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 4, 2013

"Reading"

Dear Bex,

You have always had a penchant for books and reading, and recognized books by their covers... you've always memorized them quite quickly, and I frequently won't read the last word on a page and wait for you to fill it in (which you usually do perfectly).  You've recently taken this to another level, reading books to yourself and having a blast doing it. Sometimes the pages are paraphrased based on the pictures, but mostly, you get them 100% right...




And crack me up in the process :)

I love you, baby girl.

Love always,
Mommy

September 25, 2013

Fun with Bex

Dear Bex,

I told you that you've been so much fun lately with us - but had no idea how much fun you've been with Dina too! She has recently been texting me tons of pictures during the day of the fun you have together - at classes, on playdates, walking around, at the playground - and she is as proud (if not prouder) as I am at how well you're doing at school.  The teachers say you follow directions, and know your colors so well, and are just amazing, and Dina says you say good bye to her now without any reservations and sit down to start playing - I love this, and can't wait to take you on Friday and see it all for myself.  I love you, baby girl!










Love always,
Mommy

September 18, 2013

Summer 2013

Dear Bex,

What. A. Blur.  This summer blew by in an instant, marked in the beginning by the Walk and at the end by our family trip to Georgia and the Jewish Holidays, earlier this year than anyone can ever remember.

And in those months, Baby Girl,  you GREW UP.  You grew in size, vocabulary, attitude (!) and love.  Your legs are longer, hair blonder and thoughts more mind-boggingly complex than at the beginning of the summer.  You had so much fun in the sprinkler at the playground in Hoboken, over various weekend stays with Grandma and Grumpa and in Georgia with, as you put it, "everyone."

We have been having SUCH fun with you lately.  You are at such a great age, my two-and-a-half-year-old (!), and showcase all of the classic stereotypes of the Terrible Twos, but in the most un-terrible way possible.  Hilarity, intelligence, creativity, regressions, curiosity, defiance, tantrums... we cycle through these on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

You loved being outside, but REALLY hated the summer heat with a vengeance.  I don't think you realized that it's the heat that made you so upset, because you didn't really let us do anything to relieve the heat for you like put your hair up, take sips of water or come in the shade, and instead opted to just get very flushed and sweaty and irritable.  To combat the heat we often took you to the sprinkler, or to play in pools and water tables whenever possible. And when you see any of those, my goodness, you got so giddy that you jumped right in.  Literally.  You would run straight into the sprinkler's sprays of water, jump tush first (yes, tush first) into pools over and over, and grab whatever receptacle you can find at a water table and proceed to dump that water over your head over and over until you've had enough.


You love going to visit friends, families and the classes in which you are enrolled, asking every morning who you'll see or where you'll go that day.  You are very generous with hugs and saying "I love you" to all of your favorite people.

You love to jump now - while crossing the street, while standing on the couch and while climbing down flights of stairs, you are most often in the air.  You love to sing even more than you used to, and catching you singing along to the CDs we've listened to (OVER AND OVER AND OVER) in the car is one of my favorite things right now.  You love anything on TV - Dora, Diego, Umizoomi, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sofia the First. You love Thomas, Clifford, Blue's Clues, Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse - but you are very particular about what you want to watch at any given time, and with OnDemand, you often get what you want.  What can I say, Mommy's a huge sucker...

You love the iPad more than anything else, and I've downloaded tons of apps and games for you that are at least somewhat educational!You do puzzles on there that blow my mind, play Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and get all the puzzles right, watch Dora (obviously) and love the virtual dollhouse too - not to mention the Thomas app.

Georgia was so much fun with you this year! You woke up early the first couple of mornings, and you and I went around exploring the resort.  I can't explain how it feels to show you around someplace that means so much to me, having gone there each year since I was your age.  It  is pretty incredible.  We would walk to see the birds in the bird room, who we named Tweeters and Chirpy and I think you thought were your pets.  We would get mini muffins there and Mommy would have coffee.  One morning you insisted on carrying around an empty cup just like mine.  We would then walk out to the dock and see the boat, The Cloister Belle, and then make our way back to our room in time for breakfast with the whole crew.  You spent mealtimes laughing with Amanda and Ryan, until you'd had enough and would demand we go to the pool.  You LOVED swimming in the pool, both playing on the steps with Ryan and with the lion fountains, and loved when The Daddy or I would bring you into the deeper water and spin you around quickly.  The last day on vacation we put you on a boogie board in the pool and you wouldn't get off for at least an hour. You were such a cute little surfer girl!  You loved the beach the first day, overcoming your fear of sand quickly to run in and out of the ocean and all around.  But after that, it didn't quite do it for you and you were content to just stay in the pool all week.  You came out to dinners every night like a champ (thanks to that heavy iPad addiction) and then The Daddy would bring you home after... to do it all over again the next day.

