So Many Months with Atticus. aka, hello again.

So…it’s been awhile.

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Atticus is an awesome 16mo toddler, who NEVER STOPS MOVING.

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Things change so quickly with a toddler. All of a sudden one day he’s humming a tune from a song that I know. He’s humming a specific tune! You guys, he is a MUSICAL GENIUS. So, you see – as much as things change constantly around here, the changes and abilities and magical new encounters are far too much to keep up with on a monthly basis on here. So, so long Shotgun Fetus.

BUT WAIT.

I have, drumroll please, begun to quilt. Yep, my life is just that exciting. So, this space will now be used for my quilting adventures. Maybe I’ll change the name to something like Old Maternal Lady Who Stitches Quilts and Talks About Her Special Snowflake Child. We’ll see.

Eleven Months with Atticus

Shit, he’s going to be a year old in 15 days. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN.

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In July I took him to a music class. He was a little too young to get much out of it, until they brought out a drum larger than him. And then he went ape-shit.

Note to self: buy your kid a drum.

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He remains obsessed – seriously, I mean it. OBSESSED – with spinning wheels. Spin, spin, spin. He will spin them for hours. We went to a picnic once. We were there two hours. I think he MAYBE spent about 20 minutes doing something other than spinning the damn stroller wheels. Above you can see his new trick – he flips the stroller onto its back, so that the front/top wheels are free to spin away. Spin spin spin.

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For the most part he’s a lot of fun to take places. He’s pretty happy to hang out in high chairs, and I let him taste everything I’m eating, just to watch his hilarious facial expression responses. Sometimes he’ll get fidgety and cranky, but he can usually be soothed by a quick walk around the block. I’ve heard that the ability of a baby/child to behave in a restaurant is a constantly changing experience, and that the most perfect angelic little restaurant goer will, months later, turn into a nightmare brat. So, I’m just enjoying the current phase, because I love having him out with us.

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Last month he also got really good at standing in a variety of places, not just in his crib or against familiar furniture. He was still a little nervous about it, but seemed so excited whenever he mastered it.

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Short post, I know. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year.

Ten Months with Atticus

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Summertime! In June I bought the kid a pool.

We were supposed to go up to a farm for the day, but halfway there Atticus lost. his. shit. I pulled over, nursed him, back in the car, screaming re-commenced. I pulled over, nursed him, back in the car…you see where this is going. SO MUCH SCREAMING. When I finally admitted defeat, and yelled “FINE! WE ARE NO LONGER GOING TO THE FARM! I AM TAKING YOU HOME, YOU LITTLE PSYCHOPATH!” I looked up and noticed that a) the next exit was in 2 miles, and b) the freeway had mysteriously turned into a traffic jammed parking lot. So, the screaming got plenty of airtime. The second I was able to get off the freeway, I pulled into the first parking lot I could find to take my weeping child into an air conditioned room where he just might be quiet. We found ourselves at Lowe’s, and…that place is a MIRACLE.

If you ever have a screaming, nightmare of a baby on your hands, get yourself to a home improvement store. We spent a LONG time staring at light fixtures, then moved to the paint swatches which were very entertaining. The various carpet samples were pretty awesome to rub our hands over, and we concluded our visit in the gardening section, staring at flowers.

And that’s where we found the pool.

So, over an hour later, with a kiddie pool jammed in the trunk, we returned home. Atticus promptly passed out in the backseat, most likely because he had gotten his way. And that’s how I did not make it to the farm.

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June was also the first meeting of our Baby Book Club. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” was a big hit, as was the various Polar Bear and Panda Bear remixes found at the library. I’m pretty sure Atticus will be reading on his own by Fall.

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We went hiking for Father’s Day on Mt. Tam for the big pancake breakfast. Atticus didn’t get a nap all day and we paid the price as he screamed all the way home.

Are you noticing a trend? June was the month when naps went a little nuts. He no longer takes three a day – sometimes he only takes one. And getting him to fall asleep became a challenge. Why?

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Well look who can stand up. My baby can stand up! Shit! Among other things, this now means that the second we put him in the crib, he just pops right up and starts laughing. He stares at us with this “Holy shit you guys LOOK WHAT I’M DOING!” face and we can’t get him to sit down. I’m proud of the kid, but GO TO SLEEP.

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He also got roseola last month. Frowny face. Crappy fever for a few days, followed by a crazy rash for the afternoon. He got better pretty quickly, but not before a lot of “I need my mama” cuddles and naps. While I want a healthy kid…it was selfishly kind of nice to have him need to be on top of me.

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Ten months old. Holy shit.

