Owen and I thrive on our schedule. It keeps me sane, and I'm basically obsessed with it. I admit that it's just as much, if not more, for me than it is for him, but he does so great with it. I did build it around his needs, so it makes perfect sense. It's easily the best thing I've done for myself since he was born. As you'll see below, his nap times are relative. It depends on the nap he took before it. It sounds chaotic, but it isn't. He's extremely predictable!

  • 7ish- Owen wakes up. I never wake him up; I'm not that crazy! He always sleeps until at least 6 (if he falls asleep later than usual, he'll wake up earlier--just one of those weird baby things), and sometimes sleeps until 7:30; he usually lands somewhere around 7 though. When he wakes up, I feed him 8 oz. of milk.
  • play
  • 2 hours after he wakes up: nap (usually 9 or 9:30)
  • 11- eat veggies and drink 8 oz bottle
  • play
  • 2.5-3 hours after he wakes up from previous nap, take another nap
  • play
  • 3- 8 oz bottle
  • play
  • 2.5-3 hours after he wakes up from previous nap, take another nap
  • 6/6:30- eat veggies, then do bedtime routine: fresh diaper, pjs, read a book (or two or three) if we have time, smiles, laughs, snuggles
  • 6:45ish- 8 oz bottle
  • 7ish- after bottle, lay him down in crib. I go in every 10 minutes to give him his paci if he doesn't fall asleep on his own (he doesn't cry, just plays). I've never gone in more than twice.
Repeat. :-) He typically sleeps 11-12 hours. He never needs us in the night anymore. I don't think I've gotten up in the night for at least the past month or month and a half. He hasn't eaten in the night since he was 3.5 months old. A month and a half ago I decided to see what would happen if I didn't go give him his paci if/when he woke up in the middle of the night. My rule was 10 minutes. If he's still crying or awake at 10 minutes, I'll go in there. Well, I never had to go in there. Two nights in a row he cried/played/rolled around for 7 minutes and went right back to sleep. The next two nights he did that for 2 minutes or so. I haven't heard from him since. He goes to sleep like a champ, seriously. I want to rock him, but he usually tries to touch my face, put his hands in my mouth, and grin so much that he just won't fall asleep that way.  I lay him in his crib and he either plays or goes to sleep. He doesn't cry, but if for some reason something is wrong and he does, I give him his paci (he's cried at bed time maybe once in the past month). If that doesn't work, I'll rock him. I don't do "cry it out" at this time (or ever, besides those two nights of 7 minutes) because, quite frankly, he's never given us a reason to do that. Bed time is a breeze for us these days, but I do remember when it wasn't. :) I have not forgotten those days, and I don't see my memory letting go of them any time soon.

He isn't a marathon napper most days, but he is consistent with what he does. He usually takes a few 30 minutes naps. Every now and then he'll sleep for an hour or two, but usually it's 30 minutes. It actually works really for us. He's even gotten to where he'll sleep practically anywhere. The past few weeks he's taken naps in his swing, carseat, stroller, the couch, our bed, his playmat, our arms, and a few other places away from home. Wherever he gets tired, he usually sleeps. Again, it used to be the extreme opposite. Oh, how badly I wish I'd known how quickly it would all change!

Schedules aren't for everyone, but it is definitely for us. I mentioned in Owen's 6 month post that I've only had him out past his bed time a few times. (As in, literally 2 or 3.) We aren't suffering one bit because of it; in fact, it's been glorious for all of us. Highly recommend it. We've gone out of town multiple times, been to weddings, stayed in hotels, etc. but we still stick with it. Is it always easy? Nope. Worth it? Every bit. I'm Owen's momma. Part of my responsibility is to protect him, and to make sure he gets what he needs (decent bed time, etc.) is one way I can protect him. Not one other thing I could possibly be doing is more important than him, so he wins.

One more thing: as with anything you decide to do with babies, consistency is key. There's no point in making a schedule/routine if you aren't going to stick with it. Whether you're choosing an anything-goes approach or a more structured approach, embrace whatever works for you and your family! Babies (and mommas) are all different. :)

6 Months

Six months. Six. I can't even talk about how it's been half a year. My thoughts are not coherent at all, which means this probably won't be a very concise writing. If this were paper, I'd stain it with my tears and leave it at that. In fact, I might do that in the journal I have for Owen. Here, though, I'll try to make my feelings palpable.

Actually, I won't. (See, told ya--not coherent.) I think I'll keep it light. I've had anxiety and general uneasiness lately, and finally just had an all-out meltdown one night last week about Owen growing up. I don't want to have another one any time soon. ha. He's worth it. The pain and heartache I feel from loving him so deeply is something I wasn't prepared for, and I don't think I would have understood it if anyone had tried to prepare me.

