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Dear Little One,

Did you know you are two years old? And your silly Mama hasn’t yet sat down to write about how incredible of a two-year-old you are? I’m not sure why I haven’t written. I guess it’s because I believe I will always remember the small things, how could a Mother forget? How could I forget how “squarey” Daddy’s tickle attacks are (squarey = scary), or your love of helping me crack the eggs open when I make scrambled eggs, or how scared you get when the garbage truck goes by. I’m sure I will always remember the weight of your little self on me as we rock for the 750th day in a row before bed time, or your favorite worn-through Elmo or the way you love to sing in the car. Of course I’ll never forget.

Except when I do forget. I went to see your new, fresh out of Heaven cousin Jack and was asked so many times “how did this feel?” “what did you do when Audrey did this,” “how did Audrey handle this.” And I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t remember just two years ago to when you were fresh to us and we were winding through the darkness of the newborn months. I couldn’t remember how you liked to be burped, or the extreme exhaustion of no sleep, or how long it took you to grow out of newborn clothes.

But what I do remember, and know I will remember forever is how you feel in my arms. No matter how long and little-girl-like you are getting, you are still my baby and always the one who made me a Mama. I will never forget your long eyelashes resting on your cheeks as you fight sleep because you are just like your Daddy and love to stay up late. I hope I never forget how you say “waffle” and “milk” and “let’s go!” with such gumption. I think I’ll always remember how you are already making up songs, your favorite tune being “Frere Jacque.” I hope you sing forever.

You love “snowman i.e., the movie Frozen,” “cookies” and Play-Doh. You don’t like Sadie eating your food, going inside, or most vegetables. We are working on sharing, going to the potty and not touching hot things. You are so curious and talking. all. the. time. You are empathetic. You drop your baby doll and immediately say “it’s OK, I got you.” You like to play the “yes/no” game where if Mama says no, you respond with yes, and then Mama says no again, and then you say yes again, and then Mama tricks you and says yes, and you are smart enough to switch to no! You love to sit on my lap and play with my makeup as I get ready in the morning. You are still in your crib, and if you really thought about it could climb out, but we’re holding out as long as we can to keep you in there because I know the second you’re free, we are in so much trouble!

I love you little one and I promise to never, ever, ever forget how much I love you.

Your Mama

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A Fall Letter

audrey madelineDear Little One,

You rock. You are blossoming and growing and changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up! At 14 months, I swear you are going on 14. I’m sure all Mamas out there say their child grows too fast, losing the baby parts of themselves so quickly you don’t know where you were when it happened. I’m still stuck in this limbo of never wanting you to grow up and being excited about the next stage in your life. I see you as a little girl, a toddler, not a baby anymore. But I hear strangers say “look at that baby!” and I’m instantly reminded that you are ONLY 14 months old. I think you will perpetually feel older to me, and I’m not sure why.

Maybe its because I needed to close that door quickly, transition from you not being a baby anymore and never look back because it would hurt my heart too much. So I see you only as a little girl now. But you still do baby things. You still need rocking every now and then, you still love your pacifier and you still can’t express your feelings just like I think you want to. But, you also do such big girl things! You walk on your own all the time now, you point and tell me things you want (usually things you can’t have), you understand what Daddy and I are trying to tell you more often, and you know how to pitch a fit like no other.

Here’s what else I’m learning about you:

  • If you like what you are eating, you LOVE what you are eating, and only want to eat that, savoring every bite with your tiny fingers held up to your mouth as if you couldn’t bear to let one crumb out
  • But if you don’t like what you are eating, you like to throw it on the floor or chew it up and spit it out into Mama or Daddy’s hands; this has led to your first introduction of time out, which you are definitely not a fan of
  • I don’t know if we are doing it on purpose, but I see us raising you as a very independent little girl; you walk without our hand a lot, we let you lead the way when you walk, and I often find myself letting you guide me to where you want to go
  • You don’t like meat, nor do you like french fries
  • You love washcloths and rags, and love bath time when Mama lets you hold every rag in the cabinet and chew on them until you are pruny as a raisin
  • You are starting to wake up earlier; we had a good run there for a while where you would sleep until 8 am or 9 am, but I fear those days are slipping slowly by

But most importantly, I still adore being your Mama. I can’t wait to share the holidays with you this year. Forever and always, my baby you’ll be.

love, Mama


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Sick Snuggles

I’ve always heard moms talk about how much they “loved” when their kids didn’t feel good, because it meant they would get more snuggles and cuddle time from their normally rambunctious kids. I would often wonder why any mom would “like” that their kid was sick and think “I can snuggle with Audrey any time I want!”

