Monday, December 19, 2011


Dear Gemma,

Hi Sweetheart! I can't believe that Christmas is almost here. I don't feel very "festive" yet... maybe because I'm working so much these two weeks leading up to Christmas. It's been a busy time for me, baby. All this time, you've been sick... still. I haven't seen so much snot come out of one person, ever. Ever! So, on Saturday, I took you to the doctor and got some antibiotics for you. We think that maybe there's some bacteria in there that's keeping you from getting better and you know what?! IT'S WORKING!!! Last night, you only had one coughing fit at 10 o'clock for about a half an hour and then cried out at 4 am twice. THAT'S IT! You woke up this morning with a dry nose, a big smile, and a well-rested body! Yay! I said a prayer of gratitude last night for science and doctors and antibiotics, thankyouverymuch!

We are making the round this Christmas, swinging by both families homes to celebrate. We'll be with daddy's family on Christmas Eve, and my family on Christmas Day. I was hoping to have some "just us" time on Christmas- go to church, look at lights, watch a Christmas movie, read the Christmas story, make cookies etc instead of traveling between homes but seeing your families is so important. Someday, maybe when you're older, we'll claim Christmas for our nuclear family- maybe we'll host, who knows? All I know is that navigating the holidays is hard- trying to make time for "just us" and connecting with our loved ones who we see all too infrequently.

So, baby girl, even though I know you won't remember any of this, I am thinking of you and how our holidays can create lifelong memories for you. I'm wanting to start traditions that someday, you may carry into your own family with your own littles. Maybe I should stake a claim to the night before Christmas Eve- we can pre-pare everything so that Christmas eve can be relaxing and filled with family time. And... I've started to wonder what to do about Santa. How do I keep Christmas about the birth of Jesus AND include Santa... Do I even want to? Do I want to tell you something that I know will make you so sad later? Hmmm... it's just tossing around in my brain and I'm trying to be proactive before you get old enough to go Santa crazy... I mean, let's be honest- I'm pretty creative and dramatic so if we go the Santa route, I might get a little carried away... just sayin'. Anyway- I'm sure that whatever your daddy and I decide will be okay- I'm just surprised by how little decisions carry so much weight with you. Maybe I put too much weight on them, maybe not. Hard to know.

I DO know this. You are really magical right now. You get so excited for everything and are chattering constantly! If anything, the joy I feel when I'm around you points me directly to the gift of that baby in the manger so many years ago. I'm so grateful to be your mama, peanut. You make me so full.

I love you, darling girl.


Alright, Mamas: Santa... to introduce or not to introduce and how... discuss...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Dear Gemma,

Last night was a long one. You are still trying to kick this cold. It seems to have moved into your lungs and is planning a long stay. Maybe some mamas can sleep through their baby's coughing but I can't. So, even when I held you and you continued to cough every minute or so, trying so desperately to get whatever nasty gunk is camping out in your lungs out of your chest, I wasn't tired. I thought about it while we were rocking, walking, standing by the teapot as it poured steam out into the kitchen, wiping noses, and sipping water... that I would rather be doing this "all-nighter" with you than be anywhere else.

I guess that's what makes a mama a mama, huh? Where else or with whom else would you willingly, even joyfully, be coughed on, snotted on and a host of other lovely "sick kid" perks. Selfishly, I liked snuggling you- you are so busy now that snuggles come sporadically and I can't get enough of your warm little head on my shoulder, your soft cheeks, and your little hands burrowing for a warm spot on my chest. Someday, I keep reminding myself, you'll sleep sounder, deal with sickness more easily, and most certainly NOT be wanting your mamas arms wrapped tightly around you while you sleep. So, I'll soak this time up, thankyouverymuch. Every long late night hour of it.

Last night while we were working through "sick time", the house was so quiet. So dark. I left Daddy in our room but I know he wasn't sleeping. He wakes when you make noise too. Even though he trusts me to take care of your immediate needs, his ears are tuned in to baby too. Still, the house was still... except for you.

At 2 am last night, you looked like this:

So, this photo was taken during the day but that wild, can't stop movin', must play face was large and in charge last night around 2am. Love you, but can we go back to the snuggling? :)

Anyway, I would love to figure out how to keep you healthy. I don't know what I can do. AND to top it all off, I know I am guilty of snuggling you, smooching your soft amazing cheeks, and practicing blowing kisses with you even when I'm not feeling 100%. I CAN'T HELP IT!

So, I hope that you are enjoying daycare today, my love. I'm watching the snow fall and wishing I could go back to last night around 230am when you finally dozed off for a bit. You breathing was rattly but predictable, your arms were tucked in front of you while you rested on your belly on my chest. My arms feel empty without you sometimes, sweetheart. Like I've just dropped a package or bag that I'd been so used to carrying that I can't adjust to being without it.

Today, I'd love to watch the snow fall with you and drink hot chocolate, or cider and listen to Christmas carols by the tree. This time of year makes me hungry for quality time with you. And, if history has taught us anything by these last two months of "sick baby time", I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to snuggle you in these upcoming cold months. And, just so you know- I'm up for an all-nighter with you anytime, baby girl.

I love you, beautiful.

Alright Mamas, any tricks to keeping your kids healthy over the winter months? During daycare? I've heard something about saline in the nose... humidifiers- etc. What's your best trick! I think I'm going to need it and I'm sure that there are other mamas out there who could benefit from your wisdom!