June 6, 2019

Sweet Baby James | Months 4 & 5

sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7660.jpgWhen wedding season starts up right when little guy decides to stop sleeping, things get crazy and the monthly blog post gets turned into a combined post. Months 4 and 5 have been quite a doozy! Just when you think you’re starting to get the hang of things, everything changes and you feel like you’re at square one again! So here’s the novel recapping the last 2.5 months!

Right after James turned 3 months, it seemed like each day brought something new! He went from swatting at toys to grabbing them within a few days! Then quickly after that started the puts-everything-in-his-mouth phase. He will chew and suck on anything you put near him! Which means most the time he’ll just try to stick his whole hand in his mouth! He also upgraded to using jumpers and he loves them! He loves bouncing around in them! We’ve been getting a LOT more smiles, but not much laughing yet! He did it once or twice, but hasn’t since! He really makes us work for his affection!

Another development that happened during this time is his head shape. We noticed around 2 months that he preferred to look to his left which was causing his head to become lopsided. The doctors weren’t concerned until his 4 month appointment when they said we needed to do something about it. I really wish they would’ve told us to do something about it sooner, but I’ll resist going on a rant about that… Anyhoo, so they suggested we get a side-sleeping wedge that would force him to sleep on the other side of his head. This was effective in correcting his head, no so effective in getting him to sleep. It was right around this time that his sleep took a turn for the worse. It’s hard to say if it’s because of the wedge or if it was just a 4 month regression that was going to happen anyway. But he went from almost sleeping through the night and being able to put himself to sleep, to needing to be fed to sleep for every nap and bedtime. But he was even too smart for that and each day it got harder and harder to lay him down in the crib without him noticing. Now, we realize that feeding them to sleep is not something you’re supposed to do. We tried our best to not resort to that, but over time it became the only way he would go to sleep. So it got to the point where I was spending hours a day in his room trying to get him to sleep. And of course this all happened right when I had my first wedding of the season. True story- I got home from my first wedding at 3AM and he cried until 6 when he was then up for the day… Needless to say, I was pretty miserable for a few weeks. We knew the only way to fix it would be to rip off the bandaid and do sleep training. But I struggled with whether I thought he was old enough for a ‘cry it out’ method. Everyone we asked and everything I read said something different. But the average of what I had read seemed to be 5 months, so the day he turned 5 months we started sleep training!

The first night was obviously terrible. Lots of screaming and an explosive vomit (seriously like exorcism). But I was surprised how quickly he progressed! Within a day, he was able to put himself to sleep after being laid down wide awake! This was about 2.5 weeks ago that we started and he’s definitely sleeping much better now- sleeping through the night most nights and can put himself to sleep. There are still some kinks we’re trying to work out, but overall SO much better! It’s amazing how much your baby’s sleep can mess with your sanity. When it was bad, I really had some days where I felt like I was losing it. Branden even commented a few times how I really just didn’t seem like my normal self. But then when we started to see progress during training, I felt like a new person!!

Meanwhile we were also working hard to try to correct his head by trying to keep his head turned to the right while sleeping. But you can imagine that when you spend hours trying to get him to sleep and then he falls asleep with his head turned the wrong way, you’re not about to go in there and mess with him! At that 4 month appointment, the doctor suggested we check back in a month to see how his head was progressing and whether or not we should move forward with other measures- PT and helmet. He definitely made a LOT of progress in that month of repositioning his head. But not quite enough to not need more help. So after a LOT of doctors appointments, scans, x rays, evaluations, etc we have decided to move forward with the helmet to correct his head shape and weekly PT to correct the torticollis. So a LOT more doctors appointments to come. Yayyy. He’ll be getting his helmet in about 2 weeks and will likely wear it until he’s a year old or so. Although, once the shape has corrected, he will only have to wear it when sleeping, as opposed to all day long. So we’re hoping that by getting him into the helmet relatively young, he’ll get to that maintenance phase sooner!

