The cakiest number.

Devin turned one on Tuesday.

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He played with streamers.

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He opened his presents. (With help.) (He was very tired from a bad night.)

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He played with his presents. (Especially the Mega Bloks.)

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Well, mostly he handed the blocks to Dad, who was the builder.

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There was mess.

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We ate pancakes for breakfast. (It looks like apple, but I swear it’s a pancake… Shouldn’t I be saying that the other way around?)

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He had one candle on his little owl cake.

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He proceeded delicately at first, carefully taking off the jam drop eyes.

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And then hesitantly touching and tasting the icing. (It was a strange, sticky texture for him.)

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Apparently, initial taste tests were favourable.

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The blue shirt is now stained with chocolate icing, in addition to being sun-faded and too short. I didn’t put him in a special birthday outfit. We didn’t have a huge party. We didn’t cater for guests, or buy special decorations (well, $1 for streamers), or give him an expensive gift. It rained all day, so we stayed inside. We ate sandwiches for lunch and leftover lasagne for dinner.

There wasn’t anything particularly special or extravagant about it. But Devin liked the streamers, the pancakes, the gifts and the cake. And at the end of the day, he had still turned one at 4:59 that morning.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.

Devin can walk.

Almost.

Well, he can. He stands up unaided, takes many unaided steps, and sometimes reaches his destination without falling over. He is still mainly a crawler, though.

I am admittedly not as excited about this development as I was about crawling, for two reasons.

1, we were waiting for him to crawl for a long time. He seemed to be *thisclose* for months. When he finally figured it out, his little world was opened up. He wasn’t stuck in one place, whinging because he couldn’t do anything. He could finally go. Walking is, for all intents and purposes, upright crawling.

2, he actually took his first solo steps a while ago. Walking has been a steadily improving skill for the past couple of weeks. It’s been a gradual learning curve, not a sudden, single event.

I am still, of course, very happy. I love looking up and seeing him standing in front of me. I love the way he puts his bottom in the air, steadies himself with his hands on the ground, gets up, and then just stands in the one spot with his arms by his side. I love his funny, drunk steps. I love the walking.

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Legs eleven (months)

Devin is 11 months old (plus one week).

I’m not sure what to write after that.

I read about women getting emotional about the encroaching ONE YEAR, but I can’t really relate to them.
I’m happy, I’m excited, I’m a little scared… But emotional in the sense that I can’t believe my baby is already one, where did the time go?! This is such a huge event, oh my gosh! My baby! – not so much.

The past year has gone fast, insofar as every year of my life seems to go a little quicker than the one before it.
In terms of having a child, though, it’s been incredibly slow. Devin’s birth? That was eons ago. Pregnancy? I barely remember that.
Because he’s just part of my life now. A huge part. He was there before he was there.

Maybe I’m not the best person to be talking about this – I’m not very excitable or expressive. (Sadly, I think.)
But one year is a milestone, it’s special, and we’ll celebrate in our own little way.
I just won’t get all blubbery about it.

I mean, look, he’s becoming a real little person! That’s fantastic! I love that! Why would I be sad that he’s growing up?

Mr. Mischief helps around the house

“What is this?”

“A telephone bill?”

“Here, let me file that for you in this drawer that I have just now cleared.”

“This top drawer is way too cluttered. For starters…”

“… jute string? Who needs jute string? Not us.”

“This green pencil case, I don’t even know what’s in it, but it clashes horribly with the red one. Gone!”

“I have a feeling that this thing may be of use in causing more mischief sometime down the track. When I figure out how it works. For now – useless!”

“Who even uses envelopes these days? Oh my gosh.”

“These 3M Command Strips are taking up the most room BY FAR. Look at all the space they’re wasting on top of this pencil case.”

The Devin Effect Organisational Method. So streamlined. So chic.

Any of several types of human quadrupedal gait.

Things! Things are happening!

Well, one thing, mainly.

Last night, Devin started crawling.

Finally.

Because I had commented to Jene, not a day earlier, that this age felt like the most difficult so far. So much whining about not being able to go anywhere. I was really feeling the days drag. He’d been getting into the position and rocking back and forth for weeks, but not actually going anywhere.

I had also said that I bet, I bet, the first thing he crawls to will be something he is not allowed to have.

Well, surprise! It was. Sitting on the floor after his bath, naked, he moved towards the operating fan heater.

“Devin!” I said. “Was that… did you just… I think that might’ve been a crawl.”

I ran to tell Jene.

“Devin just crawled!”
“Really?”
“Well, I think. Pretty much. Just a little distance.”

Jene nodded and smiled and I went back to continue the bed routine.

Later, Devin wouldn’t settle in bed, so I sat him in the middle of the lounge room, assuming that he wanted to move around some more.  Apparently, he did. I went to tell Jene that Devin crawled again, and yes, it was definitely actual crawling.
Then we both watched him move confidently across the carpet, actually crawling, and I got a little glassy-eyed. Out of nowhere. I guess I was proud that he had finally picked it up. It was a strange feeling.

Google Reader keeps recommending me a ton of baby blogs, and the majority of the mothers are always saying that their little one is growing too fast, and this or that milestone made them cry because their baby isn’t such a baby any more.
I honestly don’t feel that. I look wistfully at his newborn photos, and I do comment that time is passing quickly, but really, I am not one bit melancholy about the fact that he is fast approaching the end of his babyhood. Maybe it’s because I spend every minute of every day with him. Maybe it’s because he’s my first and I plan on having more.
When I stop to think, as much as the weeks tend to fly past me, the almost-ten months that he’s been here have felt as long as almost-ten months.

He will get into more mischief, yes. By 9 this morning, he’d already gotten into five things he shouldn’t have. But the  older he gets, the more he becomes a little person, and without wanting to wish the time away, I’m really looking forward to all the things he’s yet to do.

Acht

Devin is 8 months and 11 days old today. What a milestone!

Since February, time seems be getting exponentially faster for me – I’ve lost all of the April that has passed. Gone! It was March yesterday. I think.

Nothing very exciting, or exciting at all, is happening in our lives at the moment. Developmentally, Devin hasn’t taken any huge steps in a while, but he’s always doing something new.

– He recently started saying “baabaa”, and sometimes “mumum”, in addition to the well-established “dada”  and “yaya”. They don’t mean anything, he just likes making sounds. He has profound conversations with my wallet in the back of the car.

– He gets very cross if he can’t have something that he wants, or if you unknowingly take something that he wants away. Today, when I went to the kitchen to rinse the cloth I’d been wiping his face with, he had a little scream in his highchair.

– He likes cords. And hair. Specifically, tugging on cords and hair.

– He still isn’t crawling or pulling himself up. He can get on one knee, with the other leg stretched behind, before falling onto his belly. He wriggles backwards a bit, but not in any way that I would call ‘mobile’.

– He will not stop rolling from his back to his tummy, and it’s starting to make me a little mental. He sleeps on his belly, but I don’t put him to bed that way. He tries to roll off my lap when he grows bored with his bottle. The most treacherous rolls are during nappy changes, not because he’s in danger of falling off anything, but because there is mess. Mess that could be potentially rolled around the room.

– He loves standing and bouncing. Bouncing and standing. Everything must be done whilst standing, despite the fact that he cannot stand without the assistance of Mum or Dad. He won’t sit and play with a toy, oh no! He must bend at the waist to retrieve the toy, then straighten up and swing the toy around wildly, jiggling erratically while the parent slowly develops a hunch back.

– He likes the vacuum cleaner. Not when it’s on. He just likes sitting next to the dormant machine, whacking it and screeching at it.

– He seems to know that getting in the car the first time means going out, and getting in the second time means going home. He is practically silent for the entire excursion, but the second I start the car to head home, he starts babbling and ‘bubuh’-ing like no one is listening.

