I noticed something today. You know, on most days I'm in awe of how quickly Georgia is growing up. It's cliche, but it seems like just yesterday I had this little, tiny baby who couldn't even fill out the newborn-sized onsies. Now, were filling up the nine months clothes at seven and a half months. But so many days I just notice all the little details as a whole, maybe I don't have time to notice them individually. But today, I noticed.
Georgia's feet touch the bottom of her exersaucer. I finally realized I can remove the folded up blanket that used to give her that extra two inches she'll probably crave one day when she realizes she got her parents' height. But for now, such a big girl!
And this was then, when she first got her exersaucer at four months of age.
Every work day, after a long 10 hours without my little lovely, I pull into the driveway at 11 p.m. and do that deep breath thing. You know the one - a big inhale and then a slow exhale, as if you can breath out all the crap of the day before walking into the house and your child. And then, even though I know she'll be sound asleep, I can hardly wait to rush inside and get a first glimpse of my baby. The house is always quiet and dark, a big change from my day in a noisy newsroom filled with scanner chatter, the constant clip of keyboard keys, the shuffling of papers, intercom pages, phone rings of every variety and the occasional yelling.
Ah home... and my husband and sweet little. Tonight, this is the image that greeted me and immediately put me at ease.
After our walk to the playground yesterday and my impromptu pictures of Georgia by the tall grass, I looked at the pictures last night and liked what I saw but thought they could be more. So guess who ended up by the tall grass again today, after a walk through our neighborhood, just as the sun was dropping low in the sky?
And here's what we came up with today.
It's one of our first summer-like evenings in Nebraska this year. You know the kind. The sun is already dipping low in the sky yet the thickness and heaviness of the air still envelops you the moment you walk outside. Those kind of days when you walk back into your house with its chilled air, you instantly get a chill and think oh, this feels so heavenly. Georgia is getting her first taste of humidity and temperatures above 80 degrees. Lovely!
So a trip to the subdivision playground was a must this evening. Georgia in her stroller and mommy and daddy walking side by side, passing the other houses and commenting about the other lives as we do - the landscaping, the drums coming from the open window, the dog that never stops barking, that rusted wheelbarrow that has not moved in the four years we've lived here.
And then we're there, the playground that Georgia is still young enough to be ambivalent to but that will one day be a source of joy and laughter and probably a few skinned knees.
And Georgia went down her first slide ever - with daddy in tow of course.
I don't know if she realized it though.
And then I took advantage of the beautiful, warm light and took a few more pictures of my darling.
One of Georgia's favorite new toys are simply... shapely blocks. She holds them and turns them and studies them and tosses them and picks them back up, just the simple shape and concept seems to fascinate her. I love that about kids, how sometimes you can throw all the bells and whistles at them and it's the simples things they yearn for instead. Georgia's aunt Jenna (the experienced mom) knew well when she picked out this toy for her first niece.
I feel, with a healthy mix of happiness, pride and trepidation, that Georgia's recent moves are preparation for.... ::gulp::... crawling! She is pushing up her upper body higher, she is pulling those chubby legs up under her equally rotund belly and she has those arms going like she's trying to swim on dry land. I'm also feeling hours and hours of baby-proofing of the homestead in my near future.
OK, so maybe I missed the boat, maybe this long journey across the ocean from France is a little belated. After all, Georgia has eight teeth already. But it took me this long to order her a Sophie the Giraffe. ::bad mommy, bows head::
If you don't know what a Sophie is, it seems to be the go to toy for mother's with teething (or even non-teething) babies. It is made in France and has supposedly been all the baby rage in Europe for decades. Now we Americans are really catching on and you can't hit a mommy chat board without seeing Sophie mentioned quite regularly. So I caved, after seven months (16 if you count the pregnancy). Yes, I've been thinking about getting the damn giraffe for that long.
