4 Months

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Lucy, you are getting too big! Until a week or so ago I wondered what I was going to write to you this month because while you were growing you hadn't done any new "big" stuff but last week you just took off.

You finally figured out grabbing things. I could see you stare at things and move your hand but you couldn't quite put it all together then all of a sudden, you got it! Gone are the days of toy hoarding where all you could do was gather all your toys in front of you.

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Now if you want something, I can just hold it out for you and you'll take it and even move it from one hand to another and actually play with it. 100916 Miami 003This means you only need one toy at a time and you can entertain yourself pretty well, staring and really exploring every inch of it. Sometimes you are concentrating so hard you little eyes get all crossed. 100912 Lucy 046

You can also successfully move things into your mouth. You've started sucking on your fingers some but you really like to chew on Sophie feet the most.

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Of course, that only increases the drool factor which was already pretty high. I often call you the drooliest baby in America (there might be droolier babies elsewhere in the world so I don't want to exaggerate :-)

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You are a very happy baby. You’re are always smiling and laughing and everyone is always asking if you are always that easy going. Yes you are!

You're also quite "talkative." You like to squeal and say "Ahhhh" over and over again. You find yourself very entertaining when you talk. You'll squeal, then laugh at yourself, then squeal again. You have the best giggle. The easiest way to get you to laugh is just to start laughing myself. Apparently, you think if I'm laughing something must be funny so you laugh too. Then I laugh for real because you are just so cute!

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You love to sit up. You can tripod but will topple in a few seconds so I normally help you out a bit. If you are holding onto my fingers you can sit for quite a while. You also love to stand and only need to hold my fingers for that as well. Those chubby little legs of yours are surprisingly strong. You love to dance. I will hold your waist and twist you back and forth and you just giggle away. I've started doing that before we take your picture since it almost always brings a big grin.

You're not rolling over back to stomach but you get so close I'm sure I could just blow on you and you'd make it. You do spin around when you are on the ground though, especially when you sleep. Sometimes I go to bed at night and you will be 180 from where you were when I put you down. You do better once I'm there next to you though which is good. I don't want to wake up with feet in my face.

You have definitely reached the stranger anxiety stage these past few weeks. And by strangers I mean anyone other than Mommy, Daddy and sometimes Grandpa and Bubbie. You love to smile and make faces at other people from a safe distance in your sling but they had better not pick you up!100912 Lucy 017

This interest in the world is making nursing outside of a quiet dark room a bit trickier but there is just so much to see you can't be bothered by things like nutritional needs. But when it does get calm, you realize you are hungry! At first you solved this problem by eating all night but after two nights, I decided that wasn't very much fun for me so now we take lots of nursing naps together instead. This works well since you have finally decided long naps are nice - as long as mommy stays to cuddle with you.

You don't just notice people, you have finally figured out that Zeeba is alive. You love to watch her and she has decided she likes you to. She will come up and sit next to you when we are nursing or she'll rub her face on yours.

Every month so far I tell myself that this is my favorite month but I really mean it this time, I love this age. You are so much fun, you can play and interact with us so much. It's also a great age because while you can keep yourself entertained with a toy and a mirror for several minutes while I fix a sandwich or even take a shower, you're still not mobile so when I come back you are right where I left you! But I don’t think it will be that way for much longer.


A very special sprinkling

Yesterday was a very special day. Lucy got baptized! We were at my parents' for the weekend and even though my mom is still in rehab, they released her for a couple hours so she could come. We had planned it for a August but it ended up falling through then so we were all holding our breath to see if we could make it work this time so it was wonderful how well things came together. Praise God!
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Lucy took a good nap in the morning so when we got to church she was wide awake and in a great mood.
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She was quite interested in what was going on,
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and behaved very well during the service while she was waiting for her big moment.
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But once Father B. took her, she began to get a bit nervous.
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And once he started getting her wet, she decided she did not like it at all.
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The whole process was so exhausting she slept through most of the post-service pictures!
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But after we got back to the reception, she perked up a bit and we snapped a few more.
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Last Comic Standing

From time to time, you will see newspapers reshuffle their comics pages, taking one or two strips out and adding some new ones. It is said that these moves arouse more controversy than anything else newspapers do; people love their comics. Papers often invite reader input on this process. Well, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is going through this right now, and they have an online poll. One panel and one strip will be deleted, and later on some new material will be added.

