Friday, December 23, 2011

a stockingful of thanks

one subject that has been on my mind for the past few months is 'feeling grateful.' it's something i know i forget to stop and ponder over as often as it should be on my mind, but right now i am taking the time to address it properly.

this morning, while standing at the refrigerator filling up c's cup with water, i gazed out the window at the freshly falling snow and suddenly felt very nostalgic. this year, as with every year, my one true wish is for a white family christmas. and, as with every year, i will have my family christmas with or without the fluffy white stuff. but to see it falling silently around our home with us cozy inside, i felt ever-so thoughtful of the years i have cherished our white christmases here in maine. the new snow takes me back to the past years of snow and how much joy it brought me as a child. my brother and i spent hours in it, freezing our fingers and toes off, drenched with it as it melted through our winter clothing. often we would come inside merely to toast ourselves by the woodstove, dry out our mittens, hats, and boots, only to strap them back on (sometimes still damp) and head back out into our winter wonderland.

but this year, this year the snow brings so much more than just the memory of my childhood. as the water in c's cup neared it's brim, i suddenly had the thought of how thankful i am for my parents and the relationship i've attained with them. this year was not incredibly easy, and this month was a tough one for my father. having a progressed form of basal cell skin cancer, the only remedy was to remove his nose and construct a new one from the tissue in his cheeks. with this overwhelming physical change in place for himself, i worried that it would be extremely difficult for him to see a silver lining through the stitches. i say this with a supreme amount of gratefulness that he has found a way to begin overcoming what i can only imagine is a difficult transition. for days after the surgery, before i was able to visit with him, i tried to put myself in his shoes. how would i feel if, only after being deemed cancer free, my next battle was one with my own facial reconstruction and recovery? i can't pretend i didn't shed a vast amount of tears over the matter. naturally he will always be my dad no matter what he looks like, so my concern was not for his appearance but for how he would emotionally heal from the surgery. when i finally got to visit with him, i was quite impressed with the work his surgeons had done. sure, it's not the same nose or face i have known my whole life, but the results were far better than i had mentally prepared myself for. i did, however try to take into consideration that he may not feel the same way and it was his right to feel down about it if that was the case. his face was swollen and stitched in many places, but i could still see the man i have known since birth amid it all. and on wednesday the stitches were removed, with confirmation from my mom by phone, and my dad's joking banter in the background, that his face is beginning to look much better and is on it's way to healing well. it will take up to a year before it fully heals, but slow and steady wins the race, as they do say.

having a such a man as my father in my life is nothing short of a blessing. when i try to think of words to describe him, i generally can only reference a feeling; warm. warm in the way a big blanket shields one from the cold, the way a roaring fire relaxes the soul or a hot cup of coffee chases away a sleepy morning, warm in the utmost comforting way. please do not mistake warm to mean soft, though. sure, my dad has his soft spots for his kids and his grandson, but there was no lacking the shiver up my spine as a rebellious teen when the phrase 'just wait 'til your father gets home' was uttered. in passing through my teen years and realizing that fighting with my parents is not as much fun as laughing with them, i came to very much respect my father and mother's strict rules. now i see just what i, and my son, would be missing if my relationship had not done an about-face and become so strong. seeing my dad with little beaz reminds me of just how great i had it and just how great our sweet boy has it to be a part of our family.

with dad's surgery and the many hours spent stressing over christmas gifts and financial what-have-you's now behind me, the eve of the eve is upon us and i am ready to relax and welcome christmas day with a smile. this year our darling boy will be able to open gifts, laugh with his cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and take in the full effect of this holiday with our family. so this year in my stocking i know just what to expect: thankful thoughts, loving wishes, and happy memories to last a lifetime.

may you and yours find the same peace and love this season and all of the rest to come.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

a noteworthy turning point: year one

okay, okay. i am horrible. it's been since halloween that i've even bothered to consider an update, which, let's face it, is a bit much. but here i am, and here we are, and this is where i'll leap back into play. i will not promise photos this round, as our internet is abysmally slow and my child is spectacularly curious and quick these days. some other time, i swear!

so the big first birthday has come and gone, and oh, what a day it was! not only did i stress over party details up until the last minute, but was gloriously rewarded the day of his birthday party. it went off without a hitch and a great time was had by all. we are so thankful to have the people in our lives who care as much for us as we do for them. our wee beazey was graced with presence and presents galore and could not have been happier. he went down for a nap still smeared in chocolate frosting, and woke with a smile still plastered to his face.

we are now preparing for our second christmas with our growing boy, and i have to say that the festive mood has infected my very soul this year. years past i have been in less than a celebratory mood, but the arrival of our sweet little c has done nothing but set my spirits to soaring over this holiday season. not only did i begin cutting paper snowflakes (the likes of which i haven't even attempted since i was a kid), and cutting custom paper trees and snow to adorn our windows, but i even went so far as to collect various evergreen bows and stuff three very large flower pots, a small flower pot, and a wooden pallet full of them for the front and side doors of our house. i have our tree up, but i await purchasing more lights before we can decorate it, as this is the first time we have put up the full tree. yes, i prefer a real tree, but our faux-fir has been handed down to us by e's parents and is being put to loving use.

on the toddler front we have been having a blast with all of beaz's new things. new words are flying out of his mouth daily and he's even become more confident in his walking, though still preferring to jet around on hands and knees. he's trying to eat with utensils, put his own shoes and socks on, he's even 'helping' by putting things away/wiping up things. it's not really as helpful as it sounds, but i still appreciate his mimicking. he's really starting to communicate to us more readily and is nearly overjoyed when he learns something that evokes an eruption of praise from us. his personality has truly blossomed, and though most of the time it shows his sweet and incredibly silly side... we have learned much more about his stubborn, frustrated side recently. tantrums, hitting, throwing tows, are only a few of his expressions of true upset, but we are working ever-so-hard on quelling the storm that is little c. instead of hitting, we have been replacing the kind of touching he does with rubbing and hugging and it seems to be overtaking our once slap-happy boy. lately if i rub his back, he will rub mine, or approach me and rub my leg/arm/whatever. and the HUGS! i have to say that there is little greater feeling than my tiny toddler hugging me and meaning it! and, in addition to hugs, comes an onslaught of super wet kisses. i adore each drooly and awkward one!

some favorites of the beazey boy lately include riding the radio flyer scooter we got him for his birthday, the tv show 'curious george,' almost ANY music, head banging and drumming on his chest/legs, books books books!, forts, climbing the stairs and well... anything he can climb, and snuggling down to sleep with his giraffe, alice, that his auntie hentrietta gave him many months ago.

no matter where his journey takes him, i have nothing but immense love and pride for my son. he shows me every day just how clever a boy he is and how lucky we are to have him complete our family.

if i do not take time to write again soon, wishing everyone a very merry christmas and happy new year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


i have come to accept that my days of blogging more than once every few months are behind me as i struggle to keep up with an extremely busy eleven month old four days out of a week while working the other three days. but i must at least make an update now, before my little babe reaches *toddler!* status next month!

little c has been blowing this momma's mind lately with the many things he's learning. now repeating words such as 'apple,' 'kitty-cat,' 'dogs,' 'isa,' and various other randoms, he's also begun to identify things. reading him his favorite story 'goodnight, moon' for the tenth or twelfth time the other day, i read the line 'and two little kittens' and to my surprise, my beaz reached over and pointed to the two kittens on the page, repeating 'kitten' in his soft whisper voice. i smiled and affirmed his identification. upon reaching the 'goodnight' part of the story, i recited 'goodnight cow jumping over the moon' and he then pointed to the cow on the page... shocked, i followed with 'goodnight bears, goodnight chairs' and he then touched the bears... thinking it a fluke, we did this four more times, with the same result each time and my heart nearly burst from my chest! i mean, yes, parents all find their children brilliant, but my pride spilleth over at the things he's been showing us. i learn right along with him, every day.

on the mobility front, we have some reluctance in our not-so-sure-footed boy. we both know our wee wren *can* stand and walk a bit on his own, but he's a bit insecure and hesitant to step out on his own save for a few steps or the one time i video taped him watching the dogs and standing on his own for nearly a minute before realizing he'd been doing it and promptly returning to a seated position on the floor. this lack of *i can do-it-myself* confidence has not stopped him, however, from running headlong into the dogs with his wagon-walker... poor pooches never see it coming (even when facing the approaching disaster head on...) as a little boy hurtles full speed into their legs, laughing hysterically every time and squealing with delight as the trip, slip, and scramble away.

with weather chilling and leaves taking home on the ground and not the branches of trees, halloween fast approaches and this year marks c's first halloween. being that it is his maiden voyage into the land of make-believe, door-to-door, tricks, treats, and sugar-induced comas, i wanted to make his costume by hand. sure, there were a million cute costumes for a child his age that would have sufficed. but, though they would have saved me weeks of online searching, plotting, planning, cutting, sewing, and cursing, i wanted something more than cookie cutter costumes. so, i brainstormed. what should he be? a robot? a fireman? a dog? a little lion? i couldn't decide. he'd be cute as anything, let's face it! then, one day, while picking through boxes in the garage, i came across a photograph of a barred owl my dad had framed for me many years ago. ***back story: volunteering at a bird sanctuary and handling barred owls as a young teen, i have a deep seated affinity for owls and other raptors*** then it hit me! of course he's going to be an owl. we have three little owls stenciled in the corner of his room, e and i have been collecting various owl things since we met; why wouldn't he be an owl!? so i researched different ways to make owl costumes and came up disappointed. it seemed to simple to sew feathers to a hoodie or onsie. i was disheartened by the lack of creativity in most of what i saw. they all were relatively the same and i do not do *same.* i soldiered on until i came across a photo of a little girl in a brightly colored and wildly contemporary owl cape... and i was hooked. i knew i did *not* want to make a similar cape, but that i wanted to make a cape. a realistic cape. a barred owl cape.

so began my journey into measuring, drawing out patterns, cutting (12 hours of cutting...) feathers in five different sizes and two different colors, laying all of the pieces out the way i wanted them to be sewn, and sewing 140-ish feathers onto the cape itself. i fashioned the hood like a hood on one of c's hooded sweatshirts, with the markings and eyes carefully planned to be as close to real as i could manage. a beak came into play very last, and a chest strap with button closure to hold it all in place. i spent a total of 19 hours working on this piece until completion and could not have been more pleased with the outcome. sure, i could have double sided and zigzag stitched all of the feathers.. you know, if i wanted to have it complete for *next* halloween, but i achieved exactly what i was hoping for in the final result. better still, my wee owl enjoys wearing it. he marched around today at his daddy's work for their halloween party, open to employees children, like the proudest little owl there ever was. which makes every minute of the work i did on his costume worth it. (the compliments on it didn't hurt my ego, either!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

waving bye-bye to baby days

so everyone knows that our children cannot be babies forever, and in two months mine won't be, either. in two months, my now-ten-month-old will be one year old and no longer my little baby. (okay, okay, he'll always be my 'baby' in theory, but in reality.. he's going to my a toddler.)

lately he's been putting a lot of things together and showing us just how much he's grasping of what we're teaching him. amazed are we, his doting parents, when he shakes his head 'no' or sits down on the couch when we ask him to. 'look at mommy... would you like some more?' and other such phrases are not just being said, but understood. today i actually played a game of 'mommy's a bunny!' with c which entailed putting on a pair of his bunny ears and hopping up and down then putting them back on c's head. he would then remove them and hand them back to me or try to put them on my head himself. it's these things i don't want to take for granted. every little thing he does from now until he's a full grown man.. and likely thereafter i want to remember. he's learning and interacting and growing here, right here, before our very eyes and it's truly awesome.

though i suspect standing alone and taking steps are merely around the corner, we are not at 'walking alone' status yet. our little wren is, however, walking while holding on to our hand with only one of his hands, pushing his wagon-walker and practically running across the floor, and holding on to both of our hands and steering us around the house as quickly as his little legs can carry us. he's a little shy to attempt standing by himself, but we've caught him doing it on his own a few times before he realizes it and sits down abruptly. he'll get there much faster than we're ready for, i think.

so plotting and planning his first birthday party is on my to-do list and i am having mild amounts of anxiety over it. first and foremost, where to host it!? our house is not very big, but it is my first choice of venue. being that i am a slight control freak, i want to be able to decorate and plan it the way the prefer. i find renting a grange hall or going out to eat is a little impersonal for a first birthday party and i really want it to be fun and casual. i think a 'theme' is a little strong for a party that he will most likely not remember and has no say in (he doesn't know where his nose is yet, let alone what he would like for a party theme..) so i think i will keep it simple and make it an autumn theme since it's right before thanksgiving anyway. then there's the task of food and space enough for the forty-ish people that will be invited. and a cake! i want to make his cake, i think. big task, i know, but i really would like to take a stab at it. no idea what i will do, yet, but a cake i will make!

now i have successfully set my head to spinning. i think i need to cut this short and go clear my head before i am overwhelmed with part details....

Friday, August 26, 2011

summer's slow simmer

now that summer is past it's boiling point and sitting at more of a slow simmer, i really need to follow through with my poor efforts in blogging. being that so much has happened in the month-plus that's passed me by, i think i may have to jump from past to present a bit just for time's sake.

let's start with the top of the list, and a small amount of anxiety, my new job. so, sufficed to stay that it's been a long time coming that i have needed to take on a part time job so that i can help contribute to our growing family and expenses. after months of searching, applying, and being rejected, i finally landed a part time kitchen position at the local and self-sufficient vegetarian restaurant, chase's daily. being that it's been about five... okay, six years since i have worked in a kitchen or restaurant, i am hoping that it truly is like riding a bike. let's be honest, i ride a bike pretty poorly, but multitasking and learning a new job when being thrown in head first i do well. so, here's hoping for the best. the anxiety part really kicks in when i realize that two or three days a week i will be at chase's for about eight hours and leaving behind my roll as 'mom.' to quell that anxiety, though, is the reality of a paycheck and our easing financial obligations.

our wee wren is no longer so little as he has now surpassed nine months old and is currently sporting four and a quarter teeth, crawling, standing, cruising around furniture, thinking about walking on his own, saying (not consistently, but at whim) 'mama,' 'dadda,' 'bah bah (bottle),' 'duhdk (duck),' 'kiikk (kitty),' and various combinations of sounds. two days ago, e taught him how to nod his head 'yes' and shake his head 'no,' which i am not convinced is a good thing just yet... but he seems to find it more funny than anything. yesterday i witnessed him playing a game by himself that involved crawling quickly to one end to the living room, stopping, abruptly changing directions while squealing, and crawling quickly to another destination in the room... over and over and over again! it had me in stitches, to say the least! i am even starting to plot his first birthday party with the knowledge that three months is going to fly by faster than i am ready for!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

update one: the camping trip and a rash of trouble.

being that it's been nearly a month since i have updated, i will try to stack together some of the finer and more memorable moments of our summer.

c is now sporting four teeth, his top happen to have the most charming large gap, and babbling on and on about things that sound like 'gah gah', 'mamma', 'bah bah', and 'kkkkk'. he's been pulling himself to standing, but now seems determined to do such things as skirting around furniture and letting go with one hand to test his balance before deciding he is just not quite ready to take that step.

we did take him camping for the first time a few weeks ago. by we, i mean my parents and myself as e had to unfortunately work and could not take the time. it was a fun experience in total, but the timing was poor. my little wren had already been away from home for a few days on his monthly sleepover at grammy & grampy's house before we went. i noticed he was running a mild fever and chewing his fingers a lot, which i contributed to more teething. i asked my mom if she thought he had a fever and she said she didn't think he was too hot, so, without my thermometer to confirm or disprove it, we decided to suck it up and go anyway. while there he had a wonderful time playing on the beach and in the screen tent, eating hamburger, potato, and stewed tomato from grampy's plate. but once night fell he slept fitfully in his portable crib and eventually ended up in bed with me, where we snuggled into my sleeping bag. unfortunately, snuggling wasn't making him feel any better and by 2:00 a.m. he was in full meltdown mode which continued until 5:00. the hardest part about camping with an 8 month old who is clearly upset is that you cannot just get up and wander downstairs, and find some sort of distraction. nope. so here we were, in our tent, in the wind and rain, in the dark, with little c screaming at the top of his lungs and me with no escape. at about 4:30 my dad got up and offered to make him a bottle, which was devoured before we managed to catch an hour of sleep. at 6:30 a.m., c was up and screaming again. it became pretty clear to me that he was miserable and rather than risk another sleepless night for everyone, we decided it was time for the two of us to heave-ho. my dad boated us back to the car and we headed home. once home, i checked his fever and realized he was running 102. out of our tylenol stash, e ran to the store and picked some up so that we could administer some before bed. overly cranky and hot, i put him to sleep at 8:00 p.m. and he went down without a fight. an hour later i checked his temperature again and noticed he was sweating and his fever had dropped back to a normal 98.6. phew! the following day, however, brought the final light bulb moment as to what was causing all of this: a rash!! head to toe, c was covered in little blotchy red spots. then it dawned on me... ROSEOLA. somehow, and i still can't even imagine where, he had picked up roseola (also known as the baby measles), and was now covered in a telltale rash. unfortunately, there is no real treatment for roseola other than breaking the fever and soothing the rash. so after an oatmeal bath, the following day the rash had begun to dissipate. no wonder he was having such a hard time camping-- the poor babe was sick! next time i will follow my gut and pass on camping if i suspect fever!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

birds of a feather


yesterday morning i was feeling a bit disheartened at the fact that we were unable to attend a gathering of local dj's at a spectacular outdoor event put on annually. our dear friends, the mother and father of the beloved twin girls, spin this venue each year and had invited us, c in tow, to spend an afternoon of sun and sounds with them. this weekend did not pan out for us and we had to regretfully decline the invitation and agreed to rendezvous for a play date at another time. waking feeling glum, my wee wren and i did our morning ritual of snuggling in bed before getting up to wander downstairs for breakfast. i picked up my phone and saw a message asking us to brunch with our lovely family down the road. i must revisit the topic of sister & brother-in-law & wee niece moving back to our small town and how much we cherish having them return to us! just a hop, skip, and perhaps a hula hoop away, it has been marvelous to be so reunited. so, with the invite in hand, i scampered upstairs to wake e and tell him about our requested attendance at brunch and, with a groggy nod from him, quickly RSVP'd. we had time before brunch to get little c fed and down for a nap, grab showers ourselves, and then rouse the snoozing boy and head out.

the sun was already gloriously hot when we arrived at 10:00 and we entered their cottage-cozy home and were greeted with smiling faces. quick hugs from little bits, the wee niece, we made our way to the backyard to find c's auntie j was preparing to release their newly acquired chickens for the first time. these little fuzzies had already seemed to double in size in perhaps a week and were ready to step out into their new yard. thankfully, j had requested i bring my camera this day, so i was able to capture the delight and wonder of little children and tiny hens! our sweet boy had never experienced chickens and took lead from his big cousin (with help and guidance from momma j), on how to feed them clovers and grass. c stared in amazement at the small birds, while little bits danced around happily at the sight of her newest little friends. i do believe we could have gladly stayed and let the children play with those little hens all day, were it not for hungry bellies. thanks to c's uncle a for whipping us up a delicious brunch, which we enjoyed outside in the shade of the giant willow tree. how good it felt to be there, surrounded by loved ones, enjoying a perfectly happy morning.

*might i add that our wee wren has begun crawling & pulling himself to stand all in the span of a few days!

Friday, July 8, 2011

when baby's away

playing a moment of catch up, finally. i have abandoned my blogging as of late to take advantage of our fleeting sunshine, our growing boy, and our family relocating back to our little coastal town. but now, i think i must revisit my blog and update.

the weekend before the one just passed, my parents requested our little c to come and stay not one but *two!* nights with them. being that teething has had us in a bit of a cranky spell, i gladly accepted such a request and packed (over packed possibly..) him up for his two night/three day getaway. my mother, also the 'always be prepared' type, had not only invested in some cups, bowls, spoons, and bottles to keep at her house, but also added diapers (i don't think she or my father are interested in attempting the new-age of cloth), formula, and other baby foods to their *grandson pantry*. my dad, who is more the 'everything good takes time' type, finally completed renovations on both of their spare rooms, formerly my brother's room and mine, and rearranged a nice spot for my old/c's borrowed crib in the room that once belonged to me. now free of a four poster canopy bed, pepto-bismo pink carpet, gilded hummingbirds, and lilac curtains, this room is a sweet place for his slumber party away from home.

while our wee wren was off having unimaginable fun ad *no!* tantrums, e and i decided to stop our weekend chores and brave the out-of-doors while the rain had let up. packing up the pooches sunday morning, we set off for a hike in the woods. the dogs needed a good workout, and our belt loops were no longer hiding our need for one, either. the woods were so green and deep in the overcast light that i was thankful to have snagged my camera this time. how unfortunate that i forget to bring it so often these days, though i think it's my lamenting the fact that it is on it's last leg and i am trying to preserve it's last days of life. today, after a few misfires and black photos, it perked right up and captured the beauty that encompassed us as we wandered beneath the trees. stumbling along behind, as always, i wished i had emptied my memory card ahead of time as i was nearly out of space and had to be selective of what i wanted to shoot. puffing on a cigar and ambling at a slow pace, i watched as e and our canines moseyed their way along the path, checking out each sight and smell.

by the end of our hike the sun began to sneak out of the cloud cover, so we made our way through the graveyard at the head of the trail so the dogs could get a little running in. isa, the shorter and clumsier of the two, put on a show as she bounced along as if on springs. four years old and still no sign of growing up, yet. uzi, nine years young, had no problem prancing along with the grace and ease of a much younger man. we stopped at the end of the graveyard, the edge of the clearing by the woods, and finished off our cigar before heading back to the jeep. once home, bath time commenced for the dogs to prevent them from itching and breaking out from their skin allergies. not big fans of water or baths, they took it in stride and were happy to be toweled off when we were through.

having a baby, we sometimes have to put the dogs on the back burner and are thankful that they take it in stride and with great patience. it's nice to have days like this when we can treat them to a little adventure all of their own. naturally we would take family trips if we had a gate to secure them in the back of our jeep, but since we don't, and since their riding manners are not up-to-par for riding with a little one in tow, we have to pick and choose our battles. we are just glad they forgive us for not always being able to include them, for we will always make it up to them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

green things we sow, green things we grow

today i did a bit of investigating into the vegetable seeds my little babe and i planted not so long ago, hoping for a sign of progress. i was not disappointed in the sprouts that have exploded through the soil! reaching for the light and lending green to their pots, out seeds are springing forth and promising eatables and edibles for our plates once harvest time is here.

among the green things we are growing, i am doing a small part for the greener good of our lovely planet, too. strange as i sound, nothing makes me happier than a laundry basket topped with cloth diapers and covers. today, with the morning sun, i finally got to hang my cloth to bleach in the bright rays. i often get confused looks or joking comments about our use of cloth diapers at home, but the truth must come out that i find it simpler to do cloth than i do disposable. we still keep our disposable supply for night time dryness and going out of the house, but at home i am happy to fold a prefold, secure it on little c with a snappi, and strap on a kissaluvs marvel or bummis super brite cover. when the day is through, depending on how many soiled diapers i have hanging in my wet bag, i fill the washer with cold water, add some biokleen and borax, shake the poo into the toilet (easier with the consumption of solid foods), toss the diapers, sans covers, in, and soak overnight. in the morning i run a rinse cycle, turn the dial to hot/cold wash with two rinse cycles, add a little more borax and tide free & gentle (same ingredients as our beloved dreft but $5 cheaper!), toss in the covers and wet bags, and off they go. hang them dry, fluff them in the dryer, bleach them in the sun and they are good for use. no need for a wet pail (gross?!), or expensive or fancy cleaners. i plan to invest in a sprayer to attach to the toilet for more efficient cleaning before soaking, but my diapers are clean, fresh, and *mostly* stain free. what stains i have encountered have disappeared in the sunshine. a little vinegar in the rinse cycle has prevented any smells (precautionary measure, but i want to avoid the possibility) and i have also heard lemon juice can do the same but have not tried it. all in all, i love my cloth and my little one in a colorful diaper cover looks cute to boot!

Monday, June 13, 2011

inviting teeth to tea

pictured above, my mom has been loving being 'grammy,' and now requests she have her grandson for a sleepover once a month since the last one went so well. i see no reason to object!

in five days, i am only now realizing, our wee wren turns seven months old. yesterday we saw the signs of his third tooth poking out of his top front gums. though i have known of his teething for a few weeks, i had yet to see any real signs until e pointed out the small white pearl while little c was laughing hysterically at being tickled. there it was, just peeking out at us. being early at everything (save for being born) has been our wee bean's forte, but this does not ease a mother's nerves as she watches her babe grow too-fast before her eyes!

the tooth is only the beginning of new things, the list is growing with each day. not only are teeth on the table, but pushing himself to sitting while on his tummy, as well as 'hopping' along on all fours. not quite up to speed on crawling, he sort of jumps his little legs forward while on hands and knees, but has yet to get his hands to move forward in rhythm. and, at lease for me, the biggest hurtle has been conquered for over a week: sleeping through the night! after many weeks of waking two and three times a night, crying, tantrums, and asking to be fed, my darling e and i were desperate for a solution. unsure of what to do, my exhausted brain was begging for the relief of sleep. finally, one evening, e came home from work and marched straight to me exclaiming 'i know what to do!' his solution? A LATER BEDTIME. why on earth had we not considered this before? we have been putting c to bed at 7:00 p.m. on the dot for months without much thought as to whether he was truly tired enough by that point. his waking again at 11:00 p.m. most nights should have been our first clue. so that night we pushed our little one's bedtime back to 9:00 p.m. and though keeping him awake so late was a bit tough that first time, he slept soundly through the night until 6:30 a.m. the following night we did the same, only lessening the time by half an hour. at 8:30 p.m. we put him to bed and only woke to hear his stirring and fussing at 4:30 a.m. but instead of rising to get him, i waited and listened. after 15 minutes he fell soundly to sleep and did not rise until 8:30 a.m. and so this has continued, allowing me some much deserved rest.

lastly, but not the least of things, is that he now says 'mumma' very clearly and is working on other words and sounds much more lately. the babble is starting to really come out and i find myself amazed and in awe of the things i hear coming from my wee one's lips. will not be long before i hear his first sentences!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

green thumbs

as things have progressed with the interior of our house, my goal this year was to make changes on the exterior as well. with sunny days leading the way, i have set out to accomplish some yard work, baby in tow. strapping little c in the moby wrap on my back, i grabbed gloves, shovels, rakes, soil, seeds, plants, and my watering can and got to work.

a few weeks ago i dug flower beds along the entire front of our home. equipped with my spade, i turned over each patch of grass and shook the dirt from the roots before piling the grassy clumps to be transplanted in the backyard. after the beds were turned up and raked out, i planted my various wild flowers, phlox, dianthus, geranium, zinnia, aster, sweet william, marigold, cosmos, and transplanted a section of our peony which has been rooted at the base of our large spruce tree for much longer than i have lived here, for sure.

after the front beds had been completed and successfully growing for a few weeks, i decided i felt confident enough in my green thumb to tackle the backyard. again, strapping my string bean to my back, i dug the large bare patch that never grows grass next to our porch and adorned it with iris and tiger lily and some bluebells from my mother's own gardens. i then dug out the corner by our porch steps, which was full of clay and rock, and lovingly planted a wild rose and a few miscellaneous purple and pink carpet flowers. skirting the edge of the corner bed with small stones i uncovered while digging, i stepped back to admire my work. little c soon grew tired and required a nap, so i put him to bed, snatched up the baby monitor, and headed back outside determined to complete far more.

grabbing up the large pots that have been lying dormant in the garage, and the overlarge bag of potting soil, which required all of my efforts to carry to the back porch, i set to the task of planting a pot with some early girl tomatoes which my mother had an abundance of and passed on to me. never having planted them myself, i took a few tips from her as i put the four tomato plants in the designated pot. covering them with soil and fertilizer, i moved to my next pot. i decided this should be my herb pot as i had a few misfit plants in need of permanent housing. with the large (and rather ragged looking) lemon balm my neighbor sweetly left on my doorstep, some basil i had originally sprouted in a wet paper towel, and some sad little dill which had not fared as well as the basil, along with a mystery herb i suspect to be coriander, i created a clay pot of herbal lovelies and placed in next to our front step in the small white rocking chair that will someday be caleb's to play in. not to stop there, i sowed seeds into my other large pot in which a blend of salad edibles will grow. radish, chive, lettuce, and cucumber will hopefully be peaking out of the soil very soon and growing into tasty treats for our summer salads.

once all were planted, i filled my watering can to the brim and watered all of my fresh plantings well. since my babe was taking an extra long nap, i even made to hose down the driveway of all the debris and fir needles that had never been swept away this spring. with a clean driveway, newly planted flowers and eatables ready for summer weather, i am feeling even more inspired and hope to pick up a few more plants for growing. even better yet are the plans for landscaping our backyard this year. e bought a trimmer and edger to clear cut the weeds and overgrowth that's always been a hassle so that we may take back our yard and sculpt it into something amazing. the potential has always been there, but now we are motivated and able to get to it! i was raised to, and as a result am a firm believer in, appreciate and care for what you have. preservation of beloved things is something i do well (make a note of the 18-year-old four poster bed and dresser set that was a gift for my 8th birthday..) and i so look forward to tending what we have here. it may not be grandiose, but that says nothing for what it is or can be with our TLC.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

competing with thunder

 today began with sunshine and birds, but quickly changed it's outfit to sport downpours and thunderstorms. so, while my wee wren tried to figure out what all of the racket was about, i decided to let him make a little of his own. how did we accomplish this? good ol' fashioned pots n' pans drumset! pulling out an assortment of our old pots and pans, strainers, sifters, and wooden utensils (all of which we have many varieties), i placed them on the floor of the living room in a half circle and plunked c down in the middle of it. after handing him the spoons, he was off mastering his drum solo with great flair. now, here we sit an hour later, and my mini-drummer is still banging away happily on his makeshift drumset. what a rocking way to spend our rainy afternoon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a rash of trouble

with our little string bean eating solid foods now (string beans included), we've found that the transition has been... less than simple. for about four days we found c was quite..backed up. adding a little more to his misery is that the introduction of food also caused him some diaper rash, which we very, very rarely encounter. over the week it continued to get progressively worse until his poor bum was so red and raw that he cried in discomfort. fear not, momma to the rescue! i hopped online and began researching the better acclaimed home remedies for treating diaper rash, and after ruling out many, i narrowed it down to a few things to try:

first i began airing out the area. now, with a six month little boy who no longer lies stationary (two days ago he began rocking up onto his hands and knees in an attempt to crawl!), i at first laid a few cloth diapers on the floor and let him hang out on them, but after getting on his hands and knees and rolling around on his back a few times while playing, i knew this was a recipe for disaster. so, i strapped on a cloth diaper with a snappi and left the cover off so air could continue to flow through it.
later i steeped a bath with a few bags of chamomile tea and a cloth full of oatmeal to create a soothing soak for his poor tush. after letting him play and sit in the warm bath for a while (about twenty minutes), i took him out and let his bottom air dry again and then applied our favorite remedy, passed down from my parents, bag balm. bag balm is a lanolin based ointment and does wonders for chapped, raw, dry skin. i repeated my cloth diaper sans cover routine, snapped the ends of his long sleeve onesie around his middle to keep the ends dry,  put on his legwarmers to keep his wee legs warm, and let him play on the floor some more. when he was wet or soiled, i discarded our usual wipes and patted him down with a warm wet cloth and let air dry each time before reapplying a small amount of the bag balm. at nap times, i simply put on a diaper cover.

the rash seemed a bit better by the day's end, and thanks to e picking us up some sea salt, i made our wee wren a second bath with the salts as praised by our favorite mother of twins. again i let him soak in the bath for as long as he would happily stay in and air dried his bum before bed and applied more ointment before bed. when he awoke in the night, i changed his diaper and noticed an improvement already. so this morning i will repeat yesterday's remedies and hope to see a vast improvement by tomorrow. here's hoping for a rash free buttocks soon!