Our 10 month old Squishy

Wah. Squishy is now 10 months old. 10 months sounds closer to toddlerhood than babyhood. And he’s acting more like a toddler than a baby these days. It’s happening way too fast! Flashback to the first few weeks of his life and I was a terrified new mom just staring at him coo on our bed. These days, he spends more time on the floor crawling, cruising, and WALKING. I can’t believe that we have a walker already! I thought he would begin to walk at around 12 months. He still prefers to crawl (especially when he wants to get somewhere fast), but he’ll gesture to ask to hold our hands more often now so that he can walk longer stretches. He can also take a few steps on his own when he’s using both his hands to hold up something. Just today, even when his hands were free, he took four unassisted steps to get to me from across his play mat. Oh, and he also knows how to climb stairs! He did it the first time he was allowed near the stairs in his Lola’s house. The first time he did it, he was cautious and slow. But after he did it once, he was fearless! 😱

Another thing that he really likes doing is army crawling. His co-sleeper/playpen has height extenders, so he can comfortably army crawl under it to retrieve toys. The first time he tried to do it, he wasn’t really army crawling, so he hit his head and he cried. But he figured it out the next time his ball rolled under it again. Sometimes we think that he does it on purpose because he actually likes army crawling.

He’s becoming more independent every day. This developing independence goes hand-in-hand with his increased awareness of others. If you ask him to share his toy with you, he will hand it to you—he doesn’t really let go yet, but it’s a start! He also likes to share his food with me and Mikey. When he’s eating and we open our mouths, he’ll put his food inside them. He also invites us to play with him. When I’m on the bed and he’s playing with Mikey on the floor, he’ll call out for me and kind of motion with his hands for me to come down. It kind of looks like he’s hailing a taxi. It’s so cute and very hard to resist.

This little boy kind of knows when he has a captive audience. He made friends with all the security personnel in our building. He waves at them when we see them. He will also initiate clapping after he does something he knows is “impressive”—like when he inserts a shape in the right hole or when he eats his food from a spoon.

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Maaaaxiiiieeee!

One of the things we do now is we try to woo him by calling to him in a sweet way: Maaaxiiieee, we would say, with a big grin and inviting eyes. He loves it! When Mikey does it, he cackles and turns to me, and then he peeks back at him waiting to be called again. Mikey keeps going until he “catches” him, and then he traps him a tickle bear hug.

His play got a lot more complex this month! One day, he just started playing with his toys the way they’re meant to be played with. He has this dog walker thing where you can shoot balls into it’s mouth to make it talk. (It’s not as weird as it sounds.) (Mikey: It’s exactly as weird as it sounds.) I’ve been trying to get him to shoot the balls in for months but he seemed uninterested. And one day, he just cruised towards it and did it! And soon after, he started playing with his shape sorter toys and he’s been putting the simpler shapes (the ones you don’t have to really rotate, like the circle or the star) into the right holes. It’s amazing! He’s kind of obsessed with putting things inside other things this month. He has stacking cups that he doesn’t really stack yet (although I caught him trying to do it before getting frustrated), but he finds smaller toys to fit inside the cups. He also likes to get into his toy boxes. He’ll sit or stand in them and play.

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Watching other children play.

He still primarily plays by himself, but he’s fascinated by other children, especially those just slightly older than him. It’s kind of sad though, because they don’t exactly feel the same way about him. So Max just ends up looking up with wonder at these slightly larger humans, most of whom are minding their own business. Mikey saw this the other day and started getting teary eyed.

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Squish trying out the hamster wheel.

We recently took him to Kidzooona. It’s this heavily padded baby-proofed play area where he can roam around freely. There’s a ball pit, slides, different play centers with manipulatives, a bouncy area, and these inflatable hamster wheels that you can run in. He loved it! We loved seeing him so free!

I think that he’s mastered object permanence already because he experiences separation anxiety from us. When either of us goes to the bathroom, he will cry and crawl to the bathroom door and pound on it until someone distracts him. He also looks for toys that rolls under our furniture. I’ve caught him prostrated while trying to reach for something under his little couches in his play area. It’s kind of funny because he grunts as he tries to stretch his arms to get the toy. He also expresses displeasure when he doesn’t get what he wants. It’s harder to distract him now that he remembers. Sometimes, he’ll kind of throw a fit—he’ll cry really hard and try to wiggle his way to whatever he wants.

