Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bon Appetit!

If you look just above this post, you will see a little bar with different pages.  Are you looking?  Great!  Some of these pages have been there for a while now and are nothing exciting.  Who I am, how to contact me, blah blah blah. 

But I have added some great stuff!  If you click over to Summer of Classics, you can follow along with my self-inflicted -imposed summer reading challenge.  I'll keep that tab up to date with my current reading.  I'm still trucking away at Ivanhoe, and am really enjoying it so far!

Even more exciting, click over to Mrs. MidAtlantic Cooks!  That's right!  I finally added all my (typed) recipes for you to enjoy!  I'm still working on one little kink (you know, getting you to and from the recipes), but it's all published and ready for your dining pleasure!  Comments and suggestions welcomed!

Bon Appetit!

If you look just above this post, you will see a little bar with different pages.  Are you looking?  Great!  Some of these pages have been there for a while now and are nothing exciting.  Who I am, how to contact me, blah blah blah. 

But I have added some great stuff!  If you click over to Summer of Classics, you can follow along with my self-inflicted -imposed summer reading challenge.  I'll keep that tab up to date with my current reading.  I'm still trucking away at Ivanhoe, and am really enjoying it so far!

Even more exciting, click over to Mrs. MidAtlantic Cooks!  That's right!  I finally added all my (typed) recipes for you to enjoy!  I'm still working on one little kink (you know, getting you to and from the recipes), but it's all published and ready for your dining pleasure!  Comments and suggestions welcomed!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slow Down!

Dear Laura,
Please stop growing so fast.  You are starting to look - and act! - like a big girl.
Cheeeee!
Love, Mommy

Slow Down!

Dear Laura,
Please stop growing so fast.  You are starting to look - and act! - like a big girl.
Cheeeee!
Love, Mommy

Monday, June 27, 2011

Can We Choose?

If you have ever googled "trying to conceive," you have seen the bajillion article headings for "trying to conceive a boy" or "trying to conceive a girl."  You have seen the Chinese lunar calendars claiming to predict the sex of your baby with 99% accuracy.  You have heard about alkaline versus acidic environments for weeding out x- or y-chromosomes, depending on your preference.  And you know more than you want to know about old wive's myths and the Shettles Method on positions and timing.  But with all these ways of "choosing" the sex of our babies, are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

Growing up, I was the second child of four, second in line to my older brother.  I adored my brother.  I worshipped the very ground he walked on.  It's no surprise that I met my husband through my older brother and his network of friends.  So I always envisioned having a little boy first - an older brother to any siblings that may follow.  So I was a little stunned - and a bit disappointed - when we found out we were having a girl first.

Now that Nate and I are trying for a second child, I feel as though there is even more pressure to have a boy, giving us one of each.  And any children beyond that would be wonderful surprises, because it wouldn't matter!  We'd have at least one of each!  So that brings me to choosing the sex.

My "lunar calendar" doesn't predict any boys for me in the next six months.  My window to conceive, be pregnant, and take maternity leave does not allow me to wait to conceive based on the lunar calendar.  Which just seems insane to me anyway.  The Shettles Method would have me eating steak and bananas for the next few months.  I'm a cake and coffee girl myself, I don't see myself ensuring an alkaline environment.

And what if I do go out of my way through diet and timing to "ensure" a boy, only to find out at 20 weeks that it's a second girl?  A second little girl would be wonderful.  We have so much fun with Laura, and it would be so neat to have sisters so close in age.  The clothing and bathroom sharing might be a disaster, but their friendship could also be a beautiful thing.  I don't want to set myself up for disappointment over something I can't control.  It would not be fair to me or the baby.  A friend reminded me this weekend: We get what we get, and we don't get upset.  I have three weeks left on my pill packet.  When I go off, I'm going to just go with the flow.  I'm not going crazy with temping, weird positions, red meat, bananas or lunar charts.  I don't think I have it in me to care whether we get a boy or a girl - just as long as it's healthy!

Have any of you tried any of the "methods" for choosing one sex over the other?  What were your results? 

Can We Choose?

If you have ever googled "trying to conceive," you have seen the bajillion article headings for "trying to conceive a boy" or "trying to conceive a girl."  You have seen the Chinese lunar calendars claiming to predict the sex of your baby with 99% accuracy.  You have heard about alkaline versus acidic environments for weeding out x- or y-chromosomes, depending on your preference.  And you know more than you want to know about old wive's myths and the Shettles Method on positions and timing.  But with all these ways of "choosing" the sex of our babies, are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

Growing up, I was the second child of four, second in line to my older brother.  I adored my brother.  I worshipped the very ground he walked on.  It's no surprise that I met my husband through my older brother and his network of friends.  So I always envisioned having a little boy first - an older brother to any siblings that may follow.  So I was a little stunned - and a bit disappointed - when we found out we were having a girl first.

Now that Nate and I are trying for a second child, I feel as though there is even more pressure to have a boy, giving us one of each.  And any children beyond that would be wonderful surprises, because it wouldn't matter!  We'd have at least one of each!  So that brings me to choosing the sex.

My "lunar calendar" doesn't predict any boys for me in the next six months.  My window to conceive, be pregnant, and take maternity leave does not allow me to wait to conceive based on the lunar calendar.  Which just seems insane to me anyway.  The Shettles Method would have me eating steak and bananas for the next few months.  I'm a cake and coffee girl myself, I don't see myself ensuring an alkaline environment.

And what if I do go out of my way through diet and timing to "ensure" a boy, only to find out at 20 weeks that it's a second girl?  A second little girl would be wonderful.  We have so much fun with Laura, and it would be so neat to have sisters so close in age.  The clothing and bathroom sharing might be a disaster, but their friendship could also be a beautiful thing.  I don't want to set myself up for disappointment over something I can't control.  It would not be fair to me or the baby.  A friend reminded me this weekend: We get what we get, and we don't get upset.  I have three weeks left on my pill packet.  When I go off, I'm going to just go with the flow.  I'm not going crazy with temping, weird positions, red meat, bananas or lunar charts.  I don't think I have it in me to care whether we get a boy or a girl - just as long as it's healthy!

Have any of you tried any of the "methods" for choosing one sex over the other?  What were your results? 

Friday, June 24, 2011

I believe...

...In wearing sunglasses at night
...That toddlers have the best fashion sense

...And that toddlers have more fun

...In birthday cake for breakfast

...And lunch.  And dinner.  And dessert.

...That having a little girl nap on your chest, all sweaty and smelling of sunscreen and slides, is the best feeling in the world.

...That every woman deserves a weekend with the girls every now and then.  Even if she'll miss her little girl while she's away.

...That a good workout is worth the sore butt the next day.  Because then you can eat more birthday cake!

I'm linked up with Mrs. TrophyWife today!  What do you believe in?

I believe...

...In wearing sunglasses at night
...That toddlers have the best fashion sense

...And that toddlers have more fun

...In birthday cake for breakfast

...And lunch.  And dinner.  And dessert.

...That having a little girl nap on your chest, all sweaty and smelling of sunscreen and slides, is the best feeling in the world.

...That every woman deserves a weekend with the girls every now and then.  Even if she'll miss her little girl while she's away.

...That a good workout is worth the sore butt the next day.  Because then you can eat more birthday cake!

I'm linked up with Mrs. TrophyWife today!  What do you believe in?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bootcamp

I've been going to the gym fairly regularly for the last six months.  My workouts (treadmill for 30, stretching and abs for 15) are getting a little stale, but I've seen results so whatever.  Well, today I decided to try out the gym's "bootcamp" group exercise, since my workouts are getting a little stale and all.  I thought that after six months of fairly regular exercise, I was in pretty good shape.  I'm not.

But here I am, a bootcamp survivor.  I was not the slowest in the group.  I did not cheat anymore than anyone else in the group.  I was just as hot, sweaty and red in the face as everyone else.  I survived and you know what?  It wasn't not fun! 

When the trainer sitting at the desk asked me how the workout was, I legit smiled and said "Not bad!"  And when he asked if I'd do it again, I legit smiles and said "Probably!"  Am I going to join the group for tomorrow's bootcamp?  Not likely.  I'll hop on my treadmill and be happy for the a/c.  But next Thursday?  I think I'll try it again!  <--- I'm legit smiling right now!

Bootcamp

I've been going to the gym fairly regularly for the last six months.  My workouts (treadmill for 30, stretching and abs for 15) are getting a little stale, but I've seen results so whatever.  Well, today I decided to try out the gym's "bootcamp" group exercise, since my workouts are getting a little stale and all.  I thought that after six months of fairly regular exercise, I was in pretty good shape.  I'm not.

But here I am, a bootcamp survivor.  I was not the slowest in the group.  I did not cheat anymore than anyone else in the group.  I was just as hot, sweaty and red in the face as everyone else.  I survived and you know what?  It wasn't not fun! 

When the trainer sitting at the desk asked me how the workout was, I legit smiled and said "Not bad!"  And when he asked if I'd do it again, I legit smiles and said "Probably!"  Am I going to join the group for tomorrow's bootcamp?  Not likely.  I'll hop on my treadmill and be happy for the a/c.  But next Thursday?  I think I'll try it again!  <--- I'm legit smiling right now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Reading

Remember when you were a kid, and you set off from the last day of school with a summer reading list?  Pages and pages of wonderful books, asking to be read.  Library card in hand, you happily spend lazy summer afternoons with a book in one hand and an ice cream sandwich in the other.

Maybe that was just me.

So far, I have found that the worst part of being a working adult is summer.  What do you mean I don't get summer vacation?  What do you mean I have to spend the sunniest, laziest days sitting in a fluorescent chamber of boredom and deadlines?  What do you mean I don't get a summer reading list and hours of freedom to spend reading?

Well, this summer I have decided to make my own reading list - The Summer of Classics.  I'm making my own time to spend reading.  Instead of lazing on the couch watching mindless TV after work/dinner/housework, I'll be lazing on the couch reading one classic after another.  That's right, I'm focusing on the classics.  No fluffy novels about shopping or engagement rings for me!  Only the truly good stuff.  And I'm off to a great start.

Back in March (I know, not exactly summer, but bear with me), I read T. H. White's The Once and Future King.  This is a book that my father read aloud to us as children.  Except that the last time he read it aloud to me, I was three or four, and didn't really pay attention.  So I finally reread it, and am so glad I did.  I think, truly, that reading about King Arthur's humble beginnings back in March is what inspired my Summer of Classics.  You can read a little of what I thought about The Once and Future King here.  It's a fun read, and definitely a great read-aloud for elementary schoolers (well, at least the first book)!

So then in May I began my Summer of Classics in earnest.  I picked up a copy of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Christo.  I had read The Three Musketeers back in high school (summer reading list FTW!), loved the adventure, and wanted to read more of Dumas.  Monte Christo did not disappoint!  I was completely involved in the adventure, intrigue, treasure, plotting and revenge.  I couldn't put it down.  I loved it so much, I was sad to see it end.  So sad, I actually read the essay so neatly included at the front of the book.  Fabulous.

Next up, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Books.  Loved.  I can't wait to read these aloud to Laura - and sooner rather than later.  Each chapter is actually a stand alone story.  And while most of these stories follow our friend Mowgli, none are in chronological order.  These books could truly be read to a small child, as they are filled with beautiful descriptions of the jungles of India (and the Arctic. And the polar ice cap.) and have great morals as to survival, manners, not talking to strangers, etc.  I am left hoping to read more Kipling in the course of the Summer of Classics. 

This morning, I finished the fourth book on my list: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.  What a fun action adventure comedy of errors!  This was recommended by a coworker who promptly leant me her copy the next day.  She proclaimed it to be her second favorite book, and leant me along with it her first favorite, which I will be reading next.  Reading the description on the back cover, I was skeptical.  It looked somewhat overly dramatic, but I gave it a whirl.  And was totally surprised by the sheer comedy of it!  This was a fun, light-hearted read, and perfect for the Summer of Classics.  I'm four books in, and having a lot of fun.  My biggest challenge so far is actually getting my greedy paws on the books being recommended to me.  It might be time to hit up the local library. 

Do you have a favorite classic?  Tell me what it is and why you love it!

Summer Reading

Remember when you were a kid, and you set off from the last day of school with a summer reading list?  Pages and pages of wonderful books, asking to be read.  Library card in hand, you happily spend lazy summer afternoons with a book in one hand and an ice cream sandwich in the other.

Maybe that was just me.

So far, I have found that the worst part of being a working adult is summer.  What do you mean I don't get summer vacation?  What do you mean I have to spend the sunniest, laziest days sitting in a fluorescent chamber of boredom and deadlines?  What do you mean I don't get a summer reading list and hours of freedom to spend reading?

Well, this summer I have decided to make my own reading list - The Summer of Classics.  I'm making my own time to spend reading.  Instead of lazing on the couch watching mindless TV after work/dinner/housework, I'll be lazing on the couch reading one classic after another.  That's right, I'm focusing on the classics.  No fluffy novels about shopping or engagement rings for me!  Only the truly good stuff.  And I'm off to a great start.

Back in March (I know, not exactly summer, but bear with me), I read T. H. White's The Once and Future King.  This is a book that my father read aloud to us as children.  Except that the last time he read it aloud to me, I was three or four, and didn't really pay attention.  So I finally reread it, and am so glad I did.  I think, truly, that reading about King Arthur's humble beginnings back in March is what inspired my Summer of Classics.  You can read a little of what I thought about The Once and Future King here.  It's a fun read, and definitely a great read-aloud for elementary schoolers (well, at least the first book)!

So then in May I began my Summer of Classics in earnest.  I picked up a copy of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Christo.  I had read The Three Musketeers back in high school (summer reading list FTW!), loved the adventure, and wanted to read more of Dumas.  Monte Christo did not disappoint!  I was completely involved in the adventure, intrigue, treasure, plotting and revenge.  I couldn't put it down.  I loved it so much, I was sad to see it end.  So sad, I actually read the essay so neatly included at the front of the book.  Fabulous.

Next up, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Books.  Loved.  I can't wait to read these aloud to Laura - and sooner rather than later.  Each chapter is actually a stand alone story.  And while most of these stories follow our friend Mowgli, none are in chronological order.  These books could truly be read to a small child, as they are filled with beautiful descriptions of the jungles of India (and the Arctic. And the polar ice cap.) and have great morals as to survival, manners, not talking to strangers, etc.  I am left hoping to read more Kipling in the course of the Summer of Classics. 

This morning, I finished the fourth book on my list: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.  What a fun action adventure comedy of errors!  This was recommended by a coworker who promptly leant me her copy the next day.  She proclaimed it to be her second favorite book, and leant me along with it her first favorite, which I will be reading next.  Reading the description on the back cover, I was skeptical.  It looked somewhat overly dramatic, but I gave it a whirl.  And was totally surprised by the sheer comedy of it!  This was a fun, light-hearted read, and perfect for the Summer of Classics.  I'm four books in, and having a lot of fun.  My biggest challenge so far is actually getting my greedy paws on the books being recommended to me.  It might be time to hit up the local library. 

Do you have a favorite classic?  Tell me what it is and why you love it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When Cows Attack

Yesterday, I told you a little story of how I let Laura get knocked over by Norman the Calf.  And then a few minutes later, a friend forwarded me this Story:
Woman Dead After Cow Attack
And suddenly, I am looking like the worst mom on the planet for (a) placing my daughter that close to a cow's hooves and (b) opting to snap a picture rather than scoop her up.

But just look at this face!  Look at those big, sad, brown eyes!  How could anyone suspect Norman of attempted infanticide?  He's just looks too sweet to hurt a fly!

It's always the quiet ones

Amazing, the timeliness of that Huffington Post article! 

When Cows Attack

Yesterday, I told you a little story of how I let Laura get knocked over by Norman the Calf.  And then a few minutes later, a friend forwarded me this Story:
Woman Dead After Cow Attack
And suddenly, I am looking like the worst mom on the planet for (a) placing my daughter that close to a cow's hooves and (b) opting to snap a picture rather than scoop her up.

But just look at this face!  Look at those big, sad, brown eyes!  How could anyone suspect Norman of attempted infanticide?  He's just looks too sweet to hurt a fly!

It's always the quiet ones

Amazing, the timeliness of that Huffington Post article! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

I let my daughter get hip-checked by a cow

We had a fabulous weekend, leaving the sizzling MidAtlantic region in favor of our roots: New England.  Most of my family has remained true to the England of New, living in Massachusetts and Maine.  Only my younger brother and myself decided to brave the more southernly regions of New Jersey and Maryland.  We planned a trip to Maine a few months ago, and then watched in horror as the weather forecast for our weekend described rain, rain and more rain.  So we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy two and a half days of sunshine!

We made much use of the beautiful weather by mostly sitting by my older brother's pool.  Yeah, I wondered why anyone in Maine would have a pool... till I had a chance to sit by it.  Heaven!  But we did leave the pool for a few excursions.  We took Laura to a nearby petting farm, where we got to see a brand new, eight-week-old baby calf.  So cute!  He looks just like Norman in "City Slickers," so obviously I loved him.  Just as I was posing Laura for an adorable photo shoot, Norman decided he was done with us: he hip-checked Laura out of the way.  And even as I saw this about to happen, I readied the camera for a shot of the carnage, rather than swooping in to save my daughter from hooves.  Don't worry: I got the photo and Laura was not trampled.

No babies were harmed in the taking of this photo.
 My wonderful sister-in-law baked a delicious cake (yellow with chocolate!) in honor of my birthday.  Happy birthday to meeeee!  Which of course warrants a carving knife and crazy eyes.
Step back! I have a knife!
We also got to test drive the most awesomest stroller on the planet, The Bob.  My brother and SIL are expecting a happy bundle at the end of summer.  They recently received their coveted Bob, and were eager to take it for a spin.  Laura, lover of all things stroller, was happy to oblige.  Judging by the three-mile nap she took, I think she approved of Bob.
Bob is good to baby.
So the moral of this story is: I want a pool, a calf named Norman, and a Bob.  And I crazy-eye love cake.

I let my daughter get hip-checked by a cow

We had a fabulous weekend, leaving the sizzling MidAtlantic region in favor of our roots: New England.  Most of my family has remained true to the England of New, living in Massachusetts and Maine.  Only my younger brother and myself decided to brave the more southernly regions of New Jersey and Maryland.  We planned a trip to Maine a few months ago, and then watched in horror as the weather forecast for our weekend described rain, rain and more rain.  So we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy two and a half days of sunshine!

We made much use of the beautiful weather by mostly sitting by my older brother's pool.  Yeah, I wondered why anyone in Maine would have a pool... till I had a chance to sit by it.  Heaven!  But we did leave the pool for a few excursions.  We took Laura to a nearby petting farm, where we got to see a brand new, eight-week-old baby calf.  So cute!  He looks just like Norman in "City Slickers," so obviously I loved him.  Just as I was posing Laura for an adorable photo shoot, Norman decided he was done with us: he hip-checked Laura out of the way.  And even as I saw this about to happen, I readied the camera for a shot of the carnage, rather than swooping in to save my daughter from hooves.  Don't worry: I got the photo and Laura was not trampled.

