Saturday, December 31, 2011

Visions of 2011

- January -
- February -

- March -

- April -

- May -

- June -

- July -

- August -
- September -

- October -

- November -

- December -
We are so grateful to have been blessed by a wonderful 2011.  We are happy, healthy, always have enough food to eat and never lack anything that we truly need.  We have each other, good friends, family, great jobs and more love in our lives than we can shake a stick at.

I have this sneaking suspicion that 2012 is going to be a really big year for us.  We'll see what pans out and what stays the same, but I have hopes that this may be one of our biggest years yet...

Whatever comes or doesn't, though, one thing remains constant: we are lucky to have one another. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making the grade of motherhood

My favorite time to write is after dinner, while the dishes are still dirty and stand impatiently in the sink.  While Casey is upstairs giving the little her bath, and I can hear the jolly symphony of water splashing, laughter, a little fairy voice exclaiming, "DID IT!" and the deep baritone of my husband narrating their nightly journey.

It's the signal that, for the most part, our day is coming to a close. 

Sure, there are those dishes.  And a stray sock or two to reunite with their mates.  A floor to vacuum. 

I often find myself thinking about our day.  The victories.  The challenges.  The tears and the laughter.  The ways I was super-mom and the places I need to improve.

I think a lot about "good" motherhood, because I firmly believe there is such a thing.  Not perfect motherhood... oh, no.  But motherhood that is gracious, forgiving, nurturing, selfless and uplifting.  That chooses right when it is hard and loves through the stubborn and the temper and speaks softly when the other voice is raised.  Being a teacher, I often think about how Leah would grade me on the day.

I so often find fault with myself, longing to be more.  If I had to grade myself on the day, I'd give myself a C.  Maybe a C minus for that hour of Caillou we watched so mommy could do dishes and talk on the phone. 

Perfectionist?  Yeah, I'm acquainted with the term. 

But as I sit here listening to my daughter count to five all on her own (skipping three, because, well, who really needs three anyway?), I can't help but think: she doesn't need perfect.  She needs me

At the end of the day, that's the miracle of it.  This girl that I made was made for me.  The ebb and flow of her temper and my patience that more often end up creating harmony than chaos.  The buttons she pushes in me that push me to be better and learn better and do better.  And then?  I do.

The quality of being good enough has always been one that I've strived hard for and rarely achieved.  When I put on my magic mom hat, though, it's not only enough but exactly right.  The same way my body knew how to carry her when she was on the inside and I knew how to soothe her when she was on the outside, I know how to mother her while she's busy turning into the person she's supposed to be (which, by the way, someone should really tell her to cut out.  It's all going waaaaay too fast for my tastes.).

Will it always be so? 

That only time will tell.  But as I sit here on this particular night, I have a sneaking suspicion that my C minus is actually an A. 


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 26, 2011

Making merry.

Christmas 2011 looked a little like...

Santa came through in a really big way, and Leah got her stove.  She is extremely excited to be a little chef! 

It was a very, very blessed Christmas.  We are lucky in every possible way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours: wishing you love, joy and togetherness this holiday season.  May your new year be blessed...  I have no doubt ours will be!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Priceless? Not quite.

2 phone calls to the on-call nurse

2 trips to Wallgreens

Hours and hours of Caillou

2:45am wake-up call

17 dozen nose-wipes

1 round of cough-so-hard-she-puked-on-me

6 types of hot drinks rejected

1 little face that looks like this:

Yep, we've got it at our house, and we've got it bad.  This icky, make-you-gag dry cough thing - I had it the last week of school, and now my sweet little girl has it. 

Let me tell you: it sucks.  Feel better soon, pumpkin!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snowed in at the OK Corral

Today, I am thankful for:

1. A beautiful snow that started last night, turning our world into a picture perfect winter wonderland...

...and then got really serious!  Even though we still have 3 days, I think it's fair to say we won't have to dream of a white Christmas!

2. Coloring books, and red and green crayons.

3. Sesame Street, and water with a little bit of lemon and a LOT of honey for a girl who has a terrible cough.

4. A well-stocked cookie jar full of freshly baked cookies that probably won't make it until Christmas for Santa.

If Daddy didn't have to go to work, and the little wasn't sick, I would definitely declare this the perfect winter day!  (It's pretty darn good just as it is, though...)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The bye-bye box

Today, Leah and I made this:

...the most beautiful, poorly-wrapped shoe box with random holiday stickers all over it.

Why?  Because the time has come for someone to officially get rid of the paci for good.  We long ago gave up using it during the day, but since she turned one, those pacis have come out every nap time and each night before bed.

And, the time had come to make that transition into big-girl-hood.

So Mommy told her that we were going to make a special bye-bye paci box and give them to little kids who didn't have any pacis.

You know, pretty much the pacifier equivalent of the old your dog's going to the farm fable. 

She was super excited, and we talked about how the kids would say, THANK YOU, LEAH! when they opened her bye-bye box.

To my amazement, bed time was relatively simple, all things considered.  There was a lot of wailing leading up to bed time when we had to remind her that her pacis were gone, but once she was in bed it only lasted about three minutes.

I must admit, it may have been harder on me to see her reach this milestone.  That is one grown up little girl.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa came early

It was a perfect storm of advertising: I've heard so many good things about the 50mm lense in the past 3 months that we finally caved and had to have one of our very own. 

I am so far from a photographer, but I truly aspire to get better, and this is a fabulous, beyond-my-wildest-dreams awesome tool in helping that process. 

These are a few of the images we were able to capture on the very first day we brought it home.  It was supposed to get wrapped and placed under the tree, but neither of us could wait! 
Enjoying the lights in Downtown Littleton

Drool, much?

I love this shot!  This was Casey's.

Another keeper!

Now all I have to do is actually learn how to use it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Let's just get it out of the way right now:  I'm sick, and I'm not pregnant. 

I'm much more upset about the second one than the first, as it means we will end this year the same way we began it.  That's a really hard pill for me to swallow.  Seriously?  Ugh. Double ugh.  It also means that next month, we will have been trying as long as it takes to make a baby in the first place.

The first one caused the cancellation (optimistically, the postponement) of our annual Christmas party. 

I have to say thank you though to all of you who took time to say a little prayer for us.  I've felt your prayers.  Maybe that's silly; although it may not seem like it based on my writing above, I do have more peace about our "no" this month than I have in the past.  It's a set back, but not a complete, knock-the-wind-out-of-me sock in the gut like it has been. 

This waiting is so hard.  I can't adequately find words to describe how challenging this chapter has been.  There are so many worse things, so I suppose my "hard" chapter is what many would call priviledged.  It's not the loss of a child.  It' not a sick or hungry child.  I would take this over those things any day of the week.  Forever.

But the ache.  The wanting.  The rollercoaster of hope and denial.  It's maddening. 

Even as I write this, I'm still holding on to the slim chance that this might be impantation bleeding.  I'm 98% sure this round is over, but oh, that 2%.  It's why I take my coffee decaf.  It's why, even though I feel awful, I won't take any NyQuil when I go to bed tonight.  I'd never, ever gamble that 2% chance.  So I'll go to bed tonight without any medicine, and in 2 days when it's solidly over, I'll feel like an idiot that I didn't just take the meds since it wasn't any harm to anybody. 

This is a crazy way to live, month after month.  Without any definitive end in sight.   

I'm not complaining - not really, anyway.  I'm just sharing the reality.  I don't know how people do this for years on end, except that I know, having had Leah, that it will all be worth it.  I'm just so ready that it is painfully hard to wait.

September.  I'm optimistic that we're getting a September baby.  I've been wrong before, and maybe I'm destined to be wrong again, but I've felt this pull about September literally since before we started trying.  I was stunned when I got pregnant in August, because I expected September.  I lost both babies in September.   There's something about it that just fits.

Or, I'm just a trying-to-get-pregnant junkie.  Like the gambler who, despite losing each hand, continues to believe in just one more.

In this case, though... what else is there?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sugar and Spice (our cookies are nice!)

Tis the season for...

Christmas cookies!  And, as the tradition would have it... Elf.  Because that's how we roll. 

And it was a great batch!

The little didn't get to help out on these, although she has definitely helped in the eating process.  I think next year we'll inaugurate her into this tradition.
I'm certainly not a cookie decorator, but I do love this tradition!

I changed my font at