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When she laughs, I can’t help but laugh with her.

Published August 24, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

Tonight, I got to put my little girl to bed. It’s been a couple of weeks. Between work and running around shopping and doing errands on my days off, I haven’t been home to put her to bed. Out of all the things I regret most about going back to work, I’d have to say losing that special Mommy-Briana time is in the top three.

Tonight, I was being a terrible mommy, getting her all riled up before bedtime…but I was just so excited and happy to be home this evening, I didn’t care. I wanted to hear her laugh. (I’d been home all day making her laugh, but I wanted to hear her laugh more!) I tickled her and hugged her and swung her all about the room. I held her upside down and made faces at her. I used my hair to tickle her face. (That always gets instant laughs from her, she thinks it is just the funniest thing ever.) I sat on the couch and made a tunnel for her with my legs, as she is big on going under anything right now, and she kept going back and forth and giggling like crazy.

David was shaking his head at me and kept saying “I’m glad you’re putting her to bed tonight!” I just laughed and said “I know what I’m doing. She’ll go right to sleep.”

I kept it up until 7:00, and we were both laughing so hard at one point we were out of breath. She is just so darn cute when she laughs. She has the most infectious little laugh. I dare you to hear her laugh and not laugh with her. Anyway, at 7 we stopped playing because it was time for me to eat dinner. She kept playing with her toys on the floor, but I was fully absorbed in eating my salmon, rice pilaf, and salad. (YUM.)

David predicted it would take me forever to get her to sleep, but she was rubbing her eyes and I knew just what to do. I scooped her up and walked into the bedroom with her. She was squirming and wiggling and smiling and waving like crazy at no one in particular, and David shook his head again and smiled at me like I was in for a rough night.

I got her into the bedroom at 8:10. I cradled her close and smelled her freshly washed hair and whispered “It’s bedtime baby girl.” I hummed a lullaby. I rocked her for a minute, then did a loose swaddle with her favorite pink giraffe blankie and rocked her for a minute more. At 8:16 I put her down, fast asleep, in her crib. I kissed her little forehead and told her I loved her. I watched her sleep for a moment, and then I tiptoed out of the room.

Mama’s still got it! (Funny thing, David didn’t say anything about how fast she had gone to sleep! :))

I love being a mom. I just absolutely adore it. There’s no greater feeling in all the world than cradling your baby close like that! (Well, except maybe to hear her laugh!)

A Laugh Lovin’ Mommy

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A little bit of mama ranting today…

Published August 22, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

I was filling out some pages in Briana’s baby book today and I realized how much things have changed in the last couple of weeks. It’s amazing how quickly she picks up new skills and tries new foods and just…learns. She’s my little learning machine.

I wish I learned as quickly as she did. How to make new friends, how to cook new things, how to get a new job, how to keep my apartment looking decent without nagging at my husband and roommate to just clean up after themselves and do their freakin’ chores for once. If I learned as quickly as Briana, I’d have it made!

I spent a great morning and early afternoon with Miss Bri, playing and chasing and loving. But now she’s taking a nap and I suddenly feel very down.

I’ve been trying to be better about housekeeping lately, but I come home from work late at night and look around and it’s like Instant Bad Mood. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. That laundry pile never seems to get any smaller no matter how often I wash and dry and fold and hang and repeat. And no matter that I had the kitchen pristine a few days ago…no one has really cleaned up after themselves since, so it’s a mess again. And it will likely stay that way unless I clean it myself or nag my husband or roommate to do it.

We moved back in May and we still have boxes sitting in our dining room. Our dining room is directly in front of our front door. So every time I come home from work, the first thing I see is boxes. And my mind goes “BLEEEEH! UNPACKED! MESSY! UNHAPPY!”

I feel unsettled, and I feel frustrated because I feel like I’m the only one who cares that things are messy. And I hate being in the position where I either have to deal with it staying the way it is and be miserable, clean it all up myself and feel resentful, or nag someone else to do it and be considered a complete nagging witch.

I know that I’m not the only one going through this, and that many people, both moms and dads and people as yet unattached find themselves in similar situations all the time. But this is my life and my feeling of unhappiness, and I can express that without being considered a whiner, yes? Sometimes I just want to scream. I want to say “HELLO! DOES NO ONE ELSE SEE THAT GINORMOUS PILE OF LAUNDRY? AM I THE ONLY ONE WITH EYES? HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO TRIP OVER THE DAMN BOX BEFORE YOU TAKE CARE OF IT?

I am not the only one who does anything around here. But sometimes, darn it, it certainly FEELS like I am. Because it is a very rare occasion indeed that someone does something without being poked and prodded and harassed about it.

Mama’s feeling pissy today. I want some unasked for help once in a while. I want to come home to a pristine apartment that I didn’t clean. I want it to be all the more lovely and pristine because it was a surprise I didn’t ask for. Is that a pipe dream? Is that crazy talk?

Frustrated Mama

P.S. I know I kind of did a random 180 on you, starting to talk about Bri and then ranting about mess, but I looked around mid-blog and felt the anger seeping in and couldn’t help it.

Sweet Mornings

Published August 21, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

Last night, I was exhausted, and went to bed at midnight. (Highly unusual for me. I’m usually a night owl, almost never in bed before 1 or 2 in the morning. This results in some grumpy, bleary eyed mornings with Briana.) I fell asleep by 12:30.

This morning, I woke up at 6:30, before Briana or David had woken up. I lay there in bed for a while, thinking “She’s sure to wake up soon, she almost always wakes up by 6:30,” but she didn’t stir. I covered her up with her little blankie because she looked chilly, and then I just watched her sleep for a while.

At 7:15 I finally decided to get up, and headed out to write a blog. Of course, as soon as I booted up the computer, she woke up. I heard her on the baby monitor and headed back to the bedroom. As I was walking down the hall toward our room, I saw her little head come up over the side of the crib as she stood up to find mama. She looked so sleepy and adorable in her little kitty footy pajamas. Usually by the time she wakes me up in the morning (“Mama! Mama! Mama! Baba! Baba! Mama!”) she is wide awake, so it was cute to see her looking all sleepy and bleary eyed.

We did the diaper change thing and I grabbed a bottle for her. She snuggled into me and gazed up at me with her daddy’s beautiful blue eyes and long lashes while she ate. She held onto my wrist for a while, and then reached up and touched my face. My heart melted.

Normally, when I’m barely awake and she’s gotten herself all worked up to wake me up (I’m a deeper sleeper than I should be..), after her bottle would be play time. But she was still half asleep, so I headed back to the bedroom, snuggled her close, and lay down in bed with her.

This is something we used to do every single morning when she was a newborn. This is something I’ve not been able to do with her since she became mobile. This is something I cherish, something I will forever associate with contentment and happiness. This is something I MISS. And this morning I got to do it. I got to snuggle my baby girl, laying in bed with her little head resting on my shoulder. She cooed at me, and I kissed her face. She played with my hair. I smelled her sweet baby smell. She snuggled in closer to my neck, and my eyes filled up with tears as all the memories of her first weeks of life rushed over me, and I realized that moments like this were going to be even fewer and farther between as she grows older.

She dozed. I didn’t. I just held her lovely warmth close and relished the unexpected cuddles of my sleepy daughter.

These are the moments you never forget. The ones you hold onto in dark times to get you through to the light again. One of those moments where you get completely overwhelmed by love only a parent can understand, when you’re holding a tiny human being that you love more than anything in the world, and just being there with them is enough.

I love those moments.

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