Friday, December 31, 2010

Ringing in the New Year.

New Year's Eve 2010


Most of my New Year's Eves (I'd say about 80% of them) have ended in tears. Therefore, every December 31 that does not involve crying is a win. There's less than an hour to go before 2010 is over, and so far so good.


Tonight we went to Aladdin's at Crocker Park with everyone for their New Year's Eve special, with plans to watch the family ball drop and the fireworks at 7 pm. We left the restaurant just as the loud speaker from the event (at the complete opposite end of the square) announced "36 seconds to go!" So we immediately start running for it, me in the lead leaving Allie, James and Tim trying to keep up with three small children, two strollers and bags of leftovers in tow. We reach the stage just as it gets down to "Three, two one!" but our view of the ball is blocked by a building so we all missed seeing it actually drop. That's when the fireworks start (woo! at least we didn't miss those, right?) At first, Jack couldn't decide how he felt about them. He resolved that "Yes, yes this is something that makes me cry." So did the two little girls. So we left. And that was the end of that.


We are now sitting in the family room - two of us asleep on the couch, the other two on laptops. Tim and I remembered that we had a bottle of sparkling cider in the fridge from our honeymoon which expired in 2009, but we're willing to take our chances in the absence of champagne. There was even talk of celebrating at 11 pm but we decided to stick it out. We.are.out.of.control.


This is life with kids, folks. It's not for the faint of heart.

Visitors.

Eden, Jack and Lydia

My cousin and her husband and two little girls are down this week for a long overdue visit. Allie and James are one of the most fun couples I know and its always such a blessing when we get to spend time together. A lot of our time is usually spent buying and eating junk food - no joke. James and Tim have a special bond over their love of processed food. I think we've gone through about 4 bags of chips in three days. Gross. But delicious (?) My stomach is begging for mercy and fruit.

On the down side, none of us have gotten much sleep due to children waking up at night and crying including one very small, very tenacious, very ornery blond haired, and blue eyed baby who decided it was best to scream his little head off at 1 in the morning for an hour and a half the first night.

So post-Facebook (starting tomorrow!), I'll not only be learning to knit but also to finally, finally play the guitar. Tim's selling his latest bass guitar for something less expensive so he can also get me my own acoustic. I'm very much one of those people who likes to be great at something right away - which is why I've never stuck with learning an instrument in the past. It's also why I think it's funny that I'm taking on two new skills at once. But hey, I'm going for it. I'm sure before long Tim and Jack will have a collection of ratty looking scarves and lopsided hats. Afterall, every wannabe hipster needs to learn how to knit and play guitar before they've truly arrived. Not that I think I'll ever be that cool. I don't have the hair. Or the wardrobe.

I do however, possess a MacBook.


Monday, December 27, 2010

6 months.

Dear Jack,

We're almost at the end of month six. People ask me all the time if you're crawling yet. I always have to say no. What's up with that? Just kidding. We love you.

Not a whole lot of obvious changes have happened this month, at least not that I can tell. Except maybe that you got a nice tuft of fluffy hair on your head. And ok... you can use your hands a lot more. And maybe you did get a lot better at figuring out how to do things for yourself. Oh yeah, and with our help you can totally sip water from a big person cup. So ok, you deserve more credit than I'm giving you.


To be honest, I'm kind of thankful you aren't crawling yet because it means I can leave all those cords and wires exposed. And the little decorative acorns in the fireplace don't have to be put away. And its not a big deal if there are dustballs all over the floor because you aren't able to get to them and put them in your mouth like every other inanimate object you get your sticky little hands on. However, we did realize that perhaps you'll be a more contented little guy once you're not immobile. That's why we asked for a walker for you for Christmas (while turning a blind eye to those pesky precautionaries that claim them to be dangerous - your aunt and uncle fell down the stairs in one and they're fine. Plus, we don't have stairs.) You're dad and I couldn't wait to get home and set it up for you and plop you in it. That's when we noticed that your feet are still a good four or five inches from the ground when you're in it. So.... sorry buddy you're still immobile until your next growth spurt. Unless of course you learn to crawl first, but where's the fun in that?

Speaking of growth spurts, the doctor wants you to fatten up. So I feel like I've been feeding you with the same tenacity the witch in Hansel and Gretel fed all the little children she came across. Except I don't plan on cooking you in the oven. But you get the idea. Eat more so you can climb those percentile charts.

One of my favorite things lately is the way you choose to fall asleep. While I would absolutely love (love love LOVE) if you just fell asleep on your own with no help whatsoever, I don't mind the fact that you make a big stink when you're put in your crib for nap or bedtime so that I'll come in and put my face real close to yours and cover it with kisses. You always immediately close your eyes and start falling asleep and settling down which is special and sweet. Although this usually has to happen a couple times before you actually fall asleep which is the not so fun part.

