Saturday, April 30, 2011

the brooding hen

So in case you haven’t been paying attention, I am, in fact, pregnant.  Over 30 weeks pregnant, to be exact.
In my “free time,” I’ve been obsessing about projects around the house.  It’s primal instinct, right?  Birds painstakingly build their nests, twig by twig.  Here’s what I’ve figured out about my own (and honestly, I think a lot of other women’s) nesting instincts.  I go through two separate, very different phases.  The first phase starts really quite early, around the beginning of the third trimester.  This phase is about preparing our “nest” for the new bean.  It’s about an urge to finish the nursery, tie up loose ends of old projects, organize our world.  During this time when I was pregnant with Addy, we finished off almost every room in our old house.  Her nursery was one of the first done.  I would find myself just sitting in the glider chair or rearranging her tiny clothes in her dresser…again.  We’ve been a little more crunched for time with this baby, but it still hasn’t stopped the notion in my mind that his room has to be done, even though he won’t sleep in it for months.  And the bathroom that he and Addy will share, well of course that has to be completely remodeled.  As I type this, I know these things seem a little silly, but it doesn’t stop the feeling that they have to happen…yesterday.  Maybe it’s just the hormones or about being physically in control of something or being scared of having absolutely no time to finish them later or just about a sense of accomplishment.  Anyway, the point is, it’s consuming me right now.  So for anyone curious…here’s a sneak peek at the theme for the nursery…
If I haven’t posted pictures of his finished room and their bathroom by the end of May…I ask that you not mention it to me personally because I’m sure it will be a touchy subject, but be sure to check that I haven’t chained poor Jason to the door frame.
So then the second phase…the seriously irrational phase.   This is when some women disinfect their nest with a toothbrush or try to paint their toenails or shave their legs for the first time in months.  It’s characterized by an odd burst of energy to do things that, at the time, make perfect sense.  It isn’t until after the baby’s born that you laugh about it.  The Sunday morning on the day Addy was born started with a trip to Sam’s.  I think it’s important to note that we are not Sam’s Club frequenters and actually haven’t been there since that day almost two years ago.  We spent around $300 that morning.  We bought more frozen food than would fit on our freezer.  It was perfectly logical to buy flats of tomato soup that we wouldn’t finish until Addy was a year and a half old.  I’m still using the gallon-sized Ziploc bags from that shopping trip.  What did I think I would do with all of that soup?  I mean seriously.  Anyway, I gave birth to a perfect baby girl that night.  The doctor placed her pink slippery little body on my belly and we fell in love with her…
And we can’t wait to do it all over again.  Love.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring!

A season of the year occurring between winter and summer.  The vernal equinox.  A time of rebirth.  When I was a young, Spring meant my birthday, being able to play outside, and begging my mama to let me wear shorts to school (even if it was only 55 degrees).  With age and experience, Spring has become something different for me now, something much more magical.    

It’s officially Spring in my world, and here’s why…
Our neighborhood is filled with, as Addy would say, “flower trees.”
Her boots have gone from this…
 to this.
 The tulips have bloomed and made their way into our dining room.
We’re using sidewalk chalk.
I can keep the window open at night to watch the curtains blow and to wake up to the chill and perfect smell of spring.
We’re playing in the rain.  (Seriously, this picture melts my heart.)
I’m finding “flowers” drying up all over the house.
We’re stopping to smell the real flowers...
and having adventures in green grass.
And of course…Easter!  Dying eggs. Easter baskets. Egg hunts.

 Here’s to hoping everyone else is having a magical spring!  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

happiness

There's nothing quite like the feeling of crawling into bed at night only to find plastic play pizza wrapped up in the blankets.  The knowing I'm-so-lucky smile.  The reminder of little lips that pretended to eat it hours earlier and the sticky hands that fed it to you.  Thank goodness for plastic play pizza (and maybe some pregnancy hormones...hehe).   
Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment - a little makes the way of the best happiness.  ~Frederich Nietzsche

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Potty Talk

This weekend was all about…drum roll please…
big girl underwears!  Yes, I use the plural even when I’m discussing a single pair.  I’m not actually sure how that started.  When I started thinking about this blog, I told myself that I would stay away from graphic descriptions of the bodily functions of my littles.  I’m sure even those of you with kids wouldn’t appreciate words that conjure images of poo.  So, I’m going to flirt with the line a little bit, because this momma is proud!  Miss Thang spent her entire weekend (not including bedtime), in big girl underwears…and she kept them dry!  After a couple of weeks of consistent number one’s in exchange for a “pieca candy,” we decided to up the ante, if you will, for a number two.  I don’t know how many times I said, if you do that in the potty you get a **gasp** “prize!”  When I met my mom at our normal drop-off location on Friday, she told me Addy hadn’t had any accidents and had received two prizes, I was in shock.  I honestly thought it was a fluke…that her GiGi just had her on the potty at the right time.  She made it through the rest of Friday nite and Saturday morning (even her nap) dry.  Saturday afternoon she quickly said “got poops in dere!”  I took her to the potty expecting the usual adorable face, the little sound, and the “juss farted.” (Jason started that…obviously).  I was wrong!  She went!  And this momma had no “prizes” but my girl was ready for her prize!  So, I did it….I gave her the flashlight I talked about last week that had been waiting for her in her Easter basket.  We spent the rest of the afternoon looking for bugs, examining each others’ ears, and projecting pictures on the wall.  She loves it…




Much to my surprise, she got another prize on Saturday (aka some Abby Cadabby socks that were also in the Easter basket).  Before you get visions of my heart broken girl with an empty Easter basket on Sunday, know that I refilled the basket and picked out a number of new “prizes.”  (Thank you, Target, for your “dollar spot”)  Sunday was another dry day.  I’m not na├»ve.  I know there will be accidents…times she gets too excited playing…times we don’t make it home in time, but after this weekend, I’m left even more astonished by my girl.  I should have known it would only take one poo on the potty before she’d understand that was the place to do her business.  She is…amazing.  And seriously, the little underwears tushie may even be cuter than the diaper tushie. 
OK, so there’s the potty talk post that I’m sure holds very little excitement for anyone but Jason and I.  I promise not to go there again…at least for a while.  J

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Mama, makin a cake?!"

When I announced that I was starting this blog, I had more than one person comment on how I have time to balance it all.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  Getting rid of my Facebook account will give me back some of my time, but that’s not the real answer.  Maybe it’s the organization that comes with my incessant list-making (I even add things to my To Do list that I have already done so that I can feel the satisfaction of crossing them off…yep.  I’m that weird.).  The real answer is that I simply have to find time to do the things I love, the things I get excited about.  I’m not sure who I would be without those things.  No matter how busy my work schedule gets, my family will always be my number one.  Chores may fall to the wayside so that I can play with Addy, lay in bed and laugh with Jason, talk to my mama on the phone, email one of my best friends in Oregon, etc.  Some of the things that other good mommas get done every night, I simply don’t.  This doesn’t mean that our house is a complete mess.  I can’t stand clutter, so that’s not the case at all.  There are just certain things that I let go.  I let this happen…often…
My philosophy is that the dishes and laundry can wait.  They will get done eventually.  Addy growing up won’t wait for later.  And doing some of the things I enjoy shouldn’t wait.  So most of the time, I try not to let them. 
Baking cakes has been recently added to the list of things I enjoy doing.  I had a great time making Addy’s first birthday cake.  Things just sort of snowballed from there.  I never would have imagined that anyone would be interested in something that I find so fun.  It’s humbling really.  I love that I have a creative outlet after a week of sitting in my cubicle and running back and forth to conference rooms for meetings.  I love the challenge.  I love that the idea of a tangible an end product (not that I’m not working toward the final goal of published financials at work, it’s just that this is more my own, more tangible).      
Maybe someday, when I retire, I’ll open up a little bakery.  I’ll grow old getting to be a part of the celebration of the milestones in people’s lives.  My grandbabies will come visit my shop.  I’ll be able to support other small business owners, local artisans.  I’ll sell aprons that another old bitty (who I probably met at BINGO) makes from her home.  I’ll be a part of the community.  Or maybe I’ll just keep doing it when I have time, from my home, and when someone is interested.  I’ll have something to share with Addy someday.  I mean, she already runs to the counter when she hears the mixer or sees the tools come out “Mama, makin’ a cake?!”  

 So for anyone interested, here are the four most recent cakes that I didn’t get around to posting on Facebook. 
Gardening-themed birthday cake...all handmade and edible, including the butterfly :)
  
Congrats cake for the sis-in-law...she rocked her Medical Assistant program :) 

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mama!


Birthday cake for one cute, polite, 6 year old (Jason said an action figure was much cooler for a little dude than one sculpted out of fondant...he was right). 

So forget about the dishes and go out and do something that excites you this weekend!   


 



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It begins...

So here it is.  I’ve been talking about starting a blog for a few months now, and I finally did it.  I’m ditching my Facebook account (if I’m smart enough to figure out how they have cleverly hidden the “close account” option).  I could go into all kinds of detail about why I’m done with Facebook, but to sum it all up, I’ll say this…not only has it been adding an unwelcome level of drama to my life recently, but more importantly, it’s not serving the purpose I have in mind anymore.  I started an account to able to share photos of my loves (Fine. I’ll admit it.  I also had a bit of the voyeuristic curiosity about what other people were posting.  This was before I realized I would have to hide a quarter of my “friends” to be able to scroll through my feed without becoming incredibly annoyed). 
Then I started following a blog that sealed the deal.  It’s amazing really.  Inspiring.  Her writing and her photos are an intimate, raw view into her life.  It makes me more appreciative of the things I have and the things I get to do.  I want to share those things.  I realized that starting a blog would be perfect.  Our family and friends could follow what we’re up to more easily (some of them don’t have Facebook accounts).  Don’t get me wrong, this could be a complete snore.  Maybe it will turn into my own little diary.  I’m fine with that.  I really am just looking for a way to combine some of my passions.  I’ll be able to use writing and photos to share about Addy and Jason and our little bean (to arrive in July) and my cakes and decorating our nest and adventures and food and music and books and love and…yep…this will get corny.  I’ll do my best to make it interesting.  I’m hoping to talk about how all these wonderful things in my life add up to something that takes my breath away…how sometimes the things that would seem like “sweet nothings” are really “my sweet everythings.”  It’s going to be a very welcome creative challenge for me.  I can’t wait to get started.  Here it goes…
I had already planned what my first blog would be about.  And of course, I changed my mind after this last weekend.  I found myself completely in love and fascinated with the part of being a momma that means living life through your child’s eyes.  We (everyone who loves and cares for Addy) are blessed to be able to introduce her to new things all the time.  We get to live the excitement that is her “first fill-in-the-blank.”  Sunday it was her first Olde Towne Bakery iced sugar cookie at a new park.  My cookie tasted better than ever because I got to watch her eat hers.  By the way, if you haven’t had one of these cookies…you are seriously missing out.  But, make no mistake, my girl was seriously struggling to finish her cookie with the vision of new park equipment only feet away.  







Then there’s her newfound excitement over bugs.  You’ve never seen a dad and mom as excited as Jason and I are to find a bug in our house to show her, simply because she will be oh-so-excited and there’s nothing quite like the way she says “Wook!  It’s a bug!  Get the fwashwight!”  Most of the time she finds “wady bugs” (Japanese beetles) and most of the time they are “sweeping” (probably dead some months ago).   We aren’t sure how it started, but anytime there’s a bug, she feels the need to examine it under a flashlight (don’t worry…her Easter basket has a kiddie-size flashlight so we can stop with the dangerously heavy maglite).  We’ve fed them leaves and lettuce.  We’ve searched for them for hours on end.  We’ve counted their spots.  I’ll never get tired of seeing her reaction when we find a live one.  She screams and runs in what looks to be a mixture of fear and delight when it heads her direction (If it’s not headed in her direction, it’s “just walking awound”).         
I painted her toenails for the first time…that’s right, her first “pedicure.”  I was over the moon when I saw how excited those pink toes made my girl.  She couldn’t wait to show Jason.  She was quick to make sure mine were pink as well (and a bit confused at why his weren’t).  Days later, she still gets excited to see her “boofull toes” when we take her socks off.  This lady is ready for sandal-season.
Whether it’s her shock and awe at the sound and sight of the Stir Krazy popcorn machine working it’s magic after being in a closet since before her birth, or puckering up on a fresh lemon for the first time, it’s all exciting.  I’m so grateful that I get to introduce her to these things and experience them all over again for the first time, through her sweet little eyes.  J
 So there it is.  I jumped in head first.  With my first photos taken with my first DSLR camera and the first time I’ve shared so much of my writing.  It’s all there.