Friday, July 24, 2015

Dear Rye :: 1 month old

Dear Rye,
This time is going fast, are you holding on? I'm savoring every moment - it helps that I think you are the cutest baby ever, even in the middle of the night. You're stretching out, you're making noises (squeaks and cries), you're making eye contact. Your eyes are big and blue, which is a thrill. Noah and Del had brown eyes by now and yours are lighter than when you were first born - so I think it's blue for good.

You get hiccups all.the.time.
Everyone who meets you comments on how much hair you have and how small you are.
After 3pm you want to nurse every half hour or so. You seem distressed when we're not home (we're usually not) sitting still for this. And then you fall asleep for the night some time between 8-10pm. I swaddled you the first few nights and then Daddy suggested not swaddling you because you seemed to fall asleep with your hands up by your head. We did that for a few weeks but you started getting more active at night - kicking me and startling - so I went back to swaddling and you're sleeping for longer stretches.

We discovered that you feel very relaxed in the shower. I was recently out with Nina doing night-milking and you were getting sad. Daddy brought you into the shower and you relaxed completely. Suddenly it was okay that there wasn't constant nursing, even though it was evening. Daddy found me in the sink-room cleaning up and said I should hurry because you needed me. Then he said: "and we'll be getting back into the shower now."
"Why?!" I asked. You weren't fussing or anything.
"You didn't hear that?" he asked. Apparently you'd pooped.
Which you do a lot - and nosily.

But you're noisy in general with your hiccuping, squeaking, grunting ... it's either that you want milk or that you're trying to poop. And it's not always clear which is happening.
You've been to your first wedding reception. You were a big hit. And despite your tendency to make your voice heard, everyone at the wedding kept saying: "Is she always this good?" (and really, we get asked that a lot). By "good" of course, your fans mean "quiet". And yes, you sleep a lot and are quietly observant, most of the time.
You're pretty mellow. You ride in the car well, except when you want to nurse, then not so much. You turn your head when you hear my voice. You can be hanging out with another grownup and I walk in the room and you suddenly are rooting at their arm.

I thought I would be so excited to do newborn shoot after newborn shoot with you for the first two weeks of life - but really I just wanted to hold you - something I couldn't do while also organizing the supplies for a shoot. And I'm a little bummed, but also feel very zen about the whole thing. Those first few weeks are so short and I don't regret spending them staring at you instead of stressing about getting the perfect picture.

It's amazing to me that you've been here for a month already. Time is just flying by. At the same time, you just make sense - it's amazing to me that you've only been breathing for a month!

I'm putting you in tie-dye all the time. It looks so good on you and it's easy. I'm just thrilled that your smaller birth weight means lots of time, relatively, of wearing these adorable shirts. I don't know what's going to happen when you grow out of your tie-dye wardrobe. People joke that they won't recognize you!

In the first week or so of life, Daddy was holding you while I scarfed down dinner. When I returned to the dining room after getting a glass of water, I saw that Daddy had put an asparagus in your mouth as a pacifier. He doesn't want you to have a pacifier - but an asparagus-pacifier is a-okay apparently. I balked. He argued that something like this was probably the original pacifier. I worried about butter or water or something sucked out. You survived.

Del and Noah are completely in love, but also, it seems, completely adapted to having a baby sister very quickly. Whereas the grownups called you "the baby" for a while, still getting used to the fact that you have a name officially - your siblings immediately called you Rye.
Del has been really excited about holding you - but the novelty has worn off and she's less frantic to get her hands on you. She is really great at picking you up when you're sad while calling out to me. She's also adept at carrying you around which makes us (the grownups) nervous, but there's no need to be.
Noah shows his enamored feelings differently. He found the camera the day after you were born and spent a few days obsessively taking pictures. He wasn't and isn't that interested in holding you much - but put a camera in his hand and the only thing he's interested in capturing is you.

I don't notice it, but everyone else tells me that as soon as I enter the room - and especially when I talk, you immediately turn your head and get more active. If you're hungry you do these wide grabs at the air with your mouth wide open, head moving slowly back and forth.
You're so alert lately and so expressive with facial expressions - you can go through an impressive range in such a short time frame!

You started going with me to the farmers market at 3 days old. You've been out doing chores. You're a grab-and-go-baby ... except if it's after 3pm. And that is okay - you get extra snuggles from anyone who will hold you - and there are lots of people willing.

The stretching you do! It's so cute and involves every part of your body - even your face, squinching up. You raise one (or sometimes two) arm(s) above your head in a big stretch regularly. Nina calls it "power to the people". When you raise up two arms, Del says: "look! TWO power to the people!" Del also really likes your cow lick and wishes she had a swirl in her hair too.

You were a big surprise from the beginning and I think being the "bonus baby" makes me feel so lucky to have you. I'm in awe of your tiny body fitting a whole human inside. Your super dark hair, your bright blue eyes that turned from the grey of your newness, your tiny tongue that you stick out all the time, your perfect little nose, your teeny-tiny nails attached to relatively long fingers and big hands and skinny long arms, the wrinkles at your elbows - it's all so amazing. You're here. It's incredible because you were so unexpected.

I keep looking at one year olds and realizing you'll be walking next summer! It's going by so fast - you've changed so much in this first month already!
We love you more and more every day and you just fit in our family. I laugh at myself because most of the time I can't imagine our family without you. And every once in a while I'll look down and be shocked that there's a baby in my arms.
We love you baby girl,

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