Girls Weekend on the Horizon

Ahh, with one vacation springing up unexpectedly, it’s been nice to have been looking forward to getting away with my bestie Andrea.

I had purchased at an incredible price a two night stay at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa through a silent auction for an organization I work with – and for Christmas Andrea and I decided we’d plan a girls trip. We’ve both sort of struggled with whether it should be just us or we invite other people, but in the end we opted that just the two of us head to Traverse City. Having just had to go there for work, I scoped it out and am looking forward to the boutique browsing/shopping, meals out at some great places, maybe a pedicure or massage, maybe heading to the wineries (she’ll be able to imbibe while I’ll drive…but I like the shopping and I can always handle re-stocking the wine shelf!).

Anyway, even if all we do is linger over meals longer than normal, walk slowly and only worry about ourselves for a two night stay, I’m ok with it. The entire point is to get away without our kids.

We both love our kiddos immensely…but I’m very much looking forward, after this long winter, to just relaxing and seeing what happens. We’ll probably hit up the casino (I mean, why not?!) and do whatever tickles our fancy. Perhaps we’ll take our time getting to the resort and stop along the way, or just hop in the car and see where we go on Saturday for the day, or maybe take our time getting home. Who knows. Whatever we want to do, that’s what we’ll do. We won’t be changing diapers or worrying about all the ways we’re trying to wrangle our kids…we’ll just be us for a few hours of the day.

What a fan-freaking-tastic proposition!!!

Week 20, Day 4

Due Date: June 22, 2014

Baby Developments: Baby’s digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, speaking of the diaper situation… baby’s genitals are now fully formed!. (From thebump)

This week baby is the size of a banana!

Weight Gain: I’m no longer talking about it. I’m not. It’s not good. To the point I’m looking into the ludicrousness of hiring a trainer NOW to get me into a shape.

Cravings: None.

Symptoms: Not many to write home about. Movement of the baby more and more.

I am loving: Knowing what ‘kind’ of baby it will be — healthy. I also know its gender. Oh, did you want to know?

Sleep: Not nearly so tired but I have to take the energy bursts where I can get them. Like tonight I made a mental deal with myself that I needed to get the kitchen cleaned up, the bathroom once-overed and the clothes off my bedroom floor. Last night, not so swell as Elle ended up at the doctor first thing this morning for a rosefin shot to rid us of the dreaded ear infection.

I miss: Cocktails. I know. Pathetic. I’ve taken to drinking sparkling grape juice in a wine glass to help make me feel like a grown up.

I am looking forward to: Picking out the fabrics for baby’s quilt soon. And getting the room started, finished, etc. and settling on a name that Jon and I like.

I am spazzing about: My level (or relative lack thereof) of fitness.

Best moment of the week: Getting fun news from some relatives. Not my news to share yet, but it definitely has made the week!

Milestones: Closer to meeting this baby than we are to having made it. Yup, beyond the halfway point now by four days.

Movement: Lots. I did finally say to Jon ‘you could probably feel the baby move’ and he looked like he’d been hit by a truck. “Already?” he says. I mentioned that we’re beyond halfway and I think I saw beads of sweat pop out of his forehead. Shit’s getting real.

It’s a….: healthy baby BOY!

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: I keep eating a TON. Not of awful stuff, but lots of it.

Goals for the upcoming week: Get out of the damn house. This weather and the massive amounts of snow have really cramped our lives. Ready for a break in the weather snowing on every freaking weekend.

Week 15, Day 2

Due Date: June 22, 2014

Baby Developments:
 The average fetus at week 15 weighs 2.5 ounces and measures 4 inches — and his proportions are becoming even more normal, since his legs now outmeasure his arms.

Baby’s making lots of progress: His joints and limbs can all move now, and he might even be hiccuping in there. (From thebump)


Weight Gain: Ugh. Not pretty. Holiday eating has the scale my enemy. And I have been absolutely NOT active in ages. So, weight gain…+10 total for 15 weeks. Not. Good. 

Cravings: None.

Symptoms: Tiredness. That’s really about it. 

I am loving: Finally being able to feel a distinct difference in the ‘bump’ that is starting to become more and more obvious. I’m looking forward to feeling those first legitimate movements. I would have sworn I felt flutters in week 13. And maybe a few here and there when I’m laying in bed at night, but typically I fall asleep fast and I don’t pay that much attention. So, I’m looking forward to that. 

