Archive for March, 2015
It was 2012 the last time we were at Huntsville State Park. We were planning to camp last weekend but bad weather on Saturday deterred us from venturing out. I think had we not had Forest we might have attempted it, but it worked in our favor anyway as Forest came down with a nasty cough and it was probably better he wasn’t outside in a tent overnight. Chris still wanted to get out and do something on Sunday so instead of hitting up Sam Houston National Forest again we opted for Huntsville State Park as they have a diverse trail system and we enjoyed our last visit there.
The weather was a bit grey and iffy at first but cleared up as the day went on. We opted for the Chinquapin Trail which provided a nice loop around Lake Raven. There were quite a few other people out on the trail and since this was a multi-use trail they ranged from hikers to runners to bicyclists. We also saw one other couple babywearing their kid who was probably several months older than Forest.
Forest started off on my back and stayed that way for the majority of the trail. About a quarter of the way into the loop he started getting fussy and ready for a nap but had problems getting comfortable on my back. I tried to put the hood up so he could have a little support for his head but he wasn’t having it since it blocked his view. We stopped and arranged him on a front carry instead. Let me tell you, after doing a back carry with him and then returning to front carry for a long period—it’s back aching. Back carry is so much better right now on a hike! Of course later on he decided to fall asleep on my back when we were less than a mile back to the car.
The trail ended up being about 7 miles, which was great for us to stretch our legs and be outside for awhile. There are some convenient park benches sporadically on the trail which offer a place to sit with a baby if needed and we used them a couple of times. One thing I really like about the park was that it was managed well, as in burned appropriately for habitat. Sam Houston NF has some areas that are in dire need of burning but the state park had done a good job in burning where it was needed. There were great views across the forest in a lot of areas, with some nice ravines that provided a bit of terrain and a hilly atmosphere. Dogwoods were blooming all over the forest and we even saw a Mexican plum blooming. Here and there were a few small herbaceous plants blooming. Wildlife was quiet for the most part.
I definitely think we should revisit this park before summer comes!
The biggest thing during these weeks occurred at around 28.5 weeks when Forest cut his first two teeth! His sleep had gone to crap earlier in the week after the previous week doing really awesome with sleep despite getting a stomach bug. Then, bam! Chris checked his teeth Saturday afternoon because he noticed Forest was really going to town chewing on his ‘chew toy’—yes, totally like a dog—and the drool was just insane. Sure enough two little teeth were poking through his gums! I really didn’t expect him to cut teeth for a few more months but now he’s got two of them. The sleep hasn’t quite returned to what it was pre-teeth but it is getting a little better. Let’s just say coffee is my friend every morning when I get to work.
Forest has returned to not wanting to roll back over onto his back after he’s gotten bored with being on his belly. He’ll do it every once in awhile but he likes to stick his limbs in the air and whine for someone to come help him back over. I honestly think he’s just sick of being on his belly or back and is ready to sit up but he’s just not ready to sit up on his own. I’ve been better about sitting him up and barely holding him so he’ll work his muscles a bit, but he wobbles a lot and slumps over quickly. I haven’t tried the Bumbo-esque chair since I tried it in late January, but maybe I should? I keep seeing suggestions to use a Boppy but I’ve tried it and that hasn’t helped at all. Oh well, he’ll get there in his own time.
On the food front I haven’t been very diligent with food in the last week or so. He had a stomach bug and then came down with an allergy/cold thing, and between the snot and new teeth I’ve held off. A week or two ago I got a few jars of baby food at the store to see how he’d like that. Let me tell you, spoon feeding is not fun. The kid wants to do it himself. He’s not at the spot in BLW where you give a pre-loaded spoon and they put it in their mouth, I think that’s 8-9 months, but I let him hold the spoon alongside me and he shoves it in his mouth. Then he takes hold and sucks the spoon, bangs it around and then I have to pry it out of his hands so I can load more food on it. I definitely prefer him feeding himself. He enjoys it more.
Chris has been concerned on the choking front with some of the BLW which is why I tried the baby foods. I think they have their place and I’ll definitely incorporate them but after some conversations with Chris and reading online, and based on Forest’s reactions so far to solids, I think mushing softened pieces of food and having him hand feed himself is probably the way to go for the moment instead of the sweet potato ‘fries’ and other chunks that he can bite off. He’s still working on tastes in general and anything new gets a puckered face followed by a shake of the head like, “What was that?” I’ve tried applesauce a few times and each time he’s not so sure about it. On the other hand he really took to the zucchini, spinach, quinoa baby food blend from the store. I think he likes the avocado, too, but grasping that is just a pain. I want Forest to like tastes and textures and not wait to introduce those while relying on ‘baby foods’ for months on end—plus spoon feeding is for the birds—but I’m also taking into consideration Chris’ concerns, and mine to a lesser extent. Right now we’re only doing dinner during the week and on weekends I try to add in another meal but as the weeks go on I’d like to incorporate breakfast along with dinner during the week.
The last few nights we’ve tried a few new items, bananas being the one Forest has liked best. I tried it in a mesh feeder that you’ll see below. He liked that he was able to hold onto something better and I think he thought it was tasty. I also cooked an acorn squash which he wanted to like but not much made it into his mouth. We had mashed potatoes for dinner tonight and Chris tried feeding him a little bit of that and he actually ate some but then got really mad after so we think the spices in it might have thrown him off. I need to introduce a cup soon so that he can sip a bit of water with dinner for those instances.
I guess that’s about it! He’s a sweet little squishy!
Carolina jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens was in bloom everywhere.
A pileated woodpecker hole???
Rubus trivialis, southern dewberry
Last weekend we jaunted back over to Jones State Forest for a short hike. Google Earth was giving me a pain but my estimate is that we walked a short 2.25-2.5 mile loop. We started at the most western parking lot on the south side of FM 1488 and headed down the west perimeter ‘trail’, Jones Trail. We turned east on the Upper Horsepen Trail and then cut-up to the north on Cochran Trail before heading back west on the Middle Lake Trail. Before getting to the lake we cut back north on the Park Trail which brings you back to the parking lot.
There were a few runners out, some hikers, and horseback riders. It was rather cloudy for the most part, clearing up just as we were leaving. This was the first time I’d put Forest on my back for a hike and it worked really well. I think he was jostled just a bit and it upset his stomach a little as he ended up lightly barfing on my back not long after we’d started. I ended up walking slower after that. I really loved having him on my back, it made hiking a lot easier!
It was just a nice, quiet jaunt for the morning followed up by some yummy Mexican food for lunch.
Have you been out hiking lately?
How fitting that the iris outside our front door decided to open this morning! I’m loving the warmer weather lately and the later sunsets. I’m so happy that we’re heading into spring and anticipating the spring wildflower blooms around the state.
I always hesitate when writing about breastfeeding topics since it is a personal subject but then I realize that talking about it normalizes it in our culture and I also hope that maybe something I write here will help another mom out in the future.
Forest and I have been going strong with nursing over these last 6.5 months! I’m really happy that we’ve been successful with it and have continued on with it. There are definitely days that I still get a little frustrated but for the most part we’re doing well and adjusting as he grows. I relish the time I get to spend with him on the weekends since I don’t see him nearly as much during the week and will happily let him snooze on me if he falls asleep during a nursing session. I know that one day he isn’t going to want to be cuddling up with his momma!
Supply: My supply has stayed steady and for that I am thankful. Despite some of the sick events that I’ve had over the last few months I made sure to stay as hydrated as I could even if I knew what I drinking and eating was going to come back up. When I returned to work back in late October I kept a Google document spreadsheet of what I was pumping every day so I could watch my supply. I abandoned this sometime in late January as it became tedious and I had a good grasp on what I would and wouldn’t pump out every day. If I pump out a little bit on the low end for a session I make sure to drink more water over the next few hours or sometimes I’ll drink the Mother’s Milk tea. I haven’t made lactation cookies in well over a month, probably pushing two months now, but I do eat my lactation oatmeal concoction several times a week. That said, I think some lactation cookies are in order and they sound good, so maybe in the next week I’ll bake some.
