26 February 2014
13 February 2014
Half a year.
To take the words right from every mother's mouth... HOW? I feel like I was holding her limp little newborn body folded in half on my chest just moments ago, but I also cannot for the life of me remember my days without her either. We met our girl six months ago, and boy have we grown.
She is 14 pounds and 15 ounces. And 26.5 inches long.
She is now a sturdy, lively little girl. Sitting up with strength. Lunging toward whatever she wants with vigor. She can "walk" while we hold her hands. She recognizes the words "hungry" and "nigh nigh" and responds with an excited whimper to both. She is starting to know what "no" means, too. She also recognizes my mother's voice (specifically when singing "You Are My Sunshine.") Anabel's grin is gigantic whenever she sings to her, and it is such a sweet thing to witness. Anabel taught herself peek a boo, and how to wave, although her waving doesn't mean what our waving means. She said goodbye to California, her first home, dog, and the first people who met and loved her this month (which was far harder on I than her). She road tripped with us across Nevada into Utah and is surrounded by family and snowy mountains for the next couple of weeks. She takes awhile to warm up to new faces, and will squeak for a few moments, but is slowly learning that it is fun to be the center of attention. Seeing her flirt with my father and grandfather is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
Anabel likes food. She still loves mama's milk, but we started letting her taste little bits of things at the tail end of her fifth month, and we haven't looked back. She has loved everything she has had, and has only made faces a few times. As of right now she has tasted blueberries, raspberries, avocado, bananas, carrots, squash, pumpkin, peaches, mango, clementine (juice), green beans, zuchinni, potato, peas, grape (juice), apple, and most recently rice cereal. She is a water fanatic and wants sips from our cups constantly. And ice in her teether.
Speaking of which, she has a TOOTH. After many feverish, sad nights (in our temporary housing, no less), and a lot of chewing, the top left tooth finally peeked through. She's still working on a couple more, I think.
Our lady is feisty, demanding, and determined. She is brilliant, bold, and so dang funny. She communicates so clearly. Her feelings are always written all over that sweet face of hers. I find myself thinking "I love her, I love her..." so often throughout our days together. I cannot wait for the next six months... six years... six hundred years of knowing her.
29 January 2014
Anabel meets Muir Woods + The Golden Gate Bridge
"A portrait of my daughter once a week every week in 2014."
My last few posts have been very "wordy," so this time I am going to spare you all that & share one-hundred of my new favorite photos of Steven and Anabel. My guy and my girl.
(Bear with me.)
We have exactly two weeks left in The Golden State. We decided it was time to bid farewell to some of our favorite places, all the while introducing Anabel to them, too. Muir Woods and The Golden Gate bridge are two places we visited often. Three very specific memories are times when I was pregnant. Once before we knew about her, again days before we knew she was a she (I got so, so car sick on those windy roads), and again when I had a waddle in my walk, and she was mere weeks from making her appearance.
I was sure she'd be indifferent to the experience, but she acted like the woods belonged to her. She would squeal as she breathed in the cool air, and made a point to acknowledge every passerby. She was, no doubt, the loudest living thing in the monument.
She was just as giddy when we stopped in front of the bridge, also. Giggling loudly at Steven. In awe at the ant-sized cars, and boats down below. Slap happy and smiling.
I will never forget what it felt like to see her breathe in the air of the giant redwoods, and study the shape of that historic bridge for the first time.
I think it is safe to say that California will always be a part of her.
22 January 2014
After a long, sleepless night in November, I made a joke on my Facebook that chronic sleep deprivation and mom guilt would be the death of me. And that statement might still hold true, but what a friend of mine said in response has stuck with me since then. She made a good point about the importance of self-care, and then she said,
"What would it be like to wake up every day to a mom who was totally happy?"
I think sleep deprivation has be the single hardest thing for me in the this whole mom-gig. I have never been drunk, but I imagine it feels a lot like I do when I am tired. I am sloppy and whiney and clumsy. My muscles are stiff and my bones feel arthritic. My eyelids feel like they are one-thousand pounds. I am basically useless. I will rock Ana with desperation. My eyes closed begging the heavens for just a little sleep. Or a lot of sleep, if we're being honest.
I had somewhat acclimated to this chronic fatigue, but then she learned to sleep through the night. Recently, though, she forgot how to sleep again when her teeth decided to grow.
So, here I am again.
I have made a point to remember the words of my friend this go-around, though. I make it a priority to take care of myself, too.
Almost every morning lately, after nights of seeing just about every hour on the clock, I wake up with the sun and my girl. She is talking to herself in her crib. I greet her through the slits of my puffy eyes, and she smiles wildy; so thrilled to see me again. As if we hadn't just spent the night with one another. I open the blinds to let the sun pour in, and we say hello to the baby in the mirror. Then, we nurse. Afterward, I put her in her high chair with a few toys in front of her. Sometimes a cold washcloth for her sore gums. I put a record in the turntable or start spotify to play while I cook myself breakfast - an attempt to make myself feel more human. I make an egg with fried tomatoes and fresh avocado, usually. She fixates on the colored toys, working hard to grasp them and pull them into her mouth. One by one. Curling her toes as she focuses. Tossing each toy on the floor after she is done with them. Sometimes throwing them with vigor. I study the notches in her elbows and knuckles, and laugh at her fluffy mohawk, and the way her eyes cross when she brings her toys closer to her face. I sing along to the music for her. I feel her gaze on me, and I look back at her and spin and dance on the kitchen tile, despite my exhaustion. I give her a good, obnoxious show because I know she loves it. Her mouth always falls open into a massive oval smile. The one that makes her look identical to her father. And I tell her I love her a million and one times.
We eat, and play, and clean together until it is time for her to nap. I rock her with just as much desperation, but instead of closing my eyes, I look into hers, and I talk to her. I rub my nose against her nose, and kiss her forehead until she drifts off.
And then I nap, too.
I cannot say I do not struggle with the sleeplessness, still, but I am really trying. I want to greet each day with that same enthusiasm she greets me with after being up in the night. I want to start her mornings (and mine too) with optimism and joy.
I want her to wake up every day to a mom who is totally happy.
So here I will be, trying day by day, to be just that. Even if it kills me.