Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts on Traditions

"The way you celebrate Christmas can be a gift in itself, handing down traditions that will give your child a feeling of continuity, comfort and joy in all the Christmases to come."
-Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers' Neighborhood)

I'm a quote hoarded. When I read a quote that sticks with me, I write them down. Sometimes I'll find a post-it note stuffed in a magazine or a random drawer with a quote I liked written on it. It's always a nice surpise to find a long-lost quote.

Anyway, this is the quote I found this morning. And since it is Christmastime, and I'm stuck inside because the wind is howling too badly for me to take Grace sledding, I figured I could think about traditions.

One of my favorite memories is decorating our Christmas tree. Our tree is a hodge-podge of ornaments. Each one of us has a personalized name ornament from Bronners. There are handmade ornaments from my "wish-I-was-crafty" stages. There those oh-so-wonderful paper ornaments we made in elementary school with our school pictures smack dab in the middle. And then there is a mixture of old and new ornaments gathered throughout the years. This is my parents' tree, but the tree Matt and I have at our home resembles this one.

We have the Bronners' ornaments with our names. I have handmade ornaments from students. I have extremely old ornaments that belonged to my grandparents. My Cabbage Patch kid ornament and mouse ornament are two of my favorites. Matt has an Onsted football player ornament with the number #8 on the jersey.

Putting up our tree is one tradition that will remain close to my heart. As soon as Grace is old enough, I hope she'll enjoy this tradition and hearing about each and every ornament on that tree.
I had every intention to write about more than one tradition. I guess I'll save them for another post.

A Belated Wish

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Forget Presents, Give the Girl a Sock or Strings or Paper

December 25th will mark Grace's first Christmas. But if her track record continues, I have a feeling that she won't be too interested in the presents. Instead, she'll continue to eat... her socks

and the strings on anyone's sweatshirts

or paper.

Her new found paper fettish leads me to believe instead of playing with the presents, she will eating the wrapping paper.

Santa Baby

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

"Be present in all things and thankful for all things"
-Maya Angelou

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

"Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

1. Mind your manners. Say please, thank you and excuse me.
2. Smile
3. Pick up after yourself and for someone else too. Be happy you have someone to pick up after!
4. Notice when others do kind things for you, show gratitude by action or words.
5. Say I love you before you leave in the morning and before bed at night.
6. Give hugs daily.
7. Always kiss me goodnight.
8. Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Focus on the blessing of today.
9. Write your blessing down.
10. Show thankfulness for even the little things others do for you.
11. Leave notes in unexpected places like lunch boxes and under pillows.
12. Encourage someone with a compliment.
13. When all you want to do is complain, start listing everything positive in your life.
14. Keep track of what you are thankful for all year long. It shouldn't be only at Thanksgiving time.
15. Remember to thank God for blessings each day.
16. Never forget to write a thank-you note.
17. Do special things to cherish time with your family.
18. Reflect on happy memories regularly. It's okay to hear, "Remember when.." for the thousandth time.
20. Help someone out without them having to ask you. Watch for someone in need.
21. When you are doing household chores, be grateful you have a home to clean.
inspired by (In)Courage

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yes, I know it is only November 14th, but we put up the Christmas tree yesterday. With all the flooding around here from the Nor'easter school has been cancelled the last two days. Add to that the nonstop rain with no football on tv and that made for a bored husband.
I thought I'd have at least a year to baby proof the tree.

And this was the contagious smile we saw every time she looked at the tree.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I'm in a whiny mood, and I'm tired. The nonstop rain is not helping, so instead of continuing this downward spiral of negative thoughts, I thought I'd focus on what is wonderful in my life.

1. Grace - She may only be seven months old, but this little lady can brighten my mood instantly. I love her baby babbles. Sometimes, they are whispers. I love when she says mama. I love her laugh; it is contagious. I love how she rubs her eyes when she is tired, and how she'll find the perfect spot in the crook of my neck to rest her head before falling asleep.

2. Matt - I love how he makes me a better person. I love how he pushes me and doesn't let me give up on things. I love that he doesn't expect me to do all the housework. I love that he does housework. I love that football season is over, and he can come home after work.

3. Family - Yeah, I know that everyone says they are grateful for family, but when people start leaving them off a gratitude list then our world is in a scary place. I love my family even though many miles separate us.

4. Gel Pillows - I think gel pillows make my list every time. I'm in love and will never, ever go back to any other pillows. Even when I travel, I stuff those babies in my luggage.

