Graham is Four Months Old

First swimming lesson – 13 weeks

Totally worn out from swimming

Met Grandpa Jack – 13 weeks

First St. Patrick’s Day – 14 weeks

First Easter – 17 weeks

It’s been another wonderful month with you. We can see you learning and growing so much. This month, at 14 weeks, Daylight Savings Time and what we’re guessing is the four month sleep regression hit at exactly the same time. Le sigh. So we had a bit of a setback with you sleeping through the night. A few nights you were up almost as much as when you were first born. The past week or so, you seem to be outgrowing it and have mostly been back to just waking up once and falling back to sleep with some help from Mom or Dad. At some point this month you stopped napping very well, and now we get a few 30 minute naps a day in. Dadima and Poppa Bob have been with us most of the month keeping you while Mom and Dad are at work, and it has been so fun to see you develop a bond with them. At 15 weeks you started trying to roll over, but haven’t quite mastered getting all the way over just yet. This month you started putting your hands and your fingers in your mouth to soothe yourself. You’ve started to be really interested in playing with all of your toys, for the most part they go straight in your mouth. Your grasp is getting better and better, you’ve even started trying to hold your bottle by yourself this month. You’re loving all the stroller rides that you’ve been on this month now that the weather is nice. We’re loving that you will still take a nice nap in the stroller. You love bath time still, and take a bath almost every evening to wind down before bed. we’ve been to swimming lessons every Saturday morning and you seem to be really enjoying them. I really hope you will be a water lover! We’ve finally figured out what makes you laugh out loud with joy. Tickling your tummy and tossing you in the air makes you scream and laugh, and we absolutely LOVE to hear you. We love you big.

Graham is 3 Months Old!

This was a big month for us all! You are sleeping well most nights. At nine weeks you surprised us and made it through the night without a feeding. It’s funny how they say you never know when something well be the last time you do something. The previous night you had a 3 am feeding that kept us up for over an hour. Then just like that the next night you had outgrown that. At 12 weeks you dropped your late night (10:30 pm) feeding and slept from 9 pm – 6:30 am. It is amazing to see you growing and changing so quickly. You started out the month as a good daytime napper, but as your sleep became more consistent at night the daytime naps got shorter. You are still waking for a morning feed (between 6 & 7) and go back down to sleep until 10 am. I think you’re going to be a night owl like mom. We absolutely love getting you up in the morning, you are the happiest, smiley, little joy when you wake up! Mommy went back to work when you were 10 weeks old (just two days the first two weeks) and Dadima spent 3 weeks with us taking care of you. You bonded with her quickly and seeing her love on you has made us so thankful that you aren’t in daycare just yet. Mom and Dad got to go on their first date night, which wasn’t just any first date after our first child. It was our first date night out with friends in almost a year because of Covid. It was quite the celebration. We spent basically every Saturday this month at our favorite brewery eating from the BEST Japanese food truck that we quickly became obsessed with. You’ve really started showing interest in what’s going on around you. You love bath time (I hope you’re going to be a water lover like mom). You’re grasping toys and putting everything in your mouth already. You laughed for the first time at 12 weeks. Your laughs are still a bit elusive but hearing them for the first time was something I will never forget. You like watching Bertie and are really trying to figure her out. Watching you learn and grow is such a joy for us! We love you big.

First Super Bowl – first big boy jeans – 9 weeks

First shots – 9 weeks

First Valentine’s Day – 10 weeks

Mommy went back to work – 10 weeks

Dadima came to stay to keep you while Mom and Dad worked

You started showing interest in books and even sat through one being read without crying – 10 weeks

You slept through the night!! Waking up to see 6:36 am was the best surprise for Mom and Dad! – 11 weeks

Papa Sam came to visit and finally got to hold you after getting his vaccinations – 11 weeks

Mom and Dad had their first date night out! – 11 weeks

We celebrated Dadima’s birthday! – 12 weeks

Carolina beat Dook and you got new sunglasses that you love! – 12 weeks

My Pregnancy Journey

11 weeks

13 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks! Fourth of July and needing maternity shorts!

20 weeks! Halfway and read ready to announce our quarantine baby!

21 weeks

23 weeks!

25 weeks on my 36th birthday!

