This month, we went down to Austin for about 4 days for his first Christmas. On Christmas Eve, he wanted to stay up with the family and party, and Cory decided Shep "knew" that the night was special. Riiight. Christmas Day was pretty uneventful for Shepman, considering he slept through a big portion of it, but he did sit in his Bumbo on a big stack of presents for a bit. Due to the whole "I'm a baby and can't coordinate my arm movements" thing, we graciously opened all of his gifts for him. We didn't buy him anything, but he was spoiled by everyone else with lots of cute clothes, books, a high chair, a life jacket, and gear to go biking with Mom and Dad. We drove back to Dallas the day after Christmas and got spoiled again by the Carrolls and extended family. We loved seeing more of Dad during the Christmas break. He still had a basketball tournament and practices, but he was home much more and it was great.
This month, Sheppard realized that he had feet. They can kick the air, kick Mom's belly, and they can stand, stand, stand, all day long. Little Man loved to stand. Sometimes he would become a stiff board and would not sit. I would seriously try and get him to bend to sit down and he wouldn't do it. Other times, it's like his little muscles would give out and he would casually tip forward in half. This could happen without warning and we soon learned our lesson. When we were in Austin for Christmas, we went out for lunch with my family to Cory's favorite burger house, Moonie's. Shep was standing in Cory's lap and Cory was holding him at the hips. Suddenly, he just folded in half and his forehead loudly kissed the table, surprising everyone. It was actually pretty funny, but Shep was not pleased at all.
Sometimes Sheppy would suck on his whole fist, and it was funny to me that he preferred that over a thumb. He still liked the NUK pacifiers, but wasn't yet a total bink junkie. A few days during the month, it still seemed like something bothered him at times, and if you touched his gums he seemed to like it. Or I decided he did. But, some days you just feel off and I imagine that happens to babies too.
He could be quite the little flirt, and loved to laugh at nothing. We craved his giggles and could get them pretty easily by blowing zanzibars on his belly or pretending we were going to eat his toes. Sometimes, he would kind of do this gasp snort while he was laughing, which was super nerdy.
Shep was a really chill baby during the day, just laughing and giggling and smiling at everyone. He could be so happy. Sometimes he would get really excited and pump his fist. Take it easy, right? His usual fussy times were for just a bit right before he went down for a nap. We were always working on finding that sweet spot, that magic time when he is ready to sleep but not over tired. Small window, I'm telling you! His blue, blue, eyes, beautiful eyelashes, cute little eyebrows and his long hair suckered me in regularly. His hair never fell out and just got longer and longer. People made comments about me cutting it, which I of course ignored. I loved his hair. Gosh, I loved that little boy of mine.
Just like all babies, Shep had his days. In particular, the stars were not aligned in our universe on December 12, 2012 . Whether the Mayans had a say in it is up for debate, but Sheppard did not want to sleep well, was especially fussy, screaming at times, and it was just a hard, hard, day. I felt so terribly lonely. It was one of those days where I wanted to sit down, cry, and wish that doing that would make my worries go away. Or, that someone would miraculously appear and give me a break. I called my mom and bought more gas drops. I felt slightly better after talking to her and the next day was better and that's just how life is sometimes. Challenging at times, but you deal. You need to be a finisher every day. You might fall across that finish line, crying and glad it's over, but that sun goes down, and it will come up on a fresh day tomorrow.
At his four month appointment, he was 13 lb. 9 oz., 25.75 inches long, and his head was 41 cm. I think they measured his head wrong because his percentile for his head dropped like 50 points from his two month appointment. Still, he was a pretty skinny kid, weighing in at the 10th percentile. My doctor wasn't worried, and I wasn't either because he had leg rolls and ate plenty. Plus, his height was the 67th percentile, so he was decently long. I had high hopes he would be long and lean. Height can skip a generation, right? My dad is nearly 6'4" and my mom is 5'10"so there was hope.
Speaking of weight, I got down to a pound less than my pre-pregnancy weight really early on in his fourth month. I had been hovering within a couple pounds of it, and when I stepped on the scale and saw that number, I was pumped to the max. I loved nursing because it allowed me to eat and eat and still lose weight. It was like having a faster metabolism and I embraced the new "necessary" calories willingly. I was still working on getting my stomach muscles back, but was making progress.
In December, we changed 258 diapers, and Shep nursed for approximately 42 hours, 36 minutes. If I remembered, I tried to do the sign language for "diaper" when I changed him. Sometimes I did "all done," "mom," and "more." He was still too young to know if there was any point, but I decided there wasn't much harm in trying.
After having a good stretch of not eating at night, part way through the month he started waking up at night to eat. It was usually between 2 AM and 5 AM and it happened for about 10 days. I was not so thrilled about that, because I woke up with him about 97% of the time. I made up that percentage but it sounds about right. I felt bad waking up Cory when he was getting up for work, plus if I had to feed him anyways, there wasn't much point. I usually put him on call for weekend wake-ups, but, during basketball season he had Saturday morning games. So, that meant I was on duty 6.5 nights a week. I issued a formal invitation for future babies to arrive around the last day of school (instead of the first week of school) so Cory would be available to wake up at night for the first four months.
As we got to know Sheppard more, we fell deeper in love and felt very blessed and lucky.
4 Month Stats:
Diapers Changed: 258
Total Nursing: 42 hours 36 minutes
Height: 25.75 inches (67th percentile)
Weight: 13 lb. 9 oz. (10th percentile)
Head Size: 41 cm (I think they measured this incorrectly)