5 things I have learned from motherhood

Both of us girls have spent the past week in a haze of stuffy noses, congestion, and fatigue. I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes, ready to wash, clean, and cleanse anything and everything we have touched or breathed upon in the past week.

May I just observe that trying to wipe a 7-month-old's nose to clean the "boogies" requires the same dexterity and agility as lunging to kill an odious albeit swift common house fly? And the blood-curdling scream that surely follows such a barbarous act (the nose-cleaning, not the fly murder) is nothing short of magical.

who, me?
Anyway, I wanted to share a few quick things I have learned in my seven month stint into motherhood. It hasn't always been pretty. It hasn't always  been graceful. But it has always been an adventure - and that's what my alter-ego, Emilia de la Playa is all about.

1. Greet each morning with joy. When we go to get Miss Pippa from her crib each morning, the grin that lights up her face is contagious. She can't talk yet, but I like to think that if she could, she would be saying, "You guys! You didn't forget about me! You're still here- and it's a new day- and we get to play together some more- and I love you so much!"

2. I will do just about anything to elicit a smile or belly laugh. For awhile, we were getting her first grins, and it felt so good to finally have our baby acknowledge our presence. There's nothing like snuggling a newborn, but each new milestone, each new way of interacting, is so exciting and gratifying. Now that we have heard one or two belly laughs, we have been bending over backwards to hear it again. Tactics include, but are not limited to, yelling at poor Pablo (the dog), falling over dramatically, pretending to eat her feet, tummy, fingers, etc, and singing songs in weird voices.

3. Do what you gotta do. We've been pretty lucky so far - friends and family have been supportive and have refrained from offering unsolicited advice about how to raise our child. I am incredibly thankful for that. I like to ask others what they have done, read books, and read articles about how to ____ (insert current baby issue). Then I like to take a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and mix it all up to see what works. I can't say I follow one guru or one piece of advice except to do whatever is currently working to get the maximum amount of sleep. And I will kindly allow others to do the same without judgment. I like to think that we're all in this together, this parenthood thing, so wouldn't it be much easier to just acknowledge that we're all cutting corners somewhere to survive, and realize that different things work for each kid and each family?

4. This too shall pass. Naturally, you want to slap whoever said that to you right in their face when you are in the throes of a big change in your life. But it's true, and nowhere do you see that more clearly than with a baby, as changes happen in rapid succession. Teething, nursing issues, poor sleep patterns, colds, and even unfortunately cute mannerisms come and go within a matter of days (or sometimes weeks).

5. You will not survive this without a sense of humor. For example, when Pippa spits up on herself or my cute outfit, I like to think of it as an opportunity for a costume change rather than an annoyance. When Pablo finds said spit-up to be tasty, I like to think of it as help with cleaning up rather than disgusting. The same can be said for diaper blow-outs, sleep-deprivation-induced nervous breakdowns about weird things, and those moments when chaos seems to reign supreme.

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