Sizes: 6-9 months
Sleeping: This past month was super eventful and it’s definitely taken a toll on our routines, sleep being one of them. Rowen has wanted to be held for all naps and even all night, which although I love holding him isn’t always ideal or even possible. I want to start trying to get him to nap in his crib because his naps will be more peaceful/uninterrupted and I can get stuff done (he’ll still sleep in our room at night in the cosleeper until he’s too big for it, because I’m both lazy and paranoid.)
Eating: Still a little nursing pro, as his rolls will attest to. :) He’s definitely interested in Big Person Food and in a month will be sampling some! (I seriously can’t believe he’s already getting ready for solid foods; where does the time go??)
By far the best thing in the past month was watching Rowen and Damien’s friendship develop. Up until this point they’ve been interested in each other (though more interest from Damien’s end obviously) but this past month they’ve started to really love each other. Rowen will see Damien and his eyes will light up. He watches him with awe and interest that up until this point has been reserved for me (but I’m happy to share!) Damien loves making Rowen smile and laugh and has started telling him he loves him (which is a recent Damien thing – telling people he loves them completely unprompted. Yeah, that’s another awesome thing. He’s also told me that I’m “pretty” and “perfect” and I’m pretty sure God makes three-year-old boys amazingly adorable and sweet to make up for the times when they are soooo incredibly frustrating. But this isn’t a Damien update, so moving on.)
Rowen is still such a happy baby – except when he’s not, haha. He’s definitely got some strong emotions (wonder where he got that from?) but his dominant emotion is pleased with the world. His smile and laugh light up the room and get compliments from strangers wherever we go. Also high on the compliment list are his cheeks. They are sooo big and squishy and nommable!
Rowen can roll over from back to front and front to back. He loves playing with his toes when he can find them, and is close to sitting up by himself (once you sit him I mean; he’s nowhere close to getting into that position solo.) He loves to kick his legs wildly and joyfully when his diaper is off, and likes to watch Ripley if she’s anywhere near him (and grab her if she’s near enough for that.) Rowen continues to be a joy, and I absolutely love being his mama.
Now, here are some funny outtakes from his five month photo session:
Ahh!!! Time is flying by and my little baby is a big adorable chunk.
(Just for fun and reference, Damien was 19lb and 27″ at four months old.)
Sizes: 6-9 months
Sleeping: Rowen has a hard time falling asleep but sleeps pretty well once you get him asleep. He sleeps in the cosleeper beside my bed and sometimes in bed with me. He goes to bed late (11pm-ish, though he naps in the evenings before that) but only wakes up once in the night, and sleeps in to 8-9am each morning (or would if we would let him, since I have to get Damien to preschool by 8:30 each morning and Rowen pretty much wakes up when I wake up.)
Eating: Nothing has changed since last month. Rowen is still a great nurser and hungry all the time. He’s started to get interested in big people food and will stare it down or even try to grab it out of your hand, but he’s not getting any for a few months.
Loves to laugh – he has a great sense of humor and thinks lots of things are funny. He’ll try to catch your eye and then smile really big to make you smile back.
He likes to ‘talk’ (aka make funny sounds) for long periods of time. He’ll also ‘talk’ back if you imitate his sounds.
Has started grabbing at things and bringing them straight to his mouth (AND IT BEGINS.) He’s also started interacting with toys and seeing how they work (like the toys on the front of his bouncer, which by the way, he’s officially started bouncing in rather than making random movements to set off the motion sensor music.)
Rowen has started paying attention to the books we read, even attempting to grab at the pictures/turn the pages (which is good!) and has also started to pay attention to the TV (which is not so good) – once we had the jumperoo angled next to the TV while Damien was watching something, and Rowen was craning his neck and trying to turn his whole body around to see what was going on.
The cutest thing that he does now is reach up and try to stroke my face. He also likes to play with my hair, and he’ll pet the dog (aka grab her ears) and grab Damien’s arm to get his attention. Consider my heart melted!
Sunday, the day after our World Series game adventure, was Damien’s preschool fall festival. We went to it last year, so it was fun to compare how much more comfortable he was with everyone once he actually attended the school. My parents were both still in town and able to go – Damien was very excited to show them his school, especially the playground.
