Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks for Four Months Old

Little Man turned four months old on Tuesday. I can think of no better thing to post about on this Thanksgiving morning. Last year, around this time, I did my big thankfulness project. It was a fabulous way to celebrate the month of November with you. Boy, did I feel blessed, and I hope all of you did too! Turns out, I was pregnant at the time - I just didn't know it yet. And goodness, how life has changed since last Thanksgiving. I am so blessed still, but in ways I could never imagine.

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Three months on Nana's quilt.

That is why I think this is the perfect post for today. I cannot imagine a greater blessing than our Little Man. Something in me bristles at saying it - it seems trite and overdone, easy. Obvious. But it is so true that I must say it. My life - our lives - are so very, very blessed - and different - and amazing because of our son. What a difference a year makes.


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Really checking out Nana's embroidery work.

So since we last spoke, the LM has done some serious growing. At his four month doctor visit, he was 15 lbs 10 oz (70%), 25 and 3/4 inches (75%) and had a head circumference of 16 and 2/3 inches (50%). This means he grew just under three inches and gained just under three pounds in the last two months. (and his head grew about an inch in circumference. but this measurement is more abstract to me so I pay less attention to it.) The biggest change here in percentiles was his length. At all previous appointments, the boy measured in the 5o% range. So he has grown in length disproportionately to everything else. Funny thing is, he's still a chubby bunny! So, it must be the way a four month old should look, since his height/weight percentages were so close.


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During the three month "quilt" photo shoot, he turned over.
Nana was there to check him out.


One from a series of photos Nana took while she was here.

Actually, we went in for a check on his ears last week and he was three ounces heavier than at the four month appointment. This week he's had some vomiting (due to mucus build-up, they presume because his ears are fine and he is otherwise healthy) so I guess he lost some weight from that. Certainly they calibrate their scales regularly, wouldn't you think? So I assume it was this upset stomach that caused him to lose three ounces. I wonder if those three ounces would have made height and weight both at 75%. Who knows. Doesn't matter. Just thought of it. The real message here is - the boy, he's healthy!


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One morning before school. Sometimes it's WAY too early for the boy.

Since the last post, I have returned to work in earnest and the LM has begun full time daycare. So far that is going well. He seems to like his teacher and most days is tired, but in a pleasant mood when I pick him up. There have been a couple days where he seems sort of wrung out, like he had a long day, but that is not the norm. There are also some days that he is so tired - pleasant mood or wrung out - that when we get home we eat and he goes down for the night before 7pm. Playing and watching babies all day must be tiring. It is apparent he recognizes what a baby is more readily now, having watched them at school all day. When we see his cousins, he watches the babies especially. I figure they remind him of his school.


LM with his teacher, Ms. Jackie.
Ms. Jackie swaddles LM and he likes it.
He has never allowed me to swaddle him. Funny, huh?

Work is going well for me. For the most part I enjoy my job and my co-workers and feel like I am good at what I do. I am pumping breast milk as part of my regular daytime routine and that so far is working out. It is a commitment, I will tell you though, as it interrupts your work flow and is not nearly as rewarding as feeding a baby directly. But it makes me feel closer to my boy and it makes me feel like I am doing something important for him besides bringing home a paycheck during the workday. So I will keep it up as long as I can. My goal is to make it to his first birthday. My kudos go out to not only those mothers who stick with the breastfeeding, but especially to every working mother out there who pumps and pumps and pumps for their baby. It is a labor of love, I can sincerely tell you that. Way to go!


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In the exersaucer. He thinks he's big stuff when in there.
You can see we put a pillow behind him to help him in the seat.

In the past month, LM has learned so many new things! It seems like he learns new things every day. I guess that is probably a true statement if you think about all a baby learns in the first year. I surely can see evidence of this in the way he manipulates objects in his hands. It seems he does this better almost every single day. It is amazing! He rolls over from tummy to back and even back to tummy from time to time. This is not something he does every time he sleeps or plays, but certainly something he does with regularity. He often is sitting up on his elbows looking out at me when I go to get him in his crib these days. Little man smiles up a storm and even laughs at certain things. For instance, if you press his feet into his tummy, he thinks this is so funny he laughs out loud.

