Life is Smooth Sailing and Middle is 7 Months Old

I think that we are all beginning to hit our stride.

Baby Middle is now 7 months old!  I love, love, love this age!

I am still trying to figure out his personality.  I thought he was so feisty when he was a tiny thing, but now that I see him growing out of his reflux I feel he is much more chill and laid back than I ever would have guessed.  He is very different than his sister was at this age, yet he is also a very happy baby.  When I’m holding him or carrying him around, he just sits quietly and seems to take it all in.  He’ll smile back at whoever smiles at him.  When we set him down he will play with his toys for 5-10 minutes, sometimes even longer, before he will begin whining for attention or help.

Baby boys with big sisters end up playing with lots of pink.

Baby boys with big sisters end up playing with lots of pink.

His favorite thing to do right now is pull up.  My mom gave me this really cool wooden toy that weighs about 20lbs and is shaped like a huge hexagon.  He pulls up on it all the time and bounces around, reaching for all of the toys and even shuffling his feet back and forth.  It’s not uncommon to put him down on one side of the toy only to turn around a few minutes later and see that he has moved to the opposite end.  At first Oatmeal and I were just assuming that maybe one of us was moving him, and we would say, “Did you put him over there?”  After a few times we realized it was all on his own!

Riding the buggy at a MOPS meeting.  He usually does not fare so well at those meetings... you could call him a mama's boy for sure.

Riding the buggy at a MOPS meeting. He usually does not fare so well at those meetings… you could call him a mama’s boy for sure.

It's 5 o'clock... where's my daddy?

It’s 5 o’clock… where’s my daddy?

He isn’t crawling yet, but I don’t think it will be long.  He will sit up and lean forward onto his hands.  He’ll end up on all fours and rock back and forth.  He ultimately ends up with his belly on the floor and “swimming.”  This frustrates him to no end, and he usually calls for us to help him out!  I try not to run to his side every time it happens, because I know he will learn how to move a lot faster if I am not always rescuing him.

He's very ticklish, and it's pretty easy to make him laugh!

He’s very ticklish, and it’s pretty easy to make him laugh!

He adores Poppyseed, but there are definitely times where I think he would really prefer to be left alone.  She still loves to pick him up, hug him, and tickle him.  Usually he is game for whatever, but the more he laughs or smiles, the more encouraged and, er, physical she becomes.  I have to keep a close eye on her and watch him for signals that he needs space.   I’m also beginning to see some sibling conflicts – he pulled her ponytail while in the stroller last week and took about 20 strands of hair with him!  While it was very clear to me that he didn’t do it to hurt her, she was pretty peeved!  She’s also finding that he is grabbing for her toys more often than she would like.  I know that there is definitely not an end in sight, so I’m trying to prepare myself for all of the future sibling arguments.

A morning spent at Giggles and Fun.

A morning spent at Giggles and Fun.

Getting his hundredth hug oft the day!

Getting his hundredth hug of the day!

"Oh, I need to kiss Johnny before I go down the slide."

“Oh, I need to kiss Johnny before I go down the slide.”

I have no idea what he weighs or what his height is, but I am going to try to figure that out by this weekend.  He’s wearing size 9 month clothes in most brands, and size 6-12 month in others.  If he could talk, I’m pretty sure he would tell me that he would prefer to only wear clothing that his dad would wear.   That means you won’t find any gingham rompers or anything that looks like a bubble in his closet, and more specifically, he sports a whole lot of navy and gray!

Pulling up at the park.

Pulling up at the park.

He’s a champion eater.  Currently he has tasted avocado, pear, banana, butternut squash, egg yolk, sweet potato, carrots, chicken liver, and red beets.   His favorite meal is probably avocado and banana all mashed up together.   I am using an e-book called The Healthy Baby Code by Chris Kresser as a guide to his first foods, and if anyone wants a copy of the summary I’m happy to email it to you.  (Just leave your email in the comment section below.)  I love it because it has taught me which foods are more tolerable to little tummies, and it’s also given me tips such as adding a fat source to every meal.  So for example, I always include either avocado or coconut oil with his fruits or veggies because it assists the digestion process.

