Friday, December 9, 2011

100 Days For My Baby Girl: Week 4

Week 4
The fourth week of parenthood is a major milestone for several reasons. Your baby is no longer a newborn, he or she is starting to react to his or her surroundings, and you've managed to avoid hitting, dropping, or throwing said baby for an entire month. You deserve a huge CONGRATULATIONS! That is no easy feat, my friend! On a more serious note, you've likely noticed some major changes with baby. Baby has gone from looking like Benjamin Button to someone who is starting to showcase family features: mom's nose, grandma's lips, daddy's ears, etc. Baby has started to coo, grunt, and/or hum, which, hopefully, will bring out your inner-silliness and you start mastering the goo-goo's and gah-gah's as you interact with your little one. And then there is playtime—having shapes and sounds for him or her to look at, swat at, or listen to. Lots of changes are happening with baby, both physically and mentally. And unless you plan accordingly, its easy to miss it. So, Week 4 is going to be all about observation. You've all seen the movie Gorillas in the Mist, haven't you? It's gonna' be a lot like that. I even bought a fog machine. And I'll be damned if any poachers are gonna' get to MY baby! Anyway, here are two things I'm planning on doing:

#1: Monthly Photo Journal
You will taken a million pictures during baby's first couple of years, maybe even two million. You will have pictures of baby sitting, standing, crawling, walking, laughing, crying, and countless other actions. However, the one thing Wifey and I noticed our son's photos didn't include was an action we wish we would have captured: growing. Sure, scanning through iPhoto has all our of pictures organized by date that could reflect our son's evolution, but it lacks a monthly consistency that would have been nice to capture. April pictures would show him wrapped up like a burrito, May would show him sleeping, June would show him spread eagle and so forth. With K2, I'm taking a more structured approach. On her monthly birthday until she is 2 years old, we will take photos with the following criteria:
  1. Awake --> seeing eyes proves to the world that baby is alive and well; take it from me, its embarrassing when friends or family looks at a picture of your baby whose eyes are closed and they poke the picture in an attempt to see movement
  2. Looking directly at the camera --> show that pretty face off! Seeing the back sides of a head every few months might raise some eyebrows: black eye? bad cut? abnormal growth?
  3. Wearing the same onesie*--> keep the outfit simple, keep the focus on baby's development, not on mommy or daddy's personal style preferences
  4. Same spot*--> get 'em in the same chair with the same stuffed animal, so you can see how baby grows into that rocker of yours and watch that animal becomes smaller and smaller and smaller
  5. Same time of day and month*--> snap in the afternoon with sunny, natural light. Consistency is key and it keeps you from slacking off—having one or two pictures with a night background or thinking you can Photoshop your way out of missing Month 6 will only cause regret and anguish
*requires foresight

#2: Schedule Playdates
It's sometimes hard to think outside of your four walls during that first month of parenthood. With Munch, leaving the house for the couple of months was more out of necessity than by choice. The newness of it all can consume you and you can easily go through 4 weeks of forgetting that there is life beyond Baby. Who knew there is more to being a dad than to swaddle, soothe, and change diapers? But, if you think its adorable to stare and interact with your little one, wait until you see him or her with other little ones. Two, three, or four of them, sitting on the ground, staring at each other, poking at each other, laughing at each other. You have no idea what they are thinking, but they definitely are communicating. "Best way to cry to get fed the fastest?" "Who wipes better: your mom or your dad?" "Why do they keep shoving those things in our mouth to shut us up?" Who really knows what's going on in their heads, but nothing is more amusing. So this week, we are starting to call family, friends, and friends of friends who have little ones and scheduling some time to watch the little ones get their play on. Not only for our own entertainment, but I suppose its nice for K2 to start establishing social connections as well.

As you know by now, you've spent a lot of time watching. Baby is exploring, noticing that he or she (hopefully) has two arms, a couple of legs, and 10 fingers and toes, but not really being able to control them. The first month is the first major marker to the rest of your baby milestones. So now is the time to start planning and thinking ahead. The more work you put in now, the more reward you'll get out of it later.

Are you doing anything for your baby girl that I can copy???? =)

PS: Happy Birthday to the most beautiful, amazing wife there ever was, could be, or will be. Love you babe!!

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  1. What beautiful memories you will have!

  2. I really like the idea of "#1: Monthly Photo Journal, 4: Same spot". That will make for a great series of images by the time your child is older and is going off to kindergarten.