She’s made it halfway around the sun. (Wait, seriously? That’s nuts.) It’s also very possible that her favorite toy is a holiday-themed spatula. This is Ali at 6 months.
Devouring the News
Ali has been fixated on the news the last few weeks, and not just on the fact that Donald Trump somehow got elected president of the United States. The newspaper, specifically crumpling, uncrumpling, and slobbering it, quickly became her new favorite pastime. It also accidentally became her first solid food.
Yup… a bit of newspaper made it out the other end (like a really itty bitty teeny tiny piece really I swear), so now anytime anyone asks me what Ali’s first solid food was, the truthful response will always be “newspaper.” <Sobs.>
Ali Eats Real Food
Since I had definitive proof that she could indeed swallow something other than milk, we decided to give Ali some actual edible food the very same morning I made the newspaper-in-diaper discovery. We’re trying the hippie-dippie “baby-led feeding” thing, basically giving Ali the same foods we eat in more or less the same form in which we eat them.
Her first food was banana, which she enjoyed smashing with her hands and squishing between her fingers significantly more than she enjoyed the one bite she managed to swallow. She has since smeared, squished, played with, tongued, gnawed on, and occasionally swallowed avocado, green beans, lettuce, spinach, pork chops, orange slices, oatmeal, eggs, and butternut squash.
We’re living by the motto: food before one is just for fun. So far so good.
Even before her first bite of banana (ahem, newspaper), Ali weighed in at a whopping twenty pounds of chunk. The fact that my body was able to grow and nourish every last cell of a twenty pound human is completely amazing to me. Pregnancy and nursing are undoubtedly the eighth and ninth wonders of the world.
Remember when I wrote about how Ali has been delightfully sleeping through the night since she was seven weeks old? Yeah. That was a dumb thing to say without knocking on wood.
Ali started waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes twice, a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was just a growth spurt, but after three weeks of nightly 12am and 4am wakings, usually accompanied by pretty uncharacteristic crying, I finally called our pediatrician to see what the deal was.
Her response? “Sounds like Ali’s a great candidate for sleep training.”
Sleep Training (Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnn!)
Sleep is something we value immensely in our family. While sleep training (cry it out) is a dirty word to some, and something I had hoped I’d never have to try, Michael and I decided it was a necessary evil to get a regular, predictable full night of sleep back into our lives.
So we did it. (Well, we’re doing it. As of this writing, we’re three days in.)
The system? Basically after Ali goes to bed around 8pm, she’s expected to sleep for 11 hours. If at any point during the night she wakes up and starts crying, we wait five minutes, then go to her and without touching her or soothing her in any way, we say matter-of-factly, “Hey Ali. It’s time to sleep. I’m right here. I know you can do this. I love you.” Then wait another five minutes and repeat until she falls asleep.
The first night, Ali woke up wailing at 1am. I curled up into a ball and counted the seconds in the form of ujjayi inhales and exhales. When I got to 300, I said the little mantra to Ali and waited it out for another 300. And another. It was excruciating.
But then something magical happened. She fell asleep all by herself and slept until morning. No boob. No rocking. No nothing.
On night two, she woke up wailing at 2am. Again, I curled up into a ball and counted the seconds in the form of inhales and exhales, but I only got to 150. She was back asleep and slept until morning.
Last night, night three, she slept from 8pm until 8:30am. And holy hell I feel like a new woman. Please, dear sleep gods, let the trend continue.
In addition to her hilarious attention seeking sharp inhale/wheeze (see video), Ali babbles a lot these days, mostly in the form of gagaga’s, bababa’s, and dadada’s, with this funky Japanese-esque rla-rla-rla sprinkled in for variety.
Although I’d love for her first word to be mom-I-love-you-thanks-for-giving-me-life, I’m betting her first word is either going to be Bubba (the dog), Dada, or possibly Alibaba (what she likely thinks her name is).
All the Cliches
They grow so fast. It’s different when it’s your own kid. Just when you think you’ve got this whole parenting thing nailed, everything changes. You never knew the human heart could hold so much love until you have a child.
All of these. So trite. So true. Especially that last one.