It's funny how slowly eating progresses. For a long time, Carter didn't actually eat anything; he just played with food while we ate. I had no problem with that because I really wanted to delay solids as long as possible anyway. And so he played, and tasted, and learned how to bite off chunks and move them around in his mouth, but he spit most of it back out again.
And then about 6 weeks ago, I started to notice that the food was disappearing. It wasn't on the floor, or smashed under him in the high chair, or even packed into his cheeks; it was just gone. And so Carter, in his own time and in his own way, finally started eating solid food. And 6 weeks later, he eats A LOT.
In the last week, I've seen him eat an entire banana, a reasonable portion of linguine (he puts one end in his mouth and slowly works the strand up into his mouth with his tongue, "Lady & the Tramp"-style), a huge handful of blueberries, a whole scrambled egg, and more grapes than I can count. The amount he consumes has just suddenly gone way up. It's significant enough that I now take him into consideration when I decide how much to cook, rather than just cook for myself and give him a little of mine. And the thing is, he doesn't nurse any less. He's just eating more.
I hadn't weighed him since his doctor's appointment a few weeks ago, and so the other night I sat him on the scale before his bath. I was so surprised by the number that I weighed him a couple more times, but they all came out the same: 23.5 pounds! He gained a whole pound in 2 weeks, so I guess we can assume there was a growth spurt!
He also had a CBC drawn at that appointment, and since I hadn't heard anything, I decided to call for the results. I had been really lax about giving him his iron in the month before, and so I was worried that it would come back low. But it didn't! It was perfectly normal, and so I now know he's getting enough iron from my milk and the solids he's eating. So no more supplementing! That's one more preemie hurdle we've overcome. :-)
Doug and I cooked a brisket last week, and it was OMG!amazing. It was probably the best brisket I've ever had, no kidding. We had a big Texas-style BBQ dinner, and here is a picture of Carter enjoying his BBQ:
Unfortunately, the rub we used (from Rudy's) was a little spicy for him, and so every now and then he would get a particularly spicy bit and would start to cry! We would give him bread, and that would calm him right down. I think next time we'll try a different rub...
Berries are just starting to come in from Mexico, and so we've been trying them out. Carter loves blueberries and blackberries. This picture shows him enjoying blackberries after dinner last night.
That's going to make for some interesting poop, I think. :-P
Finally, here is a video that shows how he uses his teeth. He doesn't yet bite with his top and bottom teeth together; instead he scrapes food against his bottom teeth to get little bites off. It's really interesting! Here he is doing it with a steamed carrot:
At the end, he's getting a little cranky, aww.
One more story: The other day I was literally on my way out the door to head to campus when I looked back at Carter (who was being held by Michelle) to see that he was staring imploringly at me and signing "milk". I totally melted, and even though I was already running late and had just pumped, I sat down and nursed him. He couldn't have gotten much, but he nursed for several minutes, looking up at me with those big blue eyes.
It's interesting how BFing is about so, so much more than feeding him these days. It's about comfort, and reassurance, and connecting with each other after we've been apart. It soothes his bumps and bruises, and it settles him when he is angry that Mommy took away the electrical cord he was playing with. It eases him to sleep when he's fighting hard to stay awake. It settles him back to sleep when his teeth wake him up in the middle of the night. It's such an integral part of my parenting that I have a hard time imagining what I would do without it.