote the post "Wisdom from the First Month." I cannot believe so much time has passed and how much better I am now at dealing with everything parenthood has to throw at us. I also cannot believe that my tiny baby is now a crawling, sitting, standing, cruising, drooling, teething, babbling, wriggling, shouting STRONG miniature human being. Here are some more tidbits of knowledge and advice I have gleaned from eight months with the droolmonster:
  • You get through those tough first few weeks (months) and it does get easier/better/happier. In hindsight, the rough period seemed to last no time at all, though I know it felt never-ending while I was in the midst of it.
  • Sleep is a rollercoaster. Declan started sleeping through the night at nine/ten weeks old. It was amazing. The world was a wonderful place to be and everything was shiny and happy. Then at four months he stopped. At five months he started doing well again with some major-sleep-training-effort from us, then seven months brought a helmet and a cold and teething and it all went to hell again. Celebrate the good nights for sure, but don't get too comfortable...
  • Get used to being damp. We live in a damp world now: damp patches on the carpet, damp clothes, damp burp rags, damp blankets, damp furniture, damp baby. Don't walk around the house without your slippers because the drool and/or spit up will get you. It's EVERYWHERE.
  • Eight month old boys would rather eat board books than read them.
  • Teething sucks. You can buy every teething product that Target has to offer (I did), but in the end a cuddle and some Tylenol might be the only things that help.
  • It's better to have a daycare that cares about (and possibly overreacts to) every cold/cough/rash/long nap than one that doesn't pay attention. Try to remember this the FIFTH time that you leave work to rush the baby to the doctor only to have him giggle and blow raspberries (the baby not the doctor) for the entire appointment like the healthiest child in the world.
  • Babies instantly know when there is a non-toy item potentially within their reach. You can cover the floor with exciting, colorful, noise-making baby toys, but the kid will bee-line for the single, hidden item that they are not to play with. This might be a remote, a cup of tea, a pile of DVDs, or an important document. If it is not designed for babies, they will find it. Potentially dangerous items are even more appealing. Babies can also hear a baby-gate open from any distance and will suddenly be able to move at approximately 40 mph to get through it before it closes.
  • Napping is a nightmare. I'm constantly aware of when Declan last napped, how long he napped for, when he next needs to nap, how long that nap should be, when he shouldn't nap, and whether a nap was a good nap or not. I've spent a huge amount of time (and gas!) driving past my destination and around in circles to ensure adequate napping, and ALL outings are planned around naps. It would be nice if some of those naps were mine.
  • Babies can go from lying and barely rolling to crawling, sitting, standing, and cruising in just a couple of weeks, at which point...
  • Some babies never, EVER stop moving. There is no such thing as cuddle time with Declan. I'm sure that he was a restless/cranky baby because he was frustrated with being immobile, and now that he CAN move, he doesn't stop. Ever. A typical five minutes in Declan world goes: wriggle/crawl/roll/stand/bang/shout/cruise/chew/wallop/fall/crawl/headstand/giggle/roll/wriggle/bite/hit/crawl/stand/rattle/chew/fall/cry/crawl/yogapose/scream/roll/crawl/pound/stand/collapse/shout/crawl. As a result...
  • I am not capable of being a full-time mum. I don't know how all of you do it. I work four days per week and have three-day weekends with the miniature man. Those three days are absolutely, completely, 100% exhausting and by Monday afternoon I am most definitely looking forward to going back to work to have a rest. They are a huge amount of fun, too, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't do it seven days a week every week. No way. Did I mention that he NEVER STOPS MOVING and BARELY NAPS? I'm tired just thinking about it.
Now I'm going to be one of those annoying gushy parents. Declan is amazing and funny and crazy and incredible and I can't believe how lucky we are to have him. He is definitely the best thing to happen to me and to us. In those first few weeks I felt regret and fear and worried that we had ruined our happy lives by having a baby. We hadn't. Thank goodness. Declan rocks.


Popular posts from this blog

A Successful Trip!

I turn 40 this week. Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places in the world, so I decided we should go spend the weekend in the park for my birthday. As we got closer, I discovered I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Both kids are exhausting at the moment, and Ophelia especially does not do well in the car. Or in the cold. Or in any situation where her indecipherable needs are not being met. When I saw that thunderstorms were forecast all weekend, I almost canceled. But we’d paid a deposit on the cabin so we decided to take a chance and see what happened. 

Well. The weather worked out almost perfectly and the kids were amazing! They handled all the time in the car, they hiked, they even (mostly) behaved themselves in a fancy restaurant. Ah. Maze. Zing. 

On day one, we headed up to West Yellowstone and had our usual giant pancake lunch before venturing into the park.

Then we drove down to West Thumb geyser basin, where both children managed to a) not fall into a hot spri…

Bye Bye, Baby

We said goodbye to the bottle tonight. Which means no more baby bottles in this house ever again! We’ve been getting rid of baby stuff for a while now. In March we donated/sold the stroller, baby car seat, high chair, and play pen, and I’ve been happily ditching a bag or two of baby clothes every few weeks. I haven’t felt sad or sentimental about any of it. I love getting rid of stuff (I am married to a hoarder, after all), and I do not miss the baby stage since I found it so damn hard. But something about the end of the bottle gave me pause. I had such trouble feeding both of them, from my breastfeeding woes with Declan to Ophelia’s failure to gain weight, that the bottle has been a huge focus in our lives for over four years.

When Declan was our only child, I never understood all of the parents bemoaning how quickly time was passing. I just didn't feel it. Once Ophelia arrived, however, all of that changed. Time now flits away without a care and I feel like I'm missing ever…

2017, December: EAT Baby EAT (or Postpartum Depression SUCKS)

Ophelia arrived and we thought she was an easy baby. Easier than Declan, for sure! Then her two month appointment came around and we found out that she wasn’t gaining enough weight. In the two months since then, we’ve been back at the doctor’s at least every two weeks (and sometimes more) for weight checks. We’ve tried different formulas, different bottles, different nipples, and different positions. We’ve given her two different reflux medicines and probiotic drops. We’re working with an Occupational Therapist and talking about whether we need to see a GI specialist. We’ve tried fortifying the formula. We started solids early. The doctors are flummoxed and I am frustrated. The girl just does not want to eat. Every time we seem to be doing better and I start to feel hopeful, she plummets again. A slight fever or shots or congestion or a new person can send her spiraling downward and my mood right alongside. I was so excited to get through those first few weeks of baby blues without si…