Me & My Sweet Marlowe (Photo by: Mimosa Arts)
So I clearly didn’t make the self-imposed, January 9th blog deadline I had in mind. During the winter break, while relaxing on the couch, reading a book, and leisurely sipping a cup of hot chocolate, I decided perhaps I’d give myself an additional few weeks to enjoy the peace and quiet of the holiday season, before getting back to writing. Which, if you know me at all, is clearly a joke. There was no book. Or hot chocolate. And there was definitely no relaxation to speak of. In reality, I made that decision in the throes of our Christmas chaos, while perilously teetering on the edge of my sanity. (Not really, but my New Year’s resolutions didn’t include refraining from exaggeration, so I’m sticking with that.) As it stands, we are several weeks into 2015, and there are still presents under our tree that have yet to be put away. Yes, I said our tree. Because it’s still up… And it still has ornaments on it… And the stockings are still hung. But you know what? I’ve appreciated some much-needed family time, cuddled with our enchanting new baby girl and her amazing big sister, entertained guests, consumed my share of Christmas cookies (and then some), gotten us beyond the endless string of colds we couldn’t shake in December, and finished three chapters of the book I’m releasing later this year. So I’m feeling pretty good about the current state of affairs, neglected tree and all!
Truthfully, I’m happy to hang on to that Christmas spirit for as long as possible, especially considering the joy it brought along with it. Marlowe’s joy didn’t extend much beyond drooling, breastfeeding, and messing her diaper every five minutes, but it was wonderful to witness nonetheless! Gray, ever the comedienne, provided us with nonstop entertainment. For instance, her anticipation of Christmas Eve went a little something like this:
Gray: “Mommy, where are all of my presents?”
Me: “I imagine they are in Santa’s sleigh.”
Gray: “Oh no! Is he sitting on them?”
Gray: “Mommy, did Santa bring me my little sister for Christmas?”
Needless to say, I hope she isn’t expecting a similar gift next year. Santa’s ”sleigh” needs a little break before it can even think about carrying another present like that one!
Aside from her comedic relief, Gray has nominated herself to act as my little sidekick, helper, part-time dog-herder, and honorary babysitter. I guess there’s nothing like a new baby to make an older child rise to the occasion! Not that I ever had doubts about Gray’s ability to handle having a sibling, but I realize that changes in the family dynamic are often met with some frustration, confusion, and push back. Brad and I went into it with open minds and a lot of love, just in case. We’ve done our best to give Gray space to express her feelings about it—positive or negative. Boy, has she proven we had nothing to worry about! She insists on holding her sister every morning, singing to her each night before bed (it’s really more like a twenty-minute long musical about anything and everything, with no intermissions allowed), and spontaneously offering her hugs because ”I just love her so much, I have to hug her, Mommy.” It’s sort of astounding how early that sisterly bond develops! And the feeling is, incontrovertibly, a mutual one. If I want to make Marlowe smile for a photo, all I have to do is prop her up in front of her sister. Or even a photo of her sister. It’s a pretty cool party trick.
Gray & Marlowe-Cracking Each Other Up!
As if Christmas weren’t exciting enough, we ended 2014 with a bang. Did we stay up half the night popping champagne corks and tossing confetti into the air? Not even close. We watched a Sofia The First episode with Gray (which doesn’t brandish quite the pizazz of the ball dropping in Times Square), and then we went to bed. At 9:30. I think it may go without saying that our partying days are officially a thing of the past. But you know what? It was exactly what the doctor ordered. In fact, we’d already put on pajamas and brushed our teeth before we remembered staying up until midnight was even an option.
Despite our lack of jubilant merrymaking, late-night ceremony, and the morning hangover that inevitably follows, our year-end was a celebratory occasion nonetheless. Why, you ask? Because we came, we saw, we… wait for it… potty trained! (Of course, I’m referring to the royal “we,” since it would be a little weird if I were just getting to that turning point in my own life.) Hence, the ushering in of 2015 was all about our adventures in toileting. Maybe Mama should have gotten a bottle of something stronger under the tree. Santa, how could you forsake me?
In all honesty, after the abundance of horror stories I’ve heard, I expected the potty-training endeavor to take months. I also anticipated jumping through more hoops than a poodle at a dog show. But lo’ and behold, on Christmas morning, Gray decided she was ready to step up to the plate (or, rather, the commode) and that was that! I know this isn’t always the case, and I wish I could offer something more than encouragement to those of you who are having a rough go of it. I’d love to tell you I employed some impressive, new and improved, miracle, parenting tactic, but all of the credit goes to Gray, who made up her mind and never looked back. My daughter is nothing, if not stubborn! Mind you, I should probably give a little recognition to her trusted allies, the Disney princesses… You see, Santa left brand new princess undies under the tree on Christmas morning and, apparently, Rapunzel can make magic happen. Who knew? As you can probably imagine, with the occurrence of such a noteworthy milestone, the beginning of 2015 mostly revolved around the subject of… well, you know… that messy business. Suffice it to say I’m just playing my part as purveyor of princess panties, post-potty hand washer, cheer squad, and proud mommy. And that’s about as much as I’ll offer on that topic. Which, I would guess, makes most of you breathe a huge sigh of relief.
I can’t believe Marlowe is three months old already! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. I’ve searched for it on my desk underneath the stacks of bills, page-long checklists, and breast pump supplies I call “paperweights,” but it is nowhere to be found. If I thought Gray’s infancy flew by like a jet plane, Marlowe’s is hurtling past like an F-15! But despite how rapidly the moments seem to be passing us by, we are treasuring them whole-heartedly. We are getting to know each and every detail of my sweet little Marlowe’s personality– how it takes her forever to wake up in the morning, how she stretches after every nap, how she treasures her cuddle time (and gets her feelings hurt if you stop loving on her before she’s ready), the way her pinky daintily extends while she nurses, how she sticks her little tongue out when I kiss her lips, that she despises being overheated, and how she offers that thoroughly beguiling smile when she hears her big sister’s voice. She is exquisite and nothing short of inspiring. And I’ll take all of the inspiration I can get right now, because I have a BOOK to finish by the beginning of April! How is that for a segue? If it sounds a little crazy that I am taking care of a newborn, running after a two-year-old and five dogs, and simultaneously writing two blogs and a book, it is. But it’s the good kind of crazy (mostly). I just take all of that chaos and put it to paper whenever possible. If I weren’t a mommy, I wouldn’t be motivated to write, so you’ll get no complaints from me about it! (A few jokes, perhaps, but I wouldn’t be me without those, now would I?) I’m appreciative of all of the time I get to spend with my girls, even when it’s hectic. I bring all of this up to say—I know you’ve gotten used to seeing my blogs on a weekly basis, but there will probably be more delinquency yet to come. For Pete’s sake, that dang Christmas tree is still up, so… it might be a week or two before I can finagle another post on here. In fact, I may begin doing posts every few weeks instead of every week, so I can have a little breathing room. At least until I finish writing the last few chapters of my book! Please don’t give up on me. Pretty soon there will be a whole book’s worth of my silly motherhood anecdotes and parenting fodder to look forward to, so stay tuned…
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
PS. I’ve included a candid, makeup-free photo for you this month. We moms aren’t always dressed to the nines and sporting fabulous lipstick, especially when we are at home cuddling with our kids! I post professional photos more often than not, so I thought you’d appreciate seeing this side of me too.
A Makeup-free Candid With My Little Girl!
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