Since I had Eloise on August 1, I've had fun keeping up with all of her firsts. Mine too, for that matter. I love all of these firsts. Some are little, like her first thunder storm. She was feeding in the middle of the night and it started. It was so peaceful to rock my baby girl while the thunder, lightning and wind raged on outside. I love a good thunderstorm and I hope she will like them too. Other firsts are a little bigger, like the first time we clipped her nails...which needed to be done as soon as she arrived. Those little things grow fast and she scratches her face with them if I don't keep them short.
I made Jason do it the first two times until I got brave enough to give it a go. I've done it every time since so now I'm an old pro.
Her first bath was a few days after we got home from the hospital and she took it really well. Since then she doesn't even fuss, and I am usually very quick. She has a lamb that plays "Jesus loves me" and I talk to her the whole time. I'm still doing a wipe-down bath about once a week, even though her belly button is completely healed and can be submerged in water. I love how fluffy her hair is after a bath and how good she smells. Of course, she always smells good, but that baby soap smell is fresh right after her bath.
We captured pictures of her first family walk, and since then she and I have been on our first walk just the two of us. She slept through the whole thing, but I enjoyed the sunshine, the breeze, and her occasional baby noises. Getting outside during the day has been a daily goal of mine. I think it is important to get that sunlight and exercise for me, and good for her to get used to the stroller seat and to get outside too.
One particularly special first to me was when I sang her her first song. I had a hard time getting through it for a while without getting choked up. Call it hormones or the overwhelming thankfulness I felt when I looked at the perfect baby girl in my arms, but it was about a week before I could sing an entire song without tears flowing freely. The first song had to be just right and when it came to me I had to smile. It was the song I remember my mom singing to me over and over again when I was little, so it had to be the first one for Eloise.
The song is called "Mansions Over the Hilltop" and it is a Church of Christ oldie (or that is how I think of it). It has been years since I've heard it in a church service, but when I was little I heard it fairly often.
"I'm satisfied with just a cottage below, a little silver and a little gold.
But in that city where the ransomed will shine, I want a mansion that's silver lined."
I've got a mansion just over the hilltop in that bright land where we'll never grow old
And someday yonder we will never more wander but walk the streets that are pure as gold."
Whenever I got to the "never grow old" part or the "pure as gold" part, I usually lost my voice and had to whisper it, but Eloise did not seem to mind. Following this song comes another oldie and favorite called "Fountain Free" and after that the reel changes a little with songs like "My Only Hope," "Amazing Grace," "As the Deer," and I tried "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" but I keep mixing up all the lines. Again, Eloise doesn't appear to mind. Eventually I mixed in a little "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and some "Leavin' on a Jet plane" too. And thankfully I can now get through all of the songs just fine.
My firsts have been fun to experience as well. A few days ago Mom came and after I fed Eloise, I went out for a walk all on my own. It was Heaven! The sun on my face, some music in my ears, sweat on my brow, my thoughts free to roam wherever they wanted... I can't really describe it but for those first few minutes I looked like some sort of crazy person walking and smiling and looking around as if outside for the first time ever. On that walk I ran for about 3 minutes just to see what it felt like. It felt good. It felt normal. I only walked 1.3 miles that day, but it was the start I needed. The next day Eloise and I went for that same distance together, and then the next day Mom came again and I did more. I covered 3 miles and ran 1.5 of it. My pace was around 10:45-11:00 during the run, and it was the heat more than anything that made me return to a walk. It felt SO good! After cooling down I tried to run again but my legs were too heavy by that point so I just finished with a good walk. I was pleased with the experience. Pleased and excited.
Its a tiny little start on the road back to the runner I was... and hopefully passed that. But I am just excited to be on the road at all! I don't care how slow the improvement, how small the milestones, as long as I am free to move in that direction, I am content. Eloise and I continue to experience our firsts together and THAT journey is my favorite of all!