Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yeehaw!! Alex Is Four Months Old!

It's official, Alex turned four months old on Saturday!! Uggh, it's so cliche, but...they really do grow up so fast!

We had an eventful weekend, but before I get into that, allow me to follow protocol and cover all the vital statistics first.

Size: Per his doctor's visit last Wednesday, Alex weighed 15 lbs. 12 ozs. and is a little over 26.5 inches long. He is in the 80th percentile for weight and 99th for height. His head is somewhere around 17cm, which puts him in the 60th percentile. He wears size 2 diapers and shoes, although at this rate, I think he'll probably be moving on up to threes before long. As far as clothes go, he can wear anything from 0-3 to 6-9, depending on the proportions. If they're long enough, 0-3 pants are perfect - he just doesn't have enough junk in his trunk to fill out those 3-6 's. And like his daddy, I think he'll always struggle to find shirtsleeves and pant legs that are long enough to cover his lengthy limbs.

Eating: He stopped nursing as of Halloween night and has been taking anywhere from 5 to 7 ounces of formula per feeding. He usually eats five times a day, sometimes six if he gets up early. Thursday, he had his first taste of rice cereal. Rice cereal! That's, like, food!! He'll be eating cereal once a day - maybe an ounce or so - and will work his way up to twice a day by six months.

Sleeping: Finally, he is sleeping through the night. Since about three and a half months, he has been getting a bath at seven, a bottle, is in bed and asleep by seven-thirty, and sleeps until the morning. With two exceptions (that both occurred when he missed a feeding during the day), he has slept through every night since that first "all-nighter". His wake-up times are still pretty inconsistent - anywhere from 5:45am to 9:00am - but if I had to pick a "typical" time, it would be about 7:15am. Naptimes are still a pain in my rear, but he generally takes three a day - one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Some are long, some are short. Some are fussy, some are not. Still waiting for him to get with the program when it comes to napping. Maybe by five months...

Physical/cognitive milestones: His biggest accomplishment to date is being able to turn the pages of a board book, which is typically a 9 to 12 month milestone. Timothy thinks I'm playing the proud and prejudiced Mommy and am exaggerating his mastery of this particular feat. I'm not claiming he has perfect technique, but I'm confident that he knows what he is doing.

He has really become enamored of his toes and will take any opportunity to put them in his mouth. I'm tired of changing soggy socks, but at least he doesn't whine when he needs something to chew on because his toes are always within mouth's reach. Although his feet are "handy", he is completely indiscriminate when it comes to chew toys. He'll chomp on anything that he can get his hands on. I'm pretty sure he'd chew his own nose if it wasn't attached to his face.

He has been able to roll from belly-to-back for a couple months now, although I think he forgets he can do it because sometimes he'll just stay perched on his elbows and whine until I push him over. Or maybe he's just lazy and knows I'll eventually do it for him. He has been struggling with the back-to-belly roll for a while, but yesterday he suddenly realized how to do it and every time I've laid him on his back today he has quickly maneuvered onto his belly. He also has discovered that if he lays on his back, pulls his feet up to his chest, then flops them back down, he tends to rotate from his original position - about 45 degrees a pop. If he does this over and over, he will eventually turn himself completely around. There have been many times that I have gone in after his nap to find him upside-down from the way I left him. All of this leads me to believe that he will be rolling around the house in no time. Yikers, I don't know if I'm ready for my little Energizer bunny to be mobile...

At this point, we are really starting to see Alex's personality develop. He is generally very energetic and happy. I would describe him as outgoing, and not surprisingly, he has a big mouth like both of his parents. In the last few weeks, he has become even more aware of his own voice and it is quite obvious that he loves the sound of it. He thinks he's pretty funny, too, and will "perform" for us when we react to something he is doing. He is getting a little more independent and will entertain himself for longer periods of time, although he still prefers to interact with us. I mean, what's a comedian without an audience?

So, about this weekend...We decided to take Alex to Dallas for the weekend to celebrate his four month birthday. After his morning nap on Friday, we packed up and hit the road. He was pretty good in the car, although he was awake a bit more than usual. We decided to take advantage and made him take the wheel for a bit so Tim and I could get some shuteye. He's got a bit of a lead foot, but we made it safe and sound.

We got to our hotel around 7:15pm and got all of our stuff unloaded, which now takes hours since we have a kid's worth of stuff to haul around. Alex was happy to get out of the car and took the opportunity to stretch out and tell us a story. He tends to be a little dramatic and is very expressive in his storytelling, as you can see.

