Monday, November 23, 2009

4 Months, 3 Days

Finally, Shav's four month post. Just looking at these pictures makes me melt, but I'll try to hold myself together long enough to jot down some thoughts about this stage of his life.

Shav continues to be a champion sleeper at night, usually going to bed about 8:00 PM and sleeping through until sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 AM. I am so blessed, so grateful, and so mindful of what a difference it makes in my attitude and outlook when my children sleep through the night. He is not, however, completely consistent with his daytime sleep. It used to be that he would fall asleep in the swing a lot during the day; but within the past few weeks, that wasn't happening as much anymore. Now he's becoming accustomed to falling asleep in his cradle during the day and does fairly good with that, but I know he'll get more solid in that skill as he gets a little older. At this stage, he normally takes two naps, both of which are normally several hours long (although how often does a day go by and I think, "wow, that was really a normal day"? not very often!). Once in a while, he'll catch a shorter third nap if he's extra tired; and that one, when it occurs, is usually in the swing or in the car if we happen to be traveling or in my arms after I nurse him.
Shav has really discovered his hands recently but hasn't yet made the connection that his feet actually belong to him (someone else did though; click here for Misty's post about the adorable Anastasia finding her feet). :) Sometimes I catch Shav moving his hands in the air and looking at them--just watching them as if they're the most fascinating things! He's also getting good at grasping things, which makes his playtime more interesting since he can actually do something with the toys above him in the playpen or the dangling animals from the bar across his bouncy seat. He also can--and does--grab my hair, shirt, earrings, etc.
Shav is quick to smile, and who can resist smiling in return when confronted with a baby's beaming face? Shav has also begun to laugh more. I think David is the one who's best at drawing forth big laughs from Shav.
Shav wears lots of hand-me-downs, of course; that's what happens when you're the fourth boy in a family. But along with the clothes that his big brothers wore, he's also been blessed by some new-to-him clothes that have been given to us by various friends and family members. My sister, in particular, blessed us with several large bags of very gently worn clothes for him; and along with the old favorites I remember from when the other boys wore them, I am loving the new clothes. More than with any other boy, however, I am favoring soft clothes; the texture and feel of an item means almost as much as the way it looks--maybe more, in fact. Shav has some cute outfits that really look nice, but they're stiff or bulky or have hard metal parts (think overalls)...and I find my hand sailing over them and coming to rest on something soft when choosing what to dress him in. I just want soft!
Shav's still a thumb-sucker. It's not a constant thing for him; but definitely at night and when he's trying to go to sleep, he'll suck his thumb--sometimes ferociously, with loud slurps. I guess he's also discovered that when Mommy is taking forever in a photo shoot, sucking a thumb is a good way to pass the time.
One of my favorite things to do with Shav is just hold him in my lap. He likes to be in a sitting position so he can look out and see what is going on; and sometimes, even when I know he would be content in the swing or playpen or bouncy seat, I still keep holding him on my lap, rocking gently in one of our rocking chairs, nuzzling the top of his soft, fuzzy head occasionally, just soaking in the feel of his precious body so close to me and reveling in the fact that he's still so small and satisfied by being held. I know the day will come when his little legs will start to take him further away, and he won't want to simply sit on my lap and watch the activities of the family around him. But for now, I'll steal extra moments to simply sit with him, relax together, and savor the sweetness.
Another thing I savor is how I can lay Shav on a blanket on my bed while I fold laundry. It's such a cozy feeling to have him close by, happily lying there and gazing around, sometimes watching me, sometimes looking at the ceiling fan, sometimes looking at the pillows or the stacks of clothes that grow around him as I fold. It's so peaceful in those moments as he keeps me company; and as I think ahead to the days when he would rather jump on the bed and knock over all the clothes I've folded, I appreciate these fleeting days even more.

Shav, I am crazy about you! You are such a good gift to us, given by our Father before we even knew we needed you or thought to ask. Each day of your life, you become more precious to me, as unbelievable as that seems; and I don't take for granted the privilege of being your mommy and seeing you live your life. I know each day is a gift. I love you deeply and tenderly, my little man-cub, and I will never, ever stop!


Sally said...

He is so cute! And such a good sleeper. Mine never slept that much that early. You are truly blessed. In that last picture, I think he looks like you.

I'm so glad you are taking time to relax and enjoy your baby Shav. Sometimes I wonder if I didn't do enough of that. It's still hard to find the right balance of when to sit and hold, and when to get the work done. It seems like you have it figured out pretty well.

Lisa said...

Shav has such a sweet smile! What a blessing he is! What would life be like without him??!!

Morning said...

What darling photos -- he really has a smile that comes from every bit of his soul. It's lovely that you're enjoying him -- I do so admire and respect the devotion you show to all your boys.

Margie said...

These pictures are GREAT. And his smile - oh, you captured it. What a wonderful 4-month gift you have given him with this post. This was worth waiting for.