My Little Girl

My Little Girl

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sick Baby

Ugh today was a ridiculously long and totally draining day. I feel like I got absolutely NOTHING accomplished.

See... my baby girl was sick. "Bery Sick" if you ask her.  And I knew last night that she was probably getting sick. That's another crappy part in an already crappy day.

Last night Emma kept fighting sleep. She would get to her normal "I'm about to pass out" phase where she takes the comforter and pulls it ALL-THE-WAY-UP to her chin. Usually it's about 5-7 minutes after this that she is good to go. But last night, after maybe 4 minutes, she would be restless again, trying her darnedest to get comfy. And she just couldn't. She woke up so many times during the night it might be safe to say that NONE of us slept.

Checked on her around 3:30am and noticed she sounded a little stuffy.


Woke up to a baby with a runny nose, slight wet cough, and kinda puffy-red eyes. I knew from the start that we were in for a long long day.

From the start she was off. She only ate maybe half of her pancake this morning. And Emma NEVER turns down a pancake! Then she would only let me sit in one seat in the living room while she played in the playroom because she could see me better in that chair. It was also the chair closest to the playroom. Every half hour or so she would come up to me and say "Mommy, you need hold me. I Bery Sick." She'd crawl up in my lap and cuddle for a few minutes. Then off to the playroom for another half hour. This repeated until about 2:30pm.

She refused to eat anything for lunch. Then I tried a bath so she'd go down for a nap. Nope. I mean, she liked the bath, but wanted nothing to do with a nap. It went on like that until around 4:30pm when I noticed that both she and her daddy were napping in the living room: Daddy on the couch and Emma on the floor beside him. It would have been cute if I hadn't been thinking about how it was very likely we would not be going to bed at a decent time tonight. DOH!

She slept until a little after 6. Daddy came home from hanging out with his daddy for a bit and I was FINALLY able to get out of my pajamas! Haha I had changed from one set of jammies to a different set, but hadn't been able to make it to actual clothes until almost 6:30pm.

Luckily my mom and stepdad brought over the fixins for ribs, potatoes, and biscuits for dinner. I put out a salad and some watermelon and we were good to go.

Now it's almost 9:30 and she's watching her new favorite movie. Well, she was about half an hour ago. She's asleep now. I just hope this little bug works its way through her quickly. Mommy has had a long day and needs a good night's sleep!

Night everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My baby is a big girl

It's official No longer can I try and deny it.We are well on our way to having an "official toddler." Emma will be two in less than a month. I feel like I haven't had a "baby-baby" in such a long time though. She has been this big girl for a while now.

Emma gets into everything. Seriously. Especially those things we explicitly tell her NOT to get into. Those are her favorite. Of course. haha

At one point I tried to jot down every new word Emma said. I WANTED to be one of those moms who could tell you exactly what words were learned at 14 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years... But the fact of the matter is Emma learned way too many words way too fast. She knew how to put sentences together, form complete and complex thoughts, making actual decisions from so early on that it was impossible to keep up with her. Granted, the decisions she made weren't overly ridiculous, but still. I let her decide what she wanted to wear---within reason...aka I presented options I felt were appropriate and let her choose. Sometimes I would pick out 2 outfits for her and she would end up mixing the shirt and pants but hey, she liked it so I didn't fight her.

She chooses her own sippy cups when she is thirsty. When we moved, I made sure there was a bottom cabinet allocated to her plates, bowls and cups. So when she tells me "Mommy I firsty." I tell her to grab a cup. She goes right to her cabinet, squats down, thinks about which one she wants, and then brings it to me. That's amazing for a not-yet-two-year-old.

This kid. She's a nut though, I tell ya. She loves to sing and dance. She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and is now branching out to watch Octonauts, Sophia the First, and Doc McStuffins without a fuss. She still isn't overly fond of Jake & the Neverland Pirates, but that's fine too. She has a personality with definitive likes and dislikes.

She also knows what her "schedule" is. She knows Mondays are "Mamaw's days." Tuesday and Thursdays she knows she's goin to "Nonna's." And every Wednesday she wakes up and asks if her "An Sheh-yee" is coming over. I didn't know kids her age could pick up on that. Like pick up on what day of the week it is.

