September 30, 2007
I'm not complaining. I'm just really, really tired. I'm in what I like to call a funk.
Jack hasn't been sleeping well lately. He woke up FIVE TIMES on Saturday night. Actually, he probably woke up 8 or 9 times, but there were only 5 times in which we had to get out of bed and help him fall back asleep. He wasn't upset or anything . . . just awake. The hard part is that he was AWAKE almost all day Sunday too. The kid wouldn't nap for anything. Kyle and I were EXHAUSTED.
On the bright side, he took a 3 1/2 hour nap this afternoon. Most days, the total of his naps don't even add up to 3 hours. He woke up a couple of times but went right back to sleep again. It was nice to have a long stretch of time to get things done around here. And, I'm hoping because he slept well this afternoon, he'll sleep well tonight. Fingers crossed. His mood has been remarkably pleasant today.
I think I'm usually in a funk every year around this time. It's probably the change in the weather, or the lack of interaction with people outside of camp. Maybe it's just my down time of year. . . who knows.
Last year was the exception to this, I suppose. Last year I was thrilled because I was finally pregnant! October 9 was the first time we heard his heart beat and I've never been so relieved in my life. Actually, Jack's laying on my lap sleeping right now and I can feel his hearbeat against the arm I'm not typing with. It's amazing that it's the same heart that we heard for the first time a year ago when he was the size of a grain of rice.
I just realized that it's hard to stay in a funk when I think about these things.
September 27, 2007
September 25, 2007
September 24, 2007
I'm not going to lie to you. Murphy was my first baby. We got her when she was two months old in Novmber 2005 and I loved her like she was a child. Was she an impulse buy and a coping mechanism for the recent diagnosis of my PCOS and resulting infertility? In retrospect, I suspect so. I didn't carry her around in a handbag or dress her up in little clothes, but we gave her a lot of attention.
Right before we left for the hospital, I was a little emotional as I was trying to catch her to put her in her crate (yes, we have to catch her everytime we leave the house . . . it's super fun). I picked her up and held her for a minute thinking about how she had NO IDEA what was about to hit her. There was no way for her to know that when we got home she would no longer be my baby. Her cute furriness would be surpassed by someone else's cute baby-ness . . . the clock would strike midnight and she would turn back into being just a dog.
And she did. It's safe to say that Jack has taken Murphy's world and turned it upside down.
I had this picture in my mind of what it would be like to bring Jack home and introduce him to Murphy. I pictured Murphy sitting there looking inquisitively at Jack while Kyle knelt down holding Jack. Murphy would sniff Jack a little and sit back in approval and resignation to the fact that she was no longer the center of the universe. And I, of course, would be capturing the whole thing on video.
If you're at our house sometime, ask to see the video. THere was jumping and barking and half way through the introduction, I was forced to put the camera down to help Kyle keep Murphy from eating Jack whole. Needless to say, it was different than I had imagined.
She's no longer the center of our attention and she has been more than reluctant to give up that place in our home. Let's just say that she's stopped being so lovable. She chews up everything that Jack spits up on. She barks wildly at NOTHING, but only when Jack is napping. She is so curious about Jack and wants to show that curiosity by climbing on him and licking him. I have to constantly be aware of where she is so that she doesn't pounce on Jack. To top it all off, she began peeing at our bedroom door several times a night. Lovely. Everything that we used to find adorable and entertaining about her has disappeared.
The hardest part is that though it seems that she's changed so much since Jack came home, she's actually the same as she's always been. Kyle and I are the ones with the new perspective. Murphy hasn't changed a whole lot . . . but in our eyes she's just an animal now. Although I knew it would happen, I feel a little guilty. We've made her this way. We've created this monster.
I still love my dog, but the love is different. On Saturday, while Jack was napping, I was downstairs watching TV and napping. Murphy crawled up on the couch and sat on my feet to keep them warm like she used to. We sat there and enjoyed each other's company like we did in the old days. When Jack woke up, she was sent back into her new reality.
I suppose she'll get used to her new life eventually. I just hope she gets used to it without us having to replace a lot of Jack's burp cloths and all of our bedroom carpet.
September 23, 2007
Me: What kinds of differences make it hard?
Big sunglasses lady: [verbatim] Evolution and stuff.
September 21, 2007
Dear Somerset Beach,
Send someone to our conference, or else.
