We are also pleased to report that The Unexpected Circumnavigation Part 2 is now available at Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Germany/Austria, Amazon Italy, and Amazon Spain, in addition to Amazon USA. Hopefully, Part 1 will be listed in the international stores soon, as well. (See the Buy Our Books page for a complete listing of where both books can be purchased). We’ll try to upload the books to Kindle soon.
The new updated version of Voyaging Under Power by Denis Umstot has been delayed until late-December. Denis had asked us for some information that we believe he put into the book. We are very excited to be quoted in the “bible” of long range power boating!
On to personal news…Keith is now 8.5 months old, and developmentally speaking, he is doing great. He is either right on target or a little bit ahead of the curve in all areas. He seems to be able to do more and also understand more each day. It has been fun watching his range of skills and abilities grow. He is so proud of himself every time he accomplishes something new.
Right after we posted Keith’s six month update, he started making motions to indicate that he was getting ready to crawl. He still isn’t crawling yet, but he is on the verge. He gets on his hands and knees and tries to move forward, but just hasn’t quite figured out how yet.
He has been able to pull himself up from lying to sitting with a little leverage for a while now; today was the first time he sat up without any other leverage. He can also pull himself from sitting to standing with enough leverage. Here he is beaming with pride after just pulling himself up in the crib (yes, we lowered the crib right after we saw this):
He likes to stand and can stand for a remarkably long time given his age. Nowadays, he prefers to be pushed like this in the stroller:
Keith still demands constant attention. He wants to be held most of the time; even if he does agree to be put down, he wants you to stare at him and look at nothing else. Here he is screaming at Christ for turning away from him for just a moment as he was playing with some toys:
He still prefers playing with adults over toys, and is just starting to develop an interest in other children and animals. Separation anxiety seems to be setting in already, but since he likes people, he is usually happy to go to someone else as long as they shower him with attention.
Right around Keith’s seven month birthday, he broke out in a rash all over his body, had a low grade fever, and didn’t seem to feel very good. The doctor said it was viral and would go away within a week. A few days later, two bottom teeth came in. Once the teeth broke though, he seemed to feel fine, but the rash was still present. Six weeks later, he still has the rash. It comes and goes, but will only clear up for a few days before he breaks out again. We’ve been to the doctor two more times and they still insist it is viral, but we suspect it is an allergic reaction to something.
Keith only went to sign language classes for five weeks before breaking out with the rash, and we haven’t taken him back in case the rash really is viral (the kids interact with one another, and we don’t want to make the other kids sick). The classes were fun and we’ll likely take him back again after the holidays. Meanwhile, we’ve been practicing signing at home. Keith hasn’t signed back yet, but we think he is getting close to physically being able to do it. Right at the eighth month mark, he started clapping his hands and grasping them together, both important developmental steps.
We have started giving him small, rapidly dissolving finger foods to help him develop fine motor coordination skills. He figured out how to get the food into his mouth in no time, which is no surprise since he loves to eat! Here he is picking up a rice puff:
Keith is still regularly going to swimming, though over the last six weeks he has missed three classes as a result of the rash (the kids don’t interact in swimming, so we aren’t as concerned about him making other kids sick). He loves being in the water (as long as its warm–he takes after Christi in that way). And he even has a girlfriend in the class! She joined the class about 3 months ago and for her, it was love at first sight. Keith was indifferent to her until just this week, when he finally flirted back a little. Already a ladies man!
On the subject of water, Keith has finally gotten used to the life jacket, so now we can take him out on deck when we’re cruising aboard Kosmos and on dinghy rides. He likes to be on the boats.
Fairly early on (we want to say 2.5 months, but since it is all a blur, we aren’t sure), he put himself on a schedule where he ate at 7:00 pm, immediately went to sleep, then woke up at 1:00 am and 4:00 am to feed. We thought the night stretches would get longer on their own, but they didn’t. At 6.5 months, we started working on moving the night feedings to 2:00 am and 5:00 am. We had more or less gotten Keith onto the new schedule when the rash broke out. Suddenly, he started getting up six times a night. We’ve never been able to get him back to only getting up twice a night. If we’re lucky, he’ll only get up three times, but he averages four, and six is common. Keith generally takes 3 half-hour naps during the day, so he isn’t a very good day sleeper, either.
Keith’s digestive issues have continued to improve. Christi slowly but steadily added the foods that were acid-inducing for Keith back into her diet and is now eating normally again. Keith seems to be tolerating her milk fine, though he still can’t seem to digest those foods when he eats them himself.
Christi is doing better overall. Being able to eat out and buy pre-made food from the store has significantly improved her quality of life. Before, she was always hungry because she never had time to cook, which wasn’t good for her energy level, frame of mind, or overall health. She thinks not eating enough had as much to do with her severe exhaustion as the lack of sleep did; with Keith currently getting up so much in the night and not napping much during the day, she is actually getting less sleep than ever but is coping better with it better than before. She is also enjoying being home with Keith all day more than she used to–he naps just enough to stay in a good mood and is becoming more fun every day. We still have a nanny ten hours a week, which is a tremendous help.
Keith’s poor sleep pattern has been a lot harder on Eric, though. Christi is still only feeding Keith twice during the night, so Eric gets up with Keith the other one to four times (Christi is awake, though. She can’t sleep at all when the baby is crying). Eric needs to be sharp at work, which is tough on low sleep. Fortunately, work is going well for him overall.
Here are a collection of random photos:
Keith riding Daddy the first week of October:
He was a tiger for Halloween:
At a fish tank in Sea World, taken the first week of November:
Eating a cracker:
Keith showing off his teeth on Thanksgiving Day: