November 8, 2011
Baby X is now 5.5 months old and seems to be trucking right along developmentally.  I think that so far, months 4 and 5 have been my favorite.  The first 3 months were a little tough because he wasn't really interactive, although his little eyes seems to catch everything.  He did start to laugh a little right when I went back to work, and was sort of rolling over.  The last two months have been massive leaps!  He laughs easily and his personality is really starting to come through.  I'm convinced that we have an extrovert.  He isn't shy, he smiles at anyone who smiles at him, and he's fine with our friends holding him even if he's not really familiar with who they are.  Tummy time is no longer a nightmare now that he's stronger and is rolling over.  I'm still convinced that the rolling over isn't exactly voluntary because he looks so surprised every time he does it, but it's definitely happening.  Occasionally he'll kind of get his knees underneath his hips during tummy time, but really hasn't figured out that he can balance on them.  He's been sleeping through the night for a couple of months now, which is awesome.  However, on the flip side, naps don't really happen.  He tends to catnap and hates taking naps in his crib.  I think that he must not really fall asleep for naps because if he falls asleep on your lap and you try to put him in his crib, 5 minutes later he'll be screaming at the top of his lungs.  However, he has no problem sleeping in his crib at night.  huh.  He's babbling a lot and makes some hilarious noises.  He grabs for everything.  Trying to eat while holding him is a challenge, and dangly earrings are a fashion statement of the past.  The jumperoo is amazing and keeps him entertained for a good 20 to 30 minutes depending on how sleepy he is.  He loves that thing and it's so funny to watch!  He's kind of interested in the exersaucer, but I think he's still pretty small for it so he gets frustrated within 10 minutes.  He's still on formula only and eats 6 oz. about every 3 to 3.5 hours.  We've tried going up to 7oz a couple times, but it seems like he spits up more than usual so that was shortlived.  He's a spitter, that's for sure, and the worst ones are a couple hours after he's eaten when you least expect it.  blech.  There's a ton of laundry being done in this household these days!

November 14, 2011
We attempted to introduce rice cereal this past weekend because Baby X went a solid week of eating every 3 hours.  Lucky for us he still slept through the night if we fed him around 9 or 10, but if we didn't have the heart to wake him up for that feeding, then the middle-of-the-night feeding was back.  As far as the rice cereal goes - so far, not so good.  I'm not sure if it's the taste or texture, but he won't eat it.  Tonight during our attempt I put a little bit on the spoon and let him play with it.  He was fascinated by a little yellow spoon, absolutely enthralled, so enthralled that he put it in his mouth.  And made an icky face.  And valiantly tried not to swallow. 

November 24, 2011 - Happy Thanksgiving!
It's 10:44pm and I'm wide awake.  Apparently the coffee I drank at my in-laws house was caffeinated.  I didn't even think to ask, it just sounded good.  I feel like I should be at some giant store somewhere expending all this energy shopping for something.

Anyway, we've finally figured out the cereal.  It seems that we kept trying to feed Baby X cereal when he either wasn't hungry enough, or was too tired to care.  Over the past two days we've taken another tack which is to feed him a little more than half a bottle and follow it up with the cereal.  It'll take some back and forth to figure out how many ounces of formula we should be feeding him with the cereal to keep him full.

Yesterday we took him to see Santa Claus.  Thank goodness we chose the middle of the day before the holiday madness.  There were about 5 people ahead of us in line and it still took a half hour to get through it.  I figure we should be good with the Santa visiting until he's a few years older.

December 15, 2011 - Finalization Day
Today we got the news that our adoption is final.  Such a sense of relief to be free of the process!  So, Baby X has been sitting up on his own without being wobbly since last week.  He's doing really well in day care (this is week 3).  I've noticed that he's somewhat aggressive (?) probably not the word, but I did observe him and another baby playing with their own toys, and Baby X decided he wanted the other baby's toy so he leaned over and grabbed for it.  I know that he's only 6 months old, but do you go over and tell him "no"?  I did, and made sure that the other baby got his toy back.  We've also heard from the teachers that he touches the other babies, which isn't surprising because he wants to touch everything he sees (and then put it in his mouth).  The other babies don't like it, or some of them don't anyway.  Apparently, that's pretty typical for this age, and the teachers just told us like it was an observation, not like there's anything wrong.  More and more I'm thinking we have an extrovert on our hands given that he's all smiles even when we meet someone new and is so curious about the world around him.  Fantastic for two introverted engineers!  

He's almost crawling.  Like so so close!  Time to baby proof I'm thinking.  He'll get up on all fours and rock and scoot backwards, or spin on his belly trying to get to a toy.

