Parenting through anxiety

In December of 2013 I lost my job while 31 weeks pregnant.

Being that pregnant, finding a job wasn’t a priority or a possibility. So I served out the rest of my pregnancy at home. Then, as previously documented, I had postpartum depression and had a lot of help at home for the first month or two after Madeline was born. My mother and mother-in-law pitched in. Also, Todd was in the midst of a career transition, so he was home studying for licensing exams. We basically lived in our own little new family bubble for a few months.

Once the postpartum lifted, things were pretty easy. As the mother of a two year old, I can confidently say the newborn stage was the easiest. Newborns eat, sleep and poop. Their needs are simple to understand and attend to. And Madeline was an easy baby.

Just before she turned five months old, I got a job. My first day going to work was hard and all I wanted to do was come home and see my baby. I lamented the fact that we weren’t in a position financially for me to stay home with my baby. Still, we found someone lovely to watch her in her home and I continued working and enjoying every moment I could with my baby in the evenings.

Then, the woman who had been watching her got pregnant, and let us know that as she got close to her due date she wouldn’t be able to watch Maddie anymore because she, understandably, wanted to focus on her toddler and her newborn. As Todd and I searched for a daycare for Madeline, a thought that I loathed, I again cursed my bad fortune at not being able to stay home with her.

We ended up really liking the daycare we decided on. She was placed in a social environment, she was learning things and she seemed to be thriving. Still, it was summertime and I wanted to be home with her, to be able to go swimming, take her to the zoo, or go on adventures at the park.

I had tried for close to 10 years to have a child, with many heartbreaks and losses along the way. And now that I had her, I wanted to be home with her to enjoy her.

Mid October of 2015, I lost my job. Understandable I was upset. It’s never a good feeling to lose your job and income. But, I was finally going to get to stay home with my baby. I mean it didn’t make sense to keep paying for daycare. For about the first month and a half, she and I had plans every day, from meeting friends of mine for lunch to having play dates. It was great.

Then, around the holidays, things started changing a bit. Her nap schedule was changing. We were home more. And I think I became overwhelmed. She’s a toddler and she’s a pretty good kid but she requires A LOT of attention. She’s not yet at that age where she plays independently too much, and she always wants me to play with her. And she likes to test her boundaries and challenge me. And if you take away the nap some days, well then I had no down time and no chance to decompress or catch up on things I needed to do.

On Tuesday, January 5, Todd left for work and Maddie and I were watching Dinosaur Train. I went into the kitchen to make her breakfast and as I was standing there making her some eggs, I got hit by a BRICK of panic. I was having a full-blown, out-of-control panic attack. I literally felt incapable of taking care of my daughter. And I didn’t want to.

I know how that sounds. And if you don’t have anxiety disorder and have never experienced a full-blown panic attack, I don’t expect you to understand.  I live with this and don’t always understand.

I’ll spare you the details of the anxiety that gripped me for the next couple of weeks. In the interest of helping me heal and making sure Madeline was taken care of and that life could move forward as normally as possible, we put Maddie back into her daycare.

Turns out, I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mom. Maybe I’m oversimplifying and I’m certain there were other factors that led to the relapse of my anxiety. But the fact is, as much as I do love my daughter, I don’t want to play with her all day long. I’m not interested in Play Doh, I can only color for so long, and I’ve done her puzzles 5000 times. Todd tells me that it’s ok. That he also is not  interested in living in a two year old’s world all day long.

I don’t feel guilty about her being in daycare. I know it’s good for her. She is socializing, she is learning and her world needs to be broadened beyond just her family. I do feel guilty about the way I’ve been feeling, about not really wanting to play with her. But I do a lot with her. We go to dance class, we go to swimming class. We have Friday night family date night where we go to Gymboree and play for a few hours and then get dinner as a family. I read to her and I cuddle with her when she lets me. And she and I frequently duet together on “You Are My Sunshine.”

I’m trying to work through my guilt and a lot of it has to do with the lingering anxiety. I’mm getting better but I still have my moments. Like at the tail end of Maddie’s birthday party where I had a panic attack.

I’m doing my best and hope it’s impacting her as little as possible.

There’s a saying floating around Facebook: Find your tribe, love them hard.

My “tribe” is getting me through this and for that I am forever grateful.

Now, I just need to find a job so I don’t feel guilty about the financial aspect of her being in daycare.

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Toddler Year 2: Happy Birthday Madeline

Today my daughter is 2.

Two!

