It’s been a big week over here in the Meidell household — not only did Hyrum turn The Big ONE yesterday, but our oldest (Raven) started kindergarten for the first time on Tuesday (she was being homeschooled before while we waited to move to our new house).
This last year has been such a blur. I mean, DUH, it’s been such a blur for everyone, but with our recent Big Move, this year has held even more change for us personally. Last year I was coming off of being on strict bed rest for many, many weeks and giving birth to a preemie, and now I’m chasing around that same preemie as he crawls everywhere I least want him to in a new house that I didn’t even conceive of as being a possibility for this year.
Life is weird.
We knew that choosing not to wait to get pregnant with our third would mean that the first year or two could be really rough. Well, we were right (and wrong) on many fronts with that thinking. I already did a whole post on the ways we were wrong, which was all about how adjusting to 3 kids was way easier than adjusting to 2 (which is still true for me, by the way).
However, a unique year globally combined with challenges specific to our family situation have definitely made my days a constant juggling act, in which I’ve learned to accept that there will be major crying and tantruming at some point every day from each of my three children (often multiple times), simply because I’m often forced to pick the child with the greatest immediate need and give them that time and attention, which means that it feels like there are a million small fires to put out from dawn until well past dusk. (Note: Our current situation, which we’ve been dealing with since August, is that my husband has to live three hours’ north of us during the week to work until the business he works for moves down to their new location closer to our new house. This has meant that I’m on my own with the kids each week from very early Monday morning to Thursday night at bedtime.)
The good thing about having such a limited scope of what I can do as just one person has been that the older two kids have really been forced to become much more independent this year, especially my kindergartner — I’m constantly amazed at how genuinely helpful she is, often without needing to be asked. While I definitely try to mitigate sibling fights and teach the older two to problem solve and work together while I’m there, they get plenty of opportunities each day to actually try putting those strategies into action when I’m busy attending to the baby. (Now, do you they always USE or FOLLOW my strategies for getting along and problem solving when I’m not there making them? Uh, no. But I’m so proud every time I hear them working on it when I’m not in the same room!)
Seriously, all of my kids have just grown up so much this year. I’ll get to Hyrum more specifically in a minute, but the older two have really built a solid friendship this year, between Mathias finally being old enough to really “get” play and with them being forced together even more than usual because of the pandemic and us not going anywhere. Although I know both moves have been challenging on them, they have still kept up their excitement and enthusiasm for trying and learning new things, and I have always been proud that Raven is the type of girl who just goes straight into new situations without hesitation, like she did this week with kindergarten (where, just as in preschool, I had to call her back to say goodbye to me that first day, because otherwise she wouldn’t have looked back even once!).
But, since Hyrum hardly has any posts devoted to just him (hello #thirdchild), I wanted to devote a little bit more space to just him and where he’s at.
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Growth + Size
I don’t have exact stats for him at this point of time since we’re still trying to find a new pediatrician close to our new house, but I would guesstimate that he’s around 30″ tall and around 18 to 18.5 pounds. As he was premature, he’s always been on the small side for his age, but he has started to catch up a little bit on weight (not as much on height yet) in the past few months. Most people think he’s around 9 or 10 months old, which is exactly the same issue we had with Mathias—people have always thought he was younger than he is because of his size. Guess we just make small boys!
Hyrum currently wears the 6-9 month size in clothing (though I think he’ll be sizing up to the 12-month size here in about a month or so) and wears a size 3 in diapers.
Appearance + Temperament
The more I look at baby pictures of Raven, the more I think that Hyrum looks so much like her. He’s got more of the round face and rounder eyes (like me), as well as the dark hair. He’s already had two mini haircuts to snip the hair that was growing over his ears, and his eyes look like they definitely aren’t going to be blue — as of now, they look like they’re going to turn a similar shade of hazel/green like Matt’s. He’s got six teeth with more possibly coming in, except he won’t let me look to see :).
As far as babies go, Hyrum’s a pretty easy kid. He’s never been very fussy unless he’s really tired or hungry, and even now, when he’s just starting to wail to make his will known about what he wants, he still is quite good-natured (even when his older brother steals his toys!). He smiles often, is easy to make laugh, and seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice. He wants to be doing whatever his older siblings are doing, and he’s now starting to get to the point that if we’re around people not in our household, he likes to have mom close by.
Basically he’s a little sweetie!
