Kiwi is five months

DSC_1046The other morning Kiwi woke up from a nap and I startled when I looked at her.

“You got bigger!” I exclaimed.

I swear she grew in the 45 minutes she was asleep. She has changed so much in the five months since she was born.

Yet some things have stayed the same. Kiwi entered the world talking—not crying—and she is even more of a chatterbox these days. She squeaks, coos, gurgles and squeals all day (and, ahem, night) long. She clearly has a lot to say!

DSC_1210Kiwi is rolling over both ways, trying to sit up on her own and laughing up a storm. She has become remarkably intentional in her explorations of the world. She reaches out her hand to bat at a toy or the Christmas tree, and she turns over or contorts her body to get a better look at what Big Sister Peeper is doing.

IMG_4276The two girls are interacting more. One day while Peeper was sitting on the potty, she yelled “ha!” for some reason. Kiwi giggled, so Peeper did it again—and again—and again, eliciting bigger belly laughs each time. And the other morning, Peeper saw me tickling Kiwi by nibbling her cheeks, tummy and armpits, so she copied me. “Nom nom nom!” she said as she gummed her little sister’s side.

IMG_4325At the same time, I haven’t wished for time to stop or even slow down. The last five months have been among the most challenging of my life. Kiwi is napping much better and starting to sleep more at night, but the ongoing lack of rest has been brutal on me. And my transition to mom of two has been less than graceful. So I smile when I look back on newborn pictures of Kiwi, but I don’t want to transport myself back to those days.

Plus, why stop time when every day brings something new? Kiwi is changing by the minute, or at least by the nap.

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Nap time travel

Newborn kangaroo care
At a week old, Peeper spent much of her day snuggled against my chest.

Every mother has a magic patch of skin. It’s easy to find: It’s the skin below your clavicle—your décolletage—which is, not coincidentally, right above your heart.

It’s magic because it has the ability to transport a mother back in time.

The other day, I went in to Peeper’s bedroom when I heard her wake up from a nap. She was crying, so I gathered her in my arms, sat back in the glider and started singing. She nestled into me, and her face snuggled right against the skin left bare by my v-neck shirt.

With the instant ease of a key turning in an oiled lock, my heart opened.

The best feelings of motherhood—awe, gratitude, love that practically blinds you as it shines out from every pore—washed over me. I inhaled Peeper’s scent, a mix of shampoo and toddler sweat with just a hint of peanut butter. And I was suddenly the brand-new mother of a newborn. Read more