Dear Sadie: 3 months

Dear Sadie,

As I write this, you are 3 months and 13 days old, and taking a miraculously long nap.  Once you hit about 6 weeks of age, you stopped taking the long, 2-3 hour naps that we so enjoyed when you were a newborn in favor of 30-minute catnaps. You are strikingly regular in this 30-minute time frame. If your eyes close at 9:22, you are awake again at 9:52. It has been your pattern for quite some time, and though it hasn’t allowed me to get much done around the house with any regularity, you have been nothing if not predictable when it comes to daytime sleep. Today, however, you have been at it for almost two hours, and I can’t help but hope we’re nearing some kind of turning point in naps. Or maybe you’re just hitting a growth spurt. I try so hard to analyze and explain your behavior, but I am learning that you are a baby, and so much of what you do is just you, being a baby.

And what a baby you are!

Nighttime sleep is going better than naps, lately…several nights you will sleep from your 8pm bedtime right on through to 4:00am, when you wake up to eat. Tired as they make me, these nighttime feedings are some of my favorite times. Holding you in your tiny footie pajamas (you are the cutest thing that ever was in those, by the way) while you nurse, with the lights dimmed and the rest of the world asleep. It’s so quiet, and so still. When I feed you during the day, you are so awake and aware; your eyes dart around and you fidget to no end, and nurse just long enough to stay alive before you’re back to playing. In those wee hours of the morning, though, you’re still heavy in my arms and your eyes stay mostly closed. I can watch you and breathe you in and marvel at the wonder of you being mine without interruption. I know one day soon you’ll start sleeping right on through till morning, and though I’ll be grateful for the rest and routine, I know I’ll miss when it was just me, you, and 4:00am.

Mornings with you are the best, little one! You wake up SO happy that even on our most sleep-deprived of mornings, Daddy and I can’t help but laugh and fuss over you and your bright-eyed, gummy grin.  Our wake-up routine consists of a feeding, then 10-15 minutes of you lying on our bed, kicking your legs, babbling, and swiveling your head around like crazy trying to take it all in. Then after a diaper change, we go downstairs, where you sit in your swing and gnaw on your favorite stuffed bunny while I make myself breakfast and coffee.  I eat breakfast on the floor in front of that swing EVERY morning, because you seem to enjoy the company. As soon as I sit down, you flash a big smile before resuming your oral attack on Bunny.

Speaking of oral attacks, you have developed quite the affinity for putting anything that goes in your hand directly into your mouth. Your grasp is getting consistent, and you love batting at the toys hanging from your “activity gym.” Now you’ve started grabbing them and are making valiant efforts to pull them into your mouth. You’ve had little success with that so far, which is a source of great frustration for you. Tummy time, which was previously hated and rarely tolerated, has become somewhat enjoyable for you. You’ve always had good neck strength, but when I’d set you on your belly, you’d just face plant and scream, or turn your head to one side and take a little breather. Lately, you’ve started looking up and around and pushing up on your hands. Figuring out that there’s a whole new vantage point from there was a game-changer, and now you seem to enjoy looking around and occasionally reaching for your toys.

You continue to be a good little traveler. Over Halloween weekend, we journeyed to Orcas Island for Cousin Dave’s wedding. You were a duck for Halloween, by the way, and adorable doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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(Quack! Gah, you are so cute my heart hurts a little. )

We took a ferry, and due to a two-hour delay, practiced our ability to breastfeed in the car and pace with you in the carrier until you fell asleep. You were well-behaved and slept well all weekend, though we’ve decided that partying after 7:00pm is really not your thing. We went out to breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa on Sunday morning, to a restaurant about a block away from where we stayed.

“I’ll just wear Sadie in the carrier”, I thought.

“It’ll be fine!”, I thought.

Due to some slower service, you awoke from your slumber before our food even arrived. Then, you soiled your diaper, your shirt, and the carrier, right there at the table. The restroom was too small to turn around in, let alone change a blown-out diaper. So, Daddy and I looked at each other and determined we’d just have to go. So off we went, down the block to our rented condo. It was a blustery November 1st, and you were not at all pleased with being held out in front of Daddy with your blowout stain to the wind as he speed-walked ahead, while I scurried behind, holding your pacifier and diaper bag, still wearing the carrier covered in poop. We ate our lukewarm breakfasts from to-go boxes that morning, but the snuggles we got on the ferry ride home were more than worth it.

Sadie, you are so WORTH IT. You are worth every moment of lost sleep and sanity that comprises parenting a newborn and infant. You are worth more than anything else this world could give us. You are changing us, in the best possible ways, my darling girl. Our priorities are shifting and our self-centeredness loses the battle to what’s best for you, every time. Wanting to be a great Mama to you is making want to be a better person altogether. Constantly asking myself what kind of person I want you to become has reminded me of the kind of person I want to BE.

Thank you, Baby Girl, for rocking our world in the most wonderful way. Keep on growing and changing, and we’ll be here to love every minute of it.

Love you forever,

Mommy

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