Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Violet,

I hope when you're old enough to read this, you've forgotten the torture you went through tonight.  Your dad and I have decided to implement the "Ferber Method" with you, because it's "just time."  We tried it last week, but I didn't follow through.  I brought you in the bed when you woke up halfway through the night.  I regret not following through, because that just means that all that crying and sadness you felt was for nothing.  I'm so sorry!  

The past week or so you've been acting different- you're usually a perfect little angel pie 99% of the day.  These days you're getting more whiny and more clingy, and you're starting to want to nurse more... this is all backwards!!  I'm going to wean you from breastfeeding right after you turn 1, and that's in a month!  You need to be going the other direction, little missy!  You've had an ear infection, so I was babying you because of that, and I don't know if you're still trying to get rid of it or if you've just decided that you need to be babied more...  this "parenting" mumbo jumbo is really hard!  I already overanalyze everything, and this is just the beginning.  I'm in for a LONG road ahead!  Writing this is helping though, because I'm realizing that while my mind is racing, wondering what to do about this little thing and that little thing, that by the time you read this, it won't have mattered either way.  Although all those little things are what is going to make you the person you're going to be!  Argh... now I want my mommy....  

Tonight you cried for just under an hour before you finally gave in and fell asleep.  Your dad let me go running for the first half hour, so I wouldn't give up and go "save" you.  I thought it would help, and it did while I was running, but then as soon as I walked in the door and heard your desperate, breathless shrills, I felt so guilty for leaving!  It was very, very hard....  and it's only 10:00... you've only been asleep for an hour, so the night has just begun.  I'm hoping it'll be easier than I'm afraid it will be, but we'll see.  I'm embarrassed to report that you're still waking up about 3 or 4 times every night to nurse, which is not average!  You should definitely be sleeping through the night at this point, and you're not.  I think you've only woken up once a handful of times, and you've still yet to actually sleep for more than 6 hours at a time.  Sleeping in your crib will help that, because I won't be so convenient for you.  Good, deep sleep is good for your cognitive development, and I just keep having to remind myself that.  It's also going to help your mood during the day.  Maybe you're acting out lately because you're not getting the sleep you need.  Hell, maybe I'm stressing out because I'm not getting the sleep I need!!  I read in my "googling" last night that parenting shouldn't be about total self sacrifice, because that's not what your child needs, and it's true.  I can't be 100% engaged as a mother for you if I'm sleep deprived.  I did realize that with my health- I know now that I need regular, pretty intense exercise to keep my stress level down, and even though it's hard to find time to work out, it's a priority I have to have in order to be a good mother to you.  When I go several days without working out, I definitely notice a difference in regards to my patience with you and your dad.  I just need to realize now that sleep is another thing that I need!

In other news, you're a WALKER now!!  I'm so proud for you.  I love witnessing all your accomplishments.  The other week you started walking "non-coaxed," and then this past week and a half or so, you've just steadily gone from crawling mostly, to now walking almost exclusively.  It is the most ADORABLE thing ever to watch your little legs work.  You just see the synapses in your brain firing and the message being sent from your little brain to your little chunky legs, because there is some FOCUS in that face of yours!  Your little legs move like robots, too.  Clumsy, adorable, chunky robots...           

Please forgive me for making you "cry it out."  I promise I'm trying to do the best thing for YOU, not the convenient thing for me.  This is a good test to see how I well I'll be able to stick with doing something that you may not like or understand, but that I know (or feel) is the best thing for you at the time.  One of the things that I've always whispered in your ear when you cry is "Mommy's got you."  I kept whispering that in your ear tonight too, when I'd check on you every 10 minutes.  I've always "got you" when you need me.  I may not pick you up and take you in my bed like you want, but I'm right outside the door, crying right along with you, with the confidence that we'll both get through it, and we'll both be better for it.