The coffee cup.

A moment when we didn't hate the beach!
 




The same swing I sat on when I was your age!
Doing yoga with Chirpy

You were a rockstar on the plane, too, and that helped make our vacation that much better.  You've recently been asking to go on a plane again, so maybe we'll plan another trip soon...

Your sass has definitely increased lately - The Daddy and I think it may be some of the television shows that you watch, where kids are demanding or mean to teach a lesson, but either way, it's not fun to deal with! At bedtime, or naptime, or mealtime, we hear, "I'm not (tired or hungry) AT ALL!".  You've recently started saying, "I don't love you," and even "You're not as good at this as me!" to other kids or us.  Oh, and "No way, Jose" is your favorite response to just about anything.  We're working through this, and I'm sure it's a phase as everything else, but it's one of my least favorite to date.

Another of my least favorite recent things was potty training.  We made our first attempt in August, and took two weeks to try and get you into it - you were NOT.  There were a couple of times we thought we made breakthroughs, when The Daddy finally got you to relax and you made your first big peepee in the potty, or when you made your first poop  in the potty and told Dina that it looked like a hot dog... but alas, these were short-lived milestones.  We had started to get to a pretty good place I think, but then went to Georgia and it all went down the tubes. Back into PullUps you went, and we'll try again soon...

You recently started preschool at Kidville, their Kidville University (KVU) program.  The first day you were fine going in because I was with you, and I sat and watched you tentatively play with the toys and follow the teachers' directions.  You sat in the chair at the table, and on the letter R (your favorite that you made it a point to find) on the rug, and when the teacher read a story and stood so that all the kids could see her, you made yourself quite comfortable in her chair at the head of the class!
First day of school!

May you always be this excited to get there! Running with Mason...

Head of the class!

All of the other mommies left quickly, and soon it was just one other nanny and I in the room with all of you and your teachers. She took the opportunity to sneak out, while I came over to you and said that I was going to go get coffee, and I'd be back soon. You wanted to come with me, and teared up, but I turned and left and know you were fine.  When I came back to get you you were happy to see me and jumped into my arms, and then quickly out of them and into Dina's when you saw her!  Wednesday you were much more hesitant going into the classroom.  You knew what to expect, and had spent Monday afternoon and Tuesday telling me school wasn't fun.  But, I left you quickly, and despite some tears, they said you had a good day.  Friday was the same, with the difference being at pickup - it was the first time you ran to me to tell me you had SO MUCH FUN! I was so happy to hear that, and so proud of you, my big girl! This week has been great - they said you've been listening, and participating and you know your colors so well - hearing that feedback about your child is just incredible.  I'm sure the day will come when teachers don't have 100% positive reports for me, so I'm going to bask in this for a little while longer... :)

Over the Jewish holidays, we went to Mimi and PopPop's for Rosh Hashana and then Grandma and Grumpa's for Yom Kippur.  On Rosh Hashana we made sure you took a break from playing and heard the shofar. While at Grandma and Grumpa's synagogue, we took you upstairs to play in the toy room during services.  When the Rabbi's children, who play there all the time, showed up, they stared at you - no one is usually up there with them! It wasn't long before they were completely under your spell.  You immediately went up to them and said, "Hello Little Girl, what is your name? Would you like to play with me?" It was so sweet.  You then proceeded to play by yourself, as they watched in wonder - at your constant chatter, singing, jumping, dancing and playing.  They, and their babysitter, absolutely fell in love with you, as it is impossible to avoid.  You are charismatic, funny, gorgeous, silly and amazing - I am so lucky to be your mommy, and see that every day.

I love you, Baby Girl.

Love always,
Mommy


June 30, 2013

Our Climb from the Darkness

Dear Bex,

Last weekend, we did our Climb from the Darkness.  At 6 PM  on Friday, June 21, the longest day of the year, you, The Daddy and I met up with Mimi, PopPop, Drew and Gabi and walked along the Hoboken waterfront.  You walked part of the way, ran part of the way, I pushed you in your stroller part of the way and you ate pretty much the whole way! We took tons of pictures, talked, looked at the amazing views of the NYC skyline and enjoyed the perfect summer evening weather. When we got back up to Maxwell Place Park we met up with Grandma and Grumpa and Aunt Judy for a picnic afterwards, during which you ate, ran, played on the playground, danced and were generally an overtired, hilarious entertainer!


 


It was an incredible night.  We raised more than $3,500 for Postpartum Progress, the reason that we walked.  I raised so much awareness even just among people I know about what I had been through. And I got to take time that night to think about how far I'd come.  I got to spend time with the people who helped me when I needed it most, and to celebrate our family and the hundreds of other women that were walking for that same reason.

I didn't make any kind of speech that night, and if I had would have surely found myself with tears streaming down my face.  But what I would have tried to say would have been:
Thank you. Thank you for coming to support me, our family, and Postpartum Progress.  Thank you for being there for us just over two years ago when we didn't know which way was up, and for being there to help us up every day since.  This has been a hell of a two-and-a-half years, and we have needed each and every one of you to help keep us going.  
The experience that I went through has profoundly changed me - motherhood, yes, has profoundly changed me - but the PPD in particular has made me hypersensitive to every pregnant woman that I see, every friend that tells me they are expecting.  I live just about all of my life as an open book and always have, and this experience is no different.  I hope that by talking about what I went through, I help at least one person not feel ashamed or embarrassed or like they have to hide their struggles. Today marks the first time that women all over are shining a light on PPD together, and I hope that this is the first of many times I get to use my experience for good.
So thank you all for everything - the meals, the baby sitting, the phone calls... thank you to Evan, for being the most amazing father, husband and partner from day 1.  You have blown me away and I don't know where I'd be without you.  And thank you to Bex, who made me the mother I am today.  The Warrior Mother that I am today.  It was you that profoundly changed me for the better, and you that keeps changing me every single day.  I love you so much!
 I was proud, happy and overwhelmed with gratitude towards everyone that contributed money, time, and kind words to me.  I loved every second of planning for and executing this night - and can not wait to make next year even bigger and better.  What a night - and the symbolism of it - a virtual army of Warrior Moms all spending the brightest day of the year focusing on the journey that motherhood has taken them on - just made it that much more amazing.


I love you, baby girl.

Love always,
Mommy

June 6, 2013

Climbing Out of the Darkness

Dear Bex,

Oh my goodness, Baby Girl, mama's been on a mission!  We have been kicking some booty over here raising money for Postpartum Progress' Climb Out of the Darkness fundraiser.  When I first read about it, I thought, "Wow, what a great idea.  That would be cool."  Then I opened my next email and went on with my day.  But I couldn't stop thinking about what I could do to participate - so I researched hikes in our area, but there are none close enough to where we live to make it easy for people to join us.  So I put it out of my mind. But it just kept creeping back in, and I knew I had to join up!  What a great way to raise money for this amazing cause, and to DO SOMETHING after what I went through during The Dark Days that I so often reference here.  So, I set up a fundraising page and decided to do less of a climb and more of a walk right in Hoboken.  Easy, right down and then back up the waterfront, a walk you and I have done together countless times.  We will have a picnic dinner on the pier with everyone right after, and in my mind it's a perfect Summer evening with friends, family, babies and even dogs running all around us as we celebrate how far you and I have come in the exactly two years and five months since you were born.

Of course, something will go wrong - it may rain, or there won't be room for us all in the park (doubtful, but you never know), or FreshDirect's truck will break down and the picnic won't make it to us... but I can't control any of that, so I'm focused on what I can control - getting my message and Postpartum Progress' message out there, and asking friends and family to support their amazing cause.

I first sent out a note and a Facebook status update on Tuesday.  Daddy put it on Facebook too, because he is an awesome Daddy.  I said I'd raise $500, and we surpassed that pretty quickly.  Then I said $1,000, and we passed that too.  I upped it to $2,000 on Wednesday, and Baby Girl, we're at $2035 as of noon on Thursday.  That is unbelievable.  The goal of the entire fundraiser is $25,000, and we're almost 10% of that already! So that is my new goal - $2500 - fingers crossed that we get there.

So thank you thank you thank you to all of our donors (I will update this as more come in!):

The Feuerring Foundation
Evan and Rebecca (The Stinkface) Neadel (that's you!)
Grandma and Grumpa Neadel
Lauren, Jason, Amanda and Ryan Baker
Grandma Thel
Aunt Judy
Uncle Bob and Aunt June
Jen and Jason Adel
The Adler Family
Denae Bard
Lauren and Chad Blank
Meredith Campbell
Rachel Cohen and Yael Ralston
Bill & Marion Cullen
Gail and Jerry Ellstein
Valerie Fernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Filusch
Joan and Barry Galkin
Laura and Dave Goldstein
Anne Green
Gabi and Drew Greenspan
Katy and Cuyler Hendricks

Tracy, Lilly and Jon Jacobs
Heather, Lil and Charlie Katz
Ellen and Ralph Katz
Lauren, Sean and Colin Kennedy
Dave, Ruth, Dylan and #2 Kim
Carrie and Adam Kipnis
Barry Kraver
Matt and Erica Lakind
Maria Martinez
Leslie, Marc, Sydney and Hayden Meunier
Erica, Dave and Avery Peltz
Marc Penziner
Emily Pontelandolfo
Kathleen Reynolds
Charlie Ricciardelli
The Salinas Family
Rachael Lerner-Schachter and Jesse Schachter
Aly, Jordan and Lexie Schwartz
Bette and Alan Schwartz
Jeff Shooman
The Silberman Family
Dorothy Sonnenburg
Leslie Stahl
Meredith Topalanchik
Abby and Elliot Trexler
Jordyn, Dan and Brooks Vinish
Emily Weiner
Camille Priselac and Brendan Whelan
Lea Woods

And thank you to you too, Bex, because without you being born, I wouldn't have gone through what I did - and wouldn't have found a cause I am so passionate about.  One that I can feel so intensely down to my core, and one that I know will fuel who I am for the rest of my life.  

Love always,
Mommy

April 30, 2013

2 1/4

Dear Bex,

Another lag, but this time no excuses, just... typing on!  You, my lovey girl, have been sick on and off for months, almost since your birthday. After the ear infections there was a cold with a nasty cough or two, and now you have allergies that are just horrendous.  A constant drippy nose, sneezes and a rattling cough that sadly wakes you up most nights. We've spent lots of time cuddling on your chair in the middle of the night (though you mostly just like to snuggle until you calm down, and then get back in your crib.  You LOVE your crib - your haven - which is now filled to the brim with lovies, stuffed animals, a small blanket and three pillow-type toys.  Even if you don't nap, you happily laze about in there for an hour or so, talking to all of your friends, making them dance and sing, kicking your legs around, letting yourself free fall onto your mattress and just generally having a blast!).  Hopefully we're on the upswing, but only time will tell...

You're growing by leaps and bounds these days- both your long legs and your maturity!  Though there are blasts of two-year-old immaturity that come blowing in like a tornado every now and then, you are very much a little kid now.  You tell me stories about what you did each day with Dina, and you ask expectantly in the morning about what you'll do in the hours to come - who will we see? Where will we go?  And you get so excited about plans for playdates, birthday parties and visits to see people all around us.  You now understand that there are Dina Days (M-Th), Mommy Days (F) and Mommy/Daddy Days (Sat and Sun), and love each for different reasons.

A typical Mommy Day - lunch at City Bistro...
And a trip to the playroom and the ball pit!


















You cheer us on when we do something well just as we do to you, and ask to see our empty plates, sparkly teeth and flushed potties and clap for us every time.  You sing songs, do joga (yes, you say JOGA) and ballet and are starting a painting class next week - here's hoping you learn to stop eating the paint over the next two months).

You love all of your friends - your weekday friends around our neighborhood, your cousins, and the children of Mommy and Daddy's friend with whom we coordinate playdates all the time.

And you LOVE eating out at restaurants. You've become a pro, and order for yourself and then sit waiting patiently for your food, until you are really hungry and say, "I think it's coming!!" every time you see a waiter, waitress or busboy pass us by.  You eat by yourself most of the time with a fork or a spoon, and when you are hungry, LOOK OUT!  You hoover bowls full of pasta and french fries with reckless abandon!  You're pickier in your day to day foods, and I think are somewhat bored with what we feed you but also wary of trying new things, leaving us in a bit of a bind.  But luckily there are a few things we can rely on to ensure you're always full and (mostly healthily) nourished.







