Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Zero to Six- Pictoral
Home from the hospital
One month old- Halloween
Two months old
Three months old.
Four months old.
Five months old.
Six months old- you're blond now!
(And here's the traditional "letter to baby" bit. Feel free to skip!) (Also, could the lighting quality of these pictures be any WORSE? Geez, I need a photography class. Or a new camera.)
Jameson, you are six months old today. Actually, TODAY you are six months and one day. So I guess this is belated... sorry 'bout that. But I did wish you a happy half birthday yesterday, so I didn't forget! I was just too tired to write. Being too tired has been a recurring theme of the last six months. I feel like it has gone by SO FAST, just like my pregnancy with you, because I'm too busy to even think about things too much. I wake up, make coffee, blink, and then I'm putting you to bed again and the day is done (unlike my to-do list.)
This is why I am snuggling and holding you as much as I can when I get a chance, even at the expense of mopped floors and dusted bedrooms. I keep joking to people that it took THREE kids to put my perfectionist pangs about housekeeping to rest. It finally happened that there literally are not enough hours in the day to properly take care of and enjoy my kids AND keep the house as clean as I prefer it to be. Something has to give, and most days, I let it be the housecleaning. It bothers me a little, but not as much as I thought it would back when I was fretting about the hypothetical reality of three small kids. Instead of taking pride in my smudge-free glass, I now feel accomplished when all my kids have been bathed in the last two days. Oh, and when Jamie's little butt is so completely rash free that the doctor praises it at his six month check up (true story!)
You are developing right on track for six months, and are finally starting to somewhat enjoy the tastes of oatmeal cereal and applesauce we've been giving you at night for the last few weeks. You are still pretty much strictly breastfed, with the occasional bottle on nights when you have nursed me dry and are still grousing for more. My milk supply has not been fantastic, unfortunately, and it's taken a lot of work to keep it up, especially while you had your ear infections and weren't eating well. You're making it up for it now, though, eating two or three times a night again like a newborn!
At least you WANT to nurse again, so I'm fine with it, but I do wish you were a bit calmer while you eat. Instead you grunt and grab and pull at me as though by digging in your nails you might somehow force out the milk a little faster. You horrified your Aunt Laura the other day, who watched you eating/groping and grabbing at me like a drunk frat boy, and demanded, "What is he DOING to you?" You remind me of a piglet, actually, who thinks if he doesn't force his way in at the teat he won't get his turn. Kind of a... graphic visual, but it's a pretty close comparison. And maybe it's just a subconscious third child thing... you know you'll have to fight for your share eventually?
Whatever hardships there may be in your birth order, I think your siblings' devotion to you should make up for it. I had no idea how MUCH they would adore and dote on you. I thought, when we brought you home, that we would have to protect you from occasional aggression. Instead, we've had to be ever vigilant for too violent expressions of LOVE from Adelay and Eli, who would happily stand over you and kiss your head all day long if you didn't eventually tire of it and start whimpering. We've recently let you start playing in your jumperoo (of which you are a huge fan) and I have to constantly check to make sure one of your big sibs isn't trying to elicit a smile from you by "swinging" you wildly or "helping" you jump, aka giving you whiplash. They will do absolutely anything to make you laugh, even if it's borderline dangerous to you or themselves. Or my brain.
This sounds dumb considering that the last two months I've been getting up with you at least twice a night, but you actually are a good sleeper. Before you got sick back in January, you were sleeping five hour stretches at night, and that was at three months old. I really think if you hadn't dealt with TWO bouts of double ear infections, and then this subsequent hunger fest now that you're feeling well again, you would be a model sleeper. You always go down to bed pretty easily, in your own crib with your nightlight and ocean sounds and snug in your sleep sack. You suck your fingers (no more paci for you!) roll over to your side and fall asleep within minutes. BUT once you wake up you generally won't fall back asleep unless you're in my arms, so I guess we practice an odd mixture of separate bedrooms AND co-sleeping. Whatever works, I say. And truth be told, your habits suit me well, because while I have a hard time initially going to sleep with anyone else in bed near me, once I'm in that dreamy, half-awake state, I don't at all mind tucking a warm little bundle on my shoulder and drifting to sleep together with you, listening as our breathing patterns become identical. Our cosleeper, which got a lot of use for about two months, is used now as either a playpen, when I bother to take it to the living room, or, more often, as a clothes rack for sweaters and jeans.
You finally enjoy the carrier, so we go on lots of walks now when weather allows, me wearing you on my chest, holding the dog's leash in one hand and grabbing for stray older kids with the other. You're heavy enough that it's kind of a pain to try to do any actual housework while wearing you, though, so I give huge props to anyone who manages to vacuum or do dishes with a sixteen pound baby strapped to their chest. What IS easy is plopping you in your Bumbo to watch while I do chores, though. Nine times out of ten this is the go-to spot for you, keeping you happy when other options have failed. That ugly purple chair is like the infant equivalent of a La-Zee-Boy.
You really like baths, and only cry when being REMOVED from the water. You also unfortunately have pretty sensitive skin, with what I think is eczema right along your hairline, so I have to be diligent about the lotioning and creaming, and you mostly despise that process, despite the fact that if I skip it even one day you're rubbing and scratching miserably at your scaly red forehead. Clearly cause and effect is not something you're yet aware of. (P.S The lotion I use, which works wonderfully on his sensitive skin and seems to control the eczema, is Nature's Baby Organics. It's a body/face moisturizer with calendula oil and aloe, and it works WAY better than the Aveeno for eczema stuff that I was using. I also used it sometimes in place of diaper rash cream, and I swear it worked just as well if not better at helping heal the rash.)
You're a very happy baby most of the time, and your hearty little chuckle is my favorite sound in the world. When you're happy to see me, you curl around me in your best imitation of a hug, bury your head into my shoulder and nuzzle happily. Your kisses are simultaneously precious and kind of... damp: you give a squeal of glee, then lunge at my face and gum wildly on my cheeks as long as I'll let you before I have to pry you away and wipe the spit off my skin. The kids find this hysterical, obviously, and dance around shrieking, "He's eating you! The Jamie monster is eating you!" Other times you settle for less violent expressions of affections, and instead engage us in very lengthy and vehement conversations. I think you're going to be an early talker; you've got most of your basic "ba-la-da-ma" sounds down pat already.
Not sure if you're going to walk or even crawl anytime soon, though, and that is JUSTFINE with me. You despise tummy time, and have only rolled over a couple of times, though you get yourself to your side constantly. You just don't want to flop over, and I could care less. Infant mobility is never something that has thrilled me, frankly, and I don't understand why people get all het up about it. As far as I'm concerned, you'll walk someday, and everything in between that first curiosity about moving and actual, independent walking is just a mess of falls and baby proofing and your own frustration with wanting to do more than you're physically able. So I see no reason to force you into having an interest in being vertical before you're ready. I wouldn't mind your staying my sweet little lap baby for as long as you want! (Er, up to a point. Probably past age two or so I might be nudging you from the nest just a bit.)
Your sweet, chubby little baby face, complete with multiple chins (despite the fact that the rest of your body is on the thin side and you are only currently in the tenth to twentieth percentile for weight) is a constant source of delight to me. You in general are a constant source of delight to me, actually, and have been since the moment I laid eyes on you and pulled you to myself from the water. I've never told anyone this, but while I was still holding you in the birth pool, I whispered "Hello Isaac!" into your ear. I still wasn't sure what your name would be, and had a suspicion that Jim would choose Jameson. I was fine with it, and love that name and think it suits you wonderfully. But I knew that in my heart you would always have a second name, and I wanted to be the one to give it to you, to christen you with this very special name before any other was given. You are my promised child, and I was reminded of it all through your pregnancy, even when things seemed (several times) to be going wrong.
I remember the morning after I had started bleeding heavily, when I was just five weeks pregnant and certain I was losing or had already lost you. I called my friend Jess to let her know what was happening, and ask her to pray for my own emotions as I went to the doctor to confirm by ultrasound what I thought was surely another miscarriage. She promised she would, and we hung up. But then she called me back to tell me that she also asked Adam (her husband) to pray, and that he had, and then told her that he felt certain everything was fine and that I was still pregnant.
This sort of thing happened several other times throughout my pregnancy- something would seem wrong or problematic, but I would be reassured by my own heart or by the assurances of others (including my mom, who told me she had been looking for comfort in the Bible and turned randomly to find a passage about Sarah being promised a son even when it should have been impossible) that all was going to to be fine. Just little things, here and there, but by the end of the pregnancy I felt so certain that you, your very specific little self, were meant to be in our family (going all the way back to your conception, in fact, when Jim and I both felt that it was time to "try" even though we weren't technically supposed to yet) that I had named you Isaac, my promised child, and I was sure you would be all right. (Isaac is the name of Sarah's son in the Biblical account, fyi- according to the story she gives birth to him at the age of ninety.) I didn't even care if that was your name on paper or if it was what we called you or not, I just knew that it needed to be your name as well as whatever your given name ended up being.
Many cultures have a tradition of giving multiple names, sometimes at different, significant times in a person's life besides their birth. Often these names are chosen for their spiritual meaning, including the Catholic tradition of adopting a saint's name upon one's entry into a monastic life- and I think also this is a custom for some at confirmation? So this is a little different, this extra name of yours, and following no particular tradition other than my own inclination. But it is yours, my sweet Jamie James, along with all my love and hope. We're so very glad you came!