Dear Ameli- Letter To A Sixteen Month Old

Dear Ameli

Sixteen months, little girl. Sixteen months.

We’ve had quite a hard month, really, and it’s been more about me than about you. I’ve been on this hormone treatment to try to sort things out in my very messed up hormones, and besides that I had a great case of food poisoning that knocked me out for a good week.

You’ve been great though. Even when I was sick, you just kept yourself low key and for the most part entertained yourself when aunty Deshaine wasn’t around.

Your development is phenomenal, and you just keep adding words to your vocabulary. Sometimes we only have to repeat something once or twice and you have it. I don’t think you always understand the word but you definitely ‘get’ actions. Sometimes I’m absolutely astounded by the way you follow instructions. You may not know the words, but you certainly know what they mean.

One day I was doing some housework when you just wanted ‘up, up, up’. I decided to get you involved, so gave you something for the bin, and you popped it in the bin. I gave you something for the wash basket, and you popped it in the wash basket. I gave you a wooden spoon to put in the sink, and you looked at me with confusion. So I led you over to the sink, and you stood on the tips of your toes and reached your arm up as far as it would go and dropped it on the ledge. I was so incredibly impressed.

You’ve taken to drawing, but at the moment, your version of drawing usually involves a pen and one or another body part. One day you were drawing on your leg with a ballpoint pen. I took it from you and drew a flower on your knee. Once I was finished, you pointed at it, said ‘wower’ (your version of flower) and then raised your knee to your nose and sniffed repeatedly. Maybe you had to be there, but it was very funny.

Not all your developments are great either: You’ve learned to pretend that you can’t hear me when I’m telling you to do something you don’t want to do. Which works pretty well until I pretend I have some tasty bit of food and go hmmm-mmmh – then you hear perfectly and want some too!

I could fill pages and pages with the things you do, my beautiful girl. But this will do for today.

Oh, and you have more teeth! You have four on top now, and four on the bottom, and more bumps all over your gums.
Keep doing what you’re doing Princess. You are beautiful.

Lots of love,

Top 10 Mommy Moments of 2009

Since I’ve only been a mom for 3 months (almost), I don’t have a list that’ll knock anyone’s socks off with humour and witty sayings, but the moments I treasure are spread from a few days after my baby’s conception to now. Here’s a list of my top ten mothering moments of 2009:

To cot or not to cot?

Anyone who has read at least a couple of my blog posts will be aware that I am just not impressed at the rate of growth in babies, or more specifically, my little girl. We don’t go to get weighed every two weeks, as we ‘should’ and she’s not been to the doctor for anything other than her six week checkup so far, but I have no fear of ‘Failure to Thrive’ with her. In fact, quite the opposite.

When I was pregnant, I spent countless, sick, exhausted, sleepless nights researching what was wrong with me (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), and finding out how best to be pregnant healthily. I failed miserable, and barely ate for the first 18 weeks or so, then was hospitalised with severe dehydration. I spent the next 12 weeks recovering from what felt like a long term illness. I was tired and weak most of the time. Then the final 10 weeks I slept. A lot. I was very tired. But I used my awake time wisely.

I researched, studied, prepared, learned. I knew exactly what I was expecting in labour. I watched videos. I read books. I looked up herbs. I made lists. I was ready for labour, and it paid off. It was a good experience.

I even prepared for being a mom. By this I mean, I read the ‘becoming a dad’ books, (because they were always so much lighter and less ‘your life is over’ than the mom’s books) and we attended a pediatric first aid course, and a fantastic antenatal class. Sofie was great. We learned how to put on a nappy, how to swaddle, how to feed. We learned about poo, about fevers, about wind. I learned a lot from her, and I am very grateful.

But nothing, nowhere, not a book, a friend, a fellow mom, a class or a chatroom prepared me for the actual fact of having a baby. And really, how could they. It’s something only experience can teach. But we cope. Every mother does, and so the world stays populated.

What gets me most is the growing. Every day, so fast. Blink and you miss out. Smiles, focusing eyes, reaching hands. IMG_0054

Why today especially? Because I’m still in denial.

Ameli has a Moses basket in our room, and a thus far unused travel cot in her own room.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because her room is totally unused at the moment, except for the changing table attached to the travel cot.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because I could use the space to move some things from the kitchen, and have more space in the kitchen, since her bouncy chair and her laundry basket now take up half the room.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because it makes sense.

So why do I keep putting it off, despite my annoyance at lack of space in the kitchen?

Because I can’t take her out of her Moses basket yet.  She’s supposed to be able to use it till she’s three months old. Moving her in to the cot is admitting how much she’s grown, even though she’s only two months now.

I sound like a broken record, I know, but I’m just not ready for her to move in to the big cot. As my husband says, we can never go back to the Moses basket. Once its over, its over.

Can someone tell me please, at what stage of motherhood am I supposed to be okay with how fast these days just slip away?

Growing Days

Things have been really busy in our little family the last few weeks. We seem to be settled in to our new roles of father, mother and baby, and by the looks of things, we’re all adapting to these roles quite well. I can’t believe that Ameli is 8 weeks old already, and the changes are phenomenal. Every day seems to bring something new.

She’s found her voice, and has started making little sounds that make our hearts break. It’s the cutest thing. She has also started following fingers, faces and people with her eyes and has discovered that kicking the animals in her playgym makes them move.

Even my dress is too short now

Even my dress is too short now

I saw a newborn in town yesterday, and it was only then that I realised how much she had grown. I bought her a dress for Christmas, and found myself quite upset by the fact that although she could probably still fit in a 0-3 month dress, it would be a much wiser move to buy the 3 – 6 month so she can wear it beyond Christmas too! I glazed over and had to take a deep breath to keep my eyes from welling up. I’m not ready for her to not be a new baby anymore.

Last night when I was dressing her for sleep, I put one of her first babygrows on, and although it buttoned up fine, I knew that it was tight and that she could no longer stretch her legs out, but I fought with it. “You…will…fit…in…to…this”. I’m just not ready for her to grow up yet.

But I realised, as I watched my curled up (due to being unable to stretch her legs) baby sleep, that this is a losing battle, and it is time to let her grow. Just to let her grow. I know I have some time yet, before nurseries, school, life all take her from me, but I can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be when the time comes that I have to let her go. In the meantime I will hold on tight to these moments, and I’ll go through her closet and let go of the items that too quickly have become too small.

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