I’ve spent 11 weeks with this tiny, little person who fills my days with absolute joy. Sometimes she’s fussy, and I don’t know what to do. Sometimes she’s fussy, and I know exactly what to do. Other times, she smiles right when she sees my face upon waking up, and I’ve never felt more loved. She wraps her tiny fingers around chunks of my hair when I nurse her or rock her to sleep on my shoulder, while standing, because she knows the difference if I’m sitting, and sitting doesn’t fly! I pull outfits for her saying, “I better put her in this one more time before it doesn’t fit!” only to find that it does, indeed, still fit. Our teensy girl! I call her ridiculous nicknames, like “muffin girl” or “tweeter” or “littlest” and she thinks it’s hilarious. I still check her all the time when she’s sleeping, you know, to make sure she’s still breathing. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever stop doing that, but every mom says I won’t. She had her shots a couple of weeks ago, which makes me nervous considering the controversy surrounding vaccines, but we’re doing what we feel is right. She had a rough patch because of them, and I was bawling right along with her, feeling like I killed part of her tiny spirit and realizing that I have a lifetime of motherly guilt and heartbreak ahead of me, knowing I can’t protect her from everything. She farts…a lot…and I call them “farty parties” and we laugh every time she rips one, then, simultaneously, make faces wondering how something so sweet and tiny can smell so bad. I’ve fed her in Walmart, Sam’s Club, restaurants and my usual spot while out and about, in the backseat of my car. And speaking of cars, it’s not her favorite thing, riding in them. But sometimes, as a new mom, you don’t get a chance to eat, so you have to let her cry it out for a minute while you inhale a Taco Bell burrito in the car because it’s the only thing you’ve eaten today. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth until hours later after my teeth feel like they’re wearing sweaters. Sometimes I don’t shower…sometimes I forget deodorant…my gray hairs are peeking out these days because every time I think to dye my hair, it’s time for her to eat again…but she doesn’t care. She’s always happy to see me. And her dad tells me I’m beautiful, so I try not to place so much importance on appearance these days. I wear jeans and t shirts most days, ones that allow easy access for nursing, which also means I’m usually stained, at some point, with breast milk because extra fabric is always in the way, because nursing tops are expensive and I’m still on unpaid maternity leave. I’ve been cooking dinners like homemade chicken and dumplings and meatloaf because they’re comforting and taste like “mom” made them. And then I think, “I’m the ‘mom’ now.” Which gives me an entirely new level of respect for my own mom. And some days, she starts crying in the grocery store, and everyone stares, and I feel like, “OMG they must think I’m the worst mom ever!” and dinner becomes frozen pierogies because the height of the crying happened to be in the frozen section. I’ve become that mom who posts a million pictures of her kid and probably drives most people crazy, but I don’t care because she’s my greatest creation, and I’ve never been more proud of anything. She loves the tv, which is probably something a lot of moms would like to reprimand me about, but sometimes you have to go pee and Bubble Guppies is your saving grace. Going to Target, just to browse, is my idea of excitement these days, because she’s my BFF and we go everywhere together. There was a lot of times, while pregnant, where I couldn’t wait to have a glass of Moscato, or an ice cold beer! But now that she’s here, and my fridge is full of “back up” milk, I have no desire. We’re trying to figure out daycare, with my leave coming to a close, and it gives me anxiety and a lot of sadness to think of being away from her. One of my favorite parts of the day, is when her dad comes home and is so happy to see her and she smiles her big smiles, because she’s so happy to see him. My heart has grown in major ways, and I didn’t know I could possess so much love. She’s made my life.
So yeah, I’m a few weeks behind on this, but it’s better late than never.
The day before Halloween, we went to the pumpkin patch to get our goodies for Halloween. Being Lark’s first Halloween, I wanted to make sure she had her very own pumpkin! Brennan picked hers out, a perfectly round little jack-o-lantern, just for her! She was obviously dressed in her Halloween best for the occasion! We painted her hand and put her handprints on the pumpkin, only to have the damn rain wash them off! My striped pumpkin was going to be cool, until the baby was hungry…you know that goes…but James and Brennan rocked theirs out.
