3.11.2014

4 months old



Rory James,

Stop it. You are not 4 months old. Are you kidding me? This has been the point that I've always been so excited for: when your personality is really developing and you become mobile! That's right you started rolling over this month! February 28th to be exact. I was shocked! For days and days you'd make it as far as your side, but that stubborn arm of yours was always in the way. And then suddenly I looked over and there you were, grunting on your stomach. I missed it! Immediately I pulled out my phone and took a video, and soon after I caught you doing it again, though this time you did a 360ยบ! All the way from your back to your front to your back again. Such a little overachiever. I think this is the most obvious developmental milestone you've reached so far, besides smiling of course.

Speaking of smiling, you've started to smile up at me while you nurse. When you do, all the milk in your mouth pours out and leaves a puddle on my pants but I don't care one bit. It's probably one of my favorite things you do lately. You're suddenly so distracted too. If I'm watching tv, you'll pop off and turn your head, watch for a few seconds, and then turn back and ravenously attack for more milk.

We've become absolute professionals at public breastfeeding, even with that nipple shield we still use (Sigh. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right? I just don't have the energy to wean you off of that thing, no matter how annoying it is.) I mean, we're so good that even on a cram packed disgustingly squished airplane when we're sitting not 4 inches away from some random dude, I'm able to whip it out and feed you discreetly. I mean, I'm very sure the dude noticed and was significantly uncomfortable, but you know what! We did it and I am so proud of us!

Your hair. Your poor balding head. You have a ring around your skull, just above your ears, that is basically bald from you turning your head back and forth and rubbing it on the floor. Your bald spot on the back of your head is magnificent. You can spot it a mile away. On the top of your head you still have some beautiful brown locks, but they are sparse. It breaks my heart. But your happy little personality makes up for your hair loss.

Your hands are always in your mouth. At first it was just your knuckles you would munch on, but you've developed a preference for your pointer finger. I used to try and pry your thumb out for you and stick it in your mouth but you wouldn't have it. Your pointer finger is by far your favorite to suck and munch on.

Sometimes when I hold you on my lap you'll stick your hands in my mouth. You'll grab my lips and cheeks with such interest! It hurts a bit but I don't mind because I think it's hilarious. You did it to your dad once and he was so surprised! He laughed and laughed. Every so often, you'll put your hands on each side of my face and go in for a kiss with your mouth wide open. Oh how I love that! I don't even know if you know that's what you're doing, but I don't care because those slobbery open mouthed baby kisses are probably the best thing in the world.

When I go to change your diaper, you will attack me and grab whatever is in your reach, whether it's my hair, my shirt, my face... Lately I've been handing you a clean diaper while I wipe you up and you'll hold it for me until I'm ready to use it.

The past few weeks have probably been the toughest since you've been born. We took a trip to DC to see my family, and whatever sleep schedule you had just burst into flames. You used to give us a solid 6 hour chunk every single night and now I honestly can't remember the last time you slept for more than 3. It's almost more exhausting than your newborn phase because both Andy and I have things to do during the day.

A week after we got back from our DC trip, you started teething. At least I think it was teething. Whatever it was, it made you cry and scream and lose hours and hours of whatever precious sleep you were getting. For a few days I just was so overwhelmed and had no clue what to do. I went crazy and called Andy home early from school at one point because I couldn't take your screaming anymore. Finally I stuck the tip of my finger in your mouth and rubbed your gums when I was trying to put you down for a nap and you started sucking on it and fell dead asleep within 15 seconds. After that, I've discovered that you enjoy sucking again! The binky is back in the picture, even though sometimes you just like to chew on it, it's nice to know that you like it.

While you were "teething", you refused to be set down for even a second. Poor boy, you were just so overtired neither of us knew what to do. It got to the point that I was completely dependent on Blue's Clue's to keep you entertained, and frozen washcloths to keep your mouth from hurting. You aren't coordinated enough to figure out how to handle your teething toys, so that frozen washcloth was a life saver. You ate every 2-3 hours around the clock. I'd be getting up 3-4 times a night trying to console you. Those were a rough couple of days. I'd be okay if I forgot them forever. Ha.

Because you've been eating so much in the last week or so I swear you've gained like two pounds. I can see the weight on you. It fills your cheeks and your wrists have become rounder and your socks squeeze your chubby ankles. I could nibble your fat cheeks all day long. They are so yummy.

So it's been weeks since you've slept well. A few days ago I broke down and bought Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child because one of my aunts swears by it. Already, I'm starting to figure out what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong. Your mornings are perfect. You wake up happy, and you start to get tired an hour later, which is just as it should be. I've also discovered that I need to put you down before you show signs of being tired and that has reduced your crying a whole lot. Ideally, you'd go to bed at 8pm and wake up at 8am, but right now when we try to put you down early you'll wake up at 11pm ready to play again. This whole sleep situation is so frustrating and I've really just about had it. Hopefully in the next few weeks we'll get it all sorted out. Right now, you're on hour 3 of your afternoon nap, which is a great sign! Go us!

Now don't get me wrong, that trip to DC was incredible. I don't regret a second of it. Obviously, it was so great to see my family and I feel like you and I came a long way too. I have so much more confidence in my mothering abilities, and even in the fact that I am a mother. I loved showing you off and seeing you interact with all of my loved ones. As exhausting as it was to travel with a 3 month old, I'm so glad we did it.

Buddy boy, this has been an insanely crazy month. So many great things and so many awful ones. But even through the toughest times I am so drawn to you. You are fun, wiggly, friendly, and just oh so love-able. You just make every single day so much better. I sure love being your mama!

See other 'letter to Rory' here

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