Friday, September 30

Friday Photos - Meltdown

The family went to Heritage Park this past Tuesday to celebrate Blaine's mom's birthday. The weather was beautiful and we brought along pizza, cookies, and our picnic blankets to enjoy a low-key family get-together. All of the cousins on that side of the family came out, and it looked like it was going to be a really enjoyable, pleasant evening.... at least for the first 10 minutes it looked that way.

Brock hasn't been taking naps very well for the past couple of weeks and hasn't been as consistent with how much sleep he gets during the day. Tuesday was one of the bad days, and he had only had maybe two 45-minute naps that day (on his best days he takes three naps that are at least an hour, sometimes two hours long). So as soon as we got to the park, I planned to feed him and take his mind off of the sleepiness. Unfortunately, I couldn't get his food ready fast enough and something set him off so this is how our nice evening started off:

As soon as Brock started wailing and crying, his little cousin Anna started screaming along with him. Whether it was sympathy cries or just that she didn't like the loud noises he was making, it was so sad seeing the giant tears coming out of her eyes. They were both unhappy campers, which made the temperature outside go up like 50 degrees for me as several other park-goers started indiscreetly looking over at the blanket of boo-hooing babies, and I got a little anxious and concerned that all my hopes for this lovely evening were about to fall flat.

All's well that ends well, though, right? I got some food in Brock, and we got him calmed down and Grandmama Elaine held him for practically the rest of the evening so he just relaxed and we all had a great time, as evidenced by the peace in this photo and by all these other pictures (in my Facebook album).

Friday, September 23

Friday Photos - Sitting Pretty

Brock is learning yet another new skill these days, and this one really makes him seem like a big boy to me. He's been sitting up with assistance for a few weeks now, like propped up on the couch or with pillows, but lately when he's in my lap he doesn't want to lean back so he'll pull himself forward until he's sitting up straight. I decided to start letting him practice this on his own while in his bed or on the couch or our bed and he actually doesn't seem to be too far away from getting it. He can't stay up for long and he tends to lean forward and grab his toes, but he's catching on. On the agenda for this weekend is to move his bed down to the lower level just in case one day he decides to suddenly figure out during naptime how to pull himself to sitting.

Here's the sequence of events from sitting to toppling over (also note the open-mouthed stare he does so well):

In some of these pictures you can see a little dark spot on one of the bumpers... 
"How about you just let me relax here a bit?"
I just wanted to point out that this is a drool spot because he buries his face and sucks on the bumper while he sleeps. He's done this since he was 4 months old.

"Good grief, lady, that camera flash is killing me!"

Face plant, woops

Monday, September 19

Six Months

A half of a year has gone by with our little boy and I am not quite sure how. Brock is SIX months old today! That is just craziness. But it's true so I'll get over my shock and finish writing this post. We went for the 6 month checkup today with Dr. Smith so I have Brock's official numbers this time. He weighs 19 pounds, 4 ounces putting him at about the 79th percentile (that's only about a pound more than he weighed last month so I'm glad he's slowing down a little bit and not becoming obese). And he is now 27.5 inches long, which is about the 83rd percentile. I never can remember his head circumference. I think it's because his baby book doesn't have a blank to fill in that information so I never consider it important and only retain the weight and length. But the doctor did say that his head is in the above average range so I'm assuming he's fine. He had to get four shots today instead of three and this was the first time Blaine wasn't able to go with us, so I had to be the bad guy and hold his arms down. I wonder if I will ever be able to avoid tearing up when he's getting his shots. I hope so because it will be embarassing for him when he's 16 years old getting a tetanus shot and his mom is sitting in the corner trying not to cry!

