Monday, December 13, 2010

A New Reign of Terror

A new reign of terror has begun. In the week and a half since I installed baby gates, Gus has had to turn to his creative side to wreak havoc on this house...and my sanity. I'm trying really hard not to stifle his creativity and independence but I refuse to let him trash the house as a recreational activity.

He really is an agreeable baby..."You locked me out of all the fun places so I will adapt!" In the last week and a half he has learned to increase his reach. Since all the fun stuff is up high, he has learned to climb a little. He can now reach about eight inches of our dining room table by simultaneously doing a pull up and swing his feet over to catch a dining room chair to free up one hand for grabbing. Practical implications of this are...he can pull the high chair off the table onto his head, he can get to a beverage left on the table...or food...or coins...or paperclips...or mail...or books...or candles (luckily it wasn't lit!).

He has learned that walking has a lot of potential for increasing his speed and is diligently practicing that. He can now successfully string together about eight steps at a time.

He has learned to operate the radio in his room. He turns it on, blasts the volume and sits in front of it and wails along with the music.

He has learned the joys of smashing smashable foods with his sippy cup, mostly cheerios and animal crackers into little specks of edible powder. Once he has powdered his food he then has the option of licking his fingers and picking up the powder with his spit or sprinkling the carpet with the powder. The ants and cats are a big fan of this activity and we now get to vacuum a couple times a day.

He has earned the love of the cats who suffer so much abuse (I mean love!) at his hands by playing the you lick it, then I lick it, then you lick it, then I lick it game with his food. Gross.

He has figured out how to get around the babyproofing on the entertainment center. He also likes to chew on DVD's.

I had him in the office BRIEFLY with me and he managed to bite a glass ball Christmas ornament in two and lick all the paint off. No he didn't cut himself, yes I am glad I put the Christmas tree behind a gate.

He can open the front closet and dig your salt covered boots out and chew on the soles.

He likes to fold the pages of his books. This is a welcome change from the ripping the pages out and eating them phase but it is a little weird.

And of course, there is the very fun pull all the wipes out of the box one by one game, but again, compared to other things he could be doing, that is relatively easy to deal with so I just make sure there aren't more than an inch or so of wipes in the box in the living room.

The joy he gets from destruction is so real and infectious that it's hard to be mad. My current schedule goes something like this:

Wake up
Change a dirty diaper while setting boundaries about when it's okay to stick your hands in your diaper (wait till after I wipe).
Set boundaries about tooth brush etiquette (no, you can't put my toothbrush in your mouth, or the kitty's mouth).
Set boundaries about food behavior (taking food out of your mouth and throwing it at the cats is bad, especially when it is cereal).
Put him in the kitchen with me while I eat, clean the kitchen, do dishes and start dinner.
Empty the washer of all the recycling that he has transferred from the recycling bin to the washer.
Put him in the living room to play while I work for an hour.
Come survey the destruction.
That puts us up to about morning nap time. I would continue, but considering my morning, I think I will get too depressed if I think about the rest of the day in too much detail.

This is for those of you who have children who are a little older, who talk back, have attitudes and all the other fun stuff that is in store for us down the road. I hope you enjoy hearing about Gus's antics and remembering when your kids were this age and you would seriously pay a babysitter just so you could have a cup of coffee in peace without him trying to grab it and dump it on his head, or burn himself by sticking his hand in it and sloshing it all over the both of you. I hope you enjoy it when I tell you this morning, I put on my coat, hat and boots, took a dining room chair out on my porch that has six inches of snow on it so that I could enjoy my coffee in peace. I hope you remember, I hope that you laugh, and I hope that you take pity on me and volunteer to take him somewhere, anywhere, away from here. Should that ever happen, I have big plans...I'm gonna take a nap!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Addendum

Just as an afterthought, as soon as he woke up from his nap, I went and bought baby gates.

One of Those Mornings

I had this really deep blog planned that has been on my heart all week, then we had one of those mornings.

While pulling beef roast from the crock pot to put in freezer bags, I notice that Gus is too quiet. I go to investigate and find him happily unspooling an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet with the cat's supervision. He looks up at me and squeals with glee. "Look mommy what I did! For you!" He throws his hands in the air in a very TA DA! fashion.

I sit him in my room and go back to the bathroom to scoop the toilet paper out of the toilet. Our bathroom is a construction zone and I don't really want to deal with an overflow today. I finish cleaning up that mess and go back to the kitchen where Gus is engaging in his new hobby, abstract trash montages which mostly involves removing every piece of trash from the trash can and connecting the themes with anything that has sufficient smearing properties. After the 3-D exhibit is complete he adds a performance art aspect to the show, which lately has involved holding a pop can with just a finger through the opening or some sort of garbage can urban beat scenario. Today was the pop can feat. I give him a pot to play with while I clean up that mess, finish up dealing with the contents of the crock pot, and banish him to the living room to play while I drink a Pepsi.

While I am sitting on the couch drinking my soda, I glance over and he is studiously pouring salt into every crevice of his piano entertainer and his little papasan chair. Where did he find that? I sit down my pop to go rescue the salt shaker and pull out the vacuum. I'm cleaning up that mess when it occurs to me that he isn't interfering with the vacuum. He loves vacuum cleaners. Loves chasing them and hitting them when he catches them. Loves unplugging them. Loves swinging the cord around. I look around and find him sitting on the floor drinking Pepsi by upending the can four inches above his upturned face and open mouth. He looks like he took a shower in Pepsi. He sees me, gives me that "What?" face and gives me the "Watch this cool trick face" as he holds the can off to the side upside down and watches it pour into the carpet. Seeing me coming, he pulls the can to his mouth sticks his tongue in the opening and cuts himself.

I strip down a still screaming bucking baby, wash him off, cuddle him for about 30 seconds, put him in his crib, shut the door and return to the living room. I vacuum and clean carpets with the sweet melody of childish outrage in the background. And that, is why there are no profound thoughts in this head today.

Thank you God for this child who has cured me of my laziness.
Thank you God for this house which shelters us from the cold despite the mess.
Thank you God for the salt that seasons our food.
Thank you God for the toilet paper to wipe our bums.
Thank you God for our garbage, because it means we have more than we need.
Thank you God for being here alone, because it means my husband has a job and I can be here with our baby, our blessing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where Has My Inspiration Gone?

Every night as I lay in bed, the hilarity of my day composes itself into a witty commentary that I make every resolution to post on my blog in the morning. Every morning I wake, my mind...blank. Nothing seems funny. Life is exhausting. The baby is crying. My eyes are full of sand. The cats have a desire to be kicked repeatedly (the only explanation I have for insisting on walking under my feet). By the time I wash up, feed and clothe the baby, feed and recaffeinate myself I have no idea what I was going to write about. This is the main reason I can't seem to post more than once a week. Gus is the light of my life. He fills my days with joy and laughter, then sucks it all back out when he falls asleep, leaving nothing for this blog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things Found In My Baby's Diaper (Part I)

For anyone who wished to know and even those who didn't but are reading this and therefore about to find out...

Gus is mobile. In the last couple weeks his diapers have kept a careful record of what he has gotten into for me. It is like a daily report on his activities. The last dirty diaper I changed had a treasure trove of foreign objects. This morning's diaper consisted of:

Standard baby poop
Undigested cat food
A feather from a cat toy
Grass (no idea how he got that)
Hair (mine from the length of it)
Five and a half year old packing tape

Just because it is interesting, I will add a fun one from a couple weeks ago. We opened it up and found little black threads saturating the poop. It took nearly a week and a half of head scratching to determine that it was threads from a bookmark tassel that he largely ingested before I got to it. Incidentally, that diaper also had tape in it but I didn't figure out till today where it came from.

More smelly news as it develops...

Monday, September 13, 2010

CART!

I fondly remember the days where I could just stop somewhere, run in and run out. My back has been acting up big time the last month and I am having a lot of difficulty with the car seat. This means that if I want to get a money order I have to unstrap Gus from his seat, carry his exuberant self to the nearest CART! hold him with one hand out of reach of said CART! while I dig for wipes which I never seem to have handy. Once I find the wipes, I pop the container one handed, pull out a string of 10 wipes (they never come out one at a time), use my teeth to separate one from its brothers, wipe the CART! handle down. Put the wipes somewhere till I can stuff them back in the container and prepare to wrestle the baby into the CART!

Now comes the fun part. I position Gus feet down and pointing in the direction of the leg openings in the CART! As I direct his legs towards the openings, he notices that he is going in a CART! and bends at the waist, grabbing the handle and smashing face first into the handhold. He glues his hands, lips and teeth to the handle, resisting mightily my efforts to pry him loose so I can get his feet in. Somewhere around six months his hands grew a layer of that goo that makes those weird hands on string stick to the wall. This has resulted in a new level of difficulty in separating him from undesirable objects. They aren't really stuck to his hands but there is this weird adhesion...anyway, I am getting off track. I give up, let him gnaw on the plastic while I wrestle with his butt and legs and freaky long toes that seems to get caught in every one of the little bars on the CART! I can't wait till winter when he is wearing socks. I get him in the CART! Detach his mouth long enough to buckle him in and let him smash face first back into the handle when released where he will most likely remain till we leave the store.

The last time I actually went for groceries I might as well have dropped breadcrumbs detailing where I had been. There was a trail of slobber everywhere I had gone...Have I hit the rice and pasta aisle yet? Hmm, the floor is dry, must not have been here yet.

This little routine is really exhausting when I am literally going to the store for one thing. Why bother with the CART! you ask? First, he can't stand so I can't just put him down for a second. Skip back up two paragraphs and read the part about sticky hands. Now let me add his propensity for maximum destruction in the minimum allowed time. Holding him in the store, I have to walk down the center of the aisle so he doesn't sweep all the product off the shelves. Even if you don't put him near anything easy to destroy he works an excellent game of subterfuge and manipulation by playing the disinterested baby till you let your guard down.

For example, I tell the lady I need a money order. She tells me the amount, I pull out my wallet, hand her the cash and wait for my receipt and money order. If I don't put my wallet out of reach immediately, it is in his hands either being coated in drool immediately (if I'm lucky) or he is taking everything out of it before I figure out where it went. While I am rescuing and drying my wallet, the lady has put the money order on the counter within reach of the child. By the time I notice the money order, it is balled up and stuffed into his mouth. If you hold the wallet out of reach, he is trying to eat the credit card reader. As one arm is holding him, you bring the hand holding the wallet to pry him loose and tada! he has the wallet and you are trying to wipe the credit card reader and apologize and he has scattered the contents of your wallet and grabbed their container of pens and you take a really really deep breath and vow that the next time you will make your husband get the stupid money order.

And if you need to sign anything forget it. Cashiers never hold the paper still, they just stand and smirk while you struggle so you are forced to use the hand on the arm that is holding the child. This puts the kid in reach of both pen and paper, two of their favorite toys.

I think it will be nice when he can stand, then all I will have to worry about it is chasing him when he takes off. Until then we will use the CART! the best teething toy ever invented and amazing for the sheer size of it and its way of putting a buffer between children and shelves.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Adventures in Babyproofing

Apparently, I am not smarter than a seven month old.

Rob and I, trying not to be hovering overprotective parents, agreed to babyproof minimally as possible to ensure Gus's safety. Other than locking up the chemicals, we did nothing. We figured we would watch what he got into as he increased in mobility and we would address safety (or destruction) issues as they arose. Here is what we have learned we needed in the last month.

Sliding outlet covers for the outlets he has access to: he likes to try and stick his tongue in the sockets
All cords out of sight behind heavy furniture: he like to chew on them
Everything we don't want going in his mouth needs to be at least three feet off the ground
Gates needed for the office: he like to pull books off of shelves and chew on them and computer buttons are fun to push.
Lock for the freezer. It is fun to open and close, or open and not close
Gate for pet area: cat food is yummy
Need to keep doors closed to all the rooms and closets.

Basically he shows me something new he can get into everyday. Yesterday we pulled all the sheets out of the bottom 2.5 feet of the linen closet and unfolded them, got our self wedged between the cupboard and the toilet in the bathroom, pulled the drying rack over on ourselves, tried to rip down the curtains in the office. All this and he isn't even crawling or scooting yet. I am little baffled at how he manages to get around so efficiently. The bathroom feat was accomplished in the time it takes to switch laundry from the washer to the dryer, the linen closet while I went to grab the trash cans from the curb. Maybe we should just get over with and just babyproof the whole house.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Prickly Sort of Week

Gus STILL not sleeping. I thought he was just in a new habit with the late night wake ups but I checked his mouth today and lo and behold, three more teeth (or four, his patience for mouth prodding rapidly disappeared). So apparently this isn't just a desire to see me go completely nuts from sleep deprivation on his part. The last couple days have been of the fussy variety. It goes like this:

Gus: Wah!
Me: What's wrong baby? Are you hungry? Do you want to nurse?
Gus: Wah!
Me: What about food?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Are you tired?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Do you want to sit?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Do you want to lay down?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Here, how about a toy?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Do you want to be held?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Diaper?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Are you sure you don't want to sleep?
Gus: Wah!
Me: Oh, you want to lay in your crib and scream with door closed! Got it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quick update

Rundown of the last couple weeks...

1. Joe got married, I got a new sister! Yay!
2. We all got sick in TN...not yay!
3. Gus turned six months old
4. Gus went on his first camping trip and handled the great outdoors like a champ!
5. Gus cut his first two teeth
6. We are all still sick...yuck
7. Gus is still in his not sleeping holding pattern
8. Gus hit 29 inches, the limit on the current car seat but I feel too yucky to go shopping for a bigger one
9. Spite family reunion where we got to eat lots of middle eastern food and meet all the new cousins that have entered the world in the last year or so
10. Four days back from camping and the laundry is still not caught up from camping (see no., 6 above)
11. Chana moved to Germany taking my favorite niece and brother-in-law with her...sad :(
12. I acknowledged defeat in the gardening sector
13. We are still in geographical limbo
14. We got Gus's six month photos done..Thanks Gail! He is adorable...as always

Well there is my five minute update. When things settle down and I feel better I will post more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Months

We finally got the computer back yesterday after not having it for two months. All I want to do is be on the Internet, catching up. My son, however, decided that instead, we are going to baby-proof this week. That's right folks, he's mobile! He has mastered the scooting roll and can cover distances of ten feet or so in less than two minutes. What is a scooting roll you ask? The scooting roll is where you draw your knees to you chest as you roll from your back to your belly. As you complete the roll to the stomach, you launch yourself forward off your knees and face-plant in the carpet. If you do it right you can gain 3-6 inches on your forward distance with each roll. He is sporting his first goose egg from pulling the camera with a dangling cord down on himself so our days of leaving him unsupervised on the floor while we shower or cook dinner are over until I get this house baby-proofed at the lowest level.

It is amazing to me how each child discovers mobility in a different way. Each baby I have interacted with has learned to scoot and then crawl with a different technique: traditional crawl, stiff-legged crawl, one-leg-stiff-the-other-bent crawl, the army crawl, the frog scoot and plop, the drag-your-legs-behind-you crawl, the swimming crawl. I wonder if Gus will show me a new one.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bad Mommy

Tomorrow is Gus's four month check up. I have been supposed to have been writing down my questions, of which I have had million over the last two months. Ummm...can we say last minute cramming. I feel like I'm in college. I remember a couple questions and I am sure that the rest will occur to me as soon as I get home. Bad mommy...bad bad mommy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm Over It

I have finally hit that point...

I have a houseful of company this weekend and I didn't clean...at all. Either that means that I am finally keeping my house in a semi-reasonable state, or that I know the people coming love me no matter what my house looks like, or that switch has finally flipped in me that just doesn't have the inclination or energy to care anymore. Or all of the above...

Anyway prepping for this visit was very easy...stock the fridge, wipe the bathrooms, hang out clean towels. Yay!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sarah Vs the Stuff (Part III)

The great unstuffing continues...

I told Sarah I would scrapbook with her. Easy right? I dug out the boxes with my photos in them. Not only do I have pictures from when I was four mixed in with college photos mixed in with wedding photos, I have pictures of everyone in my dorm one year at church camp to some guys I had crushes on when I was eight. Needless to say I spent the evening looking through my life in photos and pitching a good deal of it. Pictures of houses I thought were cool looking to a million pictures of cats being cute...seriously. I am only about a third of the way through a rough sort. On the upside when I am done I will be ready to finally tackle getting my wedding pictures in an album. Seems like that was on the to do list from five years ago.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mommy's Here


I am standing in the midst of my living room, spit-up rags piled next to the couch from last night, the sink filled with stained clothing soaking, the washer's beeping letting me know the diapers are ready for another wash cycle, the same lullaby playing for the seventeenth time today. Somewhere in the midst of a crying bout triggered by the dual injustices of teething and a localized diaper rash it hit me.
I love my job.
All the education I have had could not have prepared me for a career as well as God and nature have equipped me to be a mother. How else would my arms know the exact way he needs to be held and patted to calm him. He looks at me with those teary eyes and our hearts speak. What hurts? Your bottom? Your teeth? Your belly? Do you just need to be held? Talked to? Smiled at? Do you just need to be here with me, sitting with me, breathing the same air as me? Mommy just stop. Take a second and stay with me.
What job could be more mundane? What job could be more significant?
In the end it doesn't matter that the house isn't perfect or that we are nuking something frozen for dinner or that I will be running laundry late into the night. It doesn't matter that most of the last three days were spent with his misery pouring out to cover us both. His smiles of joy and appreciation at my presence despite his pain make this job worth waking up for. As he lays his head against my shoulder I can't think of a single thing on my to do list more important and I hear the inane babble of moms everywhere coming out of mouth.
"Shhh...mommy's here, mommy's here."

Happy mother's day to all you amazing women out there, but especially to my mother who has been nothing short of amazing for 26 years! By your example, you have prepared me for motherhood, mentally and emotionally. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three Months


Gus was three months old on Monday. My Mother's Day/Anniversary/Christmas present was a really, really awesome camera. Luckily he was having a very cooperative day and laid on his belly for almost twenty minutes while I played with my new toy.


I love that smile!
This is really the first time we have tolerated being on our belly for more that a couple minutes. The holding himself up on his arms in new too.

He looks like a little boy in so many pictures I love to see ones where he still looks like a baby.

This is his new face he makes all the time. He is teething and too little to hold onto stuff so he just chews his own gums.

Trying to sit up...
Watching...
Uh-Oh!
Our naked session was cut short when he decided that now was the perfect time to have his once daily poo...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gus and the Bedtime Story

I told Gus a made up bedtime story tonight...practicing for when it will be in demand. For the record, I am a terrible story-maker-upper. After that terrible story about Gus and the Cat and the baby Kangaroo that lived on the moon, I read him some poems from 'Where the Sidewalk Ends.' One in particular he loved, just laughed and laughed and laughed.

Gus's favorite Silverstein poem:

The Dirtiest Man in the World

Oh I'm Dirty Dan, the world's dirtiest man,
I never have taken a shower.
I can't see my shirt--it's so covered with dirt,
And my ears have enough to grow flowers.

But the water is either a little too hot,
Or else it's a little too cold.
I'm musty and dusty and patchy and scratchy
And mangy and covered with mold.
But the water is always a little too hot,
Or else it's a little too cold.

I live in a pen with five hogs and a hen
And three squizzly lizards who creep in
My bed, and they itch as I squirm, and I twitch
In the cruddy old sheets that I sleep in.

If you looked down my throat with a flashlight, you'd note
That my insides are coated with rust.
I creak when I walk and I squeak when I talk,
And each time I sneeze I blow dust.

The thought of a towel and some soap makes me howl,
And when people have something to tell me
They don't come and tell it--they stand back and yell it.
I think they're afraid they might smell me.

The bedbugs that leap on me sing me to sleep,
And the garbage flies buzz me awake.
They're the best friends I've found and I fear they might drown
So I never go too near a lake.

Each evening at nine I sit down to dine
With the termites who live in my chair,
And I joke with the bats and have intimate chats
With the cooties who crawl through my hair.

I'd brighten my life if I just found a wife,
But I fear that that never will be
Until I can find a girl, gentle and kind,
With a beautiful face and a sensitive mind,
Who sparkles and twinkles and glistens and shines--
And who's almost as dirty as me.

Children have the best taste don't they...what a wonderful writer this man was!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sarah Vs the Stuff (Part II)

Day Two of the great unstuffing...

I tackled the underwear drawer and dug out all the Outback stuff I had and took it in. Letting go of the Outback stuff was very sad for me. It made the whole leaving thing feel very permanent. It hit me finally that I'm really not going back. I was kinda bummed about it afterward and Kyle asked why I didn't keep my flair for the memories. I had had the same conversation with myself when deciding whether to take it in or not. Everything in my house has memories associated with it. How will we ever get rid of stuff if we hold on to everything that ever meant something to us? In twenty years will I be sad about getting rid of my flair collection? Probably not. Does it make me sad now? Absolutely.

Rob and I chatted last night about what we want for the house. We have come to the mutual understanding that our stuff is driving us crazy and he agreed to help me unstuff us. We want a simple life. Two or three hobbies that we can actually do because we can find the stuff for them, a really fabulous kitchen, serene and calm bedrooms, a living space that is easy to maintain, and a garage that doesn't kill you when you walk through it. How hard can this possibly be?

How Does Your Garden Grow or: Sarah Vs. The Black Thumb (Part III)

I went out today to weed my garden and settled for admiring how many plants are coming up instead. I'm telling myself it will be easier to weed after the day and a half of rain we are supposedly going to get. So I didn't feel like it was a total loss, I did water the plants in the garage as I have a bad tendency to kill them a week or so before I end up planting them.

The daisies are blooming, I will have to post some pictures at some point to prove that I managed to grow something...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sarah Vs. the Black Thumb (Part II)

Status update:

Back flower bed ripped up, landlord planted shrubs, I planted bulbs which are coming up (yay!)

Front flower beds weeded, some plants relocated, lilac bush planted, daisies starting to bloom, roses pruned.

Garage flowers and veggie starters look pretty good, I had about a 70% success rate with the seedlings and will probably plant them next week.

I have green stuff that doesn't look sad!

Picture Perfect? or Sarah Vs. Stuff (Part I)

We all do it...leaf through magazines with these pictures of perfect rooms and imagine how much stuff we would have to get rid of to make our house look like that. How much stuff do we really need? We have stuff exploding out of our closets and storage areas into all of the other areas of our lives. I have decided (again) that I am sick of it. With a move still hanging over our heads, this is perfect motivation to unstuff ourselves.

This has been on my to do list in some fashion or another for months and I just haven't gotten to it yet. So today, unable to find something I know I purchased, but unable to uncover it under all the stuff that has filtered into our house, I decided to get started. Another motivating factor was coming home two nights ago to my husband burning paperwork he has been promising to go through for five years. I figure that if he is in a unstuffing mood, I should take advantage of that.

I have used the Flylady system (www.flylady.org) for years to keep my house clean, but never really did the decluttering tasks as I hate working in 15 minute increments on anything. I prefer to make massive, unreasonable lists that I will never be able to finish and burn myself out instead. Or, I just invite family up to give myself motivation for marathon cleaning sessions. Now the birth of our child has put a major kink in my ability to do anything for more than 15 minutes at a time so today during one of his micro naps I started my journey with a drawer. The sock drawer I can't put socks into seemed a good place to start so I dumped it on the bed. How many pairs of white socks does a person who does laundry every other day need? Technically three, but I kept ten just in case.

Can I get the house decluttered before the move at an unspecified date? I want our next house to be magazine worthy. I want one of those homey, inviting rooms that you could live in...without tripping over the stuff you can live without.

Friday, April 9, 2010

And I Had to Shoot my Mouth Off

So basically since I posted yesterday, he has been constantly feeding, constantly fussing, screaming ball of hysteria. That will teach me to call him well-adjusted and obliging.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Six Days

Ask and you shall receive...

I ask for a semblance of a schedule, Gus obliges. Six days of sleeping through the night, eating at four to five hour intervals, and napping at predictable times. Of course I don't count on it lasting but it is a breath of fresh air for me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Morning Reflections

You lay there for a moment in the peaceful silence. You can hear the birds singing outside and the light filtering in through the blinds. You hear the deep breathing of your boys on either side of you and the cat's purr at your feet. And then it dawns on you...I just slept the whole night without waking up once!

So of course I woke everyone up to share in my excitement. Gus because he hadn't eaten in seven hours and Rob because I felt he should really appreciate the significance of the moment.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby Steps

Today we begin a new adventure (sad that this seems like a fun, challenging project to me)!

After two months of my life revolving around Gus's relatively random string of needs, I am finally noticing a pattern emerging to his day. So starting today and running through the rest of the week, I am documenting our day in detail. Then Monday, we will attempt...with bated breath...a schedule. I have heard that not all babies respond well to schedules, but he seems to be on a rough one of sorts now of his own making.

There are two goals to this endeavor. One: that I would actually be able to predict accomplishing anything at all other than fulfilling his basic needs. Two: that I would be able to schedule appointments with some certainty that he would not be having a meltdown at that particular time, including driving anywhere outside of my zip code.

We would also like to move him to his own room sometime in the next couple weeks, which I have refused to do thus far because he is still wanting to eat three times a night. Fingers crossed that this works. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he won't do it, his daddy seems to function very well with no schedule, but it would make my life a little easier if I could get my lovely ordered routines back in one sense or another.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Going There

I said I wouldn't but I can't help it, I'm going there. Two words: Healthcare Reform. Now, my dislike for our current national leadership aside and my utter amazement at the convoluted process that this bill went through, there are some major issues I have with this so called 'reform.' I promise I am not going to go into everything about this that I have a problem with, but there are two things that I am so irritated about I just can't keep them to myself anymore.

As a disclaimer, as far as I understand it, this bill will not directly affect me as we buy health insurance, independently, not through an employer and we don't make a ton a money which, I believe, exempts us from the special tax to fund the bill.

A couple of observations:

1. If we elect our representatives to represent us, why would the President constantly berate Congress for not 'working together to put aside partisan blah, blah, blah...' when our representatives are voting the way we, as the people, wish them to. The president is going on a cross country speaking tour to sell this bill to the American people. This tells me the people don't want this bill and the difficulty he had selling it to Congress was reflecting this. It isn't that we don't want healthcare reform, we just don't like the form it is taking. (Something like 40% of polled Americans are against it.)

2. How is it constitutional for the government to require that we purchase a product? If you want to do it that way, take the premium out in taxes and make healthcare a government service like police, but don't try and mask what you are doing.

I am assuming that this will get thrown out in the supreme court for unconstitutionality, or maybe not, but the way this whole debacle has played out thus far worries me greatly about the direction our government is heading.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gus Vs. The Thumb

Gus spends a half hour before every nap fighting with his thumb. When he was first born, he could instinctively put it in his mouth. Now that his eyes are open, he is having major problems coordinating what he sees with what he does. He misses his mouth, tucks the thumb into his fist, doesn't realize he can't move the hand around and expect the thumb to stay in his mouth...well, a video is worth a thousand words.


video

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Binky

After Gus was born, they moved us to the postpartum floor. Rob was settling me in the bed while the nurse went through the 'what to expect' checklist. He was situating my binky behind my head and the nurse laughed. "Is that your baby blanket?" Somewhat embarrassed, I said that it was. She winked at me and told me that she was 50 and still had hers. She was laughing because she had taken hers to the hospital when she had delivered her children too. When my mom arrived later that night, she groaned and made a comment that she couldn't believe I had brought it the hospital with me to have my own baby.

I tell you that to tell you this

I am so glad I kept that thing. I was going to get rid of it when I married, but Rob didn't care, so I decided there was no reason to get rid of it. Now, it is a life saver. I put Gus down to sleep with my baby blanket and he goes right to sleep. Then when I go to bed, I reclaim it for myself. It is the only way he will nap out of my arms and the only way he will go to sleep in his own bed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Steal a Title From a Friend...That We May Delight Our King

Despite being sick, I am looking forward to church tonight. Pastor is starting a series on building your ministry. I am very excited about getting involved in some of their ministries. A big part of why we chose this church was their involvement in the community.

Once Gus's immune system is a little more developed, we will be starting his training in ministering to others. I am sure he won't remember this for years, but I want some his earliest memories to be of service to others. I want it to be a part of his life as much as actually attending church. I don't know that we would be doing him any favors by giving him 'religion' without also instilling the responsibility that being a child of grace entails.

Sarah Vs. the Common Cold

Boo...

Is there any possible way Gus is not going to catch this from me?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hurricane Lizzi

Jami came to visit this weekend with her sixteen month old daughter, Lizzi. Now Lizzi has the sniffles and while we did pretty well at keeping her and Gus apart for the duration of the visit, she is teething and drooly and has a runny nose, manages to materialize in different rooms slightly ahead of supervision, and has a fascination with all of Gus's things.

We bought a can of Lysol.

After they left today, I dumped all the toys in the sink with some bleach, threw everything cloth that she had touched into a hot load in the washer, and Lysoled everything she could possibly have touched. It has given me a crash course in baby proofing our house. We have quite a bit of work to do in the next couple months. I am amazed at the vast reach of these miniature hurricanes we call children and the awesome power of their destructive force.

Now we need to leave the house for a little bit so it can air out a tad. Do they make a Lysol that doesn't smell like, well, Lysol?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lotion

Gus has eczema. Having dealt with this all of my life on my own skin, I know how to take care of it. The doctor said 2-4 times a day to wash his face off and reapply the ointment, which, incidentally, he hates. He always screams bloody murder when we do his lotion, and doesn't seem to understand my explanation that it is so he won't be itchy.

Last night, my cousin Jami came up and was lotioning her baby's face at the same time I was performing Gus's nightly torture ritual. Apparently a sixteen month old doesn't like lotion any more than a one month old does. Rob, sitting on the couch listening to the chorus of screams, visibly getting more and more tense, commented that he was getting a hotel for the night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Now?

Four years ago, I took a trip to Phoenix to visit some friends. One of them had two small children and was cloth diapering. Now I had no idea people still did this or that there were versions without pins and rubber pants. She was buying hers off eBay and playing with patterns and her own designs and having a small child to put them on, able to make on the fly adjustments. I came home, told my husband about it and started sewing a couple to try on my niece, who was potty training at the time. They worked great and some people at the base saw them and asked me to sew a few for them. I sold some off and on for three years, mostly to parents of toddlers.

Then, when I got pregnant, I pulled out the small pattern my friend had given me and sewed twenty or so for my own bundle of joy. I took them to the hospital only to realize that he couldn't wear them till his cord fell off. So I waited a couple of weeks until the cord fell off and with great excitement, put them on him and waited. An hour later, his entire outfit was soaked. I wondered if I hadn't put it on tight enough so I changed him and waited again. Same result...

Turns out my long skinny newborn doesn't fill the leg holes well enough and I couldn't get them any tighter. Back to the drawing board I went, or rather, to the computer to see how other mom's making these at home were designing theirs. What I found was very depressing...

Three years ago, encouraged by the fact I was selling these, my sister and I hatched a plan to set up a manufacturing facility to produce these in bulk to sell to large retailers like Target, who have a reputation for selling green products and a track record of not being evil like another large retailer who shall remain unnamed. I couldn't understand why these had not been marketed on a large scale before.

Three years ago, there were maybe two or three companies that marketed machine fabricated cloth diapers and the designs weren't that great. Fast forward to the present and there were at least fifteen awesomely designed products that would go from birth to potty training, reasonable priced and mass manufactured in the US. So I could work on my design and still proceed with the business, but the stuff that is out there is great and I really have no suggestions for improving the products. You can buy them through online retailers or small, independently owned 'green' shops, and the products are reasonably priced. I am a little bummed that my business idea has swarmed the market and am left a little lost as to where to go from here. The question I do still have is why doesn't anyone offer them at a Target or Babies 'R Us? It seems like this is a really great opportunity missed as something like 15 to 20 percent of babies are cloth diapered.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sarah Vs. the Black Thumb

I have a terrible track record with growing things. But I love the idea of gardening so much that I attempt it every year.

When we first got married, I had houseplants...sad, short lived houseplants.

When we moved to Alabama, I got gardenia bushes and azalea bushes that I planted in pots and put in the house to get big enough to face the outside world. My cats ate one of the azaleas and I killed the rest through overwatering.

Then we moved back to Indy and I had a second story apartment whose balcony I filled with potted plants, which I managed to kill through neglect stemming from frequent road trips.

Then we moved to the house we are in now where I discovered bulbs, which apparently, are Sarah-proof. I also managed to successfully grow two fruit bearing tomato plants. I got about 20 cherry tomatoes off a plant that probably should have given me over a hundred tomatoes and a grand total of two yellow tomatoes.

Last year, I got some really huge basil plants whose leaves didn't taste at all basilly and an insane amount of lettuce and of course, my bulbs (which I thought I had dug up) came back up being fairly hard to kill. We also got a really great crop of green onions which I had planted the previous year, but had never come up. Apparently the days to maturity on that particular variety is 380.

Last fall, while digging up our sad little garden, I promised Rob no gardening fiascoes this year. Then a few weeks ago, while grocery shopping Sarah and I passed a center display filled with seeds. Tiny little packets of vulnerable seeds, full of promise. I literally could not help myself. I wasn't going to tell him, I was going to plant them and watch his amazement as everything sprouted at which point it wouldn't be a 'gardening fiasco' now would it! He helps me unload the groceries, so I pulled the seed packets out to tuck somewhere out of the way until planting time, but I missed a packet. He unloaded the bag, held up the seed packet and said "Honey, what is this?"

I was very very busted. I sold my 'isn't one of the most wonderful things in the world eating a huge juicy tomato like an apple, right off the vine?' He pointed out that we have never managed to get big juicy tomatoes to actually grow. So now, I am under obligation for it not to be a fiasco. I have read and researched how to make the seeds happy, the kind of water, soil, and sunlight they need. I have read about using compost and what mulches leach nutrients out of your soil. I have read about timing your garden and planning early and late blooming plants to maximize the beauty of it. I have laid out a plan for the garden and for bringing it under my dominion and subjecting it to my will. I figure I have tried the nurturing hovering approach and I ended up smothering my plants. Now I will do the confident in my plan of action, tough love approach and hopefully my little seedlings will grow up big and strong and independent. Sorry, I may have my parenting books and gardening books a little confused.

Week One progress report:
Actions: I started tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers and daisies last week. I have tomato seedlings two inches tall with one or two sets of leaves and cucumber shoots four to six inches long. The daisies have poked out of the soil but aren't really doing anything yet.
Attitude: I refuse to believe there is anything I cannot master with learning, hard work and determination. I will have tomatoes this year if it kills me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What a Difference a Day Made

I was listening to some old jazz today today and came across the "What a Difference a Day Made" song, which got me to thinking about days that have utterly and completely changed my life. This isn't to say that life isn't completely changing and evolving, but there are days that stick in your mind forever and whatever happened on that day makes every day afterward different.

In order, mine are:

The day of my earliest memory...I am four and I am staring out our living room window. I remember wishing that I were bigger. I said as much to my mom and she commented that I should enjoy every part of life, even the part where I am little. I don't remember much else about that conversation, but I remember the enjoying life part. I have, to the best of my recollection, done so to date. What I realized this year is that this also means not living in the past, not regretting that those days are gone. This was not a problem when I married, but before Gus was born, I had a minor panic attack about my carefree days with my husband coming to an end...rather rapidly.

The day I received the Holy Ghost. I remember it much like getting glasses...where you are finally able to see and even when you take them off and everything is blurry, you remember the clarity that you had with them. Sure you can get through life without it, but why would you choose to continually stumble over things you would have been able to see if you would just wear your glasses.

The day before Rob's eye surgery where we decided rather unromantically that we wanted to be together forever. I will never forget the amazement I felt that someone as wonderful as Rob wanted to be with me forever. I still feel lucky...

The day after our wedding...one of those first day of the rest of our lives feelings...the day before felt like a dream, this felt permanent.

Then there is Gus. He cannot be described in one day. He was a long time coming and he is my answer to prayer. There was the day the doctor told me I might wake up from surgery without either ovary and the devastation that I felt and the helplessness we felt putting the matter in God's hands. The joy I felt on the day I saw his heartbeat on the monitor...it didn't feel real until then. The day in the grocery store where God sent a stranger to pray an anointing on my baby. The day he was born when we looked into his eyes and saw an old soul. The first time we took him to church I cried over him and thanked God for him and had the unmistakable feeling that we were supposed to give this one back to him. Our lives all of a sudden feel like there is a lot less wiggle room, that our mistakes from here on out are not as insignificant. It is intimidating and challenging all at the same time. I'm not sure what purpose this baby was born for, but I do know God has been involved from the beginning and he will not abandon us on this, the first day of the rest of our lives. Hopefully we will not fail him either.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Virtuous Woman

As I woke up this morning, I was staring at one of the most peaceful scenes I have ever seen. There is something so beautiful about the perfect sleep of a child. Their deep breathing and little smiles and the noises they make in their sleep, his little hand curled around my finger... What do they dream of I wonder? Lights, colors, our faces, heartbeats, breasts? It was the first morning in weeks he didn't appear to be in pain and I had a quiet half hour with just him, God and I.

I have been reading Proverbs 31 quite a bit lately, looking for guidance for my own life. I was always baffled by the part about her rising early before the household. I would laugh, being the quintessential 'night owl,' thinking rather that I could stay up later than everyone else to take care of the household. Even the first month of his life, I have been so tired that the thought of getting up before I actually have to seemed farfetched. This morning though, I rose early and took care of myself. I showered and dressed without constantly reassuring him that mommy just needed another minute (not that such reassurances actually stop his cries). I fed myself, read my bible and prayed without having to time it around his crying bouts. As I heard him stirring, I went to him and talked and sang with him while I washed and dressed him and as I got to him before he was in meltdown mode, we were able to do that this morning without the usually protests and indignation. Now we are into part of the day where he fusses constantly, but the night of solid sleep and being able to take care of my own needs, both physical and spiritual, has made an unmistakable difference. It is well worth one less hour of sleep. Maybe there is hope yet that I could be that woman.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What I Have Learned in the Last Month

Being one of those people that researches and tries to be as educated about everything as possible, including having a baby, here are things I have learned from Gus about having a baby in the last month.

1. Sometimes babies cry for no reason and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes they cry for hours and there is nothing you can do about it...for hours.

2. You wanting them to sleep in their own bed is a nice theory, but if the baby doesn't agree you better have a good set of earplugs, a heart of stone, and no desire to sleep. Or, alternatively, you could be a man and have an amazing ability to tune out the sound of a baby's screams.

3. You wanting them to sleep at night is a nice theory, but if the baby doesn't agree you will learn to love stores that are open 24 hours so that you can sleep all day or see No. 2 above

4. You can go without sleep or food but not both (learned this in college but have definitely gotten a refresher course the last few weeks).

5. If you are cloth diapering, you will do laundry every other day whether you or the baby like it or not.

6. Zebra cakes only get you so far in fulfilling the need for food.

7. Your spouse volunteering to spend time away from you will seem like a really romantic gesture when he keeps the screaming child with him so you can sleep.

8. Someone else's poop on your hands isn't nearly as gross as you thought it was.

9. Someone else throwing up on you isn't nearly as gross as you thought it was.

10. There is something endlessly entertaining about watching a baby sleep.

11. You really can cry from happiness.

12. Sympathetic rocking and bouncing when someone else is holding your crying child makes you look like a loon, but is uncontrollable.

13. When you find that one thing that makes their face light up with a toothless grin, you will do it over and over and over again until they want to do something different even if that means you clap their hands together and swoop kisses on them for an hour. I find that it makes me grin too.

14. Stretch marks really aren't that bad.

15. Being organized really really really helps...you think you are going to get more done than you will in actuality.

16. It really can take an hour to run to the store for milk, it is better to ask hubby to pick it up on the way home .

17. Find a really great Chinese place that delivers or you will end up having Zebra cakes, crackers and coffee for dinner more than you will admit to other people.

18. Hairy ears are really cute if you aren't considering the person as a potential mate.

19. Even though you may hate vacuuming, you will do it every day if it puts your kid to sleep.

20. There are really only five household chores that really need to be kept up with, the rest can slide a little: laundry, dishes, taking out trash, keeping the living room picked up, and feeding the furry creatures.

21. Allow three times as much time as you will think you will need to do anything...and get used to being late.

22. Crying because your one month old is 'so big' also makes you look like a loon but people tend to understand.

23. You can, living in a house with multiple mirrors, manage to go a week without ever looking in one and not realize it. You can also leave the house and not realize until you are somewhere that you have slippers on and you forgot to comb your hair but at least the kid is wearing a really cute outfit and has his hair is combed!

24. You have deeper levels of love than you thought. I thought that I loved my spouse with every fibre of my being, but I have never cried because his belly hurts, I have never gone a week without sleep because he needed to be held, and I have never panicked over every minute that passes because it is one less minute I will have with him. I'm not saying it is more than what I feel for Rob, but it is completely different and the magnitude and depth of it takes my breath away. It is like the first time you feel the Holy Ghost in you and your previous conceptions of love are blown away, not made insignificant, but you realize how much more of you there is and it enriches your existing relationships. Hard to describe but I thought I would try...

25. You realize the true meaning of words. Like when your parents said "You were a colicky baby," colic, which you have heard is terrible and exhausting, really is terrible, exhausting and mostly heartbreaking because this baby is obviously hurting and there is nothing I can do about it. And then there is people telling you that childbirth is painful, which may be the biggest understatement ever, but there really is no way to convey that to another person with words. While this is what I have always wanted to do and I am so happy to finally be on that path, there are things that I never blinked at before, I am suddenly terrified of. The gross magnitude to which I underestimated innocuous sounding words like 'childbirth' and 'colic' leave me scared to death of other dreaded stages like 'terrible twos' and 'teenager' and 'free will' and 'independence.' And from what I can tell, none of these things utilize skills picked up in previous trials. I don't think my rock and walk skills will help much with terrible twos. I do have hope that we will figure it out when it comes and in the meantime I am trying not to borrow trouble or think about it too much.

Books lull you into thinking that you can have and raise children with competence and dignity. What I have learned in the last month is that this is a lie.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gus


I am pleased to announce the birth of our son, Joseph Gustav Jendzio 'Gus', born Feb 3rd at 10.53 AM. He weighed 8 lb 14 oz and was 22.5 in long.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hiatus

Since I think I am done working and think I am stuck on bed rest till the baby shows up as every time I stand up or sit up I get some really fun cramping, I have absolutely nothing interesting to write about until I am up and around again. I haven't been leaving the house to see any interesting people or do any interesting things. So short of regaling everyone with tales of the cute positions my cats sleep in, or what was on TV two months ago (I am getting to catch up on my TV watching for the last two months), or the plot of the book of the day, I have nothing of note to report.

I will be back once there are tales of the cute positions my son is sleeping in! I am hoping that won't take more than another week and a half or two weeks. See you then!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sarah Vs. The Morons (Part IV)

I went to get the car seat inspected today which is a service the hospital provides for free. After checking the way I had it in, the lady took me inside to go over how to put the baby in the actual seat. She brought up the following safety concerns:

Lady: We recommend that you don't attach toys to the handle as they could come off during an accident and hurt the baby, so we will just take this off.
Me: The car seat handle is tucked behind the car seat and the toy is a stuffed animal and ATTACHED to the handle. How could that hurt the baby?
Lady: Well they haven't been safety tested with the car seat, they could come off.
Me: Where do you keep your purse when you are driving?
Lady: In the passenger seat.
Me: Do you usually have a drink in the car with you?
Lady: Yes
Me: I would be far more concerned with those objects becoming a projectile in an accident than a stuffed animal.
Lady: Well, obviously you are free to make your own choices compromising the safety of your own child, but we recommend...
Me: Yeah, I got it, no toys for the baby.

Lady: Next we recommend that you don't use the bumpers to make them fit in the car seat better.
Me: Why not? I thought it was bad for their little necks to roll around in the car seat.
Lady: Well, again, these are after market and have not been safety tested by the car seat manufacturer with the car seat.
Me: Are you serious?
Lady: They add another layer of fabric between the baby and the car seat.
Me: So do clothes! You aren't telling me to not dress the kid because it might be a safety hazard...
Lady: Well it could make it hard to fasten the belts tightly.
Me: So I should just let his head roll around in there.
Lady: Not at all, you should roll up a receiving blanket to fill all the space and stabilize his head.
Me: Alrighty then.
Lady: Obviously, again, these are just recommendations, what you do with your child's safety is up to you...

Lady: Next we recommend that you not put a coat on your child if they will be riding in a car seat.
Me: This ought to be good...
Lady: It adds another layer of cloth between the baby and the car seat. You wouldn't be able to tighten the belts properly.
Me: I am due the first part of February, you are telling me that the hospital recommends that if it is three below zero, I should not put a coat on the kid?
Lady: Well in reality the kid will be going from a warm house to a warm car and doesn't need a coat.
Me: Unless the car takes 20 minutes to warm up like my husband's truck does.
Lady: Well once he is in the car you can pile as many blankets over him as you want.
Me: I was told that lots of blankets were a suffocation hazard for babies and that layers of clothing and coats were better for keeping them warm, but you are telling me that instead of putting a head bumper in the car seat and putting a coat on the baby in February, I should wad blankets around his head and throw several over his face. So he may suffocate, but at least his seat belt will be as tight as possible.

Me: One question, these recommendations...if I go to leave the hospital with the kid in a coat, will they release him like that?
Lady: Unfortunately all the hospital requires is a car seat with a five point harness. If you decide to ignore our safety recommendations, there is nothing we can do to stop you.
Me: Great! Thanks so much for you help! Great talk!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The End of an Era

You know that job you got in college to earn some money while keeping flexible hours. Yeah, I'm still at mine. Wednesday is my last day. It is incredibly depressing not that I have been there for six years, two months and twenty days, but that I am really going to miss it. In my limited job experience, it is the best company I have worked with and overall, the best group of people I have worked with. I have been telling myself that when I go back to work, it will be in the field that I went to school for, but it doesn't make it any easier to leave behind my familiar, fun, flexible job that doesn't demand an education, just a sense of humor and an ability to appreciate the absurd. Am I ever going to have this much fun working ever again?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nice Baby

It feels like half of this year so far has been spent patting my belly and muttering "nice baby." Not that this mantra is in the least effective in getting him to settle down. So here we are at 2.30 after a 7.00 Am wake up and he has no interest in letting me sleep. Add to this, Rob is out of town on business, so I am kind of restless in the house. Usually I avoid the house when Rob is gone except for sleeping, but I figure with a baby, I won't be able to do that so I better learn how to be alone here.

Day one, honey I miss you and the magical effect your hand on my belly has on your child's activity level. Please come home and put him to sleep, he doesn't listen to me...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quotables

"There are always at least two sides to an argument, I take pride in seeing the third, more absurd side of any binary choice."

--Scott Gentry

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Only Distractable on Weekdays

A very productive, non-productive day...

Today we are going to play a game we call start everything, finish nothing. I started cleaning my kitchen and doing laundry, then was interrupted by a doctor's appointment. While waiting at the doctor, I started paying bills, which prompted curiosity about whether we had gotten paid which required I get on the computer when I got home. While on the computer, I checked my email which reminded me to pack for the hospital. While packing for the hospital I remembered the laundry. I knocked over the trash can while changing the laundry, so I took the trash out and the recycling to the curb, which reminded me that the furnace filter needed changed before I took the trash down. While changing the filter, the cat tripped me and I remembered that I hadn't given him medicine yet. I went into the bathroom to get his medicine and noticed that the trash in the bathroom needed taken out and when returning the trash can to the bathroom, remembered I hadn't packed bathroom stuff for the hospital. When consulting my packing list, I remembered I needed the call list off the computer. When I logged on to the computer I noticed that I had some more email and figured I could update my blog as well.

The funny thing about this is that the only thing that was on my list for today was take down Christmas decorations. I haven't even started this and yet it feels like I have been working all day. Instead, my kitchen, bathroom and living rooms are mostly clean, the laundry is halfway done, the floors are halfway done, the trash is halfway out, I am halfway packed for the hospital, the bills are half paid and the cat still hasn't gotten his medicine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year's Thoughts

As I mentioned in last May's blog. Rob and I have met most of the five year goals that we laid out when we married almost five years ago. Since he was stuck with me for a three hour drive with no distractions on New Year's Eve, 'we' decided that there really was no better time to formulate a new set of five year goals. The two of us having come up with a basic list of five year goals, I was then able to set my own resolutions for the year and come up with a plan for tackling them. Tasks were further split into months and halfway through January, I find myself halfway through my task list. I don't really think this is early year motivation. Over the last year and a half I have become increasingly efficient at breaking down large tasks into manageable 'bite-sized' tasks that don't seem so overwhelming. For someone whose major fault used to be lack of follow through, it is very encouraging to look back and see my progress. Now, looking at a list of five year goals that would have been overwhelming a couple years ago, I am not intimidated at all. In fact, I am pretty sure that we will be through the next set of goals in two or three years.

Every year I read a couple 'self-help' books at the beginning of the year. This year, I read some books on money management and Covey's Seven Habits. Looking at my list of goals and feeling that they should be relatively easy to reach has gotten me thinking that I need bigger dreams and goals. Part of me still thinks that every person have some goal that is almost out of reach or that will challenge their skills and assumptions. Having been focusing on the attainable for the last couple of years has shorted out my dreamer side temporarily. Biggest goal of the year...find a big hairy audacious dream and go after it.

I realize this is usually more of a funny blog and apologize for the reflective really kind of self-absorbed post, but really the only people that read this are my closest friends and family. I believe that sharing your goals with others is a form of accountability. If nothing else, having put this in writing and shared it with you serves to motivate me.

This year's resolutions:
Ministry involvement, include baby.
Research CPA requirements and local master's programs.
If required take GRE
Sign up for summer classes, Rob's job allowing
Lose baby weight
Finish building six month emergency fund
College fund for baby
House down payment
Sew through my fabric stash

Most of these lead into our five year goals which mostly have to do with me bringing in income, Rob finishing his education, us having settled somewhere relatively permanent, having a financial safety net, actively funding our children's futures and our own retirements. Of course we will continually work on raising Godly, respectful, educated children. We believe that a peaceful, loving home that places God first is key to success in every area of life for each member of our family. We also believe that service to others is a responsibility we have been given as children of God whose needs have been met and hope that as children are entrusted to our care, we would teach them the importance of reaching out to others who are not as fortunate.

To our family and friends...your support has been and will continue to be invaluable. Please lift us up in your prayers as we begin the adventure of parenthood. We have been entrusted with a tremendous responsibility in shaping this little life. I hope that this decade brings peace, happiness and success to each of you and that your year is a great one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In Memoriam

We had a bittersweet holiday this year. Unable to travel to be with family due to the advanced pregnancy and its sensitivity to, well, everything, we stayed home for Christmas. Our dear friends the Halcombs joined us and we had a wonderful holiday. We went to a Christmas Candlelight Service, which has been a holiday tradition for both Rob and Becky for most of their lives. Then we spent Christmas day cooking fancy appetizers and playing games with the four of us and three other friends. Rob had talked about going to see his family for Christmas anyway, because his Grandmother's health was failing, but ultimately, we decided that it was better to be together on Christmas. After the Halcombs left on Sunday, Rob and I watched the snow pile up outside our windows and we thanked God that Rob was not fighting his way home in that weather.


The next morning we got news that his Grandmother had passed in the night. It is incredibly frustrating to not live close, to not know that you need to be there, to not know that this is the last Christmas that you will have this person in your life. While we had visited frequently this year mostly due to her declining health, when we had the opportunity, the time off, to make that last visit, it feels weird to miss that moment. We went to Chicago for the funeral, begging the baby to understand, to just stay put another couple of weeks. Then the self-doubt begins, we had really wanted her to meet her only great-grandchild, to hold him once...if we had only tried to have a baby sooner... And I know in my head that that is ridiculous, that this would have been a high risk pregnancy had we done it before I was healthy, but it doesn't make what you wish for any different.

Saturday night we celebrated Christmas with his family, one of the more unique experiences I have ever had. I have never opened presents from someone who is no longer with us. And I know we will cherish her gifts to her great-grandchild and will tell him about her and her smile and her enthusiasm. Maybe in some ways the Grandma Frances he will know from his father will be more her than the one I knew as she was already very sick when I met her.

Sunday night we got home safely and the contractions started again. This time, they were five minutes apart and painful. We laid down in the bed and prayed and begged God and the baby to just stay in there two more weeks. I couldn't bear to think that my decision to go to the funeral would cause our baby to be born prematurely and possibly have an unnecessarily difficult start in life.

Grandma, while we miss you dearly, we are glad you are not suffering anymore and that you are with your beloved husband again. You will be be in our hearts always...

A Nice Day for Sewing

Three inches of snow on the ground, my house is clean and warm and dry, I think it is a perfect day for sewing. I will work on diapers, and a bed skirt and a coat for my friend's puppy. Meanwhile, the raucous laughter of the Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me panel blends well with the soothing landscape...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sarah Vs. The Crib Skirt

I was going to use the space under the crib to store baskets of blankets. Unfortunately, the rails come down too low to allow for smart storage, so I was just going to put a crib skirt on it to hide underneath. Crib sheets cost between $3 and $15 depending on where you get them. Patterned, cutesy crib skirts start at $12. A plain beige, tan, cream, white, or blue crib skirt will run you about $80. What!!! So I have my heart set on a boring, plain, non-patterned crib skirt and I refuse to pay 40 times what I paid for the sheets. So I today I went to the fabric store and bought plain colored fabric. Total cost...around $10. I am thinking that there is a business in there somewhere. It cannot be a new concept to offer solid fabric choices for baby bedding??