Eleven Months

elevenmonthsoldElliott,

This month has flown by in the blink of an eye. Seems just yesterday you were sitting in a pumpkin for your ten month photo shoot… I’m still surprised you didn’t hate it. Your goofy baby faces are turning into toddler expressions.. Mostly curious or disapproving looks. Your smile is adorable but at times a rare sight. You get so absorbed in everything going on around you that it’s hard to get you to focus, let alone think games like peek-a-boo are funny past the second or third “boo”.

You are too smart for your own good. Climbing on everything, crawling over everything, mualing kitties and never sitting still for a moment, not even when you’re asleep. This is the only reason your pediatrician is okay with your lack of considerable gains in the height and weight department, again. Finally broke the 30 inch mark this month and also stabilized at 20 pounds. If you were one of those babies who sat and watched the world go by, you would be monster sized! But you’re too busy running us all over the house for that. You’re definitely going to be the kind of kid that takes your family for walks, just because you need to burn off the energy.

This month you began showing definite signs of teething, complete with white caps of your teeth pushing on your gums. As sensitive as you are overall, I’m really amazed how well you are handling get at least three teeth at once. And they are top teeth!! Of course Elliott can’t get teeth in the typical fashion, what would be the fun of that. I can tell they really bother you sometimes and you’ll chew on something hard while whimpering (which really is as pathetic as it sounds) but for the most part you are business as usual, with a lot of extra drooling.

You got a new uncle this month! And you did exceptionally well at your Aunt Kat’s wedding. Only spoke up during the ceremony when the pastor mentioned communication, which I thought was very fitting. You had an absolute blast at the reception when you woke up from your nap. You bounced and danced your way into the hearts of many strangers that night, and they all loved the cute little bow tie you wore.

This month we went to the zoo with two of the neighbor girls and you soaked it all in… Smiled at the orangutan and seemed bored of the giraffes. We had a few more play dates and you are such a little love bug. You try holding their hands and giving them hugs. This sometimes translates to you pulling them down and then tackling them, but we can see you mean well. It is soo sweet. You may not yet know how to high five (still working on it) but you can definitely give some awesome little hugs. The best part of my day is coming home to your fussy little face and getting a hug from you. You’re doing so well with me going back to work and Grandma watching you during the day. I figure you know her just about as well as you know me, and I know she knows you.. so it’s a great little setup.

One month to go until your first birthday! And while it doesn’t feel appropriate to throw a massive luau (in the middle of December) like I always heard the Hawaiians would have to celebrate making it through your first year, we will have the cake smash and birthday dinner and mini party for family and close friends. I feel like it should be a big enough deal, if not just for you, than for all of us to celebrate a year of less sleep, more tears, more smiles and definitely more love than before. You changed the lives of everyone who knows you well and loves you, little man. And when it feels like everything about my life is still so far from where I thought it should be, all I have to do is look at your face or watch you learning while you play to realize I am doing the most important thing in the world, just being here for you.

I love you to the moon, to the stars and to forever and back,

Mom

 

 

Ten Months

TenMonthsOld

Elliott,

You’ve pinched me more times than I can count this month. It is your newest “thing,” and honestly the first thing that comes to mind when thinking what to write about this past month. *pinch.pinch.smile* You are definitely mommy’s little monster.

So let’s see… your father visited at the beginning of this month. You had two lunch dates and play time at the park together, all of which you seemed to enjoy. You were having an exceptionally good weekend and weren’t too fussy for him. I’m not sure he would have known how to handle you if you had pulled a full blown meltdown on him. It’s been a long time since he was around you when you were certain the world was ending and it often takes quite a lot of convincing to disarm you. It was funny watching him try to stop you from eating grass at the park. Every time he took a blade from your hand, you figured out how to get past him and pluck another from the ground, over and over again until something else caught your attention.

