Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Well, he's made it to six months. I guess we must be doing something right.

Normally I'd start out with his vital statistics, but he won't have his six month checkup until Monday. So I will cover all of the other bases and then update you with other news as it becomes available.

Size: As mentioned, we won't know his official weight and height until Monday. If I had to guess his size, I'd have to say BIG. He's not especially chunky although he does hold a little extra weight in his chin. No, not that one. The other one. He's pretty much normal for his age as far as sizes go although everything tends to be too short. Short in the torso and in the legs. 3-6 pants are fine as long as they are, well, long. The best pants are the ones that are folded up a couple of inches. I usually untack them and then they fit perfectly!

He is wearing size 3 diapers, although he has been leaking through them the last few nights, so we may be in 4's before we know it. We are also trying to squeeze a few last wears out of his size 2 shoes, although some of them have already been retired to the "use for next baby" box. He can, however, fit into a whole new wardrobe of shoes that have been waiting patiently on his shelf for their turn. Today was the first day his Nikes from G-ma and G-pa B got some use. When I first put them on, he kept looking at them and touching them. I think he was trying to figure out how to get his mouth on them. But whatever. He likes 'em either way.

Eating: These days, he is eating an 8 ounce bottle of formula 4-5 times a day - usually every four hours or so. I have been giving him rice cereal a couple of days a week, mostly because I am too lazy to do it everyday, and he has been so good about eating it that I haven't been motivated to make him "practice" more than that.

Our pediatrician suggested that we start him on baby food a couple of weeks before we come in for his six month appointment so that if we have any problems, we can discuss them then. So on Monday afternoon, A got his first taste of "real" food. And the food of choice - organic peas! Mmmmm. What an introduction to the culinary world. I did taste them before I made him eat them, and they taste exactly how you think they would - like mushed up peas. (Some people might gag at the thought, but I find comfort in knowing what my child is eating.)

Now come on, who doesn't think that looks appetizing. I know I do.

When I fed him his first bite, he did his usual flared nostril, num-num-num face that he usually does when anything unfamiliar touches his palate. But he kept most of it in his mouth and swallowed it down, with very little tongue-thrusting to be had.

His flared nostril, num-num-num response followed each spoonful of pea-flavored goodness, but he ate each bite, nonetheless. I got a little overzealous when I saw how well he was doing and increased the amount of peas I was loading onto the spoon. Bad idea. It was a little too thick and Alex's gag reflex was called to action...

But that was his only gagging incident thus far and he ate half a container on his first go, so I'd say that's a pretty good start. We have been doing some peas (about 1/2 a container) every day since Monday, and will start adding green beans to his daily regiment in the next couple of days. Word is, you should introduce a new food every week so that if baby shows signs of an allergy, you can easily determine which food caused it. Makes sense. Although everyone will tell you something different, our doc suggested starting with the greens, aka the "ickier" foods, then moving on to tastier things like sweet potatoes and fruits . That way, he doesn't get so enamored of the yummy stuff that he won't eat the icky stuff later. I guess that makes sense, too. So far so good on the food front.

Sleeping: With a few short-term relapses here and there, his sleeping regime is great. My biggest complaint is still about consistency - or lack thereof. Bedtime is, on average, around 7:30, but might fall anywhere between 7 and 8. It is usually determined by whether/when he takes a third nap during the day. Typically (and I use that term lightly), he wakes around 8, naps at 10 (usually for 2 hours) and 2 (usually for 2 or 3 hours). If he only naps until 4, he will take another short nap before bed. Depending on when his last nap ends, he gets his bath around 6:45 or 7, a bottle, and is in bed by 7:30 or 7:45.

Physical/cognitive milestones: Where to start? He is sitting on his own now, which is a huge milestone that I have been looking forward to for some time. He started around Christmas, but was a little wobbly and couldn't stay up for more than a few minutes without flopping over. Now, after couple weeks of practice, he is sitting up tall and straight for long periods of time, until he reaches too far or fast for something and throws himself off balance. For example:

Poor Murph. He has no idea what he's in for. But it is so great that I can sit Alex down with a handful of toys and he will entertain himself while I clean or make a bottle or...whatever!

And...bath time is soooo much easier now that he can sit up. I bought one of those inflatable tubs that fits into a regular tub, which is fab because even if he does fall over, it keeps him from banging his head on the sides of the tub. Aaahh, life with child just keeps getting better.

He has been very vocally active in the last couple weeks, introducing a bevy of new sounds - and words even! He's been congested lately (Alex, aka Darth Vader), and instead of wallowing in self-misery over his annoying affliction, he has turned it into a source of entertainment. He has discovered that a little extra phlegm, when manipulated just so, produces a pleasant gargly sound in the back of the throat.

Even more exciting than phlegm gargling is the debut of some "da-da-da's" and "ba-ba-ba's" (really it's more like "ab-ab-ab-a"). No distinguishable "ma-ma-ma's" as of yet (although he does make this pitiful moaning sound when he's really upset that sounds like he's crying for his "mama". It's clear as day, yet I am always compelled to dismiss it as a coincidence...) He does it at seemingly random times, and he often mouths the words but forgets to vocalize, resembling a fish out of water.

