Monday, January 31, 2011

little lilly

Oh the sweet smell of new baby skin. The way they curl their little hands up by their face, desperately trying to feel warm and cocooned. Their suddle coos and quick turns as the lights flash in front of their scrunched eyes.
I got to hold a precious bundle of newness tonight and I almost couldn't give her up. Miss Lillian (or Lilly) was born yesterday to my good college friend Sarah. There is something so special about those first days of life when mommies are learning how to be a mom, babies are trying to learn about the outside world and dads are making many pots of coffee. I am so thrilled for Sarah and her husband AJ and know they will be exceptional parents.
But I am not going to lie, seeing Lila next to Lilly was a tad overwhelming. Can you believe how big she looks? She is almost a toddler, pulling her paci in and out of her mouth to "talk" to us and blow raspberries while Lilly is curled into a little bundle inside her blanket. My baby is definitely not a baby anymore. There is something so sweet in this new stage of drinking water out of her sippy cup, pulling up on every standing object, big laughs and smiles and letting her personality shine. But there is a small part of my mommy heart that ached for those moments again as I held Lilly in my arms. Lila will never be tiny again but she will always be my little one.

A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
~Carl Sandburg

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

you are what you eat

We are thinking about starting Weight Watchers at our house. When I was in graduate school, I went on a very restrictive diet for my IBS (Eating For IBS). And while it sucked not having wine or Diet Coke or DAIRY (God forbid) I loved the order behind what I could and could not eat. I ate until I was full and ate several times a day, yet I felt and looked healthier.

While I weigh less than before I got pregnant with Lila, the post-baby tummy does not make me look skinny. All you moms know exactly what I am talking about. I think your weight after baby is on a totally different scale. I would like to lose between 10-15lbs. Brian would also like to learn to eat healthier and Weight Watchers would allow us to do it together.

So I need your advice. Who has tried Weight Watchers? How long did you stay on it? Did both you and husband eat on the program and how did that work for him? All I know is Jennifer Hudson is looking pretty good and I wouldn't mind taking some tips from her.

I never worry about diets.
The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
~Mae West

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

no need to fuss

I am in a season of unrest. There is so much going on in my life that I have to stop and remind myself to slow down and breathe most days. I have so many prayers...for my family, for my husband and God's hand as he leads our family, for our ever-more-hectic crazy schedule, for Lila as she grows bigger ever moment. And some days, it is too much for me to take. I start feeling the anxiety creep up. I have to stop to bow my head more often throughout the day. And pray for God's peace and protection in the people that I love.

In the car this weekend, I was having one of those moments where my head starts racing with all of the what ifs. I had Veggie Tales on in the car because I am becoming increasingly more concerned that Lila's first words will be "It's a party in the USA." And what kind of mom would that make me? As the thoughts started to take over my head, God spoke to me in the voice of a little cartoon asparagus...

The Lord has given this land to us
No need to fuss
He knows what he's doing
We know that he will take care of us
If we will follow Him
God's way is the best way
Now that I know he loves me so
His way is the best way and that's the way for me

And then I bowed my head (and did not close my eyes because duh, I was driving) and thanked God for taking care of us. Every day and in ways I cannot even see.

Monday, January 24, 2011

do the charleston

I am trying to catch up. Little by little. I totally do not want to skip this post because we had an amazing vacation in Charleston over New Years with Brian's family. It came just when we needed a break after the craziness of the holidays, a busy December at work for me and lots of passing Lila back and forth.

I love the snottiness of Charleston. The whole attitude that the city exudes that it allows us to come and visit but we will never deserve its history and prestige. We rented a house on Kiawah Island, just south of Charleston and had a wonderful time exploring the history of the island. It was actually warm enough for us to enjoy some time outside.
Unlike the rest of the south that has been living in a frigid tundra for the whole winter, Kiawah actually had farmers markets open. And animals running around, not dying of hypothermia. Lila was about to launch herself out of Brian's arms and start crawling after that chicken. Why do we always have to keep her from having fun?
We of course were total tourists and went to see the oldest oak tree in North America, the Angel Oak. It was huge; mind-blowingly huge. The limbs were so heavy that they rested on the ground at some points. It is amazing to think how many wars, families, changes this tree has witnessed in the last 1400 years.
We had a great time exploring the city and introducing Lila to all of our favorite places. It is so fun to take Lila to a place we enjoyed together and making family memories.
Truth of 2011: We do well as a family when we disconnect from our lives every now and then. Anytime we can take a break from the never ending beep of emails on phones, laundry loads and errands, we need to jump on that. And just enjoy life together.
I'm gonna soak up the sun
Gonna tell everyone to lighten up
I'm gonna tell 'em that I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame I'm looking up
I'm gonna soak up the sun
~"Soak Up The Sun" by Sheryl Crow

