10 Valid Reasons the Baby Thinks I’m a Creep

1. I watch her sleep. All the time. I know everyone has them but video monitors are way weirder than we acknowledge.

2. I have a legitimate desire to eat her cheeks and toes.

3. I have an innate interest in her poop. Frequency, color, you name it.

4. I take pictures and videos of her obsessively. I have archives of images and video footage and it’s only been six months. And don’t get me started on the absurd noises I use to make her smiles for said photos.

5. I don’t always have the energy to shower. For this I know she judges me.

6. I taste-test all baby food before giving it to her. Come one, I know I’m not alone here.

7. Mom refers to herself in the third person.

8. Her carseat is rear-facing, so I have a mirror on the back-seat headreast so I can see her while I drive.

9. I choose her outfits based on my own moods.

10. I speak on her behalf and make up complete nonsense. This would piss me off beyond belief if roles were reversed. “Mom’s a little fussy wussy today because she’s just sooo sleepy. She really needs a nap. I also think she needs to poop.”

A Serious Interview with my 6-Month-Old Baby

Sometimes I like to interview my baby. Because it’s funny. In case you missed our last intriguing  installment, find it here

Reporter: Is there anything that confuses you throughout your day? 

Lila: Here’s something crazy…sometimes when I wake up from a nap, I’m in a completely different place than where I fell asleep. It’s downright bizarre. It happens most often when I’m in my car seat, but it’s also occurred at home. Fall asleep on the couch…wake up in my crib…Fall asleep in mom’s arms…wake up in the crib…At first I thought I was going crazy, but after chatting with my friends at daycare, I’m convinced this happens as the result of some cosmic force that adults are immune to. 

Reporter: Where is the place you feel most content? 

Lila: There’s this lovely spa just down the hall from my nursery (mom and dad call it a bathroom because they don’t know any better). Anyhow, I go there every night for a calming soak and just adore their services. The staff gets upset when I poop in their jacuzzi, but isn’t that a nicer alternative to going in a diaper I then have to sit in for an hour? Exactly.

Reporter: If you could keep only five possessions, what would they be? 

Lila: Easy…my penguin Wubbanub, the yellow blanket my grandma knitted for me, my swing, my hands and my toes. I love my hands and my toes. 

Reporter: What food that makes you the happiest: 

Lila: I’ve been enjoying solids for about two weeks now, so it’s safe to assume I’m a bit of a foodie. I like pears a lot. And this mango-guava puree mom gave me. Oh! And carrots. LOVE liquefied carrots. You know what’s absolutely disgusting though? Peas. Who in their right mind eats that filth? Not this girl, that’s for damn sure. I threw them up all over myself and I liked it. 

Reporter: What are you reading these days?

Lila: Right now mom reads me a chapter of James and the Giant Peach while I have my bath each night. I’m not sure how to tell her this, but that book is kind of boring. There are hardly any illustrations and the words don’t rhyme so I typically just zone out and suck my fingers. I may strategically throw up on it so she’s forced to read me something more appealing. 

Reporter: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Lila: Ideally I’ll be in sixth grade, and President of the United States. I will have All The Toys and no longer take naps. 

Reporter: Are you more of an early bird or night owl? 

 Lila: I don’t discriminate. You bring the milk and I party any time, any place. This must be a genetic trait, because I’ve noticed that any time I’m awake, if I cry to get mom and dad’s attention, they come in because they’re awake too. We’re all on the same schedule which is super convenient. 

Reporter: What milestones fall into your current repertoire? 

Lila: Where to begin! These days I occasionally roll all the way from my back to my tummy, but mostly I just make it to my side. I am an all-star sitter and have grown quite skilled at holding objects and bringing them to my mouth. I can hold my own bottle and love smacking my hands on things. I smile pretty much all the time, unless I’m crying. I do not smile when I cry. I sleep in my crib now which was rough at first, but when I realized I no longer have to be swaddled (read: forced into a straightjacket), I was much more accommodating of my new sleep space. I like my high chair and my outdoor swing dad installed, and I hardly cried at my sixth-month shots last week because I am very brave and easily distracted with milk.

