Week 11: Bigger Every Day.

Cullen is eleven weeks old today, and for the first time in a long time – I believe it!  He is so much bigger than he used to be, and I am feeling it in my biceps.  He likes to be active all the time now, always kicking, dancing, and flailing his arms around.

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He is also a ridiculous amount of fun.  I find myself smiling and laughing at him all day long, and the smiles and laughs that I get back in return literally make me feel like my heart might explode. 

In the middle of the night when I hear him start to wake, even though I absolutely KNOW that he’s not going to fall back asleep without being fed, I always lay there an extra minute or two hoping perhaps we don’t really have to get up.  But of course, we do.  Through a blur of sleepy haze, I get out of bed to change and feed him, and then slam back into my pillow praying for just a few more hours of sleep. 

When he finally wakes up for good in the morning, I always have about 30 seconds of once again – praying for more sleep.  But then I lean over and peek into his pack n play, where our eyes meet and as soon as he sees me, he bursts into the happiest, most joyful smile.  There is no better way to start the day.

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The big change this week is that he has found his HANDS.  He loves them, and sucks on them pretty much all the time.  He doesn’t reach out and grab toys yet, but if I put one near his hand he can usually grasp it with a little help.  Anything he holds onto eventually goes into his mouth.

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The other new development this week is DROOL.  Lots of gross, drippy drool.  I am constantly carrying around burp clothes to wipe him off, and I have to avoid getting hit in the face with it when we are playing (although he did get me with something else!).  The dogs are very interested in his drooling and bubble blowing…

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And Cullen seems totally fascinated by them.  I can see his eyes follow them around the room when they are near, and he loves when they come up and sniff his face.  Huey’s new favorite hiding spot is under the crib in the nursery.  I can’t wait until they are all friends and can play together.

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One of the things I’ve been trying to work on recently is his tummy time.  He absolutely HATES it.  He never lasts more than 30 seconds or so, but I really want him to keep practicing so it gets more comfortable.  Can’t really blame him for hating it though – look at the size of that head!

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This week was a particularly tough one – actually one of our hardest in quite some time.  I think a big part of it was transitioning back to pacific time and recovering from our week home for the holidays.  The first few days back he was falling asleep for the night between 4 and 5pm, and no matter what we did we couldn’t keep him awake.

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He is finally back to sleeping later, but I think all the schedule changes have been hard on him (and me!).  My boy seems to really like routine.  He was grumpy and cranky all week long, and none of his usual favorite things seemed to make him happy.

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And just when I was starting to feel the long days really wearing on me, he woke up today in the perfect mood, and we had an awesome day together.  He ate well, he slept well, we played together, and we even took a (rare) nap together.  He quickly made me forget that he puked in my hair, and tortured me all week long.

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Before Cullen, I never would have described myself as overly maternal.  Emotional, yes, but drawn to or interested in babies?  Eh, not so much. 

But then he arrived.  Suddenly, a part of me was now on the outside, literally being held in my arms.  I can’t really describe what these eleven weeks have been like, other than to say that I’m different now.  Of course my schedule is different, my body is different, and life in general is just…different.  But I’m talking about a difference that goes deep into my core.

I stare at him in disbelief that he is mine, that he came out of me, and that I made him.  I still can’t quite wrap my head around that.  I look at pictures from my pregnancy and try to understand that Cullen was in that big belly the whole time.  I think about what he will look like when he is five, what he will sound like when he is eight, and whether he’ll still hug his mom when he is ten.  I feel so lucky to get to watch him grow.

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But as much as I love seeing him grow and change, I can’t help but hope time will slow down for us just a little bit.  He is getting so big so quickly, and I’m simply doing my best to simply appreciate each stage, each day.  Who knows what next week will bring.