I am overwhelmed by how much material I have to write about Clark's third month of life and I honestly have no idea how to begin. That is why this post is almost three weeks late. I didn't realize there could be such a drastic difference in a mere 30 days of a person's life, but dadgum!
Yesterday I went through some of the most recent pictures I've taken of Clark (which now totals about 2,200) and predictably got hyperemotional when I saw how much he has changed since Day One. He's so big and strong for a three month old that I just don't know what to do about it. I don't want to accept it, because if I do, that means I'm ok with him getting even bigger and stronger one day, and I'm not ready for that. I want him to stay where he is, physically and emotionally, for much longer than the time frame I'm given.
One thing that I have not taken for granted is Clark's health. At three months old, he hasn't gotten the dreaded baby cold or a fever or any illness to date. I haven't even had to take his temperature yet, and its a good thing because I'm scared to death to stick a thermometer up his bum. I know the day will come sooner or later when a temperature reading is necessary, but until then, I'm just happy looking at the cute hiney and not sticking anything in it. And while I'm talking about his hiney, I should mention that I'm obsessed with it. And I am not ashamed to post tons of pictures of it on the internet. And I don't care if one day we have a fight about it.
The days when Clark would lay there and quietly observe the room are history. When he is awake, he is AWAKE. And alert. And he wants to talk to you. Or himself. If he's woken early from a nap, he will lay in his crib and chat with himself for at least 15 minutes before he lets the whole neighborhood know he's ready to get up. We know exactly how to make him smile now and Aaron recently discovered a surefire way to get him to laugh out loud, which actually sounds more like a shrieky cackle, but we love it. He smiles a lot these days. All you have to do to make Clark break out in a gigantic smile is get into a staring contest with him. He loses every time because his smile begins in his eyes, works its way down to his mouth, and then he flails his arms in excitement, hence breaking eye contact. Its really the cutest thing you'll ever see. Mornings and bedtime are the best.
He's still a pretty laid back and chilled out kind of guy. He's cool with doing whatever I do in the day and just goes along for the ride. There are some days we don't leave the house one time and others when we are gone from the time I wake him up to the time I put him down for bed. Those days are a little less predictable when it comes to his schedule but I'm really trying to get him flexible and able to go with the flow. So far its working because he hasn't had any public meltdowns yet.
EXCEPT THAT TIME AT WALMART.
Oh my word. Friends, if you happen to be at Walmart in Oxford on whatever day that was, I truly apologize. I need to issue a public apology via the Oxford Eagle or whatever media outlet reaches the largest audience in Oxford, because it was epic. And it was all because sweet little Clark skipped his 2:30 nap and fought the exhaustion with every fiber of his being. It didn't help that this was an essential Walmart trip, because our pantry and refrigerator pretty much housed only cheese and mustard and Clark was on his last diaper. So after eating cheese and mustard for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for four days, I decided I'd better bite the bullet for Clark's sake. That is just a long winded way to describe how much I had to buy and the fact that I was probably going to be there for a while. I should have known better. Man, I just should have thought ahead. I was optimistic about the first thirty minutes of the trip. He babbled and kicked around in his car seat but I honestly thought he was going to pull through.
I was wrong. Dreadfully, painfully, embarrassingly wrong.
I had a cart full of desperately needed groceries that I just couldn't bring myself to abandon for the sake of a wailing baby. I couldn't feed Aaron cheesy mustard yet again. When I started to see Clark's "Lady, I'm about to make a huge scene and you better get me home so I can take a real nap" face, I started hauling butt to checkout, grabbing any food item within arms reach on the way there. Surely I can find something to make out of Cheerios, pimento cheese, peanut butter and tomato sauce? I didn't make it. Clark didn't wait. He went from complete silence to the most unruly, painful, obnoxious scream that you couldn't dream up in your worst nightmare. And he didn't stop. Of course the line was 10 people long with people with very full buggies. I stood in line with my baby who was screaming so loud he could have busted a vein in his forehead and people started staring. I tried putting the paci in his mouth but that certainly didn't help. When it was my turn to checkout and I turned my back for one second, the woman in line behind me reached in his carseat, fished out his paci, and started trying to put it in his mouth, probably because she knew better than me or something. A woman from another line walked over to Clark and started tickling his feet and trying to distract him. A random man came over and started helping me put my groceries on the belt and another man was putting the bagged groceries back in my cart. I was frantically digging in my giant purse/diaper bag for my wallet, apologizing to everybody within earshot. I am not exaggerating. Clark was crying and screaming louder than I have ever heard the boy cry in his entire life. And the cherry on top of it all is the second we hit the parking lot, Clark went silent and passed out. He passed out hard and took a solid two hour nap in his car seat. Lesson learned that day: do NOT, under any circumstance, take Clark Rice to Walmart if he has not had a nap.
