Charles is...

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My little guy is five months old today!

Time flies when you're having fun.  And also, apparently, when you become a mother.

It's so hard to believe that Charles is five months old today.  He is the joy of my life--I never knew how much I could love another person, how immediately and deeply, until I became a mother and got to know my little miracle.

Motherhood hasn't been a cakewalk, and I never expected it to be.  We've had rough days and rougher nights, but it's mostly just been a process of adjusting to the "new normal."  The fourth trimester (i.e., the first three months) was definitely really hard, but it's gotten so much easier like everyone assured me it would.

Breastfeeding has gone really well overall, though the first two months saw a few plugged ducts, mastitis, and two weekends of high fevers.  I've enjoyed being a part of the local La Leche League group most months, and the leader said I'll make a good LLL leader myself one day, which was hugely gratifying (but also humbling as I realized how much I didn't know).

We made the switch from disposable diapers to cloth when he was about two months, and I've loved it!  It's just as easy to wash an extra load of laundry every few days as it was to keep up with buying diapers (especially since we used the "green" ones and those are only sold at far-away stores).  We have been using Green Mountain Diapers pre-folds and Thirsties covers (and Snappis, of course, which have been amazing). We also bought some hemp boosters which made it so much easier to use cloth overnight and when we'll be away from home for a few hours.

Baby-wearing has been really fun, but not as "easy" as I thought it would be.  Charles doesn't always like being worn.  He was never a fan of being swaddled, and I think wearing him is sometimes too restrictive for his active little self.  We used a Boba (stretchy) wrap at the beginning, which was great for distributing weight and keeping him warm and close in the cooler months.  Our Maya Wrap ring-sling has been great for running quick errands since it pops on and off so easily, and recently we've enjoyed using the hip-carry (and the back-of-the-hip carry as he's gotten grabbier).  As summer hit full-force, we've mostly switched to using the Ergo now that he's big enough not to use the infant insert.  It doesn't surround us with as much fabric, and it has a pocket where you can put an ice-pack for super hot days (you can also put a "boo-boo" ice-pack between your bodies).  I learned the ice-pack trick at a meet-up of the Magic City Slingers, the local chapter of Babywearing International.  Southern baby-wearers have to get creative this time of year....

I haven't done very well keeping up with Charles' milestones like I intended to on here.  So far he's been on track or slightly ahead of what the books say he's supposed to be able to do.  He's always loved standing on his own two legs and looking around while holding on to our fingers.  We introduced a borrowed exersaucer last week and he has absolutely loved being able to stand and see what's going on while playing with his toys.  The past week or two he's really started to be able to sit up mostly unsupported (though the Boppy or a pillow behind his back helps him from leaning too far over to regain his balance).  Also for the last few weeks he's gone from being pretty quiet to wanting to join in the conversation at every opportunity (especially at church, haha).  Charles is very ticklish, and that's the surest way to get him to laugh.  He also gets a little "punch drunk" when he's sleepy, and goes from fussing to laughing and back again very rapidly, which is hilarious.

Speaking of sleep, that's been a bit funky lately.  For the past two or three months he's had his little schedule of bedtime at 10:00, nurse at 2:00, then again about 5:00, then wake up about two hours later for the morning.  But starting last Friday night he began waking up every hour to two hours and not being able to go back to sleep on his own--I either have to nurse him or Trevvor has to walk him.  We started aiming to get him in bed between 8:00 and 9:00, thinking he might be overtired, and that's helped a little, but he's still waking up three to four times a night.  Anyway, I don't know if it's teething or a growth spurt or what, but it sure is exhausting for all of us.  Any tips from veteran moms?  I don't mind dealing with it, I just want to help him sleep more peacefully.

Charles is a very happy, alert, and active baby.  He is an absolute joy, and I've already had many people inform me that "he's going to keep [me] on [my] toes" when he gets older.  His favorite two toys right now are a little green car (already all boy), a little teddy bear that crinkles, and Sophie la Girafe.  The first few months he was definitely an "in arms" baby, but since then he's really seemed to enjoy more independence on his play-mat or in his exersaucer (this is both a relief and somewhat heartbreaking).

Anyway, I guess that's all for the five-month update!  I'll definitely try to do better about posting more.  I don't want to forget anything!

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