Monday, January 30, 2006

Milo in the moment

Milo just turned seven months old last week. He cut his first tooth the very same day.

Yes, that's right. He has a tooth, people. A tooth. A razor-sharp little cutting tool poking up from his gum. I'm simultaneously proud and horrified. Proud, because my little boy is growing up. Horrified, because my little boy is growing up. Natch.

In other new developments, Milo has finally figured out how to bring his toes, those beloved objects of desire that until last week seemed to be so far beyond his reach, up to his mouth to suck on them. At last! Victory is his!

And yesterday, for the first time ever, he rolled over from his belly to his back. We'll see how long it takes for him to repeat this mind-defying feat.

He's recently become obsessed with our dog, Nell, and shrieks with delight whenever she enters the room. When he's on the couch with me, he'll keep his eyes glued to the far edge of the family room table as he waits to catch a glimpse of her lying on her dog bed on the floor beyond the table. He knows she's there. He can hear her deep doggy breathing. When she finally does lift her head off the bed to look over at us, he shouts with laughter, his entire body shuddering with glee.

He's now able to sit up by himself and play with a toy for long stretches of time. He reaches for things and passes them easily from hand to hand, examining them curiously from all angles before stuffing them into his mouth to discover what they're really like.

He's also stuffing his mouth with some actual edible items these days. His favourites are peas, bananas, and oatmeal, but he also likes rice cereal, carrots, split mung beans, and sweet potato. Barley cereal is considered tolerable, but only when mixed with something tastier, like peas. Avocados are NOT considered even remotely edible, and should not be brought within a five-foot radius of Milo for any reason -- except for making mama giggle, of course. (I've discovered that there's a direct inverse relationship between Milo's fondness for a particular food item and the extent to which I enjoy seeing the facial expression he makes upon tasting it. I'm trying really hard to refrain from sadistically manipulating him for my own amusement, but sometimes it's difficult.)

Speaking of food, I'm overjoyed to announce that Milo no longer needs his 11:00 p.m. "dream feed." He's now sleeping from around 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. without waking for a boob fix. This means that I no longer have to stay awake until 11:00 p.m. every night. For the first time since I got pregnant, I've actually been able to sleep for eight unbroken hours at a stretch. And the heavens opened and choirs of angels sang...

(The downside to my liberated evenings is that I haven't been compelled to blog quite as often these days. Sorry folks, but when my choices are: A. going to bed early with my man or B. staying up late in front of a computer, option A definitely strikes me as the sexier of the two options -- as much for the extra sleep as for any other possible bedroom activities, alas.)

We've even launched Milo down the slippery slope of scheduled activities by signing him up for swimming lessons. First infant swimming... then baby sign language... then Mother Goose story time at the library. Next thing you know, he's going to be learning karate while playing baseball at violin practice, all the while performing sleight-of-hand magic tricks while riding on a unicycle.

Okay, so babies don't come with an off switch. I've been forced to acknowledge the truth of this. But wouldn't it be nice if they had some kind of toggle switch that allowed us to vary the speed at which they grow up?

It feels to me like Milo was shot from a cannon seven months ago and has been hurtling down the baby Autobahn at a gazillion miles an hour ever since.

It's all happening way too fast.

Could someone please tell me where the off ramp for the scenic route is? Please? Now that my mat leave is more than half over (NOOOO!), I'd like the following five months to meander along as slowly as humanly possible. The windier the route, the better. I know we'll get to our destination eventually -- I'm just not willing to hurry the journey. I don't want to miss a single moment of it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

He like to move it, move it

I'm pretty sure that Milo thinks he's a lemur. A lemur on crack, that is.

Whenever I change him these days, as soon as I get his pants off (a difficult feat made even more challenging by the fact that he likes to rapidly kick and cycle his legs as if he's trying to do the back stroke across the changing mat), he grabs on to my nearest arm with both hands and pulls it down to him so he can chew on my sleeve. Then he proceeds to wrap both his arms and legs around my arm and cling to it like a marsupial hanging from a tree branch. He gets the most hilarious expression on his face when he's doing this, as if he's thinking, "Ah-ha! Victory is mine! Now, if only I open my mouth wide enough, I'm positive I can swallow this entire branch in one go, orange cotton leaves and all..."

Admittedly, he looks pretty darned adorable when he's doing this. However, with one arm basically out of commission, I do find it a lot more difficult to finish the job of changing him. What with the boy's mind-bending strength and incessant penchant for wiggling, what should be a simple two-minute job can stretch upwards of fifteen minutes these days. Good thing I don't have anything better to do.

Truth be told, playing with Milo on the change table is one of my favourite things to do. Unless, of course, I'm trying to get him ready to go out and we're in a hurry. Then it's torture. Or an exercise in patience, which usually amounts to the same thing.