The STL-PD gave readers 5 nominees in each category. Unfortunately, they picked the nominees. This was not a big problem in the panel category. Here are the nominees:
None of the paper's panel comics are especially good, so I wouldn't miss any of these, but I have long though Family Circus and Marmaduke were obnoxious and unfunny. One reason I started liking Pearls Before Swine is that they rip on Family Circus from time to time. Marmaduke should be retitled, "Reasons Not to Own a Dog." I dislike Family Circus more, though, so I voted for that one.

It is the strip category, however, where a travesty is unfolding. Here are the nominees:
  • Blondie
  • For Better or Worse
  • Garfield
  • Hagar the Horrible
  • Hi and Lois
Comics 1, 3, and 4 are classics that have no business being replaced. Dagwood's laziness, appetite, and tardiness never get old, nor do Hagar's military exploits or mother-in-law problems or Garfield's shenanigans. Comics 2 and 5 are OK, but they are much better than some other comics that the paper should have offered for removal.  My nominees for comics to remove are:
  • Mark Trail - serial comic about nature in which nothing ever happens
  • 9 Chickweed Lane - serial comic in which woman remembers her sexual exploits from the 1940's in R-rated detail
  • Duplex - exploits of a pathetic loser with a pet (who is, unlike Garfield's Jon, not lovable)
  • Deflocked - exploits of an idiot sheep
Of my nominees, I would vote for Mark Trail. Of the actual nominees, I guess it will be For Better or Worse. Who would you vote for?


Ah! Poop everywhere!

So when they say it is not a problem for your baby to go 2 days between poops, what they obviously mean is that it isn't a "health" problem. It certainly is a laundry problem!

*Yes, as crazy as it sounds. It is considered within the normal range for your breastfeed baby (over 6 weeks old) to go up to 10 days between #2s.


I Won a Prize

Check out this prize pack I won from Loralee's McDonald's contest:

What you see in the above photo is:
ONE (1) Smile Tote Bag; ONE (1) $25 AMC Gift Card; ONE (1) $20 McDonald’s Arch Card; ONE (1) Fleece Blanket; ONE (1) Frisbee; ONE (1) McDonald’s French Fry Playing Cards; ONE (1) Monopoly Junior Board Game; ONE (1) Organic Lip Balm; ONE (1) McDonald’s Vintage Character T-Shirt; ONE 1) McDonald’s Stainless Tumbler; and ONE (1) Happy Meal Toy Set.

I actually got two Arch Cards, but I don't know how much money is on them. I also got the pink notepad and pen you see at the bottom of the photo (the notepad even has a pen holder). The Happy Meal Toy Set contains 16 toys.

So if anyone wants to come over and eat some McDonald's food, play Monopoly Jr., and maybe go to an AMC movie afterwards, let me know.