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Nine Months with Atticus

Dammit. Here we are 2 days from him turning 10 months old, and I’m just now remembering to post about Month 9. I guess that as long as I don’t start falling 2 months behind, I’m doing okay.

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As you can see, he is only getting cuter.

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In May he started really propelling himself around. He still (even now) hasn’t gotten his knees up underneath him, but he army crawls around the place like nobody’s business. He has arms of steel. He makes me a little scared. We got him these hideous pads to roll around on since he was still clunking his head on the floor on a regular basis.

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For Mother’s Day we taught him to drive. Then the Lumberjack gifted me with this fine backpack, and we hit the trails.

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Roots of Empathy ended in May. I know Atticus isn’t going to remember any of it, but I’m really going to miss it. The kids were so sweet, and loved him so much, and it was so fun to take him there every month to get gazed at. All babies should be so lucky.

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Things got way more exciting in the food department in May! The kid finally started eating. He’s not too good at feeding himself yet, but he’s working on it. He loves those puree pouches, as well as taking bites from whatever I’m eating. I have to be sneaky with that, though, since ONE of his parents worries that Atticus is going to choke and die. The other parent is a little more relaxed. I’ll let you guess which one is right.

He’s still predominantly nursing, and I’m sure he will turn into a psychopathic deviant for it. I’m trying to incorporate more solids into his diet so that he’s less dependent on breastmilk, but that’s just so I can stop pumping at the office. I still love nursing the little wriggler. I love how calm it makes him, and how he’ll sort of tap tap tap on my boob like he’s thinking deep thoughts. He still does his Jane Fonda high kicks, too. That, and he’ll jam his hand in my mouth until I nibble on it, then laughs hysterically (getting milk everywhere). I know I would be getting more sleep if he wasn’t nursing, but…fuck it.

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Suddenly at the end of the month he started being big enough to sit in grocery carts and restaurant high chairs. I still can’t believe I’m a mom. To a kid. Who sits in shopping carts. The fuck?

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Eight Months with Atticus

Every month I think, “This is really the best. This is the best age, he’s doing all the best stuff, look at him. This is great.” And then he gets older, and I think, “No, NOW this is the best. This is the best age, he’s doing all the best stuff, look at him. This is great!” I am sensing a theme. Honestly? Having a kid is the best. Whatever he does. I say this, of course, as someone who chose this baby, with all the resources and community support I needed to make an educated, free decision about what I wanted to do. This is not to say that having a baby is the best For Everyone. But for me? Damn. Having a kid is fucking awesome. Best decision I ever made.

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While a lot of places had shit weather in April, we live in the Bay Area where it’s gorgeous pretty much year-round. So Atticus continued his weekend picnic parties, gazing at the sky and thinking deep thoughts.

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We started our own little evening walk tradition. The Lumberjack has class Tuesday and Thursday nights, so when I get home I take Atticus out on a walk. I show him flowers, let him smell things, and we end up at the swings. In April he was big enough to sit comfortably in the swing, and understand what was happening. He’s a fan.

He turned into a vampire:
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He skipped the middle top two teeth, and went straight for the fangs.

He became quite proficient at rolling over, and started rolling over all over the place. It was always interesting to see where he would end up during a nap.

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He rolled over (or under?) our pillow buttresses, so…he now sleeps in a crib.

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He doesn’t seem too scarred by it. It’s right next to the bed, so I can still hear his little baby snores. He naps in there, and we put him down at night in there, but most nights he ends up back in the bed with us by morning. Sometimes I wake up and he’s right there under my armpit, and I swear I don’t remember taking him out of the crib. How does it do it?!

He still wakes every 3 hours or so to eat, but I’m so used to it at this point that I barely notice. I can’t even remember what it feels like to sleep until it’s time to wake up. We are VERY lucky with this baby – he goes down without much of a fuss (any fuss lasts 15 minutes tops, and is always soothed by Baby Crack aka singing Baby Beluga), and when he wakes at night it’s just to eat and then pass out again. He’s all business. So, while it would be nice to have longer chunks of sleep, I also know that it could be WAY worse. I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

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We kept trying solids, but in April he really just wasn’t into them. He loved to watch me pantomime how to eat (“mmm! yum yum yum yum!”), but he just let everything fall right back out of his mouth. [Spoiler Alert: in May he gets with the program.]

He’s still huge, and is officially too heavy to wear. Wearing him on my front for more than a quick errand gives me back pain, but wearing him on my back seems to make him annoyed. I would probably be annoyed too, if my face was pressed into someone’s shoulder blades and I couldn’t see shit. So, we’re officially a stroller family. I was all self-conscious at first, given all the Anti-Stroller propaganda. But I luckily stopped giving a fuck. He LOVES being in the stroller – he can see things up close, can wiggle/move as needed, and has toys to play with while he hangs out. I love the stroller, since I can bring extra stuff with us – carrying both the baby and the groceries/picnic stuff/toys/etc was pretty difficult. So, yay stroller.

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But I will always love wearing him when possible.

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Seven Months with Atticus (the photo)

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This is now hopelessly out of date, of course.

Seven Months with Atticus

He’s not officially seven months old until Wednesday, but tomorrow we’re taking him on a 20-hour journey to the other side of the planet, and we lose Wednesday somewhere in the middle there (we leave on Tuesday, and arrive on Thursday, but it only takes 20 hours…WHAT HAPPENED TO WEDNESDAY), so there will be no photo on the rocking chair until we get back. Or maybe I’ll do it tonight, if I don’t have enough other things to do to prepare for tomorrow’s adventure.

Anyway! My kid, he keeps getting bigger. This month he basically just became an even larger, cuter, heart-asploding handsome little chubby-cheeked monster. He laughs at everything now, and holy fuck you guys I am so intensely in love with him. It literally hurts to look at him sometimes. I physically feel it in my insides, this deep, overwhelming desire to hug and protect and squeeze and observe and just BE near him.

jihwesdkuhwieruhiuhjhj$#%$^$#%@#$% brain: kaput.

He is still stuffing everything into his mouth.

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EVERYTHING. He somehow added a new channel to our roku player by chewing on the remote.

The weather has been totally incredible lately. Gorgeous sunny skies with a nice breeze. I spent most of all this month’s weekends on picnics with various friends.

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HOW CUTE IS THIS BABY

Yesterday A3 and I had a baby photo shoot for Easter. We got a bunch of cute pictures of them sitting up and looking adorable, but my favorite is this one where you can see them as preteens, totally over it.

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BabyClaws is being a good sport, but Atticus is DONE.

I’ve been taking a ton of pictures of the kid; for every picture I post here, there’s about 53 in my phone. Having camera phones makes taking photos so easy – I end up with a dozen new pictures every day. But I rarely have any of me with him, since I’m always taking the picture. After reading this article (and after finishing the resulting sappy cry), I’ve decided to ask people to take my picture with Atticus more often. I love baby pictures of myself with my parents – it makes me so happy to see what they looked like when I was so small. I want to make sure I provide that to Atticus, too.

So, here we are on Sunday:

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And here he is with the Lumberjack, totally cracking each other up:

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(if you follow me on instagram, you can see more of those! user: dkingneece)

I am wildly, insanely, overwhelmingly in love with my little boy.

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Six Months with Atticus

Six months! Atticus is chomping at the bit to grow up.

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ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Seriously though, he is chomping on EVERYTHING. The little bastard has two teeth (!!!) and he gnaws on everything possible. And YES he has bitten my boob. And NO yelping in pain once doesn’t make him stop. It does make him burst into tears, however. And yet, he’ll do it again.

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This month we watched the Super Bowl. We did not win.

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He’s sitting like a champ, now (and look at him playing nicely with others!) He is also ROLLING THE FUCK OVER.

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He likes to do it when no one’s watching, however.

He has also spent some quality time with his Aunt Pippi, aka my parents’ dog.*

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Sometimes she likes it more than he does.

*I was walking with my mom, Pippi & Atticus in her neighborhood, and a woman up the street leaned down to Atticus and said “Oh, this must be the new baby!” and my mom starts trotting Pippi around, saying “I know! Isn’t she the sweetest?!” I said “Mom, she was talking about your grandson.” OOPS. I’ll be sure to tell Atticus about this when he’s nice and impressionable.

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We started giving him solids for a brief second or two, then Atticus choked a bit, vomited everywhere, and the Lumberjack decided we were done. I THINK I have convinced him to start trying again. I want him to try all the foods! The Lumberjack wants him to not choke to death. I think we can find a middle ground.

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At some point, this baby turned into a child. WEIRD. And amazing. Sometimes I think I’m going to puke from all the emotions I have when I watch him sleep. He’s absolutely incredible.

Five Months with Atticus

Well. I am certainly behind the times now – he turns 6 months old next week (WTF), so this is my latest post yet. I can barely remember what happened last month.

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Atticus disapproves.

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He’s been spending a lot of time at my parents’ house, which is awesome. We get free babysitters, they get to smooch his little face, and he gets a close relationship with his grandparents. Everyone wins! Their puppy was born about 3 weeks before Atticus was, so they can grow up together. Yesterday we were over there and the dog washed Atticus’s face VERY carefully. I’m not sure he knew what was going on.

