HEY GRIF! HOW YA DOIN? GREAT! GOOD! That is the phrase you are greeted with by your brother about 200 times each day and every single time it makes you laugh. And when I see your big gummy grin it makes me laugh, and when I laugh, Clark laughs, and when Clark laughs your daddy laughs. So you are the reason we spend all day laughing and smiling. I would say that is one heck of a contribution to our family. You are so special and I can't wait to tell you what you've been doing for the past three months.
You are four months old now. I am so sorry I've missed your second and third letter update. I will always regret not finding time for that because in those two months you did a lot of growing and learning and I'm scared I won't be able to remember it all. The bad news is that at some point in March, we encountered an unfortunate camera incident in which Clark threw ours into a splash pool rendering it useless, so I was not able to take my usual three million pictures per day of you. The good news is just recently we got a new camera so we are back in business.
Let me tell you about your second month of life. The theme of this month was grow, grow, grow. I remember the night you grew out of your diapers. In February, we were in Hattiesburg for our big Rice family belated Christmas festivities, and I put you to bed one night in a size one diaper. The next morning I couldn't even fit a size one around your waist. The same thing happened sometime in March, and now you are sitting happy in a size three. It is my desire that you stay there until we use up all 196 of the new and expensive size three diapers I just bought, but at this rate you go up a diaper size every month so we'll see.
Unfortunately, a few days out of your second month were pretty rough for you and me both. It tore me to pieces when you came down with a stomach virus and spent nearly four days violently throwing up and not eating. In a highly panicked state of mind, I called fifteen different doctors and went to an urgent care center and each one assured me it would pass and we just had to wait it out. Well, the dadgum virus did indeed go away but not before I worried myself sick. Seeing you sick was the worst thing I've experienced in a really long time and I hope it never happens again for the rest of your life.
It was very, very soon after you started feeling better that you started handing out smiles. For the record, you offered your first smile to Clark because he really is super goofy all the time. All of your smiles are open mouthed, cheek to cheek, and full of energy and I can see pure happiness and joy in your eyes. I LIVE for your smiles. At only two months of life, I could already tell you had a huge personality. And now at four months, that once little personality is now bursting at the seams.
When you turned three months old, I noticed a huge increase in your sense of awareness. You started following me with your eyes and seemed to acknowledge me when I entered your presence. Gone are the days when you would snooze your way through an entire afternoon and I am so happy about that. You are alert, very energetic, and when you are awake you are eating your hands and studying the chaos that is constantly surrounding you. One of the first things you actually started paying attention to was a painting of an elephant that hangs over your changing table. Your dad picked the painting out when he was in New Orleans and you absolutely adore it. You talk to the elephant while I'm changing your diaper and touch it and smile and coo at it. It is definitely one of my favorite things you do right now.
Now, at four months old, you love playing with toys. You love holding rattles, eating Sophie the Giraffe, belly time, laughing at Clark, listening to music, playing with anything that makes noise, kicking your feet at record speeds, laughing, bath time, laughing, laughing, being tickled, being stared at, making the sweetest little sounds, talking to the fish and turtles on your mobile and laughing at them, being held faced out so you can look at the world, chilling in your swing or bouncer, and the number one thing you love is when we pull your feet towards your mouth. You usually let out some gas and that makes us all laugh, but you cackle every time. It is the sweetest sound imaginable (both the gas and the cackle). You also get really tickled at yourself when you roll over. You can roll from front to back and from back to front. It is so hard to believe you are that big, because that always seemed like a huge milestone to me. You are so easy to make happy. When you cry all I have to do is hand you a toy and you are easily distracted for an indefinite amount of time. I am the luckiest mom in the world. You are also really starting to interact with Clark and it is hilarious. He knows how to intentionally make you laugh and he loves to play with you.
At some point a few weeks ago I realized that you are a huge baby. I had to pack up your 3-6 month clothes and pull out the 6-9 month outfits. That is ridiculous. I'm thinking you probably weigh about 16ish pounds and you are wonderfully healthy and chubby. You have been sleeping for 12 hours at night for about two weeks, but don't get cocky. Before that you were partying it up several times in the night and that was not a party I enjoyed going to anymore. I could write a 1,000 page documentary about you and your sleep habits and it would not be a pleasant read. But now you are sleeping, which means I am sleeping, and I think our family overall is functioning better now. You take two semi-good naps each day and one little catnap in the evening and you nurse every four hours throughout the day. This month I think am going to start introducing solids to you and it's bound to be hilarious. I can't wait.
Griffin Rice, there are no words for how amazing you are. I could (and do) stare at you for hours. Last weekend, your dad and I left you with Geez and Gam so we could go on a little vacation. Hardly a moment went by that I wasn't wishing you were with us. I missed everything about you and talked about you nonstop. I showed pictures of you to strangers. I thought about you and prayed for you and couldn't wait to hold you again. I love how animated you have become and how easily entertained you are. Everywhere we go, I get compliments on how content you are and especially how handsome you are. It is so true. You are such an amazing little baby boy. I am trying my hardest to enjoy the moments with you I am given right now, but I can't help but wonder what you will be like as a young man. I hope you are just like your daddy except less of a nerd.
You are so, so, so loved by so many people. We are very proud of you, and I just know this next month of your life will bring so many amazing memories. Thank you for being you. Please don't ever try to be anyone else but you.
I love you so much, sweet baby, and I'm already looking forward to the morning when I can go into your room and see that huge smile spread across your face because you are excited to see me. Tomorrow will be a great day simply because you will be with me.