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Aug 3, 2011


How has it been a MONTH since I wrote to you last? You will not believe what has happened in that time: Caroline has turned into a little person. She is awake and smiling at us for long parts of the day, which make the parts of the night when she's awake and alternating between smiling and screaming much more tolerable. She still isn't sleeping much and since she is still, for this moment at least, nursing exclusively, that means I'm not sleeping much either. It was bad for a bit, but now I operate in this interesting haze, one which I am not sure I'll remember at all after this all passes.

That, in itself, is interesting. The fact that I'm already thinking about all this as if it has passed. I know I pushed Colin when he was a baby - I probably still do. I always looked forward to the next thing, always thinking, "when he starts eating solids... when he learns to crawl... when he starts day care..." things would be easier or more fun. I tried to appreciate the moment with him, but the newness only gave way to more newness, making me constantly think of the future. With Caroline, though, I am incredibly focused on the present. Instead of looking ahead, I am looking at her. Staring, really. Gaping at her beauty and charm and sweetness, already so apparent. I spend all day snuggling with her, only to miss her when I put her down at night. (Luckily she doesn't stay down long, so that time is brief.)

Colin is turning out to be the world's most wonderful big brother, with the exception of the times he accidentally smooshes her with his enthusiasm. He loves her. Looooooooooves her. He can't walk by her without sneaking a kiss. He holds her hand when we're driving and sings to her softly when she cries. Instead of acting jealous of the attention bestowed on her, he demands it, drawing us over to her and pointing out her various adorable features.

It is incredible to me how it feels like she has always been here with us. It has not felt like an adjustment having her here because she has always been here. Maybe it's the lack of sleep talking, but she is the exact size to fit into the hole that we had in our family, a perfect match for us.

On the other hand, everything has changed. Every single routine is altered a little because we have an extra factor in the equation. Every day is different than it would have been. We all feel it, but none of us more than Colin. He, being a toddler, is incredibly dependent on routine to feel safe and in control of his life. Given that his routine has been permanently derailed and has yet to settle into a new one has thrown him, shall we say, off-kilter. That is an ol' timey and polite way of saying that he is being a complete bugger in every way except for the treatment of his sister, which is lucky for him since that may be the only reason he survives this stage of the game. I try - desperately - to remember how hard this is for him and how he is still only two, but dear god it is difficult to do so when you are being kicked in the (lactating - ow) chest for trying to change his pungent diaper.

We went on vacation last week with my family to the beach. They do it every year as a family reunion, but we can never go. (July in academic medicine is not conducive to such frivolity.) Happily, I had a baby and maternity leave this year, while Patrick was on a light month and could take time off. The trip was fun, the kids did reasonably well in the days-long car ride, and Patrick seems to be the only one with peeling skin. Colin had a wonderful time on the beach the very last day we were there, which was, coincidentally, the same day I discovered that the ocean was teeming with jellyfish, the stuff of nightmares. Still, he mastered the (very low and calm) waves and decided to make a racetrack instead of the more traditional sandcastle.

Race Track

Wave Jumper


Caroline slept through the beach, as it provided no food and did not even coo at her. She woke up, however, for kisses and snuggles from Colin, who is the only one of us who can reliable elicit a smile.


Ocean Boy

Colin temporarily redeemed himself for his behavior with this exchange:

(screaming bloody murder)

Mommy, she's mad. She needs a MaiMai. 
(gently places MaiMai over CAROLINE)

Oh, Colin, that is so sweet! You gave her your MaiMai!

I like my MaiMai. 

I like you, Colin. 

(staring at CAROLINE)
I like Caroline. 

(melts into puddle)

These kids, I swear.



Beach Guy

Three Smiling

2 Readers rock!:

Go Long! Go Green! said...

wow, so sweet! i can't believe our little one will be here in about 4.5 weeks (or maybe less if I am lucky!!) Congrats again! She is as beautiful as ever and he is as handsome as ever!!

Tiffany said...

What a sweet post - loved reading the update on you all! And great pictures too!