Friday, July 29, 2011

3 months

Dear Daughter,
You are actually 3 months and 3 days old, as I type this. With Andrew, I typically had monthly update posts written in draft a day or two ahead of time, ready to click publish. And then off I went, with smug satisfaction, to eat a hot breakfast while I made mealplans for the week, right before I, ya know, exercised or something. Times have changed!
So, here are a few things about being 3 months old:
It's really a cute cute age. I know, how can I say one age is cuter than another? They are ALL so cute. But, I think 3 months really marks the end of the newborn-stage. I know, sad that that stage is over and all.. but now you smile and laugh a bit and are just generally more aware that you are ALIVE. You look at things and follow everything with your eyes and really just take it all in.
Your new way of laughing is just beyond cute. You open your mouth and make this 'huh huh huh' sound.. and sometimes we get a BIG hiccup of laughter. The louder we get, doing whatever we're doing to make you laugh, the louder you get. These magical moments end the same way 99% of the time. The volume level of the fun we're having intrigues your brother to come and say something like 'mommy? mommy?? mooommmmy?!?! guess what?? MOMMY??!'... wherein I am forced to break the moment with you to attend to the obviously critically important thing he has to tell me. 'Yes Andrew?'.. 'MOMMY! I found.. A HAIR!' Moment over.
Bathtime is still just the best time of day. Even if you are fussing prior to bathtime (which is more rare these days, thank goodness), you immediately become the smiliest most zen baby ever, in the tub. And the way you lock eyes with me the entire time? Heart MELTING. You look at me seriously the ENTIRE time, and I love love love it. And if I sing (bathroom acoustics make me sound so much less horrid), you smile so big. A wet smiley baby is just the best kind of baby, if you ask me. Other than a baby that's been sleeping 10 hours.. but that's asking for quite a bit.
You are so very responsive to us talking to you. You make this one sound quite a bit - a /K/ sound, but more.. raspy. You need more saliva in your throat to make it the right way.. I know this because I've told others to do the /K/ sound, and they do, but not quite right, and you don't respond to it the same way. I'm your mother, so I insitinctively know how to do this special raspy sound you love. It's what mothers do.
You smile so very big whenever we initiate conversation with you. And just today you did the BIGGEST belly laughs I've ever seen - I was holding both your hands and shaking them pretty wildly. So of course I go for the camera. Try to recreate the scene.. and.. nothing. I think it's a lesson I should learn better, to just live in the damn moment and forget about the camera sometimes.
You are also losing copious amounts of hair, which is par for the course for a 3 month old. I am also losing copious amounts of hair. So it's nice that we can share this little indignity together. I know yours will grow back beautifully, and as for me, I know I'll have some weird/cute little baby-hairs for a while.
You are slowly but surely starting to grab things.. although right now it's still a very spastic sort of raking motion to your mouth. I'll dangle a toy in front of you and you'll spazz for a moment, then slow your arms down to rake it towards your face.. maybe 50% of the time it makes it all the way. I know in a matter of just weeks you'll have this move down and be shoveling everything in your wake into your little mouth.
You nap about 3 or 4 times a day. Each nap is anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. We haven't really gotten longer than that lately. You stay awake for roughly 1.5 hours between naps, but sometimes it's shorter than that. I can tell pretty well when you're going glassy-eyed and need to go back down again. Still swaddled. No regretting that! At night, you'll typically go between 4 and 6 hours for the first sleep stretch, then up to eat, then another 3-4 hour stretch. Then after that last stretch, you get to sleep in the bouncer in our room.. it's just our way of being super lazy at the end of the night and ensuring you sleep past 6am. Bouncer trumps crib every time. Some nights are good, others not so good...  last night being the latter, due to my poor decision to drink large amounts of Diet Dr Pepper late in the day (I thought it was caffeine free! I swears!)
You have lately gotten a little bit picky about your source of food. You've forgone the bottle, screaming bloody murder at even the scent of a fake nipple HOW DARE US???! And even with food from the source, you sometimes reject it, only wanting to be fed by me in bed, laying down side by side. Which of course, is just awesome and very relaxing, but not so conducive to life with a 3 year old, who has been 'plugged in' far more often than not because of recent life changes. It'll change in a matter of days though, I am sure.

See? That's the cool thing about 2nd children. Perspective. I admit, I do still get a tiny bit dramatic when we hit a difficult stage.. thinking it will surely last FOR-EVER, but I do have a small amount more perspective with you than I did with your brother. I know how the bad are all just stages.. which means the good are, too - so be grateful for ALL the good. All ebb and flow and whatnot, and you pull the rug out from under us all the time. We have to be on our toes, and it's wonderful. Your sweet little laugh makes any difficult stage so very bearable. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here's a little juxtaposition (how often does one get to use that word?!) of my children. One is happy. Needing very little more than the dusty rotating blades of a ceiling fan to coax a gummy delicious smile from. Simply happy to be alive. And absolutely edible when in just a diaper. The other? Mad. Opinionated. Misunderstood (or so he'd claim). Very much the definition of ALL those 'been there done that' parents who have scared other younger mothers about '3 being the new 2'. THEY WERE RIGHT. Those two's were not so terrible, no, not at all. They were downright terrific. The 3's truly are a force to be reckoned with. Thankfully, he isn't the only child anymore, and I don't have the time to cater to his tantrums that happen when the wind changes. He gets the time-out chair. Or sent to his room. And 9 times out of 10, when told he has to leave my presence, he pastes on a fake smile and says 'I'm ready to act right now'. Ok, great. He can stay. Until 4.5 minutes later when the cycle repeats. Some days are veeeery very long. Some days are great though, and the tantrums are very minimal. He truly is a sweet child at heart, and I think a lot of the frustration comes from simply plain ol' boundary testing. He wants to see exactly how far he can push us (me) now, knowing our attention is split with a new little person in the house. And now that he can simply talk to us like a regular little person, with very little lost in translation, well.. he has opinions. On just about everything. But doesn't everyone? He's not a two-year old anymore, he's a little adult. A miniature grown-up with no concept of volume control and a propensity to tell strangers how big his last poop was. Oh, and also to tell strangers that he's sick, following a forced cough, successfully making me look like Mother Of The Year, for taking her sad, sick (but SO NOT) little toddler out into the world. Or, The Gap.
We like to say that our children are on opposing good/bad behavior years. For Andrew, birth to 1 year was good. (yes, exhausting and challenging, but cute babies really can do no wrong) 1 year to 2 years was a little iffy... particularly the last half of the year. LOTS of meltdowns and whatnot. Year 2 to 3 was AWESOME. Just cute and aiming to please and a sweet willing sponge ready to learn and give us kisses and hugs and high-fives. You see the pattern here? Alternating years. I am already betting my chips that Year 3 to 4 is going to challenge us. For HIM. But for her? We are going to totally rock the Year 0 to 1, because cute babies DO NO WRONG! So, we are just grateful that they are on an alternating schedule..  I am not sure we'd fare so well if they were both in the middle of 'off years'.

Sigh, it's not all public embarrassments and manipulative behaviors around here. There's baby back rolls. Lots of them. So, life isn't all that bad. We like to keep her in just a diaper (ok, I do. It's just me with the fat-roll obsession) as much as possible in the evenings, and I just.. gosh.. I want to EAT THEM. The thigh rolls are pretty juicy, too. She has one very noticeable extra roll on her left arm and left thigh.. not really sure what that is about. Perhaps my milk is settling more on her left side? She's got the trademark 2-4 month old bald-patch look going on, and I'm really shocked that I haven't followed suit yet. I remember beginning to lose my hair at the same exact time that Andrew lost his. I am sure I'm not far behind. Super sexy receding hairline, here I come!