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40 weeks in, 40 weeks out

When I started writing these blog posts as a Knocked Up blogger, they were done by which week I was in my pregnancy. And when I started as an Adventures in Motherhood blogger, I thought that it would be easy, for record keeping purposes, to keep track of the posts in terms of weeks. The...

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When I started writing these blog posts as a Knocked Up blogger, they were done by which week I was in my pregnancy. And when I started as an Adventures in Motherhood blogger, I thought that it would be easy, for record keeping purposes, to keep track of the posts in terms of weeks. The first post I wrote was when Baby No. 4 was 7 weeks old. This week’s post will go in my log as “Week 40 post.” So that means that Baby No. 4 is 40 weeks old.

As an aside, the other day I was ordering a sandwich for lunch and I had Baby No. 4 in her infant seat with me. The woman behind the counter politely asked how old the baby was, and I started at her blankly for far longer than is acceptable. In my head I was debating whether I should say 8 months (because that’s how old she is) or 9 months (because she’s only a few days away from being 9 months). So it’s not like I forgot how old she was, but my deafening silence sure made it seem that way. Good for me.

Anyway. Thanks to my record keeping skills, I know that Baby No. 4 is now 40 weeks old.  And that means that she’s spent as much time living in the outside world as she did living inside me. And that’s kind of awesome.

It’s amazing to look at her and see how much she has changed and grown and developed in those 40 weeks. On the one hand, I feel like the time has flown by, and on the other hand, I feel like I’ve always known her—and it’s weird to think that she’s only been around for 40 weeks. Either way, there’s no debating that she has accomplished so much and changed dramatically in that time. Here are a few things that Baby No. 4 is up to on the anniversary of her existing on the outside as long as she cooked on the inside:

1.  She thinks she’s funny. I don’t remember my other children being obviously aware of their ability to make other people laugh at this age. But it seems like Baby No. 4 is already aware and also quite proud of herself. She loves to wrinkle up her nose and breathe in and out quickly, so that it sounds like she’s sniffing something. This always gets a laugh from her sisters and brother (and her dad and me, too). When that happens, she gets the biggest grin on her face and then does it again.

2.  She stands on her own. She mastered crawling around the 6-month mark. She quickly moved on to pulling herself up to standing and now she easily stands on her own without the need to hold onto anything. She hasn’t take any steps yet, but she is becoming more confident in her balancing abilities. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s taking those first wobbly steps. She also is getting better at climbing on things—namely the dishwasher door when it’s open. She loves to pull utensils (clean or dirty) out of the basket and then toss them around the kitchen or use them to bang on the floor.

3.  She wants to be where the big kids are. There’s no question who her favorite people are. She wants in on the mix of whatever is going on with her sisters and brother. They make her smile and giggle, and she loves to crawl along behind them, desperate to join in on whatever antics they’re up to. I know it won’t be long before she’s running right with them.

4.  Feeding herself. She’s not great at it, but she does love the chance to eat finger foods. The dogs also love this and can be found camped out under the highchair anytime Baby No. 4 is in it.

5.  Babbling. She makes lots of noises, and although she doesn’t have any official words yet, that doesn’t stop her siblings from triumphantly announcing “I heard her say pterodactyl!” as they try to make sense of the noises she’s making. As for me, I’m enjoying the sweet sounds and reveling in the fact that she can’t talk yet because, as we all know, once they learn to talk, they never stop. And I’m thankful to have at least one silent child for the moment.

6.  She recognizes us. I love when I get to pick her up from school at the end of the day because once she sees it’s me, she stops whatever she’s doing and hightails it over to my legs, arms outstretched for me to pick her up. And when I do, she always has a big smile for me and then buries her face into my shoulder. Sometimes she pats me on the back. There’s really nothing better than affection from a baby.

Time goes by so fast.  Baby No. 4 cooked for 40 weeks and five days. Those last five days in particular seemed like an eternity. Then she joined us in the world and the next 40 weeks went lightning fast. Soon we’ll have a walker on our hands. And before we know it, she’ll be one of the big kids. But for now she’s still our sweet baby girl, and we love her to bits.

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