My sweet friend, Christina, invited us over for a playdate with her 3 kiddos, who are just a hair over 2 years old. It’s been so fun watching her loin fruits grow over the past 2 years. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I shot their first birthday party! Christina and I used to work together at Switch before we each became mommies. She is a very talented graphic designer and now recently a photographer! She’s a constant encourager, motivator, and challenger creatively to me, as well as, a model of a good mom. She also made this beautiful print for Brady’s room (see below). Here are some fun photos I was able to snap between all the running around and kid-wrangling.
(This one is my favorite. O just picked up an empty milk jug and was “drinking from it” walking around the house. Already prepping for the “gallon challenge”.)
Brady, you turned 6 months old at the end of April 2013. I can’t believe it. It’s been half a year! Whaaaat? It seems like it’s gone by in a flash. You are so much fun these days. I really enjoy spending time with you all day, every day. What a blessing. Yes, it can be tiring (especially if we haven’t slept much the night before), but it’s a blessing to watch you grow and explore.
A few words that describe you the past month: noisy, wiggly, rolling, attention hungry, exploring. You are a rolling ninja baby! I can’t leave you alone for more than a minute without you ending up underneath furniture or half way across the room without a clue of how you managed to get there (& so quickly)! One of your favorite places is to roll underneath the coffee table in the living room. I call it your “fort”. You stick your hands and feet up against the underneath of it and kick and play. Sometimes if I leave the room for a brief moment (to wash a dish or something) I come back to find you rolling around with one of George’s disgusting slobbery stuffed animals and you are SO proud when I find you. And most of the time you’ve rolled in your own spit up and it’s there’s a chunk or two stuck to your forehead. I can’t help but laugh and run for the camera. At first I was nervous about you rolling around on the wood floors in our house, because you’d sacrifice your big heavy head first when you rolled over. Although, after a few big bonks you learned to gently roll over – it’s so cute how you’re cautious with your head. It’s amazing to see you learn and repeat!
Per the usual, some days are better than others. Doesn’t matter how much sleep you’ve gotten some days you just need a ton of attention and holding and walking around. Other days it’s as if you barely need any at all. You take an average of 3 naps per day. Usually you take a long morning and afternoon nap (1-2 hours each) and then another cat nap in the late evening. Mommy likes it when you take good naps during the day. It allows me to get a few quiet moments to myself, which I usually end up just doing chores or answering emails. I’ve been trying to use that time lately to get a good work out in (thanks Apple TV- I stream work out videos).
You started wearing 6 month sizes at 5 months old (mostly sleepers because pants were still a bit large). But now you’re totally in 6 month clothing, pants and all. You are starting to fill out a little more. Your legs are getting a tad bit chubbier, which is so cute, and you’re sportin a little double chin these days. Your feet don’t seem to be growing as quickly as the rest of your body, though. You wear shoes a lot and are still in size 1. They’re getting a little snug, but size 2 shoes are just laughable. The ankle width fits great, but the length is twice as big as it needs to be. Soon enough you’ll be in bigger shoes – can’t wait to use the cute ones you have! Ra Ra buys you lots of cute pairs.
You are so interested in your surroundings. You reach and grab at everything. You stick almost everything you can grab into your mouth to chew on – even people’s hands. You smack stuff with your hands (kind of like a cave man- haha) and you stomp your feet non-stop. Even in your crib… you’ll maneuver yourself sideways and prop your feet up on the side of the crib bars and kick and stomp your feet just to play and entertain yourself. Sometimes I’ll catch you looking at me from across the room and when you realize I see you, you immediately smile unsolicited. You’ll even follow it by a few foot stomps in excitement occasionally.
Nursing has been so much better lately. You only take max 15 minutes total to nurse (both sides). That’s a huge difference from 2 months ago when it was taking 30+ minutes and then followed by a supplement bottle of bm or formula. It’s so nice. *sigh* Although, sometimes you’ll stop in the middle to make a big declarative “statement” and then go back to nursing. It’s funny.
A week or two before you were 6 months, I started feeding you baby oatmeal cereal mixed with a little formula 2x a day. You sit strapped into your bumbo chair with the tray, and you anxiously await to be fed after I nurse you. You bang your hands on the tray like a cave man. The first several attempts were funny & frustrating. It required a mop and a shower. Although, you quickly caught on within about a week of eating from the spoon. Way to go, baby! I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy eating a lot!