Your crawl is now 80% normal and 20% broken frog. You really didn’t do much growing in the past month and are holding steady at about 20 pounds and maybe 29.5 inches if you’ve grown at all. It is very difficult getting an accurate measurement now that you are so mobile… but your doctor assures me that it’s normal and that breastfed babies don’t grow as much in the second six months of the first year. You do look taller when you’re playing because you have mastered standing on the very tip of your toes, adding at least two inches to how big you appear. However you look at it, you’re definitely not a little baby anymore.

You’ve tried some new foods! Had your first taste of chocolate cupcake and frosting, and devoured at least half a peach worth of peach slices from a cobbler. Tried your first bit of a non-traditional shepherd’s pie made with chicken. You liked honeydew and cantaloup, were wary of pineapple and gave bananas another try. Grandma and I are unsure why you aren’t putting on any weight with all the new foods you try, but it’s one of those little mysteries.

It’s been another good month, aside from your new fascination with pinching everything and everyone. Really unsure where you picked that up, but you do it most when you’re falling asleep so maybe it’s a comfort thing to you. You did get a little taste of your own medicine tonight though, when the almost three-year-old Zoie at the Mini Cooper club meeting pinched your leg while the two of you were watching a movie on her tablet. You didn’t cry but you sure did give her a puzzled look and I said, “tell me about it!” Doesn’t feel so awesome, does it, my little pincher bug?

This month you survived your first stuffy nose thanks to allergies and your first fall off the bed which I still say was totally your fault for launching yourself over the edge (when you normally hesitate). Still no goose egg worthy bumps though, thankfully, even though you are beginning to let go of whatever you are holding while standing. Gonna need to break out the bubble wrap soon.

Love you to the moon and to the sun and to forever and back, fuss bucket.

 

Love,

Mom

What’s in a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet

I was once a Dunlap girl. My two younger sisters will know what I’m talking about when I say that. We are independent, determined, don’t mess with me, Dunlap. And then I got married and took my then-husband’s name. I found it quite fruity, and I am still a little confused when people ask me to spell it out for them. “It’s Cherry, like the fruit…Yes, like the pie works too…No it’s just spelled with y at the end.”

I’ve had several friends and a few near-strangers ask why I haven’t changed back since going public with the divorce. Aside from every one of my experiences with the Social Security office being a nightmare… I can’t leave my son behind. I may have been culled from the Cherry family tree but he will always have a place there, and I will always be his mom. I know eventually that means I might end up one of those hyphenated messes of a name, but that’s okay.

Any brave souls dare to comment on their name change? I’m curious to know if other moms stick with the hyphenated route as well.

newsignature

Throw Back Thursday

I was going through a box of fall clothes tonight.. Packing for a trip and falling in love with a season that isn’t even here yet. Among all the cardigans, sweaters and scarves I found my little point and shoot camera that I hadn’t seen in months, and was sure was lost forever. Got it charged, and was even more surprised that it had pictures on it.

DSCN0036

Random, brand-new baby pictures! Totally warms my heart. Back when he had eyebrows so faint you couldn’t tell he had any at all and had that white spot above his left eye that eventually disappeared. When he was so new, I wasn’t even sure what being a mom was.

I’ll admit that over time, the exact moments of those first, early days have blurred together. I couldn’t tell you exactly how we made it through, but here we are.

I love you to the moon and back and for forever, fuss bucket.

newsignature

Nine Months

ninemonthsold

Baby Bee,

This month has been a fast one. Going, gone in the blink of an eye. It’s hard to remember that you’re only nine months old when you can play independently and wander the house (supervised) when the baby gates are open. You’re so small and so big at the same time. Your favorite two places are the hallway and the under the kitchen table. You also love the vacuum when it is turned off, but turn it on and you’re pulling on the nearest person’s legs to pick you up.

You still crawl like a broken frog 80% of the time. And even though cruising the living room is so easy for you, I’m hoping walking is still a few months away. That’s not to say that I have encouraged you to take steps towards me. Haha! You haven’t and I’m thankful for that. You’re only going to be this little once. Up to 19lbs 5oz and 29 inches tall! You didn’t grow in height this month, but we all notice that your diapers have been fitted on looser snaps, so you’re chunking up! Sweet baby rolls.

