Thursday, December 03, 2009

Annabeth is 10 Months Old

I almost can't bring myself to write this post. It's like my thoughts of her are almost too precious and sacred to type on this crude screen.

Last year during the holidays I was eight months pregnant. By the eighth month every expectant mom is longing to wear her real jeans, lay on her stomach, eat Chinese food without having heartburn, have a conversation without getting winded, and go more than 20 minutes without visiting the ladies room. The pregnancy is getting long and it's not that fun anymore. You can see the light at the end of the ten-month tunnel, but it's got to get worse before it gets better.

During the Christmas of 2008, I longed not to be pregnant anymore, but it was not due to those reasons. I wanted my baby girl with me for Christmas. My heart longed every day for her to be here. When I saw Christmas dresses in the store, my first thought was to get her one. Then I had to remind myself that she wasn't coming until February! She was already so real in my tummy - growing daily, stretching, hiccuping, and tossing from side to side. My subconscious just couldn't shake the expectation of her being with us for Christmas.

I have my darling daughter in my arms this Christmas season and my joy is now complete. No more longing for this baby, only enjoying her. She is at the perfect size to hug and squeeze. I got a lot of snuggle time with her tonight and I couldn't help but think that she feels like holding a big, adorable gummy bear. She has one little tooth that is slowly making its way up and it is heartbreaking. Her soft brown hair is getting longer. Sometimes it waves and other times it goes straight down like a mullet. Either way she is the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. She is happy. She loves her mommy and she loves her daddy and she can't help but love that silly big brother whom she lives to laugh at.

She plays games now. She likes to come and get me when I hide around the corner and peek out. She loves to sit in your lap and throw herself backwards over and over again. I can always tell that she's made a fast break for a forbidden part of the house because I hear her hyperventilating with excitement and adrenaline. How precious and sinful they are from birth!

Annabeth still reminds me of a little doll when she locks her legs straight out in front of her. She's wearing shoes more often these days, not only because it's colder but also because winter clothes tend to be dressier. The Trumpette mary jane socks are starting not to fit very well. I will cry on the day I put those away.

Sister Girl is like her brother in many ways. First of all, she loves taking her bath. She scoots all over the tub and loves playing with the toys. Sometimes we put her in the water with Jackson and those might be her favorite moments in all of life. In keeping with her brother, she hates to get out and cries every time. I think Jackson may just now be growing out of that. I didn't see it, but Curtis told me she was putting her face in the bath water the other day. I may have another water bug on my hands. Like Jackson, she detests having her diaper changed and she normally flops around and whines while trying to grab the diaper and yank it away.

Annabeth is serious about her food, namely Cheerios. Lately she's gotten a little too ambitious with her self-feeding, stuffing multiple Cheerios in her mouth and then gagging on them. From her very first meal up until her dinner tonight, I've had to wipe one tear away from her eye before taking her out of the high chair. I don't know what it is, but eating makes her tear up. Apparently she's emotionally moved by the taste of baby food.

It's funny to think that if I want Annabeth to go to mother's day out next fall, I'll have to register her very soon. I don't feel ready. I can't imagine her going so young (she'll be 18 months). But Jackson went almost immediately after his first birthday and that wasn't really hard on me at all. It was a little bit. I guess I was more desperate then because I was still working at full time status. He also took a lot more of my energy. I discussed this with my mother and she thinks it's because Annabeth is a girl. Maybe I feel more guilt about eventually leaving her since she's more delicate in my eyes.

It's hard to imagine her that old. She's still so tiny that I can't even picture her walking. I know it will boggle my mind to see it.

Annabeth loves to clap. We've been trying to teach her to wave bye bye. Sometimes she gets it right but we think she believes she's waving when she's clapping. Last weekend at Colin's birthday dinner, Annabeth said "bye" to Colin's mom, plain as day. The next day she waved and said "bye bye." That has not been repeated but it had to have been legit. She says mama and dada from time to time. It's like she gets stuck on a particular sound for a few days and she forgets everything else. She's started clicking her tongue, which is funny.

This is very long, but I know I've forgotten a bunch of things. I recently went back and read all my posts from when she was born and from the following months. It reminded me of so many things I'd already forgotten. I'm thankful that even though they were long, overly-detailed posts, I have all of it written down. So if you're about to have a baby, I'd encourage you to keep blogging throughout those crazy first weeks. That time will be precious in your memories one day. I don't long to have another baby, but I do long to go back and spend those first moments with each of my children again, armed with the knowledge of how much we would grow to love and know one another.

All I can think to end with is this - isn't it an honor to be a woman? As hard as it is and sometimes unfair, we get a front row seat to see the magic of a life growing from tiny cells into a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, and so on. And to feel it all so fully! To others and often to ourselves our lives can look utterly mundane and common. Every day I load my babies in and out of my Jeep with my oversized purse and huge diaper bag falling down my shoulder and smacking into the baby's face. Meanwhile, junk falls out of the floor boards and onto the driveway, and I know another Chickfila receipt is going to wander into our neighbor's yard and, help me Lord, she's going to know that I didn't recycle it! My son has lost his shoes inside the car and I'm thinking "Calgon, take me away!" Only that's what they said in our moms' day and I don't even know if they make that anymore. But maybe I can find some Thomas the Tank Engine bubble bath in the kids' bathroom!

The thing is, God is using us to grow lives. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Stop and marvel at whatever new thing your three-year-old said or did today. In all likelihood (as long as it was pure and lovely, of course), he learned it from you! In case no one else says this to you today, well done mama. You're doing an important job and you will be richly rewarded, even if for the time being it's a big hug around the knees every time you have to wipe your preschooler's rear.

64 comments:

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

So sweet...

Of my four kids, I was ready for all of them to go to MDO at different times. The first two went right at a year. Maggie was older and then I didn't put her in 3 days until this year, which was later than Eva Rose. And Ike didn't go until he was 2.5, and I loved having him home.

If you aren't ready, you aren't ready. But, of course, you might be very ready by next September!!

Jessica said...

Amanda, I LOVE the end of this post! I wanted to check and see if it would be ok to read this to our MOPS mamas at our next meeting. So beautiful!!

Kelly said...

This post made me cry for many reasons.
Annabeth sounds SO much like Harper. Harper just pants when she is doing something wrong - I call it her Beavis and Butthead laugh. (which is a horrible comparison I realize). But it cracks me up!
And Harper just last night bent down in the bath and put her face in the water and drank (which disgusted me) but she was so delighted.
I wish they could be friends - they have so much in common! :-)
It is SUCH an honor to be a woman and a mom - even if it's the hardest job ever!

Brittney said...

That last line is so stinking hilarious! We share a lot in common with our little girls. I was giggling reading it, because Soph is in a similar stage to your little miss. Thanks for encouraging us Mommas. You are doing a great job yourself:) Blessings abound.

Moose Mama said...

My youngest daughter just started her monthly cycle recently...and complained about the unfairness of being a girl. I pointed out to her how incredibly lucky we are to be able to carry and give life. I know she doesn't feel that way right now, but yes...it is such a blessing and an honor to be a woman....and a mother.

Such a blessing too, to walk this journey with you, Amanda.

Melana

Marla Taviano said...

This post just kept getting beautifuler and beautifuler. I have NO idea how my girls got to be 9, 7 and almost 4. You are so right to cherish every second.

kim said...

Amazing post, just what I needed to read tonight. Thank you for the encouraging words!

And even though you think its a long, boring post - I love reading what your babies are up to! It's like you said, it's so great being able to go back and read "what" was going on "when"! Love it (:

Blessings!

Tara G. said...

This is so precious, and you're wise to get it down in writing! I'm snickering over the CFA receipt not being recycled....bless your heart! :)

bethany said...

If you find Thomas the Tank Engine bubble bath-will you send some my way?

Kristina said...

Beautiful post Amanda. Thank you so much for including the last paragraph...I know that, but I needed to 'feel' that. I look forward to reading your blog updates, you are such an inspiration to me and an amazing writer. I hope someday to, for real, start becoming a writer of my son's life, because each and everyday is so very precious and I too long for a keepsake like what you have for your children and yourself. Thank you for choosing to share your life with even the ones you don't even know, I am forever grateful. :)

Rhonda said...

Annabeth will be so glad to have this to read. It was beautiful and full of love! I dream of the day when the "wiping" stops:)That I won't miss. Hope you guys get some snow and have a blessed weekend!

mtnest423 said...

As a mother of 3 grown children, ages 29, 27, and 24, I am so thankful when mothers of young children realize how quickly time goes by.

I know there will be some days, especially as your children get older and more independent, where God will thoroughly and completely test the limits of your patience and love.

But I think God gave us parenthood as a way to help us understand the depths of His love for us. What better way to help us understand the ability to love despite rebellion, defiance, and disobediance than to give us children who put us through those, yet we love them anyway?

Kelli said...

I was feeling the same way about Caroline. Honestly I signed her up because my mom encouraged me but in my head, I kept thinking YEAH right, I am not sending her in the fall. It was so so hard the first few days, and honestly I think it was because she is my sweet little girl. I love our daily time, but quickly found what you were telling me in August, YOU CAN GET SO MUCH DONE! So now I think of it as time to be over-productive so we can spend more girly time! :) And she is only in one day a week, I can do one day, and she LOVES it. How can I deny her that for my pleasure??

This also encouraged me to write more down, I sometimes think no one wants to hear that, but WAIT I don't need to care, it is for ME not them!

JottinMama said...

I LOVE this post.

I'm sick today...and I'm taking care of my 3 year old and 4 month old. And all I want is my Mama (who lives 1200 miles away). So I needed this post today....the ending lifted my spirits :) Thank you :)

Blessings,
Kate :)

Lauren Kelly said...

This was the sweetest thing EVER!!!!! :)

Amy said...

That was a beautiful post. It is a great reminder to all your Mommy readers of the important job that we are doing.

I might have to use the CARS bubble bath, but I'm sure my son would love to have some Thomas and Friends bubbles. Maybe a stocking stuffer! :)

Sarah said...

Beautiful...and not to diminish all your touching words, could we please have pink bear (or some) pics!? :) Love ya, just had to say it...I long for the day when I will FINALLY have my baby girl I've waited all 36 years of my life for...the older I get the more my dream seems like the Lord's forgotten, but I know that's not true. I know He knows best, and I must trust Him.

But in the interim, I so delight in hearing (even though it stings my heart with jealousy, I must admit!) about a mother's sentiments for her daughter...and son, for that matter! :)

Blessings on you this day to you and your sweet, amazingly beautiful family!

Sarah :)
http://sarahhisprincess.blogspot.com/2009/11/empty-arms-my-story.html

HappyascanB said...

Thank you so much for this! I'm expecting my first, and this part absolutely hit home: "So if you're about to have a baby, I'd encourage you to keep blogging throughout those crazy first weeks. That time will be precious in your memories one day. I don't long to have another baby, but I do long to go back and spend those first moments with each of my children again, armed with the knowledge of how much we would grow to love and know one another.
. . . isn't it an honor to be a woman? As hard as it is and sometimes unfair, we get a front row seat to see the magic of a life growing from tiny cells into a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, and so on. And to feel it all so fully! To others and often to ourselves our lives can look utterly mundane and common. Every day I load my babies in and out of my Jeep with my oversized purse and huge diaper bag falling down my shoulder and smacking into the baby's face. Meanwhile, junk falls out of the floor boards and onto the driveway, and I know another Chickfila receipt is going to wander into our neighbor's yard and, help me Lord, she's going to know that I didn't recycle it! My son has lost his shoes inside the car and I'm thinking "Calgon, take me away!" Only that's what they said in our moms' day and I don't even know if they make that anymore. But maybe I can find some Thomas the Tank Engine bubble bath in the kids' bathroom!

