Jr. is our little guy. He's so much smaller than J was. At 6 months J was a good 20 lbs, and his nickname as a baby was "Bam Bam" because he looked like a little linebacker (which is funny now because ever since he started walking he's gotten progressively taller and skinnier--we joke that when he has his clothes off he looks like a lollipop.) Jr., however, seems tiny in comparison. At his 6 month appointment yesterday he was a whopping 15.5 lbs, only gaining a pound in the last 2 months. I can still put 3 month size onesies on him easily. The other day he was wearing a hand-me-down outfit...that J wore when he was 8 weeks old.
Despite being little, Jr. is turning out to be our "good" eater. After the little nursing strike that caused me all that grief a few months ago, he has returned to nursing like a champ -- i.e. all day and unfortunately still, all night. We introduced solids about a month ago (and yes, I'm making the baby food as promised), and so far he likes everything -- sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, squash, applesauce, oatmeal...you name it he'll eat a good amount of it. This week he was eyeing me eating homemade garlic mashed potatoes so I gave him some, and he scarfed down half of what I had on my plate.
Jr. is our feisty baby. When he wants to be (which is most of the time), he's LOUD. He "talks" nonstop, and yells, and screams, and fusses at the top of his lungs. When he's done with being in the exersaucer/swing/bouncy seat/etc. he is DONE, and he lets you know. As TH says, "he goes from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds." So true. He goes to the same daycare that J has been attending since he was 5 months old. Every day, the infants get a report that has their mood for the day circled: Happy, Playful, Fussy, or Tired. When J was a baby every single day "happy" and "playful" were circled. He never had "fussy," ever. Jr., however, every single day has "happy," "playful" and "fussy" circled. Which sums him up. When he's happy, he's exuberant, belly laughing and smiling so hard his eyes are almost squeezed shut. When he's having his daily fussy period, look out.
Jr. may be small, but he's strong. We have to watch out we've already had a few incidents of him almost pulling things over on himself. Although he isn't crawling yet, if he's close enough to grab something he will, and with a death grip that I've had to unpry with both hands. Yesterday his pediatrician attempted to show me a little trick for releasing a baby's grip when Jr. wouldn't let go of his stethoscope...and the nurse had to help him. When we were at the playground last week, on a whim I held Jr. up to the monkey bars and he grabbed them with both hands, and when I let go for a second that little baby actually hung on and starting pulling himself into a chinup. It was hilarious. I get the feeling that he's going to be mobile much sooner than J was - he's already rolling and scooting all over the house and almost sitting up unsupported.
Jr. is beautiful. I know that I'm his mother and I'm biased, but I stand by my assessment. I've taken countless pictures of him sleeping because when his eyes are closed and he's got the "sleep smile" he looks to me like a cherubic little angel, like something out of an old painting. He has gorgeous liquid brown eyes like his brother, and a pile of thick curls on top of his head that everyone comments on. I love the color of his caramel skin, and how he has a perfect little mouth. I could just eat him up!
Jr. is a mama's boy, much to my delight. He lights up when I come into the room, grabbing my face (and almost twisting it off with his little deathgrip) and slobbering on me. If he's across the room his eyes will follow me as I walk around, and all I have to do is stop and say, "I see you, Littleness!" (our nickname) and he breaks out into a huge grin. I've been blessed to be able to spend more time at home with him than I got with J thanks to my week on, week off schedule, and it shows. Sometimes at night he cries out and all I have to is pick him up and he lays his head on my shoulder with a big sigh, and goes right back to sleep.
Of course that's not what always happens, because Jr. is also our Bad Sleeper. At night, anyway. J was our Horrible Napper, with 20 minute catnaps all day until he was around 8 months old. Thankfully Jr. can be counted on to take at least 1-2 long naps during the day with no problem, but at night all hell breaks loose. A good night is if he only wakes up 2 times. Most nights are not that good. Some nights are ridiculously worse - yesterday thanks to teething (I think) I didn't get to sleep until 2am because he was up almost every hour, and then once I did finally fall alseep he was up again at 5am. We've half-heartedly tried some sleep training, but the problem isn't falling asleep on his own at the beginning of the night, it's STAYING asleep once he's down. I'm trying to hold out on the "real" cry it out stuff until he's around 9 months, when I'll feel a little more comfortable that he doesn't really need to nurse, but we may not last that long.
Jr. already idolizes his big brother. The one person in this house that can be counted on to ALWAYS make Jr. smile or laugh is J. I have never heard a baby laugh as hard as Jr. does when J does a silly little dance in front of his high chair. He's a mama's boy, but J is the first person that we saw him actually reach his arms out for, which he does whenever J walks by. If J is really upset and crying, Jr. will start crying, too. I can see the downside, though--I've noticed that Jr. also finds it hilarious when J is being naughty -- jumping off the back of the couch, chasing the cats, throwing things inside the house, running in and out of time-out doing his whole "You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man" routine. I'm doomed once they're able to double-team me.
This past 6 months has been the fastest of my life, it seems. Adjusting to having 2 kids has had its moments, but I still feel like this transition was alot easier for me the second time around. I'm much more confident in myself as a parent, especially because TH has had to travel quite a bit and I've spent alot of time handling things by myself. These kids are growing like weeds, and while I raise my voice on a daily basis more than I care to admit, I also wish we could slow things down and savor the time when our children are this small. With all of the gloom and doom I've been posting here lately, I've been neglecting to use this blog as a virtual baby book which was one of the reasons I started it. For every sad moment we've had over the past few weeks, the kids have given us lots of reasons to smile, and Jr. has continued to grow into another fantastic little boy that we're so blessed to have in our lives.
I leave you with a shameless baby video taken a few days ago. I think this one captures how stinkin' cute Jr. is, and also his feisty personality.