Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cause you gotta have friends....

Last November was a busy time for a bunch of us. There are about 8 of us with little ones all born within a few weeks of each other. Some women I already knew, others I met through my pre-baby Yoga class at Karma Yoga Studio or through the Somerville Moms list.

We decided there was no better way to celebrate than have all the babies (and their parents) at our place last weekend for some fun, food and a little bit of bedlam. Unfortunately, not all the kids could be there (one is living in London and we would have Skyped her in, but alas, she decided on a late afternoon nap) and some were sick. But Dave created an awesome poster with all the kids pictures on it:Here are some of the shots of the other kids:
Gala & Lila (my little meatball buddy!)

Lee & Andrew:
Katina & Axelle (our next door neighbors and "younger" friend - Axelle's 9months, but we figured it would be fun for her to hang out with the "big" kids...

Matt, Allison & Charlie (our elder statesmen at 15 months) (Frances & Morgan are playing with the car):
And finally Sophia & Frances - officially first friends. There were born 10 hours apart at Mt. Auburn hospital. Frances was about a month early, so Morgan & I had no idea we were both in having the girls at the same time:

We knew the party was rocking because there were shoes being eaten:

And a sleepy dad when all was said and done:

An extension of me...

I always had heard (and witnessed) that around 1, toddlers get clingy. I could never figure out why this happened and honestly, always thought it had something to do with the parents and coddling. Not that there is anything wrong with lots of baby love and snuggles, but it felt to me like it was edging towards the "helicopter parent" category.

Oh silly, silly mommy. How little I understood before having a one year old of my own!
Sophia has generally been a fairly independent little being - when she was very little, she'd happily play under her Rainforest for long periods (in baby time) while I could run around getting stuff done. Even still, in the mornings, she'll play in her crib for quite awhile before requesting our presence and her morning meal and even "read" some books before crawling out in search of us. None of these are the issue. What is becoming apparent is if anyone is to do any leaving, it is to be her, not me.

If I even so much as go to the bathroom, she chases me down at whacks on the bathroom door till I'm done, sobbing like I've left her with a pack of wild animals. (Talk about mastering the art of the 30 second bathroom visit. Another reason why women are moms and dads are guys. Enough said).

The worst part is not actually me leaving. There are occasionally a few tears and maybe some whining after I kiss her goodbye (Thank god for our sitter - she is amazing at distraction!). Rather, the drama ensues when I come home - whether it's after 45 minutes or 8 hours. The same response as she realizes - "Oh wow! I really missed her. I can't believe I didn't think of this before and now I shall tell her and everyone within a 2 mile radius exactly how I missed her." At which point she literally jumps into my arms and gives me a hug to end all hugs. It is quite possibly one of the best feelings ever (and, I'm not going to lie, occasionally overwhelming. Especially after coming in from a long car ride and having to go the bathroom. See previous paragraph). But it is a true testament to unconditional love.

Note the times that it is a bit much: when I meet her and Dave in Whole Foods after a run and she's been happily playing in the shopping cart and the sees me. Oh my - to all of my fellow customers, I'm really, really sorry for the racket. But what can I say, my daughter loves me and I her. (Thanks to the nice guy who works there for swooping in with some awesome dinosaur stickers.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm 1 and I want to eat what I want to eat. Dang it.

There has been a lot of discussion amongst my mom friends lately about food: what are your kids eating, how are they eating it and when did they decide that throwing it off their trays was acceptable and/or the way to go?

We've been lucky - Sophia has generally been a good eater, but definitely shows signs of quirkiness. She'll happily try anything - and generally swallow it - assuming we're not at the table, in a formal high chair setting (Think - Whole Foods trial stations while in the shopping cart and you've got a winner. That's how she got hooked on taztziki sauce).

Meat has been our big struggle. For a girl who comes from two rather carnivorous parents, she shows no interest in meat (unless, of course, it's a random meatball at our friend's house or a chicken nugget from the guy at Whole Foods, but I digress). We've tried chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, you name it. Nada. Zilch. I think it's a texture thing because if it even makes it past the Fort Knox of her lips, she'll chipmunk it in her cheeks for awhile and then spit it out. So I've given up the battle, at least for awhile. She's getting plenty of protein from yogurt and cow's milk, and, when she's deems it worthy, cheese.

