Monday, May 27, 2013

Lukas: The first half year

It's so hard to believe that our little man has already been with us for 6 months! A year ago at this time we had just made our pregnancy news public (on Mother's Day weekend), and I was still in the thick of morning all day sickness. So much has happened since then, and our lives are fuller and happier than ever.

This month has been a quiet one at home. I came down with a very bad cold the first of the month and thought perhaps Lukas would experience his first sickness, but he remained completely healthy - thank God! He has been growing by leaps and bounds, and learning lots of fun things. Here's some of what he's been up to:

~ Learning how to sit up. Well, not completely unsupported, at least not for more than a few seconds at a time. But he's quite excited to sit up like a big boy in our laps, and has lots of fun spending time in his Bumbo or booster chair. The latter is especially fun since it has a tray. He'll spend an hour or more chasing an orange around the tray, or carefully picking up a teething toy, putting it in his mouth, and changing it from hand to hand.

~ Spending time outside. Several of our neighbors have moved away recently as the apartment complex instituted a new rule to not allow any smoking out of doors. This has allowed us to make much more use of our tiny balcony, unbothered by secondhand smoke. What a blessing! Lukas and I have spent quite a few afternoons out there when the weather has been nice. I bring along my book or a journal, and he plays happily on a blanket beside me, so glad to be outside. Soon I think he'll start noticing the birds, cars driving by, and things like that.

~ Teething. His two lower teeth are still working on coming in, but haven't quite popped through yet. He's had a few not-so-happy days when they've obviously been bothering him more, but overall he's been handling it pretty well. He sure enjoys his frozen teething toys, and will spend hours playing with and chewing on his ribbon-tagged blankie. He also sucks on his lower lip fairly often - I think it must feel good to those sore gums, but it gives him a sort of goofy, thoughtful appearance. :)

~ Grabbing everything. Lukas is no longer content to merely observe the world: everything must be touched. It's so cute the way he wants to feel our faces (Joe's fuzzy goatee is particularly fascinating to him)! He likes to touch my iPod screen, and the other day managed to take a self-portrait when I had the camera app open. The Jumparoo is a source of wild excitement - SO many things to grab and play with all at once! And of course we have to be extra careful to make sure he's not grabbing for things he shouldn't play with. Just wait until he starts crawling around, haha!

~ Playing little games. Peek-a-boo is a big favorite now, eliciting lots of giggles if he's in the right mood. He's also starting to have a lot of fun "flying" as Joe lifts him high, bouncing on our knees, or being kissed/tickled on his neck. He always smiles real big when we give him a hug and say "Squeeze!" :) And what a sense of humor he has! The other day he was fake coughing/laughing, making a "heh, heh, heh" sound that he knew sounded really silly. Recently he's begun wrinkling his nose a bit when he grins sometimes, which gives him such a mischievous look. We're really enjoying watching his personality develop!

~ Reading books. We've read several board books to Lukas this month, and he's getting to the point of wanting to help turn the pages, to feel the pictures, and so on. Of course if we let him hold the books himself, they go immediately into his his level of literary appreciation is rather suspect at this point. ;) We do look forward to continuing to teach him how to love good books as he grows older.

I can't imagine life without this precious little man! We look forward to seeing what God has in store for the next 6 months.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lukas: our little man at 5 months

Oh, dear! I was certain that I had posted a 4-month update for Lukas, but apparently that happened only in my head. So sorry about that! And here I am over a week late for his 5-month update already. Crazy how fast the time goes.

But yes, our little fellow is now a grand 5 months old. He has grown up so very much in the past two months, and continues to bring much joy to our home every day!

New things he's doing:
~ Almost full head-control now allows Lukas to sit up with some support - most often in our arms, but sometimes in the Bumbo or propped up with pillows. He finds this great fun, and I think it makes him feel like a big boy. :) He has yet to roll over completely by himself (though he's getting closer!), and I am wondering if he will actually sit up first. Guess we'll see!
~ Hand-eye coordination is also improving quickly, and he is now able to quickly grab a toy from us when we hold it within his reach. So he's been putting our small toy collection to good use every day, and we're grateful to those who picked these out as gifts. Another favorite is his special blankie, with ribbon "tags" all around the sides. That keeps him occupied for hours at a time.
~ Over the past month, his sweet little baby coos have changed into more of a baby-babble: lots of "ma-ma-ma-ma" and other similar sounds. I like to pretend he's trying to call me, but I know he hasn't made that connection yet. :)
~ Giggles! That's another sound we've been hearing a lot more often over the past month. He's becoming increasingly ticklish and is beginning to enjoy other little games. So much fun!
~ Almost exactly on his 4-month birthday, Lukas decided he was old enough to start the laborious process of teething. We've had quite a few fussy days since then, but the amber teething necklace I got for him does seem to be helping. No teeth have popped through yet, but they're getting closer! Thankfully it has only seemed to make it difficult for him to nap in the daytime, but nights are still uninterrupted.
~ And yes, you read that right: he has been sleeping through the night (at least 6-7 hours, usually 8 or occasionally 9) for most of his fourth and fifth months. I feel really blessed, knowing that most babies don't do this good at his age. And even when he wakes up in the morning, it is almost always a slow, happy process - giving me enough time to slowly wake up myself and sometimes grab a bit of breakfast to eat before I nurse him. So thankful, especially with the weird schedule we've had to keep since early March (Joe on night shift, Lukas and I on evening shift).

~ Nursing is about the same, with SNS usage required pretty much full time (or bottles when in public). We're now taking him for cranial-sacral therapy only once a month and his palate seems to not be dropping much further: still higher than normal, but a lot better than it was! A couple midwife friends checked him out when we were down in MO last month and we ended up opting for a frenotomy (clipping of a tongue tie). His case was very mild, though, and we have seen few changes since the clipping. We aren't sure if he just needs to re-learn his ways of sucking, or if normal nursing will never be an option for him. Ah, well - we are just thankful he is healthy and continuing to grow!
~ And continuing to grow he is! Weighing in at 16 lbs. 6 oz. a few days after his 5-month birthday, he is one chunky little man. I'm not sure what to do with the rolls on his thighs, hehe, since none of my siblings had them - never had to wash them out before. ;) Yep, we definitely don't have to worry about whether or not he's getting enough food!

So that's what he's up to these days! I'll check back in around the end of May with another update, Lord willing.