One year of Emerson: the video

Okay, let’s try this again! It took me weeks to put this video together commemorating Emerson’s first year…..and when it was finally up, youtube muted all the audio. I’m so bummed because this montage went so well with Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” The peppy version best known as the Parenthood theme, that is. But, apparently that is like the one song you can’t use (thanks a lot Parenthood copyrights!). Regardless, these are the words I still hear when watching the video:
May God bless and keep you always
may your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
and let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
and climb on every rung
May you stay forever young.

Of course, “love you more than anyone” isn’t a horrible substitute. Here is the video with a song I used for my pregnancy video….

This is labor

Last May 10th, on a warm, sunny day much like today, I went into labor thus commencing an incredible three-day journey that changed me in countless ways. And lately, I’ve been revisiting every form of documentation I have from before, during and after that time—photos, blog posts, baby book entries, videos. It’s as if I have to replay it all a thousand times before it finally sinks in. Before it finally feels real. Before I can understand how this all happened so quickly. This whole year it has felt like I just gave birth….like, last week maybe. But, in going back and watching the SIX video tapes we recorded throughout the actual labor and birth, I finally get how long ago it actually was. For the first time, I saw the divide. I saw the transformation take place on camera, so clearly, before my now slightly seasoned motherly eyes.

The video footage I watched begins with me waiting to go into labor (though that part is not included here). I am 40-weeks pregnant, not knowing I have another three weeks (on account of my due date being changed when I was 41-weeks…..the worst). And that girl—yes, I would call her a “girl”—has such a different presence about her. She looks younger. Much younger. Though it was only a year ago, giving birth and mothering a babe have aged me. It’s not just physical though. My voice, my demeanor, and my energy look different, too. I wasn’t fully a mother yet. I wasn’t fully a woman yet. And then there is the way Alex and I talk to one another….it’s so different than it is now. We were gentle and quiet, overly loving in every interaction. You can see that it is just the two of us. Now, we get to the point. We are blunt and communicate rapid-fire style in an attempt to get as much out in the five-minute window our child has allotted us each day. We are in love, but still in the trenches of the most challenging upheaval to our lives that we’ve ever known. We are there, helping one another survive and feel supported rather than making out every five minutes.

But, back to the video. I attempted to put together a montage of my 51-hour, three-day-long labor. That was a tall task, let me tell you. Be forewarned, the video quality is pretty awful most of the time (it gets better part way through). I have yet to figure out how to get the footage off of my ancient video camera and onto my computer so I had improvise (read: horrible method). Also, it was nighttime during a lot of this footage so it’s rather dark.

ANYWAY, you don’t care about any of this, do you? No. Because you are just curious as hell to see me in labor. Right? I know I would be. I’m so fascinated by birth! I’d watch a video of any one of you in labor. But, this we already know. SO. Most of what you see is taken out of context. I think it’s not so important to understand all the stories or jokes—it’s really just to give you a sense of what it actually looked like. FYI- I did not include any of the footage after I was transferred to the hospital. It gets naked-y and graphic, people. What IS included is dancing, contracting, booty shaking, eating lots of buttery toast, the baby’s heart beating inside my contracting belly, me in hysterics telling stories in between contractions (a story about Alex dancing with me in a drum circle at my favorite yoga retreat center….where coincidentally all the hippies fart at will….if you were wondering while watching the video), the mood shifting to a more calm, subdued mama bear, the contractions getting stronger….and stronger. Yes, this is labor: joy, excitement, humor, strength, courage, persistence…and yes, some pain. It’s the most amazing experience ever. Enjoy!

P.S. If you haven’t read my six-part birth story, here are the links: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VI

**This is a 7.5 minute video so you might want to let it load before you hit play


Life in motion…and coming attractions!

I have a long, unpublished list of posts sitting here given I’ve been working on so many (emotionally-driven) projects in celebration of E turning one this coming weekend. I’ve overwhelmed myself to a serious degree, though. I just can’t seem to take enough pictures, film enough videos, write enough words, make enough personalized decorations for the big party, put together enough time capsules commemorating the past year for Emerson to open up someday, or make enough crazy media pieces. I’m out. of. control.

And so, I’m slightly paralyzed. I mean, I have no business taking on so much, especially given I’ve basically been taking care of Emerson on my own the past week. And I’m totally, ridiculously sleep-deprived on account of the fact that Emerson starting WALKING, and girlfriend cannot sleep because of it. AND. I’m up to my eyeballs in party planning, which is sort of my least favorite thing to do.

So. I guess my point is, I have so much to share with you all….it’s just coming out slower than anticipated. But, look forward to some great stuff in the next week! I’m talking video footage of me in labor (um, yes!), a special video dedicated to one-year of Emerson, a give away (oh yes, free prizes for y’all!), about a gazillion photos, and much more!

For now, I have some short clips of Emerson learning to walk. Mind you, I absolutely die at how cute Emerson’s crawl is, and will be so sad when she finally gives it up and walks 100% of the time (she’s still crawling a lot). Oh, the sound of a baby crawling, happily and rapidly, about the house: smack, smack, smack (go the hands on hardwood floors). And Emerson has the sassiest crawl I’ve ever seen—swaying her hips from side to side and squealing with delight. Sigh. BUT. A baby learning to watch is thrilling. And so adorable. And it just makes me giggle.

Emerson’s steps are still a bit tipsy, but she’s been making a lot of progress every day. Here are some of her first steps….

Life in motion: A flashback

I’ve been going back through all of the videos I’ve taken of Emerson since she was born, and what strikes me is that she pretty much looks the same all year! Once she was past the newborn, semi-alien-like phase of month one, she just looks like Emerson, because she is always bald! She has yet to grow hair (it’s just now starting to come in) so she remains very baby-like. It’s hard to tell how big she is in photos. Videos are much the same, but her noises and body movements give her away. This is, like, the only video we have with one of us IN it with her. She looks so tiny at the end when she’s sitting on Alex’s lap. My little baby….

Life in motion

I’ve been feeling the nostalgia lately as Emerson’s first birthday approaches, which is why I’ve been recording more videos. I’ll probably be sharing a lot of videos and photos in the next month (and sappy words), culminating in a grand finale media project I’m working on to commemorate Emerson’s first year on earth. I have already documented this girl’s life in so many ways, but I’m about to multiply that to a ridiculous degree, people. I’m so excited! I hope you are too!

Life in motion

It’s been a long winter. A REALLY long winter. Case and point: it’s April 2nd today and it snowed here all morning. Mmm hmm. And we got a foot of snow a little over a week ago. Oh, wait… LITERALLY just started snowing again as I sit here typing this. Ahhh! I love the snow, but this mama is about to lose her mind if it doesn’t warm up and start turning green outside. Winter with a baby who is quickly blossoming into a toddler is….err….challenging.

Perhaps not the most exciting video, but we (as you can tell by all the parental laughing) are quite entertained by Emerson and her mini pool. I may be a neat freak, but I make huge exceptions when it comes to kid’s making (hilarious) messes. Not always, of course, but I think every child needs to jump in puddles, play with mud, paint their bodies instead of paper, empty an entire box of tissues (one by one), and pour flour all over the kitchen.

life in motion

Emerson started crawling on Thanksgiving (across the room rather than just one or two steps). Where was I with this announcement? It’s the biggest milestone we’ve experienced and yet I haven’t been posting my pride and nostalgia? Here’s a video to make up for it:

Emerson was obsessed with learning to crawl the minute she figured out how to get on all fours. It took her about six weeks to actually master mobility. But, the minute she could, she was already on to the next thing: standing. All this girl wants to do all day is stand. She can only do so if she has something to support her, but she’s all one-handed, barely holding on with this little smirk on her face like she’s showing off. And she will pull herself up on just about anything—furniture, the side of the bath tub, open drawers….she even grabbed my LIPS once and tried to use them for leverage. She has been very strong and physical from the beginning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by all of this….but, I wish she’d slow down.