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Posts from the ‘Family’ Category

parental pleasures

How and when did he get so big? It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves with increasing frequency of late, and one we are likely to keep asking for the foreseeable future now that we’ve started.

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four and counting

At four months, Junebug is definitely putting us through our paces. The fear of missing out apparently runs strong in her because no sooner do we get her to fall asleep than her eyes pop open again. D’s sister used to take ten-minute naps when she was Junebug’s age; the first time she slept more than half an hour in one stretch, D’s mom must have checked on her at least a dozen times to make sure she was still breathing. Junebug is trending in the same direction, with each “nap” typically requiring multiple interventions to lull her to sleep.

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— Papa, the baby’s crying on the monitor. She’s all alone in her room.

— What about mama?

— No, mama wants to play with me. You go get her.

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full house

Sometime in the dead of night, somewhere high above the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Junebug marked the end of her second month of life with her first long-distance flight.

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the back story

Composing the speech for Junebug’s baby-naming ceremony cracked open the floodgates of S’s memory. Writing about her grandmothers’ lives and looking through old photographs of their younger days, S tried to reconcile her recollections with the stories she had heard from her parents – it’s not easy to paint a portrait of someone’s life when one only shares in that person’s twilight years.

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the memories remain

S’s sister recently sent us a New Yorker article that chronicled one French/American couple’s travails in choosing a name for their son. Charmingly witty, humorous, and filled with all sorts of quirky name trivia, the article also hit a nerve, for despite the fact that S had compiled a list of girl names she liked long before she was even pregnant with our firstborn (who turned out to be a boy), we had a hard time choosing a name for Junebug.

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fond farewells

All good things come to an end, and the best, it seems, reach their conclusion faster than most. We’ve tried to stay in the moment these past six weeks – enjoying the summer in Maine, catching up with friends and family, savoring our last few weeks alone with Munchkin, and then soaking up the newborn snuggles after Junebug was born. Alas, we have run out of moments, and D has begun the return journey to Rwanda while S and the kids will remain stateside for another month.

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angels and demons

Somewhere between the midnight feedings, endless dirty diapers, and toddler tantrums, parenthood instills an appreciation for perspective.

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glamour shots

By the time Munchkin was discharged from the hospital, he was a week old, and we literally had taken thousands of photos of the little man. Sorting and editing them all – and the many more that followed – was a labor of love, but a painstaking labor nonetheless. We’ve tried to be a bit more judicious with our camera use the second time around, spending more time snuggling and interacting with Junebug than photographing her.

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back to the Twilight Zone

Having a newborn is a bit like entering the Twilight Zone. It’s not that one’s nights are completely sleepless, although that happens too. It’s more that sleep, when one is able to snatch some, is constantly interrupted, frequently during the deepest, most restorative portions. The accumulation of lost sleep wreaks havoc on one’s cognitive functions, which lends a surreal tinge to what is already an emotionally charged experience. The absence of variation in newborns’ eat-sleep-poop-cry routine completes the cognitive deconstruction. It only takes a couple of days to completely lose track of time, develop a tenuous, contentious relationship with one’s memory, and become so involved with the needs of one’s young child as to completely lose track of one’s own.

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