Thursday, March 3, 2016

Peter: 0-9 Months


I always told myself that I would do my best to document things for ALL my children as well as I have done for Gabriel (my firstborn). You know - the photos, the baby book, the videos, and even writing down milestones. Part of me actually thought I could jot down monthly updates for Peter just as I used to for Gabriel...but then Peter was born and reality hit. In those early days I could barely blog about anything, let alone find the time to organize photos and write down all the details of Peter's daily life. However, I am happy to report that I have still managed to take lots and lots and lots of photos and videos. 

I wasn't able to write monthly updates, but I decided to instead write up a "months 0-3" post...which slowly turned into "months 0-6"...and has officially become "0-9...that is almost entirely photos."

Peter baby, just know that all the time I didn't spend writing monthly blog updates about you has been well-spent snuggling with you, playing with you, or resting so that I can (hopefully) be as energetic and engaged as I can for you and your brother.

Without further ado, let's see how this boy has grown!

The First Few Weeks

From the earliest of days we learned a few things that would mostly ring true even as Peter got older:
  1. He barely cried; at night when he would wake up to nurse he would just make little grunting noises and gradually got a bit louder if I didn't wake up right away.
  2. He was incredibly patient which quickly led me to start calling him "patient Peter"; I always had at least 5-10 minutes from the time he got hungry to wrap up whatever I was doing (very helpful with a toddler!) before his little grunts would ever escalate to a brief cry.
  3. Peter could EAT. 
In regards to that third point I don't mean that he ate every single hour of the day like his older brother did; I simply mean that he ate a lot and grew rapidly. In the hospital every single nurse commented that he "didn't look like a newborn" and I kept thinking to myself, "but of course he is a newborn! He is so tiny! Crazy nurses." Within a couple of weeks, though, I began to see what they meant. 

This boy never really had that newborn string-bean look. In fact, it was an ongoing theme for the pediatrician to re-weigh him at every early appointment because he literally could not believe he had actually gained as much as he had. Here's a succinct look at his weight gain in those first couple of weeks:
  • Birth weight: 7 lbs. 12 oz.
  • Hospital discharge weight (2 days old): 7 lbs. 2 oz.
  • First doctor's appointment (3 days old - when most babies are still losing birth weight): 7 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Two-week check-up: 8 lbs. 14 oz.
Going home from the hospital!

At his 2-week doctor's appointment

Not even one month old, but looking an awful lot like a 3-month-old already....

One Month

Height and weight: 22 inches (an inch longer than birth) and 10 lbs. 6 oz.

Supposedly it's "impossible" for babies to smile socially before 6 weeks, but both of our boys seemed to do this much earlier. Perhaps you don't believe me and think those smiles were just from baby gas, but people who met Peter in real life agree with me that his smiles seemed to be genuinely of a social nature much earlier. Other than that these days were filled with lots of sweet newborn naps, snuggles, his baptism, and the emergence of several funny baby facial expressions! 

Also, we discovered that Peter was surprisingly okay with "tummy time" and would just relax on his stomach. Basically his entire life he has been a laid-back, patient baby that rarely cries and his response to tummy time was yet another example of this.

Two Months

Height and weight: 25 inches long and 13 lbs. 8 oz.

All newborns sleep a lot in general, but by two months we could tell that Peter seemed to sleep for longer stretches at night than we had anticipated (hooray!). He even managed to fall asleep for a nap simply laying in the playpen all by himself...more than once (what?!). And he continued to astound his pediatrician with his rapid growth. See for yourself:

Three Months

I am sure 3 months was much of the same plus new and improved skills, but I don't recall too many details other than his evermore emerging HAPPY personality. This was also the month we journeyed to Philadelphia and tried our hardest to get him a kiss from the pope; he handled the entire ordeal (including all the hours in the car) like a champ.

He actually wakes up smiling like this. :)

Four Months

Height and weight: 26 inches long and 15 lbs. 6 oz.

Around this time he began rolling from his front to his back! According to my photographic evidence he also discovered and began playing with his tongue quite a bit....

Five Months

I do not remember exactly when Peter began rolling back to front, but I'm sure it happened by 5 months. It was around this time that he began some serious teething - and before we knew it the boy had 2 teeth! All of that teething led to him wanting to be near me alllll night long for comfort and before we knew it we were a full-blown bed-sharing family (which led to much better sleep for my husband, myself, and Peter).

Six Months

Height and weight: 28 inches long and 17 lbs. 10 oz.

At six months we begin introducing some solids into our babies' diets and considering Peter had been showing an interest in foods for awhile this made him very happy! He devoured mashed potatoes, liked pureed carrots, detested pureed green beans, and enjoyed the occasional mum mum (baby rice cracker). He was this age at Christmastime when he flew on his first airplane and we were surrounded by family, so there were lots of great memories made as he met all of my husband's family for the first time.

Seven Months

By this age the bed-sharing was more cumbersome than restful, so when I think of Peter being 7 months I think about all the baby sleep books I devoured (for the record this one is my favorite). Here's a few other highlights from that month:

  • Peter began sitting unsupported for extended periods of time, which led to 7 months being the month of the "pillow fort" (what I called it each time he sat and I promptly surrounded him with pillows).
  • His hair got so long in the front that I gave him his first minor trim!
  • About halfway through the month he learned how to get up on his hands and knees in the rocking/pre-crawling position.

Right before his first hair trim!

Eight Months

We began giving Peter some solid foods at 6 months, but we weren't doing it with consistent frequency. By 8 months he was practically begging us to give him more, so we finally made it a regular thing for him to eat a "real" dinner with us each night (which usually consists of an entire banana PLUS something else). To say that he has an appetite is understatement. ;)

Another major event was that we sleep-trained Peter to help him re-learn how to sleep in his crib near our bed. He handled it well and started having a consistent bedtime and sleeping through the night, only waking once or twice to nurse still.

This month Peter really honed a lot of maneuvering skills so that he was constantly transitioning back and forth from his stomach, being on his hands and knees, and sitting. One day I even found him doing a perfect bear crawl pose! For a couple of weeks instead of crawling forward he continually pushed himself backwards around the room - and just a few days shy of turning 9 months he began crawling!

Nine Months

Height and weight: 28.4 inches long and 18 lbs.

Peter just turned 9 months this week, so I cannot wait to see what this age has in store for us. But here he is in all his glory - the happiest 9-month-old on the block. :)

"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."

-Rabindranath Tagore