eight weeks.

2 months and 19 months

i always tell new mommies “just get to six weeks, you’ll make it, just get to six weeks!”  then of course when their newborn is six weeks old, and they’re in complete despair, i say “now just get to eight.” no one wants to hear their new baby is going to take eight weeks to settle down, but it’s true, and it’s a loooooong eight weeks. little aria is eight weeks old, and we have just arrived. like clockwork, she finally let’s me put her down, doesn’t scream in the car and seems to like the swing. Joe and i have been lucky a few nights now, both girls asleep at 8:30pm and we enjoy a long relaxed dinner together. like where we talk and use full complete sentences. wouldn’t you know it, just as Aria settles in, my help returns from a five week excursion around Asia! my mom and dad are home, hallelujah! maybe it was meant to be this way? not only did Aria settle in, i did too. it’s a wow-oh-jesus-help-us-adjustment to two little kids. and maybe, just maybe, if my mom had actually been a mere 1.57 miles away, i wouldn’t have had the joy (sarcastic) of learning the ropes. i’ve learned that in the land of mommy ropes, it’s a lonely one. not a lot of folks to talk with in the middle of the night, not a lot of conversations going on between me and my 18 month old, not a lot going on period. in the midst of my exhaustion a friend asked, “Do you get to sleep much while the girls are napping?” good question, i don’t. not because i can’t, but sleep comes second to socializing. my soul thrives on connection, interactions, and soul stirring conversations. so one night, around 6.5 weeks into new baby phase, it was no surprise when sobbed my eyes out to Joe “I feel so lonely, exhausted, isolated and i didn’t accomplish anything all day”… enter my new hobby: reading. i’m not a big reader, i’m not a good reader, i’m not going to tell you how s  l  o  w i read. or how i have to re-read everything i have already re-read, because i was dreaming of Bali, during the first read.  this reading thing, however terrible i am at it, is redeeming. when i read out loud, it feels like i have a buddy hanging out with me, keeping me company. that’s weird i know, but mommyhood is very weird. okay, back tothe lonely part. it’s been lonely. and despite all the new baby phase (or as my sister calls it haze) i’ve managed to be honest to myself about one thing, i need to reach out, i need friends. most people would never think of me as someone who is lacking in friends. i’m not trying to brag. it’s just that i am a person who has many, let’s call them “facebook friends” and not a lot of “I’m bawling my eyes out, can you come over now?” friends. so this month, i reached out fearlessly. that’s one bonus of being in the new mommy haze, you don’t have a lot to lose, really. i called in GrampBill (for three days Joe’s dad was Naomi’s buddy and my new best friend), my cousin Jessie (she was a gem), invited myself over to Hillary’s, invited over Sarah (whom i barely knew). Her visit left me in awe. Sarah’s a fighter, i admire that in people, and i think she has a quality that was failing in me: a brave and fearless fighter. i invited Irene and her fabulous crew of two, and Brenda and the Ramlis invited themselves over on a very dark day and are now angels incarnate to me. i invited, re-invited, and still with no luck— invited again— Krissa (my sister’s best friend, which should count for uber desperate when you’re reaching into your “sister’s clan” and getting shot down). but desperate is right. and i finally reached out to my old High School friends, folks i haven’t talked with in over, say, 15 years? see, i’m that girl who never wants to be caught dead in her home town, no less, the local Target. and that’s exactly where i spotted both of them, ashely and randi. on two separate occasions, they were at Target the same time as me. both old high school friends, one a very close high school friend, and the other i barely knew. but that didn’t matter at this point, i knew her name and that was enough for me to invite her over; i needed friends. since then, i’ve become a pro at hosting kids under the age of six. Curious George parties in the morning, backyard water balloon wars (sometimes on the same afternoon), hosted a brunch (with two day old pastries), a popsicle party on the back lawn, and shared many beautiful, life giving conversations on my back porch (thank you Angela). my sister’s best friend, Krissa, finally came over for our water balloon war. “Does the constant hosting get exhausting?” she asked. nope. for me, there is nothing like sharing life with others; it has been refreshing, redeeming and completely lovely. and that’s the way it should be. but it didn’t happen all by itself, it happened because i asked, i sought, i got over myself and hosted people in my pajama pants, really.  to sum it up, the baby haze is finally concluding (thank you Jesus!), and at eight weeks i’m happy to say Aria and i have made it, both of us.

