52 weeks of win

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Win - Week 4

Despite my illness (which I now fear is the flu, thanks for nothing flu shot) I managed to snap a few pictures of the kids this afternoon. I’m committed to keeping up my 52 Weeks of Win project no matter what.

Not a lot has changed from last week. Win is still super sleepy, which I’m glad for because it makes our lives a bit easier. We’ve discovered that if he is in a bit of a fussy mood (even easygoing babies are not immune to The Witching Hour) he actually prefers to be put down in his bouncy chair rather than held, where he can sit up and look at all of us and watch is going about our evening. It was a shocking revelation because Eleanor hated to be set down even for a minute as a baby. 

He is definitely starting to chunk up. I keep meaning to get a picture of the nice thigh rolls he is developing, but today I didn’t want to wake him up by taking his clothes off. Maybe next bathtime. Who doesn’t love a chubby baby? It’s sad when the newborness starts to fade away, but this next infant phase is so cute. 

I’m really afraid he will catch whatever bug I’ve got, and I’m hoping that breastfeeding will keep him healthy, because four weeks is too little to be getting sick. For now he’s camped out with me in bed, napping and nursing the afternoon away. I hate being so ill, but I love the extra bonding time it is giving us. He is the sweetest, cuddliest little thing.

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Win - 8 Weeks

He wakes! World’s Sleepiest Baby is starting to finally spend a decent amount of the day awake and alert (although I often get the feeling he wishes he were still sleeping). He hasn’t settled into a reliable nap schedule yet, but so far he needs a nap 2-3 hours after he first wakes up in the morning, then he’s awake for a while around lunch time, sometimes cat napping here and there, until he is ready for a big long nap around 2:00pm, which is also when Eleanor takes her nap. If I can keep this nap in synch, I will be so happy. After his long nap he is up for another few hours before bedtime, also catching the occasional cat nap when he sees fit. 

He has started showing signs of being ready for a specific bedtime. Until just a few days ago he was content to roll with the punches and go to sleep whenever Andrew and I finally headed to bed, but now right around 8:00pm he gets very upset and the only thing that makes him happy is for me to swaddle him, lay down in bed next to him, and nurse him to sleep. 8:00pm isn’t an ideal bedtime, since it’s right in the middle of the busiest time in our evening, when we are trying to clean up the kitchen, do the dishes from dinner, and start getting Eleanor ready for bed. But there’s no compromising with an exhausted baby, so 8:00pm it is. 

At 8 weeks old his favorite activities are pooping, sleeping, nursing, and having his big sister sing to him. 

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Win - 25 Weeks

We’ve had a major development in the sleep department! Win decided that pacifiers are ok afterall. I’ll be honest, I’ve been on the fence about them. I tried pretty hard to get Eleanor to take one, and she always reacted very negatively with lots of gagging and dramatic crying. Once it was clear she would never be a paci baby, I started feeling a bit smug about it. I was glad that I didn’t have to go through the process of weaning her off of it. I was glad I would never be one of those parents out in public with a three year old still sucking away on a pacifier. I was glad it wasn’t something that would become a crutch. But I’ll be even more honest. Eleanor was a paci baby, it’s just that I was her pacifier. I let her sleep latched on for the majority of her naps for the majority of her first year. It was a little overwhelming, and at times I worried that I had irrevocably ruined her sleep habits (she sleeps independently just fine now, for the record), but mostly I was glad to do it. I was glad to have those quiet moments just to hold her, to feel so needed. It was peaceful and relaxing for the both of us.

When Win was born, Andrew and I discussed if we should attempt to introduce a pacifier, and we mutually decided that as long as he wasn’t overly fussy and didn’t seem like he needed one, we would just skip it. Eleanor had gotten through her infancy just fine without one (sort of), so why introduce it just to have to face taking it away from him some day. Even though we both were in agreement, I did offer him a pacifier a few times when he was a newborn, just to see how he reacted. He sucked a little bit, then spit them out. He didn’t latch on right away, but he didn’t seem to hate them the way Eleanor did. Anyway, he was such a calm newborn, and a great sleeper for his first few months, so we put the pacis away.

