Emmett turned six months old last week. Crazy, right? Thankfully, Emmett is doing great, and so far has no complications from being born early. You may never have guessed he was a preemie looking at his, according to Milo, “squishy cheeks”.
Emmett is more like what he should be if he went full term: a 3 1/2 month (or 16 week) old baby, just maybe a little more social and physical. He loves being held and looking at people. He’s very chatty and will smile and giggle at anyone. He’s trying really hard to roll from back to tummy and to crawl (but it’s obvious he has a ways to go). He has found his fingers and thumb and tries to suck on anything he grasps. I wonder if he’ll have more of an oral fixation than Milo, who never really put things in his mouth.
The poor thing did catch bronchiolitus. We noticed a bad cough starting in early January that wouldn’t go away and when he started wheezing, we took him in. He had the virus in the lungs, got prescribed an inhaler, had chest x-rays, and many, many doctor visits. For a period of two weeks he didn’t gain any weight, which no mom wants to hear. Now he seems to be doing better, but since his lungs still don’t sound clear, we’re taking him to see a pulmonologist. At least he doesn’t seem to be upset by all this. Our pediatrician, who isn’t too concerned but just wants us to be cautious should he catch something else, diagnosed him as a “happy wheezer”.
We completely agree: Emmett is a cheery and mellow baby. He’s clearly the second child, accommodating to all our–really, Milo’s–needs and not fussing about it. One interesting thing to note: Emmett reacts to when specifically Milo–and not just any other baby–cries. He starts to frown and lets out a cry different from a hungry or tired one, with real sympathy tears. It’s actually kind of sweet.
Much to our chagrin, Emmett is a terrible sleeper at night. Even worse than Milo. I mean, where is the karma? Oddly enough, he has better sleep habits than Milo: I don’t nurse him to sleep, I can put him down drowsy, and even Ben can rock him to sleep (I went back and read my blog: at this point Ben had never put Milo to sleep). He naps regularly and expectedly: he’s alert for 1 to 1 1/2 hours before he gets tired, and then sleeps for 45 min to 1 1/2 hrs. Lately, he’s been doing longer naps around 3-5pm. Usually, I swaddle him, put on some background noise, and pace around the house until his body gets limp, then lay him down almost asleep. This is a big step from when in January he was always sleeping on someone.
But at night! Goodness. Emmett still wakes every 2-3 hours to eat, and sometimes in between to be soothed. He goes down around 7-8pm, the first stretch is longer (3-4 hours), but after that, it’s just exhausting. We’re not ready to sleep train him, or at least cry it out. I remember it didn’t work with Milo at four months. But I’m going to really focus on good sleep habits and recently read a promising suggestion/blog about using the swing as a transition. Stay tuned…
I go back to work at the end of the month. I’m really fortunate to have taken off for so long, but still, I’m not ready for it to end. I can’t imagine focusing on anything else (or anything at all, given the sleep deprivation). I don’t even know where I left off (some new job). The awesome and surprising news is that work is allowing me to go back part-time. Honestly, this is quite unprecedented, for my group at least, and my manager is having me “pilot” this. We’re still working on the details. A lot depended on Emmett’s care situation, which was a huge source of stress for me this past month. He is enrolled in Milo’s daycare starting this September. Ben is taking bonding leave in July and August, so we were looking for something from April through June. We searched for daycares in Portland and near work and I stayed up way too late parsing profiles on Care.com, a dating website for parents and nannies. Who knew I could be so judgmental from just a photo? But finally we had one promising interview last Friday and decided to go the nanny route.
It’ll certainly be a transition for everyone. I’ve been enjoying my time home. Emmett and I have been taking full advantage of this sunny weather and walking everywhere. We both appreciate the fresh air, he gets a nap, and I get things done. Okay, it’s not spectacular, but I do love getting fresh groceries and have been cooking up a storm. I’ve also been taking advantage of the daycare at my club and am playing some of my best tennis. My tennis ladies friends absolutely love holding Emmett during my matches, and I certainly won’t say no!
But it’s not all pretty tennis skirts, a cheery baby, and a tidy house (ha!). As I pace around with baby in arms, I certainly notice too many imperfections. I have completely exhausting days where I’m waiting for that text from Ben: omw. I count down the minutes knowing that my back and arms will soon get a relief. Except Ben doesn’t come home empty-handed.
“We’re hoooooome!”, Milo loves to say when he enters. Lately, they’ve been face painting at school.
Oh my Milo the Silo. I am sad that I’ve had to spend less time with him lately. Ben does both drop-off and pick-up. In the evening, we’re focusing on dinner and I usually put Emmett to bed. But now that Emmett is on more of a schedule and the days are more predictable, I’m going to start picking up Milo a little early from school so I can hang out with both kids.
I’m sure Emmett doesn’t know what to make of his brother’s shenanigans, but we’re all certainly entertained. In Milo-land, we’ve stepped into the realm of trains. We got Milo his first train set this Christmas, he recently was exposed to Thomas the Train, and there is no turning back. He spends hours playing by himself, building tracks, and talking for the trains. He can get so animated. “‘Oh no!’, says Thomas. ‘What happened? You derailed!’ says Harold.” And so on.
Milo is also into dress-up and especially loves being a super hero. “I’m Superman! I stomp on buildings and knock down the bad guys!” He absolutely insists on wearing the same thing every day: cargo (“worker”) pants and a cape. There have been meltdowns when neither of the two (we only have two) cargo pants is clean.
Milo continues to show such affection for his baby brother. He constantly kisses him, checks on him, keeps him company while we’re busy, he even offered his baby blanket. One time I was sharing my day with Milo and told him I played tennis. “With Emmett?” No. “Mommy, you know you can’t leave Emmett alone.” We recently asked him if we could use the monitor in his room for Emmett, and he didn’t mind at all. Ben does miss seeing him sleep at night. I just miss sleeping 🙂