It Started With A Smile

The house was relatively quiet, which is a rarity these days.  The kids were playing nicely (ie. no one was crying or screaming at the moment), and I had just finished nursing Clarice.  She was laying on my lap, alert and content, and I caught her attention.  I started talking to her, and she studied my face. Then I saw it - a little crinkle at the corner of her eyes, a scrunched nose, and the most beautiful tilt to her lips.

My baby's first smile, on November 5th.  And thus we started Clarice's second month.

Derek swears that he saw her smile a couple weeks before I did, and even though I give him a hard time about it, I do believe him.  Clarice loves her daddy, and she smiles quickest for him.  But when she is sleepy or upset, I'm the one who comforts her best.  I like seeing the different roles that Derek and I fill for our kids, even when they are babies.

Her smile has already changed since that first one.  She smiles easier now, and it isn't always accompanied by a nose scrunch like it was at first.  But what I miss of the scrunchy nose, the dimples make up for.  She has the cutest little dimples in her baby cheeks, especially her right one.

Clarice has found her voice this month, quiet though it is.  She will stare at you, and smile, and ever so gently coo back at you.  Sometimes she throws a squeak in the mix, and at times it almost seems as though she is trying to mimic the noises she hears.  My grandma told me she was sure she heard Clarice say "hi" back at her.  It is so cute to hear her tiny baby attempts at talking.

Sleep this last month has been a dream.  Clarice started sleeping through the night right around her one month birthday, and she has been going 8-10 hour stretches ever since (!).  I am fully expecting this to change around the four month growth spurt, but for now I am soaking up this amazing sleep.  I need every bit I can get with four active kids, especially since the older ones always seem to be up before the sun these days.

The kids are loving Clarice as much as ever, and Clyde is especially taken with her.  He calls her "weese", and is always giving her kisses and asking about her.  Gwendolyn likes to "hold" her on her lap, and it has been so cute watching Gwen copy me and Clarice by taking care of her baby dolls.  She and Wyatt have been so helpful, and are always eager to get things for me or talk to Clarice.  Wyatt loves talking to Clarice, and I overheard him having an entire conversation with her the other day, in which he promised to show her the Christmas tree in his room.  She talked back to him too, and he ate it up.  He is the best at keeping her happy when I need to do something other than hold her.

(Photos are from Christmas decorating and Clarice's first foray into the snow - follow me on Instagram for more - and better - pictures of her sweet little face!)

Clarice has needed a lot of holding, because she is definitely allergic to something.  I finally cut dairy, soy, and nuts out of my diet completely in an attempt to finally clear up her diapers, and it worked.  I am in the process of adding things back in now so I can narrow it down.  She doesn't seem to get as many stomach aches now, so I know it has helped, but she spits up more.  I am unsure of what that means.  We have a two month check-up this week, and I am hoping to see that she is getting enough from me that she is growing well.  I am somewhat concerned about my supply; I think i need to eat more oatmeal and drink more "mother's milk" tea.  Clarice also has a ridge on the back of her head that comes and goes, and I want to ask the doctor about it to make sure her suture hasn't fused prematurely.

Aside from those little concerns, our sweet girl is growing and happy!  I am loving seeing the little signs of her personality here and there.  She is a quiet girl, almost shy, until something makes her upset.  Then she wails in a way none of my other babies have.  It is incredibly sad (and just slightly funny) to hear her carry on.  She is shy and sweet, but she has a strong little voice too.  

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving with Clarice last week, and I finally captured that delicious dimple in her cheek on digital film.  This year I am so thankful that she is her safe and sound.  Last Thanksgiving four kids wasn't even on the radar, and we would have been so surprised at where we are now.  God gave me my sweet family of six.  It's just what I always wanted, and I am so grateful.


Sweet Clarice,

You have grown so much this month, my darling! I know I will say that every month, but the changes in the beginning here are especially exciting.  Your first sweet smile was such a highlight, and I know your first laugh that will likely come soon will fill my heart with the same shot of joy!  You fit right into our crazy bunch, sweet girl, with your sweet little voice.  I love watching you soak in all the sights around you, and I especially love it when I am one of the sights!  Nap time is still my favorite. The house is quiet except for me and you, and if you are awake sometimes you will talk to me, but often you fall asleep in my arms.  Those moments will always be some of my most treasured memories.

I love you, darling girl.

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Becky @ bybmg said...

Baby smiles are the sweetest. Sorry she's allergic to something! Yay for good sleep though!

Gina Davis said...

Clarice is so beautiful! You are doing a great job taking care of all 4 beautiful kiddos. Both my boys were huge spit uppers. I finally was introduced to a homeopathic remedy called Nat Phos 6x. It basically adds needed enzymes in babies tummy. They are dis solvable tablets and it was recommended to me to do one tablet per feeding for one week and then that's it. After one week I saw a 85% decrease in my sons output of spit up.Hope you guys find something that works but I know this isn't your first rodeo. is a great resource too. Merry Christmas friend.

Gina Davis said...

Both my boys were projectile spit uppers. I mean it seemed the entire feed for every feed was always coming out. They also both significant spit up less around the 4/5 month mark (I EBF both). With my second we did Nat Phos 6x It's a Hylands homeopathic tablets. One after every feeding for a week, provides babies tummies with missing enzymes. It either worked or by gods grace because both times right after that week the spit up was gone. Hope you guys find something that works. All of your children are beautiful.

Cheryl Smith said...

Aww...she is just precious. Your whole family is precious...a shining example of a family who follows Christ with all your hearts. Thank you for sharing your life with us here. :)

Heather Pedersen said...

She is so precious!! I love that little hat. :)

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