Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today was an outstanding day. It was one of those days when everything was just in sync, life made complete sense, and, dare I say it, being a mom was actually...easy.

Today was the type of day that I had imagined before I was a mom. A day of relaxation, play time, eating leftovers from Christmas, snuggling, napping...just the pure simplicity of mama and daughter.

There were no tantrums, and as a matter of fact, there weren't even tears. A moment or two of whining, yes, but that's manageable. Perhaps this was just a result of holiday exhaustion but Lily and I were content just... being.

Today, Lily was my buddy, my sidekick, and every single bit of my happiness.

These days erase the bad days. These days make me sad when the clock approaches bedtime. These days make me wonder who the child was that I was speaking about in my Thanksgiving post. These days are amazing.
Dear Lily,
Your second Christmas has come and gone. I find it hard to believe. I know it gets so repetitive to hear how "time flies" but it really just doesn't slow down for me to soak this motherhood thing all in.

This year, I think I actually did a decent job of being in the moment. Yes, the few weeks leading up to the holiday were crazy, as always, but Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I...was present. I did not stress, I did not allow my thoughts to wander and wonder if everyone else was enjoying themselves. I was 100% committed to you and what you your every facial expression was telling me. I honestly wish I could memorize everything about you in every moment.
Christmas was amazing. You were spoiled, but not too much. You received an appropriate amount of gifts from friends and family. Your favorite so far is the Stand and Play Car Ramp that Santa brought to you. You squeal and giggle as you watch the cars slide down the ramps. Something so simple is so enthralling to you at 19 months. I love it. My most amazing gift was just watching you enjoy these moments with your toys.
You understood the concept of presents, and every time someone brought a wrapped box to you, you would exclaim, "present!!!", proceed to open it, get to the box and say "Oooohhh boy!!!", and didn't even care to actually open the box. It was so sweet.
Unlike Thanksgiving, you were so well behaved and happy. You are beginning to understand performing in front of people. You know when people are paying attention and you certainly know how to entertain...but all the same, you are so independent. You are completely content going in your room by yourself and playing for a few minutes with a house full of guests. You might even say that you have an easy going side to you. :::mommy's fingers are crossed:::
I could relive every moment in writing, like I always want to do, but I will summarize by simply stating that Christmas was so wonderful that I would happily relive the stress of planning, gift buying, cooking, cleaning, etc., just to see your smile on Christmas morning.
Thank you for being my angel.

Love, Mommy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So, it's been awhile.

We were struck by a huge sick bug a couple weeks ago and we're still recovering.  Lily had croup, an ear infection and a touch of pneumonia and I got a nasty cold. It was brutal for a week, physically and emotionally. I'm adding to the list (the very, very long list) of things I didn't know about motherhood: having a sick child, no matter how sick, is very, very challenging. Maybe I thought it would be challenging but you honestly don't really know until you're in it.

I can't believe how these days are just flying by and here we are 9 days before Christmas. I can't seem to decide if I'm in the spirit or not this year. Having a child forces my emotions into being excited about any approaching holiday but because she still doesn't truly know what these holidays are all about, it all just makes me....kind of tired, actually. And broke.

Regardless, its still fun to buy Lily gifts for her developmental stage. She is showing so much intelligence at this point, it blows my mind. And no, I'm not saying my child is a prodigy, but even the emergence of (slightly above) average developmental skills is so exciting to see.

She is quite the conversationalist now. She says so many words, I've lost count. She's to the point now where she's see something on TV, like Barney (goodlordkillmenow), hear it's name and know it the next time she sees it. It's amazing to me that this development surfaced in about a week's time.


On another not, the hilarity in the midst of all of this sickness was Lily launching herself out of her crib. Yes, I said hilarity.

Story time. Gather around.

On Tuesday, I put Lily down for her afternoon nap around 1pm.

After about 5 minutes of silence from her room, she started "talking". She does this often and I usually just leave her in there to see if she will tire out or if she's truly not tired (she's actually "talking" in her crib right now, as I type, after just putting her to bed). So, ten minutes went by, still talking....and then silence. I assumed that she had fallen asleep.

More talking.
Then silence.
Then, "THUD".
But somehow I didn't place the noise in her room.


I run in her room. Not expecting to see her on the floor, and in the dark, I glance down at the floor where I notice a heap of something..."OMFG, THAT'S LILY AND SHE'S SCREAMING ON THE FLOOR!!  HOW THE HELL DID SHE GET THERE???".

I kid you not, she looked like a Charlie Brown:

Only face down. Spread eagle. And pretend Lucy is me without a football. (So, maybe nothing like this but I needed a visual.)

And she didn't even move her face to the side to cry. She was flat out.

I scooped her up and held her, checking her limbs, etc. Thank God we have carpet in the bedrooms in this house. She was fine, just scared.

But I'm telling you, it was comical.

I know this does not make her unique in the world of children. This is some sort of rite of passage of toddlerhood, but when it happens to YOUR child, it's like it's the only time it's ever happened to any child, anywhere (that goes along with almost everything with babies/toddlers, I suppose, but that's a whole other post in itself).

There you have it. My hilarity of the past couple of weeks, at my child's expense.

The end.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So, I'm not going to lie. This Thanksgiving was a big disappointment. It's so incredibly selfish to say that because I have so many amazing things in my life to be thankful for, and I am, but sometimes holidays are all hype and the climax just really sucks.

I'm writing about this here and not on my daily life blog because the majority of the reason why today wasn't what I had hoped is because, well, Lily was a big fat pain in my ass. Is that bad to say?

Even if it is, I said it. I needed to say it because that's my truth.

The day actually started out shitty because the night was shitty. That part of the day actually had nothing to do with Lily. It was my husband's fault. I'll Cliff Note this portion of the story to say, he went out way too late, came home drunk, puked his brains out for a few hours, and was basically worthless most of the day. I couldn't sleep through the puking, I had to take care of the baby, and I cleaned the house. Not what I call a fantastic way to spend a holiday morning BUT the saving grace of the morning was when my parents came over for breakfast. Dustin managed to muscle through the nausea (as he should have since I was so angry) and made a great breakfast. That was a really nice part of the morning.

However, I was honestly really excited to go to my in-law's for a huge feast at 4pm. Lily even took two naps today (ZOMG, yes, TWO), so I thought for sure she would be an angel until 7:30-8pm.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans always fall to shit.

She was not nice. At all. Tantrum city.
That's all. The end.

I don't need to go into many details. That truly is the long and the short of it. I guess my disappointment comes in because pre-Lily I had this idealistic picture in my head of what the holidays would be like once we had children. I pictured it so much differently. I pictured a happier child, a bit more content, and even if she did get crabby in my fantasy, I pictured it not being a problem because I could surely just put her down in a pack-n-play so Dustin and I could stay to socialize, like an average married couple, and have adult conversations over a bonfire and glass of wine.

I suppose that's why they're called fantasies.

The reality was that she was content for about 30 minutes, going from person to person seeing what they had to offer, and then turned into a screaming monster. NOTHING was making her happy. Needless to say, I spent the remainder of the 1.5 hours there trying desperately to make her happy. I didn't even get to converse with anyone, other than the family members that would try to intervene and say, "What's wrong with her??", and in my mind I would reply, "I DON'T FUCKING KNOW OTHERWISE I WOULD FIX IT!!".

So, we had to cut our visit short because, contrary to my fantasy world, listening to a screaming toddler is not tolerable. It's flat out annoying.

If this post makes me sound like a selfish mother and a Thanksgiving scrooge, so be it. I'm throwing a pity party for myself tonight and you're all invited.

Right now, I'm thankful for my redheaded toddler that is finally quiet and sound asleep. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Many days of motherhood I wished that you were somewhere else in your development. When you were a newborn I *wished* for you to become more interactive. When you were an infant I *wished* for the day that you would sleep through the night. These days, I *wish* for the day that you can fully communicate your feelings to me. I *wish* for the day that you will walk by my side instead of wandering your own way. I *wish* for the tantrum phase to be over.

I know that we should never *wish* for anything other than where we are but I believe its human nature of a mother, just to bring some ease into the situation. Most days I absorb where we are and live for the day but others I have, and do, wish for something.

This week, I have wished for nothing but exactly where you are. Reason being, you suffered your first major loss...but I don't think you even know.

On Monday, daddy and I had to make the horribly difficult decision to put Bear to sleep, at the age of 12. He was sick and in pain so we needed to let him go. It was ultimately the least selfish thing we could do for such a great friend.

He was your first best friend, whether you liked it or not. He watched over you carefully and protected you. He wanted to always be near you and was ever so mindful of you. He slept every night outside of your door, even waking you at times with a brush against your door.

You never loved Bear like I had hoped you would. You were intimidated by his size, and definitely by his bark, but you warmed up to him at times, giving him an affectionate "pat pat" on his head or going to his dog food, grabbing a handful, putting it in his dish, and then calling for him. You tolerated him well, despite your small fear of his large frame.

As daddy took him away in Pop-Pop's van, I explained where he was going and why. I told you he will be in heaven now watching over you. You looked a bit confused and even a bit concerned. After the van pulled away, you asked me several times, "Bear??", and I would explain it again.

A half an hour later, we went back inside the house...and you haven't asked for him since. I tell you a couple times a day that Bear is in heaven now, just as a reminder in case your little brain does ever wonder.

I have been thanking God that you do not cry for him, look for him, continue to want to feed him, or worry about him. It could be that you are perceptive enough to know that he left in that van and he isn't coming back, or maybe you are just too young to realize his absence. Either way, I am so glad this isn't hard on you. My heart couldn't handle breaking enough for the two of us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lily-isms Lately

She is all toddler. She is a constant stream of energy, only stopping to sleep 12 hours at night, possibly a short nap during the day, and to poop (yes, still in her pants. Mama is not up for potty training yet, sorry.)

She has quite the sense of humor, mimicking pop-pop when he sneezes and laughing when mama fake cries (to get her attention. Not exactly the response I was looking for). She also sports quite the attitude by saying "no" when I ask her to say please and pounding her chest like a cave woman when she wants something, as if to say "ME! I want it NOW!". 

She still has complete conversations in her own language, only throwing in something sensible once in a great while. We are now convinced she is German and nothing of the Asian decent. Her language is very guttural and sharp.

She continues to LOVE music. So much so that she puts on her own shows. She "sings" and dances at the same time, stops, then claps and exclaims "YAYYYYYY!!", as though she just gave the performance of her life to an audience of one...herself.

She calls people by their titles now when she wants their attention...or when she wants to interrupt conversation. Dustin and I were in her room a couple of days ago, talking, and she would say, "Ma!" to get my attention and proceed to tell me a story in German. When she would finish, I would go back to talking to Dustin. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was so cute. Possibly the start to a horrible habit, but cute.

She wasn't overly impressed by Halloween. We went downtown for our town's Halloween parade and trick-or-treating, put on by all of the local businesses, and I dressed her like an angel. She didn't care about the kids. She didn't care about the candy. She didn't care about the festivities. She cared about the street... She just wanted to walk in the street and look at her sparkly new shoes as she walked. It's the simple things in life. Oh, how we adults can learn from babies.

On Halloween, her and I dressed up like Pebbles and Wilma Flintstone:
 Totally similar, right?!

We took her trick-or-treating to about 4 houses. She didn't get it. Not only that but she is in this extremely shy phase and just freezes in the presence of most strangers so she just gave everyone this blank stare. God love my socially inept child. (Fingers crossed that the play groups that she recently started will help with this asap).

What she did understand is that there was candy in her little bag. She wanted to examine the goods every time we left a house....Then her interest turned to just wanting to walk on everyone's grass. That's when we knew it was time to hang up the wig and realize that this kid couldn't care less about this holiday right now. Fun for me... sure, fun for her... sure. Overall, it was a win, win but I'm looking forward to her actually understanding it next year.

As many of my mom friends warned me, at this age I slowly see my baby slipping away into her own personality. Its an amazing transformation and so bitter sweet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Exactly one year ago, she looked like this...
How can this be the same baby?
Quite a difference a year makes. I love my baby girl. She's growing much too fast.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holy shit.

So, up to this point, I wasn't exactly sure if I have witnessed Lily have a tantrum. Fussy, whiny, crabby...yes, but tantrum? Now I'm sure.

On Monday, Lily woke up on the wrong side of the crib. This isn't something we're used to at all. She always wakes up talking to herself or saying, "Mom. Mom. Moooooom.". Nope. Monday she was screaming bloody murder when she woke up, I mean SCREAMING. She didn't stop for about a half hour. Dustin and I finally diagnosed it as a foot that had fallen asleep because she wouldn't put any weight on her right foot for a good 5 minutes. That might not explain the 30 minutes of crying, but at least this was a valid reason to wake up crabby.

