A Day With Zae: 6 Months


I've been hard at work setting up shop over at Etsy, getting the blog set up as close to my liking as possible {i'm a perfectionist through and through} and taking care of Zae's demands. He isn't an especially demanding baby, but even the least demanding baby takes a lot of care and attention. He is a sweet, determined, fun little being who loves to smile and play. He loves to play with mommy, daddy, or nana, but he is content to amuse himself with his toys or a cat's tail, too.

Nonetheless, it's amazing how much time it takes to feed, change, {snuggle} change, feed, {snuggle}, bathe, change, and feed again such a tiny human being. That said, this six-month-old thing is easy peasy compared to six weeks. I know his cues now, and he knows someone will always be there to take care of him. We've found a great stride and routine that works for the entire household.  I still have a hard time believing it was half a year ago that he came into our lives. It seems like just yesterday, but at the same time life before him seems like a vague memory and the pregnancy that seemed like it crawled by now seems like it went by in a blink. {time is funny that way, isn't it? the days may seem to go by slowly, but somehow the months fly by}

The Day Begins

Our day starts between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. Zae wakes me up by singing his baby song and I go to the crib and he gives me a huge grin and wiggles his entire body and kicks his feet in excitement {it's about time you got up, Mommy!}. I bring him to bed with me to nurse and snuggle. Sometimes he drifts back to sleep for ten or fifteen minutes {if i'm lucky!} but more often than not he nurses only enough to be satisfied, then he's up and raring to go for the day.

Unlike Zae, I move a little slower in the mornings. I'm stiff and still tired and my fibromyalgia is at its worst in the morning, so by the time I change him, dress him, and set up the living room for the day it's about 8:00 and time for breakfast.

Food

Zae's breakfast is just baby cereal mixed with pumped breastmilk. We haven't yet started other foods, but it's coming faster than I'd like to admit. I feed him formula during the day. We had a very, very rocky road with breastfeeding due to a variety of reasons that I would like to expand on more at some point in the hope that some of the things that worked for me might help someone else who is struggling.

As much as I wanted to exclusively breastfeed him, it just wasn't working for us, and I had to accept {after many tearful breakdowns in which I felt like a total failure as a woman and mother} that I can only do what I can do. It's part of accepting my limitations. Ironically, once I accepted that formula isn't poison and that he will still be a healthy baby on partial breastfeeding and partial formula, nursing came much easier, though we still hit a bump or two.

For instance, in early March he went through a biting phase (his two bottom teeth had just come in), and I think I scared him, or hurt his feelings, when I yelped. That was a difficult time because he would instantly start crying every time I tried to nurse him, which made bedtime a challenge since that's part of our routine. We rode it out, I pumped several times a day, and a week or two later he rolled toward me and latched on {cue angels singing} like he'd never stopped and the strike was over. That was a frustrating time where my feelings were hurt as much as his had been.

Fun



Now that winter finally loosened its grip here in Minnesota, we're enjoying the outdoors as much as we can. He loves to play on a quilt on the grass {actually, I like the quilt and he likes the grass}. I usually bring my Kindle out but end up just watching him {most likely with a sappy grin on my face}.

On a really good day, I walk Zae down to the park a couple blocks away. That sounds pathetic, I know, but for me, fibromyalgia and back pain make that trip an accomplishment. I put him in the baby swing for the first time and held him while I swung him back and forth and oh my was that a hit. This baby smiles a lot, but his face lit up like the June sun. Then, Nana went out and found a baby swing that's an actual seat for right out in the yard. The neighbor kids love to drop whatever they're doing and come over and push him, with a reminder every now and then that he's just a baby so we can't push very hard. Kids love kids. Zae loves to watch kids and it's interesting to see how his interaction differs from his interactions with adults.

On rainy days, I lay the quilt on the living room floor and spread out some toys for him to practice {if you can call it that...it's not quite a crawl yet--it's more of a seal motion}. We turn on Amazon Radio and find a station we like {we love Lindsey Stirling and contemporary instrumentals}. He loves it when we float his favorite blankie {which of course is a crazy poinsettia print that is totally out of season} down over him. Then he pulls it off his face and I act all surprised {Oh! There he is! I was wondering where you went!}. Then he pulls it over his face for a second and whips it off and I act all surprised again while he belly laughs. This has been a favorite for quite a while.
crawling

His new favorite plaything is the kitties' tails. So far, the cats have pretty much avoided him, but they are slowly coming to tolerate his grasping fingers, the ripped out fur, and the accidentally pulled tails. Bella is now throwing herself over in front of him and letting him get big handfuls of her belly {the cat's a saint}, but his favorite is the Woolly tail because, obviously the fuzzier the better.

Nap time


Nap time is always in his swing so I don't have to climb the stairs {aka Mount Everest}. I strap him in and give him a toy to hold and a fuzzy baby blanket and he kicks his feet in excitement. He pulls the blanket next to his face and turns his head to the side and hums himself to sleep. I couldn't ask for a better napper!



Milestones

  • Sitting up started in March, for a couple seconds here and there. Now he is sitting long enough to get a picture or two before he wobbles over. 
  • First time in the swing at the park this month. He was so excited about it!
  • Blowing raspberries.
  • First time in his high chair.


More Fun, Then It's Bedtime


I feed him his last bottle at about 4:00 and we play for a little while longer. By the time 6:00 rolls around he's getting tired and he get's a bath {or two, if he pees on me before I can get his diaper on} and lavender nighttime lotion. Once we traded the spit-up smell for yummy baby smell, we get jimmies on and give Daddy and Nana kisses and say goodnight to the kitties. Then we head upstairs for my favorite part of the day. We read a story, turn on the globe nightlight, and Zae nurses while I rub his back and stare at his face in complete adoration. When he is done nursing, I put him in his crib with Elmo or his duckie, stare at him for a minute or two, then close the door until it's cracked, turn on the monitor, and fall into the couch in blissful exhaustion.




















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