Friday, February 28, 2014

6 months old!

Happy half birthday to Jonah!!!!! 

This morning when Jonah woke up I entered his room singing the first syllable of every word to Happy Birthday.  His face said, "OK I like this.  It's weird.  I'm not sure what's going on, but let's go with it.  I like it."  Cracked me up.

When Jonah was a newborn I thought it would feel so weird when he got to be this age...and that it would be a bad weird.  But it's not.  We sort of grow together, and we're always both ready for the next stage when it comes.


This is good because he has been pulling the blanket to get the toy (eh hem or remote that he somehow got down from the ottoman) to him instead of scooting over to it!  Clever little fella!  That's a hint of a philosophical mind to me.

Or maybe he's just resourceful.  

(Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gregorian knot that no one else could undo.)

(Yes, I just compared my child to Alexander the Great.)

(No, there are no Alexandrian complexes here and I have an extremely accurate and balanced view of my child.  Why do you ask?)

Oh my goodness he is scootin' and movin' all of a sudden today.  All 20 lbs (90th percentile) and 27.5 inches (95th percentile) of himself, including his 95th percentile head.

Just call me a one woman food truck, thank you very much.  

I'm bowing, in case you can't see.

When I was growing up my family celebrated half birthdays with a small gift, choice of dinner, and we all said one nice thing about the person having the half birthday.  So I decided to continue this tradition by creating a Half Birthday Book for Jonah where we'll record all our family members' affirmations to him over the years.  I'm so excited about it!  I think it will be such a great visual reminder of how much he is loved...and as I always tell him, LIKED too. : )

Jonah, we adore you.  We love you, and we really like you!  It's been so fun to get to know you!  You are so full of personality and though I can sometimes see glimpses of your Papa and me in some of your behaviors, you are so strongly truly very YOU!  And that makes it so exciting to continue to see you learn and grow.  You are an awesome, fun, and fresh addition to our family.

You ROCK little buddy!  Keep it up!

This post brought to you by a real, long afternoon nap. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nonni's Visit

Nonni came to visit this weekend and we don't know what to do now with only four adult hands!!  I'd say pull my hair out but Jonah's definitely got that task handled.

I'm always excited to see how Jonah grows when Nonni's here...because he always does.  He is now rolling over from back to front and using the big boy part of his stroller instead of his infant carrier!  WOW.  I'm not sure why( but I pictured years before we did that.  My little baby is growing so fast.  He stared and stared at Nonni all weekend and teared up with a pouty lip when we said goodbye to her (it was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time)!  This morning he told me all about his weekend adventures with her.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Trying to Convince

Today I'm linking up with Kelly over at Kelly's Korner Blog for a blog topic on infertility. We didn't struggle with infertility and trying to conceive, but we did go through something a step before that I like to call 'Trying to Convince.' 

For the first five years of our marriage I desperately wanted to start trying to have a baby, and Howard wasn't ready.  I felt a deep deep calling to be a mom, and he wasn't there (in hindsight I'm glad he didn't feel called to be a mom ; ). 

There were times I had to recommit to him after thinking through 'What do I do if he decides he doesn't want kids at all?'  We had premarital counseling and had already talked through all of this, so it became very frustrating for me, especially when people asked "When are y'all gonna have kids?" or "Why aren't you trying yet?"  I was trying very very hard...trying to convince.  But I knew I loved and admired Howard so much, that he made me a better person and a better Christ follower, and there were those things I said to him called vows or something.  So, I just kept praying and reading scripture and went to grad school.

I want to encourage anyone else who might be 'trying to convince' that God's timing is beautiful.  In the challenges of losing a son and raising another, I can see now that  God used all those years  to strengthen our marriage.  It happened in the little ways, like just having a lot of time to have fun together.  There's something to be said for watching seasons of a show at a time on Netflix and going to the grocery store 'real quick' to make a fun dinner...the same night. 

All that time, and fun, and struggle, and all the things that go into marriage were seeds planted to help us get through the coming years of even more intense time, fun, and struggle.

Another huge blessing that came through waiting was our financial preparedness.  Howard was so wise to keep this as a priority, but I couldn't see it through my clouds of emotion.  Now that I am able to work less than 10 hours a week and spend so much time doing all of the mommy things I always dreamed of, I can't believe I would have missed this if I'd had things go my way (or what I mistakenly thought was my way) several years ago.

If you are in the midst of Trying to Convince, know that you're not alone.  People don't ever talk about it.  It's not recognized as a 'thing' in our society so full of 'things' and issues and disorders, etc.  But it's very real, and if you're going through it I encourage you on a few fronts:

1)  With your husband's (or wife's) permission, talk about it.  It's ok.  It doesn't mean your marriage is falling apart.  It means you have a real, live, human marriage. Everybody has something in theirs.  It takes a village to raise kids, probably because it takes a village to stay married. 

2)  Trust the Lord.  He GAVE you this spouse.  And he tends to know what He's doing.

3)  Because you can trust the Lord, you can trust your spouse.  Trust that the Lord is using his or her timing that's different from yours to bless you and your family in ways you can't see yet. 

4) Watch your verbiage.  You already have started a family.  You and your spouse are a family.  Use 'we' instead of 'I.'  Words are powerful and they can be a simple way to unslump yourself.

5)  Continue to have fun and be productive.  Once you do have a child, you will consider drastic and extreme measures like cancelling Netflix because you don't use it, going to the grocery store at 6:00am in the morning (did you even know grocery stores are open that early?!), and spending money you normally would have used for a Grande Caramel BrulĂ©e Latte on something called Butt Paste.

Photo by Nikki Peterson Photography

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Well, we're not going to win the lottery

Short household management decided to take a break from the norm and push bedtime back an hour tonight.  Because the sun was out late, and gosh darn it...livin' on the edge is just what we free-wheelin' risk takin' folk do.

In the name of bucking routine we strapped Jonah to my chest in the backpack carrier instead of tossing him in the stroller and we three crazy kids headed out for a late night (6:00) promenade in the 'hood.

We then decided to go even wilder and get sodas at our neighborhood gas station.  While we were there Howard repeated something he has told me all 6.5 years of our marriage: if you play the lottery, you probably won't win, but if you don't play, you definitely won't win.

Straight from a Ph.D.'d mouth, people. 

Naturally, I sighed and rolled my eyes.  But then I thought, you know what?  I could use 7 million dollars right about now.  LET'S DO IT!

(Please don't tell Dave Ramsey.)

(Also please don't tell Jesus because I'm pretty sure gambling is not excellent stewardship of the money God's entrusted to us to manage.  But $14 French cheese at HEB?  For that stuff, I'm always prepared to give a defense for the Camembert that is within me.)

So our adventure began.  Howard and I stood at the little Lotto kiosk trying to figure out how this thing works.  Once we located the right paper (or ticket, or bill, or card...I'm not really sure what you call it), we were UNSTOPPABLE!

13. 5 minutes later at our own little counter we were assigned because we were taking too long (because we're not into getting rich quick - we're willing to give it a few hours), we had finally figured out how to fill in the card. 

Yes, we're teachers.  Why do you ask?

At this point I was cry-laughing because filling in the lotto card had proven to be quite a challenge for us. 

Don't forget about Jonah.  All the meanwhile he's facing forward in his backpack carrier absorbing the genius that is his parents.

Howard and I proudly marched to the counter and presented our card / ticket / lotto-paper-thingy and the man at the cash register seemed pretty proud of us too.  He ran the paper through what I can only describe as a scantron machine. (I told you, I'm a teacher.)

But the scantron machine said we failed our lotto ticket because there were too many errors with the filling in and crossing off of bubbles and rows and what not.


We started over.  I mean, if we're going to teach our son that playing the lotto is wise, we might as well throw in the actual virtue of perseverance, right?

We were quicker this time.  More experienced.  Smoother.  Now after just 4 minutes we completed our card and walked back to the cash register. 

The man ran it through the scantron machine and presented us with a receipt.  Just as we were about to ask how we find out if we've won, we learned that you can't put a lotto paper on your debit card.  You have to use cash.

We didn't have cash. 

Let's review, shall we?  We are so poor we sold our values and stooped to playing the lottery, which we could barely figure out, and then which we could not pay for. 

(I was going to avoid ending the previous sentence with a preposition, but it just seems appropriate right now to throw grammar to the wind.)

We left our dreams of new cars and a custom home and books galore and made it back to our little life of pureed sweet potatoes all over everything and bathtime and trying to stay awake for a rerun of Frasier. 

And I wouldn't trade it for 7 million dollars or anything. 

(But to be clear, I would definitely ADD 7 million dollars to it.  But if that happens it won't be because we won the lottery.  Because we didn't play.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

(This pic is low quality because it's an iphone pic of my camera display screen.  See previous post for explanation of over-documentation issues and you'll be amazed I was able to take another photo at all.  I know I am.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Storage at maximum capacity

My computer has no more memory.  My phone is low on memory.  My camera card is close to full.  This is where the sidewalk ends.  I am sad at the realization that I'm going to actually have to leave Baby JoJo for a few hours so I can work on our digital overload issues.  Leave him for a hot bath?  Sure.  Girls night?  With bells on, skipping out the door.  Shopping? If I could remember what that was, you betcha.  But to drag files to an external hardrive and upload gazillions of photos to Shutterfly?  Gah.  So boring. 

And no, I can't just get it done during the infamous 'nap time' all you liars told me about.  Because, have I mentioned?  HE DOESN'T NAP.)

I also feel that my mind itself must be connected to 'the cloud' because what my computer and phone and camera are really telling me is that I'M overloaded.  Or possibly have an over-documentation problem.  Or both.

Or maybe I'm just exhausted.

(Because, have I mentioned?  MY CHILD DOESN'T NAP.)

So, for the remainder of this post I bring you the confession that Elijah is taking up a huge chunk of my storage capacity right now.  On memorial dates like his due date or the day we lost him I have it so together.  I see it coming, and so do the people who love me.  I am usually surrounded by flowers and sweet messages to help me get through the day.  It's truly amazing how other people can carry a burden you can't see or touch.  But it's days like today.  February 13.  Completely unexpected.  Days like today the grief just creeps in and overtakes me.  Drains me.  Makes me want to just crawl away, leave everyone and everything, and just go be with my baby.  Just for a little while.

If only.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's true what they say about marriage

After a while you look alike

Or maybe it's just twin day at your work.  Because your work has a lot of 15 year olds who need things like twin days...and for some reason take learning more seriously when their teacher does not. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

So much fun!

I got to meet Melanie Shankle today!!  It was such a delight.  She was the speaker at our local MOPS group.  I'd never been but had to go when a friend told me she'd be the speaker.  I In case you're new here, I'm a bit obsessed with her most recent book, The Antelope in the Living Room.  It's on marriage, and what a word it is!  I think Melanie is such a refreshing voice in our culture of comparison.  Her talk was hilarious and profound (love love love that combo) and she was so nice.

Doesn't Jonah looked thrilled in that pic?  Maybe he was a little overwhelmed by all the estrogen in the room.  He always lights up with Howard gets home at the end of the school day, but he was particularly giddy tonight to have a man around.  Like hysterical giddy.  Nonetheless, he behaved very well at MOPS!  I think when I'm expecting him to cause a scene he doesn't.  And when I don't expect it at all...he inevitably pees on someone.

He also got to have some guy time with Gill last week!  The rest of this post is brought to you by Gill's Mommy (a.k.a. Emilie).  She sent me the cutest pics with captions and all.  Enjoy!

Gill & Jonah's First Play Date!
Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 2014

"Wait, Gill! I need to tell you something!"

"Easy on my onesie, JoJo!"

"Wait! Who's taking pictures of us?"

G- "that's my momma!"
J- "ohhhh, I was hoping it was mine."

"Let's roll the ball, Jonah!"

"Heeehaaa...I can't reach it!"

"There ya go- I help you!"

"K! Enough ball. I'm ready for the park!"

"Wheeee! This is fun!"

"What a day! Let's play again soon!"

(Emilie wrote the captions, but I think for this last one Gill is really saying, "Mom, it's time we have an intervention for Jonah and his eating.  It's gotten out of control and it has to stop.  Look at him.  He can't even sit up.")

Friday, February 7, 2014

Glorious Cold Day

School was cancelled today and other than the fact that I just read an email with the word 'pinteresting' actually used, it's been a day of highs.  Howard and I were downstairs at 6:00 this morning when the text came through that due to icy conditions there would be no school.  We seriously jumped up and down like 3 year olds and chanted, "School is cancelled! School is cancelled!"  This went on for longer than you are imagining right now.

(For the record, we love and cherish our jobs dearly.)

We immediately replanned our day.  I cancelled Oma coming over to watch Jo and thought about all the things I would accomplish today, which all basically involved throwing a day long pajama party.  

By the time Jonah woke up, Howard and I were so hyped up that Jonah didn't quite know what to do with himself.  He was stunned that both of us were there when he woke up and that we were so excited.

I just realized he may think it's his birthday.

Anyway, I made hot chocolate from a Williams Sonoma recipe and using my Williams Sonoma ceramic hot chocolate maker.  Let's just say it involved more half and half than I knew was legal, real chocolate shavings, a frother, and was the closest thing to French hot chocolate I've ever had outside of France.

And I just happened to have spinach quiche on hand, and already have dinner for tonight since I made a big batch of wine infused spaghetti meat sauce last night.  I mean seriously - how prepared could we be for an ice day?!

We proceeded to do some serious playing, snuggly reading, and *may* have watched a little Sesame Street about the first day of school and it *may* have been absolutely too exciting for me to bear.  During this alleged TV allowance Jonah *may* have been in an absolute trance and *may* have become verbally and physically animated when Cookie Monster ate a cookie.

But, no.  Of course our child has never seen a screen.  What, do you think we're just negligent parents?

Earlier this week my sweet friend Emilie watched Jonah and so he also got to play with his very first friend, Gill.  When I was pregnant with Jonah I watched Gill one day and whenever I held him close to my belly Jonah got excited and punched or kicked him.  

Jonah learned so much from Gillie Pillie, especially about sitting up!  He's almost got it!!

We also got have coffee with Krystal earlier this week and Jonah WOULD NOT EAT he was so enjoying our visit.  What a compliment to Krystal!!

AND I also got to take my French students to a French cooking lesson at Boerne Cooking Cottage.  It was taught all in French by a native speaker and the kids blew me away.  #oneveryproudteacher


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top 2 Tuesday: Read and Watch!

1.  Melanie Shankle's book on marriage is out today!!  I opted for the physical copy, pre-ordered it on Amazon a few days ago, and it arrived today.  It's supposed to be for our new family Valentine's gift tradition of everyone getting a new book and chocolates (Jo's chocolate will have to be delivered to him via me, oh shucks ; ).  BUT.  There's no way this can sit in my house unread for TEN DAYS.  That's just cray cray.

I get to hear Melanie speak next week and I'm SOOOOOO excited!

2.   I can't stop watching Mitt (3 minutes at a time, of course) on Netflix.  It's fascinating.