waiting with mama
Originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.
i get so caught up in trying to chronicle every single thing eva does, and i'm going to stop that. i don't think it's healthy for me anymore to indulge in this, because it feeds into my sense of worry/anxiety about not being able to remember everything, or about the loss of her babyhood, or whatever. she changes. every day. and it's okay if, in five or twenty years, i can't remember exactly how i felt upon each new develpment, or if i don't know the exact day her 14th tooth poked through. plus, i get so caught up in "catching up" on the developements i've not mentioned that i never end up using my very limited time to write what i actually want to write -- more about the little details or about how i feel about some aspect of mothering,
something with (occasionally) more depth. i'm forever feeling stressed and "behind" this way (which is rediculous). plus, this inventory style of writing comes off sounding like i'm knocking items
off a developmental milestone checklist, or worse, being competitive about what she's doing, which is not at all how i feel and is antithetical to the kind of mother -- or person -- i want to be. when
i say "isn't it cool that she can do this" that doesn't mean "she's the most brilliant child that ever lived and kicks the ass of other children in six time zones", but rather "isn't it amazing getting to watch babies grow and learn so much so fast". a bit of a tangent, but i wanted to make that point.

so, here i am. it's cliche, i know, but i have real trouble staying in the moment. i'm always worrying about being able to drag the past along with me (in a blog? good freakin luck, suzie) or being anxious
about how i will confront future challenges. so i'm going to try to stay focused on the very daughter i'm so lucky to have with me, today. right now.

okay, *right* now she's sleeping, but she was such a sweetheart today (along with a fair share of tantrums, but nevermind that, i can skew the data however i like.) she was happily walking back and forth between larry and i, back and forth, over and over. she seemed so happy with herself. every time she fell down, she'd look up at me with an expectant smile and sign "more" (along with saying "moah"). i loved that. at first i thought she maybe wasn't getting that she was in fact the one doing the walking, causing that fun sensation of movement -- unlike when i push her on the swing or toss her in the air and she signs "more". but then i decided that i somewhat misinterpreted her request, due to the lack of nuance in her vocabulary. she was probably trying to say something more like "more provide me with the help i need to keep walking around". we weren't doing much other than encouraging her, since she can now stand back up
on her own, but it was a really fun moment of family togetherness, and i'm glad she was as excited about it as we were. (we've been doing this every day lately, but it doesn't lose it's charm.)

this photo is from last month in alaska (the hats might give away that we were not in texas anymore, toto). every so often you come across a photo that completely transports you, that causes you to feel all the
sensations and think the thoughts that you had when it was taken, and this is such a photo. i love that sort of thing, and in this case it makes me feel less distant from my mom (who took the photo, through the truck window, while we waited for larry and dad to return from floating down the river fishing). i can feel the weight of eva on my shoulders and the coolness of her forehead when i kissed it and the warmth of her breath when she fell asleep with her head inside my jacket. it was cold and drizzling outside and we were all exhausted, but that doesn't matter at all.

(oh, p.s., i'm going to stop apologizing too, about not having posted in a while and the like.)



Originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.
(more swimming photos from a few weeks ago, until i manage to upload more that i've taken. we're a bit technically disorganized around here lately.)

so, i feel like i used to blog every little change in eva. since i've barely posted since, i don't know, june? i feel like so many important things have not been commented upon. so here's a run-down of what i can remember as having been missed:

she's a crazy communicator. at a year, she was doing about 25 signs, and i stopped counting but i think she's added about 10 more. also, when we left for alaska, she said , pretty much only "hi" and "papa". by the time we returned, she was saying about 20 words (note that grandpa or "gah-pah" came well before "mama"), and i immediately vowed to stop counting to preserve my sanity. (i count not to have something to boast over, but rather because my compulsive tendencies require it -- ask larry about how i still can't go to a movie without counting the stars on the paramount logo as they swoop onto the screen, despite having vowed years ago to stop counting them. there are 22. there will still be 22 next time. anyway, that's plenty of info about my counting for today...) so she says a whole mess o' words, and still signs. and for some words does both, and that category is growing as she adds spoken words to her signed concepts (recently adding a sweet questioning "moah?" to the sign for more, how can i deny that kind of request?)

i'd have to say she's officially walking, although she still crawls for the vast majority of her transportation needs. i feel like this whole walking thing is such an anticlimax. she took her first step in may, and by a year could walk back and forth between larry and i fairly well. she since improved her balance so that she can *stop* walking (without, you know, using her face), and in the past few weeks learned to stand up rather than pull up. she's so proud of that, you can just see it. she'll now stand up on her own, walk toward something, pause, change direction, eventually squat down when she loses her balance. anyway, i say it's anticlimactic because... at some point in that whole progression of skills, she became a kid who walks, but somehow i feel like i missed it. that, and she's still not really a walker, because she still crawls. but yet everyone makes such a big deal, i feel like some fireworks should go off or something. plus, she's on the later end of the range for this, so honestly, i get tired of the questions and even well-meaning comments. i just say "she can walk, she just chooses not to." it's cliche, but so apt -- i read recently that walking takes balance, strength, and temperment, with the latter determining when it all happens. (the same book said they won't be talking much for another couple months because they're too busy concentrating on learning to walk. hmm.)

ooh, she's up, so this is the end for now.



swimming cousins
Originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.
okay, i haven't posted anything in almost two months. we were in alaska, then i had a bit of trouble readjusting to life at home, then she was sick for a week. then, honestly, after all that time, i started to feel overwhelmed by all the unsaid things pushing to get out of my brain (particularly regarding all the details and all my emotions regarding our trip) that i went with my usual solution, inaction. so, here i am, and i'll just post what i'm thinking about right now rather than try to catch up all in one post.

here's a photo i took from our weekend in college station after we returned from alaska. i really like this shot, it's actually good of both girls -- the telephoto lens is a big help i think.

in my last post forever ago, i commented that eva had just cut three molars all at once. well, sticking with her papa-given nickname of Low Probability Baby, she proceeded to get 5 teeth at once (within 10 days) right as we returned from our trip -- which of course means she was teething the whole time we were there. she got her last molar, along with the outer four front teeth. this was a few weeks ago, so they're now coming in more and it looks more like she has this full mouth of teeth.

boy does she ever. she bit me last night (this was a big problem in july, but has been fine the last two months really), and i said "i can't let you bite, eva, that hurts mama" and put her on the floor. she had this hurt look on her face and started sobbing. it wasn't her now-familiar frustration sort of tantrumy thing (more on that to follow), she really seemed hurt -- the way i often was (well, and still am) when i'm being scolded because i instantly feel bad about what i did but can't fix it. we could be reading too much into this, but this time larry and i both thought that she seemed to get that, like she really did feel bad that she bit me and also didn't like that she was now removed from me onto the floor. and like she made the connection between the action and its consequence. she's getting older, she understands lots of things now. since we've been home, we've firmly moved from the remnants of babyhood firmly into the toddler arena. bittersweet, to say the least.

more to come, but i'm glad i've broken the spell of inaction. i'm off to see how the jabbering eva and her half-asleep papa doing in the other room. oh, wait, jabbering just turned to yells of "mama! mama! mama!" followed by a screech...