SO much has happened during Clara’s fourth month! I absolutely love being her mama and sometimes I still can’t believe we don’t have to give her back – she’s all ours! 🙂
Our baby definitely isn’t a newborn anymore – she’s developing her personality and learning new skills constantly. Her growth feels supercharged this month! Sometimes when I see her for the first time in the morning, she looks like she grew visibly overnight. When I start to get sad that she’s not tiny anymore, she cheers me right up by doing something adorable and amazes me with her fun developments.
E and I feel like we’re starting to get the hang of this parenting thing (at least until the next major change throws us for a loop) and we’ve even had a few nights where we’ve gotten to sit down together and relax instead of rushing to catch up on chores after she’s asleep. It’s getting a little easier to anticipate what she needs, and this whole parenting gig feels a lot more rewarding now that she is so interactive.
That said, I’ve been slightly terrified for the four-month sleep regression, and I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re in the middle of it right now. So far it hasn’t been toooo bad – but we still have more to go, so we’ll see! She’s still sleeping 9-10 hours at night, with two 11-hour stretches that were pure magic & I’m hoping she’ll repeat soon (fingers crossed!) The main difference is that she doesn’t sleep as soundly – she usually starts crying in her sleep on and off starting at around 3 a.m. until she wakes up for the day. So *she’s* still pretty well rested, but her parents need lots of coffee from all the broken sleep 😉 She also fights going down for her naps sometimes even though she used to fall asleep within a few minutes of being swaddled.
Every month that she grows, I get a little more sad that I’m not able to share her with other people. She hasn’t really figured out that there are people on the other side of the Zoom screen, so her family mainly just sees her staring instead of smiling and interacting. I’m really longing to get to share her babyhood, but realistically, that won’t happen until family members can get vaccinated and visit Boston. There’s no vaccine for kids anywhere close, so I don’t think we’ll be able to fly home to Texas or Kansas for a long time. I really just want to share her sweet baby days!!! For now, I’m doing the best I can with videos and photos, and for all the bad rap it gets, Instagram has been a huge gift to get to share her joy with others.
A few more favorite memories/updates from this month:
Christmas was super laidback, and although we missed seeing our families, we were glad to not have to travel anywhere with all her baby gear. We stayed in our PJs all day, snuggled with Clara, and heated up takeout for dinner. Seeing all the presents under our tree from family and friends was really special, and we appreciated the effort to deliver the holidays to us from across the country!
That second-day-jammies stay in bed feeling…
Clara’s 87-year-old great-grandmother has been learning how to knit since March so that she could make Clara a baby blanket. When we opened it on Christmas, it automatically became our most treasured family heirloom.
Here are two more Christmas gifts I cherished – a beautiful letter and rainbow ornament from my friend Ashley. She is one of the biggest gifts that has come from parenting during a pandemic. She and I connected on Instagram after I saw pictures of her super organized, adorable nursery on a pregnancy forum and I just had a gut feeling that this was my type of person! It turns out that we have so much in common, including the fact that we’re both portrait photographers and we had the exact same due date! Our running text thread has been a giant source of sanity on the tough days and a bright light in the midst of a sometimes lonely year. Hopefully someday we’ll get to meet up in person someday and introduce the babies!
Reflecting on 2020 was wild…what a year! I found out I was pregnant on January 2nd and ended the year with a three-month-old in the midst of a pandemic. I’ve never experienced so many changes in just one year.
Ringing in 2021 felt a little strange because that’s when I had originally planned to go back to work. While I’m thrilled to have more time at home with Clara, it’s been a little stressful to not be able to make a plan for when I’m going to be able to work again. I miss my clients and it’s impossible to plan logistically or financially. I’m trying to just stay in the moment and appreciate these days at home with her.
Clara started out her fourth month still haaaating tummy time with a fiery passion. We’ve been really diligent about it since the flat spot on her head started to get noticeable, and she’s started to protest a lot less and maybe even enjoy it a little – at least for the first few minutes until she starts crying! In fairness, have you ever tried laying on your belly and lifting your head? It’s hard!!
She laughed for the first time on January 3rd while dancing with her daddy! It was pretty short and quiet but it still made me tear up. Since then we’ve gotten more giggles, but her big belly laugh is still pretty elusive. I can’t wait until those are a regular occurrence!
This month her smile has become gigantic! I love when she smiles huuuuge and crinkles her cheeks up…it takes over her whole face! It’s so hard to capture on camera though because she gets distracted by the phone, oops!
We’re still reading a bunch and loving it even more now! It’s one of my favorite parts of being her mama. She has started turning the pages with her hands, and one time with her feet?!
We’ve been working on building up her library & I’ve shared some of our favorite books here. I enjoy reading rhyming books the most because they keep me entertained too. Our favorite books this month have been There’s a Bear on My Chair, Little Blue Truck, and Giraffes Can’t Dance.
E picked out a bunch of Spanish books and has been reading to her too! I LOVE hearing him speak Spanish. I’ve started trying to read the Spanish books out loud with him because it’s helping me learn too. Some of our Spanish books are translations of our English board books (like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear) so I’m picking up some new vocabulary as we go.
I’m now speaking in children’s book phrases out of habit. I walk around saying “skit skat skoodle doot flip flop flee,” or when E is grumpy, “stop spreading your grumpy wumpies all over the place.” Fans of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom & Pout-Pout Fish will catch these references, haha!
Her all-time favorite activity is dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. We do this at least once every day because it’s the fastest way to get her to giggle! I shake her hands back and forth, wiggle her feet to the beat, and sing along loudly and terribly.
She also giggles when I nom on her belly and shake my hair 🙂
She loves having her diaper changed now, which is a big change from her first few months! After she’s changed, I kiss her cheeks and her belly and let her play with my hair. And by play with my hair, I mean she pulls it painfully. But it makes her so happy that I keep letting her do it anyway 🙂
She’s working on rolling! She rolled from belly to back for the first time on January 4th, and it surprised me because it happened while I was taking photos of her – so I actually caught it on camera! Every day after that, we’ve kept practicing – I call it “gymnastics class” 🙂 She’s starting to figure out that rolling will get her out of tummy time, so she is a very diligent learner! I never understood why moms got so excited about their baby rolling until Clara did it…I’m so proud of her!!!
She stopped cooing as much and started shrieking, squealing, and gurgling instead! And blowing spit bubbles, which she finds hilarious!
Clara’s toys have officially started to take over the living room – I knew this would happen eventually! Our house is turning into a neon-colored tripping hazard, haha.
She has started to put everythingggg in her mouth! Her favorite things to eat: her Winkel toy (dubbed “spider ball” by E), Freddie the Firefly (Spanish alter ego = Lucie La Luciernaga) and a little sheep lovey named Lulu. Oh, and mama’s fingers!
One of my favorite details this month has been the transformation of her little hands. As a newborn, she always had her fists tightly clenched and (TMI alert) they smelled like stinky cheese so matter how often we washed them! As her hands have started to stretch out, they’ve also become super soft and the smell went away. I love the way she rests her hands on my wrists when we read. And feeling her fingers brush up against my cheeks. They are the sweetest things.
She likes to watch her parents now and will follow us with her eyes as we walk around the room. In the mornings, we sit her in her rocker while we make breakfast because she likes to see check out we’re up to!
When Emmanuel or I make an easy mistake like dropping her pacifier on the ground or letting a bad word slip in front of the baby, we keep joking with each other, “Well, now you’re out of the running for mom/dad of the year!” But really, E has actually been dad of the year. Seeing the two of them together melts my heart.
E taught me the Spanish phrase “patitas y pompis,” which I now use to refer to Clara’s little paws and baby bum. They are the cutest!
She’s getting balder by the day, poor girl! But she still has a little tuft of hair by her neck that looks like a mullet! I’m having fun dressing her up in bows and headbands while she’ll still let me 🙂
E took a few photos of us in our matching lemon jammies. That was the first piece of clothing I bought for her when I was only two months pregnant, and it was surreal to see her wear it!
I’m just a teensy bit excited for Clara’s first Valentine’s Day next month and have already started decorating! I can’t wait for the weeks to come!
Taking family photos with a tripod and a three-month-old is NO JOKE but I’ll always be glad to have these!
Hello, month five…here we go!!
You can find Clara’s previous monthly recaps here: