And just like that, Charleston, you are all grown up. Well, maybe not *quite* grown up, but at seven months it sure seems that way! This month has flown by even faster than all the rest, and life as your mom just keeps getting better.
It has been such a joy to watch your personality develop. You still have the occasional rough day, but for the most part you have become a pretty easy-going guy. When we are out and about, you are always alert and taking in your surroundings, and you will smile at anyone who interacts with you. We love making silly faces and noises to bring out your cute little giggles. You have a contagious laugh and a smile that lights up the room. You also seem to have a very sensitive spirit: even though most loud sounds don’t bother you, you cry whenever you hear somebody scream or make any other distressing noise. I don’t like to see you feeling sad, but when you get upset, you get the cutest little pouty look on your face and I can’t help but laugh!
Play time has gotten much more fun as you’ve gotten older. You like to play with rattles and stuffed animals, and it’s fun to watch you move them around in your hands and examine them. (Eventually, every toy ends up in your mouth!) You are also intrigued by balls and balloons, as well as anything that has moving parts. You are definitely happiest when we hold and play with you directly, but you still like hanging out in your swing and will play independently on your play mat or the floor for short intervals. I still read with you every day, but lately you are more interested in eating the books than reading them!
We’ve been making great use of our Disneyland passes, and this month we inadvertently found ourselves at Disneyland on its 60th birthday. If we’d realized the date ahead of time, we might have been scared away by the prospect of so many people, but I am so glad that we went! You got a 60th birthday pin and cupcake (which your daddy kindly ate on your behalf). I know you won’t remember that day, but when you are an adult you will always be able to say that you were at Disneyland for its diamond anniversary! I hope that you grow up to love Disney as much as your mom and dad. . . with us as your parents, it seems inevitable! So far you really do seem to enjoy our Disney trips. You’ve been a trooper on all the rides we’ve tried with you; our only mishap was Haunted Mansion: the screams in elevator room proved too much for your sensitive soul, and we ended up having to skip the ride itself. Maybe we’ll try again in a few months.
You continue to be one active little boy, always moving and squirming. When you are on your tummy you can almost push yourself into a crawling position, and I can tell that you get frustrated that you can’t quite crawl yet. (Instead, you use rolling and scooching to move yourself around.) You can sit unassisted for brief periods, and you like to “walk” across the room with us holding you. I have a feeling you will be fully mobile before we know it!
One especially cute development this month has been an increase in your “talking”. You don’t do a lot of traditional babbling, but you have started moving your mouth like you’re trying to talk and you make a sigh-like noise that sounds exactly like you are saying “hi.” You sigh a lot, which can be hilarious, especially when you do it as we are walking through the grocery store (people who hear you also crack up!). Sometimes (when you’re bored) your sighing turns to whining, which is not such a fun sound; thankfully the cooing has been outweighing the whining in the last couple of weeks.
Another exciting event this month was your baby dedication ceremony at church. You looked so handsome in your fancy outfit, and several of your family members came to share the momentous day with you. Despite some tearful moments before and after the dedication, you were great the whole time we were on stage. My heart swelled with pride as we introduced you to the congregation. Your dad and I pledged to raise you in a home that loves Jesus, and I was overcome with emotion as the pastor prayed over you and the other children on stage. I’ve been attending other babies’ dedications since I was a little girl and always dreamed of the day I would stand before God and my church and commit to being a spiritual role model and leader for children of my own. It was so special to see my dream finally coming true.
You had your six-month doctor’s appointment, and everything went great! You have no more jaundice (!) and are just as healthy as can be. You are still a tiny little guy, but your doctor is happy with the progress you’ve made. At your appointment you got your six-month vaccinations, and despite a few tears with the shots themselves, you calmed right down afterwards, and thankfully you didn’t seem to have any reaction later that evening. (After the way you responded to your first round of vaccines, I always get a bit nervous! I know that getting you vaccinated is the right decision, but it’s still not easy for me to see you in pain, even briefly.)
At your appointment, we talked with your doctor about introducing you to solid foods. She supported our plans to take a modified baby-led-weaning approach and recommended that we start with avocado or sweet potato. You haven’t officially fed yourself yet, but we’ve tried giving you “tastes” of avocado and you didn’t seem interested. We’re excited to keep trying, though! In the meantime, breastfeeding is still going great. You are always eager to eat and sometimes “help” by trying to lift up my shirt or pull me closer to you. Your feedings are shorter and a bit further apart, as you’ve become a much more efficient eater. (But you’ll still spend unlimited amounts of time “nibbling” at my breast if I let you; it’s definitely your happy place.) And speaking of drinking, we’ve discovered that you love water! We’ve only given you tiny sips, and you mostly just like the act of putting cups and bottles up to your mouth, but it sure is cute to watch you drink. You even try to lap at the water coming from the faucet during bath time!
I wish I could say you’ve become a better sleeper, but there hasn’t been much progress on that front. Other than brief catnaps, you won’t sleep by yourself without being swaddled. We’re still putting you down around 7:00 each night; some nights you’ll go down easily, and other nights it takes over an hour to get you to go to sleep at bedtime. And you are usually awake after a couple of hours. Fortunately, you sleep pretty well once I bring you into bed with me; I’m glad that you like our cuddling as much as I do! We haven’t nailed down our nap time routine, but if conditions are perfect (i.e., we are at home, you are swaddled and in your bassinet, and the air conditioning is cranked up high) you generally have one long nap per day—usually in the late morning, and lasting up to 2.5 hours! Hopefully as you get a little older, those long naps will become the norm rather than the exception.
Last week, we were driving through Newport and we passed the hospital where you were born. I pointed it out to you, and in the rearview mirror I watched as you turned to look at the hospital. I know that you’re too young to understand what I was saying, but a huge grin spread across your face and my heart absolutely melted. The day you were born might not have gone according to plan, but it was the best day of my life. Thank you for giving me the privilege of watching you grow up. You are the most amazing son a mom could ask for, and I love you to the moon and back!
Weight: 14.5 pounds (according to our scale at home)
Length: 25.5 inches
Clothes: Some 3-month clothing and some 6-month clothing, depending on the brand.
Diapers: We’re using Charlie Banana and bumGenius cloth diapers at home. They are “one-size-fits-all” so they are ridiculously big on you, but they seem to work pretty well. When we’re out, we’re still using Seventh Generation disposables and we’ve FINALLY moved up to size 2.
Eye Color: Sometimes they look brown, other times they look hazel. They ALWAYS look gorgeous. 😉
Likes: Playing with rattles and stuffed animals; practicing your sitting and standing; balloons; flying in the air; chewing on EVERYTHING; drinking sips of water.
Dislikes: Middle-of-the-night diaper changes; hearing other people scream, squeal, or cry.