Friday, August 28, 2015

Xavier at 11 Months

Xavier is eleven months old! I know I say it every month, but this month in particular it seems so crazy that he will be one in a month and no longer a baby!

Xavier still loves to eat. He consumes four meals a day these days starting with breakfast around 8 a.m. That's usually oatmeal or rice and whatever finger food is handy. He loves oatmeal baby food cereal in particular. In fact he's our first kid to eat processed baby food cereal. The others wouldn't think of letting it past their lips.

Lunch is around 12:30 though often Xavier is starving by noon. He has lots of veggies or fruit cubes if we are home. Out and about he has baby food pouches. He won't eat the meat pouches and only occasionally shows interest in deli meat. He loves beans though and eats them as fast as he can shovel them in. He's okay with cheese but it's far from guaranteed and with nuts off the menu, most of his protein and fat calories come from yogurt.

He has a snack around 4 or 4:30 after his afternoon nap. That's almost always finger foods whether it's goldfish or snap pea crisps or buttered toast cut into strips. During our travels we got him done veggie puff baby finger food and he can eat the entire container of those in one sitting if we would let him.

Dinner is still Xavier's biggest meal of the day. It seems the later in the day it gets, the hungrier he is. He often has little interest in breakfast which is why we made that meal consist of his favorite food. When we feed him baby cereal at dinner he easily ate three or four bowls at a time. Now he usually had yogurt mixed with applesauce or a mashed banana. I've upgraded to the largest plastic kid bowl we have at dinner and it's rare he doesn't finish it all.

Xavier also loves finger food. He's almost to the point he prefers to feed himself. He's earned to suck from a pouch now instead of spoon feeding him. I have the most success spoon feeding if he has something else to entertain him - whether that's watching the show his siblings are always putting on or having something like a spoon or cup to manipulate with his hands. As soon as he's busy he opens his mouth like a little bird and lets me shovel it in.

He loves drinking water from a sippy cup with no valve or an open cup at mealtimes. Depending on what's he's eating, he needs the water to wash the food down. Since it had no calories I try to keep him from more than a few ounces but I'm considering offering him whole milk at mealtimes instead.

Xavier is nursing four to five times a day these days. He nurses as soon as he wakes up in the morning which is usually between six and seven. He can lay in the bed nursing/soothing for a solid hours a lot of the time. He nurses again before his first nap around 9:30 or 10. He has a third nursing session before his afternoon nap which is supposed to be around 2 p.m. but they really depends on if we have managed to leave the house or not.

He nurses and takes a bottle of breast milk or formula at bedtime which starts around seven p.m. Our giant stash of pumped milk, which took up an entire shelf of the stand alone freezer, is down to just a few remaining bags (though we did donate quite a few ounces). Coupled with all our recent travel, and he's been taking formula no problem as well. He generally has four ounces at bedtime after nursing and I've added a second two ounce bottle in the morning before his first nap as well.

Overnight Xavier is down to one nursing session usually around 4 (ranging from 3:30 to 4:30 most nights). Despite that, sleep is still totally hit or miss around here. He generally has an excellent night and sleeps straight through to that one feeding for about eight consecutive hours. On those nights he wakes up to feed again about two hours later before getting up for the day around seven something.

The alternative is much uglier and totally unpredictable. In these cases, he wakes up three to four hours after bedtime screaming. He will fall back asleep totally on his own after a few minutes, then wake up six or seven minutes later screaming again. Eventually after half an hour or so of this, I pick him up and put him on my shoulder. He squirms for thirty seconds or so, sighs, and passes out. Then I put him back in the crib and he sleeps an hour and a half to two hours before we repeat the whole process over again. At three or sometimes much earlier I nurse him and get him back on the crib but it's still every hour to two hours waking up and crying.

He doesn't cry much during the day though he does fuss now. He doesn't like going into his room if he thinks I'm going to put him to bed and he always cries for a couple minutes after I put him in the crib. But he has no trouble falling asleep and has very consistent naps at an hour and roughly ten minutes both in the morning and afternoon.

Xavier is getting around very fast these days. He's definitely still doing the army crawl with one hand and one elbow to wrist pulling him along. But I often see him getting his bell off the ground and he kicks his legs like a busy little frog. I've even seen him get up on all fours and rock back and forth a couple of times.

His biggest new move is getting up on his knees by pulling himself up on anything he can reach. He's mastered tucking his knees under him now and once he's up on them, he can let go with one hand and reach out for things. He can get pretty much anything he wants off the coffee table these days and can even reach the edges of the sofas.

Xavier loves to pull up on the handles of the toy kitchen and rummage through there. His favorite thing is the red dish washing brush the kids have. It has a suction cup on one end that is apparently just right for chewing. He still loves the color red.

He's completely obsessed with his lovey, which is a taggie blanket. He might sleep without it, but I'd hate to try nursing him or giving him a bottle without it for him to fiddle. He fingers the tags and loves on it so much.

He's very good with his fine motor skills and likes taking something out of a container and putting it back in again.

As for chewing, his eight tooth finally made an appearance! He's been sporting four on top and three on bottom for three months now with no new teeth. Now he has a matched set of four on bottom and top.

Xavier loves playing peekaboo and can hide himself under a napkin or blanket or anything else and peek out. He also loves tickles and the "I'm going to get you!" game. He's so cheerful and mellow pretty much all the time. He's perfectly content to sit in the stroller for two to three hours while we are out and about keeping the other two entertained. Even if the stroller is parked, not moving, it's extremely rare for him to complain.

