ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I know, I know, I say it all the time: “Natalie’s changing so much!” But, it’s true! This month has been the most fun so far (and I hear the months keep getting easier and better), in part because Natalie has started sleeping a bit more so we are better rested. Her sleep patterns continue to be somewhat inconsistent, but generally we can count on at least a 4 – 5 hour stretch of sleep each night, and many nights she’ll surprise us by conking out for 6 – 8 hours at a time. She’s no longer sharing a room with us at night, and is slowly adjusting to sleeping in her crib. We’ve been in the habit of relying quite heavily on her swing to lull her into a nice long night’s sleep, and are trying to switch her over to motionless sleep little by little. It often takes a lot of soothing, crying, rocking, etc. to get her to finally fall asleep for any length of time, but we’ve started to notice that she’ll give up the fight against sleep a little more easily these days. It’s still always a surprise to see her fall asleep on her own, though, like she did the other day while hanging out on the couch with Mikey:


The budgie has become a lot more physically capable and coordinated, and her favorite thing to do these days is be held up to stand. She tries to lock her wobbly knees and wiggles around on her feet for a bit before sinking back down to a sitting position and then fussing until she gets to be held up again. This newfound interest prompted us to put together her bouncy activity center, which she absolutely loves. She is still not quite big enough for it, so she gets to rest her feet on a stack of cookbooks while she bounces around and explores all the lights, sounds, and toys around her. She’s been trying so hard to figure out how to press all the buttons to turn on the music and light features, and often resorts to pressing her face on them instead of using her hands.


Despite the constant pictures with serious expressions we snap of our baby girl, she is actually quite a happy little grumpus. She’s smiling so much more now, and her whole face gets in on the action–her nose will crinkle up, her mouth opens wide, and her eyebrows lift up when she’s really happy. We have even had some honest-to-goodness giggles in the past week! I swear, it’s the sweetest sound I have ever ever ever heard! She’s still not giving up her chuckles for free–Mikey and I have been dancing around, making silly faces, tickling her, and singing songs like fools for days just trying to elicit some of those happy sounds. I’m not sure if she thinks we’re crazy, or if she likes having this kind of control over the grown-ups around her…


Storytime continues to be one of the best parts of our days. Mike reads Natalie a bedtime story every night while she nurses for the last time before heading off to dreamland, and we have also been doing some more wakeful storytime now that she’s interested and focused enough to want to look at the pictures. We just got a new cloth book from my cousin Gaelan that has been the biggest hit so far–Natalie was looking at it so intently, it was like she was actually reading it!


I can’t express how much fun Natalie has become, and how much more comfortable Mikey and I are feeling in our parenting roles. The crazed survival mode of the first couple of months has given way to a much more rewarding and enjoyable way of life. There is a part of me that wishes this 3 month stage of Natalie’s development would last forever! She still has the sweet snuggly parts of a newborn, but has grown enough to really have her own little personality, likes and dislikes, and is able to entertain herself a bit now that she can play with her toys mostly on her own.


Our busy schedule continues today–we’re headed to China Lake for the Flagg family reunion, are starting to count down the days until Natalie’s Gma and Gpa make the trip to Maine for Lobster Festival and a visit with their little grandbaby! The summer is flying by, but it’s been a great one so far.

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