Monday, May 12, 2008

A perfect 10!

So I thought nine months seemed like a significant milestone, but for some reason, the fact that Alex is ten months old now is sort of blowing my mind. I mean, we're talking double digits now. I must move on before I think about it too much and trigger a panic attack...

Size: We won't have another well-child visit until a year, so we will all have to hold out until then to find out his official stats. But my aching biceps tell me that he is indeed growing. Not too much, however, since he hasn't outgrown any of his clothes this past month. He's still in size four shoes and size four diapers, although his overnights are no longer pulling their weight. On many mornings, I have pulled him out of his crib and hugged him hello, only to realize that my sweet baby has left a layer of sweet baby pee-pee all over my shirt. I really don't think size fives are the answer, although I've made that mistake before...

Eating: At this point, it might be more efficient to list the foods that he doesn't eat (both of them) than list all of the ones he does!

We rarely do baby food anymore, although I do have a few containers of peas and such rattling around in my cabinet that I will take if we are going out to eat. I'm a firm believer in the value of a well-rounded diet, namely, meals that contain each of the four food groups. Alex still drinks 5 oz. of formula at each meal, which provides most of the nutrition he needs, so food is really just "practice" at this point. Nonetheless, I am determined to introduce him to as many healthy food options that I can at each mealtime, incorporating most of the food groups when possible.

As such, he's tried tons of new things since last month. He has
organic blueberry waffles or sweet potato pancakes for breakfast (no syrup, but the waffles and pancakes are sweet and delicious on their own, and I often steal bites when he is not looking) with thin-sliced deli ham and fruit. If I'm in a hurry, oatmeal makes a fine substitute. Lunch and dinner are often a variation of what we are eating - ground beef or turkey, beans, or cheese, fruit and veggies, and sometimes a starch, like pasta or potatoes. I buy frozen stir-fry veggies and boil Alex-sized portions at a time, so he eats things like cauliflower, red bell peppers, broccoli, and asparagus. He likes swiss and cheddar, kidney beans better than pintos, and any fruit is fair game.

He is still pretty indiscriminate about what he will eat, but he has demonstrated an obvious affinity for a few things.

He's never tried chicken nuggets - we are trying to delay the introduction of typical (though often unhealthy) "kiddie fare" like nuggets and fries - but he loves Boca's breaded "chicken" patties, aka breaded "chicken-flavored tofu" patties. I know, I know, how cruel to deprive a child of such pleasurable things as chicken nuggets, and further, to force him to eat such horrific things as poultry-impersonating bean curd. But he can't get enough of the stuff, grabs it up by the fistfuls, and will be gagging on the two pieces he's already crammed into his mouth while he attempts to stuff in a third.

Like his mama, he is a huge fan of strawberries and will sort through all of the food on his tray, picking out all of the strawberries first and gobbling them up before he touches anything else. Another fave is yogurt, which we recently introduced. It's about the only thing that he'll whine for more of once he's eaten all of it. Other than that, he likes everything better if it has a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on it. Pasta, veggies, ground beef and turkey - he likes 'em all, but he likes 'em a even more when they're covered in cheese.

He eats at 7:30am, noon, and 5:30pm, with a snack - usually a banana and/or some applesauce - around 3. He still drinks a bottle before bed, although I have started the weaning process by watering it down, so he gets 8ozs. of water with only 6ozs. worth of formula. I'm hoping the watering-down method works, cuz frankly, I'm dreading having to convince him to go to bed without his precious bedtime ba-ba...

Sleeping: So I may have been a little dramatic when I posted about Alex's "sleep issues" last week. In my defense, when things like that start to happen, you never really know whether it is a phase or a fluke. In this case, it seems to have been a fluke because it only happened twice. He still refuses his afternoon nap on occasion (today was one such occasion), but he hasn't woken up at night since the day I posted.

Generally, he still takes 2 naps - one at 9 and one between and 1:30. Lately, he's been going to bed closer to 7:30 than 7, and he has been waking up around 6:30am on most days. Of course, the morning that I was up at 6am to prepare for my garage sale, he decided to sleep until 7:40. The nerve!!

Physical/cognitive milestones: The biggest change this month would have to be his increased vocal development. In other words, he talks non-stop these days. He is constantly experimenting with new sounds, new volumes, new pitches, new consonants, vowels, and syllables. Ma-ma, da-da, and ba-ba are regular fixtures in his vocabulary, but lately, he has added (what we interpret as) "hi", "bye-bye", and "baby".

He loves to imitate what we do and say, which has been so much fun. His favorite game is to shake his head back and forth and then wait for one of us to imitate him. Instead, we usually respond by nodding instead of shaking, so perfecting his nod has become his newest challenge. He waves hello and goodbye, and he claps when he sees someone else clapping, when he hears applause on the TV, or sometimes, when he just feels like it.

He is an especially curious boy and takes so much pleasure in exploring new things. To find him playing with a toy these days is a rarity - he'd rather get into all the no-nos because, let's face it, they're usually much more interesting.

He is always on the move, although he still shows little interest in walking. He crawls to get where he wants to go, he pulls up on everything, cruises, and he'll climb anything that's in his way, so I have a feeling he has no use for walking just yet. I think his philosophy at this point may be, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I'm sure there will come a day soon when he's ready to move on to bigger and better things, and that's a day I don't think I'm quite ready for.

He laughs more now than in all of his previous months put together, overjoyed by even the smallest amount of attention. He is quite the performer, and if we laugh along with him, he hams it up even more. I mean, this kid defines the word "personality".

When he is not laughing and playing, he is usually cuddled up on my or Timothy's lap, with his sweet head nestled into our shoulders. He has never been much of a cuddler, so I'm wondering if that's how his separation anxiety has ended up playing out. If so, then it's a win-win situation for all of us because we could cuddle with our precious, darling boy all day long.


Oliver said...

Ugh, melt my heart with that last one! What a sweet boy. And for anyone who doesn't live here and is wondering if Sarah is just a doting mother or if Alex really is that fun and great natured - um, yeah, he really is always like that. So funny, such a ham, and the cutest little smile and laugh. Great post Sarah! You'll always really appreciate being able to look back on this "journal" and really remember how things were.

Amy said...

Sarah, he is CHOOSING not to walk to improve his reading skills. Remember I talked to Alex about that. OOOHHHh...I love that cuddling picture. Can't wait to get my own soon!
Granny B

leah said...

Yeah I just dont like this post at all!!! Alex looks way to big and is growing up wayyyy to fast and that makes me very sad :(

Rachel said...

I love the fact that in every picture, with every expression, Alex looks like a different little boy. That's gonna make our photo shoot that much more fun! I can't wait! I'll see you guys in about a month! Woohoo!