These are some of Brock's accomplishments and patterns during the period between the fifth and sixth months:
  • At 22 weeks I started feeding him about 1/3 of the jar of stage one baby foods once a day (in the afternoon) for three days. I had read that it is suggested to introduce foods slowly and one at a time so you can make sure they don't have any reactions to them. So we started that way and introduced all the "orange/yellow" foods (squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, etc) and then the "green" foods like peas and green beans.
  • At 23 weeks he started eating solid foods 3 times a day after he nursed. He would have rice cereal and half a jar of fruit in morning, half a jar of vegetables and half a jar of fruit in the afternoon, and then another half of vegetables and fruit evening. Since the doctor had said he didn't need solid food until 6 months, I always nursed before we fed him solids instead of after because I wanted to make sure he got the right amount of milk, but now that he's 6 months he'll be eating solids first, then the milk.
  • He had his first cold at 22 weeks which was pretty pitiful. It wasn't anything serious, just a runny nose with some coughing and congestion and a low fever. He was fussy and woke up a lot from his naps because of the coughing but he was still a pretty good sport about it. It was sweet to see him smile when he had snot running from his nose because I know smiling is the last thing I want to do when I am sick.
  • While he was sick he didn't nurse very well because of the stuffy nose so I introduced him to the sippy cup that week just to get some more fluids in him. He really seemed to love it too as you can see here.
  • He sleeps fine on his stomach now when he rolls onto it which is a big relief since it was disrupting his sleep so much. It only took him about a week to get used to staying asleep when he would roll over, but he still wasn't happy when he woke up on his stomach. This past week though (26 weeks) he's figured out how to roll from stomach to back so we're all good now.
  • He likes standing up in my lap and using his legs, and he likes to grab everything. Nothing within his reach is safe these days because he wants to hold it and put it in his mouth. For example, books... when I'm reading him a story, he won't just sit in my lap and look at the pictures anymore. He wants to grab the pages and close the cover and put the corners in his mouth, and I get left in suspense about what the hungry caterpillar ate on Wednesday.
  • He's gotten a lot more cuddly this month. He used to only like being held facing out with his back to your chest but occasionally he'll lay on us now and just kind of snuggle or burrow his head. A few times this month he even wanted to be rocked to sleep, which was previously unheard of because he would only go to sleep in his bed before. I'm trying not to turn that into a habit though because I want him to continue to be able to self-soothe.
  • He likes sitting up now and will pull himself to sitting if you have him leaning back on you. He can also sit up with support, like on the couch or in a chair, but he still needs assistance for now.
  • He smiles at just about everyone he meets. I love taking him to church because every new face he sees, he gives them a grin. He's a little charmer. Blaine said, "I think he gets all that smiling from me." To which I replied, "Don't I smile all the time too?" and Blaine said, "Oh... yeah... you smile." So now I'm worried that I look like a miserable wretch everywhere I go.
  • If Brock is really tired in the evening, he gets giddy and delirious-acting and will laugh really hard at just about anything we do. It's pretty entertaining.
  • As far as our schedule, he moved toward the four-hour eating schedule at about 24 weeks so now he takes about three naps a day and stays awake anywhere from an hour and 15 minutes to two hours (usually his awake times are shorter in the mornings and lengthen out toward the end of the day).
  • We dropped the dreamfeed (the late evening feeding around 9:30 or 10 where he stays asleep) for good now. Sometime during the 24th week I went to feed him at that time and he woke up and started screaming at me, so I said alright, I guess it's time to let that feeding go. Once we dropped it, he started sleeping longer in the mornings too. So now he goes to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 and usually sleeps until 8:00 in the morning. That is heavenly for my Saturdays! (During the week I work from home and usually start at 5am so it really only makes a difference to me on Saturdays when I can sleep in).
  • He's teething big time with lots of drool, crankiness, hand chewing, and early waking from naps. I've been giving him Hyland's teething tablets which seem to help some, although the doctor informed me today that it's probably just the placebo effect  (for me, not Brock). I don't know though, I still think they might make a difference, and they're homeopathic which means they're made from natural ingredients and aren't medicinal so I feel like they're a little better than constantly giving him Tylenol.
This past month has really been a fun one. Actually, from about 4-6 months there have been more fun times than bad times which makes having a baby a lot more enjoyable. Not that I want him to grow up quickly, but I do like how he's becoming more of a participant in our lives instead of just a passive observer. His little personality is developing and he is starting to gain more of an individual identity which is neat to see. However, I can already tell that discipline is going to start coming into play now because he is learning how to throw little fits when he doesn't get what he wants (for example, as we were waiting in line to leave the doctor's office, he wanted to eat the paper that I'm supposed to give to the nurse at the front desk and started angrily yelling and crying when I wouldn't let him have it. Ugh, that was embarassing and not cool, so we'll definitely be working on curbing the temper tantrums before they get out of hand.) But the majority of the time I feel like Brock is a fun little guy to be around, and I think we'll keep him.

Friday, September 16

Friday Photos - Random

Well, I'm a little sad because I had some very amusing pictures of Brock with prunes all over his face that I wanted to post as this week's Friday photos, but I left my camera at church tonight in preparation for my friend's baby shower tomorrow and all my pictures are still on my camera.

Butttttt I can't not (double negative?) post a picture today since it is Friday, and I have been so good about doing it every week up to this point. So instead of the well-planned, well-edited fancy pictures, this week it's just going to be a couple of random cell phone shots I snapped. Hope they're not too disappointing!

This first one is what happened when I set Brock up on the couch and propped him between the cushions. I walked away for just a second (literally it was only like 5 seconds so please don't scold me for leaving the baby alone on the couch) and when I came right back, this is what he looked like. And it made me laugh because he was looking at me like, "What the heck just happened?" (Is it ok for babies to say what the heck?) Obviously, I won't be leaving him alone on the couch even for 5 seconds now since he can clearly maneuver himself pretty quickly, whether intentionally or not.

