5 months

Harper’s fifth month has been a rather sleepless one. The four-month sleep regression is no joke — hers basically lasted the entire month. I heard the same from enough other moms to think this is some kind of developmental thing.

The good news is that she is getting closer to sleeping through the night again (which she did for two whole months!). And thank goodness, because I am no fun on no sleep. I think the combination of constantly interrupted sleep, being sick, slow sales, and fewer moms meetups since everyone went back to work started to make me feel really emotional, missing family and friends. I think Mike and I could really use a date night, too. Thankfully we found a babysitter who’s going to make that happen.

We’re finding parenthood to be such a roller coaster. Some days are so easy and fun, full of giant grins and lazy strolls with a peacefully sleeping babe. Other days we find ourselves nodding off at 9:30, not sure how we made it through the cacophany of bawling and dogs barking that sometimes is our life. Some days the weight of caring for this tiny person is so intense I don’t know how I will manage. But then I see that I have already managed so much, and there is no human on this earth who ever did parenting perfectly.

At 5 months, Harper has developed some quirks that we can’t help but laugh at. Sometimes when we bring her to bed in the mornings, hoping she’ll drift back to sleep for another hour, she lays there babbling and slapping poor Mike in the face as she tries to figure out how her hands work. Other times she’ll examine her fingers like a blissed-out stoner. It’s kind of hilarious.

One quirk I could have lived without was the week she decided to scream instead of babble all day. She wasn’t crying, just playing with her voice at full volume. It sounded like a wounded cat. Thank goodness that phase ended.

Also, girlfriend drools constantly. I’ve started calling her Droolia or Droolia Goolia. She gnaws on our fingers and our clothes, leaving little wet patches everywhere. We don’t even notice it anymore.

The biggest change this month is that she really seems to be able to grasp things with her hands. She grabs at everything — my hair, my watch, the tablecloth, etc. But she can finally hold her toys and shove them into her mouth. It must feel good on her gums, which don’t have any teeth yet, but seem to cause her a fair amount of discomfort.

I love that her personality is starting to develop. Whether it’s happy or sad, she is really expressive. We’ve figured out ways to make her giggle, so we’ve turned into those people who are constantly making fart noises and silly faces. The jumper swing remains one of her most smile-inducing devices. We got her a Go Pod where she can sit and play with toys, but at this point she prefers to bounce.

You can tell her motor skills are improving because she’s also figured out how to wrap her chubby feet around the bars of her play gym like a little monkey. She still doesn’t seem to care about rolling over, but she is wiggly enough to cause my heart to skip beats when she nearly slips out of the spot I put her in.

She’s grown into some of her more girly outfits and I must admit I’ve enjoyed dressing her up a little more. People still call refer to her as “him” all the time. But she gets lots of compliments on her eyes, which are almost white-blue at the center with a dark blue rim. Her skin is so fair that her cheeks turn bright pink when she gets too warm. With her hair sticking out she looks like a Kewpie doll. My sweet, chubby, drooly, smiley Kewpie.

One other note: We might think parenting is rough, but our Des Moines friends Tim and Gretchen just had triplets! Tim has been writing an excellent blog about the process leading up to the birth, which you should definitely check out here.