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Archive for January, 2010

Molly was quite the social butterfly today…we walked with our neighborhood friends Melissa and Griffin, and then had a lunch playdate with Rae and Casey.  (Their moms, Andrea and Jill, came too!)

Griff was tired from all the walking

Molly and Casey

Rae, we didn’t get you in the picture, but you had us laughing with your shoulder dance and gave sweet kisses to everyone.

After all the excitement, Molly just needed to curl up and relax with a good book:

"See Mom, there's this princess, and she lives in a castle..."

(Why the change of clothes?, you may ask.  Well, because Molly had the biggest diaper blowout in the history of her life.  And she’s had some crazy ones. I think it’s time to try the next size…)

Thanks, Griffin, Rae, and Casey!  It was a fun day!

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Although we are fortunate to live near a lot of family and friends, we are so very far away from a lot of people who we want to be part of Molly’s life.  So, it’s a good thing that computers exist so that we can keep in constant touch.  If family members were waiting on me to develop pictures, drive to the store to pick them up, separate them, put them in an envelope, find their mailing address, go to the post office to buy stamps, and then drop the envelope of pictures in the mail, Molly will be a high school senior before all that gets done.

Since Molly’s birth, I have entered the technological age with lightning speed, but the sad part is that I know I have so much more to learn.  As a classroom teacher, I understand the need and purpose of children using technology – you can get the most up-to-date information any time of the day or night and make contact with people all over the world.  However, just because I understand the importance and convenience of technology does not mean that I know how to use the technology.  Although, I did create this blog all by myself, thank you very much (but have utilized my husband, the technology guru, to make some changes).   I can download pictures off the camera and edit them to share with family or upload to the blog.  I created a Facebook account.  And a Twitter account.  And I downloaded Skype so we could have face-to-face conversations with the before-mentioned family and friends around the country.  (The only problem I have encountered with all this technology so far is remembering my log-ins and passwords for each account.  I tried to write them down, but then I lost that piece of paper.)

There is a bit of hope, though.  As I was checking my email with Molly on my lap the other day, she reached over and starting banging on the keyboard.  Yes, I thought!  In just a few short years, Peaches will be totally up to date with the newest technology and she can help me out when her dad isn’t around, so I will have constant tech support around here.  Molly’s life will consist of taking notes and tests on a laptop, video phones, chatting with all her friends on a program like Skype, and who knows what else?  She’ll wonder how we ever survived with just our BlackBerry mobile devices and wireless internet access.

Just the other day, as we were Skyping with Aunt Whitney in California, I learned how to take a screen shot:

How cool is that?!  A picture of my desktop.  I’m not sure exactly what I will use that feature for in the future, but glad I know how to do it anyway.  Now, if I can just remember which buttons Whitney said to press at the same time…

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Over the weekend, in addition to cheering on Jackson’s basketball team and eating Taco Bell for lunch (it was part of Jackson’s birthday gift…we had to oblige), Molly figured out that she could put her toes in her mouth and sit unassisted without falling over.

Watching - what else? - football with dad

She is working on sitting up from a laying position, which is absolutely hilarious.  It looks like she’s doing crunches, complete with grunting.  I will laugh at her grunts and then she’ll cut her eyes over to me and grin, and before I know it, we’re both giggling like school girls at a sleepover.  I LOVE that she laughs with us now.  The other night while I was out, Jim had her on the changing table and was making her laugh.  I wish I could have been here to witness that moment, but I can only imagine how sweet it was, dad and daughter cracking up over who knows what.

Noticing all these changes in Molly makes me so excited for what’s coming – she’s going to learn and do so much soon – but it makes me sad, too, because we are really on our way out of sweet baby time.  Such a bitter-sweet realization.

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I put Molly down for her nap, shut the door, and listened to her coo and babble and babble and coo.  A few minutes later, she was fussy.  A few seconds later, I heard the most horrible shrieking sound.  Allie, the dog, cocked her head at me and raised one ear as if to say, “Where did the monkeys on the roof come from?”  I panicked, never having heard this sound, and realized it was my baby.

I rushed into Molly’s nursery to see her turned 180 degrees from the place that I knew I had laid her down, face down on her crib mattress.

I think Peaches can roll over.

She’s finally sleeping peacefully and my heart has slowed to its normal rhythm.  Maybe we’ll have her practice using her hands to push her face out of the mattress, or even roll her self back over, this weekend.

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Crazy love

Be still my heart.

Baby smiles are the best.

