6

5 Months!

My baby boy is 5 months old.

My baby boy is 5 months old.

This has been a very, very exciting month, so I’ll just jump in.

I’ll start with his ‘stats’ — He is 14.5lbs, and just shy of 24” long. He fitting comfortably in 3-6 month clothes, and size 2 diapers. His average bottle is between 5-6 ounces. I can still remember when I celebrated him taking 5 milliliters! I’m so impressed and proud of this little man. I know that I am incredibly lucky to be his mom.

Smiling all the time!

That smile and those arms!  

Other things this month:

I’ve noticed new hair growth. I’m sure he’s been growing it for awhile, but it’s long enough now that I paused to examine it. It’s soft, fluffy, and light brown. It’s actually a lot lighter than my husband or my own hair color, but I’m sure it’ll darken as he grows. So cute!

We also purchased a bumbo seat. We were told NOT to buy this by a physical therapist because it was just a ‘container’ that did nothing for development, but I disagree. When we started using it he lasted 1-2minutes before his strength would begin to waver and he’d lean over. Now he lasts 15-20 minutes. We get nervous about it, so we are never more than a few inches away while he’s in it, but we love to give him the time to practice strengthening his muscles.

In the bumbo.

In the bumbo.

We’re also given him more opportunity to work on reaching for things, but as of now he isn’t doing that consistently. He’ll push his bottle/pacifier away, and he’ll sometimes grab at toys and our hands so I know he’s got some coordination… But he’s not reaching out for things outside of his reach like other toys or us just yet. He did find his feet, and has grabbed and held on to them a few times. That’s exciting and progress. We’re getting there! His easter basket has a couple of things to help with this! I’ll do a post about that soon. 🙂

He is still not rolling over from front to back or back to front —- BUT! He is SO. CLOSE. I swear, he rolls over to his side and realizes if he puts any more force behind it he’ll be on his tummy (and he HATES tummy time), so he stops. Speaking of tummy time, he isn’t pushing himself up in a full arch from the floor, but he is now lifting his head with much more control and looking around. That is huge progress from last month.

 

His St. Patrick outfit, and you can see him holding his head up. :)

His St. Patrick outfit, and you can see him holding his head up. 🙂

SO. CLOSE.

SO. CLOSE.

Another cute thing is that he has really started to interact with us. Last month it was more he was fascinated with his environment, this month he’s interacting with it. He loves to ‘talk’ back to us, be read to, etc. We are loving this!

Also, this month somehow, and someway… Our little man has started sleeping through the night. What?! It came on suddenly, and we didn’t really change anything about his routine. At night he was sleeping longer at a time, 4-5 hours instead of his regular 3-4, and then those stretches kept expanding over about 2-weeks till he was sleeping 8-10 hours. Now, he sleeps 8-10 hours straight 85-90% of the time, and the days that he doesn’t sleep through the night is because…

He’s teething! My poor baby boy. 😦 He started stuffing his hands into his mouth and drooling a ton. That lasted about 2 weeks and then the discomfort kicked in and he morphed into a cranky baby. Now, my boy is not an ‘easy’ baby.  I mean… he isn’t all smiles all the time, but he’s always been easy to soothe when he was upset…. Teething changed that.

Now, he’ll cry for 30 minutes or longer and nothing we do works. We’ve bought at least 6 different ‘teethers’ and he hates all of them: The keys, the cold hand, the rings, the pacifier-looking teether, gum massagers, our own fingers, etc. He wants nothing to do with any of them. We’ve been alternating with tylenol and homeopathic teething tablets because nothing else soothes him. Right now his gums are just swollen and we see some white, but no breakage just yet. We know this won’t last forever, but it is definitely hard to see him upset and be powerless to soothe.

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Hands in the mouth at all times.

This month I also went back to work, and my husband has taken over as the primary care giver while I’m working. I love my hubby, but he had it too easy while I was home because I always wanted to be the one that took care of the baby. He always offered, but I usually declined because 1. I wanted to do it all 2. I felt like I had to do it all. First time mom naïvety?

I wish I had given him the opportunity to do more while I was home because he’s really had to go from 0-60 fast. I take full responsibility, because every time the baby was crying I would take him, every time he needed a bath I gave it, etc. —Because I wanted to, not because he wouldn’t. Sorry, I’m a type-A control freak and the NICU left me wanting to make up for lost time.