So, I'm here. I came into this conference with two basic assumptions:
1. Everything would be way over my head.
2. I would be the coolest person at the conference.
Assumption number one was not necessarily true. I've learned a lot about online ministry . . . who knew? While there are some sessions that lose me a little, I realized that I know a lot more about marketing and web design than I thought I did. There are, in fact, people here who know less than I do. The problem is that the less people know, the more they feel like they need to compensate for it by pretending they know EVERYTHING. Consequently, they make themselves look really stupid. Even as I type, there's a conversation going on at the table next to me that is making me want to cram the fake fruit from the centerpiece in front of me into my ears just to make it stop.
Another insight that I gained was that I underestimate my "boringness." You read that correctly. According to a few of the conference attendees, I do not use my blog as an evangelistic tool; therefore, it is egotistical, esoteric and boring. So be it. I've never forced anyone [but my husband] to read it. Ironically, I was excited to be a part of that conversation because I knew I could come home and blog about it.
Assumption number two was correct. I mean, it wasn't a Star Trek convention or anything, but most of these people were definitely way nerdier than I am.
Here are a few of the highs/lows of the conference:
- The first presenter tried to say "baby boomers" and instead said "booby bangers." I, of course, started giggling like a 12-year-old.
- While we were praying during morning devotions, I heard the guy next to me shuffling papers. I opened my eyes and glanced over at him and had to hold in the laughter. He had his eyes closed but was squinting enough to still look at his conference schedule through the small slits created by his eyelids. He did this as if he thought he was fooling everyone into thinking he was actually praying. You know . . . the same way a 7 or 8 year old might if he were trying to finish his coloring page in church during prayer without being scolded. If your eyes look closed, you're still praying, right? Hey loser . . . just open your eyes!
- Obviously, 95% of the people here have laptops with them and are on them through sessions. In fact, most of the presenters have you follow along with their presentations via the Internet. You all know that I'm loving that. But what I don't love are the "loud typers." Several of these people have laptops that have been around since I was in junior high and they pound their keyboards as if the keys will not understand what they're trying to spell unless they are very emphatic about pressing them. The lady next to me also feels that she has to type every word the presenter says.
- Every presenter had some sort of alliteration tool to aid in comprehension. One guy had 6 separate alliterative lists. SIX! (Side note: I spell checked to see if 'alliterative' is a word. It is.)
- I went back to the hotel quickly this morning to bring Kyle the stroller that I had inadvertently taken with me. In the lobby, I noticed a man sitting at a small table with a 8 1/2" x 11" sign that said, "Register here." It was weird but I was in a hurry so I didn't give it much thought. As I walked toward my room, I saw no less than 15 people in the hallway sitting in chairs up against the wall across from the door to my room. All of the rooms on that side of the hall had open doors with signs on them that said things like "war relics," "jewelry" and "coins." A Grand Rapids version of the Antique Road Show was set up in our hallway. Meanwhile, Kyle spent the whole day trying to get Jack to nap with crowds gathered outside the door. It was bizarre.
- I would estimate that most of the conference attendees were between the ages of 40 and 50. This did not surprise me. One of the presenters, however, was about my age. He kept talking about opposition from people in the "older generation" and referring to the "40-year-old guys who make things difficult for people who have anything to do with the Internet." I was so embarrassed for him. Come on buddy . . . KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
- At this conference, the heated debate regarding Mac vs. PC raged on. I saw the people with Macs staring at others with PCs as if they have a cross to bear. I made the comment yesterday that I made a conscious choice when I bought my Sony over a Mac. . . there was an audible gasp around the table. Part of me wonders if my strong allegiance to my PC is the equivalent of those who refuse to switch to Windows from DOS based programs. The other part of me doesn't care.
All in all, it was a good experience and rather entertaining. I did enjoy being the coolest person in the room for once in my life. For that reason alone, I will go back next year.
September 20, 2007
Lady: Have you read all of Max Lucado's books?
Me: I have read a few, but not all of them.
Lady: What kinds of books do you read the most?
Me: I really like several of the most recent books by Donald Miller and Brian McClaren. I like C.S. Lewis a lot too.
Lady: My husband likes those kinds of books too . . . I think it's because he's in finance.
I had to go to the Internet Ministry Conference this week. In fact, I'm sitting in a session right now. I'll write more about the conference later.
Anyway, because I'm nursing, Jack had to come with me. Which means Kyle had to come too to watch Jack while I'm in sessions.
Background information: I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in previous posts, but Jack has developed a dislike for riding in the car over the last few weeks. "Dislike" probably isn't an adequate word to describe his reaction to the carseat. "Burning hatred" is probably more accurate.
I can't say that I totally blame him. First, he has to sit in a rear-facing car seat. Who would want to stare at the backrest on the bench in our explorer? Second, until Thursday, he was in his small infant carseat/carrier. He's still under the weight limit for that (I think) but he's a big kid and was getting a little smooshed.
In preparation for this trip, we bought this big boy carseat this week (which can be rear facing until he's 1 and the forward facing until he's over 50 lbs . . . which at this rate will probably be by the time he's 2). We gave it a test spin on Thursday night and he smiled and talked for the first 10 minutes. He cried and screamed the entire way home.
I'm giving all of this background information for a couple of reasons. First, it helps you understand why I did what I did. Second, it delays me actually having to tell you what I did. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to handle the crying for the !TWO HOUR! trip to Grand Rapids. So, we borrowed a portable DVD player. You can see where I'm going with this, and my head is hanging in shame.
We strapped the DVD player to the back of the bench in the explorer and put a Baby Einstein video in. About 30 minutes into the trip, he got fussy and I turned it on. He watched it without making a peep for 45 minutes before falling asleep. He cried both times I tried to turn it off while he was still awake.
At home, whenever the tv is on, he starts stretching his head around trying to figure out where the big magic box with the moving pictures on it. Afterall, he his his mother's son. As a result, the television stays off most of the time he's awake. I do this because I've read all about the research that says television is harmful to the development babies under the age of 2. However, I chose to trade the healthy mental development of my 3-month old for my sanity for 2 hours.
I, once again, feel like an unfit parent. My child isn't even old enough to sit in a front-facing carseat and I had him watching a movie to keep him quiet in the car. I know that child services won't be removing him from my home or anything, but I still feel awful.
The saddest part . . . I still haven't decided whether or not I'll use it on the way home. I realize that Jack will not be scarred for life, so I not fishing for e-mail from everyone telling me what a great mom I am. I just need a little time to get over the fact that I couldn't come up with a better solution.
September 19, 2007
This reminded me of a story about my sister watching tv with friends in college. I can't imagine why, but one Sunday morning they were watching the station on TV that airs a program that consists only of a nun sitting in front of a camera and reading from the Bible. The only thing that made this story halfway interesting was the fact that this nun wore an eye patch.
After watching for a few minutes, someone asked,"Do you think that when she prays, she says 'Ourrrrrrrr father, who arrrrrrrrrt in heaven'?"
That's all I've got.
September 17, 2007
I took pictures of several when Kyle and I were up north last year, but this sign was my favorite and it had two different sayings, both of which were equally bad. I hope you find them as amusing as I do . . . and if this happens to be your church, I really mean no offense.
Oh, and don't forget . . . exposure to the Son keeps one from burning.
September 16, 2007
It was a year ago yesterday that I found out that I was pregnant. It was a year ago today that I wrote my first post on this blog (though it was hosted by live journal back then). I had been writing sporatically on my myspace blog but started this one so that I could keep the posts private for a while.
Happy blogiversary to me!
September 14, 2007
The prime suspect in this investigation is a dog, known as "Murphy." When questioned, this canine appeared to act as if nothing had happened.
Until today, these serial attacks have been limited to burp cloths, pacifiers and receiving blankets. Authorities are regarding this latest episode as a sign of escalation on the part of the assailant.
In a statement released by Jackson Luke, lifelong friend of the monster, he said, "It pains me to see the cruelty toward this friendly monster. He has been by my side through the good times and the bad times I'm not sure what I'm going to do without the little blue fellow. I'm really hoping the big guy pulls through." Mr. Luke brought his interview to a quick end by filling his pants.
None of the others in the Sesame street gang could be reached for comment.
We had plans to go out to dinner with our small group tonight. I'm not going to lie to you - I didn't want to go. I really didn't want to go. I'm sorry if you're reading this and you're in my small group . . . please don't take it personally.
I just didn't think I was in the right frame of mind to be social. Jack didn't sleep well all week. He did sleep well last night but, of course, I couldn't sleep. I really do love the people in our small group, but I was just tired and cranky and if I was going to have a child-free night, I wanted to stay and home and sleep. To top it all off, we were meeting at a barbecue place to eat. If I'm going to spend money to go out to eat, I didn't want it to be at a place I didn't like. I was sure that I wouldn't have a good time.
