Friday, August 5, 2016

Our new addition


We have happy news my dear friends. In March, we welcomed our newest family member, a beautiful baby girl we have named Lara. In the few months that she has been in our lives, she has brought us such joy. It hasn't been that long since I experienced the new baby days with my son (almost four years ago) and yet it feels like forever ago. With Lara, I'm rediscovering the wonder of staring into a baby's eyes, feeling the weight of her body heavy with sleep in my arms, smelling her milk breath and smoothing the soft, fine hairs on her head. When she's calm and happy, I feel such a profound sense of peace. But as one would predict, those moments are sporadically interrupted with moments of chaos and frustration which normally occur when you have both a baby and a toddler in your care.

That being said, we've managed pretty well so far and in some ways, better than I could have hoped. Before she was born, perhaps my biggest worry was how Roman would be affected by his sister's birth and her presence. I now see that I didn't need to worry so much after all. Roman is the ideal brother, sweet and protective and awash with love for her. Perhaps it's his gentle, kind character or perhaps he's motivated by the same innate feeling we all have when we encounter something so small and defenseless. Whatever it is, I am trying to soak in all of these moments watching my two little ones together. I know the days of teasing, fighting, and sibling rivalry are to come but I'm trying to focus on the here and now and do whatever I can to nurture their relationship.

I won't have time to write monthly updates about her as I did with Roman, as you could probably imagine from how long it took me to publish her birth announcement (cringe!), but I thought I'd quickly jot down a few things while I still remember them.

Here's what we know about her so far:

She has the loveliest (and most surprising!) clear blue eyes. They were almost indigo when she was first placed on my chest minutes after she was born but as she approaches four months old, they are more aquamarine which is quite fitting as that is her birthstone. I should mention that neither the Professor nor I have blue eyes and neither does Roman. But there are blue eyes in both our families so apparently we each passed a recessive blue eyed gene to her and it stuck. It was a pretty unlikely scenario, but now we know that these things do sometimes happen.

Since we brought her home from the hospital, Lara has been content to quietly take in her surroundings without fussing or demanding attention. Sometimes we'll put her down for a nap in her crib and when we go in 20 minutes later to check on her, we discover that she's been awake the whole time just looking around. This is starting to change as she approaches four months old, perhaps because she's learning to enjoy our company more than she used to. She's also not as quick to smile or laugh as her brother was at this age earning her the nickname Mona Lisa from my sisters. But again, as she's been getting older, she does periodically erupt into giggles and she loves to coo and gurgle at whoever she sees.

Amongst some of her favorite things are: being sung to, being walked up and down the house, splashing in the bathtub, putting everything in her mouth (especially her fingers) and going for walks in the neighborhood. Lara was born just shy of spring when it was still cool enough outside to carry her around everywhere in the baby carrier. The Professor or I would carry her to the supermarket, the park, the doctor's office or wherever and Lara would instantly fall asleep snug against our chests. Now that she's older, she loves to lean back as far as she can while in the baby carrier so she can contemplate the skies and the trees and take in all the city sounds she heard when she was in my belly. I think she really enjoys ambient noise so I never have to worry about making the house overly quiet so that she can sleep. The sounds of her brother playing with his toys, the hum of the vacuum cleaner, the spurt of a motorcycle passing outside all create a music for her that she's become accustomed to.

There are several more tidbits that I could mention about her including her rapid weight gain and growth spurt (75th percentile in weight!), her sensitive skin which needs so much care and attention, her newfound ability to roll from her back to her stomach, etc but I don't want to bore you with these details that probably only I find so interesting :) so let me just stop here.

Welcome to the world my lovely little girl. It's a bit of a grim place just now but I believe your presence will make it so much brighter.


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