Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to You: 3 Months Old

Dear Anabella,

Holy crap. You are three months old today!

This has been the fastest month of my life, mostly because this month you really woke up and decided it was time to make me work a little harder for the pleasure of being your mom. You are sleeping wonderfully at night and I love you for it - I mean I really, really love you for it - but that means that during the day you need me to be all yours, all the time. You're not much of a napper, but would prefer to be awake most of the day and, ahem, constantly entertained.

These days even our daily walks, formerly a sure-fire way to get you to nap, are opportunities for you to absorb your surroundings. You like to lie in the stroller and stare at the sky and the trees and the shops as we walk. You keep yourself awake by kicking your little legs up in the air. To see them poking up and out of the bassinet is the cutest sight and we often get comments and snickers from passers-by.

This month your smiles have become wider, more frequent and very vocal. I could spend the rest of my life just sitting and watching you smile and hearing you giggle. You are happiest in the morning, or just after one of your infrequent naps. I look forward to you waking up so that we can hang out and have a laugh together, before hunger or boredom cause you to fuss.

You are becoming very attached to Mommy and although it seems a bit early for this, you are starting to fuss and play strange with others when they watch you or hold you. I hope that this will be a short-lived phase, because although I love that you and I have such a strong and unique bond, I so want you to be comfortable and happy with the other people in your life that love you.

You have gotten very strong this month! You can hold your head up and steady for a very long time and love to sit up and look around. You like to stand on my lap and try to jump by pushing your chubby legs against mine. Tummy time; however, is not your favourite. We try it every day and while you are starting to tolerate it more, you really are not that interested in the work involved in lifting yourself up. Your new playmat is helping because even you can't resist staring at yourself in the mirror. You are just that cute.

In short, you are sleeping more, pooping less, laughing more, crying less; you are sturdier, stronger and very smart. You are lovely and getting more so every day. Happy three month birthday Baby Girl.

Love Mommy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Can't Help Falling In Love With You

The nights were the hardest in the beginning. They were long and lonely, just me and you together while the rest of the world slept. Looking back now, just 12 weeks in, I realize that the combination of hormones, the overwhelming fatigue and this surging, almost painful love that I had for you was simply too much for my body and my brain to process so early into our life together. So I cried at nights with you in my arms. I cried and you cried. We were figuring it all out together and man-oh-man was it ever hard.

Recently, just in the last two weeks or so, nights have become much, much better. You are sleeping 6 or 7 hour stretches and it's just amazing to me that in such a short time you are already learning the cycles of day and night. There is nothing more satisfying for me than wrapping you tightly after your last feeding at night and settling you, sound asleep, into your little crib beside my bed. I like to sit and watch you for a few minutes. Your cheeks flushed from eating, your tiny chest as it rises and falls. You are never more beautiful than when you are asleep, so peaceful so serene.

It fills my heart with pleasure to see you sleep so soundly because I know that when you sleep like this it means that you are full, but not too full, with the nutrients that I can provide you with my body. I know that we have had a busy and active day, just the right amount of play and fresh air, enough to leave you sleepy but not so much that you are overstimulated and wound up. Your tiny sighs and moans are like a symphony and I wonder what goes on in your dreams. I hope that you are happily imagining the fun that we will have all over again tomorrow. When I go to sleep with you beside me in your crib, your breathing is the best lullaby. Better than the sound of the waves at the cottage or a distant thunderstorm.

These days, when your little tummy wakes you, it is early morning, usually around 5 or 6am. This was a time of day that I didn't even like to speak of before you arrived. But now I've grown to love it, to look forward to our early morning time together, you nestled warm and sleepy against my chest, me comfy in our chair dozing a little while I stare at your perfect little profile. When you are done eating and you sleep again, curled up on my shoulder your face nuzzling my neck, it's as if we are the only two people in the world. And these days sometimes I cry again, but it's so different now. These days I cry because I know that these beautiful moments together are fleeting and soon you will not need me in this way. I know that you will always need me in some way, that we will always need each other, but sometimes I want to freeze those perfect morning moments and stay there, cuddled and in sync forever.

When I settle you back into your crib after our early morning feeding, I'm already filled with anticipation for the next time you will wake up. These days every morning is like Christmas. You wake me with your coos and grunts and I can already tell that you are smiling. I lift you out of your crib and into bed with me, unwrapping you from your snug swaddle and excitedly wondering what gifts will be in store for us today. Your big stretch as I unswaddle you is better than anything that Santa could bring.

You are so happy in the mornings; well rested and full of energy for another day. Lying next to you and lazily playing together while we both slowly wake up is a luxury that will not last long. One day not too far away mornings will go back to being rushed and chaotic as we all try to get ready for work and daycare and weekend chores and events. But for now I feed on every moment, I absorb every smile and every yawn. I'm not taking a single second for granted.

The kind of love that I'm feeling for you, it's nothing like I thought that love could be. It's whole hearted, it's physical, at times it almost hurts because my heart is so full, so bursting, I fear that it might explode. Not unlike the way my belly felt when you were growing inside me, everyday I thought I could not stretch one more millimeter, yet everyday I did it. And now my heart continues to stretch and grow the same way. Everyday I think that it can not get any bigger, any fuller, and yet still it grows.

