Tomorrow Caleb turns 8 months old and I'm reminded of a famous Navy Seal quote, "The only easy day was yesterday." Well, parenting an infant must be more challenging than the Seals because I'm so glad those yesterdays are behind us! (I am of course, kidding, I know our service men and women make sacrifices I can't even dream of.)
Crawling has brought a huge change to our home. Now Caleb can explore whatever he's interested in without having to hope we understand his desires correctly, which means a lot less frustration for him. Best of all, all that moving around is wearing. him. out. He sleeps like a champ. Naps longer than 45 minutes have been a rarity until this point. Now he takes 2 hour and a half naps each day! He's even starting only waking for one feeding some nights and sleeping in past 6:30am some mornings.
He's multi-tasking in this one- crawling and blowing a raspberry : )
He's also spitting up a lot less so I think his esophageal valve is finally doing it's job. I'm sure not having stomach acid coming up all the time is making him a much happier camper as well. Looking back, I do feel he probably could have benefited from reflux meds. However, I really didn't want to medicate him, so I'm glad that choice is behind me. It's so hard to know what is and isn't normal on baby #1. His happiness brings me so much joy and I am loving every day of this new season in his life.
We haven't gone in for an official weight check this month and we still don't have a scale, but based on photos from last month and the way his tummy finally hangs over his diaper a little, I'm sure he's gained some weight. Whether or not it's enough to bring him up out of the 3rd percentile remains to be seen. Either way, I feel fairly confident that he's healthy, especially now that he's also happy! Here's a pic where you can kind of see his itty bitty tummy:
For being such a skinny guy he certainly loves to eat. He happily devours everything I've given him and eats 4oz of food (or more) 3 times a day, plus nursing. New introductions this month have included: Peas, Carrots, Green Beans, Sweet Potato, Oats, Apples and Bananas. He went through a day or two where he'd make a terrible face whenever I gave him something green, but he seems to be over it now and loves his peas and avocado again.
He is definitely more of a handful to feed now. You'd think with him spitting up less my clothes would stay cleaner, but now that he's attempting to use the spoon (which usually ends with him throwing the spoon on me, the floor, etc.), taking his bib off and smearing food everywhere his hands can find...we both end up pretty messy. It's totally worth it to see him so happy and engaged in his environment. I got this super cute splat mat (also known as a folded vinyl table cloth) for $2.50 in the after Valentines sale. Not a moment too soon I might add.
Speaking of decor changes...now that Caleb is a master crawler I found myself spending this Tuesday rearranging the living room. Note the pack and play blocking the tempting TV gadgets (thanks for that idea Nya Nya Beth!) and blanket over the sliding door track.
The coffee table of death, as I not-so affectionately call it (I've never seen another coffee table with so many sharp edges!) also got a make over thanks to David.
We've tried to keep modifications to the house in the "keep him out of the ER" category and not the "maybe we should just bubble wrap the baby" extreme. I think we must be doing a good job because he certainly has plenty of bruises decorating that poor little head of his. Of course, the worse is from his big tumble off the bed in St. Augustine (insert deep feelings of mom guilt here), but the rest are from more minor altrications. Head meets wall, floor, toy, etc. type events. Mama C was right to tell me to take a picture when he got that first bruise because now, I can't even keep track of where each one came from!
Even better than all these more easily quantifiable changes is the little personality we see emerging everyday. Caleb is so much more aware of his environment. He laughs when we do silly things, he has opinions about what he wants to do and where he wants to go, he looks to us when there's a scary noise or he takes a tiny tumble, he babbles and coos conversationally and grunts for things he wants.
David and I feel so blessed to be his parents. It's been an adventure with lots of ups and downs and has grown us in ways we couldn't have imagined before becoming parents. I'm also thankful that we still feel just as close (if not closer) as a couple than we did before Caleb arrived. He still goes to bed at 5:30/6ish and that time in the evening to just be together is so wonderful. The date and family vacation we took this month definitely were the icing on the cake.
This coming month I'm looking forward to soaking in the last of our time near the grandparents and continuing to watch our little guy grow up. Every month is my new favorite : )