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Posts Tagged ‘mommyhood’

2015-01-18 21.42.47

Esther Andrews, almost 3

 

Esther,

I am sitting here on the eve of your 3rd birthday and I am overwhelmed in the best way. This time 3 years ago I was on bed rest anxiously awaiting your arrival. After months of barely breathing, or sneezing or lifting anything heavier than a toothbrush….afraid that trying too hard at anything would jeopardize your health, I could finally relax. Now there we were, finally in a safe zone and I allowed myself to actually feel excitement without added fear. We were ready…I was ready to meet you. I imagined what your face would look like. Would you have my eyes? Your father’s nose? What about my long fingers? I’d hoped for the latter because I wanted you to play piano someday 😉

When I first met you something changed in me. Immediately I loved you. I can’t adequately descried this experience, because it’s just something you have to go through yourself to really “get”. If you decide to birth your own children into the world, you will understand. Nothing prepared me for that moment. It was everything, I felt everything in a nanosecond- joy, pain, fear, excitement, anxiety, euphoria….the most important…LOVE. I’d read about it, heard GOD be described as it and now I had the honor of finally knowing, feeling it…meeting it. You are love. You are amazing and no matter what happens in this life, please always remember and return to that. Things with shake you, rock and try to destroy you…don’t be moved. Stand in your power. You are love- the most powerful force in the universe.

At 3, you are a threenager for sure. You challenge almost everything and most days it demands that your daddy and I become our best selves so we don’t throw ourselves out of a window. It is normal for you to test your limits at this age…but REALLY…does it need to be so much!!?? Then I remember. You’re our dragon baby so this is par for the course. I remember saying something to your pediatrician when you were a baby about your drastic swings. One minute you’re an angel the next…well…”challenging”. He gave me good perspective by saying it was a good thing. It was a good thing that you can cry your lungs out, that you can wake us up at night demanding our attention because he sees babies who can’t. Babies who are too sick to cry, too weak to be “challenging”. I try to remember those words even now. In the midst of those many tantrums I try to find an ounce of thankfulness. Do I always, no…but I try. That’s one of the many lesson you have taught me. Be thankful, even for the challenges. Sometimes I think you are teaching me way more than I am you.

 

This year Fiona joined our family. You adore her and the feeling is mutual. You are the only person who can get the good belly giggles out of her. I was worried about how you would be with her. You were used to having us all to yourself, but you’ve done a great job sharing and I’m proud of you. This is what I was hoping for- daughters who could also be friends. My hope is that you two will always be close. Allies. To be fair, I also worried about how I would accept another child. I could not imagine loving anything or anyone as much as you. I had heard from other moms of multiple children that your heart expands and you find a way. It was true. When I saw Fiona’s face, I fell again. I loved this little girl so much! Even though that is true, Esther, there is still a little corner of my heart always reserved for you. Why? Because you MADE me a momma. You were the first to call me “momma”. You were there when I was stumbling through new motherhood. You survived it with me. The mistakes. The times I questioned if I was doing it right. If I was enough. If I could keep you safe. You were there when I questioned why on earth the universe would give me such a gift. You were also there when I rocked it and kicked its ass! You journeyed with me when I figured out how to speak your language. When I could look at you and tell when something was wrong and get resources to help. You watched me as I confidently stepped into my grace. You ARE with me. So for that, my firstborn, you will always be loved by me in a special way reserved only for you. That doesn’t mean you’re my favorite. Both you and Fiona are my favorite! 🙂

Esther, happy 3rd birthday my lovie. I hope this year will bring new discoveries and new experiences that will continue to nurture who you are in this world. Each year I learn something new about you and it’s been so cool. Sometimes I look at you and think, “This is amazing! How on earth did we make such a cool person?” Then I remember, we didn’t. You have always been and were just waiting to pick us because you knew we’d give you the space to be who you are. Thanks for choosing us, monkey. This wild ride has been amazing and we can’t wait to pack for the next leg of this adventure.