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He has discovered his toes, and is now obsessed with them. Sometimes he sticks just his big toe in his mouth and then starts sucking on it intensely, like it’s his thumb. Of course, he stops the second I get out the camera.

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AND HE’S SITTING UP. Last month was when he started, although he was still pretty floppy. This picture was taken immediately after he sat up, face-planted, and I pulled him back up again. He totally face-planted on the bed, and when I got him back up he was just smiling away, like it was the best thing ever.

He’s a really happy baby, and I’m grateful for that every day. He cries, of course. He fusses. He gets cranky. But his general demeanor is just so *pleasant*. All the time. Even when he was sick (I think he was sick? He’s never really been sick, so I’m not sure), he kept smiling at me weakly, like “it’s okay, mom, it’s not that bad.” His crying almost always turns into laughter as soon as I fix the problem.

He laughs constantly. Squeeze his thighs or knees, and he cracks up. He also loves to be flung around, flipped upside down, held in the air…if I hold him with my hands gripping his rib-cage (under his armpits), and then swing him from side to side while singing (“American Pie” is his latest favorite), he totally loses his mind.

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Six month update is on its way!

Four Months with Atticus

Look at me, posting just one day after the baby got one month older. Blogging: I’m right on top of it, Rose.

This month was exciting! He’s doing so many new things with his body!
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I took him swimming for the first time, and he was PSYCHED. Look at him in the changing room in his swim diaper – he can barely stand it. He is a total fish. When I first pulled him into the pool, I assumed I would hold him vertically upright and just bob around for awhile. But no! He immediately stretched out horizontally and started kicking! MY BABY’S A GENIUS, Y’ALL. So around and around the pool we went, with him kicking and occasionally even doing the crawl stroke! Whaaaaaat. Anyway, we’ve gone a few times this month, and each time he tries something new (he can now float on his back with just one hand holding up his head). We’re going to start baby swim classes in the spring, but until then my kid & I are hanging out together in the pool, making the other swimmers swoon.

He’s also rolling onto either side now all by himself, as well as pushing up on his feet to make a bridge when he’s laying on his back. And when I pull him up to a sitting position, he pulls himself up with my help instead of just being dragged along. It’s so fun to see these changes in him, and to realize how much he still has to learn.

He’s also gotten really into music lately. He still prefers “Baby Beluga” (what is up with babies and that song?!), but he’s branched out a bit. Elizabeth Mitchell is our current favorite – “Peace Like a River” is so sweet and cheerful, and so easy to sing along with. He LOVES it when I sing along to music. He’ll be happily listening to something, then the second I start singing he opens his eyes wide and gets a huge grin on his face. I think this kid will love karaoke.

The other night I was dancing him around the room singing along with Hangin’ Tough (thanks, Pandora), and he started laughing so hard he gave himself hiccups.

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hangin’ SO tough

and when he laughs he makes noise, now! It’s amazing! He used to just silently chuckle at things, but now you can actually hear it, and it’s awesome. The Lumberjack calls it “the best sound ever” and it really is.

This baby also wants to chew on everything now. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING INTO HIS MOUTH.
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He’s gotten pretty good at pulling things to his mouth, but his preference is still to bring his mouth to the thing. So he grabs something in his hand, and then slowly drops his head down with his mouth open like a little fish (BABY FISH MOUTH*) until he makes contact. My mom said he looks like Winston Churchill, all huddled over. An ADORABLE Winston Churchill, sure.

*the Lumberjack had NO IDEA what I was talking about when I shouted “baby fish mouth!” the other day. I don’t even know what to do with this information.

So, I’m back at work. And yes, there’s still a post that goes with that, but not now because it’s Friday afternoon and I don’t feel like it. The Lumberjack is taking great care of that kid, although I know they miss me terribly. He texts me photos throughout the day of their adventures:

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this picture was accompanied by
“he’s going to join the Misfits”

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vintage Mount Diablo

I miss them 😦

We do still get to have adventures as a family on the weekends. Last week we went to a Winter Solstice event up in the Berkeley hills, and the weather was…not great.
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Luckily the baby just went with it.

And of course the month was capped with Christmas!
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I really love Christmas. I love buying/making presents for my loved ones, and the food, and music…it’s great. Warm & fuzzy, etc. My family’s tradition has been to get ornaments every year, and I want to continue that with Atticus. This year I decided to make his!
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It helped that he had no idea what I was doing, so I could work on it in front of him. The back is covered in gold sparkles. I wish I could wear it as a small hat.

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For Christmas he sat up in a high chair by himself! He slumped to the side, and got sick of it real quick, but still. Look at him go.

It's cool, I'm four months old...whatever.

It’s cool, I’m four months old, NBD.