In my last update, at three months, I talked about how time doesn’t fly. That is still the case. We’ve enjoyed our time with Ainsley immensely.
I’ve been told that this is a “fun age,” and that is true! Ainsley has been a complete joy in the last eight weeks. She smiles and giggles a lot (watch the video of her with Daddy for a sample). When she’s presented with a new toy, I can see her furrow her brow and try to figure out how to make it make noise.
Bath time is no longer just to wash. She smiles each time the cup of water comes close, and studies the stream of water as it splashes her hands or chest. She holds her cup (my old Campbell’s cup)and bangs it against the tub. She has floating little piggies that she likes to splash with her feet.
Bedtime has shifted to an earlier time and she continues to sleep all night. She now goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00PM, all happiness and smiles. She kicks her feet happily, finds her thumb, and goes to sleep without a peep. She sometimes will awaken and fuss in the night but never for more than 30 seconds, then falls back to peaceful sleep.
I still awaken her at 5:00AM to feed her and it doesn’t always feel terribly early. Her routine had been to fuss dreadfully until I started feeding her, then drowsily eat for about 20 minutes. I would be barely awake myself, head dropped forward with my eyes shut while I held her close. She was asleep by the end and still asleep when I put her back in her bed. One morning, and I’m guessing this was two months ago, I was leaned forward with my eyes closed, and I felt a gentle touch. Her tiny hand was reaching up and touching my chin. Her eyes still closed, she touched my cheek, chin, mouth, and nose, all with the softest little fingers I’ve ever felt. It was a symbolic reaching out: it was like she said, Mommy, I’m here, for the first time. She wasn’t just staring at us anymore and her personality is growing.
Since that morning, I look forward to 5:00AM more. She still touches my face nearly every morning. She pats my hand gently while I change her diaper. When I put her back in her crib, more often than not, she’s awake and holds my cheeks while I kiss her and say goodbye.
Ainsley rattles anything that will make noise and she’s moving around a lot too. We’re having a hard time teaching her to sit without support because she’d rather stand! She tries to walk, too, but it ends up looking like a little hula dance and she only moves one foot forward. She’s been looking at her feet for weeks and I saw her stick her toes in her mouth- by herself- for the first time the other night. Carlton has his camera so we even captured a first on film. Since then, those feet are in her mouth a lot! She wakes up from naps with a bare foot and a sock in her hand. She turns pages in her books while we read and often is looking at me, not the book, and listening to my voice.
She hasn’t had a weight check in nearly six weeks. I still obsess about her weight too much. She started life losing too much weight and it’s been a battle for me ever since then. However, she’s outgrowing her clothes and she’s obviously doing some very good brain development. She eats on a very predictable (but flexible) 4-hour schedule and doesn’t spit up nearly as much. Her digestive system is maturing nicely, I suppose.
An aside to any new mothers or mothers-to-be: please, please try to nurse your baby. I neither enjoyed it nor found it easy for several months. Some days were a battle with my body; sometimes I didn’t produce enough; sometimes I produced too much. It was very difficult for me but has ended up being very rewarding. It only takes one good article about the positive benefits of milk to help keep you on the track to success. And if you simply can’t keep going, know that every day you nursed your baby was a huge benefit to his/her immune system.
I’m excited to watch her grow and to help her along in her journey. We’ve learned her rythms and we know what each cry means. Carlton and I work together on parenting and on giving each other alone time and, most importantly, on spending time together as a couple. Our relationship is much stronger than ever. We were always a great match but the difficulties and joys of parenthood have amplified our strengths. We trade putting her to bed because we both enjoy it. And, when she’s asleep, we are usually spending time together and we have wonderful conversations about nothing and everything.
We still have our troubles. I’m patient with Ainsley, but my fuse for Carlton is much shorter than it used to be. I’m sleeping better, but not perfectly. I still have an ear open for any sounds from her room. I think maybe I should sleep somewhere else one night a week and let Carlton listen. The week moves by so quickly that sometimes I forget to relax and enjoy anything.
I had thought I would mention how I don’t do much that’s interesting any more. However, as I’m reading this post, I’m realizing that I am actually quite busy. I spend lots and lots of time with my dear daughter. I love it!
I’m becoming different. I’ve joined the cult of parenthood. I love seeing babies on television. I am both more mellow and more intense. And I’m in love with my guy and my girl. To quote Frema, I don’t know how I ever lived without these two people.