Thursday, March 12, 2009

Olivia and Charlie: 3 Month Letters

Dear Livy,

I cannot believe that you have been with us for three months now! You have been such a blessing to our lives already, and I know that the future holds great things for you. It's amazing to see how much you have grown in these three months. When you were born, you only weighed 4 lbs 4 oz. We haven't weighed you recently, but you are most likely in the 9 lb range. More than double! And though you have received the "Curse of the Short Legs" from the Rankin side of your family, it seems that you might have a bit more height to you. Time will tell. You are still small for your age, but you are growing rapidly. I seem to be pulling clothes from your dresser everyday that no longer fit you. You are definitely beginning to fill out, and getting cute little pudgie cheeks. And your hair is lightening too. Right now it's in a bit of a red stage. This happened with Mommy and Daddy too. We both ended up being blonds during our childhood and then getting darker as we grew up. The same seems to be happening with you.

Recently you have been nothing but smiles. Your grin gets so big and you stick your little tongue out. It is just so heartwarming. We love to see you smile. Your smile is a little cockeyed too, which just makes it that much cuter.

If we let you, I believe you could spend hours under the Gymini. The little toys that hang from it (especially the monkey and giraffe) are so captivating for you. I can see your little mind working as you seem to notice something new about them everyday. And you are trying SO HARD to reach out and grab them! You have done it successfully a couple of times, and one time you even smiled about it. It seems that you may have some of your Daddy's contemplativeness. He used to observe and not speak much as a young child. (Eventually this ended and he turned into to the wonderfully exuberant man that he is today!)

Quiet is something that you do very well, too. When you do make noise, it is generally a quick scream. I've talked about it before, but it often sounds as though you are yelling, "Hey!" With an implied "Pay attention to me!" And we do. How could we not? :) You are also starting to make some babbling sounds! Different coos than you have previously done. It is exciting to see your personality coming out. And it will be wonderful to watch it change as you grow. Generally, you are easy-going and happy to just be. But a good snuggle is enjoyed every now and then!

Your body is getting stronger, and you rolled over again yesterday. It still isn't easy for you, and often not deliberate, but we can tell that you are trying to roll over sometimes. You work so hard at that. Mostly you roll from belly to back, but once you did the reverse. It seems you might be our rolly-polly girl! Holding your head up is getting much easier for you too. Yesterday you were doing tummy time and you lifted your head up and held it there for a long time.

And you are getting better at holding it up when you are sitting in the Bumbo.

Standing is another thing you have been working on, and your legs are also getting stronger. You can hold yourself up for a few seconds now. With Mommy or Daddy's help of course! And everyday you are getting closer and closer to finding your hand and keeping it in your mouth. Pacifiers have always been something you could take or leave, so you might end up being a thumb-sucker.

We have had so much fun with you already and it will only get better. I absolutely love staying home with you and watching you grow and change. Getting to know you has been the greatest joy of my life. Daddy feels the same, but misses you during the day while he is at work. We must always thank him for working so hard so that I could stay home and be with you and Charlie. That is such a blessing and a sacrifice on his part. We love you Liv. We always will.


Dear Charlie,

You have not had an easy first three months of life. The phrase, "Poor guy" has left my tongue all too frequently. Though you were born 4 lb 9 oz, which was bigger than your sister, Dr. Mellilo was right when he said that you might be the one with more problems to overcome. You spit up so much, and it is obvious that it isn't comfortable. Dr. Francis, your pediatrician, has you taking Zantac, but we aren't so sure that it's helping. We are told that it is something you will just grow out of, but it's still hard to see you unhappy. Then there is your breathing. You are fine, there's nothing to worry about, but apparently your trachea is still soft enough that it collapses, which makes your breathing sound very scary. It sounds like you just aren't getting enough air, but we have been assured that you are. And then, you are just finishing healing from your circumcision. You've been through a lot. And it seems that your only comforts are sleeping, eating, and being held...WITH a pacifier. You are a HUGE pacifier guy. Daddy often carries you in the Baby Bjorn and I use a sling. Either one suits you just fine.

But despite this, you are growing well. Last week you were weighed at 9 lb 11 oz (clothes on). Even through all of the spitting, you are still packing on the pounds! Thank goodness. We're pretty sure those pounds are all muscle though because you are STRONG, and slender. I'd even venture to say that you have almost complete control over your head now. Just a little longer and you'll be able to hold it up without any trouble. Even the nurse who helped with your circumcision said you were very strong. Apparently, after they strapped you to the table, you lifted your head right off of it! Tummy time is super productive too. You have rolled from your belly to your back a couple times, but mostly you move forward. You scootch yourself across the floor by pushing with your legs.

Sometimes you lift your legs up off the floor while on your tummy and hold them there. Amazing. Of course, you often lift up your head too, but (ask MooMoo and Daddy) you did this the day you were born. The Bumbo is fun for you when you have those moments of calm and happiness. You do very well in it. Standing is fun for you too. I can sometimes get a smile from you then.

We don't see smiles often, but when we do, you have the biggest grins. And your eyes just light up. These are the moments we cherish most, because we know you are okay and feeling well.

Toys are not something that you are interested in just yet, but we do have a baby doll that you sometimes like to cuddle. It's so cute! Between the eating, sleeping and holding, there is limited time to play. We try to give you that opportunity as much as possible though.

Baths are also something that you love. You've had a lot of them recently because of the circumcision. We've had to give you a bath three times a day! But you have loved it. For the full 10-15 minute duration you just kicked your legs. Future Olympic swimmer perhaps? :) During all of these baths, we have been singing songs with you. You have a small alligator bath toy we use to sing the Alligator Song. We don't really know what it's called, but it's a funny one. Eventually you'll learn the words! We also sing "Rubber Ducky" and "Five Little Ducks" with the duck bath toys.

Mostly, though, you are a joy in our lives. You have given me peace where there could have been pain when your Grandpa passed away. We gave you the middle name "David" after him. And you look just like him. But you are definitely your own person with your own personality. Though it's often difficult for us to know that you aren't always comfortable and as happy as you could be, we love you so much. We hope that these trials will be over for you soon and that you will begin to see that life is good! Hopefully you know that already from the moments when we can see your peace and joy. We love you Charlie boy. Thank you for all you have given us already.


*A note to you both: Having twins has been, thus far, easier than I had anticipated. But it is still a lot of work and a challenge at times. Just know that even though we may not be able to give you as much individual attention as we would like, your Daddy and I will ALWAYS try our best to give you that. You deserve it, and we cherish those times.

Also, it is very apparent to us that you are your own people. Individuals who just happened to come to Earth together. So much so that I often find myself forgetting that you are "twins". But there is something very special about having a twin. So we will try to respect you as individuals while honoring the very special relationship you both have. We can't wait to see how it develops...well, maybe we can. :)


Anonymous said...

OH, ABBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(i KNEW i shoulda bought stock in Kleenex!)

just perfect, Ab. right on, perfect, perfect.

Eli Bowman said...

That's really something, honey. Thank you.

The Katzbox said...

This was so blessed those babies, and parents, are to have each other....a celestial family if ever there was.....


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