Miss M. is sleeping peacefully in her swing. She doesn't sleep well when it storms, and last night as the wind and rain lashed the house, she tossed fitfully and cried every time her pacifier slipped from her lips.* Needless to say, from about midnight until I finally gave up at around 6am and got up with her, I slept in 30 minute increments, punctuated by pacifier-reinsertion.
She was adorable this morning, though. After eating breakfast, she nodded off again, and I went to have a half a cup of coffee in the living room with T. while she snoozed in her bassinet. It was only my second time drinking coffee in about a year. I really do miss the ritual of morning coffee, although not the effects of caffeine. I am toying with never going back to it now that I've kicked the addiction, but I do so enjoy savoring a cup while chatting with T., particularly on blustery mornings like this one. Anyway, I thought I heard Miss M. after a bit, and padded back into my bedroom to check on her. She was laying in her bassinet quietly amusing herself. Usually she screams her head off when she wakes because she wants to be picked up, but not this morning. Since she was content in her bassinet, I decided to leave her there for a bit.
A few days ago, I found these really cool farm animal crib cards. They are printed on board book-type material, and feature black and white graphics. Each card is about 4 x 6 in size, and has one large graphic of a different animal on it. I've noticed that Miss M. is still quite attracted to our sheets, which have a red flowers set on a cream background, so I thought she might like the crib cards. They're meant to be placed at the edge of the crib so the baby can look at them. They are the kind of thing you might see for sale and think was a waste of money, but I suspected they might be a hit in my house. Sure enough, this morning I placed one of the cards inside the top edge of the bassinet, just up above her. She immediately fell in love with the little graphic sheep. She stared and stared and stared, giggling and talking to it. And I stared and stared and stared at her, watching her interact with a piece of cardboard. It is so fun to watch her start to interact with the world around her.
She continues to hold her head up, and is very inquisitive about the world around her. She likes to turn her head and look around, especially while being held up over our shoulders. She is particularly fascinated by our fireplace surround right now, which is made of stone. She also loves the pattern on the glider, which has multicolored brown circles on a cream background.
Miss M. is also exploring much more with her hands. She likes to rub the sides of the bassinet bumper, which is quilted and therefore a bit textured. She still has poor hand coordination, but she repeatedly struck one of the toys hanging from her exercise mat this week, and seemed delighted when music tinkled out of it each time she hit it. She gets quite excited under the mat and also in her vibrating chair, and will vigorously move her arms and legs while making tons of noise, all the while staring at the various animals on both. Her hands are frequently rubbing at her eyes, in her mouth, yanking at my hair while I'm holding her at my shoulder, or pinching my breasts as she eats. Her grip is incredibly strong. It makes me happy to watch her (although I could do without the pinching or hair pulling).
She is also excellent in both the car and the stroller. I had thought that she went to sleep every time I put her in the car, because she is so quiet. Yesterday, however, I rode in the backseat with her, as we were in the car with T. and a friend. I discovered that although she becomes quiet in the car, she doesn't actually go to sleep all the time--sometimes she is simply watching out the window. I just love how inquisitive and engaged she is with the world around her now.
She is now into the 0-3 months and 3 months sized clothing. They looked enormous to me, but my mother assured me that once we washed the clothing, it would all shrink a bit and fit. Sure enough, it all fits just fine now that it's washed. One of my projects for today is to pack up the newborn clothing, and put away all of the freshly washed larger sized clothing. It's sad in a way, but also exciting to see her grow.
We had a very funny incident this week while out and about. I've been trying to walk with her every day. I really need to build up some stamina before I got back to work. A few months of being very pregnant followed by a few months of lazing about with a new babe has done little for my cardiovascular system, to say nothing of my muscles, or lack thereof. We walked outside while it was warm earlier in the week. However, it got colder toward the end of the week, so we were relegated to walking the mall.
While at the mall, I needed to feed Miss M. I had previously fed her in a dressing room at Koh.l's, in the bra section, and found it to be the perfect location. No one even came into the dressing room while we were in there. So, this time I decided to use the dressing room at Ma.cy's. It was the middle of a work day, so I figured it would be dead. Um, wrong.
Right after we started nursing, a woman came into the dressing room and of course set herself up in the stall right next to us. (When there are ten empty stalls, don't you go into one that ISN'T next to the other occupied stall? Isn't that like, a rule?) We were nursing away quietly at that point, my back against the wall and my feet up on the stroller. It is worth mentioning here that Miss M., delicate flower though she is, has a digestive system that quite routinely rivals in both quantity and volume the flatulence of a teenage boy after a pot of chili. Sometimes she emits mere farts. Sometimes, however, we are treated to rolling, gurgling volcanic eruptions that we have come to call pooplosions. As the name suggests, these are PRODUCTIVE emissions. During our dressing room feedig, Miss M. treated me to a ROARING pooplosion just after the woman entered the stall next to us, in a moment when the woman was standing still and everything was perfectly quiet.
This, of course, struck me as hilarious. The woman couldn't have had any idea at that point that I was in there with a baby, and must've been completely horrified by the juicy noises coming from my side of the partition. I didn't want to laugh out loud, but found it so funny that my shoulders were shaking with silent laughter. Upon seeing me laughing, Miss M. immediately pulled off my boob and began smiling beautifically at me, which only made me laugh harder, which made her smile more. . .and then burp quite loudly. Oh, how I laughed, imagining the horror of the woman in the next booth. I finally broke down and made a big production of burping the baby, so she didn't think there was some digestively challenged adult pawing through clean merchandise in the next booth.
I so enjoy having a baby. . .even when she is whimpering because she's ejected the pacifier for the 47th time today. Time to go!
*The Great Pacifier Experiment ultimately succeeded. She has a tremendous need to self-soothe through sucking, and we've found it particularly useful at night and when she needs to nap.