Sunday 15 March 2015

Our Journey With...SLEEP

It's true what they forget the bad and remember the good. This is the case with us and Gavin's sleep. It's so easy now to forget how much we struggled for almost a year and a half with sleep. It's hard to know where to start, as I have a lot to say about sleep in general. I actually wrote a blog for bebo mia on the topic of sleep, but tried not to get too intense with my personal opinion.

With sleep, we tended to take more of a gentle approach, knowing that it is truly impossible to force a child to sleep, and that all kids are different in their sleep patterns and habits. This was by far our biggest challenge for a long time, and it was exhausting. Looking back, I don't really think we would've changed anything, other than maybe trying more of a variety of methods of getting Gavin to sleep, so it wasn't ONLY nursing (or eventually Daddy bouncing on the ball) that worked. Since we had sleep struggles, I ended up doing quite a bit of reading and research. While there are certain gentle sleep methods some parents may find helpful, I feel I have to say that I completely disagree with any form of cry-it-out or sleep training that involves leaving baby alone to cry. Crying in arms is inevitable, but at least your baby knows he is loved and respected by his caregiver, vs. being left alone to "learn to self soothe". This article reflects a lot of my own opinions on why I disagree with controlled crying sleep training, and I have also liked a lot of articles from Evolutionary Parenting and Dr. Sears' website on sleep topics.

In a (hopefully not too lengthy) nutshell, this is how Gavin's sleep went.

The first week he was home, he slept in very predictable 3 hour chunks through the night. This was a dream and we felt like we had this parenting thing in the bag, no problem. HAH.

We think a lot of his sleep troubles were from being gassy, and he was always very fidgety in his sleep, and was a very light sleeper, so he would wake at small noises, or would probably wake at every change in his sleep cycle. A good night was a 3 hour stretch. One monumental night in Alliston visiting my grandparents, he slept a 5 hour stretch, which was heavenly, and once more around 6 months old, the night before his baptism, he slept 6 hours.

Our tiny babe in the cosleeper at 5 days old

He started off sleeping in the Arms Reach Cosleeper bassinet we had borrowed from a friend, but once I got comfortable with side-lying nursing and he was a bit bigger, it was more likely he would sleep in our bed in the crook of my arm BESIDE the cosleeper than in it. Pretty much all of his naps were on me, on the couch, but he was also good at napping on the go (in the carrier, stroller, carseat, etc.) We knew we would mostly be cosleeping through our adventures in Europe when Gav was 5 months old, which was fine since we didn't trust some of the awkward or very uncomfortable looking pack-n-play's we were given at some hotels. He would sometimes start the night in his own crib/playpen, but that would never last long. Again he was great for napping in his stroller while we were out and about, and loved sleeping on us during train rides, free from the carseat!

Typical daily naps on mama on the couch - 2 months old

Stroller nap in the mountains of Switzerland - 5 months old 

When we got home from Europe, we knew he was too big for the cosleeper so we decided it was time to give the crib a solid try. Gavin had other plans, which included waking up the second we ever tried to set him down in the crib. I was still nursing him to sleep, usually sitting on the futon in his bedroom. Once he was asleep, I would unlatch him, make sure he stayed asleep for a few minutes, and literally inch by inch, try to lower him into the crib. 95% of the time, he would wake before I even got him onto the mattress, and the other 5%, I would be able to set him down, walk out of the room, heave a sigh of relief, and THEN he'd wake up. He honestly never lasted much more than 10 minutes. I think he may have been a bit better in the crib for naps during the day, but I would still usually end up quickly nursing him back down after a short crib nap and holding him for the rest of a nice long nap on my chest while watching Netflix. Hopefully he never had nightmares about Breaking Bad...

