Thursday, May 31, 2007

Outsmarting Mommy

Little Miss Emma has sure been giving me a run for my money lately... yes, more than usual. Granted she is getting ALL four eye teeth at once and we have major construction going on in our kitchen (read: LIVING space!), but somehow those excuses don't seem to help in the 11th hour.

She is even starting to use my words against me... already! Case in point, Emma wants a drink of Mommy's water. Mommy says, "It's Mommy's water." Emma says, "Mommy share." Uh, okay, what do I say to that? The girl has a point. So, yes, Mommy shares.

And then there's the lovely phrase I regret teaching her, "One more time." You can imagine how much fun that has brought to our lives. The best was yesterday when it prompted a complete meltdown in front of a neighbor I was meeting for the first time. And this was a major meltdown, as in yelling, screaming, and twisting out of my arms the ENTIRE walk home. All of this while this woman's 13-month-old was taking a nap. Um, nice to meet you...

As Miss Opinionated becomes Miss Really Opinionated, I am running out of ways to outsmart her. And as my mom-in-law says, she's only one. Imagine how much she'll outsmart me in a few years. But let's not think about that.

Mommy needs some pizza.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fashion Friday: Feels Like Summertime


And then a few more cute photos...




Thursday, May 24, 2007

What's Kickin'?

Jeff felt the baby kick a few times last night, which is always such a cool moment. It makes him more a part of things and only further solidifies that there is actually a little person growing inside me (besides the fact that he no longer gets the leftover food on my plate)!

The "popcorn kicks" started late last week and happen just after I eat. I thought they seemed pretty strong, but I wasn't sure if they were strong enough for someone else to feel. But they are -- Jeff felt every one of them. Not sure what that means this early in the pregnancy... either we have a very strong boy kicking away or another feisty girl.

So much for my "easy-going" second child... :o)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who Am I?

Today I had to travel out to O'Hare for a work meeting. For those of you that don't know, I work part-time from home. Anyway, on the drive home, I decided to pop in the free CD I got at MOPS last week. To my surprise, it was actually pretty darn good and not at all cheesy. Even the songs!

Anyway, one of the topics was identity: Who am I? Simple and trite enough, but what really hit me was when the CD talked about the different ways we define ourselves -- by our jobs (what we do), as well as what people ask us to be (what we do for others).

All of the sudden I realized why being a mom was so hard for me the first year. For years, I defined myself by my career and what I accomplished. People expected that of me (so I thought), and I liked that (read: my pride liked that). I was a hard worker who worked all hours of the day. I traveled. I had crazy deadlines and lots of stress. That was me, and I thrived on that.

And then I became a mom. A mom like every other mom. Same trials, same frustrations, same questions. At times, that was very comforting -- to know others had been through what I was going through -- but it was also a little frustrating. Wasn't I a better mom? Didn't I put in more hours? Didn't I read more books, have more knowledge? Didn't I care more, try harder, and lose a little more sleep?

I am a goal-seeker. I like to succeed, and Emma quickly became my most challenging project. If I do this, she will do this. If I stop doing this, she will stop doing this. And so on.

But it didn't take me too long to realize that Emma isn't a project. She is my child. She won't give me a promotion, a raise (if only!), or a gleaming review. But yet she still loves me.

She knows nothing of my past successes. She doesn't know where I've traveled or what job titles I have held. But yet she still loves me.

What a wonderful blessing that is. A wonderful, but humbling blessing.

Being at home has taught me a lot about myself. When it's just you and a trusting child alone together ALL.DAY.LONG, you quickly come face to face with who you are. The only term I can use to describe it is "raw." Not a pretty adjective to describe motherhood, but in my experience, it is pretty accurate. The best of who you are and the worst of who you are come out when no one is looking. When no one is there to hold you accountable.

And for a while there, I didn't like what I saw. I realized what control issues I had and how much pressure I put on myself. And for what? I mean really, for what?

Don't get me wrong, I believe that there are many responsibilities moms have besides giving hugs, but I also know that at the end of the day, Emma is going to know the real me whether I like it or not. I can't hide behind accomplishments because, honestly, she doesn't care. She just cares whether or not I have her snack ready for her when she wants it.

To her, I am the snack lady, and I am okay with that. Because right now, that is a pretty awesome responsibility to have.

Here's my point: Even though I am a mom at this season in my life, I also know that it doesn't define me. And I think that's an important thing to remember. I think God is using my experience as a mom to shape me into the person He created me to be -- the unique person He created me to be -- but I have to be careful not to make it everything I am. For Emma's sake and for mine.

I think too many of us lose ourselves in our jobs and what we do for others that we forget that there is still a person underneath those things that needs to be nourished. A person that needs to be confident in who they are so that when those things suddenly disappear, we are left with more than a sense of loss. Instead, we are left with the amazing person God planned for all along.

Emma definitely comes first, but I also know that I need to focus on a few of my needs so I can be an even better person and in turn, a better mom.

My first step? Joining a women's bible study this summer. With all of my ministry stuff on hold for the summer, it's the perfect time for me to be fed. I can say I do a daily devotion at home, but then I'd be lying. Somehow, Emma's snacks and the laundry seem to always come first! :o)

So who are you? Yes, you're a mom (or dad, girlfriend, vice president, etc.), but when all of that is stripped away, who are you really? Sure, you can take pride in your skills -- whether they be making a sale or nursing your child -- but at the end of the day, is the person that is left happy... or better yet, content?

I can honestly say I am getting there. The other day after Emma went down for her nap, I peeked in her room and really felt an overwhelming sense of joy. Everything just felt right in that moment, and I thanked God for my blessings. The fact that I had my "career" and now I have what is really important -- my family.

I love being a mom more than any one thing I have ever done in my life, but what is really exciting is that it is just one of the many things God has in store for my life. Only one of the ways I can continue to glorify Him.

So who am I? The answer to that is complicated, but God also makes it simple: I am one of His children. And knowing that makes me want to be more than I am.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fashion Friday: Simple but Sweet


And I had to post a photo of the curls. I love them! :o)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Keeping Busy

Besides our yucky cold, the last few weeks have been a lot of fun. The nice weather really makes a difference in Emma's mood... and mine. The only problem is convincing her that we can't LIVE outside, but I've come up with a few full-proof tactics (i.e., "Let's see if Mickey Mouse is on!").

We spend a lot of time visiting the SLIDE! at the park, which is Emma's absolute favorite thing in the world. Since we've been sick, we haven't been able to go, so every time we drive past it, she moans, "Slide," and lets out a fake cry. Really, she has such a hard life.

She has also finally taken to the swing. She loved it as a baby, but wasn't so crazy about it until the last few trips. She also loves to go for walks, which is good for this pregnant lady. I get exercise and a few moments peace and quiet!


Another favorite outdoor toy is her house from Grandma and Grandpa and her Mickey chair I got on sale from Jewel. Her old push toy also allows her to go "shopping" outside.



I've even had the chance to see how life is with two children the last few weeks after watching my nephew and Emma's best girlfriend. She had a blast with both of them and sharing has gotten much better. When Cricket came to visit, we had a lot of MINE! moments, but that seems to have gone away... at least for now. She loves playing with kids and usually gets pretty sad when it's time for them to go home.



Inside, we've been practicing coloring and playing with play dough. Interestingly enough, she really hasn't tried to eat the play dough as much as I thought she would. She gets bored with it pretty quickly, but I think that will change with time. For now, it gives us something else to do besides play ring-around-the-rosie for the billionth time.



She really enjoys animals, especially watching the "tweet tweets" fly by our window and the "hop hops" run along our grass. My favorite thing is when she makes her eating noise as the birds peck along the grass. It's so cute!

Developmentally, she is doing great. She's just starting to form small 2- and 3-word sentences and is really expanding her vocabulary. The only problem is that many words are starting to sound the same, which makes it hard for me to understand her sometimes. Most of the time I can figure it out. And I swear, she says "garbage truck" cuter than anyone I know. Well, that and "grapes."

For a while the counting thing went by the wayside, but it is now back and in full force. With a little help, she can count to 10. The only numbers she has a hard time with are 7 and 10, and I usually have to start her out by saying "one." Still, she impresses me. Of course, you have to catch her on a good day or there is no way she's showing you her stuff. I think that's her way of humbling Mommy and Daddy!

Miss personality is also getting more and more opinionated, which I knew was going to happen. She prefers to wear certain shoes; we can't pass an open door without closing it; and as I put her to sleep at night, she often stops me mid-song to tell me she'd rather I sing another one. Sometimes I have to sing five before she chooses the one that fits her mood. Sigh...

Sleep has been good. Nap is about 2-3 hours and bedtime is still at 7pm, although I'm trying to move it to 7:30pm-8pm. For a while she was waking up at 5:45am, which was not fun. The last few days, though, she's been closer to 6:30am, so we'll see what happens.

She still loves blanket and binkie at night, and adores baby and Minnie during the day. And as much as I hate to admit it, Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and more recently, Pooh Bear, are also favorites. I am telling you, this girl can spot these characters from any distance and within seconds. It's actually pretty cute how much she loves seeing their faces, and I can't bring myself discourage it -- no matter how much I am NOT a character person.

Books are still the only things that captivate her attention for any long period of time. She just sits and goes through book after book. She has started memorizing some of them and many times, she finishes my sentences. She can point to just about anything and tell you what it is. Next on the agenda is colors!

I know there are a million Emma-isms I am forgetting, but that will have to do it for now. Hope you all are enjoying the days as much as we are!

Until Friday...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fashion Friday: Baby B at 16 weeks


What's more fashionable than a baby belly I ask you? Yes, Baby B is making his/her first appearance on Fashion Friday, proving that it's what's on the inside that really matters.

Yesterday's OB appt. went great. Jeff was finally able to come with (thank you, Mammma and Dopop!) and hear the heartbeat. I swear his face literally lights up when he hears that sound. The doctor said it was "very strong," which made Jeff practically radiate.

The actual heartbeat was around 154 and I am measuring exactly where I should be. And I finally gained weight -- 6 lbs in 5 weeks! I knew I had caught up because I have been really hungry, despite the fact that I can only taste 50 percent of what I'm eating.

Speaking of which, Dr. F did ask me to try and watch my diet to try and control the gestational diabetes from kicking in, which I was planning on doing anyway. I've been splurging the last few weeks, and I can feel that it's time to cut back -- for the baby's sake that is. Emma only got nutritious foods (and still does), and this baby deserves the same.

No major movement yet, but I thought I felt a few flutters the other night. I felt Emma early on, but I've also had more gas issues with this baby, so who knows. I just can't wait to feel that popcorn popping in my belly again. What an awesome feeling. God is so creative!

Oh yeah -- they've moved my due date back to my 30th birthday, Oct. 23. That's so much more fun to tell people anyway! Basically, my last period indicates a due date of Oct. 20, the ultrasound shows Oct. 26, and my estimated conception date puts us at Oct. 25. Therefore, he said let's shoot for the middle to be safe, and no more changes. Sounds good to me!

After riding home from the doctor yesterday, Jeff kinda confessed he'd like a boy this time. I actually said it for him because I could tell that's what he was thinking. Of course, he would love for another girl to melt his heart like Emma does, but I also understand every man's desire for a son. Me? I honestly don't care. A girl would be easier, of course, but having a little boy to love would be awesome too. A sister for Emma would be wonderful, but having a boy to keep her in check ;) has it's benefits too. We win either way!

We also talked about finding out the sex of the baby, but I'm dead set against it. I am a planner, yes, but this is the one thing in life that I want to be a surprise. There's really no medical reason to find out, so I don't feel compelled to do it. To be fair, we always said we'd be surprised on the first, but would find out with the second. But... it was so much fun being "wrong" with Emma. Everyone was so surprised, and it also gave Jeff the joy of sharing news only he could share. He says he's willing to give that up, but I'm not. I like that only God knows what we're having. It's His gift to us, and I don't want to open my gift up early. It's worth the wait for me.

Emma still doesn't quite understand what's going on with Mommy, but she does rub and kiss my belly every day to say hi to the baby. She says baby, but I know there's no way she really gets it. Still, it's fun to see how loving she can be -- even to a pushed out belly button!

Well, that's the update on our second little babe. Updates on our first babe to come early next week... with lots of pictures. Until then, Happy Mother's Day everyone. Enjoy your kiddies!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Having a Cold Stinks.

Having a cold while pregnant really stinks.

Having a toddler with a cold while you have a cold and are pregnant is totally unfair.

How do you mothers with more than 1 child do it?

P.S. Baby B update tomorrow after OB appt.!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fashion Friday: Ahoy Mate!


Yes, another week with only a Fashion Friday post, but I was out of town for work for a few days and well, I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things.

Here's another one of Emma's great hand-me-downs. The hat was too cute on her, even with her crazy bangs. And she actually WANTED to keep it on!

Have a great weekend everyone!