Letter: Month Four

(I've been inspired by dooce to start writing monthly letters to E.)

Dear E.,

Today you turned 4-months old. And typical of this last month, you have a cold. Month four was a little hard on you: you came down with a double ear infection and a mild case of RSV. The RSV (and all of the horror stories I've heard about it) really freaked me out. I watched you like a hawk to see if your breathing became more labored or your rib cage sunk in when you breathed. But you only wheezed when you breathed and had a chest cough. It was still difficult to watch you suffer and not be able to help, though. You were actually one of the lucky ones; this RSV season has been so severe that at the local hospital they had sick babies with RSV packed three to a room. You recovered from both the RSV and the double ear infection you had in about two weeks. I had to give you tropical-flavored antibiotics for your ear infection and you took it like a trooper. My strategy was to make a happy face and excitedly say, "num, num, num!" and then squirt the medicine into your mouth when you opened it to giggle. You fell for it pretty much every time--sucker!

But now you have another cold. *Sigh.* It's probably because in the last few weeks you've discovered that you can control your hands, to some extent anyway. You use that control to cram them (and any germs on them) in your mouth every chance you can get. You've also started being much more interested in your toys and you love cramming them against your face and cooing into them.

You're such a joy to have around. You love to coo and giggle and gurgle and you like having 'conversations' with us. You're such a cheerful baby and I think it's largely because you're such a good sleeper.

In the last few weeks you've fallen into a routine: I feed you around 6 or 7 pm and put you to sleep in your crib. After fussing for a few minutes, you fall asleep. (You can never just fall peacefully asleep--you have to fight it and cry for 2 or 3 minutes.) Your dad wakes you around midnight and gives you a bottle which you eat on auto-pilot while mostly asleep. You go back to sleep until 5 am or so when you wake up hungry and after I get you fed and changed you usually go back to sleep until 7 or 8 am. And you also take two or three 2-hour naps during the day. In short, you are an AWESOME sleeper. I feel very grateful to you because I'm a wimp and tend to fall apart rather quickly if I'm severely deprived of sleep. Your genial nature combined with your good sleeping habits make being your mother easy. Being your mother is so much better that I had dared hoped it would be. Your dad also deserves a big shout-out for handling the midnight feeding every night. He's done it every night since you started taking a bottle and he does it without complaint--it is such a big help.

This month you turned 100 days old. To celebrate we took you to a Korean restaurant. You sat on my lap and gazed at the colorful food. I'm looking forward to introducing you to Korean food once you start eating solids. It's hard to believe that you'll start eating real food in only a few months time.

You're growing so big - you have your 4-month checkup tomorrow and I'm pretty sure you'll weigh over 16 lbs. All traces of the tiny newborn are gone and you're now a full-fledged baby. Sickness aside, this has been a fun month. You take much more notice of what's going on around you and like to sit in the little plastic seat we got you and watch what everyone's up to. You are also fascinated by other babies when you see them at church or at friends' houses.

You love it when your dad comes home and bounces you on his lap and asks you about your day. When your dad (and only your dad) is playing with you this deep belly laugh wells up and burbles out of you and your scrunch up your shoulders and laugh and laugh. You think he's so funny and you love playing with him. It makes me very happy to watch the two of you together.

Every day you continue to be one of the best things that has ever happened to us. Keep up the good work!