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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Defining Moments

Do you know them when they happen?

September was quite a month for our little family.  First I threw my back out.  Not a fun experience, and especially not fun when your 6 month old little one would like some attention and the best you have is to roll around to try to wiggle to her. Yuck...then our peanut came down with her first cold, which turned into an ear infection - which she shared and gave me a sinus infection.  All is well, we're all on the mend and doing great.

BUT...we decided to round out September with a car accident.  Hooray.  A young man turned in front of me on a green light and *crash*.  Fortunately it was just me in the car and I'm doing okay...sore as heck though.  Now the funny parts begin.

As I'm sitting in the car, unable to exit due to the large van blocking my door, I'm trying not to laugh at the ridiculousness of the month.  The firemen are asking me calmly if I'm hurt as I'm starting to tear up since my back has just started to feel better.  I'm okay enough to get out and wait to figure out the next steps.  Now the awesome (seriously awesome firemen and EMTs from Lombard - awesome) emergency staff begins to do their thing.  One tells me on the side to grab everything I can because you never know what happens in a tow lot.  So we start bagging things up - thank you very much for keeping reusable grocery bags in the car for just such an occasion.  Did you know the amount of crap in your car at this exact moment?  Not to mention the influx of things since the baby, but just stuff in your car? 

Suddenly there is a pile of my belongings on the side of the road. Seriously people, I'm not homeless. I don't live in my car and yes, the orange basket/seat is a car seat for the dog.  So stroller, three stuffed bags, car seat, dog seat, blankets and a random pair of shoes (that's where they were!) later I'm on the side of the road waiting for my husband to ride in on his shiny silver car.  Of course, there is traffic - now an hour out and the heavens are darkening a very kind officer asks if I want to load into her car and she can take me to the police station.  Since I would prefer not to spend the afternoon playing a drenched homeless person in the streets of Lombard, I thank her and we begin to load up.  Just in time for the big rain drops as we head off to the police station.

Mind you - I'd never been in the back of a police car before this day.  Now I can check that off the bucket list.  The second officer that had all the reports came for my signature and said that he was sorry it was rather tight in the back and not more comfortable.  Yes, sir...because I know when they designed the car, they had the comfort of the back seat passengers in mind.  But seriously, if you're a large person - don't get arrested, you'll end up with seriously squished knees. 

But what about the peanut?  The day care closes soon and the hubs is caught in traffic.  Do I or don't I?  So I ask - would it be possible to stop for the baby?  Lovely officer says sure, it's on the way anyway.

So yes folks, my daughter has had her first ride in a police car too.  I can only imagine what the other parents thought as a police car pulled up, let a woman out of the backseat that then walked into their child's day care.  I may die of embarrassment.  I was happy to provide the day care staff with an excellent moment of hilarity as they realized the police car would be transporting a child and parent, but ah well. 

Little peanut and I were all settled securely in the back and on our way to the police station. Yup, Mom with car seat and all.  I then informed the little one that this is to be her only ride, EVER, in a police car.  Hopefully this will not become a defining moment that leads her to a life of crime.  Nonetheless, we arrived at the station unloaded all the stuff and waited for my silver knight. 

I'm glad September is over as we had many moments of interesting experiences, stress, but of course many moments of laughter and happiness.  Welcome October - may you carry many moments of your own!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Earth Mama Cometh


I did this.  I made homemade baby food for Miss Maddie. And she loved it.  I feel so empowered as a Mom that I did this.  That she is doing so well and gaining weight and eating so well.


It's nearly six months since our peanut changed our lives forever.  At the beginning of those six months, she couldn't eat enough.  So much so that she had to have a feeding tube.  In the grand scale of newborn or preemie issues, this wasn't catastrophic, but it was terribly difficult to see.  To see her with that little tube in her nose so she could get the nourishment she needed was hard. 

I definitely struggled with the preemie guilt that I've heard of on many mom blogs.  I felt incredibly guilty that I couldn't keep her longer, that I couldn't provide the warm, safe and needed environment for her to grow bigger.  For her to have the strength she needed.  For her to be larger than the 3 lb., 3 oz. perfect doll that she was.

But we are so lucky.  She is strong.  She is amazing and she is mine. The guilt will never completely go away, but I understand what we went through and know that the best decisions were made at the time. and she's here and incredible and we love her so much.

