Dear Sweet Noelle,
How are you already six months old!?! I'm sitting at the kitchen table writing this while you bounce and chat it up in a bouncy toy. Aaaaannnnd I think you just pooped. Probably a blowout.
Yup, it was a blowout. I may or may not have just wiped the poop off your pjs and put them back on you. It wasn't a lot. (Mom of the year.)
Anyway, the last six months have flown by and I'm sorry I haven't been able to blog more about your life. Daddy and I have started a "Noelleisms" note in our phones, so we have that, but I did want to sit down and capture what the first part of your life was like.
I want to remember this stage because this time it was much more enjoyable than it was with Q. I think the first baby is such a shock, we didn't take time to enjoy it. We were in panic mode. This time, I loved every moment. Even getting up in the middle of the night wasn't so bad because you went right back to sleep. We kept you in our room for about six weeks and then moved you to your room...the transition was great! I was sad when we moved you because I really enjoyed the time we had together just Mama, Daddy and Noelle in the trenches of the newborn season. We had the glider in our room and the pack-and-play next to the bed. That will always be a special time in my mind. At night, Daddy normally got up and changed your diaper and then I nursed you. I had a lot of milk so for a while (before you slept through the night at about 8 weeks) I would only feed you on one side and pump the other side so I could keep up my supply and give myself a little relief.
This was the day we got home from the hospital...we napped on the couch
Daddy loved being home for 3 weeks with his girls.
My view for a week...I loved being in bed with this sweet girl!
I thought going into the second kid that I would be a pro! I nursed Q for 12 months and I just knew it would all go smoothly. I forgot that every baby is different and every baby has to learn how to breastfeed. I fed you for the first time in the recovery room and you did great. But, you were a very aggressive eater and you were still trying to figure out your little tongue. By about two weeks, I was hurting...pretty badly. I cried and sort of dreaded feedings because of the pain. I finally went to a lactation consultant who basically gave me permission to pump and give you a bottle sometimes to relieve my pain (you took the bottle the first time and never looked back...unlike your diva sister). The LC also helped me by giving me a nipple shield and providing moral support. Things started to get better about 6-7 weeks and now you are a pro. I love nursing and I'm so glad we get to have that special bonding time together. I am less modest than I was with Q so I take the cover everywhere and we have nursed at the park, in the car, at restaurants and on playdates. I am blessed with a really big supply (just like with Q) and you helped me donate 500oz. to the Mother's Milk Bank so far! Way to go sweet girl!
You are seriously the sweetest baby ever. You are the kind of baby that will make me want a third (not so sure about that). You don't cry a lot, you sleep well, you let me put you down for more than five seconds, you are a good eater and you love to snuggle. The only time you make us crazy is in the car or when you won't nap...I'll touch on that later. You smile easily and you've started squealing and laughing more. Early on I could bounce you for a few minutes and lay you down and you would go to sleep. We put you in the Rock and Play Sleeper downstairs a lot and the vibration would send you into dreamland. I remember one day, I vacuumed while you slept in that thing and I literally vacuumed under and around you while you snoozed away. People tell us all the time what a wonderful baby you are. I wish I could say we did something and take the credit for it, but the Good Lord just blessed us with your sweet nature. I'm blessed to be able to take you to work with me one day each week. One of the volunteers told me one day "I will forever be in awe of how you put that baby in her car seat and she just went to sleep." Here's the thing...I'm a little worried you are tricking us. Please don't. Please stay sweet and don't turn into a crazy toddler, k, thanks.
Funny Quirks and Some Other Baby Stuff
There are some really cute things you do that make us smile.
-When you cry sometimes it sounds like you are saying "Gahhhh". Like you are trying to say "come on y'all...figure it out."
-Pretty early on you would be chatting and then a sneeze would come on suddenly. We called it the yell-sneeze because you would sneeze mid-chat and sort of yell before you sneezed. It would make Daddy, Q and me laugh so hard.
-Your sweet little cowlick on the top/back of your head is the sweetest thing. Q and I always sing to you "crazy hair, don't care".
-You are a kicker. Your little legs are constantly moving and I'm pretty sure your goal in life is to kick off your socks and shoes.
-You started sleeping about 11 hours at night around 8 weeks.
-You slept in a swaddle until about 4 months.
-When you are tired you dig your head into our shoulder and rub your eyes.
That sweet cow-lick...this was before you had rubbed your bald spot on the back of your head.
We got you out of the house early...much earlier than Q. Here are some of the things you got to do before you were even six months old!
-We went to Jill's baby shower 10 days after you were born. You snuggled with Mama the whole time!
-You went to church pretty early too...I think it was about 6 weeks old.
-You went on your first family vacation to the beach at 7 weeks old.
-You got go to go a Baylor game at 2.5 months old. It was so fun and we were lucky that our seats were right in front of the mother's room so we could nurse mid-game.
-Q started playing soccer when you were about 8 weeks old so you got dragged to several soccer games...of course you were perfectly fine being outside.
You are the most alert and observant baby I've ever seen, and a lot of other people say the same thing. From very early on (like 2 weeks) you were constantly moving your little neck around to see and hear things around you. Mama even had a crazy moment where I thought something was wrong with you because you wouldn't make eye contact with me. My mind was put at ease when the pediatrician that lives across the street said "She's just nosy...she's fine." Well, I have to say you come by it honestly (or at least Daddy would say that). I have so many memories of you almost falling asleep and then popping your little head up to see something. You also LOVED being outside (and still do). It was so funny how you would just whip your neck back and forth to look around...like it just blew your mind to see so many things. One of the funniest things you notice is the theme song to Gilmore Girls. I started watching this when you were born and now any time the theme song comes on you stop nursing and even wake from a deep sleep to look at the tv. It's hilarious! This will always be one of my favorite memories of you as a newborn...little bright-eyed, nosy girl.
Oh. My. Goodness. You were worse than your sister. We DREADED even driving across town. I don't know what it was, but you hated getting in the car more than anything. Once you were out of that seat, you were perfectly fine. I decided at some point to just laugh rather than lose my sanity, so I have multiple voice recordings and videos on my phone of you screaming while Q is obliviously singing songs. Those recordings capture your early car days perfectly...and show why Daddy is getting gray hair and Mama is losing her mind. :)
No Naps, No Naps, La, La, La, La, La
You are just like your sister...you won't nap. I have no idea how you function or how your brain is developing but you won't nap more than about 20 min. Mama might go crazy. BUT, you aren't super fussy when you are awake AND you've slept at night since you were 8 weeks old. So, it's hard to complain too much. I've tried everything to try to get you to sleep and you just aren't having it. I don't get much done during the day and it's so exhausting having a baby that won't sleep, but I'll have the rest of my life to sleep, do laundry, clean, cook, etc. Right? But, I'm not gonna lie...I envy the moms whose kids sleep for two or three hours. I have no idea what I would even do with that time. But for now, no breaks for this mama.
Mama was so thankful to have so many helpful people around when you were a baby. Daddy got to be home for three weeks and he and sister took good care of us. They brought me breakfast and lunch in bed for a week (stairs after a c-section weren't easy), and Daddy did a great job entertaining your busy big sister. Then Auntie Em came and stayed with us for a week. What a fun week! Mama loved having her sister around and you got spoiled. I'm so glad you and Q will always have a special relationship just like I do with my sister. THEN, Nannie Mae took a week off to help. You got to cuddle some more, and one day Mama even got to take a nap with sister while Nannie Mae took care of you. Granny and Ahwo/Ahpo made it in town for a visit after that so you were just surrounded by people who love you. There's nothing more important than family and you are a lucky girl to have so many people who love you!
Your favorite person in the whole world is your sister. You smile and laugh at her the most. Many times, when you cry, I ask sister to come talk to you. It always calms you down and you even start laughing. I hope your sister is always your favorite person...what a special relationship!
This is one day when sister was making me crazy while I was nursing you. Haha!
Your first trip to the park with sister...many more to come!
For posterity...here's your nursery before we actually used it. These photos make it look white, but it's light gray. Now there are toys and baby stuff everywhere and we love that it's your safe place. The print that hangs above your changing table is in honor of your great-grandfather Clayton Sylestine who was the chief of your tribe. His middle name is your middle name.
Happy 1/2 Birthday sweet girl! We love you so much! I know it's cliche, but we really can't imagine our family without you. What a blessing you are!