WATCH EVIE GROW • FOUR MONTHS

Thursday, June 7, 2012


05.31.2012

Time has been moving along so swiftly. I've been so wrapped up in you that your four month day passed me by unnoticed. I'm not sure whether to count by weeks (16 weeks equals four months) or by the days of the month (you were born on the first of february so each 'first' you're another month older), so it's going to be somewhere in the middle this time.

So much change has happened this month, in both you and I. You've mastered rolling over. For awhile you could only roll from your belly to your back, but you've figured out the back to belly way and that's how you spend the majority of your days now. (Regardless of this, you've still managed to get a pretty big bald spot on the back of your head.) You can't sit up on your own yet, but you love to look around and watch us doing everyday things, so you roll over and  wave your little head around as long as you can then drop it to the floor again, yelling and grunting from frustration. You like to hold your feet up in the air and try to balance on your tummy. Sometimes I'll get caught up in the task at hand and I'll glance over and see you staring at me, analyzing what I'm doing. When you notice that I've spotted you, you always flash a big, gummy smile my way and I can't help but laugh. You're so spirited and wild, and I hope I can help you keep those things alive in you well into your adult years. This wildness is something that society seems to tame in most, and it's something I struggle to hold onto in the midst of all the responsibilities, lists, budgets, and anxieties that come with adulthood. For most, having children snuffs out any last light of childhood in them, but through you I hope I can relive all of the feelings I thought I had lost. I hope to help you feed your feelings of bliss, wonder, creativity, and adventure.


My days have been set to the soundtrack of raspberries and popping spit bubbles, hoots like an owl, and grunts of focus and frustration lately. You've started to find your own voice and it's sweeter than honey, sweet baby. I'm woken up each morning by you yelling syllables similar to the way an adult would playfully yell 'Hey!' and kicking your feet up in the air and back down onto the mattress. Each time I pull the velcro of your swaddle to let you loose, you immediately throw your arms up, arch your back to the side, and tuck your chubby chin in as you stretch all your muscles. (I really want to record you doing this several weeks in a row and mesh the footage together, but the camera is out of commission right now.) You smack your lips and smile at me, letting me know you're ready for breakfast. There are so many quirky little things that you do nowadays - they are what I want to remember the most when you have grown up. When you're trying to go to sleep you'll turn and nuzzle your face in our armpits. We had to put your changing mat in the crib with you to keep you away from the edges. You were trying to snuggle up to the side like you snuggle up to us and kept hitting your head on the rails and waking yourself up. You've started keeping your bottom lip tucked into your mouth, sucking on it every now and then. We think the dreaded teething has begun, so when your lip isn't in your mouth your two fists or Sophie (your new giraffe toy) are. A river of drool is guaranteed to be flowing onto your shirt everyday now, so you live in a bib. Sometimes when you're nursing, you'll take your free hand and reach up and beside you in all directions, looking for something to hold onto. I hear your breath quicken, so I bring my hand to yours and you open your fist like a flower in bloom, wrap it around my finger, and I feel you begin to breathe calmly like you feel safe knowing I'm there. My heart glows and I whisper, "I'm here. I'll always be here, Ev."


You laughed for the first time this month and it fueled a fire in my soul unlike anything I've ever heard. Your Papa stood you in front of the mirror in our bathroom, you spotted yourself, tucked your neck into your chubby shoulders, put your head back a little, and let the most joyful giggle escape your mouth. We both looked at each other with the biggest grins on our faces and laughed along with you. You're becoming quite the character and I have a feeling you're going to be a lively little girl. Before you were born, I tried to imagine what it would feel like to hold you in my arms, but nothing I dreamt could have prepared me for the reality. Hard as I tried, I didn't really know what it would feel like to see you smile back at me until I was there, living it. These days I daydream of the sound of your bare feet running through our house, picking fruit off the trees in our (hopefully) soon to be backyard (We put in an offer on a house this month!), and teaching you to do bunny ear loops when you tie your shoes. I dream of watching you and Papa dance across our living room floor with your feet on top of his, the clicks and scratches of an old record player intertwined in the music. Those days are still waiting for us. They are beautiful moments of life that we haven't reached yet, so they sit unanchored in my soul until they become tangible and find us both on some unexpected day.

