Stella is 4 Months Young

This past month has been really fun and really trying at the same time.  The first two weeks, Stella was happier than she had ever been.  There was minimal fussing, she slept 10-11 hours with only 1 wake up and she seemed to be getting over the colicky hump.  She hit several important milestones and I was feeling somewhat accomplished as a mom.  I could finally make my baby smile…and even laugh!  The second two weeks, however, I felt like we took a pretty large slide backwards.  Stella entered into her “4 month sleep regression,” which meant that for several nights she woke up every 1-2 hours.  On top of that, she was even fussier than normal, which on the scale of 1-10, her crying, out of control behavior reached about a 12.  No matter what we did – fed her, put her in the swing, played with her – she cried.  The only thing that seemed to calm her down was taking walks, which was very similar to her behavior in her first 8 weeks of life.  I will say I’m really happy that we witnessed that Stella could in fact be a happy baby, although it made the bad days seem that much worse.

One of the most special milestones this month was Stella’s high-pitched, squealing giggle.  She giggles when mom and dad dance, play with her feet or when someone makes funny faces at her.  She can imitate faces pretty well now too, especially when you stick out your tongue.

I giggled for the first time!

I giggled for the first time!

And I kept it up! Mom thinks she's funny and I play along.

And I kept it up! Mom thinks she’s funny and I play along.



She also had some rather interesting mouth developments.  Stella does this strange clicking sound with her tongue.


She also attempts to suck on a bottle, even in her sleep! :)

Stella had another large milestone this month.  She rolled over for the first time!  Although she doesn’t do it consistently yet, she can roll from her stomach to her back when her arms are underneath her.  When her arms are out wide from her body, she still flails and gets angry. :)

Her appendages have become a lot more fun for her as well.  I think she has finally figured out that her arms and legs are attached to her body.  After about a week of staring at her hands and bringing both to her mouth with some struggle, she can now successfully stick her fingers in her mouth.  She gets her hand (generally her right) to her mouth on the first try and likes to lick them like a lolly pop. :)  Stella also likes to gnaw on mom and dad’s fingers.

I like to chew!

I like to chew!

In the last few days, Stella has been able to grab her feet as well.  She likes to bring them up to her belly while she’s laying on her back, especially when I’m changing her diaper.  She can grab onto them now, although she hasn’t tried to put them in her mouth yet.  (I’m waiting on that one!)

She's still in the staring phase here. She says "oh, those are mine?"

She’s still in the staring phase here. She says “oh, those are mine?”

I finally found my feet with mom's help

I finally found my feet with mom’s help

See? I found my feet!

And I finally found them all by myself!

Her coordination on her play mat has come along too.  She has gone from only being able to hit the toys with her hands to using her hands and her feet one at a time to using both feet at the same time.

At first, we though she was going to be a south paw.

At first, we though she was going to be a south paw


On her play mat, she hits with her left hand, but I’m pretty sure she’ll be right handed.  She has really started to grab at toys when they are presented to her, particularly her light-up rattle.  Stella will only grasp the rattle in her right hand as of now.  In the next month or so, I’ll look forward to seeing if she can transfer the rattle between hands.

Green, blue or red?

Green, blue or red?

We are continuing to work with her back and neck strength by making her sit up for longer and longer periods during the day.  Most of the time, she really enjoys seeing the world from a new angle.

Sitting on mom's lap

Sitting on mom’s lap

Sitting with some help

Sitting with some help

I love seeing my feet from above

I love seeing my feet from above

She loves watching tv on dad's lap

She loves watching tv on dad’s lap

Sitting up on the hard floor proved to be a little easier. I had a lot more balance!

Sitting up on the hard floor proved to be a little easier. I had a lot more balance!

We tried the bumbo, but I think it's still too early. I have a mean swagger lean though!

We tried the Bumbo seat, but I think it’s still too early. I have a mean swagger lean though!

I do like seeing my toys in front of my face though!

I do like seeing my toys in front of my face though

Stella absolutely loves having a blanket on her, even when it’s 80 degrees outside.  She doesn’t want it covering her hands (unless she’s eating) or feet though.  She just likes to have it on her belly so she can hold on and rub it to her face.  She’s our own little Linus.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

This is how I roll

This is how I roll

I *would* like to sleep like this

I *would* like to sleep like this

But mom gets worried and removes my blanket while I'm incapacitated

But mom gets worried and removes my blanket while I’m incapacitated

Stella had some other “firsts” this month.  She went to her first squadron function and was the youngest person by about 24 years.  She got to see her first fire as well!

Stella raging at Octoberfest

Stella raging at Octoberfest

Who are these guys in funny shorts?

Who are these guys in funny shorts?  Push it up!

Lounging by the fire

Lounging by the fire

Stella saw her first plane close up, although it didn’t move.

Static A-10 display at Osan AFB

Static A-10 display at Osan AB

Stella got to fly with dad for the first time though.  That was more fun.

Flying high

Flying high

Stella made some Korean military friends.  The Koreans continue to love her red hair.

Stella made some Korean friends

Stella made some Korean friends

Stella also wore her first pair of thigh highs (haha)!

My fox thigh highs

My fox thigh highs

Even through the last two weeks of crying, Stella has had some bright spots and continues to show me her smile.  At the end of the day, it’s what gets me through.

Go 'Hawks!

Go ‘Hawks!

Hi guys!

Hi guys!

I love my new flamingo blanket

I love my new flamingo blanket

Mom loves my baby blues

Mom loves my baby blues

Stella has officially been on this earth for 1/3 of one year.  I can say, without a doubt, that these have been the longest four months of my life, but also the most rewarding.  I just need to remind myself of all the small steps forward she is making when times get tough.  I have been reading The Wonder Weeks, which explains various fussy periods in a child’s life, what he/she is learning and why that makes him/her upset.  The “why” part has really helped me because I know it’s not all for naught.

I'm four months young

I’m four months young

At her doc’s appointment at roughly 3.5 months, Stella continued to climb the growth charts.  She weighed 6kg (13.2 lbs), which was in the 42nd percentile.  She was 62 cm (24.4 in.) long, which is the 65th percentile and had a head circumference of 43 cm (16.9 in), which makes her head in the 98th (!!) percentile.  It may take her a bit to gain full neck strength with that noggin’!

weight

I’m getting so big!

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