You see, we used to have a love affair with cheese - string cheese, Havarti with dill, Monterrey jack - you name it, she'd eat it. Copious amounts even. But ever since we had a rough "too much cheese in the car resulting in puking back up cheese" incident, she hasn't been so fond of cheese. Occasionally she'll have some, but it's rare and not with enthusiasm. Again, not a battle I'm going to fight. She'll get back there (in the mean time, I seem to be ingesting her rejects. Hmmm).

I'm searching for new things for her to eat all the time. It's quite easy to get into the same routine with her of rotating foods. But I think she's inherited her father's content in eating the same thing day after day. (Again, unless we are somewhere out and about and someone offers her something interesting). The other night we got into quite the battle royal - even the standard favorites (pasta, yogurt, broccoli balls, etc.) were getting tossed on the floor. She had no interest in dinner food at all. I coaxed, airplaned and did all the tricks I swore I'd never do in an attempt to have a healthy eating relationship with Sophia. Finally, I was done. After frustrated mumbling on my part, I popped her out of the chair and put her on the floor while I cleaned up the aftermath.
And what does she do? Crawls over, with much purpose, to the dog bowl. (We were sitting our friend's 125lb Newfoundland who, let it be known, was very, very well fed by Sophia during his stay with us) And before I could get to her: Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Yup. Dog Kibble. No people food for her. Just dog kibble.

And I just sat down with her on the floor, moved her away from the dog bowl and laughed. You win some and you lose some, right? At least there was protein in there somewhere....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sophia's 1 year Portraits

We had Sophia's 1 Year shots done by the fabulous women at TwoMamas Photography. They did such a wonderful job with her 9 month shots that I was super excited for the year pictures.
(one of the shots was featured at their gallery opening at Bird by Bird in Inman Square!)

Dave & I joined in the photos a bit more this time - they were done on Prospect Hill in Somerville. It was a super windy day - hence the "active" hair by all of us.

Here are a few favs.

My baby is 1

Amazing how the past year has flown. I know every mother/parent says it, but to look at how Sophia has grown truly astounds me. But I've grown too, as a person, a wife and a mother.
This whole weekend I reflected on what I was doing a year ago - not knowing I was heading into labor, giving birth and the time following when we came home from the hospital.

I spent so much of this weekend cooking and cleaning, (which was well needed, as we were having our families over to celebrate Sophia's big day on Sunday) but so much of it felt like I was nesting all over again. The morning I went into labor, at 2am, I made sure to sweep the kitchen floor and straighten up everything before I went to the hospital. I prepped food in the fridge and made sure there was toilet paper in the bathroom.

This weekend's cooking involved making food for Sophia so it would be ready for the week. I start my new job on Tuesday - it'll be the first time I've been back in an office for almost 2 years. I'm excited, nervous and empowered all in the same moment. It's part-time, which hopefully will offer me a good balance of work/brain time and Sophia time. I'm not quite sure what to expect in the world of balance, but I know I will do my best to make it happen.

Sophia is getting closer every day to walking on her own. She has been walking while holding our hands for sometime now. Today, she began to walk with just one of our hands in hers. Soon, I know, she will take her first steps, without holding hands at all. And I am very aware that she may do this with the wonderful woman who is watching her. But I know that when she does it with me, it will be the first time I see her walk and that will be amazing too.

This year has brought me even closer to Dave. We take joy in the little things that Sophia does and in our special time alone with her. I love, respect and appreciate the man who is my husband and my daughter's father. We know each other and what it takes to be a great family. For this, I am lucky and thankful.

I am still breast feeding Sophia, and plan to continue for awhile longer. I am actually not sure, emotionally & physically, how to wean her. I know it will happen when the time is right for both of us. My goal was always to make it to her first birthday. While she is drinking cow's milk in addition to breast milk, I like knowing we still have our time together in the mornings. While my baby is getting so big, she is still my little one.

Happy first birthday Sophia. We have both grown and learned so much this year. Bring on the fun and festivities of the rest of our lives!!