I have been a mother for 1055 days. There are days when I pause amidst the chaos and reflect on “what did 8 hours of sleep really felt like,” or “when was the last time I had 10 minutes completely to myself (showering doesn’t count).” Today was one of those days. Little Miss Mae was up every 3 hours for almost an hour each time. In her defense she’s cutting 4 teeth and is completely uncomfortable. Little man coughed his way through the night, then all morning had snot streamers every time I turned around. The dog is dire need of attention, this means he follows me and paces endlessly around the house, which would instigate anxiety from any relaxed person. I shot their morning routine to hell, and realized at 10 AM we needed breakfast, I couldn’t even make pancakes right. Might have something to do with having 2 blow outs and several snot streamers from both kids during that time. Who knows what ingredients I missed. I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting a glimmer of hope.
Then I grabbed my camera.
I’m overdue in recognizing all that I have to be thankful for. Check out what 3 AM looked like for me…
She has been title by many different people “the happiest baby on earth.” 99% of the time it’s true.
I need to do a bit of narrating for a bit. I have my own photography & design company (Little-d-Tales) whose slogan is to capture the moments that tell the story of your life. What you will not see is my lack of sleep or short fuse, instead you will see all the miraculous things that mold and shape who my daughter is at 7 1/2 months. See how many little details (get it) you can notice in the next few photos.
Okay quiz time:
- How many creases or rolls does Miss Mae have on her left leg? 5 is the correct number in the picture. Trust me there are a few more under the diaper. Did you notice the ankle roll? I love her adorable little chubbs! I took this picture to help me remember all the fun little rolls in the most peculiar places (wrists and ankles?!)
- Do the length of her toes go in chronological order? Nope, her 3rd toe is slightly longer than her 2nd toe. She has funky toe nails too. Why does this matter. A little blemish of mine is the disgustingness of my feet. My husband jokes all the time about how he hopes the kids end up with his feet!
- Which pictures show her teeth coming in? Actually 2 of them do. The smiling and crying one expose different teeth. She actually has her front 2 top teeth and front 2 bottom teeth coming in all at once. One is more prominent on top so you only see 1 in the happy photo. I try not to compare to my little man, but occasionally it’s interesting to me how different they are, despite how similar they look. My little man had 4 teeth at 6 months, her’s are just starting to push through at 7 1/2, in fact the first one broke through last Thursday.
- Based on her fabulous bed head, what do you presume her hairstyle was earlier in the day? If you said pony tail sticking straight up on her head you would be correct. With all that baby hair and new growth, there is hair of all different lengths. Clips come out in .2 seconds. Despite her longer hair, she HATES hair pretties and either pulls the out the second they go in or she fights you to the death while you attempt to put them in. The pony tail on top of the head (think Bam-Bam) is our best option at this point, so it’s the fall back hairstyle.
These are all little pieces that we overlook in our everyday life, and yet at this age things change, develop and disappear before you have the chance to notice and appreciate it. I have always LOVED her cry. She puts every ounce of expression into it. Although I just noticed the bottom lip isn’t curled. Either she was far enough into the cry or she has outgrown that too. Gee, I hope not. Okay that was 3-4AM.
Here’s 11 AM….Bath time. I am falling into the 2nd child trap (not having as many picture of the 2nd) as soon as EllaMae was wrapped in the towel and grinning from ear-to-ear, I realized I had a moment in front of me that I wanted to capture and share. I should mention my husband is away for the week and misses these bambinos, so I thought of him as I sped to my camera before the moment passed. No quiz this time, just me narrating as needed.
True story, she is smiling all the time. She smiled because she saw me with the camera. She’s had some practice with a mom like me. Either way I think she’s amazing.
Obviously she doesn’t sit for long now that she is moving around. She quickly rolled to a sit an attempted to take her towel off. Proved to be more difficult that she anticipated, so she went back to smiling for the camera.
And of course, big brother (little man) has to do whatever his sister does. He was in the bath with all but 2 toys, which means 82 were in the tub… he noticed a few toys on the floor. From Miss Mae’s perspective, “thanks for pointing that out.” Just goes to show she doesn’t let much slow her down, including a towel.
I really hope we are functioning in a judgement free zone. I promise you that the stuff on the floor was the product of my sanity. When both kids decided to explode out the back, douse themselves in syrup from breakfast, and the never ending snot streamers tying us all together, I opted for the least restrictive path to the bath, which meant clothes of all shapes and sizes were dropped to the floor. Getting Miss Mae dressed I decided I NEEDED this shot. Again- no judging me or this shot.
And then there is little man! Fresh and clean. After each bath I always snuggle him up and pretend he’s my “little papoose.” He was a bit disappointed he didn’t get a hooded towel. We’ve been trying to transition him into big boy mode.
I had pulled out his clothes, but he was determined to dress himself. Clearly I underestimated him.
He was so proud of putting his own socks on. We really should celebrate our little successes more frequently. He has taught me that.
While I was finishing up with Miss Mae, little man continued his adventures in the tub. I was so impressed after his bath to see him in his bedroom getting dressed. No word quite capture his determine to dress himself.
To make this story even more enlightenting ( at least to me as a mom) is not just recognizing them as individuals with unique traits and characteristics, but also as siblings. After bath time was an attempt to have nap time. As I tucked little man in, miss mae kept trying to get on his bed. When I set her down they broke into squeels of excitement. As you can see they LOVE each other!
So this Thanksgiving day I’m grateful for chaos, chubby cheeks, curiosity and independence; Siblings and parenthood. Cleanliness and messes, infants and toddlers. May I not lose sight of the amazingness taking shape before my eyes and enjoy the beauty that I have created despite it’s imperfections. May I learn to recognize and appreciate the moments of silence when they do exist so I am prepared to embrace the chaos later! I am grateful for the opportunity to notice and capture the little details that will add to the chapters of our life story. In the past 1055 days I have learned how to be a better person, my husband and children inspire me everyday, and I am eager to continue to learn and grow together.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. May you notice the little things that make your life grand :)