Right now my life is full of “firsts.” My first pregnancy with my first child who will be the first baby I will raise (and, let’s be honest here, also likely the last), which opens the door to endless firsts in my future … his first diaper change, first bath, first night home from the hospital … all the way up to his first driving lesson, first date, first job … and so on. I am so excited about all of these firsts, even if I am a little clueless as to how to deal with them all – How will I respond the first time he asks me how babies are made? (Is the stork still a viable lie to tell to tide me over for awhile? I doubt that reading him my post about his conception would help clear things up much.) Or wonders if Santa is real? Or God for that matter? (Though for now I suppose I can just focus on how to swaddle him properly, supporting his wobbly head and stuff like that, and save the worrying about his potential existential questions until at least after he’s said his first word or two.)
But, this past weekend I did get to experience a few firsts with my 6-month-old niece and, while it still in no way prepares me for the challenges before me in motherhood, it was incredibly exciting to get just a small taste of what it’s like to see things for the first time through her eyes (plus I got in some more practice with feeding and changing diapers, got a sneak peek at just how insanely jealous our pups will be once there’s a baby living permanently in our house, learned how to use my diaper genie and how to eat one handed while holding a baby with the other, experienced a eureka moment when I figured out that putting a baby in an exersaucer buys me just enough time to do my hair and makeup, and got a crash course in which types of toys are best to slobber on vs. which get totally snubbed by discerning infants like my niece).
And GAR totally nailed his first attempt at installing an infant car seat (thanks to the good people of YouTube who like to post their own homespun “how to” videos).
I must say that living in Orlando has its perks, and one great thing about the “City Beautiful” is the endless amount of entertainment options available. But, of course, when it comes to my niece there really was one very obvious first that needed to come first out of all the firsts (got that?) – A trip to the Magic Kingdom.
And how could she possibly go to “Mickey’s House” without meeting the main mouse himself?
She also got to experience her first train ride (and monorail ride for that matter).
And she *almost* got to take her first Dumbo flight … but she fell asleep in line instead.
Plus, I learned a few things too … like how, with a baby, it takes you 5 hours to ride the train, meet Mickey and *almost* ride Dumbo (a series of events that takes about 45 minutes sans baby). I also learned that the line to meet Mickey is only 20 minutes whereas the line to meet the Disney Princesses is 70 minutes. Where are people’s priorities?
Oh, and of course, my niece also got her first pair of Mickey ears! I mean, this cuteness is TO DIE FOR!
My sister and I also got a little “girl” time sans baby while GAR got his own first – A whole night of babysitting duties. While I can’t speak to how he faired that evening since I was not there to witness it for myself (though I do know he learned all about the “witching hour” while we were away. And, just like “happy hour” at any TGI Fridays, it lasted much more than simply an hour), I did get a call when I was merely 2 minutes from the house frantically inquiring about the whereabouts of pacifiers in our home … leading me to believe it was quite a learning experience for my dear husband. Nonetheless, he proved to be quite the capable babysitter that evening, even if he did expose her to “Maury” paternity tests (as I left the house he was explaining to my niece who was and was not the father of the babies on tv … and I’m fairly certain this scenario will play out very similarly when I return to work after maternity leave and GAR is left in charge of our son’s daytime tv watching habits).
Plus, it was all for a good cause – My sister and I got to go see Boys II Men and New Kids on the Block in concert (and 98 Degrees but, really, aside from Nick Lachey’s abs, we didn’t really care about that)!
My sister also threw me a lovely baby shower. And, while it wasn’t the first one I’ve attended, it was the first where I was the one who’s pregnant. I opened so many baby gifts – tons on teensy little onesies that my baby will soon be donning for the first time … books that I will read to him on the first of many sleepless nights … toys that he will touch, explore and examine upon first inspection … and so many other thoughtful presents that filled me with joy (and also trepidation – A tube that I use to suck snot out of my baby’s nose? REALLY??) Just thinking about all the firsts that GAR and I will soon have with our little one really does make this (normally not so sappy) gal feel all giddy inside. Damn, when did I become so cheesy?
And before my niece left we tried out one more first – Her first dip in the pool. (WARNING: Photo of pregnant lady in a bikini coming up)
Seriously guys, I wish I could have captured her excitement about the whole thing and shared it all with you. She loved the water. I could have stayed in there with her all day while she smiled and kicked her little legs like a natural Michael Phelps (and yes, I do know that Ryan Lochte is technically the new swimming “it” boy, plus he’s a Floridian, but there’s no way I’m comparing my precious little niece to him especially since, at 6 months old, she’s already wayyyy smarter than he is). And, thankfully, I got some tiny swim trunks and swim diapers as a shower gift so I know that this swim with my niece was just the first of many swims she’ll be enjoying with her baby cousin in the future.
Now she just needs to make another visit so we can experience a whole new world of firsts together. Thankfully it looks like she’s already plotting her next trip!
While my due date is still 2 months away I still can’t help but feel like it’s right around the corner. This is especially true now that I’ve experienced another first – This weekend I also felt (and even saw … my entire stomach was shaking and jiggling like a possessed mold of Jell-o while it happened) my baby move into the standard “head down” position. It was truly a surreal experience. Of course I would need an ultrasound to confirm all this, but it was rather obvious what was happening as the lump in my stomach where (what I always assumed was) his head normally resided started moving downwards in front of my eyes, while the kicking of his feet in my abdomen started pedaling its way upwards. And now it’s obvious from every jab I feel that he’s completely readjusted in there. Oh yes, this shit just got real … and I’m getting really anxious to finish the nursery … now.
But first, one more photo. My baby belly really does make for a great little seat for my niece … for now.