A at Six Months

… and two days.

Stats: ?! I still don’t know. #momfail His next appointment with the nurse practitioner isn’t for a little while. All I know is that he’s rapidly outgrowing everything.

Nicknames: Still with Abrummy. My dad decided his last name should be “Yellalotski” which is hilarious and apt.

Temperament: Uh. Yellalotski. He usually wakes up cheerful and doesn’t have too many screaming fits but dude gets mad when he’s hungry or tired, and some days he does not want to sleep so he screams all day long. And he screams loud. Matt actually measured it and it topped out at 118 decibels.

Skills: We’re bouncing, attempting to stand (with support), rolling easily, tummy sleeping, feeding ourselves, laughing, and army crawling backwards but not forward. I think a lot of his frustration has to do with not being able to move as much as he’d like. He can sit mostly unsupported but not reliably enough to be left like that. He moved to his crib this month!

Eating: We started in on baby led weaning just before he turned six months old and he’s surprisingly dexterous and surprisingly hungry! He gets mad if he doesn’t get three chances to eat a day just like everyone else, and rage-screams if someone is eating in front of him and not sharing. He ripped pizza out of my hand at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. So far he hasn’t met anything he doesn’t like. He nurses fairly frequently still, especially at night.

Clothing: So we quit cloth diapering this month — it’s too much upkeep with two kids at home — but even without that bulk, dude is in 9-12 month onesies. His stubby legs are keeping him in smaller sized pants but I cannot do anything with any structure to it, like real jeans or pants. Sweatpants and leggings all the way for this tubby guy.

Loves: M is still the great love of his life thus far. He positively beams around her. He loves to go for walks and has gotten used to the Ergo carrier, thankfully. He loves food of all types. He is quite fascinated with Murphy but can’t catch him yet. So basically the same as last month, with the addition of food.

Doesn’t Love: Existing for more than five seconds without whatever it is that he wants, now. Sleeping without a grownup nearby. Not being able to crawl. Baths (though he had a sink bath today and was fine!).

Things to Remember: These first few weeks with his sister at home, as chaotic as they have been. Those rare late night snuggles without the noise and insanity. First foods. Meeting Poppa. Belly laughs with his sister.

Mom & Dad: The usual — tired, wondering if there’s ever going to be enough time in the day, trying to hold onto each moment knowing that it’ll pass by all too quickly at the same time. We get some family time soon with Matt off work and it’ll be nice to have that concentrated time together.

Looking Forward To: There are some cool local activities this month that the three of us are going to go to, that I’m looking forward to on more of a family basis than just for A. The warm weather is nice and hopefully we’ll be able to get out more as we have been! And of course, our family vacation coming up — the road trip part is going to suck, probably, but the rest should be fun!

Dear A,

Right now you’re screaming your face off while your sister plays firefighter. We’ve been lucky to have Poppa around for the past few days to co-ringmaster this circus, and I think you’re having fun. You’ve gotten your two new teeth into some steak, you’ve been out for daily walks, and we’ve snuck in a tiny bit of extra sleep in the morning instead of having to crack our eyes open when M does, too.

Of course, this is just a little bit of time and soon enough we’ll go back to it being the three of us during the day, and Daddy at night and on the weekend. It’ll be loud and you’ll be left in the exersaucer so I can help your sister and we’ll all have to divvy up our time and our energy. But we’ll be okay. We have fun, even through the loud and the tired and the way that the hours seem to slip away at warp speed.

Last night your Daddy came to me to say he felt lonely and it was weird: you were asleep, M was downstairs with Poppa, I was trying to get a head start on rest. And I understood what he meant. It’s weird when it’s quiet. As much as I cherish the evening hours when it’s (relatively) relaxed, when I have no energy left, I miss you guys when it’s just me. Because I know that eventually you’re going to quit being a screamy baby and your sister is going to quit being a preschooler full of ideas and it’ll all be too quiet.

I love you, Loudest Baby Ever.

Always,

Mama

A at Five Months

I’m already days behind on this — things went into hyperdrive with two kids at home! Sorry, A: chalk it up to #secondchildproblems.

Stats:

I have noooo idea. Big.

Nicknames:

M calls him ‘Abrummy’ which is kind of adorable. Mr. Smiley is a new one, when he’s being smiley.

Temperament:

Whatever feelings he has, he feels them with gusto. He is not shy about telling us what those feelings are, via happy gummy grins or pterodactyl screams. He loves his sister and will almost always cheer up from whatever mood he’s in, if she sticks her face in his face and engages with him.

Skills:

An explosion in the last week! He started rolling back to tummy and won’t stop (even when he lands on his face and cries, 48 times a day). He has changed from baby coos to the aforementioned pterodactyl screams, and does this weirdly hilarious Hulk Baby thing where he hyperventilates for 10 seconds then kicks his legs out with surprising force. He’s working on sitting up better (with support still), brings everything to his mouth, and responds to his name.

