1) Her smiles. Talking to her. That adorable succession of coos and gurgles as she tries with all her might to communicate with me. It's so exciting to watch her get closer and closer to an out-loud laugh! We are also teaching her to be tickled - squeeze her slightly on the sides of her ribs by her armpits while giggling madly at her. She's slowly catching on! And we're teaching her peek-a-boo (or Japanese inai-inai-ba!).
2) Breastfeeding. I just really enjoy it! I like the chance to sit down and just rest and forget everything and reconnect with the baby. It must be the relaxing hormones, because while when I am walking up and down the room to soothe her crying or get her to sleep, I am constantly noticing the things that need to be done, and disturbing her by picking up laundry or rubbish, plucking things up with my toes, but when I breastfeeding, I just kind of review it all with a resigned, "Ah, well, do that later". I love watching her feed, from the shark-like clamp-on when she's really hungry, the little noises she makes, her hands clutching at the boob or holding onto my finger. Her perfectly peaceful face when she drifts off to sleep with a nipple in her mouth - baby heaven! Eating, sleeping, and getting a cuddle from the person you love the most - All at the same time! And my favorite baby face is the one when she just pops off, clamps her mouth shut, lips all pushed up, a dribble of milk down her chin!
3) Bathtime. I've always enjoyed bathing the baby, it's a highlight of your baby day, getting to see the baby naked! You love ALL your baby, and you miss seeing those adorable little rolls and round tummy when they're hiding in clothes all day. But bathtime has taken on a whole new dimension since I started to go in with her. She's happier, because she feels more secure being held firmly in my arms instead of that awkward balance on two fingers behind the ears. The bath can be longer, because the deep tub doesn't cool as quickly as the small baby bath, a vital factor in an unheated Japanese bathroom in wintertime. And I get to cuddle up to her soft warm body! We're both loving it!
4) Watching her sleep