Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Dear Pea,
 Almost 5 months old now, you are big into whatever we are into.  Every time I drink something while holding you, you want the cup in your mouth, too.  You don't seem to want to actually drink what I'm drinking, but you thoroughly enjoy gumming the glass rim. You grab at whatever we're holding and bring it to your mouth.  Most mornings I begin my day with an apple and you are equally happy with apple to gnaw on as you are the towel the apple is wrapped in.  Not quite ready to eat just yet. But you have chewed on carrots, sugar snap peas (your namesake!) and apple. 

You have also started reaching your arms up when you want to be picked up.  Or in anticipation of being picked up.  Or if Daddy comes home and I'm holding you, you'll reach for him.

This morning you let me do our entire yoga class while happily playing with a plastic ring of multicolored disks.  The ring fit over your hand so sometimes you wore it like a bracelet, sometimes you had it loose and chewed on it and sometimes you dropped it and picked it back up again. Dexterity is developing-Dr. T told us we'd see some hand to hand transferring soon and here we go!

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to visit your Grammy, Grandpa and GG.  You had a lovely time with Grammy and GG, playing with toys and a sippy cup.  But every time you looked at your grandpa, you started to cry.  We're all hoping this is a short lived phobia and you can go back to being friends soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Dear Pea,
You are four and a half months old.  I can't believe that you would be teething yet since both your parents were very late with their teeth, but it appears that you may indeed be starting the process.  You have a constant stream of drool coming out of your perfect lips, you want everything in your mouth and you love when I rub my fingers against your gums.  You have also developed a dog-like routine when you really want something in your mouth and your fingers aren't cutting it: you open wide, shake your head like a dog shaking a toy it has "hunted" and sic yourself onto the nearest target.  Most often my chin.  And though you don't have any pearly whites just yet, man, you have a strong jaw.  I expected my hair to get pulled (oh, boy, does it), my clothes to get nibbled on (check!) and any dangling jewelry to be claimed by your fists (and that's why I don't wear anything except my wedding ring and occasionally a watch anymore), but my chin to be clamped down on, bitten and sucked? That's been a surprise.

Every day you are a little bigger, a little stronger and a little more aware of your surroundings.  Every morning we all wake up about the same time and sing the good morning song before we get out of bed.  You wake up happy, stretching and wide eyed and start smiling as soon as we start singing.  You play with your feet, you enjoy toys, you chew on your books.  You are almost ready to sit up-you sit on the couch or armchair propped up in the corner, but lean forward to support yourself on your arms.  Your arms get tired and you fall over, still in the sitting position.  You never really seem to mind, though we rescue you very quickly.  You roll over to your back from tummy time and never seem fazed that the world has shifted.  Truly, most of the time you are mellow, content to observe.  You sit in your swing, awake, when I take a shower and happily play with your hands and feet.  By the time I'm ready to get out, you are, too, but it's a good 15 minutes that you're content.  You still love your handmade mobile and have pulled off one of the hearts because you were trying to eat it.  We moved it a little higher.

Anyway, here's you.  Grabbing your feet, eating your hand, happily on your changing table.  You still think that getting dressed and undressed is the most fun thing ever

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Baby

Sweet Pea doing her version of Happy Baby pose. While also trying to grab her mobile

Mothers Day

Dear Pea,
Yesterday was Mothers Day.  I had been emotionally preparing and boning up for it for weeks.  Mothers Day is always about our mothers.  Maybe someday, far in the future, I will see it as a day for me, as your mother, but for now it is still about mine. 

Last Mothers Day I traveled to Seattle with an exciting secret.  I arrived at my mom's room a few days before the Sunday, trying to decide if I should wait with my news, to really punch up the Mothers Day festivities.  Of course, I could not contain it for a minute more than necessary.  I practically ran down the hallway, shedding luggage as soon as I opened her door, calling your Daddy to put him on speaker phone.  I gave my mom a huge hug and kiss, greeted my dad and Uncle Rossy and then practically shouted "I'm pregnant!" My mom immediately burst into tears.  "Really? Really!" she was shaking. And the next morning, when I woke up on the floor next to her bed, she asked again. "I wasn't just dreaming, was I? You really are pregnant?" I was. You were coming, we just had to be patient.

