Thursday, March 29, 2012

12 weeks old!

Dear Pea,
How time has flown already!  I can't believe we are out of what is sometimes known as the fourth trimester.  You are so very clearly coming into your own now.  You laughed out loud while awake for the first time at 12 weeks exactly: you think it's very funny to have your shirt taken off and put on over your head.  I actually think maybe your head is ticklish, you love it when we touch you there, whether it's cleaning you in the bath, getting dressed or tapping your head for Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes.

We are still not having any luck with the bottle.  We are clearly not doing something right and you are clearly the progeny of two very stubborn people.

At your three month check up, you moved UP in the height category! Crazy! You are now in the 87% for length! You slipped into the 43% for weight, which is pretty much where you were before.  Dr. T said you are meeting all of your milestones perfectly.  Though you screamed at her during this visit because I stupidly scheduled it during nap time. 

I realized that in all of these letters, I have been telling you what you're doing, but haven't shared how I am feeling.  Sweet Pea, I am utterly, overwhelmingly, consumed by how much I love you. I used to think I was so happy waking up in the morning next to your daddy...let me tell you, it is nothing compared to how happy I am waking up next to both of you.  I wonder if later on in your life you will feel the immensity your arrival brought.  No matter what subsequent sprouts we plant, it will always be you who first made me a mama. It will always be you who made us a family. And it will always be you we make the most mistakes with. Sorry in advance and forevermore.

Okay, enough about me again! You, to my great dismay, love television.  You actually watch it, intently. I guess my great aversion to you watching TV (besides the inactivity of all screen time) is the exposure to commercials, which I really don't have to worry about now.  So, I will continue to allow it.  It makes your daddy so very happy that you will watch an entire Ranger's game with him.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Dear Pea,
You are 11 and a half weeks old and constantly blowing raspberries.  I mean, constantly!  I try to always have a drool cloth ready, but many times end up wiping slobber off your face with your sweater, my shirt or my sleeve.  I'm usually leaking breast milk and have some drool on my shoulders anyway, what does a little more fluid matter? You are happy most of the time, blowing raspberries, smiling and laughing, or just observing the world around you.  You continue to love to play Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.  I massage your legs and show you your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.  I massage your arms and point out biceps and triceps.  You are strong, but your body is one big delicious squish.  I have to stop myself from devouring you in kisses and raspberries of my own.

We are still working on giving you the bottle.  The only times you're really miserable are when you are exhausted-going too long without a nap and then too tired to go to sleep- or when I have left and you want me.  It's sad for me and very hard for Daddy, but we are hoping that with enough exposure to the bottle, you'll eventually take it happily and be okay for an hour or two while I teach or train or meet with a client.

The first three months of a baby's life are often called the fourth trimester.  Young infants are really still so very dependent on their mamas and I see it with you-waking up without me next to you is disorienting, even if your belly is full and you are safe.  We are nearing the end of that time and I am curious to see if there is a difference in how much you trust your daddy or grandparents to take care of you.  They all will, Sweet Pea, believe me! As it is now, when I've been away, you cling to me when I get back, pretty much living on my boob the rest of the day.  I don't know how much of it is relief that I am back with you and how much is exhaustion from working yourself up into such a frenzy. Probably a bit of both.

Tomorrow Daddy and I have our first hockey game since your arrival.  Auntie J is coming to hang out with you so I can play a bit and we are so excited to introduce you to the hockey team.  If it weren't for hockey, you wouldn't be here.   And I can't imagine my world without you in it. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

11 weeks old!

Dear Pea,
Your eleventh week has been full of firsts: first time doing an outing in you "stroller" (it's actually a snap n' go, which we hook your carseat into, but whatever), first time going on a walking nap with Daddy, first time out in the Ergo instead of the sling, first time walking across the Brooklyn, what a week!  You are also officially out of all your newborn AND 0-3 month old clothes-we swapped with your grammy last weekend and everything 3 months fits great.  We are also in a new diaper size.

This week we had a gas leak in our apartment.  Luckily, we caught it early and there was no danger to you.  But we were without a stove for a week and had contractors, electricians and plumbers in and out all week.  And so we were out and about more than usual.  I think you're kind of sick of it-you really need your naps during the day and they have been intermittent and shorter than they should be lately. One day I paid $2.25 just to ride the subway for an hour hoping to help you sleep.  It was 80% successful.

I also started teaching classes again this week-my first one was a 6:30am class on your 11th week anniversary.  You were not happy to wake up not next to me and screamed to Daddy for an hour.  I came out to you asleep on his chest, having worn yourself out.  I'm sure we'll figure this out and do it more gracefully gradually.

And as for you, you are starting to reach for things!  You have a stuffed blue elephant that squeaks, rattles and crinkles and you are pretty into looking at him.  He keeps your attention.  You are also mesmerized by your handmade mobile.  You have also started drooling a LOT.  I have to decide if I'm going to just put you in a bib 24/7 or just keep wiping your face all the time.

