Baby Boy is six months old today.
Half a year ago, I was lying in a hospital bed, and he was born.
Half a year from now, he’ll be smashing his hand into a birthday cake that I’ll bake for him.
These last six months have been, by far, the happiest (and the hardest) time of my life. When I try to picture my life before him, I can’t remember what it felt like to be just me. To not have him.
There were hard times before him, and there are hard times now, but at least now, I have him to fill me with happiness and make everything better. Before Baby Boy, I was never as happy as he now makes me every single day, with every single smile.
It makes me feel sad for people who never have children, because they really don’t know the magnitude of the happiness they are missing. This baby, this sweet boy — he makes me feel like I’m going to explode with love and joy and gratitude and hope. Everyone should know that feeling.
Happy Half-Birthday, my little Merry Sunshine.
Vital stats: We haven’t had him weighed or measured since his four-month appointment (when he was 17 pounds, 2 oz. and 63.5 cm long), so we are so curious what tomorrow’s check-up will bring. I’ll keep you posted!
Milestones: Standing! And walking while holding onto things (the couch, the rails of his crib). He absolutely loves standing, and it’s hard to convince him to sit sometimes because he just wants to be standing. The walking is adorable. When you stand him at one end of his crib, he’ll grip the railing and inch his way down on his wobbly little feet, until he’s standing at the other end — and SO proud of himself. This month he also tried his first “real” foods: pureed green beans and pureed sweet potatoes. He discovered that drinking out of real cups is much easier than a bottle or sippy-cup (apparently), so I always give him a little mug of breastmilk or water with his meals. He loves picking it up and chugging it down, and actually doesn’t spill much. Oh, and he’s now a pro at spotting a soother, picking it up, and properly inserting it into his mouth — SCORE! That means he doesn’t cry for us to give it to him in the middle of the night, unless he’s thrown them all out of his crib.
On the move: He still only crawls backwards, and gets his big cloth-diapered butt stuck under the furniture (hilarious). But he turns around in circles, and that sometimes propels him in different directions (besides his usual backwards!). He gets up on his hands and knees and looks like he’s about to take off crawling forward, but so far it’s just be a psych-out.
What he’s been eating: His diet is still almost entirely breast milk, but he usually gets two little “meals” a day — either breakfast and dinner, or lunch and bedtime snack, depending on what’s going on that day. There was a day or two this month where I was giving him all three meals plus bedtime cereal, but I decided immediately it was too much. I didn’t want it to screw up his breastfeeding, so now it’s usually two — cereal at one, and a veggie at the other. This might increase soon, though, when he starts adding more foods to his menu. Oh, and for the last week or so, he’s had one of these dissolving rice biscuits (called MumMums) after his dinner. He loves that he finally gets to eat something crunchy, and seems disappointed when it turns to mush almost immediately.
Pumping/bottle-feeding/breastfeeding in public: I still pump a bit most days, and I’ve been bringing a bottle every time I leave our condo with Baby Boy. He gets so distracted that I don’t even try to nurse in public anymore. He can barely focus on nursing when we’re at home, if people are over visiting and chatting. He’s gotten much better at holding his own bottle this month, so it’s nice to be able to give him a bottle while we’re in a store or a restaurant. He even ate some sweet potatoes in McDonalds last week — it was adorable to see him sitting in that highchair!
How we’ve been sleeping: His sixth month started out pretty much like the fourth and fifth (up every two hours all night), but in the last week or two, he seems to be spacing out his feedings. Now he’s usually only up three times at night, and sometimes two (although typing that, I just jinxed myself). “Only” up three times at night sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But sadly, it is much better than what it was!
Diapering: Still loving the BumGenius one-size all-in-ones and the BumGenius one-size pocket diapers. I have been reading up on de-stinking techniques, though, and think I may attempt something soon. They don’t smell that bad, but I think they could smell fresher. Oh, and starting the green beans/sweet potatoes? Yeah, it did make for grosser poo diapers. Still not requiring a diaper sprayer, but … that time is coming.
Playing: Since Baby Boy seems to collect more toys every month, I’ve started really rotating the ones I put out for us to play with. His current favourite toy is his set of MegaBloks (which resides in a little MegaBloks wagon that he loves to pull). He likes when you give him the loaded wagon, and he takes them all out and plays with them individually. Not a huge fan of towers yet — and he once glared at someone who dared build one with his precious blocks — but he does sometimes enjoy taking them apart.
Things that surprised me: How independent he’s becoming. Sure, he still needs me like crazy, but I’m amazed by all of the things he does by himself. Watching him pick up a mug of breastmilk and drink it. Watching him study the laundry basket and carefully take out items individually (and then chew on them). Watching him walk along the couch. Watching him play quietly by himself with his blocks or his letter machine. He’s so grown-up, sniff.
Things that have made me melt: When he’s ready for a nap and cuddles against me, rubbing his eyes. When he finishes eating one of my “pureed-with-love” meals, and gives me a huge grin (as if to compliment my cooking). When he’s crying in his crib in the middle of the night, and he stops the second I pick him up. Starting Christmas traditions with him and Darling Husband, like decorating the tree, visiting Santa at the mall, writing a letter to Santa — I can’t wait for our first Christmas together as a family.