Westley started dancing. Technically it started at the end of 7 months and it was and continues to be glorious.
A couple times in the kitchen, he in his high chair and I cleaning or getting food out of the fridge to make dinner singing some made up song and out of the corner of my eye I see him bobbing along to the beat.
Dancing to my song.
Both times tears fell from my eyes.
I wasn't trying to get him to dance or prompting it. I didn't show him how to dance. I was just going about the day singing something silly and he was just going about his dancing to it.
I don't know, it just made my heart swell enough to produce tears.
I have been practicing blocking everything out except for very specific details. With all the noise of the day, all the tasks that need to be done I was finding myself not really seeing Westley if you know what I mean. I was enjoying him, we would laugh and play and engage, but I wasn't really truly seeing. So I've been doing this thing where I block out everything around me and just look at his downy blonde head. Or like this morning, I held his sippy cup up to his mouth so he could get a sip and I just watched his little profile happily chew at the cup. I didn't let anything else in, just gave myself to his blue eyes watching Scout, his little wet lips, his bouncy baby movements. It is calming. It feels really good to see him and seemingly slow down time like that. I recommend it.
Since I wrote last Westley has experienced his first Christmas and his first New Years. We celebrated Christmas with our extended families before the actual day of Christmas and so Christmas day was just us. Mama, Dada, Westley and Scoutie. It was quiet, uneventful (save for one large and memorable poop Westley produced which had Drew calling over the baby moniter for "back up!") and perfect. We went for a brisk Christmas walk in the park, Westley opened presents, we ate an easy crock pot meal and enjoyed the day.
Some other things that happened over Christmas:
- He met Santa!
- He got a little overwhelmed by his tower of presents:
- He got this toy from my parents (among many many others):
As you can see Scout is nervous about it.
- We drove home at 3 am from Drew's parents house after a honest attempt to stay the night with the whole family and celebrate a Christmas morning with them. Westley wouldn't sleep and therefore we couldn't sleep so Drew packed up all four of us (because Scout was there too)and drove us 40 minutes home in the wee morning hours. We did drive back the next morning to celebrate with everyone. Tanner, Drew's brother, flew all the way home from his new home in Utah and seeing him hold and interact with Westley was awesome. It was the first time he had seen him in 5 months. The first things he said were, "Look at those big blue eyes!" and "His skin is so soft!" Such a sweet time.
- We visited my side of the family in Toledo, Ohio. It was so great to visit them and mostly to see them with Westley. He got showered with gifts and love and I don't think was ever put down. My Dad would be holding him and my Mom would say, "okay MY TURN!" and then my sister would do the same. And in another attempt to stay the night somewhere other than home we ended up driving 3 hours home at midnight because Westley wouldn't sleep. And when I say he wouldn't sleep, I mean he cried and cried.
So Westley hadn't slept well out of his home, that's for sure. But even the nighttime sleep in our home was sketchy. He was waking up a lot more, and when I would get up and tend to him he wouldn't want to be put back down in his crib so he would end up in bed with us, which meant that I would half sleep with him on my chest. He wasn't getting good sleep, I wasn't getting good sleep and so on Christmas eve we started implementing the sleep solutions from the book, "Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child". Things have gotten MUCH better. We basically learned that he wasn't getting enough sleep, and with babies sleep begets sleep, so we added a nap to the day and put him to sleep earlier than usual and it he is responding so so well to it. Thank goodness!!
- Part of the Healthy Sleep Habits plan is to not let a baby sleep in past 7 am, so you can protect his morning nap. I share this because I am posting a video below in which we wake up Westley for Christmas morning...we are not Christmas crazies who wake up their baby on Christmas morning because they just can't wait...we were waking him up because it was 7 a.m. and we are following the plan. Which like I said, it working.
About this video:
• I am in robebear.
• It is long and I figure the only ones to make it to the end are my family members, so if you make it all the way through consider yourself family material.
Okay..blah blah blah, here is the video!
And now for...
Westley's 8 month stats:
Height - 29.5 inches (93rd percentile!)
Weight - 19.3 lbs
Head - 17.75 inches
Here and here are pictures of him at his 8 months check up. Believe it or not he didn't even get shots at this one. His Daddy and I did though. We got flu shots so he didn't have to. Taking one for the team. He's crying because Dr. Breen had to look up his nose and little dude HATES people messin' with his nose.
What he is doing:
• Rolling, scooching
• Claps his hands sometimes when prompted to clap
• Sits up on his own
• Still preferring breastmilk to food, but is eating a couple small pureed meals a day
• Laughing in anticipation of something funny
• Dropping toys off the side of his high chair and then leaning in their direction and staring at them until you pick them up for him.
What he loves:
• Me, he totally loves me and I can tell.
• Dada, he studies his every move and prefers him to put him down after his 9 pm feeding
• Being held and walked around the house. He would be fine with doing this all day.
• Bathtime. I don't know if I will ever take this one off this list. Dude loves it.
• Scout. He hit her in the face with his superman pez dispenser the other day and she just yawned and licked his hand.
• The framed photo of him at the bottom of our stairs. When we pass by it I will say "whos that baby?" and he looks directly at himself and smiles at it reaching for it.
• When he sees you for the first time after waking up, he gives big sleepy smiles
• Having his face and hands washed. We do this if we come home from somewhere, or before naps or whenever his little face could use a warm wipe. He closes his little baby eyes and takes these sweet deep breaths.
• His paper crane mobile. Before he takes a nap I always hold him next to it and he always smiles at it and reaches out for them curious and happy. Then I swirl them around for him when I lay him in his crib and he stares up at them.
• Opening and shutting things. Especially cabinets and the door to the storage inthe basement. When he opens I'll say "Open!" and when he closes it I'll say "Close!" and he smiles and does it over and over and over.
• His vitamins. When he hears me shaking them up before bedtime he opens his mouth for them like a little baby bird.
• His new drum and drum sticks that his Great Papa got him for Christmas. He intermittedly plays beats on his drum and chews on his drumsticks.
What annoys him:
• Any diaper/clothes change that happens before naptime. Squirming and protesting happen while Mama and Daddy try to make him laugh.
• Certain foods. I tried feeding him pureed turkey and veggies twice and he literally gagged on it both times.
• Eating food in general. You have to basically force him to eat the first bite, and then I think he realizes it's not bad and will keep eating the rest.
• Being licked in the face by Scoutie. He flinches and pushes her away if we don't get to her first.
• When I try to get boogs out of his nose.
And if you made it through this entire very very long post here are two more photos as a reward.