November 03, 2008

Month Four

Dear Penelope,

Today you are four months old, and it’s a tie for my favorite new tricks. First is your giggle, which is the goofiest funny little giggle, it honestly made me cry the first time I heard it. Its pretty hard to top that giggle, but you also melt my heart in the mornings when I come into your room and you flap your arms and smile up at me like a little baby bird. Without these things I don’t know how I would survive on so little sleep!
tummy
You have learned so much this month. You’re more accurate grabbing things in front of you, and you are now rolling over! You had been arching your back and trying for weeks, but you were never able to do it. Then within a matter of 24 hours you were rolling consistently from back to front whenever you wanted. Another big accomplishment was transitioning you to sleep unswaddled. Your father and I had been unwilling to sacrifice even one minute of sleep by testing you without the swaddle, so finally we just ripped off the band-aid and did away with the swaddle. You didn’t seem to mind a bit.

I’ve determined you are in the category of “active” baby. We’ve had several outings to the Gymboree classes, and while all the other babies gaze sweetly at their mothers, you arch your back and crane your neck as far as possible to check out all the other babies. In church, we watched another baby about your age fall asleep sweetly in her mother’s arms, meanwhile you were practically climbing up the walls!
texas
You thoroughly enjoyed your cousin Holden’s first birthday party. You didn’t fuss at all, and were passed from person to person wide-eyed the whole time. Taking you out to eat is more fun too. You love to look around at the people, especially when we sit outside. Now that its gotten cooler, we’ve been spending a lot more time outside, which you and I both love. We’ve had a picnic in the park as well as a trip to the zoo (your second trip to the zoo, actually, but the first one you actually enjoyed). Usually in the afternoon Ill take you on a walk, and your favorite thing is a trip in the Bjorn.
walk
This has been the most difficult month for me so far, which is strange, because its also been the most fun. Somewhere during the time when you started loving to hang out with your father and me, you decided you didn’t much like hanging out in a dark room by yourself to nap. You desperately needed sleep, but you just would not nap for more than 45 minutes at a time, and you needed to do this at least four times a day! The weirdest part was that you would wake up at exactly 45 minutes…not 40 or 50, but 45, and you could set a timer to it. I tried everything under the sun to get you to sleep longer… I rushed in and replaced your pacifier, I left you alone for a few minutes, I tried to rock you back to sleep, I kept you awake for longer stretches during the day (though in the worst of it you’d get cranky after being awake for only an hour), and I just threw my hands up in the air and said okay, nap time is over at 45. But nothing seemed to work. I knew you needed to get longer, better sleep, but I didn’t know how to help you there. The scientist in me ran every kind of experiment and kept detailed notes and charts. I knew there was nothing wrong with you because when I would go in your room you would immediately smile up at me. After two or three weeks of this your father would have to peel me off the floor every evening when he got home from work I was so exhausted. Finally, Grammy came to the rescue. She watched you for a day or so and declared we leave you in there. Naptime lasts at least an hour, you can do what you want, you don’t have to sleep, but we are not to enter that room for you are alone! You certainly didn’t like that approach, but after only a day your cries turned into talking, then talking into sleeping…

And then you learned to roll over! One day after your nap I came in to find you on your tummy, and from each subsequent nap thereafter. You wake yourself up when you roll over, but you love to practice, so you keep doing it. Its been a major challenge getting your sleep back to the very shaky normal we achieved only days before, and I cant say we are quite there yet.
ladies lunch
The final excitement of the month was my first weekend without you. I went on a weekend trip with girlfriends while you and Daddy flew to Florida to hang out with Grammy and Grampy. I missed your sweet smiles and the feel of holding you in my arms. It was so good to have you back again. I love you more than you'll ever know, my sweet girl.

Love, Mama

No comments: