Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life with Lauren: 5 Months

This is Dan's favorite sleeper for Lauren. 

Five months outside of the womb have passed so much ore quickly than the first five months of pregnancy. Lauren seems more like a little person each day, and I can only imagine that this impression will grow stronger as she asserts more of her own opinions about things. She has always been alert -- baby big eyes! -- but even more so now. She captivated the ladies sitting behind us at church, and calmly accepted their praise and clutched proffered fingers. Immediately after she stuck her index finger in her mouth to chew on, so I sincerely hope all of those people were part of the clean hands club. (Oh yes, she has mastered the sucking of the index finger.)

Big moments from the month include the first unenthusiastic spoonful of food, and I use the word food loosely here. When our doctor said we could start her on rice cereal any time after four months, I was surprised, then sad (my baby is growing up!), then excited (real food!), then started to plan (baby food cookbooks? an immersion blender? storage containers?), all of which was tempered by at least three parents confessing that their babies despised rice cereal. We waited until she was pretty steady sitting up and very observant of our mealtime actions. (Sitting on our lap, she cranes her neck to follow the path of our glasses from the table to our mouths.) And, so at about 4 months, 3 weeks, we gave her a spoonful, which was pushed around and pushed back out. Dan tried a couple more spoonfuls and gave it a break for the night. We've only tried twice since then, every couple of days, with similar results. So, maybe as we get closer to six months we'll try a little bit more. I'm not in a hurry. Our combination of nursing and supplementing with formula continues to work for us.
Funniest look on her face. 
Lauren currently weighs 12 lbs, 14 oz, so she's continuing to gain weight at a slow and steady pace. Her length is __________*. She's our string bean and I love her to pieces! She's in her 3-6 month and 6 month clothes. It's so funny how different brands fit -- in her Gerber onesies she's in the 6-9 months because of her length, yet the Gap 3-6 month sleepers are still too long. Things still have a habit of sliding off her narrow frame, especially pants and socks. But her cheeks are getting chubbier and chubbier, as you can see from the pictures!

Another beautiful milestone of this month has been increasingly regular morning naps. After two hours of being up in the morning, she wants to go back to sleep, and I am happy to oblige by swaddling her up and being able to do whatever I want around the house for 45 minutes or so. The actual time of these naps vary quite a bit, anywhere from about 7:45 in the morning to 10:15. More often than not, Lauren's internal alarm clock goes off at 5:40, and sometimes that's it! She's up for the day! (Although my internal alarm clock doesn't love it, at least Dan occasionally gets baked oatmeal out of the deal, fresh from the oven.) Night time sleeping is getting better, with the occasional agonizing setback of multiple times up in the night. I'm realizing that when she goes to bed, usually between 8:30 and 9:00, I need to go to bed.

Playtime is more and more fun. She loves grabbing on tight and putting things in her mouth, especially blankets. Weird? Maybe. We read a few books every day and sometimes her hand happens to turn a page. I know it's a coincidence, but I like to pretend she knows what's going on.

As I said before, Lauren is very observant. One of the cutest moments of this month was when she was sitting on Dan's lap during dinner. He was telling me about his day, and Lauren was leaning back, head turned up at him, staring at him adoringly. I broke the spell by grabbing the camera, but it was the sweetest expression of total fascination with her dad. My favorite moments from the month have been the belly-laughs when I kiss her round cheeks and soft neck. I can't get enough of it! The other special memory for this month, for me, is during some of the early morning nursing times. Lauren has fallen asleep in my arms, and before I've put her back in her crib, I've spent a few minutes just looking at my baby girl. She's had the most beautiful, peaceful look on her face.

Just so you know, it's a fact she's cute. So cute, in fact, that at the doctor's office yesterday, a little boy said, "Your baby's cute! Is it a boy or a girl?" I told him that she was a girl and he said, again, "She's so cute." Then he reached into the car seat, patted her foot and then patted her head. (His mother told his to stop, but he was only touching her clothes.) I followed him and his mother out to the elevator, and he turns to her and says, "That baby is really cute, right mom?" Melt my heart, funny little boy who can't say your "r" sounds.

This week, Lauren and I are off to visit family while Dan is stuck here with work, so we are hoping for an uneventful car ride there and a wonderful week of memories!

*Baby is currently sleeping. I will update with this information at a convenient time... aka never. 

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