Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy birthday, Daphne Belle.

My dearest Daphne,

It has been about six months since I last wrote on this site proclaiming your brilliance and your cuteness. I spent a year chronicling your achievements and how your daddy and I marveled at them. You have astounded both of us with your graceful and girlish demeanor, your fierce independence, your aptitude at mastering new skills so quickly; how friendly you are, how polite, how well you listen and yet how stubborn you can be.

So much has changed in six months, my darling daughter. Your daddy and I are no longer married, but we still are together very much as your parents. We still marvel at you. I called him this morning to tell him about you. When you got in the car this morning, you said, "I play Sammie JoJo?" You were asking me if we were going to the daycare to play with your friends, Sammie and JoJo. You are so smart! You remembered their names, asked if that's where we were headed. He laughed and wasn't surprised a bit. We both know how smart you are. We both know how smart you have always been.

 In the past six months, you have grown astonishingly. In July, I wrote down a list of the words you knew. It topped 75. Now? It's most certainly closer to 200. You BLOOMED. You are stringing sentences together and even using the correct verb tenses! You love to read. Last night, you asked to read the book about Jeez (Jesus) and the story about Dani (Daniel in the Lion's Den). Your favorite books are the Highlight's magazines that Gigi Joan ordered you. You love to search for the hidden pictures. You have an uncanny knack for finding them! I am impressed every time. I clap my hands for you, sincerely, because you are incredible, Daphne. You blow me away.

You can recognize your name when you see it written down. You recognize the ABC's and have *started* singing them. You "count" and say 1, 2, 10. You love when the little piggies go to the market and you giggle all the way home. When you first started learning your colors, you learned blue right away. Then, you thought every color was blue. Now, you recognize blue! You haven't said other colors yet, but you recognize them! I'm so proud of you for this. You have started getting on the potty and you say, "I try potty, Mommy, I try!" You haven't "tried" for real, yet, but you sit on there and look very cute! :)

Your favorite toy seems to be a baby doll. I got you a brand new one for your birthday. I will give it to you this Saturday at your party and I am so excited! You are very nurturing. When I watch you through the window at daycare, I see you wrap up the baby doll over and over in a blanket and rock it and pretend to be its mommy. You do it at home with your Elmo doll and your Momo, too. You're so sweet, Daphne Belle.

You're also a tomboy, though! You love to play outside and to play rough. You climb EVERYTHING including your crib! Just the other day, you climbed right out of your crib. I had to take the side panel off and turned it into a toddler bed. I was worried you wouldn't want to sleep in it, but you did ... perfectly. The second night, you got up around 4 or so, and I just put you right back to bed. You seem to feel just fine in there and sleep peacefully.

Peaceful is a good word to describe you, really. Yes, you are almost two and you do have your moments of tantrums. You have started to say, "NO!" and "STOP!" but, on the whole, you are a very laid back and easy going girl. Many, many people have commented on your sweet nature. You are well loved by everyone in your life, Daphne. Everywhere you go, whether it's to Cheri's or the daycare or to see your grandparents (Lil or the Joan's), everyone loves you so much.

In the past few months, you and I have been blessed with even more people who love us. Dave and Nonna Sue are pretty taken with you as well. You have spent many hours giggling at Dave's antics and he often pretends that you are his pillow, which you think is hysterical. Nonna Sue loves you 1,000 miles away, and she is sending you a dollhouse for your birthday!

My dearest Daphne, you are growing up to be beautiful and fierce, intelligent and kind. You are exactly the daughter I dreamed of and hoped for. I love you more than I love anything or anyone and I always will. I praise God and thank Him for His gift to me of you and I pray for His hand to be in your life always. I love you, my daughter.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Writing again ... such a cute muse

In the midst of my endless and eternally boring tasks, I feel like writing.

Because it's so rare I feel like this lately, I put down the three things I was going to do and here I am. 