We also took a bath together this week-your first time in the tub.  You had been fussing and crying all evening, but really needed a bath, so we figured we'd do it quick and hope you didn't scream too much.  As soon as you got in the water with me, you smiled.  You LOVE taking baths.  I can't wait to go swimming with you this summer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You laughed!

Dear Pea,
As I write this, you are asleep on my chest in the sling as I bounce on the ball.  Usually you nap as I walk around, but this was too important not to document immediately. (well, sort of-this happened yesterday, but I had other things to take care of!)

Yesterday, Uncle Rossy came to visit.  He held you while I took a shower and danced with you and sang you songs.  He calls you Eli, like the boys name.  So cute. 

During one of your many naps yesterday afternoon, you were smiling in your sleep a lot.  And then.  Ha Ha Ha!  Uncle Rossy came in the room asking "what was that?!"  I called Daddy at work I was so excited.  So there you have it.  Ten and a half weeks old and your first laugh.   You were asleep when it happened.  What were you dreaming about, Sweet Pea?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 weeks old!

Dear Pea,
You spent most of your tenth week in Seattle. We took you to meet all of your west coast family, which is a tall order for a baby! You nailed your first airplane ride, sleeping most of the way and spending most of your awake time happy and curious.  We did have a little meltdown when your daddy held you while I went to the bathroom, but we calmed you down pretty quickly.

We brought two packs of earplugs for everyone else on the plane, but no one took us up on it.

And in Seattle, you were such a trooper.  Not only is it 3 hours earlier there, we also were there when the clocks need to be changed for Daylights Savings Time.  You still slept at night as well as you do at home, though there was one 4am when you just wanted to play for three hours.  We took you to temple for your Seattle baby naming, we hosted a big brunch so your aunties and cousins could meet you, we drove in the car, we walked in the rain, we survived a snow storm, Daddy blew up a was a lot packed in to six days!

And you were FABULOUS.  The only meltdowns you had were in the car, strapped in your car seat when you clearly would rather have been sleeping in your sling, and when you'd finally had enough of being passed around.  You adapted better than your parents to not having walkable access to everything, not having your usual food, changing table, bed and to a million people wanting to cuddle and kiss you. 

Your latest trick in your tenth week is sucking on your hand.  Almost always it's your right hand, though I have seem your left fingers there once or twice.  Some babies do this when they're hungry, but it doesn't seem to be a hunger cue for you-you just have figured out how to do it and seem to like it. These photos were taken on our trip home-you are sitting on my tray table which is not in its upright and locked position/

Also in your tenth week you are even more alert, chatty and happy.  You have almost laughed a few times, matching a HA with a huge smile.  You definitely know your pretty handmade mobile and look at it often when being changed.   You are also getting happier to hang out with your daddy, which is a relief.  We took a bottle break while in Seattle, but will try again now that we're home. Perfect timing, as I will be going back to teaching a few fitness classes next week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

9 weeks old

Dear Pea,
I suppose this is as good a time as any to teach you about Murphy's Law and jinxing good news.  Basically, as soon as you say something that's unbelievably good out loud, it ceases to be true.  This applies to putting it in writing, too.  For example, when you brag on the internet that your 2 month old is a champion sleeper, invariably that 2 month old will decide that sleep is for the birds and keep you up all night.  Or if you tell your landlord that the nightly screaming fits seem to be over, back they come, with vengeance.

Sweet Pea, you are a complete manifestation of what they always say parenting is all about: our kids teach us what we need to know. And in your nine weeks on the outside of my body, boy, am I learning lessons.  To celebrate the beginning of your tenth week, I went back to work to show you off and tell them that I wasn't coming back to them: I am going to be your full time mama for a while. Before dropping this news, everyone admired your gorgeous features, the sweet way you cuddle into grown ups shoulders and your glorious smiles.  My (former!!) boss commented that I was so different, so relaxed now.  I used to be such a control freak (and probably still am in other ways, or it's in hibernation and will come back) but now I just bow to your schedule and your needs.  If you don't feel like eating at 10am, you're not going to eat.  If  you need a nap right now, you let us know. If you don't want to be asleep at 3am, I'm not asleep either. I can't plan on anything anymore, and you know what?  It's awesome.

Anyway, enough about me.  You are now nine weeks old.  You play with your tongue and mouth, sticking your tongue out through open lips or pursed lips.  You have found your fingers and fist to suck on a few times so far and this seems to be a fun activity, more for novelty than comfort.  You still have no interest in sucking on a binkie, though my fingers or Daddy's fingers are satisfying.  You are a champion pooper, which you probably hate me for writing, and have already pooped through three outfits today and it's only 1pm.  Luckily, you love bath time, so taking a soak in the sink doesn't send you into a meltdown. You are smiling a lot more now, and often in response to people or noises that you find agreeable.  You are also quite chatty and have many sounds.  This morning you feel asleep bouncing on the ball with me and I transferred you into your swing. After waking up 10 minutes later, I was trying to find other places that you would fall asleep.  I pulled your poor neglected bassinet out of the bedroom and put you in.  You did not sleep, but you happily babbled and cooed and kicked your legs and arms for about fifteen minutes.  I did some yoga; it was nice for both of us.  So, ruling out falling asleep in the bassinet,  you pretty much only fall asleep in your sling or after nursing.  To really get a good length nap out of you, I need to walk with you in the sling.  Yesterday we went along the water in Brooklyn Heights-you woke up and cried for a few minutes about 45minutes in, but then fell back to sleep as we headed home. 

