Archive for September, 2013


So 10 months? Ten months was… not a picnic. There were some definite highs but with an awful cold that lasted two weeks and what seemed to be a very painful case of ghost molars, everyone in this house is ready for a fresh start with our youngest budders as we round out infant-hood over the next month.

Here are the goods…

Crawling continues to provide seemingly endless entertainment. We thought you’d eventually move away from the bear crawl to the more accepted version of hands and knees but no such thing has happened and for that I am grateful. Seeing your little body haul ass around corners up on hands and feet just never gets old. The best is when your feet get ahead of your hands and you totally wipe out on your face, or better still, tuck into a stunt-man roll and go ass over tea kettle. Either way you pop right back up with a determined smirk, undoubtedly aiming to break some sort of crawling record, or your face, we’ll see what comes first.


You are WHOLLY uninterested in walking. You have cruised furniture since you could crawl but you don’t even really like it when I try to get you to hold my hands and walk. You can stand alone fairly steadily but no amount of coaxing can get you to take a step. As far as you are concerned walking is an unacceptably inefficient means of getting around.


You said mamamama for the first time this month! For 3 days at the beginning of the month you repeated the m-a combination over and over and over and my heart burst as you looked at me with a smile and sometimes a hug as you said it. Then… you just stopped. Completely. Everyday I would try to coax it out of you and everyday you stared at me in utter confusion which quickly melted into disinterest. As if you had no idea that we had just spent the previous three days lovingly using each others names like civilized humans. Is this some sort of trick? Or test? Are you just messing with me? Because it realllly feels like you’re messing with me.


Sleep training was the biggest hurdle we faced this month. After brushing up on my Pantly/Weissbluth/Sears/Ferber and searching the great wide internet for personal stories of sleep-training ten month olds, Bill and I decided on a modified approach that was much less cut and dry than the tactic we used with Keaton. We went this route because unlike Keaton, we knew Ezra could self sooth. He wakes up several times a night and puts himself back to sleep just fine, never needing more than the occasional re-nuking. In fact the night-time bed routine wasn’t the issue at all, it was naps; for which I was still having to vigorously rock him while he fought sleep every step of the way.

The first thing Bill and I did was compare notes so that we could do the exact same thing at nap-time {which I do} and bedtime {which we do together}. We landed on this:

1. Nurse on one side

2. Change diaper, get in PJs

3. Nurse on the other side.*

4. snuggle him in a blanket, with a nuk and his stuffed puppy.

5. Read 2-3 stories

6. Gently cuddle/sway him as we hum 2-4 songs

7. Lay him down tired but awake, cover him up and out the door

{* Since he’s down to only one nursing session during the day, I start with the diaper change and move on to the snuggle and the stories. For whatever reason, nursing seems to energize him during the day so doing it around naps has been cut out.}

So we had our plan of a peaceful routine mapped out, we just had to agree on what level of crying/fussing/partying we would allow before intervening and trying to get him back down or giving up. Ezra is a very intense, very energy-filled small human. Naturally, we were terrified he would just scream for hours which was in no way an acceptable means to teach him to sooth himself to sleep. Thankfully, he went pretty easy on us. As far as nighttime went, there was only one night where he cried for more than a few minutes. For whatever reason, on the 5th night in, he just started screaming when Bill began the night-time process and he just could not calm himself down. I went up to him every 5 minutes or so to snuggle him back in and try to sooth him with shushing and pats but that only infuriated him. Finally after 40 minutes he cried himself out and it was awful and gut/heart wrenching but that was the worst of it. Every other night he has happily put himself to sleep without so much as a peep.


Naps continue to be hit or miss but at least I’m not having to jog-rock him while he tries to take swings at me. For his morning nap I follow our routine and he might babble or fuss for up to ten minutes but he then puts himself to sleep for 1.5 to 2.5 hours. The afternoon nap is my arch-nemesis. He will babble and fuss sometimes for up to 30 minutes, which is my limit. If he starts full-out crying at that point I give up and get him up, but roughly two to three times a week he’ll figure it out and fall asleep. I really wish he was ready to push back his morning nap a couple of hours so we could just have one nap but he is sooooo not there yet. Unfortunately he is a nightmare the 4-5 days he doesn’t take the second nap because 11:30-7 is WAY too long a stretch for him to go without sleeping. I have tried to talk this out rationally with him but so far he has been unresponsive to my pleas.


So! I guess sleep training was mostly successful. One of the best things we got out of it was the chance to introduce story time. Here is where I tell you that Rowan was born loving books and that {for once} is not hyperbole. From birth I would rock her in the chair while I read out of my childhood copy of A Wind in the Willows. Once she became mobile we didn’t need to set up baby jail as long as we set her in front of the bookcase. At Ezra’s age she would set up camp in front of the shelves and pull down and page through book after book, happy as a clam.

