The Babies!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Letter to Patrick, Four Months Old

Dear Patrick,

You are four months and one day old today. I didn’t get a chance to write your letter yesterday because your Aunt Sheri was in town for the weekend. She hadn’t seen you since you were 12 days old! It was fun watching you with her, and watching her enjoy you as much as I do. (I often fear I’m a bit biased when it comes to how much fun you are and how easy your are and how beautiful you are. Oh, it’s sad to have become one of “those” mothers!)

Spring has arrived in Virginia and this month has meant more time outside. Sheri and I took you to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens on Saturday. When you weren’t napping, you seemed to enjoy the great big world. The park was certainly bigger than anything you’ve experienced so far! I’m looking forward to many outdoor days when your father gets home. Only five more weeks to go!

You went to the pediatrician on Thursday—your father’s 41st birthday, coincidentally—for your four month checkup and vaccinations. You’re weighing in at a little over 17 pounds now, monkey! Though I honestly expected you to weigh more since you feel soooo heavy to me! You handled the vaccinations like a champ and only cried for about a minute before you were smiling again. Whew! You don’t go back to the pediatrician until you’re six months old, thankfully.

So far this month you have started rolling over front to back and back to front, quite an accomplishment. You don’t do it often, but you’re starting to figure out that the rolling will get you closer to what you want. You’re a clever little monkey and have figured out how to grab onto things to pull yourself from your side to your stomach. Uh oh! The days of leaving you in the middle of the bed unattended will soon be over, I’m afraid.

You’re still sleeping well through the night, which is so wonderful. I was afraid of what they call the “four month sleep regression,” but if such a thing occurred, it only affected your daytime naps. You’re still napping pretty well, but your awake periods have stretched to two hours now. Your naps are all over the place—45 minutes to over 3 hours—but you total between 6 and 7 hours of naps a day.

You love tummy time and hold your head high, a steady stream of drool dripping from your bottom lip. Your usual smiley humor disappears when you’re in the tummy zone, though. Apparently, this is a very serious activity for you that requires intense concentration and maximum drool output. (The drool is all-powerful, I’ve discovered.) You kick your legs furiously, as if you can’t wait to crawl. Slow down, baby! There will be time enough for you to crawl and walk and run….

My favorite moment this month was last Wednesday night. We were talking to your father on the computer and I was making funny sounds to get you to smile and laugh. So far, your “laughing” has been brief a-ha sounds, followed by an open-mouthed grin. But then I hit upon a sound that made you laugh and laugh… It was a wonderful moment, not only because it was the first time you’ve every laughed continually like that, but also because it was already April 1 in Dubai. I think that was your birthday present to your father!

This past month marks the one year anniversary of finding out I was pregnant with you. Those early days and weeks (and months, if I’m being honest) were nerve wracking… wondering whether I’d be able to hang onto you and keep you growing inside me. And here we are a year later, with you growing up right in front of me!

The days are going by so fast, baby. Four months! Winter is a memory and spring is well and truly here. Your father will be home soon and you can laugh and laugh for both of us. Never stop laughing, baby. Life is good.

Happy four month birthday! Mama loves you.

Spring, Baby

Sheri and I took Patrick to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens over the weekend. The weather was perfect and Patrick enjoyed exploring the great big green world (as much as a four month old can explore, of course).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Babble

Oh, the cuteness. It breaks my heart sometimes.

Patrick had his four month appointment today. (He'll actually be four months old on Easter.) This picture was taken while we were waiting for the doctor-- and before his vaccinations. (Which he handled remarkably well. I hope that never changes.) We were almost late to his appointment because I-- believe it or not-- overslept. Which is not an entirely accurate statement because I went to bed after midnight and was up at 1:30, 3, 5, 5:30 and 6:40. Technically, I got up way too early. But when I went back to sleep sometime after 6:40, I fully expected Patrick to wake me up with his baby calls somewhere between 7 and 7:30. I woke up on my own at 8:22 and he was still asleep. Which is also not entirely accurate, because I remember hearing him babbling to himself sometime after 5:30. (For the record, I woke up at 1:30 and 3 for no reason, 5 and 6:40 because of the elderly blind cat, and Henry needed to go out at 5:30.) Patrick is very good at putting himself back to sleep if he wakes up too early (translation: before I'm physically able to crawl out of bed). Of course, I was kind of counting on him waking me up this morning. Silly baby.

So, I jumped out of bed at 8:22, checked on him (still sleeping), brushed my teeth and hair, got dressed, put on some makeup, gently woke baby (opened his blinds, made some noise, touched his face), changed his diaper, took him downstairs, got him dressed, slapped a bib on him, warmed and fed him a bottle, called Jay on Skype, cleaned the litter box, let the dog out again, turned the television on for Lola (the bird who gets grumpy if the television isn't on), packed the diaper bag, loaded Patrick up in his car seat and we were out of the house at 9:12 and at the doctor's office at 9:27. Whew. (I wasn't sure if his appointment was at 9:30 or 9:45 and never did find out.) I could have cut 8 minutes off my time if I hadn't bothered to straighten my hair.

It's nice to be so quick and efficient when I have to be. It wasn't that long ago (almost four months!) that it took Jay and me over an hour to get ready, get Patrick ready and get out of the house for his first doctor's appointment. And we were still late.

I have certainly adjusted to life with baby. Funny how that happens.

The irony, of course, is that Patrick sleeps through the night and I still don't. Eight hours in bed last night and I got up five times. Five! People told me that taking care of a baby would be so exhausting that I'd probably sleep better at night. Of course, they forgot about the old blind cat who gets lost in my bedroom and the old deaf dog who is still recovering from his inner ear infection (and still needs help up and down the stairs). Not to mention my own crazy insomnia. But I'd rather Patrick sleep through the night than me. It most definitely works out better that way.

Except now I'm quite tired and it just dawned on me that I haven't managed to take a shower yet today.