Four Months: Chattering Miriam

Mmmm, mice.

Miriam is: giggling, turning on her side, putting her hands together, chattering, taking bottles, refusing bottles (not entirely clear why), holding on to toys and burp clothes and her bib, making crawling moves during tummy time, and, as of last night, *chewing* on things.

No sign of teeth yet, and no fussing, but she's definitely gnawing on fingers and toys, and is absolutely fascinated by eating. Meanwhile, the bottle remains a mystery; some days she takes it, others no way. Is it old milk? Temperature? Gas? Regression linked to sucking her hands instead of her thumb? Personal preference? We all have theories, and they change by the day.

She's also done being swaddled. After MZ escaped her swaddle a few nights in a row in trying to get to her thumb, we started putting her down in sleep sacks *in her crib*. This change is waaay harder on us than on her, I get up at least once a night to check on her, but she doesn't seem to mind. In fact, she must enjoy the freedom: sometimes she's just as we left her, others she's crossways, with her feet up against her bumper. How can she move in circles without waking?

In the last few weeks, we've continued to expose Miriam to new experiences. We took her to an infant massage class with other babies in my neighborhood moms group -- she couldn't have cared less. As we administered a gentle massage, Miriam variously flirted with Henry, watched the sun shine through the trees out the window, and practiced turning over. It was a nice way to spend a morning, but I don't think we'll be signing up for the four-part advanced series.

We also took her swimming in Grandma Sharon's pool. We were far more nervous than she, but we learned she is not as slippery as we feared, and that she likes gazing at the water as much as she likes gazing up at trees. After about 10 minutes, we were all exhausted, but it was a good, tears-free start.

And for Memorial Day Weekend, we took her away for the first time, to the mountains above Calistoga. As we were packing, MZ played in her activity gym on the floor. She did everything she could to get our attention, squealing and chattering and smiling; whenever we looked over at her, she smiled as if she'd discovered light itself. It was so amazing to watch her work for our attention and smiles, after weeks of doing this with her.

She slept in her pack-n-play in our room; in a strange place for the first time, she still managed to sleep through the night. The days were probably harder, being awake in an unfamiliar environment seemed to exhaust her. Fortunately, we brought some familiar toys and her music, and made a point of giving her some quiet time in the afternoon. She let us know when she needed down time, or floor time, or to be held.

We wine-tasted our way home, and she made it clear at the third winery that she needed some play time, so we spread a blanket out on the carpet in the corner, and while everyone sipped wine, MZ had some back time. She wriggled and giggled, making our day.


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