Letters to a daughter from her parents, starting from before she was born

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fall professional photos (Ada 10 months)

The lovely Libby Beer took some wonderful pictures of us during the BWI fall fundraiser. I thought I'd upload our pictures here so family/friends can check them out. We missed the first session, so this was taken at the Odenton library before a BWI meeting. It was really chilly and wet, and our photographer was wearing a rather uncooperative baby, but I think these overall turned out well. I need to get a couple of them framed to add to my ever growing collection of Ada paraphernalia that is taking over our house.
Ada looks unsure about this...

We used this for our Christmas card

I love this picture

You love playing on dad's shoulders! 

11 months Christmas, and coming up on...your first birthday

How quickly this year is passing. Your personality is showing more and more every day. You are starting to talk by saying the first letter of words (mo for more, ka for cat, da for dad, absolutely nothing for mom!).  You had a fantastic time at Christmas. You loved pulling things out of your stocking, and generally liked unwrapping presents.  Dad bought you this hilarious huge gummy bear light that you think is hilarious.  We had so many visitors over the holidays, and had a great time, despite getting colds and a puking illness.  You're sleeping really well at night--just waking once to nurse.  Tomorrow we are having your 1 year pictures taken, and next week is your first birthday party. I really can't believe that you're almost one.  It seems like yesterday you were my little squish.

These overall are just like ones I wore when I was one!

Grandma brought us some accessories

grandpa made you this amazing toy box

The weather was lovely, so we went
to the playground. You loved the slide too!

The gummy light

Christmas PJ's!

Stocking stuffers!

ooohhh toothbrushes!

Christmas outfit!

Walking to Starbucks with Grandpa

10 months (Lots of Thanksgiving pictures)

Ada love,
ohhh 10 months! We took a road trip up to Massachuttses. You stayed in your first hotel, and met over 40 different family members, and saw snow for the first time. You loved EVERYONE and had a smile permanently plastered on your face. You examined every button you could find, and crawled and explored.  You were amazing. Your sleep sorta sucked, but I don't think you like your playpen. You slept better when I just put you in my bed. We had a great visit, and you had a fantastic time.

Here are some things that you do now!
  • Help dress yourself
  • bounces ball, rolls and throws
  • cruises on pulls up on everything
  • loves the cats, and they tolerate you
  • loves being on mom's back
  • super friendly and smiles all of the time, and makes friends where ever you go
  • you love to examine things. you love stuffed animals, they make you laugh hysterically.
  • You love nursing
  • You blow raspberries on everything
  • You give kisses and hugs to mom and dad. 
  • You motion for us to do something again
  • You wave when you want people to leave the room at bedtime.
  • You shake your head
  • You share your food...by trying to shove it in our mouth. 

Aunt Ellen, Uncle Mark and Cousins Mike and Dawn
 the night before we left

Four generation on my side!

Oh this smile

Black Friday shopping

Four generation on my father's side! This was the first time
you met your great grandfather!

Aunt Kellie, my godmother! You loved her!

Grandma at Thanksgiving

Grandpa mesmerizing you with a puppet!

Aunt Annie, and her daughter June (the youngest cousin)
with the first of the next generation!

Look at your fluffy feet!

The first time you ever saw snow!

You were amazed!

The drive up to MA was great!

Our Christmas card!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Honest Parenting

People always put their best face forward on Facebook. Their profiles, hell...my profile is full of pictures of my smiling child never misbehaving, throwing a tantrum, or looking strung out at 2am after being up for two hours and crying for much of it. In my blog I've mostly written about the positive. I've had friends write to me and say how encouraging my blog is to them, and helpful. I worry that I may have led them astray. That I wasn't honest enough about the difficulties and the struggles. That maybe I smile to cover my insecurities.  Here's the thing; you've been charged with being the biggest influence in someone's life. Not only their life, but potentially the lives of GENERATIONS after them.  That is terrifying. It's a weight on your shoulders that never lessens, and never lets go.  Not only that, but you have to do it all while dealing with all of the unpredictable aspects of every day life.  Good luck being on your best behavior at all times.

Last night, at 1am, when my daughter was whining and not quite awake or asleep, I came up with the idea for this blog. I promise it sounded better in my head, but the gist of it is an honest look at parenting.  So here is the truth as I've experienced it over the last 10 months.

Sometimes you  just want to kick this creature out of your damn space. They touch EVERYTHING, and find your vulnerabilities faster than an NSA hacker.  You, outlets, cords, remotes and my goddamn cell phone are all at the mercy of a little tyrant who is unrelenting and single minded in her attempts to make them hers.  Luckily she doesn't get mad at being handed different actual toys to play with...now, but I'm pretty sure that's going to change when she gets older. Then, we're screwed.

Mommy rage at 3am, when you lose your absolute shit because your kid woken up AGAIN; is totally a real thing. Frustration and anger build up as you realize that no matter how much you want to be, you're not in control of the situation. You'll probably hate yourself, but your baby will eventually stop crying and go back to sleep.  You'll probably throw the baby monitor...more than once.  Truthfully...I'm surprised mine works. Take it easy on yourself.  It's okay, it will pass.  Sometimes I just need to wake up my husband, who is snoring happily next to me with ear plugs in his ears, so he can just go rub her back for a little bit.  I must have this note of utter desperation in my voice to prompt my sleep obsessed husband to drag his half asleep ass out of bed to go attempt to put her to sleep. By the time he gets frustrated, I've cooled off and can deal.

On that note, sleep. Nothing pissed me off more than some well intentioned stranger telling me to enjoy my sleep now while I was pregnant. "Of course I'll sleep once the baby comes!" I'd think to myself, since obviously no one can live without sleep and I was already getting up 3-4 times a night to pee. My daughter does sleep. She gets up twice to nurse though, so my sleep is broken up.  It's difficult, but not impossible.  I have friends with kids that really don't sleep well though, and it's rough.  Continual sleep deprivation is no joke. I can feel myself getting more ragey, more angry, more depressed every day that I don't get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

You'll never really understand how you can miss a child when they're just a room away, but you will. How you can be up every few hours during the night, but still function; but you will.  How you can be so unsure, yet be the center of someone's world. Your heart will melt every damn time they smile, and those moments make us not eat our young.

I charge you with this my fellow parents: be positive, but be honest.  Every parents is scared, worried, tired, frustrated and annoyed at some point.  Know that just because someone is smiling doesn't mean that they aren't struggling. Know you aren't alone in your struggles.  Parenting can be one of the most isolating things in someone's life, and realizing we aren't along in our struggles can be the thing that gets us through a hard day.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

9 months of fun

Hey baby girl,
Your development is happening so quickly these days.  One day you are reluctant to pull up, the next day you're pulling up on everything, standing in your crib, and chasing the cats all over the house. You're full of smiles, and happiness (unless we try to wipe your nose), and you're curious about everything

17.4lbs (which is exactly what I got on our scale at home...which now two weeks later is showing you almost a pound heavier). This puts you in the 47% for weight. You're moving down in the percentiles mostly likely because you never stop moving these days.  

28 3/8'', which puts you at 85% for height

17 3/4'' (why we switched from centimeters to inches, I have no idea.)

Diaper size
3, and I had to move the rise on all of your cloth diapers.  

Mostly 9-12 month. Your sleepers are almost all 12 month because you're too long otherwise. 

You have a steady diet of my milk.  On top of that, you'll try almost anything.  You like fruits, bread, beans, veggies, and meat.  You love pureed fruit in a pouch, but prefer to eat your meat just cooked.  You love these dehydrated fruit/veggie things and veggie straws.  You'll eat almost anything, although we're keeping you away from dairy and eggs right now. 

He finds you so nommable 
You're generally waking up 1-2 times a night to nurse. I'm working on weaning you of one of those feedings and it isn't happening every night anymore.  

Baby gear love
Our Tula gets used every day.  You love being held and carried. You like the stroller, but being worn will always win out.  You are very fond of your toys, and I just bought you some fake keys so that you'll stop trying to steal mine.  

Pulling up on everything, but now cruising. You have to be properly motivated though.  You're finally getting less afraid of falling, or better at catching yourself when you put your hands down, so you're not standing there waiting for me to help you as much.  You're speech is about the same as last month, although your emphasis on different syllables is changing.  You can crawl much faster now, and squeal really loudly when you see things you like. 
Playing the drums on dad's head

Halloween Minion!

you LOVE your minion dolls...they were mine but you stole them

Puppets and stuffed animals (like your rabbit puppet and the minion dolls that you squeal when you see). Mom and Dad are up there in the favorites catagory. You cry when dad leaves for work in the morning.  You like veggie straws and some different foods.  You love the shower and bath.  

Having your nose wiped. Being left alone. Newton running away from you.  Mom not sitting on the floor playing with you, constantly. 
The minon is up to mischief
Things I don't want to forget
The smiles, and the giggles. They are both amazing. I don't want to forget our first Halloween, and picking apples with my parents.
apple picking!
We dressed you as a minion for halloween and you thought it was great to play with the minion doll. You even picked up a piece of candy and dropped it in your bag. We only went to three houses, just so we could get the experience, and then go sit around a fire pit.
My perfect minion...
I don't want to forget the sweet moment at the end of the day, when you're done nursing and all snuggled up next to me, sweet and perfect. I love to lean down and smell your sweet smell, and feel your soft hair.  
I don't want to forget how excited you get when you see either of us. It's wonderful to be loved that much. 
I had a wonderful 30th birthday party this past weekend that it was so much fun to share with you.  You really enjoyed meeting everyone, and smiling so much.  
I really don't mind turning 30. I know some people have issues with getting older, but I have two wonderful people to grow older with, and that makes it so much easier.  
Add caption

Monday, October 6, 2014

8 months

My love,
You turned 8 months a couple of weeks ago, but your development is changing every day. It's amazing. 

We went on our first long (3 plus hour) car trip this past weekend, and I wish I had a glowing review of your performance, but really you were kind of awful. There was a lot of whining, some hysterical crying and a lot of stops.  Since you are cutting two teeth and had a bit of a stomach bug, I can't really blame you though.  I think we're going to try it again in a few weeks to see if you're more willing to nap in the car when you aren't quite so uncomfortable.  

It was wonderful to see everyone out in WV and introduce you to them.  The same girl that I used to watch when she was just a little bigger than you, gave you some of her toys, and you had a blast playing with her and her sister.  You were adorable and charmed everyone at our friend's baby shower too!  

   We won't know this for a few more weeks, but around 17.5lbs

Diaper size
   Threes in disposables, and the same rise in cloth, although I think I might need to move them so they're longer in the front. 

   Almost everything is 9-12m unless it's stretchy or oversized already.  You fit in some 12m shirts that I bought as well. You're long and skinny, so leggings are perfect, although I'm not sure they're going to be warm enough for the weather we're starting to have.  

   Babyfood you like includes pouches of fruits, puffs and these coconut milk crunchy/dissolving things (baby creamies?).  Otherwise you really prefer small bites of real food. You loved chicken noodle soup, potatoes, beans, tortilla...pretty much anything.  If it's pureed though, you look at it with great suspicion.  
We bought our own reuseable pouches

   You sleep from 7-7, sometimes an hour on either end of those.  You wake up 1-2 times a night to nurse.  

Baby gear love
   You love being wrapped, especially on my back when I'm doing housework.  We bought a city mini stroller that you're quite fond of too!  It's purple, which I love. I can't wait to take some nice long walks in it.  

  Oh my, soooo many!!! Let's see.  You started pulling up on everything so dad had to put the mattress in your crib down.  You still pull yourself to standing in it, but now you aren't at risk for falling out!  You like pulling up on the furniture and are thinking of cruising but generally just stand there until you get bored, and whine/fall on your butt and then crawl somewhere else and start over. 
You can crawl without your belly touching the ground, however it's faster for you to army crawl, so you switch between the two. You're vocalizing much more "ayayayay," "dadadaadad," and now "nahnah." Your ayeyeyyey cry is pretty hilarious.  

  Mom, dad, food, nursing, being carried, baths, playing with her blocks, chewing on everything, the cats. You absolutely love animals.  You met a sheep and laughed hysterically. Dogs make you giggle.  

   Being alone in your crib.  Lentils in your pouched food produced some confused faces. Staying still.  

Things I don't want to forget:
   I love how excited you get when you see me.  You just wiggle and jump and make this super excited squeal. I love watching you try to crawl as quickly as you possibly can towards Newton to try to 'pet' him. I loooove your 'touching' where you touch things with one finger. It is the most adorable thing.  I love your giggles, and seeing you play with your dad. You're just an awesome kid. 

mirror baby is a huge fan of yours


You loved meeting Aunt Michelle! 

You're mocking us....this was your last
night before we lowered your crib!