Welcome Renley Jade

Or should I call you Mankey? Born in the year of the monkey, you are more like the Pokemon Go character Mankey. Described as "very aggressive and short-tempered... When angry, Mankey begins shaking and its breathing turns rough. Its rage peaks quickly, preventing its victim from being able to flee. If Mankey loses sight of its colony, its loneliness causes it to become infuriated... if one becomes enraged, the whole colony rampages for no reason."

I hate to label you at this tender age of 4 weeks but lady you are one heckuva yeller and screamer. It's next level crying. Like, babies cry. I get that. But you don't feel that's sufficient. You're like Emeril. BAM. Kicking it up a notch. Always. For the first two weeks Daddy was convinced you hated his guts. You would yell and scream directly into his face when you were tired/hungry/just plain messing around. Then he'd hand you to me and you'd instantly, I mean like a light switch turning off INSTANTLY, chill. 

I admit, it was deliciously satisfying. I've never had a baby that loved me like that. Emmy and Odessa were equal opportunity lovers and haters and in fact, they were such Daddy's girls for years that I was accustomed to being the Backseat Parent.

Then Week Three rolled around and I got a taste of your medicine. No mother left behind. You raged on me and suddenly I couldn't sit on Smug Mountain any longer. The tables had turned. Suddenly, and for a solid two days, I could not comfort you, and you would only calm down when I handed you off to Daddy or Asian Grandma. 

Not cool RenRen.

Speaking of your name, here are some of the runners up to Renley: Huxley, Spencer, Finley, Harvey, Rooney, Radley. Pretty much all nixed by Daddy. He really hated Huxley/Hux and Spencer, even with the promised nickname of Penny. His first choice was Camille. Beautiful name, but on the rise in popularity according to the Social Security index. Renley is about as popular as Odessa, somewhere in the 3000's. Emerson is in the 200's. Daddy's other choices were pretty...nature-y. Summer, Sierra, Sienna, Clover... followed by Larkin, Marquette (? Don't get me started) and many others I've tried to mentally block to avoid re-traumatizing myself. 

Third babies are hard to name if you don't have some sort of theme like the Kardashians. We didn't want a name that started with E or O, or a name that ended in N or A, so that cut out a lot of choices. Ren actually has a Confucian meaning, "a virtue denoting the good feeling a virtuous human experiences when being altruistic." It's also a family name and a variant on a name from Game of Thrones. Nevermind that he was a gay king killed off by a shadow. Let's blaze a new path Renley Jade! Strong woman with strong lungs who betters the world with her indefatigable spirit, shining intelligence and charismatic spirit.

Early signs show the strong lungs part is definitely true. Refer to photo above.

Everyone thinks you look like Emmy from the mouth down. That is to say, you have the same chicken nugget chin and little pursed lips hiding your bottom lip. But you have hair like Odessa and more of her eyes. Your personality though, very distinct. The screaming and yelling for one. You also have a look of skepticism and concern. It's most apparent right before you fall asleep, when you're gazing into the eyes of your adult sherpa. The way you fall asleep is a serious, cliff hanger, hold our breaths process. You don't just close your eyes and nod off. You close them and then a few seconds later your lids pop right back open, eyes wide with questions about what just happened and where am I and what's going on and oh yes...zzz. Repeat about 10-15 times before you actually stay asleep. It's like a big sleep battle with yourself, punctuated by slightly accusatory stares and occasional feral cat screams before you finally succumb. It's comical and endearing, and I don't remember our other babies doing that. 

Staying asleep is a whole 'nother ordeal. Especialy during the day. You fight your naps and can't stay asleep for longer than 20 minutes when we put you into the pack n play OR rocker OR swing. We literally have three different sleep areas downstairs for you, Queen Renley. It's a newborn Airbnb up in here. The swing was our surefire sleep elixir. It hypnotized Emmy and Odessa and allowed them to get good deep daytime naps. You, not so much.

We've even tried weighing you down with two cups of rice in a baggie. Some Asian magic trick. Effectiveness has been spotty.

Hopefully you outgrow this or I'm going to be all caught up on every HGTV Fixer Upper episode ever filmed. I'm already wanting to move to Waco after watching 18 renovations. 

But you're also just #babiesbeingbabies. So far in 5 weeks you've slept through the night once, a fluke, but I'll take it. A handful of really rough wide awake for an hour and a half at 2 or 3. But for the past 5 nights you're pretty consistently down at 9 or 10PM after the "Snack and Snooze" last feeding of the night, up at 4AM, and back down until about 7AM. Keep up this pattern RenRen, we can make this work.

I'm not so uptight about the sleep deprivation this third time around. I know how quickly every stage passes and suddenly you're graduating from college and moving to New York. The interrupted sleep makes for crazy vivid dreams though. Like the one where I was mountain climbing with our meteorologist Jeff Ranieri and we had to run from from a black viper. Only the viper was also able to jump up super high like a Jack Russell terrier. And it kept jumping after me before biting me in the hand. I tried repeatedly to trap it with a Tupperware container and various colanders only to have it escape through a hole each time. Yeah, #randomsauce.

Next post: Noisy Nelly. You are so loud at night. To the casual observer, watching a video of you on mute, you'd look like a baby sort of moving around in her swaddle. Unmuted, you sound like a WWE wrestler lifting another WWE wrestler right before slamming him on the ground. It's like you're digging ditches in your crib for the world's tallest skyscraper. Or you're literally trying to move a mountain. The grunting, the huffing, the groaning and moaning. So. Loud.

Vicky NguyenComment