 

Love you a million bajillion. You are my happy thought.

Momma.

 

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I am 6 months old and loving life. I love my feet and hands. Also I can roll both ways now. I started solids this month and so far I love sweet potatoes, peas, oatmeal and pears. I continue to be interested in my dog and everything within reach goes into my mouth.

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Dear Esther,

Where have these 5 months gone? It seems like only yesterday you were this little ball of newborn flesh and hair that we carried home from the hospital. We were overwhelmed by both anxiety and joy. We were parents and you were finally here. Those next few weeks are mostly a blur as I danced through days and nights trying to keep up with mothering and remembering to take care of myself. It was no greater gift, though, then to spend those first precious months enveloped in everything you. As I write this I am overcome with emotion. It is very bittersweet as you embrace this life and meet each milestone (rolling over, holding your own bottle, learning to love bathtime).

I am 5 months old! Last month was the month of hands, this month is the month of feet. I’ve found them and I like them! I’m getting bigger and I like to play, play, play! I slept in my big girl bed (crib) for 2 nights, but I’m back in mommy and daddy’s room. Soon enough. I found out I have a dog, and I like to squeeze him.

You’re becoming your own person-a little girl and no longer (in my eyes anyway) a baby. I watch how fearless you sometimes are as you explore new things. Gone are the days when we made sure you were warm and fed and left you for a bit to lay quietly encircled by your Boppy Pillow. Now when we attempt the same you try to either fling yourself out of its grip and onto the couch or *gasp* the floor below. Luckily we’ve caught you before the latter has happened. You are our brave dragon baby! This month we experienced your first bought of scary sickness. You ran a fever and vomited for a few days. This resulted in two trips to the pediatrician and one late evening trip to the emergency room. It nearly killed me as I wanted to take your place. If I could, I would bear all your pain forever. It is a mother’s heart to feel this way I’m sure. But, that’s not reality so my job, our job-your father and I, is to prepare you for a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world. I see strength in you little one. You can handle it. You are very brave and oftentimes you are my teacher and not the other way around. When you were nestled against my chest as I held you   in the emergency room hot, tired and sick- nonetheless – you were curious of your surroundings and smiled at almost everyone who interacted with you. I was so proud. Even while sick you wanted to be, well…YOU. You are a light, Esther. You make us so very happy and we were so lucky to get you. You are the best baby…person. That’s were the bittersweet comes in. Every day moves you closer and closer to your independence and farther away from your dependence on us. You won’t be our baby forever and so I try to hang on to every morsel of these moments, this time we have with you as our baby. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see what you do with this precious life because I know deep in my soul it will be good. No matter what though, your father and I will be there to bear witness and proclaim, “that’s our girl!”

We love you bear cub! Happy 5 months.

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“I am 4 months old! I know! I’ve discovered my hands. I can’t get enough of them. I like to look at them, touch them together and put them all up in my mouth..YUM! I love my morning time with daddy, and my snuggle time with mommy at bedtime. I love to laugh and smile and sing songs. Oh, and I love to give speeches to my toys. I hang out at daycare all day with my friends. I like that too.”

 
 
 
Esther’s 4 month appointment went well.  She is 60% percentile for weight, 50% for head circumference and 40% for height. What does all of that mean? Pretty much that she’s perfect and the smartest baby in the world, which we knew already, right?? (;  She took the shots again like a champ. Just screamed for a little, then daddy picked her up- mommy fed her and she was fine for the rest of the evening.
 
Another exciting development this month is that  Lady E can roll from her back to her belly now. I was so excited for her to learn that.  The first time she did it she looked around and was so proud of herself. It was very cute. Then I proceeded to watch her face plant and move her head back to back on the ground as if she were stuck. You see my (the) problem here, right? So I rushed to flip her over again and scared the crap out of her! That made both of us! I wanted so  badly for her to learn how to roll over and then immediately wished she couldn’t ever do that again (especially at night, which is, of course, exactly what she did later on that night). Thus begun “the great rolling over no sleep torture”. Three nights in a row I got no sleep because I’d keep staring at her to make sure she was still on her back and or side. Then I’d watch her roll over and get stuck. I’d flip her on to her back and she’d immediately roll over again. She’s a determined one. When I brought it up to the doctor he understood ( as last time my intense worry was “the choking). He said that the most important was that I was sleeping. A child needs rested and alert parents, so if that meant she’d have to sleep in her car seat for me to feel secure, then by all means she could. I tried that for 1/2  the night on Wednesday and just felt so sorry for her. She looked comfortable enough, but I know I wouldn’t  be so comfy sleeping sitting up. I took her out of the car seat and put her into the pack n play next to our bed after her 3 am feeding. Then she began to roll again and I almost threw myself to the floor and rolled around causing a temper tantrum of my own. SOMETHING had to be done. So, I took my struggle(s) to Facebook. Oh the beauty of social networking! Another Momma came up with a GREAT  idea! I altered her “invention” a little to work for us and it worked!! Esther can’t roll and momma can sleep!!
 
So here was the other momma’s solution to our problem:

Photo credit to Carla Peraza
 
Here is mine. I used a soft scarf to tie it all the way around the mattress (since she isn’t in a crib yet).
 
Also new this month was Esther’s first car trip. She went to visit her grandparents who live a little over 3 hours southwest of the Twin Cities. She did “ok”. We have to make sure to target her nap time and she’s fine to nap 1/2 the way. She slept a long stretch of time. Then we’d stop to stretch and to feed and change her, then back into the car for the second part of the drive. That was the more difficult stretch because she was awake then, rested and wanted to play but instead was strapped in. She didn’t cry the entire time, but she made it clear that she had had it! We were proud of her though for being such a good little trooper and it was great bonding time for her and the grandparents.We are looking forward to a summer of fun. She loves bath time so we will have to take her swimming so she can splash until she’s worn out!Thanks again for reading!

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Our baby girl is 4 months old and I cannot believe it. It has been such a treat to watch her little personality develop. She has preferences, different moods and it quite the talker. I will post photos sometime this week after her 4 month photo shoot with mom.

She has her 4 month check up tomorrow as well as round 2 of shots. I hope it goes as smoothly as the last ones did. She cried only for a bit last time and then enjoyed a bottle before going home and sleeping most of the evening.

Her new “thing” is rolling from her back to her belly. This is great, HOWEVER, she doesn’t know how to roll back or keep her head up. She can lift her head up, but then she gets tired. Also, instead of turning her head to the side, she face plants and tries to lick the ground. You see our issue here, right? This has led to many sleepless night because I fear she’ll roll over (which she insists on doing) and get stuck and not be able to “save herself”. So it leads to me hearing any kind of stirring from her crib, and then I have to use the light of my cell phone to shine it on her to make sure she’s in a safe sleeping position *sigh*. So, we’ve been upping our tummy time sessions with her in hopes she learns to roll the other way soon- or at least learn to turn her head to the side. Oh the joys! What will I do when she’s 16 and out past curfew. Knowing me I’ll probably alert the police and organize a search crew. Oh the joys of motherhood. What do chill moms do? Drink lots of wine? I need a chill pill!

Esther continues to love daycare and has made some friends there. I feel like on the weekends she happy to be home with mommy and daddy, but sometimes it seems she’d like more playing with little people. It’s hard during the week because I want to be there to witness her making friends. I’ve seen some of this when picking her up in the afternoons. There is a little boy there around 3 years old that has taken her under his wing! He likes to play with her, show her toys and talk to her. It warms my heart to see her look over and smile at him.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll check back in tomorrow (or the next day) to let you know how her 4 month appt. went.

Thanks for peeking in on us!

The Andrews Fam

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