Thursday, April 14, 2016

4 years and 15.5 months

Shep had his 4th birthday yesterday! He's getting to be such a big kid now. He's really obsessed with building guns from blocks right now. He did that with Daddy almost every day of spring break a couple of weeks ago, and has carried that activity on his own nearly every day since. He likes wearing "short pants," regardless of the weather, with a shirt that's tucked in and a belt. He's recently got into superheroes and Star Wars, as well. With the new movie, The Force Awakens, that came out at the end of last year, there was a lot of advertising and merchandising, so I think his initial exposure came from that. This week he got to see some of the real movies though and although it may not have been the fulfillment of all his expectations ("Is this a people movie?" he asks, as opposed to a kid's movie), he still enjoys his birthday stormtrooper mask (he is happy to have one like his cousin Mason's finally) and "shooting." Guns make me uncomfortable, so this isn't my favorite phase, but it's still fun. He was pretty into balls for quite some time before this, but his interest in sports has worn down a little. Despite this, we did sign him up for soccer again this spring, which he seems to be enjoying.

Maya is 15.5 months. She loves to walk, but mostly she likes to do so with the support of mom or dad. She has been walking with us holding her hands for quite some time and has been able to take steps independently for a couple of months, but she is too cautious to forge out on her own. I recall Shep being the same way, and while this abundance of caution seems like a somewhat unusual baby trait, I suppose it helps them get fewer bumps and bruises! Maya is kind of a tease sometimes. She's still majorly uninterested in other babies and adults outside of her little sphere, but she's getting less upset about social interaction with the outside world. And sometimes with those who are a bit familiar to her but not necessarily in her comfort zone, she is a tease and a flirt. She seems more stoic than Shep was as a baby (I think I read something about how studies support that girl babies are less expressive than their male counterparts)? She's a good pal to always have around. I carry her around a lot. She's been fussy and clingy a lot the past couple months, but I think she's starting to feel a little better. She spends all her time with her brother, so they are buddies. We got her a little slide that she can climb up and slide down, which she loves. She still loves to eat pretty much anything although teething at times has made her uninterested in food. She's a really slow teether, like Shep, but she's been doing a little better about sleeping at night instead of waking up crying as she had been. Unlike Shep, she seems to like to color, but I don't often get stuff out because Shep is totally not entertained by it. She loves to be outside and wants to be playing in the dirt all the time. Perhaps most fun of all is that she's starting to talk! I'm pretty sure her first word was poop although she doesn't really use that one anymore. She is not super consistent about any of the words she really knows, but she says hello and bye bye, apple, mama, daddy, bubble, etc. She's constantly forming new words and mimicking us, so it's hard to think of all the words she knows.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Maya 12 months

Maya turned one! I can't believe it's been a year. And what a whirlwind year it was. Poor thing didn't get much of a birthday celebration because we were moving the day of her birthday, but she's changing all the time! I know I just posted about her, but I wanted to remember some other things about what she's doing right now:


  • Interested in walking but only if her hands are being held. Daddy helped her walk up and down the stairs several times the other night, so she was in heaven.
  • Also sometimes when we're holding her hands, she'll bend her knees and start bouncing. She's into jumping and bouncing overall. 
  • Not so interested in eating food lately, but super interested in feeding other people! It's funny and her favorite thing.
  • She really likes carrying around little objects like chapstick or toothpaste tubes or things like that.
  • 4 teeth total have broken through on the top, and 3 on the bottom.
  • Maya HATES strangers! She really really doesn't like other people or other kids. This is kind of funny to me. She has deep, deep stranger anxiety. I don't know if I'm recalling incorrectly or not, but it seems worse even than Shep's stranger danger. Shep when he was a baby seemed okay with kids or other babies, but even if other kids or babies get in Maya's bubble when I'm not holding her, she will lose it. And sometimes even when she is in my arms. 
  • Maya seems a little less chill than she used to be--she must be sensing all the changes that have gone down over here and the general limbo that we seem to be living in. She is rather clingy and doesn't like to play by herself or be put down a lot lately.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Maya 9.5 months

We wrote this post a bit ago, when Maya was actually closer to 9.5 months in age, but she is now nearly 11 months old! Time flies. This is how long it took me to get the photos off the real camera that I took.

Here's the actual post:

Little Maya has two little teeth on the bottom and is working on the top ones. She's not great at staying asleep when teething, and fevered once because of it, but otherwise it does not seem to bother her. She's been teething since the end of August.

She is crawling for reals and getting around quite proficiently. She started army crawling about two months ago, and for a moment she regressed because we only have hard floors in our current apartment here in North Carolina. Now she's overcoming that and she's entertaining herself by getting into ALL THE THINGS!

Speaking of things Shepherd never did (in addition to her interest in mobility and being entertained without parental attention), Maya wants to eat ALL THE FOOD! I'm fairly certain Shep had no added/refined sugar the first 12 months of his life. That's also because he had like zero table food and was quite content to nurse and never eat anything else. This girl. She grabs anything on your plate, in your hands, anywhere, and if it is food, it goes in her mouth. She also puts other things in her mouth but generally doesn't try to eat non-food items.

