Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Anyone who knows me knows I love birthdays. And while I love my birthday the most, it can also be a lot of fun to celebrate someone else's ... especially now that we get to watch Natalie's reaction to the festivities. It's like seeing events for the first time through her eyes. Yesterday was Chad's 34th Birthday; how is it possible that we are creeping toward mid-thirties? Can I really say creeping when in actuality it feels more like sprinting? As usual, I digress.
I think the photos capture just how special it was to celebrate Chad's birthday, for the first time since he became a dad. Here's a little collage for your enjoyment.


Natalie was right in there - every step of the gift opening process. Chad was just as interested in watching her as in finding out what was in the box. Thanks to my brother Tyler, Chad got exactly what he wanted for his birthday ... a hang board, used for building upper body strength. And he got to hang it in our family room where he can practice anytime he wants ... as opposed to in the garage where it just would've collected dust, lots and lots of dust. We've decided to refer to it as a sacred Mayan artifact; seems more exotic that way.

But that wasn't Chad's only gift. Natalie got him a bouquet of balloons and a bag of Skor bars - this absolute favorite candy bar. I figured it would be a good idea to start the tradition of getting a gift from Natalie because ... well, that's one more gift I can expect on my birthday :)

The rest of the birthday festivities revolved around food. I made Gene's meatloaf recipe and Margie's Cherry Cheesecake. Both were delicious ... even the meatloaf, a meal that made me cringe in my childhood.

So, Happy 34th, Chad Patrick. Here's to your first birthday as a daddy and many more to come!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You might be a SAHM if ...

... you're spotted pushing your stroller through the neighborhood ... in the middle of the afternoon ... on a weekday ... while sipping your favorite Starbuck's latte.

... you seriously entertain the idea of an afternoon nap at least once each week.

... you use recycled bottles and duct tape to create "homemade" toys ... okay, you may also be a redneck ... and, yes, I actually did this - today, in fact.

... you're cruising through the grocery store aisles at 10 o'clock AM on a Tuesday.

... you have full-on conversations with several grocery store employees during said Tuesday morning shopping trip ... adult interaction can be tough to come by!

... your day planner is inundated with the acronym PD for Play Date.

... you haven't worn anything other than jeans or yoga pants in like months.

Yep, I am most definitely a SAHM ... and most days I thoroughly enjoy myself; other days I am bored silly ... either way I wouldn't trade it for the world ... at least not right this minute while NHV is peacefully taking her morning nap :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Punctuation

Found this on my friend Debby's blog ... little does she know, I love punctuation! I couldn't resist taking the quiz, and I wasn't surprised to find that I am a comma. I knew I'd either be a comma or a semicolon ;)



You Are a Comma



You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.



You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.



Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)



You excel in: Inspiring people



You get along best with: The Question Mark

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Seven Babies, One Couch ... Good Times!

Natalie and I hosted a playdate this afternoon, which explains why she's been napping for 2.5 hours ... and allowing time for mommy to blog ... delightful!
If you've never experienced a playdate, boy, are you missing out! Here's a quick glimpse "behind the scenes" ... 2 hours, 7 mommies, 7 babies, 4 boys, 3 girls, ranging in age from 4 months to 9 months, squeals of joy, tears of overstimulation, 3 diaper changes, a few minor meltdowns, countless cereal puffs, nap schedule commiseration, crawling progress, toys, toys, and more toys, ...
and a quick photo shoot ... all seven babies - lined up on my couch ... too stinkin' cute!


This photo makes me wonder ... who will these babies be in high school? In no particular order ... the rebel, the cheerleader, captain of the football team, editor for the school newspaper, the valedictorian, ... ??? Yes, good times, in deed!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is this my closet?

Without a doubt, motherhood has changed me. Just now, as I was up in my bedroom getting ready for the day - not sure what I am getting ready for ... playing on the floor, a possible walk around the 'hood, dinner preparation ... but there's just something pathetic about being in my jammies, unshowered when Chad gets home from work. And so, while Natalie naps, I quickly shower, run a comb through my hair, put on whatever clothes don't require brainpower to choose, ...
Anyway, here are a few things I noticed in my room as I was getting ready, things that are different now that I am a mom.
  • The clothes in my closet are no longer arranged by color - what was once a tidy gradient from white to ROY G BIV to browns and blacks is now a handful of haphazard hangers - my clothing rainbow is no more.
  • Hanging on the lower rod is about 6 pairs of pants I can no longer wear but I refuse to get rid of. I am completely satisfied with my current weight, just a few pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight, except for the fact that some of my pants still do not fit. I swear my hips and rear expanded to twice their normal size and now all my zippers and buttons are left to strain to fit around them.
  • Most of the clothes in my dresser drawers are not folded, instead they're shoved with a collection of slightly stained t-shirts, lounge pants, and tanktops I wear under everything.
  • In those same drawers, I see cotton bikini cut underwear where delicate danties and sexy thongs once prevailed.
  • All my super cute shoes with heels are on display in my canvas shoe organizer ... all of them are covered with a fine layer of dust. The shoes I wear everyday - comfy, practical, and really not very cute - are lined up near the door ready to be slipped on, usually while holding Natalie.
  • Beaded necklaces and delicate chains hang from hooks in a tangled mess - noticed only briefly as I grab my nursing bra hanging on the same hook. You see, these long forgotten accessories take time to coordinate, time I don't care to spend in this way. And besides, necklace + curious hands and mouth of a 9 month old = trouble.
  • Oh, and here's the part that really befuddles me ... my bed is not made. I have always made my bed in the morning; it's just one of those things that I do. I mean, I am home all day, and yet I can't find the time/energy to straighten my sheets and comforter!?

Ah, yes, motherhood has changed me. I no longer need a color-coordinated closet, cutesie accessories, or the extra height of my heels. And if my bed isn't made, perhaps I should consider that an open invitation for an afternoon nap!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy 9 Months!

Today my baby is 9 months old. Three quarters of a year ago, I gave birth to our beautiful girl. It's hard to fathom just how quickly the time passes. As much as I am enjoying her daily transformation, I can't help but feel sad that these baby days are slipping by. I am just so thankful to have a happy, healthy, silly, smart, wonderful daughter!
She's sleeping through the night, signing milk but nursing less, eating a variety of solids from a spoon and with her fingers, rolling and pulling to a sitting position with great proficiency, starting to show signs of crawling, belly laughing at the silly games we play, riding in the shopping cart like a big girl, still putting everything in her mouth, showing great interest in our cat, Louie, ... and bringing me immeasurable joy each and every day!

Click to play Month 9

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I continue to take far too many photos - in fact, this month I took almost 300 and kept over 200 digital images. This Smilebox is really just a glimpse at the past month but hopefully it captures the awe and wonder of watching my sweet Natalie grow and change ...
Happy 9 Months, momma's sweet girl!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Balls!

Hee, hee, hee! I said, “Balls!” or at least I typed it. A word that evokes giggles in most crowds - at least the crowds I tend to frequent. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’ve taught 5th grade, and 10 year olds find the word “balls” hilarious. Anyway, I totally - and somewhat immaturely - digress.

Balls are all the rage here in baby world. At every play date we attend, all the babies want to play with the balls … amongst all the other brightly colored, oddly shaped toys, the babies go for the simple sphere. As soon as I topple over a toy bin, Natalie reaches for whatever ball happens to roll out … we have four balls in our collection now, so she‘s pretty much guaranteed a ball every time! We even received a ball - adored with Disney Princesses - as a first birthday party favor.

Our most favorite ball … and no, all balls are not created equal … is the O-Ball. I purchased mine - I mean, Natalie’s - on a recent shopping spree at White Horse Toys in Gilman Village, this great old-fashioned toy shop. I also bought what is known as a "sensory ball" - picture the porcupine of all balls, but the spikes are quite baby-friendly.
Bottomline: Babies love balls! And really, what’s not to love? Roll it, toss it, pass it, bounce it, ... endless possibilities for FUN! But don't take our word for it, go out and get yourself some balls!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Smilebox: Mess-terpiece

Our latest endeavors into self-feeding have been messy and humorous. Natalie loves cottage cheese, especially when she's licking it off her own fingers, smearing it all over her high chair, and flinging it on floor. And I can't help but sit there laughing and taking pictures ... lucky for you, I am willing to share the mayhem! This Smilebox is guaranteed to make you, well, smile :) Enjoy!

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Friday, April 4, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things: Ergo Carrier

As far as this new mom is concerned, a carrier is a "must have" item. Whether you have a colicky baby or need to get a little housework done or want a travel option sans wheels, if you have a baby, you should also have a carrier! However, I am not a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn, but I didn't know any better when I registered ... so that's what I got. Now that I've been hanging out in the mommy community, I see so many other and better options. My personal favorite is the Ergo Baby Carrier (http://www.ergobabycarriers.com/). Although I don’t yet own one, I have worn a friend’s Ergo and heard the testimonials of countless Ergo-owners … therefore, I feel adequately knowledgeable to share my two cents.

With the Ergo, you can carry your baby on your front or back - the Bjorn doesn't do that. It also provides a much more natural sitting position for the baby - the Bjorn tends to cut into the crotch/thigh area. And it’s designed to let the baby’s weight rest on your hips - where it should; I end up with a terrible backache from the Bjorn. Oh, and it includes this fabulous hood-thingy that supports the baby's head when/if she falls asleep in the carrier ... a result I always hope for when I strap NHV to my chest :)
Anyway, this is just my opinion about carriers ... skip the Bjorn, the Ergo is a much better option! Now, I've got to head on over to check Craig's List and Ebay ... I'm on a mission to find a "gently used" and "reasonably priced" Ergo ... wish me luck!
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