Friday, May 27, 2011

Millie's Room

Dear Millie,
I just realized that I have never posted pictures of your room.  SHAME ON ME!!!  Believe it or not, we actually had it done before you were born, but I never seemed to have the camera with me and I was so busy being irritable and fat, that I couldn't be bothered.  I knew that I would eventually get to it... just didn't know it would be when you were three months old!  My bad.

Your room was actually our old office space.  Which, prior to that, was where the cat lived.  Let's just say that this room has come a loooonnnnngggg way.  

 The office...

... is now your room!

So... you're gonna notice right off a few things that stand out. One, the furniture doesn't match.  Doesn't even come close to matching.  This is because we scored a free crib from some friends and seriously?  You don't turn down free furniture.  EVER.


Then we decided to bring Hazel's old dresser/changing table in, along with Big Ugly.  (Side note:  From day one, you have been intrigued by the flower stickers.  It's incredible to me, but you are absolutely entranced by them every time I change you!)  We also brought in the boogie machine, the diaper genie and your very own brand new humidifier!  I swear by this humidifier.  Best money I've ever spent.

Anyway... the room doesn't match.  It seemed so important for furniture to match when we put together your sisters room.  But that was when we were young, idealistic and had money burning a hole in our pockets.  Back when we could afford luxury items... like food.  Back when we didn't realize that we had enough money to have a second house somewhere.  You know... back before day care sucked every last dime we had hidden underneath the cushions of the couch.

But, I digress.

I found these cute wall decals on, and they were soooo much easier than the ones we put up in Hazel's room.  And way cuter.  And, surprisingly, WAY cheaper.  It's not like you care about them right now, but they're fun for me to look at while you're nursing.  I'm also hoping to get rid of the little heater if and when it finally warms up around here.  But the way things are going, it might not be until July or August!  The sound machine?  I take it back... that's the best thing I've ever spent money on.  I would have paid $1,000 for that thing.  IT'S. THAT. AMAZING.

We're dealing with a much smaller space than your big sister's room, but I think that it works.  It's cozy and the rug that we put down really made a difference.  You don't seem to mind your room and are a big, BIG fan of the lighted carousel.  We use that thing a lot more than we did the first time around.

We're not gonna talk about the door.  Just suffice it to say that it's about as secure as Fort Knox.  Your Daddy assures me of this.  And it's much better than the other door that was there previously.  Plus... we've got a great alarm system.  You can rest easy, baby girl.  I know I do.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Millie Takes On The World - Three Month Update

Dear Millie,
I cannot believe you're three months old!!!  Holy cow! This last month has been so crazy in terms of your growth and development of your personality.  You are seriously the easiest baby in the history of the world.  You only cry when you need something and I cannot tell you how much of a blessing that is to two working parents who already have their hands full with a toddler who, let's face it, runs the house. 

In the last month, you have started day care.  That first day was absolutely awful.  For me, anyway.  You didn't seem to mind in the least.  Dropping you off at day care is so different than when I dropped off your older sister as an infant.  Usually, you're asleep and I either leave you in the car seat or transfer you into the crib.  And even if you're awake, you'll just lay in your crib and watch the mobile for a while.  Not making a sound.  WHO DOES THIS??

You are such a smiler and you love to babble to me.  Your go-to noise is something between a growl and a kittens purr... way deep in your throat.  And boy do you love when I make the sound back to you!  You're also a big fan of the word "goooo".  Although, keep in mind that proper spelling is "Gu".  But we'll get into that when you're older.  So, yea... we love to baby talk to each other.  You and I can sit forever and solve the worlds problems... if only someone could translate the babble, the world's afflictions would be gone.  No more war.  No more tornadoes.  No more earthquakes and radioactive material leaking into the atmosphere.  No more paying for gasoline through the nose...

It'd be like living at the end of a rainbow.   A rainbow with a baby that loves to giggle.  One of your teachers at day care told me today that she's never seen a baby your age giggle so much.  I can't tell you how happy that makes me.  Having two happy girls?  Worth every moment of pain and frustration that comes with being a parent. 

But, I digress.  You are super happy, but you're still not really down with snuggling.  In fact, you're not really thrilled with being held that much anymore.  Unless you are being held facing out so you can see what's going on.  When I put you in your gym, you always turn your head so you can look at the TV.  I'm trying to tell myself that it's not because you're an early couch potato and just that you like the lights.  But... I'm concerned. 

