Current Baby Stats:
Weight: 19 lbs
Height: too wriggly for adequate measurements, but probably longer than last month.
Total Teeth: 6
Teething: We've now got FOUR top teeth, which has made for some restless nights (Note to Future Self--next time, don't wait until 2am to try the Baby Tylenol if he's waking up every. single. hour.). Oddly, his lateral incisors started breaking through first, making him look like he had fangs--I remember thinking that they were awfully far apart to be his two front teeth, but thought MAYBEEE just the outside corners were breaking through first (and what--he was going to have two GIANT front teeth? I'm not so smart sometimes.) Then like a week later, one of the ACTUAL central incisors peeked through. Which made a lot more sense. :)
Nursing has also gotten a lot more painful. For me. Soooo weaning might be happening soon.
Food Time: Lil' Man is LOVING eating real food. So far there isn't anything he hasn't liked (hope I didn't just jinx myself)--pears, peas, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, avocado--it's all yummy. He makes a "sour" face if it's fresh out of the fridge or we use cold milk/formula in his cereal, but he'll still chow down anyway. I've also been mixing some spices in with some of the foods (cinnamon goes well with a lot of them, and cumin + carrots was a BIG hit) so he can start to have a more developed palate. He's started on Stage 2 foods (slightly thicker and a combination of different foods, for the non-parents who are reading this for some reason). I still don't understand how something that looks like nacho cheese sauce is actually "macaroni & cheese with vegetables", but my son loves it, so whatever. And add a smidge of garlic powder? He will literally claw my hand to get at the spoon. Definitely our child.
BTW: Pureed meat is gross. Just putting that out there.
He also REALLY wants to hold every cup that he sees. We make sure they're empty first. :)
Developments: He ALWAYS wants to be sitting up. No laying down for this kid! (Unless the ceiling fan is on. Ceiling fans are fascinating.) His swing and high chair were still in a recline, but we had to shift them up because he was just constantly trying to grab his pants and pull himself into an upright position anyway. He can sit up really well on his own, but still topples over if he gets too excited & flails around, or if he reaches just a little too far for a toy nearby.
We went ahead and put his swing in storage--he can now reach the mobile so any hopes of him taking a nap in it have disappeared, and he prefers his exersaucer or the floor for playtime.
Oh--and he's figured out how to shriek. Mom and Dad's ability to determine whether it's a happy shriek or a tee'd off shriek is still a work in progress. Growling is also apparently really fun. And trying to lick the dog.
Cause & Effect: Our smart baby sorted out that if he dropped a toy from his high chair, Mom or Dad would pick it up.
"To drop, or not to drop? That is the question."
With his sticky egg (and dino onesie that I would totally wear if it came in my size).
Sleeping: We now like to sleep with a paci. I'm pretty sure this is a sleep association he's picked up from day care. It's fine, I don't have any moral objections to pacifiers, especially when he only wants it for sleeping. But it would be REALLY awesome if he didn't pull it out of his own mouth, drop it, and then freak out because he can't find it or can't get it back in his mouth. There are many nights when we have to get up, put the paci in, wait a few moments for him to doze off enough to stop reaching for it, and then we can go back to bed. I call it Paci Patrol.
...I call it that because after one particularly sleep deprived night, during the 5th or 6th time of getting up, I suddenly started hearing Prince inside my head singing "Awwwwwwwwww....Paci Patrol! Ohhhh!" (ETA 4/22/16: R.I.P. Prince.)
As soon as he figures out how to re-plug himself, we'll probably just start leaving like, I dunno...20 pacifiers in his crib so if he drops one he can just flail a hand around and grab a new one. My cousin told me that a friend of hers had numerous pacis velcro'd to the bars of his crib so he could just reach out & grab one if he lost the one in his mouth. Brilliant.
He also likes to sleep on his side now. I'm not sure if he's trying to roll onto his belly and because of the Sleep Sack he can't quite make it all the way over, or if he's just a side-sleeper, but whatever. So long as he's safe and sleeping, I'm good with it.
