Thursday, October 30, 2008

parent of the year, baby. it's mine for sure.

Last night, Hazel answered to a different name.
Fussy Von Whinencrank.

Pick me up.
Put me down.
How dare you put me down??
I want that toy.
No, I want THAT toy.
She screamed and fussed at everything.
And just as her Mama had decided that tossing her out the window might be the only way to get her to stop fussing...
We discovered the bathroom sink.

(Not that any part of my brain even considered metaphorically tossing my baby out the window... ahem.)
It may be unorthodox - but it worked for a good 25 minutes. And that, friends, is the equivalent of 17 hours in the just-before-bedtime moments of the day.

I'm pretty sure this solidifies my title as Mama of the Year. You have my permission to be impressed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

bubble, bubble

There are all kinds of delicious, deep blog posts brewing away in my head right now.

Trouble is, I can't put words to any of them at the moment... not coherent words, at any rate.

And so, I resort to the fabulous Update in the Form of a List. Hold onto your hats.

1. Hazel officially has four teeth now. What a big girl!

2. Mark is off to PA this weekend, so Haze and I are off to my parents' house again - I'm not so geeked about the driving (I never know what to expect with her in the backseat for 4 hours...) but I'm pumped to get to hang with the fam again.

3. I'm reading some good books right now, and have some more on the way (via Swaptree, which I L*O*V*E)

4. I did one of my yoga/pilates DVDs this week and my buff, tough, mama-arms are sore. Let's just say that Baby Lugging Muscles do not equal Yoga/Pilates Muscles. It felt great, though.

5. I cannot believe October is almost over. What in the world.

6. Mark and I went on a date this week (gone about 2 hours total) and I think our baby cried pretty much the whole time. Fat chance we EVER LEAVE HER AGAIN. (I jest, of course we will - it just stinks to come home to a sad sad baby who missed her mama & daddy).

7. It's lovely and sunny outside. Again. I love it.

8. I won't be posting tomorrow, as we'll be trying to get an early start. I'll see what I can do about serving up some of those fabulous thoughts that are a'brewing. Edge of your seats, I know.

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

apples, apples, everywhere

I adore fall.
Crispy air, crunchy leaves, spicy smells, beautiful colors on the trees, pumpkins, apples, delicious baked goods, warm drinks... I could go on and on. And on.
But I'd rather enjoy the gorgeous day God's given us... so here's the short version:
Right now, my daughter is sleeping, my husband is reading on the couch, my dishwasher is happily scrubbing the tools I used to create a mess in my kitchen, the oven door is open (to flood the kitchen with toasty warm air as it cools down) and my counter is littered with the aftermath my productive afternoon (which would include apple-cinnamon muffins, glazed apple cookies and fresh applesauce... can you tell we had an abundance of apples in the house?)

Did I mention that I adore fall??

Thursday, October 16, 2008

stepping out

I am not a risk-taker.

I think I used to be. Or at least, I used to be more of a risk-taker than I am today. At least when it comes to Things That Matter.

Oh, I'll ride big tall rollercoasters (and love 'em).

And I'll chop my hair off (heck, it always grows back).

But in actuality - I am habitually a person who is pretty good at appearing all-put-together and actually terrified of putting myself out there.

I don't like to call up new friends and ask them to do things. It feels like dating, and I never was very good at dating, and it's always weird when they say no (even for a really good reason). Do you call back, keep trying - or does that make you seem strange and desperate?

I second-guess myself when I reach out with a note, a phone call, an email... if I don't hear back within a reasonable amount of time (or whatever my silly little head has deemed "reasonable") then I am sure that I have alienated them, said something weird, and now have to figure out how to undo the damage without wreaking any more havoc.

I'm not sure where this nervous, wimpy, non-risk-taker gal came from... or when exactly she moved in and took over my mind and body... but I'd like to evict her.

I want to be bold because of who I am in Christ. I want to remember that I can have and be all kinds of things (good things!) but if I don't have love, if I don't live love for others... I have nothing. I want to focus on the fact that my rewards are in heaven - not on Earth... and the only things that satisfy are from God.

But lately God has been showing me glimpses - giving me snippets of His power and His grace, and how He has designed our lives... and I hear Him calling me, gently but urgently, to take more risks.

And I have. And although sometimes it's more than I bargained for - it feels great.

Funny how God always seems to know what's best, huh? I mean - what is up with that??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

it's a funny thing

I'm feeling Moderately Baffled by life lately. Just in a tilt-your-head-to-the-side-and-give-it-a-little-scratch kind of way.

Of course, at any given time, I am Mildly/Moderately/Severely Baffled by all kinds of things, so this is not to say that I am feeling anything particularly profound or novel. I am currently just feeling moved to report to my faithful bloggie friends about it. Lucky you.

At the moment, I am Moderately Baffled by:

1. Answers to prayer. Especially things that have been on my heart for a long time. It's odd and a bit surreal to finally see fruit in some of those areas, and I realize that part of me may have started to believe that I would be forever praying and always hearing "My plan is different from your plan" in response.

And at the same time, being baffled by "not yet" responses to other prayer requests. I am not upset (yet, although that may come)... just perplexed.

2. The fact that I am me. That sounds really weird, I know... but I have been adjusting to this huge new addition to my personality (Katie the Mama) for the past 8 months, and the more she cleaves to the Old Katie, the more I see of mySelf coming back into my sightlines. Of course, I will always be learning about Katie the Mama, especially as her role grows and changes over the years to come - but the Old Katie is rearing her head back up, and now I am mentally wrestling with incorporating bits of her back into my day to day life.

The Old Katie loved to learn and be mentally (academically) fed and challenged - and that's been missing for awhile. I am (and pretty much always have been) a school nerd. I missed it while I was working full-time, but there was usually enough mental challenge at work that I was still satisfied in this arena. Having a baby sucked out my brains - but they are slowly returning and they are hungry. Not sure how to feed them... or what exactly I want to feed them.

3. The Babynut. Of course, she will probably always be moderately baffling to me, at least. She is, after all, her own separate, unique person, and only God will ever truly know the inner workings of her heart. But as her true, beautiful, passionate, God-given personality grows more apparent by the day - I am learning about her.

And making progress (which is good!) But similar to the prayer-thing... I'm a bit baffled that I am making progress. Again, I think I let myself think that I would forever be struggling to "figure her out." And I'm sure I will, but only because new facets of herself will present themselves to me. That doesn't mean that as time passes and we grow together, that I won't be able to study and learn bits and pieces - and learn how to respond/react/deal in a way that honors and respects both of our unique personalities.

In conclusion to a long and somewhat verbose meandering brain-dump...
Cute Baby Pictures.

Hazel & Dave:

Hazel has her daddy's expressive forehead:

Sweet smiles.

Friday, October 10, 2008

knew I married him for a reason...

Because he's an ACTUAL ninja.
Gives that post's title a whole new meaning. (looks around, blushing... "Who said that??")

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

mama can take down the ninja

There is an intruder in my house.

Since Sunday (at least) - my home has been home to the world's most obnoxious houseguest EVER. Always hovering, never leaving me alone... I just cannot seem to convince this guest to vacate the premises.

It's a fly.

Not even a big one - just a little bitty housefly.

But I swear - it has ninja skillz. It's uncatchable, unswattable - and for a few hours every day - undetectable. Just to lure me into a false sense of security - I forget temporarily that my house has been overtaken by a mutant insect, and then when I least expect it... BAM. Stinking bug lands on my forehead. Or my lunch. Yum.

I'm not sure how to handle it, as it's a wee bit chilly to just leave the windows and doors flung wide open (not to mention that such an act might be construed as an open invitation and then I could find a full-on convention of ninja insects taking over my living room...)

All I can say is - Mama has had it. Beware, ninja fly.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

what's your sign?

Recently I have come to the conclusion that life (at least, MY life) would be monumentally easier if every person wore a sign around his/her neck that listed Things You Should Know About Me If You Want to Be My Friend. (Or something that means the same thing but sounds way less cheesy and dorky).

Logistics (such as: Is it really prudent to have such a sign be visible at all times or should it only appear when someone really DOES want to be your friend? and How many things go on the list?) aside - I'm convinced this is a stellar idea. The fact that I came up with the idea has nothing to do with its obvious merit. *cough*

Inane and inconsequential "insights" like I like basketball would only be allowed on the list if your liking borders on obsession and it would truly be helpful for someone to know this prior to going about the business of becoming your friend.

Now, I'm not talking about taking all the fun out of getting to know someone - because I really do like the discovery process involved in growing new friendships. I'm also not advocating that the sign hanging around the neck would in any way serve as a deterrent ("Oh, now that I know that, I don't want to be your friend") NOPE.

It's just that (especially early on) a lot of time/energy/potentially hurt feelings could be saved if we had certain tidbits of information upfront.

Katie, I just don't get exactly what you mean!

Here's a completely made-up, not-at-all-realistic or exactly and precisely accurate "for instance":

One of the items on my sign would read: "I don't like feeling/looking stupid." (Don't like is probably way too gently put, actually) I know that very few people probably actually like feeling and/or looking stupid, so it seems like a silly thing to say - but run with me here for a minute, folks.

