Six Months With Otis

Half. A. Year. Oh my! How is that possible? Probably a new baby, a big move, a huge transition and adapting to a new country sped things up a bit? Haha that’s probably an understatement. What a season, though, and to realize that we are already at this halfway point is mind-blowing.

Six months feels like that point where everything starts rapidly changing in a baby’s life. I remember this with Eleanor. It happened when we got back from holidays in the States. We left the day after she turned five months, and we returned six weeks later with such a different child. From that point forward, it felt like there was something new and exactly almost weekly. I remember making note of that – the rapid development I noticed in her!

Highlights & Milestones

I don’t know if this is a highlight or milestone necessarily, but it’s worth mentioning. Otis had his first appointment with our new pediatrician this month. It was technically his four month checkup, but because we just moved and it takes awhile to get in for an appointment as a new patient, it was done at five months. His next appointment will be closer to seven months as well because we had to space out the vaccines. After that, he should be on track with all future appointments. He did really well during that appointment, especially considering it wasn’t a short appointment per say. There was a lot to discuss and determine since we are new. I was really happy with the pediatrician overall, and I felt like it eased a bit of my fear in coming back to the US healthcare system. She’s been practicing for 30 years, and she seems to be very reasonable and not the type to rush to prescribe antibiotics every two seconds.

Otis is actually proving to be a little guy, just like his sister, despite arriving 2.5 lbs heavier! I was actually nervous when we saw his weight, and it calculated at the 6th percentile. I was expecting her to tell me to supplement or that he wasn’t healthy because that’s the “stereotype” I’ve heard here. She said the same thing our doctor in Newie said about Eleanor, though – “as long as he rides along that line then I am happy! Keep breastfeeding!”

A milestone this month was that he started rolling from back to belly (he actually did it for the first time at his doctor’s appointment.) He’s gotten quite good at it over the month. The only trouble is if he does it in his crib and gets stuck. This week I noticed he finished his morning sleep on his belly, though, and he seemed pretty content like that. He seemed a little confused when he woke up, though.

Otis is laughing a lot more and so much more talkative. I love when babies this age “talk” to you – so expressive. He loves watching his sister, whether she is interacting with him or just doing her own thing. He’ll find her in the room in two seconds! Almost every morning as he finishes his first feed, I’ll sit him up, and he’ll find my mom or dad in the room and get the biggest grin. It’s very sweet.

He loves playing in his jumparoo, and he gets really excited when people interact with him while he’s there, even if they’re on the other side of the room. He is interacting with his toys a lot more now, and I think it’s only a matter of time before he figures out how to scoot and eventually crawl. When he’s on his belly, he does a swimming-type move, so excited to get somewhere.

He cut his second tooth, and he now proudly grins with his two bottom teeth. It’s so cute! He is still a drooling machine, and I’ve had to buy some drool bibs for him so his clothes aren’t soaked all day, every day. It’s funny how different kids can be because I never had to do this with Eleanor.

We’ve given him a few purees at this point, but I’ve taken it pretty slow so far. He’s tried apples and pears, and he loved them both. I couldn’t get them in his mouth quick enough. This last week, I made some butternut squash puree, and he’s not quite sure about that one yet. The next one on my list is sweet potato, and now that he is officially six months, I will be actively trying new ones with him and eventually combining some.

I was waiting for all the teething pain to calm down before we worked on sleep training again. We’ve focused on it this week a bit more as he seems totally healthy and ready for it. Overall, he’s been quite a bit easier in this department than Eleanor. He seems to sooth himself rather quickly, especially now with his little elephant soother that he really loves. I’m still dreaming of a full night’s sleep, but I don’t think it’s too far off. Even though he does decently at night, his naps have gone downhill for some reason. He was taking 1.5-2 hour naps twice a day and a catnap later in the afternoon, and this past week or so, he’s gone down to the 45 minute naps that were Eleanor’s game. Hopefully we can figure that one out because 45 minute naps and me are NOT friends! (Especially when big sister is transitioning out of naps completely!)

Overall, he’s doing really well, and he’s a pretty easy, laid-back baby. His personality has been showing more and more, and we are loving getting to know our little Otis on new levels!

Photo below – “What is this white thing? I’m just gonna check it out…going…going…gone!”

Likes

  • Toys: elephant crinkle toy, rattles, Sofie the Giraffe, his grey giraffe, jumparoo
  • Foods: apples and pears are definitely his favorite (of the four that he’s tried)
  • Bathtime
  • Being raised high in the air
  • High pitched noises
  • Being tickled – first giggles!
  • Walks outside (Come on Spring!)
  • His carseat toy that sings and lights up
  • Big Sister!
  • Chewing on everything (fingers, toys, his shirt sleeve)
  • Medicine – we gave him baby Tylenol for the first time when his teeth were hurting him, and he loved it!

Dislikes

  • Having to wait, even a minute, for milk
  • Being cold (after bath time)
  • Cold purees

How Am I Doing?

I am doing pretty well. Otis’s sleep is starting to improve, and that majorly affects me and my day. It’s so easy to underestimate the need for good, quality sleep each night. I think God gives us grace to deal with all the middle of the night feedings, but I think that grace can wear thin if it lasts for too long. Both of my kids seem to have improved a lot around the six month mark, but I think that has a lot to do with our own patterns and routines. All that to say, I am dreaming about the night I go to bed at 9 and wake up at 7! I am really wanting to get into a routine of waking before the kids, and it actually seems possible now. We got the light up clock for Eleanor, and she now wakes up at 7 or later, which is A-MAZING after 2.5 years of 6am wake up calls! I’ve tried to be very diligent about feeding Otis at 7am each morning as well, and it seems his body has gotten into that rhythm. Once I am getting more quality sleep, I am planning to wake early and get a good morning routine down. All these things are so helpful!

We are still adjusting to life back in the States. Robbie is working on the job thing, we are loving our church and small group, and we are catching up with new and old friends often. Now, if the weather could just catch up with the season, I think we would all be loving life. I can’t wait for the warmer weather here!!

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Five Months With Otis

I am so determined to stay on top of these monthly updates for the rest of this year. It’s not because I am feeling pressure about it, but just recognizing how hard it was to back track and write a true updates in retrospect for months three and four. I am sure I forgot bits and pieces. I really want to have these updates for Otis, though, just like I did for Eleanor.

So month five! I cannot believe that he’s only a month from being six months old – that just seems impossible. Time is flying!

Highlights & Milestones

Definitely not a highlight but certainly a “milestone” or something to remember at the very least – Otis’s fifth month started with me getting mastitis. While that is mostly about me, it certainly affected him. I never once got it with Eleanor, and this is the first time I ever got it with Otis. It’s basically the worst, and I don’t ever want to experience that again! All that to say, I was thankful that I had flu-like symptoms with mastitis and not the actual flu that’s been so bad this year.

Otis started really sucking his thumb this month. He’s been all about his hands for awhile, but it was always different parts/fingers. There were several times this month that we caught him sucking his thumb.

Otis and I went on our first solo flying trip – a very quick trip to Tulsa for some dental work and then right back home. He did a really good job!

He also became much more interested in toys. His favorites are the little green crinkle toy that Eleanor picked out for him before he was born. I think it’s an elephant. He also loved Eleanor’s Sofie the Giraffe so we got him his own because hers was pretty gross even after being washed. He loves the little grey giraffe stuffed animal that you see in his month to month photos, and he also likes his o-ball.

We slowly began some sleep training this month, or at least attempting it. He actually adapted insanely fast to putting himself to sleep, so that’s been a huge win! I think the first night he maybe cried for 2 minutes? It was so short that we didn’t even have a chance to reassure him – he was just like, “Oh ya I can do that. No big deal!” The only time he won’t do it is if we miss the window, and he’s either not tired yet or overtired. That’s a bit trickier. We attempted to start weaning him a bit at night, still doing a dreamfeed, but our plans were thwarted first by mastitis, second by travel and third by teeth. So at the moment, while his second tooth is just about to pop through, the boy is killing me in the sleep department and waking every 1-2 hours at night. I know it won’t stay this way – just a few days until his tooth pops through – but man, am I missing sleep!!! He does a much better job taking longer naps than Eleanor ever did so he can actually go 3.5-4 hours between feeds during the day. That makes things quite a bit easier and more predictable. We’ll get there.

