Monday, December 31, 2012

It's New Year's Day, 2 a.m.  You're down with your daddy because lately that's the best way to get you to sleep.  Otherwise you'd nurse and nurse and not sleep well.  Tonight we popped bubbly and lit sparklers and the delight on your face....the perfect way to say goodbye to one year and usher in the new.

Then we sat upstairs and you handed me your brush so that I would brush your hair until the end of time.  It seems so mundane, but I'm fascinated.  Each moment I take in the fact that God knew exactly what he was doing giving me you.  I delight in how much like me you are.  How happy you are.  How much of a girly girl you can be (while also scaling things like a professional rock climber).

I could type a million cheesy memes phrases because for me they are all true.  Instead I'd rather you remember with your own memories how you are constantly told and shown how loved you are.  That you may not be the thing our world revolves around, but that you're're a piece of our heart we guard closely. 

So in 2013 I hope to do an even better job of savoring the moments.  More play time, more time exploring, and much more time just pausing from my own life and snuggling your close. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's an afternoon.  We're in the office.  You are getting into absolutely everything, as you do best.  I tell you "no" about touching something and you turn and just stare me down.

We do this a lot.  Staring contests.  Your strong will versus mine.  It's epic, really. 

But you know what?  I love that you're a mini me.  I love that you are a girl with a strong personality.  I hope I can nurture that while teaching you to be kind and to know when to walk away from a fight that isn't worth it.

Early this morning as I crawled into bed I leaned down and kissed your head and whispered that you have far exceeded my expectations, that you are beyond loved.  Because you are everything I never knew I wanted and more.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I drive down the road and you chatter in the back, giggling at life.  And the tears fill my eyes as I desperately will them away...because, well, I have to drive.  As they recede back to the ducts, I whisper about how much I love you, about how I hope you'll always know that.

This mama thing is hard.  My heart hurts most days because I know this time is fleeting.  That these days, these beautiful, amazing days will rush away into you growing up and I'm not sure I'll ever be ready for that. And then I feel like the Grinch with my heart expanding and it being amazing and scary.  The one thing I know for sure is that I never could have imagined that one so little would make me grow so much.

Each day is a constant stream of thought to put the book down, to shut the phone off and to just soak in everything about you that day.  So I set the book aside and I fly you through the air.  I shut the phone off and just giggle with you.  I'm learning to see the delight in the small things, the delight you find so easily.

There will never be another child like you.  A baby still, who people we know about town, but whose names we don't even know seem to just love.  A man telling us he just couldn't stop talking about you, about this super happy, smiling baby.  The cafe people who stop to tell you how you're their favorite or how they've missed you recently.

I pray that you continue to be full of joy.  That life hands you lemons, but that you always enjoy citron presses.  I don't wish it to always be easy.  I think adversity will build your character beautifully.  But I do pray hard that you don't stray from this path you seem to dance along.

You are my beautiful, joyful Smoosh.  And I love you.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet Smooshy

Lately, your daddy has been able to get you to fall asleep in his arms deeply enough that he can lay you down in your crib to nap.  And if gives us usually only a half hour, but a half hour that we can use to spend together or clean up with all 4 hands (rather than 1 of us being preoccupied with you and your silliness). 

But the other night he did it at bed time.  He turned on the monitor and came upstairs and we could hear you sleeping away.  I had a hard time getting to sleep that night.  And when a little over an hour and a half later you awoke, I was more than ready for cuddles.  I don't think either of us are really ready to sleep without the other.

The same thing happened tonight, only it was before I was going to bed.  You were asleep in your crib and your daddy and I got to watch t.v. all by ourselves.  But the second I heard you crying, I rushed down and could see you outlined, standing in your crib, crying.  I scooped you up and smooched on you and brought you upstairs, where upon arrival you started to nurse, only to immediately drift back to sleep.

It won't always be like this.  These moments will go so quickly and no amount of me wanting to slow time down seems to be doing so.  I wish that to stop your tears at any point in your life it was as easy as swooping you up and loving on you.  But since that's not possible.  Since someday down the road your tears will simply have to be cried, and the hurts felt, I'll take the moments in. 

