There's a lot of fun stuff that goes along with being a mom to Ada Mae.
I wake (most days) to a smiling, cooing baby. She's fresh and ready for the day. So many possibilities for fun and adventure, even if that means crawling on the floor in the spare bedroom for a change of scenery. So many opportunities to learn and grow. I watch her discover new things by the minute and it blows my mind.
We take backyard strolls and pick flowers together. Well, Ada mostly tries to eat grass and leaves. Still, I love watching her develop her understanding of the outside world. The seasons change. She listens to birds chirp, watches two squirrels chase one another up a tree, and giggles at that bunny who has decided to live in our lawn.
I introduce her to new foods and watch her little face make sense of all the flavors and textures. I see her develop preferences even at this early age. Loves blueberry yogurt . . . hates peach. Shovels sweet potato chunks into her mouth. Spits out cottage cheese. Cannot get enough tofu. Seriously.
There's a quiet nursing session each night before bed -- when she's not distracted and eats heartily. She stares at the painted peacock on this simple thrift-store necklace I bought years ago. Fingers the cheap, fake-gold chain. Someday I will give it to her as an heirloom of sorts. Best dollar I've ever spent.
And then there's that moment when I slip into her nursery late at night to peek at her one last time. Her face is completely relaxed. Like she's an entirely different baby when she's asleep. I'm sure you know what I mean. Ever since she was a newborn, she's had two very distinct personalities, the waking and the sleeping.
There are a lot of difficult moments, too.
With a constantly developing mind, we're bound to have struggles napping at least once a day. We're always reevaluating our "schedule" to best meet Ada's needs. I feel like I'm never getting it quite right. And even when I do, it changes again.
With a constantly growing body, we're bound to have struggles with nursing at least once a day. Or teething. Or any other number of other things. As much as I feel fortunate and happy to have nursed this long, it hasn't been easy by any means. The highs and lows with the process continue to amaze me even nine months later.
With a constantly developing immune system, we're bound to have sickness every now and again. Though, I certainly thought sickness would allude us more than it has. You know. With the breastfeeding. And staying home. Truth is: Some babies get sick more often than other babies. Despite what anyone will tell you, there's no rhyme or reason.
When sickness strikes, I often need to use a bulb syringe or other uncomfortable method to help cure it. These moments are perhaps the most heartbreaking moments of all. Ada screams and cries, seeing them only as pure torture -- betrayal, even. But what needs to be done needs to be done and is ultimately for the greater good. I must remind myself that when she's so upset.
Then there are those times when I catch a glimpse of Ada in just the right angle and see her somehow as she might look at five years old. My heart sinks a bit. So much of this first year is spent in survival-mode that I feel like I have missed out on such precious time. I keep telling myself that I need to cherish it more when "the next one comes."
I'm always left with mommy-guilt because that makes me feel like I'm giving up on Ada's special time. But I've learned by now that I can't win the mommy-guilt war. It's ongoing.
Right now is that time of night where Ada has decided she's done with her bath. She loves it for about 10 minutes and then it's like hot lava. She.
And we're off!
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