these days with little miss

You now clap on demand, young miss, especially after a few rounds of "If You’re Happy and You Know It."  And when you drink your bottle, you lounge as if you’re reading The New York Post with a farm-boy fanning you, one leg crossed over the other.  You have two teeth on the bottom.  The second one came in the day after your first one.  You love to eat these little star banana puffs, melt-aways.  You steal your brother’s when he decides he doesn’t want his, so it’s not really stealing.  And he laughs when you’re near him.  The other day, you crawled up to him, leaned near his face and sneezed.  Twice.  And he laughed more than I’ve ever seen before. 

You have a funny crawl, with stiff soldier legs, when you’re sporting a dress.  When people meet you, the first thing they say is always, "She’s so petite!"  They usually squeal this.  Then they follow it up with an observation about your eyes, how round, how blue, how beautiful.  "She’s such a girl."  And you are.  You took seven steps on your own, but mostly, you like to crawl, then stand, then clap and say, "Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma," but you’re not saying mama yet.  You’re nine months and three weeks old, but next week we’re celebrating the day you were born, calling it your first birthday, well, because it is.  Because you two couldn’t wait.  I felt guilty about that, even though it wasn’t my doing.  I don’t so much anymore, especially when I look at you, how well you’re doing, how happy.  How big, despite being "so teeny!"  You’re all smiles and claps these days. 

Our Eskimo kisses make me want to nap, or eat you.  I can’t decide.  You usually need to be tired, or just waking from a nap, all sleepy with hair every which way, your eyes as wide as banana slivers, and somehow new and blinking.  You crawl up to me and touch my face, then I rub my nose on yours, and you always smile. I love these days. And you.



  1. those days pass in a flash. trust me. take every eskimo kiss she'll give you. what a sweet love letter to your baby girl.

  2. That was lovely. Gosh, though, how I notice the passage of time when I read your blog. While reading this post, I just went, "One year has passed already? Really? A whole year? It couldn't be…" Kids I've never met are actually making me feel oooooold.

  3. Just lovely, Stephanie
    Treasure these days and moments, for they will pass much too quickly.
    These days I get my eskimo kisses from my two grandsons, three and almost four years old. It goes like this…….first a big hug and kiss on the lips, then a nose rub, then another hug.

  4. I remember picking up my youngest one night when she was 8 or 9 months old just to hold her because I knew the time would pass so quickly. She's now 4 and a half and snuggling has a whole new meaning. I lay down with her and my older daughter at night for our own snuggling session. These are the times when they invite me in to their own secret sister club and tell me silly things with promises not to tell daddy. Each age and stage has their own sweetness and yet, I long to hold them close as though they were babies again.

  5. If all my wishes come true.. one day, not too far, I will be writing something very similar in my blog..
    Tanti auguri alla piccola (best wishes to the little girl) and to you Stephanie!

  6. Holy Hannah, a year already! Wow! happy birthday, Beans. Will we be partaking in a post for your little man tomorrow, perhaps? One can hope?

  7. Hi…I'm confused…wouldn't you celebrate the day they were born as their year old birthday, even if they were premature? So they would be a year old, not nine months? Sorry if I'm being dense…I'm currently pregnant with twins (two girls) and wondering if there's more I need to know…

    From stephanie: yes we are celebrating their first year of life and will call it their first birthday. Developmentally they will be ten months (also called their adjusted age).

  8. I'm at a weird place right now. 29 years old but my life isn't ready for a child and i'm also confused as to whether i really want one. My husbands younger and we live in LA and it's just so expensive here that you really have to plan it out. Then this weekend I spent a lot of time holding, feeding, rocking and loving on my little nephew and i felt so at ease with him. I looked at him and imagined my own eyes looking back at me. My hubby's definitely not ready and doesn't get those same tugs at the heart strings when he sees a baby as i do which is fine but i want to know that someday he will. that we will get there. He says he wants one but even though it's still 5 years away till we try i feel like we should be slowly working towards it now.
    I love the description of Abigail and your love for her. She is obviously so adorable and you must just feel like your heart will burst when you look at her.
    I love my husband so much but sometimes wonder whether I will be able to sustain him "twenties" and not feel like i'm putting off my life.
    He's amazing in so many ways, but will he grow up soon to be the adult/mate I need.
    well thanks for providing a place for me to vent freely.

  9. Oh yummy. Even though my sweet precious girlies are now teenagers – I still try to steal a warm morning hug as I make their lattes and pack lunches.

