A Baby and Her (Furry) Brother.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last week, our little Samson pup turned two years old. In the last year, Sammy took his first trip to the beach, survived a remodel of our little condo and subsequent temporary move to his grandparents, wore a bow tie to his soon-to-be baby sister's baby shower (and stole the show, clearly), took countless trips out to the desert with his grumpy dog uncle, Russy, and welcomed his best friend into the world, Violet.

Now, let me be honest here. I was scared that having Violet would lessen my love for my sweet boy. I had seen it a million times as a nanny. A dog is the family baby until a real baby arrives and the dog becomes, perhaps for the first time, well..., a dog. I was so nervous, in fact, that I didn't even have Sammy around the first two weeks after Violet was born. I was worried he would become jealous or too needy or, honestly, just too much work. 

Then we introduced the two...

... and this is the way he has looked at his sister ever since. The very first time we put the car seat down next to Samson, he snuggled up to her, kissed her and planted himself by her side. And that is where he has wanted be from that day forward, right by Violet's side. Suddenly our dog - who refused to ride in the back seat - had to be in the back guarding the baby. When Violet napped those first few weeks, Sammy was the one to check on her (granted, I was keeping my eye on her as well, via the video monitor). If she cried, he would frantically whine to me, begging me with his puppy eyes to take care of his sister.

So, my fears about loving Sammy any less were unnecessary. The truth is, after seeing this sweet animal treat our baby as his own sister just made me love him more. Animals really are the most amazing creatures. Sammy's loyalty and capacity for love makes my heart swell. And Violet just adores him. 

When my mom was staying here for ten days after Violet was born, she too thought bringing Sammy home so soon after Violet's arrival might be hard on me. When I called her and told her he was finally home and what wonderful company he was on my maternity leave, she said it best, "He just makes you so happy." And you know what? He does. My little antidepressant, my furry companion.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Samson! Our little family wouldn't be complete without you.

Dear Violet
{Months Three and Four}

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Violet,

Let me tell you a little about the third and fourth months of your life, baby girl...
When you were eight weeks old, I had to go back to work. And, like many a new mama, my heart was heavy at the thought of being without you. I had only known you fifty six days, but you had become an intrinsic part of me. Your sweet round cheeks and your soft baby breath. Your bright blue eyes and your little hands grasping at my fingers. Where I went, you went. My plus one, always. And although your Aunt Monica had made me tour day cares and had helped me find a place that was as close to perfect as I could probably ever find with women who would cherish you while I was away, I wasn't ready. So, I took you with me. I packed up the diaper bag and the bouncy ball and the baby bjorn and I took you with me. I won't pretend it was easy because it wasn't. But it was worth it. To have you with me was worth everything. And looking back, the time you spent at work around so many smiling people who loved you before you were even born gave you just the opportunity to become the happy, social, always smiling baby that you are.
I hope you grow up knowing that your mother loves you more than anything else in the world, but I also truly love my job. I love helping children that didn't have the attention and care and love that you have. I hope that someday you are as proud of what I do as I was as a little girl of my own mother. She helped children, too. Who knows, maybe someday you'll find that your passion is helping children. Whatever your passion is, Violet, I will always be your biggest supporter.
When you turned three months old, you started day care and your mama got a bit of a promotion at work. In other words, things got really, really, really busy really, really, really fast. But my favorite part of every day was when I swaddled you at night and cradled you in my arms and rocked you to sleep. Sometimes, on my very favorite nights, just before you fell asleep, you would look at me and start to coo. And we would coo back and forth and beam at one another. And my heart would melt into a puddle of mama love.
In this letter, I could tell you how you started laughing and how it was, by far, the most beautiful noise I had ever heard. I could tell you how you started rolling and how the ladies at day care said you rolled like a six month old and your doctor said you rolled like a seven month old when you were only three months old. I could tell you how you've never liked your swing and how you only wanted to be in my arms or on the ground moving around. I could tell you how you started eating rice cereal at four months and thought it was the most delicious, fun, messy way to spend half an hour. I could tell you how your dad quickly became the funniest person in the whole wide world to you. I could tell you how you surprised me by becoming even more beautiful than you were in the previous months.

Instead, I will tell you in this letter what I tell you everyday. I love you and I'm so proud of you, sweet Violet. You make me so happy every single day.

Love, Mama

What Feeds Us.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In my last post - written on Halloween of 2012 - I promised that more posts were on their way. Yeah... whoops. It turns out, 2012 was a year I had to dig deep, look at some hard truths in my life and reprioritize what matters to me most. My time, my energy and my heart were in high demand - between new mamahood and a promotion at work that often required long hours of paperwork at home - some things had to give. Unfortunately, this blog was often one of them.
However, as new years tend to offer, I have recently gained some new perspective. Writing this blog is one of the few things I do just for me. The simple act of typing these words right now - whether I ever hit publish or not - feeds me in ways I know you understand if you're reading this. So, here I am. With a sleeping baby and piles of paperwork that need to be tended to, busy and tired and in desperate need of a shower, here I am, feeding a hunger that urgently whispers, "Write."

So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to catch up on some posts that have been gathering dust in my drafts folders. My belated 2012 recap, photos from Violet's first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, trips to Seattle and even my long overdue Dear Violet posts (sure, she's now almost eight months old and I haven't yet posted her three month letter, but - hey - we'll figure it out).

Whatever it is that feeds you, and whatever it is that stands in your way of finding the time for it, I hope you carve out the space for it. After all, it's a new year.