The second picture is Brock's new thing he likes to do in the bathtub now. He's no longer content to just sit there and be bathed. He has to grab everything and wants to be an active participant in the bathing process. I'm not sure if he's trying to rinse himself here or if he thinks the bath cup is a giant sippy that he must drink from, but either way, I was entertained.

Maybe I'll post a special Sunday photo and put the prune pictures up then.

Monday, September 12

Hilarious Tissue Paper

Who knew a wadded up ball of tissue paper could be so entertaining?!  I guess it's the little things in life.

I don't think we need to worry about getting Brock any gifts for Christmas... he'll probably be satisfied with just the paper!

Friday, September 9

Friday Photos - Sippy Cup

A couple of weeks ago, Brock had a little head cold and got snotty and stuffy for about a week. During that time he was also teething pretty bad, so between the pain in his mouth and the inability to breathe through his nose, it got fairly difficult for him to nurse and he wasn't eating for as long as he normally does. I was a little worried he might not get the fluid or calories he needed (clearly he's in want of them, huh?) so I decided to try to give him some expressed milk in a sippy cup. Technically, the books say to introduce sippy cups or regular cups between 6 and 9 months, but he was 5.5 months so I figured he was close enough and didn't think it would really hurt anything.

Ok, I don't know what it is about the sippy cup, but he is in love with that thing! The first time I gave it to him, he liked chewing on the tip and didn't really know how to suck to get the liquid out, but with these particular sippy cups (Tommee Tippee Explora trainer cup), all a baby has to do is bite down on the spout and some of the liquid will drip out; then they can get more if they figure out how to suck. So he was interested in it from the very beginning, but the second time I brought it out, he threw down the toy that was in his hand and started waving his arms like a mad man, indicating that he clearly remembered the sippy and he wanted more of it.

Since then I've been giving him water in the sippy cup and letting him drink from (or play with) it during some of his mealtimes. He is still a big fan of it and loves to hold it himself (although he rarely is able to get any of the liquid into his mouth when he's holding it). I took some pictures of him this week loving his sippy cup and thought they would work well for the Friday photo.

This is his excited look when I first give him the sippy cup.

Sippy cup action shot
"Peace out, Mom; I'm just going to sit here and enjoy my sippy."
"Do NOT take that sippy away from me, woman!"

"Seriously, why are you taking so many pictures? I'm just drinking from a sippy cup."

And a special bonus picture of his pooping face, complete with peas and all! :)
One possible downside of the sippy is that I think he thinks all cups are for him to drink out of now, so when Blaine and I have our cups or water bottles and Brock catches sight of them, he gets angry if he isn't offered a drink. Here's a little video clip I got this week that shows exactly what I'm talking about. And note at the end the new skill of pitching a fit when we take something away from him that he wants... definitely not my favorite developmental milestone.

Friday, September 2

Friday Photos - Battle Wound

This kid's nails grow faster than... I'm at a loss for something that grows really fast, but let's just say I'm clipping them once a week but could (or should) probably do it twice a week because they get so long so fast. Same thing with the toenails but they don't get cut as often because he wiggles his feet and it's like wrestling a wet fish to try to keep him still enough for me to get them. He wears footed pajamas all day long now so I don't worry about the toes too much; in fact, I may just let those grow until he's a toddler and maybe we can get into one of the Guinness world records books.

The fingernails, however, can't be left to grow because apparently Brock likes to maul himself in his sleep. He woke up one morning this week with this little scrape on his nose, and I realized his nails were a couple of days past due to be trimmed (woops). He didn't seem to mind or notice the wound though, and it adds a little toughness (is that a word?) to his character. But I thought I'd use this week's Friday photo to document his first injury (not counting the time I scratched him with one of my fingernails trying to put a onesie on him when he was a few weeks old or when I accidentally pinched him with the zipper on his pajamas; two mom-inflicted injuries in 5 months isn't so bad is it?). This one was self-inflicted, I promise.

While taking these pictures though, I noticed a few other things I wanted to point out. The first thing: Check out those eyelashes! Man, I would love for mine to be as full and pretty as that; what a waste that they're on a boy! :) The second is that Brock wants to put everything in his mouth these days, including my camera strap that he got a hold of while I was snapping pictures. He grabs for my drink, my cell phone, my food, or anything else I have in my hands when he's around and wants everything to go straight to the mouth.

Another interesting development: Brock is starting to figure something out about my camera. Whenever I use the flash on my camera there is always a little light that comes on just after I push the button to take the picture and just before the picture takes. I think it's a red-eye reduction light or something, but Brock has learned that that light means an even brighter light is about to flash in his eyes so I'm starting to get pictures like these whenever I have the flash setting on. It's funny because he starts squinting and making crazy eyes before the flash ever goes off so I guess I'm going to have to start using more natural light when I'm taking pictures of him so that I can get some decent ones. It's interesting to watch them learn things like this though. Slowly but surely he's growing to be more intelligent than our dog.