Welcome to the world, little Olive Jane Weathers! She was born at 1:29pm on December 4th, after a ten hour, perfect labor. My little 6 lb, 15oz Olive. So far she's pretty dreamy. Adjusting to two kids has it's challenges, but for the most part we are loving having a newborn in the house again. Minus the lack of sleep ;). Her big sister is so incredibly loving and helpful. She's a lucky one, this Olive Jane, having Viv for a big sister.
These days feel very long, and also so very short. Most of the time I feel like I'm trying to catch my breath, both figuratively and literally. Is Vivienne's new school a good choice? Why has she been sick lately? When will she start to feel better? Are we doing enough during our days together? Am I being a good enough mother? How will she react to the new baby once she's here? How will I react to the new baby once she's here? How can I fit another child into my life? It goes on and on, as I lay awake at night trying to make sense of all the changes that lie ahead.
I'm not the best at handling change. I've always really craved change, but then when it's about to happen I get incredibly overwhelmed and scared. I feel so conflicted about the future. I'm sad that Vivi and I are ending our four year stretch of just the two of us. I feel incredibly lucky to have had this much alone time with such a wonderful little gift of a girl. I miss her so much when I think of how my time will be divided in just a couple of short weeks. I want to bottle up her smell and the way she looks and everything about her right now, before it all changes and she's a "big sister". Before she's not the only one. I'm honored to be having another baby. I'm scared to death of having another baby. I like the way things are now, just the three of us. We make a great threesome. I can't wait for Vivienne to have a little sister, and to know that relationship for the rest of her life. I can't wait to hold another baby in my arms, and to become a mommy again. I want this baby girl out of my achy body right now -- and I'm also terrified about the labor I know I'm in store for.
Conflicted is the best way to describe my place in life right now. And yet, there's this peacefulness I've never felt before that washes over me when I think of adding another little being into our love bubble. I know I'm not the first mommy to ever feel this way, and I certainly won't be the last. What's more, I know that in a years time these feelings will be nothing but a blip in my memory. Life as I know it will be long gone, replaced with a new way of being. One that I surely won't be able to imagine my life without. And yet, here I sit anxiously wondering how it's all going to work out.
I've never been a huge Thanksgiving person. I like the holiday enough I guess, but this year, in the midst of all that's going on, I want to take the time to be thankful for what I have. For the time that I've been able to spend with Vivienne. For a healthy family. For a brand new baby on the way. My life is full, maybe not worry free, but full. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
A little over two months ago, you turned four years old. (Sorry for such a delay, better late than never). My goodness, four. Four?! I've started and stopped this letter to you several times. It's taken me a bit of time to wrap my head around how quickly we've come to this point. There are so many things that make you such an amazing person, I'm not sure where to even begin. I guess I could start with YOU. ARE. LOVED. If there's anything I hope you look back on and remember with a feeling, it's that. Daddy and I love you with a fierceness that we never knew existed. So many things in life have an entirely new perspective. In the last four years you've given us that experience, in whatever shape it's taken. We are better people for it, and we have only you to thank.
One of my favorite times of the day lately is when I put you to bed. We've gotten into the not-so-great habit of laying together until you fall asleep (something we've never done before). Maybe it's the impending arrival of your baby sister and the fact that I know we are on a countdown to some big changes, but I cherish these moments where it's just you and I in the quiet, not saying a word, just laying together. Sometimes you'll reach out and put your arm around me. I always rub your legs and belly. You'll ask me questions or tell me about the random thoughts you're having, right before the fatigue gets the best of you, and you drift off. Last night it was, "Mommy, are mermaids real?" When I told you "no babe, they're just pretend" you nodded and went right back to your thoughts. We have some of our most real conversations in these short minutes. Vivi, I will always cherish this time with you.
