Monday, August 20, 2012

three months

Last Wednesday, Nell turned three months old.

{Unfortunately, by the time I got home from teaching lessons on her three-month birthday, it was already late afternoon, and the lighting inside wasn't very good for pictures.}

No more keeping track of her age in "eight weeks" or "ten weeks" these days; we're solidly into the months phase of her life.  Really, Nathan would prefer to answer the question of her age with the simple statement, "a quarter."

{He originally wanted to declare her "zero" until she turned one, so we're actually making progress in this regard.}

Thanks to a deluxe digital baby scale I got off of freecycle, we know that she is 15 lbs, 10 oz.

Not a scrawny baby, this girl.

In fact, her uncle Andrew recently declared, "She looks like a mob boss!"


I'm sure he meant it lovingly.

In the past couple of weeks, thanks to some inspiration and help from my friend Story, I've begun trying to move us towards some semblance of a nap schedule.  Nell has basically always been a good sleeper at night time (she wakes once or twice a night to nurse, and then falls promptly back to sleep), but not such a good napper unless she is being held, is in the Moby or Ergo, or has me napping beside her.  As soon as I would set her down, she'd wake up in, well, somewhere between ten minutes and ten seconds.

Between a hand-me-down velcro swaddler (thanks, Abby!), a white noise machine, and a few other changes, we are making progress!  And much as I love having her with me, having those three nap times each day (even if some of them are only 45 minutes to an hour) with my hands free to get things done is really pretty amazing.

Nell also goes to sleep for the night before we do now, around 9 or 9:30, and sleeps soundly until I come half-wake her for another feeding before I tuck in, too.

I still haven't read any books on babies, parenting, or nap schedules (any recommendations?), but what we're doing seems to be working for the time being.

Dear Ellen,

In the past month, you've taken your first camping trip, had your first babysitter (just for a few hours, and in the same building where both your Dad and I were!), gained two pounds, outgrown all your 0-3 month clothes, and started drooling like crazy almost constantly.

You smile at everyone, nearly all the time.  You are really the happiest of babies.

I've heard you called a "bait baby" and a "sucker baby" -- the kind of baby that suckers parents into having more babies, or baits childless friends into having babies (which they really ought to, anyway).  Because you're so content, easy-going, happy, and cute.

Remember last month's letter?  You were making little sounds that I thought might turn into laughs soon.  Well, not long after I wrote that, you started really, definitively laughing.  If there were a way to bottle up a baby laugh, it would be the perfect antidote to depression.  I'm convinced that nobody could hear you laugh without laughing joyously along with you.

We do all kinds of things to make you smile and laugh around here: I blow raspberries on your belly, sing silly songs, and hold you way up above my head.  Your Dad wiggles you around and makes nonsense noises, and your Uncle Andrew zooms you around the house while making rocket or airplane noises.  You love all these things and more!

The summer is rapidly drawing to a close, and "real life" is closing in on us.  I'll be working more during the school year than I have been this summer, and I'm not entirely looking forward to it.  It's not that I don't enjoy my work, but to be honest, my favorite days are the ones I spend at home with you, with no schedule to keep to except your own cues that you need to eat, sleep, play, or be snuggled.  Dad and I are still figuring out how we're going to manage our work schedules this year and still make sure you are well cared for.  I'm trying not to stress about it all too much.

Your chubby cheeks are so soft and sweet that I cannot stop kissing them.  You probably get approximately a hundred kisses a day, between Dad and me kissing you constantly. 

You are loved, girl.


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