Thursday, January 27, 2011

From your 'big sister'

Dear Maya,
My name is Clio.  I'm two and a half years old and I'm mom and dad's first daughter.  That means I was here before you.  Ahem.

About three weeks before you showed up, we moved into our new house.  I had moved once before and I didn't much like making the transition the first time, but this time was different--the stone floors in the bathroom and hallway are heated!  I love to roll around on them, even if it means showing my belly and getting a belly rub...wait, why didn't I think of that before the heated floors? 

Anyhow, every night I get shut in the bathroom because mom and dad don't like it when I wake them up in the middle of the night.  Sound familiar?  Somehow they forgive you and don't lock you in the bathroom.  Hmph.  At least I've got the heated floors now and am nice and toasty all night long.  And I barely even wake up when mom and dad come in to wash off whatever you soiled this time.
Just over four weeks ago, mom and dad disappeared for a few days.  They left me a big bowl of food and lots of water, but I didn't know what was going on.  The next day, some relatives came to check on me, but I wanted my mom and dad.  On the third day, dad came home for a few hours and gave me some fresh food and water.  I had missed him a lot so I made sure to get some snuggling in.

When he came home, he brought this little purple knit hat with him and showed it to me.  I sniffed it and sniffed it, trying to figure out whose smell was on it.  It smelled kind of familiar, a bit like mom, but a bit different, too.  A few days later I found out what that smell was--it was you.  Mom and dad wanted me to get used to your smell before they brought you home so I wouldn't freak out.

Well, I didn't freak out.  Not at first, anyways.  I was so happy to see mom when she finally came home that at first I didn't really notice the bundled up blanket she was carrying.  After a little while she put that bundle on a mattress on the floor and called me over.  I was really curious to see what all the fuss was about.  When I got a few feet from you I recognized the smell from the hat.  

Mom was encouraging me to "come over and meet your little sister" and I admit I did want to get a better look at you, so I approached the mattress.  You were kinda squirmy but you weren't very big, about the same size as me, so I thought I could hold my own if there was some kind of showdown.  I snuck up at an angle from behind you to sniff your head and that's when it happened.

A left hook right to the nose!  Out of nowhere, you punched me!  I have to admit it didn't hurt my nose that much but my pride, now that's a different story.  I ran back into the bathroom and decided to put off getting to know this new little sister for awhile.  I needed time to study you and figure out what you were really capable of before I got too friendly with you.  I'm no dummy!

Well, three and a half weeks have passed since then and I'm starting to let my guard down a little.  Sometimes when I'm up on a window sill or on top of a dresser mom or dad will bring you over and have me sniff your head and I guess it's not so bad.  And if you're sleeping on the bed I sometimes curl up a few feet away.  It was my bed before it was yours, so I figure I've got to save face somehow. 

And now you've got this new contraption that swings you back and forth.  When you're in it you're nice and low to the ground so we can be face to face.  I don't know how it moves without somebody pushing it so I don't want to get too close, but sometimes it stops moving so I think I may eventually try to approach you when it does.  I've got to get my timing just right, though.  It may take a while.

Oh, and the best part about this new swingy thing?  Why, that would be the long, flat box that it came in, of course!  I'd take a box over a rocking machine any day.  Silly baby Maya, you've got so much to learn and since I am your big sister, I guess it's up to me to teach you the ropes.  Just make sure you keep your hands where I can see them.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside

Dear Maya,

Boy, did you pick a season to be born!  Well, I guess you didn't exactly choose your birthday, but anyway...

Since the week before you were born, we've had freezing rain, ice, slush, snow and even a 'snow hurricane' complete with drifts several feet high.  From your second to third week, it seems like your daddy spent half his time outside shoveling paths to our cars and up the hill to the landlady's chicken coop.  We've also become quite friendly with the man who plows the long driveway that leads up to three homes including ours.  He even sent you a teddy bear and a book to celebrate your birth!

With all of this inclement weather, we've been going a bit stir crazy.  Mommy took you down to see our previous landlords, then grandma, Stan and Aunt Bobbie on Saturday, but aside from that and a quick trip to the supermarket yesterday, we haven't set foot outside the house at all.  I know that most moms and newborns stay home a lot in the beginning, but it's starting to get ridiculous!  Now the weather report says that we have a 90% chance of snow from 8:00 tonight until 11:00 tomorrow night.  Ugh!

Though we've been experiencing a bit of cabin fever, you've been keeping us on our toes.  Monday you didn't nap at all, then barely slept Monday night, and no napping again Tuesday.  You were so cranky and mommy and daddy were worried about you so we reluctantly sterilized a couple of pacifiers to be ready for Tuesday night.  We didn't need them, though, as you not only got right back on your usual schedule, you even went above and beyond, sleeping for six hours straight!  Thank you so much for that!

