Last month, Chief made huge progress in his physical development. Crawling and standing brought a newfound independence and a few new bumps and bruises. This month, while he did get stronger, the most noticeable difference was with his cognitive development. He understands so much more and is able to communicate through squeals, head shakes, reaches, and when things are really frustrating – he covers his ears.
He loves to scrunch his nose and snort at us when we’re not feeding him fast enough, he thumps his tiny (but powerful) hand on the table when we hand him a raspberry when he really wanted a blueberry, and squeals in excitement with his little arm extended when he spots a light switch or a pull string on a light fixture. The boy knows what he wants.
During his 11th month…
He’s standing like there’s nothing to it. He doesn’t need much to pull himself up anymore, he can rest his hand on the wall and get to his feet. He’s walking along every piece of furniture we own, standing on the dishwasher door, and tries desperately to climb to the top of our couch. I learned this month that we can no longer leave the toilet lid up. Yikes! That was a fun day – I saw Chief pulling up on the toilet seat and in the split second it took me to reach him, he was already splashing in the toilet bowl water. Gross.
He “experienced” the eclipse. Well, kinda. He didn’t get to see it but he thought our eclipse viewer was LOADS of fun!
He climbs the stairs. While his biggest developments happened cognitively this month, he did have one big, scary physical development. He can climb our stairs. Terrifying. Chase and Chief were playing in the living room, I was in the kitchen – Chief was content playing with his stacking cups so Chase stepped out of the room for maybe 45 seconds. When he came back Chief wasn’t by his toy basket anymore. He turned around and Chief was EYE LEVEL with him on the staircase!!! Baby gate is ordered.
He found his voice. Oh. My. Goodness. Chief became one heck of a communicator this month. He found his voice and more often than not, it’s one single high pitched scream that makes everyone in the restaurant turn our direction. His babbling has fluctuation, he strings together different sounds, and you can definitely tell by his tone how he’s feeling. He reaches for what he wants, he shakes his head when he doesn’t want what you’re offering, he puts his hands over his ears when he’s frustrated, he says “mama” or “dada” when he wants to be picked up – it’s wild. He wasn’t doing this last month. I can’t get over how quickly things happen around here.
He understands so much more. I can’t put anything past this boy anymore, unfortunately. I used to be able to hide our phone changers behind a pillow or use barriers to put in front of things I didn’t want him to get into. Not anymore. He knows it’s all a ruse and will bulldoze his way through just about anything to chew on a phone charger. He has a set of stacking cups that we’ve been playing with for a few months. Until this month, our playtime went like this – we build it, he knocks it over, repeat x 10. Now, he successfully stacks them inside one another and is trying desperately to build a tower. Unfortunately, his fine motor skills haven’t quite caught up to what his brain is telling them to do.
Our busy boy got busier. Our tiny tornado leaves a path of destruction behind him as he moves from one room of our house to the next. He loves to rummage through the pantry, clear out the bathroom cabinets, unload the dishwasher all over the kitchen floor, pilfer through our recycling bin (which we now call the toy box), and unfold folded laundry. I don’t sit down. Before Chief, I didn’t consider going to work relaxing. Now, it might as well be a spa.
He played with Reese and Hazel. Our annual Girls Trip was a Family Trip this year. With most of us having babies right around the same age, we weren’t quite ready to leave them for an extended weekend. Boys and babes got to tag along this year! We spent a long weekend on Grand Lake eating great food, going on boat rides, celebrating the babies’ birthdays, and getting some much needed time with my best girls.
I am LOVING this stage with Chief. He’s busy and constantly getting into something, but I love chasing this baby ‘nado. Chase and I say all the time “how did we get so lucky?” He truly is the best.
I’m still crossfitting 3 days per week, and I’M LOVING IT. Although I’ve been at my pre-pregnancy weight for several months, I am just beginning to feel like I’ve got my pre-pregnancy strength and stamina back. I look forward to my early morning workouts, but not so much the ridiculously early pumping sessions.
Speaking of pumping…
I’ve been a bit emotional this month. Two weeks ago, a few days before Chief turned 11 months old, he nursed for the last time. And it wasn’t my choice. That particular day, he woke up and nursed as usual. When his mid-day snack/nursing session came around, he flat-out refused. I didn’t think too much of it, we were on the verge of letting that feeding go anyway, so I handed him his sippy cup of breastmilk and he happily guzzled it down. He has refused to nurse every feeding since. 🙁 I’ve called lactation consultants who say it could just be a strike; but at this point, since we’re so close to the 1 year mark, I’m not sure it’s wise to continue to try to re-establish nursing when I was going to work toward letting it go in a month or so anyway.
I’m heartbroken. I wish I would’ve known that was going to be his last. I would’ve stared at his tiny profile a little longer, kissed his ear, and taken a big inhale of his sweet, baby scent. Just like with anything, you never know it’s going to be the last until it’s gone. As fast as he changes, I have to remind myself of this daily to soak up every moment with him. I’m still pumping, he gets a bottle morning and night, and milk in his sippy cup throughout the day. My plan is to continue pumping until he turns 1 year, then we’ll work through the reserves in the freezer.
Every time I had mastitis (all 3 of them!), I kept telling myself – “make it 6 months, you can do it for 6 months.” Now, we’re staring at his first birthday and I’m in tears because breastfeeding is over; 8 months ago these would’ve been tears of joy.
I am one giant pile of mush – tears because no more nursing, tears because I’m about to have a one year old, and tears because my everything is sore from crossfit. Send tissues.