Here’s to love ♥︎
Saturday was Nicky’s first birthday, and I honestly can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! It seems like the blink of an eye and my tiny little green bean burrito baby is a big boy who loves to eat steak, play with other kids and is thisclose to walking.
To celebrate we had a brunch party with some friends and family who were in town for a wedding. Taylor and I made food for fourteen people- seven adults (including Sym) and seven kids and amazingly enough it was not a disaster? We had fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries and butterscotch melon (SO GOOD), bacon, tater tots, and funfetti pancakes. Taylor and I were actually at the stove making pancakes at the same time; he was making everyone else’s food while I made Nicky’s smash cake: a stack of 12 silver dollar pancakes for his twelve months here. I used a tablespoon to measure out approximately the same amount of batter for each, spread a little cake frosting on top of each and stacked them up. I secured the whole stack with a wooden skewer that I pulled out just before serving to the birthday boy, and it was a hit.
After Gwen, after getting sick, and after Taylor’s and my very responsible decision to not have more kids (even though I REALLY REALLY wanted a baby) I thought I’d never get to experience pregnancy and childbirth again, and even though my third was my most physically uncomfortable pregnancy and the delivery was terrifying, I am so happy to have had Nicky. I’m so grateful and lucky to have three wonderful children who all love each other, and to watch them grow together is my greatest joy in life.
At the beginning of July, there was a huge change here at our house, and the difference has been like night and day… because it literally is! After fourteen years Taylor is no longer working nights. This was a change I pushed for, by which I mean I sent him a series of texts with all the awful health problems you incur from working night shifts. He put in a request to switch to days, and we were expecting it to take some time to get approved (we figured they’d need to find a new night person to replace him) but to our surprise the change was effective the very next week. He’s been on days for two weeks now and it’s been really great.
Now instead of being home alone with the kids in the mornings, he’s here so one of us can get up with the kids while the other sleeps in- or even goes for a run! That’s right, I FINALLY got some use out of all the new workout clothes & shoes I bought at the beginning of the year. We’ve been taking turns so I can go running Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and he goes Tuesday and Thursday. It’s also nice that one of us can take the dogs out while the other stays at home with the kids because me trying to get Gwen and Nicky dressed and fed and out to walk the dogs before I start work at 8am was NOT easy!
He’s working 8-4ish, so he usually gets home a little earlier than I would wake him up in the evenings, which means he has more time to spend with the kids then as well, or help with dinner. He no longer has to go to bed early Sunday afternoons before his Monday shift and can spend the whole weekend with us. And of course the best part is that instead of him leaving at 11pm to go to the office all night, he gets to sleep in the bed with me at night (which means he also gets more sleep). We’ve never slept in the bed at night together for more than two weeks in a row for the entire 10 1/2 years we’ve been together, so it’s pretty amazing.
Of course, such a big change coming so suddenly has not been without its upheavals as we get used to our new family schedule. Now instead of Taylor being home during the day to look after the daycare kids in a pinch when we have doctor’s appointments, dance classes, or speech therapy, I have to figure out how to do it by myself. Gwen has ballet class two afternoons a week, a class I chose specifically because it was during naptime so Taylor could easily supervise the sleeping children while I took Gwen alone. Now I have to take her, and Nicky, and the daycare kids with me. It’s not far, about a 15-20 minute walk, but when I have three or four kids under five with me instead of just one… it takes a bit of doing.
However, none of that matters if it means I get to spend time with my husband during NORMAL hours, and for years longer than I would have been able to if he kept working nights. Working nights for so long can increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mental illnesses, early onset dementia and certain cancers, so as I like to remind Taylor, by pushing for this change, I saved his life!
Nicky is nine months old today! It’s also 39 weeks and 1 day since he was born, so he’s now existed in the world longer than he’s existed in my body, so good job, Nicky. Way to be alive 🙂
Nicky is very mobile and his army-crawling has reached incredible speed. He will pop up onto his hands and knees to rock back and forth but hasn’t yet mastered actual crawling yet. He can now getting into and out of a seated position on his own with no head bonking, and has started pulling himself up into a kneeling position on the couch and toy shelf, which he delights in emptying all over the floor.
