Phoebe doesn’t stop moving these days, so most of our photos look like this:
Phoebe has been cranky the past couple days. Really cranky. And nothing seems to help. She’ll act like she wants to nurse, then she’s cry when I try to nurse her. She’ll be super tired, but she won’t go to sleep. Not even if I babywear her to sleep (i.e. put her in the ring sling and walk her till she drifts off). Not even if I lie in bed with her and nurse her to sleep. This behavior is very unlike her. And then, last night, while checking out her gums, I noticed a little tooth peeking through. (You’ll probably have to click on the picture to see the tooth, at which point you’ll also be able to see a bugger in her nose. ^_^)
My daughter is cutting her first tooth. What a great way to celebrate being three months old.
I have to say, when I saw the tooth peeking through, I was relieved, because there was a reason for her recent odd behavior. Otherwise, Phoebe and I have found a groove together this month. She wakes up at about the same time every day; she goes to sleep around the same time. She almost never poops in her diaper, and often cues me to pee as well.* I let her nurse when she wants to, on what side she wants to, and for however long she wants to; to be honest, however, she’s more interested in the wide and wonderful world these days than in nursing.
*(We’re doing infant pottying. I talk about it more here.)
This is the landscape of our lives these days…
(Starting at 5:30am or 6:30am) Wake; pee and poop; hang out in bed with Mama and Papa (often diaper free). Nurse in bed; giggle at the window; giggle at Papa; spit up a lot (always in the morning). Hang out while Mama makes breakfast, either sitting on the counter or in the ring sling. Take a short nap (35 minutes).
(8am or 9am) Wake; pee; hang out on Papa’s lap while breakfast winds to a close and Mama and Papa say a prayer to start the day. Hang out under the mobile; yelp to pee; sit in the baby potty and play with toys or read books with Mama. Hang out in the ring sling while Mama does chores. Start getting sleepy, usually in the ring sling. If Mama’s going out, transfer to carseat and take a short nap. If Mama’s staying in, transfer to co-sleeper for another short nap. Or, if Mama’s tired, take a longer co-sleeping nap.
(Next time we arise) Wake; pee; nurse; play. Sometimes we’ll do this a couple times before the end of the day. Sometimes there are only 3 naps before bedtime. Phoebe use to stay awake for 1h35 minutes between 45 minute naps, but recently the world has been so interesting, she’ll stay awake for 2 hours or more, and often only take a 25-35 minute nap.
When we’re out and about, she used to block out the world and fall asleep in the ring sling at any chance. Now she’s much too interested for that; she whips her head from side to side to see what’s going on, and saves the time in the car for her mini-naps.
(Around 4pm-6pm) Bedtime routine starts. Phoebe is put into a diaper (if she had been diaper free up till that point). Clothing change: we put her in her nightgown. If she’s too active, I may sing a lullaby or read “Goodnight Moon” to help her calm down. Once she gets cranky or sleepy, I’ll sit in the rocking chair and nurse her till she starts to drift off. We transfer to the bed, where I lay beside her and let her nurse to sleep. Some nights, I transfer her without nursing, but lately (due to the teething) she’s been too upset for that to be effective.
By 6pm or 7pm most nights, Phoebe is asleep for the night. She wakes around 9pm-11pm for a diaper change, but never truly awakens. And she does the same a few times in the early morning.
Those are our days.
We don’t have a schedule. We don’t even have a routine. What we’ve got is an understanding of each other. I know when Phoebe is having a tough day and needs me to be more hands on. On those days, chores and cooking take a back burner. Then, there are other days when she’s happy to play while I fold laundry or do dishes. She’ll hang out in the same room as me, and squeal to cue me if she wants to be peed.
I try to be with her as much as possible, talking to her or touching her so that she knows that I’m always nearby. I like to think that my constant presence is part of the reason she feels confident enough to explore as much as she does. She loves pushing off my chest to get a better view of her surroundings. She loves to talk to artwork that is in her nursery. She loooooooves looking at the baby in the mirror. She likes to grasp her toes. She loves it when I help her stand. She never chooses to be on her belly, but when I position her belly down, she loves to prop herself up and thinks it’s super-silly when she immediately rolls onto her back. She loves looking at the Wee Gallery animals and she loves her Lamaze toys (we have 1 on the carseat, 1 on an activity gym, and 1 set up for her to play with on her potty).
What else is there to say? This blog post feels a lot more like a journal than the last two (month one; month two). Phoebe’s finding her groove in the world, and Mr. Wetzel and I are finding our groove as parents. There are still challenges and things are always changing and developing. But we do best when we trust ourselves, dig into our intuition, and make time to enjoy the budding personality and growth in our little babe. We are all in relationship together. We are growing with each other. We are changing as we dance together through the rhythms of life. We don’t know where we’re headed, but we’re together, and we love being together.
I’m gonna just come out and make a prediction. You and me? We’re gonna be friends.
I love making you laugh. I love it that my kisses make you laugh. I love it that, when Papa comes home, you giggle with glee, then bury your head in my chest, then look up to see if he’s still there, then giggle with glee and burry your face over and over again.
I cannot tell you how cool I think it is that you understand me and that I understand you. When I ask you, “Do you need to go to the bathroom?” I love it that you smile if my intuition is correct. I think it’s beyond cool that you wait to pee until you’re out of your diaper, even if we’re out running errands.
The first three months are often referred to as “the fourth trimester,” and I’m a little sad to see them go. This is the first time I’ve felt a twinge of “mom sadness” at seeing you grow up and grow away from me. You are not independent yet, but I can see you laying the ground work; and while I’m proud of you and I cherish your growth in my heart of hearts, there is a part of me that is sad to see our beginnings fade into memory.
I wish I had written more poetry.
I wish pictures were as true as the moments they tried to capture.
I am only sad because things are so quick to change. I am only sad because I am nearly catching my breath, nearly losing sight of who we were in light of the crazy beautiful dance that we are currently living. I am only a little sad, but then you giggle at me and deep joy rushes over me; I am showered with gratitude and hope; I am quickened to a new place where I become a new person, and you become a first person, cradled in my arms.