She knows how to count to 13. Sometimes she skips 5, 6, 7, 8--as in she will go "one, two, free, foe, nine, ten, eyeven, telve, tirteen..."; but if you ask her "What comes after 4?" She will tell you "5." And so on. She is learning her colors. She knows bue, geen, and wed (blue, green, & red). Usually. Those are about a 75% chance of her getting it right. Sometimes she knows yeh-yo (yellow), ohwange (orange), puhpull (purple). She doesn't understand white or black yet.

She gets the concept of names too. You ask her "What's your name?" And she says tells you. You ask her "How old are you gonna be?" She says "I gonna be TWO!" and holds up both of her pointer fingers! Now that's funny! I've even asked her what my name is. She says "Peeka" because my last name sounds like that. Or sometimes she says her dad's last name, then stops, acts like she's thinking about it, smiles (smirks really), and says "Nooooo. Is PEEKA!" Smartalec!

She's also a bit of an athlete. She can hit a ball off a tee to about 20 feet away. She can toss with serious accuracy. She manages to hit her target 99% of the time!! She loves footballs and basketballs and softballs... She loves to come up behind you and go "Momma-Kesh!" (MommaCatch) Then chuck a football right at the dead center of your chest!

But she's also such a girly-girl. She wants to wear dresses all the time. Seriously, I have to force her to wear shorts and pants. She wants her skirts and dresses. So weird for me because I used to have to be forced to wear dresses! But this kid loves 'em. I have said for a while now that she will be the girl on the softball field in full hair and make-up! haha

I can't believe she's going to be two next month. Exactly 4 weeks from today, actually. And it will be her Golden birthday. 2 on the 2nd.

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I love being her mommy. I love watching her with her Daddy. I love snuggling with her and singing and dancing with her. I love when I drop her off with her Mamaw/Papaw or Nonna/Poppa, or when her An Sheh-yee or An Kiki come visit her and seeing her play with them. It hurts sometimes that she is so okay with me leaving or when she loses it because I have to take her home, not gonna lie. But then I remember she knows she's loved from everyone. Every single person who has ever met her has liked her. Genuinely liked her. She says "HI!" to the people in stores and their faces always light up and they almost always say hi back.

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I got lucky. I know it. I was smart enough to wait for the perfect guy for me, so I would have this perfect person to help grow and raise and mold and shape and teach... I get to be her mommy every day. And every day is a blessing.


SO MUCH

... has happened! I can't even believe it.

But before I delve into all of that, let me apologize for not keeping up with this blog better. I'm trying but we always have so much going on. And I have learned that being present in those moments are what truly matter most. So, that being said, while I will still try very hard to stay up to date on this, I will also be making sure that I don't let moments bypass me as I think of my next blog.

Okay, now back to the awesomeness that is MY LIFE! haha

First big thing: We moved! Yep. My boyfriend and I bought a house together. I have never owned my own home. I lived with my parents until college. Rented until I moved back in with my mom. Then I lived with Matt. So this was a massive step for us. To have this HUGE house with this HUGE meaning behind it.... We're in this together, you know? I mean, we've had so many good moments, so many memories at our old home, but this was a fresh start. Emma will be two soon and we wanted a bigger place to raise her. Our old home had a "past" to it that this home doesn't. This is just me and Emma and Emma's dad.

The house is gorgeous too. We fell in love with it right away. Even put an offer in on it. It was rejected at first because the bank accepted someoneelse's offer. So we looked at other places, contemplated those places, considered making offers on those places. But we kept this place in the memory bank. We would keep looking at it on the computer, pulling it up and revisiting the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" of this place. After a few weeks, we noticed it was still listed as "open" so we put another offer in. And we got it!! We got the news right before we went on our family vacation in Disney. While there they needed more "stuff," so we scrambled then to make arrangements to get the bank the documents they needed.

Fast forward to April 24th. We closed on our dream home on that day. My boyfriend and I celebrated with a lunch date at Maggiano's--just the two of us. We picked out the colors together. We picked out the detail-stuff together....all of it.