To end, here are a couple photos:

Here is your sweet, sweet, sweet face after your bath today.  You love bathtime, and you love being wrapped tight in a warm dry towel just as much! 
And here is your cute little "necked baby" self, complete with you standing up on our headboard, talking to yourself, and your hand stuck in your belly button (you're pretty interested in that mysterious thing).  I love this shot.  It's SOOOO "you." 


Monday, June 7, 2010

Dear Violet,

Well, you have your first ear infection.  You've been tugging at your right ear for a few days and you caught a fever last night, so I took you to the doc today and sure enough: infected.  Poor girl.  You've been fussy, but not "rotten fussy," more like "sleepy fussy."  I had to hold you down in the exam room so the doc could get out a wax "plug" in that ear, too, and you did NOT like it.  Man oh man, I didn't either.  I felt awful seeing you like that!  We now have antibiotics, so hopefully in the next couple days it'll get better.  We caught it pretty early so it's not bad, which makes me feel better.  You always get really clingy when you're not feeling well, and this is no exception.  I had to make a palate with my comforter in the living room for your nap today because although you were EXHAUSTED from the doc's office experience, you kept waking up when I'd put you in your crib.  I just suck it up and try to multitask, because I think that you should get all the loving and cuddles your heart can handle when you're sick.  This morning I just caught up on my DVR'd episodes while you slept on my chest.  I had a long list of things to accomplish, but comforting my sick baby quickly made it to the top of that list!

You're getting a lot better at walking.  I've lately been catching you walking by yourself more and more, without being "coaxed" from person to person.  You're starting to realize that you're getting better at it, and I love that look in your face that just says "I can do it, I can do it."  Such determination- you get that from your dad.

You had your first swimming experience this week!  That was special for me, because I'm a waterbug- I LOVE swimming.  What was even more special was the location in which it happened.  It was at Shelby and Adrian's pool, where I spent summer after summer as a kid with my brother and sisters.  They had blackberry bushes covering the corner of their back yard, and we'd take turns jumping out of the pool, picking 2 armfuls of berries, jumping back in the pool to wash them off, and we'd all eat them while we swam.  The water was probably purple by the end of the summer!  I have such great memories there of playing "alligator," and a made up game of holding onto each side of the diving board with my siblings, trying to kick each other's arms off the board.  We'd have breath-holding contests and races from one end of the pool to the other.  Summertime is the best!  You made me so proud- you LOVED the water, and even dunked your head all the way under the water the second day!  I was so nervous, but daddy and nana swore you'd do fine, and you did.  We went late in the afternoon so by the time we jumped out to dry off for the last time before we left, the light had warmed up from the sun starting to set.  Shelby has a beautiful back deck and yard, and you were sitting so calmly and contently in front of some lillies, and I couldn't help but have a little photo session.  Your big ol' sweet belly was just delectable in your little bathing suit.  It wasn't my first choice for bathing suit, but I was in a hurry when I got it.  It's cute enough, though, and I actually like you in blue because it matches your eyes.  Your eyes matched the bright aqua blue pool, and I couldn't help but think about how I have the most gorgeous little girl to ever grace the earth.  I think I see a little green coming out just around your pupils, so I think you may have blue-green eyes.  Such a beautiful combination with those pouty lips!

Here are pictures from the pool:

  Here's your pucker face!  I love it.
And here's your beautiful round belly in all its glory...
Here's a face you make that reminds me of Allison:
and here you are just babbling away.  I think you look like me here:
  Oh how I wish wish wish I hadn't moved my camera as I took this.  I almost missed this moment, so I'll take it, even if it's blurry.  This is a BEAUTIFUL moment.  It's rare to catch your daddy in a genuine moment on camera, and this is lovely.  He's so handsome, and you're just breathtaking.
And here we are.  You were in such a relaxed mood.  Being tired from the water, having the sun on your face, and there was a slight breeze, it was all just enough to make us relaxed and content.
I know I've known you for over 10 months now, but I just can't look at your face without feeling absolutely blown away.

I'll Love You Forever,