Milestones - 9 months on April 6th
I do compare Cora and Jamey to one another, but in a positive parenting way. With Cora being the first born, I read about milestones and when children should hit them, just to make sure I was providing her with what she needed during the most important days, months and years of her growth. When I say giving her what she needed, to me that meant the balance she needed in play/brain development, nutrition and sleep to awake time. There was a point when Cora was under evaluation by a state organization and through play was considered behind in her gross motor skills. We were eligible for this program because of Cora's hearing deficiency. She had failed her hearing test in the hospital after birth and again prior to us being discharged, so we were instructed to follow-up with a specialist. In the end, Cora had ear tubes put in right around 6 months and once that happened she passed her follow-up hearing tests and every ENT doctor check-up since. It wasn't long after the tubes went in, within 6 months, that she was released from the state program after another round of "play" determined that she was back up to the state's standards.
I remember have a major mommy fail moment after our initial evaluation with the state. There was a pediatrician that evaluated Cora and she rattled off about 10 things that needed further attention on my end. Here I was thinking I was doing a fairly decent job as a mom and after a 30 minute evaluation I felt like I was the worst mom. I can not remember all the things the pediatrician mentioned, I am sure I have a list from notes I took at the appointment, but one thing was that Cora's head was flatter on one side and I needed to work to get it to round out. Another thing was that Cora had acid reflux, which I knew she spit of a fair amount but hadn't correlated it to a condition. I will never forget the feeling of disappointment in myself when I left the facility. I actually gave feedback to my caseworker about how devastated I felt after the doctor gave me so much feedback, which I took as negative, in relation to Cora at one time and how hard that is for a new mom to take all at once. Looking back and reflecting now, I think I took us being under evaluation of the state as being a bad/negative thing. But now, with a few years under my belt in the mommy department, I was just being super sensitive and should have seen this experience as a positive. What a great program, that is free and helps children who are behind in their development catch back up! I opted to be provided the tools needed and work with Cora at home (with the help of our family), just because I thought it was my parental duty to try to work with her first. They also offered the option of scheduling appointments with Cora and working with her directly, using their staff, but besides the evaluation process we never went that route. I thought their one-on-one resource would be better utilized by a child that was further behind than Cora. I did not think that Cora was behind but she was my first child so I did not have a reference point to compare her to.
The point of the above, which ended up being more of a story than I had anticipated, is that I have many times mentioned how I feel Jamey is behind in reaching his milestones. This is in comparison to Cora and what I feel like the average child should be doing, but Cora's past three years how gone so quickly that I may not be keeping it all straight in my head. However, we are only having two children so I am okay with him taking his time because Cora is in a hurry to grow up and I just want her to slow down a bit. This leads me to Jamey and 9 months and how he is starting to do so many things at once. He a steam roller on the floor and can get pretty much anywhere he wants to by rolling, trying to get over all types of objects that get in his way. He is clapping on demand and he can say "dadda". Now, he does not know what "dadda" means, but he is making sounds, compared to noises.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best I can for Cora and Jamey and that means sacrificing "me ", which I am okay with, but need to work on bringing some balance to that equation. I am waiting until Jamey hits ONE year and I am done breastfeeding, because I feel his feeding schedule is what my life has revolved around since he was born. I am not complaining and am very thankful that Jamey is still nursing, but being able to sleep through the night and have more flexibility in my schedule is going to take me to a new level of productivity that everyone (Matt, Cora and Jamey) can benefit from.
Below are pictures from Easter, so technically Jamey is older than 9 months, by two weeks. I didn't use the cute date blocks I have either, I am slipping, but I have them for my 10 months post that I will do soon and prior to Jamey turning 11 months. The Easter Bunny brought a new swim outfit, hat, water bottles and organic rice cakes for Sugar Bear. Sweet Cheeks got Old Maid and Go Fish, a Moana dvd, Moana outfit with bracelet, oar and headband (pictured), puzzles, bubble glove, two Veggie Tales Christian dvds and yellow (her favorite color) peeps. We had an Easter egg hunt for Cora and she loved finding all the eggs and eating her chocolate rewards while she was hunting! Mommy and Daddy probably ate most of the chocolate from the egg hunt, so maybe next year I should find some alternatives to chocolate so that does not happen again.