Feeding a 7 month old is a pretty messy process.  Thankfully he loves taking baths!

Feeding a 7 month old is a pretty messy process. Thankfully he loves taking baths!

The two foods that I introduced most recently are chicken liver and red beets.  Now before you gag, try and understand that liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  It contains more calcium, folic acid, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin A that it makes most “superfoods” pale in comparison.  In many cultures pregnant and nursing women are fed liver, and in other cultures it is reserved only for royalty as it’s considered a rare delicacy.  Now I get it – in our culture that just isn’t the case – but it’s a really darn healthy food, especially if purchased from a great source.  I buy mine from Yonder Way Farm and simply cook it on the stove in some homemade broth and then put it into the food processor. I even add unrefined sea salt for the trace minerals.  I’ve been giving about a tablespoon to Baby Middle every day, and he seems to like it.

Do I have liver on my face?

Do I have liver on my face?

He loves beets, too!  Another superfood!

He loves beets, too! Another superfood!

I actually love making his baby food.  It’s so much easier than one would expect, and I just love knowing everything that he eats is pure, organic, and local.

I’ve also begun working on some gentle sleep training.  For the past few months I’ve simply been nursing him each time he woke up, but last week I tried rushing to return his pacifier when he woke up instead.  I tried it for four nights in a row with the same horrible result each time – he basically got really mad and wailed.  On the fifth night I decided that if he woke up, I would not go straight to his room at all.  I set a timer for 15 minutes the first time he woke up and just waited.  He fussed a little bit but went right back to sleep at about the 8 minute mark.  I suppose that my going to help him was making it worse.  I did the same thing for the next few nights and he began sleeping from about 10pm-3am without waking up.  Sometimes he even sleeps from 10pm-5am!  I also began giving him a dream feed at 10pm, so that probably helps.

The dream feed is probably my favorite time of day.

The dream feed is probably my favorite time of day.

I cannot express how much better I feel now that I’m able to sleep from about 10:15pm-4am.  I mean, it’s amazing.  AMAZING.

He sleeps the best when lying on his tummy.  We always put him down like this, with a light blanket and a horse lovey.

He sleeps the best when lying on his tummy. We always put him down like this, with a light blanket and a horse lovey.

When Poppyseed was this age, she had a pretty set feeding schedule.  We don’t have as much of a “schedule” for Middle, but we definitely follow the same routine each day, if that make sense.

This is a snapshot of our 7 month routine…

6:30am-7am: He wakes up and nurses for a loooooong time.  Then Poppyseed joins us in my bed and they play/snuggle for a while, usually until she insists on picking him up and he spits up all over her.  I wish I was kidding.

7am-8am: He plays on the living room floor while Poppyseed eats her breakfast.  He gets grouchy and sleepy around 8am, so I change his diaper and put him in his crib.  He usually goes right to sleep and sleeps anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

9am-ish:  He wakes up and, on most days, gets put right into the car.  We drop Poppyseed off at preschool, go to the gym, or meet friends for a playdate.  I usually nurse him in the parking lot or driveway of our destination so that he’s nice and tanked up for the morning.

11:45am: I’m always hurrying home, if not already there, to prepare lunch at this time of day.  He nurses again and then eats a solid meal such as avocado and bananas or egg yolk and squash.  Oatmeal plays with him during his lunch break for a few minutes.

12:45pm-1pm: Middle goes down for his first nap.  I put him in his crib and walk to the microwave timer and set it for 90 minutes.  If he wakes up before it goes off, I know he probably isn’t going to be sufficiently rested and I try to get him back down.  Sometimes he sleeps the full 90 minutes or longer, but he still wakes up early quite often.  I usually just put him in my bed and we cuddle and snooze until Poppyseed wakes up from her own nap.

