Friday, October 28, 2016

Letter to (Four Month Old) Sarah Lamar

Dear Sarah Lamar,

I can't believe that you are four months old!

We've had lots of fun this month. We moved into Mickey and Minnie's house for a few days so we could care for my grandmother who lives with them while they helped Cookie and Conrad move into their new house in Nashville. It was much easier than I expected- the caring for an elderly person and the caring for my small people in an environment that's not our home and honestly, the tending of my own mental space. I surprised myself by predicting just the right of gear to keep you happy and I figured out manageable boundaries in a non baby proofed house with a lake in the backyard, which was really my biggest goal second only to keeping everyone alive which was actually sort of contingent on those boundaries. It felt good. Especially since back when I lived in this house I could hardly fix my own baked potato.

I did have a few anxiety filled moments because, in a supremely dumb move, Papa mentioned to me I might not want to leave you outside on the deck in her swing where I could see you out a window because a hawk might get you. A hawk. He's been hanging out too much with Mick who thinks our TWENTY ONE YEAR OLD cat, Oreo, was captured by one and drug to her death because he never found her and she's the only pet he hasn't been able to give a proper backyard burial. Rob. She was like a hundred and five in human years; I really think it was natural causes that got her. Anyway, I mentioned to Papa that you were  strapped in and he casually mentioned the hawk plunging it's talons in your face and flying away while you bled to death. Because he's been spending too much time with Annie and because he's a FAH-REAK. Gosh, I am already on medication for this kinda mess. 

We've been doing other fun things, too. You love swimming at the YMCA and it's so funny because Ann Peyton had two swimsuits her first Summer and she only ever wore them to model in our living room after the first of September. I'd have been hard pressed to have bought you one and you spent more time at the pool than most newborns/infants I know. 

And you met your little friends Hank, Gus, and Skip for the first time. Those sweet boys loved you!  

Awhile back, I subbed at one of my favorite places. Graves's Little Gym class is five minutes from the school so I met Papa and y'all there to nurse you (the class is full of moms who are also doulas and are like "don't worry about a cover!"- so nice!) So, I didn't have to haul my pump! And, because the timing was perfect and you know how to compensate later, you actually didn't even need a bottle the rest of the time.It was hysterical, though, because when I got there Papa had you in some of Graves's old pajamas.
He was like "it was in her drawer". Her PAJAMA drawer, Bro. As a back up pair, at that. Whatever. He took y'all all to the class and then swimming and later did a pointillism project with Annie and Graves. Can't complain. But you do better at getting dressed when I'm home to help =) 

As far as a few things about you specifically:

They are a little loose in the feet but you have some 6-9 mo. jammies definitely fit you length wise. You're also beginning to appear pretty big in your bouncy seat. Where did you come from?!? And also STOP. Imma put a brick on your head, Babykins. 

 You're rolling over all the time now and just love practicing your new skill. Largely because of this, I think, you've become much less fond of your swing and bouncy seat, and especially for sleeping you'd rather be in the pack n play. It's kind of hysterical watching you try to get on your tummy in the bouncy seat.You also twist your neck at like almost a ninety degree angle when you sleep. Following in your brother and sister's footsteps and sleeping in the weirdest positions possible! You've gotten to where you are much more interested in the bumbo and your playmat than your swing and bouncy seat.

I'm thankful because I know a lot of people who let their babies sleep wherever struggle with a transition to a crib or baby bed for naps and so for it's been so seamless and I was grateful it was Sallie initiated before you outgrew you gear. That said, it's bittersweet. For some reason this feels like the end of an era and it's the first milestone that's hit me really hard. It's weird what makes me sentimental. Also, I'm going to miss just having you  in something with us in whatever room we're in, visiting with us and occasionally dozing off. Or letting me know you're hungry so I can pop you out, nurse you, and pop you right back in. I sort of hate having you in a different room but one day I know I'll cherish your ability to sleep independently.

One evening I was telling you what a weird babykins you were because you literally took one nap that day and I think that's bizarre for a three month old (to be fair it was long- about 3.5 hours, it really worked better for everyone else in the family, and you were such a happy little girl the whole time you were awake). But Papa said I needed to stop nap-shaming you.

I've also started letting you sleep on your tummy because it's pointless not to. In a couple of months, I'll probably stop worrying about you having a lovey. You LOVE them but I usually sneak it away once a you're asleep, especially at night. 

One night you slept longer than she ever has- like TEN hours. I don't think I realized how tired I was because the next day I had like excessive amounts of energy.  

It's a little hard when you're awake, though. You like your playmat or a blanket but I think you'll be happier when you can sit up and visit. You are a big fan of the bumbo. And more than anything our arms. Which *I'm* a big fan of. 

Your little hands! The other day I was carrying you somewhere and I realized you were holding your own paci by the handle. And when I nurse or rock you and you relax you love to to sort of tickle me with your little long fingers!

When I was growing up, we had a cat I loved so much. He was so laid back and Cookie and I taught him "tricks" and would literally flip him in the air and catch him. He never scratched or bit us. I'm convinced that you are, in fact, the human equivalent of that cat. The other day I found Graves making a web (which he still pronounces "wib") out of your arms and legs and you were just cooing away like it was no big deal.

He also sat you up straight while you were buckled in your swing you try to "burp" you. You are by far the most grown up four month old I've had and while it saddens me I'm grateful because it's for your own safety.

Graves also wanted to sit you up in your swing and see if you could "balance". When you were successful he said "Oh Babes! You CAN balance" in the sweetest voice I've ever heard.

Then the other day he just walked in a room carrying you and brought you to me. It was alarming but he was doing a great job and really the way he had you, it would have been hard for him to drop you unless he tripped. I think he waited to do it until he felt confident. I made or clear he needed to ask first and we've been practicing a lot. After a couple of weeks, he became  increasingly competent at carrying you around. One day we were in a hurry and I seriously asked him to  pick you up and put you in your carseat.And I think you're becoming more and more smitten with him. For the longest time you stared at a picture of big kids I took in New York every time I put you on our bed and over a month ago you were crying and Papa brought you in the room with them and you stopped. He carried you in another room and you started back. And now you just coo and smile and eat up all the attention they give you. I worried because Annie and Graves are such good friends that you might be a little left out and that the novelty would quickly wear off but I don't think that's happening any time soon!

Recently, he looked at you and said "I love baby clothes, please don't sell any, Momma". And I heard him say to you "Oh, Babes. You're the softest girl in the whole world".

As far as Annie, she did play dress up with you the other day. She found this bright pink headband and thought it would go great with the thirty year old Feltman dress and the fancy panties you had on. Incidentally, all three items are c/o Minnie. I was just excited she took an interest in you! And I found out that y'all both LOVE watching They Might Be Giants music videos.

We love you, Little Sallie Sunshine!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your onsie is a 3-6 mo. It's way smaller on you than it was on your brother and sister at this point! 


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