You're a little pistol Jack, I'm not going to lie. You get that from me. But you're my favorite little boy in the whole wide world and I wouldn't change a thing about you. These last six months, while tiring and trying at times, have been so fun and rewarding and we have you to thank for that as well as the incredible, awesome God who knit you together in the womb and brought you here for a very special and specific purpose.

We can't wait to see what He has in store for you :) Looking forward to next month and all the months to follow as we watch you grow and learn.

Love,

Your Adoring Parents

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Deactivating Facebook.

I generally keep the knowledge of this blog's existence to myself. I'll admit it, I'm a closet blogger. I hate associating myself with the term. The word blog makes my skin crawl. I feel like a nerd. I prefer to write to the anonymous void rather than a crowd of people I have to see on a regular basis. I even hate the thought that Tim reads this (he's not allowed to read it when I'm in the same room.)

But since making the decision to deactivate my Facebook account on January 1 (along with Tim) I figured there were a handful of people out there who would want to keep up with our life. So I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and let all 813 of our combined friends know this is where all future updates will be found. Big decision and hopefully not one I come to sorely regret.

Why do I blog if I harbor so much shame for the process? Much like a dieter enjoys the cathartic process of reviewing the number of apples versus pieces of cheese they ate in the day, I find the writing down of menial, everyday goings on a strangely therapeutic way of making a normal life seem fascinating. The real question is who out there is trying to live a more interesting life so they have something better to blog about?

So there you have it. I blog. I'm a blogger. Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Sitting at the in-laws, sipping coffee and finally watching A Christmas Story. Half the fam is here, the rest are sick with the flu poor things. Jack is a happy clam :) Timmy gave me the gift of yarn and knitting needles which I get more and more excited about as I anticipate the lovely things I'll be able to make (as soon as I learn how to knit!)
I can't wait for Christmases to come when the magic and wonder of the birth of Christ and the holiday season grows and develops just like our little family. I also can't wait to think on new traditions to build with Jack to make his Christmases just as memorable as ours were as children.

There's so much to look forward to and be thankful for. God is so good.
All the time.



















Our pretty little home :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recycling.

I like to think of myself as environmentally friendly. Sure, I often leave the water running while I brush my teeth. I don't always buy local produce and I'd rather drive than take the bus. But for the most part - at least when it comes to recycling and littering - I try to be very diligent about being kind to the planet.

The thing is, I'm great at collecting recycling but I'm terrible when it comes to actually recycling it. That is... sorting, bagging and leaving it out on the curb to be collected. I'm not going to lie - I hate that part. So does Tim. But since I take care of the finances, laundry, vacuuming and a few other various household duties, it's given me the opportunity to leave some of my least favorite jobs** to Tim - which basically comes down to... you guessed it... sorting, bagging and putting out the recycling. Unfortunately, Tim finds this task just as tedious as I do, which results in a corner of our kitchen looking like this:


** other "deferred" jobs include (and are limited to) taking out the garbage and emptying the diaper genie, both of which are often also left until overflowing occurs. I've been laughing the whole time I've been writing this post because it humors me to think how lazy we both can be sometimes (clearly, I could do all three of these jobs myself or take care of them pre-overflowing, but that would mean effort and who has time for that?)

Oh... and on that note of being environmentally friendly, I also don't use cloth diapers (hence the diaper genie). That is still a sin (in the non-Biblical sense) in my eyes, but I know myself too well to even begin to believe that if I used cloth, there wouldn't be hundreds of poopy diapers lying around, unwashed (again, with the laziness/procrastination). I guarantee if I used cloth I would forever be without a clean diaper and always resorting to the disposables anyways. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, I applaud all mothers who take the time and care to use cloth.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

5 days till Christmas!

As previously mentioned, we're trying to be healthier these days in what we eat, which includes cutting out sugar as much as possible. Today, however, in a very serious tone, Tim said, "I'm really needing some sort of holiday sweet." I half reluctantly agreed to make some sort of Christmas cookie, but wanted to try a new recipe, so I turned to the mother of all crafts and baked goods - Martha Stewart. Outrageous Chocolate Cookies (found here) are what Tim decided on. All I have to say is.... this one's a fail Martha. Tim will probably love them, but I find them sickeningly sweet. Plus, I'm not a fan of cookies that have that hard outer "shell" and are all gooey inside. I should have gone with my initial idea of making chocolate chip banana bread.

Tonight Tim is at his workplace's Christmas party. We'd both forgotten it was tonight and I had all my ideas on how to spend the evening together once Jack was in bed not to mention I was in the midst of making him his cookies... and I'm not going to lie - we had a bit of a disagreement over the whole thing. I admitted I overreacted and made it into a way bigger deal than it needed to be... plus he had kind of sold me on the idea after talking up the gift card raffle that would take place. Things like "$500" and "win big" were some words he used, so I secretly joined him in his anticipation of what sorts of loot he'd get from this event. Maybe he would come home with an early Christmas present!!!!

He won a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Bahahahhahaha.

(not to seem ungrateful of course..... its two cups of coffee we didn't have before I suppose!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Poop!

