Dear Elle: You’re Three Months Old

Dear Elle –

Well, today is your three month birthday.

Again, I did NOT bake you a cake. You seem pretty ok with that.

It’s so hard to believe that you’re three months old already, but you’ve changed so much in those three little months. I have to say, I’m just more and more excited to watch the girl you’re going to become, because already discovering you and your personality has been just so darn cool.

You started ‘school’ (aka, day care) this week. And YOU LOVE IT! It’s amazing, because it seems that there is a huge difference in what you know and how you interact with people in just this last week. Whether that’s a developmental coincidence or due to ‘school’ I’m not sure. But I for one am chalking it up to ‘school’.

While I’m certainly biased, you are also the best dressed girl at school. You’ve got a closet full of clothes and I’m dressing you up in them — because why not?! And you and that face, and that freaking smile?! It’s just too much and you melt everyone’s heart.

You found your hands awhile ago, but you’ve just in the last few days started reaching for things and, when you get them, refusing to let go. As a matter of fact, I watched your Dad try to pry a ball (one of your favorite toys) from your hands yesterday and it took him a long time. I thought to myself “just pull it away from her” and then, this morning, taking your 3 Month photos, I realized as you clung to the backdrop that it wasn’t that simple anymore. You’re getting stronger, you’re growing up!!

You are still helpless against the gentle rocking vibration of the car and pass out cold every time we get into the car. I’ve been taking you with me on walks and/or jogs around the golf course in your stroller and it’s pretty sweet. You just fall asleep and take a nice 45 minute nap and I get a little fresh air and exercise. All around, a pretty good gig.

Your favorite toys are Sophie the Giraffe, this little stuffed mouse we found at Ikea and this ball from Target with holes in that cost $3.99.

You are a HUGE fan of the bath. You are kick-kick-kicking and splashing up a storm. You dislike getting out of the bath and getting dressed, however.

We have sort of fallen into a routine at our house which consists of:

Hanging out throughout the day and pretty much you eat every three hours (give or take), you pee your pants (a LOT) and you HATE having a wet diaper so that whole 8-10 diaper a day thing is more like 15 with you. Then, you take cat naps throughout the day with one 2-3 hour nap on either side of noon. You typically get about an hour or so nap around 5 and then we hang out until bath time begins at 8. Bath, Book, Bottle, Bed…and by 9, typically you’re asleep. You wake up around 2 or 3 in need of a fresh butt and a bottle, but then you’ll sleep til about 6 or 7. On the weekends, we’ve taken to letting you back in bed with us after you wake up in the middle of the night. I’m not sure if this is because we miss you, we’re lazy, or because we’ve generally had a few drinks and it’s easier than holding our own heads up!

It is so fun being your Mom. I know that you’re still a baby and everything, but I feel like in the last week or so you went from being a baby-baby to more of an infant-baby. I don’t know how to quite explain it, but maybe it’s just that your personality is shining through more and more. It’s so cool, discovering who you are and watching you discover your world. I’m so excited for all the cool things we’ll get to do together!

In the last month you enjoyed both Christmas and New Years and we managed to host TONS of friends at our house. It was a busy season. But I loved it and sharing it with you. I felt in a lot of ways like I sacrificed my time with you, but I am so glad that I have the memories built for myself and for others of these special days with you.

You and your Dad are buddies. It’s so funny to eavesdrop on your conversations (they’re pretty one-sided, but he’s alright carrying a conversation every once in awhile) because he’s so wrapped around your little fingers. I don’t think either of us would have it any other way.

You also have this hemangioma above your left eye. It was just a flat mark on your head when you where born that you didn’t even see…but pictures show that it was there then. But, it’s gotten bigger and bigger over the last three months and we’re going to a few specialist doctors to make sure that it’s not affecting your vision. It’s the mark that lets us know you’re you — but when it messes with your long-term vision, well…not ok. It doesn’t bother you at all, in any way, but I have to say that people asking about it and knowing that it’s right there, pushing your eye closed, it bothers me. And it’s my job – among others – to protect you and get you the absolute best care and best doctors. And I think we’re on our way to finding them to get past this silly hemangioma.

