Before this calendar month disappears and February dawns, I really must finish something: Benjamin's four-month blog post. After I turn around two times, fix a few meals, and lie down for three or four sleeps, it will be time to do his five-month one, I think! :)
I usually intersperse my observations about his development between the pictures I choose for his monthly posts; but in this case, I want to do things a little differently. Here is a series of pictures; and if you scroll down through them and focus on his face, it will give you a sense of what I often see when I look at him. Ready? Go!
Wanna see another one? :)
Who knew a fifteen and a half pound lump of boy could have such an effect on me, just by smiling? :)
Well, now that we've got the smiling issue out of the way, let's see what else we can talk about. :)
I started during the daytime when I have more stamina and clarity of thought and paid more attention to the eat-wake-sleep cycle that I wanted Benjamin to be able to follow. For once, I looked at the clock when I fed him and then calculated when he would likely be ready for sleep. Then it was a simple matter to put him in bed while he was still awake and let him learn to go to sleep by himself.
In my head, it always feels like SUCH A BIG DEAL to do sleep training; but when I actually do it, I am amazed at how quickly my babies pick up on the notion that they can put themselves to sleep if I place them in the crib when they're awake. And then I wonder, "Why did I wait until month 4 to start this?" ;-)
I will confess though that, aside for the sleep training that naturally bleeds over from the daytime to the night, I haven't done any training with Benjamin in the middle of the night. If he cries, I still get up to feed him and don't let him cry it out--part of my rationale being that Jeff needs his sleep, too, and I don't want a crying baby to interrupt Jeff's slumber. :) Plus, Benjamin got pretty good at going for six or so hours of straight sleep and, although that is not as long as my other kids at that age, it's decent, and I can live with it. Besides, he's the youngest, and everybody knows the baby of the family gets away with anything. ;-)
~ watching him discover his toes. Such fascinating objects waving around at the ends of his feet!
~ dancing with him to "Secrets" by Jennifer Thomas (and remembering dancing with Josiah when we lived in Israel and Josiah was just a baby...in one particular memory, I held him in my arms and danced in the kitchen of our Tel Aviv apartment to the music of a lullaby CD...and now here I was 13 years later, dancing with Josiah's littlest brother...so poignant).
~ all his smiles. He's at such a smiley age; all I have to do is look at him, it seems, and out pops his grin. Those pictures I shared at the beginning of this post? Well, I get the incredible privilege of seeing that happen on a daily basis. :)
~ hearing him laugh one day when I gently rubbed his neck. Jeff is still the pro at tickling Benjamin and getting the most laughs out of him; but on that day, I did it, too...and felt on top of the world. :)