I'm doing a new Bible Study on Wednesday evenings and we discussed this topic. I've been mulling it over in my mind, so I thought I'd throw it out there to see if anyone has an opinion. You know. Just some light thinking for the weekend. :)
Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden in the first place?
1) Last official photo shoot! I say "official" because I have friends with little ones and little ones on the way and I am happily on standby to do their pictures. :) But, my last officially scheduled shoot was this week before my self-proclaimed "maternity leave". I think that standing on teetering folding chairs to get good angles just maybe isn't a good idea anymore!! (Even though I love the results ...)
2) All-Night Cubbie Sleep! After a few fitful nights of sicky sleep, Cub slept through the night like a rock the night before my birthday. It was the best birthday present! I am chalking this victory up to Children's Zyrtec and one very sound prayer. I'm so thankful that my little guy is on the upswing from this runny nose/allergy/viral/whatever illness. Being sick is no fun!
3) Needtobreathe concert. It was loud and Naomi was kicking like crazy! But, it was awesome. If you've never listened to these guys, google them. I love them and I'm so glad I was able to squeeze in one last concert before our little girl arrives! Although, I have to admit I was just a tad worried she'd come that night with all of the LOUD MUSIC. But, she held her own! :)
4) Birthday! Birthday! It was a great birthday this year and I was very blessed by the people I love in my life. I'm so thankful for what I already have, and any gift was just an extra perk! What I especially noticed with this birthday was the thoughtfulness behind each gift. My friends just really know me well! From Burt's Bees products to antique books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--yay!) to a prenatal massage to earrings to cute stationary (and, of course, the jogger!), I was honestly overwhelmed with joy. Stuff is stuff, but when there's intentional thought behind the stuff, it becomes sentimentally special. Thank you, friends!
5) Ultrasound! Our little Naomi is now FOUR POUNDS at 32 weeks. Little chunky monkey! She's growing and growing. My doctor pushed my due date up a few days and said to probably expect her even earlier than that. Usually I would hold my breath and cross my fingers and hope he's right ... but given her size and Cub's early arrival (37 weeks), I wouldn't be surprised if she did come early. Of course, she might not, but I'm going to go ahead and let myself hope! :) I'm ready to meet our little girl! And, the ultrasound definitely confirmed that she is, in fact, a girl. :)
I very distinctly remember the first time I heard of the "noise". My brother and I were staying the night with our grandparents. I was seven, he was nine. We were both in the guest room, in our sleeping bags, drifting off to sleep, when suddenly a pillow came out of nowhere and whopped me in the face.
I sat up and with tears in my eyes I asked, "Why did you DO that??"
My brother sat up and in all seriousness said, "You were breathing. You make a noise when you breathe and it's bothering me."
I cried. I mean, come on. I could control the pestering, I could control brattiness. I could not, however, control the sound of myself breathing. I just, well, breathed. Rather than roll my eyes and move on, I took it personally and decided there was some sort of flaw in my character and spent the next years of my life worrying how in the world I was breathing wrong.
Fast forward to middle school (and y'all, don't even PRETEND like you aren't jealous of my AWESOME BANGS.). We're driving in the car as a family, headed to the great Northeast, and my brother, who is now in high school, covers his ears and moans, "KATIE, you're making the noise again!" I look out the window and try to hide the tears that were surfacing to my eyes. Good grief. At the time, I couldn't figure out why it bothered me so much. After all, older brothers exist to make their younger siblings miserable to some degree. But, again, I took it personally.
Fast forward yet again to college. My brother and I are in a hotel room in Vienna, Austria, on Spring Break. We're backpacking through part of Europe with our parents and we got stuck in a room together. Sure enough, my brother brings up the noise AGAIN. Instead of crying, I roll my eyes. My brother shakes his head and turns on the TV. What we see on the screen are bombs over Baghdad. The United States has, only moments before, declared war on Iraq. We pull the curtains in our window and see a war protest in the courtyard below our room. We look at each other, look down at the protestors, look at the TV, and realize we are very, very, far from home.
And that's it. My brother never mentioned The Noise again.
All it took was an overseas trip, a protest, and a declaration of war to set him straight!
My brother pestered me about The Noise my entire life. No kidding. Oddly enough, however, when I think of my brother, The Noise takes a back seat to what comes to my mind. I idolized my brother. When I think of him, I think of riding our bikes together as kids and he's daring me to ride down a steep hill. I'm reluctant, but he persists. I shut my eyes, put my feet on the pedals, and there I go. I crash at the bottom of the hill and fly off my bike, and, rather than laugh, my brother rushes down to me and shouts, "You just did the most incredible flip ever!!" I totally didn't flip. But his lie was enough to take the sting of my bruises away. I think of a late night when we first moved to Arkansas from California, both of us feeling a little like outcasts, sitting at the kitchen table in the middle of the night, talking. We rarely talked like that. But despite our differences, we were both going through the same thing. I think about coffee shops where my brother's band would play in high school, the feeling of pride I had when I was the lead singer's little sister. I remember standing against the wall, swaying to the music, learning to love cappuccino and the band scene.
I remember growing up. I remember personal challenges we both faced as we came into adulthood and I remember being the first to make the call and the first to receive the call when those challenges stood over us. I remember when we became friends.
And this is why I am so excited for Cub and Naomi. A brother/sister combination is all I've known ... which means I know how good it is.
I went to a concert tonight at a venue that shared the same atmosphere as those coffee shops from high school. The band, Needtobreathe, performed their song, "Stones Under Rushing Water" and with my hand on my burgeoning belly, my mind drifted to the life that lies before me. As a sibling to a brother, now I will get to watch the relationship of a brother and sister, as their Mother. I can't believe it. And I can't wait. I know it's going to rush by.
As the years, roll by, like stones under rushing water,
We only know, we only know when it's gone ...
I know I've got to hold onto it as much as I can, while I can.
And when they bicker, and Cub tells Naomi she's making The Noise again, I will pull her aside and tell her that being a little sister to a big brother? It really is the best. Trust me.
Today my husband and I were awoken with a Mr. Fussy Sicky Pants McGee who stormed into our room (early) and started our day (after a sleepless night) on a bit of a haphazard note. Just for kicks, I wrote down random thoughts and stuff that happened throughout the day, to document what a sick day in the life of a Mom can feel like.
Or, at least, what mine felt like!
(For your entertainment.)
-Okay. You can do this, you can do this...find your head, attach it, crawl out of bed, find his sippy cup, get some milk ...
-WHAT? WE'RE OUT OF MILK??
-WHAT????? WE'RE OUT OF COFFEE??
-Dear Starbucks Drive-Thru: Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. Love, Katie
-Okay. Deep breath. Enjoy the drive. Re-focus. This might be the only quiet time you get all day, so embrace it! Live quietly. Work with your hands. Do what you need to do with a peaceful attitude. Your brain will eventually catch up.
-The doctor's office opens at 8:00 and it's 8:04!! Why aren't they answering? Oh, wait, I'm anal. Good morning, yes, 1:30 would be fine. Thank you.
-The earlier we go to Target, the more acceptable it will be that we are still in our pajamas.
-Cub, please refrain from sucking on the shopping cart. That's probably how we ended up in this situation in the first place.
-Dear Creators of Boogie Wipes: My son's nose thanks you. Love, Katie
-Home! Snuggle! Read books!
-Did he really fall asleep? Should I check? What if he wakes up when I check? NO! JUMP IN THE SHOWER WHILE YOU CAN, WOMAN!
-Ahhhhh. Shower. Ahhhhh. Hot water. Ahhhhh.
-Oh, hello baby. So you didn't fall asleep. And I smell a stinky in your pants.
-Read some books. Snuggle.
-Hmm. Nap Attempt #2 and my hair is now a frizzball from my lack of prompt blow-drying, thanks to the poopy diaper aversion. Ponytail it is!
-Okay. Dressed for the day and it's 10:38. Not too shabby. Yawn. Perhaps I should take a nap while the little one sleeps. No, no, be productive. Get some work done. No, rest. No, work. Oh look, a couch. Must ... lay ... down ... zzzzzzzzzzz.
-Lunch time! Fighting with the green beans! But you love green beans! EAT YOUR GREEN BEANS.
-Green beans are overrated.
-He's crying when I change his diaper. He's crying when I hold him. He's crying when I try to snuggle him. I want to cry.
-Hello Doctor, no, I'm so sorry he's being so fussy! I promise, he usually isn't like this. Really. REALLY. Um, no, he's never had a sucker, I try to keep the sugar under control. Um ... if you say so ... to help him calm down ...
-SUCKERS ARE MAGICAL.
-Viral infection. No strep, no nothing, really. Probably the high pollen count mixed with a bit of fever. Lovely. A half teaspoon of Children's Zyrtec? Got it! We'll go to Target right now!
-Ehhhh ... it's raining .... ehhhh ... I don't care, must find Zyrtec ...
-Run through the rain! Run through the rain! We're here! We're here! Target! Grab a cart! Rush down the aisles! OUT OF ZYRTEC.
-Run (waddle) through the rain! Run through the rain! Drive to Walgreen's! Where's the Children's Zyrtec?? ONE BOX LEFT.
-THAT BOX IS MINE.
-Must pick up the house quickly! Must also pick up a fussy Cub who immediately wants to be put down once I pick him up! "Mama, up!'
-Father-in-law is here! Thank you! I'm headed to my ultrasound! A few minutes to myself! Yippee!!!
-Doctor has an emergency c-section. Has to reschedule. Sweet. Going back home.
-Husband is home! Baby is fussy! So glad my husband can be here to play with our son while I start some laundry!
-Laundry is overrated.
-Husband has basketball game! Gah!! Cubbie is throwing himself on the floor in a snotty, sad little mess!
-Dinner? This Cubbie has no interest in dinner.
-Hold Cubbie, rock Cubbie, soothe Cubbie, kiss Cubbie, getting frustrated that I can't bend over well to reach him, getting frustrated that I can't sit down on the floor well to hold him, getting really frustrated, getting REALLY frustrated, Cubbie won't stop crying, now I'm going to cry. Feeling helpless.
-Deep breath. Take control. Put Cubbie in car, head out for a drive. The little guy needs to sleep and if the car seat is what it's going to take to keep him from coughing, then so be it. Drive on, Mama!
-Long drive. Cubbie falls asleep. I'm amazed how quickly frustration melts into compassion. And thankful that it does.
-Cubbie wakes up as soon as I put him to bed. Nope. You're staying in bed. I know it's only 7:00. Trust Mama on this one. YOU. ARE. TIRED. Cubbie doesn't put up a fight, but instead chats with Mr. Lion while thumping his feet against the wall. Then I hear loud thump. Cubbie cries. He's fallen out of bed. Rush in to hug him and hold him while he cries. He quickly cheers up and decides he doesn't want to be in bed.
If you notice the little pregnancy countdown to the left of the screen, you will see that I am at 32 weeks.
OH MY WORD.
I'm not going to lie--I'm getting "there". You know, the place where you're kind of done with pregnancy? Not in a miserable sort of way. I really can't complain. My heartburn is at a minimum and I still have ankles. But, I can feel myself reaching the "I'm ready for the baby to be on the outside, not the inside!" part of my pregnancy. And, really, I reach exhaustion much more quickly than usual. I think that is the hardest part. I wish I wasn't worn out so easily. But, I know that's just part of it and I keep reminding myself that this, too, shall pass. It's hard to feel like a stellar Mom or an awesome wife when you're huffing and puffing and hoisting yourself from one place to another. Not exactly a fun playmate. And not exactly an attractive partner.
If I sit and think about it for too long, I find myself growing just a tad depressed from my lack of, well, mobility. I really have to give myself pep talks to get up and get going. I've found that it can be easy to slide into laziness under the guise of pregnancy exhaustion and I really, really, REALLY, don't like being lazy. Rest is one thing. Idle hands are another.
This past weekend I attended a banquet at the university where my parents work and my Dad was honored for his ten years of service there. Each honoree was awarded a special pin and the head of their departments read a small description of what made them noteworthy. It was very special. Our Dean of Students read a passage of Scripture that immediately hit me in the gut. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever just heard a verse or two and immediately thought, OH MY GOSH ... was that written just for me?
I had that feeling. Here it is, 1 Thessalonians 4:11:
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
I don't know how many times I've read that verse. But, for some reason, it stood out to me in a different way this time. The concept of minding your own business and working with your hands ... all within a quiet life. There's something very reassuring about the peaceful nature of a quiet life. I wouldn't say that I am a quiet person by nature. I don't think I'm necessarily a loud mouth, either, but I do enjoy socializing and such. But, I don't think this verse is simply about one's tendency towards introversion or extroversion--I think it's about life behind the scenes.
I feel that that is where I am right now. Quietly preparing for the next stage of our lives. I find myself beginning to withdraw from things and even people, not in a frustrated or pointed way, but for the purpose of gently slipping away as the end of this pregnancy draws near and the beginning of our new lives stands on the horizon. Quietly trusting God's hand. Quietly believing His plan for us. Quietly maintaining our home to the best of my ability. Finding rest through quietly working with my hands. Embracing the quiet and following God's lead in my involvement and in my relationships.
If my blog posts become fewer, don't worry--I'm still here. My computer time is waning as well and I want to use that time to spend with my husband and my son. I will definitely still post, as this blog is a big stress reliever for me! But, you know what I mean. You'll just have to excuse me if I go a day or two without an entry. :)
Speaking of which, it's time for me to go snuggle on the couch with my husband and watch the playoffs.
1) Impromptu Spaghetti: I made homemade lasagna this week and knew that Cub would have a tricky time eating it. So, I took the unused cooked lasagna noodles and used a pizza cutter to cut "spaghetti" noodles for Cub to eat with his hands. Might not sound like a big deal, but for me, it was Mommy genius and it worked! :)
2) Lots of gorgeous sunshine and cool mornings which means lots of long walks. I feel so much better when I can get outside and exercise! Nothing sets the pace for a good day like getting a good workout, even if my power walking is more like power waddling!
3) Nasonex. My doctor prescribed some for me. I can't believe how awful this allergy season has been, and I'm so thankful to be breathing free and clear!
3) Pre-Admitting at the hospital. I can't believe we're already this far along in the pregnancy. I'm almost 32 weeks and today my husband said, "That's only five weeks away from when you delivered Cub!" and we were both in shock! I know I say this pregnancy is flying by, but oh my word, THIS PREGNANCY IS FLYING BY!
4) Cub's back pats. Ever since he was an infant, Cub would pat your back with one hand when you picked him up. And now, when you pick him up, you can say, "Can I have a pat?" and he'll lean his head on your shoulder and pat your back. It melts my heart and I never want to put him down!
5) Little pink dresses. I went to Target today and found two pink dresses with big colorful flowers. I snatched them up. I am reminded more and more that we have a little girl joining our family and I'm so thrilled. We're ready for you, baby girl!!
So, as many of you know, I really wanted a double jogger for my birthday this year. My husband and I discussed it and I wasn't sure if he would be on board or not, but he at least knew my plight and I left it up to him! We tested out some different joggers and such and read several (numerous? hundreds?) of reviews online to try to figure out which option would be best.
So, on Monday, as I pulled in our driveway, I noticed a huge box in our entryway with the words BOB plastered across the front. I shrieked. I jumped up and down (um, while buckled in). I turned around and exclaimed to a startled Cub, "WE HAVE A JOGGER!!" I squealed into the garage and immediately called my husband. He said he was going to have it shipped to work, but the company he ordered it from required that his shipping and mailing address be the same. I asked him if I could open it, even though my birthday isn't until next week. He said yes. So I DID.
It was love at first sight, basically.
So, I decided I would do a mini product review on my use of the jogger thus far. Now. I know I've only owned it for a few days. And, honestly, the online reviews where customers had only owned their jogger for a few days were the reviews that I passed over. I want to hear about LONGEVITY, people! So, if you discontinue reading this right now, that's fine. We can still be friends. But, I figured I'd write about my experiences so far and continue to write about it as I use it more (and as I add another baby!). So, here you go!
The BOB Revolution Duallie
a la Katie
Before I begin, I feel the need to mention that this stroller does not come cheap. This particular model can cost anywhere from $450-$600 (remember, this is a double, not a single). Yep, you may peel your face off the screen now. I mention this only because I've read product reviews on other blogs where the blogger will write about "the cutest little umbrella stroller!" or "the most darling bedding!" and fail to mention that that cute little stroller was three hundred bucks or that the darling bedding was the equivalent of what most of us pay on our monthly mortgage ... and then said reviewers act like it's no big deal. Well, for most of us, spending money IS a big deal. And some of us can't (or won't, or shouldn't) spend that kind of money on baby gear. That's why this jogger was such a big deal to us and why we researched it so extensively--we're typically in the frugal camp when it comes to stuff for the Cub. His travel system was one of the cheapest out there. His swing was the cheapest (and smallest). His changing table was a re-furbished dresser I found for forty bucks at an antique store.
You get the point. We don't think you have to plunk down a huge chunk of change to get something that works.
Um, even though the most of the knobs fell off the dresser.
(The drawers still worked fine!)
BUT. The Inevitable But. We knew this would serve not one but two children and given our busy lives (trips to visit family, walks every morning, etc.), we knew this thing would get a ton of wear and tear. So, we were willing to check out every option, regardless of the price tag. And this topped our list. This was a birthday gift from my parents, my husband's parents, and my husband, combined. After only a few days of use, I can understand why the cost is so high--this is a seriously good jogger. The functionality is amazing and the design is flawless. Judge if you may, or leave a comment on why your cheaper jogger is just as good--that's fine by me. I'm extremely happy with our choice in a jogger, so I hope you are happy with your choice, too!
So. Now that we've cleared that up! Here are some pics I took when I brought the jogger to the zoo. You know. Because posts are cooler with pictures.
This jogger folds easily and is a very reasonable weight, especially considering it's a double jogger! It isn't any heavier than our single travel system. The way it folds is accordion-ish, and even at seven months pregnant I'm able to hoist it into our car with ease (not much grace, but ease). The wheels come off very easily (seriously, it only takes seconds), which is great, and I've found that removing the front wheel makes it the easiest to store in our car. Here it is in the back of our CR-V.
When we've reached our destination, I quickly reattach the front wheel and unfold the jogger in a snap. I couldn't be more pleased with how easy this is. I don't have a ton of time to wrangle a jogger and figure out wheels that are tricky to attach or remove! When I need to stash suitcases and such in the back of our car, then I will remove the rear tires as well (again, crazy easy to do--simply unlock and remove!).
This jogger has a five-point harness, which is pretty standard on any good jogger or stroller. Gotta keep the kiddos safe! Cub isn't a huge fan of the five-point harness when we're out walking, so I only buckle him around the waist. I know, danger danger, but when I begin jogging again (when I am no longer the size of a house), I will definitely buckle him in with the complete harness. For now, around the waist works just fine. The harness has red loops for you to pull to tighten, and the shoulder straps are padded. Lovely!
The tires are pretty much all-terrain tires. This model is not the most rugged of the BOB models and is designed for some trail use but primarily for suburban use (sidewalks, grass, gravel). They make for a smooth ride with the Cub, which is great. Also, as you can see in the picture below, there is a foot brake that is easy to lock (it is the black bar resting on the lower silver bar between the two black wheels). Lift it with your foot to unlock, step on it to lock. Ta-da!
Look! I'm pregnant! With a hat!
And look! I can steer the jogger with one hand while I hold my Starbucks with the other hand! (SERIOUSLY, how ridiculous, I know). But, honestly. This thing steers like a dream. The front wheel swivels or locks, so the swivel is great for walks while the locked wheel is great for jogs. Also, our zoo has a bunch of indoor exhibits, and this jogger fit through every door just fine, except for the chimp house. We had to open the other door, too, for the chimp house. And the chimps weren't even there! Boo! Other than that, it fit perfectly. This was an extra perk for me--I wasn't expecting to be able to fit through doors with a double jogger!
4) Storage and Features
There are two mesh pockets on the back of the seats and a larger basket underneath the jogger. The basket is large enough to hold a small diaper bag, a coat, and a few shopping bags. And, while there are no cup holders, the mesh seat pockets are perfect for water bottles and the like. I take a water bottle with me on our morning walks and the pockets have served the purpose of holding it for me! The pockets are the length and height of the seat, so they are large enough to carry books, small toys, water bottles, or snacks.
Okay, this picture is from the day I got the jogger, hence a cute Cub with no pants ... and the fact that we are now inside my living room. Anyway. I wanted to show you the canopies over each seat. They can tighten to provide a little shade, or they extend (as shown in this picture) to almost completely cover the seat in case of rain or bright sunshine. Sweet!
So far ...
I'm obviously in the honeymoon phase with this jogger. It has exceeded my expectations when it comes to maneuverability, size, weight, and foldability. So, for now I give it a bazillion stars out of five. :) We take it for a walk every morning and I'm exhausted by the time we're through--I realize that I'm going faster because the ride is so smooth! So, it's love. But, I promise that I will continue to update on my experience with the jogger as I grow larger and as we add Naomi to the mix. There is a car seat adapter you can purchase, and I might do that, but we'll see once she gets here!
We drive a 2007 Honda CRV and it's the best car I've ever owned. The back seats recline comfortably for passengers and car seats, there is ample storage in the cargo area, and it handles like a dream. The convenience of driving a car, but bigger and a tad more functional.
I really do love it.
So, one has to wonder, then, how something I so absolutely love can end up so filthy by the end of the week. By Friday, the leather seats are streaked with milk. The fuzzy floor panels are embedded with dirt and crumbs and the cupholders are jammed full of cups or receipts. The area in front of Cub's car seat is typically packed with superfluous diaper bags, overnight bags, toys, and a random assortment of books.
It's safe to say that we kind of live in our car during the week.
I've tried coming up with creative ways to keep it clean, or to make one day a week "Clean The Car Day!" Unfortunately, none of these things have worked. This week I've simply tried to remember to empty it out every day at the end of the day, to avoid a headache by Friday. It's worked thusly, but I know that all it will take is a moment of absent-mindedness and the mess will resume. Curses!
So. Does anyone else have this issue?? Any tips for a mom who is about to double her cargo load?? :)
Yesterday in the Starbucks drive-thru, the lady in front of me was tweezing her eyebrows at lightning speed using her rearview mirror.
I was at first impressed with her obvious brow agility, but was then further impressed that she had the thought to bring her tweezers with her on her way to wherever she was going. I've done my mascara a time a or two in the car, but never tweezed.
I'm wondering if eyebrow maintenance would be more desirable to me if I had a pair of travel tweezers. I've been good, though, y'all. I've checked my eyebrows every morning (okay, maybe every other morning), lest they explode into a mass of tangles that hang over my eyes. I'm not sure why eyebrows have always been my El Guapo, but looking back in pictures, I can always tell when I was paying them proper attention. Summer as a camp counselor? NO. Wedding day? YES. Caleb's first few months of life? NO NO NO. This pregnancy? YES.
I think I forget that prenatals could possibly cause a little extra growth-age, too.
Tweezer Girl finished her plucking and then stared in the rearview mirror ... and therefore noticed that I was staring at her (with wide eyes and a mouth hanging open in awe and reverence), and she thusly threw on her sunglasses and proceeded to pull forward and retrieve whatever coffee delicacy she happened to be purchasing that morning.
This causes me to wonder: Did I miss the part of growing up where someone was supposed to teach me about proper eyebrow maintenance? Is this my Mom's fault? Her eyebrows always look nice, but I doubt she has to do much to them. I have my DAD'S eyebrows, not my MOM'S. I guess I'm past the age of blaming, but, you get the point.
Please note that this is another completely pointless post regarding eyebrows and my frustration/fascination with eyebrow maintenance. I am doing my best to learn the secrets of the trade.
On Saturday night, I had the privilege to attend a fundraiser for a local not-for-profit organization in our area. As is par for such fundraisers, the event included delicious hors d'oeuvres, a fantastic dinner, a silent auction, a live auction (complete with auctioneer!) and amazing entertainment. The proceeds went to benefit the start-up of an orphanage in Uganda. Sweet!
Upon entering the main foyer where the silent auction was held, I glanced at some of items and took some time to greet and chat with a few of my friends who were also attending the event. After some witty banter, I perused a few more of the items while I waited for dinner and the main event to begin. I walked by some tables and saw everything from beautiful art work to free babysitting to vacation packages. It was so fun to see what people had bid. Having never participated in a silent auction, this was all new to me and was quite exciting.
Of course, I, myself, had no intention of bidding.
A friend of mine sidled up to me and over the loud music (live hand drummers!) asked me if I had seen the chocolate basket. The what? WHAT kind of basket? She led me to a table and there, before my very eyes, stood a gigantic basket stuffed and brimming with all sorts of chocolate goodies. My eyes grew wide. My heart pounded. The vacuum-sealed cellophane glistened under the large overhead lights. The contents of the basket were too numerous to count--all I saw were some cupcakes and some chocolates--but that's all it took. Without a second thought, I wrote down my bid. The highest so far. I bit my lip anxiously, wondering what to do next. I considered standing next to the basket for the remainder of the evening, perhaps as a little threat, as if to say, HEY, I'm PREGNANT.
I DARE YOU TO OUTBID ME.
But, after realizing that might come across as less than classy, I hung around for only a few minutes before making my way to dinner.
The main event was fantastic. Dinner was delicious and the entertainment was awesome. The presentation was moving and exciting, and the live auction was absolutely fun. But, I'm not gonna lie ... that chocolate basket was happily settled in the back of my mind the whole time. After the festivities concluded, I partook in a bit more witty banter before sneaking back out to the foyer.
The silent auction had closed.
And I had won.
I paid my dues (hey, it's for charity!), hoisted the massive basket in my arms, and started waddling for the exit. Needless to say, the reactions from my fellow peers were hysterical and a nice young boy offered to carry the basket to my car for me (my husband was home with our son). I very thankfully accepted his gracious offer, and he followed me to my car and wedged the basket in the back seat. When I came home, I again hoisted the basket in my arms and waddled inside. My husband was watching TV on the couch. I tip-toed in and peeked around the corner into our living room. He saw me first, then he saw the basket, and much laughter immediately ensued.
It was late by the time I finally made it home, so I didn't have a chance to go through the entire basket. I did notice that there was a chocolate cookbook, a ton of goodies from a local bakery (the same bakery that made our Mardi Gras cake!), and, of course, a bunch of chocolates. I helped myself to (half) a cupcake and crashed in bed.
Upon further inspection of the basket this evening, I noticed there were also several gift cards for desserts at various local restaurants, a box of truffles, and a huge mug of hot cocoa.
Notice the plastic containers? That's the local bakery stuff. Everything from brownies to CAKE BALLS. I LOVE CAKE BALLS. There were actually ten total containers, but I gave some away to some friends. Except for the cake balls. I know my limits.
All I can say is, heck yes, friends.
A very sweet event, indeed. And I was more than happy to make a contribution.
This morning as my husband and I were waking up, I heard some little coos coming over the monitor. A few moments later, it was the sound of little bare feet thumping across the wood floors. I told my husband I thought we might have a little visitor. Sure enough, the door knob on our bedroom door started to turn and our door opened to reveal a blonde little Cub toddling into our bedroom, clutching his Mr. Lion and sucking his thumb. My husband pulled him into bed with us and we cuddled and wrestled and laughed for the next twenty minutes.
If that isn't a Feel Good Friday, I don't know what is!
1) Cub recently decided it is hilarious to try and stick his hand down my shirt. Only in public. Classy! Please note: He has been weaned since he was eight months old, so that is not the culprit. What's even better is that he asks his classic, "What's this??" as he's doing it. Hmm ... what is that? That's MOMMY. And this is Mommy's shoulder. Let's rest our hand here for a while, okay?
2) Last week I started up my 2-3 mile walk again and oh my word, I love it. I was amazed at how hard it was the first time--I was out of practice! Plus, Cubbie is bigger than he was the last time we went for a long walk like that (um, and so am I), so I feel like I'm heaving when I push his stroller. But, now we've got the hang of it, to the point where I feel like I HAVE to take a walk in order for my day to be complete. So, that's good.
3) Cubbie exclaimed, "Dadda!" when my doctor walked in the exam room yesterday. My doctor laughed. Cub realized his mistake and giggled. Me? I almost died.
4) Also. My doctor was explaining that at my next visit he is going to do a growth scan/ultrasound to check out Naomi's organs and fluids and such. I then asked, "And to make sure she's head down?" and he responded, "Oh, she's head down! Don't worry about that!" I then asked, "Really? How can you tell?" to which he gave me a blank stare and responded, "Um, because I do this every day?"
5) I appreciate humor, especially in medical professionals.
6) Token yummy toddler picture:
7) Nasonex! Life saver! Pollen count! TOO HIGH!
8) I don't feel the need to wear as much make-up as the weather warms up. I've already gotten just a liiiiiiiiiittle sun, and I think that helps. But mascara and eyeliner are still a must.
9) Naomi's quilt came in! Okay, so this is the picture from the magazine, not her room right now. I took a picture, but this one is better. :) The rest of her bedding is still back-ordered, but at least we have a color palette to work from now! Yippee!! I love the little trees.
I took Cub to my doctor's appointment today and he did awesome! He sat in a chair and looked at his books for forty-five minutes--no small feat, considering his recent I-don't-want-to-sit-still-in-restaurant-high-chair fiascos! I figured the doctor's office was definitely more boring than a restaurant, so I was a bit nervous. It was the first time he's come with me (I've always had a sitter), and I brought him this time since my appointments are now fairly short. Needless to say, I was so proud of him. After dinner, we made Rice Krispie Treats as a special treat. He loved the marshmallows, but wasn't so sure about the finished product. Although, he did enjoy pressing the treats into the pan!
Even though I'm sure he didn't understand why we got to make special treats in his honor tonight, it was so fun for me to reward him for being not only well-behaved (that's an expectation), but for being well-behaved for what I considered to be a long time, in a rather boring environment (that's above and beyond my expectations)! I was reminded again that while this age does have its challenges, the rewards get better and better, too. I was so proud of my little man. Sorry for the parental bragging. It just made my heart happy!
As I'm typing this post, I can hear a gentle thumping sound coming over the monitor. I know that sound--it's become pretty regular around bedtime. It's the sound of little Cub feet thumping against the wall as he sucks his thumb and holds Mr. Lion, before falling asleep. I'm convinced that Cub crawls all over his big boy bed before he finally settles on one end and drifts off.
On Saturday, I went to Hobby Lobby to peruse some decor for Naomi's nursery. My husband had taken our son swimming, their new almost-daily activity together, so I had about an hour all to myself (magical!). I walked in and pushed my cart around aimlessly for a few minutes, not really sure where to start. Since her bedding isn't here and won't be here for a while, I really don't have an (exact) color palette to work from. After a few more minutes of wandering, I found myself standing in front of a tall rack of separated white stacked letters. I pulled out the letters that will be Naomi's initials and pushed them around in the cart for a while, before finding myself standing there again. I put some of the letters back and decided to spell out her whole name. As I pulled each letter out of its appropriate bin, I went over the spelling again in my mind: N-A-O-M-I. I smiled when I thought about how many times I will be spelling that name in just a few short months. Then I impulsively grabbed the letters for her middle name: K-A-T-E. Something about actually seeing the letters to her name, all stacked in my cart, gave me the most wonderful feeling of excitement. My little Naomi Kate. The letters are now arranged on the nursery floor, awaiting their place on the wall.
Sigh. What special days these are.
I've recently been feeling a slight sadness when I think about the days of just Cub and I coming to an end. At first these feelings took me by surprise and I quickly stifled (or reasoned) them away, until I finally realized that they were, in fact, perfectly acceptable feelings to have. Expected feelings, even. Cub is my buckaroo. He's my shopping companion, my cleaning companion (you should see him with a Swiffer), my laundry companion, my park companion, my play group companion ... he's my buddy. We start our day off the same way, me with my cup of coffee while he eats his yogurt, every day. I know his favorite books and we read them frequently throughout the day. I understand what he's saying and asking of me. I know where he loves to be tickled and he rests his head on my shoulder and nonchalantly plays with my hair with the tips of his little fingers when I sing to him. He was the first person to absolutely terrify and captivate and empower me at the same time--this little person who completely changed my life. My son.
And in a few short months, he will be joined by his little sister.
We're thrilled. I can't wait for them to meet. But, I never want him to feel that he wasn't enough for us. I want him to know that it is because of our overwhelming love for him that we even considered having another baby in the first place. We know how good it is. We know how parenting has made us better people. We know the blessing of children. We get it. And it's because of him. We can't wait for he and Naomi to know each other. I'm so excited for the secrets and tents and road trips and mud fights that lie ahead. The dares. The inside jokes. And everything else that comes with having a sibling. I know, I know, there will be fighting, too. Of course--it's just a part of it. The everything.
When I returned home, my husband and Cub were back. I arranged Naomi's letters on the floor while Cub sat in the glider and rocked back and forth (saying "Row, row, row"). Once the letters were arranged, Cub slid down from his perch and joined me on the floor. He crawled over the letters and with a huge grin, he handed me the "A" from NAOMI. I told him, "The 'A' is gone! Now it says 'Nomi'!" He gave a sweet smile and repeated, "Nomi!" Then he plunked down where the "A" was missing and smiled up at me, sitting right in the middle of his sister's name.
So, I have to be honest here, last night I wrote a "Not So Feeling Good Friday" post, based on Naomi's bedding (back ordered until June! Her birth month!), the fact that my infant car seat is not compatible with ANY jogger (sweet!), and, also, ALLERGIES.
But then I deleted it, because really, who likes a Debbie Downer.
SO! Feel Good Friday. The Feel Goods of the Week:
1) Old Navy Strapless Maxi Dresses. I'm sure I look like a huge tent as I traipse around in them, but I don't care. They are comfy and will be usable post-baby, which is essential. Woot. I bought black and royal blue. And they might be the only thing I wear until June!
2) Ample snuggle time with a little Cub. It's safe to say we're teething full-force here at the Little Footy Pajama household. This has meant lots of cuddling with le bebe. Sad for his little teeth, happy for this Mama! :)
3) Fresh flowers on my kitchen table. I used to purchase flowers once a week with my shopping list, but I slacked over the winter months (SORRY). Now a massive cluster of baby's breath is gracing me with its presence as I type. Amazing how flowers can cheer up a room.
4) Time with friends. I've had some really great time with friends this week. Old friends and new friends. That might sound trite or typical, but wow, good friends are a huge blessing. I've felt very blessed this week.
5) Our mattress. Okay, okay, again, I know that might sound silly. BUT. My husband and I found this amazing latex core mattress (no coils!) in the clearance room at a local mattress store on New Year's Day (YES! All that information was totally necessary!) and OH MY WORD, it's so comfortable. Tease if you must, but for this pregnant girl, comfort while sleeping is, well, priceless. And I realized this after spending a few hours sleeping with a fussy Cub on HIS mattress last night. And I'm pretty sure my hips were out of place this morning.
I'm sitting here stuffing my face with the most delicious chocolate frozen yogurt Oreo mix from Braum's. I mean, WOW. I'd like to say I opted for the "small" size, but, come on. If you're willing to consume something that would most likely survive a nuclear fallout, you might as well go all the way.
One smooth, chocolate-y, Oreo chunky bite at a time. Mmm.
So, in case you haven't noticed, I have a bit of a sweet tooth with pregnancy numero dos. I think it's fair to say this pregnancy has been quite different than my first. Most notably, I'm sore constantly and I've already had contractions. Not Braxton Hicks, but contractions. The real OH MY WORD contractions. Nothing consistent, nothing scary. But, you know. Goody goody! Also, this pregnancy has gone by quite quickly. We're skidding around third base and jaunting down the home stretch at this point, with the first two trimesters at our back and the third trimester just beginning. And if you peek into Naomi's nursery, you will see it set up exactly as we left it when Cub transitioned out of it, only with a few added items, such as a pile of dresses on the changing table and some wayward pillows stacked on the glider (I didn't know where to put them). Naomi's bedding is on order and after I finish up my photo shoots for this month, I plan on doing some shopping for her decor. Yes, I'll be thirty-something-ish weeks before Naomi's nursery is actually finished. Shoot, Naomi might be sleeping in the crib by the time it's actually finished!
Of course, let's hope not.
Seriously, WOW. This mix is amazing. That bite was the best, I think.
You know what's funny? With all the junk food I craved when I was pregnant with Cub, after he was born, I craved healthy stuff. Fried food was revolting, sweets were gross, and I found that salads and soy milk were the tastiest to my palette.
That's one thing I hope is the same between these pregnancies. Because, if not, I'm in TROUBLE.
This past month has marked some of the most drastic changes thus far with little Cubbalicious. Firstly, he has developed shyness. He was never shy. I mean it. He'd toddle to anyone, arms open wide, grin on his face, happily waving and cooing and bringing all sorts of sunshine and rainbows to the recipient of his glowing adoration. Very nice. Then, suddenly, one day, someone reached for him, and he tucked his chin into his chest and toddled behind me and hid behind my leg, letting out a disgruntled fuss.
I found my surprised self getting frustrated. What's this? Or, more than that, who is this? Where did my outgoing, friendly, charming little guy go? He's repeated this behavior several times, developing a bit of a "Momma" and "Dadda" complex, preferring us over others. This is also new. He used to toddle into the church nursery like it was his second home, and now he fusses a bit when we leave him behind. And, of course, we feel like horrible parents, because we drop him off quickly and make a run for it, for the sake of the nursery workers. But, still! Who's this crying kid??
Second change! FUSSINESS IN HIGH CHAIRS. Okay. Let me just say. Cub used to love eating in restaurants. Well, maybe that isn't exactly a fair assessment, given that he will never have any recollection of this time in his life and for me to assume that just because he did well in restaurants then he automatically LOVED them could be a bit inflammatory. Nonetheless, he's always done well in restaurants. We even ate at Ruth's Chris one night, when Cub was one year old, and he was fantastic. And that isn't exactly an eat-and-run kind of restaurant! But he sat there contently, gnawing on bread and earning the props of the wait staff who may or may not have been a little nervous when they first saw us carting a baby into the restaurant. He sampled the filet, he cooed at fellow patrons, it was great. He was just as content as could be.
Then. Then last month happened.
He became discontent in high chairs. He'd fidget, he'd fuss, he'd plead that he was "all done!!" after only a few bites, but then wanting food again once he was down. Again, I found myself a bit frustrated. What in the world? You used to love high chairs, little Buster! What's up with this? Needless to say, these transitions have been a tad disarming for me.
Recently, I've been having several discussions with veteran moms about "reasonable expectations". My own Mom and I ate at a restaurant the other day and, sure enough, Cub got restless and red-faced in the high chair. I looked at my Mom with a flabbergasted face and she simply shrugged and said, "Well, he's actually aware of his surroundings now, and he knows he's in a room packed with strangers. That might be a tad scary." Oh. Good point.
She's right--he IS more aware of his surroundings. After observing his behavior more and thinking about these recent changes, I've discovered that Cub has developed preferences. Now he suddenly has an opinion about how he feels things should be. If he doesn't want to be in the high chair, he'll fuss about it. If he doesn't want to meet a stranger, he'll hide. Whereas before, he simply mimicked our behavior and all was well. Now, well, he's growing up a bit.
And you know, it's really great. I'm glad he's showing an opinion and standing up for himself. I think that's important.
I also think obedience is just as important. I'm learning the value of assessing each situation and saying, "Okay, is this behavior really making God angry, or is it just making ME angry??" I try to encourage him to use his words so he can articulate to me how he is feeling. It's still a work in progress, but we're both learning. I think we're going to practice sitting still a little more at our house, to see if that will help in restaurants. He's still too young to do the "If you don't calm down, I'm going to take you to the car!" That would mean nothing to him. We don't have to eat at sit-down restaurants, so if we have to forfeit that for the sake of the other guests there, we'll do it! Nothing sours the appetite like a fussy toddler.
I kind of feel like I'm rolling up my sleeves with this new phase. Okay. Here we go. We can do it, Cub!
And, as with every phase, this one has its share of rewards, too. And every morning I pray that I won't overlook the small victories. It's can be so easy to focus on a few rough spots during the day, rather than remember the really good things that happened, too. Today was like that. Cub was fidget-y and fussy during lunch (in a high chair, in a restaurant) and by the time we left, I was a bit frustrated ... and exhausted! But, after we both took naps, we had the best time playing together this afternoon. We giggled and laughed and tickled and read books and played cars and sang songs. He picked up his toys without missing a beat. He brought me his shoes when he wanted to play outside. We saw some friends tonight and he went to them willingly, offering hugs and kisses, rather than hiding. We still had some challenges, but we had some really amazing moments, too. So, despite the speed bumps, today really was a great day.
Toddlerhood. It's definitely keeping this Mama on her toes!
This afternoon, while Cub napped, I finished up some photo editing and decided it was time to pick up the house. Then suddenly the thought came into my head to take some pictures of my house before I picked it up. Nothing modeled, nothing arranged. I know it sounds kind of silly, but it was so fun to walk around and capture what I would usually refer to as a mess and see it through the lens as a happy life lived. My stuff dumped in its usual spot on our bedroom floor, my night stand, our bath tub taken over by a baby boy, a wayward pair of shoes ... it's how we roll!
So, here are a few examples of our life, currently ... in pictures.
I see this picture and think, "He's so BIG! And so stinkin' CUTE!"
Our little family on Easter.
I see this picture and think, "My face is SO BIG! But my boys are so stinkin' CUTE!"
Funny how self-conscious I feel. I look back on pictures when I was pregnant with Cub, when I was just as big and billowy, and I don't think a negative thought at all. I know I was self-conscious at the time, but I'm so glad I have those pictures.
Also note: Cub drank a rather large quantity of infant Motrin.
Note the third: Child-proof lids are a joke!
Fourthly: The bottle was out of his reach on the bathroom countertop. OR SO I THOUGHT.
Fifth Note: The lady from The Poison Control Center was extremely nice and calm and explained that Cub would be fine. He didn't drink THAT much. And he's healthy. It's fine.
Noting Sixthly: I, too, was amazingly calm, when I saw him toddle out of the bathroom with the empty Motrin bottle and a grin on his face. I was able to pick him up, pick up the phone, and talk calmly to the aforementioned nice lady on the other end.
Seventh Note: Only a few minutes later, when Cub was covered in yogurt whilst eating his lunch, did the "what if" thoughts pour into my brain at an insurmountable speed as my adrenaline attempted to crawl down from the freakish heights it had just ascertained.
Half Note: I turned my head and let out a sob. And then I was okay. No tears, even. But wow. What if.
Eighth Note: He's fine. And I am, too.
Note the Ninth: The Poison Control Center number is now in my phone.
Tenthly: So, if you ever need it, let me know! I've got your back!
I've been sitting here trying to come up with a clever April Fool's Day joke, but oddly enough, I've never been very good at doing pranks of the April Fool's nature. Isn't that silly? I like a dose of sarcasm here or there, but I've never had the nerve to flat-out lie to someone and then say, "APRIL FOOL'S!!!" Maybe I should try wearing my clothes backwards or something.
Perhaps this was a holiday my family just kind of gently skated over, hence my lack of Fool's Day skillz.
With a "z".
Instead what I've been thinking about is how I cannot believe March is over and April is already upon us. Did March go out like a lamb? I guess it kind of came in like a lion, so that would make sense. And now it's time for April showers. April is my birthday month, so it holds a special place in my heart.
I'm usually not very picky when it comes to my birthday. I rarely have anything that I JUST CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT, so when friends or family ask me what I want, I shrug and say it doesn't really matter. Because it honestly doesn't. It doesn't mean I'm not happy that it's my birthday, it just means, well, I guess I'm pretty easy to please! I've got my house and my husband and our son and a baby girl on the way. I'm good to go.
This year ... well, I actually want something. I told this to my husband. I want a double jogger stroller. I've been pondering this in my mind, because I know it is easy to accumulate superfluous baby gear that in its entirety may seem a bit unnecessary, but I've really been thinking about this one.
When Cub was a wee one, one of the things that helped get me out of my post-pregnancy "fog", so to speak, was the ability to go for walks with him in the morning while the weather held up. We love love love taking walks together and it is my primary source of exercise post-baby. I've been able to push it pretty well with our travel system stroller, but once Naomi comes along, we're going to run into a bit of a problem. I know I can put her in a sling or a Baby Bjorn and push Cub in the stroller, but that isn't exactly conducive to hardcore power walks. We have a bike caboose that we could use as a double stroller, but it doesn't collapse and it isn't compatible with a little one in a car seat. And Naomi will be in her car seat in the stroller all summer and well into fall. I've found a few online that I love, where you can purchase car seat adapters to make the stroller compatible for newborns. I know it might seem like a silly step, since it's only one summer, but I'm not kidding you ... it's a big deal to me!
Plus, we travel quite a bit, whether it's just one state over to visit my parents or some place a tad farther. And having a double stroller would be handy. I know Cub can walk, but, let's face it--sometimes even big kids need a break, too! A jogger would be great for workouts, plus it would be handy because it can handle any terrain.
Now, for shopping trips and such, I'm all about using our single umbrella-ish stroller and a Baby Bjorn. That's fine by me. For everything else, I want a double jogger.
As always, hindsight is 20/20. After Cub was born, I looked at what I had registered for and realized some of the stuff was kind of useless and then I also found myself wishing I had registered for other things as well. But, the reality is, we just don't know what we're going to need until the time comes. And I know Naomi isn't here yet and I am still the parent of only one child (outside utero, anyway), but I feel like I actually know what I am going to use this time. I know how important walks are. I know what our busy lives look like. I know I know I know.
SO, Blog Land! What do you think? Am I nutsy in my wanting a double jogger?
Also, if I have already asked you this, I'm so sorry. Honestly, it's pregnancy brain and ugh, pregnancy brain is SO FRUSTRATING! If I've already asked this, you can just, well, chalk it up to a really lame April Fool's Day joke. :)