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

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.  
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