parenthood: chapter 5

where do i even begin?

the sleep regression continues to be touch and go, so i won’t even spend anymore time on that issue and just end the topic with to be continued

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the time has flown so fast this month because i realize how few pictures i took of lil man during his fifth month until the end. this month was a big month for him too! we started it off with immunizations right before his first plane ride to visit the in-laws. a few days before we left for our trip, he finally mastered rolling from back to front while napping one day unfortunately he hasn’t mastered front to back so it was quite humorous to find him in distress over how to get back on his side.

he handled the flight well except for the decent due to the pressure in his ears and he would not feed or suck on a pacifier. he just wanted off that plane. his aunts, uncles, and cousins ate him up and he responded with smiles and squeals. he got his first taste of the city although its generally pretty calm on the weekends. he brought a smile to every face that encountered him both in the company of friends and on the street. Yes his nap times were way off to which i am sure we are paying for it dearly now but for the most part i think he enjoyed the stimulation.

now that we are back and settling into the stillness of our lives once again, i can see the benefits of him interacting with babies his age. the day after we got back, lil man started testing out his legs and made the first attempts to crawl! most of the people i know have toddlers or school aged children so it makes play time a bit challenging. but i think this coming month i want to challenge myself to get out more now that its getting cooler and explore more with my son and interact with those around me.

as for me, this has been a big month too. i finally started counseling to work not only through my grief but also through the many fractures in my world that have affected how i respond and react now. it has been overwhelming as i feel as soon as i start to see a part of myself more clearly, i see how much more stuff is still unpacked and waiting to be looked over. i know i will be better for it in the long run, but it doesn’t make the process any easier or more enjoyable.

all in all, i still feel like i am dreaming. not sure when that feeling will subside. baby boy is growing so fast and learning so much about the world, that it doesn’t seem like enough time to really take in the fact that he is here.

Leap four: world of events

last week i ran into one of my neighbors, peg, who was determined to have her yard cleaned before she went out to california for thanksgiving. as she leaned against her push broom, her walker within a few short steps, she asked how i was doing with lil’ man, and i told her, you know, just trying to figure out motherhood. she smiled and said to me don’t you wish they had a book on what its really like to be a mother?

i wanted to tell her there was and its called google, but i refrained.

while i don’t think there is a clinical book out there that has accurately or honestly described the first year of motherhood, i have been thankful for the books giving me a better understanding of what is going on with baby.

we as adults take everything we do, see, feel, smell, and know for granted. i guess somewhere in my mind i just assumed that babies were on their own biological timer that said hey now, its time for you to start crawling. i had not even imagined that just the ability to grasp things takes weeks of their brain growing so that it can hold all of the new data and string sequences together.

instead of looking through my own lens of watching for new achievements, i have started to look through his eyes as he picks up a toy and learns to drop it. i giggle as he repeatedly does it. i get the amusement of it all now and i find myself enjoying those moments more rather than anticipating the big ones like crawling and walking.

one of the books that has been shedding light on this wonderment (no pun intended) that we are both experiencing is called the wonder weeks. i am sad i missed all of the first few weeks, but am glad i can follow his journey from here on out. based on the book, along with the normal growth spurts, babies experience developmental leaps (the book mentions 10) that happen around certain weeks of a baby’s life. they will go through a fussy period right before the leap as their brain is trying to figure out this new “district” that has been added to their mind map.

right now i am in wonder week 19 or leap 4 where he is slowly learning about cause and effect and stitching the series of events together to create the effect! this means that all the little skills he learned early are now being put together like blocks to form a new bigger and stronger skill such as sitting up and rolling.

mind. blown.

so what has lil’ man been up to? i’ll try to do a quick recap of all his milestones below and then finish off with this week.

weeks 0-8

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he had pretty good head control from day one and he wasn’t bad at tracking me and others either. tummy time use to be his favorite thing and he was really good at holding his head up and pushing up with his elbows. i am not sure when this was supposed to fall in the leaps but i would say he did this early. as far as talking he started babbling early although not as much as he does now.

weeks 8-13

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it seemed like there was a lull here. he was definitely fine tuning the skills he had already started to master. He started to like getting his diaper changed and was starting to kick and flail his arms about. he was grabbing and holding on to a few things but only when he was on his back and he wasn’t actively looking for things. he did start the teething process and has been drooling and chewing on anything and everything. i will say he did get pretty good at learning to stand up on my lap.

weeks 14-18

i started noticing him noticing himself. he would wake up in the morning sometimes and just wave his arms above his head, slowly moving his fingers and wrists. definitely started talking a lot more and smiling a lot more at people. he also discovered his own reflection and is a bit infatuated with himself. has been rolling to his side for weeks but either couldn’t make the full roll or wouldn’t make the full roll. he gets pretty frustrated about it. at around 15 weeks he started insisting he sit up on my lap and even pulls himself up in the boppy if he is reclining.

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week 19-20

now he is starting to get the hang of rolling and gives me a roll (back to front) once a day now. he has been working on his core and getting better at his balance when he is sitting up. his big thing now is trying to walk and if he isn’t “walking” he wants to stand up.

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he is grabbing at everything now: his toes, his toes, my phone, my hair-ouch! and as i mentioned before he is starting to drop things on purpose. a few times he has even passed an object between his hands. he babbles all of the time, especially when i am trying to have a conversation with someone else. he has been doing this thing with his lips where he puckers them, lifts his chin at me, and grunts.

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i started tickling him the other day and he started laughing and squealing. normally he just gives me a deadpan look and may throw me a smirk, but i have never gotten him to fully react until now.

there are quite a few things left on the list that he could master but if he doesn’t by the next leap then he’ll prolly master it then. i will update this on the next leap. what has your four month old been learning? Comment below!

thankful

thanksgiving often gets glazed over by Christmas decor and music, black Fridays and cyber Mondays, the focus on what we don't have yet rather than what we are currently blessed with.

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occasionally I will read a few photo editing articles in vsco's journal for an inspiring perspective on the world through a lens. today i read a piece about three food photographers from serbia, france, and taiwan sharing their experiences of this american ritual we call thanksgiving.

It was interesting to read how they all seemed to revel in the idea of breaking bread together to celebrate the goodness of the year. One photographer described it as a ceremony that began with the passage of a year and a welcoming of a new one to come.

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as I sit here in the airport on the eve of thanksgiving, disgruntled at the fact that our flight has been delayed by two hours, I look at my son who is mesmerized by the sights and sounds and I realize that this isn't a dream and he is here with us and already headed on a grand adventure. 

this past year was frought with sadness and uncertainty, but I feel blessed to be welcoming a new year filled with family I can call my own. 

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