Luckily she grew up quickly and within a matter of a few weeks became quite the chunk! I love the sumo-boobies in this picture!
This reflection has allowed me to remember a few fond memories of my sweet girl that I haven't written down anywhere yet so please excuse my mushy gushy mother-ness.
It was very hard for me to go back to work after having Niev. Luckily, I took 8 weeks off and only had about 11 more weeks of teaching 6th grade left when I went back. This did not make that transition easy by any means. I was fortunate enough to have a loving and supportive husband that stayed at home and took fantastic care of Niev. More importantly, this is what greeted me each day when I came home!
There are several memories of mine that as soon as I would get unloaded from work, I would scoop Niev up and play with her on my lap. Oh the giggles that she rewarded me with. Ian, I think, was feeling a bit ripped because he had been with her all day and did not get this kind of reaction. This time was something I looked forward to all day. Near the end of the school year, when I was getting hate letters from parents, pressure to teach the next year from my co-workers and feeling exhausted from a years worth of hard work, Niev was giving me smiles, giggles, and gaauhhs before I could even try to make her laugh. She was my world and still makes life so rewarding.
We had a rocking chair in our last apartment that squeaked horribly. When Niev was just barely home from the hospital, my sister Melissa came to visit us at home. Melissa was rocking her in the noisy rocker and Niev was actually imitating the squeaking of the rocker! It was amazing. I should have known then that she liked music. Melissa stopped rocking and Niev stopped making her high-pitched groaning noises. It was classic.
I do realize I look very haggard here. And I thought I was so skinny!When she was about six months old, she would eat anything in sight. Whatever she found she ingested. We visited Ian's grandparents on the coast and a group of us were in the bedroom chatting, including Niev and her aunt Kaki. As we were talking, Niev LUNGES for Kaki's nose and starts sucking on it as if it were her binkie! She started make carnivorous noises as if she were a T-rex and for several minutes sucked on Kaki's nose! We were all laughing so hard to do anything about it except grab the camera. I finally pulled Niev off of Kaki and Kaki did form a dark hickie on the end of her nose. It was quite disturbing and yet hilarious. Poor Kaki had the ugliest end of nose any of us had seen for several days. You are a good sport Kaki!
Don't get me wrong, some days I really consider getting a job so that I don't hear whining all day or have to deal with laundry, dishes and the never ending chores. But then I think of Niev's cute smile or her "Peese, Peese, Peese," with her head slightly tilted. Being a stay-at-home mom has been a challenge for me. I won't deny it. I loved teaching and consider going back almost weekly, but I wouldn't miss Niev's cute moments for teaching. Not at this stage in my life. That is not what I am to be doing. With every job, there are miserable things. I just need to accept the ones that I don't like about being a mom and housewife, instead of trying to change them.
Although we are expecting another baby, I hope that my first babygirl will always know what a prize she is to her mother. Niev has truly trained us how to be parents. She has been the easiest baby ever! I keep telling Ian, "I don't know what we are going to do when we have a real baby!" because Niev is completely unreal. I love you, Niev. I could not be more proud of my daughter. She is beautiful, bright, happy and has a large sense of humor for a 17-month old. What a perfect first baby!