Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Believe

... in productive days. Days where you get all the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming done. Oh and throw in dinner and a trip to the store. Those days make me feel like super woman or super mom.

... dessert completes a meal. Enough said.

... that baby "growls" are both funny and sweet to listen to. 

... family is a blessing. No matter if they drive you crazy or are your best friend, family means home. I love that my family is less than a 15 minute drive from here. It's just an amazing comfort.

... in giving and serving. Someone, somewhere, needs a hand. It could be donating time or money to your favorite charity or just giving someone a hug.

... I will miss my sister everyday for the rest of my life. Every happy event will have a shadow of sadness because she isn't there to share in the joy.

What do you believe in this week? Link up at Exploits of a Military Mama

Wordless Wednesday

Look close there's a tooth there. And note the candy corn colors.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Happened

The weather has FINALLY turned. It officially feels like fall. The air has a crispness to it, the trees are more orange/yellow than green, and there are pumpkins everywhere! I am so excited that Kansas decided to grace us with fall this year instead of skipping straight to winter. I can break out the apple cider and the pumpkin spice coffee without feeling like something is missing!

Not to mention that in a few short days we will be dressing our little girl up as a pumpkin and showing off just how cute she is. We'll be taking her out with her uncle when he goes trick or treating. But before we do that there are pumpkins to be carved and seeds to be toasted. I'm thinking a carving party is in order. Friends all getting together and making boring old pumpkins come to life with fancy, funny, or creepy faces. There will be treats and cider and all kinds of things. This is only the prelude to holidays that are JUST around the corner. Seriously, less than 2 months until Christmas. Who's excited??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I believe

... that making new friends is a scary but rewarding experience. I have some great new friends in my life.

... every mama deserves and needs some time to herself. Sometimes the only thing that can recharge a tired soul is some alone time or time out with the girls.

... having a busy schedule makes me cherish the slow moments at home, like playing in the leaves.

... having a good hair day can make you have a good day.

... God is personally involved in my day to day life.

... I have been blessed with a great family, immediate, extended, and in-laws.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

So this weekend was full of activity and fun! From Friday to Sunday, we were busy busy busy. I have to say it's unusual for us to have such a structured and planned weekend. Sarah and I generally just bum around the house and follow a loose schedule, which works well for us. But back to the weekend...

Friday I took Sarah on her first trip to the zoo! Ryan's parents had gone out of town for the weekend and we were taking care of his younger brothers. So they came along as well as my siblings and a friend of mine. She helped me wrangle all those kids. Our zoo is rather large and it takes nearly all day to get through it. We were there for over 5 hours! Sarah did so well. She didn't cry at all while we were there and took a pretty decent nap in the stroller. (I mean like half of the zoo trip she was asleep.) We got to see everything from polars bears to zebras. It was a stressful day but it was worth it. My girl loved getting to see the chimps. She got a little frustrated over the fact that she wasn't able to pet them though.

Saturday we got to sleep in for a bit, and then we headed over to my parents' house. We helped my dad with his campaign and ended up spending all afternoon and evening over there. My parents love getting to see Sarah and we got to enjoy an awesome dinner of Chipotle (I love this place) with my family and a couple of friends.  We also ended up having an impromptu photo of Miss Sarah at the park. She loves swinging and apparently thinks that leaves are pretty tasty. She also has a thing for ripping up the crunchy leaves so she can hear them crunch as they fall apart. It was pretty cute she just balled them up in her little fist and squeezed and then smiled.

This turned out to be our least busy day. We didn't have to give rides to anyone or take care of any younger brothers. Ryan's other brother had come home from college to take over caring for the boys for us.

Sunday was another activity packed day. We went to church in the morning and then got to watch a couple from our bible study dedicate their child. It was such a nice ceremony and it made me remember doing it for Sarah and just how important that was. After the dedication we went to lunch and had a good time getting to know the people in our life group a little better. Soon it was time to head back to my parents for BBQ pulled pork. YUM! We left Sarah with my sister while we headed back to church to help out with the kids and student ministry. However I had no three year olds show up in my classroom and got to go home. I was kind of disappointed but it was nice to come home and spend the evening with my baby.

Speaking of Sarah she has developed separation anxiety and it makes me so sad to hear her crying when I have to leave her. It's been progressing slowly, but now she only lets a few people besides me hold her. Sometimes she doesn't even allow that, if someone picks her up she starts leaning out of their arms to get back to me. She also has two teeth poking through on the bottom, but there won't be pictures of them for a while. One reason is that they are barely visible and the second one being that she sticks her tongue out and covers them whenever I try to see them.

Well Sarah is up from her nap so it's time to end this really long post!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Child Development

So today Sarah and I made a guest appearance in a high school child development class. We were part of a panel of mothers and babies. It was actually pretty entertaining. The kids ranged from brand new to 5 years old. Sarah and I were sitting next to a 10 month old little girl who has LESS hair than Sarah. I had no idea that was possible. I think of my baby as a baldie, but she had a full head of hair compared to this little cutie.

Anyway we were asked all kinds of questions about our pregnancies, the baby, and how life has changed since the baby arrived. I got to answer questions about cravings, finances, and how we chose Sarah's name. I had a great time showing Sarah off. Everyone thought she was adorable and some of the students even wanted to hold her. And I have to brag on my daughter because she was SO good the whole time. A lot of the other babies were crying, screaming, or just talking loudly but not her. She stayed pretty quiet. She did let out a few of her "gremlin growls" but those are pretty cute sounding. She also got to play on the floor with other babies including the cute little baldie. They shared toys and kind of jabbered to each other. I do think Sarah was a bit mesmerized by the crawlers that were there so I'm hoping that it gives her some drive to want to try crawling again.

In other news Sarah is now the proud owner of a partially emerged tooth. You can just see the top of it poking through her little gums, which has caused a few rough nights in our household. She is also this short of crawling. She gets her leg moving forward but then loses her balance, or she spends a lot of time rocking back and forth. And tomorrow will be Sarah's first trip to the zoo. My siblings and Ryan's siblings are out of school tomorrow so it's going to be another big family affair. I will update with more on that tomorrow and hopefully have some pictures. Tomorrow is Friday ya'll!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Believe

... fall could become my new favorite season. I used to be a summer girl, but it stayed too hot to take Sarah out for way too long this summer.

... that I really need to get my butt in gear and start working out. I make all kinds of excuses to not do it and I need to just suck it up.

... I have a giant sweet tooth. Seriously I could eat nothing but dessert for the rest of my life.

... Sarah is this close to crawling. She is up on all fours and rocking back and forth. This makes me excited and terrified. Mobile babies are hard to keep up with.

... I will have a fun day at the zoo on Friday. Ryan and I will be taking care of his younger brothers starting tonight, and that's why we have an outing on Friday.

... hot apple cider is amazingly delicious. Add a bit of caramel and some whipped cream and it's pure heaven!

.... the sounds of mamamamamamama is the best thing I have ever heard. The dadadadadadas still outnumber them but they are so sweet.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Little Pumpkins

Today was such a good one. It was full of family, food, and fun. It was one of those days that reminds you to stay in the moment because it's fleeting. And I drank it up, enjoying every last drop.

We had our first official family outing today. By family I mean everyone, all of us except the pooches. No one wanted to miss Sarah's first trip to the pumpkin patch. So we took three vehicles and toted grandparents, baby, uncles, an aunt, and us (the parents) about twenty minutes away. It turned out to be such a hot day. Almost 90 degrees, but I made sure to not let that put a damper on our fall celebration. I mean picking a pumpkin out is almost a right of passage that announces that fall has come and summer is gone. (Apparently summer wanted to be fashionably late with her exit.) But such a great sight it was to see a field full of pumpkins and realize that soon the weather will have a crisp bite to it and we will be ushering Sarah into her first holiday season. I have to say that my mama heart was overwhelmed with emotion for a bit at all the great changes to come. However I sucked it up and just let the joy of being with family encase me.

But we went and we browsed, pondered, decided, changed our minds, and finally picked our pumpkins.
I didn't get this one but I do like white pumpkins. 

Sarah was such a champ. She was so enamored with the tractors pulling the hay rides and all of the sights and smells. She was so distracted that she didn't even want to eat. She just wanted to take it all in. So we let her. We let her touch the pumpkins and see the hay and sit in the *gasp* dirt. You know what, it was so worth it. I know Sarah won't remember this, but I will.
Yes my baby is trying to eat the hay. But I stopped her from ingesting it.
More hay in her hands.
I will remember the way she got excited when presented with an extra bumpy pumpkin to touch.
 This kid loves textures. 
I'll tuck away her smiles from today so I can savor them when times aren't so happy. (Teething anyone?)
She is a true ham for the camera.
I never want to forget the comforting weight of a sleeping baby after a day of fun. How perfect it felt to just hold her.
See how great this is?

Today was so special because it just reinforced how fortunate I am to have a great big family that loves on my daughter. I also felt something click today as I realized just how great my little family of three is. We have a tremendous amount of love just within us. And it was so evident today. So I can take a little sweat, a tired little one, and  tripping over vines to remind myself how beautiful my life is.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

College Football

I'm going to be totally honest here. I used to HATE football of all types. I mean I was in marching band my entire college career and I totally dreaded game days. I loved being in the band and doing what we did, but I hated watching the game. There are just so many rules to football that I was usually fairly clueless as to what was going on. Lucky for me I had some good friends that were patient enough to explain to me what was going on and why such and such penalty was called. 

This is me at the last game of my senior year.

Anyway I went to a game after graduation and still disliked it. Then I discovered this wonderful thing called televised games! I LOVE watching the game on TV. I get so into it. In all my 8 years of marching band (high school and college) I knew next to nothing about the game of football. Now there are times when I know what call the ref is going to make before he says it. I get such joy out of watching my alma mater beat other teams and I get nervous when we have nail biter games. 

Maybe my loathing of the game came from having to be at the stadium 6 hours before the game started even if it was an 11:15 kick-off. Or maybe it came from the constant time outs that made 20 seconds drag into 15 minutes. Football time is so inaccurate. Anyway, I like it now that I no longer have to be at the games personally. And I do occasionally enjoy going to a game, 

With that being said, who decided to put a game on a Thursday night? It's ridiculous. I mean not only is there school the next day but there are also evening classes and if you are in the band you have to be at the game 6 hours before it starts and that means missing classes. And it's totally misleading. It makes you think it's the weekend. But I will still be watching and rooting for KSU and yes Miss Sarah is totally decked out in her KSU clothes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Six Months

Saturday marked the six month of Sarah's life. It's funny how having a baby changes your life, right down to how quickly time seems to fly. I swear it was just last week I was discharged from the hospital, not knowing what was in store for me. But looking back at the calender, I can see that in all actuality 6 months has truly elapsed since her birth. Before Sarah was here six months seemed like such a long time, but now it's really just the blink of an eye.

In the six months that she has been here with us, she has managed to wedge herself into this family's very core. Everyone loves her so much and I can't really remember what it was like to not have her. I am so excited to see the person she will become. She has already changed so much. We had a tiny, helpless newborn. She was clueless about this world and we were just as clueless about her. But now, oh the stories we have. She's such a great eater, sitter, scooter, bouncer, laugher, and talker. All of these milestones keep flying by like the lines dividing the lanes on a highway.

I just cannot believe how different my life is from six months ago. I was hugely pregnant and just ready to have my baby. I was SO over it all and just wanted to be a mother. Planning for a family doesn't make you prepared for the reality of parenting and all that it entails. No matter how you imagine it, reality is different. Some things are so much worse and others are so much better. Thinking you are prepared and being prepared are two VERY different things. The last six months have taught me so much about myself, my husband, and most importantly my daughter. I can see bits and pieces of her personality begin to emerge and I know I am in for such an amazing ride with this little one. I pray everyday for the wisdom, strength, and patience that I will need.

Her six month check up was today. She's 15 lb 12.8 oz. (45%) Her length is 25 1/2 inches (40%) and her head circumference is 43 cm. (70%) Her head jumped thirty percentile points since last time. No big deal though, my family is full of big headed people. She did wonderfully with her exam and cried for just a few minutes after her shots. We are now moving to THREE solid meals a day and introducing some new foods! YAY!

The pediatrician is really pleased with her growth and development. Sarah is ahead of schedule with some things like sitting and crawling. But there is one area that needs some work, sleeping. We need to figure out how to get her to fall asleep on her own and stay asleep. Her sleeping patterns have improved by leaps and bounds, but we still have some issues. She fights me on every single nap and at bedtime. Sometimes she struggles for just a few minutes and other times it's it's an hour or more. I really think she just doesn't want to miss anything and she's afraid that something exciting will happen while she's asleep. A few months ago this was a huge stresser for me but if I'm going to be truly honest, I am not that stressed about it anymore. She's doing great developmentally and growing like a weed. (We are in 6-9 month clothes already.*Tear*) So I must be doing something right. Sleep will come when it does, if I have to deal with a bit of a fight and a 5 AM feeding than I can do that. Some mamas have it much worse.

To end this huge long post I just want to say that these past six months with Sarah have been the most emotionally charged time in my life. I have experienced great joy, frustration,and sadness, but overall there has been an amazing and intense love that I have never felt before. I helped create something, someONE, so beautiful and perfect. As each day passes I love her so much more and that is what it is all about. My daughter has taught me to love unconditionally and everyone in my life is benefiting from it. So thank you Sarah for coming to my life and making it such a joyful experience.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Favorite Song

Sanctus Real - “Lead Me”                         Listen Here

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're in independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying...

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone