Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Girl

I have yet to share about my little one. She is my beautiful daughter, now past her 6 month birthday; the time has gone by so fast that I am truly bewildered. Ushering in half a year was a fanfare at our household, as she cut her first tooth, said "dada", and ate her first solid food (chocolate pudding) on this day of note. (Btw, never feed your baby chocolate pudding at bedtime, even when it's a special occasion. You may be nodding your head, "of course, I'd never do that," so then you're one up on me. Baby was up for hours after this pudding incident, and I only gave her one bite.)

Living in a home that has limited moving about space has its disadvantages. For instance, brushing my teeth in our itty-bitty bathroom at the same time as my husband is a choreographed dance full of elbows and near bruises, ending in a polite "excuse me" for the 111th time. Or tripping over the open dishwasher has me sadly limping about with sore shins. And the dog...underfoot doesn't even begin to describe her clinginess. But for all the rough points, I love the fact that when I gave birth at home close to 6 months ago, it was in a setting where close quarters was a blessing. We were all in this together...we couldn't help it. Every labor pain rocked the floorboards. I gave birth in a birthing tub, described by some as a huge Whirlpool with heating qualities and ample room. Michael caught her as she entered the world, and after she was passed on to my arms, she gripped my necklace like a gymnast on the high bars. I have never felt more alive than immediately after I birthed my baby. A swirling cocktail of hormones and heightened happiness had me soaring and singing. I sensed a commonality with many birthing mothers of bringing new life to fruition to be the sweetest and best I have ever thus done.

Papa and Baby...notice open mouth
Her voice can bring me to tears, laughter, or a smile. Her smile reminds me of innocent rest. Her cry grabs my heart as I respond with equal fervor. Her touch draws me to her closer still, a whisper of fingers as she searches for me as she sleeps so she knows she's not alone. She is my precious daughter, a bundle of wiggles and softness. Recently, she spoke the name all daddies long to hear--"dada"--and Michael melted into a pool of Proud Papa. (Might I add that her first word was "mama" at 4.5 months. For the record.) When I was pregnant with her, I prayed to God to know how to pray for her (she's His child first, after all.) He spoke to pray peace over her as well as for her to be passionate and expressive. She is most assuredly brimming full of all three! Conversations will be a daily trumpeting call in this family. She's in good company. My mother reminded me a few days ago of my "Word Lists." Apparently, I love words with such an intensity that I created lists of my favorite ones. Words like "whimsical" and "dazzling" are just too good to use just anytime. I think my daughter will create words lists, too. Maybe it'll even be a mother/daughter Friday night adventure. You know I'm kidding.

Today, we played a game of chase with the dog and read a book. We raked leaves together as she took in the air and slept in the back carrier. She jumped in her Johnny Jump-up (what a super investment!) while I made chili for dinner, chewed on her bead toy (the one that is in every doctor's office), and went to the fabric store with a friend and me. "Camel" was a hit today, like every day. My cheeks erupt in a smile now as I remember her on Quackles, a sunshine-yellow rolling duck that is large enough to sit and wheel around on. He has made it through one generation (mine) and is now on round two. A bit maimed but none the worse, Quackles has provided Baby with great entertainment and a new workout for Mama. Daddy Time was sprinkled throughout the day as he kissed and tickled and danced with Baby. She and Daddy took a nap while I washed dishes, caught up on e-mail, bills, and phone calls, and sipped on tea. I also nursed her aplenty, changed her diapers, and dressed her (twice.) And people ask me what I do all day long at home with her. What don't I do?

Baby on Beloved Quackles!
(Notice her "puppy toes"--puppy slippers we always put on her toes to keep them from getting caught up in the little plastic tires)

Had to mention that I make up songs for her about anything, like how getting in the car seat is so much fun, or the tiered musical trio I have for nursing time. Sometimes, she tries to sing after me. Have you ever heard a baby trying to sing? She is precious.

Today, as I have before and will again, I whispered a few truths I hope she always remembers. As she fought sleep, I gently responded with "I love you, and I delight in you." What a gift to be a mama.

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