And with a blink of an eye, the boy is now 7 months old. He’s as big as ever, but his growth has definitely tapered. He’s in size 4 diapers and quickly growing out of 12m clothing. While 18m clothes seem a bit big, when I put him in 12m clothes I get comments like, “Is that too tight? It looks like he can’t breathe.” I want to say he’s hovering in the 24-lb. range. He’s heavy enough that I was pretty sure I dislocated my wrist when I picked him up the wrong way last week. Of course, I’m fine, but that still doesn’t make the trip down the steep stairs any easier. I can only wear him down the stairs because I’m convinced that one day my clumsiness may send us tumbling down. I’ve gotten great use out his 7 months oldBaby Bjorn, but as luck would have it, Jack got a little stuck in the carrier while we were at the grocery store. I’m assuming because he’s pushing the weight limit of the Bjorn, the hook that secures him in place got stuck. I had to pull into the cereal aisle to yank and pull (yeah, while he was in it) until the latch came loose. It finally came loose before the panic set in. I guess it’s time for a new carrier since I wear him about as often as we push him in the stroller. As for the car seat, Jack has also outgrown that. We’ve been putting off buying the convertible carseat, only because we don’t drive with him that often. It’s inconceivable to grasp how much baby stuff we started out with, and now, only 7 months later, we’ve retired so much. And to think, we tried to go the minimalist route!

Jack is officially all over the place– in the entertainment system grabbing my hidden vases, kicking the bathroom door, rolling underneath his swing, hiding under his exersaucer, shaking our tv trays when we eat (because, you know, we apparently don’t feed him enough.) You name it, he’s probably found a way to get there. He prefers rolling, as he’s mastered the art of soft landing. And as of last week, he’s learned to army crawl. I use his wipes container as “bait” because he knows he’s not allowed to play with it. As Jeff says, it’s unlikely Dr. Spock mentioned this method as a part of his suggested parenting techniques. Besides the rolling and almost-crawling, Jack insists on “walking.” He’ll wiggle and fidget and scream until whomever is holding him puts him on the ground and helps him walk. He’s been doing the walking routine for a month or so now, which is apparently the beginning of the end of our once stationary baby. My mom likes to remind me that one of my brothers and me were very early walkers. I like to remind everyone that I’m not ready for a very mobile child. Ready or not, here he comes.

Speaking of screaming, Jack’s personality is shining through with a very sunny disposition. He continues to be a very affable child, mirroring his equally affable father. In addition to flapping all of his limbs, he’s learned to wrinkle his nose when he’s happy or excited. Jack also knows when you say cheeeeeeeeese that it usually means it’s time to ham it up for the camera. He’s a very lovey baby, especially when it comes to my mom, Jeff or me. He’s been known to give random hugs or kisses, just because you’re holding him. It makes me melt every single time. Unlike me, he’s a fairly easy tempered kid– well, except when he’s starving, uncomfortable or when it comes to changing his clothes. When he’s upset, he makes it known to the world. Jeff has been trying to enforce the stern daddy voice whenever the boy has an unnecessary meltdown. While some may argue that it’s too early to discipline, we’re both trying to be conscientious to never allow our child to be “that kid.” While we can’t dictate his temperament and reaction to certain situations, we’ve found that Jack has started to recognize the stern tone when we mean business.

The boy continues to be an eating machine. He still has 4 bottles during the day, along with 3 meals, a snack and breastmilk at night. He’s mastering the use of his sippy cup, of course with the aid of his wings. He loves almost everything he’s tasted so far, but especially peas, yellow squash, bananas, mangoes and brown rice. He’s been a champion eater with the introduction of solids, however, he’s shown sensitivity to certain things. He gets a mild rash next to his mouth after he nurses after I eat a certain things. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I’m assuming it’s dairy because the rash appeared again after I gave him yogurt. I think it’s an allergy to dairy, but I’m not too sure. Anyway, we’re keeping a close eye.

Even though we’ve spent over a dozen years together as a couple, Jeff and I can hardly remember what life was like without him. As much as Jack is a joy, I wish I could say that being a mom has become easier. In ways, yes, things are more predictable. But in other ways, being a mom is so overwhelming. It’s not just the parenting or the lack of sleep. It’s the life part. Once I became a mom, the progression of our family clearly took precedent over everything else. In order for me to focus my energy on the well being of our family, other aspects of life undoubtedly became unbalanced. (Yes, I know, I’m not the only working mom to ever experience such things, but this is my story and my cathartic outlet.) For me, the most difficult thing thus far has been finding a happy balance. My life at home–the joys I share with Jeff and Jack–are byfar my most successful accomplishments to date. Unfortunately, I’ve found that there are so many obstacles in finding the same happy balance in other areas of life– areas that once fueled passion and drive. That said, I’ve been MIA for various reasons. Without trying to cast the doom and gloom, I’m at a turning point in life that has me in a funk. I’m doing my damnedest on finding that balance. And so I’ll end with an excerpt from a daily motivational email that I subscribed to from my husband’s cheery influence:

Happiness is a byproduct of activity
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement,
in the thrill of creative effort.
The human spirit needs to accomplish,
to achieve, to triumph to be happy.
Happiness does not come from doing easy work.
but from the afterglow of satisfaction
that comes after the achievement
of a difficult task that demands your best.
Your personal growth itself contains the seed of happiness.
You cannot pursue happiness by itself.
There is no happiness except in the realization
that you have accomplished something.
Happiness thrives in activity.