Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bruce Tuolumne // one month old

Dear Bruce Tuolumne,

It's been a whole month since you've joined our family! Wow. I finally understand what mothers mean when they say they can't remember a time before their baby. It feels like you've been with us forever. This single month has been the most difficult and most beautiful time in my life. From the second you were placed in my arms my life changed completely, and being your mama brings me an immense satisfaction that I never felt before.

You are the happiest baby. Your needs are simple: you cry when you're hungry or tired but most of the time you're content to lie on the floor or bed, staring out the window at the world around you.

The cutest thing I have ever seen is when you sneeze. The first time you sneezed I just about died. There were three in a row! They were so tiny and sweet, and your little fists flew up to your cheeks each time. When you finished with the last one I turned to your dad and said, "he's just like you!" Who knew multi-sneezing could be a family trait? Your dad and I have joked that your first words are going to be "bless you" because we say it so much.

You're always in motion--kicking your legs and flinging your arms about haphazardly. During the rare moments when you're still, I love to grab your hands in mine and marvel at their perfection. Each tiny fingernail and every line across your palm are amazing to me. Your hands are big, with wide palms and broad knuckles -- obviously, man hands. When we compared them to your cousin Reagan's (who is three months old) they were nearly the same size. What I love most about your hands are the hundreds of lines crisscrossing your palms in the same way mine do. There are too many lines for such a young person. My mom told me it's because I have an old soul. Maybe you have an old soul too, my Bruce.

When you're sleepy your eyes roll back in your head and you make the biggest smile. Your dad and I love it! We laugh every time. I know I'm winning the battle for sleep when I see that smile.

Your sleeping schedule is hit-and-miss these days. Aside from a few days while we were on vacation in Mammoth, you sleep great at night. Like, really great. You've had your days and nights distinguished since two-weeks old. But I haven't figured out how to get you to take better naps during the day. I thought babies were supposed to naturally want to sleep all of the time? Not you. You would rather stare at lights and windows than take a nap. I don't mind as long as you're not fussy. I enjoy playing with you.

I was worried that short naps might affect your growth, but you were over ten pounds at your last doctor visit, and I'm sure you're eleven pounds by now, so obviously you've had no trouble growing. You are a champion nurser! Even the lactation consultant we saw in the hospital complimented how wide you open your mouth and your perfect latch.

I can't yet tell whether your hair will be curly or straight. When you were born your hair appeared to be growing in little swirls all over your head but as the days have passed they have straightened out. Occasionally I'll see a few swirls here and there, so I haven't given up the idea of a curly haired baby just yet. Your hair is still sparse except at the base of your head where it's grown in thick and long in a beautiful golden color. Like your dad, you have two cowlicks ("angel kisses", as Nana calls them) on the top of your head, plus one right in the middle of your forehead.

You enjoy having a clean bum. Since the day you were born, you might be fussy or be crying, but the second that dirty diaper comes off you calm right down. Occasionally you'll cry during a changing but only when you're hungry. You didn't like it when the nurses in the hospital changed you, though; I think they might have been too rough. You preferred daddy's warm, gentle hands. You are so sensitive to touch! There could be chaos happening all around you and you wouldn't bat an eye but if somebody touches you in the wrong way you get so startled.

Your dad makes up ridiculous songs every day to sing to you when you're fussy or to coax out a smile, complete with silly facial expressions and all. Seeing him interact with you is my favorite thing. He loves you so much. When its late at night and I'm ready to crash, he'll swaddle you up and bounce you around the room while he talks to you. He's so great with you and I can't wait to see you two become best buddies.

I'm a little glad this month is over. It's been so wonderful but so exhausting learning how to care for you while also recovering from my c-section. I'm eager to see your personality develop and hear all of the baby giggles. I am so happy to have you in our family, little bear. I love you, Bruce! 

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