About Dear Bex

This is my place to speak to my daughter. She won't remember these early days in her life, and I want to make sure that I do! Plus, there's just so much I want to say to her and be sure she knows.

October 26, 2011

Nostalgia...

Dear Bex,

Yes, you're only nine months old. (Also - you're already nine months old!!) But that doesn't mean that The Daddy and I don't often talk about how you used to be, how you're already changing and growing up. He often gets upset when I talk about your next milestone to look out for, saying, "No, she can't do that she's just a baby!"



But last night, our FlipShare program was open on the computer, and we looked back at the first couple of videos from March and April, when you were 2-3 months old. And we were both in shock and awe at how TINY you were, how much you've grown and accomplished, and how quickly it has all gone by. I think I even saw The Daddy tear up, remembering those first few months.

Time goes quickly when you're having fun, and we're having the BEST time - and looking back proved exactly that.

We love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

October 24, 2011

The First Time Apart

Dear Bex,
I hinted in the last post that it’s been a hectic time – and it has. Work has been so busy for me lately because I had a big event coming up that is FINALLY OVER! I am on the plane back right now.

I’ve been in Phoenix since Wednesday – and that night was the first I’ve ever spent away from you, baby girl! I was extremely nervous about leaving and got pretty upset the night or two before – but obviously knew you were in amazing hands with Dina (who was amazing and came early and stayed late and came Friday!) and the Daddy (who did SUCH a great job with NO help from anyone!). I had pictures of you with me that I stared at – ask anyone I was with – and that I was gladly able to show off to tons of people.

I missed you SO much - your smile, laugh, noises, hands, eyes and tush tush! I would talk to the Daddy and hear you in the background, and he'd put me on speaker to talk to you but you are still too young to understand what was going on. Dina says you would look around for me and missed me, which makes my heart break because you were probably so confused! I bought you a little coyote doll that said Arizona on the tummy - the first of many souvenirs we'll bring you from trips, I'm sure, and another "Mom moment" that struck me more than I thought it would.

The breaking point was when I finally figured out how to Skype with The Daddy. It was a little bit screwed up, so I don't think you could see me that well, but the second I saw you on The Daddy's lap I realized just how much I missed you. I cried when we signed off, knowing it was a full two more days before I'd see you, and I just wanted to get on a plane right then and come back!

But we made it through - I am finishing this post from home, and last night when I got here I went right into your room and watched you sleep for a few minutes, breathing gently, your head perched on top of all of the lovies you sleep with, and I just smiled. This is where I belong.

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

The Shoot!

Dear Bex,

OK, I’m a little late with this post – it’s been a super hectic time! But I’ll start with last Friday – your modeling debut!

You were a fabulous model. You looked adorable (even though they put you in a not-so-cute hat), smiled, and had a great time! We spent 9-1 there, you napped in your stroller (thank goodness!) and were in an amazing, playful, happy mood. There were puppies running around that you chased, hallways that you crawled down, and I (obviously) brought a ton of toys to occupy your time (and the other babies’ time too, actually – everyone played with our things!). But the toys were unnecessary, because you’re happiest crawling around, pulling yourself up on things and eating magazines. The other babies were cute too, I admit, but as the quintessential clich├ęd mommy says, “You were the cutest one there!”

There was a seamstress on site in case you needed your sleeves shortened or something, but the outfit fit you well so that wasn’t necessary. There was a handler who was so great with you – she put you on the little bed setup that they had, all outfitted in Ralph Lauren linens, pillows and toys,, of course, and you were smitten with her. You stared right at her, and loved all of the toys that she had that squeaked, lit up and moved. She would set you up in the position they wanted to try, and squeak a toy in your face that would catch your attention. Then, she’d run back a few steps to the camera and do it again, so you would instantly do the perfect Gerber Baby / Zoolander look right at the lens… it was miraculous! Every picture was better than the one before.

They put a couple different hats on you, tucking your hair in, pulling more of your bangs out, and then took some with no hat at all – and you were a pro through everything!

They let us know that they got the shots they needed during our one shoot, so we were allowed to leave at lunchtime, which I think was for the best – you took a rocking nap on the ferry boat home, while I kept everyone updated on how the day went.

Then we went to a playdate at Maxie and Julia’s house which was SO much fun! Jordyn came with Brooks, Emily and Conor, and Meri and Eli too. I really miss the other mommies I met on maternity leave, and am so grateful when I get the chance to hang out with them. I learn so much from them and seeing what their babies are up to and doing, what worked for them in certain situations, and it’s amazing to watch all of you finally playing sort of with each other, as opposed to the first playdates when you lay on a mat all next to each other and not do anything! This was a mess of crawling, walking, pulling up, stealing toys from each other, putting everything in your mouths – it was fabulous!

