OK, so maybe there's no lions or tigers or bears. More like doggies and kitties and birds, but this week's I Heart Faces picture is all about pets.
Our dog Bailey is obsessed with tennis balls. O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D! Until we throw the ball, he literally shakes with anticipation and will not take his eyes off the ball. He will fetch it until he drops, exhausted. So I love this picture I caught of him with his absolute favorite thing in the world. I hope the dog never has to chose between saving me or his tennis ball. If so, it was nice knowing ya'll.
Go check out some other cute creatures at I Heart Faces:
Georgia and I decided to plop down in the grass, still a little wet with dew we discovered, and watch the world go by today as we sat on our now damp bottoms. We watched the birds, stared at the sky, fingered the blades of grass, relished life with bare feet.
Even in the shade, we could still feel the heat of the day on our skin. But it was a comforting feeling, sitting there wrapped in sun-kissed warmth. Georgia loves being outside, and I wish we could have stayed there for hours, until the sun devoured our shade and chased us back into the coolness of the house.
I was very, very anxious about today. I wasn't sure what I would feel or how I would react or what would fill my mind. My father arrived in Omaha today from Georgia (where he lives), and it's the first time Georgia has seen her Papa since she was born and the first time I've seen him since my mom's funeral. It's also the first time in decades I can remember being around my father for more than a few hours without my mom being there. So let me tell you, I was scared of the mom memories that might surface. The two were like a package deal, so why wouldn't the memories still be the same? But I was THRILLED he was coming to visit Georgia.
And he arrived with his first gift for Georgia - a stuffed sea turtle. Adorable!
And you know what, it is great to see him. Are the mom memories there? Of course, but they're here every day, regardless of my father's presence. Do I wish like hell she was here with him to see Georgia? There's not a cell in my body not wishing for that, but again, his visit didn't change that. Am I so glad he came to visit? Without a doubt.
Georgia took to her Papa quite quickly, and aside from one short-lived crying episode, has loved every moment with her Papa. This is the first family member she's seen since she's been out of the baby blob stage - basically since she was two months old. Yeah for Papa!
And yeah for Georgia's new sea-loving friend, a reminder of my childhood in the Florida Keys. That's where our new friend came from via Papa.
Also today, another first for the book, although I haven't caught a picture of it yet. As the hubs and I were slowly waking up this morning, Georgia was already awake and singing to herself in her co-sleeper next to me. I look over and all I see are her two hands sticking up out of the co-sleeper... and they're clapping! My little lovely decided to clap for the first time today. It's like it just clicked this morning in her head - "oh, this is clapping." Clap, clap, clap. I elbowed the hubs and mouthed the word "look," but too slow. She had stopped. But no worries, 30 seconds later she was clapping away again, and we both watched with beaming pride. Our little girl's growing up.
You know that confusion when you want something so bad, but at the same time you don't want it too soon? Maybe it's all the warnings from other parents I've received that has led to this dilemma, those "enjoy it while it lasts" and "don't wish for it too soons" I've heard tossed my way. I get them every time I say I can't wait until Georgia starts crawling. I mean, I know it will be the end of our quiet, stay-mostly-in-one-place babydome as we've known it. And I know as soon as I'm chasing her around the house, watching her discover things we missed in our baby-proofing frenzy, I'll be cursing the day we tried coaching her on the finer points of crawling. But darn it, she'll be so cute when she's zooming around on all fours!
Well, despite my confusion, here's what I looked down and saw today:
Georgia up on all fours, rocking back and forth like she was about to do something big! And then..... she moved her legs and face-planted into the floor. OK, so we're not there yet. And we were not happy when mommy wanted us to try again.
I give my remaining sanity a week. Then, well, any recommendations for a good pair of running shoes?
My darling always ends with a smile for mommy.
Georgia has a journalist mommy who writes for a living and a daddy who writes songs and stories whenever he has the time, so this kid has no choice but to grow up in a literary house. A house full of words, vocabularies, imagination and grand stories.
