Monday, June 30, 2008
Last week was super busy for me. In addition to very busy days, it seemed that in the evening, before I even knew it, it was very late and I still had many things to do. To make matters worse, Austin was waking up once a night crying (we think from bad dreams) and Mia was still waking up once to eat. All the lack of sleep was quickly starting to catch up with me and I longed for the weekend so that I could catch up a little bit. That was beyond wishful thinking. Not only did I not get to rest on the weekend, but my nights ended being even longer than I expected, especially last night. We were at a graduation party for three of Mark's siblings (one high school and two college) most of yesterday. As I was helping clean up before we left, I grabbed a deviled egg and popped it in my mouth. At no point did it occur to me to think about the fact that the egg had been sitting on the table for a minimum of 4 hours. Now, I don't know for sure that the egg was the problem, but I felt very sick last night and sleeping was not going well. In addition, Mia was up three times. When the kids got up this morning I thought I would die!
All day I was watching the clock waiting for nap time so that I could finally get some rest. But, Mia, who also didn't get much sleep last night, decided to take a three hour morning nap. I didn't want to wake her up because I knew she needed the sleep and usually she will still take at least and hour nap in the afternoon. So, I put Austin down, spent a little one on one time with Mia and then when it was time, I put her back down for her afternoon nap.
I don't think I can accurately describe how absolutely fantastic it felt to lay down. I fell asleep almost immediately. Ten minutes later Austin woke up from his nap. I laid there praying that by some miracle he would go back to sleep. I vowed that I would not go into his room until he was screaming my name. At least my body would get to rest even if I couldn't actually sleep anymore. Within about 15 minutes there was silence and I thought for sure that I got my miracle. About 30 seconds later, only about half an hour into her nap, Mia woke up. I really was on the brink of tears I was so tired. And, it turned out that Austin was not asleep, he was just quietly playing in his crib. Nap time was officially over!
I got out of the bed, I think even more tired than before, and retrieved both kids. I am not even sure my eyes were completely open as I walked back to my room. I had an errand to run before the end of the day so I changed their diapers, threw on some clothes, took a look in the mirror to make sure there was nothing unsightly about me that would scare other people and walked downstairs to gather my stuff to leave.
As I exited the garage to pop the kids in the car, I saw my next door neighbor and my neighbor across the street standing there talking. They greeted me and I did the same. We made small talk as I put one kid in the car and then the other. I said goodbye and headed to the post office. I knew that my small local branch would close before I could get there so I headed to the large branch about 10 minutes away. I passed no less than 6 people on the way in and once inside passed another handful. I stood in line with some other folks for about 5 minutes. Finally, it was my turn. I headed to the counter, did my mailing and headed out. Again, passing a good number of people. As we were driving out of the parking lot I felt what I thought was a piece of hair or something tickling my chest. I reached down to extract it from the v-neck area of my shirt. But, instead of feeling skin, all I felt was material. I slid my hand toward my neck and still I was touching cotton. I think to myself, "Maybe I didn't put a v-neck shirt on." So, I pulled the shirt forward and got my answer. It was a tagless shirt, so the "tag" was printed on the material and I could have read every word. The v-neck was on my back!
I had looked in the mirror, apparently with my eyes closed, and had not even caught it. There is no way that people didn't notice. To make matters worse, when I got home and turned the shirt around and looked in the mirror with my eyes open, I noticed a rather large spit-up stain on the front of the shirt. Which, of course, I hadn't seen because it was on my back. What a lovely fashion statement I made to my neighbors and a load of strangers!
So, I submit this as my evidence of desperately needing a nap. Now I am off to bed early to hopefully start tomorrow a lot more rested!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
My grandfather has a remote control monster truck and during our visit last weekend Austin was able to "drive" it.
It took a little while for him to get the hang of it, but once he did he couldn't get enough.
And, of course the tongue out as he carries the truck back to the straightest stretch of driveway. What is it about boys/men and their tongues hanging out when they are doing strenuous or skill driven tasks? I don't think I have ever seen a girl/woman with her tongue hanging out in a similar circumstance. I guess it is just one of those things that "makes you go, hmmmmm?"
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This past weekend we stayed with my grandparents while attending my cousin's wedding. On the drive to their new house Austin seemed confused that it was taking so long. He kept verifying that we were indeed going to visit them. It was strange since we had visited them there once before. But, I guess he is getting old enough to be able to articulate his confusion. He was so excited when we got there!
