December 19, 2014

Cai Alexander: One Month Old

I cannot believe our baby is a month old already! He had is one month appointment two days ago, and we found out that he gained 2 lbs. and grew an inch and a half since leaving the hospital! I was so excited and proud! There's a unique sense of satisfaction knowing that the food that I'm producing for him caused that weight gain! At the same time, it's bittersweet how fast he's growing. I'm excited about each  new stage, but I'm very aware that he will never be at this stage again. When I said something like that to Steve, he said, "But we'll have more babies." This is true, Lord willing (a year ago I was afraid we'd never have any children and now we're talking about more!), but Cai will never be a newborn again. 

Not his first bath, but the first (and only) on in the flower bath.
Cai seems to have better than average neck strength and control. Our first week home from the hospital he was already holding his head up for extended periods of time. He even rolled over once in those first few days; I'm sure that was just a fluke though because he definitely hasn't done it again.
This outfit barely fits him now!
Just like before he was born, he is a very active baby. He is constantly stretching. One of my favorite times of day is his first morning diaper change. When I lay him on the table he stretches for the first few minutes, and I just watch. He's usually very happy in the morning, and especially enjoys staring at the letters on his wall above the changing table. When he's not kicking up a storm or punching through his swaddle, he's laying completely still staring at things. Sometimes he doesn't even blink. He's also very vocal and spends a good chunk of time grunting and even does some cooing.

His first real smile was at three weeks and six days, and he smiled up a storm! Today we spent about forty five minutes laying on the floor together smiling and cooing and looking around (he did the cooing not me). 

Cai isn't sleeping through the night yet by any means, but he did have a few nights where he slept a full seven hours. For awhile he was only waking up once or twice a night, but then he went through a growth spurt. Most nights we try to lay him down between seven and eight. Our bedtime routine includes a bath every other night, lavender lotion, a feeding, and most nights a Bible story and praying together. He's often already asleep during the Bible story, but I read to him anyway. Twice Steve has given him his bed time feeding with a bottle of breast milk. The first time was tough, but the second one went well. We tried both Medela and Avent nipples, and he seemed to have an easier time with the Avent. Lately, after we put him to bed, he wakes up frequently between eight and midnight and cluster feeds, so I often don't bother going to bed until then. He then usually wakes up once between 2;30 and 3:30 and again between 4;30 and 5;30 then sleeps until 8:30. Last night he went to bed late because he and I spent some time with my family because Steve worked late. He had a rough hour or so where he was super gassy (I think because I ate some broccoli for the first time), but when we got home he relaxed in his bathtub and even kept falling asleep in there. He then spent the next hour or so eating off and on until Steve put him to bed. I don't know if it was the late hour or if he wore himself out crying, but he only woke up once last night. Yay for sleep!
Cai basically has two set nap times throughout the day. I swaddle him and put him in his cradle (a beautiful cradle my dad made when I was born) shortly after his morning feeding and then again around one or two. He spends most of that in between time awake. Trying to establish this routine has given me so much more freedom because I'm not just hoping he'll fall asleep.

We bought Cai a special outfit for Christmas Eve (a little pair of black pants, a gray checked shirt, and a red sweater vest), and Daddy wanted to buy him a little newsies style cap to go with it, but it was WAY too big. Instead, Steve decided that I needed to make him one, so I did. The picture above wasn't quite finished, but isn't he stinking cute!

Cai seems to have a dairy intolerance, so I have to be very careful about what I eat. This has been super difficult for me, as I love dairy, especially cheese. If I do eat too much dairy though, he gets a severe rash, almost to the extent of open sores on his tushy.

Cai is a bit of hot mess right now with baby acne and cradle cap. He has lost a lot of his hair from the top of his head too.

Cai has his Daddy's hairline, nose, longs arms, and big hands. I think he has my chin. Steve and I have the same color eyes, so he looks like both of us there.

I know most people aren't super interested in all of this, but I want to remember everything. Plus, with subsequent babies, I want to be able to look back and see how they compare or remember what we did and what worked or didn't work.

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