Eight months

We had Paxlet’s 8 month neuvola and doctor visit yesterday. I’m not feeling to happy about the visit. Sure I got some advice that I’m taking into use and consideration (starting meat and fish), but there are some things, mainly related to sleep and night feeds, that I just felt like I was being told I am doing it all wrong and I need to change things NOW or there will be problems later on. It just left a sour taste in my mouth. (I’ve written more about it down in the Sleeping category.) Mostly, the neuvola visit went well and Paxlet is growing and developing just great, if not a bit ahead of the game.

It truly is amazing how much my little guy has grown. I am trying to love and enjoy every moment of it. Sometimes when we’ve got a screaming baby (though, thankfully it truly isn’t so often) it is hard to enjoy it, especially when it is night time and I am tired myself. But, really, I am enjoying this whole thing called motherhood and being a momma. I thank my lucky stars each day. I really do.

It is official, I will head back to work on September 2nd. Three days after Paxlet turns 1 year old. I really don’t want to head back to work, even though I still have 4 more months left. I have to keep reminding myself I am very fortunate to be here in Finland where I have had the opportunity to be on maternity leave for 9 months (1 month before he was born, 7 after), still accrue holidays so that I am now officially on holiday until mid July and then I will take 1 and a half months of unpaid (or rather very minimal pay from the government) before heading back to work. If I was in the US, I would have either left my job to stay home or I would have been back at work a long time ago.

Weight & Length: Yesterday Paxlet weighed in at 9 kilos 430 grams (20,7 pounds) and he measured 70,0 centimeters (27,6 in).

Sleeping: Sleep is better than what it was at one point, but we are no where near sleeping through the night. When asked, I told the neuvola doctor yesterday that he wakes up 4-5 times a night, she said that is quite common for his age. I also said that I still feed him him during the night when he wakes up and wants boob. I know these days he wants the boob mostly for comfort and not really out of hunger, but it makes getting sleep much easier for everyone. The doctor said I need to make sure Paxlet gets 5 meals (snacks included) a day, along with some breast milk and then he won’t need to eat during the night. I understand intellectually how and why that is, but at the same time I am still wanting to follow Paxlet’s lead a bit and not just stop or do things because one person tells me I need to. There are as many ways to do things as there are people and everyone needs to find what is right for them. Yes, I am already working on getting Paxlet to sleep longer on his own at night (in his own crib), but if he wakes up and won’t go back to sleep without a binkie or my boob, then I’m going to feed him.

Last night for example, Paxlet was fed at 8pm as he went to bed. He woke up a few times, to which I shh-patted him back to sleep until the time he woke up around midnight and wouldn’t be shh-patted back to sleep. So, I gave him the boob. But, I managed to stay awake long enough to put it away once he was done. Paxlet woke a few more times during the night, but I didn’t give him the boob until 5 am and again at 6am. But each time I stayed awake (normally I’d just fall back asleep and let Paxlet eat as much and for as long as he wanted) and put the boob away after 10 minutes or so.

I think I’m doing quite well on getting Paxlet to sleep more without needing a boob at night, especially when I think back to a couple of months ago when he wanted my boob ALL night long. I’m not sure why what the doctor said raised my hackles so much, as it is basically what I am striving for, but it did. I think it was more how she said it that bothered me. I will have a bitch talk-fest with a friend next week just to get my thoughts out and hear hers, as she has a 4 year old and an almost 7 month old.

Next phase will be getting Paxlet to sleep in his own crib, all night.

Eating: Paxlet eats most everything I give him, except for the last few days. He has been showing his preference for foods and the ones he doesn’t want to eat get pushed out of the mouth with his tongue. I just laugh!  I have also learned that he doesn’t like the foods I’ve made where I boiled everything together in one pan (like making a soup) and them separated them out to be frozen separately. Paxlet prefers his food pure of taste, or at least only mixed at the last moment on the plate. I think Mr Siili and I will be eating some creamed soup soon.

