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