Porter | 4 months
Sweet Porter (Portie, Ports, Porter-P, Pumpernickel, etc) is already a third of a year old! And dare I say it? This is such a fun age and my obsession with this child is reaching an all-time high somehow. Probably because the challenges we've had---namely the struggle to nurse, the lack of sleep, and horrid car rides---all seem to be leveling out a bit. The tough parts are either getting to be less shocking and we've acclimated (i.e. still hates to nurse) or they are actually improving (i.e. the car seat drama). So let's discuss Mr. P in depth and be aware that this will hopefully be much more upbeat and less 'I'm just barely surviving this newborn and sort of want to poke my eyes out with a spoon' like you may have read here recently. I make no promises but I'm feeling less eye-stabby lately and this may translate into a positive post for once. Yay.
Sleep: Before I go into this topic, how is is possible that I did not mention Truman's sleeping habits AT ALL in his four month post? Was I seriously *that* laid back and now I'm incredibly high strung and obsessed with sleep....or just four years older and therefore obsessed with getting more sleep? Very odd that I didn't even talk about naps or nights because I remember him being really awful at sleeping, but apparently not awful enough to make an impression for a monthly post. Weird.
Anyway. Porter. He's still not sleeping huge stretches at a time or anything but (drum roll, please) he IS sleeping in his crib!! For naps and at night my boy is finally resting his head in that beloved yellow crib, which is a huge accomplishment that felt a little like jumping off a cliff when I decided to go for it last Thursday. He's literally never ever slept in the crib before guys, and now all of a sudden he does it consistently. (Patting self on back an absurd amount for this, I know).
At first he lasted just 30 minutes for his first ever crib nap, but then Friday night I held my breath and said a little prayer as I walked past the MamaRoo with my sleepy boy and placed him in the crib. Bedtime for Porter is always around 7:00 and he usually nurses down in the glider with me (heaven, seriously I don't ever want to let that nursing session go) and I watched the monitor constantly until I went to bed around 10. It turns out he wakes up at roughly similar times no matter if he's in the swing or crib. Usually he wakes around 10:30 and we give a bottle, since I think he now expects the 'dream feed' we used to do before we'd head to bed. Then he will wake sometime around 1-ish and again around 4 or 5-ish and I'll quickly nurse him back down for both of those wake ups. Usually Porter wakes for the day around 7 or whenever the big kids' extremely loud voices wake him up. All in all, this is an incredible sleep improvement from a few weeks ago when he was up at least 5 times a night. Sometimes he will skip that 10:30 wake up and that means he'll get around 6 hours in a row and I think his max might be 8 hours but I cannot tell you when that happened recently. Two 'real' wake ups per night feels very doable for me. Especially when I sometimes go to bed at 8:30 for the night. #I'mSoOld #NoShame
Naps seem to be falling into a routine which makes me psychotic with happiness, too. Porter usually naps around 9:00 and 1:00, plus a power nap at 4:00pm to get him through until bedtime. The other naps can be 20 minutes or sometimes 2 hours long---it's anyone's guess. He still needs and loves to be swaddled, has white noise for all sleeps, and sometimes sucks on his pacifier. It's really obvious when he's napped long enough because he will wake up talking and happy, but if he's still tired he will be super cranky. I can usually get him to sleep a little longer by rocking him and sometimes he'll even nurse back to sleep mostly for comfort. He also really likes to cuddle, turned into me, while walking around. He'll be out like a light with those tricks most of the time and I'm so happy we have a bag of tricks that work with this buddy.
Eating: I mentioned it above but the only times Porter nurses is right before bed, in the middle of the night, and an occasional pre-nap here and there. Otherwise I don't even offer him the boob and we do bottles about every 2.5 hours. I'll alternate between breastmilk and formula bottles and he usually takes 6 oz at a time. At Lori's he almost always takes three 6 oz bottles, plus one right before daycare at home and one right before dinner at home. So yeah, usually 4-6 bottles a day whether at home or at Lori's. The boy loves the bottle, man.
My pumping schedule is not quite as solid as his bottle schedule, though. I pump three times during my work day without issue, then sometimes before bed as well. But on non-work days I really struggle to pump more than once during Cecelia's nap and once before bed. I'm trying to pump whenever I feel full which turns out to be about every three hours but I cannot kill myself over it when I'm home with the kids. Not worth it and I truly feel much more relaxed about our pumping/bottle/very infrequent nursing set up now compared to last month. It's working well for everyone because I'm happy he's nursing at all and Porter is happy to get mostly bottles. He doesn't care if it's breastmilk or formula as long as he can chug it quickly and I'm not as sad about giving him formula either. It's fine, we are doing the best we can, and he's still getting plenty of breastmilk. We've come a long way in the past two months of this rapid decline in nursing!
