I need to talk to you about my little Mary Aplin. She has just taken my heart and made it her own! Before she was born, I really worried about how I was going to be able to love another child with the immensity that I love Pace. I even felt some resentment towards that little creature growing in my belly who was going to come and steal away all of Pace’s attention. Even when she was a few days old, I remember crying to my Dad about how hard it was to know that Pace and my precious little days were over. The new baby–crying, feeding, pooping–basically monopolizing my attention would ruin the sweet little routine I had so come to enjoy.

It must have been hormones, because that was just CRAZY talk. Yes, our days are different now, but just like adding Pace was a glorious adjustment, M’Apples addition has been the same way. She is just so lovable with her big toothless grin, that she is always ready to bestow on any who smile her way. Even when she is getting fussy and starting to cry, she will still smile. The wonder is still there too. I want to stare at her every free moment I have. Watching her get control of her hands enough to rub her little eyes or hold and examine a toy still mesmerizes me. She LOVES to roll. When I put her down on her play mat, I can pretty much count on her being stranded somewhere on the hardwood floor five minutes later, holding herself up on her elbows and grinning up at me like, “Look what I did!”

Her favorite place to be is suspended in air by my left arm wrapped around her middle, resting against my hip bone and looking out at the world. If she can have one of my knuckles to gnaw on, then that is bliss. Some day soon she’s going to gnaw my thumb off, and you’ll all know what happened. I feel pretty sure that she may walk before she sits up. Her legs and body are always locked stick straight. It’s truly hard to force her to bend. If her balance gets a little bit better, and the bottoms of her chubby feet get a little more flat, I’ll be able to prop her up standing in the corner and go on about my chores :).

I think Mary Aplin may also be my free spirit. When Pace was a baby, I never read a book, but she just sort of fell into a schedule. All I had to do was pay attention to the times she was falling asleep or getting hungry, and she just sort of let ME in on her plan for how her routine was going to go. Not so with this little girl! Just when I think I’m getting her figured out, she’ll throw a kink in things. So what if she woke up at exactly 5am 7 days in a row, she may decide to wake up at 6 for a couple of days just to change things up a bit. For those of you who don’t have kids, I know you’re thinking, “Big deal, she slept an extra hour!” But you can’t feed and put a child back down for a nap at their “routine” 7:15 if they’ve only been awake an hour. The rest of the “schedule” falls out of line in suit. I really am OK with it. Who needs a schedule anyway, right M’Apples!

So the picture above was taken after Mary Aplin’s 4 month check-up. I was calmly talking to Dr. Farr about how great things were going, when suddenly he said, “Well, its time to start offering her some rice cereal, and next month you can start trying baby food.” I felt my heart clench and tears welled up in my eyes as I replied, “I just don’t think I’m ready for that yet.” I know he thought I was nuts. He started to kind of laugh and said, “Why, does that mean she’s not a new baby anymore?” He nailed it! I didn’t even know myself why I was about to weep until he said it, but he was right. To me, she still feels like a newborn, a baby completely dependent on me and my milk supply to sustain life. I didn’t want her to have anything else but me. I actually asked him if I had to start giving her that junk. I thought he knew I was kidding, but maybe not since he went into a long lecture on his most recent readings on babies and food allergies.

Maybe its because of the whirlwind time with Mom that I feel like Mary Aplin’s new-born time passed in a moment. Maybe that’s just the nature of all babies…to grow too fast. All I know is that each night when I’m mixing up her rice cereal, I find myself wanting to freeze time and keep my toothless grinner right where she is.

These are pictures of Mary Aplin and Pace (respectively) at about the same age. I just wanted to show y’all how much they favor.

12 Responses to “Not Rice Cereal!”

  1. Darby Stickler says:

    Abby! I can’t get over how similar they look! I’m with you on the waiting for the cereal… my girls didn’t have it until after they were 6 months old! I was holding on to every minute I had of their “baby” days!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Abby, I truly understand, dear. I, too, wish I could freeze time…My babies are 38 and 42!!! My 38 is having a hystrectomy as I type this. I am caring for her, two, boys and loving life!. I don’t get to see them often as I leave far away. My son-in-law just called with good news..Glory be to God…all is well! You hang on to your sweet, loving thoughts. I, too, wish…my two were under foot. Life goes by very fast….enjoy the ride!!! What gifts God gives…. Can’t wait until your next comment! Love, A True Fan!

  3. Melissa says:

    it’s amazing that i already know a little bit how you feel. vale had her one week checkup today and she’s back up to her birth weight. the doctor told me to let her sleep as long as she wanted at night and that i didn’t have to wake her up to feed her; she’d wake up on her own. i almost cried because that means she’s already getting bigger. and she’s only ONE week old. time is going to fly. thanks for reminding me to cherish each moment. love you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your girls are absolutely beautiful! God is AMAZING, and they are a true sign of it! Cherish every diaper change, feeding and even the rice cereal, because one day they will be feeding theirselves! God Bless!

