Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Month Two.

Remember at the end of month one when I said I knew I'd be writing this post in a blink? Well, here we are. In what I'm certain was less than a blink. More like a half blink. Or that half-closed then jerk open thing your eyes do when you are so exhausted but trying not to fall asleep (not that we know anything about that).

I was pretty sure that at the end of last month I had maxed out on love. I would like to go back to that Mama of a one-month-old and laugh. I think my heart grew three sizes during these last thirty days. Let's do it, month two:

Penelope Catherine,

As much as we loved our first four weeks with you, somehow your second month was even better. It brought your first smiles, the discovery of your sweet voice, a longer period of alertness between naps, moving to your crib at night, the start of cloth diapers, and a wonderful little thing we like to call sleeping through the night (and the angels sang and your mama rejoiced).

Around week 5.5, you and I started really hitting our stride. We settled into a (fairly) predictable routine and started getting out of the house more. This is also around the time your grandmother came to visit for a few days. It was good for my mama self-confidence to have her here, telling me I was doing a good job, reminding me that you and I are both new to this being-a-mom and being-a-baby thing, and it's okay that it takes a little time to figure it out. Even a mama needs her momma sometimes. I was hesitant to take you out to run errands, afraid you would meltdown as soon as we walked into the store, but, as your wise grandmother reminded me, the only way to start feeling comfortable with something is to practice, so out and about we went.

She also kept you by herself for a couple of hours so I could run some not baby-friendly errands (see: post office, office of vital records, and the beverage store). This was the first time I left you with anyone but your Dad. The two of you were fine. I was a nervous wreck. Although, I did only call twice to check in and I refrained from instructing her in how to dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency during my absence.

This month was a little quieter on the visitor front. Grandmother was here for a few days in the middle of a week. You bring her so much joy. And then Aunt Maria, Uncle John, and cousin Gianna came to visit for a long weekend. It was so sweet to see you and your cousin together and made our hearts happy to introduce you to people who have been so excited about your arrival. Your Dad and I also took you on your first road trip to Savannah to meet your daycare teachers, see Mama's work friends, and have lunch with Aunt Mandy, Uncle Matt, and cousin Charlie. You were a champ in the car both ways, save for the mid-nap wake-up you got when Mama got pulled over halfway there. 

We also made a visit to see my second favorite doctor for a postpartum check-up. The office was so excited to meet you, and you were a little dream baby in your carrier, sleeping away. I had to hold back my tears many times during that visit. There were so many hard and sad and scary moments in that office over the last two years, but in the end we were lucky. Despite the struggle to conceive you and the worry about keeping you in until you were fullterm and the trauma of your delivery, I got to sit in that waiting room with you beside me, healthy, happy, perfect - worth every single second of the previous twenty-five months. You are just a miracle to me. When we were leaving, Dr. McD gave me a hug and congratulated us again on your arrival. My tears finally spilled over then; he will never know the depth of our gratitude and how he changed our life.

At your two month check-up, you weighed 12lbs, 2oz. Obviously, you are still a serious eater. You eat 6 times a day now, for about 15 minutes each time. You have started telling me when you are done nursing by taking a huge mouthful of milk and spitting it onto my shirt while you smile your giant open-mouth grin at me. Changing my shirt five times a day seems to me a small price to pay to see those big smiles of yours.

You continue to be a pretty champion sleeper. I attribute it 50% to your overall baby amazingness and 50% to some hard work on my part getting you into a routine and then preserving that routine with a very special level of compulsiveness. I asked your pediatrician at your two month check-up if you were sleeping too much. He laughed at me. You are sleeping in your crib now for all your naps (unless we're on the go) and at night. You are still being swaddled in the Miracle Blanket (you little Houdini, you) to sleep, and you go down awake and put yourself to sleep.

You typically take four naps a day - two 1.5 - 2 hour naps and two 45+ minute naps. You are awake for longer periods now, but you still max out around 1 - 1.5 hours and let us know you're ready to sleep. This month we implemented a bedtime routine: starting around 5:45, you get a bath with Dad, then you nurse, then we have family reading time, and then it's lights out between 6:30 - 7pm. I sneak back in before bed to feed you one last time between 10 - 10:30pm. You are pretty much asleep through this feeding, but I tried to drop it and you let me know you still needed to eat by waking up at 1:00am for five days in a row. Message received. So, a dream feed before bed it is. You will usually sleep until about 5am, and then one of us sneaks in your room with ninja-like stealth to pop the pacifier back in your mouth, and you will go back to sleep until 6:30 - 7am. All in all, we are a pretty well-rested bunch for the time being. I know this may change at some point, so for now I am just considering myself very lucky. And, I did feel hopeful when your most recent weekly development update had this to say about baby sleep: "Whether your baby is a night owl or a morning lark, a long sleeper or short sleeper, that pattern will probably stay the same throughout childhood." Fingers crossed, little one.

Developmentally, you were on fire this month. It seems like every day you were more alert and more vocal. I would put you down in your pack-and-play with your activity center so I could get something done, but would inevitably end up standing there, watching you and listening to you - growing and changing right before my eyes. You smiled your first smile on May 31st while you were on the changing pad and I was chatting with you. It took me so by surprise that I wasn't positive that you were actually smiling on purpose. I moved out of your line of sight and you stopped. Then I moved back over to you and you immediately broke into a huge smile. I, of course, burst into tears. My heart wasn't ready for that crazy rush of love and pride.

Your personality is coming through more and more. You are just a happy, chatty, silly girl. You spend the majority of your awake time "talking" - to us, to yourself, to your mobile, to Fletcher - in the sweetest little cooing, girly voice I could imagine. I should also mention that it seems I have birthed a bonafide Daddy's girl. Already. I'm not surprised, but I thought I would be number one at least as long as you were breastfed, but, alas. Anytime you hear his voice, you stop whatever your are doing and start looking around frantically until your eyes find him. This also contributes to my daily shirt-changing, as Daddy loves to come and talk to you while you are eating.

As I said last month, this month has been the most wonderful, and perhaps the fastest, of my life. Becoming your Mama has changed in me the happiest, hardest, most wonderful way. I've started using the term happy-sad to describe our life right now. Happy because I am so proud of you and excited for you and so very grateful that you are here and you are ours. Sad because the days feel like they are passing in some kind of light year speed and, as elated as I am to watch you grow, I wish it wasn't happening so quickly. Since I can't change time, I will keeping enjoying my minutes with you and storing these halcyon days in my mind to be recalled down the road.

I am so lucky you are mine.

I love you,

Post Script: The hair? Still totally awesome.

Two Month Stats
Weight: 12lbs, 2oz (85%)
Length: 22 3/8" (50%)
Head Size: 15 5/8" (75%)
Clothing: Depending on the brand, some 3 month, some 3 - 6 month, and a few 0 - 3month dresses.
Diapers: Cloth - 2 middle snaps open; Paper - size 1.
Eating: Nursing 6 times per day, 15 minutes per time.
Things you love this month: Hanging out in your pack-and-play with the activity center, bath time with Dad (complete with a musical education and test driving new hairstyles), chatting with us (particularly when you are on the changing pad or when we're hanging out in bed and having coffee), sucking on your hands/dress/collar, nursing. 
Things you don't love: There isn't much you don't like this month. You are our happy girl.
First smile - May 31
Slept through night - June 10
First night in crib - June 20
First road trip (to SAV) - June 28
Milestones - holding head and chest up during tummy time (5+ minutes), social smiling, cooing (non-stop - lots of goo, gah, oh, and a few squeals).


  1. I love this. love that you are documenting all of this...what you are feeling, all her milestones and how you feel each time she hits one of those milestones. You will be so happy you did this and can show it to her one day. And on a selfish note, reading through this has made me SO EXCITED to meet our sweet girl in just a few weeks (or maybe days) time. I can't wait to experience the love of a mother and how she feels towards her daughter.

  2. You are doing it! You are doing it! Amazing job, mama. Mad mommy love to you guys. xo

  3. Hi Cassie, congratulations on an adorable baby girl and these wonderful moments of mama-hood. I read Mandy's blog, and have enjoyed seeing Penelope! Like Kelly said, you are documenting your feelings in such a perfect way. As she grows (and she will--ask my 20 month old son) you become so proud of who they are, and who they're becoming. Being able to cherish your memories makes it that sweeter. cheers!