dear Caroline: two months

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Sleepy girl

Dear Caroline,

Today you are two months old! I feel like just yesterday I sat down to write your one month letter. I am trying to treasure these fleeting newborn days, now that I know how fast they go.

You have grown a lot this month. I’m not sure how much you weigh right now, but you are growing out of your newborn clothes already! You have some cute little rolls in your arms and legs, with dimples in your elbows. Your dark hair continues to be the thing that most people comment on, though it is thinning just a little in a few places. You started smiling this month and I was so excited to see dimples! You are adorable when you smile. You also have started “talking” – cooing and making adorable noises.

Baby grins!

You got to meet your extended family this month! Your grandparents from both sides as well as your aunt, uncle, and cousin Drew. They all came for Savannah’s birthday and to meet you. You really enjoyed having people around to hold you all the time. You’re still too little to interact much, but I think everyone loved the newborn cuddles you were happy to give.

Also this month something big happened: you went on your first trip! We took a bus, then a train, then a plane up to Boston for your Uncle Tim’s wedding! You did great on the plane, hardly noticing at all what was going on. You slept on my chest almost the whole time, and you took the rest of the trip in stride. You met lots of other relatives, too; your great-grandma, all four of your great-aunts, and some other more distant relatives. (First cousin once removed?) You slept the entire wedding and reception, but you did wake up when they played the song “Sweet Caroline” for you. I brought you out to the dance floor and we all danced around, singing to you. It was a lot of fun!

Auntie Clara gladly holds Caroline

A week or two ago, someone pointed out to me that you seemed to be tilting your head to your right all the time. I hadn’t noticed it before, but once she mentioned it I don’t know how I missed it! It’s something called torticollis. I took you to our chiropractor, and you’ve seen her three times so far. Already there is so much improvement! You don’t particularly love the chiropractor, but I’m sure you like being able to straighten your neck. We’ll keep an eye on it, but hopefully you’re good to go now.

Your older sister still loves you and dotes on you. She calls you “Cay-yine” and always wants to see your face so she can give you a hug and a kiss. She likes to show you off to other people. You seem pretty oblivious to all this attention, but I hope the two of you become good friends and playmates as you get older.

As we head into fall, I look forward to introducing you to our fall traditions!
Love, Mommy

Grandma, Grandpa, Savannah, and Caroline


my first blessingway

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Hanging out in the birthy crowd here in Atlanta, I’ve come across the word “Blessingway” frequently. I had never heard of one before, but as I learned about them I really liked it. It’s similar to a baby shower, except instead of showering the new mom with presents, you shower her with blessings. It’s a time to celebrate, encourage, and empower the mother as she prepares for her upcoming birth. How beautiful!

You can read more about them here.

Since we had a second girl, we didn’t really need anything and so we didn’t have a shower. I felt sad, though – as if Caroline was just a “copy-paste” and not worth celebrating. Of course that’s not what anyone is trying to say, but it’s how I felt. I thought about throwing myself a Blessingway (not sure if you can plan one for yourself?) and now I wish I had. Every child is worth celebrating. :-)

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Blessingway of a dear friend on Friday! I had a delightful time. It started at 7:30, and I ended up leaving close to 1am! I had no idea it was that late until Paul called, worried.

We had been told to bring a bead and a poem/quote/letter to read to the mom. I brought the bead, but totally forgot about the poem. (Oops!) We sat in a circle and read her our poems and talked about the beads. The beads were all put on a string for her to keep with her as something tangible to bring her strength in labor. I thought that was a really neat idea.


An example of beads from a Blessingway – Image credit: The Feminist Breeder

The hostess had written different empowering words on rocks and placed them in a shallow bowl of water. We were instructed to each take a rock home and when we find out the mom was in labor, we are to meditate/think about the word and think positive thoughts. I chose the word “Strong”. I know my friend is strong, and I am praying for not only strength labor but also strong bags of water for her. I am praying that her third baby is born in the caul.

There was also someone there doing henna, so I got a flower on my foot.
Henna!

I really enjoyed it, and I think it’s such a beautiful ceremony to help a mom welcome her new baby. Something I’ve learned in the past few years is the power of finding your tribe, your sisters, other women to uplift and support you. They are an integral part I think of surviving motherhood! I am honored to be part of her tribe (as she is part of mine, and played a major role in Caroline’s birth).

UPDATE: Here is my friend’s post about her blessingway (Mother’s Blessing) complete with pictures. :-)


behind the names!

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I’ve seen others write posts like this, and I think it’s always fun to know the story behind the names that are chosen for their kids.

