Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Natsuki Sofia

In December 2005 when I found out I was pregnant with Natsuki I was very surprised. Just the month before Chikara and I had been discussing a more permanent end to the baby train. We were very happy with our three girls and I was really looking forward to being able to get out of the house more. But, of course, I love babies so after getting over the initial shock it was easy to get excited. We had to re-think 2006 and tell many shocked people that although we had firmly said that we were not having any more kids we were in fact pregnant again and really happy about it. So many people said, "Sarah, I respect you so much for having so many kids" but it was hard to receive this compliment because we got pregnant for lack of planning and self-control not because of some lofty dream of having a large family.

But now we have Natsuki in our family and although being pregnant in the hot Japanese summer was not fun, the last seven months with Natsuki have been wonderful. She is the most outgoing baby I've had. Emi & Sakura ignored admirers and Misaki would just stare past them like they didn't exist. But Natsuki smiles and coos and giggles for anyone who stops and takes the time to talk to her.

She has taken to her schedule so well that she actually enjoys being put down to sleep. When I take her upstairs to her room she flaps her arms hysterically but once I lay her down she lays still and just smiles at me until I finish arranging the blankets. When she was 3 months old she started sucking her thumb (like Misaki) and although I know one day there will be a big fight to break her of this habit, right now it's really cute.

When people meet Natsuki for the first time they immediately try to figure out which one of her older sisters she looks like. When she was first born she was really like Emi to me but she's changed since then and she looks more like Misaki (except that Misaki had crazier hair, if you can believe it). Also she has thumbs just like my mom that naturally bend really far. I've been trying to get a picture of them but she moves too much. There will come a day when she won't appreciate being compared to everyone but for now it's fun to speculate who she will look like when she's older!

For the first time yesterday I let Natsuki try a french fry from McDonald's. For the last couple of weeks she has been watching all of us closely as we eat so I thought I would let her try "real" food as opposed to the baby food she's been eating for the last two months. She was so excited. Mostly she just mashed it with her gums until the soft potato in the middle came out. It was funny to watch her try to get it in her mouth. She's not that coordinated yet so she kept getting her thumb as opposed to the french fry. I'm always excited when they get to this point because it makes it easier to find food for them.

In comparing Emi (the first baby) to Natsuki (the fourth baby) I find Natsuki to be easier to take care of because she is easily entertained by her sisters. Another first among the girls is that Natsuki also prefers Chikara over me a lot of the time. When we're out and she gets tired if Chikara holds her she falls asleep every time but if I hold her she just gets fussier and fussier. She almost looks relieved when he comes to get her. You might think that I'd be jealous but it's a little bit of a relief that I don't have to be the only source of comfort and entertainment.

Another interesting thing about Natsuki being the fourth baby is that I don't get a lot of time to work with her on developing her skills. She loves to lay on her back and play with her feet. She can roll over but she rarely does. Because she loves being on her back if I put her down on her tummy she immediately rolls over onto her back but she rarely turns over from her back to her tummy. I realized recently that she's wanting to sit up more so I told Chikara that as much as we can we should take turns during each awake time to let her practice sitting up. We did it all last week and now she can sit by herself so I can clearly see that she's ready but she's just waiting for us to work with her. I really wonder if she'll learn to crawl since she doesn't like being on her tummy very much. I guess we'll see!

Also this month she started adding consonants to her repertoire of sounds. Sometimes when she's babbling she's actually louder than the girls. I can see this is a first step to finding her place in the family. I love to listen to her talking away especially in the morning before I go to get her up. It so precious and it's these moments that I'm really glad that God knew better and gave her to us to be a part of our family.

These are some of my favorite pictures of Natsuki.


Trisha said...

I enjoyed learning more about Natsuki. She is such a cutie pie! I used to tell my husband I wanted four kids but he thought I was crazy. I guess we will just wait and see what the good Lord gives us.

cara said...

sophia was on our top 4 name list, but ayva won out obviously. it sounds like you have been blessed with the right kind of baby for #4. maybe one day natsuki and ayva can meet because they sure sound like they would get along great. that is if they didn't pull on each other's full head of hair.