rosalyn virginia: six months

IMG_0178-1Well, here we are. My baby is officially closer to being a toddler than she is to her newbornhood. And every day that passes takes us miles and miles further from it. This is a concept that is leaving me baffled right now. This is the first milestone to really drive home for me the finality of each day that is done. While she clearly aged in months one through five, they still felt so close to that brand newness. We were just inching along and now we’re barreling down the highway at break neck speeds.

No, I do not know where she gets her flair for dramatics.

IMG_0179-1The amount of things she’s learned in the past week alone are incredible. In the span of FIVE days she learned how to pull herself up to sitting from laying down, stand on hands & knees, crawl & wriggle & roll to get to that super interesting object across the room, and pull herself up using the crib rails/coffee table/whatever is available. I barely recognize this baby. My baby last week couldn’t do any of this.

IMG_0184-1We are in serious trouble.

IMG_0236-1She loves to plank and push her tush into the air a la downward facing dog. Hell yeah for baby yogis!

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IMG_0206-1Things that have not changed? She is still a world class screamer at the drop of a hat (albeit a lot less often, THANK GOD). The amount of drool she produces could still lubricate Slip-n-Slides across the globe. Her laugh is still stupidly delicious. She still has the best eyebrows. And sleep? Don’t ask. Bring Starbucks.

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IMG_0194-1Her six month clothes are getting a bit too short so we’ve brought out her nine month things. And yet newborn shoes still fall off of her feet. It’s good to know that inconsistent sizing starts early. Welcome to being a lady, Ros.

IMG_0197-1Robin is not a fan of this newly mobile child and wisely keeps her distance. Rosalyn has not gotten this memo and is completely fascinated with her dog. It’s amusing to watch her as she watches Robin. Even more so to watch her as she watches dogs that look nothing like Robin. I think she doubts that they could possibly be the same creature. Dogs are white with sausage bodies and long, lean ballerina legs. Everything else must be a different animal entirely? Sorry, every other dog. Rosalyn has deemed it so.

IMG_0220-1God was smart not to place time in our hands. Slow down in this way, speed up in that. Stay my baby but do not need me as much. It’s not possible. And it shouldn’t be. She does things exactly when she means to, how she means to. I’m lucky enough to be along for the ride.

IMG_0212-1Lucky, indeed.

rosalyn virginia: five months

IMG_0001-1We still aren’t sleeping.

But, whatever. I’m totally fine and it doesn’t phase me at all. *eye twitch*

IMG_0005-1This kid is sitting up now. But still falling over sometimes and its never not hilarious. Sorry, darling.

IMG_0008-1She has two baby chompers on the bottom and enjoys testing them out on her footsies. (Apparently when you have a child you never use the correct word for things ever again.) And her toys. And her blankets. And my hands. And my face. Everything is a boob to this child.

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IMG_0032-1She no longer just looks at me but really observes what I’m doing. It’s incredible to see her face and watch her process what is happening in front of her. She’s already taking notes. Time to clean up my act so she doesn’t pick up my bad habits! (Nah.)

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IMG_0053-1 The best part of my day is 4:45pm when I’m walking into her room at daycare. Yesterday, I swooped her up and OH MY GOD she put her arms around me! She gave me a HUG. Our physical interaction went from, “Ah yes, delighted to see you caretaker. Now would you please remove your top?” to “Mom! I missed you…”

IMG_0056-1“…Now would you please remove your top?”

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IMG_0072-1She lives in the extremes. Loud, bright, ecstatic, jazzed. Quiet, brooding, watchful, still. She is equal parts her father and me, mixed up into her own concoction.

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IMG_0105-1That is so my face.

IMG_9984-1And that is so Andy’s.

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IMG_9997-1Happy five months, ya crazy. I wouldn’t trade ya for the whole world.

rosalyn virginia: four months

IMG_9830-1“WHY?!”

“For the blog, Rosalyn. For the blog.”

IMG_9729-1Yesterday afternoon I took around 195 photos (aren’t you glad you aren’t my daughter?) and looking through them today I found the overwhelming majority weren’t even in focus. At first I was angry but quickly realized it was an apt metaphor for our lives right now. So let’s roll with it.

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IMG_9783-1If you follow me on any social media then you already know how much we’re struggling with sleep right now. No worries, nothing has changed since my last status update. So I’ll move right along and try to finish this up before I collapse onto the keyboard.