My mom's illness beat her despite her patience and instead of her hugs and kisses, you got her name.

Yesterday was bittersweet, as is every day with you here that I can't share with her.  So, I played our game again. "If my mom was alive, I would tell her how ridiculously your daddy spoiled me today. It was like my birthday, with cake, long walks, books, laughter.  I would tell her how you refused to sleep in your stroller on our walk to Manhattan, insisting instead on being worn. How you flirted with an adorable gay couple on the train, how you flirted with the hipster staff at the vegan bakery, how you flirted with yourself in the mirror.  How Daddy and I got sunburned and how one of my proudest achievements in parenting thus far is you not getting sunburned when we did. But she's not alive, so I can add how much I miss her, how much I miss the joy she would have gotten from knowing you."

Sweet Pea, you are a phenomenal listener.  You look at us as we speak and punctuate our conversations with insights of your own, though we can't quite decipher their meaning just yet.  Thank you for listening to me, for allowing me to play that game, for letting me think out loud. For smiling at me when I talk to you, when I look at you, when you wake up and see my face.  For wanting to be worn, for letting me hold you close. For lending your sweetness to this Mothers Day so that it was not completely bitter.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Four month stats

Dear Pea,
We went to see Dr. T for your four month check up yesterday. It was the first time going that you didn't cry at all. Not only that, you had big smiles for everyone. 

Weighing in at 14lbs, 5oz, you have moved from the 43rd percentile to the 62nd.  At 26 inches tall, you have moved from the 87th percentile to the 95th.  Basically, you are a tank.  Everything is developmentally on target or ahead of schedule-Dr. T told me to watch for you to start rolling and finding your feet in the next month or two, which you are already doing like a pro.  In the past week, Daddy and I have noticed you tugging on your right ear, which I asked the doctor about.  She looked in and confirmed my suspicion that you didn't have any inflammation (you haven't been in pain) and told me that it's often a comfort measure for babies.  So there you have it, Sweet Pea. You don't suck your thumb, you won't take a pacifier; when you want to comfort yourself, you channel Carol Burnett.

This morning I went to teach my class and you hung out with Daddy very happily! You were all smiles when I came home, after mostly all smiles with him.  And even when you weren't smiling, you weren't screaming.  It makes us both very very happy that you are getting more and more comfortable spending just Daddy daughter time. 

And now a sweet memory I want to preserve: I was putting you into your clothes for the day and getting ready to put your shirt on, which is your favorite.  You had your right hand tugging your ear, your left hand almost entirely in your mouth and were laughing in anticipation of me putting your shirt on, which I couldn't do because your hands were not available to go into your sleeves. That made you laugh even harder. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beltane blessings

Dear Pea,
Last weekend you attended your first Goddess Circle.  We celebrate the 8 turning points in the wheel of the year-the two solstices, the two equinoxes and the powerful points in between. This past week was Beltane, May Day.  It's the time to celebrate the Goddess in her lover aspect and is about lushness, sensuality, love and beauty.  We sat around the altar with 12 other ladies, all at different stages of their life.  We had you and brand-new baby Olympia for our Maidens, a handful of Lovers, including a beautiful newlywed, a few of us young Mothers and two wise Crones/Queens.  It was a lovely circle and you LOVED it. You helped us call in the goddesses, you nursed very enthusiastically during the opening meditation and joined us in the closing mediation.  In between the meditations, we went around the circle and gave blessings of earth, air, fire and water to the woman next to us.  You were mesmerized.  You loved the mist of water on your face,  you followed the lit candle with your eyes, you basked in the tuning fork and you tried to eat the essential oil representing the earth.
You were born under the sign of Capricorn, your rising sign is Capricorn and your moon is in Taurus. You are all earth.  Which makes sense that you wanted to eat the essential oil that represents earth blessings. 