A rare (and very short) crib nap at 7 months old

So, during this trial period at night, after he woke in his crib, I would usually give up and take him into our bedroom, nurse him back to sleep in bed, sneak away once he was asleep and put pillows as barricades around the edges of the bed. He would never move too much, aside from maybe rolling over, so we weren't too worried about him ever falling off the bed, and it usually wasn't long before we would head to bed and he would sleep in between us. (*NOTE! If I have ANY advice about sleep, one of the top things I would say is to EDUCATE YOURSELF on SAFE COSLEEPING. It is almost inevitable that you will end up bedsharing at some point, even once or twice, maybe unintentionally, but especially out of sheer exhaustion sometimes, it happens. Where bedsharing gets a bad reputation is from people who are uneducated about doing it safely, and end up falling asleep in a chair or on a couch with baby, which is dangerous. Make your bed a safe place, have both partners on board and bedsharing can be bliss). So yes, even though it is considered safer for baby to sleep next to mom only and not in between both parents, having only a double bed, he would be so close to the edge if he was beside me on the outside, so we felt it was safest to have him in the middle, and he would sleep high up between our pillows, which were so far to the sides they were usually half falling off to give him room. We had been trying and trying the crib at the beginning of the night for a few weeks, before I exhaustedly asked Eric one night how he felt about things and why we were torturing ourselves trying to get him to sleep in his crib when he just clearly wasn't. We had a pretty short, but open conversation about it, and both decided then and there to change our attitude about it, and just be ok with cosleeping for the time being. From then on, I really enjoyed our time bedsharing, and felt that our attitude towards sleep, as well as our overall quality of sleep, was much better once we relaxed and accepted that this was the best arrangement for all of us at this time.

Our bedsharing arrangement for most of 3-10 months old 
(note: my sleeping space is between Gavin and the

I think it was around 10/11 months that we realized just how big Gavin was getting, and just how small a double bed is for 3. Around 8 months old, after bedsharing for a few months, we had decided to try letting Gavin sleep on his crib mattress on the floor in our room. At that time, he was having none of that, so we stuck with bedsharing. We revisited the floor bed around 10/11 months again, and this time, it went much better. We started with naps to get him used to it, and once that was going well, we tried at night. He seemed to be comfortable sleeping there for some or most of the night, still waking as frequently, but I was able to lay next to him, nurse him back to sleep quickly as usual, and then sneak away back to our bed. On the rough nights, it wasn't a problem to just bring him back into our bed, but on the good nights, it was glorious to have more space in the bed, even with the ever-frequent wakeups. By about 12 months, he was sleeping and napping pretty consistently on his floor bed in our room. When we would travel, he had a floor bed set up at both grandparents' houses or if we were somewhere else, he'd just sleep with us.

Gavin and Giraffi cozy on the floor bed - 12 months old

As time went on and we were well past 12 months, we started thinking in the back of our minds about when we would like to consider Baby #2. In my mind, still waking up every 2-4 hours to nurse Gavin, the thought was unfathomable. I knew it was starting to get to me, the exhaustion was building, he was more than content eating solids so he was likely nursing mainly for comfort, and I was just DONE. Around 16 months, after a lot of consideration and some anxiety on my part, we decided to try some very gentle night weaning to see if this would make any difference in his sleep. We started by transitioning from me nursing him to sleep to me nursing him earlier in his bedtime routine, before stories, and then Eric would take over. I would nurse him, we would make sure to say goodnight to milk, and explain that milk was sleeping and there was no milk until morning, then Eric would read stories, and take him into our bedroom and bounce on the ball to put him to sleep (still on his floor bed). During these two weeks, I would still nurse him through the night when he woke, but I would try to keep the nursing sessions as short as possible. Then, one night, we decided to try it for real. Eric put him to sleep, and I slept on the futon in the other room. For the whole night. Obviously I woke up when I heard Gavin, but Eric was eventually able to bounce him back to sleep with pretty minimal fussing, and would sometimes end up just keeping Gav in bed with him rather than trying to get him back on his floor bed. We kept up with this for a week or so, I would sleep in the other room and Eric would deal with any nighttime wakings. Eventually, I eased my way back into the room, starting off the night in our room, maybe escaping to the other room during a wakeup. It was a bit of a struggle when I was sleeping in our room, if Gav would come into bed with us, he would ask for milk, but I would remind him that milk was sleeping and he could have milk in the morning when milk was awake. Some nights were obviously tougher than others, but he adjusted very quickly and very well and....STARTED SLEEPING LONGER STRETCHES!!! Finally we were getting down to maybe 1 or 2 wakeups a night, and he was a lot easier/quicker to settle. It was literally like walking out of a dark tunnel into the light. Getting more sleep and knowing he was getting a good quality sleep as well, was incredible. And almost as soon as I started getting more sleep, I started to wonder why I was still feeling so tired during the day. Yep. Literally a few weeks into our new sleep routine, I was pregnant. Totally worked out in the nick of time, because I was definitely NEEDING the extra sleep!