Both Damien and Rowen started out wearing their costumes, though Damien didn’t make it very long before he wanted to take his off. (To his credit, it is a little bulky.) I at least got a few pictures outside, before we went in:
When we were talking about costumes back in September, Damien insisted he wanted to be a pumpkin. I showed him lots of pictures of other costumes on the internet but he would not budge. It’s difficult to find a pumpkin costume in a toddler size (they’re all baby-sized) but I managed to find one on Amazon that is very cute and looks nice. The day it arrived in the mail, Damien announced “I want to be a firefighter!” Sorry kid, that ship has sailed. Rowen’s ‘costume’ is actually just a jumper with a pumpkin face on it from Walmart, although it did come with a ‘pumpkin’ hat. I didn’t find any costumes smaller than 12 months so I decided it was good enough, and he looks cute in it. Oh, and I found a cheap pumpkin faced tshirt for myself so I can be pumpkin-y with them. (Dan refused to play. Well, I never actually found a men’s shirt, although I could easily make one, but he wouldn’t wear it even if I did.)
Damien’s favorite place on the playground is the playhouse, which during the fall festival was the cookie decorating station, so he decorated several cookies just to get to hang out in there. He also liked playing in the sandbox, jumping on the water pillow (which is actually a water bed mattress), and playing in the rented bounce house (a little one for the under five set.) Last year Damien was always in danger of being trampled in bounce houses; this year I have to remind him to be careful so that he doesn’t do the trampling! (He was fairly good around smaller kids, which I appreciate, but I’m still a worried mom keeping a close eye on them.) He participated in exactly one craft and then was pretty much ready to go, so we did.
For fun, here are some comparison pictures from the fall festival this year and last year. It really makes it look like Damien has grown up! I feel like he still had that baby look last year, but now he’s all little boy – still adorable, but there is no baby left. *sniff*
On Saturday, October 25, Dan and I experienced history for a second time when we got to go to Game Four of the World Series! Here are our happy faces:
See the fuzzy little head down there in the lower right corner? Rowen got to go too! (Of course he did; kids are free until two and I didn’t want to be away from him all day. Plus we took Damien to a World Series game as a baby; Rowen needed his chance too, haha.) We met Marcia at the BART station that afternoon and all headed to the game together.
So, Giants vs Royals! Starting pitchers were Vogelsong and Vargas. The stadium was packed and surrounded by boats and even a blimp.
Rowen found that rally towels make good baby blankets.
It was a cloudy day and it sprinkled and even rained on us for short periods, but then the sun came out and there was a rainbow over AT&T Park.
The score was scary for awhile there, but Rowen helped us with cheering and inspired the Giants to pull ahead.
(He also did some cuddling in everyone’s laps.)
By the eighth inning it was time for a nap.
And then… the ninth! Dan was standing on the landing during the ninth inning and took this panoramic shot.
And, we won!
(Funny: people were actually super nice to us about taking the baby to the game, which isn’t always the case. We were told several times how cool it was that Rowen was there and how brave we were to bring him. I then admitted that we left our toddler at home, and all those with older children were like “yeah, they ARE easy in comparison at this age.”)
Here’s the box score of the game. My dad got to go to the game the following evening for a game five win, I listened to part of a painful game six loss on the radio before I turned it off for Dan’s sanity (I’m usually better at dealing with sports drama than Dan, but admittedly even this time I was done) and… a game seven win! (Again, we were listening to the radio – due to the not-having-cable thing – and in fact we were probably the only people who went to a World Series game but can’t watch the games on TV, haha – and the end was so very stressful without a visual!) What an amazing end to a crazy season… now baseball, please come back soon for next year!
Weight & Length: 15.2 lbs and 25.9″
Sizes: 3-6 month clothes are fitting nicely. Size two disposable diapers fit fine, although we’ll probably have to buy threes the next time we buy diapers (which is infrequently since he mostly wears cloth.) Oh, and he’s wearing 6-12 month socks because we’re a family of Bigfoots :)
Sleeping: Rowen usually falls asleep for the night between 10:30pm-1am (he likes to change it up so I never know when to put the overnight diaper on him, haha.) He sleeps until 6ish, wakes up to nurse, and would sleep until 9:30am if I let him (but sadly I have to get up at 7:30 or earlier every weekday, so this is a weekend-only event.) He sleeps in his cosleeper next to the bed for the long stretch, and after he gets up to nurse he’s in bed with me, nursing on and off while I’m happily snoozing. I’m fine with this sleeping arrangement. I’d love it if he’d nap longer/more regularly/somewhere other than my lap, but night sleep is more important so I’ll take that any day.
Eating: Nursing is going well, and you can tell by looking at my giant chunk of a child. :) (He’s adorably chubby – I love his rolls!) Rowen has between 2-4 bottles a week, and I have to be a careful milk manager to make sure he has enough milk each week. I don’t have time/opportunity to pump when I’m away from him, so that’s made it difficult both to keep my supply up and to have a stash of milk at home. (Thank goodness for my Milksaver, which helps with the second part at least!) I try to breastfeed as much as possible when I am home so my body doesn’t forget what it’s supposed to do. (It’s so strange to have a bit of a supply issue, which was NEVER EVER a problem with Damien, as my body seemed to think I was feeding triplets. It makes me sick to think about all the pumped milk I threw away back then… Now I freak out if a few drops get spilled!)
7:30am: I wake up and get ready. Rowen snoozes in my bed (by himself) (well, occasionally Ripley is at the foot of the bed.)
8am: Rowen wakes up and I get him dressed. Depending on the day, he either goes with me to drop Damien off, he stays at home with Dan until I get back, or he goes to the babysitter’s house (my great aunt lives on the way to my observation/student teaching lab and has life-saving-ly agreed to watch Rowen while I’m there.)
Mornings: If I’m home, he sits on my lap/plays on his mat while I do homework and get house stuff done. Dan and Damien are both at school, so it’s just the two of us (well, and Ripley.)
12pm: Both Dan and I have this hour free. Technically it’s lunchtime but I usually spend it doing the things I need both hands to do, while Dan watches Rowen.
1pm: Rowen usually naps during this hour. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Rowen goes with me to class and our on-campus babysitter walks around with him until I’m done.
Afternoons: This is when I’m in class, so Rowen is with Dan. Damien gets out of school at 3:30 so Rowen often rides along to pick him up.
Evenings: On Monday evening, our on-campus babysitter comes to our house to watch the boys while Dan and I are in class. The rest of the week I’m home with both boys while Dan is in class (except beautiful Fridays when all the classes get out early.)
Bedtime: Damien gets ready for bed at 8pm, so we usually get Rowen ready at the same time, though he doesn’t fall asleep for awhile. He hangs out with Dan and me while we do our homework and falls asleep at some point (I haven’t started aiming for a bedtime for him yet, though I probably should. The problem is, I like spending time with him at night!) Once Rowen falls asleep in my arms, the swing, or in his little chair (the Infant to Toddler Rocker), I transfer him to his bed. Sometimes he wakes up again and then I’ll lay down with him/nurse him in my bed until he falls asleep, then transfer him to the cosleeper.
Rowen smiles at people and tries to get them to smile back. He also laughs when he thinks something’s funny. He has the funniest laugh!
Lately he has been laughing when we tickle him, which is a new development. His chest and underarms are the most ticklish spots, followed by his feet.
Rowen is starting to grab at things, like the toys on his playmat (and the candy dish on the counter, which is now the broken candy dish on the counter.
He scoots himself around on the floor (pushing with his feet) but doesn’t roll yet. Rowen likes to be in his jumper for a little bit – he kind of shakes the chair to set off the motion sensor toys, but he doesn’t jump yet. He does great at bearing weight on his legs though!
Things that happened this past month:
- We went to the pumpkin patch
- We went to Kaeli and Jay’s wedding and Rowen met lots of family
- We went to a Fall Festival at Damien’s preschool
- Rowen went to his first baseball game AND a World Series game!
(Some of those posts are still in progress; I’ll go back and add the links later.)
(Just for fun, here’s Damien’s three month update, and his three month pictures. Rowen is about the same height but a pound smaller, which is funny because comparing their photos he has more rolls of chub.)
(He’s ten weeks old as of publishing, but I figure I might as well post it anyway.)
We started cloth diapering at seven weeks. We’re not out of size ones yet, but Dan suggested we save those for the babysitter (since school is starting very, very soon) (yep, that’s horrifying) and start on the cloth. Of course our dryer broke the same week we started CDing again – thanks, universe. (It’s actually not a big deal as far as the diapers are concerned; I usually machine dry the diaper inserts and the wet bags but they can hang dry no problem. What’s a bigger issue is OUR DRYER IS BROKEN AND OUR CLOTHESLINE CANNOT ACCOMMODATE ALL THE TINY SOCKS AND ADULT BOXERS/UNDERWEAR OMG.) Dan has a classmate who fixes appliances as a side job so we need to get him over here to take a look at it. (Update: it’s toast, but we may have located a family member with an extra dryer. Don’t touch that dial!) (Update 2: extra dryer is very old, also temperamental, but is working for the moment. Enjoying it while it lasts.)
Anyway, I got right back into the swing of cloth diapering and I still think it’s a lot of fun… at least as much fun as soaking up poop and pee from the body of a tiny person can be. Our diapers are all in pretty good to great condition – I unfortunately stained a bunch of them when I was trying to CD without a washer at our house, and I haven’t been able to sun-bleach all the stains out yet (but I’m still trying! I also have some CD-safe bleach I could try.) All the diapers function perfectly well though, and most of them look brand new (with the exception of the stained ones of course. The Blueberry diapers with Velcro are showing some wear, and in the couple Fuzzibunz I bought used the elastic is starting to go… but I have a whole bag of replacement elastics, and I haven’t had to use any of them yet.)
I wrote a pretty comprehensive diaper post when Damien was six months old, and I should write an updated version of that, but the short version is: we have all the same diapers except for two I recently picked up (from Zulily because the prints were too cute to pass up) (I don’t even remember the brand but they’re like a cross between Fuzzibunz and the cheapo Chinese-produced ones.) My opinions haven’t changed much except I am now in love with the GroVias which I formerly hated. They were just too small for Damien, but they were the first diapers to fit Rowen and I’m a little better at using them now, and also they’re adorable. (Sensing a theme…)
SO LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN DIAPERS. Rowen had his first bottle! It’s a milestone that’s new to me, since Damien never took a drop of nourishment from a bottle, but I knew that with our crazy school schedules it would be best if Rowen didn’t have to wait for me to be with him to eat, especially considering he won’t even be two months old when school starts. So when I took Damien over to his new preschool to check it out, I left some milk and instructions with Kassi, and when Dan got home from work they made Rowen a bottle… and he drank the whole thing with no problems at all. I’m not sure if it’s because we used a MAM bottle, which is the same brand as his pacifiers, or if he would take any bottle, but I’m afraid to jinx it so I bought several more MAM bottles on Amazon (the one I had was a sample from who knows where. I know I bought bottles for Damien but after never using them, they disappeared in one of our three moves since then.)
The bad news (for me) is that now I have to pump not just to keep up my supply, but to keep my little guy fed. I read somewhere that breastfed babies need 1.5oz for every hour they’re away from Mom, which means I have a day’s worth of milk frozen and that’s it. I’ve been trying to remember to use my Milksaver (which is where 100% of the milk I have frozen has come from, actually) because with two kids it’s hard to find time to pump (…I’m totally going to need to, though!)
Oh, and one very exciting milestone: I captured Rowen smiling on camera! (which is the picture preceding this paragraph.) He’s been smiling and even laughing since he was born, but the social smiles have been few and far between (maybe 1-2 a week starting at five weeks.) But right at the end of week seven he smiled a bunch of times in one day – at me, at my fake sneezing, at Dan, and at Damien (when Damien was holding him too! It was the sweetest thing! Rowen really is very interested in his brother, though neither of them hold each other’s attention very long, ha.)