Foods are still a lot of fun for you. Your new favorites are any variety of winter squash and green beans. Grandma feeds you all sorts of new foods though, like homemade “refried beans” without the oil or cheese and even little cream of wheat balls for breakfast. She even sneaks you some sorbet every once in a while when she thinks I’m not looking! And of course, you love it. We always make sure to have some food for you when we go out for dinner, because you expect to sit with us and enjoy your meal too. Although, yesterday at Chipotle you were more interested in talking to everyone than the food we had for you. It was really great because your version of talking is a yell right now. Grandma and I got a kick out of it, making up what you must be saying to everyone. “Save me! She’s not my mom!” while Grandma was holding you, for example.

Your big personality is starting to shine through. For a while there, it was hard to see beyond that wanting what you want, right now attitude you still have. You’re becoming a bit more sweet, and maybe even the tiniest bit shy as you head into this month. It’s right around the time a lot of babies develop separation anxiety and you’ve definitely got it. Screaming and throwing a fit at the baby gate because I walked down the hallway without you? Yeah, that happens now.

Overall though, you are ready to go anywhere, anytime as long as it doesn’t mean getting in and out of your car seat all day. I had a blast trying to get your monthly photo shoot pictures done this afternoon And to think there was once a time when I looked forward to you being able to sit up for your pictures! Wasn’t very long after you could sit that you were crawling all over the place, like today. Three months to one year, need to start planning your first birthday party.

I love you to the moon and to the sun and to forever and back.

Love,

Mom

Eight Months

EightMonthsOld

Busy little Bee,

This month you are going, going… gone!

Last month, you finally mastered sitting, a skill you protested and put off as long as possible. You definitely made up for lost time this month! Four short weeks later and you can also crawl, pull up to a stand, and cruise the living room! So much activity for a little guy who wouldn’t even sit on his own just a few short weeks ago!

Your crawling style has been compared to how a broken frog would get around… where your left knee is down on the ground and your right foot touches the ground. A sort of crawl/hobble that couldn’t be any cuter! You’ve been getting around that way most of the month, launching yourself off into the world with little care where walls or the edge of surfaces might be. Still no falling off the couch or bed, not that we can credit your awareness for that.. You would have fallen off both, several times, had the choice been left up to you.

 

[When I print these out for you baby book, I’ll be sure to grab a screenshot of the video I’m also sharing. It’s just too cute not to, and don’t worry, all the toys and stuff you’ll see are approved for you to play with, by me.]

We installed baby gates this month. At first, you didn’t get very far with your crawling attempts. Lots and lots of face planting and the screaming that ensued because you were sure you were seriously injured. But that quickly changed…you can get from the living room to half-way down the hall or half-way to the kitchen in about twenty seconds now. Not to mention the fact that you pull up on anything you come across and have a particular fondness for licking everything, stroller wheels and dog water bowls included. Gross! So we made you a baby jail, but it’s the entire living room, and you seem to enjoy having a play land where you can roam around.

After months of trying to get doctors to listen, we finally have a surgery date for you tongue tie clipping. The doctor is also going to take a look at your upper lip tie, and see if that needs a second revision while you’re under anesthesia. You did so well at your pre-op appointment earlier this week, but I am still very nervous about you going under anesthesia. Your mom may have training with animal anesthesia, but you are my baby, and there is a very, very big difference there. We will be asking for lots of prayers from friends and family that everything goes well, and that this will be the permanent solution to that problem. They said I’ll be able to see you about 15 minutes after the procedure which should only last about 10-15 minutes itself but I know it’s going to feel like forever that morning.

This month you have just been one big ball of activity and we have been doing our best to keep you entertained! You put your feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Hated it, but didn’t mind the sand once you had calmed down from throwing a fit. And then there are the trips out of the house, just because you sleep really well in your big boy car seat. Lots of going for walks, even if it’s just to check the mail and we’ve started going for regular walks after dinner again now that the weather has cooled off a little.  You have tried a few new foods that you’ve shown moderate interest in: pancakes, peaches, potatoes, chicken and spaghetti squash. Asparagus and plums are clear favorites and baby puffs are hit or miss. I so wish I could let you have dairy, because yogurt drops seem like something you would really enjoy. You are almost nineteen pounds, officially weighing in at 18.9 pounds, and while that may not seem like a whole lot when compared to other things, it’s a really big change from when I first met you. Twenty-nine inches tall now, a little bit of light brown hair, no sign of any teeth and eyes a shade of grey/blue/brown that remind me of pond water. Haha.

You are my little spitfire and I love you to the moon and to the sun and to forever and back.

Love,

Mom

Seven Months

SevenMonthsOld

Baby Bee,

This month brought a lot of change to our lives. Luckily, you don’t know what it all means yet, so you don’t know to be scared of change or worried about the future. Every day is brand new for you. Some time around eight in the morning rolls around and you wake up, smile at me, and our day begins.

We started you off on baby led solids last month, with some banana and avocado. You enjoyed them well enough and we added in other things like cucumber, asparagus, rice rusks and teething biscuits. It amazes me how messy you can get with so little food. Then we added in purees because you didn’t like carrots or sweet potato in a soft-solid form. The first day you loved sweet potato and ate almost two ounces! Your interest in them has since tapered off to taking a few bites here and there, but no rush. I’ve heard a thousand times, “foods before one are just for fun.” Definitely fun! And you’ve definitely done some tasting of things that you aren’t exactly supposed to have now. Sweet things like italian ice.. “But it’s dairy free!!” Your Grandma lets you get away with so much! You also decided that you absolutely must sit and eat something when we go to restaurants. We weren’t prepared for this sudden shift from wanting to be held while we ate, to wanting to sit on your own and eat. So you’ve also attempted to eat a piece of bread at Panera and a french fry at Red Robin. You were unsuccessful both times, thankfully, but having a piece of food in your hand stops a screaming fit. I know the whole restaurant appreciates that. Let’s just say that Mommy and Grandma carry at least a rice rusk or teething biscuit with us at all times now!

You are growing up way too fast! I would ask you to slow down, but it’s so much fun watching you learn and grow. You’ve been army crawling for about two weeks now, pulling yourself across the living room floor, usually in the direction of Sicily, the big fat cat. Just in the last day or two you starting getting up on your tip toes and elbows to move around. It looks like an odd combination of a plank and the downward dog yoga position. You still aren’t that interested in sitting, but at least you can now. Last month you would topple over as soon as we helped you into a sitting position. Now you’ll play for a little, then hurl yourself forward. Grandpa says it’s a clever way to get around. You get farther by launching forward than you would army crawling. Baby proofing has definitely commenced. Floors are cleared, outlets are covered and we’re working our way up, clearing off higher surfaces because we know it will only be a few short months until you’re pulling yourself to a standing position.

And now, to recount exactly now un-little you are… You’re weighing in at eighteen pounds, and have grown to twenty-eight inches long/tall. Big boy!! We saw another seven month old at the commissary yesterday and he was still comfortably sitting in the same infant car seat you had. To think you outgrew that seat by comfort a few weeks ago and needed a convertible. The convertible seat we had bought before you were born was too cramped feeling and didn’t have strap covers so Mommy splurged on a Diono Radian RXT. One of the longest rear-facing seats on the market with great safety ratings. You love the memory foam shoulder and butt pads too. That seat puts you to sleep better than either of the ones we used before, which is awesome for car trips. So much less fussing in the car now.

Overall, you are doing great. So, so happy visiting Grandma and Grandpa. You also got to meet your Aunts for the first time this month and I would say they love their little nephew. Over half way to your first birthday and my mommy friends are already planning their December birthday bashes. What should your theme be? Until next month, bumble butt…

I love you to the moon and back and a seventeen hour drive,

Mom