Friday, November 30, 2007

school girl

little peach went to work with mommy and daddy today. what a sport! nana and grandpa went away to portland for the weekend, so we brought eliana in to school for a day of adventure. she is too much! she did so well - rolled around on her play mat while the third graders took turns reading to her, helped mom give spelling tests by making extra emphatic grunts after i read the words, even managed to have a blow out on dad's sweater right before he had a meeting. she really does have such impeccable timing. but really. what baby misses her entire nap time because she is being hauled around a chaotic room of children, and doesn't even gripe? we both came home exhausted and enjoyed a luxurious, two and a half hour, afternoon nap together. it felt like the old days when little peach used to sleep in my arms at night, before she graduated to her big girl bucket. she used to just be the length of my forearm. now her little legs are kicking all over town, ready to conquer the world.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

roll over

so this morning as i was getting my cup of coffee (aka "mommy crack") and yoghurt together for breakfast, i left eliana on her play mat on the carpet to hang sola for a bit. she was lying on her back looking up at all the dangling plastic thingys that she so enjoys. and when i walked back by her a few minutes later, she was on her belly, head lifted, holding onto a little stuffed mountain goat that had been lying on the periphery of the mat. rolled over. done. another milestone. i swear, she is changing so fast, i can hardly keep up. she is getting so determined, so independent.

meanwhile, the snow continues to fall, and mommy continues to be a raging insomniac. the creul irony of having a baby who sleeps well is when that baby's mommy suddenly can't turn off the incessant chatter of her mind. last night i got in bed at ten, and lay there, wide awake, until four when eliana woke for her middle of the night nurse. i'm not sure what's going on with me. it feels hormonal. i feel hot and sort of clammy in bed and my mind is 100% turned on. i don't even feel remotely sleepy in my brain, but my body feels like it needs to lie down. i took all sorts of precautions to not have that happen to me again. took a hot bath and read a silly magazine. hiked up the "L", in the snow, with my thirteen pounder attached to my chest, and my annoying dog pulling me on the leash. but even getting some exercise didn't seem to wear me out. worked hard, had eight people to dinner, cooked and cleaned and socialized, and yet, still, i couldn't seem to turn it off. i think the general magnitude of life feels so overpowering that i can't really take it all in, and i'm left, sifting through it, at all hours of the night.

so now that my daughter continues to progress perfectly, i've got to work on finding myself and getting her on the right path again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

big bucky

baby bucket sat up on her own tonight. she was flailing and lying on her back supported by the boppy, grunting and trying, to no avail, to move herself. i helped her up and plopped her away from any support. then i moved. and she stayed. she sat there, like the big girl she is, for a whole three minutes before slowly toppling to the side. i can't even believe it. my little girl is growing up.

montana moment

i had quite a montana moment this morning. i was bustling around the kitchen making myself breakfast while eliana entertained herself with her sphere, sitting in her little seat. i had some junk to put in the recycling in the garage. i opened the door to toss it in and screamed. i forgot that the deer jeff finally shot on sunday was hanging, large and lifeless, from the top of my garage, it's eyes open, head almost brushing the floor. eliana looked at me with concern in her big blues. my armpits went wet and prickly, my heart rate accelerated. i slammed the door and ran back in the kitchen, again thinking, when did this become my life?

Monday, November 26, 2007

ch, ch, ch - changes

i found one of my all-time favorite david bowie songs running circles in my head at about 4:17 this morning. "ch, ch, ch, changes" it sang as i rubbed eliana's head with one hand and held her thrashing legs down with the other. we had been up since about three dancing this same dance. this is my child who has slept through the night since she was eight weeks old. my little superstar. my little baby who is going through yet another change. for the past two weeks or so she hasn't been sleeping like she used to. she has generally been waking up in the middle of the night for a snack and then returned, quickly, to her dreamlike slumber. i figured perhaps she was growing and needed some extra food to keep her going. now i'm not so sure. after i fed her at three, and gingerly placed her back in her bucket, the kicking began. because she sleeps swaddled, she kicks more as if her legs were replaced by a ping-pong paddle that slaps the bottom of her little bed. if she is at all turned, her paddle seems to lie perfectly against my lower back and she kicks off my spine like she's pushing off the deep end of the swimming pool before a race. except she does it repeatedly.

i'm not a good sleeper. never have been. so for me to have been blessed (though perhaps only temporarily) with such a splendid sleeper was incredible. the number of nights i have watched her sleep while my mind buzzed and festered in a million directions is innumerable, at this point. the only sure cure it seems for insomnia is an awake baby. then, more than anything, you want another five minutes of deep slumber. you try to sleep while she's nursing and your head is wedged halfway between the wooden headboard and the end of the pillow. you try to sleep while your hand is caught up in the repetitive motion of soothing her head, while your head is resting on the metal edge of her baby bed. you send her telepathic messages, reminding her that it is time to go back to sleep. when you say that phrase in your head, you say it in a deep, commanding voice, trying to make it extra powerful even though she can't hear you at all. you stare at her wide awake eyes and then shut yours, modeling the proper eyelid technique for a good nights sleep. and yet, she continues to swing her little head back and forth and slap her fin like a regular beached whale (a very, very small beached whale).

and now it's almost 9:15, you are supposed to be ready to go back to work after a week off, due to the snow, a week of eliana getting used to staying home with mom again and out of her going to grandma and grandpa routine. she continues to slumber and you don't want to wake her because she didn't sleep well last night and you know that the more she sleeps during the day, the better off you'll be in the evening. yet you still have to pump milk, feed her, brush your teeth, defrost your windshield, warm up the car, drive her up the hill, try and feed her again, and get to work in time to xerox homework packets and write the morning message on the board. good lord. i better wake her.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


what a beautiful thanksgiving weekend we had! the fresh snow and blue skies set the tone for a perfect, holiday celebration, montana style. we had a lovely feast on thanksgiving day, packing the grandparent's house with nearly twenty guests. we then enjoyed the next few days eating, going for walks in the snow, laughing, chatting and culminating with one group cross country skiing adventure. i was so proud of all the out-of-towners, most importantly of hilary, my big city dancing queen sister, rocking it out there on the xx skis. it is a funky sport for those of us who like to be in control seeing as how there isn't a whole lot of it to be had when coming downhill. it is so satisfying for me to share my world here with my family. having cooperative weather really helps! and then, of course, there is the little bucket, who continues to wow guests. she was as charming as ever, fluttering her long lashes, laughing and showing off her killer dimples. she is also miss competent these days, grabbing her toys and reaching for her reflection in the mirror. she rocked the two plus hour ski in the ergo, attached to her papa, just going with the flow the whole way (until about 1/2 mile from the trailhead when she woke up, hungry, cold and disoriented, sending her mama into a temporary guilt filled state while i tried to warm her red little cheeks and sooth her, worrying that we had had her out there too long, etc., etc., but, alas, she relaxed, had a long nurse, and was up and running for dinner and drinks at the old post shortly thereafter). what a champ.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


it's thanksgiving morning and i don't believe i've ever had a thanksgiving with more to be thankful about. my beautiful daughter is sleeping soundly in her little bucket, snow covers the ground, and my house is filled with a sense of peace and calm. in a few hours my sister and her man arrive to share in this glorious time. up the road, all of jeff's family is already gathered in anticipation of a weekend together, kelli and jack driving all the way from portland last night. today we will gather with our closest friends and their families to share food. it's pretty incredible. i remember my first thanksgiving in montana. i didn't go anywhere and ended up having a nutty, missoula style feast with lots of neighbors and lots of random folks i just met that day. there was lots of game meat, tons of "foody" style root vegetable dishes, everything grown in people's gardens, everything on the table with some sort of food ethic behind it. i remember feeling like i was living in some weird dream where people gathered together like that; it was so different to the southern california thanksgivings i grew up with. now it's five years later and all my family is coming together to visit me in my space, on my terms. and brianna and joellen, my two best friends here, are bringing their families here too - it's like the montana family we made is merging with out biological families. it's pretty sweet. of course i would love for my mom to be here, for it not to be so hard for people to come together. i know that i am the one that left, that i chose this other path. but then i think again about my baby. think about the life she is going to have, already has. the community of people here who love her. the woods she walks in. the calm, safe surroundings of living in a town where people don't lock doors, where neighbors are actually friendly, where the pace is a bit more mellow. i think about her beautiful daddy, out trying, god bless him, to provide meat for this family. think about all the hours he has spent following elk tracks, trying so ardently to use the resources that we have in abundance, to live off this wild land. i'm looking at the frost melting on the window, at my picnic table covered in nearly a foot of snow, and can't believe he is hiking around, quietly, stealthily, on this morning. when did my life become like this? when did this become normal? my husband out hunting, our baby asleep in our bed, the snow bringing excitement instead of fear. being something i actually know how to live in, navigate through. i have so much to be thankful for today. i also have so much to be proud of. i'm proud of my girl and of my man. i'm also proud of myself, proud of the leap of faith it took to get me here, proud of the goodness within me, the strength to take-risks, the power to forge our own path.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

red suit

my girl is such a good sport! she just rolls with whatever wacky scheme i conjure taking her picture in the snow!

first snow

eliana experienced her first snow yesterday morning. i still feel like i'm seeing snow for the first time - i get so excited and child-like when we have a snow as rich and heavy as the one he had monday morning. i got els all bundled up in her snowsuit, and we headed to the park to take it all in. eliana still sees contrasting colors the best so i think the intensity of the white against everything else was a treat for her little eyes (actually, her eyes were quite huge as she marveled at the wonder of it all). the snow was, in fact, so intense, that we lost all power at our house for the rest of the day. school was cancelled and we ended up camping out at jeff's folks place.

today the sky is the brightest blue and yesterday's snow is sparkling in the sunlight. i am so thrilled that we have both beloved auntie's, kelli and hilary coming in for thanksgiving. i love to share the beauty of this landscape almost as much as i love to share the beauty of my baby!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

just too much

you know you've got it bad when love songs come on the radio and instead of applying the silly lyrics to your lover, you apply them to your baby. this seems to constantly happen to me. another ridiculous thing i caught myself doing today. we were on our hike and i noticed that some person scratched "T + S" in the bark of a tree. immediately in my mind i switched the
T and the S to a "G + E". i've got it bad. i'm smitten, head over heels, positively madly in love.


baby and mama are sharing a lazy, sunday morning together. we don't get to hang as much in that open-ended, timeless sort of way anymore and i'm so loving it. we're both in our cozies, just lounging and chatting and snacking and cat-napping. daddy's off trying to provide some sort of large animal for us, the november sky is gray and calm, and i'm putting off doing anything too structured. but baby won't let us chill for too long. a big sound just came from her mid-section, and we're out of wipes, which means i've been using the fancy, homemade, organic, reusable wipes i made while i was preggers and optimistic, and let me tell you, while the apricot and calendula oils are lovely, cleaning off a piece of cloth covered in baby doodie, is not. els has a little baby cold, so there's lots of stuff coming out of her today. i think her body is trying to get rid of the bug and so we're going through lots of diapers. but i guess that's all the structure i really need. hang out. eliana poops. we change the diaper. and continue. she's such a trooper. but i think we should head out doors to get some fresh air to her mucus-y nose and clear her out a bit. plus she needs a good nap and we still nap best while on mama. lucy is barking at the back door, the day continues in it's special, gray, timeless way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eliana loves to hold anyone's hands - even her own!
She also digs on her special, "big girl toys"
Here she is, just hanging out and holding herself up...
and now she's working those back and neck muscles...
and finally, relaxing in her swing (with lots of juicy drool on her chin)!

little missy tough girl is growing by the minute. it seems that everyvday she can do something even more fabulous. yesterday she had her four month doctor's visit and she's weighing in at a healthy 12 pounds, ounces. she passed all of the doctor's tests with flying colors and didn't even let out a peep of protest the whole time. she is practically holding herself up and loves flexing her muscles any chance she gets. i am so darn proud of my little girl.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

going for it

well, it's happening and we're going for it. i am officially back at school, having my first full work week, and bringing eliana up to her grandparents every morning. our week has been full and fast. i feel like when you have a baby, you learn to be incredibly efficient. you have a small window when the baby is sleeping and subsequently doesn't need you. you move quickly through all the tasks that need to be done (not necessarily doing them as well as you used to). that is how this post is for me right now. eliana is still sleeping and it's 9:27 am. my plan was to have her in the car to go up to the folks house by 9:30. that clearly won't be happening because i hate to wake my little sunshine. she's been having funky sleeps lately and waking up during the night (which she hasn't done since she was about eight weeks old). my theory is that she is getting used to all the changes and that some of her teeny incisors are coming in. she is super slobbery and smacking her little grandma gum's around more often. we go to see the pediatrician today and she can check out her little mouth for me (miss thang will not let her mama's hand near the inside of her mouth).

all this said, this week hasn't been bad, it's just been different. i have this theory that teachers have two speeds of life. speed one is the summer - lazy, slow, and full of adventures. then there is the school year and suddenly everything speeds up and one day runs into the next and you always feel like you're running behind yourself waiting to catch up. and suddenly it's the week before thanksgiving and you don't know what happened to the fall. teaching is fast paced, it's dynamic and unpredictable. it takes a totally different internal energy. so the shift from nursing mama, slow style, taking it all in and savoring every moment to making copies, racing up stairs, being energized and witty and organized, is pretty intense.

but then there's the moment when i finish work and get to head up the hill to pick up e. as you come over the hill towards my in-laws place there is this stunning view of the rattlesnake mountains, which are now dotted in a soft, white snow. yesterday the blue, winter sky fused with those grey and green peaks and i smiled and took a deep breath, taking in the view, knowing that in less than a minute i would be back with my girl. and then she sees me and is back in my arms again and the rest of the day kind of melts away, my heart rate slows, and i enter back into the dreamy existence that is me and eliana.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

play date

eliana had her first play date yesterday. while she has tons of little baby friends, they don't exactly interact much at this point. but yesterday she was with her "big girl" friend, baby aluna, who is a whopping nine months old. baby aluna loved eliana's room and played with her wooden trains and funky blocks that elie has yet to glance at. then penelope and i put them both in eliana's crib. elie was focusing intently on aluna's little face, trying so hard to hold herself upright so she could be a big girl too. aluna was just into eliana's loot - the snazzy rattles and stuffed toys, ragdolls and fancy baby balls. the whole thing was pretty darn cute though. i adore the land of the little people.

Friday, November 9, 2007

love house

Jeffy and Baby E are in the middle of an intense love affair...
What would a Missoula baby be without a Patagucci to lounge through winter in?
Who thinks I resemble my mama?
well i am happy to report that there is no school today. daddy woke up at the crack of dawn to go hunting - this year it's more important than ever to provide a large ungulate for the family! he's so cute...he cooked himself a victory breakfast of deer tenderloin at about five this morning. this is the same guy who can't make himself a piece of toast on a workday; i guess if hunting is involved, the drive to eat comes from a different place. elie is sitting in her swing, finally content after a fussy twenty minutes or so. we have a typical love deay planned: walk with one mama and her baby first, then lunch with another mama and her baby next, lastly walk with another couple mamas and their babies after that. big note! thank god i did so well in seventh grade typing class because i can stare at my baby makd her think i'm not doing anything else while my fingers secretly type away. i don't really have any big news today, just that i am trying to appreciate every minute with my baby and not get too bogged down by the impending work week. i spent a lot of time with elie strapped to my chest at work yesterday, making copies, revising lesson plans, generaly getting my head back in the game. i love bringing her to work. i swear i can concentrate better when i know she's with me and in a blissed out slumber.
i think first mama and baby have arried judging by lucy's annoying barking at the window. more later.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


so, just re-reading yesterdays post, so sweet and optimistic but not really the tone for today. today i'm exhausted. the energy of the elementary school - the kids, the bells, the messy desks and disheveled nature inherent in this age of child - it's a little much for the nursing mama. i'm grooving on the quiet creak of the rocker, the mellow, folky chick tunes of our teeny, pink nursery radio, the soft sound of sucking, hiccups, coos. racing home at lunch to nurse eliana and then running back up the street to complete my...gulp...lunchroom duty, sort of put me over the edge. rushing her through her feeding, hurling her at her grandma while snarfing an apple and putting my coat on as i rushed out the door, the cool fall air hitting my cheeks reminding me that yes, indeed, the time is now, you are no longer in timeless wonderland but this is it, money making, job land, land that keeps the mortgage paid and organic fruit in the fridge, keeps the house warm and gas in the car - no avoiding this land, no more long days with mamas in the tribe, everyone eating and nursing and gabbing, rocking and laughing and being in that same, honest and ultra real universe, not so much anymore, not right now.

the acoustics in the gym are awful and entering that cacophonous room full of chomping children was a bit much. immediately i was sticking my thumb nail into oranges to help peel, twisting the too tight lids off of thermoses, passing out bathroom passes and telling kids to put their trash in the bin. it was like walking into my past. walking into a scene that has felt so familiar and second nature for years. now it suddenly felt like i just didn't fit. like i was watching my own, surreal dream. my shirt was wet with milk and i nonchalantly tried to adjust the pad in my bra. i was almost happy for that reminder of what now feels like my real life. i realized that no one knew that this was strange for me, that i was a normal, familiar player in that scene for the other folks in the room. the have not had an interruption in their continuum. i am their teacher. i belong and have not been changed.

i continued my roll play - lined the kids up quietly, made sure they walked single file, and as we headed up the stairs, wiped my eyes with my sleeve, took a deep breath, and entered the classroom.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

back to work

so it's my second day back at work and i seem to be doing okay. the movement from breastfeeding and stinky, milky tee-shirts to my pseudo, missoula style professional garb is kinda tricky, especially this morning when baby e was asleep in my arms still at 9:45 and i didn't have the heart to wake her. mind you, i have to be at work at 10:00 and i still wasn't dressed. she was sleeping so peacefully, face planted against my breast, breathing heavily, just completely nuzzled into me - how could i wake her? finally i realized it was time, lay her gently in her crib, grabbed my brush (thank god for the ponytail) and quickly threw some clothes together. at about 9:52 I nursed her one last time, trying to get her to eat enough so that she wouldn't have to battle the bottle (which she still isn't into). of course, she's recently developed another absolutely lovely and adorable trait which came up in this very tenuous moment, the "smile and nurse." the smile and nurse involves eliana frequently looking up to me with her big, glorious, bright blue eyes and smiling. sometimes she even giggles. we stare at each other and smile and nursing takes a backseat until all the smiles are satisfied. what a horrible moment to have to rush through. the only solace i have is that she presents me with many such lovely moments every day. though, even as i write that, it still isn't solace enough to justify having to break out of that sweetness to satisfy a schedule. but i managed to pass her to nana in time to slip on my clogs, run out the door, and be there in time to pick the kids up from morning recess.

i felt more of my teacher vibe this second day. i brought a beautiful story to share with the class (Miss Rumphius...check it out, gorgeous children's book). it was a book given to me for elie before she was born, and i re-read it again last night when we were having our quiet, marathon nursing time together. it tells the story of a woman who appreciates all the beauty in life. she travels the world and climbs mountains, meets interesting people and makes connections. when she's an old lady, she decides to scatter lupine seeds wherever she walks as a way to bring a little bit more beauty into the world. sharing this book with my class seemed to be a way to bridge my life at home with eliana as a mama to my life at school as a teacher. i was bringing what i believe to be true into the classroom (while still managing to teach about paragraph formation and proper sentence formation).

eliana was a peach for her grandparents and seems to be transitioning as well. we still enjoy afternoon hikes, just the two of us, up the mountain behind the house. the fall days have been glorious - bright blue skies and crisp, cool air. if anything, those four hours away from her make me revel in our time together even more. i listen to the way her breathing changes as we move uphill. the way she settles into the deep, heavy breaths of real sleep. the way her eyelids gently flutter when she wakes. the smile that spreads across her little face when she realizes where she is - attached securely to her mama, walking gracefully through another blissful day.

Monday, November 5, 2007

dia de los muertos

mama got her groove on at the dia de los mertos celebration on friday night. missoula is a festival town. we love revalry and any excuse to dress up, get nuts and disfruta la vida! the day of the dead is one of missoulas best, replete with a wacky parade, lots of live music and dancing. when my friend celeste asked me to perform, i initially declined. the pieces we were going to perform she and i choreographed last fall, pre-preggars, and when i was in tip top shape. i was feeling ripped and diva-like back then, not the sleep schedule obsessed, soft bellied, super serious mama i am today. luckily i was in cali at the time i was contemplating the descision. my uber dancing sister said something to me like, "don't you want eliana to have that cool mom? that mom who dances?" anf for her alone, i did it. i do want to be that mom. i want to be beautiful and soulful, creative and atheletic, charismatic and alarming.

while i wasn't too nervous about remembering my moves, i was wondering if my mommy body would cooperate. half an hour before the show, i was squirting breast milk all over celeste's studio, frantically trying to make eliana's little belly replete and satisfied before the performance while celeste slapped thick, festive make-up on my face. i was worried i would freak elie out, but she seemed to be enjoying the pre-show chaos, even as the red and gold glitter from my eyes and costume rubbed off on her precious skin. i thought about circus families, babies who are born to perform and felt an excited rush for this new moment we were sharing together.

as i waited in the wings, i could see jeff jiggling eliana in the back of the tiny theatre. it was time for my first number the piece starts with me alone, on my knees, center stage. the dance pays honor to yemenja, the brazilian orixa of the oceans, the mother of all orixas, and the absolute most reverant woman figure in my funky, spiritual life. i was feeling it. i felt beautiful and strong and radiant. as i stood to prepare for my first move, i felt the rush of the performance moving through me, i felt strong and compelling and powerful. i kicked my leg high and rotated towards the back, throwing my weight to the right for my preparation when, thud, i landed on the floor. holy shit. i hit the deck. down. fallen. for a second i wasn't sure if i was okay. maybe someone was about to rush to help me and i had sprained something. i didn't really know. i say celeste turn to help me up and within another second, i was back up, right back at my place in the music, giving the dance my all. so perhaps i slipped on the stupid carpet we were performing on. perhaps my muscles aren't what they used to be. or, perhaps i was distracted by my baby bucket in the back, not focusing on the moment but instead on the grander relevance of my time on the tiny stage. whatever it was, it passed. i danced my groovy little heart out that night and still took my bow with pride. you've gotta fall when you give it your all. and little eliana will have an honest, real, tough mama to model for her the way to get back in the game with a smile, not letting too much ego bring you down.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

the end of an era...making peace with transition

these week has been a tough one for a variety of reasons, but they seem to all come back to the same difficulty - transition. i am transitioning to being away from eliana and it's one of the hardest things i've ever done. for three and a half months i have been able to be her everything. we've done exceptionally well together, bonding from the start. she is everything i could have ever dreamed for in a baby and our relationship is so harmonious and in sync. absolutely textbook (we really do have the perfect "dr.sears" attachment thang down). and here we are at this inevitable crossroads. i have to return to work. before having her, i never entertained the idea of not returning to work. not only is it not feasable financially, it was never something that i thought really interested me. i've been working full time since the day i graduated college. i love my job, love being out in the world, being a professional woman, making my little mark for the greater good. but then i had a baby. and i found myself in this wonderworld of sleeping and nursing and walking. of cooing and burping and gently sweeping spit of a perfect, little chin. of moving slowly and carefully. of always being fully engaged and focused. of observing more closely than ever before. of my heart, ready to burst, replete and full at all times. of long gazes in each others eyes, of smiling back and forth and back again, snuggling in bed, feeling our chests rise and fall together as we walk through the hills and trees, taking it all in together.

but on monday, those days will take a new shape. eliana is out of her third trimester. she has entered a new phase. she is ready to roll and reach and make connections. she is ready to understand cause and effect. she has the security and attachment and trust in the world that she needs to have new successes. and i have to embrace my pre-mom self and let her go. for the past few days, just thinking about having to leave her could bring tears to my eyes. i couldn't focus on anything but this impending change. i may sound dramatic, but it really has taken hold of me in this very powerful way. two nights ago i literally was up all night watching her, trying to make peace in my brain, but never being able to fully leave my head and enter the world of sleep. it was a terrible, powerful night for me. as i watched the hours pass, finally greeting six and then seven when jeff's alarm went off, i attempted to work through all the different parts of this internal struggle. the positive side of me realizes that this is an opportunity for growth for both of us. that i can embrace more parts of myself and bring a more loving, more replete, more grounded self into the classroom and that eliana can gain independence through creating a beautiful, loving relationship with her grandparents. and, of course, how tremendously grateful am i that i don't have to bring her to a stranger, that she is only going to be a few miles up the road in the loving and attentive arms of jeff's folks? but it is all so layered and intense and strong. as i watch her stir from sleep on our bed right now, i try to commit this moment to memory, her little bundled self squirming, her legs flapping up and down like the fin on some water mammal, her head moving back and forth on the soft green blanket beneath her. in a few moments her eyes will open and i will be there to welcome her to this new day. and i turn in my gratitude card, that i have this moment with her, that i will still be here each morning when she wakes, that i will continue to have many such precious moments with my girl.