Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Four Months Old

Our Wonder-Girl has been in the world a whole year now - nine months forming and three (and a bit) months on the outside. It's a truly awesome thought.

And while I admit to being entirely snowed under and surviving on coffee (hello coffee my old friend, I love you sooooo much) our wonder-girl is a constant joy.

Studies have shown that babies smiles release the same good-stuff in their mum as cocaine, and not having taken cocaine, I can see how people become addicted. Wonder-girl has the most incredible, slow-growing smile that does serious things to my insides. While the smile is slow to form, once she smiles she smiles and smiles and smiles, then giggles then smiles some more. Life is just so good.

She finds everything about the world amazing. While the other three kids are very busy telling me exactly what I've done wrong (Adventure Boy loudly, The Extravaganza at length and in detail and Giggle-Bear with exasperation) Wonder-Girl thinks I'm perfect just the way I am. Well, as long as the milk keeps coming.

She has discovered her feet and thinks they are the Best. Thing. Ever. After the milk. Although it appears she keeps forgetting she has them, because every time she finds them again she looks at them with wonder and awe in exactly the same way.

Hands, she's known about for awhile, but she's going through a stage of intense sucking, chewing and drooling that could be the fore-runner of teeth - or could just be a drool-fest for the sake of it.

As she becomes more interactive the kids are becoming more taken with her. This is good - Giggle-Bear being gorgeous and stroking her face. "My Anna-baby. Mine baby."

And not so good. The Extravaganza trying to sneak her out of the house to show her off to all her friends.

She's sleeping in her own room momentarily - as we've moved her bassinet into the little-girl's room in preparation for it's life as a doll-bed, but have not yet put up her cot in our room so she is - gulp - sleeping in her own bed in her own room. Some nights she's the only one who does. I like to think of my nightly pretzeling as a form of yoga. She's sleeping a nice solid nine hours - with only occasionally waking for a snack. I go through to her in the morning and she's doing her stretches and playing with her toes, and then she sees me, and gives the biggest grin in the world.

And - this is very exciting - it's been cool enough recently I've got to put her in a onesie with feet. And wrap her in blankets. I almost wept with joy. While I am glad, in general, that she doesn't need blankets as it's so much safer... it's such a treat on nights I do get to tuck her in.

If the other kids would only sleep like her...

The cot putting-up-ering has become a matter of some urgency as she is rolling with vigour, loves arching her back, and is an old hand at scrunching her way along on her mat and doing bottom-ups, using her chunky little thighs to push up her lower half. She can actually move a foot or so just by pushing off with her feet. I feel some gratitude she has waited so long to be mobile(ish) as I was talking to a mum at playgroup whose niece rolled over at three days old. And then did it again. And again. Busy blinking - that child will be a monkey. Having had a child who was regularly climbing into the kitchen sink before the age of two I do not wish a monkey child on anyone.

Her hair has lightened, and become less thick. Her eyes are most decidedly blue - we wait with interest to discover the exact shade. Her expressions range from awed to owlish, daintily observant, overjoyed to all-out-furious.

As baby number four, she spends a large amount of her time in the baby-carrier and it's so lovely being able to look down to her serenely sleeping face, or give her a quick feed on the move. Going around the shopping centre today I noticed lots more mum's with carriers - and they are such a great thing - babies seems so much more peaceful and I think the contact is good for mum and baby. Now, I often find strangers grinning at me, then realise that she's giggling at them through the side or making eyes at them over the top, depending on how she's being carried. Anyone who can not smile at a baby smiling at them is clearly a monster. It's a very simple test.

She's shown her first interest in food - peering intently at her daddy eating chicken and then following it with her eyes as he moved it around and then reaching for it. She then did the same with my cherries. We'll wait until she can sit up by herself, but as soon as she can it'll be all systems go and I'm so looking forward to seeing her faces when she tries the non-milk.

She remains a water-baby. We've been going swimming two or three times a week and pool or sea she's delighted to be in water. Shower or bath. If it's wet she's happy. I hold her head and she floats in her sister's bath. (They think it's a massive treat and ask for her) Splashing, waves, none of it worries her.

Four months, so hard to believe, the newborn stage has been left far far behind and she's stepping into her position as one of the big kids. ('Ma-ma! Hair. Anna! Ouch!' - Giggle-Bear-ease for - she pulled my hair!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Woo-Woo turns Two

 "Mama, Woo-woo? Dada?"

She whispers plaintively, as she has every night we've been away. Mummy, where are Wolfie and Daddy, I miss them. Although her vocabulary is fast expanding, her sentences still have a way to come.

Tucked into my side as we sing the last songs before sleep, she always says the same thing. Woo-woo, Dada.

And I realise that it's true, Wolfie is Giggle-Bear's best friend, the one who's always with her, the one, apart from me she sees the most when the big kids are at school. He's been with her for her first step, her first memories. They play together and squabble over toys. He's gentle with her, rough with our rough boy. They've sat and waited in the front window together for the big kids to come home, watched the big kids playing in the street. When she plays in her sandbox he's beside her, when she naps he sits guard or lies beside her. He's there to lick the ice-cream off her face and steal away the high-status toy.

Wolfie turned two yesterday - celebrated with diced beef, some bones, a big walk and a lion toy Giggle-Bear stole for her own - the stealing goes both ways. And I looked over some old photos and reflected on how lucky we've been. At two Wolfie is mellow and calm and steadily affectionate, and Giggle-Bear's best friend. While in his wild-puppyhood he'd almost pull us over on walks, he now plods amiable - and only pulls a little bit when he spots a random cat. We really lucked out.

While Wolfie was slow to bond - no 'I-Love-Everybody-Labrador' he's loyal and gentle now. A toddler can, and has, picked up his bone without danger, he loves to come swimming with us in the sea and he's never met another dog he hasn't been desperate to be friends with. Having had some less friendly dogs this is a massive relief.

So in celebration of our gorgeous Wolfiekins and in hopes of many more years... girl and dog, growing up together...

 First Meetings

 I've got this. Keeping guard.

So Woo-Woo, this is how you do it.