Well, I said that before Audrey learned how to crawl and walk and basically get away from me any chance she could. I thought it before I held and snuggled my own baby for hours at a time, and then learned to ache for it when she didn’t want to anymore.

And I definitely said it before I had to hold my own baby in an Emergency Room with spiked fever and an antibiotic allergic reaction that sent her into a two-day hospital stay.

You never want your children sick, but they way Audrey relaxed on me when I finally made it to the Emergency Room after a $400 last minute flight home from California; the way she was in so much pain she only wanted to be touched by me or Jason; the way she looked for me the instant she woke up from every fitful nap — those moments reminded me how much I missed being able to actually hold her. Not just carry her from place to place, but actually HOLD her and comfort her and feel her body fit perfectly into my arms and my neck.

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Our Audrey is well again, back to her old self (with a few stubborn hives lingering), but she is no longer the cuddly, needy babe she was just 48 hours ago. But those dark moments in a cold hospital room when she let me hold her close for hours at a time, gave me more to be thankful for than I have in a long time. I didn’t like it at all, but I loved it.


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The Biggest First

Yesterday came and went like every other normal day for most. But it was so much bigger than that at our little house on the corner. It was Audrey’s first birthday! My little one is now 1 and as much of a toddler as ever. I worried that the day would bring bittersweet, sappy memories, but instead it brought fun, laughter and a lot of sugar. The long days of this short year have added up to so many memories, things I had already forgotten, and remembered again while perusing old photos.

Like how could I forget how her belly button used to make a cinnamon roll swirl? Or how sleep deprived we were in the first few months of her life? Or how there was ever a time she wasn’t always on the go? When I’m in the moment and I see something special, I think “how could I ever forget how wonderful this moment right here is?” But I do forget, and sadly I will keep forgetting. As much as I try to remember how much I love how she holds her hand at your mouth to keep the food in while she’s chewing, how she shakes her head no at everything, even the things she wants, or how she loves to lay her head on my shoulder right after a nap, these small things will fade away.

But how you made me a Mama, how you thrill your Daddy and how much we love you will never be forgotten. And I’m so glad we got to celebrate your first year with our best family and friends. What a party! Rainbows and hot air balloons, cake and football, rain and laughter, it all created the best birthday party I could imagine. Happy birthday my sweet Audrey Faye!

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Baby’s First Beach

We hit another milestone earlier this month when we took Audrey to the beach for the first time. What a trip! Not only did she love the sand, the water and the sun, she also loved not sleeping, practicing her diva moves and biggest of all … walking! We have a little brave one on our hands. She absolutely loved it. Rolled around in the sand, played in it, played in the waves, swam in the water, she did it all. And she took those first few precious steps (naturally in front of an audience) and when we came home I looked at her and saw a little girl, instead of my baby. I’m not sure if I love it or hate it 🙂

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A Summer Letter

Dear Little One,

audrey summer

You are 10 months old (almost)! I can barely type those words without getting a lump in my throat thinking how big, and lovely and bright you are. You are growing every day, and I often look at you and wonder where my teeny tiny baby went. All I see now is an almost toddler, but how fun of an almost-toddler you are becoming. This photo perfectly captures so much about you right now. 

You are changing: you hold your own bottle now, use a sippy cup, eat finger food, pull up on furniture, crawl like a maniac, walk along furniture and make yourself known with your constant ma-mas and da-das. You even play games! You are loving peek-a-boo right now. Just this morning, as I was rushing to get you dressed, you decided to pull your outfit over your face, wait a second and then pull it off waiting for my “where’s Audrey!?” exclamation before you erupted in laughter and started all over again.

