Saturday, June 29, 2013

Margot's One Year Pictures

My old friend, Kris Livingston, is a mom with a talent for photography and she runs a little side business by taking pictures of pretty things, like babies and brides and senior girls.  I asked her to do Margot's newborn pics and fell in love with them, and the way she runs her business is spectacular, in my book.  One low price, and a CD full of great photos that I can do whatever I want with!  She came back to do Margot's six month pics and now she's done a wonderful job with Margot's one year pics!  I'm still trying to decide which ones to print, but here are the best of the session.  We went to Devou Park in Covington and I think they turned out really well!  I'm still waiting for her to email me one more of me and Margot together, but I'm itching to get these on the blog, so here you go!

Love this one!  Think I'll hang it as our family portrait.

I cropped this one a bit myself (sorry, Krissy!).  Love me a good foot photo!  And this one makes me laugh because Margot will NOT keep a pair of shoes on, so it's very fitting for her one year mark.

Think I might hang this one in her room.

Blue Steel, anyone?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

12 Months

Dear Miss Margot,

It's here, big girl.  You are actually, really, I'm not even year old!  On your first birthday, I spent the entire morning replaying the day of your birth in my mind.  I remember waking up of my own devices, a luxury I haven't had since that special day.  I remember my first contraction and the thrill that came along with it.  This is it, I thought, she'll be here soon!  I remember the rush to the hospital, the frantic mad dash to get where we were supposed to be.  And I remember looking at the clock at 11:00 am and saying to myself I'm only doing this for one more hour.  If she's not here by noon, I'm quitting! Which of course, sounds absurd now, in hindsight.  I didn't have to keep sweating and screaming until noon, because sweet, dear, amazing were born at 11:16 am on Thursday, June 21st, 2012.  I remember the relief; looking down at you and knowing that you were extremely and supremely perfect in every given way.  My baby.  My Margot.

You, the one who spent so much time snuggled inside of me, were finally on the outside and I could see you with my own two eyes.  The second I touched you, I knew I would love you forever and ever.  I knew there was nothing you could ever do or ever say that would make me love you more or less than I did at that very second...than I still do today...than I will forever and ever.  You are so perfect.

Your first year was filled with adventures.  There were difficult times, but they weren't difficult for any other reason than babies and toddlers can be difficult to manage.  Sure, I've taken care of a baby before, but I've never done it with a two year old running around and at times I thought I might lose my mind!  You cried a lot, but not any more than normal babies.  You and I had plenty of sleepless nights, but now that those are over I look back and remember the sweet parts.  I'll never forget the night I woke up to nurse you at 1am, resentful and frustrated that I had to feed you AGAIN, and I heard the teenage girl next door pull in her driveway.  As soon as I heard her door shut, I looked down at you, all snuggly and warm in my arms, so tiny and so helpless, and I thought, Oh, thank God we're awake together!  Thank God it's 1 am and I KNOW where my daughter is.  Thank God she wants ME in the middle of the night and I am all she needs.

Someday I won't know where you are in the middle of the night, so between now and then, I'll do all I can to make sure you know how to make good choices and to learn from the bad ones.  I can already tell that your sense of humor will serve you well.  You have a way with people.  You make tensions ease, you turn frowns upside down, and it's not just because you're a baby.  It's because you have a gleam in your eye and a smirk of a smile that seem to say, "Hey...relax.  Life is good.  Let's enjoy each other."

You are especially charming at dinner time.  Dinner used to be stressful, back when you weren't on a schedule and I didn't know what to do with your sister and I could barely keep my own eyes open long enough to eat.  But now, we all sit down at the table, sharing good food and talking to each other.  You love to make noises and wait for our reactions.  You love to laugh and roar and for the last couple months, almost every dinner has included a raucous session of non-stop laughing from all of us.  That's just what you've done to our family.  And I love it.

You might be a big one year old, miss Margot, but you are still...and will always sweet baby.  Your snuggles are epic, your giggles are unforgettable, and your eyes are like stars that fell from the sky.  I love you more than words and I can't wait to see what the next year will bring.  Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  You are my favorite work of art.

