Milly turned, as Amanda called it, a quarter-year today.  My daughter and I spent most of it with just the two of us hanging out.  Of course, hanging out actually meant I was trying to work while she wanted to be held, although she was sweet enough to spend a good portion of the day napping, which helped me get some things done.

We took a walk today.  I had to pay the mortgage so I loaded her up in the sling and we walked to the bank.  I think it was Milly’s first time inside a bank.  I was a little disappointed, if I’m being honest, because nobody said anything about her.  To be fair though, the teller’s area is pretty high up, so it’s not like the teller could have had a good look at her.

After I gave Mills her late feeding I sat there holding her with her feet at my lap and her head in my hands.  She was tired, so I was just watching her breath deeply.  Sometimes her eyes would flutter and she’d catch a glimpse of me and give a big but brief smile.  This, I thought, is beautiful.  I can’t help but give God thanks and praise in light of watching a new person learning life.

So, three months.  It seems like it’s been longer and yet I can’t believe it’s been so long.  She’s done so much, but she has so, so much more to do.  It’s so cool to see her being able to prop up a bottle, knowing that before long she’ll be able to fully hold it and use it.  She laughs, even though she’s only fully done it once, but she can, she can laugh.  Amanda and I were waiting for that, and I can’t wait to her it again and again.

Milly can hold her head up really well.  She’s actually been able to hold her head up some since the night she was born.  I recall her on… I think it was her Paw Paw’s shoulder, holding her head up a little and looking around.  Things must have been so crazy for her then.  All she’d known up to that point was the darkness of the womb, but now there were lights and people and faces and ceilings and floors, windows, beds, tables, air, gravity, distance… all kinds of new things to look at and learn about.

Milly has started her oral stage, where she likes to put things in her mouth.  If she doesn’t have a bottle or a paci there, she usually tries to stick her hands or fingers in there, which is a habit I’m trying to keep her from.  If she has a blanket she’ll end up eating it, or if she’s wearing a dress she’ll pull it up to show off her belly and get a taste of it at the same time.

It goes without saying, but she’s adorable.  She’s got fattish cheeks, but I think she’s relatively skinny for a baby.  I base that not only on looking at her, but also the fact that she’s so long for her age but not particularly heavy.  Her lashes have thickened and are growing out.  She has pretty eyelashes.  Her brown eyes are big and dark.  Of course, everyone talks about her hair.  Maybe one of these days we’ll go ahead and put a bow or a barrette in it, but so far we’ve just gone with the messy natural look.  It tends to get swept to her right though, when we do anything with it at all.

I feel I should outline a typical day for our Millybug because, you know, it’s funny but sometimes you can look back and think about how different your days were just not too long ago.  I know things have changed a lot even since we first brought her home, when it seemed like we’d be watching syndicated episodes of Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle and South Park every night during her feedings.  That went by the wayside when she was no longer breastfed.

These days, it goes like this.  Milly will wake up around 4am in need of some combination of a diaper change and/or the pacifier being stuck back in her mouth.  She wakes up again about an hour later, usually under the same conditions.  After that she wakes up sometime between 7:30 and 8:00, this time for her morning feeding.  She’ll usually cry for a few minutes before we get her at that point.

She stops crying as soon as we pick her up, sometimes even before that.  After she’s been fed downstairs, she’s usually in a pretty happy mood.  She’ll talk and smile and play a bit.  On the weekdays, sometime during that 8:00 hour I’ll put her in the swing with a couple toys so I can eat breakfast.  She’ll usually nap sometime during that, and when she wakes up she’s ready for a diaper change.

The rest of the day is pretty much whatever.  She’ll nap some, fuss some, play some.  She doesn’t like being in one place for way too long.  I’ll give her some daddy tummy time (“It’s Daddy Tummy Time, starring Milly and Daddy!”).  She likes that for a little while, but tummy time gets old quick for her.  Sometimes I’ll put her in the little gym/mat thing with some toys, and now and then I’ll put her in the guestroom where she can look in the mirror.  She likes hanging out on the changing table.  She always has.  Sometimes she likes the pack & play, sometimes she doesn’t.  She also tends to like sitting on my lap while I’m working, but it makes typing a little difficult.

Diapers, naps, plays, fusses, that’s pretty much the day.  She eats again at 11, 2 and 5.  I have yet to have a workday with her that I’ve remembered each time on time, but that is what it is.  I should probably set myself an alarm for each feeding.

Milly’s happy to see her Mommy when she gets home, whatever time that is.  She’s also happy after feedings and after diaper changes, particularly poopy ones (which happen once a day on average).  Grumpy time is usually around 6:00.

If it’s a bath day she gets washed in the bathtub thing Aunt Andra gave us around 7:00.  We use a lavender soap and shampoo that is supposed to help her go to sleep.  She usually likes bath time pretty well until you have to sit her up to get her back.

7:30 or so is feeding time.  Until recently we did that pretty exclusively upstairs to make sure Milly wasn’t overly-stimulated right before bed, but we’ve done it downstairs more recently, and that seems to go fine.  Amanda and I both go upstairs to put her to bed.  At that time she gets her face washed with a damp cloth, which she then gets to suck on.  She enjoys that.  She’s also very talkative and smiley at that time.  Then I swaddle her (Amanda says I do it better), although she’s now too big for some of her blankets, then we kiss her, tell her good night and that we love her.  We turn on the mobile (Amanda always goes for the night sounds, but I rotate through the music options) and dim the lights before turning then out completely.  Her eyes get so big when we dim the lights.  It looks funny.

From there I stay up to give Milly her late night feeding sometime between 11 and 11:30.  If we slip up and go until midnight Milly will invariably wake up and remind us that she’s supposed to be fed.

Other than that, we do a load of clothes every day to make sure we have enough diapers for the next day and sometime during the evening we’ll wash and sterilize the bottles and the bottle accessories.  I have yet to figure out exactly what the extra parts on the Dr. Brown bottles do.  They’re supposed to reduce hiccups somehow, but I’m not sure how they work.

Anyway, that (aside from being much more than I intended to write) is Milly’s life and times at three months old.

Happy quarter-birthday, Meliamae!

Zach Dotsey