Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Summer Sampler

Cute little Alexandra Noel was born July 18th and I have had a wonderful time staying home with her for maternity leave. My older daughter Tory, got her very first "normal" summer during August when she didn't have to go to camps or daycare but just got to hang out and play with friends and neighbors, or her Nintendo DS. I had big plans for August, until we got stuck in a high pressure/drought/heat wave where every day was 98 degrees or more BEFORE the humidity. With a newborn, I'm not really anxious to spend a lot of time cooking by the pool, or even running errands.

We ended up having stealth fun. We'd leave early in the morning, head for somewhere air conditined, and buy milkshakes or ice cream on the way home, usually around lunch time. We went to Barnes and Noble, the Mad Platter, the scrapbook store, Target. We bought movies on demand and watched all the kids movies we could stand, with fresh, hot buttered popcorn I actually cooked on the stove. With OIL.

Then school started last week. It's been great so far! Tory loves her teacher, has some of her really good friends in her classroom, and has joined the band. My girl suddenly has a yearning to play the trumpet. "Mom, our band teacher says we should blow the trumpet like this and not like this because there's a famous guy who hurt his face that way."

"Yeah, honey, that's Dizzy Gillespie"

"You KNOW him?"

"I know he's famous for his trumpet playing and his face. I'll show you a picture of him on the Internet when we get home." She marveled at his cheeks, and was impressed when I told her the story of his broken trumpet. Then she dropped more info on me. "Daddy used to play the trumpet." This was something I never knew!! I had learned his father "Burgundy Papa" played the trumpet last weekend when Tory's burning band desire came up, but my hubby didn't share that tidbit with me. Turns out he played for a little while and then dropped it for soccer since he didn't like to practice.

So now I'm down to my last precious week with my newborn. She's grown more than 3 inches the first month and gained more than two pounds. She started making baby smiles when she was a week or so old. I've got pictures to prove it -- I know you're dying to say it's just gas. Now I'm getting a full gappy baby grin when the spirit moves her and I'm wondering when a newborn's eyes change color. Will Lexie's eyes turn hazel? Brown? Stay deep blue? We don't seem to have blue eyes in our family, so that would be interesting.

She's a little blondie, whose hair turns curly in the bathtub, and makes the funniest baby grunts and growls. Many times when she's done nursing, she makes this deep "yummy" sound, and stretches with her eyes closed and her lips tight together in deep satisfaction, one hand under her chin and the other stretched up over her head. She curls her legs into the air, "crisscross applesauce" as Tory calls it, and falls into a deep sleep. It's like she's still all curled up inside me, not realizing she has the room to stretch out. She mostly does this when she's on my lap, so maybe its some dim memory she associates with me. But she is learning to stretch out and we have to make sure we strap her in her bouncy chair, otherwise she stretches her way out of it.

Some memories I don't want to lose:
  • The look on her face when she makes that "yummy" noise
  • The adorable bundle she makes in her snuggy footie pajamas
  • How she pants "ha-ha-ha" when she's rooting for food with her eyes closed
  • Baby smiles
  • That deep boneless sleep she falls into, usually when I'm holding her

Soon these precious moments will be squeezed between work for me and my DH, homework for Tory and daycare for Lexie. So I'm trying to savor every moment at home, even the 2 AM ones, as I feel the pull toward returning to work like the way a wave pulls at you in the ocean before you're jumping up and over it or diving through it. That long slow pull, while you feel the water rush between your legs and around your hips, suddenly almost all gone. But the waves always crash upon the shore, so even as this time passes, I know each day will bring wonderful new times and new memories I'll call my favorites.

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