Sunday, October 31, 2010

A ruff time

 Hi! It's me, Brady!
 I know it's hard to tell but it's really me!

I'm pretty worn out from all the festivities.  Can I just take this thing off already?
 Nevermind, I found a stick!
 and a big orange pumpkin!
 Dogs like sticks. So does Brady!
 oooh, something for me to pick up...wonder if he's got any teeth?
and skeletons teethe too. Poor skeletons.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

So perfect and so true.

Happy Birthday, Brady!

A year ago today, my baby boy was born. My life changed and my heart will never be the same!

 (First night out of the NICU!)
(First week home)

Newborn pics by Pamela

(one month)

 (First Christmas and 2 months!)

(3 months)

 (4 months)
 {5 months}
 {6 months}
 {7 months}
 {8 months}
 {9 months}
{ 10 months}
 {11 months}
{12 months}

Happy Birthday, buddy! You are my world, the light and my heart.
You make us a family and you make us complete. We love you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A year ago today...

I cooked enough food for a small army.

I baked enough pumpkin bread to feed the Western Hemisphere.

My house smelled like pumpkin.

I was excited to dig into a big slice of pumpkin bread.

I went into labor.

I never did get to eat any of that damn pumpkin bread.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lots to see

I FINALLY updated things around here. It's still a work in progress so bear with me but come out of google reader and have a looksie.

Here is a copy of Brady's big birthday invite! I added the blue bar for privacy, obviously!

It's really hard for me to wrap around that he's really having a birthday in a few short days. He's a walking, talking, practically running toddler.

I'm taking off Tuesday for his birthday but I haven't decided what we'll do quite yet! I think it depends on the weather! ideas?

Hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend!

Choosing joy

I've thought about this a lot lately. Thought about how I could even wrap my head around it and how it could possibly be put into words. I can but it won't do it justice or even close to what is inside my heart or my head.

I'm a mom and how can I start to explain what that means?

It means I get to laugh everyday. I get to look at life in a different perspective. I look at him and find peace and comfort. I get to feel a higher presence. I get to feel so damn blessed. I feel a love so strong my eyes fill with tears. I get to watch him blossom into the person he is becoming and think about what he'll become. I get to feel his tears, his happiness and his love.

In four days, our first year of parenting will go into the second. I go back to the day he was born. I remember that morning after he was born vividly and woke up with excitement in my smile and it was immediately turned to worry inside my tears. That is how I can best describe the emotional side of being a mom. You are constantly filled with love, excitement, joy all of those wonderful emotions but a the same time filled with worry, fear, and guilt. It's not perfect and it's not all wonderful. There are times when you question everything or want to scream or cry. There are moments when you are not sure if you'll get through.

Sometimes at work, I'll think about him and my heart just over pours and I miss him so much. I can't wait to get home and hear him laugh or see that big dimply smile. There are times when he doesn't feel good that I want to take it all away and comfort him but there are also times when he's acting like a stinker that I claim he's his father's son.

It's not easy but it's not supposed to be. You are given this amazing blessing and you have to earn all of the joys that come with it.

I look at the person I was before him and I thought I knew who I was. I am still that person but I are more complete. I feel like this was who I was meant to be. It sounds so cliche but I feel like this is what my life was meant for.

When I was pregnant, I thought I knew what it was like to be a parent. I grew up the older of all of my cousins, babysat and was a nanny for five children. I've always heard people say that it's different when it's your own child. It's the truest words anyone spoke.

I've held babies before but that first moment that I held Brady and he looked up at me, it was special. It might not have been how I planned it and it was  physically difficult to hold him with all those wires but I wouldn't trade that moment for the world. I put him on my chest and with tears in my eyes, I said, 'Hi, I'm your mommy!' Thinking about it now, I remember it like it was yesterday and I still get choked up.

Our beginning was rough and with it I brought a lot of guilt. A year later, I can tell you I am at peace with it all. When I was in the hospital after the complications with my c-section, I was so upset and bitter that I had to leave my 12 day old baby. It didn't help to hear about moms who were practically up and running a week after giving birth. I worried about bonding and all kinds of odd thoughts went through my head. Now, I can tell you that it did nothing but strengthen our bond. Our bond is unbreakable.

We had waited nine months to finally meet. To touch and to embrace. When we did, it was nothing short of magical.

He looked at me like he had been waiting for me. Sometimes, he gives me that same look and it brings me full circle.

Things may not have gone the way I planned but this was the way it was supposed to go. Without all the hardships, pain, and suffering we encountered over the course of the past year, I wouldn't be the mTother I am today. I see a little bit of Matt and both of my grandmother's in him. (one of whom he shares a birthday with.) I wouldn't know to hold him closer and to count every second.

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. - Joseph Campbell

Last night, I held my son while he fell asleep.  I watched his breath rise and kissed him. The little moments. It is the little moments in the definition of  'mom'. We sat there with my arms intertwined with his body and our breaths in sync. I held him close to me and whispered, 'Hi, I'm your mommy!' and he curled his body closer to mine.

I looked at my son and I choose to live in joy.

 As we celebrate his birthday next week, we will celebrate his birth and his life. We will remember all of the sorrows too for they shaped all of us.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reason #345 why I'm tired

As you can see, he never stops! :)
This was taken on an impromptu half day with my buddy. Complete with a visit to the office and the park!

The first year: Practicality

Don't be afraid to say that being a mom is hard because it is. Saying it is easy is a load of crock and no mom will believe you. Not even if you sound convincing!

Cover baby private parts at all times. Pee can go the distance and in anything that is near, including your mouth.

Take a lot of pictures. Seems kinda self-explanatory but with working full-time, I would forget to do this and sometimes I just chase him around with the camera. He grew so fast and changed so much, I'm glad I did!
Take a lot of videos.

It's okay for grandma to spoil even though some of the things they do make you cringe.

You're not a bad mom if you do not feel like being a mom is awesome all the time.

Keep extra supplies in your trunk you never know when there will be a poop disaster.

It's okay to leave the dishes in the sink.

Babies really do grow up so fast so try not to take a second for granted.

Really...blink and your child will be walking across the room!

Write down what your child is doing each month, on a scrap piece of paper, blog, something. You will forget little things before the next month and the first few months years are very hazy from lack of sleep.

Those first few months truly are about survival mode. Do what you can do get some sleep.

Stock up on saline, gas drops and wine. The latter is for mom, of course!

Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Get Dad involved.

Eating dog food, dirt, or even licking trees (yes, my child has done all 3) really won't hurt them. Unless that tree is covered in psychedelic shrooms.

Craigslist and ebay are gold mines for baby stuff.

Shopping consignment store and sales are awesome ways to save money on clothes that they get little wear
out of. No matter how cute a piece of clothing is, it might only get worn once. You'll feel much better after a giant blowout that the outfit didn't cost much!

Don't worry, you're not doing it wrong, and no, you will not scar your child for life.

Worrying is part of being a mom.

Somehow you find the energy to get through the day, no matter how little you slept the night before. Coffee helps.

Doing it the way you feel is right is always the right way no matter what other people tell you.

Be prepared for your life to never be the same again. No matter how much you try not to that little being that you carried for nine months and watch grow each day will change you in ways you never thought were possible.

Plus, you will not be able to remember what it was like before that baby came into your life!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An apple a day....

Who would have thought that we would be apple picking in mid 80 degree weather? Well, it was hot, a miserable and lots of the apples were damaged from the heat but we still had a blast.

I love this kids curls. The heat made his hair go wild and the curls were flying

He wanted to run all over the orchard but this mom was a bit worried about him eating rotten fermented apples. A lot of the apples were damaged because of the heat so apple picking off the ground and climbing trees is more like what we did.

He had an absolute blast tasting all the apples.

We gave him his own apple but then he would want the one someone else was eating!
 Going in the for the attack! Watch out apples!

He's so funny, he had a ear of corn in his hand that he would not let go for the life of him. I think he was wondering how he could escape with it!

Such a sweet moment with his favorite aunt but he was trying to steal her apple!
I imagine this being Brady in a few years!
Poor kid was so hot! Partly due to the fact that this weather makes me crazy in the fact that I have no idea how in the heck to dress my child! It's cool in the am and HOT in the pm! Come on mother nature, it's FALL!

All in all, it was a sucess! I think this might be a new tradition, as long as it FEELS like fall!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

14 days and counting and other ramblings

Thanks for your comments and messages about Lily. It is bizarre to live in our home without the tapping of her toenails across the floor. Our house is not quiet by any means but it's still just odd and I'm sure it will be a while before it feels normal again.

I know there is at least one reader who will find this interesting but I started PT again! I had my first session last night and it's amazing how much better I feel! I had a new MRI on my neck and I still have 4 bulging disks in my neck ranging from mild to moderate which gets aggravated by lugging around a 23 pound wiggle monster! I get really excited to go to PT! :) It's like a mini retreat :)

I've been busy working on things for the big birthday party coming up AND a huge project I am working on. The latter might take a while to see any results but I'm hoping for something REALLY exciting to happen! Of course, I'll share more when it's finished! Hopefully sooner than later because if it works out the way I want it to...well, you'll have to wait around to find out :) I am going to try not to post anything about in hopes I don't jinx it!!

Speaking of birthday, I made his invites and they came in this weekend! I made them in Illustrator and then had them printed for uber cheaper at Winkflash! I had my firsthand experience at making something like this and I think they turned out pretty good! I'll post a pic when I get wrapped up with a few other things!

Brady got another tooth! Sleeping the past week has been hit or miss. Naps have been all over the place and so has our night time. Last Saturday, he decided the hours of 12-3 am were great times to scream and then to play. Ah, the joys of parenthood! Then, finally this weekend, tooth #7 surfaced!! The past two nights, sleep has returned to my life again!
I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that my baby is no longer a baby and moving into the world of a toddler but that might change by tomorrow!  Look at him. He looks like a big boy! He's really starting to slim down even more. The rolls are almost gone, now that is sad! Two weeks from today he'll be ONE!

I have to say as sad as I get to see him grow up, he is so much fun right now. All of the things he is doing and the personality that has developed is truly awesome. It really is amazing how such a little helpless newborn can turn into such a determined, strong, willful, happy and sweet little boy who loves loves animals and snuggles with mommy!

I have a lot of posts coming up in the next two weeks and I'm sure we'll be super busy with his birthday, Halloween and his PARTY coming up!

 Someone said the other day that the first birthday is more for the parents to celebrate bringing this amazing child, this miracle into the world and boy, those words could not be any truer!!

Now, I might be late on his 12 month post because I start to write it and seriously have to stop because my eyes well up!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good-bye, my friend.

I've been reluctant to post this for a while. Not because I'm afraid of the slack we'll get but because then I have to really come to terms with the decision we made or even get through writing this without crying my eyes out.

Lily (the dog) now lives with another family.

Like I said, it wasn't the easiest choice and after she left I felt like a part of our family was gone. It has been about a month and I still miss her. I could not say it more bluntly: it sucks and it sucks some more.

We really think that the added anxiety of the cat and Brady was too much for her. Looking back, her feet biting really increased when we brought home Piper (the cat.) It seemed to continue when Brady was born and grew older. We tried working with her and we even resorted to medication. Medication made her really not even want to get out of bed and made her more aggressive. Something wasn't right and she wasn't happy. Our vet had thought it was allergies but when allergy meds, switching food and other tactics didn't work, it was clear it was more than that. Words like separation anxiety, OCD and anxiety were thrown out.

Then, something happened that made the decision a tad easier, if that was ever even remotely possible.  Actually, it was TWO incidents--if I hadn't been right there and grabbed Brady out of the way, she would have bit a chunk out of his face. Yes, his face. He wasn't doing anything but sitting there playing and unknowingly got too close. Clearly, it bothered her.

It was then that we knew what we had to do.

We were upfront and clear about Lily's issues when looking for a new home for her. We full disclosed everything and you know what? It was what she needed. The woman in the family works with Blake so we get a lot of reports and guess what?

She is doing fantastic! She doesn't bite her feet. She runs around with her children (she has 5 who are ages 7-18) This was a dog who didn't even want to go outside to play or do much but chew on her feet! She is like a new woman!

I do have some solace, actually a lot of comfort knowing how well she is doing. The family has wanted a dog for a while and when they brought her home the 7-year old cried his eyes out. They are best buds and she sleeps at the foot of his bed. The best thing about her new home is that someone is home all the time. Lily needs a lot of attention and being home alone all day was really hard for her. Add in the baby, the cat and our busy lives and I think it was all just too much for her. They have a large family that can give her all the attention she needs. 

In the end, the decision we made wasn't just for Brady but it was for Lily too. She wasn't happy. She was probably depressed and it showed. She had gained over 5 pounds in the past year. She didn't want to play. The aggression was just a small part but knowing that the short time she has been in her new home has made a world of difference in not only her quality of life but for her own happiness. It does made me incredibly sad to know she couldn't be that happy with us and I think that might be the hardest pill to swallow. She wasn't happy with us. We had to go with the fact that we knew that in the end this was the right thing to do. Even though we know it was the 'right thing to do' it doesn't make any of this easier.!

We will get another dog one day. We (I) am not ready and may not be for a long time. Lily was part of the family to me and has been for the past 5 1/2 years. Brady loved her and seeing him look at her with pure excitement in his eyes made it that much harder. He loved her just as much as we did. . It's hard to accept that she doesn't live with us anymore but she'll always be part of our family.