Regardless of all of this, he’s done great. We are incredibly lucky that he’s able to work from home and stay with the baby so we don’t have the expense of day-care. He also sends me pictures during the day and my coworkers love them as much as I do.

That about sums up month 5! It’s been exciting and great and I’m so in love with my tiny human. Every day is full of new challenges and new experiences and I am soaking all of it up!

He loves bath time! *I promise, he looks serious, but he's usually grinning.

He loves bath time! *I promise, he looks serious, but he’s usually grinning.

This kid is standing practically unassisted.

This kid is standing practically unassisted.

We live in KY. Big blue nation.

We live in KY. Big blue nation.

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2

I got the job!

This mama accepted a full time RN position today!

It’s on a floor with pre-op and orthopedic patients–both of which I’ve had experience working with. My #1 choice would have been a labor and delivery unit, but this unit is a good second choice. I’m very happy with it!

My interview was so laid back, and the tour of the unit was great. I took my drug test today, have a physical Friday, and another physical next week. After my background check comes back, which is usually 1-2 weeks, they’ll schedule my orientation.

I am a little apprehensive because it is a night shift position, but I’m sure we’ll fall into a routine at home so I can maximize the time I have with my boy. The good thing about nursing is full time is 3 separate 12 hour shifts. So I’m off 4 days a week. I am scared and excited, but so ready to get my career started.

I’m so thankful my husband is self employed and can stay home with our boy full time. I’m so thankful his mom is retired and lives close by. I’m so thankful to find a full time position with great benefits (better than our private insurance!). I’m so thankful for the opportunity to help provide for my family. And I’m so thankful to start my career.

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and finally it’s happening.

I’m a wife, mom, and a nurse. I am truly fulfilled.

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My husband took this picture after I got back home. ❤

 

3

Nursery Tour – Baby Boy’s Peek-a-Boo Monster Nursery

Finally getting around to doing a nursery tour. I never got it ‘perfect’ but I like it so far. We spend a lot of our time in here: rocking him in the recliner, playing on his floor mat, changing him, etc. It’s almost perfect, but of course…

Things I want to do but haven’t done:

  • Finish his alphabet wall. I already purchased the letters from ETSY and they plain birch wood. We planned on having them painted at the baby shower that never happened, and I just haven’t had a chance to paint them. They will go above the recliner. As soon as things ‘settle down’ I’ll get that done.
  • I need to clean out his crib, but he’s currently sleeping next to us in his Rock n’ Play– So that’s not such a big deal at the moment. His great grandmother bought him a moses basket, but unfortunately he can’t lay flat most of the time, so we took some pictures of him in it and plan on giving it away soon.
  • I also plan to get a bookshelf of some sort. I had wanted one from IKEA, but it is much too large for his room right now. Maybe once we outgrow the need for his rocker/recliner I can put one in it’s place.

IMG_2017This sign is hung on his nursery door. My son is named after my husband, and this sign was my husbands from when he was a boy. I love how many things we have from when my husband was a baby. This just adds an extra special touch to the room.

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This is the view from the hallway into my son’s room. His theme is ‘peek-a-boo monsters’– Blue, Brown, and Green.

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The dresser slash changing table is positioned between two small closets and directly in front of his window. There is a small antique rocking horse to the left. It used to be where the diaper genie is, but we’re pressed for space so I had to put it there.

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A close up of our changing area. We were given the changing pad cover as a gift. I use a diaper changing station and a wipe warmer. The sides hold some up and up lotion, diaper cream, and baby powder. The little robot plush is from a friend, and the dinosaur was from my mom. It plays music and baby boy loves it. I also keep hand sanitizer handy.

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The first two drawers. The left hand side is all of the misc. things everyone collects. The right hand side holds socks, bibs, hats, and burp cloths. I need to get some of those IKEA drawer organizers badly, but the nearest IKEA is 2.5 hours away. We had planned a trip there before he made his appearance, but his early arrival derailed those plans.

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The second row. The left drawer has his outfits that he currently fits into, and the right drawer has his sleepers that he currently fits.

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The last row. Left side has extra blankets, sheets, changing pad covers, etc. The right side has his onesies, and shoes.

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Here is his crib. He’s not sleeping in it right now so don’t stress about all of the things inside of it. We’ve got all of his stuffed animals, and a moses basket that my husband’s grandma gave us. *Our son can’t sleep flat, so we took some pictures of him in it and we’re looking to give it away. The right side you can see his closet door.

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This is his ‘weighing station’ — We needed to weigh him daily so we purchased a baby scale. It’s positioned over two totes. The bottom tote is 6month and up clothing. The top tote is full of clothes he’s already outgrown. 😦

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Opposite of the crib is the rocker. It’s a lazyboy recliner and it’s super comfortable. The table is something my mother in law found at a flea market. The afghan was made by his grandmother, and we love to cuddle with his boppy pillow and blanket and relax. I’ve got the video monitor on the table, because currently our son sleeps with us. So if he’s laying down while I’m folding clothes or something I’ve got easy access to it. The lamp is part of his theme. In the background we’ve got the packn’play/changing area/basinet that we don’t need, so I’m giving it away as a baby shower gift. I just need to wrap it.

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This is the closet where I have his extra diapers, wipes, and his next size up in clothes.

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This closet has a little bit of everything. Mostly things we won’t need for a long time. His toddler bed rail, his 6-12 month clothes, and a lot of other odds and ends are in here. I’ll organize it eventually.

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This is where I plan to put his bookshelf eventually. The ‘basket’ is currently being used as a dirty clothes hamper, but will eventually house his toys. And his carseat.

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Just another shot of the room, and our dog. It’s a small space, but we’re making it work. *I leave the floor mat out because we use it daily. He absolutely loves it!

 

2

In 37 days…

In the first 37 days of motherhood I have felt every emotion from A to Z. In the beginning most days I spent crying, some days I felt no emotion, but now most days I feel so much love and joy it brings me to tears. My baby boy is a month old (and has been for 5 days!), and what a month it has been.

He is still in the NICU and it has been the roller coaster we were warned about– one step forward, one and a half steps back, two steps forward, three steps back, etc. If you want a more ‘detailed’ explanation of what happened with his first month medically click here.

Things we’ve learned about our son:

  • Getting his diaper changed with a cold wipe is probably the worst thing ever. He cries every time!
  • When he’s awake he wants to look around and be nosy, but a sleepy baby loves to cuddle up close to your cheek.
  • When he’s sleeping and we’ve got to wake him up for whatever reason he makes the cutest baby grunt.
  • He smiles so much in his sleep. We’ve tried to catch it with the camera and have only been semi successful!
  • Getting undressed is second to having his diaper changed in the list of things he hates.
  • Apparently the taste of the gas drops is equivalent to the sweet nectar of the gods.
  • When we turn the light off over his bed it startles him and he gets the most hilarious expression. I laugh out loud every time!
  • He has started really enjoying looking at his mobile, mirror, and his black and white zebra toy. He’ll stare at them so intently… you might even sneak a diaper change in while he’s mesmerized and he won’t have a total baby meltdown.
  • He had a very mild touch of torticollis and plagiocephaly, but his wonderful physical therapist showed us some awesome exercises to help, and he’s had a lot of improvement.
  • He loves his infant massage! We give it to him after his bath and when he’s relaxing in our laps.
  • We’ve affectionately named his left thumb with hypo plastic bones… floppy thumb. Every time we dress him we’re half worried we’re gonna rip it off. He doesn’t seem to mind.
  • He has this episodes where he grunts and his whole face will go red for a second or two, and then like a flash he’s back. We call it ‘squid-ing out
  • Hiccups used to scare the crap out of him and he would cry every time they came around, now he get them and he looks ‘unamused’ by them– the only way I can describe it.
  • He loves having his bottom patted, and we think it’s because I constantly patted his butt while he was still hanging out in my uterus.
  • He loves being swaddled, and if he’s upset it’s usually a 2 second fix to calm him down.

It’s been an exciting month! Hopefully when we break free of the NICU I can do better monthly updates. I want to take his picture with his monthly stickers and have a little ‘questionnaire’ to keep track of his milestones. For now this will have to do.