But she doesn't seem to mind.
Georgia already loves her books and loves reading time. I can already see the stories dancing in her head, taking her from one fantastical scene to the next.
I wonder where she'll let her imagination take her as she grows up?
And what's a good book if it doesn't taste good? Perhaps it adds flavor to the story.
It's the one thing we're waiting for in our house right now - when will Georgia crawl? The video camera is on standby for the moment, the house is somewhat baby-proofed, we're keeping the carpets clean. The only thing missing, a mobile baby. Not that I'm completely cheering on the idea because once she starts moving, there will be no stopping her. Gone will be the days of putting Georgia down in one spot and having her still be there minutes later. Of course, that kind of stopped the day she fell off the bed.
Anyway, today her daddy decided he would try to show Georgia how to get up on her hands and knees.
Something tells me Georgia's not thrilled with the idea of being coached to crawl. She wants to do it on Georgia time. Maybe Georgia time will give mommy a few more weeks of sanity.
The Trendy Treehouse is all about fathers this week. I've taken a lot of pictures of Ben and Georgia during the last eight months, but this is still one of my favorites. We were on a walk in the park and he just couldn't help but bend down to kiss the top of her head. Such love for that little girl of his.
Go check out some more pictures:
My loving husband -
You amaze me. I have fallen more in love with you every day, all over again in these last eight and a half months as I've watched you grow into fatherhood. When I watch you with Georgia, I see patience, understanding, wisdom, teaching, learning and love, oh so much love. And just to see the way our little lovely looks at you and hugs you - to see that is to see the purest love ever. She adores her daddy, as I do.
I don't think any of us ever know what parenthood will hold for us before that big day comes, or what kind of parent we'll be, but honey, being a daddy fits you perfectly. On day one you found your baby-holding arms and learned how to rub Georgia's head just right so she'd stop fussing and quickly mastered the perfect temperature she likes her bottle at during feedings. I love how you tried out different nicknames through the months for her, right now it's "punky." Not to sound cliche, but you are a natural daddy. You care for our little lovely every night while I'm at work, and I know she is loved and secure and in the safest hands ever.
I can't wait to see what each future day holds for this little family of ours, and to see how we mature as parents. And I can't wait to fall in love with you a little bit more tomorrow and the day after and the day after, as I watch you teach and protect and love our little girl. I'd say she's lucky to have such a wonderful loving daddy, but I don't have to say it aloud - she's knows it. Just look at her eyes next time you hold her.
Happy Father's Day to you and all the dads.
Who doesn't want to be loved, needed, wanted, the center of another's world? Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, if it's every second of every day and it involves lugging around an 18 pound baby... I'm not gonna lie, it can wear on you.
Georgia is going through a new phase. It's called "mommy and daddy - NEVER put me down. NEVER." Doing so leaves Georgia screaming, and not just the I'm wet or I'm poopy or I'm hungry or tired kind of scream. No, it's the someone just cut my arm off-kind of scream. And... it... doesn't... stop. Yeah!
We're trying very hard to just let her sit there and cry. After all, she always has toys and we're always in sight. It's just we're not HOLDING her. We tell her it's for her own good that she learns to not be so dependent, that nothing is hurting her, that we're right here. Yet still, she screams.
We try to be strong, but even the best of intentions don't always work. Today, it was daddy who gave in, and magically those tears stopped instantly.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but are things brighter on the under side of the couch? Hmmmm... I wonder if Georgia is trying to figure that one out. Her new curiosity is anything under the couch, even if it's just the carpet. She'll roll and twist and turn until her head is smack up against it.
Then she'll feel the underside of the couch, grasp at the little fabric fibers that hang down from whatever covers the bottom of it, pick at the carpet under there and if a toy has just happened to find a home under the couch lately - BONUS!
Who knew such a place could be so entertaining?