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IMG_9756-1Rosalyn has learned SO many new things. We are grabbing and mashing and rolling and chewing and squealing and juuuuuust barely trying to sit while leaning forward. She is a genius. I spend every day telling her so and I’m 100% certain that won’t bite me in the ass later when she doesn’t feel like she has to study or do homework (sound familiar, Mom?).

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IMG_9789-1As a newborn she was like an animal — all raw instinct and hunger. Somewhere along the way a switch flipped and she became a real person. She was previously just figuring out how to exist and now we are well on our way to learning how to be an actual human. It is fascinating to watch. She interacts with not just me anymore, but with other people and the world around her. She loves to watch Robin move around the house, still figuring out what she is. She loves playing games. She loves watching us eat at the dinner table every night. She starts daycare next week and I am really excited to see her meet new people and other babies. I was worried about the transition back to working full time but I’ve settled into nicely and think it was the right decision for us in this moment. We might revisit this later if we decide to add to the litter. But Rosalyn has taught me that all that matters is right now. And right now is good. (Albeit a bit sleepy.)

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IMG_9787-1This girl’s eyes are STILL a mystery. Some lighting shows green, some lighting shows blue, some lighting I see a tinge of brown. She cares not at all that I’ve been waiting on pins & needles to find out since the day she was born. Rude. You know what isn’t a mystery? Those eyebrows. Those are her father’s alllllll the way.

IMG_9913-1Happy four months, Rosalyn Virginia. You are the light of my life.

IMG_9884-1Don’t mind me, I’m just over here practically being a toddler already.

rosalyn virginia: three months 

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IMG_9685-1Some women have a love-at-first-sight moment when their child is born. And for others it happens a little bit later. I don’t have any shame in saying that I was a part of the latter. It’s not a bad thing, not something to be embarrassed by nor does it mean something is wrong with you. It just is. I’m not entirely surprised by it either. A very strong piece of my personality is the need to jump into action and hyperfocus on the next step required to create peace from chaos. Caring for a freshly baked newborn & healing from major surgery is The Chaos. The Love was there, it always was. But it wasn’t until the dust settled that I was able to recognize it. What did happen immediately was The Change. Instantly I knew I was changed forever, my former self left to pass peacefully on the operating table. Never again would I be the most important, for the most important was taken from my insides and now existed as a separate being, with a separate heart beating it’s separate beats.

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IMG_9708-1When I leave her with someone else so that I can care for my incredibly introverted soul, relief pours over me like a cool drink of water. Within minutes though I begin to miss her with my entire being. It’s an ache that takes up residence in my very marrow, my veins pulling like taffy as the car puts more distance between us.

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IMG_9718-1I am fascinated by my love for her. It is animalistic and raw, it is divine and Godly. It is both self-destructive and my highest purpose. My own life is no longer the life I aim to preserve and yet there is a new drive for survival so that I may live for her. She is my favorite part of everything.

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IMG_9723-1Her hair has so far become a bit of dark blonde, a bit of strawberry. The eyes are still out, my vote being green seeing as she’s taken after me in every other way. Recently strangers have begun complimenting her on her “blue eyes” (which still doesn’t sway my bid because I’ve heard the same comments despite firmly being in the green camp).

IMG_9726-1If I’ve learned anything though, it’s that this girl is gonna do her own thing in her own time. She could end up with purple peepers for all we know. Happy three months, little dove.

rosalyn virginia: two months

Yupp, it’s official.

IMG_9618-1I’m one of them. A mommy blogger.

IMG_9620-1Honestly though, if you didn’t see this coming from a mile away then I think the blame rests solely on your shoulders. Let’s look at some more pictures of my kid, shall we?

IMG_9629-1This ridiculous cuteness is courtesy of her “Uncle” Chris and “Aunt” Mekensey, our BFFs in Florida (and Disney employees, if you couldn’t guess). After taking her one month photos I decided to set this outfit aside for month number two and its a good thing I did because she just baaaaarely still fits. So I’m glad the adorable has been immortalized on this blog before joining the ever growing pile of too small clothing. Insert gratuitous tears and a chorus of, “but how?!” here.

IMG_9642-1Hats. This outfit came with an equally adorable hat featuring tiny Minnie ears. Alas, her head still drowns in the number of hats we’ve accumulated. It makes me wonder what kind of giant headed infant the ensemble was originally designed for. Granted, her head has consistently been in the 50-something percentile while the rest of her lands somewhere around 80-90%, but still. I refuse to believe my perfect angel baby is disproportionate. She is a perfect angel, after all.

