Sunday, August 14, 2011

letters to my girl: month four.

dear maggie,

WOW. what a month.  what they say about the "fourth trimester" and the enormous change that the fourth month brings is SO true. you are like a different kid. you're alert and eager to talk, learn, and tell the world about what you DON'T like. you are trying to crawl. you have learned to roll over from back to belly, so now you sleep on your stomach. you weathered two 8 hour+ car rides and a week of vacation where you spent a good chunk of your waking hours in the car going here there and everywhere. you made short work of getting the other side of your family as equally wrapped around your chubby little fingers.  you are amazing.

we went to the doctor for your four month visit: 15 pounds and 25 inches. you've been doing some growing! you more than doubled your birth weight and have grown at least 6 inches since you were born.  that's nearly half a foot! it's strange to think of you as nearly half the size you are now...but the fact that you're wearing 6 and 9 month clothes brings that all back into focus.  it seems like you've always been the cute, adorably rolly girl you are now.  you aren't pudgy--just rounded, and i like that.  we're doing something right. 

i have to admit--it's been a challenging month.  just after your growth spurt, you stopped eating well.  you just starting snacking through the day, not wanting to finish a bottle that normally would have been no big deal. you've started waking up to eat at night again, mainly because of this, but that's erratic as well. basically, there's no rhyme or reason to what you may or may not do from one day to the next, and that's hard sometimes for me.  i like to know what to expect, and when i don't, it throws me for a loop.  but we've gotten through it and sometimes i think we're on the other side of it.  one perhaps unfortunate result of these changes is that you now won't go to sleep unless you're full, which often results in your falling asleep while you're eating.  since you didn't used to do it, and still sometimes don't, i have a feeling that it won't always be a permanent thing.

you have this really perplexing tendency, however, to not KNOW you're tired or hungry. it's like you're not sure what's wrong but you know something is, and until we show you that you're tired/hungry (by giving you a binky, which tells you that's NOT what you actually want, or by bouncing you until you relax enough to realize you're tired AND hungry) it's all a big drama.  but we've gotten pretty good at doing this, and that's a really good thing.  but anyone who doesn't know you? might think you were the craziest kid in the world.  one second you scream if the bottle is anywhere near your mouth and the next moment you take it like it's the answer to all of your problems. feeding has always been our particular challenge.

but everything else is really awesome. you still wake up with a smile.  you don't eat a lot in the morning--you're like your daddy in that way.  you have to wait a little while before you're hungry enough to eat some breakfast--so you're no longer dying for food.  we've taken to bringing you into our bed in the morning and playing with you there. it's so much fun. you are happiest in the morning.

you're rolling over like a champ. you did it once on one day, and then did it five or so times the next day, and then you had it mastered. you roll over in your sleep and sleep on your belly.  you haven't figured out yet how to roll from your belly to your back, though you did that first. i've seen you working on it in your sleep, though, so i think you'll get it soon. 

you work on all of your new skills in your sleep, which means lately you've been trying to crawl in your sleep. on friday, you managed to belly scoot across your blanket to your toys. that was the first time that your efforts had caused demonstrative movement in any sort of forward direction. you'd managed to spin yourself in a circle before, but never get across something. it was pretty amazing to watch. you're getting stronger, throwing that butt up in the air, and i wouldn't be surprised if you have crawling down before we know it. mommy and daddy need to work on babyproofing ASAP!

i wish we could get you back into a consistent sleeping through the night pattern, but i also know that four months is hard on a baby's sleep. working on all of those skills can be hard work, and your body just has to practice them all of the time. we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, if we need to work on getting you back into a STTN rhythm, but i feel like, like with everything, you'll do it at your own pace.

on friday, you turned the pages in your own book. i showed you how for a few minutes, and then you started to do it. that seems to be the way it is these days--you watch, observe, and then try.  i love that about you. 

in short, it's been a huge month for you.  you're still napping only 45 minutes at a time, but you're occasionally sleeping for 10 or 11 hours, so it's fine with me.  i'm figuring out how to work around you, with my teaching and things i need to do around the house, rather than the other way around. you're eating about 29 to 30 ounces a day, though i have a feeling that will increase soon. 

you love to smile. you love to laugh. your daddy is your absolute favorite person, which i will admit is sometimes hard for me.  i knew that's how it would be, so i'm trying not to see it as a commentary on my mommyhood.  i can still usually solve a problem faster than anyone else because i know you differently than everyone else.  that's still amazing to me.

i love you baby girl. you've got big things coming soon: some solid food, sitting up (you're so close! even in the last few days, that's been changing), nap changes (i can see them coming too...occasionally you'll sleep for an hour or so, but usually when i'm right there [but not always!]), and all sorts of amazing things.  i can't wait to see what they will be and what they will bring. 

keep growing. keep changing. i'm sad to see some things go away, but i'm always very excited to see what new things are going to take their place.  you never cease to amaze me. you're smart, you're sweet, you're beautiful, and you love people.  you are the best kid anybody could ask for, and we're so grateful that we get to be your parents.


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