The thing is, God is using us to grow lives. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Stop and marvel."

I absolutely can't wait to spend my days covered in spit up and poo, wishing for a shower and lunch of my own, all while mothering this baby. What a gift!

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

This is my favorite thing you've ever written.

Bobbie said...

"Well done, Mama"! Amanda, you've done a great job with your two little ones. You're 'overly-detailed posts' are gifts that no one else in this world can give Jackson and Annabeth. (Besides when you get older and your memory is on a million other things, you can look back and remember every detail of their childhood!)

I wouldn't trade my job as a Mom, now Grandma for any other one. I do wish I had taken time to record their 'little life' days in more detail. I love seeing my children become parents, it's a great reward!

Happy 10 month birthday, Annabeth! You have a terrific Mom that loves you very much. Just you wait and read!!

barbara head said...

Like fingernails across a chalkboard I can hardly stand the words "Oh, I don't work, I'm just a mother". Please, our dear and gracious God, give all those mothers out there a real shout out as only You can do!!!!

Wendy P said...

Thank you so much for your post....can't tell you how deeply it ministered to me in an area only our Lord knows needed speaking to...life can be so difficult during this season...most days I feel totally overwhelmed and incompetent but then He breaks through and tenderly speaks peace and affirmation....thank you for being that vessel today!

Kathy W said...

As a mom who has "been there, done that" quite a while ago, I encourage all young moms to truly enjoy and appreciate the times they have with their kids while they are young, because it truly does go sooooo fast. I have boys, (now MEN) 23 and 21, and twin girls who will turn 19 next week. I can still vividly remember being home with 4 kids under 5 thinking, "Why did I even bother going to college?" and yearning at times for something more challenging. It didn't take me long after I re-entered the work world to realize how truly blessed I was to have been able to stay at home with them for so long. I had to ask God to forgive me for being so selfish at times!
Every stage is wonderful in some way, and challenging in some way. Even now, there are still challenging moments. I recently cried on the phone with my 21yo son whose heart was truly broken by the breakup of a long-term girlfriend he had planned on marrying. It was agonizing. Through each and every stage I cling to and claim the verse: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6 KJV) Most of us do the best we can at the time, with the knowledge and insight we had at that time, and that's all He asks.

Blessings,
Kathy W

Margaret Costa said...

This post blessed me, and I am not even a mom (yet). Probably will not be one for a few years, but I know each time a read a post like this I am storing up treasures in my heart to share with my children someday-the wisdom of moms before me.

Thank you Amanda.

Rachel said...

thanks! i needed that!

Robin said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I have a 9 month old and we had a bad day yesterday and another not-so-good morning. He's napping right now and reading your post helped me realize that it doesn't matter and that I need to enjoy those wonderful moments that we have!

Deanna said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement at the end of this post.... needed it today! :) I think I'll link to ya to help encourage a few more mommies today, too! Have a blessed day!

Keri said...

We just celebrated our first born's 11th birthday yesterday......I have no idea how we got to 11 so quickly! A couple of years ago I started writing letters to them on my blog about the year they just finished. I sat with my 11 year old last night while he read his letter.....he laughed and a couple of time he just silently read. What a treat for both of your kids to have had you blogging their entire lives so they can relive all these wonderful years!!

Enjoy the snow today........who would have thought? Two years in a row!

Emily :) said...

Amanda, thank you so much for this. Your babies are very blessed to have you for a mama. But this post encouraged me as well. First, I am glad I am not the only one with stuff falling out of the Jeep. :) Secondly, just last night I went to an event held by the office I used to work for. I left my job a little over a year ago to be a stay at home mom. I have to admit, I kind of missed my job last night. I missed the respect I was shown, the friends I worked with, and the fact that I used to just be Emily and not "Bro.Josh's wife" or "Mama". Isn't that terrible?

