Anyway. Life is a little challenging these days. In addition to the lack of sleep, Mark is working in overdrive trying to finish his thesis, I'm trying to pack up our entire house, run a photography business, and be the best mama I can be two my little ones. So. That's our real life right now.
I look back at my old blog posts from when Riley was a baby, and I definitely sugar coated some things. I wish I had written some more honest posts, some more "real life" posts. You know the ones, not just cute pictures (although cute pictures are nice), not just fun outings and activities, but real every day life. So, while this post will surely still have pictures of my cute kids, it will also be 100% honest. About life with these two little munchkins at 6 months and 25 months.
I would say this past month has been the hardest month so far since Jackson was born. A huge part of that was the sickness that invaded every member of our household. It disrupted schedules and sleep, it put everyone all out of sorts, and significantly added to my sleep debt. But we have finally made it through, we're all healthy, but some of us are still not sleeping. The little ones have been all over the place with sleep lately. We'll start with Riley:
She was doing really well with sleep right up until she got really sick. Then she started waking up at night, and because she was so sick, we brought her in our bed so we could keep an eye on her and comfort her. I'll be perfectly honest... after co-sleeping with her for most of her life, I actually REALLY enjoyed having her back in our bed for part of the night. And she clearly loved it too, evidenced by the fact that she has had a very hard time going back to her own bed for the full night. Pre-bedtime routine has gotten longer and longer. More delay tactics, more demands. She doesn't want to fall asleep all on her own anymore. She wants me to lay with her and tickle and snuggle with her until she falls asleep. And she only wants ME to do it.
Now we know in part she's sort of abusing the system. She knows how to delay bedtime, she knows how to get what she wants, and she will scream the house down if she doesn't. BUT, she's also only two years old, and she just wants to snuggle with her mama. And yes it's a little more effort on my part, yes sometimes I have work to do, but the thought of letting her scream because all she wants is to snuggle with her mama? I don't know, just seems so WRONG to me at this stage. So a lot of my evenings these days are spent snuggling with her and telling her stories and watching her breath get slower and deeper as she falls into a deep sleep snuggled right into me. There are worse things in this world. :)
The trickier thing, is when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It doesn't happen every night, but I'd say maybe half of the nights she wakes up at some point. And can you guess what she wants? One thing. To come in mama's bed. Now again, I actually have no problem with her coming in our bed. She's super snuggly, she goes right to sleep, and get this... SHE SLEEPS IN when she comes in our room. Like, she sometimes sleeps until 7am (rather than 5am). So what's the problem, you ask? Well, we have this other little bubba named Jackson...
Often times when Riley wakes up, I'm either feeding Jackson, soothing Jackson, or he's already in our bed. And the ONLY time Riley gets jealous or sad about me holding Jackson is in the middle of the night. All she wants is to snuggle with me, and she is NOT happy if I am tending to him. Which, as you can imagine, is extremely difficult if I'm feeding him or if I've just spent an hour getting him to sleep, only to have her start crying and wake him up. Then we have two crying little people, two awake adults, and likely a rough day ahead. So middle of the night's can be challenging.
Now- Jackson's sleep. I seriously never know what I'm going to get with him. That might be the most frustrating part... I just can't figure it out. Some nights, he's near impossible to get to sleep. Despite all my rocking and shushing and nursing, he just cries and cries until we finally find the right combination of jiggling/bouncing/squatting that puts him to sleep. Some nights it takes me all of 5 minutes to get him down. Some nights he likes to sleep on his side in his crib, other nights he needs to be swaddled in his rock n play. Some nights he'll sleep for a few hours without making a peep, other nights he's up 5 times in the first 2 hours, requiring rocking back to sleep each time. Sometimes when he wakes, he goes right back to sleep after a feed, sometimes he's up for over an hour. I seriously never know what I'm going to get. And I've tried all the usual things- making sure he's not overtired, but also that he is actually tired enough... not overstimulated, not too hot/cold/hungry etc etc... And as far as I can tell, there's no rhyme or reason for his unpredictable sleep behavior. Well, I'm sure there IS, but we have no idea what it is.
Lately also, the only thing that can get him back to sleep is nursing. And that boy is stubborn, so no amount of rocking and walking will soothe him if he's decided he wants to be nursing. And of course it would figure that I'm battling some serious thrush at the moment, which basically makes breastfeeding EXTREMELY painful. Like, bite-my-lip-and-clench-my-whole-body-so-hard-I-almost-get-a-cramp kind of pain. So while I used to be able to lay with him and nurse him in bed while half asleep- currently that is out of the question. And he pretty much refuses a bottle, so I don't really have the option of giving my boobs a break and giving him pumped milk instead.
And then there's naps. We have made one major leap forward... he has managed to move past the single sleep cycle naps (sometimes). He still often wakes after 40ish minutes, but usually for one nap a day I get an hour and a half to and hour and 40 minutes! Sometimes I have to go in quickly and shush him for a minute, but then he can actually get back to sleep! Hooray! But then sometimes it takes me quite a while to get him to sleep, and he no longer ever just falls asleep on his own in the crib, he always requires rocking or bouncing of some sort.
The hardest part for me right now with his sleep is that he is really seeming to be affected by his lack of sleep during his waking hours. He's more fragile than normal, he's quicker to cry, he wants to be held more. He cries when I put him down or leave the room (although he doesn't do this for Mark!!). It's frustrating to know that he's overtired during the day, and not sleeping well at night, and I can't find a solution to get him sleeping better.
He's taking 3 naps a day, but it's rare that I get him and Riley both asleep at the same time for more than 20 minutes, which means I never ever get a nap/rest during the day. I am pretty much flat out exhausted. The crazy sleep habits of these two little ones combined with the fact that Jack refuses a bottle means I rarely ever get more than an hour or two of sleep in a row. My best sleep is on the weekend when Mark lets me sleep in from around 5:45 or 6:00 am to 8:00 or 8:30am. Yes, my husband is the best.
Anyway. Life is a little challenging these days. In addition to the lack of sleep, Mark is working in overdrive trying to finish his thesis, I'm trying to pack up our entire house, run a photography business, and be the best mama I can be two my little ones. So. That's our real life right now.
We had no plans of starting solids with Jackson until he turned 6 months. He wasn't showing that many signs of being ready, and I was certainly in no rush. And then just like that, he started going NUTS every single time we were eating. Trying to grab what we had, crying when he couldn't have it, watching our every move and bite... so we decided to go for it, just a week shy of turning 6 months.
Now... we were thinking of doing the baby led weaning approach. If you're unfamiliar with it, basically it allows baby to feed himself... no purees, no jars of baby foods, just things that he can grab and feed to himself. Things like banana...
Now, the thing is with baby led weaning, you really aren't supposed to help them get the food in their mouths (ummmm, soo... not like above). The whole point is that the baby can feed himself. He decides how much goes in his mouth, and learns to chew and mush it up and swallow at his own pace.
But the thing is... I'm not sure complete baby led weaning is right for me. I like the idea of it, and I want to do it, but I have this completely irrational fear of my children choking. I always have, and I just can't shake it. And I KNOW that supposedly baby led weaning actually reduces the risk of choking, and that gagging is actually just the baby learning how to eat... it just freaks me out big time. I don't know, just the thought of him being able to bite of huge chunks and then potentially having those get stuck in his throat, well, it just gives me anxiety. So we're going to go with a little bit of baby led weaning, and a little bit of spoon feeding, and just see how it goes. On BLW front he's had banana and avocado (and almost cheese quesadilla thanks to riley's "sharing"). And today, for his first spoon-fed experience: carrots/parsnips/kumara. Yum.
He did very well! He seemed to like it, although he didn't consume that much, which isn't all that surprising. And we're trying to be pretty strict about the 3 day rule (wait 3 days before introducing new foods) just because I'm a little more concerned about allergies with him than I was with Riley. Any time he has an eczema flare up I'm going to be wondering if it was due to some new food he had!
So we're taking it slow. Letting him explore, eat when he wants, not eat when he doesn't want. Totally stress free. :) The real mission is trying to explain to Riley why he can't eat all the things she's eating right away! Things like: pistachios, for example. I left her sitting next to him the other day while I went in the kitchen for two seconds and all I hear is "HE'S EATING IT!!!" and I come SPRINTING around the corner to grab the pistachio shell out of his little fingers before he could get it in his mouth. Close call, lesson learned. Now Riley likes to say to me, "no putting rubbish in the baby's mouth." Glad we've got that concept down. :)
Jackson turns 6 months in 2 weeks. And he is changing daily, turning into such a big boy.
Jackson's eczema has been up and down, but at the moment is not looking good at all. A few weeks back I saw a naturopath, who had some good recommendations, and since then I have started on a completely dairy-free diet, and a (mostly) wheat-free diet. I say mostly wheat/gluten free as I still have the occasional wheat snack. I thought things were improving and I was pretty excited we may have found a solution, but then BAM it got worse again. Now, I've read that anything that triggers an immune response can cause an eczema flare-up, so the fact that Jackson is pretty sick could be what is causing his eczema to be pretty bad at the moment. Immunizations can also cause flare-ups and he just had his 5 month shots last week.
The above pictures were taken a few days ago, and since then his cheeks have turned bright red, his skin is dry and red and itchy, and he is CONSTANTLY trying to scratch his face and head. The combination of his cold and his eczema has led to some terrible sleep and a very sad and overtired baby during the day. As a result, he does not want to be put down. He's pretty much only happy if he's being held, or sitting in his bouncer. I actually don't like putting him in there for very long, but at the moment it's the only way I can put him down for more than 2 seconds! Although he thought bubbles were pretty fascinating... that bought me about 10 minutes while I gave Riley a bath.
Now back to sleeping- for a few weeks he was up CONSTANTLY. I was lucky to get 30 minutes out of him. We have since started swaddling him again and putting him in his rock 'n play rather than his crib, figuring keeping him slightly elevated will help with his cough, and keeping him swaddled will keep him from scratching. Now we're back to some fairly decent stretches, although it's pretty hit or miss. He's usually asleep for the night at 5:30 or 6, and is up for a feed around 10 or 11. He rarely sleeps that whole time, usually requires some rocking back to sleep in there somewhere. Then sometimes he's up for HOURS in the middle of the night. I'm hoping that after he comes right from this cold that he'll settle into some better sleep patterns, but that might just be wishful thinking.
Other things- since he's been sick and not wanting to be put down, he's decided that he hates tummy time, and has made no progress on trying to sit up, but he can stand with us just holding his fingers. He prefers to be sitting upright or standing and trying to jump constantly. The boy goes NUTS in the bouncer, he's as happy as can be in there! In fact, one day we decided to take advantage of a decent winter day and play in the backyard, so we brought his bouncer out and he was as happy as can be.
As we get closer and closer to the big 6 months, we get closer to starting solids. I was pretty adamant about not starting solids until 6 months, but today we were all sharing an apple, and he was going nuts trying to grab it, so we let him gum it and suck on it. The boy LOVED it. But you know who might have loved it even more? Riley. She couldn't stop smiling and shouting "he's EATING it!!!" He would drop it, and she would help him get it back in his mouth.
I'm thinking of going with the baby led weaning approach with him, mostly because I can't stand the idea of having to steam and puree foods, and it will be so much easier than spoon feeding him. Problem is, we don't have a high chair for him at the moment. Guess I still have a few weeks to figure that out. We're going to be pretty strict about what foods we give him as I worry a bit about food allergies, but we'll start with some pretty basic ones so hopefully we won't have any issues.
He still doesn't have any teeth but I can feel his 2 bottom ones right under the gums. Sort of dreading having those little chompers come in since he has started biting me while nursing already, and it hurts with no teeth, and I know all too well how much it hurts WITH teeth!!
Oh yeah, forgot to mention naps. Up until 2 days ago, he slept no longer than 40 minutes. Every. singe. nap. If the timing worked out, sometimes I could get him and Riley to nap at the same time, and then after he woke up 40 minutes later, I could bring him in bed with me and nurse him to sleep for another hour or so. But the stars don't always align like that, so mostly he was taking a bunch of cat naps during the day. Then all of a sudden yesterday he busted out with an hour and 40 minutes sleep. Twice. No interventions required. Then today he had an hour and a half sleep, but then two of his standard 40 minute ones. So who knows what tomorrow brings in terms of naps. :)
Oh yeah and? He still LOVES his big sister. Big time.
So that's the latest on our little Jack Jack...
We're living in the land of the never-ending sickness. Apparently it's going around. Riley has spent the last week looking pretty awful...
But, fingers crossed, she seems to be coming right FINALLY. The little guy, on the other hand? Not so good. He's been crying more than he's been sleeping so far tonight... he's all stuffy and he's got a cough and it's just so so sad especially since there's not a whole lot we can do for him but hold him and rock him and hope he feels better tomorrow. Wow that was a long run on sentence. But let's hope he feels better tomorrow because I want to see this happy face again:
I do actually have a lot of meaningful posts in the works. Posts about sleeping and potty training, tantrums and getting rid of Riley's paci, and her current favorite toys at the age of two. But I've got a sick toddler, a teething baby, and coherent sentences are hard to form, much less type out. So I leave you with this:
My last post was a little bit of a downer, but our trip wasn't all bad! It started a little rough, but once we got into the hotel and got all settled down, we packed up and headed off to the local aquarium. But not before stopping to feed the little guy in the parking lot while Riley needed to urgently use the potty RIGHT THIS SECOND.
