You, my sweet, sweet girl, are ONE MONTH old today. Congratulations! You deserve a gold medal for making it through your first month of life in this family with much grace and patience. You continue to impress me with your ability to sleep straight through the very loud screaming, whining, and more screaming that seems to plague this house on a fairly regular basis. It appears you don't seem to mind being poked, pushed, stepped on, slobbered on, or breathed on. That's a good thing. I've tried my best to protect and shield you from the two very dirty, sticky, loud human beings that you will one day know as your big brothers, but they love you so much that they just persevere right through my strongest threats to spank their little booties for touching (more like hitting) you. But you are absolutely, without a doubt, the sweetest, most beautiful baby I have ever in my life seen and I can't believe you are ours. To keep. And hopefully you will like us.
When I shockingly discovered I was pregnant with you (on Griffin's first birthday, no less), I knew you were a girl. Even before you technically were a girl, I knew you were a girl. And the reason is because I grew up in a family of two boys and a girl, so I was certain that was the direction our family was going to go. Being pregnant with you was easy, much like my other ones. Nothing eventful. I was never really sick, just super tired all the time. On March 7, 2013, Daddy and I anxiously sat in an ultrasound room and a nurse confirmed what I knew all along...you were a precious, tiny, healthy girl. We looked at that little screen and told you your name, Ramsey Anne Rice. Your whole name is special, but your middle name carries a rich significance that you will one day appreciate very much. Unfortunately you aren't referred to as Ramsey very often. This is because at first, Clark had a difficult time pronouncing your name. It sounded like Wamsey no matter how hard he tried. So naturally that stuck, and you are now Wamsey, Wams, The Wams, or Wam Bam. Sorry, Ramsey. My plan is for us to revert back to your birth name in your teenage years so you aren't horrified by your parents and big brothers.
You were born on August 12, 2013 at 1:36 (?) in the afternoon at University Medical Center in Jackson, MS. It was the easiest, most special birth experience I've had so far, and for that I thank you. You weighed eight pounds and seven ounces and were 20 inches long, which meant you were a little shrimp compared to your gigantic siblings. In the very near future I plan on writing about your birth experience because it is certainly not one I want to forget details about. But this is not time for that.
This first month of having you in our home has been fairly easy, minus the few times I have feared for your life from you being left alone with one or more of your brothers at any given time. You slept a lot. Like, 23.5 hours per day. It was quite impressive considering the noise level we have to deal with. On days number three and four, you did something really hilarious. You refused to eat. Refused. I believe you ate half of one time in 48 hours and as a result you dropped down to 7 pounds, 11 ounces. I was never super concerned because I knew it would all work out if I just kept trying, and that proved to be true because you did in fact start eating when you were ready. But it wasn't cool.
You love baths. Even when we were limited to sponge baths, you totally went with it. I was fully expecting to bathe a screaming newborn, but that was not the case with you. You just chilled out and let me fling you around and get you so fresh and clean I could have taken a bite out of you. Your little umbilical cord fell out the day after you turned two weeks old. I'm sure you don't care about that, but it really was funny when I realized it had fallen out but couldn't find it anywhere. Not that it really mattered, but I didn't want one of your brothers to find it and think it was edible, and...well, you know, eat it or something. But no worries, I found it and no, I didn't put it in your keepsake box. That would be kind of gross?
Since the day you were born, you have been very predictable. You eat every three hours, but you don't sweat it if you have to wait a little longer. You are fine taking a bottle, which is nice, because just last night I left you for the first time to celebrate your dad's 30th birthday and didn't worry you would be freaking out at home. You have been a decent sleeper since day number one. Of course, like every newborn in the history of the planet, you had your days and nights mixed up for the first week or so. You and I were spending quality time together about seven different times in the middle of the night for a few days, and then slowly but surely you dropped down to three times a night, and then two times, and these days you fairly regularly wake up one time at about 2:00 in the morning. Not too shabby, my dear. I figured out pretty early in the game that you sleep best when you are swaddled so tightly you couldn't even sneeze. I mean it's a really tight swaddle and I don't know what I'm going to do when you are too big for that. We'll cross that bridge soon I'm sure. You are still sleeping in a little bassinet by my bed and even though my original plan was to move you to your crib when you turned one month, I just didn't have it in me. Not sure why, I'm just not ready. Don't get me wrong...you are ready. I know you are. You'll be fine in that huge crib of yours, but that's a big step for a mama. You'll understand one day. We'll try in a week or two, but no promises.
You gave me your first real, genuine smile at four weeks. I don't know what you were smiling at, but it was beautiful. You are so beautiful. You love being snuggled and held tightly, but sadly you spend a lot of time in your bouncer on the kitchen counter (out of reach of Clark and Griffin) or in your car seat. You will soon figure out that our lives are busy. We haven't skipped a beat since Day One. For example, you were born on a Monday and you were sitting in church with us that Sunday. We haven't put you in the nursery yet because you haven't gotten your shots yet, and I don't really let a lot of people hold you. So I get to snuggle the poop out of you for a solid two hours every Sunday morning and it is wonderful. Even the few times you woke up and screamed in the middle of the sermon and I had to bounce you around in the lobby for the rest of the service. Even in those moments I love my quality time with you.
I'm late writing your One Month letter and today you are five and a half weeks old. It has only been within the last three days that you grew out of newborn clothes. Your 0-3 month clothes are still huge on you, but newborn outfits are too small. So I am in an awkward stage of dressing you but it's all ok. You are still adorable. I'm grateful for my friends who also had girls who let us borrow newborn clothes because I did not plan very well in the clothing department. You were so petite and tiny and I was continually shocked at how long you stayed in those sweet little newborn outfits. But sadly, it's time to box them up and bring out the next size. If I had it my way, I would keep you this size for at least six months. Your little body is just too sweet for words.
Ramsey Anne Rice, to be honest with you, I am obsessed with you. I stare at you as often as possible because you are such a beautiful little thing. I like to think about you as a young girl, a teenager, a college freshman, a bride, a mom. I know you will be great at everything you do. I know you will be strong. Do you want to know how I know that? Because you come from a long line of strong women on both sides of your family. The single hardest thing I have ever had to accept in my life is the fact that you will never know your grandmother, Nana. She was called to be with Jesus only seven weeks before you were born. You would have loved her. And you know what? Even though she didn't get to meet you, she loved you so much. We told her we were pregnant with you on Christmas Eve of 2012 and she cried. This wasn't unusual for her, the whole crying thing, but this time was different. She was so happy that she would have three grandchildren. And I'll never forget the day I told her you were a girl. I colored the "she" pink on a Hershey bar and gave it to her at her doctors appointment, and she cried some more. She loved Hershey bars. And all along she was secretly hoping you were a girl, so when she got the candy and the pink news, she was one very happy Nana. I will spend the rest of my life making sure you know everything about her because she was one incredible woman. She was a great mother to me, and I hope to be a great mother to you in that same way.
Me, Daddy, Clark and Griffin love you so much. There is no question that you will be smothered in hugs and kisses for the rest of your life. You make us smile. You make us happy. I'm so happy that you are finally in my arms and I can kiss you huge Rice cheeks anytime I want. You are the perfect addition to this crazy loud family. So just hang in there, sweet girl. We are nowhere close to perfect, but we have a lot of love to give and know how to have good times together. I really think you are going to like it here.