Pumping: Work pumping is no more. About a month ago, I decided that when I ran out of milk storage bags, I was going to stop pumping. And that happened about a week ago. We've got enough stored up that he's got about a month's supply in the freezer, and then we'll transition to formula until he can have regular milk. I probably could have kept pumping much longer--my employer's been really cool about it, and it was kind of nice having a couple little breaks in the middle of the day to just sit and listen to podcasts or read, but ultimately, I was just kinda done with it.
Done with eating lunch alone every day. Done with stopping in the middle of working on something because I had a scheduled time to use the pumping room. Done with getting all my stuff together to go use the pumping room (which is attached to our conference room) at my scheduled time, only to find out that I couldn't because someone was having a meeting in there (because apparently not everyone actually checks the schedule to see if the room is reserved or not), so I'd have to text or email them "Please let me know when you're done with the conference room" and then just...wait. Done with picking my work outfit for the day based on whether or not I can easily pump with it on. I've got a whole post in progress about pumping, so we can chat more about that later. Over a cocktail or something.
I'm still nursing at home, but we'll see how long that lasts--partly because of the biting mentioned above, and partly because I'm not sure how long my supply will stay up. Fed is best, so whatever it takes to accomplish that, we'll do it.
Find Your Tribe: Whether it's a few moms you know in person or a gaggle of awesome ladies online, you need to find a few like-minded moms to share your journey with. I've talked before about the Podcast "One Bad Mother" that I started listening to when Baby J was about 5 months old. Well, I also recently joined their online forum, and it's been really great. It's a judgement-free zone with well-defined rules of conduct, where no one will ever give grief over what my kid eats, how he sleeps, whether I have him buckled in his carseat perfectly or if I have him laying/playing somewhere near a TV. If I have a rough day, I know I can vent there and not receive unsolicited advice--rather I will just be told "you're doing a good job". It's funny how those 5 simple words, put together in that order, can make all the difference. I know that particular tribe isn't for everyone. But it's part of my tribe and I'm grateful for it.
Knowing some awesome in-person moms to hang out with is also important, but it can sometimes be hard to find someone who's in the same part of the journey as you and can commiserate. Moms with older kids will always be a great resource, as well as a light at the end of the tunnel--they survived, you can too! Look how put-together and well rested they appear--someday that can be you!
"I know kid. I just want to sleep, too."
But sometimes you don't want to hear what their miracle cure was, or the phrase "just wait until they're *insert some other challenging phase here*"--because we KNOW there will always be something. If it's not a growth spurt, it's teething, or sickness, or separation anxiety, or weaning, or sleep training, or night terrors, or sass-mouth, or tantrums, or teenage hormones...basically, yes, my child will always be an a-hole in some respect. Thanks for the reminder.
Sometimes you just want to share a cup of coffee (extra shot) with someone who knows exactly what you're going through right at this moment, and who won't care that your hair is in complete disarray because your son grabs it by the fistful every time he hugs you...because theirs is the exact same way.
Time Away: We are officially up to TWO nights (in a row) away from the baby. We went down to Hot Springs to watch the Arkansas Derby with friends, so The Hubs' parents took Baby J for the weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon). It was a little rough at times, but still so wonderful. I tried to only check in a couple times, knowing that they are fully capable human beings who have taken care of two kids of their own, plus 4 grandkids before this one, so he was in good hands. And I knew that if anything happened they would let us know.
So we had a lovely date night alone Friday night, then went to the races Saturday (and only ended up $3 down from where we started!), spent the night down there, then drove back Sunday. He had a great weekend with his grandparents and cousins, he ate well, was in a good mood, and slept "relatively" well (only 2 wake ups the first night, but 6-7 the second night because he kept spitting out his paci). And I got lots of photos of fancy hats. (Full Derby post to come later.)
Family Events: Baby J got to attend his first wedding--the daughter of one of my cousins (my second cousin? First cousin once removed? I have no idea.) I come from a BIIIIIIIIG family so Lil' Man got to be passed around the room to meet all his great-aunts/uncles/cousins/etc. And he loved it. He's quite the charmer, and gets a little peeved when I cramp his style.
"I'm busy, lady. See you in a couple hours when I'm hungry."