Gazing Upward
  • October5th

    Dear Sweet Maryn,

    What changes this last month has brought! After multiple tries, you’ve changed your mind about the bouncy seat and decided you like it after all.  Your eye and hand coordination now allows you to grasp the objects and swat them backward and forward.

    Speaking of your grasp, you can get quite a fistful of hair. I have to pry your fingers open to release my locks. Your hair has really grown in, and it’s dark brown. Just like your Aunt CoCo! Even your eyebrows have darkened. Your eyes continue to remain a blue/gray color like your brother’s.

    You’re beginning to giggle, and when you’re really excited, you take a sharp intake of breath, squeal and then bury your face in my  neck. It’s adorable! You enjoy bathtime and find it quite entertaining to glimpse yourself in the mirror.

    You continue to grow rapidly, both in length and weight. In fact, you’re already wearing some 6-9 month pajamas and a few 6 mo outfits. I keep joking that you’ll catch up in size to Grace by next year.

    You enjoy lifting your legs up. In fact the move below is quite impressive.  I certainly couldn’t do that these days.

    Discovering your hands has been an adventure for you in itself. You’ll study your hands for long periods of time, and so why not taste them? We thought you might take up thumbsucking. But it hasn’t stuck. You’re also a bit fickle with your pacifier.

    Because we’re on the go a alot, you spend some time in the Baby Bjorn. And you actually like it, unlike your big brother when he was a baby.  I think you love looking around since I position you facing outward.

    When we think you couldn’t possibly get any cuter, you’ll flash a smile with eyes lit up. Or you’ll pump your legs with excitement. And we fall in love with you even deeper.

    Happy 4 months sweet baby girl!

  • September5th

    Precious Maryn,

    War Eagle little one! You’ve entered your first college football season. If people aren’t remarking on your adorable grin, they’re certainly commenting on your many rolls.  Your nighttime snacking has produced a healthy, chubby baby. People can’t believe that I’m exclusively breastfeeding you.

    All of your siblings love to play with you. But your big brother Carter wants to hold you whenever possible.  He loves calling you “Ren Ren,” “Renny,” and “Baby cute cute.”

    I have a feeling you won’t ever have to worry about anyone bothering you. Carter will protect you and  watch over you for many years to come.

    You’re still sleeping in your nap nanny, and probably will for another month or so. It has really helped you with any hints of reflux you once displayed. In fact, you barely spit up now.  You’re also very alert. You can follow me across the room, and you’re able to focus in on objects. You typically like your activity mat, but your favorite place to be (other than in my arms) is the swing. If I’m gone and you can’t be calmed, the swing often does the trick.

    You’re definitely a momma’s girl, probably because I don’t put you down much. I could kiss you all day long! If I’m away from you for more than a couple of hours, I miss you. You’re my lil companion.

    I have felt some guilt at us being on the go all the time with your big siblings’ school schedules and activities. But you are laid-back and happy, only crying occasionally when I snap you (once again) into your carseat.  You have a pitiful way of poking out your lower lip when you get upset, and breaks my heart and brings a giggle all at the same time.

    You’ve already made several trips to Lake Martin. Here is a picture of Papa holding you on Labor Day weekend. Papa has just retired and he is very excited about having more time to spend with his grandchildren. He’s pretty smitten with you.

    With your growth and new tricks, I don’t suppose I can call you a newborn any longer. Those days passed quickly, as I knew they would, and I treasured each one of them. You’re sleeping through the night most evenings. But even when you wake up for an extra feeding, I don’t mind. It’s fun to be up, just the two of us, with the house still and quiet. I can assure you  that doesn’t happen often, as you’ll eventually learn.  You’ve already perfected sleeping through the noise of shouting, piano and flute practices, and singing.  You can count on a noisy household for years to come. And you can also count on getting lots of attention from your brother and sisters, your daddy, and me. We love you so much.

    Happy 3 months Maryn!

  • August17th

    Post on No Hands But Ours Blog….click here.

  • August9th

    We’re moving full speed ahead into the school year! Caroline had registration and preview day at the middle school last week.  The 6th graders all got their lockers and were able to decorate them.  And whoa, how locker “decor” has changed since I was in middle school! Many of the students had wallpaper and mini shag rugs for make their little space their own. And did you know you can now buy battery-operated chandeliers and pendant lamps for your locker?? Yes, I’m serious. Just check out PBTeen.