Savannah River
Savannah – We visited Savannah, Georgia a few months before we got pregnant. We were there for almost a week and had an absolutely lovely time – it very quickly became my Favorite City Ever. While there, I started thinking about Savannah as a girl’s name. I thought it was beautiful, elegant, and delightfully Southern. I loved how the S’s and A’s all flowed together and made the name a pretty picture. (I base a lot of how I feel about a name on the forms of the letters and how the name looks written. It’s hard to explain, but I fill it in with pictures in my mind. That’s how I can like a name like Teresa, but not as much Theresa.) When we found out we were having a girl, the name Savannah just seemed beautiful to me. (Note: we’ve been asked if she was conceived in Savannah. The answer would be no! And I think it’s a weird question to ask someone.)

River – Paul had been advocating the name River for a girl even before we got married. It very slowly grew on me, but around the time that we were choosing a name I still wasn’t sold enough to make it her first name. I decided a middle name was fine, and so we set about finding a good first name for River. Of all the first names we considered, I liked “Savannah River” the best. I love the name River now, and I especially love the unintentional nod to Firefly.

Savannah’s verse – “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

Savannah’s song – I felt bad that Caroline had a song and Savannah didn’t, so I found this one for her.

Caroline Serenity
Caroline – We wanted a name that went with “Savannah”; specifically, a traditional Southern name. There are many beautiful names, and Caroline was an early favorite. My grandmother’s middle name is Caroline, and I thought that was a neat way to honor her. Her mother (my great-grandmother) also had a middle name of Caroline, and when I looked through our family tree I noticed several other instances of it as a first name. I think it’s a beautiful name.

Serenity – Serenity means “calmness, tranquility”, and we thought it was a beautiful name that we hoped would describe her personality. Oh, who are we kidding. We named her after this:

Caroline’s verse – “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27 (ESV)

Caroline’s song – I’d never heard this song until after she was born, but now I can’t get it out of my head. I love calling her Sweet Caroline.


sisters: comparing pictures

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I had ambitious plans to bring these into Photoshop so you can easily see side-by-side and compare, but I am too tired. So I present you with comparison pictures of Savannah and Caroline, taken at about the same ages.

Savannah:
First pictures... in the hospital

Caroline:
Caroline

Savannah:
Pretty in pink

Caroline:
Caroline

Savannah:
Bouncing

Caroline:
Caroline

Savannah:
Chilling with Daddy

Caroline:
Grandma happily holds Caroline

Savannah:
tweet hearts

Caroline:
Tweet hearts

Savannah:
Savannah

Caroline:
Sleepy baby


so very tired

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Ah, the postpartum and newborn phase! I am so very tired these days. I remember Kacie once saying that despite all the all-nighters she pulled in college, she didn’t know tiredness until she became a mom. I totally agree!

Caroline has good days and bad days with fussiness. On the bad days, she’ll be up several hours during the night and I can’t seem to calm her except to walk her around. She does enjoy being held and especially walked around. Unfortunately, that is difficult for Mommy to do 24/7. :-) I really need to get a swing for her.

Part of the exhaustion is having a toddler to care for on top of that. Today I fell asleep while reading a book to Savannah and ended up taking a nap, waking up with a migraine (sigh). So I took some medicine, put a movie on for Savannah, and laid down to help the meds kick in. While I was upstairs, Savannah got into the flour, sugar, and corn meal and basically spread it all around the house. Oops! I had forgotten to lock the freezer. Fortunately, Paul was gracious to clean all that up, but things like that just keep me from truly being able to rest I think.

Savannah started preschool this week, so we’ve been waking up earlier than normal. Savannah seems to be enjoying it! She cried the first day when I dropped her off, but today she went without tears (though was a little hesitant). She seems to be very taken with the sandbox in the playground – that has been the first thing out of her mouth both days when I asked her what she did in school. Apparently, today they had music class, and Savannah excitedly told me that they clapped their hands and stomped their feet. It’s been interesting trying to get a picture of her school based on what she tells me. I think she’s enjoying herself, and I hope this is meeting a need socially for her!

On Tuesday, I was looking forward to a nap while Savannah was in school, but Caroline cried/fussed the entire time so I didn’t get one. Today I went grocery shopping and then a friend called to see if I wanted to go with her to a granite wholesaler to pick what she wanted for her kitchen countertops. That was a lot of fun! I saw some really beautiful pieces of stone, and was getting ideas for whenever we redo our kitchen (which very likely could be never, le sigh). It was an enjoyable morning. The four hours that Savannah’s in school have passed SO quickly both days!

Well I am getting really sleepy and figure I should go to bed. I am going to see if I can get back in the habit of blogging these little things… I miss this. We’ll see, we’ll see.