Monday, January 5, 2015

Dear Ryder... Eight Months

Dear Ryder,

Writing these updates is getting harder and harder, because you are changing so much every day, it's hard to keep track!

You are still very verbal, babbling almost constantly. Your favorite is "dada dada", although I'm still not sure it's specifically directed at Daddy yet (although of course he's convinced it is). We also hear a lot of "mamama," "nanana," and a fair amount of random shrieking at the top of your lungs. That one is probably your favorite. 

You continue to love grabbing for anything within your reach, and you've got a strong little grip! We have to move fast, or else in the blink of an eye we'll turn around and you're eating another iPhone, remote control, or piece of fuzz you found on the carpet. 

You can bear some weight on your legs when held upright, and you'll stand holding onto someone or something for a few seconds before collapsing onto your bottom. You can pass objects from one hand to the other, pick up small objects with your fist, and look for something that you dropped (you still seem to like doing this on purpose). It seems like you're starting to know your name, and will turn in our direction when we call you... about half of the time.

Although you love sitting up and playing, you frequently topple over backward from that position, so we usually surround you with pillows while you're sitting up playing. You still seem to desperately want to crawl, but can't quite get up onto all fours yet. However, with a mixture of rolling, army crawling, and scooting, you manage to maneuver yourself around quite a bit. Unfortunately, you can't seem to manage to get from your back or stomach into a sitting position, which means that when you become stuck in that position, you almost immediately start to wail. At that point we have to come over and sit you back up. And inevitably, few seconds later, you've maneuvered onto your stomach again, which quickly aggravates you, and you start to whine. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's getting super annoying, little one. Let's try to work on that, shall we?

You're still pretty attached to your pacifier, and we never leave home without one. Every night before bed we read a book, and I rock you to sleep. I have a feeling the whole rocking to sleep thing isn't a great habit to get into, but it's working for now. Sleeping through the night, however, is not. You're still waking up three or four times a night, and you won't go back to sleep without being nursed and rocked. Of course this means Mommy is the one to get up with you all night long, which is making life extremely exhausting for me. Please, please don't make me do cry it out, which will be traumatizing for all of us. I'm about at my wits end, though...

You're eating lots of different foods now, including some finger foods like Cheerios and Puffs. At this point most of them end up on the floor (a dog would be in heaven at our house), but it's good practice for you. As for pureed baby foods, sweet potatoes are still your favorite. You're definitely not a fan of spinach and potatoes, but I took a bite of that stuff and I have to say, I don't blame you. We're working on drinking water out of a sippy cup, but most of it's ending up down the front of you at this point... keep practicing!

On December 9, you got your first tooth! I had been excitedly waiting for this day for a long time, so I was thrilled when I finally came home from work one night, ran a finger along your gums, and felt that front, right, bottom tooth in your drooly little mouth. It's twin followed a day later, and you now have two shiny little teeth that you flash at us on the daily. You did try them out on me one day while you were nursing, and it broke my heart to yell at you about it, but that was a lesson that had to be learned... 

You still nurse whenever I'm home, and while I'm working you drink pumped, bottled breast milk. I have to admit, I'm pretty darn pleased with myself that we haven't had to give you formula yet. Let's keep it up for just a few more months, okay? We can do this!

It was my 33rd birthday this month. Don't worry -- I'm not old, I promise! Lots of people are having kids in their 30s these days, I swear... I wasn't up for a big celebration this year, but we had a lovely evening at home together. You and Daddy also surprised me with an incredibly sweet card...

My goodness, your penmanship and letters are coming along nicely!

This was an especially exciting month, because it included your first Christmas!! We spent it at Nana and Papa's house, making memories. Christmas is definitely different -- and so much more special -- now that we can see it again through the eyes of a child. I know you didn't really understand what was going on, but you seemed to love all the bright colors and time with adoring family.

You got a brand new stocking to hang by the chimney with care, and you loved our Christmas tree with it's sparking lights. And you were so brave when we took you to see Santa for the first time... no tears at all!!

Matching Christmas jammies -- an important annual tradition.

Your "big" present this year was this "Bounce, Stride & Ride" elephant, which you absolutely love! Your feet don't quite touch the ground yet, but you love it when Daddy pushes you around on him.

With Great Grandma and Great Grandpa on Christmas morning.

Visiting Great Grandma Sally the day after Christmas.

Everything goes into your mouth... and I mean everything.

Other than that, it's pretty much been life as usual for us...

We watched Daddy play in "Battle of the Badges: Guns vs. Hoses," an annual holiday football fundraiser. The firefighters won... of course.

We also attended the Firefighters Union holiday party, which is where you saw Santa for the first time. You were such a big boy and weren't scared of him in the slightest!

Cailin and Charlie come to visit us quite often, usually on Friday afternoons. The two of you have so much fun together, despite the age difference.

This time Charlie was insistent that you "nap" with her. She just loves mothering you.

Due to dry skin and at the recommendation of your pediatrician, you take a bath once a week on Sunday nights, which you absolutely love! And no more infant bath tub for you -- you've graduated to the "duck bath," which you inherited from cousins Sophia and Aubrey!

Great Auntie Freda sent you this adorable fedora hat.

Watching the Seahawks game and working on your flexibility...

Our house has been completely overtaken by your toys. Mommy is working to keep her anxiety about having a perfect house in check... but it's difficult.

Our next door neighbor, Julia, and her mother-in-law still watch you when Daddy is on shift and I'm at work. You absolutely love it at their house, playing with their three children. But this month Nana was also on Christmas break from school for a couple weeks, so she came up a few times to watch you for the entire day, and you guys had so much fun! Plus, I always got to come home to fresh baked goods... Gotta love that about Nana!

The Seahawks have made the playoffs, so that means football season isn't quite over, my little Seahawk! Hopefully you'll be our good luck charm this month and the Hawks can once again make it to the Super Bowl.

We've got football playoff games, play dates, and ski trips on the calendar this month. Hopefully we can also add sleeping through the night to that list. 

Every day is such an adventure with you in it, and I honestly can't even remember what life was like before you graced us with your presence -- poopy diapers and all.

We love you so much, little boy! 

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  1. Happy 8 months!! He looks like such a happy little guy. I love reading your monthly's fun for me to see what my little gal may be doing in a few months! And Go Seahawks!!

  2. It's insane how much I love reading these updates! It's so fascinating to me how he's changing and reaching milestones, and how you guys are dealing with it all, too! :)

  3. My word, he is adorable! I hope the sleep thing gets better for you guys. I would definitely suggest trying to not rock to sleep and then see how it does from there before you try CIO. T heavily relied on being rocked to sleep until we slowly phased it out and whenever he would wake up at night he always wanted to be held, rocked, or nursed back to sleep. But once he figured out how to fall asleep on his own he started waking up less in the middle of the night. He started sleeping all the way through the night around 8 months, no CIO. But it was a process to slowly phase out the rocking to sleep. It's tough work that sleep business!! Love reading your posts & go hawks!


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