Quite the build up of anticipation I must say. So? Well, Sophie sure is cute. I was a little put off by the strong rubber smell when I first opened the box, but it has faded some and Georgia doesn't seem to mind it. And I was actually expecting Sophie to be made of some harder substance, but I'm really glad it's not. It seems to be the perfect teething consistency, making me really wish I'd gotten my Internet ordering in gear a little earlier when all eight of those pearly whites were maneuvering through Georgia's gums. And Sophie squeaks, like a dog toy. Georgia loves it!
How much she loves Sophie overall... well let's just say after a few days they're still making friends. But I've caught Georgia chewing giraffe feet and ears several times already, and pounding on Sophie to make her squeak. Toy abuse is always a good sign, right?
Is it wrong that since my daughter can't talk yet, I pick the clothes to do the talking for her? And that I just happen to pick an outfit that expresses thoughts that are all about... me.
You're beautiful. Even with a morning theme of a scrunched up face, red-rimmed eyes, blotchy cheeks and miserable moans - you're beautiful.
It would be so much more beautiful though, little one, if you would give in to that sandman hovering near. He just wants to push you off into peaceful slumber. Notice the word "peace" here. Oh little lovely how you try to wash away all his sand with another barrage of tears.
In the morning, their faces turn to the east. Slowly and deliberately, they arc upwards, shining almost smiling, as they move westward. And as the land drifts into darkness and peace, they've accomplished their ambitions for another day as they look to the west, and tomorrow will begin anew. Sunflowers follow the path of the sun day in and day out, never wavering from their life's desire.
Today my little sunflower too found the sun an amazing site.
And one day too, she will come to realize her own ambitions and desires. I hope she finds the steadfastness of a sunflower and the ability to accomplish her goals every day. But at the same time, I hope fun and laughter is always right around the corner or maybe she'll be truly blessed and the two will follow the same path.
So I spent the day focusing on my two favorites rather than my photography today. How can I not focus on them entirely for my one whole day a week with them? They keep my world spinning, really.
So I just snapped a few quick pics today, lighting was horrible and I haven't quite mastered my speedlight yet. Get ready for some really grainy pics:
Saturday, oh Saturday. The only day I must leave for work with my little still home, watching me go. I love knowing she'll be surrounded by daddy's love all day, but I hate watching her watch me leave.
Just breaks my heart and somehow, I always end up late to work. Wouldn't you? How can I say no to those big brown eyes?
And a happy birthday to Georgia's beautiful aunt Jodi today, my wonderful sister!
Oh, my little lovely never ceases to surprise and amaze me and make me so proud. So I initially thought Georgia was about to get two teeth. Then her pedi tells me no, it looks like she's getting all four teeth on the top at the same time. Then low and behold, six teeth break the gums all within 24 hours. S-I-X. And my daughter with the patience and pain tolerance well beyond anything I'll ever grasp has barely fussed while all of this movement was going on inside that wee little mouth of hers. She is my little rock.
We now have two more on the bottom to add to the two already there and four on the top for a grand total of eight teeth. Oh, nursing is going to be fun tonight. *gulp* Check out those chompers.
Yeah, that's an "up the nose" shot, but it was the only good shot I was able to get of those teeth. Ouch!
Despite it though, here she is having such a good time watching the fan. A "throw your arms and legs in the air" kind of good time. I love that about my daughter, her personality is golden.
It's wispy and it's short and it's kind of sparse, but I love my little lovely's head of hair. I should, it's just like the head of hair I had until I was about two years old, except for the mohawk, hair-sticking-up thing she has going on on top. That's all her daddy from what I've seen in his baby pictures.
To say the least, there won't be pony tails or braids in this house for quite a while, but I can finally get a bow to stay in her hair.
And guess what today is?
... when you can have two! Georgia has a pile of bathtub toys and is finally starting to play with some of them. She decided to start with the basics - rubber duckies. And she hasn't quite figured out yet that she can't stick them both in her mouth at the same time. But by golly, she's trying!
Georgia has figured out though, when she's playing with one ducky, her belly makes a perfect storage area for the other duck.
