The seasons have always played a big part in reminding me of major life events. For example, every mid-May when the crab apple trees are in full bloom and the grass and sky are in Technicolor, I vividly remember my wedding day. Everything was just so vibrant that day.
You know how it is when your senses combine to create memories? It’s the way something looks, how something smells, and something you hear that makes you think, “I remember this.”
Now that we’re getting into November and the days are getting shorter and it’s cold and dark out, I’m remembering this time last year. It dawned on me that last year at this time Monkey’s room was still our spare room. Our spare room with the double bed and the emerald green carpeting, and closets stuffed with all of our extra crap — the wrapping paper, my yearbooks (which I STILL cannot find by the way, and it is DRIVING me crazy!), my extra shoes and bridesmaid dresses.
It was a weird feeling to remember how short a time ago that we were still preparing for Bean’s arrival. It feels like Bean’s room has always been her room. I barely remember it not being her room or a time when she wasn’t in our lives. I barely remember a time when Monkey wasn’t in her “new” room with the new beige carpeting, pink and yellow walls, and butterfly curtains. Yet, just one short year ago, we were picking out paint colors and buying accessories and wall art. And Bean wasn’t here yet.
Monkey moved into her new room on November 12, 2009 — one day after we finished installing the carpet and after she fell out of her crib. Waking her up every two hours to check for signs of a concussion was more than a little tiresome. We were planning to move her right after Thanksgiving anyway, but since she took the flying leap out of her crib, she made the transition to her “big girl bed” a little earlier than expected. I can’t believe it’s been a year, and I also can’t believe it’s only been a year.
It’s funny, because right after Bean was born I remember how weird it felt to be checking on two kids before I came to bed instead of just one. And now Bean is nine months old. Today, in fact. The same amount of time that she spent in my belly.
It’s remarkable, really. The transformation babies go through in such a short amount of time. They grow into a perfectly developed person in nine short months, and then they become an almost entirely new person in another nine months. And she’s just so BIG already. So grown up. I absolutely adore babies at this age because they are so fun and engaging with their little personalities bursting out, and they seem to learn five new things every day. But, but. But part of me is longing to have my cuddly baby back. How did that go so fast?
Now the idea of Bean cuddling with us is comical. She’s too busy moving. The only time she lays her head on my chest is if we meet someone new and she’s a little shy. And even those instances have come few and far between lately.
Part of me is wishing that I could have one more day with the baby who always fell asleep while doing … well, almost anything.
You know Bean is my sleeper. But when she was first born she was like a SUPER sleeper. As if sleeping was a competition and she was going to win, d@mn it. She’s so much like her father in that way. I used to tell people that I could count to 10 and Husband would be asleep, until one time I did it AND I ONLY GOT TO SEVEN.
Bean also has inherited her father’s uncanny ability to fall asleep nearly anywhere, in any position. Once, Husband fell asleep, sitting on the couch, WHILE EATING A BOWL OF ICE CREAM. I mean come on now, really? Seriously? Who falls asleep eating ice cream!? Oh, I’m sorry, the cool, creamy deliciousness of the ice cream isn’t enough to keep you awake??
Bean used to randomly fall asleep while we were holding her — like after swimming at our neighbor’s pool while we were chatting on the deck — she just laid her head down on Husband and took a little siesta. The same thing happened one time when we were Skyping with my brother and almost-sister-in-law. Or there was the time when Husband was holding her on his knee and slightly bouncing her. The rhythm was enough to BAM, put her to sleep. She even fell asleep in her high chair once. Ca-ra-zy.
Bean also used to fight waking up. We would poke and prod her and she would cry with her eyes still scrunched up tight, like “I am NOT opening my eyes!” I would hold her upright between my legs and as soon as I stopped prodding, her head would slump to the side and she would fall back to sleep. Or, I’d wake her up and then stand up with her on my shoulder and within minutes she’d be snoozing again.
While Bean isn’t quite this sleepy anymore, she still displays remarkable ease in putting herself to sleep. Sometimes when we put her to bed at night we’ll hear her in her crib “talk, talk, talk, talk, SILENCE.” Just like that. SO unlike her older sister.
I’ll always remember one of the last days I spent with Bean at home before I started working again. Monkey was at her Nana’s house so I could spend time with Bean alone. And I decided that I was going to hold her while she was sleeping — all day. Since she was always so content to be laid down to sleep, I felt like we both were kind of missing out on her being held. So I held her. All day. I watched movies and she slept in my arms. It was awesome. I didn’t attempt to get anything else done that day. I just sat in a chair and held my baby on my chest.
Some days I feel like a time traveler because it’s inconceivable that this is all going so fast. Mostly I feel grateful because I think I’m doing a good job of appreciating each day.
I know that these next few months are going to be like reliving the time leading up to the day of Bean’s birth in February. And also remembering her first few weeks with us at home. Cold, dark, overcast days, snowstorms, fires in the fireplace, lots of snuggly fleece outfits and hunkering down for playtime in the house.
I can’t believe I’m already mentally planning her birthday party. I can’t believe it’s gone so fast.