Mamas, tell me whether this sounds familiar: you are in motion all day long, a blur of dicing fruit into tiny pieces, reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the 7th or 19th or 23rd time in the past few days, prying whatever semi-dangerous item she’s managed to wrap her fingers around out of said fingers, changing diapers, rocking to sleep, clowning around in an attempt to elicit laughter, wiping down sticky surfaces, mixing bottles — and then you slide the pocket door to her nursery closed and, after tidying up her toys and washing the final bottle of the day, you feel a sense of accomplishment. There. Another day on the books. I made it. And then, maybe two hours later, as you finish an episode of The Crown, or enjoy a glass of wine, or lay down with your Kindle, you feel an odd tug at your heart. You open your phone to swipe through the photos and videos you’ve taken of your daughter. You share a brief anecdote with your husband — “she thought it was hilarious when Tilly was shaking her stuffed animal today,” or “I think she tried to say giraffe!” or “she waved at everyone in Whole Foods while we were in line.” Sometimes the two of you fall silent, into a sort of warm and nostalgic fog, as you watch photos of her at three weeks and seven months and earlier today parade across the screen of your Apple TV; your husband recently updated the screen saver settings to run a slideshow of pictures from your shared minimagpie folder.
And you miss her.
You miss the ecstatic kicking of her legs when you first pick her up out of her activity center — electric with happiness to be back in mama’s arms. You miss her toothy grin (now five teeth showing!) when she is laying on her back and you tickle her belly. You miss the way she clutches her babydoll — Lulu — to her chest and uses her tiny, chubby pointer finger to poke at her eyes. You miss the “dthih” sound she makes all day long when observing things — “this,” you think she’s saying, attempting to isolate and call attention to items she finds interesting, sharing her world with you in the most precious of ways. You miss the inevitable burst of laughter when you say “Peek-a…” and then turn the ghost page of “Peek-a-Who” and shout: “BOOOO!” You miss the way she patiently, delicately stacks little pieces of fabric from her Maileg Princess + the Pea set on top of the roof of the box — so funny, so observant of her, after you did this once, and she’s been mimicking it ever since. You miss the way she rests her head on your shoulder while drifting off to sleep. The way she always attempts to pull off your glasses in the morning — and sometimes succeeds at it. You miss her semi-uncoordinated attempts at clapping. You miss the feel of her in your arms.
Time is moving fast and slow. The days are chaotic and at the same time methodical, routinized — and they fly by. But the nights — the nights are where things slow down and you have a minute to drink her in, to admire her in all her 10-month-old glory.
You promise yourself that tomorrow, you will bring this presence of mind to bear during the day. You think about the hair colorist and mother to a four-year-old daughter who, while tending to your hair, said: “Oh, my. Enjoy these days. Because I can’t even hold my daughter any more. She’s too big. She has a little woman body now! She’s not my baby anymore.”
And you remember as best you can as you rock her to sleep the next morning for her first nap of the day that these days when she can fit comfortably in your arms are painfully short-lived. But you’re back on the rollercoaster and such sentimentalities enjoy a lifespan of about 32 seconds, before you’re mentally compiling a list of to-dos that must be completed by the end of her hour long nap: put duvet in dryer, wash bottles, check status of Dapple detergent supply, add YoBaby to Instacart order and arrange delivery.
It’s a dance, and we’re moving fast and slow through it.
Minimagpie: Mealtime at 10 Months.
We’ve turned a huge corner with mini’s eating habits in the past two weeks and I rarely use pouches anymore (even after I shared some mom guilt on the topic) or need to bother with purees. She’s gotten rather good at mashing food with her gums and five new teeth, and I cut food into tiny pea-sized pieces anyway, so the worst that would happen is that she swallows a bit whole. Breakfast is often fruit and yogurt — she loves both of these things, and especially likes very tart fruit! She eats grapefruit and under-ripened blackberries like they’re nothing. We feed her whatever fruit we’ve purchased for ourselves for the week — pears, pineapple, melon, mango, kiwis, berries — she eats it all. I’ve been giving her YoBaby yogurt but it just dawned on me that I could probably save some coin by buying her a big tub of Greek Yogurt instead. When it’s not fruit and yogurt, I’ll feed her pancakes, toast with peanut butter on it cut into little squares, cottage cheese, or oatmeal. She’s not big into eggs, but sometimes I can trick her into eating them by including some other vegetables — I’ll grate some zucchini and mix it in with the eggs and then scramble everything and it seems more palatable to her.
