Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Once Upon a Pillow, Chapter 2

Chapter 1

The girl who loved her magic pillow grew up to become a mom herself. At her baby shower, her mother surprised her with the beloved Pillow fulfilling the promise she had made to her 6-year-old daughter to pass the Pillow on to the next generation.

Knowing that an infant wouldn't have much use for a pillow, the girl kept the Pillow tucked away in the baby's closet. A month or so after the baby's first birthday, she was cleaning out the closet and came across it. She decided that the baby might find comfort in having some items in her crib. So the girl placed in the crib her magic Pillow along with the pillow pet the baby received for her birthday.

A month went by, and the baby seemed to still prefer sleeping on the mattress. And then one day, the girl snuck into the nursery to check on the baby while she napped and witnessed a sight that made her heart expand to the edges of her chest.

The baby was sleeping on the Pillow. The Pillow that meant so much to the girl. The Pillow her grandmother saved for decades in the hopes that she would get the chance to fulfill her promise and pass it on. 

And ever since that afternoon, that is what the baby chooses to sleep on. The Pillow.

It's like she knows what this Pillow means. That the Pillow is a promise and love.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Nothing Prepares You for This

A few weeks ago, I walked into Willa's room in the morning to get her up and could smell the dirty diaper as I reached to pick her up out of the crib. In the process of getting her clothes out of the closet and then laying her down to change her diaper, poop squeezed out of the top of the diaper like toothpaste out of the tube. Only instead of a toothbrush, it all ended up on my arm. Giant. Pile. of Poop. On my arm. 

Yup. Major parental milestone right there. Getting poop on you. 

I mean you hear the stories about dealing with various bodily fluids and functions because babies don't have control of those systems yet. In a way you think you're prepared for it to happen. Your baby gets to be 14 months old, and you hadn't gotten pooped on yet so you applaud yourself on your awesome diapering skills. Then karma reveals her bitchy self (what a whore), and your pride goes down a couple points.

First of these milestones, I got peed on because I wasn't fast enough getting Willa into the bathtub. Then I got vomited on when she got her first stomach bug. And now I've completed the holy trinity... getting poop on me. 

Oh, but the poop story doesn't end there...

The next morning before I even turned on the light, I could smell the dirty diaper. But I wasn't prepared for what that light revealed. Poop EVERYWHERE. All over her crib... the sheet, the slats, her monkey she sleeps with. And all over her. It seemed like wherever I looked THERE WAS THE POOP mocking me for my arrogance. "Haha, silly woman. You thought yesterday was bad. That was the just my warm up act."

I stood there stunned as she stood there screaming and reaching for me. Then I swallowed, turned my stomach to iron and walked out to start the bath. As the bathtub was filling up, I returned to the room to get her out and stripped her down. While I gave her a quick bath, John came in and threw all the soiled items in the washing machine. It was not a pleasant experience for any of us. But we got her clean, and we moved on.

The third morning I almost didn't want to go into her room because I wasn't sure what would be waiting for me. Luckily, the crib and Willa were both clean.

Definitely a parenting experience that's going in the book of stories I tell her when she's older.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Communication: Needs Improvement

Everything I read about the 12-18 month age said that it could be frustrating for both parents and child as communication is hard because the child understands a lot of what is said to him/her but is unable to communicate what it is he/she wants.

Boy, they were not wrong.

Willa has a couple words she says, and the rest is babble. She can make the sign for more. Well, sorta. It's not the full sign, but it's close enough, and she uses it in the right context so it's clear what she's trying to say. More blueberries, Mom. I want to eat my weight in blueberries. She can also shake her head no, which is helpful in determining what she's reaching her hand out for.

Truthfully, her communication skills have grown.

But oh how frustrating it still is.

Especially when I set her down to cook dinner or stretch out my back from carrying around a 30-pound sack of sugar in human form, and she starts screaming. There is no reasoning with her that I'm not leaving her. I'm not even leaving the room. In fact I'M SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU CHILD. WILL YOU PLEASE CALM THE EFF DOWN.

All I'm able to do is sit there and offer her different toys to play with in hopes that one of them will grab her attention long enough for her to forget the fact that I'm not holding her. And take deep breaths. Lots of deep breaths. While reminding myself she's not going to start high school with a screaming fit and crocodile tears because I'm leaving her at school. This too shall pass.

We did have a huge victory in the form of an actual conversation on Sunday. Willa finally figured out how to nod her head yes to a question recently. On Sunday we broke out her little pool, and while John was in the backyard filling it up, Willa was throwing a fit because she wanted to go outside. But first I needed to get sunscreen, a swim diaper and a suit on her so she could play in the water.

Willa, do you want to go outside?

*Pauses screaming* *Nods head*

Then please come here so I can change your clothes.

*Crawls over to me and submits to sunscreen, swim diaper and swimsuit*

She can communicate! But she still needs improvement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Owed: One Birthday Party Post

After I finished the month of daily photos in March, I promptly forgot about this space as I got wrapped up in the final details and planning of a major event at work. And before I knew it the calendar said May, which is impossible because April is supposed to be between March and May, and I'm not entirely sure April happened as don't remember much about the month. It's all kind of one big blur.

Then at some point in May I remembered that I have a blog. Which was like finding out about a project you said you'd do only to realize the day before the deadline that you completely forgot about it. Surprise! You're a bad blogger. Please start paying attention to your blog, or you will lose whatever little readership you have and will be fired from the position of sorta, kinda blogger.

Bad blogger. Bad.

Okay, enough hand slapping. Let's move forward, shall we?

Willa's birthday passed (almost two months ago), and I never talked about it. I teased it a bit in my daily photo posts here, here and here. But I owe you a full post about Willa's birthday party. So, let's get to it.

I was a bit overwhelmed at first thinking of the theme as there were so many possibilities. I chose ladybugs because it seemed so fun and given her birthday is late March, I thought it worked perfectly with the time of year. I wanted to keep it pretty simple and low key. We invited family to our house. And I think I did a good job of balancing stuff I made with purchasing stuff. I knew if I tried to make everything for the party, it would be too much.

I found the invitation design on Etsy and ordered prints through Vistaprint.


For decorations I found ladybugs at Hobby Lobby and placed them on the walls. I also found these black and red flower name card holders that had tiny lady bugs on them at Hobby Lobby. I used my Cricut to make the birthday banner. We also hung up streamers and paper lanterns and had red and black balloons around the house to play with.

By far my favorite decoration was the 12 months of Willa. I order prints of my Instagram pictures from throughout the year and used ribbon to hang them on the wall.

The dessert table ideas all came from Pinterest. There were ladybugs on a log (celery with peanut butter and dried cranberries), caterpillar kabobs (fruit kabobs), antennae (chocolate covered pretzel rods and rock candy sticks), ladybug juice (Crystal Light) and cupcakes with "ladybugs" (chocolate dipped strawberries). We also grilled hamburgers for dinner.

And of course the smash cake.

At first she wasn't too sure about the cake kind of poking her fingers into it but not really eating it.

So I put a bit in her mouth so she could taste it. After that it was pretty much over. Literally up to her elbows in cake: 

 Done with cake? Time to throw it all on the floor!

Family picture! (Before the cake and subsequent mess)

All said and done, we had a great time. Willa enjoyed the attention and the festivities. And my baby girl is officially no longer a baby. (Though she will always be my baby girl.)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Month 6 Day 31

This weekend we drove up to Kansas to see John's brother and his family, including their new baby Colbie. Willa was her sweet self and loved giving hugs and kisses to her new baby cousin. That's my sweet girl.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Month 6 Day 30

Such a happy face. Until she decides she wants you to pick her up. And then put her down. And then pick her up. And then put her down. A never ending cycle.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nugget Month 12

Dear Willa,

When we were dealing with late night feedings, learning how to latch, counting how many pee and poop diapers every day, and tracking how long you nursed, today felt like a long way off. And yet here we are. No longer a baby but a toddler with opinions and places to go.

Last week I had a horrible day. But that night you took your first steps unassisted, and like that it became the happiest day of the month. I've been expecting you to start walking for a while now. You had the ability but lacked the confidence. Well, you finally found it, and I couldn't be prouder. My favorite part of you walking is how you giggle while you walk. You are clearly having fun, and that brings a smile to my face.

As your confidence in your walking continues to grow, we get closer to the transition from the infant room at daycare to the toddler room. 

Last Saturday we had your first birthday party at our house. The guest list was kept small to just grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. But there was no lack of love for you in the room. You loved showing off your new walking ability and had so much fun watching the older girls play. When we present you with your cake, you only just played with it at first sticking your fingers into the icing. It was only after I put a small piece in your mouth that you figured out you were supposed to eat the cake, and then you went at it. Eventually you had enough and just started throwing it on the floor, which made Cooper's day.

One of our favorite things to do right now is to crawl into our room and shut the door on us so you can make faces at yourself in our full-length mirror. You've also become fascinated with Cooper's tail. Luckily, he doesn't mind it too much though he's pretty quick to move once you grab hold.

12 months is a time of big transition. You've already transitioned from baby food to table food and given up the paci. Next up is formula and bottles. Once we finish our current stock, we'll transition to cow's milk in sippy cups. Luckily, we already introduced you to the sippy cup a few months ago so I'm not worried about you having any trouble with it. Of course, I probably just jinxed myself.

Happy birthday, baby girl! May you have many, many more.


Month 6 Day 27

I bought some flowers for Willa's birthday party. Last night I was passing the table when I noticed how beautifully this rose had opened up. So I immediately turned around to grab my camera to get a shot of it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nugget's Year in Numbers (Month 6 Day 26)

A year ago today she wasn't here (at least not outside my huge belly). A year ago tomorrow she was. 

Sometimes I reflect on the last 12 months and wonder how can the year go so fast. And the next moment I'm skeptical that it's only been 12. How can it possibly not have been longer given how much change has happened in those months?

A year ago I was admitted to the hospital for her arrival. And now she's walking. It's possible and impossible at the same time.

Where did the year go? This is where it went.

3,541 diaper changes
7 months breast feeding
4,760 ounces of formula
8 teeth
30 inches
23 pounds
2 sorta words
Countless sounds and babbles
3 doctor visits, not counting wellness checkups
2 sonograms checking breech-y hips
1 case of mastitis (her, not me)
1 stomach virus
1 case of croup
3 cases of diarrhea
0 ear infections (how did that happen?)
1 funeral
3 out-of-state trips (Kansas City, Denver, Boston)
4 airplane rides (Denver, Boston) 
99 loads of baby laundry
4 days away from her
1 favorite book (Where's Baby's Belly Button?)
2 favorite games (patty cake and peek a boo)
2,032 pictures and videos taken
185 baths
10 days of walking short distances unassisted
1 cesarean section scar
1000s of smiles, giggles and hugs
1 beautiful girl

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Month 6 Day 25

Oh the traditional smash cake. At first, Willa was just having fun playing in the icing and digging her hands into her cake. We had to put a bit in her mouth so she would realize she was supposed to eat it. And then destruction happened. Good job, baby girl.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Month 6 Day 24

Willa's cousins came over for her birthday party. We decided to try to get a picture of all of them together. It was impossible to get one picture with all of them looking in the same direction while sitting still. I actually love this one with them looking in different directions because they had about 10 adults calling their names from different sides. No wonder we couldn't get them to all look in one direction.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Month 6 Day 23

Even though her birthday is not for a few more days, we had Willa's birthday party yesterday. I had so much fun planning it and getting all craftsy. I chose a ladybug theme because I thought it would be so fun. (I was right. It was fun.) I love this dress I found on Etsy for Willa to wear to her party. She looked adorable.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Month 6 Day 22

This picture is from a couple weeks ago. I had to post it today because today is my dad's birthday. A girl couldn't ask for a better dad. He's taught me so many lessons about life, love, and how if you want something, you have to work for it. He taught me how to change a tire and change the oil in my car. He taught me how to waltz. Happy birthday, Daddy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Month 6 Day 18

We bought this toy for Willa at Christmas that bounces balls around while playing annoying music. The balls eventually come out of the toy's mouth so she can then put them back into the bouncy bit, and the fun starts over. Willa loves this toy. She hasn't figured out that the balls are supposed to go down the ramp/tail into the bouncy bit and instead just throws them into the giant gaping center hole, which makes complete sense in my opinion. Her favorite part of this toy is to put things in the bouncy bit that aren't the balls it came with. This includes, but is not limited to, blocks, remotes, phones, and now herself.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Month 6 Day 17

Yesterday morning I made monkey bread. I guess you could say it was well received.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Month 6 Day 16

After some hard labor of reorganizing the plastics cabinet, there's nothing better than sitting down with a snack of Cheerios.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Month 6 Day 13

When my sister turned 13, I snuck into her room after she went to sleep and decorated it so that when she woke up, she saw all her birthday decorations welcoming her to the teen years. Well, I couldn't sneak into her bedroom last night to leave a birthday surprise, but I can dedicate today's daily photo post to her today, on her 30th birthday.

Welcome to your 30s, Lola! It's not so bad.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Month 6 Day 12

Dear Blogger,

Please stop automatically rotating my pictures. Or at least give me the opportunity to rotate them myself.

Becky Mochaface

This picture is supposed to be in landscape. At least that's how I took it as my little wiggle worm was climbing in and out of my lap.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Month 6 Day 9

A few years ago as all three of us were starting to get married, my mom decided we had too many birthdays in the family to celebrate each one individually. So we started to do quarterly celebrations. These events are for all the birthdays in that quarter. Last night was the first quarter birthdays. Love this picture of my brother with our nephew Beckett (my sister's son) and how my dad is totally photobombing. I don't have to look far to see where I get my silly side.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Month 6 Day 8

Hey there, good looking!

Note to self - Next time you want to do a shot like this, make sure the mirror is clean first.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Month 6 Day 5

I'm an early riser. With the exception of my college years when I stayed up way too late and thus slept in way too late, I always have been. (Okay okay so I was an reluctant early riser as a teenager, but I still got up early. Swim practice waits for no teenager, and if you were late, you got 200 flys. Trust me. You didn't want to get 200 flys.) I actually like getting up early. There's comfort in the morning quiet before the world wakes up. Because I do get up so early, I am normally the first one to go to bed. Rare is the night that I'm the one turning off lights and the last one in unless John is so tired that he goes to bed early. Like the other night. I finished picking up the living room and doing the dishes, and after locking the house up, I walk into our bedroom to find this image waiting for me. It was too cute to resist capturing.