Sunday, September 27, 2009

One year ago...

One year ago today, my baby boy was born!

September 27, 2008
11:44 AM
7 lbs., 14 oz.
19" long

I was scheduled for a c-section on Monday, the 29th. My doctor was on vacation until the 28th. Yet, as luck would have it, on the morning of the 27th I woke up with contractions. They were all over the place, not really spaced apart very evenly. Some were 3 minutes apart, some were 10. The pain was tolerable at first but quickly became contractions I had to stop and breath through. Nathaniel and Daddy were laughing at me. Nate kept breathing hard and saying "Ow! Ow!" Very funny! :) I called the on-call doctor and she said she wanted me to come to the hospital to get checked out. She said most likely they would monitor me to see how far apart the contractions were and then give me a drug that would stop the contractions until Monday when my scheduled c-section was to take place. I was happy to hear that as I had BIG plans for my Saturday evening. My co-worker and good friend, Shelby, was getting married that night and I had promised her I'd make it to her wedding. Little did I know at the time that I would be sharing in her wedding day only via text and photo messages. When I got to the hospital and they started monitoring me they confirmed that I was, in fact, in labor. And then told me that they would not, in fact, be giving me the drug to stop my contractions as I would be having my little boy that morning. It turns out his heart rate was dropping with each contraction so they were not waiting. Things started moving VERY fast and furiously and within the hour I was in the operating room and my beautiful son was born.

And today you are ONE YEAR OLD!!!

I have no idea where the last year has gone so quickly! It seems like just yesterday that I was making wagers with my anesthesiologist in the OR about how much you might weigh. It's a good thing he wasn't right or you might be named "Andrew" right now! Ha! The past year has brought us such joy! It's as if you have always been a part of our family for I have no idea what we'd ever have done without you now!!


crawl like a crab (and at hyper speed!)

will let go and stand unassisted if distracted
wave hi and bye
dance and "sing"
have 6 (and 1/2) teeth (you're working on the next one/two as we speak)

cruise along the furniture barely holding on,
yet lack the confidence to let go and walk on your own

You say:
Mama (or "mom")
Car (Cah!)
What's that (dat?)
All done (Ah dah)
and I swear you say thank you - when I hand you something you say the same
two syllable babble each and every time (sounds like dah doo)

You love:
throwing balls
rolling around on couch pillows on the floor

burying your face in your blankets
playing "Where's Alex?"
splashing in the tub, water table, puddles, pool, lake, or anywhere else water collects
torturing your brother

being tickled

following your brother wherever he goes
checking out and doing everything your brother is doing
banging on anything and everything

dancing with Mommy
clapping/playing patty-cake
wearing your brother's many hats, especially his gigantic cowboy hat
"answering" a telephone or anything that looks like one
poking Mommy in the eyes and mouth
asking "dat?" and pointing at everything to figure out your world
making all sorts of sounds

Alex, you are our sunshine. You are the best combination of strong-willed and easy going! You bring such happiness and excitement to our lives and I am so proud to have you in my world! You complete our family and make my heart whole!
Thank you for always making me smile and knowing just when to lay your head on my shoulder or engage me in a fantastic game of peek-a-boo.
We love you, Digger Fuzz Bucket!
Happy 1st Birthday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Letter to Digger

As I sit here on the eve before your 1st birthday, I am strangely calm. Not that I shouldn't be, I suppose, but I had a very hard time when Nathaniel turned one. Yet tonight I am not the emotional wreck I was then for some reason. I look at you as you sleep tonight and feel at peace. Yes, my baby is growing up (too fast!) and that makes me sad. But as you grow and learn and explore you bring me such immeasurable joy. I can barely put into words what fun, light, and pleasure you add to my life. Your smile is infectious and a snuggle from you can make my grey skies blue. As your mother it warms my heart to see you exploring your world. The well-earned pride you show with each new skill you master is enough to keep me going even on the toughest days. I especially love watching you and your brother interact. The bickering is already very much alive and well but so is the protection, the camaraderie, and the love. That is what I enjoy the most! I am so happy to be your Mommy and I vow to always do my best for you and Nathaniel. You are such a special little boy and your Daddy and I love you very much!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

(I know this is supposed to be WORDLESS, but I thought in light of the occasion, this post deserved some words.)

Today, September 16, 2009, marks what would have been the 92nd birthday of my dear Abuelita ("Little Grandma"). She passed away this past March at the spunky "young" age of 91. She was one of the strongest women I know.

I miss you, Abuelita! You are forever in my heart!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happiness is...

watching my children sleep.  

The pure innocence.  The quiet.  The simple peace.  They each have their own predictable sleep position.  Alex is on his stomach with his butt in the air or on his side, hands sticking out next to him.  Nate is sprawled out on his back, covered in 17 fleece blankets (even when his room is 80 degrees) and completely surrounded by stuff.  

No matter how chaotic or challenging the day has been, sneaking into their rooms when they're fast asleep and nuzzling their soft faces makes it all worth while.  I love my boys!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

10 on 10 : September 2009

Today was one of those days. It wasn't lucky, or cute, or quirky like yesterday (9/9/09) or historical and reverent like tomorrow will be (9/11). It was just one of those days when you swear there is a full moon or that surely everyone has succumbed to the evils of crack.

In fact, I have dubbed today Hell Day 2009, the last day of Hell Week 2009. I had a big grant due today that was stressing me out all week and just as if my children sensed it and thought it wise to help out as best they could, they were completely off the wall today. Nate was mouthier than usual, obstinate, uncooperative, and overly difficult. Alex was mysteriously inconsolable all day. Crying, bitching, fussing, whatever you want to call it...all day long. We're not sure if it's his teeth, tummy problems, or separation anxiety issues since he was fine if I was holding him, but he was miserable. Nate didn't nap (per usual) and gave my husband such a hard time today that he literally zoomed past me so quickly on his way out to work that I barely saw his face...just a blur that whizzed by and shouted "Good Luck!" over his shoulder. He couldn't wait to get out of the house.

My husband put it best when he said "today is a day that just needs to be over so we can appreciate better days".

With that said, I finally have the kids in bed, a glass of wine poured, and nothing planned for my evening other than folding 6 loads of laundry and packing three people for an impromptu weekend trip up North. But that's much less than what is usually jammed in my 5lb bag! I do have to say I was thankful today to have the distraction of this month's 10 on 10 to focus on between the harried craziness of pulling this grant together (and helping my boss with the three others he had to get in, too!). It was nice to have an "excuse" to purposefully look for the beauty in an otherwise chaotic day. So, without further ado (and with no particular theme to speak of), here is August's 10 on 10 for your visual enjoyment (?):

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happiness is...

impromptu dance parties and popcorn picnics.  

Nothing makes my soul sing like dancing around the living room with my boys when a song comes on Noggin or CMT.  There's something about the catchy beat of Nickelodeon's aptly named Fresh Beat Band or a slow ditty by Sugarland to get me to my feet.  Nate will drag me by the hand and say "Get up, Mommy!  Let's dance!" or I'll scoop up Alex and swing him around to the beat of a favorite song.  

Tonight was one of those nights.  After Alex went to bed, Nate and I sat at his Little Tykes table with a shared bowl of popcorn and two glasses of milk (or, in my case, water) and had a popcorn picnic while watching Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! (a household favorite, I suppose you could say).  

In between the shows (where other stations air commercials) Noggin does "puzzle time" and plays songs (from the Laurie Berkner Band, Dora the Explorer or the Fresh Beat Band, etc.) and we danced to every one.  

Ahhhh....It was cathartic for my soul.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Peddling my wares...

I hate garage sales.

Now, don't get me wrong...I mean, I love shopping at them and I love how they allow me to get rid of useful stuff, earn some money, and get over my sentimental attachment to my stuff.

But I absolutely hate having a garage sale.  I don't like setting them up.  I despise gathering, cleaning, sorting, and pricing my baubles.  It's very difficult for me to put a price on something that means a lot to me but is simply taking up room (my children's baby items, a picture I bought to decorate our house when we first moved in that I just haven't found a use for yet, Nathaniel's stuffed animals that are reminiscent of the characters he loves but that he could basically care less about and are taking up WAY too much room.)  Putting a fair (garage sale) market price on sentimentality is HARD - there's a lot of pressure involved!

On top of the hassle of setting things up, it drives me nuts to deal with some of the people who come to garage sales.  You know the type - those people who want something for nothing.  Or think garage sale prices are still too much to pay so they barter - "Would you take 60 cents for this?  It's marked .75?".  Or they want something that's marked $10 but mysteriously only have $6 in their wallet so they'll have to run to the ATM/go cash a check at Wilson Farms/run home and ask their Mom for it.  

Then there are the lazy people.  Those people who don't want to get out of their cars to find out how much you're asking for something so they sit at the end of your driveway and yell out their car window "How much for the [insert item here]?"  

On top of that you have the advertising requirements, the sign placement strategies, keeping the kids occupied and OUT OF THE STUFF you have purposefully displayed for maximum affect and sale-ability.  I swear Nathaniel found a new love for everything we had in the garage sale despite how long it sat in his room untouched or how passe something had become prior to moving it out to the garage and putting a price sticker on it.  He kept telling me "Mommy, you have to get the toys out of the garage sale and put them back in my room".  Uh, no.  If I did that he'd have to lose something far more important to make room for that stuff again - like his bed, or about 15 of the 17 blankets he sleeps with.  Now, we wouldn't want that, would we?  

Anyway, speaking of the weather...does this look conducive to high garage sale traffic and killer profits? 

No, it doesn't.  But that's ok.  We actually made out pretty well, considering.  We sold some bigger ticket items early and day two had nicer weather which helped even things out.  

At least it's over now.  We took down the signs and put some stuff out on the curb.  Took photos to get some of the bigger (less storable stuff) up on Craigslist, then packed up the leftovers in boxes marked "Garage Sale" to do it all over again next year.  Now I think I'll take my $109 and go shopping for some more stuff.