Tom’s dad has always called Anna Banana. I mean, almost everyone calls her that but he really commits to a nickname.
One day he was holding Anna, saying, “Hi Banana! Such a sweet banana!”
David walked by and said, “Pops, why are you calling her ‘Banana?’ She doesn’t look like a banana, she looks like a meatball.”
Ever since, no one has called her Banana because Meatball is so, so much more fitting.
Anna is made up of 70% water, 7% vital organs, and 23% cheeks.
Oh, and 5% Amoxicillin.
I know, the Amoxicillin messes up the math, but that’s because it’s extra. And it was so EXTRA this month.
I had high hopes for this month. I really thought this would be the month that Anna didn’t get a cold and we would welcome spring with sinus passages, full hearts. But then she caught a mega cold that lead to baby’s first ear infection and, subsequently, first round of antibiotics. In the process of clearing the ear infection, the amoxicillin absolutely destroyed her sweet baby belly, and so it’s one part of month five that we’re very, very happy to leave behind.
Anna is starting to spin and pivot and, occasionally, can drag herself forward. She’s also starting to grab things and — with the right amount of focus — bring them to her mouth. She loves playing with blankets, my hand, her feet, and is excellent at grabbing fistfuls of hair.
Any time I put Anna on the ground, Mary Virginia appears beside her, and puts her face as close to her as she possibly can. Inevitably Anna ends up with a fistful of Mary Virginia’s curly hair, and I have to separate them using the jaws of life. When that happens, Mary says, “Bad girl, Anna, Anna, quite contranna.”
(Also, I’m not a specialist on infectious diseases, but Mary Virginia’s face-smashing sessions MIGHT BE how Anna ends up with so many colds.)
Anna is on the edge of getting into a nap rhythm. She takes a morning nap, a nap at 5 p.m., and at least two others in-between. Any sort of routine is messed up by our preschool/bus stop obligations, but Anna doesn’t seem to mind going with the flow, especially since “the flow” usually means wandering Target with Mommy until pickup time.
She’s doing ok at night, too. She still wakes up about twice, but she always goes back to sleep, and she almost always sleeps until 7:30 a.m. We owe her incredible sleep transformation to the Merlin Magic Sleep Suit, a sleep apparatus that Tom and I believe in so strongly that we’re liquidating our assets to invest in the Merlin Magic consortium.
(Actually, because Tom might sue me for libel and defamation of character for that joke, I want to clarify that it WAS a joke and Tom would NEVER EVER suggest any sort of investment outside of 1. low-cost index funds 2. marrying a small-town girl with big city dreams. Ok, sorry, that second one was a joke, too. Just do #1.)
When she’s not being shuttled to and from schools that she does not attend, Anna spends her days trying to roll over in her swing and bouncy seat, jumping in her jumper, and charming people with her giant cheeks and generous smile. She likes to smack her lips, and this month she discovered her tongue, and loves to stick it out and blow raspberries.
I once described Anna as a fussy and high-maintenance, but now she’s the exact opposite. She’s happy, cuddly, sweet, and almost always laughing. She only cries when she needs something, or when the Instagram algorithm buries her best friends’ posts. She loves to be touched — I can actually see her relax when I stroke her legs or rub her belly — and she lights up when she sees her siblings. She’s such a wonderful, beautiful addition to our family.
One night this month Anna was having a hard time going down, and Tom offered to help. “What if I just bring her out here and try to get her to sleep on my chest?” he asked.
“She doesn’t do that anymore,” I said.
“She doesn’t? She’s already too old for that?”
Tom and I locked eyes. Yup. Just like that, our baby girl is demanding things like a crib and a quiet room. She’s growing and changing right before our very eyes. It happens that fast.
Did you know that as soon as you were born I started worrying about the flu? When I started hearing that this year was a particularly bad flu season, every single one of the postpartum hormones in my body sat up and listened.
I have hated having an infant during cold and flu season. Every cough and runny nose has made me nervous, even if it’s just a kid we’re passing in the aisle in Kroger. I don’t need reminders that germs exist, thankyouverymuch.
In addition to a bunch of colds, this winter we got the stomach bug, then Mary Virginia got the flu, then this month I got the flu. It started with a sore throat and within 8 hours I was in bed with a fever, nursing you wearing a face mask.
When I got sick, I felt so scared for you. I cried, I felt helpless. I laid in bed, feverish, trying to remember times I might have passed germs to you before I was symptomatic. Basically everything I worried about happened.
But guess what? We got through it. We had a few really, really tough days, but we made it.
In those moments of fear I was forgetting that Jesus hadn’t abandoned me. Sure, I had the flu, something I’d been praying against for months, but that didn’t mean we’d fallen outside of God’s care.
I want you to know that I’m often tempted to put my faith in ridiculous things like hand sanitizer and face masks. I feel very, very safe behind those things. But those things don’t really keep us safe. Jesus is with you — know that. He cares for you, redeems you, and makes you new through faith in him. Today, and always, my prayer is that you will always rest in Jesus’ great promises, no matter what.