Friday, September 23, 2011

Frets

I think I'm a bit odd, in that I am both laid-back about some things but excessively torqued-up about others. The same would of course apply to April! Dog hair in her mouth? It happens! Skipped that bath for a few days? Oh well! Or maybe it's that I worry about being too worried, so I go out of my way to not be too "helicopter-y." Yes, that's the word I was looking for and I'm sticking with it! My new fear that I'm ready to put out there comes from something I've been noticing for the past few weeks. April just doesn't seem as happy as she was. She doesn't really babble much anymore, and her smiles are few and far between as of late. She's so serious.

Now, that isn't to say that she seems actively unhappy, because she doesn't fuss much at all. She mainly just sucks on her fingers and takes it all in. She still plays with toys, but it seems more of a compulsion to get it in her mouth. She cuddles occasionally, but more often wants to use me as a jungle gym. She is close to crawling. Physically, she seems fine. She seems interested in us and what we're doing, and makes eye contact...

I do acknowledge how silly and worried and first-time-mom-y I must sound. I've thought about calling the doctor, but I would definitely be embarassed, because I'm not even sure what I'd be asking. I'm just concerned. Probably for no reason.

And I am sure this will continue for the rest of my life. I just wish I could feel like I'm doing a good job and not second-guess myself so much.
On a happier and less neurotic note, we took April to her first big fair last weekend, The Big E in Springfield, MA. It was such a flippin' blast, I can't even tell you! And she was such a trooper. An hour-and-a-half car ride each way, and then almost SIX HOURS at the fair. :) It was awesome to spend such a great day with my family - including my sister and her boyfriend. April was totally mesmerized by all the lights. Great memories. ...including me playing whack-a-mole with her sleeping in her carrier. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bittersweet times

This past week has been full of joy and sadness. Such is life, I suppose. My aunt passed away last week. Although it is truly tragic to think of my family without her, there are so many good memories. The funeral was today. We dressed April up and took her to say goodbye to the great-aunt she was only able to meet twice. I wish she would've been able to know her. My aunt babysat me when I was little and it was amazing to have her. She was such a character. Looking back, she was pretty strict but loving and funny and giving. Just a wonderful person.

She was in hospice before she died, so we were able to say goodbye - I am thankful for that. Her daughter found a poem that she had written to me but never given me. She gave it to me at the cookout we had on Saturday night (which was such a great time, I adore my family). I read it Sunday morning. By the date and the content, it seems like it was from when I graduated from high school. I wonder why she never gave it to me?

"To Jill with love from Jackie 6/20/97
I remember the day you were born
the image of your Dad.
A baby couldn't have been more loved.
A dream your parents had.
It's hard to believe you've come so far
Your childhood at an end:
Off you go...but not too far
It's just around the bend.
You worked so hard and it was so hard
Now you travel to a higher place
But you can go on with pride
And a smile upon your face
But in your heart there's a spot for me
I knew it was always mine
You'll always be a part of me
For in my eyes you shine"

I love you, Ma Tante Jackie!

Added to the emotional roller coaster of this week was the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01. It's amazing to think back on these 10 years. Rob and I watched some of the memorial coverage. My gosh, it was rough. It was especially heart-wrenching to see Rob break down as a teenager read the names of the fallen and, when she got to her dad, said "Butterfly kisses from your Peanut Girl." Sometimes things really take on a different light being a parent. (not to bust out the dreaded "You don't understand because you don't have kids..." that's not what I'm saying, I swear! But some things hit a little deeper now.)

On the joyous front, April is growing so fast and is so amazing. We started solid foods and it is the cutest thing ever. Man, that girl loves to eat! I was talking to family this weekend, and noted how different it can be for men and women. I am so thrilled to see her grow up, but there is the slimmest bit of pain seeing her start to need me less, knowing what's to come over her lifetime as far as pulling away from me. But Rob just seems plainly excited to look ahead at all the things she'll be able to do as she grows.

Having her has been an extra blessing during tough times. I am happy to see her bring joy to my family as we mourn our loss. Babies are true miracles.