Sunday, December 18, 2011

Four Months

The cute way she falls asleep -- one hand with thumb in mouth (rest of
hand fanned over face), the other hand holding her ear for dear life

"Reading" a really interesting book

She is a joy. 

So easy going, and also so communicative with her signals. I can tell as soon as she's tired... and if I listen and respond and react appropriately (quickly), I bundle her off to bed before she fusses. More often, there's a squawk or two, but not much. It's only if I am not paying attention and let her get overtired that there's real fussing.

Of course, now she's old enough to have an opinion about being left alone in the crib... and her general feeling is that she prefers, actually, not to go to sleep. So there's a little crying. But it's usually over less than a minute after I leave her... and there's usually only a couple of heartfelt cries in the beginning. The rest is general kvetching. 

But when she's awake, we are reading lots of stories... I love how she looks at the pictures so intently... and singing (she loves songs that involve clapping, in particular -- BINGO is her current favorite) and now I've started to play the guitar while we sing as well (luckily she's insensitive to my ineptness), and we talk, and we nurse, and tonight I lay on the floor, propped up on my elbows, and just gazed at her, lying on her back, and let her "talk" and chew on my fingers and we laughed and cooed a lot. 

It's beautiful. Even better than I imagined. Motherhood, that is. 

I adore her. 

And it just keeps getting better and better.

Now when I pick her up, she often slings one arm over my shoulder and around my neck. It's the sweetest thing.

And yesterday, at Emily's house, I left her propped up on the couch while I went to get a glass of water. All was fine until I heard a certain someone burst unexpectedly into tears. Emily, who had been taking pictures of Calliope, explained that Calliope had been anxiously watching the doorway to the kitchen, where I had disappeared, and suddenly couldn't wait any longer for me to re-appear.

I was, of course, sorry that she was scared, but this was the first time she's done this. I still can't get over the fact that, really? I'm the one you like best? Like, am I your favorite just because I'm always around, or do you really think I'm the coolest person you know? I feel all flattered. Which, of course, sounds totally ridiculous but there you go, you've figured me and my simple ways out.

In other news... Last night we only nursed for one minute at 4 am. It didn't go over as well as I had hoped. 

Probably because I brought her into my bed during the previous night. She had had a rough day that previous day, due to her shots, and I was also missing her, and so I thought that maybe I should re-think my vote against co-sleeping. Well, I brought her into bed at about 4:30, and so we nursed... at 4:30... and 5:30... and 6:30... and I decided that maybe co-sleeping isn't such a good idea for us after all. At least, not until we finish night weaning. So anyway, I think that's why she protested going back to bed last night -- she liked being in bed together the previous night. She seemed fine to stop nursing after one minute, and popped her thumb into her mouth... it was after she had been back in her crib for a couple of minutes that the protests began. I think they continued, intermittently, for about an hour. It was never full-fledged crying, though... just enough complaining to keep us both awake for the hour.

I blame myself for that one. Live and learn. Inconsistency is bad for babies.

We've been pottying with diaper changes for quite a while (again) now... and making almost zero catches. So I'm glad I am very low pressure about it. She had some diaper free time this weekend, and I made the "psst" sound when I saw urine, so that she would make the association, but I don't think I was necessarily vigilant enough to notice when she was actually peeing... I think that diaper free time is recommended anyway just so that she is aware of her peeing. I figure it can't hurt and it's nice for her to roll around with a bulky diaper for a bit, in any case. It's amazing to walk out of the room for a minute and come back and find her totally off the waterproof pad. I can't quite figure out how she can move so far, so fast. She's been rolling onto her side a lot this weekend, and rolled over in a matter of seconds tonight when I tried to put her down for "tummy time"... but I still can't figure out how she turned 180 degrees in one minute.

I took a sick day last Thursday to take her for four month well baby visit. She is twelve pounds, four ounces. I didn't catch the height, because the medical assistant said it in centimeters, which doesn't mean much to me... but I know that she's twenty-fifth percentile for weight (still) but only fiftieth percentile for height (last time she was seventy-fifth) and still fiftieth percentile for head circumference. The pediatrician is very pleased with how she is doing -- said she looks nice and strong -- and agrees with my decision not to start solids before six months, given that she is growing nicely and my milk supply is keeping up with her appetite... and then some.

She also gave me her blessing to give up my 3 pm pumping, since I don't need the milk and it's just inconvenient and tiring, and suggested that I just nurse as soon as I get home. Which sounds lovely -- such a nice way to reconnect after a day apart! And I think we are doing well enough with the night weaning that I am comfortable altering our previously somewhat strict every four hour schedule. 

The only thing that I am struggling with is fatigue. I'm getting lots of sleep, so I don't really get it. My friend asked helpfully (sarcastically), "perhaps it's being a single lactating mother to an infant while working full time without an assistant or a boss?" 

Uh, oh yes, I suppose it might be that.

So I am trying to do less and less. This weekend I didn't leave the neighborhood. Which felt great. Today we went to brunch at Amy and Seth's apartment (parents to nanny-share Eleanor) and saw our SMC friends Catherine and handsome Jack, and another neighborhood mom to an infant, Christine, who I don't know very well, but seems really cool, and her husband and baby. Unfortunately she's moving out of state next month with her husband and baby, but she brought a fun craft project to brunch today... making handprints (and footprints) of our babies out of a homemade sort of play-dough! So clever. Calliope lent her sleeping hand willingly enough, and we did the foot when we got home. 

We had a great time. When we got home, a former SMC Thinker came for a visit... I say "former" because she ended up falling for her intended Known Donor... and now they are living together (as a couple) and very happily six months pregnant! It was fun to catch up.

But by the time she left, I was pretty exhausted. 

I think doing my Fusion DVD this morning is contributing. But I need exercise to have energy. So it's all a conundrum, how to optimize my energy. And now my apartment is a mess and my fifty dollar grass fed organic pork roast continues to sit in the refrigerator (uncooked). It's bound for the slow cooker if I can ever get the energy and organization to cook it. 

I just don't know how to manage my time. When she's awake, I want to be spending all my time focused on her... But then there's so much to get done when she's sleeping, and today we were out for her long nap... and I need to work out, and shower, and dress, and a million other things... making the bed and doing the dishes and catching up on email and blogging, and the bills... and I so don't want to compromise my time with her.... but I don't know how to do it all. And still get the ton of sleep my body seems to require right now.

So for the time being, I am prioritizing sleep right after time with her. And trying to squeeze in exercise wherever I can. And so my apartment looks kind of trashed. But the dishes are done so I'm headed to bed extra early and hoping for more energy in the morning to squeeze in a few extra tasks, like tidying the apartment, making trail mix, packing my running clothes to bring to work... it's a never-ending list. I'm getting better at leaving things off the list entirely but I'm still not caught up... 


  1. Aw, she's so darn cute! Love how she falls asleep!

    I hear you on trying to get everything done that needs to get done. I've let exercise really slip, but even with that extra time every day not exercising, I still can't get it all done. (And I should be doing something other than reading blogs right now, but, well, I'm not.)

  2. I can't believe how fast she is growing - and she is So cute! It's also weird for me to read a little bit how my life might look in four months time (God willing my delivery goes OK!).

  3. Great to see you guys yesterday! She's getting so big and so cute!
    PS My apt is a mess too and I'm also learning I've got to just let it go....

  4. This post made my heart melt. All the things I hope I experience/feel once my son is here. So glad you're loving motherhood!

  5. Great post...there's always so much to do!! Your friend's comment made me laugh! I was thinking the same thing!