I love you.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


You, my daughter, delight in life.  Everything causes you to pause and then your eyes twinkle, your nose twitches as it scrunches up and you giggle as if the beauty of life is such a delightful surprise.  You cause me to see beauty in the mundane.

And it's these moments where I see the mixture of your daddy and me.  Your face is so like mine, from it's roundness to the pointy chin.  I used to hate my chin, but seeing it on you I'm starting to learn to love it.  And then your eyes are large and rounder like mine, but the muscle structure is like your daddy's and they crinkle as you smile, closing to smaller slits.  The dimples appear and it's a common remark to hear that you are so like a mischievous elf.

I whisper in your ear that I hope you never lose this wonder, this fascination with and love of life.  And then you reach out your hand to my face and laugh, as if the concept is hilarious.

My how I love you, ma petite.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


My heart melted into a little puddle today.  I finally got you to say your first word, and contrary to what is more common it wasn't dada.  You streamed off mamamamamama all day long.  And then this evening you were in your nursery playing with your daddy and you heard my voice and began crawling to the door saying "Mama."  Your daddy told me this and I just sort of started tearing up.

You are the most amazing little girl.  You light up a room, drawing attention in because you are almost always smiling.  My happy babbling love.

Now, let's work on saying Dada.  I'm sure he'd appreciate it being before "Milkies." 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Empress Eleanor,

I love you.  At 7 months old you are small but mighty.  You get excited and begin scrambling to crawl up and over me. And when you want something, you can overpower me and literally force your way to it.  You have begun to really enjoy getting tickled and there are lots of peals of laughter.  And you recently pushed yourself up, arms straight.  Once you can get your knees under you we'll be in trouble!

I love that you and I continue to share a really close bond.  That you love to just stare up at me when I'm wearing you, or just look at me in the mornings and smile.  And lately you've begun to grab my head, turn it how you want it and lay a smooch on me. 

You are thriving, no matter what your weight tells.  You are considered the "smiliest baby ever" by so many people.  You are strong.  And smart.  You seem to be picking up new skills almost daily (which terrifies me a bit).  And I love getting to just watch you watch the world.


Monday, June 11, 2012


Today I've questioned my ability and my desire to be a mother.  So many people tell us that we're amazing parents and that we definitely seem to love this.  And most of the time, I do.  Most of the time I look at you, my sweet, smiling daughter and my heart swells and I love being your mama. 

And then there are days like today.  Days where I find myself just wishing you wouldn't need me so much, that you'd shutup and stop fussing, and that for the love of God why can't you find comfort in your daddy's arms the same as mine.  Where you won't nap or play by yourself.  Where I shout and snap and can't seem to catch a break.  And I cry and you laugh because everything I do you delight in. 

I feel so in over my head.  I work so hard to pump an extra few ounces in between feedings, terrified you aren't getting enough, only to discover you really don't like taking a bottle.  I used to dream of a plump little roly poly baby and now I spend most days stressing over how slender you are. 

Some day you're going to be a mama and you'll read this and understand.  Never have I loved something that pushes me so far to my limits of endurance.  I don't know why God made me your mama, and I am sure I'll fail often.  But I am determined to do the best I can. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vanity Fair

My daughter is the future wicked queen from Snow White.  I can almost picture her demanding from the mirror to know that she is the prettiest in the land.  And I'm just hoping she doesn't decide I'm competition and send a huntsman for me in some sort of weird fairy tale twist.

Nora, my love, I record these moments because I want you to know what you were like as a small baby.  Ridiculously funny would be the best description.  You were in your exersaucer turning yourself upside down to gaze at yourself in the mirror behind you.  Repeatedly.  Your daddy and I joke that you've yet to meet a mirror you don't like. 

At times this makes things super easy.  I can cheer you up just by getting in front of a mirror and making faces at you. 

I want to raise a daughter who knows that she is worth more than her looks.  That her value comes from her mind and her heart.  That you are amazing aside from your cuteness. 

