enjoy this footage from one year ago today. (no, i will not post alex’s birth day video every year, but i’m feeling nostalgic!)
here are daniel and i, exactly one year ago today. we look tired, don’t we? that’s because we were surviving on very little sleep and the prospect of imminent, irrevocable change in our lives. we had also just spent the better part of the day deciding to go ahead and schedule a c-section for the next morning to deliver our potentially 11+ pound little girl 9 days overdue, which was one of the most emotionally-charged decisions of our entire pregnancy. i wanted a drug-free, natural delivery, but by the time this day arrived, i really just wanted her to be born very soon and to be healthy.
a few minutes after we took this portrait and made a couple of videos with our new camera, we were deciding how to spend our last evening as just the two of us when my water suddenly broke all over the eames chair in daniel’s office. i had always wondered if i would recognize that my water was breaking, but there was no doubt about it. along with the water came a sense of hope that just maybe God was going to give us the kind of birth plan that we had wanted all along. as it turned out, alex did arrive via c-section the next day, but not until i got to share the long labor process with my husband and my dear friend and doula nikki. the sharing with them is really what stands out to me about labor, and i’m so glad that we got to have that experience.
a year later, it’s another hot june evening, but this time i got to spend it watching my toddler(!) play with her dad and dance to bob marley, and my life is so good.
so, tomorrow will be all about her, but today my thoughts are more about my husband – we made it through our first year as parents, love, and i am so thankful that i get to share this with you. i’m so thankful that our marriage is stronger now than ever, and i can’t wait to see what happens next!
fathers, etc. June 21, 2009
when i really stop to think about it, i’m a little overwhelmed at how fortunate and blessed i’ve been to have been born into the circumstances that have become my life. through no effort of my own, i ended up with a pretty great dad.
he let us sleep with him on lazy weekend mornings, he always provided for us, even if it meant working three jobs at once. he built a life that allowed for my mom to stay at home with us. he is a great teacher, and a man of integrity. he has taught my brother and i to take responsibility for our choices, and also has made it clear that he loves and supports us even if our choices are different from his. he continues to give generously to our family and to families around the world. he builds garden beds for me, and supports pastors in india. he is my dad, and i love him. happy father’s day, dad!
i’ve also been blessed to have married a great father.
from the moment of her birth, daniel has loved alex more than i think either of us ever thought was possible to love another person. he makes her laugh and he protects her. he works hard to provide for us and build a life that allows for me to stay at home and care for her. i recently heard a professional comment that “daughters need their fathers to love them, and their mothers to accept them.” i have no doubt that alex will know she is deeply loved and valued by her father, and i have to say, that gives me a lot of peace as i think of raising a girl in this culture. i love you, daniel! happy father’s day!
a day in the life June 20, 2009
every now and then, i see occasional blog posts about what a typical day is for the writer. i like the idea, both for those of you who are interested, and for me to be able to look back and remember what my daily life was like when alex was nearly one(!).
most mornings, alex wakes me up around 6 or 6:30am. we used to sleep until about 8 or 9, but now that she’s sleeping the whole way through the night, those days are gone. if i’m really tired, i get her and bring her back to our bed to nurse and hope that she dozes off again until at least 7. if not, we go downstairs, change the diaper and nurse for a bit. then i settle her with a book or toy while i let the dog outside and make my coffee. i take it pretty slowly – checking email, etc., while i drink my coffee and she plays nearby or snacks on some cheerios. that is my ideal early morning, but usually her playing turns into me thwarting her attempts to do her own internet surfing or coffee-drinking or stair-climbing. we hang out, nurse intermittently, and then i make our oatmeal around 8:30 – mine with brown sugar and her’s with mashed banana and flax seed. after that, it’s a shower for mama and washing dishes or starting laundry. somewhere in the morning, alex takes a mini-nap for about half an hour and i either do some work or have another cup of coffee.
when daddy wakes up, it’s usually a little play time with him, and then when he leaves for work around 11 or 12, it’s actual nap time. (we’re in the middle of reconfiguring morning naps.) after wake-up and a delicious lunch of something like avocado and fish, we usually do something fun – a few times a week, that involves playing with our friends and neighbors sarain and mink. other exciting activities include going to target or walking to save-a-lot to get some groceries, walking to the park, going to the library, play dates with friends, etc. i really try to get out of the house in some form.
after her late afternoon nap, we often go out and work in the garden and yard. our yard has been kind of a lost cause since we moved in four years ago, and this is the first summer i’ve actually been around to try to redeem it. it’s also the first time we’ve had a somewhat successful garden. yay! sometimes alex plays in the dirt. other times, she occupies herself with her plastic slide while i pull lots of weeds from our weedy yard and flower beds. sometimes we stay inside and watch ellen or oprah. (alex loves the music on ellen.)
around 6, alex gets her dinner while i start prepping for mama and daddy’s dinner. it’s usually messy for her, so she goes straight into her bath afterwards.
after bath, alex gets some naked time while i clean up, and if the dog is lucky, we all go for a walk together and relax until daniel comes home around 7:30ish – then it’s more play time with daddy until bedtime at 8. after that, we eat our dinner and i either get busy finishing laundry or cleaning the kitchen, or i play a lot of word twist on facebook and watch tv. and then it’s suddenly 11pm, like right now, and i realize that i should get some sleep, because 6:00 comes early!
oh – tell us about your days, pretty please!
if you look closely in the first picture, you can see where alex fell off of a chair and split her lip last week. no stitches, but lots of blood at first. seriously, though, you would think nothing happened after the first five minutes – the girl is tough!
dinner time June 5, 2009
today alex and i were spending some time with a dear friend who said something like, “i’m glad that you don’t get freaked out by things like dirt,” as she watched alex crawling around at the conservatory. i’m learning to accept the fact that my child will most likely be the one with some stains on her clothes and food on her face. but hey – sometimes i feel like sticking my entire face in a bowl of yogurt, too!
do you remember the show blossom? have you ever wondered what happened to its star, mayim bialik? as it turns out, she’s been busy getting a PhD in neuroscience and also attachment-parenting her two sons. here is an interview that i love for her candidness and down to earth approach to parenting in a gentle way. (i also get a sense of her not judging others who do it differently.) in an earlier interview, she talks about her experience being made over by “what not to wear,” which is also fun – slightly fluffier, but it’s interesting to hear her perspective on fashion as a conservative jewish woman who only wears skirts or dresses, and does not wear sleeveless tops. it’s really refreshing to me to read about a celebrity who sticks to her own convictions about modesty and making family her top priority. maybe some of you will find it refreshing, too!