January 28, 2012
There have been lots of changes in the past month and a half.  Baby X is 8 months old today, crawling like a bat out of hell and getting into everything.  He's have a great time at day care and his teachers can barely keep up with his activity level.  Lucky or unlucky for us, he's generally pooped at the end of the day due to lack of napping and pretty calm at home at night.  Ah, naps.  naps, naps, naps.  Baby X isn't too good at taking long naps.  He takes two or three 45 min-1hr (occasionally a 30-min) naps during the day.  Between that and the constant getting into everything or whining because we've plopped him in the exersaucer or superyard in an attempt to keep him corralled while we try to return the house to some kind of cleanliness level, the weekends are exhausting!  He's got two bottom teeth now and they didn't bother him coming in at all (*duck*).  In fact we didn't even know they were coming in until they broke through (*dodge*).  We've got him eating cereal, yogurt and pureed foods.  I've made some foods, but that's more time consuming than originally thought, especially working full time, so it's mostly organic jarred baby food.  We still cloth diaper at home, and day care would do it, but it would be a huge hassle and investment.  I would need to spend a few hundred more dollars to buy enough diapers to get us through a few days as they change the infants every 2 hours.  That's a lot of diapers to stock per day!  So, I gave in and buy giant boxes of diapers from the giant warehouse store every couple of months.  *sigh*

March 19, 2012
As I write this I'm utterly exhausted.  Baby X has reverted to waking up in the middle of the night and last night he woke up at 1am, 3am and 5:30am.  Ugh.  Besides that, he has become the pickiest eater around, and hates to go to sleep.  Bedtimes, which we moved to 6:30pm-7:00pm thinking he was getting overtired are still a 45 minute battle.  I don't want to let him cry too long, mostly because I think there has got to be a better way to get over this hump, so we generally let it go for about 30 minutes before going into the room.  By the time we go to the room he has himself so worked up that he won't calm down for another 10 minutes or so even if you pick him up.  Even if we try to put him to bed at the first signs of tiredness (i.e. we catch the first yawn) it's still a massive undertaking and wrestling match.  How does he find my windpipe with his little fist every single night when I'm trying to hold him?  That's been going on for a couple of weeks now and it's wearing on everyone in the house including the dog.  We're consistent with the routine, change into pj's, rock in the rocking chair until he relaxes and then put him in the crib only to have him pop up screaming, leave the room for about 20minutes while he wails, go back in, try to calm him down in the crib by rubbing his back, if that doesn't work, take him out, rock again...rinse and repeat.  I have the No Cry Sleep Solution on hold at the library and we'll see if that has any pointers that could help.  Healthy Sleep Happy Child was recommended to us by our pediatrician and so far other than telling us our kid is going to be dumb because he doesn't sleep enough, I haven't gotten any great tips from it.  

The eating...oh good grief the eating.  Instead of listing all the foods he used to eat with no fuss, I'll tell you what he'll actually eat.  Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, winter squash, yogurt, instant baby oatmeal, puffs, yogurt melts, egg, plain pasta, and runny jarred baby foods.  I'm trying to introduce finger foods and thicker/chunkier textures, and I'm trying to make all his food and am failing miserably.  We'll pick him up at day care only to find out that he hardly ate anything.  One day lentils mixed with sweet potatoes are no big deal, and the next it's no-way-am-I-eating-that-crap.  Applesauce is apparently evil, and so is real oatmeal. I've tried pureeing the foods more to make them more like baby food, but it's a pretty good bet he still won't eat.  This is unbelievably frustrating.  I refuse to have a picky eater, so we'll keep at it, and we'll keep dumping food in the trash I'm sure.  At least it's an ice-cube-size at a time so it's not that much.

He's walking along furniture and climbing over obstacles instead of going around them.  That can be really amusing to watch.  A couple of times he's let go with both hands and balanced standing but that didn't last more than a few seconds.  He's finally getting another tooth, at least the copious amounts of drool are pointing to teething again.  We've had back to back ear infections, which was a bummer, and one week that we had to keep him home from day care because of a fever.  That was pretty difficult, but S and I were able to take 4-hour shifts at home so the other one could go to work for a while.

June 7, 2012
Baby X is "officially" walking!  He took his first steps on my birthday on May 11 (yay!) but then wasn't too sure about walking after that.  Since then there have been spurts of walking up to 10 steps followed by days of still reaching for support or dropping to his knees and crawling. Today S said X was walking all over the doctor's office and all over at home after the appointment. He's also crawling up and down stairs like a pro and has to be watched very closely!  It's been pretty fun to watch.  S took him to his 12 month doctor visit today and he's tracking right along with the growth curve - 75% for height, 30% for weight.  Skinny little guy - we have to have my mom take in almost all of his pants!  Words that he's saying (well, half-words anyway) are "more/mo", "banana/nana", "ball/ba".  He seems to be trying to say some version of "dog" when he sees our dog, and occasionally there may be a "mama" or "dada" but it's really not consistent.  At this point, I think his first official word is "more/mo".  He's been clapping more in response to cheering or other people clapping.  He's also been curious about all kinds of things around the house or toys.  More than that though, he likes to interact with other people, by waving or playing games (as we found on a recent plane trip).  Definitely a people person, I'd say.  I'm loving this stage of discovery and exploration.

July 13, 2012
Baby X is so active at daycare and hasn't learned personal boundaries yet, so I think they are getting a little nervous around the younger babies.  He tends to go over and through obstacles rather than around, and another baby is just another obstacle to him.  So, despite him not quite being ready yet, he's being put in with the toddlers as they have room.  To move over there full time we need to wean him from the bottle, which we're doing, but it's a little bit slow, and he never drinks as much out of a sippy cup as with a bottle.  They are also waiting for kindergarten to start so that they can do a room shuffle with some of the other kids.  It's bittersweet to see him growing up so fast.  He's always looked older than he is, and now that he's walking, climbing, and starting to willingly test our patience it's hard to remember he's only 1.  It's funny, he understands the baby signs when we use them (eat, drink, milk, more, all done), but he won't use them himself.  We're already entering temper tantrum stage as he gets frustrated, and I really hope he starts using the signs to communicate soon.  Otherwise, terrible twos are going to start early!

September 17, 2012
It's amazing how much changes from one-year old to 15.5 months old.  I never understood why people referred to their child's age as months, especially past one year and now I do.  It's exponential.  Baby X has gone from barely walking, to walking, to running in 3 months.  He's has a vocabulary of 10 to 15 words or so, although a few favorites are front and center.  All lights are "hot".  All vehicles are "big truck".  "Oh boy", "Oh no", "ball", "more", these are all faves too.  His use of "mama" and "dada" is finally coming into regular play.  In fact, I think I heard it clearly for the first time just this past weekend.  He can sit still long enough for us to read a short board book to him at bedtime, and is fascinated with a picture book I recently picked up used.  Best $3 ever spent!  He isn't really picking up sign language (which they use at day care as well as us using it), but is obviously frustrated by his inability to communicate sometimes and so the tantrums have started.  Typically, redirecting him to another activity works, and if he carries on, it's usually because he's tired and needs a nap.  So, for now, we have that under control-ish.  His main emerging personality trait we've observed is that he is a social butterfly.  To us introverts who find things like mingling with even other engineersdraining, this is new territory.  Baby X on the other hand, loves meeting new people, and isn't particularly shy.  He does exhibit some shyness with strangers (thank goodness), but if we obviously know the person, he will quickly warm up to them and demand that they pick him up.  

October 30, 2012 Did you notice how different your kid looked from say 6-8 months to 15 months?  We are looking at our last round of "1-year" pictures we took, and I swear I'm looking at a different kid entirely. His eyes are the same shape, but his eyebrows have really come in and are darker.  His nose has spread a little wider and his lips are fuller.  You can see shades of 'baby' in his pictures, but just shades here and there as his features have become more defined.  He's all boy, rambunctious and energetic.  At daycare, in the last few weeks he has played tour guide twice for visiting families, running up to the dads with toys or books to show them.  He also has discovered the joys of spotlights shining on the flag in the mornings and must go stomp on them before entering the building.  Inside the atrium of the building (it's in a big hi-rise), he enjoys taking an afternoon walk up the big staircase just because it's there.  He tries for the mornings too, but Mama  has to draw the line somewhere!  He's using the word "no" quite a  lot, and tantrums are starting to show up. He's so strong-willed, that Mama and Dada need to get their butts to and Log.ic classes stat to learn how to reason with him and offer choices.  I definitely need practice as I tend to have trouble coming up with these things on the fly...beyond the one I use the most "Would you like to walk to the car or do you want Mama to carry you?"  That usually gets him moving, or he ends up under my arm like a squalling, flailing football.  Fun times.  Bedtimes, instead of getting later seem to be getting earlier.  We're often putting him down between 6:30pm and 7:00pm, which puts quite a damper on any family evening outings, not to mention trying to eat together.  The family dinner hasn't really started because he's always eating around 5:30, and it's all we can do to get him some food, play, put him to bed, then we can think about cooking our dinner.

December 26, 2012 Hi Terrible Twos!  You're a little early at 19 months, but hey, who's counting?  Baby X is full on pushing boundaries we set and now I understand why some people just roll over and give up.  For Christmas, Baby X melted down at my in-laws house before we even got to eat.  It was so bad that I was ready to throw in the towel and leave, but S insisted that we stay.  Thankfully, he helped try to calm Baby X down after it became abundantly clear that he was overstimulated and tired.  When singing songs and reading books in a darkened room didn't work, we left him in the pack n' play, closed the door, and then I sat outside the door for another 15 minutes or so waiting to hear him go to sleep.  He just kept screaming his head off, and by then it was time to eat, so we figured we may as well see if that helped.  Eating helped, and he returned to his fun little self for the rest of the evening.  I don't know if he was hungry and not telling us (usually he will tell us if he wants to eat) or if taking him away from the action for an extended period of time, kind of like a time-out, helped to flip a switch, but our evening ended much better than it started.  Thank G-d.  Don't even get me started on daycare pick-up where he a) ignores me, and b) throws a massive fit when I try to get him to leave.  It sucks.  More than once lately I've had to carry him out of the center kicking and screaming.

