Dexter Ian: Thirteen Months Old

13Months (2)Dexter is 13 months old today.

This is a good, good age. He’s starting to appreciate our connections through interactions, and will do things specifically to make Matt and me laugh. Dexter is willing to try new foods, and if it seems like during dinner he can make you laugh at that time by rubbing his hands through his hair, well darn it, he’s not going to let two food-covered hands stop him. We can successfully teach him some rudimentary skills, like pushing the different-shaped blocks into the holes of his sorter toy. He imitates noises and gestures and silly faces. Dex received some musical instruments for his birthday, and he likes playing his xylophone, banging his drum and chewing the end of his drumstick. He’s generally a happy kid who is in a good mood, and so much fun to be around.

Let me tell you about our mornings. I’m almost always up first (babies CHANGE THINGS) and get his bottle into hot water. Usually, I then get back into bed and Matt gets him out of the crib when the bottle is ready, lets Dexter push the button to turn off the noise machine, deposits him with me, leaves the socks he’s going to wear that day on the end of the bed (we’ll come back to this), then heads into the shower. Every now and then we go get him up together which he seems to find confusing. While Matt showers, we finish the bottle – I always expect to doze off but never do – then Dexter immediately gets up and crawls around the bed until he finds the socks. We play dumb games with them that usually involve me putting them on my head or his head and then him pulling them off, and then Dex crawls around on the bed, patting the headboard and giving me 2-second hugs, until Matt returns. Dex likes to play with Matt’s belt buckle while he’s getting dressed, and then while Matt sits on the bed to put on his shoes, Dexter gives his Daddy reassuring pats on the back. Like this:

Continue Reading

Flashback Friday

One year ago today, I posted online a photo of Dexter and me taken at 3:30 a.m. We had a full house – grandparents visiting – and he and I were the only ones up. He’s just finished nursing and was snuggled into me, so warm and tiny. See?

TeenyTinyDex

Today, as I’m driving to daycare to visit him, I remember this photo, and get all warm and fuzzy and really, really excited to see Dex. When I get there, I can’t immediately find him, and finally, one of the teachers says, “He’s behind you!”

I turn around and Dexter is lounging in the sunken area (which you might remember as The Furniture Pushin’ Gang’s preferred ledge over which to shove cribs), lazily swinging his legs in the air and grinning that grin he gets when he knows he’s pulled a fast one on mommy. Look: 

Continue Reading

Dexter’s Emoji Obsession

Dexter Emoji McDonald's Happy MealLast week, Dexter’s sweet teacher decided to treat herself to a Happy Meal for lunch. Believe me. SHE DESERVES IT.

She dug through the cardboard box, looking for her prize, and out it came: a small plush emoji, a yellow smiling face wearing sunglasses. I’m pretty old but I believe it stands for “cool.” (Also, it had a tag on it that read “cool.”)

Dexter immediately feel madly, deeply in love. He reached toward his teacher, begging her for the object of his affection. She handed it to him and he immediately, for some reason, put it in his mouth and began crawling around the daycare looking disturbingly like a dog with a chew-toy. (Add that to the list of things I didn’t know babies do until I had one. It’s getting to be quite the tome.) When she saw what she was doing, the teacher determined the cool tag was a choking risk and took the emoji from Dex to cut it off.

Continue Reading

Dexter’s Daycare Gang

FPGang (3)In order to survive the mean streets of daycare, my one-year-old son has joined a gang.

They call them The Furniture Pushin’ Gang. The members are Dexter, Camden, Jaxon and Mary Lou. (Names slightly changed to shield the not-so-innocent.)

Jaxon: the muscle, with the chunkiest thighs on planet Earth.

Camden: just started walking, so he brings that to the table, plus he grows hair at a rate hereby unseen on a baby – 4 haircuts by the time he was 7 months old and still going strong.

Continue Reading

Dexter Ian: Twelve Months Old

DexMonth12Our baby had a birthday. Yesterday, Dexter Ian turned one year old.

He feeds himself most meals, is going to start walking any minute, and occasionally will give his parents a kiss. Dex loves making people laugh and if a catchy song comes on, he’ll bob his head back and forth in this little Stevie Wonder dance.

Dexter finally added MAMAMAMA to his lexicon, and it’s a good thing because he’s been saying DADADADA for a few months now and I was starting to take it personally.

He’s growing and changing so quickly that we’ve begun to miss things. Saturday, I’m playing with him and making him laugh when I notice his smile looks different. One, two, three, four, FIVE TEETH, oh my gosh Dexter grew a whole new tooth and neither of us noticed.

