Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Letters to Valor: 3 months

valor zeal at 3 months
My dear Valor Zeal,

I am going to start off candidly: praise GOD we are out of the fourth trimester. You are three months old! We can no longer call you a newborn. Though I loved when you were teeny, I am so grateful we are out of the hazy newborn days which means you're settling into a more predictable (but not fully so, because that defies the definition of babyhood ;) eating and sleeping routine. During the day, you nurse every two to three hours and hang out wide-eyed before napping. We still try to get you to tolerate the rock n' play, but you prefer napping in your car seat or in the sling/wrap. You cluster feed for about an hour and a half before you sleep your longest stretch for the night at around 9:30pm until 3:00-4:00am. You average a six hour stretch but have a couple of times slept seven hours and once eight (!) hours before waking up to nurse. Once you do, you sleep in two to three hour stretches in between nursing before you wake up for the day around 8:00-9:00am. We love that long stretch of sleep you (and we) get during the first leg of the night. You sleep soundly in the pack n' play in the beginning of the night but usually end up curled against me by morningtide. Physically, you wear size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes, and we foresee you transitioning to some 3-6 month clothes this month. You're a squishy babe, and we love it. Especially your droopy puppy cheeks.

You are developing in new ways. On the day you turned two months old, you lifted your head all the way up during tummy time. Your neck is getting stronger. So are your legs. You're prone to kicking deftly and attempting to stand when we hold you in a sitting position. At nine weeks, you rolled over from tummy to back three times on the same day, and have been repeating that feat ever since. You look slightly surprised every time you do, which we find hilarious. Nowadays, you also try to roll from back to tummy but usually end up in a funny contorted halfway position. You endure being on your back for a spell, especially if you're beneath the baby gym. You love staring at its mobiles. You started reaching for the dangling shapes last week. Before long, you whine because you abhor being stuck on your back with your arms and legs flailing in the air like a cockroach. I can't always tend to you at your first cry (such is life with two babies). Thankfully, you found your fist to suck on at ten weeks, which provides you more comfort than the pacifier does.

You are interacting with the world more, which is my favorite milestone of yours thus far. You wear a particular expression most of the time where you furrow your brows (see photo above). Your daddy calls you his little philosopher and friends joke that it bespeaks your wisdom. You're generous with your smiles these days, for which we are all smitten. You grin and coo whenever we smile and chat with you animatedly. You break out into a smile that takes over your entire face as you shake your head from side to side and wiggle your entire body in happiness. You hate being left by your lonesome and wail when no one is by your side. You crave human interaction. You are most content when being held and moving. You whine if you're sitting still for too long, so I dance and sway with you in my sling. You literally keep us on our toes. You enjoy sharing the same bedtime routine as your big sister. You take a bath in your newborn tub in the sink while she takes a bath in the bathtub. Then you both get bundled up in your respective duck towels, get dressed into your pajamas, and cuddle up for storytime and prayer before going to bed (or in your case, cluster feeding before going to sleep). When your daddy and I turn in for the night, we reflect on how we love you and your sister. We say several times a day, "I love our babies." My baby boy, you bring so much joy and sweetness to the family. We are so thankful you are ours for the time being.

Love you so,

P.S. Valor Zeal at 01, and 2 months. Plus, his birth story.

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