IMG_1338 IMG_1339 IMG_1341 IMG_1342 IMG_1340 IMG_1343 IMG_1344 dear little prince,

you are a whole month old. my goodness. weren't you just in my belly like, yesterday? pretty sure you were. wasn't i just writing to you to wish you a happy 39 weeks and asking you to come soon? yup. and now, you are here. and you are the best. and you are just the handsomest little lad.

you have deep blue eyes. you have soft, light brown fuzz on your head with a killer widow's peak. you have long fingers and toes and fabulous shoulder muscles. and you are becoming all squishy and amazing. you have a super strong neck and like to test how long you can hold up your little head while we are burping. and as you start to lose strength after a long hold, you do the funniest bobblehead dance move before collapsing onto my shoulder and letting out a satisfied sigh and wrapping your arms around my neck. swoon.

you are a wonderful napper. and you love when i rub your legs and arms with calendula lotion and apply your soothing oil blend. after that, we lightly bounce-rock while your body calms down. i wait for two solid yawns and then, into your swaddle. you love your swaddle. all tight and burrito-ed with some room in the hips so that you can spread out into a froggie-legged position for sleeping. and to sleep you go. right now, you are extra sleepy in the morning and you gain energy as the day goes on, peaking right around your 2pm feeding and 3pm naptime. that is when you are most alert and potentially, the most fussy. i am trying to be extra diligent and protect that feeding/naptime so that you can get in a good feeding (without overdoing it and spitting up all over me, of course) and then calmly ease into naptime without unnecessary disruption.

you are such a flirt, especially at our middle of the night feeding. i don't know that you will ever drop that feeding because you enjoy that time too much. you mostly snack during that time and stare at me and cuddle and give me the sweetest smirks. perhaps you will become less enamored with me in the next few weeks and decide you can hold off on mama time until the morning. we are getting close... your sister was sleeping through the night by 5 weeks but i am guessing that you won't want to do that until a little later. you just do things differently - at your own pace. and i am trying to be respectful of the way that God wired you.

oh, and speaking of flirting... the other night, as i was putting you down for the night, i whispered i love you and you looked right into my eyes and gave me the biggest smile. like, a legit smile. not one of those gas-smiles that babies fake you out with, but a bonafide smile. oh my goodness. i am in trouble, little man.

you are quite sensitive to your surroundings. you like plenty of white noise when you sleep and you like quiet and calm when you eat. quiet and calm isn't always possible around here, especially if we are out and about. oh yes, and there is also your eager-to-smother-you-with-hugs-and-smooches big sister. she loves to get you all riled up. if i am at all stressed or pushy or not focused on you, you know it. and you let me know that you are not amused. you also dislike being covered when you are eating...which i completely understand. i mean, it must get hot under there. and if i attempt to be discreet when we have visitors or are out in public, boy, you are not a fan. but when i create an ideal environment for you, everything is perfection. my mr. persnickety. i surely can't fault you there. i totally get it, little man. i know that you will loosen up soon enough. but these are the days of being consistent and a bit more rigid. of focusing on routine and flow and schedule. keeping things nice for you so you can settle in and feel at ease. this is the time for us to establish our family dynamic and settle into life together.

as i have said, you are all about consistency and routine. some of it is just how you are but some of it is what we are establishing for you. i suppose we are creating a monster... but it is the very best kind of monster. you let me know when you are tired and want to nap and i better jump to it and get you situated or you get all kinds of bummed out. but when i am focused and diligent, you are a dream. in these early days, i know that you need me to be consistent. you need me to be in control and calm and confident. you definitely take your cues from me. you are teaching me everyday. to be watchful and careful and mindful and patient.

you like to cuddle after you eat but only for just enough time. too long and you are not happy. when you are tired, you are tired. and if i try to stretch it, you are not a happy camper. i have to watch for your cues and take action during that window before you get worked up and overstimulated and overtired. and it doesn't take much. you go from awake and bright-eyed to ready-to-sleep in about two minutes. oh, babies. but we are figuring it out, aren't we? we have a nice groove. you like your days to be simple and calm and organized. and i hear ya. i like that too. you are teaching me to slow down and calm down. to pay attention. not to push. but also, to be firm and assertive when it comes to meeting your needs.

you are a leisurely eater. you aren't lazy, you just like to take your time and really milk it (wink, wink). you are an efficient eater and all that quick milk consumption warrants quite a few burp breaks. and after you finish on one side, you like to just chill for a bit. rest and "chat" with me. and once you have let your food settle a bit, you are ready for more. everyone said that boys take things easier and slower - and that is most definitely accurate. but taking it easy also means that you are aware of your limits. you know when you have had enough - of food, of being awake, of everything. your sister would eat and eat until i forced her to stop. i felt like i had to cut her off so she wouldn't go and go until she made herself sick. but you, you are more aware of your needs and limits. you eat until your belly feels full and tells you that you've had enough. and then you are finished. you stop. you pull away from me and lay back and flirt and look around. then you burp again and again, like a champ (good boy) and move on with things. content and full.

you are a bit of a homebody. which we totally get. it can make me feel like a hermit at times but i am trying to keep you in your comfort zone for the time being until you get into your groove and can feel good about being more loosey-goosey. i think it was aristotle that said, "through discipline comes freedom" and that is SO true. this time is about being disciplined. and it is just a short while. but it yields wonderful results. once the foundation is firmly in place, it will free us up. it will yield a relaxed and confident little one who is at ease and goes with the flow because he is secure. he knows what to expect. and that allows us to go places and do things and make plans because we have our schedule. your sister was the same way. she liked her routine and the comfort of her home. and i love that you too feel your most content and happy when you are home. i hope that you always feel that way and that our home is a refuge and haven for you. but, you are also in that dreamy (and short-lived) stage when we can pack you up and go pretty much anywhere and you will snooze through it. we have been able to go on quite a few outings and enjoy some dinners out while you nap away. and as long as i time things well and get you home before your next feeding, all is well. you have done some eating while we are out and about but you definitely prefer to enjoy your meals at home.

and we need to talk about the poop. we are really moving through some diapers around here. you have a seriously active digestive system. but some of the food must be sticking because you have gained three pounds since birth and are officially getting those delicious arm chubs. you are filling out 0-3 month clothes like a champ. the newborn clothes and diapers didn't last very long with you. the newborn outfits were boxed up two weeks ago. craziness. but i am also completely okay with it. as fabulous as the newborn weeks are, i must admit that i am all about 1-6 months. i know some people just love those newborn weeks when you just cuddle and sleep and all that stuff, but i much prefer this stage. after the newborn haze has lifted and you are actually awake and more interactive and have your eyes open! seeing your personality come out is just the best. it is such fun to see more of "you". that's the stuff. and each day brings more and more of it.

you are incredibly easy going when it comes to bath time. we don't do a daily bath but every few days, it is nice to give you a thorough once over to help keep that milk-in-the-neck-creases-stink away. you just relax in your little tub and give me some little happy kicks while i wipe you off.

ridley noble, i prayed for you before i knew you. i loved you before i met you. and i continue to fall more and more in love as i get to know you. your whole family is already quite smitten with you. you are all kinds of sweet and charming. and we can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and develop and amaze us. you are a blessing and a delight.

all my love,

mama