It was an amazing Friday together, and one that made me truly feel like your mom for one of the first times. Obviously I feel like your mom all the time, when I feed you, dress you and take care of you, but taking you to the modeling shoot was another feeling entirely. I was proud of you, protective of you to make sure nothing crazy happened, and I was ecstatic for you – because the baby who hated the photo shoot we tried to do when she was only two days old was a perfect model who had so much fun – and I can’t wait to see where the pictures are used come March 2012!!

I love you, Baby Girl!

Love,
Mommy

October 12, 2011

Our Rollercoaster Day

Dear Bex,

We have not had a rollercoaster of a day like we did yesterday in SO LONG. We started off on the up and up, to amazing heights, and then came down with such force! But let's start at the beginning...

Last week, Mommy's friend Denae asked for pictures of you and some of your friends. She used to work at Ralph Lauren, and knew that they were looking for baby models within your age ranges. I didn't even send in any until Monday, because I just kept forgetting - but it turns out they loved the ones I sent in!



We got asked to come in for a "go-see" where they meet you, take a few of their own pictures, and get some information about you. Well, it turns out they loved you on that too! They emailed at 5 PM yesterday asking if you "were available" on Friday for a Ralph Lauren layette shoot! I let them know that you were (I mean, really, other than pooping, what do you have planned?!) and that was it - your first modeling shoot was booked! What an exciting day - I mean, The Daddy and I have always known you were beautiful, and just about everyone thinks that you're the cutest baby that there ever was, but to have a modeling shoot?! I think it's amazing and hilarious and exciting all at once. Here is a photo from Dina after the go-see:

By the way, I think Dina was the most excited of anyone - I love how much she loves you, baby girl, it is so awesome.

Anyway, I got home that night, and cuddled and played with you as we always do. You were getting tired, so I changed you, made your bottle, and sat in your glider to feed you - you wanted none of it. Two ounces in you got fidgety and wouldn't eat anymore. I walked around the room with you as I always do after your nighttime bottle, and let you touch the dots on your Rebecca growth chart, the butterflies on your wall, and the animals on your mobile. I put you in your bed, gave you your lovey, and shut the door. You never quite settled down, and forty five minutes later out of fear that you had spit up at some point, I came in to check on you and that was the end of trying to sleep - you were up, crying, inconsolable for the next 20 minutes. I took you out and took your temperature, which was normal. So fearing it was teething pain, I gave you Tylenol that you promptly spit up. And then you promptly vomited all over me, for the second time this week! I stripped off your clothes and mine, changed you, tried to wipe things up and calm you down. I then let you crawl around a bit, as that was the only way you were happy! I put you in your crib 20 minutes later, and you proceeded to scream for half an hour. You were irate about something! It instantly brought me back to your first two months, when you would cry at night despite our every attempt to settle you down - and it didn't feel good.

The Daddy came home and couldn't believe how upset you were, to the point that we broke all of our sleep training rules. We took you out of the crib, talked to you, brought you outside into the living room and our bedroom, and played with you. We snuggled with you, tried to get you to calm down in there, to no avail. You wouldn't let either of us out of your sight, and clung to whichever one of us you chose at that moment with dear life. Yes, it is an amazing feeling to be that needed and cherished by someone, but we had no idea what to do at that moment! We finally gave you a cold teether which helped a bit, and as you had calmed down more tried the Tylenol again, which finally worked. You began to relax and give in to your tiredness, and The Daddy rocked with you in the glider for a little while, singing softly to you, before he finally placed you in your crib at 9 - and you didn't even move for hours - or wake up the next day till almost 8 AM!

I hope you had sweet dreams despite the less than stellar time you had going to sleep - and hope to not have to go through that again tonight! And stay tuned for the story of Friday, your first (of many!? who knows!) modeling shoot!

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommmy

October 10, 2011

Family

Dear Bex,

This weekend was full of family time - and you were in your glory for all of it. We were down in Lakewood, NJ, at Grandma and Grumpa's house from Friday through Sunday for Yom Kippur. You loved it at their house and crawled all over every inch, pulling yourself up on their couches, walls, TV stand, chairs and stools. You actually made your mark on their kitchen chairs when you pulled yourself up on it and started to eat the edge of the seat - we told you to stop, pulled you away, and lo and behold you left teeth track marks on it! Proof positive that you just have your two sharp bottom teeth, for now. You also climbed their (super long!) flight of stairs like a pro, and loved that you could play in the family room and look over into the kitchen and still see Grandma! You giggled and waved at her (and made her year)!