Still likes napping (and nursing) with mama at 18 months - fine with me!

The next big change to come was my fairly strong nursing aversion during early pregnancy. This was not something I anticipated, as I had hoped to keep nursing at least a little while longer, but the fact that I was getting so uncomfortable and dreading each nursing session resulted in the decision to start gently weaning altogether. Night weaning had gone so well, so around 18 months, we started gently and gradually decreasing nursing during the day, and eventually, sometime around Christmas, all of a sudden, our breastfeeding journey was done. Bittersweet for sure, but a definitely relief for my body, and I think a much needed break before Baby #2.

Gavin and friends happy on his floor bed at 20 months before we moved from the condo.

As of December 2014, we were still happily room sharing with Gavin on his floor bed, occasionally bedsharing after an early morning wakeup. Then came our move to Oakville, and Gavin's "big boy room". We acquired a queen bed for ourselves, and set our double bed up in Gavin's room (mattress and box spring only) with brand new Pottery Barn sheets decorated with planes, trucks and trains. We wanted to get him comfortable in his room, so we started from night one, putting him to sleep in his bed, in his room. (We also finally stopped using the exercise ball to bounce him to sleep...after 20 months and over 25 lbs, it was time!) Bedtime routine usually includes bath, then jammies and brushing teeth in bed while reading "more" and "more" books. Then lights off, and we will say prayers or sometimes sing or hum to him, and lay with him until he falls asleep. This is similar for naptime, books and then we'll lay with him until he's asleep. When he wakes in the night, one of us will go into his room and usually end up staying there the rest of the night. We have had very few nights with no wakeups, but one or two nights where he's slept through the whole night, meaning we slept the whole night in our bed! That's where we stand now, and it's working great, until all life gets turned upside down with the arrival of Baby in May!

As I reflect back on our long and exhausting journey with sleep, I'm very happy with the way things turned out. We tried different things at different times. Sometimes they didn't work. Sometimes I was afraid to try. Sometimes he'd be sick, or teething, or just going through another developmental leap, and needed more attention at night. And I'm glad we were ok with giving that to him, and responding to his ever-changing needs as opposed to fighting him at every turn to get him to sleep independently before he was ready. I figured this kid would be in our bed until kindergarten at least. And here we are, with a toddler who goes to sleep fairly easily, and sleeps in his own bed, in his own room. Never ever would I have thought this would happen. But it all happened in it's own time, and I'm glad we went with Gavin's timeline and not our own.

Monday 2 March 2015

Round Two

Well, since Gavin's 18 month post has been sitting in drafts for the past almost 6 months....I suppose it's just time to move on. So here we go again!

We found out about Baby #2 in early September. We had always said we wanted kids close in age, but I was terrified even thinking of having two under two, so I wanted to make sure there was at least two years in between. So among calculating dates and knowing we would like to have another spring/early summer baby, next thing we know, a May baby is on the way! This next chapter will be insane and wonderful and probably the biggest challenge of our lives so far. At times I can't even imagine another baby in our lives, and I have a lot of conflicting emotions about adding a sibling for Gavin. I know he is going to be a great big brother, and I know how special it will be for him to grow up with a sibling. But at the same time, it breaks my heart a bit to think about our relationship changing, even just our daily routine being a thing of the past. I know there will be many challenges, and I just hope that we are all ready to keep our cool as we navigate life with a new baby!

