Gabriel is 8 Months Old

Gabriel is 8 months old now!  We are 2/3 of the way through our precious boy's first year.  The time has truly flown by.

Mr. G is coming out with new tricks almost every day, and definitely keeps us entertained around here.  He is such a delight.  A pure and beautiful delight.

One of Gabriel's newest feats - that I love - is that when Jas or I reach to pick him up, he will (most of the time) hold his arms out to us.  Ahhhhh!  Melt my heart.

Gabriel is right about 18 pounds now, and is growing longer by the day.  His precious little feet are just about to reach the edge of the infant seat we've been using in the van...so we'll have to switch him to a new Convertible seat before long.

6 months old

7 months old
8 months old

Sugar Booger is babbling more and more all the time - when he's not squealing at the top of his lungs.  (They are happy squeals, though.)  He is mostly just repeating easy syllables:  "da", "ba", and a few times he has repeated "ma".  He most frequently says "da-da" over and over, much to Jas' delight.  Jas and I like to good-naturedly compete and try to get Gabriel to say "dada" or "mama"...and he breaks out into a cheshire-cat grin whenever we both lean over him trying to prompt him this way.

Gabriel has recently gone through another round of teething (runny nose, bad diapers, trouble sleeping at night)...STILL without anything new to show for his pain efforts!  Bless his heart.  I sure do wish all the teeth would just break through all at once and get it over with.  This long, drawn-out stuff is for the birds!

Another new milestone for G (and us!) this past month is that he has stayed in the nursery at church a few times.  Up until now, the only time he'd been in the nursery was when Jas and I were working in there.  He's getting big enough and vocal enough now that it is hard for him to be at our Community Group meeting on Sunday nights.  And while we prefer him to sit with the rest of us for the Sunday morning service, sometimes he is just too loud (happy loud, but loud none-the-less), so we have taken him to the nursery then also.

Gabriel is still loving the bath.  "Love" is actually not a strong enough word.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that an older sibling is normally in there with him.  They fight over whose turn it is to take a bath with him.  

And it is a very good thing that he likes water and baths...because he gets so messy eating!

We learned quickly that it makes the most sense to just go ahead and strip him down to his diaper before we try to feed him anything.

He likes to try to feed himself.  This is a good thing...but a messy thing.  Elisabeth and Noah were our only other children that we went through the "baby food" stage with, but they were older and not messy like this, so this is a new experience also.

Gabriel has tried quite a few foods now, and seemed to like some more than others: yogurt, apples, bananas, pears, cantaloupe, salmon, sweet potato, avocado.  We've been mostly following the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) approach, and these foods have just been some of the things we were eating at the time, not out of jars.

His favorite is yogurt, and he can go from this...

...to this...

...in about 2 seconds flat!

While not technically crawling yet, Gabriel definitely scoots around.    This series of pictures was taken over about a minute or so:

If we would all put the poor boy down, he might would have more of a chance to learn to crawl!  But we (all 6 of us) would rather hold him, so he doesn't get much chance.  It will happen soon enough for this mama, though.  I've already purchased a baby gate...things will definitely change once this little guy starts crawling!

I recorded Gabriel's nice pat little schedule in his 7 month update...and then recanted the whole thing a few days later.  Figuring out a baby and his schedule has been one of the more challenging parts of having an infant.  Before G came home, I would have told anyone I was a Babywise-type of parent.  Schedules, consistency, predictability...yes, yes, yes!  Those are all good/desirable things, right?

The Lord has broken me of this.  I'm not in control of everything around me...and it's ok!

Gabriel's needs don't revolve around my wishes/desires.  It has been more important for me to be able to maintain my milk supply (which I couldn't have done if G had started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks), and for him to know that if he cries out, someone will respond.  We certainly could train him that no one will come even if he cries, so why cry?  But we don't feel like that is the way to go.  He doesn't cry for no reason in the middle of the night...he's either wet, hungry or miserable from teething (poor baby).

But having said that, it is not like things are willy-nilly chaotic around here.  Not by a long shot.  Things follow a very natural and consistent rhythm and routine.  I have come to expect that about an hour and a half after G wakes up in the morning, he'll be ready to lay back down for his morning nap.  And that nap will last about 2-2.5 hours.  But he wakes up at different times.  Sometimes 9 a.m....sometimes 8 a.m.  I'm not going to leave him in there until 9 just because **I** (and my schedule) think he shouldn't be up yet.  He's happy when he wakes up, and he's ready to get up.  And I have four other little sets of eyes watching me.  I can't imagine how irate they would be with me if I just left G in there and refused to get him (or actually, let them go get him, which is what they want to do).

Not that we don't ever let him cry.  Not by a long shot.  He usually fusses some as he's settling down to nap or sleep.  Sometimes not at all, but most of the time he does.  I've had to learn to listen to that still, small voice guiding me in my parenting...as it (He) should in all areas of my life.  I watch Gabriel for signs (hunger, tired)...and listen.  I was driving myself crazy at first with reading totally contradictory views (from Babywise to The Baby Book)...but it stopped when I read the book Spirit-Led Parenting.  This shouldn't have been revolutionary to me, but it was.  The Lord knows my baby (and me!) better than anyone else, and He will guide us in the best/proper way to do this thing! This has all been such a hard, but wonderful, learning curve for me, that I love to talk about it...if you can't tell.

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