Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8 Months

Ouch. Ouch! Ouuuuch! That might be your first word since you hear it so much. You are still pulling hair and now you have TWO teeth on the bottom and you like to bite! You are also a master scratcher, you love to grab ears or noses or neck skin and just dig in with your little nails. When you wake up in the morning either your dad or i go in to get you and bring you to our bed to play for a bit and we basically just say "OW!" the whole time while you wiggle and crawl over our faces and huck your toys everywhere and dad even said you shoved your pinky finger up under his eyelid and scratched his lid from the INSIDE. Who does that? You, that's who!

This week you turned 8 months old and have added a bunch of tricks to your repertoire. You can crawl everywhere and you are getting very fast. We had to put up baby gates and put safety latches on the bottoms drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. Yesterday you crawled under our big wood coffee table and turned back to look at me as you were asserting your independence, like, look at me mom, I am just out of your reach and I like it that way, and I said, 'Elle, please come back', and you just smiled and kept on going your own way, like, 'um, no thanks, mom'. I am very nervous for when you grow up. :)

Last week we had a play date with a little girl named Lily who lives across town and she is very busy and active and pulls up on stuff and when we got home, I put you in your bed for a nap and when I came back a few minutes later you were standing up in your crib, holding onto the side and smiling! You learned it from your friend!
We had to lower the crib mattress so you don't fall out and in the last few days you have started to pull up on anything you get your hands on, your toy basket, my leg, the kitchen stools. I bet you will be walking by the time you are 10 months!

You are eating all types of grown up foods, grapes, bananas, peas, prunes, turnips, apples, oats and today i bought you some gluten free waffles that we are going to try. You have been eating puffs for about a month and you are funny when you eat them because they always end up on the end of your nose and you look at us all serious like and we can't help to crack up. Today you had two on your nose and one on your cheek!

This weekend is Christmas, your very first one. We have a giant tree up, our biggest ever, in honor of you, (your Dad picked it out, don't ask) and I spend a lot of time trying to keep you away from the bottom of it. It's so sparkly and there are such good ornaments dangling from it, I know you can't help but want to play with it. You already got a few ornaments for your own personal collection that you will have for your own tree when you get married and move out of our house.

Nana and Papa are coming to see you and stay with us on Christmas eve which is a big deal since they have never stayed with us on Christmas eve in all the 11 years that your dad and I have been together. You haven't met Max and Izzy yet and you are going to love those big furry goldens! But, no, we can't have a dog just yet. You have to be old enough to help take care of it, and dogs don't appreciated being scratched and bitten. They bite back!

You are the sweetest most beautiful thing in our lives and we are so thankful for you everyday. We have great days together, me and you. I can make you laugh so hard, sometimes you just laugh and laugh and then I laugh and give you a big hug and a big kiss, and you usually bite my nose and pull my hair, but i don't care. As long as I get to be close to you.

Merry First Christmas,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

7 Months

Exciting news, Elle! This morning you woke up with your very first tooth. Your bottom left. Your daddy went in to get you when we heard you talking to yourself in your room (i wonder what you were saying!) He brought you into bed with us to play and cuddle until it was time for breakfast and you pulled his finger into your mouth and bit down with your new tooth. You are so funny like that, with your physical comedy. Just like the time last week when your daddy came home from work, very excited to see you, and you were just as excited to see him, you reached up and grabbed his cheeks with both of your little chubby hands, leaned right into his face like you were going for a kiss, and then burped up his nose. That's mommy's girl. :)

In two days you will be 7 months old. You can get up on your hands and knees like you are going to crawl, but then you slide back down onto your tummy. You aren't ready for that yet and that's okay. It doesn't stop you from getting where you want to go, you can roll there or scoot or if your toys are on top of a blanket you just pull the blanket to make the toys come to you. You are very resourceful! You can reach up and pull on my hair, but sometimes you have such good vision and motor skills that you can just pull on ONE of my hairs. Ouch! Your dad and I say "Ouch" a lot because you like to scratch and slap our faces and kick us in the throats. Even though it hurts, it's really funny.

