Thursday, October 4, 2012

Month Four

Penelope Catherine,

Month four has come and gone in a quick little flash. This month we had some bumps in the road (see: time for me to go back to work), but you have continued to be a joy. You are truly the highlight of every single day.

Mama was back to work this month, which meant your first (and subsequently, your last) day of daycare and my first night away from you. I could write a few thousand words on how hard it was, and still is, for me to leave you. But I will just give you the summary: there is nowhere I'd rather been than at home with you. Though I had originally planned to take you to Savannah with me and have you in daycare there, I realized 6 hours into my first day of this plan that it was not the right decision for either of us. Over the course of this month I cut back my travel schedule and we found a nanny (Abby, whom we all adore) to stay with you while I am gone.

After we decided to take you out of daycare, we were left in a bit of a lurch until we found someone to watch you. Grandmother to the rescue! She came to stay with us for a few days while I was at work and Daddy was studying. She loves you more than words can say and took such great care of you while I was gone.

You went on your first real roadtrip. We took you to Pensacola and you got to meet so many people who already love you (Uncle William, Great Aunt Connie, Great Aunt Maggie, Aunt Sarah, Nenny, and Pops, to name a few) and to see your Grandpa again. Grandmother rode with us on the way there, and the two of you had so much fun playing in the backseat. We stopped halfway there and you had your first hotel stay. You were your happy and easygoing self the whole time we were traveling. Grandmother had a room all set-up for you at her house, complete with white noise, blackout shades, and a replica crib. While we were there, we spent a lot of time in the pool with you. No surprise at all considering your love for the bath, you took to it like a fish and made good use of the five bathing suits Grandmother got you while I was pregnant. You couldn't have been more relaxed in your baby float:

And, on our way back home, we made a pit stop to see Aunt Lizzie, Uncle Lofton, and Reese. They hadn't seen you since the day after you were born, so it was fun to have a quick visit and exciting for you to finally meet Reese.

You attended your first birthday celebration this month (well, other than being present on your own birth day) - Mama turned twenty-nine! The day was a relaxed one, and holding you in my lap while I blew out my candles left me with nothing more to wish for. My dreams have come true with this little family of ours.

Your sleeping and eating continue to be consistently great. You are nursing six times a day. You are still taking four naps a day - a couple of 1 - 2 hour naps and a couple of shorter 30 minute - 1 hour naps. Your night sleep is unchanged, too. Still down around 6:30, dreamfeed around 10pm, and then snoozing away until 6:30 or 7:00am. We are still going in to give you the pacifier a few times each night.

This month, you outgrew your swing and your bouncy seat. We put your jumparoo together and you are starting to figure it out. You love to look at the toys and are slowly figuring out how to use your legs to bounce, though you need a pillow under your feet so you can reach the floor. We also got you a highchair. We won't start you on solids until you are six months old, but we wanted to have another area for you to play. You love the highchair and are content to sit there in the kitchen or at the table with us, playing with your toys and being part of the action. 

You have mastered reaching and grabbing this month. We joke that you have a process: see something, reach for it, grab it, put it in your mouth, repeat all day long. You also rolled over the other direction (back to tummy) this month. Your Daddy and I were both sitting there watching you, and when we realized you were about to roll over, we jumped up and hovered over you with bated breath while you rocked back and forth. There was much cheering when you made it to your belly. As soon as you realized we were cheering for you, you started grinning your biggest grins at us. This is also the first month you started really noticing Fletcher (which is surprising, considering his favorite activity is to lick your face); you watch his every move.

You are so beautiful to us; I study you all day long, taking in your perfect little features. Your eyes are still blue, for now. You hair is just growing longer and longer, and this month was long enough for your Daddy to put in a little ponytail! It has been lightening up since you were born, just like Mama's did when she was a baby. You also have a cowlick right on the crown of your head, and, though it may give you fits when you are old enough to do your own hair, it makes your hair flop over in the sweetest little curl. Although you are definitely a combination of your Daddy and me, people think you look most like me. Daddy likes to call you little Mama.

First ponytail.

To no surprise to us, you found your thumb this month. During every ultrasound we had, you were always sucking your thumb or your fingers, so we knew it was only a matter of time. I must say, you make quite an adorable thumb-sucker.

Bathtime continues to be a favorite for both you and Daddy. I can hear you two chatting away with each other. In general, you are a little chatterbox; if you are awake, you are usually talking and cooing and squealing and laughing. You are the happiest baby. We also started taking you out in the jogging stroller facing forward like a big girl (sigh.) and you love it. You are content to ride for as long as we will push you, so our family walks have become a near-daily activity again. 

Penelope, month four marks the point where I can no longer really remember what my life was like before you. Of course, I remember all the happy days and months and years your Daddy and I shared before your arrival, but it seems like so long ago and so strange now to imagine our days without you. You are already growing up so quickly; when I look back at pictures of your first weeks, you don't even look like the same baby. And though I know I will always find you growing up to be bittersweet, I feel so lucky to get to be the witness to your life.

To be your Mama - to wake-up with you every morning, to nurse you and play on the floor with you, to teach you and watch you learn, to comfort you when you're sad, to hold you and rock you and kiss you and smell you, to see your smile and hear your laughing squeals, to sing to you each night - is the joy of my lifetime. Your Daddy and I tell you over and over again each day how much we love you, not because you are sweet or smart or beautiful or silly, though you are all of those things, but because you are ours. As our favorite bedtime story says, there has never been anyone like you, ever in this world. You are one-of-a-kind, my darling girl. Lucky, lucky me. 

I love you,

Four Month Stats
Weight: 14lbs, 12oz (70th percentile)
Height: 24" (40th percentile)
Head: 16 1/2" (75th percentile)
Clothing 3 - 6 month, 6 month depending on brand
Diapers 2 snaps open in the middle during the day, 3 snaps open in the middle at night
Eating 6 times per day, 15 minutes per time
Things you love: Riding in the stroller, bathtime, swimming, sucking your thumb.
First overnight trip: August 8
First swim in the pool: August 9
Found thumb: August 20
First ponytail: August 23
First giggle: August 25
Rolled over (back to front): August 26
Slept through the night without needing pacifier: August 28
Milestones: Rolling both directions now, sitting up for a few seconds unassisted, imitating us smacking our lips, reaching and grasping with accuracy.


  1. She is such a beautiful baby Cassie and I really love hearing all about her growing up and you becoming a mother. Not sure if the bedtime story you are referring to is "On The Night You Were Born", but that's one of our favorite stories!

  2. Can I just say I love your posts :) I love the pictures...I love the words. Plus I feel like I am experiencing all the same emotions you are, motherhood is just amazing. Penelope is just beautiful...and the pictures are precious!