Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Asha Moremi, 6 months

While pregnant, I would alternate between excitement and moments of sheet terror at the thought of growing our family.  The dread surfaced when I imagined what our daily routine would look like. At the time, pregnant and exhausted, working full time with a husband who was gone 13+ hours every day, I didn't know how I would do it.  One child was pushing me past my limits, how would I cope with two? Then came Asha, and you know what? She appears to be exactly the balancing force our family needed.

Each baby changes you, forces you to grow instantly in very specific, totally unplanned ways.  Amaliya made me a tougher, calmer, less emotionally driven person. She grew me up. I'm still figuring out how to define the impact Asha has made on me, but for now I’ll say, she has woken me up to my own mortality. I feel as though I’ve been snatched out of orbit, snapped into my own body and mind for the first time… ever, really. I feel each moment in a way that I never did before, with the full knowledge that I’m experiencing time that I will never get back, and that every lapsed second leads me closer to the end. Of my life, of the lives of those I love.  The human experience is all so finite, and it always has been of course, but I’m feeling it in a new and profound way since Asha came along.

That all sounds terribly morbid. There are times, certainly, where I am overwhelmed with sadness at the fragility of life.  Mostly, I just feel gratitude, and a pure sort of joy that can only be experienced when you are fully at peace in the present moment.  There’s something about Asha that puts me at ease – her sunny nature, her sweet and gentle demeanor, perhaps. I also think she was my personal tipping point.  The last four years have been a struggle to maintain my identity outside of motherhood. To be the best mom I could be as well as the best ME I could be, and there was a constant push-pull for time and emotional space, all while simultaneously experiencing the most intense and all-consuming love possible. I sought it and fought it in equal measure, because I wasn’t ready to give myself over totally to the new identity that comes with motherhood.  When Asha came, I surrendered, and with that surrender came the peace and balance and sense of purpose I needed.

But enough about me! This is about Asha, who is wonderful in the way that all babies are, and wonderful in all the ways that she is uniquely herself. In the last month she has learned to sit up by herself for short periods of time. She can scoot around on her belly, slowly, but her dexterity increases every day (babyproofing is on the horizon). She looks me in the eye, makes a squawking bird sound, waits, and gets SO excited when I make the same sound back at her.  She cries if I move too far away from her and cries if she sees me and I’m not holding her. No matter how fussy or tired she is, she instantly quiets whenever she hears my singing or her daddy playing the guitar. She gets the biggest kick out of watching her sister perform for her, though is a little overwhelmed by some of the “violent” love her sibling doles out.  She prefers to explore rather than observe, and she’s going to be hard to keep up with when she finally masters movement. Her two bottom teeth are in. She laughs easily, cries rarely, snuggles often, and lights up my days and nights with her delicious bubbly babyness.

Asha Likes:  Her changing pad (so many smiles and giggles with every change), music (she's very responsive to it, in all forms), playing on the floor, her toys (especially soft books that crinkle), being outside, avocados, tickles, and “talking” to us.

Asha Dislikes: Her sister squishing her cheeks, me having a body separate from hers, not being held when she’s tired, being tired in general, and she’s rather apathetic about the baby carrier again.

Sleeping:  Terrible. So terrible.  She's up every 1.5-2 hours all night long, and starts her day between 4-5:30am on the regular. Sleep has been on a downhill slide for the last couple months, but the past two weeks have been especially rough.  She seems to sleep best when she's at home all day and can take long, frequent naps. Fine, except, she goes to daycare - her morning nap is delayed because she's ready at 7, which is right as we're getting packed up to go, and her afternoon nap is around 4pm, which is right when I pick her up.  By Thursday or Friday every week, I am so tired that I'm practically hallucinating.  I know it won't last forever, and because of that knowledge I'm not too upset about the current state of things, but it's still hard. Trying to function at work, get some exercise (ha), take care of the family/house, and maintain stable moods and a positive outlook on 4-6 non-consecutive hours of sleep a night is tough. But we'll get through it.

Eating:  We started solids, and she’s taken to food like she’s been eating it for months. So far she’s had avocado, green beans, butternut squash, pumpkin, and coconut milk.  She still nurses multiple times per day (and night) and actually seems to nurse easier (screams/bites/grabs less) now, probably because she's not so hangry.

We love you, Asha, and we love how you've transformed our family in the last 6 months.You are the sugar to your sister's spice, and you make every day so much more meaningful for all of us.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Asha Moremi, 5 months

Oh, my Asha.  She rolls, she screeches, she grabs, she laughs, she does all the things 5-month-old babies do, but with a style all her own. 

