Dear Lyra,

Happy 4 month birthday!

Although this month was relatively relaxed compared to last, you have kept me very busy! Not only have you expressed a strong preference for playing together rather than playing alone (see Mental Leap #4), you’ve also decided that 30 minutes is plenty of time for a rejuvenating nap (also known as The Four Month Sleep Regression). I can’t say that I have been too bothered by either of these since you grow even cuter and more fun every day.

You have become very interested in toys this month. You favorites are a fabric Peek-a-boo book, a loopy rattle that is easy to grasp, a pacifier/stuffed-giraffe, a little electronic keyboard, a play gym with dangling stuffed animals, and our dog Ada. Ada is not super enthusiastic about you but she is generally patient while you grab fistfuls of her hair and pull on her ears. I predict you will be an animal lover as you grow older. You also discovered your feet recently and spend a lot of time trying to pull your toes into your mouth.

This month we’ve seen Marisa and Emerson (who is 8 weeks younger that you) almost everyday. Most days we walk our dogs and spend lots of time just hanging out at our apartment or theirs (a temporary home which is only 2 blocks away while their house is being remodeled). We’ve also been meeting weekly with a group of moms and babies that are about your age. Having this support is completely invaluable to me and it’s fun to see how similar and how different you are from other babies. Compared to the others you are very active and bright-eyed and so tall. According to your pediatrician you are the size of an average 6 month old!

We have also taken a series of infant massage classes. We’ve learned techniques for massaging legs, arms, tummies, and head. Much of the massaging involves songs or rhymes — I sing Skinamarinky Dinky Dink while rubing your belly and recite This Little Piggy while squeezing your toes. One of your favorites (which isn’t really a massage) is Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. No matter how busy you are, you will usually sit still for that song. At any time during class, only about two of the eight or so babies will actually be getting massaged. The other six are fussing, feeding, or just being way too energetic to lay still for a massage (that’s you!). It’s still a lot of fun and I think you love hanging out naked and grinning at all the other moms and dads.

This month you started sleeping in a crib in the nursery/guest room. You seem to sleep much better and for longer stretches this way, but I do miss seeing you every time I wake up during the night (now I just have to check the video monitor). I still nurse you to sleep before laying you in your crib, but sometimes it takes you nearly two hours of nursing and crying to finally fall asleep.

Aside from a few days when you were about a month old, you have never really taken a bottle. In preparation for my return to work, we’ve been offering you breastmilk in a bottle or sippy cup almost every day. Instead of sucking, you just chew the nipple. We think you probably ingest about half of the milk and the other half ends up all over you. Mostly you seem to enjoy it so I’m optimistic that you’ll figure it out eventually.

In a few weeks we’ll be heading back across the Atlantic to visit your Dad’s family and go to Jess and Andy’s wedding. It will be good to see your grandparents and Aunt Sally and Uncle Jon again. And it makes me really happy that having you isn’t preventing us from traveling. We’ll see if we can keep it up!

Love,

Mama

More photos at http://lyra.today