On the supply front I have quite a stash built up in our freezers. I recently tried to move some that I had backed up in our inside fridge and moved it to the fridge in Chris’ man-cave and realized there’s a lot more than I thought. If I had to guess 300-500 ounces? I’m not even sure. Chris had been worried about it expiring but the Medela guide we have said 3-4 months stored in a regular double door fridge/freezer, however the CDC says 3-6 months and even after is probably ok, just that the quality degrades somewhat after that. I would still like to work in the older stuff a little better than we have been, though. We typically send fresh milk to daycare, whatever was pumped within the last day or two.
Nursing Sessions: I’m still nursing anywhere from every 1.5-3 hours with Forest during the day. I continue to do it on demand and can tell when he’s getting hungry or thirsty as he gets a different kind of whine that accompanies some clinginess. Night time is different almost every week. He goes anywhere from 4-6 hours during his first long sleep session and then is up every 2ish hours after that. This actually changed up a little bit last week and I got really excited that *maybe, just maybe* we’d be inching closer to longer sleep sessions. He was doing multiple days of 6 hours for the first session, then a nurse, and I’d put him back in his playpen and I would get 3 good hours out of another stretch before I would nurse again and keep him in the bed with me until we got up in the morning. That went to crap this week as I think he’s figured out Daylight Savings Time and started being difficult to get to sleep, and started waking up a lot more frequently and not going back to sleep when I return him to the playpen after a nurse, thus sleeping in bed with us longer for the last half of the night. I don’t know, maybe he’s in the middle of another leap. I should check the Wonder Weeks app soon.
He’s a lot more fidgety and involved in the outside world while nursing, now. If Chris comes in the room and talks there’s a high liklihood Forest will unlatch and look around and chill for a few minutes before returning to nurse. He loves using whichever hand is out in front and putting it on my face, feeling my nose and mouth and sticking his fingers in my mouth if I let him. He had some sharp claws that I needed to trim up because he kept piercing my skin and it hurt! The nursing necklace I bought back in September is now coming in handy as it allows him to focus on something else instead of trying to catch my mouth with his fingers.
Forest has also started trying to help the milk out, gently patting me to get the milk to come out faster. Smart kid! I think he’s also becoming more efficient with nursing as he is acting like he’s done far faster than he used to. I’ll give him a few extra minutes but he usually pulls away and lets me know he’s done. This week he started trying to sit up from the side-lying position he usually lays in to nurse. I’m hoping this is a sign he’s going to start sitting up on his own soon. He hasn’t actively tried to pull himself up like that before.
Issues: I’m still very thankful to not have had many issues with breastfeeding. About three weeks ago I had a sore spot that I thought might have been due to a weird latch or Forest being extra rough but upon closer inspection and some Googling I realized it was a milk blister. Think of it as a zit filled with milk on a sensitive part of your body. I was able to pop it while in the shower and got all of the gooky milk out that had caused the plug up. Other than the occasional pump on the weekend to have some comfort for myself if he’s not drinking as much as I’ve produced, there haven’t been any major medical type issues related to nursing so far.
Weightloss: This is kind of related to breastfeeding in that you often hear that if you breastfeed the weight will magically fall right off postpartum. I’ve come to find out that I am *not* one of those people and that it is not necessarily true that breastfeeding aids weightloss. A lot of women hold onto some of the weight while they breastfeed. Sure, you burn more calories while breastfeeding but you have to keep up with the eating, too. It’s a bit of a trap! I noticed when I started working out more in late January that my hunger has escalated and I’ve been trying to keep up with it without going too crazy. Burning calories while breastfeeding and burning calories while working out sounds great but not replenishing enough calories and losing weight too quickly is a recipe for a supply drop, which I’m not interested in.
That said, I’m about 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and 2-3 dress sizes larger than pre-pregnancy. I’ve been this weight before pre-AT hike however I was wearing clothes that were those 2-3 sizes smaller. The simple fact is pregnancy changed my body shape. I’m no longer as muscle toned and am working to regain that in addition to shedding the fat layers.
