Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reasons I'm OK With Fall

This is to help me feel better now that the 65-degree rainy days have set in and my deck is covered in a sprinkling of yellow leaves.

Reasons I'm OK With Fall
(in no particular order)

1. Sweaters, blankets, and anything generally cozy. I like being warm, which is why I love summer so much! Sob! Ok, this is not a good start. But gosh I want one of these little sweaters for my cup of coffee! Heck, I want a cup of coffee - I do enjoy the fall flavors, pumpkin spice and all that. Yum!

2. While we're at it, fall foods in general are pretty yummy. Pies, soups, casseroles... what's not to like?

3. My hubby was born in the fall. Along with a few other people I like, and two new people who are joining our family (and the world) in the next couple of weeks!

4. With the exception of spiders who seem to appear in the fall, the bug population decreases - if you know me, this is significant. Bugs could be the only thing I dislike about the warm months.

5. My favorite article of clothing. I feel I once again am justified in wearing them on a regular basis. It's nice. I've missed them.

6. Ahem. A little less pressure. That's all I'll say about this one. Whew. Excuse me while I let out that huge breath I've been holding in since early May....

7. Appropriately following #6, I love the build up to the holiday season. Shopping, cheer, music, the smells, shiny decorations, the anticipation, gatherings of family and friends... I just can't complain about the holidays :]

Fall, I may not love you, but I am ok with you. There, I said it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Months Old

It's true! My teeny tiny baby girl that we (you included) were so anxiously waiting for just yesterday is 5 months old today.

It's also true what they say about how quickly time goes. I hate admitting that time is flying by, but I know that when you're having as much fun as we are, it's bound to move a little quicker than it did back in my days of managing teenagers all day. I have resolved myself to soak in every single second with her since there is nothing I can do about time passing. I'm in no hurry to leave her with a sitter, or have her sleep all the way through the night, or go to sleep on her own just by being put in her bed. In fact, I am rather enjoying every minute of her wanting to be with us and a little too fearful for a sitter. I like holding her, nursing her, and singing to her while she falls asleep. I don't even mind waking up with her a few times in the middle of the night. I love that she still loves to snuggle with me in my bed in the mornings and is content to lay beside me chit-chatting for as long as I need to be ready to drag myself out of bed. You can bet those mornings are cherished.

So yes, time feels like it's going quickly. But I will not let a single second pass without notice. I take pictures almost every single day and have more than filled an entire memory card since her birth. It's all we get to bring with us as time passes.

And what is my sweet little bebe up to these days as a 5 month-old? Well, she is rolling over like crazy. She is liking tummy time more and more. She talks all day and is making some new consonant sounds. Her current favorites include "goo" and "gee" and "dee." She kicks her legs like crazy when she is laying on her back, and has found her feet. She likes chewing on her toesies almost as much as chewing on her hands! She is also into scratching things (usually while she eats). She just opens and closes her fist gently sometimes against me or my clothes, sometimes against our couch which makes a nice zippy sound. She is still sucking her thumb and fingers and drooling a lot, but still doesn't have any teeth. I think all the hair she lost is starting to grow back in. It's a lot lighter than the hair she was born with. Her most very favorite thing of all is singing and dancing. She loves when you sing to her and dance in front of her. If you hold her hands or feet or dance her around, even better. Her daddy's family is very musical, so it wouldn't surprise me for her to take a special interest in it also.

Well, enough talking already, here are some pictures I took today:

She still leans forward when we sit her up

but she's getting better sitting in her Boppy

Enjoying some tummmy time!

She can even do tummy time with no hands! A true talent :]

Yes, baby, we're talking about you!
And there you have it. The love of my life, 5 months old :]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome back to "Not Me!" Monday on The Luckiest. Inspired by blogger extraordinaire, MckMama, this little piece is intended to share the very human things we all (never) do and live to laugh about... much, much later, of course!

I'll start:

I would not dream of entering a contest to win a property worth $1.5 million knowing very well I'd have to sell everything I own to pay the taxes on it... twice a day for the duration of the contest. I'd have to be crazy to do something so silly. I have also never had a dream in which I discover a ton of hidden storage in the bottom of my dresser. Who dreams about stuff like that? Not me! And even if I had, it certainly could not be due to the fact that HGTV is on in my house all the time. We barely watch tv at all! I know for sure that I've never eaten apple pie for breakfast - 2 days in a row. Nor would I ever allow myself "dessert" after breakfast. Goodness, I'm trying to lose baby weight here! I don't know who could justify so many calories. Lastly, I would not be caught camped in my living room, with my baby and her bassinet, because my husband was away for the night. And I would definitely not be sitting on the couch with bug-killer next to me, just in case. No, not me. I am an adult after all.

So that's what I have not been up to. How about you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Faces

Check out these adorable babies and the family members they look like!

This is my niece, Caraline (our baby girl's BFF!)
Would you say Caraline looks a little like the baby below??
This baby is my mom!

Here is our sweet girl...
Would you say she looks just a little like the baby below??
This baby is my husband!

Our baby girl again...
and her daddy again... whoa!

Another cute smile from our little one...
compare to this smile from her daddy :]

Is there any hope at all that this little face...
looks anything like her mommy???

You be the judge!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rainy Sunday

Is there anything sweeter

than your baby and her daddy

and some ducky jammies

cuddled up for a morning nap

on a rainy Sunday?

I think not :]

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

That's Why

I had to go to my place of work to drop a few things off. While there, I ran into some of my co-workers. One girl came up to me excitedly because she saw me with my baby. Her baby was born just a few weeks before mine and she was returning to work for the fall. She said hello to the baby and talked to her a little. Then she told me how much she misses her little one and asked if she could smell my daughter. OMG, it brought tears to my eyes, right there in the copy room. How heartbroken I would be if I had to ask to smell a baby for missing mine so much. I felt so bad for my friend, but so grateful and blessed to be visiting there and heading home to spend the rest of the day (and school year) taking care of my sweet tiny girl.

We recently had an event to go to as a family and I was struggling to find something to wear. Four months post-preggo I am back to pre-preggo weight, but my body is very different and so my clothes just don't look the same on me. It was a casual event, thankfully, but I still needed to look nice. After trying on what felt like 100 outfits and finally settling on jeans that kept the muffin-top to a minimum and a black shirt that hid it well enough (creative, right?) I emerged from the bedroom. I warned my husband not to tell me I looked cute because I just wasn't feeling it (sad, I know). I did later let him know I had cooled off enough that I could handle him complimenting me. We laughed about it, but I know I had acted a little silly over the whole issue. So the next day I woke up to a card on the kitchen table. It was from my husband telling me how much he loved me and how he hated seeing me so frustrated over my clothes. There was also a gift card for my favorite store which he insisted I use to get some new clothes. Here I've just quit working which has caused us to have to re-work the budget, and he is insisting that I have new clothes. What a guy :]

I've mentioned before that I had a "plan" for how to make up for some of my lost income. I've been working on a process to implement that plan, but it's going a little slower than I had originally thought. My husband and I were having lunch the other day (he surprised me and met me at the mall when I was shopping for those new clothes) and he confessed that he is trying to work everything out so that I don't have to make up for my lost income. He wants me to be able to focus just on spending time with and caring for our baby. I feel a certain amount of responsibility for our financial circumstances since I am the one who stopped working. Though, I know we would be in the same place financially if I was working and we had to pay for daycare. So to hear my hubby talk about wanting me to just be able to stay home and care for our little girl non-stop really warms my heart.

If there's one thing I know, it's that I'm blessed. I count my husband and daughter as two very clear examples of how much God loves me. So if you ever wondered why I call myself The Luckiest, that's why.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not Me! Monday

It might be a day late, but here it is anyway! I don't want to disappoint my readership :]

Over the past two weeks I could not have been caught absentmindedly ordering the wrong size coffee merely as a result of thinking about the name of the larger size, only to realize my mistake when a presented with a huge cup of coffee. How silly! I also did not dress my baby up entirely in my favorite NFL team's attire and take her to get an autograph and photo with one of the stars of the team as if she were a fan herself. We all know babies have no idea what football is, much less are they actually fans of a team! I can tell you that I definitely did not attempt to cure a headache by eating a popsicle, fooling myself into believing that the "brain freeze" would be the same as applying ice to my pounding cranium. Who would try such a thing? I would never be so crazy as to schedule a family photo shoot on the same day my baby got her 4 month shots. No, sir. Not this girl. And I certainly did not shatter a (obviously cheaply-made) DVD case by throwing it at my dog, who was not barking his head off at nothing while the baby was sleeping. No, nothing like that ever happens at my house. Not me!

How about you? Go ahead and share some of the things you have not been up to in a comment, or leave a link to your "Not Me!" post on your own blog!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Try This!

Here is a super recipe that is way too delicious for the amount of effort it takes to prepare! I love making it and as I just had some leftovers for lunch, I thought you might appreciate my sharing it.

Bacon Roasted Chicken (yes, bacon!)

You'll need:
- a whole chicken, cleaned
- 2 cups of broth (chicken or beef)
- 1 granny smith apple cut into chunks
- 6 strips of bacon (regular works best, but I've used turkey and it works too)
- salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 450 (F). Place your chicken breast-side up in a shallow roasting pan. Pour broth over the chicken. Stuff your apple pieces into the cavity of the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken as you like. Place 6 strips of bacon over the top of the chicken. You can secure the bacon with toothpicks if necessary, though piercing the chicken is not ideal.

Place the chicken into the pre-heated oven. Let it roast for 15 minutes. Then, baste with broth and reduce heat to 350 (F). Roast the chicken for 2 more hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 (F), basting about every 15-30 minutes.

This chicken comes out SO juicy, tender, and delicious. And the next day (if you have leftovers) I like to put a few pieces of the chicken on a wheat bun with a little mayo, then a sprinkle of salt and pepper and one of those crispy slices of bacon. It's pretty delish. I mean, if you like chicken and bacon :]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are you really among friends?

O beloved Facebook, how I hate thee. Ok, I don't hate Facebook. I actually really love it. But it does seem to bring up some strange circumstances between supposed friends. Sometimes I have to wonder if I really am among friends there. I mean, I've hand-picked each and every person I interact with through that network, and yet sometimes I find people on there to be so offensive.

I don't consider myself someone who is "afraid" of offending people. I do, however, keep a lot of my thoughts and opinions to myself if I know I'm in mixed company (any mix). Why? It's not out of fear. It's out of respect. I know that not every person in my life shares my exact set of values, or feels the same way I do about parenting, or education, or religion, or politics. I honestly don't even know how some of my good friends feel about some of those things. So out of respect for their personal feelings on different matters I usually avoid commenting on controversial topics. I would never want a friend of mine to feel ridiculed or disrespected by me because we didn't share the same view on something. I have no problem with people who think differently than I do, and therefore feel no reason to make fun of them.

It is then beyond me why people on Facebook, a forum in which you are supposedly "friends" with all of the people who might see your postings, would make comments that are both insensitive and disrespectful to people of different values and beliefs. Would you say those things to your friend's face? Do you consider for a second that some of your "friends" might identify with those people or groups your comments are making fun of?

I used to teach 6th grade, and I can say with a good deal of confidence that there is not a group of people who make fun of one another more than 6th graders do. The reason for such profound teasing and ridicule among these kids all boils down to security and self-image. The ones who do the most teasing are the most insecure about themselves. I had one 6th grader who easily weighed twice what I do and was about a foot shorter. After hearing him dish out some pretty nasty insults I began to mentally note this child's interactions with his peers. I discovered that everything he said (at least in my presence) degraded someone else. I honestly never heard him say anything that wasn't meant to hurt another kid. It was the classic philosophy that if I make fun of others that will make me better, or at least they'll be afraid to make fun of me. He was a sad child.

Now as someone who is approaching 30 years old, I find it rather appalling that some of my "friends" are not yet beyond making fun of someone for being different than them. Seriously?? Are you that insecure in your own beliefs or opinions that you have to get validation through belittling others? Still?! I know adults make fun of people all the time. I just consider that behavior ignorant and immature. It is a true sign of someone's own insecurity.

I guess the bottom line is that people don't always think before they speak, and consequently don't realize how insecure they make themselves look. But for goodness sake, have enough respect for others not to degrade another viewpoint.

Ok, I'll get off the soap box already. Just promise me you'll play nice with others, and post with care :]