Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Currently, Chief is... {3 months}

Oops, another baby post.  Sorry I'm not sorry!

I don't want to do a month-to-month (or even week-to-week) update on Chief's development because I feel like that would be a bit of an overload, but every three months seems reasonable, so that those who are curious can watch her grow.  I've decided to write them in the style of Currently... posts (or Life Lately, depending on who you read) that are so popular on these here interwebs.  Sound good to you?

1 day old
Growing quickly!  She was born at 7lb 12oz and the day after we got home from the hospital (3 days old) she weighed in at just 7lb even.  Even though I knew it was normal for newborns to lose weight before the milk comes in, I was still pretty worried- especially since the doctor asked us to come back 2 days later for another weigh-in.  What if I couldn't get her to gain fast enough?  What if she kept losing?  I wanted to avoid formula more than anything (and I still do) so we nursed pretty much non-stop for the next couple of days.  It worked- she gained over a pound in those 2 days!  At her 2 month check-up, she weighed 12lb 3oz and was a chunky little thing.  Sometime in the past month, she got much taller (longer?) so the pudge is gone from around her belly, but she still has the most adorable chubby legs.  Right now, she's wearing Carter's brand 3-6 months, though some 3 month clothes in this brand still fit (mainly just sweaters and onesies).  In other brands, like First Moments and Disney, she's in the 6 month size, which seems so surreal- she is not 6 months old, don't wish her away like that!  Her head is freaking huge- because of that big ol' brain ;) - so no hat, no matter the size, will fit comfortably, and besides, she hates things on her head anyway.  I try to put her in hooded jackets when we go out to keep her warm, but she thrashes about until the hood falls off (or cries if it won't).  I'm told I was equally anti-hat when I was little.

Eating exclusively breast milk!  I have to say I'm really proud of myself for doing this, especially now that I'm back at work.  It means waking up at 4am to pump, as well as pumping twice during the work day, but it's so worth it.  I'm convinced that breastfeeding is the reason Chief hasn't gotten sick yet, though I realize that will change now that she's in daycare and surrounded by other kids with other germs.  But for right now, the worst that has bothered her is some gas (her farts are poisonous, I swear, and that's probably because I haven't entirely cut out dairy from my diet...) and the occasional stuffy nose, but no fevers, no vomiting, no ear infections.  She's at daycare from about 6:45 in the morning until 4:30 or so in the afternoon (depending on when I'm able to leave work, how bad traffic is, and if I need to run an errand first) and I send 4 5oz bottles with her.  So far, there is always one bottle left over when I pick her up- even when I was as late as 5:30.  Plus, she nurses in the morning at about 5:30, as soon as we get home in the afternoon (for comfort more than anything- to say, "Hello, I missed you!"), and once or twice more at night- dinner, and then to put her to sleep.  We call her our little hobbit because she eats on a similar schedule- breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper...

Talking all the time!  In the beginning, her cries would start with her monkey noise- "ah-ah-ah-"- which was our cue to scoop her up before she made it to full-on crying.  Her hungry or distressed cry reminded us of a particularly angry cat, so now, if we're describing how mad she gets about things, "cat-levels of angry" is the absolute worst.  Around 1 month old, she started cooing- she would kick her legs, start panting, build up all this energy, and then burst out into an "Oooooooooooh!"  Around 2 months, she started to really imitate noises we make.  My favorite game is to prop her up on my knees and say "I looooooooooooooooooooooove you," throwing my head back on the word "love" and over-exaggerating my facial expressions.  She responds with, "Arr, Aaaaaah, Ooooh!" and it really sounds like she's trying to repeat what I said!  She likes to talk to the toys on her play mat and dangling from her car seat, as well as anybody who talks to her!

Making facial expressions that look exactly like her daddy!  She's always been very expressive, but lately she's been furrowing those little eyebrows as if to say, "Mom, you're embarrassing me," if I'm trying too hard to be silly.  And her smiles- oh, her smiles!  After the first week or so, she would smile in her sleep.  Her little mouth would make sucking motions, and then she'd smile- she was dreaming about nursing!  About a month later, she would start smiling while she was awake as she was nursing.  The first time, she was eating and then suddenly stopped and let out the loudest, smelliest fart.  I started laughing and said, "Good one, baby girl!"  She looked up at me out of the corner of her eye and smiled so wide that milk dribbled out of the corner of her mouth.  This made me laugh more, and she tilted her head back to look up at me properly, smiled bigger, and cooed loudly.  Soon, she was smiling any time you smiled at her, so all three of us have been walking around with big goofy grins on our faces almost non-stop.  Now she smiles all the time, unprompted- at her toys, at strangers, at the other kids at daycare.  Her "report card" always says that her "overall disposition" is cheerful!  And she giggles!  Sometimes just in response to whatever silly noises we're making, but recently she's started giggling when we tickle her.  At first it was accidental- I was putting her clothes on, and as I was guiding her arm into a sleeve, she started to make this noise like a cough.  "Are you okay?" I asked, as I moved on to the other sleeve.  And then I realized- she was smiling!  That little splutter was a giggle, every time my fingers brushed the skin on her side and under her arm.  It's kind of an involuntary giggle- and really more like a chuckle, as it sounds different from her "Mommy is being silly" laughter- and she almost looks confused as to why she feels ticklish, but she keeps smiling when I stop and looks at me like, "Hey, do that again!"  Of course, she's not always happy.  When she's sad- especially if she's tired- her little bottom lip curls down into a perfectly pathetic expression of sadness that makes us want to hug her closer and fix whatever is wrong immediately (which, of course, is the point).  Her frown is almost comical because it's so exaggerated, but I move like lightning to make it go away.