Other Thoughts: As we introduce Forest to solids more my thoughts trend towards what weaning and reduced breastfeeding will be like. My goal is still to reach a full year of breastfeeding, however sitting at this position I can see myself continuing on to the 18 month mark if my supply is good. I’m unsure as of now about going further than that. There’s a lot of negative stereotypes about extended breastfeeding despite the fact that the WHO recommends continuing to the 2 year mark. I’m not sure how I will feel at 12 months muchless at 18 months and not only that I don’t know what Forest will want. Nursing is definitely a two-way street between mom and baby, and it is much more than just providing nutrition to your child, there’s an emotional aspect to it as well. Right now the thought of weaning makes me sad. I love the bonding I have with Forest. Yes, I know there will be bonding in other ways once he’s older but it is so different for me right now. I thought I had more to say on this subject but a lot of it is tied up in my emotions which can’t be written adequately right now.
Anyway, that’s my current state of breastfeeding. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’m willing to help out anyone who is having problems or just wants some support and a sounding board. I realize breastfeeding is vastly different from person to person, their experiences with their children as well as the physical and emotional aspects of it.
I’m not sure when I realized that I wanted to be part of the babywearing ‘thing’, to join in the other mothers who wore their babies. It must have been mid to late in my pregnancy and it was probably solidified when I saw someone at the infant CPR class with a wrap that I had never seen before. She so casually threw her ten month old on her back in this beautiful wrap that made me all glittery eyed. What was that wrap?, I asked her. She replied that it was a woven wrap and when I got home that evening I Googled ‘woven wrap‘ thinking it was a particular brand. Nope, not even close, it was a class of wraps, and some seemed quite expensive.
Once I delved into the babywearing world a little bit I saw that it was quite a hobby. I knew of the Moby wraps and had read about the Ergo carriers, which I’d decided I wanted, and also knew I wanted something more rugged for backpacking which is where I found out about the Osprey Poco Premium pack that we now have, but all of those fancy woven wraps…they were a world unto their own.
In the beginning I used the Moby wrap a few times to do some chores around the house when Forest was still tiny. He wanted to be held and I had things to do and it seemed to work pretty well for running out to hang diapers up in those early days or do light chores in the kitchen. The Moby quickly proved to be too stretchy as he got bigger and I didn’t use it nearly as much as I thought I would. Then I began tinkering with the Ergo carrier, using the infant insert for extra support. That I quickly learned could be quite hot in our summer and early fall here in Texas so I didn’t use it outside all that much until it cooled off. I used it a few times to go to the breastfeeding group because lugging the carseat with Forest in it the one time I tried was extremely uncomfortable after a hundred yards—I had further to travel than that to get to the room in the hospital where the meeting is held.
I stated using the Ergo more last November when we went to Austin for Thanksgiving. It always took him a few minutes to settle in with a bit of fussing but some shhhhing, and bouncing and swaying eased him into it pretty well. After that I knew I wanted to use it more for running around in the yard and doing some errands so I tried to find opportunities to put him in it even if it was just to walk out to check the mail. I wanted to be more mobile with him, not feeling tied do the stroller, car seat, or to carrying him on my arm which had started to get painful since he was such a big dude. Plus, I knew *he* didn’t even want to always be lying down in the car seat or stroller.
At Christmas when Chris asked what I wanted one of the items I asked for was a pea coat. I have a nice leather jacket but it is probably nearing ten years old and I had always wanted a pea coat. In the end his mom got it for me but because I was (and still am) carrying pregnancy weight it didn’t quite fit. Since they had bought it on Amazon it was relatively painless to return and I debated whether or not to get a bigger size or just wait until the next season when I would have lost more weight and have been closer to my regular size and could buy a coat that would last for several seasons. In the end I decided to wait but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to buy with the Amazon gift certificate that had been issued upon return of the coat.
The woven wraps were still tantalizing and so I started looking for some of the popular brands on Amazon to see if they were available and if they were any cheaper. One brand that came up was Ellaroo and it was a more mid-priced wrap that I thought was much more affordable than some of the others out there. I had been part of several baby wearing Facebook groups for many months and decided to ask a Houston group what their opinion was on this particular brand. My reason for going for a wrap was for a cooler option for Texas’ summer months since I knew the Ergo could be hot at times. I got great feedback that the Ellaroo was one of the lighter wraps and would work pretty well for our heat and since it was in my price range I eyed it heavily.
