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Archive for May, 2009

Here he is. Ethan at 1 month:

Ethan 1 Month

And here he is with Ashley and Caitlin:

Ashley, Ethan (1mth) and Caitlin

I love how focused Ethan is in his first month photo. He was very intently watching what I was doing with the camera. It seems like he went to sleep on Monday night and woke up at 4am Tuesday morning with a greater ability to track what is happening around him. His range of vision seemed to increase the day before that. I remember similar moments with Ashley and Caitlin when it seemed they went to sleep and when they next woke up there was an obvious shift in their development. I still see some now, only the developmental shifts are more subtle at 6 and 5 years. For example, I see changes in language ability with Caitlin where her vocabulary and articulation are greater after an intervening night’s sleep. With Ashley I will see her some mornings and not only will she seem to have grown over night but will seem more mature in her facial and emotional expressions.

It is strange to think of Ethan as 1 month old given that on Monday he was only 4 weeks old. A trick of the calendar measuring from April 13th to May 13th. That first week out the of the hospital really was blissful. I was high on endorphins from delivery and my body’s production of oxytocyin. Ian and Janet had extended their visit and James was off work. It was a wonderful week, starting the day with breakfast in bed thanks to James and a nice cup of tea and a chat with Janet. Then I’d go back to sleep with Ethan while James and his parent took care of school drop offs, emptying the dishwasher, grocery shopping, running errands and then school pick ups. Mornings were spent sleeping, feeding and snuggling with Ethan and afternoons were with family. Evenings with James and his parents were lovely and we all enjoyed Ethan settling in.

The second week I strained the left side of my next, from the base of my skull all the way to the middle of my shoulder blade. The weight of Ethan and possibly lying in bed awkwardly for night nursing seemed the major causes. It escalated over the week, being worse in bed at night and I was eventually sleeping on the sofa. The peak of the pain occurred that first weekend with me in tears on Friday and Saturday night and thinking by Saturday night that I would need to go to the ER. But a continuous routine of icing an ibuprofen saw most of the pain gone by the weekend of the third week. Fortunately friends were doing all the school drop offs and pick ups so I was able to keep resting as I got through these two physically demanding and painful weeks. Thanks to this daytime resting I was still able to enjoy the days with family and neighbors and friends who would stop by to visit. And since last week I have been resting intermittently in the mornings as I move back into school routines with the girls. Friends still drop off and pick up as my energy demands and this has helped beyond my words to describe.

Over the last 4 weeks I have enjoyed:

Ethan’s quiet alert moments when he just gazes at me with such trust

The precursors to smiles (which I choose not to regard as signs of internal wind/gas). He shows lots of these presmiles just as he falls asleep and looks very much as if he is enjoying a dream.

In the last 10 days he has also been laughing in his sleep. Slight at first with the sound now stronger. Yesterday in the car after we’d dropped Ashley to school and were on the way to Caitlin’s preschool, Caitlin heard Ethan laugh in his sleep for the first time and in delighted awe she commented, “A fairy is being born.” (Part of fairy lore as picked up from watching Disney’s ‘Tinkerbell’).

In the last week he has been raising his head a great deal, exercising his little neck muscles. Looks very cute when I’m lying on my back and he is lying on his stomach down the length of my torso. It’s like he’s lifting his head to look at me and say, “Hello Mum, look what I can do!”

Also in the last week he has start working his leg muscles. Sometimes he pushes himself upwards on his legs if I’m semi-reclining, again with him lying on his stomach down my torso, with his feet on my lap. A couple of times he’s stood on my lap when I hold him in a standing position.

His nursing blister that developed in the center of his upper lip. He lost the first one during his second week and is currently sporting blister number 2. This reminds me so much of when this occurred with Ashley, who being our first, we didn’t know what this was at first. It’s a sign of vigorous nursing. All my babies had them.

How much he looks like James, particularly obvious when James is holding him and Ethan is awake. They have the same head and eye shape. Ethan’s eyes are a deep blue grey at the moment so he may end up with the same eye color as James too. He also has James’ feet (as does Caitlin) and James’s hands. And he has little double jointed thumbs that are adorable to watch bend when he stretches his hands.

Another interesting observation of his hands: Ethan had long finger nails when he was born. The day we took him home from the hospital I got the clippers to trim them when I noticed that the skin of his fingertips was attached to his nails all the way to the top of the nails. I’ve had to file the sharp points of the nails up until now but they have still scratched him. This week the skin and nails have been separating so I’ll be clipping them soon.

Ashley’s First Year in Monthly Photos

Ashley 1 Month Ashley 2 Months Ashley 3 Months

Ashley 4 Months Ashley 5 Months Ashley 6 Months

Ashley 7 Months Ashley 8 Months Ashley 9 Months

Ashley 10 Months Ashley 11 Months Ashley 12 Months

Caitlin’s First Year in Monthly Photos

Caitlin 1 Month Caitlin 2 Months Caitlin 3 Months

Caitlin 4 Months Caitlin 5 Months Caitlin 6 months

Caitlin 7 months Caitlin 8 months Caitlin 9 months

Caitlin 10 months Caitlin 11 months Caitlin 12 months

A great big thanks to Jennifer for the blue dinosaur, which she gave us before Ashley was born. We all love “Dino” an will enjoy sharing it with Ethan.

Thanks also to Laurie for the penguin outfit Ethan is wearing. Ashley and Caitlin wore it too. Being a big penguin lover this is my favorite outfit. When I realized the other day that neither Ashley nor Caitlin had worn it in any of their monthly photos I just had to have Ethan wear it for his first month photo!

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