(Please click "Read More" to see a nice summary of the month, and just how much Sidekick is changing! Also, this post features (at the end of the huge wall of text) 102 pictures . . . whoa :P But considering I was able to whittle that down from 466 taken this past month, that's pretty good :D As always, click to make the collages bigger! EDIT: forgot to add that all pics are in chronological order - save the first collage which was taken two days ago - so you can really see how he grew/changed over the month. Enjoy!)
Quick at-a-glance collage/summary first:
|EDIT (forgot to caption!) . . . I love how big and chunky|
his legs look here (and that's at a flattering angle no less),
and that his toes are all curled up underneath, except the big toes!
We weighed him this morning (weighing myself first, then holding him and stepping on the scale, and calculating the difference), and he weighs twenty-one pounds! <-- which also might explain why he hasn't rolled since before he got sick at three months (first he was too sick to roll, now he's just too big!) But he's also pretty tall, too - easily fitting into one year old clothes, at 26 1/2 inches. Considering the men on HeroPapa's side of the family aren't giants, the only person we can think he's taking after in the height department is my father, who is six feet. And he might have another one of my Dad's features: his ears!
At first we thought, he had Joel's ears (and he does have this little 'crunch-bump' - as HeroPapa calls it - at the top of his ear that folds slightly at the top, and has little ridges along the edge), but the ear lobes aren't Papa's and they stick out something fierce! I'm not sure why they didn't stick out this much from the beginning, but the in the last month and a half, they've seem to have fallen into "place", and yup, you sure can't miss them ~ at first we thought of the obvious "Dumbo" reference, but then again, who wants to call their kid "Dumbo" even in passing to describe a feature? So I quickly thought of another "big-ear" nickname to focus on, when we talked about his ears: Clark Gable :) (I'm already trying to make sure that he doesn't develop a complex, by watching what we say - even in passing - about him: you can never start to early!). Besides, what's more fun, "Dumbo", or "Clark Gable"?
But please, it's not just the physical changes we've been noticing - mentally he's becoming more alert/aware by the minute :D
It seems like he changes the activity he wants to do, about every fifteen minutes, and we do about a constant set of rotations (in no particular order): tummy time (often with music), being in his exerciser, on his playmat and playing with hanging toys of his tripod, sitting up and watching educational shows (or just sitting up and watching tv period, haha!) but he loves baby shows the best obviously, as well as Fantasia (considering he's been listening to some of the songs feat. in the movie since birth, it's fun for him to put a picture with the music). He also enjoys reading a book with sensory activities, chewing on his teething monkey (and we can feel some bumpy gums where those teeth want to come through!), eating solids, laying back and playing with his toes, getting a massage, playing with a baby app, being worn around the house in the Boba wrap . . . boy, this list is getting long, and I'm not even done (no wonder our apartment looks horrible, I'm constantly doing something with him haha!). But this doesn't even include the basic necessities of diaper changes, drinking a bottle, and sleeping!
Probably the most significant change is in these areas. He definitely has outgrown his newborn stage, where he's always on a rotation of sleep, eat, diaper (in no particular order). He wants to be a part of everything, including being more awake for it. We got a hint of it last month, but now it seems like a set pattern! No longer does the car lull him to sleep. He wants to look in the headrest mirror we attached for him, watch the landscape go by him from his window, and even sit up (straining against the car seat harness). And the last two days, have even included him watching a baby video on our iPhone simply because he was bored back there . . . maybe he has ADD haha!
Sadly it means that his daytime naps are almost non existent. Rarely, he'll fall asleep for about twenty minutes, but it's never a deep sleep. Even the routine/schedule doesn't help, and he simply stares at everything around him. He's just so wonderfully curious about everything. Though it was adjustment in the fourth month, I think by now, he's not "fighting" to stay awake as much - and just is. Meaning he isn't really overtired during the day, just awake.
Another thing we've noticed is that he only wants to sleep in his crib anymore (which hey, is a good thing - gives my arms a break!). We had forsaken the crib shortly after he started sleeping in it, because he had gotten sick and for about five and a half weeks only wanted to sleep on me for comfort (understandable, but exhausting). So once he was finally feeling better (and finished his last rabies shot on St. Patty's Day with no fevers from any one them), we thought of the crib once more. He was still waking up every hour, but he wasn't fighting to go back to sleep because he wasn't feeling well. Looking for alternatives to keep him close, and because he seemed to like to snuggle close - we turned our crib into a sidecar crib. It's attached to our bed, with one railing removed, so I can easily get to him, but he has his own space. It's basically like a co-sleeping bassinet for bigger babies.