We started doing Mommy and Baby yoga and we have a good time together. You like to feel the yoga mat and you love to play with the scarves and you fall into a fit of giggles when I do up dog and then down dog over you, I think you think I'm crazy.

Last week a rare snow storm hit Connecticut which was very early in the fall to have snow and the trees hadn't lost their leaves yet and the weight of the snow and ice pulled down many trees and power lines and left Connecticut in the dark for 9 days. It was the first time in the history of the state that we were out of power for so long. It forever changed the landscape of Connecticut, so many trees came down, old beautiful huge oaks and maples lost all their branches and now are just tall tree trunks. Almost every tree that around here has broken or missing branches, and some of the limbs are just hanging upside down. Our front yard was full of huge branches and it took Daddy days and days with the chainsaw to clean it all up. Lucky for us, Grandma has a generator so we went to live with her again and she was very happy to have us.

Right now it's early on Sunday morning and you are taking your nap, and Daddy too is taking and nap and the house is very quiet. We were going to get together with Morgan and James today but James woke up with the throw ups so we are going to see them another day instead. So now we have the whole day free, just you, me and dad. I think we will take Dad shopping at Macy's because he needs a new winter coat. I think we will also get you some baby puffs that you can start to learn to eat with your new tooth.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Month 6

Dear Helena,

Happy half birthday! Today you turn 6 months old! Right now you are upstairs napping because you caught your first cold and you have been wanting to sleep a lot and lounge around on the couch and not do much of anything, kind of like a little teenager. We went to Mother Goose story hour at the library last week and you thought it was pretty fun. There were lots of babies there and they were crawling around and scooting on their butts and you just kept looking at all of them wondering how you could get around like that, too. We sang songs and clapped and practiced our nursery rhymes and one little chubby baby named Claire crawled on over to you and licked your dolly and I am blaming her for the cold you have now.

Now you can sit up pretty well on your own and you can play with all sorts of toys with buttons that play music and light up. You press the buttons because you know what they can do! And you can sit up in the tub and play with some tub toys that squirt water and you think they are pretty cool. Water! Your new best friend! Your dad took you on your first hike last weekend and you stopped at a stream and you watched the water flow over all the rocks and bubble right by you and you were amazed that you didn't know about this sooner. Did you see that, Dad? It's so cool! You are putting every single thing you can get your hands on in your mouth but you still haven't gotten any teeth.

You love to play peek-a-boo. You laugh and laugh these big belly laughs and it cracks your Dad and me right up. I run around the corner from where you are so you can't see me and you stay very still and your eyes get big and you raise one eyebrow and you watch the spot where I left and it makes you scream when I pop up out of a different spot. You laugh so hard. I bet you are peeing in your pants you laugh so hard. And I am so happy to know that you know just what will happen when Mommy goes around the corner… you know that I will always come back.

Last week your dad got a big promotion at work which means he will be traveling to NYC quite often and we are thinking about moving to Brookfield or Newtown. I was reading the email that they sent out announcing your daddy as the new CTO on my Iphone and you just reached up and with your dainty little pointer finger you touched the tiny trash icon which deleted the email. That is just like you, to so delicately remind us that anything we thought was remotely important is just a tiny little star that burned out 50 million years ago in the solar system of Elle.

Grandma is so very excited that we are moving closer to her, since she counts her days in "sleeps until Elle". Last Monday she called to see if she could come see you on Wednesday, because that's only "2 more sleeps until Elle". We went to visit her today and she sang you lots of fun songs on the guitar and piano and she let you strum the strings and bang on the keys. You got to go in her fancy room, you lucky duck. When Auntie Traci and I were little we weren't even allowed to put one toe on the carpet in the piano room, but you? She'd let you in there with fists full of lipsticks and socks full of chocolate popsicles.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Month 5

Dear Helena,

Next week you are turning 5 months old. You have mastered eating baby veggies and you just love sweet potatoes and squash. We tried out carrots yesterday which i think you aren't really crazy about. I mean, who is? They are carrots and they kind of just stick around in your mouth, long after you wish they weren't there anymore.
You can pass toys back and forth with your hands and you are getting really skilled at rolling all around. You have a little dolly that you play with and try to eat and it's so cute because it looks like you are trying to give her a hug.

