quinn’s sixth month ~ mouth full of moss and tree full of owls

7/24-7/31

i finally got to talk to mary ellen this week and it was so much fun to hear about life with her twin baby girls- their similarities (catelyn has magic marker on her toenail because they are so identical) and differences (catelyn prefers bottles, ellie prefers breastfeeding.) i can’t wait to see photos of them cuddled up together napping in the pack and play.

it was also a chance for me to reflect on the earlier baby days and see how things have changed. it happens gradually. one day i was excited because quinn was 3 weeks old and i went in the backyard for 10 minutes with him, then at 5 weeks i was psyching myself up to take him more and more places; now he’s 5 months and i take him just about anywhere. this week we went to the lab 2 days instead of just 1. he did great! i was exhausted on tuesday night- it feels like working 2 jobs simultaneously all day, then another shift when i get home. i did much better on thursday- i must be getting used to it.

quinn has a tooth really coming in now- the lower left front tooth. i can see a tiny bit more of it every day, so it seems it might be the winner of the “first tooth” award, even though those canines showed themselves first. while quinn was not as interested in frozen items in his two-month-old teething stage, he is now using his frozen seal flippers directly on his gums- AND he has the hand coordination to pick it up and put it there now!

this weekend we camped overnight in gifford pinchot national forest. it’s our closest free campsite even though it’s in washington- only an hour away. we hadn’t been camping since quinn was 8 weeks old and it snowed on us in the desert, so it was about time! we were a little nervous th
at someone would have taken our campsite, since we passed a lot of people camped at the river sites, but to get to ours you have to go all the way to the end of the forest service road, and it’s on a stream, not the river, which some people might think is less desirable. we prefer it, because it’s over a mile from any other human being. so quiet and peaceful.

well, apparently we are not the only beings who feel this way. we discovered shortly after we arrived on saturday afternoon that a fledgling spotted owl was watching us from its perch in a tree 50 feet from the campsite. as if that wasn’t amazing enough, it proceeded to fly to closer and closer branches as the afternoon progressed. we took pictures of quinn and the owl together, because eventually it was perched on the edge of the campsite. i sketched it for a while, we talked to it a bunch, it went between a few branches and observed us for a while, then settled on one and tried to nap, but it was too curious to keep its eyes closed. we got to see it stretch out a wing, preen its downy feathers, blink its eyes, and i even saw it yawn.

at dusk it went from branch to branch, starting to listen for critters to hunt. by the time it was dark i had lost track of where it was, but a few hours later, it came back to perch on the edge of our campsite again, and was joined by its nestmate a few minutes later. they were uncannily different in their facial features considering they were siblings. it was incredible to see the two of them perched one above the other, watching us sit around our cookfire. they stayed for a while, but left before we had jiffypop for dessert.


the next day i hiked with quinn up an elk trail to the top of the nearest ridge. i also got to eat thimbleberries, which i haven’t had since i lived in washington 6 years ago. quinn loves the tent- it is a nice den for naps, and also a handy playpen where the dirt/twigs/rocks are not available to go in his mouth if we need to be doing something else besides removing leaf litter from his hands.

quinn’s latest new trick is pivoting on his belly to go after toys that are behind him.

8/1-8/8

quinn’s lower left front tooth is making its way into the world, and is about halfway there. his lower right front tooth is now cutting through too, and seems likely to come in just as quickly.

quinn now rolls over very competently, and i have seen him purposely roll with the intention of getting something- his binky was on the bed next to the wall, and he rolled over to get to it, and stuck it in his mouth. he also rolls while i change his diaper sometimes, and makes it interesting getting him changed or dressed.

we went to mom and baby yoga and quinn was extremely active. the 5 month old baby next to us was content to lie on his back and play or nap, but quinn wanted to be doing what maya, the 10 month old across from us, was doing. he and maya had a great time facing each other on their bellies, wiggling and pushing up and talking. maya is much more fine tuned in some of her movements, while quinn is more of the approach of “i’m going for it! let’s see hwat happens when i fling this limb over that way!” he is determined to move, that much is clear. he wiggles and lunges and lurches enough now that he does actually go places on his belly- whatever that is called. scooching? creeping? belly crawling? he is amazing to watch in action and it is exciting to see him developing all of these new moves.

