Sunday, August 22, 2010

5 months... really? (Composed on 8/22. Posted on 9/3)

How could it be any better than it was a month ago? But it is. Life with Charlotte is amazing. She's more wonderful every day as she develops into her own little person. And here we are, five months after the miraculous night she was born.

Her accomplishments this month-

Last night, on 8/21/2010, her left big toe finally made it into her mouth. She pulled it in with great focus and intensity, then seemed surprised to find it between her lips.

She maintains a seated position for about 5 seconds before toppling in an apparently random direction.

She rolls at will in any direction, at any time, but hasn't yet realized it as a means of locomotion.

We tried rice cereal, then I thought better of it and stopped feeding it to her. We'll revisit "solid" foods a week or two before her 6-month pedi appointment so I won't be lying to the Doc when I say she eats. Frighteningly, that's less than 5 weeks away.

She talks and sings and laughs most of the time. When she's feeling grouchy, she grunts and screws her face into a scowl. She looks and sounds so serious that it's hard not to laugh.

We made our daycare decision and she starts "school" on 8/31. We've been lucky to have a college-aged niece babysit two days each week since I returned to work in May, but she goes back to school next week. I'll devote another post to the daycare issue and my employment situation.

Charlotte wears anything with a '6' in the size... 3-6mos, 6mos, 6-9mos, 6-12mos. So, I guess, according to clothing manufacturers she's the size of a 6-month-old. She feels so big in my arms, but looks so small when someone else holds her.

Breastfeeding is still going well. In addition to meeting her needs, I put about 50 ounces in the freezer each week. We bought a chest freezer in June because my milk was taking over our kitchen freezer, and it'll store longer in a deep-freeze. I haven't worked out a real plan yet for how or when we'll wean, but it's something we need to do before we can launch Project Sibling. First, I should take an inventory since I really have no idea how much milk is in there. Charlotte consistently eats five times a day, and take 5-8 ounces by bottle when with a sitter, so she needs maybe 30-35oz per day?

Some photos... with her caterpillar, which she just about matches in length.

Sleeping. This isn't her usual pose, but it was too cute not to document.

Sitting, like a big girl (added well after the post was composed. She now sits for about a minute, if she feels like it).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Every day is new

She seems to discover something new, and master something she just started doing a moment ago, every day.

She rolled over for the first time (that I witnessed) on Tuesday, July 13th. By the 19th, she'd figured out how to get both arms out from under her chest when she landed on her belly. By the 22nd, she was a rolling-over pro... front-to-back, back-to-front, any direction. Now she's figured out how to scoot all over the place with a combination of rolling over and drawing her knees up under herself to lunge forward. Crawling is definitely on the horizon. We're fast-tracking the plan to replace carpet with wood floors in the living room so she won't get rug burns (and I just don't believe carpets are ever really clean).

Cereal went from get-this-wierd-stuff-outta-my-mouth (7/31) to more-faster-more in just 6 days. She loves to grab the spoon and put it in her mouth herself. In fact, she ate so much cereal today that she went nearly six hours between daytime feedings and I had to wake her up to keep her on-track for a normal bedtime.

She's developed her own eating and sleeping routine, which suspiciously resembles the one I read about in some parenting book. During the day, she eats every 4 hours and takes two long naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. She still gets up to feed once or twice each night (usually once). I'd rather nurse than pump in the middle of the night, so that's perfect. She slept through the night after getting her 4-month vaccinations and my chest was sore for three days. Engorgement ain't fun.

She sings back to me when I sing to her before naps and bedtime. I've tweaked the lyrics to several songs. Has anyone else noticed how scary "Rock-a-Bye Baby" is?

She loves to read, even books with very few pictures. When she's fussy, the sitting and listening seems to calm her.

She's completely into 6-month and 6-9 months clothes now, which means she's outgrown almost all of the gift-clothes we received at the shower and right after she was born. I get to shop for her now, so we're seeing a lot more colors in her closet. It was painfully pink for a while.

At 4 months plus one day, she weighed in at 13 pounds 4 ounces and measured 25 inches tall. That's 6 inches and nearly 6 pounds' growth in 4 months. Totally normal, and totally incredible. When she sits in my lap, I can hardly believe she was once so much smaller. She's consistently around the 40th percentile for weight and 75th for height, but she's definitely not without cute baby fat rolls.

She's been facing forward in the Bjorn for about 3 weeks now, except when she's sleepy and wants to doze with her face nestled into my chest.
Her toes will find their way into her mouth any minute now.

And now some photos...