Dear Rhys Michael,
This has been the most stressful, yet most gratifying month of my life. I am so happy you are my son! And, I can’t believe you are already a month old! Some days it seems like we just got you and some, it seems like you’ve been here forever!
I have loved getting to know you and your emerging personality! Here is some things I’ve learned about you:
Weight: 9lbs even (at birth: 7lbs 4 oz)
Length: 21 inches (at birth: 19 inch)
Nicknames: Bucky and Sweet Boy
You eat every 3 to 3.5 hours. You get hangry really easily. You also get frustrated really easily. You also get very excited, almost flailing trying to latch.You have been eating in less time. Grandma says that’s because you are getting more efficient at feeding. But, you are also overeating, causing you to spit up a lot, as well as have an upset stomach and gas. You have also begun to look up at Momma while eating and sometimes you try to talk and/or smile with your mouth full. I think that is adorable.You’re also getting better at staying awake during and after day-time feedings.You also have no trouble drinking from a bottle when we go places.
Nighttime: Momma wasn’t too sure how she wanted to do sleep and feeding. You began to develop your own pattern that seemed pretty consistent (and also happened to match up with recommended schedules), so Momma had you on that. Bath time and bedtime feeding would be at 9, and Momma would go to bed then, too. You’d then wake up around 1AM and 4AM for a feeding. But, Momma and Daddy wanted time in the evening, so it we switched your bedtime ritual at 7:00 and then a top-off feeding whon Mamma and Daddy go to bed at 10:00. But, you’d wake up pretty early. Last night, we did your bedtime ritual at 10 and you slept until 2:30. I fed you, then you slept until your 7AM breakfast! Momma was so happy, so we’re gonna try that again!
Daytime: You are getting good at staying awake during feeding and for about an hour to an hour and a half after eating. You take about 4 naps during the day, anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours long. You coo and smile in your sleep, and Momma and Daddy love listening to your content sighs. You love sleeping with your arms up at your head, a serious look on your face, and your swaddle just laid on top of you like a blanket.
Milestones and Learning
Tummy Time: You can lift up your head pretty good during tummy time. However, you like to cheat. You’ll find your fist and start sucking on it. Then, if Momma pulls your fist out, you’ll appease her by lifting your head briefly, only to turn it and find the other fist to start sucking on! You can do it 45* very easily. A few times, you’ve been able to lift it 90*, but not every time. You also do a lot of donkey kicks. Sometimes, you’ll lean over as you do the donkey kicks. You were very close to rolling over onto your back once! Momma and Daddy believe you’ll learn to roll over early!
Focusing and Tracking: You can focus on Momma and Daddy’s face. You love looking at Momma when she’s feeding you or trying to comfort you. You like to look at Daddy when Momma is lotioning you. You also start to turn to us when we talk to you. You don’t necessarily recognize your name, but you do recognize our voices. This past week, you’ve also been able to track a rattle if Momma can have it grab your attention.
Smiles: You smile when you are content–while eating, sleeping, being rocked, playtime after breakfast feeding. Sometimes you do a half-smile, like an Elvis side smile. Sometimes, it’s a full, open-mouthed smile.
Noises and Talking: Momma can recognize your different cries, and Daddy is recognizing your, “I want attention” cry. You also make cute squeals and coos when you are happy or exploring. You have adorable sighs when you are falling asleep.
Arms and Legs: If we hold you upright, you can put weight on your legs and instinctually take a step towards us. We practice this every day to strengthen your legs. You bring your hands together sometimes. You also like to grab your pacy when it’s in your mouth and my clothing when I feed you.
You are definitely more of a happy, content boy than anything else. You only get fussy when you are hungry, uncomfortable, or want attention. And even then, it doesn’t take much to calm you back down again. You are starting to have facial expressions and make different shapes with your mouth.
– bathtime (not at first, but now you like being in the warm water–as long as you have your pacy–and you especially like it when Daddy scrubs your head)
– being held and rocked
– looking around and being upright (or being held and moving around the house)
– being swaddled
– the swing
– peeing on yourself
– being taken out of the bath and being lotioned
– all the air in your tummy after you eat
We’ve already left you once, when Momma and Daddy went on their anniversary date, but you already recognize and love Grandma and Grandpa Christiansen, who babysat you. And you did just fine. Momma and Daddy did just fine too, surprisingly.
When we go over to Grandma and Grandpa Christiansen’s house, the puppies, Tucker and Winnie, get very excited. They love to come over and sniff you. Winnie, being very tiny, will sniff you, then go away because she’s scared of how big you are. Tucker, though, is the most curious, excited puppy I’ve ever known. He’ll sniff you, then want to stay right next to you, trying to lick you. But Momma doesn’t want that. He’ll also sniff anyone who has held you and your dirty diapers. It’s so funny. We all can’t wait until you’re old enough to start playing with the puppies.
Momma and Daddy love you, Rhys. We are so happy you are our son and here with us. Continue to amaze us!
Momma and Daddy
(As a bonus, here a few pictures from Rhys’s newborn photoshoot, courtesy of Paxelpics!)