11.21.2006

A Very Mommyblogger Kind of Entry

I am home--home at last!--from two exhausting weeks in Florida. Nine of those days I worked like a dog on a commercial shoot. Five of those days I raced from Orlando to Pompano Beach to Tampa with Nate and Thalia, trying to visit everyone we knew along the way.

In this time, I stayed in three hotels. I switched rooms once. I ate forty mediocre meals and two very good ones. I walked out of one restaurant. I stepped off a flight so turbulent, it led to the most violent pukefest of my pregnancy to date. I fell asleep during every movie I tried to watch. I endured sober dinners with rowdy, heavy drinking colleagues. I humiliated myself by squeezing into a bathing suit. In front of co-workers. I brought four magazines--I found time to read half of one. And probably as many blogs. I survived two work nights that went past midnight. My drunk, obstinant coworker and I argued about single moms and their right to have children. My boss and I argued about wardrobe on one actor who would be on camera for roughly .5 seconds. Nate and I argued about directions, about who gets sick more often, about how to dress the baby, about arguing.

In our final couple of days, our hotel room was directly above "Carla and Anthony's" wedding reception. It was also across from an elevator from which drunk, loud wedding guests poured in and out all night while our room shook from the bass booming below. The concierge was so incompetent, his suggestion of something to do in Tampa for the afternoon was "drive to another city." The restaurant service was heinous enough that Saturday night we ordered in a pizza. The pizza was inedible--and this is coming from a pregnant woman. We ate candy bars instead.

And yet those days were among some of the most amazing, glorious, memorable in my life.

Because I absolutely fell in love.

(Gushy mommyblogging post hatahs, feel free to make your quiet and swift depart right now. No offense taken.)

If I thought I was bonded Thalia before I had been mistaken. I am now deep, deep, deep. I am obsessively, dangerously, knocked off my feet in love.

It may have been the time we spent together, or maybe just the time beforehand that we spent apart. Maybe both.

It's the way she pops up in front of me and yells "hi!" before throwing her arms around me and pressing her lips to my face in a toddler kiss. The way she makes me cycle through the entire array of animals prompts over and over again -- my favorite being when she flutters her eyelashes in response to "what does the butterfly say?" It's every new word, new sound, new awareness at something around her; her recognition of a dog, a tree, the sun, the Ernie on her diaper.

It's how she brightens when we take her from her crib in the morning, and cuddles up in my arms at night before bed, during the sixteenth consecutive reading of Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (Answer: Yes. But you have to know her really well to know that that mmmmmmmm sound is a moo.)

It's how she insists on dipping her own spoon into my food. Or into her food. Or into the water glass on the table.

It's her energy, her essence, her purity and goodness. It's unlike anything I've ever known. I feel as if I'm suddenly smack in the middle of that phase in a romantic relationship when you can think of nothing but your beloved, you start believing all the sappy lyrics in the Lite-FM songs, and all your writing turns to crap.

I would die for this little girl. I don't know that I ever could have said that before and meant it.

#2, you've got a hard act to follow. I'm just sayin'.


56 Comments:

Anonymous K said...

Yeah. I hear you on this one.

And quite frankly, I think just around this age is when it really gets FUN -- IMO -- because they are talking and exploring and being their OWN person.

But I'm sure #2 will be just as darn cute. Or maybe that's what I'm just trying to tell myself.

11/21/06, 8:36 AM  
Blogger mammacheryl said...

She sounds wonderful. You're lucky to be her mother.

I feel the same way about my marvelous Ben. He's amazing, and every day I find another aspect that I find delightful and intriguing. It's been 10 months, and I still cry a little when I drop him off at daycare. I leave the building and I miss him already. It's revolting behavior to the childless, but completely healthy. We've bonded with our children, and it's our job to help them thrive.

11/21/06, 9:17 AM  
Blogger Vikki said...

I have recently fallen in love with 20 month old again. She is incredibly sweet and so damn hilarious. I even find her endearing when I walk in to the dining room to find her on top of the table playing.

She is my #2, so, don't worry - yours will charm you as well.

11/21/06, 9:22 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

We call it deep smit around my house. We are deeply smitten, we are in deep smit. For every tantrum there are 5,000 adorable, perfect moments that disappear in the blink of an eye.

Sounds like your trip to Florida wasn't a complete crap-fest.

11/21/06, 9:39 AM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

It's funny, isn't it? Just when you think you can't love them any more than you already do, something happens and there's more love in your heart than you thought you had room for.

R. turns 7 next month and I can unequivocally state that I love her more with each passing year (and, given my own childhood experiences, I always wondered whether I'd be capable of loving a child). As she grows, as her personality and own identity grow, I find myself more stunned about what an amazing person she is, and the sweetness and grace and spunk she has in her, and I love her more.

Which is probably nature's way of letting us build up enough love inside for our kids to sustain us so that we won't kill them when they are teenagers! ;)

11/21/06, 9:53 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Want to know the scary thing, Liz? It just keeps getting better and better. Wait until the two of you start having conversations with one another. I swear, you're heart's going to explode.

11/21/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger T. said...

This feeling you posted about is the very reason I am jonesing for another. Why I'm willing to overlook the age difference between my existing kids and my new baby.

Because the age Thalia is at carries over for a long, long time.

It get's you through the horrible eye-rolling, Britney Spears loving stage.

I didn't truly bond with my kids until they were around 20 months. And now, I can't imagine my self without them.

Pretty cool, isn't it?

11/21/06, 10:23 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Toddlerhood really is a magical time. It's one of the funnest stages, IMO. It's amazing to watch them develop, grow, and learn. I remember being amazed at how quickly my boys mastered each new skill, and how they absorbed everything like little sponges.

When they are toddlers, you can forgive them anything. That gets a lot harder later on, sadly.

But the funny thing is, with every single stage, I told Husband, "If only they could stay THIS age, I would be happy." because each age has it's marvels. Even the mouthy pre-adolescent stage that I'm currently enduring.

Metro Dad is right. It just gets better and better.

I'm glad your trip was fruitful, if not entirely restful.

11/21/06, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

"#2, you've got a hard act to follow. I'm just sayin'."

This is exactly why I hesitate to go through it all again. Seriously, I'm not sure I could adore another human like I do my HugoMan.

11/21/06, 11:03 AM  
Blogger J said...

I know...sometimes I'm so in love with my kid I want to burst. Or puke. She's so amazing. She's 10 1/2, so well past the toddler age. But that age was great in so many ways...

I wonder if I'll still feel this way when she's 30?

11/21/06, 11:17 AM  
Blogger Julie Pippert said...

I liek how Mrs. Chicky says it...smitten. That's about the age I felt really smitten with my kids because suddenly I am so overwhelmed with unbearable loveliness of them...the themness of them being them.

You love, always.

You are in love, hit like a brick, at certain moments.

Very strongly in toddlerhood, IME.

And what a cutie!

11/21/06, 11:32 AM  
Blogger doow said...

She sounds like a treasure to hang out with :-)

11/21/06, 11:35 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Oh yes. I loved my teeny weeny babies - when they weren't screaming their fool heads off - but I really dig the toddler stage. When the true interaction kicks in - whether they're talking in complete sentences or not - that's when you start loving those little personalities too.

And I remember thinking that about #2 too when she was in utero. You'll be amazed, I swear.

11/21/06, 11:39 AM  
Blogger ALI said...

how old is thalia? you just described completely how i feel about my days with my son, just add lots of cars and trucks, and lots of wrestling...or as we were doing this morning, rolling on the floor together to the wiggles "rolling down the sand hills" will is 19 months now.

11/21/06, 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Glennia said...

When my son was about that age, we went to visit an elderly friend of mine. She said, "You know, if he lived with me, I'd never get anything done because I would just want to look at him all day." That explained why I never got anything done, I guess. It just gets better and better.

11/21/06, 12:07 PM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

This warms my heart. I remember every feeling you just described with every fiber of my being.

It is hard to embrace those thoughts when there are two little ones. Because just when you might feel a moment of bliss coming onwith the baby, there Thalia will be "Mommy, why are you reading the baby a book?" "Mommy, why is the baby crying?" "Mommy, I need a cup of juice" "Mommy, why is it raining?"

Even though the memories are not as fresh with child 2, 3 &4, The moments you share with them are just different. Like when one wipes the others face, or hugs them when they cry or even when they all fall asleep together, or laugh hysterically at something you have no idea about. It is just a different cheshed memory.

My oldest was only 14 months old when #2 came along, but i can remember everything you just described.

Enjoy these moments because the best is yet to come.

11/21/06, 12:17 PM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

After 5 years of experiencing the absolute most perfect daughter, I was worried that my expectations for number 2 would be too high.

You'll learn they're all different and you'll fall in love with number 2 just the same.

And maybe number 3, as well.

Cheers.

11/21/06, 12:47 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Wonderful post. Made me cry. :-) My little one is around Thalia's age, so everything you said hit home for me. It's such a joy to interact w/her and see her develop. I'm also pregnant w/#2 and worry that I couldn't love anyone more than #1, and hate the idea of having to share my adoration w/another. But everyone w/more than one keeps saying (as some of the posters above said) that you have enough love for all the kids. So we have this wonderful age to look forward to w/#2 as well!

11/21/06, 12:56 PM  
Anonymous aalize said...

sometimes i am filled with so much love for my babes it hurts - I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry when this happens but I know I can't manage to express it and if I did it would be dangerous - they're not marshmallows after all and cannot be hugged so tightly they'll magically spring back into their regular shape when you've had your fill *grin*

11/21/06, 1:08 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Beautiful, beautiful. There are moments when I wish I could capture how my heart feels with Q. And I think you just did it!

Glad you survived the business trip too.

11/21/06, 1:11 PM  
Blogger Renée said...

Aw, toddlers are so awesome. I understand your feelings and I've been having similar thoughts about my toddler boy. Just wait until #2 comes along; your brains will be splattered all over the wall from the love explosion. :)

11/21/06, 1:15 PM  
Blogger Meena said...

I will never skip a gushy post since I'm often one of those sappy sistas people be hatin :-) I totally relate. Sometimes I am amazed at the depth of my love for my kids. It is so unlike any other kind of love. And I never thought I would like toddlers so much, I was always a baby person – now I think it’s the opposite! My 3 yr old is so affectionate now that I want to just eat him. He’ll say “give me a kiss and a hug” and he plants the sweetest little kiss on you, followed by a hug and then often repeats it over and over. I wonder how long I’ll continue to want to eat him? Similarly, when do their feet stop being cute?

I was scared I would never feel the same about my 2nd child. The bond you have with your 2nd may be different – but there is no priority ranking when it comes to love. I mentioned this in Kristen’s blog yesterday – but I’ve been lucky to have “those moments” with my kids (both of them together!) that make me reflect upon all the things you mention in this post. It happens most mornings, when my 3 yr old son snuggles up to me while I’m sitting on the couch drinking coffee and my 1 yr old daughter does her sleepy crawl all over me, rubbing her face into my chest, occasionally saying “ma ma.” Just want to freeze time sometimes.

11/21/06, 1:44 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

Yeah, I've had a hard time believing this all happens again with #2. I just don't get it.

11/21/06, 1:50 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

It's a great age, and I remember getting captivated by my first son at the same time. Must be something about the frenzy of infancy that wears off by now.

11/21/06, 2:35 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

and it just grows. really. i mean, i always liked blake, but the older he gets it seems like i just adore him more and more! sometimes i want to burst with gooeyness! and lord help any person who tries to harm that child of mind.

11/21/06, 2:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I am so with you. It's funny, but Maya will be 5 in two weeks and I am still that in love with her. Nata too. I'll tell you, once you know #2 is okay, the love with be more obvious. Also, I love my second just as much as the first. It's different, because they are different, but the amount of love is the same. I'd kill or die for them. Or move mountains to hear then giggle.

12 - 20 months is the best age, they are so full of wonder. I'm glad you had fun with Thalia, even if some of the other things sucked. Have a great Thanksgiving.

