It’s a human after all.

About a six weeks ago, Suzianne and I were leaving for daycare and I said, “Now, let’s have a seat and we’ll put your shoes on.”

And then, she sat down, ya’ll.

On her own. Like a real person. 

I stood there wide-eyed and motionless, so she grabbed her feet and looked at me like, “why’d you ask me to sit down if you’re just going to stand there?”

It was one of the most rewarding moments of my life. For more than a year you say things over and over and over, but your child doesn’t respond. It’s not like you even expect them to; you’re just narrating like a good parent.

In fact, you’ll do it so often you will find yourself narrating stuff when no baby is there.

You: Okay! Momma’s gonna take off her make up, pour herself a glass of pinot grigio, and watch Season Two of Mad Men!

Your spouse: Who are you talking to?

You: I have no idea.

Then, one day, you’re “talking to your baby” about something “we are going to do” and before you can pick her up to make her do that thing, she’s already doing it.

It is going to blow your mind. 

Like a few weeks back, Dave and Suzianne were outside swinging. I was in the kitchen and Suzianne comes toddler stomping in. I turn around, she walks up to me with brows furrowed, looking like a tiny woman on mission who also has eaten a lemon:

Me: what’s wrong, baby?

Dave: did she do it?!

Me: do what? what’s wrong with her face?

Dave: I was trying to get to come inside, so I told her it was time to go inside and give her momma a kiss. I think she’s doing it!

Us: {hearts exploding; high fives; shoulder dusting} oh, yeah. We made that!

SO! When the day comes and you say, “Alright! Let’s go back to your room and change that diaper” for the 897th time, only to find your child IS WALKING BACK TO HER ROOM, your mouth will drop and your heart will burst and then it will hit you:

If she knows what you just said, then…SHE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

This “I understand your words, I just can’t repeat them yet” is God’s way of easing us into the reality that our every word and action is about to be mimicked ad nauseum. Usually at inopportune moments in front of judgmental people.

As Dave says, we’re going to have to tone the sarcasm down a bit now that she is hyper-tuned into our words AND their meaning.

Easier said than done, my friends.

So, yeah. Stuff’s about to get real. And we can’t hardly wait.


Language implosion.

Ya’ll, this week, words are totally happening. They aren’t the full words, mind you. They are the toddler versions, which means only the most essential sounds are used when conveying the message. Is your baby cussing? Or is she a genius? Only time will tell. 

These partial words are cropping up constantly now. With the exception of “owl,” which she puts like 47 syllables in because her momma is from the South. Words this week include:

Momma: Hey, Suzianne, what’s this?

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 8.07.28 PM


Suzianne: Ahhh-wa-aaall.


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Suzianne: Owse.


Georgia, our poodle.

Georgia, our poodle.

Suzianne: Ja-ja.




Suzianne: At.


Elmo. Duh.


Suzianne: Elmo.

Wait. What?


Continue reading

What you missed: walking

During my blogging hiatus, Suzianne learned to walk. I’m delighted to report I lucked into capturing her actual first steps on video:

Suzianne was a late walker; also a late crawler. Folks always told me savor this, because once they start walking they turn into wild horned beasts or something. But I actually like this whole walking thing.

I love that when I’m holding her and she wants down, I no longer have to bend so far over to sit her on the floor. I can stop when her feet touch the ground. My back is more than grateful.

And when she’s trying to tell me something and she doesn’t have the words, she can just walk over to it and show me like so:


Momma, I would like to put my fingers in this electrical outlet. Cool?

Also, photos of her walking are adorable:




Bonus: once she started walking, she decided shoes were not products of the devil.


This started in late April. These days, she’s running, turning in circles, attempting to jump, climbing things, etc. I’ll keep you posted on how long the new-to-walking phase enjoyment lasts…


I'm kind of a big deal.

I’m kind of a big deal.

On March 5, 2012, I was in labor in our living room, craving pineapple and fretting over who would let the dog outside if we indeed went to the hospital. A mere eight hours later, Suzianne came flying out into the world. Life–and my understanding of the importance of great stitch-work–would never be the same.

As you know, the first seven months were rough. Not for Suzianne, thankfully, just for me. I simply could not shake the feeling that everything I was doing was wrong. That taking care of an infant was a challenge I simply was not cut out for. Facebook posts from others served as a constant reminder that being a new mom was so fun (snuggle time!) and easy (playdates! weddings! road trips!) for everyone else but me.

From the worry that I would never figure out the logistics of leaving the house, to the fear of a public meltdown I could not stop, to challenges with breastfeeding and my tiny body giving out at inopportune moments. I still get breathless when I think about it.

One thing I did rock out though: cross country air travel. Like a boss.

I now realize that it is laughable, how seriously I took the whole thing. So what if your baby’s prolonged nap, or lack thereof, makes you late to your doctors appointment? So what if she melts down at a restaurant–then on the street and on the train? So what if your kitchen is a mess? Oh, Lord, last summer, every time folks tried to tell me “calm down” or “that is just what babies do,” I would just cry.

Just one year later, those anxieties feel a world away. I am myself again–mentally and physically. Though both of those transitions took so much longer than I’d imagined.

For Suzianne, one year on earth has brought her from blob-of-amazing-cheeks to a toddling, tiny human.

Once they hit six months, the cognitive, social and emotional developments come on fast and strong. This month, Suzianne began pointing at objects, holding up books for us to read, and responding to requests (where is your baby doll? do you want milk? where is Georgia?). In fact, her first words, “baby” and possibly “Georgia,” were just this week.

We celebrated her one year like anyone would in the presence of Granny Sue Sue: with a fabulous dinner at The Palm, complete with flower arrangements, party favors and a sash.

Pre-party with daddy.

Pre-party with daddy.

IMG_6173 IMG_6214 IMG_6213



The Cake!


But the thing I thought was the most brilliant was the floor covering:


Granny Sue Sue can throw a party. Anyone of my friends from Elementary and High School can vouch for that! It’s been so fun having Suzianne and her Granny only one mile apart. What a blessing.

Our girl is growing fast. She’ll be walking before we know it. And talking. Lord help us!

Suzianne, we are so grateful for you. We thank God daily that you are healthy, happy and curious. I also thank God my hormones finally leveled out so that you can I can actually enjoy each other. You are perfect in every way, my love. It is an honor to be your momma.

Happy First Birthday, Suzianne! We love you!

Happy First Birthday, Suzianne! We love you!


11 months!

This time last year, my momma was stuffing a king cake in her mouth and whining about her cankles!

This month, it became quite clear that I birthed a giant person. I’m not sure how I created this incredibly long and lean creature, but I’m feeling pretty accomplished.

Could wear my jeans right now.

I could wear my momma’s jeans right now.

She towers above other babies her age. In fact, I’m pretty sure she could ride a roller coaster today. I was 13 years old before I could do that.

This month, it also became clear that felt, paper and cardboard are more exciting than the 30,000 toys her daddy has purchased for her.

FELT: If you don’t own a set of felt fruit and root veggies, your child is missing out. Suzianne goes through spurts where she plays with this stuff for days on end.

Favorite toy ever. (Thanks Krissi! Sometimes we love you for that, sometimes we hate you)

Favorite toy ever: felt fruit in a basket.

Even when presented with a new, loud toy. Even on Christmas morning! This child prefers the basket o’ hand-crafted felt that our dear friend Krissi gave to her when she was a few months old. Thanks, Krissi! Sometimes we love you for this gift, sometimes we curse you. 

PAPER: Suzianne loves everything about books and could spend all day flipping through them, pulling them off shelves and nibbling at their corners. A good book currently is the best “soothing” toy we can offer her.


Flippin pages

Once an hour

IMG_0023She’s got a thing for these tabbed DK books, that my friend Nicole introduced us to. I highly recommend them all. Baby Bonus: they apparently make effective teething mechanisms.

CARDBOARD: when Team Newman receives an especially large box, we play with it like this:


It’s a box cave!

When Melissa-the-awesome-nanny gets hold of the same box, it turns into this:

Made by Melissa in like 22 minutes.

“Tiny’s Place”: Made by Melissa in like 22 minutes.

Yes, Dave’s nickname for Suzianne for the past six months or so has been “Tiny.” Not so sure how accurate that name is now, but it’s still cute.

And finally, this month, Suzianne began experimenting with kneeling, pulling herself up on furniture, and standing. You’ll find her like this a lot:

IMG_5711I have a feeling that by next month, she’ll be walking. We’ll see!

In the meantime, watch her grow! Take a scroll through the Month-by-Month archives.