I'm not the overzealous, all organic, cloth diapers only mother, but I am incredibly proud to say that I made her food. I know we'll use some of the prepared stuff as we go forward, but I had bought a book on baby's first foods and purees and it sounded pretty easy.  And I have a food processor that doesn't get as much use as it should so... baby food.  I'm having a mini "Baby Boom" moment this evening,, but let's not get carried away just yet.  I'm certainly not moving to Vermont.  And if you don't get the reference, please rent "Baby Boom" soon. She did love the butternut squash puree too.   *sigh*

Happiness.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Etiquette, Ever Heard of It?!

Look out Emily Post, here I come.

I would consider myself to be one with good manners.  Not perfect by any means, but good. I try very hard to be thoughtful and aware of others and very considerate.  This has often led to more than a few interesting situations.  For example, I am often shushing my hubby or friends as we walk through the halls of my apartment complex because, gasp, I am concerned they will hear us and this will disturb them.  However, I realize that not everyone is quite as considerate as me...example, my bedroom borders on the stairwell and security door for the floor.  "Did you, like, know that like, for real he's sleeping with her?!" - Conversation heard just this morning at 2:30 a.m.  Can you believe it?  He's sleeping with her and they individual that was so grossly offended didn't even know that "like" should not be used twice in the same sentence when not discussing one's personal love of something with great emphasis. 

Now, the exemplary behavior of my neighbors is not the motivation behind this post.  This, this one is from a long time pet peeve.  Mike, this one is for you.

The train.  There are rules people.  There are things that you should not do on the train.  These include, but are not restricted to:
  • Filing or particularly clipping your fingernails - this is a task that should be done at home. AT HOME...and even better if you do find it imperative to do so on the train...the clippings, they are NOT to be shared with your neighbor. Ew.
  • In this same arena - makeup.  Ladies, seriously, finish this at home.  I'm not talking about those folks that powder their noses or apply some lip gloss. No, this is directed at those folks that feel the need to apply their entire medicine cabinet in the seat next to you. You know who I mean, those with the ten brushes and twenty tubes of product all spread out over their lap and trailing onto the seat.  You're beautiful, with or without the makeup, but please, finish it up at home. I fear for your eyes and your accuracy with the lack of smoothness guaranteed by the train tracks ahead.  
  • Having personal conversations on your cell phone at a level that anyone else can hear.  Now the bad news is that almost anyone can hear you on a train.  You're on a train, not a sleeper car, but a commuter train where I can hear the conversation of nearly everyone on the car.  I don't need to know about your recent procedure or anything that you feel the need to describe by color, consistency or smell.  Again EW.
  • Please don't eat smelly food.  Eating is a tough one to start with because really your idea of eating etiquette is a whole other story...not to mention that it's a difficult thing to do without sharing some mess with your neighbor.  Candy, snacks that don't involve utensils these are okay.  But smelly food - that is just not nice.  Plus, having recently done this, it's really, really cruel to the pregnant women on the train. Whether they're dealing with morning sickness or just general sensitivity to smells, help the mommies-to-be out!
  • Share your music with me. Honestly, thank you, but I'm good.  I don't want to know that you are single-handedly destroying your hearing by listening to it so loudly.  I am sorry for your hearing loss.  I know a good audiologist when you need it.  Until then, I'm going to hope that you develop the good sense to turn the volume down!
Please don't think ill of me...I'm really not a horrible person...but this must be said.  Now, my fellow train riders are not all bad. I've seen some true acts of generosity on the train.  The two gentlemen that helped an elderly woman from the train every day on the evening commute home.  A fellow passenger covering the ticket for the obviously haggard mom on the train with the newborn that couldn't find any cash.  When the train missed our stop, another kindly person offering their cell phone to me since mine had died and I needed to call home.  Thank you to my fellow passengers that ride with respect for each other and a positive attitude.  Thank you to those that remember that stinky is bad and personal grooming is really best done at home.
All aboard!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Follow the Pink Brick Road

No, I don't have that wrong.  Earlier this month, my kind and understanding husband and I stalked the legions of ladies walking the 3 Day for breast cancer in Chicago.  Why stalk, you ask?  Why not support, follow, cheer lovingly from the sidelines, etc.?  We did that, we did all of that, but first...first, they have to be stalked.

