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I always want to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but it never seems like a good year.  It’s never the right time to do anything that you’re not really motivated to do. This year is no different. As the mom of a toddler, I often find it difficult to put together a coherent sentence. I just don’t have the mental energy to write a draft of a novel, even a terrible one. But I still want to push myself to write, so I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo, where I write a blog post a day. If you read many blogs, you know that it’s not necessary to write coherently in order to be a blogger. So I will fit in just fine.

Also this month marks my 30th birthday. So 30 blog posts for 30 days to mark my 30 years seems appropriate.

Today is the day after Halloween. For Halloween we dressed Marie up as Minnie Mouse and visited the haunted 5th Street Market. In Mexico, today is the Day of the Dead, where people remember their ancestors. On our walk today Marie and I visited the site along Amazon Creek where my grandfather’s ashes were scattered two years ago. He lived in Arkansas most of my life and I only got to visit him about once a year, but our family reunions in Eureka Springs are some of my favorite memories. I remember one year he took me fishing and I hooked his thumb without knowing and was reeling it in. He didn’t even cry out in pain, but just told me to stop and calmly pulled the hook out. He was a stoic and quiet family patriarch with five children and 9 grandchildren.

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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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Saturday is Baby Bear’s three-month birthday! Oh my goodness! What a whirlwind these past three months have been.

One of Baby Bear’s favorite things to do is sit on the couch and stare at the elephant mobile that hangs from our ceiling. I hold her and her eyes lock onto the elephants, and she immediately gets a huge smile and starts saying “Ooo!”

I imagine she is saying, “Hello elephant friends! I love watching you dance in the air.”

One of her other favorite things right now is trying to stand up. She will straighten her legs, and then I will hold her up and help her balance. She’s strong! I guess the joke will be on me when she starts walking.

Spencer started walking at 9 months. His mom said that one day he just stood up in the middle of the room and started walking. I also started walking around 9 months, but with assistance. My parents would take me on walks in the stroller and I would get out and push the stroller.

It’s been amazing watching the changes in her over the past few months, from sleepy newborn to smiling, giggly three-month old. I’m looking forward to watching her continue to grow and change.

On Sunday we had her baby dedication service at church. We wanted to have her wear a beautiful christening gown and hat that her great-grandmother had lovingly knit for her. But it was about 90 degrees that day, and the church doesn’t have air conditioning. Not only that, but for some reason the heat was on in the church and no one knew how to turn it off! So, it was too hot to wear the long-sleeved, wool christening gown. She wore a lovely floral dress instead.

All of her grandparents and one great-grandmother came for the service. I love how the baby brings everyone together, and how she is starting out her life with so many people loving her already. Our good friends Jay and Holly, and Bob, came as well — we’ve decided they have honorary aunt and uncle status, since Spencer and I don’t have siblings.

For the dedication, we went up on stage and Spencer prayed for her, and then our pastor prayed for all three of us. When I was pregnant, I had already prayed for her that her life would be dedicated to God. But I felt it was also important to do so publicly. I believe that her life is a gift from God, and I always want to remember that. She is God’s child even more than she is mine.

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Blessing babies is important in many religious traditions. My denomination holds dedication services, some hold christenings and others perform infant baptisms. Are are any of these rituals important to you? Why or why not?