Friday, March 29, 2013

Cutey Patooties!

I woke this morning thinking of all the babies that have been born to relatives and friends lately.  I don't know why.  I just woke up smiling.

When my husband and I met, he made it clear that his mind was on retirement, not babies.  I had no argument.  Now that it's almost too late to change our minds, it makes me think and love the babies I know that much more.  Thought I heard a clock ticking? No?

I actually had no children around me for a long time.  I see a little guy, my step-grandchild once in a while, but he's 13 now (such a fun age!).  I do have a 6-year old god-daughter that I love hanging out with.  But she isn't a BABY anymore! Waah!

By the way, she came up with this on her own.  Ask Maysa who's child she is and she shouts, "God's!".  Love it.

Babies are amazing creatures!  They do many things from conception to birth and to 10 years old that will NEVER happen again in their lives.  For instance, they double their weight in the first two months!  True, that's something we don't want to happen later in life.  They recognize in-utero the sound of their mom's voice and can hear in the first month of the first trimester, have food preferences, cry, and suck their thumbs, and between conception and birth their weight increases 3,000 million times (again, not preferred later), and have all their systems developing or developed eight weeks after conception.  The lovely part is that they react to their mother's laughter at 26 weeks after conception. 

After birth, their little brains have 100 billion neurons (more than stars in the Milky Way!) which are firing and connecting synapses to see, hear, feel, move, smell, and learn and understand their new world.  Apparently, that jerking they do at sounds is more about being startled than the loudness of it.  There's truly a whirlwind of activity happening, developmentally-speaking, in his or her world.  And it IS their world...let's not kid ourselves!  There is no being on Earth more selfish than a baby.  It's all good, though. It's all about them! It's impossible to spoil a baby.

They learn visual and audio cues, recognize when they are hungry and full, develop fine motor skills grabbing your finger (or your hair and earrings!), gross motor skills as legs are still bunched up like in the womb but eventually learn to straighten and have fun with legs and toes, they know familiar faces, learn social skills like smiling and laughing, reacting to other's expressions, and even to anticipate events (like seeing a nipple means chow-time!).

They are amazing little creatures, indeed!  I always say they are more fun to watch than TV!

I, now, live vicariously through facebook (God bless, Zuckerberg!) in pictures of Alexandros, JJ and Samantha, Asana and Tajh, Tylor, Chris, Daisy and Dorian, Jazlyn and Tyson, friend's grandbabies and videos of these darlings and through strangers on YouTube (particularly, Naptural85's little baby, Olivia!) and television commercials!  I'm enjoying the heck out of it because I don't have to change the diapers. 

I really admire these stinky little creatures!  Seriously, ya gotta respect life when you think of it!

So, I pray everyday for little ones all over the world.  I pray for their life in the safest place for a baby--it's mother's womb.  I pray for healthy births and healthy moms.  I pray for moms and dads to use their natural instincts to help babies learn and develop properly.  I pray that they will have all they need to live and love.  I pray for the people and organizations that help all this to happen.  And, I pray that everyone they encounter in life feels the same.

Well, I'm off to enjoy my marshmallow Peeps! Happy Easter to you All and God bless!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Blessing

Thirty-three years ago, I made the decision to let my heart walk around outside of my body. 

I gave birth to a little girl and that experience would cause me to grow up fast, live more carefully, put my childhood behind me, and love more than I thought a human being could.

This is a kind of 'love letter' to my daughter on her birthday.

Over the years, we, as a duo, teamed up to give her the experiences of life that all kids didn't get to have.  We travelled when we could afford it and sometimes when we couldn't.  We went to plays, museums, had adventures, and any activities that would grow her socially and intellectually. We just had fun together!

My own mother had done the same with my brother and me.  I didn't know any other way.

From the time we 'met', my daughter showed courage and a keen interest in learning, which I was grateful for and by which I was impressed.  She also developed a sharp sense of humor which everyone her own age didn't always understand but became her 'signature' personality trait.  She joined activities that increased her writing skills, her sales ability, and her physical condition.  She was and still has a competitive side where 'play' is concerned.  She showed a tremendous growth in her generosity and caring for others in charitable work, even as a child working side by side with me at the Salvation Army food prep and deliveries.  We enjoyed movies together that made us laugh, dance, or really think, like Pi.  We played games together like how many numbers of Pi we could memorize!  It sounds really nerdy writing it down, but it was fun as she was learning it and about chaos theories which made her look at the world deeper and differently.

It was my daughter that shocked adults with her manners and ability to hold a conversation because she was actually more comfortable with people older than her age group.

It was my daughter that would tell me, "Oh, no! That cost too much!" or that I was spending too much money. 

It was my daughter that began her own side business in middle school selling candy.  She didn't eat it much herself.  She liked Doug and reminded me of Daria.

It was my daughter that took sushi for her school lunch and wasn't scared to try any unfamiliar food.

It was my daughter that came to me at 15 saying she wanted to be baptized. I almost cried. So we were baptized together.

If I could have personally chosen a kid to raise, it would be her.  And now that she is a woman, I am so honored to say I had a small part in this person's existence.  I take no credit for who she has become.  I thank God for entrusting her to me and for trusting that I would see to her needs. 

Now her life in Turkey, with two degrees, amazing work experiences, incredible life and travel experiences, good health and strength, hilarious stories and photos that come from her, I sit and grow the grey hairs of age and, yes, sometimes from worry.  However, I know whatever life decisions she makes, she has God's protection and guidance.  I trust in that with all my heart or I couldn't get through a day.

It's been an incredible journey, so far, with this little girl, now so grown.  However hard we had it at times, I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Birthday, Jan!  I love you!