Fall 2014

Once again we have found ourselves in coats and scarves, the traces of autumnal colors all but gone. We crossed the threshold of one year as parents, and I personally gave myself a pat on the back for surviving. Not that we're out of the woods; we're still very much deep in the trees, often in the dark, guessing at which direction we should head.

Miss Lucille continues to grow and thrive despite the endless stream of colds, coughs, and annoying germs from daycare. She loves her friends at "school," and she adores her teachers. We often get reports that our kid is the "life of the party," and is quite content to entertain. Big surprise. Not much is different at home, and my blue-eyed babe makes me smile and laugh on a daily basis. She is growing her personality more and more, and learning just as quickly.

To date, Lucy now says: mama, daddy, ball, apple, happy, car, go, yeah, bubbles, baby, doggie, ducky, birdie, book, woof, good girl, and nana. She understands a ton, and can point out or go and grab most of her toys when asked. Her current favorites are Piggy (a stuffed pig), Tiger (a stuffed tiger), and any of the cars Big Red gave to her from his matchbox collection. Lucy continues to enjoy books, and we've added Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the rotation. For now the pacifier remains (say what you will), but we're down to just an am and pm bottle of milk. Lucy knows the signs for more, food, help (a modified version), and milk. She gets her teeth brushed every night, and continues to be a good sleeper - that is, when there's no illness thwarting her efforts.

In the month of December alone she added four teeth, for a total now of six, and there appears to be a few more on deck. Lucy quickly learned to climb into the Learning Tower Big Red made for her, and most evenings she keeps me company in the kitchen while I put dinner together. She is content to play with a bowl and spoon while mama cooks.

A few other notables this fall season:

  • first trip to the pumpkin patch
  • first trick or treating Halloween
  • she's using a utensil to eat more often
  • she can identify the eyes, nose, ear, mouth, and belly
  • stacks rings on a stick
  • working on throwing a ball
  • getting better at walking faster and close to running
  • she had her first unofficial haircut - I trimmed her bangs
  • she rode her first pony

Personally, I'm still struggling to find a balance - Motherhood and Myself-hood. I joined a gym, and the goal is go twice a week. Out of two weeks, I made my goal once. Baby steps. Most evenings I'm exhausted by 8 pm, but Big Red and I have gone out a couple of times, and I went out with some girlfriends a week ago - no husbands, no kids, just the gals. We had a lovely time. Tonight as I sit here and write this, the monitor next to me, an ear keenly tuned to any chirps my kid makes, there are dishes in the sink, and plenty of tidying up to do. There just aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done. So I've decided I can cry about it (which sometimes happens), or I can pick and choose what I feel really needs attention, and then let the rest go. Letting go is difficult. VERY difficult, but so necessary at this stage in my life. As I've said before, perfection is unattainable and a dangerous bar to set.

Despite all the exhaustion of parenthood and life, my crowning achievements this season have been putting together Lucy's first birthday party, and finishing a project that had been in the works since she was born: I edited and put together all the live-action clips of my daughter's first year in a finished piece. It's 30 minutes long, would probably bore anyone who isn't blood related to this kid, but I LOVE IT.

Christmas is around the corner and I have a sneaking suspicion Santa will make a stop here for Lucy. She's too young get to get Christmas, but I still look forward to seeing her face light up each night when she flips the switch that turns on the Christmas tree.

I'm going to hit the "publish" button on this post, change into my comfy clothes, ignore the dishes in the sink, and head downstairs to relax. Because if I don't take the opportunity to relax tonight, then it won't really ever happen.

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