I can hardly figure out where to begin. You've changed so much. Your personality, in all it's strength and determination, shows itself more and more with every passing day. You have started to grace us with the fabulous smiles of pure joy at simply seeing mommy or daddy come into a room. The most precious part of my day is when I open my eyes in the morning and there you are, eyes wide open and looking at me. When I say, "Hi, bud!" your face lights up and the smile just takes my breath away--it's a sucker punch of happiness. When daddy comes downstairs from work at the end of the day, you wiggle in my arms or flap your arms and smile, your tongue blowing raspberries as daddy reaches out to take you. It is so wonderful to feel your love begin to find a way to express itself.
It's been a busy couple of months. We took yoga & infant massage classes together and I think it was such an important step for both of us. The first few yoga classes were tough--you were super fussy and I spent the second hour of yoga rocking you in the hallway and crying, wondering why I spent $100 on seven hours worth of holding and rocking you while you cried, when I could essentially do that at home, minus the other women doing yoga while their babies peacefully slept and the tibetan monk chant CD. But by the third class, you seemed to know where we were, what we were doing and you even began to dig it. You still fuss every once in awhile, but you realize now, perhaps, that mommy reeeeeeeeally needs that hour to do sun and moon salutations--you are pretty happy now to lay at the top of the mat, shaking your blue bee and watching mommy mellow out in triangle pose.
This month's biggest stressor was your weight. You are a skinny little man, darling. Are you sure you belong to daddy and me?! During September and early October, I noticed you nursing less and less. Still every couple of hours, but only for a minute or two at a time. Hmmmmm...is there something wrong with the milk factory? Nope. That's good quality stuff. So why no weight gain? You actually only put on about 6oz in three weeks and the doctor wasn't too thrilled (and we like making the doctor happy!). So we decided that perhaps, even though you aren't complaining about it, you might still have some reflux and we started you on Prevacid. Voila!!!! The magic potion!!! Now, you are Mr. Nurse-aholic again and you have finally tipped the scale at 13lbs, 2oz, according to the digital scale at the breastfeeding group we go to. You are finally fitting into the 3-6 month clothes, as you hit 6 months. That's okay--you can keep wearing them for awhile; mommy has a shopping issue she needs to deal with and she spent wayyyy too much $$ on your 3-6 month clothes, so don't feel like you need to suddenly weight 16 lbs or anything.
This tummy time stuff is so last week, Mom.
You are also a flurry of learning this month. I noticed back in September that when I talked or made noises at you, you were staring intently at my mouth, watching to see how I formed the words and sounds I was making. I experimented sticking my tongue out at you. Over and over and over and over. You stuck your tongue out at me. I blew a raspberry at you. Again and again and again and again. You blew a raspberry at me. I said, "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious" to you.....nothing. Oh well. Maybe next month.
So there is the sound of constant babbling coming from you now. If it is any indication of your future chattiness, I expect to get many "too social in class" comments on your report cards. You "talk" to your toys; you "talk" to your hands; you "talk" to my boobs. You've got a lot to say, my friend. And sometimes you are happily rambling and sometimes I think you're trying to tell me that Timmy has fallen down the well or something, considering the passion and emphasis you seem to be putting on some of your "syllables". I can't wait to see what comes out of your mouth when things start making sense.
Then there's mobility. Let's just say, you're trying. You've long since mastered the belly to back roll. Please. That is SO three months. You seem to be totally uninterested in getting from your back to you belly, however. You do seem to give it a shot every once in awhile, but it's half-hearted at best, as if you're already jaded by the whole rolling thing.
Trying to crawl is where it's at now. I noticed a few weeks ago that you've decided to try to get places by getting up onto your arms and pushing of with your hands. This would be an ideal means of transport, if you always wanted to get to what is 3 feet behind you, because all you do is ending up sliding backwards. However, if you are trying to get to Larry Lion who is 3 feet in FRONT of you, well, then you have a dilemma. So you've learned the way of the inchworm. I cannot tell you how funny it is to watch you curl up your legs so that your butt is in the air, you chest is on the ground and your arms are completely out of the game. Where you should be propelling yourself forward by pushing off with your feet, you're simply just trying to throw your weight ahead of you, willing yourself to move. Unless the force is with you, my friend, that's never going to get you there. But it's cute to watch. What you need to do is realize that both the top and bottom halves of your body are required to work together and at the same time for this elusive crawl to materialize. Perhaps this month....
