Friday, January 21, 2011

9 months in, 9 months out

Jude turned 9 months this week.  You know what that means!  Time to plan a birthday party ... haha, just kidding, I've already started that oh, over a year ago when I realized he was due near Pennsylvania's opening day of trout season. *hint, hint*

What it means is that he has officially been out of the womb as long as he's been in it!  I know first birthdays are significant and I'm all about celebrating the day I gave birth to each of my boys.  But I don't want to forget that space of time before they arrived.  Because long before I carried them in my arms, I carried them in my heart... and in my belly!

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And just has there were some major changes during the first 9 months he was a part of our lives, there's been some big changes in the past 9 months as well.  It seems like Jude has grown up so much recently.  His personality is really starting to come through, and to be honest, it's making me a bit nervous.

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First of all, he's very curious.  He wants to see and touch everything.  For instance, he's really into faces.  And the kid's got nails, despite the fact that I try to keep them trim.  The other day he put a gash above my lip and actually drew blood.  So now, in addition to not having the time to fix my hair or put on make-up, I also have red scratch marks all over my face.

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Jude's a squirmy guy, couple that with his immense need to not miss a thing, and he's tough to keep a hold on.  He's always leaning around my shoulder, turning right and left, glancing front and back and reaching for anything that passes by.  His need-to-know policy has caused him to nearly be dropped on more than one occasion and has made diaper changes an immense challenge.



Food is one such object that demands his attention.  He's figured out that if he yells loud enough and keeps it up throughout the first 10 minutes of dinner, mommy will get him out of his chair and hold him on her lap for the duration of family mealtime.  Which means quick and easy access to whatever is on her plate, or even better an opportunity to just grab the entire plate and send it crashing to the floor.  It's amazing what the kid can eat though.  Especially considering he just got his first tooth around Christmas, and it's still not completely through yet.

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He downs pancakes, crackers, bread, finger food, fruit chunks and even ham and bean soup!!  Yes, Jack has learned that the easiest way to get rid of food he doesn't want to eat is to simply slide his plate a little closer to Jude.  And while we're talking about his eating habits I should mention his appetite.  For being such a little guy he certainly has no trouble putting away food.  He's now eating the equivalent of four jars of baby food and two bowls of cereal a day, in addition to nursing.  That's as much as Jack ate at this age!  And nursing is still going well.  It's easiest in the morning and at night when he's most drowsy.  Daytime is a bit difficult, especially when Jack is around.  Jude's curiosity carries right over to his eating time, which means it's best to feed him in a dark, quiet place.  In other words, nursing whenever we're outside of the home is nil at this point. 

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I mentioned he's gotten louder.  He's in the repetitive consonant sound stage right now.  You know, the "do do do ... bla bla bla" and then the yelling stage where he just keeps increasing his volume until somebody takes notice.  Oddly enough, he's also very loud when he's falling asleep.  For some reason Jude feels the need to groan himself to sleep.  I shouldn't complain, he's so very good about going down to bed.  I put him to bed awake, but I usually take a few minutes to make him drowsy before laying him down.  And if he wakes up early from a nap I'll try to rock him to sleep then as well. 

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He's so well trained.  The moment I give him his blanky and binky he puts his head down on my shoulder and starts groaning.  Loudly.  He does this for the entire so-tired-but-not-quite-asleep-yet stage.  I think I've finally figured him out though.  If he's just going down for a nap he's fine.  But if he woke up early and I'm trying to rock him to sleep I have to wait through the entire groaning stage.  Once he stops and appears to be asleep I have to wait a little longer.  Then I stop rocking and don't move for a little.  If he still doesn't wake up, and he's no longer groaning it's usually safe to put him back in bed.  But if he starts groaning on the way to the bed I have to stop and start all over again.  He's got a very specific window and if I put him down too early he's up in an instant and wider awake than ever.  Thank goodness we don't go through this every day!

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And while we're on the subject of sleeping, I'm a grateful mom with a little guy who does 7pm-7am straight through most nights.  Recently we had some trouble with him chirping around 5 or 6am, which is a killer for me since it's late enough that I can't fall back to sleep afterwards.  But we seem to be slowly moving out of that stage.  Often he'll wake up around 6:15 and happily talk to himself in bed for a good 30 minutes or so.  I think I remember Jack doing this around this age as well so I'm sure it's just a phase.  Naps continue to be so-so.  We joke that Jude will go down in family history as Mommy's worst napper, but I suppose that position is still up for grabs for future contenders.  It's a good day if he sleeps an hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon with a 15 minute chat session in the middle.  If he gets a shorter afternoon nap I might as well clear my schedule for the evening and plan on entertaining baby all night.



Jude's a fun kid.  His little quirks keep us entertained.  Like the way he puts his hand on his hip and then rocks back and forth like he's giving a lecture.

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Or that little hip-thrust move he does when he's lying on the floor, and which embarasses his Daddy terribly:



Or the way he doles out drool-dripping, open-mouthed kisses.

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Or his fascination with the camera strap and lens, which leads to some seriously close-up pictures.

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It's been an eventful and endearing 9 months.  It's hard to believe I only have 3 more months left in his first year.  And by then he'll likely be mobile and sending my world into a tailspin.  Where does the time go?

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