Monday, June 21, 2010

Dear Hazel, Month 2

Dear Hazel,

Two months already? No freakin' way!! How is that even possible?! Time is just flying by so fast, I am seriously having trouble keeping up. You grow so much on a daily basis that if we blink or get distracted, you're a little less baby and a bit more grown up when our eyes refocus.

As I write this, you've already surpassed 10lbs, and your physical abilities increase so quickly it seems like they've been magically bestowed upon you. You're a superb eater, and have already begun to outgrow your newborn-sized clothes, and we've already had to upgrade to bigger diapers!

Your hands are clearly your own now, though you seem to have specialized uses for each on them separately. For instance, you use your right hand to reach for things you want, and your left you seem to reserve for blocking the fresh diaper from being put on during changes. You silly baby, you! I love you so much.

This month you've discovered your own accomplishments, I think. You get Sooooo Excited whenever you stand up (and oh do you ever stand up, it is your favorite thing to do! If you're sitting on my belly with your back against my knees and I put my hands in front of your chest, you will reach out, grab them, and pull yourself to standing. Phenomenal!).

And you've also started taking steps...granted, they're mostly stumbly, end-up-on-your-own-toes sorts of steps, but steps nonetheless...and you get that wide-eyed excited look on your face and just try to run as fast as you can! So cute.

You usually wake up earlier than anyone else in the house, which means that you and I get a solid hour at least of quality one-on-one time to play before your sister or Baba even realize its morning.

You've been holding your head up very consistently from the very start of this month, and that paired with your standing has led to a silly game I call "Nom on Mom" basically involves you standing on my stomach as I lounge on the couch, and you'll lean slowly forward with your mouth wide open, as if you were going to eat me all up! This seems to make you giddily happy, and you wiggle with your excitement and makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Oh my cutie sweetie, you have so much emotion! There is just so much life in there! you don't yet know how to communicate with words or gestures, but it is so clear that there is a complex emotional live practically bursting inside your tiny have the most expressive face, which betrays the journeys you take with the most adorably varied expressions.

You, like your sister and Baba, can raise one eyebrow; something I've never been able to do and am admittedly slightly jealous of. It suits you well, as does the dimple in your right cheek, which shows up only when we aren't trying to prove to someone that it's there.

You started socially smiling (as in, smiling in response to something...usually me trying to tease you into a big smile) at 5.5 weeks...and at six, you began that cough-y sort of sound that is a precursor to laughter, which of course makes us grownups bouncingly giddy.

You turn you head and look at me almost every time I ask you to, which is far more than I expected from a just-two-month old, let alone my barely-more-than-one month old, as you were when I first noticed the phenomenon.

Also a total shock for me was when my 6 week old started sleeping for 6 hours at a stretch. You started getting all this sleep at night, and, true to fashion, I was getting none, because I kept waking up going "why isn't the baby awake?! is she dead?!" but of course you weren't; you were fine and healthy, just, y'know, sleeping through the night. I couldn't believe it.

It was just a few days after that - at about 6.5 weeks old - you began reaching and grabbing the porcupine on your play gym...and my nose! I was a little surprised at the consistency with which you were able to actually obtain whatever you were after, at such a young age! Whether you're reaching for the flowers hanging on your play gym or spinning the bears on the bouncy seat, you can do it now.

You even began to respond when we would play "chicken hawk"; now you anticipate it's landing, laugh at it, and sometimes you even reach up and grab the chicken hawk right out of the air!

This has been a big month in terms of meeting new people, too. You got to meet Charlie, who gave you your first puppy kisses, when we started heading down to walk him each day. It's a tough journey, and means we spend hours each day on the bus since you're still too young to take the subway (our doctor says there is too much noise for your poor little ears to handle. around 4 months we can start taking the subway, as long as we cover your ears when the trains come.) and I worry a little about you, but you seem to handle it just fine.

Charlie seems very protective and actually barked and growled at me one day when you began to cry...usually he's very quiet, even when he's excited. I think he was afraid I was hurting you, and he wasn't going to let me get away with it...good dog. You've won many hearts already, m'dear, and I'm not at all surprised.

You also had a very special visit that I know I will cherish in my got to meet your Great-Grandma Carol, my dad's mom, who made the long trip out to NYC from her home in Wisconsin on her own, just to meet you. Your Papa Scott and Aunt Kelly came up from Kentucky at the same time, and you got to spend a week getting to know these wonderful members of our family. You seemed to really love all three of them, but you especially took to Kelly.

You would stare at her, hard, and fuss if I tried take you out of the room that she was in, and would stop as soon as you could see her again, and you would reach for her, and seemed simply delighted when she would hold you.

There is so much more to you than I can possibly capture in these letters, but I would like to single out one more habit which you have that shows just how fully you belong in this family...y'know, aside from the fact that you are the perfect addition and we can't think of any way things could be any better, at all. What is this quirk? why, turning horizontal in your bed...just like your baba and your sister! I'll put you down and return to find that you've spun 90 degrees. Your Baba is oddly proud.

Oh little Hazelnut, you make me so proud. I love you beyond comprehension and am just extremely grateful that you are part of our family. I can't pinpoint how, exactly, but you really, truly do complete this family in a way that feels exactly right...ways we couldn't even feel were lacking, but you've brightened the day-to-day exponentially, and there is no going back. and we wouldn't want to anyway. We all love you completely.

Thank you for choosing us, Hazel! I hope you enjoy life with us as much as we enjoy life with you. 'cause this adventure is just beginning.

Love Always,


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Baba's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

These ladies have been up to something today...

(I love that shot...)

They've been collaborating and working quite well together:

And the end result was so beautiful, it moved them to tears!

Happy Father's Day, James! I hope you enjoy your super special card. You are an amazing father, and our ladies are so lucky to have you. I am also extremely lucky to have you, as a partner in this awesome endeavor...even if you do have a hard time waking up in the middle of the night when both kids are crying and someone's made a huge mess at 3am. You deal with my sleepy wrath with an admirable grace, and it doesn't go unnoticed.

Here's a message from Cadence, transcribed to the best of my abilities:

Happy Baba's day! I love you my dad. I love you so much you have love all over you and so if you get hungry at night then you can eat it all up and not be hungry any more. I want mama to tell you that I want to wake you up so that you can play with me. But you were having trouble waking up this morning. I am going to bounce on you and give you lots of kisses so you'll have energy.

We love you, James!
Love Cadence, Hazel, and Kate

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The oddest dream...

First, apologies for not having written anything here in longer than I dare to look up. It's been a while, and this won't do much to make up for it. Things have been crazy in the Yu/Johnson household, to say the least. We've been extraordinarily busy - me with a couple jobs, and Kate dealing with a couple kids while I'm out. That, and we've been having a lot of visitors, including a visit from a very 'cool' chick:

and then... there was a transformation!

a duck?

no nonsense

keeping an eye on me

and then, off cruising

a smile!

for the papparazzi

I was sleeping, was it just a dream?