Teefus! (And other unfortunate afflictions)

Dear Alex,

You are 8 months old now! This has been quite an eventful month, so I apologize in advance for the length of this letter. The pace at which you develop continues to baffle me. Recently your little cousin Michael was born, and seeing his picture I can’t believe you were ever that small! The other day I was saying to Dad that it feels like when you roll a snowball down a hill… it gets bigger & bigger and rolls faster & faster, with you powerless to stop it. It’s such a terrible and wonderful feeling. Already we are so very proud of you. πŸ™‚ But gosh, sometimes I wish you’d stop growing so fast!

The most notable of your milestones this month was the appearance of teeth! Or “teefus” as we call them with you. So far you have two, the bottom front teeth. Your two top front teeth are very close to popping out at well. I’ve tried several times to get close-up pictures of these teeth, but it’s proving to be very difficult. This picture I took of you making a mess with your yogurt recently has probably the best view of your teeth:

IMG_20130917_182105_475

Teething, the process where your baby teeth force their way out of your gums, is notorious for causing major pain and anguish in babies. It can make them extremely fussy, not sleep as well, not eat as much, etc. I recently expressed my thoughts on the subject after a particularly rough night with you, just as your second tooth was popping through:

teethingFB

It felt like having a newborn all over again! But these rough nights continued even after the tooth was out, so I called your pediatrician’s advice line. They suggested that I bring you in for a quick check to rule out an ear infection, which is also very common with babies. And GOOD GRIEF, turns out you have an ear infection too! No wonder you weren’t sleeping well! What’s odd is that you were totally fine during the day; it was just the nights that were rough. And you weren’t really pulling on your ears or anything like that either. But as soon as I started you on the ear infection meds, you were back to sleeping normally again. Now I feel bad for not taking you in sooner… I’d just chalked it up to teething.

So we’re not sure if what happened next was a side effect of the antibiotic you’re on for the ear infection, or if you’ve caught the cold Dad currently has… but for the last several days you’ve had the snottiest, runniest nose I’ve ever seen. The first morning it was so bad that I attempted to use the “snot sucker” on you, which was an epic fail. I don’t know how other moms do it! You naturally HATED IT and it was impossible to get you still long enough to use it effectively (not that I was really capable of using it effectively, since it was my first time trying it I was ridiculously awkward with it). Since then I’ve decided that I’m not going to try again unless you are having trouble breathing due to congestion… which you aren’t, it’s all just flowing out of your nose faster than a firehose. Instead, I’ve been chasing you around with these things Grandma bought us awhile back called “boogey wipes,” trying to keep you from smearing your snot all over everything and everyone within a 10 foot radius. Yuck!

The other unfortunate thing that happened recently, and I’m pretty ashamed to admit this, is that you fell down the stairs at home a couple weeks ago. It was entirely my fault– you were playing on the kitchen floor with the dogs while I was cooking & getting your bottle ready, I forgot to put the baby gate up while I ran upstairs to grab something, and naturally you beelined your way to the stairs. 😦 Luckily you were fine (it was only a few stairs, the shorter flight that goes down into our den so you didn’t fall very far), but we had to monitor you closely for awhile to make sure there was no subliminal damage. Understandably Dad was really upset with me and I really beat myself up for quite a long time after that incident. Since then we’ve baby proofed the kitchen, covered all the open outlets throughout the house, bought more baby gates and a play pen for you to use down in the den. The only “baby proofing” we have left to do is to anchor the furniture in your room to the wall. We’ll be doing that really soon, but I think I’m going to rearrange some of the furniture in your room first.

Speaking of your room, remember how when I last wrote I said it was getting pretty close to the point where I’d walk in one morning & you’d be standing up in the crib smiling at me? Well…

And that is with the crib mattress lowered all the way down, too! Yes, you have mastered pulling up and standing… and now it’s your absolute FAVORITE thing to do. Our play time together pretty much consists of you using me & Dad as a jungle gym, climbing all over us, standing up, sitting down, & doing it all over again. You pull up on everything you can get your hands on:

(you were in the middle of standing up here, the camera went off too soon)

You’d think you would have learned your lesson after falling down the stairs the first time! :-\

You LOVE standing up at your activity table!

I have a really hard time keeping you away from the dishwasher while I’m loading it…. presumably because you want to help me with the dishes, right?!

Anyway, so not only do you love standing up but you also enjoy walking around with our help, or “cruising” along furniture. At this rate I suspect you’ll be an early walker. Lord help us! Haha.

A couple other big milestones from this month. The first is that you said your first word! One night I was doing the dishes, I had you in your exersaucer next to me (because I was tired of trying to keep you out of the dishwasher, LOL). You were going “Mmmm mmmm” (you’re working on your consonant sounds right now, so far you have M’s and B’s down), then all of a sudden you went “Mom.” YES, your first word (whether you knew what it meant or not, I don’t know) was MOM. Dad & I have both been working on trying to get you to say “mama” and “dada,” so after praising you I ran downstairs to where your dad was sitting and yelled “I WIN! ALEX JUST SAID MOM!!” Haha. πŸ˜‰ That was about a week ago & you have not said any intelligible words since then… so although it was most likely a fluke, I’m counting it!

The next one may not be a big milestone to others, but it is in my book:

You are holding your own bottle! FINALLY! I think working on the sippy cup with you so much has lead up to this, but I hadn’t really tried to get you to hold your bottles since they don’t have handles like the sippy cups do. That didn’t stop you from randomly deciding one night that you were going to hold your own bottles from then on out. You haven’t figured out the concept of tipping your bottle/sippy cup up to get the liquid out of the bottom yet, so I have to make sure you’re leaned back when I give you the bottle. I’m usually holding you so this isn’t hard to do, but it’s nice that if you’re hungry when we’re out & about I can just lean your stroller seat back and let you go for it. πŸ˜€

Of course, speaking of eating… there have been many more adventures in the world of solid food this month. You are really great now at picking up and eating most solid foods. Sometimes with certain foods you get a bit stuck in the top of your mouth and haven’t figured out how to deal with that situation yet. I joke that you’re just saving it for a snack later on. πŸ˜‰ But since you’re doing pretty well with solid foods, I’ve been starting to experiment with letting you use utensils. I bought some of those suction-cup bowls (not that they do much to contain the mess) and have been serving you things like soup, oatmeal, yogurt & applesauce with them. Sometimes I pre-load each spoonful & then give you the spoon, other times I just let you go to town on your own. Either way it is EXTREMELY messy… you saw that one with the yogurt earlier, but here area a couple of other gems:

Applesauce!

Oatmeal!

Potato casserole!

Tortilla pizza & broccoli!

Recently we went out of town to visit family for Labor Day weekend, and you got to practice your restaurant manners while we were there:

Sharing my chicken enchiladas with me at Plaza Azteca

Enjoying a breadstick at Olive Garden

We did a lot of other fun things during the trip as well..

Play time with Papa! You got to spend a lot of time with all your grandparents & cousins, but I didn’t get as many pictures of it as I would’ve liked.

The beach! We went early on Friday morning, which was really great because there wasn’t really anyone else there. You had a blast & especially enjoyed the water/waves much more this time. πŸ™‚

The playground at a local park! It’s so cool that we can go to the park & you can actually enjoy the playground now. This is such a fun age because you’re so cute, interactive & fun-loving… but you don’t talk back yet, LOL.

I guess the last big thing that went on this month was that we FINALLY finished remodeling your bathroom, so you are now using your “big boy” tub on a regular basis. You love crawling all around in there, playing with the bubbles and all the bath toys you finally have room for!

Dad & I have been wondering if this foray into “deeper waters,” as it were, is the cause of your ear infection. I’ve been trying to keep the water out of your ears, but of course that’s not an easy task so you are so mobile & downright squirmy at times!

Anyway, I suppose that’s about it as far as notable events & milestones go for this month. Here are a few other miscellaneous gems we took over the course of the month. Of course, you can always find much more atΒ http://s1169.photobucket.com/user/laurapachec0/library/Alex%20Month%208.

You usually sleep on your tummy, but sometimes when you fall asleep mid-bottle and I put you in your crib, you’re like a limp noodle!

Alright obviously I’m a little biased, but good GRIEF you’re so handsome it’s ridiculous!

Your “toy box” consists of a series of cubbies like these. Lately I’ve just been pulling out a few cubbies & letting you dig into them yourself. Apparently that helps you develop your motor skills. You especially love tipping the boxes over & letting everything spill out! Now we need to work on cleaning up…

Hanging out in your super fun zone! Or “baby jail,” as Dad likes to call it. πŸ˜‰

This was actually your first time eating out in a restaurant, a couple weeks before Labor Day weekend, at a little local italian place we frequent called Bozelli’s.

Call the wambulance! I think this is what people call an “ugly cry.” Poor Alex, you were really giving Dad the business one night while I was at work! We chalked this one up to teething too.

You’ve perfected your bouncing technique and really enjoy it now, as you can see! πŸ™‚

So that’s another month, come and gone. We’re getting dangerously close to the one year mark.. ack! Β The last month or so has presented its new & unique set of challenges, but overall as I said before I’m really enjoying this age. Being a working mom is really tough, especially on the days when I have to trek into the office (so I don’t see you at all other than getting you ready for daycare), but overall it’s worth it. I definitely treasure every second I have with you! I know Dad does too. The afternoons/evenings I’m at work are actually really good for you guys because you get some special father/son bonding time. I know Dad really looks forward to it, & you’ve become quite a Daddy’s boy. Seriously, you just completely light up when you look at him, it is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. πŸ™‚ I just love our little family! We are truly, truly blessed.

All my love,
Mom

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