Dear Baby Ike,
Today you are nine weeks old – on Saturday, your official two month birthday, we were up north for a family reunion. You slept an awful lot that day, I’m guessing because on Friday, the day before, you had your two month checkup at the pediatrician and all the fun vaccinations that come with it. But everyone was so happy to meet you and to hold you and love on you and tell Mama and Daddy how cute they think you are, even if you didn’t wake up to give many smiles.
As an added bonus at the doctor’s office, they said that you are still looking a little jaundiced (!), so we had to stick your heel yet again to get some blood so we can find out if it is worrisome. I am of course already worried, and feel badly that I probably did not take you outside for enough sunshine on the days when it was so hot and humid. But you are growing, as your Daddy says, like a little weed. You weighed twelve pounds and two and a half ounces, and have grown to almost 23 inches, bumping you up to the 50th percentile on both measures (50th percentile for head circumference, too, but I don’t remember what that number was). You now have the cutest dimples in your knees and elbows to match the one on your left cheek, and if I could I’d curl up in them and take a snooze with you every day. It wasn’t until I saw you next to some teeny tiny two-week-old babies in the waiting room that I was able to really see just how much you have grown in the past six weeks. The phlebotomist who pricked your heel was surprised at just how strong you are – you kicked the little vial out of her hand so many times that she had to start all over, so you had to get jabbed twice in order to get what she needed for the tests. It sucked, but I managed not to cry along with you during the shots and heel sticks; it wasn’t easy. I hate to see you so upset, though I know it’s important to make sure you get and stay nice and healthy. I hope that all your future checkups will be accompanied by much less, if any, bloodletting.
This has been such a big month for your development. You continue to give us lots of smiles and are very close to giggling, too, while you’re awake and playing. Watching you laugh in your sleep is one of the best parts of my day. You love to sit propped up on the couch and watch us dance your toys around for you. Sometimes you even bat at them – it won’t be long until you’re reaching and grabbing, too. You are really good at holding your head up for short periods of time, even though I still find it hard to get you to do ten minutes or more of stomach minutes (I like to pretend sometimes that you’re too dignified for ‘tummy time,’ but I still reserve the right to dress you in the most ridiculous outfits I can cobble together), and you can do mini push-ups and lift your chest off the ground/bed/couch. You are fascinated with your reflection in the mirror, and you are the master of wiggling your arms out of even the snuggest swaddle. I think you may be a finger/thumb sucker once you finally can keep those little hands where you want them – you are very close to really finding them. I saw you staring suspiciously at one the other day, so it is just a matter of time. I did break down and buy you a couple of pacifiers to help you soothe yourself – I have come to love breastfeeding you, but clearly no baby your age can eat for 45 minutes straight. You make a funny face when we put one in your mouth and it takes a minute for you to accept that it’s a suitable object for sucking, but usually it does the trick when you’re fussy and fighting sleep. You continue to love bath time, and we have now started adding bubbles, which appear to fascinate you. I hope we’ll get a chance to take you swimming at least once before the summer is over. You also had a pretty wicked case of milia and/or baby acne that is finally starting to clear up. I’m so happy to see your round little face getting back to soft and smooth. In the meantime I developed a serious obsession with the bottoms of your feet, which seem like the silkiest surfaces in the universe. I could gobble your little tootsies for a snack every day.
Pretty soon I have to figure out how to go back to work. I guess I will go ahead and start back next week so I can do half days or every other day for a couple of weeks, and still have a few days off to use for the rest of the year. It breaks my heart in a billion tiny pieces to think of not being with you for most of every day, but I know that you will have lots and lots of fun with Grandma and she will take very good care of you. The weeks off from work that I’ve had to spend with you this summer have been the very best weeks of my whole life so far, so while I wish I didn’t have to go back, I do. I can only hope that spending part of my days away from you will make every moment that we do spend together in the mornings and after work and on the weekends all the sweeter. You bring the sweet with you wherever you go, so I will just have to find a generous spot in my heart and let you spread that sugar around a little bit more.