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The things we do…

Somewhere between getting pregnant and today, I lost my mind.

I am making baby food.  Molly’s food.  As in, cooked and pureed vegetables.  It’s not necessarily an effort to be healthier, because if you read the labels, baby food is just [any given vegetable] and water.  I’m not putting anything extra in there.  And it’s not exactly an effort to save money, because if you have coupons and watch the sales, you can get baby food pretty cheap.  It’s more like, I told myself that I could do it, and by golly, I’m going to do it.  It’s a pretty simple process, really, and it doesn’t take that much time.

The only problem that I’ve encountered so far, is that there aren’t that many vegetables I like.  So here begins the “leading by example” part of parenthood.  Soon, if I expect Molly to eat a healthy diet, I am going to have to eat a healthy diet.  Green beans.  Peas.  Carrots. (Dipped in ranch dressing is ok, right?)  Squash.  (Does friend squash count as a vegetable?)  I was actually at a loss as to what kind of vegetables to make to get us started.  I knew green beans, because we have jars of them in our cabinet from my grandparents’ garden.  I knew sweet potatoes, because I have been known to eat sweet potato french fries.  I had to check out the baby food aisle at Babies R Us last time we were there, because I was drawing a blank about what else to make!  I didn’t think I could give my baby a spinach salad or broccoli, which are my top two vegetable choices.  And you know what?  I was right about that.  There was no spinach or broccoli baby food.

So, Jim got me some yellow squash, sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots to go with the green beans.  I’m going to spend some time this week cooking and pureeing and freezing.  I’ll let you know how it goes when Molly eats her vegetables for the first time.

Oh, and just so you can get in a really good laugh today…I’ve even been making adult dinners at our house, too.  (Although last night’s dinner left a lot to be desired.) (See, I told you it would make you laugh.)

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What can I do?

Like most mothers I know, I haven’t exactly been keeping up with Molly’s baby book.  (Right?  No one else does this right away, either, right?!)  There is a page in the book where Jim and I can write about our hopes and dreams for Molly.  I have given this page a lot of thought, because although I do just want her to be happy, I want so much more for her.  I want her to be smart, beautiful, and athletic.  I want her to be creative.  I want her to find someone who loves her as much as her father loves me.  I want her to have a good work ethic, a good sense of humor, and humility.  But mostly, I want her to be compassionate and empathetic.

I would like to say that having a baby has made me a softie, but in reality, I have always been a little quick to cry at commercials, Hallmark cards, and strangers’ situations. Unfortunately, even watching the news lately has evoked a lot of emotion in me.  Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past week, you are aware of the critical situation in Haiti.  I simply cannot fathom this catastrophe.

Having Molly has made me rethink what is important.  Rethink what my priorities are.  In the aftermath of the crisis in Haiti, I have been pondering and discussing with friends and family what we can do to help.  I am amazed at the response to the text campaign that has already raised $16 million.  So simple, yet an effective way to make an impact.   At our monthly girls’ dinner this weekend, Andrea suggested that we create relief kits for victims of the earthquake.  And if you love Etsy, check out this great post today about how you can help by shopping!

After watching The Blind Side last weekend, I have had multiple conversations (with Andrea in the parking lot and with Sarah and Lauren over a glass of wine) about how we feel like we don’t do enough to help.  But we do what we can.  By collecting formula and blankets for the Salvation Army, assembling relief kits for victims of disasters, donating to the local food pantry, and contributing $10 at a time to cancer research or the Red Cross, we are collectively doing a lot.  We are setting examples for our children and inspiring our friends.  We are learning and teaching and sharing compassion for the human race.  At yoga this afternoon, Merritt talked about the oh-so familiar serenity prayer, about accepting the things we cannot change.  But then she threw me a curveball, and said we can “change the things which we cannot accept.”

So, in thinking about how to answer the question about what can I do…I realized that I can teach Molly tolerance and acceptance and compassion.  I can teach her to stand up for herself and her friends and her family, and to recognize what is right and wrong.  I can teach her to change the things that she cannot accept, whether it’s homelessness, hunger, abuse, or poverty.  I may have no control over Molly’s athleticism or her ability to solve a physics problem, and I certainly can’t teach her to be creative (although I will pay for art or music classes so someone else can teach her), but I can teach her compassion and empathy.  I can teach her to do things, small things, that will make this world a better place.

(thanks, beverly maynor photography, for this sweet picture)

I know that my daughter is capable of so much.  She has already changed my life in such a significant way.

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