Friends, life got crazy in back in July, and blogging fell to the bottom of my to-do list. It's unfortunate, I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is. I have missed this space, and am ready to jump back in for a while and write about life as it is today.... but when I logged in just now, I came across this post that I wrote back in August, documenting Amaliya at 1 year old. I've shared all her monthly updates so far, so I have to post this one too.... even though it's way after the fact, and just about everything has changed. Humor me for a moment...
I'm taking advantage of a day off work (due to a sick baby) to finally reflect on my first year of motherhood (and clean, bake sugary things, watch season 4 of House on DVD for the 8th time, etc). It's probably good that I'm writing this almost three weeks after Amaliya's actual birthday. I was a sappy mess on the actual day, the week before, and the week after. Somehow in my mind the first birthday was built up to be this major turning point, a dramatic switch from baby to toddler. Did I think I would wake up on July 30 to find my baby standing up in the crib, speaking in sentences and demanding crepes for breakfast? Maybe. But I realize now that, though it is certainly a milestone, the 365-day marker doesn't really change all that much. My baby is still my baby, and will be for a little while longer at least.
- Walking, with assistance. She grabs your finger and boldly leads you were no baby has gone before... like, into neighbors' apartments and shady looking bushes. But oh! It's so nice to see her display such confidence and curiosity. She absolutely loves being able to move by herself, and every few seconds when she's walking she looks up at you and grins as if to say, "mama, can you believe I'm even doing this right now? Life is SO AWESOME!"
- Food. I mean, seriously you guys, the amount she puts away every day is astounding.
- iPhones, the Nook, the TV... screens, basically. She's actually at that stage where we can turn on cartoons and leave her in front of the TV for 10-15 minutes and she's perfectly content (... not that we'd ever do that.... *looks away*)
- The cat. Yes, we adopted a cat named Makeba (more commonly known as Satan or The Creeper) which is a story unto itself. Amaliya is totally obsessed with her. We chase her from room to room, laugh hysterically every time she twitches, and grin from ear to ear when we get to "pet kitty." Seeing my daughter's joy totally makes the insane kitten antics, lacerations, and clawing-at-the-bedroom-door-at-5am nonsense almost almost worth it.
- Music. She knows the word 'dance,' and if you say it she will stop whatever she's doing and bust a move. She breaks into dance (a cute little head bob and belly twist) when music starts playing. So adorable!
- Her family. She knows us now - my husband, my parents, and my brother. She reacts differently to each of us. Sometimes she want me to hold her, other times it's all about her Nanny. She knows her Uncle Pat is going to be goofy and play with her. It's a lot of fun to see her relate with all of us as individuals now.
- Life. I fully understand why people have kids now, and why all the worries and sleeplessness and upheaval is more than worth it. Witnessing a human being experience everything for the first time, and react with such innocent joy to the most mundane things, really does give life a new meaning.
- Crawling. She can do it, finally (after 11.5 months) but she hates it, complains the entire time, and every few seconds will stop, roll over on her back, put her fingers in her mouth, and look utterly depressed.... before rolling back over and resuming the crawl. We don't force the issue too often. She'd rather walk, and that's okay by me!
- My office. She does very well socially and in crowds, generally speaking, but for some reason when I bring her to work she clings to me like a starfish, won't smile for anyone, refuses to walk... basically has an anxiety attack. Every time. Maybe the cubicles freak her out?
- Avocado and melon. She still eats both, mind you, but only a few bites and she looks less than thrilled the whole time.
- Falling. She is totally traumatized by falling down. Yes, I'm sure it's shocking and hurts a bit, but seriously kid? You only stand 30ish inches tall and toppled onto a carpeted surface, does that really require a solid 5 minutes of limp crying and finger sucking? My sensitive little girl.
Good. Finally, finally good. I decided a while ago to stop feeding her at night, opting for going in, rocking her in my arms for a few minutes, and putting her back down. There were a few loooong nights where she woke up every 20 minutes for 3 hours in a row, but then, she got it! And has been sleeping through the night ever since. She goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, and will occasionally wake up between 4:30-5:30 for a drink (I do nurse her if she wakes up after 4:30 - I figure, that's over 9 hours without liquid, she's probably legit thirsty!). Most of the time though, she sleeps straight through, and wakes up for the day between 6:30 and 7:30. If not for the Creeper, I would finally be well rested!
Her morning nap is very consistent - she goes down between 9:30 and 10, and sleeps 1.5-2.5 hours. Her afternoon naps is about 3 hours after she wakes up, and varies in length. Generally, she clocks about 3.5 hours of nappage per day. She's much more tolerant of being tired, too. When she was tiny, she would scream hysterically if you kept her awake for more than two hours. Now she's been awake for a record 7 hours in a row, and handled it like a boss.
I know its a normal baby thing, to eat like its their job, but I am still shocked at the quantity she can stuff into that tiny torso. An example from the other day:
- Breakfast - 5-7 strawberries, a bowl of oatmeal (probably 1/2 cup), and half a jar of veggies+pasta.
- Lunch - Happy Baby pouch (super salmon, I think), a bean burrito, and an orange.
- Dinner - The rest of the jar from breakfast scrambled into an egg, and about 6 stalks of asparagus.
This is in addition to breastfeeding twice, 10oz of formula, and whatever snacks they gave her at daycare. She probably would have eaten a peach, too, if I had offered it. She's ravenous!
She has mastered finger foods and can pick up even the tiniest, slipperiest morsel and put it in her mouth. We still use purees because it's faster (and hell, it's a lot easier to just crack open a jar when she's hungry) but we are quickly getting to a point where she will be eating exactly what we eat. I'm pretty excited about that.
I guess the biggest development is that I've cut down breastfeeding to twice a day, morning and bedtime. She hasn't seemed to notice at all! We've also switched to whole milk in the last week, and she seems to be doing well with it. Which means I made it through Amaliya's entire infancy and only purchased two cans of formula! Win for my budget!
How's mom doing?
I'm okay. Good, even. Physically everything is 100% back to normal - by some stroke of luck and not a negligible amount of hard work, I was feeling physically fine and lost the 40lbs I gained during pregnancy by December (when I ran my first half-marathon).
Breastfeeding, and gradually phasing it out, is certainly doing a number on my hormones... or perhaps, my hormones are just going back to their normal, fluctuating pre-baby state. Either way, I'm moody! My stress levels probably aren't helping either - two classes, full time work, and trying desperately to be fully present in my home life so as not to miss a moment of my daughter's infancy is really, really hard. But, what can you do? It's the plight of busy working mamas everywhere. I know I'm doing the best I can and I cut myself a lot of slack, most of the time. Adjusting to parenthood is not for the faint of heart, for sure, but overall I am very happy with where I am today.
Thanks for reading. More current posts coming soon!