Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Just Love It . . .

A lot of us, myself included, seem to do quite a lot of complaining.  I decided to turn things around in my life and be more positive.  I plan to write at least five things I love and/or am thankful for each week.  No order, no specific rhyme or reason.  Some things will be serious and some will seem trivial. Nonetheless, here it goes.

1)  I absolutely love being a Mama.  There is no greater joy or love I can ever imagine.  I don't sleep much and I have no alone time. . . . but I love it!

2)  I am thankful I have a dog that tolerates and loves on my munchkin.  Seriously, the kid can put his hand in her mouth, crawl on her and pull her tail and she doesn't care much.  Jabber loves Nathan and has even taken on the roll of enforcer: when we say no and Nathan does it, anyway, she is right there grumbling at him.  She nips at him to play and he laughs.  What a great big sister!

3)  I love that we have not one, but two, working vehicles.  Sure, the older of the two isn't going to be with us much longer as she won't pass inspection, but she has gotten us through the last 8 years without breaking down.

4)  Just-washed sheets.  LOVE them!  So cozy, fresh  . . . . ahhhhhhhhh

5)  I love that my son much prefers his Grammy's homemade applesauce and Shamrock rolls to any store-bought fake stuff.  The kid knows the good stuff, and I'm glad.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Building Up and Tearing Down

It all started when someone I was speaking with started bragging about their "natural birth."  Now, what that person meant was that they had a pain-medication free vaginal delivery.  Good for her.  Does this not somehow imply, though, that those who opt for pain medications or those who have to have cesarean sections have had UN-natural births?  Why do we try to make ourselves sound like better mothers in such a ridiculous way?

That thought led me to another . . . .

Why do we brag about our children's development, something over which we have no control?  Oh, Suzy started crawling at 2 months and was running independently at 6 months?  Wow, Petey was potty trained in 2 days by the age of 8 months?  Oh, Johnnie was fluent in 4 languages by the time he was 9 months old?  Wow, Ariel had 10 teeth at 6 months old?

Well, good for Suzy, Petey, Johnnie and Ariel.

C'mon, people.  WHY are we bragging???  Did you somehow make your child's teeth come in?  Did you give your child motor skills crawl/walk/potty train "early?"

Don't get me wrong:  there are many things about every child that are impressive.  I know first-hand how exciting it is to see your child learn and grow.  (See my previous post on "firsts.")  However, you wanna know what's impressive to me?  Not how old your kid was when they first did whatever.  No, not at all.  What's impressive to me is if you've managed to raise a creative, obedient, loving child who cares about others, who takes his turn, who encourages other people.

Right now, my Nathan is 9 months old.  He is 21.5 lb, 28.5" long and has a giant head.  He has 8 teeth and army-crawls everywhere.  He rarely crawls "for real."  He loves to stand and pull himself up to standing on things.  He loves to be tickled.  He likes waving to people.  He loves to be held.  He hates it when I'm in the room and NOT holding him.  He is insanely stubborn and gets very moody when he's sleepy.  He rubs his eyes exactly like I do.  He is fearless and is a thrill-seeker.  Do I find all that to be impressive, especially considering his rough start in life?  Absolutely.  What's most impressive, though, is that he is a child of God and NO ONE loves him more than He does.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the Firsts

As I sat down to write tonight, with an old episode of Glee chirping in the background, I realized that I am probably the worst blogger ever.  No posts in over 2 months is generally taboo in the blog world, but I don't care.  I have been too busy and enthralled in experiencing some "firsts."

There are many things that I have had the joy of experiencing with my now 9-month old peanut.  I will never forget his first non-gas related smile, his first belly-laugh, his first tooth popping through, the first time he rolled over, the first time he ate solids, his first army-crawl or the first time he pulled himself up to a standing position.  One of the biggest fears I had, not being able to be a stay-at-home-mom, was missing any one of the aforementioned events.  Those fears are still there, but lessening day by day.

I know I'm not the only one, but there are countless other things that Adam and I have discussed at length that WE want to be the first to see with him, get him or do with him.   There are things that we want to keep special for just us. Here are some examples:

1) The zoo/aquarium.  We want to take Peanut to his first trip to a zoo and/or aquarium.  We are such animal lovers and can't wait to see his face when he sees real-live animals other than a dog or cat.  I just hope he doesn't try to crawl over them like he does the dog . . . .
2) To school.  We want to be there to put our squirt on the bus for the first time.  Likewise, I want to pack his first school lunch for him, complete with yogurt, veggies, and maybe a homemade Mommy cookie.
3)  I want to bake his first . . . . and second . . . . and third . . .  birthday cakes for him.  I love to bake.  I love my son.  He can pick his flavors/decorations, but I want to make it for him. Enough said.
4)  We want to get him his first of different kinds of toys--his first tricycle, his first bike, his first coloring book and crayons, etc.  For example, we got the squirt a Build-a-Bear a few months ago to give to him for Christmas.  We wanted to get him one that Mommy and Daddy made special for HIM and only him, that he would understand that we went to the mall (yes, Adam went) and spent time picking out the perfect bear and "making" it just for him.  We hope he has siblings some day and I know the vast majority of his toys will rightfully be used to death, but it's nice to have something that's all yours.
5) His first birthday.  A controversial one, I know.  The Squirt's birthday is on a Sunday in 2013, and we fully intend to spend the day with just the three of us, possibly doing something like #1.  We know family and friends want to see him, and we do plan on having a small party for him--the day before.  I doubt that it'll ever be able to be just the three of us for his subsequent birthdays, and I want to do nothing but love on him and reminisce about that wonderfully terrifying day.

Some day, in the all-to-near-future, Nathan will have his own firsts that he will want to experience with his child(ren).  I know he will want to be the one to buy his son his first bike or take him to school.  I know that he and his wife may want to spend that child's first birthday with their own family . . . . and I never want to take that away from him because I understand.  When that happens, I will consider how Adam and I raised him to be a success: he would have grown into a man who loves his child more than anything and wants to soak up every tiny ounce of his child's wonder and awe.

First smile caught on film

First "piggy-back ride" from Daddy

First time rolling over

First time pulling himself up
First finger foods

Sunday, July 22, 2012

my Alma Mater

I am not ashamed to say that I went to Penn State.  I completed my bachelor's and my master's degrees at Penn State and, given the choice to do it all over again, I would choose Penn State again.

Here's what Penn State is to me (in no particular order):
-a place where I was able to follow in the footsteps of my brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents
-the place where I met the love of my life
-the place where I got married
-the place where I accepted Christ as my one and only Savior
-the place where I got to know one of the coolest roommates I could've ever asked for
-the place where I was diagnosed with cancer--and found the best support system I could have ever imagined
-the place I used to study in the library for hours on end in the stacks 
-the place where I used to meet up with my little brother in the dining hall, just to chat over supper
-the place where I learned how to eat healthy and exercise regularly
-the place where I got to cheer on my team with over 100,000 of my friends
-the place where I would type all my notes from class and make notecards with all the information on them
-the place where I could just walk a block and be near some of my closest friends
-the place where I struggled with the hardships I was facing
-the place I used to have girls' nights, complete with vanilla cappuccinos and chick flicks
-the place where I discovered who I was and what was important to me.

Say what you want about Penn State.  Here's what I say:

WE ARE, and I AM, Penn State, now and forever!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Are we that weird?

We have some amazing family members and friends in our lives, for whom we are extremely grateful.  Said family and friends have offered dozens of times to watch our baby for a day or evening so we can "get out and have time to ourselves." Thank you for the offer, but no thank you.

Adam and I talked about this phenomenon several times:  is it weird that we don't want to leave our 5-month old at ALL?  Is it bad that we're happiest at home with just the 3 of us playing together?  Are we horrible people for not wanting "couple time" if it means sacrificing our time with our baby?

I fully believe that someday, we will want to leave our baby to go out on our own.  I also fully believed that that day would have come already.  It hasn't.

Perhaps it's because I work full time and Adam is tackling school and work: as we already spend 8-hours a day away from Little Dude, we can't imagine spending one more second away.  I'm not convinced that this is it, though--even when I was on my 11-week maternity leave, the last thing I wanted to do was to leave him.

It has nothing to do with not trusting others to take care of him, even though we all know that no one takes better care of him than Adam and I do ;-)  There are plenty of people that I would trust to (temporarily) watch my baby.  I honestly think it's because we've wanted the little one for so long that we don't want to waste a precious second of our time with him.

So, what about couple time?  Admittedly, we do need to do more things with just the two of us.  We used to go mini-golfing, bowling, to the movies, out for dessert, etc.  We don't anymore.  We do, however, have every evening together, with just the two of us, after baby goes to sleep.  

As of this fine June evening, we're happy with how things are.  We're happy to spend all of our time with our baby, and our baby, only. He won't be 5 months old forever, after all, and we want to cherish every second, every one of his coos and smiles.  It won't be long before he's a mouthy teenager and we'll need these moments to look back upon to keep our sanity.  

My favorite things

(I started this post a few weeks ago, so I thought it was about time I finished it!!  Some things regarding timing are no longer, true, but it's the essence of it all that counts).

As I was preparing supper this evening while the baby napped and Daddy was attacking the mutt, I realized that I haven't blogged very consistently or often.  I'm not so naive to think that anyone has noticed this or cared, really, but I also know that this helps me think and appreciate my family more.  Hence, I blog.

Yesterday and today have been great days for us.  I have been able to spend the past 48 hours with my two loves, and my two loves, only.  I feel like this doesn't happen nearly enough: there is always somewhere to go, someone to visit, something to do.  The past two days, however, have been filled with glorious nothing-ness.

Adam and I have been so thrilled and blessed with our latest addition.  Every day certainly has its challenges, but we'd do it again in a heartbeat, and Lord willing, plan to!  Since the first several months of waking every 1-2 hours are behind us, we have really begun to enjoy things more.  (Things really are nicer when you can sleep . . .)

First, the little dude is teething and drooling like crazy.  Bibs and onesies are getting soaked within minutes of putting them on.  Since it's been so warm out lately, it's nice to let him just play around in his diaper.  Baby in diaper = favorite thing #1.

He is also talking and babbling ALL the time.  It's so cute to see how responsive he is getting to things and how he "answers" our questions and comments.  Adam and I will often sit and talk to him while he plays for 10-45 minutes at a time.  When he babbles, it's like the world stops for us.  Baby talking = favorite thing #2.

Next, the little dude is also smiling.  All. The. Time.  It's relatively difficult to get the smile on film, just because he alternates his smiling with babbling.  Baby smiles = favorite thing #3.

Tubby time has, and likely will continue to be, an end of the day family-fun activity.  The munchkin has learned to splash and kick more than I ever imagined.  He is joking with us back and forth, too: he kicks/splashes, waits for us to laugh and cheer him on, then continues.  Baby splashing in a tub = favorite thing #4.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Mother's Day

It's May 13, 2012.

My very first Mother's Day as, well, a Mommy.

I'm finding that several of my friends and family members seem to have the most glorious and fantastic Mother's Day plans: they go out to brunches, get fancy jewelry, go on trips, get spa days etc.  Here's what we did today:

(Preface: we were in Canonsburg working on cleaning our house and moving our final pieces out before our closing from late Friday night through this morning)
0130: little dude woke up to eat
0600: Adam and I woke up after sleeping on a very uncomfortable air mattress for the second night in a row.   We put dirty clothes back on because we didn't bring enough clean clothes for the additional night--we were going to leave Saturday night, but someone wasn't having that.
0615: little dude work up, for good.  We were SO thankful he slept for two 5-hour sessions last night after literally screaming bloody murder forever the evening before.
0705: on the road back to Harrisburg
0910: rest stop break.  Someone needed to eat and was getting restless.  I took him out of his car seat and carried him into the rest stop.  I entered the door to the "family" restroom with him and promptly strapped him down to the changing wall unit.  He giggled, I smiled.  A stranger told me Happy Mother's Day.  I smiled again.
0930: back on the road again.
1100: arrive at our home in Harrisburg.
1100-1400: unpack, organize, clean, change two blow-out diapers, work on laundry, nurse, get fridge out of the U-haul, return the U-haul.
1430: Adam was trying to find somewhere that was open to find a Pandora charm for Mother's day to add to my bracelet.  No where was open.
1435: Giant trip to get milk, yogurt and a movie from Redbox.  They didn't have Thor or the Hulk, so Adam got the Vow for me.  (A chick flick, yes, but I've been wanting to see it since I saw it advertised.)
1500-1630: back to laundry, cleaning and baby changing/feeding.  Tried tummy time for a bit without luck, so we put the little one on his mat to kick around for almost an hour. 
1630-1700: Supposed to be watching the Big Bang Theory while little dude was sleeping.  I also fell asleep.
1705: little dude wakes up, screaming.  It's not time for him to eat, but he nurses for a few minutes, anyway.  He calms down and sleeps on Daddy for a little while longer.
1710-present: more laundry, lunch-packing, dishes, bottle-prepping, etc. 

Does any of this seem glamorous?  No, but it's my life and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I got to spend the whole day with my husband and the little dude who made me such a proud Mama 4 months ago.

Mommy with the chunk-a-munk cutie!

Tubby time love!