Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wow.

Well, color me stunned.

I've gotten a surprising number of responses to The Post. I figured I'd get a few comments or emails. Nothing that long could go without notice, especially with all the colorful language I used.

I am completely blown away by the support and love I've received across the board. Friends and family who I didn't even know read the blog have reached out to me. Perfect strangers have stumbled across this little speck on the interwebs and have offered up support and online resources.

For one of the only times in my life, I am speechless. Go ahead, ask my friends. I've always got something to say. I'll wait.

...
......
............

[insert crickets chirping]

Yay, you're back!

One thing that's left me completely gobsmacked are the adjectives being thrown my way. Words like "brave" and "courageous" and "strong". That confuses me because I'm none of those things in real life. If I had to describe myself I'd use words like "annoying" and "loud" and "opinionated to a fault".

I chose to share because writing--if you hadn't already guessed--is therapeutic for me. I've always been a writer and I've always found it easier to put my thoughts into words on a page or in a blog. It helps organize the mess of thoughts in my mind, and sometimes I'm able to go back and make sense of everything going on in my life. It's my "Aha!" moment. Thank you, Oprah.

Once I shared the post with a few people (read: two), I started to feel a little more confident in sharing this with others. Both readers (Graham was one of them) said the same thing, "It's raw, but...." I had some concerns about how raw it was going to be. I mean, I'm using language I wouldn't use in front of my grandma AND I'm openly discussing mental illness. Not exactly "tea and crumpets" conversation. But both said that they felt like other people could benefit from this. That it was a story that someone else would read and say, "Me, too," or "Me, three." I thought they were skeptical, but I chose to publish it because I had the support of a few, and I thought that was better than sitting on it and sharing it with my cat. I wouldn't call myself "brave" for posting and sharing. Crazy, yes. User of poor judgement? Absolutely.

Ultimately, I hope that there's at least one person in my life who can read this and get something from it. Whether it's a realization that they might need to seek help too, or whatever they take away, I hope that at least one person walks away feeling better.

I love blogging, and I love sharing our life with all of you, whoever happens to stumble upon our blog. I'm humbled by the outpouring of support I've received, and I am so thankful for all the offers to listen and talk. I'll probably take you up on that sometime soon. But really, now that I've started sharing, if YOU need to talk, I'm here to listen.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

She wants me.

"I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I'd love you love me...."


--Cheap Trick

When I was anxious throughout my pregnancy and the early days of parenthood, I was so afraid that Hannah would hate me, or that she'd prefer her dad over me, or her grandma, or her babysitter, or anyone else. I had myself convinced that my baby couldn't love me, or wouldn't.

She's definitely a daddy's girl. Her face lights up when she sees Graham. And, after a long day at work, she smiles when she sees me and her legs start kicking like crazy. Still, I've always felt that I was her "second" option to Graham. There have been so many times when no matter what I did, she never calmed down for me. But, when Graham picked her up or entered the room, she'd burst into a huge grin and kick wildly for her daddy.

I wanted her to love me above all others. Isn't that the secret wish of every parent? It's a selfish wish, yes, but I think that at some point, we'll all get a secret thrill out of knowing our child wants to be in our arms over anyone else's, even that of their other parents.

Well. That was then.

Separation anxiety has begun to set in with Hannah. I've noticed it growing over the last few weeks, but especially when she's in the same room with us but not in our laps, like when she's in the jumperoo or the bumbo. At night when I put her down to sleep she fusses a little more than in the past and she reaches up towards me. If she's cool with being in the jumperoo but I dare to leave the room to use the bathroom or answer the phone, she cries and fusses.

Basically, I've noticed that if she's not with or near me, she's distressed. And I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

On one hand, I love it. I love knowing that she loves me and wants me. I love knowing that she feels safest in my arms.

On the other hand, I'd also like to be able to pee in silence.

But you know what? I wouldn't change this. My baby wants to be held. Is that so terrible? It isn't.

My baby, my seven month old, wants to be held. I can do that. It's only for a little while, and some day, she won't need me or want me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reaching

Yesterday, Hannah reached for me for the first time. Best feeling ever.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adventuring in Semi-Solids: Butternut Squash

I was really excited to start squash with Hannah because it's one vegetable Graham really doesn't like. I was hoping she'd like it so that I can start incorporating it into more of our dinners. Two against one! Victory is mine!

So far, Hannah really enjoys it! When I introduced squash, she started jumping up and down in her high chair and couldn't wait for me to sit down. Unfortunately, she thought I was bringing her sweet potatoes, because the look on her face was pure disappointment. She warmed up to it soon, though, and when the bowl was empty she started fussing and crying. Mmm...beta carotine. It's what's for dinner!








Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend

Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love pretty much everything about it, including the heat that comes along with it. Last summer, something I was most looking forward to was this summer and being able to share some of my favorite summer activities with my baby.

We started the weekend by dragging out the kiddie pool and letting Hannah "swim" a bit.














The morning of the Fourth, Graham and Hannah woke up early and had a little photo shoot on the front lawn.






All day, it seemed like Hannah knew what was going on. She wouldn't go down for a nap no matter what we did. We resorted to carrying her and wearing her all day in the Baby Bjorn. It was exhausting, but as long as she was with us she wasn't terribly fussy, so we went with it.

After a long afternoon, we decided to take Hannah for another swim while Graham grilled up some steaks and corn.







Right after we went swimming, Hannah had a complete meltdown. Zero to cranky in .0 seconds. I took her inside, cleaned her up, and put her straight to bed. She was down and out for the count before 6:30 p.m. and she didn't wake up until 6:30 this morning! How she slept through all the ruckus and home-grown fireworks displays out here, I'll never know. I must've checked on her 40 times last night--a total record! Normally I'll check on her once before I go to bed, but I kept sneaking upstairs to see how she was faring through all the sonic booms the city residents are known for. Thankfully, she's her mother's daughter, and she slept through it all.

In the words of my brother-in-law, Thanks America! Happy Summer!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

When we explained the concept behind Independence Day to Hannah, she didn't quite get it. When we told her there were fireworks, ice cream, parties, and celebrating, she got a little more excited.

Fireworks?! Yay!

I can't wait to see stuff blow up!

Can I lay on the ground like this?

Or sit up like this?

Then we look up at the sky and go "Ooooh!"

"And 'Aaaaah!'"

"I am so excited for explosions!"

"Bedtime? Whatchu mean bedtime?"

"Aw. Poop."

"Can I still practice my oohs and aahs?"

"Yay!"

"I love Independence Day!"

"Mommy is good. Mommy is wise."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gleek Out!

Because my poor kid won't be nerdy enough already....


A few bars of Darren Criss or Lea Michele and she gleeks out, just like her mom.


Baby girl, you have no idea how much nerdiness is in store for you.

I am so sorry.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Aunt Mary Comes to Vsit

A few weeks ago, Aunt Mary came to visit before she went off on her fantastic voyage to South America. She hadn't seen Hannah since her christening in April, so we all wanted to make sure Hannah and Aunt Mary got reacquainted.







Hannah had a great time with her aunt, and she even wore her "I Heart My Auntie" onesie to show Aunt Mary how much she loves and appreciates her.They'll get a chance to see each other again in a few weeks when Mary returns and we all attend the yearly family picnic.

Mary arrived in Paraguay earlier today for a fabulous vacation and visit with her bestie, and Hannah says this: "Have fun, Auntie Mary! I love you! Bring me back a present!!!"