Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mashed Goodness

Hubs and I are sort of known for being, well... clean.  We tend to have more rules about cleanliness than most surgical suites do!  For illustrative purposes, if we find out someone that has been to our house succumbed to a stomach illness shortly thereafter, we will go around our house disinfecting every door knob, handle and commonly touched surface in order to prevent contracting the dreaded virus or bacteria ourselves.  We are even more "particular" than that. We each have our own toothpaste and have NEVER shared a toothbrush (I know, it doesn't have to make sense to any one but us), drinking glasses are only handled by the sides and never the top, and food is never shared between us.

Well, God has to have a sense of humor, and if he does, he must be rolling with laughter right about now.  He matched us well when he put the two of us together, but Miss T is about to break our rules and our sterile spirits.  Tonight, we let Miss T feed her dinner to herself! 

Gasp!  I know!  All of you must be in the same panic we were!  OK, maybe you weren't, but we were absolutely twitching.  Let it be clear that this was done with the premeditated plan of dropping her in the tub as soon as she was done and we conducted this torture treatment (to us, not her) in the dining room at Grammy's house.  Dinner consisted of roast beef, mashed potatoes and butternut squash. 

This was about half way into our meal.  Hubs and I are nearly losing it by this point!  Take a closer look at those hands, they are filled with potatoes and squash.  Miss T is quite simply enjoying her handy little lollipop as she brings the fistful of mashed goodness back and forth between her mouth and the tray.

We knew she was done when she started painting her tray.  It was lovely.  The girl has a natural talent for texture and color.  Once I saw those hands wandering near her head/hair, dinner time was officially over.  The good news is that my darling husband and I survived without hyperventilating or collapsing into the fetal position on the floor while rocking and repeating the soothing mantra "Lysol and bleach, Lysol and bleach".  Miss T thoroughly enjoyed her meal and the ensuing bath (complete with new squirting bath toys).  It was quite the exciting evening and probably one of many to come.  That poor little girl is just going to have to live in the tub I think.  I'm having visions of installing a garbage disposal into our bath tub and giving her meals in there (thanks Seinfeld)!

Here are more of my favorite pictures:
Just look at those hands!

I want to eat those cheeks!

Eyes that melt my heart!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things you should know about me...

Inspired by another Momma Blog I follow, Little Miss Momma
(http://littlemissmomma.blogspot.com/), here's my list of things you should know about me:

I absolutely love any shade of green to the point that its almost ridiculous!

I make all kinds of crafts from crocheted scarves to pretty flower bows, yet neither I nor my darling Miss T wear any of them because I keep giving them away (not a very good business plan)!

I like to add interest to my outfits through my shoes!  I will wear the most boring clothes, but my shoes will be awesome.  My current favorite pair is a giraffe print flat.  My second favorite is a red patent leather peep toe 4" heel (hey, I'm only 5'1").

Even though I've lost all my baby weight, I still feel "misshapen" and don't like how I look in the clothes I used to wear pre-pregnancy.

I love a good pen - one that writes well, is cute, and has a good weight to it.  I won't let anyone use that pen!

I love that it is exactly 15 stairs from my first floor to my second floor. (have I mentioned that I like to count my steps in groups of 5?) It's another 10 steps from my first floor to my basement. :)

I like to scratch my doggie on the part of his nose where the fur is real short, right where the fur ends and it is soooo velvety.

I like to name my animals with people names because they really are like people to me.

I have the best husband in the world, he cleaned up the whole kitchen for me last night.  I didn't even know until I came downstairs this morning after he had left for work.  I was thrilled!

I hate to cook, but hate bad food even more, so I still cook.

I was a little insulted that Miss T liked the store bought baby food better than the food I make for her.

