You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

In the past when I’ve been a bit late with one of these updates, I’ve tried to back-date the information. My brain is fried this month, though, and trying to restrict myself is delaying the post even longer, so we’re just going to call it six and a half months and roll with it.

Everything is totally different and completely the same. The same, because once again he is getting bigger than I am even remotely ready for, making developmental leaps that make me proud and sad all at once, and changing every single day. Different, because he is getting bigger, making developmental leaps, and changing every day. I know at some point the growth and development curve levels out a little bit and I won’t feel quite so much like I’m sprinting to keep up with him, but right now I’m breathless from the intensity of our pace.

My son doesn’t sit unsupported for extended periods of time, but I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t because he can’t do it. Every time I sit him up, he sees a toy just out of reach and lunges for it. (I’m using the phrase “toy” very loosely, meaning more “object that he is interested in obtaining and exploring/chewing on” and including power cables, dog bones, and dishware.) This same drive to obtain out-of-reach objects has resulted in a very mobile baby, and his crawling skills get better day by day. He started off by shoving his face and head forward on the floor, which made me worry about rug burn on his little cheeks, then grabbed rug and pulled himself forward like a sideways rope climb. Now he has an Army-style movement going, belly on the ground while he propels himself along with both arms and legs. He’s not very fast yet, but getting more adept at it at an alarming pace. We’ve already had one incident where he unearthed a plastic bag full of tiny nails (from putting together Ikea furniture) from somewhere under the wardrobe (I think, still not sure where it came from exactly) and scared me to death as he waved it at me excitedly. We need to add baby-proofing to our to-do list stat, I’m afraid.

I am not sure how I have a six-and-a-half-month-old baby, or where this huge baby came from, or what he has done with my tiny little newborn. My son shot up to the 80th percentile for length and stayed around the 70th percentile for weight. The pediatrician and I were both a little dubious of the numbers because my little wiggle worm was making it difficult to get a consistent result on the scale and height-measuring gadget, but nevertheless the fact remains that I have a big baby. My sitter resorted to out-and-out scolding this month to get me to go buy bigger clothes for him, fussing at me for letting his little ankles and calves freeze to death in his increasingly too-short pants. I had been meaning to get him some, but every time I started to buy the nine month size clothes, I would get weepy. They look so big! My baby is not that big. Several people have recommended skipping ahead to 12-month sizes and just rolling up cuffs to save money, but I can’t bring myself to purchase such huge outfits. This is ridiculous, the rational part of my brain says, but it is what it is.

Of course, nourishing all of that growth is getting to be a challenge. I’m doing my best to stick to recommendations stating that, as far as solid foods go, “under one is just for fun”, and keeping his diet primarily breast milk, but it’s getting difficult to keep up with him. Yesterday I pumped 18 ounces in two sessions while I was at work, and the baby ate 20 ounces over the course of his day. The sitter told me he probably would have eaten more, except she gave him some banana and that helped. He used to eat 12-16 ounces in a day, but now he’s downing 20-24 easily, especially since he has mostly dropped his night feeds. I’m glad I have a freezer stash which allows me to make up a few extra ounces on days when he outpaces me, but it won’t last forever and right now I’m not able to replace what I use very often. I know that everything will be fine if we have to supplement with formula. Most of the mothers I know have used some amount of formula, and I have absolutely no problem with formula. I think my anxiety about supplementing isn’t really about the formula, it’s more that I know that if I didn’t have to work, we wouldn’t have an issue. It’s my biggest mommy-guilt moment, to know that my having to work could change something so fundamental as what he eats. Again, this is not the most rational thing in the world, but my anxiety doesn’t have to be rational, thanks very much.

We started solid foods this month, first with sweet potato, then pumpkin, banana, apple, and most recently yogurt. He hasn’t been very enthusiastic about the whole thing, although he seems to really be digging the yogurt. I think he likes it because it’s cold and tart, but of course I have no way of knowing. Pumpkin and banana are okay too, sweet potato is a little ‘eh’. Right after we tried the apple, he began to have ridiculous amounts of poo, seemed to be having tummy upset, and stopped sleeping through the night for two nights running. He was also going through a teething spell at the time, so the culprit is a little cloudy, but we put apple on the back burner for right now anyway. Last night was the first night that he seemed to get really into the whole eating thing, so maybe we’ll see some increased interest in the near future.

I am an incredibly lucky mother with a very easy baby. Three days after he hit the six month mark, my baby started sleeping through the night. Spontaneously. Without any prompting. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but it did, and I am ridiculously grateful. I overheard my priest and her wife talking at church a few weeks ago and the conversation amounted to one of them asking if I knew that with such an easy baby for the first one I’m doomed to have a terror for the second. (The other replied she didn’t know, but don’t tell me or they’ll never get another baby to play with!) I’m sure that he will go back to waking and change his sleep patterns with teething and other changes between now and forever, but in the meantime I am a very happy mama.

Which brings us to teething. Yeah. So, back in September when we first spotted some white tooth-looking lines on his gums, BWB’s mother told me that he had teethed for months. Pshaw, I thought, nobody teeths for months. Ha, ha. Joke’s on me. My son goes through spells every few weeks where he is cranky, drooly, chews on everything, holds on to his mouth, and has low-grade fevers and mild diarrhea. Then it clears up, I can feel a slightly bigger bulge where his teeth will one day be, and we go on with our lives for a few more weeks. I am not amused, and neither is my son. Dear teeth, if you would please just make an appearance, everyone would be incredibly grateful. Love, us.

As for me, I am doing pretty darn well. I’m exhausted and still adjusting to this crazy schedule. I suspect we’re going to have to change something (probably our child care arrangements) in order for this to be at all sustainable, but in the meantime I feel like I spend the week in an all-out sprint. The baby is also pretty worn out, which is probably why he started sleeping through the night. My work situation is stressful, but not bad. All of that aside, motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me. I told a friend recently that I felt more comfortable in my skin than I have ever before, and that is the absolute truth. While there are many other things I enjoy and am good at, I was made to be a mom, and I love it. Exhausted and stressed, yes, but also incredibly happy.

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