Saturday, December 31, 2011

the difference a year makes


it's funny how a year can change everything, and nothing

last year, we went out for sushi & thai food with good friends on new year's eve
then, big and pregnant, we went back to their house to watch Shrek with their three little girls
i was exhausted, so we left well before midnight, before the movie was over 
even the littlest one stayed up later than i could that night

this year, our plans are the same
the same restaurant, the same little girls, only each a year older
a different movie at their house for a different year
and we will probably pack up and go before midnight again no doubt
the only difference will be the little guy we'll tuck to sleep at their house
cozy in his pack and play and footie pj's
the one we'll wake up when we're ready to go, all bed-headed and groggy
smiling sleepily as we pull on his puffy green coat
as we get ready to enter a new year with a not-so-new little boy

it's funny how a year can change everything, and nothing


may your new year be happy, hopeful & bright!
the three of us

Sunday, December 25, 2011

my christmas wish for you...


wishing you...

peace in the midst of worry

I’m leaving you welland whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. 
-John 14:27 

joy in the midst of sadness

hope in the midst of doubt

rest in the midst of weariness

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
-Matthew 11:28

faith in the midst of fear

Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? 
-Romans 8:32

and every other good gift that only God can give.

Friday, December 23, 2011

this time last year


On this day last year we were driving to Chicago for Christmas
I was hugely pregnant
And we must've made at least four potty stops on that 6 hour drive to his parents' house

I remember walking around for hours downtown in the snow and freezing cold with my big black puffer jacket wide open because my belly was too big to zip it up

I kept thinking how weird it would be next Christmas to have an almost one year old to celebrate with

Last Christmas my mind couldn't even fathom exactly what was growing inside me, or how it would make its way out, much less able to imagine what would transpire throughout an entire year

Now we're here. On the other side of birth, already planning for a sibling and watching that little baby grow into such a little boy.

It's crazy how quickly a year can feel.
Gone in a blink but slow as seconds ticking too.

It's a year that I will hide in my heart, like Mary, for all of my life. It was a wonderfully fast, yet exhaustingly slow year...and it's not even over yet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

adjectives & adverbs about my boy

where's waldo?

Sweater pill-picker
Hot sauce-licker
Graham cracker-muncher
Sippy cup-slurper
Wide eyed-watcher
Finger holding-walker

Sunday, December 4, 2011

these are the days

Sometimes life's best when schedules fly out the window and you just roll with the day

Sans naps, a hood instead of a proper hat to shield the rain

With enough time to hold hands and push strollers on wet pavement

These are the days when car naps, reheated pizza for dinner and early bedtimes are savored like a decaf coffee in the late afternoon

These are the moments I'll miss oneday

Nursing in a baby gap nursing room filled with headless child-sized mannequins with one lone arm chair

we have company at the baby gap nursing room

Stopping at the bookstore for coffee and staying over an hour, holed up in the kids section playing with toy trains, him standing, fascinated by the table of wooden tracks,

For the little boy who said, "babies don't know how to play," and how he blushed with pride when I responded, "well, if you show him how, he can watch you and learn."

We set out to buy gifts but came home empty-handed but with bellies full of love for days like this

where's waldo?

that end with a little boy in a pile of toys

and in bed, asleep, before the clock hit eight.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

still thankful, even after thanksgiving...oh, the nerve


every year, i hate the way that christmas is pushed further and further up the calendar.
before thanksgiving
before even halloween in some places.
i hate that autumn is rushed for the long winter that comes after.

i was not feeling the christmas spirit last week.
the switch in my brain on thanksgiving night didn't switch and i wasn't ready
didn't want to decorate for christmas, get a tree, go on the hunt for presents.
i just felt blah about it all.

but we did it anyways.

last friday, before the thanksgiving leftovers were even eaten
we went with Curtis' family to the tree farm about an hour and a half south of here
we took a slay/hay ride (in 60 degree weather mind you), browsed their shop of holiday cheer,
had a nice lunch, and we even stopped at lowe's on the way home to pick out our tree
(we decided a few years ago that the hassle of tree cutting is overrated, and expensive),

we even decorated our little home that night, complete with christmas music, but it was just business for me - pull out the boxes, unwrap the ornaments, hang the kissing ball and practice with my boys.

let's get it done, i kept thinking, so when i do feel some holiday cheer kicking in, it will already be up and ready for my enjoyment.

but then Curtis grabbed Micah and held him up by the top of the tree - just like the photo i have of my dad and me on my first christmas, with my first christmas tree - and that did it.


