Thursday, December 31, 2009

Anyone Staying Up Until Midnight Tonight?

Once upon a time, the big plans for New Year's Eve were all important and sometimes very elaborate. I have celebrated New Year's Eve in many ways and with many people. There was the year I went to a bar in Windsor, Canada (I believe I was still under 21). I can't remember the name of the bar, but I remember spent a ridiculous cover charge for "food," a cheap bottle of "champagne" and a few chintzy party favors. Then there was the year I drove up to Michigan and celebrated with my best friend and many others in her basement. The first year my hubby and I lived together we had a party at our home and invited all of our wonderful friends from our early days in Durham. I recall these different New Year's Eves as being fun in their different ways. Many other years I've had a wonderful time on New Year's Eve too. And then some years were utterly forgettable. But the one thing they all had in common, until recently, was that I always, always, stayed up past midnight to "ring in the new year."

Hm. That has all changed in recent years. Last year, I was pregnant and tired and in bed by 10. This year will just be more of the same I'm sure. And really, I don't mind. I no longer feel like there is something magical about staying up until midnight. About watching the ball drop, counting down those last seconds, or kissing my beloved at exactly midnight. I won't miss the noise makers or the cheap sparkling wine that tastes disgusting. I don't feel like I'll miss something important if I'm happily slumbering in my bed at 11:59 as the clock rolls over to 2010. In fact, what I feel I'll miss if I do stay awake is those precious hours of happy slumber that could have been had! So, I'll kiss my hubby at bedtime like I always do and wish him Happy New Year, though it will still be a few hours until it's official. I'll wake up tomorrow in the new year (hopefully) refreshed from a full night's sleep, and I'll feel just as thankful for all the blessings of 2009 and just as hopeful for a wonderful 2010 as I would if I had stayed up to officially welcome in the New Year at it's birth. Happy New Year everyone. Bring on 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Miss's First Christmas

Our Christmas Tree

Miss playing with Santa Gnome

Checking out the unbreakable ornaments on the bottom

The day we celebrated Christmas at home (we were away on Christmas Day)

Putting Miss's "First Christmas" ornament on the tree. It's a silver rocking horse.

Christmas Day at the Farm

Looking at the tree and all the presents

Love the bows

A gift from her grandparents - "Tickle Monster" book and gloves

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Hello again. We got back yesterday from our travels to spend Christmas with my in-laws. We had a great time, but were pretty lucky I think to have had such good traveling conditions, considering the snow/ice storms going on in our neck of the woods. We managed to beat the ice on Christmas Eve and drive to the Farm with only rainy conditions, with temps above freezing. Whew! Then we woke to ice-covered everything on Christmas morning and reports that roads were closed through much of western Iowa and impassable around where we were. Yikes! It made for great sledding conditions though, and all the kids (big and small) had a blast sledding on the big hills at the farm and being pulled around in a huge tube (intended to be pulled behind a boat!!) behind the 4-wheeler. Miss had a wonderful time playing with all her cousins too. We had manageable road conditions for our trip home yesterday, although road weren't really "good" until we got into Wisconsin. Iowa really needs to get on the ball with the snow removal! Anyway, we made it home safely with wonderful memories of Miss's first Christmas. I'll upload some photos and post them soon, but for right now, I'm too pooped and would like to just lie on my couch while Miss naps (read: I'm going to take a nap :). Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas at the 'Rents

We had our Christmas celebration on Friday at my parents' house. My brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews were there to celebrate with us. It was a great day. Here are some photos that capture it better than words can:

Miss mesmerized by watching cartoons with Grandpa (she doesn't get to watch these at home)

My crazy brother picking at me about my gray hairs

Abounding joy in my 3-year-old nephew over "Transformers" episodes on DVD

Miss's first dolly from Grandma and Grandpa (handsome cousin playing "Santa" by the tree)

Playing with her new puzzle from Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins

Grandma showing her how to work her new musical mailbox

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Traveling Resumes

The holidays are a time to be spent with family. Unfortunately, my family lives approximately 10 hours away and my in-laws live about 5 hours away (both driving distances). So, tomorrow night we begin our holiday travels. We will be driving through the night to go to my parents' house. Why through the night, you ask? Two reasons. One is that my husband's work holiday party is tomorrow night. The other is that it is much easier to drive that far with a baby when she is sleeping the whole way. Easier for us, and also easier for her. So, we will probably hit the road at around 10 tomorrow night and we'll stay with my parents for about a week. Then we'll be back home for the week before Christmas and leave on Christmas Eve afternoon to go visit my in-laws and spend Christmas weekend with them.

We travel a lot, so these two trips are really not a big deal, relatively speaking. It has been nice to be home for a few weeks. But I can't imagine not seeing our families at holiday time. I really can't wait to visit with my family again, even if I do have to go to Tiny Town, USA where there is no internet connection to be found. No, I shouldn't say that. Mom and Dad do have dial-up. Too bad my computer can't even hook up to a dial-up connection!! So, if I'm absent from blog-land for a while, you'll know why. I didn't fall off the face of the earth, didn't get sucked into a black hole, just went to visit the 'rents. It'll be fantastic. My dad is a great cook. My mom bakes tons of yummy treats (but only if I have my hubby with me; last time I went he wasn't with me and I got diddly squat:). My mom and I will watch "Heidi" and the day that we choose to do our "Christmas" (which obviously won't be on Christmas Day), we'll have creamed eggs for breakfast. Yum. And I really can't wait to see Miss's face when she experiences the holiday gift-opening event for the first time. I love holiday traditions. Happy Holidays!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday

1. It's snowing here and it's so pretty outside. We're supposed to get a blizzard though, and I don't want to end up being cooped up in the house!
2. I need to get my Christmas cards addressed. We got them yesterday and I'm so excited to get them sent out. Miss's debut holiday photo card!
3. Miss has learned to make a fish face, which is totally cute!!
4. I'm entertaining the thought of getting back to work on a quilt I had planned to make for Miss before she was born. Never got it going, but I have the fabric and I think I would like to get it done.
5. I'm feeling so lazy and really have nothing interesting to say today. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Secret to my Stash

I have a secret. It's one of my very favorite "go to" diapers that makes my life so easy. I say it's a secret because the diapers come from a small company and I don't know a ton of people who have them. They're called HuggaBuns and they are such fantastic diapers. I bought some HuggaBuns in my very early days of cloth diapering, largely because they were quite inexpensive and because they have hemp and bamboo inserts. I fell in love with them and have bought many more HuggaBuns over the past several months.

I originally ordered both smalls and mediums, thinking Miss could wear the smalls right away and then grow into the mediums. She started out being able to wear both sizes (5 to 6 months ago) and can still wear both sizes!!!

Here's Miss in a Medium when I first got these diapers. She was about 4 months old.

Here she is in a Small more recently. The Smalls still fit her this well!

The small diapers come with a trifold hemp insert and the mediums come with a trifold bamboo insert. These inserts are super absorbent and the diapers are so trim!! I always use the smalls for naptime, and I use both sizes for any time! They are great when we are in the car for a long time. I almost always put one on her when we are going out to run errands because I know it will last a long time in case I can't find a good place to change her, and they don't leak! I also have a bunch of extra inserts, and the bamboo ones in particular are the perfect fit to put in many of my other diapers. I have lots of dipes that come with microfiber inserts, which just aren't really my favorite. So I have taken out the microfiber and used the HB trifold bamboo inserts instead, and now I love lots of my other diapers even more too! The HBs come clean easily, and they are just such an all-around good diaper that I find myself reaching for one all the time. I was disappointed that they didn't come in a one-size option, and the color selection is somewhat limited, but I have been told they're coming out with a new OS style in some new colors soon!

HuggaBuns are obviously one of my very favorite pocket diapers. Other favorites include my Blueberry pockets, SoftBums all-in-twos, and newly discovered Peachy Keen pockets. I have also recently discovered a love for fitteds and wool, and I'm bringing more of these types of diapers into my stash and using them more and more. Maybe in another post I'll tell you all about the wonderful world of wool and some of my favorites in that category, but for now I'll just leave you with a photo of Miss in a "nifty" fitted diaper with a "woolie" cover over it!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Hate Toasted O's

Miss loves them. Yet I live in fear that she will choke on one of these tiny Os. Actually, I live in fear that she will choke on pretty much anything that is small enough to get into her mouth. I wish I could feed her pureed mush until she's 10. Unfortunately for me, she loves to feed herself. Some things, like butternut squash, she flat out refuses to eat mashed on a spoon. However, yesterday I cut up some cubes of squash that I had baked, and she gobbled them up because she could do it herself.

I have such a huge fear of choking that, for several months, when I was beginning to feed her "solid" (though really pureed or mashed) foods in her high chair, I would have a mini panic attack every time Miss would take a poo during mealtime (which unfortunately happens fairly frequently). She would hold her breath and her face would get all red and my mind would immediately jump to "Oh my Gosh, she can't breathe, she's choking!!" This would only last a split second until I came to my senses and realized she was just taking a dump. But it was always long enough for my breath to catch and my heart to stop. Sometimes I would even start to come out of my chair, all set to snatch her up and do the baby Heimlich. I mean, can you imagine? Here's my daughter peacefully and happily filling her drawers, when her nut-bar mother yanks her up out of her chair, turns her upside down and starts pounding on her back??? I have to laugh at myself when I picture it. Fortunately, I have gotten used to the red-faced mealtime poop and I now only have a teeny tiny whisper of anxiety before I remember ("Deep breath, it's just poo...").

Unfortunately, we are now moving into the land of more and more truly solid foods. I know she needs to learn to feed herself. I know it's great for her to eat things like little pieces of turkey, toast, soft veggies. Most of those cause only mild anxiety for me. But man, those toasted O's just freak me out. This is probably because Miss actually did nearly choke on one of these once, and I actually did have her out of her highchair and nearly started banging on her back when she managed to cough it up. Talk about heart-stopping panic. So now she only gets the O's covered with something like yogurt or pureed fruit. Then they get kind of mushy, but she can still pick them up and feed herself, which she did happily this for breakfast this morning. Of course, I hovered over her while she ate, watching like a hawk for any sign of choking, feeling just a slight flutter of anxiety every time she put one in her mouth, a little bit more when she would try to cram too many in there at once. I think my voice sounded calm when pulling her hand back down and instructing her "One at a time please. Chew, chew, chew!" Heaven help me when she starts eating things like steak!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Miss You Nap

Dear Nap,
Please come back. I mean really come back, not just for 30 minutes here or there. These days it seems like the only beings in our house who get any attention from you are the old dogs. Miss really needs you. I need you to spend a little bit more time with Miss. I have to write a report for my most recent evaluation, and my house desperately needs some major cleaning. And really, I just need to regain my sanity a little. You understand, don't you, Nap? Okay. Thanks.
The Mom