6 Months & 26 Weeks

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I can hardly believe our little warrior has been here for half a year already!  Its mind boggling as I think about how much Kaelen has grown and changed in such a short period of time.  Since this post is both on a Friday and on a month anniversary I am only doing the one post.  All the weekly and monthly pictures will be at the bottom of the post.

I’ll start with Kaelen’s stats: He weighs more than 19 pounds but we don’t really know by how much, his height is 30 inches, and he has grown into 9 month size clothes.

One big development is Kaelen’s first tooth emerged last Saturday (June 22nd).  It is the left center tooth on the bottom.  The best part about this tooth’s arrival is that it came without causing much fuss.  Other than having been very drooly for awhile now Kaelen didn’t have any other symptoms of teething.  I certainly hope that he continues to have an easy time with incoming teeth.  The other bottom center tooth is on the way out any day now.  Once enough of the tooth is showing to get a picture I will, but thus far its impossible to get a picture of.

On Monday night (June 24) we took Kaelen to get his first haircut.  I know most people wait longer to cut their baby’s hair, however the long sections by his ears were constantly sticking to his face, getting in his eyes, and just generally looked scraggly…so we decided to go ahead and cut it.  I’m amazed at how much of a difference it made!  He still has little old man hair, but at least its a better shape now!  One day it will fill in… for now at least its cuter 🙂

Kaelen now sits for more extended periods of time on our laps or on a blanket while playing with a toy  (click here to see video I posted) but eventually falls over after awhile or when he’s “done”.  I would estimate he’s sat un-aided for possibly 5 minutes or more.  He sat under the play gym and held onto it/played with the toys from that perspective and seems to really be enjoying playing in the seated position.  This week we also got out the baby piano and the first block set and thus far he LOVES banging on the piano.

Little man is able to rock back and forth on his hands and knees.  This often results in him lunging and scooting around.  Today Kaelen did something that surprised us both because of the strength it takes; he picked himself up on his toes and hands….it looked alot like the yoga pose “downward facing dog”. I love it that there’s so much growing and changing!  Its exciting every day to see what he’s going to do next!

On Sunday Kaelen actually lunged/scooted/rolled across our bed to get to me about 3 different times.  It is so neat to see how he is purposely attempting to move himself to get places!  It seems like he could start crawling anytime he wants to but there are definitely a couple pieces he still has to figure out, like releasing his hand from the floor and reaching forward.  We realize with his new mobility that it is time to get the safety gates put up so that project is now on the short list to get done ASAP.

Kaelen is still taking three naps per day most days and is sleeping as much as 12-14 hours at night.  Most nights Kaelen has still been waking up to eat around 6am, but three times this past week he slept all the way through until 8am!  I am pleased with him naturally lengthening out his sleep, but eventually really hope that he will keep his routine “wakeup” time at 9am. (Hey I can hope even if it may not be realistic!) Kaelen loves to roll around and scoot in his crib when he’s supposed to be falling asleep at nap time or bed time which means that he often takes 30-60 minutes to go to sleep when I put him down… even when I make sure to put him down as soon as he starts showing signs of being tired.  I can put the baby in the crib, but I can’t MAKE him sleep….  Kaelen’s naps are continuing to range from 45 minutes-1.5 hours each.

Kaelen really wants to experience his whole world through his mouth.  He’s been able to pickup toys to chew on for a while, but this month he really has wanted to put EVERYTHING he sees and is interested in into his mouth.  He’s fascinated with anything we are holding, what we are doing, and ESPECIALLY our food and drinks think he’s even tried to chew on the mirror and the wall! On June 4th Kaelen “found” his toes and has since gotten where he will either bend all the way over to chew on them or pick them up to investigate or chew on.  Since he got that first tooth in he does seem to be more careful about chewing on his hands/feet from the sides of his mouth.

Little Man continues to nurse about six times each day and now that he has turned six months we plan to start him working on solid foods.  We are planning to use Baby Led Weaning, which essentially means that we will put large pieces of easy to grab foods (e.g. carrots, toast “fingers”) for him to learn to pick up and put in his mouth to gnaw on.  This method teaches him to feed himself, and to gnaw/chew on foods before he learns to swallow them.  Since he still gets all the nutrition he needs from nursing there’s no pressure on the amount of solid food he gets.  Another advantage to this way is that he won’t get used to the pureed consistency of most baby foods since he will be experiencing many textures right from the very beginning.  I’ll be sure to post lots along the way!

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Behind the Scenes:

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Here are a few “Outtakes”

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~ Erica

 


25 Weeks

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This week was a big week for celebrations with Doug.  We celebrated his first Father’s Day Sunday and his birthday on Monday!  Because we had traveled Saturday we kept both days low key but we did enjoy our family time together those two days.  I find myself just cherishing lots of the little moments along the way and the time the three of us spend playing, cuddling, and being together are so special.  Tonight (Friday) we had friends and family over to celebrate Doug’s birthday with fellowship and dessert.  Kaelen provided entertainment and was quite willing to be passed around to visit with everyone.  At one point while he was playing with his Aunt Caryn she had him belly laughing at something… too cute!  After Kaelen went to bed we enjoyed the cake and homemade chocolate pudding.

Kaelen finally started rolling over his right shoulder from back to front.  He had been rolling over for a long time so I was just waiting to see when he would roll over to the other side!  The first time he did it was on Father’s Day and I managed to catch it on video.  This video is a much better video of him rolling all the way over, unlike the video of when he first rolled over since that one was just the last little bit of the roll.

 

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~ Erica

 


Five Months Old

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Kaelen is five months old already!  Wow!  Its amazing how the time has flown by since he turned four months.  Enjoy this (overdue) update and the pictures and video included!

Kaelen’s new favorite toy is the ExerSaucer that Aunt Lauren (my best friend) gave him when Lily outgrew it.  It didn’t take him long to learn how to turn himself around to whichever toy he wants to play with.  At some point I’ll post a video of him playing with it.  It is hilarious when instead of reaching for and grabbing a toy with his hand he dives at it with his mouth… haha… I’m amused by the little things! Coordination for grabbing things is increasing – he went from diving at toys with his mouth all the time to being able to reach for and play with toys when he is laying or sitting with coordinated intentional movements.  He also grasps his hands together in front of himself during play or to bring an object to his mouth.

He has rolled from front to back in his crib while wearing his sleep sack.  He walks his feet up and gets his butt way up in the air until he rolls. He has done it on several occasions but doesn’t do it routinely or when he is playing during tummy time.  Instead he has learned to roll from back to front over his left shoulder!!!  He did it for the first time today!!!  It was super slow and took him a long time so I only got the clip from the very end of the process.  I was pretty excited as you will hear 🙂

Little Man is sitting for longer periods of time and does really well staying upright for 15-30 seconds at a time, especially if he is playing with a toy.  I’m not sure why that helps, but the concentration on something in his hands helps him stabilize from falling over to the back or sides.  I took a picture of him sitting when I took his pictures to share here. (see below)

Kaelen is currently taking 3 naps per day & sleeping from 9pm until around 6am when he eats.  I have really grown to love this schedule and am feeling soooo much more rested as a whole!  I knew this time would come eventually and I am so grateful!  I can’t say I even mind the wakeup to nurse since he goes back to sleep until a “better” wakeup time.  He has come a LONG way in the area of self soothing and falls asleep within 2-15 minutes of being laid down.

Kaelen is getting SO big!  He has been wearing 6 month clothes but its time to start pulling out the 9 month size outfits and onesies!  Its really interesting – many of the clothes we have been given are really “wide” for him and not long enough since he’s significantly more tall than fat.  He does have the cutest little leg rolls though!

People have started asking us frequently about teething and while I know that its around the corner we don’t have any signs or symptoms of it.  Kaelen’s primarily exploration of the world does continue to be through his mouth, and his drool is up and down in quantity on different days (mostly up!).

Kaelen has gotten to be where he is ALL about his Daddy!  He wants me some, but if Doug is in the room or talking he would rather be engaged with him.  It is so sweet to watch them together.  Kaelen loves flying in the air above Daddy’s head… Doug just has to dodge all of the drool that tends to “bomb” his face when they play airplane! 🙂

Little Man LOVES to belly laugh!   He thinks its hilarious when we pretend to “eat” his toes or tickle him with our hair against his face.  Raspberries on his belly are another laugh inducing activity and he likes those best during diaper changes after he wakes up.

