Letters to Lydia: 4 Months

Dear my sweet, sweet girl,

You are four months old! My darling baby you are getting funner and sillier and more precious every day and I could bask in your smile every moment!

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We successfully transitioned back to “real life” this past month. As you’ll recall from my last letter mama went back to work when you were 12 weeks old, and now, a month later, we’re  settling into a little routine. I’ve managed to work every other day, so even though I’m gone for a full day, I get to spend the next day with you, my most favorite girl.

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Most of this past month was spent getting used to our busy life (mama works mostly Monday, Wednesday and Friday and daddy has school Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Reserve academy on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day on Saturday – our calendar is full!) but we did manage to to have a bunch of fun in between everything!

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The day after you turned 3 months old, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. And, by “celebrated” I mean that I dressed you in your Irish shirt (which I found at a consignment store) and sparkly headband and used it as an excuse for try to get a decent family picture of the three of us. It didn’t so much work – but at least you looked cute as can be!

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On the 22nd we celebrated Daddy turning 31! We met a bunch of friends at a delicious sushi restaurant, and even though it was late and loud and you were passed around from person to person, you did so well! You were happy the whole time!

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You found your voice this past month, and it is adorable! You’re especially talkative in the morning and you can carry on some pretty serious conversations!

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You’ve also started to laugh – which is maybe my favorite thing yet! You don’t quite laugh out of the blue yet, in fact, mama has to work really hard for some giggles, but you’re giving them more and more, much to our delight! The most sure-fire way to get you going is for me to have you laying on your back and for me to be directly over you and then kiss your belly and chin while tickling your chest. An occasional kiss to your wide open, smiling mouth elicits some good squeals too – I love it!

Lots of people have asked how Bridger has adjusted to having your in his life. He’s done so well, really. He used to get pretty nervous when you’d make noises, but now you don’t phase him unless you’re really hollering. He doesn’t seem to pay much attention to you, but every now and again when your daddy or I go to get you from your swing or seat, he gets really excited and sticks his nose right up in your business with his tail wagging just as fast as can be. He’s not up in your business much, but when he does get curious and go in for a sniff or lick, you don’t seem to mind.

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One fun new adventure we’ve embarked on this past month has been shooting. Daddy had firearms qualifications and needed to practice before them, so off to the woods we went to shoot. I will admit that I felt very hillbilly-ish packing my pink little baby up to go to the woods, but we did it and we had fun! We bundled you up and popped your ear muffs (you look so cute in your headphones!!) on and you didn’t even notice the gun shots behind you! In fact, if you weren’t needing to nurse, you were all bundled in the front seat, sleeping like a…well…baby!

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Mama felt like quite the hillbilly nursing you right out in the open in the middle of the woods! You, though, just rolled with it! You are such our little buddy and are happy as a clam so long as we are together. Sweet girl.

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We also celebrated your first Easter! I pulled a major mom fail and took the most horrendous pictures to commemorate the day – but we did have fun! We woke to a beautiful day, and your little bunny-clad bootie helped open our family Easter basket, before we headed to church. After church we met Dave, Lisa and Meliha for brunch at Edgefield, where we had a terrible meal, but enjoyed lovely company with our dearest friends. This is, unfortunately, the best picture I got of you in your sweet little dress (complete with tights and patent-leather shoes!) and even though the Easter Bunny was prowling around Edgefield, we missed a photo opportunity with him too! 😦

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Lola Elsa sent you a pretty Easter dress, but you’re such a little peanut it didn’t fit! We’ll find an excuse to doll you up soon enough, though!

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Though we missed the Easter Bunny, we didn’t miss out on soaking up the sun though! After eating, we did a quick outfit change and got you ready for your first real sunshine basking. You were quite the little sun baby, and definitely the cutest little diva around!

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We celebrated lots of babies this past month (the water around these parts is full of life – be careful!), with both baby showers and new arrivals. You were especially anxious for your BFF to arrive, Vivian Grace, who made her (swift!) debut on the 8th. You two are going to have such a sweet little time together!

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I can’t even express how thankful we are to have friends we love so much here. When family is far away, it’s especially important to have friends you can be real with. People you love and people who love you. It’s become so much clearer now that I’m a mother too, just how much of a treasure it is to have friends who love your children so deeply. We are so very blessed to have friends like this!

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Life was very full this past month, but we squeezed as much out of it as we could – including taking advantage of every opportunity to snuggle. I think having your sweet, sleeping body against my chest is when I truly feel as complete as I ever have. Being your mom is the greatest blessing and in “mothering” you, I feel I am living out just exactly what I was put on this earth for. Being your daddy’s wife and your mama is my whole heart!

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Let’s move onto the highlights, shall we?

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Weight: You are a tiny little dancer! At your 4 month check-up you were 10 pounds 11 ounces – the 1st percentile! Your pediatrician said that some babies have to make up that 1%, and you must just be one of those babies.

Length: 24.25 inches, 50%.

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Diaper Size: 1, and we’ve moved to Huggies because you pretty consistently leak with Pampers. You’ve managed to make pretty good messes in your Huggies as well, but they seem to keep the messes contained a bit. I’ll take this opportunity to put your affinity to blow out whilst in Target. I don’t know what you have against that store in particular, but I’ve had to do a complete outfit change, in that store only, more than once.

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This sweet little tutu was a Target-bomb casualty. The white tights you were wearing sustained so much of this particular gut bomb’s wrath, that they were deposited into the trash can after this photo was taken. Gross.

