It feels like only yesterday we fit so perfectly in the same giant comfy chair that I rocked big brother in, five-years-in-the-blink-of-an-eye earlier - her swaddled tightly, just fitting into the space of my lap, head near breast, legs tucked gently under my arm. Today she's a mess of limbs, flailing about and tugging me in unnatural directions, clawing at my neck with her talon-like fingerails, craning her neck up and around so as not to miss a single beat.
Milk calms the savage beast, and she quiets, stills, begins to accept the fact that night has come, bedtime is upon us, and we must separate for a few hours. She drinks lazily, knowing that slow sips will delay the inevitable. Even then, I see her eyes grow heavy and flutter closed. I cuddle her close and breathe deeply.
The sweet, sweet smell of newborn freshness has been replaced with faintly sour milk and the lingering smell of enchiladas from dinner a few hours earlier, the onions and garlic overpowering the post-dinner scrubdown efforts before diaper and pajamas.
I try to take in the feeling of her weight on my chest - the warmness, the sound of soft breathing as she falls deeper into sleep, head nestled under my chin, hand on my neck. I know that this can't last forever, and that these moments are fleeting, so I soak them in, putting life outside the door on hold, trying to memorize every bit of baby that she still is, because tomorrow is another day, and she'll be older, then.