Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Addy - 3 Month

Dear Addy,

Well, second child syndrome has clearly set in.  I missed your two month letter.  I’m sorry.  The truth of the matter is that I’m not entirely sure there were a lot of memorable things that happened in your second month.  I think it was harder.  Way harder than the first month and by FAR harder than your third month.  It’s possible that I have blocked some things out.  So let’s just say that in your second month you were unbearably cute and you cried a lot.  Your mom handled it gracefully, never losing her cool and always maintaining a loving, gentle composure.  This is how we will choose to remember month two. 

So – happy three month birthday Addy Rose!  On this, the actual occasion of your three month birthday you have a terrible cold.  You are cranky and irritable when awake, but you’re sleeping a lot and eating and drinking and weathering the cold in much the same manner I would; grumbling and whining but persevering nonetheless.

You started daycare a little over a week ago and just like your brother, that has made a WORLD of difference.  Overnight you became a different baby.  While I was home with you you took approximately 75 naps a day, each one approximately 45 minute in duration.  Now you apparently take 2.5 naps a day and – most importantly – you sleep through the night.  YOU.  SLEEP.  THROUGH.  THE.  NIGHT.  I don’t even want to throw that out into the universe because I’m afraid to jinx it but your Aunt Mary has a lot of witchcraft up her sleeve and she, so far, has turned you into a happy, content baby who sleeps through the night.  Here’s the thing – you have a baby and you barely survive the sleepless nights and then somehow all of those memories are erased from your brain.  So you have a second baby and you vaguely remember that the first couple months are hard, but you can’t specifically remember how they turned you into a crazy zombie lady the first time around.  This is how mother nature has ensured survival of the species.  But I think there should be a celebration to mark the occasion when your baby starts sleeping through the night because it is at this point where I turn into a mom and not a crazy zombie lady who may or may not be fit to be responsible for your survival. 

Anyway, disregard all that.  Just remember that I was always gentle and composed and showered and cooked wholesome meals from scratch for my family.  The whole time. 

Early signs indicate that you are in love with your brother.  The feeling, so far, is mutual.  If we put you on the floor (which is your favorite place to be), he will inevitably roll one of his big trucks up next to you, show you a video he’s watching on my phone, or sometimes read you a book.  You gaze at him adoringly and wiggle your whole body.  I don’t know how long this mutual adoration will last.  Probably only until you are old enough to steal Henry’s toys.  I’m going to enjoy this for however long I get it though, because it is adorable.

Daisy also adores you.  I think she gives us a silent plea every night to please stop making more little people, but the little people who cannot jump on her or try to ride her are infinitely preferable to – well, you know.  She still loves your brother, but she’s very wary of him.  She’s protective of you.  When you cry, she runs over and sits on my foot.  When I give you your bottle right before bedtime, she sits in the dark room with us until I shoo her out.  We’re so lucky to have a dog that also acts as a nanny, even if occasionally she tries to sit on your head. 

Like your brother, we have a bunch of nicknames for you already.  You are most often Addy Rose, but I also call you Rosie a lot.  And Bubs which is a mutation of baby to bubby and then bubby to bubs.  I'm sure it won't end here.  It's a miracle your brother even knows what his real name is - and I'm sure your fate will be similar.  

You are my sweet, beautiful girl.  Now that I’m back at work, I know that time is going to fly by and you are going to get so big so fast.  I’m looking forward to learning your personality and watching you grow.  You are the final piece in our family puzzle and my heart overflows sometimes when I see how the whole thing has come together.  Five years ago, I never could have imagined we’d be in this place.  Our lives took a direction we never expected and it’s so much more than we ever wished for.  You are the answer to a prayer, a dream come true, and we will cherish you forever.

Love and kisses all over,


Dear Addy - 1 Month

Dear Addy,

I guess we should just address right off the bat that everything in your life will probably be late.  I am constantly running about 10 steps behind these days.  Is this second child syndrome?  Sure.  We’ll call it that.  But I am still doing it, which proves that it’s not a lack of love, it’s just a lack of organization,hours in the day, and ability to sit down and organize my thoughts in the 30 minutes of “free time” you give me every 6 hours or so. 

It is hard to believe that it has already been a month since you showed up and rocked our worlds.  You spent your first couple days creating lots of drama in the hospital.  We had issues with your bilirubin and despite our interventions, your numbers kept going up which meant our interventions kept going up.  You wound up spending 24 hours wrapped in a bili blanket and then 24 hours with a bili blanket/bili light combo.  My hormones were a little out of control at that point so I may have reacted a little dramatically when the doctors gave us this news.  There were lots of tears and my heart broke repeatedly for you, but you took it like a champ.  You kicked up your feet and lay under those lights like it’s what you were born to do.  And then, by that second day, your numbers went down and they let us go.  I was so proud of you.  You basically came into this world kicking butt. 
It’s a good thing too, because about two weeks later you came down with your first cold.  Your big brother is pretty much constantly sick and he had croup the weekend we brought you home so we figured your days were numbered.  We’re going on two weeks with this cold now and it has turned into a terrible cough that physically pains us to listen to.  The doctor says there’s nothing we can do though, keep you hydrated, shoot saline up your nostrils, steam up the bathroom and hang out in there singing Christmas carols.  Pray that God cuts you a break soon. 

