Friday, August 31, 2012

Just In the Nick of Time.

Last night, Hugh and I were sitting on the couch chatting and I asked him if he felt like we were wasting the long weekend by not having visitors or taking a trip. Before I could even finish my question, he said, "No, absolutely not. We need a weekend where we don't have anything to worry about. No car trips, no company, no one getting ready to go back to work, no trying to find a nanny, no studying."

Well, alright then. 

Suffice to say, the last six weeks have been a little high on the stress around this place. Luckily, everything seems to have settled back down as of this week. Also, luckily, I seem to have given birth to a baby who has the innate ability to roll with the punches. Or, as her nanny put it, she's just the world's happiest baby girl. We'll take it. 

A couple of things that make me smile:

  • She laughs! Don't mind the wonky angle. The child goes stone-faced if she sees the camera, so I have to be stealthy:

  • Mama got a new lens:

Our long weekend looks to be full of grilling, a trip to the farmer's market, and coffee in bed with our girlie. Hope yours is the peachiest, friends. Check you Tuesday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Month Three

Penelope Catherine, 

I am pretty sure, in a total motherhood cliche, that I am going to declare each of your months my favorite. Your personality has surfaced even more these last four weeks. You are such a joy - smiling and chattering away all day long. 

Month three was calmer and quieter than your first two months. Although we still had visitors, this month it felt like things really settled down and we had a chance to adjust to our new normal as a family of three (or five, if you ask your brothers). Our life seems both very much the same and completely different with you here. Your Dad and I were such a unit before you were born, and you have just squeezed right in like you were here all along.

Speaking of visitors, Aunt Mandy, Uncle Matt, and Charlie came to visit for our third annual Fourth of July celebration. Not having spent a lot of time around babies, you were fascinated by Charlie and spent much of our visit watching his every move. Your Dad and I joke that every time you see another baby you seem a little bit surprised that more than one of you exists in this world. Such is the life of a first-born child, I suppose.

At the beginning of the month, you had your two month well-baby visit. You were a little model baby the whole time, cooing and smiling and charming the whole office. Dr. H answered all my neurotic, first-time Mama questions (which your Daddy had already answered) and assured me that you were doing great (which your Daddy had already done). You got your first round of shots at this visit; they seemed to knock you off your feet a little, and you spent the whole next day sleeping, waking only to nurse. As sad as it made me to see you not feeling like yourself, I did enjoy lots of this:

No real changes this month in the eating and sleeping categories. So far, you are just a great nurser and a great sleeper, and have, I'm sure, hopelessly spoiled us as parents. You eat six times per day for about fifteen minutes each time. I so love these moments with you; you hold my finger with your tiny hand and become completely relaxed and, toward the end, you give me such sweet and contented smiles and sighs. You are awake for about 1.5 - 2 hours at a time now and typically take two long morning naps (1.5 - 2 hours) and then two short afternoon naps (30 minutes - 1 hour). You're down for the night around 7pm, get a dreamfeed around 10pm, and sleep until 7am the next morning. We are still going in a couple of times per night most nights to find your pacifier for you if you start to stir. You are still being swaddled in the Miracle Blanket to sleep.

In development news, you rolled over this month! The day after your two month birthday, you rolled over from your stomach to your back. I was sitting at the table pumping and your Daddy had just laid you on the floor for tummy time when, within five seconds, you gave a push with your arm and rolled right over! In my surprise and excitement, I yelled out and scared you a bit. It took you a few days to do it again, but I was armed with the video camera during all of your tummy times, so I was able to capture it the second time. 

You also started smiling without prompting, squealing, and talking even more, which entertains us to no end. When you wake up, we hear you over the monitor immediately start talking away to yourself, and then it's a race which one of us can get to your room first to soak up the sweetness. You have the biggest grin that stretches across your face and crinkles up the corners of your eyes. We make fools of ourselves to see that smile.

