A few days late...we've been busy with family.
The predominant theme this month is how big Dio is. Every day we get more comments and jokes about how big/heavy/chunky/dense/chubby/fat he is. He has a 7-week old cousin and next to her he's a freakish monster baby. He's usually pretty good natured, but I love this picture taken on Christmas morning. We all were tired and wanted more sleep.
A month ago, Dio had just started having occasional tastes of apples and oranges and bananas. Now he's eating something at almost every meal, mostly fruits and vegetables and occasionally pretzels or homemade bread. And of course plain Cheerios, which come in quite handy when I need to put him down for a minute and want to ward off a crying spell. It still seems strange that he's eating so much at this point, since Zari didn't have any solid foods at all until she was 10 months old. But Dio is eating with gusto and I don't know if I could have kept him away from food for that long. And all of that food is doing interesting things to his digestive system. Goodbye, sweet smelling runny breastmilk poop...hello stink!
I think Dio will walk in Zari's footsteps--literally--and walk almost as soon as he crawls. She crawled at 8 months and walked at 10. Dio wants to walk all the time, which means we have to walk him all around the house. He also loves standing up against the furniture. I've figured out that if I stand him at the coffee table with my feet on either side of him, I can read a book and he'll be happy for quite a while just standing and looking around. No crawling yet, and no interest in even trying out hands and knees positions at this point. He has started twisting over from a sitting position into a near crouch, and maybe he'll start crawling that way.
I feel envious of all those parents of 4-5-6-month-olds who sleep through the night (or at least 5-6 hour stretches). At best Dio sleeps 3 hour segments, maybe close to 4 when he first goes to bed. At worst he's up every hour at night. He doesn't always need to nurse to go back to sleep, but he does need help of some sort: shushing or cuddling or rocking. We've had a few really rough nights this week where Dio was up almost every hour all night, and then Zari woke up multiple times and/or talked in her sleep. We were like zombies in the mornings. Last night he only woke up every 3 hours, which felt amazing to me.
I just don't know what else to do to help him sleep longer stretches. I bundle him up, but leave at least one arm free so he doesn't struggle and get too mad trying to get free. I have Fuzzibunz on at night so he doesn't feel wet. I use white noise and/or a fan (or both!). When we're not at my parents, he starts off in another room and at some point in the middle of the night I bring him in with us. At my parent's house, he starts off in a portable crib and then spends the last half of the night in our bed. When it's warmer again, I might try leaving him in his room a bit more, but it's simply too cold right now to be out of the covers every 2-3 hours during the night. He's really good about falling asleep for naps and for bedtime without nursing. Usually I just set him down when he's relaxed but still awake, and he conks out really quickly. But at night, when he wakes, he needs help getting back down. Which is fine, and I don't at all resent snuggling him back to sleep (or kicking Eric and letting him do it!) But I would really, really love longer stretches of sleep...even 4-hour intervals would be heavenly.
We've been enjoying the snow: sledding, snow forts, snow tunnels, snow mountains, snow angels, snow drawings. And of course, eating snow! At home Zari just eats it straight from a cup or a bowl. But here the grandparents spoil her with maple syrup or raspberry syrup poured over the snow. I could do without the Minnesota temperatures, but at least it's been reasonable since we've been visiting. Reasonable = above 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 C).
Zari loves playing with her cousins. Yesterday they closed themselves in a tiny bathroom and played with glow sticks.
Morning snuggle earlier this month.