Monday, October 22

Good Night, Indeed

Tonight was Andrew's turn to read to Milo before bed. Instead of tucking him in like I usually do, I just went up to say good night.

I gave Milo a big hug and told him I loved him. He said, "I'm gonna have fun reading with Daddy!" I said, "We had fun earlier, didn't we?" He said, "Yeeeeahhh," in the perfect tone of voice that said, well, we did, and I will humor you by admitting it, but of course I will have much more fun with Daddy. I laughed and hugged him tighter. He laughed.

I said, "Can I have a kiss?" And he actually gave me a kiss. Not just put his lips out so I could kiss him, but he really kissed me. Then he kissed me a second time. And I melted a little, so I told him I loved him again. And he said, "I love you."

Such a sweet kid, so amazing. Such an easy thing, loving him. There is nothing in the world like this feeling.

Thursday, October 18

Here we go!

Breaking news: Olive got her very first tooth yesterday (when she was eight months old (future Me will be glad she didn't have to do the math))! And her very second tooth! Yes! Two! At one time! It's a phenomenon I have heard of but never witnessed for myself.

Perhaps this explains the 4:00am wake-up call the other day...

She's going standard teething style; her new chompers are the two middle ones on the bottom. They are very tiny and can be more felt than seen at this point.

And now you have more information on my baby's mouth than you thought you needed. You're welcome.

Monday, October 15

Eight Months + One Week

My dear sweet Olive is eight months old. She's very nearly old enough for me to start thinking about planning her first birthday party. Unbelievable. It's so very cliche to comment on how quickly the time is going, but my goodness, how quickly the time is going! Although I must say, it does seem like an eternity has passed since I was pregnant (amen).

No official weight/height stats this month; we're still a month away from the next checkup. However, I would guess that Olive is squarely average. She's skinny compared to some babies, chubby compared to others. Average height, probably. Her size, though, is probably the only average thing about her.

I've been saying that there's a good chance she'll be walking by Halloween, and now with Halloween just a couple weeks away, I stand by my guess. No steps have been taken yet, but she can stand there and balance unassisted for several seconds at a time. She can walk rather quickly when holding onto someone's hands. She has no trouble cruising the furniture, even letting go of one piece of furniture to move over to another. So we'll see. Maybe she'll even be ready for trick-or-treating this year.

Speaking of trick-or-treating, I still don't know what Olive is going to be for Halloween. I'm torn. I want her to be something adorable and awesome, but my cheap (and lazy, if I'm being honest) side is winning out, and I'll probably just put her in a costume we already have. That means a) kangaroo, b) pumpkin, or c) chicken. I'm leaning toward chicken; Andrew wants kangaroo. Feel free to weigh in on this Very Important Issue.

I think Olive has learned how to high five. At least four out of five times I hold up my hand and say "high five" she lifts up her hand to mine. I think she goes along with it mostly because I cheer ("woo!") every time she does it. Gestures she has not yet mastered include blowing kisses, waving, and flipping the bird.

She hasn't really said her first word yet, but I think she's attempted "hi" and "Mama." Also "byebye." I haven't gone on record yet with any first words. In my book, making the sound isn't enough; she has to attach some sort of meaning to it.

No teeth yet. Sigh. She is frequently in pain, we think, from teething. This mysterious teething, that does not seem to produce actual teeth. Huh.

Olive wakes up early. No, earlier than that. Yes, it is that bad. She does sleep through the night, if by "through the night," you mean "almost all the way through the night." Waking up at 4:00am is too goddam early. 5:00 is too early. 5:45 is too early, though we're getting in the ballpark now. Sleep until 6:00 (preferably 6:15), Olive, and I'll be a happy and less irritable mommy. Lately I haven't been handling the lack of sleep too well. I overreact to the kids' less-than-ideal behavior, and I'm just so irritated with everything and everybody (yes, you too). I can feel my brain processing things very slowly, like I'm in a fog. Andrew and I are both constantly almost sick, always fighting colds or something. Frankly, it's miserable. But I digress. Back to Olive. She wakes up early. Her naps are all over the place. Some good ones on days she's here with the nanny, lots of bad too-short naps.

