Monday, May 27, 2013

{ Eleven Months }

My Little Dear,
Today you are eleven months old. I can't even believe it--and tomorrow marks one year since our first appointment at Children's Hospital, those hours and hours of ultrasounds and talking to specialists about all the special care you were going to need after you were born. And look at you now! The sweetest, happiest little blue-eyed girl ever!
You've been busy lately. Recently you tried corn on the cob, and--be still my heart--you loved it. Clearly you and I are descended from the same line of Idaho women who love their corn on the cob. You loved gnawing on the ear, even though you couldn't really get any kernels off.
Note: That's what a mommy with a knife is for.
You start wiggling as soon as you hear music--any music, even the ice cream truck outside.
You love to dig books out of your book basket and try to turn their pages. Someone actually reading the stories to you is interesting for about two seconds, then you're ready for a new book {hopefully with pages you can open and turn by yourself}. Grabbing books and turning pages: That's where the money's at.

You've cut four top teeth, bringing your grand total to six. I'm excited to see how having top and bottom teeth impacts your eating. You get frustrated when you can't chew up foods, so being able to chew more effectively will open up new gastronomic horizons!
Over the last three weeks or so, you've become fascinated with dogs. When you see a dog, you start growling or making "oof oof" noises. Often when we are out, you'll start wiggling and growling, and it takes me awhile to find the dog you've spotted! You're not sure about actually touching dogs, though: you inch closer and closer, and just as you're about to touch, you pull back. Lucky for us, we've only encountered friendly dogs so far.
Keys! Your new obsession. One day I made the mistake of letting you play with my keys, and now you think that as soon as we step outside, any keys on my person are your especial possession. You fuss and screech if I don't hand them over fast enough. Eventually I went to Ace Hardware and asked if I could buy some mis-cut keys for you to jingle. They very kindly gave you several, so now you have your own set of keys.
But. You still prefer mine. And have been know to lunge over my shoulder in vain attempts to reach into the diaper bag and find my keys. While I'm carrying you.

:: rifling through the diaper bag, and playing with keys--your favorite things to do ::
In the past few days, at mealtimes you've started offering me {or whoever is closest to you} whatever you're eating, stretching your hand out to me until I take whatever you've got. As far as I can tell, I'm supposed to hold it for a few seconds and then offer it back to you. Sometimes we exchange your food a few times before you eat it; sometimes it goes right in your mouth. But you definitely want to share it. It's so cute! 
You love to be "walked" around with someone holding your hands or supporting your armpits. You would walk everywhere this way if you could. Often you'll hold out your arms to me, your signal for "pick me up," and make it clear that you want to be walked to something. You don't want to roll, or scoot on your bottom {a skill you're just learning}; you want to walk there.
We've made lots of trips to the beach lately, some just the two of us and some with Daddy.

:: this was a bonfire with friends one evening ::

You really enjoy swings. Especially when the person pushing you is highly entertaining, like your papa.

:: ::

:: Ok, this one cracks me up. Don't you think
this is what she'll look like when she's a
little old lady? Owl hat and all!
:: I learned the hard way that a picnic blanket 
is a necessity--you start eating rocks the
minute I set you down! ::
You roll all over the place. Haven't figured out crawling, but you are thisclose to it! You have all the pieces, just haven't quite figured out how to put them together. On a side note, I've figured you out, girlfriend. If you've been rolling around the living room, talking and playing with your toys, and suddenly it gets quiet, one of two things is happening: You are either chewing on computer cords, or you've rolled under the mantel and are examining the {long, dangerous} nails the shoddy construction workers left sticking out.
{Don't worry, I took care of the power cord situation, and she's only rolled under the mantel once.}

:: "ME? Trouble? Never!" ::
You talk a lot, nonsense syllables with lots of emotion, facial expressions, and "mamadadabababa."

You are full of budding personality and sweet snuggles and hair that's all frizzy and crazy in the back when you get up from your nap. You are the cutest little Lainie-Bug, and I love you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

{ Well, that was unplanned }

Thirteen days without a post! I'll have you know that I have a draft of a very respectable and oh-gee-don't-I-have-my-ducks-in-a-row post about how I made myself a chore chart and it's revolutionized my addiction to penchant for housework, and THEN my sweet mother-in-law gave me a book for Mother's Day. It's this book, which I've been wanting for months, and she didn't even know it but thought it looked perfect for me!

I started reading and I.can't.stop. I can't stop, folks! As a matter of fact, this book prompted my spontaneous decision to take down EVERY SINGLE PHOTO hanging on EVERY WALL in our entire home and start over. I will spare you the juicy details of how I traced templates of every single frame onto paper grocery bags, spent days tweaking the arrangement on the wall, and then conquered my fear of the level and created a gallery wall all by myself. {Or maybe I won't. It all depends on whether or not I ever get around to taking photos, editing them, and uploading them to blogger.} This book is also responsible for several new pieces of art made by yours truly and a new look for the bathroom. The only thing that stopped me was the realization that when your home is only 900-ish square feet, it starts looking "full"--too busy--really quickly. It doesn't take much decorating to make our living/dining room area feel "loud." I actually removed four photos from my new gallery wall the day after I put them up, and I'm in the process of editing down the rest of the decor to help "quiet the space." {Thank you, Nester, for that concept.}
My hope is to share photos, just because I'm so darn excited and happy with how things turned out, not because I think it's amazing or that y'all are dying to see it. But that does require me to remember to take photos when the light is decent, and then to have time to upload them and write a coherent blog post. I'll have you know {sheesh, second time I've said that today!} that I am putting off washing the dishes--perhaps till tomorrow--to write this post. You're welcome. You should feel special because I'm kind of addicted to cleanliness in the form of a clean, tidy kitchen.
There are heaps of photos on my camera that I want to share--Mother's Day with the cutest little chubby almost-11-month-old girl {can you believe that!!}, and other things that I can't even remember because they happened so long ago. Something about springtime and going on evening walks and spending afternoons at the park makes blogging take a back burner. This week has been cold and rainy, hence blogging is actually happening. ;-)
By the way, do you have any recommendations for good, enjoyable fiction for Mike or myself to read? We've finally squeezed in a wee vacation next month, just a few days on the Washington coast, and we want to read something fun and light while we're there, but we need suggestions! Think Robin McKinley-type stuff for both of L.M. Montgomery/Louisa May Alcott for me, and those crazy sci-fi books {Xanth, I think?} for Mike. Thanks bunches!
And now, I'm going to upload some of those photos before Little Miss wakes from her nap. Cheerio!

Friday, May 10, 2013

{ Five Minute Friday: Comfort }

Joining the many writing for Five Minute Friday, linking up at Lisa-Jo's blog. This week's prompt: Comfort.

Freshly vacuumed carpet. A bed that's made. A good book and a cup of coffee laced with cream and sugar. My mom's macaroni and cheese, or new potatoes and peas. A sunny afternoon at the park. A bookstore. Catching up with friends--those conversations that last for hours, feel like minutes, and leave you with a tummy ache from all the laughing. These things are like a long, slow, exhale. They make me feel safe. Relaxed. They're comforting.

My husband's idea of comfort is often quite different from mine. A cheeseburger or a steak--medium rare, please. A cold glass of beer. Snuggling on the couch, feet up, watching his favorite TV shows on Hulu. Playing pool or smoking a cigar with friends.

For Lainie, I'm pretty sure "comfort" means a nice long snuggle while she drinks mama-milk. Not having a diaper change. Mommy or daddy's undivided attention. Unlimited yogurt and scrambled eggs.

It's one of the things we're learning to balance as a family of three--how to enjoy the small things in life with each other, how to see the world through one another's eyes, how to value another's comfort and enjoyment over our own.


Friday, May 3, 2013

{ Five Minute Friday: Brave }

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. This week's prompt: Brave.


It didn't seem brave at the time. It had been my plan/hope/goal/dream ever since deciding to pursue a college degree: One day, I'll get married and start having babies, and I will stay home with my babies. I want to. That's all I've ever wanted to do.

It was an easy choice then, and when I lost my job 18 months ago--a week before finding out I was pregnant with Lainie--the choice practically made itself. We've talked over the months, Mike and I, about whether or not I should keep up my continuing medical education credits {CMEs} and my professional certification, even while I'm a stay at home mom, "just in case." Just so I don't have to re-take the board exams if, by some disaster, I ever need to go back to work. But CMEs cost money, and maintaining my license is a couple hundred dollars a year, and neither of us WANT this. We both WANT me to stay why spend so much time and money on a worst-case scenario?

But then I got the letter. And another. And finally a certified letter, hand-delivered by our mailman because it required my signature. Reminding me that I am no longer a registered sonographer, that I'm no longer current on my CMEs, that I'll have to re-take the board exams if I want to work as a sonographer again. They were clearly trying to make me think this is an awful, final, drastic, horrible choice I'm making.

And then I realized: I may not feel like this is brave, but maybe others do. Maybe me choosing to be a full-time mom looks brave to someone else, to a mom who is struggling with what choice to make, to a dad who is afraid to be the sole provider. Maybe being brave isn't always something you feel or know about yourself. Maybe sometimes you're brave in the eyes of another. Maybe sometimes someone else sees your bravery so they have the courage to do their own hard thing.

That's worth all the certified letters in the world.