Friday, June 16, 2017

Molly at three months

Little Miss Margaret has been three months old for almost a week now, and I'm convinced she's the sweetest three month old in the world right now.  She's solidly grown into her 3-6 month clothes, weighing 13 pounds even.

Nicknames: Molly, Molly Moe, Moe, Molly Malone, Mol, Screech Owl, Chubby Wubby

Expertise: Bubble blower extraordinaire.  Drool queen.  Can nearly fit her whole fist in her mouth, and attempts this skill frequently.  Rolls from tummy to back!  Is trying out something resembling a laugh -- which is THE BEST!

Aspirations: To refuse the bottle every time it is offered!  {She's successfully taken it only two or three times in total, but I have a few summer gigs coming up, so we shall keep trying.}

Loves: Her big sisters cooing and chatting to her in the highest voices imaginable.

Hates: Outfit changes.  Pooping herself awake during much-needed naps.  Overly-enthusiastic hugs from a certain sister.

The Jury Is Still Out: This may possibly be my first baby who doesn't always like being worn in a carrier!  With utter disregard and ingratitude for the way my ring sling was her one and only happy place for the first two months of her life, Molly now fusses in the sling or the Ergo, and unless she's ready to go right to sleep, she prefers a better view of the world and likes to be held facing out much of the time.

Like any baby, Molly has her fussy moments or difficult days, but for the most part she's so content and happy that it's hard to imagine those first two colicky, miserable months she had.  She's content during diaper changes (although she still hates being dressed or undressed!), and smiles at me happily on the changing table.  She even rides in her car seat without screaming most of the time!

Sometimes while I'm putting away laundry or getting the bigger girls ready for bed, Molly will lie in her crib happily on her back and stare up at the sailboat mobile her Grandma and Grandpa made, playing with her own fingers and looking around quietly for quite a long while.  She also doesn't mind sitting in the swing while I do chores or snuggle with her big sisters a little bit here or there.  Sometimes she comes out to keep us company in the yard while the big girls and I do some gardening, and she hangs out in the Rock N Play and gazes at the trees.

She's the sleeping queen right now, but I must confess to a sense of foreboding about this situation: all Nathan and I can remember about Marie is that she was undoubtedly The Most Terrible Sleeper In The History Of The World until she reached the age of two and a half.  But upon browsing the archives of this blog, I see that she was sleeping marvelously and napping well at three months of age.  So I can only imagine what may lie ahead for us with Molly.

We are enjoying the good sleeping while it lasts, though!  Not only does Molly take at least one good solid 2.5-3 hour nap each day, along with a couple shorter ones (sometimes two long naps a day -- once last week she took a 3 hour morning nap and a 4 hour afternoon nap!), but she also usually sleeps 8-10 hours at night without waking, usually from 7:00 to 3:00 or 4:00.  And unlike my two previous babies, she sleeps those hours in her own crib!  It's pretty surprising to me, but she seems to prefer it and sleep better alone now.  She even falls asleep in her crib more easily than in my arms most of the time, just wanting a little back- or bottom-patting and "shh-shh-shhhh"ing.  I had always heard that these kinds of babies, for whom holding or co-sleeping was almost too much stimulation or too disruptive, existed, but I'm not sure I really believed it until seeing Molly as she currently is.

The flip side of this good sleeping is that she often wakes for the day around 6, and when she's up, she's up for an hour before she's ready for her first nap, by which point everyone is good and awake.  I sometimes miss the days of having just one baby who I could snuggle and nurse back to sleep, and buy myself a nice long morning sleep-in when I needed it.  These days everyone is up early around here, and that is... not my favorite.  But if I must be up with the sun, I've been trying to make the best of it by getting going early, and trying to be ready to squeeze in a little exercise a few mornings a week during Molly's first nap.   Gotta shed that baby weight if I can, so that when people think this girlie resembles me, it's not the double chin they're noticing!

