Friday, February 18, 2011

Andrew: 6 Months Old!

My baby boy is halfway to his first birthday!  How the heck did that happen already?

In many ways it's been a loooong six months, but at the same time it's gone by in the blink of a sleep-deprived eye. Andrew has not been as easy baby by any means and the past six months have pushed and challenged me as a mother more than any time in the past two and a half years of my parenting history. Truthfully, I can't really remember the first three of them. Not sure if that's a product of how little sleep I was getting or the incessant screaming Andrew was doing. Probably both. Either way, they've just about been erased from my memory.

It's been a hard six months. Damn hard. And I'm sure as heck hoping the next six months are easier. So far, signs are pointing to that being the case. But it's also been six months full of love, laughter, and happiness. Andrew has made us, what I feel to be, a more "complete" family. There's something about having two of them. Sitting at the dinner table at night, Philip in his booster seat and Andrew in the high chair, while Philip engages us in one of his endlessly entertaining toddler conversations and Andrew grins his big baby grin at him and laughs when Philip smiles back. The adoration on Andrew's face for his big brother... ugh. It just gets me every time. These two boys love each other so much already and they have such a sweet relationship with one another. Watching them interact melts my heart. I'm so grateful every day that God chose to send us another little boy to love. I couldn't have asked for a better gift for Philip than the gift of a little brother to grow up with. A built-in best friend. I pray every day that they will always be so close; that they will always look out for one another.

Andrew was the piece to the puzzle that made up our family that we didn't know we were missing. He's the perfect fit, even if he is the "blonde sheep" amidst his dark-haired, dark-eyed counterparts. He's mommy's little boy and the snuggle bug I missed out on with Philip, who has never been the cuddly type. He's rolly-poly and pudgy with the perfect amount of baby fat, so different from Philip who has been a string bean since the day we brought him home! He's got a deeper, raspier voice than Philip had but the same hilarious nasal laugh. When Andrew and Philip get engaged in a laughing fit you can't help but laugh along with them! He's big and strong at six months old and already trying to get into everything. True to second child form, he's orally-fixated--everything goes in the mouth. This has to be because he has an older brother who's play things keep getting smaller!

A welcome similarity that's just starting to take shape is his sleep pattern. At six months of age, Andrew is finally sleeping through the night, just like his big brother did. He has recently started going to bed between eight and nine at night and sleeps til anywhere between six and seven in the morning. Sometimes, if it's closer to six, I can give him a bottle and he'll sleep until eight or so. This is absolutely heaven. After months of waking up every one to two hours, I can't even put into words how relieved I am at this change of events in his nightly routine. It has reassured me that, yes, life will go on. Things will return to normal. (And it gives me hope that a couple of his other less-than-fun habits will change with time, ie, screaming in the car, and only wanting mommy to hold him, all the time. We'll get there.)

In other big news this month, our big boy is cutting his first tooth. Two months sooner than his brother did, too! New foods this month include carrots, bananas, and peas. So far he is loving the carrots. Less enthused about the peas. He also loves playing in the pack-n-play, jumperoo, and walker. He's starting to increase the amount of time he is content to entertain himself with a toy which is a nice change of pace for mommy. He's even closer to sitting unassisted. He can sort of tripod himself in a sitting position no problem, but still loses his balance and ends up falling over. He's mastered rolling back to front but doesn't quite understand front to back. Either that or he just doesn't want to be on his back! He's just started "creeping" backwards. I believe within the next two months we will have a crawler on our hands, if not sooner. He likes to blow raspberries and smack his lips together. He practices his vowel sounds and seems to love the sound of his own voice, trying it out often. He has one volume setting: Loud. He thinks it's a laugh riot when we follow Philip up the stairs and cracks up the whole way. He's moving into size nine months clothing which means I am officially screwed on the hand-me-down home front as of right now; Philip was in summer clothes when he was in nine months sizes. So we're having to buy this little booger his own clothes anyway! At the rate Andrew is growing, Philip will be getting his hand-me-downs!

So many other things. I wish I could take every good moment from every day and capture it on camera, take a video of it, put it in a bottle... anything. I feel as though our days are fleeting and time is slipping away from me with each hour that they grow bigger. I am loving this special times in our lives of having a six month old and a two and a half year old. I want to always remember these days, and the chaos, the craziness, the crankiness, the joyfulness, and the love that is filling our lives right now. Blessed doesn't even begin to describe it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cupcake Fun

Within the past few months, Philip has taken an interest in what we're doing when we're in the kitchen. He frequently pulls out a chair from the table and puts it up to the counter where he climbs up to get a better view of what's going on. We've started letting him help us bake and he loves to be our little assistant. Yesterday we decided to make some fun Valentine's Day cupcakes. Philip is a great little sous chef!