When I look at Jonah now, I don't see that little baby but instead I see a little boy (aka my little man). His smile and laugh are contagious, he's always so happy and he loves to babble! Imagine that, a Shenouda that likes to talk! He says everything from "ma-ma", "da-da", "ba-ba", "da" (thats usually for our dog Buckeye) and he also says "tella" (I'm pretty sure that's his way of saying Stella). Speaking of Stella, she just adores him and nothing melts my heart more than seeing Stella kiss and love on him. I assumed that it would be a challenge having to kids that were so far apart in age but I can't tell you how much I love it. Stella is like his little mother to Jonah, Whether she's playing with him, snuggling with him, soothing/comforting him, or just reading a book to him...I can see a bond between the two of them that is absolutely AMAZING! It's hard to think back to before he was born.
LOTS has changed this past month...Jonah is now up to 4 jars a day and only taking a bottle 3 times a day. He's also eating a lot more table food too and it's so fun watching him try new things. We've also graduated from those expensive Gerber puffs to Cheerios. Can you believe that an entire box of Cheerios costs the same as one little container as those Gerber puffs? Jonah is also learning to master the the sippy cup at meal time instead of a bottle. As you can see, any and all kinds of food excite this child. It seems like all he ever does is eat! In fact, when your feeding him, if you don't shovel the food into his mouth fast enough, he will scream and yell at you (as if to say "HURRY UP, I'm hungry!).
On this night we were having stir-fry and Jonah got to try white rice. I'm not sure much of it actually got into his mouth. I found it in his hair, his ears, up his nose and even in his diaper! All that mattered is that he loved it and he was able to eat some of it.
Jonah is very much into a "discovery" phase. He just doesn't pick up a toy and put it straight into his mouth. He holds it and looks at it (as if to say "hmmmm...what does this thing do?). He's also discovering all the different things that his toys can do and the sounds that they make; whether its pushing a button or shaking a toy to see if it makes noise, he's very much intrigued by anything and everything and will even pull himself up to get to something.
Jonah standing in his toy bucket!
Jonah is such a happy baby and as I mentioned in previous posts, he LOVES the swing (the outdoor swing). On this evening, Todd had to take Jonah with him to Stella's soccer practice and there was a swing at the playground there that he could enjoy!
Jonah will be surrounded by a million toys and if he sees a phone or a remote he will go for it. He's even smart enough to know that he needs to point it at the tv! It's simply amazing to see what he likes to get into. Something as simple as a magazine or sheet of paper can keep him occupied (that's if he's not putting it into his mouth).
Jonah is also a lot more mobile these days and is getting so so fast. He's mastered crawling to the point that he even speed crawls. I will blink my eyes and he will be in the kitchen standing at the dishwasher or even sitting at the dog bowl with a mouth full of dog food. We've nearly baby proofed the entire first floor; we've covered all the outlets, tucked away all of the cords but there is still so much to do. Just today I was telling Todd that we need to tether the flat screen down and baby proof the remainder of the house.
Sissy and Mikey watched Jonah one evening while Todd and Stella were at soccer so I could run some quick errands....and of course Jonah had a great time. Uncle Mikey played with Jonah on the piano and he even changed a diaper. I'm not sure Mikey ever changed Sophia's diaper; I'm pretty sure he really loves that little boy!
Finally, I am happy to report that we went through the painful, tiring and heart wrenching process of "Ferberizing" Jonah. After my pediatrician had a "coming to Jesus" moment with me, I realized that we were allowing Jonah to dictate our sleep habits (or lack thereof) and it was time to start sleeping through the night! What is Ferberizing and who is Ferber? Dr. Richard Ferber, is a physician and director of pediatric sleep disorders at Children's Hospital in Boston, who's methods and variations are often referred to as "crying it out." Needless to say, I was forced to put my big girl pants on and let Jonah cry it out, even if it meant letting him cry of hours. The Ferber method requires that you put the baby in their cribs wide awake so as to teach the baby to learn to put themselves to sleep. You are allowed to go in every 10-15 minutes to talk to the child to reassure them that they have not been abandoned (I would say "Jonah, mommy loves you but it's time for nite-nite and you need to go to sleep.), but you cannot hold, kiss or hug the child. I used to rock or put Jonah to sleep then gently put him in his crib at night. But then he would wake up in the middle of the night and realize that we weren't in there with him and begin to cry! I have to be honest, at first I didn't think that the Ferber method would work...in fact I doubted my ability in allowing myself to let him cry himself to sleep but I am happy to report that within 5 nights Jonah was sleeping through the night. The Ferber method suggests a bedtime routine; our routine begins at 7pm each night and consists of giving Jonah a bath, getting him dressed for bed, drinking a rice cereal concoction (still makes me gag when I'm making it) and going to bed. Once we've said "nite-nite" to everyone and we're in Jonah's room we say our prayers put the music on (Jonah has a Homedics baby soother in his room that plays classical music all night) and I put him in his crib with his beloved pacifier. If I wasn't a believer before I am absolutely a believer now and kinda depressed when I think back to the 9 plus months of no sleep we've previously had and thinking I should have done this sooner! Thank you Dr. Eberhart for the "coming to Jesus" and reassuring me that no child has every died crying themselves to sleep.
Boy have these past 10 months flown by and as we begin to approach Jonah's 1 year milestone, I've already found myself in party planning mode. Jonah has changed our family dynamic and has truly blessed our family and our lives over these past 10 months. Each day I get so excited to see what new things he's discovered and watching his personality develop. Nothing makes me happier than watching the Stella and Jonah play together... Life just doesn't get much better than this!