two months.

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Sadie is now two months old! She had her two month check-up today, weighing in at 9 lb 4 oz. We have loved watching her grow this past month. Her face is filling out, and she legitimately has a double chin- I swear, it's there! She has starting smiling now, and it makes my day. Sometimes we can make her smile if we tickle her cheeks a little, or if we smile really big she will smile back. But, my favorite smile is when she hasn't seen me for awhile, like when I am driving and she is stuck in the carseat. When she registers my face again, her face will light up with the most beautiful, little smile. I just love her so much.

She is even starting to develop a little laugh. She will smile, smile... and then let out this funny little double cough. It's delightful. 

We have also discovered that Miss Sadie is a homebody. Eliza was the exact opposite. She didn't like being in the house, she loved having the wind on her face, and she very rarely napped at home- only on the go. Sadie, on the other hand, loooooves to be home. Her rocker, where she sleeps, is her absolute happy place. She will put up with outings up until a point, and then you start to notice signals that she is ready to just get home and snuggle in her bed. I then have to hurry and wrap it up, or she might have a little mini baby meltdown. The second I get home I swaddle her up and lay her in bed and she just chills out and stares at the ceiling contentedly. It makes it a little difficult with a 3-year-old, though. I always assume Sadie will just fall asleep while we are out, but she never does. 

She also really loves her routine. Her nighttime routine has been set since week two, and she does not like it if we mess with it. Last night, I tried to get her to fall asleep on me so we could snuggle a little. Nope. She wanted to be swaddled up in bed. I know I should be happy about that!

A few more things I'm loving:

The salty lashes- When babies are just starting to develop the ability to cry, it's sad, but so lovely. They may only make one little tear, and so it wells up in their eyes and may just barely wet the cheek. Sadie has Sam's beautiful, impossibly long eyelashes. So, after a good baby cry, the tips of her eyelashes are sometimes white with salty crystals- little salty lashes.

Oh, nursing!- Oh, how I love nursing. I know it's hard at first, I have had my fair share of nursing difficulties. I also know that it is not for everyone. But, for me, it is one of my favorite parts of having a baby. I love the sideways glance they give you as they look up at your face. I love the way her eyebrows move up and down, because she is just so content. I love when her eyes suddenly get big as saucers when the milk lets down and she chugs, chugs to keep up. I love the little hand that rests on my chest. And, I love feeling like I can do something perfectly right. "You're sad and hungry, baby. Oh, I can feed you. I can do that. I got you, babygirl."

The view from the top- I love the top of a baby's head. I suppose it's because that is the majority of my view. I carry her around in the baby carrier all day, looking down at the swirl of hair on the top of her head. At night, I lean over the side of my bed to look in on her bed and see that slope of forehead, cheeks, and nose. I remember with Eliza I especially loved photos of the top of her head, which sounds a little weird. But, it a mother's view.

Anemone toes- My babies both inherited Sam's long toes, which I tease him about mercilessly. Sadie's are not quite as long as Eliza's, whose "finger toes" had the ability to literally grasp your pinky. But, Sadie's remind me of the anemones that we see when we explore the tidepools- the sea green creatures that slurp close when you touch them. If you tickle the bottom of Sadie's foot, her tiny toes spray out like an anemone. And, then if you touch her toes they slurp up. I know it sounds weird when I describe it, but it's so cute.

Chirps and gurgles- I love those first little sounds they make. When it almost seems like they are trying to communicate with you, but all that's coming out are the most cheerful little chirps and gurgles. Those sounds that send even the most stone-faced adult into the most ridiculous baby talk response.

Little bug- Sadie is swaddled most of the day, it makes her very happy. I love my little bug- when she's all wrapped up, and her little head pokes out the top resting her double chin on the hem of the swaddle. I love that little bug shape.


