Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Van Derven Girls - The Newsletter - Number 1

Newsletter No. 1
June 10, 2009

To my darling daughters:

I have been writing in a journal for Madelyn since I was pregnant with her. I have a new journal for Eden and not a lot of time, so although between newsletters I will certainly fill them up with the daily happenings and development and milestones – and of course I don’t mean daily. Anyway, my point is, I thought that a monthly newsletter would be the best way to leave something for them to refer to and read again and again as they wonder what life was like when they were little. (Because I doubt they will have enough pictures or video to get a real idea of how things are now.) Technically this blog is about these children, for these children, a kind of living journal of their young lives. And we are happy that we get to share it with our friends and family as well...

Today, Madelyn you turn 17 months old. Eden is 9 days old. The last week and a half has been crazy and wonderful. On Sunday, May 31 we had our last family BBQ as a 3 member family. Madee, you just knew somehow all about Eden. We would talk about “the baby” or “Eden” and you would kiss my belly. You have been into every little baby you see in person, on TV or in books and dragging your little baby dolls around for a month at least feeding them and changing them and bathing them. You have been practicing for your big moment with your own baby. So I was pretty excited to present her to you.

Eden, you were an amazingly serene delivery. I hardly screamed and for certain your Dad pushed harder than I ever did. After 5 contractions, 10 minutes of pushing, you were out. I couldn’t believe how fast it had happened. And when I first laid eyes and hands and tactile love on you, I was overjoyed. Wait until you see the video. I will save that one for your childbearing years! You have been patient and sweet and thoughtfully (and thankfully) asleep for the most of the past week or so. I am excited to get to know you. So far I would guess you are just a calming force to those around you. You are so serene and inspire tranquility. Of course talk to me again in a couple weeks when you have really woken up and discovered that Mommy comes when you scream!

Having a second child (and, I assume, any subsequent children) is an interesting jolt to an established family dynamic, and I am so proud of both of you and your Dad for embracing this beautiful change. I know we have a lot to learn from each other and I am excited that each individual brings so much special stuff to the table. We make a great team, we have a great coach, and before you know it Mommy will come up with our uniforms and those will rock, too!

Just so you girls know, your Mommy and Daddy are terribly in love with each other, and also deeply in love with you. Every day we spend together deepens our knowledge of each other, as well as our devotion to each other. I couldn't imagine a husband or any other children that could make my life complete. You guys rock, and that isn't just the lack of sleep or flux of good hormones talking.

Madee, thank you for making the initial introduction of Eden such a smooth transition. You love your sister and you have known exactly who she is and that you have to look out for her from the first meeting. What you don’t know yet is how to carry a real baby around and so sometimes Mommy has to put her out of reach. You toddle around the house, always needing to know where she is, and saying “HI! Ida”. (Your great grandmother’s name was Ida, and I just think that is so cute to hear.) You love to snuggle in bed and I let you hold her on your lap and you are so very gentle. You are at a tender stage of your development where you will be so ballsy one moment and need me to hold you a second later. You are trying new things that you see Mommy and Daddy do, that you see your friends do, and come to think of it you have been imitating TV characters a lot so we will be cutting down on the TV.

I love to watch you when you don’t know I am looking and I try to pretend I am not looking at all, because you get so shy when you realize I am looking. You are finally at a point where you seem happy with your development and the things you can do. You have about 10 words that mean about 40 things and you know a lot more words, I can totally ask you and you know where to find whatever household object I am looking for. You are terribly charming and funny and sweet. You are also quite the daredevil and have recently spurred a new level of childproofing. Mommy has a lot to do around her to make you safe from yourself. You will climb and surf anything in the house, your new favorite being the tiny rocker we found you girls at a garage sale a couple weeks ago. You love the thrill of almost falling but catching yourself. Daddy says one day you will be a world class snowboarder. Hey, no pressure.

I appreciate the two of you sleeping long enough for me to write a substantial amount of my current thoughts for you. And the shower was awesome, too. Days like this with the calm and the shower and the time to write – they just don’t come to frequently, so I really mean thank you, ladies.

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