Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Four Months Old

Wesley was born four months ago.

We love him. He's sweet and playful. Here are some things about him.

Smiles & Laughs

He's full of them.
He smiles when he first sees us. He smiles if we make little noises at him, his favorites being "boo" and other short one syllable sounds. Sometimes when we're walking around, he'll just start laughing and it's hard to figure out why, other than that he's in the mood to laugh. He is so delighted when we look at him if we have been occupied with something else (like cooking dinner). He sometimes smiles at strangers when they say hello to him.

He is full of laughs when one of us is holding him and the other entertains him. He loves to watch us dance. He laughs at his reflection in the mirror, or at our funny acts in the mirror. He likes to be tickled. His ribs are particularly ticklish. Raspberries on his tummy can also throw him into fits of laughter.

Grabbing Stuff

Wesley grabs everything he can, and tries to grab even more. He's pretty adept at grabbing anything that is skinny, and he still scoops many other things toward his mouth. He grabs things with his feet, such as toys if they are out of arm reach. He can m
anipulate things and hold on to them tightly using his feet.

His use of his hands has greatly improved but is still not perfect. Large, bulky items sometimes get blocked by a hand on the way to his mouth, or are dropped on the first few attempts. Pretty much everything he grabs goes directly into his mouth.

He loves to grab our faces, clothing, and especially my hair. He is quick! He can reach out and grab something (including hair and earrings) before we see it coming. Before he falls asleep with us, he grabs onto a security object, usually either our hair, clothing, or finger. It is precious.

Rolling Over and Tummy Fun

He rolls from tummy to back (which he did last month) and from back to tummy (which is a new thing). He doesn't like to roll from tummy to back as much as he did before, it seems as though the trick is now of little interest. He reaches his arms out into a full extension in front of him, grabs toys, and sometimes pushes up a little bit with straight arms.

He likes to lay on his tummy and play with his toys or look at his books propped in front of him. He is content to play by himself with his toys. He gets tired after awhile.


He watches us enter and move around the room. He will smile upon sight of us, even if we aren't looking at him. He recognizes his Moby and smiles when he sees it. He anticipates diaper changes as we go into the back room.


One of his favorite games is during outfit changes. When we try to get his arm in or out of his sleeve, he will curl up toward it, put his fist in his mouth, and squeal with delight. He thinks this is a really fun tug of war game to see who can get control of the sleeve/hand. He is right, it is hilarious.

He often comes up against his physical boundaries. He wants to keep playing with his toys, but gets tired on his tummy and can't sit well, yet. He strains to scoot or crawl forward. To help with this, he likes to be held out hovering over his toys or supported in the sitting position while he plays.

He often wants to keep playing though he gets overwhelmed by an object or his inability to properly manipulate an object (i.e. get it in his mouth). Also, he will start crying if we take away his play toy. This includes my hair, when it is being used as an object of play.

He gets excited and smiles, and his entire body dances with anticipation at a toy is shaken in front of him. Then he grabs it.

He also adores playing airplane.


He's a talker. He babbles to himself, he talks to his toys, he often talks on walks when he's looking at stuff. His volume increases and noises get more throaty when he is more tired. He has happy-talk noises and displeased-talk noises which have distinctly different tonalities. His language changes rapidly with new sounds entering the scene every few days. He plays with the spectrum of lip smacking and raspberry-blowing. He talks to get our attention and can get upset if we don't notice him from across the room if he is talking to us. He is especially vocal in the mornings and at night.

What will be in store for Month 5?

Sneak preview: This week, Wesley scooted!

We were playing on the bed (I think the bed gave him a little added traction) when...
He rolled over from his back to his tummy.
Then, he scooted the length of the bed toward me.

This is how it went:

He put his arms down by his sides.
He buried his head in the bed.
He bent his knees and stuck his bum in the air.

He pushed forward like an inchworm.
He scooted right up until his head was in front of my face.
I moved back and he did it again, for the length of the bed.

He gave the sweetest laugh and smile upon reaching me each time. Very proud of his accomplishment.

Do all babies scoot like inchworms?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friends in Far Away Places

I move around a lot.

I lived in six cities growing up. Casey and I haven't lived in any location for more than a year and a half since leaving college five years ago. In that time, we've lived in eight different residences not including tr
avel abroad, numerous house-sitting gigs, and repeated extended stays with Casey's parents.

As such many of our favorite people live far from us.

It is not the length of time living near someone that creates the depth of friendship. Some of my strongest bonds have been formed in short periods of time. I think about these friends often, they are part of my daily life. My thoughts turn to them when I need to find hope and inspiration. Because I am horrible (at best) with phone contact, stretches between communications is often far too long.

We realized this week that we only lived in the same location as our friend Joel for one sweet year during college. Seven years later, we continue to fantasize about extricating him from Spokane, and having him nearer to us. Until then, we will cherish the visits like the one we just had.

The men share the traditional New Baby cigars

We made good use of our extra daylight savings hour.

This is what they were wearing when Joel arrived

Wesley thought Joel was hilarious.

And comfortable.

Joel's visit was so special. To have our friend see our lives as we transition to parenthood, to have him come from so far, and to have him meet Wesley felt amazing. I hadn't foreseen how powerful it would be to see one another in the context of motherhood. It felt grounding, like a placeholder amid of all of my internal rearranging.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ins and Outs

Since last week's teething adventures when he needed extra comfort, Wesley has been letting me hold him facing inward, sometimes. We haven't done this since he was two months old. I have even cradled him in my arms, which hasn't been comfortable since Month One. It feels so sweet.

Soothing his lower right gumbump (while watching Casey)

I love that Wesley is strong and alert, and that from an early age he was active, looking around, and wanting to participate in the world. He wanted to be flipped outward with others after a month and a half, with me at two months. He had this preference before he had the strength to fully support his own head. We gladly helped hold his head for him.

His facing forward adds amusement to our walks as he provides commentary on the things he sees. Wesley's active interest in the world makes engagement easy and communication lively. His physical strength increases his ability to engage in happenings, and his interest in the world has led him to push his physical boundaries. His intensity is evident in play this week. He has begun yelling at his toys. It is great language practice, but sometimes slides into self-induced overstimulation.
We try to find balance between helping fulfill his desire for stimulation and his need for time to process all he's absorbed.

Sometimes now, in the quiet moments, it is nice to hug my baby chest to chest. It's a soft moment. It feels like the world is melting around, enveloping us in comfort...

I am enjoying this new phase, for however long it lasts...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wavy Seams

Three days before Wesley's first Halloween, we still didn't know what he was going to be. I thought, "Maybe I could sew him a costume".

I have not sewn anything since an American Flag pillow in seventh grade Home Economics.
I do not own a sewing machine.
I did not bother to use a pattern.

With every eyeballed snip of the fabric and every quick stitch of the seam, I thought, "I'll just do this really fast and see if it looks anything like a {sleeve, leg, hood} so if it doesn't work, at least I haven't invested much time". It was a liberating, free flowing way to work.

And it did work. well enough. And I had great fun doing it. Sewing without the meticulousness of sewing.

I used a dress that was in the "go to Goodwill" box, and a helmet. And Wesley the Turtle emerged...

No trick-or-treaters came by our house, so we hit the streets carrying a bowl distributing "Candy On The Go". Three blocks from our house the streets were so full on both sides of the avenue that we had to walk on the street. Shoulder to shoulder for blocks and blocks and blocks...adults dressed up...kids filing up Victorian steps to get candy...

But, the biggest hit of the night, if I'm honest, was the candy bowl itself...