This just set the tone for the day.

Fast forward to 11:30am. I return home from a work meeting and she is cling.y. So clingy to me. I had to meet a co-worker for lunch at 12:30 so I had to scramble around to get my notes together and such.

At 12:20-ish, Lily walked into my office and started obnoxiously whining "asking" to get onto my lap while I was sitting at my desk.

"No, baby. Mama has to leave in a minute so go by daddy".

She slapped me on my leg. Like, intentionally.
Um, what? Where did she learn this?

So, unsure of what to do, I ignored her.
Wrong answer.
Meltdown ensues.

She walks into the living room, as she is screaming/crying, flailing, throws herself down on the couch and continues to scream, I mean, it sounded like the devil gripped her soul and an exorcism was certainly going to be necessary. I was positive her head was going to spin.

After she was about 5% settled down, I picked her up, gave her her pacifier and held her. She calmed down. Thank God. I set her down on the ground and Dustin engaged with her, playing and then put on her movie.

I slowly get up off of the couch and start walking toward the garage door without saying a word, in hopes she wouldn't notice. I get about 5 steps from the door and she comes running toward me and it escalates all over again.
Rinse, lather, repeat all of the screaming, crying, flailing.

Terrible twos are quickly approaching. I am so unprepared.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I know I haven't been great with keeping up here but you are keeping me so busy. Life with a toddler is challenging but so much fun. I have to say that this has been my favorite stage so far. You are, all of the sudden, a little person with your own set of quirks and funny nuances. I think to myself how impossible it seems that you grew inside of me.

You dance and "sing" all of the time. No, this isn't a new development but you have style now. You dance like a sumo wrestler. I'm being serious. You spread your feet far apart, crouch down so your butt is almost ankle level, and you sway back and forth. You simultaneously sing by humming a beautiful tune of "na, na, na, la, la, la".  Have I mentioned that you do this whether its actual music that you're hearing or even just a tv commercial jingle?

You are becoming every sense of the word "toddler". You are into ever.y.thing. A clean house is no longer an option so daddy and I pretty much give up on straightening up until you're in bed. You pull out photo albums, pens off of my desk, clothes out of drawers, cards out of my wallet, shoes out of my closet...and so on. It's a bit exhausting but you are a good far. You aren't rough or aggressive with anything yet, and although you are somewhat adventurous, loving bike rides or car rides on bumpy roads and flips in the air via daddy, you aren't reckless on your own...yet.

You have an interesting vocabulary, mostly one that still consists of your own language. You will repeat things when we say them but you say consistently:
  • mama
  • dada
  • bop bop
  • mowmow (Grandma Nichols)
  • nana (pronounced "naaanaaa", a new development for Grandma Sandi)
  • pow pow (for Grandpa Danny)
  • nana (pronounced "nan-a" for banana)
  • cow
  • dog
  • bow (for Bear)
  • shoes
  • socks
  • waba (waffle)
  • shheral (cereal)
You love to be outside, content with walking up and down the driveway, picking up mulch and throwing rocks. You are intrigued by bouncing balls and think that they are THE funniest thing on earth. You'll laugh until you're purple in the face if someone is bouncing a ball in front of you. You like to give kisses, but much prefer the "headbutt kiss" that Uncle Nick taught you. Basically, when someone goes in to kiss your face you give them a gentle headbutt instead.

You are now TERRIFIED of the doctor's office and everyone in there. You scream from the moment we walk into the  exam room until we leave, and sometimes you'll scream all of the way home. I honestly don't know how this fear was instilled in you already but I'm hoping to figure out a way to make you more comfortable there. Are you judging character already??

You are sleeping pretty good now, giving us 11-12 hours at night and two naps a day that end up to be a total of about 2 hours. This has made me feel like a well rested human being :)

I know these posts are somewhat repetitive at times but I need to capture every moment of this. It's such an amazing time and it's going by too fast. Here you are, almost 17 months old, and I'm sitting here looking at my photo calendar on my desk which boasts a picture from last Halloween when you were just 5 months old. It seems impossible that a whole year has gone by since then.

Don't grow up so fast, little girl. I want you to stay my baby forever.

Love, mama

Friday, September 17, 2010

Soooooo, traveling with a 15 month old.

As the over thinker that I am, I was exceptionally nervous about taking Lily with us to a 3rd world country: "What if she gets really sick? What if she comes home with a parasite? What if she doesn't sleep the WHOLE time? How long will the screw up her schedule for once we get home? How am I going to protect her from such intense sun? How are WE going to enjoy ourselves with all of this worrying???"

The funny thing is...babies are so adaptable. They really, really are.

I honestly began packing for this trip about 5 days ahead. I made lists. I analyzed. I obsessed. The morning that we left we were like a well oiled machine though and we pulled out of the driveway only 5 minutes late, at 5:35am. We had to wake Lily up, of course, but instead of the cranky baby I expected, she was just spaced out looking at us the whole 2.5 hour ride to Orlando like, "What.the.hell. you guys???". She was good and did fall asleep for a good 40 minutes.

Once we arrived at the airport, she did get a little confused and cranky but nothing major. She just wanted to be able to run around, which she did around the gate.

The plane ride was...interesting. She wasn't terrible. She definitely could have been a lot worse but she was a little high maintenance. I made the mistake of booking our seats all wrong. So, picture an airplane with 6 seats across, with the aisle separating in the middle, like this:

A B C |  | D E F

This is how we sat:
Me, Dustin, Stranger |  |  Stranger, My Mom, My Dad.

BIG mistake. She wanted to go back and forth between us and my parents. Thankfully, good old Uncle Randy sitting next to us was more than obliging and even handed her off a couple times. Mrs. Douche Canoe next to my parents...not so excited about the trip.

But Lily did sleep for another 30-40 minutes on my lap which I NEVER thought she would do.
On the other side, after the 2.5 hour plane ride, we had another 2 hours of traveling ahead of us by car. Again, she slept and was amazingly content with all of this. We stopped for pizza just outside of our destination and she was as happy as could be.

During the week, she was pretty good. She slept in a rock hard pack-n-play with ease, napped well, swam, walked around, hiked, ate new things...she really surprised me. She was a little more fussy overall, just being out of her element, but nothing unbearable.

The travel home was torture with our plane being delayed almost 2 hours, but yet again, Lily wasn't overly phased. She rolled with every punch and just seemed content just to be with us. We were THAT family with the screaming toddler for about 40 minutes of the plane ride home, getting sided eyed by everyone within 2 rows...but hey, everyone needs to experience that at least once in life. It's a rite of passage or something.