We had our grandfather paint most of the house and take care of most of the cosmetic issues, but I will say my stepdad and I painted my room and Emma's room. I even painted most of the ceilings throughout the whole house! I ended up having to change a few room-colors after we started, but I am so happy with how the house looks. The whole family is in love with it! Emma can't get enough of it. She loves this place. Has called it her house since the start.

First floor:
  • The first floor has a formal dining room and formal living room right in front. We call the FDR the "Beauty & the Beast Room" because of the color and the chandelier we bought. tee hee hee.
  • We made the FLR Emma's playroom. She has so so many toys that we needed an entire room to house them! 
  • Then there's the open kitchen and family room with a fire place. I love the fire place.. and the wall of bay windows in the family room. We still have some work to do in the kitchen, but it's all little things. Like painting the cabinets and putting an island in. 
  • Then there's the laundry room right off the kitchen--leads to the garage. Have plans for a few changes for that room, but nothing that is a "has to be done right away" type thing. Nope. I love the mint color I chose for that room!! 
  • The powder room on this floor is coral and I do mean CORAL! It's so bright and lovely. Honestly. I see that room and it makes me smile, it's so cheery!
The Second Floor:
  • The upstairs has the bedrooms. Guest room, Emma's bathroom, office, Emma's room, then the master bed and bath. 
  • Emma's room is pink and violet and ADORABLE! We have Mickey and Minnie decals on the wall and I think it's the most fun room for a toddler I've seen. Her bathroom is the same pink. 
  • The master bedroom is grey and blue. Simple and soothing. I even have a reading nook in my room. :) It's so much fun. And the bathroom. It's HUGE! And the colors are peach and coral. And I think that might be another favorite room-color-choice combo. 
  • Right now the office and the guest room are "neutral." I don't know how I want them to look, so I'm keeping them sort of bland for now. No point in doing something I don't love just to have to redo it later.

The basement is massive and finished. It has a storage room with built-in shelves. That room was one of two reasons I fell in love with this house.

The backyard. Oh geez. I love our backyard. Small patio but big enough for our table and chairs plus some set-up chairs where the family can all circle up and chat-chit. And Emma's swingset. This kid loves her swingset. It was the second thing that made me love the house. Emma is really into slides right now, so this was perfect for her. This may actually be the reason she loved the house from the start. haha Our yard isn't "massive" or anything but there are 4 houses side by side with open yards and each has the swingset. So all the kids can play together and just run from one yard to the next. I love it.

Since I have made this post incredibly long (much more so than I had intended), I'm going to wrap it up and end it now... With some pictures of the house as it is now! Enjoy!

Dining Room with "Beauty & Beast Chandelier"




Emma's Pink-chic bathroom





My Mint laundry room
 


 





 
 
Master bedroom with my reading nook! :)

Okay

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Inspired by a silly video

Sometimes the simplest things inspire greatness.

Okay, that may be a tad hyperbolic. But still.

This morning I was scrolling around on social media, looking at things other people were sharing, laughing at cute photos, kept scrolling past the dumb ones... when I saw something really "interesting." It was a video titled Why Mom's get NOTHING DONE!  Well of course I had to watch that!! Here's the link. Please let me know if you can't open it for some reason) 


Okay. Now that you've watched let me ask you... HOW TRUE IS THAT?!? Seriously. The whole time I was watching it, I was like: "Yep." 
"Uh-huh." 
"Oh that ALWAYS happens."
"WHAT? Them too?"

Then I realized this is EVERY mom's daily existence. We are always being judged by how our homes look. Or feel like we are being judged. We try so hard to keep the place clean, but the toddler or child/children (or grown ups who act like children! haha) find a way to undo every thing you just did. Right after you just did it!

Welp, I saw that video at 6:15am. I was out of bed and determined to have a clean house, even if just until Emma woke up. In 90 minutes, I had laundry going, dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, living room completely picked up and tidied, kitchen tidied, trash out, bathrooms cleaned, Emma's room picked up, rest of the day's TO DO LIST written out. AND I was able to sit down and enjoy my clean home for a bit. 

**Insert mental picture of me doing the happy dance!***

Granted, there are a few dished soaking in the sink. My bed's not totally made. and I still have laundry to fold and put away. BUT I am so happy with how my home looks right now! I could have someone walk in and I wouldn't be embarrassed.

People always tell me I'm too hard on myself about the house. Everyone who walks in says it looks great, especially with a toddler ruling the roost. But I just feel like it looks dirty. And I hate that. My guy is constantly telling me if it's not 100% cleaned up, people understand. Everyone knows I work full time. Everyone knows I have a toddler who loves to play and "clean up" and "organize." They get that for a while, until Emma goes to school, the house will probably have a toy in every room and the laundry may not be caught up. 
AND IT'S OKAY!

But I just remember my Grammy and Pappy always telling us "A place for everything and everything in its place." I remember having to clean my room before I went anywhere. I remember doing chores to help out. I remember "Never leave a room empty-handed. Something can always be taken to the room you are heading to... to help clean up." And "If you don't make a mess, you don't ever really have to clean." So I am always doing that. If I leave the living room, I take the stray toy and put it near the stairs to take to Emma's room when I'm next heading upstairs. When I leave the kitchen, I take the coat hanging on the chair and hang it in the closet. These were and are always things I never thought about but just did.

Okay. Now that the "heavy" stuff is lain out, time for some fun Emma stories. So. Emma actually loves to help with the laundry. She will walk downstairs with me, go into the laundry room, and say "I help." Then I hand her the clothes from the washer to put in the dryer. Or I hand her the dirty clothes and let her put them in the washer. She loves it!!

The dishwasher is still a struggle. She is always wanting to unload the dirty dishes as I put them in. It never fails!

Aside from housework and chores (haha), Emma is getting so big in everything. She is clearly over half my height now. She talks and communicates almost anything she needs to. Now she can walk up to me and say "Mommy, I happy. You happy?" And even if I was beyond frustrated/irritated/annoyed/stressed/tired before that, suddenly I am SOOO happy. She tells my mom's dogs "Hush dog-dog" when they start barking. She loves the scented wax bars I sell. When I get new ones in, she comes up and says "I's mells, mommy." And she will smell every one of them. She even indicates which ones she likes and which ones she doesn't. 

Every day is a new adventure. A new struggle met with new resolutions. A new dawn met with new beginnings. I know tomorrow--oh, who am I kidding, probably in the next 30 minutes--my house will be destroyed and I will want to shun from the world because of it. (Hyperbole again). But for now, I am calm, in a clean house, with a sleeping baby.

Life is Good!

Friday, February 6, 2015

So many Birthdays!

It's almost here! The weekend!! 

I know. They take forever to get here, but they always come, each week, so it shouldn't be such a surprise. But that's not the big deal. The big deal is this weekend is EXTREE-Special. This weekend all of my nieces and nephew (and a "cousin") will all be one year old! Holy Moly!!

That's right! I have the best luck in that my daughter--who is already 19 months old!-- has 4 cousins who are no more than 7 months younger than her! My twin niece and nephew turned one at the end of December and it was fun going to Wisconsin to celebrate with them. They are these adorable roly pollies who have seriously the biggest, happiest, and overal BEST smiles...EVER! I swear. My only nephew (to this point) is a tank of a boy but the biggest sweetheart ever. He loves to laugh and you love to hear him laugh. And when his grandparents get around him, he lights up and wants to play. I think he's going to be that football player you just inherently like because he's genuinely friendly. Sporty and  Friendly. The best combo!
My nephew Monty. Told you his smile was perfect!

His twin sister, my "oldest" niece, well she's like him and she's not. She is friendly but not one of those "I'm going to love everyone RIGHT AWAY!" types. No, she's more of a "let me study you and figure out how good a friends we are going to be" type. What I like to call "Southern." lol She's not mean or anything remotely like that, but she won't be fake either. She is kind and courteous if she doesn't know you but so tight and loving if she does. Kinda like me and her mom. My stepsister and I are A LOT alike and to see her daughter be like her is amazing. Anyways, my niece is incredible. She is definitely a care-giver. Even at their birthday party back in December, it seemed like she would randomly look around for her brother, make sure he was okay and having fun. When they were having their smash cakes, she wanted to share hers with him. Quietly perfect, that's my niece!
My oldest niece Amelia... aka "Melie"

Melie sharing her cake with Monty
We had a little break before the next "round," you know. Next up was my guy's cousin's little girl. She turned 1 earlier this week. Ellie is sort of like Monty and sort of like Melie. She LOVES to laugh and she LOVES her cousins. She isn't too sure about new people though. Ellie is sort of like Emma's little sister right now, which is great! They live really close to us so Emma gets to see Ellie AT LEAST once or twice a week, if not more. They fight like sisters: when Ellie has a toy, of course that's the one Emma wants to play with. If Emma has something Ellie knows is "hers" (aka, if she wants it), then she will "tell" Emma in no uncertain terms. It's adorable!! I love that Emma gets to be a big sister to her cousin, yet still get to enjoy being Mommy & Daddy's "only." Ellie is talking a little more each day and trying her darndest to walk. She is soo close! A favorite new memory is from her birthday dinner, when Ellie and Emma both asked to watch their beloved "Mimi" (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). They were pointing things out on the TV, characters and such, and singing the songs together. It was such a beautiful moment.
**Side note: I also think it's fitting both girls have "classical" and "Austen-ian" names! Eleanor and Emma are both strong, independent, loving characters from my favorite author. Just seems kismet to me! :)
Ellie and her Smash Cake photo!

(Almost) Always the happy, smiley girl! 

My "youngest" niece" turns 1 this weekend. Vivi is just a pure joy. She is so smart and athletic. I mean, what other baby do you know--at 9/10 months--could figure out that if she kind of rocks her upper body back and forth on a swing, the swing will start to move?? That's insane! But that's Vivi. She is so sweet. Her hugs are amazing... maybe because she is so deliberate about who she gives them to. Seeing her with her mommy and daddy is like candy for the eyes. This little girl captures your heart quietly. And I don't think I have ever heard her cry, seen a pic of her crying, or heard tales of her crying. Really and truly a happy and easy going baby girl.

If I had to use Jane Austen's characters to describe my littl'uns, I guess it would be as follows:

  • Monty: Well he is like Mr. Bingley. Funny and fun to be around. Everyone loves him. No one can find a bad thing to say about him. He makes and keeps friends because he is a genuine and true guy. He will lead the pack because he wants to experience everything fresh and new, and not because of some need to be first. His enjoyment of things comes from their simple pleasure and not from what he can gain. (Little philosophical for a toddler. LOL)
  • Amelia: She reminds me so much of Jane Bennett. Which is weirdly perfect in that Mr. Bingely ends up with Jane Bennett. But anyways. Jane is always thinking well of others, looking out for her family. Quietly observant of what is going on around her. She is the rock of the family. She doesn't judge as quickly as Elizabeth, so people like her and want to be around her. She finds the good in people and doesn't throw herself into the spotlight (*cough, cough* Lydia!), 
  • Ellie: I see Margaret Dashwood with her. Yeah, yeah, she's like 12 in the book but whatever. Margaret is neither completely fanciful nor completely family-focused. Margaret craves adventure; she wants to be able to do the things her older siblings can do. She doesn't care about the material things, more the experiences she can have. She is probably the most well-balanced of Jane Austen's characters, but then again, she is only 12! haha
  • Vivi: I just keep thinking of Fanny Price. Yeah, she's shy and timid, but I wouldn't describe Fanny as "shrinking from notice." Nor would I say that about Vivi. They are quiet and determined. I once heard Fanny described more of "Horton" from "Horton Hatches an Egg": She sits there, unwavering and faithful. "Steadfastly virtuous" is another way to look at it. I think that is more appropriate for my littlest niece. She is never going to be a "Marianne" (flighty, quick to fall in love, carefree to a fault...) but she doesn't seem to need to be. She already seems like she is aware of who she is and accepting of it. Far better than some of us adults sometimes!
For my family reading this: How'd I do? Did I get close, you think? And for those of you who don't know each baby (maybe that's not the right word anymore?? EEK--TODDLER), did I paint a picture of their personality clearly? 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Somebody's Daughter... Somebody's Mother

The other day I watched my daughter sleep. It was early in the morning and I still had a little bit before I had to start getting ready for work, so I just brushed my fingers through her hair and watched her sleep. It was amazing. And somewhere in that time, I had a "moment": I was looking at someone's future mommy. Someday my little girl will look down at her baby and be filled with the same love I was at that moment.

