Baby Cece and dorky kids
Spring time seems to get crazy busy for us. It seems we returned home from Mexico in April, hit the ground running and haven't stopped. Nathanael spent a month and a half worth of long long days in the fields seeding Canola and lentils. At the same time we added a newborn to our home. Between year end school functions, soft ball practices and games, regular trips to the pediatrician (for baby), and just normal everyday life....I feel like I'm barely keeping up some days.
My garden is gorgeous with all the rain we've had this year but the lawn and the weeds are growing so fast that they threaten to turn my yard into a jungle. I suppose I'm doing my part in oxygenating the atmosphere...or if left long enough maybe I will be recognized for my back lawn re-forestation efforts.
I am so proud of my garden this year. I made it bigger and sacrificed even more of my front lawn to accommodate our food production (less mowing and a smaller grocery bill works for me). Next year I'm adding some raised tomato beds in the back yard.
We already have as much lettuce as we can consume. Within the next couple weeks we will have more fresh produce than we will have time to process or eat. I'm sure we'll get it used up somehow. The thought of all the raspberries, peas, and beans that will need to picked almost daily...makes me wonder how it's all going to get done. I think I will be recruiting some big kid help. I don't really mind being out working in my garden. I find it relaxing and peaceful. What I don't find peaceful is the baby wailing in the stroller, the 3 year old pulling out my bean plants trying to help weed, and the hordes of voracious prairie mosquitoes that manage to eat their way through my has-mat suit. It's been a nasty mosquitoes year! Have I ever told you how much I HATE those things. I think they should go extinct.
Here is a sneaky peak of my littlest princess, miss Cece. I am so painfully in love with this little one that it scares me (not that I wasn't head over heals in love with the last babes as well). After over two months of being mommy to this little girl she feels like mine in every way. With a new foster baby the bond takes a little time. A fondness and sympathy for a tiny stranger can develop within minutes but a genuine, ache in your heart when they cry, pick boogers out of their nose, love takes a little longer. There is a very profound shift from feeling like a babysitter to feeling like the mommy. The symptoms come on subtly..the mother bear protectiveness, the slight ache when separated, the urge to smooch and snuggle incessantly...
I admit I now have a bad case of baby love.
Miss Cece is now over 3 months old and is doing great. We have gotten past much of the colic that plagued her newborn stage. I admit, the first evening after I brought her home I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I wondered if I could trade her in for an easier baby the next morning. We made it through and she is now a smiley, cooing , joy to have around.
She is drug free as of this week! Cece has officially graduated from baby rehab. She was born addicted and to ease the ugly symptoms of withdrawal she was prescribed morphine. She was on morphine for 3 months. The length of time the babies are on that depends on how much drug use they were exposed to in utero. I've noticed her really blossom these last couple months as the last of the drugs leave her system. She is developing and interacting at a fairly "normal" rate right now. The specialist expects her to make a full recovery.
Cece is growing like the weeds in my garden, almost visibly bigger everyday. At just over 3 months she is almost 14 lbs and 24 and a half inches long. She is about 85th percentile for both weight and height! I'm so used to the scrawny babies who struggle to stay on the growth chart at all....Silas was only 3rd percentile for weight for most of his babyhood.
She is gorgeous. Maybe I'm a little biased but her wavy, wispy thick black hair, rosy cheeks, and perfect cupids bow lips are about the cutest I've seen. Her slightly exotically shaped eyes are so dark brown that they almost match her hair. She does stand out in our blond as it gets family. We get our share of quizzical looks and comments,especially when I'm out shopping with my two littles. One with almost white hair and one with jet black. Honestly, to me she doesn't seem out of place in the least. To me, she fits completely.
Her cheek fits into the crook of my neck.
Her little chubby body fits snugly in my arms.
Her eyes fix on mine as I feed her. The only thing that reminds me that she did not come from my body is that I cannot experience nursing her. Other than that....
She feels a part of me and a part of our family regardless of her beautifully different DNA.
This is me blissed out, reading a book with a sleeping baby. Normally she naps in her crib but on occasion we indulge each other. I am a big fan of encouraging good independent sleep habits in babies. Solid deep sleep makes for happier babies and saner mommies. Cece is a great napper and has on occasion started sleeping through the night. Now that she doesn't need a midnight dose of morphine (she had it every 6 hrs) the nighttime wake up time will disappear soon. Fingers crossed. We've come a long way from screaming all night. As of this past week, we have tried to have a regular earlier bedtime as well. I am hopeful and excited about the possibility of once again having a couple of evening hours to myself! Exercise, shower, computer, TV, read....oh the things I miss doing alone. The possibilities are thrilling.
Even though I'm not personally a big fan of co-sleeping and baby wearing (I do put her in my Ergo carrier when it's convenient)...I am a huge fan of loads of snuggle , interactive play and rocking chair time. Of course I fill our daily quota of cheek smooches as well.
One of the reasons I am so hopelessly smitten is that I've allowed myself to consider her as a long term part of our family. Of course, with some of my other foster babes I've imagined or fantasized the possibility. This time, we have actually discussed it as a definite possibility with the powers that be (case workers). So far ,there has been absolutely no interest, involvement or visitation from any bio family. The plan is to work toward a permanent family for her. My heart hopes that we can be that. Of course ,there are no guarantees that a relative won't come out of the woodwork and claim her but at this point ,we are it. We are the only ones who want her and love her. To the rest of the world she is just another drug baby. She is a problem and a statistic. I know she is so much more than that.
In every sense of the word, except by DNA, I am her mommy. My husband is her adoring daddy (she is a daddies girl already!) At this point she knows who belongs to her and that includes a shaggy haired 3 year old , a silly faced 6 year old and a doting 9 year old sister.
I try to remind myself that although she feels like my daughter, she isn't. Not yet anyway. Maybe not ever. I'm the only mommy she knows but I still have no legal claim on her.
This picture could be labelled "because kids live here". The boys lined up every toy in the toy box until they made a train that wrapped through the kitchen, living room and down the hall.
I am realizing by my photos just how seldom Roman is actually dressed at home...and how normal that is for us. Is that strange? If it is, I'm ok with that.