Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Something new...

In the spirit of gratitude, I have decided to start a new blog tradition. Each Tuesday I will highlight someone who has been or is currently influential in my life. Might be a family member, might be a friend, might be someone who doesn't even realize that they have had an impact on my life. I might share a favorite memory or I might make a list...either way, I have decided to keep it fairly short so that it doesn't become overwhelming. I will randomly pick people from the list so that the list order is in no way indicative of the person's importance. Since I don't have pictures of everyone, I have decided to always include the same graphic on these posts. If I do have a picture...well...that will be a bonus. I will call these posts TuesdayLove. I am looking forward to the gratitude that I will feel as I call up old and not so old memories. I am also looking forward to publicly recognizing people who have added so much to my life. Clearly not everyone I will mention reads the blog...but as my mom always told me...It's the thought that counts.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
-George Eliot
And...if you are so inclined...feel free to copy the graphic and add TuesdayLove to your blog schedule. We all have so many to be thankful for....

First randomly chosen person.... Mary Akers (my mom's cousin.....so my second cousin??)

Mary....I will never forget staying at your house in the mountains when I was a kid. You had robes for all of your guests and I was absolutely fascinated by the idea of it! My mom never wore a robe (not that she ran around naked, she just didn't wear robes) and so I never had a robe. That first morning, I picked out a robe of yours and drank hot chocolate in the kitchen with you and mom and grandma. I felt so grown up and so special all because of your purple chenille robe. The next morning, to my surprise, my robe didn't drag the floor two feet behind me. Instead, it fit me perfectly. You hemmed it to fit me and said that I could take it home! I couldn't believe it. It made my day! Thank you for your kindness. I've often tried to make someone else's day in that same way. If I have ever have a little guest who is infatuated with my robes I promise to be the little elf in the night who cuts and sews and makes her day. Also, I've always loved your many houses. Of course, the one in the mountains was amazing. (Except for the fake anteater on the landing.) But, the beach ones always inspired me. I loved the little bungalow that you and Al lived in. I remember it as an A-frame with a loft to sleep in. There were neat little interesting things everywhere and I always thought to myself...I want to live in a place like this. Thanks, too, for helping me make my Susan B. Anthony doll in the fourth grade. And...I've always loved your laugh, as well.

As you might have noticed, I have decided not to care too much about run-on sentences and such while I write my TuesdayLove entries.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I'm late again, lovey! You're surprised, no?
How can it be that half a year has passed since we first met? I will always look back on your sixth month as The Month of Rapid Growth and Change. Daddy and I took you on your first airplane ride on your 6th month birthday (it wasn't exactly to celebrate your 6th month birthday, but it was a nice coincidence, don't you think?) and maybe it was the altitude in beautiful Colorado or the hotel water..or something...but all the new experiences began to transform you in to a little girl. Your baby features are giving way to real life characteristics. You are alert and particular. You even flirt! The young man who sat behind you on the plane really caught your eye. You made a game of smiling at him and then diving for cover in my chest. The flight attendants loved you. The hotel concierge loved you. The taxi drivers loved you. Daddy and I were proud to be with you! You were spreading smiles all across this new city. I love your happiness, Isabella. It is contagious...a proverbial ray of sunshine. ('Cept when you're hungry.)

Our trip was a success. Our room had a breathtaking view of the mountains and we had sweet and simple fun hanging out, just the three of us, in a big comfy bed. We ate delicious food, went to unique little pubs, shopped, rested, watched the sunset, walked and swam....and you hung right in there. You even slept soundly in an unfamiliar port-a-crib that was more metal than mattress.
We were so pleased with your traveling performance that we arrived home at midnight on Friday evening and headed to the lake for a long weekend at 9am the next morning. Again, so many new experiences for you! Making rounds up and down the dock with your Pop Pop, getting rocked to sleep by the gentle waves of passing boats, bathing in the kitchen sink, and even swimming in the cooler! Pop Pop kept saying you were a natural. I think he's right. You seem quite at home and at ease on the water. A chip off the old block.

We are enjoying many playdates this month, too! It is so fun to see you interact with other babies your age. You smile and lunge toward your little friends. I wonder what you are thinking when you see a teeny person just like you. I hope you will enjoy many fun times with your friends. I am so looking forward (but not rushing toward) having your friends to our house. I will help you set up tea parties and forts made of blankets just like my mom used to do for me. And, I will come and get you, no matter what time it is, when your courage wears off at a slumber party. In fact, you might not even have to call! Your dad and I might already be in the driveway. We'll be missing you , too, I bet.

You are almost sitting up now! You are still too unsteady to be left unattended....but sitting or standing up with help is what you prefer. You fancy yourself a "big, big girl!" Maybe this is due to our repeated sing-songy "How big is Baby Ella" games fashioned after your favorite How Big Is Baby Elmo book. This is bittersweet for me as you used to prefer being cuddled in my lap. Often times when I am holding you now you arch your back and begin an awkward slide down my legs. I knew this time would come. Even though I think I savored every moment of you being content in my arms, I find myself second guessing. Did I cherish it enough? Because I think it is almost over. Pretty soon I will probably have to promise you candy or a sticker or something for just a few minutes on my lap. Okay, Okay...I am jumping ahead a little bit...I admit. I have a tendency to do this with you. Sometimes when I see you playing with one of our friend's little boys I look at your dad and say how will you ever give her away on her wedding day? As if you and the other infant have been sitting in your respective swings talking about where you will get married and what type of home you will settle into! Momma's dramatic, little one....always late and very dramatic.

So many times over the course of the past month people out in public have asked me, "Is she your first?" They all ask it in a way that makes me think it is written all over my face...that you are my first and that I am so madly, deeply, crazily in love with you! What gave it away, I want to ask. Is it the fact that I am stopped in the middle of the grocery aisle just staring at you while you sleep, oblivious to people trying to get their carts around me? Is it that the light has been green for 30 seconds and I am paying no attention to it because half my body is in the backseat playing patty cake with you? Is it my industrial size pack of antibacterial wipes that gave it away? What is it?
They never give a reason, of course. Instead, they just shake their heads and smile. "I thought so," they say as they watch us carry on. Sometimes their eyes get shiny and I know in my heart that they are thinking about their all-grown-up-firstborns.
Oh, it's not that I will love your siblings any less at all....it's just that I feel like we started from scratch with you! You have been so patient and sweet...letting us practice on you, gathering the recipe and the ingredients as we go along. We've fumbled around with everything from breastfeeding to swaddling to temperature taking...and you've just kept on being your perfect little self. You've kept on growing and developing in spite of all of our inexperience and naivety.
You are our first. And.... firsts are just inexplicably special in a first-y sort of way.
Another thing perfect strangers will say is, "She is the happiest baby!"
And this time my eyes get shiny as I think to myself,
"And I am the happiest mother."

I love you, Ella Bella!

**All photos from 6th month photo shoot.