But you are pretty stinkin' cute!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why We Co-Sleep With Nora*

*Or, "How we became the accidental co-sleepers."

Before Eleanor was born, G and I discussed it thoroughly and we both agreed that having her next to the bed for the first several months was important.  But, as many know, when Nora was born she had super high hemoglobin levels, which ended up with 2 different hospital stays for jaundice.  I spent a lot of time crying, terrified.  On the way to the hospital at one point, I remember sitting in the back, stroking my listless newborn's head, absolutely afraid she was going to have permanent damage.

So needless to say, it was a rough time.  On top of everything else, she loves to sleep, and waking her for the feedings---necessary to get the jaundice levels down, as the fluids flush it out---was a nightmare.  We even tried touching her with cold ice cubes, and she batted them away.  Eventually, out of sheer exhaustion, I fell asleep with her in the bed early one morning while nursing.  I woke up, saw she was still in our bed, and freaked out.  I was afraid of rolling over on her, of killing my own child accidentally.  But I realized that physically, because of the way we have her, it was impossible to do so.  And she was calm, sleeping peacefully (rather than her normal fitful sleep).  We decided to try just having her in bed, in a certain position on my arm.  And it worked.

Each day I wake up to a little one who is wide eyed, staring at me.  As soon as she sees my eyes open she grins and I start to sing "Good Morning" from Singing in the Rain.  "Good morning, goood mooorning, you slept the whole night through, good morning, good morning to yoooouuu!" She is joyful, smiling bigger, her dimples getting deep and her eyes crinkling like her daddy's.

We love having her in bed.  Garret says he's surprised but that he loves having her with us.  Yes, it means she's used to falling asleep with me, so for naps I have to lie with her, nurse her.  But once she's out I can generally get up and do other things.  We know that if we have a second child any time in the near future it means 2 in bed.  I used to wonder how on earth we'd get a kid out if we let them start, but realize (from those other co-sleepers I know) that it's a natural progression...that some day she'll be excited about her own bed.  And then I'll have to train her to come crawl in bed after her daddy leaves so that I can wake up to her happy face!

For now her nursery sits, pretty much empty.  We've got plans to transform it into a playroom, with a toddler bed for naps and the day she eventually wants to try out a night on her own.  But for now?  Well I'm just delighting in having this bond with her....and to never ever waking up to a crying baby! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dear Nora,

You are the bees knees, kid.  You laughed so loud and hard today it shocked me and I began to giggle hysterically in the middle of Starbucks. 

I pray every day that we will continue to have a tight bond as you get older.  You currently think I'm the best thing since milkies, and me just looking your way causes you to grin.  I spend a lot of time smooching on you, which you also are a bit in love with.

I love our time together.  Our long walks.  Our time curled up in the morning just chatting.  Getting to wear you as I clean and cook.  I can't wait until we can bake cookies or go to the park.  (You currently are unimpressed by swings.)

I sometimes wonder how on earth we'll ever convince ourselves to have another.  You're our Smooshy, the loveliest thing we've ever known.  You are sweetness personified and one of the best things I have ever done.

Mama loves you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

3 Months Old

I cannot believe you are 3 months old now.  I have loved every second, the good, the bad, the really ugly.  You are truly a joy and a blessing.

Right now you are curled up right next to me asleep.  You love to sleep.  Almost as much as you love to eat.  I watch you breathe and it's this miraculous little thing that calms me.

You're funny.  Really funny.  You crack up all the time.  You jabber all the time.  (Sometimes yelling at random people angrily.) Your new favorite thing is to chew on my hand while it's under your bib, gnawing at it.  (So glad you don't have teeth yet!)

You have great vision for a baby your age, and you get upset if you can't see things.  You'll stand on my lap to get a better view and look around.  I love how you'll be long as I'm around. 

You're still a mama's girl.  I kind of love it.  Daddy isn't sure what to think about it.  You will stare at me and wait for me to look and smile and then you break into a grin that makes anything bad about my day wash away.

