Sunday, November 23, 2014

Letters to Milo - Month 3

Milo, my love,

Three months already. Three months you have been in the world and three months the world has been better for it. You have changed so much this last month.

Mike Wazowski towel...sometimes you are a caricature of cuteness.
You are a regular pro at laughing and smiling and so many things make you happy. Squirm time, having your diaper changed, Mama and Papa's silly faces, Mama singing (horribly) to you and her goofy dancing in the kitchen while she cooks dinner, raspberries on your tummy, and being wrapped up in a towel after bathtime. Papa and I will do just about anything to make you smile and never gets old and we just can't get enough of it. 

You are so, so strong now and very nearly have complete control over your head. You hold it up and crane your neck around constantly to try to take everything in. You are so close to being able to roll from your back to belly and your squirminess has gotten to the point that we may have to start using the seatbelt on the changing table. You love to stand and your legs are really strong. You're not too fond of sitting yet, though you are slowly beginning to figure that out. Usually you'll stiffen your legs and arch your back anytime we try to put you in the Bumpo seat. We'll get there. 

#orangmilo is thrilled to be a Champion
This month, you were the San Francsico Giants rally baby and you saw us to our third World Championship in five years. We can't wait to take you to your first game next season. #orangemilo

Cloth diaper bums are the BEST
We officially started cloth diapering this month, which I think has been one of the best decisions we've made for our family. You are SO much happier in them and you have virtually no diaper rash anymore. Plus, they couldn't be cuter. It's so nice that you don't scream as though being tortured when you have a wet diaper and when we change you anymore. You just really hated those disposables, little love. I'm glad we found something that works better for us.

Milo, Papa, and Tootles having Tummy Time
You've finally started to notice Tootles and sometimes you're quite enraptured by him. He's still unsure of you...we think he might think you're another pet so that means that he can do whatever you get to do (like hang out around the dinner table while Mama and Papa eat). We're working on that with him. He's certainly curious about you though. I'm looking forward to watching the relationship between the two of you flourish and grow. 

At this point, you are sleeping like a champ at night. You typically go down for the night, with very little trouble, between 8 and 9 and will sleep anywhere from 9.5 to 10 hours, usually getting up for the day between 6:30 and 7. Naps during the day are a bit more unpredictable. You will go down in the crib easily and sleep for about 45 minutes before waking up. And once you're awake, you're awake. If I hold you, though, you'll sleep for 2 hours! For awhile I felt like I needed to "fix" that, but then I just decided that since you're sleeping great at night and generally a happy and healthy kid, who does sleep when you're tired, I didn't need to "fix" anything. Not to mention, the window of you actually wanting to snuggle and sleep on my chest is so very small in the greater picture of your life, that I should (and really want to) take advantage of it and enjoy it while I can. And boy, do I. You are the sweetest little snuggler and neither one of us is more content than when we are laying on the couch together while you sleep. We're all gonna be just fine. Mama's gotta trust her instincts. ;)

It's ridiculous how quickly you have grown over the last three months. I find myself looking back at pictures and watching videos of you from your first week of life and missing that tiny newborn phase. But watching you grow and learn and being able to interact with you more has been so much fun and such a joy, for Papa and I both. We are trying our best to soak in every minute we can with you, to be present with you in the realities of each stage, and to respond to your ever-changing needs with love and grace. We know we screw up (and will only continue to screw up) but we know that if we can model grace for each other, for ourselves, and for you, you will have a much better, innate understanding of grace as you grow. We want you to know that you are always covered by it and by love. These are two of our greatest values as a family - grace and love...and silliness. If we can instill in you an understanding of the vitality of grace, love, and silliness, and the ability to resist shame, we know you'll be alright. Better than alright. We love you so much.

Your cuteness is overwhelming.

To the moon and back, baby,


Letters to Milo - 2

Milo, my love...

Mama dropped the ball a bit on writing you a letter for two months, and even with the three months, she's several days late, so she's putting one up right after the other. 