The same love I have every day.

The same look and love that my mom had when she held me as a baby. And her mother to her, and her mother to her... It's probably been the same for every mother of a daughter for as far back as... well since the first daughter was born.

I haven't had a son, so I don't know what that feels like, but MAN! was that a powerful moment for me.

***
Mommies of little girls have this "whole 'nother thing" going on. We are mothers of mothers. We are the givers of life to those who will give life. We hold our daughters and love them with everything we have. But we know that someday someone will love them too and make them mommies. Someday--not today, but someday--we will be outranked by their son or daughter.

That makes me happy more than it makes me sad.

It makes me a little sad to know I will not always be her favorite person, or her most important person. I mean, yeah, I knew from the second I found out I was having a girl I was in for the biggest rollercoaster ride EVER! I knew she would "hate" me in her teenage years when I "just wouldn't understand," when I "just don't get it." Because yeah, I've never been there! haha I have dreaded those days since I heard "it's a girl," even knowing they are so far off in the future but will be here in the blink of an eye. So it's not like I ever expected to be her favorite person for her whole entire life or anything like that. But I gotta admit, it's different thinking all together to think about how there will be these other people who will love your child as-much-as-you-in-a-completely-different-way type thing.

Lawd I don't even know if this is making sense at this point!!

I'm a religious woman--not a church-goer but still religious--and I remember from my Sunday School days the scripture which says (paraphrased): "And one day he will leave his father and mother, and she will leave her father and mother, and they will join as one family." It's as it should be. And as it will be. And that makes me so very happy.

Eventually I know Emma will find someone to love her with every fiber in themselves. I know because that's how I feel about her daddy. From the second I saw him, I knew he was the end and beginning for me. No lie; from the very first second. I had to wait for our time to be the right time and at varying points over those years I was scared I might be wrong; but I wasn't. I have found the one and only person I am supposed to be with forever. I can't believe how lucky I am. But then again, I can. Because I know it wasn't luck for me and it won't be luck for Emma. She will find her Prince Charming, her Beast, her soul mate/other half/true love. She will find this person and build a life separate from us. She will become someone's mommy. And she will THEN, and maybe only then, know exactly how much I love her.

I love my mom but I don't think I ever "got" how much she loved me until I held Emma in my arms that very first time. And maybe even then I didn't really get it because each day I wake up I think how much more and differently I love my daughter.

I'm not special. Not really. I'm the same in the most basic ways possible as every mother before me. I love my child. I love her more than I love myself. I work to make her proud, to provide for her. I want to be the best for my child. That's it. Every single true mother is the same at the core. "Egg donors"--those people who give birth but aren't mothers, not really...well that's different. -----Staying positive now...

This was a very long, almost babbling post that may very well embarrass my daughter one day. But that's okay! Because that moment was such a heavy moment for me. "I am looking at someone's mommy." That's heavy!!  But still, it was the best moment of that day. To know with every bit of certainty that my daughter will be loved by her child. Maybe this is a tad (sarcastic much?) presumptuous, but that's just how I felt, how I feel.

I thanked God right then and there for giving me my daughter, and for the future children she can have.


**Side note: Before I get a whole bunch of responses about how she may not want children, how she may love someone who won't/can't give her children, how she may not be able to have children; I hear you. I hear the pain of those who can't conceive and those who struggle with their relationships being "different," etc. I'm not suggesting Emma MUST have children for me to love her or whatever. I'm simply sharing a moment I had with my daughter. And for that moment, my thoughts were as above. My mind felt cleared and empty and whole--maybe? I don't know what it was. I just wanted to share this moment with my friends and family as it was such a profound moment for me. I apologize here and now if I hurt or offend anyone, as that is NEVER my intention. Please take this post for what it is, at face value. Thank you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Adventures!

I tried to get this post together this past weekend, but didn't want to try and do it on my phone. That's a headache and just not worth it! So here we go, all new things with my little 'un!

We have had our first "parent involved with the county rec program." We signed Emma up for a class and it took me back to when I was little. I remember waking up early and getting ready for whatever sport I happened to be playing at that time. I remember my mom and dad blaring music--classics like John Fogerty and Bob Dylan--and making breakfast. I remember being so excited about getting to hang out with my friends.

Truth is I never really thought about what it took to make that happen. As a kid, you're not supposed to. You're not supposed to know that Mom and Dad actually got up an hour before you did because there was just no way they were going to get everything done otherwise. You're not supposed to know what it cost each and every season to play that sport or join that team or do that event. You're just not. I'm so glad that I didn't know those things as a kid; and I'm even more glad I'm getting to learn them now. Because that means my daughter is getting to experience new things and meet new people. She's having fun without worries. That's my job as her mom, her dad's job as her dad. We make things happen for her without her ever knowing what it takes to make them happen.

Anyways. Nostalgia over. Back to present day. As I said, we took Emma to her first class. She didn't really get it at first. Actually, out of the hour the class lasts, she didn't get it for maybe 45 minutes! lol There towards the end though, she got it. After it wrapped up, we went to her great-grandma's house to visit--maybe an hour there. Then we went home. Emma had had so much excitement that she was sleeping soundly before we pulled out of the driveway! HAHA She slept the whole way home. That alone is reason enough to keep going every week: GUARANTEED NAP TIME!

Actually, I know we'll be going back because we asked Emma the other night if she was excited about her "class." She immediately said "YES!" We asked if she wanted to do this thing or that thing from the class. And she actually understood. The things she said yes to were the things she played with most when we were there; the things she said no to were things she did maybe once and then didn't go back to. So she gets it. There were a bunch of other kids around her age, so hopefully this is the start of Emma making new friends before she even starts school! I definitely want her to be comfortable walking into new situations and meeting new people.

Other than that...not a whole lot. Getting back into a routine with the new year. New work schedule means new home schedule. Everyone is making adjustments. Not just me, my guy, and Emma...but our whole family. I love the fact my daughter stays with family. I know I'm lucky. A lot of parents don't have that luxury. And that's what it is: A luxury. My parents didn't have it. My parents lived overseas at one point and then they lived halfway across the country at another time. When we finally stopped moving, they were still no closer than 4hrs from the nearest grandparent. We saw my mom's side kind of frequently, considering--maybe something like once a month or every other month. My dad's side was like 6-7hrs so that was even less often.

Emma doesn't have that. Her family is a stone's throw away. She could see most of them every day if she wanted. The rest she could probably see every other week or maybe once a month or so. The point is my daughter is so incredibly lucky. She gets to see 2 of her grandmas ever single week. And *I* am lucky. Because my daughter is being cared for by people who love her. I don't have to find an outside sitter for her. I know a lot of people have nannies who care for and about their kids. And some parents send their kids to daycare or early preschool; and they choose the best schools with the best teachers. I'm not saying anything against moms/dads who opt for those choices. They may not have the opportunity for family to watch their babies. I'm just lucky that I do.

Parents --good parents, parents who were meant to be parents-- care more about their kids than anything else; we always look for the best options for our babies. We put their needs before our own, their wants before our own. We make our decisions based on them. I may WANT to go see a movie or get my nails done. But my daughter NEEDS me to come home and be with her especially when I've worked 40+hrs that week. I may want to stay up late but my daughter needs me to be up with her in the morning, so I'm in bed before I want to be. (Sometimes, after a gruesomely long day, I want to go to bed before her though! LOL)
My days of being carefree and doing what I want because I want--well those days are over. I am a mom first. And thank goodness for that. At some point every one has to grow up. I see my daughter growing before my eyes and know she is my world. She and her daddy. They are why I work, so I can prove to my daughter that anything she wants is possible. They are why I clean as much possible, so they can be proud of their home. They are why I plan and why I strive, so we can always know how much we mean to each other and how important we all are--individually and as a family.

That is our new adventure: Taking the time to allow Emma to discover things she likes, things she doesn't. And making the time to grow as a family, a couple, a parent, and a person. This year has already been incredible and fun. I am so excited for what the rest of the year holds!

Emmaleigh Grace

Emmaleigh Grace