I turn into a monster now when my blood sugar is low.  When did that transformation take place?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Great Enterprise

Those who know me well, know that I love to make things. Call me Suzy Homemaker, call me Granny, but I love to learn how to do things like sew, crochet, etc. and then make adorable and useful things with my hands. Every year for Christmas, I make a plan to give away something that I can make. This year it's.... (sshh! I haven't given them all out yet!). In years past it's been crocheted hats, scarves, baby blankets, quilts, etc. This years gift really has me wondering if I could do more with it than just little gifts to the (little) people I love. Could it be time for me to open an Etsy shop? Am I that brave? Is it worth becoming a (gulp) busines owner and pay quarterly taxes??!! Do people really like what I make or are they just very appreciative of the thought that goes into it? I am encouraged when I see the things I make for people being used year after year. I had given a blanket to my friend JD for her son R when he was born. I noticed in a picture of her kids the other day that her youngest daughter was using it and her son is now 5! So, here's my question to my bloggo friends and beyond... what do you think? Do you think this is something you would purchase for a beautiful little girl? I really need some feedback. So let me know. If this is something worth pursuing, I need to invest some time and moolah into branding, packaging, shipping, etc. My wonderful husband even came up with an idea of how we can turn a little space in our house into a "workshop" of sorts for me (he's the best!) since Miss T took over my craft room! Here are some pictures of the latest creations. I'll add to the facebook album as I take more pictures of other creations that I have made. I look forward to hearing from you!
Link to the facebook page with more pics:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SLOW - holidays ahead

It seems that everyone I talk to has a ridiculously busy schedule this time of year. I thought ours was uniquely busy - so busy that even though our Christmas tree is up and the lights are on, we won't have time for a week to put the ornaments up (seriously?!?!). However, every person I talk to has a similar story. Every single night is filled with things to do, gifts to buy, parties to attend, etc. It seems like we are so busy with filling our Christmas season with "cheer" and "good will", that we can't even stop long enough to experience it! While this year is already a bust (I am physically unable to reneg on obligations that I have already committed to), I am making a resolution that in the future, I will make it a point not to make Christmas so busy and instead, slow down, stop even, and enjoy this time with the people I love and cherish most in the world. Little Miss T will only be a baby once, she will only be our only child for a short amount of time (no announcements, I'm just a planner), and I want to be able to look back and remember those special moments with her during Christmas, not the countless parties, events, shopping trips, etc. If it's not too late for you, I encourage you to make that happen this year. Cancel all those extra parties. Put aside all those extra little gifts you had planned to bake, make or buy. Spend that time with the friends and family that love you all year round, not just on the holidays.
Alright, with that, it's time to get ready for another work holiday party. Cheers!

Jury Duty

Not until living in one of the murder capitals of the county did I ever get summoned for jury duty. Now, it appears to be a yearly event. The last time I was summoned, I was #420-something. That translated into one of the 600 summons that required attendance, sitting in a cold room all day watching horrible movies (Last Holiday, Meet the Parents - ok, not so bad, and Home Alone - in February!). Of course, as fate would have it, I was summoned for the last trial selection of the day. At least I didn't have to watch Last Holiday - AGAIN!

It was probably the best civics/social studies lesson I've ever had, sitting in that courtroom, listening to the judge give instructions and watching countless people trying in vain to get out of doing their duty. The judge was great and actually said something to the effect of "Unless you're dying, you're not getting out of doing your civic duty." Love it! Being a reasonable person and not being able to lie (seriously, I can't do it!), I didn't make any objections and was actually seated as juror #11! This did concern me a bit since the defendants were arrested for illegal gun possession and were from West Baltimore - exactly where we mentor kids on Wednesday nights! Well, it didn't take too long before the the defendants' attorney vetoed my position and I quickly learned that even though the defendants had the same complexion as me, they didn't consider me a peer. Luckily I was dismissed and able to go home, but I learned some very valuable lessons that day:

1. Christmas movies should not be watched outside of the Christmas season.
2. There is no amount of reading material that can occupy a person for 8 hours in the same chair.
3. The waiting room for jury duty is quite possibly the best place to people watch.
4. I am worth way more than the $15 they pay you for showing up to jury duty.
5. You better have a really good reason if you are actually going to speak to a judge to try to get out of jury duty!
6. If your lawyer is going to give you a sweater to look presentable, make sure he gives you pants too so that you don't wear sweatpants. You will be standing up in court.
7. If you are educated and "fair", you're probably not going to be seated on a jury in Baltimore city.
8. Years of watching Law and Order forms my foundation for understanding legal jargon.

