8 months

Tristan is now eight months old.  Highlights: 

* Can sorta kinda pull himself up (he was able to basically climb on the piano-keyboard, and on us, etc.)

* Has finally managed to chain together a series of “crawling” steps enough to make it across a short distance to get toys.  (He doesn’t really crawl, crawl.   He… sort of does the Worm and flops, but he has now twice done so in a repeated fashion to get to a toy.)

* Can sorta eat.  Started eating semi-solid solids.   Peach yogurt ball things, and weird melty puff things.  I would estimate that for every piece of food that makes it down his throat, about eight wind up on the floor.  Samurai doesn’t mind, however. 

* Still pretty much goes to bed around 11, and gets up around 9. 

* Has acquired the ability to powernap for 5 minutes in lieu of taking a proper nap sometimes (especially if he falls asleep in the car – it screws up his normal nap routine). 

* Has, really for the first time, gotten upset at being around strangers.

* Has managed to make it through a 4 hour and a 6.5 outing to the design studio, to help us select stuff for the townhouse we’re buying.   He wasn’t exactly happy about it, but he made it. 

* Still has four teeth (vampire fangs on top + front teeth on bottom)

* Hit ~20 lbs. somewhere in there, as well.

Baby’s first swim!

Yesterday was Tristan’s first time in the pool. I got the two of us packed and ready to go, slathered him with sunscreen and put him in his cute little bathing suit. I should’ve slathered myself as well – since I just didn’t think to, I now have a boiled lobster back.

Our apartment complex has a kiddie pool, and we found that we were sharing the pool with two other mommies and their babies. I was the only mom who came out in a swimsuit and really got into the water. The other babies were 9 months old and 14 months old, and they had little turtle inflatable floats designed for babies. I recognized one of the moms, as I had stopped and chatted with her when we went out for our pseudo-picnic the other day.

Anyway, Tristan loved the water. There wasn’t a whole lot he could do, since the water was only a foot and a half deep, but he got a chance to ride in one of the turtle floats and I think he was a little bit bewildered at his mobility. When I held him up in the water (it was too deep to sit, and he can’t stand independently yet), he had fun splashing, kicking, and jumping.

We stayed out way too long, but we had a lot of fun. We’ll have to go get a float and try the big-kids’ pool next time.

It’s Summer Already

Yesterday Tristan and I went for a walk around the park (which we won’t have after the later part of the summer) with the intention of having us plant it in the middle on a beach blanket and just hang out. We ran into another fellow parkgoing mommy and baby and spent some time chatting for a while. Her baby was a bit older, at 14 months, and was walking around like babies tend to when walking is all novel. I put Tristan on the beach blanket and he managed to take a couple of “steps” crawling!

About this crawling thing here.. Tristan has been trying since just before he was 6 months old to crawl and for the most part isn’t getting it. He has the form correct, but something just collapses before he can move that final crawling paw into the right position. I’m not looking for suggestions unless someone has something technique-wise that absotively works – we figure the kid will become mobile soon no matter which method he chooses. We’ve made a lot more progress on his standing than his crawling lately, and he actually seems a bit more interested in the standing. This is probably because he’s not been struggling to learn to stand for the past two months. I am confused as to the crawling difficulties, since this child has the infamous Puntypaws – or, in English, he has some fuckin’ strong legs that he likes to use a LOT. And he loves to play while on his tummy, but he gets so pissed off when he tries yet again to crawl and it gives him trouble.

I’ve got Tristan’s bathing suit ready to go, but where do you get “plastic waterproof pants” that a lot of people seem to talk about? I have swim diapers, a bathing suit, and a lifejacket (we might skip the lifejacket until Tristan shows interest in me not holding him in the pool). We were about to take our first trip to the pool yesterday, but Tristan wanted his nap early instead (also read as: Tristan was fussy for no good reason so I finally put him down and he passed out).

Right now, and during the mornings for a few weeks, we’ve been putting him in the jumper while we eat breakfast and starting his reading video. He still loves the video enough to be happy viewing it every day, and we’re getting close to the point where we should see some results. Actually, he has “said” the word “hi” when seeing the word on the screen, but I only caught him once and he might’ve been just anticipating the voice saying “hi” a moment later.

The most fun thing about Tristan is that he’s developing his sense of humor and playing with us. When he’s in a good mood, he loves to be tickled and otherwise made to giggle. He also likes putting his mouth on various body parts of mine, such as my thumb while I’m holding him up to stand. When I say “Heeeeey!” he often looks up and grins.

As far as talking goes, I’ve heard him say “hi” and “heeeeeey” (the former while we greet him after a nap or if someone is greeting him, the latter while playing the sucking game). These are fairly primitive sounding, but he’s done the “hi” thing in front of enough people that I’m sure he’s trying to say it. I’m sure he has no idea what the hell he’s saying other than parroting… well, he’s almost 8 months old, he might mean it! Or he might not. But it’s fun and I’m sure that if he keeps trying, it will turn into definite speech soon enough.

