One Sad SAHM part 2

Hi baby girl. Tonight was my first night really working again. I’m exhausted. I thought of you the whole time and I showed your picture to everyone.

I love you.

Love,
Mommy

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This is you tonight– playing at Goldie’s in her Tupperware drawer. Ohh how I missed you!

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One Sad SAHM

Dear Miss O,
I’m sad because I have to go back to work soon. I stopped working back in March to be a Stay-at-home Mom, and all I have done is complain about how I still can’t get anything done. But now, as I am job hunting, all I can think about is the joy you have brought me each day I’ve spent at home with you. I should have been OK with a sink full of dirty dishes or dog hair covered floors, an unmade bed and a stack of boxes in the corner from our move almost six months ago. Yet, I complained. Being a mommy is hard, kid. There are never enough hours in a day or moments of peace or tranquility, but finding joy in the humdrum of housewife hood is a gift. I vow to enjoy every moment from here on– even if you’re screaming and there are dishes to do.

Baby Months are like Dog Years

In the last few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that the timeline of baby development is akin to Dog Years. A Dog Year is said to be equivalent to seven People Years, thus dogs age at an accelerated rate than humans. Babies seem so do the same thing up until around age two.

Reminiscing on the last eight and a half months of your life has been like looking at each month as a mini year. Though I described for you in short your first seven and a half months, I have clearly missed announcing a few of your developmental milestones along the way.  What got me thinking about all of this is that in the last month, you have hit four milestones. If you were a dog, I’d say you’ve learned a few new tricks, my dear.

Somewhere around the first week of June, you finally pushed your tummy up off the ground and started crawling. The necessity of baby-proofing finally struck home.

I’d insert a video  now, but since I’m still working off the freebie version of WordPress, I’ll let your imaginations run wild…

Crawling

Lookout, Mom! I’m on the move!

For weeks I have tried to get you to wave, and then one day you just did it! When we went up to Charlotte for MJ’s graduation, you spent that Saturday evening at the restaurant just waving at strangers. Right now “Stranger Danger” means nothing to you, and that’s OK. We can be friendly for a while and enjoy this new skill you have mastered. In the last day or so, you have also developed what I call the Doodle Double Wave — where you lift one hand slightly higher in the air and wave with it, while simultaneously waving the lower hand. The DDW is pretty much adorable in every way.

The third trick you taught yourself. The stand-up-in-the-crib-and-sream-till-Mommy-comes trick. Yes, you can now grasp tightly onto your crib rails and pull up from the seated position until you stand, usually either smiling or screaming, until I come swoop you up. In the morning, it’s a great way to find you — happy and smiling. At 2:00AM, it is terrifying. I also think you scare yourself while you do it because I do not think you have quite realized how to sit back down. Thus, you just stand there until I come get you. Yikes.

The fourth trick you have recently mastered is clapping. This one was a surprise because even thoughPat-a-Cake is a common game with me and with Gramme, you haven’t really attempted it in our presence. On Thursday, after you had a fever all day Wednesday, you were discovered happily playing on the floor and clapping to yourself. To you readers out there, this may seem minuscule — a child learning to clap. BUT SHE’S ONLY 8 MONTHS OLD! And, she’s doing it on cue — AND– whenever anyone claps on TV, she now claps. Now that is genius in my book.

The three weeks of June on which I’ve been reflecting have passed rapidly, but at the end of each month it seems like a year has gone by in measuring your growth. It probably does not help that you are also fitting into 12-18 month clothing at your age either. Why I have been reflecting on this has not been based solely on my astonishment of your speedy growth, but also on my acknowledgement of a life truth I recently came across. “The days are long, but the years are short” says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, the book I’m currently reading (or rather, studying). Darling one, it is easy to get caught up in the monotony or stress of daily life and forget these little accomplishments you have, I just pray that I catch each one and savor it as human years are indeed, short.

Captured Memories – June 2012

Your First Kiss – Griffin Kugler!

Hanging in the Ergo with Daddy at MaryJane’s Graduation

Shredding paper is fun! On the table at the doctor’s office…you had your first bad fever! :(

The First Seven Months

Since you are now over 7.5 months old, I am a bit tardy in starting this blog for you. But let me try to sum up the last seven months in a nutshell…

Months One, Two & Three 

You were born at NHRMC in Wilmington, NC after 36+ hours of painful labor, and 15 days past your due date. Ouch. We stayed in Wilmington for about three days before we took you home to Bald Head Island. I’ll admit, I had never really seen a freshly birthed babe and your little swollen face and dry skin and “polka dots” (what I called your baby acne) were a little off-putting. But I loved you anyway.

At about two weeks old, some crotchety old lady in the Maritime Market parking lot scolded me for having a newborn out on BHI. I told her we lived there so there was nothing we could do — she quickly shut up. Driving you around in a golf cart was nerve-wrecking to say the least. You were so tiny (well, to me you were, but you were a healthy 8+ pounds) and the biggest dangers we faced were hitting deer on the way home, so I was not too worried.

We took you everywhere from the very beginning — your first “Howl” party at two weeks old, we had your photo session at three weeks old, your first Thanksgiving at the Market at 1.5 months, everyone was infatuated with the “island baby.” I couldn’t go anywhere without being bombarded by grandmas who wanted to kiss those cheeks!

