Happy Three Month Birthday

Dear Valor,

Happy three month birthday...a little late. You were three months on 12/2!

Two Sundays ago was our monumental "last day" together. After being a stay-at-home mom for the last three months, I'm now back to work. Our three blissful yet busy months flew by much more quickly than I could have imagined. Some of the time was spent visiting you in the NICU and lots of time was spent on the couch healing as we snuggled and let the house become a mess. I would not change a thing.

I know it sounds so cliche, but you're getting so big! Now that you're three months, I'm back to work. Where has the time gone? I completely cherish every moment that I get to spend with you. In front of my eyes, you have transformed from a newborn into a little baby. I just love getting to know you more and more each day. You've started smiling, and that is my favorite. The whole world fades away when you smile - it's all consuming. This last month, along with smiling, you've discovered your hands. You love sucking and slobbering all over your fists. You've also started chatting away and sticking out your silly tongue while laying on a blanket, kicking your feet.

In the past month we started you in physical therapy for torticollis and we exercise everyday at home. You're doing a great job, and at your last session, the therapist said to keep working and come back in three weeks! Sometimes at home you hate doing the exercises, but when we go to your appointments, you're a big show off. Tummy time is still a very big struggle but we're working on this too.

As for your weight, you don't have an appointment until January - a four month checkup. We are thinking you may be around 11 pounds! You've just grown out of the newborn size clothes and diapers. You're now wearing 0-3 month outfits and size 1 diapers.

We still don't have a routine, except for bedtime. The nighttime wakings vary - up from one to three times - you eat and go right back to sleep - I don't mind getting up with you one bit. During the day, you sometimes nap in our arms but sometimes if we can put you down without crying, you nap in the MamaRoo. At night you've been sleeping in your own nursery in the big boy crib.

You went on your first road trip to Ohio for Thanksgiving. You did great in the car, just needing to stop for feedings. You got to see your great grandparents, meet your second cousins and your great uncles.

How are you already three months old? What happened to my tiny four pound baby? You're doing exactly what you're supposed to do sweet boy...growing, learning, and thriving. Baby boy, you bring endless joy. I still spend a lot of time just staring at you. You are so special and I am reminding myself to cherish every moment with you, because these days with my little Valor are numbered.

I love you — always and forever,

Month 1 | Month 2

Valor — Two Month Birthday

Dear Valor,

Happy two months! Time has flown. I can't believe it's been two months, but at the same time I feel like you were always here...always part of our family. Now that you are here, I can't imagine even a minute without you. Last night laying in bed I told your daddy that I missed you, even though you were just in the next room. You my little Valor bring so much joy and happiness to our lives.

You've grown at a crazy rate. You have moved from your premie clothes, into newborn clothes! You're already starting to lose your baby looks and are looking more like a little boy. You celebrated your first Halloween and dressed up as a skeleton...the cutest skeleton I have ever seen. Every day you're much more alert and ready to play. I think you're a morning person, just like me. The evening hours are tough as you cry and just want to be swaddled, fed, held and rocked.

You, my son, are the most important thing to your daddy and me. Over the past month, daddy and I made a big family decision. When I return to work, I'll be cutting down my hours so that I can be home more with you. Our time with you is so precious and fleeting. Though things may be a bit tighter, you my handsome wide-eyed boy are so worth every less dollar. This time is cherished as we do not know what tomorrow may bring - we clearly saw with your traumatic birth story. I am eager to snuggle and go on adventures these extra days together!

As we celebrate your two months with us, all I feel is blessed. Blessed that you're my boy. Blessed that you came early for some bonus days. Blessed that you are healthy. Blessed that you're growing. You are truly a gift!

I love you — always and forever,

Want to compare with Valor's month one photo? Check it out here.

Getting "Nothing" Done

So there are these days — usually and almost every day where I'm lucky to take a shower, unload the dishwasher, cook a meal or tidy up. Welcome to my new life. Life with a baby. I wouldn't trade my dirty house for anything though. I'm training myself and having to redirect my brain. Often times I think, oh my goodness, I'm getting "nothing" done, but then I remember I'm doing the most important thing — holding my baby. Just in these short six week with Valor, I've seen how fast he has already grown and changed. And in maybe a year or so, Valor isn't going to want these constant snuggles with mama. Things will be different. My baby boy will grow up and want to play in the mud. Which, I am excited for that stage too - each is special in its own way. But right now I'm reminding myself I am getting lots done — I'm accomplishing the most important thing. I'm bonding with my baby. I'm loving my baby. I'm snuggling my baby. I'm savoring his baby squeaks, snorts and clean baby scent. I'm taking a mental picture of his tiny features, the way he looks at me with heavy eyes and precious eyelashes. I hold him tight as he naps and his tiny pucker slowly phantom nurses. So I guess in the end, it depends how you define "nothing."

"Babies Don’t Keep"
Author: Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Valor's Newborn Photo Session

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
Dorothea Lange

A week after Valor was born, we had Chrystl Roberge Photography come to our home and capture our sweet little one. In these photos, Valor is two weeks old (9/16/14). I cannot believe how much he has already changed from these photographs to now! Anyway, I'll stop talking and let you see some of the beauty that Chrystl captured:

Valor - One Month Birthday

Dear Valor,

Today we celebrate your one month birthday. Your Great Grandpa and Grama called and sang you "happy birthday." Your Grandma and Grandpa Y are here snuggling you tight today. You truly are our miracle baby and our greatest adventure. I thank The Lord each day that you were spared and healthy, even though you had such a traumatic entrance into the world.

Oh babe, every day I just can't stop admiring you. I can't help but smile. No baby has ever been so perfect - your little features - your expressionful face - your full head of hair - just how teeny tiny you are!

You finally learned how to breastfeed just in time for your actual due date. I think it even helped you fatten up! When we brought you home from the NICU you were 4 pounds 6 ounces, but we went to the doctor the other day, you claimed the blue-weight gaining-champion ribbon. You tipped the scale at 6 pounds 7 ounces, the same weight as your Grandma W when she was born!

Valor, you love when I sing "you are my sunshine" and it usually calms you down. Braxton, your big fur ball brother loves to sniff you. My heart melts seeing Daddy love on you. But most of all, you are such a snuggly cuddle bug and I think that is my most favorite.

So happy one month birthday Dear One. I'm so glad our roller coaster adventure the last month gave us you. We are truly blessed.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

I love you - forever and always,