Chiara: 4 months old

I told myself before having Chiara that I wouldn’t judge myself  too much until my baby was 4 months old. I knew from my postnatal experiences with Scotland and Anders that it took about that long to start feeling “normal” again- less hormonal/sleep deprived/crazed. I’d say the pattern held true this time too. While I still have days where I feel like my brain must be marinating in hormones, largely I feel like myself, and the thought of taking on projects outside the general care and feeding of my children seems possible. This upsurge of energy resulted in my front flower bed finally being planted. (Taking advantage of a perennial sale at Fred Meyer I went on light around 9:00pm bought 25 perennials, and called it good!) While it will certainly look better when things fill out, I have been loving the color and texture from our large picture windows.

Chiara, as well, has started to break out of her shell and is adding many new vocalisms, expressions, and movements to her repertoire. Just today we were walking around a museum and she would squeal, kick her legs and giggle- a huge grin on her face every time one of her brothers walked by her. I’d never heard her laugh so much!
She’ll often wake up in the morning and lay their in her bed cooing and sighing. She’s “talking” more. Her range of controlled non-crying sounds has really diversified in the last two weeks. She talks the most when its just she and I in a quiet room, but from time to time she’ll “talk” while she’s around the boys and they’ll excited exclaim, “Mom! Chiara just said goo!”

Her arm and hand dexterity is getting smoother and more intentional. She loves to suck on her fingers (and naw on my hands and arms), and can take her passy out of her mouth.
She continues to prefer being upright. She’ll do a stomach crunch if you lay her in a reclined position and hold it for an impressively long time. We got a bumbo chair from my Mom. She prefers it to her deeply reclined bouncy seat, though she’s still not strong enough to sit in it for an extended period of time.
She rolled over from her back to her belly last week, and can do it quickly now. As a result she can work her way around the rug, rolling, scooching, and wiggling.

We had a few weeks about a month back where she was sleeping from 10:00 to 5:00, but now she’s typically wakes a couple of times a night. I was so hopeful that I was going to start getting consistently uninterrupted sleep. How could I be so naive with a third child!
When I’m really tuned into her and keep her on her ideal schedule she is a happy easy baby. Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible to live a normal life with two other kids and do so. So some days she cries a lot. (Sunday being the worst!) For some reason its hard for me to admit that she’s a “hard” baby. Some people delight in emphasizing how difficult their babies were, how continually they cried. But I’ve always felt like my babies sent clear enough signals that if I was in tune I could assuage their crying before it got out of hand. With Chiara there are plenty of days where I’m so busy with other things that I’m not following her cues. Or I can’t follow her cues because we’re not in a situation where I can, say, rock her in a quiet room, or lay her in bed, and on those days she cries a lot.
Chiara loves her brothers, but prefers them from a distance. She tends to get fussy if she’s sitting between them reading books on my lap for example. Or if they’re over top of her and she’s lying on the ground. But she’ll squeal and smile if she’s in my arms looking down at them. I suppose their constant movement and volume unnerves her.
She’s still a total Momma’s girl. I love her.
Anders has really increased his awareness and care for Chiara. He’s quick to sing his adorable version of “Trinkle, trinkle wittle star” whenever she cries in the car. He loves to find  and give her her passy, and asks several times a day to “hold her.” (Though he only wants to for under 30 seconds.) He’s also taken a renewed interest in our one baby doll. He sleeps with his baby, (As he so often finds me doing with Chiara in the mornings, after her 6:00 feeding.) It’s beyond precious.
Chiara goes by many names, but mostly: Chiara, Baby Jade, Ari, and occasionally Tom calls her Kiki.
I’ve felt a surprising oneness with her femininity. It feels good to have another little lady in the house. I get a kick out of choosing her outfits. Today, at the Viking festival, I found myself asking in depth questions about how this woman was braiding ribbons into a girl’s hair. I’m so curious to see how raising a girl will pan out! I adore her.

One response to “Chiara: 4 months old”

  1. I love to read your thoughts Kjirsti – thanks for sharing! You do so well to put into words what these precious children mean to you. We sure love them!

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