I figured I should document this periodically, because it’s cute and also so that I can look back and remember what Stephen loved at four months versus six months (I can’t think much further ahead than a couple of months from now…it’s too weird to imagine him being a toddler, let alone a little kid). Here are a few things that Stephen loves right now:

– Ring Sling: Stephen has loved being carried in a sling since the very beginning, and I still use one or both of my two beautiful slings (one is red and yellow, the other blue and white, both made by Stephen’s Auntie Margo) every single day. Right now I mostly use the vertical carry (with his legs tucked in or hanging out, depending on how hot it is and which he seems to prefer) and the front facing carry (aka Buddha carry, aka kangaroo carry).

– Swaddling: I tried letting him sleep unswaddled for two days again this week after I found him scooted all the way to the bottom of the crib and got scared that he was going to flip himself over in the middle of the night, but after the 48-hour trial period decided to go back to swaddling. It was definitely better than when I tried it a month ago, but got progressively worse over the two days instead of better and we were all exhausted by the end of of it.

– Pacifier: He mostly just has it for sleeping, but it also helps calm him down when he’s a little tired. We tried the Avent and the Soothies, and he prefers the Avent hands down (gagged on the Soothies every time I tried to give it to him).

– Singing: He LOVES for us to sing to him. Danny makes up songs all the time about whatever he’s doing (especially if Stephen is crabby and needs distracting), and I usually end up singing them later. Stephen especially loves when Danny bobs his head along with the song as he sings. He also has a special game he plays with Stephen in the mornings called “Diggery Do” after the Australian aboriginal instrument, in which Danny sings in a deep voice while Stephen rests his head on Danny’s chest to feel the vibrations. I also sing to Stephen all the time — for naps and bedtime I usually sing one of the following worship choruses: “Here I am to Worship,” “Blessed Be Your Name,” “Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior,” or “How Great is Our God.” During the day, I sing him a lot of folk music; he particularly likes Joan Baez (“Where Have All the Flowers Gone”), Simon & Garfunkel, Peter, Paul & Mary (he really likes “Leaving On a Jet Plane”), and the Beatles (especially “Penny Lane”).

– Sitting: He can’t sit unsupported, but he loves to sit up with one of us behind him for support. I’m kicking myself for not putting his Bumbo chair into our air freight shipment, because I think he would really like sitting up in it now, but chances are when it gets here next month he’ll still like it.

– Toys: Up until about two weeks ago he didn’t really pay much attention to his toys, but now when I’m burping him he’ll see his little play mat with the toys on it and freak out talking to them and trying to get over there. He especially loves the abacus his Grandpa Bogie made him, as he can sit up to play with it. He also loves this little four-inch plastic ring rattle, and flutterbug teether that one of my friends gave him. He likes to listen to the wooden rattle his Grandpa Bogie made him (with black-eyed peas inside to remind him of his southern heritage!), but he can’t quite get the hang of holding it himself just yet.

– Mirrors: He loves watching himself and us in the mirror. He has a free-standing (unbreakable) mirror that his Grandma Tene gave him, which lives on his play mat and is a constant source of entertainment.

– Fabric: He loves biting on fabric right now — burp rags, shirts, whatever. He also loves to look at interesting fabric, like the beautiful quilt that his Auntie Margo made him (currently serving as his play mat) and the cloth block she made to match it.

– Fans and chandeliers: He’s totally obsessed with the chandelier in our living room, and will practically fall over backwards arching his back to try to see it if he’s on one of our shoulders.

– Talking: In addition to the “ooh” and “ah-ooo” noises he’s been making for a couple of months now, Stephen has recently discovered how much fun it is to squeal, and experiments with different tones and volume levels. He can now also make a “gh” sound, complete with rattly sound thanks to all of the extra drool that he’s making lately.