Bruiser Sam had his four-month checkup today. He weighed in at 18 pounds 3 ounces (97th percentile) and was 27 inches long (off the charts here). He weighs almost a pound more than Charlotte did at that age, and is as tall as she was at nine months.
My favorite part of the appointment was when the doctor was checking his hip joints. He made a sound that caused the doctor to apologize to him. I said, "Oh, don't apologize. That's how he laughs." I can't describe the sound, although I've tried: it's sort of a throaty, grunty chuckle. It doesn't sound like a laugh, but it is. Sam's laughter is laugh-provoking. I should try to get it on video.
I've just spent part of the afternoon hanging pictures up on our dining room wall, collage-style. They're mostly pictures of the kids, although Jeff and I make a couple of appearances. One of Charlotte at nine months old stopped me in my tracks. I can see such a resemblance between her and Sam, and I can see in her chubby baby face the little girl she is now. I study Sam's face sometimes wondering how he'll look in five months, a year, three years.
Things are good. If the blog is a bit quiet over the next couple of weeks, it's because my semester is winding down...which, of course, means anything but winding down. I have two seminar papers to write, plus a number of smaller projects on my plate. So I'll try to post some Charlotte-isms and photos (here and at flickr) and other little tidbits while that's going on.
Jana: Goodnight, Charlotte! Charlotte: Mama, I have a question. J: Okay, what is it? C: Ummmmmmm... (long pause). Do...you...like...animals? J: Charlotte, are you stalling? Yes. I like animals. Goodnight. C: But wait! J: What, honey? C: I want you to know. I DON'T like animals. J: Okay. Noted. Goodnight, now, sweetie.
Minutes later, I hear Charlotte loudly singing in her room, NOT sleeping. I go to remind her it's bedtime.
Jana: Charlotte! It's bedtime! Time to be quiet and close your eyes and go to sleep! Charlotte: What!? J: It's bedtime, honey. You know that. Goodnight. C: Mama, where is my candy (Easter candy we've been parsing out a little each day)? J: It's downstairs, honey. C: Is it in the heart bag? J: Yes, Charlotte. Now, go to slee... C: But is the bag hanging up!? J: I think so honey. Now, it's time for bed. C: But mama. PLEASE, make sure the bag is hanging up for me. J: Will do. Good night!
So far, no more disturbances. But the night is still young!
Last night, I was just about asleep, when a thought struck me: in just a couple of months, Sam will be ready to eat baby cereal!
Seriously, these are the kinds of things that keep me awake at night.
When Charlotte was a baby, every stage seemed to stretch out to infinity. Do you know what I mean? Brand new infancy, with its constant night-waking and nursing, felt at the time like it was lasting years. Charlotte smiled for the first time when she was just over a month old, as did Sam. With Charlotte, though, it seemed as though she had been around forever, just crying and sleeping and waking and eating and pooping for ages, before cracking that first smile. Sam's smile snuck up on me. Like, what's that? Wait, you're not old enough for that! (Consults Charlotte's baby book). Oh, I guess you are. Carry on, then.
Sam's fifteen weeks old. Yesterday I busted the exersaucer and bumbo seat out and he's used both of them, briefly. Again, it felt like Charlotte was centuries old before she broke in those things. Sam feels fresh out of the hospital and he's trying to sit up! Chortling! Conversing in a secret baby language consisting of coos and grunts! How did this happen!?
That's an approximation of what went through my head last night as I tried, again, to fall asleep. Those of you who are parents to more than one child will assure me this is normal, but for me it feels anything but. It's surprising, but it's all brand new all over again.
One of the nice things about having friends and family visit* is being able to pose for a family picture without having to set up the tripod and run back to the couch while the self-timer flashes. Thanks to my friend Mindi, who spent the weekend with us, for this picture:
What's that adorable dress Charlotte's wearing? I'm glad you asked! Here it is, closer up:
My mom made this dress for her. I picked out the fabric and the pattern (find the pattern here). My mom does a great job sewing, and I always think what she makes is beautiful, but this has to be my favorite project of hers yet. Way to go, Nana!
*Another perk includes having someone else able take some of the hits from Charlotte's constant barrage of requests to read to her. Mindi really earned her stripes in that regard this weekend.
It's 1 a.m. I'm up working on a paper proposal, due tomorrow at 7 p.m. Instead of working, I'm thinking about: Sam's cheeks. Charlotte's singing. Jeff, who is heading home from a Bonnie Prince Billy concert. Baseball...
And that last one suddenly makes me remember a story Jeff told me when we were dating. We were talking about prank phone calling people. The basics: is your refrigerator running? etc. Then Jeff tells me about a phone call that wasn't a prank, but was totally in earnest. Somehow, 12-year-old Jeff finds the phone number for Orel Hershiser in Michigan and calls the number.
Orel Hershiser III answers the phone. Jeff asks "Is Orel there?" It doesn't take the man long to figure out this 12-year-old baseball fanatic is referring to his slightly more famous son, Orel Hershiser IV. This Orel, sadly, was not home, as he no longer lived with his parents in Michigan. Jeff recalls having a brief but pleasant conversation with Orel's father, though.
Employee's Name: Sam Tig Title: Second-born Hire date: December 27, 2008
SUPERVISOR'S INSTRUCTIONS: The supervisor is to meet with the employee to discuss the employee's job performance at the three-month mark.
Forward a copy of the completed form to Human Resources.
OPTION 1: EMPLOYEE MEETS EXPECTATIONS IN ALL AREAS
Employee performs all significant tasks according to expectations. Work is performed with expected supervision. (Removal of probationary status - provide signatures and dates below.)
OPTION 2: EMPLOYEE MEETS EXPECTATIONS IN MOST AREAS; SOME IMPROVEMENT NEEDED
Employee performs most significant tasks according to expectations. However, some tasks are performed below par. Employee occasionally requires higher levels of supervision. (Probationary status remains in effect until six-month review.)
SUPERVISOR'S NOTES: In his three months at Tig Co., Sam has managed to perform several tasks according to employer expectations, specifically: nursing (included within this job title also: chin acquisition, burping/spitting up, general weight gain); diaper filling, type 1 and type 2; general adorableness (smiling, cooing, and chubbiness fall within this category as well). In addition, Sam should be commended for his early attempts at sitting up and what appear to be moves toward teething, if levels of drool production attest.
However, Sam's initial promise as a good sleeper has recently proved premature. Employees at Tig Co. are expected to learn to sleep without supervisor's assistance. After a grace period where Sam's supervisor instructed him in the procedure and expectations for sleep, Sam continued to require supervisor intervention. In addition, Sam's need for supervisor assistance has escalated in recent days.
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATION: OPTION 2. I have discussed this evaluation and my recommendation for this employee is continued employment. However, a six-month review is necessary in order to determine if employee has resolved sleep issues, and if employee continues to perform other tasks at appropriate levels.