Tag Archives: Tessa
This time of the year is particularly important to me and makes me quite a bit sentimental and sappy, which is rather unusual for me (HA.) So, being excessively cheesy, I’ve been wanting to do a little walk down memory lane. Hence this post.
(Probably) exactly one month and two years ago, I got pregnant, knocked up, with child, in the “family way” etc etc however you want to think of it. I think of it as The Day. This is us, that week, vacationing in Maine, about to become parents. (possibly that night? or every other night that week? we drank quite a bit on that trip…) too much information? sorry. just memories 😉
Around this time (November 4, 2008, election day to be exact), two years ago, I found out I was pregnant. Pregnant. The day President Obama was elected, and the day I took 7 pregnancy tests to confirm the fact, and the day my life changed in ways I could never have imagined. It was an amazing, incredible day– I went to sleep at 2:30 after peeing on 3 sticks, woke up at 5:45, peed on 4 more sticks, called Alessandro, told him the news, went and voted, went to work, watched the results of the election, and joyful, surprised, terrified, overwhelmed, exhausted, unsure, and obviously emotional, went to bed.
Four months later,
Three months later,
One month later,
Two weeks later
Then, this time last year:
and the crib photo which may help explain my feelings in Part 1:
And now, my daughter, a toddler, on the brink of becoming a kid. New words, opinions, ideas, and skills, every day. I’m impressed. I’m impressed by how far we’ve come, how much she has become, how fulfilling it all is. How incredible parenting really is. This little girl continues to amaze:
It’s slowly dawning on me that my baby is barely a baby anymore, that “just yesterday” is so much longer ago than I’d like to think, or than I feel… I see her every day, so she seems the same; I still see her with the same eyes that looked upon her as a newborn, as an infant, and now a toddler. But when I went in to wake her up from her (too) long nap today, something I rarely do, I had the gift of momentarily watching her sleep, and then awaken.. It was just one of those moments, hard to describe, that squeezed my heart and blew my mind at the same time. She’s getting so big. She’s such a person. Almost a kid. How did that happen so fast?
Well, I made it through my first week of my third quarter. The end is creeping closer, my friends. It will undoubtedly be another hard one, but I’m in too deep to turn back now. Though there are definitely days when I want to…
Let me preface this by saying that I was sufficiently prepared, if not overprepared for 0-12 months of infancy. We’ve crossed that border. We’re now classified as “Toddler.” I guess I didn’t realize how underprepared I was for this stage. I know babies, I know kids. But I am learning now that I don’t know toddlers. I just… don’t quite have the hang of it… She was such an easy baby that toddlerhood hit me like a bag of bricks. Or 2. Sometimes it seems like days upon days of disasters. I mean, not disasters like broken bones or shaken baby syndrome… not at all. But WHO KNEW toddlers were so.. Challenging? She makes me feel like I can’t do anything right… I don’t make her milk fast enough, I don’t feed her the right foods, I don’t pick the right activity, I don’t anticipate her needs quickly enough. I guess it is this communication barrier. She understands me, but I don’t understand her. She has about 8 words, and none of them sufficiently communicate to me EXACTLY what she wants. And so hence, the failure mother. She is still the sweet little girl, all smiles and giggles and fun and play until I don’t get what she wants. She refuses to eat the foods she once devoured like a little piglet. She wants up, then she wants down. She wants to play, then she wants outside. She likes me, she hates me. WTF! Total communication breakdown. I so, so wish she could talk to me. I guess she is just learning so much and figuring out that she has the ability to make decisions for herself, and so tries to do so, but it’s not what I want, or it’s dangerous, or unrealistic, and so she FREAKS. All she wants to eat is blueberries and crackers, aka “kah-cuh.” She throws her food on the floor defiantly, and I sing, “Cinderella, cinderella…” while happily picking up her discarded timely prepared gourmet organic foods off of the floor. (Where is Charlie when you need him?) She’s figured out how to get out of her stroller and highchair regardless of restraints, (hello, bugaboo lawsuit??) Next is the crib.. god help us all. She NEVER stops moving. Running. Climbing. Throwing. Knocking over my tea all over the couch, computer, camera, phone. Oh my good lord, what am I to do? The child is unstoppable. Totally happy but totally out of my realm of understanding. THIS is the terrible twos, making an untimely arrival at near 15 months. She is happy two times: in the bath, or with a dog. Obsessed with both. If only I could construct a day where she is at all times bathing, playing with a dog, bathing a dog, bathing with a dog, or playing with a dog who is bathing her. Or bathing while eating blueberries and crackers and playing with a dog. Why can’t I have a Nanna like in peter pan? The world would be a beautiful place. Anyway, kind souls, take mercy and tell me how to get through toddlerhood without resorting to noose/alcoholism/valium/adopting 30 dogs? I had it ALL right when she was a baby! ALLLLLL right. Down to a T. I guess I spent too much time during my pregnancy reading about infancy and breastfeeding and not enough about the demands of toddlers.