I’ve been Dexter’s mommy for 12 months, which means for one year, I’ve been his favorite person. That special status is something I didn’t think much about, when I thought about what it would be like to be a parent, and the intensity of Dex’s gaze surprised me. There were a few weeks in the beginning where it really freaked me out. Was I up to the task of being this tiny human’s number one? I really wasn’t sure, and I was terrified I’d let him down.

Now that we’ve been hanging out for a year, though, it’s different. When he reaches for me or calls for me or his eyes light up because I’ve walked into the room I just feel honored. Honored that Dexter is in our family. Honored that he loves me. Honored that I get to be his mom. So, so honored to be Dexter’s most favorite person.

Because guess what? Along with Matt, Dexter is my favorite person, too.

Continue Reading

Dexter Ian: Eleven Months Old

DexMonth11As of yesterday, Dexter Ian is 11 months old. I just want to be sure everyone is aware that 11 months is just one month away from ONE YEAR OLD. Please direct me to the office where I can file a complaint regarding the too-rapid passage of time.

I’m aware that kids like toys and that’s why they exist, but Dexter really loves toys, playing and exploring with impressive energy and creativity. He has four teeth now and plays Level 4 peek-a-boo, where he covers his face with his own hands. Sometimes he mostly misses, which is hilarious. (“Where’s Dexter? Oh. He’s right there.”) His favorite things are being upside down, cracking himself up by sticking his pacifier in mommy’s or daddy’s mouth and crawling up the stairs then taking off in a sprint-crawl, giggling wildly, giddy with freedom.

Our morning routine right now is that I get up and make a bottle while Matt grabs Dex out of his crib and entertains him until milk is ready. Every day, my not-a-snuggler baby practically flings himself out of Matt’s arms when he sees me because for some reason, he not only deigns to hug me for a whole 15 seconds every morning but he seems to really, really crave it. So do I, kid. Thank you for the best 15 seconds of my day.

Continue Reading

The end of breastfeeding

After about 10 and a half months, my time breastfeeding Dexter is coming to an end. Our weaning story isn’t unusual – he’s been nursing less and less since he started solids, and since I returned to work full time. I’d suspected for a while that he wasn’t getting much out of it. His top two teeth popped last week and that sealed the deal – three hard bites later, I decided I didn’t want to end this beautiful thing we were doing together with pain and frustration so I called it. If I’m honest, he called it a while ago and I was just keeping it going as long as I could.

I’d love this to be a “10 months? WE ROCK!” post but the truth is, I’m blue. I choke up every time I tell someone. Add “weaning depression” to the shockingly voluminous list of things I never knew about until I had a baby (cerclage, breast pump phalanges, wubbanubs… oh, it is such a long list) but I am in it. As I’ve mentioned before, we fought really hard to establish breastfeeding and somehow, that makes it feel worse, like I’m giving up on the tail end, even though that isn’t the case. (I tried EVERYTHING to boost my supply after Dex started daycare. You do not want to know the things I have seen, done and consumed in the name of milk supply.) I never imagined being a mom would involve so much weeping about breastfeeding, making it happen, keeping it going and letting it go.

Continue Reading

Dexter Ian: Ten Months Old

DexMonth10Dexter Ian is ten months old today. Somehow, he sensed that I wasn’t sure what to write about because he hit THREE milestones today. 1. Dexter achieved Level 2 peek-a-boo (that’s where he hides behind a blanket himself, rather than having me fling the blanket onto his face for him to pull down) 2. He has been laboriously pulling himself to standing for about a week but today, Dex whipped himself upright like it was nothing and 3. He climbed all three steps in our house, oh crap, the world is Dexter’s open-electrical-socket-and-sharp-object-and-poisonous-liquid-filled-oyster. It’s amazing he had time for all of this because he also took a nap on my chest for 2+ hours but as my Dad says, Dexter is BUSY.

This is a hard time for me. Bad stuff has happened, some not my fault and some absolutely my fault. I’m frequently overwhelmed and frustrated and I’m struggling to see the path to make it better. And then I look at Matt and Dexter and feel all this love and you think I’m going to say it makes it all disappear but it doesn’t. It makes it worse, because I worry I’m failing them. But my guys, and how I feel about them, also keep me focused. Dexter smiles at me and suddenly, I know the path will form. And once it does? I got this. Because they are so, so worth it.

Continue Reading