Thursday, July 21, 2016

Joey: 7 Months

It's been kind of a whirlwind of a month, and here I am a week behind on Joey's update! I don't like that, but the busyness has been a nice change of pace, even if I do feel like I'm losing my mind sometimes, or about to drop from exhaustion. We're having such a fun visit with Tim's side of the family in Massachusetts, and doing all the things we only dream about in sleepy Beaufort, SC. Even just being outdoors in the middle of the day and not burning up in the heat and being bitten by bugs is priceless.
So what is new with Joey..?

He has progressed from crawling to pulling up on anyone and anything he can -- oftentimes it's my legs as I'm standing at the kitchen sink. The thing he's having trouble with is getting back down. Sometimes he just falls on his padded butt and that's fine. Other times he is shocked to feel the back of his head hitting the floor. I feel really bad for him then. I do hope he masters how to get back down soon.
He is still not eating any solids besides one oyster cracker a couple weeks ago that the kids are always reminding me about: "He doesn't eat foods." "But he ate that one oyster cracker!"  I offer him things from my plate now and again, and he will mouth it, chew it, break it up into bits and slobber copiously. But he doesn't ingest any of it. We give him Cheerios on his tray just to keep him busy, and when I lift him out of the chair, I find those soggy Cheerios stuck to him and the chair.
He's going through a lot of separation anxiety, especially now that we're staying with Tim's parents and he's seeing all these faces that he's not used to coming and going, and hearing everyone's noise. It can be a little overwhelming. He likes the quiet, and he likes having me to himself. I keep hoping with every time the family's around he gets a little more inoculated to the hubbub, but that is yet to be the case. Sometimes he has trouble going to sleep at night and keeps waking up and crying, needing reassurance that I haven't disappeared.
Oh, and a funny thing we've discovered -- he is afraid of women but usually not men. Why that is, I have no idea since he's such a mama's boy and definitely prefers me to his father. But here when surrounded by family members male and female, he shows a clear preference for males. He goes readily to his grandpa, but is still scared of his grandma. He shrinks from his aunties or grudgingly allows them to hold him. Tim's sister Karen's fiance Matt, whom he's only seen a handful of times, is his favorite of all. I don't even think Matt's comfortable with this. They're like, "You take him, Matt, he likes you." Matt looks like he's afraid to move or he'll break Joey, and he's probably thinking, 'How did I get to be the one?' I've theorized that the reason he's more comfortable around men is because the women approach him with big toothy smiles and that scares him. But then yesterday he met a male family friend for the second time ever, and he had a big toothy grin too, and Joey smiled back at him. It is a mystery.
He's still never taken a bottle, but I've been trying different sippy cups with not much success. I've tried a soft spout, a straw, and something new, a cup that works just like a cup but doesn't spill. Carolyn brought it home and I was surprised that such a thing existed. (I'm pretty sure I didn't have that option when the other kids were babies.) I had been filling the different cups with water, and he was taking a drink or two but wasn't really interested. Yesterday I put my milk in the cup that works like a cup, and he drank it eagerly. He spilled probably half of it down the front of his shirt, but it's progress! It can be really hard to get him to nurse sometimes when we're out and about and he's distracted by whatever's going on. It would be much easier to give him a cup at those times.

When I talk about him, I call him Joey; but when I'm addressing him, I find myself calling him Joe. I don't know why. All my other kids I call something ending in -y. But then there's my Joe and all the things that rhyme with it. Uh-oh, Joe! No, no, Joe! Say it ain't so, Joe! See how much more fun that is.
We had some rough nights of sleep here as he adjusted to staying in a new place. One night he was up every hour just about, and I was like the walking dead the next day. Currently it's not so bad. He goes down for the night around 7:30 or 8, and I usually dream feed him at 10 before I go to bed. Then he wakes up to nurse around 4 most mornings, then back to sleep until ONLY 5:45 or so, and that's the killer. Then I might pawn him off on Tim Sr who is up at that time. If he wakes up closer to 6, Annie hears him and comes to get him. I very much appreciate the help because I'd do just about anything for another hour of sleep. During the day he typically takes a morning nap a couple hours after he's up for the day; and an early afternoon nap. Sometimes he takes a short late afternoon nap too. It's starting to look like a routine.

Right before we left to come here, I took him to the doctor and he tipped the scale at 17 pounds 3 oz. I forget his height, but he was something like 70th percentile for height and maybe 50th for weight.

As I type this he's on the floor next to me, trying to reach the fan cord that I put up out of his reach. Oh, Joe -- you're nothing but trouble but I love you so!

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