Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I See London, I See France...

I saw this today at WalMart and for some reason it made me laugh.

It looks like those grocery carts got tripped up and fell on top of one another in a jumble of exposed wheels and metal parts. They just look so undignified and embarrassed. Reminds me of the time I walked out of the work bathroom with the back of my skirt tucked into my underwear. That incident was made even more awesome by the fact that I had walked through the boys wing and past three offices before anyone told me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Must. Stop. Blinking.


I am in the process of adding a little pizazz, panache, flair, to our house. A little style, if you will. I spent a long time digging for treasures today and oh did I find some. Tomorrow I will post pictures of my finds because right now I am very tired.

But that isn't the most important part of this little story. The important part is, while Rusty and I were fighting over paint, Miss Norah rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time. And we? MISSED IT!

One minute Norah was on her back, rolling from side to side and sucking on her toes, the next, she was on her belly laughing and smiling. We suck.

But, here is a dark and wobbly video of the first time she rolled from her belly to her back. This happened quite a while ago, but I just figured out how to get it off my phone.

Um, please ignore my ridiculous yelling and squealing. It's embarrassing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flying Babies

We are home.

We survived through four flights, two layovers in Dallas, two trips up and down looking for Einstein Bagels with no success, four gate changes, one incident of nearly missing our plane, one seatbelt pinching mishap and three in-flight breastfeeding sessions.

It was awesome.

Here we are lying on the airport floor in Dallas waiting for our flight home. After the search for bagels, before the seatbelt pinch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

North and South

I know it may be hard to believe, but when I was in middle school and high school I was kind of nerdy. Nerdy, as opposed to how awesome and fabulous I am now. I was in orchestra and choir and honors classes and not very good at sports. I also went to church and was very scared of all the unchurched gangsters that wore lots of eyeliner and big earrings. But the pinnacle of my nerdiness was my participation in both Math Engineering And Science Club and Science Olympiad, both of which I was a part of from 7th to 12th grade.


Now. Don't get me wrong, I loved MESA Club and Science Olympiad. It was great. I got to spend time with my friends and compete in competitions and flirt with the boys from Moriarty.
My friend Jenny and I always competed in Road Scholar in Science Olympiad, an event that required us to answer a series of questions using information on road maps and topographical maps and also required a good sense of direction as well as working knowledge of a compass. Jenny was always amazed that I was able to figure out which way was North. I always took pride in that ability and knew that it made my dad proud.

Today something utterly disgraceful happened to me. I took a back way home, a way I have only driven once, and I very nearly got lost. I'm almost too ashamed to even mention it...I got North and South mixed up. What should have been South was North and I went the wrong way. Me! Road Scholar champion! Went North instead of South and didn't even think twice upon viewing the sign that said 59 North.

I'm sorry Dad.
Tomorrow Norah and I are flying to Roswell to visit my family. I am very excited to see everyone and for everyone to see how big (and bald) Norah is. However, I am not excited about two, one hour flights and a two hour layover in Dallas. Have you met my daughter? She does not sit.

So, if you happen to be thinking of me tomorrow please pray calming and sleepy prayers. Hopefully I won't have to navigate North and South in the airport or I may end up in Montana.

Friday, August 15, 2008


The results of working in a children's shelter for over two years.

"Seven little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called doctor and the doctor said, 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'"

"Six little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'"

"Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'"

"Four...wait. Those monkeys would have been taken by DHS by now."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Expanding the Family

I used to think I wanted five kids. Then I got pregnant and decided I only wanted one kid. I remember the last weeks of pregnancy feeling like I could only handle being that swollen and uncomfortable once in my life. And in the hospital I told anyone who would listen "Look, I am not kidding about this. I am only going to go through this one time. If I want any more kids I am just going to adopt them."

Then Norah was born and three days later I was ready to go through it all over again. It was that powerful. That fact that I gave birth to this beautiful and silly little girl sometimes seems so surreal. I think back on my experience with labor and just cannot believe that it really happened. I cannot believe that I housed another person in my body for nine months and then brought her into the world. I really can't wrap my mind around that. And sometimes when I think about all the bad things in this mean world I want to take her back and keep her inside me where she is safe and I have more control over what happens to her. The anxiety that comes with being so in love with a tiny baby-I cannot fully express it.

Now that I am a little further removed from how uncomfortable I was the last weeks of pregnancy and how uncomfortable I was in labor, I suppose I can think a little more clearly about the inevitable question: How many kids do we want to have?

I wish it was an easy answer. Rusty, in typical fashion, goes back and forth daily. Some days he only wants Norah, some days he wants more kids, some days he wants to adopt, some days he wants to just get having kids over with.

I go back and forth as well. Sometimes I think I don't want Norah to have to share my love with any other kids. But when I think about that I know that my love will grow exponentially with every baby we have. It's not like I have a set limit of love and will be forced to dole it out among our children. Sometimes I go back to my desire to just adopt any more kids we want to have. And then, to add even more confusion, I start to think how scary pregnancy and childbirth can be. I feel like everything went perfectly with Norah, but what happens if things do not go so perfectly with our next pregnancy? The possibilities, and all the things that could go wrong are things I don't even want to think about.

But when I get down to it and I when I think clearly, I do want another baby. Not right now. Preferably when Norah can feed and dress herself and has the ability to use the toilet, but eventually I want to be pregnant again. As much as I try I cannot express how it feels to support another life, but any woman who has experienced it probably knows what I'm talking about.
I want to experience this at least one more time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Keeping My Perspective

Rusty and I went mountain biking today. I have not been mountain biking since some time last year because I have a tendency to fall into trees and did not want to fall into a tree while housing a fetus. So today we went. And we rode. And I thought my lungs were going to come flying out of my mouth right there on the trail. It was awesome.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy biking, the rush of flying (in my case, braking) down a hill covered with roots and rocks, the excitement of getting hit in the face with sticks and vines, the thrill of nearly smashing a half naked running man.

At one point on a particularly awful hill when I was somehow still going up though I certainly shouldn't have been, I thought about giving up. I thought I could just sit down and wait for Rusty to come back and find me and then he could carry me and my bike all the way back to the car. But I knew I couldn't actually give up. I've had a baby! I can certainly ride my bike up a hill! So I encouraged myself by thinking "At least I'm not riding my bike through the French Alps." Or "At least I'm not trying to swim for the Gold with water filling up my goggles."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Home of the Brave

I am not really into watching sports. And I am not terribly patriotic. But something about the Olympics turns me into a crazed, hollering, sports fanatic filled with pride for the Red White and Blue.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

16 Weeks

Dear Norah

You are now 16 weeks old. That is 4 whole months! I cannot believe that you are 4 months old, that we have spent the last 4 months with you, that a whole 4 months has gone by since you were born. It feels like it has only been 4 days since you burst into my life with your beautiful clear skin and all your fuzzy black hair. Sheesh…4 months.

I cannot even begin to name all the ways in which you have changed the past 16 weeks. But I will try Little Turkey.

Norah, I think when I was dreaming about being a mama I had this vision of life being very predictable at this point. By 4 months I expected to know exactly what you liked and what you didn’t, I expected every day to be the same as the day before it with small discoveries sprinkled in to mix things up-things like rolling and laughing and crying. I expected to be able to tell people everything about you-what makes you happy, what makes you laugh, what makes you angry, and so on. But life is not like that. Every day with you is a guessing game. We wake up in the mornings and I have no clue what is going to happen. Will you scream all day? Will you squeal and squawk all day? Will you be in such a good mood that my head explodes? It’s anyone’s guess. What works one day will not work the next. You like to keep me on my toes. But here are some things I do know about you.

Your hair pretty much all fell out. All your precious black hair was forced to surrender to your love of playing on your back. For a while you only had hair on the nape of your neck and the crown of your head and that made me very sad because I was so proud to have a baby with hair. For a few weeks you looked like a tiny toothless monk. Now it is starting to grow back so you have these long wispy pieces that stick out among much shorter pieces. And all your hair is now brown. Whatever, I’m just glad that it is growing back so I can nuzzle your fuzzy head again.

You can roll over.
But girl, you are stubborn. One day when we were playing I put you on your tummy and suddenly, without any warning or hint at what was coming next, you rolled clear onto your back! Just like that! The look on your face when I freaked out with pride and surprise was one that clearly said Come on woman. That was nothing. But seriously Norah, that kind of stuff needs to be preceded by blaring horns and big neon signs.
After the initial roll you rolled a good 5 more times but then abruptly stopped. A few days later you rolled again in front of an audience.
I happened to get your second roll recorded on my phone and I have shamelessly shown it to anyone who happens to talk to me. And every time I watch or hear that video (the audio is pretty awesome; You are yelling and I am squealing) my heart swells with such awe that it feels like it will burst clear out of my chest. I love you.

Despite your rolling ability, you do not like tummy time. You will tolerate tummy time just long enough to get a few pictures, but after that you put your face in the blanket and yell, coming up to drool and breathe. Just know that in a very short time you will have no more patience for lying on your back and will spend all your time on your tummy and then your knees. Mobility is upon us.

You have an awesome laugh. There are a few things that have made you laugh out loud. First was playing Peek-A-Boo with your daddy. Then bouncing up and down on my legs. Then playing airplane. Then me singing Old MacDonald loudly to you (in public, I might add). And today, when I tickled your thighs and knees. You are hilarious when you laugh, so funny that you make me laugh too and then you see me laughing and you laugh harder and we end up in this laughing cycle that makes us both tired. I’m tired just thinking about it.

You prefer when I stand and hold you to when I sit and hold you. We are going on an airplane in a little over a week to visit your grandparents in Roswell so I have been making you sit on my lap to practice for the plane ride. We’ve worked our way up to 10 minutes. Only 50 to go!

You like to have some space. Sometimes you get mad at me if I try to hold you for too long. You like to play with me and especially when we sing and I make you dance, but you like to play alone too. You spend lots of time playing on the floor or in your swing or in your bed. You talk to yourself and suck on your toes and kick your feet. This is a good sign I think because it means you know you are ok and that you feel safe and secure. This makes me happy.

You ball your fists when you get mad or stressed. I do the same thing. Your daddy calls them “Mama Fists”.

You like your bed. In fact you like your bed so much that you can’t really sleep if you are anywhere else. This is simultaneously awesome (because you nap in the day now) and annoying (because you won’t nap in the day if we are not at home).

You can grab things and everything your grab goes into your mouth. This is a pretty fantastic and hilarious talent. Everything you touch finds its way into your mouth. And sometimes you gag yourself on accident. Silly baby.

Those are all the things I can think of right now that are consistently true about you. Most other things change frequently. Oh, except that you like to eat. Eating is probably your favorite activity.

We went to the doctor yesterday so you could have a check-up and get the second round of immunizations. You were not happy about the doctor and let everyone know it. We put you on the baby scale and you yelled and squirmed for what seemed like a year. Then they measured your length and you yelled some more. And then they measured your head and you yelled some more. Then you got kind of quiet until your Dr checked you out and then you yelled some more. And THEN! You got two shots, immunizations against some very scary diseases, and I was positive that your head was going to fall off you were so mad. You were loud. L. O. U. D. So loud, in fact, that Ms. Jasmine (one of our friends) heard you all the way in the waiting room.

You are 25 inches long, you weight 14 pounds and your head is 17 inches around. Also, you are perfect. That’s what the doctor said!

Norah, I told someone the other day that being a mama is both the hardest and most amazing thing I have ever done. It’s hard when I put you down so I can brush my teeth and you get so angry that you claw your own face and make yourself bleed. It’s hard in a million other ways. But in the mornings when you wake up and I get you out of your bed, when you hold my arm and put your head on my chest, when I bring you back our bed and when we lay down and you eat while we all snuggle, I forget the hard. It seems like there could not be anything hard in our life together when I have your tiny hand in mine, your feet in my thighs and I can hear your daddy breathing next to us.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gud Thing Teh Baby's Cant Reed

Today is August 7th and thus a letter to Miss CrankyPants 2008 is due, however I am not finished with it yet. In the meantime:

A ridiculously cute onesie

Made even cuter by the silly tu-tu on the back

But on closer inspection, I see two grievous errors

And on the back, one more!

Granted, $36.95 for a Body Suite is a pretty good deal.
But for a Body Suit? Must be from a grandma.

Regardless, Norah looks good in her fancy pants.

(Better do spell check on this post, Mama.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How Typical

Remington is asleep in my underwear drawer,

while Squid lounges on the antique couch.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Colossal Snob. A Snob Without Shame.

I tried to go to the library last week to check out some books and was rudely reminded that my card expired back in April so in order to check out any books I would have to pay $15. 15 whole dollars to check out a book at the library. Where books are supposed to be free! The injustice.

So, unable to check out any reading material I pulled out an old favorite, The Razor's Edge which I have read at least three times but still love with the fierceness of a tiger who has not eaten in three weeks. When I pulled the book off the shelf I realized that Miss Norah happened to be lying on the floor chewing on her fingers and staring at the ceiling. Since she is unable to move herself she was forced to listen to me read three chapters of The Razor's Edge to her in a British accent.

This is going to be so fun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blurring Lines

I think I am losing my mind.

Last night I was working. I walked down the hall to the dining room and when I passed the girls' TV room I heard a crying baby. I walked into the room and saw our youngest girl (5yrs) holding one of those baby dolls that cries until you give it a bottle. She was just sitting there holding it so I said "Your baby's crying. Is she sick?" She shook her head no so I walked over to her and stuck my finger in the doll's mouth to make it stop crying. I told her that sometimes when my baby cries I put my finger in her mouth and she stops.

The resident smiled at me and then I walked out to finish whatever I was doing.

A few minutes later I walked by again and heard the baby doll crying again. I stuck my head in and said "Your baby is crying again! Is she ok?" The girl told me she didn't have a sippy cup for her doll and just sat there letting the doll cry. So I went to the giant toy chest because I knew, somewhere in that cave of toys there had to be at least one baby bottle or sippy cup. I dug and dug and dug and the doll continued to cry and the more I dug the more panicked I started to feel. I felt the tightening in my stomach and chest that I feel when Norah cries and I started to think Gotta help the baby. Gotta help the baby. It would not have been a surprise if my milk had let down, I was that into it.

I continued to dig for something, anything, to help the baby until, in a flash of lucidity, I remembered that it was a doll and that I was acting like a lunatic.

I stopped digging and handed the girl a fake ketchup bottle to give to her baby. Then I walked out of the TV room and took a deep breath, walked back to my office and told myself to get a freaking grip already.

This motherhood? Is one tough business.