5. April '08 Mamas - Thank you for welcoming me even though I'm an '09 Mama. I appreciate how accepting you are and for all of your advice.

6. Rhino Brace - It has been 2 1/2 weeks since they took off Grace's spica cast. We only had the cast for four days, but they were four long days. I can't imagine having to endure that any longer. With those four days behind us, I can appreciate the Rhino Brace so much more. The brace is a piece of cake compared to the cast.

7. St. Mark's - I'm grateful for having found this parish.

8. Grace's video monitor - I can't imagine life without it.

9. Work - Yes, I'm grateful for work. I have a job. I have a job that I love. Sure, seventh graders can be life sucking - draining all patience and energy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. One day may be extremely tiring, but then the next will be full of surprises and rewards.

10. Great blogs with great ideas - Check out A Soft Place to Land for a Thankful Tree and (in)Courage for a Gratitude Box.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Blessing in Disguise

We survived the weekend in the spica cast. I wouldn't say we adjusted well to it by any means. Grace cried because she couldn't sit up by herself. Mommy cried because nothing worked. Mommy cried some more just because.
And then...
Monday morning, the doctor called me at work to inform me that after their review of Grace's case that she should be in the Rhino Brace. Check it out.
My happy girl is back. This piece of plastic, foam, and three velcro strips is a blessing. My baby girl can sit up again. She can bathe in her yellow rubber ducky. She can have a normal diaper change.

And did I say she was happier?
Mommy is too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We Survived Day One

Laughing while watching an episode of Sesame Street

Since we were still working on the diaper situation, we changed Grace every 3 hours last night. She never woke up once. She woke up at 5:50 a.m. - her normal time. After a bottle, she watched an episode of Sesame Street while sitting in her brand new bean bag. She loved Tully and Abby and laughed the entire time. Her happiness didn't last long though.

For the most part of the day, she was miserable. She didn't want to nap. And it is much harder to rock her and cuddle with her like I used to because her legs stick straight out. I think she was still trying to make up for her lack of food yesterday because it seemed like she was always hungry today too.

We went for a walk (in which I carried her) because she no longer fits in her stroller, played on her floor mat, and I had her play with her toys while sitting on my leg. She desperately wants to sit up and play with her toys by herself, but she can't. She isn't a fan of my holdinger her to do this either. I just haven't found a way for her to do this. I found directions on how to make a chair, but it is too wide for her little body.

I think we have figured out the diapering. No leaks today. And I've put moleskin around one ankle because her little foot was rubbing against the cast.

After dinner, she was a happy girl. She played on the floor propped up on the Bobby pillow. Then she chilled out in her crib and watched her mobile, had a sponge bath, bottle, and back to bed.


Grace has had hip dysplasia since birth. Many doctor visits and ultrasounds later we were told that it still wasn't progressing. Yesterday, she had an arthrogram and was put in a spica cast. It has been a pretty emotional week. Just thinking about my little girl in a cast made me cry. Would we be able to do it? How were we going to do it? I'd done my research on the internet. Thank goodness for the internet, because without it we would be lost (more later).

Her surgery was one of the first, since she had to stop all fluids by 12:00 a.m. Surprisingly, she wasn't a fussy butt without food. We met with all the doctors before her surgery. They explained everything, answered our questions, and it was here that I requested her purple cast. The worst feeling in the world is watching your baby being taken through the doors to surgery by a nurse. It was probably best, I wasn't allowed to be in there. We were told she did a great job and handled it wonderfully.

As soon as she was in recovery, we were able to be by her side. I fed her Pedialyte and thanks to the wonderful doctors and nurses who couldn't and didn't put on her diaper properly, she proceeded to pee all over me. It looked like I peed my pants. Never thought I'd have to bring a change of clothes for me. Her singing glowworm kept her company during her CT scan, and I finally was able to get her down for a nap.

The longest part of the day was getting her fitted for her new carseat. We were supposed to get a loaner Britax Hippo, but Grace's legs were too long and her legs weren't up high enough in the cast. We tried many different positions, none of which Grace liked. OT finally had to go back and get a different carseat - one they rarely use anymore. She fit in that one.

Then we were allowed to go home.

