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.