Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A whole year.

In two days my baby girl will turn one. Wait, what?! There is no possible way that a year has passed since she joined our little family. As I nursed her before bedtime tonight I couldn't help but think back to that not-so-teeny tiny little human stranger that came into our lives 363 days ago and completely rocked our world. I am overwhelmed with how much life has changed yet, I can barely remember it any other way.

I've been reminiscing my maternity leave and those luxuriously lazy days spent doing nothing but snuggling my sweet baby and watching really trashy TV. I think about how great it was when she would just simply crack a smile or turn her head. At that time I couldn't even imagine hearing her learn new words, call us by mama and dada, clap, sing, dance and yes, even throw not-so-teeny tiny little temper tantrums.

There are things I wanted to do better, or even at all. I wanted to blog weekly so that she could grow up and read about all of the cool things we did (clearly that didn't happen). I wanted to take cute monthly photos of her so that we could measure her physical growth throughout the year. I wanted to journal for myself so that I could give her my journal when she was becoming a mom for the first time. I wanted to be better about keeping things neat, organized and easy for our lives with two working parents. I wanted all of these things but life happened and that life is busy and hectic and hard. Instead, I have spent my time outside of work playing with, snuggling, singing to and watching my baby girl learn and grow. I might not have blog entries to read or a series of posed monthly photos. I might not be neat and organized and things aren't easy at all. I am, however, proud of how my time has been spent and the relationship that I have with my daughter.

This first birthday is as much about Phil and I surviving this year as it is about Weezie turning one. This has been the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating and fun year ever. We have laughed a lot, cried a lot, slept a little bit, smiled, played and grown so much as a family. We've been on planes, taken road trips, visited the beach and the mountains, went swimming, played in the snow, and even bought a house. I know Annabelle won't remember anything about this year but I am confident that we've laid a foundation of love, compassion, comfort, security and fun for her that will help her grow into an independent, fun-loving, sweet little girl. 

I am proud that she is a year old and I'm still nursing. If you had asked me when she was two weeks old if I would have made it this far, I probably would have burst into tears. In fact, if you had asked me anything when she was two weeks old, I probably would have burst into tears. I'm proud that I lived through that crazy postpartum hormone rush and that I've found myself again...sort of. I'm proud that I am a working mom and that we are surviving. That is no simple feat and we have found an incredible family who cares for our sweet baby every day (Yaya if you read this, you are an amazing woman who has become a part of our family and we love you!) and a supportive husband who understands that sometimes I just have to cry about having to go to work. 

I am proud that my little girl is sweet and sassy all rolled into one, just like her mom and her dad. She is silly and fun and sweet and so smart and even a little salty at times, too. I rock her every night and I look at her little face and can't believe she's mine. I feel like I can actually see time speeding up and I just want to reach out to something, anything, and be able to hit pause. Each moment is so fleeting. Every stage is grown out of before you can even blink. I think about adult Weezie and these moments right now will not be something that she lives with at all. Some of the best moments of my life are moments that she will not have a memory of. The sheer weight of the significance that she has placed on my life is overwhelming and it is impossible to think that someday, sooner than I'd like to imagine, she will be grown and out chasing her own dreams and finding the things that add significance to her own life. I have to remind myself to slow my own thoughts down and just look at my baby and know that there is so much fun to come. 

As I prepare for a first birthday party this weekend, I can't help but think about how lucky we are and how blessed Annabelle is to have the community surrounding her that she does. We are getting ready for a house full of people who are coming to help us celebrate and it's crazy to think that there are so many people in our lives who care enough about us and about our little lady to travel from near and from not-so-near places just to be here for her birthday. The love and caring is overwhelming and I won't ever be able to express how much it means to us that she has so many amazing people in her life.

This feels like an incomplete thought and I'm sure my emotions will bubble up and I'll have more to say on Weezie being one but for now all I want to say is just, thank you. Thank you to each of you who has played a role in this last year. Your love, support and kindness has made a huge impact on us. Thank you, thank you, thank you :).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm not touching you...

So we're in a fun new phase with little miss weezie. It's the scream-if-she's-not-touching-me phase and it is Now, I love love love my girl more than anything in the whole wide world. In fact,  she said "mama" for the first time this week and while she didn't necessarily direct it AT me it was still pretty awesome. BUT, now we're in this crazy phase where she can't possibly be in the same room as me without physically touching me or she completely melts down.

