June 18, 2014


I needed to write a little bit (or maybe a lot) about my sweet Dollie girl and to express what motherhood has been like for me this past year. I have so many emotions, as I know most mothers do when their kids turn another year older. I honestly never imagined, nor wanted, to be a stay at home mom. I had nothing against those women who were/are, it just did not seem appealing to ME personally. I remember when I was pregnant with Dollie saying things like, "Oh I'll work again soon after she's born", and "What will I do all day long with a baby...I wonder if I'll get bored.." and so on. People would kind of laugh or smirk at my comments, and now I know why. It's not that I didn't want to be a mother. I REALLY did. We tried for Dollie for nearly 2 (long) years. It was an amazing blessing to finally get her. I just didn't know what life was like without some kind of work/busy schedule. And I guess I thought that there was only so much you could do with a child in the beginning years of their lives.

I have spent every single day of the last 370 with Dollie. All day and all night. I think there have been maybe 3 times that I was not with her for about 3 hours each time, So....a total of like 9-10 hours apart? And it's been GLORIOUS. Now, don't get me wrong, those few times that I was away from her...I definitely needed those breaks. Motherhood has completely rocked my world, and changed everything for me. It's kind of insane, and amazing, and just mind boggling. I love being with her. I honestly cannot imagine working right now. For me, this past year has been the best year of my life. I am so thankful for Bodie, his work ethic and the job opportunity he's had to provide for us, and for me to be able to be with Dollie 24-7. I am not na├»ve to the fact that at some point in our marriage and child-bearing years I may not have this luxury; but for now, I am all over it and so appreciative.

I need to share some things about Dollie so that I won't forget...

It is no secret that she loves her Rupert bear and her binky a lot. Recently she has started biting Rupert. She gets so excited and grabs him and just bites and bites. It's so funny. It must be her way of expressing her love? Haha who knows. She's also kind of funny when it comes to her binky. Sometimes when she has one in her mouth i'll hand her another one, and she spits it out to stick the 2nd one in. Then I'll hand her that one and she spits it out to stick the other one back in and so on...and she'll do it over and over. I love it when she smiles so dang big with that binky in that it barely hangs on in her mouth. She loves those things. (and I do, too!) Although I know she will be parting with it sooner than later. She is so ticklish on her inner thighs, under her arms, and her back. You can't softly tickle any part of her back with out her squirming and flinching. She's never had one of those real hardy, belly laughs. Her laugh is choppy, and silly and somewhat of a screech. It's almost like she tries to not let herself laugh. She's got this thing recently where she basically tries to eat our faces and noses. I don't know if she thinks its kisses or what but she sure cracks herself up. The older she is getting the funnier she is getting. It's pretty crazy how early their little personalities start to show. Right now she doesn't have much shyness to her and I sure hope it stays that way. Dollie generally has a nice little fit when it comes to changing her diaper and/or clothes. She does not like to be pinned down or held back. She is getting better with the car seat. She does not last long in a high chair, or bumbo. Stroller has been fine within moderation. She is still nursing full time- day and night- and it is her main source of nutrition. There isn't any food that we have tried yet that has served as a meal replacement. While she loves nibbling on our food and will often, she gets full on my milk... happens to take about 5 min. It's been that way since day one. She's never nursed longer than 10 min and no matter how hard I've tried to get her to nurse longer when she's done she is done. She's more of a frequent snacker I guess!  She is not sleeping through the night, and I'm hoping that once I wean her in the next month or so that will change. After 12 solid months of nursing this Mom is ready for the next stage. I have enjoyed the time, though, and I am sure I will miss the bonding dearly when it's over. At 12 months old Dollie weighs 18 lbs, and is 29" long. She fits nicely into 6-9 month clothing. She still does a pretty good job at keeping her bows on which is great because otherwise she gets mistaken for a boy. (This has happened a lot).

