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June 2017

    Life Lately

    Life Lately

    Even beautiful when it’s cloudy. I love the reflections in the lake.

    Chicago is really delivering on summer this year. It’s been the most beautiful one I can remember on the weather front, and we’ve had SO MUCH FUN already even though technically it’s only been summer for like.. 1.5 weeks. But come on, we all think of summer as June-August, right?

    Jason and I often talk about the summer fatigue that can set in. There’s a lot to squeeze in to just three short months! (So much so that Bravo made a terrible reality show about it that I definitely didn’t watch every episode of.) But never fear, we are all powering through. June is my favorite month of the year with the temperatures, the promise of summer ahead, and ahem, my birthday 😃

    Here’s what we’ve been up to:

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    Baby, Deep Thoughts

    The Summer of Yes

    Maybe my favorite picture of Hudson ever – post-pool time joy

    I’m going to shock you with my opening statement: ten months is THE most fun age ever.

    (New readers, welcome. I have said some version of that sentence every month!)

    It’s suddenly like hanging out with a real, live person all day—a hilarious, top-heavy little person who’s started to give intentional hugs and say our names. Peak cuteness, as a friend described it recently.

    But peak cuteness ain’t free, and the price we pay for this adorable age is managing an increasingly strong, opinionated little guy who can’t be left alone for a second.

    I know, this is all babies! But for this first time mom, it’s been an adjustment. I sort of… forgot? that we’d have new challenges to work through together once we got the whole eating and sleeping newborn gig down. So this is why they say you’ll never pee be alone again.

    All of this is to say that it’s a lot of work. (And all of the experienced moms in the world collectively said, “duh.”)

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    Baby, Milestones

    Month 8 & 9 with Hudson

    My big boy just turned TEN months old! I can’t believe it. Mama’s hands are FULL these days with a very active, energetic little guy.

    The days have felt so busy lately that I missed writing his 8 month update, which I excused by telling myself I’d write an 8/9 month update instead—which I’m doing, but I sort of regret because there have been BIG changes in both months and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things about month 8 already. Anyway, let’s get to it!

    Sleeping

    I have to start here with the BEST UPDATE EVER: sleep, glorious sleep. The update is that we’re all getting it.

    Somewhere around start of 8 months, everything just seemed to click. Out of the blue, he began taking LONG naps—often 1.5-2 hours in both the morning and afternoon—and even more magically, sleeping through the night from 6:30-6:30. At first, J and I didn’t want to scare it away and we barely mentioned it for fear that we’d jinx it, but after a week we were like, okay—this is happening!

    I have no idea what to attribute this to. Increased solid foods? Bigger physical size? More active so expending more energy? The good routines and habits from the 9,000 books on sleep I read and painstakingly instilled since the day zero?! Who knows. Honestly, I think he was just ready. Whatever it was, its awesome, and very timely because despite sleeping through the night myself these days, I still feel tired trying to keep up with him all day, and he’s not even walking yet. Lord help me when he’s running around!

    I love his little mini bedtime routine: we put him in his sleep sack, hand him his pacifier which he sticks very deliberately into his mouth, then hand him his bunny which he pulls over his face. Something about the bunny/pacifier set up totally cracks me up… he wrestles around with them for a few minutes before he goes to sleep and also when he wakes up, will often play with them for a while (up to 45 minutes sometimes!) before calling for us to come get him.

    The flip side of his routine and the magical naps is that it really only works in his crib. He doesn’t nap in the stroller anymore, and when we were out of town this month he was back to the short 30-45 minute cat naps which do not exactly bring out his best self. But 95% of the time we’re here so this is a non-issue. Who needs to leave the house anyway? 😃

    Eating

    In month 8, Huds really stepped up his game with his solids. He was eating huge bowls of cereal, fruit/veggie purees, yogurt, applesauce, peanut butter, or even pureed chicken. We made an effort to start doing three solid meals a day, and he took to that schedule pretty well.

    Then early in month 9, mealtime got interesting as he wanted to “help” which predictably ended up a huge mess every time. I introduced puffs to keep his little hands busy and give him something to work on, and it was like a switch flipped. There were a few early days of awkwardness (nope, you don’t need to put your entire fist in there with the puff, bud!) but within a few days he was able to pick up the food really well and put it straight into his mouth, and from there he ONLY wanted to do it himself. And thanks to his mouth full of teeth, he can eat most foods without much trouble. So now we fill up his tray with bite-sized pieces of food and he very happily feeds himself.

