Since we moved into our apartment in December, Michael and I have been saying that we need to buy a full-length mirror. We didn't do it.
But today, Michael came home with a present - a mirror!!!! One that we can angle against the wall to make us (read: me) look taller and slimmer! No more taking pictures with PhotoBooth or our phones to see how we look! No more standing on tip-toes to see our reflections in wall hangings or the TV! We have a mirror!
On Saturday night, Michael, Alice and I ate quesadillas at home. Alice joined us at the table, sitting in her Bumbo chair. We listened to Ella & Louis while eating and chatting. Afterward, we packed up and went for a family stroll in Riverside Park.
It's a new definition of romance, this Saturday night at home. But it's a lovely one, nonetheless.
This week, you turned 4-months old! Your dad and I can't believe how quickly time flies now that you're with us. While I was pregnant with you, four months seemed an eternity to have to wait for your arrival. Now that you're here, it seems to pass in the blink of an eye.
In the past couple of months, you've grown from a blessedly sweet infant into a charming baby girl. You astonish friends and family with your big brown eyes that are almost always open, taking in the world. Everyone comments on how alert and aware you are, how much you seem to be soaking in. Strangers continue to tell us what a beauty you are.
Your favorite playmates are Freddy the Firefly and your pink bunny. Your dad and I really love Mortimer the Moose, and we try to convince you that he is as cool as Freddy. You aren't yet convinced. You love to stand up, showing off your chubby and remarkably strong legs. Your head control is impressive for a girl your age. With it, you turn every which way, making sure you see everything there is to see in this beautiful world. The past month we've focused on getting you enough sleep, wrapping you up in a tight swaddle to help lull you to bed. Yet minutes later we peak into your bedroom to find you've spun around 180 degrees, wrangled your arms free and pushed them up and over your head with your back arched as much as possible.
We've had an eventful summer together, with trips to DC, South Carolina and the outer boroughs of Manhattan. We've shared a lot of time together as a family. And every evening, your dad and I take you for a walk in Riverside Park to spend some time enjoying the summer weather, being active together. Now we're starting to think about this fall, about the clothes we'll get you, the family we'll see, the events we'll share. It's all very exciting, this planning of our lives together.
We love you, sweet Alice. Happy birthday!
Love, Your Mom
PS Your most popular nickname is Little Blabe (or, affectionately, LB). I also often call you my little bug. You're loved, my little one.
Giselle, our nanny, works with both Alice & Naomi (John & Anna's baby girl). Anna is pregnant with their second daughter, due in January. She has been trying to get Naomi used to the idea of sharing her by holding Alice while Naomi is nearby. Naomi, needless to say, is not happy about the idea. Here are a couple of pictures from yesterday's efforts.
Well, I did it! I made it through the first day! And honestly, it couldn't have been better.
Did I cry? Yes. Multiple times. Did Alice make life hard for Giselle (her nanny)? Yes. Multiple times. But when I got home at 4, Alice was sound asleep in her bedroom and Naomi was playing on the floor with Giselle, repeating words in Spanish and giggling. It was so calm, in fact, that I decided to take advantage of the babysitting and I hit the gym! Alice woke up minutes after I got out of the shower back at home, and after kissing daddy and spending some time with him, the two of us were off for our evening stroll. An hour later, we came home, cuddled, she ate and then fell asleep in my arms. Heavenly.
Work itself was great, too. I almost forgot how amazing my colleagues are. Rhonda & Kristin had a framed picture of Alice for me, and I started crying the second I saw it. Everyone was patient with me. They let me gush on and on about my beautiful little one. They ignored the tears and red eyes. They shared their offices for me to pump. They cared about and for me and for Alice.
And, to top it off, Giselle sent me frequent visuals of my sweet Alice!
There are plenty of topics for me to write about this evening - including our delicious trip to South Carolina to visit your gracious Aunt Kelsey and your father's and my latest efforts to manage the household finances. But all that I can think about is that tomorrow I return to work full-time. I will wake you up at 6 am, feed you, kiss you and head down to the office. I will have to say goodbye.
I've already broken down into tears twice this evening, just thinking about this change in our lives together. Since you've been born, I've rarely left your side. I haven't wanted to. Tonight, before this shift, I want you to know what thoughts are swirling around in my brain.
And yet, two hours after starting to put words to "paper," as it were, I still can't quite sum up what I want you to know about this experience, this process of preparing to go back to work life. All I can tell you is that I love you wholeheartedly. That I'm incredibly sad that I can't stay at home with you indefinitely. That going back to work is completely, entirely for you - not only so that we can afford your diapers, but also so you can see your mother engaged in a professional realm that doesn't involve my perfect little family. That I hope and pray you will one day have a gorgeous baby girl who will make you as happy and rich and fulfilled as you have made me. And that when that does comes, you will have more options than we have now - more maternity leave that means something, more possibilities with one income, more meaningful part-time work.
Baby girl, these first few months together have been nothing short of miraculous. I will remember this time as blissful - days spent walking the City together, admiring a gorgeous springtime, just you and me.
I love you, Alice! I'm already excited for our evening stroll together tomorrow night!
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."