Dear Little G,
This is mommy’s first letter to you. If I’m anything like my mom, there will be many, many more of these. Grandma Courtney (“Gramco”) used to write me notes with everything—tooth fairy letters, half birthday letters (where she’d cut a card in half before writing in it…), summer camp letters, “after a big fight” letters. I loved them all and even saved the majority of them in my “treasure box”. I’ve always wanted to do the same for my kids.
You are now one month old. Even as I write it, I can’t believe it. I know I’ll be saying this a lot during your lifetime, but how did you grow up so fast? I can’t tell whether you are a completely different baby than the one we brought home from the Birth Center or whether we just know and understand you better.
Regardless, you are one loved and cherished kid. Mommy and Daddy used to sit on the couch together, happy with life, but knowing that “something was missing”. It was strange, almost as though we’d left someone somewhere (Mommy even wondered if she’d forgotten to pick you up at daycare once, just because it seemed like you should already be here!). Mommy kept adopting pets with strange personalities as a way of filling the void, but what we really wanted, more than anything, was a baby just like you.
It took years for us to finally get you, but you have definitely been worth the wait. Sometimes, Daddy and I will just sit there, staring in awe at your cute little nose and huge blue eyes. When you’re awake, which is more and more often, you are so expressive and intense. One time, you stared at me for at least 10 minutes, as though you were trying to understand me just as much as I was trying to understand you. It took my breath away and made it hard to do anything else.
Some of the things we love about you:
Your little noises are too cute. You have quite the array! Grunts, squeals, chirps, coos. Many of them are sing-songy, which makes Mommy very happy (see, Mommy and Daddy are betting on whether you’re going to wind up in the altar, serving with Daddy, or in the choir singing with me someday). Your cries are pretty hysterical too, especially with your odd timing. A sure way to make you scream is to change your diaper. The moment the LAST SNAP is done, however, you close your mouth and look pleasant again. Sometimes when you’re crying, Daddy says, “Gregory, the shepherds called, and they want their billy-goat back!” because that’s what you sound like.
You love, and I mean LOVE to eat. The midwife told us not to be concerned if you went into a long sleep the first day (sometimes called the newborn hibernation). Nope. You were awake every 1.5-2 hours from the start, crying for more food. When I lay you on my lap to eat, you make little clucking noises, excitedly turning your head back and forth because you know what’s coming. You also have what Daddy and I call, “The Fist of Triumph” where you raise one fist high in the air once you’ve properly latched and are gulping down milk. And you keep it there, for all 20+ minutes, as though it’s your victory dance. Yes, you love food.
You also love being active. Mommy complained about this a lot before you were born. The very day we brought you home you were already doing “girl pushups” on your tummy, lifting your head on your own for many seconds at a time to look all around you. Mommy must confess, she hasn’t been very good about remembering to support your head when she picks you up, because unless you’re “milk drunk” from having just eaten, you hold it up on your own. Sometimes, it’s hard to put your sleepers on because your kicks are soo super strong for such a little guy. We have to be really careful when changing you, because already you’re trying to kick your leg across your body and roll over from back to front. It’s kind of scary!
Mommy loves that you are a very good-looking kid. The first thing I said when you were born was, “He’s so BEAUTIFUL!”, and I really meant it, not just in a “You’re my baby, you’re so precious” kind of way. Your skin has always been perfect and un-marred by anything (definitely from your Daddy—Mommy had the biggest “raspberry” mark on her lip until she was 6 or 7). You haven’t even developed the dreaded “baby acne” yet. Mommy and Daddy love all of your facial features— your dimpled chin, over sized upper lip, even the shock of dark hair on the top of your head that’s so different than all the silky blonde hair around it (Daddy often likes to tease it into a Mohawk). You don’t have many rolls yet, seeing as you came out so long and skinny to the point where we had a hard time keeping diapers on you. But your love for eating will surely help those appear, in time.
Your sleep habits have been a bit erratic, but that’s to be expected. During the day, Daddy and I try to make lots of noise and keep you napping in the living room. Mommy plays lots of “church music”, and even does loud chores like vacuuming and grinding coffee beans (Mommy loves coffee right now, especially after not having it for nine months!). You are very good at tolerating all these noises and staying asleep—Gramco even did some startle tests to make sure you weren’t deaf! At night, we only let you sleep in our bed or in your pack in play. We have been doing all this in an effort to teach you night and day, because those first couple days you were, without fail, the most alert from 1am-3am. Now, however, after just a few weeks, you are sleeping pretty soundly during nighttime hours, waking up only to nurse and get your diaper changed. Mommy is very relieved that this is starting to happen, because she could tell that you were quite the night owl, even before you were born.
You still haven’t made up your mind about baths. The first time, you hated it, but since then you’ve just seemed confused. Mommy and Daddy haven’t had to bathe you all too often, because you hardly ever spit up. You love taking walks in your jogging stroller, but you love them even more when one of us is holding you in a sling or wrap. That’s one of Mommy’s favorite things about you—you’re such a cuddler. Sometimes, the only way Mommy can get you to sleep at night is by cuddling you. There’s also one special spot on Daddy’s chest that always does the trick. Once you’re there, you sigh and don’t move for hours.
You’re also fitting in quite well with our little family here in Texas. Claire is very protective of you, even though she has been deprived of her usual amount of attention. She jumps at every noise she hears, and even barks anxiously if Daddy holds you out suspended over the ground to burp you, as though she’s afraid you’re going to fall. Mirabelle has decided she doesn’t like you, but stays very clear. I wouldn’t worry about ever trying to win her over. The only relatives you’ve met have been Grandma Courtney and Aunt Julie, but all that will change in just a few weeks when the holidays come. You’re quite the charmer—I’m sure you’ll win them all over, just like you’ve done with us.
You had many visitors your first few days of life. Your godparents, Michael and Courtney, along with your godbrother Christopher, came over every few days the first week or so. Our friends, Jenny and Jason also brought us dinner and came to see you a few times. Mommy’s piano students brought meals every other day for 3 weeks, which was such a relief and blessing. We did get rather spoiled however, because a lot of it was take-out from fancy restaurants Mommy and Daddy can’t usually afford! You got to reap the benefits, don’t worry. Gramco also took us out to some nice meals and bought us lots of groceries while she was here, all in an effort to keep you fat and healthy, I’m sure. She also bought you lots of newborn sleepers, because Mommy only had one or two (you were supposed to be a BIG Cone Baby!).
Yes, you are one loved little boy—our greatest blessing from God. We love you more than anyone we know, and we feel so grateful that we have front-row seats to your little life.