    Caroline won’t actually start school until the 20th, and Grace’s first day is after Labor Day. But my big boy started 4k at his new school this past Tuesday!

    We had gone to meet his teacher the day before, and Carter was so nervous and shy. It was so hard and emotional for me to see him so vulnerable because I was a shy kid as well and still vividly remember the anxiety of new places and experiences without my mom by my side.  However, he had the best first day of school! And he was so disappointed yesterday to find out that he wouldn’t go back to school untli Monday. (He goes MTW.)

    This month is a little overwhelming to me, mainly because each child’s school and activities start at different times. If I don’t consult my planner, I have no clue where we’re supposed to be or what we’re supposed to be doing!  I do much better with a routine, so I predict I’ll be in a better frame of mind once the dust settles and the daily schedule is set.

    I am sure there are a lot of moms out there who will agree with me that it’s TIME for school to start back.  Everyone is bored, camps are completed for the summer, and the bickering and whining are nonstop in my household.  The changes of a new baby have finally hit home (pun intended) with Carter and Grace, and the resulting behavior has left me exhausted and drained of patience. From regression in potty training to holes in walls and drapes being pulled down, the kids are making sure they’re getting my attention. Grace seems to be having a tough time. I know she needs more reassurance and attention from me, but I also can’t completely disregard her disobedience and disrepect.  It’s a challenging line to walk. I wish I weren’t so irritable and impatient with them.  I’m hopeful that all of our dispositions will improve soon!

  • August5th


    Dear Maryn,

    In this second month of your life, you’ve really transformed from a newborn to a baby.  As a result of your love for nursing, you weighed 11 lb 3 oz at your 6 week check up! That put you in the 75-90th%, and your length of 22.75″ keeps you in the 90%.

    You’ve gradually extended your awake time and become very alert.

    You flash your gummy smile quite a bit and just began cooing last weekend.  When your big sisters and brother are around, you can’t keep your eyes off them. And your daddy and I think you recognize us because your face seems to light up when you see us. You also settle down when you’re in my arms which makes me feel pretty special.

    When you’re awake, you enjoy the swing, baths, listening to music, and holding your head up to look around. It’s amazing how quickly you’ve gained head control.  You don’t like the bouncy seat, and your opinion of the carseat changes from day to day. But once we’re moving in the car, you usually fall asleep.

    While I don’t think you have reflux like your brother did, you’ve definitely benefitted from sleeping in the Nap Nanny.  It was a pricey purchase but worth every penny!

    When you look back on these pictures, you’ll see how much you’ve changed in appearance.  The hair on top of your head came in (after it had mostly fallen out), your cheeks have plumped up, and your once bird-like legs now have adorable rolls! GrandMary almost didn’t recognize you last weekend.

    5 weeks

    8 weeks…what a difference three weeks makes! And the picture below doesn’t even do her rolls justice.

    Your disposition is sweet and happy. Your only fussy time is at night when you want to nurse or be held continuously for a few hours. This has worked out pretty well since the Olympics are on TV every night and you give me an excuse to sit with you and enjoy the festivities.

    The hardest part of the month was when I had to leave you strapped to a bed for an EEG. You have many leg spasms, and your pediatrician wanted to make sure the spasms are due to an immature nervous system and not a form of seizures. So she scheduled an EEG for you. We were originally told it would be a 30 minute test with you sitting in my lap. However, when we got there (actually an hour after we had checked in), as the EEG tech was walking us back to the exam room, she told us it would be a 2 hour test and that I wouldn’t be able to hold you. In fact, I’d have to wait out in the waiting room. I felt very flustered because I knew you needed to be fed in an hour. And the sight of you crying while strapped to the table broke my heart because I couldn’t pick you up.  With it being 90+ degrees outside, I’d dressed you in a sleeveless outfit, but the exam room was freezing cold.

    Your momma was a real mess when I had to leave you, often hearing your cries through the double doors.  Thankfully, the EEG results were good. No seizures. But nothing traumatizes a mother like seeing their child scared, hurt, or crying and feeling so helpless to comfort them.

    Carter has already coined some nicknames for you: Renny and Ren-Ren.  He also calls you “baby cutie.”  Grace enjoys tickling your feet and making sure you’re snuggled up with a blanket. And Caroline helps me entertain you during dinner time as I prepare the meal.

    Daddy and I are simply smitten with you.  You’re a joy in our family, and we look forward to seeing what changes the next month brings.

    Happy two months baby girl!

    Love, Mommy