After storytime was bedtime, although Alex had different plans. He got an impromptu bath in the hotel bathtub that was hardly worth the trouble, followed by a bottle, then into the pack 'n' play he went. He talked to himself for about thirty minutes, then fell asleep around 8:30pm. Tim and I went to sleep soon after...but not for long. I woke up around 11:15pm to the sound of Alex flipping and flopping around in his bed and got up to check it out. His eyes seemed to be closed, so I guess he was just flopping in his sleep. I went back to bed and woke up again at 12:30am. Again, Alex was flipping and flopping, kicking the sides of the pack 'n' play, flailing his arms around...He still didn't seem to be fully awake, so I just slipped his pacifier into his mouth to calm him down and went back to bed.

Around 3:00am, I woke up and heard him holding a very spirited conversation with someone (or something). He was wide-eyed and very awake - quite the opposite of what I was. He had missed a feeding because of our traveling schedule, so I thought if I gave him a bottle, he might stay asleep until morning. Mmmhmm, guess again. Perhaps I mistakenly bought caffeinated formula...Or maybe he woke up and used the complimentary coffee maker to brew himself a strong cuppa joe...Or maybe he was just throwing himself a "four month birthday" bash because he was quite the party animal. He laughed and squealed and talked and hollered - for about three hours. I tried the pacifier, I tried bellypatting, I tried rocking and patting and bouncing. All of that usually works when he is upset. Problem was, he wasn't upset. Not once did he cry, whine, or make a noise that sounded anything but joyous. That doesn't sound so bad, except that I couldn't sleep knowing that he wasn't sleeping when he should be. At about 5:45, I gave up on the notion that he would eventually fall asleep and got him up for the day.

Although I was a little worried he would be a complete mess due to lack of sleep, he was his usual bubbly self. After a quick IKEA run, we headed back to the hotel to meet up with Tim's family. They were nice enough to come all the way up from Eldo to take care of Alex so Tim and I could have a baby-free night on the town. We thought we were only getting Vicki and Leah (not that there'd be anything wrong with that!), but we were pleasantly surprised when our good friend Bekah Ball popped out of the car!

We met up at the hotel then went to Jake's Burgers for lunch. They are known for they're burgers but we determined that the scantily clad waitresses were the more likely attraction. Alex is still in that phase where he thinks girls are icky and was a little worried that he was gonna end up with cooties. Ewwww, girls!!

He was so grossed out by the prospect of catching cooties that he didn't have much of an appetite when we were at Jakes. Consequently, by the time we got back to the hotel, he was starving and tried to eat Bekah's shirt.

Tim and I left Alex to nap with Grammy while we drove around Dallas and checked out the sights, then we came back to get ready for our night out and to give Grammy and Auntie L the rundown on Alex's bedtime routine. Alex got a good nap in while we were gone (as did Murph) and Auntie L got some pics of his happy wake-up face. He wasn't quite as happy when he saw that Auntie L had managed to capture his fattest angles. He claimed he was going to go on a hunger strike until he lost the weight, but that only lasted about 4 hours (until his next feeding).

In fact, he was so hungry that he couldn't even wait to get his pajamas on before snatching his bottle out of Grammy's hands. No joke - he will literally rip the bottle out of your hands and shove it into his mouth when he's hungry. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose a finger or two if I'm not careful.

Fortunately he went to sleep fine for Grammy and slept until 5:45am. After a bottle, some wake time, and a good, long morning nap, we got up and dressed for the day.

We were going to do brunch before heading home and decided to try out this quaint little breakfast spot that is all the rage in Dallas. It's called IHOP and it's got pancakes and omelets and stuff. If you're familiar with Dallas, you may have heard of it. It is so popular, in fact, that we stopped at two different locations before finding a third one that didn't have a forty-five minute wait. It was worth the wait, though.

Alex found this menu that said "Try something new" and thought he would do just that. Unfortunately his efforts to enrich his palate were thwarted by his parents, who reminded him that rice cereal was as fancy as it's gonna get for a while.

We did, however, let our guards down and didn't throw a hissy when Auntie L tried to give him a taste of her water. I know, it's just water. What's the big deal? But water is the gateway drink. Water leads to tea, tea leads to Coke, and Coke leads to more flipping and flopping and sleepless nights...

A got lots of lovin' from Grammy and Auntie L and Bekah before we all went our separate ways.

He was pretty wiped out after such a crazy weekend and slept all the way from Dallas to Fort Smith - that's about four hours! We made one last stop to visit Amanda and Brian Simpson and their little guy, Jacob.

After a quick dinner and fun visit with the Simpsons, we finally made it home. It was a great way to spend Alex's four month birthday and it will be hard to top. I guess I should start planning now for his five month festivities...


leah said...

thanks for the great birthday weekend!!! We had a blast!! Tell alex I'm sorry for the pics.....but he makes a cute chubby bunny :-)!! And no, even I wouldnt give him coke. I can't say the same about sweet tea though......I mean it is the state drink of Arkansas!!

Quinn said...

Happy Belated B-day Alex! What a little ham you've become!! Thanks alot Tim and Quinn thinks she needs to travel somewhere for her 8 month birthday. These babies are can be so pushy.