samson paul >> 7 months old

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Samson Paul,

Gorgeous boy, you are 7 months old! It's been an adventure getting to know you. I fall more and more in love with you each day. Really.

While taking these pictures you cut your first tooth. Literally, it was then that your mouth bled a little and I saw a small slit where your tooth finally poked through. I took ONE SINGLE GOOD PICTURE and in all the rest you either have your Spotty doll in your mouth or are pulling it towards you with your mouth open wide ready to chew on him. I imagine that this has been the reason for the week or two of sleepless nights and irritation. But even when you're teething you are still the smiliest baby in the world. So smiley, in fact, that a few friends would like to believe that you are a doll. #fakebaby is a common comment on any instagram photo I post of you because you are just so unbelievably happy ALL OF THE TIME. It is so easy to get a smile out of you.

You began "crawling" this month, which just seems crazy to me because you're still so babyish! I don't know. Maybe it's because you're so much smaller than Rory was at this age. I just feel like it should be months until you start moving. But no. You "crawl", meaning you army scoot across the floor, rolling and turning and grunting and reaching until you get to where you need to go. (The last few days you have been actually up on your hands and knees! But you're nearly 7.5 months old... so heh.) You have been really great at sitting, and even pushing yourself to sitting. I love how while you are working on figuring out how to go, you stand up on your small little feet in a downward dog position and roll around on your ankles until you become coordinated enough to move forward. You started climbing before even crawling. Just grabbing whatever your fists can hold onto and pulling yourself up. Usually up onto me. Sometimes onto dangerously unstable things like stools and toys.

Now that you're becoming more mobile you're also getting hurt more. I have to really watch out for anything that you could bonk your head on. A few days ago you crawled under Rory's chair, and he got excited and started scooting and bouncing it and you smashed your finger. When you get hurt you CRYYYY. For a good 10 minutes. It hurts your feelings so bad. You seem much more sensitive than your big brother. I have to admit I love a good cuddle with you after a bonk.

Breastfeeding has ended. What a journey. I started supplementing with formula because you were barely nursing for 2 minutes each time. You shoveled real food at an unreal rate. You were always hungry. So after attempting to nurse you I would give you a bottle. But sometimes you wouldn't even take that. I just wanted to you to be full, whether it was breastmilk or formula. At this point I didn't care. I tried every different way to get you to take a full bottle. Cold. Warmish. Right after nursing. Right when you woke up. Before bed. After eating. Distracted by toys. Alone in a dark room. Nothing ever seemed to make you interested. I'd fight you to nurse. I'd fight you to take a bottle. I'm guessing you were getting maybe 10-12 ounces of milk in an entire day. I was so so so frustrated and scared. FINALLY, we came to my mom's house and within a day she figured out how you like it. HOT. LIKE ALMOST TOO HOT. IN A DARK QUIET ROOM. ALONE. RIGHT BEFORE SLEEPING. The magic recipe. You started taking 4 ounce bottles and barely finishing that. Now it's 4-5 eight ounce bottles every single day. Consistently. It's been about a week of you drinking nearly 40 ounces of formula every day and I can see such a change in you. You are not irritated. You are happy. You are well fed. I am elated. I am relaxed. Our relationship is growing again.

Boy, you talk so much. You are constantly blabbering. Lots of grunty "ahhhhhhhhs" and "ehhhhhhhs" and "rahhhrahhhrahhhrahhh yahyahyahs". So much grunting. So much screaming. You love the sound of your voice. You love when people copy your noises.

Your big "Spotty" dog that you're holding in these pictures just happens to be your favorite lovey and you smile so wide when you see it. While you fall asleep you cling to it and stroke the knit fabric. I love seeing you fiddle with its ears as you chug away on your bottle. Right now it smells of milk and spit up and is crusty and yellow. But I don't know how I'm going to take it away long enough to wash it because you absolutely depend on it to sleep. While in your crib you tackle it and use it as a pillow and sometimes sleep right on top of it.

Since you started drinking so much formula your appetite for real food has gone down. Thank goodness. But you still enjoy eating and you are getting very dexterous. Today in church I was giving you blueberries one at a time and you would thoughtfully pick it up with your left hand and slowly pinch it with your right and put it in your mouth. The same thing each time. I see the concentration it takes and I can hear you breathing loudly with your mouth, working as hard as you can not to drop it. You are starting to favor different foods and you eat your whole portion before starting on something else. Any time I put strawberries on your tray you eat all of them right away.

YOU SLEEP. Oh thank you thank you for sleeping. Aside from these last few weeks of teething and hunger and traveling and everything else that has caused you to wake up more. But last night you slept for 11 hours straight, and then after being fed for another 2. Generally you go to bed around 7 or 7:30, sleep for 10 or 11 hours, have a bottle, and then go back to sleep for maybe another hour. It's nice. I hope it becomes dependable again. You're down to 3 naps a day. All very randomly long or short. Sometimes 30 mins. Sometime 2 hours. It makes it difficult to plan our day but I'm not going to complain. YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT.

Your routine for sleeping: binky, Spotty, sound machine, rock in the chair and sing a song while you drink your nice hot bottle, you arch your back and I stand up and bounce. If you don't fall asleep that way and you're still uncomfortable I put you in your crib and you roll over and fall asleep while you clutch Spotty and have the binky in your mouth.

Your hair is still growing. The roots are an obvious silvery blonde. I don't know that I'll ever be able to cut it because in doing so it would take off all those pretty dark brown ends. It's getting long enough that it reaches your eyes. It's growing in laughably uneven. You have long patches and short patches in the oddest spots. But your hair makes you very unique and most people can't help but stroke it when they meet you.

I think you would be perfectly happy to be glued to my hip forever. But you are starting to play independently. A little. As long as you forget that I'm around. You're chewing on everything and transferring things between hands and banging on things and droooooooling all over everything.

I'm starting to understand your communication a bit more. Mostly just because you GROWL at me if you want something. You are very specific in what you want and sometimes I can't figure it out. So you growl LOUDER and yell and "ehhhhhhhhh!!!" until you get what you're looking at.

Your relationship with Rory is finally developing. Finally. Even if it's just a little. Today Rory came up to you while you were in the high chair and said "Dampon! You all done? You wan come pway wid me?" And I just about died. You don't seem to bother him as much and he likes the unwavering attention you give him. He sure enjoys a smiley, happy audience.

I should save this for your 8 month update because you JUST started doing it but you are SIGNING! Yesterday you started doing "more more more" with your hands and I took a video and showed just about everyone I've seen since then. I can't believe you are communicating that already. I don't know that you know what it means, but still. How amazing.

You are wonderful and HAPPY and generally easy going and DID I SAY HAPPY? Oh those smiles just make my day. I love you Samson bear. Happy 7(and a half-ish) months!

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