Oh it’s so painfully cliche to say that the time has flown by and I can’t believe it. BUT I CAN’T! I REALLY CAN’T!

So much has changed in the last year.

When she turned one, she could say about 4 or 5 words. Todd and I counted and tracked every new word she said. No really, we had a shared Google Doc that we would update with new words. Now, she doesn’t shut up. Seriously. She talks in full, often complex sentences. She asks so many questions. She sings songs. Her vocabulary is ridiculous. And she is a sponge, so we definitely have to be more careful than ever about what we say around her.

She is funny. And she knows when she is being funny. Because she’ll tell you. “Mommy, I funny!”

She is defiant. She has a particular gleam in her eye when she looks at you as she is about to do something she knows she is not supposed to do. It’s like she is daring me to stop her. It is during these moments when my mom most often exclaims that Madeline really is my daughter.

She’s tall! She’s always been tall but she really looks like such a big kid now. We don’t have the official numbers until we go to the doctor tomorrow, but we’re thinking about 3 ft.

She has a mind like a steel trap. She remembers EVERYTHING. About a month ago I taught her to say “take a chill pill Maddie.” We haven’t repeated it since. Suddenly a couple of days ago we’re driving, and out of the back seat I hear “I need to take a chill pill!” And she did need to.

In another instance we were driving and she was kicking the back of my seat. Todd turned around and yelled at her, something he rarely does. She was quiet for a minute and then bursts out with “daddy’s a punk!”

All we can do is laugh.

Although mommy is still her stylist, she has definitely started developing strong opinions about what she wants to wear. And as soon as she’s dressed, she exclaims “I need to look in the mirror!” followed closely by “I look pretty mommy.” I love the confidence.

She loves her family and is always asking about one family member or another. Her grandparents (and Aunt Michelle) are her best friends.

Her second year of life was definitely more difficult on mom and dad than year one. New challenges to navigate, new behaviors to interpret. But also, new conversations and new laughs.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how in love we are with our girl. She is our miracle baby, and she is so much more than we could have ever hoped for. She is beautiful, smart, funny, kind and a STRONG personality.

So, we’ll take on the challenges because we would never trade this for anything.

Happy happy birthday to our sweet Madeline Kaylea Lipps.

Mommy and daddy love you very much.

P.S. Can you please grow some more hair? Please and thank you.

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My Toddler’s Secret Life

I know that in every child’s life, there comes a time when they start keeping secrets from their parents. I just figured that time would come closer to when they are 18 YEARS old, not 18 MONTHS old.

My 18 month old, Madeline, started daycare last Thursday. Up until now she has been cared for either in our home, or in someone else’s home. During that time, I have been fortunate enough to get pictures and updates throughout the day. This served two purposes: 1) It helped me miss her a little less and; 2) I knew what was going on with her every day.

So last Thursday, Madeline started at a proper daycare. It is part of a church, less than a mile from our house. They are a 5 star certified Step Up to Quality daycare. They focus on multiple aspects of a child’s development and actually teach them, even at Maddie’s age. They don’t, however, send pictures or updates throughout the day.

But, given as it was her first couple of days last week, when Todd dropped her off, he was told we could call and check up on her. So I called mid-morning on Thursday and was told that she cried for about 20 minutes after her daddy left, and didn’t eat much breakfast because she was too upset. However, the little kids in her class (which range from 18 months to 36 months) were all trying to comfort her. She eventually stopped crying and started playing a bit. According to her teacher, Miss Carol, overall a decent first day.

On Friday, I wasn’t going to call because I didn’t want to be too intrusive and be THAT mom. But when both my mom and husband texted me asking if I had checked in on her, I figured I might as well.

I was told that that morning she had only cried for 2 minutes after Todd left and that she had eaten a good breakfast. And that since then she had been playing and having fun. The director of the school told me that she already had a few girlfriends that she was playing with. But, and this is in her words, “even more so, she has some boyfriends. Oh yes, boys are tripping over themselves to get to her. The way some of them are looking at her, they’re going to come to school with a ring.” BOYFRIENDS. RINGS.

And that’s when I realized, my daughter was about to embark on a whole new life, that I would know very little, or nothing about.

Friends and Boyfriends
Who are these new little people that are now part of her everyday life? I haven’t had a chance to run a background check on them or their parents. Do they have good manners or are they little thugs? Do they drink, do drugs? Who is the alpha in the group? Is Maddie a leader or a follower when she is with them? How does she interact with them? I DON’T KNOW!!!