The scary weight approaches

I managed to get a fairly accurate read of Tristan’s weight today: 19 lbs 9 oz.

He’s coming up fast to the weight where we will have to evaluate baby equipment, specifically car seats. I’m really glad Tristan doesn’t seem to mind facing rearward in his car seat, because once he figures out he can face forward, he won’t stand for that shit anymore. Our car seat is good to 22 lbs, which means it likely won’t last the entire first year. So we will need a convertible seat, preferably one that lasts through the booster seat phase. I figure we still have a good month or two before this is an immediate issue but I suppose it’s a good idea to start getting ideas together.

Also, his head circumference is JUST shy of what’s specified on infant bike helmets. I also need to find more input on that; I’d love to take him on the bicycle but I’m not sure if I need to wait until he’s a full year old or until his head circumference is appropriate for an infant helmet. Also, I plan to invest in a bike seat pretty soon and try to find out if my folding bike is ok to put the baby on.

On a lighter note..

I took Tristan into the bathtub and then the shower. It was his first experience with the shower. I got together his towel, washcloth, toys, baby soap, and rinsing containers and set them up by the bathtub, and then in we went.

I washed him up except for his hair while the water was still in the bathtub. He was happily playing with the three water toys we’d brought in, but he kept trying to lean down and crawl, which doesn’t quite work when the tub has a bit of water in it. I let the water out (pleased to note that SO FAR Tristan doesn’t mind the water being let out of the tub) and turned on the shower. It ended up being slightly cooler than I’d take myself, but it was quite comfortable. I let him crawl around the bottom of the tub (for some definition of “crawl around”) and he was quite content to play with his toys. I finished up my showering process, washed his hair, and got us all toweled off.

This is the first time I was ever sort of sorry that Tristan isn’t a girl.. but only because playing together in the shower will have to stop at some point. Perhaps during the tween year(s) (when it’s inappropriate for him to see me naked but parents play with their kids in the shower) James will get in there and splash around with him. Hey, if we end up with a large stall shower, there will be no excuse! But in any event, I suppose I could always wear a bathing suit into the shower.

And taking a baby into the shower is very convenient. You’re not rushing to squeeze a shower in while the baby is asleep. You can linger in the shower longer because if the baby is entertained, there’s no need to rush (but if the baby doesn’t like it, that’s a huge pain in the ass). No need to haul out the baby bathtub or kneel over the side of the adult bathtub. It’s OK if baby splashes because the mess is contained (well, we have doors on the shower.. it may not be as foolproof with a shower curtain). Point the shower head at baby’s head to rinse the shampoo instead of messing with cups.

I think Tristan and I might get more bathing in if I keep bringing him into the shower.

The family shrinks

I have learned of the recent losses of three family members. Two were on my dad’s side and one was on my mom’s.

My grandma, Tristan’s great grandma Judy, passed on several days ago. She was either 88 or 90 – apparently, there were debates as to her true age. Either way, she beat the typical life expectancy. She’d had a stroke back in 2000 and had been sort of ‘not quite there’ since then, so she actually held on for an impressive amount of time. Anyway, I am sure that my mom is sad about losing her mom, so.. Mom, if you’re reading this, we all hope you are doing OK and I’ve been trying to call you.

I believe that my Aunt Ginnie was actually a great aunt and I’m not even sure which way she spelled her name. I’m sort of hazy on the details of my dad’s side of the family, so I might screw up some of it. There were a few incidents that caused a lack of communication, and as a result, I’m sort of the random relative who drops by rather than the little girl or one of the three little girls. But I knew Aunt Ginnie as a kid, and she was fairly old then. I remember going over to their house, which was very close to my dad’s house. They had an above-ground pool that we all loved swimming in (pools are quite covetable to kids – that’s why we’ll likely end up buying a condo with a pool or some such shit). Halfish of the family was very kind – the older members and the youngest member (who I’ll be discussing in the next session). So, using aforementioned detail haziness, I think Aunt Ginnie and Uncle Richie (who passed on a few years ago; I don’t remember him being anything but very-very-old) had a daughter, Karen, who had two kids, Kim and Ricky. Anyway, Karen and Kim were always sort of aloof and the shit I’ve heard about them is fairly uncomplimentary lately. But Aunt Ginnie always treated me so kindly and patiently that I actually sort of miss her the most out of the recently expired relatives.

But about the aforementioned Ricky – I was told that he also has passed on. I’m actually surprised he lived as long as he did, as he was severely handicapped (I believe it was cerebral palsy and then some). I don’t remember how old he was, but he was a few years older than me, so possibly 40 or thereabouts. All I heard was that he ‘got a virus’ but I think that’s all that was known by the person who told me. It’s a shame, though. I didn’t know him as an adult but he had a very kind spirit as a kid/adolescent.

I appreciate any further information if any of my side of the family is reading this.

