Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Four Months

Hi, I'm Ava Grace, and I am four months old!  I'm such a big girl, and I bring joy everywhere I go!

Ava is using her hands so well now!  If I dangle a toy in front of her, she often grabs it and hangs on tight!  She is also starting to put everything in her mouth!  I am just so amazed when I watch her grip things and bring them to her mouth.  I know it's not much, but I can see how far she's come.  She controls her movements in general much better now and no longer flails about.  She is still smiling and is now laughing more!  She laughs when we tickle her and make funny noises.  She also loves to smile and laugh at Blazer, who licks her so much we have to tell him to stop!  Ava is learning to use her voice, and she recently started squealing.  It's hilarious.  It's not necessarily a happy or angry sound, but it sure is loud!  I think it just means, "Hey!  Pay attention to Ava!"  Sometimes she does it so loud and so much when we're at a store that it's kind of embarrassing!  She is most vocal in the early morning and late afternoon.  Ava FINALLY likes baths!  We bought her a new tub since we thought the old one might be uncomfortable for her. It worked!  She now kicks and splashes and smiles in the bath.  Ava definitely recognizes me, Brent, and Blazer.  It's adorable.  She smiles when she sees us and squeals with delight when we go get her out of the crib in the morning.  I feel like she is close to sitting on her own, and she still loves to "stand" and "walk" - always likes to be upright!  I can see her learning and making associations.  She will often start crying the moment I bring her into her room around naptime because she knows what is about to happen!  Similarly, when it's time to eat, she opens her mouth so wide it makes me laugh!

We had finally gotten into the groove of nursing, and now we're in a rough patch.  I think Ava is a growing girl and I am not producing enough to satisfy her.  Usually at the afternoon and evening feedings, she is not a happy camper and makes her dissatisfaction known.  I've had to supplement her with formula for at least one, sometimes two feedings a day because she is just so hungry and won't stop crying until I give her more.  I'm pumping to try and increase my supply and trying not to let it frustrate me too much.  We have a babysitter now giving her a bottle once during the day, and it is hit or miss wheather Ava will take the bottle or not.  She is very finicky.  She is also easily distracted and is always wanting to look at something rather than eat.  All in all, I think all of these changes have contributed to the bumps we're experiencing, and I'm hoping things will normalize again soon.  Her best feed of the day is the dreamfeed at 10 pm mostly because she is tired and not distracted!  She is getting enough, though, don't worry!  We're feeding her every 3 hours during the day.  Check out those wrist rolls and chunky monkey thighs!

Sleeping - Nights:
In Durham, Ava was often sleeping from 10:30 pm - 6:00 am.  When we moved to Iowa, however, her schedule must have gotten thrown off because she stopped doing this :-(  She wakes up at 2:30 am almost every single night now.  I usually feed her because it's easy and she has been so hungry lately.  Most of the time, she goes right back to sleep after the 2:30 feeding except one night last week when she decided that it would be fun to scream from 2:30 - 5:30.  It was horrible.  I just sat outside her room in between trying to comfort her, crying and desperately searching for articles on my iPad trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  I now believe we are in the midst of the dreaded "four month sleep regression".  Fun times.  She has not had THAT bad of a night since, but sleep at night has definitely regressed from where we were.  I'm going to take deep breaths, pray, make lots of coffee, and hope we get out of this phase soon.

Sleeping - Naps:
Naps were really rough when we left Durham.  In the process of moving, we totally messed Ava up and the schedule went out the window.  If you don't believe me, look at the picture below showing me rocking Ava to sleep on the toilet before I put her in her swing in a bathroom next to the shower.  Yeah, that happened. Moving.... is crazy.  (I love the look on Ava's face!)  That being said, oddly enough, when we got to Iowa, Ava's naps were awesome!  We were consistently having to wake her up from naps because she was sleeping so long.  Go figure.  Now that we're in a bit of a regression, though, naps are more of a struggle.  Ava screams for at  least 5 minutes before each nap.  She's even developed a new scream just for naptime, which is fun.  She is still napping in the swing, but not for long.  In fact, this week, we are busting out of the swing.  Mark my words.  I'm pretty sure it will be awful, but I've got to just do it.  Next week - we tackle the swaddle.  I'll let ya know how that goes.  Ava is taking three naps a day - roughly at 8:30, 11:30, and 2:30.  Depending on the day, they range from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Ava still loves her playmat, even more so now that she grabs the toys and tries to put them in her mouth!  She likes to sit in the Bumpo, and if we put toys in front of her, she will grab them.  Lately, we've been sitting out on our deck in the evenings, and she loves to be outside and play on our laps or on a blanket.  She is still obsessed with the Baby Bjorn and faces out on all errands and walks.  She gets SO many looks and comments because she is really pretty cute in there.  We've started taking long walks in the evenings at around 6:00.  This gets us through the last fussy period before bedtime.  We dropped the 4th nap about a month ago, but she is still tired during that time period even though she refuses to take a formal nap.  Most of the time, she falls asleep upright in the Bjorn on the evening walk, which is soooo cute.  Just recently, we busted out the Sassy Seat doorway jumper, and she seems to like it!  She loves to "stand" by herself, spin in circles, and chew on the toys.  She doesn't understand how to bounce yet, but I think once she figures it out, she is going to be off to the races!  Mirrors are still fun since she thinks she's the cutest and funniest girl around!  She's increasingly fascinated by screens - computers, iPhones, and TVs, so I'm trying to be careful with that!  There was one day we tried to put her in the exersaucer / bouncer thing. Brent and I were so excited for her to love it, and we had the camera ready.  One second after we lowered her into the seat, she looked at us with these big eyes and the saddest look and then let out possibly the loudest and most horrible scream I've ever heard, like we had tortured her in some way.  I puller her out as fast as I could to comfort her, but we couldn't keep ourselves from laughing.  Apparently, the exersaucer is terrifying!  Maybe she'll like it later?  Mostly during playtime, Ava is still satisfied to make faces with us, so I'm enjoying that while I can!

If you ever wonder how I get so many pictures of Ava smiling, here's the answer:  I take a lot.  A WHOLE lot.  Here are a few that didn't make the cut:

{Mr. Owl stealing the show}

{Ava in perpetual motion}

{No more pictures, mom.}

{I said..... NO MORE PICTURES!!!}
....aaaand we're done.


Haley Chance said...

Hahaha... I have to laugh at the swing in the bathroom and can totally understand the craziness of moving. You're a rockstar for moving with an infant. I can't wait to see more pics! I hope all is well!

Liz Mazz said...

She is an absolute doll!!

Liz said...

HAHAHA. These are so great. Sounds like you're working through every little piece of life with Ava in an awesome mama way! Proud of you! :)

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