Let's talk sleep, little man. It's a concept you've yet to really grasp a hold of. Sleep makes the world go round, pumpkin. Sleep makes people happy. Sleep makes mommy happy. You like happy mommy. Let her sleep. Since day one (okay, day 7, when you came home from the NICU) you have been napping on or right next to me. I love you, sweet thing, but jeez. Six months, two or three naps a day---that's a lot of "sit on the couch" time for mommy. She's used to being able to pee when she feels the urge or, oh, I don't know, get up and walk around the room without worrying about waking the giant (that's you). I do love the bonding time with you, but we're basically living in squalor because the time I should be spending perhaps cleaning the bathroom and making a meal for your father and me, I am fighting off the need to sneeze lest I wake you, my arm is falling asleep or I am dying to scratch an itch on my nose that I can't reach because of how you fell asleep on me. This means that tomorrow, Operation Nap In Crib begins. I am going to have to toughen up. I am going to have to draw the line in the sand and see what I can get away with. I am going to have to really decide what is "fussing" and what is "crying" because I can't bring myself to let you "Cry it Out" a la Ferber, but I also can't be your own personal sleep-number bed until you're 10.
Nighttime has gotten a lot easier. Because now you just sleep with us. Daddy bathes you, gets you ready for bed, then I nurse you and he reads you a story and lays with you until you fall asleep. When we come to bed later on, you're snug as a bug (a la safe co-sleeping rules per Dr. Sears) between us. You wake up still. Sometimes once. Sometimes twice. Sometimes 800 times a night. There's no real rhyme or reason. Can we work on the rhyme and reason this month, please? Hmmmmm? Pretty please. I do love, though, how you reach out in your sleep with your little hand, just to touch my arm, to make sure of my presence.
Your favorite new toy is your Baby Einstein activity center/jumperoo. I got it a few weeks ago because I just could not hold you up in a standing positon all day. Yes, you don't roll from back to belly and you don't crawl or sit upright, but you LOVE the world from a standing position. You just can't do it yourself. So the jumperoo is the answer. You bounce, you play music, you spin the frog. It's fabulous.
Must. Make. Frog. Spin!!!! Must make frog spin!!!
We also started solids this month. Rice cereal was first. You were far from thrilled. Even mixed with breastmilk, you were having none of it. "What is this cardboard-tasting crap?" your face seemed to protest as more of it ended up on your chin, bib, and cheeks than in your belly. Now we are working on oatmeal, but not really finding much success with that, either. The box says you might need to try it up to 15 times before you like it, but I think that's just Gerber trying to sell me more cardboard..I mean, cereal.
This is not the look of a man who is happy with his cereal...
We took you apple-picking this year. Big let down. Not that you weren't fabulous company, but I think I expected you to enjoy yourself more than you did. I thought you might be mesmerized by the trees and the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. But really, you just wanted to nap. No biggie, little man. There's always next year.
What is up with these giant orange things? What is up with this cold ground? What is up with my hair??!!
We're waiting on teeth. We are praying for teeth. On the days when your teeth are trying to work their way up through your gums, you are not a happy little man. You drool, you cry, you get a fever, you don't sleep. AT. ALL. I took you to the doctor last week to see if you actually had an ear infection, but alas, no..."just" teething. I asked the doctor if you were going to be "like this" until you popped this tooth. She explained that you could be like this until ALL your teeth were in. There was an unpleasant silence as I mentally digested that tidbit of doom and gloom. Then I said, "If that's the case, Mama's going to have start drinking at the crack of dawn!" The doctor was not amused. Perhaps making joking references to alcohol abuse to your child's pediatrician isn't the smartest idea. Oh well, live and learn.
I cannot believe that you've been for half a year. I cannot believe every day when I look at you that you are the same little being that grew and wriggled in my belly for eight months and that you will continue to grow and learn and change with every moment that passes. I am obsessed with taking pictures of you (258 in October alone), but I cannot bear the idea of forgetting a second of this and I need pictures to remind me because it goes so fast. I am torn between my anticipation for the future and my longing to slam on the breaks and keep you from going any further. As your hair grows, as you put on ounces, as you get closer to independent mobility daily, I realize that I am simply your guide through this adventure and that the seconds slip away so fast. Sometimes I think I might squeeze you a smidge too tight or smother your face with too many kisses, but I can't help myself. I am trying to memorize the way you are right now, the baby soft skin and tiny fingers and rosy cheeks, so that some day, when you don't want me kissing and hugging you (because, ugh! Mom, how embarrassing!!!) I can think back on these days and remind myself that you will always be my baby.