Monday, July 10, 2006

Two months old

Dear Ess,

Today you are, astonishingly, two months old. You're well over eight pounds, and you're much more like a little person than the tiny baby you were not so long ago. Just last night, as you were nursing in just a diaper after your bath, your dad and I were marveling at how solid your little body has gotten. It's hard to believe you are the same teensy girl we snuggled inside our shirts back in the hospital.

This month has been all about growth -- for you, and for us. You have gotten so much stronger; you are nursing entirely without the nipple shield these days -- a major accomplishment, if you ask me. And now, when you push off from us with your legs, it's hard to pull you back in. You've gained about two-and-a-half pounds this month, and you've become noticeably interested in the outside world. In fact, nothing makes you happier when you are screaming than walking outside or onto the front porch; whether it's the fresh air or the light or both, you really enjoy the outdoors. You also have recently begun to delight in staring at Zeke, the monkey who lives on your changing table, and who stars with you in your monthly portrait.

And that leads us to perhaps this month's most exciting development: your happy noise. It's not really a giggle, more of a burble combined with a screech. Sometimes you make it when you're looking at Zeke, or when we're singing and tickling your belly. There's another version, more on the screechy side, that you do when you're getting mad, but the happy noise just makes us melt.

You've also gotten much better at going to bed. You actually have a bedtime now (sometime between 7:30 and 9); after you nurse and we swaddle you just about as tightly as we can, we nestle you in the co-sleeper, pop the binky in your mouth and wait. Within a few moments, you've spit out the binky, your eyes have closed and you are sweetly, peacefully asleep. Then we turn on the monitor, run downstairs and do all kinds of crazy stuff... like cleaning the kitchen, or just sitting quietly on the couch. Sometimes you go as long as four hours without needing to nurse again -- an occurrence that gives us hope that, someday, we will get a good night's sleep again.

And speaking of us, our growth has come in the form of increasing confidence about you, your needs, and our ability to figure them out. (Sometimes that confidence has unintended consequences, such as the injury you sustained on your thumb when your mom tried clipping your fingernails for the first time. Sorry!) We've also gotten much bolder about venturing out with you. This month you've gone to the beach; out for pizza; to numerous gatherings for new moms; to the lobster pound and the Gap; to several friends' houses for dinner... yes, slowly, our little family is emerging into the world again. The biggest milestone for your parents this month? Just a few days ago, we left you in the capable hands of your Maine grandparents and went out to dinner. We managed to talk of subjects other than you for a while, which was nice. But it was even nicer to walk through the door and hold you -- even the red-faced, squalling incarnation of you -- in our arms again.

We love you, peanut.