Our next concern is a rash that appeared on your face a couple days ago.  When you get fussy and cry, the little pimples get even redder than they already are.  Between researching it on the internet and mommy talking with her doctor, it seems that it's a really common thing for babies your age.  It doesn't seem to be bothering you a bit, so we're just going to watch it and see what happens.  We still think the photos mommy took of you today are adorable, even with the little bumps on your cute, sweet face. 

You have changed in some positive ways this week, too.  A couple times you have tried to mimic your mommy when she was making kissy faces, sticking her tongue out or humming.  Also you have gotten much, much stronger and you are able to lift your head up for longer spans of time.  Sometimes you kick against the side of your bassinet or against our arms when we're holding you and you seem ready to break out and run around.  Today when mommy put you in a basket for photos, you almost crawled out several times.  Yikes!

You've also shown that you like music of all kinds, stopping your fussing to listen to everyone from Louis Armstrong to Vanilla Ice!  It's so funny and endearing to watch your face concentrate and light up as you listen and try to figure out where the music is coming from.  Sometimes you lounge on your Boppy pillow on mommy's lap as she bounces you to the beat, or sometimes we dance around the room together, but mommy loves loves loves that you are into music and that you seem to enjoy it when she sings to you.

Well, that's all for this week sweetie.  Love you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to the world!

Dear Maya,

You were born at 2:42pm on December 30, 2010, two weeks ago today.  You were 13 days past your due date and it took 28 hours of inducing for mommy to dilate even halfway.  When the contractions really started in earnest, there were times when your heart rate dropped, eventually leading us to the operating room.  Thank goodness for the C-section option, because you had the umbilical cord wrapped around your neck three times!  (Not to mention that mommy wasn't handling the pain well at all...)

Your daddy was in the operating room with us and got to hold you first.  He was immediately curious about whether or not you had a Mongolian spot (a bluish mark just above the tush that many Asians are born with) and found yours with the nurse.  Then he brought you over to mommy so I could look at and kiss you.  When the nurse took you out to be weighed and checked, daddy stayed with mommy as I was still being operated on and was I shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia. 

Grandma, Stan, Uncle Matt, Aunt Kelsie and Aunt Bobbie were at the hospital when you were born.  Grandma was amazing, staying calm and collected while watching mommy go through so much pain and a plethora of emotions.  Because you didn't cry much when they first brought you out of the operating room, your Uncle Matt was worried that your vocal chords were affected by the umbilical cord around your neck.  That was just your way, though, and you're still not all that much of a crier now.

Over the next few days we all got used to each other in the hospital while mommy recovered and learned to breastfeed.  Mommy's grandparents, aunts and uncle came to visit and everyone oohed and aahed over how alert, cute and beautiful you are.  You woke mommy and daddy up on New Year's Eve in time to watch the ball drop on TV.  On New Year's Day mommy's dad drove up from North Carolina to see you and spent the next several days staying with Uncle Matt and Aunt Rhi and visiting to get in lots of Maya snuggles.

During your first five days home, you slept quite a bit.  Your first day you braved a trip to the obstetrician's office, where mommy's incision was checked for infection.  At your first pediatrician's appointment the next day you got a clean bill of health.  The only concern was that you had not gained any weight back, having been born at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and discharged from the hospital at 8 pounds, .3 ounces.  On the other hand, you were in the 97th percentile for length/height at 22.5 inches!

One week later we made another trip to the pediatrician to find that you had gained 12 ounces!  The norm is one ounce per day, so you more than made up for last week--not that mommy was all that surprised considering how often you wanted to be breastfed.  After the appointment we went to mommy's grandparents' house to visit, then took a trip to a frenzied pre-snowstorm supermarket where you slept the entire time.  Though the doctor said it wouldn't happen soon, that very night your cord stump fell off.   
 Aside from doctor's appointments coupled with quick grocery shopping trips, we haven't left the house at all since coming home from the hospital.  That's not to say that you didn't have visitors, from family to our landlady Hazue (you actually waved goodbye to her when she was leaving) to mommy's friends Charlotte, Steve, Felicia and baby Wyatt to daddy's bosses Roberta and Tom.  You have almost always been in a good mood for everyone and have gotten so many compliments on how adorable and sweet you are.

You really are a good baby so far.  You only wake up once at night for the most part and it's usually pretty easy to tell what you want when you are fussing.  Some cute habits you have are waving your arms and your long, long fingers around like you are conducting an orchestra, and making your mouth really really small like a fish.  You like it when daddy holds you and taps out a rhythm on your back and when mommy massages lotion on your feet and in between your toes after a bath.  Our kitty Clio has even started to like you I think.

Mommy's going to try to write this blog for you and all of the people who love you.  Sometimes it might have more pictures than words and sometimes it may be a while between posts, but we want to share you with everyone who knows you or knows of you.  But now mommy's got to sign off because you're hungry again. 

Love you!