Sleep: Lots, still. 

I miss: I missed partying it up with the family the other night at our house for Christmas celebration. We always have a great time partying together. But, my Aunt Jenny brought AWESOME drinks to make ‘virgin’ for me and I LOVED not being hungover the next day. I was so productive, I got all of our Christmas put away!!! 

I am looking forward to: Next doctor’s appointment on New Year’s Eve day; getting back to a normal schedule; getting our house re-arranged so that we can start getting really ready for another human to live at our house 🙂 

I am spazzing about: Getting everything ORGANIZED. Looking for apps or systems that will help me feel more in control of things. Not so much schedules, but the daily in’s and out’s of running a home when both parents work full-time. Would like to get some habits made now so it’s not ALL new when the new baby comes. 

Best moment of the week: So, so many with Christmas time here. Elle was a ton of fun and such a good girl throughout. She wasn’t whiny or clingy most of the time and she was just fun to be around. She wasn’t consumed by the presents (which she received TONS of, by the way) and she was just fun to share the time with. And, I like the distinct difference in my body of being pregnant – makes me feel more confident. 

Milestones: Not sure we’ve hit any. Only 25 weeks to go. Seems like not that much really. 

Movement: See above. I swear I felt some but probably was just gas. But – I’m still thinking I COULD and DO feel some small things here and there. On the whole, none to report though. 

It’s a….: healthy baby with a heartbeat!

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: Terrible throughout the holidays. 

Goals for the upcoming week: Get all Christmas GIFTS sorted and make a plan for what furniture is going to go where. It will likely need to get moved this coming weekend since Jon will have 3 days off in a row and that’s likely not going to happen again anytime soon. 

Let Me Not Forget

Elle is nearly two years old. Tonight, while putting her to bed, I wanted to be sure to not forget these things…

– The way her arms and hands grab mine and wrap them around her tightly while trying to fall asleep.

– That she calls me “Mumma”

– How she loves to play the harmonica.

– Her love for hide and seek.

– How she is into pushing people – physically and emotionally – at this point in her life. We are working on eliminating the physical pushing.

– How funny she can be.

– The way her little-girl voice sounds in my ear.

– How she says ‘quiet’ as ‘ki-it’ with her little finger up to her lips, shushing.

– The way she pushes her hair from her eyes with her entire palm.

– How she is the ultimate, epic daddy’s girl.

– The way she dances to shows on her iPad – from Sid the Science Kid to Doc McStuffins and Sophia The First, she loves (err, is addicted to) them all.

– The way her short little strides sound running and hiding in the games she plays.

– How she doesn’t ever stop talking much.

Anyway, just  a few things I don’t want to forget.

Man I love this girlie of ours!

Boo Boo

It happened.

A moment I’d been dreading and did not know I’d been dreading.

I think I must have secretly felt it coming.

The other morning, as Elle was sitting in the bathroom with me while I got ready for work, she pointed to the remnants of the hemangioma on her forehead and said ‘boo boo’ and ‘ouch’.

Which was cute and funny, in her little girl voice.

But it hurt me.

And I said ‘Nope – that’s not a boo boo. That’s just the way you were born. You’ve had that forever.’

She did it again a few days later.

I did not like it.

It was as though she’d seen herself through a different lens. And it hurt a little bit.

I KNOW how piddly this is in the grand scheme of things. But, I didn’t like how it made me feel, that she was contemplating her reflection in the mirror and found something to be out of place.

I knew it was coming.

So, now it’s come.

Ah, parenting a toddler…

Life Lately

As always, in my head I am writing a lot.

However, very few of the blog posts written in my mind make it to the screen. But, I have a hot second this evening, so I’m indulging and finally accomplishing a brain dump of life lately.

– Elle is AWESOME. She’s really a cool girl. Loves swimming and the water and has no fear in the lake or the pool. It’s scary, but it makes my heart a little lighter that I have a child who loves the water like I always did.

– Hosted a shower for my almost-sister-in-law yesterday at our house. It required a lot of work to get ready and a lot of work to get it cleaned up, but I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. I did learn one thing about myself when planning parties: if I don’t have a timing list for day-of activities, I can kiss being prepared on time goodbye. I had a day-to-day timing list to get everything done for the shower leading INTO the day, but I didn’t do one for THE DAY which made it hard to delegate tasks, because everything was just IN MY HEAD. So, lesson learned. Good lesson to learn, without crummy repurcussions.

– Jon and I went away to Boyne Mountain for a wedding last weekend and it was pretty much what we needed in our lives. It was good to be away from Elle for two sleeps in a row, to enjoy one another as grown ups without having to be active parents. It was all in all a really good time and it allowed Jon and I to have conversation – about little and big things – and it meant a lot to me. I’m looking forward to when it happens again, and I’m bound and determined not to let it take so long for the two of us to spend time just us – or child-less for a night. It really was lovely.

– I started WeightWatchers. To date, I’ve officially lost 9 pounds with a weigh-in day coming on Tuesday. With the amount of drinking I did this week/end for the shower, I’m certain I won’t have made a ton of progress, but I’m AWARE of what I’m putting into my body at the very least. Stay tuned for progress updates.

– Work is going well, but it definitely feels like in the last 4-6 weeks it picked up steam and we’re entering our busy season (which we are). August 6 I will have been at this job for one full year — I still remain amazed how fortunate I am for this job that I so enjoy just minutes from home. It’s a highlight for me.

– Elle and I have been going to Music for Munchkins the last few weeks. It’s about a 30 minute drive from our house, but it’s a 45 minute class with other kids her age and it’s something that she and I do together. I really like that. I like meeting other parents in this type of setting and feeling like we’re all doing the best we can, as our kids have meltdowns independent of and simultaneously. It’s good bonding for parents of toddlers, I think.

– A few weeks ago, I got pooped on my a bird as I stood outside my office at work. This morning, I went to drive down to Jon’s parents (he and Elle were down there) and rolled the windows down a bit. I heard a loud bird-squak and thought ‘man, that’s a close bird’. I wondered if it was stuck on the roof or something. Another loud squak and I think ‘man, this bird is FOLLOWING me’ and thought it was unusual. Only as I pulled in their driveway did I finally convince myself it was IN my car. And, Jon’s Dad investigated — and there it was, somehow in the back of my car   – I think it probably got in there while I was unloading from the back yesterday morning. It had been stuck in there for 24 hours on a pretty hot day. So yes, it turns out that this week will be a wonderful week for my car to get detailed — the bird poop is disgusting. I tried to clean it up as best I could, but it just grosses me out.

– Jon’s parents helped me get ready for the party on Thursday (I took the day off work) and I have to say that I just really love my backyard now that it’s all back on track. They really did help get a lot of stuff set up and cleaned up and it just made a huge difference. It’s a complete bitch to try to keep up with weeding, but with Karen’s help we got it all done. My arms finally got super sore yesterday. A good workout, a good time and a super productive day.

– My Mom is awesome. She was at the shower yesterday for Jen, but she cleaned everything up as the party went on downstairs. It was so nice this morning to not have to start the cleaning process, instead just continue the little bits that were leftover.

– I have our downstairs sort of put back together after the party. A good thing.

– Elle and I spent the 4th of July at Clear Lake. I loved it. I need to spend more of my time there. It’s where I find the most peace in my heart and my soul. I know that sounds corny/cheesy, but I don’t know how else to explain it. I love the home that Jon and Elle are making and I love various places on earth, but none so well as Clear Lake. And I have nearly always felt that way. It’s only now, in the last 12 months or so, that it’s easier to be there without my grandparents. I did not say easy. Just easier. But it’s still the one place where I feel the most me. Weird, right? But true.

– My old roommate and friend, Kristy, and her boyfriend Andy are renting the house next to ours. Which is great because now we have fun neighbors on both sides. After watching my parents and their crap-tastic neighbor situation, I really, really value having good neighbors.

Anyway, just a few thoughts before a new week begins. I’ll try to write more. Promise.

Dear Elle: You’re 18 Months Old!

Dear Elle,

You are a year and a half old.

Is that not the craziest thing?

I find myself absolutely cherishing the moments rocking you to sleep. There have been a few nights where I just love the weight of your chest against mine, your head under my chin. You still fit. And I just love the way it feels being your Mom in moments like those.