Fortunately, the night turned out way better than I had anticipated! We had so much fun! Kyle and I both commented on the way home that we needed the night out with friends more than either of us realized. It was great to have an entire evening without saying things like, "I'm gonna get your belly!" or "Does someone have stinky pants?" Though the guy that passed me on the way to the bathroom in the back of the bookstore did, in fact, have stinky pants. Also, I LOVED the restaurant.
All in all, it was a great evening.
We picked Jack up from Kyle's mom's house and he just now went down to bed (at 10:30). One of two things will happen now: 1. He'll sleep later and with less interruption or 2. He'll be cranky all day tomorrow. I'm hoping for #1.
By the way, The restaurant we went to is called Mat's and it's on the corner of Mechanic and Cortland in downtown Jackson. I highly reccommend it.
September 10, 2007
So, as you have probably already read, the newest fad in entertainment at our house is the exersaucer. Jack likes it more and more every day. I was watching him play in it last week and it's so funny. He hasn't quite mastered the art of moving the swivel seat so that he can play with other toys. It goes something like this:
He gets tired of playing with one toy and starts turning his head from side to side scoping out the toys in his range of vision. When one catches his eye, he kind of starts leaning in it's direction. Often this leaning is accompanied by grunting and mild fussing. Slowly, as he leans and catches his feet on the base, he wiggles toward the toy. The whole time he's moving, he frequently looks back at the previous toy as if he's double checking to make sure that it isn't going anywhere. You know . . . it's that "I've got my eye on you" type of stare.
As I was watching all of this all go down for the first time last week, the fussing and grunting triggered a reflex that caused me to almost go over and turn him toward the new toy. My first instinct was to fix it for him. I always want to fix things for everyone in my life . . . why not my son?
As I caught myself and sat down at the kitchen table to watch a little longer, I realized that he wouldn't learn to turn himself around in the exersaucer if I always did it for him. Plus, that exersaucer is not there purely for entertainment, but to help him to learn and grow. If I had given in to that reflex, all he would have learned that his whining caused his mom to make things easier for him. I watched him for a minute or two longer and then went over and sat next to the exersaucer and cheered him on. I basically had to sit on my hands so that I wouldn't just give in and do it for him. He grunted and fussed but finally got to the new toy. I cheered and clapped. He laughed at me.
As much as I want to be, I can't be the one to fix everything for Jack. I've got to let him to struggle sometimes so that he can learn and grow. But I can be there to cheer him on and celebrate with him, right?
I think I might be learning and growing just as fast as he is.
Typing the word "umbrella" made me think of something else. Did anyone see the VMA's last night? If you didn't, consider yourself fortunate. I didn't really like the format of having all of the preformances at separate parties. And most of you have probably heard about the horrible Brittany Spears fiasco. You know those stereotypical scenes from comedies where the main character is backstage at some sort of dance recital and somehow walks through the wrong door and ends up on stage with all of the preformers and ends up having to pretend like he fits in by following what everyone else is doing? That's what Brittany looked like. I felt so embarrassed for her.
So, typing the word "umbrella" didn't actually make me think of the VMA's. Well, I guess it kind of did, but that was a tangent. I was really thinking of when Kyle and I were in the car last week and I heard the song "Umbrella" by Rhianna. I'm not going to lie to you . . . I like the song. So we're listening and I suddenly hear Chris Brown singing a verse that i'm unfamiliar with. It ends with "you can be my cinderella" (ella . . . ella . .. eh, eh, eh).
For real? Who thought remixing it like that was a good idea? Kyle suggested that maybe they were trying to appeal to both genders. I want to know who said, "Hey . . . let's draw more guys into this song by adding a verse about a favorite Disney princess." In my opinion, that person should be fired.
I really don't remember what I was going to write about when I started typing this post. I think it originally was related to the weather station thing, but I can't recall.
Time for bed . . .
September 8, 2007
Aquire the Fire (ATF) is a conference/rally for teens to deepen their relationship with God and catch a vision for telling people about Jesus. I recently saw an advertisement for an upcoming ATF and I thought back to the one time I went in high school. I remember two things about that weekend:
1. ATF was in the Breslin Center at MSU and we were in a part of the arena where we could just see the reverse side of their "Big Ten Champions" banner hanging there. I spent much of the conference trying to figure out how to pronounce it backwards.
