Lewis, like most little kids, loves music and “dancing.” He gets excited when his toys play music and will dance along with them. He also likes to ask me to turn the radio on to dance. Usually his dancing is in short bursts, then he gets distracted and plays with something, then notices the music again and does a bit more dancing. He also likes to watch So You Think You Can Dance with me, in a similar way. He gets very interested/excited about a dance on the show, but then gets busy playing and running around for awhile until another song/dance catches his interest and he starts watching again for a bit. (We don’t have the TV on much with him around, and this is one of the only shows he really seems to pay attention to at all. That and commercials. Especially ones with kids or animals in them.)
His dancing has always entailed just him shaking his arms in the air. I’ve tried to show him to move other parts of his body, but he keeps his body very stiff. I guess he hasn’t figured out his balance enough to move his legs/hips/whatever.
Here he is about a month ago rocking out to some Kidz Bop Dance Party:
Today we were in the bedroom and I decided to turn the radio on while I got changed. I usually just flip through the stations until I find something that is playing music, and today happened to find some kind of classical station. Since I had a dress on I showed Lewis how it would float out around me if I spun in a circle, which he thought was great. A little while later he tried it himself and surprised me by being able to spin around without falling! He has been getting better and better with his motor skills, and Chris was just commenting last night about how impressed he was when Lewis took some steps backwards/sideways to avoid a toy on the floor.
Here’s Lewis showing off his new dance moves:
Unfortunately he’s at a bit of a disadvantage for learning more dance moves, since I have zero skill in dancing of any sort. Of course soon enough he’ll start having fun making up his own awesome “moves.” Maybe if he keeps up an interest in dance we’ll think about putting him in dance classes in a few years.
Last week we went up to the family cabin again for the last time this summer. This time there was a lot of extended family there and Lewis got to see grandma, grandpa, great grandma, aunts, uncles, and Mommy’s aunts, uncles, and cousins. We kept busy hanging out with everyone and the week flew right by!
Lewis loves being at the camp and getting to spend as much time as he likes outdoors, and also getting to pretty much choose when to go in or out. There was always someone willing to go with him wherever he wanted to be! He is getting much less shy and was happy to play with and be held by many different family members.
We mostly stayed at the camp as there was plenty to do there.
It was a bit chilly some of the days so we only got into the lake a couple of times. One of the hottest days we went to the beach to give Lewis a chance to play in the sand and shallow water. (The shore at the cabin is rocky, so harder for little legs to navigate.)
We only left the camp a handful of other times. We went for a short hike one day with my family, although the three of us had to leave early due to much-needed nap times.
We went out for breakfast with Anna one morning and Lewis enjoyed getting to have a blueberry muffin of his own. He also was happy to munch on a lot of ice from Mommy’s water cup.
The only other time we went out was to make a trip to the laundromat and to get lunch and play in the nearby park while our laundry was washing.
We had a great time hanging out with all my family and showing off what a fun and smart little guy Lewis is! All the playing and constant running around was tiring, so we all had some good naps and tried to sleep in as much as this busy little one would allow.
It seems like it has been quite a while since I have written about Lewis’ sleep, so I figured I’d update about how things are going for us now, at just over 11 months old. I suppose I have not written about this in a while because there hasn’t been too much change or excitement (or frustration) with his sleep. When Chris asks me in the morning how Lewis slept the night before my answer is generally “the usual” or “about normal” or once in a while “he woke up a bit more than usual.”
At 8 1/2 months we had started round 2 of sleep training with him after a long period of nobody getting enough sleep. A few days later I posted about how well it was going, but mentioned that I was still nursing him to fall asleep at nap times. Our routine has definitely changed since then, and I don’t think I could nurse him to sleep if I wanted to. He is so good at putting himself to sleep now, and always happy to go into his crib when it is time, whether it is for nap or bed. He loves blankets, and always gets a huge smile when I tuck him in (although often plays around in the crib and ends up with the blanket off of him by the time he goes to sleep.) It usually takes him anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes to get to sleep, and in that time we hear him singing, babbling, playing with his toys, clapping, etc. but never crying or fussing. I love going in after he has fallen asleep to see what king of odd position he has gotten himself into. I also usually have to tuck him in with a second blanket as he likes to sleep on top of the blanket he starts out with.
He still tends to wake up around 3 times per night to nurse, which has been his “norm” since he was a few months old. As I was saying to Chris recently: I’ve been doing this for almost a year now so I’m pretty adjusted to getting up in the night and I really don’t mind it. The only time it gets hard for me is when he wakes up more than usual (like when he is actively teething.)
