Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face...One Year Ago

What an exciting stretch it has been in Emmie-ville!

May 29th marked the one year anniversary of the first time we saw little E on Rainbow Kids.  It still sets my heart racing when I think of that moment.  I still can't believe how lucky I am to have clicked on that email one year ago.

This weekend was the best Memorial Day weekend we have ever had in our lives.  We took advantage of the long weekend to go away to Cape Cod, somewhere that I hold very dear in my heart.  I grew up going to my grandparent's house on the Cape every summer, and P and I have continued that tradition by going to Chatham each year.  We were so excited to share one of our favorite places with E.  While we didn't want to force liking the beach on her, we both honestly had very high hopes that she would love the beach and the coast as much as we do...and she sure did!

Needless to say, we were both VERY nervous about taking our first getaway with E.  The last time she was in a hotel room was in China, terrified and grieving.  We were worried that she would be confused and scared, and we were prepared to turn around and come home if she needed it.  As it turns out, we prepared her so well for the trip that it was a complete non-issue.  We said goodbye to her things and our house and told them that we would all be back soon.  After a zillion recitations of this, she seemed very reassured that we would be back.  Believe it or not, it was also our first meal out in almost 5 months (!!) since China, and that went really well, too.  To sum it up, E is a great traveller, just like her Mama and Baba!

The weekend itself was perfect.  E got to experience so many new things.  For P and me, even the things we have done many times together just the two of us took on a whole new meaning with E in tow.

We spent long days playing at the beach.  E loved burying her feet in the sand and having us "find" them over and over.  We made birthday cakes in the sand and blew the shell "candles" out after singing one of her favorite songs, Happy Birthday.  E dunked her feet (OK, and patootie) in the freezing cold water and loved it.  We looked for boats and planes and birds.  She collected shells and rocks and even took a nice beach nap on Mama. 

We had picnics for breakfast and lunch and strolled Main Street in Chatham.  We bought E the requisite Cuffy's Cape Cod hoodie and each found a few little trinkets.  At night, there was even a bonfire on the beach with oldies music and marshmallow toasting.  E sat on my lap bouncing to the music, covered in her first sticky warm marshmallows.  Every night, she pointed up at the sky and said, "Moon!" and "Cow!" in reference to one of her favorite bedtime stories.  E even got to have her first Merry-Go-Round ride in Hyannis.

We all enjoyed treating ourselves to plenty of "vacation food."  E ate some huge homemade croissants, fried clam strips and shrimp, clam chowder, a DQ sundae, homemade fudge, all of the mushrooms off of 1/2 large pizza, and all of the bacon off of a bacon and egg bagel.  Funny how she turns her cute little nose up at home to my super healthy cooking but has no problem with french fries and ice cream!

The weekend was exactly what we dreamt a weekend at the beach would be with E.  One afternoon when we were walking up to our room from the beach, a gentleman who was also a guest at the hotel said, "Oh, you must be the family with the little girl who says 'Mama' a zillion times a day!"  Yup, that's us!  And I love hearing it each and every time!

Loving the beach!

Baking my zillionth sand "cake" of the day.

Mama makes everyone wear silly hats at the beach.

Very ladylike eating the bacon off of Baba's bagel.

Again, ladylike.

Taking a serious bite of her and Baba's sundae.

"Did anyone see that bite I just took?"

First Merry-Go-Round ride!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Everyone seems to be very excited for me, this being my first Mother's Day ever.  But, to me, today is more about the brave little girl who made me a mother and three very special women than it is about me.  Without my mother, Nana with the Red Hair, and Nana with the Piano, I would not know how to be a mother.  Without my E, I would not be experiencing this amazing journey that is motherhood.

In the very short time I have been a mother, I have learned that motherhood is an experiment.  There is no way to do it except to learn as you go.  It is a neverending cycle of failure and trying something new until you make things work.  You build on what you know, emulating the mothers whom you repect, and avoiding the pitfalls of those you don't.  Sometimes you will go to bed at night and feel as if you did everything wrong no matter how hard you tried.  But the key is that you tried.

Today isn't about a Hallmark card or flowers or brunch.  It is about finally understanding a mother's love.  It is about a love so great that it hurts sometimes.  It is about saying thank you to my own mother for everything that she has done and continues to do for me.  It is about remembering my grandmothers, and hoping that they are proud of me, and the mother I have become.  It is about my daughter, and knowing that while I may make a lot of mistakes, that I love her more than I ever knew was possible and that I always try to be the best mother I can be.

I am proud to follow in some pretty big footsteps.  My mom in sneakers as she powerwalks by my house every day.  Nana with the Piano in her little slippers shuffling around the Cape house.  Nana with the Red Hair in heels...even her slippers had little heels.  I am so fortunate to have all of you as role models.  I love you, Happy Mother's Day!