As Win got older, his desire to suck while sleeping grew stronger, and I felt very guilty that I couldn’t give him what I was able to give his sister. I couldn’t be his pacifier. I have another child to tend to during nap times. The result was that he would only take very short naps in the morning, then one long nap during the afternoon while Eleanor also slept (and I could just hold him). He needed more sleep, and he needed to suck. I thought that five and a half months old would be too old to introduce a pacifier, but I had to try. I had to find something to help him sleep better, so I broke out the old pacifier stash. He wasn’t very interested at first. If he was alert, he would rather chew on them. If he was sleepy and I tried to pull the ol’ switcheroo on him, he was incensed.  I really did try to get Eleanor interested in pacifiers, so I had several different brands to work with. I got him to suck a little bit on the Natursutten after being really persistent, and that gave me hope, but he was still very skeptical of this whole pacifier thing. So about a week ago, I asked Andrew to stop on his way home from work at CVS and pick up some mAm pacis to see if those somehow magically worked (a reader reminded me of their existence after my last weekly Win update) . They did. That night I nursed him to sleep, unlatched him, popped the mAm in, and he sucked away like he had been doing it forever. 

It’s like night and day, the difference these pacifiers have made. Before I had to nurse him to sleep laying down, then try to unlatch him and sneak away without waking him, then repeat the process if he stirred. He is a very light sleeper (I curse our squeaky old floorboards every day), and always woke right up if I tried to rock him to sleep then lay him down, wanting to suck. Now that he has his pacifier, I can nurse him in the rocking chair until he is done actively sucking, give him his paci, and lay him right down. He’s usually sleeping lightly enough that he wakes up a little bit when I lay him down, but he just sucks on his paci and closes his eyes. He has been consistently taking hour long naps by himself in the mornings now, and often when he wakes up from a nap he will go right back to sleep if I just go in and sing him a song and pat his back for a minute. Before if he woke up prematurely from a nap, that nap was over, unless I could lay down with him and nurse him for the rest of it, which I usually couldn’t do. It’s just crazy. A week ago, I was so desperate to get him sleeping better. I felt like a horrible mom because I couldn’t figure out a way to help him sleep while not neglecting Eleanor. Now the problem is totally solved.

So, thank you mAm.

I officially revise my position on pacifiers: they are awesome and sometimes very, very necessary.  

4

Win - 42 Weeks

Wow, I can’t believe there are only ten more week left of my 52 Weeks of Win project. I’ll be honest, when I started it I wasn’t certain I would be able to finish it. It’s so hard to find the time to take pictures, edit them, and think of something to write. But I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it. I did it for Eleanor, and if nothing else Win can say that he didn’t get the typical Second Child treatment in this regard. Your babyhood is well documented, little boy!

Win has another sign down, “more.” It looks lot like clapping right now, but all I’m looking for is those hands going together in the correct context. He has been really excited about learning this one. For a while he was using the “milk” sign to mean more, but now he has them differentiated. Today at lunch he kept cramming the slices of pear I was giving him into his mouth and signing “more” as quickly as possible. He still really enjoys food, by the way. He eats a ton. He seems at times like a bottomless pit, like he could just eat and eat and eat until all of the food in the house is gone. 

Let’s talk about these last two photos. I’m so glad I captured that first one, even though it’s a little blurry. Win loves to crawl around carrying a toy in his mouth, just like a puppy. Sometimes he even sits down and plays with one toy in his hands while holding another in his mouth. I think it’s hilarious. He’s probably hoarding toys to keep them away from his sister. And in the other, how cute are my two munchkins with their little bunny teeth, making the same silly expression? I love them.

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Win - 29 Weeks

If you look very closely in that first photo, you can see one of his little teeth! So cute.

Win is so active these days. He’s always bouncing and squirming and grabbing and babbling. But not rolling. Neither of my babies have really rolled at all. Isn’t that strange? Ah well. I think he’d like rolling if he’d give it a try, because he loves to move his body. It makes me excited for him to learn to crawl, but I think that’s still a long way off yet.