I review these lessons as I prepare myself to return to jury duty tomorrow. I am summons #921. In years past, this meant that I wouldn't have to report for duty. As such, I made plans for tomorrow, including a hair appointment to prepare for a fancy holiday work party tomorrow night. However, it appears that all 999 summons that were sent for today's jury duty were required to attend, meaning, all 999 summons sent for tomorrow (including my #921) will likely have to attend as well. I won't find out until at 5:00pm tonight when I call the hotline to see what numbers are reporting. My fingers are crossed, hoping that tomorrow's docket is light. Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Such an adorable little model, huh? :)

The girl is crafty like ice is cold!

I'm getting my craft on! With the colder weather approaching, I'm starting to feel the urge to make stuff again. I have a list of projects longer than Santa's list! Gifts for my friends' daughters (all of them!), a quilt here, and baby blanket there, etc, etc. Through a couple of friends, I've become addicted to Etsy and to crafty blogs. Feeding my frenzy, one such friend said to me the other day "I'm sure you could make this...". I could spend days just seeing what others are doing and think "Hey, I can do that too!". So, off I go, figuring out how to do kanzashi, crochet flowers, make pillow case dresses, and do appliques. It wouldn't be so bad if I had adequate space for all of my projects, however, Miss T took over the second bedroom, so now all my crafts are stored in the basement and my current projects are all over the living room! Poor hubby! I try to minimalize the chaos, but with no success! Another friend, the one who hooked me on blogs, said today "you could totally sell these on Etsy". I heart you, L! And thanks for the fix! With that, I plan on uploading pictures of my projects as I finish them. If you see something you like, let me know! Maybe it could turn into a career-on-the-side for me. You know, in addition to being a grad student, doing research, being a mom, etc.!
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy 7 Months Old, Miss T!

Today, Miss T turns 7 months old. Yikes. When did that happen? Somewhere between the diaper changes (with a handful of explosions), the middle-of-the-night feedings and the never ending discoveries (both hers and mine), my little girl is now 7 months old! I found myself looking at pictures from her first week of life yesterday wondering just how she went from this tiny, skinny legged, observing-the-world infant to the beautiful, curious, interactive, full of personality little girl we have now? She now naps twice a day on a fairly regular schedule, she is eating solid foods and loving just about everything I give her, she has rolled both ways, is sitting and loves to stand. Yesterday, during a rousing game of peekaboo, while my eyes were covered and wondering where T was, she pulled my hands from my eyes as if to say "Here I am!". Seriously, I want to know how and when this happened. I want to know how I can freeze my little girl so that she won't grow up too fast, so that I can savor every development, every learning moment, every heart wrenching memory. She amazes me everyday.

Miss T - 3 days old.

Miss T - nearly 7 months old.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Daddy's Little Girl...

Miss T said "Dada" yesterday. From what I hear, it was a clear "Dada", not one of those "well, it sort of sounded like..." kind of things. Of course, I've been hearing "maaaaa" whenever she cries or whines for the past 6 months, but I'm sure that's all in my head, just as I can be anywhere with or without T and hear her crying. Anyways, syllable training is in full force now with a specific emphasis on Mama! If I'm the one feeding her at 2:30 every night, I deserve a little recognition, right? Silly girl.

