Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Letter to Marie on her First Birthday

December 6, 2011
Dear Marie,
One year ago at 9:35pm you were born. You came early, you were not supposed to be born until December 23rd. I guess you just couldn’t wait to see the world. The moment your father put you into my arms and I heard your cries, and seeing your tiny fingers grip mine, I knew I faced no greater responsibility and joy than being your mother. I was so scared; here you were so small and helpless. You needed me for everything and I didn’t know where to begin. I was so worried I would make so many mistakes; I wanted to be the best mother I could for you.
 Well here we are one year later and it has been a wonderful, challenging, wild ride. I did make plenty of mistakes, but in spite of my worries and fears you grew and thrived. You went from a mewling infant to a headstrong toddler. You have the sweetest smile and the most stubborn temper! I have watched you struggle to figure things out (You were determined to crawl in your own way) and had the pleasure of seeing you succeed. My heart broke every time you fell and bumped your head and it sang every time you mastered a new skill. As you leave babyhood behind I face the challenge of finding the balance between sheltering you and letting go. This past year I have witnessed you learn to hold up your head, then roll, then scoot, then crawl and now you run. I have seen your first smile, heard your first laugh and felt your first hug. It is my prayer for you that God will allow you to continue to grow healthy and strong in mind, body and spirit in the next year.
I am looking forward to growing with you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Home Again

M, the Bumper, and I just got back from our first ever family vacation. We went to Skyline Drive in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. We were right on time for all the wonderful fall colors and brisk weather. It was so peaceful and still and calming. M and I learned quite a bit about taking a little one on an extended trip. I will be posting pictures in a day or two. In the meantime I am enjoying being home and getting back to our routine.

God Bless

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mercy and Forgiveness

I don't believe in coincidences, so when the last three sermons at church were on mercy and forgiveness I figured God must be trying to get me to pay attention. So I did. I have not been merciful or forgiving. I have been on my pity pot crying woe is me. I tallied up all of M's faults, every unkind word, every rude action, every slight real or imagined, and held the against him. I never said anything out loud, oh no, to do so would have been to admit to my own faults, failings and mistakes. It takes two two argue, but I was not willing to see that. Then last Sunday in the middle of the sermon I finally got it. God's mercy and forgiveness are freely given, they are not dependant on our actions. God's mercy and forgiveness are there for M whether I think he deserves it or not. It is not up to me. It is up to God. So I handed our marriage over to God. I forgave.

You know what? I am feeling better and our marriage is doing better.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Crochet - Show and Tell is on my mind

Ok. Way back in  February I made up my mind to learn how to crochet. I am a complete beginner and started at the begining. Here is what I have been able to make so far:

A complete granny square! Yay!

I have also made a little hat for my daughter, of which I can't seem to find a picture. I am so very excited about my new hobby. It feels so good to make something with my hands. I am currently working on a baby blanket, and I am looking forward to wrapping the bumper up on cold winter days. I hope to have more pictures soon. I am headed to the Shenandoah Fiber Festival for a good ogle at all the pretty hand dyed yarns. I will be taking lots of pictures. Have a good weekend every one.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teeth, Trantrums, and Toddling

 My little bumper has her first teeth. They were such an awful long time coming in, and they hurt her so very much the poor little mite, but now they are here! To coincide with the arrival of her teeth, the bumper has started throwing temper tantrums. Her crying is now about what she wants as well as what she needs. Lucky me I get to figure it out *grin*. The other big news around our household is that she is regularly cruising the the furniture. She just learned to crawl a month ago, and now she is trying to walk. This would not be alarming except that the bumper has developed a fondness for all things paper. She loves books, and eats them every chance she gets. 

I have some crochet projects I plan to share soon, my first efforts with my new hobby!


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Quick Note

I'm just popping in to say I'll be back. I have had had some things going on in my life that have kept me from feeling like blogging., but nextday or two I have some things I want to share. See you soon

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wedding Bells

This weekend is my sister's bridal shower, and I am very excited. My sister's friends have been working really hard to put this together. I live 3hours away, and with a new baby I wasn't able to help much, except to run interference, which my sister assured me was needed! It promises to be a lot of fun and I hope to have pictures when I get back.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It is Raining