Opinions vs. Stories

It’s easy to tell someone your opinion. The hard work is in telling your story.

I can’t remember where I found this quote, but I love it. It sums up what I enjoy most about writing: the ability to share my truth, even if it scares me or makes me vulnerable.

There is beauty in this terrifying practice of truth telling. lately, the more I share around my own struggles and lessons in humility as a mom, the more I’ve been able to connect with others. And that connection–that feeling of knowing you’ve made someone else feel normal or ok–is so wonderfully inspiring.

Thank you to everyone who’s sent texts or comments or messages supporting my recent posts. Your feedback is the best possible reward.

Here we are, six months old.

Dear Lila,

It’s hard to believe you are six months old. That every day, for half a year, we’ve been blessed with your presence, nurtured your every need and been forever changed to the core.

You entered the world and we were clueless. Our love for you felt a little funny as we got to know you and gradually shed the clumsiness that surrounds new parents. We struggled. There were tears and short tempers and frantic Google searches. But now we are seasoned. We know you. Our lives have adapted to place you at the center and it’s not worth reminiscing about “before,” because any memory without you is somehow empty.

You are a delight. Your constant smiles light up your whole face and your shrieks and babbles are infectious. You are inquisitive and engaged, calmly absorbing your surroundings and eager to explore anything new. Watching you learn and grow is an exceptional privilege.

You make us laugh with your quizzical expressions and deep sighs. We have to work for giggles, but that sound is worth all the ridiculous effort.

You are our constant teacher. Of patience and sacrifice. Of joy and of fear.

You are growing and thriving and I thank God every day for you. Your health and happiness are sacred gifts for which We readily sacrifice our own. You’ve brought me to a place where prayer has new meaning; I feel the Holy Spirit in your presence.

Time goes so quickly, it’s true what they say. And the love for a child is so deep, so soul altering, that it subtly reminds you of the finality of moments. That certain things are finite and must be soaked up before they vanish. All the seemingly endless tasks — the monotonous chores we do again and again — will one day be memories. So we don’t dwell, and rather, we quietly embrace them as part of this journey.

We love you more than any words can explain, sweet girl, and thank you for all the joy you bring.

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10 Things I’ll Feel Ridiculous Explaining One Day

You think about this more when you have kids. You realize you’ll one day receive the same looks of wide-eyed shock you gave your own parents when they explained party lines, black-and-white television and smoking on airplanes.

1. Using a camera with film. Waiting for said film to be developed. At a store. Splurging for one-hour service.

2. Prank phone calls. Having a landline. Not having caller ID. Paying 75 cents to use *69.

3. Renting movies. VHS tapes. Having to (be kind and) rewind them or be fined.

4. Making mix tapes from the radio. Buying CDs in stores. Scratched discs (the horror).

5. Newspapers. For current events. Checking the weather. Stocks.

6. Writing checks. Traveler’s checks. Check registers.

7. Getting lost. Stopping at a gas station to ask for directions. Using a paper map.

8. Pay phones. Collect calls. Calling cards.

9. Roll-over minutes. Flip phones. Car phones. Pagers.

10. The TV Guide channel. The paper TV guide. Having to be home to watch your shows, with commercials.

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Ode to Tired Moms

About a year ago, in the middle of a conversation at work, my friend Courtney sighed and quietly remarked, “I’m so tired I could just die.” Courtney’s a wife, mom to toddler twins, dynamo career woman and an overall lovely human. Plus, she showers regularly. She’s basically a unicorn.

At the time of this conversation, I was a few months pregnant and working full time, and thought that I, too, was that tired.

It’s cute how naive I was.

Flash forward into motherhood and I definitely have moments where my fatigue feels like a lead blanket is trying to smother me. Keeping a tiny person happy and healthy can be EXHAUSTING. But it’s so completely amazing that we somehow push through, day after day, relying on caffeinated beverages and expensive under-eye concealers. We embrace the wonderful struggle because we wouldn’t have it any other way.

