21/52

"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."
the attic of our home is my little space. my studio, where i sew, and craft, and knit, and keep all my fabrics, and scraps, and works in progress. there are sequins on the floor, jars of buttons, towers of yarn, and extra party supplies in a box... and it is the perfect little space to explore if you are a three years old. since i had cleaned it earlier last week, and there weren't any straight pins on the floor to stick her feet, i let her play, and explore. she found the tiny sequins sparkling on the rug to be pretty fascinating.


favorites from this past week:

the sweet facial expressions of lady and baby made me smile /  this summer-y portrait of lucy has  me dreaming of summer and all the fun it has in store for us this yea.


joining in with lovely jodi



THE MOMMY


so, with mother's day well behind us, here is my mother's day post. i am posting this now because, well... i just couldn't figure out what to say on mother's day. i read many really lovely things written for mother's day... and all i had some scatter-brained thoughts that just didn't pull into anything cohesive  (that i probably could of gone ahead an blogged anyway... and made a big old ramble-y post out of). instead of doing mother's day an injustice,  i just decided that i would forgo the mother's day post, and continue not-blogging...

but then, the more i thought about mother's day, as it passed by, the more i thought about one of my favorite things about being chloe's mom.  that thing is, at the age she is right now, how she sees me.

and so i thought i would write about how my three year old, chloe, sees me. that is, what her perception of me is... or well, how i perceive, that she perceives me.  i never thought about this until a little over a year ago. i had taken chloe out to the craft store to buy something i probably needed for some ridiculousness that i was planning to concoct that night. as is the ritual of the craft store, i allowed her to peruse the animal figurines and told her she may select one to take home. i like these little animal figurines. they are big enough that i don't need to worry about her choking on them, and they are life-like while still being cute (in other words, i don't mind if they show up around the house, on my nightstand, the back of the toilet, or the dining-room sideboard). 

i watched her as she carefully looked over the selection of animals, and then move past the end of the isle, and further inside where there was shelves of figurines made by the same manufacturer. she selected a bride. i groaned a bit internally at the thought of her already reaching the "princess stage" and reached for a penguin to attempt to replace the bride with. because, i know that the princess stage will eventually come, but at two years old i just wasn't ready to welcome it quite yet. she was two at the time, and let's just save all that for four and five, right? right.

but then she reached for a smaller princess figurine, and another one, and another one. i felt my inner feminist begin to panic. i pulled it together and calmly reminded her she could only get one. calmly, because if i freaked out i knew she would really want that dang bride AND her whole posse. she quietly kept on going. she lined up all the princesses in front of the bride and started making them all kiss her. what the hell was going on? why are all the smaller princesses worshiping the big bride? why must they each kiss her? i was equally interested and confused by what was happening. i leaned in to listen to what she was saying, and heard that she was having each princess "kiss the mommy".

over and over, one by one, she would march each princess up to "the mommy" and tell them "kiss the mommy", which they would then do, quite happily.

sure chlo, you can have that mommy. let's take her home.

since then i have noticed that she always refers to the princess as "the mommy", the bride is "the mommy", and the weather lady is "the mommy". all really attractive ladies who have a certain air about themselves. they are all wearing something super-flattering, and they are really confident but gracious at the same time, and they always look amazing. things that i know are hardly ever true about me - the mommy. 

but not according to chloe's view of me. chloe sees me as the mommy who she kisses. she doesn't care that i am wearing the same thing i wore to bed. she doesn't look at what craziness pregnancy has wreaked on my complexion. she doesn't even seem to notice my huge pregnant belly. she looks at me and thinks i am confident, beautiful, gracious, and in charge.

i am the mommy. i am loved, and adored, and kissed. 

and the more i think about being this figure to her. the more i realize what a big responsibility it is, and what i want her to know about being a woman, and a person, and well.. a person that takes care of another person. i want her to know how much i enjoy taking care of her. i want her to see how undeniably happy i am to be her mother. i want her to blow her mind when showing her how to mix paints and make new colors. i want her to see the strong bits of me, the fun parts, and whatever admirable traits i might have, and the flaws, and the weak parts too. hopefully the good things are going to stick with her, and the not-so-good are going to be the things she learns from.. and, oh, i hope she never hates me (too much!). because i love her, and while part of me always want to be "the mommy" that she see's now, i know that she will need to see me other ways as she grows up and learns that i am just a person... and not a princess. 

but i hope she also grows up realizing that there is nobody i would rather be than "the mommy".






























all my love,

lebo

20/52

"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."



it was a rough week that was graced with small moments like this one. she found an activity that brought her some calm, and i took a few deep breaths and thought about how much we are both learning.


a few favorites from this week: 

a sweet profile in the warm sunshine - dandelion-picking is synonymous with spring-time in my book / this boy with balloons made me smile - balloons really are the best entertainment / i can relate to relishing a moment of stillness, and couldn't get over the dimple-y smile, captured in the photos of ellery and aubrey.


joining in with jodi once more.





16,17,18,19/52 (playing catch-up)

 
"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

week 16 / playing with bubbles on the porch
week 17 / "there. all better."



week 18 / "i'm stirring a cake!"

week 19 / a well deserved treat


if you follow me on instagram, or facebook, you have probably seen these already and they are old news - sorry folks. i am going to try to challenge myself to take the remainder of the portraits this year with my "real camera" (all of these are from my phone). aaaaand, maybe i'll try to post them weekly again as well.  

i might already have tomorrow's weekly portrait in the works... at least i THINK i do. or did i forget?... pregnancy brain... umm... stay tuned!

CHLOE TURNED THREE


chloe turned three yesterday. i had been rev-ing her up for this birthday over the past couple weeks. asking her, "how old are you chlo?"

"two", she would respond holding up her two little fingers.

"yes! but soon you are going to have a birthday, and you will be three. can you show me how many three is?" i would excitedly ask.

and then she would attempt the tedious task of changing her set of two fingers to three fingers... which is quite tricky when you are two/almost three. it takes some work, because that last finger wants to stick up so badly, and you kind of need to use your thumb to hold it down. but you are only two/almost three and you haven't quite figured out how to do it, and despite how many times your mom fixes your fingers to make the perfect "three-hand", it just won't stay.

and of course you mom asks you to make the "three-hand" at least ten times a day.

how frustrating to be two/almost three.

but it has been exciting too.

when i started talking to chlo about birthdays, and more importantly, her upcoming birthday. she immediately asked about a birthday cake. she quickly decided that she wanted a blue cake. with sprinkles, and balloons, and a hat. i asked her if she would like anything else. she couldn't think of anything.

i told her i would do my best, while inside thinking that this was going to be the easiest that birthdays may ever get. she didn't even ask for presents. or a party. or for anything involving a princess, or clown, or appearance by someone wearing a weird fuzzy costume. no, just three requests which i was sure i could easily produce with little effort.

and so that's what we did yesterday. when we woke up we wished her a happy birthday and told her today was the day. we made her do "three-hand" many times. we got dressed and took the stroller to the supermarket to get cake supplies and bagels, and then to the five and dime to get a dozen colorful balloons. we strolled home, with her holding her bundle of balloons.

and from there the day just was sort of like every other day, except both christian and i were off. and we let her eat whatever she wanted (we did make some healthy suggestions, but ultimately she made her decision to eat a ton of sugar). she received a few gifts from us; a new dining set, a tray of toy cup-cakes, a couple "surprise eggs" (one of the weirdest phenomenons of youtube, of which my child is obsessed), a new olivia book, and a promise for many blocks which are still on their way. she played for the better part of an hour with the eggs. stuffing the prizes and pamphlets, and stickers back inside, and then taking them back out individually, and announcing each bit before proclaiming "really cool".

she took a little rest in our bed before we had some family over for cake and ice cream. she played with her cousins, and stayed up past bedtime. she smiled the biggest smile when we sang "happy birthday". once everyone had left, and she had given lots of kisses, it was time for bed. she gathered up some of her favorite gifts, and loaded them into her bed. we kissed her goodnight and wished her a happy birthday for the last time that day.

it was one of my favorite days. by far the best family holiday we have celebrated to date. it was the perfect, simplest, loveliest of days. this week has not been the easiest. my car was hit pretty badly with chloe and christian inside - thankfully neither was injured, but our car is pretty smashed. my phone decided to just die without me even dropping it - just pfffftt. dead. i worked three, twelve-hour nights in a row, which, at six months pregnant is indescribably exhausting and emotionally draining. and then there are all the really serious things that are weighing heavily on my heart. the things that i am not directly experiencing, and that far outweigh my own "difficulties". however, i think about these things throughout my days, and mourn; for people who have lost their young children long before a parent ever should and for girls who have been taken from their families and may not ever return.

but for one day yesterday, none of those things were my focus. yes, all of those things were still there, but yesterday i was transported into the world of a three year old, and it was simple, magical, and full of sugar. i was full of thankfulness for my little family. for my happy and healthy three year old, and for everything she is. it was a day for relishing what is simple, and being present, and allowing my heart to be a bit lighter.

sometime in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, before we had family over for cake, i was cleaning up the mess that we had made while icing the blue cake.  while i did, christian and chloe danced in the dining room around the table, which is not an unusual happening at our house. at least once a day chloe will ask for music, and then ask us to dance around the table with her. chloe made christian hold balloons while dancing, and she was so sugared-up and excited. and in her excitement, while dancing, she began to say over and over "thank-you mommy! thank-you mommy!".  christian stopped dancing and looked at me to see my eyes starting to well up. to be the recipient of your child's most genuine and glorious gratitude, must be one of the best feelings you can experience as a parent.

i don't know who was more thankful though, her or myself.

yes, it was her birthday yesterday, but it was one of my favorite days.






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