SteelyKid is a month old today.
In just the last week, she's become remarkably more interactive and alert. She's been smiling and cooing at people since about two and a half weeks, but now she's doing it more and for longer (just look at her gazing adoringly at Chad [*]), and she's much better about tracking faces and voices. She's also more interested in inanimate objects; coming up on three weeks old, she was starting to notice her mobile, but in the last few days, she's been placed inside toy-gym-things that were a big hit: on Friday she apparently spent half an hour staring at a mirror and a black, white, and red toy.
[*] I don't know if the pacifier comes through in that picture, but she likes ones that are a hollow tube, probably because they compress better—Chad was getting a callus on his left pinky from soothing her before my mother found these. However, watching the inside of her mouth as it sucks on a hollow tube of translucent green silicone is really kind of freaky.
Her diabolical plan to grow ever-larger continues to be successful. Healthy newborns should gain half an ounce to an ounce a day after their post-birth weight loss stops. At birth, she was 8 lbs. 2 oz.; at six days old, 8 lbs. even; at thirteen days, 8 lbs. 8 oz. (or a little more than normal); and at eighteen days, 9 lbs. 1 oz. (or more than double normal). Since then we haven't had an accurate measurement: getting on a digital scale with her in our arms yielded 10 lbs. when I did it and 9.4 lbs. when Chad did, but from holding her and looking at the new Flickr set, she really appears visibly bigger than last week at the same time.
Her face has also been getting very noticably fuller (and, alas, covered with baby acne, and with a band of dry flaky skin across her eyes), to the point where she loses her chin at some angles. I think her hair looks lighter now, considerably lighter than mine. She also looks like Chad in her eyelashes, which are longer than mine, and, according to my mother, in her smile. (I can't see it, but I'm terrible at seeing resemblances.) My mother also says that when she screams, she looks a lot like I did.
She eats between eight and twelve times a day, usually two or three times in fairly close succession, followed by conking out for a few hours. Since going to on-demand feeding, she has pretty reliably woken twice during the night (around 1:00 and 5:00), which is more managable than I expected. We had two horrible back-to-back episodes of colic in the middle of the night, where she just screamed and screamed for two solid hours, but changing the way I feed her seems to have forestalled further episodes. She's been slightly colicky in the early evenings, also pretty reliably, and today she spent all morning that way, but I'm pretty sure that last was a diet issue on my part. We keep working on it.
She's not generally a fussy baby, I think. It sometimes takes us a little bit to track down why she's crying, but either it's traceable to something specific or it's just winding-down after she's been upset, sort of emptying the tank. She can go from asleep to screaming back to calm just about instantaneously—and of course it seems like the loudest screams are usually the ones that she bolts right into, for maximum effect. (It's amazing how loud a very small human with no inhibitions can be.) She does sometimes cry because she's lonely (or what we characterize as lonely), but I think there's been less of that lately as she gets better about entertaining herself.
She was really squirmy in utero, and she continues to be really squirmy now. Awake or asleep: she can work her arms out of a really tightly swaddled blanket in her sleep, and stretch and kick quite amazingly without waking herself up. (She also makes many and varied noises in her sleep, which leads to a fair number of false alarms on my part as I bolt out of bed thinking that she's woken up.) When she's awake, a lot of times she resembles a bad Shakespearan actor, as though she's holding up her hand and saying, "Oh! Admire my acting as I gesture in despair!" Other times Chad jokes that she's throwing gang signs, as she brings one arm in and out against her chest.
She likes lying on her stomach across my lap; on a few occasions, she has gotten both her knees up under her, and she can turn her head completely from side to side and hold it up for several seconds. She likes being upright, too, looking all around her with those huge dark eyes. Bouncing, swinging, playing airplane, going for walks in her stroller, and going for drives are also generally popular.
And that's our SteelyKid at one month old.
Reminder: no unsolicited advice.