Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mom the Historian

I have always enjoyed history. My father taught high school history for 38 years to high school students. My brother and I have seen every place that Lincoln slept, ate or might have slept and ate. It is no wonder that my love of history has turned into historical 'record keeping'. This role has expanded as a mom.

I want to capture it all. On camera. On video. On paper. Her firsts. Her schedules. Her teeth. I want to try to capture her personality. It is all so fleeting. On my desk at work are pictures of my daughter at 4-6 months. That seems like a different child. I just can't seem to get my mind around 'that' Seren. And I"m sure weeks from now, I'll forget what Seren enjoyed. I know I won't be able to capture these moments adequately. Or that I'll even come close to capturing the joy...but I can try.

She has been an angel for the past three weeks and sleeping in til 6:15. Which is just heaven. That period of 3 weeks where she woke up at 5 am every day was painful! It was a combination of the sun coming up and her learning to walk. She bettter start now!

And so this blog is also a way of capturing our daughter. She continues to be a sponge. Dadda taught her 'elbow' last week. Two weeks ago she learned to 'hoot' for an owl and 'buzz' for a bee. One night, I just taught her the sign language sign for 'more'. And she started to use it immediately! I know from other people's blogs that this is all the rage. Our human sponges. It just is amazing. You go from growing a belly, fearing stretch marks, and fearing labor, to learning to breastfeed and pump, to worrying about how to get back to your prepregnancy size, to becoming a happy but exhausted mother of a new born to a friend of a toddler who is fully formed in her own unique way.

It should seem obvious. But it isn't. I am just a big, big fan of our daughter.

Hope I can capture her in all of her toddler glory.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another first

No, the first wasn't that she had another word or learned to run...This weekend my husband and I spent one whole night away from our 14 month old. That was a first! We hadn't gone away by ourselves since way before Seren was born. We anticipated it so much. We escaped to Lancaster County in rural PA. It was wonderful to be among the tall corn crops and fresh air. It was also odd.

For one thing, we didn't speak in high pitched tones.
For another, I had trouble relaxing. As a mom, I am a multi-tasker. I am cleaning a tub while singing itsy-bitsy. I am driving to work while calling the dentist. I don't just sit. I never have but being a mom has amplified this problem 10 fold.
So, we tried to just sit. We finally succeeded by dinner.

And by Sunday evening,we were back to just being 'us'. It was an odd combination of feeling 'free' but also feeling like we were missing something. Someone wasn't around. No one was kissing our knees, picking our noses or smearing bits of food unto our shoulders. We missed her.

But would I do it again? Spend quality time with my best friend? Absolutely.

We returned much better (and happier) parents.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am now a model of inefficiency

In college, I would not go to bed until every item on my to-do list was crossed off. I would go to bed late and wake up early to study. I was driven. I am still driven. But with a toddler, things just don't get done.

Somedays I just feel like we aren't moving forward on anything! And when will we have flooring in our home? An AC that works? Clean floors? Painted walls? When?

Today we woke up late- which just feels awesome. But that means that I will be late for work. Our mornings sometimes feel like one long race. And toddlers don't like to be rushed. When she was an infant, she would sit in her chair and I would drag her through the halls from the bathroom where I would shower, to my room where I could get dressed, back into the bathroom for hair and then we'd go down stairs for breakfast.

Not anymore.

Now I have to kindly encourage/coach her to walk from one room to the other. And sometimes the bathroom just isn't that interesting! Or sometimes it is TOO interesting and why should she leave? And there is the constant negotiation of which toys to bring with her, etc. Can froggy and dolly come with us? Or should we play with them here in the room. I guess we are playing here in the room. Never mind that the traffic is building on I-95 or that something is due at 9 am. Sigh.

And then on good days, I can step back and realize that this is it! This is what is wonderful about being a mom! How often will she want to be in my arms? Brush my hair? Talk to me about the finer points of hygenine?

"Cherish the moment." "Live in the present." "Breathe".

I should have those words tattoed somewhere.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My very own Michael Jackson

Yesterday morning I was playing with Seren before we went down for breakfast. She would hand me a toy or a book and then walk backwards! She continued to grin and she walked backwards all over her room. I have my own smaller version of Michael Jackson! Now all she needs is a white glove...

It is amazing how these new 'tricks' entertain all of us! I just love watching her figure these things out. Now granted, walking backwards isn't necessarily a marketable skill but she can do it!

This weekend Seren also had fun with the water hose! Seren and I had played with the hose the week before. While Sam was watering the garden, I encouraged him to spray a little water on Seren's feet. Like the previous week, she burst into laughter. While he watered the garden, she followed the water and eventually got soaked. Sam and I laughed hysterically while she reached up for the arching water and then laughed as she got sprayed in the face. The first time it happened, Sam and I just held our breath. Would she like it? Hate it? Be freaked? Nope, she wanted MORE!

Sam and I agree that raising a toddler is so much fun. Everything is new and exciting! She also is really developing a sense of humor. Some things, unbeknownst to us adults are HYSTERICAL to toddlers. Sippy cups are funny. So are pieces of watermelon. She will often give us a big belly laugh while eating. When was the last time that you just burst into giggles while eating dinner? Having a toddler is a lot of work but a lot of fun as well.

I like this blogging thing. I just need to learn how to be more 'jazzy'. I hope to post pictures soon.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Seren LOVES to eat watermelon and toast with jam. She stuffs the food so fast in her mouth that parts of the food are still sticking out. She chews and chews but still points to the piece of watermelon/toast that is on the table that she can't reach.

It occured to me last night as I was feeding her that I may be raising the next greatest food eating contestant! I mean look at the skill it takes! And all of this and she can't talk! She has just mastered feeding herself. Give her time! She too will be a food eating contestant, I can just tell.

Every night, after dinner, Sam and I assess the mess and the house casualties. Applesauce on the rug. Broccoli on the wall.

In addition, my whole personal motto "everything has a place" has gone to hell. I have lost my sunglasses, the same glasses I've had for 9 years. And I have lost my hairbrush. Seren takes all of our personal items on little trips. I found finger paint in my cosmetic kit. I found a plastic block in our cupboard. Seren will just toddle off with something. We'll give her a new item to keep her 'busy' while we try to cook, or clean or hell, use the bathroom and the next thing you know, that same item will appear under our bed, in a toy bucket, or in the bath tub as apparently throwing items into the bathtub is SUPER fun.

But Seren isn't always to blame. We 'hide' things from her. Things that she REALLY wants like our keys or our cell phones. The problem of having Seren cry is avoided. However, the new problem comes when we all try to leave the house. Where did I put my keys? It is an endless game of hide and go seek.

And I love it.