Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Bites

For nearly two weeks now, Drake has been enjoying the new privilege of (semi)solid food. My midwife had told me that I would know when he was ready - that he would stare at my food and drool and try to grab for it. Somewhere around six months, maybe later, she said. Well, for those of you who know my son, you know how quickly he is powering through the growth stages. It really shouldn't have come as a surprise when he started showing the signs of being ready for solid food somewhere around three and a half months old. I refused, however, to admit that it was really happening. Heck to the no, my son. It became impossible to ignore about a month ago, however. He followed my fork or my coffee mug back and forth from my mouth with his eyes, and often with his hands too. He whined and stretched for it. And still I persisted. No. Not until six months. Maybe longer. As long as breast milk is enough for him - as long as he's thriving - no. I'm not moving him to solid food. I just wasn't ready.
But I finally had to give in about ten days ago when one of my criteria was unquestionably being met. He just wasn't satisfied with nursing alone. For several days in a row he was sucking me dry, hurting me and frustrating him. I put on a brave face and busted out the Baby Bullet (thank you, Jaime!).
We started with an apple puree and some rice cereal. He definitely had some sensory shock the first day - wide eyed and apprehensive as he pushed most of it back out with his tongue. The second day he was comfortable and swallowing easily. The third day he was lunging forward and chomping at the spoon just milliseconds after I'd put the last bite in. He was literally grabbing my hand to pull it closer, faster.
So that's it. There's no going back. No more baby who relies solely on me for his nourishment and health. Now someone else could do the job. Stress.

Speaking of which, plenty of people are quickly volunteering for the task and already I can see how my son will be spoiled by the many people who adore him. Dad offered him some ice cream; his Best Friend gave him whipped cream. He was a happy boy. Gassy later, but happy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Learning Curve

It's crazy steep.
The rate at which this little boy is picking things up is mind boggling. At least it is for this first time Momma.
It wasn't that long ago that he figured out rolling over for the first time. When I told my Mom she said, "That's awesome honey. You have to watch him like a hawk now." But at first it was this super laborious task. It took him several minutes to figure it all out, often getting stuck and having to start over. Knees up to the chest, flop to one side. Head cranes back, arms pull on a blanket for some help. Fail, try again. But now the floor is officially the only safe place to leave this little mover. Not that he's crawling or anything yet, but he is pulling his knees up under him - which, to me, seem pretty freaking incredible. And he rolls instantly now. Seriously, in five seconds or less he's on his tummy and smiling up at me, so proud of himself. He spins around on his tummy and reaches for toys. Like a kid. A very small toddler. But not really a baby. No, babies are tiny and must be held at all times and have no idea what toys or binkies really are.
Speaking of binkie, he's working really hard lately on putting it in his mouth himself. This is super tricky though, as the easiest part to hold onto is, in fact, the same part he's trying to put in his mouth. It's very cute to watch him eat his hand in the process of trying to get to the binkie.
Last week my sister and brother-in-law gave us the ExerSaucer bouncy toy that their youngest no longer needed. At first, when we put Drake in it, he let all his weight rest on his little bum. He just hung there and batted at the toys. Within a couple days, he was getting his feet under him and standing - fully taking the weight off of his bum and standing. Now, he's already starting to figure out the bounce action. It's a chaotic spasm more than a rhythmic bounce, but it's a start. Can you tell that I am one proud Momma?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What we've learned

My son is five months old as of yesterday and I haven't written a word about his amazing self or impressive development in over five weeks. The fact that this makes me feel like a bit of a neglectful mother is silly and irrational, and yet the thought is there.
I've been overwhelmed at the idea of backing up and trying to catch up. And so I put it off further. And the stories piled up further and the task became increasingly daunting. Until a beautiful new friend of mine said, "What a blessing it would be if you could just say 'This is what we learned' and then move forward." How freeing that simple thought was! (You're wonderful, Lauren.)

And so, a few brief lessons from the past month:

Four and a half month old babies, left in nothing more than a diaper, can - and will! - get the diaper off. Naked baby boys are oh so cute but also quite dangerous. Onesies are highly recommended.

The older a boy gets, the more essential that his nails are trimmed regularly. Those things are lethal and will almost certainly result in a screaming baby in the middle of the night and bright red gashes in the morning.

Even if a certain somebody's thighs have gotten so big that the buckles in the swing seem a little snug, use them anyway. The most heart wrenching sound to date is the sound of a baby thudding onto the hardwood floor when he rolled out of his swing. My poor boy.

We are both tougher than we might have given ourselves credit for previously. We can survive increased work loads and sick days. They aren't fun, but we get through them.

Schedules can be found naturally. Rhythms rise out of daily life if  you let them, but when they do, they need to be protected fiercely. If you mess with them for even a couple of days you run the risk of starting all over.

Blowing spit bubbles is a favorite pastime of five month old boys.

A bath before bed helps us to sleep better.

Even five month old babies are capable of fake cries to get Mom's attention. At this stage, it's still cute.

Books are awesome! The pictures are mesmerizing.

Sunglasses on little boys attract the attention of absolutely everyone you meet. But really, we're not surprised. Who could resist this cool kid?

Every new ounce of baby chub is scrumptious.
Every new facial expression is just as exciting as the last.
God is so good and His timing is perfect.
Every second that I get to spend with this amazing little boy is a blessing straight from heaven and I am so, so thankful. But we knew that already.