our little shamrock

And now for some birthday weekend photo overload!

Andrew and I both took Friday off from work so we could have her actual birthday to spend just us all day. We started out with her one year check-up with the following stats:

  • 20 lbs / 33rd percentile
  • 30 inches / 83rd percentile
  • Cute as a fucking button / 100 percentile

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Shots are never fun but Rosalyn always enjoys a chance to really show off what her lungs can do. We then had to celebrate with some birthday donuts from DaVinci’s. A DaVinci Dozen is actually 16 donuts because why not? I’m a fan. Naturally, we got Ros a birthday sprinkle donut and naturally she tasted it once before demolishing it with her tiny fists of curious rage.

We try our best to be polite and not leave a Hansel & Gretel trail of crumbs wherever we go. I wish I could say I do this because I’m a good person, but its really because I’m an anxious mess. The sweet ladies at DaVinci’s absolutely denied our request for a broom. But not to worry, Rosalyn did her part by picking up pieces off the floor to snack on.

We headed home for a post-donut nap for the tiny human while we worked on some birthday cake action. Her birthday party was St Paddy’s themed and I had these lofty dreams of decorating a cake with a sliced fruit rainbow to accompany the little gold coin cupcakes. But when I was removing the cakes from the pans it quickly became a giant crumbly mess due to my impatience. Enter sprinkles. Sprinkles hide a multitude of baking sins. Sprinkles on everything!

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Later that afternoon we headed to the aquarium and it suddenly hit me that our time with her as a freebie ticket to places like this is starting to run out. We need to go to the zoo ASAP.

Did you know Rosalyn is incredibly tiny compared to a Beluga whale?

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Now you do.

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Her favorite part was the moving sidewalk. I can’t even blame her, it’s like magic.

The next morning we relaxed at home with some oatmeal nut waffles (of course) before her birthday party that afternoon. The waffles were a big hit – steel cut oats, oven toasted pecans, a bit of cinnamon and vanilla. Rosalyn cared not at all about my pretty table setting.

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Her birthday party was so much fun. She loved doling out the tissue paper, squishing fistfuls of sprinkles, and watching her older/cooler cousin Rylee with much adoration of both her motor skills and hair length. One day, Ros.. one day.

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Uh, no thanks.

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And then I made her do this:

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Best. Birthday. Ever. Welcome to one, sweetheart!

 

 

new years eve

As December ticked by and brought us closer to an end and subsequent beginning that is the New Years, I kept thinking on this post from January.

Truthfully, my gut reaction was embarrassment followed by a scoff. How silly of me to think we’d breeze through this first year of parenthood with finesse or ease. Thrive? HA. We barely SURVIVED. Stupid. You were so stupid, Rachel. That’s what you get for making those grand sweeping declarations and predictions like you always do.

For a moment I even considered deleting it, quietly sweeping the evidence of my naïveté under the rug. But for the sake of authenticity I left it and just continued saying mean things about myself as I shook my head. It was a bit like shoving a dog’s nose in their mess. Unnecessary, ineffective, abusive.

I thought about it more and began to wonder what kind of standard I was holding myself to. What should I have done this year that I didn’t do? What about how I lived wasn’t true to the word “thrive”? I had a flashback to two weeks postpartum. My right nipple was torn to shreds by a tiny baby latch so I was nursing on one side and pumping on the other. My brand new girl was sleeping very little and crying all the time. My temperature was slowly rising due to some mystery infection that would later land me in the ER, stump the doctors, and  be filed under, “extreme sleep deprivation and stress”. As The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt marathoned on Netflix in the background, I sobbed under the intense weight of my new life and weirdly found solace in the catchy intro music.

“Unbreakable – they alive damnit!” I sang as tears seared my cheeks. In the haze of my hormone hallucination I felt as though they had written those words for me. “Females are strong as hell,” the television cheered me on to make it through another hour in the day.

Looking back I realize I probably looked and sounded deranged. I probably was, a little bit. But I made it through that hour. And the next one. And the next. And here I am – here we are, nine months later and we’re surviving. Maybe even thriving? I mean, the house is a wreck and we consider sleeping for four whole hours to be a miracle. But we smile and laugh every day. We hug and kiss and hold hands every day. We play and learn and sing every day. The Unbreakble song still makes me smile.

This has been a year of lowered standards. It’s easy to say, “let go of the little things.” But I’m learning how to actually DO that. I feel peace and freedom when I’m able to unclench my jaw, loosen my grip, and let something insignificant slip through my raw, blistered hands. Goodbye, you do not matter to me right now.

When I said, “thrive” earlier this year I meant, “have control over everything.” And it turns out it actually means, “don’t give a shit unless you really need to.” Or maybe something a little more eloquent. But that’s the gist.

I’ve done a lot of really hard things this year. Hard, sharp, grinding things. And I’m pushed and stretched and challenged more every single day. Sometimes I feel run down and not sure I have it in me to do this. And that makes me question if I did what I set out to do – did I thrive? And you know what?

I think I did.

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