Friday, March 30, 2012

5 months

I'm a couple of days late with this because cool stuff has been developing behind the scenes here in Schmeiland, both with possible future housing and with my job. But all this means I have had less spare minutes of late, and I'd rather spend them snuggling PB (or catching up on one of the inevitable chores he creates) than sitting at the computer. So: delay. But here's the update:

19.6 pounds on his 5-month birthday, according to the bathroom scale.

Length/ Head circumference: No appointment this month, so no update here.

What he's eating: Still strictly breastmilk. We've been having a terrible heat wave (in March - damn global warming) and I don't know if it's that, but he's been drinking less at a time and asking for milk more frequently these days. My theory is that he's thirsty (rather than hungry) from the heat. I don't know. In a given day, he still eats about the same amount as he did before.

He goes to bed by 7:30 each night, and I pump before I go to bed. Lately the late-night pumped milk has been going straight in to the freezer because we don't need a bottle overnight, so our freezer stash is starting to look good.

Physical skills: He's gone mobile. Whenever I say or think that, it's in the same tone one would use to say "Skynet has become self-aware". Fortunately, it's still pretty limited: he moves around by flipping over one way, shimmy-pivoting, then flipping over the other way and repeating. But he made it halfway across the living room in a matter of minutes... so it's happening!

He's also started reaching for food - especially drink glasses - when we're eating. His aim is getting more accurate: any day now he's going to slap the drink out of my hand.

Additionally, he's getting good at grabbing anything about the face: hair, earrings, glasses, etc. He's a fan of DH's beard, and he's managed to fling my glasses to the ground a couple of times now. His default mode is this repetitive grasping motion with his hand: he's constantly palming a surface and then bringing his hands together. If he grabs something, he'll explore it (usually by bringing it to his mouth), otherwise he keeps on searching.

We've seen him stick his rear in the air a couple of times when he's been on his tummy. I think he just has to put all the component motions together in the right order, and he'll be crawling.

Favorite toys: Sock monkey, burp rag, blankets, anything chewable. No visual or tactile signs of teeth yet, but he's all about chewing everything, including the fingers of whomever is holding him.

Verbal skills: The "tugboat" sound, which I worried was fading away, has come back with an adorable vengeance! And now he's doing it while changing the tone of his voice, and it sounds like he's trying to sing. Gah. Kills me. Otherwise he's making occasional consonant sounds: "ma" and "ga" here and there. Sometimes he says "mamamama..." and I act like he's referring to me. I know he isn't yet. But it still makes me happy.

Social skills: No sign yet of any fear of strangers. If PB is met with a new person, he often starts out quiet, but curious. He generally spends a few moments kind of taking it all in before he makes any noise or tries any interaction. One exception is PB's Uncle Adam (DH's oldest brother) who lives overseas. Adam visited last week, and the kid was all over him. I suspect the fact that Adam bears a striking similarity to his dad (PB's very doting grandfather) helped PB feel at home with him, but I was surprised at his complete lack of hesitation: as soon as PB saw him, he reached out to grab his facial hair.

Sleep: For two nights the week he hit 5 months, he slept for 11 hours straight: 7:30pm to 6:30am. Now that I've typed it out, it won't happen again, but he picked days when I really needed some sleep, and I feel fantastic in the morning if I'm not getting up at 4am to feed him. The norm is still one wake up, around 4:00, which is totally doable (and I'm generally happy to offload some milk by that point, anyway). His bedtime is now pretty consistently between 7:15 and 7:30pm. Naps are slightly more regular, now that DH figured out that the kiddo tends to want to go down for his next nap around 3 hours after he went down for the last one. That formula has held for a couple of weeks now, and PB sometimes naps for as long as 2.5 hours... though 1 hour seems pretty standard.

Now to post this before I need to start on the 6 month update! I can't believe this kid has almost been around for half a year already...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Boob juice: the flu edition

Last week I got the flu. At least, I think I did: I started Thursday off by turning down DH's offer to fry up a couple of eggs, and instead had ginger ale for breakfast because I was feeling queasy. I still went to work, though. After a few hours spent shivering and groaning in my office, and feeling progressively worse, I made the decision to come home.

Of course, my number one concern was that I didn't want to give this to PB with his underdeveloped little immune system - that's probably why I trudged off to work in the first place. Once I had determined I really was sick and it wasn't just something I ate, I started making myself incredibly anxious that my baby was going to get ill. I tried to think through how I could spend time at home and not touch PB.

Fortunately, DH was thinking along the same lines, and his brain wasn't feverish, so he asked Dr. Google for the scoop. It turns out that snuggling up with baby is exactly what a nursing mom should do if she's ill. Not only does it make a miserable mom feel a little better (ed. note: it does. I needed some snuggles) but breastmilk is full of up-to-the-moment antibodies so the nursing baby never needs to fight through the infection. In several places, we read that often when a whole family gets sick, the nursing baby is the one person who's healthy the whole time.

Man, this stuff really is kind of like magic.

I now feel mostly fine: I'm taking it bland and easy on my diet for a little while longer, but the freezing fever, aches, etc are all long gone. 5 days after I showed symptoms, PB still seems just fine. Fortunately, so does DH, contributing to our theory that this was the flu for which we got shots in the fall... I was only really sick for just over a day, while quite a few people I know were fighting it in earnest for about a week.

When DH told me that I was keeping PB from getting the flu, I understood for just a moment why some women have difficulty stopping the nursing relationship. Being able to just give another person that kind of immunity really is like having a superpower.