You are still sleeping in our room with us. Your Papa and I had talked about moving you to your own room, but we (mostly I) weren't ready just yet. So we put the play yard away that you had been sleeping in and put the crib in its place. I don't know whether you understand the concept of me existing when you can't see me, so I'm not comfortable with leaving you alone yet. There will be a time for you to be alone, but for now I won't leave your side. You'll wake to the smell of my skin and milk, feel my warmth, and hear my breathing through the night for just a little while longer. Your smell is so familiar to me now - it's milky and sweet, but just a bit sour, kind of the way fresh bread is. I've never smelled anything like it. I haven't been around a lot of babies, so I wonder if this smell is unique to you or do all babies have this same scent? If it is unique to you, will this same scent follow you even into your adult life or will it fade with age? Will this be the scent that your children, my grandchildren, come to know you by? Along these same lines of wondering - I often wonder, do babies mourn leaving the womb? When you were new and so fragile that I dared not handle you too roughly, it broke my heart to imagine your fright, to imagine the contrast between the warm, red home you had left and the bright, overstimulating world you encountered. When I was unable to soothe your cries, I sometimes thought it might be from home sick. It's been four months, and I still catch myself rubbing my belly occasionally, loving on what used to be you. The sadness of never being able to feel your kicks from the inside or give birth to you again has faded somewhat, but I still feel a pang of longing when I see a pregnant woman in public. I hope you're blessed with the ability to experience the beauty of pregnancy some day.


You had your four month check up with your pediatrician yesterday (06/05/12) and you did wonderfully. You now weigh 12 pounds, 11 ounces, are 24 1/4 inches long, and have a head circumference of 40 centimeters. You had to get two shots, so Papa came along (I don't like taking you to get shots alone. I get a emotional and mother-hen like, so he comes to keep me sane.), but you barely even cried this time. You stuck your bottom lip out and whimpered and that was all. At your last appointment you wanted to talk the doctor's ear off, but you weren't so sure about him this time. He said it was a good sign that you didn't like him - it meant you're able to distinguish strangers from us now. It makes me feel good that you know who we are and that you like us (I think). Papa has started working nights so he has to sleep most of the day now. The changing table is in our room, so I have to take you in there through out the day and you always stare at him and follow him when we move around the room. Sometimes I'll wake him up just to let you say hi and as soon as his eyelids crack open a bit you give him the biggest smile.


(You decided you were done with pictures.)

You've started teething and it's breaking Mama's heart. You wimper, scream, and cry, chewing on your fingers, Papa's fingers, Mama's fingers, Sophie's face, your shirt collar. . . anything you can get your gums on. I try to keep you happy as much as I can, but there's only so much you can do for a baby that can barely hold onto a teether. I try rattling toys at you, dancing with you, putting you here, putting you there - everything makes you cry. You were doing the same thing with Papa a few days ago and it made him so upset. He kept saying, "What's wrong with her? She hates me! Why does she hate me today?" You are a mess of bored and sensitive and it's making my days very long and tiring. Taking you outside each day seems to help, but there is only so much we can do for so long before you catch on and start getting grumpy again. Regardless, you love being outside. You always sigh and blink your eyes, taking in all the sights and sounds, inhaling as the wind hits your face. We took you to the zoo this past weekend and you were happy for hours. They have a park in the middle of it all that is just unending soft, green grass and big shade trees (a rarity in New Mexico). We sat down to take a break, enjoy some trail mix and apples, and let you out of the stroller for a while. You had never seen or touched grass before, so we sat you down in it and you loved it. You leaned over until your face was two inches from the ground, grunting because your belly was squished, but happy as can be, running your fingers through the grass, pulling out pieces of it and trying your best to get it in your mouth, and digging your toes into it. These kind of moments are some of the best of parenting so far. I enjoy watching you learn and seeing you curious and perplexed by the world around you. I promise to always let you explore the unknown no matter where or how late we are.

All the Love in the Universe,
Mama

3 comments:

  1. So adorable, I love all the different angles and perspectives you have captured in the photos. Gorgeous.

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  2. Your writing is so beautiful! I wish I'd thought to take pictures monthly when my girl was first born - it would have been a great retrospective later. You have a lovely little girl! (And she has a name we considered for a very long time!)

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  3. How exciting! She's just getting to the really interesting time of learning all manner of new things everyday. Have fun watching her grow!!

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