Monday, February 28, 2011

This is my plan for stopping time

What if I just don't acknowledge it?

Her birthday, that is.

What if I just pretend it's still December or January forever, and that my baby is still my baby?  What if I take out all her 9 month clothes and keep stuffing her into them?  What if I keep pureeing her food and spoon feeding it to her?

That'll work, right?  If I do all of those things, Leah will catch some kind of Peter Pan syndrome and never grow up?


I love watching my daughter, with her mischevious smile as she feeds herself full pieces of corn and peas and carrots.  I love that she can walk (not on her own, clearly) and mimicks everything I say.  I love how she is clever and creative and communicates so well.

And at the same time, I am absolutely aching as I watch her grow up.  So quickly!  The feel of her as she rests her little head on my chest.  The tiny, delicate weight of her little body as I rock her to sleep.  That little baby face.  The chubbiness of her little arms and legs. 

Does it ever get easier?  This heaviness that suddenly exists in my soul and brings me to tears, even as I know I have so many wonderful things to look forward to.  It's much more bitter than sweet tonight, and I am missing those moments that have evaporated into time which I will never again be able to recapture. 

I know I am lucky to have a happy, healthy baby with a million tomorrows in front of her.  But sometimes in motherhood, those yesterdays are just so darn treasured it is hard to say goodbye. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dear Mom: We're through

Three things to report: One bad, one good, and one in the middle.

I have the flu.  It sucks.  I feel like I've been hit by a truck.  One with a really runny, snotty front bumper.

My mom came to bail me out.  Because sometimes everybody just needs their momma.  Oh yeah, and because Casey is out of town (did I mention that?), so I was on my own with my nearly-one-year-old daughter and the absolutely sickly, nasty, drop-me-on-my-butt flu.  Thank goodness for that woman. 

Leah has decided it's time to stop nursing.  I don't know if it was the flu or what, but she wouldn't take any milk last night or this morning.  That pretty much settled it.  We were only 2 weeks out from giving it up forcibly, so I suppose I'm grateful that she decided on her own.  I certainly had mixed emotions, though.  I wasn't quite ready to stop nursing - today - even if I had prepared to give it up in just a few short weeks. 

The plus side: Since we're done nursing, I got to take some Theraflu. And because my mommy is here, I got to take a nap.  HEAVEN.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If you can't tell, I don't feel well!

In the past week:

- Several doses of Baby Tylenol -
- Five steam showers -
- Much use of our bulb syringe -
- One very unpleasant trip to the urgent care center -
- Countless kleenexes used -
- One sick baby and one sick husband -

Yes, cold and flu season has officially arrived at our house. 

Leah seems to be making the best of it, don't you think?

Our poor, clingy, sick little pumpkin felt terrible this week. 

I couldn't get her a last minute appointment at her pediatrician's office on Friday afternoon (go figure), so we went to urgent care instead.

Aside from the fact that the doctor opened by asking if Leah was a little girl or a little boy (Um, isn't it right there on your chart?  Inspire a little confidence, please!), he also reprimanded me for dressing her in so many layers when she had a fever.  Which of couse, she hadn't in the morning when I dressed her, but moving right along...

He very curtly informed us that all she had was a cold and there was no reason to worry.  This would have been reassuring, except his tone was very condescending, as if he couldn't believe we would waste his time over something like this. 

So we stayed in and didn't do very much.  Little Leah got the special treatment and a whole 'lotta love and cuddles, and of course, a lot of kleenex. 

We're glad that little girl is feeling more like herself!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm pregnant, which is awkward

Before you send congrats, or start planning for a college fund, read to the bottom...

Conversation in the fabric store today:

Random old lady: "Looks like you have a fun project in store!  What are you working on?"

Me: "Well, someone here {pointing to Leah} is having a birthday next month."

Random old lady: "Oh that's wonderful!  A first birthday and already another one on the way!" {Pats my stomach}

Me: ....
            "...Yeah... gotta go now."

So, in case you were wondering, congratulations are in order.  To me.  On my baby.  Which is pretty much made of food.  Hooray.

Won't it be awkward when I tell Casey???

See - aren't you glad you read the whole thing?!

If I did it the easy way, I wouldn't be me

My brain works in odd and unusual ways.  Where most people have a vague idea, I become obsessed with a concept until I've itemized and planned for every.single.detail. 

Casey will often comment, how did you get to that step?  I was still on step 1. 

And he's right.  I have a tendency to block out everything else once an idea takes hold of me.

In my imaginary other life, I've made a profession out of this.  I'd like to be a celebrity party planner, with thousands of dollars to spend on one silly little soiree. 

I love the joy of having an indistinct idea, fleshing out all the minute details, and watching as it comes to life; creating something out of nothing. 

And you know what?  My little sweetheart is about to turn one.  Which certainly calls for celebration in my book! 

So at our house, the planning has begun.  {Actually, if I'm honest, the planning really began about 6 months ago.  The lists started after Christmas.  The purchasing started in January.}

And, although I never give things away before the Big Day, here's a little preview of the things that inspired me.

Three weeks - I can't wait!!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a LOT to do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

That little word is music to my ears

Yes, this has been me for the past 11 months.  I won't even try to deny it. 

Which is why, when Leah said "Daddy" first, I was a little steamed.  Casey still gets to take showers that involve washing the conditioner out of his hair.  Casey didn't suffer through months of enforced insomnia.  Casey's body parts are still in their normal (ahem... not-hanging-down-to-the-floor, stretched-out-and saggy) positions.

What's this daddy business?

But, today I got that little word that I've been waiting months to hear:


And you know what?  It's so worth the wait!

Mom.  Yep, that's me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Because I love you-ou-ou

I'll probably deny saying this later, but sometimes, that husband of mine is really pretty awesome. 

(Okay, that's true a lot of the time, but don't tell him I said that.  It'll just go to his head!)

Like, for example, this Valentines Day:

I do love anything that lets me take a piece of those two with me wherever I go, so this charm bracelet with our initials - C-L-M - was an absolutely perfect pick for me.

The best part?  I didn't even think of it.  Totally Casey's idea.  Is he good, or what?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The finer things in life


Yep, it's Valentines Day (which explains why cookies gets its own category)!

We celebrated an early Valentines with Uncle Andrew and Auntie Jessica.  And it was OH-SO fancy!  Because of an absolutely unbelievable sale, I got to make lobster tails for the first time ever.  Although I had some issues shelling them, they turned out really yummy.  We also had steak, asparagus, baked potato, and -  because Auntie Jessica is doing a little baking of her own and I'm still nursing - Martinellis, complete with heart-shaped straws.  Y-U-M! 

Because of a certain someone's new tooth poking through, it wasn't the worst thing in the world that Leah went to bed early.  I know, what a terrible thing to say on her first V-day, but it was true nonetheless.

After dinner, Jessica and I had a little fun in the kitchen:

With good (and delicious!) results:

I always enjoy spending time with those two, particularly when there is something sweet involved.  Now it's just a tradition: last year (when I was pregnant), we finished an entire enjoyed a little icecream cake; this year (when she's pregnant), we baked cookies.  Seems like I'll just have to get pregnant again so that we can carry on our Valentines day tradition next year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Penultimate Post

11 Months!

I was doing so well.  I'm looking forward to the future.  Hearing that precious baby giggle become a little girl's laugh.  Listening attentively as her incomprehensible babbles become words, sentences, and civilized expression.  Watching as her tentative wobbles become first steps.

We've been clearing out and beginning to put those baby things into storage.  Casey very sensibly suggested that we put her bouncer in the basement.  You know the one:

Yep, that one.  And the thought of putting it in the basement?

Made me cry!  A lot.  A LOT.  Yes, my baby's babyhood is coming to an end. 

It's mostly okay.  (Mostly.)  Besides that, we have a beautiful, healthy, 11 month old girl to celebrate.

At 11 months, Leah:

- Makes panting noises when you ask her what noise a doggie makes

- Is tantalizingly close to walking

- (FINALLY!) has a tooth beginning to pop through

- Knows all the parts of the face, including ears

- Immitates everything.  She has an amazing "vocabulary" and speaks to us in so many ways, even though she doesn't use words yet.  She knows SO much language, I am continually amazed at what words she recognizes and responds to.

- Recognizes and points to zippers and buttons and thinks she's hillarious

- Sings "ee ei ee ei oh" (or, as she puts it, "yai yai yai yo") after Old McDonald had a farm

- Scrunches up her nose to give her "shy" smile out of the corner of the eye.  That sly look girls have?  Evidently it begins practically at birth.

- Gives hugs and kisses when asked

- Still nurses twice a day - once in the morning and again before bed.

- Eats like a champ and will try absolutely anything we give her

- Naps twice a day - barely.  She began going VERY long periods of time between naps, which we discovered when she started hanging out in her crib for literally hours at a time.  Now, she naps only once at 11 a.m. for several hours, and then sometimes again from 4 or 4:30 to 5.

- Is funny, silly, sweet, snuggley, stubborn, loving, hillarious and our all-around favorite girl in the world. 

I can't wait to celebrate her first BIG milestone and say hello to the next wonderful phase of her life, even if it means that I have to say goodbye to a piece of her babyhood. 

We love you, LeeLee!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super(bowl) Sunday

Key ingredients for a Super Sunday:

- Having my husband home after two weeks away -

- Making LOTS of baby food -

Have you ever had a spaghetti-pop?

C'mon - doesn't that look appetizing?!

- Cuddling on the couch with a super-snuggley baby -

- Playing around the house -

We'll take anything we can get if it's entertaining

No... really.

- A clean, tired baby - 
I so love that girl's awesome hawk.

A kiss for Baby Leah

What's that you say? 

There's a game on?

.....Eh, maybe next year.

Seems like this one shoulda been a no-brainer

What is stupid and obnoxious about ridiculously cold temperatures?

Well, how about the fact that they are ridiculously cold?

So cold, in fact, that your pipes will freeze.  Leading to this:

Even if you keep your water running 24/7, and the temperature in your house is waaaay above the thrifty 67 degrees it usually is.  (Pipes, afterall, can't wear layers.)

And, in case you were wondering, frozen pipes = lots of money for emergency plumbing help.

It could have been a LOT worse, so really I need to just say a prayer of gratitude and thanks.  When they bust, it was on the unfinished side of our basement (meaning no water damage) and I was able to get a plumber just a few short hours later (he informed me they had turned down 40 calls already that day). 

So thank heavens for savings, and I suppose it is a small price to pay on a day when many people have had much worse.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No snow, but a whole 'lotta cold

Remember how I said I love teaching?

Well, I have one more item to add to my laundry list of reasons this is true.

Two words: Snow Day.

This weekend, it was an absolutely gorgeous 60 degrees in Colorado.  Cut to Monday, when I'm telling my lovely 8th graders to be sure to dress warmly at the bus stop the next day, because it was predicted to be a high of zero degrees the following day.

(In what world zero is a high temperature, I have no idea.)

I sometimes forget what it means to teach 8th graders, because what I intended as a sincere plea to bundle up turned into a contest between a few boys to see who could last longer outside in shorts.  In fact, they hiked up their pants to around their knees before going out to the busses for the day, leaving me no choice but to instruct them to "pull your pants down!"... before I realized the many reasons why shouting this at 13 year old boys could backfire on me.   

Fortunately, we were all spared that unpleasantness when my school district - and pretty much all the others in the state of Colorado - cancelled school!  Hooray! 

So, for the past two days, Leah and I have been home together, bundled up and trying to find ways to amuse ourselves (which, for us, isn't exactly a challenge.  We're pretty easily entertained!). 

If you can't tell, this is Leah applauding her own ingenuity. 

A few dish towels, a pants-tutu and a not-so-subtle reminder that it's time to officially baby proof is all it takes to amuse us on a cold day. 

And so it begins...

I changed my font at