When my mom died in 1998, I was devastated. All the wonderful reasons we were so close (I was an only child, she was a stay-at-home mom) felt like cruel reminders of a happier time. My mom had been the center of my world for 19 years and suddenly, she was gone.
As I was a dramatic, sheltered teenager, I thought no one could understand my pain, much less surpass the grief that I felt. Of course other people mourned with me but the person who couldn’t move on was Grandma S., my mom’s mom.
During my childhood, Grandma S. was always paranoid that something would happen to one of her children or grandchildren. My mom said it was because Grandma S.'s first child, Junior, had passed away from sudden infant death syndrome. It was one of those things that was really sad but just completely unimaginable to 10-year-old me.
After my mom’s passing, I knew that in order to live a happy, full life, I’d have to control my grief, not let it control me. That’s what my mom would have wanted. I forced myself to be strong and carry on because what was the alternative?
The alternative was Grandma S. She never fully got back up after life knocked her down a second time, taking another child away from her. She turned to religion, to wine, to solitude, but nothing could ever fill the daughter-shaped hole my mom left in her heart. In her mind, death was a reward that ever eluded her.
The sadness eventually turned to vitriol towards mostly everyone around her except for me. I got a pass because I was my mother’s daughter. Throughout the years, her negativity and pain permeated every facet of her life as she pushed those who loved her away.
Grandma S. showed no interest in most things other grandmas love like graduations, weddings, and babies. She just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t mind so much because as an introvert, I resent forced social obligations. But others in the family felt hurt or neglected and no one could blame them.
My mother's mom spent the last years of her life in an assisted living facility. At that point, she didn’t even want to see me. She didn’t want to meet my daughter, the daughter with the same middle name as her. And though we didn’t get to say goodbye, I take comfort in knowing that she got her reward and can finally rest in peace.
We made it. Baby T. is officially one-year-old! The first half of her first year is a complete blur filled with diapers, tears, and toots. The second half is a little more clear, as I got more sleep and Baby T. started developing into a tiny human with a huge personality. She also started laughing, which helped to balance out the crying (while never an equal ratio, her sweet giggles made life better), eating solid food, and crawling.
She had a one-year-old photo shoot to make up for the fact that she didn’t get professional newborn pics. Last July, we were deep in quarantine so there was no photographer at the hospital and I didn’t want to hire a photographer because at the time everything about the coronavirus was so unknown. Luckily, my uncle is a talented photographer and was able to capture her playful essence and two-toothed smile.
We had a small drive by birthday party for Baby T. Since first birthdays are such a big deal in Hawaii, I wanted to do something while still keeping everyone safe. The theme was Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it was super fun! I made little Tiffany-themed gift bags and boxes and Dada was happy because we ordered bentos from 7-11 Hawaii, his favorite. It was so nice seeing friends and family, some of them for the first time in over a year. It was most people’s first time meeting the baby, which is truly a sign of the times. Baby T. was in good spirits and didn’t cry once. It was a birthday miracle! She was really hot though and her cheeks were flushed the entire time. Everyone thought she looked like a little doll.
Baby T. wasn’t walking on her own on the day of her party. She could stumble around with help. But all of a sudden, the next day, she was walking by herself! We couldn’t believe it! And since then she’s been walking around like a pro.
Even though I’ve had lots of time to get used to the idea of having a baby, sometimes I still can’t believe it. I know it’s cliche but she’s truly a little bit like me, a little bit like her father, and a whole lot like her own person. She hates having her legs covered by blankets like me and will kick them off at every opportunity. She always has to have her feet propped up like her Dada. And unlike her parents she super loves cats. Baby T. is truly a cat baby at heart started waving at cats long before humans.
One of my favorite parts of the day is when she’s trying to fall asleep and she reaches out her chubby little hand, searching for my hand to hold. As we drift off into dreamland hand in hand, it’s comforting to know we’re there for each other.
When our friends' baby, who's four months older than Baby T., turned one, I tried to prepare myself for the inevitable. Soon we'd have a one-year old in the house. And yet, three months later, I'm still in shock that Baby T. is 11-months old! Like the title of the post says, HOW?!
Well, time waits for no mama to come to terms with her baby getting older so here we are. Hopefully by next month it will be no big deal! I'll be too busy with Baby T.'s drive by 1st birthday party. That's right, even though the world is reopening, I still feel wary about throwing a party with people staying and mingling and holding the baby so drive by it is! I'm old fashioned (?) that way.
It's been a pretty quiet month but here are some Baby T. observations:
Just one more month until the big one year celebration! I'm equal parts excited and terrified!
How time files! I know I say this every month and I'll probably continue saying it ad nauseum, but it's true! Baby T. is getting bigger and barely fits into her 9 month clothes. She's always been small for her age and wore newborn clothes until she was well into month four and five.
Baby T. is always watching everyone. If someone gets up to get a drink, you better believe Baby T.'s eyes are following your every move. Here are some other observations for this little sweetie:
I can't even handle how quickly her first year is going by. Pretty soon we'll be celebrating her first birthday!
A few years ago, my coworker and I would take shots in the break room at work. Don't worry, we weren't downing alcohol. We were shooting apple cider vinegar (ACV)! We heard that it was good for weight loss, clear skin, and other too-good-to-be-true benefits.
Of course, taking shots of ACV was terrible on many levels. It tasted bad and we were apparently messing up the enamel on our teeth. So we decided to dilute it with water and honey. This just prolonged the terrible process. Bleh!
Recently, I've been wanting to give ACV a try again. I've searched and searched for ways to "make ACV taste good." I stumbled upon some recipes that called for apple juice and cinnamon to make ACV taste like apple pie. I can assure you that combination does not taste anything like apple pie. In fact, the sweetness of the apple juice clashes with the ACV and the whole thing just tasted rotten to me. Maybe other people are less sensitive than I am, who knows.
Then I came across an article about a gal who started adding ACV to sparkling water because she tried Bragg's apple cider vinegar blended drink, which she said was basically like sparkling water with ACV. She claimed that "The bubbles seem to amplify the vinegar’s fruity notes, the acid adds spunk, and the seltzer’s flavoring adds character." So I had to try it for myself.
I got two options: mango flavored Bubly sparkling water and Walmart's Fuji Apple sparkling water. First I added ACV to a cold glass of the Bubly sparkling water. It was not great. Not as terrible as the apple juice/ACV combo, but the faint flavor and powerful carbonation just wasn't enough flavor for me. Yes, the ACV wasn't as potent but the drink tasted like a long-ago memory of a mango. No thanks.
Then, I filled an 8oz glass of the Fuji Apple sparkling water and added 1/2 teaspoon of ACV. And I'm happy to report it was completely palatable, dare I say delicious. The flavored sparkling water is good on its own and the addition of the ACV adds a pleasant depth of flavor.
Since I stupidly bought a case of the mango Bubly, I decided to add a little bit of it to the Fuji Apple sparkling water/ACV combo. That way, the memory of the mango is overpowered by the deliciousness of apple. I'm just glad the case of Bubly won't go to waste.
I'm not sure if I'll try other flavors of sparkling water since I feel like I hit the jackpot with the Fuji Apple water, but you never know. Maybe one day I'll feel more adventurous.