It is now my mission to try to document a few things I've been reflecting on about life with Gavin. We have had our challenges, that's for sure, but I am SO proud of the dynamic, intelligent, kind, sensitive and energetic toddler he has become. He literally surprises us EVERY SINGLE DAY with new things he does or says. And while we can't take credit for it all, I do have to say that I am proud of Eric and myself, and confident in certain choices we have made as parents. Hopefully I can get these things written down before completely dropping the ball and likely not writing a single thing down about our poor second child!

Thursday 8 May 2014


Dear Gavin,

How can it be that a full year (or 13 months for this procrastinating mama...) has gone by since you came into the world? It has been a year full of happiness, challenges, changes, milestones, travel, meltdowns, giggles, and so much love. In some ways, this year feels like much longer, since it is hard to remember back to when it was just Daddy and me.

You are such a unique little man! Your personality has many levels. Sometimes you are a very serious boy. Even when you are reading books or dancing to music or seeing people you like, sometimes you put on your serious face and try not to smile! Don't take life too seriously, baby boy. Sometimes you are an absolute ham. You love to make us laugh and you cackle at yourself when you are being silly. You wave your hands in the air, throw your head back and let out your big yelling laugh. It's hilarious. You are adventurous, always wanting to explore and get your hands dirty, but sometimes you are also cautious, and like to stick close to mama. Lately you have been very cuddly, which is so precious. You cuddle with your stuffed toys, you nuzzle into blankets on the bed, and you give your mama lots of snuggles, lying all over me, giving me kisses, lying your head on my shoulder. These are special moments to me and I love you for being a cuddly boy!

Your first year of life, Gavin, was such an adventure! 

You first smiled on your one month birthday.

You have been on FOUR big trips - with 8 plane rides! You have seen mountains and oceans and have been a wonderful little traveler.

You love to eat and I love seeing you try and like new foods. You also chug your sippy cup of water like you've been in the desert for weeks. Oh, and I'm sorry for giving you the spicy tomato from the salsa you were begging for. I think you quickly realized that was a bad idea.

You sat on your own in Florence, tried your first foods in Switzerland, and started really crawling at Nana and Papa's on Thanksgiving - your baptism weekend.

You are very close to walking. You are more confident standing on your own and are taking more steps holding onto our hands.

You are eager to be outside more, I can tell. You love the swings at the park but would probably rather crawl all over the dirt and sand, which Mommy doesn't like. You are also very good at climbing stairs and going down stairs or getting off the couch or bed backwards, but please stop trying to do this off a very high drop on playground equipment. Your depth perception needs some work.

You have 11, almost 12 teeth, beautiful dark blonde hair (which has been trimmed twice!), Mama's eyes and Daddy's mouth. You are a skinny little bean but tall, and you weighed 22 lbs at your 12 month doctor visit.

You still love to nurse and can sign to ask for "milk". I love these moments, but it will be nice when you don't want to have milk as much through the night. To date, you have slept a 5-hour stretch twice and one blissful 6-hour stretch. We still struggle with sleeping and you still wakeup lots in the night, but you are doing so well sleeping all night on your little floor bed in our room.

You can sign "more", "milk" and "finished", and you sign and say "hoo hoo" whenever you hear the train! You can say "mama" though you don't say it all the time, you know how to say "dada" when you're babbling but have yet to repeat it in the right context. Yesterday you said "moo" for a cow and you always say "woo woo" when you see a dog. You like sticking out your tongue and your conversations with perfect intonation are so fun to hear. It will be exciting to hear you start to say more words.

It's hard to think about how much more will change in this next year... We will be moving to a new house, with a nice big room for you and a backyard to play in. We will be making new friends, going to new places, trying new activities. It will be a big change for all of us, but we are very excited. Maybe by your next birthday, you will have a new brother or sister on the way...but I would really like you to start sleeping better before that happens!

