Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ryan: 8 weeks

Good Morning Mister! As usual, you have waited (quietly and contentedly) while Mommy got to your sister first. I have so many things I've been wanting to share with you, but these last few weeks have been quite the ride. Let me just start by telling you what an easy baby you are. Mommy and Daddy are very lucky to have you in their lives, and we are very lucky to have only ONE baby like you. If we had two babies like you, Mommy is sure she'd be pregnant again already. Kids like you make me understand why and how people can have 19 kids!

{ the day you were born }

So let me tell you about your last 56 days of life. When you were born and I heard you cry for the first time, it was the most surreal experience of my life. I kept looking at your Daddy and asking him if that moment was real, if you were real. Your voice was like nothing I had ever heard and nothing I could have imagined. Your voice, to this day, is still one of the sweetest sounds I've ever encountered.

{ 1 week old }

You sneeze in threes and when you finish sneezing you make this noise "guhhh" and it's so adorably funny. We look forward to it now and are disappointed when you sneeze and don't "guhhh" afterward.

{ 2 weeks, 5 days old }

You also make a funny little whistling sigh right after you yawn. Your whole face yawns in an exaggerated O and then you sigh like you've never slept a second in your life. Right after you yawn you find a way to nuzzle in and snuggle down and then you fight sleep like a madman. Your tiny little eyes flutter and roll back in your head and just when we think you are out POP your eyes are open wide again and you're staring right at us.

So back to your crying, that first cry in the hospital was the last cry you had for a long, long time. But mister, when you cry, you really cry and let me tell you it's not the cutest face we've ever seen. Daddy and I call your cry the ugly cry. Your whole face wrinkles and your brow furrows and your lips curl out and you let out the shrillest little whimpers. It's probably not nice of us, but when you break out the ugly cry, we laugh.

But really you're not much of a crier. You wake up happy, you sit happy, you sleep happy. If you're crying Daddy and I know something is really wrong with you and we panic. I guess you're the strong and silent type.

While you are the "quiet" baby, don't be fooled. You are still quite spastic! Since the day we brought you home you jump (and jump HIGH) at loud noises. You are our little monkey. One day I found this picture online and Daddy and I both got a good laugh in. This picture is so you. We call this your WTF face. If you are sleeping in our arms and we start to talk, you jump. If you are sitting in a chair and the dog walks into the room, you jump. If you are falling asleep and the wind blows, you jump. Hysterical.

You are a cuddle monster. There is nothing you love more than laying splayed out on Mommy or Daddy's chest. When you lay on top of us you rub your little hand over our skin and pat us, like you're comforting and snuggling us as much as we're comforting and snuggling you. You nestle right into a nook and move your head back and forth until you are perfectly comfortable. 

You're a sensitive boy who is very attune to the space around you. If your sister starts crying your face just crumples, you can't stand to hear her be upset. Your awareness and focus on your surroundings causes you to look like a very serious baby, like you are pondering the world and all of its problems. We found a picture of Daddy when he was your age and guess what? He has the same exact look on his face, so I have confidence that you won't be serious and worried your whole life!

For the first two weeks we had you home all you did was sleep, and then one day you woke up and never shut your eyes again. We actually felt bad because you would be wide awake staring at the world and we'd put you in your crib or bouncy chair so we could sleep. At three weeks old, you could stay awake for three hours at a time! And, of course, your favorite time to be awake is late at night (a night owl like your mama!) so there you'd be, staring at us from your bassinet in the dark, at 11 p.m., just absorbing everything around you. 

It didn't take long for you to hate being swaddled. By three weeks you fought to have your arms free, and so we would just swaddle you from the waist down. By four weeks we abandoned the swaddle completely and somewhere in that space of time you began sleeping with your arms above your head like you just scored a touchdown. 

For a while you and your sister slept in Mommy and Daddy's bed. Reese slept with Daddy and you slept with me, right next to my side. We've spent many hours just looking at each other through the dull glow of a night light. You and I both like to have our space when we sleep, but we held hands every night. 

It wasn't long before you found your voice. You started out with tiny grunts, umphs and ughs, and soon you were moaning and groaning and grunting LOUDLY. Of course your favorite time to chat was between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. Your sister sleeps right through your grunts, but Mommy and Daddy could not. There were several nights where we'd wake up and say "shut up Ryan!" but you never listened to us, you just kept chattering away. 

Even though the sound of your voice is the sweetest thing I've ever heard, I needed to get some sleep and so we moved you guys to your nursery and you started sleeping there at night. Now that you are sleeping in your crib like a big boy, I very much miss the feeling of your tiny hand wrapped around my finger when I sleep. 

Speaking of sleep, you poor thing, you went through a period where something I was eating was giving you terrible gas. Oh goodness, you would be sleeping so peacefully when all of a sudden you would scream and scare the bejesus out of Daddy and I and *poof* - just like that - you'd fall back asleep. It would have been funny if we didn't feel so bad for you.

You've always loved sitting up and looking around a room - you take in all of the shapes and objects. Once you turned six weeks old you were able to turn to face me or Daddy when you heard our voice and you could follow us in and out of a room with your eyes. Right around 7 weeks you started smiling at us on purpose. The first time you smiled at your Daddy it brought him to tears. You have the sweetest smile, it takes up your whole face and your eyes light up. You smile most when Daddy rubs your forehead and cheeks or I talk to you in a high pitched voice. 

Right now you are working on sitting up on your own. You are fascinated by lights and shapes. 

{ 3 weeks, 5 days }

{ 7 weeks, 6 days }

Your favorite toy is your Rainforest Playmat, but you also love your bouncy seat and watching sports on TV with Daddy. You were fascinated by your first lacrosse game (something that made Daddy very happy). 

From the day we brought you home you were very aware of your hands. Constantly folding them and manipulating them, putting them in your mouth, grabbing on to things. 

{ just a week old}

Sometimes the use of your hands is quite comical, especially when you use them to cover your face. Like you're already telling me, "cut it out Mommy you're embarrassing me!" 

You've been able to grip things like shirts and my hair for weeks, and now you can hold toys, like a rattle and move them around. 

You are a big boy, Mommy's little meatball. From the day you were born you had big hands and big feet. 

Your feet look just like Daddy's, from the big space between your big toe and the one next to it, to the sideways little toe. A mini version of Daddy's foot, how crazy is that? 

I'm so impressed by you every day of your life. Your joy for the world and your love for your Mommy and Daddy and Reese is evident in your tiny little face. You brighten every one of my days with your animated facial expressions, gestures, smile and voice. And Mister, you make the funniest faces we have ever seen.

You talk all day now and your tiny voice is amazing. You coo and make the sweetest sounds. The noises come out of your tiny mouth so forcefully and intentionally now, like you can't wait to be able to communicate all the things going on in your head. 

Every day we are impressed by how solid and strong you are, already you have deltoids and biceps and superhuman strength. I watch you grow up and it fills my heart up and breaks it all at the same time. I can't imagine that there's going to be a day when you are going to tower above me, where your hand will be bigger than mine, where your little arms will be the arms of a man. My eyes are filling with tears as I type that. My little man, I want you to stay this small and sweet forever and yet I can't wait to see the man you become.

It is impossible for me to tell you how deep my love for you is and how full you make my heart. It has been an absolute joy being your Mommy. I'm so excited about our future together as a family. Thank you so much sweet boy for bringing such light to our lives and love to our hearts.

{ 7 weeks old }

Happy Two Month Birthday angel!


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