Saturday, December 31, 2016

Our First Year

Getting ready to ride a water taxi into NY
It is the last day of 2016 and all I can think about is how tomorrow morning I will wake up in my baby's birth-month. My little, tiny, swear I just had her, baby is turning one soon. I have been trying to wrap my brain around it since we entered the end of the year Holiday rush but it just won't sink in, so I woke up inspired to share a little about this first year hoping it would somehow slow time down just a smidgen.

Oh, the Places She's Been
San Diego
King City
Paso Robles
New York (Traveling with an infant post coming soon)

The Parties She Couldn't Resist
Countless BBQ's at Eric W's
Lunches with Jack V.
Play time and swimming with Joseph K.
A concert in the park with Ryan and Courtney
Rebecca L's bridal shower
Brunches and Dinners at Crazy Uncle Dave's
Ornament Decorating at my Uncle D's.
Naples in LB with the Veis Family
The Martelaro Christmas Party
(Countless other events I couldn't help but take her to)

The Places She Breastfed Unexpectedly
The outside courtyard at the mall
Inside dressing rooms
On a bench in front of BJ's Brewhouse
In the car countless times
On a random bench in a parking lot
The airport at the gate
The airport in a nursing room (Virgin Terminal has one!)
The bathroom of the Guggenheim
The stairs inside the NY MoMA
In a water taxi

The number of times I was harassed/reprimanded for breastfeeding my kid in a weird place: 0 (Hope doesn't allow nursing covers, so good job world!) I've never even got side-eye! I feel terrible for the mothers that are harassed about nursing and I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to nurse anywhere, anytime without a single incident. In fact, the only comment I ever heard was a woman walking by that said to her friend "you gotta do what you gotta do". If you are curious about the very real details about breastfeeding (mine specifically) you can check out my post here.

What I Learned as a New Mom
I LOVE being a Mom; it is more fulfilling and satisfying than I ever imagined (Except the first few terrifying months where you are in a hormonal state of sleep deprivation and pure anxiety. Luckily it passes.). Now I get anxiety if I am away from her (OMG where is my baby anxiety; it's actually kind of funny once it passes).
Babies are nearly indestructible, mine crashes into her face on the daily like it ain't no thang.
Poop isn't a big deal, neither is vomit or pee. Nothing phases me anymore.
Baby nails and teeth are the sharpest things on this planet.
Sleep training at just the right age is a freaking life saver. When baby is ready there is very little crying and we have all slept significantly better ever since.
Watching photos of her circulate on our TV is our favorite pastime when she is sleeping.

What I Haven't Learned as a New Mom
How to keep my baby from smashing her face.
How to keep my baby from eating things off the floor or things she isn't supposed to eat.
How to get my baby to sleep in a stroller/car.

The Ways She has Surprised Us
She is allergic to peanuts, hazelnuts, and pecans and we have to tote around an epi-pen.
Severe farsightedness that has resulted in corrective lenses (and lots of stupid questions from strangers "Are those real glasses???" Seriously?).
Chronic baby eczema that is only kept at bay by twice a day being coated in Vaseline.
She had her television debut on CBS2NY while we were vacationing, the weather broadcast hasn't been the same since. (I haven't been able to acquire the footage unfortunately)

Watching Hope learn, process, and mimic is so immensely satisfying. She loves to try and copy me when I speak, her "words" are just sounds but she follows my pitch and timing when she "repeats" what I have said. She also mimics actions. Her chronic eczema requires being rubbed down in Vaseline twice a day so when I am rubbing one of her legs, she rubs the other. It kills me how well she mimics my behavior. I must proceed with great caution.

The responsibility of parenthood is vast and twofold. I owe it to my daughter to be a good role model  and to raise her to be strong, confident, hard working and intelligent but I also owe it to the world to raise her to be decent, humble, giving, and loving. With such a huge responsibility on our shoulders I am so grateful to my husband for having the courage to take paternity leave and change his routine so he can be just as influential in our daughters life as I am. He got some push back from his company about taking an entire month off to help bond with and raise his daughter the same way any woman gets that same guilt trip. While I completely understand the corporate side of this flack I think some things are more important than profits, earnings, and the bottom line. The time where Andy is home with us is something you can't buy, you can't replace it, and you can't capture it to save for later. Hope is only little right now, I need help with her right now, we need time as a couple right now. Not next year, not a few days at a time, RIGHT NOW. SO, companies who fight paid family leave, get over it.

We are going to soak up our quickly passing time with our baby as a family. And with this full heart of mine, I tread into toddler hood with fear and trepidation. I'm sure the challenges and successes will keep me on my toes and just as crazy happy as I am today.

I'm off to snuggle my baby.

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