This Yom Kippur was strange for me, because it's the first one I remember that I didn't spend in temple at all. I was with you all day - getting ready to make a brief synagogue appearance, and taking a surprise trip up to GG's. I thought it was going to be hard to find the energy to do all of that without eating, but it was actually easier - mainly because of you! You kept me busy, chasing you while you explored all the new territory, laughing while you made faces and did things to make the family laugh, and making sure you ate, drank, napped and were changed and all taken care of. I barely had time to think about being hungry!

GG was so excited to see us, we definitely made her year too! There, we saw Aunt Judy, Uncle Howie and Suzanne, and Cousin Melissa. They all love you SO much, and were happy to spend the day fawning over your every move. You kept crawling right over to GG, who at 91 years old would lean over and pick you up on her lap like it was nothing! She had a great time playing and talking with you again.

You had so much fun at their house that both nights, you didn't want to go to sleep, for fear of missing something! Friday night you took a nice evening nap for two hours (!), and then woke up and hung out with Grandma and I for an hour past your normal bedtime. But let me tell you - you were having the time of your life! Babbling, crawling, playing, climbing on me... you had a blast. The next night again I tried to lay you down and you were having none of it. I let you come out again for half an hour or so, and then you were good with going to sleep, once you were convinced that you weren't missing anything, and tired enough to just relax in your travel crib and drift off to a long night of dreams.

Sunday Uncle Eric came back up with us to our apartment and watched football with The Daddy. He loves playing with you and messing around with you - it's so much fun to watch. I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready watching he and The Daddy both playing with you and it was just adorable - The Daddy comes from such a good family, and I'm so glad you had the chance to see so many of them this weekend.

Yesterday we also decided it's time for table food boot camp! We're trying our hardest to make you pick up food with your own hands, but you just can't get it yet, so we're going to do our best to help you out to learn, instead of just placing the food in your mouth ourselves. I decided to try to hand you a Cheerio instead of placing it in your mouth, so held it out to you. Instead of grabbing it, you lowered your head down to my hand and ate it out of my fingers! It was hilariously adorable, as you are all of the time.

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

October 3, 2011

PURPLE

Dear Bex,

Ever since before you were born, you have been a lavender girl. I've known all along that as much pink as there is in the world for girls (and yes, you wear and have your share of that too), that I loved purple and that it was just a little bit less of a GIRLY GIRL statement. Your bedding is lavender, I buy you lavender clothes when I can, and I am just in love with the color.

Now, I read about a new campaign, the Period of PURPLE Crying, that speaks so much to me that tears well up when I read about it. This is what we went through with you to a tee. And even on this blog, when I looked back at that time, I attributed what we went through to your reflux and thinking we mistakenly called that colic. People talked of the witching hour, which seemed creepy but valid enough since - literally - everyone said it affected them.

But no, you were in the Period of Purple Crying. It wasn't your fault, or our fault, or even anything abnormal - and that is something that took me a long time to understand. As a new mom you're worried constantly about what you're doing, and how to fix everything to be the perfect June Cleaver model within days - which turns into weeks - which turns into months. And when your baby cries incessantly every night, no matter what you do, it is hard for it not to take a toll on you, your ego and your state of mind.

The Period of PURPLE Crying begins at about 2 weeks of age and continues until about 3-4 months. There are other common characteristics of this phases, or period, which are better described by the acronym PURPLE. All babies go through this Period it is just that during this time some can cry a lot, some far less, but they all do go through it.


I found out about this from one of my favorite blogs, Pregnant Chicken, and just like her, want to help raise awareness of this to new mothers. As she writes here:
I'm never a fan of hiding the ugly to shelter unsuspecting parents of what *could* happen because if it *does* happen, you don't feel prepared and you feel like you are the only one this is happening to. I have yet to meet a parent that didn't have a witching hour in their house so you are not alone.

So today I want to tell new moms, moms-to-be, and those thinking of having babies, listen up - this may happen to you. It will suck, but you will just power through it and survive, and still end up in absolute love with the baby that made all that racket. You will look at them months down the road, and say, as we have, "How is this sweet, perfect little girl the same one who raised such hell in the beginning of her life?"

The answer is, Bex, that yes, it's the same little girl. You entered our lives dramatically, and have since become the antithesis, not getting worked up about too much. And I couldn't love you anymore than I do today, when you smile at me, and clap your hands, and shriek when you see how big Elmo is on the last page of the book. And later, I won't be able to love you anymore than I will when you are a dramatic two-year-old, wanting your way and throwing tantrums. You are perfect, just as you are. You are YOU.

I love you, baby girl!

Love always,
Mommy