Vocabulary
Before having kids, I always thought it was funny how when little kids started talking, only their parents could understand them and translate for everyone else. Madeline has always been a little advanced in her language skills and to stay on top of her growing vocabulary, Todd and I have a shared Google Doc where we update her vocabulary every time she says a new word. Well, this weekend, she was saying some new things, and we had no idea what they were. And they were real words, we just have no clue where/how/why she learned them and why she is saying them. Like “moose” or was it “mousse”? I DON’T KNOW!!!

I’m sure there’s more to write about her secret life, but….you guessed it, I DON’T KNOW!!!

This growing up thing is hard. On me.

You better believe when I pick her up today I’m going to be making direct eye contact with those little boys and sending them the direct message that they better back off. No secret boyfriends until she’s a teenager!

Which at this rate, feels like it will be next week.  Sad panda.

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New learn-as-you-go career opportunity. Job title: mom

I’ve had a few jobs. Some were great. More were not. One thing they all had in common? Prior to getting the job I had to pass an interview where my previous experience and skills were assessed. Hear that? They checked my QUALIFICATIONS.

Why then, has no one checked my qualifications  prior to me taking on my biggest job yet? MOTHER.

So I got knocked up and popped a baby out (we all know it wasn’t quite that simple). How does this suddenly qualify me? I feel like I could benefit greatly from having several advanced degrees before assuming my new role.

Doctor, M.D.
The other day I was home alone with Madeline and being the fearless little beast that she is, she kept throwing herself around on our couch. She would stand up on it and bounce/dance, she would throw herself against the cushions. I kept trying to stop her, to get her to calm down a little, all to no avail. Sure enough, she flung herself at the back of the couch and hit the back of her head either on the window or the (hard) back of the couch. She barely cried, which I have heard can sometimes be more dangerous than them wailing, because they might do serious damage and just be in shock. I hugged her and comforted her and noticed that she was acting very tired a good hour before she normally goes down for the night. I kept her up for a bit and finally put her down a little early. Then I watched the monitor with an eagle eye. She didn’t move. Why isn’t she moving? I quickly hopped online and google “signs of toddler concussion.”

I didn’t know if I should leaver her alone and let her sleep or if I should run in there and pick her up. What if she had internal bleeding and I just left her there, thinking I was doing her a favor by letting her sleep. I felt I needed a medical degree to make this decision. Obviously, unqualified.

Psychiatrist/Psychologist
There’s so much emphasis on how every little thing we do when our children are young will have long-term effects on their psychological well-being. If I discipline her sternly instead of hugging her and telling her that it’s ok to pinch mommy’s nipple in public, am I scarring her? Will she wake up at 27 and think that mommy didn’t really love her?

How much of what I’m doing now, the decisions I’m making now, will actually surface as “issues” later in life? Unqualified.

Engineer
Ok, this one really falls more on dad than mom, but have you seen kids toys? Or better yet, kids furniture.

When we were getting Madeline’s crib ready before she was born, Todd and his dad took 6 hours to put together a dresser. SIX HOURS people!

These are two smart, capable men. I wondered what was wrong with them. No engineering degree, that’s what. Unqualified.

Stunt Driver
Ok, so this is not an advanced degree, but a specialized skill from which I believe all parents could benefit.

Steering with one hand while reaching back to soothe/feed/wipe the nose of an infant/toddler is not a skill you acquire in high school. Yet suddenly, you need to know how to do just that, without getting into an accident. Unqualified.

Before we can obtain a driver’s license, we have to take two tests. Before being accepted into college, we have to pass high school, and take more tests. Before getting a job, we have to pass an interview process and prove that we are qualified.

But to bring another human being into this world? And to be trusted to take care of them, keep them healthy, raise them right so they don’t turn into psychopaths? No tests, no training.

And you can’t really count on your friends who have been parents longer than you either, because every kid is different. And because any number of unforeseen things can come up.

Like this morning, when I was sitting at work convinced that my daughter had stopped breathing in her sleep, because she went to bed all stuffed up because her canines are coming in. She slept for 13 hours last night! Most parents would be thanking their dumb luck. Me? I texted my husband and told him to go wake her up.

There’s so much room for error. How could such an important job be a learn-as-you-go type of opportunity? It’s absurd people.

36-funniest-and-hilarious-parenting-memes-19

 

Well, despite “winging it” our daughter is one and a half today. We have kept her alive for 18 months. She has stayed relatively healthy. She seems pretty happy most of the time. She says 150 words (!). She likes to wipe things, like tables and the floor. She says please and thank you. She gets excited when she sees her grandparents and super excited when she sees her great-grandma. She can push my buttons and then literally push my nose and say beep when I am in the midst of scolding her.

I guess I’d say that for learning as we go, we’re doing alright. Until t he next catastrophe strikes!

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It’s just a phase: The asshole phase

So because we went through 10 years of fertility treatments, and REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to have a baby, I think people expected me to be all grateful and never complain. To always act like everything was rainbows and fucking unicorns.

Like when I was pregnant if I said something about my head hurting, or being tired of the countless trips to the bathroom, people would look at me and say oh so sweetly “Well this is what you wanted dear.” Or “This is what you signed up for.” Or my personal favorite “Careful what you wish for honey!”

Because obviously, since I wasn’t enjoying everything about being pregnant, I would just take it all back and un-wish for it.

People suck sometimes.

But also, KIDS SUCK SOMETIMES. (This is another one of those things I’m not supposed to think or admit)

My dear, sweet against-all-odds miracle of a baby is such an asshole right now. Yes, I called Madeline an asshole. Please don’t call child protective services on me. Just like she’s going through a phase of being an asshole, I’m sure I’m just going through a phase of thinking she is one.

She will be 18 months old next week, and I think maybe the terrible twos have started early. Then again, I thought her terrible twos started when she was 2 months old.

She has entered the hitting and pinching phase. No biting yet. And she’s most aggressive with me.

We will be sitting on the couch playing, and she will very nonchalantly, reach over with one hand, never taking her eyes or other hand off the puzzle she is doing, and pinch me. HARD. She’s all what, it’s no big deal.

Or if I tell her  not to do something like, oh I don’t know, stick a coloring pencil in  her eye, she hits me.

And when I grab her hand to restrict her movement and tell her quietly, but sternly, Madeline that is not nice, we don’t hit mommy, she hits me with her other hand. Or stomps her feet.

Or worse, she smiles, and touches her finger to my nose, and says all sweet-as-pie “beep.” And really, who can keep a straight face and not bust out laughing.

How am I supposed to know how to properly discipline her? Some schools of thought say ignore their behavior, don’t reward it with a reaction. Others say just love them, give them hugs and kisses because they’re acting out of fear. Others say put them in time out.

What is wrong with all of you “experts” that you can’t get your shit together and agree on one definitive approach. Tell me how to raise a happy, kind, confident kid.

All kids are different. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I just don’t want to raise a psychopath.

Anyone else have that fear? When your toddler looks you right in the face, with a slightly evil expression and maintains eye contact while they rear back and open palm smack you.

I need some encouragement here. Tell me about your kids that went through this phase, how you dealt with it and how they’re sweet, thriving children now. I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the meantime, I am grateful to have a husband that allows me to take an evening “off” from parenting so that I can go take a long bubble bath while he takes care of her and fetches me some delicious, greasy comfort food and puts her to bed.

Of course, once that is done I look at her on the monitor and have to fight the urge to go pick her up and hold her, because at the end of the day, she’s  my little asshole and I love her fiercely.

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To my younger self…

Timehop is a fun little app that shows you what you posted on your connected social media accounts on that particular day a year ago, two years ago, etc. It’s cute and it’s fun to see something, like pictures, from 5 years ago.

But last night I had a real trip down memory lane and it has me looking at myself in a whole new way.

Todd and I stumbled across some of those mini-cassettes that video cameras used to take back in the day. So on a whim, and out of curiosity, we took them to Dodd Camera and had them put onto DVD’s for us so we could see what was on there. And last night we got to watch.

It’s footage from when Todd proposed, from the trip we took, which started with him proposing on the way to the airport, and then from our honeymoon.

And sure, my first thoughts when watching the footage went something like this:

“Oh my god, look at how skinny, young and tan I look! My eyebrows are on fleek! No but seriously, my skin looks so taught. And my boobs! Look how firm they are! Honey, look!”

As we kept watching, I kept being in awe of how great Lilia from 12 years ago looked.

But then, as I kept watching, something else stood out to me. A much bigger difference between Lilia of 12 years ago and Lilia of today.

I was so….I’m struggling for the word here….I guess laid back. I was sweet. I was really nice. I was confident. I wasn’t easily riled. There was just more of an easiness about me. The interactions between myself and Todd were so different. We weren’t argumentative at all. (Which isn’t to say that all we do is argue now. But back then, even when we disagreed it was mellow and laid back and certainly didn’t escalate as quickly or as easily as it might today.)

