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.

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