  5. Beth G. says:

    Abby, My Anderson and Mary Aplin are just weeks apart. He was born Oct. 22nd and I FELT and FEEL the same way!!! I was trying to feed him rice cereal tonight (he HATES it) and I just started thinking about how tiny he is and I don’t feel like it is time for this yet. Oh well… I can’t get him to eat more than 3 or 4 “bites”. It is good to know someone else feels the same way I do!

    We had a great visit with Natalie, Wayne, and ER! I think Wayne enjoyed his conference too.

    God Bless

  6. Anonymous says:

    Abby, I have been reading your blogs since a friend from high school sent me the news of your Mother. (she included your blog site) And I am drawn to read them, which is usually pre dawn hours, I have the morning shift @ the hospital. They are so touching and heartfelt. You truly have a gift for putting words to paper…

    I knew your Mom for a long time, since elementary school. Dothan was so small then that everyone knew everyone. (kinda like now even though it has grown)

    I remembered once my Mom took me to the beach and I invited your Mom to go for the weekend, we must have been around 8 or 9…..wow. I remember that trip and I remember your Mom. She was a wonderful person. My heart is full when I think of you and your family and your Dad and sisters.

    I just wanted to share.

  7. vicki haley says:

    Your girls are just adorable! I am enjoying reading your blog when I have a chance. You have even inspired us to start our own page! ( http://www.haley2girls.blogspot.com)
    Have a great day!

  8. Natalie McGough says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been having those same feelings, wondering how in the world I could love something like I love Emma Raines and also feeling a little guilty about taking time away from ER. I know it’s silly to have those thoughts, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I love the 2 pictures of the girls, they do favor so much! I can’t wait to see them both. Have a wonderful day Abby!

  9. Joy and Ash says:

    Abby, Your girls are so precious!
    I didn’t cry 🙂 but just like you I did ask our pediatrician if I could wait on feeding Mallie cereal. He gave me a different answer and said “sure, they can go up to a year on breastmilk alone but the food is mainly for their eating habits, not really nutrition at all.” So, I went 2 more months on breastmilk only and just recently started some baby foods. I try to think back over the last 6 months and sometimes can hardly remember what Mallory was like as a newborn! It already makes me sad but is all God’s plan. Hope to see you all soon!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh Abby! Have I just “turned around and your grown”? I so appreciate that you savor these moments, each and every one of them. I used to get so tired of people telling me to do that when mine were little and then wham – they’re grown! Just yesterday your mom and I were sitting there watching you and Jordan sitting on this little blanket in that trailor in Auburn. I remember Jordan had on a little blue smocked dress and I think yours was white with a little bit of pink smocking. (leave it to me to remember the clothes) Both Pace and M’Apples look just like you did…you should have added your baby picture! They are clones of you. So, I’m sitting here reminiscing 25 years later! Oh,,,wait,,,I just remembered that concert that we took Jordan and you to when you guys were what 7?,, was it New Kids on the Block? Jordan says now that she remembered thinking it was a little shady when you called each other Christmas morning and miraculously had tickets right next to each other! Your mom and I thought we were sooo sly!..I still remember that hip, darling outfit your mom wore!!! She was “the bomb!” Keep taking those mental notes of each and every little thing that your girls do. It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives. I just love your passion. You are so incredibly talented both with your writing and your mothering (yes that takes talent!) All my love to you, Jeremiah and the girls. Miss you and love you sweetie!

  11. Kellie says:

    Abby! I understand completely what you’re saying – and your girls are beautiful by the way! As I’m about to have my 3rd and (final) child I am praying and hoping that I can truly cherish the late night feedings, fussy moments and chaotic bliss of having a 3 year old, a one year old and a newborn, because no matter how crazy it gets, I know it won’t last long at all and in 6 months I’ll look back and those newborn days will be gone forever! Keep writing often, you inspire me as a mom to truly savor the little things!
    Kellie Patton

  12. Anonymous says:

    Time flys, I had five babies and I waited until they were 6/7 months, I felt like nursing was all they needed.If we could only stop time and hold on to those infant/baby days. Your girls are beautiful! On another note, I know you love to read and I just finished a great book the author lives right here in Dothan. The name of the book is Angels among us even in Irag, by Dr. Diane Hassan(Saliba). This book was so wonderful I read in in two days. It will make you stop and think when you think life is really treating you bad that we really are a blessed nation with many things to be thankful for, most of all our freedom.I wait daily for your blogs.

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