He is definitely getting at least two teeth on the top, possibly three. It’s been slow going and while he continues to be mostly ok with teething his emotions are a little hair-trigger at the moment. He’s liable to go from happy and smiling to screaming and crying at the drop of a hat, and he’s been waking up at night more frequently.
His favourite toys are his foxy & dolly that he has in his crib. He is still loving every kind of solid food we give him; this month it’s been a lot of multigrain cheerios, grilled chicken, broccoli stems, cucumbers and bell peppers. And donuts, I guess!
(don’t worry, I didn’t let him have all of these)
Today Nicky is seven months old!
He loves rolling over and over, army crawling around the whole house and putting everything in his mouth. He got his first tooth this week, for real, and enjoys using it to chomp on all the different foods he gets to try now. He’s an early riser and usually wakes up by six am, which I’m not a fan of, but he sleeps well through the night and has two regular naps a day. He likes taking baths, especially with Gwen, and loves to kick and kick in the water and soak everyone in the splash zone. He loves both his sisters, and thinks everything they do is the funniest thing in the world, with everything Georgie does being a close second. He’s a hair-puller and a skin-scratcher and a beard-grabber, he has a halo of the softest blondest baby chicken fluff you ever saw, and he has a smile that lights up the whole room.
He’s also very fast.
taking a break from Nicky & donuts with this Nickyburger & fries
There’s no 30th of February so I realized yesterday that Nicky was five months old? SEEMS SUSPICIOUS BUT W/E. He weighs 7.5kg and is 69.5cm tall. He’s wearing size two diapers but his skinny behind would still fit into size ones. His arms and legs are growing out of all his size 3-6 month clothes at an alarming rate. We don’t have very much 6-12 month stuff for him, oh darn I’m gonna have to go BABY CLOTHES SHOPPING ie my favourite activity.
At five months old Nicky loves rolling over and over, especially when he’s supposed to be sleeping so you have to check on him constantly and carefully roll him back onto his back. No swaddle can stop him, he has to roll! He will also grab onto the bars of the crib so you have to pry his little sticky paw free before you can do it because otherwise you can’t break his kung fu grip.
He likes any toys he can put in his mouth: all his teethers, Gwen’s old-but-unused Sophie giraffe, these little clutching dolls, you name it. He delights in them! He is defintiely 100% over binkies. He loves any bouncing games: boingy-boingy-boo, wibble-wobble, wheeeeee! (please don’t ask me to explain these). He likes to have his bath with Gwen and kicks and kicks and kicks until we are all thoroughly splashed. He laughs at everything, smiles at everyone, and has passed his second post-meningitis hearing test with flying colours.
Nicky usually has two naps during the day and goes to bed for the night around the same time as Gwen, which is AMAZING only… it means he wakes up at 6am. I am not a morning person so it’s a little bit of a struggle, especially since neither of my other kids were earlier risers as babies. Maybe it will finally be the thing that gets me up early enough on the mornings when Taylor is here to go to the gym though? Dare to dream.
Nicky was actually four months old two days ago on January 30th. I was waiting to post this because he had a doctor’s appointment today (4 month shots, VACCINATE YOUR KIDS OK) and I wanted his height & weight. He weighs 6.872kg and is 69cm tall, putting him right in the 50% percentile for weight but over the 95th percentile for height (no surprises there).
At four months he is really into cramming things in his mouth. He is low-key teething so anything that can be chewed will be chewed, and the floods of drool never cease. He actually loves all the teethers I made for him so I can totally justify all the beads I bought, haha. He loves snuggling and being bounced in your lap, and he loves his Skip Hop play gym (especially knocking it over on himself). He likes playing peekaboo, loves his sisters, and sleeps well through the night in his crib (although recently he’s been staying up late and pooping all evening, followed by a big sleep in the next morning). His eyes are very blue and in a surprise twist his hair is BLOND. Both girls had much darker/longer hair at this age but he has cute little yellow baby chicken fluff on his head. I was very blonde as a child so maybe in this sense he’ll take after me.
Gwen chose his outfit for picture day, and when I was editing these she came over and said “Awwww, it’s Nicky! I love him.” Such a sweet girl!
