Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dear Henry - Month 2

Dear Henry,

Happy 2 month birthday!  Time is moving so quickly and you, kid, are growing so big and strong.  I know we talked about this and this was the deal we made – but I didn’t really expect it to happen so quickly.  It’s like overnight you outgrow an outfit, go up a diaper size, or learn a new skill.  It’s all very exciting – and a little bit sad.  You’re going to be all grown up before I know it!

I’m not going to lie.  The second month, for me, was much more challenging than the first.  In the first month I think I was gifted with all kinds of new mom adrenaline that made 3 hours of sleep per night a perfectly livable situation.  I sometimes slept when you slept, but more often I pumped, or picked up the kitchen, or did the laundry.  I felt like we were getting the swing of things.  During that time you settled into a somewhat reliable sleep schedule.  It wasn’t tons of sleep, but we pretty much knew what to expect.  Then you hit your 6 week growth spurt and completely decimated any semblance of structure we felt like we had gained.  You are a sneaky little turkey.  The good news is that at the end of that (endless) growth spurt, you did indeed start sleeping a smidge longer (at night).  You also started smiling and cooing.  It seems that there is always a trade-off in this parenting gig.  Unfortunately I haven't caught back up yet and all that new mom energy appears to have abandoned me.  At a time when I should be trying to train myself back into a normal work schedule, I just want to sleep when you sleep.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.

I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm probably still recovering from being sick last week.  You probably didn't even realize it because your daddy did such a good job of taking care of you, but I was pretty sick for a couple of days.  I had a bad fever on top of some stomach issues and the result was that once the fever broke, I was still pretty much out of commission for at least a day.  I could barely pick you up, I was so weak.  It was really scary and sad.  I missed you, and worried that I was never going to be able to properly care for you again.  Of course, once I got re-hydrated and recouperated for a little longer, everything fell back to normal (or mostly normal), but I think in some ways I'm still recovering.  It just means more naps with you for now!
Yes, you are starting to sleep more at night!  One night you even gave us about 6.5 hours – IN A ROW – at a time when we were also sleeping.  Your terroristic sleep habits however, have made us fearful of hoping that this means we’re turning a corner.  We had one (TWO - as of this publication!) really good night(s).  For now, that’s enough.
Perhaps because you are sleeping more at night, you are awake much more during the day.  I feel like you may also be starting to settle into your daytime sleep schedule too – although that’s still a little less defined at this point.  You’re usually up for 3-4 hours at a time midday and then another 3-4 hours in the evening before bedtime.  This is great because I think it means you may have your days and nights figured out, but it’s also extra challenging because you’re not really very interactive yet so it’s kind of hard to figure out what to do with you.  I sing you songs and read you books and ask you a million questions about yourself, but inevitably I find myself a contender for mommy of the year as we find ourselves with me zoned out staring at the TV and you zoned out staring at your one true love in the entire universe – the ceiling fan. 
Our very own Little Lord Fontleroy
We did set up your little floor gym, wherein we lay you on a little brightly colored mat underneath crossbars with all kinds of colorful, differently shaped toys hanging off of it, and you do seem to enjoy that.  Mostly I think you enjoy spitting up all over that brightly colored mat.  However, you also enjoy it when your dad makes your hands bat at the toys.  This toy and the ceiling fan are the only things you like.  I daresay that you are even starting to grow tired of your previously beloved swing.  This can’t mean good things ahead for us.
Things are swinging above my head!  Mind!  Blown!
Speaking of your dad – let’s talk a little bit about your relationship with him.  You see, you spend all day with me, at least for now.  I get up with you at 2, 3, or 4 a.m. and change your diaper, snuggle you close, feed you, and eventually sack back out with you on the couch.  I stay with you all day trying to keep you entertained (see above), fed, make sure your butt is clean at all times, and generally keep you out of harms way and moderately happy.  This earns me about an hour of smiles and coos a day, and usually a shirt full of spit up, and occasionally some pee in my hair.  By the time your dad comes home you are usually hollering at me about – who even knows what, the state of the world or the state of your diaper – and then your dad walks in the door and it’s like the sun rose just for him.  In fact, sometimes you will be in a dead sleep and hear the sound of your dad’s voice and your eyes will snap open and you’ll get all wiggily for him.  As soon as you’re in his arms you will calm down.  You will sit quietly with your dad for hours.  Maybe it’s just the different energy after being stuck with mine all day, but preliminary signs point pretty strongly towards you being a daddy’s boy.  The adoration is completely mutual.  Your dad is nuts about you.
In spite of how challenged I have felt this month, the rewards have been tremendous.  Like I said you are smiling socially now.  Sometimes you will respond to something that I say, and sometimes you will just burst into great beaming smiles at the most random objects.  Your favorites are the ceiling fan (of course), the picture frame hanging over your changing table, and the candle holder over our love seat.  You’ve also started to coo a bit.  Little gurgly noises that are so much different than the little chipmunk noises you’ve made since birth.  These are sweet, cheerful little noises that express delight and sometimes maybe just conversation.  There is nothing that makes me happier than hearing one of those cheerful little gurgles first thing in the morning.  I practically melt every time.
Your little body is filling out.  Your skinny little chicken legs have developed some impressive little Michelin Man rolls, your cheeks have taken on an identity of their own, and your tiny little fingers are ridiculously pudgy and unbearably cute.  Your eyes are still blue, although I think they might be getting a little darker lately.  They’re also large and very expressive.  You’re basically a Gerber baby and despite all that complaining I just did up there, you have a bubbly, sweet personality.  You love to snuggle, you love having us close to you, and when all of your basic needs have been satisfied, you’re pretty content to just lay on the couch next to Daisy (who sometimes gives us a long suffering look, and sometimes just gives your cheek a lick and then lays her head back down) and watch the ceiling fan. 

You look like a geriatric little man in the clothes we force you to wear to bed. 
It’s been a long month, but you covered a lot of ground and I feel like we’re already turning a few new corners.  I’m excited (and nervous) to see what month three brings.  There are some big scary changes ahead (I go back to work…ack), and probably some fun ones too as you continue to grow and change and amaze us in practically every way.  You keep us on our toes l’il man, but you also give us the most cherished rewards.  Every day is a gift - even if we don't always know exactly what to do with it.  You may be a little turkey sometimes, but you are our little turkey.  Don't forget that.  (Seriously.  It might come back to haunt you someday).
Love and kisses all over,