Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grandma Mree!!!


Robin's parents are here for the week, so while Robin and Dale have been working diligently on their project, Marie and I took Lydia to Amy's Ice Cream down the street. She loooooves the slide!



Travel Tips

Lydia's traveling last week was picture perfect. Without gushing too much, I couldn't have even hoped for a better solo traveling experience than we had, especially considering that neither of the flights were direct; both had layovers in Charlotte. Lydia slept on every leg of our journey, and she whimpered for approximately thirty seconds on one flight.

A few things I did that worked really well:

--I brought a little cooler that had a strap that can clips around the strap of my diaper bag. This way I didn't have to dig into anything for Lydia's food and drink. Both the diaper bag and the cooler were able to stow under my seat.

--I borrowed an idea from my friend Kelsey at Adventure Mama and tied ribbons to Lydia's toys and cups. Lydia is big on throwing things on the floor, and I didn't want to deal with having to catch anything flying into the aisle or having to lean into another person's lap to fish her toys from the ground. This saved me approximately twenty trips into the aisle. I tied one end of the ribbon to the toy or around the cup and made a loop on the other end of the ribbon to go around my wrist. Flight attendants on two of the four flights complimented me on this little scheme, saying they had never seen it before but would start mentioning it to other flight attendants and flying mamas. Great idea, Kelsey!

--I went with anything that kept Lydia happy and didn't create a huge mess or ruckus. For example, when Lydia became fascinated with a little box with a lid, we spent a good 40 minutes hiding a cheerio in the box, putting the lid on, encouraging Lydia to remove the lid, letting her eat the cheerio, and then putting the lid back on. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat... Repe....

Catching Up

It has been two weeks since Lydia and I headed home for Paul's funeral, and I feel like I have been neglecting the blog since then. The trip was emotional, exhausting, and more necessary than I realized, even when buying the ticket. I feel like I am still processing the feelings that surround Paul's death, and it has felt strange thinking about writing about things that are so happy and joyful while this very heavy weight still hangs over my family.

I also have been struggling to make up some really important posts that got lost in the shuffle of travel and grief, and they will be coming, but I'm also recommitting to forging ahead with what is going on now. I have an extra-special post in the works for a very special little boy, so be waiting on pins and needles!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Favorite Toy










-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, April 19, 2010

Here We Go!!!

This is one of my proudest moments as a mom!!! She's walking!!!



In a move towards full disclosure, Lydia took seven steps a week and a half ago when the two of us were playing in the backyard. She didn't do a repeat performance until this past Friday, when she took five steps. Today she took 14 at one point, and she walked to Robin for the first time. As we've been told, walking seems to be a much more gradual process than crawling. She's getting there, though!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lydia's Breakfast

Egg, black bean, and cheese tacos at El Chilito.


-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tight squeeze

A bright spot in a long day: family dinner and a walk through the Alma mater. Grandma and grandpa wanted to sit with Lydia.


-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Loss

In the midst of some wonderful events, our family has learned of a significant loss. On Friday evening, a longtime family friend passed away after a valiant, amazing fight with lung cancer. Diagnosed with inoperable Stage Four cancer in December 2008, Paul passed away Friday evening, beating significant odds in terms of how long he battled the disease and impressed everyone with what he was still able to do until the relatively recent past. While we are relieved that Paul's pain is over, it is difficult to understand why terrible circumstances are dealt to wonderful people like him. His absence will be profound for many, including my parents, and Lydia and I will be traveling to Forest Lake for his funeral this week. As I said, I have some important happy things to blog about, I ask for your patience with me in blogging, as well as for your thoughts and prayers for Paul's loved ones during this difficult time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On the Docket

Several people have asked what Robin has been up to. It is no secret that work in his field is slow, and while people have always been a little confused as to what his job entails, now the lines are a little more blurred.

The night before Lydia was born, a house down the street from us burned down. My mom, dad, Robin, and I walked down to scope out the scene, but little did we know that the site would become Robin's next project. He and his dad have been working very diligently on a two-unit condo (somewhat similar to ours) on the lot, and it is progressing really well. I'm so proud of Robin and his talent, and I'm so thankful that he and his dad are doing this!

(Click on the photo below and it will bring you to the picasa album with photos of the site.)

Construction Photos

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Done and Done

Lydia is officially weaned. She hasn't nursed in over two weeks, and we have completed the transition into our new nursing-free routines.

I found that initially, I was neglecting to replace the cuddle time that Lydia was getting, and it left both of us feeling a little deprived. We now cuddle in her rocker in the nursery in the morning, and she snuggles between Robin and I (or sometimes crawls all over us) before going to bed at night while we read books.

Ultimately, the two hardest things about weaning have been knowing that Lydia still loved to nurse when she was weaned and giving up the control and knowledge that I was providing her with important nutrients. The competitive side of me also is screaming that I threw in the towel before many other people do.

Let me say that all in all, I'm glad I'm done. I have more energy, I went bra shopping, and I don't miss the super-duper fun biting game that Lydia took to playing with my nipples. It was time to be done. In commemoration, Robin took photos of my last nursing session. I wanted photos of the way she played with my shirt, of how relaxed her hands look. It was one of the more endearing things about Lydia. I cropped one down so you can get the idea.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010

Today marked the first of Lydia's second holidays. It was the first holiday in which we could remember last year and what we did, what Lydia wore, and where we were at.

We spent this Easter with friends and family, and we had a really lovely day. We went to a Sunrise service on the shores of Ladybird Johnson Lake, went to a egg hunt at cousin Cory and Rachael's house, took some pictures of Lydia in her Easter dress in a field of bluebonnets, and ended our day with dinner and wine with good friends Aaron, Jessica, and Aidan.

Our day in pictures:

So excited about the easter basket, she didn't realize a Cheerio was stuck to her face.

Lydia on the egg hunt. (She didn't do so much hunting as hitting eggs together.)

Cousins in Easter dresses!

The bluebonnets.

Dinner with Aidan. I didn't catch the final results of who won the eat-off.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Exploring




-- Post From My iPhone

Standing!

I am in love with this outfit.


-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lydia Updates

Lydia is:

**Sitting in her booster seat at the table.

**Loving her new facing-forward carseat in my car.

**Enjoying our new family dinner time. (Robin and I are slowly adjusting to eating at 6:30 rather than 9.)

**Standing very solidly. She can get into a standing position by herself and has also taken a few solid single steps.

**Thinking it hilarious to stand up and then fall forward into Robin or me.

**Cruising around our furniture like a crazy person.

**Walking behind her red car. (She usually looks a little happier about it than this photo indicates.)

**Pointing and grunting when she wants things. (She gets this from Uncle Markus.)

**Saying "Da-Doo!" (Daddy) and Dah!" (Dog).

**Done with bottles and on to sippy cups. (This was the case a month ago, I just forgot to mention it.)

**Having a hard time going to sleep without nursing, but that is a whole other post.

**Cutting her first molars. We can see them about to poke through at the back.

The Guilt List

I got into my first internet fight. Actually, it wasn't so much a fight as me shooting back at a comment on a blog post in a very direct way. I wasn't mean or anything, the post just struck a nerve. The blog post was about the daycare this couple has found for their child, who is due this summer. The blogger is pretty popular, and one of the comments was very derogatory, criticizing her choice of daycare, saying it was too expensive, and questioning the blogger's decision of giving so much of her paycheck to a daycare in order to "pay someone to raise your child for you" and "just stay in the rat race." Now, you go after a fellow working outside of the home mom (to-be) and I will come out swinging in their defense. Why make someone feel guilty for a choice that affects nobody but a person and their family? Maybe it's a mutual self-conscious, vulnerable thing, but seriously. Personal choices are personal. Enough said.

That, paired with another recent blog post I read on the Mommy Wars (the very competitive, weird, petty conflicts between parents on things like sleep training, breastfeeding, cosleeping, you name it) and the resulting guilt these conflicts create. Something about pregnancy and parenting brings out this weird, outspoken, competitive, critical side in people, and it seems that EVERYTHING is up for critique.

So without further ado, my guilt list: the things I have someone has told me are wrong--either to my face or in book/blog/website form. I was going to explain the choices below, but I have decided not to. Consider this me, releasing the guilt.

*We let Lydia cry herself to sleep at 4.5 months.

*We gave her rice cereal at 4 months, two months before we were supposed to.

*We gave her cow's milk at 11 months, one month before we were supposed to.

*She still uses a pacifier during the day for naps and when she is crabby.

*She is in daycare, and I work full-time. This summer, she will stay in daycare two days a week, even when I am on summer vacation.

*I tell people we make all of Lydia's food. Secretly, we keep a stash of store-bought food for outings or when we are in a pinch.

*Her crib had a bumper until she used it to try to pull herself up to sitting. (This was another subject of criticism on the blog where the woman was criticized for sending her child to daycare.)

*She moved into said crib at two weeks, thus moving out of her bedroom.

*We never considered co-sleeping.

*We never considered cloth diapers.

*I love putting Lydia in frilly, girly clothes, even though my Women's Studies degree screams at me every time I do.

And there it is. Judge away, internets.

Addendum: I remembered three big ones:

*I chose to give birth without pain medication. I wasn't so much criticized as told I was crazy.

*We chose to find out Lydia's sex before she was born.

*I weaned Lydia from breastmilk before she wanted to be weaned.

And there you have it.  Again.

Chad and Vanessa!!


Robin and I have been blessed with lots of visitors during the past month. Our month of company came to an end this weekend with Chad and Vanessa, who flew down from St. Paul. It was so much fun to show them our house, watch them play with Lydia, and introduce them to Austin. Even better, it was so much fun to spend time with people that I have known for a really long time. Chad's mother (Hi Lynn!) took care of my brother and me every school day of our elementary school years, with the exception of my sixth grade year. When she would come to our house, she brought Chad and Mitchell with her, and over the years, they became like siblings to my brother and me. Chad and I went to the same college, lived in the same dorm, and even were Orientation Leaders together at the U of M. I knew Vanessa in high school and in college through Youth Performing Arts(!) and the Appalachian Service Project, and while we were talking during their visit, I also remembered that we went to preschool together.

It was so wonderful to share our city with two people that I share so much history with. As we continue to build our history in Austin, I felt so fortunate to be able to spend time with people that have been such an integral part of my life. Thanks Chad and Vanessa for making it such a priority to visit us!!! We had a really fantastic time and hope you did, too!

Anxiously awaiting the Hot and Crunchy Cones.
Anxiously awaiting brisket and ribs.
Smiling through the hunger.