Is it just me or are these updates happening more and more quickly?! I can’t believe how fast the weeks/months are flying by. If I could get a pause, that’d be great. While Month 8 brought us many fun new changes and developments, it also brought us our biggest struggle yet. This last month was great but I’m going to go ahead and raise my glass to a healthy Month 9.
Coming in at a whopping 20lb 10oz, this boy gets smarter, quicker, and more expressive by the day. I can’t believe how quickly he catches on to things. This month he learned what a light switch does and how to operate one (up, down, up, down), he learned how to open and close drawers (open, close, open, close), he learned how to dump out his toy basket (dump it out, mom picks it up, dump it out, mom picks it up). We did a lot of things on repeat over here.
During Month 8…
He became an all night sleeper! Hallelujah. We consistently get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep from him per night.
Marnie left us. Marnie has been watching Chief since he was 9 weeks old. She’s in college and left Norman for the summer. Gosh, I have such a soft spot in my heart for her. She’s been with us since the days of walking/bouncing our boy for hours so he would nap, she’s been there when he was sick, when we were transitioning him out of the swaddle and sleep suit, and when we began navigating solids. Our hope is she’ll be able to come back to us in August, pending her class schedule.
He cut his top two teeth and one lateral incisor. Little Chief Five Teef.
He shakes his head “No.” I don’t know how he learned to do this; our tiny dictator never gets told “no.” But he also does it when I say “wiggle” so I’m not sure if he’s trying to dance or saying “yeah…I don’t think so, Mom.” Who knows?
He’s an army crawler. His upper body strength is ridiculous, he drags his 20lb body all over our house. He’ll prop himself up on his hands and knees and rock forward and backward, like “Come on, body. I want to go THAT way,” but quickly makes his way back to his belly to scoot to his destination. It’s so funny to see him lock in on something he wants. It might be completely across the room, but you can see that little brain trying to figure out how to get there. He looks like Moses crossing the desert – so far away, but must. get. there.
He learned to roll his tongue. If his mouth is open, his tongue is rolled. I can’t do this, he must get it from his dad.
Solids became easier. Chief became a much better, much cleaner, solid-eater this month. He hasn’t spit up or thrown up since last month and I think his digestive system is beginning to get used to processing something other than breast milk. He eats 3 solid meals per day now, and a few of those have been fully clothed and in public! Big steps! Since last month we’ve added yellow squash, zucchini, spinach, mangoes, peaches, broccoli, apples, flax seed, and egg yolk into the rotation. His favorite combos are spinach/pear, peach oatmeal, carrot/mango, and butternut squash/pear – the boy loves his pears.
We celebrated our first Mother’s Day. It was such a special day. I really didn’t think it would mean that much to me, but as the day got closer I got more sentimental. We watched Chief’s birth (we recorded it on a GoPro), went for a walk at Lake Hefner, did some Trader Joe’s shopping, and got lunch to-go from Red Rock Canyon Grill. Chief came down with a finger infection a couple days before Mother’s Day, so we didn’t venture too far from home. We stayed in our pajamas and snuggled on the couch nearly the entire weekend. It wasn’t until he started feeling better that I realized we never took a picture together on Mother’s Day. We made up for it a few days later.
Chase and Chief got me the sweetest Maya Brenner necklace. “C” for Chief! Or Cassie, or Chase… it all works.
The Finger Infection
What started as a small cut on his cuticle quickly turned into something more sinister. One day it was a small cut, the next it was red, the next it was red & swollen. On this day (Wednesday) we went to the doctor. They diagnosed our Chief with a bacterial infection called Paronychia. Our pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic – take twice a day for seven days. Got it.
The next day, Thursday, I noticed the redness had crept up his little finger but I tried to not think too much of it – he had just started his antibiotics the day before.
When he woke up Friday morning we knew we needed to go back to the doctor. His finger was more red & swollen and it was covered in clear, raised bumps. The doctor took a culture of one of the blisters and this time diagnosed him with a viral infection called herpetic whitlow. Because we weren’t able to get the culture results back immediately, she encouraged me to keep him on the antibiotic for a bacterial infection and the new antiviral to reduce the symptoms of a virus. Six times a day we gave him medicine.
Five ridiculously long days later we got his culture result back – herpetic whitlow. Herpetic whitlow is caused by the same virus that produces cold sores and fever blisters, herpes simplex virus type 1. Herpes is such a terrible and scary word. The doctors keep telling me no one is to blame for this, that this virus is all too common – 80%-90% of the population carries it. When I get down, I tell myself that statistically he would’ve come down with the virus at some point in his life anyway. It makes me feel better for approximately 2.43497 seconds. Although the virus is common and although this is really nothing to worry about, the word “herpes” makes my skin crawl. Paronychia sat much better with me.
The look of his finger got progressively worse while the doctors tried to convince me it was healing. We went to the doctor 3 times that first week. We are currently going on 3 weeks since his symptoms first started and while it looks noticeably better, it still breaks my heart.
I have felt really inadequate this month. This finger thing has me in a funk. When I’m upset I run through the list of all the things I do to keep Chief safe and healthy – I breastfeed, I make his own baby food, I wash his toys regularly, I add vinegar to every wash cycle to keep bacteria at bay, I don’t send him to day care, I even boil his water before letting him drink it. I sound like a lunatic… or maybe just a first time mom. But going through the list feels like a pat on the back. Some moments I feel okay knowing I’ve done all that I can do, then the next second I lose it because I feel like I failed him. I sound ridiculous.
It is not lost on me that this is so minor in the grand scheme of things. I’m very grateful we have not had to deal with much sickness or injury, but goodness it still hurts my heart. Parents – please tell me this gets easier?!
This month especially (maybe because of Mother’s Day?), I have such a profound awareness and appreciation for mamas. Whether I’m hanging with mom friends or meeting someone new (who happens to be a mama), I instantly feel a connection to other moms. Without ever talking about it, I know they probably didn’t sleep all night the night before, I know what they’re feeling if they have a sick kiddo, or heck, even if they have a healthy kiddo, I understand how they’re feeling physically, how they’re feeling emotionally, and now I totally get why they need to rush out of a lunch date to put their baby down for a nap. I GET IT! Friend or stranger – I feel you, Mama.