Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grown Up

Date night isn't really an established element of our household anymore. We spend plenty of quality time talking or working together (or at least in close proximity) so I don't feel at all as though we have neglected each other since the arrival of our joyous bundle (a bundle nearing nine months!).

Regardless, I felt a surprise night out with dinner and a concert was in order, especially since one of hubby's favorite bands was in town with cheap tickets. A yummy dinner with a coupon, checking out silly baby halloween costumes and then on to the show.

It was a fantastic show. Chill, casual and just the thing for enjoying company with your favorite man. But. We decided we have started feeling old.

The show was held at one of our local colleges and therefore attended by mostly students. Young students. Trendy students. Full of hopes and dreams. We giggled at some of them and watched as some chose to sit up front on the floor for two hours while we old fogies preferred our padded seats with backs.

It was a great night. Even though I'm not going to sit up late tonight and discuss either the philosophy of life or the cutest boy on campus (both topics I used to love chatting over) it was fun to remember being where they were. It is amazing how quickly life passes by so that when you turn around so much has changed without our even noticing.

8 years ago we didn't have digital cameras, ipods or camera phones. We didn't blog, tweet or text our friends every 2 minutes. It's just so interesting how much can change about culture so quickly.

What do you remember about college?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Harvested from the garden.

Washed and dried.


Simmering with a side of mashing.

Cooked for 15 minutes.

Pouring through cheesecloth.

Straining overnight.

Chilling and straining.

Chilled and strained.



After harvesting, washing, mashing, cooking and straining the grapes, I poured it into a wine glass with a splash of sparkling water.

Paired with a hot bowl of potato/corn/sausage/kale soup, I don't think I've ever had a more satisfying drink. It is thicker, richer and more grape-y than any other juice I've ever had. It is fantastic. It is thicker, richer and more grape-y than any other juice I've ever had. It is fantastic.

If you come over in the next couple days, I might let you have a sip. But you'll want to hurry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Month Eight

Sweet girl, you have had a good month. Your little body has been growing and learning and stretching at every moment. You recognize your name and some of the names of people around you. While you haven't said "Mama", you know that that is who I am.

Finger foods are very manageable for you now. You've got the pincher grasp down and are so happy with a bowl of O's, baby puffs or bananas to snack on. You love your sweet tators and pears best of all, but will tolerate pretty much anything so long as it is paired with a bite of some rice cereal.

You like to spend as much time standing as you possibly can. Some days we have to force you to sit or lie down and work other muscles, otherwise you'd never get any other exercise. And the books say you have to, so we've got to follow the books, right? Work those abs, baby!

Whether it's at the coffee table, the couch, the tub or around the outside of the exer-saucer you are quite the little cruiser. Not that you seem to go very fast and you don't really appear to be in a hurry for any real walking, but you're darn cute pounding your little hands or toys on the table.

I knew you were teething lately, but I had no idea that you would turn out to be a tiny vampire. Apparently, I am going to have to start stocking up on red meat.

We've started your sewing lessons this month. Won't be long before you can start putting together your own home made clothes. It's just tricky keeping your fingers out from under the needle...

Every day we try to spend time outside. Either walking or playing in the yard or going to the park. You love feeling the breeze and watching the world go by. Everything holds so much interest and it's so fun to see you experience all the different things in life for the first time.

Your favorite toy this month was the spinners. Tops. Anything we could put on a hard surface and twirl. You'll crawl for them, stare at them, do your tummy time for them. Spin, spin, spin.

My little boppy girl. We had to put the rocker and a few of your other baby things away this month as you are starting to outgrow them. A little comparison maybe? To how tiny you were when you first were sleeping here?

Baby girl. Eight months seems so old! Sigh. Can't you just quit growing? Pretty please?

Friday, September 12, 2008


My day as I had planned it:

Clean the house in the morning.
Burn CDs and print schedules.
Back to back afternoon meetings for new volunteers.
Home to shower and change.
Fabulous (free!) date night dinner out.

My day as it happened:

Wake up feeling yucky.
Lay on the bathroom floor.
Lay on the couch.
Lay on the bed.
Lay on the bed.
Eat a couple crackers.
Lay on the bed.
Lay on the couch.
Drink some Sprite.
Go to bed.

Good thing hubby was home to be super dad all day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Monday Morning Schedule

7:30 am Baby wakes up
Daddy goes down and plays with baby on the floor while Mama sleeps a little longer to offset the many wakings from the night.

9:30 am Baby takes a nap
Mama & Daddy take a nap too. It was a long weekend.

10:00 am Get up from nap and make breakfast and coffee.

11:00 am Baby wakes up from nap. Stay in jammies and lay on the floor to play with Baby.

1:15 pm Baby takes a nap. Mama decides to change out of her jammies.

2:00 pm Baby wakes up from nap and plays in the bathroom while Daddy takes a shower and Mama makes lunch. Thinks about doing the dishes and cleaning the house and putting away the piles of laundry. Puts it off for a little while longer.