I continued to debate about it for a few weeks, reading about various brands and just wondering if I would like it and if Forest would like it. Finally I bit the bullet and ordered it. I figured if it didn’t work out that I could resell it in one of the groups of Craigslist or return it to Amazon. When it arrived I was enamored because it was beautiful! I watched a few videos on You Tube on the front wrap cross-carry (FWCC) and tried it alone a few times before putting Forest in it. I tried at least twice with Forest before figuring out how to pull it tight enough for a secure carry and being comfortable enough with walking around with him in it. Then I had Chris take a few photos of of my wrap job and asked the group I’d previously consulted to see if it looked alright. They thought it looked fine and asked if I felt secure, which I did. The best thing with the wrap is that Forest didn’t fuss nearly as much at the beginning when I put him versus when I put him in the Ergo.
Since then I have mostly worn the Ellaroo around the yard or house but I have worn it at the grocery store twice. The first time I did a quick and not nearly as good wrap job because I ended up rushed due to someone trying to park in the space next to us where I was working on getting the wrap done. Forest fidgeted quite a bit in it while we shopped and then needed a diaper change and then I was frustrated so I left Chris to finish checking out and just carried Forest out to the truck to wait. The second time I parked at the back of the lot and took my time getting the wrap done right and feeling secure and off we went.
Now that Forest is bigger and more alert and awake instead of sleeping as soon as we get in the car, I’ll probably babywear him more often when doing errands instead of putting his car seat into the cart. Plus, soon he’ll be sitting up and I’ll be able to put him in the cart to sit in the front if he gets tired of being in the wrap or Ergo. Wearing your baby in public will definitely get attention, which is something that I’m not overly fond of…people tend to creep into personal space a lot more when there’s a cute baby involved.
So far I love babywearing and Forest loves it too. He gets into periods when he wants out and that’s usually because he’s hungry, needs a diaper change, or it is nap time. Plus, he likes to stretch out, too.
Since I now feel comfortable with the FWCC I would like to try a hip carry and a back carry sometime soon. Just this last weekend I put Forest on my back in the Ergo and other than him bouncing around a little bit more, he seemed to like it. Oh, he did barf on me from the jostling a bit, but as he gets a little more stable I think that will go away. I do notice that he really enjoys moving and if I stop walking while he’s being carried he will start fussing. There’s a ton of You Tube videos demonstrating carries for all of the various wraps and carriers out there so there’s no shortage of information. Sometimes I watch several videos and learn different subtle techniques for a single carry that each person does.
This ended up being far longer than I expected…if you made it through, kudos to you! If you are interested in babywearing reach out to a local group or find one on Facebook. Babywearing 102 is one that is not region specific.
Five years ago today Chris and I turned into Panther and Ridley. We climbed out of my dad’s car at Amicalola Falls State Park, weighed our backpacks and signed the register at the gift shop, then ducked under the stone arch just outside and embarked on a side trail called the Approach Trail that would take us to Springer Mountain and the official start of the Appalachian Trail.
It was chilly down in the lower elevations and threatening to rain. Weather conditions only worsened as we climbed in elevation that day and I wondered why on Earth I had thought up this harebrained idea the year before. By the time we’d finished the Approach Trail and reached the summit of Springer Mountain we’d already hiked in sleet and had donned our rain gear. It was foggy with zero visibility at the top of Springer which made the summit and official start of the trail feel a little less monumental than I thought it would.
Seeing our first white blazes, we headed down the trail to the Springer Mountain shelter thinking we might stay there for the night, only we found it packed and still rather early in the day. The ridge runner, getting an approximate count of hopeful thru-hikers, highly suggested we mosey down the trail—mostly downhill he said—to the next shelter 2.8 miles away. It was just the first in a series of times we’d adjust our expectations for hiking goals for the day, sometimes making our original goal, other times falling short or making it further than intended.
That night as we huddled around the picnic tables of the Stover Creek shelter, the rest of our fellow thru-hikers looking as wide-eyed as we did, as we made dinner. Excited, but nervous. We went to bed at an unreasonably early hour, before the sun even set, as it was too cold and it was starting to sleet once again. I had no idea what we were in for.
