Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Month 6: When Life Gives You Lemons...

Having a baby is limiting in many ways - especially in the way of having a social life that includes more than your immediate family. Last Sunday, we decided to test out our "adult friends in a public setting" capacities, and we took Daniel to his first real restaurant outing. (By "real" I mean that he didn't sleep all the way through it).

He was a big hit - and actually ended up being quite the life of the party. He was interactive, smiley, energetic, and mildly destructive throughout the whole meal. Near the end, having run out of small talk, we decided to try the ole "give the baby a lemon and laugh at the reaction" trick. So, we found an unused lemon wedge and stuck it in his mouth. Nine grown adults, all on the edge of their seats to see this sour-faced reaction. We held our breath. Daniel's eyes went wide... he grabbed the lemon with both hands... and started sucking.

That's right. My son loves lemons. He sucked the juice right out, and continued to knaw on the rind. Insane! And hilarious. It was a tart one too - we checked to make sure it wasn't an orange or sweet lime by accident. Lemons are now on our grocery list for our next trip to Fry's. That trick is just too good NOT to repeat.

Not everything this month has been that enjoyable - Daniel got his first (big) cold. Poor little guy could hardly breathe, and even had trouble falling asleep. The magic boogar-sucking-blue-ball only does so much, and the only relief he ended up finding was with some baby Vicks on his chest and under his nose. On the up side, when he's this congested, some of his vocalizations sound INSANELY like Chewbaca. (Maybe it makes us bad parents, but every time Daniel did it, we just died laughing.)

We saw the doctor a few days ago for the routine shots and check-up. All is well - Daniel is still above the 95th percentile for all categories: Weight (22 pounds, 5 ounces), Length (28.5 inches), Head Circumference (18 inches). The doctor said he's doing exceptionally well in all areas, and he has no concerns. (Except that Daniel's slacker parents need to get their booties in gear and buy their son a new car seat... he outgrew his a month ago...)

The fun isn't over yet - we start solid foods in a few days (once his cold has completely cleared). Rice cereal & prunes for breakfast, and green beans for lunch and dinner. Lucky kid. Could have been peas.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Month 6: Tummy Time & Big Pictures

You know how at every birthday someone always asks, "So, do you feel older?" Well, 3 days into his sixth month, Daniel most definitely feels older.

The past two mornings I have discovered him fast asleep on his stomach (after having put him down on his back). Might sound like a small deal, but it's actually pretty monumental for a kid who hated tummy time more than I hate split pea soup. Which is a lot. He now can turn over by himself, from back to stomach, and loves showing off his new trick. He also sits very well, but tends to lurch forward in an attempt to get onto his stomach. (Who IS this child?!)

He seems to cry less and less - but just expresses himself differently during fussy times by whining, and muttering the same syllable over and over. Recently, it's either "mah" "da" or "bah". So cute and pathetic at the same time.

I realized that I end up giving a lot of specific information in this blog without the "big picture" kind of stuff. So here's a paragraph of "big picture" items. He loves the jumparoo - and spends quite a bit of time in it each day (and jumps incredibly high). He adores fake flowers. And by adore, I mean he bursts out into laughter/giddy smiles whenever he sees one. (Remind me to tell you about the forbidden orchid in the hallway sometime). Baths are fun - I have been just getting in the tub and having Fernando hand me Daniel. There's just more room for him to splash and play, and it's safer than the shower. Bedtimes are easy - a bath, a quick massage, and a bottle are enough to knock him out nightly, and keep him out for around 11.5 - 12.5 hours a night. He loves smiling and laughing - and does it most of the day. Even if he's smiling at nothing, or at a passing cat, he seems happy to be happy. We can make him laugh easily by making funny faces, or dancing around like lunatics. The best is when he's looking over your shoulder and thinks he's being "chased" by the person walking behind you. Guaranteed laughs and usually shrieks of joy too.

Anyway. Month 6 has barely begun and already it's the best one yet!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Month 5: Applesauce and Balance

This month is proving to be a big one for Daniel - lots of new skills each day. He's now sitting unassisted - and he even flew right past the "try to balance" stage right into the "what can I grab now?" stage. I have since discovered that my house is 0% baby-proof.

It's crazy to see this little baby evolve into a functional human being. He's interested in the world, interested in the people around him, and tries to communicate with a charming series of syllables and high-pitched squeals.

He's not technically starting solid foods until he turns 6 months, but Daniel's mommy seems to have a slight tendency to put new foods in his mouth to watch the reaction. Daniel's daddy isn't so happy about this (who knew that I would be the rebellious parent?!). But I think Daniel's daddy is starting to come around - this morning, he gave Daniel his first spoonful of real food. It happened to be applesauce.

Maybe it's all babies at this stage, but Daniel is entirely interested in eating. He watches us like a hawk if we're eating dinner in front of him. Every forkful of food - every sip of drink. He reaches for it, if at all possible. It's probably my fault - I keep putting new things in his mouth - pieces of fruit, different drinks, even bacon... I know what you're thinking, but you should have SEEN the look on his face! We even tried out having him drink from a regular cup - it was more like a cat lapping up water than a person drinking, but now he's fascinated with cups and wants to try drinking from every cup he sees.

The only downside to this month has been the pooping issue... constipation is entirely more uncomfortable as a baby than an adult, it seems. Poor little guy has struggled all month, and we're now giving him apple juice, mylicon AND karo syrup daily to try to help things out. His next appointment is just a week away, where we will be looking for some more concrete answers (no pun intended).

Everyone told me it would be this way, but I really have loved every passing day more and more. Each stage is more fun than the previous one. His affection for us grows daily, and having that love reciprocated is the most rewarding feeling I have ever felt!