There is something so intimidating about writing here, for some reason. I feel like I have to capture EVERYTHING that Daphne has learned, that she has said, that she has done, because if I don't, I will forget, and that just seems unthinkable and obscene.

I think it's because of our technological culture, because we document everything whether on Facebook or on blogs or in texts. I feel so much pressure to have a record of everything, and instead of enjoying the process of capturing her essence here, I fret over it. Add to this fear the prevailing concern that every word I write make me look like I've got it all together, and then.I.just.don't.write.

I still don't have it all together, but writing is just sort of a part of me, and I'm really trying to get over what everyone else thinks anywayz.

That said. 

Daphne is 

ridiculously cute.

Of course, she's also 17 months old now and doing all kinds of new things.

She likes
helping Daddy fix the chair
and helping Mommy with the cooking. 
Just in case you were fixing to call DCFS, the oven wasn't on. Also, I fix stuff and Jon cooks (sometimes), we're not completely Cleaver over here.

She also likes to get all glammed up
 with Mommy's earrings
 a little eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss
and fancy clothes. 

I put makeup on her one day, just for fun, and I got so many dirty looks at the grocery store that I think I better wait until she's a more appropriate age, like 3 or something. 

She's climbing on everything, chairs, tables, the backs of the couch, even the baby gate. One day she did a swan dive off the ottoman and I thought she broke her neck. She' It makes me crazy, but I love her spirit.

She has expanded her vocabulary to include: elephant, woof woof, sad, doggy, frog, chair, book, hi, hot (which she says in a very serious voice like Mommy does), and probably some other words I'm forgetting.

She says, "Shh," and puts a finger to her mouth. Yesterday, she heard a dog outside and said, "Hi doggy! Woof woof!" That was the first time she has strung words together. Jon and I were freaking out with excitement.

Basically, she's still brilliant and adorable and becoming more so every day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My reality

So, I usually use this forum to gush about how cute and brilliant my kid is, but today, I have to get for real.

I didn't know how ABSOLUTELY contrived a lot of the things I write for facebook and this blog are until recently. I mean, yeah, I do think my kid is a freaking genius and pageant beautiful, but I'm definitely writing for an audience (all three of you, yes, I know). Writing with this thought in my mind: "Someone I know is reading this, I have to sound like my life is decent, that I'm healthy, that I'm witty (well, you know, as much as possible), that I HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER. 

Yeah. I don't.

This past week, I fell so hard. All it takes for me to fall: a series of tiny, bad choices strung together.

I don't want to shame the people closest to me by going into public graphic detail (even though I had to do just that on a personal level), but I do want to admit this. I want to be real and say, 'MAN. I completely messed up.'

What led up to this series of bad choices that turned out to be not-so-tiny? I'm completely depressed. 

IT SOUNDS SO UNGRATEFUL, but becoming a stay-at-home mom has been so hard for me. Every day seems like a cycle of endless tasks. I kept coming to this realization: this is really it. This is my life. I didn't even take a shower today. On top of this eternal inner dialogue, I have been sad about other family things and I stopped nursing Daphne (which could totally be a physiological reason for this all coming to a head), and it all just took its toll recently.

As a Christian, I felt like I couldn't admit this on a completely honest basis. I've definitely laughed to my friends and admitted that this transition has been hard, but I haven't even been completely honest with myself about how utterly defeated I feel daily. I'm supposed to be investing in my relationship with Christ, because ultimately, He is the ONLY thing that will fulfill me. But, I haven't been. I made a decision to 'feel better' instead of being better.
Starting back at the beginning with Jesus. How many times have I been here? When will I get this right?

A friend texted me last night and asked, "How are you?" I said, "Good," and asked her back. She said, "I'm thinking about cutting, and suicide, and using drugs again. I'm lonely, I'm depressed." 

We had a real conversation then because she was brave enough to be real.

I don't know when I'll be better. I know the only way is through Jesus. I know that I'm abnormally attracted to sin, and that I will struggle with my addictions (all of them) on a minute by minute basis at this point. 

And, I know I want to be real about it.