11/21/06, 2:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I can understand how you feel. I'm feeling much the same way about Cordelia right now. She's in a stage that is just so cute, I can't help but stand back and marvel at her, and then think about her when we're apart.

I actually cried the other night at the worry that Cordy might feel left out when baby #2 comes along. It was a crazy thought, and I know I'll give her plenty of attention when the new baby arrives, but it still made me cry to even think about it.

11/21/06, 2:56 PM  
Anonymous dorf said...

Remember when I told you the happiest day of my life was when you held on to one of my fingers and we walked along the coastline at a Long Island beach? Now you know, and you will never not-know that feeling again.

11/21/06, 3:46 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

It's a wonderful feeling to fall in love AGAIN with your child. When my oldest was five months old, I found I was pregnant again (not on purpose) and I felt as though I was somehow sending a message to the oldest that he wasn't ENOUGH for me. I couldn't imagine loving another child as much as I loved the first one. And then...the second one was born and my heart grew (just like that of the Grinch) in direct proportion. He was an ideal baby. And, when we had the last one, I was prepared for the way I would love him in such a way that my heart grew in readiness for the space I would need to hold so much love. It's a wonderful thing. I'm glad you have this to look forward to.

11/21/06, 4:19 PM  
Blogger Andie D. said...

#2 will very likely just have different things to love. None will ever hit you the same way or in the same place. It might come close.

But the new things about #2 will eventually knock you over too. ;)

P.S. You're a mom, you blog, don't let the damn "mommy blogger" label hold you back from writing about how you love your kid. When a dad blogger does it, he's all fucking sensitive and nurturing and blah, blah, blah.

I officially call bullshit. Gush about your kid. Your spouse. Icecream. Whatever you want. It's your damn blog.

Thank you for your time. I'll be here all week.

11/21/06, 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

That is how I feel about P all the time these days. I can't get anough of him. Sure he is exhausting and has some idiosyncrasies that are maddening at times but he, along with TQ, are the absolute loves of my life. Every day I muse over how it is possible to love two people so intensely.

Wish we could have gotten together while you were here but traversing the state with the family WHILE pregnant and trying to squeeze in visits to a gazillion people speaks for itself! Maybe next time :)

11/21/06, 4:20 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

There will be enough love to go around. It's the patience you'll start running out of!

What a beautiful way to share your love of your daughter. Thank you! Hey, I could start to get used to these mommyblogging posts from you! ;)

11/21/06, 4:46 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

awww your love for your toddler is so so wonderful! Glad that part of your work trip rocked!

11/21/06, 4:54 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

This is such a great thing to read at the end of a busy, crazy day.

Metrodad is right---when you see Thalia & #2 interacting with each other, independent of you, your heart will be like on the Grinch show and will expand and explode right out of your chest.

11/21/06, 5:08 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

Am leaving work RIGHT NOW to go get the little angel.

Loved this post!

11/21/06, 5:33 PM  
Blogger Beck's Mommy said...

It is such a great age (my son was born at about the same time)! He has always been amazing and great, but now that he is starting to talk and do clever things like his like a snake, he is even more fun. Enjoy!

11/21/06, 6:06 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

It IS love at exactly that stage - that dizzy, heart-fluttery, Paul McCartney-and-Wings-Silly-Love-Songs stage. And only other parents get it.

11/21/06, 7:26 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

You cannot find decent pizza in Florida, I don't care what anybody says. You'd think with all the big city folks that transplant down to FLA, someone would have opened up a pizza joint that knows how to make a good pie.

I spent nearly every summer of my life vacationing down there and never once did we ever find a good pizza.

Congrats on falling deeply and profoundly in love. Life can be really damn good sometimes.

11/21/06, 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. q. said...

Ack. Sniff. When the little man hit Thalia's age (a whopping two months ago!), he became so deliciously adorable, I thought I could devour him. Literally ingest him. Jamie has said, more than once, "Hey, don't eat my baby" as I nearly took a bite out of his bald, peach like head. If it's true what they say, and it keeps getting better, I'm going to be a basket case.

