Holiday Changes

Christmas Eve, I found myself in bed unable to sleep. I was so exhausted and Seth was sleeping soundly next to me. I wasn't too excited to sleep or anything like that. It just hit me that this was our last Christmas alone together. We have had 7 Christmases together now. 7!

Our Christmases together have been a lot of fun. I've forced Seth to sleep on the floor next to the tree most years - and also made him watch "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street" with me. I've dragged him to a plethora of family parties much to his frustration (he likes to be lazy on Christmas). He even proposed to me the night before Christmas Eve.

We've always just had our time together during the holidays. It has been a great 7 years.

As I tried to sleep on Christmas Eve I realized that I felt a bit sad. Next Christmas everything will be different. While I do believe it will be different in the best way possible it will still be different. In one month our lives will change in the most profound way imaginable.

Next Christmas Millie will be 10 months old or so. While she won't understand what Christmas is I know I will still have the desire to give her gifts (although we will likely just wrap the toys she already plays with). We'll be trying to keep our baby away from the Christmas tree. She'll be all over and into everything. However, she'll be spoiled by her grandparents. I'll want to take her to the Zoo to see the lights. I'll likely dress her in a ridiculous Christmas dress. I'll read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and sing Christmas carols to her. Millie will be playing with her new little cousin - just a couple months younger than she is. I am so excited!

Everything is about to change.

And it's not just Christmas. I've realized the last few years that holidays just aren't that great anymore. Halloween isn't that fun as an adult. I can't WAIT to dress Millie up and take her trick-or-treating. I can't wait to go to her elementary school Halloween parade! I'm excited to help her make a Valentine's Day box and help her sign all of her adorable valentine's for her classmates. Easter baskets, eggs, dresses and pictures with a creepy Easter Bunny will make that day so much more memorable. She'll be enthralled (or terrified) by fireworks on the 4th of July. And Christmas - oh Christmas. Children make Christmas wonderful. While she'll just be tiny next Christmas it'll just be the beginning of creating a magical season for my baby girl. Even New Years - while I believe it means more to an adult - who doesn't have great memories of banging pots and pans at midnight?

I've had 30 years of amazing holidays and they are about to change so drastically. I remember the anticipation of waiting on the stairs on Christmas morning for Dad to get out of the shower so we could open presents.

I remember the feeling of playing outside in the snow and how great it was to come inside where mom was waiting with hot chocolate and dry clothes. I remember searching sometimes endlessly for the hidden Easter basket that Dad managed to hide all-too-well.

Mom spent countless hours trying to create Dorothy's ruby slippers for my Halloween costume and always had chili and breadsticks waiting when we returned home cold cheeked from trick-or-treating.

Valentine's Day meant delicious sugar cookies, and doorbell ditching friends and family with special Valentines. Even St. Patricks Day meant green eggs and pancakes! My parents created some magical holidays and I can't wait to do the same for my Millie.

One month to go....hopefully less.

Somehow I think she may put a damper on this year's Valentine's Day.

But I doubt it.

Mothers & Daughters

I am officially less than two months away from having my baby girl Millie. Everything is becoming very real. The fact that I am about to become a mother is becoming very real. My growing belly and my growing lack of comfort is becoming very real. Feeling Millie move no longer feels like flutters, or kicks but feels more like she is rolling around in my belly. I can feel hands/feet/elbows as they drag across my stomach. I can see my stomach moving and jumping. She is a busy little lady. Doesn't she look smart?!

We have started to assemble her nursery. The walls are painted and the crib is up!

Her wardrobe is beyond full right now. Some nights I like to go in her nursery and talk to her while I look through her cute dresses, toys and books.

I like to play the piano and sing for her. Poor kid really will only know musicals when she comes out because that is all I know how to play. The other night I did ask Seth to play some James Taylor for her - which he happily did. I like to read her bedtime stories. I find myself apologizing to Millie when I swear.

We have been through our 5 week birthing class. Only one baby shower remains of three.
We are ready. I am ready. I am ready to meet my little girl.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with my mom and how I hope that my relationship with little Millie will someday be as special.

I was the youngest of four siblings. I asked my mom what she remembers about my birth and she said she just remembers giggling and laughing. She said she was so excited to have a little girl again.

I only hope that I am giggling as I try and have my baby girl naturally!

My earliest memory is the feeling of being rocked in the middle of the night by my mom. I remember the sound of the creaking rocking chair. When I told my mom about this memory years ago I mentioned that for some reason in my memory the brown chair was by the front door - and not in its position at the time in the living room. She laughed and told me that the chair WAS by the front door as a baby.

Interesting that my earliest memory was of my mom comforting me. She hasn't ever stopped comforting me after all these years. I still need my mom when I find I am having a bad day. I still need my mom when I am sick. Sometimes mom still the only person that is able to make me feel better.

We were the best of friends as a kid. I was her little side-kick. I remember spending hours "bumming" with mom. Bumming is our family expression for "running errands". For the most part I didn't mind our trips to Pic-n-Save, or to the Hostess outlet but boy oh boy do I remember being dragged to Mervyns! I hated that store but we went there often.

Mom used to sing to me. She had lots of songs that she made up for me. Songs in the tub, songs in the morning, songs with nicknames (which I had a million of).

I recall her making me homemade playdough and sitting for hours at our table playing. She used to make me lunch and set it outside on the picnic table for me.

As I got older and my parents got a divorce I became mom's travel buddy. She started working for Delta and we used to be able to fly for free. I used to beg her, "Mom can we just stay home this weekend!?" We had a great time navigating the streets of San Francisco, Portland or San Diego. How lucky we were!

Mom and I have been close our whole lives. However once I got married I felt our relationship deepen. It was less of a mother/daughter relationship and became more of a confidant relationship. We was there for me through many difficult times.

We have been extremely close friends for many years. It is a rare day that I don't hear anything from my mom. Even before cell phones, text messaging and instant messaging I would receive at least a call a day from mom. Most days now I receive a text along the lines of "How are my two girls today?" or "How's B an Millie?" We stay very close. So close in fact that when I see that she is calling I can almost ALWAYS predict what she will say when I answer.

"Hi - how did your meatloaf turn out?"

"Hi - how was the movie?"

"Hi - did you just get back from the gym?"

I love that.

We have a special relationship. We make each other laugh - a lot. We are two peas in a pod!

We have a relationship in which we can both be honest with one another, oftentimes brutally honest. I know that my mom has my best interests at heart - as do I with her. I know that my mom will always be there for me. Whether that support is lending an ear, helping me clean my house, running errands or giving me some much -needed advice, she is there.

Having now gone through nearly an entire pregnancy I feel as if I need to thank my mom for having me. Being pregnant is not easy. The nausea, fatigue, heart burn, back pain and emotions definitely take a toll on a mom. And yet how special it is to create a beautiful life inside of you. How close I already feel to Millie. It's amazing.

So as I anticipate the arrival of my own baby girl, I can only hope that we will be as close as my mom and I. I know there is something special between a mother and daughter. I just can't wait to experience it from the opposite perspective. I know having Millie will actually bring my mom and I even closer together. I'm looking forward to this.

And maybe, if we are lucky, she'll look a little bit like this. Dang that's a cute little girl!