The other hard thing is that his morning wake ups have been getting earlier and earlier. We have always taken him into the bed with us when he wakes around 6:00 and then he would sleep there until we got up. When he was really little he would sleep in bed snuggled with me until 9:30 most days which was lovely. Then it moved down to 8:00, then 7:00, and now we’ve been having some 6:00 wakes up. I’m pretty well adjusted to the 7:00, but the 6:00 days are rough!
Bed time has been 9:00 for a while, but this past week we have moved it down to 8:30 since the internet seems to think that an earlier bed time can actually lead to a later wake up time. He did go back to waking at 7:00 for a few days but today it was 6:00 again so we’ll have to see. I’ve also changed things in the mornings and am no longer taking him into our bed at his 6:00 wake up. It seems like he has been having a hard time getting comfy in bed with us and he would climb around on top of me trying to get comfortable but ultimately just wake himself up more, so I’ve switched to nursing him and putting him back in the crib to sleep just like with any of our night wakings. He doesn’t seem to mind that he’s not sleeping in bed, and it gives us all an extra hour of sleep. (Most days, anyway.)
We also dropped down to 2 naps a day a couple of weeks ago. We had a pattern of three naps for a long time but his evening naps were getting shorter and shorter and also falling awfully close to bed time, so I decided to move his morning and afternoon naps just a bit later and cut out the evening nap. He has been doing very well with napping 3 hours after waking up in the morning, and then 3 hours after waking from his first nap. This usually falls around 10:00 and 3:00. (Morning nap is pretty consistently 2 hours, afternoon nap is anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.) I do adjust nap times a bit if we get up extra early, or if he seems super tired, or if one of his naps is much shorter than usual, but in general I have been trying to stick to the 10:00 and 3:00 schedule which seems to be working really well for us. The biggest downside is that he no longer naps when it is time for me to get dinner ready, which means I prepare as much as possible ahead of time and then do the rest of my cooking with him tugging at my pants (or playing nearby when he is in a good mood for playing by himself.)
Overall, things seem to be going really well with his sleep and I love that we have such a good routine going on. Of course I look forward to one day getting to sleep for a full night, but in the mean time I will try not to think about those other mothers who have babies sleeping through the night at 2 months. (Googling the topic leads me to believe that it is still pretty normal for a breastfed baby to nurse in the night at 1 year, and since he is such a frequent nurser anyway I can hardly expect him to go 12 hours at once without eating. He still goes barely 2 hours in between during the day, except when asleep or very busy.)
Lewis is completely in love with books right now. I think he spends more time looking at books, carrying them around, asking to be read to, etc. than he does any other one thing. He has definite favorites out of his book collection, but there are so many favorites, I can’t possibly talk about them all. So I’ll pick just a few to highlight.
One of his favorite themes in books right now is animals, and he even tries to make the animal sounds for many of them. (“Mooo”, “Cock-a-doodle-doo”, and “hoo-hoo” all come out as “boooo booo.” He makes snorting sounds for hippos, rhinos, etc. He also attempts to hiss like a snake although he doesn’t quite have the “ssss” sound down and his hiss is very guttural. Hedgehogs he makes a sniffing sound with his nose and dogs he starts panting.)
His favorite book to look at on his own is Things That Go (Lift The Flap) by Hinkler. I’ve mentioned this book before because he liked the flap with a hole in it on the rocket ship, but he is now started to get really interest in trucks and machines. His favorite is to turn to the page with the firetrucks and ask me to sing the firetruck song. He has fun trying to lift the flaps himself, and looks for specific ones like the Taxi that shows a family of passengers behind the flap.
Another big favorite right now is Jamberry by Bruce Degen. This is in our stack of books by the rocking chair and he gets excited to read it with Mommy during the day or at bedtime with Daddy. We’ve been eating a lot of berries since the stores are full of them right now, and I think he makes that connection a little bit. He also seems just to like the bright pictures and rhyming story.