The other day the hubby wistfully said, “you used to love me like that”, and I say, “um… honey, I love you, but sorry-- I’ve never loved anyone like this. And neither have you.” He had to agree. So enjoy it. (And I would eat Thalia, too. Starting with her nose.)

11/21/06, 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Asha said...

Beautiful. I will say this: some of my most lovestruck moments with my son happened while I was pregnant with my daughter. Their magnificence is almost blinding when you know the solo time is limited.

What's so incredible is that your heart will double its size soon enough. Two different loves, both brilliant.

11/22/06, 1:08 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

Double that for #2, don't worry! You won't believe it, but it's true. *speaking from experience*

Carrie

11/22/06, 2:16 AM  
Blogger the mad momma said...

oh dont get me started.. the hubby and i too think #2 is going to have a hard time living up to #1... we are bad bad parents!!! only 4 months more to go and i hope i learn to stop comparing.. but damn my son sure is cute! thalia is adorable from what i read of her.. maybe first babies are all adorable.. i have noticed that seconds are always overshadowed and quieter...

11/22/06, 3:19 AM  
Blogger Queen Haline said...

Very sweat. I think you do fall in love with a toddler in a very different way than with a baby. Seems like you just got balled over by it! Good for you.

As for your colleague and his mislead opinions about single mothers (I don't know what they are but I'm assuming if you fought with him then he is wrong)... he is probably one of the reasons women decide to go it alone :)

11/22/06, 3:47 AM  
Blogger modmom said...

welcome home mommy!
you need some rest with your sweeties.
happy thanksgiving :D

11/22/06, 4:03 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Oh, I can't wait for this.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Mom 101 clan.

11/22/06, 10:36 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

The sun does rise and set on our children as it should. That butterfly trick sounds extremely adorable!

11/22/06, 3:22 PM  
Blogger Tania Thompson said...

Sorry, I couldn't make it past squeezing yourself into a bathing suit in front of coworkers. Your pregancy has made you crazy. Good God woman, no one should do that.

11/22/06, 4:37 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

Hey, I totally get this. We went through the same thing with our Nate during our US road trip this summer. At one point I was so swooning that I felt badly for the yet-to-be-conceived #2. I made huz promise that if and when we had a second child, we would go on a solo trip for at least a week with #2 and leave Nate with Grandma. Because that kind of bonding as a family is hard to do when work life and city life are abound.

Dunno know if I congratulated you on your pregnancy yet. I've been lurking mostly.

11/22/06, 10:57 PM  
Anonymous andi said...

Oh mama! That is so sweet. As I am awaiting #2, I have been having the same thoughts. I keep bursting into tears when I think about how much I love my daughter (damn hormones). I have a huge fear that #2 is going to be this wretched little person who I want to put back in the womb. It is hard to imagine someone else being as great as kid #1, isn't it?

11/22/06, 11:02 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Awww... and she's so cute!

11/25/06, 12:17 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm listening to my girl sing "Baby Beluga" in her morningtime voice in her crib right now and I know of what you speak. It is hard to comprehend how the heart grows to accomodate more love every day. But it does. I am so besotted with my baby right now that I go to sleep each night wishing she was pressed up against my cheek.

Maybe it is time for another.

Loved this.

11/25/06, 9:01 AM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Ahhh... with a mom like you, number 2 will have no problems at all.

11/25/06, 1:26 PM  
Anonymous nila said...

I'm so glad the pukiness hasn't taken away from your brilliance. This was a great post.

11/26/06, 7:58 AM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

So so sweet. I'm feeling the love. Happy for you!

11/26/06, 7:08 PM  
Anonymous JGS said...

I feel like there were several times in our Okapis' second and third years where I kept thinking I was so close with them only to get even closer, to have our bond become so much stronger. As their ability to communicate and relate with you grows, so does your ability to connect and love them more.

And we had two at a time and they're both utterly amazing.

11/27/06, 2:51 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I love, love, love your blog. I think it's so important for moms to talk about what they love/what drives them crazy/what they wouldn't change for the world...

11/30/06, 10:27 AM  

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