Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A View from the Top – Getting you guys up to date!!!

Moving into month 4 was an exciting milestone for us as parents and it is getting more fun every day. Tuff is doing all kinds of things that completely amaze me. He is starting to communicate with us about the activities he enjoys and those he’s not so interested in. He is getting some good control over his neck and lifting that head and getting more familiar with all of his extremities. He is starting to coordinate himself and notice that he is the one controling his limbs. He absolutely hates laying on his back, knowing now that it is a much better view to sit up or stand up (with support of course). He is also starting to experiment with his vocal abilities and making new sounds. I know I’ve said it so many times before, all of these little things are so trivial to us as grown-ups, but I am completely in awe as my son becomes more confident with each tiny little accomplishment.

We have started letting him stand and sit up more, supported by either a Boppy, our hands and forearms and bodies, or in an infant seat or upright bouncy… and he LOVES it. He looks all around and is absolutely absorbed in everything we do. We put him in his seat in the kitchen while we cook and do dishes and clean up, he's with us in the bathroom when we brush our teeth and shower, and I put him in front of me when I’m folding clothes and show him each piece of clothing as I sort through, sounding off if it’s a sock or shirt or whatever. When I vacuum, his eyes lock on to the machine and follow it back and forth as I go about the room. He is just so interested in EVERYTHING we do. And it makes it more fun to do what I have to do when it’s made into a fun teaching tool for him. The more stable he gets on his own, the more “chores” become “games” that we can play and do together.

We don’t do “chores” every day, but we are starting to include him in more of our household activities as he becomes more aware of his surroundings. We play baby games a lot, too. Some of his fave things to do during playtime right now are the Superman (dad holds him horizontal ways and he flies across the room in daddy’s arms and swoops to get a kiss from mommy, or visa versa), any song or lullaby that is interactive (Itsy Bitsy Spider gets him giggling every time), and laying on a blanket with a few toys around him (he loves a couple minutes to himself to study his hands and feet and clothes). Oh, and he is starting to master the roll over! Mostly it’s only to the right, as far as a full circle is concerned, but he will roll left from his tummy to his back. Being on his tummy is definitely his favorite position if he is on the floor. A bigger play area is in the works as we speak due to him becoming more mobile by the day. His activity mat just won’t contain him anymore. In 3 minutes he goes from the left side of the mat, all the way to the right side of the mat and onto the carpet. His little feet kick and stretch on the foam skeleton bars that go above the mat, and his arms swat and wack anything within range. He’s paying much more attention to the pictures in the books I read, too. He lays on his stomach and I put the book in front of him and read slowly  (most times, this is after his bath/massage). I put my finger on the words as I read, and point out different things on the pages. At first he didn’t pay too much attention, but here in the past few weeks his eyes go from one page to the other studying every color and animation, and he looks at my hand when it’s time to turn the page.

Another new thing, he’s finally made hand-to-foot contact. During bath time, I’ve been sitting him up in his bathtub, kind of leaning over my forearm, as I pour water on his back or show him his reflection in the mirror, and he watches his feet enter and exit the water with amazement. Last week, he just decided he would grab one of his little piggy's and make it his new friend. His fingers move slowly up his leg until he’s got a firm grasp on his toes, and then that leg goes to town. I swear he’s practicing the Can-Can. That leg just kicks up and down, a million times, even when he’s not holding it. When he’s in his car seat, you can hear it swish against the canvas… swish-swish, in-out, swish-swish. LOL! He’s also started tapping it as he falls asleep, that leg just a kicking up and down until he breathes that last little sigh of surrender and gives in to his exhaustion.

It wouldn’t be a post of mine if I didn’t mention his sleep cycles. They have fluctuated slightly, but not a big enough variation to blog about at the moment. The few times that I can count where it was difficult getting him to sleep were most probably of our own doing. Either letting him take a long nap late in the afternoon, him not having enough naps throughout the day or we misread one of his cues. Otherwise, he is doing so great. I take him out well after his bedtime about once a week, and he has responded beautifully. He was very alert and interested while we were out and about, and when we got home he just nuzzled up in his bed and went to sleep (for the most part). I know as he reaches certain milestones his sleep patterns will change, and we are ready for it. We’ve already noticed that as he becomes more mobile, he wiggles and scoots across the length of the bed. Sometimes we go in and he is turned completely sideways, or all the way up against the rails J How it reminds me of those pictures you see of children sleeping in the weirdest positions… I can’t wait to see what positions he gets himself into (I mean I can, but I can’t – You know!)

We have truly been on the biggest high. It’s incredible watching Tuff grow up and adapt to every circumstance with such ease. It has helped me overcome some huge personal issues concerning my contributions as a mother. With my intended natural delivery turning into a c-section and not being able to breastfeed, it really made me feel like less of a mother in the beginning. I thought I was letting my son down by not being able to provide a smooth entrance into this world and that our bond would be diminished because I couldn’t feed him from my breast. However, through this journey I have learned that these were only concerns in my mind, not my son’s. Our bond is so deep, and every time he looks at me his face lights up with joy. No matter how gloomy my day, seeing his face in the afternoon is like the sun shining through the clouds after the rain. There is a connection between us that will never be broken. I can feel it when he nuzzles his face in my neck and breathes me in when he’s tired, or puts his wee little fingers around mine and squeezes tight, or when he looks in my eyes when I’m feeding him. He appreciates me and he trusts me, and I could not have asked for more.

(Ha ha... had to add this one, he was hungry and tired of the dang camera in his face... LOL)