I try not to think too much about the night you were born, but I think about it almost every day. That night was the hardest and scariest night of my life, and I am thankful every day that you were so strong and fought to take your first breaths. I'm sorry that it was so stressful for you, and I wish with all my heart that you didn't have to be taken away from me. Those moments that we missed would have been heavenly. I think in some ways this has affected you, and that makes me feel sad, but we can't change what happened, and can only thank God that you were and are a healthy, growing boy, surrounded by love. So many people love you, Gavin. We have made some wonderful friends who love you (your best buddy David loves you so much he gives you hugs and pats your head!), our friends love you and love to see your pictures that we share with them, our family loves you to bits - especially your special Nana who can't get enough of you - and Mommy and Daddy love you SO SO much. I love when your face bursts into a smile when Daddy comes home from work and I love the peaceful look on your sweet face when you're sleeping in my arms. This has been such a special first year, Gavin, and I pray it only gets better from here.

We love you so much Bo Bo!

xoxo Mama

Monday 24 March 2014

Eleven Months

Gavin turned 11 months the day we went for a waterfall hike in Costa Rica! The trip was awesome and such nice weather so it was hard to come back to a very cold Toronto. Our classes are very hit and miss now with naptime...I hate to mess up his naps, so usually just go with his cues and if that means we miss a class, I at least get my naptime break! He can nap anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, but usually around 1-1.5 hours is normal. After getting back from Costa Rica he has decided to HATE getting in his stroller, which is making grocery shopping a bit of a challenge and is killing my back from wearing him in the carrier more often! Hoping for warmer weather soon and maybe he'll be ok in the stroller again.

He has a MASSIVE tooth coming in on the bottom right side, not a back molar, but one of the middle ones. His eye teeth on the top are coming in too, so I guess we can blame some of his moodiness on teething.

Gavin now signs "more" (by clapping), and also consistently signs "milk"!! That was so exciting to see him start signing milk, and it's been really helpful for both of us I think that he can communicate that. I try to nurse him as soon as he signs it to positively reinforce the sign so I think he's gotten the hang of it now! He also sort of signs "finished" by wiping his hands together when he's done...but a better indication that he's done is a high chair freak out, swiping all the food off his tray or throwing food onto the floor. He is incredibly moody and quite determined. If he really wants something and you try to take him away from it or take something away from him, he cries loud and hard. His mood seems to turn on a dime and he can go from laughing to crying in a second. He is cruising around a bit more so I'm trying to keep shoes on him in the house so he has a better grip on the floor. We really need to start baby proofing more since he's into all the cupboards and drawers. I'm always watching but better safe than sorry. He discovered the toilet paper and has gotten away with two good rounds of emptying the roll, and has almost totally emptied a Kleenex box at Nana and Papa's.

Sleep is still our biggest challenge. I'm constantly second guessing our decisions from one minute to the next. When you're on hour 2 of trying to get him to sleep, bouncing and nursing and feeling like you are actually going to lose your mind, it's easy to just want to stick him in his crib and let him cry. Easier said than done though since I'd never be able to make it past 2 minutes. Then there are the night where he snuggles in, nurses for a while, pops off on his own and sleeps for a good few hours in between us in bed. Those are the good nights. As I write this, he has finally gone to sleep at 10:00 after almost 2 hours of trying to get him down. So tonight is not a good night. Since his birthday is just around the corner, we're starting to think about when the right time would be for Baby #2. We both know we want them to be close in age, but seriously, I can barely do life with our busy, temperamental sleeper as it is, let alone being pregnant, let alone having a newborn to deal with too! One thing's for sure....if Gavin is still sleeping with us by the time I get a big belly...we're going to need a bigger bed!

Nine Months

New Year, Nine Months!

This little explorer is pulling himself up (confidently to his knees, cautiously to his feet), bouncing/dancing to music, hiding and finding things, and crawling like a maniac all over the place! When he wants something, he is FAST. Pulls himself up on our legs and loves it when Daddy comes home from work and they play! He likes turning the pages in his books and knocking down block towers. He weighed in at 19 lbs at his 9 month checkup, so hasn't gained too much in the past 3 months (around 18 at 6 months), but this is still normal. He decided to learn how to crawl up stairs ALL BY HIMSELF (we had finished a class and I left him with friends to go pull up the car since it was a super cold day, and found out he had followed someone up the 3 little stairs at the studio!) and now likes to practice stairs at some of our favourite places to go (Baby and Me Fitness, Children's Storefront). He has learned how to hold his cup by himself too and likes drinking water from it at dinner.

