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It’s hard to believe, but Baby Bear had her first birthday a few weeks ago. She has been walking for several months, and has been putting random things in her mouth less frequently. She pretty much doesn’t need me anymore. Well, except for diaper changes and nursing every 5 minutes or so.

She is also learning language. She knows “mama” and “dada.” “Dah,” is her word for dog. She can sign “more,” “eat,” “fan,” and “light.” And when I say, “Where’s the elephant?,” she walks over and picks up her elephant toy.

For her one-year birthday, we had a small gathering in our apartment with Spencer’s mom, his aunt, and our friends Jay and Holly. It was nice to have a low-key celebration, since our apartment is small, and Baby Bears can tend to get overwhelmed by too much attention. My parents were unable to attend because my mom was very sick, and my father-in-law cancelled due to illness as well. But we still had a great celebration, marking the occasion in style with French pastries from Ken’s Artisan Bakery and a homemade strawberry pie. I’ve never been a big cake fan, so perhaps I’m starting a family tradition of birthday pies. Time will tell…

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It has been an amazing journey watching little Marie grow into a toddler over the past year, and I am so looking forward to see how she changes in the coming year. One thing is sure, we love her more and more as time goes by.

sleeping beauty

you sleep so sweetly
in the warm afternoon sun
what do you dream of?

 

NaPoWriMo Day 22! I guess I’m in haiku mode. I wrote this and then realized it was a haiku afterwards. Now I’m afraid I must wake the sleeping beauty or she will not want to go to bed at the appropriate bedtime.

did you know
your first birthday
marked my one year anniversary
as a superhero?
that’s right, i’m now a mother
and though i’d always wished
for a superpower like flight
shape-shifting
or better yet
the ability to move things with my mind
i’ll take the powers of pregnancy and birth
the ability to wipe away your tears
and hold you for hours
the power to love you
with all i am
was
am yet to be

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Baby, I love

your big blue
eyes and long dark lashes
i love your gap-toothed smile
and sweet milk-scented breath
your R2D2 babbles and lion roars
i love your cuddles and giggles
and how you love me, mommy
completely, won’t ever reject me
not yet

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Surprised by Joy

at 3-months-old
you laughed, surprising me
with a full-throated giggle
when i unlocked the mailbox
and extracted a letter
so marvelous, you seemed to think
this little door
that opens to reveal
the day’s correspondence
so extraordinary, the ordinary
to a child, seeing it all
for the first time

Skills not mentioned on my LinkedIn profile:

Able to change a diaper while my daughter tries to crawl off changing table
expert at singing baby to sleep
can roar like a lion and quack like a duck
knowledge of 80+ ASL signs including milk, more, want
can type while breastfeeding
can survive months of sleep deprivation without hallucinating
possesses strength to carry baby and groceries and diaper bag up stairs
still remembers the quadratic formula, though not how to use it
able to give everything for love

Your first Easter

you wear a white dress
with pastel blue polka dots
and a matching satin ribbon
tied in a bow around your waist.
Suchaprettygirl
walking already, at 11 months
you toddle across the grass
in shiny black Mary Janes.
When you stumble and fall, arms outstretched
I gasp, preparing to swoop you up
and hold you tight.
Instead you brush yourself off
and stand again.

 

– UC

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IMG_1264 IMG_1263  I was excited to discover that April is National Poetry Writing Month. I feel up to the challenge of writing one poem a day for the next 30 days – without the expectation that any of them be good poems. I thought I would kick off NaPoWriMo with some zoo haikus. Baby Bear and I have been enjoying our visits to the zoo, thanks to the zoo membership that Grandma Silly bought for us. Baby Bear has decided that “roar” is an important part of her vocabulary.

Friday at the zoo
Marie saw lions and roared
my darling wild thing

 

 

 

elephant Lily
300 pounder at birth
a big baby girl!

 

Teething is very sad for all parties involved. Baby Bear is currently teething (again) and/or sick. She has a nasty-sounding cough, which I think is caused by all her teething drool. Last night at about 12:30 a.m. she would not stop screaming. Usually she will easily fall back asleep if I nurse her, but this was not the case last night. Finally I just got up and sat with her on the couch so that my husband could sleep. After awhile of this she fell asleep and I was able to go back to bed and sleep with her head propped up on my shoulder. She still woke up every few hours after this until we finally got up around 7:30.

It’s days like this that I’m thankful that I don’t have to go to work. Although sometimes I feel like parents who work have it easier, since they get to have a life away from their child. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. (Not that I had the option of going back to work — I got laid off during my maternity leave).

Anyway, I look forward to the time when Baby Bear has all her teeth AND sleeps well all night. I also look forward to the days when she is potty-trained and no longer puts everything in her mouth! And most of all, I’m excited for when she can talk and tell me what she’s thinking and feeling. She is 11-months-old already so I know those days are coming…slowly.

Now I have to go stop her from climbing the bookshelf.