Foolishly, I thought this would be how all my kids were wired, so I was shocked when Keaton adamantly refused to be read to. Books were for throwing, chewing, hurling, and ripping. I am also not exaggerating when I say that child would not sit for a full story until he was 4 freaking years old. This sort of killed me dead, as one of my favorite parts of being a parent is reading and sharing stories with my kids. Now Ezra is WAAAAAYYYYYY {waywaywaywayway} more active than Keaton ever was so I held out exactly ZERO hope that he would sit for stories but we decided to try it as a part of our nighttime routine and whaddya know? He sat and was fairly engaged. He is really particular about the books he wants but as long as he likes them, he will sit and snuggle and help turn the pages. His favorites are: Little Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, I Love You Goodnight, Pajama Time and Ten Little Ladybugs. He will tolerate a few others at times but remains highly suspicious of Jamberry, for whatever reason.


Other awesome things:

His stuffed puppy. We’ve tried introducing several adorable woobies, all of which he has inexplicably refused. I got the three kids a small plush Snoopy when Ezra was born and that, along with the blanket my mom made him that stays in his crib, seem to be his chosen objects so far.


Playing light sabers. Now, under the careful tutelage of his big brother, when Ezra picks up one of Keaton’s swords or sabers {or anything even remotely resembling one} he makes a zzzzzzz buzzing/hum sound with a giant grin on his face. The force is super strong with this one, it’s pretty awesome.


Really plays now. He has gone from watching his siblings play to actively trying to insert himself. Keaton in particular loves to play “Roll around like a really loud ninja and hide from the baby” with him. They all love the game where the older two cover him up with a blanket and watch him flail and laugh as he tries to baby-ghost his way out of it.


Meows. The other two counted “kitty” as their first word. While Ezra prefers the more realistic “mroooooww” mimic to identify and/or communicate with the cats. It’s highly adorable and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get it on video many times over the last few weeks. He has also started “ruffing” when he sees Luna. All this fits in well with his wild-boy persona.

You know, baby, it’s fairly probable that you are our last little gunterling and I sort of feel cheated out of my full amount of baby time since you’ve really been an active toddler since you were about nine months old. You spent this month in a constant fury of pick me up/no put me down/no pick me up and you spent many hours perfecting your fake cry which begins with a grimace so exaggerated and slo-mo, that infuriating as it is, I can’t help but laugh. Much of 10 months was aggravating and exhausting and there were many nights I was very happy to see you snuggle in for the next 11 hours so I could enjoy life without being constantly yelled at. Things have already gotten better with the dissipation of the crappy cold we all had so I’m really looking forward to the amazing things eleven months will bring you. We love you, Pal.



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Tomorrow my Sir, my budders, my Keaton starts Kindergarten. There was a time, in what now seems like the very distant past, that I could never have imagined we would make it here, Bubba. There were so many nights that I held your screaming, shaking, inconsolable body, so many days of pacifying your cries, wimpers and whines, so many moments that I didn’t think I would be able to make it until the next nap, let alone the next birthday but… five and a half years later, here we are.

On the eve of your first foray into Kindergarten I’m wracking my brain in wonder as to when you grew into an honest-to-god boy. Instead of coming back empty-handed and declaring your long limbs and thinned-out cheeks the work of some mysterious witchcraft,  I came back with giant fistfuls of memories, all that are a small slice of the journey that has made you, you. The path that has brought us to this night.

Whether it was watching you throw yourself down a giant metal slide with gleeful abandon, or seeing you grin through a ride on a gigantic roller coaster or seeing you play catcher and 3rd base at your first T-ball game, or watching you take a running jump and cannon-balling into the deep-end, a little bit of my baby slipped away and was replaced by Big Boy. You know the ones…


The ones who graduate preschool.

The ones who become big brothers.

The ones who become big brothers.

The ones who back-float like a boss.

The ones who back-float like a boss.

The ones who can shake their booties up on a huge stage in fron of hundreds of people.

The ones who can shake their booties up on a huge stage in front of hundreds of people.

The ones who learn to draw Ninja Turtles.

The ones who learn to draw Ninja Turtles.

The ones who FINALLY brave the fireworks.

The ones who FINALLY give fireworks a second chance.

The ones who are total rockstarian.

The ones who are totally rockstarian.

The ones who hit a home run.

The ones who hit a home run.


The ones that can do handstands.


And fight off invisible orc armies with big sticks.

I have to be honest, Buddy. I didn’t think sending you off to Kindergarten would be that big of a deal. After all, I have been through this two times before with your sister and even more so than that you are my Big Guy and after three years of preschool and being oldish for your grade, you are more than ready to move up and out and beyond. But a couple of weeks ago I sent you to Kindergarten camp and when I saw how small you looked in that giant classroom, panic set in. What if you get confused about where you’re supposed to be? What if you forget to get off the bus and we’re on the evening news because the bus company has lost you? What if you drop your lunch tray and you get embarrassed? What if you freak out when you realize they don’t let you watch PBS during lunch? What if some jerky kid makes fun of your glasses or how you say “drawl” instead of draw? Because mama will HUNT THEM DOWN and… well, give them a stern talking to, or something. You really are my big guy, who does big guy stuff, but still…

The panic wore off eventually, mostly when you came home in one very happy, very exhausted piece. And even though I’m sad. Even though I worry. Even though those kids better watch their backs if they are mean to my baby… I know, I just know…

You're gonna do great.

You’re gonna do great, Sir.

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