So apparently my preconceived notions of finding time each month to write eloquently about my perfect child were shattered. The last time I posted in here, Hannah was about 2 months old. 5 months have passed… whoosh! It seems time flies at a super speed pace when caring for a child. I’ve learned so much about her and myself in this time. This will be long, but I’ve got to update the best I can.
I didn’t update at month 3 because it felt a bit like a chore rather than something I would enjoy. And the moment I skipped a month, I skipped 5.
Have you ever traveled with an infant? Don’t do it if you don’t have to. We drove from Ohio to Washington, D.C. with our 3 month old. Truthfully, Hannah was really amazing considering she was stuck in a car seat for hours at a time instead of in her comfy home. We had no real urgent accidents or incidents though. Our normal 6 hour trip took us almost 9 because of stops to feed, change, and snuggle. She was a trooper and went with the flow. We were exhausted, but it was worth it to see family and have them give her love for the very first time.
At the time, the trip felt a bit like a nightmare because it was all so new and we were fumbling to just seem like we had our crap together. Looking back on it now with about 4 months of time to think, it really wasn’t as bad as it seemed in the moment. We’re preparing to take Hannah back to D.C. for the holidays and I think everything will work out better now that we have had the experience.
Early teething, what a joy (sarcasm). Two little raised, reddened bumps appeared suddenly on the bottom row of gums. I wasn’t surprised when she started teething early. I was born with teeth. When we took her for her 4 month check up, the doctor expected that her teeth would burst right through any day. We’re on month 7 and those little buggers still haven’t come through. It has caused her a great deal of pain and that’s hard to watch and manage.
At 4 months it was like this little shift happened with her. Hannah jumped into automatic sponge mode. Suddenly, she loved bath time, she loved putting everything into her mouth, she loved watching faces, and she would sometimes really get the giggles for no real reason. My heart melts so hard when she giggles.
I started working again, getting back into the swing of picking up clients again and the physical aspects of being a photographer. The first wedding I photographed after having a kid was fun, just physically draining. While yes, I worried a great deal about being away from her, I love that I have a career that only keeps me away for a day or for hours so I can work from home on the rest.
At 5 months, Hannah began getting excited when she recognized familiar songs and stories. She loved sitting with her Daddy at his desk watching videos with him or watching him work. Work began to pick up for me and so she got to spend a lot of bonding time with him.
Food was a new thing for her at 6 months. She loved trying new things. She loved being in her chair and playing with the straps. She loved eating her bib. Her thirst for new experiences was apparent as she laughed and smiled and babbled more every day. She really enjoyed baby oatmeal and grandpa’s homemade applesauce.
Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, we found this house to rent with close family members. We’d been looking for a place and were getting frustrated with not being able to find something we needed for all of us with plenty of space. But then, a friend of a friend posted something on Facebook, we asked questions, and BOOM, suddenly we’re moving into a house! And Hannah will have her own bedroom. What an overwhelming, positive thought, to know she’ll have her own safe space and that we can provide that for her.
So the big adventure, especially during month 6, was trying to pack up our apartment we’d been living in for almost 4 years. This transition was hard for us in a lot of ways as it was riddled with uncertainty, doubt, and a smidgen of chaos. Change is never easy, but having a child prepared me for the changes in some sense. In a year, I’d already seen so much change, so the change of surroundings was a bit easier to navigate than I’d thought.
Hannah was a trooper with the move. It took her a day or two to get used to sleeping in her own bedroom with new noises and lights and people around, but she adapted quickly. We have been here a week and she’s sleeping 10-12 hours a night, she eats very well, plays so hard, and laughs a lot. I’m so proud of her and how easily she has acclimated to a whole new environment. She’s done better than I have, to tell the truth.
She loves screens so much already and is so smart. Super Why is her favorite TV show. Seriously, she brightens up and giggles and coos when it comes on. She’ll play with her toys and watch TV independently for an hour or more before she gets fussy for attention. I love that she’s independent in so many ways, but knows we’ll be there for her with snuggles and love at any time. She actually gets mad if people are too in her face for too long. Who can really blame her? I love love love her little personality.
Hannah tries to type on my computer when I have her in my lap because she sees me doing it. She looks at me with her head tilted back because that’s how I look at her when she’s super close, under my glasses. She says “mamamamama” over and over again. I know she doesn’t know what she’s saying, but boy does my heart grow 3 sizes every time I hear her say it. She bounces and stands with support, she can sit for long periods of time without falling over, she loves her toes and, while on her back, will hoist them above her head and move them while watching with fascination.
I’m starting to anticipate multiple teeth coming through all at once. The chewing and the drool are so out of control.
Most of all, she’s loved by so many people. That’s exactly what I wanted for her and she has it. It feels like a miracle.
Where I am now:
I had no idea that I would love being a mother this much, even though I’d always wanted a child of my own. It’s one of those feelings you just can’t feel until you feel it. This feeling is bittersweet as time goes so quickly and the moments are here and gone in a blink of an eye. I try to enjoy each and every moment I can with her.
I remember how she felt in my arms when she was born. She was tiny and so dependent on me. I was constantly worried that I would fail her somehow. Watching her grow is the greatest gift I could have ever been given because it has helped me grow too.
I will and do still worry. A lot. About everything. But living in the moment with her keeps me from reflecting on a shattered past or an uncertain future too much. Living in the moment keeps me going, keeps me focused, keeps me dedicated to providing a life for my family that we’re all happy with. And while sometimes it gets to be so hard trying to balance it all that I collapse from exhaustion or break down in tears, I try to keep in mind that it gets crazier than it is now. I keep in mind that I have an incredible, sweet daughter who depends on me to be strong for her. I pull up my mommy panties and do the things I need to do to keep my daughter happy, no matter how I am feeling in the moment.
Because I’m a mommy and that’s what mommies do.