8/9-8/15

this week was eventful- we spent most of it on a sheep farm on the outskirts of eugene, oregon, putting on the northwest world reggae festival. dada is one of the organizers, and he was both in charge of the 60 vendors, and assistant sound engineer, not to mention his general usefulness because of his tools and handyman skills. i was mostly a mommy this year but helped out where i could. last year we had 110 degree weather and no shade- this year a beautiful 80 degrees and lots of wonderful trees to camp and enjoy music under. it was cool to think back to a year ago when quinn was just a bean and i was craving chicken soup in the hot weather!

quinn loves camping, so we knew he would enjoy that aspect of the festival, but we didn’t know how he’d do with so many people. it was a little worrisome when on wednesday and thursday as a slow trickle of crew and volunteer people started showing up, quinn kept getting upset whenever anyone talked to him or near him. he adjusted amazingly well and by the time 1800 guests arrived on the scene, he was all smiles.

he loved our campsite- taking naps in the tent and playing on the blankets on the ground. he goes straight to the perimeter of the blankets now, grabs fists full of dirt, moss and pine needles, and sticks them in his mouth. usually he doesn’t leave them in his mouth, occasionally he does but spits them out, and rarely do we have to help him get something out of his mouth. i don’t think he swallows any of it. the only thing i’ve seen him swallow besides milk is water, and that was just this week. he was bodhi drinking out of a cap of  a water bottle and he wanted to try it out. he seemed surprised when he swallowed it.

the last few days of the festival quinn started using the “B” sound a lot- buh, bah, boo. i know he’s not trying to say “bottle” so maybe “booby” will be his first word. ha! while i’m on my radical kick- i beastfed bodhi! i had permission to use the boob if woke up on my “tent watch” while the rest of the parents were boogying down at the festival, and well, it worked like a charm! i’m sure i will get comments on this one (“gasp!”)

…back at home, quinn tried a few fingerfuls of avocado on tuesday and banana on wednesday- so far so good!

8/16-8/22

quinn tried applesauce on thursday (i made it myself- just organic apple, no sugar) and he turned his head away, so maybe we’ll try it again another day. he ended up eating some more avocado; he makes a face that looks like dislike, when he eats anything, but he goes after more so he clearly wants it! sometimes he will grab my hand or the finger the avocado is on, and inspect it visually, and then pull it into his own mouth. then he’ll sometimes suck on the finger as if it is an avocado nipple and sucking it might make more avocado come out. 🙂 on friday he had banana again, but he got kind of hyper afterwards, so we have to mix banana with other food i think.

on saturday, michele (dada’s sister) came up from california to visit. noah didn’t come meet his cousin yet- he is 20 months old, and traveling is not his strong point at the moment. but michele was great- quinn liked her a lot, and dad and i got to take a walk while she watched him. that night quinn had his first rice cereal (organic! with iron!) for dinner. sunday was a mellow day. michele and i were both knitting while dada carved a baby spoon for quinn and quinn took a big nap. then we all went to mt tabor for a walk. he tried out his new spoon that night on some avocado.

on monday, dada went to work but michele and quinn and i went to a yarn store for fun. before michele left that evening, she took pictures for us of quinn’s newest food adventure- peas! on tuesday and wednesday quinn and i went to work. by wednesday night he was so tired that when i took him out of the sling he was ready to go right back to sleep in the bed for a whole hour without even nursing.

8/23 6 MONTHS!!!

quinn and i were going to work today but we decided to stay home instead, both because it is his half birthday, and because he had a rough day yesterday at the lab (a hard time napping, kind of fussy all day so we left early). so we relaxed today and reflected on the last 6 months. my big boy is 22 pounds and 29 inches long.

quinn and daddy are bonding a lot recently. quinn is reaching out for dada to hold him more and more, and loves to play with him, listen to him play guitar, and bite his nose.

now that his 2 bottom teeth are in, we have started brushing his teeth- so far he likes it!

he ate a lot of avocado for his half birthday dinner. 🙂

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