Thursday, January 29, 2009

All growed up

This afternoon a neighbor girl came over and spent 15 minutes with Grayson and me before I left her in charge of caring for my sweet baby until Josh came home an hour later. Gray was fine - he grinned when she got here and showed her how to hammer his blocks. She was fine, too, and starting talking to and playing with him as soon as she walked through the door.

I was not fine. I was sad. I was sad to see how big he's gotten. So independent. He gave me loves then quickly turned his attention back to Lydia and his toys. How quickly I was forgotten and how heart-breaking it was for me. Grayson was so excited to have someone new to play with he didn't need Ma-ma-ma-ma anymore. I watched him from the doorway for a minute but he didn't notice. So I left for school. I went early so I could stop by the lab and draw pictures of E. coli and Staphylococcus
before my lecture began. I got that done with plenty of time to finish my other lab drawings for next week, and got to lecture with enough time to review what we'd covered last week. I wasn't hurried or stressed out. It was a nice change from constantly running behind after the bi-weekly pass-off with Josh.

My boy's usually asleep when I get home at 9pm, and I loathe the nights I don't get to brush his teeth and read him a story. Tonight was one of those nights, and sadly, Grayson didn't need me to be here in order to fall asleep. I shouldn't be, but I'm disappointed - it's just not the same telling a sleeping baby how much you treasure him. So as much as I needed Lydia to come over and help me out for an hour today, I don't plan on making it a regular occurrence. I need my baby to need me. I can't stand that's he's growing up without me.


*tear*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike

One of my favorite short-story authors. I read that he passed away today. I'm a little sad about it - weird, considering I've never met the man and I haven't read his works extensively. Funny how a small bit of loss lingers when someone moves on from this life, even if you didn't know them well.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Musings

Amazing what little things keep running around inside my brain while I'm waiting for Gray to fall asleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I got something in the mail last week that was miraculously neither baby- nor bill-related. It was something just for me, and I haven't opened it yet. It's not a package of something I bought online or a magazine subscription. It's not a personal item from a friend. It's strictly business. It's a sealed manila envelope, and it cost UVU exactly one dollar to mail it to me. It's the application packet for the 2009 Dental Hygiene program.

I have to get moving if I'm serious about applying to this year's program. If that's the case, why did I wait so many months to request an application? I don't know. I'd like to say I've been too busy, but it only took an email to the department to request it. And I actually thought about it several times before I finally sent my request. Truth be told, I'm as scared to get into the program as I am to get denied, for a couple of reasons.

First, the program costs $20k. We already have that saved up, so it's okay theoretically, but seriously...TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS? Even worse, who's going to watch Grayson while I'm off getting educated and how much will that tack on to the cost? The class times vary from semester to semester, but had I gotten into the 2008 program, my classes for this semester would be more or less from 8:30am to 2pm Mon, Wed, Fri. But last semester it would have been Mon afternoon, all day Tues and Wed, and Thurs morning. Completely different schedules every semester. Additionally, there are required clinics and experiences scheduled outside of class time throughout the semester that would take me away. Can I leave my baby all of that time? And if so, with whom?

Josh and I have talked a little about buying a home near UVU's campus and giving a room (or preferably a downstairs MIL apartment) to a fellow student/nanny in exchange for her to watch Gray while I'm in class, but it's so scary to bring someone into your home like that. And truth be told, we don't necessarily want to own a house in Utah County. Our ultimate goal is to get back to southern Utah where Josh can go back to school full-time. Getting stuck with a house anywhere in northern Utah may hinder that, which is another reason we've not yet purchased a home.

So where should we buy, if at all? Buy a house in southern Utah now and rent it out until we get down there in a few years? Or just keep renting up here, putting all extra money into our 'down-payment fund'? And why are homes so big? Don't people realize that the more home you have, the more you have to clean and the more opportunity for stuff to get lost?

How come so many of Grayson's things are lost and where did they go? Small board book. Teething ring. Blanket. Sock. Plastic snack holder with lid. Another sock. Nail file. Teething tablets. It seems something is always suddenly missing. As someone who always knows exactly where something is (just ask Josh, I'm like magic!), it's bewildering and absolutely frustrating. I hate this part of being a mom. This part plus the part where my kid doesn't like me wiping his nose and face are my least favorite parts. (And yet my baby doesn’t seem to mind when HE wipes his face on my shoulder or pants.)

And why do so many of my pants need safety-pins to stay on? Do clothes keep getting bigger? I've been the same weight and height since I was in high school, and for the life of me I don't understand how I was a size four 15 years ago and now some one's and even zero's are too big. What gives, clothing manufacturers? Do I need to start shopping in the junior section? And if so, what are the chances I'll still find 'long-length' jeans there? And why are pants only sold in even-numbered inseam lengths? A pair of jeans with a 33-inch inseam would be absolutely perfect, yet it seems so unattainable.

I'm hungry. Going to go try and eat myself into a pair of pants now, I suppose.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

So far not so good

I couldn't resist taking this video this afternoon and posting it here to show all y'all what a failure I am, even when I do let the kid cry himself to sleep. Granted, 40 minutes is a rarity, and yesterday afternoon he cried himself to sleep in 8 minutes (after the first 31-minute attempt failed), but I don't know that I'll ever let him go that long again. I'll probably revert back to my 15-minute limit because it breaks my heart to see him so sad.

Two nights ago, I stayed up until 1 am reading the Baby Wise book that my sister-in-law lent me but I never bothered picking up before now. I read more than half of it only to discover that Grayson's poor sleeping habits are all my fault. It's also my fault that he essentially snacks all day long and often needs to nurse before he can fall asleep. There are so many things I was supposed to do those first three months of his life and I botched every single one. Bad mommy! If only I'd had the energy or time to read the damn book, I'd have known about them and averted these months and months of suffering!

So, Mr. Ezzo, Dr. Bucknam...what does a perpetually exhausted mother do when she's already screwed up the first year of her son's life? Is he doomed to have ADHD? Do I have to finish the book or is the guilt brought on by the first half of the book sufficient?

If that meltdown doesn't kill you, looking at these eyes and listening to his residual gasps for air definitely will.
video

PS - On the bright side (or not)...I have no idea if Gray's sleeping through the night because I turned the volume on his monitor all the way down last night and the night before. If he's waking to eat or be comforted, he's figured it out on his own, because we don't hear him anymore. But sadly, I find myself waking up several times throughout the night anyway, thinking I hear him. I instantly check the monitor in a semi-panic, so even though I find he's sleeping just fine, it still takes me a bit to calm down and drift back to sleep. Oh, what I'd give for one, just ONE, night of nine consecutive hours of slumber - no interruptions (myself included). Will that day ever come again?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sleepless in Salt Lake

So I'm pretty ticked right now. This is the THIRD time I've done Grayson's 11-month post and he keeps erasing it for me. Not sure how it happened the first time, but a few minutes ago I highlighted everything to change my font type and size after I finally finished it and wouldn't you know Grayson pressed the space bar and immediately thereafter Blogger was nice enough to automatically save my draft for me. I lost every word, every picture, every video, every bit of punctuation down to the last comma. The only things left were the post title and label.

*sigh*

Needless to say, someone is no longer on my lap and is now throwing a fit that I put him in his crib. And you know what? I don't feel bad for him. I don't feel bad because he's supposed to be sleeping but he won't take a nap. This kid is the WORST SLEEPER EVER. I'm lucky if I get an hour's worth of naps from him in increments throughout the day. He's up at least once and usually twice during the night, and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after only 8-9 hours of sleep. Aren't babies supposed to sleep 10-11 hours at night? Seriously, it's no wonder so many women choose to work out of the home. I've contemplated going to work full-time just to get a break, and I have a good baby. I'd probably have sold him off by now if he wasn't so easy-going.

He's still screaming in his room. I know he's not hungry. I know his diaper is clean. I know he is tired. I know he's so upset by now that if I pick him up to console him, I'll be calming him for about 10 minutes before he'll loosen his death grip on my arms. He still won't fall asleep after that, but he'll be calm enough that I might be able to stop holding him and fold the whites. What should I do? I give him 20 minutes to cry himself to sleep when it's obvious he needs a nap, but that only works 1-2 times out of every 5 attempts. Am I supposed to just let him cry until he finally falls asleep no matter how long it takes? And what are some natural remedies for a constant headache besides drinking more water?

