One Hundred Days...
(Party Time Is Any Time You Want to Open Your Eyes)
The changes happening after her second power of ten (10^2 days) were quite a bit more demanding than I had expected, and really required a lot more time and effort than I had prepared.
Because the baby's brain is finally growing in, you've got to be a bit more deliberate and careful in your manners and habits to make sure you're making the right impression in this stage. Compound this with the abundance of energy she brings the minute she opens her eyes, all the way to when you're trying to convince her to close them, and I was worn down real quick in this stage.
The external state of the world wasn't exactly helping me out, either. There was a baby formula shortage where both brands we'd worked out for her preference were discontinued... at the same time. We had a stockpile to last for a bit, but because she was eating more and more, the time limit on that pile was a lot shorter than I expected. Currently, I'm still scrambling to pick up onsie-twosie containers of formula whenever they come up in stock near me so I can maximize the time on the stuff I know she eats well and figure out how to switch her over to something new. She's also started eating solid food as well, and I'll probably have a post about that in the future, but formula is still the main source of eats, and girl, does she EAT.
Originally, we'd expected her to land somewhere in between the mom and I with respect to size and personality. Personality wise, I'm finding her closer to the mom, but size wise, it does appear she's entered chonker status and is following me... I guess you can't win em all. Doctors are telling me not to worry as she's quite young, but compared to these other babies we're seeing around the same age, she is growing fast. So fast that we've said goodbye ahead of schedule to a nice stock of clothes we had expected to last a few month. Fortunately, baby clothes aren't too pricey and I'm OK buying a little bigger and waiting for her to fill them up. She seems OK with this approach, too.
Routines, again, were key in managing to keep up with her energy and growth. She's kicking me awake by 6AM on the daily and kicking herself to sleep by 8PM, so having stuff to do in between those hours that doesn't take too much brain power is going to help. Morning walks have helped me keep up with the news, her to keep up with the birds and flowers, and allow me to spend some adventure time with her before I run off to work.
You'll also start to see the babies senses kick in, and she's now more aware of smells, taste, sounds, and sensations in general that she actively hunts for them. She'll let you know when she's bored, hungry, happy, or scared. It's not quite 'communication' yet, as it really appears one way (good luck if you can get your baby to listen to you at this age), but it does make you feel inadequate when you can't keep up. All the easy things you used to do don't cut it anymore, and the baby wants more. This will be something I actively continue to struggle with because I have this nagging suspicion I'm compromising her development by not pushing her to do more stuff.
Finally, I wanted to wrap this post up by making a small comment on family. The past 5 months have really taught me about differences in cultural approaches to family, and individual approaches to family that make me appreciate mine more than ever. I don't think any of my kin are experts, superstars, or even competent in an above average grade for what they do, but what I do know is that I'd never think twice about them short changing me, leaving me out to dry, or taking liberties with my trust; there's an understanding between us that your word is your bond, and that you're nothing without this integrity present. That silent and unspoken threat of shame and human dignity has been enough to keep us inline... but this really appears to be an uncommon and unshared value in America. Maybe it'll be something I get into later, but without that internal sense of pride and shame (which can go awry if led in the wrong direction), I can't work with people beyond legal and contractual terms because I don't want to work with people who are only bound by those terms.
Hopefully, this is something I can teach her growing up, as it is a dying quality in this country. Take a good look at yourself, girl. You're doing great, and keep up the good work.