Oh for a book.

In the newborn days, I spent many hours devouring books on attachment parenting, feeding, sleeping, milestones, the works. Then as the weeks went by and I felt more confident in my parenting, I stopped opening those books as frequently, and found myself drawn to rereading novels from my childhood (such as Little Women). I’ve never been one to repeat a novel, so that was a bit unusual for me.

I work from home on Wednesdays, and normally use my lunch hour to strap Samson into the stroller and walk to our local library. Their collection is a bit ‘lacking,’ but I’ve used the inter-library loan system to track down some great reads this year. By last count I’ve finished 15 books. Most of the recommendations come from bloggers I enjoy. Surprisingly, the last three reads have all centered around sibling relationships. With siblings and siblings-in-law near and far, I found the story lines poignant and painfully relevant. (Lord, are you trying to teach me something? I know you are.)  Without further ado, the books are: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg, and Crow Lake by Mary Lawson (a fantastic Canadian writer). I believe these were the first published works for all three authors. And now I implore them to continue writing!

How is this relevant for the post? Why, those are books in the background! It counts.

I’ve recently joined a book exchange.  You send one book to a child listed in the letter, send out new letters to six others, and eventually your child(ren) receives books as well.  I’m hoping the chain continues; we are looking forward to adding some new books to our collection!  Within our circle, there have been babies, babies and more babies born – what new mamma doesn’t want to add some new titles to the bookshelf?

Weekend perspective.

Phew, that weekend was a doozy.  I went into the weekend as a sick sick sick lady, and it didn’t let up (still hasn’t).  Add to that my husband’s work hours – check this out: Friday 5:30 AM – Saturday 2:30 AM, and then Saturday 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Every time they wrap up a project, crazy hours ensue.  He’s such a hard worker, and still takes time to show love in the margins.  Case in point?  He started on the dishes before he left for work Friday morning….before 5 AM. He’s a keeper ;)

So I’m sick, hubby working, no big deal.  We’ve done that before. But add to that my (normally peppy) baby, who didn’t seem to sleep a wink for three nights. We believe teething is the culprit, poor guy.  Inconsolable crying, up for an hour at a time, wouldn’t even nurse for comfort, arching his back and moving all around.  And then when he joined our bed and did want to snuggle in and fall asleep, his movements would cause me to start coughing again, uncontrollably, hence stirring him from any potential slumber. We were a mess.

But you know what? I am still thankful for the days. We fit SO MUCH into the weekend. I knew that if I sat still, I’d realize how exhausted I was and get more frustrated that Samson wouldn’t nap or sleep at night. Instead we went to the farmers market, took hour long walks around midtown, kept the windows open and wore long sleeves (I love fall!), and cleaned cleaned cleaned – I’ve spread my sickly germs all over the place. Steve made his momma’s famous pizza dough, we shared huge bowls of salad, I found the best root beer, and we discovered that frozen mango puree is great for Samson’s sore gums. We walked to the pharmacy twice for homeopathic drops and tylenol, and then browsed the greeting card aisle for 15 minutes, walking home with $25 in cards. $25. Steve loves a witty card. I did find time during one father-son nap to slip out and buy groceries – I’m really awful at the forced naps, which is what I should have been doing! (“Nap while the baby naps.”) There’s too much pressure to fall asleep RIGHT. NOW. because you have this small window of time when the little one slumbers and if you miss it you won’t get a chance again until midnight, and on and on it goes…so I didn’t nap.

Samson did wake up at 6:00 am this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, so here’s hoping for better sleep this week! And if he doesn’t, there’s always prayer and coffee.

check out that bed head this morning

air time

Nine months in, nine months out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samson,

Nine months in the womb, and now nine months outside.  Crazy how fast that time flies.  You have been developing in leaps and bounds this past month; we’re literally just trying to keep up some days! We’ve truly loved each new stage, and think parenthood is a whole lot of fun most days :) 

Stats: Not much to report here – check-up scheduled for next week; we will know more then. My guess is that your height is still near the top of the charts, seeing that your 9 month pants look more like capris these days (sorry kid). You’ve still got quite the gummy grin – I adore that, and am totally okay that you don’t have any teeth yet (plus, we have yet to see how that will affect nursing).

Eats: You are sailing past the purees, and diving into finger foods.  New this month: asparagus, red potatoes, monterey jack cheese, puffs and cheerios, and all kinds of cut-up fruit.  Every once in a while you’ll take a pureed meal, but when you’re over it? Watch out! Your new trick is to raise your hands up right when the spoon is about to enter your mouth = food everywhere!! Mealtime is messier nowadays, yet completely worth it to see you exploring new foods. I think you may have a more sensitive stomach like your daddy, so we’re going slow.  While you’ve added all kinds of eats, you’re still nursing like a champ – mornings are our favorite time for that.

New Tricks: Saturday you climbed up the entire flight of stairs! (with us close at hand) If you only knew how tall and skinny our old stairs are – but you are not to be deterred.  You then proceeded to climb up the attic stairs to Uncle Joel’s bedroom, which are even more tall and skinny! Your daddy is helping you figure out how to go back down the stairs.  We broke down and bought a baby gate, which you’re not too keen on.  But I’m afraid this is the only way I can get us both ready and out the door in the mornings.  You are pulling up and cruising on everything these days, and have discovered cupboards! They open! And close! And so do doors! It’s hilarious to watch you slam a door shut, and then proceed to cry because now you’re in, and you want to be out.

Sounds: You love to talk and sing, especially after eating, in the car, during the liturgical prayers at church (“shhh” hasn’t registered with you yet), and while your mommy plays the piano.  Your quietest moments are during walks outside when you’re taking everything in, and while someone reads to you (until you’re done reading, and you make that pretty clear by pushing the book away and arching your back to get down).  Favorite phrase is still baba, and we actually think you’ve made the connection that I’m mama just in the past few days.  We’re working on dada next!

Likes: Being outside. Playing peekaboo with daddy, and being thrown in the air. Paper – paper towels, junk mail, shopping lists, toilet paper, newspaper – you love it all, and eating it for that matter. Dr. Seuss storytime with your dad; sometimes he reads to you from one book while you hold a different one. Bathtime – still a favorite.

Dislikes: Having your diaper changed – oh the nerve! Clothing changes for that matter. Having your nails clipped, which means that you are accidentally scratching yourself more these days.

You are one of the happiest little campers I know.  You love to smile at strangers and family/friends alike, and you save your biggest grins for Uncle Joel and Daddy. While you’re currently most content to be held by your mama, I know this is a phase and you’ll soon be comfortable around your other favorite folks. We all love you so very much, little man.

Merging old and new.

My son is not yet 9 months old, and already I have been pondering his first birthday celebration (and the subsequent ones).  Does that make me crazy?  I blame pinterest (and babycenter, for reminding me how old he is).

Steve and I have been tossing around a few ideas, with the ultimate goals of celebrating the individual, embracing simplicity, and remembering our own blessings by giving to others. One thing we struggle with is how to honor our families by incorporating some of the most meaningful traditions of birthdays, holidays, and other special events while also including our new desires.

what i will never do for my kids

And in this era where it seems every other week there’s a Hallmark holiday…it’s a balancing act, with no end in sight. Weariness sets in when I know I can never measure up to the pinterest, do-it-all, and do-it-all-with-perfection climate.

I have so many birthday memories from childhood.  The “You Are Special” red circular plate always made an appearance.  While we didn’t have too many themed parties, there were always balloons and party goods, and as I got older, flowers too.  We got to choose a favorite home cooked meal, which was actually a difficult task, seeing that both of my parents are great in the kitchen. We only had a few birthday parties with friends/classmates, and honestly, I preferred the celebrations with my immediate family. There was more pressure to throw a stellar party when other kids my age were involved.  I recall the year I wanted a Brazilian meal for dinner (ode to my mother’s earliest years).  Already a worrier, and a bit of a people pleaser, I asked my mom to make mac n cheese as well, just in case there were some friends with less adventurous palates.  Didn’t want my friends to go home hungry!

I want my kids to look back on their own childhood, and celebrations, with fondness.  Will they remember the food, the decor, the incessant picture-taking, the cake, the gifts, the people, the joy?  And how do we instill thankfulness and a heart that sees the greater needs around us (while showering them with love and some gifts too)?

growing up so fast

NYC sibling weekend

Tip: Stay in NJ and take the bus over to Manhattan (lands you right near Times Square).  Saves a bundle of money, and you’ll end up staying in a much nicer hotel.

We headed to NYC over Labor Day weekend as an extended 21st birthday celebration for my youngest brother. As this was his first time in the Big Apple, he had a few requests: visiting some of the famous Seinfeld locales, having a celebratory drink at an Irish pub, and checking out a jazz club. He’s easy to please :)

We delivered on most fronts.  After a Saturday full of city walking, our rural legs were worn out so we skipped the jazz club. How DO women wear high heels all day? Also, I’m out of shape.

We spent Sunday at the US Open.  For $65 you can purchase General Admission tickets; after 7 solid hours of tennis, you definitely get your money’s worth (and we even left early). I’m still thinking about the taco salad Steve and I split. So good. I was a miserable group member due to allergies which got the best of me that day. Tennis is one of the most respectful sports, meaning it’s also one of the quietest ones for a spectator.  Meaning that my sneezing and sniffles were heard by all around me; even Samson’s babbling was quieter!

Battery Park was a highlight; the breezy sea air was cool, the views were gorgeous even for a cloudy day, and we may have even seen a non-tourist (hard to accomplish on a holiday weekend).

Tips for little ones: plan on bringing a streamlined stroller (good for getting through subway stiles) and expect to change a diaper anywhere except a changing table (park benches are good).  Nursing in Central Park was peaceful, and a nice break from the hubbub of the City.

All in all, a great weekend. If it wasn’t for Jameson and Paige’s great navigation skills, I think we’d still be trying to get off at the right subway stop.  I was happy to return to my slow-paced life, where I don’t have to pay $5 for a water bottle.

Biting the bullet

The first time I read about another little boy named Samson, I knew that I had to blog.  For months, years now, I’ve been perfectly content spending my lunch break (and let’s be honest, first 20 minutes in the office, last 20 of the workday too) shuffling through a too-long list of blogs I read.  It’s an addiction, really.

But seeing my son’s name attached to another handsome boy? Well, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and just start writing.  Journaling, with real paper and pen, is such a noble effort, but one I only do a handful of times a year.  Typing is so much faster, plus there’s the “backspace” bar!  Pen and paper are not so forgiving.

So in an effort to document a few heres and theres of my family’s life, let’s begin.