Sweet little Graham – you are five months old! These months seem to have passed by so much more quickly this time. I feel like I blink and another one has gone by…
While you are without a doubt still the most precious baby I’ve known, this past month was more challenging than the ones before it. We saw less smiles, more tears, and I felt confused on a daily basis trying to figure out your cues and “schedule.” I said to your dad on more than one occasion, “aren’t babies supposed to get easier as they get older?”
I think it was a bit of growing pains – both physically and developmentally. Because while we had a good number of grumpy days and nights, by the end of the month you started happily taking a pacifier, chilling out in your car seat, sleeping on your belly, rolling over constantly, and laughing hysterically at your brother.
Oh, and your TWO TEETH might have had something to do with your moody moments. Your first one popped up last Saturday, and the one next to it broke through just this morning. Your gummy smile now shows a hint of white!
I call you Roly Poly and it sends your brother into a fit of giggles. If I put you on your back you immediately roll over, and then sometimes you cry because you don’t know what to do next. If there are toys in front of you though, you’ll happily hang out and reach for them for a good stretch of time.
You are juuuust starting to show signs that you’re thinking about crawling, and you love to kick and swim in the air. You’ve started tucking your knees up under your belly and pushing your chest up off the floor with your arms. You are just like your big brother in that you get very frustrated when you can’t do something yet.
Your favorite toys right now are Mr. Zebra, monkey legs, gummy circles , and the chewy blue hand that you like to gnaw on. At the rate your teeth are coming in, anything that can be chewed is a friend.
Speaking of being on your belly, this month brought a lot of changes in the sleep department too. Most notably – you stopped doing it! I gave you a pass for a few days because you were sick and only wanted to sleep in my arms. I spent three nights wide awake with worry while you snoozed on my chest with a high fever. It was horrible. Let’s not do that again, okay?
And to add insult to injury, while you were sick you also got your first tooth. Ever since then you’ve been waking up a lot more in the night. I put you to bed around 7pm, and right now you are often waking up around 11pm, 1am, 4am, and 6am. And somehow, despite being up quite a bit through the night – you still do not nap more than 25 minutes in your crib. Graham, your mama is so so tired.
I asked your dad this morning how it is possible that I am more sleep-deprived now than I have ever remembered before. He reminded me that you are often getting up around 1 and 4am, and then your big brother is awake for the day by 5:30am. Are you two conspiring already?
Other sleep changes – we finally got you out of the swaddle! That was a brutal transition and I am so glad it’s over. You have quite the startle reflex still, and it was so hard to get you to sleep comfortable and peacefully, but you wouldn’t stop rolling over in your swaddle so it had to go. And you know what finally worked? You sleep on your belly now!
When your big brother started sleeping on his stomach I was totally freaked out and worried sick over it, as all first time moms should. And while yes, it is absolutely recommended that you be sleeping on your back – you don’t want to! And there is nothing I can do about that.
You not only love sleeping on your belly, you also love smooshing your face up into blankets and snuggling your lovey dog close to your body. All things you are not supposed to do, but I feel very confident that you are a strong guy who can safely snuggle with a blanket. Good thing you are my second baby and can get away with these types of things more easily.
The other perk of you being a belly sleeper? You finally want to take chest naps! Your big brother was the master of snoozing on a chest, and so I assumed this was just a THING that all babies do. You proved me wrong when I tried and tried with you these first few months and you would thrash and arch your back and have none of it. Now that you realize how cozy it is to sleep on your tummy, you are happy to snooze away in my arms. And I am happy to hold you.
I am trying so hard to get you onto a consistent and regular “schedule” but it is really tough since we have your big brother’s schedule to work around too. You are still taking three to four naps a day – usually around 9:30am, 11am, 1pm, and 4pm. Sometimes if we’re out you’ll snooze in your carseat long enough that the 11am nap isn’t needed. And many afternoons you decide the 4pm nap isn’t going to happen, so you just go to bed around 6:30pm instead. I am so ready for you to stretch and combine a few of these naps!
Despite snoozing very little during the day, you still remain happy and hilarious. Everyone who meets you comments on your giant blue eyes and your amazing crooked smile. You are starting to laugh a lot more, and it is contagious.
You are a good eater, but you are kind of a peanut. I am used to having big, fat chunky monkey babies, and somehow you are long and lean – who did you get that from? You are in the 90th percentile for your height, but I can’t imagine that will last. Not surprisingly, your head is off the charts gigantic. It runs in the family, kid.
I have to tell you, Graham. As much as I looked forward to your arrival and wanted you here so badly, I don’t think I really knew how much I actually needed you until you got here. You are a constant reminder to me to unplug, slow down, soak it in, and celebrate simply joys.
Sometimes I feel bad for you because I drag you around all morning to play dates and parks and whatever else your brother is doing. But you always just look up and me and smile, and I know that we both know that come nap time – it is time for just you and me. While your brother sleeps, we spend a few hours alone – batting at toys, kicking your legs, tickling your nose, and working hard for giggles. And even in the darkness of the midnight feedings – as sleepy as I am, I still appreciate the calm, quiet opportunity to stare into your sparkling eyes and rub my hands over your fuzzy head.
You have changed so much from your newborn days, and no one has noticed it more than Cullen. He loves to make you laugh, and you are his biggest fan. If he is in the room, your eyes never leave him. No one makes you smile quite like he does.
Last night I was getting ready for bath time when I realized I needed to run downstairs to grab something quickly. I set you down on the floor with a toy but you started crying right away. I glanced into Cullen’s room and asked him if he could check on you and cheer you up while I ran down the steps for just a minute. I was frantic and rushing as fast as possible, as I don’t like leaving you out of my sight, and you were crying!
I got to the bottom of the steps and paused, as I heard something loud from the upstairs hallway. It took me a minute to realize that what I heard was laughter. Two sets of tiny giggles laughing over each other in delight. I picked up my speed, no longer rushing from worry, but now hopeful to catch whatever moment was waiting at the top of the steps.
I came upstairs to find you squealing and beaming at your brother, and him running in and out of his room jumping out at you in his own version of “peekaboo.” I am constantly amazed to see things like this happen every day. As young as you still are, there is a real bond and relationship forming, and I am so excited to watch it continue to grow.
Hard to believe that next month you will be halfway to a year old. No rush, little fella. We love you so much!