Sunday, August 2, 2015

Three Months of Charlie

Three months in, and things are starting to get real good in the Hill house. Charlie makes quite the fun addition to our small clan. She's learning new tricks, and I spend all day documenting these tricks, talking about them, and then watching the videos of them after she's gone to sleep. Clearly, she is a first child.
I'm starting a Charlie fan club, in which I serve as President, VP, and Secretary. Nik can serve as Treasurer for his willingness to sponsor our adventures. There are other members, particularly older women in stores. The same women that loved the giant bump she made me sport are now gawking at her outside the womb. The most common comment an interaction with Charlie results in is, "She is so alert!" She's been that way from the start, and it contributes to her struggle to fall sleep. For the most part, I've nixed the elaborate sleep routines and just nurse her to sleep, because it is the only activity that gets her to close her eyes. Each night, as she drifts off to sleep I think, "Why wouldn't you want to nurse your child to sleep? This is so special." Followed by three middle of the night feedings, with me frantically googling how to stop nursing your child to sleep. 
When we were in the trenches of the colic/allergy phase, I'd often hear Nik say, "She's a little dramatic, like her mama." Even though we've graduated from that phase, the drama has followed us. She feels all the feelings. Sometimes, we'll be listening to a song, and as the emotion in the song builds, her eyes well up with tears. By the third verse, her pouty lip will be out in full force, to be following by wimpering sobs. Other times, when on the verge of giggling she'll get overwhelmed, and go into the pouty lip routine. It's a combination of hilarious and devastating watching her lip quiver, accompanied by whiney, dramatic cries. 
 Char has mastered smiling, especially after being fed when she wakes up from a nap. She gives big gummy grins that make me burst with happiness. She still doesn't like tummy time, but when forced she shows off a strong back. All her quiet observance, has resulted in a strong desire to grab things, and she loves tugging on my hair, sticking her hands in my mouth, and grabbing my nose. If you place your fingers in front of her face, she'll grab them, but in the process might get a little cross-eyed. If she's hungry or tired, she'll find her fist and suck on it. She hasn't mastered sucking only her thumb, but I think in a few weeks she'll get there. As previous thumb suckers we are unsure if we are going to prevent this habit or not. When we lay her on the ground, she rocks back in forth, using the weight of her legs. She's going to roll over any day now.
After weeks of singing, rattling toys, and constant sing-songy talking, Charlie is becoming playful. She's starting to get it. The other night, I went for a run, so Nik handled her nighttime routine. When I came back, she was halfway through a bottle, drowsy. He passed her onto me, and as we were nursing, I asked Nik a question. Hearing my voice, she woke up, and realized I was back. She looked up and kept smiling coyly. Then, she'd pretend to latch, only to pull back and give a cheerful coo, waiting for me to acknowledge her. For five minutes, she kept playing this "game" and I loved it.

Charlie was blessed at three months, which is a little bit older than typical. We hadn't planned on it, but with family flying in and new cousins that were also being blessed, August was what worked. It worked out perfectly. If we had blessed her any time before nine weeks, she most likely would have screamed through the whole thing. She was alert, and calm, and pretty darn cute. I didn't think it would be a sentimental day, but as I was in the mother's room with my mom putting on her blessing dress, I couldn't help but think of my mom helping me get dressed on my wedding day. Charlie looked so sweet in all white, and when I heard Nik say her name in the blessing my heart swelled with pride. Not just for Charlie, but for this little family we've started.

Stay Golden

By the time I learned what a golden birthday was, mine had already passed. Totally jipped. Nik, however, has the privilege of being born towards the end of the month, allowing him the opportunity to appreciate the golden birthday experience.

Considering the overwhelming amount of free time I have on my phone when nursing, I researched birthday gifts more than ever before. Based on my personal experience, insane amounts of research do not result in perfect birthday gifts. It did result in me forcing Nik to open all his presents an entire week early because I was so excited about these thoroughly researched gifts. 

Anyways, back to golden birthdays. Nik turned 26 on the 26th. To make it the ultimate birthday, and to take advantage of his fleeting prime, Nik decided to run a marathon on his birthday. As in 26.2 miles on his birthday.  

With a 5:30 race call time, Nik woke up at 4:00 to get to the city. His birthday breakfast was a banana and Cliff bar. Which should probably go down in history as the worst birthday breakfast ever. 

With the invaluable help of my dad, who contributed his car, time, knowledge of the city and marathon-ing in general, the morning went seamlessly.  He knew the course well enough and Nik's time goals, that we caught Nik on his 21st mile. It also happened to be on the block his office is. He looked awesome and in good spirits. Which was a welcome sight, considering we anticipated a chafed, borderline quitting runner.

Watching the faces of the runners passed us solidified my desire to not participate in a marathon. Charlie on the other hand, wanted to fit in with the runners, and proceeded to poop her pants, impressively blowing through all the layers I had bundled her in. 

We were barely able to catch Nik running towards the finish line. The race was huge, so we had to walk through a massive crowd of families and friends to find the finishers. Somehow I got separated from the group, without my phone, and a baby in a carrier with soiled clothes. All was well though, and we found each other. Charlie took one for the team, and only whined as I proceeded to change her on concrete, with cold bay air, in front of approximately ten thousand people. 

I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge that Nik trained for a marathon while juggling a newborn at home, a hormonally imbalanced wife, and a new job. Apparently, being 26 makes you insane.