The third book I want to mention is one we got from the library and is more “my pick” out of these. The book is Baby ABC by Deborah Donenfeld, and I wanted to mention it because this is one of the cutest alphabet books I’ve seen. Each page has a black-and-white image of a baby dressed in just a diaper, with pops of color showing whatever object goes with that letter. For A the baby is holding a red apple, B is wearing yellow boots, etc. The image for G (glasses) is shown on the cover. Lewis loves looking at the babies in this book and at the things each on has for their letter. He’s very interested in body parts and clothing, so he loves the ones with boots, socks, hat, etc. and often points to the part of his body where those clothes go. He also likes seeing the ones with every day household objects that he is used to, like the mop and the quilt. He will happily sit and read through this entire alphabet book with me and then start turning the pages to find his favorite images. That’s saying a lot since alphabet books often start to get boring by the end, and even my 2-3 year olds at preschool had a hard time sitting through most alphabet books! This book seems to have just the right level of simple, clear, bright pictures with familiar objects that is just perfect for holding baby’s interest. We got this from the library but I would consider getting our own copy of this, especially when he is a bit older and begins showing interest in the actual letters.
There are so many other favorite books, and he can sit and read books for at least 20-30 minutes at a time. Sometimes he is so excited to choose the next book that he doesn’t want to finish the one we are on, so he busily picks out books and hands them to me to read and then half way through he’s there handing me another one. Often I am the one who ends our reading sessions because I need to pee, get some water, etc.
He also has a cute new habit of wandering out of the bedroom in the morning while Chris and I are still trying to wake up, and coming back in with a book for us to read in bed.
I love my little bookworm and hope he keeps up his interest in books and stories!
Even though I don’t work a M-F week any more, and I love spending my days with Lewis, I still look forwards to the weekends every week! The weekends are when Chris, Lewis, and I get to hang out as a family, spend the whole day playing together, relaxing, or going on adventures. Some weekends feel busy with traveling places, shopping, or other things. Other weekends are slower paced. They all seem to fly by though.
This past weekend was the best kind of weekend. We spent some time being lazy and relaxing, and also went out to do some things together.
We started off Saturday morning with a big breakfast together. Chris and I both love breakfast foods, but he leans more towards the savory (hash browns, bacon, breakfast burritos, etc.) whereas I lean towards pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc. We ended up with bacon, homemade hash browns, an omelette (for Chris) and whole wheat banana pancakes (for me and Lewis.) Lewis decided that the bacon was the absolute best part of the meal and he didn’t want to eat any of the rest of it.
After breakfast we all walked over to a yard sale I had spotted on Friday, and we ended up getting an awesome Fisher Price block activity table thingy. Lewis loves it!
He (and Daddy) spent a good part of the day Saturday playing with it and exploring all the different things it can do, looking at the different things inside the blocks, etc. It came with a ton of extra blocks as well as a giraffe thingy that he can put the blocks in or just carry around. He also keeps going back to play with it yesterday and today. It is perfect for his level right now with fiddly bits to work on his fine motor skills, places to put the blocks in and out, etc.
Saturday night we took a ball and a frisbee outside in the lawn between apartments to enjoy the beautiful weather. I wasn’t sure how Lewis would react since he is sometimes a bit hesitant about being on the grass, and also with Daddy and I playing frisbee our attention wasn’t as focused on him as usual. He loved it! He was excited to watch us throwing the frisbee, kicking the ball, and running around. He had fun picking clover flowers in the grass and surprised me with doing a lot of walking on the grass. He is usually very timid about walking on grass since it is more of a challenge, but he seemed to gain more and more confidence with it just in the time we were out there.
A lot of our scheduling of time revolves around Lewis’ nap times still, so often we only half-plan things ahead of time but don’t finalize things until we see when he has woken up in the morning, which sets the tone for when he will need to nap. We came up with two ideas for Sunday: either to go blueberry picking and see the animals (goats) at the orchard or to go to Olive Garden for lunch together. We were leaning towards the berry picking but Lewis apparently had other plans. He fell asleep in his stroller while we were out for our morning walk, an hour earlier than I had expected him to nap. Since Olive Garden opens earlier than the orchard it worked out to be perfect timing to go to lunch after he woke up. He was super well behaved at the restaurant, stayed in the high chair the entire time we were eating, and absolutely loved gnawing on bread sticks and dropping pieces of shrimp and olives onto the floor.
After Olive Garden we decided to check out Toys R Us since it was nearby. We didn’t have any real plan of anything to buy, just decided to wander through the store and see what caught our interest. Of course we had to check out the video games and Skylanders display since that is the line of games that Daddy’s company (Vicarious Visions) is doing a lot of work on. Lewis was super excited over a big plush Eruptor, which seems to be one of his favorite Skylanders to play with in Daddy’s collection. He got to play with it a bit in the store but we didn’t think we needed to bring it home. We ended up buying him another puzzle instead, mostly because he saw it on the shelf and kept saying “boooo, boooo” at the cow in the farm scene. (I don’t know how to type up the way he actually pronounces that… it is somewhere between a “b” and a “v” sound, like in the spanish word “vaca” I guess, but it’s been a long time since I took Spanish. He is working hard on his “b” sounds recently so most of his “words” and sounds end up with a “b” mixed in.)
