I wake up to the sound of bare feet shuffling the few steps from our room to the baby's room. Angry cries are contrasted by a gentle, soothing voice and all goes quiet.
A pajama clad baby with hair sticking up on one side joins me under the covers and snuggles in. I breathe in the scent of her clean, baby hair and close my eyes for a few more moments of sleep. But the baby is insistent that now is the time for breakfast, so while she eats I sleepily look at Instagram, Facebook and email.
I can hear and smell the coffee percolating and the eggs cooking. The baby and I stumble out of bed and assume our regular positions in the living room while Curious George and the Cat in the Hat teach us all about bees and how to stay cool when it's hot.
The rest of the morning goes by in a blur with Forrest off to school and the baby off to a nap, but wait...no nap. In a flurry of makeup, diapers and outfit changes we are ready to take on the world. Into the stroller goes the baby, sandwiches, peanuts, grapes and cookies. Leaves crunch under the stroller wheels and unknown birds sing in nearby trees and bushes. We find the perfect spot under a large tree with leaves like a carpet underneath.
We wait and then we see him, walking quickly and with a huge smile on his face at the sight of his girls. The three of us settle into each others company and enjoy our feast. Sticky hands demand more grapes while dad patiently teaches how to say "please" in sign language. The smartest girl in the world quickly learns and earns more grapes than she really needs.
A walk home, some play time and then it is time for nap number 2, or is it really number 1? A little bit of effort and the baby is sleeping soundly, covered by the blanket that took me almost 9 months to complete.
The afternoon goes by with dinner prep, cheerios sharing and squeals of laughter. Dad comes home, but then, just like that, he is gone again.
A clean diaper, pajamas and the baby and I cuddle into our rocking chair. Quiet melodies escape from my lips and soon the baby is lulled into a sleepy stupor. With a kiss and a flick of the light, my job as mom is done for the day.
Dishes done and sweatpants on, I cuddle the dog and relax into the evening. A good book, a little Bon Appetempt and Parenthood on NBC.
Soon, Forrest will be home and we'll make some toast while watching an Andy Griffith in bed. Then lights turned low and pillows fluffed, we'll read until our eyes are too heavy to stay open. Lights off and it is finally time to sleep until...it is time to start all over again.
I am so thankful for this life. For the gift of being Juniper's mom and Forrest's wife. I wouldn't change one thing.