I want time to stop, to freeze, and yet to hurry up and get where you are talking.  Will it always be like this?  Wanting to not let go of these moments while also enjoying future milestones.  Not sure of anything except I love you to the moon and back my little snail.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nursing On Demand

I'm having to type this slowly as you have somewhat broken yourself of your pacifier'd much prefer me.  I nurse you on demand, and thank God each day that you have always preferred to sleep through the night.  But lately you use me like your binky, preferring to fall asleep while nursing.

Nursing on demand for us means that you get fed all throughout the day while your daddy is as work.  Sometimes it's a few hours in between, sometimes it's every half hour.  But I will concede that you will let it go 4-5 hours while we're out and about (usually because you like a nice long nap in the late afternoon/early evening).  You're so skinny it makes me wonder where it's all going, but then again you are over 2 feet long and growing, so it spreads out a lot!

I love being able to nurse you.  Your daddy likes to lay near us in the evenings, to talk aloud about how much he loves how you stare up at me.  You currently are a mama's girl through and through and will laugh or smile if you catch site of me at any time.  The curves of me fit you perfectly, and you love nothing more than to scoot across the sheets until you are curled up into me and then fall asleep.  You prefer to slouch on my shoulder when you're feeling testy, to look about the world, but only from the safety of me. 

It's beautiful.  You're are beautiful.  Sweetness personified, as I always say.  So this on demand thing, it will be fleeting.  Some day I'm going to look back and wish for more time. 

I love you. 

Friday, January 20, 2012


Your pediatrician always says, "Oh, she's so advanced."  You smiled within a week or so of birth, not randomly, but rather in response to us.  You laughed around 3 weeks, deep chuckles that have turned into giggles as we play with your face.  You have been turning your head toward us for kisses, opening your mouth (what is it with babies opening their mouths for kisses?!?) for so long we can't remember when it began. 

She always talks about how strong your legs are, as you push yourself forward with them.  And then notices the began the teething process at 5-6 weeks.  We've paid for it with screaming, though you seem to love ice cold teethers.

We're watching National Geographics "The Science of Babies" as they explain why babies who have the skills to take steps at birth (the feet movements) lose them as they get towards 6 weeks.  I stare at the screen, because when we allow you to stand (standing against us, no support from our hands) you will pick feet up in a way that the show is saying you shouldn't be able to.  Your legs enable you to push up, crawling of sorts up my body as you feed.  They are indeed strong.  And you can sit, leaning forward unassisted.  Your neck control allows you to turn it to look at things, and you can even lift off the bed, turn your head to the other side while having tummy time.

But most impressive is the coordination you display.  You have now conquered the grasping the binky and bringing it up to your mouth, though you lack the dexterity to turn it the right way.  This causes you to get pissed off, and the fussing begins.  Same with the Sophie the Giraffe can push it up to your mouth, occasionally getting a mouthful of her nose or feet, but usually missing. 

I'm both fascinated and terrified of all of this.  I crawled at 4 months and walked at 8 and I worry what will happen if you surpass that.  I am amazed by you, my sweetness. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lady Eleanor,

You are just over 6 weeks old, and I have never felt more love for anyone.  I love my mornings with you, where I sing to you and you look at me, alert, giggling as I get your chinny-chin-chin.  Your eyes squeeze up, crinkly and my heart swells up.  You let out a squeal of delight this morning as loud as any baby scream I've heard and startled me, before I too began laughing.  You have a personality for sure.

All day today you've laid in bed with me.  We've sung and played pat-a-cake (where you always try and eat your hands...I think you assume they will taste like this cake I speak of), and you've napped off and on.  I haven't gotten anything done I wanted to do, and yet I am more content than one should be allowed to be.

Your daddy and I think you're amazing, and wonder if we've simply gotten lucky, or if we should have another just like you.  I dream of you and I, tea parties in a few years and I wonder if there will be another one to join us or if it will just be the two of us.  I'd love to have 2 beautiful little girls, so we'll see. 

This is taking forever to write, because I keep stopping to play with you, to hear you laugh.  You are the best distraction I've ever known. 

My cup overflows.