Saturday, April 19, 2014

Letters to Aden: Five Months

Hello my little boy,

Are you really five months old? How is that even possible? Life with you is flying by so quickly.

And yet ... it's not. The past few weeks is when the exhaustion of sleepless nights and life with two small children has finally caught up to me. I am tired these days, thanks in part to your frequent nightly wake-ups and your desire to eat, eat, eat. It's not you, it's me - really. You're a little boy who is growing bigger and learning new things everyday. Irregular sleep and complete dependence on mama isn't anything out of the ordinary for a baby your age. The physically demanding parts of having an infant is wearing on me, that's all.

Speaking of sleep, this past month was pretty rough. You typically sleep in 2-3 hour increments and sometimes, especially while sleeping in your crib at night, wake up every hour or two. You still love your swing and sleep better in there, so I usually throw in the towel at some point during the night and move you from your crib to the swing just so we can all get some rest. I will say, you're trending in the right direction and within the last week have been sleeping in some four hours stretches to which I say THANK YOU and HALLELUJAH. Daytime naps are about an hour in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and a 20-minute power nap around dinnertime. I know sleep with get better as you continue to grow ... we just have to ride the wave a little longer.

One thing that's definitely not helping is your oh, so sensitive skin. The harsh Minnesota winter has been really hard on your skin, leaving it dry and chapped. I've now adopted a strict lotion regimen with you and have also been treating an itchy rash you've developed on your neck and chest. The pediatrician assures me your skin condition will improve with the changing seasons; I just hope he's right. You have a nasty habit of scratching yourself on your head, neck and legs. I'm not sure if it's because of your dry skin or just a nervous habit, but it's such a pain keeping you from harming yourself. I've been putting little mittens on your hands, but you've figured out how to pull those off with your mouth and you scream wildly if I put a hat on your head to prevent you from scratching your scalp. Poor buddy. I know it can't feel good, so I do the best I can to keep you comfortable. I hope this is a stage you outgrow very soon.

One nuisance that seems to have passed is acid reflux. You spit up far less than you did in your first months of life (although, you do still spit up occasionally). You seem more comfortable laying flat on your back than you did as a newborn and it's nice being able to put you down on the activity mat or a blanket to play. I've noticed the beginning stages of teething as you're a slobbery mess chewing on your hands, teething toys and anything else you can get in your mouth. No sign of a tooth popping through your gums just yet.

Physically, you've really changed this month. You like to grasp rattles and toys. I see your little neck emerging when you sit up now. You have better head control overall and can even sit for a second or two without much assistance. Your legs are becoming stronger. I pulled the Johnny Jump-Up out of storage so you can stand and bounce up and down. You do little baby sit-ups as you try desperately to lift yourself up from a laying to a sitting position. You're not rolling over yet, but you're close. We've been practicing tummy time and you've made great strides in lifting your head up while laying on your belly.

You continue to be such a happy, smiley baby. You have the biggest grin for me in the mornings and your entire face lights up when you see Daddy come home from work in the evenings. Best of all, you and Tory have developed a real fondness for one another. There's times you just can't get enough of her and other times she makes you mad as ever. Typical siblings! She's gotten so much better at being around gentle around you and often entertains you with toys and chatter. You watch her intensely, like you're so anxious to scoot across the floor and join in whatever toy she's playing. I can't wait to see the relationship unfold between you two.

This month we've really started to get a glimpse of who you're growing up to be. We call you our little lion because you have a funny growl when you're angry. Sometimes I'll set you down for a second and you start to protest immediately, like you know I'm going to walk away. I love listening to you blow raspberries or coo when I read you board books because it reminds me there's a little boy in there who's learning new things and growing bigger every day. I love you so much, Aden.



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