Listening to Mommy and Daddy make up the silliest songs!  She loves listening to music of any kind.  On the way home from the hospital, she hated being strapped into a car seat instead of being held, but Mr. Geek turned on some Deadmau5 and the thumping bass calmed her down.  She still doesn't like the car seat, but sometimes if I sing along to the radio- specifically an intense rock ballad- she'll stop crying, though she still looks annoyed.  (Side note: I have a mirror that goes on the head rest of the seat her car seat is strapped into, so I can see her reflection in my rear-view mirror.  She has yet to make eye contact with me in that mirror, but being able to see her face even though she's turned backwards is so nice- I can see if she's sleeping, or if she's gearing up for a nice big cry.  There's not much I can do physically to calm her down since I have to focus on driving, but being able to see her helps ease my mind a bit.)  Once, while I was pregnant, I was listening to my Disney music playlist and "Once Upon a Dream" came on.  As I sang along, I realized it could work as a lullaby:

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you, that gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
And I know it's true that visions are seldom all the seem
But if I know you, I know what you'll do-
You'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream

Even though we hadn't yet met properly, I knew Chief already, before she was born.  I'd seen her picture, I'd felt her move, and she even seemed to be projecting her personality while in the womb.  I knew her, even though I didn't know her yet, and I knew she would love me when she arrived.  I think it's an even sweeter interpretation than the romantic one :)

I've been singing this to Chief to calm her down since our very first night together- along with "So This is Love", "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", "The Rainbow Connection", and "When You Wish Upon a Star".  We'll dance and twirl around the living room as I sing to her, and eventually she'll lay her head on my shoulder and fall asleep.  Sometimes, I catch Mr. Geek humming these songs to himself as he's getting dressed or doing the dishes.  Chief loves sitting in the congregation at church when everyone is singing- she's even started singing along!  If she's fussy or needs to eat, we sit in the cry room, but it's much harder for Mr. Geek and me to pay attention in there, so if she's quiet and in a good mood, we prefer to sit in the sanctuary.

Sleeping through the night, almost every night since she turned 1 month old!  She had been sleeping in her pack-n-play at the foot of our bed so it was easier to grab her if she woke up.  During the first month, she would sleep in 4-hour stretches at night, which meant only one diaper change and feeding at the middle of the night most nights.  Sometimes it would take forever to get her to fall asleep initially; we would nurse for almost 3 hours straight, pausing for a diaper change every now and then, but then latching right back on.  Those first couple of weeks, she needed a light on to fall asleep- first the lamp on Mr. Geek's bedside table, but then we started using just the light in the closet with the door just cracked open.  Eventually, she'd let us turn off all the lights and sleep for a full 8 hours.  She still needs to nurse to fall asleep, but it doesn't take nearly as long.  It's kind of unpredictable when she'll fall asleep, so we have to be patient.  Sometimes it's 9:00; sometimes it's 11.  Most often, she literally falls asleep with my nipple in her mouth, so I have to slowly and carefully wipe up the dribble and re-hook my tank top, then sit there holding her for at least 20 minutes to make sure she's truly asleep before lying her in her bed.  The week before I went back to work, we started putting her to bed in her crib in the nursery.  I was convinced we needed the time to "practice" and that she'd be scared waking up in her room alone, but there were only a couple of nights that she woke up and wanted to nurse.  Now, even if she does wake up in the middle of the night, she's not upset; she'll talk to herself, suck on her hand, kick her feet, and fall back asleep.  For example- Friday night, she fell asleep at 9:00, and then I got in bed at 10.  At almost 8:00 Saturday morning, I woke up after an incredibly restful night's sleep and then freaked out- did I not hear her crying?  Or worse- was something wrong so she couldn't cry?  I ran into her room, calling her name- and she smiled at me.  She was cooing and squirming, but not upset.  I don't know how long she'd been awake, but she wasn't hungry or uncomfortable.  Amazing!  She's very active at daycare, and she doesn't nap very well with all the other kids around, so I think that's why she falls asleep so easily now.

Loving people who smile at her and talk to her; music; being held over your shoulder so she can look around; mirrors; her stuffed elephant named Ellie; kicking her feet a million miles an hour; the silver stars on the wall in her room; having her feet tickled; the zebra on her bouncy chair; being tossed in the air by her daddy; being bounced on your knee; blowing spit bubbles; sucking on her entire fist, not just her thumb; splashing in the bath tub.

Hating being strapped into the car seat; being swaddled, unless her arms are free; sitting in a car or stroller that isn't moving very fast; being held in the cradle position (unless she's nursing, obviously); getting out of the bath tub; being worn in a sling (until she falls asleep).  She used to hate putting on or taking off sleeves, but now she doesn't complain much when she's being dressed- unless we're putting on or taking off a jacket, which still bugs her, for some reason.  She also used to absolutely despise having her diaper changed, but after the first few weeks, she got used to it, and now I think she really enjoys the opportunity to have a conversation with whomever is changing her.

So that's a little snapshot of the past 3 months!  How has life been for your little one lately?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*


  1. Belated congrats on the birth of your daughter! She is beautiful :-)

    1. Thank you so much! I think so, too, and I'm not the slightest bit biased... ;)