anonymous asked: I think you wrote way back, when you'd just found out you were pregnant, that motherhood would not change you. You'd still be you, your husband would still be him, you;d still take pictures of lots of things every day...Hmmmm...still feel the same way? Doesn't sound like it :)
Dear anonymous: When you have a newborn, you're exhausted, covered in spit up, living in pajamas, and fighting post-partum hormones... sometimes you don't feel like you. But I can assure you that I am still me, and Michael is still Michael. And of course I still take photos every day! Photography is a decade-long passion of mine, and I don't go one day without my camera in my hand.
When you have a baby, it doesn't mean you will forever lose yourself, and the things you love. The most healthy thing you can do for that child is show them that you have a sense of identity, outside of them. I grew up with two parents who had a world of hobbies, passions, and love for each other.
I guess by reading this comment, I realized that I must have given the impression that something about us has changed. It hasn't. Just because Elodie is here doesn't mean my world turned completely upside down and I lost all sense of who I was. Right now, life is about learning to incorporate Elodie into every part of who we are.
We are continuing to live our life just like we had before...everything just takes a bit longer, and there are a lot more messes :) Life does not have to stop because you have a baby. You can use it as an opportunity to show these precious little sponges what life, and the things you love, are all about.
Here are a few photos from the last 6 weeks.
I am still taking photos every day, of the things I find to be beautiful. Like the tiny dried bits of last years tomato harvest...
...my handsome husband, who I am always creeping on and photographing from behind doorways and hidden in shadows. Until he catches me and flares his nostrils for ten minutes straight so I can't get even one more picture.
The best granola I have ever eaten, brought to me by my friend Megan. Who put together the sweetest after-baby care package for me - yummy acai berry chapstick, lavender soap, yoga pants, home made salsa and granola, all wrapped in brown paper and tied with a rose.
...and Grandpa :)
A picture a day, so I will never forget these sweet days...
...precious little boys, chasing bubbles in Grandma's sweater.
homework on the back patio, enjoying the lovely Spring weather and sweet, tiny babes.
(and spotting my husbands gorgeous gray hairs)
watching my Mom cook traditional Persian food, and seeing a bowl of chick peas go from nothing to a whole meal.
Barley stew at Grandma and Grandpa's house on my weekly Wednesday visit. She insists it's good for my milk and fills up my bowl about three times after I tell her I'm full.
Then she tells me stories about herself when she was nursing. And how she had enough milk to feed all the babies in their neighborhood. Not only that, but she also fed all the local cats. Then she pours me another bowl of stew, hoping I will attract my own alley cats, while I try not to laugh at the thought of her Mama-catting all those Persian cats.
My Grandma, picking herbs.
Elodie is not a weight that burdens my shoulders or a ball and chain to forever ground me to the confines of sweat pants and daytime tv. She's my daughter, and I want to show her the world. It has taken me 28 years to become who I am, and even though this tiny baby has changed me in ways I never knew she could, I am still me, and Michael is still him. To show her the world, from our backyard and farther is something we dreamed of doing from the minute we found out she would be here, in 40 weeks. And so far, we are doing just that.
She goes with us on our walks. Where we will teach her to find beauty in tiny things.
I look down at her and watch shadows dance across her face from the trees. She squints, and sighs, and I know she is content to feel the sun warming her from the outside in.
She is with me in those sweet, sleepy evenings. With beautiful Oklahoma sunsets. I swing with her on the porch as our late Spring thunderstorms start to fill the air with their weight. She's feeling these things for the first time, and I get to be the one to show her that.
We take her to restaurants, festivals, and museums.
And even if she sleeps the entire time, one day she will wake up to find herself in the middle of the life we kept living, even after she was born.
At least twice a week, she comes to watering holes, hiking trails, and along on trips to play disc golf with her Dad.
Sometimes just the three of us go.
I pull little blooms of honeysuckle up to her nose, and she smells something, for the first time. I was love-sick, remembering my own midwest Summertime, as a little girl. Pulling the stems from the honeysuckle and drinking the tiny drop of absolute heaven, before the bumblebees chased me away. Some day she will do this, too. And today, she smelled honeysuckle for the first time.
Sometimes we go with friends.
And while her Dad is busy playing, I show her the way the Cottonwood trees spread tiny specks of snow across the sky. When the light catches them, I think my heart could explode with how perfect those tiny little dots really look.
We took Elodie to her first music festival, and concert. She was surrounded by 30 thousand people, and she slept the entire time.
But I still know that she felt the bass in her fingers and toes...the same way she did when I was pregnant with her. Every night I would put headphones to my belly and feel her dance.
And I know she saw the lights.
I brought her outside with me, while I gardened.
In her little tent in the shade, she waited....
...while I planted seeds, pulled weeds, and picked fresh strawberries from the garden. These days there is not much time to blog about backyard farming, but I still take the time to teach these things to Elodie.
Some days are hard. She cries all day, and I don't brush my teeth until 4 in the afternoon. I can only dream of my garden and sleep is something I don't even remember, anymore. But just like I thought there would be, there are so many good days, too.
All starting with the days that she started to look at me, and smile...and gurgle a sweet laugh from the bottom of her belly all the way to her throat and into my heart.
And when she's feeling extra sweet, she sleeps for 5 hour stretches at night, and naps during the day. Giving me time to feel like me again.
Time to sit alone for a minute with my husband and drink a glass of wine on the patio.
Time to go for a long bike ride for the first time in almost a year without being pregnant. Time to stretch my tired body that has spent 9 months stretching to grow her. It feels like waking up, again.
And time to look through old photos and laugh. To see where Elodie gets bits and pieces of me, even though she's a tiny duplicate of her Dad.
She has my nose, hair, toes, and tiny little string bean legs.
anonymous wrote: I think you wrote way back, when you'd just found out you were pregnant, that motherhood would not change you. You'd still be you, your husband would still be him, you;d still take pictures of lots of things every day...Hmmmm...still feel the same way? Doesn't sound like it :)
Dear Anonymous - Yes, I do still feel the same way.