So his diction could use a little work. But hey, it's a start.

In the mobility department...he is trying desperately to crawl, but he still has a few steps to accomplish before he gets there. Unfortunately the child has not been blessed with an excess of patience. He gets extremely frustrated when he's flailing around on his belly and isn't getting anywhere. His mini pushups are great and he has been known to get his hips pretty far off of the ground, but beyond that, he's not sure what to do. When we show him how to pull his knees up, he'll sit on them for a few seconds, then he'll straighten them out and catapult himself forward. Until he masters the crawling thing, I supposed he'll have to continue what he's been doing to get around - a clumsy combination of rolling, scooting, and flopping. Whatever works...

He does have a walker now, which he is still getting used to. Sometimes he tries to jump in it and to spin around like he does in his jumperoo, but mostly he just scoots around, often on accident, until he gets where he wants to go. He did discover how to reverse pretty quickly when I tried to feed him peas while he was sitting in it...

Oh, I have some news about teeth...he doesn't have any. But chances are, I will be announcing the appearance of his first tooth in the next couple of weeks because the signs are everywhere. He has been drooling more than usual, he is aggressively mouthing everything he can gets his hands on, his sleeping habits this past week have been somewhat erratic, and he woke up this morning with his very first case of diaper rash (and a pretty wicked one, I might add. Like he fell asleep sunbathing...naked...on the equator).

And personality. Geez, this kid's full of it. He's happy-go-lucky 95% of the time, the other 5% being comprised of pre-nap fussing, hunger-induced whining, and general boredom or discomfort. We've had so many people comment on what a good baby he his. Our families are constantly awed by his demeanor, and they often spend days at a time with us, being privy to his each and every whim and whimper. Every time my mom visits, she asks me where his batteries go and calls him "The Stepford Child".

He is a pleasure in public and we love to show him off. The clerks at Walmart love him and always get a smile out of him. Perfect strangers often stop us to comment on how cute ad well-behaved he is. Just today, we took him to the mall to buy him clothes for his 6 month birthday and an elderly women stopped us in the food court to comment on how beautiful he is (although her first comment was, "What a skinny little thing! You oughta feed him something!" I pointed out that his collar was hiding his second chin, and then she said he was beautiful. Old people...). We had lunch, and as we were leaving, she brought another elderly lady over to show her how adorable he is. The two of them stood there for the longest time and made silly faces at him so he would smile.

He is perfectly content to be held, jostled, and poked at by family, friends, and strangers alike. He loves to smile and laugh, especially when tickled, bounced, or tossed in the air. He loves music - especially live music - and anything that makes his mother look like a complete moron. Any annoying sound that one can produce with one's mouth will elicit a gigantic, toothless grin.

He is compelled to be in constant someone else I know...and am married to...and who I just asked to please stop bouncing his foot on the bed because it is making me seasick...As a result of this compulsion, he's not always the cuddliest of babies. But when he does settle in and lay his little head against my shoulder, I could just melt.

He is the sweetest, best, best, best baby ever, and we love, love, love him to death.


Rachel said...

Ok, second to last picture- does that nike hat have batman ears? Just wondering. He is a completely adorable kid, not that I expected anything less. I actually had a dream that I was playing with him, or more, he was playing and I was laughing. Hey, I was thinking, six months is old enough to start learning the basic Tae Kwon Do moves right? Maybe we will save kicking for when he can stand, but punches and blocks, maybe a sweep, since he's so low to the ground... hmmm

Oliver said...

Ok... first of all, world's longest post. B, love it. 3rd, love the (red) muscle shirt... he's rocking it. Quatro, the pic of AE gagging on peas is AWESOME... it looks like he might just be accomplishing all 3 stages of the "baby cycle" (as explained for us on his bib) at the same time. the boy'z got skilz.

uncle sp

leah said...

So...Ive never thought that Alex looked like Tim, until now!!! The "gag reflex" picture really does look like Tim (for real). I think mom may have a pic or 2 of Tim with a similar face. Also, the last video (in the walker) do you notice what he is doing?? Going to the door....looking at the door knob....and rotating his right wrist!!! Your child is trying to escape??!!! What are you guys doing to him?? He must be trying to get to Auntie L's house!

Amy said...

Granny B is ready to burst if that kid dares to get any cuter, (which seems impossible everytime I see a picture or video) but then he does! There will be an epidemic of spontaneous explosions on the planet and you'll have no one to write to but Alex!!!!
He is so so so lucky to have you guys. He did a good job picking out his parents!!
Go Auntie Rachel! Teach that boy his survival skills!!!
Love GB

Amy said...

OH! That boy is the cutest thing on the planet and I'm just a gonna burst with joy and pride! Happy 6 months Birthday big little man! Go Auntie Rachel. Teach that boy how to defend himself!
You are gonna need a bigger house for all those toys!!!
Enjoy every second, they grow so fast...
Don't ya.
Granny B

hillarykey said...

I tasted all of the food before I fed Russell the first time. I wanted to know what it tasted like before he had to eat them. Thank goodness I don't feel like I have to do that again. We started with peas also. They are still Russell's favorite veggie.