I just read a post on my sister's blog about her adorable daughter and all the cute things she's doing lately and I thought, "I need to do that!" So here's a typical day, Anna style. Beware, this will be long. This post is more for me and Anna than for you.
Anna is a superb sleeper. Most nights we put her to bed around 9 PM and she falls happily asleep (more on bedtime routine later...). About 6 weeks ago we started swaddling her with one arm bent up to her mouth so she could suck her thumb, and have progressively swaddled her less and less to the point that both arms are now out and she sleeps with them straight out to both sides like she's making up for the fourth months where they were strapped tight to her body.
Anytime between 4:30 and 6:30, Anna starts to stir and cry a bit. At that point I go in and flip her over on to her tummy (how she naps- don't tell my pediatrician) so she can suck her thumb and fall back asleep. Anna used to rub her free hand over her sheets, and sometimes I'd stick a corner of her soft blanket under it and she'd grab on to it. But just this week, she's really gotten into rubbing something soft with the hand she's not sucking. When she's nursing, she rubs her soft hair, and when she's going to sleep, she reaches for her little teddy bear or lamb. It is SO adorable to see her, eyes shut tight, sucking one thumb, and stroking a little foot of a happily smiling toy who is slowly becoming real.
Anna wakes up completely some time between 7:30 and 9:30 AM which means that I often get leisurely mornings to study the scriptures, read my email, eat breakfast, and read/post blogs. I love this time since it's quiet, the sun rises, I can think and relax and prepare for the day. I really do treasure it since I know these days are numbered :)
When Anna is really awake, she pops up, supporting herself on her elbows and alternates between talking to the toys in her crib and yelling for Mom. She rocks up onto her side a bit to look at the window and almost rolls over (more on rolling over later...). When I come in, I'm greeted with a huge smile, giggles, and, once I help her roll onto her back, kicks and waving arms of joy. Anna sure knows how to wrangle you in from the start.
After a round of good morning hugs and kisses, I feed her and change her. Anna figured out how to grab her toes a few weeks ago and it has become one of her favorite games. There is little else that pleases Anna as much as being naked and kicking her legs onto the noisy changing table and then swinging them up to catch her feet again.
Much of the rest of the day is spent in playtime. Anna's favorite things to do with Mommy are sing songs, be tickled, and play kicking games. Anna LOVES "The Wheels on the Bus" since it involves singing AND body-moving actions. When I start the song, Anna's mouth gets wide with glee and just stays open the whole time because she is SO excited to be going "up and down, up and down, UP and down." I'll admit though that while Anna loves to rock on her bum while I hold her hands during the "move on back" verse, I can't help but imagine Rosa Parks is rolling over in her grave every time I sing it.
I try to have some tummy time each day, mostly in the hopes that Anna will figure out how to roll over since her neck is already really strong. I think the main problem with Anna's rolling ability is that while on her tummy, she refuses to put weight on her arms. Instead of propping herself up on her elbows like the babies in the pictures of all my parenting books, Anna prefers to have her arms out wide, airplane style. Not only does this mean she can't push up on her arms to help her roll over, it also means all the strain of holding her head up falls to her neck and back so she gets tired and angry pretty quickly while on her tummy.
really loves to stand on the bathroom counter in front of the big mirror. There she can smile and laugh and talk to her cute little friend in the mirror and feel the cool granite under her feet. She also likes to pull and chew on the lucky bamboo on the counter and likes to hold the bright red and blue toothpaste tube. I know when Anna's fussy that a trip to the bathroom counter will quiet her for a long time.
Though, being quiet is not Anna's usual choice. Anna is a screamer. Even-- especially-- when she's happy Anna likes to test the limits of her vocal abilities. I had at least three or four friends turn around laughing during Sunday School when Anna screamed with delight as I helped her stand on my lap. At the grocery store however, the looks are less congenial and more often express the "what is that woman doing to her child?!" sentiment. When normal talking is not enough, Anna screams.
Anna also screams when she's not happy, which means I'm a total pushover when she wants to be picked up and cuddled after having enough time on the floor. I just can't handle growling screams of displeasure. On a particularly screamy day last week, it drove me to tears, and thankfully Sam was home to take her outside until she screamed herself to sleep so I couldn't hear it. The good news is, those days are few and far between. Anna has become a very happy baby and is usually content with playing with Mom or chatting with her toys.
Anna's current favorite toys are the little bugs and animals that hang from the arches over her play mats. She loves to hit them and make them jingle and talk to them and put them in her mouth. She also loves bubbles and wriggles with pleasure when she sees them floating by.
Anna smiles more every day. Our favorite is the "bubble smile" as Sam likes to call it since her big round cheeks look like bubbles. We also melt for her big open mouthed smiles of joy. And my special smile is the soft little grin on Anna's face when she's all ready for bed and I've nursed her one last time and we're cuddling. She makes quiet oohs and aahs recounting all the fun she had during the day and how happy she is and how much she loves me (or at least that's how I interpret those adorable sounds).
I imagine these will be some of the easiest parenting days of our lives, and we're loving it.