Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Month Letter

My sweet baby girls,

Happy One Month Birthday!  I can’t get over the fact that you are one month old before you were even supposed to be born!  Every time we woke up to feed you in the middle of the night last night, I thought about what a big deal this is and where I was exactly one month ago, how much our lives have changed since then, and how I wouldn’t want it any other way.

This first month has flown by.  You spent almost the first two weeks of it in the NICU, and I am so happy to say that you have now spent more time at home than you did at the NICU.  You both seem very content at home most of the time.  The first couple of nights you were home, you weren’t too sure about the flat cribs we were making you sleep in, but after a few nights, dad and I got into the groove.  We figured out that you really love to be swaddled, but not too tightly(except for when you’re really fussy!).  You like your hands up by your chest when you’re swaddled so that it looks like you’re saying a prayer.  When we swaddle you up, we started saying your prayers…”Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. May angels guide me through the night, and wake me with the morning light.”  You always turn your heads to one side, usually the one that is facing mom or dad.  You also really love to have a blanket over you—we tuck it into the side of your co-sleeper crib so it can’t move and cover your face.  The final piece to the puzzle is your sleep sheep or gentle giraffe.  We have one attached to each crib, and they both make soft noises, and you love to have those on when you go to sleep.- Daddy’s favorite sounds are the ones that make him feel like he is camping! 

Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night, and all it takes is for us to turn those on and you go right back to sleep. Each night we switch which baby gets to sleep by dad or me since we have one crib on both sides of the bed.  For the most part, you are such calm babies.  Often, we will put you in your beds and you will still be bright-eyed and awake, but you don’t cry—you just look around until you fall asleep.  You both have two different pacifiers that you like, which is very convenient for us because we don’t end up mixing your pacifiers up. (We haven’t really decided on a nickname for the pacifier yet… sometimes we call it a paci, I call it a binky, and dad calls it a ginky).   Both of you make some funny grunting noises in your sleep.  I can sleep through them pretty easily, but sometimes dad has a hard time. We think you have found your voices and just like to listen to yourselves talk!  Ever since we figured out that “magic combination,” you very rarely wake up crying in the middle of the night.

You eat on a three hour schedule around the clock.   First, we change your diaper, then we feed you.  Right now you are eating 55ml of milk at each feeding.  Annabel is an easy burper and has ripped some burps our family is very proud of.  Sophia, you don’t burp as well, and sometimes it takes you a lot longer to let one loose!  You are both VERY good eaters and finish all 8 of your daily meals with no problem. 

Sometimes, by the time we change your diaper, you are so hungry that you scream!  Sophia, you have the funniest cry, and you have ever since you were born.  When you cry, it sounds like you are saying “eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh” or “no, no, no, no, no.”  Annabel, when you cry, you SCREAM.  There isn’t a little whimper for you; it’s an all out “ahh!!”  I think you are just making up for not crying right when you were born. It is very easy to tell your cries apart, so that really helps mom and dad! 

We started using cloth diapers about a week after you came home from the hospital.  Sophia, you are still a little bit too small for the cloth diapers.  You need to put some fat on those skinny thighs because the extra small, newborn diapers are still way too big for you, and it causes you to pee through them a LITTLE bit!  Your sister, who is about a pound bigger than you, has chubbier thighs, so the diapers fit her perfectly.  So right now, we have one baby in cloth diapers and Sophia is still in disposable newborn diapers.  Hopefully we only have another week or so with Sophia in her disposables!  We also use only cloth wipes now, which are actually very convenient (and save mom and dad a lot of money! – Dad counts a quarter for each diaper J)

You spend the rest of your day sleeping, primarily.  Between feedings, you will usually have about 20-30 minutes of awake time.  During that time, you like to lay under your play mat, be talked to, stare at the Christmas tree, or sit in your bouncer.  When you get sleepy, you spend time in either your swing or Rock N Play.  Sometimes you rest in your Pack N Play, too.  To be honest, though, you are held by someone a good majority of the time!  Between having me and dad here and grandmas and grandpa and Aunt Lauren, someone is always DYING to hold you!

