Today you are five months old. Every month, I say the time has flown by, but this month, I really don't know where the days have gone. They are a blur of playing and shrieking and belly laughs and nursing.
The changes are coming fast and furious these days. It's as if you can't wait to grow up so you just want to hurry and get everything out of the way so it will happen faster.
You now laugh out loud, with these deep giggles that come all the way from your gut and explode out of your throat. You love to laugh at lots of things: Mommy throwing you in the air and catching you, Daddy dancing for you in front of your Jumperoo, Mommy blowing raspberries at you, Daddy sticking his tongue out.
You are such a smiley guy. You grin at everyone: family, friends, waitresses, store cashiers, people walking by on the street. You just can't let a face go by without pulling out all the stops. And I am so proud when people stop and engage you and say what a happy and cute baby you are.
And of course, everyone comments on your mohawk. Your hair on the top grows straight up, and what little hair you have on the sides and back grows close to your head and straight down. People have actually asked if I cut it like that or if I use styling product on you. Riiiiight. Pomade on a five-month old. But it's probably the cutest baby hair I have ever seen.
My heart melts in the evenings when I put you to sleep and you smile at me from behind your pacifier. It's almost as if you are saying, "But Mom! Look at me! I am way too cute to go to sleep!" And just when my heart has reassembled itself after a night of rest, I go in to get you from your crib and you start pounding your legs on the mattress and reach for me while grinning maniacally. And it melts out of my body and onto the floor at that point.
Usually this occurs at 5 a.m. because you are grooving on the early wakeup calls. Granted, you will eat and go right back to sleep for three more hours, snuggled between Daddy and I. But it's still an obscene hour for me to be walking through the house to get you.
And it's not like you're making up for the early calls with good naps during the day. We transitioned you from swing naps to crib naps this month and I'm going to have to say the crib naps are losing the battle. Your average nap is 30 minutes long, twice a day. Which is killing Mommy.
I have been known to plead with you to just please, please, please take a nap. They say you get it all back double when you become a parent yourself. Apparently, from what Grandma tells me, this must be true. I was a bad napper. You are a horrible napper. I can only fear for your sanity when you have a child someday because it clearly will never sleep at any time, ever.
I know you sleep less because you are so interested in everything going on around you. You don't want to miss a minute of the action. You are now in perpetual motion. If you are lying on your blanket, you are kicking your feet and chewing your hands. If you are in the exersaucer, you are playing like it's your job. If you are in the Jumperoo, you are kicking your feet and bouncing like mad.
You learned how to roll from your back to your front three weeks ago and now you roll over all the time. You arch your back and crane your neck to see the toys behind you and then sort of will your body to catch up with your head. It's not exactly graceful, but it gets the job done.
Now front to back? That you have perfected. We put you down on your tummy and you immediately roll to your back like "Ha ha, suckers. The man isn't keeping me
The strength and coordination you developed this month kind of snuck up on us. One day we just took note that hey! Jack can hold his head up really well. And then we figured out you could sit up holding on to our hands and lift up to a standing position with a little help. And then all of a sudden you were reaching for toys. And of course, EVERYTHING goes in your mouth now. Your fingers, my fingers, my shoulder, the shirts of visitors, the arms of visitors, toys, blankets, shirt bottoms, small animals, kitchen sinks, you name it.
The only thing you can't get in your mouth are your feet. You discovered them about two weeks ago and you grab them. All. The. Time. You even try to grab them in your sleep and wake yourself up. But your legs are about a millimeter too short for them to get into your mouth. But it's not from lack of trying. You'll get there soon, but until then, you just screech and grab them desperately.
You are fascinated by Daddy's hand. He will put it in front of your face in the mornings in bed and you talk to it and study it and generally act like it is the craziest thing you have every seen. Forget the hundreds of dollars of toys you have, just give you that hand and you could be content for hours.
You also love to sit propped up over the back of the couch and watch the cars and people go by. A month ago, you couldn't be bothered to look at things outside a five-foot radius. Now, you actually follow a car going by, turning your head to see where it went. You look at the staircase when Daddy or I go upstairs now because you know that's where we will come back from. You now roll over so you can see us better when we're sitting behind you on the couch.
While you still have fussy times pretty often, we're starting to be able to figure out what you need by your cries. I can tell the difference between "I'm in pain" and "I'm bored" easily. But every once in a while you throw us for a loop with a new one, like this month's "You sneezed and scared the bejesus out of me" cry. Which is similar to the extreme meltdown cry, only it occurs immediately following one of Daddy's loud sneezes.
Daddy and I also hit a very big milestone this month, when we went on our first vacation without you. You went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for three nights while we went to Las Vegas. You had a great time and so did we. And I missed you so much while we were gone. It was the first time I was apart from you for more than eight hours, so it was kind of odd to not have you around to play with. Although I can't say the sleeping until noon was a bad thing.
But I have never been so excited to come home in all my life. When I got to the house, Grandma had you out on the porch waiting for me. You heard my voice from the sidewalk and you started looking around for me. When you saw me, you started kicking your legs and smiling. I grabbed you and hugged you and you buried your face in my neck like "Woman! Where have you been? And more importantly, did you bring the boobs back with you?"
You just kept grabbing my face in your hands and pulling me closer to you so you could slobber on my cheek with your open-mouth baby kisses. I haven't seen you nurse that well in weeks, so you must have really missed the boobs too. I am really proud of the fact you got all breastmilk while we were gone. You're still exclusively breastfed, and barring any unforseen circumstances, we'll hit the six-month mark with ease.
When I was away, it gave me a greater appreciation for being a mom. While I had a great time, I was always thinking "I wonder what Jack is doing?" I called to check on you a lot and looked at your picture in my wallet a few times a day. You have become the center of my existence over the last five months and I couldn't wait to come home and hang out with you again.
This month, being your mom has become even more rewarding. You can hug me and give me kisses, and you just light up when you see me. I love to look in the mirror with you because your reaction is priceless. It's like you can't possibly believe there is another
Mommy. You get so excited with a huge smile on your face.
It's those moments that make it all worthwhile. When I see your smiles in the mirror. When I look at you sleeping next to me with your little arms above your head. When you laugh at my Superbaby routine. When you wind down with your post-bath massage and sigh at me. When you turn your head into my chest as I rock you to sleep. When I listen to you babble to yourself on the baby monitor.
Those little things make up our day together and while it would be easy to dismiss them as little things, I will never take them for granted.