Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

Entries Tagged as 'baby'

to baby bear, at sixteen months

August 31st, 2015 · No Comments

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Sixteen months.

That’s how old you are today. 

When our friends mention your name, they call you “Baby Bear,” and then smile sheepishly, because you’re not really a baby anymore.  Or you are, but only to me.  (And you’ll never get big enough to outgrow that!)

Because suddenly, in the last few months, our little baby became a kid!  It’s the craziest thing — it feels like a moment ago that you couldn’t even hold your head up by yourself, and now you’re running, dancing, throwing a basketball (I kid you not.  A full size basketball!) and asking for bubbles and Rambo by name. 

What!  How did that happen so fast?

Parenting a toddler is totally different than parenting a baby, and I have to say — I think it’s a lot more fun.  Sure, newborn snuggles were wonderful (I miss them sometimes when you won’t sit still in my lap anymore!) but it’s so much more exciting to watch your personality grow and take form.  To actually communicate with you, even if your vocabulary is still limited.  (‘Yes’ and ‘No’ were life-changing developments!) To make faces and watch you laugh, or see you bop your head to the songs that we sing. 

There are a million little things I’d like to remember about the last month, but my favorites, by far, were these…

… how you call both me and Chad “Mama.”  Sure, this breaks my heart a little bit (I’m your one and only Mama, kid!) but it’s also so darling.  We’ve started explaining to you that I’m the Mama-Mama and Chad is the Dad-Mama.  And we also regularly explain to our families and babysitters that Bear thinks he has two mamas.  Funny kiddo!

… dancing with you to Let It Go!  Ok, ok, sometimes you get cranky at the end of the day.  But one day, after dinner, when we were playing in the kitchen, Let It Go came on my phone and I decided to teach you some goofy ballerina moves.  For the next three minutes, we twirled and leaped around the kitchen together, and you thought it was hilarious to mimic every move I showed you.  If only I’d caught it on video — this would be excellent blackmail material for your teenage years!

… Hi Mama!  Every morning these days, you greet me standing up in your crib with an excited “Hi!”  I love it!  I’m not a morning person and your 7 a.m. wake-ups are pretty tough for me, but opening the door and hearing a big “Hi!” and a smile makes it all worth it.  (Sort of.  It would also be worth it at 8 a.m., just in case you were wondering…)

… Banana.  Ok, so, this one was my bad.  Again, at the end of the day last week, we were done with dinner and playing in the kitchen.  And I took out a banana and told you what it was, and you repeated back to me “ba-nweh” or whatever toddler approximation sounded a tiny bit like the word I’d just said. 

And I freaked out.  I was so excited (a three-syllable word! you’re heading straight to Harvard!) that I kept repeating it to you, over and over: “Banana!  Banana!  Banana!”

And then I realized that you had a banana graphic on your shirt.  Yes — on your little tee shirt was a picture of a banana.  So I picked you up and we ran over to a mirror, and I pointed at your shirt and tried to show you the banana picture, which was basically me just pointing at your chest and saying “Banana!” again and again. 

And then we went back to the original banana and I decided it would be funny to pretend the banana was a phone, so I picked it up and held it to my ear and said, “hello?”

And then you took the banana and did the same thing, held it up to your ear like it was a telephone… and then looked at me with a very perplexed expression. 

And suddenly I realized that I had just confused you beyond any possible understanding of what the word “banana” actually meant.

First, it was pretty clear.  This is a banana. 

And then I grabbed you and pointed at your chest in the mirror and basically said “You’re a banana.”

And then we got back down on the ground and I told you that we use them as telephones

This is a banana.  You’re a banana.  And we have conversations, using bananas. 

Yes, our son calls his dad ‘Mama.’

And he will probably call just about everything else he lays eyes on: ‘Banana.’ 

Happy Sixteen Months, Baby Bear.  I love you so.

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Tags: baby · life

life, in pictures

July 13th, 2015 · 2 Comments

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Here’s a parenting side effect that no one talks about: the photos.

Oh my gosh, you guys.  The photos. 

Let’s not discuss that I have an entire cloud storage account devoted to the 10,00 or so pictures that I took of Bear’s first year alone. 

Let’s not discuss the 400 videos I took of his first year. 

Let’s not even begin to discuss all the times my phone has run out of storage and the countless hours I’ve spent deleting shots of my shoes or my lunch or whatever it takes to make room for his goofy little smile or videos of him toddling shakily around our house. 

Instead, let’s talk about what gets lost in the minute-by-minute photo-documentation of life that we’re all guilty of.  You know what gets lost?  The highlights.

Those special moments get drowned into the hundreds of photos on Instagram, the thousands in “the cloud” that never get looked at again. 

When I was growing up, my mom painstakingly saved every snapshot, organized into boxes that lined our closets.  She labeled the back of each one with “Katy Birthday 1989″ or “Emily Halloween October 1992″ so she always knew where to find them.  Things are a little easier these days — I can hit “Ctrl+F” and find all my photos from November 2014, or log in to Facebook to see what I’ve saved.  But sometimes I get jealous of the limits that came with storing physical photos — you couldn’t take 10,000 shots, because where would they go?  Now they go nowhere, and so we take them all. 

But sometimes, you want a moment that’s a little more special.  The incredibly talented Kate shot these of me and Bear a few weeks ago, and it was a great reminder that sometimes it’s better to pick quality over quantity.  I’ve been insanely busy lately, and sometimes I worry that a week or two has gone by undocumented (gasp!) and I get concerned that I’ve missed some special moment without capturing it in digital form.  But then I look at photos like this and I try to remember: sometimes one beautiful moment, perfectly captured, is better than 10,000 shots that I’ll never look at again.  In an ideal world, I’d do both.  But when the days are too short, I try to remind myself that it’s ok to just live my life instead of documenting it. 

Even if, at the end of the day, what gets saved are a few snapshots and a lot of memories.

Loren Hope necklace, Maggy London dress, GiGi New York clutch, Jimmy Choo heels.

Photo Credit: Kate Robinson Photography
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Tags: baby · style

one more thing…

May 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Mom and Bear 23.Final

Thank you guys so much for your wonderful responses to my most recent career post.  I talked about how to find mid-career motivation when you’re at a crossroads, and it all boiled down to one simple piece of advice: Find something challenging that matters. 

Since that post, I’ve gotten so many comments and emails from you guys, and they made me so, so incredibly happy.  It means so much to me when I hear from you all, and I’m thrilled to have touched on a topic that matters to so many of you. 

But as I thought about that last post, it occurred to me that in some ways, it wasn’t a career post at all. 

Because the flip side is this: Parenting is challenging too.  And it matters just as much. 

One of my hesitations in writing about my career is this: there’s a fine line between encouraging and supporting women’s careers and getting into the working-mom vs. stay-at-home-mom debate.  And that debate isn’t one that I’m particularly interested in joining.  Why?  Because they are both valid life choices.  I don’t care which one is right for you.  But I do want every woman to have the opportunity to pursue the one that she chooses.

And maybe that’s the best lesson of all.  Because finding the path that’s right for you doesn’t always mean becoming the CEO of a company, or devoting yourself entirely to your family.  It can mean both, or neither.  And realizing that the answer may be different for every single woman (every single person) out there… well, I think that’s the right place to start.

Tags: baby