It’s likely Tristan wouldn’t have ever met Aunt Ginnie or Ricky, but he’d have probably met my grandma in the next year or two if she was still around. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember a shitload about her, though. But my mom should have some stories about her to share with him in a few years.

Goings on

I am planning some updates for this website, so when I get around to it, there will be subtle changes and maybe some content addition. Basically, I want to clean it up and add neat stuff.

Some of you know that we had an offer in on a house, a bloody short sale. We found out that the offer was rejected a couple of days ago. So, no shiny house all the way south for us. But we’re opening our minds to other locations and styles. We may not end up with a backyard, but if not, it will be at the gain of a community pool or an awesome commute or just a shiny place. In any event, now we have house-hunting again to take up all of our damn time.

It looks like we’re in this apartment for at least another month, but I’ll continue to pack stuff. Tristan loves crawling around while I pack, because bins are interesting. For the most part, I’m becoming anal-retentive and putting all of the shit into organized bins. I figure that I need to do that to keep from becoming too much of a packrat, because there’s a decent chance we’re moving into a smaller or same-sized place. Anyway, it’s only April now, and we’re not expecting any company until June as far as we know.

It’s a shame that we live so far from everyone in the family. Granted, we’re sort of an isolated family in a relatively new city, so we don’t see people in general on a more than waving hi basis. People don’t introduce themselves, and I forget to introduce myself (yes, I am being a shitty New Yorker here!). But anyway, it’s fun showing off a baby to strangers and it would be more fun to show him off to family. The last time he saw another family member, he was just starting his first solid food.

But since I wear Tristan in some sort of carrier for a good 45 minutes per day, I speak to a whole shitload of people. Seriously – if you have a baby and you want attention for your ultra cute, super curious baby – wear him or her. When the baby’s at adults’ eye level, everyone notices the baby. It’s better than having a cute puppy for people-meeting potential. So, I hope that this experience teaches Tristan to like people in general, since people speak directly to him and praise him daily. I also hope that Tristan does not grow up to hate dragons, since we sneak so many around him like on his Mei Tai.

Also, we have some MORE teething. This one’s coming slowly – it’s his left vampire tooth. Still no sign of the top middle two. Poor Crankypaws is taking it pretty well, and has slept very well today with absolutely no fuss upon being placed in his crib for naps.

He’s still not crawling yet, but he still tries very often. He sort of can do it, just not consistently. He also moves backward a lot when he’s trying for forward. He’ll get his crawling paws in order when they’re ready, or maybe he’ll just say “Screw it!” and walk instead.

I’m really eager for him to start walking and to walk around with me. I know that the “with me” part is going to take a lot of careful discipline, but I figure if he likes his walks in the carrier, he may like just walking around outside and looking at shit. I just hope he doesn’t decide he dislikes the carrier, since it’s very useful to be able to wear a baby and walk him around.

Daytime with Tristan has been fairly routine lately. Routine is good for sanity with a baby, though. When you can predict the day and it goes according to plan, you know everyone and everything is all right. So much can go wrong with a baby and it’s really scary. Sorry, but that dissuades me from wanting to do the baby thing again.

Right now, we’re trying to figure out what to do with our old baby shit. We’re saving anything memorable or decorative, but we have loads of outgrown stuff. But I don’t know many people who are having a baby right now who need any baby stuff. I suppose I will have to either corral it and bring it to a consignment event in the fall or try to find a consignment shop. Or just bring it to Goodwill. Anyway, if you’re reading this, and you know someone who’s having a baby or has a baby younger than Tristan, and you’d like outgrown clothes and some baby gear (the stuff that would be fairly cheap to ship), contact me. This shit takes up a lot of space that Tristan could be crawling (or pre-crawling and rolling around, for now) in.

We’re in the process of switching diaper brands so we can buy diapers at Costco. James likes the current ones better (Huggies) than what we were using before (Pampers). I think they’re both decent diapers as long as it’s not a Huge Mess Situation. I could be convinced to cloth diaper, assuming that means using flushable inserts (forgot the brand but I can look it up). But in general, I’m more curious if anyone has any diaper preferences for any reason other than “is good for the Earth” or “is cheap.” (Those are valid reasons, but they also are the main selling point of the product already.)

Oh, and Tristan seems to want a bit more to drink and a bit less “solid” food these days. He still eats it, but he’s been sleepy with a lot of his bottles lately and not interested. We haven’t fed him meat again since the first time, but we should soon. I think today’s a new food day so we’ll see. We have a lot of fruits to introduce and a couple of the strange multi-ingredient blends. I also picked up wheat cereal – still have to continue research on when it’s appropriate to give a baby wheat, and I think that we should skip the next new food day when we do give wheat.

He still does not try to hold his own bottle until he is done drinking from it. He gets the point except for the “tilt the bottle up to get the milk into the nipple” concept. He also tried to feed himself using the spoon and kind of got the idea of putting the spoon in his mouth, but we didn’t get anywhere with the other part of that – getting food onto the spoon to put in the mouth.