A TOUGH MONTH
Natalie and her oldest cousin Alexander. I love all three of my nephews, but there will always be a special spot in my heart for Alex. I was around him a lot when he was a baby since I went to college in the same town where he, my brother and my sister-in-law lived. He was the first person that I would really know for their whole life and I was just enamored with him. Now as an eight year old in second grade, he is incredibly intelligent and such an amazing big cousin to Natalie. He is gentle, nurturing and shows such love for her. I can't believe that it's been eight years since I first held him when he was only a few hours old.
One of the weekends that Craig was away at the basketball tournament, I went and stayed the night at my parent's house. This was partially due to the fact that I was terrified of being alone with Natalie for long periods of time - for whatever reason, I didn't trust myself to take care of her properly. My parents and I went to church on Sunday and Natalie was of course a perfect angel and fell asleep mid-mass. You can't see them here, but she is wearing shoes from when I was a baby.
Cuddling with Angie, Andy and Annabelle at my parent's house in the back bedroom. Angie is such a good big sister to Natalie.
First time eating rice cereal! This was such a relief - I was obsessed all summer with the fact that Natalie wasn't sleeping through the night and I thought that it was because I wasn't feeding her enough. I figured that if we fed her some rice cereal that it would fill up her belly and she (and we) would sleep through the night. Unfortunately that wasn't the case but the good news is....Natalie is a great little eater.
After Craig came home from the tournament he wanted to buy something special for Natalie and we went and purchased her jumper. It was so great to be able to place her in the jumper and then sit down at the dinner table the two of us and actually eat a proper meal without having to jump up and take care of the baby. This little piece of plastic helped to save my sanity.
One of my all-time favorite photos of her. Those big blue eyes with the slightest hint of a grin.
July was a tough month because it was the time in which I figured out that the grace period for having just the "baby blues" was over and that something more serious was going on inside my body. I honestly believed that once school was out and Craig was home with me that I would feel better. But I never did....at least not genuinely. I would have great days but I didn't trust them - I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and for me to retreat back to my foggy island, which always happened. One of the weekends that Craig was gone and I was home alone just so happened to be the time of my worst moments....I had such an emotional breakdown and he wasn't there. He was up at the tournament and said he couldn't leave. Still to this day, that's a point of contention between the two of us because in my mind, if I knew that the safety and well-being of my partner and child were at stake, I could leave a basketball tournament in the hands of my two business partners and come home. I guess I'm still a little hurt at the fact that he "chose" basketball over me at the point when I needed him the most. But then again, maybe it was for the best - I was forced to pick myself up off the ground (figuratively and literally) and figure out how to get through the evening. This was the month that I finally accepted what was going on and I sought help through the guidance of a close friend of mine. I guess July was a turning point - the point in time where I decided to fight back and try to crawl my way out of the deep hole I had dug for myself.