Julo – AKA: Juliette

Every new milestone, I just can’t grasp. I feel like you should or will be little forever. I’m not used to having this “normal” baby/infant/toddler grow and change without putting in so much effort. I’m not used to a baby just eating anything and everything I give her. I’m not used to her pushing her bottles away and wanting a cup. I’m not used to you going to sleep without a bottle…and never, ever being rocked to sleep.

Juliette, you’re 15 months-old-now and you’ve been pushing away your bottles since before you were in the hospital with pneumonia (since before you were 12-months-old). You’ve been ready. I haven’t. And you’ve never required us to rock you to sleep. You’ve been a self-soother since birth. How?

Since I stopped breastfeeding with you at 3-months-old due to horrible postpartum depression, I had to come to terms with the guilt of formula. But you are thriving! THRIVING! You eat, eat, eat and I love it. I love how I can grab anything and everything at the grocery store and I don’t have to worry about you breaking out into hives.

Josie was on toddler formula with a bottle until much after 2-years-old. She was so hard. She couldn’t eat anything (allergic and hated food, period), she didn’t eat anything (so so so so picky!) and it’s always been a struggle with her to this day. Most of my day with her is spent saying “take a bite!” “eat your food!” “hurry up!” It was a much different and harder world with her. She was this incredibly smart and happy (always happy) baby, but she was difficult when it came to her the nutrition she needs.

You make having a baby seem easy. I thank God for that. I feared another allergy child. I know we aren’t in the “clear” yet. But the majority of allergens, you’ve managed to prove to me that you are not allergic.

I don’t want to forget so much about you, sweet Julo!

I love how you curl up into our necks and hug us tight. You’re very affectionate and I love that. I love how you reach up and point to me and whine like you want me to hold you.

When I say milk, you know what it is.

When I say water, you frankly search for it and if it’s not in sight you do this “ugh ugh ugh!” until someone grabs it for you.

When I put you to bed a month ago (and nap earlier in the day) and you just laid down without a fuss and no bottle that time, (as I tried and tried to get you to take but your little hands always push it away and you shake your head no-it’s adorable), I quietly walked out your door while you shoved your face into your blankets (which you LOVE) and stood outside your door. A small part of me was sad. Oh my baby!

You are growing up.

You’re not a “baby” anymore…

You’re a toddler that just wants to walk but your sister won’t allow it.

You’ve taken a few steps but your sister has so much jealously it’s hard to compete.

The amount of sass your sister has is almost exhausting.

Night time rocking was my favorite things to do with your sister. She had to be rocked to sleep, with a full 12 ounce bottle, every single night until she fell fast asleep in my arms and I’d quietly walk her over to the crib, (which is now your crib). I love to watch her sleep and play with her blankets like you now do. I loved to watch her peacefully and know she was safe in our arms and drift away to sleep.

You’re so different.

You, just like Josie, have always been a great sleeper (12 hours+). You have never woken up to be fed or changed in the middle of the night like most babies. Josie would wake up in the middle of the night and poop. You have never, ever done that. I thought Josie was easy. But you make this look so much easier. If it wasn’t so hard handling you two while you’re both together, I’d probably be pregnant or trying to get pregnant again with another.

Josie never gave love and affection as a baby. She never cuddled her head up into my neck or wrapped her legs tight around my waist…

You do. This is something special to me. Especially when you do it and say “awww”.

I can’t imagine having anymore babies right now because most days are crazy and exhausting.  But these are the best of days. My favorite days with Josie (at this age) and my favorite days with you. It is just so much fun watching you grow and change.

It’s been hard to get you walking, with your sister always right there knocking you down, playing and jumping, laughing and intervening. We try to explain that we’re trying to get you to walk but she just doesn’t get it. She will continue to push you down and play. And you both laugh and I stand there thinking “Juliette is never going to walk”.

You started pulling up on furniture right after the hospital. I was worried you’d be delayed. It’s so hard not to compare you both but both of you are completely normal but are doing each different thing earlier or later then the other and at your own time. You crawled much earlier but are going to walk much later. I’ve always been one to let you girls do each milestone on your own. Most pediatricians would tell me to work with tummy time, work with this, work with that, etc. That just wasn’t me. It wasn’t enjoyable to watch your baby like a fish out of water screaming bloody murder while you torture them on their bellies. You’ll do it at your own time. When you’re ready. And you did. And you started crawling (so dang fast!), then pulling up, then standing up from sitting all on your own! In just a day! You’ve managed to stand all on your own! And you know you’re doing it and you are so proud of yourself. You stand for a good 3-5 seconds before you plop back down. I know, sweet girl, it’s a matter of time before you take those steps and you’re all over this house. The best part…you started standing for the very first time while we were FaceTiming daddy…so he got to see it for the first time with me.

So forgive me for being a little sad about these moments. I miss the newborn baby days.

You and your sister both love each other so much, but fight just like sisters. Most days I’m utterly exhausted from the screaming, fighting, stealing of toys, not sharing, etc. but again, there’s SO much love between you two. When you cry like you’re hurt, Josie is right there feeling it with you. She needs to give you a hug, a kiss and tell you that it’s okay (even though you can’t quite understand yet). And when she’s just a little bit too rough and knocks you down and you bump your head (another loud excruciating scream), she quickly feels bad (you can see it in her actions and her emotions and her eyes) and says “I’m sorry. I’m sorry baby sister.” She’s a sweetheart and such a handful. There is just so much love in this house.

I dreamed of you when Josie was your age. Because I wanted you two to have each other to play with. I wanted you two to have that bond only sisters can have.

Juliette, you’re growing too fast. My heart cannot handle all these changes lately. Please just cuddle up into my arms just a little while longer. I will cherish that, but once you even grow out of that, my heart will hurt. But I know you will also replace it with something much more abundant and loving, I know it. I’m so excited to see you grow and change. It’s so much fun!

I love you sweet, sweet, sweet Julo. You are Gods great blessing to our family and we are thankful and grateful for your strong willed, affectionate and sassy personality. You are our Rainbow Baby, after all.

 

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