It's not long ago that I wrote a very different post about our nights together, and I still stick by every word I wrote then. Being your mother is not easy, it never will be, and they really do need to invent new words to adequately describe what parenthood is like. Our language is simply not enough. They do need another word for tired and sleep and hard. But my sweet baby girl, more than any of those words? They need to invent another word for love.

I "love" you.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, Monday

Honestly though, contrary to the actions of Miss CrankyPants here, we love Monday mornings around here these days. Who would have thought it possible?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

All Through the Night

OMG, that's right. She did it. She slept all the way though the night. Like sleeping. All night. Asleep. Without waking up. From 10pm until 6:15am with the sleep. Holy Mother of Miracles it might be the best thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life.

In fact, IN FACT, she didn't even REALLY wake me up at 6:15am. The dog woke me up looking for his breakfast. I stumbled up and was downstairs feeding him when it hit me... "Why am I SOAKED right now? Why do my boobs feel like half-eaten watermelons?"

As the realization sunk in that my breasts were totally engorged because nobody had eaten from them in a great number of hours (that's EIGHT HOURS to be exact), it wasn't quite a moment of celebration like, "hooray-the-baby-is-still-asleep-and-this-is-the-best-thing-to-happen-ever" kind of thing, it was actually more like, "holy-fuck-the-baby-has-clearly-died-in-her-bed-and-I'm-afraid-to-go-and-look," kind of a panicky thing.

I managed to get myself back upstairs and hovered over her crib for a few minutes noting that she really was incredibly still and probably dead. So I did what any mom who thinks her baby might have died would do, I poked her. Pretty hard and like ten times. She was fully alive. And, might I add, not so pleased about the poking.

Relieved, I picked up my beautiful bundle and raced to the nursery so that she could help me out with the leaky watermelons. After that we went back to my room and snuggled together in the big bed for another two hours. Heaven.

I'm not sure what I have done to deserve such a wonderful gift, and I'm sure that it was mostly fluke, but WHOA, my girl is SO in my good books today.

Also, she's totally effing cute. Check it:

Saturday, April 05, 2008

If You're Happy and You Know It

Sometimes? She's happy! And then so am I.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The First Time Ever I... Part 4

Okay, so somehow we have survived the first two months. OMG. OMG. How am I still alive. More importantly, how is she?

[As if on cue - child begins to cry very loudly forcing me to stop what I am writing for, oh, probably another two days or so. Super. Hold that thought.]

Back. Better make this quick.

Bella here's what's new:

1. Holding your head up and other feats of incredible strength. At some point this month you grew big enough that I can I pick you up with one arm and carry you on my hip, facing out and dangling around without the fear that you are going to break in half. I love that you are big and strong and sturdy. This month you broke 10lbs... in fact at our last weigh-in you were 11lbs, 11oz.

2. Speaking of growing... you have officially outgrown your pretty bassinet and are now sleeping in your very super cute mini-crib (thank you Auntie Scarb). As much as I love to see you grow, I already miss watching you sleep in your basket. Mostly because in it you looked like this:

3. Giggles. OK, Kiddo, it's the best thing you do, just slightly better than how you curl up into a ball and sleep soundly on my shoulder with your face nuzzled into my neck. Your smiles and coos and giggles are still hard to come by, but I work very hard at encouraging them every day because they make all the fussing and screaming worth while.

4. Grabbing things and holding on to them. These things include earrings, necklaces, bra straps, your little wooden rattle and your soother (which you like to pull out of your mouth just so Mom has to get up and put it back in... I'm so onto you Kid). By the way, did I mention that you are a genius?

5. Car rides longer than 20 minutes. We took our first family trip to the cottage this month, where you met your Grand-Nana for the first time and celebrated your first Easter. You got you first look at the beach that I hope you are going to grow up to love as passionately as I do. Now that you are awake and alert so much more during the day, I was nervous about the four hour drive - but you handled it like a champ, sleeping most of the way and only fussing near the very end both ways when your empty tummy finally got the better of you. Here we are with Nana, looking at a little something called "Nature":

6. Wearing your green hat. This might seem a little superficial in the scheme of things, but I bought this hat and sweater when you were still a fetus only to discover once you were born that it was so huge on you that you might never get to wear it. It is still pretty big, but I force it on you anyway. I love it so much that if you hadn't grown into it in time, I would totally have made you wear it in the summer. You are so freakin' lucky that your head got bigger.

7. Girls' day at the mall. Because you are a member of this family, you had your first trip to the mall at around two weeks old... we like to get our shop on. This week; however, you had your first all-girl shopping trip with Auntie Dings and Livvie. This is significant because I believe that it's going to be the first of many, many, many more days like it. You, by the way, were the only baby in the entire mall that wasn't asleep. Clearly you inherited the shopping gene. Oh crap.

Oh Bella, my heart is so torn as I document your firsts. I am so thrilled to experience each one with you, but so sad to see them pass by so quickly! I love you my baby.