Half a year. Little Turkey Butt is halfway to age one. That's insane for me to think about. The next thing you know, Hawksley will be learning to drive and then graduating while I sit in the crowd with a Kermit-grin plastered to my face. Derek will have gone prematurely white like his dad (we've only got a few solid years left of that glorious black hair) and we'll still be talking about how messed up it is to have an actual child. Maybe even more than one. MULTIPLE CHILDREN? I CAN'T IMAGINE.
That doesn't mean I've turned into one of those "Please slow doooown!" moms. Quite the opposite. I'll look at Hawk and be like, "OK, Joanne's baby already has teeth, and Gemma's baby is only a month older than you and he's already saying mama like he means it." I find I'm excited for his next thing and look forward to it. I try to get him to crawl all the time, and then one day when I wasn't looking - BOOM. Up on all fours, belly off the ground, reaching for the rattle. COME ON! Life with him is now truly rewarding. Yes, it's pretty hard in the beginning, and it's still hard and overwhelming sometimes, (most times) but his personality is beginning to shine through. As he gets smarter and smarter everyday, it's neat to watch him grow and morph into a real tiny human. He loves to stand (but rolling over is a drag, and sitting up by himself is still slightly unstable unless he really means it... OK he just loves to throw himself backwards) and he can say "Ho ho ho" right in time for Christmas. Every time I kiss him he closes his eyes, and he is ticklish EVERYWHERE. The ribs, feet, thighs and chin are the worst!
Even though I'm pretty sure I'm his number one, he has a special place for Grammie and dad. My mom was staying with me while Derek was out of town - we needed to paint over all the mushy olive green and warm mayonnaise walls at our new house - and when Derek finally came home Hawksley couldn't handle the three of us there with him. He was like, "ALL OF MY PEOPLE ARE HERE!" and he had a perma-squint and belly laugh that echoed through the house. If any of us looked at him, he would explode in coos and laughter. It was hilarious. He's a little turkey and a little ham.
I think the move was stressful on him. I noticed he was fussier and more tired, even though I tried to have all his things set up for when he got here. We've been in the woods for almost a month now and he's finally starting to adjust. He loves being in his carrier and going for hikes, and my heart swells every time he comes back inside with a cherry nose and cold cheeks. He still loves being outside so much. And the first snowfall with him was pretty magical. In the mornings, he loves to sit on the couch and look outside. We have these big front windows that look out onto the yard, and with the little blizzard we just had, he was flabbergasted. He stared at the white blanket outside for the entire morning. It was so bright! Not to mention, he sleeps like a dream anytime he's spent time outside.
Did anyone else's kid just get totally thrown from the time change? I think that contributed to Hawk's crappy adjustment. He woke up early every morning and blew bubbles making his lips vibrate. It's his new thing. That fart sound. And our baby monitors are synced through the whole house so at 6AM there is just this echo of bubbling vibrating lips coming from everywhere. I have such a boy. Derek and I are laughing even before the sun is up. And I'm also groaning because I am a night person and I hate the mornings on most days. Most mornings start with a chuckle and a "Why can't he just sleep?!"
He sleeps 12 hours every night.
He is very animated. He has so many expressions that I can't even understand how a person so small can have so many opinions. And then there are his four dimples. Sometimes he pulls them out when he wants something. A normal smile has two dimples, but when he's really into something you're doing, the other two come out. People often ask me if I have an Asian parent - but I'm not mixed with anything cool like that. Just French and Austrian. And Derek has these amazing squinty Metis crinkle eyes, so this combo basically exploded when our genes mixed and created a child. This kid also always sticks his tongue out. Like for no reason at all. The tongue is just a wagging constantly... if his lips aren't too busy vibrating and blowing bubbles. Why did we show him that exactly?
I have discovered that naps are key, afternoon naps in particular because that is his longest nap. And if I take him outside he naps for a really long time. I'm actually writing this while he has his little siesta post toboggan ride. Sometimes he will nap for two hours in the afternoon and I can actually clean like a normal person - or write - or do the other hundred things on my never-ending list.
And about the naps: we were having a hard time with his routine for a bit because one morning I put him in his swing - THE swing, the swing that saves us - and I heard a loud thud followed by a baby wailing. I screamed, for Derek, literally, and flew upstairs to find him face down on the floor just flailing his little arms and crying into the carpet. I felt TERRIBLE. I scooped him up, a freaked out dad running up the stairs behind me, but Hawksley only smiled once he was in my arms. I promptly threw the swing in the guest room and shut the door.
I lasted a week.
He is now strapped into the swing and we are happy all over again. The same thing happened with his little vibrating chair, so he's strapped into that now, too. All this to say, he moves so friggin' much and is constantly kicking his legs like a banshee. Hence why he loves to stand and figured out crawling while I busy making him food. Changing him has become this difficult dance of trying to push down his pelvis/butt back onto the change table because he throws his naked junk and legs around the second I lay him down. I literally remove his pants, stuff his soother in his mouth (he's usually holding it) and shove a rattle in his hand, then try to wipe up the poop explosions in a mere seconds. Wipe. Wipe. Cream. Diaper. Press pelvis. Stick diaper side one. Press pelvis. Give rattle again. Press diaper side two. Pull up pants. Jesus. It's like a magic trick! And he laughs the whole time, the little wiener. Oh, and whenever he's laying down, he crosses his ankles. It's the funniest thing.
I'm beginning to become terrified that he will be a very high energy little boy and I'll have to send him outside with the dog to do laps around the house just to burn energy. And remember my coyote fear? That's saying something.
So we moved. In all honesty, Derek and I have had nothing but hurdles at the new house. Our land is beautiful but adjusting to country life when you're used to the city has been interesting! The "country internet" being one of the biggest things to get used to. For example, blizzard? Shoddy internet. And it's definitely slower than we're used to. Then of course there was the issue of getting TV wired through the house. I miss Bryan and HGTV, but Derek and Hawk miss football more. There is so much to know with well water, a septic field, a wood burning furnace and fireplace, hot tub, garbage disposal, land care - everything. You name it. Though I do feel more relaxed when I wake up here, and the first snowfall was absolutely incredible. We just have to learn this new lifestyle and learn patience and slow living. We are both excited. I can't even explain how I felt when I looked out my bedroom window to see the guest cabin covered in snow and hoarfrost on the birch trees. Holy Christmas! And I'm pretty sure Rogue thinks she died and went to heaven. She's even lazier than before, if you can imagine.
So it'll be a new adventure here. The olive green walls are slowing vanishing into the new toasty grey ones, and it's beginning to feel more and more like home. Starting a fire everyday has done something wonderful to my soul and I can't wait for the morning where we wake up as a family with absolutely nothing to do other than hike, have a hot chocolate and warm up in the hot tub.
So far, nights alone with Derek after Hawksley is asleep, sipping wine and sharing our days has relaxed me more than I have been in months. Long live Pleasant House on the Prairie.