Wow…I knew it had been a long time since I last blogged, but I didn’t realize it had been a year! (I have probably thought about blogging 500 times since then). I would love to have a super stylish blog in which I post every week, but I have come to terms with the fact that that is just not going to happen right now…maybe ever.
Since I last posted, we had a little girl!
We named her Taya Grace. I’d never heard of the name Taya before until my husband excitedly texted me one day, saying that he had come across a really cool name he thought I’d like. It was in the middle of the workday. He’s on routes a lot with his job working for a water softening business so I assumed he had some great revelation while out driving and came across a quirky street name he thought would be fitting for our daughter.
It turns out he had watched a clip of The Today Show on his lunch break featuring the praise and worship band Hillsong United (New York). The lead vocalist was asked her name after the performance and answering in her Australian accent, responded, “Taya.” If you want to see the clip, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yPh4leXAws. (Or type in “Taya performs ‘Touch the Sky'” on YouTube). After the beautiful singer belts out the last few words of the song, Hoda delightedly exclaims, “Taya, Taya, Taya!” I am looking forward to sharing the video with Taya one day so that she can see the unique origins of her life title.
I arrived at our local hospital at 12 am on December 3, 2015. I was in labor for 29 hours and it was 10 pm the following evening when my husband and I first laid eyes on our beautiful daughter. As if she already knew me, she found my gaze right away. Her vivid blue eyes were captivating and I wanted to embrace her, letting her know the safe and loving warmth of my arms. Her immediate lung-filling cries were a welcome sound to this weary and relieved mama. My husband and I shed tears of joy and thankfulness and quickly agreed that Taya (meaning “light”) was indeed a fitting name for her.
Taya is 9.5 months now and will be a 10-monther in a few short weeks. The time has gone both fast and slow simultaneously . When you become a parent, time permanently takes on a different feeling. It morphs into a continous make-it-to-the-next-feeding/diaper change/bedtime routine that somehow doesn’t seem to present any feelings of newness or change until one day you glance at your child and begin to notice she doesn’t look so little anymore. One day she starts crawling or a favorite outfit no longer fits. Toys once favored spend more time strewn across the floor than in the hands of your daughter who is now pulling herself up to the edge of the couch and putting anything new and exciting (i.e. electrical cords, paper, dad’s shoes….) into her mouth.
I haven’t a clue how we are going to celebrate her first birthday and honestly, I didn’t think I would want to have a 1st birthday party for her before I became a parent. Having a party for a little person who’s only lived a year didn’t seem all that important. Now that I’m a parent, it totally is! It’s amazing to see milestones reached and look forward with giddy excitement to what new feat she will accomplish next. I also totally never understood all the baby pictures plastered all over my newsfeed, but now I’ve joined forces and am guilty of being an over-sharer.
I feel an immediate connection with any young parent. It’s as if we are on a team. We stack our hands in the center of our huddle and our fearless leader slaps our backs to psyche us up and whispers, “Team We Have No Idea What We’re Doing on 3.” Then we all laugh and agree that we may be greenhorns, but we will give it our best shot and agree to help each other out when a Hail Mary pass is needed.
Sometimes it’s as if bringing Taya home from the hospital never happened, like she’s always been a part of the family, occupying our adjoining bedroom, filling the rooms of our apartment with giggles and inquisitive babbling.
I miss those days when she was so new and I just wanted to hold her all day, taking in the new baby scent on her sweet little forehead and beam at any stranger wanting to sneak a peak at my new bundle of angelic joy. I even miss late night feedings from midnight to 3 am. I miss breastfeeding and being able to pump to provide nourishment for my little girl even though I was glad to be rid of it when I decided to call it quits.
There are things I would choose to do differently had I been given the chance. I wish I would have stuck it out and continued nursing and pumping even when I was super stressed and overwhelmed trying to fit in two 45 minute pumping sessions at work and it seemed like all my allotted time at home was spent nursing every 2 hours.
I wish I would have gotten professional newborn pictures taken to freeze those precious moments in time I never want to forget. Instead I opted to have my husband take them while Taya was lying in my arms at home so she would be calm during our amateur photo session. (I think they turned out lovely, I just wish I had more of them.)
I wish I had more time to prepare homemade baby food instead of having to resort to stocking up on the countless Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Tippy Toes jars that line my kitchen cupboards.
Sometimes I wish I could stay home with Taya everyday and not miss out on a single moment of her first year of life.
Wishing isn’t going to change anything though, and that’s OK. It’s OK to look back and realize that I may not have had the time nor the resources to be the “ideal mom” I wanted to be. It is enough that I did my best and will continue to do my best for the 18 years I am blessed to have Taya under our roof. In the end, drinking formula by the time she was 5 months and eating processed baby food will not ruin her or lower her IQ. It won’t really matter at all when we say our goodbyes and she spreads her wings to begin her journey into adulthood.
Having her in our lives has been worth every bit of lost sleep, countless feedings,diaper changes, endless laundry, money spent, fussy teething, car seat wrangling, and time packing everything but the kitchen sink into her bag so we can drop her off with grandma and get away for a few days to reconnect.
We love you Taya Grace and can’t wait to celebrate your first year of life in December 🙂 I am a little nervous for the toddler years but can’t wait for you to continue to show us your vivacious personality and grow out your beautiful blonde hair.