To all the tired mommas out there, hang in there. This is my ode to you:

Le Tired

There are lots of fun ways to describe how I feel,
But no matter the phrasing, the struggle is real.

I’m drained, tuckered out, exhausted and tired,
My energy stores have long since expired.

Being a mom gives life amazing new purpose,
But turns getting sleep into a three-ring circus.

Daydreams of naps spin through my head,
Of a magical place known simply as bed.

Who knew that sleep would become such a prize,
That all I’d want for Christmas is to just close my eyes.

Daycare drop off, commute, work and repeat,
The fact that I showered is an amazing feat.

By evening I’m a zombie and just want to crash,
But instead I fold laundry and take out the trash.

Change one more diaper, wash one more bottle,
I’m running on empty and still have to swaddle.

It’s tough, you know, just being a mom,
The days are intense and there isn’t much calm.

It’s a job often thankless, full of poop, spit-up and tears,
But we take it in stride, balancing marriage and careers.

Every time I hit a wall and think I can’t go on any longer,
I wake up the next day, feeling a tiny bit stronger.

Ever so slowly, by day and by night,
I’m starting to feel like I’m doing some things right.

Despite all the ways I might feel like a mess,
My life would be empty if it was anything less.

No matter the trials, the fatigue or mayhem,
I’d never give it up, I can’t live without them.

Baby Gift Discounts and Giveaway

I like to think I’m crafty, but that really just means I’m good at using the Pinterest app. I have two friends, however, who are ridiculously talented and put my creative endeavors to shame. I love their work and the fact that purchases from their shops support small, women-owned businesses (can I get an amen?). I’m happy to feature their shops today, along with discount codes and a giveaway, listed below.

Bella Mia Design Co. – I met Nissania on a bus in Israel in 2003. Normal, I know. We clicked immediately and I’ve always loved the random origin of our friendship. She lived in Wisconsin and I was in Arizona, but we stayed in touch through email and Facebook (which, at the time, was still The Facebook). And wanna hear something crazy? She ended up marrying a guy who we also met on this trip! They now live in NY with two beautiful little girls. I am grateful to Nissania, as I am to so many momma friends, for endless advice, sympathy and humor as I entered motherhood.

These days, Niss runs Bella Mia Design Co., creating amazing customized baby and home-decor items. She sent me a receiving blanket and hooded towel for Lila when she was born and I’m obsessed with them both. The blanket is super soft and stretchy and completely unique. And the towel is the BEST! Bigger and fluffier than others we received and so cute on baby after her baths. Everything in her shop is available in all sorts of colors and styles and makes awesome gifts, especially for kiddos with names you can’t exactly find on key chains at gas stations (…like, um, Lila). Check out her website and ***get 15% off any purchase using code FRIENDS15.

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Bee Gifted Boutique – My friend Melissa and I met in high school in a terrible class that those of us who eschewed calculus were forced into. “Contemporary Math” involved a lot of videos and worksheets and general nonsense, yet was great for facilitating new friendships. Melissa and I bonded quickly and ended up double dating to another high school’s prom one year, among other shenanigans.

Melissa runs an incredible Etsy shop called Bee Gifted Boutique and creates thoughtful and personalized baby clothes and gifts. After my recent letter to Sophie, she created some hilarious giraffe-inspired designs and sent a few my way. Her stuff is just awesome; every time I see a new design I want it immediately. I love finding one-of-a-kind items for Lila and get mildly irritated when she has the same outfit on as another kiddo in daycare. I’m always scouring websites and stores for unique stuff, and Melissa’s shop never disappoints. ***Get 15% off any purchase of $15+ with code SOPHIECREEP15 (between now and 3/15/15). 

***GIVEAWAY: Win one free Sophie onesie! To enter: 1) Share this blog post on your Facebook page, and 2) Comment below to let me know when you’ve done so. Winner will be selected at random on 2/15/15. 

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