Saturday, March 9, 2013

Eight Months with Zuzu: This Is the Fun Part.

This past month has been crazy busy at work for both David and me.  We've put our house on the market, received an offer, and started the negotiations and inspections and waiting games that are all part of selling a house.  We've had long conversations about where we'd like to live and what we see our family doing in two years and five years and ten years and every conversation ends with one of us commenting that we can't plan for everything and we have to decide what works right now.  The past few weeks have been filled with the kind of days where you're just dealing with what must be dealt with at the time--diapers are changed, dinner is made, papers are graded, but there's never a moment when I've felt like we're getting ahead.  It's all we can do to stay caught up.

In the midst of this, Zuzu has been challenging.  Sleeping habits sort of fell apart and my once-upon-a-dream-sleeper became a baby who woke up four times a night, SCREAMING, wanting nothing but the boob.  She continued to refuse purees, occasionally gnawed on hunks of people food, and nagged me to breastfeed as frequently as a newborn.  While breastfeeding, she would frequently get squirmy and distracted, pop on and off, twist her head around, and frequently pinch me.  I read on my Wonder Weeks app that it's normal for mothers to get frustrated and fed up with breastfeeding at this stage, and I was so glad to see that because this experience that had been so positive and delightful for us was suddenly becoming a source of irritation for me, and I needed to know that was normal and that we'd get past it.

Say it ain't so, Ma!
This week, though, we kind of turned a corner.  Sleep is still chancy (we had five good nights and two rotten ones this week) and she's still a little squirmy while nursing, but Zuzu is so. much. fun right now.  I can hardly handle it.

She's enthusiastic about and fascinated by new toys--especially new toys at her daycare.  She also loves repurposing other household objects as toys, most especially my wallet and the package of boogie wipes, shown here:

And how 'bout these sunglasses?  I'm so cool. (Sunglasses are actually getting returned because the wrap around thing doesn't quite work for Zuzu--as you can see, her ears get flattened)
She loves the other babies at her daycare, especially two little boys who are a couple of months older than her.  She grins when she sees them and giggles with delight as they crawl toward her.  She is known as a hair-puller at daycare.  Maybe she's jealous?  Or just curious?  At any rate, the best compliment ever was when her day care teacher told me, "Zuzu is very popular with the other babies," which I think is adorable and hilarious.

C'mom, Mom.  What baby wouldn't want to hang out with me?
I'm actually amazed at how interested she is in other babies.  I guess I didn't realize that babies really noticed each other that much at this age.  Last night she had a play date with her friend Evie, and when we first put them down on the blanket together, the two little girls just stared at each other and made happy shrieking noises while frantically flapping their arms.  (Zuzu did show Evie her hair-pulling trick later in the night, which made the shrieking less happy, but they still had a good time).

Hey there, Evie!  My hand is blurry because I'm so excited that we are FRIENDS!
She isn't crawling yet, but she scoots, lunges, and rolls to get where she wants to go.  She would rather pull herself up to standing than crawl on her hands and knees.  She loves to stand, even though she's terribly unsteady.  She will go to town in the jumperoo, flinging herself around and babbling.

I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...
The iphone is still the second best thing in the entire world after my boobs, and the few times she's gotten her hands on one, she coos and shrieks with joy.

She claps her hands in celebration, and grins at us when we do it.  Bubble baths are still a favorite, although she's started trying to stand up in the tub, which makes it much less relaxing for Mommy and Daddy!

Jeez, Mom.  SITTING in the tub is so lame.  Guess I'll just have to look at this stupid blue cup thing.
She picks up board books and flips through their pages.  Her favorites are the one about farm animals, the one about the St. Louis Cardinals (I wish I were kidding), and Good Night Moon.

Hey, folks!  It's a little Duck in a little duck towel.  Cuteness overload.
Our bedtime routine consists of putting on pajamas and a sleep sack and nursing, then snuggling in the rocking chair in the nursery.  We read two books from her collection and then finish up with Good Night Moon.  Then we turn off the lamp and sing lullabies.  Sometimes we sing along with the ipod, sometimes I just sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "You Are My Sunshine" and "Forever Young."  We rock in the darkness, illuminated by the baby monitor on the shelf, and sometimes by David's iPad if he lounges on the floor pillow and hangs out with us.  Then I tell Zuzu I love her and I put her in her crib.

Gratuitous photo of nekkid baby butt.
She goes down easily, with a pacifier in her mouth and the crib aquarium bubbling and playing soft music.  There's hardly ever any fussing at bedtime (we've come a long way from the early days of January!).  I turn on the Angel Care monitor and listen to the reassuring beep of her movement.

She still has no teeth at all, but she's turned a corner with food and is happily eating most purees (not a fan of peas--the green veggies are a hard sell).  Sweet potatoes are the clear favorite, so we're doing lots of mixing veggies with sweet potatoes.  She also eats yogurt and carrots and pears and cheese and bananas and cauliflower, and a favorite treat is to gnaw and suck on whole blackberries, which she devours like a champ.  We're still going slow on introducing new foods because food allergies are a concern since I have them, but I steamed and pureed a whole new batch of food this afternoon, and it's so much fun to see her tasting things for the first time (tonight was cauliflower) and opening her mouth like a little bird to get another bite.

This food stuff, it's not so bad.  And it makes for fun fingerpainting!
(I did change a diaper this afternoon with the Worst Poop Ever today.  It smelled almost like a grown up poop + sweet potatoes.  I gagged.  The one bummer about her eating real food...)

Yum!  Blackberries!
Her facial expressions continue to be hilarious, and the thing that most people comment on.  She gets a lot of compliments in public because she's willing to grin at complete strangers.  She especially like to smile for African American ladies who resemble her favorite daycare teachers and white men with gray beards who resemble her Gramps, but she'll usually return the favor to almost anybody who smiles at her.  And not to brag (more than usual, I mean), today the dude working the hot dog stand at Home Depot called out to me, "Your baby is adorable."  (Seriously!  The hot dog stand guy!).

I love you, Gramps!
She's still great about sleeping in the car, and a good little traveler even when she's not sleeping.  She's happy in the stroller and is an excellent shopping companion.  She's easy to run errands with as long as I keep her tummy full!

Let's walk Cooper!
She's babbling mamama and dadadada and it's seriously the sweetest sound.  She laughs at Cooper and at David when he's silly and at peek-a-boo.

Peek a boo is SO FUNNY.  That sh*t never gets old!
She doesn't nap very well at daycare--too much going on, I guess--but she naps pretty well for us at home, especially on Saturdays after swimming lessons!  Her face lights up when I go in her room to get her out of her crib.  It fills up my heart to see how happy she is to see me.  I will never get tired of that sweet face.

Life is too much fun to keep your tongue in your mouth.
Life with Zuzu has been sweet from the start, but we're having so much fun with her now.  She is the best reminder to savor these days, even when they are stressful and exhausting and full of uncertainty.  Because this really is the fun part and every day keeps getting better.


  1. Is that a pinwheel cushion in the last picture? Love the fabric! Especially the bicycles. Where oh where did you get it? Also, do her teachers call her Zuzu too? That is just too cute.

    Love these pictures.

  2. I be the food/nursing/sleep is ALL ABOUT TEETH. Teething is the pits and screws their whole little world up, in my experience.

    She's so cute, and the best part is that adorableness just keeps growing exponentially through toddler hood. I LOVE toddlers more than anything in the world (then around 3.5, they turn into people, who are still funny, but not quite so hilarious).

    I just read Anne Enright's memoir Making Babies, and it is so funny-- she is great at describing the world according to baby. This age is such a trip.

  3. So cute! I can't believe how big she is getting!

  4. Eight fabulous months it's been, too.

    And seriously, how awesome are they more and more? I freaking love every single new thing B is doing and can't believe I'm so lucky to have every day with him.

    I know about the good sleep/bad sleep changes. We are on the good path right now, but I know there's just one small thing that could set off a tailspin. I'm grateful for the sleep when we get it in long stretches!

    Love Zuzu, love you and can't wait to see you guys!! I bet Benjamin will laugh and coo at her, too! He loves wee babies like himself and might have many little ladies surrounding him. Though, he has been reserved for a certain Canadian cutie. ;)

    Happy 8 months and congrats on your house selling!

  5. Wow! Yay for an offer and negotiations and inspections!!! :)

    And Grace is the same way about trying to wean/reduce boobies/etc.. She wants no part of it and I suspect she would happily nurse until she's two. Makes me feel badly for wanting her to be done, but I do feel harrassed a little bit by the little miss ;)

    Can't wait to learn more about the Duckworth's plans for the future ;)

  6. Your baby IS adorable. And I totally get the extra excitement over guys complimenting your baby.

  7. OMG She is so cute I can't stand it!!!! AND NEKKID BABY BUTT! Love it!