Kaelen’s hair seems to be getting a bit lighter over time and looks like it has red highlights in some lights or in pictures.  It is continuing to grow but hasn’t filled in too much yet… I keep saying that one of these days we are going to trim the sides so they don’t look so rough… its just a matter of getting him to the stylist while he’s up between one of his naps which is a bit tricky since he is only awake for 1.5 hours at a time including diapering and feeding time which is usually the first 25 or so minutes after he wakes up.  We will get to it…. eventually 🙂

Kaelen realized he could screech in the past week or so.  He loves to hear his voice when he is playing and really gets going sometimes!   It is a “fun” noise for him so we always know when he wakes up happy if he’s making those types of sounds.  Doug has taken a couple short video clips of him trying to get one of him screeching and playing but we haven’t got one we like yet… I’m sure we will get one soon.

Our friends often comment about what a happy, easy going baby Kaelen is… and now that he is well rested and has a routine that is working for him (and us) he really is!   He only ever gets worked up if he’s hungry and doesn’t think I’m feeding him fast enough or sometimes when we put his sleep sack on him and he’s not ready to go to sleep yet.  Its always fun to hear other people’s compliments… but we truly feel blessed.

Hope you enjoy the pictures this month… I took a bunch!

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A little Laugh

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Oh ya know… just Chillin’

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“What do you mean you’re not holding me here?!?”

Behind the Scenes- this is how I get those smiles and laughs

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Some Seriously Adorable Pictures of Kaelen with His Daddy

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“Daddy that TICKLES!!!”

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I love Kaelen’s eyes in these two!

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Last but not least, here’s the video of Kaelen rolling over that I mentioned earlier in the post.  It is the last little bit of the roll since he was doing the first part for a long time, I didn’t know that he would get all the way over this time.  I get a little animated in this clip, but come on… it is exciting stuff!

~ Erica


19 Weeks Old!

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Lots of changes this week due to starting sleep training with Kaelen on Sunday.  The week prior he had gone on a nap strike two different days and I reached my “breaking point” because I knew he wasn’t getting anywhere near the amount of sleep that he needs for healthy development.  I’m SOOO thankful for my best friend Lauren and the sleep book that she recommended while I was still pregnant: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth M.D.  After re-reading the appropriate chapters (5 & 6) Lauren gave me some awesome application advice (since she has done sleep training with many children).

We decided on Kaelen’s nap time/night time routine which consists of:
1) Turning on piano music for naps/sleep machine for nighttime
2) Putting Kaelen in his sleep sack
3) Patting his back for naps or rocking in the glider at night
4) Nursing at night or if Kaelen asks (via rooting) at nap time
5) Placing Kaelen in his cradle or crib while he is settled and doing “long blinks” but not asleep so that he learns to put himself to sleep

We also decided to let him “cry it out” (extinction method), but we monitor him with our video monitor.  There have only been a few tough moments…  Mostly Kaelen cries for a very short time (if at all) before falling asleep.  The toughest part has been when he wakes up too soon during a nap or at night and we let him cry until he falls back to sleep.  The longest period of time that he’s cried thus far at night was 40 minutes, but he did cry an entire hour instead of napping one day.  It seems like he does a little better and sleeps a little more each day.  The schedule so far is up at 9am, naps at 11am, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm bedtime. At this point Kaelen is waking to eat once per night between 4am-6am and goes back to sleep until around 9am.  Once Kaelen isn’t waking during naps and overnight (except to nurse) we will see what his natural schedule ends up being.

In other news Kaelen is starting to initiate rolling to his side from his back and now reaches for/grabs toys and holds them while playing, and holds things in his mouth to chew on them on a regular basis.  I’m looking forward to capturing video of Kaelen rolling over soon….

Here are pictures for this week!

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This picture is to show how tall Kaelen is getting!  We tried to capture this last week, but Kaelen wouldn’t stand up facing forward so we were able to get Kaelen to cooperate today.  He loves to stand up in our laps or holding on to our fingers and his balance is getting pretty good!  (Daddy was standing just to the left of Kaelen to catch if needed).

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~ Erica

 


Rolling Over…Sort of

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Today during tummy time Kaelen rolled over…. just not intentionally.  He was holding himself up on his arms and lost his balance and found himself on his back before he knew what was happening.  He looked rather surprised as it happened and as I cheered.  I did put him back on his tummy to see if he might repeat the action, but alas it was a one time thing. Unfortunately, because it happened so quickly I didn’t manage to capture a video, however I’m sure I will have plenty of opportunity when he starts rolling over for real!

 

~ Erica