My intense dislike for feeling/looking stupid is pride-based. I am well aware of this, and it is definitely something I struggle with and work on - on a daily basis. I want people to think I have it together and I can handle things. I know it shouldn't matter to me - and God & I are in the process of working on that.

HOWEVER - those that know and love me are aware of this - and are particularly judicious with their advice/help/comments - they know me well enough to wait until I ask for help or input, or they know how to say things or to approach me in a way that doesn't seem condescending or patronizing. Above all - they show more interest in me as a person than in what they can do for me - and that (for me) is a really good thing. I appreciate their willingness to love me where I am, despite the fact that I probably should be somewhere else.

I've met new people who didn't know this about me - and occasionally, in their unknowing efforts to "be helpful" wind up setting off a defensive alarm in my head. Advice is given (that is almost certainly well-intentioned) that makes me feel talked-down-to and suddenly... walls go up. Well-meaning help is offered - and I transform into someone who is "incapable" - which makes me want to avoid the person offering the help because now I think they think I can't hack it on my own.

I know - I'm crazy. But the thing is - if I had a sign around my neck, everyone who wanted to be my friend could KNOW how crazy I am and could (if they so chose) adjust their approach to me.
Likewise - I would be thrilled to not inadvertently step on someone else's "emotional toes" and learn, from the very beginning, to love them where they are...

Sometimes, I think a little tip-off wouldn't be that bad.

What would your sign say??

Completley Unrelated and Gratuitous Baby Pictures:

Hazel has enjoyed music, specifically acoustic guitar, since before she was born. This just further evidence that we have a little prodigy on our hands.

Not that I'm biased or anything.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I should be allowed nowhere near peanut butter M & Ms. Especially cute Halloween colored peanut butter M & Ms. I will munch on the entire bag, no matter the size, over the course of a few (too few) days until every. last. one. is. gone.

And then, I won't really miss them. I don't need them. But my willpower goes right out the window if I try to coexist with them.

On an entirely unrelated note - my friend Dilyn came over to spend a couple hours with Hazel and I this morning (and hopefully every Thursday morning). We had (or at least - I had and I hope she had) a nice time chatting and learning a little more about each other. We've known each other for awhile but have never had a ton of opportunity to sit around and have the kind of talks that lead to knowing a person more, well... personally. I think we started branching that way today.

Dilyn is a wonderfully sweet gal who is a junior in college, studying all kinds of science things that I'm totally impressed by (because I'm SO not a studying-science kind of girl myself)... on her way to hopefully being a physical therapist. She's also spending a lot of her time loving the girls (now high school sophomores) that I knew well when I was leading WYLdLife (middle school ministry I was involved in during my pre-baby days). It's incredibly cool to see her know and love these girls well - girls that (although I don't get to see them as often anymore) are incredibly special to me. And they love her so. much. too. Dilyn is a quiet-at-first, thoughtful, observant and generous woman who loves Christ a lot - and it positively seeps out of her. I like her.

Part of our conversation this morning is leading me to a (few?) new blog post(s)... but they're still stewing in my brain right now, so y'all will just have to wait. In the meantime...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

my daughter is a robot

I've concluded that Hazel is a robot.

You know the one from The Incredibles - the one that has a mind of its own and decided to thwart all authority and run rampant over the tropical island and as anyone tries to fight it, it actually learns and gets smarter and smarter and better at outsmarting its opponent?

Yup - that's her.

The difference being that the robot in the movie actually killed its enemies. She hasn't succeeded in doing that yet.

But I swear - anything - ANYTHING - that is helpful with the usual bedtime/naptime battle we fight daily around here - anything - it only lasts a day or two. (And since it usually takes 2-3 days to figure out what "helpful" might be, the return on my investment is not so hot).

I thought mamas were supposed to love naptime and bedtime. In my head, it was always a sweet, quiet, dimly lit bonding time where songs are softly sung, sweet words are murmured - full of rocking chairs and snuggly blankets and delicious-smelling baby heads.

My reality includes many of those things - snuggly blankets and
yummy baby heads and dim lights and soft songs... but they are too often cut short by cries and yells and a baby that is struggling against my arms and rubbing her face in my shoulder because she is So Tired but screams bloody murder when I have the audacity to lay her down to sleep in her bed. And so, I kind of dread bedtime and naptime.

I feel like I must be missing something, some key to parenting, some skill - there just doesn't seem to be any good reason why it should still be so gosh darn hard to put that girl to sleep.

Shouldn't there be something, some trick, that comforts her and makes her feel safe and sleepy?

And shouldn't her mama, who grew her and gave birth to her and spends every day with her be able to figure that out??

*sigh* Parenting robots is tricky business, folks.