Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Month 2

Dear Alli,

YOU ARE THE BEST BABY EVER! You're so good that the caps lock key just doesn't do my declaration justice, so I'll try it in bold, too: YOU ARE THE BEST BABY EVER!

Yep, better.

Around five weeks old, you decided to actually sleep at night. That first morning when I woke up and realized I had gotten about seven hours of uninterrupted rest, I wanted to run outside and brag to the world about how wonderful you are. Instead, I just ran into your room and smothered you with kisses.

Much to my surprise, it wasn't a fluke. You consistently sleep between six and eight hours a night, briefly wake up to eat, then take a nap for another few hours, freeing me to do other things. Things like appreciate the fact that you are the best baby in the entire universe, including all the other species and micro-organisms. Even amoebas.

It's not just your sleeping pattern that has me convinced. You never cry when we change your diaper. You cooperate while we tug clothes over your head and arms. You even like bathtime.

And have you seen how COMPLETELY AND INCOMPREHENSIBLY ADORABLE YOU ARE?

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Another big change this month was your first smile. It's as if you discovered the joy in using your facial muscles and now you don't want to stop.

You had been turning up the corners of your mouth while you were sleeping for a few weeks, and then all of a sudden it morphed into this big open-mouthed gummy grin. It is usually accompanied with some sort of sound like "eep," which I translate to mean "Wee!"

When you were born, I thought my heart was going to burst every time you opened your eyes and looked at me. But the smiling? I can feel the endorphins being released from my brain and flooding my veins. I do everything short of don a red styrofoam nose and ride a unicycle to get you to do it again. And when you do, I want more. I just can't get enough.

That said, please ease me into your first laugh. If not, I might keel over and break a limb.

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One of the habits you've formed is looking to the left. I know, it sounds strange to call it a habit, but I spend every waking moment with you, and I can count on one hand the amount of times you voluntarily look to the right throughout the day.

At first I assumed it was simply the direction you were forced to look in the womb, and after a few months of having your neck in one position, I can imagine that would be kind of hard to break. But then I took a harder look at your surroundings and realized we always have you in situations where you're required to look to the left in order to get the best view. Like the changing table, your rocker and even your play mat.

So I rearranged a few things, and all of a sudden you've discovered that your neck swivels in both directions.

It's a wonderful thing.

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You're starting to stay awake more during the day now, and I'm really enjoying getting to know you. One of the first things I noticed is that you're a multiple sneezer. As of now, you have never sneezed just once in your entire life. Three seems to be your favorite, but they often travel in pairs or even as many as five in a row.

I always know they're coming because you get very still, seemingly in preparation for the inevitable wave of spasms that will soon overtake your nasal cavity. Then you scrunch up your eyes and out come these tiny sounds as your arms splay to your sides and pump up and down in rhythm.

It doesn't happen often, but I enjoy them almost as much as your smiles. Mostly because it always ends with a look that seems to say, "Well, what the hell was that all about?"

It shows you have spunk. And that your father and I have no idea what we're in for.

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You're changing so rapidly that I started taking pictures every day. I thought it was enough to pull out the camera a few times each week, but all of a sudden your clothes didn't quite fit you anymore. Then I freaked out.

I couldn't believe that at six weeks old I had to dig out the three- to six-month outfits. Your legs are just so damn long. Dad was the first one to realize that you couldn't straighten your knees in your footed pajamas -- I probably didn't notice because I was in denial.

It made me so sad to retire all of the tiny sleepers, many of which I never got your picture in. Then, to top it off, I realized you don't resemble your newborn photos anymore. I had been pacing around in the dark upstairs with you on my shoulder, trying to get you to sleep, and I stopped for a moment to watch our computer monitor scroll through images on screensaver mode. When one of your hospital pictures randomly popped up, I couldn't help but notice how much your features have changed.

I almost woke you up right then to capture your look because I knew it wouldn't be the same in the morning.

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I guess it's simultaneously the most exhilarating and frustrating thing about your stage of life right now. I want you to grow and flourish more than anything, but it's happening so fast that I'm afraid I'll blink and you'll be slamming your bedroom door in my face because I won't let you go to a movie until you finish your math homework.

So it's moments like the ones where you're complete mush on my shoulder, your cheek taking on the properties of whatever texture my shirt is that day, that I close my eyes and just take you in.

I may not always be able to carry you around on my shoulder, but as long as I'm alive, I promise that you'll always have them to lean on.

Love,
Mom

25 comments:

gorakagaz said...

aww..she's SO CUTE. she seems a lot more interesting now, too =]

Just Me said...

That was lovely.

fu906 said...

Yup! She has changed a lot since she was born. Very adorable and cute post. I cant wait to have my kids!

Janice said...

That was wonderful! I love how you incorporated the photos!

Bitchy Mom said...

This was the BEST POST EVER!

Sorry... BEST POST EVER!

I just love reading your letters to Alli. Makes me wish I were doing the same thing. :-)

ajandmac said...

Wow. You just made me cry. That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us, and seriously, thank you for desiring to be the kind of mom that just showers her children with love and affection in all shapes and forms. You are doing great so far, and I have no doubt that this baby girl will grow up to be an outstanding young woman.

Ray said...

"I may not always be able to carry you around on my shoulder, but as long as I'm alive, I promise that you'll always have them to lean on.

Love,
Mom"

^^I loved that. It made me teary-eyed. =)

And I also loved this, "I do everything short of don a red styrofoam nose and ride a unicycle to get you to do it again."

The love from mother to child is just too awesome for words. And you're a beautiful writer. Keep it up. Alli is awesome and so are you.

<3

.xanga.com/the_plainsman said...

Beautifully written, Kelly, and filled with much love.

Show her this one again when she is 13 and pouts because you told her to clean her room.

Jaxon said...

She truly is a beautiful baby. That's not just you being prejudiced and all.

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful, but I especially hope you keep these posts in some hard format somewhere (you know, just in case something happens to the internet).

Some day, she might love to read of your experiences with her at this age.

jsi said...

"Seedlings turn over night to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze."
It is amazing what even 4 pounds looks like on an infant.
She is growing so well - you are definitely working hard.
It is motivational to know what a mom will do to get those amazing smiles - they send you over the moon!
Embrace and enjoy your day!

Tiffany said...

That was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Alli makes me want to have a baby so badly.

its_just_ang said...

What great pictures! I love the one in the tub. Very adorable! I also like the part about her face taking on the texture of the shirt you're wearing that day. I could so picture her face all imprinted. Great post! She really does get cuter every day.

Suzy xanga.com/thatsmrsmayor2u said...

she's growing and changing faster than any of us could have ever imagined. Such a pretty girl! I love your letters to her.

kimiedawn said...

She is super cute, and already sleeping through the night?? That is GOOD! Mine took almost a year so enjoy your sleep!!
Kimie

Anonymous said...

That picture of Alli on Jer's shoulder is possibly one of the best photos you've ever taken.
I'm smitten with your baby. She is a doll.

julie said...

I love these posts. I want to do them with my baby.

fiona said...

First of all:
KATELYN HAS THAT SAME SLEEPER...the Love Bug one from Target. It was a Christmas gift I picked out for our friends to give her.
Secondly: Kate also is a multi-sneezer, which she gets from me. I NEVER sneeze less than three times, and she's pretty much the same and has went as many as eight times in a row.
Thirdly: I put her in short romper yesterday because -even though it was only 35 degrees here- I wanted her to wear it before she outgrew it.
Fourth: She has really started discovering her voice lately and loves to squeal, squeek and yell at her father and me if she thinks she's not receiving the right amount of attention. But just you wait for that first laugh; it'll melt your heart more than anything she's done up to this point.

chelsea said...

That was adorable, and she keeps getting more and more beautiful!

Anonymous said...

thanks for using a washcloth in the bath pic! also, is that positioner thing supposed to be around her head...or her BODY!

Wendy said...

This was wonderful! You have given me such fabulous ideas for when I become a mom. Thanks!

Wendy said...

She's just adorable!

mercurial scribe said...

Dammit, girl, you made me cry.

I'm so glad I have someone who is experiencing this just before I am. I feel like I have a guide in you to remember to appreciate the fatigue and midnight feedings because they grow up so fast.

Must. Find. Tissues!

Candace said...

the last two pictures are just ADORABLE. ahhh :)