Bridget is 4 1/2 months old now! Time is really flying - evidenced by the fact that I didn't even write a 3 month post for Bridget!
The past two months have consisted of our family getting more into the normal groove of life with two kids. The first two months we had help from family and I spent a lot of time just hunkered down at home or out and about by myself. Recently we've enjoyed lots of play dates and social times since Bridget has been fine with longer stretches of awake time and I have been more confident in my abilities of keeping two children semi-under-control while hanging out with people. I've found that with two kids there is normally one of the two that gets short-changed. Being at the house in the AC playing with toys on the carpet is what Bridget would prefer most of the time. Lucy is okay with this but gets bored quickly and would prefer to play outside, go to the pool, paint or do some other messy project. In order to make Bridget happy, a lot of times that means Lucy will get bored, and to make Lucy happy that means Bridget will miss out on a good nap and instead have to nap on the go as long as she can in the car seat either while driving or at someone else's house. Then of course there is the added complication of doing what I want to do - normally that means neither of the two kids are in their ideal environment. I would like to go on a run or walk every day, or run tons of errands all at once- and I have to stop myself most of the time and realize that would not be fair to Bridget and/or Lucy. This is really teaching me a lot about selflessness. One of the hardest moments I had this past month was when I wanted to go visit my family and go to a huge consignment sale in Atlanta. I had planned on it for months, but when the time came both kids were sick and I realized I just couldn't do that to them. So I got to stay home with sick kids for 3 days instead of have fun shopping in Atlanta. But in the end, it was definitely the right decision to stay home.
Bridget continues to be SUCH a good baby! I don't know what I did to deserve this baby but I'm sure glad she's mine! Here are some things I want to remember about this age and the past two months:
- She normally wakes up around 7:30, if she doesn't wake by then on her own, I wake her up and feed her. I like feeding her in peace and quiet while Jason is showering and getting ready for work. Sometimes Lucy wakes up on her own before 7:30, so then we have to figure out how to keep her occupied while I feed Bridget. Normally this means Lucy in our bed (a special treat) with a book to look at or watching TV - "Boo Coo" (Blue's Clues) or "No Boo Coo" (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood) on our Roku - thank you Amazon Prime!
- After holding Bridget for about 5 minutes upright to burp (this time has gotten less and less over time), I can then put her down on a mat in the family room to play while Lucy plays too, we read to Lucy, or we are getting Lucy breakfast. Bridget will play contentedly by herself for quite awhile, but she is obviously happier in the kitchen with us if we are eating. She loves to look around at everyone. Her favorite thing is for me to hold her while I sit at the table so she can stand and look around at the food and everyone. Last night, I had Bridget in the high chair and Lucy wanted to have her booster seat moved next to Bridget (so cute!). Then this morning, she wanted me to face her chair so she could see Bridget in her swing. Another option that I utilize a lot is the swing in the kitchen. She likes it, although she is almost too big for it now. Speaking of which...
- Bridget is a BIG baby! She was 16 lbs, 6 oz at her 4 month checkup. This is 90% weight, She was also 65% height (24.75 inches) and I think 90% head circumference (17 inches). I feel like I'm always explaining to people that she is a big baby. When I tell them she is 4 months, I feel like I need to explain why she looks more like a 6 month old! I thought I had everything planned out and that Bridget could wear Lucy's hand me down clothes. Well turns out she hasn't been able to wear a lot of it because she is so much bigger than Lucy was at this age. Right now she's wearing 6-12 month size clothes, which puts her in Lucy's winter clothes. Up until today it has been way too hot to use any of those. So long story short, Bridget has gotten lots of her own new clothes! Maybe this was her plan all along! :)
- Bridget is a very flexible baby. I think partly because I never nailed down a perfect Babywise schedule for her, and partly because she is just a pretty content, go-with-the-flow baby. We try to keep to this schedule for the most part:
- 7:30 Wake and Eat
- 7:30-9:30 Play
- 9:30-10:30 Nap
- 10:30 Wake and Eat
- 10:30-1:00 Play
- 1:00-3:00 Eat then put down for long nap during Lucy's nap
- 3:00-5:00 Play - Eat somewhere in there.
