I never woke up to alarm clock. Morning began whenever I heard noises coming from First Daughter's room. They were almost always happy noises - coos, giggles, babbles. I would usually lay in bed for a bit, listening to her sweet sounds coming from the next room. The image in my head of her grabbing her toes, chatting away with herself in her crib mirror, and rubbing her nose into her favorite blankie always started my day with a smile. It was a quiet, peaceful way to start the morning. We were never in a rush to get up and get going.
We would talk and sing songs while I changed her diaper and got her dressed. There was another mirror next to her changing table so she could smile at herself some more. I would talk to her about her toes and her tummy and play peek-a-boo pulling her shirt over her head. When she was finally dressed I always stood her up on her changing table so she could show me how strong her legs were. She would show off with little jumps and a proud smile which always results in a reward of a giant hug and kiss from me. I couldn't help myself.
Sometimes we would stay in her room for a bit and cuddle up on the Big Blue Chair for more songs and snuggles. But usually we made our way to the couch by the big window with the amazing view of the trees. I would stand her on my lap and with her hands on my shoulder she would stare at those trees. Shivers of excitement would wiggle through her body and every so often she would stamp her foot for emphasis. I would grab her hands with my fingers and lean her body into mine just enough for me to rest my nose on her cheek and my mouth by her chin. I brushed my face along hers as much as I could. I loved her smell, her sounds, her touch - everything about her. I loved watching her as she discovered the world - simple things like trees outside our window.
First Daughter loved trees. A lot. Sometimes I would position her swing in front of our sliding glass door and she would be happy staring at the trees for about an hour. No joke. I could do the same in front of our fish tank - she loved those fish! I don't remember what I did during that time, but I'm sure I sat and watched her. At least part of the time. I did a lot of that back then. She was my most favorite thing.
Every day we went on a long walk. If the weather was nice, it was outside on the hospital trail or in the neighborhoods by our apartment. When the snow came, we were on the indoor track at the Orem Rec Center. We walked for at least 1 1/2 hours everyday. I enjoyed showing her the trees, flowers, clouds, animals, everything we passed. I talked to her about everything we saw and would stop to touch leaves, flower pedals, and grass. When she slept I enjoyed the quiet time to myself. No music, no chatting with a friend, just the sounds of the world around me, my thoughts, and my heart full of love for my sweet little girl. Those walks were my favorite thing about that time.
At some point in the day we called Husband. We didn't have unlimited texting then (I actually didn't text at all) so we weren't in constant contact throughout the day. I loved that he called me every day to tell me he loved me and to hear my voice. Sometimes I would call him when First Daughter was especially talkative so he could hear her babbling away. He worked only a few miles away, but we missed him a lot while he was gone. I took tons of pictures so he wouldn't miss anything and so I wouldn't ever forget anything.
We had a small box of toys in our living room, a baby swing, a boppy, and one of those toys that hangs over the baby while they lay on the ground. We would spend our time at home rotating from toys, to swing, to boppy, to toys, to tummy time, to singing more songs, to snuggling. First Daughter was born with Torticollis so we structured her play around changing her positions often to stretch and strengthen her neck muscles. We also had some physical therapy stretches and exercises we needed to do every day. She did not like those, but we did them anyway.
She took amazing naps for hours at a time. Most days I couldn't stand not napping with her. We would snuggle together on the bed or the couch and sleep until we both were too sweaty to stand it. If I was careful enough, I could roll out of bed without waking her and she would nap a little longer while I did something like fold laundry. But like most things, I preferred folding laundry with First Daughter by my side :) So I'm not really sure what I did while she was napping.
Life was so incredibly simple then. There was no texting, facebook, instagram, blogger, DVR, Netflix, social life (I only had two very close friends), outside pressures, etc. All these things existed, they just weren't a part of my life and they weren't a given. They weren't expected, by me or anyone else. It was just me and her and I loved it.
It was so easy to find the joy in each day. She was it. All my joy wrapped up in one tiny package.
I am so thankful that I had such an amazing experience as a first time mom. I know that is not the case for every woman - the transition into full-time motherhood can be really difficult (I had my share of difficult transitions with other babies). Thankfully my first experience was pretty close to perfect. I recognize how much of a blessing that is. I wouldn't change a thing about it. There wasn't a day I felt overwhelmed or a moment that I didn't want to spend with her. Husband and I didn't even go on a date without her until she was 7 months old! She taught me how to love motherhood and prepared me for her siblings to come. I will always be so thankful for her and thankful she came first.
Motherhood is such a gift and a miracle. I am so thankful for this opportunity I've been given and for the precious children that call me mama.
And I can't help but think how different my daily life is today... :)
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