May 31, 2011

Dear Daughter: Three Months

Dear Vivienne,

It's already been three months since you came into our lives. We've been quite busy as a family this month. You in particular have been very busy, because on top of all the places I take you, and activities we enjoy, you're growing and developing at an amazing pace. You continue to be more and more alert, and you have also started chatting and telling little stories, which I could listen to all day long.

You've started grabbing at things and exploring the tactile world around you. Your favorite things to explore at the moment are knitted blankets and t-shirts with bright and contrasting colours. You've also started sucking on your hands, and on occasion you do so while bringing knitting blankets to your face. Your mother was a proud "blankie" owner, and it seems like you will carry on that tradition! You are extremely alert, and you have taken a particular interest in gazing into mirrors. I love staring at you too, so I understand the appeal!

A big change for us has been my return to work. Until Nana Mary gets here at the start of July, I am only working 3 days a week, and you are attending daycare. Your minder, Marie, is wonderful and you are getting great reports on what a happy and lovely baby you are. However, you did have one rough day last week. This was because you got your second round of vaccinations, and I (having missed you all day) allowed you to stay up too late. I made sure to get you to bed on time that night, and you did brilliantly the next day.

The cats are still largely apathetic to your presence. They don't come to you, nor do they run away from you. If you are being particularly loud, or you make a sudden noise, they simply get up and walk out of the room in protest. The latter particularly applies to Buttons, who is a big fan of his peace and quiet. The only indication resentment from the cats has been the destruction of some papers I wanted to keep for you. I collected all my prenatal medical records and birthing class materials that I thought might be fun for you to look through some day. I left them in a box in the basement while I rounded up other documents, such as greeting cards from your baby shower. I walked into the room where I had stored the box, only to be overpowered by the stench of cat pee! I prayed that they had peed on anything else in that room, but I had a sinking feeling that I knew what the urinary target had been. I was able to salvage a few things at the bottom of the box, but the majority was destroyed. The cats have been summarily banned from that room, and many people have suggested that this was no accident, but rather a vendetta!

Unlike the cats, your Uncle Ben was delighted by your arrival. He came to spend a week with us and he loved getting to know you. He was wonderful in taking care of you and you really took to him. We visited New Hampshire with Ben, and he fired some guns with your Grandpa. His visit was timed after his initial training with the British Army, and the start of basic training, so your Grandpa's guns probably paled in comparison to the assault rifles he'd been shooting the week before! Ben was absolultey in love with you, and we are looking forward to many visits as you grow up!

This month marked you and your Dad's first Father's Day together. You bought him a "World's Best Dad" mug, and you wrote him a nice little card. Your handwriting looked a lot like your Mom's this month! I dressed you in a KU T-Shirt that was a gift from people your Dad knows, and you posed for pictures with your Dad. I know he was thrilled to have a little KU fan greet him with pancakes when he came home from Tennis.

We have continued to meet with the mother's group, and we had our official reunion. We took an adorable picture of all the babies in a big circle on the floor. You and one of the other babies, Connor, held hands all the way through the photo shoot, and kept looking over at one another and even tried to roll to one another. His mother and I joke that he was your little boyfriend!

We've now started another month (you're so active I am finding it hard to get these letters written on time!), and you are already making great achievements for me to write about. I am so proud of you, and so very in love with you. I've said it before, but I don't know how on earth I am so lucky that I get to be your Mom.

I love you,

Mum.

May 10, 2011

Dear Daughter: Two Months

Dear Vivienne,

It seems like only yesterday that you arrived, but two months have passed already. I can't believe that over two thirds of my maternity leave are already done. You and I have been quite busy this month, so I guess time flew because we were having fun.

Your personality is coming through quite a bit. You are as stubborn as a mule where car seats, being dressed, and swaddling are concerned. I finally got around to doing the "Baby's First* Handprint" that I bought before you were born. I had pictured a idyllic scene of mother and child capturing moments in time together, as opposed to the nightmare that transpired of you screaming and crying, kicking me in the face with an ink covered foot, and refusing to unfurl your hand. In the end, I got a nice foot print, and chose the best of about twenty amorphous smears for your handprint.

Despite being stubborn, you are also extremely sweet. You have started smiling, and your perfect little smile makes my day. Most recently, when we're in bed in the nursery, you stare over my shoulder with such wonder at the monkey decals and smile at them. I'm sure that we picked the right theme for decoration when I see how much enjoyment you get out of them. I should mention that this is usually at midnight, because, unlike your Centering Pregnancy friends, you refuse to sleep until 1am. That said, you've recently started sleeping for seven hours at a time, which makes me very happy! I'm less thrilled about your daytime napping. You don't do much of it, and what little you do must occur in my arms, a baby carrier, or moving stroller. If I so much as think of sitting down or placing you in a bassinet so that I can eat or shower, your eyes spring open and the nap is over. However, with less than a month of bonding time left, I'm happy to give you all the cuddles you need!

As well as being sweet, you are not very fussy at all. In fact, you fuss so little that I (a neurotic worrier) became convinced you had SIPA. A spot of Googling later, and I learned that your ability to sweat means that you do no have SIPA (hence that "A"). Your father was amused that I was complaining that you don't fuss enough!

Your physical development is continuing to amaze me. Last month, you were holding your head up for as long as you wanted (something you should be starting to achieve this month!), and wowing everyone with your alertness. This month we noticed that your legs are strong enough to allow you to stand when held for balance. Your eyesight has improved enough to allow you to enjoy your crib mobile and play-mat, which in turn has allowed my ability to eat and shower to improve!

This month, we've taken a number of trips to friends houses, shopping centers, nature preserves, and spent time outdoors close to home. I've really tried to stimulate your learning by showing you different things, but you have no idea that we've ever left the house because you can't seem to stay awake in Moby wraps or strollers.

As well as leaving the house, we've had many visitors to the house. Your Great-Grandmother, Grandfather, Step-Grandmother ("Scranny") and Uncle Sam have all spent time with us, and they're all in love with you. Between the smiles and lack of fussiness, you've been the perfect little hostess. Next month, Uncle Ben and your Nana will be visiting! It's been so wonderful having people I love come to help out. I've especially loved having so many generations of my family under one roof. I hope it's the first of many visits from our family.

This month was also my first Mother's day. You gave me a darling little card, and your handwriting looks suspiciously similar to your Father's. It was so momentous for me to be a mother, as I have longed to be for so many years, on Mother's day. I am still so overwhelmed by how lucky I am that I get to be your Mummy. I am more in love with you than I would have thought possible. Thank you for being my daughter.

Love,

Mum xxx



* = this better be the last time anyone is forcefully taking your fingerprints, Young Lady!

May 3, 2011

Three Years in the Failing

Sad news. I failed in my challenge to make 10 knitted or crocheted items from 10 books in 1000 days. I just checked the timer on my blog's homepage and realized that it ended somewhat unceremoniously yesterday*. Oops. I got to within 1 project of success when there were 48 days left. I chose to make a pair of socks using the 8 Stitches per Inch Socks pattern by Ann Budd. This was more than enough time to finish a pair of socks, at least now that I have learnt how to do continental knitting. However, as I was coming to the end of my pregnancy, I needed to prioritize my knitting, and a patchwork blanket I was making for my daughter was more important. As it happens, I didn't get the blanket completed before the baby arrived, but my attempts to do so caused me to fail in my 10 things challenge. The socks are now on hiatus, but the blanket it almost complete. If my daughter enjoys the blanket, I will consider it a sacrifice worth making and wait until the next knitting challenge to see success.

*It was yesterday when I started composing this post.

10 Things in 1000 days

I decided to rationalize my impulse purchasing of knitting books by setting myself a personal challenge.
Here's how long I have left:

Quotation of the Day

This Day in History

Is There Anybody Out There?

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