Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mommy Tip: Double Wake-up

Drink Your Coffee in the Shower

It warms you from the outside in and the inside out.

In college it was novel to drink a beer in the shower from time to time. This is the mommy equivilant. It is very pleasing, and comes highly recommended.

  • Time Saver. Otherwise, you may not get both.
  • Prevents babies from complaining that they want to play with your cup, instead of your drinking from it.
  • The coffee-shower combonation creates a power-up effect exponentially stronger than each one in isolation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Skill Surge

While Wesley's growth continually builds, there are periods of slower prep and then bursts where many skills come to fruition at once. For months he has been working toward the onslaught of new abilities attained this past week. Utilizing my advanced MBA skills, I have provided visual representation of this concept.

Each time one of these skill surges occurs, I am a step or two behind. We have to readjust, and I inevitably fail for a couple of days. There is extra crying, there is frustration, there is less than needed and different than normal sleep, and confusion abounds. We are a little haggard from the experience, but then we have a day of napping together, and we find a nice rhythm again, and get synched up in the flow of continual change.

Crawling and pulling up has been such a surge. We are now cruising merrily along with new adventures, explorations, and lots of concentrated and joyful work each day.

In the first days of Month 5 Wes inchwormed, then didn't again for three weeks. He strained for weeks, flapped his arms for months. Then finally he lifted one hand, ahhh something new, less than a week later he lifted one knee. One day all of a sudden he was scooting, then the next day--crawling. Key clicks into place, and he's off.

Last Tuesday when Casey left for work, Wesley was only crawling a few crawls forward and then switching to scooting. He was screaming with every move of a limb as if being tortured. He was just starting to pull up on things other than people.

One week later, as Casey left for work, Wesley crawled after him across the living room, no screams. He's pulling up on everything, playing with his toys while standing up, working on improving his cruising skills, and is exploring the areas he could never reach. He can pop right up into standing on the couch or the bookshelves. Now his primary screams of frustration are that he can't yet climb to the third shelf of the bookcase (he can just reach it and look up and whine) or that he's not allowed to play with some things in the room.

He tries to turn corners of the bookshelf, leap from one piece of furniture to the other--he is a daredevil.

He does things now like pull up and hold on with one hand while he leans over to play with a toy with the other hand. As if he didn't just start the standing thing a couple days prior.

When cruising, sometimes he is very careful because he is aware that he is executing a complicated manuever, other times he has little concern for falling or bumping his head. We spot him carefully, because he hasn't yet developed body awareness of his limits with these new skills. His crawling speed has increased to the point that we can't leave the room for more than a moment or he'll be in a different place than when we left. I imagine his speed will increase rapidly in weeks to come.

The progress has been fast. It took about two days for each piece of furniture to be mastered. I love watching him scoot close, put his hands on the furniture, scoot sideways, reposition, sit up, scoot forward, then grab on with both hands, scoot back, take a different grip, then when he thinks it's just right, he manpowers his way up (the kid has the upper body strength of a rockclimber). Then he sees something else while standing and works on cruising toward it.

His crawling and pulling up both came together at the same time. It may be because crawling enabled him to explore new areas of the room, some of which required climbing. Perhaps a coordination-strength threshold was passed. Within a day both skills surged forward in synch as he understood something new about how his legs and arms could work in tandem.

Wesley spends so much time playing, and it is great fun to play with him. If he sees we're doing something fun across the room, he crawls over. If I'm on the floor he hurries over to pull up on me, clammors all over, all the while smiling with delight. I marvel at him standing confidently playing with his toys. He looks so tiny and capable. Such a busy little baby, now with more than a hint of little boy shining through.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seven Months Crawling

Watch out world, here comes Wes.

His noises have a fierce new power and pitch.
He crawls when he puts his mind to it, but is none too happy about the process.

He pulls up on furniture sometimes, and is sure to use you as a stepping stool.

He has two fierce teeth and isn't afraid to chomp.

Our busy little guy is crawling and pulling up now. He doesn't seem to particularly enjoy crawling. In fact, he screams the entire time he does it (even when successful). This seems like odd behavior, but it must be hard and frustrating for him. So far, he only crawls short distances, and then switches to scooting.

Wes has been spending a lot of time playing and working on his mobility skills. He easily goes forward into crawling position, grabs a toy, and then goes back up to sitting. He sometimes skips naps to do his work. Also, he got many new toys from when my parents visited, so he is busy mastering them.

My parents visited! They arrived on my 28th Birthday. My Mom baked me a cake and made me a birthday dinner. Having them here was amazing. It was touching to see them playing with Wesley. He Looooved them and thought they were so fun. It felt great to have them here with us. So very good and right.

My 28th Birthday Celebrations

During their time here, Wesley advanced from having a hard time getting from his tummy his knees, to getting up into the position reguarly. He started cross-crawling (one hand, then opposite knee) at the very end of their visit, though it was primarily one crawl forward and two pushes backward. He practically pushed himself out of the room on one occasion.

We also had two college friends visit separately. Wesley enjoyed their company, too. It was a treat to have them stay with us.

Despite loving all the playmates who stopped through, in many ways Wesley has had a difficult month. The first half of the month his teeth just tortured him. He sucked on many frozen washcloths, teethed on everything imaginable, got an Amber Teething necklace, and I drank a lot of camomile tea. For now, his teeth are feeling better. Two teeth in two weeks was a difficult task.

The second half of the month has been challenging with discomfort when crawling. He has so much frustration at not being able to get to his goal, and he works so hard. Also, though we try many cute tricks, Wesley hates being on his back and screams at diaper changes and when getting dressed. We have taken to frequently changing his diaper when he is sitting or standing up (leaning on us). This sort of works.

This month has also been full of sweet playtime and Wesley has astounded me with how much he as accomplished. He is so focused and determined and he has an insatiable curiosity. He is gaining new skills like playing the xylophone & making banging noises, and using tools like blocks to knock down towers of blocks, discovering the absolute joy of eating, and many others. He has done so much this month.

We also had several playdates with Louie & Staci. Wesley warmed up to Louie. At one play session, Wes thought Louie was about the funniest thing he'd ever seen. Wes really wanted to touch his head, but also didn't know what to do with him once he was up close and personal. On several occasions they scared each other by being too loud when expressing their excitement, or by getting too close. It is interesting to see Wes becoming socialized. He keeps his eye on Louie, and often makes a nervous noise when watching, but is very interested.