Part 1: (All about Ivy)
Ivy and I are in Utah spending some time with my sister before she leaves on a mission. Stephen was here a weekdng, so we had a pre-birthday party with his family, mine, and some friends. Ivy started the night off right with dancing:
Clapping to the beat. Sort of.
Followed by more dancing:
Then some cake:
A group effort between my mom, Hannah and I.
The world's smallest chocolate fan.
And then presents:
The big hit of the night was this card from that meows Happy Birthday. Thanks, Phil and Mary.
Even though she was exhausted from a long day of traveling, she seemed genuinely pleased to be partying the evening away with so many great people.
We spent her actual birthday, Saturday, in Disneyland.
She loved the carousel and rode it twice, as well as The Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise and Ariel's Adventure. She surprised me, yet again, by how much she responded to and enjoyed the whole experience.
Ivy is walking a few steps at a time, though she still crawls when she needs to get somewhere fast, which is more often than you would think. She's learning the art of the sippy cup and trying to feed herself with spoons, resulting in huge messes. She loves green beans, chocolate, Havarti cheese, grapes and pudding. She laughs when she hears anyone else laughing, claps when she hears applause, and immediately starts dancing anytime there's a catchy tune. All we have to do is sing one line of Mr. Roboto and her arms start flailing in the air. She yells "Mom" when she's mad or needs something, and speaks gibberish all day long. She knows most the motions to Patty-Cake and does an impressive Itsy Bitsy Spider.
She is constantly moving, and the only time she'll sit still is to watch Sesame Street. She yells at dogs, smiles at strangers (the scarier the stranger, the bigger the smile), and loves being chased. She puts objects in containers, stacks blocks, sits down when I tell her to, and responds to "come here" about fifty percent of the time.
She's an adorable, delightful, tiny little person.
Part 2 (About Being a Mom)
A year ago I held our baby in my arms for the first time. She was perfect I loved her immediately.
I did not, however, love being a mother immediately. Other moms would ask, "Isn't it the best?" and I would wonder what I was doing wrong. I cried a lot the first month (see: hormones, exhaustion). I loved Ivy more than I ever imagined possible, but I felt like I was coming up incredibly short as a mom. My daughter didn't seem to know or care who I was, I couldn't get her to stop crying, and we were burning through about twenty diapers a day. What I didn't know then that I do know now is that babies only get better, as does being a baby's mom. When Ivy intentionally smiled for the first time, it was the happiest I have ever felt. The continuous crying went away. The smiles became frequent. Then there were giggles, cheesey faces, and full belly laughs. She sat up, she crawled, she walked. And I cried because she made me so happy.
I still have my moments. Moments when I pray she'll take a nap so I can get something done. Moments where I feel like being a mommy makes me irrelevant. Moments, no hours, where PBS is in charge of entertaining my child. Moments where I wonder if I'll ever do anything of significance. But what's more significant than raising a human being? What could possibly be more important?
I asked Stephen if he was happier now that he was a father. His answer was, to paraphrase, that he was absolutely a happier, more centered, more peaceful person with Ivy in his life. I couldn't agree more. So I'm ok with not getting things done. I'm ok with irrelevance. I'm ok with days filled with nursery rhymes and apple sauce. I'll get to the other stuff later. Maybe.