In my sister-in-law’s house (and my brother-in-law’s house, since he lives there, too), there are two huge square frames of photos that I love to stare at. Each frame is dedicated to one of my nephews, and the photos are of their small little body parts when they were tiny babies. A chubby foot, a round cheek, a stumpy hand, all caught on film to remind us how wee they used to be.

It’s no secret that I have a ridiculous amount of photos of Madeline – if you click on my flickr widget on the right of the blog, you can see that I’ve taken over three thousand. But recently I’ve tried to take more pictures of her little parts so I can have a big square frame of her, too. Her lips, ears, finger tips, even her eye lashes, have all been caught by my lens.

When I was changing her into her pajamas tonight, I realized that I didn’t have any pictures of her belly button. I was there when her belly button was “made.” Her umbilical cord wasn’t cut and tied close to the belly like a normal baby’s; instead, it was longer and used as a way to run IV fluids and medicines into her body. This helped prevent extra needles from being inserted into her extremely delicate preemie skin. It’s not a long-term option, however. Her umbilical line dried up after about two weeks (and it looked as gross as that sounds), but because of how it had been used, it didn’t fall off. Instead, a nurse had to come over and basically do a procedure to remove it. I remember the nurse telling me that she, “made GREAT belly buttons,” and that she’d give my baby a really cute one. I remember thinking, “oooooh kaaaaaay…” but she was right, she makes good buttons.

baby belly

After I took this picture, I laid Maddie on her back to get another picture. She wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of laying there, so she did a sit-up to make herself upright again. I didn’t realize I’d captured a photo of her mid sit-up until I was looking back at my photos. I shook my head when I saw this one:

7/365 : the trade-off for junky lungs is rock hard abs

Look at those ab muscles (those spots up on the left are some of her chest tube scars). Those muscles aren’t just from crawling and growing – they’re from breathing. Her stomach muscles have to help her junky lungs draw in each breath. It kills me that her stomach muscles are so strong because her lung muscles are so weak. Those abs are a perfect illustration of why she has such a hard time gaining weight. And yeah yeah, she has killer abs, but I’d rather my 14-month old have rolls of fat and healthy lungs.