Saturday, November 16, 2013

Drew: 4 months

Drew loves: when we hold him up in the air over our heads, his changing table, his new blackout shades, being naked, his lovie, the moby wrap, "standing" on mom's lap, looking in mirrors, morning time, bath time, and tickle time!

Drew is unsure about: tummy time, his bumbo chair, his high chair, and his new jumperoo.

Drew hates: strangers, saline spray in his nose, and the snot sucker bulb.

Milestones: propping himself up on his hands (arms extended) during tummy time, sitting up in a chair (with back support), rolling from tummy to back, laughing, weight bearing on his legs, naps and night time sleep (powering through the 4 month sleep regression as best we can), and reaching/grabbing at toys and grasping them before dropping them.

Favorite moments: laughing - no contest. We'll do just about anything to get him to laugh! We thought he'd have a cute little giggly laugh, but it's more of a giggly grunt. Sounds kinda like "heh...he he hehhh" (can't you hear that?). Other favorite moments: smiling, how he actually likes to sleep in his bed and will wiggle in my arms until I put him down in his crib, nursing (at first I really didn't care for nursing, but now I'm going to be sad when it's over), when he sees my face and smiles, when I catch Kyle doing cute little things to make Drew laugh, and watching Drew explore his new chairs (bumbo, high chair, jumperoo).

We're starting to think about starting solids in the next month or two, so we've begun putting Drew in his high chair in the morning so he can get used to being in it. He's so dang cute; he just sits there and looks at us like "ok...what now guys?". He's really starting to feel like a member of the family to me now. Before, despite my epic love for him, he often just felt like a little baby to take care of (because he was). He's still that little baby, but now he seems to have more a presence during the day. He feels more like my buddy, and a little less like my baby (but at 4 months, he's very much still a baby!).

We battled the 4 month sleep regression the last few weeks and I think we are turning a corner. Sleep is such a touchy subject, because it involves so many other aspects of parenting. Sleep is never about just sleep; it can be about feeding (scheduled vs. on demand), comforting (self-soothing vs. parent soothing), parental roles (who is handling baby in the middle of the night), and baby care (such as swaddle vs. no swaddle), just to name a few. I've done my lion's share of research, and taken note of my how my friends and family members who have babies that sleep did it. While I don't think there is one right way to achieve baby sleep, I do think that's it's imperative that the baby GETS sleep. To that end, if it's working for baby first, and you second, then it's a win. If it's not working for baby, but working for you...probably not a win. And if it's working for baby, but not for you...well, that's not ideal, but it's a close second.

I think I've mentioned it before, but we followed the Baby Wise approach pretty consistently. I read the book, but found this blog to be the most helpful (although nothing is as truly helpful as those who have gone before; I have spent many hours on the phone with friends and family who have used this approach!). We also did a responsible Cry It Out approach with Drew once we felt he was old enough and emotionally ready for it. Cry It Out (CIO) really gets a bad rep, mostly because I think it's often implemented incorrectly or haphazardly. I've come to realize this is a very hot topic, and I think that's because most non-CIOers think that letting a baby cry it out means the parent just ignores the baby's needs (which isn't true if CIO is done correctly). When we did CIO for Drew, we certainly were not ignoring his needs. For us, CIO was the process of teaching Drew that we are not the only ones that can help him meet his needs. Obviously, only mom or dad can help with a food or diaper need. But the need for comfort is certainly a need Drew became capable of meeting on his own. After helping him through that phase, he is now very much able to meet a moderate need for comfort himself. If he's ever in need of comfort that surpasses what he can provide to himself, he lets us know and we respond immediately and with great compassion for him - he's just a little guy, after all. Through this approach, he continues to trust us that we are there for him, while also learning to trust himself a little too. I call that a win, win (and a good night's sleep!).

He's also been battling a cold for seven weeks. SEVEN weeks, people. Time flies when your life goes in 3 hour feeding cycles, I guess. I didn't totally notice the cold at first because there was no runny anything. Just congestion in his throat. Three trips to the doctor later, I finally went into crazy-mom mode. A steady regimen of saline spray before and after naps, gripe water every 4-6 hours, Vicks baby rub on his feet before naps and bedtime, a cool mist humidifier, and an elevated crib mattress seems to have maybe done the trick. I also began to demand in my prayers that his cold bow to Jesus. And it seems like, for now, it has.

Alas, I'm done talking. This long update is mostly for my friend Keri (who is due with her own little boy this spring) and my grandma (my only true faithful blog reader)!

