Tuesday, December 26

Thursday, December 14

Four Months Old


TC,

You are four months old today and it is breaking my heart how quickly the time is passing. You will be grown before I know it and I am trying so hard to hold on to every precious memory we’ve made so far. It’s nearly impossible though, because every time I look at you I want to always remember the exact way you look right at that moment.

You have changed so much in the last month that I don’t even know where to start. You have finally discovered your hands! And your mouth! And the hands! They can go in the mouth! It is not above you to slurp loudly on your thumb, but most of the time you are determined to win ‘How Many Fingers Can You Fit In Your Mouth?’ You clasp your hands in front of yourself, you shove them into your mouth (or nose or ears) about every 10 seconds, and you use them to reach for things—toys, your toes, your blanket, your bottle, your binky, Mommy’s hair, nose, lips, and ears. You sometimes miss your target and get a little frustrated, but for the most part, you are right on.

You have also learned to pick things up, rather it’s a toy that we have given to you, or something we have carelessly left lying around. You love to play with your keys, your giraffe head, and your little Buster Brown rattle. But the coolest toy you have yet to find is any one of your umpteen-hundred burp rags. You twirl them around in your chubby little hands and cram them into your mouth faithfully at three-second increments. Occasionally, one ends up on your head or over your face, and you squeal in delight at the newly-discovered game of ‘one-man peek-a-boo.’

What can I say…you still hate tummy-time. You still have not rolled over, which is really frustrating, only because I know you could if you’d just try. In fact, I took you to the doctor this morning, and they put you belly down on a table in front of a mirror, put your arms up underneath you so you were propping yourself up, and over you went. I knew you could do it! You used to fight Mommy and Daddy when we’d put you on your tummy, but anymore you just lay your head down and talk to yourself. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, I guess.

You hold your head up like a pro, and sit up like one too. (Kinda.) You like to be propped up in your boppy so you can see what’s going on around you. I had you propped up the other morning while I was getting ready for work, and when I walked into the living room, you were leaned over pulling on your shoes. You looked like you were about to do a nose dive, so I started towards you. I wasn’t nearly fast enough, as once you saw me, you tried to straighten out your body, lost your balance, and did a nose dive right into the fluffy cushion (thank goodness) of the couch. It kinda scared me because I didn’t know how you were gonna react, but you layed there, face buried in the couch, laughing as though it was the funniest thing that head ever happened to anyone. This brought tears to Mommy’s eyes. I am so lucky to have such a happy, good-natured baby. Don’t think I don’t know how lucky I am.

You discovered your loud voice almost two weeks ago, and have been using it proudly ever since. You were sitting in Mommy’s lap at Nana’s house, talking to your big cousin Audrey. She was eating some kind of colorful candy, swinging it in your face, taunting you because you couldn’t have any. This upset you a bit, and you began doing what I would consider cussing her out. You were amazed by the amount of noise coming out of your very own mouth, and you became very excited. You were rocking back and forth somewhat violently in my lap, really letting her have it. Mommy, Nana, and Audrey nearly laughed to tears.

I had to take you to the doctor for a sick-baby visit for the first time last week. You had a runny nose, your chest was congested, you were coughing a little, and you were running a fever. Otherwise, you would have never known you were sick as it didn’t affect your spirit at all. But I took you anyway, and to my surprise, you had an ear infection. So Dr. Stacy prescribed some antibiotics for you and planned to check you again at your well-baby visit that was already scheduled for today. Oh, and you’re all better now.

Mommy and Daddy bought you an Exersaucer for Christmas, and being the easily excited dorks that we are, we went ahead and gave it to you Sunday night. If we would have known the joy that this would bring into your life, we would’ve given it to you weeks ago. You absolutely love it! You were hesitant at first, because it is pretty flashy and makes quite a bit of noise, but once you were convinced it was safe, you went haywire. You rock back and forth, you grab on to all the toys, you squeal in delight, and you spin around and around, making sure nothing gets by you.

You have also discovered that you can stand up like all the big people around you. You love to have Mommy or Daddy hold on to your hands so you can sit up by yourself after you have your diaper changed, and while doing this one day, you sat up, straightened out your legs, and stood up on them, as though you had been doing it your whole life. So now we do it every time you have your diaper changed. And mommy always gets tired of holding on to you before you get tired of standing. It’s even becoming a challenge to burp you, because you insist on standing up rather than laying on Mommy’s chest like you used to do.

We finally had to break down and by you some big-girl bottles. You eat 6 ounces every 3-5 hours now. Every now and then, I take the bottle out of your mouth after you have drank it all, and it is simply not enough, and you cuss me out good. At least I’m sure you would if you could. Dr. Stacy said today that we can start giving you rice cereal, so that will be our adventure for the weekend.

It is amazing how quickly you are growing, little girl. You were weighed and measured at the doctor today, and you are tipping the scales at 14 lbs 12 oz. You are 25 ½ inches long, and your head is 16 ½ inches round. This puts you at about 91% overall. Dr. Stacy ooohed and ahhhed over you as any sane person should. She said she would be surprised if your beautiful blue-gray eyes turn to brown. She expects you to cut your first tooth sooner than later. Oh, and she told Mommy to keep putting you down for tummy-time several times a day, so please be nice to me next time I do. Then the mean ol’ nurse came in and slid daggers into your chubby little thighs. Of course you wailed, and Mommy had to fight back tears herself. But I rescued you as soon as I could and made everything all better. For about two seconds.

You have outgrown enough of your clothes to dress an entire orphanage. Mommy bought you some new footed pajamas about a month ago, and even though they are sized 3 months, your legs are way too long for them. So Mommy bought you some 6 months footed pajamas, and they fit much better. The legs are just long enough, and the sleeves are long enough that you can slide your hand back inside and chew the heck out of the fleecy material. You are spoiled rotten and you have many more clothes than Mommy could ever want for herself! Daddy gripes at Mommy sometimes for buying you clothes, but every time we go to a baby store together, he loads the buggy up, too.

Ahhh, Teagan. Your beauty. Your patience. Your smiles. Your voice. Your personality. Your stubbornness. Your joy. Your eyes. Every single ounce and inch of you I adore.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, November 14

Three Months Old


Chunky Monkey,

You are three months old now, and once again, I am wondering where the last month has gone. When I am at work, away from you, the days drag on, each minute like an hour. When I am at home with you in the evenings I cannot believe how quickly the time passes. It seems like I barely get you home and settled in and you are ready for bed. Despite warnings from other mothers, I still rock you to sleep every night. And even after you are asleep, I usually hold onto your warm little chubbiness for at least an hour. And sometimes I put you into bed a little less gently than I normally would, hoping you will wake up for more snuggle time. You usually don’t.

Though the weather was nasty and we didn’t actually leave the house, we still dressed you up for Halloween. You were a nurse and you wore the most darling little set of pink scrubs and a little pink hat. Cutest baby in the land, I’m certain.

I took you yesterday to have your pictures made again. You were so calm and patient and happy, as you always are. We changed your clothes 4 times without a single complaint from you. The ladies ohhed and ahhed over you, as any sane person would. The pictures are spectacular and I cannot wait to give them out to all your grandparents for Christmas. It’s truly amazing how much you have grown since we last had them made.

After we had your pictures made, I took you to Grammy’s house. Sasha loved on you and licked your face. She followed me around the house if I was holding you and stayed by your side if I wasn’t. I was changing your clothes on Grammy’s bed when I heard you make a strange noise. I was in the process of pulling your onesie over your head so I couldn’t see your face. When I finally got it over your head you had one of those infamous grins on your face. It was at this point that I discovered you were laughing. Grammy starting gently poking around your shoulders and neck and sure enough, you laughed again. This brought tears to Mommy’s eyes. It was not the surprised, cute, little giggle I had heard at the doctor’s office last month, and haven’t heard since, by the way. This was a true belly laugh. Looks like someone’s ticklish!

You still sit in your boppy, although you are almost too big for it. You get excited by anything that moves or makes a noise, and the first thing you usually do is arch your back and slide out of your boppy. You still like the ceiling fan, but there are many other things for it to compete with now. You are still mesmerized by the TV and will turn your head nearly all the way back to keep it in view.

