Baby D Makes Three

born December 27, 2012

month 12

better horribly late than never, right? this post was written on December 28th, but it took until now to get it posted.

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dear Cora,

Happy Birthday my sweet girl! this has been such a fun and special month for us. you seem to grow daily, and learn new things as well. you had your first Thanksgiving and your first Christmas! you saw so many family members and loved on so many people. you are such a sweet girl and you love and are loved so easily.

let’s start with the really fun stuff first. you took your first step on December 6th! and then one week later, on December 13th, I picked you up from daycare and your teachers told me you had been walking around all day! you are on the move now, girlie. you toddle around pretty good, and while crawling is still the fastest way for you to get places, you take such delight in popping yourself up and walking a few steps, falling down, and then popping right back up. this has definitely been a huge milestone and we are loving watching you toddle. next week, I’m sure you will be running😛

and then you got your first tooth! I felt it on December 8th and it popped through later in the month. now it is this tiny little white square in your mouth. i love seeing it there because it means soon you will be able to eat more table foods, but I will miss your completely gummy smile. this period of babyhood goes by so quickly.

you started signing “more” this month which is such a help for me when you are eating dinner, but you aren’t as consistent with using it. you also started getting very picky about eating this month. I don’t know where that came from. all of a sudden you are spitting bites of food out or refusing them altogether, and when I bring the spoon or fork to your mouth you will arch your head back and carefully inspect what is on it before eating it, in case I am trying to trick you by offering you a new food.😛 I hope this doesn’t last long because there are so many yummy foods I want you to try now that you are getting teeth. and I’m a little worried you won’t eat your birthday cake – I think I’m way more excited than you about this, but I really want you to go crazy with it.

we are definitely in separation anxiety mode and you are getting sad when mommy and daddy leave you anywhere, but the good news is that you are getting sad when daddy leaves you and not just when mommy leaves – you are less resistant to daddy this month which is a relief – that mommy’s girl thing you were doing was really hurting daddy’s feelings.

you love to turn the lights on and off and you especially love to push the garage door button when we get home from daycare. as we walk close to it, you bounce in my arms and laugh/squeal. then I will say “push the red button” and you try your hardest a couple of times and then finally get it and laugh and bounce some more. you also really  love taking things out – of anything. baskets, bags, laundry baskets – anything that has things in it, you like to take them out and fling them behind you. it’s adorable. especially the laundry – I spend so much time folding the laundry and placing it in the basket and the you come over to “help” and throw it all out.

the size 3 diapers are finally fitting great and you are wearing size 6-9 month clothes..

favorites

Cora – walking! phoebe, the refrigerator magnets, getting into cabinets you aren’t supposed to, fluffy blankets.

Me – you!

pictures

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oh yeah

oh yeah, I blog here.

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It feels like forever since I’ve blogged. I think it has been forever. It’s like Cora turned one and suddenly, there is no more energy or time to put the effort in. but that’s not what I intended. I still haven’t posted the month 12 post. Mostly because we wiped the computer and I lost my program to make the collages. I need to figure out a way to do that. The longer I’ve waited to write a post, the more daunting the task has become. So here I go. radio silence broken.

It has been a rough month for our family.  I don’t think I’ve handled it well. I’m moody and stressed. But while the month was rough, it was also beautiful and blessed. I got another promotion at work. I get to return to the team and manager I really enjoyed working with, and do the work I really enjoyed doing. For more money. I start on the 31st. We’ve spent some quality time with friends. We’ve spent quality time as a family.

Cora’s sweetness abounds. Her new favorite thing is for us to kiss phoebe. She holds her out towards our face and isn’t satisfied until we say “kiss phoebe!” and audibly plant kisses on her little face. Then she holds phoebe to her own face and gets kisses from phoebe. She also loves to share. Anything she is eating, she will extend to you for you to taste. And a couple of times this month she has come this close to getting her pacifier in my or J’s mouth.😛 she gives hugs freely now but is still very reserved about kisses and almost never gives a kiss when asked (and the rare exceptions are for daddy – she’s only given me one kiss when I’ve asked for them).

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on your birthday

dear Cora,

my sweet baby girl. on the day you were born I had hopes and dreams for your first year. I had plans and aspirations. one year ago you were born and changed my world forever. you bring so much joy, excitement, and love to our lives. you are the best thing I’ve ever done and you have the best parts of me in you. becoming a mommy was something I always wanted. becoming your mommy was more than I ever dreamed it could be. I spend whole hours marveling at my love for you. and not a day goes by I don’t thank God for letting me be your mommy. for sending you to me. for trusting me to raise you and love you.

you are my spirited, determined, strong-willed, curious girl. you can be fearless which terrifies me. you can be sweet and loving, offering hugs and snuggles freely. you can also be a terror, screaming at the top of your lungs when you don’t get your way or we have to take something away from you. I love every minute of it. honestly. even at 2 am when we are awake because of teething. I love it. I love you. I didn’t realize how much love I was capable of until you came and destroyed its boundaries.

this year we have both grown so much. when I brought you home from the hospital we were both brand new – you a newborn baby and myself a new mom. we were both exhausted and just getting by on snuggles, love, and cat naps. now you are walking, you have one tooth, and you are so independent. we sleep most of every night. we still survive on snuggles and love but we also have fun. we play and laugh and tickle and eat. I feel more confident in my ability as your mom. I don’t second guess every decision I make like I once did.

we still have so much growing to do. I still get frustrated and short-tempered. and you will learn to run in days I’m sure, among other things. the best part is we will continue to grow and learn together.

on the day you were born I had hopes and dreams for your fist year. your first year was so much better than I hoped or dreamed. on your birthday I have hopes and dreams for this next year. but more than anything I hope we continue to survive on snuggles and love, I hope we grow together and play together.

this past year has been my favorite year. I love being your mommy. I love you. I love our family and I love our life.

Love,
Mommy

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Merry Christmas

We woke at 4:30 this morning and while I was hoping for a few more years before the excitement of Christmas woke us quite that early, I didn’t mind. Much. Cora was able to fall back asleep around 5:30 and so was J but I’m wide awake. Counting all my blessings. It’s quiet and dark and the sound of Cora’s white noise machine is soothing. There are 3 stockings hung by the chimney with care. And Santa has been here while we slept. I have always loved Christmas but there is something extra magical about this first Christmas as a mom. Something surreal and wonderful. I will be spending the day wrapped in peace, love, and joy. Christ was born in Bethlehem and I will celebrate Him with my tiny babe. I wish the same for you and your family. Merry Christmas to all. With love from the Ds.
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my favorite time of day

it’s early and still dark outside but I am dressed and ready for work. I sneak into your room with a warm bottle. as much as I try not to wake you, you do, and you sit up and lift your arms to me. I pick up your warm, sleepy body and cuddle you. we sit in the rocking chair while I feed you your first bottle of the day. you look at me with sleepy eyes that are full of trust and the weight of your tiny body in my arms reminds me of why I do everything I do. it’s all for you. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s the end of my workday and my heart races a little. it’s time to go pick you up from daycare. it’s my favorite time of day.

I arrive at your daycare and you see me walk through the door. you make a sound of delight and race over to me, crawling as fast as you can and sometimes tripping over yourself. I pick you up and you laugh and bounce and give me a hug. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s evening and we are living life: feeding you dinner, playing with you, cooking and eating our own dinner, bath time. you have added so much to our life. you make it more fun, more hectic, more messy, and totally worth it. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s bedtime and you are in your cozy footy pajamas. you are holding onto your lovey, and I am holding on to you. I rock you and sing our special lullaby. you look at me with those same sleepy, trusting eyes you did this morning. I linger, not wanting to lay you down in your crib, but knowing I have to. I kiss your little forehead and tuck you in. it’s my favorite time of day.

it’s the middle of the night and something has woken you from your sleep. you are cranky and crying. I am so tired I can barely see but I stumble into the nursery to pick you up and comfort you. we rock and I rub your back. you drift back to sleep and again I linger. not wanting to put you down, but knowing I need to go back to bed myself.  It’s my favorite time of day.

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month 11

IMG_7140dear Cora,

I can’t believe how close you are to turning the big O-N-E. the past 11 months have gone by at warp speed and my head is slightly spinning. you are changing daily and are such a joy in our life. we are so excited for your first holiday season. you’ve been wearing santa jammies since the end of October so you can tell how excited your mommy is about Christmas this year. everything is a little better, a little brighter with you around to share it with.

you love playing with your mommy and daddy and laugh all the time now. you wave “hi,” “bye,” and “nite-nite.” you are pretty consistent with signing that you are hungry, and you sometimes sign when you are all done. you “say” no constantly by shaking your head, you point at things that interest you. you are trying very hard to stand up by yourself. if you are holding on to something, you will let go for a few seconds at a time. you are also trying really hard to climb. we are constantly stopping you from getting your little knee up on your play table and your daddy even caught you trying to climb out of your crib this month! you do this really cute thing when you are playing in the living room if I sit on the floor with you. you will alternate between playing on your own, and coming to me and crawling in my lap to give me a hug. you have started hugging really hard if you are the one to initiate the hug. you struggle and wiggle away if your daddy or I initiate the hug. you also occasionally give big kisses.

you still don’t have any teeth! every time you get really cranky, I think to myself, maybe this time it will be teething, but it never is😛 you are so fast! you can walk around the coffee table to steal a remote, or climb halfway up the small staircase before we realize what you are doing. we moved our living room back to the carpeted room in our house as that stairwell can accommodate a baby gate.

this month you helped your daddy celebrate his birthday and celebrated halloween. you were the cutest fluffy duck anyone had ever seen. and that costume was so warm. which was perfect since we went to our church’s harvest festival and it was a little chilly. the amount of people was pretty overwhelming to you so you cuddled a lot, but you definitely had fun people watching. this month you also had another sinus infection and pink eye😦 but the antibiotics kicked in quickly and knocked it out. besides the few days you really didn’t feel good, you are still sleeping great! you don’t nap very well at daycare so sometimes you are pretty cranky when we get you home in the evenings, but we are getting pretty good at working around your moods.

girlfriend, you love to eat. and get so excited every time there is a new food to try. you especially love snacks and goldfish and graham crackers have become some of your favorite things. you would eat them at every meal if I let you.

you have been going through a huge mama’s girl phase the last 6ish weeks. you scream and cry when I leave the room and hurt your daddy’s feelings by not wanting to be held by him. as much as I love knowing how much you love me, I can’t wait for this phase to end. it is exhausting for all of us.

you are wearing size 3 diapers, although they are still a little big. the 2s were getting too small though, and your skinny little legs make transitioning sizes hard😛 you are still wearing size 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes.

favorites

Cora – standing, “walking,” playing peekaboo, waving, “saying no,” playing on the coffee table, play table, and walking toys.

Me – hearing you laugh, seeing your big gummy smiles, cuddling, watching you learn.

pictures

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no

my baby turned 11 months old today. I overslept and didn’t have time to give her bottle and cuddle her. she had to feed herself. and I was equal parts sad and proud. I have felt out of sorts all day because that cuddle time in the morning grounds me and prepares me for the day. without it, I’m left wandering. and yet, my sleepy babe held her own bottle and drank the whole thing without spilling a drop while I rushed about to get ready. a month ago I would have been late to work, with no other option but to feed her myself. sad and proud.

tomorrow is thanksgiving. I have been looking forward to letting her eat thanksgiving food all year. she still doesn’t have any teeth. but she will enjoy mashed potatoes and stuffing, and probably some other goodies.

on a rushed trip to carters last night a sales girl told Cora that she has the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen. Cora told her no with her wrinkled nose and head shake. the sales girl and I laughed. while feeding her dinner, Cora started crying and saying “maaamaaamaaamaaa.” so I said, “I’m the mama.” Cora told me no. with tears and a head shake. I almost cried myself.

no is a new favorite word. and my only response is no.

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changing

dear Cora,

yesterday morning, I got you out of your crib, and you had changed overnight. your facial features were just a little bit different. the expressions you make a little more pronounced. it is amazing and terrifying, the rate at which you change. I spend whole minutes every day trying to memorize everything about you, because tomorrow you will be a different little girl. you are funny and sweet and kind. you are also stubborn, hardheaded, and determined. you are becoming so much more communicative. you wave now to say “hi,” “bye,” or “night-night.” you sign when you are hungry most of the time. and you sparingly sign “all done.”  this weekend you learned to shake your head to say “no.” and used it. a lot. your daddy and I giggled every time you shook your little head at us and whispered under our breaths “uh oh, what has she learned?”  you tried to share your bottle with me a few times on Friday evening, and almost popped it right into my mouth because I was not expecting it. and on Friday night when I asked you if you were ready for bed, you waved to say “night-night” and then looked frantically around because your daddy was not in the room and you always say “night-night” to him before you go to bed. I love these sweet moments with you, and am so thankful I get to be your mommy.

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the end of breastfeeding

Dear Cora,

last week we stopped breastfeeding. Thursday, November 14th was the last day you nursed. I saw this day coming early on. I knew we weren’t going to make it a whole year when I went back to work and pumping was so hard. I knew, but I still hoped. and so, when you decided you were done, I grieved. I grieved the loss of that special bonding – breastfeeding was the one thing only I could provide you. I grieved your growth – no longer wanting to nurse means you are becoming more independent and growing into a child, no longer my dependent infant. I grieved the loss of that extra cuddle time – as tired as it made me, those late night and early morning snuggles were still cherished.

but then I celebrated. I celebrated that we made it 10 and a half months! Just one and a half months shy of my goal. that’s not bad. I celebrated that you are such a healthy, happy, and growing baby. I celebrated that when I get sick, I can take medicine now. I celebrated that I didn’t give up, that I let you decide when you were done. I celebrated that for the first time in 20 and a half months, your nutrition and well-being isn’t completely reliant on my body. I celebrated that your daddy can take over the late night feeding, so hopefully I will be less tired.

and you know what? the snuggle time with you while I feed you your bottle is still just as special, and since you aren’t frustrated with me for trying to coax you to nurse before getting your bottle, you are even more cuddly. after you finish your bottle, you sort of sit up a little, and put your arms around my core, and then snuggle your head onto my chest. it is one of my new favorite things.

I am so thankful breastfeeding was successful for us. It was one of the things I worried about most while being pregnant. I am also thankful you are such an easy going baby, and that formula was just fine for you too, when I couldn’t produce enough milk to support your growth.

I love you, darling one. continue to grow. continue to reach milestones that make me grieve the loss of your babyhood. because then we can continue to celebrate as well.

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peekaboo

yesterday evening I had one of those experiences as a mother that I just want to bottle up and keep forever. it may be one of my favorite memories of Cora to date. we were all snuggling on the couch with the fluffy blankets we have on it. Cora pulled the blanket up to be above her head and I heard her start to giggle “heeheehee” so Jason and I started saying “where’s Cora, where is she?” and she giggled harder, and kicked her little legs in excitement. Jason pulled the blanket down and we exclaimed, “There she is! Peekaboo!” and she absolutely rolled with laughter. we played peekaboo over and over. completely instigated by my fun-loving girl. every time she pulled that blanket up, her giggles would ring out in the room, and her legs would kick excitedly under the blanket. and my heart grew 15 sizes. I have had a hard couple of weeks. I started a new job two weeks ago, and it has been a harder transition than I anticipated. spending an evening playing peekaboo with my baby girl was exactly what I needed. and the fun we had last night has kept me going through this last work day of the week.

I tried to get the fun and games on video to share, but every time the camera came out, she stopped playing. so I put the camera away. and soaked up the fun we were having. and tried my hardest to commit that moment to my memory forever. November is always a month full of thanksgiving for me. I love to count my blessings every year. this year, my blessings have multiplied exponentially, and having fun with my daughter is just one of the many things I am thankful for.

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