Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday.

Dear Baby Bird,

One year ago, at 6:30 in the morning on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, you were born.

At only 4 lbs, 1oz, you were just tiny, but we could tell right from the beginning that you were a fighter. One of the residents in the NICU where you spent the first weeks of your life said that he wished all babies were like you.  You have amazed us every single day since your tiny beginning by the rapidity with which you have grown and learned and developed. 

You have been good for our confidence. Every time we successfully got you to sleep, or successfully got you to eat something new, or recorded an impressive weight gain, or taught you something new, we were almost as proud of ourselves as we were of you.  Your first word (BALL), expressed so clearly and so repeatedly at only 11 months old was a particular moment of pride! And crawling! Oh my gosh, when you started crawling it was the most amazing feeling of accomplishment!

Of course, there were moments of worry and anxiety. We, like most new parents, have over-thought things and fretted and fussed. But the more you grew and developed and learned, the more confidence and certainty we have gained. You've been good for us, little one.

Up until about Christmas, you were very shy. You sat quietly and watched the world around you, playing strange with anyone other than Mom and Dad.  At Christmas, seemingly all of a sudden, you decided that you were going to be an outgoing participant in the world and you haven't looked back. You engage with everybody, waving, chatting and playing with anyone around you.

We love all the goofiness in you, including your goofy facial expressions, your goofy moods, your goofy games. There is very little frustration when things don't go your way; you just turn around and head for the next thing. You smile all day long (most days) and you have a wonderful infectious belly laugh.

I have loved being home with you.  But a new stage in both of our lives is right around the corner! Back to work for Mommy and off to day care for you. We have chosen a place where we think you'll thrive, where the staff are warm and kind. It will undoubtedly be a hard transition for both of us, but I have a feeling that you'll adjust sooner than I will.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the new things that you'll learn from the teachers and the other babies at the day care. It will be so good for you. And going back to work will be good for me too.

I'm just going to miss you so much, baby girl. So I hope you'll forgive me if for the first few days, I hug you a little tighter, kiss you a little harder and hold you a little longer.

Happy Birthday, sweet sweet baby.

I love you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Flying Time...

It's almost unfathomable to me that Baby Bird is already almost a year old. A YEAR! Seriously? In fact, it's been almost exactly a year since that fateful doctor's appointment where we discovered that I had a placental disfunction that was causing high blood pressure for me and was likely going to result in an early birth. Without question, the month that followed was the most frightening of my life but I can't begin to quantify the daily joy that has filled our lives since she was born.

We have been entirely blessed with a relaxed, happy, goofy and altogether chill little baby. She sleeps well, she eats well and she is thriving in all ways. She has a big toothless grin that is plastered across her face almost all the time except when that face is being washed, which from the sound coming out of her, you'd think was akin to some kind of torture. She loves the cats and they mostly tolerate her.
I still look at her with a sense of disbelief that she belongs to us and that we created her.  It still seems like a crazy miracle. 

There have been two other babies born in the family in the last year and I am looking forward to this coming summer with great anticipation, already seeing visions of three little ones playing together outside. What a difference a year makes to the shape of an extended family!! When we all get together, we talk about poop a lot. 

In about six weeks, I'll be going back to work.  My feelings about going back are by no means consistent. I have moments where I feel almost ready and moments of definite dread.  We have a spot for BB in a day care in Prairie Hamlet and I'm not actually particularly worried about her ability to adjust to this new situation at all.  I'm sure that it will take a few days, but I know she'll be fine.  We'll be starting her out at the day care full time but the hope is to move her to three days a week later in the summer and to have WH stay home with her for the other two. I think that this will be a great thing for both of them!

In the meantime, I am trying to work through a long list of household projects that I wanted to get done before I go back.  The approach for now is to take on one project per day. Yesterday, the project was sorting through all of the many baby-related resources that we've acquired in the last year, throwing away duplicates and filing the rest.  I had hoped to take on further paperwork sorting today, but a sick baby may waylay that plan.

I also plan to blog more, as a means to both work through the conflicting feelings associated with going back to work and get back into the swing of writing. There is a significant amount of writing in my work and I'm badly out of practice.

And with that, I hear the sad sounds of a snotty baby bird waking up...

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Names

So I have been thinking about a new blog name for the Divine Miss A because I think that she needs something a little bit more colourful than a simple initial.  And "the Divine Miss A" is perhaps a bit much.

Increasingly, I love the way that she opens her mouth to eat or to nurse. It is an action so full of trust and expectation and innocence.  Just like a baby bird.

Our little Baby Bird.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Looking to the weekend

Tomorrow, along with being the feast of St. Michael and every single one of the blasted angels, is our birthday. I say 'our' because WH and I were born on the same day, but eight years apart. 

I don't think that a birthday has ever before snuck up on me quite so quickly and unnoticed as this one.  I think that having a baby naturally makes a person a little bit less self-involved so I haven't had a lot of time to think about turning thirty-three. 

We have decided to forego presents this year. We've both run out of time and besides, we're about to take on a significant renovation in our basement so we don't feel like we have a lot of extra money to be spending on gifts for each other that we don't really need.  We will go out on Sunday, taking in a concert in the afternoon and then going for dinner.  Miss A will spend a delectable afternoon with her Auntie.

Otherwise, we'll spend a nice weekend together as a family.

It'll be perfect.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Irrationally Excited

Dudes! I'm irrationally excited about something!

We are about to embark, probably, on finishing our basement.  And I am quite excited, if a little bit nervous, about that project.  I think that excitement is perfectly rational. 

But in the process of scanning what the basement clean up project would be like before we start the renovation, my eyes fell on a very simple wooden table.  I think that WH had used it as a bedside table in his old apartment but it's been in the basement since we moved here.  It's about 2' x 2' and not very tall... about the height of a couch end table.  And I thought... and here comes the irrational excitement... THAT WOULD MAKE A PERFECT PLAY TABLE FOR OUR DAUGHTER!

My intention will be to sand it down, paint it some spectacular bright colour, stencil her name on it and some flowers or something and then cover it in a lacquer or varnish to make it easy to clean.  And then buy a couple of wee chairs to go with it! 


Carry on... 

Monday, September 24, 2012


One of the new things we've seen with Miss A in the last month is a developing list of things that make her happy.  Ever since she first smiled she has smiled a lot, but we are now starting to see patterns of specific things that bring out her biggest and broadest smiles and giggles. 

Foremost on the list this week, it seems, are FEET.  Her own, her dad's, her mom's...  she's not biased like that.  Last night, in the bath, I sat her up and splashed my foot in the water.  PEALS of laughter.  And then I splashed her feet in the water.  DOUBLE PEALS of laughter.

She is also developing an increasing happiness at the sight of the cats.  They continue to be pretty ambivalent about her, but she smiles at them when they come in the room, she follows their every movement and if we're lucky enough to be able to get her close enough to stroke one of them, she squeals with delight.

And we - her mama and papa - are also on that list, thankfully!  First thing in the mornings and when she wakes up from her naps, she is always thrilled to see one of us come through the door of her nursery.  We get the big smile and she kicks her feet as hard as she can to show us how excited she is to be getting up to face the next part of her day. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

On sleeping

I love my daughter very much. She's more fun every day, she's happy and she's doing all kinds of new things that are so exciting to witness.

I also love when she's asleep.

We are in the process of transitioning her from three naps a day to two. This has meant more general crankiness as we approach nap time -- because she's been awake for longer -- but it also means wonderful long naps, often two hours long. She also goes to sleep at 7pm and sleeps through until at least 3 or 4 am every night.

I love those sleeping hours.

I love that I can take some of that time to have adult conversations with WH or with other family or friends.  I love that I can take some of that time to catch up on housework or other items on the to-do list. I love that I can take some of that time to sit in front of the television. I love that I can take some of that time to sleep myself!

And I love that when she wakes up from her nap or wakes up in the morning, she's back to her usual rested, happy and delightful self.

God bless sleep.