You love outside.

You talk.

A lot.

A lot.

And it’s so stinking cute.

You get PISSED OFF about things and I just don’t like that very much. Like today, you wanted to play in the bathroom and I said no and closed the door, so you proceeded to walk across the hall into my office and take a pile of papers sitting on the ledge and push them all off onto the floor.

Retribution. A characteristic you own.

You love songs where you get to use your hands. You walk around ‘singing’ the ABC’s but really it’s just the tune, no words. Sometimes you get “G” right.

You still LOVE bath time!

You still DISLIKE having things taken on/off over your head.

You have begun saying “MINE” about things, which your Dad and I then rip whatever it is out of your hands and say ‘no’.

I have to confess that I’ve stopped reading parenting blogs and books. I probably should, it might help with combating some of the “MINE” and retribution issues. But…you’re too easy and too good to feel like those things can’t be managed.

You still do not sleep through the night. Every once in awhile you will, and I feel so rested. But largely, you wake up at some point in the night and come to our bed.

I love the conversations that you and I are beginning to have. You have such an absolutely charming, lovely personality. You’re somehow a party girl and shy all at once, you’re good playing alone or with others. It’s so nice to see you grow up.

I still find myself wondering who you’ll be, how you’ll look.

Sometimes, I can’t believe that you’re so old already, growing up so quickly. And yet, I can look at you from time to time and still see those little, tiny, newborn faces you would make.

You are the puzzle and the joy of my life.

And you fill my whole body with love. And frustration. And guilt. But mainly, with love. I didn’t know I could be this full.



Elle’s Hairs Cut

Elle got her hair cut! All of her hairs, in fact.

I struggled…her wispy, thin hair was in her eyes, Jon kept saying “she needs her hair cut” and I kept trying to get emotionally worked up about cutting her hair. And I just couldn’t.

So, I scheduled an appointment with a trusted friend – Andrea’s stepmother-in-law, Kate, who is awesome! I took Elle after work and it was a riot!!

March2013-1Here we are having just arrived to Kate’s salon. The barette was a huge help to keep the hair out of her eyes, but at school they can’t really keep it in because the chances of some other kid eating it are pretty great. So, on school days pigtails, which didn’t go all the way back into pigtails, so then there was hair everywhere. And with our wedding on the horizon, I didn’t want Elle’s haircut to be just before the wedding and then hate the hair cut. So, I chose a random day in March for her first hair cut.

Here’s a link to the video of Elle’s first hairs cut. I sound pretty emotional, actually, in it. I kind of was after the snips had happened. But, I was glad it was done.

March2013-2And here she is, one simple ‘snip’ later with bangs!

I’m glad that we got her bangs cut — as awful as I sometimes feel admitting this, the bangs hide the birthmark remnants of her hemangioma. And while people don’t ask about it nearly as much, they often assume ‘oh, she must have really bonked her head’ or ‘did she just learn to walk and take a nasty tumble?’. So, for now, I kind of feel like keeping bangs might just take that conversation away. I know it comes across as vain, but it’s not just that. I just want everyone and anyone else to see her, not the birthmark she’s got on her head.

So, there’s my super cute girlie. She was so good the entire time getting her hair cut. She sat on the stool thing with that cape on the whole time. She held onto her magazine (an Avon catalog) and was so darn cute the whole time. She loved getting pumped up in the chair and checking herself out in the mirror. It was just so much fun to take her to the salon and have her get all do’ed up!! 🙂


Letters to Elle: February 2013

Dear Elle,

I’m getting this one in by the hair of my chinny chin chin. It’s the last day of February, 2013 and I haven’t yet written to you, though I’ve composed this letter about a hundred times in my mind, watching you fall asleep each night, watching you play hide and seek, watching you develop and grow. But part of me wants so bad to be PRESENT in the moment, that I’ve gone on hiatus from social media’ing documenting the daily. I may regret it eventually, but I’m pleased with myself for living in the moment, for living the moments rather than capturing them…for all the sense that makes.

I look at the way you play — with me, with your Dad, with your Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and all your friends and it makes me so proud. You’re so smart and fun and funny…you get a kick out of things that make me laugh too — I’m glad we find the same sorts of things funny!!