I really needed this reminder of how important those mundane, ordinary things are in my children's lives. (And mine!!)

Emily :) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Mom said...

I read your blog and then right after I read this blog; http://tonyandcharity.blogspot.com/

It is amazing how God works and I don't have the answers but have prayed for both of you. I thought maybe she could use your prayers too.

tiggerdaisy said...

It is such an honor to be a mama! God has entrusted us with something so personal and sacred. He has given us a precious gift from conception through the growing up years.

Sweet post, Amanda.

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

Sara Re-nae said...

Hi Amanda,
It's so funny to read this post because I'm 8 months pregnant with a due date just days away from yours with Annabeth's. I'm so right where you were last year. I want to actually have my baby boy for Christmas. I can't handle gaining one more pound and I still have some time to go. And all I can think about is Fiesta en Jalisco's carne asada that awaits me the moment I deliver. :) And of course, finally meeting this sweet baby. I do blog regularly but this post reminded me that I need to remember to blog about the little pregnancy things going on because I'll forget. Thanks for the reminder!
Have a wonderful Christmas!

Kay said...

Indeed Amanda, every moment is precious. Enjoy!

Kay

Jennifer said...

Yes. So often when my kids were babies I would hold them tight and just revel in the moment like I never wanted it to end - just thanking God for them and loving on them. Those moments are fleeing, but the deposits we make in their lives are anything but... What an honor it is to be called Mommy.

My youngest went off to kindergarten this year and I have begun another season of life with school aged children. It's true, the saying we hear millions of times when we have babies from the mouths of older moms: "They grow up so fast!" Too fast, indeed. Can't wait to hug and hold em all tight when they get off that school bus today!

Love,
Jenifer

Bourg Family said...

Well written! Hadley makes me crack up every day. It's those moments that make the "I'm just a mom" moments seem so silly.

ThirtysomethingMom said...

They still make Calgon!!!

This post makes me miss those years with my daughter! I didn't blog then. I will have to get out the scrapbooks tonight and take a trip back in time.

Have a blessed day!

Sharon said...

Thanks for this post. I needed to read this today as I am pregnant this Christmas with #4 and due in February and already so huge. But what a gift it is to be a mother-thanks for the reminder:)

Kiki said...

I love this!

I love getting those hugs around my knees because it means I'm not cleaning it out of his underwear!

I was lamenting the fact this morning of how hard it is to be a wife and mom. So, thanks for the pick me up and reminding me of the wonder!

Teri~Facedown said...

I think being a mom is so bittersweet. We are excited to see our babies reach milestones, like clapping, talking, reading, etc...but each accomplishment is tinged with a little grief, because we know the wonder and innocence they have will fade. The love of a mom is so fierce. It is bar none the hardest thing I've ever done...not so much the physical work, but more so the emotion that comes when you see a piece of your own heart embodied in your own flesh and blood.

Mrs said...

It's been so long since I've wiped any rear but my own! LOL

While I no longer can marvel at what my 3 year olds are doing, I DID have my 20 year old come home from college, wrap his arms around me, and say, "I love you, Mom! I love coming home, I love my family, I love my sisters. I feel like my cup is full and I'm ready to face life!"

Heaven, thy name is child.

Kristie said...

Marvelous post! Makes me thankful for my kiddos all over again...and it sort of DOES make me want another one. --But I think it would take more than just reading this post for hubs to want any more. :) They do grow up so stinkin' fast!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

You are so right. This IS an honor and a privilege, even on the days it makes us want to run to a random Amtrak and get out of town.

I can't believe Annabeth is 10 months old. What a sweet, sweet little girl.

Heather said...

Amanda- If you read my post yesterday, you know how much I needed this and I pray God will allow you to be blessed even just a fraction of how He just used it to bless me. Thank you so much for writing this. I love it! You are precious! Have a great weekend with your wonderful family!

Amanda May said...

What a sweet post!

Can I just say...I think you might have your Momma's "writing annointing"!! Seriously.

The Oakes said...

