Dear Milo, / by Leslie

You will be 4 months old next week. You are in your new Fisher Price Papasan swing fast asleep. You wore out the old swing, which we got from Gram who had it for Jake. You've loved swinging from the first week you were home and in those first few days it was sometimes the only thing that would calm you down from crying. One time we lugged the swing, which is usually in the living room, up to our bedroom at 3 o'clock in the morning because nothing we could do would make you stop crying and we hadn't been able to sleep yet. You finally fell asleep in the swing and we left you in there for an hour or two while we got some much needed sleep. We weren't sure if we should fall asleep with you swinging away, but I don't think we could have stayed awake even if we had tried. Thankfully our nights are much easier with you now.


These days you are so happy and smiling all the time. You just started laughing and it's the cutest thing. The first time we really got you laughing your Dad was making funny voices at you and barking like a dog. I was crying I was laughing so hard. It was really funny to see that big grin on your face and to hear you laughing so hard. You've actually been very smiley right from the start. I have pictures of you not even a week old with a big smile on your face while you are sleeping. It was only during sleep, especially right after you had nursed, that you would smile during the first month. In week 5 though, when your Auntie Jill was visiting, you started to smile at people. By the time Grandma and Grandpa came to visit from Canada you were getting really good at it. Now when I go out shopping and I wear you in the front carrier facing outward, you smile at everyone and of course everyone smiles back and says how cute you are. What a flirt already! Just like your Dad.


We just got back from your first vacation. We went to Cape Cod with Gram and Poppa, Auntie Gloria, Uncle Hank and Jake, Eva, Yolanda and her sons Chris and Jimmy and Sibohan, Ciro, Samantha and David. You were on the beach for your 3 month birthday and just like your Mom and Dad, you didn't seem to love it. You were pretty good for most of the day and napped on your Dad for a couple hours, but when you woke up and found yourself still on the beach, you cried and cried and didn't stop until my foot touched the stairs going back up to the car. It was maybe the sun and the noisy ocean and the wind. At any rate, the next day you were much happier shopping in Chatam and you loved being in the cabana at the Wequessett Inn's fancy pool the day after that. The drive out was a nightmare, there was lots of Saturday traffic on I95 and after a 3 hour nap in the morning, we stopped to feed you and hung out for an hour, but you didn't want to get back in the car. You howled until we pulled over at a Burlington Coat Factory and we walked around with you in there for an hour until you were sleepy again. We got back in the car and you slept for another few hours, but the last couple of hours of the trip we had to stop frequently to calm you down. Because of the traffic and stopping for you, what should have been a 4.5 hour trip took almost 8 hours! When it came time to go home we decide to drive at 9pm, after you had fallen asleep for the night and all the traffic was gone. It went so much better.

You've had some trouble with Acid Reflux from about week 5. At first it was heartburn and you would cry in pain during feeding and right after. We got some medicine, Pepcid, for you to take twice a day and that seemed to help. We also gave you a lot of Gripe Water and that worked like magic and settled your stomach and coated your throat so it didn't hurt as much. Now, it seems like the heartburn has subsided, but you are spitting up a lot after a feeding when you burp. It doesn't hurt you, but we have to do a lot of laundry, mine and yours. It's really quite a mess actually. I can count on at least 6 times a day getting spit up on and even though I try to keep you aimed at the hardwood floor, which is easy to clean up, you do a good job of getting both your father and I wet and sometimes the couch too.

Your nose started running last week and you have your first cold! It seems like you feel alright, but your nose gets congested and you can't breath when you are nursing. I've been putting saline drops up your nose and then suctioning it. You hate that of course. I don't like to make you cry like that, but there is no other way until you learn to blow your nose.

The thing that makes you cry in pain now is gas. We give you Mylicon drops to help break up the gas bubbles and that seems to help. You fart a lot (ha ha!) and depending on when your last poop was, it can be really stinky!! You poop every 4 days or so, but sometimes it goes more than 7 days. Because you are just eating breast milk that is pretty normal. When you do go though, it's often a messy affair. I've gotten better at knowing when you are going to go and can sometimes avoid a mess, but there have been times when the poop has gone all up your back or out the sides of the diaper. Yuckers! One time it was actually dripping all over the floor as I rushed to your room to change you! Luckily we have hardwood floors. I call you Stinky Pants sometimes, or Farty McGee.