With all of his animation and motion, he is starting to seem like he officially turned the corner toward toddlerhood, like his is closer to that milemarker than to his newborn days, like his infancy is quickly fading. I’m struggling with it all. I want to do things that keep him little in my mind, like swaddle him and hold him in my arms while he naps, but for practical reasons I’m forced to give them up. I just want to hold him forever. I feel like his new baby days went so much quicker than Eleanor’s, and hate that it is already difficult for me to remember them. But he is so sweet and fun now, and there is so much to look forward to in the very near future. As I’ve said many times before, I just wish I could have the last 29 weeks back to live over again.  

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Win - 33 Weeks 

It’s starting to get much more difficult to take this little guy’s photo. I had to delete so many cute but blurry ones that I took today. He is itching to be on the move. Right when I sit him down, he always launches himself forward. He hasn’t been able to get into the proper hands-and-knees position for crawling yet, but he seems awfully close. He manages to get on his hands and knees, but he keeps his feet folded under him and bears all of his weight on his arms. As soon as he figures out how to work his legs a little better, he will be off. There’s no telling how long that will take though.

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Win - 30 Weeks

Win is an eater. Baby-led weaning has been going so well. He got the hang of things so quickly and that period of time at the beginning with lots of gagging was incredibly shot. Now he handles food with little difficulty and is always excited when meal time comes around. It’s fun watching his preferences develop. He is crazy about carbs. If there is bread or pasta on his tray, he is definitely going to go for that first, followed by red things (especially strawberries and watermelon).

It’s always hard to tell how much food is actually being ingested with baby-led weaning, but I think he manages to eat almost half of whatever he is given, which is pretty incredible considering he is just shy of 7 months. He gets very upset if anyone eats around him without sharing, and you should hear how he screeches if he runs out of food on his tray! Recently he was eating some avocado, and he liked it so much that after he had eaten all of the wedge I had given him, he proceeded to bend down and lick the remaining avocado that had been smeared on his tray. He seriously loves food! And you can see it in those massive thighs!  

4

Win - 51 Weeks

I can’t believe I am typing this right now. This is Win’s last weekly update. Next week he will be one year old, 12 months. I will continue to write monthly updates for him for the next year at least, but this is the last weekly one. I wanted to capture him one more time in all of his naked, cloth diapered, chunky baby glory. As I was undressing him and getting out my camera, my mind flashed back to the fifty times I have done this before, and it just seemed unreal. The last year has gone by so quickly, and I am glad that I have so many photos to look back on. It’s the only way I can truly remember. 

Last Saturday, Win started really getting the hang of assisted walking. Now he loves to cruise around (fast!) with his push toy and toddle along while I hold his hands. He does a lot of independent standing, and a bit of furniture cruising, but I think his first real steps are still several weeks away. And even though he is heavy and loves for me to carry him everywhere, I don’t mind if his progress is slow. It keeps him my baby for that much longer. I really wish I could keep him little forever.
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Win - 7 Weeks

Little Mister Win did great on our trip. He was perfect on the plane, just sleeping and nursing without so much as a peep (shout out to Big Sister, who was also very well behaved). He didn’t seem to mind being passed around amongst our relatives and often I felt like I only held him while I was nursing him. We were back in Phoenix when Eleanor was the same age, and she was much less willing to let strangers hold her, but she was also much more alert. The World’s Sleepiest Baby is still very much The World’s Sleepiest Baby. But can you blame him? He is doing some serious growing. In the one week that we were back in Phoenix, Win managed to outgrow all of the clothes I had packed for him. My big task this afternoon is to get out his 3 month sized clothes, and put away everything newborn sized (if my poor heart can stand it).

When Win wakes up he is very content. Much to my surprise, during his awake moments he often prefers to be put down. Maybe he can see the world better that way? I’m not sure what it is, but it’s so strange to go from having a baby who would never, ever let me put her down to having a baby who actually enjoys it. He seems to really like having freedom of movement as well. When he is laying down or sitting in the bouncy chair he will kick and kick and kick his little legs. If I am carrying him around while he is awake he prefers to be held so that he look around and see what is going on. He can already hold his head up really well. He’s got great neck control and is mostly steady, with still a few slight wobbles here and there.