You're quite the mover and shaker these days, as well.  You've become quite proficient in the back crawl and if I put you down somewhere and come back a few minutes later, you're usually not where I left you... just a few feet north of it.  You also seem like you're soooo close to rolling over.  It seems like you're just progressing so fast!  My little baby is just growing up so fast! 

Last week, you got sick.  After just two weeks in day care, you came down with a cough.  I don't know if you got it from day care... or from your older sister who has started to kiss you a lot.  And, since she's got a cough like every other week... well, it was bound to happen. 

But, your cough sounded a lot worse than hers, so we took you in and found out you either had bronchiolitis, or RSV.  But since treatment is the same for both diagnosis, we didn't bother with the test.  I stayed home with you for that week, and you and I had a wonderful time.  You were very snuggly and often took your naps on me.  You slept, ate, played and even though you were pretty sick, you never got too irritable or upset at anything.  Except for when I suctioned out your brains through your nose.  But, really... I would have been the same way.  You weren't a big fan of the breathing treatments either, but after four days, you were a lot better.  And, bonus!  You never had an ear infection so I'm hoping that means you won't have the problems your sister had whenever she got sick. 

We're trying to wean you from needing to be swaddled at night.  Some nights it works.  Other nights, not so much.  And I can't wait for you to find your thumb so that you don't need me to pop the binkie in your mouth in the middle of the night.  We can still put you down pretty much awake... especially after your night feeding.  But sometimes we have to turn on the lighted mobile over the crib.  You really like that and, as a results, I really LOVE that.

The last couple of weeks, you've been falling asleep in your car seat on the way home from day care... and sleeping FOREVER.  In fact, one night you fell asleep at 5 p.m. and we put you in your car seat in your bedroom and let you sleep.  You didn't wake up until midnight!  And then you ate and went right back to sleep until 6!  And if it happened just a couple of times, I wouldn't feel like a bad parents... but it happens almost every night!

You are not the easiest baby to change... even when you're not hungry.  You always pull your legs up as if to say "C'mon, Mommy.... get your game face on!"  But when I have to change your diaper and put your pj's on in the middle of the night and you haven't eaten for seven hours or so?  It's like nailing jell-o to a tree.  Surprisingly, you're also like that when you take a bath.  It's not that you mind the water, per se.  But your little legs continue to pump up and down and you're trying your darndest to do the back crawl... only three months into your little life and you're attempting to get out of the bath chair.  
Sleep-wise, you're doing really well.  I can usually count on at least 6 hours, but there are times (like last night) that you'll throw down a 9 hour overnighter.  It's pretty much amazing.

You're also still enamored with your older sister... and she with you.  I know that when you're able to get around more, it's going to be hard to keep you away from her.


You're such a blessing in our lives, Millie.  Every day I thank whatever higher power is out there that brought you into our lives.  You have completed our family and I can't believe that just a couple of years ago, I didn't know joy this pure.  You and your sister have given that to me and I will always be grateful for that.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

... It'll Be A Short Drive

Dear Girls,
This weekend was my birthday.  Your dear old Mommy turned a whopping 34-years-old.  ANCIENT.  But, with the help of a little dye, my hair looks like that of a 20-something, even if the laugh lines around my eyes don't. So I've got that going for me.

Your grandparents came down to visit and got to spend some quality babysitting time with you while Daddy and I went on a hike to Waterfall Canyon.  The last time I made that trip was when I was 6 months pregnant with Hazel... and thinking about that now blows my mind!  We can't wait to take the two of you up there!  It's going to require a lot of patience on our part and a lot of energy on your part.  But I see families with 5 or 6 kids making that trip and even the littlest ones seem to be a having a good time, so I believe our visit will be sooner rather than later.

It was a great weekend.  I woke up to find these that Hazel and Daddy had picked.


Millie... well, the only thing you can pick right now is your binkie out of your mouth (yea.... you're GOOD), but the flowers were from both of you.  Right out of my garden!

Sunday morning, we decided to make a trip to the doctor's office.  Hazel had been coughing on and off for a couple of weeks and Millie had started to cough a couple of days prior.  So, just to be on the safe side (and live up to my "THAT mother" status at the clinic) we took you both in.  The doc thought Hazel had allergies, but I had my suspicions.  So, she gave us some Claritin as well as a prescription for an antibiotic and told us to only fill it if the Claritin didn't work.  I was fully prepared to fill that prescription and say "Screw the allergy theory!", and was shocked to discover that the Claritin?  It worked.  And our little ray of sunshine... who has, for the past week or so been a holy living terror and super whiny?


She's baaaccckkkkkk!  