And sure, I know, some might argue that it was such a happy time, we were literally in our “honeymoon phase.” Yes, there is an element of that.

But also, we were completely different people there.

People accuse me all the time of being very sarcastic, and I am. I kind of assumed I always had been. But the delivery of my sarcasm, some of the bite behind it, that wasn’t there 12 years ago.

People who know me now, or who meet me now, might come away with the impression that I am confident. What you’re really seeing is false bravado. Lilia from 12 years ago was quietly confident. Lilia today carries a shield of false bravado. Let’s not confuse the two.

There’s a clip from the video, after he had proposed, when we were visiting his sister and brother-in-law in Miami. His nephew Conner had just been born, was about 6 weeks old. So here we are, JUST engaged, already talking about the wedding, and cuddling a sweet new baby. Of course we made off-hand comments about how someday soon we would have our own little bundle of joy.

See, that’s what made Lilia of 12 years ago change into Lilia of today.

Twelve years ago, I assumed, I took for granted, I was confident that things would work out the way I thought they should. I would get married, and shortly thereafter, we would start our family. It was a foregone conclusion that that is how it would go.

And well, we all know differently now.

I was talking to my mom about this while driving to work this morning and she told me that I wasn’t alone in this, that “life does this to people.” Maybe that’s true, but I feel like I got stuck on the fast train to bitterland.

There’s no way to go through what we did and not have it change you. Intellectually, I’ve known that. But watching myself 12 years ago, I gained an elevated understanding of that.

For a long time I resented, and felt hurt by, friends of ours who had kids. I felt like they were phasing me out of the social circle because I didn’t have kids. But now, looking back with a new sense of clarity, maybe they were phasing me out because I was changing. I wasn’t the same Lilia that they had known and become friends with.

There was definitely more of an edge to me. Probably more of a neediness. There was sadness and envy, mixed in with confusion and more than a splash of bitter.

Nobody wants to hang out with that. That’s not fun.

My mom has told me that ever since Madeline was born, I’ve looked younger. That Maddie has breathed new life into me.

And while that may be true, and I am so happy and besotted with our little spitfire miracle, I am so far from the girl I was back then.

And in the car this morning, talking to my mom about it, it  made me weep. And sitting here typing this, it’s making me tear up again.

I want to recapture some of that easiness, that sweetness. I want Todd and I to communicate the way we used to with one another. I want to embrace the happiness I have now and let go of the anger, sadness, bitterness that built up during our fertility struggle.

And my promise to you, my friends who are reading this, is that I will try. Hold me accountable. Especially those of you who knew me then. But also be patient with me. Understand that those types of changes didn’t come without experiencing a lot of pain. And so, while things are certainly better, it’s going to take a little time to drop the shield of bravado and walk with true confidence again.

I love you Todd Lipps. I couldn’t imagine having gone on this journey with anyone else.

And I love you my friends who are still here.

Thank you.

So to my younger self…be who you are, but don’t lose who you are. Grow and change like you need to, but still keep the traits that make you who you are. You are amazing. You will continue to be amazing. Try to hold on to the “innocence.” And know that things will be ok. You will come out of the darkness.

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The Secret Society of Mothers

I recently reconnected with an old friend. She and I used to work together years ago and eventually lost touch. Then, she saw me comment on a mutual friend’s Facebook post, and reached out.  She just recently had a baby and of course, when we met up, our talk was all baby, all the time.

It is an easy subject to connect over. And that was something that we even pointed out. As soon as you are pregnant, you feel totally comfortable talking to other pregnant people and other people certainly feel comfortable talking to you. Once you have the baby, you can’t leave the house without someone stopping  you to tell you how cute your baby is or ask you how old they are or what their name is.

Becoming pregnant, and eventually having the baby, is like your access to a whole new world. You are suddenly accepted to a whole new community. There are Facebook groups dedicated to it. Mothers give each other knowing glances and warm smiles when they see each other out in public.

After waiting so long, I finally belonged in this sacred community. Suddenly I understood why my friends who were parents had more in common and more to talk about with each other than with me. Don’t get me wrong, it still hurt at the time, especially because I so desperately wanted to be  part of the club.

And I think that is part of the reason I want to have another baby. I want to be pregnant again, and talk to people who are going through the same thing. And everybody is so nice to you when you’re pregnant! Opening doors, offering you food, letting you go in front of them in line, telling you how great you look, asking if you need anything.

And my husband. I mean, really my husband is a great guy most of the time anyway. But when  I was pregnant, it was like I walked on water. Th way he looked at me, the way he took care of me, the awe and revere with which he caressed my belly. Who wouldn’t want that again?

I guess this is all a long-winded way to say (again) that a big part of me really wants to have another baby.

I talk to friends who have recently had their first and they talk about starting to try for their second or planning on doing it soon. And it’s so easy for them. It’s like a foregone conclusion that if they want another one they will have another one.

That is so not my reality.

People ask me from time to time if we want another one or if we will have another one. And honestly, as blessed as we are to have our perfect Madeline, that question is just as heartbreaking as when people used to ask us if we were ever going to have children.

But, at least now I’m part of the mommy society and you can’t kick me out! 😉

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Dementia, Depression and Dear Mom

Maybe I should have saved this post for my mom’s birthday or mother’s day, but it seems appropriate now.

Thanks to a wonderful app called Timehop, I get a daily alert of what I posted via social media on any given day a year ago, two years ago, etc.

As many of you know, we just celebrated Madeline’s first birthday. So my Timehop alerts for the past few weeks have been reminders of the time leading up to, including and right after her birth.

It’s been great to relive all that.

What many of you don’t know is that at the same time that we were celebrating such a joyous event, something much sadder was happening as well.

My grandmother, who had been starting to show the very beginning, subtle signs of dementia, contracted a UTI. For those not in the know, a UTI can speed up the progression of dementia.

And on the third night that I was in the hospital after giving birth, things got bad with my grandma. My mother got a call from police in the middle of the night.

We brought Madeline home, and as I previously blogged, I had really bad postpartum depression. My mother came to stay with us that first week that we were home.

This SAINT of a woman went back and forth between taking care of me, her grown, blubbering, useless, depressed heap of a daughter and my newborn, to taking care of my grandma and navigating through the minefield that is nursing homes.

Seeing her own mother so helpless and so different and confused had to be incredibly difficult for my mom. I know that the guilt from deciding to put her in a nursing home was at times almost crushing. And having to deal with watching me, her daughter, be sad about and scared of the one thing I’ve wanted for so long, was mind-boggling and certainly no picnic either.

Most people would have quit. Or broken down. Or complained.

Most people would have completely buckled under the sheer weight of all of that.

Not my mother.

The reason I didn’t save this post for Mother’s Day is that while it’s certainly nice to have a day set aside to recognize these important caregivers, mothering is an all-day, every day job. Now that I am one, I get it more than ever.

If I can be half the mom to Madeline, and daughter to my mother, that she has been, then I would consider myself to be pretty excellent.

Mother, you are my guiding light, my shining beacon, my strength, my solace. Your love is unconditional and unwavering. I already know how amazing you are, I just thought you deserved for everyone else to know.

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From infant to toddler

I swear it happened in the blink of an eye.

Never before has a year gone so quickly.

A year ago today I thought the expression “my heart walking around outside my body” was just a silly cliche saying. I had no idea how true it was.

A year ago today I thought the hardest thing about having a baby was having a baby. As in giving birth. Luckily I ended up having a c-section so  it was all good.

A year ago today I thought I wouldn’t sleep for the next year. Madeline ended up sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and we’ve never looked back.

A year ago today I thought my relationship with my husband would be forever changed because he would have to share with his heart with someone other than me. Little did I know how much more deeply I would love him as I watched him be an amazing father.

A year ago today I thought that the moment they placed my new baby in my arms was as good as it gets. Every single day there is something new and better. It is amazing how I declare a particular stage to be my favorite and then she gets to the next one and I love it even more.

A year ago today I was convinced that I would worry and fret over every move she made, every breath she took. But, my fearless daughter has conditioned me to take it easy. We probably have broken bones in our future, probably sooner rather than later, and that’s ok. We’ll take it in stride. And definitely bling out her cast.

A year ago today I didn’t know  I would have a little midget walking around the house yodeling. Seriously, you need to hear it, it’s hilarious.

A year ago today people were telling me how beautiful and gorgeous this newborn blob was. Today, her smile and the twinkle in her eye make her the most gorgeous creature I could ever be lucky enough to be loved by.

A year ago today, I had a 7 lb 13 oz helpless, soft, new little baby girl. Today I have a 22.5 lb walking, babbling TODDLER. She is fearless and independent, kind and sweet, funny and mischievous, strong-willed and stubborn, beautiful and radiant, loving and so loved.

A year ago today, I gave birth to a miracle. Today, I get to enjoy every single moment I have been given with her.

Happy first birthday Madeline Kaylea Lipps.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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