... it's because we're on vacation!!!!!!
We are climbing on that big jet plane today... who am I kidding... we live in Omaha where they are little jet planes. But whatever size it is, it's zooming our behinds out of here to a lake, a lot of family members and hopefully a lot of relaxation.
I've been told internet is sketchy where we are heading, so you might not see a post for the next week. So enjoy the week ahead, I know Georgia and I will!
... it's because we're on vacation!!!!!!
What is it about a wee little one that makes them constantly strive for the next level? It's not just every day, but every minute, even every second. It's like that gnawing growl of hunger in the pit of your stomach that won't let you stop until you satisfy it, except theirs is a desire to grow, to move on, to find greatness in their currently small, little world. Oh my little tries every moment to do something new and leave behind everything "baby."
It's no longer halting, stumbling crawls. Now she whips down the hall, sometimes so fast she sneaks up on me and completely catches me off guard.
It's no longer just pulling up for her. Now she lets go and tries to stand on her own and pulls hard on whatever she's holding onto, willing herself to go up and over.
What is it about littles that makes them try so hard to leave childhood in the past? And the somewhat sad thing is they do, I'm already trying to catch glimpses of Georgia's back there in the dust.
It's a long list and it's still growing. How can someone so small need so much stuff? Her packing list is longer than my packing list (yes, I'm a list person).
Packing continues for our upcoming vacation. The more I pack, the more my excitement grows. What will my little lovely think of an airplane, or even the airport? How will she react when we thunder down the runway and, with a jolt, lift off into the blue? Will she sit quietly on my lap, look out the window, sleep peacefully or kick the seat in front of us? How will she react when we arrive to our destination and she meets her cousins? What will she think of my sister, my grandparents, my aunt and uncles and my cousins?
So many questions and so few days left until they are all answered. I can't wait!
We are days away from our first vacation as a family. Yeah!... and GULP. I'm very excited and a little nervous. Six-plus hours of traveling which includes two flights and a layover... a little scary. Six days in a cabin on a lake in upstate New York surrounded by family... ahhh, relaxation. Well, as relaxing as 27 family members can be.
So I'm starting my packing a little early. Everyone talks about how much stuff you end up lugging along when you travel with a young child. I pulled out the big suitcase.
And I started with Georgia's clothes. Onsies, dresses, swim suits and blankets - all folded and into the suitcase. That is, until Georgia cruised on by and decided those were not the outfits she would have chosen.
Ah, packing with an infant. The challenges are beginning before we even leave.
While I was getting ready for work today, Georgia found a new form of entertainment.
Can you guess what it was?
How about now?
I swear, kids can make a toy out of anything. But I guess rolling tissue off a wall could be called entertainment for some.
She went through the entire roll in the time it took me to put in my contact lenses.
She has a big girl seat! Actually, she has two big girl seats.
We spent much of today fighting, wrestling and struggling to maneuver two convertible car seats into our cars.
Goodbye infant carrier... hello my little girl.
Does the toy buying ever stop? Wait, I know the answer to that question. It's buried somewhere in a Toy 'R Us aisle. Two letters.. N and O.
OK, but I'll admit it is so much fun to see her curiosity with a new toy. The way she studies it and turns it over in her hand, back and forth, back and forth. The way she laughs loudly as she first starts to play with it. Even the way she finally discards it, forgotten, as she chases down that paper towel I dropped or that receipt that fell out of my purse.
I mean, as adults, it would be nice if we could just buy toy after toy for ourselves. Darn it though, they just get so expensive at our age. If only I like plastic red pianos or stuffed dragons that sing.
Georgia's new toy is Copernicus the Crocodile.
OK, after the cream cheese icing of yesterday, I just couldn't keep Georgia from tasting the whole package. After all, there are chocolate cupcakes to go along with that cream cheese icing.
She wears it well, doesn't she?
So does the kitchen floor.
So I found out what language my guilt speaks today. Nothing like knocking your child's head into a door frame to get your guilt a talkin'.
My guilt speaks the language of sweets. And a big bowl of cream cheese icing translated perfectly.
Hey, don't judge. You didn't hear how loud she cried. Ah, but get Georgia licking icing off of my finger and that door frame.... completely forgotten.
If things were different, I would be calling you today. I would put Georgia on the phone to see what she would babble to you. If things were different, I would have mailed you a card that was signed "Love, Georgia." If things were different, I would have put a crayon in Georgia's chubby little hand, and while she would try hard to eat it, I would put my hand over hers and coax it to scribble a little something on that card just below the "Love, Georgia." If things were different, I might have sent you a new framed picture, wrapped in colorful paper, a picture of this smile.
How many times have I wondered if only things were different. How many times have I wondered how different this little girl's life would have been. And no, not only for the amount of toys that would fill her bedroom (although I know they'd be many). But for the love I would see in her eyes every time her "Oma" came to visit, or the lessons you would teach her about life and cooking and patience and understanding, or the excitement she would show every time we headed home for a holiday at your house.
I still look for you in her eyes, a lot.
I still surround her with butterflies. I don't know why, I just can't stop. They're in her room, on the clothes I buy her. I'll even only buy the paper towels at the grocery store with the butterfly print on them. I know, it's silly, but I can't picture you without your butterfly necklace, and I remember what you said to me about butterflies during my last trip home before you left.
I would give almost anything to watch you enjoy more of this life and to watch you hold my little girl and smile. To watch you laugh at her comical faces and zany moves. The way she dances to the music of her little toys or squirms to avoid having a diaper or clothes put on. Yeah mom, she's just like me in that regard. And I don't put shoes on her either. I wish you were here to tell me all the other ways she's like me, the things I did at 10 months old. Did I crawl like she does? Did I wave my hand at the wrist in the funny little way that she does? Did I scream just to hear myself do it and then laugh like she does? Did I give sweet hugs and open-mouthed kisses like she does? How I wish I could have one day to ask all these things.
But I do know one thing. All those things I wish you were still here to teach Georgia and to pass on to her, I know at one point you taught me those things. Each one is in me, and I will make sure each one becomes part of her. You will never truly be gone because part of you lives on in the four souls you put on this earth, and I will make sure there is a fifth soul that will carry on bits of you - even if she never met you.
I wonder if there are birthdays in heaven? If there are, happy birthday mom. It would have been a great 53rd year. I love you, and that love shines in your granddaughter's eyes every day. I'll always remember that you taught me and gave me that love that I now give to her.
And so it begins. At 10 months old, Georgia has received her first bad note from school. Really? Are you kidding me? OK, I guess it's not a "bad note" per say, because she's 10 months and doesn't understand good versus bad. It's an "incident" report, and it says Georgia bit another child.
So her teacher thought, "oh cute, Georgia is going to kiss that other little girl on the forehead." Yeah... no. Georgia chomped down on that little girl's forehead with all eight of those shiny little teeth she possesses. Yep.
And did it leave a mark? Of course it left a mark. The little girl had welts on her forehead. Still had red marks three days later. Oh, and might I add the little girl can't crawl yet, she's helpless. And get this... she was strapped into a chair at the time. OK, is it wrong that I just laughed a little bit when I typed that? (OK, a lot). My child attacked a helpless, immobile child strapped into a chair!!!
OK, attack is a little harsh. I'm sure Georgia had no idea what she was doing. She just wanted to see what those teeth could do. Still, I felt the incident warranted an "I'm sorry" card...
... a little wrapping paper...
... and a gift.
Now this little girl can think of Georgia every time she hears the music from her new toy. Goodness, that might mean years of therapy down the road.
My little terror.
Georgia decided to help with her laundry today. She kindly sat on the floor in the middle of her clean clothes... perhaps preparing to fold them.
Hmmm... maybe we'll start with this pink onsie.
Nah, it's much more fun to throw clothes from one spot to the next than fold them. Who needs order?
Perhaps dishes are more her thing. The dishwasher was in need of loading. But first, let's check out the detergent dispenser. (umm, yes, those are gigantic chunks of chocolate cupcake stuck to her chin. Hey, I never said she was the cleanest of helpers)
Then... "oh, I think I see some chocolate left on this beater! I must take it out for a closer look." I guess the entire idea of a dishwasher still escapes my little lovely.
As does the term "dirty" dishes, as Georgia proceeds to stick said beater into her mouth, left over dried chocolate and all.
I think my kitchen was dirtier after her "help"...
But oh how she had fun helping.
Have you noticed I LOVE taking pictures of my lovely little? I can't help it. When she's around (which is almost always), my hands are just drawn to my camera as if I had two big magnets at the ends of my arms and my camera was all metal. I HAVE to take pictures of her.
A walk around a lake near our house today was no exception.
My husband pushes the stroller, and I'm the crazy mom with the camera in my hands. I wonder what the bicyclists, walkers and joggers must think as they pass by this woman splayed out on the sidewalk or lying in the grass or walking backwards with my head down at Georgia's level and my butt up in the air?
They probably think I'm crazy, but I don't care. Look at what my efforts pay me with at the end of the day.
And my daughter inspires me to see so much more in the world around me.
The vibrancy of a flower (and that awesome bokeh!)...
The way the sun shines down upon everything, illuminating...
Even the way a decades-old tree stretches to the sky and touches the heavens. My husband walks Georgia over here often and says this is his and Georgia's favorite tree.
My muse gives me the strength of this tree every day and opens my eyes to the beauty of it and everything around it. May I be blessed with its long life as well, to spend many days with my muse (and her daddy).
I love my little family.
We all have many faces, those we show to the world and those we let loose inside the comfort of our family and friends. Georgia is discovering her faces, although the benefit of being a child is she'll show them anywhere.
Today, during breakfast and lunch, my little character came out shining. Enjoy!
OK, it's not a "rule" per say. But as my husband and I walk hand in hand down this parenting road together, we are constantly discussing what we're doing, how we're doing, what's working and what's not and how we could do things better. I love that and I love that we have each other to bounce thoughts and ideas off of when we need talk. And I think Georgia will be stronger and more grounded for it. One, we'll hopefully do a better job at this parenting thing together than separate. After all, they say two heads are better than one, don't they? And two, Georgia will always see two parents who keep level heads and discuss things and compromise and work things out together.
So back to that "rule" that's not really a rule. After falling asleep on my lap today, I didn't want to disturb my little lovely's dreams by carrying her to her crib. So, I let her sleep on the couch - fully supervised though!
But the hubby and I had said no more napping on the couch for Georgia ever since she had that gigantic tumble off the bed and we realized she was moving. OK, so it's not really such a big deal, and I did get kind of annoyed at myself after I realized I could move away from the couch now for fear she'd tumble off. Lesson learned. (sheesh, it seems I'm always the one learning here, not Georgia).
There is no getting away from Georgia any more (not that I would EVER want to). She has finally realized when I leave the room and go into another one down the hall, she can come find me.
Forgive the horrible, grainy picture today, but here she found me in my bedroom. And she always looks so proud when she finds me. So adorable is she!
I can't imagine ever being gone from your life - to never watch you grow, go to school, graduate college, become a woman, start a career, start a family. I can not imagine being gone from your smile and the light that is... you.
How could I go without that smile? I thank God every night for another day of life and another day of sharing your life. You bring a fear into my life I have never known before, a gut-wrenching fear that something will go wrong, something will happen - that gnawing fear that grows in every parent when one creates life.
My job brings many different worlds, different views and different stories into my life each and every day. Today it brought tragedy and loss and sadness. It happened to "someone else," but if my job has taught me anything, it's that anyone can be that "someone else" on any given day. My story today hit my heart, something that my hardened shell doesn't always allow to happen. But today, I saw myself in other shoes and it was scary.
This was my assigned story.
I came home tonight and watched my little lovely breathe softly in her sleep. I watched her still, sweet face with closed lids. I studied the way her hands rested at the sides of her head. I watched her through eyes that fear losing this and with a heart that prays I never will. I kissed her softly and said a prayer and whispered to her that no matter what, she should know my love is always here.
So this morning was going well. Georgia was in a good mood, and I was amazingly on schedule to get Georgia ready for daycare and me ready for work. Oh, I should have seen this as an ominous dark cloud on my little morning's horizon.
As I walked to my bedroom to pick out a suit for the day, I could see my lovely little down the hall, playing peacefully in the living room. She was so adorable, just entertaining herself. I kept peeking down the hall, making sure she was safe and content in her little world - her happy world of toys and songs and smiles and love. Oh look, she's crawling toward me. How cute, she misses her mommy and ... oh, what's that? There's something behind her. Something... what, I must take a look.... OH MY GOD!! Holy terror of poop is raining down on that peaceful little world. Where my lovely little once sat, now rests a giant pool of poop, and she's crawling toward me, bringing remnants of that poop pool with her. Iccckkkk!!!
Work suit already long forgotten, I scoop Georgia up before she can re-color our light beige carpet any more. How on earth did that leak out... oh, yeah... I see it... right out her leg, and down her leg. Ugh.
First things first - clean diaper. I undo the hole-terror-of-poop diaper, and it lives up to its name. Oh. My. God. What did this child eat?!?!? I go for a diaper wipe and... NOOOOOO! Oh, but yes.
The wipe box is empty, and I'm staring at a six or seven wiper, minimum. What to do, what to do. The extra wipes are allllllll the way down the hall in Georgia's nursery. I can't leave her here, she's covered in her own feces and will just proceed to cover the rest of the living room in it too. So I pick up this completely naked, poop covered child under her arms... hold her at arm's length... and run down the hall. Funny, she finds this funny and laughs the whole way.
I open her diaper drawer with my foot, and yeah, it's the top drawer of three... grab the wipes and run back down the hall. Thank goodness the poop stuck to the baby (it's not often I say that).
I'm not only buying stock in Shout, but Resolve carpet cleaner too. Ugh.
I remember having these grandiose ideas of how I would decorate Georgia's nursery, what I would hang from the walls and the ceiling and what would sit on her shelves. Problem is, I made the mistake of not getting it all done before she arrived. And now that she's here, well let's just say I don't have the time and money to fulfill all of my original plans.
But today, I started on one of the projects:
Wooden letters that spell "Georgia" covered with different scrapbook paper designs. But now I can't decide if I want to do the covered wooden letters or something more like this. It would basically be the letters I've already cut out to cover the wooden letters, but just attached to a ribbon instead. Hmmm... I'm horrible at decisions. I hope Georgia does not get my indecisiveness.
So in the meantime, I'll just keep cutting.
Maybe something that could help me make up my mind would be a little drink. Watch out, momma's going for the alcohol!!! Now that Georgia is in the crib and my husband is taking some of the nights (thank the Lord, HALLELUJAH), I can actually partake in one (or two) adult beverages on the nights I don't have to worry about waking up to nurse my little lovely. Tonight is one of those nights.
Sadly though, this is all we have in our fridge (I didn't prepare well):
It's left over from when my father visited in June. My husband and I are what I would call beer snobs (I'm sure he'd have a different term), and high production domestic beers do not make our cut. Honestly, I think they're pretty gross but when a baby has kept you from drinking for 20 months, even this looks yummy.