I am not an artsy craftsy person. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Michael's and A.C. Moore. I could spend hours looking at all of the cute scrap booking stickers, papers, embellishments, and pick out all of the most adorable items. But, when it comes to actual execution, sigh. I just don't have "it-" the it factor that many women have when it comes to scrapping or making crafty things. (Nor do I have the patience, steady hand or precision, but that's another story.) This applies to all areas. Case in point- I love, love, love to bake things, one because it's a stress reliever, and two, because I love giving sweet baked treats to loved ones. My sister-in-law also loves to cook and bake. She, however, turns it into an artistic feat. In fact, for Thanksgiving, she made turkey shaped cupcakes. The most adorable little cupcakes you've ever seen; they should've been in the window at some local bakery. My bakery creations, however, taste a LOT better than they tend to look. The sugar cookies I made last Christmas looked like they were decorated by my 3 year old niece, but they sure did taste yummy! Anyway, I recently participated in a hand made craft exchange. Don't ask me WHY I thought this was a good idea, cause I got nothin'. Actually, I think I was more focused on the cool hand made things I was going to get, rather than the fact that I, too, was responsible for making something hand made to exchange! Doh! I don't sew. I don't knit. Crochet? Nope. Needle point? Funny. But I do really love the scrap booking aisles at the craft stores, so I went looking for inspiration. I've had a little "success" at making cards for people. (read: I avoided making them look like my Aunt Mildred spilled her overstuffed-purse-full-of-stuff-only-old-ladies-carry-around on them.) So, I figured, what the heck. Here are a few of the results, pictured. I tried to keep them simple, because I do possess a gaudy, glitter loving gene that doesn't believe that "less is more" so I reeeeallly had to reign myself in. In all, I wasn't embarrassed by the finished products, and I hope the cards will be a blessing to those who received them. I enjoyed the process and it did end up being a healthy distraction and stress reliever. I plan on continuing this little hobby, and hopefully getting better at it!
A few days ago was just one of *those* days for Patrick and me. Not in a bad way, but just one of those days in which several things happen to make you realize just how much your life, and you, have changed since your little one was born. After being peed on while cleaning spit up, the idea for this blog post came to mind. I started making a list of all the things I do now as a mom, and put the question up on Facebook to see what my other mommy friends had to add. Here's my list, followed by their suggestions: You know you're a mom when... -After hearing the unmistakeable spit up gurgle, instead of moving out of the way so it doesn't hit your shirt, you hold your hand out to catch it so it doesn't hit the recently cleaned floor. -When your son pees on you during a diaper change, you laugh and remark how impressive his trajectory is. -your thumb becomes a chew toy, and thats okay with you. -when you look down to see two wet stains spreading across your shirt, shrug, and zip up your jacket because you only have so much time to finish grocery shopping before your baby wakes up and starts wailing -when the thought of 4,5, or 6 hours of sleep in a row, makes you salivate. Not chocolate, not cake, not George clooney. Sleep.
Some of my friends comments: -You call powdering your nose "me time."....if you actually get to be alone during those what used to be private moments. -Tajia -when big burps are music to your ears...from your screaming baby, of course! -Melissa -when you think about your own care and safety more than you ever have in your life because suddenly the well-being of the most important person in the universe depends directly upon YOU. -Andrea - when your milk lets down in public (in Rite-Aid, as I recall) and forms two huge, wet circles on the front of your shirt because you heard somebody else's baby cry ... that was a defining moment, too! -Andrea -can't remember the last time you showered! -Colleen - You gladly stay up all night long holding your sick child (no matter what age) so that they may be able to get some sleep. -Dawn -when your laundry load doubles and you fall asleep sitting straight up during a meal.....the baby's meal. -Carri - when the only time you ever look at a clock is to determine when the next feeding time will occur. -Melissa S. - You know you're a mom when the thought of a tiny booger remaining in your infant's nostril is horrifying and you must...YOU MUST, make every attempt, including considering using a pair of needle nose pliers,to remove it from said location. Forget waterboarding- if we want to interrogate prisoners of war we should send a task force of moms to remove boogers from their noses. They'll be singing like a canary before long. just sayin'. -Kevin (my dad!) -When you happily change a poopy diaper because the poor baby has been previously constipated. -Erin
My baby is.five.months.old. It's been five months since that fateful doctor's appointment that uncovered my blood pressure was a wee bit high and the doc suggested induction, given my heart condition. Five months since DH and I spent two nights waiting for my labor to progress, waiting for our sweet, wonderful baby Patrick to arrive. Five months since the nurse handed him to me and I thought, "Mine." Isn't that a weird thing to think? I think that was one of my first thoughts because for so long, I was just the aunt, just the envious friend who admired others' beautiful babies. I was overcome with gratitude and love for this blessing, and overcome with fear at the enormity of my new responsibility. As soon as I looked in his face and held him in my arms, I felt a sense of familiarity. After spending the last nine months praying for him, talking to him, laughing at his antics in my belly, and documenting his growth, his little face just made...sense. I just knew him. And how the last five months have flown. I know that five months isn't a big milestone, but it just seems like Patrick is doing so many new things that I continue to be amazed. Just a few things: he is sitting up better and better in the Bumbo, working on "eating" rice cereal, rolling from back to front and front to back, "scooting" off his playmat on a regular basis by kick, kick, kicking his feet. He loves playing "horsey" with his daddy, can sit comfortably on my hip, and is fascinated by his soccer ball. He thinks it's hilarious when daddy bounces the ball in his house, and he tries his best to "hold" it. I am loving every minute, and I hope that I'm keeping enough of a journal to remember all of these sweet moments farther down the road. I continue to pray that Patrick grows healthy, strong, happy, and that DH and I can give our all to raising him and any other children we may have.
I think everyone feels some sense of reflection and renewal around New Year's Day. Of course, I have my list of goals for 2011 (that's for another blog post), but it struck me that this isn't just a new year, but a new decade. Then I started thinking about how much can change in 10 years, and how much living can be done in that amount of time. So here it is, a decade's worth of reflection in this itty bitty blog post.
In the last 10 years I've LIVED: -graduated college TWICE, with my bachelors and masters degrees. -lived with my best friend on three different occasions: my sister, my Anna, and my husband. -lived in 7 different homes -learned that I am capable of living alone -made some of the best friends I've ever had -traveled to Spain, California, Hawaii (twice!), Mexico, NYC, Jamaica, Italy, Ireland, Las Vegas, just to name a few. -taught hundreds of children -overcame the fears I had as a first year teacher on the first day of school -with my students I've wiped away tears, broken up fights, cracked jokes, created, danced, read, read, read, celebrated triumphs, perfected my "hairy eye ball" look, organized bake sales, raised money for the needy, organized Beta Club inductions, had parents yell at me, threaten me, hurt my feelings, enrage me with their lack of caring for their children, and also had parents encourage me, support me, and treat me like a member of their family. -been honored to be named Reading Teacher of the Year at the elementary school where I worked. -was maid of honor for my sister -became an aunt (twice!) -became a god mother -worked as a camp counselor, at a zoo, at a restaurant, and as a teacher -got engaged -planned a wedding -got married -bought my first house -left a job and a work place that I absolutely loved (twice- for two different reasons!) -tried for what seemed like forever (a year, total) to get pregnant -got pregnant! -became a mommy
In the last decade, I've LOVED: -I fell in love for the first time -Had my heart broken for the first time, then the second time, then the third time...;) -figured out how to play the "dating game" -realized how absolutely awful I am at breaking up with people -fell in love with my nieces Hannah and Bridget -took a chance, trusted a friend, and ended up falling in love with the man who'd become my husband -fell in love with my precious baby boy, the moment I saw the words "pregnant" on that little white stick -cried with friends who'd lost loved ones -grown to appreciate my family as the best friends and best support group I'll ever have
In the last decade, I've LOST: -My Uncle Joe, also my god father and my mom's brother. He had the biggest smile and laugh. He was the oldest of her five siblings, was a post man, loved dogs, (especially German Shepherds) and has three wonderful children. Lung cancer. -My Uncle Jimmy, my dad's brother. He was the youngest of his siblings. He was an expert flirt, and passionately pursued all of his dreams as a cheesecake chef, drummer and band member, taking karate. Also lung cancer. -My Grandma Weakland, my mom's mom. She was petite, and wonderfully soft. She was so sweet to hug- squishy and wonderful, like grandmas should be. She was an amazing cook, my favorite being homemade chicken noodle soup made with egg noodles, piled on top of homemade buttery mashed potatoes. Mmmmm. Without fail, she'd always offer cookies to help me "finish my milk", loved ribbon candy, was a dynamo at Rummikub and kept her dentures in washed out margarine tubs. She raised six children, one of whom is my amazing mother. -My Grandma Su, my dad's mom. She was theatrical, encouraged my passion for acting and theater, had fiery red hair, a loud, belly laugh that was contagious, and loved sweets. Her New York accent stuck with her to the end, as did her husband, my Papa Jack. She also raised six children, one of whom is my amazing father. -My Grandpap Weakland, my mom's dad. He was an imposing figure who tended to intimidate me as a little kid, but who had this huge belly laugh. He worked with his hands, doing manual labor, to provide for his family. He loved to take pictures, and had orange trees at his house in Florida. He and my Grandma Weakland took me for ice cream, to the playground, swimming in their above ground pool, and dyed Easter Eggs with me.
This doesn't begin to cover how wonderful, devastating, challenging, and amazing the last ten years of my life has been. I hope and pray that the next ten can even live up to the last ten, and that I can work every day to be my best self and live my best life.