Sunday, April 07, 2013

2 Months

Yesterday Mimi turned 2 months old, and we celebrated with the first of our monthly photo shoots, similar to what we did with Em. We missed her first month shoot because it was her second day of her 6-day hospital stay.






Despite that little health hiccup, these past two months have been great. We've started to settle in as a family of four, and now that each of the girls is healthy enough to "hang out" together, they're loving each other's company. (More about that and how Em is adjusting to Mimi in an upcoming post.)

Mimi is sleeping like a rock star. Excuse me while I knock on all the wood. She goes to bed between 7-8 p.m. and has been staying asleep until about 5-6 a.m, feeding and then often going back down until 8:30 a.m. She's still in the Rock N Play sleeper next to our bed. We tried to transition her to a flatter, more open sleeping position in a Pack N Play, but it turns out that she moves A LOT, even all swaddled. I put her down for the night, and when Brent went to check in on her just a few minutes later, she had moved to a perpendicular position, 90 degrees from where I'd left her. Those couple of nights in the Pack N Play had regressed into more awakenings, swaddle-bursting and an overall tired baby and mama. So we're back in the Rock N Play for now and enjoying our full night's sleep for a little while longer before trying to transition her out of it again soon.

She's not a big napper during the day, but I don't mind that as long as she's sleeping well at night. She does, however, do great sleeping in her stroller while we're out and about, so that's a nice incentive for me to get out of the house. We've gone out to eat a few times, and she generally sleeps right through the whole thing or sits there quietly, absorbing the world around her. We haven't had to leave a place because of any public meltdowns...yet.

When Mimi isn't yelling at me, she's such a happy, smiley baby. She's starting to give us more reactions to silly things we do to entertain her. She's also a very alert, wide-eyed kiddo. When she's asleep, people tend to remark about her lips and lashes. (When we were in the hospital, some of the nurses called her the Angelina Jolie baby.)
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur.

But then when she's awake, they comment on her HUGE eyes.
Mimi slept from 8 to 8 last night, only waking once at 3 to eat. Excuse me while I punch the air. Boo ya!

Her hair is falling out, like many newborns and like Em's did. We'll see if it comes back dark or surprises us with a much lighter second round of locks, like Em did.

She takes a pacifier sometimes, mainly when she's really upset, like in the car, but doesn't seem to need it to fall and stay asleep.

Mimi has started cooing, and she and I regularly have little "chats" back and forth, like in the video below. Note the surprise ending.*

*She tends to spit up more than Em ever did. Second baby - keeping us on our toes.

Her weight, according to our home scale, is 10 lbs., 2 ozs. She's wearing 0-3 months & 3 months clothing, and she continues to grow like a weed.

Monday, April 01, 2013

One generation's length away from fighting life out on my own

A week ago the world lost a wonderful man.

My Pop-Pop, my grandfather, my last living grandparent passed away last Monday evening. 

Although he managed to outlast the 6-month prognosis they had given him when he opted out of dialysis for quality of life, his final decline to 0% kidney function was somewhat rapid. He and his wife had even made plans to take a trip from their home on the Central California coast back to a big event in our hometown of Visalia in early April, thinking that he was well enough to travel. 

When I got word that his health had took a turn and was in a hospice facility, likely with just a few days left, I left the girls with Brent and took a weekend day trip up to see him. He was no longer responsive and I couldn't hold myself together to say much aloud to him, but I sat by his bedside for a few hours before making the trip back home. (The bright side of not being able to feed Mimi during her bout with RSV was the resulting freezer stocked with enough breast milk for me to be away for a few hours, although I had toyed with bringing her along with me on the 3-hour drive.) 

The very next night I received the call that he was gone. My heart was and still is broken, but he fought a long, hard battle, and he lived a relatively wonderful 82 years. I'm not a religious person, but I take comfort that whatever happens with our spirits and souls when our bodies are done, he is reunited with my father.

My Pop-Pop had seemingly made peace with it all and prepared accordingly. Last fall he sent all of his grandchildren a typewritten autobiography, which I will treasure always and pass down through our family. It's a beautiful and somewhat heartbreaking tale, given the loss of his wife and his son (my dad), as well as broken family ties and estrangement amongst his large Italian family. 

When I first got the news of his prognosis last year, I couldn't bring myself to call him right away. I was a hormonal mess, and most of all, he meant the world to me. Instead I took some time to compose myself and channel my thoughts into a letter. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get through all I'd want to tell him over the phone or in person. 

Part of what I wrote follows:
You’ve never been far from my mind, and I hope you know how much you’ve helped to shape the woman I am today. Your guidance growing up, and how you raised my father to become the man he was and in turn, the parent he was to me, are things I could never thank you enough for. 
I’m beyond fortunate that you were so supportive of my education and were integral in my graduating from college. Brent’s job has allowed me to be home with Em, but I know that my degree will allow me to get back into the full-time workforce when the time comes. Thank you again for your support.
My Pop-Pop was amazing, and he plays a large role in so many of my childhood memories. I'm so blessed to carry on the best of what he gave to me.