We ate strawberries (the first of the season!), chocolate cake and rubbed rose petals against our skin.  You passed on the snacks, but enjoyed the feeling of the flower against your cheek.  But as lush as a rose petal is, it's still no match for the softness and sweetness your face.

In this picture, you can see our altar, decorated with peonies and roses, candles and strawberries.  You are so happy to be eating your dress as I hold Olympia, relishing my first circle as a Mother.

Friday, May 4, 2012

4 months old!

Dear Pea,
I can't believe it, but you are four months old! You are so strong, kicking your legs out, standing every chance you get (which is when both hands are supported), moving your head from side to side to see what's going on.  Your mouth is a little drool machine, covering your chin with a nice sheen of saliva pretty much all the time.  You're not really interested in other babies, preferring your own reflection in the mirror and adults who can tell you how cute you are.  When we're with other mamas and babies, you seem not to even notice the other babes.  Or, you don't like them.

We've been doing some personal yoga training with another mama who's baby is two and a half months older than you and you do NOT like the other baby (who is so sweet and adorable and really wants to play with you!).  The first day you met her, you were on an activity mat and started to fuss.  Other baby crawled over to you before I could to try to comfort you, patting your face and trying to give you kisses. So so sweet, but you were not having it. Today, when other baby was playing, sometimes she would shriek.  You HATED that-every time she would scream, you would scream and cry. It got to be a little screaming loop-she'd scream for fun, you'd scream in protest and as soon as you settled down, she'd scream again.  Her poor mama was trying to do yoga...it was sort of hilarious.  So, we're still feeling out how much of a help you are to me when I'm working. 

But you do help me a lot with finding exercises to do.  Your favorite so far is when I do a wide leg plie while holding you.  As my knees bend, I bend forward and you come towards to floor.  You love it, giggling the whole time.  You also ride on my hips when I'm doing bridge pose or just hip presses, you ride on my shins in boat pose and you sit on my thigh in lunges.  I also tricep press you. You have a great time and I get a little workout in.  And a lot of slobber on my face when pressing you!

Tricep press

Hip press

You continue to be a good night sleeper, but the daytime naps are a bit of a challenge.  Basically, you only sleep on me.  And sometimes you have to be put in your sling or Moby to get there.  And the walking naps are getting shorter in length-sometimes you'll stay asleep for an hour or more, but usually thirty minutes.  And then you'll be tired and cranky.  So, we're working on other ways for you to sleep.  There's a baby sleep expert in our neighborhood who I may end up bartering with-I just want to make sure you're as happy and healthy as you can be.  So much of the way we parent is just trusting you to figure out what you need, but I've been watching you struggle with falling asleep during the day and know I need to help you more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Dear Pea,
Almost every night since your birth, we FaceTime with my dad in Seattle.  At first, many of those conversations were just us talking with the camera pointed at your sleeping face.  I think my dad sometimes tried to wake you up, but you usually slept right through. Lately, though, you're awake and interested.  So interested, in fact, that you try to get into the iPad to touch your grandpa.  It's so so so so cute.


Even closer
You are also becoming more interested in my face.  You have decided that, although a pacifier isn't nice to suck on, my chin is.  Sometimes you favor my nose, too.  This seems to be a game for you-you know you're not eating anything and you know you can't suck too hard or too long, but it's quite funny to leave your mama's face covered in slobber. Other things that are funny remain being tickled and having your clothes changed.  You enjoy having your belly touched, rubbed and tickled and will sometimes start laughing in anticipation as soon as your shirt comes off. 

You are a terrible flirt.  You smile at anyone who says you're pretty, which is pretty much everyone who meets you. You smile at your grammy as soon as you wake up after an hour of terrorizing her screaming while I'm teaching class, you smile at your daddy first thing in the morning and as soon as he gets home, you smile at me when you're going to try to suck my chin off, you smile at yourself and me in the mirror...we still get completely drunk off your smiles and love nothing more than to make you happy.