Home. Home without the greatest instructions (practically none) on how to care for an infant in a spica cast. Changing her on her tummy, getting a bean bag, and diapering tricks were all found on the internet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greatest Peace

The greatest sense of peace will come from living our faith well. When the Prince of Peace rules in our hearts, he reigns in our homes.

from Graced and Gifted

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rubber Ducky You're So Fun, You Make Bath Time Oh So Fun

I knew Grace had outgrown the baby bath tub the day I put her in it, turned to grab the washcloth and she had rolled right out of it. Now she bathes in her own giant rubber duck. The first three times we put her in this thing she screamed and cried giant alligator tears. Now, we have a system. First, dangle her toes in. Then sit her on the side of the duck and let her put her feet and legs in. Finally, just slide the rest of her in. She sure does love it now. She relaxes back and kicks and kicks.

Sock Monster

Grace is a sock monster. The Cookie Monster has his cookies, and Grace has her socks. On a typical morning, Grace will get up at 5 a.m., but I'll give her a pacifier and she'll go back to sleep for another 1/2 hour to an 1hour. Well, one morning, I heard her about 10 minutes later, so I went back to give her the pacifier again. I couldn't get the paci in her mouth. Want to know why? Cause she had it stuffed with her sock. The only thing I could see were the little white ruffles. It was at that moment, that I stopped putting her to bed with pajamas without feet. We are a strictly footy pjs now. She just doesn't eat socks at night. If she's on the floor playing, I can guarantee within five minutes a sock is off and in her mouth. The other day she was playing in her crib before bath time watching her mobile.
This is what I found in the crib.
After I put the sock back on, I turned around to put some clothes away. Came back to the crib and found this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Fever Scare

Grace had her first fever last night. She got her flu shot and two vaccinations on Friday, but by Saturday evening, the flu shot mark was the only one that was still bothering her. By the time she went to bed last night her fever was 102.6. I never knew how scary fevers were. Your little baby is just burning up and all you are supposed to do is make sure she is getting Tylenol every four hours. We went to bed just fine, moaned alittle, and continued to wake up every four hours for more Tylenol. At least when she got up for good at 6:00 a.m. she was fever free.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Day Full of Snot, Toe Jam, College Football, and Another Milestone

1. Snot - Well, it is official. Grace has her first cold. And boy is it a nasty one. I'm trying to give her a break between suctions, but when I can hear her nose gurgle, I can just feel her nose plugging up again. If only she knew how to blow her nose. Not there is any positive aspect to having a cold, I must say she has been one cuddly little girl today. She even took two two-hour naps.

2. Toe Jam - Now, I'm used to toe jam being little lint balls that once belonged to your socks but got stuck between your toes. Grace has a new kind.....rice cereal. She tries to feed herself, but that results in her stuffing her hands in her mouth with the spoon and cereal. And what does she do with her cereal full hand? Let me tell you. She bends down and grabs her toes. She had so much rice ceral on her toes this morning that it was dripping off her feet onto the table.

3. College football - Fire up Chips! Go Blue! Central Michigan beat Michigan State and Michigan beat Notre Dame. It has been a truely great day in college football.

4. Grace rolled over! Now she can officially roll both ways. Today she rolled from her back to her belly multiple times. And I'm sure you can imagine the mess on the blankets since her nose was leaking snot.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Inch Worm

I'm officially calling Grace the inch worm now. Tonight, during tummy time, the girl wasn't close enough to the mirror to grab the hanging butterfly like she wanted. So to get closer, she lifted her butt, scooted her legs up, and then slid the rest of her body forward. She did this about three or four times until she was right in front of the mirror.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Can Do It Myself!

1. At 1 1/2 months, Grace wasn't doing anything herself. She just liked to chill out with Dad and watch him read the Sunday paper.

2. At three months, she was content to just sit next to Dad and watch him play on the computer.
3. At four months, she wanted a piece of the action and ripped a page right out of Matt's magazine as they were looking at it together.
4. She was eyeing it up and shortly after this picture stuffed it in her mouth.

5. She is content when I read her Dr. Seuss's ABC, but as soon as we get to "Big Z, little z, what begins with z?" She has to hold onto the book herself.

Rolling Still Shots

I'm still trying to upload videos. I finally installed the software that came with our video camera, but when I tried to upload a video of Grace's belly laugh, my entire system froze. I had already invested over a half hour when the crash happened, and I was spent. I'll try again later. If only, I was tech-saavy. In the mean time, I finally got some pictures of Grace rolling. The poor girl really tries to now go the other way, but she won't swing her arm back around. So until she learns to just go with the flow, she is only rolling from her stomach to her back.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Abundance of Blessings

I have been blessed with five months of maternity leave. Monday will be full of tears, but I know that it will get easier to leave my sweet baby girl with the sitter.