So enough complaining about all the bad things the last few months! There have also been a lot of fun changes! He’s like a whole different baby each week with how fast he’s developing! I’ve been saying lately that I actually feel like I’m hanging out with a real person when I’m with him! He’s so interactive and fun! He is also really taking a liking to his dogs lately! He loves to watch them run around the yard and pet them when they are willing to sit still. I especially think that he and Henry are gonna be best buds! He’s also taking a liking to his stuffed dog, Shacky! He lights up when you give it to him! He then proceeds to try to fit his whole head in his mouth, naturally.

You could also say that I am officially back from maternity leave now. Wedding season is in full swing and it’s been quite an adjustment with a baby. Between having to pump multiple times on wedding days (when I barely have time to sneak away to pee as it is) to having very minimal computer time at home to edit these weddings. I have a whole new level of respect for working moms now!! It’s no joke!

So while these last few months have brought a lot of challenges, they’ve also been so sweet! Watching him grow is such a beautiful thing! And he’s experienced so many new things lately! Here’s a photo recap of months 4 and 5!
He loves his jumperoo!! He wasn’t quite tall enough to reach the ground when we first started using it, so we had to use one of Branden’s big textbooks! It’ll be interesting for him to look back on this and see that he spent a lot of time standing on gynecological textbooks!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7517.jpg
Loves looking at his doggies!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7522.jpg
Charlotte misses being the baby of the household.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7524.jpg
First trip to the zoo!!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7526.jpg
All dressed up for my cousin’s wedding! Our first trip away together as a family! My family rented a big lake house for us to all stay in over the weekend. One bedroom had a huge closet that served as his room and was perfect!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7528.jpg
The cutest and most handsome wedding guest!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7529.jpg
Lot’s of selfies with Aunt Susan- the selfie queen!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7530.jpg
James’ first Easter! Any excuse to put him in a cute bow tie!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7531.jpg
I guess the bunny ears from cousin Tommy are appropriate on Easter!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7532.jpg
Of course, when it’s time for pictures with mommy, he’s not having it!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7533.jpg
My big 4 month old!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7534.jpg
Trying to pose, perhaps?sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7535.jpg
Can’t get enough of his goofy faces!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7540.jpg
And he always seems to throw in a shot like this each month!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7541.jpg

And here’s phone pics from month 4!

His first out of town trip to my cousin Kevin’s wedding in Maryland! He had just turned 3 months at this point.
His first wedding! Branden had to work, so James was my date! I was surprised how well he did since we kept him up until 9! He even let me sneak in one dance with him before putting him to sleep.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7543.jpg
He got to meet lots of new family members!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7545.jpg
We literally had a line of people waiting to sit down and hold him! So cute!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7546.jpg
Changed diapers in a lot of new places that weekend!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7548.jpg
I brought some headphones hoping I could just put him in his stroller during the reception to sleep. It actually worked!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7549.jpg
With the weather warming up, we got to start spending more time outside! We really needed that Vitamin D after basically being inside for 3 months!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7550.jpg
The first night we added a book to bedtime! I was so surprised how into it he was!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7552.jpg
Packed up a LOT of clothes that he no longer fits into! Some of which he never even got to wear! Oops!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7553.jpg
First trip to Homegoods! And a visit to daddy’s work!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7554.jpg
First time facing outward in the carrier. He loved it! He loves being about to look around.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7555.jpg
First trip to Costco! He loved it!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7556.jpg
Branden’s already working hard to get him into golf! He’s already watched his fair share of tournaments.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7557.jpg
You may remember from past posts where we talked about a few concerns they had with his heart. They were pretty sure everything was fine, but wanted to do a follow up scan at 3 months to make sure. Everything still looked fine and he doesn’t need any more follow ups!! Such a relief! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7558.jpg
With my getting back into shooting, that means a lot more time with the grandparents! They are in heaven when they get to spend time with him! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7559.jpg
He shares his daddy’s love of mac and cheese. He also loves looking at himself in the mirror!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7560.jpg
Had my first mommy date with my good friend, Audrey, who had a baby boy 2 months after me! Took a lovely stroll around Colonial Williamsburg.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7561.jpg
More fun times with our friends with babies! Enjoyed the Daffodil festival in Gloucester with the Leepers!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7562.jpg
Wasn’t into his first lake experience.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7578.jpg

