Let’s be kind to ourselves, guys. Here’s an essay I wrote for Sammiches and Psych Meds. A reminder– you’re all doing it.
Rosie walks at 13 months! We’re so proud of her and of her big sister, Nora for being so sweet and supportive of her. She has been cruising for a few weeks now, but she took her first few steps yesterday. Today, she walked across the floor all the way to Nora.
What else is Rosie up to? She has two new teeth on the top, so that makes eight teeth! She says Mama, bye (with a Southern accent– Bah!), hi (ha!), ball (bah!), Nora (Rara), and something that could mean this or that (datssss). She loves to point at everything and say datsssss or yayackkkk. She really wants to talk about everything she sees. She makes a bunch of animal noises– hooo hooo (owl), pppp (cow or elephant), gah gah gah (duck), raaaaaar (bear, lion or miscellaneous animal) and my favorite- blehbuh blehbuh (fish). She gives hugs, putting her head in your lap and kisses (mah!) She just learned how to drink from a sippy cup and a straw. She wants to join in the fun, whatever it is. She is always mimicking the noises that Nora makes, and she leans forward in her car seat so she can get a better look at whatever shenanigans Nora is up to. Her belly laugh is the best. She is so sweet.
Now, Nora. She really seems like a big kid now. She has a big kid double bed, she can get herself dressed, and she just looks so tall suddenly. She is very thoughtful when she speaks. Sometimes, she’ll look very pensive when I peer back in the rear-view mirror, and she brings up something we talked about earlier that day.
Here’s an example: “Mommy, can I drive the car?”
“When you’re sixteen, you can drive.”
“Because that’s how old you have to be. You take a class called driver’s ed, and you learn how to drive safely.”
(Insert Nora asking “Why?” several more times to whatever I say.)
“When am I going to be sixteen?”
“In twelve years.”
(Quiet for awhile)
“But, why am I three for so long and four for so long?”
“Well, you were three for a whole year, and now you’ll be four for a whole year.”
“But that’s a long time before I’ll be sixteen! What if I’m four forever?”
“You won’t be, I promise.”
I really enjoy these deep talks.
Nora loves art and gets very focused whenever she’s working on something. She made a beautiful painting called “Rainbow World.” She put her paint brush down and said she was finished. “When Daddy gets home,” she said, “I’m going to tell him that I’m not going to paint any more days.” I think she meant that she had created her masterpiece, and needed to paint no more. Luckily, she changed her mind about that later that afternoon and decided she’d like to paint again.
How can that be? A year ago today, I was preparing to head to the hospital to get induced. I felt a whole mix of emotions. I was relieved to know when she’d make her appearance. She was over a week late, and the anticipation was getting to me, especially since there had been one snow storm after the other and I was worried my parents wouldn’t be able to get here to watch Nora when the time came. I was also anxious about getting induced. It felt strange to choose the date of her birth. She was nice and cozy in there. I didn’t want to force her to come out sooner than she was ready. I just wanted to know that she would be okay, a healthy baby. And, I was in tears as we drove away from the house that night (a year ago, tonight), watching 3-year-old Nora waving at me from the window. She didn’t know how life would change, that she would no longer be top dog all day long. I knew she’d be so happy throughout her lifetime to have a sister and a friend in the world, but I also knew how she was about to face the biggest adjustment she’d had to deal with to date, sharing Mommy and Daddy with another little being.
I couldn’t sleep that night in the hospital with all of these nerves and emotions. It didn’t help that I was hugely pregnant and having contractions, trying to sleep on a reclining chair, hooked up to a fetal monitor, Kevin curled up on a cot beside me.
The next morning, I woke up feeling anxious but also ready to go. They hooked me up to the pitocin at noon, and she was born at 2:56, less than three hours later. It was an extremely fast labor, and before I knew it, I was holding a beautiful, healthy baby in my arms.
What a blessing to have her in our lives. Rosie is the sweetest, happiest baby in the world. You only have to look in her direction and she lets out a belly laugh.
Her favorite thing to do is watch Nora and try to do what she’s doing. If Nora is coloring, Rosie is standing right beside her, trying to grab the crayons, knocking the whole box onto the floor. Nora makes Rosie laugh more than anyone. And Nora loves Rosie so incredibly much. Sometimes, Nora hugs and squeezes her a little too hard, and sometimes, she doesn’t want to share her prized possessions, but she also looks out for her baby sister, rubbing her head if she’s sad, playing peekaboo with her, saying “Aw, I love you, Rosie,” in a very sweet baby voice.