No babies were harmed in the taking of this photo.
 My wonderful sister-in-law baked a delicious cake (yellow with chocolate!) in honor of my birthday.  Happy birthday to meeeee!  Which of course warrants a carving knife and crazy eyes.
Step back! I have a knife!
We also got to test drive the most awesomest stroller on the planet, The Bob.  My brother and SIL are expecting a happy bundle at the end of summer.  They recently received their coveted Bob, and were eager to take it for a spin.  Laura, lover of all things stroller, was happy to oblige.  Judging by the three-mile nap she took, I think she approved of Bob.
Bob is good to baby.
So the moral of this story is: I want a pool, a calf named Norman, and a Bob.  And I crazy-eye love cake.

Friday, June 17, 2011

There is no charge for awesomeness

Well, no charge except for the $13.25 admission to see said awesomeness on the big screen.  Remember when Kung Fu Panda came out and it was awesome and our favoritest movie?  And then remember when Kung Fu Panda 2 came out and it was just as awesome??
Nate and I went on a date last night to celebrate my 29th birthday.  He asked what I wanted to do, and I said "something awesome," which translated to going to the movies for the first time in TWO years, which meant a small (but worthy) charge for awesomeness. 

Kung Fu Panda 2 did not disappoint.  In any way.

While not quite as quotable as the first KFP movie, KFP2 kept us entertained and laughing through the entire 91 minutes.  You hear that?  Ninety-one awesome minutes - not a minute too long or too short.  You hear that, Hollywood?!  Ninety-one minutes of awesomeness! 

KFP2 had a lovely story with a beautiful moral and ending.  And even more beautiful than the story was the animation.  Wow.  The sweeping landscapes pictured in the movie made me want to go to China, they were that gorgeous.  The 3D animation has come a long way too.  Nate and I were highly impressed by the realistic animation that came out of the screen towards us.  The bad guy was one of the creepiest (and peacockiest) I have ever seen - well done.  And the heroes were even more heroic than ever.  And the comedy?  Hilarious.  I particularly enjoyed the Chinese dragon that "ate" and then "pooped" the bad guys.  Who were hilariously evil!

Nate and I decided over a beer after the movie that instead of replacing our missing copy of KFP right away, we will wait for the KFP/KFP2 two-pack that is sure to be released in a few months.  This is definitely a movie that we will be happy to watch over and over (and over) again with Laura.  If you are looking for a way to celebrate the dads in your life this weekend, take them to KFP2.  I'm not gonna tell you the ending, but it will have dads feeling mushy and loved all over.

There is no charge for awesomeness

Well, no charge except for the $13.25 admission to see said awesomeness on the big screen.  Remember when Kung Fu Panda came out and it was awesome and our favoritest movie?  And then remember when Kung Fu Panda 2 came out and it was just as awesome??
Nate and I went on a date last night to celebrate my 29th birthday.  He asked what I wanted to do, and I said "something awesome," which translated to going to the movies for the first time in TWO years, which meant a small (but worthy) charge for awesomeness. 

Kung Fu Panda 2 did not disappoint.  In any way.

While not quite as quotable as the first KFP movie, KFP2 kept us entertained and laughing through the entire 91 minutes.  You hear that?  Ninety-one awesome minutes - not a minute too long or too short.  You hear that, Hollywood?!  Ninety-one minutes of awesomeness! 

KFP2 had a lovely story with a beautiful moral and ending.  And even more beautiful than the story was the animation.  Wow.  The sweeping landscapes pictured in the movie made me want to go to China, they were that gorgeous.  The 3D animation has come a long way too.  Nate and I were highly impressed by the realistic animation that came out of the screen towards us.  The bad guy was one of the creepiest (and peacockiest) I have ever seen - well done.  And the heroes were even more heroic than ever.  And the comedy?  Hilarious.  I particularly enjoyed the Chinese dragon that "ate" and then "pooped" the bad guys.  Who were hilariously evil!

Nate and I decided over a beer after the movie that instead of replacing our missing copy of KFP right away, we will wait for the KFP/KFP2 two-pack that is sure to be released in a few months.  This is definitely a movie that we will be happy to watch over and over (and over) again with Laura.  If you are looking for a way to celebrate the dads in your life this weekend, take them to KFP2.  I'm not gonna tell you the ending, but it will have dads feeling mushy and loved all over.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Difference

Just out of curiousity, I peeked back through the archives to see what I was writing about a year ago.  I was in a very different place a year ago, struggling to bond with my daughter.  I don't believe in coincidences, because they are usually far too poignant to just be happy accidents.  I peeked back through the archives and read the post I wrote on June 14, 2010, Faking It.  In it, I wrote:

I hate lying through my teeth to every person I meet. I would love for once to just say, "You know what, I am having a hard time feeling any attachment to my baby. Please stop gushing over how easy it must be to love her."

