Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 18-06-2012

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly this child grows and learns! He has been discovering how to use his hands, and I can just sit and watch as he stares intently, then works so hard to open those tiny fingers just at the right time. He is getting it down, and has discovered the joys of bringing stuff to his mouth – nom nom – as well as grabbing stuff he shouldn’t, like plates on the table. He is so pleased, though, giving these little squawks and squeals and noises that also amaze me.

But I have to work to trust it all. I have this urge to compare him to other babies, and to check and obsess constantly with milestone lists and charts. Is he keeping up? Is he slipping behind? Should he be doing this or that?

I know it’s no use comparing, all babies go at different rates, but after having to work so hard with Danny and watching him slip further and further behind, it’s hard.

Breastfeeding has been much the same. I hear so many stories of women worrying about their supply. Is baby getting enough? Will it change? Is it the right mix of types of milk? So many stop in the first couple of months because it’s so hard to trust. Having been a formula mom, I get it. In many cases, formula is the right mix automatically – you don’t need to worry whether you’re eating the right foods, whether you have an imbalance of foremilk and hindmilk, whether something is messing with baby’s system. You can measure exactly how much baby is drinking, so you know when the growth spurts hit, when baby is eating less and might be sick. Breastfeeding, you just have to trust.

When they are so tiny and precious, trust is hard. You want to KNOW.

I’m past those rocky early months now, but the thought still crosses my mind sometimes – is my milk still good, still right? Just like development, I force myself to trust…but it takes effort.

He is doing awesome, though – growing fast, developing steadily – and that makes it easier. It’s my job, after all, to trust him too. He’ll let me know if something is wrong. Until then, I just want to sit here and enjoy every little step along the way.

Now I only he would get out of this 3 month growth spurt so I could be awake to enjoy it!

     

 
Filed Under (Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 14-05-2012

So much has happened in the past 2 months, but life has gone at a rush, and taking the time to stop and write about it is hard to justify. Still, I know I will want to remember it some day, so I am going to try to make more of an effort, especially as we go into summer.

Adjusting to Andrew hasn’t been as difficult as I’d worried it would be, but adjusting to a typical baby has been startling. It’s not quite sad, but somewhat disorienting and maybe a little bittersweet seeing how different Andrew is from baby Danny. A lot of the time, one or the other of us will comment on how Danny spoiled us by not crying much, or how he was never into toys like Andrew is, or any number of other things. I’d forgotten what a “normal” baby is like. (And before anyone jumps on me, I hardly mean that in any derogatory fashion. He is developing on the norm or average, that’s all.)

So, at 2 months, Andrew is smiling up a storm. He loves to be held – John calls him every parent’s nightmare and every grandparent’s dream. I can put him down for up to 30 minutes now awake, though usually less, and I still can’t get him to nap by himself. His tummy time is silly good (he gets 90 degrees up and has rolled), and he stares and bats at toys on his play gym with a focus and intensity that is astounding to me. He sleeps, amazingly, 6-9 hours straight at night, and will to right back to sleep usually if it’s before 5am. He has put himself on a pretty consistent schedule of falling asleep between 8 and 9 for his long stretch, which is also nice!

At his 2 month appointment, he was 11lb 6oz and 23.75″ long, which pretty much says to me (at the 90th percentile for height) that he is going to be another tall kid, leaving Eric as our only shorter one. Poor big brother is going to be the shortest of them all!

Overall, I’m just enjoying it. It is nice to not have to do all the extras – no doctors, no blood work, no parade of people coming into my house all week long. I will admit to obsessing a bit over his development, but he is doing great.

I will still be holding my breath a little, though, until be starts to talk.

Though I’m sure the day he talks will be bittersweet too.

     

 
Filed Under (Those Crazy Kids, Year One (Andrew)) by Kel on 13-04-2012

Life with a baby isn’t as difficult this time around, but it’s certainly just as busy! In large, my time on the computer has been very…limited, to say the least. I can settle Andrew on the boppy and sit here typing over him while he nurses or sleeps, but if I do that for very long my back ends up hurting. Much of the time, instead, I opt to pass on the computer, realizing that in a few more months Andrew will be a bit more independent and I’ll be able to sneak more time in now and then. I can be patient.

Eric is still completely smitten by his baby brother. He wants to help, almost to a fault sometimes, and often will come over and just coo over him. He takes pride in spending time with the baby, and loves to read to him. He’s also, of course, a very strong willed 5 year old running into independence and control battles, which is probably the extent of any new baby adjustment troubles…and I’m not even sure it’s related to the new baby. We’re trying to figure out what to do with him for school next year, looking into the “gifted and talented” program at his current school (though we’re not sure that would be a good social move for him) and checking out a few other schools that are options, in hopes of getting him a bit more of a…challenge next year. He has made his way through both the Kindergarten and First Grade books in the Hooked on Phonics set I am borrowing from a friend, is doing addition and subtraction, and really is flying academically, though we’ve got some issues with acting out and mimicking bad behaviors.

Danny is still our brilliant little trouble maker. He’s been fighting wearing his CIs more often lately, and has been more sensitive, which I do think is baby related. We’re getting through and past it slowly though. He had his 4 year well check, and along with being perfectly healthy, he (for the first time) is meeting or exceeding almost all of the developmental milestones their “typical kid” paperwork calls out for his age. The doctor was beyond impressed with all of his progress in this past year, amazed by his academic performance, and was pleased to hear that he’s making slow but steady progress communicating. He is also our little giant, measuring in the 90th percentile for height and on a growth curve to be 6’1.5″ at full height. No wonder he fits in and even outsizes some of Eric’s Kindergarten friends!

And then there’s the one everyone always asks about. He’s definitely a baby! Eating, pooping, growing, all that fun stuff. He is getting stronger by the day, holding his head up steadier and longer, and is starting to coo and goo at us when he’s in the mood. He won’t visit the doctor for another few weeks to have an official weigh in, but by our bathroom scale, he’s gained over 2 pounds since birth. He’s been sleeping fairly well for me too – there are a few nights here and there that are rough, but generally, he gives a 6 hour stretch, eats, and does another 3 hour stretch at night.

All in all, life is grand. We even survived spring break! (Somehow.) I look forward to when I can put Andrew down a little more often during the day, but I know that’ll come soon enough so I’m just settling in and relaxing during these crazy early months. It gives me a decent amount of time to read and do other little things, and I can always toss the kid into a carrier to get housework done – usually.