Drew's baby dedication (he wasn't that thrilled)
Kyle sharing our verse (1 John 3:1) for Drew in front of the
congregation at our church. Drew was blessed to have many family and
friends be there to  support our decision as parents to dedicate Drew to the
Lord, and to publicly commit to raising him in a Christian home.
Every Wednesday Drew and I join my friend Laura and her son Bronson
(and 20-30 other moms + babies) at the Edmonds Library for story time.
It's a 45 minute program, filled with rhymes, songs, books, and free play time.
Drew shows up early to have his late morning meal, and then waits
for his friends to get there :-)
Hanging out with grandpa watching the Huskies. We don't normally
let Drew watch TV, but snuggle time with grandpa is important :)
Practicing standing (and look at those chunky legs!)
Drew is a Roots of Empathy baby at Briercrest Elementary School.
We do a family visit to the school once a month to the same kindergarten
classroom; Drew is the "classroom baby". The kintergardeners learn about
empathy through studying and interacting with a baby throughout the program.
This display board is up in the classroom during the year as the kids
 make predictions about what Baby Drew will be able to do at the upcoming
visit. Baby Drew was like a celebrity at his first visit! The kids loved him,
and I overheard them telling their parents about him in the parking lot
as I was leaving the school - so sweet. I am so proud of Drew, even though he
 just sits there and looks around. Oh, mom's the littlest things, sometimes.
Visit with great-grandma Eva. We took "sunset dinner" to her,
 and she got some baby Drew snuggle time in.
Drew finally meeting his great-grandma Dee!
Checking out the fish tank with Grandma - first time seeing fishys!
It looks like he is just looking at the blocks, but I stack them up for
him and he knocks them over (am I starting a bad habit?). He can
also wedge one of the blocks between both hands and bring it to his
mouth (to chew on, of course).
Halloween: the cuteness monster!

Post-bath time towel fun
I have not edited these photos so excuse the poor lighting...
Hanging out with dad at the activity table
Drew's starting to "understand" the camera a little more...I even
got a few smiles out of him!

Found those feet again...
Baby feet!
Practicing his "W" for "Go Dawgs!"

I couldn't get this picture to rotate...sorry!

These are a series of mostly failed attempts to get a replica
 of a picture both Kyle and I have of us as babies...Drew
just did not understand what was going on. It took me three
separate photo shoots on 3 different days to finally get
"the shot" (or something close enough).

I think we nailed it with this last one! 
Kyle, Drew and Stephanie (all at 3 months): who do you think
Drew looks more like? 

Giving it grace: Drew and I joined a PEPS group, and so far I'm really liking it. I do already have a large network of mom friends, but it's really been beneficial to get together with moms who have babies specifically Drew's age. Each week we talk about different topics, and try to support each other through the trials of first time momhood. If nothing else, it's really opened my eyes to the variety of ways one can raise a baby. It's also warmed my heart to see how much time, emotion, and brain power these moms (myself included) are sacrificing for their babies, husbands, and family legacy (because babies grow into adults, who then have their own babies...and so on and so forth).

A blogger who I'm fond of recently wrote an article about stay-at-home moms. I felt like this passage summarized his general point well: "These women [moms] are doing something beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential. Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences?" That's why it warms my heart that a bunch of mom-strangers have committed to getting together once a week to work through truly tender, important, and sensitive aspects of becoming a mom. (It also makes me not feel so badly about sitting around chatting with a bunch of moms on Tuesday morning, drinking lemonade and eating pumpkin bread, while Kyle is sweating keyboard key-sized bullets at work).

This is another evidence of God's grace in our marriage. I was talking today with Kyle about how I stay home with Drew, and thanking him for being so on board with that. I may not always be able to stay home with our kids, but that will always be a goal we are working to keep (or get back to). I asked him if it felt "unfair" that I got to stay home while he went to work, and he replied that he didn't really ever think of our situation in terms of what he is doing verses what I am doing. He said that he thinks about what's best for Drew, and he's happy and satisfied knowing that Drew is at home with me - which he considers the best thing for Drew. I believe it's by the grace of God that we're able to work out a situation where all three of us (Bug's opinion matters too!) are seemingly satisfied with the family dynamics - even though they seem "unfair" at first glance. (Although, the day that Drew pooped THREE SEPARATE TIMES in the bathtub I would've gladly traded Kyle for a day in the office...).

No comments:

Post a Comment