You’re asleep in my lap right now as I write this, which seems so appropriate since that’s where you spend most of your days. You are the warmest, snuggliest baby I’ve ever encountered; you thrive on being close to people, close to your dad and E.V. and me. It seems that you can sense when you’re alone, even when you’re sound asleep, and it breaks your little heart. There’s something about being held that truly seems to fulfill you, and when you’re sitting all alone, you seem desperate for company. True, all babies enjoy being in their mother’s arms, but this is different. This is clearly part of who you are. There is an innate sense of being connected to others that I can already see in your personality, and it is beautiful. I don’t doubt that as you grow, your intense desire for relationship will, too. You are easy to love and to be close to, and people will be drawn to you for that throughout life.
You made a quick but grand entrance into this world, taking us all by surprise! In the hospital, you proved that you are strong willed and independent, which made for quite an ordeal bringing you into this world. When they placed you in my arms, I was instantly in love, as was your dad. From the moment you were born, you were so uniquely you, nothing like your older sister, although you sure looked like her! (As the month has passed, you’ve changed and begun to look much different than E.V. despite being her newborn doppelgänger.) Your dad and I had placed bets on how much you’d weigh (we both simultaneously guessed 9 lbs. 2 oz.), and when you were settled and getting all cleaned up, we asked the doctor to guess your weight. She said 8 lbs. 5 oz., but the nurse holding you grinned and corrected her — “Nine pounds, five ounces!” I laughed out loud at the shock on the doctor’s face as she exclaimed, “Whoa! I was way off!” And when they said your head (which was almost perfectly round since you jumped into this world so quickly) was an inch-and-a-half bigger than the average baby, I just had to smile; yep, that’s my kid, or rather RYAN’S kid!
Being such a big baby, you were hungry from the moment you entered this world, and it seems like you haven’t stopped eating since the delivery room! In the hospital they gave you formula to keep you satisfied, and we’ve had to supplement you with bottles here and there. It seems like your only goal in life right now is to eat, eat, eat, which is a challenge. With a crazy big sister running around mischievously, it’s difficult to keep everyone happy. There are so many moments I wish I could split myself in two just to keep up with both of you! You’re so voracious as you eat that you always end up with the hiccups, or rather the “Crick-ups” as we call them. :)
Speaking of your sister, if ever in life you grow apart of doubt her affection for you, know that from the moment she laid eyes on you, she was in love. She has loved your perhaps the most of all of us, desiring to be close to you just as much as you desire to be close to her. When you’re laying alone and crying, she’s the first to run to you, say, “Hello, Buddy!” and cheer you up. (She hasn’t yet called you “Cricket,” just “Baby” and “Buddy.”) Seeing her always makes your tears subside, and there’s a sparkle in your eyes when you interact with her. She’s a bit rough with you right now, but it’s well intentioned. She wants so badly hug you, kiss you and cuddle with you; we’re constantly reminding her to be gentle, but she’s just so excited to have you around! She loves to cover you up with blankets, feed you her snacks and help you drink from her sippy cup. So far the sharing is going great! ;)
You are a pretty good sleeper, and our biggest issue seems to be “transitioning.” Wherever you fall asleep, you’re content, but once we pick you up to move you, you’re wide awake and eager to be back in the middle of the action (just like your dad, haha!). When you first came home, you had large chunks of wakeful and sleepy periods, meaning you’d only sleep a few naps a day, but they were loooong. Unfortunately some of the equally long wakeful periods were in the middle of the night, but after a good talking-to ;) and some Baby-Wise-ing, you’ve gotten on a pretty good routine that includes sleeping well at night. With E.V. we were super strict about her being on a three-hour schedule, but now that we have two of you to wrangle, we’ve been much more lenient with you. (That may be a reoccurring theme in your life, to warn you!) You have a natural rhythm to your day, though, with a longer nap in the early afternoon, which I love because it coincides with Emma Vance’s nap; this is the only moment of rest I get, so thank you for that nap, little lady! Keep it up! Of course, since you’re still so young and big, you are still waking up hungry at night, but we’re slowly working toward a full night’s rest, which I’m eager to have!
You hate being swaddled, which is unusual for a newborn. I knew in the womb, though, that you wouldn’t be a swaddler; you were always kicking and squirming any time anything smushed you, meaning that I spent a lot of time in maxi dresses during my pregnancy! ;) You love your hands near your face (and sleeping on your side), and the freedom of not being swaddled suits you. However, being snuggled as you sleep is your absolute favorite thing in the world, which right now is awesome. I love having you snoring close to me, giggling in your sleep as I hold you close to me. I know that the time is coming where we really need to encourage you to sleep 100% independent of us, but this month of having your sleepy, warm body in my arms (or on your dad’s chest) has been amazing.
Little lady, you are a strong baby. You can hold your head up a bit already and love tummy time. You’re already pushing off with your feet and can scoot yourself across the floor with those strong legs. Emma Vance loves tummy time with you, too, and is always at your side, encouraging you. She can’t wait for you to be big enough to actually play with her!
Perhaps my favorite thing about you, Cricket, is how happy you are. You really only cry when you’re hungry or lonely and are very easy-going. You are extremely alert and curious about the world around you. You smile more than any baby I’ve ever met, seriously. I catch at least a dozen grins a day, often accompanied by laughter. You are full of joy and have a happy disposition all of the time. I hope that you continue to be a positive and light-hearted person as you grow up, full of joy. I pray for that for you each night.
Cricket, you are awesome. We love you more than words could ever express, and I’m so thankful for you. Your dad and I wanted you to be part of our family so badly, and you’ve slipped in so naturally that it seems like you’ve always been here. Life as a family of four has its challenges, but you have been such a good baby this past month; really you are an angel. I’m sad that you’ve already begun to grow from a newborn to an infant, but I’m also eager for you to get big enough where you can actually understand how much I love and adore you — which is a lot. And I mean A LOT. You have changed our lives in so many good ways, and I can’t remember what life was like before you; you have made us immeasurably happy, so thank you.
We love you, Crickie.
Mom, Dad and E.V.