But it's just because I've been too busy being a mom and wife and working full-time. I guess that's not really an excuse, because lots of women do all of those things AND keep up with their blogs, and let me tell you - I'm impressed ladies!
I've had a pretty hard time finding balance. I tend to feel really good about how I'm doing if I have a holiday at work and get a 3 day weekend, or if I'm able to take some PTO. Otherwise, I constantly feel like I'm failing at something. This is where I go down my laundry list of things I'm not doing very well. I'm either losing touch with my friends or I'm totally forgetting a procedure at work (that I helped develop, no less) or we are eating fast food/Digiorno's pizzas for a week. There are definitely entire stretches of time where I don't really talk to Corey about anything but Grace.
I'm late to work A LOT. I can't remember the last time I did anything resembling working out. I don't drink nearly enough water. It has never taken me so long to get thank you notes out after Christmas and my birthday as it did this year. I watch a little bit too much reality television.
But when I look at Gracie, I feel like we are definitely doing something right.
She is so smart. And beautiful. And funny.
She is busy. She loves to play. She loves to eat. She has quadrupled her weight since she was born. She smiles more than she cries. She loves to be read to. She says Mama, Dada, occasionally says Papaw (or Bapaw). She says Hi and Yeah. She claps and waves. She loves to dance. She crawls all over the place. She loves the cats. She LOVES people. Most of all, her family.
She is especially attached to me, Corey, Pinky, Papaw, Meredith and Cam. She is interested in other babies. She has a new cousin, adorable Claire (Meredith and Cam's baby) and she seems interested in her, although a little cautious (this is a good thing). This weekend when she saw her, she waved!
She is a flirt. She loves to go out in the world and see other people. It can be embarrassing at times, because we will be in a waiting room/store/restaurant and Gracie will stare someone down until they look back at her and then smile big (often tilting her head to the side, which is pretty much the cutest thing ever).
Being her mom is truly the best thing ever. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. I often find myself missing her at night when she is sleeping in her crib. Some nights I creep into her room and watch her. Other nights, afraid of waking her, I sit in our room and watch her in the monitor or watch videos or look at pictures of her on my iPhone. The love I feel for her is unmatched by any emotion I have ever felt in my life.
I find myself doing things I never really envisioned doing before. I make a lot of her food myself. I never quite pictured myself staying up late to puree peaches and green beans, but it makes me so happy to hear her "mmmm" after she tastes it! I spent months researching the best car seats to buy. I send texts/post on facebook a ridiculous amount of pictures of Gracie.
There are certainly times when I feel like I'm failing as a mom.There are days when I only see her for about an hour and half that she is awake. That breaks my heart. It doesn't seem fair, and I don't know how to fix it. All I can do is pray and work hard so that maybe, by the time we have baby #2 I will be able to stay home with both of them.
And hopefully, Grace won't be 15 by that time. It's hard to pay down debt and work so much, but I feel good that we are providing for our family and we are ultimately so lucky because my mom is able to take care of Grace.
There is another kind of guilt that goes along with that - I often feel like I'm keeping my mom from things that she needs/wants to do instead. She would never say that, and she has a very special bond with Gracie, but I know there are times where it is a difficult balancing act for her, too. We are so grateful for the time she spends with Grace and I know Gracie loves it. Every time I tell her we are going to Pinky's house, she pumps her legs.
There are these really special moments everyday. I feel like every age is more fun than the last. When I was pregnant, I would have these visions of dancing with my daughter, and now we do. It's really special and makes me so happy. She gives me kisses now. She is reacting more and more everyday to the stories we read her. I feel so lucky to be able to dress her every morning. It is seriously one of the best parts of having a little girl. The clothes are so precious and fun. She puts up with it all, and seems to like some of the outfits.
There is so much joy in seeing her with Corey. He loves her so much, and she loves him right back. She gave him a hug the other day. She loves to hear Corey play guitar, and he plays for her almost everyday. She reaches out and strums the strings.
He is fiercely protective of her, but also plays with her in a way that only a daddy can--he throws her in the air and takes her on crazy unwieldy wagon rides and tickles her 15 times a day. They are so cute together, it makes my heart sing.
In less than a month, Grace will be One Years Old. In some ways, I feel like that is completely unbelievable. I also feel like I cannot remember what life was like before her (and I don't want to). She makes our family feel complete.
She gives me purpose, and drive. She is absolutely the best thing that ever happened to us and I feel so grateful to be her mommy.
I'm going to do my best to write more. I have been keeping up pretty well with her baby book, but I like the idea of updating here, too. Because I can never express enough how much I love Grace and how happy I am that she is in our life.