Diaper changes are not for the faint of heart. My goodness, child. You cannot sit still during a diaper change. It usually takes two people to successfully accomplish a diaper change with you. Within seconds of putting you on the changing table you manage to flip over to your tummy with this look on your face like “Yup. Look at me!”. I’ve removed any objects on/near the table that you grab for, except for Sophie toy. I’ve tried buckling you into the changing mat and that doesn’t do anything since you’re able to flip over underneath it somehow. Ninja. I told you. So, I bribe you with toys and make stupid noises and probably look like I’m a clown trying to capture your attention so you’ll sit still. Most of the time you end up stomping your foot into the freshly opened poopy diaper – haha. I will say these past couple of days have been a tad better. I’m able to get your diaper on and a new one on before you manage to flip over.
Whenever I’m holding you while also holding my big Baylor water mug you like to aggressively reach for it. It took me by total surprise one day when your eyes got huge and then BAM! you grabbed the straw right out of my mouth and put it in yours and water spewed everywhere. It was so funny to see you do that. It really made me feel like your growing up to be able to do that.
This past month I’ve been bathing you in the Puj tub in my bathroom sink. It fits the tub better than the larger kitchen sink since you’ve grown. I’m sure that we’ll have to figure out a new location sans the tub soon once you’re able to sit up on your own (which we’re working on). You seem to enjoy baths a lot more lately. Not sure if it’s because you get to play with the shiny water spout that’s right at your level with water streaming out or if it’s because you’re just getting older? Either way, you smile and gurgle and “talk” to me during baths now while chewing on your toes the whole time. You used to not even make eye contact with me during baths – hah.
Since mastering the roll, you do this thing where you kind of swim in place on your tummy and you wiggle your arms and legs so hard like you want to crawl. Just not yet. Take your time, buddy. I haven’t even thought about what needs to be “baby proofed”. We’ve been working on sitting up by yourself, but I think we still have another couple weeks. Once you start crawling I’m probably just going to stick you a fence around you in order to contain you. Jk. You love to chew on your toes… even if you’re wearing footed pjs or shoes.
This past week you’ve started making a new sound where you make some bubbles and also a soft “Tssss” sound. Almost like you’re trying to say something but have a lisp. It’s adorable.
One thing that we’d LOVE for you to master is SLEEPING AT NIGHT. Please baby, that would be the best gift you can give me right now. You “sleep thru the night” about every 10 days for 1 night *sigh*, but if that’s all I get – I’ll take it. It’s just discouraging when others are all “Oh, little Timmy was sleeping thru the night by 6 months….” Well our little “Timmy” hasn’t really caught up yet. You must take after your dad – tossing and turning all night. You usually go to sleep very well after our night time routine of bath time, nursing, then bed. You sleep really hard for a couple hours and then are up again. I can’t seem to figure out why you’re awake so I just nurse you after you’ve gotten us up a couple time within an hour. On a good night, you’ll sleep for 4+ more hours before you’re up again. Then maybe another hour or two before it’s time to get up for the day. Here’s what an average night looks like in the Allen household:
8:15-8:45 pm – bath time and nursing Brady.
8:45 – 9 pm – Brady goes to bed (still a little awake, but immediately cuddles with the little snuggle blankie and takes his pacifier.)
10- 11 pm – bed time for the adults.
Between 1 am – 3 am- Brady’s up! Half way crying/making noises. We let you do this for a few minutes and then one of us goes in and gives you your pacifier. Sometimes you freak out and this doesn’t calm you down. Othertimes you go right back to sleep and then wake 30 minutes later doing same. We go back in – repeat. 30 minutes later your up… so I give in and just nurse you. So, essentially I’ve been awake for an 1+ hour at this point.
Between 5-6:30 am – Brady’s awake and usually a pacifier will put you back to sleep. Brian’s up getting ready for work. I put foam ear plugs in so I don’t hear Brian getting ready and move the baby monitor so it’s right next to my face.
Between 7-8 am – Brady’s awake. It’s the BEST when I go in to wake him at 8 and he’s already quietly playing in his crib. That’s a very nice start to the day for me. If he’s awake before this, sometimes I’ll put him in bed with me in hope s that he goes back to sleep, which is not usually the case- hah. We nurse around 8 or 8:30 and start our day….
So, on average, I get about 3 hour stretches of sleep. If I can get a 5 hour stretch of sleep I feel like super woman. This coming from a person who used to NEED 8 hours to function “normally”. If you want to include us in your prayers we’d greatly appreciate it. We like our sleep. Not just for the heck of it, but for our health and well being.
Brady’s 6 month check up:
Height: 27 inches (75%)
Weight: (barely) 16 lbs (25%)
Head circumference: 17.5″ (75%)
Brady, You turned 5 months old on March 20. Wow, have you made progress these past several weeks! You really love to grab at your feet. It started with just a little reach and grab, and by the time you were 5 months you were sticking your toes in your mouth and chewing on them! This is especially popular during diaper changes and baths. You are becoming more coordinated with your hands/arms when grabbing things. You also like to explore your tongue this month. The buffalo tongue and some new noises have come with that, too. You are quick to reach out and touch my face lately, which is endearing.
This month of nursing has been challenging. This is the typical time when babies become distracted with their surroundings and like to explore their new world. You are for sure right in the midst of this stage. While nursing you’ll stop and look up at me, flirt a bit, maybe make some cute noises and then turn your head towards something you may or may not have heard. You also like to pull at my shirt or anything you can get a hold of while nursing. You’re very “busy” when nursing. I finally weaned you from (CAUTION BOYS) the nipple shield and so now we can nurse without any gadgets,which is a huge blessing and relief! It only took one or two frustrating tries and bam, you were through with it. As you got closer to 5 months you started nursing for MUCH shorter periods of time and would cry in the middle of it and delatch. This was beyond frustrating because I couldn’t figure out why or if you were getting enough food, etc… I had been supplementing you since your 4 month check up (17 weeks) with 2 oz of formula after each feeding to make sure you were gaining enough weight. Honestly, I think the (CAUTION BOYS) nipple shield may have caused a transfer issue. Then, once you weaned from the shield you were able to nurse much more efficiently and would get frustrated after a fast let down and didn’t want to work for it after that. Who knows? The wonderful world of nursing… it’s beautiful and frustrating all at once. Your weight check at 19 weeks was great- 13 lbs 10 oz (gained 1 lb in 2 weeks!)
At the beginning of the month you were still sleeping in your SwaddleMe wrap at night, but at 17 weeks we began weaning you from it. There were some sleepless nights for sure as you adjusted, but you sleep without it now! I was so nervous about you turning over at night and not being able to turn back over since you were swaddled and didn’t have the use of your arms. Regardless, your sleep patterns are still sporadic. I never know how many times you’re going to wake up or when. For the most part you wake up a couple hours after your bedtime for your paci/soothing, then again around 3 am for a feeding, then again around 6 and I put you in our big bed until you and I get up for a feeding and for the day at 8 am. Then every once in a blue moon you’ll sleep through the night (9 pm – 5 am)! It’s glorious. I wish you’d do it more often. If I can just get 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I feel like super woman the next day. It’s amazing. (I say this coming from a sleep pattern of 8-9 hours before I was pregnant. Sigh.)
At 17-ish weeks you started sleeping on your side while cuddling the cute little snuggle blankie. Then, at 18 weeks you rolled over on your own like you’d been rolling over for weeks! You discovered sleeping on your tummy. Even when I corrected you to your side/back, you’d roll back over on your tummy. I woke up many times at night to creep in and check on you to make sure you were breathing. Ugh, so nerve racking! We spent 5 days at Gammy’s house in Houston while I had a several day photo shoot. You learned to roll over well while we were staying there. My mom and Gammy just loved playing with you while I was out photographing different areas of Houston. It was so nice to have their help. I learned quickly that it’s exhausting traveling alone with a baby. We pulled over on each leg of the trip to breastfeed (and supplement) in the backseat of the car in the middle (literally) of Texas. You mostly wanted to play the whole time and were highly distracted, but we got it done. What’s usually a 4 hour trip turned into a 6 hour trip. hah. Who knew babies has so much “gear” when traveling?! Every inch of the car was filled with stuff.
Your funky left eye mess cleared up all on its own at 17 weeks! Praise the Lord! We were expecting a visit with a pediatric opthamologist to address it. Your hair has grown into this quasi-mohawk thing. It’s so soft and stands straight up towards the back/top of your head. The sides have not seemed to catch up to it yet. The top just keeps on growing.
