Since I’ve used most of my vacation and sick days to cover my maternity leave and as a result, won’t have much opportunity to travel to see family this fall, Charlie and I decided to take a road trip to Connecticut to see my family for Labor Day weekend. Sadly, Evan had to work. My family seemed a little disappointed they wouldn’t get to hang with Evan–it’s always a blast to see him, my brother and my sister’s boyfriend Andrei cracking jokes and keeping the family in full belly laugh mode–but fortunately Charlie distracted them from the loss.
Although at times, Charlie was overwhelmed by the number of people, he really enjoyed one-on-one time with each relative and tolerated the long drive (5 hours) well. We were quite entertained to see him so mesmerized by the ceiling fans at my parents house. When we laid him on his back on the floor for play time, he’d giggle and smile as he stared at the ceiling fan, kicking his feet and waving his arms with excitement. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this lasted for hours.
Developmentally, he’s growing by leaps and bounds:
- he’s sleeping for longer periods at night (12 hours, only waking once or twice for feedings) and taking shorter (30-60 minute) naps during the day
- he’s actually sticking to a bit of a schedule… our nighttime routine has been key to him going to sleep well and staying asleep: we watch Jeopardy, take a bath and then either go for a little walk or have a little play time before having a bottle and going to bed
- he’s doing a great job holding his head/neck up and is starting to learn how to control the muscles
- he smiles ALL the TIME–seriously, all it takes is softly having a conversation with him and making eye contact to get a huge grin
- he’s moving his legs in a crawling motion, but doesn’t really get anywhere
- he loves looking at his reflection in the mirror and likes rattles
- he’s starting to understand that his hands actually do things–he’s attempting to hold his bottle and since we returned home from Connecticut, he’s started to grasp at objects
- His favorite toys are a Taggies elephant, this mirror and this mobile which we recently attached to his crib (it’s what finally got him sleeping in the crib), but he’s also totally content just making eye contact with someone as they talk to him.
For weeks now, I’ve been saying that Charlie is going to be a thumb-sucker. He’s been desperately attempting to suck on his fist, but wasn’t managing more than a punch in the face. It was hilarious, really. The kid would make a fist, his thumb tucked neatly between his pointer and middle fingers, and then he’d spastically draw said fist towards his face, never managing to land closer to his mouth than his cheek.
Leave it to my brother to fix this.
Apparently, my brother spent some quality time bringing Charlie’s fist to his mouth repeatedly, so Charlie could get used to the movement and the placement of his hand to his mouth. Now, the kid is the loudest and most enthusiastic fist-sucker out there. We have video evidence, but sadly, I can’t figure out how to upload it. Hopefully, Evan will teach me when he gets back from Chicago so I can post it next week. In the meantime, here’s a photo:
"I think I see a fist..."
Also, this Labor Day, Charlie went for his first swim. The pool was a little cooler than he’s used to, but as long as he was close to me, he was okay. I fully anticipate he’ll be a full-blown water baby by his first birthday.
This coming week (the week of the 12th) is a big week for us. Evan is currently in Chicago doing Big Important Things for Threadless–namely, attending their annual meet-up and giving a presentation on what kind of magic he’s been doing as an Ambassador. He is one of four ambassadors appointed by Threadless and their job is essentially to generate team spirit for Threadless and encourage active involvement in the site. It’s a brilliant new way of social marketing.
Additionally, this week I return to work part-time (mornings), we register Charlie for daycare at this pretty awesome place, and he has his two month well visit. I can’t wait to find out how much he’s grown in the 7 or 8 weeks since his last visit. (I’m less eager to see how he reacts to his first round of immunizations.)
I’m sad to see my maternity leave come to a close, but I feel really fortunate I got as much time off as I did (10 full weeks and then I ease the transition of returning to work by working part-time for 2 weeks), and I’m really happy Evan got to have a full-month off as well. Our house feels like a well-oiled machine: we’re becoming accustomed to Charlie and understanding him better, he’s becoming more patient with us, and we’re getting decent sleep (or at least more sleep than I thought we’d be getting at this point, thanks to Charlie’s ability to sleep from 10p-10a with only 1-2 wakings for feedings).
Despite the smoothness of our current schedule, I can say that I finished NONE of the projects I wanted to accomplish during my leave (updating my iTunes, creating kid-appropriate playlists, organizing my recipes, purging my overabundance of magazines); however, I did (almost) complete one project that I came across recently. Since so many of Charlie’s relatives live so far away, we’ve created a book that has pictures of every family member holding Charlie. We still have a few more pictures to take and/or print, but the book is mostly done.
And I started another project:
Each month we’ll be taking Charlie’s picture to chronicle his growth. The project was inspired by this blog and uses spongy bathtub letters that we picked up for a couple dollars. Already, he is outgrowing many of his 0-3 month outfits and getting longer and longer!
I leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the past couple weeks:
Loves kicking those feet!
Head lift & turn!
I have Evan to thank for taking this awesome picture. We were at Barnes & Noble and Charlie was especially alert that day. I love this pic because you can see that he has Evan's full cheeks and my pointy little chin. The kid looks older than his age here--he has such a serious look on that punim!
Businessman Charlie. He's falling asleep on the job. I guess he's not a fan of a 9 to 5 desk job.
When we returned to NJ from CT, Charlie was a little cranky after a day in the car (and I think he missed the ceiling fans). I held him as his fussed and said "Charlie, are you being a grouch today?" He went from pouting and being near tears to lighting up with this awesome smile. Sorry it's so dark, but I knew the smile would fade quickly, so I snapped a pic with my cell phone.