Sleep:

Total crapshoot, but mostly not awesome. He’s usually in bed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. depending on how the day went. From there he’s typically up around midnight, 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 6 a.m., and onward. A few times in the past week he’s stretched out that first chunk to skip the midnight wakeup which has been nice! Naptime is happening but only on me. But M is home¬†from school now, so we’ll see how everyone adjusts.

Eating:

Still nursing fairly frequently, and still very very eager to join the rest of the family on solid foods! He watches us eat so intensely, and chomps down on whatever toy he’s holding in his chair.

Clothing:

Basically completely out of 3-6 month clothing and into 6-9 month or 6-12! Some of the pants are big around the waist, and they nearly all have to be rolled up at the legs, but the onesies fit. Our little stubby leg baby. ūüėČ

Loves:

He really does love his sister. He also loves new people and places in general — he’s not often fussy in public because he’s excited to see different things! He’s quite interested in the cats but of course they run from him. He loves loves loves to stand up, again with support from an adult.

Doesn’t Love

Sun on his face, the time it takes for me to reswaddle him when he busts out at night, landing on his face when he rolls over, his current inability to transport himself under his own power.

Things to Remember

This last week of skill explosions has been fun! It’s fun to see his abilities all come together at once. I love seeing him and his sister together too and hope I always remember those smiling interactions. It’s lovely to see M with her long-awaited sibling.

Mom & Dad

Tired, always. Still striving to find balance with two kids and a house and jobs and all of that, but hey, it’s a lifelong effort, I think.

Looking Forward To:

Summer adventures! I’m also curious to see how things work out with M at home — I foresee less sleep, but A enjoys her presence so much that it may be enriching overall. It will also mean we venture¬†out more, and I think everyone will benefit from that. And, just getting outside in general. Winter weather came back to us last week, and it made me miss that brief period of spring we had even more!

Dear A,

Your status as sidekick/trooper has continued, especially now that you’re being toted around alongside your big sister. You’re not used to¬†having to wait, and that’s something that you’re frequently doing now that I have two kids to tend to during the day. You scream, quite loudly, but you’re always ready with a smile as soon as M arrives to help out. And even though you don’t get to nap much during the day, until we get this whole thing sorted out, you’re pretty chipper so long as someone’s with you.

I can see that we are all going to have a busy spring and summer, and it’s right on time — you’re really getting interested in the world around¬†you, and it’s a delight to see it through your eyes, and¬†your sister’s. I get the feeling that we’re all going to be doing a lot of learning and playing over the next few months, and I’m¬†excited. I’m also nervous, because time flies when you’re having fun, and I don’t want to miss any moments with you!

Love,

Mama

A at Three Months

So A’s “month birthday” is the 30th of every month… which doesn’t work for February. So let’s say he’s three months old-ish, now!

Stats:

At his appointment on Monday, he weighed in at 14 lbs. 2 oz, and 24.4 inches long. He’s on his growth curve perfectly, around the 50th percentile for both weight and length. For some reason he LOOKS huge but he’s as average as average can get!

Nicknames:

Buddy, “Doot” (that’s all me)

Temperament:

Totally random depending on what mood he’s in, time of day, whether the sun is aligned with the stars… he’s unpredictable, basically. When he’s mad, he’s¬†really really¬†mad, and very loud (Matt says he’s got the loudest voice of any child or adult he’s ever met). When he wants to grin he’s got huge smiles for anyone and everyone. He very much wants to be a part of what is going on around him, and is thrilled when his big sister is around.

Skills:

We went through one of the Wonder Week leaps recently, and after that, he’s been able to pick things up and bring them to his mouth. He likes to try to bear weight standing up supported. He recently discovered his voice and makes short little bursts of noise.

Sleep:

He slept through the night a few times! Now he’s back to waking up once or twice, but it’s better than every few hours. During the day he will nap, but it’s hard to get him to sleep on anything but a person, still. We have yet to use his crib.

Eating:

So far so good. There have been no real issues to speak of, which is a welcome relief. Hilariously, he gets really intense when we eat near him — he seems to be quite interested in what we’re doing, which comes out in total baby side-eye.

Clothing:

He grew out of 0-3 month clothing overnight, I swear. One day his clothes fit, the next, they didn’t. He’s firmly in 3-6 month clothing now and even some of those onesies seem like they aren’t gonna make it all the way to six months with the way things are fitting.

Loves:

One on one attention, especially from Daddy and M. Hanging out in M’s room playing with toys and being part of the action. Stretching big when he gets out of his swaddle!

Doesn’t Love:

Baths, still (probably because he doesn’t get them very often… #secondchildproblems). Tummy time is a big thorn in all of our sides; he screams immediately and doesn’t like it all, so I think he’s lacking in the head control and arm strength/neck strength he needs to make it less awful. And the only way to get that is through tummy time. Before bed he just screams incessantly for a few minutes before sleeping, so there’s something about that he doesn’t love. And he hates being set¬†down.

Things to Remember:

We drove to Fort Frances and back last week, and he passed his diagnostic hearing test with no issues! We had a fun late night stroll¬†out to Cedar Bay with both kids in the Thule, and we’ve done a bit of walking this past month (I need to do more). His first real vocalizations are something I’d like to snapshot in my brain.

Mom & Dad:

Pretty zen. The new normal involves far less mom and dad time but I know that it’s a season of life that will eventually give way to something else. As for M, she’s also adjusted to having a baby brother really well by now! She likes to ask me to make him “talk” so he asks her questions about the world and I love hearing her answers (“Cereal tastes like it has milk in it, and it’s crunchy, and it tastes like cereal!”).

Looking Forward To:

The additional skills I know are around the corner — laughs, more deliberate playing with toys, more interactivity with M.

Dear A,

Our morning routine is pretty solid these days — you wake up, I release you from the confines of your swaddle, you stretch, and we lay in bed while you nurse. If you’re still awake and it’s before 7 a.m. your dad grabs you and the two of you hang out while he drinks coffee and easts cereal. He’s always reluctant to give you back even though he needs to get on with his day, because he loves the way you stretch out on him and relax completely. If you stay with me, you usually end up falling asleep, head on my belly, snuffling skin to skin. I also love that I can be the place where you feel safe and comfortable.

I especially love how easygoing you are when I take¬†you out and about.¬†You’ve been to a peace rally, a film screening, a few business meetings, restaurants, Daddy’s work… you’re my little sidekick and you make everyone smile wherever we go.

I cherish these moments with you, and all of the other ones throughout the day. You are so loved, and you are definitely the piece that was missing from our family. While we may have less free time, less money, less spontaneity¬†right now — we have far more joy and love and whimsy in our lives with your presence.¬†

Love always,

Mama

A at Two Months

Stats:

That, I don’t know — his next appointment is tomorrow! He was in the 50th percentile at his last visit so if that holds true he should be somewhere around at least 11 lbs. He has definitely gained, I’m just not sure exactly how much.

Nicknames:

Mister A, Banana, and all of the usual ‘little guy’ and ‘dude’ and ‘baby brother’ things. We aren’t a big nickname family, still.

Temperament:

I commented to Matt earlier this weekend that A is like a cat — when he deigns to smile at you, it’s all his choice, and you’re gonna have to work for it. He’s smiley, but you seriously have to commit to getting it out of him and even then, with the goofiest faces and the squeakiest of voices and feeling like a total dancing monkey he still may not eke one out… until you give up and he decides to grin. He’s a serious baby.

Skills:

He’s doing a good job of supporting his head and his weight. If you hold his hands he’ll sit up, and Matt had him balanced on his own a few times. He’s starting to reach out for toys and grasp things in his hands.

Sleep:

We’ve had a few stretches of longer sleep but most recently he is back to waking up every hour to two hours at night, and taking longer to put down for naps and at night. I suspect we’re into another growth spurt which may explain it, but lord knows baby sleep makes no sense at all.

Eating:

I successfully managed an oversupply/lactose overload issue and now his diapers are normal, at least. He is still a snacky eater and wants to nurse quite frequently. It’s all part of that fourth trimester concept so it’s fully normal, I know. We’re not attempting to schedule it out or space it out — I’m just letting him nurse when he wants to.

Clothing:

Firmly out of newborn clothes. That was a sad day. Some of his 0-3 month sleepers are actually almost too short now! He is a big boy. We’re wearing more real clothes than sleepers now.

Loves:

When people talk to him, milk, being snuggled up in something warm. He has a tenuous love-hate relationship with the Ikea baby gym to which M had a similar reaction as a baby.

Doesn’t Love:

Baths, not being immediately picked up out of the cradle, swaddles.

Things to Remember:

We finally made it out to baby playgroup! His first smiles took me by surprise and were such a delight. Walking out to Cedar Bay all snuggled up in a carrier. His intense baby looks.

Mom and Dad:

Sleep deprivation feels normal now. Some days we wake up feeling groggy and awful but it’s more of a well-oiled machine now, in general. Last weekend we even managed to pull off a double nap and were able to sit and talk as adults!

Looking Forward To:

More adventures, now that we have the Thule stroller. More interactivity, more smiles (maybe?), the next little stage of babyhood.

