Saturday, January 18, 2014

41 Weeks 3 Days

I carried Evelyn in my womb for 41 weeks and 3 days. Today she is exactly 41 weeks and 3 days old. That means that our sweet Evelyn has now been with us outside of the womb as long as she grew in my womb. It's hard to believe.

It's amazing to think that she was once a single, tiny cell and in only 41 weeks and 3 days she grew into a 7 pound 14 ounce beautiful baby. It's amazing that in another 41 weeks and 3 days she has grown into a 19 pound 6 ounce active baby. It's amazing to think about how much she has grown, learned, and changed since the moment she was born.

I've thought about this time frame a lot in the past few weeks. One day, I was feeling a little flustered about the fact that Evelyn wasn't sleeping well. It hit me that she hadn't even reached this milestone of being outside the womb as long as she was inside the womb. Why then did I have such high expectations for her? I don't understand when "experts" expect babies to be sleeping through the night or putting themselves to sleep by a few months old. Why do we expect babies to start eating the same food adults when they're barely half a year old? Why do we get concerned when babies are so partial to their mothers and worry that they are going to be a "Mama's girl" or "Mama's boy?" Let them be little.

My baby girl only knew what my heartbeat sounded like, she only knew the nutrition from my body, she only knew the scent of me for 41 weeks and 3 days. Now, outside of my womb, it's no mystery that she loves to sleep on my chest, nurse all day long, and will reach for me the moment I walk in the room.

I am not concerned that Evelyn doesn't sleep through the night. I'm not concerned that she cries when someone takes her from my arms. I'm not concerned that she would prefer to nurse over eating table food. I'm not concerned that her best sleep is when being held. She's still a new baby. She's still learning her environment. This time of nursing 3 or 4 times a night is such a tiny snippet of her life. I'm going to embrace it and cherish these moments. I'm going to let her be a baby.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

9 Months

Little Girl,

I've made a goal to only focus on the positives of you growing so quickly, instead of being sad that your baby days are passing swiftly. So, now that I've dried up my tears, I can excitedly say "you're nine months old!"

Undoubtedly, the biggest "first" of this month was your first Christmas. We decorated the Christmas trees and the house right after Thanksgiving. I wore you in the Ergo on my back while we did most of the decorating. It was fun to have you along for this time your Daddy and I have always enjoyed. I was a little concerned with how you would handle the Christmas trees. You were definitely interested in them, but not into them as much as I thought. We probably had to tell you "no" about 5 times a day. Otherwise, you did fine leaving them alone.

We took you to see Santa for the first time. The photographer was trying to distract you and keep you happy so you wouldn't get scared by Santa. Little did she know, you are a social butterfly. When Daddy set you down on Santa's lap, you just looked up at him, smiled, and tried to pull his beard. I was a little disappointed we didn't get the screaming baby picture, but that will probably come in the future. While we're not "doing" Santa (we're going the honest route and letting you know he's just a character like Mickey Mouse), it was fun to have your picture with him and have that memory. We also went to Christmas Lane during the holiday season. You were interested in all the lights and the people. I'm excited to take you next year and in the future when you can ride the train and be more excited about all the decorations.

We spent the week of Christmas in Illinois with Mum, Pop, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Jenn, Cousin Everett, Uncle Isaac, Aunt Heather, Cousin Lily, Aunt Tasha, Uncle Brad, and Grandpa and Grandma Corn. You definitely racked up the gifts! You were a little interested in tearing the wrapping paper, but had little interest in any of the toys. That is until we got to the last gift....Mum and Pop got you a pair of maracas. You immediately got excited, grabbed those things, and started shaking. They were a big hit!

Playing with your cousins was a lot of fun! Everett loved to pat you on the head and try to hug you. You started giving more kisses during the week we were in Illinois. You were constantly trying to kiss Everett or Lily. It was neat to watch the three of you play with the riding toys together or play with Lily's tent she got for Christmas. Lily was especially concerned about you any time we sat down to eat. If you weren't in your high chair when she was, she would point to you and say "high chair" and point to your chair. It was sweet. Lily couldn't quite say your name, but I thought it was sweet that she kept calling you "Lydia." Everyone says your are my mini-me anyway!

Lily, Everett, and Evelyn in matching Christmas pajamas from Great Grandma Corn

You did really well on the flight up and back from Illinois. I was a little nervous about it, considering you are SO active! Our flight up there was early in the morning, and I figured you would take a nap for most of the flight. Well, you did fall asleep right when we were supposed to take off, but we ended up being delayed an hour. Thankfully, you didn't do too bad on the plane. We kept you busy with carrot sticks to gnaw on, tons of toys, drinking water from your sippy cup, and standing up and playing with the seat. You also enjoyed playing and being silly with the man across the aisle from us. I was thankful for him! You did sleep the last 30 minutes of the flight. The trip home was about the same.

In other news, you are now pulling up on everything! Once you pull up on something, you will let go and work on your balance. You can keep your balance for about 15-20 seconds. You have also attempted standing on your own, but can't get much farther than up on one foot and one knee. In addition to pulling up, you are a climber! As soon as you pull up to something, you hike your knee up in attempt to climb. So far you have only been able to climb on the ledge to the bathtub and your stool from Mum. Aunt Whitney bought you a little push toy for Christmas and you can walk behind it. Most of the time, it's just you being pulled along because it's moving. Thankfully you don't show a ton of interest in it yet. It was fun to watch you walk with it, but I'm not ready for you to figure out the walking thing!

You are growing in all sorts of ways, my girl! You are getting very tall, but thinning up some. You wear 9 months and some 12 month clothes. The 9 months fit well, but pants and dresses are too short. Your hair has really grown this month, too! I don't know if it's actually getting more red, or just because it's getting longer and thicker, but so many people at church have just recently noticed that your hair is red. I hear it from at least one person every Sunday. It's getting long enough that you sometimes wake up with bed head. It's so cute! You have gotten two new teeth this month, with two more just breaking through the gums (they will make 6 total). You continue to do well with getting teeth, and only have had a few days where you're extra clingy and want to nurse a lot.

I could go on and on, but this has already gotten long enough. You continue to be a joy and light in our life. I am thankful for you each day and can't imagine life without you. Your Daddy and I love you to the moon and back!

  • You got to meet my best friend from school, Brittney, and her daughter, Kennady, while we were in Illinois.

  • Other things I want to remember this month:
    • Seems to recognize signs for "more," "all done," and "milk." You will sign "more" about 75% of the time when prompted. You just started signing "milk" on occasion.
    • You LOVE playing peek-a-boo
    • You have started tilting your head sideways and shrugging your shoulders. Sometimes you will tilt it from side to side quickly and it looks a lot like Wesley turning his head.
    • You and Wesley have a love/hate relationship. You love to chase him and try to play with him, but he's not so excited by you.
    • We've had two incidents of you putting things in your mouth and me having to dig them out - a rock and a piece of fabric ribbon.
    • You LOVE playing with yourself in the mirror. It's fun to watch you as you're amazed by seeing your hands move or smiling at yourself in the mirror.
    • You are down to 2 naps a day, with an occasional third nap.