You see...the lovely ladies were not that easy to find.  They were able share the location of the cheering stations and in between - well, it's up to you.  All the staff, volunteers and even the walkers will tell you to, "Just follow the arrows, follow the route."  Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG!  Let me preface this by saying that it was absolutely worth it to see Megan after all our efforts.  Just to give her a squeeze after her long hours of walking - totally worth it.  Little did we know that we would be embarking on a scavenger hunt, and a pink one at that!!

We planned to see Sister at her cheering stations in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect on Saturday.  Then suddenly, we get a call from her early in the morning saying they were already at the first station and moving on.  Find that and go forward from there and we can catch up somewhere between the two.  Ok... Find the first station - drive to the address given out - Check.  Find oodles of women and a few men in pink, lots of pink, lots and lots of pink - Check.  Find arrows to next stations - Sort of Check... We started out fine and then we started looking around and seeing a lovely residential area, but no pink.  No pink at all. In fact, no walkers.  So I look out the back window and sure enough see the snaking line of pink turn to the left a few streets back. U turn #1.  And we're off again, following the hordes of pink t-shirts, bandanas, men in lovely padded bras, Pink feathers, sashes and much more.  A full abundance of pink.

Pink Everywhere!
Then we moved into Mount Prospect. Let me say, an awesome town.  Much of the town came out to support, with stations for the walkers to rest, beverages and food in their front yards, signs congratulating, encouraging and cheering, different entertainment and adoring fans along the way.  At this point, we're now on the phone with our dear Sister - asking if she's seen the belly dancers?  No.  The Blues Brother (yes only one)? No.  The banners about the "worst parade ever"?  No.  Hmm...and you're ahead of us?  Sure.

As we continued on our trek, seeking black and white arrows along the road, I kept hearing the theme for the Wicked Witch of the West in my head...scenes of crazed people driving behind the wheel desperately trying to find their goal on the road.  

Eventually, we settled into one of the "pit stops."  They have these frequently - thank goodness.  I know I'd need it a bunch if I was walking. On a side note, a very well done and well organized event.  Happy to know they were all so well cared for while on this crazy journey.

So we settled at the pit stop, this one themed for superheroes.  The lovely Baby M was amazing.  She was such a good sport in the heat.  And what an awesome thing to have her there.  We hadn't thought about it ahead of time, but people were truly excited to see a cute little one and a lot of folks thanked us for bringing her and said they were happy to walk for her!  Sister walked for her.  Thank you Sister. 

Now, after rushing out the door, racing around two if not three towns, you would think we might have missed dear Sister, right?  No. We waited...and waited...and then she was there!  In all her sweaty glory and so happy to see us.  We were all so happy to see her.  So wild goose chase or scavenger hunt - either way, bathed in pink and totally worth it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hold On...

Ten tiny toes
No this is not a blog about the amazing 90's sensation Wilson Phillips and their hit "Hold On" - which made a fabulous and entertaining cameo in the movie Bridesmaids. 

 Hold on - don't go so fast.  I know these are the words that I will be saying a lot of in the many years to come with my little one.  They're already so true.

We worked so hard at the beginning to get her to grow. To encourage her to eat so she would put on weight...first so the feeding tube could come out...then to gain weight so she could go home...then so we hoped they wouldn't send her back once we had her home...now to keep healthy.  And wow, has she caught on.  She's amazing to me each day - growing and stretching and reaching each milestone so much faster than I ever anticipated. 

She now thinks she's ready to walk. No interest in crawling or figuring that out, but let her stand in your arms and she's happy as a clam.  Let her push against you with her tiny, delicate toes and she'll smile all day.  But wait...too soon...that means you'll walk soon and I know we're not ready for that.  That means baby proofing and cabinet locks and moving all kinds of stuff out of your reach...but it means you're walking.  That you'll be running on a playground and meeting other kids and learning and loving and living and I want all of that for you, but wait!  You're still my little one that was so, so very little and I want every second with you.  Every moment of precious giggles and coos and smiles and even the tears and cries and stinky moments.

I know all that lies ahead of letting you go - your first day of school, being a teenager, oh God, driving and then graduations and college and so much more.  Watching you grow and learn and make mistakes and being here for you, but also letting you make those mistakes.

But for now, I'm going to keep cuddling and cherishing every second with you.  Every moment you smile and shine so brightly and when you wrap your so tiny fingers around my one finger to hold yourself up - those moments, I'm going to hold on to.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Fond Farewell

We had our first date night out recently.  It was a tired Friday night, but special because I was able to hold my sweetie's hand in the dark lighting of a movie theater and not be listening for our little one at the same time.  We decided to enjoy the release of the new Harry Potter movie.

Ten years - has it really been that long?  Ten years of movies that thrilled audiences and imparted just a small piece of the awesomeness of the books that reinvented reading with children and young adults.  The books were released in 1997 in England and it's been an amazing whirlwind since then. Thank you for the amazing stories for taking us away whether it was in print or in the flicker of a movie projector in a chilly theater.

When did you first read a book?  Were you one of those folks that couldn't put the books down? Did you read from the beginning or did you start somewhere in the middle?  What about the films...did you go to midnight showings?  What did it mean to you?

Regardless of your personal experience and thoughts...thank you Harry Potter - for all the pieces you've given us.  We'll miss sharing in new adventures with you.  But above all, thank you.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

It looks like you're.... "leaning." (for my sister...who will enjoy this oh, too much.)


I witnessed the utmost example of hope the other day.  The true belief that something would occur if one willed it so.  Unfortunately, the party in question was met with disappointment - but only for now. 

I find our sweet pup, Olive staring down our darling daughter in her floor swing.  She's physically leaning at a 45 degree angle.  What could she so intently be trying to communicate with our infant?  What had Maddie done that had rendered Olive frozen to the spot and unable to move?

Little Maddie continued to wiggle away in her wing.  She kicked like crazy and wiggled a bunch and even cooed a few times.  Were Maddie and Olive communicating already? What deep world secret was Olive trying to impart to Maddie?  What childhood dream was Maddie already sharing with Olive?  What troublesome plan were they concocting?

Nothing quite so nefarious - Olive wanted to play and apparently, she wanted to play with Maddie. Now.  Olive had quite graciously placed her ball in between Maddie's feet in the swing.  And Maddie was trying to kick it, but not having the best of luck.

Give her a few more months Olive - I guarantee she'll be ready to play by then and you'll be quite overwhelmed, I'm sure.  Perhaps then you'll be "leaning" another way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Whisker Mystery

There was mystery afoot this weekend...followed by humor and mild blond jokes.  Would you have been able to solve our diabolical occurrence based on these clues?

My lovely little daughter is a cuddler.  Which is a marvelous blessing and just so much fun.  The other day, my darling husband helped out by letting me sleep a little bit extra in the morning and caring for our baby girl.  He carried her around using the Baby Bjorn (amazing invention).  Able to go about his morning routine of walking the puppy, watering the plants and some basic hygiene, he felt quite accomplished. 

Shortly after he'd settled in for the morning, I woke up.  I joined him for breakfast and then he wanted to shower.  I took over baby duty and was snuggling my little one in our bedroom. Suddenly, black flakes appeared on her forehead.  I brushed them away.  Then, there were more still.  I checked my shirt and shoulder to see what I could possible be inflicting my child with. Nothing, no flakes anywhere but her forehead...and her head.  Her little head was covered in these black speckles throughout her lovely locks.  What could they be?  *Gasp* had she and the dog gotten fleas?!  Surely not.  Are they bugs?  What horrible malady has inflicted my child?! 

(As you may have guessed by now, I'm a first time mom.)  I rushed my stricken child, who was giggling at Mommy's silly faces at this time, into the bathroom desperate to consult my husband.  He is bewildered by my explanation of bugs and flakes.  I share that they're all over her hair and they're tough to get off.  Suddenly, my husband chuckles. *Double gasp!* What could be humorous about this situation?  What horrible realization has come to him that has caused him to go mad with worry?

"That was me," he shares. 
"What?" I ask, still in desperate concern.
"No, that was me...I shaved this morning."
"Oh."

Yes, my husband had shaved, over our daughter while she was in the Bjorn and had rained down tiny little black hairs that appeared as flakes or itty bitty bugs.  My panic abated, disaster averted.  She's fine and now she really needed a bath. 

Columbo or Matlock?  Who needs them really?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Milestones

5lbs. 12 oz - way to go Maddie!
So many recently... it's incredible how your gauges change though.  You go from standards such as the number of bars to visit in a night at college or even more important, to some, grades and tests.  Then it's on to your career - the right job, the right pay and promotions.  Finding the right mate - number of dates, when to move forward, etc.

We followed the standard formula.  But boy did our milestones change - we went from a great couple to a little family.  Our biggest milestone...


First baby - we are so blessed and honored to have a little one in our lives.  And she has achieved so many milestones of her own so quickly.  I know everyone says it goes fast, but BOY they aren't kidding.  How is she already a month old?  How has she already gained two pounds? We were so happy with this milestone this month.  Every day she changes and morphs and grows into more of a little person - herself.  Getting to know her personality is amazing.

I don't want to miss a single second and I'm sure that 20+ years from now, I'll still be trying to catch my breath from now and she'll be a grown woman then.  Milestones - please slow down, we want to see every second and cherish all the steps along the way. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beauty

Giggly and lovely
It's all true.  All those stories of the instant love and adoration for your child.  It's all very true.  We were blessed with our little bundle at the end of last month.  Although it certainly was not how we expected her to arrive, I am happy to report that everyone is happy and healthy.  Now to adjust accordingly to all absence of long stretches of sleep, a schedule of any sort and the addition of the cutest face ever.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Remember Thirsty Thursdays?

As I was sitting here, buried under piles of work and things to do, it occurs to me that just a few years ago Thursdays were very, very different.

Thursday was the beginning of the weekend.  The start of the reason for the week...the weekend.  Preceded by light classes on Friday and sitting out in the Quad in the middle of the day, which may be just the best feeling.

But first - there was Thursday night.  Cactus, Piano Bar and thirsty Thursdays!  When you and four of your closest friends could go out, get into the bar, have a great time, drink throughout the night and spend a grand total of $6.00.  Remember $0.10 beers anyone?  *sigh*

My world is definitely still full of small pleasures, but there's something about the Thursday afternoons that make me miss college.  So "raise your glass" and have a great weekend - I say start this one early!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 In Review

Quite the year.  My first blog...my first adult period of not working...my first very ambitious list of New Year's resolutions and, of course, our first pregnancy. 


To review in reverse...
Pregnancy
So exciting.  Things are moving right along and we're only a few months away from meeting our little bundle.  Our families have been wonderful and supportive and we're looking forward to all the fun gatherings that lie ahead.  The best Christmas present ever, our little one started kicking me on Christmas Eve morning.

New Year's Resolutions 2010
1) Post to this fabulous blog at least 3 times per month - obvious fail.  My apologies.  This year, no goal of # of posts, but I will be making an effort to continue to post and I'm sure it will grow as I have new anxieties and all that comes with being a new mom. 
2) Find great new job - perhaps not lifelong career, but a great job that will allow for work/life balance. Also, continue to focus on Stampin' Up! business to meet quarterly goals. - Woohoo! Great new job, things are busy but going well and it's a much better fit of work/life balance.  My mini SU business is going fine, but I'm always looking for more business...
3) Exercise (in some shape or form, Wii counts if I sweat and burn calories!!) 3 times per week. Epic fail - definitely moving more, but did not make the 3 times per week goal. 
4) Put a new focus on mental/spiritual health. Finding the right church? Theraputic journaling, whatever. Make me a better me! - Not bad.  Still tons of room for growth, but coming along.
5) Organize photos/scrapbook/memory stuff. Work on scrapbooks and photos in SmugMug. - Also ongoing, but doing much better!
6) Remember family and friends birthdays and anniversaries and send cards. - accomplished.
7) Read all 12 book club books on time! - accomplished!! (Okay, not one of them, but it was awful so that doesn't count.)
8) Travel to at least two new places that I've never been to (or don't remember because I was there before memories) - One for sure - the Ultrasound room of the hospital to meet our little bundle!
9) Try one new thing per month - a new food, new experience, new restaurant, etc. Suggestions welcome! - about 1/2 and 1/2.  Definitely something I want to keep up with this year.  New experiences are always fun!
10) Share reminders of love with those most important to me - Hubby, parents, sister, friends. Remind those that I love how very special they are! - I think so, but I'm certain I could do more too.


Time Off
Exciting and lots of cuddle time with Olive.  So grateful for a fantastic husband that was supportive of me and there for me...and the result, a good new job and a happier me!  Hooray!

The Blog
Here we are... continuing to post and hopefully you're continuing to read. 

Here's to happy reading and a very exciting year ahead!