Don’t get me wrong… she still brings light into my life, still makes me uncontrollably sappy, still makes me laugh, still fills me with joy, etc etc… But this? THIS is a job for 2 or more. Now I get the whole “it takes a village.”
I know we’ll get though this… I know we will. I read her The Little Engine that Could; the whole time thinking, “Oh, that’s me!!! I got it! I get the story now for its true intention!”
So now that I actually have a few minutes to myself after a CRAZY couple of weeks, I felt I needed to kill multiple birds with one stone and do an update. I know many of you have been wanting news on Tessa, some of you are just bored and need something to do (ahem.. Manders Ferguson, you know who you are.) so here you go!
I’m going to say very little about school because the week before and the week of finals were brutal and I’d rather not relive them, however, I passed all of my classes (even with 3 B’s! and one C+ that we’ll let be.) But I passed, that’s all that matters, and that means I am officially halfway through nursing school. HALF WAY. Whoa. That went by at superspeed (with intervals of huge grains of sand trickling slowly through the hourglass.) I get to pat myself on the back again, because I really feel like I deserve it and it is an accomplishment. My goal for the next six months: Calm down; study more; get back into pilates; talk to my friends more; eat more.
Life in Conshohocken is great, the short commute and the great nanny are lifesavers. Alessandro and I are great, he has been a huge help with the move and getting settled in and with Tessa. Things are good, like smiles and hugs and take a deep breath-kind of good.
This will be a little long-winded but many of you haven’t seen Tessa in quite a long time, so I’m just going to go through the details.
Tessa will be 14 months on Friday. She is BIG, actually taller than she is fat these days! She’s really long, so after she mastered running in the last couple of months, she’s started on climbing, and man is she good. Up, down, up, down… everything! It’s a little scary actually… She can literally climb anything in sight. There have been quite a few bumps and bruises but she is a bruiser and gets up, dusts her self off (so to speak) and keeps on keepin’ on. Most of the time after nearly screaming, I have to really restrain myself from running to her, because she’s just not bothered by it… I am, but she’s not. She gives hugs when asked, but not kisses- she squishes up her face and turns her head from those 😉
She’s becoming physically and mentally dextrous which has only increased her mischievousness. She loves to play with crayons, alternately scribbling and chewing them, and is really good at putting them back in the box (thank you god!) Tessa also loves to empty and refill the tupperware/bottle container, over. and over. and over. again. She runs around the house looking for things out of her reach and trying to get them and *heart attack* one time, I put a knife on the counter ( I swear it was out of reach. On my life. ) and she got it and gripped her little hand around that blade. Let me start this little story over by telling you about how I literally had just congratulated myself for babyproofing the CRAP out of the apartment, I mean, it is so damn safe, it’s like a little happy baby haven but still doesn’t make me feel like I’m in seclusion. I made her room such that with the baby gate closed and the door open, she can play in her room while I’m doing something without having to worry about literally anything. (Mind you, I don’t leave her for more than a minute or two.) But on this one occasion, she got a hold of this knife and I was verging on hysterics trying to keep her immobile while I pried her little fingers off the blade, which was harder to do since she knew I wanted it BADLY. We were both in tears by the time I got it away, but skin intact.
Anyway, the little darling picks up the phone and puts it to her ear, tries to put her shoes (and mine) on her (and me), and attempts to use her baby utensils (little success.) She still sleeps great, 2 2 hour naps and 12 hours of straight sleep at night. She says mama, dada, tree, shoe, vroom (at cars and ceiling fans), “oof-oof” when she sees or hears a dog, “owww” when she sees/hears a cat, attempts to say “cock-a-doodle-doo” when we read the “Open the Barn Door” flip book. She calls her stuffed marmot “marmy,” and says “bay-beeee” when she sees herself in the mirror or another baby. Aside from what she can say, she understands many more words. She absolutely LOVES animals, dogs in particular (“dogdogdog”); stuffed animals are a favorite, and gives them hugs all the time. Including Charlie, who doesn’t particularly love the affection… but tolerates it, in a fearful manner (those of you who know charlie will understand… it’s hysterical though) Tessa’s also been loving the water, but still doesn’t get that she can’t stick her face into the water without getting a mouthful/noseful.
What else?? This baby (child???) is becoming such a wonderful little person, I can’t even begin to explain how I feel.. I think the best way to describe my life with Tessa:
When I was pregnant, the changes were enormous, physiologically and mentally. Think of all those cells dividing, multiplying, growing, creating. And knowing and seeing that change, my mind began to change as I took on the new role of mother-to-be (let’s not forget the hormones.) When I gave birth, my baby girl was born, the mother was born; but the growth inside of me changed from a physiological one to a vastly emotional, spiritual, and visceral one. I’ve said this before, but I never could have comprehended the fact that the overwhelming love I experienced the day I met Tessa could grow stronger and deeper. So the very best way I can think of it is like those cells, dividing, multiplying, growing, changing– every day since her birth, it happens within me, again and again. My love is simply exponential and a part of me. She’s always with me.