Open Letter to Baby L at 7 Months

Dearest Lilah,

You are a little over seven months old now. Over the last month, you have had your six month shots, experienced your first Thanksgiving, your first Christmas and your first New Years Eve party.  You did really well through all of the excitement, I must say. You are kind of a rock star. You have so much personality now. You have two teeth on the bottom and you don’t hesitate to smile freely at almost everyone you come in contact with, as if you are trying to show them off. You desperately want to crawl but can’t seem to figure it all out yet. But you are ridiculously strong and if you had figured out balance, I am pretty sure you could walk a mile on those crazy strong legs.

Your shots went better this time. Probably because I felt better because, since he broke his foot and has been out of work for a month, your dad was able to come and witness the horror hold you so that I didn’t cry my face off while that mean lady stabbed you with needles. (She is neither a mean lady, nor does she stab you, but I am your mom and in that moment, she is the antichrist and she is stabbing furiously at your little, chubby thighs and she is lucky that *I don’t carry a switchblade…anymore…) I am always grateful when your father can take part in your check-ups because you seem happier when both of us are around. Especially when you are naked and cold and have strangers prodding you.

Thanksgiving was pretty uneventful. We visited your Grandma J and Grandpa Willie, and you did really well all day until we got home for our second dinner. And then your Great Aunt Carol (who loves you to itty bitty pieces and usually makes you super happy) tried to hold you and you screamed your head off for thirty minutes until you wore yourself out and fell asleep. No one held the little tantrum against you though. Because you have those gigantic blue eyes that you inherited from me, which will get you out of most unfavorable situations, well into your teen years. (Just don’t try to use them on me, little lady. I invented this game.)

Christmas is a hard one for me, Lilah, I haven’t enjoyed it in a very long time. You see, and I am sure that you know this by now, Christmas is mommy’s birthday. And I know, I know, most people really enjoy their own birthdays because they get presents and a cake and there are candles and everyone celebrates you and stuff.  But Christmas birthdays aren’t really like that. You kind of forget that it is your birthday because of all the madness and running and family scuffles about when to take the ham out of the oven. But that part doesn’t much bother me either. I could handle that. But, ten years ago, on Christmas Day, my grandmother, your Great Grandma Shirley, passed away. She was the most important person in mommy’s life and she was a saint (and I don’t use this term loosely) and anyone who knew her will tell you that. I have had a very hard time getting past the loss of her. I have tried to avoid Christmas celebrations every year since that day, my 23rd birthday. Christmas is not easy to avoid. I am telling you this now because I want you to know that, because of you, for the first time in ten years, I have had a real reason to celebrate. You bring me so much joy, my beautiful daughter. You are the light in every day. And while, this year, I still missed my grandma’s voice terribly, and her smell and the hugs that she gave that were so much better than hugs from anyone else, I was able to fill myself with the joy of you and be thankful, that even though on this day I had lost such a wonderful person, from here on out, I have you. And I look forward to next Christmas, and the one after that, and the next one. Because you will be there. Because seeing your smile will be everything that I could ever want for my birthday/Christmas gift. So, thank you, my darling. Thank you for giving me Christmas back.

All of my love, always.

Mom

* I never actually carried a switchblade. But I do routinely threaten to cut people. I’m just frontin’.

It isn’t that I don’t have time for you, internet. Its just that…well, I don’t have time to have time.

Because I have very little time to sit down and write a post (I even forgot to email my gift for the Festivus party over at The Waiting!), I give you a picture of my little nugget. And the promise that a real post is forthcoming. And it will probably be a doozie. Stay tuned!

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Updates and a Liebster!

I can’t believe how long it has been since I have had the time to sit down and actually write a post! Between all the out of town visitors hese past couple of weeks, Baby L’s baptism and just the general craziness that is my life, I just either haven’t been motivated or just haven’t felt like I could put anything down into a coherent post. And yes, despite my sailor mouth and my indifference about religion in general, I had Baby L baptized. Because her great grandparents would have wanted it that way and nothing would have made them more proud. But I won’t get into all of that stuff, because I don’t want to get all mushy on y’all after such a long time without any posts. That seems unfair.

A couple of things.

1. I hope that you guys are exercising today, if you haven’t already, your right to vote. I haven’t gotten out to the polls yet, but I will be there soon. And if I have to, I will drag this baby with me and I will stand there for as long as it takes. Because this, my bloggy friends, is important. But you know that. Because you are all awesome.

2. I’m not used to saying, “my husband”. It makes me feel like a fake. But then, saying “my daughter” still makes me feel a little weird too.

3. You can imagine my surprise yesterday when I realized that I was given the Liebster Award from Eileen over at Giving Her All She’s Got ! You know, considering that I haven’t posted in, like, a year or something. (Oops!) Thank you so much, lady! So, here’s the scoop:

The Liebster Blog Award rules are:

1) Answer the 11 questions written by your nominator.
2) Nominate 11 7 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

3) Write 11 of your own questions for each nominee to answer.

So, here are my questions from Eileen!

  1. What is your favorite post you have written?

This is a hard one for me. I don’t often re-read my posts because…well…I don’t have time. I guess that there are several that I really like, but I think my favorite today would be this one because it reminds me of that time, just before Baby L was born, when I was finally coming to grips with things. And it took a while, believe me. If you follow my blog and have for any period of time, then you are well aware that I was not the happiest about getting knocked up. My, how things have changed.

2. Why did you begin blogging?

I began blogging a little over a year ago after finding out I was pregnant. I was miserable, scared, and generally blah. And I thought that having some sort of honest outlet would help me cope with the changes I was about to go through. I felt I couldn’t be completely honest about my feelings with friends and family because I didn’t think that anyone would understand my fear. Or that I wasn’t all glowing and super excited.

3. Why do you blog now?

First of all, I don’t know if you could call what I do “blogging” at this point, because I rarely get to do any of it. But the real reason this blog is still in existence is because of you guys. Seriously, I never thought when starting this blog, that I would “meet” so many awesome women (and men) who felt things similar to what I was feeling. We all have so many different outlooks on things but so many things that we can learn from each other too. I swear to Jeebus, if I hadn’t started this blog, I’m not sure I would have made it through. And I am so grateful for all of my readers. I appreciate every last one of you. So, I blog because you read. And because I feel a sense of community and overwhelming support here. And I can speak freely. Thanks, guys. You rock my face off.

4. What is your favorite date night activity?

Before I was pregnant, (and then had a kid) MB and I used to just go to dive bars and drink cheap beer. And this, to me, was the most glorious thing ever. But after child, I can only ask for a good meal at a nice restaurant, some good wine, and some cuddling. Because, I am a simple gal and MB is a great cuddler.

5. You have an entire day to yourself, what do you do with it?

Oh. My. God. I can’t even imagine this! What wouldn’t I do? Go to a farmers market without a diaper bag. Drink lattes at a coffee shop without a stroller. Read a book. Get a massage. A pedicure. I could go on…

6. If you could give one piece of advice to other moms, what would it be?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Motherhood is super hard work, and sometimes you will feel like an idiot. And sometimes you will feel like a superhero. And sometimes you will be so tired that you can’t see straight. But you will get through it. And you will do so knowing that you are doing the most important work in the world.

7. Imagine you went back in time to talk to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell her?

Oh man. I barely remember that girl…I would tell her not to rule anything out. To not be so afraid of the world. Or making the wrong choices. Mistakes are inevitable. But what matters is how you come back from them. I would tell her to be free. (But not too free.) And to appreciate every day with the ones she loves.

8. What Christmas tradition have you developed in your family that you love?

A couple things on Christmas.

a) My favorite person in the universe died on Christmas day.

b) It is also my birthday.

c) So, I haven’t really enjoyed Christmas in about ten years. So, this year is where all of that sadness ends and I am actually looking forward to STARTING traditions with my new little family. And I think that my daughter makes it a little bit easier to let go of the bad stuff and focus on making it a joyful time.

9. Any pets?

I had a wonderful cat named Ernge up until about four months ago. I wasn’t able to keep him through the move. And it still breaks my heart. He was one of my true loves.

10. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I probably always would have answered this question with “my sense of humor” in the past. And I do like that in myself. But, over the past year, I have realized that, contrary to what I have always believed about myself, I am brave. I have overcome a lot. Not just because of things documented here, but this whole parenting thing has made me realize that I’m pretty effing strong. And sort of a kick-ass, fearless sort of broad. Who knew?

11. What did you study in school?

Ha! What DIDN’T I study in school!? I am a perpetual student. I have worked full-time since I was 18 and have been in and out of college for YEARS. My major is listed as English. That’s about the most I can tell you…

And now (drumroll please…) for the blogs!

1. Mother 27 and Still Terrified. I love this blog. Love. The most recent post is a poem written for her son, Jonah, and it melted my little mommy heart.

2. Bellisimom. A blog I have been following almost since the beginning. Good reads and I SO love all the pictures of her little man! (I should really post more pictures, no?)

3. & Squatch Makes Three. Also one of the first blogs I started following. Also one of the only daddy blogs I follow, but it is truly a great (and hilarious) read. Love!

4. Shotgun Fetus. Seriously. I love this lady! Since we started blogging, we’ve both had babies and gotten married (not necessarily in that order…ahem…). She’s a burlesque mommy, you guys!

5. Kathryn Finding Balance. Oh, what can I say about Kathryn? She’s freaking amazing and she blows my mind all the time. Her blog is not about pregnancy, but guess who just started her own pregnancy journey!

6. Dear #$&!% Baby. This blog is hilarious. And you probably follow it already. As you should.

7. Southern Fried Chicken in Vegas. She said recently that we are the East/West Coast versions of each other. I an inclined to agree. We even had babies, like, two days apart!

Here is where I start cheating. Because, it is banana time. And that’s an important time of day. If you guys feel like participating, feel free to answer the questions above on your blog!

 

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