You also started intentionally reaching for things this month and sometimes even grasping what you're reaching for. You aren't quite able to get your hands to go just where you want them to yet, but it fascinates me to watch you learning and figuring it out more and more each day. I can literally see your little mind working as you get a look of deep concentration on your face.

The sweetness of your personality is coming through, too. You will hang on to us tightly when we hold you, and snuggle in close when you're sleepy, burying your face against our chests. It seems you already know you are the apple of our eyes, and you are at your happiest when you have both of us in front of you, giving you all of our attention.

Without question, bathtime is your favorite part of the day. You splash and kick and wriggle all around, squealing as loud as you can. And you love lying on the changing table and talking to us for as long as we will stand there (spoiler alert: we will stand there talking to you for a very long time). This month, you have finally started to like being in the carrier (Moby, Bjorn, Ergo), and have been going for lots of walks with us in the Baby Bjorn. You are no longer content to be held in a cradle hold very often or to ride in a carrier facing in. You want to be facing forward, staring out at the world all the time and checking out what's going on around you. 

At the end of this month, I had my first day back in the office. I was dreading being away from you all day. Thankfully, Daddy was able to stay home with you and we both did just fine. And, it made me feel even more grateful than I already was that I get to be home with for the majority of each week.

My darling girl, I blink, blink, blink, some days and think you are growing up right before my eyes. You are changing every day; learning new tricks, making new sounds, and looking a little bit taller and less and less like my newborn baby. I spend most all of your waking moments just trying to soak you in. I tell your Daddy that I stare at you so much because I want to memorize every part of the baby girl you are right this very minute - all round, rosy cheeks and long, straight eyelashes, roll upon roll of baby chub and drunken milk face - you are utterly perfect to me. 

I ask my own Momma on a weekly basis if it is possible to love you any more than I do right this moment. She always laughs a little bit and tells me to just wait. It is hard for me to believe our time with you can be happier than it is right now, but it makes me look forward to every new day I get to wake up and be your Mama all over again.  

The moment you were born, the song "The Luckiest" was playing in our hospital room. I couldn't have chosen more appropriate words to be sung as you entered my life, because you have made me feel every day since then that I am the luckiest in the world.

I love you,

Three Month Stats
Weight: 13lbs (estimated)
Clothing: Depends on brand, but mostly 3 month and 3 - 6 month.
Diapers: Cloth - 2 middle snaps open
Eating: 6 times per day, 15 - 20 minutes per time.
Things you love this month: Riding in the Baby Bjorn facing forward, bathtime, playing in your pack-and-play, talking to us.
Things you don't love: The end of bathtime.
Rolled Over (Front to back): June 29
First shots (and, correspondingly, first fever and tylenol): July 5
First morning in the garden with Mama (in the baby bjorn): July 9
First day away from Mama: July 24
Milestones: rolling over tummy to back in both directions, smiling without prompting (at toys, mobile, Fletcher, etc.), clasping hands at midline, reaching for objects, grasping objects (still with pretty low accuracy), squealing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Everything I Ever Wanted.

Oh, motherhood. Such a humbling process, foiling my well-laid plans.

It has not been a good week, my friends. Not good, as in I ugly-cried not once or twice but three times on Wednesday. Thank goodness for Hugh and my mom and their endlessly patient listening ears. And thank goodness for my sweet girl; she is a trooper. 

Fortunately, next week promises to be a happier one. Not least of all because my birthday is on Monday; the big 2-9! And, as you probably know by now, birthdays are my jam

For the last two weeks, Hugh has been asking me for a list of things I might want, and I've been hemming and hawing and not really giving him any guidance. Finally, he asked me why I was having such a hard time coming up with a birthday list this year. And I realized it's because I have everything I ever wanted already. 

My little White Hot cup runneth over:


On the agenda for the next three days: balloons, birthday cake, a family walk, and a champagne cocktail or three. Hope your weekend is just peachy.