Speaking of 2:30am feedings, we've been weaning T by reducing the amount of time she is allowed to nurse in the middle of the night. We've gotten to the point where we just need to stop now and suffer through it. The problem is that I have absolutely no will power at 2:30am! When we deswaddled at night, luckily T peed through her swaddle which left us with no choice but to follow through with our plans. That tactic can't help us with this one though. The only way to force the situation is for me to not be there at night. What am I supposed to do, sleep in a hotel? Hmmm, that doesn't sound so bad. Honey, you've got this one right? I'll be at the Hilton down the street for the next few nights! Love ya both!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Look who's eating cereal! So exciting!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I am finally nearing the end of a two week emotional roller coaster. Two weeks ago, my sleep training book convinced me that the reason T doesn't sleep at night (and hence neither do we) is because I rock her to sleep every time I put her down. Not even 72 hours before this conclusion, I had a sweet moment doing just this with my daughter. It was a beautiful afternoon, she had just fallen asleep and as I gazed at her peaceful face, the curve of her profile, the nose that is cute on her but not on me, I distinctly remember saying to myself "this is my happy place". The mere thought of having to give that up sent me into an emotional storm; by enjoying these moments I was harming my child by keeping her from learning healthy sleep habits, I was damaging my marriage and our health by our not sleeping, and by waiting all this time to begin sleep training, I had made it harder and more frustrating for T. What's more, this was a sharp painful reminder that my little baby wasn't going to stay this little forever and she wasn't going to need me for everything for very long. She's already outgrown two size groups of clothing (N and 0-3) and is close to moving up a size again. She's placed her binkie in her mouth a few times on her own now and is so close to rolling over. As excited as I am for each of these new developments, I'm overwhelmed with sadness that I can never get this time back with her.
Now, two weeks into sleep training, I'm starting to pull myself out of my abyss. Training has gotten easier and less teary although we feel like we have no idea what we are doing! We have made some progress and have had a couple of nights with quality rest. We've survived our first cold and I got to have a couple of chances to still rock my baby. I've found a loophole! I cuddle with her and rock her when she first wakes up and is still snuggly! Thank goodness for this! It's almost better than when she falls asleep because this is when she is the most talkative and she tells the best stories!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Top cities for working moms...

Forbes recently published their 2nd attempt at ranking US cities in the perspective of a working mom. http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/24/best-us-cities-working-mothers-employment-family-forbes-woman-leadership-parenting.html The criteria used to calculate the rankings include cost of living, pediatricians in the area, crime, unemployment, women's earnings and spendings per pupil in public schools. While these may seem all-encompassing on the surface, they really don't get to the heart of what working mom's desire. From my perspective (mom of a 5-month old so still relatively new to this), some of the things they missed were quality and quantity open green spaces, cost of QUALITY day care (who cares if day care is cheap if you are frantically worried about your child all day!), family friendly workplaces (i.e. sick leave, paid time off, flexible hours, etc., family friendly activites offered in the evenings/weekends, and networking opportunities for working moms to name a few. If I live in an area with the highest paid earnings, but the workplace is hostile towards working moms and daycare costs an arm and a leg, then it's not a very good city for a working mom now, is it? Even if my workplace is ideal, if at the end of the day/week, I don't have any way to network or meet other working moms, then my community is lacking. This last point is very important to me. Nearly all the programs geared towards infants where I would meet and connect with other moms happen during the day, M-F! Where are the evening/weekend programs for the rest of us? forbes has missed the mark for a second year in a row. I hope they take into consideration the comments left by their readers. Granted, these are very difficult aspects to gauge mathematically. I'm sure one of their working moms can come up with a clever solution!

It used to be...

It used to be that I could easily cradle Miss T in one arm while I rocked her to sleep; now her legs hang off the side of the chair! It used to be that I would grip her with both arms as we walked ever so carefully down the stairs; now I hold her on my hip with one arm. It used to be that I was her favorite form of entertainment; now she is fascinated by everything but me!

In five lightning quick months, T has grown up so much, full of personality. She's so inquisitive, alert, and curious. Everything fascinates her now, from the doggie (who licks only her for some reason), to the breeze coming through the open window, to the trees swaying in the wind outside. While we are approaching new milestones (teeth, sitting, rolling over, solid foods), I can't help but feel a little saddened by the amount of time that has already gone by, especially when I look back at pictures of her, so tiny and helpless.

I watched her put her binkie into her mouth by herself for the first time the other day and cried. It meant that she was starting to not need me for something and be able to provide for herself. I know it will be a long, long time before she is an independent woman and that on some level she will always "need" me. But, it's so hard to let go of that feeling of being the one that provides everything. Still, it is with such pride that I can watch her learn, grow, and develop into this beautiful person right in front of me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation Success!!

Well, all the planning and stressing that went into was well worth it. Though the travelling was a bit rough there and back, this might be one of the best vacations we have ever had. Admittedly, everyone was a little grumpy when they arrived - who wouldn't be after 12 or more hours of travelling? However, once everyone got to see the house, the pool and expecially the beach, all parties were in a much better mood. The dinner plan worked fabulously! Each family took turns cooking dinner. While it was a challenge to cook for 10 adults, one child and one toddler, everyone did a great job. No one person was left to cook or clean despite their best efforts (ahem, Mary!). The days were spent getting up early (thanks T!), having breakfast and alternating between the pool and the beach. The waves were amazing and perfect for body surfing. The pool was a nice retreat and a great location for slam dunk and cannonball contests. The Hayes kids really know how to entertain themselves!
T's first experience on the beach was an emotional one for me. As we reached the top level of the board walk to cross over the protected dunes, I started tearing up thinking about how this was her first time experiencing the power of the ocean, the feel of the sea breeze and the peace that comes over you when you are there. The texture of sand certainly interested her, but she didn't want any part of the waves washing over her feet! The water was a bit colder than her bath tub and once the water reached her toes, an almost clown-like pout would cross her face only to disappear the instant she was lifted out! The pool was a completely different experience and she seemed to like it this time, maybe because it was familiar and she was in my arms.
The best part of being at the beach was how the ocean air tuckered little Miss T out! My lovely little girl started sleeping through the night a couple of nights while we were there. How refreshing those nights were! We also had the opportunity to watch cousin K (17months) while everyone took a wild horse tour (we had done this last year). It was a nice glimpse into what life will be like with 2 babes. We handled it well I think, their naps overlapped by an hour which gave us time to rest!
Altogether, this vacation was amazing. We had so much fun and truly enjoyed being with each other! There were a few bumps along the way, from teething babies to adult ear infections and runs to the local walk in clinic, but with a family that size, things like that are expected. I hope this can be a tradition that we repeat every couple of years or so. I was truly sad the first morning we were home when I woke up and realized that Grampy wouldn't be making coffee for everyone and cousin K wasn't there to tell us all a "story". I love you guys and miss you a ton! Thanks for a great week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, right?

In three days, we will pack up the family car to the brim and head for the Outer Banks. I have been looking forward to this vacation since Thanksgiving last year when I was about 20 weeks pregnant, just found out I was having a little girl and couldn't wait to share one of my major loves with her - the beach. I should say that, even though my family moved around like it was our job, we were always near the ocean. To me, the beach was my back yard (literally in some places that we lived). I spent many summer, fall, even winter days on the beach, looking for shells, horseshoe crabs, and periwinkles. We would walk, run, jump to the end of the jetty and feel like we were alone in the world, surrounded by the sound of crashing waves. These memories of my childhood give me such peace (I have few childhood memories that do). The beach has become part of me, almost to the point where I have salt water in my veins! Living so far away from the ocean now makes me feel like I've left part of myself there on the sand.
So, this beach vacation has been eagerly anticipated. I did not expect the amount of stress that would accompany me on this trip! This will be T's first real road trip. With traffic, we are expecting it to take us 7-8 hours to get there! We'll be leaving early in the morning, so hopefully she'll sleep most of the time, but if she doesn't... Let's not dwell there just yet. I've made dozens of lists of what I'll need to pack for her, surveyed countless moms for their recommendations and have done "practice packing runs" in my head. I just know I'll forget something and will regret it later! Besides the packing and travelling, T has been going through a rough sleeping phase. She's been getting up 3-4 times a night (what happened to my good sleeper??!!), cranky during the day (teething and lack of continuous sleep are the likely culprits), and not eating as well.
I hope this trip turns out to be all (or even half) of what I had hoped for back in November. Maybe T will surprise me and sleep most of the way and transition out of this phase quickly... maybe. Regardless, I am so happy to share the one place that always brings me peace with my daughter, just as my mom shared it with me. This will be the first of many such trips to the beach for us, I'm sure. Our first beach trip will always be special though.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It was a rough night...