Every day he becomes more smiley. He is very eager to interact and loves to catch my eye and flash me a wide grin. He is also starting to vocalize quite a bit, and if I talk to him he will reply with the sweetest little coos and a-goos. And of course, he is already beginning to realize how fun his sister is. He smiles at her a lot and seems to revel in all of the attention she pays to him. It will be so fun when he can interact even more–I know both of them will get such a kick out of each other.

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Win - 49 Weeks

Win’s birthday is 20 days away, and I still haven’t decided how we are going to celebrate it. We threw Eleanor a big First Birthday party in Phoenix with all of our family. It wasn’t anything Pinterest worthy or anything, but it was so nice having those we love with us that day. I thought about not having a party for Win at all, since we have so few people to invite here in California, but I’m afraid I would regret that. I guess we will just end up having a small get-together with a few balloons and a few friends. Sorry, second baby. Thems the breaks.

Win has recently mastered the art of pointing. When he sees something that interests him, out goes his little pointer finger, usually accompanied by some excited grunting. Yesterday we were sitting outside at a Starbucks and a woman tied up a little dog right near by. Win kept pointing at it and making a sound that I’m pretty sure is his approximation of a dog bark. He is so interested in animals and gets excited anytime he see one. I think it’s time to take him to the zoo! Plenty to point at there.

5

Win - 23 Weeks

Solid foods are on my mind lately. We’re having a hard time waiting until 6 months with this guy. He really wants food, and it’s making meal time difficult. If I put him in his floor seat he whines the entire time, and if I hold him on my lap he aggressively lunges for any and all food, even if I give him a fun toy to hold. Yesterday he knocked over my cereal bowl.

If he was sitting up a little bit better we would just go for it, but he isn’t there yet. He’s still pretty wobbly in his high hair, so that makes me think we should hold off for now. I caved today though and gave him a bit of banana in one of those little mesh feeder things because he was whining so much at breakfast, and that made him happy as a clam.

Aside from his inability to sit unassisted, I have other hesitations about starting solids. It’s all just a delay of the inevitable, but I’m really not looking forward to the messiness of it all. Mashed up food everywhere, all over the baby, the high chair, the floor. And why must bananas, the most baby friendly fruit, stain so badly? Then there is the stinky, sticky poop, which means I’ll also have the added chore of spraying off the poopy diapers before they can go in the pail. Breastmilk poop is just so pleasant, as poop goes. I’m really going to miss it.

Of course there is an emotional element as well. He is my baby–possibly my last baby–and I’m just not ready for him to be at this stage. I’m not ready for his warm, milky smell to be replaced with the smell of the smashed banana that he will smear in his hair. I want to be able to experience his babyhood a bit longer. I don’t need him rushing ahead. I’m not ready for him to be ready.

I just don’t know what to do. I don’t remember Eleanor acting this way at all. Actually, she had a very “take it or leave it” attitude about food until she was well over one year old. But with Win, I’m at the point now where I honestly feel mean for withholding food from him. He watches me eat and smacks his bare gums together, like he knows exactly what is going on. Maybe I’ll continue to give him small bits of fruits and veggies in the mesh feeder just to keep him placated while the rest of us eat, and then start Baby Led Weaning in earnest once he is sitting strongly.

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Win - 20 Weeks

Let’s ignore the pox that has befallen our house and enjoy these adorable pictures of Win before his left eye got all red and goopy. Just look at that nice, white sclera. And check out those thick thighs in his BabyLegs. I love BabyLegs. I almost always dress Win in them instead of regular pants.

This sweet guy has officially entered the sing-song phase, where he is constantly making some noise or another. When he is happy, it’s long drawn out coos and ahhs with accompanying pitch changes and facial expressions. When he is unhappy, it’s a constant, vaguely annoyed grunty whine. But whatever the mood, he’s always letting his feelings be know via his vocal chords. At four months old, he must really have a lot to say.

Touch wood, but he seems to have gotten over his hatred of the car. I make sure to always give him a soft toy to hold, and that helps a lot. He has made it through the last few errand runs without any tears!

