Our baby boy officially turned 10 months old yesterday! I say it every month because it's true: I cannot believe how time has flown by! Gabriel is at an age where his personality is revealing itself to us more and more and being by his side for everything is such a delight!
Thanks to some traveling (on our part and on my dad's part), Gabriel was able to see both of his grandpas (along with almost all of Michael's immediate and extended family) this past month. Check out these sweet moments I managed to capture:
|Left: with Yéyé (Chinese for grandpa on your dad's side - pronounced like "yeh-yeh"). Right: with Grandpa.|
Here's what else has been happening in Gabriel's little world (and therefore our world) this past month:
- Baby led weaning has proven to be the way to go for Gabriel. Ever since I understood that he wants to feed himself and fusses over any help you give him, we've modified our entire approach and he is thriving! No more puree attempts for this boy (at least until he can feed himself with a spoon - which he demonstrated a good start on last night with some mashed potatoes).
- He consistently eats some "solids" at least 3 times each day. Some days his solid food intake is greater than others, but 3 times a day is a huge improvement since last month.
- He is finally utilizing the mesh feeders we have, which makes it much easier to introduce some more juicy and/or slippery foods (like watermelon - which he LOVES).
- The solid food he will always eat (even if he rejects fruit, veggies, or anything else) is...Multi-Grain Cheerios. I'll take it.
- He has been successfully learning how to take a cup! Granted, we've only started with water as he learns (and manages to spill liquid through the sippy lid), but I think he will be ready for some milk very soon. I can see the light at the end of the exclusively-nursing-tunnel. So close, yet so far. But at least I can see it. No matter what, I'm still going to pray that any future babies God blesses us with will accept a regular bottle and make the transition and weaning much easier.
- Overall, I feel so much more hopeful in this department than I did last month. It's taken awhile (over 3 months of trying?) for him to accept regular solids and drink anything aside from being attached to my body - but we've been persevering, he is healthy, and all is going so well right now. Praise be to God.
|Remember how I said we'd put something on this wall|
eventually? We followed through when we brought
this gem back from Michael's childhood room.
- This is old news, but I can't help but marvel at how life-changing it is when your baby will take naps in his crib. Life-changing.
- We sleep-trained his naps at the same time we did all the other sleep-training this past month, so I no longer have to bounce him to sleep for his naps! What a blessing.
- He naps twice a day - once in the morning (as soon as he has been awake for 2 hours - like clockwork) and once in the afternoon (usually after he has been up for another couple of hours, but this one is more flexible and we can stretch/push back/alter it without it exhausting him when we're out and about).
- Baby boy is sleep trained. I'll just let that sink in for a moment.
- His bedtime has creeped closer to 9pm (as opposed to the previous 9:30 routine) but we're still waiting to see what his morning wake time will settle on. In the beginning of the sleep training it ranged from 7-8am but lately he has had some 6am mornings. Only time will tell.
- Because of the sleep training, I no longer have to get him out of the crib at night and weaned him off any nighttime feedings. Not ever accidentally falling asleep in a chair in the middle of the night along with not bouncing him to sleep for naps means I am finally experiencing life without constant aches and pains for the first time since...sometime in early pregnancy? Alleluia!
- We sleep trained him in 2 nights, but he got thrown off when we recently traveled to Ohio and his first tooth started seriously trying to make its debut. We got back on the bandwagon once we were home and it took him one night of sleep training to get back to sleeping through the night. Amazing.
- Last night Gabriel's eyes lit up as he watched me squirt water from his bath toy. I think he finally understood it, which was a precious moment to witness. Other than that, same old same old. He likes his bath time!
- Gabriel especially loves anything involving household or everyday items, including (but not limited to): a plastic whisk, pots and pans, a plastic spatula, any cups or water bottles, plastic hangers, door stops (ohhh, how he loves these), doors, hinges, cabinets, shelves, chairs, light switches (if I am holding him and he can reach) and of course, all the "no-no" items like wires/cords, the Xbox and controller, remotes, floor lamps, his baby nail clippers, and our small elliptical machine. Obviously we do our best to hide or steer him away from all "no-no" items but that doesn't lessen his interest in them at all.