He sat in Gigi's lap and watched a video of "The Big, Bad Wolf." She had all his favorite fruits and a couple yummy sweet treats for him. Regardless of treats he knows how much his great grandparents love him and that is far more special to him than treats.
It was a sweet moment watching them eat peanuts together. It truly warms my heart that my kids get to have a relationship with their great grandparents. I barely knew two of my great grandmothers before they passed away. Austin and Mia have 6 great grandparents and have been able to spend good time with 5 of them. What a treasure!
This was the second time that Mia got to see Gigi and Great Grandpa and they were thrilled to get to see her again. She seemed pretty happy about it too!
Mia sure liked the motion of riding with Great Grandpa.
All good things must end and so on Sunday we headed home. Austin was watching a movie in the car as we approached our house. When we pulled into the driveway he looked up and burst into tearful hysterics. He was crying, "Gigi's house. Gigi's house." For a good 20 minutes he was inconsolable and we couldn't help him understand that they don't live close by anymore. For the last few days he has cried a little bit each day wanting to go back to see them. I can't even mention them or our trip to Mark or anyone else because he starts to cry and beg to go back to their house. I guess he is finally able to articulate in his way that he misses his time with them and how very special they are in his little life.
It was a great weekend visit and we are so looking forward to another visit, hopefully soon. Love you and miss you already Gigi and Great Grandpa!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
She had to get three vaccinations and handled them really well. She cried for about 20 seconds and then pretty much went to sleep because she was tired and ready for a nap. She didn't end up getting a fever or anything, but does have a big red welt on one of her thighs.
She is really enjoying her cereal these days and has been bumped up to two servings daily. She likes sitting in her bumbo seat to look around and play with toys, but doesn't want to be in there for meal time.
Austin is enjoying interacting with her since she tends to smile or coo back at him. This morning when I was laying her down for her nap he came into her room and climbed up the side of the crib to peek at her. He leaned down and kissed her and said, "Luv you Mia. Sweet dreams, Mia." Then he hopped down, went over to the door said, "Come on Mommy." And as I exited the room he whispered again as he closed the door, "Sweet dreams Mia." He then tiptoed down the stairs making the "shhhh" sound. It was so cute and heart-melting!
Monday, June 23, 2008
We stayed with my grandparents and my mom was also there with us. The weather was beautiful and kids loved all the extra attention. By far, Austin's favorite activity of the weekend was running outside in my grandparents yard. He ran and ran until I thought he would fall over with exhaustion. He was one sweaty kid! One evening he wanted to "chase Mommy", so I obliged him. He was giggling so hard trying to catch me that he could hardly run. I would let him get close and then slip away at the last second. He loved it!
Eventually I let my little man catch me and we fell onto the ground together.
Austin immediately noticed the clouds in the sky. I asked him if any of the clouds looked like anything to him. We tried to find some together that looked like things we know. I fondly remember doing the same thing when I was little. It was one of my favorite things to do. Austin was a little young to fully appreciate it this time but nonetheless he had fun.
We both agreed that this cloud formation looked very much like an alligator. CHOMP!!!!
It sure is wonderful teaching Austin how to be creative and having fun with his ever increasing maturity, vocabulary and playful personality.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I also started feeding Mia cereal this week. Here was her reaction to that.
"Uh, Mommy, what is that foreign object you think you are about to put in my mouth and what is that stuff on it? Rice cereal, you say. Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try it."
Oh my, I really do like it. I even got the hang of the whole spoon thing within a few tries. Mommy, you have been holding out on me. What WERE you waiting for? Do I get more of this stuff tomorrow?
Are you seriously taking a picture of me with such a messy face? Now put that camera down and give me some more food! Don't be stingy. I've seen all the good stuff that everyone around here is always eating. It is about time that you include me in the family fun.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Before I tell you about our dinner I have to give you some pertinent background information. For the sake of anonymity on the part of some of the people in the story, from here on out the "nice, young man" will be Paul and the "nice, young lady" will be Jane. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get on with the story.
As I mentioned before, on the night of my dinner with Mark, my relationship with Paul had been over for about a month. Paul was a really good guy who many people liked. We had met at church and though I didn't know him well when he asked me out, I knew that he was basically revered and I was honored that he wanted to date ME. Paul was also an elementary teacher. He seemed to love his job and I loved that about him. We had a few other things in common, but we had a lot more things that conflicted. One of the big ones was that my sarcasm, part of my sense of humor, offended him. I could go on and on about the lack of commonalities, but this story is not about him. It took me quite a few months to truly let it sink into my head that we weren't compatible. For some reason I really wanted to see it work out. Maybe it was because so many other people thought he was so great, which like I said, he was...just not for me. So, I ended things with Paul and broke his tender heart.
As for Jane, she and I had also become friends at church. About ten months before my dinner with Mark, he had started coming to our church and attended a coffeehouse fundraiser that Jane and I were involved in. She noticed him and struck up a flirty conversation. At the end of the night she was telling me all about him. I hadn't noticed him, so a couple weeks later when we were both singing/playing music at church she pointed him out to me. I remember thinking he looked so young, like a teenager, but was cute in that way. Well, Jane decided to make it her mission to date Mark. She invited him to every get together and even invented occasions for that purpose. He quickly realized what she was up to and told her that he thought she was a nice girl, but he wasn't interested in dating her or anyone else at that time. Mark explained that he had only been divorced for a few months and was not planning on dating for awhile. Jane was fine with just hanging out and continued to pursue his "friendship" thinking time would change that status. Eventually, I started dating Paul and the four of us, or sometimes with others, would do things together. That is how I really started to get to know Mark. We shared a similar sense of humor, and though I wasn't really paying attention to it, I typically had more fun when he was around. One night Jane told me that she was sure that she and Mark would start officially dating soon and that they got along so well they would likely be engaged or married by the next summer. Woah! I was only ever getting her side of the story, so I just assumed that their feelings were mutual and they were basically dating already. Unfortunately for Jane, she was far more involved in the relationship than Mark was. Fortunately for Mark, there was one girl who knew both of them well and finally told him the kind of plans that Jane was discussing. It was at that point that Mark had to "break-up" with someone he wasn't even dating. However, he must have been too nice because she didn't get it and he had to "break-up" with her again a couple weeks later. She was distraught and often called me crying in dismay over how things had gone so wrong. They had never held hands, kissed, or had any other romantic interactions, but because he had spent time with her and accepted her invitations to do things, she thought they were more connected than they were.
She shared her heartbreak with many other friends. One of those friends just happened to be dropping something off at my apartment when Mark pulled into my driveway that night for our impromptu dinner. Jane had just left on a trip to Germany a couple days before and it did not look good that I, her friend, had her heartbreaker in my driveway. She gave me a questioning look and said, "What is HE doing here?" That is when the drama began.
to be continued
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
There was a time not so long ago when too much discussion on this subject would literally make my stomach hurt and I would either excuse myself or pray that the topic would change. My sister and Mark actually tortured me with the subject at times. They laugh about that to this day.
If someone told me that there would come a time that I would get excited about anything pertaining to the topic, I certainly would have told them they were mistaken. But, as with many other things, motherhood has changed all that.
So, what is this dreaded subject you ask?
Poop! (Sorry, it is just part of my Mommy life.)
Somehow this topic keeps creeping up on me and I just HAVE to write about it. And....here I go again. (Should I be embarrassed or what?)
Mia has spent most of her little life constipated. I assumed that it was her reflux medication that was causing the problem, but now I am not so sure. For over a month, she would go a week without pooping before we would finally have to give her a suppository to help her out. This is very unusual for a breastfed baby! We tried giving her pear juice, which the doctor said is almost always successful. After over a week of giving her 4 ounces a day, it was obvious that wasn't going to be a solution. I tried Karo syrup once and that was so bad she wouldn't take it. Finally we tried bifidus powder, and though it didn't make her regular, it at least helped enough for us not to have to give her a suppository. So, that is what we have been doing, but still there is usually 6-8 days between bowel movements. You can imagine how she must feel after about 3 or 4 days and it is about that time that I start praying for poop. (Oh my!!) I figure it is legitimate request because she is so uncomfortable. Everytime she makes a little grunt I go running over to check and see if she has finally pushed it out, but most of the time I am disappointed. It seems really strange to me to get excited about it, but on the day she poops I feel relieved and happy for her and me. (As I write this I am astounded that I am actually thinking of posting this.) Well, today she pooped after 8 long days and all I have to say about that is....haaaaaalelujah!
My family members know what a struggle this has been and will frequently ask me during phone calls if Mia has pooped. I am sure that someday she will be really embarrassed that so many early conversations about her revolved around such unladylike things :) Oh well, then she will become a mom and get over it!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The second introduction didn't go much better because Austin was overly enthusiastic about "showing" her how to use the various toys.
So, I finally got smart and staged the timing so that the third time would be a charm. I put her in first thing in the morning while Austin was still sleeping. Success!!!!
She loved it, was cooing away and doing fine until....she moved her feet and involuntarily spun around to another toy. The motion and removal of a toy she liked were more than she could handle. Wailing ensued and I realized that unlike Austin she is very senstive is going to need SLOW, EASY, GENTLE introductions into most everything.
If Austin is the epitomy of a boy, she is definitely the epitomy of a girl. Everyone says that every child is different and there is no doubt that is the case in our household. I guess I can be hopeful that the saying "opposites attract" will hold true and they will be great friends as they grow up.
So anyway, she is now past the introductory stage of the exersaucer and is having a blast. I did manage to get some pictures of her smiling while playing, but unfortunately they were all very blurry. Oh well, I have many months to capture her joy before she outgrows it.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Without them there would be no one to take care of the bugs, teach us how to shake off the pain from our boo-boos, be tough and sensitive at the same time, and generally love us like only a daddy can. There are so many wonderful things about Dads and today I want to honor the ones in my life.
First and foremost, my wonderful husband Mark. Though it seems impossible, my love for you grows stronger each day, especially each time I see you interacting with our kids. You are an amazing daddy and our children are so lucky to have you.
Your tenderness and patience with Mia are true testaments to the kind man that you are. I can't wait to watch her grow up admiring you. Someday those little feet will want to dance with you, those little hands will want to have tea with you and those beautiful eyes will be fixed on everything you do. She is so lucky to have you as her Daddy. I hope that someday she will be as lucky as I am to have a husband like you.
You and Austin have a special relationship and that is a result of your playful personality and great sense of humor. I love watching your interactions! My heart smiles when I see how much he loves spending time with you. I pray that as he continues to grow he will become a man of integrity, faith, honesty, loyalty and family, just like Daddy. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. I am so proud of you and the way you lead our family.
The next man to honor is my Dad.
God could not have blessed me with a better father. Though most of my childhood you had to be my Daddy from a distance, I always knew how much you loved me. You always went out of your way to do special things for me and spend special time with me. Thank you for never giving up on being involved in my life. Your encouragement, love and support have meant the world to me. My heart is overflowing with love for you!
Watching you now with my kids is such a joy. There is no doubt that you love them and they love you. Though you live many states away, you have made every effort to be involved in their lives and for that I am so grateful. Austin has so much fun with you and I see so much of you in him. I love that he will have a grandfather like you to look up to.You wanted a granddaughter and you got her. It is so sweet to see you with her and it brings back so many memories of times I spent with you as a little girl. I know that as she grows she will hold a special place in her heart for you. How could she not, when you are such a wonderful man to look up to.
Next is Mark's Dad....also "Dad."
I love you because family means everything to you and you have so graciously welcomed me into the wonderful family you have built.
Mia is already looking up to you and enjoying the comforting arms of her Grandpa. I know that as she grows she will hold a special place in her heart for you because of the kind and gentle man that you are. What a lucky girl!
Austin truly enjoys his time with you and I know that will only increase as he grows. Someday you might just have a duck hunting buddy! He has your engineering blood and is sure to have a lot in common with you. Thanks for all you do for our family and for the love you show in so many ways.
Next are my Grandfathers.
What a lucky girl I have been to have such sweet, loving, faithful men as my grandfathers.
Grandpa, you have taught me amazing lessons in perseverance, hope and strength. I have so many fond memories of going fishing, tending your garden, playing "Billy Goat Gruff", eating your amazing hamburgers and riding on your lap while you popped wheelies. Thank you for being a constant in my life and a man that I could truly look up to and admire for the faith and love that you displayed in leading the family. Seeing you now with your great grandkids is such a blessing. I know that it bring you so much joy and that makes my heart sing.
Papi, you and I have always had a special relationship. One of my earliest memories is of you holding me and how much I enjoyed the comfort of rubbing on your extremely soft earlobes. You are a wise, gentle, loving man that has lead your family through faith and for that I am so grateful. God has truly blessed you and I am fortunate to be a part of the family he has given you. Thank you for being an example of the kind of man that I would eventually want as a husband. Your love for Abuela is a joy to observe. Seeing you with my kids is a treasure and I hope that they will get to interact with you for many years to come.
I hope that each of the wonderful fathers in my life have a great Father's Day and truly know how much they are treasured by the wives, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in their lives. Happy Father's Day!!!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Her fourth month was one of great change and for that we are extremely thankful. The first three months were tough to say the least. Reflux plagued her, and us for that matter. Acid is one ugly beast and she battled with it day and night. Most babies start smiling at six weeks or so, but she was so miserable and uncomfortable that we didn't see her pretty smile until nearly twelve weeks. Even then the grins and happy moments were fleeting.
I am not going to lie, being the parents of a baby that cries all the time is really tough. There were days that I thought things would never change. Sometimes I would be trying to fall asleep and swear that I could hear her crying even though the monitor near my head told me otherwise. Her cry was in my head like a song that replays over and over. I was torn between sadness, frustration and sympathy. Finally, as she progressed through her fourth month I started to see the signs of change.
Each morning she woke up happy and cooing in her crib. When Mark or I would go in to get her she was all smiles. Mornings were definitely her best time of day, and I cherished them like never before. As things continued to change and improve she went from needing to be held, what seemed like all the time, to spending a large portion of her time playing and happily looking around. It was wonderful to see her truly enjoying SOMETHING. Austin also enjoyed the changes in Mia and began interacting with her much more.
Previously, he was so turned off by her constant crying that he barely went near her. The pictures I would get with them together were mostly staged when she happened to be calm. But, eventually they noticed each other and he loved it when she would smile at him or try to touch his face. Now, he even asks to hold her, and is constantly trying to climb on the side of her crib or changing table to see her and make her smile. It is a sweet and beautiful sight! God has definitely begun to heal the ailments of my little girl.
As of last week, she is no longer taking medication for her reflux and seems to be doing well. Though she is still very clingy and cries when most people attempt to hold her, it IS getting better. I feel like a more normal life is just around the corner.
What a difference a month makes! Last month I was telling Mark that I wished I could just wiggle my nose and she would be one. I didn't care about the milestones that would be missed or anything else, because I just wanted the fussiness to be over. Now, my days are brighter. I am so glad that I wasn't born with any superpowers to travel to the future, because I am eager to see all the milestones and happy days to come.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Austin instantly became absolutely fascinated by the flashlights. He and Mark started playing with them and having a little, before bed, fun time. Here are some action pictures of their amusement.
After all that fun, he really didn't want to go to bed, especially since his normal routine was not going to be possible. Thankfully, using a flashlight as his nightlight was a hit and not a tantrum inducing problem. Our power finally came back on about 6 am and other than a somewhat warm night, we survived our evening of being unplugged. In fact, we were probably better as a result of it because we went to bed early and realized that we watch way too much useless television.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
However, the past four days here have felt like the island heat of Miami. Needless to say, we have not spent quite as much time outside. Yesterday I took Austin outside to play and run around while Mia was sleeping. After about 20 minutes I noticed that he was spending a lot of time in the garage "choosing new toys to play with." In fact, he was just getting a break from the heat with the dog. When I went in to see what he was doing he said, "Mommy, I thirsty. Go inside!" I happily agreed with that plan. Today, he was out a full 10 minutes before he was asking to go inside. It is no wonder since it already felt like it was 100 degrees and it was only 10 am.
So, to help combat the heat we have be enjoying a lot of...
The ice cream melts quickly in these temperatures so you have to eat fast. If you could see Austin's shorts you would come to the conclusion that he isn't eating quite fast enough.
"I'm definitely going to need a bath tonight. There is ice cream in between every one of my fingers, in the crease of my neck and of course all over my face. Before I am done I will most likely also have ice cream in my hair. Mmmmmm, ice cream is so yummy! I think it is one of my most favorite things, although popsicles are really good too. I know Mommy doesn't like this really hot weather, but if it means we will keep having ice cream or popsicles everyday then I am all for it."