Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures with Zilla: 6 months

How old?: 6 Months!  1/2 a year! 

Weight/Height:  His 6 month doc appointment won't be until Aug. 28th so we aren't really sure.  But I would guess around 20 lbs 

Baby clothes:  
Zilla is wearing 6 month outfits and some 6-9 month.  He is still in size 3 diapers

Milestones:
Zilla has started to sit up by himself (kind of).  he can't quite put himself into the seated position, but if we place him there he can stay upright for at least a little bit without toppling over.  But he really just enjoys laying down so he can roll.  He just loves rolling so much!  
He's started scooting on his tummy a little bit too, but is still working on the arm strength to push himself up enough to be a more efficient scooter.  Poor guy got his mom's upper body strength.  I told him that's okay because he has strong legs, and that's all that matters for soccer players :) 
He now has two teeth and seems to constantly be teething.  He also went through another growth spurt this month (though not as exaggerated as last months)
He also took his first dunk in a pool.  I don't think he enjoyed it very much, but he was such a little cutey. 

  Last, he had his first bite of "solid" food!  I told Jason we could start him on trying rice cereal while he was 5 months.  But then I stalled and stalled and stalled because I wanted him to wait until 6 months (WHO recommended).  Well, I finally gave in one night before his 6 month birthday. 
Special outings
We made a trip to Temple this month to see Zilla's Great Mama and Papa as well as his Aunt Janet and Uncle Brent.  
On this same trip we also stopped in West Texas for Zilla's first trip to the Czech stop!  This is a big deal!  Any traveler along I-35 will tell you so. 

Highlights of the month: 
Making it 6 months!  I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you had asked me 4 months ago, I may have told you that I wasn't going to survive this long.  But we have!  And I am so in love with this little guy.  He brings unimaginable joy to our life and I'm so grateful for each smile and giggle.  
And we made it 6 months exclusively breastfeeding (well, exclusive breast milk)!  Again, if you had asked me a few months ago if I really thought I would make it this long I may not have sounded confident.  But with the support of my husband and enough perseverance we're here and it becomes easier and easier each day. I don't have to plan our whole day around his feedings anymore because I am at a place where I'm comfortable feeding in public; and confident that I can probably feed him without much of a fuss.
That being said this will be the last month that we exclusively give him breast milk.  1) Because it's time to start some solids!  and 2) We will likely also start mixing in some formula.  As much as I would like to save the money and continue to let breast milk be his primary source of calories, it really is so hard (and stressful) to keep up with pumping at work.  Perhaps if I worked somewhere where I wasn't the only person in the office 60% of the time and almost always having to cut off interaction with a client in order to pump.  It makes me sad to think that this part of our relationship is coming to an end, but I feel so blessed to have provided him with food for this long.  
If there was a way to let him formula feed while I'm at work/away from him and let me breast feed him when we're together that would be awesome.  But I know as soon as I stop pumping at work that my supply will slowly drop off.  I get a little teary thinking about it.  Sounds cheesy, but when I was struggling with my emotions those first couple of months and had a hard time connecting with him I always looked at breastfeeding (though bumpy and often a fight in itself) as my way of telling him "I still love you; even if I'm crying all the time; I still love you with my whole self"
So anyways, the highlight of this month was just really enjoying the ease of breastfeeding and sharing this last little bit of his newborn-ness with him.

Baby's routine:
Our routine is pretty steady from last month.  Except that this month we had a bit of a hiccup for a week or so.  And I'd like to call that hiccup teething while growth spurting.

Wake up: 7:15am
Nap: 9:00 am-11:00 am
    Eat/Play: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Nap: 1:00pm - 3:00 pm
Eat Play: 3:00 pm - 5:45 pm 
Nap: This nap is usually a little shorter than his morning naps 5:45 - 6:30 or 7
Eat Play: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
8:30 - Bath time / get ready for bed
9:00 pm feed and put to sleep
Overnight he'll usually wake up one or two time to eat and "should" go directly to sleep.
So that's the way it should be.  However, for about a week this month he was going through a growth spurt while a tooth was breaking through.  This meant that he was hungrier but refusing to breast feed because it hurt to eat that way.  Therefore I was once again trying to pump through a growth spurt.  Which is just so hard to keep up with.  He was also awake a lot during the night and much harder to put to sleep for naps and overnight.  This caused some stressful evenings, but we survived so that's good news.


Baby's favorite food: breast milk. 

Baby's favorite activity: 
I think rolling is still his favorite.  But also playing with his daddy.  

Baby's favorite toy:
His exersaucer and various balls  

Big changes:
We started sleep training with Zilla at the end of this month.  We decided it was time to help him learn how to sleep through the night better and go to sleep on his own (without rocking or being fed to sleep).  Once again, this was a hard transition for me.  At first the idea of it sounds so appealing "Oh, I don't have to spend 30 mins rocking him to sleep anymore?"  Until you go into his room while he is crying and pick him up and all you want to do is rock him.  Or realize that at least for the foreseeable future (until he's pretty solid on this whole falling asleep alone thing) I won't get to rock him.  What?  When did he get so big and independent?  
We're using a minimal crying, pick up/put down method.  Pretty much this means we aren't letting him just cry it out. I refused to let us use that method.  Instead we go into his room and pick him up until he stops crying (without rocking) and then immediately put him back down.  Rinse and repeat until he doesn't cry after being put down and falls asleep.  
I pretty much have a super strong (or just sore) back after doing this a couple of nights.  But I think he's slowly getting the hang of it.  Also, he's slowly figuring out how to put his paci in by himself at night. 

Mommy Journal
I've been thinking about the language we (I) use and how it impacts our family.  Let me explain.
The other night my brother said something that my sister in law didn't think should be said around their 2 year old.  "Don't use that work around my daughter"
So am I here to critique what my brother said?  Nope.  It's actually what my sister in law said that got me thinking.  It's something I do quite often and something I truly want to work on going forward.  
 I have this horrible tendency to change the possessive adjective (yes, I looked up that term) I use with Zilla in relation to Jason and myself based on the circumstance:
When somebody is talking to us about Zilla "Yes, our son is perfect"
Jason does something I disagree with: "Don't do that around my son"
When I'm frustrated with Zilla, "Make your son stop crying!" 
Zilla is my baby.  There is no doubt about that.  But when I'm talking about him to Jason or in relation to our family, I want to work on always using the term "our" son.  
I guess I think this is so important because I want Zilla to grow up with the emphasis on us as a family unit.  I want him to feel secure in trusting that his parents are one and that this is unconditional.  Because more than Zilla is my baby, he is our baby. And we must work together to provide, raise, and love him day in and day out.  I cannot be the mom I am without my husband and I want to be there to support my husband in being a father.

On a similar note, I also want to mention how amazing my husband is at being a dad. Maybe this should be wifey journal this month.  Jason is just so patient and loving with Zilla and he finds so much joy being with him.  When Zilla was going through his rough teething week Jason would stand in his room rocking and consoling him for as long as it took and when Zilla would finally go to sleep he did not leave his room frustrated or disheartened.  He would simply say something like "poor guy is just hurting so much.  Wish I could do more."  My husband is so loving and I learn something about parenting from him everyday.  Zilla and I are blessed to have him!