Today you are 18 weeks, 3 days old. You have changed so much in your short life already, I can’t believe it. You’ve more than doubled your birth weight and grown over 6 inches. You’ve gone from crying through diaper changes, to grunting and snorting through them (oh I miss those snorts!), to smiling through them (which is a pretty good trade-off, even if you don’t do the snorts any more). My still baby has turned into a wriggling delight, making diaper changes challenging, and bedtime hilarious. You push up and back with your heels while I change your diaper, then curl your knees upward toward your chest and bite your hands, making a little “ach” sound. As soon as I get the diaper back in place under your bottom, you push backward again and repeat the process. When I put you to bed for the night, you do the same curling inward thing, pulling your hands up inside the swaddle toward your mouth, even though your swaddle prevents you reaching it. Then you give me your biggest smile and start wriggling and kicking inside your swaddle. I have to leave you to kick yourself to sleep, because as long as I stand over you, you are kicking and wriggling and smiling. I always want to laugh, but I resist to avoid rousing you any more than you already are, so that you can fall asleep as quickly as you always do.
Though for naps, you aren’t nearly as cheerful or obliging. You almost always cry when it’s time for a nap, and while I’ve become pretty good at soothing you, it’s still nerve-frazzling and heartbreaking to hear that cry for any length of time. I sometimes have to give up on getting you to take your naps, especially the afternoon naps, and let you skip them, but always pay for it later. On those days, you are so tired by bedtime that you have a complete meltdown and soothing you takes a long time and I have to pull out all the tricks I’ve learned that help to calm you down. What works better than anything else is holding you sideways, your chest to my chest, and bouncing you up and down while rocking side to side or front to back, and then popping a pacifier in your mouth as soon as you settle enough to take it. The pacifier isn’t always needed, but can help if you’re extra inconsolable. You do this cute thing with your mouth every time when you finally settle down. Your eyes drift closed, slowly open, close again, and you pucker your lips and stick your tongue behind them, stick it out a little bit, and then boom. You’re out.
In the last couple weeks you’ve changed more quickly & dramatically than at any other time. You are suddenly so much more interested in the world around you, and in the toys I present you with, reaching for them, hitting them, shaking them, biting and sucking on them. I accidentally deleted the video of you first showing interest in a toy, but thankfully uploaded it to Facebook first, so you can watch yourself playing with the giraffe toy from Grandma Miller that hangs over your changing table here (click “HD” at the bottom of the video to show a more clear version).
Your talking Tow Mater toy from Grandma Miller kept you happy with tummy time a lot longer than Mama ever could:
And here you are enjoying your ball rattle from Great Aunt Dorothy for the first time:
Even better, you’ve finally started to roll over, and I got my first giggles out of you this week! We visited your Daddy’s family and Grandma Miller got the best giggles out of you by far! She made you giggle, which made us giggle, which made you giggle, and it just went on and on. I was too caught up in the joy of it to think about taking a video, but hopefully I’ll catch that soon. I want to capture the sound of your giggle before your voice changes again. Already your cry is so much deeper than a couple months ago, when everyone used to think you were a cat meowing when you cried.
Thanks to you, I haven’t written a Thankful Thursday in months. Because they would all be about you and since I talk about you more than anything else now, I’m afraid my blog would be just way too redundant to gush about our little blessing every Thursday. Maybe some day I will move beyond my gratitude for you and remember there are other things to be thankful for, but for now I don’t need or want to. I’m sure you know by now how much we wanted you and how much we love you, and you’re probably sick of hearing it, but it will always be true. Last week you were dazzling us with your usual morning cheer (you are crazy happy in the mornings, and it makes us a little less grumpy to be faced with such such huge smiles when we’re just wanting a little more sleep), and I told your Dad that we’re so lucky. He said, “I know. I knew that when we found out he had a brain on the sonogram.” You know Dad. :) Hopefully by the time you read this our standards for what impresses us will have grown a little, and you have been inspired by our expectations to do more than just exist. Which is all we really require of you right now. Your mere existence is heaven.