"Excuse me, has anyone seen my neck?"
Dear Molly,

Summer weather is here, and with it the unspeakable joy of your sweet chubby baby thighs resting against my arms as I carry you about.  You bestow so many smiles upon us each day, often big smiles that involve your whole body as you draw your legs up or arch your back with glee.  Your sweet cheeks are so kissable and smooshable that your three-year-old sister Ree keeps trying to squish them into a fishy face.  The word "gentle" doesn't seem to be sinking in for her, though, so we have to keep a close eye lest she injure you with her love and adoration.

When you were a newborn, I felt a little sad and sentimental to know that time would fly by and you'd grow up so very quickly.  But I must have forgotten that as much as I do love a sweet newborn, a three-month-old is so very lovable, too.  I love these days just as much as your newborn days, and maybe more.  You seem so much happier these days - sometimes you even stop in the middle of nursing just to grin up at me before resuming your eating.  I love that!  




Monday, June 12, 2017

Molly at Two Months

I want to record a few memories of Molly at two months, seeing as she's just turned three months old!  We're coming out of the so-called "fourth trimester," life is feeling manageable again, and we're finding a good rhythm to our days now more often than not.  It's time to try to get caught up on many things around here... but keeping the family memories needs to stay on that to-do list, no matter how busy things are, right?

{These photos were taken a week after she turned two months old.}

As for Molly, her own life was so busy and exhausting that at two months old, she wanted to sleep a lot.

She weighed in at around 11 lbs 10 oz, give or take.  She was getting so much happier I could barely wrap my mind around it, and I wandered around in a daze of disbelief - had she really been so miserable before?  Did I imagine those bleak, challenging two months?  And was she really sitting in her swing happily while I folded laundry?  Was she lying on the floor cooing at me for long minutes at a time?  I could barely believe it.   At two months old, we were getting more and more days where the clouds of Molly's sad screaming would part and reveal the smiles of the happy personality that was under the surface of her gastrointestinal misery.

Between 7 and 8 weeks old was when the proverbial clouds began to part and our Molly girl began to get happier.  I have no idea whether to attribute this to the implementation of block feeding, the fact that I took her to a chiropractor for a gentle adjustment, the Hyland's cell salt homeopathic tablets I started giving her, or that other great natural medicine, the passage of time.  {The cell salts were something that I kept coming across as a remedy that parents of gassy / colicky / refluxy infants swore by, and a good alternative to reflux medication, which I didn't want to try at that point for various reasons.  It really did seem that they made a difference, although I started them at the same time I took her to a chiropractor, so it could have been either/both of these things, or, as I said, just the passage of time.}

In the sling, while she'd occasionally still have miserable burping gassy episodes with lots of screaming and kicking of her little feet, she was usually content and could sleep for long periods of time.  My lower back was beginning to feel the twinges of more baby wearing than I could handle, so it was a good thing that Molly began to be able to sleep independently a bit more.

At night, she still slept beside me, but she gave me a couple of five hour stretches here and there, and one six hour block of sleep!  Amazing.  When you've just slept in two- or three-hour chunks for a while, you forget how good and refreshing those longer sleeps can be!

I decided I could sort of keep my head above water now, and pulled out the cloth diapers.  Boy did it feel good to stop putting a full garbage bag of disposable diapers out to the curb every week!

Molly began to hold her head up so often that it got harder to carry her around in her usual favorite spot up against my shoulder.  She'd lift her head, bobble around, and throw her weight off center!   She also began to wonder if she could fit an entire hand in her mouth, and liked to blow spit bubbles to entertain her older sisters.  Her sounds grew more and more conversational, and her social smiles continued to win our hearts.

Dear Molly, 

You sweep us off our feet with your blue eyes, your dark hair, and your beautiful smiles.  I was back to teaching violin lessons by the time you were two months old, and as you began to feel better and decide the outside world was not so bad, I was relieved to know that you'd be okay with Daddy, Aunt Hannah, or other babysitters while I was working.  I'm sure someday I'll tell you stories of how sad you were as a newborn.  But I hope you'll always know that, as hard as those early days were for me, I mostly thought about how hard they were for you.  I wanted to help you feel better, and I wanted you to know that we still thought you were the best baby in the world -- screaming notwithstanding.  


{that gorgeous dark hair!}
{the doting big sisters}