At the Liberty Science Center's Curious George Exhibit
We are having so much fun with you right now, Bex.  You are hilarious, constantly making up songs and voices for your different stuffed animals and lovies, and laughing at things around you.  You are sweet, feisty, gentle, tough, dependent and independent all at the same time.  You have learned that The Daddy and I are your family, and love doing things all together - jumping at the same time, eating meals at the same time, hugging as a Family Hug and last night, a big group kiss that you made us repeat over and over.

You are the best part of our days, even when you're not at your best.

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

February 4, 2013

Warrior Mom.

Dear Bex,

Two years later, I still think about the PPD that I had.  Not in a bad way, or a scared way, or an ashamed way, or even a guilty way (not anymore, at least.) - sometimes I marvel at how thoroughly it affected who I was, to the core.  Sometimes I compare how I am now to how I was then.  Sometimes I think about the future, and when it comes time to have a baby brother or sister for you, and how scared I am that it will happen again (though my therapist, who I still see consistently, is going to work very hard to ensure that it doesnt!) but excited at the prospect of 'being there' for the newborn stage this time.  Sometimes I just try to remember certain things about your first few months and can't and am disappointed.  And most of the time, it's because a friend or acquaintance has a baby or announces a pregnancy, and I'm hyper-sensitive to how they may be feeling.  And a little bit jealous of how together they seem.

As part of therapy, my doctor asked me about six weeks or so ago if I thought my having PPD had affected you, or our relationship.  And I instantly, without pause and with conviction, said not at all.  She was so proud, and happy, and told me to write that down - and to write down my feelings about how saying that felt.  I will use this as a feel-good thing to read if I ever doubt myself, or feel some depression creeping in on me in the future. I will use it in my next pregnancy, whenever that may be.  And I know that it is true.

I am a great mother.  I am the kind of mother that I always knew I would be... and the kind of mother I longed to be when Rebecca was born.  It has taken almost two years to be able to say, and to believe, that what happened to me has in no way affected my relationship with my loveygirl.  She is amazing, hilarious, healthy and brilliant.  Those first weeks and months of her life have not impacted who she is or our bond as mother and daughter.  In fact, she has no idea that they even happened.  I do not feel guilty. What I went through has NOT had endless negative repercussions, which at that time would have been impossible to fathom.  In fact, what has come out of it, these years later, is positive.  It is an overwhelming appreciation for being ME.  It is loving (almost) every second of being a great mother to the most incredible child. It is knowledge and a desire to help other people.  It is (ed. note - or will be!) PregoPals.
Today I also read this, which filled me with pride and spoke to me in a way that few things have before.  I am proud to be a Warrior Mom, and part of this community. And I hope to be more involved in it in the years to come.

So just know, Bex, that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  You being born made me who I am today, and I am more in love with, and confident in, myself than ever before.  So thank you.

I love you so much, baby girl.

Love,
Mommy

January 29, 2013

Singing Bex

Dear Bex,

I've mentioned here before how much I love you singing... here are a few videos of your adorable, amazing, perfect little voice...


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

The way you cup my face here and sing to me? MUSH.

Your adlibbing here of a song that means so much to me from when you were a baby? Amazing.

Sesame Street Theme Song (and Dance)

SuperWhy Theme Song:

The Balloon.


January 22, 2013

To My Loveygirl on Her 2nd Birthday

Dear Bex,

Yesterday you turned two years old.  Two years old!  An official toddler and little girl, versus the baby who was just a one-year-old days ago.  The time has flown, proving the cliche to be true - it just goes too quickly.  Granted there are many times, like when we're sleeping on your floor, or you won't stop your tantrum, that the time crawls by - but for the most part, each day and special moment together just disappears too quickly.

Luckily your birthday fell on MLK Day, so I was able to spend the whole day home from work and with you.  We played with lots of new toys from your birthday party the day before, watched your favorite shows on TV, played outside and had a playdate with some of your friends.  After your nap the Daddy took you to the doctor to confirm the double ear infection we suspected.  But even through that visit and afterwards, you were a happy girl.  After dinner The Daddy and I sang happy birthday to you again, and lit candles in a cupcake that we let you devour, and you loved it.  It was all around a great day with my cuddly girl, who sat in my lap after dinner with her milk to watch Dora the Explorer.  My happy girl who cracked up laughing when I made her lamby lovey "baaaaa" at her and sneak up to give her kisses.  My smart girl who chattered away all day, correctly naming the Thomas trains that you now have.  The cutest girl who I swear, looked just a little bit older and acted just a little (tiny) bit more mature.

