Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baby Steps

LuV is walking! Or almost, sort of, trying to, if only she had just a little more coordination or confidence or both. She is definitely taking steps, and she is so proud of herself...and I am a proud mommy. I love watching her test her newfound ability. She is still unsteady and slow. At best she can take four or five steps before she loses her balance. What I love most is that even though crawling is much easier, safer, and quicker, she insists on trying to walk. I love the smile she gets on her face, knowing that she has accomplished something great. That smile that says, "Look at me, look what I can do!" It is full of pride (GOOD pride), happiness, freedom, satisfaction, and accomplishment. She can succeed at anything - she believes that, and I hope that she continues to believe that for a long, long time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Note to Self

I don't have anything terribly important to say, but it's been a while, so here I am. Lately I have had to do a lot of baking for various reasons...pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, pumpkin spice cookies. Have I mentioned that I love autumn? I love autumn. For several reasons. Many of these reasons involve food. Soup. Apples (already mentioned in a previous post). Pumpkin. I love pumpkin - cookies, pie, ice cream, seeds, anything pumpkin. Anyway, back to my baking frenzy. Yesterday I was frosting sugar cookies when EM came into the kitchen. Our conversation went something like this.

EM: "Mom, I need a cookie."

Me: "You can have a cookie after we eat dinner."

EM: "Mommy, I just need one cookie, I don't need five."

Take that, fatty. She had, of course, observed me during the day snacking, and munching, and tasting, and nibbling the unfrosted cookies...I ate way more than five. I know she noticed, because at one point she informed me that I was going to eat all the cookies if I didn't stop. Maybe some day I'll be able to restrain myself to just one, but I'm not counting on it. If only I were so lucky as to have been born with some self control. Side note: EM did get her one cookie before dinner. She's too cute to resist sometimes. (And according to CW, I'm already helping her on her way to her own little sweet addiction. So sorry, my dear.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Like Two Peas in a Pod...Make it Frozen Peas

Let me preface this post with a brief description of EM's relationship with her dad. She was born her daddy's girl. As soon as she was able to voice her preference, she has clearly made it known that she prefers dad...always, in any given situation, with no exception. Mom is no substitute. When she has to make do with me, it's always with the anticipation that daddy will soon be home to make her world complete. For the most part I am okay with this. I love that CW is such a GOOD father, the kind of dad that makes his little girl adore him. But, come on, I'm a mother...there is a part of me that longs for my child to long for me. So, when baby #2 came around, I thought maybe this time I could be the favorite.

Well, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, in the long run) LuV came from the womb with a strong distaste for bottles. And so, as her sole provider of nourishment for the first months of her life, I am indeed her preferred parent. Sadly the reasoning for this preference is based on her need to survive...but I'll gladly take what I can get.

And so we finally arrive at the present day. Today was picture day. My friend had agreed to be our family photographer. In eager anticipation I awoke and immediately laid all of our outfits on the bed, just like it was the first day of school. It was going to be a beautiful day, we were going to look stunning in our family pics. I went downstairs to change the laundry. I heard a thud, followed by crying...nothing major, but crying that warranted my attention. It's hard to get a straight story from a 3 1/2-year-old, so I'm not exactly sure what happened, but LuV had a nice red circle (that would then turn to a bluish/purplish circle) on her forehead. I refused to let a little bonk ruin our photo session - everything was still set to turn out gloriously. A few hours later, yet again in the laundry room, I somehow managed to whack my head on the sharp corner of the door. Seriously, what is wrong with me? It was painful beyond belief. I had to assess my condition to be sure that I was not concussed. It throbbed, it ached, it pulsated...I had to medicate myself. But first I had to see how bad the damage was. Make-up covered up the redness, and if you looked at me head-on it wasn't so bad. But get a shot of me from any angle, and I looked seriously deformed. Half my forehead protruded like I was sporting some sort of abnormal growth.

Deja vu. Flash back 6 1/2 years. I was engaged, and a bit stressed to boot. Our engagement was a short one...not a lot of time for planning and throwing everything together. My poor complexion showed just how stressed I was. It was hideous...not even my dear mother could think of something comforting to say about my condition. Engagement photos were put off for another day...and put off again. To no avail. That face of mine was stubborn, and the carnage was not going away...not soon enough anyway. And so, when I thought things just couldn't possibly get worse...well, you probably have already guessed that they did. I was living at my aunt and uncle's, in an older home. For whatever reason there was a towel rack in the shower. Need I say more? I hit my head hard on that useless contraption, leaving a goose egg to be remembered. I was not a happy bride-to-be during those engagement photos.

So, my question the photography gods hate me? I am not such a beautiful person that I need to be humbled every time I attempt to professionally capture this face. In fact, I am not a particularly photogenic person in the first place. It just doesn't seem fair does it? Are you wondering where I'm going with this post - random as it has been. Well, as I looked at LuV's tiny (in comparison) bump and my gargantuan tumor...I knew she was mine. She is my child, my baby girl, my daughter...clumsiness and all. As I held her in my arms before bed tonight, she snuggled into me, and she fit perfectly against my body. She was made for me. Just for me. (And CW, too, of course).

Thank GOODness for Diet Coke, Photoshop, Nielsen's frozen custard, and a new dress that hopefully detracted from the forehead.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple of My Eye

It is apple picking time. Our trees are heavy with sweet, delicious fruit. I love having a home with fruit trees. One of the few domestic tasks that I enjoy is preserving the food that is grown right in my own backyard. While I realize that my 18 precious bottles of peaches I canned or my soon-to-be homemade applesauce will not sustain our little family for feels GOOD knowing that I am doing something. A little something is at least something, right? So, as I've got apples on my mind, I've also been thinking about the apple of my eye. Lately I have felt especially grateful for my GOOD husband. Some days I can't believe he's mine. Let me tell you just a few of the reasons I'm so lucky:

1. He mows the lawn with a 32-pound child strapped to his back.

2. He eats anything and everything I cook, with seldom a complaint.

3. He puts EM to bed every night, from start to finish, with original CW stories, songs, back scratches, the works.

4. He took both girls to his parent's house (an hour drive away) last Sunday. All by himself. And he came home completely unfrazzled!

5. He takes walks every day during his lunch hour, just to keep his tummy nice and firm.

6. He spends his free time drawing simple house plans, because his greatest desire is to SIMPLIFY our lives.

7. He acts like I'm the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, which maybe suggests he should get his vision checked, but still a bonus for me.

8. He is always willing to play and have fun with his kids - he is definitely the favorite in our household. EM absolutely adores him, and if it weren't for the fact that CW is unable to produce milk, he'd be LuV's fave as well.

9. He is a GOOD sport about doing what I want to do...he knows who Rory and Lorelei are, he's seen the entire 5 hours of the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (more than once), he's played Dance Dance Revolution, he's spent our coveted date nights clothes shopping with me...what a guy.

10. He loves ME. Even when I'm mean and horrible and unlovable he doesn't judge me or criticize me.

If you are still reading, I am impressed. Not to worry, I am not prone to being overly sentimental or lovey-dovey very often, but some days it's GOOD to know you're loved. So CW, I LOVE YOU, and think you're as yummy as this apple EM's devouring. Plus, we have really cute kids!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Welcome Winter, Welcome Me

I cannot believe that I am actually joining the blog-world. Unfortunately, the perfectionist in me would not let me quit until I felt that my blog was satisfactory - at least somewhat presentable, not too terribly embarrassing. It is now very, very late. Tomorrow I will kick myself for allowing myself to become obsessed with this. But, before I lay my weary head to rest I wanted to welcome myself to blogging. I am in over my head, this I know already. I know that I will agonize over each post, wondering if it's clever enough, wishing I was more articulate, or that I had a witty sense of humor. So as I begin this new adventure, I promise myself that I will try not to stress (too much), to succumb to blog envy, or to over think what I want to write. I simply want to remember the moments along the way. Each day brings happiness in some form, and this blog is for me to record the GOOD in my life.

As we woke to the first snow of the season this morning, I watched EM, my 3 1/2-year-old daughter, delight in the wonder of nature. She could hardly wait to go out and experience the miracle for herself. Not until her hands were frozen stiff would she come inside. When did I lose my fascination with such simple joys? Thank GOODness for children who remind me of all that is GOOD, and who help me find pleasure in the world around me.

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