I did not stage a clean room for this post, can you tell?
Since we brought him home from the hospital, Nicky has been sleeping in his bassinet in my and Taylor’s bedroom, but Gwen has been begging for us to start putting Nicky to bed in the crib in their shared room at night. Since he’s such a good sleeper I decided to give it a try last week and so far it’s going well! Gwen goes to bed at 7:30, and we just leave the door open a crack so we can easily sneak in and put Nicky down later (usually around 10 or 10:30). The first night was a bit chaotic as Gwen woke up at 3am, turned on all the lights, changed her outfit about three times and set up her train set all over the room before coming to wake me up. Thankfully Nicky slept through the whole thing and I was able to get Gwen back to bed as well. It’s so sweet seeing them both sleeping peacefully in there, and even more so seeing how much Gwen loves her baby brother and wants him around.
At three months old Nicky is…
… Over binkies. I honestly can’t remember the last time he took one. He much prefers cramming his whole fist in his mouth and gnawing on that instead. In related news, he drools. A lot.
… Really into rolling from his back onto his side and just hanging out like that. He seems pretty close to a full roll onto his tummy but he still hates tummy time so I can’t imagine he’ll be thrilled about that accomplishment.
… A super sleeper. I would almost say he’s on a sleep schedule? The past few nights I’ve put him down in his bassinet fully awake at around 10pm and after wiggling and kicking his swaddle loose he falls asleep until 8 or 9am.
… The jolliest baby. The funniest thing to him right now is when I hold him by his hands and pull him up into a standing position, but almost any interaction will reward you with a huge gummy smile and giggles. Sometimes he snorts when he laughs.
… weighs 5.9kg… is 65cm long… has a head circumference of 41cm.
This week has been kiiiiind of difficult. Taylor is back at the office three days a week and so I’ve had my first nights alone with the kids. Nicky is actually sleeping through the night (I KNOW) but the hours he’s sleeping around exactly the right ones. The first two nights he fell asleep around 1am, which was Not Great as I had to get up early enough to walk the dogs before Sym left for school at 7:45. Last night he fell asleep at 10 which was SO GOOD… until he woke up at 5:30 this morning. Usually when he wakes up in the morning he just needs a change & a bottle and then falls right back to sleep, but today he stayed up until 5 minutes before my alarm went off. So like… just ideal, really.
Gwen also woke up at 5:30 today, and also didn’t go back to sleep. This was actually a big problem with her for a while, she’d wake up multiple times in the night and refuse to go back to bed until we let her look outside to see that it was still dark (this was a huge pain in the summer when it sometimes wasn’t dark but was too early to get up). We got her a clock that lights up green when she’s allowed to get up and it has been a huge help, but some days she still has a little trouble waiting. This morning she turned on the overhead light and I could hear her through the monitor dumping out about fifty bins of toys, but she wasn’t crying on banging on the door so I just let her play.
On Monday Gwen and I had a particularly tough day; neither of us was in a good mood and there was a lot of pushback from her when I asked her to do things (like cleaning up her toys) or not do things (like hitting the other kids). We had several big arguments and were both very frustrated. I felt bad about how rotten of a day we had so for the rest of this week I’ve tried to have more patience with her. Tuesday and Wednesday went a lot better, and yesterday we were walking home from the playground and I told her of how proud I was of her for being such a good listener and being helpful and patient, and she turned to me, holding her fingers thisclose together and said “You a lil bit proud a me?” Yes Gwen, a lil bit, and a big bit!
She is turning into such a big kid, in fact she told me on Tuesday that she is a big kid now, not a little kid anymore. We were on our way to the school to register her for kindergarten, which seems BONKERS. I just can’t believe that she’s going to be going to school next year! While we were at the front office a class came down to the library and she was SO EXCITED to seem them, she didn’t want to leave. In fact, she almost started to cry because she thought she’d get to start going to school right then! Since then she’s talked to me every day about going to school and asks if she can go “in two minute.” It is heartbreaking to tell her she can’t start for nine more months, but I for one am going to try to enjoy every day with my not-little but not-too-big girl.