Olivia at Three Months

Hello, sweet girl. At some point, you are going to ask me what you were like as a baby, and although I should have been doing posts like this from the beginning, it’s never too late to start. So here is what you are like at three months old, so I can tell you about it someday. Possibly with less cursing.

Noises: You are discovering all sorts of fun things that you can do with your voice. You have gone from the squeaky pterodactyl cries of your first weeks to shrieks and coos and WAILS. And hacking old man asthma smoker coughs these past few weeks, but that’s next. You are almost, almost laughing. You make little grunts and near-chuckles that sound like you want to laugh, you just can’t figure out the logistics. You’ll “talk” to us, and when we “talk” back, we can keep the conversation going for a while. Your sounds are mostly like this: “Ayayayayayaya. AYAYAYAYAYAYAYA.” I would make a fortune off of a Baby Rosetta Stone. When you’re happy, your sounds are adorable. When you’re made and you’re not getting what you want, your cries sound like you are being murdered with a rusty spoon. Do. Not. Like.

Health: You’ve been a sickly little bug these past few weeks, giving your dad and me some terrifying nights and heart-wrenching days. Just when we think you’re starting to clear up, you get stuffed up again, or empty out the contents of your stomach on one or both of us, or cough like a coal miner. We’ve been giving you these breathing treatments that are a cross between a hookah and an oxygen mask, and you look so small when we give them to you, but you are (mostly) pretty game, as long as we are allowing you to watch age-inappropriate shows on TV. So much for the no-TV-’til-high-school plan. Just kidding, we weren’t that delusional, but I was at least hoping to keep you mostly away from it. Not these past few weeks, though. I’ve discovered that when you’re really sick, I’ll do pretty much anything to keep you calm and happy, and I have also discovered that it is possible to lovingly hold, cradle, and kiss someone who has covered herself and me with vomit.

Movements: Your absolute favorite thing on the planet is for us to hold you so that you can stand up. Your little sausage legs bend at first, and then straighten up and lock, and you look absolutely gleeful. You haven’t found your feet yet, but you just found your hands this past week. For the first 11 weeks of your life or so, they would wave in front of your face, and you would look startled, like, “Holy SHIT, what was that?!?” Now you try to cram your whole fist into your mouth, and try to yell at us around it. You also do this weird spasm-y things that make you look like Stuart from MAD TV, which is a reference that you won’t understand, but we’ll show you a video. We do Tummy Time, but unless we do it early in the morning, you get easily frustrated, and you plant your face on the ground and SCREAM. You mostly want to be sitting up in our arms now, and unless you’re really tired, you’ve mostly grown out of that stage where you want to be cradled on my chest. You want to be looking at the world.

Faces: You have, in the past few weeks, become the smiliest baby I have ever seen in my life. Most of the time you’re awake, you’re smiling at me, your dad, the computer screen as we talk to people on Skype, the flower painting in the living room, the ceiling fan, a spot on the wall. I don’t think you’re a hundred percent clear on which of those things are alive and capable of smiling back at you, but when we do smile back, you smile with your WHOLE face, and it’s amazing. Sometimes you look like your dad, and sometimes you look like me, but the most important thing to know is that you have a mullet with a bald spot on the back of your head. So pretty. You light up when Dad plays with you, and seeing the two of you together has been one of the best parts of this whole experience for me. Definitely better than the C-section, which you WILL be hearing about repeatedly. When you’re nursing, you make a roaring face, wrinkling up your nose and opening up your mouth as wide as it will go, like you’re going to chomp down on a cheeseburger. It’s mildly alarming.

Stuff We Love: We’re cloth diapering you, and so far it’s going really well. You haven’t had any diaper rash, and I am–shock of shocks–staying on top of laundry. They look a little ridiculous on you because they’re bulky, and you’re still pretty small, but they stay on and that’s what matters. We’re still loving all of the clothes people got us for you, even though most of the time we are home, you are nekkid as a jaybird. You’re into your 3-6 month clothes already, which I can’t believe. Your soft lambie that makes ocean sounds is great for helping you sleep, and your nursery is, quite frankly, the most awesome nursery on the planet. As soon as you get over this cold, you’re going to start sleeping in there a couple of times a week so you can start to get to know your monsters. And my baby board on Facebook (named The Pumpkin Patch, naturally) did a gift exchange, and we got some fabulous new books, an amazing outfit, and a bib featuring a Dalek from Doctor Who. Because if we don’t turn you into a major nerd, we will have failed as parents.

Stuff YOU Love: Your changing table, you little weirdo. Every time we put you down on the changing table, you smile like a fool at us, and are just absolutely thrilled that someone is taking care of your bathroom needs. You also love grabbing onto things, like my shirt. And my flesh. You love the snot sucker, because you are super strange. We’ve had to use it a lot these past few weeks, and we’ve started using the Nose Frida, which is a disgusting concept, but an amazing tool. When I come at you with the snot sucker, you start smiling, and you open your mouth for some strange reason, and these past few days, you’ve been grabbing onto it and trying to eat it. You fall asleep pretty well on your own, but you like being rocked to sleep when you need it. You, unfortunately, like craning around to see the TV, so we’re going to have to make some changes about our watching habits here pretty soon. You love bathtime, and you spend your whole bath smiling and cooing. And you are just starting to notice your toys, and in the next few weeks, you’ll start holding them.

Stories We Tell, Songs We Sing: I sing “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee to you a lot. Sometimes I’ll sing “Blackbird” by the Beatles, or “Yellow Submarine.” The other day, I sang you some Backstreet Boys, and you seemed reasonably impressed. As you should be; those boys are a goddamn national treasure. We’ve read some books, but you don’t really focus on the pages a whole lot yet, and you spent most of the time looking at the ceiling fan.

Things We Say: I call you SweetPea, and Monkey, and Snuggabug, and Bug, and Liv, and Livvy. Dad calls you Little Girl. As in, “Little Girl. I cannot believe you just threw up all over me again.” A few weeks ago, you were doing Tummy Time in the other room with Dad, and you were screaming bloody murder, and I heard Dad say, “Well, lift your head up if you want to breathe!” I assume you did, since you are still with us. Today, I was on the phone and you were yelling at Dad, and I heard him say, “WHAT is HAPPENING?!?”

Baby girl, we are all still figuring each other out, and some days it’s a pretty serious shitshow around here. But I’d like to think we’re all learning every day, and I’d like to think that your dad and I are getting the hang of this whole parenting thing. Until tomorrow, anyway.

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