August 14, 2011 – It is Raining

 Last week my little bumper was sick, this week my husband has been fighting a sinus infection, and I seem to be coming down with something. Today is a wet and rainy Sunday, and I am not feeling very chipper. In fact as I write this I am close to tears. Thing between my husband and myself are quite strained at the moment. We are both in Recovery programs, but lately we seem to be stalled. The first step in recovery is to admit you are powerless and that your life is unmanageable. Well sitting in my living room, looking around at the piles of junk mail, boxes and things that do not have a home I would have to say my life is pretty unmanageable. To tackle this I signed up for “Fly Lady”, I have seen progress, but it is not enough for my husband. Apparently I am not progressing fast enough.  I do not know how to clean or keep house, these are skills I have to learn, and it is a steep learning curve. I also have trouble communicating; I grew up in a household where people didn’t talk so much to each other as at each other. I do not know how to adequately express my needs, wants or feelings. I have trouble being intimate; according to my husband I am cold. My husband is not talking to me. He hasn’t for the last two days. I feel hurt and manipulated. He says I don’t talk to him, that I do this kind of thing all the time. But I don’t ignore him when he asks me a direct question, I don’t pretend he isn’t there.  I have been praying about my situation, but right now God seems very far away. I hope to write about happier things soon, but this is where I am right now and I felt like I needed to get it off my chest. Besides no-one is reading my blog anyway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quick Note

Funny thing about having a kid. If the bumper gets sick we all get sick!

I'l be back when we are feeling better. I hope those of ou who read my blog have a wonderful weekend.


Friday, July 22, 2011

On my Mind :Cooking From Scratch

I am learning how to cook from scratch. I am starting at the very beginning. I learned the rudiments of cooking ( how to follow a recipe and make simple meals) from watching my mother in the kitchen, but now I am putting theory into practice.  I am discovering, much to Matt's waistline's  dismay, I enjoy baking. This is one of my first attempts: Applesauce Cake from scratch! Yum!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Keeping up with the Bumper

I never thought staying at home would keep me so busy.  I imagined I would have plenty of time to write, or craft or do whatever. Yet it seems my days are so full I can barely keep up with the house work.  I regret not learning about homemaking, when I was younger and did not have a small child to care for.
Yet I am immensely grateful to be at home with The Bumper.
At seven months she is crawling, and pulling herself up on the furniture, and is totally enthralled by laptops and electric cords. As I result I spend most of my day chasing after her. When my friends ask me how I keep my figure, being home, I just grin.
Now I must scoot, she is after the DVD’s!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Man Cave

Matt and I are doing some rearranging, and things are bit -- okay a lot-- more chaotic around here than normal. I am not generally a super neat and tidy person, but even this has me rattled. When we first moved into home, everything was in complete disarray, the movers packed things randomly without labeling which room the boxes came from or went into. For example I might unpack a box sitting in the kitchen, only to find all the stuff in it belonged to the bedroom, or bathroom etc... Then a little more than a week later the bumper was born. (I would definitely not recommend moving and immediately having a baby.)  Our friends and family rallied and helped us. The house was put in some semblance of order and it has remained in that state for the last six months. WE are slowly finding places for everything and throwing or giving away what we no longer need. The last part of this is the MAN CAVE.
What is a Man Cave? It is a place the man of the place can claim as his. The Man Cave is a place free from feminine meddling. A wife does not and should not clean or judge what is in the Man Cave.  In Mat’s case it is a place he can store his electronic stuff and tinker to his heart’s content.
  Originally we sectioned off a bedroom and part of the finished basement. (I had had dreams of Christmases spent sipping hot apple cider in front of the fire place in the other part.) That turned out to be a bad idea. The man cave spread. I kept finding drill bits in the living room, circuit boards in the kitchen, and tools on all three levels of our town house. Enough was enough.
We came to the sane decision that a split man cave just was not working. All of Matt's stuff needed to be in one place. So a couple of weekends ago we began the process of moving things from the upstairs bedroom to the basement. It has worked wonders, even though we still have a lot work to do to finish the transfer. He has a place to unwind after a day at the office and I peace of mind.
 What about those Christmases in front of the fire? I have gladly traded them in for the knowledge that my now mobile bumper will not be stuffing solder into her mouth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Half - Birthday

The bumper turned six months old on Monday. I am in shock. I simply can NOT belive my baby is a whole half year!. She turning into such a neat little person already. She laughs, she rolls over, she squeals, and she puts everything she sees into her mouth. She and I had dual colds last week and she lost her voice. It was so funny to see the looks of  surprise and dismay we she tried to "talk" and could not. When her voice came back  yesterday she wasted no time in letting her daddy and me know. She squealed just as loud and long as she was able, so much so she made herself a little hoarse.
Last night she had enough appetite to eat her cereal again and she kept trying to to do it all by herself. I can see I will have my hads full when she is older!
I am so very grateful to be spending this time with her. The bumper won't rember these moments, but I will.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring has Sprung

I love springtime. The warm weather,  the beautiful flowers, everything coming to life after the long winter. I feel like i just can't get enough sunshine soaked into my bones to erase the memory of the preceding grey, dam, chilly days. Then the trees start producing copious amounts of pollen, and I am done for. Sneezing, coughing , sore throat, and I can just forget about being able to breathe.
When we lived in our previous apartment, we not surrounded be flowering trees, and shrubs, so allergy season passed by causing little discomfort. Not so with our new house. Matt and I both feel like we have run over by a heavy delivery truck, even the bumper is uncomfortable. So last night I made our favorite comfort food: Cream of Wheat porridge and this morning I made myself a large cup of broth and have been reveling in the soothing steaminess of it.
Every day this week has been the same weather wise: Partly cloudy  in the morning and thunderstorms at night. I am hoping the rain will clear out the pollen and we will be able to go on a picnic on Sunday. In the meantime I am going to make myself a cup of tea, and curl up with some tissue.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

A little late

It has been over a week since US forces killed Osama Bin Laden. It took me a little over a week to decide how I felt. Conflicted is the best word I can come up with. At first I was shocked: after all this time they finally got him! Then I was sorrowful. Let me be clear:I am not sorry his particular reign of terror is at an end. I am sorry he was the cause of so many deaths both in the US on 9/11 and afterwards. Christ taught us to love our enemies. Christ taught us to forgive. Christ also taught us that sin will be punished and the wages of sin is death.  All this past week I have been praying for the victims of 9/11, their families, the victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the soldiers and their families. Osama Bin Laden's death will not bring back those who were lost, but perhaps it will bring some closure.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day - is on my mind

 This is my first mother's day. My little bumper at 5 months old. Oh how those months have flown! She will be crawling any day now.On some days it seems like she wants to skip crawling  and go straight to running. Mama is not ready for that! I want to hold on to these precious baby days as long as I can.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just Thinking - The Three P's

Patience, Practice and Perseverance. I am just learning to crochet. My February goal was to knit a granny square. The picture shows how far I've gotten. So far it looks more like an octagon than a square.*grin*  I hope I will soon be able to post a picture of a competed square.
Yet it occurs to me that the tree P's can be put to use in every area of my life.

When Matt and I decided I would stay home with the bumper, I really had no idea what I would be getting into.
How hard could keeping house be? Just do the chores and go along my merry way.  I thought I would have plenty of time for writing, and all the crafts I have been longing to try. Well the bumper has proven to be a lot of work. I am on 24/7. It is hard work with a capital W! I am learning to be patient with myself and with the bumper, especially on days when my nerves are frazzled. I am practicing the skills I need to be a better homemaker. Some days I feel like need to take a cleaning 101 course!  I am persevering in changing my attitude. I am actively looking for the joys and blessings of the everyday. I have to remind myself that no matter how seemingly dull, boring, or unimportant., even the smallest thing when done with a grateful heart is pleasing  to God.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Co-Sleeping and other Confessions of a New Mom

Matt and I attended the bumper's baptism class this week. It was emphasized over and over that parents have the responsibility of teaching their children the faith. What a daunting task! Even now she watches how mama and daddy behave. As she grows older she will watch as we pray, read the Bible and try and live our faith.

Before the bumper was born I had a list of do's and don'ts that I planned to enthusiastically adhere to. I planned to have a natural childbirth ( see bumper's birth story), exclusively breast feed, use cloth diapers and the bumper would have a strict bed time in her own little crib. Ahem! Well it is four months later, and things have changed. I had to get real. I haven't adjusted any of my moral standards, I still believe in doing each of those things, but I had to accept that the bumper is a unique child with her own needs.

I had to supplement with formula because my milk didn't come in for nearly three weeks and that was with round the clock pumping! I still would like to use cloth diapers, but in the first few weeks after bumper's birth it was all I could do just to change her. I was recovering from my C-section and my husband was laid up with an injury, so disposables it was and is. We would still like to transition to cloth, but aren't really sure how as they don't seem to be readily available in the States. Last but not least the crib issue. My pediatrician and I have been at loggerheads over this one. I co-sleep. Yes that is right, the bumper shares my bed. I didn't want to, I resisted, but in the end I caved. It was the only way to get her to sleep at night. Before I let her sleep with me, she would wake to nurse and then wouldn't fall back asleep for several hours. I felt like I was awake 24/7!  It is not ideal, but now I can get some much needed rest.
She will not remember having slept with mama for the first few months of her life and she will move into her own bed someday, just as someday she will sleep through the night.:) I am learning her moods, and have the joy of watching her little personality develop. (Saying the word "purple" cracks her up.) I try not to worry about how I will teach her to know, love and serve God, but to pray for His guidance., knowing that I will make mistakes. I am learning to be flexible and not too hard on myself. The most important thing I can do for my daughter is to love her and God will take care everything else.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring is Here!!!

Just a few springtime images from around my neighborhood:

The people who live here before planted daffodils!! Yay!!

The Trees are budding --

The bumper was sick last week, so we were grateful to get out and enjoy the warm weather.