We’ve been doing chunkier puree foods, finger foods (pear, avocado, toast, along with just giving him lumps of his regular food) and still introducing new things. His latest new foods are 2 very soft oven baked french fries (yesterday), some toast and fish (yesterday). Paxlet favorite foods are avocado, berries/fruits and corn puff-snacks.

Clothing: Some of the size 70 clothes will be small quite soon, but most still fit. Then again, many of the size 74 fit just fine and others are huge. It all depends on the make, brand and model.

Hair: Hair is the same as usual. Growing, but very blond and from a distance he still looks bald.

Personality: Paxlet is really such an easy going little guy, but he sure has been showing his preferences lately. From liking or not liking certain foods to screaming if he doesn’t want to lay on the changing table or wanting one toy over another. It’s so interesting to see him develop and watch new things show up. Mr Siili and I keep telling each other that “well, he has half my genes, so…” or “we know he’s your kid because…”.

Milestones & Firsts*: So much has happened this month. I am so glad I keep a daily journal (private blog) for Paxlet because I know I would (and do) forget half of what goes on.

Just over a week ago, we got our first tooth!!! His drool had been much thicker and abundant for some time. We could also see two bumps on the bottom front and finally a tooth came through. I expect the other one soon. Thankfully Paxlet wasn’t too cranky while the tooth was trying to come through. I think warm foods sometimes bothered him and it was painful sometimes, but he wasn’t ever in a horrible mood.

At the beginning of the month, Paxlet had a very high fever for a few days. It got high enough (39,6c) the first evening that we took him to the ER. They didn’t do much, but the doctor there was nice enough and explained what is ok and not ok with fevers (in English, as she heard me talking to Paxlet in English). I hope we don’t go through that for a long time, Paxlet was in a horrible mood and I don’t blame him!

I started Paxlet on finger foods and he just loved it. I gave him some corn puffs (like cheesy poofs, but without all the flavors and additives and organic) first because they melt/dissolve in the mouth. They are also great for taking along, as they aren’t too messy (now that he’s figured out how to eat them better) and they keep him occupied until we can reach our destination to get him real food. Also, letting Paxlet feed himself at home is a lot of fun and a huge mess. Avocado doesn’t really end up on the floor, but most everything else does. The table is pretty much covered too. I keep thinking I need to put some art paper under him on the table and we can get some early art work out of it.

Paxlet’s sense of humour is coming out. He finds things funny. I don’t always know what it is he’s laughing about, but he is looking around and finding things to grin and laugh about. My nipple(s) has been the source of many laughs. So is touching my hair as I am on the floor cleaning up his food, while he is still in his high chair. Sometimes he’ll just let out a little “haa” or “hmm” almost to himself as he has had an amusing thought.

Bee buzzing sounds along with vibrating/wiggling the tummy are hilarious! Baby-quakes are quite fun too.

Cats. Paxlet just loves our cats. Now, almost every time he sees one up close-ish, he screeches at them in a happy-hello sort of way. The cats run away and Paxlet just loves it. The cats, well, not so much.

A new and fun game: dropping stuff on the floor and waiting for momma to pick it up again. I know this is a developmental thing, so I’m enjoying it so far, for the first 1 000 pick-ups. We’ll see how I feel after that. LOL

Along with Paxlet’s crawling skills getting much much better, he has now started bringing toys with him as he crawls. The toy is either pushed a head of him or dragged along under/in his hand as he crawls (poor floor). We’ve also got some cruising action going on. I noticed it grudgingly in the crib first, but Mr Siili is correct, he is doing it anywhere he can.

We’ve got lots of chatting going on. For a few days, Paxlet was saying “gyak gyak” when he was frustrated or unhappy about something. And “gak gak” in moments of happiness. Those sounds have changed once again, but the vocalization hasn’t. He talks up a storm.

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