Thursday, August 26, 2010

Want to Play Pretend?

I remember so clearly being four or five years old and asking my friends, "Do you want to play pretend?" Often, I was Annie (from the musical) and my friends had to be the other orphans. Sometimes I was the queen and my friends were my servants. Come to think of it, I wonder why anyone bothered to play with me at all. (I have a very clear memory of telling one of my friends to go get grapes because queens eat grapes. Ok, then...)

Hadley is starting to pretend. She takes her stuffed animals and makes nonsensical noises, like she's talking to them, and then they talk back. She picks up her plastic bee toy and says, "buzzzzzzz." Best of all, she's starting to love dressing up.

My godmother (whose maiden name is Hadley) sent our Hadley a purple crown of flowers and a purple leotard with attached tutu. It's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen, and Hadley likes to put it on and pat the tutu; she's so proud of it. (Photos soon, I promise!) She also likes to put random diaper covers on her head, as evidenced here:

"Diaper covers make very good hats."

And of course, she must try on other people's shoes and her ladybug wellies, which are three sizes too big.

There is something alarmingly go-go-dancer-ish about her pose, don't you think?

Sometimes she likes to throw on my clothes (here, she's wearing one of my pajama tops) for fun.

(I love that her hair is all wild from pulling that thing over her head half a dozen times before she got it just right.)

I am looking forward to many, many snowy mornings playing "queen" and singing our hearts out to old show tunes--and this time, I promise to share the spotlight (as if I'll have a choice)...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mommy Comes Home

Tonight I got back from two days and two nights in Telluride--without my baby girl. I went for work and took my mom, and we had a marvelous time: driving through Colorado; eating while gazing at the giant, silent peaks that surround the tiny mountain town; taking the world's very best Gondola ride; swimming in the hotel pool; and talking, talking, talking.

But I missed my Hadley. Achingly so. And it seems that every baby girl under the age of two was in Telluride this weekend. I had to talk to every single one of their moms, so that they'd have to stop and I could say, "I have a 15-month-old at home." And every single one of the moms smiled in a way that told me that they knew how hard it is for a mom to leave her heart at home, where it roams around and eats Goldfish and watches Elmo.

When we got home this evening, I rushed in to grab and squeeze Hadley. She was nonchalant about it all, as if she knew that eventually, I'd be back. She and her daddy had a fun weekend, I could tell. She gave one little inkling that suggested she had missed me: After her bath tonight, she gave me a long, happy hug and patted my back, as if to say, "Welcome home, Mama. Welcome home." I rocked her and put her to bed, and now I want to sneak in there and hold her for a few more minutes.

When Jason leaves on a trip, we say, "Daddies always come home." I said to her when I was leaving, "I'll see you in two days. Mommies always come home." Of course, that's not entirely true. Sometimes the world is a terrible, awful place, where mommies and daddies don't come home. That's a fact I knew but never felt until I had a baby.

But a mama can't just sit at home for fear of the world. It's a tough balance. I have plenty of wanderlust. I wish that Jason and I had made it back to Europe before Hadley was born; I'd like to see Israel, Bali, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Australia, Kenya--even Canada, for heaven's sake. For all of this eagerness to go, I feel a much stronger desire to stay. That's kind of new for me.

It's good. Really, really good.

Telluride was wonderful. Beautiful. Restful. But not so beautiful as holding Hadley--in her blueberry-stained T-shirt--when I got home.

And before too long, Hadley will have wanderlust, too. She'll ask about Paris or Montreal or... Idaho, and I hope we'll cultivate in her a desire to go, ...just as long as she takes her mama along for the ride, too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If I were a superhero...

...I would not be The Amazing Blog Woman. Because I've not been blogging at all. Not that you don't know that. Sorry.

(Just in case you're wondering, if I were a superhero, I'd be able to fly. That would be awesome. No more waiting in line at the security checkpoint at the airport. With a stroller. And a toddler. And 500 pounds of baby-related gear.)

Anyway, we've been so busy this summer, I've hardly had time to record it all. I keep a journal for Hadley--full of more personal stuff--that I started when I was pregnant, and I try to maintain this little corner of the Internet, but really, I spend most of my time just trying to keep up with Hadley, which is a full-time job. And I also have a full-time job. Sheesh.

We've been having all sorts of good adventures lately. Every Tuesday morning, we go to music class, which Hadley loves. She prefers the up-tempo songs, and she always asks for "more?" when we're done. If I sing the first note of any one of about six or seven songs, she starts doing the motions. (Most popular is "Itsy Bitsy Spider," which our music teacher calls "Eensy Weensy Spider," but Hadley and I know that is not correct. Silly music teacher.)

If Hadley had her choice, we'd spend all day outside, coming in only briefly to watch one of her three "Elmo's World" DVDs. She's not allowed to watch much TV, but we do allow one viewing per day of Elmo. Then, it's outside again, where she 1) digs in the dirt, 2) picks up rocks and says, "rock?", 3) barks at dogs, 4) points at bugs and says "bug?" and 5) wants to touch the bugs. She also likes to sit on the front porch steps. She turns around and backs up s-l-o-w-l-y as she sticks out her little bum. Then she sits down and looks very satisfied.

There's goodness in being happy just sitting on the front step, isn't there?

I just love Hadley's age. She understands so much--nearly everything I say, I'm convinced--and she responds with such earnestness and humor. I let her touch the microwave buttons the other day because there's just nothing more fun than pressing buttons, right? Well, she turned on some sort of special alarm that I couldn't turn off. She could not stop laughing at me trying to get the stupid microwave fixed (and I wasn't being funny, I assure you). Now when we walk by the microwave, she points and smiles her little mischievous smile at me. "Look out, Mama, or I'm going to use my special powers to make that microwave go crazy again."

And she talks! All the time! She loves "b" words best: balloon, bubbles, ball, back, bye-bye. But she also says hello, no-no, mama, dada, woof-woof, please ("peas!"), cheese, juice, more, apple, walk, book, shoes, Elmo ("Melmo!"), yes (we're REALLY working on "yes" to counter the facility she has with "no-no")--I can't even remember them all. I love seeing her brain just grow and develop and learn new things. It's amazing to see first-hand how a little person grows and changes each day.

And THAT, fair readers, is why I haven't been blogging. I'm helping a little person grow and develop, for heaven's sake! What more can you ask of me?

Kidding. I'll try to do better, even if it means just throwing some photos of Hadley up here for you to see. Speaking of which...

We make a lot of forts on the couch. Forts are very important for hiding things...

and for climbing in...

It's also very important to clean off the bookshelves once a day... case there are any titles you no longer want to read...