Lunch and dinner are a blend of standbys (applesauce, shredded cheese, cottage cheese, mac and cheese, pasta, quesadilla, Dr. Prager’s veggie bites), vegetables I’ve steamed/roasted (this week, I roasted a huge sweet potato, cut it into soft cubes, and tossed with butter and herbs, and I also sauteed zucchini strips and seasoned them with salt and garlic), and whatever we’re eating. This week, for example, we had some leftover food from a big Jin Ramen order, and she ate a lot of a rice bowl — I was shocked! She’ll also eat bites of my avocado and cheese sandwiches, or gnaw on a biscuit leftover from Mr. Magpie’s amazing Golden Globes spread, or eat little cubes of his fried chicken (skin removed). I used to be hesitant about feeding her anything with too much salt or seasoning, but my pediatrician said, “There’s really no medical evidence saying you can’t. Who doesn’t want salt or seasoning on her food? Just be reasonable.” So, I won’t feed her spicy food or anything that’s insanely seasoned, but I’m pretty lenient now with what she tries. I’ll usually share a bite of whatever I’m eating — this week, she ate a few bites of truffle cheese (fancypants), gnawed on an apple, and tried a few bites of my cereal bar.
It suddenly feels very liberating.
That said, I feel as though I’m constantly making lists and mentally mapping what she might eat for what meal, and it can be admittedly a bit of hamster wheel situation.
She takes four 6-oz bottles a day. My pediatrician said we should probably get it down to three feeds a day, but this works well for us right now. She has one as soon as she wakes up in the morning, one at each of her daytime naps, and then one right before bed. She’s still figuring out how to drink water from a sippy cup, but these seem to be the ones that she most consistently “gets.” When she was sick with her cold, I watered down some juice and fed it into one of her small bottles to ensure she would actually drink it, as I was worried she was dehydrated.
Finally, ever since we started using this mat on her high chair (which we still obsess over), she’s begun to eat a lot more. She used to smear her food around her high chair tray, or dangle it over the edge for Tilly within a few minutes of starting her meal. Now, she’s very intent on eating everything in her little mat — she loves to feed herself.
Minimagpie: Playtime at 10 Months.
More for my sanity than anything else, we tend to play at different “stations” at different times of the day. When she first wakes up in the morning, I take her out to the living room, lay down a blanket, and surround her with a couple of toys so she can crawl and roll around. I try to mix up which “big” toys I bring out — sometimes it’s her musical set (she LOVES this), or her building blocks, or her sit-to-stand walker, or a wooden play pancake set her grandparents gave her (similar to this), or her balls. We also read a few books together — she’s very into the two sound books she has, including this one. We’ll read and press the animal buttons together. Once Mr. Magpie is up, I move her to her activity center and add a couple of her favorite smaller toys to the tray, so I can make breakfast. I feel like her days in this wunderproduct are numbered — she’ll soon be too tall for it and will be waddling around. Sigh. It’s such a nice way to keep her contained and entertained. Once breakfast is ready, we all sit around the dining room table listening to the news and enjoying our twenty minutes of family time until Mr. Magpie leaves us. Then, I put her into her booster seat on the floor of the kitchen and toss a couple of toys on her tray — she loves her measuring spoons — while I clean up (there’s always a huge mess after breakfast — bottles from last night and this morning to clean, our plates, the toaster, coffee accoutrements, whatever we left in the sink last night, her highchair tray) and then I temporarily stow her in her crib with her Maileg set while I get myself dressed and make the bed. For the rest of the day, we’ll alternate between crawling around the living room carpet, hanging out on my bed, or rolling around in her crib. The activity center is really just a holding zone when I’m trying to GSD.