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Win - 13 Weeks

I’m pretty sure Win is the most kissed on baby ever. I wear him in the wrap most of the day, so his little, sweet-smelling, fuzzy head is right there at lip level. Then there’s Eleanor, who smothers him with kisses whenever she gets the opportunity. I know he needs a bath when his head starts to smell like someone licked him. What can I say? He is very loved.

Since discovering his hands he is starting to sooth himself by sucking on his fingers and fist. Eleanor never really did that. She enjoyed chewing on them, but only ever wanted to nurse for that sort of comfort. It makes me wonder if he will be a thumb suckers. Time will tell!

Win Is getting to be so sociable. I can’t remember if Eleanor was like that at his age (I need to go back through my blog archive and check), or if it is at all unusual, but it’s really fun. He loves to have one-on-one attention, to be able to lock eyes and babble with someone. He really likes diaper changes because it affords him the chance to have a conversation of “ah-goos” and “hoos.” As I already mentioned, I wear him for a large portion of the day, but he gets into playful moods now where he wants to be able to see my face and interact with me. I love to hear his voice and watch his intent facial expression. It makes me anxious for the day that he is able to actually talk. That will be so fun. But of course I’m in no rush for him to grow up. I’d keep him just the way he is right now forever if I could, my darling little 13 week old.

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Win - 11 Weeks

For a few days now Win has given out little happy chuckles when tickled, but today I finally got him to really laugh. It was just a short little burst, but now I can’t stop tickling him to try to get it to come again. So sweet!

Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he is only two months old. He seems so big and strong. Lately he has started trying to sit up. If I hold him on my lap upright or if he is in his bouncy seat he will do little baby crunches to try to pull himself up into a sitting position. Every time I see him do it I think, “Stop! You’re just a little tiny baby, you shouldn’t be doing these things yet!” He’s just growing so fast, I can’t keep up. 

I think you can see it in his pictures, he really is the happiest little guy. Any time I so much as look at him a smile spreads across his face. I just adore him.

6

Win - 9 Months (39 weeks)

My sweet Winston is nine months old. He weighs 22 lbs 4.5 oz (90th percentile) and is 29.5 inches long (94th percentile). He can wave hello, sign for “milk,” give kisses on request, and scoot around wherever he wants to go. 

He can crawl, but still prefers to get around on his belly, which he can do much quicker. He will do a proper crawl for a few paces, then drop his belly and scoot the rest of the way. He is totally mobile now, but is still quite happy to sit on the playmat and explore toys. He isn’t into everything yet, which makes my job a bit easier, but that could change any day. He has figured out how fun it is to pull the books off of the bookshelves though. 

He is a very observant boy and loves to stare intently at strangers, which gets him a lot of smiles and hellos, which he meets with even more intent stares. I can’t remember if staring is a normal baby trait, but people comment on the directness of his stare a lot (including his doctor), so it seems worth it to mention it. 

He loves eating and his favorite food is anything bread based, including homemade pizza crust, peas, black beans, and pears. He almost always feeds himself, unless I’m eating oatmeal or yogurt, in which case I give him little bites off of my spoon (which I can never manage to do fast enough, in his opinion).

He is really sweet and happy all the time. He can be a bit clingy and prefers to be worn or carried most of the time (and hates when any member of his family walks out of his sight), but other than that he doesn’t fuss at all. When he was a newborn my mom called him Win Poppins because he was such an easy baby that he was practically perfect in anyway. I’d say he’s just about back to Win Poppins status these days. At this phase, he is very easy to look after and simply delightful to be around, with his big gapped-tooth smile and sparkly blue eyes. 

He loves to swing on the swings at the park and always laughs when he watches his sister run around. He favors the toys he knows she likes the most, her Elsa doll with its fascinating blond hair and her baby dolls with their chewable hands and feet, but he is also developing that typical little boy fondness for everything with wheels. He loves to sit and push the doll stroller back and forth, and will roll a little tractor toy from our farm set around the wood floor and scoot along after it. He also loves our bead maze cube with it’s spinning blocks and beads and doors to open and shut.

