Posted tagged ‘love’


February 2, 2012

Jane turned one (ONE!) this past Saturday.

For the week or so leading up to her birthday, my mind kept coming back to what I was doing last year at this same time.  Waiting.  I was waiting.  All her tiny clothes had been washed (one vivid memory stands out of folding onesies in my sunlit laundry room, wondering about the brand-new person that would fill them). I had occupied myself for days organizing the pantry and the cupboards in the kitchen.  I spent hours roaming the mall, trying to coax out the little one who seemed to want to take permanent residence inside my body.  She was a week late… and that week seemed longer than the entirety of my pregnancy.

Jane finally arrived after 14 hours of labor and an unplanned C-section.  And she was amazing.  I didn’t fall completely in love with her at first sight, though.  It wasn’t until I held her for the first time (about 30 minutes after her birth) and felt her latch on to breastfeed that I was completely overwhelmed with the enormity of being someone’s mother.  And completely taken aback by how much I loved this tiny baby girl.  Every fiber of my being belonged completely to her.

The first few months of her life whirred by in a sleep-deprived blur.  I wrote lots of things down during that time, in her baby book that I haven’t touched since she was 6 months old.  Then, there seemed to be lots of time to write and contemplate.  She and I had a slow, easy rhythm to our days.  But, once she could sit up (at about 6 months… I am sure I wrote it down somewhere), our times together exploded with possibility and little adventures.  And writing things down fell by the wayside.

I find myself wanting to capture every moment with her in my memory, freeze it so that I can look back and cherish each moment like folks keep telling me to.  But everything happens so quickly.  Now she is a big girl who eats brown rice, tofu and pineapple for dinner with her Baba and I.  She says “mama” and “baba” continuously.  She adores bananas (NANA!) and books (which we have to read over and over again).  She is a toddler.

I am fascinated with the child she is becoming.  She loves people.  The folks at the Y and at the church nursery always talk about what a happy child Jane is.  Amy & I didn’t have much to do with that, Jane just kind of came that way, but I bask in the compliment nonetheless.  At the mall playground the other day, a little girl wanted to hug Jane.  And she did.  Multiple times.  Jane gamely played along.  She even gave the little girl a kiss.  She is just that kind of kid.

Our days aren’t without meltdowns and tantrums; Jane has a strong will and her own idea about how things should go.  And any disapproval in my tone can send her into a crying jag.  But she rebounds quickly.  Tears are followed by hugs and (if I am lucky) a kiss.  I like that she knows what she wants.  And I am thankful that I am strong enough to set boundaries for her.

Jane had her very first cupcake for her first birthday.  She dove right into it, grabbing fistfuls of blue icing and shoving her little hands into her mouth.  She ate that cupcake like she lives her life, with enthusiasm and joy.  I am so amazed that I get to be her mother.  And so very grateful.

love at first lick


Dancing Queen

January 18, 2012

Janie hears music in the most mundane places.  Washer & dryer running?  Totally danceable beat.  Shaking the soy creamer?  Reason to shake her booty.  Spoon clanging in a coffee cup?  Time to groove.

I love this about her.  I love that, in every day life, she already finds things that move her.

Today, I looked up to find her singing and dancing; no music was playing.  I love that she is grounded enough to hear her own beat.

This little dancing imp astounds me every day.  Her personality emerges continuously.  And I continuously find reasons to love her more than I ever thought possible.

Since when is 11 months so grown up?

January 9, 2012

This morning, I was washing my hands in the bathroom next to Jane’s room.  I had been in her room less that two minutes before, and she was playing with her toys contentedly.  I heard some rustling and looked up in time to see her round the corner, crawling at lightning speed, saying “Mama!Mama!Mama!”  She has said “Mama” before, but it was so clear that she was looking for me… that she wanted me.  I teared up for just a second before I rewarded her efforts by scooping her up, tickling her and hanging her upside down–all of her favorite things.  I love this kid.  Every day brings something new.  Heck, sometimes every hour brings something new.

This afternoon, we were facing each other, playing with blocks on the living room floor.  Suddenly, she stood up (without holding on to anything at all!) and started dancing.  Then she sat back down.  WHAT?!?  The longest she has ever stood by herself was approximately 1.2 seconds.  And now she is dancing???  I guess one day she will just decide that she is going to walk…  I think that some day might be quickly approaching.

This evening, after we had come home from the YMCA, I was talking to my mom on the phone.  I looked over, and Jane was in the walk-in pantry, standing next to the shelves, trying to pull a banana off the bunch.  The kid not only told me she wanted a snack, she told me what she wanted for a snack.  Dang.

I think she might be trying to tell me she isn’t a baby anymore.  I won’t tell her she will always be MY baby (it drove me crazy  when I was a kid and my mom would say that to me)–but I’m not going to promise not to think it!  My sweet baby Jane…


December 30, 2011

Late this afternoon, I found myself sitting on the edge of a fountain, in the middle of a little shopping area, watching Jane sort leaves.  She takes her sorting very seriously.  She lifted each leaf, examined it, and placed it into a crack in the pavement on the other side of her.  Occasionally, she would collect another leaf to add to the assortment.  Then we would count the leaves:  1…2…3…  She gets engrossed in these kind of activities.  She only looked up when two sorority girls began howling with laughter at a table nearby.  I thought Jane might throw one of her fake laughs their way; she loves to mimic sounds, especially laughter, at full volume.  But she just studied the girls for a bit and went back to her sorting.

I am unsure what I loved so much about this time with my daughter.  Maybe it was just that she had been acting like a drunken ferret in the coffee shop just a few minutes before, and now she was playing quietly and peacefully.  But, it feels more significant.  I think, in the glow of the late afternoon sunlight, I really saw Jane as the individual she is becoming.  There is so much that she explores, discovers, analyzes every day.  And I know each discovery makes her more independent, more self-sufficient.  Some days that makes me sad; I feel like I am losing my baby.  But today I just felt awe that I get to share the world, and my life, with this wonderful little person.  And I am so excited to watch her become… whoever she wants to be.


Is That Even a Thing?

November 14, 2011

On Sundays, Amy gets Jane dressed for church, while I get myself dressed.  This arrangement usually works out pretty well, with the exception of the time she dressed Jane in jeans and a long sleeve bunny tee.  For church.  Uh…

This past Sunday, Jane was wearing a blue dress with flowers and butterflies and pink leggings.  Adorable. I made a mental note to congratulate Amy later on putting together such a cute outfit, since I was so distracted by practicing my Scripture reading for the service that I probably would have taken her to church in her pjs.  

We got to church early (like 40 minutes early–which is totally typical for us), and Amy pulled Jane up into the front seat with us while we sat in the parking lot so I could read through the Scripture AGAIN.  I read it aloud to Amy and Jane (they both thought I did great), and I finally relaxed enough to look at my sweet girls.  

And then I noticed that Jane’s dress was on backward.

I decided to broach the topic carefully, “Um, honey, I think Jane’s dress is on backward.”

“No. Look.  The buttons are in the back.”

Now I am starting to giggle… “Yeah, but didn’t you notice that they are kind of ornate?  And they have ruffles around them.  They  totally go in the front. Yeah, and it looks backward.”

“I didn’t even know that was a danger!  Now I have to worry about putting her dress on backward!”

My poor Amy.  After all these years, she is having to learn about being a girl for the sake of her daughter.  That, right there, is some kind of love.



Quick Trip

April 18, 2009

My weeks are typically rather scripted.  I am not known for my spontaneity.  I go to AA meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I run on Tuesday, Thursday and some other day I squeeze in where I can.  No surprises here, folks.

But, today Monkito called me with a plan:  a free concert at Lowery Park.  Tonight.  Rebekah Pulley.  So, this evening, I threw caution to the wind, hopped on my bike, and rode off toward Lowery Park.

We cruised up to the park equipped with a blanket, some snacks & sodas… we were ready to hang.  I had just gotten settled in on the blanket, when I looked up and saw Monkito looking back at me.

“Oh no.  You can’t be bored,” I implored.  But, indeed, she was already lamenting leaving her book and her camping chair at home.

“But this is chill time.  You know, time to hang out together.”

“Okay,” she said, sounding a bit more enthused.  “What do you want to talk about?  Tell me a story.”


She settled in after a bit.  I used the Sun Chips as a salty pacifier to bribe her.  I got to listen to Rebekah Pulley for a bit, while I ate my dark chocolate & oreo covered cappuccino frozen yogurt bar.

And then… time to hop back on the bikes and head home.  In total, we were at the park for less than an hour.  Good thing I always enjoy the ride just as much as the destination.

25 Things in 26 Minutes

February 3, 2009

1) I get crabby when people don’t follow through with plans. But people should totally understand when I flake out.

2) I think about running way more than a normal person should.

3) Coffee has become my passion, although I still rarely have more than 2 lattes per day. If I had a coffee pot in my office… (shudder) I hesitate to think how caffeinated I would be.

4) I struggle to spell caffeine every time. I spelled it wrong in my status update the other day. Uh… embarrassing…. many of my friends are English types (the subject, not the country).

5) I often wonder if I am self-centered as I used to be. I would ask around…but I think we all see the problem there.

6) I love people watching. I smile when someone catches me looking at them.

7) Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are my new favorite lunch item.

8) I only like natural peanut butter now. The other stuff tastes like plastic to me.

9) I considered selling Milo to a band of gypsies when she started barking at 4:28 a.m. She has, by the way, the most grating bark… somewhere close to a scream sometimes. Horrid.

10) If I could, I would adopt an 11 year old.

11) Once I started reading 1984, I wondered why I had so vehemently protested reading it for all these years.

12) It is difficult for me to leave Borders without a new book.

13) I know I should shop at local bookstores, but I haven’t found one I like. And I really like Borders.

14) I think about riding my road bike often. I rarely ever ride. But the idea is nice.

15) When I see pictures of my friends who live locally on Facebook, I get jealous that I wasn’t invited to whatever outing they are enjoying in the pictures.

16) Since beginning AA, I feel more in touch with myself but completely out of touch with most of my friends.

17) There seems to be an endless struggle for me to find enough time to do all of the things I want to do. I spent a lot of time sitting around, pontificating with drink in hand. Now I want to DO stuff.

18) I get really irritated when Amy isn’t as chipper as I am. I tend to act like she has kicked me. That is stupid. Live and let live.*

19) I listen to Guns N Roses while I run. They are the same songs I love in high school. Still love ’em.

20) The word ‘lil freaks me out. No, seriously. ‘Lil? What the hell is that???

21) Going out to coffee or dinner with my friends makes me really nervous (even if I want desperately to spend time with them). This is a phase. It will pass.

22) My dream job is to write for a magazine (a column) and teach writing at a small, liberal arts college. My job, in reality, is close enough to my dream job to make me immensely happy.

23) There are two people from high school that I feel like I mistreated in some way (yes, the ways are known to me). I plan on contacting both of them this week to apologize.

24) Facebook could be called Facecrack. I find it VERY addictive.

25) AA slogans drive me nuts (Easy Does It. First Things First. One Day at a Time. Live Life on Life’s Terms. Live and Let Live), but I believe the principles I have been taught there are saving my life.