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Friday, October 7, 2011

Letters to Carrots: Month Three

September 7 to October 7, 2011
Dear Carys,

Three months? Let me rephrase that. THREE MONTHS!?!? Where has time gone? I look at videos of you from when you were a newborn (which, as of today, you officially are no longer) and then look at you now, and you've changed so much. I hardly recognize the tiny little thing you were! The changes are so drastic, but happened so gradually it's hard for me to see them on a daily basis.  But you're definitely growing. We haven't been to the doctor since September 9 for your two month check up and don't go again until November 9 for your four month, and I'm partly dreading seeing how big you have gotten. I'm split: half of me wants you to stay a tiny baby that I can cuddle forever, and half of me is looking forward to you getting even bigger so I can take you to places like the zoo and have you really enjoy them.

The last few weeks you've been growing by leaps and bounds mentally. You really coo and talk to us a lot. You smile all the damn time (leading Ayah, your ultra cynical cousin [once removed, if we're getting technical], to ask disdainfully, "Why is she such a happy baby all the time?!").  I And perhaps best of all, you've started to giggle! You only do it about once a day, but it makes the world such a happy place.  I would stand on my head balancing a spork on my nose if I thought I could elicit a giggle from you.  You're also starting to grab for things, just barely. You will get a hold on your Sophie the Giraffe and smash it into your face to try to chew the face off, and you love grasping your Wubbanub pacifier to make sure it doesn't slip out.  You see so far now - almost like a real person! Who would have thought? I threw something at your dad the other day and you tracked the whole thing and were clearly thinking "Where the hell did that come from?"

I went back to work on Tuesday the 4th. I hate it. I am plotting how to switch to part-time or even quit altogether. I am so in awe of people who can do both motherhood and work full-time. I can't. I physically and emotionally cannot do it. It doesn't help that people keep saying, "You know, no one ever wished they'd worked more!" or "You can never get these days with her back." I KNOW. Thanks for the guilt, dudettes. But truly, it's just not meant to be. I knew from the time I was a young child I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and that's what I need to do. I love money and will miss it, as well as extra ice cream and unnecessary sweaters from Target and sushi lunches whenever I feel like it...and OMG, no sushi?? Can I possibly give up sushi for real???? I would only be able to afford it very occasionally. This may put a kink in my plans. Sushi. Carys. Sushi. Carys. Hmmm. Tough choice. I suppose the right answer here, though, is you, Carys.  I choose you over sushi. I HOPE YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH THAT MEANS.  You've had a hodgepodge of baby-sitters during this week and will until we figure out something permanently: your grandma Margi (who is in heaven), your cousin Samar, your uncle Jared (who I think barely survived his two hours). I love knowing that people who truly love you are watching you, but I want to be the one to do it. I need to be the one there.

We also had your first camping trip this last weekend at Ledges State Park in Iowa, and, par for the course, you were SO good. Your grandma and grandpa (my mom and dad), your aunt Kimberly and funkle John (funkle = faux uncle), your great-aunt Theresa (I think great aunt?), your great-aunt Carol and her fiance Mark, and my godson slash first cousin once removed (your second cousin) Ronnie. Holy cow, family is complicated when you add a baby.

However, only you, me, Ronnie (in one car) and Kimberly and John (in the other) had the adventure of a lifetime.  We used Google maps to find directions to the park, and when we got close the road was closed.  We kept thinking maybe road would be actually closed just after the park entrance, so we continued driving through at least four "Road Closed Ahead" signs. When we finally got there, we realized that the road was closed just BEFORE the park entrance. We were stuck at a dead end with no service and no idea of any other way to get where we needed to go, and no real desire to drive back an hour down the road we'd just come in on.  As we were turning around to leave, we noticed a little dirt road off to the side that seemed to correspond with the turn we needed to make to get to the campground. So we decided to take it. And once we were on that little side road, we committed and kept thinking that we'd meet back up with the main open road any moment. That means we committed to the road through streams (yes, we drove through multiple streams that were flowing over the "road"), rock piles, sand piles, places where the road disappeared and became more of a grassy trail, and actual woods.

We drove through this.