Motor Stuff: I think the four month mark is when my kids REALLY start holding their heads up during tummy time, because I notice a whole slew of tummy-time-alert-baby-big-noggins-lifted-way up pictures from this time period. Porter is no exception and seems to really understand tummy time and lifting the old noodle. This head control also means that carrying him on my hip is feasible now which is always a game changer and makes him seem so big!
He's a pro at grabbing things and promptly placing everything in his mouth, and he's started drooling and spitting up a LOT more lately. I had to dig out all of Truman's old bibs finally because of this new fun trick.
Porter started belly laughing this month and I could basically die over this milestone. He is super ticklish especially under his little armpits but he will now giggle at me when I'm acting like a lunatic to elicit a laugh. Bedsides the laughs, Porter is still one of the smiliest babies I've ever laid eyes on. Truly, he is *that* happy and will smile at pretty much anyone. And sometimes walls and his toys and really anything at all. He is also really talkative now and has the cutest coos and squeals. Baby talk is just the best and he is a talker!
Plus, he has mastered his patented X-Treme Pouty Face, even more than Cecelia did at four months. One day a few weeks ago he started poking his lips out and was staring at his shirt like he was deep in concentration. He kept collecting himself then pursing that little mouth over and over again. At first it was hilarious and I got about 100 pictures (no way, right!?) and then I got a little creeped out by how INTENSE he was being about this pouty face. Like, is it possible for him to have a mouth seizure from practicing so ferociously? He has taken it down a notch since then and I love comparing Porter's pout to Cecelia's at this age. Hilarity.
I mean, seriously?
Cecelia v. Porter
The whole sequence:
Other notables: Car rides are NOBIGDEAL anymore, guys. I think he has seriously turned the corner with his insane meltdowns in the car seat and it's glorious x 1000 to have pleasant road trips around town with the children now. Porter now just gazes out of the window, looks around at his siblings and is incredibly chill in the car and for this I say, 'Hallelujah, baby boy!' Of course, we haven't attempted any trips longer than maybe 15 minutes at a time but it's already light years better than even a month ago. We are going to push our luck and try for a trip to the Chicago area for Thanksgiving day, which will be a little over an hour. (teeth clenched emoticon goes here).
Porter had a head full of cradle cap all of a sudden this month which seems really late, but whatever. I used baby oil on the scales, let it sit a bit, and then combed them out and his scalp is as good as new. And my goodness, his bald, big head plus those ears? Such an old man and semi-resembles Elmer Fudd or possibly Mini Me from Austin Powers on any given day. Very nice dopplegangers to have, Porter!
...because of these ears...
And the Mini Me face:
He's in 6 month clothes and could maybe rock a few niners but I'm not ready yet;) Size 2 disposable diapers. Looking mighty chunky compared to a month ago. We'll get his official stats in a few more weeks at his well-child appointment. But he seems solid and fat and I love it. I think he's close to fifteen pounds based on the weighing-with-and-without my baby technique.
He loves baths and gets very serious about them, like 'clean me up, woman, I'm covered in my own spit up and this is absurd!' He loves to have his diaper changed and if he is upset I can lay him down to change his diaper and he immediately starts to smile. I think he is a clean freak or something;)
Porter's two siblings are still nuts over this baby, which means the entire family is pretty much wrapped around his tiny finger already. Truman and Cecelia love to get in his face to say 'hello' no less than 50 times per day, they like to hold him, CC loves to jam numerous pacifiers in his face, and Truman likes to tickle Porter. So it's safe to say the novelty of having a squishy new baby in the house has not worn off for Tru and CC. They are so great with Porter and I love thinking about their relationships with him as they all grow up together. So much.
Porter had his first Halloween this month as a consignment-sale-tiger, he is being subjected to frequent wearings of Elf Christmas pajamas. Yes, I know it's early but the kids go nuts for new jammies and I promise not to decorate the house until after Thanksgiving. Both GoGo and Memaw came to visit us this month and P really let his personality shine through for them, blowing them away with his general contentedness. Plus he did his first bedtime without mommy (I think?) when Nate and I went to dinner and a haunted house with friends one night---Tony and Lois did all three bedtimes without major drama, which is a pretty awesome notable in my book.
I just cannot even...
Such a great visit !
Basically, P-man is awesome. He is happy, smiley, and only cries if he is hungry or tired. He's a cuddle bug, is super alert, and is really chill. He isn't nursing much but is appeasing me a bit each day so I can't complain too much. He's sleeping just a teensy bit better than a few weeks ago (it would be hard to get WORSE than 5-6 wake ups per night but I'll never put anything past him) and it's much appreciated. So yeah, he is just the best and we seem to be finding our groove with this nugget of a babe.
I love you so much, Porter-P.