Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Eight Month: Reflections

This eighth month was quite a month...

Things We Learned About Nolan Gerard:
I always knew this about my eldest child, but he sure smacked us in the face with it this month: he does NOT like change... at all...not even a little bit.  When we had to stay at Mike and Eileen's and the Alexander's during the ice storm when our power was out, he was a grade A disaster.  We feared he would never, ever sleep again.  Also, this month, he was working on getting upwards of four teeth (two are out so far), which is another change he is not fond of.  Nolan really does go through things at night; during the day you'd never know there was anything wrong or anything different with him.  He shines in the wee hours.  If Nolan wakes up enough to need attention, it is so difficult to get him back into his crib.  He wants to sleep on Mommy or Daddy, it's just that simple.  During the worse of the teething, he was getting up around 1am to cry non stop for at least an hour no matter what we did before he would settle down again. 

I find myself saying Nolan's name a lot because of what he chooses to get into or where he chooses to crawl.  It is all about knobs, trash cans, fireplaces, monitors, wires, etc.  There are toys available to him everywhere, toys he likes, but he will always go for the more "naughty" choice.

He has been showing a very sweet side.  Even though he is bigger and generally louder than Judah, he is scared, timid, and loves nothing more than to have whatever adult is with him stay in the same room.  Nolan is scared of the blender, certain noises toys make, when people get too loud like cheering during a football game, and waking up in a dark room alone.  He will often cry if you walk out of the room where he is and will crawl to try and find you.  Nolan also gets very cuddly and snuggly as he starts to get tired and loves to put his head on your shoulder and has even reached down to claps one of my fingers in his hand as I rock him.  We joke about how Nolan, enormous as he will probably be, will be dragged crying by Judah into their kindergarten classroom.

Finally, the most consistent thing about Nolan this month is his love for biting.  If Josh or I are holding him, he will bit us like crazy.  He bites me feet, legs, knees, arms, shoulder, whatever he can try to sink his teeth into.  I read that for many animals, biting is a sign of love.  I know he's not doing it to hurt Josh or I, but good Lord!  He does not bite much when he's nursing thank God.  

Things We Learned About Judah Matthew:
Judah is an official crawler!!!  He has been practicing for about two months only to conquer being mobile the day before he turned eight months old so we can always say he crawled when he was seven months old ;)  I admire this little guy because his behaviors during this phase are ones I hope he keeps: persistence, perseverance, attention to detail, a positive attitude, a sense of accomplishment, motivation, finding enjoyment in the little things, determination, etc.  He has been wanting to crawl so badly (he started trying before Nolan even) and know he finally can!

Judah has been a tricky sleeper this month.  He wakes up in a PANIC and starts screaming sometimes, which then make us freak out and pluck him out of the room so he doesn't wake Nolan. Judah used to be obsessed with sleep, but he is not as much a fan anymore.  While napping or sleeping at night, it is not surprising to hear him making little moaning and groaning noises and even to cry for ten or fifteen minutes before putting himself back to sleep.  He has been waking up about 30-45 minutes before Nolan in the morning too.  One of us usually gets him, takes him down the basement, and rocks him back to sleep.

Judah has also been biting.  He does not do it as much as Nolan, but his bites hurt MUCH more and he also likes to bite while nursing.  This has not been a good time for me; he's made me cry on several occasions from the nips being so painful. 

One of the cutest things Judah has been doing this month is he will fling his arms up and down when he gets really excited.  He will do that when someone new walks into the room that he knows, he will do that when he sees we're going to read a book that he likes, and he will do that when he's in a really good mood.  He has also clapped, which is just precious.  While watching the Rose Bowl game, he saw that other people were clapping so he started clapping too. 

Some Firsts:
  • 12-9-13~ First time one parent fed and bathed the boys on their own...yay Josh!
  • 12-12-13~ Nolan peed on Josh...bad!  Josh loves to walk the boys around while they are naked before getting into the bath.  I always warn him he's going to get peed on and it finally happened.
  • 12-13-13~ Boys first Chevy Chase Christmas Party at the Murdoch's!
  • 12-21-13~ Ice storm, no power!
  • 12-24 and 12-25~ First Christmas
  • 12-24-13~ Judah went from being on his belly to sitting up
  • 12-27-13~ Started eating solids two times a day instead of once
  • 12-31-13~ First New Year's Eve... we celebrated Italy's new year so we could go to bed :)
  • 1-6-14~ Judah Crawled!!!
Twin Moments:
As my boys are growing, they are beginning to have much stronger opinions about things.
  • I can say now that they have favorite toys:
     Nolan --> Lamaz dog, Baby Einstein music player, ferris wheel thing that sticks to a highchair, any remote control (baby or adult), big toy things that can hang on your crib, Scout the dog from leap frog just to name a few.
     Judah --> anything made of soft blanket material, ferris wheel thing that sticks to a highchair, Scout the Dog, toys that you can pull and they will vibrate, just to name a few. 
  • I can say now that they have favorite books: Peek A Who, Peek A Boo (with Disney characters), Violet's House
  • I feel like I talk about this every month, but they are continuing to notice each other more.  Nolan makes Judah laugh from doing nothing at all, but it's very cute.  They also talk back and forth to each other just a little.  Nolan will look around if he hears Judah cry in a monitor. 
  • Nolan loves to take any toy away from Judah.  It doesn't matter if he hates the toy or just played with it, if Judah has it, he wants it. 

Reflections on Being a Mom:
When I look back from December 8th until January 7th (their 8th month), I feel like this one might have had some of the biggest changes yet.  The month went in like a lamb.  At the beginning of December, my boys and I were in a groove.  They were sleeping good, napping good, and our schedule seemed iron clad.  The evening 'witching hour' had vastly improved and bedtime routines were on point. 

Then, mid December, everything changed with a perfect storm: a real storm (the ice storm knocking our power out for three days, having to go stay at other houses, etc) + MAJOR teething + a totally new schedule because of eating solid foods twice a day instead of once + a totally new schedule because the boys went down from nursing five times a day to four times a day = complete madness.

With all of these things happening at the same time, there was no sleeping, a LOT of second, third, and fourth guessing, and four cranky people in our house.  There is no one or nothing at fault here; we were all trying our best, but this was a hard time for us.  It's funny, though, how God doesn't give you more than you can handle and also how he spreads little blessings into times of trouble.  I was off of work for the two weeks at Christmas, plus FOUR additional snow days and Josh was off for the week of New Years.  Having both of us be home A LOT meant that we could maneuver through this together and it meant I didn't have to sick this craziness on my dad if both Josh and I would've been at work. 

Even though this time was unpredictable and often difficult, there were still SO many things about this month that were amazing: the boys first Christmas, both of them crawling, them finding comfort during times of teething pain by snuggling up with Josh and/or I (which is still precious even if it's in the middle of the night), and how smart, alert, and curious these boys continue to become.  These are the things that I try to hold on to when things are rough.

The boys continue to be more fun to be around as they get older.  I feel like I'm sad to put them down for their naps because we were having so much fun and the days that I'm home with them fly by because we are doing so many things to keep occupied.  They seriously amaze me all the time.  

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