It's both easy and impossible to believe that Max has been here for an entire half of a year. You would think after teaching kindergarten for so long I would not be surprised when a child is able to acquire new skills in seemingly one day, but babies make five year olds look slow on the uptake.
Just a few weeks ago someone asked me if Max was sitting up yet and I was laughing saying that any version of sitting is just so low on his list of priorities that he will probably just skip that milestone all together. Of course, only a few days later he suddenly starts sitting up. I mean, sure there is some falling over happening, but he went from not even thinking about sitting, to sitting for 5 seconds, to sitting for minutes at a time in maybe a week span. Last time I wrote he was just starting to roll from back to front, now only a few weeks later he does this a million times a day. He has even started turning over and sleeping on his tummy sometimes, which often results in one arm being stuck in the crib side. What a crazy/amazing kiddo.
These days it's not just Eric's swinging that makes Max laugh. He laughs at people smiling at him. He laughs at himself when he falls over. He laughs at anyone disappearing and reappearing. This weekend my brother had his dog at the Cape and Max found Rosie hilarious.
Max has been a lucky baby the last month because both Eric and I have been home with him most of the time. We have done a lot of fun things including lots of walks, birthday parties, and even Max's first boat ride.
I have also really been trying to work on some of the things I wasn't able to do while I was at work. For example, I set up a nap time routine with him: diaper change, sleep sack on, read a book, country music on and then ideally I would just rock him and he'd fall asleep (well actually IDEALLY I could just put him in the crib and he'd fall asleep...). In all reality he needs me to nurse him most days to actually fall asleep. This habit would be a lot less of a bad idea if I wasn't going back to work in like a month. Oops. Oh well, guess who is going to have to deal with this problem? Future Kelly.
Sleeping: I'm slowly moving bedtime earlier so a good night for Max is about 8:45pm to 7am. Some variation of this happens many nights but definitely not all. He seems to be more aware of his own location these days so the first days we go home he wakes up in the middle of the night, then back at the Cape, then randomly he will just wake up early for fun. Basically he does what he wants and I can't complain because he is way better than most babies. AND, did I mention the child actually naps now? WOO. Usually about 3 naps a day, 2 longer and 1 cat nap.
Feeding: Max has started to nurse MUCH quicker now. He went from each feeding being about 40 minutes to about 10 minutes in a matter of a week basically as soon as I started being home all the time. Thank goodness for this because I introduced him to solid foods a few days before his 6 month birthday and now it feels like the child is either nursing, napping or eating solid foods during every moment of the day. We are at a transition period with eating which has pretty much rid us of the feeding schedule. Actually napping + eating solids + still trying to nurse = huge free for all.
Likes: Max currently loves all kinds of attention and silly behavior. If you go up to him and smile/make a silly face, you will almost definitely get a smile back. He also loves his car walker, playing Peekaboo, my brother's dog Rosie, and MUSIC. Max also loves pretending to walk, dancing, being launched up in the air and basically anything that involves moving all around, seeing new things and doing stuff. Last weekend I upgraded our beloved Ergo to an Ergo 360. Now he can face out when we wear him and this is of course THE.BEST.THING.EVER.
Dislikes: He dislikes sitting still/in the same place for more than 10 seconds, being awake for too long, the car unless he is asleep, and when things are too big to shove in his mouth.
Last, but not least, I need to congratulate myself for making it to 6 months still breastfeeding. This was a goal I'd hoped to accomplish, but never thought I would. I always thought nursing really wouldn't be my thing, and since I have nothing at all against formula, I figured I would just switch whenever I was fed up with breastfeeding. Well, let me tell you, I have been fed up MANY times. I have been fed up when I was spending 8-10 hours a day on breastfeeding for the first 3 months. Or when I was sitting in a dusty closet trying to put together all the god forsaken pumping parts. Or when Max decided to go through a "fight the boob" stage and hit me instead of eating. Or when I was sitting in a bar bathroom on my birthday using a manual pump while everyone else enjoyed their beer. Or when I carried a massive bag to a wedding reception so I could sneak away and pump. Or when I finally got a break from feeding the baby but I still had to PUMP. Or when I ended up in the hospital with a 104 fever because I had mastitis. Yeah, I've been fed up.
But, there have been unexpected great things too. Like cuddling a cute baby multiple times a day. Or having an excuse to sit on the couch (especially after a long day of dealing with 5 year olds). Or having an easy way to get Max happy. Or the many wonderful books I have read while nursing. Oh, and did I mention it's free? In the end the good has outweighed the bad for me and so I have kept going even during the tough times. I read somewhere never to quit on a bad day, and so I haven't. Maybe I'll make it to 1 year. Who knows?
As always, thanks for reading my ramblings about Max. All professional photos were taken by Caroline.