Friday, July 22, 2011

Milestones & Memories

This entry is to Bellabean and will be one of many - I would like to write about our pregnancy, her birthday/my birth-day, and her first months with us.  Every day (since the very beginning, really) was/is a whole new world for us, and already the physical memories of pregnancy are fading... I want to be able to tell her what it was like, how every day was full of wonder and discovery and joy (and some morning sickness... :-)) and how she feels like magic to me.  
Bellabean, you are 15 weeks and five days old. You will turn four months old next week, on my thirtieth birthday!  I cannot believe that you are already four months old almost as much as I cannot believe that I have not known you for every moment of my life.  My heart is bound to yours, and I am sure that it has been forever.

Our fourth trimester together is over and you have graduated from Newborn to Infant.  They say that you should start slowly, stay at home, 'nap when she naps'... well... we haven't quite done that.  You've been busy, little one!! Here are some of my favorite milestones and memories from your first one hundred and seventeen days.

Birthday Week!
March 27 - Your birthday! 1:58am, on your due date, a very punctual girl (as if there would be any other way for us, right?)!   You weighed 8 pounds 2 oz (as I was when I was born!) and were 20 1/4 inches long when you arrived earthside after a totally amazing labor and birth.  From the moment we first snuggled chest to chest, you lifted your head (strong girl!) and looked at me, your Dad, and started taking in the world. You nursed and then slept in my arms, made little squeeks, and we got to see you sleep-smile for the first time.  Our hearts were yours before we knew you, but I understood, in those moments, what all those Mamas had told me: everything changes right then.  You met Grandma and Grandpa about 40 minutes after you were born, met your brothers at 4pm the next day, and met Auntie Erin and Clinton, too!
March 28 - Your homecoming! We went home the next day, because you and I felt great and it is so much better to be at home.
April 1 - We visited friends at WHS.  I think you recognized the chaos and voices, sounds and spirits around you.
April 2 - We visited CNY Yoga to see if Edie would be there.  She was at a retreat, but you met Lisa, Claire, and Julie.  Also, Auntie Angie came to visit for the weekend!

One Week
April 7 - Grandma and Grandpa went home to CT and Dad, you, and I started to figure out life without their amazing help.
I was aching to start taking you for walks, but around the time you were born we had a streak of Nineteen Days of RAIN! Amazing! The weather allowed for us to be total snugglebugs, though. 
April 9 - We went back to CNY Yoga and you got to meet Edie (you could not take your eyes off of her - I swear you recognized her voice!) and all of the still-pregnant ladies we practiced with each Saturday.  We started prenatal yoga together when I was 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant and practiced in those classes for the next 35 weeks.  What an amazing experience... more on that another time.  Also: Your first concert! We went to see Dad conduct at the Central Winds' concert and we danced together to both the Beatles Medley and Phantom of the Opera.

Two Weeks
April 13 - We visited Dad up at SU and you were a rockstar :-)
April 14 - We visited OHMS and saw many friends and kids
April 16 - First big girl bath, tub and all and the SRN baseball season started and you were an excellent cheerleader (or sleeping-team-encourager) for your brothers and their teams

Three Weeks
April 17 - I went back to my first Yoga class post delivery

Four Weeks 
April 27- One month old and you smiled your first awake honest-to-goodness smile. Also, we tried a pacifier for the first time that night.  The smile will stick with me for the rest of my life
April 28 - First time playing piano (with your butt, but still!)
Sometime in there, we went to The Mission for the first time! Mmmm.

Five Weeks 
May 4 - Blue-Eyed Brother read you your first Dr. Seuss book

Six Weeks 
May 8 - Mothers' Day and your first trip to Pastabilities!

Seven Weeks
May 16 - Playdate (more of a Mamadate) at Steph's house to meet Amelia and Grace.  This was a breakthrough day for me - hanging out with Steph, watching her be a Mama to her girls was so important to me and our get-together happened at just the right time.
May 19 - BEB's first Orchestra Concert (Hello, 'Cello!) and WHS Band Concert all in one night!
May 21 - S(S)YO Concert.  The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra started its downward trip to bankruptcy on the night of your birth.  In these seven weeks, as the SSO faced its demise, your Dad worked tirelessly (seriously.  through entire nights even while facing new-baby-Dad-exhaustion.) to ensure that all the kids of the SSY(S)O/SY(S)O would have a final concert.  It felt SO great to be there with you to celebrate those young musicians whose rebirth paralleled your new life.

Eight Weeks
Playdates with Isaiah and Evelyn M, the Jack's family, and the Warrens.  We had a busy week! Dad finished up SYO auditions, during which you and I took walks every day through the Radisson paths.  I finished your Thank You cards (which totaled more than 250! Wow!  If you ever forget that you are loved (though I hope to make that impossible for you!) remember how many people celebrated your new life.  I can't wait to get a chance to introduce you to all of those amazing people in our family, and our friends in life and at my work and your Dad's work.

Nine Weeks
May 28-31 - First trip to CT to see Grandma and Grandpa! You traveled in the car like a complete champ
June 2 - First campfire in the backyard with boys, M&D, puppies, and marshmallows!

Ten Weeks
You fell in love with Froggy this week.  He sings Froggy Went A Courtin' and says Ribbit, Ribbit! when you squeeze his tummy.  When you are in the car and he spins so that he faces away from you, you cry! When he is in your hands, you gnaw on his foot (lovebites, I'm sure).  Dada says Ribbit, Ribbit! to you, like Froggy does, and you just light up every time. 
June 5 - First swing in the hammock with Dad

Eleven Weeks
June 14 - You had your first experience in the bouncy chair and let us know that William Tell is your favorite tune for bouncin'.  You also had your very first back and forth phone conversation with Dad.  It was totally stinkin' adorable.  He would give you loves on the phone and you squeeked, squealed, and cooed to him.
June 15 and 16 - You SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT.  Amazing, terrifying, and SO completely needed for those two days.  It hasn't happened since, but we have gotten really good at the night wakings so that we're up for less than a minute each time, usually. 
June 16- Started family reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  You are SO focused during reading time and I think you like to hear the different accents and voiced we do.

Twelve Weeks
June 19 - Father's Day & First trip to Dinosaur BBQ! (We nursed in Dinosaur BBQ, btw)
June 23 - Last nap in the Newborn Napper egg and you moved to the Pack n' Play for times that you aren't right in our bed.

Thirteen Weeks
June 26 - Yankees Game!
June 27 - Beach in CT!
June 28 - Miniature Golf and your Dad and my Anniversary Dinner with the whole family at Max-a-Mia
June 29 - Six Flags for the whole day
June 30 -  Playdate with Natalie (daughter of Pat and Lauren!) and you belly laughed for the very first time because Dad was kissing your neck and lovin' on you. 
July 1 - Went to Cousin Michael and Ananta's wedding and Dada, you, and I danced together
July 2 - You met Shira and her family.  She and I reconnected when I was ten weeks pregnant with you, and she was a wonderful support and friend for our pregnancy.

Fourteen Weeks 
We sidecarred your crib, and that is working out splendidly for sleeping. 
July 8 - We had a playdate at Diane's and you absolutely fell in love with her daughter Evelyn.  You sat in a wide-leg pose with her and had a conversation back and forth for five minutes straight.  We have it on video! It was AMAZING to witness. 
July 9 - You took your first swim! Dad bought you swimmis and you wore your pink hat into the Radisson Pool.  You kicked and smiled and were a complete natural.

Fifteen Weeks
You started really singing with us! Last week, I sang Twinkle, Twinkle to you, on "Ha," in the lowest key I could, and it completely and totally cracked you up every time, especially the lowest notes.  This week you have been singing with us!! Dad and I sing to you every day.  Real songs, Bellabean songs, Real songs with Bellabean lyrics... it is one of my favorite things to do, and you have started singing back to us on "Ha" as well.  Proud musician mama? Absolutely.
Also, you sit with me every day while I practice flute, snuggled up right next to me.  I practice what I need to practice, but throw in a Bella Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle, and Baa Baa Blacksheep for fun and it always gets a smile from you.  While the boys watched a movie the other night, I practiced in my office and the lighting was perfect and made the flute just sparkle. You couldn't take your eyes off of it, and grabbed the footjoint and held on as I played.  Then, of course, you chewed on it a little.
This week, I noticed that every time Lucie barks like she wants to kick some squirrel butt, you smile! We started doing animal sounds with you, and that makes you laugh, too.  Seeing you smile, and laugh, and scrunch up your eyes because something seems funny is a complete joy. I will never stop trying to find that smile.  

Can you believe we have done all of this? You are incredible.  Everyone who meets you comments on how you are such a wonderful baby: inquisitive, engaging, happy, and calm, and I couldn't agree more! You hold up your head (as you did since day one), look towards sounds, stare at everyone who loves on you, make the most adorable sounds, sing and coo and talk and squeek and squeal, make sounds like a 'baby dinosaur' or a 'saver-toof-tiger!', as Dad and I say, sit in the boppy, leg kick on the bouncy chair and whenever you are feeling ecstatic, stare at your hands and toes, get kisses from Sophie the Giraffe and smile, blow bubbles, hold toys and rattles, love on your Froggy, and you make my heart grow in love by leaps and bounds every day.  I love you, Bellabean.