When I was a baby, my mother made sure I had all these little baby treasures I could look back on one day and smile. Smile at their tiny, delicate size, smile about the time in my life they represent, smile about their tradition and their age. There was the silver baby bowl with matching cup, the baby spoon, the delicate gold bracelet just big enough for a baby's wrist, the gold infant necklace, the bronzed baby shoes and other little trinkets that represent that moment in time.
Georgia has almost none of these things, save two. And I have my late mother to thank for those. She bought them for Georgia months before Georgia was born and my mother passed away - the baby bracelet and necklace.
Today, I finally brought myself to put the bracelet on Georgia's rotund, beautiful baby wrist for the first time.
I could try to explain why I've waited this long, but really, I don't think I could. It just is.
And she seemed at once oblivious to it and curious about it.
My how she is beautiful with an intelligence that leaves me without words.
So maybe it's the never ending cold Georgia gave me or maybe it's the tremendous stress and overload at work or maybe it's the utter lack of sleep since Georgia has decided to start waking up at all (early) hours of the morning or maybe it's just my body saying "it's time." Whatever the reason might be, my milk supply one day just decided to cut itself in half, and it wasn't all too fabulous to begin with. So I'm back to trying these again:
Lactation cookies, and I'm debating taking fenugreek like I see so many moms talk about to help milk supply. It's funny how I think most of us moms go into this breastfeeding thing thinking it's no big deal, it's natural, things will just happen like they should. I know I did. But what I found was quite a battle - bouts with Mastitis, surgery, low supply, formula supplementation, low self esteem, and many highs and lows. Don't get me wrong, if I had the choice, I'd do it all over again. I was, and still am, bound and determined to breastfeed my daughter. My goal was to make it to six months minimum and to one year would be ideal. We're at eight and a half months.
Do I want to stop now? Definitely not. Am I tired of all the stress and the pumping and the fighting with something I thought would come so easy? Definitely yes. But I still think it's the right thing and the best thing for my little lovely. Some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk. So battle on, the battle with my breasts.
I tried. I woke up this morning and said I can do this, I've got this. I was confident, self assured and positive it was all going to go as smooth as, well, a baby's bottom. (I've got to use that one, baby and all that) Today, Georgia and I were going to conquer the zoo, just the two of us.
If you're not laughing yet and saying "what was she thinking," it's simply because you haven't tried to take an eight month old to the zoo all by yourself, an eight month old with a cold at that. (But don't worry, I was not contaminating the zoo. Her fever had broken more than 24 hours prior)
Off we went to the zoo, and I should have turned around when I saw the parking lot was overflowing and there were swarms of people. But I was confident. I even nursed Georgia right there in the parking lot with the door cracked to let a breeze in.
Maybe I should have turned around when not 10 minutes inside the gate Georgia was already acting hungry again. But I was self assured. We even got a successful giraffe picture. I wonder if she thought it was a MASSIVE Sophie!
Maybe I should have turned around when Georgia seemed a little freaked out by the darkness of a zoo exhibit or possible all the people ev-e-ry-whe-re. It's Monday, doesn't anyone work anymore? But no, I was positive.
Then maybe I should have turned around for home when Georgia started screaming outside an exhibit and people were staring and I was struggling in the oppressive heat to now carry an eight month old in one arm and push the stroller with the other and I overheard another mother pitying me and ... OK, I did freaking turn and head for home at this point. If I could have run at that point for the car, I would have but I'm sure I would have lost a stroller and trampled a couple dozen melted ice cream-covered kids in the process.
Lesson learned. The zoo is reserved for one baby and two parents. Two heads, two sets of arms, two sets of legs and two backs. Period.
I remember the days when my belly was round and protruding, blessed with the occasional outward dimples of a tiny kicking foot. I had a vision of the kind of mother I would be then. The things I would do with my daughter and the things I would not do. The lessons I would teach her. What my entire parenting plan would be.
And then, I had a baby - my sweet, sweet Georgia - and all those parenting theories went the way of all that baby fat I gained. They disappeared. I had a crash course in "until you're a parent you have no idea what it's like to be a parent." It's great to have ideas ahead of time, but I'm learning you don't truly become the parent you're going to be until you're in the throes of a shrieking child, up to your elbows in poop or calling the pedi in a panic with the latest scare.
So what am I getting at? Well, I started thinking about all of this the other day when I realized one of my daughter's favorite toys is this:
And that yes, she does watch the occasional TV. That's something big-bellied mama swore, S-W-O-R-E, she'd never let her child do. Then baby-weight-outside-the-belly mama learned sometimes you've got to get those bottles washed or your make up on or that shrieking to stop, and the only thing that will work at that moment is a little bit of Baby Einstein. Yep, and new mama wins the battle of parenting theories. Happy mama = happy baby and happy home.
Oh the characteristic puzzle pieces of a baby. Whose eyes, whose nose, whose smile does she hold? Piece by piece we're forming a complete picture, and today, one more piece.
She has her daddy's hair - which both were happy to laugh and giggle at each other in the mirror this morning. Whose morning hair is sticking up higher?
I love you daddy!
If I had to rate my top baby buys, the Boppy would be high on my list. How could it not be, the darn Cheshire Cat smile-shaped pillow has tons of uses - breastfeeding prop, baby learning to sit prop, block to keep baby from rolling off the couch while sleeping, pillow for exhausted mommy, tummy time assistant and I could go on.
Today Georgia made up a new use. Perfect cuddle place while taking a nap.
Great Garth Brooks song, but today the thunder was literally rolling all around us. Spring time weather in Nebraska can definitely be interesting - storms, high wind, big freaking hail, tornadoes, oh and my favorite - straight line winds.
Today the sky was talking, actually more like yelling. So to put a smile on a dreary day, I found Georgia's rain dress and we made the most of it.
We watched the rain beating itself against the glass door as the lightening screamed and the thunder answered it. None of it though seemed to worry my lovely little. She was too busy making noise of her own, drowning out the thunder as she beat on the floor and anything else within reach.
The Trendy Treehouse is all about smiles this week. Here's my favorite recent smile I caught of my little lovely. Sooooo happy on her daddy's shoulders!
Go check out some more smiles:
... we're still on the move. Who needs to get up on those hands and knees when you can simply scoot around on your back? In this house, crawling is overrated!
I left Georgia sitting up inside her Boppy and seconds later, she was down and scooting.
She headed for the coffee table where things that weren't here toys (read "so much more exciting!!") were sitting within her reach.
What, I'm not doing anything... dum, dee, dum, dee, dum.
I only had time for a quick picture today, pesky work and all that. So while Georgia watched me from the bed as I picked out a suit for the day, I snapped a quick pic. And never let my eyes leave her, no more falling off the bed here!
Before Georgia, before my marriage, before even meeting my husband, I had two babies. They were my own little family and my world. I planned days around them, spent a lot of time with them, doted on them, bought them toys, cuddled with them. And then came the rest of my life and all these years later, those poor fur babies are still probably trying to figure out what the hell happened!
Despite all the life changes through the years though, Georgia has definitely had the biggest impact on my puppies. They no longer have free roam of the house (we try to keep all their fur out of Georgia's area) and their walks and play time, I am sad to say, have taken a sharp and deadly nosedive.
But they do get a new friend out of the deal.
Lovin' on Bacchus.
I love her expression when Bailey licked her Daddy's face.
I have visions in my head of what my daughter's childhood will be. It's a flow of pictures, of scenes and of memories-to-be. Visions no doubt derived from the sweet memories of my younger years and perhaps some those developed from memories that never were, but that I wished for.
This is one of those visions.
The classic image of a little girl on her daddy's shoulders. Can it get any more precious than that for a mother. I can taste childhood in my mind, and it is sweet. Oh my beautiful baby girl.