Tuesday, December 17, 2013

our family is growing...


needless to say, we are thrilled. allow me to proceed with the crucial info…

due date we are due june 24th, 2014. (side note: our babies have the annoying habit of arriving within a week of other family members' birthdays. sophie was born exactly one week after my brother vince's birthday, which is also within the same month as both my parents', my uncle's, bryan's uncle's, and two of my cousin's birthdays. this one is due the day before my brother thomas' birthday.)

boy or girl? keeping it a surprise!

sibling age gap sophie and the baby will be exactly 20 months apart. it's a wider age gap than we'd hoped for (we were shooting for 18 months), but i think we'll live. to put it into perspective, thomas and i are 16 months apart.

sophie has been so cute. not sure yet how much she can actually comprehend, but if you ask her where the baby is, she knows where to point, and she likes to give it kisses and wave to it and say, "haaaa, baa-baa!" ("hi, baby!") she gets very excited when i ask her if she wants to see pictures of the baby.

how's it going? so far, so good. i was unbelievably ill for a while there though (even prior to the crazy flu outbreak). i couldn't leave the couch or keep anything down but gingerale and gatorade most days, which made taking care of sophie a huge challenge. thankfully, between bryan, my mom, and a few others, i made it through and now i seem to be out of the woods! i am still extremely fatigued though. i developed anemia when i was pregnant with sophie, and i'm pretty sure that's the case again, so you can keep that in your prayers.

hospital i will be delivering at loudon county hospital. last time i was at fair oaks because that's where tepeyac family center, a pro-life OBGYN clinic, works out of. but for various reasons, the main one being time/distance, i've decided to go with a provider in leesburg (fair oaks would be about a 45 minute drive). i found some amazing midwives out here who assist with both natural and medicated births, and i love them! i'll tell you more about them in another post.

how we found out this is actually a fun story. we'd been hoping to get pregnant for a few months, so of course it was our constant obsession. over the weekend of october 13th, we went on a getaway at the marriott in old town alexandria because my folks had a free night that was about to expire and they weren't going to use it. so we went for a belated anniversary celebration. we went to a sushi restaurant for dinner and then next door to bilbo baggins' for a night cap. i had no scruples about drinking because i was sure that i wasn't pregnant that month since i'd had zero symptoms. we even talked that night about how disappointed we were that we weren't expecting yet, since bryan's entire family was going to be in town at the end of the month for sophie's birthday, and it would have been the perfect time to tell everyone together.

the next morning, bryan went downstairs to get breakfast and texted to tell me the line was really long so he'd be a while. bored, i again started thinking about having another baby and the fact that we hadn't succeeded yet. i thought again about what a shame it was that we'd have to waste a perfect opportunity to tell everyone at sophie's birthday. then i thought about this nice intimate getaway we were having, and what a perfect time it would have been to tell bryan if i was pregnant. shame, shame.

then i remembered i had a pregnancy test in my purse. i had bought a pack of 2 because i had thought the previous month that i might be pregnant, but the results came back negative. i thought, "i might as well go ahead and use up that single test, because if i actually thought i was pregnant, i would want to take 2 tests in a row to be sure, so i'm going to have to buy another pack anyway. besides, if there's even a smidgen of a chance i am, i would hate to have wasted this chance to tell bryan."

i retrieved the test from my purse and marched off to the bathroom to take it. i wasn't nervous at all and didn't even wait 2 seconds, let alone 3 minutes, to look at it, because i was so sure it would be negative. as i sat there, watching one blue line slowly turn into 2, my stomach dropped. not in a good way, not in a bad way, but in a purely out-of-my-mind-shocked way. i just kept saying, "holy s**t, holy s**t…!"

in true rosenthal fashion, my immediate next step was to take a picture. i don't know what i was planning to do with it, it's just instinct. in true theresee fashion, i felt the instant need to tell someone right away. but bryan was still getting breakfast, and i couldn't tell anyone until i'd told him. so i was just going to have to wait.

forty-five minutes. that's how long i waited for him to come back up with breakfast. i think those were the longest 45 minutes of my life. when he finally came in, i told him that before we ate, i had an anniversary present for him. he gave me a look and i said, "i know, i know we said we wouldn't get each other anything, but it's really small. i didn't even bother to wrap it, so you need to close your eyes and hold out your hands." he did, and i placed the test in his hand.

when he opened his eyes, i gave him a second and then said, "we're having a baby!!!" because i knew that hearing it on top of seeing it would intensify the effect. he whipped around to face me and spat out, "no we're not."

"yes, we are!"

"shut up, no we're not."

"yes, we are!"

i had caught him completely off guard, and he started tearing up. so then started tearing up, and, well, you know, then we were both just really happy and excited. and shocked. still very much in shock.

in some ways, i'm still in shock. maybe it's because we were trying for a while and i can't believe it's actually happening. but it IS and it's AWESOME! please keep us in your prayers, since i still have a lot of bad days physically (today was one of them). in the meantime, we'll be sure to keep you posted!

i will leave you with this awesome video bryan got of us announcing to the family at sophie's birthday. she opened a 2-part gift from us, which consisted of a book called "waiting for baby" and the above-pictured "big sister" onesie: sophie's surprise 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

christmas is all around the house

holy crap, last time i wrote something here i "updated" our family photo at the top, which is already sadly OUT of date, seeing as 4 months in toddler time is more like a year (at least as far as hair accumulation goes). hopefully i'll have a crisp, shiny new family christmas photo to slap up there soon…

sophie was being a B-R-A-T this morning (she's been sick, but she's better now, so she really has no excuse). screaming, screaming, screaming anytime she had to wait more than .5 seconds for something she wanted (which, in this case, was grilled cheese). my 21st century instinct is always to throw on a "baby einstein" dvd to distract her, but as we've all been taking turns being sick the past couple of weeks ('tis the [flu] season!), we've been watching an embarrassing amount of television. instead i decided to try something radical and put on the yule log (ok, so that's technically television, but it's literally a log burning on a fireplace) and some christmas carols (think charlotte church and the vienna boys choir as opposed to "rockin' around the christmas tree"), and… ta-da! silence! she sat there happily eating her lunch and staring at the crackling flames. i haven't created a monster (yet) after all!

so, we moved. that's the main thing you should know (and probably already do, since it's been 4 months so whom do i think i'm surprising?). you can read all about it in this post. i feel thankful every day for this place.

i haven't done a very good job at posting any photos of the inside of the house, mainly because i was waiting until we were "finished" decorating/cleaning, but the closest i think we're going to get is christmas decorating, so here's what i've got for the main level, anyway (yes, that is bryan making christmas cookies in the background. sophie is eating one on the blanket. i know.):

note the clever positioning of our christmas tree, tucked safely in that weird functionless nook so we can put gates on either side of it to protect it from sophie. of course, after going through all that trouble, she has shown no interest in it whatsoever (becky, if you want that gate back, it's all yours! thanks anyway.) you can see it better here:

in other news, sophie turned 1! in a very non-rosenthal move, we didn't take many photos, just a couple of the "smash cake" (by the way, i was never aware of this tradition until a few years ago, and i thought people were crazy. but apparently it's a big deal.)

it was great because bryan's entire family was able to be in town, even all of his grandparents.

after sophie's birthday, halloween happened. we didn't really get a chance to do much since i had to work that day and we didn't get home until after 6. however, we did start the day with a round of trick-or-treating at the POP and CIC offices… 

(aunt kathy temeles always has candy in her office. thanks, grandma and auntie sarah for the cupcake costume!)

and wrapped it up by watching the nightmare before christmas in costume #2. steve and bern dalgetty came by with their kiddos after the halloween parade and we discovered that sophie and ellie were both ladybugs.

fast forward to thanksgiving. it was different and a little sad without grandma rosie, who passed back in february, but it felt good for the whole family to be together (minus thomas, who stayed in colorado). and of course, i had the pilgrim-perfect outfit for sophie that i had bought many months earlier and was totally stoked to finally put her in. the icing on the cake? i found a pair of my old baby shoes at my mom's that fit and matched perfectly! 

the cherry on top? we MATCHED. not that you can really tell from the pics, but take my word for it. i strive to do this whenever possible. 

(call me hester prynne)

with black friday came the black plague. my aunt wasn't able to be at thanksgiving because she was already sick, and my mom and grandpa ended up going to bed at 8 thanksgiving night because they weren't feeling too great. despite not feeling well, my mom was a super trooper the next day, driving all the way out to leesburg (along with becca triplett) to watch sophie while i puked, complained about my burning throat, shifted a heating pad back and forth between my aching legs and back, and took about a million baths. my mom even heated water on the stove and poured it into the bath after i'd used up all the hot water, haha. she and becca were my batman and robin that day because i was in no shape to be watching sophie or doing dishes and laundry, which they ALSO did! 

luckily/unluckily bryan's family came in town that night and were able to take over for my mom and becca, but that meant i was quarantined and wasn't able to spend a lot of time with them. however, i am super grateful for all their help, especially with getting the christmas tree and decorations up! 

both sophie and my mom got super sick right after i did, and it lasted about a week for both sophie and me (my mom is still recuperating). so that's pretty much where we've been up until now. 

today one of the ladies from the mom's group at our parish sent out a last-minute email about meeting rudolph and friends at the leesburg community center. i only half entertained the idea since i hate doing things last minute (especially when they involve something huge like, you know, leaving the house). however, i made the mistake of bribing sophie into sitting still for her diaper change by saying, "hey soph, you wanna go in the car to see rudolph??" assuming she would not understand and/or forget. a few minutes later her diaper was changed, and we went back downstairs and i started writing this post while she went (i thought) to play. however, 5 minutes later i heard her burst into tears. i rushed to see what was wrong and found her sitting by the door, shoe in hand while the other one lay beside her along with her coat. obviously, she had understood and remembered, gone to get her coat and shoes like a good girl, and had been waiting patiently by the door for me for five whole minutes. i felt like such a grinch. lesson learned. she is officially too smart to throw awesomely fun ideas out there willy-nilly into the universe unless i intend to follow up. and so…

this is basically a picture of me meeting rudolph while sophie watches. she did get to give him a big hug and kiss (which was, um, adorbs), but the gentleman taking this pic with my iphone seemed nervous handling such a delicate piece of machinery so I wanted to put him out of his misery ASAP. she cried when our turn was up. totally worth it. (on a side note, i would like to thank whoever decided to hand out whistles to all the children right before the dance/music recital portion of the event. that was a neat idea. it was probably good that you guys asked the kids to stop blowing them for the sing-along. i can't imagine why they didn't. maybe something to do with the fact that they're kids. i'm sure the music sounded wonderful.)

i'm determined that this is going to be just the first of many christmas-y activities that our little family is going to partake in this year. every year the christmas season seems to go by faster and faster and i'm left wondering where in the world it went. our strategy this year is to decorate early (check), get the shopping done early (soon, soon), and fill the rest of the month with as much of christmas as possible. it is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year!

ps: naturally, i have already gotten sophie's perfect christmas outfit for this year, courtesy of my new favorite site, thredUp.com. it is now tied with dashingbee.com as my go-to place for all sophie's clothing (you're welcome for the free plug, guys. i should start pretending to have sponsors so people think my blog is wildly popular).

i'm thinking i might go with the little white shoes from her thanksgiving outfit instead (see photo above). what do you guys think?? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

stream of consciousness

ever notice how the longer you put something off the harder it becomes to do it? and then it's just the opposite when you do something more frequently. that's how it is with me and writing. i know i just posted yesterday but it felt good and i wanna to do it again.

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found this prize at the end of someone's driveway this morning:

wonder what people would do if i left this at the end of my driveway...

hehe, look how wigged-out she looks ;-) we had this exact same car in red when i was a kid. or maybe it was yellow. let's meet in the middle and say it was orange. i loved that little orange car...

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i'm such an obnoxious grammar freak (says the girl writing in all lowercase). i just used the "contact us" link on a website i was browsing to inform them of a misspelling i'd detected. #grammartool

in my defense, they were very grateful. i would want to know if there was a misspelling on my website. after all, it's the face of your business. you're welcome, littletotsmusictogether.com. (it's still there, by the way. see if you can find it...)

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i could probably write a whole post on this, but i have totally become one of those people who uses text and email as a crutch to never ever ever have to pick up a phone. especially at work. it's really a problem. terry asks me all the time, "why don't you just pick up the phone and call him?" whenever i have to inform him that so-and-so still has not responded to the 87 emails i've sent.

why not indeed? when i was a kid, i had no choice, so it was a discomfort i was forced to confront on a regular, healthy basis. i was actually making some emotional progress until the damn internet and cell phone pranced onto the scene.

it's gotten so bad, that while lamenting the fact that we never see each other anymore, i actually said this to jule:

"dude, i have an idea! we should talk on the phone like we did back in the day!" 

way to go, socrates. you should start a blog. 

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so, i always forget when it's a holy day of obligation. today, for once, i remembered. and by "i remembered" i obviously mean "my mom reminded me". i've felt like such a bad catholic lately and so i was all pumped to go to mass with her and my dad, and what happens right as we're ready to head out? the baby falls asleep. i wake her up, she freaks out, i rush into thomas' room to calm her down, and what happens then? she calms down. and falls asleep. again. 

now my folks are at mass getting showered with grace and i am sitting on the edge of thomas' bed lest she roll off of it. i know it's the intent that counts, but, i mean... geeze. i kinda felt like i needed this. oh well. time to shake it off, put down the computer, and think holy thoughts.

i'll leave you all with a couple of big ol' "i'll miss you" faces from the woman of the hour.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

this old apartment

i've often wished i could update my blog the way i update my facebook status, in spurts. because i don't always (and to be honest, i don't USUALLY) have a whole essay's worth of information to put out there. so i decided to give it a try using some handy-dandy "* * *"s... =)

i've been reading "seeking the beloved" for a few months now (i used to fly through books - meet the new, domesticated theresee). it's basically a bunch of reflections on the writings of john of the cross. i read something this morning that really stuck out to me. it's from john's "ascent of mount carmel":

"it makes little difference whether a bird is tied by a thin thread or by a cord. 

even if it is tied by thread, the bird will be held bound just as surely as if it were tied by cord; that is, it will be impeded from flying as long as it does not break the thread. 

admittedly the thread is easier to break, but no matter how easily this may be done, the bird will not fly away without first doing so. 

this is the lot of those who are attached to something: no matter how much virtue they have they will not reach the freedom of the divine union."

just that first line says it all. love, love, love it.

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i've been dreaming for, well, months, of letting her scamper around in nothing but a diaper and a tutu like a little pixie baby. today was the day...

(we've reached a point where, as long as she isn't killing herself, this kind of thing is perfectly acceptable)

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can we talk for a minute about how much i can't wait to get out of this awful little apartment? i should probably put a positive spin on that and say how much i can't wait to get into this adorable little gem:

i wish i had photos of the bedrooms because they are the best part, but these are all the listing had, and i didn't know if i was allowed to take pics when we were at the showing. suffice it to say they are both huge with their own separate full bathrooms and enormous closets! there's also a huge finished basement.

let me just run something down for you real quick...

this 2 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom townhouse in the middle of historic leesburg, just 8 minutes from the leesburg outlets, with tons of windows, hardwood floors, a deck, yard, white picket fence, on a corner lot twenty steps from the playground (it's catty-corner to our yard) and a nine-minute walk from church - not to mention everything i listed in the last paragraph - this precious plum is only $150 more per month than our tiny 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, dark, yardless, carpeted apartment with a tiny washer and dryer (the townhouse of course has full-sized appliances because it is perfect). 

it's been the bane of my existence that i can't just pop out my front door and go for a walk with the baby because 

1.) i have to go down a flight of stairs and out to my car to get her stroller since there's no room in the apartment for it

2.) there are only short spurts of sidewalk sprinkled throughout the complex

3.) there is literally nowhere to take her except around the complex itself. there is a playground, but even though it's in our complex, our complex is big and it's actually significantly further away than the new playground, plus it's even more difficult to get to because of the lack of sidewalks, AND it's literally RIGHT next to a creek/sewer so there are a ton of mosquitos. 

at the townhouse, we can step right out of the door and either walk right (as in the direction) to the playground, or left to walk around downtown and window shop. 

so to summarize...? um... WINNING!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

today in the life

another quick disney story snapshot of our day! ps, the "practiced standing" one is actually a video clip, in case it's hard to tell...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

destructive criticism

i've been intending to do a post on what i call "destructive criticism", and i promise to expand further upon that theme soon, but for now i'm going to share what Glennon Doyle Melton put far more eloquently than i would have on momastery.com. your thoughts are welcome! have a fantastic july 4th =)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

sophie's 1st time at the pool!

i am loving this new disney story app i downloaded on my iphone. it basically lets you put together a power point with the photos and videos in your phone. i only wish it included music, but beggars can't be choosers. enjoy! (note: the first frame is a video and kinda confusing to figure out. when you click on it, it automatically comes up paused for some reason. you have to hover over it and click the pause button in order for the play button to appear. when you're done watching the video, hover over it again and click the x to see the rest of the story.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

parenting moments: the good, the bad, and the ugly

the bean is seven months old today - SEVEN! that has nothing to do with this post, but i thought i should mention it cuz it's kinda a big deal around here.

this post is about moments in parenting, none of which are particularly connected to the others. you will know this because of the "*   *   *"s clearly marking each complete change of subject.

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in my last post, i talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of our lives and how most people rarely tend to show you the bad and the ugly because, well, they are bad and ugly. and who wants to see bad and ugly?

a lot of people, as it turns out. 

(this includes me. please send me your bad and ugly moments in a comment!)

so i committed to showing you all the bad and the ugly along with the good! which seems a bit unfair to me since "bad" and "ugly" are two undesirable things and "good" is only one desirable thing, so in this case, the undesirables are clearly winning, but hey. i don't make the rules.

the good.

here is a good, desirable moment from the other day; the kind i would have instagrammed if i hadn't forgotten. 

it was a gorgeous day outside, but the baby's sunscreen had not yet arrived in the mail (yes, i ordered it on amazon. but only because safeway was all out when i went to place my online grocery order. how lazy do you think i am?), so we went on the porch instead. 

doesn't that look nice and lovely and serene? it was.

but this is what you didn't see, and wouldn't see if i weren't so committed to showing you the bad and the ugly as well. 

like the rest of my porch:

gross and GROSS. 

let's count that as both the bad and the ugly. which is probably cheating. since i don't make the rules, i don't always feel compelled to follow them either. 

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ever notice how kids have this sixth spidey sense that directs them to the ONE thing in the room you do not want them touching? i think this must have something to do with adam and the fall of man. there is no other explanation.

for example.

yesterday, i was working in the kitchen. which is rare. baby does NOT like being away from me. as sweet that is, it is also a pain, particularly when i'm trying to get something done in another room. 

on such occasions, it is necessary for me to park her outside the kitchen and surround her with crap to play with. which i did. only she didn't. instead, she did this:

in case this doesn't clear things up...

look closely.

note the various toys strewn generously across the floor (there are more, but as you can see, this is not a landscape photo). 

note the naked hanger dangling from the changing table behind her.

note the tag in her mouth. and the garment in her tiny clutches. 

note also the motion blur. this was caused by her whipping her head around in alarm as she realized that i was documenting her in the act. 

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the other day, around 4 PM, i notice something is wrong. 

i notice that, at 4 PM, my daughter is frolicking around in an adorable vintage-y frock, like this...

... and i still look like a homeless, hung-over eight-year old.

like this:

when i say "still", i mean that yes, those are the clothes i slept in the night before.

yes, that is madeline on my shirt.

yes, that is a bucket of poopy clothes behind me.

i think, "i need to fix this."

so what do i do? the normal thing to do would be to change my underwear and, oh i dunno, run a brush through my hair?

do i do this?


i decide this is the perfect time for the baby to practice eating solid foods...

... and then patiently wait for her to puke on herself.

"there", i think. "now we both look like crap."

i am happy.

so there you have it. the good (see adorable, vintage-y frock), the bad (see theresee), and the ugly (see homeless, hung-over eight-year old).

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PS: that sunscreen DID end up coming in the mail! AND an adorable swimsuit to boot! AND tiny hand-me-down sunglasses from cousin tilly to re-boot!!

bring it on, summer!!

what are some of your not-so-pretty parenting moments?

Monday, May 13, 2013

what if...

i should not be blogging right now. i should be sleeping. but as it inevitably turns out, while i was ex-hau-sted all day when i needed to be doing stuff, i'm completely awake now that the baby has gone down a whole half hour earlier than usual (part of our painfully slow and not-so-steady journey towards an 8 pm bedtime like normal children have).

so here i am.


i just remembered i never showered. i was gonna do that as soon as she went to bed...

which, weirdly enough, brings me to what i was going to write about anyway.

ok, i'm gonna make this quick so i can shower. cuz i need to. like, i really need to.

so i read a lot of blogs. "mommy blogs"(although i hate calling them that, because i think it makes it sound like i sit around all day trolling for new knitting patterns and recipes that call for 2 cups of breastmilk). my personal favorites are www.kellehampton.com and www.momastery.com (that's "momastery" as in "monastery" but not. not to be confused with "mom mastery", as i first thought).

just to give you an idea.

i've noticed that several of these women have blogged about the same topic, which i'll call the digital dilemma. in a nutshell, the idea is that many people (specifically, women, specifically, mothers) feel bad about themselves when they compare their lives to the seemingly perfect ones of their friends as portrayed on social media (facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc.). i guess these mom-bloggers get a lot of emails and whatnot from readers who say things like, "i wish i had your life, you make it all look so easy! i look at all the pictures you post of your kids in these sparkly adorable outfits, skipping around in the sunset; the spotless Easter brunch you prepared and color-coordinated to match your dining room napkins; the pinwheel cupcakes you sculpted from scratch and topped with honey you extracted by hand from the honeysuckles in your backyard... i look at these things and i feel so inadequate!!"

of course, the author always responds, you aren't getting the whole story. she is quick to point out the things you don't see, like the total meltdown child #2 had just before that particularly perfect photo was taken, or the fact that her dog ate all of the pinwheel cookies and she spend the next 2 days in bed crying about it. stuff like that.

don't worry, the bloggers reassure their freaking-out fans, for every perfect moment that gets captured on film and posted, there are 6,345,692 imperfect ones that don't.

this makes perfect sense.

i mean, how many people do you know who are running to snap photos of the worst moments of their day in order to preserve those memories for a lifetime? not me, that's for sure. and probably not you. not any of those bloggers.

but what if they did?

here's my thought about all of this. the point that the mommy-bloggers are making in response to their readers telling them how inadequate their photos and stories make them feel is to say, "don't feel bad about yourself - just because we only post the good and pretty stuff doesn't mean there isn't also bad and ugly stuff in our lives. you just don't see it because we don't show it."

my thing is, what if they did show it, and we did see it?

what if, instead of only posting photos of myself on days when i've showered, i also posted one of myself sitting here right now, in the same clothes and underwear i woke up in:

what if, instead of only posting photos of my pinterestly perfect meals (ok, let's face it, i don't actually generate those kinds of meals in reality), i showed you the mealworm in my artichoke:

what if, while i have yet to take any un-adorable photos of soph, i told you that at 6 months, she still is not sleep-trained, goes to bed around 9:30, and wakes up 4-5 times a night, and we are too big of pushovers to let her cry it out? what if i told you that, as i've been writing this, after having successfully gotten her into bed at 9, she woke up at 9:20 and has been screaming so loud i'm afraid she'll wake the dead (not to be confused with the deceased -- that's just what we call our next door neighbors who come by and complain if we flush the toilet too loudly)?

what if, unlike any other mother-blog i've yet to come across (although i'm sure they exist; i'm not THAT original), i gave you the bad and the ugly along with the good?

i think i'm going to start.

because, while i ADORE my blogs (i seriously think i would cease to function without kellehampton.com), i think i would like to see one that takes things a step beyond "trust me, my life isn't perfect, even if i only show you the perfect stuff".

let's start showing that imperfect stuff! after all, that's reality. and i think a lot of us would feel a whole lot better if we SAW that other people's reality was just as messy as our own.

i know i would.

and on that note, my kid has finally stopped screaming...! i made it!!! i think i'll reward myself with a shower before (hopefully) getting a decent night's sleep.

scratch that. she literally started screaming again as i typed that last sentence. in the spirit of being brutally honest.

and continuing in that spirit... i'm totally about to go console her.

i know. i'm a miserable failure. just like the rest of you.

just kidding ;-)


Friday, May 3, 2013

six months

our bean turned six months old exactly one week ago.


there is so much i could say about that, but what's struck me most of all recently is the power of "the small picture".

we talk about "the big picture" all the time. and i, for one, think about it all the time. in a mother's world, it goes by the name "mommy guilt"; that constant, nagging conviction that, whatever you happen to be doing at the time, that thing is never the right thing. if i opt to spend time helping my girl practice sitting/standing/crawling, or some other physical activity, i feel guilty for not having spent that time reading to her, playing classical music, or otherwise tending to her developing brain. or even worse, having chosen one of the previous two courses of action, i end up kicking myself for not doing some valuable bonding instead - "skin-to-skin", snuggling, talking... seriously, the opportunities for guilt are endless.

it's taken me about six months, but i think i've finally got it. sortta. part of it, at least. i've finally sortta got part of this thing called motherhood, and it's called the small picture.

that small picture looks like a small person, and that small person looks something like this.

while i'm scrambling to find the most cerebrally-stimulating baby book, hoping that someday, she'll be a straight-A student; struggling to steady her into a semi-standing position, unfailingly optimistic that inevitably, she will skip the crawling stage and glide straight into her first steps; clasping her dripping skin to mine after her bath, telling myself that now she'll feel a super tight bond with me, right?... all the while, as i'm focusing on the big picture and her big future, my little girl is staring up at me with those big eyes, telling me that i am her big picture

at that moment. in this moment. in these moments of her childhood. 

if i can slow down and take a break from trying to cram in all these activities that are meant to cultivate her "big picture" - if i can pause my "how am i affecting her future" mechanism long enough to ask myself, "how am i affecting her present?"... then i think i've sortta finally got it. 

sure, i want my girl to have a bright future. but i want her to have a bright present too.

it's not fair how much i love her. 

it's not fair that i drop her off at my mom's, go to work, and get sad that i won't see her until i come back at lunch to nurse her a whopping four hours later. 

it's not fair that i put her to bed, crawl into mine, and start to miss her.






but not really.

let me take off my philosopher's cap long enough to tell you a little bit about the last six months. or, to be more precise, a little bit about our girl. 

i'll do this in the best way i know how: bullet-style.

- you can't keep sophie down. literally. the girl announced herself in true sophie-style as early as her eight week sonogram. the doc couldn't even make out her legs, she was already kicking them so fast. her heart rate was high, and as early as 13 weeks, i could feel her barreling around inside me. i've got the videos to prove it, and she hasn't stopped since!

- this girl is E-MO-TION-AL! neither bry nor i wants to take credit, but i think we're secretly both to blame. whether you've looked at her the wrong way or sucker punched her in the face, it matters not. you're getting the banshee treatment. 

- in the words of the labor and delivery nurse, "she has LUNGS!" (see previous bullet)

- she isn't always graceful...

- she has one dimple on each cheek.

- her favorite songs are "you are my sunshine" and "little talks" by of monsters and men. oh, and the NCIS theme song.

- she has 2 teeth on the bottom, which she got at just 3 months.

- cutest. biggest. smile. ever.

- she desperately wants to talk and, no matter how sleepy she is, insists on being "where the people are"

- despite having so much energy, she is still our little philo-sopher (get it?). she is very attentive and will bore a hole into your soul with those eyes, trying to figure out what you're saying.

- she's a night owl.

- she has some great facial expressions.

- she's just learning to sit up.

she is just my favorite thing.

happy six months, baby girl...