Monday, June 28, 2010

It's never too soon to start learning about chores!

When's my dang shirt going to be finished?

(Photo disclaimer: I know it looks like she has a 'load' in her diaper, but she doesn't. That is honestly how they hang.)

Brooklyn likes to help daddy push the vacuum back into the closet. Makes me laugh every time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It takes a while

How do you write about death? This is my second occasion to do so and it doesn't get easier. My grandmother passed away yesterday. It was 3:38am on June 26th. She was 81. I keep having to remind myself that she's gone. It takes a while for it to register, I guess. My mind goes back to the last time I'd seen her...

{Our Four Generation Picture taken on Mother's Day 2010

It was Saturday evening last weekend (6/19/10.) And it was an accidental visit. I had called grandma to see if my mom was there. When grandma told me she wasn't, I didn't want it to seem like that's the only reason I called, so we chatted a bit. She told me my uncle and his wife had come over from Tampa to cook dinner for her and that John and I should bring the baby over for a visit. My sister Sarah was hanging out at my house so we brought her along with us.

{My sister Sarah, my daughter Brooklyn, & Grandma}

Truth be told, I could have drummed up no shortage of excuses to not go over. I'm not as close with my extended family as others are, so me NOT visiting people is the norm. But for some reason I felt like we should take the time to go over and say hey to everyone. It was a great time. I'm so glad I went.

We sat around chatting about the job situation (most of my family and I work at the space center), the effect the oil spill is having on our state, and sundry other topics. Grandma sat quietly, half contributing and half just watching the interactions.

When I asked her if she wanted a turn holding Brooklyn, her eyes lit right up. She held the baby until Brooklyn got too heavy and wiggly for her to manage. We all chatted some more, nibbling Hors d'Ĺ“uvres (seriously, why can we not spell this orderves????) My uncle's wife told us how it takes grandma forever to eat a cracker with dip on it. Something that people normally pop into their mouths takes her 4 bites. We all laughed. Grandma can be so adorable.

At one point I noticed her sitting staring at Brooklyn. I asked her what she was thinking. She said "the baby is just soooooooo beautiful." I know grandma really loved her first great-granddaughter. You could easily see it in her eyes.

I was glad we went for a visit. But now I'm even more grateful for that time. I had no idea it would be the last time I'd see her. More memories will come to me. And I'll tuck them away somewhere on a scrapbook page so I don't ever forget. The funeral probably won't be for another week. I am looking forward to hearing what others in the family remember most about grandma. She will be dearly missed by us all.

{My grandma with her youngest daughter - my mom.}

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I hope you daaaaaaaaaaance....

So last night John and I had the best time putting baby to sleep. After her dinner & bath we put the iPod on Buble and took turns singing and dancing around the living room with Brooklyn in our arms. It was great fun for us and she really seemed to like being 'dipped' during the dramatic parts of the song. Who doesn't enjoy a good dipping?

I'll never ever forget how she smiled, giggled and gripped my thumb with her whole hand as we whirled around. I just wish I had a picture of it all. I know you'd get a kick out of us. I sure do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Discipline...not so easy on this side of the fence.

I used to be all about people spanking their kids. Any time I'd see a bratty kid, I'd think "How's that time-out workin' for ya, Mom with the frazzled hair and crazy eyes?" Or if a teenager was acting particularly stank, I'd think they probably didn't get their tail feathers paddled enough when they were little. I mean, I got plenty of them as a kid and I turned out great. Do you hear me, Dr. Spock? I. Turned. Out. Great. *shakes fist defiantly in the air* (Isn't that funny how I think me getting my butt whooped really showed him? Ha!)

Well...I've got news for ME. Disciplining a child...a not fun. Especially when you have real tears involved, a quivering little lip, and a sweet little face that looks up at you like you just broke her heart into tiny bits. Sure, there may be a time & place for a well deserved butt whoopin'. Now is not that time.

So how do you train a baby to grasp the concept of 'No'? Like I said, I was a child who received spankings. My mom was run ragged by my sisters and I and didn't have time for no stinkin time-out. So spanking to correct behaviors is all I know. But I DON'T WANT TO SPANK A BABY!! There just has to be another way. Yelling? John and I want to reserve yelling for when there is life-threatening circumstances that require an immediate cease-and-desist. Right now finding a distraction seems to work but I know this won't always be the case.

So that is my goal for now...praying about and finding age appropriate methods to teach and correct. Are there any good books out there that can lend some guidance? Any tips or tricks I should hear about? Bring it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hey John, does this remind you of anyone?

US! Before Brooklyn came along.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Houston, we have tooth bud! And other news...

Just when I thought we'd have the only baby in history who would need dentures because she refused to grow a tooth, behold we have seen the nub. It's just the tiniest little speck of white on her lower right gum. The nub started making it's appearance on Thursday or Friday. And this explains alot about her mood lately. The poor little thing has a mini dagger pushing through her gums. I think I'd be at the very least a little cranky too. So 10.5 months old and her first tooth. Great job Butter Bean! You grow those teeth, girl!

Also, she's mastered crawling. Well, I use the term "master" loosely. She's mastered it as much as I think she's going to. She prefers to be upright on her feet and loves to walk around the house holding onto our fingers or doing laps around the coffee table. But if a toy is out of her reach, or she's tired of being in a particular room, off she goes on hands and knees. I know it won't be long before she's skipping and jumping rope. *sniff sniff* SLOW DOWN already, jeeze!

So we bought her the first pair of shoes. (Stride Rites...people say they are great.) Now if crazy people tell me stuff, I ignore them. But the people that said these shoes rock are sane, respectable and so far have given good advice. I love having friends who research the crap out of stuff. It makes my job much easier. "Hey Tracy, what shoes do I get...Stride Rites? Okay." "Hey Paige, what's the best car seat...Britax? Okay."

As for food, right now she likes bagels, ham, slices of cheese, still with the cheerios, cucumber, peas, and chicken from Chick-Fil-A. (Who DOESN'T love chicken from Chick-Fil-A?) Oh, and she ate the heck out of a chocolate chip cookie once, though dessert type food is still OFF LIMITS. (That's for you mom, if you are reading this.) LOL

She weighs 18.something lbs and is still sporting size 4 diapers. She is also still able to wear her 6-9 months clothing. We put her in some 12 month stuff only because it is so cute, but the pants fall down off her little hips. *sigh* Mommy wishes she had Brooklyn's little hips.

Well, that's all for now.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

(insert fitting title here)

I'm a 'reason' person. I have no problem doing the what. I just need to know the why and I'm on board. Well, unless the why is really stupid. Or illegal. Or boring. Or will make me sweat. But normally, I'll help with the what. Especially for doing something life-altering. Like having babies.

When I was in my 20's I felt like there were only a few reasons someone would have kids:
~ Accidentally
~ To fill some emotional void
~ To carry on the family name
~ To help plow the wheat fields in Oklahoma
~ To make a guy stay
~ To get on a reality show

And see, I knew it was life-altering. I felt too few people regard the decision with the amount of gravity it deserves. And none of the above reasons were good enough for me. I felt I was better than all of that.

Until God steps in and starts kicking over all the tables of fear and doubt in your heart and mind. Through books and words from dear friends that I'll never forget, God tore down all my wrong thinking about creating a family and assured me that John and I would have all the tools needed (the how) to grow a child (the what) who would live for God (the why.)

And now that we have made a sweet and precious baby, I can honestly say I believe the part in the bible that says children are a blessing to their parents. I understand the dreams and desires every mom and dad must have down to their core for their children. I echo the fervent prayers from parents everywhere for the safety and protection over their little ones. If I may be so foolish to say, I think I understand a teeny bit more about God's love for us. And as Brooklyn grows and learns, the more I think we'll grow and learn.

I feel like I've been let in on the most wonderfully beautiful secret that there ever was.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Who's timetable is it anyway?

I really try not to compare Brooklyn's progress or development to that of other babies her age. I admit, it was difficult at first. I would see these other kids who have like 5 teeth, eat hamburgers, can jump rope and speak two languages. And are only 11 months old. I'd think to myself "I'd be happy with just a crawl." But I realized it really isn't a race.

So instead, John and I celebrate each new step that she makes. We realize that all babies do things when they are good and ready. No teeth yet? Well I've never known a 3 year old who hadn't yet popped out any teeth. Or a 5 year old who didn't walk or know how to crawl. I just keep these things in my mind when I hear how well other babies are doing. This frees me to share in the joy of that proud momma and papa.

On the other hand, I don't want to judge or be judged by other moms either. And trust me, we can all tell when we are being judged...we do it to ourselves PLENTY and are experienced in the detection of criticism no matter how silent or unintended. A slight lift of an eyebrow, the smallest inflection in someone's voice, the darting of the eyes when I tell them, "No Brooklyn isn't walking yet. She isn't even crawling. Nope, not even 1 tooth nub."

She'll get there. We all get there. And I'm going to sit back and enjoy every baby-step of the way.