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.

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,

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!


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.


January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, My Bex...

Dear Bex,


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!