Poor Miss T is teething. I can't see any teeth yet, but I'm convinced they're coming. Little girl is chomping down on anything and everything to get some relief. We've been hesitant to medicate her, only giving generic tylenol when she's miserable (or we are!). Cold binkies and teething rings have been helping, but only so much. Last night was a tough one. I felt like we had a newborn again! T went to bed at 8:15, woke up at 9:45, 10:45, midnight, 2:00-2:45, 4:45, and finally up at 7:00. Around the midnight wake up, I made plans to sleep in her room on the floor should she wake up again. When she woke up at 2:00, the plan went into action. For the first time in a long, long time, I "slept" on the floor last night. I can't imagine how I used to prefer this when I was a kid! In between wakings, I would try to get as comfortable as I could on a thin fleece blanket on the carpet with a sheet and one of her blankets over me. At least the baby blanket was the one we refer to as the Fluffernutter (it's fluffy and white like marshmellow and when we first used it for her, she was a little peanut, hence the official state sandwich of Massachusetts became the name of this little blanket). I would finally fall asleep, only for her to wake again. sigh. It's a good thing she is the cutest little thing in the world! Not many living things would get away with keeping me up so much! Coffee is my best friend today. More importantly, I hope Miss T's day gets better, that she gets a break from this mess, and that those darn teeth break through soon! It's time we saw some results from all of this!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Renewed Faith in Humanity

For me, grocery shopping is a sure fire way to ruin my afternoon. Factor in a baby and a stop at a wholesale club store and it's a recipe for disaster. On a recent trip, the mercury was rising to 100 degrees as we tried to accomplish this task. First, the wholesale club was overcrowded. T's carseat completely blocked any view I had as I tried to navigate my way through the store to pick up a handful of items. One would think that people might see my limited ability to navigate and give way to a small woman pushing a cart with a baby on top, but sadly no. Over and over again, people cut me off and caused me to stop my cart abruptly all while holding onto her carseat so that it wouldn't topple out. Finally, approaching the register, I entered a self checkout line so that my crying baby wouldn't offend any cashiers. Of course, as fate would have it, two of my items couldn't be scanned. I couldn't tell if the sideways looks I received was because of Miss T's crying, or because I twice had to call for help with my order.
Finally, we made it out to the car. I stashed our items in the trunk (while pulling a muscle in my shoulder - really, I know its a great deal, but does dishwasher detergent have to come in a 5 gallon size?) and drove us over to the grocery store. Hoping for a more pleasant shopping experience, I put on our Moby wrap to "wear" Miss T (remember the 3-digit weather outside?). From the deli to the produce section, Miss T was all smiles and garnered a few oohs and aahs from fellow shoppers. By the time we reached the canned goods aisle, she was crying again (can you blame her? would you want to be running these errands on your weekend?). With many more sideways looks and eyerolls, I tried hurrying through the remainder of our shopping list. This was not easily achieved as my shopping cart would rather topple over than turn in any direction. At one point, I almost let it, just to make a point! I skipped the ice cream (even though it was BOGO free, so you know how desperate I was!) and speed-walked to a register.
With Miss T all out screaming by now, I was trying to get all of my items onto the belt when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a sweet 80-something year old woman (and here's where my faith returned) offering to put all my items on the belt for me. I was nearly in tears I was so thankful. It figures that of all the people in the store that were completely capable of lending a hand, it was a frail little old lady who could barely stand that offered to help. She even suggested she stay with me so she could walk me out to my car and put the groceries in the trunk! I thanked her profusely and told her I could take it from this point. On my way out, I fought with the cart some more only to run into a store employee who then helped me bring the cart to my car and put the groceries in the trunk.
As I drove away, tears of gratitude filled my eyes. Despite how many times I thanked these two beautiful people, I don't think I could ever express my true gratitude. They have no idea what a light in the darkness they were for me on that day. I won't forget their generosity and I will remember this the next time I see someone else having a rough go. Instead of a nasty look, I hope I can offer some light and help them out too.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm am so obsessed with everything baby right now, its a little sickening! Anyways, through a 3-6 month baby board, I've stumbled onto another blog that is doing a cloth diaper give-away. There are extra entries for linking your blog to theirs (facebook liking as well, I don't twitter, so no third entry for me). So, here's the ad for their giveaway for my extra entry!
Cloth Diaper Give Away!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Throwing Aces At Charm City Church

