Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another birthday: TWO

My darling,


It seems like mere hours since we brought you home from the hospital, and not two years. I am aghast at how fast the days are going by, and I now have an appreciation for the cliché advice to enjoy every moment as they really do blaze on by. The other night, while you laid in my arms, I thought how there is a fragment of my heart that hurts thinking that the toddler in my arms – long legs spilling over, parroting every word I say, dark, long eyelashes framing the loveliest brown eyes I’ve ever gazed into – is not the squalling helpless infant I brought home, but overall I feel like turning two is the start of something beautiful.

The last six months has been full of wonderful changes for our little family: you lived with your maternal grandparents for a month, we’ve moved across the state and we welcomed your baby sister to our family. I’m pointing this out because all of these changes taught me something about you: you take life in stride. For weeks your world was thrown into a tailspin – your routine completely changed, your surroundings different, and your parents focus was split. Your life was thrown for a loop, and through it all continued to be the sweetest, loving and oh so very polite toddler. Suddenly, you seemed to me to be an example of the person I would like to be: flexible, gracious, and wildly happy.

In addition to the chaos of our lives, these last few months have been a time of incredible growth for you – both physically and developmentally. Not only have you put on nearly five pounds finally reaching a solid 25 pounds and 33 inches, but you now make jokes! You can count to eleven! You sing your ABC’s and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You can string words together to communicate a point! You tell stories! You still don’t know your colors (save pink and yellow), but  honey, we are working hard on that.

I know I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but watching you grow and learn is such an awesome gift. Every day you make new connections that astound your father and me, and every day we are struck by just how thankful we are to have you in our lives. We love our dinner time conversations, in which you consistently amaze us with something new you learned that day. You, sweet pea, make us incredibly happy, and I hope you always remember that.

There is a lot of talk that parenting is the most difficult job in the world, and I’m slowly realizing this is true. It’s not because it’s hard to keep you fed, clean and safe, nor is it the sleep deprivation, but because if your father and I do it right, one day we have to let you go. You will no longer be the toddler who cries out for mommy when you scrape your knee, or wants her to sing a million renditions of a Bicycle Built for Two.

So, right now I plan to cherish every single second with you; even when you request another round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat at four in the morning.

I love to you more than the moon, the sun, and all the water in the ocean,


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

As I spend my days immersed in the trenches of mothering, I remember worrying about how I was going to possibly divide my heart and time among two little persons. I worried that motherhood might not suit me after all, that maybe these last two years were just a fluke.  And then, we had yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days. You know, the days at which you feel powerless to stop. A day you wished you could just crawl into bed and pretend it never happened.

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A day full of tantrums, complete with tears, kicking and screaming. A day where I slapped the dog out of anger at her incessant barking. A day of non-stop nursing, every 60-90 minutes around the clock. A day of missed naptimes. A day of newborn crying, even though she was clean, dry and fed. A day in which a toddler intentionally dumped out her smoothie.

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In the late afternoon, I set everyone in their respective cribs. Under the mobile for Lily, a few books for Daisy, and told them both I needed a time-out. A few minutes of silence, some quiet. I went into the backyard and cried. I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I felt like an awful parent, and wondered what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it. I thought, maybe I wasn’t cut out for this. Photo1 (7)

In theory, I know that every parent has those days. I know this, children have bad days, and parents have moments in which they look at their kids and think “you’re driving me crazy",” but somehow, with my two girls, it just doesn’t feel okay. In the end, I called J and we met at Target, mainly so I could buy a broom and some chocolate. (I thought a change of scenery would help, it didn’t, Lily still screamed).

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All night, I thought about today. How today would be a new day. We can start completely over, like yesterday was only a bad dream. I will never know how I could have fixed yesterday, or what the right solution was, but at least I now have chocolate. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My little Valentine

Dear Lily,

Yesterday, you turned two weeks old. TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I wonder how was it ever possible that you were not part of our lives until two weeks ago?

photo (11)It amazes me how much you have grown and changed in just 15 days. You went from being a tiny, squished, ruby-colored squalling newborn, to well, okay, you’re still tiny and squished, but now a little more pink, and a little bit larger and a lot louder. We went to your two week check-up last Friday, hoping that you are back to your birth weight, but you surprised the pediatrician by exceeding it by 8 ounces, and growing nearly an inch in length – 8 pounds 15 ounces and 21.75 inches. Clearly, you are thriving on Momma’s milk.

photo My view during our afternoon nursing sessions. Big sister reads or listens to fairytales in French on the iPad and I just watch you.

Every day I think about how much there is to do around the house. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning. But, all I seem to really be able to accomplish is snuggling you, and playing with your big sister. After two weeks, we have finally started settling down into a bit of a routine. Our mornings consist of long leisurely walks, playing at the park, or library storytime. Just like your big sister, you need to go outside everyday. You sleep better, and have a happier disposition if you spend an hour or two in fresh air. Our afternoons consist of washing and folding pint-sized laundry and cloth diapers, cluster feeding, reading, and art projects for big sister.

Photo1 Your sister adores you beyond words. I am looking forward to watching your relationship develop.

While I am looking forward to regaining my 8 hours of consistent sleep, I have to admit that I secretly love the 3am nighttime feeding session. The house quiet. Your room is faintly lit by the florescent light of the bathroom, and for twenty minutes I get to focus only on you. I sit and watch you nurse and memorize every precious ounce of you because I know that you’ll never be this size again. 

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Lily, you are winning us all over a little more everyday. You are so unbelievably adored; I hope you always remember this.


We love you to the moon and back,

Momma (and Daddy & Daisy!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Crazy Love

“Yes, I need her in the daytime; Yes I need her in the night; Yes I want to throw my arms around her; Kiss her hug her kiss her hug her tight”


On her one week birthday

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had our newest member of our growing family for one week. It’s hard to remember what life was like before she arrived and stole everyone’s hearts.


Pretty much the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen

It is hard to remember what it’s like to sleep through the night. It’s hard to remember when my days were filled with grading papers, editing essays, and commuting. Now my days are filled with poopy diapers, newborn snuggles, library story time, alphabet puzzles, and  hour long nursing sessions.


Sisterly Love

Basically, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.