Saturday, August 29, 2009

Monkey (or the baby formerly known as Peanut): 5 & 6 months

MonkeyBoy (as Grandpa calls him) turned 5 months in July but as you know, I've been distracted by the situation with my brother, so I'm late. So late in fact, that he turned 6 months yesterday so I seem to have missed out on the 5-month update. For posterity's sake, here's things that have happened in the last couple of months.

Big news: He learned to sit up! All by himself! The first week of August we were at my dad's and I had just finished feeding Monkey and had him on a pillow on my lap. Like I always do when he's done eating, I sat him up on my lap - normally he leans back against me, but this time he leaned forward and sort of sat there. I thought maybe the pillow was making it easy for him, so I plopped him on the floor and poof! There he was, sitting all by his lonesome. Luckily, I told Mr. Fantastic what I was doing first and so we captured it all on video. It was terribly exciting and exceedingly adorable.

He's getting better at sitting for longer periods - but sometimes he will get distracted and reach for something or just forget what he's doing and tip over, but we're working on it. Practice involves the use of many, many pillows as our hardwoods are not forgiving to tender little baby heads. Monkey is also thiiiis close to crawling, I think. He's doing this sort of army-crawl thing - only backwards - and when he sleeps, he sticks his butt in the air, which I've heard is a sign crawling is nigh. We've also started him using a sippy cup, trying to get him used to water and a new method of drinking. He took to it right away, although he makes a yuck face when he realizes it's just water in there. He's even drank from a straw which surprised me that he figured that one out on the first try.

Monkey has definitely found his voice and spends much of his time babbling away and also making "pbbbbbt" raspberry noises with requisite spit bubbles. LOTS of spit. Also there's this happy little "arooo" noise he does that comes with a super cute face. He continues to be the drooliest kid on the planet, despite the fact that I don't think any more teeth are coming for a while. He has his two front bottom teeth and they say the top two are next but so far they don't look like they're coming anytime soon. He chews on his hands a lot and has now discovered his feet in earnest. It's really hard to change a diaper when he's got his foot in his mouth. Babies are bendy! Plus, if it's not his foot or hand in his mouth, it's whatever is within grabbing distance. They say babies use their mouths to explore the world, and boy does this one! He still won't take a binky with any regularity though - there was a brief week or two when he started taking one so we rushed out and bought some more, but he's back to not liking them. And he does a thing where he doesn't so much suck his thumb as chew on it, with it stuck way back where his molars will be.


We also have just started him on solids. My cousin Heidi and I did a day of baby food-making for our boys - steaming & pureeing a bunch of fruits and veggies and then freezing in ice cube trays. So far the jury is still out for the most part. We have tried peaches, pears, banana, avocado, sweet potato and rice cereal. Mostly everything gets spit back out although he does seem partial to the pears and might actually be swallowing some of that. Until he's 1, solids are mostly for fun and learning new textures and tastes, not for nutrition. Which is a good thing because some of the yuck faces he made while eating were hysterical. We did a video of the first time and at one point, he gave me this big smile, so of course I stuck some food in there and the speed at which he went from smiley to yuck face is hilarious. He looked so betrayed. Evil, evil Mommy, where is the boobie juice?

So, it turns out Monkey is a boob snob. We thought it might be a good idea to try and introduce some formula in case I'm unable to pump enough boobie juice for times when I have to be away. Unfortunately, in a disastrous trial by fire, Mr. Fantastic learned that formula is NO GO. He wound up having to drive home from his mom's with a hungry, crying baby so I could feed him. He called me from the car and put me on speaker phone so I could talk to Peanut, which would calm him down momentarily until he figured out that I was not actually present and the yumyums were not forthcoming. Poor Mr. F. That was a rough one for him. We are going to try some other formula brands and maybe work on getting him to take a little each day so he'll get used to it. The majority of the time he'll still have breastmilk, but we'd like to have the option just in case.

We had his 6-month checkup and shots yesterday, including flu shots for all three of us. As always, he cried for a minute or two and Mommy cried for ten. The doctor (Dr. Sarah this time) said he looks great - good strength and control, and she commented on how resourceful he is when she put the eye/ear scope thingy down on the exam table and he wanted it but couldn't reach it. So after a few tries of reaching for it, instead he started pulling the paper table cover towards himself until the scopey thing was close enough to grab. Smart boy!

This month he weighs 17 lbs, 5.5 oz and is 27 3/8" long, putting him in the 50th percentile for weight and 80th for height. Funny, I keep thinking he's gotten quite thick - in fact, I've taken to calling him Chunky Monkey - but people still comment on how skinny he is! Also, we get asked a lot if he's a boy or girl (despite the fact that he wears a lot of blue and baseball hats). This is because although I call him the Cutest Baby in the World, a more accurate word is pretty. He has ridiculously long eyelashes and big blue eyes and this little tuft of blond hair that sticks up in the middle of his head.

Aside from being beautiful and intelligent, Peanut is still the happiest baby I've ever met. He is so content, so happy to just sit and play or be held. He hardly ever cries except when he's hungry. He takes to strangers easily - so far has no fear of being held by someone he just met. He smiles and laughs all the time, especially when he sees Mommy or Daddy. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings us when he just lights up at us. I hope he has some idea just how much we love him and how much our lives have been enriched with his presence. I think having a child my own has finally given me an understanding of just how much my parents loved me.

So, all is well in Peanut Land and I will hopefully be back on track for next month's update. Stay tuned for such newsworthy evens as Peanut tries Peas! and Bathtime for Monkey: Is it time for the big tub yet?