And now onto month 5! We had our first family photo session (other than newborn pics) with my friend Dani! Love how these turned out! Although, James was NOT wanting to smile for the camera! Despite our best efforts!
His first trip to the beach!! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7594.jpg
Wasn’t in the best mood. Better luck next time! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7595.jpg
May brought some really hot days, so we gave his little pool a try! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7599.jpg
Hose water is a little chilly! oops! We learned it’s better to fill it up a few hours ahead of time to let the water warm up. Lesson learned!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7600.jpg
James also got baptized this month!! And on Mother’s Day! Such a special day!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7618.jpg
We had a fun little gathering at the house to celebrate his baptism.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7624.jpg
Not sure what to think about his cake!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7630.jpg
These fools think they can get me to smile!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7634.jpg
The baptism gown he wore was actually a family heirloom from Branden’s family. It was worn by Branden’s grandmother, mother and many other family members! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7636.jpg
Here is Branden in it! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7637.jpg
And Branden’s mom (left) and grandmother (right) in the gown.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7638.jpg
See any resemblance?sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7639.jpg
Wouldn’t be a James photoshoot without some funny faces! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7640.jpg
These photobombs from 2 of his doggies seem very appropriatesweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7602.jpg
Loves to pet his doggies! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7603.jpg
The baby blue eyes!! His eyes have become the most gorgeous shade of blue! I hope they stay that way!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7607.jpg
And his other doggie!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7609.jpg
These make my heart melt! I swear this wasn’t planned. They just wanted to join!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7610.jpg
Good thing Henry is very tolerant! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7612.jpg
Trying to hold Henry’s hand?sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7613.jpg
And phone pics from month 5!

Our first family beach trip!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7641.jpg
Trying on his new summer accessories! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7643.jpg
We got him this neck float and I still can’t believe how much he likes it! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7644.jpg
Checking out the new Ikea!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7646.jpg
When he’s fussy, taking him outside to sit with his doggies always calms him down.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7648.jpg
During his stretch of bad sleep there were a lot of frantic walks around the neighborhood trying to get him to sleep.sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7650.jpg
That one time I was desperate to get him down so I nursed him to sleep in my bed. I didn’t want to risk waking him by getting out of the bed, so I just sat there and stared at his precious face the whole time. You know, the whole 20 minutes of his nap. Oy!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7651.jpg
My first Mother’s Day! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7654.jpg
Ready to get baptized! With the gown being so old and special, we literally put it on right before he got baptized. Couldn’t risk a poorly time blow out! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7655.jpg
Our babies need to work on their selfie skills! sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7657.jpg
While I was shooting an engagement session in Georgetown, I saw this shop called James Allen! As if I wasn’t missing him enough already! I mean who wouldn’t want to rush home to that poopy-leg cutie?!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7658.jpg
The picture on the right was from the first night of sleep training while we were cleaning up his explosive vomit. He’s pretty proud of himself for finding a way out of the crib!sweet-baby-james-allen-4-and-5-months-old-photo_7659.jpg

Want to see more of our Sweet Baby James? Check out these posts!

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

James’ Birth Story Part 1

James’ Birth Story Part 2

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  1. Sara Wilson says:

    What a cutie! I really appreciate your honesty. Lack of sleep literally is like torture and it impacts everything! Don’t worry about the helmet! I swear that no matter what, there is something. My oldest son had a clogged tear duct (so many infections), a peanut allergy, and teeth issues. Now my younger son has a speech delay at 3.5 (soooo many appointments). I have found in 8.5 years of parenting that for everyone, if one thing seems easy, then something else will be hard, and vice versa! You’re doing great!

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