- 5:00-6:00 Nap
- 6:00-8:00 Play
- 8:00 Eat then put down for bedtime
- 3:00ish - 90% of the time she wakes up one time in the middle of the night to eat. Although the last two nights she has slept through the night until 6:30 am!
- However, with our current schedule, this gets flexed a lot. On Sundays, we have church at 9:20, so we leave the house at 9:00 and she's in her class until 12:30 because I help with Lucy's class in the 2nd hour. So her morning nap is botched normally. Every other Tuesday I have MOPS which is from 10:00-12:00 - again, morning nap happens but may be in segments in her car seat. Wednesdays we have BSF from 9:30-11:45, she normally sleeps at some point but the new environment ensures she won't fall asleep immediately after I drop her off. Wednesday nights we also have church from 6:15-7:30. All of these times except MOPS require that she take a bottle, so I'll normally pump some before we go and sometimes utilize some frozen stored milk. She takes a bottle pretty well and is normally pretty good for nursery workers but I have found that my very "good" baby is especially "good" for me. One time I picked her up from church nursery and she was absolutely hysterical because she hadn't drunk all of her bottle and hadn't napped...uh oh. Sorry nursery workers! Add to these disruptions other things like when she wakes up too early, other necessities like grocery shopping, and activities for Lucy and me (play dates, shopping, the library), and poor thing has no hope of having an 100% consistent sleeping schedule. I have felt guilty about it at times, but all in all, as long as she is fed approx. every 3 hours during the day and sleeps approx. 3 1/2 - 4 hours total during the day she is super happy.
- I normally run errands or have play dates in the morning, because the time period between the end of naps and Jason getting home (3:00-5:00) isn't quite long enough to get much done. Depending on when Bridget woke up for the day, she will either have her morning nap before the errands, or during. When she was 0-3 months old, she would stay asleep quite well during outings, but around 3 months, it got harder and harder to keep her asleep. From then on I know her morning nap (at its proper length) is at risk if we're out and about. One time she fell asleep in the car on the way to Publix. I tried to keep her asleep in transit from the car to the grocery cart, but at some point she woke up and cried almost the entire shopping trip because she was tired and couldn't fall back to sleep! :( I then made a mental note that it was better for her to have her nap at home, then I could run errands with her awake. This was quite the shift. Between 0-3 months, I pretty much had to be home during her "awake time" or she wouldn't stay awake for long enough. It took playing on a blanket or looking at toys and moving to keep her awake. Luckily during this phase she slept a lot and would stay asleep pretty well in transit - so as long as I made sure we ran errands during her sleeping time, things were good. Around 3 months, it was harder to keep her asleep, but she also got way easier to keep awake. Now, if it is her awake time, she will stay awake even if we are driving in the car. Plus, I've been using my Baby Bjorn A LOT because this is the best way to keep her happy and awake while we are out and about. She loves looking around at everything and loves getting to stretch out her legs. It is hard to get Lucy in and out of the front section of the grocery cart while Bridget is in the Bjorn, but somehow I do it without injuring Bridget! It also takes a little bit more time to get Bridget in and out of the car if I'm using the Bjorn because I have to unstrap her from her carseat, but I'm getting faster and faster with practice.
- Around 4 months old Bridget started to roll over, however she wasn't too fond of it. She would either accidentally roll over, or roll over with some assistance. It wasn't until about a week ago that she didn't get upset when we nudged her to roll over. In the past week, she has started to realize how fun it can be to be on her tummy. She has scooted as much as 180 degrees on her tummy and also rolled both ways on her own, However, she still isn't crazy about rolling and only does it rarely.
- Bridget has gotten more and more verbal recently and loves to make all sorts of cooing and squealing sounds. Sometimes it is hard to decipher whether she is crying/upset or just exploring new sounds. I love hearing her voice!