Rosie’s first word/noise was “woof” and “bbbhh” (an elephant noise). She points to pictures of animals and makes these noises, no matter what sort of animal it is. She also says “rrrrr” when she sees a bear or tiger. Her first (and only) word is Mama, but by that, she means baby. It’s funny because one of Nora’s first words was Dada, and by that, she meant baby too. Rosie loves to hug her baby doll, say “Mama” and give the baby a hug and a pat. She gives kisses too, but not on command.
This morning, I think she started calling me Mama for the first time. I had just put her down for a nap and I could see her in the monitor, standing at the edge of her crib. “Mama. Mama. Mama.” That’s it, it’s over, I thought. She’s got me wrapped around her little finger. I went back upstairs to rock her.
She does “all gone,” and “so big,” with hand motions. She can pull herself up to stand when holding on to things. She crawls very vigorously and with sound effects. Nora and Rosie like to “chase” each other. She has two teeth on top and four on the bottom. Around 8 months, that one rogue tooth came in on the bottom left side, and then around 10 months, they started to fill in every other tooth like a jack o’ lantern.
She warms my heart– the little noises she makes when she points at things, the smiles she gives me, the softness of her fuzzy little head.
I’m so grateful for my two girls. They give us so much joy. Happy first birthday, sweet little Rosie!!!
Here are some pics from our little winter trip to the beach:
Here’s our November update! Thanks for reading!
Quotes from Nora:
Listening to Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Wade in the Water.’ Nora: “Wait, is this song about me?” Me: “Why do you think so?” Nora: “Because she said children!”
“Maybe we could buy a new shirt that has a turkey on it or one that has people saying thank you for the food that they need.”
She told Kevin: “I love you daddy and I’m thankful for you. And I love Mommy and I’m thankful for her. And I love Rosie too and I’m thankful for her.”
“I remember when you were my age that day. And it was a loooong time ago!”
“This is my favorite playground! And it has a purple dinosaur!”
Walking over to a ballerina doll in a store. “Oh, wow, look at that. I always wanted one of those!” (I just like the idea of her always wanting something, in her three years of existence.)
Nora: “What does B.I.D.O spell?” Kevin: “B.I.D.O? I don’t think that’s a real word.” Nora: “Well, you could go to the store to buy dough!”
One night, Nora called us upstairs to say she couldn’t sleep because she wanted to know 1. If the birds are asleep and 2. What is under her hair. (The answer is skin, we think.)
I was explaining why Rosie would not like to crawl across the floor only to have a toy taken from her. Nora replied, “And she’ll be awful mad! But we’re not mad! We’re happy all the time.”
Nora laid out a bunch of random items including a party horn, a Halloween fingernail, a cape, a leaf and a toy loaf of bread. “We’re playing choose what you want!”
She sometimes talks in a high pitched Rosie voice. Nora: “Rosie, what do you want?” Nora talking for Rosie: “I want the fingernail.”
Nora also comforts Rosie: “It’s okay, Rosie. I’m right here. Your big sister.” And she likes to wrestle with Rosie and huuuug her.
She has a very big imagination. Buba is still her imaginary friend, although, sometimes Buba is Nora. Nora can push Buba on the swing, or she can be Buba. Sometimes Buba takes the form of a small stuffed bear. It’s all very meta.
“This is Bubbas mask! But he doesn’t wear it anymore. It’s too small for him. It’s in his closet. He wore it when he was a baby.”
She likes to give things titles. Holding up a picture she drew: “This is called ‘Watch Out For Me, The Planet Hanging From Mars.'”
“Dora is going to turn boots into a baby again and then back into a monkey for Halloween.”
“That was the everest Daddy I ever seen with the perfect mouth and the perfect nose!”
“I really like the menorah I made. And, I even love it because it’s so beautiful!”
Rosie is 9 months old! She is still so happy. All you have to do is look at her and smile, and you will get a big smile from her. She has one rogue tooth on the bottom left side of her mouth, which makes her look a little like a Jack O’ Lantern. She crawls! (sort of). She plants her forearms in front of her and drags the bottom half of her body like a little soldier. She was saying “Thhh” and “Ffff,” for a while. Now she’s saying “Dadada” and occasionally “Mamama.” She likes to have a good groan in the car or when she’s falling asleep. She moves her bottom lip in and out like a fish. She likes lots of foods, like avocado, yogurt, bananas, sweet potatoes, etc. She is a face grabber, and I can’t keep those nails short enough, so she’s a very pointy face grabber. She likes to pull lips, cheeks, hair, earrings, necklaces, glasses, etc. Everything goes in the mouth. I have pulled stickers, tape, lint, a leaf, etc. out of her mouth. When I see her making a chewing motion with her mouth, I dig around in there to see what I’ll find. This is probably a sign that we need to 1. do a better job of baby-proofing and 2. vacuum more often. She has an amazing belly laugh. She is so sweet.