    Oh those precious baby days. I agree with Angie that every age and stage has its own sweetness – and now they need hugs just as much as then, they're just pricklier than they used to be.

    Happy days.

  10. It is so wonderful to express those feelings to all your readers. They wake us up to those wonderful feelings in life that are a touch away. My grandchildren in so many different ways, give me those deep feelings that make my
    endless days. Gotta go and rub my nose on my pooch (Bubbles)as he
    needs what we all need.

  11. This is such a delightful piece and from the photos, it's obvious that little Abigail is a girly girl. So adorable.

  12. Your children are so incredibly lucky that they will someday get to read this and know exactly how you were feeling during their lives. If my mother had written something like this about me it would be something I'd treasure forever. Your babies are beautiful :)

  13. Stephanie, do you harbor any ill feelings towards your doctors re: your early delivery? I had an emergency C section, and not as all as dramatic as yours, but I am convinced that my early labor was caused by an infection from an internal exam. I still struggle with guilt and issues and blaming my OB, even though it all ended up ok. Was wondering if you feel at all the same.

  14. Absolutely beautiful! I can't believe it's been a year already. They are so beautiful.

  15. happy first, pookie-poo. i can't *wait* for your brother's tribute (i typed "bother's" at first, but i definitely don't mean that!).

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. I have been reading with great interest since your twins were born. I will soon be celebrating my daughter's second birthday, but her adjusted age will only be 20 months. Like your twins she was born very early, but has almost no lingering problems leftover from her very rough beginning as a 1 lb little girl.

  17. I remember when my daughter was born and I wasn't dripping with love like everyone describes and it was probably because I was very young and having a difficult time but when she got older almost one and could do cute things and return the love is when it kicked into over drive. I would squeeze her so tight I thought I would break her and it still wasn't tight enough. You really do feel like your heart is going to burst. Like HOW COULD I LOVE one thing ANYMORE…if I loved her anymore I would just die. How is it with 2 babies? I'm excited to see how the love feels when you have that love for 2 children. I cannot even imagine. It's like the grinch, 'his heart grew ten times that day.'

  18. God bless the little muchkin and her adorable girlyness!

    I wonder when you will start feeling like they are their chronological age instead of their gestational age? It makes sense now (everything changes so much from month to month when they're so small), but it will be a little strange to think of them as 17 and nine months on their 18th birthdays… :)

    FROM STEPHANIE: You stop "adjusting age" at 3-years-old. So after that third birthday, I'll no longer refer to their gestational or developmental age (being 10 weeks early).

  19. What an adorable post; our little chicken EM is 2 and we're in the midst of potty-training and she has the tendency to scream "hug me and I need you to hug me" in my ear when she's really happy. I love being a mom and your post had me gushing over here (and all over your blog). :)

  20. i can't believe it's been 10 months since we all read Phil's post, and gasped, and cried, and hoped, and smiled. happy birthday to your beautiful kiddies!

    3 teens' mom: you make your girls lattes? what a great mother :)

  21. How beautiful.
    There`s something you`ve written in an earlier post, I think it`s from your grandfather: "Every woman should have a little girl."
    I`m a mama to a 5 year old boy and I truly love him, but I always wanted to be a little girls mom too. And now I am! She was born 5 weeks ago and I enjoy every moment and every sleepless night. After a miscarriage last year I`m so happy now that she`s here.

  22. I agree with an earlier comment that your kids are so lucky to have such an intimate record of your thoughts. These posts written for them – to them – are priceless. I also have decided to do this for my munchkin. I already have the photos but now am writing more substantial 'entries' to accompany them.

    Re: 'L's' post: It's not uncommon to feel like you are in a different place than your mate when first considering children. I know money is important- i.e. cost of living, etc. – but planning solely with that in mind you'll never feel like you have enough money. Children are expensive but being a parent has a way of making you do what it takes to make sure those kids are happy. Try not to worry about that aspect too much. And go with your gut. Wondering if your mate will "grow up soon" as you say; only time will tell. We are who we are. Just don't doubt your instincts. Good luck!

    Christine- your daughter screams at you to hug her? That made me laugh so hard. Precious. What an angel and you are so lucky!

    Thanks again for the sweet post for Abigail..

  23. …and NOW i know what you are talking about. I had my daughter 2 weeks ago tomorrow. Every time i look at her, i fall more and more in love. It takes my breath away…and makes my heart ache to know how quickly time has and will pass. Happy b'day to your cuties! All the best, SY

  24. sigh. we've been trying since january and still nothing (so i fake-celebrate with wine and sushi every month). bless you and your kiddies!

    FROM STEPHANIE: I know how hard trying can be. And the worst of it is hearing, "at least you get to have fun trying!" from someone who always laughs at their own clamcrap joke. I hate people like that. I won't make suggestions as I'm sure you are up on all that's out there, the medicine, the advice, the tricks and tips. The theories and philosophies. I bless you too.

  25. After a long time reading your posts, just a note of thanks. Your writing was part of the motivation to trying to create my own blog. Thanks!

  26. You haven't blogged about your "N.Y." friends in quite a long time. I know friendships have a natural tendancy to change over time. People grow apart or get closer or whatever and i'm sure getting married, having babies and moving half way across the country in a relatively short period had to have changed them.

    You were in New York for Thanksgiving, although not in the city, certainly closer than you have been in a while, did you see any of your old friends? Visit any old stomping ground?

    Is there a difference in your friendships with your single friends now that you are married? Is there a difference with your married friends now that you have babies (i'm not sure i've ever read about any of your close friends-in N.Y., single or married, having had babies yet)?

    I know after I graduated college and my friends and I started moving away from parents to different cities and states, i made (and make) a point to keep certain people a part of my life (usually in yearly visits, phone calls, cards-I'm an excellent pen pal), but being single, i have more freedom to do that. More freedom with time, expendable cash, etc. I've found though that my effort has paid off with return effort from those friends where other people who were close or maybe even closer before, but don't really make any effort grow apart much more quickly.

    I'm wondering how this has changed for you. It may be impractical to take off for a weekend of girly talk and cocktails while the kiddies are so young, and i know you'd get a lot of shit for doing so (not just you, any mom on any block in America would get shit from someone who obviously knows how to raise kids better than you do, or i do or anyone else does), but aside from the family unit you have now, i feel like the friendships you had prior to that were part of what made you strong enough, post divorce, to build this family unit. I hope they all haven't fallen by the wayside.

    P.S. As a side question, what do your friends think of Phil? Did I miss this on the blog? Feel free to point me to the right month to find it. Just wondering.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Oh good, I love questions. I will blog on this within the week!

  27. I take exception to L's equation of wanting children with "growing up." My husband and I are in our late 30s. We have a beautiful apartment in the city; a cottage in the Hamptons; eat out 5-6 nights a week; and travel wherever and whenever we want. We both have interesting (but demanding) jobs and make a decent living. We've had many, many discussions about children, all of which end with us deciding that as nice as it would be to see a child who looks like us, it's just not worth giving up our lifestyle for. Does that somehow make us any less "grown up" than people with children? Does it mean that we're avoiding "responsibility" (never mind the mortgage payments, car payments, etc. we make every month)? If anything, I think our decision makes us more grown up — we're living our lives for ourselves, not for anyone else or for society's idea of what a "family" should be. I think you need to cut your boyfriend some slack.

  28. Hifihoney – I'm with you 110%. If more people everywhere actually thought over producing little humans and all the ramifications, there would probably be a lot fewer people stomping all over this poor old planet. But the vast majority of people will not be supportive toward your decision, just as so few are supportive of having one child — as I have. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, onlies still have that stupid "spoiled w/no social skills" label. And in spite of you and Mr. Hifihoney's very thorough and mature choices, you will be labeled selfish and immature. Oh well. No one has ever changed the world by doing the same thing as everyone else, right?

    Sorry for the hijack, SK. Babies are beyond adorable. Very yummy looking.

  29. Sometimes I think how it is better not have kids at the moment. I think this when I back home very tired after a long day at work. But I know, I repeat these words to me but I don' believe in it so much. It's an excuse. Then, when I read your blog and I see how sweeties are your babies, well I become to cry, because I would like to have a baby too and sometimes I fear I never couldn't.

    Happy Birthday to Lucas and Abigail!

  30. areacode… my husband and i have been trying for awhile too. it's exciting because i truly cannot wait to be a mom, especially with my husband, but it's such a heartbreaking time when we realize we have to wait another month. i keep trying to tell myself that it will happen but i have never been one for waiting patiently. good luck to you and your husband… i'll send you some happy baby thoughts!

    and, stephanie… that letter was beautiful! i can't wait to write one like it someday.

  31. Beautiful letter to your Little Miss. Eager to read a missive to your Little Mister.

    From your pregnancy until their first birthday, thanks for sharing the journey.

  32. I actually was not commenting at all that my husband isn't grown up because he doesn't want to have kids. I was just speaking on the fact that he is younger and is at a different place in his life. Whatever life anyone else chooses is fine by me. Have kids, don't, i could care less and am not judging. Hifi it sounds to me like you have your own insecurities regarding your life path and there is no need to explain. Your life sounds great. I'm just living mine and am at the doorstep of turning 30 and realizing some stuff about myself and hoping my husband able to open that door with me at some point in our nearish future. He is a model/actor and its a different kind of career to be setting up a future on because there really isn't any promise of longterm stability and unless you've been with someone who is in a similar field i'm not sure you can understand. The wanting him to "grow up part" is just stemming from the fact that he doesn't really have a regular career as a back up at this point. However, I do have to say that he is extremely mature and is totally the man for me. We just have some shit to figure out.

    I totally got a teeny tiny sense of the judgement and miscommunication that SK must feel on her blog and it is so silly what people read into words and take as personal.

  33. I leaned into my boyfriend's face last night and sneezed, just to test out his reaction. It wasn't as fun as your kids'. Must be something in the Austin water.

  34. i'm a grandmother who stumbled onto this blog a year ago and i love reading it! i have kids the age of most of you and i enjoy your thoughts and feelings about everything/or topic of the blog. hifi honey: of course it's your life and you do what is right for you. something for you to think about: i have tons of friends who are now grammies except for three. these three were childless by choice, various reasons, but mainly wanting to do what they wanted whenever they wanted to. there was a smugness that we ignored from them thru the years.from toilet training to teen problems they would at various times make comments how they were SOOOO happy they didn't have to go thru this crap. well, now 35 years later— all 3 women had major depressions,they are ALL very unhappy women. they had the careers,travel, anything that money and time can give you.(we had it all also, just threw kids in the mix). one, my former roommate in college, broke down one day and told me it was a horrible mistake not having kids. she sees now it wasn't just the icky stuff but all the joy we had and now sees our grandbabies and is very sad. i don't have all the answers,everyone is different.just keep your options open,you never know. L– i've never heard a man say "i just can't wait to have kids!!! i wouldn't wait too long to find out, he may never be ready(his choice) but you can have a ticking clock. was this discussed before you were married? i have a 26 year old son who is no where near ready for a family, or any of his friends either. they are on a whole different wave length that men were when i was in my 20's. they act more like 20, that's ok but not baby material. i feel for ya.

  35. brendainchicago, please spare us the "you'll-grow-old-and-miserable-if-you-don't-have-children" cripe. Sheesh.

    Stephanie, it seems you spend all your holidays and celebrations with your Dad and his family. Do you get to see your mom & what does she think about the beans & being a grandma? I ask because you very rarely talk about her.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I guess that's true. I write a lot about her in MOOSE, though. I invited her to be with her grandchildren (and me) for Christmas, but she's not coming. I don't know why. Too expensive to travel maybe. When she did come to Texas at the end of September, she only stayed for one day, eager to get back to Florida after having been on the road (RVing it for 4 months). I was also on deadline and had no spare time. Still, I thought she'd want to stay longer, want to take the kids out or spend time with them upstairs while Phil worked downstairs. But she had her dog who barked (and that wouldn't work with Phil on business calls all day), and a husband to entertain. It was just such a disappointment. I know Phil's parents, along with my Dad and Carol, would jump at the opportunity to spend any time with the tots. My mom just wasn't built that way. She's a roadrunner who can't sit still, and I don't think she'd enjoy "being cooped up with kids all day." Whereas all the other grandparents would willingly stare at them, making observations that make them feel closer to them just by noticing the little things.

    I felt really depressed after that one day visit… it's not that I even had time to spend with her, but still, she should want to be there and spend time with her grandchildren. I mean, that's how grandparents are built, to just spoil and adore their kids' kids. She wasn't built like that though. And the saddest of it is, they'll never be this age again. You know? You can't get it back.

  36. I'm so glad you commented on how you felt after your mom visited…I know you will be writing soon on how friendships have changed/been affected by you now having a family. As new parents now my husband and I are seeing how relationships with our families are shifting. Some pleasantly surprise us and some have been disappointing. You are way ahead of me if you can say 'she's just not built like that' in reference to your mom. I still feel slighted if some of my closer relatives seem indifferent. They grow up so fast. No one is going to love your kids as much as you do, yes, but you want your relatives to fuss too.

  37. hello…I enjoyed this post so much. Misty eyed indeed. I too wrote a post a few days ago about living in the moment with a girl. Mine is just a very different age, please check it out if you get a moment. And speaking of moments, enjoy every single morsel with your babies, it will fly…

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