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Do you remember those little “pop-up” toys from the 80’s? The ones that you turned inside out and then watched them shoot up into the air?
Well these little wonders remind me of my own little wonder. Aisley sits on her knees and pops up and down. Sometimes to music, and other times to her thoughts.
This is my favorite stage yet. She sings when there is music and dances to the percussion.
She plays pat-a-cake, and does the hand motions by herself.
She has officially mastered the kiss. And by mastered I mean she knows what it is and will give them freely and completely; drool and all.
Other children and babies captivate her.
I am amazed by her sense of self already. Now I am fully aware that this probably falls into the parent pitfall, you know the one. The one that tells all of us moms how perfect our own child is. But perhaps this is natures way of protecting the mothering instinct. We simply continue to fall more and more in love with these tiny humans. Everyday I am amazed by her progress. She started clapping on Monday and now she won’t stop. She congratulates herself on everything. I should take a lesson from my daughter and shower praise on my own actions throughout the day with a round of applause. I have a wonderful teacher.
This is my teacher for today and always. Cheers
My morning routine hardly varies. 5 am Aisley is crying, I close my eyes hoping she will do the same. Her eyes may close but her mouth is surely open. I stumble out of our room into hers. I pick her up and sit in the glider; pulling the blanket over us while I nurse her. As I drift off the slightest bit I remember I need to review my sleep bible on what to do if my baby wakes up before 6am. I have been doing this for the past week. Around 6:30, a much more reasonable hour, Aisley and I head downstairs. I turn on the coffee maker and turn on Baby Einstein. After feeding the dogs and pouring myself a cup of java I nestle into my morning blog-round-about. I am amazed by the authenticity of these women. Their willingness to talk about the good, and the strength to talk about the not-so-good. When this is the basis of my day I tend to carry myself a little taller, because I am a woman. Because I am a mother.
And currently I must stop writing and go collect the puddle of tears that is my daughter.
Afternoon Nap: Fail
My best friend called me this morning, or I called her… Details are mute at this point in the day. My brain has left the building a.k.a. my head. I digress. We talked this morning and she told me that I had two challenges for today. Granted this was while I was driving to baby yoga, which was a challenge for me as well. So I was feeling a little more motivated than usual. I listened. One was to blog, this was a good challenge. Because though this entry will be short it will be like touching the hand of an old friend. The other was to respond to her post this morning. Now this girl is fantastic, she always has been but currently I am amazed at what she is able to do. The next time you have a few minutes I recommend you check out her blog : Downtown Digs in Diapers. I am constantly inspired and energized by her chutzpa.
Her topic was on vacations, you know you need one when…
I saw it last night and then thought about it this morning; trying to bring wit to this. She called after that with the challenge. Well I was able to come up with a few and for that I am grateful…
So today the scoreboard looks like this:
Challenges – 0
Amanda – 3
Had to include the baby yoga in there.
Nothing epic, that is what I tell myself when I am challenged by a blank white computer screen. So I am here knowing that a blog post is one of those things that I can check off in the “today was a success” column. Well that and making sure that Aisley survives through the day. It really is about the little things. I have been working with Aisley and her sleep training thanks to the fabulous book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. It completely put me at ease with helping Aisley get some sleep. I learned that she had a hard time going to sleep at night because she was overtired. This also prevented her from taking naps during the day. Aisley now goes to sleep between 6pm and 7pm and will sleep until 6am. This has offered me an immense amount of freedom at night to get things done that are hard to do while I have a child that wants my attention. What I have noticed in addition to this however is that Aisley’s separation from me is now more of an issue. If I leave the room or she loses sight of me she cries. I recently got myself back to the gym and the first day they found me and told me that she was pretty upset and then yesterday she apparently cried for the whole two hours. I have decided that I will cut out her morning nap and attempt the gym again. I will also be armed with juice and some snacks for her. The truth though is that everyday I grow more and more amazed with how much I have fallen in love with this sweet girl and continue to do so. We have had a rough go of it for the past month from sickness, to losing a family member, to dog bites. I find that being a mom is not necessarily about protecting my child from everything, though I would love to put Aisley in a bubble if I could; it is more about being there in the aftermath. Fully, presently and without any reserve; I am to love my daughter no matter if the sky is falling. If I do that it is another check mark in the successful day column.
This was an arena of happiness; my life full of love, beauty and above all the vibrancy of life. The journey into my thirties is one that I had always looked forward to. I felt a sense of arrival. I truly came into myself. I recall those years ago when being in my third decade would be an accomplishment in and of itself. It appears that I had thought true. I am married to my best-friend and he gave me the most precious gift I could have ever dreamed of; a daughter. This current forum of writing would be about living, motherhood, “wife-dom”. I forget that in living, our cycle stops one day. I haven’t written recently because for me this medium represents a concreteness that I cannot take back. My very first blog post was in a way a process of grieving. I wrote consistently of my life, of the valleys and not so much of the peaks. I wanted this current space to be more adult, to move away from the sorrow, and the heavy. So with the recent passing of my uncle I lost my resolve to write because I felt I had already deeply explored this topic. The death topic. But passing away looks entirely different today than it did then. Perhaps because with each person’s passing there is a unique finality that I see now. I am not quite “on”. I do feel slightly off, a little heavy in my thoughts and sluggish in my heart. There is a gravity that I wake up with and that I want to be blind to. So while I feel and process my own sadness I am deeply aching for those closer to this man; my mother, my cousin, my uncles, my grandmama. It is their hurt that weighs heavy on me. I have a deep need to apologize for the lack of lightness in this post yet the purpose behind all of my writing has always been to catch the truth in a snapshot. Right now this is the landscape in my heart and my mind.
It was fast, really fast. Still spinning I try to gather my thoughts, pick up my feelings. I cannot tell where to draw the line between comfort and tragedy, sorrow and release. I have to remember that it simply is. August 15, 1950 my uncle Eric came into this world as a tiny human. A baby breathing its first breaths in this new world. He began to exist in his own right, carved a life out of memories, relationships, music. My dear Uncle “Beanhead”, a name I coined for him as a child. A hazy recollection that landed me in a fit of giggles, I cannot recall why there was laughter or the reason behind my pride in this term of endearment. But it is there. He departed early yesterday morning on the anniversary of my entrance into this world. A life given and one given back. Perhaps it will only be me that shall equate this cycle of life and death to a day that for me has always been full of balloons, sleepovers and pretty boxes clothed in bright colors. Eric passed suddenly with a diagnosis that came only days before his exit. Stomach Cancer. Perhaps he knew, for some reason I feel better believing he did know. His words to my mom echo in my thoughts, I am sorry Zee for my abrupt exit. And there it is, perfectly said; abrupt. He passed on with his son by his side and his beloved Great Dane, Ming Toy curled on the other side. I left Eric just shy of three weeks ago. He fed the dogs and took them for walks, assisted my grandmother in a way only a son can. Another tragedy, a parent outliving their child. I sat outside last night trying to piece together the past few days and hoped for a shooting star as a sign Eric was well and dancing in the heavens. Moments later I received that precious stream of light from the heavens. He is here and he is everywhere. There were 14 Robins outside my door this morning, welcoming March on their wings. I know he was in that as well. There are people who have burrowed themselves into my heart, who have shaped me as a person. I am saddened by the idea that Aisley will not have this same person to shape her. But I remember that she is her own person with her own uncles. And there will be relationships there that will be as dear as the memories I now hold on to as souvenirs of a life lived. We received a new guardian angel yesterday, one with wings draped in gold, weightless. I will miss you my Uncle Beanhead, I will miss you with all of my might.