Friday, August 13, 2010

Sea Legs

Monday, August 9, 2010

Journal: Fourth Month

Dearest Bean,

I would have had this posted sooner but for the unexpected trip to the ER that resulted in your father getting 16 stitches in his arm and wrist but that's another story...

...Is it really 4 months already? It wasn't until someone asked me how old you were the other day and I had to stop and do the math and I realized that, yes, indeed, you had reached 4 months! And what a transformation! All those baby books said that fussiness peaks at 6 weeks and usually between weeks 12 and 16 a wonderful, cheery, bouncy baby emerges. As soon as week 12 hit I was waiting for the transformation, watching eagerly for the signs and...nothing. You stayed just as ornery as before, with a fussiness that made me want to chuck you in your room until you decided to be a somewhat tolerable part of the family. So the weeks rolled by and I started to wonder if you were going to be an anomaly. A rare form of baby that just stayed fussy and wretched well into adulthood and I wouldn't be able to take you anywhere EVER or if we did we would have to offer excuses about your permanent case of the Grumples while we hung our heads in shame.

So I didn't have very high hopes when week 16 rolled around, I simply expected things to continue as usual but that Monday, exactly 112 days since you came into this world you changed, miraculously into the most wonderful glorious babe! For whatever reason, you just needed to hang on to those newborn days until the very last instant and then POOF! You were ready to face each day with the biggest grin! And that was just the have sprouted into this ever growing and changing little person. Even while I'm typing this I'm sure you're learning something new.

Your love of music was the first thing that started to emerge. We have this toy hanging from your car seat that plays several different tunes and one day, out of nowhere, you starting "singing" along. Not just random baby sounds, you actually followed the tune. It was so amazing I just kept pressing that button playing those little snippets of song over and over again and each time you obligingly gave a performance. You even did it while family was visiting! It wasn't just my imagination after all. You had skills! Awesome, musical skills!

You're rolling over all of a sudden. There wasn't any hint that you even had the coordination to do something so paramount but there you were on your stomach wedged in the corner of your crib sleeping as peaceful as could be. And there's absolutely no point in trying to flip you back over since you will immediately shift your hips and flip to your belly. Tummy time has ceased to exist since you know how to get out of it now and it really isn't an issue since you hold your head high and proud, better than some adults I've noticed. You definitely prefer to be upright rather than lying down so you spend a great deal of time in your Bumbo or Bouncy Seat watching the cats or chewing on whatever is handy. You have reached the point where all things must be investigated with your mouth, burp clothes, diapers, blankets, toys, fingers, shoulders, and, on one unfortunate occasion, Amelia's tail all ended up smothered in your dribbles.

We started giving you rice cereal in your bottle just before bed and you haven't seemed to notice one way or the other but it's a start. In a few weeks we can start feeding you with a proper spoon. You're first encounter with those rubbery little utensils went very well, you chewed if for several minutes then proceeded to wave it around, smacking yourself in the head several times. You didn't seem phased one bit. I'm sure it's just sneak preview for things to come, food particles EVERYWHERE! That's okay, though, because all of my clothes have milk or spit up stains already so what's a bit of color from some squash or carrots?

I had a glimpse of what it would be like as a single parent when your Papa went to Aspen for a week on a job. It was exhausting and I find it sad that the they aren't given more credit for what they do, their struggle and determination. They are true warriors and I have the most respect for them. Each night I would collapse into bed and fall asleep instantly. You were the only member of this family getting a square meal, while I grabbed at anything that required zero preparation. A LOT of cereal was eaten on my part. We managed though but I was so relieved when your Papa came home! First, because I missed him like crazy and second, please HELP me with this babe!

I know in the last journal entry I mentioned your distinct dislike of naps and I must report that your naps have GREATLY improved. You take about 3 a day, the morning and afternoon are about 2 hours and that evening nap is a half hour to an hour depending on how your day went. IT IS WONDERFUL! You still have off days every now and then but it pales in comparison to the first 3 months of your wailing and howling life. You are a pretty predictable little bean and I know as soon as you start rubbing your wee little eyes and yawning so big all the oxygen is sucked from the room, it's time to get you in that crib. STAT! And putting you down for your naps has never been so easy, if I get the timing right, you'll grab onto your blanket, stuff both hands in your mouth, roll to your side and babble to your bumper for five or ten minutes and then, simply, fall asleep.

Your 4 month check up was a fantastic success, weighing in at a healthy 13 lbs. 9 oz. Your head is still miniscule by baby standards but it can't be all bad since you've gotten several comments about looking just like the Gerber baby. Your Papa and I were fully expecting another meltdown when it came time to get your boosters, so I held your little hands, and waited for the tears and screeching to begin. The first shot was a surprise, your eyes grew wide and before you even had time to form a single tear, the nurse jabbed that second needle in there and your face turned scarlet and you opened your mouth and CRIED...for about 10 seconds and then you were done, back to normal! We were so proud, we talked about it for the rest of the day and told anyone who cared to listen. Yes, we have turned into those annoying parents who exclaim over every trivial thing that you did. Who cares that we can't sleep in. Who cares that all my clothes have spit up stains on them. Who cares we have to plan each outing down to the last detail lest your routine suffer. We have the most charming, singing, small-headed babe and we couldn't be more happy about it.

Love Forever: