Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Layla @ 2 Months Old

My darling daughter,

You are only two months old and already Mommy can not imagine life without you. She can't fathom a day with out being able to be enamoured by your beautiful bright eyes and your elfish little grin. You have become quite the drama queen in the last four weeks, and you now freak out over the little things that are your pet peeves. Luckily for me those things are few and far between but boy are you loud about having something wet touch your face or when something tickles your feet.

You love the bath. When I put you in you cry till the water pours over your head. Then you proceed to take a nap. Every single bath you nap...except the water was only warm and not "nearly hot" and you decided to cry instead. You share my love of really warm baths I suppose.

Today we took pictures with Santa and you slept through the whole thing. You struggled in your sleep to keep Santa's beard from tickling you and to grab ahold of his white puffy coat with one hand to keep him from touching your pacifier which you have gotten very protective about now that you have gotten the hand control to put it in and out of your mouth.

Mommy thinks you will be athletic because at two months you roll without problems, hold up your head when you want to and grab things when you want them. You even try holding your own bottle already and you're getting pretty darn good at it.

This week Daddy put up the Christmas lights and twinkling lights are your favorite thing on the planet. In fact the day they went up you cried when I brought you in the house so daddy had to turn on the indoor lights so you'd calm down. You are a Christmas child, you love the sound of Christmas carols and will lull yourself to sleep if Mommy puts on the 24-7 music channel that plays Seasonal Favorites all day.

This week you also decided you want a 9 pm bedtime. We're ok with that but it took 3 days of you screaming from 8:45 till 9:15 when you crashed out before Mommy figured out to have you in your pjs by 8:45 and rock you in the chair. Sure enough you were out like a light with out crying both times she tried it. And you thought Mommy's couldn't be trained didn't you.

We're all learning and growing over here in the J house. Daddy is learning how to sleep in a smaller spot on the bed because you roll all over. Mommy is learning how to talk on the phone, give you a bottle and answer the door all at the same time. And you, my wonderful baby, are learning to wrap us around that tiny little finger of yours. But that's ok...we kind of like it that way.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


First off, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your turkey and your family time. I hope your team won and that your pie crust was perfectly flaky.

This year I got all the things a girl could want. I have a family that loves me, a baby that's healthy, a husband who makes me giggle like a school girl and hope in my heart. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Waiting to Exhale

There is something dramatically clear about looking for a job while the Christmas displays go up and the Black Friday sales ads come out. It is in this moment of consumer overload that you really start to think about what you need. You start to itemize the things you hold as a priority. You start to outline the things you want your children to understand and appreciate.

I want my kids to know that having debt isn't the answer but that not having debt won't save you from a consumer reality. I want my kids to know that saving for a rainy day will some day save you when you lose your job or your car but that saving isn't the most important thing to do sometimes. I want my kids to know the joy of earning a dollar and the joy of spending a dollar on themselves so that they don't grow up to be the kind of people who act like martyrs in public and grow bitter at home.

There is a certain confidence in knowing that you can be independent and that you will be ok. There is a certain air about a person who knows that they possess skills and that they have value. I want my kids to have that.

I don't ever want my kids to feel like they are waiting to exhale. I don't want them to feel captivated in the moment like they are frozen in time. I want them not to worry, a value they can learn from their father.

As I sit trying to find a job this week I know at least four people who are also looking. People of varying skills, people with different history, people with different personality... some of those people are holding their breath... I can see it in their eyes. They are banking on the unknown in the same way that I am but they aren't as sure they can tread water during high tide.

So I am proud when I see the Christmas display go up and I know that I'll still be having a Christmas. I am proud when the bills come in and I know that they will somehow get paid. I don't know how... but my faith and my history have taught me that it's ok to breath right now and I'm not going to doubt it.

You don't gain anything from waiting to exhale.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vigilent Watch

I watch for it every day. I listen for it in the quiet. I wait for it to come. Judgment looms just beyond each step I take. My soul cries out so loud that the windows and the doors shake and the neighbors who hear my mournful cry look out their windows into the still night and wonder what could make such a noise. I open my eyes and I am alone with them... my inner demons... we wage war. Their doubt and fear plague me and as I struggle to break free from the brokeness that entangles me I search around me for something solid to hold on to.

There in the dim light of the morning I find peace and forgiveness sleeping next to me and I stare at them both as they snore in chorus and I wonder in silent prayer to God how someone so broken as me deserves a love this pure.

Then it washes over me and I know. This forgiveness, all the forgiveness I have been given in my last months of struggle they are a proof of God's love. He has given it to me so that when I can someday confess my brokeness outloud people will be able to look at it and say... wow if someone that broken can have love... I can have it to.

I could never deserve what I have been given. I could never deserve what I have taken and what I have thrown away. Perhaps knowing that is what saves me most. But, in my dreams they dance around me... shadow figures around a fire in the fog and they laugh... you will never be good enough for this life they mock. Their words stab at me like jagged sticks and pound me till I am weak.

This stone upon my chest. This weight upon my back. It is my burden. It is never light. It is never visible but it is pure. It is the purity that the knowledge of salvation gives us. It is that earth spinning knowledge that despite all faults you are loved. It's scary, it's heavy, it's deep and it is constant. And for it, I am grateful even when I can't find the strength in my soul to acknowledge it.

In my panic, in my anxiety I lose grip on it for only moments. Then I am calmed. I hear the breeze rustle the trees outside or I hear the voice of my father in the back of my head. Sometimes I remember the tastes of my childhood or the sounds of the oceans ever constant waves. Something, something in the silence finds me and lulls me back to sleep. He is there in that moment. In the giggle of my sleeping child or the way my husband can crack a joke at the perfect moment.

He gaves this to me. What will I give back in return?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things

From now until Christmas I am going to try to post a couple of my favorite things for presents or things I've gotten that I loved for those of you out there that are looking for the perfect gift.

I'm going to start with my favorite things for kids because lots of us have kids and it's never too early to learn how to be loved well...err... I mean spoiled.

I should start by saying I really like toys that encourage children to be creative and imaginative. Having said that... I'm not really found of the out right "learning toy". I think children learn plenty no matter what the toy is if you play with them. (Please learning-toy-people do not email how my child will be broken forever... it is a battle you will not win with me.)

Ok so my top toys (in no particular order) for kids under 2 this year are as follows-

1. Wooden blocks- I don't care if it's Lincoln Logs, Duplo blocks or the old fashion wooden blocks. It teaches imagination, hand eye coordination, balance, cause and effect, and you can't outgrow them. When your 7 your G.I. Joes can do battle in them, when your 13 you can use them to make a pyramid for history class. You can share them, you can get them wet, you can combine them with other things and you can't really break them... and if you try to eat them they are high in fiber.

The hundred piece block set by Maxim shown above is available at Amazon for around $14.00.

2. Pretend Houses- Most of my childhood was spent in a plastic Fisher Price kitchen. I served up thousands of plastic pieces of cake and glasses of water from tea pots covered with pink daisies into mugs with handles so small my Grandmother couldn't get her finger into them. I was my own little version of a Mommy in my imagination. The care taker for each little dog. The proud owner of an apron and a broom. If I still have that many vivid memories of playing with my house set... your kid will too.

The Rose Petal Cottage by Hasbro shown above is available at Amazon for around $80.00.

3. Classics every kid needs- Every kid needs a red wagon or a tricycle. My favorites are still the classic ones that you can find by Radio Flyer. Radio Flyer has been making these things since 1917. Anything that has been around since 1917 that kids will still play with has got to be a keeper.
Radio Flyer items are available from the Radio Flyer website and range in price from $20 - $200 depending on style and features.

So those are some of my favorite things. If you would like to post about your favorite things on your website please put a link in the comments and I'll add you to the bottom of this blog. We'll be doing this every Tuesday for a month or so.

Monday, November 12, 2007

That's not my nipple I swear

You know it's a bad day when right after you get up someone throws up in your hair and you don't get to take a shower till that night at 9 pm. Of course, the three other times she threw up on me were more entertaining. I especially liked the time she threw up on me by putting her face into my cleavage and barfing down my shirt. Yes... that was good times right there.

My poor boobs. The only action they've gotten in the last month is cold baby hands seeking warmth and projectile baby barf. It's a wonder they haven't gone on strike.