Anyway, this post was supposed to be fun and light-hearted but now all I can do is fume. Blah. I guess I'll save the 11-month post for tomorrow when I'm in a better mood.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meme

I've never done these kind of blog posts before, but I sat down today to finally update on the holidays and Grayson and was instantly overwhelmed to the point of merely saving drafts and blog-hopping instead. I happened across this meme and was so impressed with the number of things I could bold, I'm posting it here. If you want to participate just copy and paste the list into your own blog and bold all the things you have done. Let's see what we have in common!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world (both!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (enabling adoption totally counts)
16. Had food poisoning (pretty sure)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch-hiked (picked some up, though)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (no way...a half-marathon was enough for me!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (I really wanted to but I let cost hold me back - REGRET IT!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (is that possible?)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant (but I gave a stranger my blanket after an outdoor movie once)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater (I've always wanted to do that and we never took the opportunity in Vegas...do they have drive-ins in SLC?)
55. Been in a movie (I was in a print advertisement, though!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma (I can't, thanks to polycythemia)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (I doubt it was speeding)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (Book of Mormon doesn't count?)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (yikes!)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I saw Michael Richards (from Seinfeld) and Montel Williams at the SLC airport when I worked for SkyWest)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Friday, January 9, 2009

This bag makes me happy!

I treated myself to my very own 'Have a Daisy Day!' tote bag this morning.It's going to be great! I might make it my new Primary bag, depending on how long the straps actually are. A friend made me that logo several years ago - nicey! And Raffi, if you ever find this post and notice that I photoshopped out your name, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Anyway, you can get yourself a Personalized Classic Tote Bag for only $7.99 with free shipping from ArtsCow. As far as I can tell, only the white with black accent or the white with red accent is on sale. This offer is limited to one bag per person at the $7.99 price; two or more are going to cost you $11.99 each, but you still get the free shipping. This offer ends January 15.

You can view and order it here: http://www.artscow.com/Create/ShowProduct.aspx?ProductId=322

You'll need to sign up for ArtsCow if you've not already done so and upload your photo. Throw your picture on the bag, checkout, and enter
Checkout Code TOTEBAG799 on the Billing & Shipping info page. Easy breezy.

If for some reason the coupon shows 'expired' when you go to checkout, it's because the quantity is limited to 200 bags/day, so try again tomorrow. But this time try a little earlier.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New artistic impressions of Christ

David Bowman has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero." Check out his website at www.bowman-art.com to see more of his precious art.

"Innocence"
The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. Its no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples.
~~~~~ I think it goes without saying that I ♥ this first one most because it reminds me of Grayson playing with his loving older brother.

"Security"
One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generated
the exact feel I was looking for.

"My Child"
This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privelege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.

Friday, January 2, 2009

11 months!

Over the last month, Grayson...
  • Grew to 19 pounds, 14 ounces and 28.5 inches tall
  • Helped me earn an A in Philosophy
  • Attended his first Nativity
  • Took his first step (December 21, Amanda's birthday!)
  • Grew two new teeth (cut his 8th over Christmas)
  • Celebrated his first Christmas
  • Unwrapped his first present
  • Ate his first chocolate chip
  • Celebrated his first New Year
Grayson has become such a ham. He's very into mimicking everything we do and say. In addition to waving and clapping, he 'brushes' his hair and teeth when we do, talks into our cell phones (for a minute before he eats them), and copies our body actions, too - sticks his tongue out, throws his hands up in the air, opens 'wide'. The minute he hears music (radio, TV, computer, toys), his legs start bobbing and his arms start waving around. We call it arm dancing. We used to think he was doing the 'rolling' part of Pat-A-Cake, but I have a suspicion it came from us practicing the hokey-pokey for our family's Christmas party talent show at my folks' house (wait for the holiday recap post - I still have to figure out how to get those videos off our main camera). He reaches to sit up on my lap when I play this for him and immediately starts arms dancing to the music and pitchforks. He loves music so much. It's a no-fail way to distract him when he's throwing a fit.

Grayson has also become very inquisitive. He studies our faces when we speak to him and watches how we do things then tries to do them by himself. He loves when I play with his toys with him, and will help me put them away when we're finished. He's already a very organized little boy - I guess being OCD is genetic!

Sometimes he sleeps up on his knees like a frog, December 4
Brushing hair, December 9Hey, where are the dishes for me to pull out for you Mommy? December 13What an adorable bum! December 16 First waffles (plain), December 20Hey, just 'cause Santa isn't here doesn't mean I can't sit in his chair! December 29This kid seriously needs a hair cut.
Fresh out of the bath, New Year's Eve
First chocolate, courtesy my father:
video