just like that, i saw the holidays through the eyes of my son.
who last year was still kicking away in my belly
who can now crawl up to the tree if he wanted.

he may have no memories of his first christmas, but we'll have photos of him
hovering over his first tree, in footie pj's before the lights were strung and the tree skirt laid around the base of the stump.

and although i'm slowly letting the holiday spirit sink in with all of its gift giving and tree decorating,
i'm still trying hard to keep the little spaces of our home sacred.

and it's not easy.

so i guess i don't mind that i haven't fully gotten into the swing of holiday things quite yet. maybe i'd be wise to guard myself from some of the voices that tend to speak a little too loud into my ears this time of year anyways.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"However God has dealt with us, 
He has dealt with us better than we deserve; 
and all in love, and for our good."

-Matthew Henry we give thanks.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

9 months in, 9 months out


yesterday morning he woke up laughing. it was seriously the sweetest sound.
i didn't even want to go in and get him up, but just stand outside his door eavesdropping.

people ask me all the time if he's always such a good baby and i almost feel guilty saying yes.
we seriously couldn't have asked for a more laid back, sweet-tempered, content little guy.

it blows my mind that he has now been a part of our little world outside of me for as long as he was inside.

i thought i knew the extent of my love for him when i felt him kick inside, then i gave birth and that love multiplied by a billion - and now, with every month that passes i love him more.

last night when curtis walked in the back door micah saw him and let out the loudest, happiest squeal. i think we both melted right then and there. then curtis said, 'i've always wanted to walk in the door after work and have him waiting there, excited to see me.' i wish i had his reaction on video - it was a memory i'll never forget, and one that will be repeated over and over.

then, over dinner he said, 'i can't remember what it was like before him.'
and really, neither of us can. in 9 short months he has become so much a part of our family that it's hard to recall what life was like pre-micah. we both agreed we wasted a lot of time.

life is just so rich. and he keeps getting more and more fun. he cracks me up with his funny faces, his excited squeals, how he just started finding it funny to stick his tongue out at you. how extremely ticklish and giggly he gets at the oddest moments. how he sucks his thumb, but only when he's tired, how he loves cherrios and even at the sight of the big yellow box, his feet start kicking almost uncontrollable.

still no teeth, but he's got a pretty fast army crawl to remind us that he's approaching toddlerhood at a rapid rate. he loves wheels and balls and cars. any food that we offer he happily scarfs. he goes to sleep without a fuss and still nurses like a champ.

while it's crazy/exciting to think that in a few short months we will wean and it will be the last time i nurse for a while, i'll be honest, i will miss that bond that we share right now. the way he looks at me and plays with my hair at he eats.

when i was still weeks away from having him, a friend reminded me - 'you will never have this time again, so enjoy it, just the two of you.' and right now i feel similarly about our time now.

one day soon (or not-so-soon) our family of three will become a family of four. the timing is indefinite but the reality is there - so i'm making a conscious effort to enjoy this time, just me and my two boys, without rushing into the future too far.

we are in a good, happy place and while i know the next place will be a good one for us too, i am acutely aware that we will never have this time again, and i'm okay with that (thrilled, even) but not anxious to get there too fast.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

why i hate to bake...


i don't bake.

well, that's not really true. i do bake, but i don't like to.
the main reason why - i hate measuring things. i hate searching my cupboards and the back of my fridge for sugar and flour and vanilla. i hate remembering the difference between baking powder and baking soda, i hate letting butter get to room temperature...

i'd much rather make dinner - like today...

this morning during Micah's nap i decided to make green chicken chili for dinner.
so i got out the crock pot, plopped two large chicken breasts in the bottom,
dumped in a can of corn, a can of white beans, chopped an onion, emptied a small can of jalepenos and a jar of salsa verde and i was pretty much done.

no measuring, no timers, no little spoons and cups to clean up.

but something got me today and by the afternoon i was scouring {pinterest} for either an apple-y or a pumpkin-y sweet treat.

well, i couldn't decide, so while Micah played happily at my feet i took the opportunity, while spoons and bowls where already dirty and while all the ingredients were already out - to whip up these {chocolate chip pumpkin bars} and this {apple cake with brown sugar glaze}

i don't even like cake, but i've got at least 10 pounds of apples left to use and it looked like a treat my hubby would love, so i made it...and let me just tell you - as the glaze was cooling and seeping into every crack and crevice, i snuck a piece - and whoa - more like a breakfast-y sweet bread, it was divine.

i may or may not have brought the little plate up to my room with an afternoon cup of coffee to savor on my bed while Micah slept. There's nothing like pretending your eating breakfast in bed at 3pm. it was a great way to spend 5 minutes during naptime.

so, while i'll never chose baking over cooking, today might have changed all that.

now pardon me as i tiptoe downstairs to maybe try a pumpkin bar next.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the "a" word: how adoption has entered our vernacular once again

"He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord."
-Psalm 113:9

"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."
-John 14: 18

If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know our story.
if not, here it is in a nutshell:

we couldn't get pregnant - we tried for almost two years.
we started the process to adopt,
we got pregnant a month later, 
and had a son 
and to some, it would seem, that was that.

we now knew we could, in fact, conceive, and to many, it would seem like a no-brainer.
you want more kids? have another. You want a third, just get pregnant again.
it's easier than adopting, it's me, we've heard it all.

but from the moment we learned we were pregnant, or even before that, we knew (and hoped) that adoption would still be part of the way God would grow our family.
so quickly had it become a part of us, this longing to give those who have no families, a family.
the abandoned a home. 
the orphan, a father, a mother.

We have gotten many different responses to the news that we will not be trying to get pregnant with our next child. two such responses stick out in my mind more than some of the others...

Are you going to have any more of your own?

although we know what is meant by this comment - will you ever literally conceive and give birth to another baby again now that you know that it's possible - it still stings a bit.
our next child isn't even born yet, may not even have been conceived yet, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that wherever he or she is conceived, whether it be a hotel room, a prison, a bedroom in the projects,
wherever he's born -
whoever the woman is that also considers this child her own
this child will be our own as much as Micah is.
will the love be different? maybe. but will there be love? certainly.
will it be hard? maybe. worth it? absolutely.

the other comment we've more recently gotten is:

but if you don't adopt this baby, won't someone else just come along and adopt them?

and the answer is probably yes.
if we choose not to adopt this infant, there's a relatively good chance that someone else will adopt him or her.
however, that is not the case for all children. and there are no guarantees.

then i got to thinking - isn't that the case with most things?
if you don't do it, someone else probably will, right?
and for a moment it seems that idea makes our action a little less urgent, less necessary even.

but as i was thinking, debating what my responses should or shouldn't have been
i was struck with the thought...

but why not us?

we get to be a part of this amazing process.
and so what if we know that if we don't adopt this precious little life into our family, then someone else will.

we have the chance to be that family. 

the opportunity. the privilege. it's overwhelming, but humbling and amazing all at once.

a close friend asked us recently why we want to adopt. partially playing devil's advocate, because they already knew our hearts as we have shared with them before. they are friends that in the course of three years (give or take), have had two biological children and have adopted two of their cousins, so they know the ups and downs of adoption first hand. so they asked us, what's the motivation to adopt for you guys?

our answer is three-fold, i think:

we feel called by God to do so - akin (we're assuming) to the call to become an overseas missionary. you feel the tug (the call, so to speak, and you follow - no matter how nerve-wracking, intimidating, bigger than you) you follow because you know that's the path you are to walk.

to paraphrase my dear friend {Kate} who has a biological daughter, a son who was adopted from Ethiopia and is now just waiting for the county's call that they have a child for them to foster/adopt: we want to be parents to more children, there are children out there who have no parents, so we adopt.

we believe that we have a great responsibility/privilege to point our children to the truth that because of Jesus' saving work on the cross, we all have the chance to not only be children in families, but also children of God! and the gift of adoption gives us the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel with a child that may never have gotten the chance to hear that message.

but, how do you know that if you don't share that with them, that some other family won't either?

and the truth is, we don't. maybe another family would...but again, why not us?

for the last month or so, our church has been studying the book of Exodus. 
Last Sunday as our pastor taught on Moses and the plagues in Egypt, 
he kept returning to his point that God's plan in saving Moses was bigger than just his salvation.
God used him to free the entire Israelite nation.
and further than that - to show all of Egypt that the Lord was the one true God.

Similarly, God's plan in saving me is bigger than just my salvation.

and we think that adoption is just a small part of that bigger story.

For a long time i felt like that barren woman in the verse above. i trusted that somehow, someway God would give us a family, but sometimes deep down, i doubted. don't we all?

There are times (many times) that i still doubt. where will we get the money? (adoption is expensive) how am i going to manage having two kids under two years old? (most likely)

but then we look back and see God's hand on our past -
a past where He withheld pregnancy,
where He offered adoption, not as second choice, but a just-as-good option.
and it was He who caused life to form inside when the possibility was a long shot.

with that in mind, and the future doesn't seem so daunting.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen."

So we move forward with that in mind.

We cannot wait to share with you as this journey unfolds...and we hope you'll continue to follow along down this new (to us) path.

Also, follow our progress along under the ::our adoption timeline:: tab at the top of my blog.
I know i was also curious about how long the adoption process took for other adoptive families when we were first researching adoption, what all was involved,, it's a great way for us to look back and remember how far we've come as we try not to get overwhelmed by what all is left to do.

Monday, October 31, 2011

bittersweet october




Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking,
perfect pause between the opposing miseries
of summer and winter.

-Carol Bishop

happy october 31st

i am sad to see october end
november is too close to winter
but i have a half-eaten apple pie sitting on my stove
20 pounds of apples in a big wooden bowl on my counter
a corned beef in the crock pot
and beer bread in the oven
reminding me that autumn isn't over yet

Thursday, October 27, 2011

on cars and cardboard boxes








how is it that boys almost innately gravitate towards cars?

it was a couple weeks ago and my parents were babysitting Micah while we went to a friend's 30th birthday party.
my parents were simultaneously hosting a party and when we got back, they told us how Micah was enthralled by the cars my little cousin was playing with.
so she found a few larger ones for Micah to play with and he would moan and whine for them if someone (namely the little cousin) got jealous and took them away from him.

so the next day, i dug through some of Micah's toys and found the little set of three Ikea cars he got for Christmas last year when he was still tucked all small and cozy inside of me.
and low and behold he loved them and they are - almost two weeks later, still his favorite of all of his toys.

so the other day, after finishing off a box of diapers, i popped him, along with his three beloved cars, inside and watched as he played with those suckers - that is until he tried to overturn the box to get out. and then he shimmied up to my feet and then got all tuckered out right there on the hardwood floor...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

aquarium adventures


this past weekend we went to chicago to visit Curtis' parents.
i think the highlight of the trip for all of us was our visit to Shedd Aquarium.


even Micah was in awe as we held him to the glass of the various tanks.
mesmerized, he'd reach out and touch the glass, often to his excitement and bewilderment as a fishy would swim up to meet his finger
he'd look at the fish, then at us and then, with his little hands that never stop moving he's do that hand-flappy wave he does
those around us got a kick out of it.
and through the eyes of Micah i enjoyed the species of animal i really can't stand all the more.


even better was the fact that we bypassed the ticket line that wound down the street
for the much shorter wheelchair and stroller accessible line.
thank you son for savings us at least an hour of waiting!
as soon as we got in it was time to feed him so Curtis and his parents went to get coffee while i hunted down a nice quiet family bathroom or something


much to my delight, they not only had a private family bathroom, but a private and cozy
nursing room as well.
complete with a couch, changing table and sink - all that was missing was a toilet - but i'm not complaining.
we stayed at the aquarium so long that i got to utilize that room twice
world's away from nursing on the floor of a caribou coffee bathroom that i had to do later that day


the fish were incredible (even to me, a girl who can only stand to eat them)
the aquarium was broken down by regions of the world and while we didn't buy the pricey $25-35 tickets that give you entrance to live shows and stuff, our $8 tickets let us utilize most of the exhibits.


while there Micah even got his first tattoo.
we waited patiently as a pretty hawaiian lady was sponging temporary tattoos onto little arms.
Micah wasn't nervous at all and i chose a sweet little sea turtle for his forearm.
i joked with Curtis' mom that if he didn't have a onesie on, i would have asked her to put it on his upper back, right above his diaper, just to be funny.


after all, chicago was the place where both Curtis and I got our first (and only - so far) tattoos.
our "romantic" wedding bands that live under our real wedding rings.
a mistake to some (including my husband) but to me, still a sweet sign of our commitment to each other.


while there, we had a nice lunch with a fabulous view of the city and the lake.
sailboats were out and we enjoyed our food while Micah gazed out the window,
oblivious to his tat.


then we made our way to Michigan Ave and window shopped in the most gorgeous weather
the kind of weather you don't even notice. no warmth or chill to make you stop and think
i'm a little warm, or a little too chilly.


like every weekend, it came and went too quickly,
and before we knew it, we were packing up our car and heading home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pumpkin love

tonight i came across a blog post while nursing Micah to sleep.
i can't remember where i found it but it was a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie.
it looked and sounded so creamy and decadent, but healthy too, so as soon as i put the boy to sleep i whipped out the blender and made it.

here's all you need:

1 frozen banana
1 cup milk (i used vanilla almond milk)
1/3 can pumpkin (i used about 1/2 cup)
couple dashes of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
teaspoon brown sugar

directions: blend & sip - it's as easy as that!

when i brought it in the living room for Curtis to try he refused.
i finally forced it on him and he made a gagging face as he sipped.
he didn't like it - then he proceeded to tell me how they make pumpkin puree

he was like, you know, a cute old lady doesn't sit in the factory and peel and cut up pieces of pumpkin to puree right???

i was like, yeah, do they do it then?

(he then deleted part of my blog post where i tell you how exactly they make the don't want to know...)

(now, this is where Curtis said i had to give the disclaimer that i used Libby's canned pumpkin and that he works for Nestle which owns Libby's)

but anyways...however it's made, i like that stuff.

not too sweet, and a thick, smooth, deep orange healthy-enough-for-breakfast, but indulgent enough for dessert.

just another way to enjoy some pumpkin goodness this fall!

another sip, yes please!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

on fear & forgetfulness


coffee jitters my fears awake this morning
the ones i put to bed last night with prayer

caffeine-laced doubts
but who am i kidding?
even sans the starbucks via that i'm sipping
when the coffee beans run out
i am still a doubting thomas
a peter sinking as he makes his way to Jesus walking on the water
i am afraid

so i read
instead of giving reign to my thoughts that lead to no-good places:

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life?

...Therefore, do not be anxious [...] for the ungodly seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. 

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough cares of its own."

i have read it every morning for the last three days
Matthew 6: 25-34

i try to let it steep, soak in but i so easily forget like the Israelites
who'd rather return to Egypt's slavery than see the salvation of the Lord in the midst of the wilderness.

how quickly they forget
and how quickly i do too
we are a forgetful people

This morning on her {blog}, Ann Voskamp wrote:

"I was, and am still, his most fearful child."

and i am too.
fearful of the unknown, the what if's, the lack of

Yet, as Moses exorts Israel before crossing the Red Sea:

"Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today...
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still."

(exodus 14: 13-14)

and once they had crossed (on dry ground no less!) he sings:

"You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode."

(exodus 15:13)

Ann closes her post with these words:

"I stand in a kitchen with a list in hand.
A calendar on the wall.
Tasks pressing on the mind.
I take a deep breath, loosen the shoulders, stay fluid.
Let go and lean.
Lean back into Him.

There is this way of living: abandon all worries and abide in Christ — all is well. The relief’s in the release of everything into the hands of the God. Isn’t it all safer in His hands anyways? Abandon and abide — all is well.

Life’s an adventure when we move as He moves.
Standing in the kitchen I breathe deep and let it all ebb away into a smile.
Fluid and fully surrendered to Christ, I think I can feel it even here. The wild wind in the hair…."

so today, i choose not only to be still, but to trust that in the stillness He is still moving.
in my doubt, fear and forgetfulness, he remains unchanging and completely faithful.

and as Ann is known for ending, i write as she does:

All is grace.

Friday, October 7, 2011

an addition to our morning routine

story time

most mornings look something like this:

i wake up at 7/7:30
sometimes micah's still sleeping and sometimes he's awake, babbling to himself in his crib.
on mornings where he's still sleeping i head downstairs, eat a bowl of cereal and drink a cup of coffee then hop in the shower.
if i can do all three before he wakes up i know it will be a very good day.
the days i hear him up already, i choose between breakfast or a shower before i get him up.
on those days i typically hop in the shower and wait on coffee and breakfast until after he's eaten.

today i had all three before i got micah up at 8.
i even had a chance to get dressed, run a load of wash, unload and refill the dishwasher and 'slap some paint on the barn' as my mom likes to say.

at about 8 i head into his room, change and dress him (while singing rise and shine) then nurse and give him his big boy breakfast that usually consists of fruit baby food mixed with oatmeal and sometimes some fresh fruit.

and then we play for a bit and by 9:30 or so it's nap time. however, lately we've added something else to our morning routine that i hope will carry far past his babyhood.

we've started reading just a few pages of {The Jesus Storybook Bible} most mornings after his breakfast. it's so simple and well-written and every story (even the old testament ones) points to Jesus, which even i can use a refresher course in every so often.

the illustrations are really beautiful and unique and i have been really enjoying it despite the fact that Micah's attention span is short and he's usually more interested in trying to eat the book (or his toes) than follow along. but it's a good habit to get into together - reading the bible and praying together to start our days together.

this morning we read about Abraham believing God's promise that even though he and his wife were very old, that he would be the father of a great nation. it was just such a sweet moment, even if Micah doesn't understand it quite yet, to be able to sit with him and read with him and pray with him.

i hope this is one morning ritual that lasts a very long time. what a privilege it is to get to share the bible and its truths with our children. it is a privilege that i hope to never take for granted.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

on choking

my momma and me

i think i was about ten and we were at one of those wholesale stores like costco.
it was my whole family and my aunt, uncle and my two cousins.
i remember parts of the trip so vividly - others are a part of the blur that comes with childhood.

what i do recall, however, still gives me the chills.

we must've all been walking around shopping and eating the samples. that i remember.
the next thing i can recall, we are all in the checkout and my cousin - maybe three or four at the time starts choking.

somehow, he had gotten a piece of hard candy as a sample as we were meandering through the aisles
and when we got to the checkout he started choking.

and this wasn't gag a little, then cry a little, then cough it up choking.

i remember him turning blue.

i remember the look of panic in my aunt's eyes as the heimlich wasn't working.
i remember hearing her swear for the first (and only time) in my life.

i remember standing there as a young girl, stunned and afraid.

and i remember the jittery wave of relief and emotion that rushed through me when the cashier was finally able to save his life.

it was horrible.

still one of the scariest moments in my life and the moment i attribute to my fear of choking.

to this day i still don't like hard candy and even the idea of a cough drop under my tongue while hopping down the stairs frightens me.

so you can only imagine my timidity as we begin to feed micah foods other than baby food.

first it was those puff things.

i would watch him like a hawk, uncertain if they really dissolved as quick as they promised. so i ate one. placed it on my tongue. the thing dissolved fast but still i was nervous.

but my boy loves food - just this week he's had chili put through the baby mill. it was spicy - laced with cayenne, chili powder, cumin red pepper flakes and cinnamon.

but every time i give him something new to eat i have this irrational (or rational?) fear that this will be the time where he'll choke.

it's called Pseudodysphagia and i think i have it.

however, i'm not letting it control me - or control the way i feed my boy. i let him feed himself, get messy, hold the spoon - but i think it's going to take me a while to give him anything larger than what i know he can safely swallow.

Curtis thinks i'm a bit irrational. i cut steamed carrots up into pieces he can barely pinch with little fingers, cut a peeled grape not into quarters, but eighths, maybe smaller. but the thought of having to ever give him the heimlich or cpr scares the crap out of me...

am i alone on this or is it just typical first child syndrome?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

color coded

color coded

when i was a school-aged youngster the thing i loved most about a new
school year was the new box of 64 crayola crayons.
the night before school started i'd open the box, dump them all out
and color code the little cardboard crayon holders
all shades of blue in one, greens and yellows in another, reds, pinks
and purples in another, and the boring greys and blacks, browns and
whites in another

i've always loved color-coding things, whether it be crayons or
skittles or shoes.
a package of sharpie permanent markers, color-coded while still in
their packages call my name in Target
OPI nail polishes, arranged by shade at the salon makes my heart skip,
a perfectly arranged, color-coded closet makes me sweat a little with delight

so it's no surprise that the colorful embroidery floss that i've been
using all jumbled up out of a ziplock baggie needed a bit of love.
so in came {Pintrest} to the rescue.
as did my little box of clothes pins used for line drying our cloth
diapers (yes, we've become 50% cloth diaper fans due to a steal of a
deal at a garage sale this summer!)

Mondays are for work, yes, but who says i can't take a little break
when Micah was napping to wind and wrap until my color-coded heart was

all i need now is a pretty glass jar to display them in.

embroidery floss

Sunday, October 2, 2011

what i've noticed on a sunday night

just sitting w/ Filmore the Frog

his eyes
not a specific grey or green or brown
look up and squint and smile in the dark of night that keeps creeping earlier and earlier 

chubby linked hands turn from baby to boy
with a semi-wave or superman-esque fly, tummy down,
head up and arms down by his sides, 
soaring, gliding like the superhero he thinks he is

those lips
the truest tone of chewing gum pink
with the sweetest up-curl smirk

that hair
not blonde or brown
scarce covers his scalp 
but is softest to the touch of clean morning fingers
this boy, who went down just minutes ago
wrapped in a white fleecy sleep sack baby thing
looked like a boy on his way to baptism or heaven

tomorrow we work, him and i
our monday tango of work and writing and diapers and playtime with Filmore the Frog

we'll probably skip showers and baths and stay cozy in our pajamas all day
perfect for naps and nighttime

that little crazy boy and i

Saturday, October 1, 2011

welcome october


micah & i just wanted to wish you a happy first day of october.

what we're planning to do today:

drink coffee
be crafty
take naps
spend time with daddy (the best part of saturdays!)
put micah to bed early
have friends over for sushi and catching up

what's on the agenda this month:

pick apples
make applesauce
feed micah said applesauce
carve a pumpkin with aunt jenni
meet micah's new 2nd cousin romy (we ended up meeting her last night - she's a doll!)
meet his new baby friend joshua
do some holiday gift planning
make some gifts ahead of the holiday rush
do some more embroidering
start knitting again
finish reading the novel i started in may
read the jesus storybook bible with my boy
rake some leaves and take some autumn strolls

Friday, September 30, 2011

the many moves of micah

the many moves of micah

i thought i'd show you some outtakes from yesterday
oh, who am i kidding, these are the ones that actually turned out.
the rest were just a blurry ball of boy as he was moving and grooving on my bed.
the boy doesn't hold still.
at home and with people he's used to seeing a lot he's a giggly, funny baby
but get him around strangers he's just perfectly content staring you down.
except grandmas. micah can spot a grandma, anyone's grandma a mile away and he'll always give a grandma a smile
i think it's something in their voice and demeanor - it is adorable though
one of the ladies at church always comes up to say hi to micah with the cutest voice, and it never fails and she always gets a huge grin out of my serious boy.

so, i'm not really sure what i was planning on posting about - except to show off my kiddo.
he woke up yesterday with a broken blood vessel in his eye poor guy
i think he scratched his eye in his sleep, but Curtis thinks he was pooping too hard in the middle of the night :)

last night we said adios to his infant car seat/carrier and installed his new big boy carseat. this thing is a beast. too bad it was pouring rain the day (today) on our first outing in in. i was drenched as i learned how to loosen the straps and buckle him in with his handsome little puffy vest on. i should've chosen a sunny day to inaugurate my guy into big boyhood.

what else.

micah likes to eat Everything! i'm not kidding. the kid will suck on a lemon wedge until you have to rip it out of his death grip fingers. he likes avocados and cantaloupe and spicy hummus and lentil soup and sweet potato curry and brown rice. the kid is a monster and if i wasn't so scared of him choking i would be giving him a lot more. last night he cried for food as we ate dinner even though he had just eaten. we like to sit him in his high chair while we eat even if he's not partaking. family dinners are important to us so we've started young. as he was flipping out over our food (fresh veggie fritatta, spinach salad and toast) we was momentarily satiated by those puff things though.


oh, and sad story (from Monday but whatev)
Monday morning i was going down the basement to get something and noticed that the freezer door down there was ajar. everything was smushy and defrosted, but worse than the food - almost all of my pumped breast milk had defrosted. i was crushed. and immediately called Curtis sobbing. luckily some of it was still kind of slushie, so i put it in the fridge and let it defrost completely to use up that day, but the rest had to be tossed. heartbreaking. ugh, still hurts my heart. i worked so hard for that 'liquid gold'. but as my mom reminded me - don't cry over spilled mild - haha, very funny! :)

micah did however take four bottles that day, which gave me the opportunity to pump a bunch so i'm trying to get a small stash going again. we were giving him a bottle every day or two, just to keep him familiar with  - which was depleting my stash faster, but worth the risk of him rejecting the bottle completely like he used to do. i just wonder if when i'm all out of pumped milk, will he take a formula bottle and still want to nurse. he's only had formula once, in the hospital when he was born, when he wouldn't eat right after his circumcision. it was barely an ounce, but i hear the stuff is like baby crack. it's sweetened and babies scarf it down. and i'm just so proud of the fact that he's gone this long on pure momma's milk. not that choosing not to nurse is wrong, or formula is bad, but for me, i decided before he was born that my goal would be to nurse as long as i could, but with a year being my goal, and so far, at almost 8 months old we're still going strong, so i don't want a couple formula bottles to stop our streak.

but i will say, it's not easy. breast feeding is a commitment and whew, it takes a lot out of me and is time consuming, and i spend a lot of time in other rooms and alone with him and it's not always fun or convenient, but it's awesome. and as much as i've had a love/hate relationship with nursing, i do think i will miss it when he is eventually weaned. but man, some nights i say to micah before i put him to bed. 'baby, today you have literally sucked every ounce of life out of me." haha

anyways, what a tangent i've gotten myself on.

anyways...all this to say, my baby isn't so much a baby anymore :( he wears skinny jeans and puffer vests and sits up by himself and doesn't nap while running errands anymore and eats foods that most kids would gawk at and it makes me happy and sad all at the same time.


my fingers hurt


yesterday micah took two loooong naps and i was a tornado
my tornado days are few and far between these days
i'm more like a steady breeze of productivity these days
there isn't a day that i don't go to bed wishing i had one more hour to get stuff done, but usually happy that i don't have that 25th hour, because i'm usually tired and ready for bed by 10, 11 at the latest.

but yesterday was different - tackling items on my to do list like a tornado (a little bit of coke - the soda, not the drug - helped too i think!) 

and then something got going and all i wanted to do was get crafty
so i did

we were planning to go visit my cousin and his wife last night - they just had their first baby - a little girl - and although i got her a shower gift, i don't like visiting the maternity ward empty handed, so i got down to embroidery business.

queue photo #1

as you can see, her name is Romy (different but cute - a family name i think?) and it took me about an hour to do the first two.

then i got to making a card to go with the little gift.

i don't have pictures to show you but let me tell you, i carved a little triangular bunting flag into an eraser and stamped little colorful bunting flags across a blank white card. i ended up making like 8 of them, all different - it was fun, and fast (nothing beats a fast project!) and i now have lots of cards to go along with these burp cloths i'm now addicted to making.

then last night, after Micah was in bed, we turned on the t.v. to watch The Office (which i must say is slip sliding down the drain fast) and i decided to whip up two more burpers. This time for a friend of mine at church who just had her second little one - a darling baby boy named Joshua. 

queue photo #2.

as you can probably see from the dark and blurry iphone pictures, i'm not THAT good, but it is a super relaxing little craft and now that Micah is taking two really nice (and long) naps a day instead of a few shorter ones, it affords me more time to have some creative me-time.

last night i kept saying, "my fingers hurt," to Curtis.
and in typical Happy Gilmore fashion he would respond with:
"Oh, well, now your back's gonna hurt, 'cause you just pulled landscaping duty!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

on potty training and nightmares

ever since Curtis snuck a little potty into our cart at Ikea in July, he's wanted to potty train Micah.
i laugh and blow him off, even when i come upstairs to help with bathtime and find this:




it sure was cute, and funny when Curtis got so excited when Micah farted on the potty! He was certain pooping would come next (which of course it didn't!)

but all this potty talk i think crept into my subconscious and yesterday morning, right before i fully woke up i had the most heart-pounding nightmare i think i've ever had.

i hesitate to even write it because it still gives me goose bumps. I told it to Curtis last night, and when the words came out they sounded more foolish than the realness they felt when i woke up and had to repeat over and over louder than my thumping heart,

it was just a dream, jess. it was just a dream. 

we were at my mom's house. Micah was seven months, just as he is now, and i guess we were potty training him.

I wasn't in the room, but in my dream i could see my mom sitting Micah on her toilet in their downstairs bathroom. Then she walked over to me, in my dad's office, across the house from the bathroom and we were talking...

(my heart is thumping as i type)

then it hits me to ask her, "Where's Micah?"

and she says, "I put him on the toilet."

And my heart stops. begins to thump in my ears like it is now.

And i run. Through the house to the bathroom at the back of the house.

And there he is, slumped into the toilet, the roll of toilet paper off the cardboard roll, sprawled our around him in the bowl and he's blue. His eyes are closed and he's not breathing.

And i scream a blood curdling scream

and just like that i am awake.

it was just a dream, jess. it was just a dream.

and as much as i know it was, it was the closest i've ever gotten to the panic of harm to my child.
it was horrible. my heart is still thudding, through my fingertips. in that one brief moment i thought i lost  him.

and when i heard him kicking his feet, awake in his crib as i was mumbling to myself how it was just a dream i breathed a steady breath and got out of bed.

but it's stuck with me. the gratefulness that he is here when other parents lose their babies every day. And the only thing that gives me peace when all the what if's start to creep in is the belief that God loves him more than i do and that even as i try to cushion falls and thwart dangers and sharp corners is the fact that i am ultimately not the one who keeps him safe or healthy or even alive. And while that may not seem like a comfort to some, to me it's the only comfort i have as i find myself the caretaker of this little, fragile life. knowing i am not ultimately in control and that i can place my trust, not only for good outcomes in bad circumstances and healthy reports for scary tests but for whatever comes. Because, as my high school friend tattooed on her skin after her dad died - God is good, all the time, no matter what.

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