4 Months

I've written out a 4-month post three different times now and have deleted it each time. I've been unable to find the words I want to say, which ironically enough perfectly captures how I have felt since Owen's birth. There aren't enough words. There aren't right words. Ineffable.

I understand deeply why babies are often referred to as bundles of joy. He is quite literally a bundle of joy. His smile lights up my life, as well as the lives of our family members, friends, strangers. I love watching elderly people do what they can to catch a glimpse of him. In their faces I see the connection they are making between the beautiful baby in my arms and their own beautiful babies who grew entirely too fast. I can't help but notice the juxtaposition of the hopeful glimmer and painful wince in their eyes as they instantly begin reflecting on the blink-of-an-eye that was their children's lives, and I allow it to remind me to slow down, relax, enjoy, and hold closely. Especially to hold closely.

Owen is growing and learning so quickly that it makes my head spin. He found his voice and talks constantly. We hope his voice drops multiple octaves by adulthood. ;) Sometimes we have a difficult time distinguishing between his crying and his talking, but he is learning to make them sound different. He has mastered rolling from his back to his stomach, and although he has rolled from his stomach to back several times, he often gets stuck and frustrated. He offers smiles all the time, and there is not one sight on this earth that I would rather see. I know he feels joy deep in his soul when he smiles with his mouth wide open and his eyes shut tightly, sometimes even turning his head away in the process. Shut-eye smiles, the kind even an adult can't fake. Contagious. If we try really hard, he lets out laughs that sound like growls. It is impossible to witness it and not laugh in return. He is still enjoying kicking, and loves when we sing to him. He smiles so big every time Ryan talks to him and smiles. It doesn't matter if he is close by or across the room, it never fails. He is a pro at playing with toys now. I remember when I got so excited the first time he even looked at one of his toys, then again when he touched one (I think by accident). It's unbelievable how quickly he is changing. He is able to do whatever he wants with his toys now, which often includes ripping them down from his play mat! We did take him back to the pool a few weeks ago and he liked it much better than the first time. He was completely expressionless, but that's a win. He sat in his stroller and watched intently the entire time I ate an ice cream cone on Wednesday, and ever since then he has been sticking out his tongue. It's hilarious and scary how he is able to watch and learn! We are quite amused at the way Owen always has his leg or legs up in the air. It is so funny and weird, and I have dozens of photos and videos of it!

My sweet baby appears to be analytical and cautious (very strong qualities of mine). Time will tell, but my early assessment is based on the way he seems to favor taking in his surroundings before choosing to be comfortable or not, looking at a toy for a while before attempting to touch it, and preferring the safety of his carseat or stroller when we are in a strange place. Owen still doesn't like loud, high-energy people or places. He has always slept with white noise in the background, and I think it is comforting to him, so I downloaded an app so we can have white noise on the go. It has helped with car rides and public places. Last week (4 months 1 week) I had to start supplementing with some formula and I hate it. I'll write more on that later. We moved to a 4-hour schedule at that point, also, which is the first time our routine has changed since he was 6 weeks old.

Through 4 months he was still in mostly 0-3 month clothes, although now he is in some 3-6 month clothes. He is in size 2 diapers. At his appointment last week he weighed 15 lbs 9 oz (62%), and was 28 inches long (100%). He's finally able to sleep unswaddled in his crib, thanks to some prodding from his dad! He's been sleeping through the night again, although sometimes he needs his paci in the middle of the night. Our last middle of the night feeding was exactly one month ago today.

I love Owen's hands and feet. And everything else. His hands and feet have been my favorite since day one. His fingers are fattening up, and just make me stop and smile and think about how sweet he is. We hold hands a lot at home, in the car, wherever. He holds on to my shirt when I hold him, feed him, or rock him. We often talk about how hands can be used to hurt or to do good, and how he will use them to do good. We talk about how his feet will take him great places, wherever he chooses to go. Every night when I feed him and rock him, I affirm him. I know he doesn't understand yet, but I usually say something along the lines of you are precious. you are loved. you are wanted. you are important. you are smart. you are capable. you are unique. Owen, you are all of those things and more that I cannot express. Ineffable.