Friday, June 29, 2007

too dang fast

Shortly after M turned five months old, I was nursing her to sleep upstairs in the nursery when I realized just. how. BIG. she. is. Her wavy-haired head was nestled in the crook of my arm and her daddy long legs dangled precariously between the rungs beneath the armrest on the other side. She was literally spilling off my lap, a relaxed pile of milk-drunk limbs. For the first time since Madeleine's birth, I cried about her growth, the changing that is happening so fast.

Everyone tells you this, "it will go by so fast," as you enter parenthood, along with a barrage of other negative comments such as "oh, this one's a good sleeper? just wait for the next!" or, "you think that's bad?! Let me tell you a REAL infant horror story!" or, my personal favorite, "don't get used to it!," like my lovely baby will turn evil any moment.

There seems to exist among parents a bad news club, or this need to negate positive experiences and sweet moments with some sort of whacked-out backwards parent karma: what seems good now will one day be bad. Why is that? Out of many, many women who I spoke to about labor and delivery, only a select few told me positive stories about their own, and only one told me what was the absolute truth (in my own experience): your labor can be a wonderful time.

As I sat in the rocker with tears in my eyes, I grieved for the moment that would never again be. My child, still so much a baby, was changing by the minute into a bigger, smarter, more independent person.

With each new day, a new development. With each milestone, a celebration. Each morning I love her more and more, and it is true, what parents say (positively, I might add): each stage is your favorite. But she's my child; of course every stage is my favorite because she is absolutely my most favorite thing in the world.

I am in awe of who she already is and find myself wondering at the little girl, teenager, grown woman she will one day be. But these flash-forwards are fleeting, because there are far too many in-the-moment times where I celebrate who she is at that very second, even if the celebration involves tears at the infant she is leaving behind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Picture Updates

At 5 months, 1 1/2 weeks, Maddie continues to be a whole lot of fun. She started babbling about a few weeks back, her favorite vocalizations involving some combination of the sounds ba, da, la, and ya. She laughs at almost anything, especially the dog, being tickled, and funny noises or faces. In addition, she's a breeze to take on errands, finally accustomed to being in a carseat or stroller and spending the time looking all around.

Naps continue to be anyone's guess, as she'll take 3 long naps one day, and barely sleep an hour during the day the next! However, she almost always sleeps 10-11 hours at night, going to bed earlier and earlier these days. Some mornings start pretty early, but after a little experiement this morning, we found ourselves getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep when Maddie went back to sleep after 10 or so minutes of babbling.

The world is Maddie's playground now. She wants anything that her Daddy or I have in our hands, especially food and drinks. She loves to drink out of Mama's glass and is enjoying her bites of cereal 1-2 times a day. We'll start fruits and vegetables before long, and look forward to the funny faces! In this picture she is exploring one of Daddy's beautiful planter boxes, and we managed to get a picture taken before too many flowers met their untimely death at her chubby, grabby hands.

The hair continues to fall out slowly, leaving telltale shed on Maddie's crib sheet and shirt collars. It's mostly in a mohawk and thick along the base of her head, but there's still enough to enjoy barrettes, ponytails, and ribbons!

Papa and Grammy are visiting this weekend, so Maddie has lots of grandparent love to look forward to! We'll be celebrating our anniversaries together with an overnight wine tasting trip to Sonoma. Mom and Dad are toasting 35 years of marriage, Ben and I are on number 7. Lots of fun to be had!

Only 3 1/2 weeks until our Kauai vacation! That means only 3 1/2 more weeks to work on my base color, lose a few more baby pounds, and only a few more busy work weeks for Ben before relaxed family time. Hooray!

Friday, June 08, 2007

vacation tales

If you ever want to remember why you married your husband, take him on vacation. Upon leaving work for an extended period of time, my husband becomes the fun, loving, affectionate, laidback guy I fell in love with (10!) years ago. Not that he's lame the other 46-48 weeks a year, but there is something about vacation that brings out the best in us all. Time away from the demands of home and office make life almost carefree. That, and two weeks of fishing two amazing trout rivers made him boy-like, giddy and talkative.

This was my first vacation post-Maddie. I wasn't really prepared for the fact that vacation doesn't, really, exactly mean vacation for the Mama. Not that I'm asking for your pity, because any mom reading this post had me figured out at the title, most likely. When you are a mom, your job goes with you on vacation. And she doesn't get less demanding.

Things got especially interesting when my poor sweet child spiked a 102 fever on Memorial Day, followed by a week and a half of diarrhea. When your child is sick, you don't really want to be on vacation. One night the two of us walked the halls until 1:30am when she finally had the bowel movement we'd been waiting for most of the night, enduring screams followed by body writhing and tears. In moments like these the beautiful log cabin with moose and reindeer decorations, large jacuzzi tub, and gleeful husband don't seem quite so magical. You kind of wish for the comforts of home: your own couch, the baby's own bed, freezer stocked with pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough chunks.

The whole vacation wasn't a bust. Maddie was mostly herself despite the ouchy tummy. My hubby was a delight to be around. The cabin was warm and cozy and almost like home. We had a great time with family before Memorial Day, pre-fever.

But it's interesting to know that vacations are hereby different. Not bad, different, because I absolutely love being a mom. And I'd much rather have my husband home and still be "working" myself then be at home while he's gone all day.