my last day as a mother of one {Part 1 of 2}


Two weeks ago today was my last day as a mother of just one child.  I didn’t know this then, of course, but I did know that it could be just a matter of hours before Lena would no longer be my only baby.  I decided to photograph our day so that I would have a record of everyday life with just me and Lena.

Even though these pictures are from just two weeks ago, I can’t believe how much Lena has changed, much less our whole lives!  One example: when she plays with her alphabet puzzle now, she knows about 75% of the letters by name and doesn’t need any help to put the pieces in place correctly.  Children grow up so, so quickly.

So, if you will, take a walk with me down memory lane!


That morning, while Elliott showered and shaved, I got the day started in the kitchen.  I served Lena a bowl of Raisin Bran (her favorite because she knows nothing else) and a cup of milk.  I started coffee brewing for Elliott and me.  And then I packed a lunch  for Elliott.  That day his lunch included leftover sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, carrots and dip, a pear, soft gingersnap cookies, olives from the market, and Triscuits.


These cold days, instead of serving cereal, I’ve been making oatmeal for Elliott and myself.  Lena is usually finished with her Raisin Bran by then and asks for a small bowl of oatmeal to eat with us.

Making Room BLOG

While Lena is eating, I like to do her hair.  It’s the only time she’ll sit still for me because she’s strapped into her high chair!

After this Elliott left for work and Lena and I ventured out into the cold for a short walk.

Making Room BLOG1She’s pointing to Mt Etna for me, which is unfortunately invisible in this photo.  We then wandered through the old streets of our neighborhood and Lena tried out our key in different doors.  She was unsuccessful in opening any of them, to her chagrin.  I, meanwhile, was relieved that there was no one at home behind any of the doors she tried!


We headed back home to “pay!” (play) for a little while before her morning nap.  She loooooves this wooden alphabet puzzle; I think we have completed it at least three times a day together for a month.  It’s such a fun, easy way to learn the alphabet, though!

Below is a video I took of her working on the puzzle with me.  It’s not great quality and my voice annoys me (I’m learning — slowly — to cut down on the baby talk), but it does capture so well how we spend our days together.  Here it is:


After this it was time for her nap.  I read a few books to her before laying her in her crib, singing her a song, and murmuring, “Sleep well!  I love you, Lena!” as I shut the door.


While she slept I worked on this blog post.


She’s awake!  Time for a trip to the bathroom.  She was in the middle of potty training at this point, able to tell us when she needed to go but not to be trusted without a diaper on.


We taught her to empty the pot and clean it after she’s done.  Finally we found a use for that bidet!

Even just two weeks later, the routine is totally different.  She is sitting on the adult toilet now on a kid-sized seat and hasn’t had an accident in awhile.  She also doesn’t need a pacifier to get her through the drama of it anymore.  Growing up so quickly.


We moved outside to the balcony so that I could fold the laundry that had dried overnight.

Making Room BLOG2

Lena — wearing a pair of “big girl underwear” and no pants to help her remember that she doesn’t have a diaper on — played with my muddy boots from a hike we took last weekend.   She then asked to be lifted up to make the wind chime sing.  I held her up (cautiously, for we live on the edge of a cliff!) after taking this photo.


These are the last cloth diapers of Lena’s that I will wash for awhile, I think!  We’ve moved entirely to training pants and underwear.  The end of an era.


After that we moved inside to make and eat lunch together.  I’ll pick up at this point tomorrow to finish chronicling the day.

If you stuck with me this far, thank you!  If you don’t have kids, what surprised you the most about a day at home with a one-year-old?  If you do have kids, what looked the most familiar to your routine, no matter where you live in the world?

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20 Responses to my last day as a mother of one {Part 1 of 2}

  1. Eden February 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    What an amazingly smart girl!! She’s not even 2. I think she Might be surpassing even my milestones in earliness. :) I guess we knew, when she rolled over at 2 months.

    • Becca February 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      If anyone knows milestones, I guess you do as an FNP! She keeps us laughing with all the ways she is very much a goofball when her amazing smartness is more in question… :-)

  2. Being Daisybeegood February 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi Becca
    Congratulations on being a mother of 2 beautiful children! I remember those precious last days with my son, before he became a big brother, my most poignant memory of that time was taking him into school a few days before the big day & seeing a display board where each of the children had drawn a picture of themselves and written something about themselves underneath. Every other child had written about something they enjoyed or felt that they were great or brilliant at – my darling boy wrote “My name is Matthew, my Mummy is having a baby soon and it’s going to be a girl”, he was so proud of becoming a big brother & what a wonderful big brother he is. Gil is so lucky to have a big sister like Lena, enjoy every precious day!

    • Becca February 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      What a sweet, sweet story of your son! He already loved his sister. My heart swells as I see my daughter eagerly cuddling, holding, and talking to her brother.

  3. Alica February 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    What a great idea, to chronicle that day. You’ll never regret it…and you are so right…they grow up sooo fast! Our oldest just got his drivers’ license last week. Life will never be the same! :) And what looked familiar? The alphabet puzzle…everyone needs one of those!

  4. Tiffany February 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Not a lot is familiar because we are still {one year later!} working on a routine. :/ But I have to say I love her hair! I’m going to need to find some tutorials as C’s grows longer.

    • Becca February 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      Let me know what you find, Tiffany! I am not that adventurous with hairstyles on Lena but would like to be. Elliott loves it when I do something — anything! — unique to it.

  5. Lucy February 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    What a great chronicle of your last day as a threesome! Life brings so many milestones and changes as children grow, and there is a little bittersweetness to it. But oh the joy in seeing them grow up well.

  6. Ellen February 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Becca, speaking in “Baby Talk” or “Motherese” is actually not a bad thing for babies/young ones. In language acquisition classes I took we learned about how it can aid in language acquisition! Here’s a Wikipedia link:

  7. Poppy February 8, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    Every day a gem, a precious gift from our Father as we exult in his creation. What a fabulous chronicle!

  8. Joy February 8, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    Great post! What a beautiful idea to write about that day! They do change so fast; it’s important to hold onto the special memories. And what a great idea to do Lena’s hair when she’s eating! They are so squirmy! But also, I could never get my girls to keep the ‘dos in — they would always pull out ribbons and clips… And then people would think they were boys… *sigh*:-)

  9. Erika February 8, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Taking after her Uncle Jonny – reading in the bathroom!

  10. Jani February 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    I have kids (three boys) and about the only thing that is familiar is making breakfast! (they are all in school)

    But, I do remember those last days of being a mom to only one child. I think about them still. There is a five year difference between by older two boys and my oldest and I talk about the days it was “just us.” Don’t misunderstand, we love the others!! It is just fun sometimes to remember those days.

    Now, it’s just chaos. haha! I know I will look back and laugh and totally miss these days so I try not to rush through them and “take a deep breath when things get crazy.” I feel like I am already staring college in the face and my oldest is only in 8th grade. But, when you think of the five years between 0-5 years old…it seemed like you would never get them in a routine where they could do things for themselves. Now, the five years between 13-18 seems like it will be here in a heartbeat….


  11. Bethany W February 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    What surprised me, I think, as someone without kids, is how very independent, thoughtful, & grown-up 1-year old Lena looks in these pictures! :)

  12. katie February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Lena is so smart! Very impressive how many letters she knows already. You will definitely have a reader on your hands.

    It’s also AWESOME that she’s mastering potty training, what great timing for you guys! According to my parental units, I was fully trained around age 2, but when Trish arrived when I was 2.5… there was some regression. I hope and pray that Lena doesn’t go through that, haha. : )

    • Becca February 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      I’m hoping she doesn’t regress, Katie, because that’s exactly why we DIDN’T want to train her before Gil arrived. We did reward her when she did use the toilet a couple of times, though, and that just made her soooo motivated because she desperately wanted those “teets.” Hoping the motivation sticks…

  13. Elle February 9, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Where did Lena get the wooden alphabet puzzle? I’d love to get something like that for my nephew.

    • Becca February 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      The company that made it is called Wood ‘n’ Things, Elle, but my mom got it at a garage sale so I’m not sure of the original store. I know Melissa and Doug makes one that also includes lowercase letters. Hope this helps!

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  1. how we spend our days {Part 1 of 2} - Becca Garber - November 18, 2013

    […] before Gil was born, I did a two-part blog series documenting a regular day at home with Lena.  I knew those days were precious, and I wanted to […]

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