On the party bus to follow all the runners we were there to support.
You slept through the entire thing...all the craziness of the Chicago Marathon
and a Buckman Party Bus. You might just be the perfect baby.
By the time you hit two months old, you had already been on your first flight and had your first experience at Camp Buckman. (When you're a bit older, you'll realize that time spent at Camp Buckman is exactly that - an experience - and something worth noting.) The three of us flew to Chicago to support your Papi as he ran the Chicago Marathon (his first at age 52! we are all so proud) and to have an opportunity to introduce you to some of the most important people in Mama's life. You met the Buckmans, the Dibbs, and the Peters...all of whom loved you deeply from the moment you were born and were just delighted to finally meet you. 

We spent a day downtown with the Buckman kids. Man, oh man, did they love you.
While there, we learned that you require time to squirm, free of any restraints. With so many people dying to hold you and love on you, you were passed around quite a bit. You were an angel and so accommodating, but by the end of the day, when we would take you upstairs for bed, you were done with being held and would cry until Papa and I let you have some time to wiggle and squiggle before swaddling you up for the night. It is now one of the first questions I ask when you are fussy: are you hungry? is your diaper wet? are you tired? do you need some squirm time? The fussiness can usually be solved by one of those things. You continue to only fuss if you need something, otherwise you are an incredibly happy baby. 

Babywearing on the plane! 
You were an absolute dream on the flight. I wore you through the airport and on the airplane and you only fussed to eat once. Changing your diaper in the airplane bathroom was an adventure, but who doesn't love a good adventure, right? It's so important to Papa and I that we help you become a good traveler, because travel is a big part of our family life. We don't ever want the stress (perceived or real) of traveling with kids stop us from having adventures as a family, so we knew we had to just do it and prove to ourselves that it can be done. And it can!

Before we left for Chicago, we took you to your 2 month appointment (which was really more like a 6 week appointment due to the timing of the trip) and you had your first round of shots. You took them really well, all things considered. At that time you were still in disposable diapers and you would cry harder when they got wet than you did when you got your shots. It was still rough on Mama, though. You weighed 10 lbs 9 oz and measured 23 3/4 in long at six weeks. Big boy!

Hipster Milo
At that appointment we decided to finally move fully to formula, because our days at home, just you and I, with me pumping had become so difficult for both of us that it just didn't seem worth it anymore. You would scream and cry when I tried to pump and that made me feel just rotten. I kept asking myself why it was a good idea to not be able to pick you up and comfort you just to give you breast milk when there were other ways to feed you. There was only way for your Mama to hold you and comfort you when you cried, and the pump strapped to my chest was literally getting in the way. It was taking its emotional toll on all of us and Papa and I just decided that what was best for our family was to have you on formula. I had to mourn (and am still mourning) the loss of the perfect image I had of us blissfully bonding over breastfeeding for at least a year, but I still feel confident that we made the right decision. 

Two days after that appointment, we noticed some blood in your stool so back to the doctor we went. Turns out you have a cow's milk allergy so we had to switch over to a hypo-allergenic formula. Once we did that, everything was much better. It is way smellier and much more expensive, but it feeds you and keeps your tummy happy, so we do what he have to do. 

Once we returned from Chicago, we moved you into your crib in your own room and we were amazed at how easy that transition was for all of us. You haven't looked back. This month, you are sleeping so well at night and only waking up once to eat. Way to go, baby!

Meeting Auntie Kristi and smiling for her. This makes my heart explode.
You coo and smile and interact so much now. You even started laughing in your second month. Oh my heavens, is it just the most infectious thing. I know now why J.M. Barrie wrote that baby laughs create fairies. It makes perfect sense. Right now, it's a high-pitched squeal (which really freaks Tootles out) followed by a guttural intake of air and accompanied with smiles for days. It is just the best and my most favorite thing in all the world. You laughed for the first time the day that Auntie Kristi came to visit us for a night, and I know it was because you were just so excited to meet her.

At the place Papa and I took our engagement photos in Millennium Park.
What a trip to be there 3 1/2 years later with you.
Sweetheart, Papa and I continue to fall madder in love with you. You make our days so bright and our lives so full. And it's not just us. Most people you encounter can't help but smile. You are such a light in the world already and Papa and I will do all we can to help you cultivate that gift as you grow into the person you are meant to be. 

To the moon and back, baby,