Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Darwin is one month shy of turning ONE!!

I have to say that this month has been a breeze compared to previous months. Darwin is advancing like a champ and he's surprising us every day.

Darwin took his first steps just before he turned 11 months and it really was a treat for dad since he had come home early after a stressful day at work. Ever since then he has been practicing those first couple of steps and really working on the skill of standing on his own without any support. He has no problem standing for a long time so now he is beginning to build his confidence to carefully walk on his own. He practices walking using a push walker and can easily manuver around obstacles and also turn around. He loves to cruise and take a few steps on his own to get to another piece of furniture. He also loves to hold our hands while he walks and enjoys kicking a ball or stepping on something on the floor while he walks. It's hilarious!

The most wonderful part of Darwin being 11 months old (for me) is that he naps in his crib with no problem!!! When he is tired, I nurse him and put him in his crib awake and after some whining and playing with his stuffed animals he falls asleep. He sleeps for at least an hour more or less and takes two naps a day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. I have so much more time on my hands I don't even know what to do. Normally I work on BPM stuff or watch a show. Other times I will have a shower or chat with grandma on the phone. I need to start doing a short workout on my cross trainer like I used to during my pre-pregnancy days. Darwin is also really great at night. He goes to bed on his own with no problems. It takes a mere 5-10 minutes to put him to sleep. So now mom and dad have a guaranteed stress-free evening and really enjoy our bedtime routine with our little guy. And he sleeps through the night (8:30-8) and occasionally wakes once for a night feeding. I don't mind since this way he sleeps in so I can too :)

Darwin has also been doing a lot of talking lately. Just like the last couple of months, this month Darwin has been chatting away. Sometimes while he is reading he will read (in baby language) and flip the pages while he is doing so. He loves to point at things and try to name it. Every morning when I take him into our room for a routine nursing he will point to the pictures on the wall and say "picture"! It's just the cutest thing. He also says the work book since he's been really into books lately. There are a handful of words he has said, I just can't remember them. He also has been signing for finished which is so adorable. I've been trying to teach him the sign for 'more' but he prefers to stomp his legs and screech.

Darwin is now showing signs of eating more solids and also eating them on his own rather than in chunk or puree form. I still prefer to spoon-feed him since he gets the most food that way but it's getting more and more difficult. He loves to go out to eat where he can eat like an adult and try new foods. We went to a new thai retaurant the other day and he was having a ball trying the hot and sour soup and munching on rice. And while we were at Coral Estate visiting a friend we drove over to Habitat hotel after dad's scuba dive for some food and Darwin thought my cheesy risotto was delicious.

I've just been having a ball with my little man. We've been out and about this month, especially at the beach with friends. But lately we have been out shopping for his 1st birthday party and delivering invitations to his friends. He also go a Step 2 Climber from grandma and a cute water table from his mom and dad. We're just spoiling him and he's not even 1! We're just very proud of him for being so ahead mentally and physically and we can't wait to celebrate his 1st birthday with out close friends. Grandma Ila and grandpa David can't make it due to Ila's ear surgery and David's busy schedule so we will be thinking of them and wishing they were here to celebrate with us.

We just love our Darwin so much and can't believe how fast he is growing. It makes me want to have another one....

Wow Darwin is already 10 months old!

This month Darwin has really progressed both physically and mentally. He's about 20 lbs and 29 inches and eats about 6 tbsp of veggie/fruit combo 3 times a day. He eats cereal in the morning and likes to have his meals with a side of cottage cheese. Lately he has been fussy at mealtime and I have to distract him with Tupperware, utensils, or Cheerios. I see that the fourth upper tooth is coming in so I believe it is the reason for his moodiness. 

He's been sleeping so much better since we returned from Canada and since his three upper teeth came in. Some nights he would sleep right through the night for about 11-12 hours and other nights he wakes once at around 5 am. I can put him down awake for bedtime every night and he knows very well that it is time to sleep. I can also sometimes put him down awake for naps but timing is key. He does however prefer to fall asleep while nursing and then I can move him to his room with little effort.

Darwin loves to wave and say bye-bye to his dad in the morning and he claps when he is excited or when there is music playing. He loves to dance and attended his first music class thus month and did very well with the older kids. Darwin can stand on his own for about half a minute and cruises around everywhere. He's definitely a speedy crawler and loves to use a push walker to help him walk.

I have started to ready more advanced books to him with numbers, letters and words and he can point out a ball and says it all of the time when he's playing ball and hockey with dad. He can also say thank you when I give him a cracker or toy and loves to drink out of his sippy cup which has a straw. The cutest is when he points to the neighbour's dog and barks or when he crawls around with his truck and says 'vroom' while he rolls it around.

I can't believe how much he has developed this past month. He has become a little man that sleeps so well in just a few short weeks. I'm so proud of him and feel very fortunate to have such a smart and handsome little boy.

Wow I can't believe he will be 1 soon; I absolutely must start planning and preparing for his first birthday!!!

Darwin spends most of his 9th month in Canada!