He has really started following people when they walk around. He will crane his neck around to follow someone from one side of the house to the other, and when they notice him, he gives the biggest grin. We’ve gotten some “almost giggles”, but they’re still getting interrupted by hiccups.

He started sitting in activity center last month, but this month, he started interacting with it a bit more. We also were at some friends’ house, and they had a little jumper for their baby that Otis LOVED. So I hunted around on Facebook marketplace for a good deal and found one. Otis is way more entertained by this than the activity center. Before I looked, though, I told Robbie that we had to eliminate a few of these seats. He had 6! A highchair, a bumbo, a rockaroo, an activity center, a rock-n-play sleeper and a mat for the floor. TOO MUCH! So I sold the rock-n-play and am trying to sell the bumbo. We are giving the rockaroo back to my Aunt who it belongs to, and we put the other activity center in the attic for now, although I may sell that too. Now he has 3! Much better!!

Finally the biggest milestone is that Otis got his first tooth! I was so shocked because it’s such a different experience than what happened with Eleanor. I feel like we waited for-eeeeever for Eleanor’s first tooth. I think she was 8 months. I wrote this post in all the waiting, thinking it was any day now for months. With Otis, I noticed he was drooling a ton and chewing on his hands, and then one day, I noticed his gums were white. Then the next day, he had a tooth! He’s about to get his second one, too!

Likes

  • Toys – crinkle toy, Sofie the giraffe, grey giraffe stuffed animal
  • Jumparoo chair – absolute fav!
  • Diaper changes – not sure if it’s the face-to-face or seeing the fan
  • Bathtime
  • Big sister!
  • Papaw and Gaga
  • Very high pitched noises
  • Growling like a lion
  • Eating all day long!
  • Being lifted in the air like he’s flying
  • Ceiling fans and lights

Dislikes

  • Car rides when he’s hungry (otherwise doing better!)
  • Being hungry
  • If he gets too cold after the bath

How Am I Doing?

I was so ready for January to be over, not because it was bad but because it felt insanely long. However, I found February to be rough. We attempted a Whole30, but honestly, with each thing that came up, it felt like too much so it became a Whole15. Mastitis, a lot of teeth trouble, Eleanor getting sick – those were some major things that happened this month. The teeth stuff in particular were very hard because one, I really don’t like the dentist, and two, I was losing hope that my teeth were ever going to feel normal/not in pain again after being in some level of pain since my appointment in December. Fortunately, I had a root canal. That’s a sentence I NEVER thought I would say, but it is so true. That really helped things out so much, and now, I hopefully just have to get the permanent crowns put on and I’m done. The root canal was actually a very redemptive experience. I wasn’t able to have anything to help with anxiety – laughing gas or anti-anxiety medication – and I did fine! I surprised myself actually. They did such a good job, and I am actually thankful for the experience.

Other than that, it has helped a lot that Otis is putting himself to sleep for most naps and usually taking good naps. That helps the whole day and for me to feel like I can accomplish a thing or two. We still don’t have a huge routine as a family yet because Robbie hasn’t started working full time yet. I think that will make a big difference for all of us. We’ve tried 6 churches at this point, and I think we are feeling to go to this last one for now. It really ticks all the boxes of what we were looking for, and we’ve met some lovely people there as well. We’ve been on a couple dates this month, which was awesome, and we’ve continued doing our Financial Peace Course. We are learning A TON in this season of transition, and I am currently still exploring and praying into some possible directions for my future that fit within the broad vision God gave me. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time, but I think new seasons are often that way. Overall, I am doing well – some challenges of course but some wonderful things happening as well. I am grateful for this new season!