IMG_9644-1Month two has brought joy and lots of it. Smiles everyday and (don’t you say it, don’t you dare say it out loud) better sleep (DAMNIT RACHEL WHY). While we certainly aren’t clear of challenges and frustrations (because frankly that just isn’t possible and isn’t a finish line that we should waste our hopes on), we have settled into what our new life looks like and we kind of love it.

IMG_9651-1Month two has also brought poop and lots of it. Poop so impressive that I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve texted photos to my husband and I can almost guarantee he felt a bit proud on that receiving end. My mom mentioned “poop” being her first word and I lit myself on fire and died in the flames. Of course it will be. That is JUST the sort of thing that would happen to me. Please, baby girl. Please. Not poop. Think of your mother.

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This girl is 0-to-60, letmetellyou. Maybe even 0-to-100. People may think I’m exaggerating and then they see it in action and it’s like, “Whoa. Yeah, ok. You weren’t lying.” Her face says, “I HAVEN’T EATEN IN YEARS YOU WRETCHED WOMAN,” and her legs are all, “Um, actually you ate an hour ago but yeah I could go for some more.” A passerby would mistake me for a cold-hearted lady, but they’d be wrong (ok, ok, half wrong). When you have a child THIS over the top you just have to shake your head and sometimes even laugh at her a tiny bit. I might need to rein that in before she becomes cognizant. It’s one of those hindsight moments where everything makes sense, this everything being why exactly I was the middle child to two loud & dramatic bookend siblings. The flashes of resemblance her face has to theirs sometimes makes it all the more amusing. If I survived them that has to count for something in my bag of parental tools, right? Just kidding, you guys! I totally don’t see our childhood as something I had to “survive”! (Read: not kidding at all.)

IMG_9631-1I’m sitting in a Starbucks while writing this. Enjoying some time alone while Papa Bear enjoys(?) some time solo parenting. I’ve only been here for about half an hour and I’m already checking my phone and wondering just how soon is too soon to drive back home? Half an hour is too soon, right? Yes. Yes, it is. I think I’ll rediscover the internet outside of BabyCenter now. Are cat memes still a thing? icanhascheezburger.geocities.com

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IMG_9663-1Tummy time is for chumps. Feed me again.

rosalyn virginia: one month

As I sit down to write this I’m trying to separate the two milestones reached today: Rosalyn’s first month of life and my first month as a mother. But it turns out these things are impossible to place into neat little boxes apart from one another. They are so heavily and intimately intertwined — a joint experience shared by her and me. We are both in the trenches of this achingly hard and wonderful path together. Learning together. Her, learning how to eat, sleep, thrive. Me, re-learning how to eat, sleep, thrive. Every day is a whole entity unable to be compared to or paired with another. Every day offers up to us newness in the form of both challenge and joy.

Some of things I’ve learned so far (most of which I need a lesson refreshed several times a week, sometimes several times a day):

– Breastfeeding is challenging and very emotional. It’s difficult not to take its obstacles and set-backs personally. Her need to eat is immediate & demanding and when everything isn’t going perfectly it’s enough to break me down very quickly. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a breastfeeding support system in place, people to tell you its going to be ok and this too shall pass. There’s only so much comfort Google can give you; someone who knows you and has been there is invaluable.

– I no longer think of days as ending at bedtime but instead from first morning wake-up to first morning wake-up. I am consistently marathoning in 24 hours chunks and the edges all bleed together.

– That being said, its not the physical exhaustion that wears me down but the mental. The constant worry for her well being and questioning of my decisions, wanting everything done to be the best possible choice I can make for her. It’s something I knew would happen, but I had no way of knowing how it would feel.

– Once you figure something out it is bound to change in the next couple of days. Don’t let this dishearten you or make you think that figuring it out doesn’t matter. It does. And you deserve to celebrate that hard-won victory even if the party is short.

– This too shall pass. This too shall pass. THIS TOO. SHALL PASS.

– Parenting has a way of bringing back to light the hard stuff about yourself that you thought you had a grip on. Mine is the stock I place in what others think (or, what I think they think) about me. It can be paralyzing. It is simply not possible to be everything to everyone. I have to pick and choose. And I choose her above all else.

– “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” -John Steinbeck

– It’s ok to not relish in every moment. Just relish the hell out of the ones that you do.

Happy one month, Ros. We’re doing a-ok, you and me.

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