Nine months is always a bit of a bittersweet milestone, I think. Nine months in, versus nine months out. These first nine months of his life have seemed to go by so fast for me. Instead of thinking back though, I find myself thinking forward to what life will be like in another nine months when he is a year and  a half. He will be playing at the park, trying to keep up with his sister, and probably starting to really talk. He will be a full fledged toddler, throwing unintelligible tantrums and telling me “no!” at every turn. There is so much to look forward to, but there is so little of his babyhood left now. Just a few short months. I’m going to do my best to savor them, because the last two nine month intervals of my life have passed at breakneck speed. I don’t want to blink, because I know if I do then my little baby scooting hilariously across the floor on his belly will be toddling into my arms, then if I blink again he will be running away from me with a defiant chuckle, and if I blink a third time he will heading off to school.

Say little Win, for just a bit longer.

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Win - 45 Weeks

I can’t believe I had to buy my baby 18 month size footy PJs today. It’s just crazy. He is such a big boy. 

Recently he has started to enjoy reading baby books. As long as the pages get turned quickly, it will hold his attention (and he loves to help with the turning part himself). He really likes touch-and-feel books and anything with animals/animal sounds.

As the second baby, it’s harder for me to find the time to sit down and read with him though. Sometimes the things that came so easy and naturally with the first have to be pre-planned and regimented with the second. Right before he turned ten months old I started implementing a true bedtime and naptime routine with him, with a little book and a song while we nurse. This way I read at least three books a day to him, no matter what. Even if we are crazy busy, we still make the time for these three little books, and I think both of us are very glad for it. I love the quiet moments with him, watching his eyes searching the pictures while he is nuzzled up to my breast, his fingers reaching out to turn the pages.

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Win - 10 Months (44 Weeks)

I’m posting this a bit late. Win turned 10 months old on the 21st, while we were back in Phoenix for a quick trip. He is totally impossible to photograph now, since he isn’t ever still and loves to lunge for my camera, so these will have to do, even though I wish I could have gotten a few better captures to document his 10th month.

I was really excited about this trip. I’ve been missing my mom and the rest of my extended family so much lately and wishing I had their help. If nothing else, wishing for an extra pair of hands to hold Win. I have learned the hard way though that his separation/stranger anxiety is a forced to be reckoned with. He would not let anyone else hold him at all. Anytime anyone so much as tried, he shrieked at the top of his lungs. He also didn’t ever want me out of his sight, and didn’t really want to be put down so he could crawl around. He had to be on my lap or in my arms at all times. Instead of having a break from my Win duties, I actually ended up having more of them. At least when we’re at home he will happily play on the floor for a while as long as I am in the same room. I ended up holding him or wearing him the entire time we were away, including for most of his naps. 

He really is a lot of work right now. He is so desperately attached to me (and Andrew, but for the love of god, no one else!) and he totally flips if he can’t see me (this includes riding in the car…still). And while I love him more than anything, I wish I never had to hear his cry again. It is unbelievably loud and shrill and dramatic. Several people have told me that his cry sounds like someone getting their leg cut off. I know this is all just a phase, but it’s a really intense one, and I’m ready for it to be over. 

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Win - 19 Weeks

I think I sold Win short last week when I said he was in a fussy phase. He was just coming down with a cold that swept through our house. Although he is back to his usual, cheerful self these days, he is messing up our schedule by waking up an hour earlier than normal, at 5:30. That also happens to be the same time that Andrew’s alarm goes off, and I think it is waking Win up too. It really stinks because it’s obvious that he is still tired, but he won’t fall right back to sleep. Instead, he is awake for about 45 minutes until he gets really cranky and wants to take his first nap of the day, then he sleeps for maybe 40 minutes more, is up again, then cranky again after just an hour. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have another kid to take care of, but this current pattern just isn’t working. The only thing I can think to do is request that Andrew not hit the snooze button in the hopes that hearing the alarm just once won’t rouse him..

In less boring, non-sleep related news: he loves his jumper and is happily tormented by the red dangling parrot and blue dangling frog. He is figuring out how to jump in it and seems to enjoy the freedom of movement.