Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Milo decided today that Bella is pretty exciting after all.

A little entertainment

WOW. I'm not much of a country music fan. In fact, I'm not at all. But this pretty much blew me away, probably because it's one of my favorites. Or perhaps I'm just celebrating because Little Man went to sleep in 10 minutes last night? That deserves a HALLELUJAH!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A lesson-in-progress

Sometimes being a mommy is so darn hard.
We were naughty. I know we were. We rocked Milo to sleep at bedtime every night for at least 3 weeks. He'd been doing fairly well at just lying down and going to sleep on his own, but sometimes he cried a little. And it was easier to just let Nate rock him. And on top of that, I looked at it as some daddy/son time at the end of the day.

Well, then Milo stopped just letting himself be rocked to sleep. In fact, he'd rock to sleep, lie down, and then wake up 10 minutes later and expect to be rocked again. And we realized that we needed to start just laying him down again and letting him learn to go to sleep on his own, because goodness knows it's a lesson he'll have to learn in the future.

Somehow it was much easier to teach him when he was a newborn, though. Because now he knows that if he cries hard enough, his mommy is a big sucker and will be desperate to pick him up. So this week we've been firm. We've started a bedtime routine that involves a sleepy-time bath and plenty of book-reading before we've laid him down. We've patted him every 15 minutes or so while he's in his crib, just so he knows that we're still here and we love him. Still, he's screamed and screamed for at least an hour every night. And I do mean screamed. I've checked on his diaper, patted him to see if there's a burp, sung to him, prayed over him, and he has screamed on. There's been nothing wrong except his little temper flaring up and demanding to be rocked, and he wakes up completely cheery and well-rested in the mornings.

Maybe you know me well enough to know that I alternate between snapping at Nate and crying myself while this is going on. If we had any ice cream, it's gone now, because that was at least a slight distraction. The tv doesn't work, because I can hear him screaming in the background. Being a mommy is hard, especially when you know you're doing what's best, yet you can't quite explain that to your infant... Or your toddler... Or even your high schooler. Guess I'd better be ready for some disagreement between what's best and what he wants, right?

Anyway, this is my Monday lesson-in-progress: Always do what you know is right, even if it's not the easiest method. It only gets harder the longer you put it off.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Father lessons (thanks, Ann!)

It's amazing how being a parent has taught me so many lessons about God himself, and the kind of Father he is to me. I grew up with an amazing dad, but that said, I still didn't imagine God in the same way. I guess it's because I had such a wonderful father, I held God at arm's length and told him, "It's cool, I've got my own dad." But watching Nate with Milo has taught me lessons I never could have imagined.

Ann asked me the other day whether God tests people before he blesses them. I had to think about it for a while before I answered, because sometimes it feels that way, right? Like we're being tested to see if we measure up before he will give us what we want?

Well picture God as a loving Father above all else. I can't imagine a good dad testing his child over something he's never learned, right? I mean, imagine  Nate standing Milo up and then letting go, just to test whether he can stand. That's crazy (and horrible), right? No good father would do that! God won't test us over something just to be cruel, or to see if we're "good enough" for a blessing. If he's testing us over something, it's to see whether we've gotten a lesson he's been teaching us for a loooooong time, and it will be a test that we're well-prepared for, one he expects us to ace.

Sometimes it's hard for us to picture how an invisible Father would treat us, especially if we didn't have a great earthly father. I'm learning to use an example I do have, like the immeasurable love Nate and I have for Milo, to try to picture how God might behave toward me. I am like God's sweet little Milo. He wants to care for me, hold me, give me only good things... He can't wait for me to get up in the morning, or to see me smile. He dotes on me, brags about me, hates to discipline me but knows that it's completely necessary... And most importantly, he just wants to spend time with me. He wants to spend literally every second with me.

It goes the same for you, too. That's the cool thing. I'm not any more special to him than you are. He loves each one of his special, amazing, individually created children exactly the same.

But I'm sorry to say, you're nowhere near as cute as Milo. Just take it in stride, and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Picture update

Okay, just needed to post some even more adorable pictures to make up for yesterday's silliness.
He can finally fit into this outfit, which is a 0-3 month size! He's getting chunky, but he's still just a little peanut. I love it.

Milo and his Uncle Chad, just watching some basketball. Note that in this picture and the next, his eyes are focused elsewhere? That would be the tv, both times. Just like his daddy, Milo loves television. I love that he looks like such a little man here, and as always, has his hands clasped.

Milo enjoying some time with his beautiful Aunt Tree. He decided one night a few weeks ago that he absolutely adores her, and now he always has a smile for his auntie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Outdoor adventure

This right here is about all the Texas sunshine I like at one time. Note the curtain is only slightly open? That's on purpose. The amount of light that gets in through these dark panels is irritating enough...
I, in fact, feel somewhat offended by the sun, but that could be due to the second-degree burns I received the first time my skin saw a bathing suit here in Texas. As a result, I run while it's still dark in the mornings, I wear huge shades anytime I venture out, and the only time I'm active during the day is when I'm playing soccer (and I haven't for a couple years...).

But today was a pretty day, windy and in the 70's, neither of which happen very often here. And because I desperately want my baby to be a normal boy, I made the sacrifice. We headed outside for some very serious... sitting. That's right, I sat in a lawn chair with Milo on my lap. Did I put him in the grass? Absolutely not. What's a protective mommy to do in the wilderness (haha) of Texas, where fire ants and wood roaches run rampant and snakes are an everyday occurrence? Okay, I'm still working on the whole "mommy of a boy" situation, but as of now, he's just a wee babe in need of protection.

So we sat in the shade (since I need to go buy some baby sunscreen), and Milo just looked around at everything. And then he looked around again. He didn't seem to mind the wind blowing, the next door neighbor's dog barking, or the gnats that would occasionally dart around us. He just took everything in, with wide eyes and a serious face. In fact, he seemed pretty impressed with the whole outdoor sitting experience... until I started to walk back toward the house and we were out of the shade for a brief second. Then he made the most terrible face, scrunched his eyes shut, and buried his head in my shoulder. Apparently my babyson feels the same way about the sun as I do. Guess I'd better work on that?

Anyway, hope wherever you are, your weather is as gorgeous as mine.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The calm after the storm

Laundry folded? CHECK.
Dogs bathed and floors mopped? CHECK.
Meat for dinner thawing? CHECK.
Happy, clean, well-fed baby, peacefully slumbering for his afternoon nap? CHECK.
All that was finished before lunch, and I even got a shower on top of it. See? I told you I'd be better today. So here you go, a few shots of Milo on his tummy, while I could actually keep him there. This little champ is rolling over all the time!

Oh so sweet. This child positively warms my heart.

Note the confusion? I think he was trying to understand why I would cheer so much for him when he rolled over, but then put him back on his tummy each time...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

House Chores

I love staying home with my babyson.
I love his sweet face first thing in the morning, when he hasn't quite decided whether he's awake or asleep. I love his little giggles and coos, and the fact that it cracks him up every time I try to get him to say "mama." I love that he's chunking up enough that he has little butt dimples that I catch a glimpse of when I'm carrying his little naked self to the bathtub.

But can I just be real for a minute? There's something I seriously hate about saying home. It's a major problem, and I find myself pushed a little to the edge this evening.

I hate house chores. Ohhhhh, I hate them. I hate them even more than doing the Jillian Michaels Shred by myself every day. Only, I can shut that DVD off after 20 minutes and be finished with it. House chores are never finished. They just stretch out into eternity, and the worst part is, you don't even get paid to do your own house chores. You're just obligated because otherwise you have to live in your own filth (the very idea gives me chills).

I've tried to divide them up into days to make them less overwhelming. But then I spend the night before thinking about the horrid punishment in store for me when I wake up the next morning. For example, I've designated Thursday as dog bath day. Do I want to give my dogs a bath? Heck no. I'd rather just open the front door and let them be free because all they ever do is track more mess into the house, and I'm about to have to add a third vacuuming day just because of them... (Okay, you know me better than that - I'd never let my dogs run away, and I now feel slightly guilty for saying that...)

I have this fantasy about paper clothes. On laundry day, you'd get your husband up and lay out his paper suit and tie. You'd clothe yourself in a cute (but not too cute - you know where it's headed at the end of the day) little pleated paper dress, and then put your baby into an adorable paper onesie and overalls (with an extra on hand for the inevitable mid-day poo up the back). Then you'd wash every single bit of laundry in the house. And the best part would be the end of the day, when all the laundry is put up, and everyone simply throws away their paper clothes, and you officially have no laundry left to do the next day. It would be a perfect world, if only for that evening.

You may have noticed I'm down in the housewife dumps tonight. Never fear. I'll awake tomorrow all cheer and sunshine and go-get'em, fold the load of laundry I left in the dryer, tackle those dog baths, hopefully work out, even more hopefully actually have time for a shower, make a delicious dinner and clean up the kitchen... all the while keeping up with Milo and giving him all the attention he needs. And tomorrow I'm hoping I feel a lot less sullen about it.

So from little old Lufkin, Texas, good-night. Hope your dreams are sweet and house-chore free.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The problem with tv

Well thank you very much, America. You made me remember why I hate reality television. You see, I just don't think you're smart enough to make good decisions, and when you vote on something, you usually get it wrong.

Case and point - American Idol last night. Pia Toscana sent home because there was no save left after the judges kept Creepy Casey a few weeks ago. I'm sorry. I realize I'm probably stepping on a lot of toes belonging to Casey fans, but if I wanted to hear that much growling I'd just hang out with my dogs right after they come inside, chasing each other around and wrestling. It sounds about the same. Needless to say, Nate and I were quite indignant after last night's episode. Pair that with this week's heartbreaking Biggest Loser, and, well... We just need to stop watching so much television. 

I mentioned to Nate a week or two ago that we should start living a more active lifestyle, and I'm now praying for a jogging stroller (for me) and a bike (for Nate). We have to start setting a good example for Milo now, and I don't want him watching a lot of (or any) television as he grows. Nate answered me with a deep sigh, and that's about as far as it went. But I know where he's coming from. I get up and run in the wee hours because there's a good chance that I won't do a thing at the end of a long day, and Milo's only 3 months old. Imagine how I'll feel when I'm chasing him around the whole time!

And speaking of Milo, check out this little honey on his tummy. Too cute for words.

So to recap...
I hate American Idol.
Nate and I need to get our lazy behinds off the couch.
My son is adorable.
Any questions?
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The 5 a.m. blues

I used to be a runner.
I'd get up at 5 a.m. to run 3, 5, 10 miles... I loved the feeling of starting my day with a good sweat and a feeling of accomplishment, and the company of whomever chose to run that morning was always a pleasure. Then there were days I'd reset my alarm and not get up, just because I wanted a few extra minutes of sleep. I took for granted the luxury of going (or not going) any time I wanted.

Now I'm a mommy trying to squeeze in a morning run. And when you're a mommy desperate to hit the pavement, you do crazy things, like getting up at 4:15 to pump before you head out so your big ol' girls don't snap off while you're running. You choose activity over sleep, as little as you get on your own. You actually become desperate for the company of other people while you work out, because Jillian Michaels, Anita, and Natalie have the same thing to say every day.

And you have mornings like today.

I got up as previously mentioned at 4:15 to pump. I had 3 minutes left, ready to throw on some shorts and my Nikes and head out the door, when the babyson awoke. Never mind that he should have slept at least 2, if not 3, more hours. He was hungry and in need of comfort, so I quickly texted Jen to ask if we could meet at 5:15 instead of 5. I can still make this work, I was thinking, as I headed into his room.  I scooped him up, planted a few kisses on those precious cheeks, and sat down in the glider to feed him. And that poor baby tried and tried and tried to eat, but there was nothing left in there. Tried him on one side. Nada. Tried the other. More of the same. I had apparently pumped every last drop, and my sweet son was getting frustrated and desperate.

Okay, no worries. I grabbed a bottle of the milk I'd just pumped and tried that. He sucked it down in a matter of minutes and gave a sigh of relief, and I then expected him to nod off at any second. But I had forgotten one thing. Because he rarely gets a bottle, it's somewhat of a novelty, and it doesn't seem to soothe him back to sleep like breastfeeding does. I picked him up to burp him, thinking I could still lay him down, but there was no chance. He was wide awake, looking around at anything and everything he could make out in the dim light and cooing contentedly. I sadly picked up my phone to let Jen know I'd have to sit this one out, and went back to rocking my little man.  He was awake for at least 30 more minutes, completely delighted to have some extra cuddle time, before he finally fell asleep. And now here I am, wide awake myself, but with nowhere to go and no one to meet me.

The funny thing is, this happens more mornings than I care to admit. It's like Milo knows I'm about to head out and does everything in his groggy power to keep me here. And yet, it's impossible to be irritated when you look down and see the true face of adoration, beaming up at you in the soft glow of the nightlight. Will I ever feel the road flying beneath me again, the wind in my hair, the miles stretching out behind me like conquered foes? Not today. This mommy-runner will have to instead make a date with Jillian to Shred alone (Level 2 - my calves are literally being torn in half) and know that her biggest fan is now asleep in his crib, and to him, it doesn't matter how many miles I've run. It just matters that I'm here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunny day

We've had a busy, go-go-go weekend, and part of the excitement was opening day baseball for Cody and Braden in Diboll. It was Milo's first outside excursion, and I can't say that he loves the sun or the heat. He was a trooper, though, and we got this great shot out of it. Doesn't get much cuter than this!