For the first time in possibly my entire life, my reality has far, far exceeded my expectations. If I could freeze time and stay 27 and Owen stay 6 months, I would probably do it. I now tear up almost every time he and I drive down the road. I see him back there, just staring out the window with eyes full of wonder. I've been able to see many things through fresh eyes because of the way he looks around and takes it all in. It's fun to watch him check out his environment before settling in any time we are at a new place. It's one of my favorite things!

I absolutely cannot believe how much fun I have with Owen. This past month has been the absolute best! He smiles and laughs all the time. He's so joyful all the time; it's no fluke that we have so many smiley pictures of him! People in public are always commenting on his happiness, smile, and beautiful eyes. I'm just so proud to be his mom. I really am. He is sweet. So sweet. He's rolling over like a pro, trying to crawl, successfully crawling on his back, starting to sit up on his own, and jumping like crazy when he stands up with our help or the help of his Baby Einstein activity jumper. He also has two teeth! One day I said "I really think he's teething," for the first time, and later that week a bottom front tooth broke through. Two days later, there were two teeth! It's the cutest thing. I thought he was teething because he was suddenly spitting up a ton for a couple of days in a row, and he was extremely congested. I don't know why, but it just seemed like that meant he was teething. It was all out of the blue and happening at once. They are so sharp, and so cute.

We also started "solids" (pureed foods) right after he turned 5 months old because he was consistently showing signs of being ready: watching us eat, reaching for our food and drinks, opening his mouth for a spoon. He loves his veggies! He's had green beans, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and squash. I originally thought carrots were his favorite because it was the first container he finished completely, but now he does that with all of them. haha. We've also tried peaches multiple times and he doesn't like them. I tried a banana with him last week and he was super dramatic about disliking it. He's hilarious. :-) Since last month, we have dropped his 10:30pm feeding, so he's down to four feedings a day.

He is 19 lbs 13 oz, and a little over 29 inches long. He's in size 3 diapers and size 3-6 clothing for the most part. He is wearing a few 6-9 month pieces. He's sleeping 11-12 uninterrupted hours a night, putting himself to sleep (without crying or rocking) every night. I wish I could still rock him, and I still try sometimes, but he usually just plays with my hair or face and smiles constantly. You know how difficult it is to put a smiling baby down in his crib at night? I want to hold him and snuggle forever. When I put him down, though, he goes to sleep, so I better keep doing what's best for him instead of what's best for me. Speaking of which--his bedtime is around 7 p.m. He's usually in his crib from 7p.m.-7a.m., and sometimes even 7:30 a.m. I can count on one hand (without using all of my fingers) the number of times we've had him out past his bed time since he was born. I'm a major stickler for it because it affects him in huge ways. And you know what? I love being home in the evenings and nights. It's such a special time. When he's old enough to be involved in organized activities, we won't exactly have evenings at home like we do now (even though Ryan works til about 8:30). Plus, he's the best sleeper, and we both completely thrive with our schedule. We've never been off of it. I'll just write another post about our schedule because I could talk about it all day. Such a life saver! Dr. Allison was asking about what all he's been up to lately (milestones, etc.) and his sleep. She seemed a little surprised and said something along the lines of, "I wouldn't count on that with any of his future siblings." haha.  He's more than I could have ever imagined. I'm thankful.

Owen Beckett, you are such a gift, my little love. Your joy is infectious!

5 Months

My little love is 5 months old. I've called him "little love" ever since we brought him home from the hospital. It's a funny name to call him because although he is little, my love for him is quite the opposite. There is a song that I began singing to him when I was about 8 weeks pregnant with him, and I still sing it to him; part of it says how does someone so small hold my heart so tightly? My sentiments exactly. There really isn't much I can say here that hasn't already been said. I'm basically in love with him and I don't see that changing any time soon. :)

Between four months and five months, Owen became quite a busy boy. He is rolling over both directions like a champ, playing like a big boy, and constantly talking and squealing. He smiles and laughs all the time, and it's always adorable. He is fairly consistently sleeping from 7pm-7am without needing us at all. Ryan is still feeding him a bottle around 10:30, although we are working on weaning him from that feed. He doesn't even wake up for it half of the time, but that is the only disruption from the time we put him down to the time he gets up in the morning. We still lay him on his back every night, but he quickly rolls over to his side or belly and seems to love sleeping that way.

He sometimes crawls on his back, and he looks like a little worm when he does it. It's so funny! We've caught him trying to crawl in his crib, but he has only attempted it once or twice out in the open. He also tries to imitate us. He's on a 4 hour routine now, and he eats around 8 oz. every 4 hours. He's in size 2 diapers, but size 3 for over night. He's in 3-6 month clothing, but can definitely wear a few 6-9 month clothes. He's still the cutest thing I've seen in my entire life, obviously.

Our days keep getting brighter and brighter, little one. Love you to pieces.