Combo that with a little nipple confusion. We tried to change bottle brands and boy did that not work. Layla spent last night screaming because she refused to drink from the old bottles or the new bottles. After a short nap at 10 pm she woke up at midnight starving and drank 5 ounces in about 3 minutes, burped and then slept till 4 am. Something about the hubby leaving the house always wakes her up. I wish I knew what it was so I could sleep past 4 am again like I used to a few weeks ago. Granted, she's still sleeping a minimum of 6 hours at a time.

This morning we were in the living room tenatively sucking from an old bottle (it's like she thinks I'll trick her and mid feeding it will turn into a new bottle) and the swing in the living room powered itself on and started swinging at a speed 3. Then the light went off the console when I tried to turn it off but the swing kept swinging. It's been 2 hours and the swing has stopped but you can still hearing it making swing noises.

Creepy much?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Simple Joy

Staying home with your child for a few months can teach you a lot about yourself. I've learned I don't deal well with crying for more than 20 minutes because I'm a sucker. I've learned I curse like a sailor over spilled milk. I've learned oxy-clean is a product of the Gods which removes baby ickies from anything. I've learned how to do three things at once. And I learned to remember that I used to love simple joys.

I used to get great joy out of a windy day. I'd throw my hands out to my sides on the way to school and as I walked down the street I'd spin in the breeze whipping my hair around my face and making me giggle. It made my heart race in the morning to hear that breeze outside the window when I woke up. I loved my cold hands waving around me in the icy air of morning. It was free, pure, innocent fun.
My daughter gets a simple joy from hearing people sing to her. She giggles and coos and watches in wide eyed amazement as you make sounds she loves, whether it be a hummed melody or an off key ballad for her it's the best show off broadway and she'd love nothing more than to hear it over and over again. Throw in the ability to see the ceiling fan at the same time and she'll lay there with her heart racing and her little feet kicking until the end of your final encore performance.
My neice is all about adventure. She loves the next corner before she ever turns it. She wants to be higher, faster, and farther from whereever she has already been. She's always looking for something to get into, something open or close, something to hide behind. She's constantly moving, going as fast as her little flat feet will carry her. You can follow the sound of her flinstone step and her care free giggles from room to room all day.
Her simple joy and the wonder in my daughters eyes have led me back to a more childish time. I hand her oreo cookies with reckless abandon and watch her learn about the adventures of new tastes. Then I take my daughter out into the foggy morning for a minute to let her feel the coldness against her skin and I stand in simple joy watching them learn about those things that are pure, free, innocent fun.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hopelessly Devoted

This weekend was my daughters baby dedication at our church. It was also the homecoming for Jon and I who haven't been to church since Easter, partially because of baby complications and partially because of bad scheduling and laziness. It was a sweet moment...a reunion filled with showing off our new baby, getting hugged by people we've missed very much and presenting ourselves before everyone as a family that is dedicated to providing the best relationship between our daughter and God.

Monday, November 05, 2007

In Passing

I am always amazed by how deep a person can get into something before they realize they are in over their head. I myself fall victim occassionally to my own temptations, demons, double booking and doubt. I sit around thinking about the next thing instead of focusing on the thing I'm currently doing. Things get lost in the passing of time.

This month I'm trying to keep my focus. I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize. I'm living in the moments of being a new mom and spending a little less time on the phone, out with friends or swallowed up in my own perceptions of what could be important. I've blogged less. I've shared less and I've learned more.

I've learned that I was missing a lot in the passing and some parts of my life were passing me up.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dreams Jobs

November 1st marks the start of my new journey. Today I dust off the resume and start looking for that dream job that is always just a little out of reach. Before I started my search I made a list of things I need from a job. Not material things like how much money I'll make or what benefits I'd like but that list of things I never really felt like I ever truly got from any of my old jobs. At least, I never got all of them at once.

I want a job where the people I work with want my opinion. I want a job where I get to be creative and where I get recognised when I do creative things. I want a job where I will get to go home from work at the end of the day and enjoy my husband and my daughter with out worrying about something, checking my email or answering calls every single night. I want a job that makes me feel appreciated. Mostly, I want a job that doesn't feel like a job.

Don't we all? I mean I like hard work just as much as the next person but I like to enjoy my hard work. Let me tell you a few things I don't enjoy... I don't enjoy feeling like I'm always in training for the next thing. I want a job where I can be happy with what I'm doing without always thinking about what the next move up the ladder is.

Hopefully, I'll find it. And when I do... I'll tell you all about it.