What a difference a year makes.  I stand here today, June 14, 2011, a far happier person.  I love my family.  I ache to get home at night.  I look forward to playing with Laura until bedtime.  I often push bedtime back as late as possible, since we are having so much fun.  This year when people ask me about motherhood, I tell them with complete honesty that I love being a mother, and that I can't imagine my life without Laura. 

A year ago, if someone had asked me about a plan for a second child, I would have felt a tightening in my chest, as the mere thought of another baby and more responsibility would send me into spasms of hatred, nausea and fear.  This year, I am excitedly counting down the days till I hit the last pill in the packet.  In twenty-eight days, Nate and I will start to try for another baby.  In twenty-eight days, we will hope the stars align so we can make a baby brother or sister for Laura. 

Today, June 14, 2011, I look at my family and see a wonderful haven of love and honesty.  But I also see a vacancy, a position to be filled.  We are meant to add a fourth member to our family.  We are happy now, but we are not complete.  Last year, I was a shell of a person, desperately searching for my most basic self.  This year, I know who I am, and am searching to add more.  What a difference a year makes.

The Difference

Just out of curiousity, I peeked back through the archives to see what I was writing about a year ago.  I was in a very different place a year ago, struggling to bond with my daughter.  I don't believe in coincidences, because they are usually far too poignant to just be happy accidents.  I peeked back through the archives and read the post I wrote on June 14, 2010, Faking It.  In it, I wrote:

I hate lying through my teeth to every person I meet. I would love for once to just say, "You know what, I am having a hard time feeling any attachment to my baby. Please stop gushing over how easy it must be to love her."

What a difference a year makes.  I stand here today, June 14, 2011, a far happier person.  I love my family.  I ache to get home at night.  I look forward to playing with Laura until bedtime.  I often push bedtime back as late as possible, since we are having so much fun.  This year when people ask me about motherhood, I tell them with complete honesty that I love being a mother, and that I can't imagine my life without Laura. 

A year ago, if someone had asked me about a plan for a second child, I would have felt a tightening in my chest, as the mere thought of another baby and more responsibility would send me into spasms of hatred, nausea and fear.  This year, I am excitedly counting down the days till I hit the last pill in the packet.  In twenty-eight days, Nate and I will start to try for another baby.  In twenty-eight days, we will hope the stars align so we can make a baby brother or sister for Laura. 

Today, June 14, 2011, I look at my family and see a wonderful haven of love and honesty.  But I also see a vacancy, a position to be filled.  We are meant to add a fourth member to our family.  We are happy now, but we are not complete.  Last year, I was a shell of a person, desperately searching for my most basic self.  This year, I know who I am, and am searching to add more.  What a difference a year makes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Good Mom Day

I was in a great mood all day, because I received a FedEx delivery notification much earlier than expected: Laura's slide had been delivered.  Laura's slide was at our home, needing only to be put together in speedy fashion.  At our home, almost ready for play. 

Before we could rush home to build and play with the slide, Laura and I had to stop at the grocery store.  We were out of milk - not something Laura could go without.  I don't usually enjoy grocery shopping with a toddler, since she gets a bit fussy sitting in the cart for as long as it takes for me to gather everything we need.  But today, Laura was an absolute dream.  She smiled and waved to everyone.  She told me grandiose stories of her day (I would love to know what she was actually saying).  She was delightful!

As soon as we got home, I pushed, shoved and slid the enormous box into the yard, pulled off the tape, and dumped out the colorful contents.  Laura saw the slide, and came running!

She sat on the little slide - the last piece to assemble - for several minutes.  Just sitting there, beaming at me.  Even in multiple pieces, Laura knew the awesomeness that was being built in her honor.
 She checked out the box, just to make sure I didn't forget any pieces.

 She moved back to the slide and read the directions to me.  In Spanish!  She's very talented.
 Then she helped me with the lone screw.
And then?  It was time to slide. 

Today was a good mom day.

A Good Mom Day

I was in a great mood all day, because I received a FedEx delivery notification much earlier than expected: Laura's slide had been delivered.  Laura's slide was at our home, needing only to be put together in speedy fashion.  At our home, almost ready for play. 

Before we could rush home to build and play with the slide, Laura and I had to stop at the grocery store.  We were out of milk - not something Laura could go without.  I don't usually enjoy grocery shopping with a toddler, since she gets a bit fussy sitting in the cart for as long as it takes for me to gather everything we need.  But today, Laura was an absolute dream.  She smiled and waved to everyone.  She told me grandiose stories of her day (I would love to know what she was actually saying).  She was delightful!

