My favorite time of the day is performing Addison's bedtime ritual.
First I feed her dinner. Some days this is much more frustrating than others, depending on how cooperate she's feeling and how lazy her jaw muscles are that day. (totally not kidding)
After dinner comes her bath where she loves to splash, make crazy faces at me, and double over in attempts to drink as much soapy water as she can get away with.
Bath time is invariably proceeded by play/wrestle time on Mommy and Daddy's bed. Addison climbs up/over Mommy, stands, gets thrown around and engages in almost constant laughter and tickling. We have our own private form of communication during play time made entirely of smiles, laughter, and the "bass mouth" face back at each other.
Playtime naturally leads into story time, in which Addison wants to be the one turning pages and sits very attentively as she soaks in every word.
While Mommy gets her final bottle of the day ready, Addison plays with the baby in the mirror, carrying on an extremely serious conversation made up entire of "ba ba", hand gestures, and mirror kisses.
Putting Addison snuggly in her crib, handing her her bottle which she grabs onto (with her hands and feet), I kind of want to just crawl up next to her in her crib; she looks so cuddleable.
After finishing her bottle and cruising around in her bed, jostling the blinds, throwing her radio on the floor, flipping her empty bottle under the crib and continuing her "ba ba" conversation through the window, she finally falls into an exhausted sleep, landing in an awkward position which suggests that perhaps she just collapsed mid-play.
Favorite time of the day. Hands down.
Somedays I say a prayer of thanks when she's finally in her bed and asleep so that my sanity can slowly return, but most days, I really miss her while she's sleeping (or cruising around, jabbering)
I treasure every minute that I have the privilege of caring for my little girl.
But sometimes it really breaks my heart when I think of all of the children who don't have a Mommy for a dinner, bath, play, bottle routine.
What about the kids who don't get tucked in at night and then checked on and re-kissed twenty times before sleep actually happens?
I can barely stand to think of the kids who are refused the luxury of a loving bedtime ritual solely because they were created with an extra chromosome, and therefore not wanted.
My friend Patti, over at A Perfect Lily, is doing a giveaway to help one such orphan.
She has done so much to help many orphans already, and her influential help continues with her latest focus, sweet, dear Albina. Please check out her post and help if you can.
Hopefully through the help of Patti's fundraiser, Albina can soon have loving parents who will give her a bedtime ritual, love, and someone to treat her like the amazing person that she was created to be instead of simply a number in a crib.
I have a beautiful baby to go give yet one more kiss to as she sleeps contentedly, dreaming of all of the trouble that she plans to engage in tomorrow. I smile in love as I check in on her, but my heart is also heavy.
For Albina. And so many others just like her.
If only words equalled money, I would be able to help them all. Please check out Patti's post.