Communication: I’m glad that I was able to finally capture a couple of photos of Louisa laughing, because that is her most natural state. She laughs and smiles a lot (I know, I mention it every week…) but she smiles AT us, and she laughs when something is funny, or makes her happy. She engages us with that beautiful smile.
She’s also started doing a fake cry, which is ridiculously cute and even though I should be dissuading her from doing it, I end up mugging along with her and her exaggerated whimpers. It involves a lot of face straining and fake crying and tilting her head to one side. It’s adorable.
Movement: Folks, we have a walker! It’s been brewing for the past month or so, with her progressing day by day, getting more bold, taking more steps and feeling things out. But the other day she full-on walked unassisted across her Nonna’s kitchen, which must have been well over 10 baby steps in a row, so I’m calling it: the girl walks!
Let the blurry photos abound!!
She’s still pretty wobbly on those legs, and she often has to pause and regain her balance before continuing on, but she’s getting it. One of the things that is holding her back is the fact that she gets SO EXCITED to be walking, giggling and gaining momentum, that she gets ahead of herself and loses balance. But she loves it. She’s happy. And who wouldn’t be??
Another funny little thing she’s started to do is bop. She hangs on to something, and then practices her “hopping”. It’s really cute, because she doesn’t get any air at all or anything, but she does it whilst looking down at her feet the whole time. And she laughs!
Food: I had been keeping her “meals” pretty casual, giving her bits of what we were having for dinner, and a couple of snacks throughout the day; but recently I decided more of a regimen might be beneficial for the girl (she is 10 1/2 months old, after all). So now she eats her very own breakfast every morning – mainly baby cereal with applesauce and yogurt. She loves it, and it’s a good next step for me, since it’s something we are already in the habit of making in the mornings for sir Nico.
She is still open to munching on most things, but we’ve entered the “chew and spit” phase. Remember that nasty habit that had me so freaked out with Nico? Well, I’ve since learned that it is a normal, and HEALTHY milestone towards self-feeding, and I’m happy to report that I’m letting it all slide, and simply cleaning up the mess at the end of the meal. Besides, cleaning out her diapers has become a NIGHTMARE, so obviously she’s getting some food into her! Haha.
Teeth: Nothing to report. She still only has two up and two down.
Sleep: Okay, here goes… I would like to state that I have never, ever, paid much attention to Louisa’s sleep. I never really noticed when she liked to nap during the day, let alone try to keep it somewhat consistent from day to day. I never attempted any kind of sleep training at night (maybe I thought about it a bit, and even mentioned it a couple of times on the blog, but I never stuck to any strategy for more than two nights in a row), so it’s been a bit of a rodeo right from the start, to say the least.
But here we are, 10 1/2 months into this journey, and sleep is a MAJOR source of contention in our home. Only now am I starting to pay attention to what’s been going on, and it’s not great: Louisa catches her daytime z’s anyway and anywhere she can. Sometimes she takes 3 catnaps, other times she crashes hard for 2+ hours straight, and sometimes she’s up so long and so late that she’s delirious and cranky, and is impossible to put down.
Louisa is also a full on co-sleeper. She needs me close by all night, every night. She reaches for me in the night to make sure I’m still there. She strokes my hair as she falls asleep. She neeeeeds me. Now, let me say this: I have absolutely no problem with the concept of co-sleeping in theory; I actually love many aspects of it (I mean, did you guys read my last sentence? She STROKES MY HAIR AS SHE FALLS ASLEEP. Swoon) But, there’s a big problem with sleeping next to Louisa: it is destroying my neck, shoulders and back. I can’t even. She falls asleep laying on my arm, and so I’m forced to sleep on my side with my shoulder up to my ear. And when she nurses, I have to arch my back for her to latch on correctly, and it makes it impossible for me to get comfortable, and makes my lower back stiff and sore. She’s also cut my sleep space in half and wakes me constantly because I’m such a light sleeper and I suffer from that “mamma bear” instinct where I wake up to the smallest noise or subtle shift from her.
Finally, there’s the Nico factor. The guy gets up any time after 6am, and the first thing he does is climb into bed next to me. He’s loud, he’s squirmy, and he wants nothing more than to wake us all up. Angelo does his best to get up with Nico and get him out of our bed and downstairs quietly (for which I’m super grateful!) but more often than not, Nico ends up waking the baby in the process.
I’d been coasting along like this for so long because i didn’t have the will to make a change, but it’s gotten bad enough now that I think it’s time to start shaping her routine a bit. Specifically, I’m hoping to bump her bedtime routine ahead significantly. Louisa’s bedtime (since birth basically) has been 8pm, and on some nights when she’s been fussy she hasn’t gone down till way after 10pm. Maybe that’s just too dang late for the little miss. Tonight she was exhausted at dinner, so I took her straight up to have a bath and she was dozing off at 6:30pm. We’ll see how the night goes – it might be just what she needs.
Favourites: She loves whatever Nico is into. He’s playing with trains, suddenly she loves trains. He moves onto reading some books, she’s close behind. He wants to play with his wooden food and play kitchen, well guess what – so does she. She’s sort of given up on her “baby toys” and wants whatever the big kid is after. But one thing I pulled out of storage that has captured her fancy is the latch board. She definitely loves that thing and spends whole minutes at a time playing with it.
Aside from that, she loves walking (obviously), reading books (a new discovery for her), dancing to music, and running around the ottoman with Nico. Last night I watched them giggling together and touching faces – it definitely felt as though they were laughing at some inside joke that’s just between the two of them, and it really made my heart swell.