So as Georgia continues her teething tears today, I think it's starting to exhaust both of us. As she fought a nap through yawns and pain-induced fusses complete with quivering lip, I tried to entertain her as she lay on her play mat with me lying beside her. I think we dozed off together, and when I woke up, I found this:
The first time Georgia has slept on her stomach without me flipping her onto her back. And guess what, with the tears finally halted for now, I wasn't about to flip her today. But being the paranoid mommy I am, I did keep an eye on her (in between cat naps for myself).
There is movement in our house and this wee bit of movement, not even noticeable yet to the human eye, is causing quite a bit of a ruckus. In fact, it's shaking the foundation today. It's also causing some big 'ol tears, some bloodshot eyes and an uncomfortable demeanor.
Georgia is getting more teeth, top ones this time. Her little gums are swollen big and our normally happy day off together has turned into a lot of crying, fussing and circular walks around the house complete with back patting and singing. Oh, and though I try not to resort to drugs for my child, they are out today.
Let's hope we see teeth soon, so my little lovely can get back to her happy little self.
How to describe life since my beautiful Georgia decided my motherhood would begin on October 13, 2009? One strong word would be growth. My heart is larger, my love for my husband is larger, my waistline (yes) is larger, my laundry pile is larger, my grocery bill is larger, my to do list is larger and most importantly my life is larger. For years I've heard parents describe how wonderful it is to have a child, but it wasn't until I spent those first moments more than six months ago with my little lovely that I actually understood. And I don't believe it's a feeling you can capture with words, so I won't belittle it by trying here.
And now I've joined the part of humanity with a day dedicated in their honor, mother's day. My first gift? I got to sleep in this morning. When Georgia awoke, my husband scooped her up and left the room while I continued to dream until 11 a.m! Lovely. I never knew sleep would become a treasured gift in my life one day. My husband and dear daughter also decided to feed my ravenous appetitite for photography by gifting me with a Nikon SB600 Speedlight. Yipee!
My best gift though, spending the day with my two favorites. After a brunch of bagels and coffee, we headed out to the local botanical garden.
Even though winter is not releasing the Midwest from its grasp so easily, we decided just to bundle up and lose ourselves amongst the flowers and trees and birds and sidewalks, nooks and crannies.
Georgia even decided to test my motherhood on this day, giving me that baby bird gaping mouth in the middle of the garden with no bathroom to duck into in sight. So we found a quite bench tucked behind a tree for me to nurse her - first time in public.
We finished the day with dinner and chocolate cake - a lovely day for me.
But entwined in all of the day's happiness, a shadow of melancholy. My first mother's day as a mother and without my mother. I saw a Hallmark commercial the other day (by the way, since my mother's death I've come to hate all Hallmark commercials) where the now grown up daughter was visiting her mother on mother's day. The mother goes inside, pulls out a treasured box that holds all the mother's day cards her daughter had given her in the past - cards with crayon scribbles and a child's penmanship. The cards progress through the years. Then cue this year's card, where the daughter is now obviously a mother herself. In the card she had written "from one mom to another." I wanted that, I wanted to spend mother's day with my mother as a mom myself. Today it was glaringly obvious that will never happen.
I do wish though my mother had lived long enough for me to tell her thank you as a mom. I told my mom I loved her and thanked her for all she did many times through the years, but I never understood the depth of all she did, until now. I never understood how much she loved me, until now. I never knew how her life started and ended with me, until now. I mean, I've always known she loved me, but until I became a mother myself, the sheer overwhelming magnitude of that love was something that I could not grasp. I wish now that I see it with a heart wide open, that I could thank her from that heart and give her a thank you that knows and understands. I hope from the heavens she knows, and understands.
I miss you mom and love you so much. I ask God every night to deliver that message to you. Are you receiving them? I hope so. Happy Mother's Day.
So my mother's day was full of rain, but a lot of sunshine between the showers. And it's that sunshine I'm going to focus on. I've got my umbrella handy, I can handle the rain. And besides, I've got my sunshine in my arms to dance in the rain with me. Who couldn't smile with that? Thank you sunshine for making me a mommy and letting me love you.
Happy Mother's Day to you all.