This may be my favorite post yet. I love the reminder of the last two paragraphs.

WendyB said...

Dear Amanda,

You have given me a "happy tear" treat as your precious musings brought back memories of my own love affair with my daughter. Five minutes ago, she was wiggling in the bathtub. At this moment, she's a college junior five hours away, cramming for finals and packing for a mission trip to Nicaraugua which will cut our holiday time together down to a week. My arms literally ache to hold her - but what a PRIVILEGE to be a mother, a woman, and to watch your heart grow to encompass your baby girl's expanding world!

Kylie said...

Beautiful!

Lauren said...

This was an awesome post. I identified with so much of it, from beginning to end.

The only thing I'd add is that I think it is so special to be pregnant at Christmastime. I remember being about 8 months along with Noah and tearing up when I read about Mary swaddling Jesus, thinking, "I will be swaddling my baby soon."

I also loved Courtney Schisler's post about her grandparents' table. It made me think about the fact that what I do now contributes to my having a family like that when I am a great-grandma, and the little things today count.

Carey said...

so good! so encouraging!

thanks for sharing your heart!!!

annalee said...

did you write those final paragraphs specifically to me?:)let me assure you it spoke to me just that way! thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing these thoughts and reminders during these sweet first weeks with a newborn.

Cheryl said...

I read this post this morning and didn't comment but could so relate.
And this afternoon, when I was wiping my 3 yr. old's hiney, he wrapped his arms around my knees and said, "I love you, Momma." And I immedialtely thought of what you said!
As a mom of a 12, 9, 3 and 7 month old, I know these days fly!
Thanks for the reminder to enjoy them!

Merry Christmas!

McSwain said...

Thank you so much for this post. I could have written the first three quarters of it as my daughter seems to be right on with yours in many aspects and they seem to look alike. It's a little strange.

But the last part's what I really needed. Thank you for the encouragement. It is a wonderful life we lead as mothers.

courtney said...

I totally needed to read this today!

Valerie said...

Needed to hear that today...thank you!!

Amanda said...

Needed that today :) Thanks!

Haley Frederick said...

What a beautiful post. Especially needed to hear that last part.

By the way, my baby bangs are growing. :)

khull05 said...

Whew. Did I ever need this today! Thanks for reminding me what a priviledge it is to be a mama-even in those desperate moments!!

Becca said...

Wow, God really used you today to give some mamas much needed encouragement- Thanks so very much, from a mom that really needed to hear that!!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Little Momma, that is where I am, 8 mo pregnant and really wanting to sleep on my stomach. I think my hormones are in overdrive. But, I am grateful for each day that I am pregnant, such a miracle to me. I am reassured every time she moves in there. God has been unbelievably merciful to me. I don't deserve anything good from Him. I say this a lot, but I mean it, thanks for sharing:) I'm gonna try to keep blogging after she comes, and record the blessing of life with Baby Girl in it:)

katiegfromtennessee

katiegfromtennessee said...

I'm not sure if my comment posted or not, but I am blessed that you shared with us, I feel that way too at 8 mos pregnant. He has blessed me, and I don't deserve it. I want to be able to look back and appreciate everything about mommahood.

katiegfromtennessee

Aunt Sher said...

I loved your Annabeth musings. I'm a Siesta and have enjoyed watching your kids grow.

I am 60 years old and was unable to have children. It has taken me years to be at peace with it in the knowledge that God's plan for my life didn't include being a mama. Seeing sweet Christian moms like you that appreciate their cherubs makes it easier. I have been blessed with many kids in my life. Being everybody's favorite Aunt Sher is almost as good.

God bless you and yours,
Aunt Sher

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

Great post! Thanks for the encouragement. And don't forget on that last part--Spiritually!!

JW and Susy said...

You are so funny! I like that you said we are being used to 'grow lives' physically, etc. It is tempting for me to think, "I dont get the accolades I used to when I worked...no one sees how hard I work." So thanks for reminding me that mothering requires every single bit of me and that that is part of the reward!