Sunday, June 14, 2015

Picking the name: Penelope Darling

Names are put under a microscope these days. Its as though everyone is plagued with the task of finding a name that is a complete balance between unique and apart from the rest, without being completely made up (i.e. bookcase. or something.) We wanted something fresh, feminine, and dripping with sweetness. But we wanted a first name that was classic. Something that had stood the test of time and hadn't been made up within either of our lifetimes. David chose "Penelope". He actually fell in love with "Penny" and we both agreed it felt like a nickname, and we discovered Penelope. We found out after we settled upon it that it is a Greek name, which has a special place in my heart thanks to my connection to Greece, where I spent a semester abroad during College. Her middle name, "Darling" is something we decided to have a bit more fun with. It isn't what she goes by on a daily basis, so we decided to have a bit more fun with it. I am actually responsible for coming up with it, thought it was totally unintentional! We had settled on the first name years ago, pre marriage, even. But we always struggled finding the right middle name. Once we found out we were having a girl, and therefore "Penelope" would be her name, we starting thinking about middle names more seriously. We kept coming up empty, though. One night though I had a dream (I know, you're probably thinking that this is going to go weird places. Totally not one of those I-look-into-the-meaning-of-my-dreams people, promise.) where we had already had Penelope and were introducing her to our friends and family. We went to everyone and said "this is Penelope Darling." I woke up almost immediately and said "David! I had a dream we named her Penelope Darling." and he, without blinking an eye said "I love it!" Like I mentioned earlier, we wanted her name to be dripping with sweetness, and I, personally, think we totally nailed that :) 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Parenthood: little reminders of what is good

I had a day recently that definitely falls into the category of being one of those days. It wasn't related to parenting, or difficulties with Penny, but instead other personal issues that had been circling for some time, and I was having an exceptionally hard day dealing with it. Penny had actually been an angel that day; she took two, long, deep naps that gave me some down time to just be, and sit, and relax. I didn't clean or straighten up a single thing (during those naps, at least). My mind was consumed with these personal issues, but during her second nap of the day, I sat down, and eventually made my way to reading through a couple old blog posts. I got to THIS post, where I shared our scare during our pregnancy with Penny, and goodness did it help me refocus my mind. It helped me immediately pull back from issues that had been previously consuming my mind, and instead revisit the intensity of that day, the true fear and worry and anxiety and sadness we experienced in that moment. It also made me realize the gratitude and joy and peace I felt when I realized I had nothing to fear, and again when our sweet girl was born and she was HEALTHY. It put my emotions into perspective. It made me feel so silly for letting something consume me so overwhelmingly, instead of realizing all that is good in life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Penelope Darling: 10 Months

Weight: So, I was way off with my guess on her weight (I had guessed 22 pounds). She had her 9 month checkup closer to 10 months (per usual) and was 22 pounds. She is now in the 75th PERCENTILE! You guys. This is huge. She was born in the 5th, stayed at the 25th until her 6 month checkup where she hit 50th, and then her 9 month got her to 75th. She is growing! It all goes to her thighs and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Clothes: 9 months fits perfectly...meaning any day now she'll be just too big for them. The only parts of her that outgrow her clothes are her's the leg holes baby, they're just wayyy too small sweet Penny. Not you, promise.... ;)

Likes: What doesn't she like? Gosh. She is easy to please. She gets bored quickly, but it only takes a quick scene change or toy swap and she's back to being happy as a clam. She also likes pickles. WHAT? Whose child is this. Usually she takes 3 bites or so before she decides/remembers that she likes a certain food. BUT. her first bite was chewed and swallowed faster than I could believe and her mouth was wide open waiting for more. She likes her dad. She LOVES her dad. Its a blessing, but they have such a special bond and I adore watching them together. He makes the most out of their time together when he is done working and on weekends, and she is just his biggest fan. She likes metal measuring cups, wooden spoons, opening and closing things, and SWIMMING. She is such a guppie. 

Dislikes: Getting dressed, not being able to walk, (so sorry love! You'll get there.) going to bed when she's not ready (7:00 sharp Darling!) and the vacuum. 

Social: Still our social butterfly. She is staring to really love interacting with other kids (see: poking eyes...we're working on that. I know they look like marbles, but they're not, P.) Being around other people/kiddos really help her days fly by, she never gets bored when she's with her little friends. 

Milestones: She said her first word! She has been babbling "mamamama" and "dadada" for a few months now, but you could tell she wasn't sure on the meaning. But the other day, I showed her a picture of her and her dad, and she looked at it and clear as day and as intentional as ever, she said "dada!" just a single "dada" and a big smile. She knew exactly what she was doing. It melted me. I love that was her first word. She says "mama" when she is upset or needs comfort, and she said "duck" (!!!!) so, 3 new/first words this month! She is going to be such a chatterbox and be such a sweet little conversationalist with her mama all day in not too long. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Parenthood: Don't believe it

Before I was pregnant and while I was pregnant, when parenthood was brought up in conversation, the overall attitude I felt from parents was overwhelmingly negative. I'm unsure why moms thought it would be helpful to instill fear into my impending motherhood, but they absolutely did. They suggested I "say goodbye to sleep" for the next 18 years, warned me I'd never get to shower regularly again, or do my hair and makeup. That I'd rarely see my husband, and date nights? A thing of the past ("you wont want to leave her with anyone for MONTHS!") They told me my boobs would never be the same and would be in immeasurable pain for months while I learned to breastfeed. My head would feel like it wasn't screwed on tight for months and that everything would be a blur. My kitchen would be covered in smashed Cheerios and my shirt would smell of spit-up until the end of time. But I shouldn't worry, because joining this elite club was special, and that as soon as I joined, I'd be able to chime in and have my fair share of complaining. It wouldn't be long before I could bestow my "wisdom" on other expectant first time moms.

When my daughter started sleeping through the night at 2 months old (12 hours folks! 12 HOURS!) I was surprised, thrilled, confused as why I had assumed this was the impossible, and felt a little bit of guilt when those "helpful" expert moms would ask "how is she sleeping?" I still get to shower regularly (bedtime does exist, friends.) and I do my hair and makeup while my daughter plays with a pile of toys (or non-toys, ie. my hairbrush, toiletry bags, etc). I see my husband at night when our daughter goes down, and we have regular date nights thanks to starting early (our first date night was when she was just shy of 2 weeks old. It was hard, but now we look forward to date nights and that time alone) and helpful family and friends. Breastfeeding wasn't awful (I did get mastitis 4 times, and while I could have used that to scare the living daylights out of to-be moms, what would the use be? If they get it, they and their doctor will deal with it. Problem solved.) and any hurdle we faced with it was overcome. As soon as the baby blues wore off I felt like myself again, just with a new little buddy. My kitchen isn't covered in Cheerios, but instead Life cereal. And guess what? Our broom can handle crumbs just as much as it could before baby. Just the same way my washing machine can handle spit up and my closet is there to welcome me with a new shirt if I need it.

When I was asked how specific things were going, and when I responded with them going relatively smoothly, don't worry, I was warned again. You see, my next child "will be a hellion" to make up for this precious girl doing well.

Does it ever end? It absolutely should! Yes, things can go wrong. Yes, everything I mentioned can happen. But guess what? Everything good can also. If the difficulties come, you deal with it. You figure it out one day/hour/moment at a time, and it passes. You choose what you are going to focus on and what will define "motherhood" in your mind. I have chosen to focus on the good. Even if I have to find the good, intentionally seeking it out. We could use a lot more encouraging mamas!

Photography: Newborn

Such a sweet little newborn he was. He was 7 days old and just so squishy and happy.