You’ve entered a phase, at 16+ months old where you want to be independent and yet don’t at all. You’re interested in exploring, but want to stay connected. You have a daredevil streak in you. This has been the most trying time to be your Mom. You were a phenomenal baby and early toddler. But now — you’re a whole new ball game. You take our ‘chaos’ nickname one level further. Whether it’s knowingly, in the 10.3 seconds your diaper is off, when you walk to the edge of the rug and hardwood floor and proceed to pee down your leg and stare at the pee as it pools on the floor at your feet…or when you begin splashing and dancing in it in the 20.2 seconds before I whisk you away to a quick hose down…you are chaos.

Our morning routine is fun, most days, but some days you have a distinct mind of your own about how the morning is going to go. Those are most often the days I’m late for work.

You love books, of course. You also love the iPad and can figure out how to unlock it and do just about anything you want, including nearly buying in-app stuff the other day. The restrictions on that have been tightened a little bit.

You are so cool, really. I know all parents think that of their kids. But I really think it of you. You crack me up and make me laugh. I look forward to seeing who and what you’ll wake up as — happy and excited and fun or a little bit cranky. Will you have slept funny so your hair goes wild all over the place, or will it have gone pin-straight in the night? Will you have six binkies in your hands, or just one in your mouth? Will you wake up in the middle of the night or not? Will you want a bubba/bottle or will you just need a quick cuddle? Will your teeth have popped through and your smile be wider and brighter? Will you insist on brushing with the motorized or regular toothbrush? Will you use my toothbrush or yours? Will today be the day the bathroom mirror gets messed up with tiny handprints…or tomorrow? You are a puzzle, but one I look forward to the challenge of every minute.

You have taken to ‘cheers’ ing others with your sippy cup. Which means you can get those of us drinking ‘adult bevs’ quite drunk with your penchant for ‘cheers’ ing!!! You also very much enjoy hanging out with your grandparents. You built your playhouse the other day with your Grandpa Scott and you are quite enthralled with the playhouse now.

You are able to converse, in small ways. You know what you want and what you don’t and can shake your head accordingly. You weigh probably around 22+ pounds and you’re quite tall.

In the last month, you’ve helped to celebrate the birthdays of both Emmerson and Holden, which was a lot of fun.

As your Dad and I keep planning our wedding in two months, we ordered your dress (so freaking cute!) and your little slippers to go with it (again, too much).

I don’t know, girlie. You are just a ton of fun right now. I often feel like I’m not doing enough, like I could do more or better by you. I think the world of your Dad — he’s such a good Dad and you just find him to be the best guy in the world. As you should – for for always. Saturday I’ve planned a girls day just you and I. I haven’t had enough just you and me time lately — where I get to enjoy you and not battle you as I try to get ready for work. I’m looking forward to that in the next few days here.

I feel like I may regret that I haven’t taken as many pictures lately, that I haven’t blogged as much. But I kind of like what I said earlier even in this blog post. I’m making memories, not capturing them. I try so hard to imprint in my mind the things you say and do and try…and I know I’m missing some things, but I’m present for them in the moment and I guess that’s all I want for now. It’s a phase I’m going through — just like you’re going through a phase!! 🙂

I look into your eyes and I feel like most of the time I’m trying to look into the future, to see who you’re going to be and what you’re going to think or say or do. I am so thrilled to continue to discover the girl and woman that you’re destined to be.

Even tonight, as I rocked you to sleep and intermittently your eyes were either rolling back in your head fighting off sleep or focusing on my eyes, I felt that emotion you feel when you watch Free Willy when Willy looks into the boy (why can I not remember his name!?) and there’s this connection and it’s like they both just KNOW what the other needs/wants/feels. That’s dramatic, yes, but that’s how it feels with you, what it was like tonight and so many other nights. Sometimes, I feel like you can see through my facade better than anyone and it’s humbling and enlightening, all at once.

I’m so enamored with you — more so than at any other time in your life — and I just find it remarkable that together, your Dad and I created you…I feel like now that you’re YOU I have so much more respect for that process. This is the coolest time so far of being your Mom, even if it means cleaning up a lot of pee on the floor.

You’re phenomenal already. You fulfill me and my love for you overflows out my eyes.

As ever, girlie —