Monday, February 1, 2010

Little Lovely #1: Hallelujah Already - He's 9 Months Old!

It doesn't take much for lovely to happen.

In the words of a wise man (aka Tom Jones), "Love is in the air!" And like last year, it is time for me to pay homage to Valentine's Day by providing the blogosphere with a brief and random list of things I consider rather lovely.

This year's theme is "little lovelies" as I have a far less expansive amount of time to consider and deal with these posts. But the quality won't suffer - after all, good things come in small packages. Like me. :)
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Little Lovely #1: Roman, the 9-month Old

I love the first day of the month. It starts off a new and clean slate, full of possibilities and potential happiness and excitement. It is also now a harbinger of Roman's next coming-of-age. He turns another month old on the first of each month, which makes it both convenient and pleasant for us.

Nine months, apart from sounding really old in baby-terms, has really done it for me for a couple of reasons, all of which you will find - no doubt - as significant and thrilling as I did. :)

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Top 5 Reasons "9 Months" is Lovely.
little as it may be

5. Little Green Giant...or should I say Hulk?
Roman is freaking strong. But never has it been more apparent than in the last week or so, with his abilities to cruise, move things, and lift himself in surprising ways. His crawling has really blossomed into a full-on method of transportation now. It takes far less than a remote control to motivate him to sprint across the room and fling himself at whatever piques his interest. And once he has it in is kung-fu grip, good luck getting whatever it is away, especially if it's a blackberry, which he is particularly fond of chewing and sucking.

Yesterday morning he impressed his dad by doing a near pull-up on the bathroom counter. He can JUST reach it while on tippy-toes, and I just know he'll end up falling and hitting his head if he continues down this route, but he's determined to reach the mouthwash, and who am I to take that away from my little muscle-midge? :)

4. Time for REAL Food.
Apart from the fact that special baby food items are ridiculously expensive, and generally not that delicious, with Roman they were actually somewhat unnecessary from the start. Given the way he liked to eat, he was probably babbling "where's my damn roast dinner?" in baby talk when he was 3 months old for all I know. Yes, he did indeed love to eat from day one, and in fact the only times he's ever refused food are when he's been obviously teething or really sick. He's not finicky about texture, quantity, sweet or savoury. He rocks out on the broccoli as much as his fromage frais or beef stew.

I started giving him table food a little before Christmas. In that time he ate ham sandwiches, tried menudo, had cake, brownies, mole de olla, shrimp and even the tiniest sip of champers. :) Now that he's 9 months old, I see no point in holding back anymore. He's on full oatmeal, toast and fruit for breakfast (with the odd scrambled egg thrown in), he eats pb&j with Matt and me on the weekends for lunch, and the other night even indulged in the wok-fried bok choy with garlic and Matt's chicken Lo Mein at our local Chinese takeout. (That's ma' boy!) Let the games begin.

3. "I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye. I Say Hello."
In the words of The Beatles, Roman has learned to wave. And it's a silly, lovely fat-baby-handed wave that I could never get sick of. He did it, really did it (there had been some questionable halfish attempts for the past month) this morning as Daaaa (as he calls Matt) was saying goodbye before leaving for work.

It's amazing when babies do something for the first time because it's like a magical tinkerbell goes off somewhere unidentifiable in the universe (a kitten is born, an angel gets its wings, someone eats an excellent brownie, etc. etc.). You think, "wait? did he--?" and then you realize that every time you ask yourself that question the answer is yes. Yes, he did wave! Yes, our baby can "say" hello and goodbye now!

2. Hemingway, here we come!
I think it'll still be a while before I'm reading Hemingway to Roman, or he's reading it on his own, but I have been reading to him a lot lately. And whereas before he would just look around or stare blankly at the pages, now, he turns the pages, touches the pictures, plays with the flaps or textures or whatever doodad is in the book, and actually gets excited.

I'd found his books scattered around his toy area a couple of times over the past weeks but thought nothing of it until yesterday I caught Roman flipping through his Pat the Bunny book. Pat the Bunny is a book that involves texture, smelling, mirrors, peek-a-boo and holes. He was going through each page and doing the activities, one after the other, with a focus on the peek-a-boo. It is his favorite, after all. I couldn't help but stop, hold my breath and think: When did that happen? Where did the time go?

1. Was it Ferber? Or was it just ABOUT FREAKIN' TIME?
Four days ago I embarked on what I considered to be the most epic of epics: the attempt to get Roman to sleep through the night, without feeds, without rocking and soothing, without my bed. The psychological toll it was having on me just knowing that I had literally not slept an ENTIRE night without waking in almost 9 months was more than I could bear any longer.

A friend recommended "ferberizing" - that sounds a lot more clinical than it actually is. It simply involves putting the baby down for bed and letting him cry for small periods of time with you checking in on him (but not picking him up) at regular intervals until he falls asleep on his own.
I was dead-set against this for the first nine months of his life. And then fatigue REALLY hit. Crazy-this-is-no-longer-doable-cuz-I'm-turning-into-a-monster kind of fatigue. The kind I can only imagine a Mom feels. And so Matt and I tried it out.

Only four days later, on his 9-month birthday Roman slept through the night in his own crib, not waking up once, and crying a total of 20 seconds, for the first time in his life. Seriously, I could kill myself wondering how much sooner I could have done this and how much sleep deprivation I would have saved myself, but the truth is, I just wasn't ready until now...and apparently neither was he.

So, was it Ferber or was it just about freakin' time? I don't care.


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Stealing Hopi's Bed.

Mama and her guard dog: little, lovely and ferocious.

This little lovely was brought to you today by one of my favorite songs to kitchen-sing-and-dance to with Roman: Michael Jackson's (RIP) unforgettable, eternally danceable P.Y.T.

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  1. Congratulations on your incredible milestones, three-quarters-of-a-year-old Roman! Such impressive feats of strength and savvy are doing your loving parents proud.

    You've got a budding gastronome on your hands! But who wouldn't be, weaned on such delicious food (mmmm, menudo). What will the next 3 months hold? 8-)

  2. Hi, what fun - I bet all these changes feel like they're happening at hyper speed. What an incredible experience. Thank goodness for ferberizing - its funny how many folks are resistant to it. Not that I have kids, mind you, but I've heard stories.

    Can it be? Do I detect a bit of sun in your photos?

    Take care and stay sane, love the regular commentary coming out of London!