For several years now, hubby and I have been devoted our Wednesday nights to MetroKidz, a Bible-based kids program at our church that reaches out to inner city kids. Last night might have been one of the coolest nights we have ever had! Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with these kids, but some nights are work. Not last night though, I don't think I had seen so many teachers smiling all at once. Why were we all so excited you ask? Orioles pitcher #13 Will Ohman and the Orioles mascot came to visit us!
Per the usual (lately anyways), Miss T and I arrived late. The kids were settled into the sanctuary already, music was playing, and The Bird was "warming" the kids up. Like a giddy little girl, I hurried to get Miss T out of her carseat so that we wouldn't miss our chance to wave at The Bird. I should mention that last year at a game The Bird "kissed" me on the top of my head, so we have sort of a thing going on. Anyways, I was happy to see that Miss T wasn't scared of The Bird and we got our chance to wave. (He blew kisses to Miss T later on!)
After a few more songs, my dear hubby got up to make the introductions for our guest speaker. You could see all over his face how excited he was! After quizzing the kids about pitching, ERAs, crowding the plate, and some other stats, Will Ohman took the stage. Had I met him in a grocery store, even wearing a jersey as he was last night, I wouldn't have thought for a second that he was a MLB player. He's a regular looking guy with a beautiful wife and two adorable kids, a boy and a girl, both 4.5 year old. He talks and holds himself like a regular guy. He certainly doesn't have that "I'm a celebrity" air that I was half-expecting! He told the kids about who he was and what he does for work and he gave them quite a few nuggets that I hope they were listening to and took to heart:
-We are all given talents by God in order to glorify him. His gift was being able to throw a ball with speed and accuracy. There are many kinds of gifts and each of us needs to find ours.
-In order to glorify God with our gifts, it takes A.C.E. Attitude, Concentration, Effort
-His favorite part of his job is also the most scary. He gets called to the mound to strike out the best hitter on the other team usually when there are guys on base. This high pressure scene is where he is able to best use his gifts for God's glory.
Will answered many, many questions for the kids (and some teachers) from "How many times have you played the Athletics?" to "Do you get nervous?". There were some really poignant questions too. When asked if it was difficult to be a Christian when he is in that type of surroundings, he said not really. When they have games on Sundays, they have someone come in to have a service, even if its only for 15 minutes or so. He said a lot of his teammates pray and are usually doing so during the national anthem.
After the questions died down and the kids were being dismmissed for dinner, Will and his wife handed out player cards and helmets for each of the kids. They stuck around after dinner and signed cards and helmets outside for the kids on their way home. Such a nice guy and a great family. We truly enjoyed their visit to MetroKidz and the message that was shared. I hope the Orioles re-sign him, so he can come back again next year!
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Mamma Bear