Needless to say, her schedule didn't even really hiccup when we got home. Her and I were both the chosen ones to come home with some nasty cold/flu virus though, which we're still on the mend from, but we'll live.

Overall, was vacation redefined? Yes. Absolutely. We traveled with 17 other people, none of which had a baby with them. I would be lying if I said I wasn't envious of all of their free time.
Was it worth it though? OhmyGod, yes. It was so much fun to bring Lily to a place that we love so much and see her in that environment.

If I were asked for a piece of advice for traveling with a 15 month old, it would have to be this:
Bring the grandparents.

The end.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

15 months...
22.25lbs (50th%)
32in tall (91st%)
18.75 head circumference (didn't give us a percentage but I'm pretty sure it's big)

  • You love bubble baths. You try to blow the bubbles, like I showed you.
  • You started calling grandpa "pop pop" today, which actually sounds like "bop bop". We're teaching you that because you were calling him "Daa", like you call daddy. Daa was just easier to say than grandpa so we thought pop pop might be easier. So far, so good.
  • You can drink from a straw now.
  • You try to sing along with songs on TV.
  • You can point to body parts when asked.
  • You are still really good about not getting into too much mischief...for now.
  • You have a bit of stranger anxiety when we go to the doctor. 
  • You prefer men to women in all situations.
  • You're running all over the place.
  • You really don't like to eat 3 meals a day. You prefer snacking all day long.
  • You're still drinking a bottle of formula before bed to soothe yourself to sleep. Mama doesn't mind because this keeps you a "baby" in her mind.
  • You're growing much too fast.

Monday, August 23, 2010

You hated shoes until I went and splurged on these...
Now, you have a new found love for shoes...and walking...and trying to run.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This morning you were clingy, of course. You have a sense that I'm leaving, I just know it. You're so smart- too smart- for your own good. Maybe you just feel my sad energy, dreading the mere thought of leaving you for just 48 hours.

Daddy was changing your clothes, (or trying to anyway), in your room while I was putting some laundry away. I came out of our bedroom and saw you barreling down our long hallway, naked, headed for me with a gigantic smile behind your paci. You love being naked and running around the house. Fortunately, you've only peed twice and it's been on the tile, not the far!

As you ran toward me, I knelt down to catch you in my arms and you did something that you never, ever hugged me. You grabbed around my neck, with both of your arms holding me tight and your sweet face nestled into my shoulder and held on to me. Ordinarily, your hugs consist of you just leaning forward a bit or maybe even a slight head butt, but not today.

You held me for about a solid minute.

And I cried.

And I said I'm sorry that I have to leave again.

You didn't seem to notice my sadness, daddy said, because you were all smiles looking at him with your head resting on my shoulder.

These are the moments for me that define motherhood. These are the moments when I feel rewarded and appreciated. These are the moments that make me *think* that I want another child and that it wouldn't be that hard. These are the moments when time stands still and I am reminded that I am your mommy and you need me. These are moments that confirm that I must be doing something right as a mom because you trust me.

There is nothing in this world that compared to that hug that you gave me today. Thank you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A perfect example of mama judging.  A story.

Lily and I went to the pool today. We have a gorgeous community pool that obviously draws out the young families in the neighborhood. I packed Lily up in the stroller after lathering her with sunscreen, putting on her hat, packing the beach bag with all of the essentials, and I even remembered a drink for myself AND the house keys! This truly has nothing to do with the gist of the story but I possibly wanted to brag about how quickly I managed to complete all of the above.

After the 25 minute walk to the clubhouse, we went right in the piss warm bathtub pool and swam around. Sure enough, we talked with a couple of other moms. It was mostly just the "how old is she?" type banter but we did meet one couple that was a bit more chatty.

I shall call them Rick and Melissa, for the purpose of the dialouge. The conversation went something like this:

Rick: Aww, look at her. She's too cute. We're expecting a baby girl in January.
Me: Awww! How fun! Your first?
Rick: Oh no. I have a 20 year old and a 17 year old.
::must be a second marriage runs through my mind:::
Me: Nice. So you're a pro.
Rick: Eh, you know. They all through you for a loop.
:::enter some more random babbles here and then please imagine Melissa floating in the picture from the far side of the pool:::
Melissa: Wow, I can't believe that will be us in about 19 months, toting around a toddler!
Me: Its so crazy how fast time goes.
::more small talk...and then...:::
Melissa: So, did you breastfeed?
Me :a bit taken back from the boldness of a stranger: We tried for a week, but--
Melissa: A WEEK??? THAT'S NOT TRYING!! :laughs: I wouldn't even admit that to people if I were you!
Me :sheepishly: Well, my milk never came in and I had some complications that took me away from her.
Melissa: Oh. That's too bad.

And then I splashed water in her face and called her a bitch. The end.

Actually, that didn't happen, but I imagined it to. The conversation went on a bit from there, onto a different subject but I was only half paying attention after that comment. This honestly seemed like a nice enough woman. Why did she have to go ahead and be a bitch? What a shitty thing to say to a complete stranger.
We're all critics, I suppose.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I recently read this blog post by a blogger that I do not know. She commented on one of my posts on my Two Plus One blog.
There is something very endearing about this girl and I loved reading through her posts. She's young and she's ready to begin her life as a college student. She had a sweet energy about her. I think everyone from Indiana must be likable.

That specific post resonated with me for a couple of reasons. First, because I can identify with her. I, too, struggle with anxiety and have since I was very, very young. I can remember having bouts of anxiety as early as 3rd grade, crying in the clinic begging to go home. Nothing was wrong with me. I just wanted my mom. Looking back, I know it was separation anxiety. Like this blogger, I hated being away from my mom. The difference here is that my mom was not traveling for work.

Which leads me to the second reason why this post resonated with me...I am her mom. I have to leave Lily every couple of months for business, so not quite as often as the blogger's mom, but enough that guilt tears at my soul.

I am the Vice President of Sales Operations for a medical supply company (quite the fancy title, sure, but trust me, it isn't a fancy job). I oversee 8 sales reps across Florida so my travel isn't far, but its far enough.
I have to be honest and say that I do a lot of justifying in my head to make this "ok". Other than these couple/few days on the road every 2-3 months, I work from home, which obviously means I get to see Lily every single day. My mom and my mother-in-law are our day care providers so while I work, they watch her. I am so fortunate to have this set up, even though it is laden with its own type of guilt, such as when she crawls or walks back to my desk, puts her arms up to me and pleads with me to pick her up...and more times than not, I give in because a mother's guilt is deadly.

Off topic a bit.

Most of my working mommy friends have to be away from their kids 40-50 hours a there lies my justification: I'm with her so often and she sees me so much, even while I'm working, that my absence for these business trips is surely barely noticed. I'm sure that's a bunch of horseshit but its how I sleep at night when I'm away.

After reading this blogger's post, my heart was heavy. I cannot do this to Lily as she grows up. I would rather go back to working in a restaurant, waiting on tables, than to have her suffer in my absence.
By no means am I judging blogger's mom for having to have this type of occupation. Quite the opposite, I applaud her for doing what she needed to do for her family...but I know when Lily is old enough to say, "Mommy, don't go", it will tear at my heart, break me and send me running out to look for another job. I may have to eat those words in a couple of years to pay the bills but I certainly hope I don't have to disappoint Lily by leaving on business often.

I am off to Miami for two days on Tuesday. I am already having anxiety about leaving. I hate this necessary evil.

Friday, August 13, 2010

You feed yourself with a spoon now. I know I usually don't post pictures but this was so cute...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today, you fed yourself with a spoon. It was the cutest thing to see. I took video, which I hope to upload soon. You made a mess but you figured out how to use that spoon rather quickly.

You're walking so much now, I can't believe it. I know you were a late walker but I'm glad about that. It gave me a little more time to digest your growth and development.

I have to leave you next week for a night or two for work. I already have that sick feeling in my stomach about it. I just don't want to have to miss you.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I've been a little behind on keeping up.

You say "waffle", but it's pronounced "waba".
You say "peanut butter", but its pronounced "bubu".
You say "hello", but its pronounced "hella".
You make fun of me when I'm talking on the phone by picking up a nearby phone and have a very dramatic "conversation".
You're walking a lot, but haven't starting running yet.
You tell us how old you are, when asked, by holding up your finger and giving the biggest smile.
You love our new house and slept great the first three nights. The last two, not so much, but we'll take it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This evening we went to the grocery store. It was close to dinner time and you were getting tired but I decided to chance it since you were in a good mood.

As usual, you were content with just looking around. You were fascinated by two young girls that were dancing near the deli. So fascinated that I could not get your attention at.all. Not even for a piece of deli chicken. It was so cute. I could see your little mind working, wondering what they were doing, knowing it made you happy, and I could almost see that thought go through your mind of, "I want to do that".

Walking down the cereal isle, we encountered an older man, most likely in his late 60's. I was contemplating what cereal to choose and he was seemingly doing the same thing just a couple of feet away from us. You had an animal cracker in your mouth and as you chewed it up you turned around swiftly and gave this man the biggest animal-cracker-filled smile. It seemed as though you knew him almost, because you don't often treat strangers to this type of smile.

The man responded in the most genuine way. He smiled so deeply right back at you, chuckled quite a bit, looked at me and said, "You have no idea. That just made my whole day". He then shook his head, looking as though he was almost holding back tears of happiness, looked at you again while you were still smiling and said, "You made my whole day kid".

I loved this moment. I instantly replayed the moment in my head and teared up. You truly bring so much happiness to so many people, even complete strangers.

How beautiful is that?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get used to Lily not sleeping through the night. I continue to put these false expectations of "tonight will be the night that will start the trend", and it just doesn't happen. She will have one or two decent nights here and there but it just doesn't seem to stick.

It's frustrating.

I'm frustrated for her but I am also frustrated for Dustin and I. All we want is a few nights of solid sleep and not have to say, "She did ok and only woke up once during the night". Sure, that's progress from the 12 times a night she used to wake up at 9 months, but we would love for it to be a normal sleep pattern, for her and us. Maybe we're asking too much and not exercising enough patience.

So many of our friends with kids cannot really relate to what we're going through at this stage of the game. Every parent deals with sleep issues at some point but very few seem to battle it continuously for this long. My heart sinks with twisted envy when I hear someone say that their child sleeps 11-12 hours at night and takes a 2-3 hour nap during the day. I'm so jealous of that type of sleep.

I miss sleep.

I realize how selfish this sounds. Me, me, me. Honestly, I have no qualms about how selfish this post is. It's how I feel in this moment.

Somehow though, I feel like I am failing Lily. Like Dustin and I are doing something wrong. I suppose as a parent, you always feel like you're doing something that will negatively impact your child. I honestly don't know what to do differently.

We let her cry it out when we know she doesn't need anything, which at this point occurs about 3 times a night. That's the only option for us at this point otherwise she would be awake most of the night. Co-sleeping doesn't work because our bed represents playtime to her. (We never preferred co-sleeping anyway. We would rather her be independent and in her own space.)

What are our other options? We're at a loss.

As I said a few posts ago...this too shall pass. I'm just wondering how long. I miss being able to function normally.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yesterday, I was that mom. The one everyone stares at and thinks, "holy shit, will you shut that kid up?!", or possibly, "she should not be bringing that baby into a restaurant".

I have bragged on the blog before about how wonderful Lily is when we're out and about, and usually she is...but there is a first time for everything.

I took her to Panera for lunch since our house was barren (seriously, no time to go grocery shopping these days). I knew I was pushing her by doing this because it was awfully close to nap time. Although she is not in a "schedule" she typically goes down 3-4 hours after she wakes up, which puts her naps around 9am and then 1ish.

It was 12:30pm. Big mistake. Big.

She was loud, and not in the funny, cute way. For the first time, she was demanding that I give her food, as in pointing and screeching, like some sort of animal. The only thought running through my mind was, "I am NOT raising my child to behave like this!".  "Ok, Mrs. Professional Mother, then what the hell do you do in this situation?", I asked myself.

I came up with no answers.
I shhhh-d her a lot and attempted to verbally correct her by saying things like, "Lily! Use your words. 'more fruit, please mommy'. Um, yeah. She's 14 months old. Her words consist of "uh-oh", "nana" (for "banana"), "ma", "da", and some Japanese type language. This IS her method of communication.

My only defense left was to simply keep shoving the food that SHE wanted at her. Fruit and cookies, screw the mac&cheese and chicken. I literally could not cut up her fruit fast enough before she was screeching again.

Placating to her behavior. Lovely.

I could feel the cold stares from everyone around us and those glares that were clearly stating something obvious.

