1. Specs. 21 lb 14 oz, 29 1/2 inches tall (I think? I don’t actually have the paper in front of me) and has one helluva diaper rash. Yesterday was her well-baby appointment. All is well except for this recurrent diaper rash that we haven’t been able to get rid of since her last visit 3 months ago. It improved with use of otc anti fungal cream but never went away so we’ve gone to prescription ointment now. Wish us luck- her poor little butt looks so uncomfortable! Her weight has finally plateaued though, she’s about a half a pound heavier than at her last appointment, if memory serves (which, let’s be honest, it doesn’t always), which must be about mobility because:
2. She LOVES food. Current favorites are avocado, eggs, and sweet potato, but tonight she practically inhaled soba noodles, kale raab, and cooked carrots. I suspect I don’t feed her as often as she thinks I ought to, because to me she is still a tiny baby who just needs to nurse and snuggle with me. She disagrees (though she is quite the cuddle bug) and I’m trying to catch up and remember to give her actual food.
3. Mobility. She pulled herself up to standing for the first time a couple of months ago, and then didn’t really do it again for a few weeks. Now she’s doing it constantly and on Sunday she took a few very unsteady steps while holding my hands. It came as quite the shock to me in the moment, since I was just trying to balance her long enough to get her into a position to pick her up, but was also not so surprising since she’s been making movements that looked suspiciously like almost-cruising on the couch for the past week or so. So she’s definitely not a walker, even with support, but I can see it coming. She crawls like the wind after her sister though, and one of their current favorite games is to chase each other up and down the hallway, giggling like mad. It makes my mama heart so happy.
4. Ah, sisters. They’re becoming actual playmates, which is so amazing, but there’s also the inevitable “Nooooo Linnea that’s MINE!” And the other day I did catch Darwin pushing her sister away from a pile of toys (it was actually pretty funny, Darwin practically sitting on her stash of toys and Linnea, head down like a bull trying to bulldoze her way through Darwin’s hand. But I couldn’t laugh because then where would we be?). And Linnea looooves to grab Darwin’s oh-so-tempting hair which is never welcome. But for the most part I think we’re in a sweet spot.
5. The nanny. We’ve hired a nanny, I can’t remember if I’ve written about her already. She’s a recent grad from the university here but stuck around town because her boyfriend is finishing up, set to graduate in June. She’s wonderful. We only have her about 12 hours a week but it’s sooooo great. She covers my Tu/Th class so Rachel doesn’t have to miss work, plus a nice chunk on Friday morning so I can have actual studying/writing/grading time instead of trying to get it all done after bedtime. She’s fantastic and patient and takes the girls on hour-plus walks around our little neighborhood. She’s also not super punctual and feeds Darwin too much cheese and there was that incident where the dog chewed up a bunch of stuff while she was here, we think because her sneakers kept squeaking on the floor (we had told her this was an issue for our neurotic pup), but overall I’m so thrilled to have her/ also feel so “bougie,” as my friend would say. Like oooh I’m fancy but also this is weird, paying for domestic labor. She’s only around til the end of the term, which is fine cause apparently the contact work I’m doing over the summer (since my assistantship is only a 9 month appointment) not only tops out at 30 hours (for the summer, not per week) but also doesn’t actually pay me til fall? Or something? I don’t have details but that’s my current understanding. So I’ll mostly be home with the kids and trying very hard not to spend money.
6. Talking. She has (potentially) added “done” to her repertoire, though I’ve only heard it once. It was used properly and came with the sign for it, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fluke, but she really just uses the sign for the most part. It’s actually funny, sometimes “all done” means I’m full/ I don’t want anymore, sometimes it means “pay attention, I’m all done and need a refill please!” I’m trying to help her make a distinction between “all done” and “more” but we aren’t there yet.
Even though she isn’t saying words much (though Mama and bye bye are pretty consistent), she is talking/babbling a lot more all of a sudden. It’s so cute, she’ll be looking at books or playing with a baby doll and just chatting up a storm. It reminds me of the Sims where they would talk gibberish but with a conversational inflection (I’m talking Sims from about 15 years ago, I’m not sure what they do anymore). It’s clear she’s listening to how people talk and trying to imitate it and it just cracks me up.
7. Reading. She’s also been very into books lately. She’ll rarely sit still and let me read to her, though she’ll often join us if I’m already reading to Darwin (I think that’s about her interest in Darwin though, not about the book), but she has taken to sitting next to the bookshelf, pulling about 10 books off the shelf, and looking through them in her own. Sometimes she talks, very animatedly, at the pictures. Sometimes she’s more interested in examining the cardboard pages and how they turn. Either way it’s cute and I’m happy to see her get excited about books!
8. Sleep. She’s always been a better night time sleeper than Darwin, but she still hasn’t solidified a nap schedule. She pretty consistently goes down at 9:45 am but she might sleep 15 minutes or 45. Every so often she’ll even sleep more than an hour, but it’s rare. She apparently sleeps in the Ergo for the nanny, but has been resisting naps in the Tula with me unless I’m actively walking around, so there’s no more “you sleep and I’ll make lunch for the toddlers” at childcare swap. She still wants to nurse before every nap with me, but whether she’ll nurse to sleep or not is really inconsistent and I usually guess wrong. Then in the afternoon, all bets are off. Your guess is as good as mine regarding whether she’ll nap, much less when and for how long. This makes it really challenging on days where I have to leave for class or if I’m supposed to be able to work either at the swap house or offsite, since there’s no way to plan the transition.
Bedtimes have been a little more predictable. I try to start bedtime around 7:30, and she’s usually asleep by 8ish. The guesswork here is how many times she’ll wake up before I go to bed? We’re currently averaging about 3. There was a stretch where it seemed like she slept better if I nursed her and then Rachel put her down, but that trend has tapered off so I’m back to nursing her down for the most part. Once I’m in bed with her, she’s been sleeping well enough (though she went through a week or two of waking up almost every night between 2-4 and being WIDE AWAKE and crawling around the bed for about 30 minutes and then going back to sleep. Wtf. Not cool!).
Ok a few about Darwin- this isn’t her 10 months post but I feel like I hardly ever write about her anymore and that kind of sucks. Plus I’m running out of list items for Linnea.
9. Preschool! Darwin was accepted into our first choice preschool for next year. It’s a small Montessori school that only runs a 3 year program and- get this- is *3 blocks* from our house. There are a lot of things I liked about it when we did our observation, but the biggest thing is that they have a playground that the kids can play on whenever they want. There’s a teacher whose job it is to hang out on the playground in case any kids want to play outside. Plus, one of Darwin’s buddies also got in, and we’re crossing our fingers that his parents choose to send him as well. We love this kid *and* his parents (and his baby sister) and would love to have reason to spend more time with them.
10. Oh Darwin. So many things to say about her. The not listening (sometimes it’s “NO, that idea is BAD” and sometimes she straight up ignores me). The nap fights (which we’ve largely stopped- now she gets quiet time with books, which usually ends in sleep but not always). But really all I want to say about Darwin is how much I just adore her.
It’s so interesting, the different ways I relate to the two kids. Maybe it’s the gestational bit, maybe it’s just the different ages, maybe this is just what it’s like to have two kids who are totally and completely different people. I don’t know. That’s a post for another day.
Things are hard in a lot of ways right now, but I look at them and think, they’re pretty amazing when it all comes down to it.
That smile ❤
My loves (two of them, anyway)
Will you just look at that sky? Isn’t that lovely.