Friday, July 7, 2006

Homeward Bound

Dear Peanut,

This past weekend, over the July 4th holiday, we took you home to Mascoutah for the first time. Honestly, I was dreading the trip. Hauling you through DFW, organizing time for both sides of the family, St. Louis in July - well, let's just say that it was a recipe for one long, hot, stressful weekend.

You travel beautifully. I still do not know what Daddy and I did to deserve such a peaceful baby, but I'm glad we did it. You slept through both legs of the trip, going home AND coming back. I tried to feed you (like was recommended) as we pulled away from the gate in Dallas. I read somewhere that the swallowing and sucking can help with the air pressure. You, the champion eater that you are, nursed so quickly you were done and ready for a nap by the time the plane taxied on the runway. You then proceeded to sleep on my lap for the entire flight. You have really gotten the whole nursing thing down pat - I am up for your one night feeding (with diaper change) and back to bed in about 20 minutes now. Daddy calls you a Nursing Barracuda.

Grandma and Grandpa Jeffries picked us up from the airport in St. Louis. They were SO happy to see you, and you were even ready with a smile - what a charmer you are growing into. I am anxious to see how you remember your grandparents from visit to visit. I only saw my grandparents once or twice a year growing up, and I don't remember a time when I forgot them. But I'm sure I must have.

It is interesting, watching you with my parents. I know that Grandma Jeffries can barely contain her excitement with you, and watching Grandpa Jeffries make googlie eyes at you - well, let's just say I never took him for the googlie eyes type. I guess I never really expected my baby to cause such a stir. Even knowing full well that you're the first grandchild - I never expected you to be such a big deal. And I haven't even begun to tell you about your Aunts and Uncle. They are simply CRAZY about you. You are going to have so much love in your life, it will never run out. And I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Your Grandma and Grandpa Hanes are just as excited about you. This was you first time meeting your Grandpa Hanes, and he was quite taken with you. I don't think that it dawned on him before that you were HIS grandchild. That 1/4 of his genetics contributed to you. But the minute he saw you, he was smitten. And you seemed very taken with him as well. I know your Daddy was very happy to see that. Of all your relatives, I expected you to recognize your Grandma Hanes - she has spent the most time with you, other than Mommy and Daddy. I don't know if you recognized her, but you seemed to fall into a comfort level with her right away - as you did with all your Grandparents. I hope its always this easy.

Just before we left for Mascoutah, we visited your doctor for your first round of immunizations. You handled the shots like a champ - I think I cried more than you did. And while we expected a fever or crankiness (or both), we got neither. You went about the rest of your day as though nothing had happened. Amazing.

You are now up to 12.5 lbs of squirmy adorableness. Still incredibly tall for your age - Daddy is already comparing you to 6' 3" Sharipova. And I am certain that you will tower over me by the time you're twelve. We shall see. You are terribly strong for your age as well - able to stand up almost unassisted now. Those little thighs that kicked my so relentlessly in-utero are all muscle. Daddy and I are dreading the day you become mobile - as interested as you are in your surroundings, you are going to be quite a handful once you can start exploring by yourself.

Things I've learned about you this month:

  1. You are going to be quite the chatterbox, as soon as you figure out that whole talking thing.
  2. Traveling makes you sleepy, and not nearly as cranky as I expected.
  3. If you get regular naps, you stay in a good mood the entire day.
  4. Books are already a passion of yours.
  5. You like to wake up in the morning to Daddy's Morning Song, even if Mommy is singing it.
  6. You are already Daddy's Little Girl.
  7. You are an intensely happy baby - quick to smile at anyone who talks to you.

You are fast approaching 3 months already, which is impossible to believe. I love you more each day, which is almost unbearable at times. You have made the whole world a new place for me - watching you experience for the first time things that I would normally never give a second thought. It is astonishing how much you learn day to day, and that you wake up each morning with a smile - wanting to learn more. I only hope Daddy and I can keep up.


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