Sunday, September 10, 2006

Four months old

Dear Ess,

It seems you have decided to celebrate your four-month birthday by taking a very big step: Today, you rolled from your tummy to your back for the very first (and second) time! You've been working on doing this for a while now, and this morning you finally figured out how to push off with your arms and wiggle your legs just right to flip over. You seemed awfully pleased with yourself when you were done, too.

In the last day or so, you've also started to unclench those little fists of yours and swipe at some of your toys. Yesterday, you tried to grab Zeke, and this afternoon you were grabbing at your musical frog. You've also recently discovered the joy of sucking on your hands; you spend lots of time trying to get them in your mouth. Sometimes, you even succeed! (And we have to admit to enjoying watching you hold a hand up against your cheek and then contort your lips around to try to reach it.)

You've gotten big enough to face forward in the Baby Bjorn, and yesterday you fell asleep in it while we were walking on a nice trail a couple miles from our house. You also ride sitting up in the sling, although you're still a little too little to do that for long. You've recently begun to take an active interest -- which we are completely thwarting -- in watching TV. So far, you seem to prefer sporting events, although to be fair you haven't had the opportunity to gaze on much else. And you love to sit on Mom's lap, leaning up against her, and look out at the world. You especially love it when Dad is nearby, making faces at you -- you arch your back and grin at him constantly. We think he just might be your favorite toy.

Your sleeping has improved quite a bit this month, for which we are very thankful. You reliably sleep for four or five hours after you first go to bed, and then sometimes for another three after that. You're still waking up more frequently (and with lots of gas that makes you uncomfortable) in the pre-dawn hours, but we've even seen some relief in that pattern from time to time. And just a few days ago, we took the big step of putting you to bed in your crib, in your own bedroom, for the very first time. You didn't seem to mind much at all, although you still end up in bed with us by about 3 am, largely because Mom is too tired to get out of bed and trot down the hall to you every couple hours. Now, if only we can finish organizing that bedroom and get some art on the walls...

In the last few weeks, you've also begun "talking" to us frequently. You love to sit in your bouncy seat and carry on a conversation -- you make some noises, then wait for one of us to answer you, and then you chat a bit more. You've gotten more sensitive to noise; these days, you wince whenever your silly dogs bark. Which is a lot. And speaking of the dogs: You finally outweigh Rocky!! We will get an 'official' weight for you later this week, but you're about 12 pounds now, and just about to grow out of your 0-3 months clothes.

You're still going to staff meeting with Dad every Wednesday morning. His only requests of you were that you take long naps and not have a poopy diaper in the middle of the meeting. So far, you have totally ignored both requests, which sometimes makes life a little difficult for your poor father. Otherwise, though, you seem to really enjoy spending time at his job, where everyone thinks you are the cutest baby ever.

And, really, we would have to agree. It's amazing to watch you grow and change, and it's stunning what you've learned in just these few months you've been around. Even though you're such a tiny little girl, you are teaching us to be patient and flexible. You're reminding us how wonderful it can be to just lay around and look at the leaves on the trees as they rustle in the wind, and how nice it is to take a warm bath. We absolutely adore you, little one, and are very proud to be your parents.

Much, much love,
Mom and Dad