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Eliza started preschool! She is attending two mornings a week at a school just a few blocks from our place. Picking a preschool really felt like one of the first real-life parenting decision I have had to make so far. It was stressful! It didn't help that the preschool scene in Berkeley (urban areas, in general) is totally crazy- competitive, expensive, helicopter-parent-y. I also had the option of joining a group of friends who were doing an at-home co-op preschool. But, I decided that Eliza and I both needed this, and so I quit putting pressure on the situation and just looked for the school that would be the best fit. Several of our friends' have sent their kids to this school, and raved about her teacher. And I loved the idea of being able to walk her to and from school, especially with a newborn.

Eliza has been talking about "going to school" for a year now. She was so ready. We tried to make the whole thing feel super special and exciting. She got to pick out a new outfit for the first day of school- a pink tutu dress, of course. She also worked hard to complete a sticker chart to earn a new unicorn "packpack." We gave it to her the night before school, and I'm not sure I have ever seen her so excited about something in her life. Her face lit up like a sparkler, it was the happiest moment.

The night before the first day of school, we laid her outfit out for the next day. We are doing this every night before school, so that our mornings can be a little less crazy, but also because it reminds me of when I was a kid. I loved laying out my outfits, especially for the first day of school. And going to bed feeling all giddy for the year to come. I can only imagine how excited Eliza was, because the next morning I woke up to see her standing in front of me fully-dressed with her backpack on her back... two hours early. She was pumped.

We took some pictures before we walked to school. Sam stayed home a little later so that he could come along. Eliza was so stoked, she walked ahead of us the entire time while we ran after her with our cameras. Pure first-time parent stuff right there. When we got to the class, the room was set up with the cutest stations. Eliza was hesitant at first, but then jumped right in to play. She found a table with some sparkly play-doh. She was excited to get a name tag sticker, and pointed out the bathrooms. (When we came for our school visit awhile back, she was out of her mind excited about the "tiny potties" and "little sink for two people, not for one.")

Several of the parents lingered around the door, as the kids started to get into play. We watched Eliza for awhile, until she said, "I think it's time for you to go now." And, then when we still didn't leave she whispered, "I want you to go home." (Ha!) She loves us, I know it.

After school, we walked to Chipotle and she chattered on about everything they did that day. She got to feed the fish, they sang a song and read a book. They played outside, ate a snack, and made a picture. She had the time of her life.

It's also a bilingual class, so her teacher(s) speak to her in English and Spanish. In fact, on the first day, they greeted her completely in Spanish! Like, a full one-sided conversation. I got a little nervous, thinking that she would be completely lost. But, she seems to be enjoying it. Kids are amazing that way. Some of the students speak English, some speak Spanish, some speak both, and one of Eliza's closest friends so far mostly speaks Mandarin. Her name is Jasmine. She and Eliza must bond over clothes, because Jasmine has had some fun and fancy outfits.

On the first day, Eliza said, "My teachers call me a different name." They were pronouncing her name en espaƱol, "E-lee-sa." We talked about how that was her name in Spanish, and she thought it was pretty. When her teachers started pronouncing it correctly, she was a little upset. So, we talked to her teacher after class about how she liked the Spanish pronunciation so they would continue to, and now I hear her singing her name all the time now, "E-lee-sa, E-lee-sa!"

Her teacher is so sweet. I love watching her open the classroom door, and give each and every child a hug as they come in the door. She gets down at their level and looks them in the eyes, one at a time. "Buenos dias, E-lee-sa!" Eliza loves to give gifts to people. She had been talking for weeks about wanting to give a flower to her teacher on the first day of school. So, we picked a flower from our yard, and also a pretty leaf that she liked. She has taken her teacher something almost every day so far- a few flowers, a red leaf, a picture she drew with her magic pencil. It makes me smile.