I miss the trail often. I miss it more now that I’m not in adventure/get outdoors mode and instead am in take-care-of-a-baby-human mode. That day we did our hike in Sam Houston National Forest on Valentine’s Day weekend…I felt some of my hiking memories coming back. When we finished hiking I was happy with how smelly I was. Yes, I know to most people this sounds gross but to me it meant I had done something exciting with my day. It was a glimpse of hiker stench. Even the tingles of a blister wanting to form on my feet were a teensy bit exciting. Sometimes I miss the thick calloused feet I had post-trail. They were badass feet that could carry me for miles and miles.
I’m so glad Chris listened to me that day six year ago when I brought up the idea to hike the trail. I somehow laid it all out, my plans that we could indeed hike the trail with some planning and saving. I’m so glad our parents were understanding—even though I know they thought we were insane—for wanting to go do something that appeared to be so hedonistic but in the end realizing what an adventure it really would be for us.
One thing I learned while on the trail is that so many people are living their lives with their nose to the ground and not actually embarking on any of their goals and dreams. Sometimes there are responsibilities that limit what we can and can’t do and not everyone is capable of dropping everything to go run off to hike a trail or *insert whatever dream of yours here*. However, I think most people with average means and few responsibilities can probably find a way to work themselves into the position of living out a goal or two before they reach *someday*. Someday might never actually come if you keep waiting. Many people say they will do something big in their life when they retire—but when you retire are you going to be physically capable and in good enough health to do some of these things? Why not insert some of these things throughout your lifespan instead of waiting until the end of your life?
The moral of the story? Make your own adventure and go and live it! I’m so glad we followed those white blazes from Springer to Katahdin and later the orange blazes the length of Florida. If I have my way there will be more long trails in our future, hopefully with a little ragamuffin in alongside us.
+ Fitbit! I got one for Christmas from my parents and while I initially thought I wouldn’t be that into it, I really do love it! I took some time off from using it back in January but ramped it up in February. The goal is to get 10K steps a day. Prior to having Forest I don’t doubt this wasn’t a problem because I either worked out every day or did yard work in the evenings. Now it is much harder. I’ve started helping out my step count by working out during lunches when the weather is permitting and if I am not far off from my step count I have been known to walk up and down my driveway or do laps around the house a few times to rack up steps.
+ Better Call Saul: As someone who is usually late to the game for any good tv show, I’m happy to have hopped on this ride from the beginning. It’s a Breaking Bad spin-off and if you haven’t watched that show, go do it now! That said, you don’t need to watch BB to watch BCS, but it does help in some aspects.
+ Enjoy This Time Dear from Coffee & Crumbs and a similar post Don’t Carpe Diem from Momastery.
+ Beginner 5 Minute Ab Workout from Sierra Social Hub—holy crap, this hurts!
+ Chel’s Peerless Watercolor Storage….it’s just pretty!
+ Bird Spit from Pure Florida
+ Mungo from 6512 and Growing
+ Beginners Guide to Going Stoveless from Rambling Hemlock
+ Appalachian Trail: The Sheltered Life from OMails…shelters, oh shelters.
+ It’s not like you were interested from Ben Hewitt regarding math and unschooling. Love all of his thought provoking posts even if I don’t always agree. His comments section is also great fodder for good discussions and ideas. It led me to this Death of Math which was even more thought provoking, especially as a self professed math hater. As someone who does better when I can visually ‘see’ something, math can be difficult for me to understand. Plus, sometimes I think very abstractly and don’t always think in the manner more linear minded folks do which makes learning math from others difficult for me.
+ For some reason I’ve revisited the Myers-Briggs personality type tests again recently and got the same results that I got last year. I took it a few more times via different sites and still came up with the same results. I did this because INFJ is considered the most uncommon personality type and I didn’t want to be throwing off the results. I know I’ve taken it in years past but I don’t remember what the results were back then. Anyway, I started reading a bit more into my INFJ results and I’m not sure what I think yet. There are some YouTube videos with INFJ’s talking to other personality types, discussing differences, etc that I’ve also watched…anyway, just something interesting. You can take the test here.
Got anything good to share??
How are we already at six months??? How is my sweet little baby boy 1/2 a year old? It doesn’t seem possible! This seemed like such a far off time period back in September and here we are already. Insanity!
I told my sister-in-law Stephanie that I thought Forest had toddler-esque features in the food photos from last week. He does, he isn’t a baby-baby anymore. At 19 lbs and 28″ long, he’s heading fast towards late babyhood and into the toddler years. His six month checkup and shots went well. Astonishingly he did not cry when the first needle was jabbed into his right thigh and instead smiled like it was just a fun time. Then the next two shots went into the other thigh and the piercing cries erupted! The pediatrician was happy with his developmental skills and commented that he was strong—yes, the kid is strong, I think he’s going to yank my nose off one day and rip a chunk of hair out—he doesn’t know his strength at the moment! Nursing him is an exercise in patience and teaching him to focus and not to play with his feet, my shirt, stick his hand in my mouth, wiggle, pinch and pull the vessels in which his milk comes forth, all while he’s getting breakfast, lunch, dinner or the umpteen little snacks and meals throughout the day. So, yes—the kid is strong!
He’s mastered rolling from back to front and is pretty good at getting back over but he likes to ‘forget’ and then lie there on his belly with all appendages in the air while he wiggles and whines for help back over. I help him back over only for him to flip back onto his belly 3.4 seconds later! We practice rolling up to sitting position all the time and he’s doing really well with that, I only help him just a bit and he’s getting stronger. He’s not sitting on his own quite yet, though I can give him just the minimum amount of support and he’ll sit for a little bit. I will be happy when he can master that so he can play sitting up for awhile, which will hopefully alleviate his frustrations about being on his back and belly all the time.
In sound and language he dropped the da-da-da-da repititions of a month or so ago and has moved on to other sounds. (Ok, so when I started writing this draft he had stopped but in the last few days he’s picked it back up again!) No ma-ma-ma-ma yet! He spent a few days earlier last week tucking his bottom lip under his top lip and smacking/sucking it. Not sure what that was about but he looked really cute while doing it! We’re constantly talking to him and explaining what things are that we’re doing or seeing. I’m not sure what he’s absorbing but he’s interested in all of the new things that we do.
On the food front we haven’t done much in that way in almost a week. He made us nervous a few times with some barfing that was brought on by his first swallows of food. Chris was worried about the baby led weaning aspect of it but I read that even those fed puréed food can do the barfing when figuring out what food is. I was getting excited, too, because he was just starting to figure out what food was and seemed to understand that he was supposed to bite off a bit, mush it up, and swallow it. We’ll try again this weekend. I also want to start introducing cups to him as he’s taken a big interest in my cups when I drink something. I also just found out he’s chugging down bottles mostly without any help at daycare. He rarely gets bottles at home so we had no idea he was doing it all on his own until I walked in this evening and saw him handling it himself. They have to help on the last ounce to get it the milk into the nipple well enough for him to get the milk out.
I’m hoping he’ll start sitting up on his own here in a few weeks. Last weekend I noticed that he was doing better but started tilting over after a few seconds unsupported. He had figured out to hold himself up by putting his hands out in front of his legs, but he’s still wobbly.
Over the weekend we made our first solo trip together to Longview to visit my friends Michelle and Stephanie for Michelle’s baby shower. She’s having a surprise little boy here in a few weeks. I hadn’t seen her in over a year (!!!!) so it was awesome to hang out with her and Stephanie for awhile. Forest did great on the 4ish hour drive up and back. I was able to get a hotel room next door to Stephanie so once I got Forest down I was able to sneak next door and hang out with her and her two kids while Forest slept and I watched him on the monitor. Forest slept a lot of the trip home on Sunday. I didn’t realize he was coming down with a bug until that evening when he barfed all over me. His diapers weren’t too pretty either. Subsequently he ended up home from daycare by lunch the following day and then I ended up sick and then Chris ended up sick. Yippiee!
In the next few months we have some camping trips planned since the weather should start turning for the better. I’m looking forward to getting Forest into the outdoors more.
Six months…crazy! I love this little booger more every day!