Naomi you surprise us daily. Your words, your tenderness, your creativity, your intelligence. Even tonight, at 19 months, you ran to the bathroom, sat on your potty and said “Pah-eee” and sure enough, you pee’d while on the toilet. You’ll do anything to earn a gummy bear! You wake up happy, and even as you head to “nigh nigh” you’re cheerful and happily get in your crib and lay down. You are a tough. You fall down all the time, mommy can tell that it hurts, but you simply let it go. I love the silly way you squeal like a dolphin and look for attention when you put your fork on your head. Daddy’s favorite is when you say No. Because you said it so sweetly and in usually in groups of three, each repetition getting progressively more whiney, and honestly quite cute. You love having people over. Mommy will say “who’s here?” and with huge eyes, shoulders and hands up in the air, you’ll say “woo hair?” and run to the door!  And right now, you sleep in until 9:30am, mommy and daddy love you!

highs: *Fourth of July— the White’s pool party! You loved launching off the high pool wall into daddy’s arms below! All the big kids made you laugh and laugh, you love being with people. And at the end of the day, we woke you up, daddy carried you on his shoulders, and our family watched 6 firework shows from the top of our neighborhood hillside! You shouted “Fouwer-ryyydes!” *Family trip to the San Diego Fair—you and your cousins stole the dance floor! While in the double stroller— you reached over to hold Aria’s hand, sweet Naomi girl. *Daddy took an additional week off from work to help mommy!! Family beach trip, lesson learned, we are not ready for the beach yet!  Naomi, you love the beach and squeal at every giant wave that topples you over! *Naomi, you said your first three word sentence!: “dang goo dada” (thank you daddy, obviously). lows: *Your 4th ear infection (one more and Doc says you’re getting tubes!). *You took your diaper off during a nap and blessed your crib and all it’s components with a serious “downpour. *Mommy noticed you eating something, and pulled a lady bug from your mouth. yucky!  obsessions: curious george (you watch him daily, read him nightly, and it might be the first word you say every morning), you still love bacon (to the point you threw it all up, and still managed to eat two more pieces!), prunes, pizza, chips, rice, and blueberries.

Aria your perfect little hairline makes me laugh. You’re strong, and coordinated, no surprise you’re rolling over so early! And how you love to smile!  You smile and coo so much these days! You’ve even started to laugh at Daddy, just a little. Your sleepy times fit perfectly in this family, 8:30pm-8:30am (with many dreamfeedings in between), welcome to the family that sleeps in! People don’t say your name right all the time, even your Papa has trouble. Surprisingly, it doesn’t bother your mommy much, she knows it will just take time. Mommy sometimes tells people “it’s pronounced a lot like that store REI.” Or mommy just says your name a lot so people get it, “oh Aria” this, or “sweet Aria” that. But, despite all mommy’s efforts, i presume you’ll still have your own battle one day. Or maybe that new Vegas hotel, also named Aria, will become extraordinarily popular, and your name will never be mispronounced again. Of course, you’ll always be known as that girl with the vegas hotel name. Tragic. Mommy and daddy did not see that one coming.

highs: *You smiled BIG at 6 weeks! *At 8 weeks, you finally settled down, you like the swing, you’re okay with the car, and you sleep like a champ if we put you down to sleep after 45 mins! (mommy is beyond happy!). *You soothe yourself with your hands. *At exactly 2 months you rolled over! Daddy and I think you’re awesome, but are honestly very intimidated by how quickly your picking up mobility skills!  lows: *You pooped on mommy’s pants as we were leaving to play music at Flood church (and mommy didn’t discover it until we got there!).