Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 months

Woah baby… little man is 4 months old! This past month has been an extremely challenging month and one that the Lord has used to stretch and grow me in ways I could have never imagined. I am going to have an entire post on that tomorrow, but for today here is a quick recap of the fun stuff! 

Everett is still growing like crazy and has almost doubled his birth weight!  On average, most babies double their birth weight by about 6 months, but our little over achiever decided he would show off and get there early ;) While he certainly has some rolls on his thighs (the best!) he really isn’t that chubby of a baby… he is just so flipping long! He is in the 99th percentile for height and the 85th percentile in weight. Such a big boy! He is wearing mostly 6 months clothes but is breaking into some of his 9 month stuff in certain brands. Crazy, I know!

He has really started “talking” a lot more this past month. He especially loves to look at himself in the mirror and talk. I posted a super sweet video of him doing this on Instagram the other day. He is so intrigued by that cute baby in the mirror! He is smiling up a storm and giggles a lot too. Daddy is the best at getting really good giggles out of him. He laughs so hard when we tickle him and make really silly sounds. Watching his little personality form is our greatest joy. He still enjoys tummy time and is still holding his head up very well. He also loves to stand up with assistance. His legs are so crazy strong! One of his favorite things to do is lay on the bed on his back and hold our hands and pull up to a sitting position and then a standing position. He works so hard and gets so excited when he gets all the way up. And of course, we are cheering him on like he just won the Heisman each time he does it! He started drooling so much this past month so he always has a bib on. He might be in the early stages of teething, but it’s hard to tell. He loves chewing on his hands and putting anything and everything in his mouth. He still loves his paci, but has started sucking his thumb some too. It isn’t a consistent thing yet and I’m not sure if he will turn into a thumb sucker or not, but it sure is the sweetest thing seeing him do it.

The weather has been gorgeous lately and besides the yucky pollen, we have really enjoyed spending more time outside. We like going for walks around the neighborhood during the day, and he really loves swinging on our new bench swing we just got for the backyard! This past month was the first time he really started showing an interest in books as well. He has always liked to be read to, but this month he seems to like it even more. He has started fussing lately when I put a book down to grab another one and immediately stops when I start up again. He loves when I sing songs to him and gets extra smiley when I help him dance along and clap his hands together. The past week he discovered his first favorite toy, Sophie the giraffe. We have the classic rubber squeaky Sophie but we also have a stuffed Sophie too that has a little rattle inside of it. He loves them both but is completely obsessed with the stuffed Sophie for some reason. He will stare at it and play with it in his hands for a long time. As usual, he still completely loves his baths. He really likes being nakey, so before bath time might be his favorite part of the day! He is still very attached to his Momma but absolutely adores his Daddy too. My mom usually can’t go a day or two without seeing him, and Everett absolutely loves his sweet Lolly! She is the biggest help in the entire world and I literally don’t know what we would do without her!

As far as eating goes, it is still a little different every day, but for the most part he nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and then once during the night. We transitioned him to his crib about a week ago, but he still sleeps with us some because he is waking frequently due to some new minor health issues that I will write about tomorrow. I wanted to take a minute and share about our experiences with Everett as far as sleeping is concerned. We have done a little bit of everything so maybe someone will find encouragement from this post.  I know that there is a strong “taboo” in our culture with the idea of "co-sleeping" and babies sleeping in the bed with their parents, and to be honest, I used to think it was a little strange too. My perspective was drastically changed while I was living in Uganda for several months and my Ugandan friend, Sylvia, asked me a question one day. She asked, “Is it true that in America you put your babies to sleep in a cage in a different room of your home?” I looked at her a little confused and said, “No! That is craziness!” Then I paused for a second and realized… Wait a minute, that is 100% what we do. Except they are called cribs, not cages… but I see where she got that from… the bars definitely resemble a cage, ha!  From that moment on I quickly realized that America is one of the only places where co-sleeping is not the norm for most families. Anyways, Russ and I were open to whatever would be best for our new baby, but would wait until he was born to decide how he slept best. For the first 5 weeks of his life he slept best in a thing called a “rock n play” that we borrowed from my friend Lauren. He was never a great sleeper, but the rock n play has an incline to it and that worked much better than laying him flat on his back in the cradle beside our bed. Once he turned 5 weeks old and his tummy troubles began, he became extremely uncomfortable laying on his back at all and would grunt and fuss all night. We didn't feel comfortable letting him sleep on his tummy through the night at this point, but since that was the only way he would sleep, we started co-sleeping. I continued to sleep with him and when we felt like he had enough neck strength (I think when he was around 10 weeks or so, I can’t remember exactly) we started letting him sleep next to our bed in the cradle on his tummy for some of the night. So, we have been “partial co-sleeping” (just made up that term) since he was 5 weeks old and it has worked great for our family. Lately, he has been sleeping the majority of the time in his crib, and some in the bed as needed.

A few other quick things I feel led to say about sleeping. First, every family is completely different just as every child is completely different. One baby’s needs are never going to be the same as the next and because of that, our approach to parenting in regards to sleep is that it will never be a “one size fits all” type of thing. For the first several months of a baby’s life, you are usually in what many refer to as “survival mode” and you simply do whatever you have to do to get the most sleep for everyone. For us, this meant that co-sleeping became part of what was best for our family. We feel strongly that, while far from perfect, our decisions are exactly where the Lord wants us in this season. :)  I have so much respect for my fellow mommy friends that stand strong in their convictions and decisions regarding how they approach sleep with their babies. Whether that be putting their baby in their crib when they are a few weeks old, or having them in the bed with them, it is your family’s decision and whatever works for you probably won’t work for your best friend, or your next baby, and that is perfectly fine!

Oh, and one last thing I want to mention. I mainly started this blog to document things for our family to look back at one day and so our extended family can stay updated on our lives, but since starting the blog I have seen the Lord use it in other neat ways as well. I have seen Him use my rambling run-on sentences  to encourage other women and moms and I am humbled He has used me as a vessel even in such a small way. Another neat thing I have seen Him do through this little online space (and perhaps my favorite thing!) is to connect me with other women who are in similar stages of life. Pretty cool how Jesus can use the ole interwebs for His glory, huh?  I am starting to realize that the more I open up and share on here, the more God blesses me and others through it and I am really thankful for that. So with that said, I love getting emails from people and connecting this way so definitely don’t be a stranger!

Alright, that’s enough for now! Hoping to crank out another post tomorrow during one of little man’s naps! I also have about a trillion pictures I need to upload so hopefully I can get around to that sometime soon as well.

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