Wednesday, March 28, 2012

His own way

Max is pretty opinionated for a baby.
He knows what he wants and is vocal about when he wants it.

Sometimes it stinks because I just can't let him eat that tuft of dog hair or a wood chip or pull on my earring so that it slices through my earlobe.

But mostly it makes me giggle.

Especially when he has decided crawling like a baby bear/mowgli/monkey is preferable over all other ways to get from a to b.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I had a hard day today. Sometimes I get extremely jealous that Kyle is still in school. I loved school, I loved learning and going to class and although I was glad to be done, I miss my english lit and women studies discussions. They made me think and expand my mind. What I really loved though, was the growth. It was so tangible with those online report cards and dean's list acknowledgments. To me they were a reminder that I was growing.

After finishing school I got a job as a nanny and it was new and exciting dealing with an opinionated toddler. I got pregnant, had a miscarriage, and then got pregnant again. This all involved, you guessed it, a lot of growth. Emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Being pregnant with Max was exhilarating. Often I would read through the ginormous pregnancy book I was given, just to try to understand what my body was doing. I thoroughly enjoyed the visual growth as my stomach swelled and my skin cracked to reveal stretch marks.

Having Max was wonderful and I quickly set out to take care of him as best I could. I got used to waking up multiple times in the night, making baby purees, and learning how best to wash a cloth diaper. On top of all that Kyle started going back to school and we finally had our own home again so I set out to try to make that home a haven. Keep it clean, make delicious food, and oh I wore myself out trying to keep up with it all.

I felt like I wasn't growing. I felt like I had hit my peak in college and being pregnant. I was wallowing on the couch thinking about how I wished I could do something where I could really see growth, Kyle put Max down for a nap not wanting to bother the festering mother on the couch. Max cried and I knew he wanted food, he wanted me. So I lugged myself off the couch and wandered into his room. To my amazement my baby was standing up in his playpen. He has been pulling himself up gradually this past week and as I picked him up I marvelled at how fast a baby grows.

Wasn't this the baby that was just barely big enough to fill my arms? Wasn't this the baby that I just saw his first smile? Gave him his first bit of solid food? Didn't he just start crawling? Tears sprang forth from my eyes, how fast he grows! I was jealous. I was jealous of my baby.

"Even he gets to grow..."I silently professed to my Father in Heaven. "It's not fair, everyone around me is growing and learning and I'm just stuck."

The spirit whispered into my heart,

You are not stuck. You are growing more than you even realize. You may not see it through grade reports or a swollen belly but your character is growing. As a mother and wife you are developing traits that are making you into the person Heavenly Father wants you to be. He's sees the change, but traits are developed slowly and so they are hard for you to see. But trust. You are growing, more than you know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When the sun comes out.

Thursday evening we checked the weather forecast for the following day with delight. It would be a beautiful sunny day like the day had been and we wanted to take advantage of it. I have been trying to find things to do that truly make me happy. I want to do challenging, rewarding things. I love me a great movie or book don't get me wrong but sometimes I yearn to be working back at the summer camp waking up far too early to shout songs by a lakeside. I like to consider myself an outdoorsy type girl but in all honesty I don't think I am all the way there. But I want to get there. So we planned a hike on friday after Kyle got done with school. I downloaded an app on my phone to direct us to an introductory hike. I of course made the poor decision to wear my converse. I told you I wasn't all the way there yet.
The sunshine made the hike wonderful. We shed our jackets and let our skin soak in the vitamin D that we have been missing this winter. The hike started out on slippery compacted snow which had melted into ice. The path was shaded by the sun and so the snow remained, stubbornly sticking together in fear of the inevitable spring which will melt it away. Once we reached a point where we could hike upward we saw the dirt littered with glitter. Formica. An old childhood friend graced our hike. My brothers and I used to pander for formica in a neighborhood friend's backyard. I remember all of us kids digging a great big pit and sifting for flecks of what appeared to be gold to us.
The view from the top was....a little anticlimactic. But it took my breath away nonetheless. Not because of a sweeping view of God's creation but because God gave us a day to hike in the sunshine. The gratitude I held in my heart was for being outside using what is given by God to be happy. It isn't always going to be miraculous sunsets that leave us speechless. Sometimes the day is a bunch of puzzle pieces, each with a confusing camo design of it's own. But oh when you listen to how He wants you to put the pieces together. The big picture all makes sense.
It's the way your baby looks in blue.
Genuine smiles because we just released some endorphins and are feeling the sun for an extended period of time.
It's the fact that your husband will wear the baby, not because you asked but because he wants his son to be near him.
It's watching a child take in the beauty of the earth. Even if the earth was brown and muddy.
It's your baby insisting you walk in front so that he can keep you in his line of sight at all times. This baby knows you are his mama.
It's taking a moment once the hike is all finished and the baby is chillin' in his carseat to kiss your man who is oh so good to you.

So even though the trail was slippery and muddy and the view from the top wasn't exactly the best grand display of God's creation you've ever seen, sometimes reaching the top is about seeing your family for what they are: a majestic creation that as cliche as it sounds, takes your breath away.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby kisses.

About a week ago I decided to try teaching Max how to give kisses. He caught on lickedy split and it is one of my favorite things ever now. He kisses without any hesitation. It is open-mouthed and extremely slobbery but just what a momma needs to remember she has it oh so good.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Things to Remember

Sometimes as mothers I think we have a general disposition to share EVERYTHING our baby does, has done, is doing right at this very moment. But honestly we share it because we want to remember all the precious memories. I know for myself I scare myself into thinking, "what if I forget this?" which when you think about it the memory will come when you need it but still, it's important to keep a recordo of all the precious wonderful things so here I go. Here are some little things/quirks about Max that I never want to forget.

1. He loves shoes. Not wearing them (I don't think he minds wearing them) but he likes our shoes. We are a kick 'em off when you walk in sort of family and so there is a big pile by the front door and countless times I find him crawling towards the pile ready to use his chompers. That's right. He likes to chew on them. I of course stop him when I see it happening because it's gross but it makes me laugh...I think he is part dog.
2. He also loves cords, especially electric cords to our keyboard, chargers, lamps, etc. He just likes pulling on them which results in things sometimes falling so really I just need to find a better solution to put everything...Once he even pulled down a floor lamp. Gave me quite a startle.
3. He loves music. Especially classical. Mostly he loves listening to Papa play on the guitar or piano.
4. He likes holding his own spoon when we feed him. Lately I have started to encourage him to feed himself more. This way we just remove the spoon from the equation and we get super messy!
5.He hates when you wipe his face. I swear this boy know how to smear his snot like no other. He is always balling up his fists and rubbing his nose and eyes which just spreads the snot everywhere but he wont let me clean him up. He hates it.
6.He likes to bite me to let me know he is done eating. I am not a big fan of this behavior and we are slowly working on it.
7. He prefers army and bear crawling to your typical hand/knee stuff. He will pull that out every so often but I think it's just not as much favorite.
8. He is a master explorer. This boy is so curious about the world and loves anything new. He loves crawling all around the apartment and physically touching everything and putting it in his mouth.
9. One of his favorite spots in the house is where Papa's guitar is set up. Right next to the guitar is one of those spring door stoppers. He crawls to that area all the time and flicks the door stopper which makes a cool vibrating noise and then whacks Papa's guitar. He just alternates back and forth which one to thwack and make sound with.
10. One of his favorite games to play with me is with my scarf. Basically I just billow it over him over and over and he tries to grab it from me. We both love it. I love it because of the great big baby smiles I get out of it : )

All in all my little man is starting to look like a little boy. He is musical, curious, and independent. He loves to laugh and loves attention just like his parents.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We love books

I wish the term "bookie" referred to an advocate of good books. I am a big reader. I think it started as a middle child when my older brothers would refuse to let me play legos, dungeon and dragons, or wizard world in the backyard. I got very good at playing by myself and also reading a lot of books. I think this started in motion my english major and currently a love for writing. Anyways we like to read in this household and Max is no exception. Obviously he can't read but here are a few things he can do with his books.
Stare at pictures and totally fool everyone into thinking you are reading.

Use the book as a tool to scoot about.

Use it for stretching out the lower back. This is also an appropriate time to screech in delight
Sit on the book.
Okay this picture is purely for melting the world's heart purposes.
How to get a kid to love reading? I honestly think it is by starting them young. Read to them, let them see you reading, and just enjoy it. Books are fun. There are so many amazing and beautiful stories out there to be read. Books help us learn. They can teach so much. Don't reward reading. If reading becomes associated with money or prizes then it will never become truely enjoyable by that person or child. You gotta love reading for reading sake.
In other news I am planning on a building Max's library birthday party for his first birthday. No toys, just books. I think it will be perfect.