I know now how parenthood will be, the constant, slow drip of you needing less of me, and becoming more of you. So independent and so full of personality, you amaze us every day with a new look, a new sound, a new something.

You sweat, a lot. Girl, you are so hot natured! You sweat when we rock you at night, you work hard and play hard and you go until your little body can’t go anymore. You fight so hard against sleep and every night as I rock you with your bottle, you strain against the inevitable, pulling, tugging, stretching against the sleep that overtakes you until you finally give in. I think you wait for me to give you the OK that it’s fine to rest, it’s OK to sleep and we will be there when you wake. 

Your hair is getting so long and still so blonde. You love Sadie and wished she didn’t run away from you when you try to pet her. You love remote controls. You would be happy to sit with a remote in each hand, passing them back and forth to your mouth for hours. You are fearless! You would launch yourself off the couch if not for our steady, sure hand there to catch you. You are sleeping so well and even starting to sleep late (we think you will be just like your Daddy and love sleep!). You are now, like I always envisioned having a baby would look like. Big, happy, full of baby rolls and squishy and interactive, I have a feeling we are hitting the sweet spot of infancy, but that it will slip too soon into toddler years. But I’ll hold on as long as I can!

I love you Little One. I’m 29 today, and have the best birthday gift ever. The joy of being your Mama. I can’t wait to celebrate your first birthday in just two short months, and all your birthdays after that. I hope we have the best Summer and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

love,

Your Mama


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Swimsuits and Size 12

Yesterday marked a special occasion. No, it wasn’t a birthday or a holiday or anything really, other than a normal Sunday, for the most part. But to me, it was a special day. Because yesterday was the first day since having Audrey last August that I went shopping by myself. No baby carrier, no stroller, no worries. Just me and the mall, baby. I LOVE shopping. I love the stores, spending money, having new clothes, etc. I love it all.

So I had grand visions of this day. I waited as long as I could to go because I know my sizes were changing, I had spent a small fortune on maternity clothes and I just plain didn’t have the energy. But with a work event looming and a desperate need for a new dress to wear, off I went.

And here is what I learned:

1. It is not smart to park at the entrance that brings you right into the swimsuit section. The teeny-weeny bikinis are not good self-esteem boosters when you are clinging to a size 12 like it’s going out of style.

2. I need to start a clothing store that specializes in postpartum clothes. Your body gets weird, yo. I mean, not freaky weird, it just fits differently during these first few months after the baby. And your “normal” size may not be normal anymore, and can someone FOR THE LOVE OF GOD make beautiful cocktail dresses that aren’t sleeveless? Too much to ask?

3. The lights in the dressing room are just as depressing as they were before having a baby.

4. Trying on 30 dresses does not guarantee you will find one, but you will burn a lot of calories making three or four loops to keep looking because you refuse to leave that store without a dang dress.

5. You will spend a lot more money because you will buy more dresses than you need so that you can bring home options to your poor, unassuming husband who will spend the next two hours talking you off a ledge and ASSURING you that the way the dress sits on your hips does not make you look like you camel humps for hips.

6. You will have a ray of golden sunlight when a pair of pants fits and they are on sale and you buy them and everybody get ready because you will see me in these pants probably every day for the next few months because they fit so perfectly.

7. See No. 6 but replace the pants with a sundress that I will wear on the days the pants are dirty. Or covered with spit-up.

8. You will find a dress that works, praise Jesus, and leave with as much self confidence and renewed commitment to working out as you can muster as you must once again pass the swimsuit section to get to your car.

Do not fear. I know that I am beautiful, that I look great after having a baby, that I have all this time to lose any weight that I feel shouldn’t be there. I just found that this whole day that I had looked forward to was a bit more jarring than I expected, but a bit freeing as well. I’m not as crushed as I thought I would be that I’m not back to pre-preganancy weight yet. I really am fine with it. It’s time to get with the program though, but for me, for now, it’s OK. And I’m OK. We’re all OK.

Bonus lesson #9: To make you feel better after this excursion, go to Target, get a caffe vanilla frappuccino and wander the aisles for as long as you can stand it. It helps heal all wounds 🙂