Preschool has been great so far. Eliza loves it. I love it. Sadie loves it. I walk Eliza to school, while wearing Sadie in the Ergo so by the time I get home she's completely out. As if by by pure preschool magic, I can then lay Sadie down in the rocker and she will stay asleep for a couple of hours. I have been working out, showering, and still manage to have time to spare. The house is sunny and quiet, and so peaceful. If the baby is still asleep after my workout, I have been using that time for myself. It's my "bettering" time. I've decided that I am only allowed to do things during that time that betters my mind and soul. Mostly, I have been writing (hence the dump of blog posts lately), or reading. I have started a search for interesting podcasts and documentaries. And, I feel so good. It's really not that long, technically. Three hours from to door to door, is not a lot. But, it is me time! So, by the time I go pick up Eliza, we are both excited to see each other. We are both refreshed and chatty, and ready for the rest of the day together.

Preschool for the win!


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It took me a minute to decide which photos could go along with this post. These are the outtakes from the beginning of Sadie's newborn shoot we did when she was three weeks. I had seen a sweet photo of two siblings all wrapped up in a blanket like this, and wanted to try it. It did not go well. Sadie was screaming, and Eliza was wiggly, and soon they were both crying. While I was tending to the baby, Sam snapped this photo of Eliza with a tear running down her cheek, sitting on the bed and looking out the window. Every time I see that photo it breaks my heart. The whole series is a perfect illustration of our postpartum recovery.

My recovery was much more difficult this time, both physically and mentally. With my first birth, I had hardly any recovery period at all. Although the labor was intense, I did not tear and healed very quickly. I can remember walking around my hospital room on the second day, feeling so ready to get going. I always felt like it was such a blessing that my recovery was so easy that first time around, because I don't know how I could have possibly handled the shock of newborn life without a fully-functional body.

This time I did have some tearing, possibly because of the epidural. I was in pain. I was weak. I needed my pain killers, I needed help getting in and out of bed, and I couldn't sit down on flat surfaces for weeks. If I forgot to take my Ibuprofen, the pain would creep in so quickly it would bring me to tears. If I tried to do anything beyond laying in bed, I would be lucky if my energy and strength didn't completely give out before I made it back to that bed. It was absolutely overwhelming.

Those first few weeks were so full of pain. But, the physical pain was just the tip of the iceberg. I was dealing with some sad and dark feelings, and the physical pain only exacerbated the mental and emotional pain. Most of these feelings centered around that beautiful, little girl right there. I knew that I would probably feel guilt, and I knew that it would be hard for our life to change. 

But, nothing could have prepared me for the heartache. 

"I miss Eliza." That what's kept coming out. Every time Sam would walk in the room and find me crying in bed, that's what I would say. "I miss Eliza so much." Sam was being so helpful. He would take her out for half the day, to let me get my rest with the baby. Friends would come and whisk her away for playdates. And, I would lay in bed holding my beautiful newborn, crying uncontrollably because that was my life- whisking my little girl away to Fairyland for the afternoon. That was my life, and it felt like it was over. It felt like I hardly saw her at all those first couple of weeks, and when I did I was tired and stressed and constantly asking her to back off and give the baby space. Every night, after we put Eliza to bed, I would look at pictures of her from the last few months and slip even deeper. By the end of the night, my body and mind were a mess, and those feelings would overwhelm me completely. It was frightening to feel so deeply. 

I was scared. It wasn't just that I "felt sad." It hurt. These feelings were painful. It hurt in my heart, in my body, in my mind. It wasn't until I heard a friend put a name to it, that I felt like I could possibly control it. She called it "grief." I was grieving my family of three. I was grieving my life, as I knew it.

Once I had a "name" for it, it felt right. Instead of being frightened by those feelings, I felt like it was maybe a natural process. It also led me to slowly start reaching out to other friends, who may have had similar experiences. It was hard for me to admit to those feelings. I had a beautiful baby in my arms, one that we had waited and prayed for. I still had my beautiful daughter, sitting right beside me, begging for me to play with her. But, my heart hurt so much I couldn't handle it. I couldn't function.

I knew what postpartum depression was. But, I had never felt it. "Baby Blues" doesn't even begin to describe it. I can't say that I found an answer. But, I can say that I do feel happier and more at peace. I made myself take it easy. I made myself hold that baby closer, to keep the scary feelings at bay. I used that baby as a drug, drank her in to tell those hormones, "I love this baby. I wanted this baby."

I let my house go. I made myself take every single bit of help that was offered to me. We had meals from friends for weeks and weeks, and playdates for Eliza. I let Sam do everything, and tried not to feel guilty about it. He was the best support. 

I made myself get out of bed and take Eliza on a walk, even if just for five minutes. I sat down and colored with her, even if it just for five minutes. I ate lunch on the porch with her, read a book to her, watched a show with her. It didn't make it "all better." I did not find closure. That's not what I am hear to say. I am hear to say that it got better. It is getting better. 

And, I am here to say, "I do know that it is worth it."

sadie's blessing.

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Sadie Lee was blessed on a beautiful, sunny day in August. Sam gave her a name and a sweet blessing, surrounded by many friends in our Berkeley Ward family. Sadie was quiet and calm through the entire thing- true to form.

My mom made her beautiful blessing dress. She made Eliza's dress, as well. When I found out I was having another girl, I decided to ask my mom if she would make another dress instead of having them blessed in the same dress. I love the idea of heirloom pieces, but I never loved the idea of sharing. I wanted each of my girls to have their own dress that they could keep and pass on. I like to pretend that my daughters will be as ridiculously nostalgic as I am. But, hey, my mom and I are both cut from the same (vintage) cloth!

I also love the idea that each of their dresses was designed differently, and ended up showing their personalities. Eliza's dress had tiny flutter sleeves, and intricate lace. While, Sadie's dress is soft and flowy, with a sweet, little bow. I'm so glad my mom could give such a special gift to my girls. I'm also so happy that we were able to bless Sadie while my mom was in town!

We took some family pictures after, which involved several bribes and threats for Miss Eliza, and a bright, green pacifier for Sadie Baby. I was self-conscious of having my picture taken, as my hair needed a cut, my face still looked (looks) like somebody else's, and that awkward nursing dress was just not cutting it. It always makes me laugh (or cry) to think of the actual events behind a photo. That's life. I am trying not to be so critical of real life these days. This was a special day, and that's my family right there, in that moment. I love it.

Sadie, we love you so much. We are so grateful that you came to our family. I know that you are supposed to be with us. I waited a long time to see you, my baby. I know that your Heavenly Father loves you. And, your papa and I promise to provide a home for you- one that is always full of love.

eliza says, vol. 7


Eliza is the best. She is our little buddy. Having a baby around makes me relish in our moments alone together, just me and E. They come in roughly 30 minute spurts throughout the day, when the baby falls asleep, and it's so hard for me to realize I need to not do the dishes and go play with my three-year-old. It's like I have to switch gears and turn off my brain, and just say "yes." Yes, Eliza. Let's do whatever you want to do right now. Let's do it now before the baby wakes up, before I need to make dinner, before I need to send you to bed. It's so hard.

We play dress-up, we play kitchen, we have picnics on the porch, we make dinner together. We read a lot of books. Books are easy to do while I am holding the baby. Eliza is very good at turning the pages on her own now. 

And, we talk.

Eliza is so fun to talk to now. She tells entire stories, using sound effects and movement. She describes things that happened months and years ago- her memory is so sharp. She makes plans for the future- fun things we will do as a family or with friends. 

She is my little friend. I think having a newborn with another kid running around can be seriously difficult, but it can also be your saving grace. I can remember how hard it was having a baby staring you in the face, crying and crying, with no one else at home to talk to. It can drive you crazy. But, having Eliza around to chat with makes it so much easier to keep my sanity and feel like a human being. I love that little human of mine.

Eliza says:

her chatter play- I love Eliza's voice. It is like the ringing of a jingle bell- super high-pitched and, well, jingly. Eliza has quiet time/nap time every afternoon, and I love listening to her chatter while she plays. Her little voice bounces around the room, with an occasional crescendo when the action gets interesting in her imaginary world. It is the most beautiful music. I have decided that one of these days, I will record hours of her playtime chatter, and when I am old and lonely, I will set up a speaker in another room and play it all day long, letting it waft through my house. Jingle, jingle, jingle.

"I love your hair, Mama"- Eliza is extremely complimentary. She loves to tell you if she likes something of yours, whether it be your outfit or your hair. She doesn't gush through a compliment, though- she states it very matter-of-factly and sweetly, "Oh, I love your sweater, Papa."

"My bonk bed"- Eliza is officially a big girl now. She no longer sleeps in her convertible crib/toddler bed. Now, that girl slumbers on the top of a bunk bed with a princess canopy and fairy lights. She calls it her "bonk bed." It is everything. I was so nervous about the bunk bed thing, but I knew that we would need to come up with some sort of space-saving option for when the baby came. I also wanted to make this transition special for her. To show her that being a big sister didn't just mean the addition of a screaming, crying, and totally useless tiny human. I wanted her to know that change could be a good thing, and something to be excited about. And, seeing her all tucked in with a big girl bedspread under that canopy with a bookshelf within arms reach- that's what every little girl deserves.

"Can I have this for Christmas?"- I started offsetting Eliza's wants and needs, by telling her that she can "put it on her Christmas list." It has worked like a charm. Pure parenting genius. The only downside could be when she actually starts remembering this "Christmas list." For now, we just "add" things to do it all throughout the day. Let's hope she's not too disappointed when she doesn't receive that pineapple hat...

"Saves the day!"- Eliza loves superheroes lately. There was one day, when I finally started to figure out the "mother of two" thing- I had Sadie asleep and strapped in the Ergo, and the perfect pocket of time to actually give some attention to Eliza. I sat on the chair in her room and we played "Super Eliza" for a glorious half hour. I would gather all of her dolls and animals on my lap, and without even having to get up or disturb the baby, I would chuck them across the room or up on to her bunk bed while shouting, "Oh no! Sage-y Baby has been kidnapped by the one-eyed monster! He is keeping her up in his cave! 'Save me, Super Eliza!'" And Eliza, wrapped up in her superhero cape and magic wand, would climb up onto her bed to save the baby. "Super Eliza saves the day!" Over and over and over- it never got old. I loved that day.

"She's so damatic" (dramatic)- We apparently use this a lot. Because yes, Eliza is sometimes very dramatic. Well, she just recently started using it herself. The other day, she said that Sadie was being "so damatic." I could not stop laughing. At some point Sam explained to her the meaning of the word, and so when asked, "What does dramatic mean, Eliza?" she says very matter-of-factly, "Ovowy emoshomo." (overly emotional)

"My robot shirt."- My friend has a really cute shop, called Mochi Kids, where she sells shirts that she has designed and screen-printed by hand. Eliza has a little tank top with the Kawaii Boombox on it. Seeing as how Eliza was born in 2013, she has no idea what a boombox is. So, she thinks it's a robot. 
She loves her robot shirt. When Sadie was born, I completely gave up on trying to do anything beyond what was absolutely necessary. Trying to referee Eliza's outfits each day fell to the bottom of my list. So, for three weeks straight, Eliza wore that robot shirt every. single. day. I will not admit to how often I actually washed it between wears.

"It's massive!"- This is one of my lesser proud mom moments. It started with my desperate search for nursing- friendly dresses. I wanted to get something nice for Sadie's blessing day, since I knew we would be taking family pictures. But, nothing I had fit me yet. Or, it would be impossible to feed the baby in. I went online and ordered a bunch of nursing options from ASOS so I could try them on and return the ones that didn't work. It was the best, because they have free returns which meant I got to fill up that virtual shopping cart like nobody's business. But, the worst when they arrived and I had to try on each and every piece over my postpartum body. My mom was in town, and so we were discussing all the clothes one at a time. I must have said, "But, it's massive!" several times. I remember it. The dresses were so big and frumpy, and then when I put them on they looked even worse. I was having some serious post-baby body blues. Anyway, the next day, Eliza kept saying, "But, it's massive!" And I couldn't figure out why. I realized she was saying it whenever she was referring to something as "gross" or "disgusting," and then I made the connection. Eliza had equated the word "massive" to "gross" because of the way I was using it when talking about the clothes, and my body. I felt horrible. It was my first experience with body image and my daughter. And, I hope to start paying attention to how I describe my body from now on. It's scary to realize how much she is picking up, even when the conversation isn't directed at her. On a lighter note though, it was kind of funny hearing her say, "Ew, it's so massive!" like some sort of teenbop term, circa 2000.

"Can you draw me a vampire squid?"- Have you ever seen Octonauts? It is one of the best kids' shows out there. We love it. The characters are so cute, and they teach Eliza so much about the ocean. The other day, Eliza brought me a pencil and paper and asked me, "Can you draw me a vampire squid? It has spikes." (vampire squids)

mama's visit.

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My mom was able to come out and stay with us for two whole weeks. She came around three weeks after Sadie was born, when I was still wandering around the house in my robe and underwear in a newborn haze. We were coming to the end of our meal deliveries from friends, Sam was going back to work, and Eliza was starting to have all the feels and verging on cabin fever. We were ready for Grandma to step in.

My mom washed my dishes all day long. (Thank you, old house with no dishwasher or disposal.) She set up the sewing machine in the dining room, and made Sadie a beautiful blessing dress (more pictures to come), mended everything in the house, and made Eliza a pair of sparkle denim jeans. (Guys, she made jeans. Like, with pockets and everything.) She took it upon herself to bring our garden back to life, by removing an entire compost bin of weeds and embarking on a personal vendetta against the bugs plaguing our plants. (She concocted her own bug repellent, sprayed the entire garden, and perhaps had way too much fun watching the bugs disappear.) My mom entertained Eliza, cuddled Sadie, and worked as my personal pack mule anytime we left the house. She read Eliza countless books, put in hours on the rocking chair with the baby, and even stayed up into the late hours of the night helping Sam make a lemon meringue pie (because, apparently he had a mission to make this pie). She let me know it was ok to cry when I was overwhelmed, and she didn't act like it was weird that I would disappear to bed at random early hours when I was exhausted.

And, through all of this, she slept on an air mattress in my living room without complaint. 

She helped us so much. My mom was the one that discovered that Sadie loves music. We were driving somewhere, and Sadie was out of her mind crying. My mom put the phone right up close to her carseat, and played music for her. Sadie instantly calmed down. That's one more trick to add to my bag. She especially loves Elizabeth Mitchell.

My mom also gave me the courage to get out. I was nervous about even getting to a doctor appointment before that. I mean, how was I supposed to juggle two children like that!? But, she helped me develop my routine for getting out the door, and into/out of the car that took me into the next few weeks and helped me to feel somewhat normal again. We took it pretty easy while she was here, but did go on several walks and mini trips around the Bay Area. We took Eliza to Fairyland, and my mom loved all the whimsy and magic there. We went on a day trip to Half Moon Bay, took the girls to the Exploritorium in San Francisco, and played at parks around Berkeley. 

One of my favorite days was when my mom and I (and Sadie) explored this amazing button shop in El Cerrito, overflowing with vintage buttons spanning decades. My mom has an Etsy shop, where she sells beautiful vintage children's clothing that she finds and fixes up, so she shopping for business. But, beyond that, this button shop was her version of heaven. The walls were lined with button cards of every color and size imaginable, from every decade. The drawers were stuffed with fancy Czech Glass buttons, that sparkled with winks of iridescence, thick woven leather buttons, and buttons made of cream-colored shell. The newspaper clippings that lined shop were filled with fun tales, and the woman at the counter was ready to chat. We left with a bag of tiny buttons, and several great stories.

We also went on a mother/daughter date night to the Grand Lake Theatre to see Florence Foster Jenkins. We sat in the main theatre, with the live organist pre-show, velvet curtains, and gold-gilded walls- with a huge bag of popcorn, and a newborn baby who graciously slept through the entire movie. Oh, and Meryl Streep- a genius. I haven't laughed that hard in a movie in awhile.

It was a lovely trip. I think my mom and Sadie Lee have a special, little bond. Maybe it's because she is named after her, or maybe they are similar souls. I am so grateful that my mom came out to be with us. I honestly couldn't believe how incredibly patient and kind she was with my entire family through our roller coaster of crazy. Thanks goodness for selfless mothers. She is such an example to me.

Thank you, Mama. I love you!

one month.

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Little Miss Sadie turned one month... almost exactly one month ago. But, better late than never. I did snap these pictures back then, though. It's so fun to see how much she has grown. Sadie is growing faster than Eliza did, so I feel like I can see the change more from month to month. Her face especially is getting so sweet and plump!

At one month, we started to really see her more. She was awake during the day, and starting to get more unpredictable. She was also struggling with the last of those baby digestive issues that plague their little bodies those first few weeks. It always makes me sad to see them in pain and not be able to help much. Unfortunately, Eliza struggled with it for about four months (some call if "colic"). But, I'm happy to say that Sadie's body has caught up with her and she is now a master at passing gas- because that's what you wanted to know about my baby. That's why you're reading this, right? (Ha!)

At one month is also when she started to need her swaddle more, and wouldn't just pass out on my chest for hours. Oh, those first glorious weeks spent in bed with a newborn sleeping peacefully on your chest. Those first glorious weeks where you can validate not doing absolutely anything productive, because this tiny human just needs you to be a warm body. When you can sit and stare at the swirl of hair on the top of their head, and trace the features on that chubby face. (Oh, those first glorious weeks when you have to decide whether you really need to pee, or whether the tingling in your arm really hurts enough to move it and risk waking the tiny human.)

At one month, she was starting to feel more like a baby and not so much a newborn. I have a tendency to want my babies to grow up too fast- or at least that's how I was with Eliza. I think it's a first-time mom thing. It was just so exciting to see them reach that next milestone, and watch them grow. I definitely see why second-time moms baby their second born. I want Sadie to be a baby forever. But, I already see her growing too fast! My babies are "very alert," as I hear all the time from people passing by. "Oh my, she's very alert!" Meaning, "That newborn should really be asleep or something, right?" No, mine like to greet the world head on. Also, my babies are tiny and strong. Maybe it's because they don't have as much chub to hold up, or something. But, like Eliza, Sadie was holding her head up just fine at one month. Sadie girl, let's slow this down. I'm in no rush this time!

Sadie's favorite place at one month, besides my arms of course, was the corner of the couch in the living room- she would look out the window at the branches on the tree and listen to the kids play in the courts across the street, and the tinkling of the windchime on our neighbor's porch. It's also the best spot to feel that bit of breeze coming through the windows, as the curtain billows out just slightly. I loved that sweet, content look she would get on her face, all swaddled up with a binky in her mouth. And, if I could keep Eliza from attacking, she wold lay there for some quite some time. It was her happy, peaceful place.

We love you, Sadie girl. You help us to slow down and enjoy the moments a little more.


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Eliza loves Sadie so much it hurts... sometimes literally. I spend half of the day trying to convince her to "give Sadie space," and the other half of the day feeling guilty for suppressing her love for her sister. I'm trying to learn to wait and see if Eliza's affection actually upsets Sadie before I call off the love fest. Eliza loves with such ferocity, it's terrifying. Her favorite thing to do is squeeeeeeze the baby. And, if I ask her not to, she will sneak a squeeze on her foot or arm or whatever appendage is not being shielded by me. And, she squeezes hard! (We are working on that.)

Everyone keeps asking me how Eliza is doing with the new baby. The sister love train has been a roller coaster of a ride so far, although mostly a pleasant one. I feel grateful that Eliza loves babies so much to begin with, and even more grateful that "our baby" lived up to her expectations. "Our Baby" is what she called Sadie for the first few weeks. 

When we brought Sadie home, Eliza was in heaven. She was also in heaven, because she basically got to do whatever she wanted for a few weeks while Sam was off work and we were all recovering. She watched insane amounts of TV, and we were all spoiled with treats from friends. If you have a child, you know that taking it easy is the best... until it's not. Too much tv and treats creates a monster child. So, yeah, she was pretty moody and threw plenty of tantrums for awhile. But, over the past month or so, we have started to see some semblance of a regular routine and so the monster has mellowed out.

During those first weeks, I was always happy and relieved to tell people, "Eliza is doing ok. She has a hard time sometimes with all of the change, but I don't feel like she blames it on the baby." She really didn't. She would have plenty of difficult moments, and we talked a lot about how "things are different now." She once said that the house is different, referring to the fact that it is a cluttered mess these days. (Eliza has a hard time with messy.) She was definitely having a hard time, but was always loving towards the baby. It wasn't until one day when the baby was crying and I walked in the room to find Eliza putting a pillow over Sadie's face, that I realized how much it was getting to her. I had to try really hard not to show how completely freaked out I was, when I explained to her that doing that was definitely not ok and very dangerous. She was only trying to get the baby to stop crying, but that sight is etched into my mind. When the baby cries, it can put us both on edge. We both get snappy and short, and I would be embarrassed to go into detail on the poor parenting decisions I've made during those times. One thing that has helped is to kind of bond over the fact that the crying is hard. When Sadie cries we look at each other and say, "Ah! It's so loud!" while being forgiving of the fact that she's just a baby. It's worked here and there.

Eliza is a very good helper. She throws away diapers, and fetches things for me when my arms are full of baby. I have trained her how to put Sadie's pacifier back in her mouth, and sometimes she can sort of entertain the baby for a bit if I can't get there fast enough. I have also come to realize how independent Eliza is. So many things that I used to do for her, she is perfectly happy and capable of doing herself. Sometimes she will get upset, but sometimes the realization that she can do it on her own is exciting.

Sadie has learned to prepare herself for an Eliza attack. She steels herself, wide-eyed and a bit shaky, if she sees that wild mass of hair approach. And, I've noticed that Sadie gets her little baby vengeance, when I find long strands of Eliza's hair in her fists. Eliza loves to hold her. She knows to run and sit in the corner of the couch with the pillows, so we can lay her in her arms. Eliza loves to talk to her. She gets right up in her face and chatters away in a little girl's imitation of adult baby talk. Eliza already has a high voice, so when she mimics our high-pitched baby talk it's kind of comical. "Hi, Sadie." "You're so squishy, Sadie! Little Marshmallow." "Do you want a toy? Here you go. Take it. Take it. Here, hold it in your hand!" And, she loves to kiss her- sometimes sticking her own face into the baby carrier to kiss the top of her head, or sometimes squeezing her face between her hands to plant a big one.

It took her awhile to understand that Sadie can't do anything at all. Like, nothing. I think that might have been a bit of a disappointment. She loves to play with our friends' babies, who are all a few months old and can respond somewhat. Sadie just lays there. And cries. A lot. "Oh, Sadie. Sadie stop crying!" "Sadie, it's me! Your sister!" But, sometimes Sadie allows Eliza to get up in her face without screaming, or she lets her insert that pacifier in her mouth at a critical moment. And then, Eliza gets this little glow on her face like she achieved a tiny morsel of affection and connection with her sister. 

I am so excited for these sisters. I am so happy that they have each other. Eliza goes into detail every day about what she wants to do with Sadie, and what she wants to teach her or share with her. I am so looking forward to seeing these two grow together.