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Playing with an over the top toy.

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Tummy time. In what is clearly his "flashdance" shirt.

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Tummy time from the back of that perfect little head.
Yes, the "flashdance" shirt says that on the back.
We like a little razzle dazzle around here.

His favorite toy is still probably the handkerchiefs or his burp cloth or blanket. He still loves playing with these items. But, increasingly, he is interested in other toys. He holds them in his hands, moves them between hands and up to his mouth. He pushes buttons to make noises (when the buttons are easy to push - some are too hard for him still). He loves playing "in" things now - interacting with the toys on his bouncy seat, exersaucer and activity gym. He even will play in a johnny jump seat for a while. That is so funny to watch - he gets very serious, like he is working very hard when he is doing that. He looks like his little feet are pirouetting beneath him. So cute.

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In the johnny jumper.

Because he is playing more it is more fun to interact with him, of course. He does more than "just lie there." Don't get me wrong - that was pretty awesome all by itself. But now he does more! He watches you, follows your actions, loves to hear you sing or talk or make funny noises with your mouth. He likes to watch your mouth and try to mimic what you are doing. Certain noises are SO funny to him that he laughs. He smiles when you enter the room and makes your heart melt.


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Some serious morning contemplation.

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Another exersaucer shot. Focus is on his arm instead of his face.
But it's still a cute smile!

I think because he is sucking less at the breast, he has really taken to the pacifier now that I have gone back to work. This is nice because it helps him sleep at school and even at home. He is not really interested in having it unless he's sleepy, and sucks on it to soothe himself. It is nice to have this new way to help him soothe himself. Speaking of sleep, he sleeps 10-12 hours a night now, and usually without interruption.

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While on sleeping, he goes down to sleep by himself now, no longer needing to be rocked or walked. This is one thing I did differently than the advice in the Baby Wise book. I read that book and I have him on a eat-awake-sleep schedule. But, in that book they say to allow the children to cry themselves to sleep starting at like 8 weeks to teach them to go to sleep on their own. LM didn't seem to get this - he cried so much when we tried it. So I started reading other baby books for advice on this topic. Without fail, every other book said you should not worry about teaching this skill until four months of age. The books said the baby doesn't understand it until then and can have feelings of abandonment before that point. So I rocked my baby, not worrying about it, and planned to teach him to sleep on his own over this holiday weekend. Turns out, he just started doing it on his own about two weeks ago. So I tend to believe all those other books were more right than Baby Wise on this topic. I know all babies are different, but this baby seemed to fall right into the time frame of all the other books.

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So funny.

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Freakin' hilarious!

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My absolute favorite.

I came to find out the whole Baby Wise notion of getting a baby to sleep "x" long by "x" date also seems to be a slight overstatement. Based on what my pediatrician told us in his normal course of informational conversation (with no reference to Baby Wise) those are just the normal times when a baby learns those skills. I thought this was funny to learn from him after reading that book. The book has other virtues though - like setting up a (non-rigid) routine is good for baby; eating, then being awake is good for baby. Giving a new mama confidence is good for baby, so I think it was good for me to read it. Anyway, this going to sleep on his own - this is nice, but also sometimes I rock him anyway just because I like to hold him. I am spoiling him I guess when I do this since he certainly doesn't need it, but he will only be this small for a short time, so I will do it.

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LM in a little man outfit.

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With Little Man shoes.

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Kinda blurry, but such a cute smile.
Sort of a splayed arm approach here left him closer to the floor, I guess.

So that is about the story - he is growing and changing and doing just fine. He is our little blessing and we love him to pieces. He is a very good baby and we give thanks for him today and every day.


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Four months old on Nana's quilt.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. See you soon.

2 comments:

  1. Love it... the post that is. LM is a real cutie.

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  2. Loved reading the update! He's so cute! I did the baby wise things also and, like you, waited til 4 months after reading "other" books. My guys also fell asleep on their own around 3 months and slept good. So happy to hear he's sleeping so well for you at night! I know how good that feels to get a full nights sleep after a few months of not so good sleep. Can't wait to see you in a couple weeks (or less)!!!!

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