Sunday, January 23, 2011

get 'er done

Brian was working on Saturday which meant Lila and I had to fend for ourselves. And instead of wasting the day away we got. it. done. Two loads of laundry, downstairs cleaned, play time with Zaxby the dog, trip to Trader Joe's and dinner on the table by the time Brian got home.
By the way, if you have never tried the Pollo Asada from Trader Joe's, I highly recommend it. Delicious when paired with sauteed green beans and mushrooms and a Sister Schubert's roll. I love things that go from store to skillet to plate in under 15 minutes. That's my kind of dinner.
My second favorite household chore is ironing.
My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
~Erma Bombeck

Friday, January 21, 2011

switching hats

Some days working a full time job from home seems impossible. The baby is crawling everywhere. You have to hang up on a conference call as the sounds of a crash and scream echo in the background. Your emails get inadvertently sent with a long line of xjhgLSKJHDFBgjlSDLKFjLAKJm,snd,mnzsjfdbjksdhbfkj at the bottom because she grabbed the laptop. You become the ultimate mutlitasker, writing down order and credit cards numbers while mixing a bottle, jotting meeting notes while you rock a sleeping baby and coming up for excuses why you can't get the spreadsheet done today.

But then God gives you those moments that remind you what a blessing it is to drink your coffee and answer emails with your little one only an arm away. I was rushing to finish up a phone call right as Lila woke up from her nap. Getting a bottle ready while hurriedly trying to end with a "Yes, sure by the end of the day. No problem, you are not disturbing me at home at all. It is a work day! Haha" and I could hear her losing it in her crib. As I rushed up the stairs, I realized the crying had stopped. Peeking around the nursery corner, I found she had fallen asleep, leaning straight over her lap while waiting for me to take off my "Working Hat" and put on my "Mommy Ballcap". Could she be any cuter? Thanks God, for reminding me what a blessing it is to have some Lila Time in the middle of my day.
O bed! O bed! Delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
~"Miss Kilmansegg - Her Dream" by Thomas Hood

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

little by little

My cousin Jenny asked me this weekend why I don't blog every day. I just looked at her and laughed. Maybe it is my 3 full time jobs: mommy to Lila, Brian's wife and running our house and of course, my actual full time day job. I am so behind on blogging. I have not even shown pictures of our trip to Charleston over New Years. Or talked about Lila's FIVE teeth. Or how much real food she eats at every meal (just dinner last night: 15 puffs, 4 pieces of pineapple, a whole container of mixed vegtables baby food, half a piece of whole wheat fresh bread and a quarter of a baked sweet potato. Seriously?)

But my Truth of 2011 is that I am often too busy to blog. Maybe I take too much time to edit and format pictures. Maybe I am too worried about my grammer. For 2011, I will let myself post little posts. Not a huge story, just something about our day. So in that Truth, I will catch up another day and for now, here are two different pictures of me wearing the same shirt. Holding Lila...snuggly little baby Lila on Mother's Day 2010 and playing with my huge grown up little one last week. This year has flown by.
I won't grow up, I don't want to wear a tie.
And a serious expression in the middle of July.
And if it means I must prepare to shoulder burdens with a worried air
I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!
~"I Won't Grow Up" by Rickie Lee Jones

Thursday, January 13, 2011

merry and bright

I got a new camera for Christmas. Mine was stolen at a work event back in September. I haven't gotten around to replacing it because it was hard for me to believe that someone actually stole my camera. From a 5K. For charity...benefiting sick kids. I guess some people have no soul. I kept putting off the camera purchase assuming I would find it. But no so such luck.

That unnecessarily long introduction was to point out why I have not posted Christmas photos yet. I had to borrow my parents old camera for the weekend and did not get all the hardware to download it on my laptop until today. Don't you hate when something was so long ago it is pointless to blog about it? But you feel like a bad mom if you do not capture it in all of its glory and importance for the internet. If your baby opened adorable toys on her first Christmas morning and you don't blog about it, did it ever really happen? So without further ado, here is Lila's first Christmas in pictures.
Christmas with Lindsay's family
All these presents better be for me

It's the newest fashion. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

It's called a Barbie? It looks like a plastic baby doll. I don't get it.

