Dear Future Rachel,
Hey there. I hope that one day this letter finds you sitting on a beach next to David, without a hungry baby, whining toddler, or laundry basket in sight. Ahh. Drink it in for me, would you?
There some stuff going on here that I thought you might want to remember one day, when the only butt you're responsible for wiping is your own. Things here are difficult and exhausting, but lovely too. Henry is 2 and Maggie is 5 1/2 months. (Remember when Henry was 5 months old?!?! Crazy.) They are both cute beyond belief. I've posted lots of pictures to help you remember these days, but here are a few things that just can't be captured in a photo. Some of them seem mundane, but I worry that one day the things that I thought were mundane and commonplace will be precious, but lost to a shady memory. So, just in case, here you go:
Maggie has learned to roll over both ways, and has been doing it for a while, but STILL, every time she flips from her front onto her back she looks TOTALLY BEWILDERED, as if she has NO IDEA how she got there. It's hilarious. Every time.
Henry's new obsession is Thomas the Train cartoons. Except only the new ones where the train is fully animated. If you accidentally turn on the other ones he says "Dis not da funny one. Want da funny Thomas."
When Maggie is hungry, she has taken to trying to latch onto whatever patch of skin on you she can reach. Your, arm, cheek, leg, neck, whatever is available. Girl's gonna give you a hickey if you're not careful.
Henry has learned that without eye contact, there is nothing. When he's talking to you, and you're answering absentmindedly, he holds your cheeks with his hands and says, "Mama, I talkin!" It's painfully adorable.
Maggie has learned how to make a motorboat, "bbbbbbt," noise with her mouth. She loves it. It produces a lot of saliva. She can do it for a LONG time. It's a messy form of entertainment, but you don't care because SHE IS ENTERTAINING HERSELF WITHOUT YOU. Win. She's also really into smacking her lips. It probably goes without saying, but just in case, SHE IS SO FREAKING CUTE.
Henry calls thunder 'funder.' Because of this, you pray for rainstorms everyday. FUNNNNNder!
Maggie is your sous chef. Every night at about 5:30 she is done, done, D.O.N.E. with all of her usual forms of entertainment and insists upon being rightnexttohermamathankyouverymuch. So, you spend from 5:30-6:30 every night with Maggie strapped to your chest in a baby sling while finishing dinner preparations. Sometimes it is difficult to get things done this way. Secretly, you kind of love it.
Henry has had some trouble with nightmares/night terrors in over the past months. It is very sad and scary and I bet you would rather forget about it BUT, there are 2 very cute things that have come of it. Let's focus on those, shall we? Every night when Henry goes to bed he insists that you or David pray with him that he will have "no bad dreams, only good dreams." His confidence in that little prayer is beautiful. In the morning, he announces "no bad dweams!" Sweet, right? BUT, here's the real winner. Every morning, every SINGLE morning, David and Henry have this conversation:
D: Hey Hank, what did you dream about?
D: Oh yeah? What were they doing?
H: Payin' baseball.
Every. Single. Morning. And we have NO IDEA WHY HE SAYS THAT! Where did that come from?!?! Is that REALLY what he dreams about every night?!?! Bears?? Playing baseball??? Whaaa? So great.
When Maggie wakes up from her naps, she squirms and wiggles until she has totally broken free of her swaddle, then she cranes her head around until she finds her pacifier, which fell out sometime while she was sleeping, grabs it and begins to nomnom on it. Most of the time I know she is awake because I hear grunting, chewing, and gurgling noises over the monitor. She wakes up INCREDIBLY happy. As soon as you peer into her crib, she breaks out into a grin so big and warm it could end winter.
Whenever Henry is pretending to talk on the phone, he pretends that he is talking to Nuncle Frank. Why, I do not know. Frank, you should feel honored.
Maggie is in a phase where she loves faces. If you get close enough, her palms are on your cheeks like there are magnets in there. Between that and Henry turning your face to make you listen, there are a LOT of grubby hands on your face these days. Remember that you loved it. Loved. It.
When you go grocery shopping, Henry is into it. He especially is into the produce section, and spends the whole time there suggesting purchases.
"How 'bout boccoli, Mama? How 'bout dat?
How 'bout peaws, Mama? How 'bout dat?
How 'bout badanas, Mama? How 'bout dat?
How 'bout carrots, Mama? How 'bout dat?
How 'bout booberries, Mama? How 'bout dat?"
So, you are buying a lot of extra produce these days. What? It's good for you.
There is one song in particular that you are singing a lot these days. "I'm in the Lord's Army." It started with Henry. It's on a song DVD that he has and he loves it and asks you to sing it with him a lot. Like... a whooooole lot. Then, a couple weeks ago you were on a short road trip to Charlottesville with Maggie and she started freaking out in the backseat. The usual stuff wasn't working, paci, bouncing the seat, etc. So, out of desperation you started singing Lord's Army. IT WORKED. She stopped crying. But, here's the kicker; it was the ONLY song that worked. You tried to switch to other songs and NOPE, she'd start crying again. But as long as it was Lord's Army she was happy. Let's just say at the end of that trip, you never wanted to hear that song again. Ever. Unfortunately, you have not only heard it since then, but have also sung it since then. A lot. A whoooooooole lot.
So, there you have it. Just a little snapshot of life with the kids now. It's hard. It's beautiful. It's moving really fast. Just remember this: They were really that small & cute. You were really that tired. And most of the time everyone was really, really, really that happy.