Halloween felt last-minute this year, because it was. Brennan decided what he wanted to be just days before, and it was, of course, very involved and very specific…the usual. I had the task of finding various items for his costume THE DAY BEFORE! Including purple pinstripe pants…but I did succeed, thanks to scouring the racks at Goodwill over and over! (When in doubt, check the women’s pants for crazy colored pieces!) He was Rorschach from the the comic book “The Watchmen.” Between James and I, we got it done, and it turned out really well.
Lark was…surprise…a Lark! Or a bird, or an indian chief, as some interpreted it. I slacked on starting the costume, so I spent all Halloween day finishing it so she could wear it for a really long time…about an hour. That’s like 12 hours of work, for one hour of wear! But hey, it was so beyond worth it to see her little bod covered in fluffy feathers while we took her trick-or-treating at the mall. She came home with two dum dum suckers! Brennan scored a pretty big loot around our neighborhood. He came home soaked because it poured that day.
It was a great first Halloween for our little bird! Onto the next one…don’t worry, she has an outfit already made for Thanksgiving, no late night crafting for that one! Although, I do have plenty of feathers left over to make her a turkey!
Dearest little bean,
You are 2 months old already! As I sit here writing this letter, you’re napping peacefully in your crib. Mama is working from home today, and you’re hanging out while she does. Mama goes back to work in a few weeks, and she’s very sad about it. It’s giving me lots of anxiety when I think about a stranger being there when you wake up from naps. I wish there was a way for me to stay home with you, but right now, there’s not. I know you’ll adjust, but I’m not so sure about me.
Your 2 month checkup was this week. You weigh a whopping 8 pounds! And you grew 2 inches. You are now 21 inches long. You truly are, our little bean and still wearing (or finally fitting in) newborn-sized clothes and diapers. You are in the 5th percentile for height and weight and the 50th for head…it must be because you’re SO smart…at least, that’s what mama likes to think. Your nene and I joked that you’ll grow up to be like the horseless headsman on the Halloween commercial for a company I don’t remember.
You’re still breastfeeding, and it’s going so well! You’ll take a bottle, if need be, and we do give you formula sometimes, if you’re extra hungry!
You also had your first Halloween! I made you the sweetest bird costume. It was a lot of work, and you didn’t really wear it for very long, but it was worth every minute! We took you and your brother trick-or-treating at the mall, since it was raining. You slept through most of it. Typical. And your loot consisted of two dum-dums and a tootsie roll. Mama enjoyed them for you.
We picked pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, where your brother picked out your perfect little pumpkin. Dad and I painted your hand and put handprints on it. You were pissed, but it was adorable, until the rain washed them off, making mama super sad.
You’re so funny these days, smiling all the time and you’ve discovered your hands and feet, concentrating so hard sometimes to get them to do what you want them to do. You smack yourself in the face a lot, but you’re trying! You love to be sitting upright, so you can see what’s going on. Laying down for too long has you bored fast. You love music and when we sing songs to you. You’re favorite is still In the Morning, by Jack Johnson, which dad started singing to you a couple of days after you were born.
Between 6 and 8 weeks, You had a really fussy stage. You wanted to be held all the time, you knew when I’d leave the room, every time we laid you down sleeping, you woke up, you wanted to nurse ALL THE TIME…it was crazy, but we figured you were in some sort of growth spurt, and sure enough, one day, you were just back to normal…even upping your night time sleep to a 6-7 hour stretch, and still keeping your morning nap after nursing, which is usually around 2-3 hours. Sometimes mama nurses you in bed, lying down, and we take your morning nap together. Some of my favorite moments right now, next to you while you’re in dreamland.
We also celebrated your cousin Ayden’s 6th birthday. He was 6 on October 19, and you were 6 weeks that day. We kept teasing him all day that it was your birthday, and all the Spiderman-wrapped presents were yours. Luckily that little guy has a great sense of humor! We also got to see your brother be the school mascot for homecoming. We took you to the game, all bundled up, in your carrier for the first time. Dad wore you around very proudly. You slept the whole time, of course.
Mama always has lots of nicknames for you. The current ones are: Tweeter Muffin, Muffin Girl, Muffinest Girl, Littlest, Littlest Girl, Precious Girl, Hungry Hungry Hippo Girl (I can’t help it, she’s hungry!!), Cutest Girl, Teensy…with more to come, I’m sure.
We just spend our days together, playing, going to Target way too much, and just being together.
You are truly my greatest joy.
And since I didn’t put her one month pic up right away, I’m posting it here as well: