Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Big 4.5!

This November, Court and I will celebrate our 5th year wedding anniversary. Number 2 will have arrived by then and we know that a weekend getaway - sans kids - will be hard to do. So we decided to celebrate our 4.5 year anniversary instead.

No kid (except for #2 in my tummy - which seriously hindered my wine drinking ability), no family, no friends. JUST US!

It was a great trip. We did absolutely nothing. We slept. We read. We ate. I got a prenatal massage. (I never got one when pregnant with Grace. Felt too guilty to spend the money on me when there were cribs and strollers to buy I guess...but it was HEAVENLY! Worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY! If I can scrape together the cash AND a babysitter, I will definitely get another one before #2 decides to show up.) And yes we missed Grace but not as much as I thought I would - especially once I heard she was having a great time with Grandma, Boppa and Kodi - the gigantic Malmute.

Did I mention we ate? Here is me below shoveling two desserts into my face. Yes, I said TWO!

I tried to get Court to take a picture of the bump but I think he was a bit more enamored with the view. Bump or view? Bump or view?

He chose the view.

After such a marvelous getaway, we've decided to make this an annual trip. As the kids get older, we hope to leave them with the Grandmas and Grandpas a little bit longer each year so that someday we can have a whole week to ourselves. A whole week! I get giddy at just the thought!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Thing I NOW Know for Sure...

I will never mess with my kid's hair again! The day after Grace's first haircut, I attempted to "style" it.

First, a little background. I am no good with hair. Not my own hair, not my friend's hair, not even Barbie's hair. I never learned to braid. French braiding might as well be equivalent to landing on the moon for me. So when it came to styling my own daughter's hair, I was a bit nervous. Do I brush the bangs down? To the side? What on earth am I supposed to do with all these barrettes and clips I seem to have acquired over the last several months?

Without fail, I failed. Pieces of her newly cut hair just didn't seem to fall quite into place and I had the "brilliant" idea to trim them - myself - with the only pair of scissors I could find. And yes, they happened to be old and rusty. "Perfect" for hair trimming.

Well, folks...this is what I did to poor Grace.

She looks like Jim Carey in the movie Dumb and Dumber.

Never again folks. Never again. I am leaving her hair - and the hair of #2 - safely in the hands of professionals from now on. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beauty is Pain

Today, we skipped story time at the library to do something REALLY important. Grace got her very first haircut. It's never too early to learn "beauty is pain," right?!

Here's the before:

A thrilling video capturing 3.5 minutes of her first haircut. WARNING: EXTREMELY BORING TO THOSE UNRELATED and potentially to those that are.

And here is the after. Lesson learned.

The parting gift of a ballon and a new baby were not enough to keep her in the salon a second longer. She was ready to get out of there.

All's well that ends well, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not Fair

Yesterday, I had a doctor appointment. Everything looks perfect with #2. It was a good visit - for her. My nurse, not my doctor, MY NURSE, made several comments about my weight gain. Many of them accompanied by a sneer. Apparently, I gained 10 lbs. since my last appointment six weeks ago..... "A lot" according to this woman who looked like she was going to blow away in the breeze. The nurse who broke this news told me I needed to watch it - walk more, eat less, NO DESSERTS! Apparently, she hasn't been listening to me at all during my many appointments (she was my nurse while pregnant with Grace). I get sick if I exert myself too much, get too hot or eat anything that my stomach even slightly disagrees with. It was like she thought I was on this mission to gain as much weight as possible while pregnant. Little does she know, I'm just trying to survive. Just trying to get through each day, hoping that will be the day I finally feel normal again. I mean really...give up desserts?!?! Now she's just talking crazy.

In other news, #2 is kicking and moving and wiggling up a storm. So much so, that I feel like this kid is going to be running before she can hold her head up. I started feeling her movements a few weeks ago but Court was able to feel them for the first time last night. It will be interesting to see how Grace reacts to the kicks when the get strong enough for even her detection. She still has no comprehension that I'm pregnant, that she will have a little sister or that that little sister lies safely in my tummy. Grace is just infatuated with my ever expanding bebo.

After receiving the confirmation from my medical professional that I am indeed huge, UGH, I woke this morning to find this on my Facebook page.

Molly is in Egypt - amongst the pyramids!!!!!

Here it is again a bit zoomed...

Pyramids...pregnant....pyramids...pregnant!??!?! At least someone is having a good day! Yay Molly!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Uh Oh...We've Created a Monster

Grace got a taste of her first cookie. 

Not the best decision by mom and dad because guess who wants only C-O-O-K-I-E-S now?!? And yes, we've already had to start spelling out words in front of her that we don't want her to hear.

PS I think it's time for a first hair cut. I can't take it anymore!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some Thoughts (Not My Own) on Mother's Day

Meet my silent partner, we like to get our heads together
Before I was a Mom, I never tripped over toys or words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.  I never thought about immunizations.
Crib sheet - and this hatbox beats my cradle any day
Before I was a Mom, I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. 
I slept all night.
Frown in the  mouth:  My  afternoon nap is  a serious business
Before I was a Mom, I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. 
Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night 
watching a baby sleep. 
Out on the floor: It's no struggle to snuggle up to
 a warm rug
Before I was a Mom, I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom. 

Getting back to nature: Who says caterpillars can't hibernate?
Before I was a Mom, I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
It's a wrap: Lulled to sleep with a swaddling song
Before I was a Mom, I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, 
the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom 
Prize guys: They came first in the bonnet baby contest
Before I was a mom, I didn't know that sappy email forwards with pictures of tiny newborns would stop me dead in my tracks and make me cry. 

And if you haven't shed a tear yet....

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

20 Weeks with #2

Here I am at the half-way point with #2! We are in the home stretch now! wooo hoooo (Yes that is our new life size poster of Grace at age 9 months in the background. I figure her cuteness might offset my scariness juuuuust a bit.)

And just for comparison - here I am at 20 weeks with Grace. (Notice I am wearing the same shirt to make it easy to compare the size of my stomach.) Like I said, I am fully prepared for #2 to weigh more than 9 lbs. 3 oz.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Warm Up

I posted this last May and since Mother's Day is just a few short days away I thought it would make for a good re-post.

The Invisible Mom

I recently came across this excerpt from Nicole Johnson's novel, The Invisible Mom, and it made me think...and then it made me feel grateful for my chance to be "invisible".

Stroller Strides Blog Invisible Mom

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it? I’m a satellite guide to a answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel? I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, and she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals, we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’vebaked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies. Then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘you’re gonna love it there.’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers...everywhere.

Stay tuned for pictures of my belly at 20 weeks (if that's not a hook I don't know what is) and some tear-jerker Mother's Day stuff.