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Four Months With Otis

Otis’s fourth month began on Christmas Eve and included time in Tulsa with family, his first LONG car ride (Eleanor’s too!), settling into his new home in Indianapolis and learning (and forgetting) how to roll over.

Highlights & Milestones

A major highlight that I guess started during his third month and continued into his fourth month was getting to meet and spend time with family. We were in Tulsa until a few days after Christmas, and it was so sweet to have everyone on Robbie’s side meet Otis.

Otis had his first Christmas, and although he’s too young to remember anything, it’s always fun to celebrate holidays together as a family. After Christmas, we drove up to Indiana – about a 10 hour drive – and Otis did surprisingly well. I was actually dreading this trip and ready for it to be awful, but both kids surprised me. I think because we were on highways and constantly moving, he slept much better.

Once we arrived in Indianapolis, we quickly realized that keeping an infant warm in these kinds of temperatures was new territory. Definitely not the “winters” of Australia anymore! We decided to get him a capsule (yay coupons!) with a cover over it so he would stay warm and not have to get in and out of the car seat outside. It has been life changing – for real! It was never necessary in Australia, but it has helped us feel like we can actually go places even when it’s cold. He seems to do a lot better in it as well. PLUS, it has adaptors for the stroller, so if we are running errands, I can just pop him in the stroller (or even just a shopping cart). It’s made life a million times easier!

Otis continued learning to use his voice and gave us some “pre-giggles” – the giggles that almost start but get caught by hiccups. Any parents know what I’m talking about there? It happened with both Eleanor and Otis.

A major milestone for Otis this month was rolling from his tummy to his back for the first time. We really worked on tummy time, and he started to get stronger with holding his head and shoulders up. Then one day, he decided to roll over. Funny enough, just like Eleanor, he only did it for that day or two and then hasn’t done it since. Eleanor did the same thing and figured out rolling the other way before doing belly to back again.

He started to hang out in his activity center, and I think he really liked to be able to see everyone. He didn’t interact a ton with the toys, and he only barely did some jumps. I think being able to see was the highlight, though. The chair affectionally became the “pooping chair” again because just like his big sister, he tends to have major blowouts when sitting in the chair.

We got a bumbo seat for him, but the boy really just wants to stand up. He wants to jump all the time! He does seem to be entertained by toys more, however. The little mat on the floor that has the toys above him seems to be a hit.

Likes

  • Big Sister Eleanor is his favorite!
  • Jumping
  • Cuddles
  • Highway Car Rides
  • New carseat
  • His grey giraffe stuffed animal
  • Green crinkle elephant toy
  • The lights in the kitchen
  • Gaga and Papaw
  • Activity floor mat
  • Ceiling fans!
  • Sitting up
  • Chewing on his fingers/sucking his thumb
  • Bright colors

Dislikes

  • Stop-and-go Car Rides
  • Being hungry

How Am I Doing?

This month involved Christmas, which I loved. It seemed so cozy and quaint this year. That is, after the horrible stomach bug swept through Eleanor, Robbie and then finally me on Christmas Eve. Fortunately it took a brief hiatus before hitting Deborah a couple days after Christmas! We had a great Christmas, though, and then we drove up to Indianapolis. I was shocked that the car ride went as smoothly as it did.

A lot of this month was settling into our new home in Indianapolis. We are currently living with my parents as we get settled and set a foundation for our future, and they have really gone out of their way to make room for us. We are so grateful, and it’s helped the transition go infinitely smoother. Not to mention – built-in babysitters are kind of wonderful, especially when your kids adore them! We took care of a lot of logistics – unpacking, health insurance, drivers license, bank accounts, etc. We enjoyed the slowness as well.

Otis was still waking a lot at night at this point, and it was starting to wear on me. We wanted to start working on it, but we felt to wait until he was about four months. I’ll update more on that in the next update.

Overall, this was a good month, even with all the changes. Otis and Eleanor settling well made it a lot easier on me because that was one of the harder parts of transition. I am thankful the year started off as well as it did, though!

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