– He tries to ‘share’ what he’s holding by shoving it in our mouths. Slobbery dummy, chewed-up rusk, mushy apricot, drool-covered hoodie drawstring, my own hair…

– He needs a haircut, but I am afraid to get near him with a pair of scissors.

– I’d say his absolute favourite thing is the bath. No matter how cranky he is, as soon as he’s placed in water, he’s happy again. And splashy. Very splashy.

– His second favourite thing is the camera lens cap.

Not really. Maybe sixth or seventh favourite.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We have been using square (or rectangle, if you get the crap brand that doesn’t realise nappies need to be freaking SQUARE) terry cloth nappies since Devin was born. Our decision was based almost entirely on our financial situation – buying disposables each week was next to impossible on our budget, and there was no way we would afford the huge initial outlay for those lovely fitted cloth nappies ($700+ for a workable system!) I was pretty happy with this, though. I felt good that we weren’t going to create mounds of excess waste with the disposables, and I was pretty confident about managing the washing, especially with my mother on call to guide me.

When Devin made his great escape, though, and I saw this huge nappy almost swallowing my tiny 3kg baby, I had doubts. It was so thick, his poor little legs never touched the bed. Surely that must be uncomfortable for him, I thought.
He’ll grow into it, I countered. He’s just a skinny baby. And short. And all the babies before disposables survived in terry squares.

See how the bottom is filled out, but the rest is loose, and we had to roll up the sleeves?

For three or four months, the double-folded triangle was what we used. It still limited his legs, but I figured that once he grew and we’d need a different fold, he’d have more freedom.

Where are his legs? It's all nappy!
Legs! He has legs!

Well, he grew and we needed a different fold. A single-folded triangle was not absorbent enough, so we used a fold suitable for boys, with all the thickness in the front middle. Yet again, his bottom half was overrun by nappy.

Look at that thing, barely contained by his singlet suit.

Not to mention, through all of this, that baby clothes are not made for these huge nappies. It was and still is a struggle to find fitting clothes, especially onesies. Overall, he was tiny. He was in 0000s at birth, and eventually grew to 000s. But that was his top half. The bottom half of things were stretched to the limit over his nappy. And it drove me nuts. It drives me nuts.
He still wears 000 t-shirts at 6 months, but now size 00 bottoms and onesies are barely making it over the nappy. Snap buttons are popping open like little gunshots. This, you can imagine, makes it very difficult to buy one-piece outfits.

So we don't buy one-piece suits, we buy shirts and pants. Donut pants.

And, now that he’s becoming more active, the terry squares are even more limiting. He can’t roll over when he’s wearing a nappy, though he wants to. He can’t use his legs to push when he’s on his belly, though he wants to. It’s frustrating to watch, and I’m sure frustrating for him.
I just don’t understand how babies got/get around in these things. I’ve tried many folds, and the only way to make it less constricting is to severely compromise absorbency. Which is no good, since we already have to change nappies very often.

'Stuck. In a mis-matched outfit. On Mum's floral quilt. With an owl on my bum.'

All this is starting to make us reconsider. Now that we’re a little better off than we were six months ago, and after reading several things that suggest all the water and cleaning products involved in washing nappies may be on par with the waste created by disposables, we’re just not sure.

It has nothing to do with the effort involved in washing the nappies. Sometimes it’s gross, but honestly, it’s like ten minutes at the most out of your day. I don’t get the big deal about ‘not having time’. (I’ll concede, though, that that is very easy for me to say, since I don’t have anywhere to be, ever.)
It has nothing to do with how every nappy change takes slightly longer with cloth.
And I could live with the clothes fitting issue (though I’d still grumble about it).
It’s just the fact that we hate seeing him so constrained by his nappy, of all things.

Perhaps it is, overall, just a small concern.
He certainly doesn’t look too worried about it.

Liss