Gavin got a pretty bad cold, enough to take him to the doctor because of his bad cough. Just a virus so nothing to worry about, but it meant a week off of classes to not spread germs, followed by a week of Mommy being sick, so no classes again! January was a long month of going a bit stir crazy in the condo...super cold outside most days but we try to get to classes or the Storefront as much as possible. Gavin's best friend is David, born 7 hours earlier on March 31! They are very similar in mannerisms and it's nice to be able to talk to his mom about going through the same stages. We meet up at Baby and Me classes and the Storefront for lunches and playtime. Gavin's favourite soup at the Storefront is the split pea soup! He loves playing in the basement with the kitchen set, climbing the little steps to the book area and pulling books off the shelf and will play with and kiss the baby dolls. So cute! He also went through a "scrunchy face" stage:

He seems to know what we mean when we say "be careful" and will consistently "sit down" when told. "No" is sometimes listened to, sometimes not! He has started clapping which is the cutest thing in the world, and might be close to signing "more". Bedtime has been challenging - maybe we are trying to get him down too early since he will often nurse but then pull away wide awake and want to play. Sometimes we'll just let him play to get his energy out and find it's best to wait until he's SUPER tired before even trying to nurse him down. Had one 6 hour stretch of sleep this month!!! Unless I fed him in my sleep and never remembered...

Better Late Than Never...Eight Months

I told myself I HAD to get these done before Gavin turned ONE...which is now a mere 9 days away! How did this happen?! Here's a look at the past few months in the life of Gav.

In December, Gavin turned 8 months old. This was a pretty perfect age for all the excitement of Christmas! He was interested and totally in awe of all the decorations and music but didn't once try to tear down the Christmas tree. Such a good boy! He still loves peek-a-boo, is starting to pull himself up to standing and follows us all around the house or will come find us when we call him. He rips his socks off about 5 times a day and sometimes grinds his tiny teeth which drives me crazy!!

We decided to ditch the winter weather and went with Daddy on his marking trip to San Diego! Another good flight, but getting there very late meant a not very good cab ride to our hotel. His sleep was a bit off the whole time due to the time change, but we knew that would be difficult, especially only being there for a few days, so we just went with it. Crawling around in the hotel room, he learned to go from crawling to sitting! He also liked pulling all the clothes out of the suitcase. I'm sure it was a nice change for him to be out in the stroller without the Bundle Me cozy bag, sweaters and hats. It wasn't too hot, but sunny every day and warm enough for t-shirts. We went to the San Diego Zoo and he seemed to like looking at all the animals and just being outside with Mommy and Daddy all day. One night we tried putting him to sleep in the stroller so we could take him with us up to the rooftop pool for a quick dip in the hot tub. He was not thrilled about not being included so of course woke up. We got a few minutes at least. Drove up the coast to Laguna and Newport Beach. He was a good traveler getting there but not so happy on the way to Newport Beach or on the way back. Taking him down to the ocean was so fun, after a very west coasty breakfast bowl and green smoothie which we shared with him. He was a bit afraid of the waves and wind so stuck close to me.

It was a bit hard finding things for him to eat on the trip. I'm not wanting to give him too much salt, sugar, etc. so it's sometimes challenging finding something for him to eat at restaurants. I was a bit more relaxed though and let him taste a bunch of different things, like the fantastic burgers we had at Urban Burger or minestrone soup, and found him some squeeze pouches of pure applesauce which he seemed to really like, plus always had some apples and bananas and of course, Cheerios. He still seems to be a good eater, loves fruit, sweet potatoes, peas and soup. Not a big fan of meat, but likes beans and ground meat (turkey) in burgers, meatballs or chili. We are pretty positive he is allergic to butternut squash after giving him some soup and enduring a night of throwing up (at Lindsay's in Milton - so much that our sleepover turned into a late night drive home!).

Gavin babbles a lot to himself and has some different tones of voice. He smiles a huge grin all the time but it's still sometimes hard to get a good laugh out of him. For some reason he's started finding it hilarious when he gets out of the tub. I'm usually in the tub with him and pass him out to Daddy and he squeals and laughs and kicks his arms and legs like crazy! So weird... Still sleeping in bed with us, waking frequently and nursing through the night. Will sometimes sleep in though which is nice.

Christmas was super busy but lots of fun. Gavin ended up getting what we're pretty sure was fifth disease on Christmas Day. He'd been fussy and not really himself the day before and had a low grade fever and we noticed the rash on Christmas Day. Definitely not acting like himself so not as into opening presents as he might've been if he was feeling well. Lots and lots of nursing, cuddles and some good naps. He gave us a great gift New Year's Eve when he slept from 10:00-12:30, letting us have a fun evening and midnight celebrations with Kyle and Shannon (and Dad and Rob).

Ten Months

We have a confident stander on our hands! At ten months, he pulls himself up on everything and towards the end of the month is starting to cruise a little bit along the coffee table or back and forth from table to couch. He got a bit too adventurous one day pulling himself up on the high chair and fell and got a huge fat lip! When it happened, it bled quite a bit and I worried he might need a stitch in his lip - seemed his tooth had cut a big chunk out of his lip. Was really swollen that day and a big red mark on it the day after. 
Daddy had gone away for a weekend and got back late after Gavin was asleep. When he woke up in the morning and saw that Daddy was back, he gave him a huge hug! So sweet! He does the cutest things, like climbing into his baby bathtub on the floor, sometimes just to sit there! He loves watching the trains from the futon in his room and will sit right on the windowsill to watch them go by and waves when it disappears. We try to go swimming every so often and he started kicking on his back and blew some bubbles! He is a good helper and likes putting clothes in and out of the laundry basket and loves playing with the swiffer! He is getting into a lot more now, opening and closing drawers (sometimes on his fingers!) so I really need to watch him since we haven't baby proofed that much. He gets into the kitchen drawers all the time and likes to play with utensils, and sometimes pulls all Daddy's socks out of his drawer. 

Another big trip for the little traveler! We went to Costa Rica for 10 days and spent time on the beach and in the rainforest. He was pretty good on the long flight, and it was nice having extra hands - Nana, Papa, Uncle Rob - to help. We took him down to the water the first day and he was pretty apprehensive - didn't quite like the loud waves and didn't want to be put down in the sand. By the next day, he was cautiously exploring the sand and was soon all over the place, playing in the sand, splashing in his little tub on the beach, making mud with the sand, and his favourite - crawling right into the waves lapping on the beach! It was SO hot on the beach so we had to keep him in the shade and he spent most of the days in his bathing suit or diaper. He is having two fairly consistent naps during the day, but the timing depends on when he wakes up. On the trip (maybe the time change or with it being lighter in the morning), he was up super early, sometimes 5:00am. Tried to also get him in bed early, and thought he might sleep more soundly after so much fresh air and activity and in a king bed, but seemed to wake just as frequently as normal. We made him some soup (broth, tomatoes, beans, rice, carrots) so he could have some familiar food but he didn't seem to want to eat too much. Usually eats more at breakfast and lunch than at dinner. Still loves fruit, though bananas are hit and miss, and we took a big supply of Love Child Organics fruit and veggie purees so we could make sure he got some greens and we had something to take on the go for restaurants, on the plane, etc. Towards the end of the trip while in the volcano area, he must've been starting a growth spurt because he was eating SO much! One breakfast it was a full pancake with some pear puree "sauce", tons of fruit and rice and beans! 

He is a bit too interested in our phones now, so it's hard to get photos of him when he lunges for the phone every time! He now knows how to press the home button and sometimes even "talks" to Siri, which is hilarious. We've given him my old Blackberry loaded with Raffi songs so sometimes that is an acceptable substitute, but he's smart enough to know it's not the real thing. He claps and waves all the time now and is starting to clap in his high chair to sign "more". He talks up a storm in all different voices and often says "s" or "z" sounds. Sometimes Daddy even calls him "zee zee" since he says that so often! He sometimes says "dadada" but not too often and will say "mama" but not necessarily in the right context. Close enough though!