I have been blessed with a sitter who is only watching Grace. Grace has become a member of their family when she is with them. They even transformed a room in their home for her playroom.

I have been blessed with a daughter who has been sleeping through the night since May 27.

I have been blessed with smiles each morning that just melt my heart. Who wouldn't just melt when peering over the crib rail see their child with eyes wide open and mouth in full smile?

I have been blessed with a husband who is my best friend, who challenges me to be the best I can, and who is an amazing father.

I have been blessed with a love for writing.

I have been blessed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Two Milestones in One Day

#1. Grace ate rice cereal for the first time. You would have thought I fed the girl sour patch kids by the way she scrunched up her itty bitty face. I tried to get a picture, but by the time the camera clicked the face was gone. She ate a few spoonfuls only. I'm not sure she knew what to do with the spoon. She only wanted the cereal on the tip of her tongue, and then she was slurp it in. We'll try again tomorrow. Maybe she'll eat the entire tablespoon.

#2. Grace rolled from her stomach onto her back for the first time this evening.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer's Lease

"Summer's lease hath all too short a date."
-William Shakespeare

It is almost time for me to say goodbye to being a stay-at-home mother because my maternity leave is over due to school starting soon. I must admit that household chores have taken a backburner to Grace. I'd much rather sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or read books than dust. I'm ready to go back and then again I'm not. We are extremely lucky in that Grace's babysitter just loves her.

Grace and Landon meet up during our trip to the U.P. in July. Little did Grace know that soon her pacifier would be in Landon's possession.
Grace has become the little busybody. She now loves to sit up either in the corner of the couch or a chair. This was one of the first times we realized she loved just being left alone.

Grace on July 8, 2009 - 3 months

Well, we tried to surprise Daddy this day. We got all decked out in our Tiger outfit because the Tigers were finally on T.V. down here. We had a little photoshoot because I am obsessed with them, and as soon as we were finished she spit up all over the outfit. Needless to say, Daddy didn't get to see her in it.

Grace on August 8, 2009 - 4 months
As of today, August 17, 2009 Grace weighs 14 lbs. and is 24 3/4 long.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Picture Update

It has been a few weeks since I've posted. But instead of writing, I'll post pictures because Grace got her 2 month shots yesterday and is not herself at all. (I inserted the pictures in reverse order.) Grace fell asleep after baby yoga and baby massage.
Grace turned 2 months.

Grace met Kylie and Brianna Lauer for the first time.

Grace's first wedding - Matt and Abby Gilbert.

Grace's 1st swim.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Daddy's Little Tiger

Grace and I surprised Matt Thursday night be getting her all decked out in her D-Town Tiger outfit to watch the game with him. I'm not sure if she'll wear another headband though since it left little marks all around her head.

Three Nights

We are going on three nights of Grace making it through the entire night. YAHOO! What makes it even better is after she eats (a whopping 5 ounces now), she is super smiley.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone

Don't agree? Just ask a sleep-deprived mother. Pre-baby, I slept a lot. An 8-hour night was rare. I could sleep anywhere from 9-12 hours a night. Let's just say those days are LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG gone. However, last night I got a glimpse of my old sleeping habit because ...

the night
9 p.m. - 5 a.m.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gotta love XM Radio

Grace absolutely LOVES music. She loves the rainforest sounds and crazy music on her rainforest floor mat, and after I put together her new mobile, I found out she also likes Bach, Mozart, and Beetohoven. We learned quite quickly she needs noise/music in order to sleep, but I'm not too fond of listening to heartbeats, oceans, or white noise 24/7. This is where XM comes in. When Paula and Mallory were here, they turned on 20 on 20 which is a station of current pop music. Grace loved it (and still does.)

However, Matt isn't too fond of that music, so he listens to Lithium with her, which is Grunge and 90's Alternative Rock. She also loves Pearl Jam. Since then Grace has enjoyed the music from the 50's, country, and classical.

I think we'll stay away from rap!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jockey's Ridge

Matt and I took Grace to Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks this past weekend. Just like our trip to the zoo and the aquarium, Grace slept the entire time. Jockey's Ridge contains the largest sand dunes on the Eastern shore. They are definitely nothing like the ones in Michigan, but I got a workout nonetheless hiking up and down dunes with Grace in the sling.

You can only see the top of Grace's sunprotected head. We love the SPF hats down here in Virginia.

A view from the bottom.

It must be exhausting just chilling out in a sling.