I should point out that she’s crawling, but in a limited capacity. Any day now she’ll be fully cruising around, but for the last week, she’s been crawling for two moves forward, then rocking back and forth and dropping onto her stomach. Then she’ll do a weird army crawl/dead leg pull before pushing back up onto her knees. She LOVES to “walk” with our support and to grab onto the chair/sofa and stand by herself, but she’s still very wobbly and it feels like walking is a far way away. (As my mom would say, “Enjoy this time while you can. She’ll be into everything before you know it.”)
I’m impressed with her dexterity right now — she’s very careful when stacking the “mattresses” of her Maileg set, placing the rings of her Fisher Price rock-a-stock in place, fingering the velcro on her babydoll’s sleepsack, and placing the pieces of toast back in her play toaster (similar to this).
I also love that she can happily entertain herself for increasingly long stretches, just rolling around and playing with the toys around her. This is especially handy in the mornings. Our pediatrician gave us the green light to leave a toy in her crib with her so that we could score a little bit of extra sleep, so we usually leave her babydoll with her and I can hear her babbling away to it for at least twenty minutes after she’s woken up.
Just earlier this week, I started adding art-time to our menu of daily activities, and she tried her hand at drawing using this paper dispenser and these crayons. Close readers of this blog will note that I originally planned to order these, but every time I’d go to check out, I’d balk at the price — $23 for crayons?! I couldn’t pull the trigger. It turns out that was a good call because a certain Airedale developed a certain hankering for a certain crayon the other day, and if said crayons were the equivalent of $2 apiece, I’d be livid. My mother pointed out that the larger crayons I’d ordered were good for developing gross motor skills, but that I might also consider buying some of these for her fine motor skills. (My mom used to be a teacher.) Noted, and ordered.
Minimagpie: Sleeptime at 10 Months.
Hallelujah! Mini has been sleeping through the night for the last month. She goes to bed at 7 PM and wakes up between 6-7 AM. Every now and then, she wakes up between 5-6 AM, and I’ll feed her a bottle and she’ll go back to sleep until around 8, and we can’t quite figure out why, but I’m not complaining; she was routinely waking up at 3 a.m. until about 8 months of age, so I AM IN HEAVEN. (Also, sleeping in until 8 AM feels like a ridiculous extravagance, even if I have to wake up and feed her for 20 minutes at 5 A.M.)
I used to fully rock her to sleep before bed, which I know is a major no no (“put her down while drowsy but awake” blah blah blah), but in the past two weeks, I’ve begun to put her down while she’s still awake, and it’s been a shockingly easy transition. Some nights, she’ll fuss for about 10 minutes, but most of the time, she’ll just roll over onto her stomach and fall right asleep. It’s a trivial accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, but I’m proud of it nonetheless — it took me way too long to be comfortable with her fussing for a bit before sleeping!
During the day, she goes down for naps at 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM, and she’ll usually sleep for an hour and a half at each. We follow the same pattern at every sleeptime: change diaper, put in sleepsack (I currently love these ones), and turn on SleepSheep. At night, we also read a book and say our prayers together just before bed.
Minimagpie: Wishlist at 10 Months.
+These “gootensils” (ughhh the name) — they’re supposed to be great transitional tools for teaching your baby to eat with a spoon/fork.
+I’m usually more on the traditional side when it comes to dressing mini, but every now and then I’ll mix in a little something hipster. For example, I adore these embroidered sweatshirts!
+I’ve heard great things about this brand of baby towel (monogrammable!), which is good because my one gripe with my Pottery Barn Kids critter towel is that it’s so darn SHORT! It barely covers her bottom!
+Ordering one of these for mini’s first birthday.
+Speaking of, I’m SO sad I missed the boat on ordering these — they would have been the perfect birthday pajama, but now they’re sold out in her size. Womp womp. Also, I know we’re edging out of winter territory, but I just love this pair of jammies. Should I order them for her in her current size or size way up and save them for next winter?
+When is mini the right age for this?! (Not that we have the room for it…)
+I’m sure she’s a little young for this, but then again she loves her pancake set — she’ll pluck the pieces of fruit velcroed onto the pancake off and then stick them back on again.
+The La Coqueta sale is now offering even deeper discounts! MEEP.
+I think I might have to order this in both prints…