Yep, I have completely turned into a Mamma Bear. I'm not sure when this happened, or how, but it's definitely there. An event occurred this weekend that made this very clear to me and now that I have admitted it to myself, it is easier to recognize and see it action - and apparently, my Mamma Bear self roars her mighty roar all the time! So, back to the enlightenment, we go to an inner city church that is very much like a missions church, so much so that during the summer missions teams come and serve our negihborhood and stay in our building. This week, there was a team of 50 people from NC, very nice, very eager, very friendly. During service on Sunday, Miss T was being very good and I was hoping to actually make it through a service without having to sequester us to the prison of the nursery. I could tell she was getting sleepy and got her binkie out and started to cradle her in my arms (the ONLY time she lets us hold her like that is when she is ready to go to sleep!). Just then there is a tap on my shoulder. I look over to see a very sweet young lady (probably young 20's). She very nicely asks me if she can hold Miss T.
My reply: "Umm, she's a bit fussy (she wasn't at all) and I'm trying to get her to go to sleep, so if you don't mind I'll keep her"
My inner dialog: "Ummm, who the heck are you? And who do you think you are asking to hold a child whom you don't even know when she is clearly with her mother! For all I know, you could be plotting to kidnap her, and who wouldn't want to kidnap her, seeing how beautiful she is! NO, you won't be holding her, now or ever, so back off!"
Ahem, so while the request may have been a little strange and the outward response was fairly polite (with a lot of restraint), the inner Mamma Bear was raging. I've recognized this side of me in other situations now, like when our dog of 7 years gets a little rough within 10 feet of Miss T, when she's fussing at all in her Daddy's arms, when Grammie is holding her just a little too loosely for my liking. For the time being, Mamma Bear has been kept secure in the confines of my head, oh but for the poor soul that finally unleashes her. Lets all hope that doesn't happen!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh, how she amazes me!

I think until you have children, that there are so many things that we just take for granted. Yesterday, I watched as my daughter reached for a rattle, grabbed it and shook. This might not seem like much, but for weeks I've been prying her little hand open, placing that same rattle in and closing her fingers only for her to open her hand and drop it. All on her own lasst night, she did it, exactly when she was ready to. It seems such a small thing, but tears came to my eyes, I was watching my daughter learn and explore her world!
So much else about her amazes me, daily. Yesterday, she smiled upon seeing me for the first time. Mind you, she smiles all the time in reaction to other smiles, but this one was because she saw and recognized me. My heart nearly exploded, and even though she had woken me up several times the night before and I was a cranky mess, that beautiful little smile changed the course of my day completely!
The "words" she forms are like music to my ears (even though I'm completely tone deaf!). She finds all new sounds to make and even teaches me how to make certain sounds. She was making a new clicking/snapping noise and it took me a day to figure out how she was doing it!
All of these actions may seem small to us adults who function on a "higher" level all the time. However, the relative intensity of how much she is developing and learning all the time is by far greater than anything we do. How often do we challenge ourselves to learn something completely new? It would be like me deciding to learn how to change the oil in my car today and tomorrow, I think I will learn how to sail a boat. Dear Daughter, you are truly an inspiration to me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's with the title?

My 3 month old daughter has gotten very smiley lately and I'm dying to hear her laugh for the first time. She is definitely a ticklish little girl, but still no laugh yet. When I do tickle her, I use my fingers very lightly and ask "who has ticklebugs? T has ticklebugs!". If you try to imagine this literally though, it's pretty grotesque. Bugs running up and down my baby's torso tickling her, blech. This will probably cause her to go to one of two extremes: having a phobia of insects, or becoming an entymologist! For the time being, she likes it and so do I.

Introductions all around...

This is my first blog, and my first entry! Allow myself to introduce, um, myself...

I am a new mom of a beautiful baby girl, a wife, a grad student, and a future microbiologist. I wear many hats apparently and I try to do all of them well! I am originally from New England and have relocated to the mid-eastern states for graduate school. Being a Yankee (but not a Yankee fan!) I consider this the south though I'm told by locals that it isn't (it's below the M-D line, isn't it? then it's the south!). We live downtown in a major urban setting and try to give back by mentoring and teaching the Bible to inner city youth. I am currently teaching 5-6 grade girls whom I adore!

I have no idea where this blog will go. I randomly started it today simply because I clicked on a button to follow another blog. Maybe it will go somewhere, maybe not. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch some memories of my baby girl growing up, my grad student experiences, the situations my husband and I find our selves in as we strengthen our marriage and the many ways God inspires us in this city.

That's all for now!