Speaking of your big brother – he wasn’t so sure what to think of you at first.  We think he thought you belonged to your Aunt Sara.  The second time he came to visit us in the hospital, he came clomping in and his first words were “WHERE’S SARA?” as if he couldn’t understand why she wasn’t taking care of her baby and why I had to stay there to pick up her slack.  I think he’s figuring out that you’re not going anywhere now.  I think he actually loves you very much.  He calls you “my baby” and you’re the first thing he runs to when he comes home from daycare every day.  He likes to pet your head and “nuggle” you.  He also likes to poke your eyeballs and stick his fingers up your nose, but we try to limit his opportunities to engage in those activities.  You’re too young to really “get” him yet, but you know when he comes home.  The atmosphere in the house shifts and you get quieter, more alert, as you tune into his voice and the energy he brings with him.  This is going to be a fun relationship to watch form and grow.

You are a sweet baby.  I don’t know if you’re easier than your brother is (aside from the drama and the illness) or if we were still just in “baby” mode so you’re not as much of a shock to our system as he was at first, but I feel like I have more energy this time around.  I definitely have more patience and am enjoying this maternity leave more.  It’s still hard.  It’s still a 24 hour job and sometimes I still find myself hissing at you to please just give me five minutes to eat this sandwich – but I’m less afraid to put you down so I CAN eat that sandwich.  Also – coffee.  This time around I have embraced the need for coffee and it is doing wonders for my coping skills. 

You are snuggly and warm and like a narcotic to my soul.  I can hardly hold you without slipping into a dream/sleep state.  I will hold you up to my chest, gaze into your eyes and wake 3 hours later to find that we both apparently passed out without meaning to.  You may be starving and dirty, and I am definitely starving and dirty, but there we are, curled up together in a warm, snuggly embrace like it’s the only sustenance we ever needed.  Maybe it is.  It seems to be working for us.  You’re growing like a weed and I?  I am keeping my cool SO MUCH BETTER this time. J

Welcome to our crazy, loud, messy, loving lives Addy Rose.  I hope you will love it here.  We already love you so so much.  You filled a hole that we didn’t even know was there, and now our family is complete.  We can’t wait to learn and grow with you, to watch you become the amazing and wonderful person you’re destined to be.  We’re here to help and love and hold you up – and to never let you forget that.  Here’s to a great new adventure.

Love and kisses all over,


Dear Henry - 2 Years

Dear Henry,

You are two.

One day I woke up and my little boy was gone.  This giant kid was in his place.  Your gangly, awkward baby body was filled out by this solid, tall big boy body.  Like, overnight you learned out to speak in complete sentences and your vocabulary increased by like 125% and then came the moment that your dad and I were sitting on the couch and you said “Be right back, kay?” as you ran down the hall to your room and we just stared at each other with our mouths open because – how did you even know to say that?  How did you know what that means?  How did you use those words correctly?  How did you get so old, so soon?

Two is going to be interesting.  Right now you are the best and the worst of us.  Half the time my heart is so full of you it wants to scream out to the world that I have the kindest, sweetest, most brilliant boy on the planet.  The other half of the time you are pushing my buttons over and over and over again and then staring at me perplexed when my voice inevitably rises and I snap something at you that I immediately regret.  I assure you, my sweet boy, that “what I’m doing” doesn’t change that much in 30 second intervals so you can probably switch up to asking me every 5 minutes or so instead.  This may go a long way towards keeping my voice level.

Your personality is in full bloom.  You love (love LOVE) trucks, and tractors, and buses.  When we’re in the car, you point them out wherever you go.  You even point out “daddy’s truck” parked at an apartment on our way to daycare.  Luckily for everyone, it’s not really daddy’s truck, but is the same make and model – so you’re definitely paying attention.  Your imagination has taken off as well.  We have to give you nebulizer treatments from time to time and you HATE them.  So now, if you sit through one like a big boy, we give you an M&M as a reward.  The other day you were running around the house with your neb mask on and then a few minutes later you took it off and asked for an M&M.  We told you that you don’t get M&M’s for pretending to take your medicine, so you ran to the kitchen and got yourself a pretend M&M and pretend ate it. 

You keep us laughing.  You have a crazy sense of humor and an infectious laugh.  You love to dance and play with Daisy and – for the past month you have become increasingly more enamoured of your little sister.  At first you weren't so sure.  You thought she belonged to your aunt Sara and you couldn’t figure out why Sara wasn’t taking care of her baby.  You eventually realized that she’s here to stay and now you refer to her as “my baby” and she’s the first thing you run to when you come home at the end of the day.  You’re a little jealous of her, and if one of us is holing her, you usually want to get in on that action some how.  That’s usually when you want to “nuggle” or want us to play with you or something.  But you’re a pretty good sport and we try to let you get close and be part of our baby activities because it’s not meant to leave you out.  You are a part of everything we do.  And whatever we can do to make you not hate or resent your little sister, we’ll try to do that.  So far, so good – mostly.

I'm excited to see what two brings.  So far you are EVERYTHING that we expected two to be.  75% angel and 25% devil.  You're mischevious and sly but eager to please and playful.  You're a terrible mooch.  Your dad made the comment the other day that unattended food is safer with the dog than it is with you.  I sat down with a bowl of cereal the other day and your little eyes perked up and you shouted "I GET A FORK!" -- you then ran right into the kitchen, grabbed a fork, ran back and plunked it right into my cereal.  You learned a valuable lesson about eating cereal with a fork that day (it doesn't work) and I learned that as long as you are in the room, nothing is sacred.  (P.S.  You pronounce "fork" as "foyke" and it is the cutest thing ever).

I am trying to write monthly blogs for your sister - so maybe I will do better at keeping up with you in year two.  I'm sure there are things we will not want to forget.  You're turning into this amazing little person faster than we even recognize sometimes.  

We love you to pieces.

Love and kisses all over,