Love forever and ever, to the moon and back a million times,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Today was the day, people.  Sylvia has been waiting for MONTHS to go to ballet class.  She was so excited that she didn't even sleep at nap time.  Technically parents weren't supposed to be in the studio, but since there were only two girls and it was her first time, they let me in at the beginning.  I took a million pictures of her stretching, then I took this video, then I took more pictures with my phone because I'm THAT CRAZY LADY!!  It was worth it.  Behold!  The cutest First Ballet Class video ever in the whole wide world:

I wish I knew how to add subtitles, but listen for my favorite line at the very beginning: "Can you watch me do a somersault?!"  Bless that poor teacher's heart...she has the patience of a saint!  Enjoy:

P.S.  I have not forgotten about Margot.  I have a giant One Year post in the works with a letter and a video and all kinds of mushy stuff!  Her big party isn't until Saturday, so I have some time.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I have no pictures of tonight's most awesome event, so my words will have to do.

I usually go a little nuts when I see the first lightening bugs of summer.  Tonight, I was folding laundry in the basement, catching up on some mindless and much needed television, when I saw the twinkling in the trees through the sliding glass door.  I really only had two choices: go running through the backyard by myself, or...

I crept upstairs as quietly as I could so as not to wake my two sleeping babes.  I found a jelly jar and a poked a few holes in the lid.  I grabbed the sparkly pink running shoes by the door and tiptoed down the hallway.  I sneaked into Sylvia's room, stole a pair of socks from her drawer and knelt next to her bed.  I ran my hand through her hair and whispered her name until she started to stir.  I didn't want to scare her, so when she rolled over and looked at me, I whispered, "Hi, sweet girl!" and she smiled at me.  I said, "Guess what?  The lightening bugs are out!"  Then I showed her the jar and asked, "Do you want to come outside and catch some with me?"  She giggled, sat up, rubbed her eyes, and whispered, "Yes, I do!"

We stood on the back deck and I pointed out the yellow twinkling lights in the trees.  Her arms were tight around my neck and her long, lanky legs were wrapped around my waist.  She kept saying, "I see them, Mommy!"  She clenched the jelly jar while we headed down the steps and she whispered, "This is so fun."  I knew it was worth waking her up.

I tiptoed down the hill in our yard and she kept looking over my shoulder and gasping, more excited with each sighting than the one before it.  I realized that I probably waited too long, since it was really too dark to see the bugs after they were no longer lit.  I just can't think of anything more exciting than tracking down a dark, fluttering, spot with my eyes, holding out my palm until I'm right under it, and clasping it shut to feel the tiny bug inside.  I managed to do it once with Sylvia on my hip and we both giggled as we tilted our heads together.

I put her down on the ground, took the lid off the jar, and handed it to her.  I told her she had to be quick with the lid so our new friend wouldn't get out.  She shuffled from one foot to the other until I dumped our treasure inside, then she slammed the lid onto the jar and we twisted in tight together.  We watched that poor bug in his jar for quite some time before heading out to try some more.

We wandered down our hill and all around our house.  Sylvia was mesmerized by the street lamps and the neighbor's porch lights.  She pointed and gasped every time a light flashed near us and she shouted, "There, Mommy!  Catch it!" After each failed attempt, she'd say, "Oh, darn it!" then she'd point to the next one. We came close a couple more times, but it was just too dark to catch any more.  Before heading back into the house, I asked Sylvia if we should keep the bug we caught, or let it go.  She told me it was crying and we should let him go, so I knelt down beside her and twisted off the lid.  We watched it crawl to the top of the jar, spread it's tiny black wings, and disappear into the air.  Sylvia waved into the darkness and said, "Bye, bye, lightening bug!  See you another later!"

I carried her up the steps, took off her shoes by the back door, and carried her to her room.  When I laid her back in bed, there were no complaints and there was no whining.  She yawned, snuggled her dou-dou bunnies, and rolled to the side.  When I covered her with her blanket, she reached up to touch my face and said, "That was fun, Mommy."  I said, "I had fun, too, Sylvia.  Sleep tight.  I love you so much."  Through a yawn, she said, "I love you, too," and closed her eyes.  I tiptoed out as lightly as I tiptoed in. 

I know I don't have many years to do this.  Someday, she'll be up long into the dark hours of the night and she won't care one little bit for lightening bugs.  After I shut her door and made my way down the hall, I decided to do this every year for as long as I can.  I won't be able to make this much magic forever, so I hope she grows up remembering tonight.  I hope she remembers the way her arms felt around my neck, the cool, late night summer air, and the red checkered lid to the jar.  I hope she remembers the twinkling lights in the trees and I hope that whenever she sees them for the first time each year, that she thinks about home.