As soon as we got home, I pushed, shoved and slid the enormous box into the yard, pulled off the tape, and dumped out the colorful contents.  Laura saw the slide, and came running!

She sat on the little slide - the last piece to assemble - for several minutes.  Just sitting there, beaming at me.  Even in multiple pieces, Laura knew the awesomeness that was being built in her honor.
 She checked out the box, just to make sure I didn't forget any pieces.

 She moved back to the slide and read the directions to me.  In Spanish!  She's very talented.
 Then she helped me with the lone screw.
And then?  It was time to slide. 

Today was a good mom day.

Hindsight

I was going to write a post this morning about a scary experience I had yesterday.  As I typed up my story, I noticed that Nate and I both sounded like Class A morons.  Seriously, what were we thinking?!  It's a wonder I didn't drown.  And also?  I'd like my husband to jump in after me a little sooner next time make sure we don't do something so stupid ever again.

So instead, this post is dedicated to hindsight and the stupid shit we do.  It sounds like a really good idea at the time, right?  Then the idea goes awry.  And then you blog about it and realize prior to hitting "publish" that your actions would surely have followers out there reading in horror.  In hindsight, Nate and I had a very, very, very bad idea that should never have been enacted.  I'm sure we're not alone in doing stupid shit.  I'm sure of it!  But I'd also like to avoid a similar situation in the future. 

Here I am today, sitting at my desk, very aware of my own mortality.  I didn't lose consciousness, or need medical attention (except maybe for a brain scan for stupidity), but I was aware for a few brief moments as I floated downwards through the water that I couldn't reach the air that my lungs desperately needed.

Is it weird that the sensation was rather serene?  Hopefully the next time I think of some fabulously stupid stunt, I'll think about the potential consequences first.

Hindsight

I was going to write a post this morning about a scary experience I had yesterday.  As I typed up my story, I noticed that Nate and I both sounded like Class A morons.  Seriously, what were we thinking?!  It's a wonder I didn't drown.  And also?  I'd like my husband to jump in after me a little sooner next time make sure we don't do something so stupid ever again.

So instead, this post is dedicated to hindsight and the stupid shit we do.  It sounds like a really good idea at the time, right?  Then the idea goes awry.  And then you blog about it and realize prior to hitting "publish" that your actions would surely have followers out there reading in horror.  In hindsight, Nate and I had a very, very, very bad idea that should never have been enacted.  I'm sure we're not alone in doing stupid shit.  I'm sure of it!  But I'd also like to avoid a similar situation in the future. 

Here I am today, sitting at my desk, very aware of my own mortality.  I didn't lose consciousness, or need medical attention (except maybe for a brain scan for stupidity), but I was aware for a few brief moments as I floated downwards through the water that I couldn't reach the air that my lungs desperately needed.

Is it weird that the sensation was rather serene?  Hopefully the next time I think of some fabulously stupid stunt, I'll think about the potential consequences first.

Friday, June 10, 2011

At least... three times bigger than this!

We are big fans of Zoolander here at Chez MidAtlantic.  So we immediately thought of Derek Zoolander's Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.  Remember when he saw the initial mock-up for the center?

Derek:  What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read, if they can't even fit inside the building?
Mugatu:  Derek, this is just a small...
Derek:  I don't want to hear you exccuses!  The building has to be at least... three times bigger than this!

Well, Nate and I fondly remembered that exchange this evening when Laura found this toy and tried to slide down it:

This thing is tiny!
Laura, sweetheart, you are a little too big for that slide!  That slide needs to be at least... three times bigger than this to fit your bottom!  It's a really good thing I purchased this slide just yesterday:
Source
The Little Tikes Hide & Slide Climber will be delivered on Monday.  Not a moment too soon.  And at least now I can be sure that Laura will LOVE IT!

At least... three times bigger than this!

We are big fans of Zoolander here at Chez MidAtlantic.  So we immediately thought of Derek Zoolander's Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.  Remember when he saw the initial mock-up for the center?

Derek:  What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read, if they can't even fit inside the building?
Mugatu:  Derek, this is just a small...
Derek:  I don't want to hear you exccuses!  The building has to be at least... three times bigger than this!

Well, Nate and I fondly remembered that exchange this evening when Laura found this toy and tried to slide down it:

This thing is tiny!
Laura, sweetheart, you are a little too big for that slide!  That slide needs to be at least... three times bigger than this to fit your bottom!  It's a really good thing I purchased this slide just yesterday:
Source
The Little Tikes Hide & Slide Climber will be delivered on Monday.  Not a moment too soon.  And at least now I can be sure that Laura will LOVE IT!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Motive

"C'mon Laura!  Let's take Riesling for a walk!"
Um, ok.  Nate just took Laura and Ries for a walk, and didn't even invite me.  What gives?  What if I wanted to take a walk too?  Well, fine.  If they're going to take a walk, I'm going to sit on the porch and read!  So there!  I can have fun too!

