Monday, June 30, 2008

soak it up

Mark and I like to say that Hazel has "always been smart." It's the typical, proud-parent, skewed reality thing to say, and it's funny since she's only 4 1/2 months old. But this picture is evidence that she wants to soak up everything she can.
Seriously though - our little girl watches things, especially people, with such intensity... it's incredible to imagine how much her little brain is learning with every moment, every experience. And the evidence is clear - she learns new things daily, her hand-eye coordination improves by the second, she sings and talks more and more every day (with new sounds)... and she does it all with such delight.
I want to soak up my life the way she does... she does not worry about tomorrow. I want to take note of the moment, for this, right now... THIS is my life. I want to learn something new every day, and not be ashamed or embarrassed if I'm not good at it at first. I want to smile with joy at the people who love me, and settle into familiar arms at the end of the day.
I'm still in awe at how much motherhood teaches you when you stop to look for it.

(Thanks for the prayers - Hazel had a rough day or two while Mark was away, but is back to her usual cheerful chatterbox self these days. I still think she's teething, but nothing has popped through yet.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

help needed

The crying, oh the crying.
The not-napping.
The Daddy in Atlanta.
I think she's teething. I know she's tired.
Please sleep, baby.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

catnap. literally.

Mark and I have no pets. We both grew up in homes with pets and while we do not dislike animals, we do not want to take care of animals. In our home. On our furniture. It may be laziness, or it may be selfishness. We prefer to think of it as thoughtfulness for the hypothetical animal that would be our pet - as we're awfully busy, travelly people with a smallish house and very regular-sized backyard. Who wants to be cooped up all day?? We decided that human children would be enough for us - and we were right. :)
Tuesday morning Hazel and I left for the grocery store for some much-needed supplies. Apparently being away for 10 days doesn't do much for your refrigerator. As I lugged my little darling down the front steps to the car, I spied a calico kitty. On our front porch. Curled up in our chair. As if she had not a care in the world (she probably doesn't) and as if she lived there (she definitely doesn't).
Like so:

Kitty raised her head, looked at me, and returned to napping. I was impressed. Not exactly skittish. The kitty was so durn cute that I didn't bother shooing it away - I figured she'd wander away on her own.
We returned from the store to find kitty still there. Still asleep. Now I'm doubly impressed. Up & down the steps, in & out the front door, and Kitty never stirs. I contemplated feeding the kitty because she's so cute, and because Mark is many states away right now and can't tell me not to.
Fast forward a few hours - my child is sleeping. I'm on the phone with my sister, and telling her the Funny Story About Finding a Kitty on My Porch, and I decide to check the front porch again. Kitty is (you got it) STILL THERE. Still asleep. All I can think is, What the hey did Kitty do all night long to need a 5-hour-plus nap on my porch?
Kitty finally woke up when my 11-year-old neighbor rang the doorbell a little later. Luckily my young friend knew the kitty instantly (her name is Chloe, and she's oh-so-friendly) and we walked her back over to her actual home. Two doors down.
As far as I'm concerned, Chloe can sleep on our front porch anytime. She may be the closest we ever come to having a pet of our own, because diapers + naptimes + laundry + dishes + pet food/pet hair/vet bills??? I just don't think I have it in me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

still my heart

There are many things about motherhood that have surprised me. Many of those things have brought me joy, a few have brought me to tears, and many have made me laugh. But one of the very coolest surprises about being a mom has been watching my parents love my baby.
It's kinda weird because I, you know, grew up with my parents. It's not as though I'm unfamiliar with them or their love. However, I don't really have a whole lot of memory from when I was, oh, four months old, so I had no idea what to expect, really. And as Hazel is their grandbaby and not their baby, things are a little different (or so I've been told). To be perfectly hoenst, I didn't really give it much thought while I was pregnant. I knew they were thrilled and excited, and I knew they'd love her. That was about the extent of it.
But seriously - I was not prepared for the way their eyes would light up when they see her. For the endless hours of holding her, talking to her, laughing because the pure joy that was bubbling up could not be contained... Such gentle care, such delight. It's absolutely indescribable to watch.
They think Hazey is the best thing since sliced bread, and it rips my heart wide open (in a good way). I pray that Hazel might someday catch a glimpse of how big their love for her really is.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

... gathers no moss

Well, folks... it's happened. Baby B is mobile, agile, hostile (Well, not really agile or hostile, but I'll give a 4-year-old Tootsie Pop to the first person who knows what movie that line is from!)
The baby, she is a'rolling.
She's been scooting around for weeks and weeks - she has turned herself 180 degrees in her crib, and traversed from one end to the other. But until last Wednesday, she hadn't managed to roll over.
To set the stage:
At my parents' house, Hazel sleeps in a doctored-up, comfy pack&play in an upstairs bedroom. I sleep downstairs with the baby monitor nearby. Sometimes this arrangement works well, sometimes not. But early Wednesday morning (I'm guessing about 4:30am) I heard a shriek/squeal through the monitor, followed by some lovely baby chatter. A little odd - usually if Hazey's gonna be vocal when she wakes up, it's slightly more distressed than that. I climbed the stairs quickly to try to keep her from waking up my sister and entered "her" room to find her on her back. (If you've been reading awhile, you know I am a Bad Mommy who puts her daughter to sleep on her tummy) She was grinning and just oh-so-proud of herself.
Since then, almost every time I went in to get her up from (naptime or nighttime) - I'd find the little monkey all flipped over. And I've gotten to watch her do it 2 or 3 times too - it just may be the cutest thing I've ever seen.
Now we'll just have to see if a rolling baby gathers any moss.

