taking a break from Nicky & donuts with this Nickyburger & fries
There’s no 30th of February so I realized yesterday that Nicky was five months old? SEEMS SUSPICIOUS BUT W/E. He weighs 7.5kg and is 69.5cm tall. He’s wearing size two diapers but his skinny behind would still fit into size ones. His arms and legs are growing out of all his size 3-6 month clothes at an alarming rate. We don’t have very much 6-12 month stuff for him, oh darn I’m gonna have to go BABY CLOTHES SHOPPING ie my favourite activity.
At five months old Nicky loves rolling over and over, especially when he’s supposed to be sleeping so you have to check on him constantly and carefully roll him back onto his back. No swaddle can stop him, he has to roll! He will also grab onto the bars of the crib so you have to pry his little sticky paw free before you can do it because otherwise you can’t break his kung fu grip.
He likes any toys he can put in his mouth: all his teethers, Gwen’s old-but-unused Sophie giraffe, these little clutching dolls, you name it. He delights in them! He is defintiely 100% over binkies. He loves any bouncing games: boingy-boingy-boo, wibble-wobble, wheeeeee! (please don’t ask me to explain these). He likes to have his bath with Gwen and kicks and kicks and kicks until we are all thoroughly splashed. He laughs at everything, smiles at everyone, and has passed his second post-meningitis hearing test with flying colours.
Nicky usually has two naps during the day and goes to bed for the night around the same time as Gwen, which is AMAZING only… it means he wakes up at 6am. I am not a morning person so it’s a little bit of a struggle, especially since neither of my other kids were earlier risers as babies. Maybe it will finally be the thing that gets me up early enough on the mornings when Taylor is here to go to the gym though? Dare to dream.
Nicky was actually four months old two days ago on January 30th. I was waiting to post this because he had a doctor’s appointment today (4 month shots, VACCINATE YOUR KIDS OK) and I wanted his height & weight. He weighs 6.872kg and is 69cm tall, putting him right in the 50% percentile for weight but over the 95th percentile for height (no surprises there).
At four months he is really into cramming things in his mouth. He is low-key teething so anything that can be chewed will be chewed, and the floods of drool never cease. He actually loves all the teethers I made for him so I can totally justify all the beads I bought, haha. He loves snuggling and being bounced in your lap, and he loves his Skip Hop play gym (especially knocking it over on himself). He likes playing peekaboo, loves his sisters, and sleeps well through the night in his crib (although recently he’s been staying up late and pooping all evening, followed by a big sleep in the next morning). His eyes are very blue and in a surprise twist his hair is BLOND. Both girls had much darker/longer hair at this age but he has cute little yellow baby chicken fluff on his head. I was very blonde as a child so maybe in this sense he’ll take after me.
Gwen chose his outfit for picture day, and when I was editing these she came over and said “Awwww, it’s Nicky! I love him.” Such a sweet girl!
I did not stage a clean room for this post, can you tell?
Since we brought him home from the hospital, Nicky has been sleeping in his bassinet in my and Taylor’s bedroom, but Gwen has been begging for us to start putting Nicky to bed in the crib in their shared room at night. Since he’s such a good sleeper I decided to give it a try last week and so far it’s going well! Gwen goes to bed at 7:30, and we just leave the door open a crack so we can easily sneak in and put Nicky down later (usually around 10 or 10:30). The first night was a bit chaotic as Gwen woke up at 3am, turned on all the lights, changed her outfit about three times and set up her train set all over the room before coming to wake me up. Thankfully Nicky slept through the whole thing and I was able to get Gwen back to bed as well. It’s so sweet seeing them both sleeping peacefully in there, and even more so seeing how much Gwen loves her baby brother and wants him around.
At three months old Nicky is…
… Over binkies. I honestly can’t remember the last time he took one. He much prefers cramming his whole fist in his mouth and gnawing on that instead. In related news, he drools. A lot.
… Really into rolling from his back onto his side and just hanging out like that. He seems pretty close to a full roll onto his tummy but he still hates tummy time so I can’t imagine he’ll be thrilled about that accomplishment.
… A super sleeper. I would almost say he’s on a sleep schedule? The past few nights I’ve put him down in his bassinet fully awake at around 10pm and after wiggling and kicking his swaddle loose he falls asleep until 8 or 9am.
… The jolliest baby. The funniest thing to him right now is when I hold him by his hands and pull him up into a standing position, but almost any interaction will reward you with a huge gummy smile and giggles. Sometimes he snorts when he laughs.
… weighs 5.9kg… is 65cm long… has a head circumference of 41cm.
This week has been kiiiiind of difficult. Taylor is back at the office three days a week and so I’ve had my first nights alone with the kids. Nicky is actually sleeping through the night (I KNOW) but the hours he’s sleeping around exactly the right ones. The first two nights he fell asleep around 1am, which was Not Great as I had to get up early enough to walk the dogs before Sym left for school at 7:45. Last night he fell asleep at 10 which was SO GOOD… until he woke up at 5:30 this morning. Usually when he wakes up in the morning he just needs a change & a bottle and then falls right back to sleep, but today he stayed up until 5 minutes before my alarm went off. So like… just ideal, really.
Gwen also woke up at 5:30 today, and also didn’t go back to sleep. This was actually a big problem with her for a while, she’d wake up multiple times in the night and refuse to go back to bed until we let her look outside to see that it was still dark (this was a huge pain in the summer when it sometimes wasn’t dark but was too early to get up). We got her a clock that lights up green when she’s allowed to get up and it has been a huge help, but some days she still has a little trouble waiting. This morning she turned on the overhead light and I could hear her through the monitor dumping out about fifty bins of toys, but she wasn’t crying on banging on the door so I just let her play.
On Monday Gwen and I had a particularly tough day; neither of us was in a good mood and there was a lot of pushback from her when I asked her to do things (like cleaning up her toys) or not do things (like hitting the other kids). We had several big arguments and were both very frustrated. I felt bad about how rotten of a day we had so for the rest of this week I’ve tried to have more patience with her. Tuesday and Wednesday went a lot better, and yesterday we were walking home from the playground and I told her of how proud I was of her for being such a good listener and being helpful and patient, and she turned to me, holding her fingers thisclose together and said “You a lil bit proud a me?” Yes Gwen, a lil bit, and a big bit!
She is turning into such a big kid, in fact she told me on Tuesday that she is a big kid now, not a little kid anymore. We were on our way to the school to register her for kindergarten, which seems BONKERS. I just can’t believe that she’s going to be going to school next year! While we were at the front office a class came down to the library and she was SO EXCITED to seem them, she didn’t want to leave. In fact, she almost started to cry because she thought she’d get to start going to school right then! Since then she’s talked to me every day about going to school and asks if she can go “in two minute.” It is heartbreaking to tell her she can’t start for nine more months, but I for one am going to try to enjoy every day with my not-little but not-too-big girl.
How do people who stage elaborate scenes around their sleeping children do it? I couldn’t take one pic with these donut holes in a halo arrangement without Nicky’s flailing arms sending them rolling across the room.
“donut holes in a halo arrangement” …I need to reexamine my life.
At two months old Nicky is fully recovered from his nasty experience with meningitis. He regained all the weight he lost while he was sick and is now 5.32kg, 58cm tall and has a head circumference of 40cm. He usually sleeps through the night for six or seven hours at a time and is therefore the world’s best baby. He likes his Rockaroo now and is best friends with the mobile. He likes being carried in the Ergo but dislikes being put in the Ergo (babies are complicated). He often shows off his dimple by smiling at his favourite people, and will sometimes reward us for doing something funny with a breathy little giggle. He loves to snuggle and he still hates tummy time.
If you follow me on social media you are prob caught up with what’s been going on in our lives, but if you missed it, Nicky is sick and is currently being treated for a high fever caused by a mystery illness at BC Children’s Hospital. The doctors think it’s a urinary tract infection but we don’t know for sure and we don’t know when he can come home. I’m really too exhausted (in every possible way) to type everything out again but you can catch up on my instagram. Also thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to us in the past couple days. While I can’t reply to every comment and message, I read them all and it really means so much to know you are all out there rooting for our family.
I did want to make this post because a lot of people have asked if they can donate money or giftcards to help us out. While I am super appreciative of these offers it really isn’t necessary; the only help I actually needed was with transportation here in Vancouver, and my amazing friend Mark has offered to drive Gwen and I back and forth for visits every day while Taylor stays with Nicky in the hospital. We have universal healthcare that covers 100% of Nicky’s care, and I’m only missing two days of work; Gwen needs one of us here with her so after taking Monday and Tuesday off I’m going to start work again on Wednesday. It’s actually good for me to have things to do to stay busy, I start melting down when I’m not occupied by something; this afternoon I had my 6-week post c-section check up and I started crying in the obgyn’s waiting room because a Sarah McLachlan song was playing on the radio, and then John Legend came on and it was like GAME OVER, MAN.
