I'm half a year old!

I can't believe my babes is 6 months today! I know I haven't posted in a while but I'm going to try to be more active on here. Where do I begin?! So much has happened these past few months. It's amazing and exciting to see how he has changed, learning and growing everyday.  

Sleep Training
We've been sleep training and so far he's gotten better at falling asleep on his own in his crib.  He does wake up in the middle of the night and can't quite soothe himself back to sleep yet but I'm sure he'll figure out how to do that eventually and I'll skip that 2 or 4am nursing. I'm guilty of holding him a little longer in my arms listening to him breath and smelling his sweet skin on mine.  Half of our friends co-sleep and half sleep train.  We were kind of a mixture of both. He definitely started off in his bassinet until he got too big and started rolling and outgrowing that. So he migrated into bed with us and was able to fall asleep on his own without being rocked to sleep.  Then it was time for sleep training in his own crib and room! Hubs definitely took the lead on this as I didn't have the heart to sit there and hear him cry and have him stare back at you screaming "why aren't you picking me up mama?!".  After a few weeks(?) or a month or so, he still whimpers but was able to fall asleep on his own after 30 min and as of last night, he just fell right asleep. I hope this lasts! haha but we shall see. He definitely gets spoiled with morning snuggles and naps with me.  Hubs was really into letting him cry it out with pat-pats and comforting but no picking him up.  When you hear him screaming in the middle of the night because pat-patting isn't working, you feel so helpless. I definitely snapped at him and said to just pick him up! Maybe my maternal instinct kicked in and hearing your baby cry and cry and cry is heartbreaking. I know it goes against what the "books" and "experts" say but I know my baby needs to be calmed down before we let him fend for himself so I'm gonna do what I feel like he needs and that's to be held for a few minutes.  He's still nursing at least once at night so to me I feel that once we wean him off the nighttime nursing, it'd be easier to train him to sleep through the night so he doesn't expect milk/boob/mom/cuddles.  I feel guilty because when I am gone all day to work my 12 hour shift, the only real time he has with me is that nighttime feed to connect and bond. I feel as if I neglected my baby because I see him bright and early when I drop him off and he's sleeping by the time I get home and he won't see me until the next day. Sometimes I wonder if he will forget who I am. <-- haha I know crazy mom thoughts but I wonder if he thinks I just forgot about him too since he doesn't physically see me when all I think about his him. 

Starting Baby Food
We tried oatmeal cereal around 5 months but was inconsistent in feeding him everyday but now that he's 6 months (OMG I still can't believe it), he should really start learning how to eat.  So I try to make an effort in introducing him to different foods every few days. I make the purees myself so I have the confidence of knowing what's going into my baby's food. So far we've tried applesauce, mangos, bananas, and sweet potatoes. Next on the menu will be peas, carrots, and avocados. I love the immersion blender. No need for a fancy baby magic bullet (although I really wanted to get one lol) but I figured an immersion blender would be more versatile for different uses rather than just making baby food alone. What I'm not really sure about is when do you start letting them eat puffs haha or like finely chopped up meats or more solid type of food versus purees? He has no teeth yet and I think they may be popping up shortly but when do you graduate onto the next step I guess? lol I don't think his appetite has grown significantly or that he's left hungry after nursing.  I just want to keep thinking he's my little baby and he's not ready for the next thing but I know he is and we just gotta help him learn to be a grown up haha. 

Skip the crawling and straight to walking?
He still has yet to sit up on his own without flopping over haha but does well with a boppy and bumbo.  He's definitely on the move since he covers his whole entire crib by tossing and turning and kicking. He lifts his butt up and pushes off so we know he wants to crawl. But what he's really loving right now is his walker.  He knows how to push backwards and forward with some help but he loves standing and being close by.  It's funny because when he 'walks' out of view, he lets out a yelp so I pop back over to him and he's all giggles and smiles.  I just can't believe he'll be super mobile soon and we'll need to start baby proofing the house. eeek!! 

Overall, he's such a good and happy baby. There are days he's a little crankier than others because he wants to nap or maybe he's teething? But it's just insane to see how much he's changed in such a few short weeks.  He follows you around the room, he can reach for  his toys (even though everything goes in his mouth - even his feet! haha), he can roll over, and he loves to chat especially early in the morning.  

Holding it Together

This week has been a little tougher than others. With returning to work lurking around the corner, it's giving me slight anxiety going back to a new store, new staff, new environment and a 12 hour shift my first day back.  How am I going to manage? On top of that, I like to keep a clean and orderly home and when I feel like my things are a mess, my life is a mess.  I feel like there is so much to do during my last week at home like vacuum, mop, sweep, clean the bathrooms, laundry, organize my files, get ready for my return to work. I'm sure every mom goes through this daily but how do you do it with such grace and composure? There are some supermoms out there who make it look so easy and I'm over here looking like a hot mess.  I try to clean between his naps, stop halfway prepping dinner when he cries or wants to be fed, try to finish organizing our home but time slips away and things get left for the next day. I feel guilty when I leave him to play alone on his play mat while I'm trying to get things done because I should be helping to develop his motor skills. I struggle with wanting to spend time with him while he's awake because the precious time I have left with him will be spent at work. Dropping him off in the morning while he's still sleeping and I'll be home well after he goes to bed for the night during my night shifts.  When I get asked how I'm doing, I just say "I'm okay. Things are good." What you don't see is my dark bags under my eyes, my un-manicared nails, my clothes with spit-up on it,  my bedhead hair... the list goes on.  I don't want to sound like a big complainer because every part of this experience is worth it but I'm just an ordinary mom trying to hold it together.