Your birthday party on Sunday was a huge success.  I had been thinking about it and planning it for months- I start way too early and do way too much - but I can't help it. I just want it to be the perfect day for you and all of our family and friends - and it was!

It was (of course) Thomas themed.  We had Thomas balloons, books, toys and decoration, all of which delighted you. (Even just this morning you looked around our apartment and said, "Ooooh! So many Thomas balloons!")  We had a musician come and play guitar which was great, and you and all of your friends had a blast dancing and playing with the toys she brought with her. We had tons of food - and I made cupcakes and cookies for you, and so did Grandma and Aunt Judy.  It all could not have gone better!

Everyone was able to make it (all said and done, there were about 70 people there) and you got amazing toys, books and clothes as gifts from them.  You held yourself together the whole time, despite a bit of crankiness in the very beginning and once you were over it after opening gifts. A good nap and a good dose of Tylenol upon your demonic wake-up from said nap, and you loved having Grandma, Grumpa, Mimi, PopPop, Uncle Jay, Aunt Beth, Logi and Uncle Eric over to play.

But the best part of the day? Once everyone was gone.  Just you, The Daddy and I, laughing together, giving you dinner, playing with you and hanging out. I love our little family, and most of all, love you.

Love always,
Mommy

January 8, 2013

The Next Two Nights.

Dear Bex,

I was so proud of myself for writing those last two posts - for taking the time to write to you, which I love to do but don't do often enough.  I especially love the second one, that recounts the fun and funny things that you currently love to do.

Then, you did something not at all fun.  You made us sleep on your floor for two nights straight.

Call it being sick (you had a bit of a cough that kept waking you up, though two separate doctors told us you were fine).  Call it a two-year sleep regression.  Call it whatever you want - but it was no fun!

Wednesday night for no reason that we can figure out, you stood up and screamed a little while after we put you in your crib.  I ran in, because that is so out of character, and you immediately asked to be picked up.  I told you we couldn't leave the room and you asked to rock in the glider. As we sat down on it together you promptly turned to look at me and threw up all over me.  I actually encouraged you, because once I realized it was all over me I'd rather that then on the glider or carpet!

I called for The Daddy who took you (and got puke on himself too) and undressed you in the bathroom.  We taught you that it's just a big burpie and it's nothing to be scared of, so you just kept saying that over and over, along with, "I made a messy... I made a messy on Mommy's shirt, and on Daddy..." It was actually kind of cute (amidst my gagging as I cleaned everything up - the carpet and glider didn't go totally unscathed).

Daddy rocked you for a bit to calm you back down and get you ready for sleep but you were having none of it.  You wouldn't let him leave the room! Every time either of us tried you hysterically cried - and sneaking out was fine until you would realize we were no longer on the carpet next to your crib and - yup - hysterically cried.  Since we know from years of experience that you crying leads to more throwing up, we simply came in each time you started, got you to calm down, laid down next to your crib on the floor, and then snuck away until the next time you would realize we weren't there. All night.

The next night was more of the same, despite a last-minute doctor's appointment to ensure your ears, throat and chest looked and sounded fine.  Except this time, you were just not going to go to sleep.  I'm not sure what got into you, but you wanted to chat and hang out and talk and play with your stuffed animals all night! Since you were awake the whole time there was no even trying to sneak out, so The Daddy was on your floor and then it was my turn to stay in the makeshift bed we set up there.

I spent Friday telling you that Mommy and Daddy sleep in their bed while Rebecca sleeps in her crib, and this seems to have worked! Despite a couple nights of whimpering when you went in your crib, you are (for now!) back to your happy-sleeping-alone-in-your-room self.

Also on Friday we went to the allergist - you were a champ, and I've made a point to explain to you what the doctor is going to do so that it doesn't surprise or scare you.  He gave you a quick allergy skin test to check on your dairy and egg allergy and it came back entirely negative! Perfectly clear! I almost cried in his office - I hadn't realized how much your allergy worried me until the prospect of it being gone was there.  The constant monitoring of what you're eating when other kids have certain snacks, the vigilant label-reading, recipe-searching and childrens' menu hunting is a lot!  The fact that soon you may be able to eat grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, any cake or cookie- it's just too exciting!  Next step is a blood test to confirm the lack of allergy, and then introducing the foods in the allergist's office.  FINGERS CROSSED BABY GIRL!

