Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three Months Old Photo Roundup

We are busy, busy, busy, busy here, what with having a three-month-old, going back to work, entertaining an almost three-year-old, doing Baby Boot Camp, travelling, and just generally keeping house.  But you know what?  It is totally worth a few minutes of my day (and, I hope, a few minutes of yours) to take a look at this awesome kid who is growing so fast and is so super cute and ILOVEHIMSOMUCH, OMGxinfinity.


Three Months 005

“What’re YOU lookin’ at?”


Three Months 008

The fine art of couch-sleeping (I was right there the whole time, don’t get your panties in a bunch about improper infant sleep arrangements).


Three Months 009 

“Sigh… the car seat again.”


Three Months 012

“Wait, are we going somewhere cool?  Maybe to pick up my big brother?  I love that kid!”


Three Months 018

Bedtime!  The only way Charles will go to sleep anymore is if Jamie joins him for at least a little bit.  I can’t decide if we should buy bunk beds next or just a big bed for them to share.


Three Months 019

Look at that chub! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mixmaster Charles

Exhibit A:  Perhaps he has a future in drumming.



Exhibit B:  He’ll have to overcome the giggles if he ever wants to DJ, though.



But I get it; that scratching record sound is hi-lar-i-ous.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I think that one of the best indicators of success in marriage is staying married, in choosing to stay married every day, every month, every year. 


Marriage is so much more than it seems at the outset.  It is taking on another person’s life and making it your own.  It is melding their fears, aspirations, anxieties, travails, personality flaws, strengths, screw-ups, careers, tastes, preferences, foibles, health, beliefs, values, and talents with your own.  It is accepting and embracing their differences on a level you had never experienced before marriage and then finding a way to work with those differences so that they are not roadblocks on your journey.  Before marriage, you might know that it is work, but you don’t understand.  Much like you might know that you will love your children, but you can’t possibly understand what it is like to live that love every moment of every day.


And the love between spouses, when they choose to continue to be married every day, month, and year, is like that, too.  So much so that you would give your life for them, that you give your life to them every day, month, and year.  You do, truly, compromise to meet their needs, much as they compromise to meet yours.


And it’s more than choosing brands of toothpaste or choosing to use separate showers (we do); it’s supporting someone else 100% even if you might do things differently if you were in that situation.  It’s choosing to take on roles that you might never have imagined for yourself because the situation demands it.


It is choosing to put your needs second to the needs of the unit.


Tony and I have been a unit for six years on Saturday.  I am a different person than that girl who married that guy six years ago.  Tony is a different person, too.  But if someone asked me today if I would marry Tony, the Tony he is right now, again on Saturday, I would wholeheartedly say yes.  The decision to join our lives six years ago was not one I made lightly, and it was absolutely the right decision at the time.  Recommitting myself to that marriage every day has also been, without doubt, the right decision.


And I plan to make that decision again and again for the rest of my life. 


Oh, doesn’t that sound romantic?  But in choosing Tony, and in choosing him as he is, right now, I am choosing to move ahead with him – it’s not so much romantic as a heavily weighed decision.  I am choosing to take a swing at life’s curveballs with him.  I am choosing to keep him as my partner and make whatever changes are necessary to keep our marriage intact.  I love him dearly, and I am choosing to continue to grow that love, rather than try to live on the love of yesterday. 


I wouldn’t mind fitting into that dress again, however.


Fortunately for me and for Tony, the work of marriage and choosing to stay married has rewards.  There is the reward inherent in hard work, of being proud that we have worked through every problem and made those compromises to stay together, as well as the rewards of growing close, of having a true best friend, of knowing someone so intimately that your humor and their humor intertwine, of being companions, true companions, who can make any situation, if not good, at least tolerable.  Let’s face it: life sucks sometimes, and a good marriage means that someone is always in your corner, ready to work through things with you.


And tomorrow night, we’ll celebrate our love the only way we can at this point in our lives: a brief dinner out with the baby in tow, then putting our kids to bed and watching a movie.  Unless Tony has schoolwork to do for his master’s program, in which case, he’ll do that and I’ll read.  Do you pity us because we aren’t having a grand anniversary night out?  Don’t, please.  We have built a fabulous life together with two wonderful children and an exasperating, yet lovable, dog.  We are so happy right here, doing something low-key.  Maybe we’ll get a bit more crazy next year when the infant has turned into a boy.


My dear Tony, thank you.  Thank you for re-marrying me every single day.  I love you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Office Baby

I went back to work this week, and it has consumed my energy to the point that when I come home in the afternoon (I work part-time – one of the great benefits of owning your own business, having a business partner who is stupendous, and employing a great team of people), I just sack out on the couch with Jamie.


Is it the fact that I am still up multiple times a night with him?  Totally normal, that, but still hard.  He is sleeping in his own room for the first 4 hours or so of the evening, but I don’t usually get to bed until the first hour or two of that is over, so the remaining five or six hours of sleep time are interrupted by multiple feedings; it seems as though after four hours of sleep, he must eat every hour to refill his system.


Maybe it’s the breastfeeding that’s knocking me on my butt.  After all, it’s a calorie burn, not that it seems to be helping my butt size at all.  I’m going to a wedding in 10 days, and I had hoped to be down another 10 lbs, but if the scale at the office (which we use for large packages) is even remotely correct, I actually weigh more than I did at my six-week checkup.  Boo.  And my pants size hasn’t changed in the previous six weeks, either.


It’s also possible that the exhaustion is due to hauling an infant around with me, the screaming he does in the car, and the heaviness of that car seat.  Or, it could be the workouts I do twice or three times a week, plus running.  Then again, maybe it’s that I’m not eating well or enough. 


I don’t know.  Suffice to say that I am tired, sore, have frequent headaches, and face a wardrobe crisis every morning.


Perhaps more shocking than the loop this week of work has thrown my body is the way it has sent my mind reeling with regards to the behavior of my baby.  Who knew a baby could be so content at an office?  Oh, sure, I had heard of people who take their kids to work with them, but Charles made it very clear during the month that I tried that that it would not work for him.  I got nothing done, he screamed nearly the whole time, and ultimately, it was one giant hassle.


Jamie?  He’s different.  He likes his pak-n-play.  He likes his mobile.  He doesn’t mind chilling out for up to 45 minutes all alone.  And that makes it possible for me to do meaningful work.


I think we’re going to be very happy at the office for quite awhile… which means, of course, that we’ll save quite a bit of money on daycare this year.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Snorfle: the sick, snoring sound a baby makes.

Oh, friends, there is nothing more pathetic than a sick baby, and it’s not what anyone wants, but there we are.  Jamie and I have colds.  For me, it’s just annoying and makes me sound like I have had a two-pack-a-day addiction for the past 30 years, but for Jamie, it’s pathetic.


He’s snorfley, and sad.  His cute baby voice (which is much sweeter than some other babies I’ve heard – seriously cute) is hoarse, and he isn’t sleeping very well.  It’s just a head cold, and he’s probably already on the mend, but it breaks my heart to see him ill.


Still, though, he is a mellow child.  He even allows me to suction his nose without protest.  You guys.  This is huge.  Charles would act like it was the end of the world and his whole head would explode all over me if I went for him with even a kleenex, let alone the bulb suction.  Jamie just lies quietly and lets me do my thing, then smiles when he can all of a sudden breathe better.  Hmm, something tells me this kid has a better grasp on cause and effect than Charles does.


So maybe Jamie will be my clean kid, but I’m not totally counting on that, because, well, he’s a boy.  And if there’s one thing I have learned about boys, it’s that they are dirty.  Charles gets a bath every night, which might seem excessive for a small person, but oh, you don’t want that little boy in clean sheets without bathing.  Head to toe, he is covered in sweat, sunscreen, bug spray, and several layers of dirt every single day.  And bruises!  And scrapes!  Goodness, gracious, this kid just beats himself up running into things, sliding on things, falling off of things.  His legs look like he’s been in a street fight where the weapons were pieces of chain link fence.


So yeah, a sick baby and a kid so scraped up and dirty (especially his face because his nose runs and, well, see previous comments about his abhorrence of kleenex) that he looks like a motherless urchin, and we fair draw the eyes of passersby when we are out.  Perhaps I should have more mom guilt over this, but I am really more focused on getting in, getting out, and oh, yeah, is that a Thomas the Tank Engine sticker on my butt?  Baby barf on my shoulder and in my hair?  Peanut butter and jelly smeared on my pants?


It’s a good thing we don’t go anywhere fancier than Costco.




We had a fantastic weekend with Liz here to visit.  I’ve been trying to think of a nice recap of our great weekend, but we really didn’t do anything spectacular.  I guess it was just the company that was spectacular, and I feel so blessed to have friends with whom we can pick up right where we left off, with whom we can stay home and do essentially nothing noteworthy and still have a good time.  So thanks, Liz, for making my weekend awesome by just being here.  I’m totally looking forward to next April/May when we jump on an airplane and visit her in Phoenix.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Slightly Greenish Thumb

The spinach seeds I planted this year were duds.  I did not replant because, you know, I had a baby.


The lettuce plants were eaten by birds.  Lesson learned, next year they will be encased in mesh while sprouting and shiny ribbons will be tied to the fence around my garden.


I gave up on squash after they all died last year. 


I have begun to think I need a “garden consultant” – someone who can show me how and where to plant things in my garden, and visit it periodically to show me how to grow them.  After all, as I walk through the neighborhood, I see magnificent gardens with giant assorted squashes, huge lettuces, corn, beans, raspberries… so many good things.


Actually, I did successfully grow beans last year, but no one eats them but me, and there were too many beans for me.  So, no more beans.


I had one raging success this year, however: my tomatoes.  I started them inside, and now have 14 plants going strong (in the interest of full disclosure, only 12 of those were from starts… I also bought one plant and my mom bought me one plant).  They are beautiful, and laden with tomatoes in varying stages of ripeness.


Tomatos 001

The cherry-sized tomatoes are all starting to ripen, and the beefsteak-sized ones are still light green and growing.  Next year, I hope to plant heirlooms, too.


I love the idea of eating things I grow myself, mostly because it means I don’t have to go shopping.  How great would it be to go and pick lettuce right before you make a salad?  I don’t know, but I hope to find out next year, when I WILL grow lettuce plants successfully.  Maybe I’ll get my mom to help me with my garden – she seems to have a killer one at the beach.  You’d think that with our amazing Skagit weather, I’d be able to grow all sorts of awesomeness.  Conclusion: the problem is me.  So!  I’m going to learn.  Any recommendations on vegetable garden books?