When I see Dollie I see a tiny girl with a little strawberry blonde hair on top that's starting to curl, big blue-greenish gray marble colored eyes and beautiful long lashes. I see flawless, creamy light-toned skin and the sweetest little lips that have the cutest little sounds and tongue stick out of them. Her fingers are strong, and long and pretty. I see little teeth emerging, and the 2 on top are my favorite; One longer, and one shorter with a little gap. Her little toes resemble her daddy's and not mine, which is very lucky for her. I see her use her left and right hand equally so far. I see a little purple spot under her eye that often gets mistaken for a bruise. It isn't; it's just a little spot that seems to show up more after she wakes up. Today she took 10 steps and it was one of the most exciting 30 seconds of my life! I am so proud of her. It's amazing to see your child learn and grow. I see a smile so big and cute that is full of love and silliness. I am starting to see a little girl in her versus my tiny baby and it saddens me but makes me happy all at the same time. She is so beautiful and perfect in every way. A true angel sent straight from heaven. 

On the inside I see a very headstrong, determined girl who has always been very alert, aware, and focused on her surroundings. I see a innocent and somewhat fragile side of her that has a bit of a tender heart. I think Dollie has a plan of her own, and she is not afraid to share that with you. She let's us know, very vocally, what she does and does not like. While she is a bit of a free spirit, she also knows when I am serious and stern, and she minds well. She roams free but always looks back to see what we think or if it's ok to proceed. I love her independent personality, but I also love that she looks to us to make sure it's going to be ok. I think we are going to get along just fine. She is absolutely my best friend and such a sweet spirit and blessing in our daily lives!

There are so many sweet, tender moments, that Dollie and I have shared. It's so interesting to me to watch her grow, and learn. I have been teaching her sign language for a couple months now. I have felt like she looks at me funny and has no clue what I am doing. For the first time a couple days ago she signed "milk" to me. Clear as day. She was sitting on the floor fussing and I simply looked at her and asked, "Dollie, what do you need?" With both hands she showed the milk sign. I was SO happy! She's doing it now nearly every time she nurses during the day and it's just such a thrill knowing that what I am teaching her is making sense and working.  I love the tender moments when she just lays in my arms and we stare at each other. The atmosphere is quiet, and sometimes we laugh together or just stare into each others eyes. Sometimes our faces are just a couple inches apart and we just touch each others cheeks, and eyes, and lips. I have never in my life felt more loved than now. I see pure love in Dollie's eyes and it means the world to me. She doesn't judge me, she doesn't question me, and she trusts me. I love that. I love that she depends on me 100%. It is a huge honor and responsibility and I gladly welcome it. I love to sing to her. We have a list of 6-7 songs that I sing to her all the time. She loves music and all her attention goes to wherever the music is coming from. I guess my reaction now, a year later, to what I wondered in the beginning about getting "bored"...is that there has not been one single day that I have thought, "I'm bored". Those words do not even register in my brain with this little girl. I am completely obsessed with her and I just can't get enough of her. I am absolutely a better person for knowing her. I can't wait to see what this next year holds. And, of course, one of the best things about this past year is seeing how my beloved husband is with her. It sure is true what they say about loving a man completely, and then loving him way more intensely once you see him with your child. That's us for sure. He is amazing. She is so lucky to have him. So am I. I could snap photos of them together all day long and each one would be just as awesome as the first. I love capturing their sweet moments.

If I had to choose a few words to describe what motherhood has been for me they would be (in no particular order) challenging, emotional, busy, intense, sacred, raw, real, and so much more. It's hard to put into words. I just know that it is the most amazing thing that I have ever been a part of. I am so thankful for this experience and I have to laugh now when I think back to what I thought motherhood would be like.

These are just a few things I wanted to write so that I won't forget. It's been an unbelievable year. We have now been in San Diego longer than from when Dollie was born and we left Spokane. Over 6 months! Each day is filled with excitement, fussiness, exploring, learning, and incredibly intense love. This has been a very special year with my special baby! I think I will go cuddle with her now. I miss her.
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