I was a bit shaken by those sleepless nights, though - although I know they can happen at any time and that that may be our new normal for a while or it may be a fluke, it still made me very nervous since I was convinced she would never sleep again and I would somehow have to go back to work and function on 2 hours of interrupted sleep a night. But then I think we may have an explanation for this crazy behavior.... given how fussy she had been and since she had a slightly elevated temperature, I ended up bringing her back to the pediatrician on Thursday in case her ear infection hadn't cleared up. Her ears were "perfect", so she was cleared to stop taking her medication two days early, and she apparently gained a pound in a week and a half and is now up to 15lbs 8oz. So I'm thinking she probably hit her 3-month growth spurt a bit early, since that seems like a lot of weight to gain that quickly, and she had the same pattern of fussiness and then sleeping a ton (although not the sleepless nights) during her 6-week growth spurt as well. Since then, she's been a different baby again - I hadn't realized just how unlike herself she was acting over the last week and a half until she got more back to normal. Now she's smiling all the time again and cooing and chatting, which is wonderful. She has a funny lilt to her voice now, so she'll be chatting and then suddenly end in a squeal, which just kills me. Too cute. And the other night she woke me up with a very enunciated, yelled "AH-GOO", which makes me think she's taking her cooing more seriously now ;)
[A bit of cooing]
Her firsts for this week include her first poetry reading and being baby-sat for the first time. The wife of one of Ryan's coworkers runs a publishing company, and they had a poetry reading/housewarming at their new house last Saturday. I had Josie in the wrap at first, where she rather suddenly fell asleep (literally - she had been wide awake and alert, taking everything in, and then I looked down less than a minute later and she was completely passed out), and she made it through part of the reading before she woke up, likely realized she had no idea where she was, and then started crying. So I took her to one of the bedrooms and laid with her for the rest of the reading, but she still did so well there, especially since it ended up being a bit of a late night getting her back home and to bed.
Then on Sunday, a friend of ours watched Josie for us for a couple of hours so we could go work on painting the other house. It was really nice for both of us to be able to work on it for a while, since Ryan has been working on it nearly every day, either on his own or with my brother or our friends, but I haven't really been able to help since I'm in charge of taking care of Josie then. So it was nice to be able to provide a little more support in this whole endeavor by doing some painting, although it was a little funny that our first time having Josie baby-sat was so that we could go paint a house. And then Ryan's parents also watched her for us Friday night, and so we went to Lowes and Chick-Fil-A... we really need to work on our definition of "date nights", I think ;) But she was fine both times, which helps me feel better about easing into being separated from her for a while - she took a bottle no problem, and she had been having a super sleepy day when Christy watched her so she slept on her almost the whole time, and for Ryan's parents she was awake and chatting with them most of the time, although she got tired and hungry (and therefore fussy) towards the end, which is understandable since it was about her bed-time.
We've noticed that Josie seems to follow voices much more quickly now. Ryan and I were sitting on either side of her in bed the other day, and it seemed like she was watching a tennis match with how quickly she was moving her head from side to side depending on which of us were talking :) She also has been much more alert and seems to be handling noises, lights, etc., without getting as easily overstimulated - which also means that her walks are no longer an easy way to get her to take a nap, since lately she's been awake for most of the walk and then finally falls asleep right before we get home. She usually wakes up as soon as we walk back into the house, although we've had some success with getting her back to sleep again by bouncing on the fitness ball. My mom and I took her for a walk at the mall too, and it was funny to see the trance Josie got into as we walked around - eyes wide open, hardly ever blinking or moving, until she suddenly decided it was nap-time and was zonked out for the rest of the walk. She is also grabbing and kicking at her toys more often, and I think she even touched my face with intention for the first time (which was very different from the flailing and scratching she normally bestows upon me).
[Punching and kicking her giraffe - and maybe it's just the angle, but oh my gosh, when did she get so deliciously chubby?]
Miss Josie also desperately wants to be forward-facing in the carrier, and while her head and neck control is quite good now, it's not that good yet. So instead she always turns herself as much as she can to the front, and ends up essentially facing to her right, hooks a hand over my shirt and then hooks her upper gum over the side of the carrier and proceeds to drool/spit up all down the side of the carrier. Her cheeks have seemingly also gotten chubbier this week, and between pudgy cheeks wedged between the carrier and head support canopy and her gums hooked on the side of the carrier, this apparently anchors her well enough to take a nap. She just looks ridiculous/overwhelmingly cute doing so.
[My view during our walks]
I also took Josie by daycare Friday, since last time we visited a month ago the woman who normally takes care of the babies was out of the country. So they oohed and aahed over her a bit, she gave a few adorable smiles, and then decided she was still tired and hungry, since I had woken her from a nap in order to bring her there. It's hard to believe that she'll be starting daycare next week, though, and visiting with them again really made it feel much more real. I ended up coming back home afterwards and nursing her down for a nap in bed, thinking how much I'm going to miss not being around her all day with the luxury of laying in bed with her for hours with her nestled up next to me (although I keep reminding myself that we could still do that on the weekends). I expect it will be very hard emotionally, although I am looking forward to being able to eat and go to the bathroom whenever I feel like it again :) So in anticipation of me being a crying mess her first day at daycare, she's actually going to start on Thursday, and then I go back to work on Friday (the 30th). That way I can put in a solid day of work on the other house, get a dry run in of her going to daycare and me pumping for her next day's meals, and I can still go visit her that day if it gets to be too much.
[Not quite successful at waking her up to visit her daycare]
We're still trying to capture as much of this time of her life as we can with pictures and videos, but there are a few shortcomings there - one, it's hard to catch all of the sounds that I want to remember forever, since either they're in the middle of the night (like her little self-satisfied baby yawns or the sound she makes when she's nursing and sleepy, which sounds like the jumping sound effect from Super Mario Brothers), or she's not cooperative with making the sounds or faces as soon as the camera comes out (like her high-pitched cooing or her open-mouthed grins when I pretend to eat her neck or belly), and two, pictures and videos aren't able to record the incredible softness of her skin or the smell of her hair (for the brief moments it's actually clean) or the feel of her fingers gripping onto us. But in the meantime, we'll just keep taking as many pictures and videos as we can, and eventually I'll even post more of the videos here :)
[Happy, kicking baby]
[A gurgling baby burrito]