Do you know how hard it is to take a half decent photo in a super dark aquarium while chasing a toddler and trying to also look after a baby? Yeah.
At this stage Riley wasn't too sick/feverish, BUT it was about 3pm and she hadn't had a nap, so she was a little... fragile, let's say. But she sure had fun! She loved seeing all the fish, pointing out the different colored ones, and would say "wow that's a really really big one!" over and over again. She got to hold a starfish (she was stoked about that one), and was super excited to get to see all these animals from her "sea animals puzzle" in real life! Seahorse, octupus, stingray, shark, etc... Although she was disappointed there was no dolphin. :)
Jackson started out in the stroller, but was absolutely fascinated with every single thing around him. He was the happiest little guy, just looking around, taking it all in. Overall it was a really fun, totally successful trip. We probably could have stayed a lot longer but I didn't want to push our luck with a napless toddler and overstimulated little baby!
The following day we stopped at a butterfly farm right near the airport. The place was actually really awesome, and I think Riley WOULD have enjoyed it if she was not feeling absolutely miserable. Literally right as we arrived there was the beginning of her miserable-ness. She spiked a fever, only wanted me to carry her, and just was not doing so hot. Needless to stay, we didn't stay very long. We did stay long enough for her to get scared by a HUGE butterfly flying right at her, and she thought it was going to bite her. I finally convinced her that he wasn't going to bite her, it just wanted to look at her, so for the next 30 minutes she went around chanting "he's not trying to bite you, he's just looking at you!"
There were also baby alligators, HUGE crocodiles, and a bunch of different tarantulas. But at that point Riley was in a total feverish trance, so we had to go. But they clearly made an impression on her as she mentioned the crocodiles multiple times today!
Speaking of today... Riley was feeling slightly better, although at one point her fever was up over 103 again, but mostly hovered around 101.5. She went through waves of feeling pretty good and being in good spirits, followed by being miserable and clinging to me like a little koala. Around 9:30am she basically climbed into my lap and fell asleep, so I transferred her into our bed and she slept there for about 3 hours. Poor little bug.
I hate it when she's so sick. Although I must admit, the extra snuggles are always welcome. And always love an excuse to stay in pajamas all day long!
Thank goodness Jackson seems to be feeling alright. He was a trooper today, just hanging out, trying to roll over, trying to eat everything in sight, drooling up a storm, and about to sprout his two bottom teeth.
His eczema also seems to be improving, although sometimes it's hard to tell. We saw a naturopath the other week, and I got some good insight from her, started taking some probiotics and some fish oil supplements, and I've changed to a completely dairy free diet. Next step is going wheat free as well, so I've slowly started phasing out wheat from my diet as I didn't want to do such drastic changes cold turkey. It's pretty tricky making sure I'm eating the right stuff since I'm not used to this kind of diet, but hey, for this little face, I think I can manage.
Sometimes I still can't believe how much Jackson is turning into a real little person. Manipulating toys, looking at everything, grabbing everything in sight, yelling out when he's frustrated or wants attention, staring at me with his gorgeous blue eyes, bouncing like a crazy person in his bouncer....
Oh yeah, and? The big news of the day? We sold our house!!! Hooraaaaaaay! That's a huge stressor we can check off the list, thank goodness. One step closer to being back to the US! Now on to the next task... selling our stuff, and deciding what to pack up and ship back to the US! Oh yeah, and crazy thesis writing for my oh so over-worked and over-tired husband. October can't come soon enough!