Sunday afternoon I was tired out and had a nice long nap while Lewis was napping. Chris was a sweetheart and took the opportunity to do some dishes and tidy up the living room, and of course relax with his video games as well.
Once Lewis was in bed for the night we finished watching The Hobbit together and enjoyed some rootbeer floats. Yum! It was a great weekend, which of course means we are all just wishing for more weekend time. The next couple weekends will be busy with travel since next week we are headed up to the family camp again. This time there will be all kinds of extended family there, which will be a different kind of fun!
It seems that my recent creative energy is also getting passed along to Lewis. We had a busy creative day today with both painting and drawing. He has also been very into stickers recently. If he finds anything with a sticker on it he will try to peel it off. He also knows where his stickers are kept and will sometimes “ask” to play with them. I usually stick two or three onto something for him to peel off. He then sometimes tries to stick them back on, or stick them to his shirt or himself, but most of the time he just walks around with stickers in his hands until he loses them/forgets about them.
I made a mixture of flour, corn starch, water, and food coloring for our paint again. It works pretty well but maybe next time I will look up some of the toddler-paint recipes I’ve seen on pinterest and try out a new mixture.
He gave the paint a few tastes but didn’t eat much of it. He did manage to get it all over his legs, arms, tummy, etc. and even some on his back. Good thing I planned ahead and had everything ready to toss him in the bath when he was done!
After painting and getting cleaned up he noticed that I had left out my giant sketchbook after tearing out a paper to paint on. Since he looked interested in it I decided to try coloring with him again.
He always shows a lot of interest when I am writing/drawing, but usually once he gets his hands on a pen/marker/crayon he pretty much just tries to eat it and doesn’t try to color. Crayons he can take bites out of and pens and markers will get ink in his mouth which doesn’t sound like a good thing, so I’ve been shying away from offering to let him color as much. Today I decided to try colored pencils with him. He did put them in his mouth but he can’t really get anything off of it like the other things, and they are labeled “nontoxic” so I think I might stick with colored pencils from now on. He chews on sticks outside, so it’s not too different, right?
I basically just got out the pencils and started doodling on the paper. I didn’t try to ask him to color, just let him discover the pencils in his own time. After he checked them out with his mouth and watched me color a bit he decided to join in. I was glad to see how easy it was for him to make marks with the pencils, since he doesn’t really know how to put any pressure into his drawing yet. He could easily see the results of his scribbling the pencil back and forth.
I was impressed with how much scribbling he did since this was the longest I’ve seen coloring hold his interest. He did try to chew the pencils in between making scribbles, but he kept coming back to the drawing.
Looking at development charts and such online most things seem to say that scribbling can start at 12-13 months or even later, so according to that he is “ahead.” Maybe he will be a great artist or writer some day! I’m also curious how much of that just has to do with parents not giving baby opportunities to color earlier than that. Whether or not he is some kind of scribbling genius-baby, he seems to enjoy it so I’ll keep giving him opportunities to try drawing.
As of today Lewis now has tooth #5 beginning to break through! It is his second tooth on the top left. Googling tells me that these two top teeth come in between 9-13 months, so he seems to be right on track.
He is not at all a fan of me trying to look in his mouth, but I have suspected this tooth was coming in for the past week or so. The glimpses I could get of the area seemed to show it looking a bit swollen, but I couldn’t feel anything poking through until tonight. I think it will get harder and harder to tell when he is getting teeth as they get farther away from center since I know he won’t want to open up and let me have a look.
We have been lucky that all of his teething so far hasn’t seemed to affect him too much. He wakes a bit more at night, but he wakes a lot at night anyway (usually 2-3 times a night, this past week with teething it has been 4 times a night.) He has also been nursing A LOT. He has always been a frequent nurser, but this past week he will literally ask to nurse half an hour after just having nursed, and then another half hour after that, etc. Parts of the day he will go an hour or two, but he is nursing a lot even compared to his normal frequent nursing. Besides the nursing and slight trouble sleeping he hasn’t shown much trouble at all, no real crankiness or anything.
I haven’t caught any pictures of the new tooth yet, but here are some recent toothy photos showing off his other four!