Monday, June 23, 2008

oh holy cow

As you know, my little family and I went AWOL for the past, erm, 10 days or so. I have about a gazillion half-baked blog posts in my mind from our gallavanting, but alas - you will have to wait until those are slightly more well-done.
In my absence, I was tagged for a meme by Leighton at My Best Investments (a very fun blog to check out, by the way) - so here goes.

My Six Word Memoir
God gave her everything she needed.

Seriously - that's probably the best way to sum up the past 10 days. Things were surprising, mundane, wonderful, tough, easy, funny and full of insights. It was hard to leave my parents' house and incredible to be back home. But through all the big and little ups-and-downs of the week, His grace was sufficient for me. I was struck by how well loved I am by our God - all the time, every day. Whether I notice it, or am grateful for it... He is loving me more than I know, more than I deserve.

Anyway - we're all back, we're all safe & healthy, and be sure to hold your breath for some fabulous blogging sure to come in the next, oh, decade or so. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008


We're off on an adventure.
Today's destination: Louisville, KY for a family wedding.
Sunday's destination: Chicago suburbs, where Hazel and I will stay with my family while Mark goes to Dallas, TX for work... for a full week
Next Sunday's destination: home!!
Pray for safe travels and good times!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

lights out

Michigan has seen at least one good, solid thunderstorm every day since Friday. Lightning, rain, big wind, trees falling over... the whole shebang.
Thus it was no big surprise when the power flicked off and on last night at about 3:30am. A teensy bit more surprising was when it happened again, fifteen minutes later. On-off-on. Alarm clock blinks 12:00 once more.
Far more surprising... the on-off-on-off-on-OFF that happened at 4:00am. No blinking 12:00. No gentle hum of the ceiling fan. Oddly - only silence (no rain or thunder to be heard).
What we DID hear... the incessant, relentless, please-can't-I-ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away beep of a smoke detector without a battery. The smoke detector that is about 2.5 feet away from daughter's room.
Folks... it's harder than one might think to stumble downstairs, dig through the junk drawer to find a 9-volt battery, stumble back upstairs and help the hubby replace it at 4:00 in the morning... with no power. Mark and I have been known (shhh... don't tell) to rip a certain smoke detector right out of the ceiling and bury it under the couch pillows when it wouldn't stop beeping. With no electricity and no battery. (Anyone ever see the episode of Friends where Phoebe's smoke alarm does the same thing?)
Anyway - we got the beeping to stop, daughter slept through the whole thing, and we went back to bed. Serenaded by the gulping, croaky songs of the toads that live in the swampy-pond area behind our house. They are LOUD. Luckily, the rain came in soon after and silenced the froggies.
And I realized how spoiled I am by electricity when the power didn't come back on until 4:00pm.
It's good to be back.

Monday, June 09, 2008

the girl, she loves to smile

Pay no attention to the dorky hat... that's what happens when you leave your baby alone with her Nana & Papa for a few minutes...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

being watched

She's still little. Not quite four months old. She can't brush her teeth, spell her name, or tie her own shoes.
But she is watching me.
I'll be busy folding laundry (most often, diapers) with her sitting next to me in her bouncy seat. I look up to find her blue eyes focused intensely on me. Sometimes she's smiling, sometimes just observing.
She'll watch me put on my makeup or do my hair in the morning. She watches me put my shoes on when we leave the house, and she watches me when she's eating.
I know she doesn't understand what she sees yet, and I know it'll be a while before I have a little "mini-me" running around and doing everything I do.
But folks... it has me on my toes.
Suddenly everything I do is viewed in light of this revelation... that for many, MANY years to come... I will be watched. Closely.
And so I will make decisions, not just for me, but for the little one watching. I will try to choose my words, think about my actions, and be deliberate with my time because she is watching. And most of all, I will look to the best example I have of perfection in parenting - and try to shine a little bit of Christ on my girl.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I know lots of things. Some of it is pretty useless these days - like knowing that my high school locker number was D1119, or knowing where the creaky spots are in the upstairs hallway at my parents' house. Some of it has a timely usefulness - I know that Hazel prefers to be held upright, facing the world, and I know that the sliding glass door to our backyard likes to stick on the tracks. And some of the things I know are timeless... but these are the things I tend to (at least temporarily) forget.
I know that my days are best started quietly - with breakfast and my Bible. I know that I will have more energy if I make time for some kind of physical activity aside from lugging a 15-pound baby around all day. I know that getting out of the house for a little while each day is totally worth the effort. I know that I can never be enough on my own, that I must rely on my Creator. I know that spending my energy worrying about having my needs met will be more exhausting than focusing on everyone else and trusting God to take care of me. I know that it's really not such a bad thing to unload the dishwasher and fold & put away the laundry - and that it's also not such a bad thing if it doesn't get done. I know all I can do is my best and leave the rest to Christ.
These things that I know... they are always true. Circumstances arise that lure me into forgetting... and I always marvel at how easily my silly little brain allows that to happen.
Here's to sweet reminders.