Tons of smiling and laughter all the time. She is such a happy baby now. She has always been fairly chill, but now she really emotes and it's fun to play with her. She never really concerned herself with her father but now she (finally!) loves attention from daddy, especially when he throws her and spins her and swings her upside down. She is into rough housing in general, or, given her limited mobility and developing motor control, being rough housed. Her older brother will jump on her, lay on her, push her, knock her over, and, in her mind (not ours), it is great. Though these sessions usually do end with her crying. Often, we tell him "Stop!" And his response is, "Maya likes it!" And, well, can't argue with that? But pretty much everything her brother does is funny. ALL OF IT! Unless she is hungry or tired, he is her clear favorite. She loves it when we chase him and hold her at his level so she thinks she is chasing him, and she has loved this ever since she was big enough to hold up her head, pretty much. She is much more content without parental attention probably because Brother's always around, and he's just so interesting. I've thought even from the time she was a newborn that she was just more content about life probably because she had him to watch. Poor Shep and the humans he had around. No wonder he cried all the time.







Maya is really into putting things into containers right now; it seems to be her thing. I also think she would really love one of those walker toys. She loves pulling herself up on Shep's trike. Unfortunately I got rid of the one we had for Shep and have yet to get one for her. She's getting pretty speedy with her crawling though!

Cheers, Maya. We love having you around.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Maya 5 Months

Maya is already five months old and I don't know how that happened. I hear a lot of parents say the first year of their second child's life goes by really fast. I get how that can be the case: you're kind of used to babies, so you're not wondering what's happening every second of every day and worrying about things, and you also have an older child on a different developmental level, so your attention is divided.

There are many ways in which our experience with baby Maya is very similar to our experience with baby Shep. She is like Shep: she nurses to sleep, she doesn't like to be set down, she does not like to be left alone (i.e., she is happier if she can see us when we're not carrying her in arms), and we carry her all the time. She's graduating from the Moby to the Ergo, and she is learning to like it. When dad is holding her, she likes to face out so she can see what is going on, just like Shep. Her way of being comfortable when carried by mom is to be nursing and sleeping and possibly also being outside. This girl likes to be outside quite a bit.

Maya's pretty distractible these days, and hyperaware of her surroundings, which makes daytime sleep a little harder. She won't nurse to sleep just anywhere anymore. She has to be covered up in a quiet-ish area now if I'm not wearing her or lying down with her, whereas before I could just drag her along and she'd sleep anywhere. Tim talks sometimes about how he used to hold Shep while he was sleeping a lot, but she never lets him hold her when she sleeps.

It's kind of interesting to compare. Maya is a much better sleeper than Shepherd ever was. She falls asleep quickly and stays asleep (as long as she is being held), but she probably falls asleep nursing even more than Shep did. I had forgotten that when Shep was a wee, colicky lad, Tim would strap him in the Moby and walk vigorously with him to give me a break, or bounce him, because Dude wouldn't sleep/stop crying. Maya is a non-colicky baby, so I have no urges to pawn her off to encourage sleep times. It's easier for me to just nurse her, usually, but if nursing by itself doesn't calm her effectively, bouncing on the ball while nursing or going for a car ride have been successful. Also Tim happens to just be gone a lot more often and isn't around as much as he was when Shep was a baby. Maya blessedly doesn't scream in the car seat very often. She usually falls asleep as long as the car is in motion, and these days she isn't even freaking out when we stop unless she is just mad about something else. It's a novel and liberating thing to be able to do the car with a baby.

Maya is rolling, more adeptly from back to stomach than the other way around, but can do both all the same. She started rolling a month or so ago and then quit for a while, but now she's back in the game. She likes to try and grab/reach for toys but her coordination and grasping skills are still developing. She's getting used to the world and doesn't freak out when we, say, put clothes on her.

She is starting to interact with her big brother which is delightful to watch. She thinks Shep is hilarious and laughs louder for him than anyone else, but I think she's alternately kind of worried/terrified by him. (Aren't we all.) It's fun to see their relationship grow. They'll be playing together without supervision in no time . . . every parent's dream, right?

Life is stressful with two kids and I'm not really sure we're completely sure what we're doing and how to meet everyone's needs, but Maya is just a peach and we're so much richer with her in our lives. Tim and I were talking about which stages of childhood are best, and I really enjoy the whole dependent infant stage, actually. It's really limiting (maybe even more so considering my style of parenting that I've adopted thus far) and pretty dang boring sometimes, but I like the simplicity and purity of love. Maya's pretty much always happy to see me, I'm almost always happy to see her. My frustration with her is always indirect and circumstantial--if she's crying, I don't hold her responsible for it. It's easy for me to see her as someone who needs me, and to feel good about fulfilling her pretty simple demands. I feel like it's just easier, I guess. As I'm discovering with Shep, that changes with growth: our relationship is getting a lot more complicated, and I'm not sure I'm negotiating that journey entirely well. I miss the good ol' days of pure friendship and harmony, but I guess there are advantages to kids growing up, too. I look forward to knowing what Maya becomes in the future.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shep's Shibboleths (2)

A couple of times, I have told Shep he can't have two items he requests at the same time. I say, "You can't have both right now, so choose one. Do you want x or y? Which one do you want?" He chooses x, but a couple times he's changed his mind after a few minutes. Instead of requesting y directly, though, he says, "Ask 'Which one?'!" That one took me a while to work out.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shep's shibboleths

Shep is entering a phase of development where he says weird, hilarious things with a fair amount of frequency. This morning after crawling all over me, he said "Hi, Mom, happy to see you!"

He recently started repeating mild expletives that we use, such as crap, shoot, dang it, etc. Out of a newly-three-year-old's mouth, these words sound awful, so we've taken to telling him "Don't say that word." Last night while playing, he said "Dang it," and then a bit later, even without a remonstrance, he said, "That word."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015