Thursday, April 26, 2012

8 Month Letter to Amelia

My little munchkin,

The past month or so has brought new challenges and milestones. You were sick - really sick - for the first time, with RSV. You were coughing and having trouble breathing and it was hard to know we couldn't do much to help you. This meant you were back in your Rock 'n Play for a couple of weeks to help you sleep and breathe better. You'd decided you didn't care much for sleeping all night before that anyway and had us up a couple of times each night. But after a few weeks we realized you wanted more to eat during the day and you are sleeping well now.

You LOVE to eat. Now you seem to view your bottles mostly as playthings and rarely finish them during the day. I'm sure it's because you'd rather have "big girl" food. The only thing you've hated so far has been avocado, but that's ok because Mommy is more than happy to eat your share.

You'd rolled over here and there but it never seemed to be your thing. You started scooting backward for probably a good month, and then suddenly just before your 8 month birthday, you were OFF. Crawling everywhere, pulling up, and making a beeline for anything you weren't supposed to have. Like the newspapers, magazines, and an envelope you've eaten. The cable box and Playstation. The fireplace. The cat. And we lowered your crib a notch after I found you standing in it when you were supposed to be taking a nap. (You're still not a fan of naps. Maybe 20-30 minutes at a stretch.)

You seem to be extremely happy with this newfound freedom, though Mommy is constantly worried about you bonking your head. And getting you dressed is now pretty similar to wrestling an octopus because you are sitting and standing and grabbing everything. You love to coo and talk and "ga ga ga". No teeth yet, but sooner or later I'm sure they will be here!

You're a lot of fun, and we can't wait to show you new things this summer! Happy 8 months, happy girl!

Love always,
Your Mommy

Monday, April 16, 2012

Small victories

I got the following email today from Productive Parenting, and it made me smile:
"You're a good mom. When's the last time you've heard this? When's the last time you've thought it yourself? From book covers to advertisements, magazines to models there's a message that sometimes leaves us feeling that we just don't measure up as moms. Today I'd like to offer an antidote. You're a good mom.
I'm going to generalize that we want our children to grow up to become confident adults. The best way to support this growth is to model it. Give yourself the gift of affirmation and acceptance today. Along with the areas you want to grow in, acknowledge the progress you've already made. Along with the challenges you still face, reflect on the ones you've already surmounted. Just for today, let yourself believe that you are a good mom. Perhaps not perfect, but progessing."
It came on the heels of this article that was shared across Facebook by some mommy friends and myself.
Both are important reminders for me. It's so easy to get caught up in the "what I didn't accomplish today" and "why can't I be more patient with my child" and "WHY won't this kid SLEEP?!?" moments. I need to take a look back at how far we've come and celebrate the good days and the little moments that make it all worthwhile and allow me to go bed with a smile on my face, thanking God, instead of the days that end in tears.
Amelia is almost eight months old. Eight months ago - heck, even five or six months ago - I was sleeping on the couch or in the recliner, sitting up with her on my chest. I had to hold her all day. She was colicky and miserable and I was lucky to get four or five hours of sleep at a stretch. We battled jaundice and reflux and UTIs. Taking her out in public was a crapshoot.
Now she is sleeping in her crib. Not necessarily sleeping all night, but a few nights recently have given me hope. She is babbling and laughing and CRAWLING! She loves going to restaurants and stores. Her health issues are more or less under control. And in the past week we have had more days than not where I can smile and say, "Today was a good day."
I AM a good mom. I'm learning, she's learning...we're getting there. My mother-in-law got me a necklace for one of my baby showers (that Amelia now loves to play with and try to eat) that says "You are worth it all" with an imprint of tiny feet. And she is. Always.
My rotten little bunny on Easter