Adding some spice to our trip

There was one day of the trip that Craig had to leave us for almost the whole day but that wasn’t going to stop Lucy and I from having fun on our own. We headed out to the Fruit and Spice park. It was a little out of town and I was a worried about driving in Miami but since the trip only involved 3 turns I thought I could handle it. Turns out the drive itself wasn’t bad but even with only a little traffic, my directions miscalculated how long the trip would take. The supposed 35 minute trip took almost an hour! Luckily Lucy was in a good mood and the place ended up being really cool so it was worth it.
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Despite what this picture might seem to illustrate, we both had a fun time.
It is quite large and full of lots of exotic fruits and spices. You can walk around and eat anything you find on the ground as long as you know what it is. 100916 Miami 131
Here we are in a banana forest
Before our tour started, Lucy and I found a banana and an avocado. (Too bad she isn’t 3 months older since those the two solids I’m planning on starting her with!) Even though she didn’t taste it, Lucy really enjoyed exploring the avocado.
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Mom, there is something green and slimy on my finger.
But the best way to see the park is the tram tour like we did, you get to see the whole park without having to walk too much and they will show you what most things are and pick some for you to try. I was brave and tried everything that was offered, most of which I can not remember the name of. But this is dead man’s fingers.
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It looks gross but tastes kinda like a kiwi. There was even one that tasted just like cotton candy. We also got to smell lots of the spices, including one that smelled like licorice and lemon allspice which smells exactly like of lemon pinesol. It was a bit freaky actually. After the tour, we headed back to the gift shop for some locally made mango ice cream then drove back to the hotel for a nap before Craig returned.
We also had some non-beach fun on our last day of the trip. Craig was free in the morning and our flight wasn’t until 3 but we didn’t want to bother going to the beach then having to clean up afterwards so we went on a little walking tour of the Art Deco area near South Beach.
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Of course, all the information about the walk was in our tour guide so with that and my large camera, we were not inconspicuous in our touristiness but we just went with it!
100916 Miami 225100916 Miami 229 Since it was a weekday morning, the place was pretty calm and with Lucy asleep on me it was a nice way to end our mini-vacation.


A baby at the beach

(WARNING: Excessive amounts of pictures were taken during this trip but I did try to be selective about what I am putting up.)
Here are the pictures I promised. Here is Lucy enjoying her first flight.
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As I said before, it went pretty well. We did drop a toy and forget to pick it up before we got off, but she got an even better replacement a few days later so she isn't complaining.
We got to Miami Monday afternoon and after checking in to our hotel and grabbing a quick nap, we headed out to the beach. On our way, we stopped to get food at what our travel guide called a local, hole-in the wall spot. As it was local and certainly a hole-in-the-wall place, I can't say the guide actually lied to us, but I will say that neither of us was too comfortable there. I didn't eat or drink anything and Craig might have regretted that he did.
But once we got to the beach, things were looking up. Of course, by then Lucy was all worn out. She spent the first 45 minutes of the trip like this:
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She did eventually wake up though. At first she wasn’t too sure about this whole beach thing.
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But eventually she came around – kinda.
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On Tuesday Craig had work to do and Lucy and I did some other stuff so we were too tired to venture out in the afternoon but Wednesday Craig finished up early so we tried a different beach (after a stop for some yummy Cuban food at Cafe Versailles). This time she did actually seem to really like the beach, as opposed to her tolerating it on Monday.
That’s enough talking, here is what you really want – more pictures of Lucy on the beach!
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As you may have noticed, the whole beach thing was basically a photo op. But how could I not take a picture of this?
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Need sleep!

I'm exhausted. A week and a half at my parent's place, not exactly spent the way we had planned, then Lucy and I took the train back where Craig picked us up at 1pm on Friday. We drove straight to the airport to pick up his mom who came to visit for the weekend then Monday all four of us drove to the airport at an unmentionable hour in the morning (having to wake up a baby before 6am is just cruel). Grandma flew home to North Dakota while Craig, Lucy and I caught a flight to Miami!

Craig had to go there for a few days for work and so Lucy and I tagged along. When he first suggested it, I thought he was crazy. Why would I want to fly anywhere with a 3 month old baby. And Miami? During hurricane season? But I'm always a glutton for punishment so I said yes. I hadn't planned on being away from home the week before and at first I was going to cancel because I didn't want to leave my mom. But she was doing better (and still is!) so my dad insisted I go. Then I was going to cancel because I wasn't sure I was up for it. But Craig insisted. And they were right, I'm really glad we went. It was a great chance for Lucy and I to make up some of the quality time with Craig we had missed out on the week before.

Flying wasn't so bad. Lucy slept most of the way there and played happily the rest. She was slightly crankier on the return trip but just took a little more entertaining to keep happy and we were sitting across from another baby who was crying most of the way so she looked great by comparison.

I have tons of pictures to put up and even a couple of videos but right now things like sleep and laundry have to take precedence.