The actual woods part came after we'd FINALLY gotten on a real road and were driving up a forested hill and completely thrilled and exhilarated because we thought we'd made it!!  When we reached the top of the hill, we came across a "One Way" sign...pointing the other way. We'd just driven several miles on a one way street going the wrong way. Whoops!  But, true to the spirit of the drive, we just kept going. We hadn't seen any other cars, so...might as well. We reached the end of the road after all of our off roading (in a VW Jetta and Pontiac Vibe, by the way) only to find the end of the road blocked by a closed gate. Just on the other side of the gate was the campground. We could see lots of cars and people. And a locked gate was blocking us from getting there. We parked and Kimberly, John and Ronnie went off in search of a ranger to see if they could unlock the gate for us and let us in (our defense was going to be, "We followed someone else in here and thought it was okay!"). No dice, though; no ranger to be found.  So we started looking at options...and noticed that off to the left of the gate was a little path in the woods that cars had clearly been using to get around the gate. The park police didn't like that, though, and put a giant cut log across the path to block it.  We tried to roll the log out of the way. Again no dice. But then I noticed that if you kept going just a little past the log there was a space in the trees that might allow a car through, and then we'd be home free on the other side of the gate, back with civilization. Well, not civilization. Primitive camping civilization.  It took a bit of convincing John and Kimberly, who were certain that we were going to be kicked out at any minute (and were probably right), but finally I led the way and drove through the woods, around the barricade and log, and out onto the right side of the road. And before you think I'm a bad mom for subjecting you, my tiny child, to all this off roading, I'll have you know that I took you out and had Kimberly hold you while I did the last drive through the woods. We won't talk about the whole driving through streams part.

The daytime was gorgeous, but night got pretty cold. You were bundled up nice and toasty while the rest of us froze in inadequate blankets.

I suppose that's what being a mother means...remembering extra blankets and layers for your baby while forgetting them for yourself. Actually, while forgetting EVERYTHING for yourself. Somehow my duffel bag of clothes got left behind. When my dad brought it out the second night it was such a relief to be able to put on clean clothes and feel my toes again. You were completely mesmerized by the campfire and wouldn't take your eyes off of it. During the day, the dappled light coming through the trees caught your attention. We went on a six hour hike and you were great for most of it - your grandma and I took turns wearing you in the baby carrier (we passed several other hippie moms with their babies also being worn). We nursed sitting next to a stream, under the famous sandstone ledges, while munching on cold cut sandwiches and carrots. It was pure bliss.  And we had s'mores both nights. Double pure bliss. I cannot wait for you to be old enough to enjoy your first s'more. And god help you if you don't like toasted marshmallows, I will put you straight up for adoption. 

This picture of you sleeping slays me. I see the future in it.

My dear sweet beautiful Carys.You make me want to be perfect for you and to make everything perfect for you. I want you to never want for anything. But I also don't want you to be a spoiled brat, so unfortunately I'm going to have to set some boundries somewhere. Only ONE miniature gold pony for your birthday, Carys, NOT A WHOLE HERD OF THEM.

I often think about bringing you a little brother or sister. I know all parents worry about this: How can I possibly bring something into the mix that will divert my attention from you, even just for a little bit?? (Possibly a good argument as to why you need a little brother or sister.)  I love you so much; I can't imagine loving anything or anyone else as much (not including s'mores) (or ice cream) (or sushi) (kidding) (mostly).  But I know somehow it happens and your heart multiplies instead of divides. I can't wait for more kids, not because you're not enough, but because I want to be able to share the wonder that is you with more people.  I know how much joy my siblings brought me and I can't wait to give you that same feeling. Also, the more of you there are the better nursing home you'll be able to afford for me.

You're finally outgrowing your 0-3 clothes at exactly three months old. I say finally, not because that's extraordinarily long to have worn them, but because I thought we'd hit this milestone a month ago.  Even so, I have a very hard time reaching for anything in 3-6, for several reasons. One, you only wore those clothes for a couple months and they are cute and really? What a waste. This is why you don't spend money on baby clothes! I see this now. Second, 3-6 means you're not my tiny newborn anymore and that's hard to swallow.  You're just getting so big so fast.

Slow your roll, kiddo.

Mama needs her cuddles.



  1. I love her smiles! I recognize Emma's expression in some of them. I can't wait for the conscious giggles, Emma only does it in her sleep, but you are right, they make your whole world a better place...

  2. Two weeks ago we took the kids camping in Estes park for the first time. It was GORGEOUS during the day, but 39 degrees at night. We all shared a tent and snuggled in sleeping bags. It was soooooo incredibly fun waking up with all the kiddos in the tent in morning and helping them roast marshmallows at night. Can't wait to do it again!

  3. Every picture I see I change my mind whom she looks like. Luckily, no matter what, she's damn cute. haha So clearly, she takes more after you.