A Mom's letters of love to her baby daughter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Top 10 Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Mom

My Dear Little Princess,
You have taught me several things since you've arrived 5 months ago! Among them...
1. You have an innate and perfect sense of timing. For example, you will be calm during a car ride right up until we pull up to the microphone at Chick-fil-a to place an order. Then you will SCREAM like we are never going to let you out of that darn car seat. I have no idea what the poor waitress taking the order must think of us, but I swear you calm down again once we leave the parking lot.
2. Speaking of car rides, if you are in the car long enough, you will poop. It's like you are bored, so well, nothing better to do than poop. This has lead to several diaper explosions. And the third thing you've given me the opportunity to learn...
3. How to remove poop stains for clothing. My secret is Dreft Stain Remover. I douse the stain with Dreft before tossing the garment in the laundry. Seriously, don't hold back...SOAK that stain. Then I wash the clothes in cold water (despite what the package says) since warm water seems to set anything that didn't immediately come out. Once the first wash is done, I inspect each item to make sure the stain really has disappeared. If not, douse and repeat washing until it is gone. That is a critical step. Otherwise, the dryer will bake in the lovely shade of poop yellow. Finally, dry the clothes on delicate because baby clothes seem to be made from the thinnest cotton possible. Seriously, I had to throw out 3 onesies because they molded after being damp for a couple of days. That's never happened to me with my adult clothing.
4. Speaking of clothing, I was planning to still wear my maternity clothes after having you. (I wasn't naive enough to think that my body would go right back to pre-pregnancy size after giving birth). However, much to my chagrin, most of the maternity clothes looked absurd without the baby belly. Which is how I learned that pregnancy-related expenses never stop. See exhibit A, the new post-maternity wardrobe.
5. I've learned never to leave the house without toys. I've been complimented on what a good baby you are. At this age, though, I don't think it's about discipline. It's just making sure that are you fed, napped, and have a steady stream of things to keep you entertained. (Oh, look! Your baby links! Once you toss the links aside... Oh look! Your book! and so on).
6. Bottle warmers do not work. I really wish someone had told me this before I bought one. The best thing to warm a bottle is to microwave a coffee mug full of water for a minute or so, then just hold the bottle in the warm water for about a minute. (Of course, I'm careful not to let you near the hot water and I test the bottle before giving it).
7. Baby baths suck. I hate them. You hate them. The one bath tub that we have in the house is mostly blocked by the toilet, so we bought an infant tub that sits over the kitchen sink. This works out relatively well, though I am scared to death that either you or the tub might slip overboard. Therefore, Dad has the job of holding you in a sitting position during the bath time so that I can quickly rub you with you soap and then spray you down. Still, you hate getting any water in your face (which is difficult considering your mass of hair that needs washing). And I usually err on the side of the water being too cold, so you can't wait to get into that little hooded towel at the end. Still, baths are great for getting rid of diaper rash. For you, when it comes to diaper rash, the trick is to use a high-quality, cloth-like diaper. Then, for each change, you need a wipe and then to be dried (I dab you dry with a tissue or a clean washcloth). This is followed by A&D ointment and powder. The final trick for getting rid of diaper rash? Frequent changes, even at night. Which leads to the next lesson learned.
8. Sleep is the most precious commodity ever. I love you, dear, but I will be really grateful when you can go more than 3 hours at night without needing to be fed. I have tried to start you on rice cereal 3 times now (which will supposedly help with the need for frequent feedings), but each time you didn't poop for two days. Then when you finally did have a bm, it was really loose. This leads me to believe that you are not quite yet ready for solids foods. Well, you aren't quite 6 months yet either. We'll give it a few more weeks. (Sorry to obsess over your bodily functions, dear. This must be something that Moms just can't help. I wasn't allowed to take you home from the hospital until you proved that you could properly dirty a diaper, so somehow each dirty diaper is a proud reminder to me of how healthy you are).
9. I've learned what a Mother's Room is. It's basically a lit closet with a chair, small table, and an electrical outlet that allows me to pump at work while you are at daycare. It's been fantastic that my employer allows this. I bought a hands-free style pump (Medela Freestyle) that allows me to keep working on my laptop while also being a cow.
10. Jokes about feeling like a cow aside, I truly feel like being a parent really is the most overwhelmingly wonderful thing that can happen to a person. I look at you, baby, and see my past, my present, my future. With you in my arms I see everything good about myself and everything I wish I could change or do better. Having you is scary, exciting, and amazing. And I'm sure that this only the beginning of what I'm going to learn!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby Rolls Over!

Dear Princess,
On Tuesday, November 7, you rolled over for the first time! You were lying on your stomach on your Fisher-Price Kick and Crawl, reaching for the tags on the end of mat. Your right arm was tucked under your body, so to grab the tags you had to move your left arm diagonally across your body to get to the tags over to the right. This set you off balance enough that all the sudden you just flipped onto your back! You scrunched up your face to cry, but were too shocked to wail.
Your fascination with tags fascinates me. You stretch to grab the tags on your Kick and Crawl, your Jumparoo, and the clips that hold the Waterfall Soother onto your crib. These are things that I don't see any more because I've learned to filter them out from conscious thought. Not you -- everything is new and exciting!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Laugh!

Dear Princess,
I was taking a nap on the bed this afternoon when Daddy brought you in and plopped you down beside me.  You smiled and ran your fingers over my face, gurgling sounds like "goo" and "zee." When I repeated what you said out loud, I realized you were trying to say, "It's good to see you!"
I then sat you on my chest and pretended to eat your fingers because this made you almost laugh yesterday.... you gave a "heh" sound and grinned. But you weren't very entertained by the finger-eating today because you were more interested in the dogs, who had climbed onto the bed as well. I turned you around so that you could see the dogs and Bailey came over and sniffed your fingers, then licked your hand. You erupted into full laughter! I guess the doggie kiss tickled you. I can't wait to her your laugh again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Growing So Fast

My Dear Little Baby,
Everyone told me that you will grow incredibly fast, but frankly, I did not comprehend just how quickly.
For example, I have a friend that just had a baby and I am SHOCKED at how tiny her baby is. Were you really that small just 5 months ago? I went back and looked at your pictures from June. Yes, you were really were that small!  I can't believe how much you have grown and changed in what amounts to just a few weeks!
I have all of your clothes divided into drawers by size.  The first drawer has newborn to three months clothes. The second drawer has size 3-6 months, and so on. A couple of months ago, I was sad when I realized that I was closing the drawer on your "newborn" clothes for the last time. And now, after tugging to get you into your size 3-6 month clothing this morning, I realize that the drawer for size 3-6 month clothing will soon close for the last time.
Sigh, you really do grow so fast!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baby's First Boo

Dear Mamma's Little Pumpkin,
We had your first Halloween!  We didn't go trick-or-treating because I thought it might be obvious that mommy was collecting all of the candy for herself. But you did "help" me pass out candy.  You seemed quite entertained at the children's costumes, and your ready smile indicated that you were pleased by all the cries of, "Awww, what a cute baby!"