But I have to say these last few weeks he has suddenly developed so much more personality and it is such a joy to witness and get to know my son. It's hard to even count all the changes but just today he:
- Tried to sound out a bunch of new words after watching me say them. Such as bubble, orange, kiss, water, bite, and bath.
- Easily picked up his sippy cup and took drinks.
- Looked at a toy he wanted and made eye contact with me and a distinct sound to get my attention and then looked back at the toy as though he's telling me he wants it.
- Helped pull his shirt over his head and arms through the sleeves with ease.
- When I was in the other room and he started crying I came and asked what was wrong and he looked at Wilson and moved all his body language to see Wilson as though he was telling me Wilson hurt him, then I found the scratch on his arm and Wilson looking very guilty.
These might be little things but they are all new and seem big as they happen. His communication skills improve so rapidly! No signs of walking yet and I am so okay with that! A lot of people ask about it and I see parents encouraging their babies to walk but it is so so good for them to crawl for as long as possible. It helps the baby develop all kinds of skills like problem-solving, self-confidence, agility, hand-eye coordination, and so much more. You can read more about it here. They actually have "crawling class" for adolescent children who have a hard time learning and concentrating in school because they did not spend enough time crawling as babies. Isn't that amazing?!
Sleep is also just recently improved too. The last week or so he has been sleeping for 4-5 hours without nursing whereas he used to nurse every 2-3 hours or even more frequently. This is a great help for my energy during the day! When Clark wakes in the morning it is adorable how he has always been so wide awake, not like hubby and I still sleepy and quiet. Clark will cuddle and give me kisses and crawl back and forth between us until one of us finally gets up to change his diaper. He clings like a monkey to us, all excited for the day and to see the dogs when we let them outside.
These last few weeks have also brought a not so great change as well, Clark will not sleep while riding in the car lately. No matter how tired and full of milk he is, he won't fall asleep. As soon as we get home and lay down together to nurse, he is out like a light. So I think he just needs that close cuddle, maybe it is the new teeth starting to bother him.
Ever since about 8 to 9 months things really just get easier and easier. Up until that point, there was still days of struggling to juggle all the mom things I needed to do. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, play time, sleep, meal prep, self-care, work, marriage, and I'm sure there's more. But right about 8 months or so, we really found a steady groove and it has just been easier and easier to where now I enjoy the days and weeks as they go by. We are busy and the days are full but it is fun and enjoyable instead of stressful and exhausting. It helps that Clark likes to go places, he loves being out and about, riding in shopping carts, and being involved in our lives.
When we have yard work to do, we put jeans on him and he literally crawls around our rock yard exploring and loves it. When I have dinner to cook, he explores the kitchen cabinets, singing songs and telling me stories and laying on Wilson. When there is laundry to fold he helps throw everything on the floor and hide the socks under the couch. When he is tired and I am tired and need a break, we lay down together for a nap and get some rest. Mom needs sleep and a break too!
I am also in the middle of planning a small family gathering for his first birthday, nothing too crazy or expensive but something to remember his first year by. I was hesitant to do a party at first but I'm glad we are planning this simple event with close family, easy lunch and drinks, and a sugar-free gluten-free blackberry pie for Clark to dig into. I can't wait for the photos of my berry covered baby before he isn't a baby anymore!