You have begun reaching for things. You usually miss and your arms flail around frantically and you cry out in frustration. You still kick your legs in excitement, especially when you see someone up close on TV. After the ballgame this weekend, Bob Stoops was being interviewed and I thought you were you gonna jump out of that boppy and run. (I’ve assured your Daddy that this does not guarantee a definite OU fan, you simply thought Mr. Stoops was talking to you.)

You have begun losing some of your hair as I imagined you would. But it is still full and has continued to grow in length. Your eyes still haven’t changed completely brown yet and continue to be huge pools of dark gray. You are the most delightful thing I have ever laid eyes on.

I have to admit that I have been waiting three months for the reality of having a daughter to sink in. I have been expecting a wave of panic and fear to overwhelm me but have not experienced anything like that. I have had times when I’ve felt like you don’t like me, or that we were not bonding the way we should. I have always loved you and would do anything to protect you, but I have never felt that huge, intense, overwhelming, thing that everyone kept saying I would and should have. I have it now, Monkey. I can’t imagine my life without you and I don’t ever want to. My life, my family, my dreams…you complete them all.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, October 31

Teagan Camille, RN

Happy 1st Halloween, Monkey!


Saturday, October 14

Two Months Old


Dear Teagan Camille,
You are two months old now, and I am sitting here wondering where the time has gone. I don’t even know where to begin. You have grown and changed so much in the last month that I don’t think I can put it all into words. I put you in your car seat and into the car one morning last week, and looking at you from the frontseat I was absolutely heartbroken by how quickly the baby-ness is leaving your face. You were wide eyed and looking around and at that moment you looked like a child more than a baby.

I am back at work now, and leaving you at Mima’s that first morning was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I wasn’t worried about you—I knew you would be fine with Mima. It was hard because I knew it was the first of many, many mornings that I would have to leave you for at least 8 hours. Many mornings have passed since, and it is still hard each time for me to leave you. But I know at the end of the day I will get to pick you up and see your heartbreaking smile and smell your yummy smelling head. And everyday I do.
I took you to see Dr. Stacy again yesterday. The nurse came in and asked if I had any questions or concerns. She measured your head and length. Your head was almost 15 ½ inches which put you at the 60% mark. And you were 24 ¼ inches long, which puts you at the 98% mark!! You are going to be really tall! You weighed in at 11 lb 13 oz. which put you at the 75% mark. You are a long, healthy, strong, beautiful girl.
The nurse told me Dr. Stacy would be in next to explain to me which vaccines you would be getting that day and then she left. I was sitting there holding you, waiting on Dr. Stacy, when you did it. You laughed at me. You really did. You were laying on my lap, looking up me smiling. I grabbed your little feet and said, “What is it?” And you laughed. A cute little surprised giggle. And then I said, “What is it?” And again, the cute, little, surprised giggle. And then I said, “What is it?” And you crammed your little fist into your mouth and then the moment was gone. I must have asked you ‘what is it?’ three million times in the last 24 hours, trying you make you laugh one more time, but you are simply not interested in it anymore.

Then the evil nurse came back with the shots and stomped on our happy day. She laid you on your back and held your ankles with one hand while she stabbed your chubby little thighs with the razor sharp needles. You gasped at the first one as your eyes spread to a mile wide. With the second shot you let out the first cry, a nice little warm up. Once the third shot was given, it was wailing time. You hollered and howled as I scooped you into my arms in an attempt to comfort you. I was chopped liver. You cried a heartbroken, dramatic cry for what seemed like an eternity. I whispered in your ear and rocked you in my arms, at this point trying to comfort both of us. You finally stopped crying for a second, as though you forgot why you were crying in the first place. And then I whispered, “Mommy’s sorry.” This must have been a reminder, because you turned on the tears once more. I finally got you calmed down and back into your carseat. I made a mental note as well: Daddy will bring you next time.
You sleep through the night. I am going to say that again, as it is totally worth repeating. You sleep through the night. At least six hours; sometimes eight or ten. I was thrilled by this at first, as now that I am working again, a full night’s sleep comes in handy. But you have been doing it for over two weeks now, and the middle-of-the-night bonding is something I really miss. When I put you into your crib some nights, I secretly hope you will wake up hungry before morning. You went to sleep around 8:30 last night and woke up at 4:00 this morning. I rescued you from your crib and changed and fed you. You fell asleep on my chest as I was burping you, allowing me to smell your head and feel your soft breath on my neck. As I sat there rocking you, I kept thinking: please, please let me always remember this moment.
It amazes me, and other people, too, what a good baby you are. You only cry when you are hungry. And I’ve heard people say that before, but I mean you only cry when you are hungry. And even then you usually give us a few warning grunts. You like to do everything. You sit in your boppy. You stare and smile and talk to the ceiling fan. You are mesmerized by the TV. Keiser freaks you out a little and your eyes get huge when he comes near you. But you smile when he licks your chubby face. You are so pleased by everything that I struggle to explain this aspect of your personality.
You are not reaching for things yet. So far, your hands are only good for sucking and pulling hair. You love to kick and coo and yell and dance with someone moving your arms and legs. You love to eat, and I love to feed you. When you finish a bottle, I take it out of your mouth and you lean forward and grunt. Every single time. You love to have people smile at you and talk to you and sing to you, and you respond with a huge, drooly, bubbly, toothless grin and noises that sound almost like laughing.
Thankfully, you have not lost any of your hair like I had imagined you would. It is still full and has grown quite a bit. Your eyes seem to get bigger and more captivating everyday. They haven’t changed completely brown yet, they are huge pools of dark gray. Your eyelashes have sprouted in the last week or so, making your eyes even more beautiful. I hoped you would have long eyelashes like your Daddy, and it pleases me to see them grow. People are actually starting to say you look like me, which I, of course, love to hear.
You are eating about 4 ounces every 3-4 hours. You have started recognizing your bottle and you squirm with excitement and smack your lips when it comes into view. You have been teething for a few weeks now, and anyone who dares hold you will walk away with more slobber on them than what’s left in your mouth. But I don’t know anyone who is bothered by it.
You are getting stronger by the day. You are not much for laying on your stomach, but when you do, you have your head up looking around. We discovered last night that if we lay you on your back and pull on your hands, you can hold your head up as we move you into a sitting position. We were surprised by this, as in the baby bible this is not expected until the fifth month.
You are still making the chuckling-grunting noise that I first fell in love with two months ago. You love to be talked to and have even begun talking back. You still move your mouth in silence, but once it feels just right, you let out the sweetest noises.
I am still learning from you. I am learning what worry, responsibility, happiness, gratefulness, family, and life are. Thank you for teaching me.

Love you, Mom

Thursday, September 14

One Month Old

Dear Teagan Monkey,

You are one month old today, and changing so fast it makes my head spin. You have changed our lives in so many ways, and after only a month, I can hardly remember what life was like before you.

You are a beautiful, happy, patient, sweet, loving baby. You are much more patient with your daddy than you are with me, but I guess you just expect me to do know what I’m doing. Daddy can take as long as he needs to change your diaper, or change your clothes, or adjust your burp cloth, but you tend to gripe if I take more than 3 seconds. That’s okay—you had to get something from me.

You are at your happiest when you first wake up in the morning. You smile and coo then, like you are so happy to start another day. This makes me happy to start another day with you. I know I will have to go back to work soon, and I treasure every minute I get to spend holding, kissing, patting, feeding, changing, and spoiling you.

You were born with a head full of gorgeous black hair. It is soft and fine and curly when it’s wet. You like to have it brushed unless you are hungry, and then you would rather the brush be in your mouth. You have big, beautiful eyes, just like your daddy did when he was a baby. They are captivating and they demand attention at every opening. You have a cute little button nose and a round pouty mouth, both of which deserve to be kissed and nibbled constantly. In the last week or so your cheeks have gotten much fuller and you have developed a double chin. This pleases me so. You are absolutely adorable.

You had a long, skinny body when you were born, but it too has become fuller in the last couple of weeks. You have an adorable potbelly, and your arms and legs are getting chubby. You have long skinny fingers and toes, as Mommy and Daddy both do. Fine black hair lingers on your ears, arms, and back. You also have it on your face, between your eyebrows and your hairline, just like Mommy does.

You are eating about 3 ounces every 2-4 hours. You tend to eat more frequently in the evening, as though you are storing your food for the night’s hibernation. You took to the bottle immediately and we have not had any problems since. You don’t burp much, but you don’t spit-up much either, so it’s okay. You are a very gassy little thing, and you toot on Mommy and Daddy daily. We figure this makes up for the burping.

You initially didn’t love having your diaper changed, but you are starting to realize that Mommy always changes you right before she feeds you. So now I lay you down to change you and you start smacking your lips and sucking on your fingers. I realize when you do this that I need to speed up the process, as, like I mentioned before, you are not as patient with Mommy as you are with Daddy. You have been known to go through 3 or more diapers in a single changing, as apparently the cool air tends to cause you to pee. This took a little getting used to, especially during those middle-of-the-night changings. There was also an incident a few days ago that caused Mommy to use 5 diapers in one single changing, as each time I lifted your legs to wipe your bottom, you decided to poopoo just a little bit more.

You had your first bath when you were 11 days old. I was surprised by how much you seemed to enjoy it. You didn’t even cry. You did pee on Mommy though, as I was carrying you into the kitchen. That’s okay—I expected it. You have a bath every other night now, and seem to enjoy each one a little more than the last.

You love to sleep on my chest, and especially on Daddy’s chest. You sleep a lot, as all babies do, and you do very well at night. You slept in your Moses basket beside Mommy’s bed the first week you were home. Then Mommy woke up one night to find your face crammed into the side of the basket, and you haven’t been in it since. As for now, you sleep in your play-yard in the living room and Mommy has spent the last three weeks sleeping on the couch. You have only slept in your crib one night, but it was Mommy that had a problem with it, not you. I had a hard time falling asleep to begin with, and I had the monitor turned up so loud that I would wake up with every little grunt or sigh you let out. I know we have to start doing that soon, as Mommy goes back to work next week. It will be very hard for me, but better for both of us in the long run.

You are very strong. You were holding your head up for brief periods at a time the day you were born. You have gotten very good at it, and when I lay you on my chest or on your stomach you pick your head up and look around. You kick your legs a lot and swing your arms, too. We swaddled you a lot at first because you would throw your arms around and wake yourself up. You let us know very quickly that you are a not a swaddle-kind-of-girl.

You make the most adorable noises I have ever heard. You grunt a lot and even snort a little when you are hungry. When you are happy and have a full tummy you make a chuckling-grunting noise. It is music to my ears. I dread the day that you make that noise for the last time. You have laughed in your sleep twice and my heart exploded into a million pieces. You like it when Mommy and Daddy talk to you. You move your mouth in silence as though you are trying to find the way to mimic us without interrupting.

Mommy took you to your first appointment with Dr. Stacy September 1st. It was just a routine check-up. They weighed you, measured your length and the circumference of your head, and gave you an all-over exam. You weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. Mommy was glad to hear this, as you were down to 7 lbs. 9 oz. two weeks before. You were 21 ¾ inches long, and the circumference of your head was 14 ½ inches. Your weight and head size put you at 50% on the chart (average). Your length put you at 92%, so we expect you to be a tall girl. You had a clogged tear duct in your left eye that prevented tears from draining properly, but Dr. Stacy said it would fix itself, and it has. We scheduled your next appointment and you go back on October 18 for your first round of shots. I wonder if I will cry more than you.

I am constantly learning from you. I am learning how to sit still. I am learning how to spend hours smelling your hair and stroking your cheek and patting your back and humming nameless tunes. I am learning to be patient. And most importantly, I am learning to be grateful.

Every little milestone you reach is a bittersweet event. As I give you your first bath, and see your first real smile, and put you to sleep in your crib for the first time, I become more and more proud of you. But it also makes me sad to know that this time is moving so quickly. You already look so big to me compared to the first day I met you, and you are a slightly different person every day. I marvel at every change and look forward to every new thing, but it makes me really see how quickly your baby-ness will pass.

You have exceeded my expectations. You are more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. You are absolutely delicious and I devour you on a daily basis. I love you more than words can say. You have truly blessed our lives.

Love you, Mom

Thursday, August 31

Teagan's First Bath



I could hardly wait for that crusty little stump to fall off so Damon and I could give Teagan her first bath. However, once it finally did, we were suddenly overcome by fear, as neither of us had ever given a newborn (or an infant for that matter) a bath before. Luckily, Teagan seems to love bath time! She never even cried!

