May 27, 2012

What a difference a year makes.

I can't figure out why or how I have let Geel's first birthday slip past this blog unannounced.  She is, in fact, the reason I started this whole thing.  Well, really, if you boil it down the real reason would be me and The Man's lack of trying hard enough not to have Geel.  But let's not split hairs.

I would love to say that I haven't written anything before now because we were having some nice quiet family occasion.  The truth is we ran around like nutjobs driving four hours away to have a party with extended family since we moved so far from them.  So I really just did not make the time.  We did have a quiet after-dinner celebration on the night of Geel's birthday:  a mini ice cream cake with one candle and just the five of us, quickly followed by the notary lady who came to our house at 7 pm so we could sign our refi paperwork.  Woo Hoo!  I'm not sure if I was happier for that or for my baby girl turning one!  I mean, Sally the notary is helping me save $300 a month.  Geel is costing me WAY more.  You do the math.

Anyway, this year--as I often say to everyone, especially those about to have their first child--is the longest and fastest year of their life.  And mine, consequently.  And although this is the third time for me, it still holds true.  It is hard to believe she is one.  It is hard to believe she is walking, and talking (like a one-year-old) and learning so much every day.  I can literally see her brain getting bigger every time she discovers something new.

I think because she has Moo and Slim (and BabyFirst TV) to mimic every day, she seems so much smarter and advanced than they were.  She says actual words--not articulately, but she has a measurable vocabulary that she uses and adds to daily.  Dada. Mama. Juice. Cheese. Shoes. Bye-bye. Night-night. Ball. Apple.  That one I am particularly proud of.  A-ppuh.  Two non-repetitive syllables.  I love it.  She has turned me into the parent I never wanted to be--the look-what-my-incredibly-smart-baby-can-do parent.  I am annoying, and I don't care.  I talk about it all the time but not really because I think she's so much better than any other kid.  I mostly bring it up because I am incredulous.  I want to compare notes with other parents because I can't believe she can really do this shit!  I want to make sure I'm not going crazy.

But even with all of this brilliance happening I cannot escape the haunting thought that there are times when I wonder what I would be doing if she wasn't here.  My mom has said to me multiple times this past year, "I'll bet you just can't imagine your life without her now."  I think the first time she said it I kind of laughed it away and bit my tongue.  But the truth is that I can and sometimes I do.  Even now.  I would be lying if I said I didn't wonder some days, how much easier some things would be without her here.  More income.  Fewer expenses.  More time with Moo and Slim.  Less laundry. More sleep.

I mean, I have no illusions that my life is crazier or harder than anyone else's.  My kids are healthy (for the most part), my husband has a good job, but we have struggled since The Geel arrived, since I cut back significantly on working outside the home.  And I have since juggled re-entering the diaper zone, three part-time jobs (outside-the-home and concurrently) and our finances.  Even though I KNOW that all that is WAY easier than dealing with things I know other moms do--chronic and debilitating illnesses (their own and their children's), no job (serious financial turmoil), home-schooling (a breed of self-torture I will never inflict upon myself) and any other unexpected calamity life can throw at any one of us.

I have often been told (and occasionally thought) that The Geel must be here "for a reason."  Not that I could figure out what THAT was.  I think I have been waiting this past year to be hit over the head by something that laid it all out for me, that showed me "the reason" with bells and whistles, lights flashing and choirs of angels singing.  More often, too often I am thinking that she is the reason for so much else:  why we don't go out to eat anymore, why we couldn't take Moo and Slim back to Disney (as we had planned), why I should cancel my data plan and the cable we shouldn't be paying for, why we should be living with so much less and maybe be grateful for what we already have.

Fact is, The Geel did not ask to be brought into our lives.  She was not inflicted upon us and though she may have been unintended, she was no accident.  In all of her tiny brilliance, with all that she is learning every day, she is teaching us something far greater--that we have room for one more, we have love for one more, we have more to learn ourselves and with her, our family has more.
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May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to ME!

Nothing profound going on here--just another day in paradise, but with some perks.....

Breakfast in bed!  
some of my gifts

pink piggy nails  :)

I had hoped that at some point I would have time today to write something profound on this of all days, but I am happy just to know that my kids love me so much.  They are actually the ones who created this tradition of bringing me breakfast in bed and I so look forward to it every year.  This year, of course, my little co-sleeper got to partake with me, but Moo and Slim accounted for that with some yogurt and a baby spoon for sharing.

I was given some wonderful cards, gifts and "coupons" for chores, and Moo set up a Spa for me in her room.  I was treated to a spine walk, a neck massage and foot soak (icy cold, but it certainly woke me up!  made me think that I need to take this girl to a pedi of her own so that she can learn a few things before next year....) and painted toenails.  She even had some scented lotion and music playing.  This kid is good!  (Although I wonder if it had anything to do with her later request for a guinea pig, which ended in tears)

So as I wrote this I have to confess that the bliss had ended.  I was interrupted by people at the door fundraising (on Mother's Day!?!?), a fight with Slim over his donation to aforementioned fundraisers, a waking baby (although she was asleep in her crib--small victories!!), and spilled coffee (left within reach of aforementioned baby--totally my fault).  And so I leave you with this:  

Pick your battles and count your blessings!  Happy Mother's Day!
♥ ♥ ♥

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