I'm just glad the boy didn't come with a prehensile tail... Otherwise, he'd spend all day swinging off the rafters butt-nekkid. And that could make for a rather messy situation.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Milo's First Christmas (1)

Here's a brief recap of what we did during the holiday season. Enjoy! We sure did...

On December 23rd, we stopped by Milo's Great-Nana's place to drop off some presents and enjoy a cup of tea. Milo and Nana had lots of fun checking each other out.

Then it was off to my folks' place, where we stayed from the 23rd until Boxing Day (the 26th, for all you non-Boxing-Day-celebrating cretins out there. I mean, really -- who in their right mind would say no to an extra paid holiday?)

And YES, we did make Milo wear his Santa suit as often as possible over the holidays. Hey, it cost me a whole $16!!! I had to make the most of it.

Christmas Eve was a special day -- Milo had his first taste of solid food!

We gave him organic brown rice cereal for his first meal. He seemed to like it just fine, though half of it ended up on his bib. That was mostly my fault -- trying to stick a spoonful of food into the mouth of a wriggling baby proved to be about as easy as threading a needle while drunk on a roller coaster.

Christmas morning rocked, of course. Not only was it the Big Day, it also happened to be Milo's six-month birthday! As freaky as it is to believe, he's actually a full half-year old now.

The lucky boy had not one, but two stockings waiting for him on the hearth. Apparently Santa thought he was twice as good as all the other little boys and girls. I guess the ol' geezer wasn't aware of the many times Milo has pulled his mama's hair or waited until his diaper's off before letting loose with the firehose.

Not surprisingly, Milo's parents and grandparents tended to be more impressed with his presents than he was. (Give him a year or two...) However, there was one toy that definitely caught his attention.

Thanks to our new friend, Shinosaurus Rex, the poor kid's probably going to have dinosaur stalker nightmares for years to come. The fact that Rex plays Mozart tunes will only serve to heighten the horror, I'm guessing.


Milo's First Christmas (2)

The perennial BC coastal winter rains gave us a break in the afternoon on Christmas Day, so Rob, Milo and I took Nell dog on a walk around the park right behind my parents' house.

Milo's sporting one of his new Christmas presents in the photo; apparently, my mother and I share the same love of goofy hats for babies.

After a quick overnight pit stop at our place on Boxing Day, we packed up our bags again and headed to Rob's folks' place on Vancouver Island.

Milo had a great time on the ferry. He was fascinated by everything he saw -- the other passengers, the designs on the seat cushions, the other little children playing in the kids' area, even the raindrops streaming across the window beside us.

At least one of us was able to derive some enjoyment from the rain...

Milo's Gramma and Poppa were very happy to see him.

Make that, **REALLY** happy to see him.

And of course, Milo was a perfect angel the entire time we were there.


Milo's First Christmas (3)

While staying at Rob's folks' place, we took advantage of a break in the rain to take a walk through Miracle Beach Provincial Park, which is right up the beach from where they live.

Unfortunately, we forgot to bring the Baby Trekker, so Milo had to go off-roading in a stroller.

We spent the rest of our time there mostly just hanging out and looking good.


Milo's First Christmas (4)

On December 30th, we left Miracle Beach and went to Hornby Island, to visit with our friend Cari, who runs a bed and breakfast there together with her son, Kaie. She'd shut down the B&B for the holidays and invited a whole bunch of her friends to come hang out for the holidays.

We joined up with our friends Tallulah and Chloe at the Buckley Bay ferry terminal. Chloe was really happy to get to the B&B and roast some marshmallows in the open fireplace...

... and hang out with her friend, Kaie, who she hadn't seen in a while.

On New Year's Eve, we all went for a walk down to the beach. It wasn't raining, but was extremely windy and cold.

Did I mention it was cold?

Despite the weather, some of us still decided to pay homage to baby Jesus by imitating his "walking on water" trick.


Milo's First Christmas (5)

Milo was absolutely fascinated with the big kids, which helped when it came to feeding him. At least when he was staring at Kaie or Chloe, his mouth would usually remain relatively stationary and I wouldn't end up painting his eyebrows with rice cereal.

Milo was a very good boy and went to bed nice and early on New Year's Eve.

The rest of us, of course, stayed up partying. After we'd counted down the old year and cheered in the new, the big kids went outside and played with giant sparklers.

The next morning, Milo was the first one awake. Of course he was.

We took the 11:00 ferry from Hornby, just to make sure we'd make the 3:00 boat from Nanaimo. Milo played cutsey with the girls in the backseat for most of the trip.

All in all, we were amazed at how great he was, being carted around from place to place like that. Still, there was no denying how excited he was to find himself back at home that evening. He sat in his bouncy chair for what seemed like hours, squealing with delight at the familiar surroundings.

And of course, he was most especially excited to become reacquainted with the giant glowing boobie.

The kid's like his Dad, I tell you. He's got a one-track mind.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2006 has fabulous things in store for each and every one of you.