Well.... I had my first experience with a seriously poopy diaper.

Tim and I have both been sick the past couple of days - me since Friday, with an upper respiratory version of the flu, Tim with, shall we say... the "lower half" version of the flu. Naturally we have been concerned that Jack would contract one or both strains of the virus. No serious symptoms have arisen, however today he gave me a run for my money with a diaper explosion.

While Tim was getting an MRI, I took Jack out to the car to feed him during which he let out a couple horrendously smelly farts (the rotten egg kind) and them preceded to fill his diaper - to the max - with a liquid form of said fart. Haha - this is so gross, but imagine having to change that diaper!

I was hoping the warmth on his back was just.... sweat? Nope that's definitely poop! And sure enough it had just covered his back and soaked through two onesies, both of which had to be disposed of in the bathroom garbage at the clinic we were at. I admit, I contemplated trying to salvage them but between the giant stains and the foul odor that would follow me around, I decided to leave them behind. Speaking of the bathroom, the area I assumed was meant as a changing station was not lit... at all... so I was trying to wipe poop off of everything in the dark. It was fun, to say the least. Oh, and a nice lady just happened to come in as I was beginning to change him and was kind enough to offer some encouragement even amidst a most offensive smell and the ever-present threat that diarrhea would come shooting out of Jack's bum while I wiped away.

Anyways, we survived. Though I can't seem to get the smell of that poop out of my nostrils.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baby Bowen


I posted about this little baby boy several weeks back and I'm going to mention him again because he is just so sweet and in a small way, reminds me of Jack. I don't often have warm fuzzy feelings about other people's children, especially children who are complete strangers, but for whatever reason this little baby and his family are heavy on my heart and I feel this deep compassion for them and their situation. I am continuing to pray that God strengthens and comforts this little baby in his distress, as well as his parents. Please visit Bowen's blog (click the link!) and watch the new video... he is so sweet. My heart always breaks when I see the feeding tube coming out of his nose, but I'm so encouraged by his progress and the fact that he's home.

Oh, and I've watched the video Matt posted like 20 times. This baby is SO cute!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy! Woo!

Lately we have been on this pseudo detox/health craze thanks to Cameron and Ellie who are apparently training for a triathlon. I say apparently because I'm still not sure if they know which triathlon it is they're working towards, nor when nor where. But in any case, they asked us to go along with the diet they're on, and so far so good. We've been blindly following Ellie's advice on the detox portion of it which at this point still hasn't eliminated refined sugar... which I'm pretty sure is one of the first things to go. Instead, it was caffeine which resulted in the boys having killer headaches which we all know = caffeine addiction.

Oh, and may I just say that in regards to the word caffeine, the whole "i before e except after c" does not apply here!!!!!!! I had a teacher tell me years ago that that rule is absolute on any word. So now every time I see a word, such as caffeine, where the rule does not apply, I think of that teacher and wish I could call her and say, "Guess what lady?!" Except in a nicer, kinder way :D

I finished all my Christmas gifting for Tim... now I just have to decide on some gift ideas for myself. We decided to keep the limit for spending at $50 for each of us because there's really no need to buy more (or buy at all for that matter) but it does make it difficult to think of more than one or two things that stay within our budget. So far, all I've come up with is a new watch band which Tim feels is terribly boring. I ordered this book for myself the other day (totally off topic) and I'm pretty darn excited about using it. Jack is 7 days from being 6 months old (crazy!) which means real food. We've been cheating a bit early with some of these... which he loves ... but haven't officially started replacing one of his milk meals with a food meal.

Eeeek, I hate too much baby talk because I know it turns into blah blah blah for other people and I always promised myself I wouldn't be that mom that has lost any interest in topics of conversation that don't involve her child(ren).

Ok ... quick what else?! Nope, I've gone blank. I will say I'm soooooo pumped for the Miami Heat/Cleveland Cavs showdown tonight. The return of Lebron... what will the Cleveland fans do? I'm not a sports person, but when Lebron was here I really got into basketball. Since "taking his talents to South Beach" I've reverted back to a blissful indifference to sporting events, except of course for this one monumental game. And of course I'm hoping Miami loses.

Oh and did I mention that I love, love, LOVE that it's Christmas season and that when it's chilly outside I can be inside all cozy with my friends and family playing Settlers and sipping hot tea with toast? Well I do!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5 months

Jack,

I started writing this several weeks ago, but finishing it got lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Perhaps it was good though, because it's given me more time to reflect on the fact that we're already almost halfway through your first year with us. It seemed to fly by, just as everyone forewarned. And they weren't kidding when they said how important it is to savour every moment. I think your dad and I need to be better about that - about setting aside special, uninterrupted, all-eyes-on-you time. Not that we don't devote lots of hours in the day to your care, but it's different when we make our world stop for a moment and take stock of how special it is to be together.

