Thursday, March 19, 2009

Month 9, A Review

Dear Phoebe,

Two days ago, you turned 9 months old. Two days ago was St. Patrick's Day and it's taken me until now to fully recover from an evening of cabbage and whiskey with your father (and his Dutch ovens) to sit down and write to you.

This past week has been a really difficult one. I'm not sure if it's your new awareness of your surroundings or Daylight Savings Time, but you have decided to NOT take naps with the regularity I had expected of you these past few months.

Mommy does not like this wrench being thrown into her system.

Just now it's 10:30 at night and your dad is packing for our trip to Bakersfield this weekend. You're going to finally meet your cousins Luke and Mia and your (favorite) Aunt Heather. We are going to Bakersfield to celebrate Grandpa Jack turning 90 years old.

The celebration is slated to happen at the German restaurant in Bakersfield, so your dad and I are eagerly anticipating an evening of sausages, sauerkraut and Warsteiner beer.

That is, if Grandpa Jack shares any with us.

In addition to your new distaste for naps, your second little bottom tooth has finally started poking through, so that means you really haven't been sleeping all that much. And that means *I* really haven't been sleeping all that much.

You look so cute now when you laugh though -- your first tooth (the one on your right) is poking up more, so we can see it more now.

Today when I looked at you, I saw a little girl and not a baby. I know you're going to be a baby for a little while longer at least, but I was watching you look at Lola and look outside at the plants in the backyard and look up at the clouds in the sky, and you just had this look on your face that was so much older than 9 months old.

And you looked so peaceful.

I am always amazed that even in the depths of my exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy, the tiniest twinkle in your eyes can make me smile.

We went to lunch today and the lady at the Thai restaurant remembered us from last time and you were such a good baby again. I really enjoyed going to lunch with you. We were playing and I was feeding you your "Vegetable risotto with cheese" (nice job on that one, Gerber baby food naming department) and I remembered the first time my mom really took me to lunch.

Now, certainly she took me to lunch numerous times in my life, but I distinctly remember my 18th birthday lunch at Taj Mahal, the Indian restaurant in Bakersfield.

She had gotten me a camera for my birthday so there is a picture of me across the booth from her at the restaurant. Why we didn't get a picture together I will never know. I can guess it's because neither of us really likes getting our picture taken. Okay, well, at least ONE of us doesn't really like it all that much, but I was 18 so I'm sure I wouldn't have minded.

And I remember feeling SOOOOO adult and cool at lunch with my mom. I was 18 and an adult and we were equals at the lunch table, eating garlic naan.

I was looking at you in the booth sitting in your carseat next to me and I was smiling thinking about all the lunches we're going to enjoy in the future. I laughed -- really, I did. I was like "This little baby is going to be telling me about her thoughts and her life one day".

And I can't get over it.

I hear about people who don't understand their parents or understand their children. They say "she's just like her father" or something similar. I always wonder how we'll get along.

What are you going to be like?

I thought -- briefly -- what if you (like your father) don't like Thai food? Who will go to lunch with me then?

Your eye surgery is now pretty much secured for around the time you are a year old. At your next appointment in a few weeks, Dr. Rena is going to schedule the surgery and when she told me that I felt an immediate exhale of relief. And then almost as quickly, the heart-pumping sensation of panic when I realized that woman in the Birkenstocks who is so friendly and awesome in the room with us is going to be cutting your eye muscle in a few months.

She got really accurate measurements at the last appointment, so now she's certain it's a 4th nerve palsy and that you are one of the 10% of people with 4th Nerve Palsy who wink your "normal" eye instead of the "damaged" eye. You are so determined to use your dominant -- right -- eye, that you wink the left one in order to bypass that whole "they don't line up" thing. So that means we're having to patch your right eye, which you do not like at all.

Yesterday you had scratch marks above your eye where you tried desperately to take off your little patch.

You only have 3 more months of wearing patches, a 30 minute surgery, a day of recovery and then you're done.

In the grand scheme of things, I know this is minor. But in my heart, I'm going "They're going to be operating on my teeny tiny itty bitty teeny weeny little bitty baby".

And I don't like that one bit.

But -- as cute as we think your wink is -- the surgery is ultimately a good thing in the long run so, of course, we're going to do it.

You are still not crawling yet, but you are so close. I will park a toy just far enough in front of you that you can't reach out and grab it and you'll roll over onto your back and scooch that way to get it. You're crafty and you are so proud of yourself when you get that toy.

Your dad still says "Aww you're rushing her to grow up" and I don't think I am. You want to crawl. I like to think I'm just being encouraging.

I can't believe you are already 9 months old. I am already thinking about what to do for your (wonderfully WONDERFULLY timed) summer birthday ... where will it be? Who will be there? What are you going to think of the pictures of yourself eating cake when you look at them someday when you're older?

What kind of cake am I going to make?

What are you going to want to know about that day when you're older?

How many birthdays until you don't want to go to lunch with your mom?

I'm going to guess it'll be about the same as it was for me and my mom ... whenever mom stops paying.

That is to say, it's not going to happen.

I have so many friends who are pregnant right now with their first child. And I am so excited for all of them to have their babies so we can share in this joy of motherhood together. Like my mom said "They don't even know what they don't know yet". It's true.

Their lives are totally going to change.

And even with the teething and the dirty house and the not napping, I know they're going to look at their teeny tiny itty bitty little babies and go "Wow. I had no idea."

I had no idea how you would change my life, but I will always be thankful that you came along and did. Even if -- God forbid -- you grow up and decide you don't like Thai food.



robyn :) said...

so sweet! i took lily to lunch at panera bread a few weeks before noah was born. it was rainy, cold and windy and i'd figured we should spend some quality time together before noah popped on out. i always avoided lunch alone with her, because it had always been easier with joe. but, it was truly FUN! here, this little pig-tailed, almost 4-year old sat across from me eating her grilled cheese while i slurped my bread bowl of soup and we had a great conversation. i, too, realized how absolutely wonderful these times are! frankly, i realize how lucky i am, each and everyday! and to see lily with noah, i am extra happy. life is good, no, it's great, and i am so glad you are relishing every moment with your beautiful little girl. i don't blog, but i do keep a journal for each child...keep on writing. our kids will love reading about their lives when they are older! have a great time in bakersfield. we miss you.

Annie said...

I love reading these :) And you seriously have the BEST photo light in your living room! I'm bringin' Joey over for photo shoots every month lol!

Candice Lynn said...

I suck and have not been a-bloggin' in forever! Your girl continues to be precious. (I am jealous of her skin in the previous post's pictures-flawless complexion!)

Geoff said...

She's going to love this when she's old enough to read it and understand it. Love you guys...