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Hmm, maybe Nate just wanted some father-daughter time.  It is pretty nice out.  But I still don't get why he didn't even ask if I might be interested.

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Aw, I bet Nate is so sweet, he just wanted to give me some quiet time to myself!  That's so thoughtful of him!  Wait, he's not often thoughtful like that.  Weird.  But I am loving this reading time on the porch!

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Oh, look!  I see Laura walking back towards the house!  What is that in her hand?  Why is it orange?  Why does she keep putting that orange thing in her mouth?
Yup. Flintstones Push-Pop.
And all of a sudden, Nate's motive for a walk (without Mommy) became perfectly clear: ice cream.  Oh crap, I need to start soaking that white dress in hopes of getting the orange sherbet out!

Motive

"C'mon Laura!  Let's take Riesling for a walk!"
Um, ok.  Nate just took Laura and Ries for a walk, and didn't even invite me.  What gives?  What if I wanted to take a walk too?  Well, fine.  If they're going to take a walk, I'm going to sit on the porch and read!  So there!  I can have fun too!

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Hmm, maybe Nate just wanted some father-daughter time.  It is pretty nice out.  But I still don't get why he didn't even ask if I might be interested.

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Aw, I bet Nate is so sweet, he just wanted to give me some quiet time to myself!  That's so thoughtful of him!  Wait, he's not often thoughtful like that.  Weird.  But I am loving this reading time on the porch!

Read, read-ily, read-y, read.

Oh, look!  I see Laura walking back towards the house!  What is that in her hand?  Why is it orange?  Why does she keep putting that orange thing in her mouth?
Yup. Flintstones Push-Pop.
And all of a sudden, Nate's motive for a walk (without Mommy) became perfectly clear: ice cream.  Oh crap, I need to start soaking that white dress in hopes of getting the orange sherbet out!

The Flower Girl

September 1987

May 2011

The Flower Girl

September 1987

May 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I have crazy eyes

Nate and I attended the love-filled wedding of two good friends yesterday.  The weather held during the lovely ceremony, and the dancing at the reception was fantastic.  But in the pictures, I noticed something unfortunate: I have crazy eyes. 
They start off normal enough, with just a hint of crazy.

A little crazier.

And now I look completely possessed.
Thank goodness Nate thinks my crazy is cute.  Can you imagine how crazy my eyes would be without him?
A little less crazy, because we are so super cute.

I have crazy eyes

Nate and I attended the love-filled wedding of two good friends yesterday.  The weather held during the lovely ceremony, and the dancing at the reception was fantastic.  But in the pictures, I noticed something unfortunate: I have crazy eyes. 
They start off normal enough, with just a hint of crazy.

A little crazier.

And now I look completely possessed.
Thank goodness Nate thinks my crazy is cute.  Can you imagine how crazy my eyes would be without him?
A little less crazy, because we are so super cute.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Best. Dog. EVER.

Seriously, I have the best dog in the universe. My dog is better than your dog. I'm not lying. This video is proof:
video
I bet your dog doesn't play Ring Around the Rosie!

Best. Dog. EVER.

Seriously, I have the best dog in the universe. My dog is better than your dog. I'm not lying. This video is proof:
I bet your dog doesn't play Ring Around the Rosie!

Best. Dog. EVER.

Seriously, I have the best dog in the universe. My dog is better than your dog. I'm not lying. This video is proof:
I bet your dog doesn't play Ring Around the Rosie!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Flower Girl

The wedding was beautiful.  Laura was beautiful.  The weather was (a bit hot) beautiful. 
Even my cornflower blue bridesmaid dress was beautiful in line with the other nine bridesmaids.
The reception site could not have been lovlier.  The food was delicious.  The photographer was wonderful to work with (and I can't wait to see her photos)!  We all had a wonderful time.  I think Laura may have had more fun than anyone else.  There was lots of playtime, flower picking, and ring around the rosie. 
And I absolultely LOVED how my hair turned out.  I bought that feather thing in Paris seven years ago.  I found it on Thursday while I was desperately searching for the camera charger, and threw it in "just in case."  So glad I did!

My Flower Girl

The wedding was beautiful.  Laura was beautiful.  The weather was (a bit hot) beautiful. 
Even my cornflower blue bridesmaid dress was beautiful in line with the other nine bridesmaids.
The reception site could not have been lovlier.  The food was delicious.  The photographer was wonderful to work with (and I can't wait to see her photos)!  We all had a wonderful time.  I think Laura may have had more fun than anyone else.  There was lots of playtime, flower picking, and ring around the rosie. 
And I absolultely LOVED how my hair turned out.  I bought that feather thing in Paris seven years ago.  I found it on Thursday while I was desperately searching for the camera charger, and threw it in "just in case."  So glad I did!