You started out sleeping in a cradle next to our bed, and during the night when you got hungry I would get up and bring you into bed with us and nurse you sitting up, or I would go to the butterfly chair and nurse you there. Once you got bigger, maybe at 3 weeks, we started to keep you in bed with us and that made nursing easier because I wouldn't have to lift you out of the cradle or get out of bed. I nurse you laying down on my side and both of us usually fall back to sleep. It makes it so much easier and some nights I get sucha good rest it feels like I'm not even really waking up. During the day you nap in your crib, the swing, in my arms or in the sling. We plan to move you to your crib at night once you are eating solid foods and can sleep longer without needing to nurse. Right now you eat every 3 - 4 hours at night and during the day I'll feed you every 1 -3 hours depending on how you are feeling. Sometimes you nurse for just a few minutes or you just want to cuddle and fall asleep. The funniest thing is when you are done and you give me a big smile, or when you start to babble with your mouth full.

You have gotten yourself on a pretty good routine lately. You will wake up around 7:30-8:00am and we will play together in bed for half and hour or so, then I will give you to your Dad and I will shower and get dressed. Then I come down stairs and change your diaper and get you dressed while Chris gets ready for work. Then you and I go on the couch in the living room and I'll nurse you while watching TV and Chris will bring me a plate of fruit, toast and coffee. Then he will leave for work and you and I will play for a bit until you get tired.  You will have a morning nap around 10-10:30 for anywhere from an hour to 3 hours. Sometimes you will wake up, nurse and then go back to sleep. After your nap you are up for 2 - 3 hours and I'll usually put you in the sling and take a walk with you or do some things around the house. Around 3 you will have an afternoon nap for no more than 2 hours. Dad gets home at 5:15 and he'll cook dinner. This is sometimes your cranky time and so I'll walk around with you and try to keep you happy. When dinner is ready we will try to put you in the swing, or if you don't like that we will take turns holding you while the other person eats. Around 7:30 we will get you ready for bed, giving you a bath 2 times a week, put lotion on and give you a massage sometimes and change you into your pajamas. Then I'll nurse you and rock you to sleep. You are usually asleep by 8:30. At 10:30 I'll take you upstairs. I'll usually feed you, even if you are asleep (dream feed) so that I can get a good rest before you wake up again around 2-3am. Because you are in bed with us, the night feedings are easy. All I do is roll over, get you latched on and we both fall back to sleep. You will wake up again to nurse around 5:30 and between then and 7:30 you usually sleep very lightly and nurse on and off until we get up. Then it starts all over!

Today you are trying my patience and don't want to be put down. It's difficult for me to do anything! You love to be in my arms and be entertained. I think I am feeling a little run down these last few days, so it's very tiring. This morning I napped with you on the couch. I had you in my arms and I laid down with you tucked between me and the back of the couch. It was very comfortable and we both slept like that for over an hour. You woke up crying though and so we rolled over to the other side and you nursed for about 20 minutes. At 1:30 we walked over to the deli to get a sandwich. You are getting so heavy!! I'm not sure I will be able to keep using the front carrier, my neck, shoulders and upper back get so sore.

You are such a cutie and I just love to see you smile. I do some pretty funny things to try to get a laugh out of you! Getting a laugh is still kind of tough, but you smile literally all the time. Sometimes when I am paying attention to something else and you are in your activity center I look over at you and there you are staring at me with a big grin on your face! Of course I have to stop whatever it is I am doing and go over and give you a big kiss! You stick out your tongue all the time too, like a big goof, usually when you are smiling. It's the funniest thing. I imagine when you get older you will be a silly kid. That'll be fun.

I swore that you said Ma today, but you are probably just making the sound and don't know what you are saying yet. You are pretty good at mimicking sounds. I was on the phone with Leila and I put the phone to your ear so she could say Hi to you and I said, "Say hi to Leila" and I totally heard you said "Hi Leila". She heard it too!!! Again, you are probably just making the sounds that I made, but it is really cute and cool.

Grandma came to visit again last week and it was so nice to have her here helping out and spending time with you. For the first time you acted scared at a new person but you quickly got over it and warmed right up to her. It was nice to come down in the morning a little bit later than usual, hand you off to her and go upstairs to take a shower. With her here I don't have to rush to get ready like when it's just me and Chris. She is also happy to carry you around and get you to sleep, so it gave me a little bit of a break. We will be traveling to Canada in November, so we will see her again then and meet the rest of your Canadian family.

It is my 31st birthday tomorrow and one year ago yesterday I found out I was pregnant with you. That was such an exciting and nerve-racking time! I can't believe you are here now and how much you have grown already. (I've already put away so many of your clothes!) So much has changed since last year. My 30th birthday was a real turning point in my life, especially because of you. This year things are so different, I don't really care much about my birthday actually. I mean, we couldn't do anything big anyway because we have you now, but I don't really want to. I guess that's what happens.

Anyway, my dear Milo, I hope you enjoy reading this some day and that I don't embarrass you too much. I love you with all my heart and more. You are the coolest, cutest, funniest kid around. Keep laughing always.