You’re not always a stinker though, most of the time you are downright edible.

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Clothing Size: My long and lean little thing, you are mostly in 3 or 0 – 3 month clothes. You still wear your NB onesies though, and if you weren’t so tall, you could totally wear NB pants and jammies too. You’re long and lean and where most of the 3 month waists are loose, the length is just right. Mama has an affinity for Gap clothing (I will pick them out of a line up every single time) but it just isn’t made for you – it’s more for short, squatty babies. I wish there was a politically correct/non-offensive way to label baby clothing as either “Long and Lean” or “Rolly Polly”, but alas, there is not, so we’ll just continue our trend of trying things on before we buy them.

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Health: Other than your right tear duct still being blocked (we’ll be referred to a specialist if it persists at your 6 month check-up), you are a healthy little bugger! After much deliberation on my part, I decided to do all of your 4 month vaccinations at the same time instead of spreading them out. I spoke with your Pediatrician, who was super supportive of whatever I chose, but assured me that it was perfectly safe for you to have them all at the same time. You were so miserable for the week or so after each set that I didn’t want to put you (or your daddy and I) through that unnecessarily. You were particularly pissed after your shots – you made sure the entire office staff and me know that you DID NOT like being poked with needles – but I didn’t notice much difference in your temperament in the days following like I did last time.

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Diet: Mama’s milk. With you being on the low end of the growth charts, I was a little nervous we’d be strongly encouraged to supplement with formula, but I was pleasantly surprised that your doctor said we could use some if we wanted, otherwise, to keep doing what we were doing. You are nursing great when I’m home and you’re taking bottles for daddy like a champ. In fact, I am not producing quite enough to keep up with you. I’ve been a few ounces short on the days I work (one day I was even 5 ounces short! That’s a ton since a good pump for me is 3 ounces!) and only barely been able to make enough for the day by pumping once a day on my days off. It’s really hard to nurse you on demand and still allow my body enough time to “fill up” in order to get a full pumping session done. I’m lucky to squeeze out an ounce and a half when you’ve nursed all day, but I’m trying. I’d really, REALLY like to give you breast milk exclusively until 6 months (when we’ll probably start solids), and even more, I’d love to make it a full year with breast milk only for you, but for now, 6 months is my main goal. I’m going to start taking Fenugreek and see if that helps up my supply a bit too.

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Sleep: Sleeping is going pretty well, but you do not sleep through the night. Well, sometimes you do, because technically “sleeping through the night” is 5 straight hours, which you will sometimes do. You usually average 4 – 6 hours after I put you down, then you eat and come to bed with us, and wake once before 6-ish, and then you still do your morning eat, sleep, snack, sleep thing until we finally wake for the day. I usually feel pretty rested, but a second cup of coffee around 3 pm really helps me get through the last part of my work days. So, if you’d like to make those 6 hour stents a habit, I certainly wouldn’t complain!

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Napping is another issue: you’re really not a fan. You’ve fallen into a loose pattern of naps, one in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and then a short one around 5 pm. The length of time you sleep for varies widely, and sometimes you’ll sleep two hours (very rare) and sometimes you’ll sleep 15 minutes (not as rare). I’d say you average 45 minute naps, but it’s hit or miss every time.

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Oh, and I should add that you’re still swaddled, but I no longer double swaddle because it’s been much warmer and I’m not as paranoid of you catching your death of cold.

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Nicknames: Sweet girl, cheeks, Lahdia, ‘tinker, little mama, and your most recent (dubbed by your daddy, of course): Droolia Child.

Favorite Things: We’re loving a lot of things this month! You’re still not crazy about toys, except for your OBall. It’s hands down your favorite, and the only toy you’ll really grab for and chew on for a few minutes. Mama did find a Lamaze giraffe (“Stretch“) at a consignment sale, and you seem to like him a little, but I’ve swapped it out for the OBall because if you decide to not be happy while in the carseat, it helps distract you better.

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You’ve started to enjoy your activity gym and you’re a big fan of your new bouncer.

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One day while mommy was at work, daddy pulled out your Jenny Jump Up, and you’re a big fan of that too! You look super tiny in it, but you sure have fun, which makes it all the cuter!

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We were going to take advantage of the last of daddy’s discount at REI and get a bicycle trailer for you, but after doing some research we realized it’s not safe to use on babies less than one year old, so we decided to wait until next summer to buy one and instead got a GoCrib. The GoCrib is basically an inflatable, pack-n-play that deflates down into a backpack. It’s pretty light weight compared to anything like it, making it one of the most portable cribs out there. They have great reviews, and I’m hoping we’ll love ours as much, I tried it out the day after we got it and you napped in it just fine and woke up smiling – so I’d say you approve!

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As much as you love your OBall, you’re most favorite thing this past month has been your hands. In fact, unless you’re ready for sleeping, you much prefer to suck on them instead of your pacifier. You’re pretty enthusiastic about them, too, and it’s pretty cute to see you  just mow down on those sweet little fingers!

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Lydia Clara, you are my joy! I literally wake up every morning excited to see you! Being your mother is an honor I just don’t have words for. You are far better than I ever dreamed and every day I thank Jesus for giving you to me. You are the best, sweetest, most amazing blessing!

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Precious girl, your daddy and I love you so, so, SO much! Thank you for being ours.

xoxo

Love,

Mama

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