I guess the biggest "thing" in our lives has been the fact that Mama "has a baby in her belly". You tell everyone you meet. You tell them that you're having a sister and that her name is Olive (we're not sure of her name entirely, but you think you are). At least ten times a day you put your mouth to my belly and sing a little "hiiiiyuh, there baby, hiiii!" over and over. It's so ridiculously sweet how excited and attentive you are. When you feel her move, you exclaim with the biggest smile on your face, "oh my gosh mommy, she sure does love me!" And she will. This baby is so so lucky to have you Viv. You are like the best present I could ever give to her - and you get to have each other. I'll admit, this concept is all so new to me. I hardly know how I can fit another baby, another love, into my life. I can't imagine loving something as much as I love you. I know I will, and through all of this my biggest concern has always been you, but you continue to amaze me with your understanding and excitement. I think you'll do great with the transition, and we'll all just figure it out like we always do, this time the four of us. It makes my heart swell to think of our little love bubble growing. I'll say it again, like I say it to you everyday -- you are an amazing big sister.
I'm really loving this stage of development with you. You've always had such an active imagination, but lately it's at an all time high. I've been looking into some early dance and acting classes for you because 90 percent of your time is spent in character, as someone other than yourself. You love the movie The Croods, and Rio, so Daddy and I spend a lot of time as cave people, and birds. You are either Eep or Jewel. You will direct entire scenes word for word. You assign us roles and tell us what to say, and half the time don't even need us as participants because you have to stop several times to tell us we did it wrong. It is entirely exhausting. It's also super fun. Mostly it's mind boggling watching the wheels tick in your brain while you're scheming up a scene. You completely become the character, and if you have to pee, sneeze, or need a glass of water you say, "pause mommy, I'm Vivienne now....ok, unpause!". You're a riot, kiddo.
We've been doing a lot of movie watching this last month, as you were recently diagnosed with a case of mononucleosis. I had no idea you could get it this young. And while it was good to finally get some answers (daddy and I were getting worried), and know that it's just a nasty virus, it's hard to watch you having such a rough go with your energy levels and the random bouts of sickness you've been enduring. It's been a tough few weeks for you Toots. You tell me sometimes, "Mommy, this virus really likes me." Oh, the confidence you have sweet girl! So we're doing a lot of mellow activities when your symptoms flare up, but other than that your life is business as usual for a four year old. New school that you love, pooping on the potty (a HUGE deal for you), swim lessons that you rock like a champ (you dunked your face finally!), and handling all the baby buzz around here with ease. You're a big girl now, as you tell me all the time. Evidenced by the want to grow your hair out and have buns and ponytails, and all things girly.
I know there are things I'm leaving out that I wanted to capture for you, it's late and my pregnant, insomniac brain forgets things. But I have to get this down before you turn five :).
I love you so much Vivienne. Just typing that sentence makes me cry. (Okay, lots of things make me cry these days, but I get to blame it on hormones!) You're a constant reminder to me of what matters. I look at you and I still can't believe I created something so perfect. As long as you are happy and healthy my job as a person feels complete. Keep on growing and imagining and thriving. I'll be right here by your side watching.
She did it, she turned four! There was a very successful art party with lots of messy kids (evidence in the mural above) and one happy little girl. Fun was had. I can't believe my little baby is four. More on that later...
Tonight I am sitting here on my computer, trying to get some last minute things done for your sisters birthday party on Saturday. She'll be four years old in less than a week. Your daddy is in Detroit for work, and your Grandma is downstairs spending the night with us. I just wanted to take a minute and tell you that I'm really excited to be your mama. These times at night have become special to me - when everyone is asleep and it's just "you and me". As I type this you are doing crazy somersaults and I can feel every little jab and poke and flip-flop. It's amazing! You haven't been quite this "aggressive" in your movements yet. All just more evidence that you are growing and preparing for the day you'll meet us.
Sometimes I feel like I hardly have time to focus on the fact that you are on your way. I am already entering seven months pregnant with you, the third trimester! I had an appointment today to check up on you and you are doing great. The perfect size, and the perfect heartbeat. I can't wait to meet you and hold you. I try to imagine what you'll look like and what you'll be like. I have your sister here to distract me most of the time, but you should know that I am counting the days until I get to see your bright little face. I just can't believe I am lucky enough to do this a second time! Everyone here is waiting eagerly to meet you. You're lucky in that the second you are born, you'll already have such a great daddy and sister to greet you.
Keep growing baby. Know that while you were busy preparing for us, my heart was so full just thinking about you.