Yep, it's still morning around here. Gotta love a Sabbath Monday. Especially after a very long week and a very busy weekend. Happy Monday, friends.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Please Do Not Disturb

Though I work in a very large facility, it can still be rather difficult to find a good spot during then day when I need to, um, "make baby food."

For a while I was using the nursery. It makes sense, that's where I feed her on the weekends anyway. However, the chairs in the nursing room are designed for nursing. Or so I surmise. The top of the chair is angled so that you MUST be looking down at your child at all times. Personally, I find this quite uncomfortable. Even more so when I am not actually holding a baby. So I went looking for a new place to sit.

Most of our classrooms have only kid-sized chairs. Many of the doors are only half-doors and therefore offer limited privacy.

The church has wifi and I tote my laptop with me to answer emails or work on my scheduling, planning or music stuff. After a bit of trial and error, I finally found a good room that is rarely used, has a full door, grown-up chairs to sit in and a table to set my laptop up.

All was going well until one fateful Tuesday.

There I am, minding my own business, typing and pumping away when the door opens. I keep my back to the door and all is safely covered, but nonetheless I was rather startled and hurriedly asked the older gentleman standing in the doorway,

"Can I help you?"

"We have a meeting in here at noon."

I look at my watch. It is 11:45.

"Ok," I say. "I'll be out in just a minute."

He leaves and I turn to quickly finish and start putting all of my equipment away. The door opens again. Ahhh!

"Can you please wait until I come out?" I ask as patiently as possible while being rather frustrated and quite discombobulated.

The door closes again.

As I leave, there are at least three older gentlemen now milling about in the hallway. I hear a rather huffy, "thanks," as I tucked my head down and hurried back to my office.

Honestly, I don't think any of them knew what I was doing in there. Most likely, they just thought I was on my computer taking up their meeting room.

Shortly thereafter, I approached our HR director and asked for a bit of advice. Firstly, there should be a posted sign outside the door for when the room is scheduled to be in use. If I had known of the meeting, I would have chosen another location to lactate.

Secondly, she recommended my making a little sign of my own to post on the door.

If you work with me, you already are aware that I have need of a bit of privacy a couple times a day. Hopefully, if my little sign is displayed it will detract anyone else from just popping in. Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Sigh of Epic Proportions

Every working mother knows the frustration and stress and worry of where to put her child in day care. I only work part time and a good half of those hours are spent during church services. My girl can happily play in the nursery with several fabulous and professional baby-holders while I go about my job.

After 7 months of having my dearest friend care for Randall during the one day a week I'm in the office, I faced the weighty task of finding someone new. Of course, this would also come smack dab in the middle of her starting the joy of separation anxiety!

For a couple weeks, she was going to a girl who I knew from church and who also watched another good friend's baby. Unfortunately, starting this week, she is full on the day I need a spot.

I had two other good leads of highly recommended caregivers, but one of them ended up being full and the other doesn't do single day positions.

A couple days later, I got a number of another girl whom I know and who nannies full-time but also takes on babysitting and might work out.

No dice. She had just picked up that "one more" child she could watch.

From one of my original leads, I was given the number and website of the local daycare organization. While I knew there were probably tons of great places on that list, the thought of going from taking my daughter to my best friend to taking her to someone I didn't know at all sent me to tears instantly. It still makes me tear up.

The stress was mounting in my heart. I knew that God had the right person in mind to take care of my princess, but I felt as though time was running out and I just didn't know what to do. Several friends and coworkers were praying diligently for me as we all knew it just isn't feasible for me to bring her to work on a regular basis.

We've brought her in a couple times and Andy carries on his morning meeting in the nursery while playing with blocks and balls, then I take the afternoon shift and try to do my work while she naps or plays in a jumper. It doesn't really make for the most productive of days, I'll be honest.

I called a couple other girlfriends and asked where they took their kids. If I could at least find somewhere that someone I knew was going, it would lighten my concerns considerably. One girl said that the Salvation Army, (where her husband works) has child care and both she and her son (as well as another family we know) love it. I took down the number and was immediately feeling more peaceful just knowing a good option was available.

Before I even got a chance to call them, my other girlfriend replied via Facebook to my message. She asked a couple questions and I got the impression that she might be interested. A little while later, she sent me a message saying she wanted to take on the job!

We have been in a couples' small group together for over five years. I've watched her raise her daughter and know her and her family very well. She's a teacher and loves kids. She quit last spring to raise her daughter and son (who is exactly one month older than Randall) and decided to help her family income with childcare.

We basically are answering each other's prayers.

I don't ever doubt that God will come through with my every need. But I still take all of the worry onto myself as if somehow I don't believe it. In the grand scheme, this isn't a monumental situation. In my heart though, it is enormous.

Tomorrow is her first day. Her bag is packed and her bottles are full. It's like the first day of school and I'll probably cry when I drop her off. Her little arms outstretched and her sad face as I leave. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she will be in loving hands. And that is worth all the stress and fear. I will work diligently tomorrow to pay for that childcare, but I won't worry about my girl at all.