2. They passed out free books for everyone who attended. They then passed around offering baskets to put money in for the "free books." Sneaky, sneaky.
That's it. Just those two things.
Where am I going with this? (side note: that should be the title of my blog: "Where am I going with this?" Maybe I'll change it someday) I can't help but wonder how many of our campers go home and only remember random details of their week that have little eternal consequence. That thought motivates me and discourages me all at the same time.
September 7, 2007
My baby's way big. See for yourself:
(You can see all of the pictures here.)
My parents gave us money to buy Jack an exersaucer. We were so excited about that because we really wanted to get him one. We chose this one because the colors and textures were great and it seemed to be stimulating without being overstimulating.
The box clearly says that it's for 4 months and up, but we put it together last week and wanted to put him in it for the fun of it. He kind of wobbled around in it and then leaned forward and tried to get his whole mouth around one of the toys. We've put him in it several times over the course of the last week and he's getting better at sitting up in it. He's even discovered a "favorite" toy. It's the toy he's in front of in this picture:
When you press a button the first time, it makes the noise that the animal makes. The second time, it says the name of the animal in english and the third time, in spanish. The fourth time, it plays a song. Some of them are classical songs; but, the song associated with the cow button is Old MacDonald. I heard it no less than 12 times today.
Annoying song aside, it has been fun to watch him figure out that he's making the noise. I can't believe how fast he's growing!
September 4, 2007
Life has been boring over the last week or so. Still busy, but just uneventful. Kyle and I are thinking about tackling a few home improvement projects (as our budget allows). We're thinking about painting the entry area at our house. I was going to call it the "foyer," but that makes it sound much larger than it really is. It flows through a hallway into a living room, so we're trying to decide if we should paint it the same color as the living room, or if we should re-paint the living room to match a color that we choose for the hallway.
For those of you who know us best, you'll know that painting is something we're familiar with. The living room, basement and master bedroom have all been painted multiple times, with our bedroom in the lead at 4 times (and we're actually thinking about changing the color in there too). I'm just very indecisive. It's hard to tell from a 3" x 3" square of color how a room will look covered in that color! We also need to do some landscaping on the outside of our house. We've been here for 2 1/2 years and haven't done anything but clear out all of the dead trees and bushes from the wooded lot that the house was built on.
Kyle was outside doing some work this weekend and we met our next door neighbors. We hadn't ever met them before because their house is just a vacation home for them and they're only there one or two times a summer (which is when we're usually gone). They were nice enough but they started telling us a story about the "idiots" who were at our house trying to burn toilet paper out of our trees last summer. Whoops . . . that was us. We just smiled and nodded. If they wanted to hear about idiots, we could have told them all kinds of stories about their grandchildren who stayed at their house over Mother's Day Weekend.
My parents came to visit on Sunday. They had a lot of fun playing with Jack and he loved having them there, as usual. Here are some pictures:
I'm trying to find time this week to take his 3 month pictures, but that's proving to be harder than I thought it would. Maybe tomorrow . . .
September 2, 2007
Today you are 3 months old. This means that I am the mother of a 3 MONTH OLD! I can’t believe we’ve known each other for that long! On some days it feels like we just met.
You're not new here anymore, though. You've been here long enough to almost double your birth weight. You were 15 lbs, 1 oz at your 2 month check-up so I'm guessing you're around 16 lbs by now. You are SO HEAVY and my arms get sore when I hold you for a long time! Please take your time growing up. I want to enjoy you being my little boy for as long as possible.
I really have loved watching all of the changes in you this month. It often seems that you are growing faster than I can type! You rolled over this month! Your dad and I were ecstatic and cheered wildly for you when it happened! You just kind of looked at us like we were crazy . . . which you'll find out later in life isn't too far from the truth. I suspect that this is the first of many times that we'll cheer for you (and consequently, embarass you).
Tomorrow is a special day for your dad and I because it's the one year anniversary of when you came into existence. Your dad and I made yet another trip on that rainy Sunday into Ann Arbor to the RE clinic and left hoping and praying for you. I thank God every day that 40 weeks later, the stork dropped you off at our front door. Did you know that’s how babies get to their moms and dads? Well, it is. That’s all you need to know about that.
I love you, little man.
September 1, 2007
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