- Bridget loves to smile and laugh and it is soooo easy to get her to laugh. As long as she isn't tired she'll pretty much laugh every time I smile and say "Boo!" to her. She normally laughs so hard that she'll suck in air and get the hiccups! After visiting my sis in CA with my mom, they both agreed that while Bridget may be a little behind Lucy and Wyatt in motor development, she seems to be more verbal and easier to make laugh/smile.
- I copied Kristen and bought a new exersaucer for Bridget after seeing how much she loved the one Wyatt had and that her legs were long enough for it. I normally put her in there for about 15 minutes each awake time.
- She loves her sister Lucy and lights up every time she sees her. They love being close together but it still makes me nervous because Lucy is so unpredictable and half the time will try to pick up or roll Bridget over a little too roughly...
- Bridget is a pretty fast eater but lately has been getting more crazy while she eats - with flailing arms, kicking legs, moving head, etc. I used to be able to read on my iphone while nursing, but that's a lost cause now :( It takes one of my arms to hold her and them other one to keep her limbs under control most of the time.
- I got a high chair, a walker, and a new swing for Bridget on Craigslist. I'm pretty sure Lucy burnt out our old swings motor by putting her dolls in it and playing with the buttons lol. Bridget is still a tad small for the high chair but she likes to sit up there and play (ie: throw toys off of the tray) while we eat or do arts and crafts.
- Up until this week, I took Bridget and Lucy for about 1 run/walk a week (I wish I could do more!) in the double stroller and Bridget rode in her carseat carrier. This week though I put her in the stroller without it since we were just going for a family walk on Saturday morning. She loved it and was looking all around for the first half, then fell asleep. And Lucy loved getting to sit next to "baby sissy".
- During her first month of so of life Bridget really hated baths, after that she started to like them and now she is really interested in the water. She likes to sit up straight so she can see the water. I have to force her into a lounging position so I can rinse her hair without the soap getting into her eyes! Yesterday she was enamored with me pouring water over her hands - it was so cute!
- Up until about 4 months, Bridget slept swaddled in an Aden and Anais muslin blanket. But she started to kick her feet out of it almost every night She was still swaddled around her torso, but her feet were out. I put her in a sleep sack one time and she hated it - I think it was too loose. So Kristen let me borrow the Sleep Sack swaddles that Wyatt used, and she seems to be good with those. However the weight limit is 18 lbs - only 1.5 lbs. away! At her rate of growth she will be too big for them soon, so I'll give the sleep sacks another try.
- Being a younger sister is rough, Bridget has had her life endangered more times than I care to admit (okay I'm exaggerating a bit)...Lucy has inadvertently or carelessly hit her with a few hard toys and one time I caught her about to stick a pen in her mouth (it was at her lips when I arrived on the scene...) Add to that the time I found a huge roach in her crib when I went to wake her up! That night, we sprayed roach spray around the room and that night put her crib in the middle of the room with the fan on a door open to get rid of the fumes.
- Bridget went on her first airplane ride right about the time she turned 4 months. On the way over she was awake the whole time except for about 30 minutes during take off. She didn't cry really at all, but just would not fall asleep! Me and my mom were utterly exhausted from holding and playing with her by the time we landed! On the way back, she didn't do as well and cried off and on. After getting her to sleep a few times via nursing, she just wouldn't stay asleep very long but was still super tired. Finally my mom got her to fall asleep with her head resting on her shoulder (she's never fallen asleep in this position - proof of how tired she was) while walking around the plane.
I'm also thankful for my awesome husband who comes home from working all day and immediately gets on the floor and plays with the girls while I make dinner or have some time to myself. Then to top it off, he helps me with chores after they go to bed. As utterly exhausting as life with two kids is (and it is WAY more exhausting than I anticipated...), I'm LOVING life right now. It is hard work, but it is good work. Thank you Lord for these precious blessings in my life!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17