Enjoying Our 11 Week Old Bubba

Our little bubs the morning of her 2-month mark
My friends, we are now in a new age of baby.

Funny how these weeks run past so quickly and so agonizingly slow at the same time. The three and six month mark promise so many development milestones for bubs that would make her more play worthy and shock proof, that it seems we are perpetually waiting for them to come round. On the other hand, each day has been a study in amazement as we see how fast she is progressing and changing by the minute! So where does that leave us?

Happy. Really, can we be anything but?

Aoife then and now, scary how much she's grown
Everyone says not to rush as it will all go by so soon and once gone there is no turning back. And we don't really. I think its a testament to how much we enjoy our daughter that we keep wishing we could do more with her. Then in the next breath promptly confuse ourselves by wishing she stays our precious size 24 chicken (this is what PIC calls her upon noticing the recent resemblance to frozen chicken when swaddled).

These days the new era of Aoife shows us a preview of the precocious little girl she is bound to be. She's never stingy with her smiles and they are always big grins. Even when she's dozing off to sleep or waking for a quick second, she'll flash you a grin if she sees you in her periphery. So cheeky with the way she grins at you from the corner of her eyes.

Then there's the way that she asks for her bottle (she makes a consistent I'm hungry sound and sticks her tongue out so we can tell) then smiles and pushes it out with her tongue once you do try to feed her. She'll do this for about three to four times before she finally gives you one last grin then starts sucking. Of course, when she's deathly hungry, there's no time for play and she shouts (no tears or crying, just shouting) until you feed her.

Still daddy's girl
Speaking of shouting. The last two weeks has seen her babbling go on overdrive. Where before it was an occasional event where we trip over ourselves to grab the camera and document that few minutes on video, it has now become a household staple. And it looks like our little princess is liking the sound of her voice, eager for conversation. She even makes do with her little mirror or the stuffed caterpillar hanging by her cot rail. When she gets tired of the worm she gives a few shouts or fake wails to get an audience. No need to pick her up, just stand beside her cot and she'll start smiling and gurgling away at you. What a little diva.

My only complaint is that her daddy favoritism hasn't really waned one bit. She is always just that extra bit more talkative and louder when daddy is around. He doesn't even have to try. The minute he pays her just the ounce of attention, she's off! There really is something between dads and daughters...

Apart from the chatter, bubs has now discovered her appendages. Yes, you read right. The little bubba has finally realized that she has hands and feet and that they are attached to her! Apparently babies were born confused LOL. With this new development, its always so much fun dressing her up in pyjamas that have little feet with faces on them and watch her amazed stare as she wiggles her toes.

still trying on this photo...
But I think the more fun part is watching her try to suck her fist. As she had that jerk reflex going, I can literally sit by her cot and watch her lift her fist up in the air, watch it intently till she goes cross eyed, then bring it down to her face with her tongue sticking out. Why is this fun? Its fun because eight out of ten attempts sees her hitting her nose, her eyes, or her cheeks. Hardly her mouth. And every now and then, she lets out a grunt, a huge sigh, or a quick & sharp "waah" sharing her displeasure. Now this makes for great entertainment and we've spent many a moments giggling over our little girl's predicament. Evil. I know. Unfortunately this only lasted a week or so, as of yesterday it looks like she's already got the hang of it and is now alternating between right and left fists. Main thing to watch out for is that she doesn't try to stick her finger down her throat or we might have another issue entirely!

Oh, I meant to mention. Did you guys know that "sleeping through" in the parenting world meant a baby that slept between 4-6 hours or more? Here I was in despair over hearing parents tell me that their offspring has been sleeping through from 6 weeks on while ours was only doing 4hrs-3hrs-3hrs stretches from bedtime. I thought I was doing something wrong when apparently, that was it! I kept consoling myself that at least it was an improvement from the 1.5 to 2 hour loops not knowing that we've already hit that milestone. On the flip side, she did sleep from 8:30PM last night to 6:00AM this morning uninterrupted! Apart from the occasional sleep talking and giggling (yes, babies dream too!) we did answer a few lip & tongue smacking sounds that called for a bottle, but all this happened while she slept! Hallelujah! Is this a sign of things to come? Or was it a fluke? The bags under my eyes would dearly love to know and are hoping its the former and not the latter.

Anyway, that's one of the few things I picked up from his month's parent group. Here in NZ there's a group called Plunket that offers services to new parents courtesy of the government. You get a nurse that monitors your baby's development, the option to join parent groups, coffee groups, opt for car seat hire, social baby groups like wriggle & rhyme, etc. Its also the perfect opportunity to spy on other babies the same age as yours and see how your bubs is doing against them. This way I stop palpitating each time I think she's lost weight or is short, or whatever other developmental disaster I can imagine. All I have to do is look around at these sessions and realize that bubs is on schedule along with the other babies.

Getting ready for travel?
Speaking of parent groups - bubs did throw me a little surprise on the last one. So you all know how she's now more talkative and playful right? One thing I didn't quite realize is how much of her environment she actually takes in. Yes, she's learned the cues for diaper change, her bottle, aspirating her snot, and wiping her face, but I always assumed those came from us repeating the words in the same sing-song tone each time we did any of the actions. Now, during the session, there was one baby who was inconsolable from the second half till we hit the end of the designated hour. At first Aoife didn't seem fazed by the crying at all and looked content to be lying in her pram. Then she started "aaah-ing" then stopping in between while giving me this big grin. It took me halfway through her second "aaaaaahhh" before I realized she was mimicking the tone of the wailing baby then pausing in between to grin, gurgle and catch her breath! So naughty! Looks like she got from from her dad more than just his looks! Oy, I can only imagine what's in store for me when she hits her terrible twos.

In two months and two days, we will be boarding a plane bound for Manila. Aoife's first plane ride outside the womb. Fingers crossed she travels just as well as when she did when she was still in my tummy. While part of me dreads the logistics of it all, we are really looking forward to introducing our little princess to our family and friends back home. I'm sure we'll be in for quite a memorable adventure ahead!

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