I relent. I am one of those mothers.
Oh, and, lesson learned: no optional outings during the nap window.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything is "uh oh". It is your favorite word, by far. You drop something, it's "uh oh", the phone rings, "it's "uh oh", your DVD stops playing,  it's "uh oh". It makes me smile every.single.time.

You said "night-night" today when you and gramma were talking about napping.
You will not walk. You know how to walk but you refuse. Still. You can be quite stubborn. I can't imagine where you got that from :)
You love your reflection in the full length mirror and will laugh for minutes at a time when admiring yourself.

Love this age for so many reasons.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The past two days have been nothing less than amazing. Why? Because you are healthy. You are back to yourself. You have sunshine back in your eyes.

I even think the teething monster has backed down for the moment. You have just been so....perfect. We've had to let you "cry it out" to get you to sleep at night but that's the worst I can possibly say about these past couple of days.

We went to lunch today with Auntie Nicole, Ty, Cori and Gema. We are so lucky to have friends with babies close to your age. It's nice to share all of this together.

It was so fun to watch you and Gema together since you are about the same age. You weren't sure what to make of her, so, like the lady you are, you stared at her. She, on the other hand, thought you were pretty hilarious. She is a mild mannered, sweet baby, like you. It's funny to think about the two of you in about 5 years. You'll most likely be classmates, heading into first or second grade. What a scary, fun, unbelievable thought, that you will be 6 in 5 years. That doesn't even sound possible.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I just spent about 30 minutes writing a post about sleep deprivation. I decided to scrap it, take a different path and just say...

"This too shall pass".

If you're a parent, you know what sleep deprivation truly is and how crazy it can make you. You also might have had the thought of, "Wow, I can see why some moms go absolutely bat-shit crazy and drive off of a bridge".

This is what we all signed up for and we all deal with it in one way or another. If weed was legal and socially acceptable, I would be burnin one down as I type.

I just pray, to anyone that is listening up there, that my child will not suffer any ill effects from never sleeping enough. She has never been in that "normal" range of sleep. My poor, poor baby.

Please sleep tonight, my angel. We all need it desperately.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The rash has arrived. It is covering her back, her stomach and some of her legs. Roseola it is.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This post is predictable. It had to happen some time.

Lily got her first nasty virus. We're still not sure quite what it is, even though the doctor diagnosed her with Roseola on Thursday. If you don't know what that it, read here.
The problem with that diagnosis is that her fever has been broken for well over 24 hours and she has no rash. Apparently, the rash is necessary for the diagnosis. I truly wish that medicine was an exact science, not a practice of guessing games.

She started with this virus on Thursday by spiking a fever. The fever seemed innocent enough because she finally broke her eye teeth through. In the morning, her fever was about 100.1, which fit into the teething theory.
By 1pm, it spiked over 103. She had no other symptoms so I, of course, freaked the hell out. A high fever with no other symptoms could not be anything good. We ran to the doctor's with a very sick baby. She was so listless and unhappy.

Here's where I have to interject a bit of a confession: I had a gigantic panic attack on the way to the doctor's. Most will not be surprised, if you know me, but the reason why it's a confession is because I'm actually tasting my not-so-delicious words. Yes, that's right, I'm eating my words, once again, on this whole parenthood thing. Something I've done quite a bit.

My words were something along the lines of, "When my kid gets sick, I really don't think I'll freak out. What's the big deal? Kids get sick and then they get better.".

Here's the real story, I have never felt the amount of worry, anxiety, doom, sadness and helplessness than I have in the past three days. Granted, this virus was of the obscure type, with very few symptoms other than a fever, so I will give myself that, it wasn't the common cold or flu, BUT even if it was a horrible flu-type, I would have probably been just as worried.

Time stood still. It was as if nothing else in the world was happening these past couple of days. "MY BABY IS SICK AND I NEED TO FIX IT RIGHT NOW", was all that ran through my head. I immediately assumed the worst, she had meningitis, or something worse, I was convinced.

When we returned from the doctor, I stared holes through her, just waiting for some kind of change, ANY kind of change.

Thursday night came and went with little change, but uneventful all the same.

Friday, however, was a different story.
Her temperature was between 102-103.5 most of the day, although barely affecting her mood. She seemed a little low key and quiet, but not terribly ill. I was thinking perhaps we weathered the storm and the fever would break at any minute, sure to leave behind the elusive rash. Of course if got worse before it got better.

Later in the evening, I called my parents in tears, barely able to make a sentence, " onnne of yyoooouuuu.... cooome.... ovvvver?? Li li li lily's fever is...almost...105". It was 104.8, to be exact. So, like the wonderful parents they are, they came to stare holes in her too until Dustin got home from work. I must have taken her temperature 15-20 times, all that read at least 104.3.

I was certain we would end up in the emergency room. I made a call to the on-call doctor, who left me an unhelpful message (when my phone went straight to voice mail for some reason). I called him back, to no avail. Screw it, my friends know better anyway. I texted friends, all of which telling me that 104 was cause for the ER.

"Ok, we're going", I said, more than once.

My dad was here to talk me off that ledge, convincing me that the hospital would not do much different than what we were able to do. Instead, we cooled her with washcloths and just fed her Tylenol.  Nothing was making a dent in that temperature. I held her, I cried some more, I prayed.

Dustin came home and the three of us laid in bed the whole night. I watched as her little chest was rising and falling so, so quickly, her breathing shallow and fast. God, what I would have given for that to be me instead of her.

I kept my hand on her to monitor the heat, as best as I could, to ensure that her fever wasn't rising any more. We'd drift off to sleep and I would jerk my eyes open, suddenly wide awake, hoping for some change.

From 4:30am-7am, we slept. At 7am, her temperature was 100.7, thank sweet baby plastic Jesus. By 10:30am, it was gone. It left behind some massively bloodshot eyes, a crank monster and a very ill looking little girl.
It's now Sunday and she's still recovering. She's definitely better but very little energy and her little eyes are still so bloodshot. Perhaps she's just milking it now :)

What an incredible wave of emotions.
I realize this is a very dramatic recreation. I am not naive to the fact that this is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things, or how bad it could have been, and we do recognize that this is just the beginning of illnesses and worrying. I just had to capture the "first time" emotions.
Scary shit, I'm not going to lie.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You are so, so funny. You started having full conversations this week. It's not a language that anyone can comprehend but YOU definitely know what you're saying. You are making complete sense to yourself. I'm saying, you talk for minutes at a time. It phonetically sounds like this...

"fen fen fu fun DADADADADA fen fen fow fow pow bab bab" ::pause to laugh at yourself "pa pa pa fen mow mow"

Possibly a language of the Asian decent? I'm not sure. You even use hand gestures.

Something else you're into this week is Baby Einstein DVDs. You will watch these for an hour at a time if we let you. While you're watching them, or even if the t.v. is on at all, you will go around collecting the remotes and hand them to any adult that is in the room...just in case we need them. Its so cute.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Being a parent throws you into a world of controversy. Although there were a lot of things that I did not expect as a new parent, this was probably one of the most surprising.

There are so many aspects about parenthood that are controversial and leave room for a lot of judgment: not vaccinating or injecting them with autism, "no cry" sleep solutions or "cry it out" and ruin all trust that your baby has in you, schedules or no schedules, discipline or allow your child to "express themselves", breastfeeding or poisoning your child, cloth diapers or ruining the earth, become a stay at home mom or abandon your child...I could go on and on.

Just for those curious on the topics above, we decided:
- Autism is better than dying from a deadly disease.
- Crying it out is the only way we saved our sanity.
- Schedules do not work for us.
- We're stumped on discipline.
- We poisoned our kid from day one.
- We are ruining the earth.
- I have abandoned my child so we can pay our bills.

It's amazing to me how you can never be right about the way you raise your child. Someone is always going to disagree with you. This isn't the type of disagreeing like you would disagree on whether Coke or Pepsi tastes better. This is right up there with abortion, religion and politics. Possibly worse in some cases.

Becoming a parent makes you instantly judgmental. This is evident by the comments I have received intermittently throughout the last 14 months. Things like, "SHE'S ONLY A WEEK OLD AND YOU BROUGHT HER TO A RESTAURANT??", or "Why don't you have a blanket around her?? {when it's June in Florida}"...both by complete strangers in public places.  And I cannot even count the amount of times I faced the looks of pity/speculation/disgust when I said that breastfeeding didn't work for us. Even talking with my closest friends, discussing vaccines is even a topic broached with extreme caution.

Opinions and judgments fly. I think I made my point.

I would love to sit here and type that I am not one of those judgmental new parents, and that I believe that everyone is entitled to how they feel about raising a baby.
I would be lying.
I find myself side eying in a lot of situations. I find it interesting that everyone has themselves so convinced that they are parenting the right way and are so quick to judge others- myself included.
It goes back to the ideology of parenthood being a brand new job to all of us. We've had no training, so what makes us all experts all of the sudden? Just because we read something on the internet that told us to do something one way and not the other?

Take breastfeeding for example. 33 years ago when I was born, it was not the social norm to breastfeed. It was even assumed that new moms wouldn't breastfeed and some were given a shot to deplete their milk supply right after birth.
Now, even when your newborn is still swimming in amniotic fluid, we are all told that "breast is best" and formula is poison. Why? Because research shows it. Similar to research saying on one given day that caffeine is the devil and the next day it suddenly has health benefits. The pendulum always seems to swing the other way at some point. I, by no means, am saying that breastfeeding isn't the most beneficial way of feeding your child. I'm just using it as an example of the contradictions that society sends our way.

When it comes to judging others so harshly as new parents, I believe the truth is that we are all just scared. Scared of fucking up our kids beyond repair, so we judge others. The truth is we don't know how to raise a child, just like our moms and grandmas didn't know. We grasp onto any information that we can by reading, researching, consulting friends and talking to our pediatricians. We identify with the information that we choose to, accept it as our own belief and judge others for not viewing it the same way. That's all we can do as new parents. It's really all we have. This might sound obvious to some but, to me. it's an interesting realization overall.

Now, go get your kids some chicken nuggets at McDonald's after skipping that MMR shot!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 2nd 4th of July, babydoll.

You were unbelievably cranky today. I swear if those eye teeth don't cut through soon I'm giving you to grandma and grandpa until they do!
You barely slept today (nothing hugely unusual since you don't sleep most days). Only 45 minutes of napping total. I put you down for bed at 6:30pm and you were up screaming at 8pm. You were just so uncomfortable that you didn't want to be in your bed.
I held you for a long time and then all of the sudden you got this...second wind, of sorts. You wanted to play, so we let you. Gramma and Grampa were here and daddy had just gotten home from work, so you decided to put on a show at 9:45pm. You were laughing, speaking your own language, loudly I might add, and even petting Bear. It was hilarious. I will add the video here soon because it is just too funny not to.
You are STILL awake in your bed and it's 10:30pm now. The fireworks are keeping you from sleep right now.
I might have to go outside an murder some neighbors in a bit.

Friday, July 2, 2010

5 unassisted steps today. I cannot believe it. I thought it would be another couple of months before we saw that! (You are a little on the "I'd rather crawl because it is clearly WAY faster than walking" thought pattern.)
You surprise me everyday.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You love my make-up.
On the mornings I have to leave the house for work, instead of working from home, you sit in the bathroom with me and play with my make up. We both sit Indian style on the floor, facing one another, with the bin of goods between us. You sift through the compacts, eye shadows, eyeliners, etc., very carefully, examining each one as though you have never seen it before. You twist it, turn it, open it, close it, flip it upside down.  You are fascinated by everything in my make up bin.

You'll choose something carefully, then say, "Ooohh woooowww!", and then hand over what you have chosen for me. You even wait for me to lift it to my face before you continue on your next product search.

I cannot describe to you how I feel in these moments. This is you wanting to be involved with what I'm doing. This is me watching you learn. This is us, bonding. This is so many things to me.

I want to stop time in these moments, as I know it will be a blink of an eye before you will be applying your own make up in the bathroom with your girlfriends, trying to decide where to go for the evening.

Thank you for making my mornings so meaningful.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You love to be social.
That is such a general statement and probably very typical of 13 month old toddlers, but when I say you like it what I actually mean is that you NEED it to be in a decent mood. You have always been this way. Perhaps I created this since I could not stand to be cooped up in the house with you when you were brand new. I took you everywhere since you were 3 days old to save my postpartum sanity.

You thrive on the stimulation of new places and faces. You could be dead exhausted and still be content being in a crowd of people. You love to watch, flirt, point, giggle, and observe. It suits you. You actually get bored at home. You have at least 300 toys at home, of all shapes, sizes, sounds, and movements, but you tire of them easily. Sit you in the middle of a food court somewhere and you would be entertained for at least an hour or two.

Tonight we went to Outback as a family. We don't get to do this very often because 1.) you go to bed so early (usually 6-6:30) and 2.) daddy works nights.We try to go out as often as we can though, despite our attempt to budget. We love to go out to eat.

There are only a couple of groups of people that go out to dinner at 5:30pm on a Saturday night: old people and couples with young children. Your dad and I used to be the couple going to dinner at 8-8:30pm, like most childless people our age.
Now, we're in that group of people. You know, the ones with the screaming kids that make messes all over the floor, who don't clean it up, the ones that waitresses HATE to wait on for obvious reasons, the ones who rush the meals because there is a meltdown around the corner ...only with you, you don't scream, you don't really make a mess, we DO clean up after you, and we don't have to rush through dinner because you are just so content with your surroundings. I love taking you places.

I do recognize that this can change on any given day, without notice. I also recognize that the "terrible twos" is just right around the corner.

For now, I love that you are a social butterfly. I hope you stay this way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, I took you to see your great grandma in her new facility. She hadn't seen you in about a month. Not that she remembers, but it's still nice to bring you. You're very lucky to have a great grandparent, be it as it may.

She still remembers me and your grandma. With a little help, she knows you are my daughter. She doesn't remember your name, but does ask every 2 or 3 minutes. She also wants to know if you're a good baby.
She looks much healthier at this facility compared to the first one she was in. (We moved her in the first when you were about 9 months old.)

We stayed for about 30 minutes. We sat in the common area with about 5 of the residents and a couple of the caregivers. They were playing a game of "chair basketball", in which they all sit in their chairs and try to get the ball into a big bin that sits in the middle of the room.
Jivca, a lively Bulgarian woman that is in charge of the activities, made you laugh. Every time one of the residents made a basket, she would make such a big deal. She would hoot and holler, jump up and down, and give high fives. This tickled you for about 20 minutes. You giggled that hearty laugh that touches everyone in ear shot.

Something amazing happened to those residents as they watched you watching them. They looked alive. They looked happy. They looked like they could even remember their own children, grand children and great grand children. You brought them joy and you didn't even know it.

The circle of life truly is amazing...and sad. It's shocking to me how similar you were to these people that were 70-80 years your senior. I pray everyday that you do not end up with that fate, even though we all end up there, to some extent.

Then again, to see the simple happiness that you brought to them, and vice versa, maybe it isn't such a bad place to be. I hope you always keep life as simple as possible, Lily.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Motherhood has had a way of making me feel bipolar at times. I'm not at all making light of mental illness. I know better than that, but I do mean bipolar. So high and so low at times.

I have had a stressful week. Work has been out of control busy and challenging, PMS, the never ending teething child who likes to scream most of each day...just stress. Then add in a couple of doses of feeling sorry for myself because of feeling like a prisoner in my own home night since Dustin has been gone every.single.night. this week. All in all, not a good combination.

Tonight, I wanted to go to an All Class Reunion that is being held at some local restaurants. They split up the classes into decades and send everyone to different locations, then have shuttles to go in between to mix everyone together.

Have I ever wanted to attend events like these before? No.
Why do I want to tonight? Because I can't.

I could have asked my parents to come and sit with the baby but they do too much for us and they need their time.

So I sulk. I pout, to myself. Woe is me.

An hour after putting Lily to bed, she starts screaming and doesn't stop. I, naturally, start pitching a fit, again, to myself. I am even brought to tears out of frustration. WHY tonight does she have to start screaming so early?? WHY do all of my other friends with kids find a sitter and not feel guilty?? WHY is she screaming?? WHY does my husband get to be at work at night?? Just WHY??

Aaaaand then guilt sets in. And I cry some more because I feel guilty. I cry because I should not be feeling sorry for myself with this beautiful little baby in the other room who needs me. I'm ridiculous.

After the standard 30 minutes of letting her scream, I go in and get her. She's red faced and so upset.
"WHAT is wrong?? Grrrr. These fucking teeth are going to be the death of me", is all I can think.
Another pang on guilt with that selfish though.

I make her a bottle, even though she just ate an hour beforehand. She sucks down 6 ounces.

Here comes the bipolar part...

I look down at her in my arms, so content and quiet. She was hungry. Oh my God, I suck, she was just hungry. She could not have been more peaceful in this moment. She could not have been more beautiful and sweet. She needed me.
Suddenly, I am filled with more love and elation than anyone on earth. I "fixed" her and she is happy now, and so am I. She feels safe and loved right now. She is happy I'm here. There was no place I would rather be in this moment and as a matter of a fact, the thought of missing the moment makes me sad.

Crazy highs and lows.

Welcome to my journal of motherhood.

Although I have been blogging for a couple of years, I haven't been journaling the way I want to.
I am a writer. I always have used this as my outlet. I want to journal though, not just write. I want this journal to be for me, and for an adult Lily, telling about my experiences in raising her. I have written Lily several letters already in the past 13 months but they are my "mommy" letters, letters of happiness and milestones, not of day to day feelings and experiences.

I read a book that inspired me to do this. The author started journaling when her daughter was 7 months old and some of her entries made me realized the things I neglected to capture.

One thing that stands out in my mind is the way that I used to love to hold Lily on my shoulder and hear her little breaths and sounds of life. Those sounds used to make me smile no matter what the moments previous had been like. That little rising and falling of her chest on mine was what made me a mom. It was life that I created. It was what I longed for while she was growing inside me. It my favorite part about being a new mom of a tiny 7lb newborn...and I never even wrote that down.

So, better late than never.
Here, at 13 months, Lily is now my toddler and I will start from here.

I will speak a lot directly to her here and give a lot of honesty about where the journey has taken me. It won't always be rainbows and unicorns. My goal is to make this more of a daily entry blog of life. Not just the "let me catch you all up with my life" type of blog. Few pictures, more words. Some of my entries may not even make sense to some or most, but they are my experiences.

Why share with the masses? Because I want to share my reality of motherhood. The good, the bad, the ugly, the amazing and the unthinkable.

Motherhood, and all of it's glory, is a job. A job of which no experience is required. There are no promotions, or even pay for that matter. There is no upper management or supervisors. There is no time off or even a pat on the back. You can't even do an internship to ensure that this job suits you. You apply for the position the day you conceive and you are contracted for life. You get an instant promotion the day your child is welcomed into the world. You are a mother, without a training manual. You have no choice but to learn as you go along. I could be cliche here and say that love is the payoff, and it is, but it is still a job with a learning curve.

Here are my daily musings of my promotion to motherhood.