You’re six months old, Henry James.
That’s 1/2 of a year.
2/3 of a pregnancy.
2 maternity leaves.
2 seasons, or in our case, about 3/4 of one Wyoming winter.
200 days you’ve been in our lives.
We’ve been through roughly 1,600 feedings and 2,000 diaper changes.
When I started writing this post, you were 4 months old and it was Happy New Year, Henry. I’ve come back to it several times, but only for a few minutes at a time because
1. Sometimes I think about how I could be writing, but I’d rather sit and snuggle you at stare at your perfect face instead, and
2. My free time is usually broken up into about 10 minute increments in which I can try to get something done, and sometimes laundry, showering, or sleep takes precedence.
I’ve been hoping that inspiration would hit me and this post would come together perfectly, but every time I come back to it, it’s a little all over the place. I think I’m ready to accept the fact that this is just how life is right now and if I want to get something finished before you are seven months old, it’s not going to be real polished and pretty. So in no particular order, here are some things about you and our lives recently.
You’ve been to a wedding, a funeral, two baby showers, and lots of Christmas parties. We’ve been to Colorado, Nebraska, and Arizona together. You took your first plane ride like a pro.
I’ve been back at work for 3 months. The first 2, we were able to leave you at home with Nana or Grandma Terry a few days a week, and also your Dad and I each worked from home one day a week. Going back was not as hard as I expected it to be. It was a blessing in disguise that we couldn’t get you into daycare right away (they were booked nearly a year out when we toured options – back when you were about the size of an orange in my belly). It made it a nice transition to be able to leave you at home in your pjs for awhile, rather than packing you up with your things and dropping you off with strangers on the first day I was back in the real world. I only cried for a minute the first day, after I left the house as I hugged your dad goodbye and got into my car without you.
You’ve been at daycare (or baby work, as we’ve taken to calling it – thank you Ashley!) for a little over a month now. We love the daycare and the sweet ladies that hang with you all day are lovely and kind and I only feel like they are judging my parenting abilities some of the time.
Your second week there, you apparently preferred being held rather than entertaining yourself, which led them to ask me what we do for play at home.
“Um, idk, we put him on his playmat or in his pack n’ play with some toys and we try not to hold him all the time except when he’s losing his damn mind for 5 minutes straight when we try to sit down to dinner.”
Also he’s a first baby and also he’s a BABY. So sorry he’s being needy.
It’s fine though, bud. You totally adjusted after like one more day.
I truly feel confident that you are in good hands and learning more than you probably would at home. You’re pretty much always happy as a clam when we drop you off in the morning and pick you up after work, and from what I understand, you are playing QUITE WELL now.
So thank you, sweet child, for being so easy-going and willing to adapt and making something about this time in our lives a tiny bit easier. Because having you around is mostly awesome, but it also makes some things different and hard.
My emotions are everywhere sometimes. As much as I’m relieved that you’re happy at daycare and I’m contributing to society and to our family by staying busy in the real world during the week, it’s SO HARD to know that I’m missing so many hours of you every day. Like, what are you even doing when I’m not there?
We just started feeding you oatmeal and baby food, and I realized the other day that I hadn’t changed a dirty diaper in awhile. On the one hand, as your dad said “you’re only pooping at work? smart.” But then also, I was actually kind of upset that your teachers had probably experienced the weird “solid food poops” that I’ve heard about BEFORE I DID.
That’s right. I was sad about your poops.
Sometimes you’re grouchy and it’s hard to figure out why. Sometimes you don’t want to be put down, or let us sit down, and you cry and it’s frustrating.
Then there are times that I’m like, I don’t even know what I did to deserve such a great baby. You go to bed so easy and sleep SO WELL at night. You’ve been sleeping through the night consistently, only stirring occasionally before 6 a.m., and usually a pacifier puts you right back to sleep.
I have no excuse, but I’m still tired.
It took me 3 days to make cookies. Your dad had to bake them because you were screaming and couldn’t be consoled other than by a boob.
Speaking of boobs, we’ve been through some Adventures in Breastfeeding. Overall, you’ve taken to nursing like a dream. Still, it hasn’t always been easy.
There were a few weeks after I returned to work when I would try to feed you and you would scream and cry and refuse to eat. I read about how that may have been a “nursing strike” which is common but still it was hard not to let it hurt my feelings.
There was the first time that my supply dipped, which put me into a panic. They call it liquid gold for a reason, but it’s a little bit nutty how important breastmilk is in my daily life right now. I googled ways to increase your breastmilk supply, and tried oatmeal, lactation cookies, power pumping, and some magic serum called “Let there be milk”. I started setting my alarm for 1 a.m. every night for fear that I might just dry up if I don’t wake up to pump because you were sleeping until 3 or 4 in the morning. I’m afraid my boobs might get confused if we sleep all night, because how do they know there’s still a baby to feed?
You gradually went from eating 4 ounce bottles during the day to 5 and then 5 1/2 at a time before you were satisfied. We get daily report sheets from daycare that tell us when you napped, had your diaper changed, and when and how much you ate. Sometimes your meal history says 5 ounces, and even though I know it’s irrational, I kind of want to confront your teachers like “But what did you do with the other half ounce that was in that bottle? Or were you JUST TOO LAZY TO WRITE THE .5 WHAT AM I PAYING YOU FOR??”
There was the time just last week that I finally experienced clogged ducts. I pumped less than normal in the morning, and my one boob was killing me that afternoon. By the time I was home, even after nursing it felt like I had rocks in my breast. It took some heating, some serious rubbing, pumping, and feeling like I was going to pass out before the clogs finally released and I felt somewhat back to normal.
Sounds crazy, I know. But I’m so glad I’ve been able to nurse you, and I know I’m going to be sad when you outgrow it.
On a different note. I’ve talked, somewhat seriously, about how my next car may be a minivan. Because we could go all the places and take all the things and open doors with the push of a button and I could just MOM SO HARD.
Your dad has sung you so many songs. They go like this:
Poop on your dresserrrrrr!
Poop on your changing table.
Poop on your dresserrrrrr!
Or a more recent one that was more of a rap:
It’s. Time. For a new diaper.
It’s. Time. For a new diaper.
It’s. Time. For a new diaper.
New diaper for Henry BOY.
You’ve really been trying to talk over the past couple months. You started out with a fake little cough-talk, then resorted to squealing, blowing bubbles, and speaking in “pppbbbtts”, and lately you’ve been growl-yelling when you want attention or are just trying to tell us something. You have the sweetest laugh that just lights up our day. You just started sitting up on your own, sometimes for several minutes at a time before you lose balance and tip over. You’ve started to act a little goofy, and I think you know it.
You’re just now outgrowing your 3 month sized wardrobe. You’re just over 13 pounds which is still pretty tiny for your age, but we think you’re perfect and adorable and I’m totally ok if you stay just like that.
You still love bath time, still hate tummy time, and you’re really into grabbing whatever we are drinking and trying to put it in your mouth (usually: coffee mugs, beer cans, wine glasses).It’s kind of crazy to me how fast you’re growing up (cliche, I know – but I’m sure it won’t be the last time I say that). It feels like yesterday and forever ago at the same time that we brought you home from the hospital and started our lives as Seviers, party of 3. I can’t even fathom that in the next 6 months you may be actually speaking human words and walking around like a person. All I know is that I love you more every day, and I feel so lucky that I get to be your mama.