Karter: One month

Maybe it's just my boys, but it seems that as soon as they hit the one month mark they really come "alive". Kian was exactly the same way. Suddenly, they're awake more, more alert than ever, more interested in the world around them. I know it varies in babies at which age this happens. But, I swear that Kian and Karter both hit this on exactly their one month 'birthday'. It's a little more rewarding now too.

Karter has begun smiling, but it's few and far between. Usually he smiles at the towels on my head after I take a shower. Or maybe he just thinks I look funny? Kian was a smile-a-minute baby, Karter-not so much. He is cooing and beginning to interact a bit more and when he's awake, he's awake.

It's subtle still, but I can see personality differences already between the boys. (It still seems funny to say "the boys" or "kids"!) Like I said before, smiles are harder to elicit from Karter, and his eating habits are way different than Kian's as well. Kian was very textbook, easy baby-eat every 3 hours, nurse both sides for 10 mins each, sleep soundly, etc. Karter is a bit fussier with eating, which is probably due to the milk allergy we've figured otu he's got. He nurses one side for about 5 minutes and he's done, or needs a break for a few minutes before he can go again. And he burps a lot, which also may be related to the allergy thing, and has some symptoms of mild reflux. In fewer words: he can be a puker. He's a bit pickier about things as well-he loves to be warm, loves to be swaddled and sucks his thumb, things Kian never cared about.

His check-up yesterday went well. He's at 10 lbs 4 oz, up 2 since birth, plus whatever he lost and regained. We got complemented on how "alert, focused he was and his good emerging hand-eye coordination for a one month old". I said, we just make smart babies I guess haha. He likes to push off with his feet and bounce up and down. He lifts his head up and pushes off with his arms. There's so much going on around him, he's just got to see what it is! Mostly, that would be Kian the whirlwind.

The doctor commented on something that others have as well, Karter's coloring or skin tone. (In my head, I was thinking "where is he going with this? Is he going to ask if my kids have different fathers or something wacky?") He asked me what I thought about it and I told him it's darker than Kian's hair and skin tone, and that family has commented on that, but we do have Italian and other backgrounds in the family. He said it could be his skin tone, just that Karter will have a different tone (I think Kevin's a little darker toned than myself) or it could be a slight jaundice. That woudl be abnormal for some jaundice to be around still, so we decided to get the blood work done. It was not pleasant having to hold him while she stuck his heel twice, but way less awful than when I had to hold Kian at 12 months and the lab techs stuck his tiny arm for veins they couldn't find for his lead and iron tests. Ugh. So, we should know by Monday either way.

I also asked if the pink marks on his eyelids and between his eyebrows would be going away, as we were told it was from the bruising during birth, but I was suspecting it was more like a birthmark. Doc did confirm it's a birth mark but will probably go away in a year or so. I'm not that worried, it's just more noticeable when he's been crying and gets his face all red. We still think he's cute anyway.

The only struggle right now is trying to find time for each of them independently. It's easier to spend time with Karter when Kian's in bed for the night, but during the day they both always need something. It's easier to handle as the days go by, but I know Kian's struggling with alone time for mommy, so we're going to make that happen. I don't know how the Duggars do it, and not feel guilty about no individual attention paid to each child? It's a good ting Kian is so in love with Karter. He even tells the cats "don't see my brother!" Some days he loves him too much, but Karter seems to roll with it for now. There will be a day when it's not like that, I know. It will be interesting to see if Karter will be laid-back and let Kian take over or if he'll give it right back to him. For now, we're happy with our sweet and snugly baby.

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