Anyway. If you would like to do something for me & my family, you can help us by helping others. Instead of donating to me, making a donation in honour of Nicky to a cause that helps children in need. Two suggestions I have are the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, because they are taking such good care of my little guy, and the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, an organization in Southern California that provides pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings. Thank you.
Today Nicky is one month old! Taylor and I were actually still up last night with him at the very moment when he was born, but we were watching Jane the Virgin (I just finished marathoning the first two seasons, almost in time to start season three!) and didn’t notice the time until 12:34am, 21 minutes after Nicky’s birth minute of 12:13am.
He had his four-week checkup on Friday and he now weighs 4.34kg, is 54cm tall and has a head circumference of 37.5cm. He also has the WORST infant acne I’ve ever seen right now, my poor spotty little baby. He is finally growing some eyebrows. His hair is turning light brown and his eyes are turning blue (although I’m not convinced they won’t end up green). He likes baths, bottles and his bassinet, hates diaper changes, post-bath massages and tummy time. He enjoys being swaddled and is ambivalent about binkies and the rockaroo. He’s most awake and active in the evening and sleeps for stretches of up to five hours.
When I was pregnant no one believed that I really didn’t have a preference about the sex of the baby. Even now people try to say that the reason I’m happy I had a boy is because I secretly wanted one all along, which is weird. People have also asked if I’m disappointed that I didn’t have another girl, and in a way I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to use the girl’s name I had picked, and sometimes I think about some of Sym and Gwen’s special clothes I saved that won’t be worn again, but these things? A name, some dresses? They don’t compare at all to how sweet and special he is, and how much I (and all of us) love him.
Happy one month, Nicky!
Today is my first day looking after the little kids by myself. When we first came home from the hospital Taylor took the whole following week off, and halfway through that week his mom came down to stay with us to help out for a week. This week Taylor is back at work and his mom left yesterday afternoon. Of course, Taylor is working from home right now which means he is the one who is up with Nicky during the night and he’s around in the mornings to get Gwen up and walk the dogs and just generally be a help. But this afternoon it’s just been me and so far it’s alright. Both kids are fed and dressed and alive (as am I, sort of) and I even managed to do some cleaning.
It certainly helps that Gwen is basically the best kid in the world. She really loves her baby brother and all morning she was asking to hug him and for him to sit in her lap! It’s so cute. She has also been tucking her lovey Elke in with him, which is pretty amazing because Elke is very special to her and is not a toy she shares with others. There have been a few small meltdowns (namely because she wanted to wear her cat-themed hooded sweatpants jumpsuit, which was in the wash) but overall I can’t complain about her behavior.
all photos by Taylor Laramie
Throughout my whole pregnancy with Gwen I made every effort to include Symphony. She helped pick the nursery furniture (and even helped build it!) and went baby clothes shopping with me all the time. She was present in the delivery room when her baby sister was born and even picked her middle name (sort of; she suggested Viola which became Violet). Of course, she was 11 at the time, so it was a little different from going through this pregnancy with a 3-year-old.
From the very beginning I talked to Gwen a lot about the baby in mommy’s tummy, how soon it would come out and live at our house and be her friend. When we switched the girls’ bedrooms we let her pick which side would be for her and which would be for the baby, we bought her a toy baby of her very own and got a book about a little girl who gets a new baby sibling to read to her (which I still can’t get all the way through with out crying…). Of course I was still worried about how the changes would affect her since she is still just a little kid.
Thankfully so far both girls seem pretty enamored with their new baby brother. Gwen always wants to hug/kiss/pat him and says “awwwww, that baby so cuuuuuute” (or more rarely “Nicky so cute” because she has an aversion to saying names and tends to call most people “that boy” or “that mom” or “that baby”). She helps by bringing him his blankets and his lovey and talks about how when he’s a little bigger she will share her toys with him and they can take a bath and go to the park and do all sorts of things together. For Sym of course this new baby sibling business is old hat, but she still likes to watch him make his tiny funny faces and wave his tiny hands around. She’ll help by giving him a bottle but she draws the line at diapers (I don’t blame her; Nicky is kind of a poop machine rn).