Saturday, November 19, 2011

i'm sick to death of grading--been doing it, off and on, all day--so here i am.

i had all of these things that i could have told you, but now i don't remember any of it.


Monday, November 14, 2011


i think i'm growing along with maggie.

somehow, in the last month, i have changed. or perhaps all of the pieces that had been growing in my soul all came together. or perhaps, as i really believe, my body finally reset and i am feeling more myself than i had been in the six months before.

but i'm just...happier. and finding great joy in my daughter rather than worrying so much about everything. naps are what they are.  teething sucks. solid foods are fundamentally and irrepressibly confusing.

she, however, is a joy.  i'm sitting here on the couch, watching her crawl furiously between two stacks of toys, pulling things out of the storage ottoman that i opened for her that is full of random old toys that she doesn't normally see.  she's pulling up on the ottoman, examining things, taking them out, eating them (of course), and then crawling back to toy home base, where the larger stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else hangs out.

she is just adorable. i think my heart just exploded a little bit.

but every day, i find these moments. every day, i find ways to get more things done. she's been going through some serious separation anxiety issues, mostly related, i think, to some big fat front teeth that are pushing through. as my friend saf put it, sometimes you just need your mom.

unfortunately, sometimes that is around 2 am, and she is not inclined to let me go so that she can go back in her crib.  it's been a bit of a struggle, but we're wandering our way through it, groping together in the dark to figure out what to do.

and i think i'm realizing that's mainly what motherhood is.

as i stumbled back to bed at around 330 last night, i told musicboy (who was awake too) that separation anxiety was kicking my butt.  but i didn't say it angrily or resentfully. just stating a fact.

but when i wake up in the morning, still tired and wishing for another hour or even another half an hour, and i hear my chattery baby talking to herself and pulling up and plopping down and enjoying her first moments of awakeness by herself in her dark room, i know we're doing something right.

when she just has so much fun cruising from chair to exersaucer, when she pulls out books and loves to chew on them, when she finds a metal mixing bowl the best toy of all, when she crawls over just to say hi and tell me she's hungry (or i realize that's probably the problem). when she thwacks the doorstop over and over to hear it make that sound, when she giggles at us singing the beginning of "crazy train," when she never seems to get enough of doing the same things over and over. when my voice calms her down as i sing the silly snowman song, when she decides to go to sleep as we're rocking and she nuzzles into the crook of my arm and is out just like that. when she chews on the crib, on the tv stand, on the side of her highchair.

when she does anything and everything.

maybe it's the season. maybe it's figuring out who we are as parents. maybe it's just that maggie is tremendously wonderful.

but our life is good.

Monday, November 7, 2011

letters to my girl: month seven.

dear maggie, or magpie, or maggie girl, or maggie mags, or magaroo, or any other combination of silly names that we've given you,

you are seven months old.

it snuck up on me. it really did. i don't know where the time has gone, though i'm pretty sure a fair bit of it has gone to you.  i don't regret that. not even one tiny bit. in fact, it seems preposterous to me that it would ever be any other way.

you change every day, but the past month has brought the most obvious changes. 

you crawl.

you pull up, on people and objects.

you sit from crawling easily.

you like to crawl under and over things, and you especially like to hang out under your exersaucer like it's a fort.

you're working on your pincer grip. i need to vacuum more often because whatever's on the ground is free reign for your exploring hands.

you talk, though no real words yet. today, it really sounded like you were working on "yeah" or "yay" and, remarkably, you imitated me for several minutes when i talked back to you.

you sometimes seem like you are close to saying mama or dada, and you do say dadadadadadadada as it seems to be one of your favorite consonant sounds.

you are learning what "gentle" is. you are learning fast.

i think you know what "no" means. i wish i said it less. i'm trying.

you love, love, love to be outside. if we go for a walk in your stroller, you are now facing forward, sitting straight up and looking at the world around you. you love it.

you now deeply dislike the changing table. this saddens me, as it used to be the place where we had so much fun. you're just too interested in spinning around and twisting like a pretzel. i have to give you a toy to get you to be still.

you are beginning to hate your car seat too. when we've been out and about, you seem to resent being restrained. i understand it, but we're talking to you about how you may not arch your back but you may protest verbally.  i swear i think you understand.

you still don't really like green beans.


we've had our fair share of sleeping challenges lately. you've done some great things, like learning how to put yourself back to sleep after waking up and yelling out, which is awesome. but you've also had some real trouble sleeping through the night.  this has caused me no end of stress--well, at least, it did at first. i kept thinking i needed to DO something else, to change something we were doing, that somehow we were harming you in someway by comforting you, rocking you, doing whatever we needed to do to help you get back to sleep.  but any time we thought about doing something else, it never felt right, never felt like it was right for you.

so, with your grandma's help, i just decided to trust my instincts. i still struggle with this. case in point: even though we've been through two teeth already, i still doubt the distinctive signs of teething. i doubt the fact that i KNOW that you teethe for a month before they cut.  i doubt the fact that i know that you get a runny nose just a few weeks before it cuts.  i doubt the fact that it interrupts your sleep in strange ways, until i see that distinctive little white line underneath your gum.  but until then, i just keep thinking that you're sick, that you're cranky, blah blah blah.

basically, i doubt myself all the time. and i've been doing it with your sleep. it's been a rough month, but that month was full of things you've learned to do: crawl, pull up, stand in your crib, sit up, etc.  and then there are the mental milestones also: learning language, learning about inside/outside/under/over, learning words and ideas and gaining independence.  so i know that the month began with your sleep being interrupted by that.

and if this wasn't all maddening enough, you'll occasionally give us a night or two in a row that's entirely silent. you sleep like a log, and it reminds me that you can.  those are little gifts, and they tell me that you know what? you really do like to sleep and you really do want to sleep. you just are having some trouble right now.

so i'm trying to listen to my gut when it comes to you.  sometimes it's hard, because this is my first time at the rodeo, but i'm trying really hard. thanks for being patient with me.


you love mango--but it doesn't love you.

you love to spin around. i foresee a 2 year old you in twirly dresses spinning. if you look, you'll find pictures of me spinning and twirling on our wedding day. the apple doesn't fall far.

i love to giggle with you. one afternoon, before your daddy got home, i was giving you kisses. and i started making kissy sounds and saying "kiss" and you started to giggle like it was the coolest thing in the world. and so, of course, i started to laugh because your laugh is entirely infectious.  it was the best thing that has happened in the past few days.  i love those moments.

you think the best thing ever is to pull up on the TV armoire and touch the buttons. you were laughing to yourself about it today.

when i come back from upstairs and you are playing, i always say "hi!" and you always give me the biggest grin. it is the best.

when you are crawling toward us, and we say "hi!" or "come on!" you start to breathe really fast because you're so excited and you crawl faster. it's adorable.

you have started letting strangers interact with you and even hold you (!) and it's awesome. i love watching it, because it tells me that you are secure enough and confident enough in our love for and protection of you that you can explore the world a little bit.  i love it.

i don't know what the next month will bring for us, but i know that you will keep on being a delightful joy. i was looking at the pictures of you when you were so small, just born, with your old man wrinkly forehead and clothes that just didn't fit.  i can hardly believe that you are the same girl, except that you are as beautiful today as you were that day.  your personality is so kind, generous, loving, and observant. you are so smart, and i am so lucky to be your mom.

thanks for teaching me a little more every day why it's important to become like a child if we want to return to Heavenly Father. your wide-eyed embrace of life and your absolute empathetic and total love for us shows me more about what i want to be. thanks for forgiving us our frailties and loving us into our strengths.

we love you more than we can say.