He loves to swing and has outgrown the exersaucer because he is big enough ( both height and weight) to just lean over in it and pick up whatever he wants. We've retired that piece of equipment for sure. We don't go too many places where he can get out and roam because his army crawl isn't comparable with concrete and I don't relish the idea of him cleaning any floors in public spaces. But he doesn't seem bothered in the least by that or much of anything else.

He still loves to smile and grin at people though he has a bit of separation anxiety now if I hand him off to someone. Overall he's this charming mellow guy and we can't wait to celebrate his big day with him next month!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Xavier at Ten Months

Xavier is ten months old! Wow-wee! He hasn't changed much in the past month, but he has definitely gotten faster getting around. He's still dragging himself around army crawl style on one elbow and one hand. He kicks his legs and feet it doesn't get up on his knees or get his belly off the floor. As a result, our floors are much cleaner and his clothes collect a lot more grimy stains. Light-colored stuff is not our friend.

In the last two weeks, particularly at Grandma's house where there are many horizontal bars in low reach, Xavier had been pulling himself up. He's not getting into his feet or even his knees. He uses brute force to drag himself into a chin up and clear the ground with his belly then let's himself back down.

He's gotten better at sitting up as well. While I still wouldn't be out of reach when he's sitting upright (yesterday I was right beside him and he still face-planted while trying to transition from sitting to his belly), he can sit for much longer periods of time. Instead of flipping over or backwards immediately, he slowly puts him palms out flat and tries to lower himself down. His feet often get in the way so it's a far from perfect method. But it's definite progress. In fact during his last bath, he sat upright unassisted for longer than he spent splashing around on his belly.

Boy does he love the water! We got to go swimming three times in outdoor pools during our trip to Grandma's house. He is so happy splashing and kicking and moving around in the water. It's so much fun to watch.

He also still loves stripes and buckles and peekaboo is his favorite game. His favorite color is red and he loves doors that open or close - big ones, little ones, doesn't matter.

Xavier is super sociable and although he's getting some separation anxiety, he doesn't really meet a stranger. He was quite happy being passed among relatives he hadn't seen in six months or more with nary a complaint. He smiles at people then hides his head in my shoulder then peeks out smiling again. And if you have food, he's your new best friend. That kid loves to eat.

Xavier has a confirmed peanut allergy that's severe enough we are required to have an epipen with us at all times. He also has possible allergies to walnuts and pecans. That hasn't slowed him down any though, and the good news is he isn't allergic to hazelnuts. (Yay for Nutella!) We've added beans, which are a huge hit, blueberries, beef, strawberries, turkey, eggs, and raspberries to his diet. There aren't many other things left to introduce to him, but he still loves baby cereal. He can eat three to four bowls of it. He's a big fan of puréed vegetables and fruit mixes as well, though he eats so many ounces in a sitting (10-12 if not more) that I have trouble keeping the supply of mushed food in stock. Applesauce and yogurt are go-to foods because they come already in the correct consistency for spoon feeding.

I'm feeding him solids four times a day now - three meals, which consist of puréed solids and finger foods, as well as one snack in the afternoon. Snack is almost always finger foods like beans or fruit flavored puffs or goldfish and the like.

You wouldn't be able to tell how much he loves to eat by his weight however. We had a follow up visit with the doctor to check his weight and gross motor skill development. Xavier tipped the scales at 20 lb 9 oz. That's up from 19 lbs 11 oz at his nine month visit. But it's not much change from 20 lb 6 oz, which is what he weighed the very next day when we went in for his peanut allergic reaction. He is smack in the middle of the percentiles in weight on both CDC and WHO charts.

He's 30 inches tall, which keeps him in the 90th percentiles on both charts. That's a quarter inch taller in the last month (though the allergist measured him in the drawing two lines and using a tape measure manner and he was 30.5 inches at the beginning of the month). It would be nice to have some consistency among measurements. At the pediatrician for the allergic reaction visit, they weighed him in his diaper and got 20 lbs 14 oz so it looks like he's lost weight since then. I re-weighed him naked that day to have more accurate records and I'm glad for it.

Otherwise the only other big thing right now is sleep. Xavier takes two naps and has no trouble falling asleep at either time. The morning nap is around 9:30 most days and the afternoon nap starts between 2 and 2:30 depending on if I have to pick his sister up from school that day or not. He sleeps about an hour and a half both times with no wakings, sometimes as long as three hours in the afternoon.

He does not nap if we are out and about. During our trip he could go six hours even if we spent an hour or more driving. It was impressive in a scary kind of way. But at home with the white noise machine and the dark he goes right to sleep after three hours of awake time.

At night, it's totally hit or miss. He just did four nights in a row where he didn't nurse for more than eight hours. Since bedtime is around 7:30, that gets us to 3 am or so. Then he usually nurses again 2-3 hours later around 5. He might wake up before the first feeding, but he fusses only a bit and goes right back to sleep with zero interventions.

That's a great night. Then there are the not great nights. On those nights, he wakes up after only 3-4 hours and can't get back to sleep and stay asleep for sometimes as long as two hours. He falls asleep and quiets down repeatedly for seven, eleven, maybe even twenty minutes but wakes screaming again. He will calm down if I pet his head, or pick him up and rock him a bit. Sometimes that's enough to get him sleeping again. Sometimes the only thing that works is nursing. After the first waking on those nights, he's generally awake every hour and a half and I'm so out of it I nurse him. Often he ends up crashing the rest of the night in the bed with me as a result though it isn't intentional. Otherwise he's in the crib on his own for the entire night.

I can't detect any pattern or reasoning to determine ahead of time if it will be good night or not. I thought it might be if he had good naps during the day. Then I thought maybe he wasn't eating enough during the day. Taking care of both those things didn't make it any more predictable.

Here's to hoping for more good nights and fewer rough ones in between.