In just five days, my youngest baby will be turning a year old and I’m still in awe over how quickly we have gotten to this special milestone in Vishnu’s life. It’s so surreal to think that Vishnu has been part of this family for a whole year when I feel like I just brought him home from the hospital. I feel so lucky to have Vishnu in my arms and to watch him thrive and reach all of his developmental milestones right before my eyes, despite his rough start to life. For those of you that don’t know, Vishnu was diagnosed with hypocalcemia at just eights days old after having had multiple episodes of seizure activity. He was hospitalized for the first few weeks of his life and then seen on an outpatient basis for the next couple months.
I took this picture a week before we were discharged from the hospital. You can read more about Vishnu’s experience with hypocalcemia here. Today I’m going to tell you a little bit more about my Achyuthan Vishnu and some of the milestones that he has achieved over the past year.
I think by now most of you that Vishnu is a horrible sleeper – I cry to everyone about it. He naps in short bursts during the day (think two 20 min power naps) yet wakes up four times a night to drink milk on top of countless other times just because. He loves to be held and cuddled and he is very affectionate. I am severely sleep-deprived and feel and look like a zombie, yet Vishnu is active, alert, and content as long as he is with me every second of his wakeful hour. He is literally that clingy and anyone who wants to hold him must literally pry him off me. Up until a month ago, Vishnu hated his crib and slept with me in my bed. Every day I have been trying to get him into the crib, even changing the sheets to different ones hoping he’d love his new crib sheets as much as I do. I had no luck until recently that is. Ever since Vishnu realized that he could pull himself up, he has started to love his crib especially now that he can walk around the crib holding the rails for support. I hope to get him sleeping in his crib before his first birthday. Wish me luck!
VIshnu may be a bad sleeper, but he is quite the active little one. These days he crawls around everywhere except on his designated play area. He pulls him self up, walks around with the support of the nearby furniture, stands without support, and even takes a couple steps all on his own before falling on his bottom. Vishnu hates all his toys but absolutely loves playing with his sister and brother’s toys. He even knows how to roll Karthik’s Hotwheel cars on the ground while making sounds just like his older brother. His favourite activity of all is to dump all the toys out of every toy container he can get his hands on and attempt to climb into whatever container that is large enough to accommodate him. Vishnu really enjoyed watching me cook, until he realized that he could be stirring and mixing too. Now Vishnu prefers playing with my pots, metal mixing bowls, and wooden spoons while I cook which makes life so much easier!
Unfortunately my little one doesn’t like to eat as much as he loves to “cook”. He is quite the picky-eater and if he could live off milk, he probably would. Vishnu enjoys his Love Child Organic food pouches but as of late he prefers more texture in his food. Vishnu just cut his bottom two teeth within the last month but he is great at chewing before swallowing. He loves picking up and eating his food on his own and we fight over his spoon during every mealtime. His favourite foods at the moment are fresh fruit (especially oranges and mangoes, fondly referred to as “onch” and “mang”), steamed carrots, beans, and sweet pongal. I haven’t introduced Vishnu to any meat yet, but he has tried the white part of a hard-boiled egg and he is definitely not a fan as of now. I know this is not realistic considering his siblings eat poultry and seafood but a big part of me wants to raise him as a vegetarian like myself which is the main reason that I’ve been holding off on meat.
Vishnu’s favourite part of the day is without a doubt, bath-time. He literally squeals with delight every time I prepare the tub for bath. He loves collecting water in my measuring cups and spoons rather than playing with his bath toys. Some of his other favourite things to do include pressing buttons on the remote, my phone, and laptop. He has learned which button needs to be pressed in order to turn on the TV, even though he isn’t allowed to watch TV yet. Vishnu enjoys turning the pages of his board books and looking at the pictures. He points at things he wants, sings to himself, and addresses everyone in the immediate family by name (Amma, Appa, Akka, and Anna). We are so happy and grateful for everything Achyuthan has learned and achieved in his first year. Vishnu has such as big personality and it is definitely going to be interesting and exciting to see how he fits in and interacts with Shakthi and Karthik as he continues to grow.
The first year, whether it is your first baby’s or last, is always special. Below are some of my favourite photographs taken during Vishnu’s first year of life!