Asha is a hard one to put into words. Some babies (not naming names here, ahem) bowl you over with their obtrusive personalities. They're picky, particular, intense, the givers of grey hairs from the get-go, but that is not Asha. There's something about her that's mysterious yet unaffected. She's gentle in all things - even when she wakes me up 3+ times per night, her squawks are less, "damn you woman, come get me!" and more "hey mama, I miss you, can we snuggle for 20 minutes while I kick-box your boob and eventually pass out? Thanks."

Yes, you are gentle. Subtle. Sunny and sweet. You smile and giggle all the time, never frantically, but  with a slow and genuine delight. You are neither reserved nor suspicious, but open and curious about others and the world. You love to move around by rolling and scooting, making your way over to something new you can explore with your hands and mouth. You can sit up with assistance for short periods of time, and I can tell it's opening up new worlds for you.  Your dad and big sister earn your easy smiles, but it's still my left shoulder that calms you when you're tired or upset.

Speaking of your sister, she is over the moon for you still. She loved you from the beginning, but I'm continually amazed at how maternal she feels toward you.  The jealousy has been minimal, and she's quick to defend you and tell me to, "be nice to Asha mom!  She's just a baby, she can't help it!" any time I grimace at a dirty diaper or express disdain at an aborted nap. If I could have one wish in this life, it's that the two of you always love and defend each other so fiercely. 

Asha Likes: Riding around in the baby carrier, being talked to and tickled, sitting and standing with assistance, playing with my necklaces, chewing on her hands, walking around outside, watching sister dance and sing, lavender oil massages before bed, getting her diaper changed.

Asha Dislikes: You really only cry when you are tired. Everything else you don't like (being left on your playmat, for example) is often a direct result of needing a nap.  You are not particularly fond of hats or anything on your head, and you still seem rather sensitive to being cold. Baths are still not your favorite, though you don't cry any more, you just look very serious the whole time.


Eating: You are becoming very interested in food now, following every bite we take at meal time and enthusiastically reaching for our forks.  One more month, and you'll be joining us for dinner.  As for now, you're doing just fine switching between breast and bottle and, though you are tiny, you're growing just fine on breastmilk alone.

A typical feeding schedule:

6am - Breastfeed in bed before we get up for the day
9am - Breastfeed or 5oz bottle
12pm - Breastfeed or 5oz bottle
3pm-4pm - Breastfeed or 5oz bottle
6:30 - Breastfeed in the rocking chair before bed
1-3am - Breastfeed, then back to bed

Sleeping: You've more or less regulated your daytime sleep and are a great napper.  You need your first nap about 2 hours after waking in the morning, another short nap 2 hours after that, and then will take an epic 3-hour or longer nap in the afternoon.  Bedtime is between 6:30 and 7, and you don't put up any fight. I've been trying to create a ritual around bedtime, so usually you eat, I change your diaper and massage you with lavender oil, put on your jammies, read a short book, sing a song, turn on your white noise, and lay you in your crib.  You find your thumb and fall asleep immediately.  After that, though, it really depends.  Some nights you only wake up once to eat, around 2am, and then go back to sleep until 6.  There have been a couple nights were you wake up at 10:30 and won't settle down until 1 or 2am.  You've slept all night but then woken up at 4am ready to start your day. You're transitioning into big-kid sleep patterns and it's exhausting and unpredictable, but I know it will pass. You'll eventually sleep through the night, and then in a weird way I'll miss the sleepless nights and that quiet time we spend together.

Asha is our joy and our balance, and I couldn't imagine our family without her.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Asha Moremi, 3-4 months

My sweet Asha. She's entered into what I think is the "golden age" of babyness.  4-7 months is epic. They learn so much, and change so much - rolling, sitting, eating, babbling.... all of it is just on the horizon, and I want to capture as much as I can in words before this wonderful phase passes me by.

Babies make time go so fast.  Especially second babies.  I am feeling, for lack of a better word, utterly blessed to have Asha in our lives. I knew that all babies were different, because of course they are unique people from the start, but it still floors me how different my girls are in personality already.  Amaliya was sassy from the start, serious and discerning, very particular about everything and every one.  She rarely laughed, didn't roll or crawl until she was almost a year old, and was a generally intense personality from the start.  The old soul inhabiting her body made her seem more like an adult in a tiny body than a baby.

That's not Asha.  Asha is easygoing, innocent, joyful, a baby through and through. She buzzes with a quiet but constant energy. She does all the baby things - wiggles and coos and blows epic spit bubbles, those little actions that are so monumental in a mama's eye, because they are all one step closer to the end of babyness. Asha is a snuggler and not a crier, she loves her people but also loves to explore the world on her own. I can't wait to see what the next few months will bring, when she's mobile and ever more engaged in the world around her.

Asha Likes:  Just about everything.  She really only fusses when she's tired. She especially loves tummy time while batting at toys, "standing" on her legs, sitting on laps and observing the world, being talked or sung to, being changed, walking around outside, and watching her sister's shenanigans.

Asha Dislikes:  Being fed when she's not interested, baths (though she doesn't cry any more - just shoots me dirty looks), teething (SO early.  Why, nature?) and being in the house when she's bored or tired.  There's not much this girl doesn't like. She is a very chillaxed baby.

Eating:  There's not  much to say here.  She eats well, 4-6 times a day and usually 1-2 times overnight. She takes the bottle with no fuss at all, almost never nurses for comfort.... that's about it.  She does tend to spit up fairly often, but she's allowed :-). 

Sleeping:  I still can't believe the jackpot I hit with this baby girl. She sleeps like an absolute pro, and has twice now slept 12 hours through the night. The 4 month sleep regression shook things up for a bit - she was up 2-3 times a night, mostly because she was rolling herself over and getting stuck. I started swaddling her legs for sleep, and it seems to help. Right now she goes to bed between 6:30 and 7pm most nights, wakes up once or twice to eat (15 minutes), and wakes up around 6:30am.  There's no rhyme or reason to her naps yet.  She generally needs a short one early in the morning, then is up for a 4-5 hour stretch, takes a 3ish hour nap, and then is up until bedtime.

Nicknames: Ash, Asha-basha, Ash-ers, Awesome Asha (at daycare), squeakers, puddles, juicy fruit

We love you, my Asha <3 br="">

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

To Amaliya, on your 4th birthday


What a year you've had, my girl. A year of growth, transition, and huge upheavals. When you turned 3 you were my only baby, mature beyond your years, physically restrained and emotionally reserved, the quietest kid in your class. Now? Now you scale all the playground equipment. You make friends with strangers everywhere you go. You sing and dance your way through every situation. And you are a big sister now, a role that suits you more perfectly than I could have imagined.

Your 3rd year was overshadowed a bit by the impending arrival of your sister. I felt bad when it took me away from you - when I was too sick to take you places, too big to run around the park with you, and unable to do much of anything for a few weeks when Asha was born. We did make the most of our time together, though. We had Sunday morning dates at Barnes and Noble, where we hit up Starbucks and then read books for an hour. Every other Friday, we skipped the daycare breakfast and went to Denny's where I watched agog as you polished off an entire Gram Slam breakfast. There were frozen yogurt dates and the occasional trip to the library. You've always been my sidekick, my companion, willing to go with the flow and accompany me on any whim or errand. You're not the kid that throws tantrums in public, melts down in the checkout line, complains about having to do things. Whether its standing in line at the bank or hitting up 3 grocery stores in an afternoon, you enthusiastically kept me company - always with a smile and a song. I appreciated your easygoing nature and maturity so much this year. Because of you, we were able to make the most of our last months together as mama and only daughter.

You found out about the new baby back in August, and dealt with it in your characteristic fashion:  by asking a million questions. You studied the stages of fetal development in a magazine. You asked a million more questions, and you fell in love.  You were so, so excited for your baby sister Moon Cheese (you chose the name) to be born. You covered my belly in kisses, asked me every day if we can keep her, and promised to protect her and change all the diapers. You suddenly had a baby in YOUR belly named Pela, who is a boy and apparently very mean.  For a while there you were bodyslamming your teacher and friends at daycare and blaming it on Pela's kicking!

You've had some anxiety about your transition from toddler to big kid, as all kids do. You've struggled to express yourself; you've raged, you've melted down, and you've taken out a lot of it on me. I don't mind - in fact, I welcome it.  I am privileged to be your safe place, the one to whom you can express the sadness and anger and confusion that overwhelms you sometimes while you learn to deal with the frustrations of life. 

You are so much like your dad: analytical, observant, talkative, cerebral. You are like me, too, in your pragmatic nature, your love of the spotlight, and your stubborn temper. I've come down hard on you in the past year, and then paused to realize that you were only reflecting my own behaviors back on me. That's the terrible and wonderful thing about parenting. It's not all wonderment and misty eyes and reliving the freedom of youth.  It's also a lot of watching the unsavory parts of yourself manifested in an innocent little person, and realizing that if you want to stop them from self-destructing one day, you need to first fix what's broken in yourself.

The hard moments, the growing moments, fade to the background when I think of all the good you've brought to our family this year. You are silly and bouncy, you love to roughhouse, to chase and be chased.   You love to use your imagination, but if I get too far into the fantasy, you are quick to remind me that "it's just pretend, mama."  You're always questioning why I do thing the way I do, and suggesting ways to make my life more efficient.  What's impressive about that is that, many times, you're absolutely correct!

You are starting to sound out words.  You can count to one hundred and ten. You draw pictures that actually look like what you intend.  You are utterly obsessed with Daniel Tiger and have all the songs memorized.
You enjoy art projects and helping me in the kitchen. You're happy to help me with anything, in fact, and are always fetching me things and offering your assistance. You still love your Music Together classes, and you are enthusiastically delving into ballet.  I'm so happy to see you finally finding confidence in your physical body.  You who never crawled, who has always been so cautious, unwilling to move and try new things, now you splash freely in the pool and tear up the sidewalk on your balance bike.  You are interested in all things related to the human body - we have books on skeletons and germs and babies that you've asked me to read you dozens of times.  

You challenge me and make me proud every day, Amaliya.  I've done my best as your mom, but I always want to do better by you: be more patient, more gentle, more empathetic, more generous with my time. You deserve all of that and more, and yet, even when I fall short, I know that you and I will be okay. We've been figuring this mama-and-daughter thing out together from the beginning, guiding and correcting each other. Even though the twists and turns of the past year have changed our dynamic, the bond between a mom and her first daughter is unique and unwavering. 

You are exquisite, baby girl. I can't wait to see how you shine this year.

Mama <3 br="">


Friday, September 9, 2016

Autumn Bucket List

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte date with Amaliya
  • Visit Live Oak Pumpkin Patch
  • Bake a fall treat
  • Paint or carve pumpkins
  • Go Trick - or- Treating
  • Picnic in Oak Glen
  • Play in the leaves
  • Decorate the house for fall
  • Visit Greenspot Farms
  • Take a nighttime walk in our neighborhood
  • Make an autumn art project
  • Take family pictures

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Notes on life right now

I'm tempted to say that I'd like to devote more time to this space, to writing, to telling my stories... but I won't, because it's just not going to happen. When I had Amaliya, there was still some wiggle room in my life that allowed priorities to come and go and shift around.  That second baby sure is a game changer, though. Since Asha came along, my life has been streamlined and simplified.  My priorities in my non-working hours are, in order: 1) taking care of my family, 2) spending quality time with my family, 3) working out, 4) reading for pleasure. That's literally ALL I have time for, and reading gets cut out quite often.

It's been a relief, actually.  Instead of trying desperately to fit in time to work on a painting or craft project, I packed up all my supplies and stored them in a closet.  There will be time for that later, but not now, during this season of my life. I still love to write, but my oversharing is now done mostly in short bursts on Instagram, because I can post from my phone with one hand while rocking a baby with the other.  I will still be doing milestone posts and letters to my kids now and then, because I'm committed to documenting their childhoods for them (which they will either love me for, or drag me to therapy over. We shall see), but they won't be my finest writing, proofread and revised.

I'm heading back to work full time in a week and a half. I really want to get it over with - I hate dreading unpleasant things, and would much prefer to just leap in and get it over with.  The transition back is what I'm dreading, not the actual being-at-work part. My job is fine. It's the unsettled feeling I have over sending a tiny baby to daycare. It's knowing that I'm going to come home exhausted in the evenings, with one screaming, tired baby and one sass-mouthed, hungry, obstinate preschooler, and somehow still get dinner on the table and wash a zillion bottles and breast pump parts. It's knowing that my kids, who deserve the best of me, almost always get the worst of me on evenings like that.  I'm anxious to plunge in, get over the adjustment period, and settle into a new routine.... though I also anticipate that routine will weigh on me heavily. A routine doesn't eliminate stress, it just keeps the stress at a constant low hum so that it eventually fades into the background of your life, and you don't realize that you're actually suffering from constant stress until you have a few months to shake it off and finally BREATHE.

Ah, maternity leave.  Just when I hit my stride being home all day, it ends, and back to work I go.

I don't mean to paint a dismal picture here though. I am happy.  Truly, deeply, surprisingly happy, satisfied with my life in a way that I never knew I could be. My marriage is strong, and a constant source of peace and pride for me. Amaliya amazes me daily with the person she is becoming, and though my relationship with her is definitely the most volatile one in my life right now (almost-4-year-olds feel ALL the feelings ALL the time, and I am not the most empathetic of souls) she is and will always be my greatest companion in this life. Asha is a dream baby, a trick baby, the kind of baby that makes you want to have a dozen more babies. I am so in love with her it makes me spontaneously weep, of all the ridiculous things, but you mamas get it. Watching my family grow is pure joy.

As for me, well, I'm transitioning too of course. My hair started falling out this week, right on schedule. I still weigh about 20lbs more than I'm comfortable with, and though I'm not having any sort of crisis of confidence (my self-esteem and body image are, for the most part, impenetrable), the extra weight poses some difficulties.  For one, I don't fit into ANY of my old work clothes.  I am also having a much harder time running now.  I'm heavy, I'm slow, my feet hurt, I FELL tonight for the first time in years because I wasn't picking up my feet enough (scraped up a hand, knee and shoulder but I'm otherwise fine).  I have totally lost my sweet tooth since Asha was born, which is weird. I've been all about chocolate since birth, practically, but it rarely sounds good right now. I don't have any cravings, actually, and I'm in the unique-to-me position of struggling to take in enough calories to fuel breastfeeding/pumping and exercise (which still staying in a slight deficit so I can slowly take the weight off). It's a tough balancing act, but I'm listening to my body and slowly figuring things out.

Despite having pumped and stored well over 400oz of breastmilk, I'm still worried about keeping up with Asha when she goes to daycare. I'm worried about daycare in general. Will she sleep? Will the caregiver get frustrated with her? What if she won't take a bottle for her? Worries aside, I am having MUCH less postpartum anxiety this time around. I didn't realize what a shadow that cast over my first postpartum experience until now, when I'm enjoying my baby outside of the shadow cast by insomnia and intrusive thoughts and random surges of adrenaline. Aside from having some trouble getting physically back to normal (which, to be fair, is my own fault for gaining 60lbs while pregnant. And I regret nothing, because I ate a lot of amazing cake), everything has been so, so easy this time around.  I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for so many things. And that's where I'm at right now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Asha Moremi - 8 weeks



My sweet, snuggly, easygoing Asha is 8 weeks old today. I'm not one to believe that "everything happens for a reason," but it does seem fated and somewhat magical that this steady, gentle soul entered our lives at such a transitional moment.

I'm going a little bit crazy with two kids, I admit. They are so LOUD, all the time, and I hate noise. My brain short-circuits, and I just want to run away. They have competing needs and I feel like I need four hands for each of them, when I only have two to do everything. It's in those moments, when Amaliya is shouting mean things at me and dinner is burning and daddy is late and I'm totally burned out from 12 hours with no moment of silence and at least one person always touching me, that I have to pause.... and be grateful that, of all the second babies in all the world, Asha is mine. I can put her down to tend to her sister; I can lie her in her crib and know that she'll nap; She doesn't mind waiting a few minutes to eat, and then eating quickly so I can get other things done; She goes to bed with minimal pageantry and no fighting required.

Yes, she cries, and yes, she demands as much attention as any other baby. She'll scream her protest at being put down while I'm busy with her sister, but as soon as I pick her up, all is forgiven. She's accepted the chaotic but inflexible routine of our household and adapted to it perfectly, in only 8 weeks. She smiles at me, and I know without a doubt that she's on my side. I need that, these days.

I'm not generally prone to guilt, but I do feel as if I've been failing a bit for the past few months. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not as bonded to Asha as I was to her sister at this point. Part of it is that I haven't spent much time alone with her, since her dad and big sister have been home a lot since she was born. Part of it is that we're frequently stuck in the house (with the weather being so damn hot and Asha screaming murder in her carseat or the carrier, it's really hard to get out and even take a walk) and being indoors/inactive makes me unhappy and rather crazy. And of course, part of it is those lovely postpartum hormones which have been doing a number on me for the last couple weeks. I don't feel as bonded with her as I'd like to be, and I also feel like her presence has drastically changed the solid bond I have with Amaliya. I feel adrift, taking care of both of them and loving on them the best I can, but not really connected, you know? I know this will pass, and I'm doing my best to take care of all of us (myself very much included) and find our new normal. I love my girls, they love me, and their growing love for each other is a beautiful thing to witness.

It's been hard, but now that my husband is back at work and Amaliya is settling into her new school, I'm trying to make the most of the days I have with Asha.  I talk and sing to her, take naps with her, and try and be more "in the moment," breathe in her sweet babyness and let go of my anxiety.

I'll save my crazed postpartum ranting for another post, and focus now on my beautiful Asha. She's just started cooing this week, and it melts me.  I love how she locks eyes with me when I talk to her, grins, and squeaks while frantically flailing her limbs. You can tell how excited she is to be part of the conversation. Her eyesight is much better now, so she can actually focus on and watch her sister's crazy antics (for the first month or so I think Amaliya was just an afro'ed blur and source of loud noise for Asha, and she was terrified. Now, she's fascinated!)

She's still incredibly strong - she pushes herself so far up during tummy time that she consistently rolls over onto her back. She's getting much better at holding her neck up and sitting upright in my lap. She'll get weighed at her 2-month appointment next week, but I think she's approaching 11lbs right now, and almost outgrown her 0-3m sized clothes.

Lots of drool these days

Asha Likes: Being talked to, making eye contact, watching her sister (from a safe distance), being outside, my left shoulder (still), her play mat, wiggling on her changing pad, and this balloon that Amaliya "bought"for her:

Asha Dislikes: Her carseat (sigh), the carrier (bigger sigh), being stifled by her sister's love (see below), being carried "like a baby"unless she's eating, being bathed and massaged, pacifiers (unless she's REALLY tired, and then she'll take one until she falls asleep), being woken up prematurely from a nap.

Sleeping: We're emerging from the chaotic newborn days, and Asha is turning into an excellent sleeper. She's in her crib at night probably 90% of the time, and only sleeps with me if she wakes up in the early morning hours and can't doze off again. She is AMAZING at putting herself to sleep.  We started putting her down sleepy-but-awake at around 6 weeks, and she usually dozes off within a few minutes with minimal fussing. In the last week or so her sleep patterns have changed - she's not napping for such long stretches during the day right now, but she's consistently doing a 6-7 hour stretch at night (one night we got a solid 8.5 hours!)

We're working on a bedtime routine, since that will make evenings with two kids SO much easier. For the past couple nights I've changed and fed Asha around 6:45, rocked her in a dark room with white noise on and sang a little, and put her down in her crib around 7:00. She goes right to sleep, wakes up between 1-4am to eat, then goes back to sleep until 6. After I put her to bed I'm free to spend a little time snuggling and reading with Amaliya, and both kids are in bed by 7:45 which is so, so essential for my sanity and hygiene and marriage.

Asha is getting better about napping in her crib, but her favorite nap location is still the Boppy Lounger (but she's outgrowing it and getting more mobile, so its days are numbered). She doesn't seem to like sleeping on me much anymore, but that's probably because it's hot and we get sweaty.


Eating: There's not much to say here, really.  She took to breastfeeding like a natural, eats 6-7 times a day and once at night, and has no issues taking a bottle.  She tends to gag and choke on my milk a lot more than her sister ever did, but I think it's because I have an oversupply and am pumping extra to freeze.  I try and pump regularly and not feed her when I'm engorged, and that helps. She's pukey sometimes and has really terrible gas that makes her miserable (due, I think, to the abundance of kale in my diet. I'm quite sad to give that up).  Gas drops and gripe water seem to help though.

Nicknames (all given by her sister): Ashie, Ash-ba, Ash-bosh, chubby cheeks.

Asha is definitely one of those "trick babies." The kind of baby that makes babies seem so wonderful that you feel like you should have more babies. Terrible birth control, this one is. Aside from the temptation to always have a sweet smelling, snuggly baby in the house, I do feel that our family is very complete now that Asha is with us. She rounds us out, in a way. My husband with his intellectual, analytical brain on fire; me, like a dalmation on steroids, always jumping around and juggling a dozen things and unable to contain my need to MOVE; Amaliya, with her fiery temper and social nature, always talking, always needing to interact and connect and communicate; We're a mess of strong, at-odds personalities.... and then came Asha, with her steady gaze and aura of Namaste. She unites us. She brings us peace. She seems softer than the three of us, more sensitive, more gentle. She is exactly what we always needed.

And we do love her so.