Friday, December 4, 2015

2nd in a Series of 12

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

It's *only* been 21 days since my dear little Benjamin reached the big milestone of two months, so maybe I should hurry up and get this update posted before he reaches the ripe old age of three months, you think?  :)
I may be a partial slacker, but I'm not a total one: on the actual day he turned two months, not only did I take these pictures, I also took Benjamin down to my dad's house and had him weighed on the old baby scales.  It was simple to remember his weight: on the 13th, Benjamin weighed 13 pounds.  :)  As for his length, that's anybody's guess.  The fact that he no longer fits into quite a few of his sleepers tells me that "yup, he's growin' alright!"  Beyond that, I have no idea how long he is.  Maybe when he's 3 months, I'll measure him.  :)
This month, Benjamin has started to "talk."  Of course, he's not saying real words; but he is definitely using his voice to vocalize in non-crying sounds; and I absolutely love it.  It's so much fun to have "conversations" with him.  He'll babble away in his own language, and then I'll say something like, "Really? Is that what happened?"  And then he'll coo some more, and I'll respond with, "You don't say!"  Off he goes again, and I'll say, "Oh, you DO say?  My goodness, what happened next?"  And back and forth we go.  It's a blast.  :)
The other kids--well, just Tobin, Shav, and Moriah, I guess--will occasionally hear him say something and then excitedly tell me, "He just said his first word!  He said 'no'!"  Or "Daddy."  Or "oh my."  Or any number of other things that they think they've heard him say.  I just smile and nod.  :)
On a less thrilling topic, Benjamin seems to be going through a lizard stage because his skin (on his head, mostly, although a little on his face) gets so terribly dry; and he sheds layer after layer of skin.  When I put some oil on it and then gently comb across his head with a fine-tooth comb, I get piles of dead skin flakes.  But the next day, it seems, his head is just as dry and flaky as it was before I combed it.  I can't tell if it bothers him or not--by the looks of it, you'd think it would be itchy, and I know it would bother me if I had it.  I'm sure he'll outgrow it eventually, but in the meantime, I'm wondering if there is more I could/should be doing to help reduce the amount of dryness.
And speaking of that winter is here, and we're heating our home with wood, our air has gotten so very dry.  I'm wondering if that has contributed to Benjamin's snuffliness (I'm making up words here) in his nose, or if he would be so snuffly anyway; but in any case, his breathing is sometimes quite noisy, and he sounds congested.  He's a regular ol' Shnuffulofogus!  Maybe a humidifier in his room would help?
Not only is he a noisy breather sometimes, he is also a noisy eater.  The thought of discretely nursing him when I'm in public, a blanket gently draped over him and no one even noticing what he is doing, is a nice idea, but completely unrealistic, because he slurps and gulps and sputters and makes so much noise that he leaves no doubt what he is doing under that blanket!  I'm not sure if he would be such a loud eater anyway or if the congestion is to blame for his lack of quietness.  To be clear, he is not noisy every time he eats (or, for that matter, every time he breathes); but sometimes he is quite raucous!
It was sometime before Thanksgiving, although I'm not sure what day exactly, that I discovered a lump on the back of his head--and then a short while later, another lump.  I instantly remembered a lump that Josiah had in his neck when he was younger and one that David had on the back of his head in earlier years.  In both of those cases, we had them checked out and were told that it was a simple, harmless lymph node that was temporarily enlarged.  I am 99.9% sure that Benjamin's is the same.  The .1% possibility of it being something more serious flits through my mind from time to time, but the sensible thing at this point seems to be the wait and see approach.  Well, wait and see...and pray for peace in my heart during the meantime.  :)
Benjamin is not officially sleeping through the night yet, although the night of November 20-21, he went for about a seven-hour stretch, and it was glorious.  :)  He repeated that a few nights ago, although that particular night was decidedly less glorious because two of his older siblings were restless in the night and needed my attention because they were suffering from colds, so I sure didn't get a seven-hour stretch of sleep.  But both times he's done that, I've been encouraged by the thought of longer sleep a-comin'.  Meanwhile, that cumulative effect is still piling up on me, and I am tired to the core.  Most of the time, I try to ignore my fatigue.  Some of the time, it works.  ;-)
My hypothesis is that Benjamin hasn't started sleeping through the night as early as his siblings did because he doesn't self-soothe through sucking.  He doesn't suck a pacifier like Josiah did, he doesn't suck a thumb like David and Tobin and Shav did, and he doesn't even suck two fingers like Moriah did...errr, does.  ;-)  Sometimes recently I've seen him with his little fist up to his mouth, sucking/chewing on it; but he definitely doesn't have the hang of soothing himself in that way.  I wonder if he will ever develop that.  If not, it makes life in the future easier because we won't have a bad habit to break; but on the other hand, I have a feeling it is making life a little harder now.  Oh well, the good thing is that when he does wake up in the night to eat, he goes right back to sleep after he nurses.  That makes night feedings more bearable, for sure.  Also, most nights he only wakes up once to eat--again, that makes it bearable.  So at this phase, I try to savor the times of snuggling with him in the quiet of the night, while simultaneously looking forward with joyful anticipation to the time when he is consistently sleeping through the night.  :)
One definite change that I've noticed in Benjamin this past month is his greater hand control.  When he's lying on his playmat, for example, he can intentionally reach out and bat at the toys dangling there.  I've also noticed him holding my shirt sometimes when he's nursing.  As always, it's fun to see him develop his abilities.  :)
He continues to be lavished with love from his siblings.  Shav often calls him "gorgeous," and Moriah has an "awwww, Benjamin" phrase with particular voice inflection that she often says to him.
When I was taking these pictures of him, Josiah was helping me in a few of them by holding up the blanket as a backdrop.  Afterwards, he sat down and started talking to/playing with Benjamin; and of course, Benjamin was just eating up the attention from his biggest brother.  :)
One time recently, I made Benjamin cry hard.  I was nursing him, and all was peaceful and calm, and then...  I sneezed!  Twice!  Benjamin's dear little face twisted up, and his mouth opened and let out a loud wail.  And then, that poor boy's mommy started laughing at him--dreadful!  ;-)  A little later, I started hiccuping; and it almost made him cry again.  But since my hiccups are slightly softer than my sneezes, he managed to contain his fright and keep from crying.  :)

I am enjoying Benjamin so very, very much and can't imagine life without him.  I especially love...

...when I'm holding him, and his eyes get so heavy and drift shut, and he slips into peaceful sleep.

...when milk dribbles down his cheek after he contentedly nurses.

...when he smiles.  Talk about lighting up my world!!
Happy two-month (and 21 days!) birthday, my darling boy!!!  :)

~ The first in the series is here.

No comments: