Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago, to this very minute (more or less), I was holding my absolutely perfect daughter. Throughout the day today, I would think "I don't even want to think about what I was doing a year ago from this moment" because I was in labor. And while my labor was pretty easy, all things considered, it was not a walk in the park, either. However, when I was nursing Lorelei before bed tonight, I realized that at that very moment one year ago, I was also nursing her. I was nursing her for the very first time. And that moment was absolutely perfect.

It's hard to believe that a whole year has gone by. But it has. Last night, I put the finishing touches on our 2012 family photo album, an album that is almost completely about Lorelei. She has filled our hearts and our minds and our lives. She is ever present on my mind and in my heart. It's hard to believe you can love someone that much and have room for more. But every day I realize you can and you do. 

As I was showering tonight (a lovely, blissful shower uninterrupted by a tiny person playing on the bathroom floor--what my showers usually are like) I was thinking back on this year and what I've learned as a parent, a wife and a person. Here is what I came up with--in no real order:

1. Don't read parenting books. Or, if you do, read them with a giant, boulder-sized grain of salt. It's too easy for me to jump on the bandwagon of any parenting book. Just do what works and feels right.

2. Go outside and do something once a day, even if it is raining and yucky. Lorelei is at the point that she needs to get outside and see something besides the house. It's also really easy to sequester myself with the baby when I am home alone with her.

3. Don't plan too many things outside either. Another problem I have. I will frequently overbook ourselves--occasionally at the expense of a nap--just so we can go to a playdate. That's just as bad as sequestering ourselves at home.

4. Mommy talk is important. So is not mommy talk. Do both frequently.

5. I like my work and the people I work with. It's kind of like my "me" time. I can laugh and joke with my co-workers and their ridiculous antics (sloshball? Sticking 5 cookies in their mouths at once? Swoll Train? I work with boys. They're weird.) and then go home to my perfect baby.

6. I like being home with Lorelei. Enough that I would love to be a stay at home mom. But that's not in the cards right now. And I'm okay with that.

7. I'm anal retentive and a control freak. I'm okay with that too. I make lists and complete them. I like things to be done a certain way and get annoyed when things aren't done the way I like. As I tell my students, it's important to be flexible and try new things. I try to keep that in mind when the dishes are put away in the wrong spot.

8. Buy flowers. Put them in vases. They make me happy.

9. Have sex. Even when I am tired and think I don't really want to. It feels good and makes everyone happy. Win-win.

10. Things happen. Naps are missed. Lorelei eats a lot. Or not very much. She poops. She doesn't poop. Her mouth hurts. She bumps her head. She puts weird stuff in her mouth. 9 times out of 10, it's okay and certainly not something to stress about. Enjoy what is happening right now.

Today, we celebrated Lorelei's birthday with pancakes (Lafayette--not quite New Orleans-style, but close!) for breakfast, presents and dim sum for dinner. While we had banana muffins for dessert, Lorelei fell asleep before she could enjoy them. So we'll have them tomorrow night. In the next week, we are also going to San Francisco for an ice cream social birthday celebration for her with my SF friends, and a birthday party for family and our baby friends. Pretty good for a one year old!

In the end though, I find it fitting that as we celebrate the one year anniversary of Lorelei's birth, we also begin a new adventure: finding a new home. Just like the hermit crab in one of my favorite Eric Carle books, I love my home, it is decorated just the way I like it, but it's grown too small. Too small for two grown ups, one baby and two dogs. It's scary and exciting and wonderful. Just like this last year has been...
One hour old

One hour old

One week old

One year old

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