Thursday, October 29, 2009


I wanted to record this moment. For posterity. For history.
For my own sanity.

At this point in time, I have absolutely NO laundry to fold. Not one sock, burpcloth, or shirt. Every item of clothing is clean and accounted for.
This hasn't happened for at least two months, possibly longer. I can't remember that far back.

But now, thanks to Nicholas's two-hour nap and a healthy dose of motivation, it is finished!


It's fascinating how motherhood changes your perspective.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

trunk or treating

This is the story of a little boy's first Halloween party ever.

Here is the dad taping up black tissue paper in the trunk. He spent almost three hours setting it all up.Here is the dog that does not belong to this family, but stayed around all morning pretending to belong. The mom thought that it was actually pretty cute as far as dogs are concerned, until the dad informed her that the dog was eating grass because it was sick and needed to throw up.
Then the mom remembered that she does not like dogs. At all.
This is the family as the party began. A dragon, the princess he captured, and the knight in shining dollar-store armor who came to rescue her.
The dragon was ferocious, and spent the evening doing scary things like smiling and cooing and licking his costume.

Here is his lair. Which won the best trunk award, by the way. The dad was very proud of all his hard work. The mom thought it was pretty fun, too. And yes, that is a fog machine. This dad went all out!

The dragon tried his hardest to scare off all the little trick or treaters. He wanted to keep all the candy for himself.
But when his dad told him that eating candy requires teeth, he decided to share after all.
And everyone had a good time.

The end.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

two months

I was reading a handout from the doctor's office that said that a baby should double his birthweight by somewhere around 6 months of age.

Nicholas was born at 7 lbs, 6 oz.
Two days ago, he weighed in at 12 lbs, 15 oz.

Yeah, he's a little ahead of schedule.

Fat and happy, that's what we like to say.

Monday, October 19, 2009

easy button

There's one thing that has surprised me the most about being a mother:
Learning that I don't know anything.

I thought that because as the oldest child I helped "mother" my younger siblings, I would be able to answer every little question about babies that came our way.
Now I laugh to think I thought something so absurd.
Because the truth of it is, I spend almost all of my time with Nicholas thinking and saying "I don't know. I just don't know."
And yet, because I'm his mother, it is expected that I will know. Why he's crying. When he'll be tired again. What those red bumps on his back are. What it means when he has three very full diapers in only ten minutes. Why he won't eat. Why he won't stop eating.
But, unfortunately, I don't know.

Now, there is some instinctiveness about it. And I feel so proud to know that there are times when all Nicholas needs is to be held by his mom. He snuggles his round little face into the space between my chin and my chest, gives a happy little sigh, and all is right with the world again.
Yes, there are times when I do know what he needs and why he's crying. When that happens, I feel more joy than I can express. Because I know that he loves me. I am his mother, and I can take care of him, and make it all better.

For the rest of the time, however, I really wish I had one of these:You know, push the button, problem solved, state "Now that was easy" in a surprised/satisfied voice, then continue on with my day.

Before I had Nicholas, I thought that a call to my mom was life's "easy button." And at that point, it was. Need help with a recipe? Call mom. Need ideas for a project for a class? Call mom. Need help getting rid of a stain, finding something at the grocery store, comparing prices online, etc. Call mom. She had all the answers.

But then, I had a child.
And then, I was THE MOM. And I found out very suddenly that the title does not come with omniscience. Membership to the"all-knowing club" isn't included with your passage into the "trying to lose postpartum weight" club.
Now my questions must be answered by scouring the internet, consulting with my husband, consulting with the Lord through fervent prayer, making guesses and trying something in desperation, then making new guesses and trying again.
Because just like me, my mom doesn't have all the answers.

But I still call her. I trust her. She's had five kids. Her judgment call on my ideas is what gives me the confidence to keep going. Plus, I know that she loves Nicholas as if he was one of her own children. Becoming a mom doesn't bring you all the answers, but it does bring all the love you need to make it through.
And who other than my mom will be able to tell me that the only difference between pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla is pretty much just the price?

Saturday, October 17, 2009


These aren't the best quality pictures ever, but after two weeks of trying, I'm really just happy that I finally captured Nicholas's smile on camera.
Whenever the camera comes out, the smiles quit. But the other day, I got lucky and whipped out the camera fast enough to catch a couple of them.
Isn't that grin just the cutest thing ever?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

and sew I learn

The first time I ever tried sewing without my mom there to supervise, I broke the needle on the machine.
I think I was trying to make a blanket for my barbie house. I don't know what I did wrong, but the needle snapped in half.
I felt awful, not because I was afraid of my mom being mad, but because I was worried that sewing machine needles were really expensive or something and I didn't want my mom to have to pay for that.
I wasn't always the most "normal" child in the world...

Anyway, I got my own sewing machine this summer. The first time it was used was when my mom was here and she made my beautiful curtains and couch pillows.
I decided to be adventurous and try once more to sew all on my own. It's been quite a while since my last ill-fated attempt.

My friend Allison and I went to pick out fabric to make autumn placemats. The lady at the cutting table at Hancock fabrics asked what I was making.
"Oh, I love to make those. They are such a nice project--instant gratification."
"I hope so."
"Yeah," she continued, "I'm always doing so many huge projects, sometimes I make placemats just so I can finish something fast."
I smiled and didn't tell her that this was my big project.

And although it took me nearly four hours to cut them out, I'm really happy with the finished product:
I'd love to take credit for the fancy stitching, but my machine has a lot of cool stitches and I didn't have to do much more than adjust the tension to get that pretty vine border.
Kent came home from work yesterday and saw the vine stitching and he thought I had done it all by myself, by moving the material back and forth through the machine or something.
I should have just let him think that. I still have a couple more to finish sewing, but I haven't broken a needle or anything else yet!
Maybe next time I'll try something even more daring, like a pillowcase.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

fall decorating

This is just the beginning of what I want to do for fall decorations, but there's a little guy hanging around here that is too much fun to play with-he keeps distracting me from the decorating process.
That's okay with me.
But I thought I'd show you what I've done so far.My mom actually mailed me a box of pumpkins. My family grows them to sell, and I was having a hard time bringing myself to buy pumpkins (I'm used to other people paying me for them) and so she filled one of those prepaid USPS boxes with pumpkins and gourds for me. Thanks Mom!

I used windex (thanks Teresa!) to scrub the stickers off of some empty sparkling lemonade bottles, then I put some fake brown and white daisies in them. I love the cheery, autumny result.
Then for the hanging flower jars in my half bath, I used white daisies, fall berry garland, brown ribbon, and filled the jars with acorns.
(The jar on the left is still waiting for acorns-I'm taking the acorns off of my neighbor's tree, and I haven't gotten the guts yet to take my ladder out there to pick the ones I can't reach... I doubt he would care, but then, maybe he wants his acorns to decorate with, too, right?)

I have some more projects I want to do.
I might get to them,
I might not.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I think one of the best things about this parenthood stuff is watching your baby's personality start to come through. Nicholas is so funny-the expressions on his face are just too much. He makes us wonder how much he understands of what we say and do.
It seems sometimes he's looking up at us going, "seriously? You two have got to be the craziest people around. And I'm stuck with you?"
Can I just say that I love those little lips? And those cheeks. And that nose. Oh my goodness.
Even at 2 in the morning when the crying from the crib pulls me out of my bed, I go into his room and the instant I see that little face, all scrunched up and red and hungry, I'm amazed at how cute this child is.
It can't be legal to be that cute, really.Yeah, so about that schedule stuff? Well we're still working on timing bedtime (and mornings, and naptime, and dinner...). A few nights ago he fell asleep way before we were ready for him to go to bed, and I tried giving him a bath to wake him up.
You can see how well that worked.
I guess we're doing a decent job parenting-it takes a pretty content little guy to fall asleep in the bathtub. He was actually snoring, too. He sleeps as though there isn't a care in the world.
What a life!