Time for an update on the little guy. He started walking at the beginning of the week, but only attempts a couple steps at a time. He won't walk straight to Mommy yet. Stefan seems to just walk by chance, or accidentally. He's trying to get somewhere, takes a couple steps, seems to realize that this new method is awkward, and then proceeds on his way on all fours which is a very speedy way for him. He is FAST! And he's really cute crawling. He lifts up his hands really high when he's so excited.
Stefan can be quite a charmer. I thought he had a particular soft spot for the ladies, but he seems to like to be a ham with both sexes. He'll pat people's shoulders when I'm not looking, do "squinty-squinty" with his eyes (I refuse to let John call them "Chinese eyes"), or move his head down to one shoulder in an effort to be extra cute. But his smile makes everyone melt.
I get many compliments on his cuteness in public. Several people have recommended modeling for him. One of my sister-in-laws even forwarded me a link to Gap's casting call for baby/child models. I haven't decided yet, but I have to hurry because the San Francisco casting days are next Friday and Saturday! I'm not looking forward to staying in a large room with hundreds of other uncomfortable children from 10am-4pm.
He is a very curious fellow. Much more curious than Maylin was. Loves exploring EVERYTHING. I'm so glad he hasn't figured out how to open drawers and cabinets yet.
Stefan has moments when he talks a lot. His syllable of choice for the last few months have been "da-da," but when he's tired, he'll sometimes say "ma-ma."
He's beginning to really hug me (precious) and kiss me on the lips with an adorable open mouth (wet but just as precious).
He also understands so much. I tell him to roll the ball, he rolls the ball. He'll get the car if I tell him to. It's all so exciting. By the way, with balls, he's been a true natural. The first time he noticed a ball in June, he knew exactly how to throw it -- a perfect overhand pitch with follow-through. Amazing! First time he saw a car, he pushed it. Is this innate in all boys?
I suspected he was suffering from lactose intolerance after several nights of his crying from gas pains. (It wasn't beans.) I would nurse him back to sleep, but many times he wouldn't go back to sleep, so I'd keep nursing. These breasts have never been used so much! Anyways, I decided to experiment by cutting cheese (no pun intended) out of his diet. Voila! No gas pains! The next day I made the mistake by serving him cheese crackers. That resulted in another bad night.
I was stumped with the lactose intolerance thing. But babies drink milk all the time right? Stefan doesn't like it though -- he drinks only breast milk and water out of a cup (with me holding it). (By the way, he never took to a bottle, never used a sippy cup properly, but drank out of cup with ease so that's how we've done it for a very long time.) One of my friends whom I hadn't seen in about eight or nine years came up with the solution. He said that the bacteria in yogurt helps with the breakdown of lactose. Well, guess what? Stefan was getting tired of eating yogurt all the time (used to be his favorite food), so I began substituting more cheese so he would get enough fat and calcium. And there you have it. A gradual development of lactose intolerance. So I'm getting Stefan back into yogurt and will lay off the cheese for a while longer.
Stefan's favorite things? His sister, dogs, especially ours, Leo, balls (the ones that are small enough to pick up, his toy train that moves and spits out the balls that you insert, and soft, chewable bath toys.
Changing his diaper at this age is next to impossible. When he was younger, I marveled at how still and pleasant he was during each change. Now, I'm near to breaking a sweat trying to hold him down. He's so active! Oh, and try putting pants on a squirmy baby. John helped me put two legs down one pant leg. See what parental teamwork gets you?
Stefan is all sweetness. I love him so much -- sometimes I want him to stay a baby forever. Holding and squeezing and kissing him is such a joyful activity for me.