Gordy’s 10th Month 

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We spent almost this whole month together (2 weeks of winter break + 1 week in Minnesota + so many snow days!). He’s much more fun to hang out with now than he was at 3 weeks old, let me tell ya. Maternity leave should be now, during the fun parts, instead of during the potato stage, haha! Of course, there’s the whole physical recovery side of things I suppose… Guess we just need to go Canadian and take a whole year! 😉

He changed SO MUCH this month — every week brought new developments, including:

  • Reaching towards people he loves
  • Laughing at Franklin
  • Arm flapping intensely for food
  • The end of another sleep regression?
  • 50th percentile for everything: 28.5 inches, 19 lbs 9 oz at his 9 month appointment (time for a new carseat!)
  • Trying out dada, mama, and cat
  • Still loves all food, but occasionally expresses less enthusiasm for an offering. Also, he now prefers to eat big boy food first, then fill in the gaps with milkies. He’s getting more adept at Cheerios and other finger foods, but mostly eats purees.
  • Turning tummy circles and rolling around really well, as well as practicing standing with help and balancing on all fours with help; he’s just starting forward motion by pushing off with his toes
  • Started being scared of strangers, taking turns in “conversations,” making silly faces
  • Naps 2x per day.
  • Got 2 top teeth during our Minnesota visit, so he’s up to 4.

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He’s blossoming more and more as a little person; he loves to snuggle in our arms, to play with us and laugh at Franklin, and he absolutely loves reading books. ❤

Here’s this month’s timelapse. We love our little guy!

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Gordy’s 9th Month

9-months

Our big fella is 9 months old! Here’s what he’s been up to.

  • A second bottom tooth just cut through yesterday.
  • He’s practicing his push-ups and arm bounces, and now he can turn circles on his tummy. Crawling will surely happen soon, and then nothing will be safe.
  • We’re (I’m) suffering through another sleep regression, so instead of sleeping through the night, he usually wakes at 10, 1, 4, and 6. Siiiiiigh. If it’s like last time, it’ll last about 8 weeks…so I still have a week or two left.
  • He has started complaining when Joel or I leave the room, but he’s not very fussy.
  • He loves to bite all his toys! And he still loves Franklin so much, and waves and kicks when he sees him.
  • This month he figured out how to put food in his mouth for eating, not just toys in his mouth for biting. He’s also practicing his sippy cup.
  • He likes to sway back and forth and wiggle to music, which makes bedtime lullabies interesting!
  • I’ll get his updated stats at his next checkup in a week or so, but he seems bigger to me. I predict he’s still around the 50th percentile for everything.

Enjoy his 9 month video. 🙂

Gordy’s 8th Month

8-months

  • He can actually sit up for real! He’s successful at sitting up as long as he feels like it, and can look around, reach and grab stuff, and slump then straighten back up again. He still hasn’t mastered sitting up from lying down by himself, though.
  • He got his first tooth! His bottom left front tooth made an appearance, and he wants to use it to bite all the things. Watch your fingers.
  • He remains a great sleeper, for which I am inexpressibly thankful.
  • He loves ALL the foods. He can’t get enough, and his little arms vibrate with excitement when it’s time to eat in his big boy chair. He’s still getting most of his calories from good old momma’s milk, though. He is making strides in learning about mashed soft solids (versus pureed solids), and does pretty well most of the time.
  • I can’t believe this one is true, but I think we finally waded through the introductory batch of daycare viruses! His cough is nearly gone and his nose only runs occasionally.
  • We also survived his first non-shots-related fever. It was likely just one of those daycare cold viruses. We brought him to the pediatrician (conveniently across the street from daycare) and followed his guidelines to keep up his fluids, use saline nasal spray, and use Tylenol past 102°. He cycled from about 100.4-103ish from Monday morning until Tuesday night.
  • He babbles with all kinds of consonants now: b, g, d, m, and once or twice a t in there. The vowel sound remains “ahh,” with an occasional accidental “yah.”
  • Giggles, snuggles, and general interactions are getting more and more fun. He likes to engage with you more and more. 🙂

Aftermath

It is not that I believe every Trump voter is hateful, misogynistic, racist, or xenophobic. It is that I know Trump is. He proved it over and over again during his campaign in no uncertain terms; he doubled-down when questioned, dug deeper holes for himself, and even revelled in his hate-speech. It is incredibly disappointing to have our head of state be a person about whom there is so little to admire. And I am still surprised that just under half of our voting population was willing to overlook such ENORMOUS character flaws — obvious, irredeemable deal-breakers, in my view.

But the deeper issue I see is the frightened faces of my many students of color, those from minority groups, or who do not fit the “ideal” purported by Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric. As a person of privilege, I am not afraid for myself (although as a woman, I have reason to be concerned). But how can I soothe my little 6th graders with dark skin? Whose families may have recently come to this country in search of a better life, which my own ancestors did before?

This is the day after, and in my school we have already had an incident where one student in a hallway group boasted that Trump would “kick you, and you, and you” out of the state. This is heartbreaking, and this is the reality we face. Our president-elect campaigned on messages like that, messages of hate and “us vs. them.” Of course our students picked up on it! Of course they think it’s appropriate to say those things at school!

