Monday, November 29, 2010

give thanks

We give thanks because God has blessed us. We give thanks to remember the ways he takes care of us daily. This week was an awesome time to thank God for all he has done in our lives. Not just the obvious ones, like food, shelter, heat, a car to get me from place to place, two wonderful jobs for Brian and I, and of course our beautiful, healthy little girl.

I also thank him for the not to obvious ones:
-Having a family that loves jamming out to Beatles Rock Band and not caring how off key I sing.
-The excitement of Brian's whole extended family getting to pass Lila around and play with her.
-Brian having a surprise Thanksgiving morning off from his part time job to spend with the family.
-Lila's big smiles as she so proudly picked up the little pieces of turkey in her high chair and fed them to herself.
-AMAZING Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales online and having over half my Christmas shopping already done.
-Our beautiful fluffy Christmas tree already in its stand waiting to be trimmed tonight.
-Babies who nap like a champ, even in all the craziness of a holiday weekend.

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies;
but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
~Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

spread the cheer

What is it about the holidays that makes us indulge in such fabulous food? We diet all year long and then lose it in the last 6 weeks. I am not sure if we are just cold and depressed from all the dreary, dark days and need a pick-me up (although that is absolutely not the excuse with the 60 degree weather we have been having in North Carolina all week). Is it a peer pressure thing? All I know is when the Christmas music starts playing, all hell breaks lose in my tummy.

Starbucks is one of my all time favorite indulgences and I am so glad that they cater right to me and my red cup craving ways. This December, they are having a holiday special every day of December. Just text "12DAYS" to 29943 and they will text you the daily deal starting December 1. Texting and coffe, two of my favorite things working together for the common good.

I also hit up Trader Joe's today and picked up some of our favorite holiday treats. Again, why do I think it is okay now to eat a sweet every night? But none the less, there they were in my cart with Lila chewing on the corner of the box. The Joe Joe's are for Brian, the toffee is for me.

And my last holiday indulgence is all the fabulous Christmas music blaring on my iPod, car stero and laptop speakers at work. I try to start off every morning with this one to get me in the mood for sleigh rides, Christmas caroling and evergreen trimming. Since those are all obviously a part of my every day schedule.

First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating,
then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can,
and then we'll snuggle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the many hats of Lila

My sister was a fashion major in college and works in retail and merchandising. As such, the important of accessories has never been lost on me. While I try super hard to think about putting on something other than my wedding ring in the morning, I do not always make it too far. I guess I have decided to live vicariously through Lila.
Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
~Coco Chanel

Saturday, November 20, 2010

laus deo

One year ago today I was 24 weeks pregnant.
One year ago today I was being rushed to the hospital in pre-term labor.
One year ago today I was receiving steroid shots for emergency lung development.
One year ago today I was being told I could deliver a very tiny weak baby at any moment.
Today I hold a healthy 8 month old daughter, born at full term, a true miracle.
"Laus Deo." Praise be to God.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
~Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 19, 2010

everybody poops

I was just sitting on the couch this morning, doing work and drinking my tea while Lila played on the floor. And my phone rings...

Ring, ring
Me: Hello?
Brian: Hi sweetie
Me: Oh hi! You just got to work, is everything okay?
Brian: Umm, kind of. Did Lila have a really poopy diaper this morning?
Me: Well, yes, it is the morning. And that is always on the agenda for Lila.
Brian: So I just got to work and went to put my lunch that I put in a Target bag by the front door in the fridge. And guess what? It wasn't my lunch.
Me: Yeah, we use those Target bags a lot. I see your lunch by the front door now. Thanks for taking that poopy diaper out for me.
Brian: No problem. My coworkers will be enjoying the smell all day.

Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper.
It doesn't permanently solve any problems,
but it makes things more acceptable for a while.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

shop till you drop

There are pros and cons of Christmas shopping with your kids when they are too young to understand the concept of Christmas. At first, it looks like a positive because they have no idea what is going on as you leisurely walk through the toy aisles and put items in the cart.

But then you have the problem of how cute she is.
And don't you just want her to wear her new Beatles baby shirt right now?

Or play with her first ever Minnie Mouse right this minute?

Obviously these were both a failure to resist by Lila's G (grandpa). I see a lot of moments in the future of Lila getting her Christmas presents long before Christmas morning. How do you keep from giving your kids their presents too early? And how many presents do you plan on getting your little one this year? We are thinking a few toys, outfits, books and something special to celebrate her first Christmas. But next time, we will have to put them directly in the closet before the cuteness creeps up on us.

Nothing's as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas.
~Kin Hubbard

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

fragile: handle with care

I was ordering our Christmas cards in the mail tonight and going back through all of our 2010 photos. And I discovered two things: one, Brian and I did not take enough pictures this year, just the two of us. Brian's response? "Yeah, Lila does kind of steal the show at all picture worthy events." Note to self, put the baby down sometimes.

Two: sweet baby Jesus, Lila was so tiny.

How did we not break her?

You can thank me later for making your ovaries cry. Look at those wrinkles. And if one more person asks what I am planning for her one year old birthday, I might just lose it. It is still 4 months away people! Do you want me to burst into a spontanous meltdown over how big she is already? Eight. Months. Old. Shut your mouth.
So I will dance with Cinderella while she is here in my arms
Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella, I don't want to miss even one song
Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...
~"Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Monday, November 15, 2010

bicycle built for two

"She's the littlest, she's the cutest, she's the sweetest little baby in baby town! She's the littlest, she's the cutest, she's the sweetest little girl I know!"

That is just one our made up songs we sing around the house all day. I grew up with a mom that could make up a song about anything. We sing about folding laundry, changing a poopy diaper, taking a walk...basically very few sentences are said at our house, but rather they are sung.

On top of all our made up songs, we know a plethora of kids songs about many, many subjects.
Eating a donut for breakfast? (skip to 2:05 just for fun)
Going on a bike ride?

Picking up some produce at the grocery store?

Or perhaps enjoying a bath time song?

And I share all of these songs with Lila on a daily basis. Sadly, Brian did not grow up with a lot of these songs. So half the time, he thinks I am making songs up when they are real. And then he thinks real songs are all in my head. It looks like there will be a lot of learning new songs for both of my favorite people.

My mommy always told me to do what's right
To wash behind my ears and try to be polite
She says she loves me so
It's like she tells me what I need to know

But sometimes when I'm playing with a buddy or two
They're doing things you know you're not supposed to do
Do you go along? Even though the things they do are wrong?

I remember stand  - stand up, stand up
For what you believe in, believe in
Believe in God - he's the one to back you up
We'll stand with you!
~"Stand Up!" by Veggie Tales

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

tag, you're it

I love when Brian and I work together as a team. I think we are always on the same page, but there are just some days that we click in and are rolling right on along together. It started this morning, when Brian fed Lila a bottle while I took a shower. I picked out her outfit while they played on the bed. And then he dressed her while I got ready. Perfect team work.

After work, we were still on a roll. Brian picked her up from daycare while I worked a little late. When we got home, I made and fed Lila some food while he made dinner. Then he fed her a bottle while I ate my dinner. And now he is playing with her while I blog. It is the life of two working parents.

I am not sure how women do it when they have husbands that travel a lot. I have friends who are single moms and my hat is ALWAYS off to them. One of my friends has a 3 year old and a 1 year old whom she raises on her own. She goes to work and teaches other kids during the day and then comes home and is an amazing mother to her kiddos at night. That is a tireless day and she does it with more grace than I could ever have. God is blessing her children with an example of a true woman of God and a selfless mother.

I wish I didn't whine about how tired I was at the end of every day. I wish I didn't need so much caffeine to make it through the afternoon. Because I am blessed to have a husband that helps me raise our daughter. And tonight, I needed to be reminded of awesome our tag team really is.

Tag Team back again, check and direct and let's begin
Party on party people let me hear some noise
DC's in the house jump jump rejoice
There's a party over here, a party over there
Wave your hands in the air, shake your derriere
These three words when you're gettin' busy
Whoomp there it is, hit me
~"Whomp There It Is" by Tag Team

Monday, November 8, 2010

tis the season

Our house has been passing around the crud like everyone else this month. As the weather turns cold, the heat comes on and people start sharing some germs. In the past 3 weeks, Lila and I have shared a double ear infection, the flu, a cold, croup and now this past weekend, a sinus infection and bronchitis for me.

I am so done with nasal bulbs, tissues, thermometers, VICKS, steam baths and lots of motrin. Luckily Brian is holding strong and staying away from all the sickness like he and his crazy immune system always do. I am just so glad there is someone to take care of the two sickies!

So how do you stay healthy when every person you pass on the street or in the store is a walking germ factory? Some of these tips sounds awesome...others, not so much.

1. Add these foods to your diet to help boost your immune system: yogurt, garlic, black tea, mushrooms and fatty fish.
2. STAY BACK germs: Make sure you wash often with antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer, use paper towels instead of hand towels, disinfect everything, try not to use your hands on public services and stay 5 feet away from coughing people.
3. Supplement it: Take fish oil, Vitamin D and Zinc.
4. Play hard, sleep hard: Exercise 20-30 minutes a day and sleep at least 7 hours a night.

So which of those have I decided to take on? Well I am definitely down for the yogurt and tea, although my favorite is Pomegranate White Tea from Trader Joe's. I already use my elbows to push elevator buttons and open doors. And who doesn't want 7 hours of sleep a night?? Now if you only my daylight savings challenged baby would oblige.

In order to change
we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired
~Author Unknown

Reprinted from my weekly column at Southern Mommas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

morning snuggles

One morning it was over. I had obsessed and worried while I was pregnant. Taken one very akward class at the hospital with Brian right before Lila was born. Spent hours and hours trying to make it through the hard moments during those first few months. And just like that, it was over. 

I don't even remember much about that last morning of nursing Lila. Most mornings I was half asleep when I picked her up out of her crib and pulled her into bed with us. Once I went back to work full time the feedings had slowed down throughout the day. And then one night, there wasn't enough milk and we were down to one feeding in the morning.

I tried so hard to cherish those last few weeks. Tried to remember the way she would open her eyes and peek at me. The way she would pull on my shirt when she would get bored. Soaking up every moment of her babyness. We slowly had to add more formula at the end of every morning feeding since she was not getting enough to eat. And then one morning, she skipped straight to the bottle.

I am so blessed I was able to nurse exclusively for over five months. I am so blessed for all those hours holding my baby close. But I did not know it would be this hard to let go. To let go of all of those moments when Lila's favorite thing to do was snuggle and be held close. She is so full of energy now, always on the go and wanting to explore her world. But in my mind, she will always be that little snugly baby in my arms.

No one could give her such soothing and sensible consolation
as this little three-month-old creature when he lay at her breast
and she felt the movement of his lips and the snuffling of his tiny nose.
~Leo Tolstoy

Monday, November 1, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year

Ever since Lila arrived, I have been quite the coupon clipper. Because baby stuff BE EXPENSIVE. Did I tell ya'll about the time I used like triple coupons to get a big box of Huggies wipes for $.90? Because I did. And then I bragged to the Target lady checking me out. She was not impressed.

And then I realized to myself when walking through the mall in early October and viewing the Christmas decorations already on display (looks like that mall decorator jumped the gun just a tad) that I would need to start looking for some awesome deals on Christmas cards. Because everyone needs to see my cute baby! Like everyone I have ever met. Which is going to rack up in Christmas card costs super fast.

And then I found these fabulous Shutterfly cards...TA DA! My favorite thing about them? There is lots of room for pictures. Because honestly, who can choose just one baby picture to show off?
I like that this next one has room to write on the inside. Plus it has our monogrammed initial, a plus for any southern lady. And a fabulous song quote. Done.
I think this last one is my favorite. I love to write letters in our cards but then I see that big sheet of paper and start filling people in on unnecessary details like our favorite movie of the year or Brian's new obsession with bagels. This looks like it will limit me to important details only.
They are having a 25% off sale until Wednesday which rocks my socks off. Or you can get 50 free holiday cards (like I just did...full disclaimer cause I like to keep it honest ya'll) by blogging about their holiday cards. Super easy, visit their website for more information.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door
~"It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Johnny Mathis