Other than that, we had a really low-key and fun weekend.  Friends came over on Saturday to talk about where we may move after Hoboken which was fun - and Sunday we got to go to the playground because it was just warm enough and sunny.  You were so happy to be there!  The Daddy met us there and then we all went out to lunch. and it was just such a great day all around.  I love when it's just the three of us hanging out - I wish it happened more, but you're just too cute and we have too many friends and family members who want to see you all the time!

Now I'm prepping for your birthday in two short weeks - your Thomas party is coming together nicely and I can not wait to see you there! Thomas toys and books and balloons everywhere, you're going to be so excited :)

I love you, baby girl!

Love,
Mommy

January 2, 2013

Just Before Two

Dear Bex,

I realized that in the last post I wrote, I didn't even take the time to describe the awesome, hilarious things that you do on a daily basis.  You, my love, crack. Me. Up.  You say the most amazing things, have an imagination that I can only begin to decipher, and as I did say, remember EVERYthing.  Here is a snapshot of what life has been like with you, just before you turn two.

  • At Uncle Joe's house on Christmas Day you asked to sit on the big chair by their breakfast bar.  You got situated, saw their coffee machine, and promptly asked, "Oh, can I have some coffee?"
  • You were quiet one day last week, though making a soft noise every so often. I came over to investigate and found you with cat ears on, meowing to yourself.
  • You wake up and immediately talk to all of your animals and toys - you ask for Thomas first and foremost, then make one of your five (!) loveys jump up and down while making their animal noise (usually it's Monkey).
  • Once you have Thomas in your hands, anything goes - you talk to him, laugh at him, comfort him and often tell him, "No no no, Thomas, don't do daaaaat!"
  • You get to Mimi and PopPop's house and immediately make a beeline upstairs for their huge Diego and Dora dolls - and proceed to carry them around the entire time we're there, asking if they need a new diaper, or telling them that it's okay and they don't have to cry.
  • You are in love with a small statue of a yorkie at Grandma and Grumpa's that you have named "Dave the Dog." He even has tea parties with you at the little table and chairs that Grandma got you.
  • You are currently obsessed with one episode of Dora entitled, "The South Pole" about a penguin.  In Spanish, it's pinguino.  You do not let an hour go by without asking in a sneaky little voice (which becomes increasingly more demanding) "can we watch pinguiiiiiiino?" and jump up and down repeatedly if we decide to say yes.
  • If you see any character you recognize anywhere, it's like you've sighted a longlost best friend - this includes, but is not limited to, Thomas, Dora, Diego, Boots, Mickey, Minnie, anyone from Sesame Street, SpongeBob, Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and many more.  They can frequently be found at the grocery store on foods, at RiteAid on greeting cards, in the aisles at CVS on various products and on balloons that are at the florist section of a grocery store and / or checkout counters at many stores.
  • Right now, you like if we do the same things as you - eating a meal together brings you great joy, as does when we all clap at the same time, or play hide and seek as a family, or even are all in the car together.  You love being with us, and The Daddy and I just eat it up.  You hug him often out of the blue, tell him he's so cute, and go through a list of people who are the nicest, smartest, funniest, cutest and best when we ask you to, varying your answers between yourself, The Daddy, Dina and me. Oh, and Thomas, of course.
  • You love to feed yourself, though aren't 100% at it yet - it's a messy procedure sometimes, and we're trying to teach you that you shouldn't make a mess on purpose. It's not going so well, as you love to swirl your hands around quite energetically in your food once you're done eating, then throw your plate/bowl upside down onto either the table or the floor and toss your spoon/fork on the floor with your bib that you've ripped off.  We're working on it.
  • Along with dumping your leftover food out, you also like to dump... well, anything that is in any type of a container.  We had lots of plastic food in a bin in your toy kitchen, but i've since taken the bin away becuase your favorite thing to do was not play with the food or pretend to cook it or give it out to people - it was just to dump that bin out. Loudly. Over and over. All over the place.
  • You sing a LOT - theme songs to shows, songs from your music classes and CDs that we have, happy birthday - your little voice singing is one of my favorite noises in the world.  It seems, though, that our voices are not YOUR favorite things - as you usually ask us not to sing (if by ask I mean you say NO NO NO NO NO when we start).  You are picky about what song can be sung at any given time, and also about what you want to listen to, often asking for a new song in the car. Current favorites include Tingalayo, Down by the Station, I've Been Working on the Railroad, My Bonnie, The Goodbye Song, ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Alice the Camel and Five Little Monkeys. I'm like a DJ up there, switching CDs to accommodate your frequent requests.
  • You heart bathies.  You love playing with all of your toys, pretending to swim in the tub and dumping water from the little pitcher that we have in there all over yourself or us / the floor.  You LOVE bubble baths, and doing splish splash (which again involves making a bit of a mess.  I'm noticing a theme...)
Every day is an adventure with you, my loveygirl, and I love it more than anything in the world. I love YOU more than anything in the world.

Love, 
Mommy

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, My Bex...

Dear Bex,

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ERRYBODY!

This is what you yelled at both parties we went to last night - the first with our baby and parent friends and the second with the Lakinds, Kims and other assorted guests.  You were the hit of the room there, hugging strangers randomly, eating pasta, being a jumping bean all around the apartment and pretending to read a book to yourself.  You heard me say "My daughter, Rebecca," once and repeated it for the rest of the night - which went until 9PM for you! When we got back to our apartment and I took off your dress and tights you ran jumped around for a solid five minutes more, chanting "I'm a naked baby!" over and over until I caught you and wrangled you into your PJs - then you promptly passed out despite the party in the apartment that shares a wall with yours.

What you don't know is that, like last year, Daddy and I quietly crept into your room at midnight to kiss each other and pat your toosh to say Happy New Year.

This year is going to be intense, I can already tell - I've been home with you on vacation from work for two weeks and can say with conviction that you've hit your twos early.  There are frequent tantrums and meltdowns when things don't go your way.  You are addicted to screen time and don't care how you get it - TV, iPad, iPhone, computer, iPod Touch - anything that can play a video for you will suffice.  You have even figured out how to be manipulative - if you ask to go to the kitchen for a snack, let's say, hearing no for an answer will result in an adorable request of, "Mommy can you hold my hand?"  "Of course," I answer and grab your tiny, outstretched fingers with mine.... with which you promptly lead me right into the kitchen.

You are SMART.  Your memory shocks me every day, when out of your mouth come things that happen days, weeks and sometimes even months before.  You know full song lyrics of CDs we've been playing since you were born (which The Daddy and I are quite sick of, I must say).You love all of the little trips we take in the car to see Grandma and Grumpa, Mimi and PopPop and Lulu, Amanda and Ryan, and have a great time at all of their houses or out to eat with them all at restaurants.

You are a big girl.  We've gone to museums, the Liberty Science Center (twice!) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan and you had a blast at both, showing me just how much you've grown  up.  You have conquered the playroom downstairs, climbing up to the top of the structure with ease, though not always loving figuring out how to get back down.  You say hello to everyone we see still, waving to people and dogs alike, and often show them whichever train you are holding at the time, given that we don't go ANYwhere without Thomas, Percy or James.

I can tell that this year has a ton in store for us, my loveygirl, and I am terrified and excited and nervous and thrilled for it all at once.  Your birthday party is so soon.  Mommy will turn 33 (!) shortly thereafter.  Another trip to Georgia over the summer, and then you will start a 2s program in the Fall, which astounds me.

People make lots of New Year's Resolutions every year - last year I think I told The Daddy that I just wanted to be better, all around - more attentive to you and at work, and to family and friends - the kind of person that I want to be, but often procrastinate too long or simply forget to be!  I still think I could do a better job at that and want to try.  But I've learned a lot about me this year, by being your Mommy, and you know what? I am pretty awesome.  YOU are pretty awesome.  The Daddy is pretty awesome.  So my resolution is to take the time to enjoy everything more - to stop wanting it to be more neat. or more picture-perfect, or wishing that I had more time, or more of anything, and recognize that I have a perfect, amazing, fun, full life just as it is - mess, clutter, dust, tantrums and all.  I have the cutest daughter in the world.  I have the best husband a woman could ask for.  We have tons of friends and family nearby and are lucky to see all of them so often. I have big plans for the year, and can't wait to see where we are a year from now. So, 2013, the Hoboken Neadels are ready for whatever you've got in store!

I love you, Baby Girl!

Love,
Mommy