Put me down so I can play with all the fun crinkly paper Mom!

Christmas morning with Brian's family
Beep beep! Places to go, people to see

Look at my new trick! I can clap my hands! Yay!

My dolly's face is pretty yummy. Does anyone else think it's snack time?

Passed out halfway through present opening. Being a baby is exhausting.

Christmas Snow 2010
Super fluffy and beautiful snow fall

This white stuff is kind of cold and wet

Brian having a snowball fight with his brother. And apparently Zaxby the dog wants to play

Snow Princess

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white
~"White Christmas" by Irving Berlin

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

boo boo bunny

Lila got her first boo boo on Sunday. In the church nursery of all places. Where coincidentally her baby friend Sam got bit by another kid last Sunday. So maybe church is not such a safe place after all. She was back in nursery and the message was just getting started when her number flashed on screen. In our church, we have a small screen on the wall that flashes your child's "number" when they need you.

Child number 365. Your child is throwing a fit. Stop enjoying your coffee and moment of peace, get up in front of the whole congregating, hang your head in parental shame and get your butt back here.

I went back to calm her down and play on the nursery floor, thinking maybe she would get distracted playing with her toys. And not five minutes after we started playing with toys around all the other babies, it happened. She was crawling and suddenly forgot to move her hands before her legs. Face plant. It happens all the time, just part of learning to be mobile.

But this time the scream was a little louder. And when I picked her up off the floor, the blood had already started flowing. So much blood. All over her mouth and chin. I had no idea where it was coming from and panic set in. I tried to grab the tissues the nursery workers had hurriedly brought me, but I could not even see where I needed to apply pressure. I calmly asked one of them to get Brian and try to find a doctor. Thank GOD for a church full of lots of medical professionals.

After being checked out by our favorite PA/worship leader, he found she had two large cuts on her gums, right where her teeth had just cut through. Some Motrin and her first popsicle later, she was happily buzzing off the sugar and snuggled in my arms. But I was still a mess. I cannot believe how quickly she went from fine to hurt. The whole rest of the day, I followed her around, terrified she was going to fall and hit something again. I know it is a part of being a mom and there are many more boo boos to come, but that was not fun. My mommy heart could not stand to see her in pain and know I could not make it all better.
So we decided to take a preemptive strike against future owies and make our very own Boo Boo Bunny. We had several of these growing up and there is something about holding a wash cloth make into a bunny and stuffed with ice that makes the pain a little less sharp.

As spring is right around the corner (HA! It's an ice storm outside right now in North Carolina!) I thought you could all join me in making your very own Boo Boo Bunnies. Just click here, follow the easy directions and enjoy! And for my Truth of 2011 (which I realize I did not do in yesterday's post. Only the 3rd of the year. Nice): I want to continue to be a calming influence in my family's life. I am overly anxious by nature and I don't want Lila to grow up with that view of her mom. I need to learn to let her grow, always right behind her, but just far enough ahead that she is doing it on her own.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
~Charles M. Schulz

Reprinted from my weekly column at Southern Mommas

Monday, January 10, 2011

PLEASE give me bad customer service

This week, everything Brian and I touched, we broke.  Everything large and electronic. Which means everything expensive. First, Brian's car. Then both of our cell phones. Bleh.

On Tuesday, Brian's car broke down on the way to pick up Lila from day care. 30 minutes away. When I was at the grocery store with a cart full of groceries. Obviously. So I called our day care owner in a panic and of course she told me no problem that we would probably be one hour late (which is why we drive 30 minutes each way to day care). Then I drove out to meet him to wait for the tow truck and then get the little one.

Bad news: Brian's car needs a new transmission. And it is a 1999 so the cost of the transmission is about the value of the car. So even though we clearly do not need to add a car payment into our already tight budget, a new car it is!

The online search and the walking into dealerships to be accosted by 10 guys with too much hair gel and embroidered windbreakers commenced. I hate shopping for cars. Why do all car salesmen feel the need to belittle you and act like you know nothing about vehicles? Why do they all question your decision about what type of car you want? Did I tell you I want to look at a pretty little Volkswagon?

After a hilarious moment with a newly trained car saleswoman locking the keys in a running car, test driving home a car only to realize they gave us a model with no headlights and an empty gas tank and a salesman who tried to convince us that worn tires were a matter of opinion, we have a car.
Isn't she a beauty? It's a Hyundai Santa Fe and I am so excited. Please do not ruin my excitement with comments about your friend's brother's hair dresser who hates her Santa Fe. Only happy thoughts here. And in true wonderful husband fashion, Brian is giving me the new car and taking my old Honda. Love him.

We get to pick it up on Tuesday or Wednesday night (depending on the giant snow and sleet storm heading ominously to North Carolina tonight). I am already organizing consoles and pockets in my head. And now, please leave your suggestions for what to name my lovely champagne colored, giant back seat and cargo area car.

Well, life's like a road that you travel on
There's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way, I wanna drive it all night long
~"Life Is A Highway" by Tom Cochrane

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

waiting for a pair

They are tiny little things. Yet too big to lose inadvertently. So where do they go? I buy them in pairs. I wear them in pairs. And I don't remember any time I came home with only one on. Yet I currently own 3/4 of a sock drawer of socks with no match.
Oh mismatched sock. You make me look so sloppy. Why do you come in so many hard to match colors and patterns? I wake up too early in the morning to think about complicated things like tan socks with stripes versus tan socks with argyle pattern. I just do not understand where you ran off to. Are you hiding in a closet with all the pacifiers and good pens? I bet you all are having quite a party in there because you certainly do not want to come back to my drawer with your happily coupled friends.

I know I should just throw all you lonely singles away but I feel wasteful and mean. So what do I do with you? Maybe I will hang you up around the house as a warning to all future pairs to stay together. Or else.

Truth of 2011 (or my version for resolutions): Throw away, donate, store or Craigslist all unused items. After 6 months of lying around and not being used, unless they are not seasonal items, away they go. I hope to have closets cleaned out in the house in the next 2 months.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
~William Morris

Monday, January 3, 2011

i'm baaaack

Wow this has been a crazy two weeks. We were gone for Christmas with Brian's family for 3 days, experienced our first Christmas "blizzard", raced home for 3 days of work, mourned with our good friends over the loss of their precious angel Crosby and then rang in the new year with a five day vacation at Kiawah Island with Brian's family. Whew. Just to give you a better picture, my Christmas tree is dead but still decorated in our living room, there are four loads of laundry folded on my couch (clearly not put away in drawers) and all the Christmas gifts are still in bags on the dining room floor.

I will spend the next several days cleaning and THEN I can post Christmas pictures of Lila's adorable face opening presents, her first time in the snow, carriage rides in Charleston and an update on my fabulous new digital camera. I promise you will think it is fabulous too since now you will have so many more shiny, beautiful photos and videos of Lila to ooh and aah over.

I have also spent a lot of time thinking about my new year's resolutions. I don't like to think of these as lofty goals, but more getting back to my beliefs and vows as a wife, mom, employee and Christian woman. I am going to post a new "life truth" at the bottom of each post for the month of January. Please feel free to post your resolutions as comments, as I would love to hear what you aspire to be in 2011!

And since my husband is the most important person in my life, I am dedicating my first truth of 2011 to him. As a mom, I often forget that the center of my world is not the little person I birthed who has rocked my world with early wake up times, new eating and sleeping habits and so much joy it overflows in my heart. The center of my world, other than God, is my rock. My husband who takes care of us and allows God to work through him to provide for our family. In 2011, I will live out the truth of working on my marriage every day and showing him how much I love and appreciate him.

40 Promises for Marriage
~by Steve Stephens
1. Start each day with a kiss.
2. Wear your wedding ring at all times.
3. Date once a week.
4. Accept differences.
5. Be polite.
6. Give gifts.
7. Smile often.
8. Touch.
9. Give back rubs.
10. Laugh together.
11. Send a card for no reason.
12. Do what the other person wants before he or she asks.
13. Listen.
14. Encourage.
15. Know his or her needs.
16. Fix the other person's breakfast.
17. Compliment twice a day.
18. Call during the day.
19. Slow down.
20. Hold hands.
21. Cuddle.
22. Ask for the other's opinion.
23. Show respect.
24. Look your best.
25. Celebrate birthdays in a big way.
26. Apologize.
27. Forgive.
28. Set up a romantic giveaway.
29. Be positive.
30. Be kind.
31. Be vulnerable.
32. Respond quickly to the other person's request.
33. Reminisce about your favorite times together.
34. Treat each other's friends and relatives with courtesy.
35. Send flowers every Valentine's Day and anniversary.
36. Admit when wrong.
37. Be sensitive to each other's sexual desires.
38. Pray for each other daily.
39. Say "I love you" frequently.
40. Seek outside help when needed.