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Archive for November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!  I am grateful for so many things today.  Jim and I were talking about everything we are thankful for the other night and of course we mentioned the obvious things, like each other and  our health and our sweet baby girl, and once we listed all the really important stuff, we started thinking about the everyday items that we’re fortunate to have and/or be part of.  While it’s true that love is all you really need, there are a few objects that make my life easier and therefore, I am grateful for.

A few of the things I am most thankful for in 2010 are (in no particular order, except the first few items):

-Jim, the most supportive, appreciate, laugh-inducing husband a girl can ask for

-Molly, our sweet, healthy, feisty daughter

-Allie, our crazy, protective lab

-Mom and Dad, who are forever encouraging and helpful

-my sisters and their supportive husbands, who “get” what it means to be a Hubbard girl

-my nephews and neice

-my grandparents

-Jim’s parents/Molly’s Grandma and Grandpa

-Jim’s Uncle Steve, Aunt Dede, Granny, Papa, and brothers/sisters-in-law Geoff and LIndsay and Jon and Alisha

-our dear friends, who are too many name

-jobs

-our warm, comfortable home

-cool neighbors

-running partners

-the ability to run

-Starbucks

-red wine

-hoodie sweatshirts and cardigan sweaters

-my hairstylist and straightening iron

-Molly’s teachers and our helpful babysitter

-my Blackberry

-Sweet tea

-Swings

-Hawthorne’s Pizza

and finally, but certainly not least

-baby laughs.  They make everything right with the world.

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This afternoon, when I got home after picking Molly up from school, we were standing in the driveway talking to the neighbors.  Molly was being super-sweet, hanging out on my hip and resting her head on my shoulder.  After a few minutes, she saw the house key in my hand and started playing with it.  I realized she was pressing the buttons on the key fob that goes with our alarm system and I told her I needed the keys back.  I jokingly said to my neighbors, “The alarm is probably going off now!”

Fast forward three minutes.  We’re in the house, the alarm is NOT going off, and I’m getting Molly ready for her nap.  I immediately forgot about the key incident.

I was coming out of Molly’s room, having just put her down for her nap, and there’s a loud banging at the door and a police officer busts open the door with a huge, heavy flashlight in his hand.  “Police!” he yells.

I pretty much peed in my pants at that point.  He walks right in, starts looking around the house and asks who I am.  I tell him my name and state that I live here.  He gives me a once-over and asks if I’m ok.  I say, tentatively, “Yes.”  He then tells me that the panic alarm was pressed and I sort of laugh…”My daughter was just playing with my key fob and I was worried she would set off the alarm.  I guess she did!”

The police officer, on the other hand, was not laughing and proceeded to lecture me about how security alarms are not toys and I should not let my toddler play with the key fob.  Although I realize this, I also wonder how calculated Molly’s pressing of the buttons was.  I mean, really, it’s not like I said, “Here, honey, play with the key fob and press these two buttons AT THE SAME TIME.  It’ll be funny to see what happens!”

I wanted to ask him, “Do you have a toddler?  Have you ever tried to squeak out 30 more seconds of a conversation by shoving the nearest shiny object in her hands?  It was just a key; it didn’t occur to me that she would call 911 for us!”  But I didn’t.  I was polite and said, “Yes, sir, I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience but I do appreciate your speedy response.”

Oh, Molly, I sure hope today wasn’t an indication of any future run-ins with law enforcement.

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Both of my sisters are children’s photographers, and they either have the patience of saints or they’re totally holding out on me.  How do I know this?  Because I *cannot* take a picture of a constantly moving toddler.  I mean, seriously?

We even bought a fancy new camera when Peaches was born, anticipating that we would need a quicker piece of technology than our archaic point and shoot.  However, I am now convinced they don’t make cameras that are quick enough to take pictures of Molly.  The girl has the quickest smile and shortest attention span of any toddler ever to have her picture taken.  I try to take pictures some mornings of Molly before school and I usually end up with the back of her head or a serious blur as she moves at lightning speed towards the camera.  Last weekend, we tried to take some pictures for our Christmas card (I can’t not send my own photo cards after we make really pretty ones for other people, right?!) and out of the 300 pictures, there are maybe two that I would consider using.  If we can’t get any other good ones in the next week or so.

Experts say to take a child’s picture in the morning or right after nap, or whenever your child is happiest.  Well, at our house, the camera is the fastest way to make sure Molly is UNhappy, regardless of whether she just woke up, ate or saw her Dad’s car pull in the driveway.

Just for fun, here are some outtakes from our Christmas card photo session:

BUT, I’ll take 299 of those pictures.  Heck, I’ll even take 999 of those pictures if it means I get ONE like this:

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This evening, Jim, Molly and I stopped for a quick dinner on our way home from paying a visit to Beverly, Benjamin and Addison.  Molly was super-sweet (as always) at dinner and when it was time to leave the restaurant, I got her out of the highchair and Jim grabbed her hand to walk her to the sidewalk.  As I was giving the table one last glance, I looked up and saw the most perfect thing ever.  Molly was holding Jim’s hand and turned towards me with her other hand out, waiting for me.

I *love* being her mother.  Just when I think this motherhood gig can’t get any better, she does something so simple and sweet – like waiting to hold my hand – that makes me want to stop doing everything else and just gobble her up.

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In the car ride on the way to the mountains on Sunday, Jim and I had all kinds of interesting conversations.  It’s amazing what you can find to talk about when you’re not sitting in front of your computer, chasing a toddler, checking text messages, or grading papers.  Of course, our most fascinating topic of conversation was sitting (sometimes not quite so) quietly in the back seat.

We recalled those first few weeks of Molly’s life, when we lived in three-hour increments of nursing and sleeping.  We barely remember anything of those days, just that it seemed Molly was either nursing or sleeping.  Every ounce she gained was marveled at and every hour of nighttime sleep was celebrated.  Then, we anxiously  awaited her first smile, cheered her on as she figured out how to roll over, were so proud when she figured out how to sit up and laughed  while she ate solid foods for the first time.  It seemed that so much time passed between milestones and once we (um, I mean MOLLY) mastered one of those anticipated milestones, we were looking forward to the next one.

And then, there’s now.  Now when so many things happen in the course of one day that I can barely keep up with all of the accomplishments.  Peaches went from walking to running in 20 seconds and I swear her vocabulary triples every day.  She now weighs three times what she did when she was born.  How did that happen?!  She’s got a mouthful of teeth, she’s solid on her feet, and there don’t seem to be that many big milestones ahead of us in the near future.  There are, however, millions of tiny accomplishments that I’m watching for, that happen in the blink of an eye and I don’t want to miss one.

When I went to pick her up from school this afternoon, Molly was sitting on top of the jungle gym (it was secure on all sides, but she had obviously either climbed the steps or walked up a slide to get there).  All by herself.  And she couldn’t have looked more on top of the world.  I love watching her realize that she is capable of doing something and I can’t wait to see everything she will accomplish.

I am already so immensely proud of her, just for being.

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I love the life Jim and I have created, the plans and busy-ness and friends and family we enjoy spending time with, but lately we’ve been so over-commited to other things that we haven’t been making time to spend together.  Jim hates that he leaves for work before Molly wakes for the day and I hate that Jim and I both have to work after Molly goes to bed.   This weekend, we felt the need for some family time and luckily found ourselves without too many commitments, so we planned a day trip to the North Carolina mountains for Sunday.  It finally feels like fall here and so we bundled up, borrowed a backpack carrier from a neighbor, and headed to the mountains early Sunday morning.  We didn’t make it far enough up the mountain to see the snow that fell Saturday, but there was a distinct chill in the air that I loved!

We chose a short hike to a waterfall to start and although Molly didn’t love getting in the backpack carrier at first, she soon changed her mind and rode along happily.  Once we reached the falls, Molly had fun romping around in the leaves and was mesmerized by a family with school-aged children that eventually came along behind us.  Molly enjoyed her lunch on a sunny rock and then happily got back in the carrier to head back to the car.

Molly fell asleep before we even got back to the main highway, so Jim and I stopped for a quick bite to eat and then, as we were driving along I-40, we saw the signs for the After Market Sale at the Hickory Furniture Mart, so we stopped in to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without.  Much to our surprise, we walked away empty-handed.  I found several chairs I loved, but nothing that we were actually looking for.

Molly was a great car passenger and hiking partner, and we all enjoyed a perfect fall day together.  A day away can make a huge difference; I am appreciative of the time we got to spend together.

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Dearest Peaches,

Today you are 15 months old!  We celebrated by having a yard sale on the coldest morning of the fall so far.  You were a trooper, hanging out with your dad, Nana, and me!

At dinner, your dad and I were talking about all of the new things you’ve learned this month and we just kept adding to the list.  I had to write everything down on the back of a receipt so I could remember!  You are communicating with us so much now with words, signs, and your body language.  I love it when I know what you’re trying to tell me and I sometimes get as frustrated as you when I don’t know what you’re telling me!  You are still shy and quiet around strangers or in big crowds, but you’ve got quite the feisty personality with us.  You like to stomp your feet when you’re mad or excited and your facial expressions are so animated.

You can sign for “more” and “milk” and the other day, you signed “thank you” for the first time.  I was so excited, but you haven’t done it again so we’ll keep working on it.  Your favorite words are “shoes” and “car,” although you also know “purple,” “mama,” “yeah,” “keys,”  “leaf,” “cracker,” and “balloon.”  And every time you hear the train (which is often, since we live a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks) you say, “Teeeee!”   You are a very picky eater – crackers, yogurt and fruit are your favorites right now and you can smell a vegetable or piece of meat no matter how hard I work to disguise it!

When I ask you for a hug, you will run over to me and give me a hug.  You will sometimes blow kisses and you’ve started to love on your baby dolls.  You can identify your nose, eyes, ears, and hair, as well as every one else’s nose, eyes, and ears!  You don’t like to ride in your car seat or stroller but you love your new wagon.  You still love to play with the toilet paper and Allie’s water bowls, so we have to stay one stop ahead of you and remember to put those things away!   You totally understand what we tell you.  If we say we’re going to change your diaper, you walk to your room.  If we tell you to pick out a book, you go to a book basket.  Just tonight, you threw a picture frame off of the table and when I asked you pick it up, you did and handed it right to me.

 

I don't have time for this Mom; there are places to go!

 

You are *so* much fun!   Every day, we can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next and you constantly make us laugh.  We try hard to give you some room to let you make mistakes and figure things out, but it’s so tempting to jump right in and help you when you can’t figure your way out of a situation.  Every night I pray that you will be a happy, caring, and independent girl.  So far, my prayers have been answered.

We love you so much!

All our love,

Mama and Daddy

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My Little Bookworm

Lately, Molly isn’t interested in playing with any of her toys.  She would *much* rather read a book – any book – than stack blocks or play with her farm.  And I must admit, it makes my heart melt to see her make a bee-line for the various book baskets around the house.  She picks up as many as she can hold and then runs back to me and waits expectantly for me to stop what I’m doing and read to her.

And you know what?  I do.

I sit on the kitchen floor in my work clothes and her bag half-packed and read Where is Baby’s Belly Button.  I stand in the door with her on my hip and our zillion bags hanging from my arms to read Goodnight Moon for the fifth time.  I leave the breakfast/snack/dinner dishes on the table so we can enjoy Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? together.  When she wakes up from her nap, she is pointing at her bookshelf or the stack of books left on the ottoman from story time after school.  And then, when Jim gets home, she usually greets him at the door with a smile and a book in hand and we spend the evening taking turns reading to her.

Every night, I find books under the dining room table, in our closet, behind the chairs, and even in the bathtub sometimes.  I don’t mind picking them up at all because it makes me remember the sweet, snuggly times we spend together every day.  The teacher in me knows that this exposure to books and words is crucial to Molly’s academic development, but the mom in me doesn’t even care about that part right now.  I love how happy books seem to make my daughter and how they provide us time to just sit and talk and laugh every day, multiple times a day.  I was the kind of child that would sit inside on a sunny day to finish a book.  I would read under the covers at night, while walking around the house, and at the dinner table.  My mom would disappear every night at bedtime with a book and sometimes stay up well past her bedtime because she just couldn’t put her book down.  Books provide us with experiences we might not otherwise be aware of.  Books are a catalyst for imaginative play and conversation and critical thinking.  Books connect us to other people, imaginary and real, and help us forge and maintain relationships.

I love that Molly loves books.

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