First Winter

“Of this be sure: you do not find the happy life, you make it.” -Monson

 

Winter has always been the season I dread and complain about all year long. It can be the middle of summer, but on occasion, you can still catch me whining about the upcoming cold. Not exactly a positive outlook. The past couple winters we’d managed to escape the most frigid months and so this winter I was trying to prepare myself. This time I had a new baby and we were driving every week, two hours north, to an even colder climate. I am writing this after the fact, and so my memory may be skewed, but I think we did pretty good. Perhaps it was the excitement of being a new mom or just being busy with this role, that did not allow me the luxury to think about it too much.

 

We decided to take a trip to Des Moines to visit Ezra’s grandma, whom we hadn’t seen in quite a long time. It ended up being fortuitous timing. When we arrived we learned her health and just started to fail and we were grateful to get a few precious hours with her before she passed the following week. She was a woman with strength, courage and kindness. Her family only had the utmost respect for her and the stories were ones that made you realize how rare she was. It was special to have her and Indra meet, as they were passing through different phases of life.

In early January Indra started rolling over like crazy. I think she just needed to gain the confidence and motivation. She loved when we’d clap for her and smiles really big, which may be why she is rolling so much! She is getting more coordinated and observant. Watching my hair blow and when nursing helps to get everything situated and to her mouth.

My mom started coming up one day a week to watch Indra for a couple hours. I could go have a couple hours to myself, but it was hard for me. At first I’d only leave for an hour but eventually that time increased. It was good for the two of them to spend time together and bond as well.

Getting out and soaking up all the green and humidity at the conservatory.Why do I have a Christmas picture in here? Well, I made this little tutu and forgot about it. By the time I realized it it was after the New Year. The tree was still up so… why not? My little sugar plum ferry.Six months old! Sweet and chunky as ever! Nene and Indra hanging out.Getting some Diesel cuddles. Also know as cheating on tummy time.

Funerals are always an unfortunate reason for a family gathering, but it was nice to be around everyone who loved Grandma Dorothy and to celebrate her life.

Indra’s first teeth broke through on January 20th. She hadn’t seemed too bothered all except for an alarming amount of poop and blowouts! She’d also been tired but not sleeping very well. It could’ve been from all the traveling down to Iowa, or teething. I’m not sure. I also noticed her hair starting to get a little thicker and she’s been raising her arms to be picked up when I come over to her. She moves them really excitedly, we call it the little fish! 

Having a daughter makes me so conscious of the inequality in the world and our society. Ezra and I took her to the Women’s March. We want her to grow up feeling strong, capable and able to speak up. Having a child makes you so much more aware of your own behavior and actions. If we want equality, we need to stand up for it. She makes me laugh. Recently she tried eating/kissing my cheek. And sometimes she snorts when she laughs! Here she is, such a helper with the laundry.

This next month I noticed some new tricks. She does this thrashing thing with her head, I guess she’s figured out its attached to her!  She’s starting to grab at Diesel more roughly, but he doesn’t seem to care too much. It makes me nervous though because he’s old, but he’s patient. She put his ear in her mouth and then tried for his tail. I think I got it before it completely went in but his tail was pretty wet. I was pretty grossed out!

Grandma and Grandpa babysat so we could have a date night. We weren’t really in the mood and didn’t have anything planned, so we grabbed a bite and then just walked around a liquor store nearby our apartment. I refused to go back after just one hour, so we killed a little time. I know, so romantic. haha.

She’s starting to hit her music box and figure out that it will play. Grandma is such a patient teacher.Snuggling with Papa.

Ever the cautious mom, I made Indra wait about 7 months to have solids. She didn’t seem that interested so I didn’t feel rushed. I kept trying to remember that “food before one is just for fun.” She finally got some delicious sweet potato mash in her mouth and was less than impressed. Modeling her pretty outfit from Grandma!
Little winter bunny.Riding in the shopping cart for the first time at Joann’s… such a big girl!Cuddling with Nana while she babysat. Nana dressed her up in some of her old baby clothes.I love watching these two snuggle together. Ezra is such a good dad.I mean, like the very best Celebrating Valentine’s at Chevy’s was a little overwhelming for this tired one. Lately when she’s overstimulated or exhausted, it’s like all of a sudden she can’t keep it together anymore, her face will just crumple up and she’ll start crying. She bit Nana on the nose too! It’s not just you mom, she just bit me on the nipple for the first time.

She’s starting to give lots of kisses. I got like five in a row  – open mouthed, a little tongue, and slobbery but pretty sweet! She loves giving Soren kisses, she always goes right in for a smooch with him! Unfortunately, she cried when she saw Josh, which is the first time she’s had any sort of stranger anxiety. Hopefully it’ll pass quickly.

I’m trying to get pictures of her every three months or so. It’s so hard for me to notice the little changes because I see her every day. Ez will be gone for a few days and then comment on how different she looks. It sort of blows me away, because I can never tell. Plus, I have a horrible memory, so I figure it will be fun to look back and remember how little and sweet she is.  These are about 7-month old pictures, I must have missed my 6-month reminder.           

 

Trying to get her attached to this bunny. It was her birth gift from Ezra and I. It’s an organic handmade bunny made by a family in a lovely hamlet in Germany. Basically it was super expensive and I want her to love it!

This picture was totally posed! She did not fall asleep with the bunny like this! haha.

Sometimes when she’s asleep I’m torn as to whether I want to snuggle her, nap or go take a few minutes for myself. Napping usually wins out, but not today, it’s photoshoot day.

Celebrating her first Valentine’s day. Ez was gone so we celebrated a day late, but no matter!Her delicious new book from our Hawaiian friend.7-month old pictures!Absolutely beautiful weather in February calls for a walk by the lake.

I took Indra on her first flight, solo. It was a rough day. What should have been a short flight to Champaign took us about 10 hours and we both ended up with a cold… her first cold with a low-grade fever, congestion and cough. It was pretty horrible. I was worried to be away from Ez and her doctor. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. Sammy was helpful in calming my anxiousness and helping me to know what was normal. We got very little sleep these few days, but I’m still glad we went and visited my sister.  

There’s nothing better than cousins, except perhaps matching cousins!
A lot of love going on in this picture.We went to the park one day and she sat in a swing for about 30 seconds, she wasn’t into it.I remember when Zoe was this little and I would give her baths. Where did the time go?

Thankfully the return flight went much more smoothly. No delays, no missed flights, no rude airline attendants. It was such a relief to return home to Ez. We all missed each other.

All of a sudden Indra seemed to change, even though its hard to pinpoint how exactly. More of her personality is coming out and she seem less like a baby. She’s funny and plays a lot with her toys, she likes hitting blocks together. Ez thought she started looking different too – more defined features. She’s talking a lot saying “mamamamama” and “bah bah.” When she’s really tired she’ll cry dramatically and then just stop, nurse and fall asleep. 

           I’m biased of course, but I think she is just the sweetest.

Indra’s has been a little more attached lately, needing extra comfort and touch. She always sleeps with her legs on top of mine, but lately she’s been sort of crying in her sleep. She gets up in the middle of the night then wakes every hour whimpering. She also did this during her 4 month sleep regression. I’m wondering whats happening in that little body of hers.

Ever since she was little, she’ll smiles up at you and sort of blink her eyes. It’s pretty cute.

    Ever the sense of humor with this one!She just noticed she can see me by turning around in her carseat if I peak over at her. This seems to bring her a lot of comfort. All of a sudden it seems like she knows her name too… at least sometimes.  She’s lunging forward – not crawling yet, but she’s getting close. She ends up on her belly and will sometimes move side to side with her arms. She thinks touching noses is funny and  loves watching me stick out my tongue. She’s trying to do it too. She squawks at me when she wants to be picked up and held, and when she’s excited she’ll raise her hands up and flail them. 

I woke up and saw these two dancing to “Landslide.” This is one of my favorite pictures and moments captured. It gave me such a sense of melancholy. Being a mom makes you realize how fleeting it all is.Learning to drink from a straw.Hey mom, I’m just loungin’.Sitting for snack at ECFE.My baby is 8 months old. How can that be?Other tricks – she’s trying out a new laugh and a cluck/tsking noise. Cords, phones and computers are the bomb. She loves them. She says hi, but it sounds like “heee” and she’s trying out “dada.” It also looked like she waved, but sometimes I wonder “did she?”

Uh, why is this guy holding me? A little nervous around Papa these days.

She’s been lifting her arms up and grabbed Nana’s hands to be pulled up. She tried to pull herself up on the bed rail too. She’s going to be mobile before I know it.

She’s a little weary of guys right now, especially those with facial hair. It’s pretty scary!She sits and clicks, she just loves clicking her tongue.   

Indra likes to lay back and lean against me sometimes. She is starting to act like a kid. Her milk sign is looking more and more like a milk sign. She got upset when I stopped nursing her to cook. She fussed at me and then made the sign twice very clearly. I’ve been doing baby led weaning although it makes me a little nervous and trying to get her to drink from a real glass, she’s pretty good until she decided to dump it all over.

 She’s been ducking her head and looking sideways at things quizzically and sits with her legs in a V shape and kind of taps her feet playing around.Reaching out for Nana and it made her day!When she’s nursing sometimes she’ll grab my hand and hold it.I know these days of her sleeping in my arms are numbered. I gave her broccoli this week. Mmm, you just suck on it right?

 It’s been hard getting Indra down for naps and bed lately – she’s not quite ready to drop a nap but its at the point where its about every other day. She’s been getting really wild at bedtime. She’ll make a “bah bah bah bah bah” sound or start clicking. That’s when I know she’s getting close to sleep. She also discovered she can fake cry. Like a newborn fake cry. It’s horrible. Her eyes will even get red so its really hard to tell if its real. But she can turn it off in an instant – I’m not a fan.

 Birth class playdate!

She’s starting to make a blowing sounds.       

 The weather is finally nice and so we’re going out for walks! It’s fun to all go out together! We also just discovered Indra has two more teeth up top.

Indra loves kids, she starts clapping her hands she gets so excited. I feel bad that I don’t have more kids for her to be around. Driving back to Mpls I saw her clapping and practicing the milk sign in the mirror. She’s also getting better control of her body. She fell backwards but did it in slow motion and caught herself on her elbows. She propped herself up on her hands from her tummy and it seems like its clicking that she needs to get her legs under her. She laughed when she saw me watching her, she was really proud of herself. She’s not quite crawling yet, but literally any moment!

Jill noticed a third tooth poking through up top and then we noticed a fourth the next day. Just hanging with the boys.Grandma was teaching Indra patty cake and spoiling with gifts. She really started clapping after all the practicing.Grandma and Grandpa let us out on another date! I had a Martini in the afternoon… what a treat.

It’s almost too much for me to write, but this was the last day we saw Laurie and the last good picture I have of Indra with her Grandma. I suppose I am writing about Indra mostly in this post because the winter was challenging and while I didn’t really enjoy it, nothing much happened either. Ez and I were apart a lot because of bad driving conditions. We were looking at a new apartment in Alexandria trying to make the situation better for me and Indra. This last weekend we spent with Laurie and Dave.Last few days of blissful existence before all of our lives would change.A dad and his sweet girl.

 

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