10 Months

Little Alex has passed the 10 month milestone without popping the first tooth! She’s a tough one and currently teething miserably. Occasional low grade fevers, runny nose, and grumpiness is for the birds. 

She is slowing passing up her weight gain platue. She’s been petite from the start, and it was all about survival during those transition months of remodeling and moving. We had multiple nursing challenges that never really resolved from the beginning, but I just pushed through and did the best I could with everything else on my plate. I didn’t really stop to notice that she had stopped gaining until I started troubleshooting  her sleep and teething troubles. I wondered if she wasn’t getting enough milk, so I expored supplementing with goat’s milk. In those weeks since I started, her development has suddenly advance by leaps and bounds. She’s crawling on her knees more instead of the army crawl, and she started pulling herself up on furniture. She is also visibly gaining, and it makes me so happy. 

Can I just stop and tell myself that I fought a good fight and I am a rock star mother? Thanks. I overcame and am still overcoming so many challenges against hell and high waters and exhaustion. I always want to learn and grow and adapt to care for my child. So much of parenthood is experimenting to find solutions. 

We are still having more brutal nights than not, but I’m pretty sure it’s teething related. She frequently goes on eating strike, (Not at night of course. Hehe) and we have a tough time of it all around. We have established one long, solid afternoon nap since settling into our home, so that is positive for all. Occasionally, I can squeeze a late afternoon nap out of her, and the rare morning nap after waking up from a rough night already grumpy and tired. #momlife. God told me to keep doing what I’m doing, so I’m believing it will be ok!

Miss Alexandra’s hair is getting long and wispy. My friend wondered if the extra protein the goat milk formula I make has something to do with it. I love twirling her fine strands between my fingers.

Her chatter it precious. Lots of “dadadada.” Other people seem to think that means she’s talking, but it’ll have to be pretty obvious before I am convinced it’s not just baby talk. She does love her dad though. It’s so hard on all of us when he’s gone overnight during the week. It often takes some quality time and snuggles for her to recconect with him after an absence. Solo parenting and responsibility at home is hard for extended periods during the week, but I do my best to keep it fun to reduce stress.

It’s interesting watching my daughter develop emotionally, which is coming with new challenges. What is it about diaper changes that signal a meltdown overdrive? What tells her that diaper changes are a form of torture all of a sudden? It must be a new burst of independence. I am literally scared I’m hurting her half the time because she twists and writhes so much. (The leaky diaper problem right now-disposable and cloth, might just be from the resulting poor fit. It could be the extra pee from eating so much more too.) 

Since she’s been playing with kids more, I’ve noticed her on the offense. Instead of simply crying heartbrokenly over pain, physical or otherwise, there are distict emotions behind the cries now. Anger when she doesn’t understand something or when she’s feels taken advantage of, for example. She knows when she’s been violated, and her desperate, angry cry kicks in. When a child grabbed something from her, her motor memory was incredible. After that, she would get agitated when he simply entered the room again. Ironically, she takes things from me and her little cousins. A missing connection there that will be filled in later. 🙂 Human nature is so intense, and I feel it through my growing girl. Somehow I want to show my little one to be powerful, to set boundaries, and stand up for herself, but also practice learning to release pain and forgive, as well as extend kindness to others.

I love interacting with her in her language. For months now, she touches her forehead to mine if I lean in, and it’s the sweetest thing. She also likes to touch my face and attempt to pull out my eyelashes. Tonight she tried to chew on then. (Unsuccessful.) In the rare moment that she cuddles and lays her head on my shoulder, (usually when tired) she makes a contented humming sound, and I respond with “Aww,” and stroke her back. We go back and forth copying each other like that for a few moments. She also does those “Haaaaa” whisper sound when she’s happy, and we copy each other back and forth like that as well, producing lots of smiles and happy endorphins of connection. 

With mobility comes lots of discovery and messes to be made. Anytime I open the fridge, it’s a race to investigate, and there is a frustrated cry when the door slams shut. She loves to be outside and is much more entertained in the big outside world than inside four walls. She has an obession with picking and eating grass. How ironic that non-toys are more entertaining than her toy basket? Her favorite is my tea basket in the kitchen. She has mutilated those boxes and even spilled a tea bag or to. She discovered my plants as well. You know you’ve become a more lenient parent when you find hair and other non-milk particles in your baby’s diaper and you don’t freak out anymore. If it’s not poisonous and biodegradable… Eh. Right? 🙂

(What photography with a baby is really like.)

Alexandra introduces me to so many mountains that I don’t feel cut out for, but God gives me immeasurable strength to overcome them, and I usually get revelations and valuable life lessons out of the deal. I guess God knows that the more we overcome, the more ground we can claim and have authority in. 

I love her so much. Always keep your joy, baby girl. You change lives, starting with your mama. 

©Brenda Kanagy

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