For Christmas, Chester and I got Little B a few new books for her library, including On the Night That You Were Born. I started to read it to her as a bedtime story the other night, and the tears started flowing before I even got through the first paragraph, which reads:
“On the night that you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same.’ Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.”
Luckily, Chester was able to finish it for us while I pulled myself together. I stroked her head and tried to keep my tears from dripping on her, thinking how lucky I am to be her mom. She is gorgeous, fun and smart and already has done so many things that have made me so proud of her. Sometimes–particularly when she looks at me and smiles–I love her so much that I feel like my heart might explode.
This past month has been busy, especially with all of the excitement associated with the holidays. In addition to the many firsts that I previously mentioned, Little B enjoyed two days of Christmas celebrations with family and friends and was spoiled with all kinds of presents (Side note to children’s toy manufacturers: Please stop making the boxes that toys come in so awkwardly shaped. They are a bitch to wrap. Also, please limit the use of zip ties, string, etc. to keep them secure in the boxes. All of that stuff is also a bitch to deal with).
If we are friends on Facebook, you have probably seen all of these pictures already, but I can’t resist sharing them again. I cannot get over how adorable she looked in her little dresses!
With Daddy on Christmas Eve
Celebrating with Granny and Auntie Bridget
Excited over one of her new gifts, although she enjoyed the wrapping paper and bows more!
Christmas is exhausting. Sneaking in a nap before unwrapping more gifts at Granny’s. Also of note is the fact that her head is so large that we had to get her a toddler-sized headband!
On the day after Christmas, we embarked on another transition, as we started crib training. Ever since the second night she was home, she had slept in a Rock-and-Play sleeper next to our bed. But, when we noticed that her feet were starting to stick out of it and she seemed pretty uncomfortable, we knew that it was time to move her into the crib in her own room.
I was pretty apprehensive about starting the process, because the few times that I tried to get her to nap in her crib had been a disaster. Granted, she is not the best napper in the world (unless she is being lulled to sleep by a car ride or walk in her stroller), but she would rarely get more than 30 minutes of sleep in her crib.
I read up on the various methods of getting your little one to sleep in a crib–cry it out, no-cry, pick-up, put-down–and in the end I just decided to do what I always do: make it up as I go along. I know that I couldn’t deal with letting her cry it out, so I guess what we have been doing most closely resembles the no-cry method. We go into her room to comfort her when she needs it. I don’t pick her up (okay, I have picked her up a few times when things get really bad) but I find that rubbing her legs and talking to her helps to calm her down.
We have been at it a week now, and each night is getting a bit better (although daytime naps are still terrible). She cries off and on for about an hour before she settles down. When she finally does drift off, she often rolls over in her sleep and jolts herself awake. It is so hard to hear her get so upset and to top it off, she seems most comfortable sleeping on her side (with her face pointed away from the video monitor so I can’t see her, of course) which makes me a nervous wreck.
I know they say that once a baby can roll, you can’t really do anything to keep her on their backs while they sleep and just have to trust that they would be able to get themselves into another position if they were in danger. Easier said than done. If there were carpeting in our hallway, I would have already worn a groove in it from the number of trips I make from our bedroom to hers every night, just to check that all is well.
Other than this (hopefully temporary) bump in the road, everything else has been pretty smooth sailing.
Little B continues to love the sound of her own voice. In addition to her sweet little coos, she has figured out to make high-pitched shrieks when she gets particularly excited about or annoyed by something. Lately, she is really enjoying blowing raspberries and bubbles and she has been imitating us when we make sounds at her. She seems to really like Bs and Ms (I’m hoping that the latter will mean that her first word will be “Mama”).
As I mentioned previously, she giggled for the first time just a couple of weeks back. At the beginning of the month, she started to reward my attempts at humor with a little “heh-heh”. But, the incident with the Hershey kiss was a full on rolling giggle, as though she had heard the funniest joke in the entire world. She has been doing it pretty often ever since and it is absolutely my favorite sound in the world.
I’m thrilled that she seems to love being read to. She stares intently at brightly colored pictures and can even turn the pages in some of her board-style books. I’m enjoying sharing some of the classics from my childhood, such as Curious George, with her and have even discovered some new favorites. For example, we read “What Snowmen Do at Night” and “Snowmen at Christmas” a lot during the last month and I fell in love with the stories and illustrations. I was so excited that she got the other two books in the series–“Snowmen at Work” and “Snowmen All Year”–for Christmas. I highly recommend them if you have little ones in your life.
Little B’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination are continuing to improve. Just a few weeks ago, we were still shaking her toys in front of her face while she just looked at them, and now she can manipulate some of them herself (and get them into her mouth). Lately, she is really into anything that rattles and rustles, as well as loveys/small stuffed animals that she can clutch. She discovered her feet this month and I love watching her grab them and try and get them into her mouth.
Her Exersaucer is her new favorite thing
As we embark on this new year, I have to say that I was a little sad to see 2013 go. It was one of the best years that I have had in awhile, for obvious reasons. However, I know that there are plenty of good days ahead as we continue to watch Little B grow and change during the next 365 days. I hope you have exciting plans in store for 2014 as well!