Since my last letter a few new things have happened in your little life. First and foremost - you rolled over for the first time! You actually did it twice in a row (and looked pretty shocked when it happened) and then waited several weeks to roll over for your dad, since he wasn't there the first time. Aside from the past couple of weeks, you've also started to learn how to go to sleep for most if not all of the night, which is lovely - please keep this habit up!

Every now and then you enjoy watching "Pingu," the claymation penguin and you're still a pretty big football fan. I don't like to encourage much t.v. watching though.... I try to keep things organic. You also love your fancy giraffe teething toy (basically a glorified dog chew toy) which your dad and I are happy about because that thing was kind of expensive. You've also begun to excel at the jolly jumper - it's fun to watch you pump your little legs with an expression of purpose on your face. Cameron, daddy and I also made up a jolly jumper jingle that we'll have to teach you when you're older.

You've become so much better about letting family members and even strangers hold you. For a while there you only wanted daddy or I which, while it made us feel very special, hurt a lot of people's feelings, especially the Grandpas. You also really enjoy being around other children, perhaps because they're your size, and you always get a little twinkle in your eye when they're around. Daddy keeps saying we need to make a little sister or brother for you so you can always have someone to play with, but I'm content to have you to myself for now.

I can't wait to enter into the Christmas season with you, especially since your only a couple weeks away from being 6 months old, which is often thought of as the best age in the first year. Just your presence in our lives is going to make this year so much more special than any we've experienced.

I also can't wait for you to start eating real food! You've had a taste or two of it already and I think you can't wait to get started either. You even love taking little sips from our cups of water, though it usually just ends up with you blowing bubbles or letting it all fall out of your mouth.

Alright, this is getting very long now. Thanks for being such a good natured little babe and for being so darn cute all the time! We love you to bits and pieces.

Love,
Mummy and Dad

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oo-dee-doo!

I feel like I'm really starting to come into my mothering skin - that I'm finally embracing a role I held at bay for so long. Of course, its made easy when you have a sweet little man like I do - whose cuteness makes the hearts of many melt. I find myself looking forward to holding him in my arms again and anticipating that little grin he gives me when we first spot each other after a long work day.

His love for me is so inconceivable sometimes; to think this little man thinks the world of me and prefers me over everyone else.... especially when I would consider so many greater, godlier women in my life more equipped to be his mother than I ever would consider myself. I feel like saying to Jack, "Are you sure you pick me to take care of you? Because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do half as good a job as your Nan." And whether he could understand this query or not, he'd probably still give me that adorable toothless grin he always does, sending me over the edge into an oblivion of cheek kissing and squeals of "ooo-deee-dooo" (my special call of affection).

Jack - you are wonderful. Truly wonderful. I love you so much.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jack's Birth Story : The Preface

I never did get around to sharing Jack's birth story and I'd still like to do that, maybe in a few days when I have some spare time to really think back on the details and reencounter that oh so special day in our family's history. For now I want to share part of the backstory...

I want to start by expressing how broken I am with gratefulness for being given a healthy baby, particularly in light of what could have been. There are many parents out there who, though they themselves are given a clean bill of health their whole life, are faced with the often heart-breaking challenge of walking through a serious illness with their child. This gratefulness became so tangible today when I came across The Hammitt Family. Please, please, please remember to pray for Bowen and his family. They so desperately need your prayers, especially in light of yesterday's news.


I can't imagine the pain of watching your child suffer, of watching him or her spend those first few precious months of life in the hospital... or worst of all, the pain of never bringing them home. The real amazing part of it all is reading about this family's faith in the midst of these trials - of their awareness of God's goodness, of His sovereignty in the situation, and the conviction that their son's heart, even with its defects, is a gift.

My own parents faced this trial, spending the first several months of my life in the hospital with me, watching me undergo risky surgeries and coming to grips with the great possibility they may never take me home. My dad even baptized me in the hospital, after being told I may not live more than a few days. I shudder at the thought of having to endure such terrible pain. The fear of these circumstances is what keeps me from wanting to "risk my luck" with another pregnancy - as if lightening can't strike twice. But of course, there's the small voice deep down that reminds me that "...with God, all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

My family will attest to what a miracle Jack, and his perfect whole and healthy self, is in consideration of the body he was crafted inside. Throughout my life I've had various health issues though, praise God and God alone, nothing chronic. I've had a number of surgeries including the removal of one of my fallopian tubes where it was also discovered that I have endrometriosis (a condition closely associated with infertility) - another reason it's unfathomable that I not only conceived, but conceived very quickly.

I'll say it again and again, praise be to God and God alone for what he has done in my life and the life of my family. He has poured out so many undeserved blessings upon us, and when I say undeserved I mean it. We have done nothing to earn what He has given us and his grace and generosity continues to be abundant and inexhaustible.

We have so very much to be thankful for.

Jack's Birth Story coming soon....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lessons.

I'm learning that...

  1. It's ok to let Jack cry a little when he wakes up in the middle of a nap, in hopes he'll put himself back to sleep. This works 50% of the time. We're shooting for 100%. Ok maybe 80%.
  2. Other things can wait when it comes to setting aside time to be in the Word and to think on God and to pray.
  3. My agenda often gets thrown out the window with a 5 month old in the house. This includes having a tidy house (though we try our best), getting exercise, and eating properly.
  4. There's something to be said for getting to bed by 10:30, and maybe even doing a bit of leisurely reading before going to sleep.
This list is ironic in light of the fact that as I'm writing it, I had in mind to start my workout, but Jack woke up for the second time from napping and it doesn't sound like he'll be settling down anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board.

This weekend I am going to find time to make time to draw some illustrations for Jack's room in order to complete the look. You can see an example of my "work" here. I have a few ideas in mind - mostly including owls and something similar to this illustration, which already hangs in his room:

from Sarah Jane Studios on Etsy

Here are some other hand-drawn illustrations of hers
that I'm also "drawing" inspiration from, har har:


Also noteworthy is the "Little" book series - Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink - with illustrations drawn by Jen Corace. Along with owls, trees and little birds, I do love things that are decorated with pea pods and cute little peas... and these images seem easy enough to recreate or at least be used as a starting ground. So here's to hoping I can get some time to draw and exercise (as previously mentioned) between now and next Monday. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I may even paint.



Exercise (?)

I, like most other moms on the planet, would like to get my body back in better-than-pre-pregnancy-shape. The problem is - it's hard to find the time, not to mention the energy.

Do ya feel me?

Another obstacle is that our back room, where we keep the elliptical, is being occupied by our friend Cameron who will be living with us until May 21st when he gets married. The elliptical is still usable, but I obviously only feel comfortable using it when he's not home.

So that leaves me two options - go outside to work out or do my work out DVDs in the family room (also something I'd rather do when no one is home). And the outside option will quickly be eliminated once the winter weather sets in.

So my question again is - when and where should I go about getting back in shape!? It's a noble thought that I might get up in the wee hours of the morning, before the baby and any other household member is awake, but I barely have the energy to get out of bed to brush my teeth, let alone do a whole lot of jumping and squatting and sitting-upping.

It would seem that I'm listing all these excuses as a way to convince myself, more than anyone else, that I'm justified in my lack of physical activity. But I really do want to make an effort - it just seems so impossible. Maybe I can join that $9 a month gym around the corner from us?

Urghhhh - thank goodness breast feeding burns calories otherwise I'd have never made it back in my pre-prego jeans.


Isle of Man.


You haunt my dreams in the most beautiful way.
Were you a dream?
Our time together seems as though it were but a fleeting breath.
Then, now and always at the mere thought of you, time stops. I have peace of mind.
Oh, how I miss thee.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lately.



a) Jack rolls over
b) Giant Eagle run
c) the beauty of a power outage

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Car.

We finally accepted the fact that Tim's Subaru is more of a money pit than a mode of transportation and decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy a new (used) car.

After hours and hours and HOURS of research on Tim's part, it came down to a couple models. We
really wanted the Honda Fit but our price range just wouldn't allow us to get a decent one. So we settled, very surprisingly, on the Chevrolet HHR - a car neither of us expected to like. But in the end, it feels very solid and safe, has a lot of cargo space and is kind of a lot of fun to drive in.



This isn't the car, but its the same color and year. It closely resembles the PT Cruiser - which again, I don't think either of us would have said was our first pick - but we're happy with the car and
(hope&pray) we got a good deal on it. So we're now a "Chevy Family" since I drive the Aveo. Chevrolet always makes me think about Ramona Quimby and how that is what she named her doll.

In other news, we've been playing a whole lot of Settlers of Catan - which I cannot, for my life, win a game against the boys.... though I was on a winning streak prior to this - as well as Killer Bunnies which Cameron taught us how to play. I bought it about a year ago because I'd played it once and liked it. But then Tim and I couldn't figure it out on our own so its just been sitting around, fielding resentful remarks and glares from its owners for costing so much and being too complicated to play. But now we are fans and all's well that ends well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Jack.

This letter is long overdue. I know of other mothers who write their babies a letter every month for the first year, and then once a year after that. Well, it's almost month five and I'm just getting started. I guess if you read my last post, you'd know why it took me so long.

The past four and a half months have been quite the life changing experience for your dad and I, but I think *especially* for me, because being a mother is not something that's always come naturally to me. While you were still in my tummy, I thought taking care of you was going to be very difficult - but boy did you prove me wrong! Thank goodness you are such a good teacher when it comes to how to love a baby, or make a baby smile and giggle, or give a baby your all. Changing your diapers are a cinch and giving you a bath couldn't be more fun!

Speaking of baths, you definitely took to them right from the start and have loved them ever since. That is one routine Daddy and I have managed to uphold (for the most part) for bedtime - bath (or shower), get your jammies on, have your bedtime milk (sometimes with story - mostly Paddington Bear), and then sleepy time. You have been a real champ lately when it comes to sleeping. So long as your toasty warm and full of milk you can sleep anywhere from 8 to 10 hours at night without waking up once. That's amazing!

I always say you're the little sunshine in my life because it's just so true. I get excited in the morning when you wake up and instead of putting you back in your crib, I can bring you into bed with Daddy and I. I think you enjoy this just about as much as we do. I also love when you wake up from your nap and I can say "Good Morning Sunshine!" and you smile at me and look all pleased. That little grin is something I try to draw out as much as possible throughout the day. My favorite is when I'm nursing you and you stop every now and then, turn your head to look at me and give me a little smile as soon as I look down. Sometimes you even make a cooing sound so as to get my attention. I can't tell you how much I covet those special little moments we share.

Some new things you've been discovering and enjoying the past few months are the jolly jumper (you're just starting to get the hang of it), eating rice cereal (though you weren't sure at first), and chewing on daddy's fingers (mine are too skinny). We also discovered, to Daddy's delight, that you like watching football. Oh, and how can I forget your affinity for the song Halo by Beyonce? Some things you've decided you definitely don't like are going in the car, falling asleep, and most of all - people other than Daddy and I holding you. Your poor grandads are so eager to cuddle you and you always give them a hard time. We're hoping you grow out of this soon, because there are a lot of people who want to hold you.

Something that was prophesied over you twice, while you were still in the womb, was the word "feisty." And boy is that true sometimes! You can be very determined and vocal when you want something - just like your mom :) You also tend to go from zero to a hundred in terms of emotion - just like your mom :) But I think it's that feisty spirit, that determination, that was given to you by God in order that you would overcome many things both en vitro and later in life.

Oh and did I mention you're cute?! And not just kind of cute... really cute. SUPER cute, even. I can't tell you how many people stop to tell me just how beautiful you are. People from far far away even took the time to write and tell me that you are the "cutest baby they've ever seen." Strangers - men and women, young and old - stop me in the stores, at church... all over! ... just to let me know how cute you are. Now, don't let this go to your handsome little head, because God values character over cuteness... but I do feel blessed to be given the privilege of laying eyes on such a pretty baby every day. I think you must get your good looks from your dad....

Well, I think that's about it. Thank you for being such a wonderful little man and for bringing so much joy into our lives. I never knew just how much the love of a child could mean to me until you came along!

I'll try to write you another letter in a month or so - if my procrastination doesn't get the better of me! Hopefully you won't inherit that trait from me :(


Lots of love,

Mummy (and Daddy)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Delay.

I have a bad habit of putting things off that should be done right now. A stitch in time saves nine? I'd rather just throw it out. Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today? The answer is in the question : because I can put it off till tomorrow, so I will.

There are very specific things I chronically delay on, including but not limited to:
  • Pumping
  • Drinking my "Mother's Milk" tea
  • Doing laundry (until there's no clothes left)
  • Emptying the diaper pail
  • Getting up in the morning (hello snooze button)
  • Getting ready for bed (I hate the routine)
  • Going to bed
  • Putting gas in my car (I almost always let it go down to "E")
  • Writing thank you cards (a credit to laziness, not ungratefulness)

On a completely different note, I had a really weird dream yesterday where I was staying at some sort of youth camp that was infested with cats and I broke out into this really crazy rash that had a circular pattern and included bright red "growths".... ugh, it was gross. Needless to say it was a relief to wake up this morning.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good Decision, Bad Decision.

First bad decision of the day:
Trying to get some extra sleep this morning before work
and then waking up at exactly 8:30 when I should be getting in the car.

Second bad decision of the day:
Eating Swedish meatballs.

Speaking of decisions, I still haven't decided completely about going up to Canada this weekend. I'm such a terrible decision maker to begin with, especially when I have to pick between two things. I've been in the process of making the "Do we go to Canada?" decision for about two weeks now. Yep, two weeks. Gah! I told Tim earlier today, "Let's just go" but am already biting my nails in anxiety over whether I really want to do that.

The biggest factors holding us back are Jack (who's sure to wail for some part of the 7 hour drive up there) and money (it's going to cost us about $100 to do it). Even now the idea of 7 hours in the car with Jack - who hates his car seat - is not appealing. He's ok if he's asleep (obviously) or if the car is in motion (most of the time) but we're talking 5 1/2 hours driving time ( that's without traffic delays) plus the several pit stops we'll have to make to feed him.

If it were just for a visit I'd have nixed the idea ages ago, but it's to bury my Nanny's ashes (who passed away several months ago) and I can't decide if that's something I'll regret missing if we choose to stay put.

One of the greatest things about being married is I can always defer to Tim to make a decision when I don't want to. Except in situations like these, where the decision is personal to me. Drat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knock Before Entering.

Number of men that work in the office with me: 4
Number of men I work with that have walked in on me pumping: 2

That's 50%, people! It stands to reason that before my pumping days are through, 100% of the men I work with will have walked in on me pumping. Need I mention that while doing my motherly duty, I'm pretty much exposed from the waist up?

Thankfully I have the whereabouts to cover up before they have time to see anything of consequence. And before you ask - yes I usually lock the door, but occasionally forget. And yes, I've made a point of saying "When the door is closed, I'm pumping." And yes, when they do knock I say "Just a second!" or "Come back in a few minutes" or "I'm busy!" but in both cases of entry while pumping, neither man heard this cry for privacy and came in anyways.

Number of men I work with that walked in on me pumping and then continued to talk to me for a few minutes while I pumped: 1

Did I mention I hate pumping? For reasons above as well as the sheer hassle of getting it all set up. Though thank the Lord I have an electric pump and not a hand held.

There's nothing like hooking yourself up to a machine and being milked like a cow.

Kelly Green Knit Wool Beret.

I've recently started wearing hats. My favorite hat is a kelly green knit wool beret that is warm and sort of quirky, but still embraces hat coolness. Sunday at Bible study I was looking at a tiny little hole at the top of the hat where the wool comes together. That's when I made the unfortunate discovery that the tip of my finger just fit through that hole and the even more unfortunate discovery that it was fun to make the hat go around and around on the tip of said finger.

So there I sat, spinning away, carrying on conversations, completely oblivious to the fact that the more I spun, the bigger that little hole got and next thing I knew the hole had gone from the size of a tiny pea to the size of a quarter. I tried to let myself be reassured that the hat was still wearable - that the hole wasn't strangely big, just biggish. Others affirmed me in this effort. But alas, my tendency to not want something once its been ruined in some small way reared its ugly beret-wearing head and I've only felt regret towards it since. Today I tried to pull the wool back together but this only resulted in more unraveling, at which point I wanted to pull it to shreds in frustration.

Instead, I did the sensible thing and went on Target's website to try and find another one. To my delight, my dear hat's many twins are sitting at an array of store locations in my area, including the one near work. At some point today I will be picking up my new kelly green knit wool beret and wearing it on my little head, not the tip of my little finger.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tired. Cold. Hungry!

It's only 9:51 am and I'm about to eat a rice noodle bowl because I'm that hungry. I always feel weird eating lunch food before 11:30ish - I feel like it puts me in a category I don't want to be in (kind of how people always say that drinking before noon is shameful - except not quite, but yes, just like that) unless said food is brunch food in which case - bring on the brunch!

You know what is never fun? Trying to figure someone out. Trying to crack their shell of politeness and get to the quirkiness I know exists so I can feel better about my own weirdness. The struggle comes when you work to find the balance between trying and trying too hard. That's when things start to feel forced and uncomfortable and then you just avoid the person because of social awkwardness. It's tricky. Very tricky.

It's cold in my office. And I want a nap. And being cold, and tired, and hungry is not a good combination. Trust me.

You know what would knock two of these ailments straight back to where they came from?

A rice noodle bowl. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On.

About six months ago I saw these posters being sold at Target. At the time, I thought them sort of tacky, silly... what have you. Enter baby. Enter family crisis. Enter $2,500 car repair.

Suddenly this slogan (which I discovered was used in my beloved England during World War II) has become a welcomed reminder throughout my day - a tool to keep my wits about me, a giver of tranquil resolve of Biblical proportions (Philippians 4:6-7).

These posters are no longer sold at Target (unless I want it in fire engine red, which hmmm, no thanks). However I did find it on Amazon for about $20 total in a lovely sea green.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pizza Pizza!

Last night was the first night since Jack was born that we were able to go out as a couple; baby-free and fancy. It was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. We did a double date with the Kerneys - who also left their wee ones behind with our friend Amber - and had a wonderful little evening together. It started off in downtown Cleveland at Fat Fish Blue - a restaurant I've always wanted to try. The food did not disappoint, except if you were Steve, in which case... no bueno. The elevator in the parking garage, on the other hand, was definitely the highlight of that part of our night. It was the kind that you're not sure you'll get out of alive. The best part was the sign that hung on the wall with the color-coded floor key. Instead of just normal colors like red, yellow, green... the powers that be decided to class the place up a bit by naming them rose, violet and some other random shades mixed in with your everyday color names like blue.

After that we made a stop at Discount Drugmart (they really DO have everything you need - "....Discount Drugmart saves you the run around"... you know the jingle) to buy a pack of cards so we could play euchre at dessert - which would commence at Cheesecake Factory. Tim shushed me as we walked in, because apparently I was talking too loud. Then he scolded me when he thought I'd opened a pack of play makeup and started trying it out (it was actually Rebekah's lipgloss). Then onto dessert we went and the girl's beat the boys at cards and we all enjoyed our cheesecakes. And that is how you have a lovely evening with your best friends and no children (as much as we desperately love our little ones :)

Tonight tonight! Tonight I made homemade pizza from scratch (that means even the crust) and it turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I feel like there's no going back to store-bought pizza once you've had homemade. It's too much fun to make! Not to mention the fact that its all fresh, natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives like other pizzas.


Ok time for bed. Tim and I have been getting to bed wayyyyy too late these days. And tomorrow is a looooooonnnngg day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Black Cloud.

Tim is sick, so it sounds like I'm sleeping next to a hospital ventilator. Or Darth Vader. Or just a really stuffed-up, gurgling, snoring husband. Not fun - for either party.

It seems that a large, black cloud has drifted over our life recently. And it's promising to hang there for a good while. It's so hard to not become fixated on the "what ifs" and "if onlys." One particular piece of news has left a blemish on the idealistic life I so desperately try to hold onto. And if you know me at all, you know that I tend to let that one blemish overshadow any trace of beauty.

It's times like these that I long for an encounter with God - to hear His voice soft and clear - giving me some word of comfort. Some beam of hope that my worst fears won't soon be realized.

I want Him to make everything ok - to fix the situation to my understanding of a good outcome. It's so hard for me, in times of uncertainty, to trust that His idea of "good" is the true definition of the word.

Lord, help me, I'm scared.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thankful amidst the Trial.

This week has been a wearing one. The kind that weighs heavily on your shoulders.

It's also a busy one at work - which perhaps is a good thing, because it keeps my mind preoccupied. The apartment has been kept tidy since this weekend which is a record for us. I think it must be my subconscious way of keeping one part of our lives manageable.

Jack, while sometimes a stress-adder if he's feeling particularly feisty, is mostly a little ray of sunshine in our hectic life. And truly, when I step back and look at where we are and what we have and how God has blessed us, I really have nothing but praise and thanksgiving for the One who gives and takes away.


A peaceful moment


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cement Barrier Incident

Yesterday I tried to open an etsy shop. Epic fail.

The idea was to try and sell some of the images from Project 365. Unfortunately, they don't crop into an 8x10 size very well - particularly those images which would be appealing to the widest variety of buyers. My other strategy is to start drawing more little pictures and try selling those in the shop. It's just finding the time that's difficult. I'm contemplating submitting some photography to istockphoto.com which could be lucrative... but I have some more research to do first.

True Story : The other night we were out on a mission to get Mitchell's ice cream. When we discovered that it was almost $9 a quart we decided to opt for a less expensive brand. So while were trying to decide whether to go to Target or Giant Eagle, Tim pulled into a parking lot across the street in order to keep the car moving (Jack's preference). At one point he started driving towards some parking spots that were divided by a pretty substantial cement barrier. This is when the cogs in my brain started turning rapidly, and a mental conversation went as follows: "What is he doing? Why is he driving towards that cement barrier? He must just be planning on parking here.... but he's not slowing down! Surely he sees this huge cement thing! Nope.... he's totally about to drive right over it!" And that's when I yelled out "Whoa whoa whoa! What are you doing?!?!" and BANG! The front end of the car - which is little by the way, so there's not a lot of room between the ground and the bottom of the car - was over the median and there we sat, straddling the cement wall. Jack, startled by either me yelling or the huge bump (or both), starts screaming and Tim (confused) sits in shock for a moment and then does the logical thing and drives the rest of the car over the median. He still insists he didn't see the barrier. Needless to say I laughed about it the rest of the night. But maybe you had to be there....

Later on, we ate our Archer Farms Target brand ice cream to the tune of a dozen youtube videos with Cameron and Ellie. That is also when I became acquainted with Improv Everywhere and the wonderful concept of flash mobs. Here is my favorite example by far - it's strangely moving:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ways That I'm Lazy

Ways that I'm lazy:

  • I'll let my laptop battery get down to "reserve power" before getting up to plug it in (even if the cord is within reach). Sometimes I'll just stop using it because I'm that adverse to reaching forward to plug it in.
  • With any kind of bags + shopping carts, I try to time it so that I'm the last one putting a bag in the car so Tim (or my mom, before I was married) would have to bring the cart back to the store or push it into the parking lot cart areas. I hate having to push it to where it belongs.
  • I'll drive around a parking lot for a while until I find a close spot so I don't have to walk too far.
  • In the time it would take me to stand up and go get something in another room, I'll sit there for a few minutes contemplating how much I need it vs. how much I'd rather stay seated.
  • If I need something at a meal, I'll wait till someone else gets up to go into the kitchen so I can say "Can you get me ________ "
  • If I throw something into a garbage can and miss, it's very unlikely that I'll bend down and pick it up, even if I'm standing right next to it.
  • I'll ask Tim to go get me various things that I don't feel like getting myself. This one I try not to do to much because that's unfair - even though he's a sweetheart and will do it without complaining.
  • If I see something out of place, like a hair tie laying around, instead of putting it away I'll just take a mental picture of where it is so I'll know where to find it when I need it.
I"m sure there are many other ways that I'm lazy, but these are the first that come to mind.
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