Friday, April 14, 2017

Declan: Six Months

Before I chat about Declan's half birthday, I get to share some exciting news today: My twin niece and nephew have arrived! Haley Chase and Colby Travis were born on March 28 and are absolutely perfect. I cannot wait to meet these two sweet bundles and am so proud of my brother and sister-in-law, who are taking their new role as parents in stride.

Happy half birthday, Declan! (Almost ten days late...but better than never!)

You are just the best. You smile constantly, no matter what's going on around you, and I just can't believe we got so lucky with such an easygoing baby. 

(Marshall is pretty easygoing, too, but you still amaze me with all the smiles all day!)

You are growing and growing and growing, too! At the doctor this month, you weighed in at 19 pounds 1 ounce (85th percentile), and 28 1/2 inches (98th percentile). You're in 12-month clothes, and even some of those are a little tight!

You were still home with Daddy this month, and the two of you have developed such an awesome bond. I love seeing you light up at the sight of him (although, to be honest, you light up at the sight of anyone). 

We got a little more adventurous this month with activities and exploration for you. My friend Heidi gave me the idea for water play,

and we're giving you more time to play on your own. We pulled out some toys we had forgotten about, and it's so fun to watch you explore (and to watch Marshall hand you toys to play with). 

You're also enjoying your Exersaucer! (And it's nice to not always have to put you on the floor on a blanket when we play.) You like it more than Marshall did I think.

Speaking of Marshall, you two are quite a sight for this mama. I love seeing how you interact! Sometimes Marshall is really into the big brother role, bringing you toys, laughing with you, encouraging you to roll or eat, talking to you in the car.

Other times, understandably, he's less excited, especially if you touch ANY of his toys or play with the book we're reading. Luckily, so far, he's been very gentle with you and will listen if we ask him to express his frustration with words instead of pushing you or grabbing toys away from you. I know that won't always be the case, but he's doing great with you so far. He's starting to learn to bring you a "baby toy" as he calls them to trade with you when you have a toy of his, so we're figuring out what works...for now.

You, on the other hand, LOVE your big brother. You search for him when you hear his voice, you smile when you see him (or pictures of him!), and you are starting to chat with him in a voice that's all for Marshall.

On that note: talking! You're so chatty now! We are hearing lots of distinct sounds and some new consonants, which is really fun to try to decipher. I think you have some specific sounds for Scout, Marshall, and Daddy. Maybe there's one for me, too, and I just haven't picked up on it yet. :-)

You and Scout are pals, too. He's so patient with you, and you always reach out for him when he walks by.

It's so fun to spend time together as a family, even if it's a bit chaotic and dizzying sometimes.

You tend to receive lots of compliments on your bright blue eyes, which truly are stunning. I'm eager to see if they stick to blue or shift to green like Marshall's.

And okay. Daddy had a rough last week of paternity leave with naps, but we are assuming it was a bit of separation anxiety. Night sleep is just about the same--you still wake up more than you should, but you go right back to sleep, so we aren't terribly motivated to do any sleep training. We did, however, purchase a full crib for our bedroom. I didn't like you in the Joovy so many hours per day/night, and this situation is much better.

And FOOD! You are breastfeeding most of the time, taking a bottle without a problem when I'm at work, and juuuuuust starting solid foods. You usually take three bottles in the nine hours I'm away from you during the day, about 4 ounces each. You also eat twice in the morning, twice in the evening before bed, and at least once or twice in the middle of the night. I certainly don't mind those nighttime feedings; more time with you is okay by me! Plus, look at these thighs...

As for solid foods, I'm so excited! Starting food was one of my favorite phases with Marshall, and I can't wait to let you explore tastes and textures. We started with banana and avocado and have done applesauce and pear, too. I just mash up soft foods or steam/boil crunchy foods and then puree them. I made some peas and carrots for future use, too.

(Are you kidding me???)

We also tried the stroller without the infant car seat this month, and you're not totally ready but still look pretty cute.

Declan, you are the embodiment of pure joy. Every inch of your chubby, ever-growing body makes me so happy as you wiggle, rotate on your belly, roll, and push up with your arms. I love hearing your sweet giggle and seeing your perfect smile.

I hope we're doing right by you. It's tough being the second kid; you're certainly not the only focus of our attention the way Marshall was. But I hope you are benefiting from our experience, from having a big brother, and from the fact that we really do love you exactly as much as we love our first baby.

Thank you for bringing your sweet soul into our family and for the last six months of hilarious, joyful, irreplaceable moments. You are perfect, and we can't wait to see what the next month holds!