Dear Nora

It seems that it’s been a while since I last wrote to you. Probably because I spend so much of my day talking and interacting with you directly, now that you’re quite the expressive young lady. My heart can scarcely believe that you are officially one year old. In some ways, the time just flew by. And other days, the minutes just crawled. One thing I know for certain, though, is that I soaked up everything you had to offer. I baby-gazed at your precious tiny body for hours. I snuggled up close and breathed in your smell. I held you and rocked you whenever you let me. I swoon at your sweet laughter, kiss your messy avocado face, and enjoy every splash in your bath time games.

These days you adore reading, in a more active and demanding fashion. You will drag out all of your books from their hiding spot and insist on reading each of them several times in a row. You also love to play ‘tag’ with the kitty and, despite her grumbling when her tail gets pulled too hard, I’m pretty sure she loves it too.

You’re fiercely independent still, but also more accepting of help when you actually do need it. You feed yourself very healthy meals including broccoli, tomato, blueberries, and chicken. Honestly the things you won’t eat are few and far between, and I am hopeful that this continues long into toddlerhood.

You still struggle sometimes with separation anxiety, but you’re also becoming much more outgoing with people you’ve met a few times before.

For now, you are still sleeping in mommy and daddy’s bed. Sometimes it’s challenging, and sometimes it’s blissful. You are sometimes willing to sleep for a while in your crib (pushed up against our bed) and some nights you’re stuck to me like glue. Either way, we almost always manage a decent nights sleep.

And though you grow in leaps and bounds, and your skills expand daily, our bond through nursing continues. I know someday you will outgrow even this, but for now it’s a constant… a reliable quiet moment we share. I’m glad we’ve been able to make it this far, fairly effortlessly, actually. I feel very lucky to have gotten so much support and encouragement and good advice to help us along the way.

I can’t begin to imagine you, Nora, another year from now, and all the ways you will continue to shock and surprise us all. But one thing is absolutely sure: I love you more than I thought possible, and always will.
Happy birthday, baby!


The Next Baby

Everyone seems to be preoccupied with babies lately. I’m sure it’s just my age group, but we had scarcely given birth before the assaults of “when are you going to have another?” began. Perhaps it’s because my own mother had the three of us kids in less than three years, or because my sister has also managed two kids in less than a year and a half (!!), but at first I thought this would be our game plan as well.

And then I actually had a baby.

Now I absolutely adore this kid with every fiber of my being. But parenting is no joke. And since we more or less subscribe to the attachment parenting style, it’s been very demanding both physically and emotionally. I have lost maybe 10 lbs of baby weight and 5 of that can come back after one particularly stressful week of sleepless nights and comfort food. I’ve made a few attempts at scheduling some kind of exercise routine into my day, but quite frankly, it’s just not going to cut it. Thankfully at almost one year old, Nora has gotten pretty much to the point where I can leave the house for a few hours with minimal risk (as long as I’ve properly factored nap times and someone to hang with her that she’s comfortable with. Freaking separation anxiety is no joke either.)

So I’ve made a deal with my dear husband to get my squishy ass to the gym twice a week. Which is bare minimum but we have to start somewhere. Our membership expires in May and has gone unused for over a year now. (Surprise, surprise.) We’ve also decided not to renew it, but instead take the saved money and actually buy some home gym equipment. Craigslist should be flooded with failed resolution goodies by June, right? And been though we don’t really have space for more than a treadmill in the garage now, fingers crossed we’ll be nearly ready to move by then!

So anyway, back to my point, I still have a lot of work to do before even considering the idea of getting pregnant again. And there are still many days that Brandon and I look at each other and wonder of we really do want to start all over with another child. So there’s another reason to wait, yes?

Officially though, for the record, I’m still mostly on team 2-kids. Just not any time soon, folks.