Then in the last week, we've noticed a pretty consistent pattern for him (though I'm a little weary of labeling it anything but a fluke - seeing as he often changes it up on me, right when I start to think I got him figured out. He definitely likes to keep me on my toes!) But lately, he won't even take a twenty minute (twice a day) nap, without being in his crib. He likes his white noise, and his dark room, and being in his familiar space. At night, he sleeps either one-two-or-three hours at a time (hasn't been more than three for over two months). BUT he'll at least go right back to sleep, with minimal coaxing. After such a difficult sick period where it could take an hour of trying everything, with him crying and crying and crying, I will gladly take an hour at a time! But I have found that for myself, I do need two consistent hours, adding up to about five (or six) hours a night, for me to feel okay the next day. If it's been a night of constant one hour patterns (which has definitely happened a few times), then HeroPapa watches him for the extra hours I need when he gets home from the night shift. Actually HeroPapa watches him every morning - whether it's for an hour, or three. He is very helpful :)
In the food department, because he's been so aware of everything, and wants to be included, he's been practically smacking his lips while we eat. With the blessing of our pedi, we introduced foods at four and a half months, and he loves it! It took him only a few days to really get the hang of it (though he still prefers you to get the food in the middle of his tongue, so the tip of his tongue can kind of lap it back into his throat). Because I kept being told how big he was (not in a judgmental way - but I had a a lot of mothers saying with astonishment that their one year olds don't weigh as much as him), that him still struggling to eat those first few days (he wanted to eat, but got frustrated with the spoon a few bites into it), I asked the pedi about it, and I'm glad to report he's not concerned. Rule #1: feed the baby. He did suggest rice cereal in his bottles, but by then Sidekick was lapping up quite the selection of foods.
Between the thicker formula bottles with rice cereal, and the baby food (about half a jar a day), he can go hours between feedings (which is nice for both budget and time reasons). So far, he's tried: apples, applesauce, sweet potatoes, bananas, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, corn, peaches, pears, chocolate (he is 1/4 German after all, right?), tiny bit of cheese, and a cinnamon pretzel (both mashed first). I'm happy to say that he hasn't had one reaction to anything yet (though sometimes, even with an allergic reaction at this point, they can often outgrow it, so it wouldn't be too concerning or an indicator of something worse). So far, his favorite food is . . . carrots! (though I have no idea why, haha), followed closely by sweet potatoes, a favorite of HeroPapa's as well. He absolutely refused to eat much of the bananas, or green beans, but maybe we can try those again later.
Probably the most refreshing change has been the outings. Between the warmer weather, and his alertness, we've been able to implement our stroller more, and go places. I did try taking him on his first walk about a week and a half ago, but had an asthma attack, so yup, my lungs don't appreciate anything under 40 degrees (which is like half the year, in Minnesota!). But so far, so good, and we've also gone with HeroPapa to the Mall of America, had lunch, rented a storage locker (to finally clear out some this stuff!), used it for shopping and running errands, and gone on more walks. He simply weighs too much to carry around in the car seat, so having a stroller to put him in is quite nice :)
And HeroPapa wanting to join in on it more, is for two reasons: one, he's not quite so nervous anymore of Sidekick wailing and getting us kicked out places (he's quite the easy going baby), and two, he (HeroPapa) was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea last week! It's a bittersweet diagnosis because it's sad that he has it, but it's nice that we are finally treating the cause, and not just the symptoms. But the even sadder part, is that he's had these symptoms for almost ten years, and just now is being treated for it. And yet, just having him be more alert himself is a fun parallel to Sidekick. They both want to be more involved now, because they are aware of things around them now, so I've been really trying to gather family fun outings :D
We've done the Mall to America, gone out eat, and done the errands, and a few walks. Next up, is the Como Zoo, Underwater Adventure at the Mall, Baby Story Time at the library (hopefully, because all the current slots are full), going to parks (now that the wind has settled down a bit), once-a-month "Bring Your Baby" AMC movie days, and Midtown Market on their family days. It's a full list, but I'm making up for five months of being cooped up in an apartment with a newborn, then a sick baby, and an untreated sleep apnea hubby. We are going into this full force! I'm probably most excited about the zoo, and can't wait to share pics, but here's this past month's (all 102 of them) :D
|Top Row: not that happy . . . until he gets to his toes!|
Middle Row: still using Papa's shoulder as his fav. position,
and loving the bear-on-the-butt outfit :D
Bottom Row: chewing on his teething monkey :)
And last, but not least - a comparison shot of dreaded bath time!
(First pic is at four weeks, second pic, is five months . . . yup, he still hates bath time :P)
That's all folks ♥
But feel free to catch up on everything so far:
(all links open in a new window)