Well, we had our first "vacation" with the two little ones this weekend. And I use the word "vacation" very, very loosely. Basically we had to report Jackson's birth to the US consulate up in Auckland (45 min plane ride up north), and also apply for a US passport and social security number, and we had to actually do it in person rather than by mail. I could've just gone up by myself (with Jackson), but we decided to make a mini vacation of it and go as a family. We had plans to go to the zoo, the aquarium, do some swimming, stay up late and watch movies in bed in our hotel room, etc.. Well, I won't give you the play-by-play of our trip, but all the following things happened:
-Riley had her first day EVER without a nap
-it rained, canceling zoo plans
-we forgot Riley's beloved "gray gray" (pink blankie) at home
-Jackson screamed bloody murder for what seemed like forever in the car as we couldn't find our freaking hotel and i just about lost my mind
-we lost one of riley's minnie mouse toys somewhere along the way
-jackson had his worst night of sleep so far
-i forgot some forms/evidence for our appointment at the consulate- luckily it was no big deal
-had the wrong size passport photos- had to get them re-printed the morning of our appointment
-we heard multiple times in the car "hurry hurry daddy i need to do a poo poo on the potty!" Number of poops? ZERO. But we sure got some smiles as we stopped at a McDonald's, a cafe, and a random gas station and sprinted in with our toddler demanding the nearest toilet!
-I left all the swim stuff in the hotel dryer. Including Riley's brand new cloth swim diaper.
-Riley spiked a massive fever at the airport/on the plane, and was absolutely miserable. Right at the same time Jackson was super tired and hungry. Two sad babies on the plane. Riley only wanted mama, Jackson could only be fed by mama... which baby do you let cry? The sick or hungry one? Riley was so sick that she basically passed out in misery while laying on me.
-Took Riley's temp when we got home, thought her fever had gone since she was feeling much cooler than on the plane... 103. Shudder to think what her temp was on the plane.
-Riley's cough takes a turn for the worse, we say a little prayer it's not croup, and snuggle her to sleep for the night.
-Crawl into bed to get some sleep. Cue Jackson waking up. Write this blog post while nursing/snuggling with him.
There were good parts too. I even took a few pictures. But for now.... sleep. At least for some.
My parents have come and gone. My mom was here for 12 days, and my dad was here for 5, and they left yesterday to go back to the states. And Riley was beyond thrilled to have them here. She hasn't seen my mom since February, and my dad since December, but she knew exactly who they were and was completely comfortable with them. And it was definitely extremely nice to have them here! In fact, that's an understatement, since Mark was gone all week at a conference in Australia, and both kids were sick, and then I was sick myself, so I probably wouldn't have survived without the help of my mama! And my parents lucked out, as we had some pretty decent winter weather for a change!
One of Riley's favorite activities is to go feed the ducks, seagulls, and pukekos! And she makes sure to tell me about the "pinchy seagulls" since she saw a seagull nip another one once in attempts to steal the bread, and that has stuck in her mind ever since. She loves to go feed them a "sandwich," and get dangerously close to the edge, giving her grandpa a heart attack thinking she's going to fall in. Feeding ducks is definitely one of her most favorite things to do!
I don't know what it is, but Mark and I both agree, we absolutely LOVE watching our parents/family members with our children. Just seeing how much they love Riley and Jackson, how excited Riley is to see them, the interaction and the fun that is had, and the funny things that Riley says and does. :) At one point she had all 4 of us almost on the floor laughing she was being so incredibly funny! And of course, it makes me so sad when we have to say goodbye, not only because I miss them, but because I know Riley doesn't quite understand why she can't see grandma and grandpa again tomorrow. Or why grandma can't come and read her a story and give her tickles before bed. Or that, no baby girl, she won't be back tomorrow morning.
But you know what? In just a matter of months, we will likely be back in the US. Back in California. And then Riley and Jack Jack can have unlimited grandma and grandpa snuggles and tickles and stories. BECAUSE WE JUST ACCEPTED AN OFFER ON OUR HOUSE so, fingers crossed, it all goes through and that's one HUGE thing we can check off the list!
More pictures to come tomorrow...
Jackson is 5 months old today! I forgot to take his "chair" photo, so I'll have to do that tomorrow, but I took plenty of other cute ones. :)
Okay so, here we go with the updates:
Sleep (night time): I didn't think it was possible, but his night time sleep has gotten even worse in the last month! In the last week, he's been waking so many times a night I can't even count. If I'm lucky I MIGHT get a 2 hour stretch out of him. And I've tried so many different things trying to figure out what works best for him (swaddled, unswaddled, laying on side, extra layers, fewer layers, with paci, no paci, and on and on...) As of right this moment, he seems to need to be swaddled still, but he can break out of all the traditional swaddle blankets. He also likes to be slightly propped up, and seems to like a heavy blanket over him. He's likes a paci to fall asleep, but flat out refuses to take it from me at night. I'm still trying to make little tweaks and changes to see if we can find the right combination of things to get him to sleep well.
