Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy 6 Months!!

And a happy month it’s been! Sophia is really coming into her own now! She’s getting to be LOTS of fun, and like Jake says “spazs out” less. :)

Much or most of the day now, she’s downright pleasant to be around. She also sleeps less, but even so is generally happier. Sometimes, even when she’s tired, if you try just a little to make her smile, she smiles or giggles before going back to fussing. Amazing!! On the increasingly rare occasion of a 2 or 3 hour nap, I start to miss her sunny face and am glad to see her again. Her meltdowns are still really hard, but no longer last hours.

I took down her crib mobile for a while because she was bored with it. I put it back a few weeks ago and she LOVES it again, as one can see in the video below.


She’s the boy’s best entertainment (and vice versa). I almost have more pictures of the baby with her brothers than without them from this past month, but want to upload all those pictures in a separate post.

I love reading to her when she's in a happy, alert mood. The boys read to her a lot, too. Joel at least can read her "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" in English.

Future bookworm?! So intense!!
She loves back time, and tolerates tummy time much better! Today actually went better at church because I let her play on her back at our feet.

Kick, kick, kick, our favorite thing to do!
Right now she weighs 14 pounds, 12 ounces, (6.7 kilos) still perfectly on the 25 percentile curve! She's our small but feisty baby!
I just now "discovered" this set of pictures I took on March 20 and never looked at. So grown up in her little jeans!!

We're still huge fans of the pacifier and have obtained a few more, just for good measure. (Not something I imagined before meeting Sophia, but well...!!)

She's become pretty adept at getting her pacifier back in her mouth (actually a game that entertains her for long periods of time, so win-win). The boys think she's SUPER smart for doing that!

The boys, new fans of "Sesame Street", are partial to the Big Bird pacifier (often pronounced "Big Beard", ha!)

Sleeping through the night still doesn’t happen, at least by my definition. But I’ve also realized that “sleeping through the night” must mean different things for different people. After so many months of sleeping in spurts, my eyes have also been opened to the not-so-rarity of this situation. Before, I only noticed mothers who bragged that their babies were great sleepers. Now I realize there are just as many of us who want some sympathy for older babies who wake as frequently as ever! I find it strange that she would sleep 6-7 hour stretches from 1 to nearly 3 months of age (if not for a couple of hours on either end of that) but that ever since then, she rarely goes more than 3 hours at night without eating, same as in the daytime. Sometimes feeding her every couple of hours all evening will mean I get one 4 hour stretch—but often when I’m still up with Jake, catching some rare quiet time as all the kids sleep. So sleep deprivation continues.
But anyway, my baby was probably already set up for epic failure on this front. Ever since I’d imagined my own babies, I’d concluded that I had both the genes and training to have a baby who slept from the night very early on and was a great sleeper overall. After all, I and my sisters were! And I’m very much like my mother, so there. Then I learned that Jake was also a good sleeper and a baby who “never cried”, so double our great chances of having a baby who sleeps great!
Well, along comes Sophia, who sleeps more restlessly than any baby I’ve ever met, and upon a little further investigation I discovered that both of our mothers began supplementing breast milk by the time we were four months of age. Ah-ha! And like I’ve suspected, mine is not the only baby who backed out of sleeping all night as she grows. Jake’s mother recorded in his baby book that he was sleeping through the night by 1 month of age, only to later record that when he was 4 ½ months she added cereal to his diet so that he would stop nursing every 3 hours around the clock. As for our Casa de Amor babies, they are exclusively formula fed, which also helps stretch out sleep periods. 
So I’m now learning to appreciate firsthand what a challenge it is to exclusively nurse, something that gets me some strange looks from fellow Bolivian mothers. I’m aiming for 7 months, but Sophia is showing all signs (except sitting up steadily) of being ready for food, so I might introduce a fruit or vegetable or two around 6 ½ months.
All dressed up for church!

True girl! She was having a great time playing with her shoes this day
All ready for a morning downtown of paperwork with mommy and brothers!

Playing with her favorite toy on a hot afternoon
A HUGE accomplishment in the past week, once she caught up on missed sleep after our big Tarija trip, was learning to take naps WITHOUT THE SWADDLE BLANKET!!! Wow, I can't describe how terrific that is!! It took a hard couple of days, but it's been worth it. I was so fed up with what a crutch swaddling had become. Because her hands were in her blanket, she couldn't self-soothe or suck her fingers or put her pacifier back in her mouth, but mainly, she wouldn't KEEP her hands in. She would wake up hysterical because she'd come awake with her hands waving in the air. (Generally just the left hand, so we'd say she was riding at the rodeo.) Again, and again, and AGAIN... Jake even took thread and needle to our two blankets to stitch the opening smaller, and many other methods that would sometimes secure her for a nap or two, but it was a losing battle as she gains strength and size!

Sweet sleeping baby
As for sleeping swaddled at night, for once my plan has worked! When she pops her hand(s) out, it doesn't freak her out anymore and she can usually keep sleeping, hallelujah!!
Look for some posts soon about all the fun she has with her doting big brothers! But tomorrow we're headed out for another adventure/trip, so signing off for now... :)


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