melia, month 5.

Dearest Melia,

I know. It’s been three months since your last update. I’m sorry.  You are different and the same, since last I wrote about you. Different – because you’ve grown quite chunky and slurp butternut squash and oatmeal occasionally, as well as lift your booty off the ground with knees almost tucked underneath. Oh – and you’ve lost most of your hair. And stopped screaming in the car (!!!!!!).  Same – because you still smile with your whole body, snuggle sweetly, and when you do cry – you’re easily settled.

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We started just a week ago with some homemade butternut squash puree, because you were waking several times a night to eat and lunging at our bites of food. I’ve never had a baby so ready to eat before. Your little tongue reflex is mostly gone, so eating isn’t too difficult for you. You love the food. We had a sleepover with the teens the other day, and one of the boys, Ben, was holding you sweetly on his lap. Earlier in the evening, I fed you an entire serving of squash – the most you’ve ever eaten – as well as nursed you before and after. Poor Ben didn’t see it coming, because out of nowhere – you puked all over him. And my girl, we’re not talking just  a little baby spit up… this was like Kilauea erupted out of you. Thankfully you weren’t phased, and Ben has a strong stomach. I’ve since slowed down on your serving size, because apparently you’ll just keep eating.

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The day you turned four months old we hopped on a plane, the five of us, to Oahu. Aside from a bit of fussiness the first couple days, you were a dream. You slept on the beach in my arms while the older sisters played, got spoiled by your aunties, and slept some more. We learned that the internet was wrong, that your name is pronounced more like Meh-LEE-ah, rather than May-LEE-ah, though sometimes when I listen to the Hawaiian alphabet, E still sounds like Ay.

Regardless, we’ve slightly changed the way we say your name. It’s more intuitive and mainland friendly anyhow. Lately, we’ve been calling you ‘Lia, because that is what your sister Claire calls you. I call you Pua also, which means flower. Pua Melia, the plumeria flower. And that my love is your Hawaiian lesson today. Stay tuned for your middle name, in which case we’re taking a trip to auntie’s house for pronunciation lessons.

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Melia, you entering our lives has been one of the best things that has ever happened to us. Your very presence is calming and joyful. Your birth has triggered several new endeavors for this mama… many of which I believe will all flow together nicely, once everything has taken off and landed. I am currently teaching birth classes, going through a certification process to become a doula, participating in births as doula/photographer, growing my photography business, and writing/editing/photographing for/with your uncle Patrick and the company your great grandpa started that pops now owns and runs. Now you know why I haven’t updated in a while. I’m only able to do any of this because your daddy is wonderful and allows me a couple hour breaks throughout the week in order to sit down with my laptop and create. And while that list sounds long and demanding, don’t be too impressed. There are days when I don’t do any of it. You, your sisters, and your daddy are still my number one priorities. That being said, I’m super grateful for all of these opportunities – for extra income and wonderful outlets for my passions, mind, and creativity.

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I’ll wrap up this post by mentioning we’ve kicked you out of our room at night. There were too many night wakings at the slightest sound, so you are now placed in the center of your sisters’ room, in a pack n play, with a white noise machine turned on. I write this post much more well rested than the previous several mornings.

And so I never forget these moments – both of your sisters are on the couch, wearing princess dresses and looking at DVDs that won’t be watched today, while you sit in my lap – staring at the picture of yourself with blue sleeves. I may or may not be wearing pink footie pajamas (but probably am).

I am hopeful for this new year. Hopeful for new beginnings and new hearts. Thankful for God’s daily provision and faithfulness to care for us deeply.

With so much love,

your mama

 

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