26 weeks!

27 weeks!

29 weeks!

30 weeks! Dressed up for our family shower!

31 weeks! Mini babymoon at the coast!

32 weeks!

33 weeks! Drive by COVID shower!

34 weeks! Surprise work baby shower!

35 weeks! (A very dirty mirror and the hospital go bag in the background!)

36 weeks!

37 (almost 38 weeks!) Thanksgiving Day! The turkey is almost done!

38 (one day short of 39) weeks! Last day of work!

39 weeks! Ready to meet our boy!

40 weeks! With my littlest love!

On July 9th We Eat Chocolate Sundaes and Cheers Our Best Girl!

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years without our girl! I never thought I would make it three days, much less three years. But here we are 1095 days later. Some days it feels like just yesterday and sometimes it feels like a whole lifetime has passed. I don’t miss her any less, but I do now have the gift of time that has allowed me to see that in all the days that followed she’s aligned the stars for me just right, and because of that my world has kept on spinning.

At just 55 years old my mom was diagnosed with a rapidly progressing form of dementia for which there is no treatment. For the next five years our family was on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime that no one EVER signs up for, and death is the only way off. There were times when the car was chugging up hill slowly for a few months and we could catch our breath, but for the last six months of her life the car hurtled towards the ground uncontrollably without brakes. It was awful. No one wants to remember those days, and fortunately we don’t think of them much anymore.

For me, I think of our many family trips to the beach. I remember the first ski lessons I had in Canada. I recall the epic battle of the skis on the side of a mountain in Canada too.  I think fondly of the the family trip to a dude ranch in Wyoming where we explored Yellowstone and saw Old Faithful. In high school we made our first of many trips to Switzerland to visit people who were then basically strangers, but now have been the best of friends for over two decades. Following my graduation from college I was treated to a trip to Hawaii with my mom, aunts, and cousin. After finishing graduate school my mom and dad and I set off for Napa. When things started to head south with her health, my mom and her best girls (me included) took the trip of a lifetime to Greece for two weeks for one big hurrah. Lucky for me, there have been countless road trips, weekend getaways, and other trips big and small, too numerous to recite here.

It is absolutely not lost on me that she worked her tail off to give me these opportunities. She was the first in her family to graduate college, and one of the smartest people I have ever known. When success came, she chose travel and new experiences as her luxury of choice. Never opting for designer clothes, fancy cars, or anything out of the ordinary really. Despite the success she and my dad had achieved affording them the opportunity for things like this if they had chosen. Instead she went places. She took me places, she and my dad traveled extensively, she and her lifelong girlfriends saw places little girls in small town North Carolina never dreamed of seeing.

As the always attentive accountant, she was never one to hand over money for just anything. I remember having the chance to go to Italy in college. My friends were spending the semester there so we would have a free place to stay.  I had saved up enough money to buy my plane ticket, but neglected to realize that although I did have a free place to stay the trip wasn’t actually free. Having never been to Italy herself, she willingly handed over some spending money for the trip and told me no one ever regrets money they spend on once in a lifetime experiences, have a great time with your friends! That trip was over a decade ago and those friends and I still reminisce about the week we spent in Italy.

She reveled in every new experience big and small. Never losing sight of where she had come from, and just how lucky we all were that our paths had brought us to these amazing places. Every beautiful sunset, a sky full of puffy clouds with the light hitting them just right, a field full of blooming flowers, the beauty in the history and architecture of places abroad, the ibis flying over the deck to roost on Bird Island for the night, a full moon splashing across the waves. Always stopping to take it in, and lucky for us, almost always pointing out the beauty of it all.

I am thankful for all the wonderful memories that our travels brought me. But more importantly, I am beyond grateful to have seen all these places through her eyes. I know now when I travel to new places near and far that I can see her in every sunrise, every rainbow, every full moon, every night sky full of stars, every yellow butterfly flitting across a field, she’s there soaking it all in and reveling in the fact that she gave her girl the dream and the opportunity to keep chasing sunsets.

So on July 9th we cheers our girl with chocolate sundaes. There was not a candy bar or sweet treat that she didn’t love, and as the end drew near for her I mainly existed on chocolate syrup and ice cream, so to me it just seems fitting.