But on days where I feel like I want to lock myself in a room by myself (ideally with an oversized really comfy bed) or take a 2-hour long shower, I just remember that this time is going to move so so fast and that I need to soak it all in and enjoy every single minute of the snuggles that I'm getting.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Month Three Round-up

Likes: Hands, bouncy seat, swing, smiling, playing with mom and dad, riding in the Ergo, going for walks

Friday, October 25, 2013

Maternity Leave Reflections

Last morning of maternity leave

Well, this is it. Work is standing on my doorstep and I don't really have a choice…I have to answer the door. Back in July, 13 weeks seemed like a lifetime. Not working for three whole months was a dream and I felt like that time would last forever. Now that I'm at the other end of those three months, it was actually more like the blink of an eye.

I can't even believe it. I can't believe that this is a “normal” weekend. I can't believe that I have to get up on Monday morning, leave my baby and go to work. It's so hard to wrap my head around it that I can barely even think about the logistics of actually getting out of the house. This week has been filled with tears. In fact, they are clouding my vision as I write this. They crop up when they are least welcome and at the most random times. I'm just so sad for the end of this time and for the changes to come.
I really don't think I would want to be a long-term stay-at-home mom but, like I keep saying to Phil, just a year would be nice. Annabelle is still so tiny. I have been her primary caregiver for 11 weeks and I'm just about all she knows. She still needs her mom. The thought of only getting a few hours a day with her is heart wrenching. I can barely stand the thought that her entire world is about to change and she has no idea. There will not ever be another time where I will be able to spend that much focused time and undivided attention on my precious girl. These 11 weeks with her were so precious and oh so fleeting. I feel like they just slipped through my fingers even though I know that I enjoyed them to their fullest.
Before my maternity leave began, I was busy thinking of all of the things I could do during my time away from work. I pictured myself organizing closets and doing projects and visiting with friends. When I was cleaning up my computer desktop a few weeks ago, I even came across a “maternity leave to-do list” that included things such as, make a mirror for the hallway, create shelving for the master bathroom, frame and hang large photos and so on. All I could do was laugh and hit 'delete'. Looking back, I can say that I don't regret for one second how I spent my time. There was a lot of snuggling, cuddling, rocking, singing and generally hanging out. There was not a lot of cleaning, cooking, primping, working, etc.
If I could give a few pieces of advice to any woman who is preparing to have a child anytime soon or even further in the future, here is what I would say:
  1. Snuggle. Take as much time as you possibly can to snuggle with your new baby. They are little for such a short time and there is nothing like newborn snuggles. Nap together, rock together, sing together, and just be together.
  2. Chores can wait. They will still be there in a few months. If you're going to break your snuggle and actually put Jr. down, do it so that you can shower or take a nap or take a few minutes for yourself. Don't do it so that you can vacuum, fold laundry, do dishes, or clean the bathroom. Get your significant other to chip in and help with those things so you can soak up that sweet sweet baby smell.
  3. Set goals. But don't shoot for the stars. Keep your sights reasonable but make sure you have something that you are striving to accomplish each day. For me it was to take a shower and make one trip out of the house. This did a couple of things. The first was that I maintained some level of feeling like a human being when I otherwise was not. It's amazing what a good shower can do. The second was that it gave me confidence in doing things out of the house with baby in tow.
  4. Reach out. I connected with several of my old friends who are moms, both new and seasoned, and I leaned on them for support when things were just plain hard. They were awesome and it made all the difference.
  5. Research, but not too much. Go ahead and read books, skim through Baby Center groups, Google, and so on. I did and I still do. However, you are mom and you know best. Follow your little one's lead and your instincts and everything will be fine. If you get too hung up on how it's supposed to be, you'll miss how it is.
  6. Breathe. There are times when things are going to be so hard that everything feels impossible. You will look at your husband and likely say something along the lines of, “what have we done?” This does not make you a bad mom. This makes you human. As ready as you were for your tiny human to make his or her debut, you weren't ready at all. No one and nothing can prepare you for how much your life will change when you bring that little baby burrito home. But just when you start to wonder if it ever gets easier, it does.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Month Two Round-up

Likes: bouncy seat and owls, talking to the bears on the swing, music and singing, playing on pack 'n play changing table, smiling and trying to laugh, laying in bed in the morning and talking, looking around the room

HATING baths still!

How we spent most of our days


First Smiles

Siblings meeting for the first time

Asheville at 7 weeks with Mom, Dad and the Holmeses

Asheville with Mom, Dad and the Holmeses

First tailgate for the Hurricanes

First Bumbo time and finding hands

Aftermath of shots :(

Monday, September 9, 2013

Month One Round-up

Likes: music, mommy singing (sometimes), riding in the Ergo, the large black and white NYC print, ceiling fan, long rides in the car