We took a quick trip up north to see Dan’s grandparents before school started. They of course wanted to meet Rowen and we knew that once school starts, our lives are crazy busy until Thanksgiving Break, so we left on Friday and came back Saturday evening. It was Rowen’s first trip to Shasha’s house (though he slept through most of it) and his first time meeting his great-grandparents too. They recently moved into a senior living facility, and Dan’s mom is working nonstop going through everything and cleaning up their house, which she’ll then try to sell (she actually owns it.) Dan’s grandparents’ new apartment is on the ground floor and their porch opens up to a big field, which Damien loved running in (there’s even a conveniently located bench, so Rowen and I could watch him.) Though we were there for just over 24 hours, both Dan and I managed to visit two of our favorite places (Dutch Brothers for me and the Redding Goodwill for him; there’s a baby/kid secondhand store I LOVE in Redding as well, but we didn’t make it this time. Maybe during Thanksgiving break! It would be a great place to buy birthday and Christmas presents for the boys, now that I think about it…)
I remembered a swing set that I found my freshman year at PUC, oh so many years ago (10), over in the mobile home neighborhood (creatively called “Mobile Manor”.) Since our little ‘neighborhood’ is right across the street from theirs, I thought if the swing set still existed we could plan on it, and sure enough we took a family walk and found it. For walks, I put Rowen in a carrier (either the mei tai or the Maya) and sometimes I have Ripley on a leash too. Damien runs along and holds hands when we come to a main road (or Dan carries him on his shoulders.) The best part about this particular swing set is it actually has toddler swings (I call them toddler swings because they look like this, not this) so Damien can swing high without worrying about falling off (meanwhile I’ll swing with Rowen in the carrier, so he gets to swing too!) (Admittedly this is not a sacrifice for me as I’d swing with or without him.. haha. Eternal child over here.)
My dad came down one Sunday with one of his cross country students to do a race at PUC. The cross country course is pretty close to our house, which is nice; all of us walked out there (Rowen again in a carrier) and watched. Damien seemed pretty into it – maybe he’ll run when he’s in school. Both Rowen and Damien got a little bit of Bapa time in, even though he was technically working (and Damien really liked the student he brought too. So did Ripley, for that matter – luckily he was a dog person!) Kassi carpooled with my dad and stayed for a few days, so she could spend time with the boys before she left for college in Washington. We also got a bit of Mimi time in that week. Somehow as people came to visit my bridesmaid dress was forgotten every time (and it’s equally my fault because I forgot to remind them) so my mom brought it to me during the week, after she got out of class. It needs to be altered and the wedding is in a few weeks; yikes! We met her in Napa and went out to dinner together.
Oh, and Rowen got to meet my grandparents this week – or rather, they got to meet him. They brought a few baby things they had been storing for us, along with the backup dryer, and my grama even babysat Rowen during one of my classes. Damien loved seeing them too.
Photo dump time!
(Things are crazy around here; from now on I’ll save the complicated posts for monthly updates and consider myself lucky if I get a weekly update done!)
Rowen is getting big! He’s definitely filling out his 0-3m clothes and starting to outgrow some of his footie pajamas. At six weeks he seems comparable in size to Damien at three months (of course, three months was when Damien really started growing. If the same thing happens with Rowen we’ll really end up with a monster baby!)
I think he’s started social smiling, but it’s not something he does every day. He’ll get in smiley moods but you can’t coax a smile out of him every time. I’m hoping he gets super smiley soon – he still smiles and laughs in his sleep all the time so I know he has it in him! :)
No changes on the sleeping or eating fronts. He is getting a little fussier, and is awake a lot more during the day (and during the night too, sometimes.) I really appreciate how Rowen is fairly easy-going in the car and the stroller, two things Damien loathed, but maybe it’s because his carseat is more comfy (which it most definitely is!) Rowen, on the other hand, isn’t as gaga over the swing as Damien was, so let’s hope in the future those two form a closer bond because swing naps with Damien were the best.
My parents came on Sunday and that afternoon/evening we went to a sprint car race at the Calistoga Speedway. It was obviously Rowen’s first race (which he spent breastfeeding, cuddling, and getting mildly annoyed at his ear protection headphones) and it was also the first auto race Damien remembers (we went to one when he was six months old but he obviously doesn’t remember that.) Damien had fun but did get bored; it was kind of a long day for him. (Rowen too for that matter.) The next day we went partway home with my parents and went shopping in Fairfield/visited the sad tiny version of the Nut Tree (it’s not actually sad for me because I didn’t go to the Nut Tree when it was at its height, but it was Dan’s favorite place as a kid so I’m sure it’s a bit of a letdown for him.) Annnd if I ever get around to it, I’ll have a whole post on this later. (I’m three weekends behind on blog posts now… crap.)
On Monday I had my postpartum doctor’s appointment. I had to reschedule it from the week before because Rowen had a conflicting doctor’s appointment, and he had a little infection going on so his took precedence. Well, my doctor’s appointment was a total surprise in that all I did was answer questions (some of them were literally on a questionnaire.) I wasn’t examined at all. Maybe that’s normal, but after Damien was born I had a full-on examination doctor’s appointment every week from six weeks to nine weeks postpartum (and then I stopped going because I was really tired of doctor’s appointments and figured I’d heal on my own at some point.) Luckily for me, I feel nearly 100% back from childbirth so I don’t have any physical complaints, but I still thought it was a little funny. As for the questions, they were about postpartum depression (and so was the questionnaire), breastfeeding, and birth control. I was taken aback when the doctor said “we don’t really push or recommend breastfeeding past six months” and almost came back with “really? Well, the AAP and WHO sure do” but I knew this particular doctor was old-fashioned and he’s not my permanent doctor anyway, so I didn’t worry about it.
I think I’m doing okay as far as postpartum depression goes, but I know it can sneak up on you so I’m still being careful. I am a little worried about postpartum anxiety. I tend to be an anxious person anyway, so it’s hard to know what’s normal and what’s not. I think I’ve said before that I constantly think of the worst case scenario in every situation, and in terms of affecting my life that can range from distracting to horrifying. So far I’m not lying awake at night worrying, but I am getting tired of battling those thoughts all day. If I have to make a doctor’s appointment for school I’ll talk to them about it, but until then I’ll just keep being careful I guess.
Later in the week we took a foray into Santa Rosa for some shopping. We recently found out that Damien got into the preschool we applied for and will be starting when Dan and I start school (assuming we can get the financial side worked out), so he needed some supplies, and I also wanted to pick some things up from Costco. First we were hungry though, and gave Damien free reign of where we would eat – and he picked Burger King, so that’s where we went. I usually don’t like burger-y fast food, but I tried their spicy chicken sandwich and paired with the rejected veggies from Dan’s veggie burger (tomatoes and onions) it was quite good! I think we’ll do that again in the future. (I also love that Burger King sells Diet Coke. I hate that Taco Bell sells Pepsi products…) Memorable moments of the visit included the guy riding by the outdoor play place on his bike, yelling and cursing angrily, and then apologizing because “I didn’t know there were kids there!” (On a playground. Yeah, why would you find kids there?), and possibly accidentally offending the surrounding families so they left (we weren’t sure if it was an offhanded comment Dan made or me breastfeeding Rowen, but oh well, we got the place to ourselves! lol)
Costco was a bit disappointing – I was hoping to find a Halloween costume for one or both kids, but there was nothing in either of their sizes (the ‘infant’ costumes started at nine months, and they just straight up didn’t carry 3T) so that was a bust. We did bring home Pull-Ups, pizza, Clif Zbars for Damien’s school lunches (that he’ll probably finish off in the two weeks before school starts because he REALLY loves them), dog flea treatment, and frozen yogurt (well we ate that so it didn’t come home.) All their school supplies are long gone, so for that we headed next door to Target. They too were clearly on the get-it-out-of-here end of school season, but we did manage to find a matching preschool-sized backpack and lunchbox on clearance (I admit to being a tad bit disappointed Damien picked the robot print rather than the dinosaur one, but since I’m not the one starting preschool I guess I’ll survive.) (We also later found a matching water bottle at the Napa Target, so that makes me happy.) (Can I just put right here that I’m NOT looking forward to packing a lunch and snacks every single day? We were so spoiled at Damien’s last preschool – they had a chef who made meals for all the kids, AND they provided diapers. All we had to do was get him there!)
Okay, so I realize this update is half about me and half about Damien… but that’s our lives I guess. Sorry Rowen, at this point you’re just going along for the ride, but you’ll be starring in your own updates soon I swear. :)
(For comparison purposes, here’s Damien’s six week update. His hair was already getting pretty light!)