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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.

Graham Edward: Six Months Old.

On Friday, we celebrated your half-year birthday!  I will spare you all the how it is even possible talk, but seriously…mind is blown.  Time definitely passes much more quickly the second time.  Six months old!

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From six weeks

To six months.  I can’t even stand it. 

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You are the smiliest baby I have ever seen, and you light up whenever someone meets your gaze.  Even when you haven’t napped (which is all the time!) or are feeling grumpy, you are still somehow almost always smiling. 

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And I promise I’m not just being that.crazy.mom when I tell you that people stop me all the time to talk about those eyes!  They are enormous and sparkling and seem to get bluer and bluer every day. 

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Your head is covered in this amazing blonde fuzz, and I rub my face on it all day long (sorry about that).  Where on earth did it come from?  Your whole head sparkles in the sunshine.  You are a peach. 

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You have a squeaky belly laugh that is almost always brought on by your brother.  You like it when he does peekaboo or bangs his cup on the kitchen table, and it sends you into full body giggles.  You pretty much never laugh for your mom. 

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You still scream through pretty much every car ride, no matter how many toys I give you or songs I sing.  I will turn your car seat around on your second birthday, but until then you’re going to have to tough it out, kiddo.  The whole no-pacifier-thing makes things like air travel, car rides, and nap times a lot more tricky.

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You are obsessed with jumping.  We call you Jumping Bean because you literally never stop jumping!  This made for a very exhausting 6.5 hours of flying home from Ohio last week – my arms still ache.  You love your jumperoo and it is the only reason I ever get dinner onto the table.  I predict you are an Olympic trampolinst!

Your other nickname is Roly Poly, because you refuse to ever be on your back.  Diaper and outfit changes are impossible, because you spend the whole time craning your body around desperate to get onto your belly.  You aren’t quite crawling yet, but you’re scooting all over.  You spin in circles and can somehow reach anything within a few feet of you.  You pretty much never stop moving. 

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But despite all that activity, you are somehow never tired.  Naps continue to elude us, and it is kind of driving me crazy.  You are a very noise and light sensitive little guy, which has made it really hard for you to nap on the go.  But you also hate napping in your crib, which means you won’t nap at home either!  On an average day, you might take three 20-25 minute naps.  Occasionally you’ll nap for an hour here or there, but only on your mom or in a (moving) car seat.  I keep telling myself that naps will improve with age.  I also just ordered heavy duty blackout curtains, and I’m hoping those will help. 

We had a really bad month of sleep in general.  So many wakeups, and nothing soothes you other than a boob – which means that mom can never be very far away.  Good thing you are so sweet and snuggly!  You slept terribly when we traveled and ended up in bed with me every night (which I secretly kind of loved).  Knock on wood, we’ve just recently entered a stretch where you are suddenly sleeping about 7pm to 3 or 4am each night, before getting up for the day at six.  It is a HUGE improvement! 

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The other big THING of the month, has been a lingering issue that we’ve been slowly trying to navigate and manage.  The short version of the story is that at around 3.5 months I started to suspect you were tongue-tied.  I mentioned it at your four month checkup, where we also discovered that your weight gain had tailed off quite a bit.  I made it my personal mission to feed you as much as possible, which is also why I was willing to give in to so much of the sleeplessness.  Good thing motherhood has made me lose my modesty – I was willing to feed you pretty much everywhere and anywhere. 

At 4.5 months, we visited a specialist who confirmed that you did have some extra frenulum tissue that could be causing some issues.  I brought up all of my concerns – repeated bouts of mastitis, slow weight gain, frustration when feeding, short and frequent feeds, refusal/inability to take a bottle or pacifier – and they all pointed back to the possible tongue tie.  For a number of reasons, I decided not to have the frenectomy(cutting of the tongue-tie) done that day, but we discussed the possibility of me coming back if things didn’t improve.

In the following weeks, I got mastitis again (for the fourth time in five months!), and you continued to seem frustrated and unsatisfied while eating.  My gut continued to tell me that something was definitely wrong.  We went back to the specialist, who confirmed that your tongue was most definitely restricted, and we finally went through with the frenectomy yesterday.  It was no picnic for anyone, but I cried harder than you did.

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You were back to your normal, smiling self soon afterward and I can already feel a huge difference when you eat now.  Judging from your longer feedings and big satisfied smiles afterward, I’m fairly sure that you can tell the difference too.  I am sorry that it took us six long months to figure out exactly what was going on, but I am very relieved to finally feel like we are moving forward!  It was such a tough decision to make, but I knew you would thank us in the long run.  I would do anything to make you feel better!

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Speaking of eating, we are just starting to dip our toes in the world of solid foods!  Your first food was avocado, and you weren’t so sure about it.  Your brother thought it was hilarious that you were eating something other than milk.  You made funny faces and a big mess.  You hang out in your high chair now to eat meals with us, and every time I see you in it I marvel at just how big and grown up you seem in what has felt like such a short bit of time. 

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You chew on anything and everything, and you are the grabbiest baby I’ve ever seen.  You are Grabby Graham, and it is impossible to eat or drink anything while holding you.  You are insanely strong for someone who weighs 17 pounds, and I love watching you reach out and hook your favorite toy with your tiny fingers.  And my heart melts when those little fingers wrap around mine. 

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You are working on sitting up, and you can balance for a minute or two before toppling over.  You usually end up falling because you are grabbing for something!  You suddenly seem much studier and more solid than you did just a few weeks ago.  I think you just finished a big growth spurt (which might have also explained our sleepless month!). 

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And of course, I can’t talk about all your favorite activities and things without mentioning your most favorite thing of all – your brother!  Your whole demeanor changes when he is around and you never take your eyes off of him.  You like when he jumps around and makes funny sounds.  You don’t like when he is too loud or when he leaves the room. 

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He thinks it is funny when you do a “big time poop” or when you laugh at him.  Once he has figured out a way to make you laugh, he repeats it over and over again for as long as you’ll keep going.  I love that you two entertain each other, and it is so much fun for me to just sit back and watch. 

And while I love our time together as a family, I admit that I also look forward to afternoon nap time when you and I get a few hours alone together to just lay on the floor and smile and play.  I cherish our quiet moments and sweet snuggles. 

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I refuse to start thinking about you being half a year old, inching toward your first birthday – all that jazz.  Instead, I’m going to keep enjoying each and every day with you as they come.  I learned the first time around that worrying about the passage of time does not make it go any slower!

Six Month Stats:

  • Weight: 17ish lbs
  • Clothing: Tail end of the 3-6 stuff, need to pull out the 6-12 bin soon!
  • Diapers:  Mostly cloth with disposables overnight and for travel.
  • Eating: So far just avocado!  Going to try sweet potatoes next…
  • Strolling:  Tolerates the stroller pretty well – has had one successful stroller nap!  Still prefers Ergo for walks.
  • Travel:  One long trip to the Midwest, and another trip coming up next month!
  • Likes:  Rolling over, peekaboo, jumping, bath time, chewing on toys, watching Cullen, jumping, dad coming home from work, squeaky toys, jumping…
  • Dislikes:  Car rides, pacifiers, having his nose wiped, being left alone for 0.2 seconds, overly loud or expressive people.

What will next month bring?  Sleeping through the night?!?  I’ll settle for just an hour or two of napping here and there.  Deal?  You are the sweetest baby in the world, and I am thankful for you every day. 

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Graham Edward: Five Months.

Sweet little Graham – you are five months old!  These months seem to have passed by so much more quickly this time.  I feel like I blink and another one has gone by…

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While you are without a doubt still the most precious baby I’ve known, this past month was more challenging than the ones before it.  We saw less smiles, more tears, and I felt confused on a daily basis trying to figure out your cues and “schedule.”  I said to your dad on more than one occasion, “aren’t babies supposed to get easier as they get older?”

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I think it was a bit of growing pains – both physically and developmentally.  Because while we had a good number of grumpy days and nights, by the end of the month you started happily taking a pacifier, chilling out in your car seat, sleeping on your belly, rolling over constantly, and laughing hysterically at your brother. 

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Oh, and your TWO TEETH might have had something to do with your moody moments.  Your first one popped up last Saturday, and the one next to it broke through just this morning.  Your gummy smile now shows a hint of white!

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I call you Roly Poly and it sends your brother into a fit of giggles.  If I put you on your back you immediately roll over, and then sometimes you cry because you don’t know what to do next.  If there are toys in front of you though, you’ll happily hang out and reach for them for a good stretch of time. 

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You are juuuust starting to show signs that you’re thinking about crawling, and you love to kick and swim in the air.  You’ve started tucking your knees up under your belly and pushing your chest up off the floor with your arms.  You are just like your big brother in that you get very frustrated when you can’t do something yet.

Your favorite toys right now are Mr. Zebra, monkey legs, gummy circles, and the chewy blue hand that you like to gnaw on.  At the rate your teeth are coming in, anything that can be chewed is a friend.

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Speaking of being on your belly, this month brought a lot of changes in the sleep department too.  Most notably – you stopped doing it!  I gave you a pass for a few days because you were sick and only wanted to sleep in my arms.  I spent three nights wide awake with worry while you snoozed on my chest with a high fever.  It was horrible.  Let’s not do that again, okay?

And to add insult to injury, while you were sick you also got your first tooth.  Ever since then you’ve been waking up a lot more in the night.  I put you to bed around 7pm, and right now you are often waking up around 11pm, 1am, 4am, and 6am.  And somehow, despite being up quite a bit through the night – you still do not nap more than 25 minutes in your crib.  Graham, your mama is so so tired.

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I asked your dad this morning how it is possible that I am more sleep-deprived now than I have ever remembered before.  He reminded me that you are often getting up around 1 and 4am, and then your big brother is awake for the day by 5:30am.  Are you two conspiring already?

Other sleep changes – we finally got you out of the swaddle!  That was a brutal transition and I am so glad it’s over.  You have quite the startle reflex still, and it was so hard to get you to sleep comfortable and peacefully, but you wouldn’t stop rolling over in your swaddle so it had to go.  And you know what finally worked?  You sleep on your belly now!

When your big brother started sleeping on his stomach I was totally freaked out and worried sick over it, as all first time moms should.  And while yes, it is absolutely recommended that you be sleeping on your back – you don’t want to!  And there is nothing I can do about that. 

You not only love sleeping on your belly, you also love smooshing your face up into blankets and snuggling your lovey dog close to your body.  All things you are not supposed to do, but I feel very confident that you are a strong guy who can safely snuggle with a blanket.  Good thing you are my second baby and can get away with these types of things more easily.

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The other perk of you being a belly sleeper?  You finally want to take chest naps!  Your big brother was the master of snoozing on a chest, and so I assumed this was just a THING that all babies do.  You proved me wrong when I tried and tried with you these first few months and you would thrash and arch your back and have none of it.  Now that you realize how cozy it is to sleep on your tummy, you are happy to snooze away in my arms.  And I am happy to hold you.

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I am trying so hard to get you onto a consistent and regular “schedule” but it is really tough since we have your big brother’s schedule to work around too.  You are still taking three to four naps a day – usually around 9:30am, 11am, 1pm, and 4pm.  Sometimes if we’re out you’ll snooze in your carseat long enough that the 11am nap isn’t needed.  And many afternoons you decide the 4pm nap isn’t going to happen, so you just go to bed around 6:30pm instead.  I am so ready for you to stretch and combine a few of these naps!

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Despite snoozing very little during the day, you still remain happy and hilarious.  Everyone who meets you comments on your giant blue eyes and your amazing crooked smile.  You are starting to laugh a lot more, and it is contagious.

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You are a good eater, but you are kind of a peanut.  I am used to having big, fat chunky monkey babies, and somehow you are long and lean – who did you get that from?  You are in the 90th percentile for your height, but I can’t imagine that will last.  Not surprisingly, your head is off the charts gigantic.  It runs in the family, kid.

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I have to tell you, Graham.  As much as I looked forward to your arrival and wanted you here so badly, I don’t think I really knew how much I actually needed you until you got here.  You are a constant reminder to me to unplug, slow down, soak it in, and celebrate simply joys.

Sometimes I feel bad for you because I drag you around all morning to play dates and parks and whatever else your brother is doing.  But you always just look up and me and smile, and I know that we both know that come nap time – it is time for just you and me.  While your brother sleeps, we spend a few hours alone – batting at toys, kicking your legs, tickling your nose, and working hard for giggles.  And even in the darkness of the midnight feedings – as sleepy as I am, I still appreciate the calm, quiet opportunity to stare into your sparkling eyes and rub my hands over your fuzzy head.

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You have changed so much from your newborn days, and no one has noticed it more than Cullen.  He loves to make you laugh, and you are his biggest fan.  If he is in the room, your eyes never leave him.  No one makes you smile quite like he does.

Last night I was getting ready for bath time when I realized I needed to run downstairs to grab something quickly.  I set you down on the floor with a toy but you started crying right away.  I glanced into Cullen’s room and asked him if he could check on you and cheer you up while I ran down the steps for just a minute.  I was frantic and rushing as fast as possible, as I don’t like leaving you out of my sight, and you were crying! 

I got to the bottom of the steps and paused, as I heard something loud from the upstairs hallway.  It took me a minute to realize that what I heard was laughter.  Two sets of tiny giggles laughing over each other in delight.  I picked up my speed, no longer rushing from worry, but now hopeful to catch whatever moment was waiting at the top of the steps. 

I came upstairs to find you squealing and beaming at your brother, and him running in and out of his room jumping out at you in his own version of “peekaboo.”  I am constantly amazed to see things like this happen every day.  As young as you still are, there is a real bond and relationship forming, and I am so excited to watch it continue to grow.

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Hard to believe that next month you will be halfway to a year old.  No rush, little fella.  We love you so much!

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