Seven whole weeks ago, Lucy Amelia Sellers joined us in person at 2:11 AM on Sat, Nov 12, 2011. Since then, I’ve been meaning to start this blog! Somewhere between learning to be a parent (O.M.G.!!), swaddling, diapering, bathing, and feeding, the time slipped away! And here we are now, 7 weeks into the journey with blog post numero uno! I am actually typing this as I sit in the rocker in Lucy’s room, waiting for her to (1) fall asleep in her crib or (2) cry because she spit our her pacifier and wants it back (“don’t know what you got/till it’s gone…”). I’m betting #2 happens a lot more before we get to #1.
As you probably know if you’re reading this, Lucy Amelia is a pretty cool chick with red hair and a “spirited” personality (truly, that was her score on the baby temperament test!). And it’s true. There is no doubt that Lucy is a go-getter who will let you know her needs. There is no question if she’s hungry, or “hangry” (hungry + angry, as my friend Valerie puts it), or if she needs her diaper changed, or she just generally wants a change of scenery. She’s a good communicator. I respect that!
I meant to post each time she hit a milestone, and from here forward I’m hoping I can do that. But I’m afraid I’ve missed a lot of good blogging in the past 7 weeks. I’ll run through the highlights. So far, little LA has begun socially smiling. I think this happened around 4 weeks. She absolutely beams at us in the morning (her happiest, golden hour) after she wakes up, and she loves a new face. Come on over and meet her and I’ll bet she’ll flash a good grin at you. She’s also getting great at holding her head up. Her fave position right now is up on the shoulder. She holds her head high to survey the world. She gets great big bug eyes when this happens, and it’s pretty entertaining for us, too! Also, girl is seriously wanting to talk to us! We can get a pretty good “cooing” dialogue going these days. I think her first words, when they happen, will either be “Hiii!” (something I tend to repeat to her over and over) or “lay-down-Bear” (something I also tend to repeat over and over, to the dog). We’ll have to wait and see!
We may also consider tonight a milestone, but I’m kind of afraid to write about it for fear of jinxing something good! Tonight was the first night in a week that we did not experience “evening fussiness.” It’s that time from 6 PM till lights out where baby Lucy is NOT happy. For those of you who saw us over Christmas break, you know it generally consists of a lot of crying and screaming from Lucy, while Whit and I take turns walking around with her, bouncing her, holding the pacifier in her mouth, and trying all 5 of the “S’s” (swaddle, suck, side/stomach, shhhh, and swing). Those S’s do actually make a big difference, believe it or not! Of course we haven’t established a pattern at all for this, but I tried feeding her more today throughout the day. I also moved up the whole bedtime routine. We took a bath together, had a warm bottle, and got all swaddled up and pacifier’d by 7:30. We’ll see if it helps… On the upside, she slept a 6.5 hour stretch last night! That’s a first! I really hope that also becomes a pattern!
As we are learning lessons as parents every day, here are a few recent “game changers” (Whit’s term for those things that make us go, “why didn’t we think of that before?”):
* Swaddling rocks. Keep the arms in.
* Pacifiers do not cause nipple confusion. They do, however, provide a much-needed aid for transporting baby to dreamland, calming fussy baby, and keeping baby entertained in the minutes before sleep.
* A space heater in the bathroom keeps baby from screaming bloody murder when it’s time to get out of the tub. It’s a funny setup we have. Before bath, we start the space heater, lay out the swaddle, diaper, and PJs right in front of it, and get Lucy in the warm water. She is instantly calmed by it. Taking her out was a whole different story, until the space heater entered our lives. Warm baby is a happy baby!
* Arms flailing and legs kicking do not mean that Lucy is ready to party. They mean Lucy is ready for swaddle and sleep.