2:30pm-3pm:  Everyone is awake now.  If Middle hasn’t nursed since lunch, I nurse him quickly and then we are usually off to do something outside of the house.  Sometimes we go to the grocery store, chiropractor, or neighborhood park.  Sometimes we just stay at home and play.  I feel like Middle is a lot more manageable if we are on the go.

4:00pm-5:00pm:  Sometimes Middle gets cranky in this time frame.  If we are at home, I’ll put him down for a power nap.  It’s not a sure thing that he will actually go to sleep, but it’s worth trying because it means he will be a lot happier during our family dinner time!  He usually only sleeps for 20-30 minutes.  If we aren’t home, I just don’t worry about it and try to keep him happy in other ways.  I may end up holding him a lot or even nursing him early.

5:00-5:30pm:  Oatmeal gets home from work.  I’m inevitably trying to keep everyone happy while making dinner.  We usually sit down to eat by 5:30pm.  I feed Middle in between taking bites off of my own plate, and then one of us will bathe him.  His final nursing session of the day is sometimes right before we sit down for dinner, or sometimes after his bath.  It just depends on what we have going on!

6:45pm:  He’s bathed, in his pajamas, and ready for bed.  Oatmeal takes him to his recliner and reads him a few books while I get Poppyseed started on her own bath.

7pm:  We put him in his crib, just like any other sleep time…. on his belly, with a light blanket on his back, horse lovey tucked under his left arm.  He strokes his lovey and murmurs to himself until falling asleep.

10pm:  I wake him for a dream feed if he hasn’t already cried for me.  We’ve only been doing this for about a week, and right now he wakes up on his own around 9:45pm about half of the time.

I have to say that I currently have no complaints!  I’m getting a lot more sleep than I was a few months ago, and I am just really enjoying this stage of babyhood!  I love so many things about having a baby this age… the way he needs me so much.  How soft his skin in.  The way his head and hair feels like velvet.  His squeals and coos.  His new sounds… he just started saying “Ba ba ba” instead of just screaming “ahhhh” all the time.

I’m excited to see how long it takes before he begins to scooch or crawl, and I would bet a hundred dollars that he walks before his first birthday.  We’ll see.

Where Lola goes, Middle goes.

Where Lola goes, Middle goes.

With his cousin Thomas Roy, who is 19 days younger.

With his cousin Thomas Roy, who is 19 days younger.

This kid loves car keys.  I'm always handing them over at the first sign of fussiness.

This kid loves car keys. I’m always handing them over at the first sign of fussiness.

One huge advantage of Middle getting older is that I feel like we are really beginning to enjoy ourselves more.  Now that we have a good rhythm, I barely hesitate to make plans with friends.  This week we met the Fulhams at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and took the kids to the Butterfly Exhibit.   I love that Carrie’s kids are the same age as my own, because we each move at about the same pace.  Friendship is so important when your kids are little… I don’t know what I would do without them.

Butterfly Exhibit at HMNS

Butterfly Exhibit at HMNS… we felt very fortunate that no one ended up in that water.

Another fun outing this week was a trip to the Houston Rodeo to see Sara and Jason.  Sara helped me get around with the kids all morning, and Poppyseed loved it.  I think the highlights were milking the cows and playing in the corn.

Milking Cow at Rodeo

Kids in Corn

Corn at Rodeo

Rodeo with Sara and JasonSo, life is good.  Very good.  For the first time since I went from one baby to two, I am truly beginning to enjoy motherhood and feel less stressed out!  Happy Friday, y’all!

SnugglesI’ll end this with a few shots of Poppyseed when she was 7 months old.  Do you think they look similar?

DSC_0202 violet

Can you find the baby girl under that bow?

DSC_0194-violet

I honestly don’t think my kids look that much alike! What about you?

Her legs = I die.

Her legs = I die.

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Comments

  1. Jeannine says:

    I would love more info on the Healthy Baby code. I’ve been making baby food too, but my almost 6 month old really isn’t ready yet. I think your two look like they’re related but Middle is definitely all boy. Take care! Love your updates

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