11 months. What? I'm a couple of days late, but I was blissfully away from all things internet-related on our 4th of July weekend vacation to Ocean City, Maryland (more on that later!). Better late than never, right?
I'll bypass the chatter about how mind-blowing it is that Gabriel is already 11 months-old and jump to the updates while you try and soak it all in, too.
- I'm still nursing, but the weaning process (in regards to solid foods) is going well! Just in the past few days Gabriel ate Goldfish crackers and falafel (not during the same meal or snack, mind you) for the very first time and loved them. What a big kid he is these days.
- Some of Gabriel's current favorite foods seem to be: watermelon, corn, cornbread, French fries, pizza crust, and (of course!) multi-grain Cheerios. Lately he also loves some apple and sweet potato corn puff baby things I bought awhile back.
- Foods Gabriel seems pretty 50/50 about (sometimes loving, sometimes showing no interest): ground beef, peas, and toast.
- Gabriel is eating more and more solids and - lately - has been requesting to nurse just a tad bit less frequently (going 3, 4, or 5 hours instead of every 2 or 2.5). I got so used to his demand for frequent nursing sessions that I'm having to adjust; I've slowly been learning not to automatically offer so I can time how long he naturally goes without wanting to nurse.
- He drinks water from a sippy cup like a champ and even downed some formula once. He didn't really like it, but he did it...and I've been eagerly trying to choose the calendar date that we can get a babysitter ever since.
- One morning and one afternoon nap - still going strong.
- The most crucial nap remains the morning one. Afternoons are more flexible and can get pushed back more easily without him being entirely wiped out.
- I'm pretty sure these are Gabriel's napping glory days. I'm going to enjoy them while I can!
- Bedtime is still around 9pm.
- We successfully "sleep-trained" Gabriel at around 9.5 months, but since then I've had to "re-train" him to soothe himself a few times. Traveling and/or cutting teeth can really mess with Gabriel's ability to calmly soothe himself back to sleep, so in those scenarios I always give in and nurse him. Once we're back at home and he isn't crying the horrific "I'm in serious teething pain" cry I get him back on track soothing himself without getting him out of his crib/nursing. In fact, I'll be doing that again tonight after our weekend stay in a hotel.
- Gabriel thinks water is great. Bath time, swimming pools, drinking water from a cup, playing with water bottles: so great. He just hasn't figured out yet that the ocean is also water; that one might take time and a few beach vacations (I'm willing to take one for the team and book our next stay asap). But baths are great!
- Gabriel has really been enhancing his "sharing" skills. With everyday items he will play with something, then hold it out to show me over and over again. With "food-related" items (i.e. spoons, cups, and sometimes whatever he is eating) he will hold it up to his mouth, then eagerly hold it out (up to my mouth if he can reach) for me to take my "turn." It melts my heart every time.
- He is so playful! This month he has been inventing his own, silly, unique games. My favorite is the one where he puts his head down (like he's about to do a somersault) and stares at me from upside down - reaching between his legs to grab me if I'm close enough. He thinks it's hilarious and so do I.
- Whenever Gabriel is strapped in sitting somewhere (stroller, car seat, high chair) and can't play his "upside down" game, he modifies it into a head-tilting game. He will lean his head to one side repeatedly (making sure you're watching) and giggle in between.
- He is really good at pushing things across the floor for fun - not just while crawling but also while standing and leaning onto the item.
- He has been playing games where he wants us to chase him and/or he will peek out from behind a door for awhile now - but this manifested itself into some real hide and seek this weekend! He would crawl and hide behind the floor-length curtain in the hotel room, wait for us to question where he was, then quickly fling the curtain open, present himself, and proceed to have a giggle fit as we squealed in delight. Then he would hide behind the curtain to do it all over again. :)
- This month he figured out how to "push the star button to hear a song" on his drum, which means he has lots of fun skipping through the songs over and over before settling on one to drum to.
- He's been working more and more to place his different shaped blocks into the holes in the bucket they came with; he definitely has the concept down, but can't really fit them properly into the holes yet so he tends to move on to other things - like trying to stand up or climb on everything.
- He is so good at rolling, throwing, or bouncing balls!
- This boy is becoming quite the chatterbox! He always seems to be telling us something; I just wish we could understand him! He seriously babbles on and on in conversation - with animated facial expressions, hand gestures, pauses while we respond, giggles when we smile back, and all. Adorable.
- Michael and I are in agreement that Gabriel can walk but simply hasn't chosen to do so yet. He cruises holding onto furniture or toys all time, can walk all the way across the apartment if we hold his hands (he steps on his own - we don't even pull him), and he can balance standing upright while holding on with just a finger (and sometimes for a little bit after completely letting go). I can't wait to see him take his first real steps!
- He surpassed the 16 lb. mark and seems to have grown at least 3 inches, but that could just be my imagination. His feet and toes seem to have magically doubled in size, but again, that could be my imagination. The point is that he is looking noticeably taller, bigger, beefier (he is a skinny baby - but he has always been all muscle and all of his pseudo-walking and baby squats have visibly strengthened/thickened his leg muscles!) and older by the day.
- He has 2 bottom teeth! His first popped through just before he hit 10 months and within two weeks the second was right next to it. Currently, he's working on a 3rd (on top) that recently starting working its way through the surface of his gums. It's worth noting that he loves getting his teeth brushed. Loves it! Which I love.
There are probably so many developments I haven't managed to capture in words, but this month has been so much fun. I'm adoring the fact that Gabriel's personality is truly emerging and feel so blessed to spend my days with this playful, silly, observant, inquisitive, adventurous, talkative little boy.
"I'll love your forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."