- Let's not forget about his hair brush. He is mildly obsessed with it. Last week he also began using it to try and brush his own hair!!! He was so proud of himself and made sure to give himself some applause. :)
- We finally got some toys that have buttons, play music, or talk (only the least annoying ones we could find) and he loves them. The turtle he has is essentially the only reason I can clean up the table and his baby mess (without him getting into danger zones or underfoot) after breakfast and lunch each day.
- He has also (thanks to the same turtle) begun to roll some push/pull toys across the floor a bit.
- He loves music and really enjoys his new drum. Instead of only using his hands, he likes to hit it with his own made up drumsticks - which is often times a spatula, but anything he is holding will do.
- He has started to play with us a bit more. If we crawl behind him, he gets really excited, squeals, and crawls away, looking behind him to make sure we are chasing him.
- This morning I placed some uneaten Cheerios inside a couple of milk storage bottles. After putting the caps on and handing them to him, he had so much fun shaking his new, see-through, Cheerio-filled "rattles." It really is the simple things.
- This began a couple months ago, but now he always wants to turn the pages (and can usually do it!) when I read him books.
- Gabriel dances all the time - whether it's by bouncing and tapping his hands (or clapping) when he pulls himself up to stand somewhere, sitting on the ground, or by doing his recently-invented "chest dance" in the highchair, car seat, stroller, or laying flat during diaper changes. My favorite (hands down!) is the chest dance. He'll do this while sitting or laying down any time I sing to him or he is pleased by something. He could do the demo in this video (circa 38 seconds)...for real.
- He is obsessed with doors - pushing them open, swinging them, and (as of recently) even pushing them shut. He has playfully shut himself in our bedroom on multiple occasions (while I'm supervising, of course).
- He remains one of the most joyful and social babies I know and will grin, giggle, or wave at many friends, family members, and strangers.
- His eyes are still looking green, which makes me think they might remain forever hazel (genetically speaking, brown and hazel are the only options for our children).
- He is a master of crawling, standing up, climbing up (and down!) the one step in our apartment without face-planting, cruising, and has even managed to stand up without any support on a few occasions (only for a few seconds, but it's an amazing feat no less). He also frequently stands and holds on with only one hand, using his other hand to wave, grab toys, etc.
- Gabriel has mastered waving and clapping this past month! He happily does these things seemingly all the time.
- He babbles babbles babbles! He has moved on from the "M"s and has focused a lot on "L" and "D" this month.
- On June 4th (one day before officially hitting 10 months old), after 6.5 months of teething, his first tooth busted through his gums! It's his bottom, middle, right tooth.
- He has started to hold onto us when we carry him. Isn't it just the sweetest thing when your baby clings to you and looks like they're hugging you for the first time?
- We have been working on baby sign language all month, and on more than one occasion he has responded to my inquiries with his own version of the "milk" sign!
- The boy can't walk yet, but he wants to climb. He will climb onto or into anything that suits his body size and skill level. Mostly he tries to climb up me (or Michael) when I'm sitting on the floor - and will often try and climb over my shoulder onto the couch. He also likes to try and climb over our shoulders when we're holding him in church.
- It's hard to say if he has "self-awareness" when looking in the mirror now...because he is always too distracted by whatever is on the counter, the sink faucet, and everything else under the sun to be bothered with looking at the mirror too long.
- He randomly began shaking his head this month (while sitting, clapping, or dancing, etc.) so I began pairing this motion with telling him not to do/touch something. Now he responds to any "no-no"s with shaking his head no. :)
I honestly think this has been one of my all-time favorite months of Gabriel's life. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every stage of his development, but this age provides seemingly endless fun. More fun than I could fathom just a few months ago when I thought those were the most fun months ever. He constantly makes Michael and me smile and laugh and he interacts with us in countless adorable ways. Each day is certainly a new adventure!
"Any day spent with you is my favorite day. So, today is my new favorite day."
-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh