Mar 31, 2012

Teething and cuddles.

The teething monster is at it again. Adelaide has slept fitfully all week, and Thursday and Friday nights ran fevers. Today she has been in pain, constantly putting her hands in her mouth and crying. She's drooling like crazy, feverish, CLINGY, and unable/unwilling to eat or nurse much. She hasn't napped all day because each time we lay down to try to go to sleep, she cries out in pain and refuses to stay lying down.

I hate this for her, and I wish she wasn't in pain, but if it's not strange to say: I have really enjoyed taking care of her. I said this to Kevin, and he totally got it. We know that we're taking care of her, helping her in any way that we can: distracting her, taking her outside, getting little sips of milk, juice, or water in her, a graham cracker here, an apple slice there. It's all helping, in little ways. We know why she is fussy, we understand her behavior today. It's not like many of our other days when we have no idea what's going on and nothing seems to help.

Last night (Friday), she could barely stay awake past 6pm (bedtime is usually between & and 7:30pm). She nursed constantly when we got home from work/daycare, and for long sessions. She wanted Emmylou on repeat (thank you Bekah for sharing that song with us!), and when she was done nursing, reached over to Daddy and fell asleep on his shoulder.

She has been a Daddy's girl for the past week or so, loving his hugs, resting on his chest, reaching out for him. It's a nice change of pace, something that Kevin has been waiting over a year for. So, of course, I had to snap some pictures of this precious moment as it's been a very long time since she's fallen asleep on him. Just another memory we don't want to forget...




Mar 30, 2012

Saying goodbye is hard.


I know I mention it a lot, but leaving Adelaide is the hardest thing I do every day. I spent my whole adult life waiting to be a mom, and the better part of my pregnancy naively thinking that I would be able to work it out financially to stay home with her indefinitely. And when I did the math... I got so depressed thinking about how my dreams wouldn't come to fruition quite the way I'd always imagined.

I'm lucky to have been able to stay home with her for the 9 months that I did. Well, not lucky... I worked my butt off during the summers nannying, paying off debt and saving so that I could afford the birth center and my extended maternity leave. No luck there... hard work instead.

But no matter how much extra work I did, nothing can change the fact that we still have a mortgage to pay and other bills and Kevin's income just wasn't cutting it. So return to work I did, in October.

And it was so tough, getting used to the idea that Adelaide wasn't spending her days with me... or rather, that I wasn't spending my days with Adelaide. That someone else was spending the majority of her days with her, teaching her, hugging her, taking care of her. It's hard wondering what she's doing at any given moment. It's hard seeing a new skill of her's, because I know someone else has taught it to her. But it has gotten easier, as time has gone by. The heartache has lessened, the tears come less frequently now. Mondays are still hard.

If the morning has been full of tantrums, I can't help but feel that it's because of my leaving, because our life is this way. If you could only see the way she sometimes cries and reaches for me as I try to cheerfully tell her I love her and that I will see her at the day's end. I can't help but think that if I were a stay at home mom we wouldn't have to go through these rushed goodbyes. And if the morning has been calm and full of singing and smiles, I still can't help but wish I could stay home so that I could enjoy more of that. It's a no-win situation as far as this longing goes. She is my world, and my day feels out of sync without her.

And every morning, at my insistance, Kevin and Adelaide stand on the porch and wave goodbye as I back the car out of the driveway. No matter how the morning has been, how the goodbye was, whether she wanted to give me a kiss or not, my heart skips a beat. I whisper goodbye to my little family, and try to remember that this life is still infinitely more full than it ever was before she came. Infinitely better, infinitely more important, infinitely more full of love.

Mar 26, 2012

NC blogger meetup!

Saturday I was fortunate to attend an NC blogger meetup. Lovely Bekah and Jess organized and hosted the event, and a whole slew of (mostly) mommy bloggers showed up to hang out, get to know each other, and stuff our faces for the better part of the day.

As soon as Bekah posted about the idea for an NC meetup on her blog, I was all in. I was never too nervous about it, though this is the sort of thing that usually gets me all worked up. I did have a moment about what to wear beforehand, trying on every possible combination of tank-top and cardigans possible, but I decided to just be me and settled on a nice black top with gray cardigan. Nothing fancy, but still nice. Jeans and some nice black flats. I think I stressed more about Adelaide's outfit than my own, and even after settling on a cute pink dress and even ironing it (!), she got a blueberry stain front and center and we had to change the whole thing. Of course, she was super cute no matter what!


I think what I was most anxious about (though not too terribly), was that I was meeting "bigger" bloggers. You know, those with a ton of followers that have been doing it successfuly for years. Little ole me with 90-something followers, rarely getting comments, rarely posting, meeting these women that I admired for their lifestyles, writing, and fun blogs.

Kevin told me beforehand: They are just moms, with blogs, just like you.

And he was totally right. This was such a warm, welcoming group of ladies. I had awesome conversations with a couple of the ladies... a lot of "me too's!" and honest sharing of feelings and life. A local cupcake company, Cupcrazed, provided some of the BEST cupcakes known to man (toasted coconut? yes, please!) thanks to Passionfruitads. And all the ladies brought homemade goodies (I made salsa): smoothies, mango water, coconut milk, pb&j sammies, fruit salad, kale salad, and a bunch of other stuff that I honestly can't remember. It was awesome.


We did a fun photo-booth where we each shot a 3-4 second blip making cute poses for the camera. Jess is going to put together one of her awesome videos of the day, and include a Brady Bunch-esque recap of all the bloggers that came out.

There were so many kids/babies. I have to say, when I first walked into Jess's house and saw her boy Kael, it was surreal. I've known this boy since he was born, without ever meeting him, and there he was in the flesh like any toddler would be... padding around his house with his belly stuck out and skin stained with marker.


It was awesome. I came home buzzing with excitement over meeting such a great group of ladies. It felt inspiring and real and wonderful.

Here's a run-down of the ladies and their blogs:

Bekah at My Little Loves
Jess at Boho Baby Bump
Brooke at From Under His Feathers
Brittney at Brittney's Rabbit Hole
Paige at We Three Pilgrims
Dusti at Where Am I?
Carey from La La Lu
Jenn at The Fortunate Plight
Anna at The Colorful Living Project
Rebecca at The Unsteady
Tia at Two Birds on a Wire
Leslie at The Beehive Mutter
Jessie at Some Stuff About Stuff

P.S. I was totally, totally awful about taking pictures. All the ones I did take were either blurry or of nothing important. I guess I was shy about sticking my camera in everyone's faces. Gotta get better at that... especially at an event all about blogging where half of what you do is take and share pictures!!!

Mar 23, 2012

Adelaide {15 months}

Oh Adelaide,

You are amazing. So, so, so amazing! Every day you make me laugh and it makes me so proud that you are such a happy, healthy, smart little girl.

You are no longer a baby. In fact, according to the dictionary, you are no longer a toddler either, because you aren't learning to walk. You have been walking for 7 months now, which is crazy to think! You look more and more like a KID every day. No more double chin, no more bottles, big girl teeth, hands that can do so much, and so smart!

You are walking, running, climbing. You recently climbed up onto the living room bookshelves, and then sat there swinging your legs looking so proud. You climb up and down the front steps by yourself, holding onto the railings and taking one step at a time. You are trying to figure out how to jump. You crouch down low and push yourself up, but your feet never leave the ground. Sometimes you'll come up on your tippy toes, but you're still planted. On the bed, however, you are able to bounce, bounce, bounce, and I'm sure it won't be long before you get some air. You still love to rough-house.

You are getting to be so sweet! Lots of hugs and kisses for Momma, Daddy, the cats, pictures of cats, pictures of dogs, your baby dolls... pretty much anything. Just this past week, when we've laid down in bed for nighttime, we've asked you for a night-night kiss, and you gave one to each of us! It was so sweet! Definitely a much-welcomed addition to our night-time routine!

Speaking of night-time... we are terrible with keeping a solid routine. Usually we have a bath, but sometimes it's before dinner, sometimes after. We like to play a little before bed. We try to brush your teeth every night, but even as soon as I sign "brush teeth" you start this really sad crying and then scream your way through it. Which actually helps me out because I can get to your teeth. Then we put on your extra thick cloth diaper which gives you a big ole booty, and we go into the bedroom. I sit you in the middle of the bed, you lay yourself down, give kisses now (!), and then I nurse you to sleep.

I still really love breastfeeding. You feel so good in my arms laying in bed at night. It's such a special way for us to be together and really is so beautiful. I catch your daddy gazing at us, and he says the same thing: that we're so beautiful together. You still love nursing so much. In fact, when we went a month ago to meet your new cousin (Alice), you nursed more than she did, and she was only 3 weeks old! You clap your hands when you want to nurse, but in a different way than when you're clapping because you did something cute. I'm trying to teach you the "milk" sign, but you're not catching on. And now, when you nurse, you sit on my lap and just lean forward. It's so sweet, and gives me a chance to give you lots of kisses on your head!

You've said a handful of words, but you haven't repeated many of them. You say "cah!" for cat, and "dah!" for dog, always emphatically. You have said book, duck, cool, buh-bye, but only once each. You say "mama" and "dada" all the time, but sometimes confuse the two. You say "da" for "that" and point at everything, asking us what things are and waiting for our answers. You shake your head yes and no, and say "yeah" which is really, really cute. You can sign bath, eat, water, all done, night-night, more, and your own sign for milk. And you're really trying to talk to us... scratch that - you DO talk to us... we just don't know what you're saying!

You are starting to pay more attention to what you're wearing. If I put a dress on you and make a big deal out of it, you will go to the mirror and beam at yourself. You want to wear hair clippies when we get dressed, but immediately (most of the time) pull them right out. You love to wear your necklaces. You try to put on your shoes, pull off your pants. Oh, and you're so weird - you love to take my undies from the drawer and pull them over your head like a bandana!

You are a picky eater now... gone are the days of shoveling food in your mouth. You rarely want to sit at the highchair and eat. You often just take a few bites and then sign "all done"! You eat better at daycare than you do at home. (Except at home, you still drink a lot of mommy milk!)

You have transitioned up to the 1-year-old room at the daycare! You are the smallest baby in the room now, but you are doing so well and holding your own! You go right to sleep at naptime on your little cot and take good long naps! You love playing outside on the playground like a big girl! Today I saw you rocking on a little horse as I came to pick you up after work.... you really look like such a little kid!

You love to read, do puzzles, go outside (anything outside!), tear everything off of shelves or out of containers (so long, neat dvd organization!), pretending to write with pens on paper, helping mommy do chores, being tickled, dancing, hearing daddy drum, petting the cats, and being held. You make silly faces, and laugh at everything!

When you're happy, you're SO happy! But when you're mad, watch out! The best word to describe you is intense. Whatever you're feeling, you're totally invested in it and do your best to show it, whether that's spinning around in circles laughing, or screaming your head off on the changing table.

But you are so much fun. Your daddy and I are completely in love with you. You have changed our lives for the better... so much better! WE LOVE YOU!

Love, Momma

Beauty in the weeds...

Even in an unkept yard, there is beauty. Yesterday I saw the sun glinting on the dandelion heads, making them glow. I asked Kevin to run inside and grab the camera, because I just HAD to take pictures. They looked (look) so beautiful to me! The grass and weeds are reaching up and grabbing at my legs, begging to be noticed. And I did! Even when we don't have time to mow the lawn and it looks pathetic, there is beauty.







Mar 19, 2012

Prepping the garden bed.

A few years ago I felt ambitious enough to build a few raised garden beds. Two 4'x8' and one 4'x4'. And I filled them up. Lots of tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc. And then not much grew. I think it might be a little bit to do with the fact that I filled the whole beds with cow manure compost and didn't water consistently. Plus it was hot, and I don't like sweating that much.

But I really wanted to grow my own veggies, so we planted again the next year. Did a little better, got more veggies out of it. And then again the next year.

Last year, we tore up the small box and one large box because with Adelaide here, we decided we'd rather have more yard space. Priorities changing a little. We have a kid that loves to run around, so a yard to explore is important. Plus, we were pretty pathetic with our garden. Too much at once, perhaps? One box is left, a large one, and I'm going to do my best to be really good with it this year. I kinda wish I'd kept that smaller box. I could have filled it with sand and plopped Adelaide in it while I work in the yard. Oh well.

Due to leaving the box out all winter uncovered, it looked pretty messy. And it was filled with cat poop. So I scooped out the top 4-5 inches of dirt and used it to fill in holes in the yard. (Remember last post where I talked about an uneven yard? It's very uneven.) And we went to Lowe's and bought cheap-o topsoil to fill it back up. And I added a big bag of peat moss because I read somewhere that I should. And then I took the extra fencing/netting that I used to baby-proof the deck, and used it to cover up the box to deter the cats from using it as a big poop-box.

Adelaide started off on a blanket with snacks, but quickly worked her way over to the box. I had to redirect her from the poop dirt to the good, new dirt. No touching poop dirt, yuck! She loved pushing her hands through the dirt. It's the same thing she does in the sand box at the park. She practically dives into the stuff. She didn't eat any, but she did dump some on her head, and then looked pretty proud.

I'm excited to start seeds tonight (a little late), and I'm even more excited to have Adelaide spend time with me outside and watch the plants grow. I want her to know where her food comes from, and there's no thing as too early to start teaching.

Do you garden?










Mar 17, 2012

Love what you have.

We are lucky to have a great big front yard, and a great big back yard too. We own just under three-quarters of an acre. A bunch of it is woods in a flood zone, but a lot of it is usuable. The entire front yard is pretty sloped, and the back is super uneven with patchy grass. It's a pretty bad looking yard, in my opinion. So much potential: no time or money to do anything about it.

But, for Adelaide, our yard is an undiscovered world, full of treasures. Despite my wanting a nice mulched front bed, paved walkway to the backyard, pretty flowers and trimmed bushes, Adelaide could care less. She is intrigued by the shoots of grass, the small acorn tops, baby pinecones, and dandelions popping up everywhere.

Just another lesson to love what you have, and not struggle so much against it. Thank you, dear Adelaide, for always teaching me.










Mar 7, 2012

Growing up, moving up.

Y'all. My baby has started transitioning from the baby room to the 1-2 year room. That's a BIG DEAL. I have been holding on to the Pink Room and Mrs. R, but the time has come. Adelaide is moving up.

Today she spent 2 hours in the Green Room, where she is definitely the smallest baby and pretty close to the youngest (she might be, but there's a boy in there with a close birthday). Any time we've visited the room after I've picked her up, the other toddlers swarm her because she's new. They exclaim "baby! baby!" and say her name "Hey Adelaide!" in their little toddler voices because somehow they do know her. She always seems so thrown back by the immediate attention in her personal space, but then she moves along and pulls down all the toys and seems to enjoy herself.

Friday was her last day with a bottle. We'd transitioned one of her two bottles to a sippy cup six weeks ago, or so, and Monday we did all sippies: 2 milk and 1 diluted juice. She did great with it.

She's been getting bored in the Pink Room with no other walking babies (oh, but those babies MOVE!). It was time.

Today she went down to the Green Room from 9 to 11 and did awesome. I talked to her new teacher Ms. M (who Adelaide actually knows well because she spent quite some time in the Pink Room right when Adelaide started day care) when I picked Adelaide up today. Apparently, she wasn't fazed by all the hugs and attention she got from the other babies, and was having a ton of fun playing with the toys. And, MOST EXCITING, she got to go to the playground.

You guys, this will probably be the best part of transitioning for her. This girl is a nature kid. Take her outside and no worries. In the Pink Room, if the weather was nice and no babies were having meltdowns, they'd strap them all in to this crazy big buggy and go for a walk. Now, Adelaide can run around on the playground, climb and slide and everything.

Big girl over here, now.

The transition will take a couple of weeks. I think the hardest part for me is, well, saying goodbye to my baby. She walks, no more bottles, sleeps on a cot, sits at a really cute little table for lunch. And now she won't be in the baby room. And there's so much unknown. For 2 months before we really began day care, she and I went to the Pink Room and spent hours there, playing. I got to see the ins and outs of that room. I have no idea what the routines are in the Green Room. *sigh*

She's growing up, moving up... my little toddler girl. (Who, right now, is teething... so is very much a baby at night, needing mama and her milks... thank goodness, in a way.)

Mar 5, 2012

Warm days, deck days.

It's been warm a bit these past couple of weeks... yesterday it was alright in the sun, but a little chilly in the shade. But lately, when the weather is nice, we head outside. Nothing like the fresh air, sun on your skin, and the feel of the breeze to keep a toddler happy.

These pictures were taken last week sometime. It was a beautiful 70-something degrees, so we laid out a blanket, brought out some grapes to snack on and some toys onto our little deck. For a good 45 minutes, Adelaide was super content and didn't need me much for anything. She was good to go. And I remember sitting and just enjoying the springtime feeling.






Mar 3, 2012


Today went by way too fast. All week I was in a funk. Tired because of a baby who can't sleep well and keeps her mama up, too. Stressed at work because of too many things to do and not enough time to do it (and refusing to work late because I don't get paid near enough as it is). Desperately wished I would magically win the lottery so I could switch back to stay-at-home-mom and be able to fix both of those problems (naps and no work stress).

So I was really looking forward to the weekend. And wham! It's now almost 9pm and where did the day go? I was able to sleep in (thank you, hubs) and grocery shopped, and what? That's it? And it's 9pm? le sigh.

At Aldi's. Super cheap produce, though not organic.

Pretty much the only way to keep her entertained while shopping for groceries: feed her the groceries.

Made a really quick and delicious dinner that is an easy go-to in this house: sauteed zucchini and onion is sooooo good. Sometimes we throw in squash too, but I don't care for squash (has no taste, to me). Zucchini is king. Also, couscous with pan-toasted pine nuts and raisins (soaked in pre-boiled water for 10 minutes to plump up). So good. Adelaide got plain couscous and ate it up.

Tastes better than this picture makes it look.

Don't know where she learned to stick her face in her plate (ahem, Kevin...).


Hopefully tomorrow really will be sunny like my phone says it will be. Only 55 degrees predicted, but in the sun it will feel really nice. This rainy cold weather makes me blah. I need spring to get here, and stay here... no more teasing us please!