March 7th, 2013
Thankfully the kicking and screaming out of day care subsided after a couple of weeks.  The good thing about all these developmental things he goes through is that they are somewhat short-lived.  *whew*  Communicating with Baby X is getting easier as he's now putting together three word sentences.  He loves to read (yay! from this voracious reader) and is still obsessed with trucks, especially fire trucks.  Eating is a struggle as he's very picky at home.  If it isn't oatmeal, cereal, mac n cheese, crackers, bananas, yogurt or a sunbutter sandwich, he probably won't eat it.  Yet, at day care they tell me that he usually eats everything which includes vegetables and meat and every other food group!  huh.  We keep offering vegetables with all his meals at home, he just doesn't eat them.  We tried to take the pacifier away around 19-20 months and were marginally successful...until he got an ear infection that took a while to diagnose.  When he's screaming in his room and won't go to sleep, its the surefire thing to keep him calm.  Now he runs around asking for "pasifyer" on a regular basis.  Oh no.  Last night I tried to put him down without it now that the ear infection is cleared, and that was a major battle.  I swear the neighbors can hear him kicking and screaming his head off while throwing himself against the door of his room.  I didn't cave, but I did let him go to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed (another recent habit that mommy and daddy have been bad about allowing).  When I tried to put him into his bed a couple hours later he woke up and started going beserk all over again.  After a half hour or so, I got him calmed down and he happily slept with mommy and daddy the rest of the night.  *sigh*  He's curious about everything around him which is way fun, and can identify people in pictures which is also way fun.  It's so cute when he sees C in the picture and says her name.  Surprisingly, he can say her name clearly and it's not an easy name.  

May 5th, 2013
This past week, Baby X was moved into the older toddler class at daycare.  He's 23 months, and not the oldest in his class, so I'll indulge myself and brag a bit.  My kid is so smart.  The transition hasn't been too bad, but he's definitely been more tired trying to keep up with the older kids.  Definitely likes to say "No" quite a bit and his becoming a handful in the discipline department.  Somehow, love and logic don't seem to work when he decides that neither choice I give him is desirable. He's keeping us on his toes, and eventually I'm sure that if we keep at it, this whole love and logic approach will pay off.  Right?

September 5th, 2013
I think this will be the last installment on this page.  Baby X is growing fast, learning fast, being a 2-year old...  We're seriously considering a language immersion school (starting in pre-school) because something has to challenge him!

August 5, 2015
Hello! It's been a long time, and despite my last post, I think an update is in order. We made it through the 2's and 3's, which were challenging as they are. It turns out that 4 is even more challenging! X is super tall, extroverted yet cautious, popular, and opinionated. There's been a shift over the past few months that seems to coincide with everyone in preschool hitting age 4, his class being very boy-heavy, many rambunctious and alpha-male types in his class, and the addition of Baby Z. The shift has been exhausting for me and S. He's loud and super high energy, and he's more protective of his stuff. All of it is fairly typical, but it was enough that his teacher expressed a little concern. A conference revealed that because the other boys in his class are louder than he was that he seems to be trying to get his voice in. At home, he's struggling a bit with how much attention we pay to Baby Z, and there's been some obvious sibling rivalry. It's not that bad as X has never been rough with Baby Z, so that's good. We tried some swimming lessons over the winter, and while X likes that water, he was pretty tentative when it comes to actual swimming. Of course we said we'd take the kids to the pool this summer and that has yet to happen! He's also doing soccer and really likes it, so we're going to do another session in the fall with a couple of his friends. Academically, he's kicking butt as usual. He loves math, building things, Spanish and 'reading' books. He's not particularly predisposed to art, so that may be something that we need to encourage a little bit. We are researching our options for school next year and are keeping our fingers crossed that he wins the lottery for the language immersion charter school. If he doesn't, that'll be a bummer because it seems like he needs to be challenged. We can't afford to send him to the private immersion schools, so we'll be looking at other elementary schools as our other picks. I don't think we'll be sending him to our neighborhood school because it's 87% white. There are some more diverse schools nearby that we are looking into, and every now and then I freak out and declare that we need to move out of our white neighborhood. (except that moving now is a really bad idea with the sellers market we have going on) I think that if we can get into one of the nearby schools that are more diverse that it'll be ok, at least for now.