Saturday, March 24, 2012

Man's Best Friend

Here's the thing...I'm slightly terrified of dogs. Big ones, barking ones, nice ones, dogs on leashes, cute ones, little ones...especially the little ones. I don't know why, but it's been for as long as I can remember. I felt vindicated several years ago when my aunt Martha sent me an excerpt from my mom's journal that read something like, "Allison wouldn't go to Iris's today because of the dog." So something must have happened when I was a tiny babe that scarred me for life. No idea what that something was, but it must have been terrifying, right? 

But let me just tell you, curling up in fear in front of a dog lover and their four legged friend is like telling a parent you think their kid is hideous. So I feel like I have to defend myself to said dog lover and declare that I don't hate dogs (like my husband would lead you to believe). I care about dogs' feelings. I don't wish ill will on any cuddly little pup. But I just want them to stay far enough away that they won't jump on me, I can't hear them bark, and they'll never be close enough to lick me. Is that too much to ask?? 

But here's the truth...I don't like being afraid of dogs. I hate being that girl who won't go to a friend's because there's a dog there. And I really really don't want my daughter to be that girl either. So I'm sucking up my fear this week so that I don't pass it along to my daughter. Because when you're living with an adorable Golden named Atticus for a week, it's inevitable, he's gonna be too close for comfort at some point. So what's a good mom to do? I put on a brave face for my daughter.

And apparently my little act is working. Harper loves Atticus.


He took a little getting used to though. She started a few feet away. Then would slowly crawl a little closer. Then a little bit closer still. Until she was right under him. 

And now she just sits there while he licks her all over...her hands, her feet, her face. I cringe every time. Not because I fear he's going to do something to her...but because I don't want him coming over to me and licking my face. That's just crazy.

She follows him everywhere he goes. They are new best friends.

Granted, even I can't be afraid of Atticus. He's amazing. He's so gentle and submissive. He lets Harper tug on his tail, and doesn't flinch when she lays down next to him.

So here's my plan for five or ten years down the road when Harper asks for a dog: stand my ground. It's never going to happen. But we can go see cousin Donevan and Atticus. It'll be great. She can play with the dog. And I can play with my best friend, my sister. It's a win-win. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Little Person

There is something about this picture that gets me every time I look at it. Maybe it's the tip toeing little girl I see. Or the little helper standing there with Daddy. Whatever it is, I see this little person, and I can't help but wonder what she will be like in five years, or ten, or twenty.

I like to think that if they were here, my mom and dad would be proud of me. With the help of about ten different villages, I turned out okay. I hope that now, more than twenty years down the road, I am the person that my mom dreamed I would be.

This picture was a total fluke: I moved the chair, set up the timer on the camera, and sat down.  I did not even consider that my mom would be looking over my shoulder. 
It's been almost 23 years since my mom died. Twenty three years! It's so strange to think that my own mom never knew me. She only saw a glimpse of the personality that would emerge down the road. And think how much I've changed.

Harper's little personality is starting to come out more and more each day. But to imagine what kind of woman she will be, what kind of mom she will be, what lessons I will teach her that she will carry with her 23 years down the road is impossible to fathom. And for me, with each milestone and every birthday, I hope I remember to appreciate them a little more as a mom because I'm here. And I can only pray that I'm able to tell her myself how proud I am of her, twenty years down the road.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Fever

It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

There is something about spring. When all the windows are open and you hear the birds chirping and the trees rustling. When you can gather your blanket and some toys and just sit outside for hours. You don't need entertaining because the breeze is keeping you occupied and it just feels so good to be still. No electronics; just fresh air in your face. After being cooped up all winter, huddled under heavy blankets, the freedom of spring is so refreshing. 

It just feels so wonderful to venture outside and enjoy the sun and warmth that comes along with that. The sun is out, and I've got spring fever!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

9 Months!

Nine months. Nine long, exciting, grueling months. That's how long I waited to meet this sweet babe of mine. I never did have much "morning" sickness during that time. After the first trimester, it was easy breezy compared to other mommas (I'm talking about you, Ellen Hurt). Yeah, I had to pee every hour on the hour in the middle of the night, and I waddled for a solid month before she made her debut. But those nine months seemed like a lifetime. From the moment I saw the "Pregnant" on the (fourth) pregnancy test, all I could think about was holding her in my arms. She was going to be mine. I made her. Sure it's nice having the nine months to prepare for this new life, but man is it cruel. 

And now she's here. And somehow this nine months has flown by at warp speed. One day I was staring into the eyes of a sweet sleeping babe, brand new. And now she's cruising around and standing on her own and climbing up on me watching my every move. 

Right now, Harper's favorite game is pulling every book off the shelf. Every. Single. Book. She loves any 'touch and feel' book and can find the patch of fur/felt/hole on each page, no problem. Pat the Bunny is her favorite. She likes playing "catch" and rolling the ball back and forth. She's fascinated with my iPhone already (yikes!) and loves watching the videos of herself on it. She's branching out into more exciting, real food. She can not be contained at Baby Bounce, but it's so fun watching her approach the other babies. She weighed 16 pounds, 10 ounces and was 27 and a quarter inches long. She's the happiest baby I know, and is a magnet for strangers drawn to her sweet smile and excited demeanor. 

It's been a tough month for me with Neal's busy season keeping him working late most nights. However, the early spring weather we've had recently has provided lots of fresh air and time spent outside which is an easy cure for the blues. 

During the nine months that I was pregnant I could not have imagined the daughter that God has given me. She is amazing in every way. I am in awe of all of her daily discoveries. Her excitement is contagious and even I smile and clap at the little things now with a new appreciation. I can't wait to see what new things she'll discover next.