Sunday, August 20

D-day



I was completely shocked when my water broke around 9:45 that normal Sunday night. I had just taken a bath and was stepping out when I felt that first gush. My plans on going to bed early and catching up on the sleep I had missed out on the night before went down the drain along with the water from my last bubble bath as a childless woman. I felt my eyes grow big and my heart swell with panic. I starred into the bathroom mirror for a moment at the terrified lady looking back at me. I attempted to dry off and put on my clothes as the second gush came. I needed a piece of gum to ease my anxiety. I wrapped one towel around my plump midsection and straddled another and left the bathroom in search of Watermelon gum.

Damon was sitting in the living room eating a sandwich. Such a comedian, he called out "Did your water break or something?" This of course is followed by a chuckle. I try not to encourage him. I look him right in the eye and nod. His next comment is not worth repeating. I tell him not to panic as he is freaking me out. (The roles are reversed a lot around here.) He begins asking me way too many questions. "What do we do?" "What do we need?" "Do we need to call someone?" "Where are the keys?" Sigh. I ignore his questions and scoot cross-legged into the bedroom. I'm not going anywhere without any clothes on. By this point I am trembling with fear, anticipation, excitement, and a little irritation, if you must know. I manage to change my clothes four times before giving up on the possiblity of actually leaving the house in dry clothes. Damon has called his parents, who are on their way to the hospital, I have called my Dad and Vicki, who are on their way to the hospital, and Mom has called me before I can call her, and she and Casey are on their way to the hospital. I give Damon the list of last minute things to throw into my bag. We finally gather ourselves as neatly as possible and head out the door.



We arrived at the hospital a little before 11:00. A nurse examineD me and I was dilated to a 1. I knew at that point it was going to be a long night. They took me into my room where I would have the joy of experiencing labor, delivery, and recovery. They hooked me up to all the monitors and gave me an hour to begin contracting consitently on my own. About an hour later they began the Pitocin drip.

This may be a good time to tell you how naive I was about labor. I watched all the Baby Story's and read a lot of books. I watched the women on TV do the breathing. I watched them pace the hallways of the hospital. Now, I consider myself to have a fairly high pain tolerance. Ha. By 1:00 a.m. I wanted to die. Breathing at all was barely an option. Any kind of breathing pattern was completely unrealistic. Walking the hallways? Please. I was walking the hallways of hell. Don't get me wrong, I could handle the contractions. But for every 90 seconds of strong contracting, I needed about 15 minutes to recover. Again, ha. The contractions were right on top of the other. I kept telling myself, "This is good. This is good. This means I'm dilating."

They checked my cervix every 1-2 hours and apparently it does not like change. I've lost all sense of time by this point, but eventually they asked me if I wanted some Stadol to 'take the edge off'. OK, people. Apparently circles do not have edges, because I was in a circle of pain and there was no edge taken off. I wanted the epidural really badly by this point, but they refused to administer it until I was dilated to a 4.

Finally, around 7:00 a.m., the angels sang. I was a 4. Epidural time. The epidural gives true meaning to 'hurts so good'. It was painful, but it was by far the best pain I have ever felt. Not to mention the best $750 I will ever spend. Once the real drugs were in, I was good to go.
8:30 a.m. Fully dilated. Time to start pushing. I remember hearing, "OK, Lacy, let's have this baby by 9." So, I push. And I push. And I push. One of the nurses gets the idea to try the 'towel trick'. My mother-in-law stands between my spread-eagle-legs and holds one end of a towel. I grab the other end and pull as I push. Nothing. One of the nurses takes my epidural button away from me. Apparently I can't feel anything. (Isn't that the point?) They give me time to rest and let the epidural wear down some. I remember hearing, "OK, Lacy, let's have this baby by 10." (Who's 'lets', anyway?) So, I push. And I push. And I push. One of the nurses calls Dr. Porter who threatens me with forceps. So, I push. You get the idea. I remember hearing, "OK, Lacy, let's have this baby by 11." Finally, Dr. Porter comes in around 11:24, makes a tiny incension in my nether region, and at 11:25 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2006, out popped the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on.