Last week we got hit with a bad hurricane named Irene and we lost power for 5 days. We packed up Mommy's car and went to live with Grandma for a few days so we could take baths and wash bottles and watch tv and play on the computer. Daddy came too, after he got done working. You and I slept in mommy's room that she lived in as a little girl and I think you really liked it at Grandma's house. She plays the piano for you and reads you lots and lots of books. Auntie Traci and Uncle Paul were there too, and we had big family dinners every night and you sat right up at the table with everyone and sucked on your toes and told us stories and made our hearts burst with happiness that you have come to join our family.

Everyday I can see your personality starting to emerge and you are beginning to show us who you are. You have an activity center that has a little lion puppet on it and i was using it to talk to you in a silly lion voice and then i said something to you in my regular voice and you looked at me with this face like, "mom, you are embarrassing me in front of the lion!" I am sure that is only the first of a trillion times i will embarrass you, but I will really try to not do or say dorky things in front of your friends. I promise.

The biggest news I have to tell you is that for the last few nights you have slept all the way through the night, from 7 to 7. At first your Daddy and I were shocked that you just decided you were too grown up to get up for a midnight snack, but the next night we were so proud of you. "She did it!" we would say. We have waited a long time to be able to sleep through the night cause we were kind of tired from all the night activities, but as soon as you stopped waking up, we missed you.


Friday, August 19, 2011

4 months

Dear Helena,
This week you turned 4 months old. We've stopped counting your age in weeks and I can barely handle how grown up it makes you seem. If it were up to me I would count your age in weeks forever, but it might look a little silly to see "Happy Birthday Week 1173!" on your birthday cake. You have started to do some very new things this month, just when I started to get used to the old things. When I read you books at bedtime you look at the left page first and then the right, as if you were following along with the words on the page. If I linger too long on one of the spreads, you look up at me with those big brown eyes and give me a slow blink with those curly lashes, nudging me to turn the page.

You have officially found your toes and you can grab them with your hands into a perfect yoga toe lock. You can stand up with support and you have rolled over a bunch of times from your back to your tummy. You are very interested in holding hands with me and daddy when we feed you your bottle, you like to grab onto a finger or just feel around on the backs of our hands. You like to lie on your tummy and reach out for toys and stuff, you can hold your head up at 90 degrees, you are so strong. You have started teething, you are drooling all the time and you want to put everything in your mouth. Including mommy and daddy's face.

Yesterday you had your 4 month doctor's visit and you weigh 17.1 pounds and are 27 inches long. You got 2 shots and you only cried for a minute until I picked you up off that crinkly paper and then you just looked around mostly annoyed but already over it. You don't hold grudges, I can tell that about you already.

Like tonight, we spoon fed you rice cereal for the first time ever. You took a tiny lick and then pushed it all out of your mouth with your tongue, bite after bite. It was all over your dress and mommy's lap, but then we got ready for bed and you kept laughing hysterically when I would get really close to your face and whisper, "daddy goes poopy". You already moved on from the those moments right before when you were sitting in soggy rice cereal. See, no grudges.

Your hair is growing in so nicely, it fell out a little in the last few weeks. You have a little cowlick in the back of your head, your hair makes like a little swirl which is easy to see because your hair is so short right now. Auntie Traci calls you, "soft serve".

Two weeks ago, Mommy made the decision to not go back to her job as a web designer but instead to stay home with you and watch you grow up. It really wasn't a hard decision to make, you are the best boss anyone could ever have, and even though you sometimes scream in my face and are indecisive and unclear about what you need, you also give me the warmest hugs and fall asleep with your head on my breast and your hand on my heart, which is illegal in most offices if I remember the corporate company policy correctly.


Monday, July 18, 2011


Dear Helena,
Today you are almost 14 weeks old. Today is also Mommy's birthday and we are having a great day together, just you and me. We have been playing and you have been telling me stories in your baby talk which I think are about shoe shopping but I can't be sure. For the last week we were on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, you, dad and me. It was a trip of firsts for you, first vacation, first sleepover away from home, first time to the ocean. Dad hung your tiny legs just over the water and dipped in your big toe and you pulled your legs right up into your chest, and looked at dad with your "are you crazy?" face. maybe it was a little too cold for you. So, instead of swimming you both took a long nap in our beach tent.

Grandpa and Grandma came to join us for a few days and they couldn't stop talking about you. Look, she's blowing spit bubbles! Look, she blinked her eyes at me! Look and how she holds onto my finger and tries to eat it! To them, you are about the coolest thing since VCRs. (Grandma still uses VCRs, she is not really interested in DVDs or the internet if you can believe that. Maybe I can take you to a museum when you are older and we can look at all the VCRs and answering machines and you will be able to tell your friends all about them because you see them all the time at Grandma's house.)

Grandpa taught you a little trick he was calling "the flying cork". Your binky is on a pink ribbon so we can clip it to your clothes and he was hanging the binky right in front of your mouth and you would open your mouth really wide, as wide as i have ever seen anyone open their mouth, and he would try to get the binky into your mouth, like he was fishing for a baby with binky bait. You played this game with him for a while, and you were making him laugh so much that he almost fell out of his chair. And when he would laugh, you would laugh and we all would laugh, because your laugh is infectious.

Over the last few weeks you have grown so much, you are wearing 6 month old clothes like a big girl and have outgrown two bathing suits this summer! Funny that you wear bathing suits, considering that you don't swim, but we like to put you in them so you don't feel left out. You have found your hands and like to stare at them while you wiggle your fingers and then shove your entire fist into your mouth. You have started laughing, long hearty laughs when something strikes you as funny and when we try to do the thing that made you laugh again, you just stare as us, because you are over it, you've moved on.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Dear Helena,
Today you are just over 6 weeks old. You are very tall for your age and yesterday we met a little girl named Genevieve who was three months old and you could have shared clothes with her. You are going to be tall, like your mommy, and being tall rocks. I remember in high school, i could see over all the short girls in the bathroom mirror. I can’t imagine what you will be like when you go to high school, because right now you are my little peanut, you are sitting in your bouncy chair with your peaceful baby onesie on and you are just chilling, watching me type on the laptop. Dad turned the vibration on for your chair cause you like it, he calls it “your jigglies”.

This weekend is memorial day. Dad is home for 3 whole days and we are very excited. we are getting ready to go to Gay City State Park with lunch and your stroller. Your first picnic! We have been talking walks every morning, you and I, around the neighborhood, to the post office, doing little errands. We listened to NPR yesterday on my Ipod and you fell asleep within the first three minutes. I know, that is how I used to feel about NPR, too, but it grows on you. I remember all the times last year and the year before that i used to run around the neighborhood training for races, dreaming about you, praying for you. I would push myself to run and run and run a little bit further, a little bit faster, knowing that I could to it, knowing that running was hard work and waiting for you was also hard work but life is hard and it can’t be all daisy and lollipops all the time.

Yesterday auntie traci was here, she came to see you because she misses you so much now that she moved over an hour away. You had a grand old time with her, and I got to clean out the garage which i have wanted to do for a year. We went to whole foods for gelato which i could tell you wanted to taste, but you are too small yet, so I tried to hide mine so you wouldn’t feel bad. You smiled at us the whole time. when we were sitting at the cafe, a woman came up to us and said, “isn’t she just a treasure?” about you and I emphatically agreed, yes, she is, she really is such a sweet baby and we are so lucky to have her. it melts me when people say things like that, it’s like she could feel the energy we have for each other and she could tell that are just the center of my universe.

You have started to lift up you head lots now, and you can turn it from side to side at your whim. You have also started to recognize toys and things hanging off your car seat and your bouncy chair. You look at them and sometimes you smile at them. It will only be a short time before you start to realize that you have hands and you can reach out and touch them.

Update on the world: a few weeks ago, the United States Special Operations had killed Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center 11 years ago, that killed over 2000 people. I am sure you will learn about this in school, but us, we lived through it, what a dark time for the world and especially Americans.  Everyone blamed George Bush for attacking Iraq in the first place, saying they had weapons of mass destruction, which he never found, but instead caused such a senseless war.  some of our men and women are still over in Iraq and often I see people protesting the war on the side of the road with signs to “bring our soldiers home”. I can tell already, you won’t want any part of that.  You are such a lover and peaceful and sweet child. When the towers fell, your mom and dad had been dating for just a few months and we would sit around on the brown couches at Daddy’s apartment and watch the news every night, all night long, as they looked for survivors in the rubble. We just couldn’t believe what had happened.

Last night i put your to bed in your little bassinet at the foot of our big bed. you make a lot of noises while you are sleeping, grunts and coos and sometimes you clear your throat or suck on your hand and make little slurping noises.  you were particularly quiet for some time, so i thought you surely must be asleep, and i peeked down to the end of the bed and after my eyes adjusted to the darkness, i saw you, and your teeny little eyes, blinking back at me in the darkness. You are such a treasure, and i remember that every time I see your little eyes looking back at me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the Wedge

Dear Helena,
Today you are 18 days old. Time seems to move at a faster pace now that you are here with us. It’s speeding by and each day i notice how you have changed from the day before. your hair has grown out a little bit over the tops of your impossibly small ears and it makes you look so grown up.

You were born on a friday and the day before daddy and I were waiting to go to the hospital to have you because you were very comfy in mommy’s belly and you didn’t want to come out so we had to start the eviction process. i didn’t mind having you in there for the 8 days you were late, but we were very anxious to meet you and introduce ourselves and i wanted to know exactly who was kicking me in the bladder from the inside for all those months.

The moment you were born, i reached down and pulled you up onto my belly and you screamed and screamed and i thought it was the most amazing thing i have ever heard. You were blue when i first saw you and so very long, 22 inches to be exact and when i scooped you up and held you to my chest you spilled over on both sides of me. You are so beautiful and your cheeks and lips look just like your dads. Your father leaned over to look at you and he said he was so proud of us, so proud of his family. Grandma was there, too, and she said please tell us her name now, for the love of God please tell me her name, and i told her you were to be called Helena Raegan, after her mother, and she cried and I cried and of course you were crying but mostly because you were cold and wet and in a new place with bright lights and loud noises and crying people.

We kept your name a secret for all those months, just a little secret between me and your dad. You are named after Grandma’s  mother, Helen, who was a wonderful grandmother to me, and who sadly you will never meet until we all go to heaven. She was a tall, thin woman with white hair and finger curls and she always wore plaid skirts. She never wore pants, not one day of her life.  Raegan is a name we gave you to honor mommy’s best friend from college who is also in heaven and who mommy misses very much. When you are older I will tell you all about her. Lots of stories I will tell you. Some I won’t tell you until you are very grown up cause I don’t want to give you any ideas.

We have lots of nicknames for you so we hardly call you by your name. We mostly call you honker, smelly, cutie pie, baby doll, sweet pea, cute face, Cutie McCute Pants, tiny tot, little worm, squirmy and your dad likes to call you “the wedge”. He says it’s because you have wedged yourself right in-between us, but i really think it’s because you have wedged right into his heart and you already have him wrapped right around your chubby little finger.

Lately we have spent a lot of late nights together, me and you. For the first week you were here, when you would wake in the night, we would go in the guest room and I would nurse you and we would watch Season 4 of Sex and the City. You really like Aiden you told me, and you can’t understand why Carrie would act like such a bitch to him.  One night we watched Finding Nemo, and you really loved it. Just keep swimming, swimming swimming, you would say. You are such a sweet little baby, you are contended and gentle and you just fit into our lives as exactly the piece that was missing.

Last night was a rough night for us, me and you. Daddy went back to work yesterday so we tried to let him sleep as much as possible since he gets really crankypants when he’s tired. We were up all night long, you and me. You didn’t want to go back to sleep after each feeding, so we cuddled and rocked in the rocking chair in your room and I sang you Grateful Dead songs. When you finally fell asleep as the sun was coming up, I put you back in your basinette in our room and climbed into bed with daddy and after a few moments of settling in, you and your dad both started snoring. If you ever wanted to start a band, you guys would make a bitching horn section.

I am hugging you, kissing you and drinking you in, every moment of the day, you are the best thing I have ever done with my life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


You are due to arrive in two days, that is, the day after tomorrow. Your Daddy and I have been busy preparing for your arrival, and since the doctors said you could come early, we have been ready for weeks. I have our stuff packed for the hospital and a little mini bag for you with your clothes that you can wear home. We are very excited to meet you and to hold you and to show you your house and your room and all your toys. You have a beautiful white paper butterfly mobile in your room and it's all yours. Morgan and James were here yesterday and they were looking at all of your clothes, your little sweaters, your skinny jeans and your bathing suits and your teeny skull and crossbones hoodie that you can wear with a hot pink tutu. And the shoes, God, the shoes! Your family already loves you so much that they bought you tons of tiny shoes. James seems a little confused as to how you are going to get here, but we won’t let him in on those details just yet. I mean, he’s only 4. When you arrive, you can explain it to him, just go easy and leave out the gross parts.

You have had a busy morning. You slept in a little bit and then I had some Cheerios and that woke you right up, stretching out in my belly, kicking and rolling around. I bet you will love Cheerios once you join us on the outside, just like your Daddy. Right now you have the hiccups, which you seem to get everyday. Your Dad gets them a lot, too. You are going to be so happy when you meet your Daddy, he is very cuddly and patient and he is really sweet about tucking people in. He is a super smart man, your Daddy. Plus, he gives the best hugs. He has been talking to you and telling you it’s okay to come now… he has lots of things to show you! You already have a teeny pink life vest so you can come on the boat and watch daddy do wakerolls on the Sky Ski, which I am sure you are going to want to do when you are big enough. We will talk about it.

We got the new Ipad2 this week and we imagine you are going to be a whiz on it from the moment you can hold your head up. When you are old enough to read this there will probably be some holographic computer and we won’t even need screens or monitors at all. It will be an amazing time in the world for you to grow up in. Some day I will tell you stories about when I was in college and how we didn’t even have cell phones or computers and we actually had to go to the library to do research papers. What’s a library, you will say. You will think your Momma is so crazy. You will probably be all embarrassed by my saying that especially if I tell you in front of your friends. I hope there are still libraries when you grow up, cause Grandma is very excited to bring you there for music groups and storytime. She is very attached to the library cause she is way way older than me and that is what old people do for fun.

Today, April 5th, 2011, is especially rainy and damp but we are happy to have rain instead of the eleven feet of snow that have dumped on Connecticut this winter. We got so many feet of snow, that it was breaking through the roof and coming into the house! Luckily your Daddy is handy and he fixed it without much trouble. We were stuck inside for much of the winter with not much to do since the roads were so bad. Your Daddy let me watch “Sex and the City” episodes back to back even though he hates it since he felt bad for me that I was getting fat and my feet and hands were getting puffy and I was growing you inside me and he was just pretty much sitting around doing nothing and not growing any people. When you are in your 30′s there will probably be a new show for 30-somethings that is like “Sex and the City” but instead people will use time travel machines to rekindle relationships with ex-boyfriends and use hovercrafts to meet each other out for drinks in NYC. You will probably make fun of my “old people” version of SATC and I will say that that don’t make TV shows like they used to while I drink Cosmos with Auntie Jules and Auntie Adam.

This whole experience of growing you inside me has been the best thing I have ever done with my life. Sure, i miss little things like sleeping through the night and crossing my legs, but the first time I felt you move inside my belly I was so happy. I wanted you to be in there for such a long time. And when your Daddy felt you kick for the first time, his eyes got really big and he knew you were real, you were his and you were really coming to join our family. We saw you on the 3D Ultrasound a few weeks ago and you look just like him. You have big cheeks and wonderfully full lips. You are just beautiful. You also had your foot on your head and it made me think that maybe you will want to do yoga with me someday.