Friday, February 15, 2008

Month 3

Dear Alli,

Can we talk about the growing? Holy baby behinds, the growing. Your legs must be taking all of the nutrients you're ingesting because I swear they get longer every single day. At 11 weeks, we switched you into six-month sleepers because your feet were about to explode out of the old ones.

The funny thing is, you're still small enough around to fit into newborn onsies. So the larger outfits have so much extra material in the middle that I invented a game to put it to good use. When you're laying on your back, I grab all of the fabric at your sides, gently lift up your butt while making an airplane noise and let you plop back to the floor. I call it the I'll Never Entirely Fit Into These Clothes game. And I'm not sure which one of us loves it more. Maybe me.


You also outgrew most of your swaddlers this month, which posed more than a major dilemma for your father and me. You see, the only time you sleep without being held is when you're wrapped up so tightly that your arms don't flail around and accidentally punch your face, causing you to wake up angrily, glaring at us, wondering who would be so rude as to hit you while you were napping.

The swaddlers, otherwise known as The Greatest Invention of All Time, velcro you into a straight line and allow you to wriggle and writhe in your sleep without your face paying any of the consequences. You're so cute when you're swaddled up. I call you a baby burrito. Your father calls it a straight jacket.

But your legs recently decided they didn't want to take orders from any strip of velcro, so you started kicking out of it. Then your arms followed suit. Now when we come into your room after a nap, we never know what portion of your body will have freed itself, leading to your first nickname -- Teeny Houdini.

Fortunately, they make bigger swaddlers.

I'm hoping they'll fit you until you're 18.


This month marked the end of my maternity leave, and I had to go back to work. I was so terrified of everything that could possibly go wrong that I spent the last few weeks worrying.

What I forgot to realize is that you are an incredibly easy-going baby. You take things as they come and tend to adapt very easily. Switching to bottles at night wasn't a big deal. I could practically hear you rolling your eyes at the non-momentousness of it all when I called from the office to make sure you weren't starving.

Fast forward a few years and I can see you getting on the school bus for the first time, shrugging your shoulders and sighing defiantly as I take your picture so many times that you can't see to find a seat.

Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful that you're thriving without me, and I realize that's the general idea behind parenting -- raising you to be a well-functioning, self-sufficient adult. But sometimes you're going to have to let me make a big deal out of even the smallest things. Okay? You drinking out of a bottle is A BIG DEAL.


I didn't think you could get more enjoyable to be around, but every month you prove me wrong. You're gabbing more, smiling more, making more eye contact and moving your limbs with much more accuracy and purpose.

The biggest improvement by far is your ability to occupy yourself for more than 30 seconds at a time. You are completely content to sit in one of your chairs and watch what's going on in the room. You follow us with your eyes and smile when we pass, making it almost completely impossible to get anything done, which is the purpose of setting you down in the first place. But when you smile, I can't help but stop and crouch down to gobble your cheeks.

It's a good thing you're not smothered in barbecue sauce because the bite marks would be tough to explain to a jury.


Your favorite place to be right now is in your swing. Parents of older children who see our contraption remark on the beauty of it being battery-powered. Then they explain how they used to have to turn a hand crank to get their swing to work, waking their baby up every time.

But even better is that your swing has six settings of increasing speed and two types of sound -- classical music and nature tones. We started you off at the "1" setting listening to waterfalls and crickets, but you quickly let us know that you prefer going faster. Much faster.

Pretty soon you were swooshing along to setting "6," or as we like to call it, "the speed of light," and that seems to suit you just fine. You like your swing fast, thank you very much. And crank up the Mozart.

You're so content to watch the living room woosh past that your father and I have memorized the order of the songs. There's the bridal song, then the tune that plays at the end of "Oceans 11" and a few new ones we hadn't heard until the swing became a permanent fixture in our lives.

The whole thing tells me that you're going to like roller coasters. Frankly I've never understood the desire to voluntarily make your heart palpitate like that, but your dad will be thrilled. One of the sole reasons he wanted to have kids was to be able to go to Disney World as an adult and not look like a creepy pedophile when he really just likes amusement parks.

And, don't worry about that "You Must Be This Tall To Enter This Ride" sign. At the rate you're growing, you'll be on Thunder Mountain by the time you're four.




Ray said...

Awwww, this is my favorite letter yet (you have a great way of words. I envy that. And I love that with everything you have a slight sense of humor. That's great)! It's great to see Allison growing up so quickly. Right before our very eyes. Even more so because she's a healthy and happy baby. Plus she's a cutie. What more could you want? And I just love your predictions on her personality in the later years, just from the things she's doing now. It's awesome. And I bet all your predictions will come true, because you know her best. <3

Take, care.

P.S. That picture of her with her tongue out, "A-FREAKING-DORABLE!" OMG, I love how she's ahead of her time, when it comes to her reactions. It's awesome. Babies nowadays are MUCH more advanced! Me and my mom talk about that from time to time.

gorakagaz said...

that first pic is priceless! she's such a cutie...and that hair! all i can say is awww. she's gorgeous =]

Jayne said...

Reading that letter made me ache for a little Alli of my own, even though I'm nowhere near the age where I'm ready to do parenting anywhere close to as good as yours :)

Alli looks so different in all her pictures though! And yeah, I love the first picture too :) and the one where she's all stuck in that pink smuffler or whatever you call it haha.

its_just_ang said...

I love the one with the knitted cap that has the stem coming out of the top of it. It really looks like she's contemplating life or maybe when she's gonna take her next big poop. She's so cute! Love the hair!

the plainsman said...

Both touching and fun to read, a great combination. What a gift for her when she is able to appreciate it, too!

And three months! If the time goes that quickly for us readers, it must really be zooming by for you and Jerry.

She still looks tiny in the swing! After all she is only 3. Months.

Julie said...

Cutest hat evah!!

I'm going to have to borrow this idea when my little one is growing up. I love your letters to Alli.

Emilee said...

"Fast forward a few years and I can see you getting on the school bus for the first time, shrugging your shoulders and sighing defiantly as I take your picture so many times that you can't see to find a seat."

I remember when my mom used to do this. She would always say that she wanted to remember me while I was still little. I finally made her stop when I entered high school haha.

And your letters to Alli always inspire me to do the same when I have children, so someday you and your child can look back on it. It's a great idea, and you have such a way with words that I'm sure she'll appreciate all of these letters when she's older.

erica said...

That's so sweet. And yeah, my dad couldn't wait until I was tall enough to ride roller coasters with him because my mom was terrified of them. Not like roller coasters was never an option for me!

jsi said...

Teeny Houdini -exactly what we called ours when they showed us they were done being swaddlled. I really thought that swaddling was going to last longer, but they found a way to let us know, it was over.
Love the swings that are battery powered and open entrance. Cool that your swing has music with it!
She has a great smile.

grace said...

who made that tulip knit hat??? i love it!!!!! lol she's sooooo cute in that

Kristin said...

Your letters are so adorable.
Your daughter is going to love these when she gets older.


Jennifer and Jason said...

She's cuter with each picture you post of her. You capture great moments!

meg said...

She is SO CUTE.


Tiffany said...

I LOVE these updates! I look forward to them every month :-) Great pictures too!

Janice said...

That's amazing and all of those photos are adorable! Congrats on reaching so far, with so far yet to go! Have a great week!

cafechick80 said...

I love the hat. What a great couple of months you've had. Can you believe your mom is so cool? Allie, you are one lucky little lady.

kristin said...

I love these letters to your daughter. They are fantastic and I'm sure she will love them later in life. And as always she is so adorable. Those pictures are great.

Rachel said...

great post and great pictures!

Candi said...

I love the pic of her on the pink blanket/background. So pretty.