Eating is still kind of a hit or miss thing with Squish. Sometimes he eats a lot, other times, he’ll take two or three bites and then he refuses to open his mouth for another bite. We’ve tried letting him feed himself, but he doesn’t eat as much and the food gets everywhere. But we noticed that he will eat more when we feed him using our hands. It’s very strange.

Breastfeeding is kind of sporadic now. Sometimes, he’ll just latch for a few seconds and then continue playing. And I noticed that he does this more when I leave him for a bit with other people at home. Or when there’s someone else in the play area with us. He’ll play with them and then return to me and get into my arms and get into the feeding position. Other times, he breastfeeds like a wild animal, which can hurt. He looks around while latched. He interacts with his surroundings while latched. And he stands up and sticks his butt out while latched. It can get very difficult, but it’s still the best way to put him to sleep, and he still likes to breastfeed after every meal. We’re considering mixed feeding when he turns 1 because he’s starting to undress and grab me in public already, like I’m some sort of vending machine. 😑

 

We’re horrible parents—we let him watch videos on our TV (we love our Chromecast). He loves Sesame Street, Hamilton, and music videos in general. It’s so useful when we need him to stay still, like when we’re changing a poopy diaper, nebulizing him, or when we’re too tired to entertain him in his carseat. We also use it when we’re out in a restaurant and we need him to sit in the high chair and eat so that we can eat too. But I have to admit that it’s really nice to sit on our couch and cuddle with him and watch TV as a family. I know, I know, it’s not good for him. But it helps us keep our sanity and surely having sane parents is an important thing.

I’m looking back at the last 10 months and I can’t recall an instance where I was bored. Having a baby really keeps you on your toes, and it makes everything zoom by insanely fast. I can’t believe we’re two months away from having a one year old!

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Mikey and Max’s Adventure

Our family had a breakthrough! With encouragement from our friends, Mikey took Max out with him to run errands and I had almost 2 whole hours by myself at home! It was the first time I was home alone since Max was born. I was nervous, but Mikey’s blood pressure was up the entire time! We survived! He got all the errands done, Max wasn’t that difficult in the car, and I had some alone time. Mikey took a bunch of videos while they were out and with my superior editing skills, I put it together and made our first ever Squishy Days Vlog! Here it is:

Meanwhile, here was what Momma was up to:

Make Coffee:

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Worry that Mikey left Max’s jacket on the bed:

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Text Mikey and check on them:

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Call Mikey when you don’t receive a reply:

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Put on Madmen:

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Put on a face mask:

Sort laundry (no photos because Madmen was getting interesting, hehe).

I missed my boys though! When they got home Squishy gave me a nice big hug! I think me missed his Momma. Mikey had his I’m-the-champ-face, but he needed to sit down to normalize his blood pressure. We survived! Yay! The possibilities are endless! ❤

Random thoughts: Breastfeeding

I’m sitting in a food court next to the supermarket because Squish started to tug at my chest while we were shopping. I tried feeding him in a breastfeeding station a while ago, but he got really excited over the couch and started crawling and cruising. So now Mikey has to finish up the shopping while I sit here and nurse Squish. So I decided to type up a bunch of random thoughts on breastfeeding:

  • I lost about 30 pounds 2 weeks in, but the weight loss tapers off after that. I don’t think I’m lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. 😦 So I’m still a fatty (although I finally fit into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans! Hooray!).
  • Max is super distractable now. If anyone else is with us, he latches for a few minutes and then he wants to join everyone again. He only drinks for a long time when he’s about to nap/sleep. When Max wants to drink milk, but isn’t sleepy, he’ll drink milk sitting down or on all fours. Sometimes he’ll twist around with my boob in his mouth to look around. Or, if someone is next to me, he’ll try to face that person with my nipple still in his mouth (ouch). It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to miss anything.
  • Max bites when I’m talking to someone else while breastfeeding. When I say ‘ouch! Max!’, he will smile.
  • I don’t have one of those super chubby breastfed babies. And sometimes I really worry about it. But Max is taller than most babies his age and he’s reached most milestones (smiling, laughing, rolling over, sitting down, crawling, cruising, and other play behaviors) earlier than what’s stated in the literature. But I’m not really sure if that’s thanks to breastfeeding or his genes.
  • I don’t get as hungry after every feed now, but I do get thirsty! And I really crave for sugary drinks like milo or citrusy juices.
  • One of the perks of breastfeeding is that it gives me an escape route when I’m peopled out. I really like the breastfeeding rooms in Alabang Town Center, Central Square, and Green Belt.
  • Breastfeeding is a fun topic to bond over with other moms.
  • Strangers have come up to us to play with Max. And in the middle of interacting with us, they will randomly ask me if he’s breastfed. When I say yes, they’ll say something like “I knew it! Breastfed babies have a different glow.” I don’t really know what that means because I’ve been around breastfed babies, mix fed babies, and formula fed babies, and I don’t see the difference.
  • I often wonder if my boobs will ever be the same again. I used to wish for bigger, fuller boobs. But breastfeeding boobs for me = bigger when it’s full of milk, but droopy (like, they can touch my belly button when I bend) when Max empties them out. 😦
  • I think that my mom is finally coming around to breastfeeding. She said she watched a Taiwanese talk show where they said that it was the best for babies. Thank you, Taiwanese talk show! It’s been really hard to breastfeed when your own mom thinks it’s weird.
  • The best time to breastfeed is when you’re in the car, on your way to someplace. That way, when you get to where ever you’re going, you’re less likely to have to feed so soon.
  • I feel bad for Squish sometimes because the part of his head that’s on my arm when we’re breastfeeding gets really sweaty. Sometimes, his ear is folded too. But I always love the little ear imprint I get on my arm after a long feeding session.
  • I wish cinemas had private rooms where nursing moms could take their babies (and husbands) to watch movies.
  • I’m thankful for breastfeeding because it’s a major reason for me to stay home with Squish. And I’m so grateful to be able to spend this time with him.

That’s it! I finished typing in the car. Squishy was sleep feeding all the way home. Hooray for easy car rides! ❤

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On winning the lottery

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Where’s Papa?

Mondays-Fridays, at around 5:30 AM, Mikey’s first alarm goes off. Sometimes, I catch it while I’m half asleep and nursing Squish. Most of the time, Squish and I are asleep. I think Mikey gets up at around 6 to get ready for work and he leaves by 6:30. He always, always gives me a kiss on the cheek and an ‘I love you, see you later’ before leaving (and one for Squish too if it seems safe).

Squish usually wakes up at around 9:00-9:30 AM (depending on his last feeding-while-sleeping session). We say our good mornings and cuddle. I change his nappy and we have breakfast.

After breakfast, Squishy plays for an hour or two. By 11:30 or 12, he will ask to breastfeed and fall asleep. Squish will sleep until 1 PM (or 2 PM on good days) and then we’ll have lunch.

When I get lonely at home, I’ll send Mikey a silly text or photo of us and he’ll message me back when he’s free. He never makes me feel like we’re bothering him. He always makes it seem like he’s delighted to hear from us.

After lunch, Squish usually plays until 4 PM. Mikey gets home between 4:30-5 PM. Sometimes, he’ll catch Squishy in the middle of breastfeeding or playing. If Squish is awake, he stops whatever he is doing to reach or crawl for his Papa. If Mikey has to leave the room to put is bag down first, Squish will cry out for him. ❤

As soon as Mikey gets home, he takes over Squishy patrol. He changes his nappy and has merienda with him. He’ll hold him or play with him while I attend to other things.

These days, we spend a lot of time sitting in Sqush’s play area. We watching him play while Mikey tells me about his day or I update him about Squish’s tomfoolery.

Mikey will allow my first hands-all-to-myself meal of the day over dinner by feeding Squish in between his own bites. He will give Squish a bath, put him in his PJs, and dance with him until he’s almost ready to sleep (and then I take over for his last feed of the night).

Sometimes, when I’m feeding Squish, I’ll wiggle my toes and Mikey will massage them for me and indulge my need for pillow talk.

Lights are usually out by 10:30 on an easy night and 11:30-12 when Squishy is especially playful. And then just like that, Mikey is up again at around 6 to start his day.

Mikey goes to work all day to provide for us, but he comes home happy and ready to spend time with us. He never makes us feel like a burden or that he’d rather do something else with his free time. I may stay home all day with Squish, but Squish has a full time dad just as much as he has a full time mom.

We won the Papa lottery. We’re so lucky. Happy Father’s Day to all the hard working Papas out there!

Our 9 month old Squishy

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His first ID photo! ❤

This last month was all about playing and baby-proofing. We moved Squishy’s play area to our bedroom because the summer was so unforgiving and using our AC unit in the bedroom is cheaper than the one in the living area.

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Boxed-in Squishy!

The play area started out in a small corner of the room. I used his playpen and some boxes as a fence around the area, but after a day or two, Squishy was obsessed with trying to get out. So we eventually had to move things around so that he could play in the entire room. I really miss the days when he would happily crawl on the bed all day or hang out with me on the couch or on his play mat in the living room. It’s so hard to stop him now. He just wants to crawl, climb, and cruise! The scariest thing is when he lunges towards things that he wants! He does this when he’s on the bed and he decides he wants to go down and play OR when we’re in the car and he suddenly feels like sitting on his Papa’s lap in the driver’s seat (while the car is parked, of course). Hay!

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Outside the box Squishy!

For a while, Squish would seemed so hyper in my arms or in his playpen. He would keep struggling and spinning. I realized that it’s probably because he was bored and really wanted to do something else. I noticed that he’s not really hyper when I give him the space and freedom to play. He becomes really kulit when I stop him from going somewhere (like when I fenced him in) or when he knows that there are things that I consistently keep him away from (like the cabinet of drawers or the electric fan). Otherwise, when he’s free to roam around the space and there aren’t very many forbidden objects, he crawls around for a while until he zones in on a particular toy. And when he finds something he’s interested in, it can keep him preoccupied for a while.

It’s so fascinating to watch him play! I’m trying to get him to play architect with me and his blocks, but so far, he’s more interested in playing Godzilla (especially after Momma builds a beautiful foam block city). He really isn’t into stacking yet, but he is very interested in motion. When inanimate objects keep moving on their own, he’s fixated. He also loves wheels! He’ll tip over his wooden ride-on cow (we call it Bessy the Cow Moobile, hehe) and sit down on the floor and play with the wheels!

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Squishy grabbing Bessy the Cow Moobile

It’s getting both easier and more challenging to feed Squish. Easier, because I’m a bit braver about giving him bigger chunks of food. So we’re actually giving him more real food and slowly phasing out the puréed baby food. He likes chewing! One time, I was trying to give him some crumbs from my cookie and he lunged for my cookie and took a big bite. I freaked out! I tried getting him to open his mouth, but by the time he let me see, he had eaten the whole bite already! Challenging, because he’s now learned how to play with his food! He knows how to collect the food in his mouth and spit it out like a machine gun! He doesn’t do it so often—I think when he does, he’s bored and really doesn’t like the food. He also gets fussy when he’s in his high chair for too long. He often tries to escape from the chair whenever we’re eating out, but he doesn’t do that at home, strangely. I have to admit that we use TV shows on our iPads or iPhones to keep him in his chair for longer and so that he can finish his food. He loves Sesame Street, Word Party, Hamilton performances (the Tony’s, White House, and Ham4ham), and Julie’s Greenroom.

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I will not be contained!

Squish knows how to make tampo (hold a grudge) now! Whenever I put him in his car seat, he won’t smile at me or acknowledge my kisses in the car! And when we’ve finally parked again and I take off the seatbelt, he jumps out of the car seat and waits for his father to come and get him. When I try to give him a kiss outside the car, he turns away. My heart would hurt if he wasn’t so cute! The great thing about the car seat is that he’s been falling asleep in it a lot lately! So even if it’s hard to get him into it, once he’s on it, I can relax a bit. Sometimes, he’s so soundly asleep that we spend a lot of time in the parking lot waiting for him to wake up.

I think Squish’s babbles are become more communicative. I noticed that whenever he wants me and milk, he’ll let out a na-na-na-na-na. He babbles a lot when he’s playing by himself. Sometimes it seems like he’s talking to his toys; other times, it’s like he’s talking to himself.

Squish seems to be more attached to his father now than before. He cries sometimes when Mikey leaves the room. He also gets palpably excited whenever Mikey comes home from work and calls out his name. “Maaaax,” he would say, and then Squish’s eyes light up and he’d look for his Papa before letting out a giggly scream.

His developing mobility and personality is so amazing. He’s becoming his own person right before our eyes! I can’t believe we get to watch it all unfold.

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Wandering feetsies. 

Breastfeeding: A real man’s perspective

It’s 2:00 AM one night. Max is tossing and turning. My left eye is half-open. I see that Max sits up in what seems like a drunken stupor. “Drunk Fu”, we call it. He looks like an old Shaolin Master trying to recover from a concussion. Or The Undertaker trying to get up from an F–5.

I pretend to be asleep (even though I practically am).

Char wakes up from her own half-sleep. It seems to be the only kind of sleep she gets these days. Max sees that she’s awake—“awake”—and snuggles up to her chest.

“Okay, okay,” my wife concedes. She picks him up, pulls up her shirt, and Max feeds.

I go back to sleep, relieved.


It’s 11:00 PM on another night. Char has just “tagged” me—it’s my turn to step in and watch the baby. She just finished breastfeeding Max, so she’s supposed to be done for the night. I carry Max and sing to him. Dear Theodosia. It’s Quiet Uptown. There’s a Little Wheel a-Turning in my Heart. Max struggles with his sleepiness. He loses, and falls asleep. I take quiet little steps to the bed, when suddenly, Max wakes up again. He looks at me, looks around, and then looks at his Momma, and lets out a cute little whimper.

Char gives me a blank, defeated stare. I smile, sheepishly. I let Max down on to the bed, and he turns and crawls swiftly into his mother’s arms.

I go to sleep, relieved.


It’s 10:30 last night. Max is asleep. I had dozed off without brushing my teeth. Eventually I couldn’t stand it, so I quietly slide off the bed, sneak to the bathroom, and I brush and I floss. I sneak back to my bedside and plug in my chargers. Then–smack— I accidentally tip over a bottle of Lavender and Peppermint linen spray.

The sound wakes up Char, and then slowly wakes up Max. Char destroys me with an optic blast gives me the evil eye. She picks up Max, and breastfeeds again, and then says, begrudgingly, that I should go to sleep.

So I do, relieved.


If I was asked what I think about when I think about breastfeeding, I would be lying if I didn’t first talk about the absolutely selfish relief I feel whenever Char has to breastfeed. Look, I try very hard to share responsibility with Char in caring, protecting, and raising Max. I am absolutely allergic to the thought of being a deadbeat Dad, or a lousy Father. It’s 2017: old ideas about stereotypical (read: irresponsible) manhood should be dead and buried. I believe real men should do chores, cook, wash dishes, and put babies to sleep. Real men should be able to—and be glad to—do anything and everything women can do for their families1. So, that’s what I try to do for Max—I should be able to do anything Char can do for him.

But I can’t breastfeed. Unfortunately, Max also absolutely prefers direct feeding over bottle or cup feeding: it’s the most foolproof way of putting him to sleep. If Max refuses to sleep in my arms, and he starts showing signs of wanting breastmilk2, really, what’s a man to do? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have to admit that the relief extends to the fact that I literally can’t breastfeed. But I do hear from very excitable breastfeeding social circles that men can actually do it. There isn’t any scientific material, though—or at least, no guides or workshops or YouTube tutorials that can teach me how to do it. Of course, if such materials were in fact available, it would be my moral obligation to actually try to learn it so I can share in the responsibility along with my wife.

But those materials are not available3. I guess I can just go back to sleep, relieved.


  1. For the record, I believe women should be the same. ↩︎
  2. These days it’s a short whimper, and a yearning glance in his mom’s direction. ↩︎
  3. Please do not reply to this post with links to these materials ↩︎