This month Darwin took his first trip to Canada to see his family. It was quite a different experience for him since the weather was cool and he slept in a playpen near our bed. For me, that meant waking every couple of hours with Darwin to put him back to sleep. So I was quite exhausted during the day. However it was nice to have Grandma around to take care of Darwin while I slept in or wanted to take an afternoon nap.
We would also take Darwin for walks in his stroller downtown. We would walk along the harbourfront and around the Roger's skydome. Peter and I would take walks to get some lunch nearby or in the PATH. Darwin just loved these walks and most of the time he would take a nice long nap.

One day Grandma accompanied us to Eaton's center by subway and it was a nice little adventure since I found myself some great pairs of shoes. Most evenings in Toronto however were spent visiting family for dinner and introducing Darwin to everyone. They all just adored him. And Darwin was especially fond of his cousin Darius who he got to play with twice on his trip.

Darwin also became very close to his Auntie Rhea and Auntie Julie and loved all of their attention. He loved the drums at Rhea's and couldn't get enough of Julie's cuddles. His Grandma was just the best and cared for Darwin so well. She gave him baths, changed him, fed him and even put him down for naps. And I got to relax!

We also stayed with grandpa in Milton for 10 days and it was very relaxing. There was more space for Darwin to play and he slept much better in his own room. A couple of days after we arrived we noticed that Darwin's top three teeth were poking through and then I knew it was his teeth bothering him all along.
Darwin got to visit his Uncle Brandon in Guelph for one night. He was quite fussy in the later evening as a lot of other guests came over like Brandon and Nicole's parents. But he was great for naptime the following day and we got to relax and hang out like old times.

This past month Darwin really developed in both his mental and physical skills. He learned to clap this month and by the end began standing on his own for a few seconds. He also used a walker at Grandpa's to help him walk and we noticed him putting some rocks into a pail.

He's been eating so well too. He'll eat almost anything pureed or in chunks and just loves food. He's still working on drinking on his own. I've got a couple new sippy cups for him to practice.

Overall he did very well. Our flight to Canada was fine except maybe the last hour. He was crying and screaming but surprisingly people were tolerant and tried to cheer him up. I think the combination of ear pressure and lack of sleep was really getting to him. The Admiral's Lounge in Miami was wonderful and the flight back went great. The sleep situation throughout our visit wasn't ideal but we dealt with it the best we could. I think it was too long of a trip but necessary for Darwin's first visit. I can't wait to do it again!

Darwin is 8 months old

Darwin has been surprising me everyday. He has definitely gone through a wonder week and growth spurt since he's been learning so much so fast as well as outgrowing his 9 month clothing.

At this stage he can crawl very well and fast too. I have to chase after him as he likes to go over to the staircase into the living room which is not gated off. We like to give him the freedom to climb them and he's very good at it. He doesn't quite know how to go down the stairs yet ; that will take some time and practice. He loves to pull himself to standing on anything, even the refrigerator door to reach the magnets that are higher up. He can cruise along furniture as well but mostly prefers to cautiously lower himself to sitting and crawl to the next area of interest. I keep toys for him in different areas of the house so when I need to be in a certain room he can easily entertain himself. Although he does seem to be getting bored with a lot of his toys except balls. He loves to throw them and chase after them or play ball with his mom or dad.

He's become very attached to his dad. He loves to wake him up in the morning with a big hug and a face-grab which dad really loves. He can sometimes wave bye bye to dad when he goes to work and remembers his dad throughout the day by calling for him. In the evenings he will play happily for hours with dad. He also very much enjoys being snuggled in dad's arms while taking a stroll around the house before bedtime. He'll sometimes fall asleep and dad can put him down in his crib to sleep for the night. This gives me a break from nursing Darwin to sleep. He is showing that now he doesn't always need mama to put him to sleep.

This month Darwin's sleep routine has been kind of all over the place. We were successfully practicing the 2-3-4 hr method of awake time and down to only 2 naps but once the teething began he's been extra fussy. Last month 2 of his bottom teeth cut and he was up multiple times at night. Then he was okay for a week or two but he's been waking multiple times a night again, normally twice per night. I was giving him tempra for the pain but he was still waking so I am now just giving him homeopathic drops of camilia throughout the day and at night which helps some.

Darwin has been eating very well and will try anything new. He always finishes all of his food at each meal and enjoys solids very much. He loves when I give him the spoon to feed himself and enjoys using the pincer grasp to feed himself Cheerios, puffs and fruits. He enjoys chicken very much and loves to ear banana chunks with his cereal in the morning.

This month Darwin got to test out his new swim trainer tube at Lagun Beach with his mom and dad and he just had a ball. He loves the water and was kicking and splashing with joy as he floated along with dad. After our swim we sat together at the restaurant nearby and had a late lunch.

Darwin's Auntie Julie visited for almost 2 weeks and he loved to sit with her and sing and play. We went to the beach together and it was the first time that Darwin got to really enjoy the water. The water was calm and warm at the Hyatt which is the perfect combination for Darwin.

I've been trying to get Darwin to nap in his crib lately but he is really used to nursing and napping on me. There were a couple of times that he did nap in his crib and once in his playpen but it is not consistent. I guess it will happen easily one day and I will just have to remain patient and keep trying for now.