Friday, December 17, 2010

Mom Was Here

After another full day which has turned me into a walking zombie I stumble into my room to grab my robe and a pair of clean necessities for after my bath. I’m stopped dead in my tracks by the neatly rolled bundles that await me in my underwear drawer. I remember leaving them in a jumbled mess. “She’s been here,” I say to myself. Skeptically I slowly open my other drawers knowing I left them in complete disarray. Her mark was all over, the woman who taught me how to fold clean laundry, specifically my undergarments, has made her way into my drawers and turned a heaping mess into a happy place.
 
The woman I am talking about is my mother.  Why, you ask, is your mother touching your underwear drawer? You are after all are 28 years old, married and a mother yourself. Believe me I’ve wondered the same thing and when I ask my mom why she does it (knowing I will ruin her creation within weeks) her answer is always the same… “because I want to.”  
 
From early into my pregnancy with Mikayla my mom would randomly announce that she would love to come and watch my baby when I go back to work. Too overwhelmed with growing a human I would just reply “yeah sure” shrugging away the idea that she would actually give up her life in Indiana to help me out. After I had the baby and the decision of what to do with my career was staring me in the face I had to make a decision. I knew I could never leave my baby to go back full time unless the person who I had the most trust in the world in would watch her. That person was my mom and it was decided to have her move out to CT for the summer.
 
Mikayla giving Gram Gram a kiss
When my mom arrived in June I was an emotional roller coaster. I wasn’t ready to leave Mikayla and was unsure that corporate life was for me. My mom quietly encouraged me and with her help I made it through those first few weeks. My life was in complete chaos trying to navigate a marriage, child and job and my mom was there to support and help me through it.  

Three months of helping out turned into six. My mom and Mikayla became buddies. They had the same routine every morning... go walk into town, talk to random people, go to the diner and then go to the Library. I was able to get part time at work and even after I started that my mom stuck around helping with the baby, fixing my wardrobe, scrubbing my windows (I told her not to!) and all the while loving me in a way only a mother knows how. 

Last weekend she left to go back to Indiana. I felt as though it was the end of something very special. Throughout these past six months we have learned a lot about each other and though not always in sync we learned to communicate better. I was able to look at my mom with the eyes of a new mother and understand her love for me better than I ever have before. It is so easy to take it for granted!
Thank you mom for helping me become the strong, confident woman I am at this very moment. I love you.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Merry Willmas


We aren't the only ones getting into the Christmas spirit...

Unpacking the Christmas decorations I came across a stuffed snowman... Willoughby "stole" it and ran around the house joyfully 

Will plays with Mr. Snow

The blur of Christmas

And the best part of all... I had the tree on and a pine scented candle glowing prettily. We were in the other room playing with Mikayla but I happened to glance in the room and saw Willoughby enjoying himself and soaking in some Christmas spirit.

And to all a good night

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Different Thanksgiving

Two major differences about Thanksgiving this year... My sister was in another country and there is now a small person joining us in the festivities. Here is how it all went down...

Wednesday
My parents came to our house after visiting Boston and along with the stories of pushy homeless people they also brought with them a stomach virus (which my mom thought was food poisoning). So the day before Thanksgiving my mom was sick and we were scrambling around trying to figure out what would be made the following day. I am one who likes to prepare and get things done ahead of time and since we hadn’t even discussed how the bounty we were about to receive was going to get on the table we ended up going grocery shopping Wednesday afternoon. NOT fun. I am not a lover of shopping… shopping for bananas, shoes or dog sweaters is all the same to me… overwhelming… so add the busiest crowd of the year and throw me into it along with my mommy brain and I’m a mess. Dhrumil was going down one side of the store while I, with three cookbooks in hand and the baby’s stroller, was scouting out the other side of the store. And would you believe… the no hormone turkeys they had were MINIMALLY processed making us then go to yet ANOTHER store to find a bird worthy of our table. I suggested just shooting one of the CT turkeys on the side of the road since they are most natural, but this was not taken well. HIGHLIGHT of the day… making an Apple Pie with Chedder Cheese crust from scratch with my grandpa as Sous Chef. Gasp I know… I have never been much of a baker but ever since I’ve become a mom and gone to the CIA (Cullinary Institute of America) for a team building, I have started finding a love in cooking.
A Piece of the PIE

Thursday
Mikayla decided the Holidays would be the perfect time to stop sleeping through the night AGAIN and so we were all a bit out of it that morning. Though my parents are in the basement when they visit they still hear the screaming… which is VERY loud since Mikayla’s lungs are now larger. My mom, still weak from the virus, worked on the turkey covering it with my soy “butter” since I am still doing non dairy (yes I know the pie wasn't totally dairy free) and I prepared the brussil sprouts which both my Uncle and Grandpa looked at with a wary eye. We spent the morning being killed in Rummy by my grandpa and staring at Mikayla who would wave, clap, attempt to crawl, bang her drum, smile and “talk” while we all cheered her on. Must say she seemed quite proud of herself and enjoyed the audience immensely. By the time we sat down to eat we were all even more out of it that we forgot our time honored tradition of telling what we were thankful for and while Mikayla screamed in protest because she wanted mashed potatoes we feasted on food that was good. Then Mikayla started to scream because she was bored and we put her high chair in front of the window and she watched the rain facing away from us while we finished our meal in peace. HIGHLIGHT of the day… my pie and my family.



Rummy with Pop Pop
Friday
Another sleepless night led to a cranky baby… online shopping in the morning and then Dhrumil decided to bundle Mikayla up and take her on a walk. After coming home and saying he was tired (to which I rolled my eyes) he went to lay on the bed. Rest of the day you ask? Dhrumil was talking to Johnny on the porcelain phone with the stomach virus while I put Christmas Carols up extra loud as to not hear the poor man. I am not good with stomach sickness… Mikayla and I drove around and took a fun trip to Walgreens in hopes of escaping for a while. HIGHLIGHT of the day… hmmm

Mikayla in a fort made by daddy (after the sickness)

Saturday
MAJOR sleepless night since Dhrumil was ill and I was alone on baby duty. The next morning even though Dhrumil was very weak, he was over the worst and so we decided we NEEDED to get out of the house and went to chop a Christmas tree. Though the hayride which was promised was not running we had fun walking amongst the pines choosing one we thought was best. And there she was… Miss Pine in all her glory! Dhrumil and I took turns sawing it down and Dhrumil made the final cut (since he was the man) and that was that. Oh Miss Mikayla decided she was above smiling for the family outing. Putting the tree up at home with a baby is exhausting. That being said after many failed attempts of making the tree look straight, we figured out the trunk was crooked… sigh. AND I got a rash from the tree… sigh again. HIGHLIGHT of the day… Christmas time is here! OH and my mom watched Mikayla so me and Weak Dhrumil who was exhausted could go to a movie.






Dhrumil carrying our tree
Sunday
Mikayla learned to KISS! AHHH 





Dhrumil and I agreed... that was the longest long weekend we had ever experienced. Hoping to not repeat the same next year, but holding dear to the few sweet moments we had!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Pink Bunny

Bunnies have been in my life for as long as I can remember. It all started with Floppy, the stuffed pink rabbit that I was given as a baby. Floppy can be seen in photos that date back to my crawling days. 

The first time I truly remember Floppy is when I found him in a box in the basement of our townhouse when I was 5. I remember  thinking... how lonely for him all alone in this box. From that point on we were inseparable. I couldn't sleep without him for (yes I can't believe I'm saying this) 20 years. He followed me to sleepovers, trips all over the country, more than 10 countries, college... you get the idea. He was my piece of home, my comfort and my last grasp on childhood. 

A few years ago Dhrumil said it was him or Floppy... no not really :) BUT I did say goodbye to Floppy about a year ago. He now sits on a shelf and every now and then I have a glimpse of him and am reminded of my childhood and how amazing it was. 

I now have a new pink bunny... and her name in Mikayla. When she is older and asks why in the world did I dress her as a pink bunny I will tell her the story of my favorite stuffed animal in the whole world...







Monday, October 25, 2010

Lessons of a Seven Month Parent

1 - Parenthood and a type A personality doesn't mix
2 - When you think you are ready to leave the house, think again...
3 - When you smell something funky in the car its most likely to be ALL over the baby
4 - Change is your new constant
5 - You don't need 8 hours of sleep to survive
6 - It takes weeks instead of days to finish a new book
7 - Laughter is a part of every day no matter how tough it is
8 - It takes 5 days, instead of 30 minutes, to finish a post (ahem this one)
9 - Working as a team with your spouse is more important than ever
10 - Each new milestone, no matter how small, brings you closer to pushing your child out of the nest
11 - Leaving the house messy is ok as long as you have a happy baby
12 - Planning is a thing of the past
13 - The books are NOT always right
14 - Your baby isn't always like the books say
15 - Um just throw out the books and go by your gut and advice from loved ones
16 - The moments hen your baby looks at you with such love makes all the hard work that much more rewarding!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The New Jazzercise


Feel like you need to lose a few? Don't have time to get in your exercise? Don't look any further than your own baby. MOMERCISE!! Here is how it works...


Start with one baby who needs entertainment while you are cleaning the kitchen

Give her something to play with

Put away a dish, turn around, see "toy" on ground, hand it back, watch it go back on floor

Give new "toy" watch while baby throws it on floor

Notice both "toys" on the ground, baby staring, hand them back, see them thrown...

And so it will continue... lunge down grab toy, give back, turn around, put away dish, turn around, lunge for toy and continue for as long as it takes to clean the kitchen.





The Never Ending To Do List

I have always had a lot to do, but ever since we've had Mikayla it feels like the list is never ending. Those lazy Sundays with nothing to do are a thing of the past and I miss them. My days feel like a continuous cycle of things to do. I now I find myself starting a few different projects one after the other and then realizing I never finished the first project.

Today I decided to do something different... it was time to put down the list. Last night when I finally sat down to watch a movie with Dhrumil my legs hurt and I couldn't figure out why. Sure I went apple picking, but it's not like I walked miles. Today I realized the same thing and then it hit me... I haven't sat down all weekend. I have been going from one thing to the other and haven't stopped. Today at 3pm I decided to stop. Of course all things Mikayla never stop BUT I decided my straightening up of the house was done, the laundry that needing folding could stay in a pile another day and all of the other house projects that tend to throw themselves in my way were ignored.

It feels good... letting go. Can I do it again? Not sure. But I do know one thing... I will try to not let my to do list control me again.      

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sleep Saga


Conversation with a Norwegian male coworker today…
Him: Baby sleeping? 
Me: Not really
Him: You sleeping? 
Me: Nope
Me: Well she sleeps through the night every few days or so… not sure what’s going on
Him: It’s called the baby syndrome, not much you can do about it
And there it is… I needed that as my AHA moment! This is what it is... so I'll just deal. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Thumbs

The Thumbs

And so the story goes. Dhrumil likes vegetables… after all he is a vegetarian. He has wanted a device that would aid him in creating vegetables of the same size for a plethora of recipes. So, on his last Target run he picked up a mandolin. First thing he said to me when I came home from work “I bought a vegetable slicer and I’m so excited!” My reply? “Don’t cut yourself!” For as all good Food Network watchers know… mandolins can be deadly. 

The next day Dhrumil wanted a sandwhich and was excited by the prospects of having the same size veggies to build his masterpiece. While he started to use the mandolin I thought to myself (actually I thought I said this out loud, but I was very tired and speaking was too much of an effort at that point) DON’T CUT YOURSELF! Well what do you know, one minute later Dhrumil was holding his thumb over the sink, blood was pouring out and after putting the baby down I helped him wrap his wound. 

Fast forward to the next morning. Behold Dhrumil sitting at the table, mandolin in hand, vegetables in the other. He was working on a pasta salad for the six month birthday picnic we were going to have for Mikayla later that day. I thought it was both stupid and gutsy to once again battle the mandolin and of course I said (this time out loud… I think) Don’t cut yourself. Well I popped my head in to check on the baby as she slept and after turning back around I noticed Dhrumil once again with his finger over that sink. This time it was the other thumb. This time it did not stop bleeding and this time we made a nice trip to the ER. Dhrumil in pj pants and paper towel covering his wound, me unshowered and a happy baby in the backseat. Dhrumil got “second skin” placed on his severed thumb and a new band aide on his other thumb, the mandolin got sent to the garbage, and I got button up duty on Dhrumil’s shirts for the rest of the week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Halfway there



My little baby is six months old! I can't believe I'm saying that. Just today I was sorting through her clothes and sadly putting away the ones she can no longer fit (secretly hoping a little sister will someday where them again) and taking out the outfits I used to think were huge.

Current stats:
Height: 26 1/4 inches... 50-75%
Weight: 15.5 pounds... 25-50%
Conclusion? She is almost too long for 6 month onesie pjs with feet, but she doesn't have enough rolls to totally fill them out.

What does Mikayla like to do in her free time?
- Roll from one side of the room to the other
- Eat squash
- Eat rice cereal
- Talk about life (gooo gaaa baaa maa daaa)
- Hang out with Gram Gram during the day
- Have a HUGE smile for mommy when she comes home from work
- Laugh at the dog
- Pull her socks off
- Laugh at daddy
- Stare
- Laugh at mommy
- Be moody
- Laugh at... who knows what she's laughing at
- Play in her pack and play by herself
- Sleep through the night (um yeah well maybe for a few weeks and then not and then yes, but wait maybe not.... ever changing!)
- Want to play with anything that isn't a toy
- Pull dishes and different items off the table while mommy and daddy try to eat (ketchup, place mats)
- So much more!!!!


Mikayla Meets Sweet Potatoes

video

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Blessed Night

Dad dedicating Mikayla
Last weekend we had a service to dedicate Mikayla to God and also to commission Christina and Clinton as they headed off to Ecuador. What a blessing the service was! With family and friends there to support us, a mom who put everything together and a talented father who did the music, this night will always hold a special place in my heart.


 At my own dedication my dad sang a song he had written and Saturday night he sang the same song for our sweet Mikayla. It was such a special moment.

The night before I was listening to a tape recording of my baby dedication and hearing all the pastor had said brought tears to my eyes… he prayed I would know God and I do! What an amazing thing. 

I pray that Mikayla will come to know and love God as we do. I pray that Dhrumil and I can uphold the vows we took and give our child completely to God.

Pslams 139:

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.


My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,


your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book 
before one of them came to be.  



Monday, August 16, 2010

Missing a Sister

Today marks a new chapter in my sister’s life… she now lives in Ecuador! Christina and her husband Clinton are going to be teaching at an international high school in Ecuador ’s capital of Quito. Although I am excited for them and the many amazing experiences they are going to have I am already missing my sister (and of course Clinton) so much.

I have been extremely blessed with an amazing sister who is also my best friend. She is a gentle spirit who listens when I have to vent, who says just the right thing when I’m feeling down and who I know always has my back… no matter what. Though she is my little sister I look up to her in many ways and am always astounded by the confidence she has as she faces new challenges in life. Though College put distance between us for 6 years we were finally again in the same place. I have loved having both her and Clinton living just a train ride away in the city and will miss visiting them every few weekends. I am also going to miss having them here to watch Mikayla grow. I have promised to put a picture of Christina in Mikayla’s room and speak her name daily! 

I will miss you my sister, but know you are off to do amazing things!

If you want to follow their adventures in Ecuador check out Ten Confianza!

Look Who

Two big developments that I must note with my sweet pea…

        She is sitting by herself!
        She turns when you call her name!

In conclusion? Mikayla is BRILLIANT! I am such a proud mother telling anyone who will listen (or pretends to listen) about her accomplishments!

I leave this highly intelligent post with my new favorite quote that I heard over the weekend… “Having a child is like getting a tattoo on your face… you have to be fully committed” HA! Isn't that the truth!? 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grass

This afternoon I took Mikayla outside to do a 5 month photo shoot. First off her mood was...


And while all I was asking of her was to smile...

                                     

She was more interested in touching the green stuff...

                                      

And after numerous attempts to show her the camera was more fun to look at instead of grass...

                                      

I gave up...

                                     

And let her enjoy her first true experience of running her fingers through the grass...

                                   

5 Months



Mikayla at 5 months... there is so much more but these are the first that come to mind:
-          VERY vocal
-          Knows what she wants
-          If you take something away from her (for example the dog’s leash) she cries
-          She really wants to sit and gets frustrated when she can’t
-          She likes to give me “kisses” by smashing her whole face into mine
-          She just started rice cereal a few days ago and seems to like it though it’s super messy and 
        she wants to hold the spoon
-          She loves to blow spit bubbles and has to concentrate to do so
-          She is still loving her baths
-          She LOVES plastic cups and will lay there and crunch them for long periods of time (my 
        mom discovered this and now you can find cups all over the house)
-          She giggles when we run around like fools
-          She enjoys walks and will smile and talk while we push her around
-          If she’s not in the mood to smile she will just stare at you with an indifferent look
-          She does a cute little shy thing at random times with new people and puts her head down and 
        smiles from the side of her face with her eyes looking up…I think she is flirting
-          She holds onto EVERYTHING… earrings, hair
-       She is starting make it known that she wants me around :) good and bad...
-          She enjoys sucking her toes
-          She is sleeping through the night most nights

video