Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Homeschool: Week 19 (4 months, 2 weeks old)

Damien is 4 months, 2 weeks old [19 weeks].

October 15-21, 2011
Stage II-III on Developmental Profile

Some highlights of another beautiful week with a beautiful boy:
  • His balance while sitting up has improved. He can now sit for close to a minute sometimes, versus 10-20 seconds last week.
  • Everything goes straight to his mouth. He snatches things up and into his mouth it goes!
  • He remains "close" to crawling [creeping]. Every once in a while he gets up on his hands and knees.
  • He loves his family member name reading words.
  • He is taking great naps.


(Mobility) Damien has his usual floor routine during the day, which involves lots of "push ups" and "air swimming" (tummy on the ground with arms and legs in the air).

Quite a few times this week he has gotten up on his hands and knees. Still no creeping though!

His forward motion seems to be limited, but he gets around, mostly by moving in circles, scooting backwards, and rolling. He still doesn't spend much time in the crawling track anymore.

(Manual) He is pretty good at quickly grabbing stuff with both hands. He seems to prefer his right hand and leg, which has been the case since birth. Everything goes straight to his mouth! I have been trying to provide him with lots of graspable toys (and non-toy household items).

He still loves doing "up up" and hanging onto our fingers while we lift him up.

(Balance) No Doman balance activities this week. :( He spent some good time being carried in the sling, though. His sitting has improved to durations of 30-60 seconds sometimes though. He continues to prefer being on his tummy.

(Swimming) Not much swimming this week. We had one halfway bathtub swimming session.

Playing with spoons on the Boppy.. which he crawled out of after about 5 seconds


(Visual) We did our family member name reading words again this week, a few times. I would really like to start our reading program next week! He is getting so big and is so curious and interested in everything.

(Tactile) Lots of toys to play with but no Doman sensory. I would like to start doing contrasting textures this week.

(Auditory) Again, a fail on the Doman programs. But we have been talking a lot and naming sounds and objects. He lights up every time someone talks to him.

Favorite bedtime story, Goodnight Moon


(Language) His most recent reoccuring utterances are "ah BLAH" (which sounds exactly like the Spanish "habla", aka "speech") and even more exciting, "Dada". He has been saying both all week, along with lots of "g" sounds and vowel sounds. Hasn't been blowing razzes like he was last week.

We have been working on having lots of face-to-face conversations. No journaling this week.

(Sign language) "Daddy", "Mommy", "potty", and "nurse". I also signed his name for him a couple times (finger spelling) which he seemed to be fascinated by.

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) One of his biggest improvements this week was in sleeping. Or I should say, my biggest improvement.

Although I definitely miss those sweet days where he would gladly fall asleep for a peaceful nap on my chest, or cuddling on the couch, or wherever, he will now only fall asleep (and stay asleep) in his bassinet.

And won't let me rock him to sleep. I just have to lay him down, give him his pacifier, and let him fall asleep on his own. Sometimes he needs a little patting on the back but usually he just wants to be left alone!

The good news is, though, that now he has been taking one to two hour naps on average now (rather than 20-30 minutes), and has been a much happier baby.

(Eating) Nursing is going well. The improved sleep schedule has meant for a much more regular, three-hour average nursing schedule. We are waiting until closer to six months old to introduce any solids.

(Elimination) He has had a very odd elimination pattern this week. Basically, most days he has had only ONE huge bowel movement and usually first thing in the morning. Didn't use the potty all that much, but a few times were a success.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 19 weeks old this week

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baby Homeschool: Week 18 (4 months, 1 week old)

Damien doing "push ups"

Damien is currently four months and one week old. He is a handful, and a joy.

With Hunter's school work and me going back to work (or, more accurately, work coming back to me), it has been a very busy past two months.

We have not started a math, encyclopedic knowledge, or reading program yet. The activities that we have done have been casual and somewhat sporadic.

And as always he has just been having fun being a baby.

October 8-14, 2011
Stage II-III on Developmental Profile

Some recent highlights:
  • He starting sitting up completely independently this week
  • Daddy came home after being gone for a month. We learned that he definitely understands object permanence and has a semi long-term memory! 
  • He loves to try and put his entire fist in his mouth
  • He blows "raspberries" and squeals a lot


(Mobility) Damien continues to spend a great deal of time on the floor, rolling, twisting, and making clumsy, adorable attempts at scooting. However, on most days he spends an equal or even greater amount of time being held, or carried around in the sling. Since learning to roll over 1+ month ago, he doesn't spend much time in his track. (2+ hours day opportunity to move on floor)

He recently loves to practice "push ups", where he lifts his whole upper body off the floor with his hands. He usually switches between "push ups" and " air swimming", where his tummy is on the ground but his legs and arms are lifted off the floor.

Every once in a while, he makes attempts to crawl ["creep"]. He gets up on his knees and elbows, but not yet on his hands and knees. He gets frustrated easily!

He still only rolls over to the left side! He will only roll over to the right side if I help him.

Stuffing his whole fist in his mouth is his newly developed frenzy

(Manual) Damien spends lots of time reaching for objects and can get ahold of them with a pretty good degree of accuracy. When you put something in front of him, he grabs for it with both hands. Everything goes straight to his mouth!

He still seems to have a preference for his right hand. He still only puts his right foot in his mouth, although he plays with both feet.

He can support his entire body weight while hanging from my fingers for a good ten or so seconds. Usually when I pick him up, I let him grasp my thumbs and he hangs on while I lift him up to me.

His fairly recent development is to constantly chew on his fingers and try and shove his entire fist into his mouth!

Shortly after turning four months old, Damien surprised me
by deciding he can sit up independently
(Balance) Damien learned how to sit up this week! Although most of the time, he doesn't really care to sit up, for the first time he showed me that he can, with no support and for a good 10 seconds.

For some reason I am still terrible about doing the Doman balance activities. But he gets rocked, moved around, and carried in the sling, so that counts, right?

(Swimming) Right now we have been getting about 1-2 bathtub swimming sessions per week in. We mostly do floating on his back, going under water, and just relaxing. He has kind of learned to go under water, if it is very brief, and at least he doesn't breath in the second his face touches the water anymore!


(Visual) We have not really been doing the Doman sensory activities. Along the lines of visual stimulation, a couple times this week we looked at reading words for "Mommy", "Daddy", "Hunter", and "Damien".

(Tactile) No Doman tactile programs lately, but we have done a few massages per week, and he gets to play with lots of differently textured toys and other things.

(Auditory) Our auditory activities currently include lots and lots of talking and singing (more on some days than on others), some occasional music, and pointing out environmental sounds ("Do you hear the sound of the water running?" etc.)


Ah, this boy is such a joy! He is extremely social, loves to talk, smile, and be with people and see what they are doing! He gets bored after not very long.

(Language) Damien laughs, blows raspberries, gurgles, squeals and screeches, and makes a lot of vowel sounds with a few consonant sounds. He is quite the conversationist and talks a lot throughout the day.

We have recently begun "journaling" with him, while he "tells us about his day" and we write down or video record what he says. He also recently got his chance to make marks with a marker in his journal.

(Sign Language) I have introduced him to the signs for are "Mommy", "Daddy", and "potty".

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) Damien's sleep has not been the greatest as of the past few weeks. He doesn't seem to get enough naps during the day, which can make him grouchy. They are unfortunately often interrupted. Thankfully most nights he sleeps from 7:30 PM until 7:00 AM, waking up to nurse usually a couple times in the early morning still (between 4:00-6:00) but since I sleep with him it isn't a big deal.

(Eating) Nursing is going well. He is still exclusively breast-fed and we don't plan to introduce any solids until closer to the six month mark. He seems to nurse frequently a lot lately.

(Elimination) Damien goes potty on the Ikea potty sometimes a few times a day, sometimes not at all. Lately almost every time I put him on it he pees within a few moments, which is encouraging. He seems to "get" what it is for, at least!

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 4 months, 1 week old [18 weeks] this week

Friday, October 14, 2011

Of Three-Month-Old Babies, Object Permanence, Memory, and Deployment

How much can a three- to four-month-old really comprehend about deployment?

Daddy is here. Every day. Playing with me, talking to me, taking care of me.

Then he's not.

He disappears for a quarter of my post-womb life.

I wasn't sure how Damien would handle this separation. After all, aren't babies this young supposed to think that if something is out of sight, then it no longer exists? (aka object permanence)

Do three-month-olds even remember someone or something they haven't seen for a month?

Well, Daddy came home this week.

It wasn't a true deployment - he was gone a month. He left not too long after Damien turned three months old.

The homecoming was beautiful.

Damien had just woken up from a brief nap. Slightly dazed, we waited under a tree while a sea of people in blue digital uniforms flooded past us out of the terminal.

When Damien saw his Daddy come kneel down in front of us to say hello, first a huge, shy smile covered his face.

Then he laughed. He laughed nearly every time he looked at him for the next half hour.

Finally, we got home. Daddy went to say hello some more, and Damien reached out towards him with both hands. He put a hand on each of Daddy's cheeks. Then he pulled his head towards himself and started kissing (er, licking) Daddy's face.

It was perfect.

And, babies are amazing.

"To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant" 
Luke 1:72
Damien is 4 months, 1 week old [19 weeks]