Allergies, huh?  WHO KNEW?  This is just a not-so-gentle reminder to us that when Hazel is  whiny and needy and OMG WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP WITH THE CRYING OVER EVERYTHING?... well, that just means that there's something going on with her.  Sick.  Allergies.  Something.

She's not being evil just to be evil.  Or "two-ish" as the pediatrician put it.

She's not being evil just to be evil.  This will be my mantra. 

I may have to put it up as a wall decal somewhere in the house.   

Millie, on the other hand... well, she has bronchiolitis.  Or RSV.  We're not sure.  But since the treatment is the same for both, we didn't bother with the test.  Doing some reading on bronchiolitis... well, let's just say it's a huge bummer.  It's defined as the swelling and mucus buildup in the smallest air passages in the lungs (bronchioles), usually due to a viral infection.  AWESOME.  Millie had breathing issues when she was born, so I wonder if she is particularly susceptible to it.  I'm hoping that we've reached the peak of her coughing.


She's been awfully needy lately... anxiety, I suppose.  She has even fallen asleep on both myself and Benny several times in the last few days. I mean, Millie doesn't ever want to snuggle and right now, I'm not really allowed to put her down without her crying.  Oh, also... SOMEONE HAS FOUND HER LUNGS.  Holy Mother of All That Used To Be Holy In This House.... she's going to give Hazel a run for her money. She could give Steven Tyler a run for his money.  As a matter of fact, I challenge Steven Tyler to come visit us and we'll compare.  And, hey... if that means that I get to act on my Laminated List of Celebs I Get To Make Out With?  SO. BE. IT.

Anyway, this also means that the nights are tough.  When she wakes up, we have to suction out her nose, which totally wakes her up.  We also have to give her breathing treatments... the same ones we gave Hazel when she was four months old and had RSV.  I'm telling you, though... Millie is WAY stronger than Hazel was at this age. And, if possible... more tenacious.  She fights the breathing treatments like NOBODY'S BUSINESS.  We can't trick her into it like we could with Hazel... which was by standing inches away from the TV and hoping that the big pretty lights would distract her.  They don't.

And when she feeds.... well, let's just say that I had already forgotten how sore nipples get when a baby is sick, because they feed like EVERY HOUR.  On top of that, it's like she's trying to find whatever comfort she can by clamping down on my poor, unsuspecting nipples.  Luckily, Benny has been able to spell me during one of the night shifts and will rock with her for a bit after I feed her so I can get some rest. Guess we get to re-do the sleep training after she feels better. 

Poor Millie.  The one saving grace during this whole experience is that the Claritin has helped Hazel and when she comes home at night and when she makes up in the morning, she's not demanding.  She waits patiently for me to finish feeding Millie or cooking breakfast or dinner or whatever.  She even plays by herself without whining or throwing a fit.  In short, she's my lifesaver.  Millie was my lifesaver when Hazel was acting up... THANK GOD THE TWO OF THEM DON'T WORK TOGETHER TO DRIVE ME BONKERS YET.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Girls

Dear Girls,
I'm writing this letter to both of you because, quite frankly, if I spend time right now writing two different letters, the house will never get picked up and the laundry will never get done.  Also, I hope that this letter will give you some insight into what our world is like... right now... as a family of four.  Enjoy.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!  So much has changed in the last year.  Last year, Millie was not even a bun in the oven.  And Hazel was just one day away from being weaned from the boob.  Last year, we had a gaping hole in the floor, with no plans of fixing it and I was not sure I wanted another baby because... MAN, is this HARD!!!

Fast forward 12 months and our family of three is now a complete family of four and our lives which were in total chaos for the first six months of Hazel's life, are now running like a well-oiled machine, and we can't imagine life without our two little girls.

These days, Hazel, you are a happy (unless you're sick) 18-month-old who likes to jabber on about nothing in particular.  And occasionally, you actually throw out a word that Mommy and Daddy recognize.  For instance, a couple of weeks ago I took you shopping and you were such a doll during the trip that when we got to the check out line and you pointed at a balloon and said "ball"... well, I caved and spent the $3 on it.  And made your day.  Daddy then made your day further when he taught you how to hit him on the head with the balloon (it's one that's on a stick).  And you started to say "boo", which is Hazel-speak for TOTALLY AWESOME BALLOON THAT I GET TO HIT DADDY ON THE HEAD WITH... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 

You also imitate certain words that you hear us say a lot.

Like boogie.   We say boogie all the time as we're doing booger removal from your nose.  Which actually includes me grabbing your boogers with tweezers, pulling it out and showing it to her while saying "Boogie!"  This is the only way you don't throw a fit while we try to tend to the amazing amount of boogers in your nose.  You're also experimenting with saying things like "toast", "diaper", "cheese", "cracker", "ball", "two", "baby", "tree", "bird", "woof", "dog" and "dada".  Often, when you're asking where Daddy is, you use your modified sign language for him... which is pointing at your head with a look of confusion on her face.  You also know the sign for Grandpa and recognizes when I say Grandpa.  The other day, you were looking at a book with a tractor in it and I told you that Grandpa drives a tractor.  You kept pointing at the tractor and then doing the sign for Grandpa.  Wait until I blow your mind when we see a school bus.  Wait!  Grandpa drives a tractor AND a bus????  I'm not sure you'll be able to comprehend exactly that, but I know you'll make the sign every time you sees one or the other. 

You have also discovered the awesome world of Mommy's bathroom.  There you get to practice flushing the toilet.  And you get to try and grab whatever Mommy has left near the edge of the counter.  And when you inevitably snag something (say, foundation, mascara, hairspray) you take off with it.  It's like you KNOW that it's the one thing Mommy hasn't used yet that morning and will make a trade of cookies for.  At 8 a.m.

Smart little girl.  Almost proud of you for manipulating the situation.

Aunt KC also taught you to pick dandylions and there's not one of those weeds that you walk by without picking it and trying to stick it in your ear.  Apparently, you also do this at day care, much to the delight of the teachers.  I'm absolutely happy with this as I'd like to teach you at a young age to pick weeds, rather than Mommy's tulips.  See how well it's going?

You have also fallen in love with mousse.  And will come into the bathroom, point at the can and say "moosh" and hold out your hand, expecting the soft, foamy stuff.  Luckily, you don't try to eat it, but you sure do love to mush it in your hands and then rub it in your hair like I taught you to.  

You're really into her sunglasses these days, too.  You insist on them whenever you see me put on my glasses.  And you wore them to school today.  I can't tell you how hard I laughed as you sat down at the table for breakfast in your sunglasses and jacket on while looking at the other kids as if to say:  YOU ONLY WISH YOU COOL ENOUGH TO WEAR SUNGLASSES AT BREAKFAST.

Today they officially moved you down to the 18-24 month old room.  I had been told it would be a little while before you moved down... which was heartening to me as I love the ladies in the 12-18 month old room. And it's easier to drop you off as it's right next to Millie's room.  And the other room is on the other side of the building, down two flights of stairs and... yea, sometimes you want to do the stairs yourself.  And other times you want me to carry you down.  Not a problem... if I weren't also carrying Millie's car seat.  But, I'm sure you'll have a good time down there with your friends Jaxton, Quincy and Emmy.  As long as Jaxton stops kissing on you and giving Daddy a heart attack.

Millie, you continue to be a rock star baby.  My goodness are you easy.  You love to smile and make faces at me after I feed you, although you're still not a fan of cuddling.  That's probably the hardest thing for me.... wanting to cuddle and knowing that my 10-week-old wants nothing of the sort.  You just want to look at people.  Look them in the eye to see if they''re good people or not.  You have no need to look at what's going on behind my back... you want to face the world.  What a cool thing!  But it's a huge bummer to not to get to snuggle with your baby.

You still like being swaddled and sleeping with your binkie.  You've been throwing down some awesome overnighters.  Just the other night, you slept from 7:45-4:15!  And you've done at least 6 hours in-a-row for the last week or so.  This after you hadn't slept more than 3 hours at a time your entire life.  It's like all of the sudden you decided she would take it easy on me, since you somehow knew I was going back to work and needed some sleep!

You never cry.  Unless you're hungry or wet.  And you love to watch your big sister running around.  I never have to worry about you because you're is one thing that Hazel rarely was:  content.  You just enjoys... being.  And you have transitioned to day care extremely well.  I never would have considered leaving Hazel for Daddy to deal with on his own at night at 2 months.  But, with my little Chilly Millie, I have a standing Wednesday night date with my girlfriend Jodi.  And Daddy has a standing Thursday night drama - I mean poker - club. 

Lately, you have been going to sleep around 8.  Which means we have the evening to ourselves.  I can't believe it only took a couple of months for that to happen.  I mean, it felt like FOREVER while we were going through it... but it wasn't that bad even then!

The one thing you will not tolerate?  Taking a bottle from me.  It's like you know... Hey! You're the milk lady!  GET THIS BOTTLE OUT OF MY FACE AND WHIP 'EM OUT!  Daddy and the ladies at day care are the only ones you'll take a bottle from.  Luckily, I've been able to keep my milk supply up.

Mostly by drinking a beer every day. Yep.  I'm THAT Mommy. At least, that's what I'm hoping is causing the turnaround in milk supply.  It's either that or the $70/week prescription that I have to buy.  Yep... the big benefit of breastfeeding is that it's free.  Not for me, though.

I have to pay.


I can't wait until the day that both of you girls are running around.  Your head and neck are so strong already.  It won't be long before we can start putting you in the little bumbo seat.  And possibly jump-a-roo.  I give it another month.

The ladies at day care continue to gush over both of your.  It makes me feel better knowing that my daughters... the most important people in my world... are taken care of and loved while I'm at work.

 The Bean's first day at "school".  Her big sister is excited for her!

I love both of you girls more than you'll ever know.  I hope that I'm the Mommy you deserve... and the Mommy that deserves you both.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Growing Up (too fast!)

Dear Millie Bean,
Well... it was imminent.  I knew this day would come. I hoped it wouldn't... I hoped that somehow the space/time continuum would somehow prevent you from growing up... prevent me from having to go back to work and therefore put my little baby in day care.

Daddy took this picture today to show that you're already too long for the 9 month old PJ's we've got you in.
But, no... I write this to you the night before your life is going to change and I can't help but get teary-eyed.  I can't help but notice the big lump in my throat.  I can't help but feel like I'm gonna throw up just a little bit.


I thought that I would be ready for it, as in the last 18 months or so, I've grown up a little bit and one would think I would have more control over my emotions.  And having gone through this once before with your sister, I should be able to handle it with a modicum of maturity.

Yea... no.  It's not happening. 

You're going to "school" tomorrow with your sister.  Something that you've kind of been doing the last few weeks.  But this time, instead of dropping off Hazel and coming back home with me to nap, eat or play... well, you're going to stay there.  In the care of perfect strangers.  Strangers to you.  Not me.  I know these women.  I trust these women.  And I know... I KNOW... that you won't remember it.  And, you'll probably be just fine.  But, Mommy won't.  And Mommy will remember this day.  Just like I remember the day we dropped off your sister the first time . And the anxiety I had for the first few weeks she was there.

Seriously, baby girl... it's gonna be tough on me.  And I can only hope that it being tough on me will somehow make it easier on you.

But how can these women possibly take as good of care of you as I do???  Are they going to sit and smile back at you after you finish eating?  Are they going to talk jibber-jabber to you and laugh with you?  Are you going to have that connection with someone?  I feel like those moments the two of us have shared have helped you grow and learn and love.  You are truly a happy baby, but is that happiness directed at only Mommy and Daddy?  Will you still have that same smile when I pick you up tomorrow after work?  Will you still be my Chilly Millie?

And what about sleep??? Are you going to be able to sleep there?  We've already discovered that when you don't get enough sleep at night, you are miserable and patently unhappy. And since the only thing I've ever wanted for my children is their happiness, I did whatever it took for you to regain that happy, chill demeanor we love so much.

I'm just so sad, Millie.  I was sad when I took Hazel to day care the first day.  Cried into my coffee for hours.  It just feels like I'm letting someone else raise you... and that seriously BLOWS.  I have so enjoyed my time with you these past 10 weeks and I know I'll never get that ever again.  Sure, we'll have a week here and a week there when we're on vacation as a family.  But it's not the same.  You're going to come home from day care every day... completely different.  That's how much and how quickly you're changing right now.  And I've been there with you during every growth spurt, every extra chin appearance (you have like 4 now)(cuz apparently my breastmilk is made of ice cream and cadbury eggs)(how that happened... well, that's the reason Mommy is going to the gym).  I've watched your lashes grow every day.  So, while the changes shocked everyone, I was like:  Yea... I was there when that third chin appeared.  Awesome, huh?

But, now... well, I can't help but feel like I'm now one of the outsiders.  Cuz now we don't have our special Cone of Happiness that we've had the last 10 weeks (give or take a bad gas bubble that just won't pass).

So, yea.... tomorrow is gonna suck.  I am dreading it.  Please know that I love you and am doing what I think is best for you and for our family.  And please forgive me for it.


PS - The President announced tonight that we killed Osama bin Laden.  Thought you would like to know that on the night this was announced, you were sound asleep in your crib, Daddy was sitting on the chair, I was sitting on the couch trying to write you this letter and your sister was asleep in her room.