Can someone hit the brakes? Please, make time slow down for a while!

We had brunch with some friends on Sunday. There was no room for his stroller, so we collapsed it and plopped the baby in one of those wooden restaurant high chairs. Mind you, he’s still working on sitting on his own, so he was a bit wobbly. As we sat there in this neighborhood restaurant with our friends, it totally hit me–my baby looks like such a big kid.
5 months old
Well, maybe not big, but he’s getting there and fast!

It’s so hard to believe we’re already at month 5. How did this happen so quickly? They said it would fly by, but I never thought it would go THIS fast.

Remember when he looked like this?
jack at three weeks

Jack continues to grow leaps and bounds. I can hardly keep up. For weight, I’m guesstimating he’s in the 20-23 lb. range. He’s pretty heavy husky for his age and I’m feeling it. I think I may have tendinitis from picking him up all the time. From the looks of it, I might not be alone! In further transporting issues, I can no longer carry him down our steep stairs in his infant carrier. I wear him in the Bjorn to go down the stairs and then strap him in. I might sound like a wuss, but trust me, steep stairs + heavy baby = tough haul. Soon, he’ll be carrying me!

I’m so grateful for having such a healthy big boy; however, his weight and height are both at staggering levels, to say the least. I’m assuming he’s still in the 90s percentile for both. He’s still in size 3 diapers and we’ve recently started using size 4 nighttime diapers. We currently have a clothing conundrum because he’s blowing right through clothing sizes. Thanks to our gracious friends and relatives, the kid may have more clothes than Jeff and me put together. But the amount of clothes in the current season’s sizes lag behind on the flight of his growth. For the most part, he’s wearing 9-12 month clothing comfortably. Although, he’s pushing it on the 9 month pajamas. Longsleeves are like 3/4 sleeve shirts on him. Oh, and he’s decided he’s over the footsie pjs. When I come home, it’s not uncommon to find him smiling in his pantless glory. He will definitely be in 18m clothes this summer. (I guess I should return those 6m shorts I bought for him last year!) I have no idea about height, but if it’s any indication, we’re on the brink of retiring many of his baby items– his swing, his mobile (he likes to reach out and grab), his baby bathtub, his infant carrier, his bumbo. He is just about too big and almost too tall for his Gymini now. Just a few short months ago, he could barely swat those arms and make contact with the toys. Now, when he swats them too hard, they smack him on his head. But alas, like the tank he is, he just laughs it off and takes a hit for the team. For now, we’ll stick with the soft toys because of that exact reason.

Jack still loves the sight of his limbs, with his toes and fingers remaining at the top of his favorites list. He examines his fingers and pulls his toes endlessly. He still loves to eat his hands and has taken an interest in eating other people’s hands too. On a few different occasions, when friends are holding him on their lap, he’ll grab their hands and shove them in his mouth without hesitation. (Yikes. Sorry about that!) With this new habit, we’re almost certain that he’s started the teething phase. In addition to the drooling waterfall, he chomps on everything and anything. He’s even started to suck/bite his lower lip, like in the picture above. In fact, he was fussy all day this past Sunday and was practically inconsolable whenever I went to clean (darn.) At this point, the fussiness is unpredictable and intermittent. He continues to kick and has added the synchronization of flailing arms to his Lord of the Dance routine. I’ve determined the kicks and flails occur when he’s excited and happy which seems to be quite often. He continues to advance his quest for mobility by rolling in as many different directions that he can. It’s not uncommon to find him in contorted positions in the corner of his crib. He’s even started to show interest in crawling with his belly flapping that makes him look like he’s swimming.

Sleep patterns are, for the most part, still predictable. He goes to bed at 7:30ish like clockwork and wakes before midnight and then wakes up squealing with delight at 5:30-6 a.m. Even though he’s not sleeping through the night, we’re pretty fortunate in the sleep department with the predictability. I’m used to the fragmented sleep by now, but Jeff and I are moving towards hoping to instill some sleep training to move away from the dependence on night waking and “need” to nurse or pacify.

At this stage, Jack continues to get 4, 4 oz. bottles a day while I’m at work. Two or 3 bottles are organic formula and the remainder is usually breastmilk. Nursing is still going strong and I’m one month away from my first goal. In the evenings and all weekend, Jack nurses. I continue to pump once a day, sometimes twice, but rarely due to laziness time constraints. Just in time for his 5 month milestone, we introduced organic brown rice cereal! We will hold off on other solids until 6 months, maybe later (more on that later.)

Jack’s burgeoning social skills are perhaps the most hysterical of all his new developments. He loves staring at people to the point of discomfort, which I attribute to curiosity and the intent to make conversation. He babbles like it’s nobody’s business, especially when asked a series of high pitched questions. He utters varying consonants repetitiously and I swear, I can hear “Maaaaaaaa” when he cries. He laughs at so much, but mainly at ridiculous repetitive phrases. That giggle doesn’t get old, that’s for sure.

He’s learned to smooch, but prefers the open mouth on the cheek kind, complete with a lasting drool mark. He knows how to give huggies and is becoming such a flirt. He loves to play the coy cutie boy by burrowing his head into your shoulder and then flashing a gummy smile to whomever is giving him attention. Don’t get me wrong, if you make one false move, he’ll let you know by turning a fiery shade of red and punctuating his statement with a distinct grimace. His personality is such a riot already.

Much to our excitement, music continues to pique Jack’s interest, which holds a lot of promise considering the 20+ years of formal music education between the two of us. In the form of his Tiny Love mobile, various cds and classical symphonies on our iPods, Jack stays abreast on many genres of music. Judging from the kicks, Jack Johnson’s latest CD and Beethoven are big hits.

Jeff and I recently mentioned to each other how noticeable his new “tricks” have become lately. I’ve been mentally listing all of his latest developments over the past few weeks, and as you can tell, there’s been a plethora of new things since last month. And not that I have to spell it out, but I just adore being with the boy and Jeff. After a long work week and only seeing him for less than an hour on the weekdays, it makes those 2 days so much more special. My perspective on life, my marriage, my career, my path— it’s all changed. So much so, I had an epiphany which I may divulge once things develop.

There truly are no words to wholly quantify the joys of motherhood I’ve experienced thus far. So in time for our local St. Patty’s festivities, I’ll end with this honest quote from one of my favorite Irish authors:

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.

— James Joyce