- Crawls everywhere (and FAST), especially to off-limits areas
- Has started trying to climb up stairs
- Pulls himself up on everything and cruises along the furniture
- Can stand for a few seconds on his own, though he’s not showing any enthusiasm for wanting to practice walking yet
- Says “dada” excitedly every time he sees Matt, and sometimes will say “mama.” (What’s with all my kids saying “dada” first and much more frequently?!) He also has started saying “ba ba” a lot when it’s time to eat, which I’m guessing he’s associating with “bottle.”
- Shows zero inclination to feed himself, but he did finally make the first motion from high chair tray to mouth at his birthday party yesterday, when he discovered that the giant smash cake in front of him was edible. (The good news about him not feeding himself yet though is that he also doesn’t try to put things on the floor in his mouth.)
- Has been able to wave and clap his hands for quite a few months now (and shrieks with delight as he claps his hands for himself when he does something he wants us to praise him for)
- Is not huge into snuggles like his older siblings, but lately he’s been letting me snuggle him a bit more if he’s really, really tired
- Loves to play with his siblings, explore the new house, and try out different toys on hard surfaces to see what noises they make
It took us trying a few different things, but Hyrum has now consistently been sleeping through the night for probably 3 months (and even before, he would usually go right back down if we went in and put in his pacifier). He typically sleeps 12 hours a night, from about 6:30 to 6:30 or 7 to 7.
He’s never been a fabulous napper, but he was being relatively consistent with his two-nap schedule until recently. Since he was starting to sometimes skip the afternoon nap or fight the morning one, I decided to try just putting him on a one-nap schedule this week when Raven started school (to coincide with the time she’s gone). That means on Monday through Friday, I feed the kids an early lunch around 11:00 and then put him down for his only nap of the day around noon, when we get back from kindergarten drop-off. It’s *kind of* working so far, but I can tell that on many days, he starts to really struggle around 10:30 and I need to put in the binky to get him to last until after lunch.
This is the first weekend with the new sleep schedule, and because we’ve been trying to get so much work done on the house over the weekend, I’ve put him back to doing two naps, but he’s once again fighting that afternoon one. After this weekend, I’ll probably just keep him to the same schedule I’m trying to do during the week so that he can hopefully adjust completely and then give me a really long afternoon nap each day (which is still hit or miss, even with us going down to just one). Thus far, he’s good to pretty much always fall asleep right around noon, but he sometimes wakes up after only an hour and a half or so, and sometimes sleeps for 3 hours.
We’ll see what happens as we get more consistent with the new schedule.
Since he was premature, eating was a bit rocky at first, which I detailed more in my post on my experience having a 35-week preemie. However, once he got the hang of things, he’s really developed a voracious appetite. I mean, it makes sense since he had so much catch-up growth to do!
Our pediatrician recommended that we supplement him from the beginning with Neosure, which is a formula specifically made for premature babies. We did that for the first two months and then tried to just go to exclusively breastmilk. However, his growth wasn’t where it needed to be and my milk supply has not been great for my past two babies, so once we called it quits with the pumping at six months and just went to formula, everything increased exponentially when it came to food. For quite awhile, he was doing four feedings of six ounces each every day (PLUS solids), which helped him to finally actually show up on the growth charts (he wasn’t even the 1st percentile before, even when you adjusted for him being born a month early!).
Just before his birthday this week, we had him down to two formula feedings of 6 ounces each at morning and at night, as well as three meals and one to two snacks. Now that he’s a year old and his growth trend is encouraging, we’re taking him off of the formula and trying whole milk instead. As long as his growth pattern continues, that’s the plan going forward!
In Case You’re Curious
We go really simple for one-year birthdays, as I already detailed in this post all about our gift philosophy. To me, it doesn’t make sense to spend a whole bunch of money on gifts and a huge party when the child won’t even remember any of it. This year, we had two of the three sets of grandparents over (my dad and stepmom live several states away), with everyone masked up and social distancing as much as possible. Dinner was spaghetti and a salad, the cake was made from a box, and everyone still had a wonderful time.
As for gifts, we gave him two new sleepers I got on clearance since we were always running out before Laundry Day, a book I picked up from Amazon’s 3-for-2 book deal (which is still going on), and then this sing-a-long train. All told, we spent about $30.
And Hyrum? He couldn’t care less about the presents. In fact, he downright cried and wailed when we tried to get him to sit still and open them because he wanted to explore and crawl around much more than he wanted to open things (and, granted, it WAS past his bedtime).
Happy birthday sweet boy — we’re so grateful to have you in our family! It’s been such a light to have a baby during this very strange year <3