Monday, May 29, 2017

Letters to Leo - 1 month old

Dearest Leonidas,

Happy 1 month birthday! Yesterday we celebrated your time with us and we are in disbelief you are already a month old.  You've been the absolute easiest and sweetest baby ever. I'm always saying to Daddy,  "How is it possible that we are THIS lucky?!?"While this first month went so fast, I find myself having a hard time remembering what life was like before you.  You've brought our family so much joy in just your short time here.

Milestones/Special Firsts:
- You came home from the hospital on a Thursday.  Saturday a.m. was our first venture out as a family of 5. We started our morning at Tosa Pediatrics for a weight and bilirubin check.  Then we went out for a light breakfast at Einstein in Brookfield, followed by a trip to the indoor soccer complex for Ari's soccer practice. By the end of the day, Mommy was hurting a bit and realized she had overdid it.  You did very well and definitely enjoyed your first trip to the of many, many more I'm sure. Dr. Marsho called us later that day to tell us your bili number had went down and you wouldn't need any treatments for jaundice.
Visit to the pediatrician

- At just 11 days old, you went on your first overnight camping trip! I'm pretty sure our entire campsite would agree, you were absolutely perfect! At an early age, it's been determined you are meant for the outdoors. A highlight for me was waking up in the morning and pulling you into my sleeping bag to snuggle you. It was chilly (low was 32 degrees)!  A few minutes later your brother and sister woke up and joined us.  My heart was full and so was my sleeping bag, a moment I will never forget.  Sleeping wise, we put you in a base layer, hat, and double swaddled you - your regular swaddle with a fleece swaddle over the top.  Daddy lined the bottom of your pack and play with a wool blanket, which really helped.  Then we laid a blanket over your legs and you didn't budge or peep the whole night.  We had to wake you every 2.5 hours to eat as you were still super little and needed to eat frequently to make sure you were gaining weight as you should. Your camping highlight included being many of your family members around the fire. There was even a waiting list of who would get to hold you next.  I found myself extra lucky to nurse you as that was the only time I got you all to myself. Daddy can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you cried the whole trip.
 Headed to Devil's Lake

 Post nurse session 

 Sleep set-up

 Tent life

Campfire snuggles

Full bag & heart 
- At your 2 week check up, you were back to birth weight.  This was such a relief to me as there is a lot of pressure nursing the first couple of weeks.  I wanted to make sure you were getting what you needed and I felt so happy nursing was off to a great start.

- You lost your belly button on Day 15!

- You had your first official bath.  Daddy had taken Ari out for the day and Elle helped me give you a bath.  You loved the warm wash cloth over your face, but did whine a bit as you were chilled.  I should have put the heater on sooner. Your sister was so sweet to you.  She hopped right in the tub and sang to you to try and calm you down when you were upset.  She took a cup of water and sprinkled it over your legs.
First bath! 

- You literally started smiling the day you turned one month old.  I have been the lucky one as you've smiled at me a handful of times already.  Nonee even got a smile last night before you went to bed! Daddy is trying and hopeful you will give him one soon.  I imagine you're saving an extra special smile for Daddy.

Things You Like Right Now: 
- Sleeping!!! You are our first baby that we can literally lay down at night wide eyed and swaddled and you will put yourself to sleep!
Morning sun

- Snuggling with mommy in the morning.  When you wake up around 6, you will nurse and then snuggle with me as long as you can before we have to get up and ready for the day.  This also happens to be one of my favorite memories with you.  You cuddle up right next to me and you're so content as you fall back to sleep.

-You love when Daddy puts you in the Baby Bjorn and you get to face outward.  You're pretty strong and love looking around as daddy walks around the house or outside.

- You love sitting in the bouncer in the bathroom when mommy or daddy showers.  It must be something about the sound of the shower (and hairdryer) that is soothing to you.
Shower put you to sleep

-You enjoy when mommy gives you a spot bath with a wash cloth.  We sit on the edge of the bath and your sister loves to help. You especially like it when we put the warm wash cloth over your head and face.

Your Current Dislikes: 
- Gosh, this one is tough! You are really the such a content baby and there isn't much that bothers you.  I'd have to say the only time you really full fledged cry is when Daddy gives you your eye massage.  You have a blocked tear duct right now and in order to clear out your eyes we have to massage the corners of your eyes twice a day.  You're getting more used to it now, but definitely will give us a good wail.

- Tummy time comes along with its fair share of whining right now.

Your Brother & Sister: 

- While Ari is pretty busy this time of year with school, soccer, chess, and card games -- he is always very concerned about you.  "Mommy how's Leo?...Where's Leo?...How is Leo doing?" are the questions we hear frequently throughout the day.  He also doesn't go to bed without coming to give you a mockie.  We also have the daily argument to look forward to with his sister about who is going to be lucky enough to sit next to you in the car.
 Holding Ari's hand

First walk around the block 

Before bed mockies

- Elle is little miss helper.  She wants to be involved in absolutely everything that has to do with you. She is very motherly and wants to make sure her baby brother is well taken care of. She helps me change your diapers and get you dressed. In fact, she even changed your diaper once all by herself. She sings to you, loves to hold you, and gives you countless mockies each day.
 Napping together 

 She adores you. 

First big girl diaper change

Your Daddy: 
-Daddy has been enjoying his 5 weeks of paternity leave.  We're very lucky to have this time together as a whole family.  He has been such a huge help while I've been still recovering from surgery.  He takes Ari to school every morning and has been in charge of activities with your brother and sister (soccer, bike rides, chess, card games, magnatiles to name a few).  I've been extra spoiled as he's been serving me breakfast in bed, which means even more snuggle time with you.
Proud daddy

Getting ready for bed 

-There have been a few days I had to tend to things at on campus and I could not have done it with our your daddy.  He had some very special days with just you solo while I went into work.
Milk smile 

Your Mommy:
- I am definitely starting to feel much better, recovery wise.  The start of Week 3 was the turn around. I've been able to be more active the past week or so, without paying the price the next day.  I even went on a little bike ride the other day.  I have my postpartum appt. coming up next week and I'm looking forward to getting the okay to resume normal activities. We have an active summer ahead of us and I'm excited to get back in shape.

- This first month postpartum has been a bit different in the sense I've had to wrap up some final things on campus at the end of the semester.  I went back to work one week after having you to teach two classes.  The first class was pretty tough - I tried to stay off of my feet as much as possible, but I truly felt it that night and the next day. Weeks 2, 3, and 4 I had to attend some meetings and finish up my grades.  Luckily Daddy brought you to campus so I could nurse you right before (and after) my meetings.  You even joined me in my office one day and helped me with some paperwork!
Campus nursing session 

-I had the best Mother's Day ever this year. We woke up early, went to the park, Pancake House for breakfast, and then on a short hike at Lapham Peak.  I wore you in the Moby wrap for the first half of the hike and then daddy wore you with the Baby Bjorn for the second half.  We even climbed to the top of the overlook tower, which was a highlight for your brother and sister. I couldn't help but thinking back to how much I used to dread this holiday, how much it used to hurt to be reminded of what I couldn't have at that time. Fast forward about ten years and I find myself blessed beyond measure and my heart is bursting.   I'm a firm believer in trusting in God's plan.  Little did I know what He had in store for me was better than I could have ever imagined.


Your Mommy

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