She is pretty much over pureed foods and much prefers to eat chunky things or things she can pick up. Andrew and I joke that she must have her bread course after she's done being spoon-fed. She's definitely a second child: I made all of Milo's baby food, and Olive is lucky to occasionally get some mashed sweet potato or steamed cauliflower. It's all jars and pouches this time around.

I have also just weaned from daytime nursing, so she's getting three bottles of formula daily. This is another indication of my second child. The first time around, I would have freaked out at the thought of (gasp!) formula. But now... eh. Girl's gotta eat, and my boobs weren't cutting it. So I started to wean from pumping at work, going from three times a day to two, then down to once a day, then cutting back on the length of time I spent pumping. Today was my first day at work that I didn't use the moms' room at all. And let me tell you, I didn't miss it. I'm still nursing in the morning and before bed, and I plan to continue that for awhile, hopefully until Olive decides she's through.

Olive is happy. She adores her nanny. She smiles for anybody who smiles at her. She bounces with excitement when I get home in the evening, then again when she sees her daddy come home. She giggles at Milo, she is entertained by the cat, and sometimes she smiles for no reason at all. So Olive is happy...

...except when she's not. When she's feeling clingy/hungry/overly tired, you cannot get her off you. She claws at your legs and wipes her snot all over your pants. Shes screams until you pick her up, at which point she is suddenly totally happy again. She fusses, she arches her back, she throws her body around. She's a little maniac, an insane, unreasonable maniac.

She likes: blowing raspberries, blowing spit bubbles (slowly, so she can feel the saliva forming a bubble), graham crackers, Cheerios, cauliflower, knocking the puzzles to the floor, shoving food off her tray, drinking water that is dropped into her mouth via a straw, bouncing, being tossed in the air, falling backward, being tickled, smooches on her jawline, and pulling herself to standing.

She doesn't like: getting scratched by the cat (duh), beef stew, Greek yogurt, being tired, sleeping in, having her face wiped, having her nose wiped, reading books, and not being held.

She's a little spitfire, and I'm so glad she's mine.

Thursday, October 11

Be a Part of the Story

I'd like to introduce to you the project that has consumed me at work for the last year and a half. It's my "super-secret project," the "next big thing," and the work accomplishment I am most proud of. (It has only just shipped, so we are only beginning to see sales—but I'm so confident, I am going to go ahead and count my chickens.)

It's Hallmark's latest and greatest, the Be a Part of the Story Interactive Storybook. We are launching with three titles; the Christmas book, A Visit to the North Pole, is the very first to get to market. These books are very cool. They use "I Reply" voice recognition technology. When a parent reads certain phrases aloud, the main character speaks directly to your child with a question or comment about the story. The child's response triggers an appropriate response from the character. The experience is truly magical—for kids and parents.

In addition to the Santa story, we have two everyday books. I edited All Aboard, a superfun train story that I can't wait to share with Milo. A coworker of mine developed A Day at Fairy Grandmother's, which is full of surprises and silliness.

If you have kids ages 3–6(ish), I encourage you to buy one (or all) of these books. I honestly don't think you'll be disappointed.

Friday, October 5

So proud of that boy

For the first time ever, Milo went to bed last night without his paci. He didn't fuss, he didn't wake up during the night and cry, and he didn't get upset this morning when he didn't have it. He really is a big boy.

We've been weaning him slowly from the paci, talking up what a big boy he is and how big boys don't need pacis anymore. He no longer gets it during diaper changes or traumatic moments (like taking a big tumble or something). And we weren't giving it to him during pre-bedtime story time, either. He was still asking for (and getting) the paci before naptime and right as he was laying down to go to bed.

But not last night. It occurred to me as I was tucking him in that he wasn't asking for it. I considered giving him one, hoping to prevent a middle-of-the-night screaming session. But I resisted, wondering if this might be the night he left his babyhood behind. He did great. He didn't even know he did great, but I'm so proud of him.

We'll see if he goes paci-free tonight, too. Wouldn't that be something?