I recently read somewhere, In the realm of parenting, we find ourselves saying things out loud we never imagined we’d have say. Over the past month, I’ve often found myself saying, “Please don’t eat your clothes or shoes– are you a goat?”, “Dear God, do you EVER stay still?”, “What am I going to do when you start walking?”, “Is that smell you or Daddy?” and even, “Please stop grabbing your balls like that.”

The days of discretion are long gone. Ah! The joys of baby boys.
8 months old
Again, it’s deadline week and I’m behind as ever, but I couldn’t not post another diatribe of Jack’s latest developments–specifically, hitting the 8 month mark.

At 8 months, Jack is right about 29-30 inches tall I believe. We weighed him while we were in Va. and he was right in the 25-lb. range. He’s still in size 4 diapers and quickly outgrowing 12m clothes and fitting perfectly in 18m. He’s already wearing a few 24m-sized shirts and he may very well will be in 2T before his 1st bday. His size may be “normal” for Jeff’s side, but his growth is unheard of on my side. Let’s put it this way: When I went to the Philippines in 2002, at 5’5″, I hovered over every single one of my cousins. As a matter of fact, I was much taller than many people in the entire town, minus a few men. Aptly, they called me “American Girl” because, well, despite my “look,” I really looked much different than everyone else. Again, his growth is another example of  Jack’s unique heritage.

Anywho…back to the big kid. Jack continues to be a very energetic child. I love his little personality and especially the way he practically rips my face off when he mashes my face with all those kisses. He’s so vibrant and generally a happy, active little boy. He’s a generous mix of the Tasmanian Devil and Baby Jack Jack from the Incredibles. Because he’s built like a tank, he’s far from delicate or graceful. He is a boy through and through. He’s completely innocent but enjoys (unknowingly) wreaking havoc every chance he gets– ripping magazines apart, kicking doors, rattling the safety gates. He loves to “talk”, even if it’s to himself. He often interjects into our conversations, as if to remind us that he’s there. He chatters a compendium of repetitive random consonants and syllables–mama, dada, gaga, baba, gogo–punctuated with a lot of drool. Probably one of the coolest communication developments was the beginning of buh-bye! Out of nowhere, when we were at Disneyland, we were saying bye to my friend Lori and her children. Lori said bye bye to Jack and whattdya know, Jack said buh-bye right back! I was dumbfounded! So, now, he waves that little hand any time he hears buh-bye or words sounding similar. Oh, and the laughs! The laughter is quite possibly the best part of it all. He laughs at everything, especially if it involves rough-housing with his dad.

Happy boyAs of this morning, Jack still only has one tooth and could probably break 2 more any day now. He loves to show off that one tooth and shares it with anyone who asks. He enjoys utilizing that one tooth on his various snacks and teething biscuits. The teething phase kind of meshes with all the other craziness that goes on. I’m slowly but surely beginning to phase out the paci. Jack doesn’t seem too attached because the past few nights I haven’t had to use it at all. I think everyone around us is more attached to it than the kid himself. Meaning, if he’s sucking on his hand, someone is bound to pop the paci in his mouth for him. Oh! the Dreaded Stigma of the Paci! It’s so funny how so many different things cause so much idle chatter…

Jack still beams any time he hears music, especially if it’s from his John Deer Music Box (If I hear Yee-Haw one more time…) or Hip Hop. His dance is usually concentrated on the upper half of his body. He sort of fist-pumps and waves his arms like he’s conducting any time he hears music from a commercial on tv or the radio. Hell, even in mid-cry, he’ll do a little arm wave WHILE he’s crying. Crazy kid! He still kicks if he’s in the right position, but if he’s sitting and hears a song he likes, oh man, the kid just flaps and dances away. His dance sometimes includes a lot of gyration from the pelvic area. Yup. He’s pumping the pelvis! haha.

His quest for mobility has accelerated to the ‘Holy Shit’ point. He doesn’t crawl on all fours yet, but has mastered the army crawl and can disappear in nanoseconds if you blink too slow. I’m not sure what he’s trying to do, but when Jack is army crawling and realizes he doesn’t know how to walk yet, he’ll do the Downward Facing Dog stance. I’m assuming it’s his intention to stand or walk, but it’s hard not to laugh when he gets mad when he can’t go any where else from this position. He loves having people walk him around. He’ll wiggle off your lap now to get onto the floor to go for a walk, sometimes he’ll try and jump head first! This kid has no fear– none whatsoever.

Jack loves eating and seems to enjoy the food that I make for him. When we went out to CA, I brought along some Healthy Times jarred foods. The convenience was great, but unfortunately, he didn’t eat very much of it. Squash, Zucchini, Broccoli, Green Beans, Mangoes, Nanas and Pears are his favorites right now. He still gets about 4 bottles a day while I’m at work and nurses 2-3 times when I’m home. On the weekends, our schedule varies but he’s still nursing regularly, in between his solid food meals.

Sleeping patterns are our biggest enemy at the moment. Sleeping habits are a reminder that because of our circumstances, things won’t always go the way I envision. Jack doesn’t sleep through the night yet. His sleeping patterns aren’t horrible, but it’s still not great. Coupled with the nursing and the sleeplessness from teething, we found that part time co-sleeping was the best solution for our family. We’re transitioning him to go back to his crib, but the night time wakings can be so painful for everyone involved. Lately, he’s been waking up screaming if I’m not next to him. As much as the kid needs his sleep, I need mine. He’ll only wake once a night, but still, he can’t go back to sleep unless I nurse him. I know the “rules” suggest on dropping this nighttime feeding to help with the sleeping through the night. But again, it’s hard as hell to institute sleep training, especially when there’s excessive crying involved. Since we live in a brownstone with concrete and wood separating us from others and have the anti-crying gestapo just a few feet away (AKA my mom) our living arrangement isn’t conducive to certain methods of sleep training. Just like everything else, it’ll all work out in time.
walking with Lolo
And finally: the temper. Like me, Jack is very vocal about what he loves and what he does not. Except in 8-month old fashion, Jack SCREAMS when he doesn’t get his way– whether it’s getting dressed, not being able to walk around or if he’s tired. Oh the squealing! We’re continuing to gently discipline, in hopes of staying abreast of the defiance.

We’re holding on to our seats, hiding my magazines and childproofing our small apartment as much as we can! I’m sure we’ll see some minor bumps and bruises as the kid moves on to cruising, but it’ll be another fun new phase, I’m sure!