Sunday, April 25, 2010

A matter of perspective

*Just because I can't remember the answers to Jeopardy questions I should know...

*Just because I can't focus on more than one thing at any given time, when I used to be the queen of multitasking...

*Just because I can't carry on a conversation about things that aren't baby-related...

*Just because I've put clothes and detergent in the washing machine without actually starting it (at least three times recently, no less)...

*Just because I reheated my coffee, and then proceeded to leave it in the microwave all day...
*Just because I was looking for the diaper bag the other day, only to discover that I was already holding it...

*Just because words and names seem to be randomly missing from my vocabulary...

*Just because I can no longer remember if I actually did something, or just thought about doing it...

...Just because I do all of these things doesn't mean I'm forgetful since having a baby!

I'm functionally challenged!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When you're smiling

Why life is good:

And just because it made me laugh out loud when I saw it...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Obladi, Oblada

Eleven years ago today...

at about 11:20 a.m., I was crouched behind the tire of a white truck as two of my classmates began what is now an infamous rampage through my high school. I watched in stunned disbelief as students around me crumpled when bullets hit them, as pipebombs exploded literally so close to me I could reach out and touch them.

It was a day that altered the course of who I was and who I would become.

I recount this, not because I need either sympathy or praise for having survived it.

I recount this story because today, eleven years later at approximately 11:20 a.m., I was doing this:

I was posing for a photo with four generations of my family's women.

The significance and juxtaposition of the two scenarios was far from lost on me.
April 20th is always a day of reflection and remembrance for me; a day of very mixed emotions.

In addition to the loss of life - the people themselves, that is - part of what I have always mourned is the fact that my friends will never get to experience the wonderful things that I looked forward to in life. They will never graduate; never walk down the aisle into the arms of someone they love; never have the chance to experience that breathtaking moment when you look into the face of a newborn child; never grow old.

Today, though, I looked at from a brand new perspective; one that I could never fully appreciate before: the loss of life from a parent's perspective. It was a bit overwhelming.

When we were in the hospital after Leah was born, I did a lot of walking to help me heal from the C-section. I vividly remember walking past the doors to the NICU and feeling an immense sense of gratitude that we were on this side (the healthy side) of them. It was a sense of gratitude that could have easily dropped me to my knees and brought me to tears if I had let it.

As it was, I simply could not even go to that place... imagining what it must be like for parents whose children are suffering or in danger.

And I know that never goes away.

I look into the face of my sweet baby, knowing that there will be heartache and dangers in her life that I cannot protect her from, and it already breaks my heart. As much as I have come to terms with what I went through, I hope and pray that she will never have to face anything like it. In some ways, that is as much for my sake as hers.

I also wish that I had given my own mother more credit at the time. I felt like the tragedy wasn't hers in many ways - after all, she hadn't experienced it as I had - and I wasn't able to appreciate how much a mother aches when her children ache. I wish I could take some of that back now that I know better.

On the other side of the spectrum, though, I added an emotion that I have never yet felt on this day: JOY!!!

JOY because my day started with a series of smiles from my daughter - not her very first smiles, but the first time she has really responded that way to something I was doing. It was incredible, and perfectly timed!

JOY because life does go on, and renews itself in the most amazing ways.

JOY because I got to bring Leah to the Columbine memorial, and that act held enormous significance for me.

JOY because I know there is a purpose to what we all went through. Leah is proof enough of that!

JOY because I see divinity in the entire experience. I did then, and still do today, see God's hand at work in the direction of my life.

JOY because there is just so much to be joyful about.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Train of thoughts...

We are officially an "out and about" family!

On Thursday, Casey and I took Leah to dinner for the first time. We were supposed to wait until she is 6 weeks old so that her immune system can kick in, but we didn't quite make it that long. 5 weeks and 1 day is pretty close, after all.

The last time we were out to dinner... the night before the C-Section!

We went to (the very fancy!) Red Robin, mostly because we weren't sure how Leah would do, so we wanted a restaurant that is family friendly. I shouldn't have been worried; she did beautifully!

Leah and I also attended the baby shower of one of my oldest friends. It is neat - and only slightly surreal - to watch my friends and classmates (in this case, someone I have known since I was 5!) getting married and having children! And it is so cool to be on this end of it; bringing my own daughter to the baby shower of another. WOW!

Not to mention: bizzare to think that I was in her position only a handful of weeks ago! In fact, just over a month ago, we were here...

... and we didn't even know the beautiful little girl who has changed our lives so completely!

Now, we are experiencing sweet moments like these:

Although I think I have expressed it many times in many different ways, I don't know that I have ever said (or, in this case, typed it) outloud. It hit me again today on the way home from the baby shower:

I am, without doubt, the happiest I have ever been. My life is SO blessed, because I literally have everything I have ever dreamed of - and probably a good many things I was too young and naiive to be concerned with dreaming about.

I thank God every day for my incredible husband, who makes all my dreams come true, and our beautiful, healthy daughter. I know for certain that I have neither earned nor deserve either of these amazing gifts!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All the things I "do-do"

Since Leah's arrival, I find myself closing each day feeling like something of a loser. I am exhausted at the end of the day, and yet, as I reflect on what I did that day, I can't seem to think of one thing that I actually accomplished. So, in honor of my loser-ness, I decided to take stock of the things that I "do-do" (with kind regards to Chandler Bing for the reference):

My "do-do" list for Tuesday, April 13th:

Hours of sleep: 4 (ish?)
*Fed the baby
*Changed a diaper
*Got Leah dressed, including washing her face
*Got myself dressed (not showered)
*Made breakfast for myself (hardboiled egg and a half a grapefruit)
*Entertained the baby by watching Sesame Street while making faces and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star along with the muppets
*Let the dogs out
*Changed a diaper
*Fed the baby
*Put Leah down for a nap
*Folded and put away a basket of laundry
*Folded a basket of laundry (without putting it away)
*Wrote a lesson plan, because eventually I do have to go back to work :(
*Checked my e-mail
*Changed a diaper
*Changed a diaper again when Leah immediately pooped in the clean one
*Fed the baby
*Went to Babies-R-Us (a successful trip out of the house on our own! WOOHOO!!!!)
*Brought Leah inside
*Brought the shopping spoils inside (a Boppy and cover for a baby shower on Saturday; nursing pads for me)
*Let the dogs in
*Fixed lunch for me (and kept my fingers crossed Leah would stay happy long enough for me to eat... today, she did!)
*Played with the baby (Mommy keeps trying desperately for a real smile... she's just toying with me at this point.)
*Took some video of her when she was particularly cute
*Let the dogs out and in again
*Changed a diaper
*Fed the baby
*Napped on the couch with Leah (BLISS!)
*Kissed my husband when he got home from work
*Watched the last 20 minutes of "Sherlock Holmes," which we started two days ago
*Fed the baby
*Fixed dinner (Fetuccini alfredo - from scratch! - garlic bread and carrots)
*Traded off tending to Leah and eating dinner
*Fed the baby
*Got Leah ready for bed, but decided she wasn't quite ready to go down
*Played with my husband and the baby
*Put Leah to bed (consists of laying her on my stomach so I can cuddle her and rub her back while Casey reads "Harry Potter")
*Washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen
*Made Casey's lunch
*Started a load of laundry (with no intention of folding it or puting it away)
*Watched "Lost" with my husband
*Wrote this blog instead of showering... hmmm...
*About to go up and feed/change the baby (in some order or another)

Turns out, there are a few things that I "do-do."

Not to be confused with doo doo. (Although there is plenty of that in my life right now, too!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


My mother warned me that this would happen once I had kids, and I very bluntly and cavalierly disagreed. And yet, her we are...

- I have officially become paranoid. -

In addition to what I like to think are the "normal" paranoias of first-time-motherhood (waking up each and every time the baby makes a noise, no matter how tiny; worrying about whether or not she has enough blankets on; obsessivly ensuring that everyone who comes within a 5 foot radius of her has washed their hands; checking on her during nap time just to make sure she is still breathing...), I now worry about other, less "normal" preoccupations.

Like this:

This sign went up recently in the open space behind our house. Now, I know that there are coyotes in the open space; I have often heard their cool-but-erie cries, although I have never seen one myself.

But when I saw this sign for the first time - unfortunately, while taking Leah for a walk in the stroller - it gave me pause. Should I take my baby on a path where coyotes might be lurking? As I read the "if a coyote approaches you" section, I envisioned myself doing each of these things as I desperately tried to protect Leah from a coyote that had somehow become the size of a grizzly bear with a taste for human flesh.

It was a few minutes before it occurred to me that I have run this path literally hundreds of times on my own and with the dogs, and have never seen anything more threatening than a bunch of birds, let alone a genetically mutated, oversized, flesh-eating coyote.

It is interesting, though, how having a baby changes your perspective.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The first month

Things I wish I could bottle...

1. All that cuteness!

2. The beautiful, sweet sounds she makes, which seem to be getting more numerous by the day.

3. The way it feels when she falls asleep on my chest.

4. Her teeny, tiny everything!

5. So many amazing changes and discoveries every day.

6. The smell of her little head. I can't even begin to describe it, but it is the most incredible, sweet scent.

7.A sense of love, contentment and happiness that is greater and more profound than anything I have ever felt before.

Happy 1 month birthday to our beautiful baby girl! Thank you for making our lives complete!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Hooray for baby's first Easter!

We are still under house-arrest per the doctor since Leah hasn't even hit the one month mark yet, but we still managed to have a nice first Easter at home.

Leah enjoyed her very first Easter basket.

...or possibly she was deeply suspicious of it. She did grab on all by herself, so I'll take that as a good sign!

I got up early (7:30, which is the equivalent of 5am when you have a newborn!) and made our traditional holiday breakfast - a yummy mix of hashbrowns, eggs, sausage and cheese done up, casserole-style. Casey was particularly excited; usually, I only make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Then, it was time to dig into the Easter goodies!

Leah and Daddy

Checking out her first Easter card...

...I think she likes it!

The rest of the day was a bit more dicey. Unfortunately, Leah had one of those days where she really didn't want to do anything but eat and sleep.

She didn't want to take a walk...

Didn't want to hang with Daddy...

Didn't want to take family pictures...

It was a pretty mello day, and one that reminded us that we are definitely still on Leah time!

But we did finally manage to get a few good photos of the day, and - no matter how difficult a day is - we were also reminded of just how lucky we are to have such a wonderful family to begin with. It wasn't exactly the picture-perfect first Easter I had envisioned, but I am grateful to have my wonderful husband and beautiful daughter to celebrate it with!

I changed my font at