Bouncing big baby

It’s hard to believe that, as of yesterday, our tiny daughter is four months old. This weekend, we went to the Festival of the Tomato in Oliver, a few miles down the road from Nana’s farm. It occurred to me suddenly, as we strolled through the farmyard fest with our little one, that last year’s Tomato Festival occurred on the very last day of ignorant bliss before that fateful pregnancy test that heralded Maddi’s existence.

This year, she’s so much more than a little pink line on a stick; so much more than all of the photos of fetuses I gazed at nearly every day of my pregnancy, trying fruitlessly to imagine what our little daughter might look like; so much more than the helpless, uncoordinated little cone head we brought home from the hospital May 6.

Now we’ve got a giggling, floor-gym-playing, toe-grabbing, “a-ba”-saying, raspberry-loving bundle of sunshine. She seems to hit new milestones every week. Some, like waking at 3 a.m. to practice new skills and trying to help with her diaper, we could do without. Others, such as laughing at silly faces and patting the chests and faces of her loved ones, I can’t imagine life without.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a third of a year already. I still cling to my image of Maddi as brand-new, even as she’s nearly doubled her weight. Conceivably, the reason we’ve had to buy new clothes COULD be because the old ones have all shrunk (enormously) in the wash.

A few weeks ago, we met a tiny new baby who looked like she was rattling around in her giant infant carrier. “She’s so small!” I exclaimed, certain in my belief that Maddi had never been so tiny. Alas, the baby I thought was a preemie weighed a full pound more than our little 15-and-a-half-pound piglet did when she was born. Somehow, my mental image of a wee little thing grows to accommodate Maddi’s ever-chubbier form.

Our constantly changing baby has presented us with so many new things to deal with — first sleeplessness, then gas, and later, rolling over and trying to escape from swings, car seats and laps. While not prepared for these things, I could at least convince myself that they were typical of a baby who was practically a newborn. This week, she’s apparently begun the joyous journey of teething — definitely not newborn territory.

This past year has been full of the unexpected. Not only did I not expect to have a baby — I never expected to have such an OLD baby!

And here’s a picture of our gigantic four-month-old — in a decidedly big-girl-like pose — enjoying the sights and sounds of the Tomato Festival from outside my body.

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