    He is totally his father’s son and loves his meat: chicken and burgers are his favorite! Cheese is also a huge hit, as are eggs and most vegetables. Everything MUST be seasoned! Loves black pepper, garlic on his cooked veggies, and I even let him the tiniest bit of hot sauce on some of my eggs that I was sharing with him and he didn’t even pause. He’s a little more finicky with sweet stuff. He loves these little freeze dried yogurt discs and some fruit: strawberries in particular, but does not love bananas. He’ll eat a little bit of the squeezy pouches of organic purees or yogurts but in general, he’s much less enthusiastic about sweet foods and would much rather be eating meat or cheese!

    Physical Developments

    At our 9 month doctor’s appointment, he weighed in at 22 pounds and 22” long. That puts him in the 99th percentile for height and 85th percentile for weight. Sadly, they have stopped measuring head circumference. He’s a TALL guy like his dad, and the more I take him out and about with other kids, especially now that he’s often standing (supported!) I can see that he’s often as tall as these toddlers running circles around him.

    He is STRONG, and the changing table has become a battleground. If I forget to bring out all the stops by handing him something new to look at AND singing a song, he’s corkscrewed on to his tummy and is flailing his hands around trying to swipe at everything within reach. This has resulted in him removing two pictures from my gallery wall (sob). This of course makes changing diapers and clothes challenging. Grandma came the other day to watch him while I headed in to work while he was being particularly feisty mid-change and she was welcomed with a very pantsless baby with a huge, satisfied smile on his face. Thank God for grandma–a phrase I say at least 5x/week! 😃

    I just looked at my last update and I can’t believe that the last time I wrote he was barely sitting up by himself. As these things seem to go, that is now totally old hat and he  thankfully puts his arms out to catch himself when he starts to tip backwards. He’s also gotten himself into sitting a few times from rocking back and forth while on his hands and knees, though I don’t think he realizes he’s really doing it yet.

    Oh, just pulling every dangerous thing possible off of tables.

    Last month, he started crawling! Some of these new developments take shape so slowly I barely realize they’re happening, like starting to prefer playing on his belly or babbling—but this one was like a lightswitch. One day, no real signs of crawling. The next day, wiggling himself across the floor for a toy. He has a very distinct style of army crawling that I absolutely love: using his elbows and a back and forth motion with his torso to propel himself forward. He has yet to crawl with his belly off the floor and honestly I don’t know if he ever will—he doesn’t need to because he is SO fast with his little army crawl. I blink and he’s got his hand in the cat’s water bowl.

    And now, he’s all about standing. When we’re sitting on the floor with him, he’ll pull on our arms or hands to sort of crawl his way up and pull himself into a standing position, and then breaks into the BIGGEST grin like—check me out! He’s getting both faster at popping up into a standing position and much sturdier on his feet. He started out on his tiptoes but will now plant his little feet solidly on the ground. He does not like if we try to hold his hands to help him “walk” yet and will yank his arms down.

    However, he does like the little walker that grandma and papa brought over—that one surprisingly took him no time at all to maneuver around in! Which is good, because containing him in the walker is pretty much the only way I can get any food made these days. However, it became quickly apparent that another pass at baby proofing was required because he zooms right over to every outlet in sight. The outlets, and the oven buttons. Fun times. Something about watching him scoot all over our condo totally cracks me up—he is pretty quick and can move both backwards and forwards.

    Being outside

    May was not a spectacular month on the weather front in Chicago. If I remember correctly, April was actually a little nicer with some freakishly warm weeks. But nevertheless, we got out whenever we could and our walks are even more fun these days since he is looking at everything and trying to take it all in.

    Lately, he’s less enthusiastic about being strapped in his stroller for too long, so I have to work hard to keep him entertained and show him things around us.

    We walk along the river or lake almost every day and he loves looking at the dogs, the water, and the flowers—though he has a serious fear of the big water fountain near the river. He’s come around on the wind—used to HATE it, now seems to think it’s okay and sometimes even funny.

    The swings at the park are a huge hit every time, and we now have TWO parks in our rotation that we check out. Keeping things interesting around here 😃

    We went to the beach for the first time last week and he shocked me by LOVING it and showing no fear! When we were in Ohio, and then again at the park recently, I tried putting him down in the grass and he reacted as though it was hot lava. (City baby!) So I assumed he’d react similarly to sand, but he gave it a tentative little pat and then took off at a crawl straight off the blanket, through the sand and headed for the water screaming and giggling the entire time. Every time I’d bring him back to the blanket, he’d take off again. Hudson Bean, you are a mystery.

    Personality

    Hudson has such a BIG personality and he’s full of contradictions. We are still dealing with major mommy attachment, which of course, I kind of love, but it breaks my heart to think of him being scared around other people. But it’s really a look-but-don’t-touch thing: if I were to hand him to someone he doesn’t know well, I’d be shocked if there were not a major and almost instantaneous meltdown. But he actually LOVES seeing other people and interacting with them… when I take him for walks in the stroller, he smiles at pretty much everyone and will crain his little neck around to cheese at people who don’t instantly acknowledge him. Like, “hello! I am here and I’m adorable.”

    Before everyone used to say, “what a big baby!” And now the most common comment I get is, “what a happy baby!” And he really is. We have been in a very magical phase over the last two months where he is just happy, happy, happy almost all the time. Of course he gets frustrated and if he’s over tired, watch out. And he can sometimes express his frustrations in these intense yells or fake cries that come out of nowhere, but he’s back to calm and smiley as soon as we’ve sorted out what he needs.

    Fake smile!

    Speaking of fake crying, he also does the FUNNIEST fake smile and laugh. He squints his little eyes closed and gives the biggest, cheesiest smile and will sometimes add a “ha ha ha” for good measure. The flip side of that is the overdramatic fake cry, which is less cute 😉

    Mom fail!

    He’s definitely been more of a handful lately, getting into everything and testing his limits a bit. He would laugh and spit water at me like a dolphin for the period of about 2 weeks whenever I’d give him a drink from his sippy cup, which thankfully he seems to have forgotten about. He’s also obsessed with the cat food, oven buttons, and pulling over all of the plants. I can’t even count how many times a day I say, “Hudson, no!” to zero avail. I suspect this is the life of a boy mom and will be my most-used phrase over at least the next few years!

    Toys

    As I’m sure is true of all babies, Hudson’s favorite toys are… not toys. Our phones, the tv remotes, his own flip flops—that’s the good stuff!

    Reading with Papa

    But the cutest update on this front is how much he love, love, loves books. The Pout Pout Fish is (happily!) his favorite and I like to think it’s because I’m also obsessed with it and have read it to him since he was born, basically! He helps turn the pages and points at the characters, making his adorable noises.

    He also has started to understand how the iPad works (which I swore I wouldn’t give him until he was WAY older but how the heck are you supposed to make dinner?!) and loves to play a Fisher Price alphabet game. He completely freaks out in happiness when he sees the iPad and frantically grunts/reaches for it until I can get the game up.

    Talking

    Probably saying da da da da da 🙂

    I’m happy (for Jason) to report that Hudson has “da da” down pat. When Jason comes home, he squeals da da da da da! It is the cutest thing ever. I’ll say, “Hudson! Say mama!” and he says: “da da.” Ha. I swear he’s messing with me sometimes. He said “mama” crystal clearly once, and it’s never been heard again. Anyyyyy day now, bud 😃

    I love his little baby babble and he has quite a range of tone that cracks us up daily. The sweetest, most angelic, singsong noises and coos are coming out one second and then he’s like a little caveman, grunting and growling.

    Also, this isn’t really talking, but he loves clicking his tongue in response to someone else clicking theirs. Of all things, where did he learn that one?!


    There are really no words to describe how much I love being Hudson’s mom. I love watching him grow and change, and as much as I loved the newborn phase, I get why people say that it only gets more fun. I am so ridiculous—I’ll be exhausted from chasing him around all day, so when Jason gets home to do bath and bed time every night, I’m so so happy to hand Hudson over and relax for a minute. But then as soon as he’s down for the night, I’m checking the Nest camera every 20 minutes and I actually miss him. While he’s sleeping, in the next room, after spending like 12 hours straight with him. Ridiculous, but true.

    Thanks for two more great months, bud! We’re racing towards the one year mark and I can. not. believe it. I can only imagine what the next month will bring!

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