Sweet Leo is 8 months old!
When he was only 2 or 3 months, I remember seeing older babies and couldn’t believe that he could possibly be that big one day. And here we are – he’s officially an old baby.
Before Leo, I hadn’t spent much time around babies to see how they progress into big babies, then toddlers, then kiddos. Living so far away from our nephews, Kyle and I didn’t witness their month-to-month transformations. Those boys are whole new little people every time we make it back home.
Now I understand the value of monthly milestone pictures (Kyle is not on board yet). I get why moms want to document each month of baby’s first year (and probably long after). Each new thing the baby does feels like a door unlocking an element of their personality. Each babble or expression reveals more of what he’s trying to tell me. The monthly milestones serve as markers for me to remember the seemingly tiny development I may take for granted that serves as a huge leap for him.
At 8 months, Leo’s big life skill is pulling himself up to stand, then falling on his cute little butt. He seems more impressed, though, by his ability to get from his belly to his butt, and he sits himself up over and over. From his bottom, he loves doing circles and scanning the room for what to get into next. Apparently, he has gotten the other babies at daycare to see how fun this is, too.
Leo has a lot to say, “uh-oh” being one of his favorite phrases. And he’s starting to use his cuteness for power, so Mom and Dad are officially in trouble. It didn’t take Leo long in life to realize that he can use his big eyes to flirt with people. He loves charming his female teachers at daycare – such a ladies’ man.
This month Leo has also fallen in love with Pooh Bear. My heart melts a little every time he hugs him and bites his furry face.
Leo is both an easy baby and an unpredictable baby. Easy in the sense that he is so happy and smiley all day long. Unpredictable in the sense that one night he’ll wake up only once and the next 3 nights he’ll cry for hours.
Easy in the sense that he’ll sleep during an entire flight and wake up dreamy and smiling when we land. Unpredictable that on the next flight he’ll rage-cry for three hours straight (good times….).
As Leo gets older, he tests us in new ways and teaches us new things. I think Kyle and I are transforming as parents from month to month right along with the baby. For one thing, we’ve gotten better at being kind people through sleep deprivation (it’s a work in progress).
Momma’s 8-month milestone is that I found my way back to a regular writing practice. I didn’t know if this would happen at all this first year, but 8 months into motherhood, I’m finding some rhythm that allows me to pursue my happy things. I’m understanding the necessity of taking time on the weekends to leave Leo with Dad (they happily watch golf together) while I go write at a coffee shop for a couple hours and get a workout in. I come back a better mom, more energized and fulfilled and ready to get on the floor and play.
And 8 months of providing only breastmilk for him is another mom-milestone to celebrate. Our breastfeeding journey hasn’t been pretty and certainly hasn’t been easy, but it has been a worthwhile pursuit. It’s still happening and it’s working, even though only one of my boobs produces. Even though Leo would rather play or make faces at me or do anything other than waste time eating. Even though Leo has teeth… sharp, baby-shark teeth.
I’ve mostly pumped and bottle-fed the boy since he was 3 months old, only doing direct nursing during our special twilight hours. This month Leo started getting more attached to me and even asked for the boob more regularly, a new behavior that has been a relief to Momma. Leo is an ongoing lesson of persistence for me.
Each milestone reminds me how fast this time is going, and in another month he’ll be a new baby with more tricks and more elements to his personality. In another month, I’ll be a mom with new lessons learned and new challenges to figure out. Leo, Kyle, and I will keep learning this life thing together, one milestone at a time.
Happy 8 months, my sweet smart boy.