I spent my days recovering at home, mostly alone with the dogs. Your father would come home three times a day to check on me and bring me breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was a saint, my best and only friend, and my only comfort through the loneliness that comes when you live in a place like Bald Head as a 25 year old first-time mom. I would nurse you, rock you, sing to you, sway you, swaddle you, and kiss your toes. I was afraid to clip your nails because I pinched you once. I washed diapers, I tied the dogs out onto the front porch, I slept when I could. I smelled you, I breathed you, I loved you.

After three months of solitude though, I couldn’t take the isolation of the island any longer, and we decided to move to Wilmington. Though we miss the critters and the beach, I am so glad we moved to a place where we could both have friends and a little break from our “small town fame” on the island.

Sleeping soundly in the hospital

Me and You

Nasty little umbilical cord hanging on for dear life

First time to East Beach

Snuggled up at the beach

With Granddaddy

2 months old today!

Christmas

with Mommy

Christmas Morning with Daddy

In the MM kitchen with Mommy

with Kashi

Months Four through Seven

January

When we decided to join the whole Pope clan and head west to Tahoe, it all sounded like a good idea. Now, the trip was fine — there was no snow– but we made the best of it. You were an angel, as always. For the rest of the family, however, I can’t say the same. My brothers and I rarely get together anymore and there was the typical childish bickering, the teasing, name-calling and whatnot. There were the small decisions (like where to go for dinner?) that had to be made as a group and no one ever seemed to agree on anything. It was eye-opening to see us as adults all acting like children. But you, my dear, were the sunshine to our days and the one that kept your Daddy and I sane. You slept terribly most of the trip, probably because we had you in a closet. :) We stuffed you in a pink snowsuit even though it was 50 degrees outside. We strolled around Truckee and went to shops, we had a car picnic. You did tummy time on the living room floor and Carson took a picture of you “checking emails.”

We started the move to Wilmington after we returned and it took us 12 golf cart loads, 2 storage unit trips and 3 trams to get all of our junk off BHI and over to the new place. When we were done, it was bliss. But, that was about a month later.

February

Finally in the new house, I spent most of the month juggling getting your sleep schedule back on track — the noises of the “city” were foreign to you. You were used to only the sounds of cicadas buzzing, or the wind whistling past your window. We got through it, and you were growing like a weed!

March

Mommy starts Stroller Strides! March was awesome. I quit my job and I finally got connected with a group of women who go to the park every day for a pretty intense workout. I start doing this about three times a week and the pounds are flying off — woo hoo! Daddy is still working like a mad man, but that’s pretty typical.

By now, you are almost sitting up, you are bouncing bouncing bouncing in your Baby Einstein  jumperoo, and you have figured out how to nap a little better. You start sleeping through the night — 7:30PM until almost 7:00AM.

April 

On the 15th, Aunt Birdie and Uncle Matt come for a visit and we have you Baptized at St. John’s Episcopal Church. It was a sunny, warm day and there was a pig picking’ afterward. Our plan had been to throw you a party at the house, but the preschoolers were “graduating” so we got to take advantage of the BBQ they were having at the church. So, we called it your Baptismal BBQ.

May

The wedding season I will never forget.  Three weeks straight we catered  rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions, bridal brunches and family meals. It was a tough couple of weeks of going back and fourth to the island, but somehow, like always, we got through it.

You’ve started to pull yourself up and stand with my help, you try to “jump” out of my lap (yikes!), and you are fully aware of what it takes to keep me in your bedroom nursing you well past your bedtime. You say “da da da da” and even whisper it, “daaa daaa.” Your Daddy is tickled. You have been cutting two teeth for about two weeks – neither of which seems to want to break through except for the razor-sharp edge of the bottom left one that cuts my nipple every time you nurse. You LOVE the dogs. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Every time you see Kashi or Koko or Bo, you go straight for them, much to Kashi’s chagrin I must say. She just wants to eat your food. That’s a battle we have to work on. Hmm.

Okay sweet one, that’s seven months in a nutshell. Oh I have missed so many details, so many little triumphs already! But, let’s hope and pray I catch them more often so that one day you can look back and appreciate it all. Maybe when you are a mommy.

For My Dearest Daughter

Dear Sweet Geoffrey-Girl,

In about eighteen years you will embark on the journey of your adult life and most likely hate my guts by then. Hopefully not, but most eighteen year olds are pretty darn sure they know everything, and they know especially these truths:

1 – I am not like my mother.

2 – I can do anything I want to do.

3 – I am a grown up now.

When I was eighteen, I was headed to college without a care in the world. I had just spent a summer abroad and about the first truth, I was absolutely certain…I am NOT like my mother. Sweet child, I have since discovered that I am very much like her, yet also very different. Just like you will discover. I am writing this to you now because to me, it is important that you know me. That you know all of my hopes and dreams for you are with unbridled love, and that no matter what I will be here for you. So, darling one, grow up! Grow in stride, grow in love, grow in passion and spirit. Grow in faith, grow in peace, grow with that wild hair your father has. Learn from me, learn from your Dad, and know that each day we love you even more.

This blog will follow your journey of life, show you the mistakes we’ve made and how we have tried to fix them. It will showcase your talents, it will hopefully capture the funny moments in your life and in ours as a family. Sweet daughter, I can’t wait to watch you turn into the beautiful woman you will be.

God Bless you, we adore you, now and forever.

Love,

Mom

 

Your Birthday – October 4, 2011

Proud Daddy