Tomorrow we are taking your first airplane ride to go visit all of your Seattle family.  Daddy and I are a little nervous about how you'll do on the flight, how you'll adjust to the time change and how we will manage our first travel experience as a family. But we are so excited to introduce you to so many people who love you very much.

Monday, March 5, 2012

2 months old!

Dear Pea,
This past weekend rang in your two month anniversary of being on the outside.  We celebrated by me getting a haircut while Daddy attempted to give you a bottle.  We probably should have started the pump and bottle process a few weeks ago, but I wasn't ready.  Everything about nursing you has been so easy and convenient so far, it seemed counter-intuitive to make it more challenging.  But as much as I love you and love spending time with you (which, believe me, is A LOT) I know I'll need breaks sometime and you shouldn't go hungry.  So, we'll work on it.

Other than bottle frustration, you are such a happy baby.  You smile and laugh silently all the time, and now it's almost always in reaction to something we do.  This morning at 8am, we woke up and I scooted down so that we were face to face.  Your sheer delight from seeing me looking at you was breathtaking.   I think you really know that I'm the boob lady now.

You have started to reach out for things intentionally-mostly our faces.  You react to toys: little stuffed animal rattles hold your attention for a few seconds and you are pretty happy on your back lying on your play mat.

And, though I'm almost afraid to say so, not wanting to jinx it, it seems your nightly screaming jags are on the way out.  You have not been raging at the world anymore. I don't know if you've just accepted that you can't go back to the womb no matter how much you want to or if we've just gotten better at reading your cues so you aren't as frustrated all the time.  The only recent trick that isn't so cute is that you seem to think that Daddy isn't so fun to hang out with.  You can be totally happy, I hand you to him and you cry until you come back to me.  Not so nice, little Pea-your daddy loves you just as much as I do; please don't make him sad.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

8 weeks old!

Dear Pea,
You are 8 weeks old now! You smile and chatter and hold eye contact.  You notice that special hand made mobile now and stare at your reflection in the mirror. Not for very long, but long enough that I know what you're looking at. You are growing out of your pants and PJ one-peices, but still fit perfectly into your newborn onesies and shirts.  I discovered why yesterday: you are tall!

Yesterday we had your two month pediatrician visit.  You were weighed and measured and we discovered that you are in the 45% for weight and the 67% for height!  Long, lean and leggy!  You did not get this body from either of your parents, believe me.  I have no idea if this means anything for your future body except that you are within the healthy ranges, but it was funny for your parents.  And don't worry, you're not too lean.  You are filling out and looking like a real baby now, with rolly-polly thighs and a delicious buddha belly.

Your two month check up also has vaccinations scheduled.  This was the hardest decision we've had to make for you so far (though Daddy may argue that the home birth was a scary and weighty decision, I knew that's what would be safest for you).  I spent weeks reading and asking all the other mamas I know, nights crying and not sleeping worrying about it and still hadn't made my mind up 100% when I took you to the doctor.  Daddy kept offering to come with me, mostly to help comfort you from the shot, but also to prevent me from chickening out. But I asked your doctor all my questions and she answered honestly.  And she didn't push anything, which made me feel more comfortable.  You will grow to learn this about me, but when someone tells me I should or have to do something, I tend to do the opposite. Anyway, I was very nervous about your shot and couldn't watch her stick your leg. I held you tight, she swabbed your thigh with alcohol, I dug my face into your neck, bracing both of us, she stuck the needle and injected the vaccine and...that was it. You cooed at her as though nothing had happened.  We came home and you nursed and fell asleep for an hour or so. When you woke up, you were clearly uncomfortable; you basically screamed for three hours.I joined you for the first hour, our tears combined to soak through my shirt.  Daddy and I took turns holding you, rocking you and trying to decide if we should give you Tylenol (another big decision). After the three hours of screaming, you were clearly tied, but still feeling bad.  Daddy and I sang you all the songs from our wedding playlist (with some creative lyrics and, as you will soon learn, creative notes) until you fell asleep. No Tylenol necessary. Whew.

And today you are your charming old self. You woke up smiling, your injection site isn't red, your appetite is hearty.  We have so far survived the first of many Choices With Consequences that we as parents have to make.  It's heavy, this responsibility.  Often there aren't clear cut "right" answers and I know there will be many times we make the wrong choice.  But please know we don't take anything for you lightly and we will make every decision with love.