The thing is, I think a big part of the sleep problem is his eczema. He wakes up trying to claw at his face, and if you hold his arms down to block him, he gets SO mad. His skin gets all red and dry and seems itchy, and I just feel so bad for him because I don't know how to fix it. But his eczema issue is a whole different post entirely.
Sleep (day time): Hmm, this one is tricky. We've had a bit of a rough week, but that's mostly because Jackson had a cold and wasn't feeling so hot. But on average, day time sleep is... just okay. He takes short naps, and I can't seem to get him to extend them. I'd say on average his naps are 35-40 minutes, but occasionally only 15 or 20 minutes! Every once in a while I will get an hour out of him, but never longer. His ideal awake time is about 2 hours, but if he only takes a tiny nap it's much shorter. He still needs to be rocked to sleep, but sometimes we can put him in his crib and shush/pat him to sleep. If all else fails, he will almost always fall asleep in the car or in the stroller.
He's still mostly a VERY happy baby during the day. He wakes up in the morning with a big smile on his face, even though he usually did not get a good night's sleep. He's extremely chatty and is making a lot more different sounds, even saying "mama," although usually when he's crying/upset.
He still likes his play gym, but gets frustrated that he can't pull the toys off and put them in his mouth, since he's past the "batting at toys" phase. So we usually just abandon the play gym and go with a blanket and some toys on the floor. He wants everything in his mouth, and is fascinated with toys. Loves looking at them, holding them, shaking them, tasting them, and gets MAD when he drops them or can't get them in his mouth the way he wants.
He doesn't roll, but he tucks his knees up under him and tries to scoot around. And he's getting closer and closer to sitting on his own. He can sit by himself briefly, and with a little support, but I wouldn't just leave him sitting there for an extended period of time. He scoots backwards when he's on his tummy, and he loves to push off of something and move around when he's on his back or his tummy. It's funny, with Riley, I was so so excited for her to start rolling and crawling. With him, I'm perfectly happy for him to stay still as long as possible! Although I'm super super excited to see Riley's reaction when Jackson becomes mobile, I think she's going to LOVE it!
He likes to talk and screech, chew on everything and anything (including my fingers, and man can that boy bite hard!). He can blow raspberries, and grab his toes with his hands. He hasn't yet figured out his toes can go in his mouth, but I'm sure it's not far off. He loves to be held and talked to and played with, and he absolutely ADORES his big sister. We can see it more and more each day, how much he watches her and just seems to be fascinated by her. Lucky for him, she thinks he's pretty cool too.
He still likes the car and going for walks in the stroller or in a carrier. He has absolutely no problem with strangers, and is happy as long as someone is talking to him and holding him. He laughs the most for his daddy, but will smile for pretty much anyone. He thinks it's so funny when you laugh, and certain words and sounds get him to laugh almost every time.
He's still exclusively breastfed, eating every 2-3 hours during the day. I don't think he's ready for solids, which is just fine because I have no plans to introduce them before 6 months anyway. His eczema makes him slightly more likely to have food allergies, and I'd really like to try and get his eczema more under control before we start him on solids! Again, I'll save all that eczema-related info for a separate post.
He's mostly pretty happy to lay on the ground on his back or his tummy and play (especially with Riley around!), but he has just recently started to cry when I leave his sight. Not always, but he is definitely constantly aware of where I am, and if he's even the slightest bit tired or feeling at all fragile, he will cry if I go out of his sight. Although, if Riley is there with him, he doesn't cry!
One absolute FAVORITE activity right now is jumping. Just like his sister, apparently. He LOVES to be in his bouncer just jumping away and trying to manipulate all the toys. If you hold him on your lap he will jump and jump and jump. His legs are constantly going, and his arms are also constantly moving and waving and flapping unless he's using them to hold a toy or put something in his mouth.
He likes music...my singing, Riley's CDs, or some of his toys that play music- a crib mobile, a stuffed octopus, fisher price seahorse... pretty much anything that makes some music! He loves books, his lovey blanket, pinching mama, sticking his fingers in my mouth, getting leg and tummy tickles, having his face lightly rubbed/tickled, leg massages, and bath time. He does NOT like being cold, arm massages, when Riley cries, or having his nails cut.
He's the cutest sweetest little blue-eyed 5 month old and we just love him to pieces! Can't wait to see what the next month brings (hopefully a little more sleep!!!) :)