Our Sunday afternoon lazily drifts on as sun puddles color different parts of the floor. Baby bug (and husband for that matter) have been snoozing the afternoon away. I have to say, when we had a squealing frenzy-filled newborn, I was not sure these relaxing afternoons would come. But here are, with Elleanna Joy already quite a few moons past 9-months old. We seem to deepen in rhythm as a family, although there also are a lot of curve balls thrown our way (I am sure ALL of life will be like this with a kid now).
At the beginning of February, LeLe became the queen of fake laughter. One evening we had some friends over for dinner, and as each one walked through the door, she sat in my arms and welcomed them to our home with her fake laugh followed by a serious face.
February also is known around here as the month of clapping. On Feb. 7, I brought LeLe down to the laundry room with me to tackle our ever-growing mountain of clothes… I placed her on a mountain of these clothes, and she immediately clapped her hands for the very first time. For many days following, she practiced and practiced and practiced. One morning when I walked into her room to pick her up, she was already clapping, and while she moves in her walker, she claps. To this day she still often examines her hands, wondering how they could ever move in those ways and make the sounds that they do.
On Feb. 8, a friend came over with her 2-year old son to teach us how to make our own kombucha. As the mom was walking me through the steps, LeLe bounced in the bouncer. After awhile, we looked over, and the 2-year old had brought LeLe nearly all of the magnets off of the fridge. Needless to say she was in hog-high heaven, and just about to stuff all of them in her mouth.
February was also the month that daddy was sick… over and over again. After about three weeks in a row of this, I literally got mad at him. I know this is completely irrational, but sickness had ruined Christmas, a week in January and then Valentines Day too. Elleanna was a little under the weather too a few times, and at night when the howling wind railed against her window pane, she cry slept, waking me with her small shouts and leaving me panting as she drifted back off to sleep. Then, the very first week of March, LeLe started cutting one of her top teeth, and most likely also had a virus. She wanted to be picked up (and then it made her angry) and she cried and screamed at a moment’s notice, oscillating between depths of despair and tired giggles. Days and nights on my own with the baby made me appreciate being a family together, and the many sleepless nights gave me a little shot of panic, remembering those newborn times, hoping they hadn’t come to stay. But yesterday afternoon, LeLe came back. I got her up from her afternoon nap, and her smile melted all of the sleepy-crazed fears from my body. We sat together in the living room, playing with paper. She went through bags of my papers, happily sorting, crumpling and hitting pieces together. She just wanted to be with me. This made all of the pain well worthwhile.
This month, LeLe began to excel in eating her own food (picking it up with her fingers). At my sushi birthday party, we put her in the restaurant high chair with a mat full of baby rice. By the end of the evening, when I picked her up, she looked like a LeLe sushi roll, with rice caked to her dress and leggings, and she reveled in every minute of it. Sometimes, LeLe can be quite the food thief. One day, when we met dad for lunch at the Front Range teacher’s lounge, I unwrapped a pack of hot toast. Faster than a speedy Gonzalez she grabbed the top pieces and began gnawing on it with glee. Other times, LeLe gladly shares her food. On a weekend trip to Grand Junction to meet my best friend’s second newborn son, we took all of the babies out to eat. LeLe sat next to Vicki’s oldest son Nathan at noodles (he is 18 months old). They kept handing each other food out of each other’s hands and grabbing food off of each other’s food mats, and then getting everything on the floor (and not very much in their mouths).
My heart stores up all of these things as I get to know my little person. I am still in shock and wonder that she is here, and she is such a complete human being already.