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You know, it helps if one publishes posts. If one wants anyone else to read them, anyway… I blame new-job brain. Or mommy brain. Or both. Ahem.

He rolls over. He sits up. He drinks from a cup. He grins when he sees us, responds to his name, and babbles. He likes to “sing” along with music. He is in constant motion.

But other than that, nothing big happened this month.

He was so close to rolling over in September, but then seemed to stop even trying for a little while. Instead, he decided that sitting up was the coolest thing ever and got very good at sitting very quickly. Then one day I set him down on his belly, looked away, then looked back to find him on his back. Two days later, he rolled the other way, and that was that. When he gets tired, he forgets he can roll belly to back and instead just starts fussing, but for the most part he is a rolling fool. He hasn’t started to use it for transportation yet, but I know that can’t be far off.

One day I was holding him while drinking from a glass and he reached out his hands to wrap around the cup and pull it towards him. It was only water, so I let him give it a try. More water ended up down his front than in his mouth, but he thought it was an absolute hoot. The next day I went and got him a straw cup (apparently sippy cups are out these days, who knew) and he went to town. He still drools out most of what he takes in, but he loves playing with it. He also wants to have some of anything we are drinking — I’m glad he is still easily diverted, because I don’t think I’m ready for morning tantrums when I won’t share my coffee!

Morning coffee is definitely a daily event these days. I have truly started back to work, so both of us are establishing and adapting to new routines. Our commute is long (45 minutes), and we have to get up very early. I’m usually up at 4:30, and I let him sleep until about 5:30 if he doesn’t wake up on his own. Usually, though, he wakes up and starts chattering at me cheerfully while I get ready for work. I am so grateful that he is cheery in the morning and can only hope that trend holds in the future.

The lady who keeps our son during the day is wonderful. Right now, he is the only child she is watching, other than her own daughter. He has one-on-one care in the morning, then has the attention of a 4-year-old all afternoon. The little girl loves him and wants to kiss him good-bye when we leave every day. She has informed other children at play groups that he is “her baby”, I am told, and is apparently very possessive of him. I tell her she is his very first friend, and she smiles. I hate to think of having to move him from such a wonderful situation, but eventually I will have to, as the available hours aren’t compatible with what my schedule will eventually be. For now though, it is wonderful, and I am trying not to worry about the future.

I miss him terribly while I am at work, but he is so happy with his sitter and that makes it easier.

I feel like I could write volumes about nursing and pumping and the intricacies of doing so at work, not to mention the mommy-guilt wrapped up in the topic. Right now, though, I will just say that I am grateful I have a supportive chain of command and work environment. My first day I walked in prepared to have to advocate for time and space to pump, but the second thing my new supervisor asked me (right after, “wait, who are you? you’re assigned here? are you sure?” — that’s a different post entirely though) was, “your baby is how old? Are you pumping?” She then made sure I knew where the breastfeeding room was located, and made it clear to the guys showing me around that they needed to give me time to pump. It was such a relief, and everyone has continued to be very supportive. Now, my son’s appetite is giving me a run for my money, but of all the problems to have, that is one I’ll take.

I still marvel every day at the changes he makes overnight. A week or so ago he suddenly decided that moving was AWESOME and now he is rarely still, even when he is cuddling with us. He will be in my lap and want to pull himself up and over my shoulder, climb through my arms, pull and chew on my shirt. Constant motion. I watch him making connections and trying out new skills and it just astounds me. To think that this time last year he was barely big enough to make much more than a blob on an ultrasound. It amazes me no less than it did the moment they put him on my chest, and frankly I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Here we are again, another month down. Another month of waking up every morning to exclaim how big he’s gotten overnight. Another month of marveling at how very different he is now than he was (insert time frame here — yesterday, last week, last month). This month I celebrated the anniversary of the day I found out I was pregnant, and as a result we’ve entered a time frame where I remember where I was and where he was this time last year. I remember those feelings of wonder, pressing my hand against my still-flat(ter) stomach and thinking of the tiny life inside me, barely more than a bundle of cells dividing rapidly. I have all of his ultrasound photos up on the bulletin board still, and in a few short weeks we’ll be at the date of the first series. Baby, the label says, with a small arrow in case you missed the appropriate smudge. He was the size of a poppy seed, an apple seed, a peanut, and now he’s being referred to as my bruiser, the future linebacker, and mistaken for a six-month-old. What a crazy thing this life-building process is.

My parents were here this month, helping to take care of the baby while I went back to work. I thought for certain I would be ready to have my house back by the time they left, but instead I miss them more than I think I have since I watched my father leave me alone at boarding school 19 years ago. I have gotten used to peeking into their room (aka my craft room) in the morning and seeing them there, sharing coffee over breakfast, having them here when I come home. Some of my missing them is missing another set of adult humans to share baby-holding duties with, but more than that I miss them in particular. Watching my father with his grandson was a daily delight — the two of them have a special bond, that’s all I can say — and listening to my mother talk to him brought back memories of those sing-song tones being used with me and with my sister. The morning after they left, my mother called me on her way to work and I held the phone up for the baby. She said, “Hello my little pookienoo!” and his eyes got very wide; he looked at me as if to ask how did I get his grandmother in that tiny box? As I write this, he is having his morning nap, and all I can think is, he should be napping on my dad, this is their nap time. I miss them. It was a joy to have them here in a way I never imagined it would be, and I miss them terribly.

About two weeks ago, my mother spotted two little tooth buds in the baby’s mouth, lines of white on his lower gums. I had seen them earlier but thought I was misinterpreting what they were. With that information, his increased fussiness and the part where his sleep schedule has gone crazy make a lot more sense. We gave him Tylenol and he napped for three hours that afternoon, poor little guy. I’m trying not to use it too often, but it does seem to help. He hasn’t liked the cold teething rings, preferring instead to gnaw on cloth or rubber. I acquired the oh-so-trendy Sophie the giraffe and she has proven to be tasty. I keep hoping those little white lines will pop through and give us both some relief, but so far they are hanging out under the gum, content to give my poor baby fevers and discomfort.

Also new this month are the oh-so-close-to-rolling-over maneuvers the baby does on a regular basis. By the end of this week, he has flipped almost completely over, with his belly and hips flat on the ground, but that one arm still tucked under so it’s not all the way done yet. I was really hoping he’d get the hang of it before my parents left, but he hasn’t yet. I am told that he is supposed to go from belly to back first, since it is easier, but he shows absolutely no interest in doing so. I probably don’t give him enough tummy time, but when he is on his belly he’s either perfectly happy to just hang out or totally frustrated and over it, so rolling is not really on his agenda. I’m not worried; he’ll figure it out eventually.

I have to put toys on the table now while I am eating with him in my lap. It’s usually a little Eeyore with a mirror/rattle on the bottom that my mother got for him. I have to do this because he has decided that reaching for stuff on a table is the best thing ever, and as a result he will grab my plate, food, silverware, or anything else within grabbing distance. I am also discovering this means he wants to help mama type, or move the mouse. Busy baby is very busy!

A few days ago I was in the baby stuff store and saw an 8-day-old. It was startling to see him next to my baby and realize how much has changed in just four months. Our pile of outgrown clothes is getting big and now includes a stack of 3-month sized items, while the wardrobe he is actively wearing is increasingly made up of 6-month size clothes. It seems like every day I try to put him in something only to discover it doesn’t fit anymore, and I look at some of these outfits thinking how tiny they look, then remember they were big on him once upon a time. Given that his father and I were both in the less-than-25-percentiles growing up, I expected to have a small baby. Surprise! The growth charts continue to insist he is mostly average height and slightly above average weight, but he seems huge to me.

It’s so odd to write these little posts; I’m never sure what to include. Surely I will remember the big things, like rolling over and teething. So do I comment on minutiae, those little things which probably don’t mean anything to anyone other than me? He has developed incredibly thick earwax this month, gobs of bright orange stuff. My husband thought I had been scratched by the cat until he realized all those lines on my chest were courtesy of our son, whose fingernails remain talon-like even after being trimmed. He snores. He has a tiny patch of eczema over his right eye which is intermittently itchy. When he poos, wait for the second (or third) round before changing his diaper, because they never come alone. His stork bite gets very dark when he cries. His belly button still occasionally seems to ooze a bit.

One time this month, he was fussing in his pack-n-play and just as I leaned over and his eyes met mine, his sound of choice was “MAaaa.” I know it was pure coincidence, but my heart still skipped a beat. I know the day will come soon enough that he says it and means it “for real”, but I can wait. I’m learning the value of taking every minute for itself, this baby time is flying by so fast, and so I can definitely wait.

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