You both look so different!  You are both still tiny enough to wear newborn clothes at one month old.  As different as you are, sometimes when you are wearing the same thing and you fall asleep, you look very very similar!  Annabel, you are definitely your mom’s little girl.  You are nicely filled out, you have big, bright beautiful blue eyes and a FULL head of blonde hair.  Grandma thinks you are going to have curly hair.  You have a little “stork bite” right in-between your eyes…it’s just a little red patch, but from what I’ve read, that will probably go away.  You have recently started staying awake a lot more—when you’re awake, you love to stare at the Christmas tree!  You have gained so much control of your head, and you like to turn your head from side to side and look around.  When you were first born, and for the first few weeks of your life, you had a really hard time keeping your eyes open.  You would try SO hard to open your eyes, but you would always fall right back asleep.  Not anymore!  I call you a lot of different things—My Bell, AnnieB, Belly, Annie, Annie Bananie, and  Annabelly. Daddy calls you Miss Bell. When you were still in the NICU, I found a song by Don Henley called “Annabel.”  It was stuck in my head for days and days because one of the lines is “Sleep tight, Annabel.  You can always count on me.”  I repeated it over and over in my head when I was going to sleep and would wake up with it in my head, too. Now I sing that song to you, and only you!

Sophia, you are definitely your dad’s little girl!  You are teeny tiny, have a full head of dark hair, and darker skin and eyes than Annabel (and mommy).  You love to hold your hands together, and you love to put your hands in your mouth and suck on them.  It’s adorable!  Just yesterday, you had your paci in your mouth, and you brought both of your hands up to your mouth and actually looked like you were holding it in!  You have really begun to love your seahorse that plays lullabies and glows.  If you are fussy at all and we turn it on, it only takes a few seconds to calm you down.  I call you my Sopapilla Margarita Burrito Peanut Baby.  Clearly, your mom likes food.  Sopapilla Margarita obviously comes from your first and middle name, but I always think you look like a burrito all wrapped up in your swaddle, and you are our little peanut in size.  Speaking of peanuts, I sing the song “Found a Peanut” to you (and only you, my little peanut) pretty much every day.  That’s another thing that really calms you down, which is surprising to me, because my voice is really, really bad.  You are a very active little peanut, and you love to kick your legs all over the place and Daddy thinks that means you will hike giant mountains with him.

Dad loves to play with you and can’t wait until you can interact a little bit more.   I think that (and sleep) are what he is most looking forward to in the coming months. I love reading to you both, even if you occasionally sleep through it.  A few days after you came home, I read you On The Day You Were Born and teared up a little bit because I was so happy you were home.  Then, I read Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, and oh my goodness, your mom cried and cried!  Don’t’ worry—they were happy tears.  Your mom is a little emotional these days. It’s amazing how much my world has changed with the arrival of the two of you.  I feel like I see everything differently now.  I won’t even try to put that feeling into words here because it’s impossible for anyone else to understand or relate to until they become a mother themselves.  You have also read You are My Miracle and On The Night Before Christmas

You celebrated your first Christmas this year!  You had a lot of adorable outfits, and you got lots of little presents.  In all honesty, you slept through most of it, but gosh you looked cute doing it!

Medley and Annabel
You also got to meet your sister, Medley this month!  She feeds you two bottles each morning, and she likes to pick out your clothes for you, too!  She has spent some time taking videos of you and showing you her magic tricks.  She might be a little bit intimidated by how teeny tiny you both still are, but she is doing a great job being a big sister!

Medley and Sophia

  Your other siblings, Mandy and Carlton don’t bother you at all.  Mandy does a good job of protecting you and will often sit right in front of wherever you are.  She gets very concerned when one of you cries and will come and sniff you.  Occasionally, she will even lick you, which is strange, because she NEVER gives kisses to anyone else.  Carlton sniffs you a lot.  Daddy says it’s because you leave lots of little presents for him. Other than that, he doesn’t bother you at all.

Pups looking over Annabel on Christmas

For so many months, I wanted you both to grow, grow, grow and get big and strong and healthy.  Now I just want time to stop for a little bit and have you stay teeny tiny for just a little bit longer.  You are just so sweet and cuddly, and I love to hold you close on my chest.  On the other hand, though, I can’t wait to see what the next month brings…everyone is going to leave soon, and dad is going to go back to work, so it will be just the three of us at home during the day soon.  I’m a little nervous about that, but I know we will have a great time, and I will have a lot of new memories to write about on January 28! 

I love you more than I ever thought was possible.  You are my little miracle babies.



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