Tuesday, June 30, 2015

a rare and precious treasure: maisy lou is one

Our girl, she's one year old.
Actually she's now fourteen months just about, because I am that slow.  Almost two months slow.  And I am kicking myself -- so stinking mad at myself -- for not getting here more often to write about Maisy Lou and her first year.  But such is life, and I will write what I can.

Part of the problem has been me being busy with other good stuff and part of it's been me dragging my feet about writing this post because-- well how can I do it justice really? How can I hope to sum up our sweet little baby one and this year of getting to know my daughter in mere words? I can barely even begin. It's a good thing I'm here to type and not to speak because my love for this little soul causes a big lump in my throat when I get right down to it.

Right about now Maisy-girl is way too quickly morphing from baby to toddler and I wish time would just stand still for a month or so to let me soak up this stage a bit more.  (Or maybe we could rewind just a few weeks to before she learned to brave the stairs and then hit pause, because it ain't easy keeping tabs on that quick little crawling.  She's gotten sneaky about it-- instead of yelling at the bottom of the stairs and on her way up --like "heeeeyyy! isn't someone going to stop me?"-- she makes her way up quietly now so that she won't be stopped.)  So yes, other than staircase menacing, and bathroom menacing, and lego menacing, and particularly mealtime menacing, I'd say having a one year old around is pure delight.

I think (I hope!) I've got some of Maisy's baby milestones in my journal, but I'm honestly unsure.

I do know that she broke her first tooth at six months, just before Thanksgiving, and the second shortly thereafter, and now she has quite a few and more coming and I've totally lost count. I think she was around nine or ten months when she really started saying 'dada' and 'mama' -- one of my favorite moments, I was holding Maisy and the neighbors were asking if she was saying mama yet and she loudly interjected, "Ma-MA!" Yes I am and this is my mama!! Perfect demonstration of baby brilliance.

Soon after that she added her third word -- "bubba" for "baby" -- she says it for "brother" or "bobby" or "boobies" and even refers to dogs with an emphatic "buh" or "bubbah" now so it's pretty much her go-to these days.

She first started clapping right around her first birthday, and climbing the stairs and up onto the little chairs, and now she is climbing everything she possibly can and trying to climb to places she can't possibly.

Also right around the one year mark... she started needing the pre-bed silly time in a serious way. She wanted to ditch dinnertime early and get upstairs for snuggles and sillies, and she's a little more patient about getting there now but she still won't go to sleep without a good dose of the crazies on the beds first. Before her first birthday I nursed her to sleep pretty much every single night, but suddenly at one she was able to fight it a bit more... Nowadays she has her sillying and her nursing and then Ben rocks her to sleep most nights while I snuggle and story the boys.

Maisy isn't as glued to me as the boys always were, but I do love how she clings onto me now when someone else tries to take her from me, like ummm NO, I am staying right here with my mother thank you very much. Just one of the perks that comes along with the long hours.

I am uber-grateful for Instagram for helping me document these little things a lot more regularly. It kinda --gasp!-- makes me wish I had broken the ol' flip phone a little sooner. Because there are so many things that have slipped away already without my noticing. Like, when did the baby monster start crawling around the floor vent in the hall instead of trying to lick it all day? When did she completely shun all forms of babyish food? I've no idea when she started waving, or signing "eat" with her cutie little fingers. (Blowing kisses is pretty new.) And when did she suddenly change into this little person who can hang with her big brothers?

Maisy's first birthday-- goodness it was a while ago. The weekend before the big day, we had a little celebration out in Red Hook...

{Thank you, Kara, for the pics. And thank you all my loves in RH for the sweet little party and gifts and please just pretend you received the thank you notes and they were lovely.}

And then on Maisy Lou's actual birthday, we had a little celebration at Crispy Cones (which Owen will forever remember as the time he got to play with Duplos at the ice cream shop-- a dream come true)

{Thank you, Grandmother, for the cheesecake. And thank you everyone else for coming and also please just pretend you received the thank you notes and they were lovely.}

These one-year-old days are sweet I tell you, and I am cherishing them.

Watching our girl learn and grow--climb and draw and sword fight and laugh and joke and discover and explore and try new things--and never ever question whether she is enough: it's the most beautiful treasure to witness. Her little body--her strong and mushy and delicate and beautiful body--is the most precious treasure to hold. And her spirit--which burns bright in her eyes and right into my heart--is a treasure straight from heaven.

Having a newborn is the luckiest.  But having a one year old is the best.

Thanks so much for stopping by... leave me some love if you're glad you did.

xo, a.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Area of respite

I'm blogging from my gadgetydoo right now-- a test run. We'll see how it goes. All of these photos were taken with and edited on said gadgetydoo so again, we will see how it goes.

In honor of our first day as free beings (if you're not with me on Instagram, we got a second car! we're no longer to be total homebodies four or more days a week! Exciting news) we checked out someplace new...

I've passed by this bridge so many times but never bothered to stop until today. You get there from a picnic/rest area on route 7 in lanesborough, so close to my gram's that it's both ridiculous and the reason I've never had reason to rest there I guess. It's a nice little road through huge trees to a little footbridge over a creek. The perfect mini adventure for three mini people and their mama. A respite from the usual, if you will. And it's good to remember, because I can tend to forget, that a respite from the usual is good for body and soul.

Maisy Lou, we call her adventure baby because, well I'm sure you've gotten the gist of it by now. She wanted to crawl across the bridge, back and forth again and again, giving me a heart attack a minute. I tried to keep my feet astride her in case of a sudden lunge but it didn't much matter; she knew what she was doing. She loves to explore a new place just as much as the boys. And almost as much as I do.

Area of respite for the win. G'nite.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

how motherhood changes us

Why are children such a blessing?
Because their little laughs and tiny voices and sweet faces fill our homes with so much joy.
Because their cries and constant needs teach us compassion and selflessness.
Because their mirroring personalities encourage us to become better versions of ourselves.

Because their love for each other, and our love for them, give us a greater understanding of God's love for us.
Our nieces and nephews, they change us, because they give us the first glimpse of parental love. Our hearts swell with pride as we feel we would do anything for these little people who are at once living ghosts of our own childhoods and bright shining hopes for our futures. We love them more than we've loved anything before.
And then... our firstborn children, they change us in a way that, even after all of the warnings, we never saw coming, because they fill our hearts with a different love we didn't know before and our hearts literally (ok not literally but in the most real spiritual sense) explode. And our one little child is the most precious gem in the universe and we can't imagine ever loving anything else that much.
And then... our second children, they change us by making us realize that yes, we can love something (someone) else that much. That lo and behold, although it seemed impossible, there is room in our hearts for another. That maybe there isn't just one most precious gem in the universe after all.
And then... our third children, they change us in perhaps the most meaningful way of all, because they make us see that all children are the most precious gem in the universe. They all matter, they are all unique and special and irreplaceable children of God. Every single one. Not just ours, but yours and theirs.
I am so thankful for this motherhood and how it's changing me. Happy mother's day to all you mamas, wherever you are on your motherhood journey.

xo, a.
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