Sunday, June 9, 2013

Seven Months

Oh gosh, it's already been seven months?  Maybe it snuck up on me so fast, seeing as I didn't get the pictures sorted out till the 19th of May, for the previous month!

Well either way, onto the good stuff, shall we?!

(Be aware, there's A LOT of information below ~ so if you just want to see pictures, scroll all the way to bottom for a total of 103 images: fun fact, the last image is just from yesterday :D)  But first, the basic info! 

Weight & Height: 23.2lbs. & 28in.; Nickname: "Mr. Squeals";
Traits: * Mr. Serious, * Bookworm, * Musical
(all links open in a new window)


I. Physical
     i. This boy absolutely refuses to slow down ;)  He's consistently wearing 18mo. - 24mo. clothing (though we have seen him squeeze into a very giving 9mo. article of clothing).  At this rate, he'll be bigger than my husband when he's an adult (my paternal side's genes are obviously quite tallstrong).  Since he is a bit on the hefty side, I won't be surprised if he doesn't stand up (by holding onto taller objects), or start crawling, quite as fast as other's his age.  All you can do is offer the opportunities for them to build muscle.  But so far, his development seems right on track!

      ii. You'll see it in the pictures better, but the hair on the top of his head, and down the back, is getting longer, and a bit thicker.  It literally looks like a mohawk!  We of course love it, but our guy is Mr. Serious, so I don't think he'll go for such an "unkempt" look for long.  I imagine him using his first pair of scissors to forego arts&crafts all together, in order to cut off some long locks (especially since I'm a bit of a hippie, and don't plan on cutting his hair anytime soon).

       iii. Even though he still only has his two bottom teeth, he still seems to be gnawing on everything in sight (and then his fingers, if there's nothing handy - ha, get it?  Gnawing on his "handy" hands.  Oi, I'm funny).  I'm picturing a lot of teeth popping up overnight, but then again, who knows!

II. Developmental

     i.  Sidekick is seven months, but technically, he was born thirty weeks ago - yup, you are doing your math correctly, if you counted that out to seven and a half months ;)  He seems to be right on track (except he's not rolling both ways yet, though he can roll from back to tummy).  Again, I'm not worried, since he had rolled tummy-to-back for a week when he was three months old (before he got sick), and who knows, maybe he's rolling in all directions at night in his crib (sure would explain why he's waking up plenty still haha! <-- or it's just the fact that he sometimes gets a limb stuck in the railing, and he definitely does not like that :P).  Though really, he is doing quite a bit of other things to keep him (and me!) busy.

     ii.  Some things that he is doing are: he can't clap his hands, but he can clap his feet together (I have video!), rolling from back to stomach; going in a circular, 180 degrees, pattern on his stomach (though he's pushing along with his legs and feet, he's only using his arms to keep his head up, not army crawling or anything - yet!  But at least he's not as frustrated as when he was doing this last month, but not coordinating his arms, and he'd keep face planting, whoops).  Though he can't put himself in the position yet, he can sit up for quite a while (last recorded time was fifteen minutes, though he has gone longer unrecorded), and he first cries in frustration for you to move him, before he just falls to the side out of boredom.  Keeping him entertained with his toys definitely helps extend the timeframe here; and he can even balance himself enough to lean forward, grab the toy, and reposition himself straight all on his own.  And those toys easily get past from one hand to the next, before banging them either in the air, or on the ground, until they end up in his mouth :)  

     iii.  His language skills are also growing (though that's probably because we just talk to him constantly, and he loves books).  He seems more and more conscious of the sounds he's squealingmaking.  Lately we've been hearing quite a few sounds, but a lot of "Bah-bah", and "Mah-Mah" (nope he's not saying Mama just yet, there's no understanding of the context, from the sounds he's making, he just realizes he can make more of them, and louder) <-- I love it!  He's so serious most of the time, that hearing him squeal loudly with delight, and babbling to things almost seems out of his element, like he's coming out of his shell a bit ;)  And though I could have done it earlier - or even later - we're introducing baby sign language.  We are starting with four words, "Mama", "Papa", "book" and "milk", and going from there.  They learn hand gestures, before they learn to talk, so it makes sense for our house (plus, I really saw firsthand the benefits it provided with my oldest brother and his speech therapy).

     iv.  The only other physical change of note, is his lack of wanting to eat anything besides formula.  After those two teeth cut through he seems to be completely uninterested in actual food (I don't know if it's really because of the teeth, but it only started after they showed up, so who knows?).  We've tried different ways (spoon, pouch, baby led weaning), and different consistencies (everything from super soft, to natural form).  He takes a bite, and refuses anymore.  So, I've made my first batch of organic baby food of varied consistency, and blended a few things together for added variety, so we'll see how he takes to that.  Of course, lack of real food, means his constipation returned, but instead of just going back to the prune juice (I want to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible, now that he has teeth) - and knowing that all the other things we tried hadn't worked (though that didn't mean we could try again if we really wanted to), I finally caved and invested in a nursing bottle, with drop in liners . . . not really great in the recycling, Earth-friendly department, but since we only started a month ago, I figure six months (versus a year long) choice of it, is better than what it could have been.  And he's gone almost three weeks without the need for prune juice!  Not that he doesn't need some today, but so far, so good.  And prune juice every three weeks, is better than every other day (or sometimes every day).  Hopefully he'll get the hang of his training sippy cup soon, so his Mama can feel better about the enviroment :D

III. Activities

     i.  Besides his baby sign language (that he's merely watching us do, while he looks on), Sidekick is really enjoying activities with his hands.  He wants to participate more than ever, and I'm happy to oblige!  The iPhone and Kindle apps are gathering virtual dust, while he sits and plays in his brand new play area (yup, I am getting ahead of myself here, by gating a 10x11 section of what should be our dining area, but whatever - I'd rather baby proof now, before he's crawling).  You'll see pictures below, but it's a safe area for him to explore, and touch anything and everything he wants.  Added bonus: we don't have to worry about the dog stealing/eating his toys, or trying to mark them at night! (yes, this has happened D:)

     ii.  The tablets are mostly used for quick apps in the car, when he gets bored, and/or portable music for him to listen to in his play area, since it's away from the tv (and i.e. his YouTube playlist).  Though we still listen to our classical music the most, he enjoys making his own, and his new activity table (he's almost outgrown his jumperoo this month, don't think it will last past this next month!), is designed to follow him into toddlerhood.  We got it for a steal at Once Upon a Child, for only 35$, when a newer version retails for 100$! (buy used, save the difference :D).  The seat can be removed in the middle so he can just stand on the piano keys to make music when he gets older.  He loves it <3  And of course, singing and music go hand in hand, and when he's having a tough time, nine times out a ten, a song (and sing-songy Peek-a-Boo) distracts him quite nicely.

     iii.  But no day would be complete without his books (he's up to thirty-two now, as of last count), and most were either bought used, or at the dollar store, so luckily we did not have to pay full price - though I did splurge on the Disney 12 board book set (for a full list - sans a Bible-themed "Count 1-10" book, not available via Amazon - of Sidekick's library so far, click here).  We've even added a grandparents book, for him to study his out of town relatives (as well as familiar images of my own parents), so hopefully he won't be too scared of them when they all get to meet again after six long months ~ we'll see if it works!  In his new play area, I tried to keep all his toys at his level for easy exploration, but I was adamant to get his books front and center (pretty much the same layout they were on the entertainment center, before we moved him/them out of Papa's "area" ;D)

IV. Parents

     i.  Probably the biggest change we are undergoing is saying goodbye to our church.  After moving in August, it was an hour each way to go (plus the choir rehearsal on Wednesdays), and having to be there an hour early for rehearsals on Sundays as well.  On Sundays, we would be have to leave the house by 8AM, get there at 9AM, I rehearse for an hour, while HeroPapa would get Sidekick to the nursery and relax a bit.  Then church time, and then (before we switched to Saturday family days two months ago), go to my Mom's another twenty minutes away, stay several hours, drop off my brother at his group home, on the way back up, drive for an hour, and get home . . . and then HeroPapa still had to go to work that night (he works Sunday nights, through Friday mornings).  It was a longggggg day, but we loved our church!  

Then our reverend shared he'd taken a position at another UU church in the TwinCities which would cut our travel time in half.  Between the distance, and already being familiar with our reverend's style of worship, and preaching, we felt it was serendipity in the making when he announced this to the church, just when we were wondering if we needed to make a change.  I've promised to give HeroPapa a month off from traveling, then we'll be attending a few summer sessions, before the full year will be starting in August.  I'm excited to get to meet new people, and fellowship with them - but it was hard to sing that last day, knowing I joined the choir as part therapy from my miscarriage way back in Sep. '11.  I literally had tears in my eyes up front, and hope I managed to hold it together long enough, for it not to have been noticeable!  I think I will miss the choir the most, with a close second being the spiritual group that ran from September '11 through August '12 (though hopefully we can have another one with the new church!).  So many memories with this church: the fellowship, the beliefs, the camaraderie, the spiritual group, the choir, the play.  I loved every minute of it, and am grateful that it was the first church we belonged to in years <3

     ii.  Anything after that, seems almost trivial, but our Mac finally broke downggot.really.slow after 5+ years, so we got a new one!  We were hoping to wait till our next tax return, but we could pay for most of it, with the rest being on a payment plan, and we needed a functioning laptop (not just the internet, but the photos of Sidekick, the programs for organization, and the boredom busters for the endless nights and days, where we can't be together to do anything, but Sidekick is actually asleep).  Though honestly, I've been keeping myself quite busy, with organizing the apartment.  Not only am I motivated by Sidekick crawling soon(ish), but also by the fact that it will make moving easier if we get everything organized now (I'll be sure to share before/after pictures in a separate post)

V. Outings

     i.  Probably the most picture worthy part of this post are the outings we took.  Not just to the grandparents for weekly visits, but also running more errands together (versus one of us staying home), and of course church.  And we went to the zoo for the very first time!  Eh, he wasn't impressed, but a second trip to the park just a week ago seemed to go better ;)

But go see it all for yourself below! <3
(and as always, make sure to click on the pics to make them larger!)

HeroPapa had Sidekick pose with some stuffed animals; and then decided to check out his teeth!
Bottom are just some cute little sideshots in the car, while the right side, is him checking out his
new infant/toddler rocking chair ~ and all smiles soon enough in it ;)

Wrestling around with Mama (only she didn't know!), paying in his musical exerciser,
lounging with Oma, and Opa - and checking out a light up sword at Uncle#3's birthday.
Bottom half is him chilling with a bottle - and then posing with Mama and Papa ;)

Posing with Mama to show off his chunky (but strong!) legs!
Not-impressed at the checkout line (and he too tired, so he relaxed in the cart),
Mama and Sidekick playing on the floor - but then I got distracted by Papa's show ;)

Gnawing on Mama, laughing in Papa's chair, and relaxing in his arms;
Bottom pics are trying to do some BLW, in order to encourage him to eat:
and he promptly threw the apple slice on the floor, after the initial lick 

Playing hard . . . all serious in his stroller, joking around with Uncle #2,
checking out Papa's air mattress, and trying out a baby sippy cup for practice

Trying some bread, Papa playing a baby app on the Kindle for Sidekick,
Sensory play with the sandbox (I love how you can see the imprint of his toes!),
Learning to suck in his lip in a new way, and the look afterwards haha!
Checking out his (initial) play area, and enjoying his infant chair

I was going to take fancy pictures of his books, and instead needing to stop him from
eating the foam letters haha; and I love the bottom left pic, of Anubis watching on all envious;
We still played a lot on Papa's chair (though he loves his toys, he likes the glowing buttons on
the remote better!);  Middle set are two cute (all serious, and expressive); bottom pic = <3

Trip to the zoo!  He was not impressed (even when we got *very* close to the animals!),
We even got our caricatures done :)  He was pretty tired, so we too it easy the next day,
we organized some clothes in the bedroom, while he lounged on our bed, scratching himself and reading ;)
Bottom right, is his musical exerciser in action! (he steps on the keys, and lights up the board)

Posing with Papa on the left, getting messy with a baby food pouch, relaxing in his
animal outfit (it's supposed to be a horse, though Papa jokes it's a monkey-platapus-duck hybrid);
middle bottom is Sidekick chilling in the kitchen while Mama cleans, then back to playtime!
Bottom left, Sidekick at Oma's in the playpen, and Bottom Right, sleeping on Papa!

Top Left: all smiles; bottom left, swing time in the park (big improvement from last time!);
Top Right: sensory play with heat blanket for a car (liked the reflection but HATED the crinkling);
His NEW play area (more informative post coming soon about that!); Bottom Right Row:
posing with his bottle, chewing on anything *but* his teething toys for teething relief,
and falling asleep just in time at Chili's so Mama and the grandparents could have lunch :)

Top Left: Music Time!, Bottom Left: Just hangggging around, after a diaper change;
Middle Top: laughing in his chair, lounging with Oma in the middle of a change
(and looking exactly like Opa in his sweatpants!); Bottom Middle and Right:
playing with his blocks, and *really* wanting them (but seemingly sad face anyway!)

Top Left: Posing in his hat at Target; Bottom Left: jumperoo time (I know, there's a mountain
of stuff behind him - but it's the only bit left in the living room, and is going into storage *soon*!);
Middle Row: playing with his dramatic play toys, and mirror/tummy time, Right: eating baby
rice cakes at Burger King with the Uncles! 

And don't forget to check out the updated "Info" section (via the 
side image map) in order to catch up on all the months so far :)

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