Dear A,

I was thinking, last night, that we’re already at the point where it feels like you’ve always been here. I was trying to reflect back to even the last few days before you arrived, in the hotel in Winnipeg with M, our last bit of time as a¬†family of three — and it feels like it was a different life. You are part of our family, woven right into the fabric of who we are.

I love seeing the wonder in your eyes. You are so serious, and regard everything intensely, turning it over in your mind before reacting. You strike me as an old soul for some reason — a¬†wise being in the body of a baby. Now more than ever that wisdom will serve you well. Take that wonder with you through the rest of your life.¬†

Our days are more chaotic, more exhausting, filled with you and your sister and all that you are. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love,

Mama

A at One Month

‚ÄčStats:
A is 9 lbs 5 oz as of his appointment today, so up over a pound from his birth weight and even more from his lowest weight. He’s right around the 50th percentile for weight and height and is growing on track.

Nicknames:
The usual baby things – buddy, little guy — but my favourites are what M comes up with, including Little Pooper Guy.

Temperament:
We’re fairly certain this guy has had a cold his entire life, so he’s a bit grumpy. Once he woke up in his second week he just wants to be held and nurse, and if that isn’t happening he’ll quickly register his displeasure. But we usually get one or two quiet chunks of time during the day when he’s content to just look around and take in the world without screaming.

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Skills:
Do one month olds have skills?! He is adept at wiggling himself towards milk or what he thinks might give him milk. He’s also a pro at flinging himself backwards with all his might. Strength is his thing right now.

Sleep:
I miss sleep. Dude likes to nap all day and sleep in two hour increments at night. Yes, we are doing all the stuff we’re supposed to — noise and light during the day, quiet evenings, etc. but he’s doing his own thing right now and still has it backwards. That, and he vastly prefers sleeping next to me which I generally give into by the third wake up of the night because I am craving any sleep I can get.¬†It’s survivable though, and I know it’ll turn around eventually so I’m just living through it for now.

Eating:
ALL THE TIME. If he’s not sleeping he’s nursing or yelling for me to nurse him (hence the weight gain). He’s refluxy and gassy but in the realm of normal according to the doctor, so again — just living through it for now.

Clothing:
Second baby gets all the sleepers all the time. If we’re especially motivated he gets a little outfit but with all the diaper changes, sleepers are easy.¬†He’s grown out of some of the smallest newborn sized things and is mostly in 0-3 month clothing now.

Loves:
Being held, milk, being next to mom/on mom/attached to mom at all times, looking at bright lights when his eyes are open and he’s not hungry.

Doesn’t Love:
Diaper changes, baths, not having milk, not being held.

Things to Remember:
Relief at being home. M’s joy at being a big sister and all of her kisses and hugs. Lying in bed face to face and feeling so grateful that he’s here. Sweet warm squishy baby snuggles. The time Ashley decided to be proactive and change his diaper and then we heard screaming from the nursery (dude has aim). Christmas as a family of four.

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Mom and Dad:
Tired. The second week was a doozy – now it’s more of a normal thing for me to be perpetually exhausted at least. I forgot how rough that transition is.
Looking forward to being able to make more couple time, because two kids is shaping up to be a divide and conquer thing right now, but survival mode is king for the time being. And, above all, glad that we are all here!

Looking Forward To:
Smiles! Sleep, maybe? Getting out and doing things if the weather ever warms up.

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Dear A,

It’s amazing that you’re a real, live part of our family now, and that you’ve been with us for a¬†month already. For a long time you were a dream, and then you were a fretted-over growing seed of hope, and now you are screaming a few rooms over while your sister tries to convince your dad that he can have his nails painted while he’s changing you. You’ve found a place in our chaos.

The way you were born — the ease, the calmness —¬†to me it felt like you weren’t tangible for awhile. On your birthday I told your dad, over and over, “I can’t believe we had a baby. It feels¬†like we didn’t have a baby.” Later that night I was alone with you for the first time, and I snuggled you up on my chest, leaned down and breathed in your baby smell and felt your warm body heaving as you breathed. You felt real, then. And a few days after we got home, I laid next to you on the big bed and looked at you — you opened your eyes and looked back at me, and you felt real then, too.

Most mornings you doze in and out of sleep beside me on the same bed. Sometimes I wake up and startle a bit — who am I and what am I doing?! But then I feel you next to me and remember that this is, indeed, real life. It’s exhausting and loud and¬†boisterous, far more so than the first¬†time we did this whole¬†newborn thing, but you take it in stride. You’ve been kissed and squeezed and booped a million times already and you barely crack an eye open at it. As much as I’ve been questioning how you can possibly be real, all along, you’re a perfect fit.

I can’t wait¬†to have more moments¬†with you.

Love,

Mama

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