It’s what I felt since the beginning — this election was never a vote about policy for me. Even though I disagree with the Republican party’s main tenets, none of my sadness comes from their rise to power yesterday. The president-elect is a hate-monger, and he spreads division like rot.

My hope moving forward is that somehow, the past year of election vomit was just for show, and as president, he will realize that there are more pieces to our country than the white ones.

For my students’ sake, I hope the rot doesn’t fester.

/////

This morning I walked into school with the heaviest heart I have ever carried. I walked past the few early-bird students with surely the fakest smile plastered on my face and hoped they didn’t notice. During morning prep, the staff tried to conduct business as usual with glassy stares. We shared our shock, our sick stomachs, and our worry about the repercussions of the election. We drew up battle plans for they way we would handle any spill-over from students, how we would remind them of our constant message that school is a place for everybody.

School is where you are safe. School is where we have lots of different opinions, and that’s great! School is where we respect each others’ opinions, and they respect ours. School is a special place, a protected place, and we want EVERYONE.

So with our armour in place, we faced the day.

And you know what? I expected to need reserves of strength to comfort my scared kids. And there were scared kids, make no mistake. But there were also regular kids in class today. There were kids who were already thinking about when the next assignment was due, or what Monica said at lunch, or if they get to sit by their friend in math class.

In other words, life went on for my students. And life will go on for us too.

I ended today with a more peaceful heart. My concerns about our country’s new figurehead have not been assuaged, but I can also envision a more realistic future. Campaigns are always full of empty promises, and I can hold on to the hope that the worst of it was show business ( as vile, hateful, repugnant, and unforgivable as it was).

I doubt I’ll be happy about projected changes from the ruling party in the next four years, but I will cross my fingers that somehow, there will be normal levels of policy-disagreement-disgruntlement, and not crushing despair.

Hillary Clinton did not win, but I admire her in defeat as I admired her all along. I take strength from her encouragement: “This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Gordy’s 7th Month

7-months

This little guy keeps getting cuter. Highlights this month include:

  • Loving all food
  • Returning to normal and sleeping through the night like a good baby (hallelujah)
  • Perma-cold from daycare (soooo much snot, phlegm-y cough)
  • More babbling
  • Sitting up for up to 1.5 seconds (he seems to enjoy being a floor baby; it’s like when he could roll over but chose not to)
  • Noticing Franklin all the time and being delighted by anything he does
  • Loving daycare and being the star of the show (he’s the only little baby there, so the other kids love him!)
  • Seeing how far he can push up on his arms while on his tummy — it’s super cute, he leans his head waaaay up and back, then looks very pleased with himself
  • His most recent check-up has him at 50th percentile for height and weight (27.2 inches, 18 lbs 3 oz)

He’s such a fun little guy! ❤ Enjoy his 7 month video!

Real Life

I keep finding myself with the phrase running through my head: “In my real life, I used to…” grade everything in a day or two, go out after work, drive a small car, live by a flexible schedule outside of the work day, know where my spare pencil lead is stored, etc. etc. etc.

I always do a mental skip-step, too, one that goes, “Well, no, Laura. This is real life now.” And I feel a hotdish (that’s casserole for you non-grey-duckers (that’s non-Minnesotans) out there) of feelings about it. A rice base of indignation/pouting (I mean, no one likes to drive a beast of a car and be strapped down by schedules), a sauce of contentedness (because my situation is quite good!), and mixed veggies of confusion (how did this happen to me? I know how… but how…?).

This weird sense of imposter syndrome is largely due to having a major life change compounded by a move to a new city, I think. A similar thing happened when I changed jobs after changing my name. No one in my new day-to-day knew me by my old identifiers, and it was suuuuuper disorienting. I’m trying to find my new self while also becoming known to a new community. It’s a breathless, frustrating feeling. There are so many times when a situation will arise and I know exactly how to handle it — but I’m stymied by obligation or ignorance. I find that it’s more accurate to say I knew how to handle it, back then, back in my real life.

And so I combat the frustration with a lingering false idea of “for now.” Soon, my subconscious seems to say, we will go back to the proper way of things. 

LOL no. It’s not going to happen, subconscious. Get on board with the new normal.

Gordy’s 6th Month

We did it! We kept him alive for half a year!

6-months

Highlights this month include:

  • starting daycare — and loving it! (after a rocky start)
  • connecting socially with people other than momma (yay!!!)
  • eating reliably from bottles
  • trying solids for the first time (so far: baby oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and green beans) — he’s a fan of food!
  • rolling to his side during almost every playtime (he’s capable of rolling over, but just isn’t that interested)
  • changing from sleeping through the night to waking twice a night to eat (although last night he slept through for the first time since late August…so fingers crossed!)
  • improved dexterity
  • growing growing growing! I haven’t taken his measurements yet, but he remains a giant who outgrows outfits quickly.
  • slight improvement in balance and sitting, although he’s still not fully there

He gets better and better, as I’ve said before! Enjoy his progress video — I can’t believe how fast he changes!

Here’s an alternate portrait. I was organizing his clothes and found a cute outfit that just baaarely still fits! I hate when that happens!

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