Today you are five months old. That is getting awfully close to half a year.
In the past month you have become very strong. You roll over when you want to, but more often during tummy time you are interested in doing push-ups. You lift your entire torso off the ground, all the way up to your diaper, using just your arms, and hold yourself like that for a long time. It looks terrifyingly close to the army-crawling position, but I think you're still a ways away from that in terms of coordination. You hold your head up independently when lying on your back, which makes it harder to convince you to go to sleep in your swing. You're learning how to sit up, and can sit unsupported for a minute or sometimes even more at a time. You're not stable enough yet that we can just sit you somewhere and walk away, but you get closer to that point every day. And when you lie down, on your back or your belly, you kick and thrash enough to rotate in circles, and sometimes you accidentally scoot forward. All of these are warning signs that we should probably start thinking about some basic baby-proofing sooner rather than later.
You are also really LOUD. You don't cry nearly as much as you used to, but you've replaced the crying with piercing shrieks, and I'm not sure if that's an upgrade or not. You chatter and babble constantly. You are still working on consonants, and we hear them occasionally, especially the B and L sounds, but for the most part you shriek strings of vowels along the lines of AWEH, over and over again. You also make a high-pitched squealing sound that sounds to me like a large, angry bird of prey. You "talk" to your Dad and me, to your toys, to your jumperoo, to your activity mat, to your mobile, and to the dog. Pretty much anything other than thin air elicits shrieks of joy or anger, depending on your mood.
This month you started laughing, and it is so incredible. You giggled before, but now you have a full-on shriek/chuckle that pretty much kills us with cuteness. And it doesn't take much to make you laugh. You laugh when we tickle you or blow on your belly. You laugh when we hand you a new toy. You laugh when we make new sounds or silly faces. And sometimes you laugh just when we walk in the room.
You started on solid foods this month, with mixed success. At first it seemed like it was going well, but then you became really fussy, and while at first I wondered if you were teething, now I'm thinking it may have been digestive discomfort. We gave you a break from solid foods for a couple weeks, and within a day or two you were back to your old, happy self. I think we'll try oatmeal again soon and see if it takes any better, but for now you are on a purely liquid diet.
Not eating solids certainly doesn't seem to be affecting your growth. I haven't weighed you in awhile, but I'm guessing that you are close to 21 pounds and 28 inches, which would put you pretty much off the charts for both weight and height. You are close to the size of a one-year-old, and already we've had to stop carrying you around in your carseat, lest we dislocate our shoulders.
You aren't sleeping quite as well as you were, but considering some of the horror stories we've heard about the four-month sleep regression, we aren't complaining. You usually wake up sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. to eat, and then go back to sleep until 8 or 8:30. This isn't quite as awesome as when you were sleeping straight through to 8:30 without that extra wakeup, but it is more than manageable. You still love putting everything in your mouth, especially your hands, and often when we come to get you in the morning we find you lying in your crib trying desperately to stuff your entire fist into your mouth.
You still absolutely love your dad. The way you look at him is just the sweetest thing I've ever seen. You stare at him with pure adoration, and he stares back at you just the same way. The beautiful relationship between the two of you is so gratifying to see, and I know that you two will only get closer as you get older.
Once we stopped feeding you solid foods, you morphed back into the happy, laid-back baby you've been all your life, and have stayed that way ever since. We've noticed, however, that it takes more to entertain you--ever since we got you your jumperoo, you like being upright, and putting you on your activity mat almost always leads to indignant shrieks within minutes. Gone are the days where you would peacefully play on that mat for 45 minutes or more--and I think we are all looking forward to when you can reliably sit up on your own, because I'm pretty sure that will be your preferred playing position.
You continue to have quite the personality. You always want to be looking around, and it's a rare moment that I can get you to cuddle with me. Sometimes when I pick you up, you will rest your head briefly against my shoulder, but within seconds you'll be up and looking around again, turning your head from side to side so as not to miss anything. You remind me of a koala when I carry you, the way you cling to me with your arms and legs, but that's pretty much as close to snuggling as you'll let me get these days. You are also very clear about your preferences. You continue to prefer to be at home, and when we take you to friends' houses or out and about you will start to express your displeasure after an hour or two. We're planning for you to be quite the well-traveled child eventually, so hopefully this preference for our house will turn out to be a short-lived phase.
The first few months of your life seemed to pass by incredibly fast, and now that we've settled into more of a routine it feels like things have slowed down a bit. It feels like ages since you turned four months and we started you on solid foods--and I can barely remember what it was like before you were here--and yet I can't believe that you're already five months old. We had planned on having a baby for years before you were born, and we always knew that having a baby, any baby, would be great, but what we didn't know was that having YOU specifically would be even greater than we possibly could have imagined.
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