You like to hold onto your pacifier (which is usually tethered to you) and can take it in and out of your mouth. Sometimes you try to put it in backwards, but at least you’re trying! At 20 weeks you started doing this thing where you slam your left arm up and down (while usually hitting yourself in the process) when you get excited. It’s funny. Especially if you’re holding a toy. You’re also in this major pinching phase. Ouch! Anything/anyone that comes near you gets grasped/pinched/latched onto with all your might. This is what a typical diaper change looks like: I place you on the changing table and you immediately get excited. You slam your arms all over the place and kick your legs,while also arching your back so you’re now turning away from me. I correct you and try to put your paci in and hand you Sofie the giraffe toy. You yip and screetch and giggle and sometimes stop in amazement at the ceiling fan. Then I begin undressing your bottom half. Once I get your diaper off you are beyond excited (you LOVE being naked!) You kick and yelp and put your hands in your mouth and arch your back so your belly is in the air. At this point I’m usually putting together your clean cloth diaper and setting it near your feet. I clean you up and place the new diaper under you, which you usually kick all over the place and then sometimes pee in the process. As soon as my arm gets close to your feet, you subconsciously kick it away, while latching onto my other arm with your tightly pinching hand. Then as I’m fastening the new diaper on you, you begin to spit up, so I’m now trying to wipe that up while keeping the diaper in place. It’s a balancing act, really. There should be an award given each time I successfully get a clean diaper on you and keep you dry from spit up.
The thing we’ve been most surprised with (regarding this whole baby rearing thing) is how much and how often you spit up. We’d be better off just donning ponchos when around you. Your pediatrician says there’s nothing that can be done about it… you’re just a “spitty baby”. Honestly, it’s super exhausting. I change your clothes several times a day and you usually barf all over the new outfit minutes after I finish dressing you, no joke. Then, I’ll get dressed (after avoiding putting on “real” clothes for the day b/c I know you’ll barf on me) and shortly after picking you up to carry you to your bouncy chair or car seat you barf all down me – haha. Sometimes I have patience with it and other days I’m just human and get really frustrated. It’s extremely rare that you aren’t wearing a bib (that’s soaked in spit up) and therefore, we don’t get to see your cute outfits. When people ask to hold you, we give them plenty of fare warning that they will be spit up on, and try to liberally cover them in burp clothes/towels – haha. It makes it difficult to cuddle with you for fear that you’re going to overflow/barf on me any minute. One time I went in for a kiss on your lips and BLEH you barfed and it just barely hit my mouth before I pulled back as quickly as possible. I’ve since learned. Don’t worry, we burp you plenty but it still comes at all times of the day no matter how much we feed you or when we’ve fed you. You do this thing now where you fight me while I burp you (trying to stand and arch your back), and then you rotate your head from side to side while spitting up in the process to be sure to spray it everywhere. I never thought I’d do so much laundry in my life. This is one “phase” I can’t wait to get through. We love you dearly, but it will be SO enjoyable once this passes (which I’ve read can last until 9 months, Lord help us)!
Not long after you turned 4 months old, I put you on a more structured daily routine. Here’s a rough outline of our daily routine from 4-5 months old:
8 am – Wake up for the day & nurse / supplement with 2 oz formula
8:30 – Play/ awake time (activity mat) – usually the chipper-est part of your day
9:45 – Nap (lasts anywhere from 20 min – 1.5 hours)
11 am – Nurse / supplement with 2 oz formula
11:30 – Play / awake time (activity mat / bouncy chair) – rolling all over & batting at toys
12:45 – Nap
2 pm – Nurse/ Supplement with 2 oz formula
2:30 – We usually go to the lake for a long walk/exercise (you usually fall asleep half way in for about 30 min to 1+ hour)
5 pm – Nurse/ Supplement with 2 oz formula
5:30 – “Cranky hour” starts usually right when Dad gets home by 6 pm ish
7:15 pm – Sometimes a 20 min cat nap
7:45 pm – Bath time
8 pm – Nurse / Bed time!
1:30 am – you usually wake up crying and just need your pacifier or something to go back to sleep.
2 or 3 am – You wake up for your middle of the night feeding (quickly nurse and back to sleep).
5:30 or 6:30 – You usually wake up crying and dad or I put you in our bed for a couple more hours until my alarm officially goes off at 8 am for the day. Sometimes you go right to sleep in our bed, other times you roll around & make lots of noise for a couple hours. sigh.
You are still very smiley and giggly, which is such a joy! You are filled with personality, that’s for sure. It’s fun to watch it develop more and more each week. You giggle a lot during diaper changes and when we make funny noises/faces at you. You like when Dad does funny stuff or makes up funny songs and wiggles/squeaks a toy in front of your face.
We can’t wait to see how you’ve grown at your 6 month check up! Love you, baby.