He is learning so much these days and I can tell he is actually paying attention to what is going on around him. He likes to stare at the tv (a habit that I will not carry on into toddler years but for now the colors are pretty freaking awesome to him) and he will respond to our baby talk by babbling back to us. He talks to himself a lot these days. He's very alert and attuned to sounds and bright colors and he still poops a lot. He likes to squirm after he poops so that the doodoo leaks out of his diaper and onto his onesie, and all over whoever happens to be holding him at the moment. I've learned the hard way the importance of always keeping at least four clean onesies in his diaper bag and a hefty stash in my car for emergencies. I don't think I've actually gotten pooped on during his third month, so that is a significant improvement. But peed on? Yes I do believe that happened.
The third month of Clark's life was a busy one. We went to Jackson again and as expected, every single second of the trip was spent visiting with family. We also went to Memphis for a day and visited with my good ole preschool, elementary school, jr. high, high school, and college friend Raquel. Clark managed all the traveling pretty well, although his wonderful ability to sleep through the night went right out the window. For about two solid weeks, he was up 200 times in the night crying and that wasn't fun for anybody involved. But we're getting back into the swing of things, which means I put him to bed at 7:30 and he wakes up at 5:30. I feed him and put him back in his crib and he will sleep until 7:30 a.m. That is not a bad gig if you ask me.
Clark hit some major baby milestones in the past couple of weeks. He is extremely ticklish on his back, neck, and his armpits and he laughs really loud, especially at night right before bedtime. We still put him in his bouncer a lot...like, a huge majority of the day. There are three little toys that hang from the bouncer, and the middle toy is a turtle that plays a little diddy when you pull down on it. I didn't think the day would ever come when Clark would reach up on his own and pull the turtle thing down, but one day, out of the blue, Aaron and I were talking and we heard the little diddy. We looked down and sure enough, there's little Clark with his hand on the turtle and a confused look on his face that said "Did I just do that?" I know that might not seem like a big deal, but Aaron and I are convinced that he is the most brilliant baby ever and he is probably going to be a rocket scientist.
Some other things Clark has mastered are standing up with just a little bit of assistance, laying on his belly, and putting his paci in and out of his mouth. For a three month old, he's a pretty big talker, which makes me think that him and Aaron really have a lot in common. He eats his hands a lot and anything you give him goes straight into his mouth. He's already chewing on teething rings and toys and there is a lot of slobber nonsense going on these days, which means a bib is a critical part of Clark's wardrobe. Speaking of his wardrobe, he's definitely got it going on when it comes to being the most stylin' and profilin' little dude in town. Look at these shoes:
If you are looking for some whale flavored deck shoes, look no further than Clark's closet.
Month #3 was so much more fun than last month but I already get nostalgic when I think about him as a little bitty baby. I love staying home with him and I'm so thankful I don't have to go back to work right now. I love spending the day trying to make him happy and smile and getting to know everything about him. Aaron is right smack in the middle of final exams and huge 30+ page papers and spending all day in the library, which means he doesn't get a whole lot of Clark time in these days. However, when he does come home, Clark knows it. Aaron has a special way of looking at him and talking to him that instantly makes Clark all smiles. It's really kind of bazaar watching my husband and son interact with each other. I like it. A lot.
We finally got our first family photo.
We had to use the self timer to do it, but I'm ok with that.
There is really no way to adequately sum up the past thirty days in one blog post because there is just way too much to write about. Clark is growing up fast but we are loving every single second of it. I have a hard time believing that in only two more weeks, I'll be writing about his FOURTH month of life.
Until then I'll just keep taking hundreds of pictures and videos everyday and soaking in every second we get with him.
And at the risk of sounding extremely cheesy, we love him more today than we did yesterday. And that's a pretty big deal. Because we loved him a lot yesterday.