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28th August
written by Michelle


Dear Mija-

I planned on writing this letter last week when you actually turned two months, but Mama’s felt a little behind…on well, everything. But I think that comes with being a new mom. Don’t get me wrong I love being your mom, but it’s been an adjustment for sure. Our days feel full, but not productive. Our life and schedule have slowed down, but I still feel tired. And sometimes I feel like my whole day is focused on just getting you to take a nap.

           This month you had lots of visitors who came with extra arms to hold you and extra hands to help me. Your Nana and Papa came for a week at the end of July and then your Aunt Christine came last week to meet you. They rocked you, and talked to you and took lots and lots of pictures. They love you so much and wish we lived closer. I think it means we’ll just have to visit often.


So, the 6 week mark is no joke. People talk about some kind of wonder weeks or developmental milestones. I still don’t know what happened. But it was like one day you woke up and your sleepy newbornness wore off and you decided that you’re a real baby. You were extra fussy and I kept wondering what I was doing wrong. When you’re fussy usually I immediately blame myself: Did I eat something that made you gassy? Did I put your diaper on too tight? Did I not put you down for your nap early enough? Thankfully we have good friends who offered to bring over meals and come over to help hold you. And your Nana reminded me that you and I are still finding our rhythm.

Speaking of rhythm, Mija…boy, do you like to move! You like walking and bouncing and being held. When your Aunt Christine was here she would would do Zumba steps while trying to get you to sleep. But you still sleep best when we’re out and about. I am convinced when you’re curled up in your little sling we can take you anywhere: Dinners out, church, meetings, afternoon walks. As long as we’re moving, you are usually content.


After two weeks of trying really hard to put you down for a nap, I gave up. Ironically, some of your best naps have now been at a local coffee shop. One week we went there almost every day. Elena, you seem to really like it when we do errands in Antigua; walking from the bank, to the grocery store with motorcycles driving by and loud music blaring from the park, you sleep through it ALL. But why, when I try to to lay you down in your bassinet, nicely swaddled with white noise in the background, do you pop open your little eyes, “ha. Mom, did you really think that would work?”

So even though you’re not much of a napper, you are a champion nighttime sleeper. Which I guess in the long run really is better. So thank you.

Sweetie, you may be half Guatemalan, but I dress you like a California girl. Most days you wear just a onsie and a headband….because onsies are comfortable and headbands are cute! Sometimes, sometimes I may put pants on you, but I almost never put socks on you. I don’t really mind when people ask to hold you. Friends at church, or our neighbors and sometimes las señores where we buy fruit ask to hold you. But any time another Guatemalan holds you, they always look at your bare feet and exposed arms and exclaim, “ay, que frio.” How cold! I just nod, smile and silently disagree. I know they are not used to seeing a little 2-month old with so much skin showing. I think you’re probably just fine…but if you grow up having cold feet I guess you can blame me.


One of the best parts of this month is sometime last week you really started smiling- and it is the sweetest, toothless grin I’ve ever seen! I think you even have a dimple or two. I usually get really close to your face and say, “Hiiiii! Hiiiiiii, Elena” and then you give us the biggest smile. It’s one of my favorite things. I could sit and watch you all day when you smile.


oh and yes, you often sleep with our ipad… thank you, whitenoise app : )

Mija, I’ve never been a morning person, but watching you wake up may be the best thing that has ever happened to my mornings. You squirm a little bit and then your eyes pop open like you’re saying “Mom, let me out.” I reach over and undo the Velcro from your swaddler and you stretch your little arms high above your head, arching your back. Then you bend your legs up toward your chest and start kicking. Ahh, freedom. You just started cooing and making all kinds of adorable baby sounds. And you seem happiest in the morning nestled between me and Daddy in our bed.


I love watching you and your Daddy. And I think you especially like his voice. When you’re lying on your activity mat or on the bed and you hear Daddy’s voice, you turn your head and look his way. He usually repeats this with you: “Advinda que?” -Yo te amo. “Sabes cuanto?” -muuucho. It melts my heart every time.


Mija, usually when you’re nursing, I’m multitasking. I have one hand holding you and one hand holding my iphone. Let’s be honest, I check facebook, type emails and messages and scroll through twitter and instagram. But sometimes I put my phone down and just look at you. I look at your beautiful long eye lashes and your sweet lips that sometimes keep making sucking motions even when there is nothing to suck on. I watch you sleep and I stare at your sweet, chubby hands. I pray for you, Elena. I pray for the little person you are becoming. I pray for your protection and that you would grow up knowing how much your Daddy and I love you.

I am so glad that I am your mom.

With all my love,



  1. 28/08/2013

    So much fun! I’ve never heard of “wonder weeks,” but maybe that explains some fussiness and a constant need to be held I’ve been experiencing with my little one lately. :)

    Also, I just had to comment because the question of Elena’s temperature is just too funny to me. I, too, have been dressing Isaac in nothing but a onsie. (We skipped the headband, although his sister did have him wearing a bracelet all day yesterday.) However, every time Ella touches his feet, she for some reason says, “He’s cold!” even when he’s clearly not. All I could say is “Yes. You are half Guatemalan!”)

  2. Kathy Rycek


  3. Michelle

    haha. she MOST definitely is Guatemalan. And yes, check out the link on the wonder weeks. I think there is a book too. But I haven’t read it..but it does make sense before a developmental milestone our little ones might be more fussy/clingy. At least it makes me feel better : )

  4. Cassie and Chase

    Hi Michelle,
    Such a beautiful little letter. It makes me want to start writing them for Ez. I feel you with the nap thing… Ez always sleeps great at night but he “woke up” at 5 weeks and wow! We would spend hours trying to get him to sleep. I’m here to chat anytime if you go into mommy SOS mode!

  5. Michelle

    Oh, thanks Cassie! Ha I feel the same way. Wish we could walk/bounce/shush our babies together and the magically lay them down side by side on a blanket at the Mission Lawn and chat away : ) miss you!

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