Regardless of that – or anything else – the last three months have been so incredible. I’ve met this new human – YOU – and have started to get to know you in all the best ways. I’ve changed hundreds of diapers, fed hundreds of bottles and changed your outfits lots and lots. I’ve watched your first smile and y our first laugh. I’ve watched you find favorite toys and even figure out how to play the piano…(ok, on the iPad, but still). You’ve met lots of friends and started school and you’ve just been so darn happy.

Even tonight, giving you a bath and while you and I talked (ok, I talked, you just cooed and babbled) my eyes just suddenly overflow. You fill me up, girly. You fill me up.

I love you, it’s that simple.

All my love,

 

Mom

Day 18…in the life of Elle

It’s been 18 days, can you believe it?

I know there is a lot to catch up on, for sure, but I think instead of feeling intimidated and overwhelmed in catching up, I’m just going to update you on where we are NOW.

Elle is 18 days old! Can you believe it?

I remember writing (or at the very least commenting to others) about blogs I read where the women just had babies and I was disappointed that it took them so long after having the baby to write again. Well, now I get it. If I had the time/energy/resources in the right place at the right time I’d have written a lot. In my head, I’ve been writing lots of blog posts. The problem with that is that I most certainly remember less now that I have at any time in my life, so…those blog posts are gone with the fleeting memory that created them.

Not that those of you reading at home will notice, but I was just gone on a 20 minute hiatus due to a second-in-as-many-days diaper blowout. Poop? Yes. And to think I was worried that she hadn’t pooped in her first few days at home!

I went for a nice, long 2 mile walk today with the sun shining and a cool breeze…we don’t have many days left like this in Michigan this year, so I’m taking them for all they are worth.

I don’t know where I stand in post-partum weight loss, because I haven’t necessarily stepped on a scale that I trust. My pre-preggo pants do not yet fit, but I have to say that I think I’m pretty close…I figure I’ve still been a little bit swollen, but in the whole scheme of things, I feel pretty good about how my body feels and looks right now, for 18 days out of delivering out sweet baby girl.

I have been thinking a lot of how to describe loving our baby…and for a few days it was all so surreal and unreal that I don’t think that I was doing a good job visualizing how I felt about her or how her arrival impacted my life. But, the other night it came to me…it’s like my whole heart and all the things I’ve loved and cared about are still in the same place and still occupy the same space in my life and consciousness…but she outlines all of it. Seriously, loving Elle is like having my heart outlined with thoughts of her, dreams for her, fears for her and a fierce sense of protecting her.

I also have these weird moments where I’m terrified about her safety – like what if this slippery, clean baby slips out of my cautious hands? So then I’m even MORE cautious so that I have a good hold, that I know that I have her. It’s like I have to take an extra beat in the things that I do to make sure that her safety is first. Like, coming to a four way stop. I feel like I took those a lot less seriously 19 days ago. I would always assume the other cars were stopping, too. But now, I wait. I have the time. I will wait to make sure that those other cars on the roadway stop at the stop sign. Even if she’s not in the car. Because I want to be there for her.

It’s amazing, really, to understand how quickly your world goes from revolving around yourself to revolving around someone else.

In this, Elle’s third week of life, she’s beginning to have better control of her arms and hands and fingers (Jon swears that she is intentionally clawing his face this week!). She is awake for longer stretches at a time (somehow, though, not at the moments when her grandparents stop over…she seems content to sleep through the visits of most people).

Jon got laid off from the power plant job the first week we were home, which has worked out well. He and I have had a chance to get to know Elle together, separately and to work at being parents together, too. And I feel like somehow, at least right now, we are really firing on all cylinders when it comes to being parents together. And I feel like our relationship is healthy, too. I think we’re both respecting each other’s need for sleep to the point that neither one of us feels too sleep-deprived.

All in all, we’re all happy and healthy at our house.

To end my ‘I-hope-I’m-back-in-the-swing-of-things-and-post-more-often’ first post, here’s some Halloween shots of Elle.

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