Friday, March 4, 2011

On MyMind

When Matt and I went to California to visit our former roommate, (He and Matt are the ones skipping stones into the Pacific) I was nearly eight months pregnant with the bumper. We were full of worry and woe, our lease was up at the end of November and we still hadn't found a house. As crazy as it was, we took off on a much needed break. Sometimes, even adults need to play once in awhile. At the time I thought this would be the last bit of playtime we would have in a long time.

I was wrong.

Just the other night, Matt and I took turns trying to make the bumper laugh again.We had so much fun! It is the simplest of things that bring a sense of peace and happiness.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Little Things

Just some little things that have made me happy this week:

1. Going to church for the first time as a family: Me, my husband Matt, and our little bumper. My husband liked being in the cry room because all the crying babies were in the main sanctuary and we could actually hear the service!

2. Hearing the bumper laugh for the first time. Matt was making silly faces, and our daughter laughed. Is there anything more precious than a baby's laugh?

3. My husband marveling over the fact that a $6.00 meat loaf fed the two of us for a whole week.

4.  Trailing Matt as he showed our bumper to his co-workers. He is such proud papa!

5. Warm weather that motivated me to get out of the house.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sleep? Who needs sleep?

I was never one in college to pull all night cram sessions. I was a strictly in bed by nine type of girl, so I was completely unprepared for the schedule of a new mama. My little one seems to be a confirmed night owl!. She likes to sleep during the day and is awake all night long. She isn't fussy, or cranky, and I have been blessed that she does not have colic, just a touch of reflux, but she is wide awake and ready to go!. As a result I have become acquainted with hours of the night hitherto unknown to me.
These days I am lucky if I get four hours of uninterrupted sleep, I spend most of my waking moments bleary eyed and covered in baby barf (somehow she always manages to miss the burp cloth). I have learned, though to laugh at my self. One night, or rather at 2:30 in the morning, when my beloved daughter had just blown out two diapers in the space of 15min, I leaned over on the changing pad, looked her in the eye and said "Are you done? Seriously, are you done?" and this little blessing  from God grunted, shot stream of poo clear across the room, sighed and fell asleep right there. All I could do, after changing her into yet another fresh diaper, was stand there and giggle. I know I will look back with longing when she is older, but I am not there yet. For now I am still in the trenches.
I say all of this because my husband has noted that my blog posts are riddle with errors and I am supposed to be a writer. So I am asking for you indulgence dear friends, as I go through this season of my life. Right now my thoughts are a bit rambling, and not as precise as I would wish, yet I will continue to post for as long as God will allow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Goals

Jess over at Making Home has issued an invitation to set five goals per month here are mine:

1.Pray and read Scripture everyday.

2. Make time to spend with my husband Matt.

3. Play with my newborn during the day.

4. Make and keep a household schedule for cleaning and meals.

5. Lean to crochet a granny square.

Wish me luck and perseverance!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bumper's Birthstory

Monday December 6th 2010: It is late afternoon, around three pm, I feel a rush of wetness just as I am getting ready to go to the bathroom. I look down and see a pinkish fluid has stained my underwear.
 "Sweetpea, I am going into labor."  I call out to my husband who has come home early from work to help me with the unpacking.
"Ok, I'll start the car," he replies grabbing the hospital overnight bag.

On the way to the hospital he coaches me on my breathing and keeps me calm. We arrive at the hospital, check in, and find out how much my cervix has dilated.  Several  long and painful hours later, the nurses hand, me a wriggling,, screaming, little blessing of  a  baby girl. My husband smiles at me and says "Congratulations Mama!"
At least that is what I wanted it to be like.

Here is what really happened:

Saturday December 4th, I noticed my discharge had turned the bright red of menstrual blood. Alarmed, I called the after hours number for my ob/gyn. I spoke with the doctor on call. She asked me a few questions, and I let her know I had been lifting boxes and climbing up and down the stairs of our new house.  I should mention we had closed on the house and moved in only three days prior. She assured me that I had probably just torn something by moving around and trying to do too much, and to call back if I soaked a pad in less than an hour.  I didn't, so figured she was right and I took the next day off to rest. Everything seemed like it was getting better, but on Monday afternoon I started bleeding again. Not really wanting to, but knowing it was probably for the best I called the doctor's office again.

This time my doctor told me to go to the hospital, so she could check whether or not I was leaking amniotic fluid.  Feeling foolish, I called my husband to let him know what was happening. He offered to drive me, but I thought I would be in and out in an hour, so I told him to meet me there, grabbed my purse and left.

Sure enough once I got to the hospital there was no sign of the bleeding.  Just to be safe my doctor ordered an ultra sound to make sure nothing was torn. Once again the results came back negative.The baby hadn't dropped and my cervix wasn't dilated. Feeling even more foolish I apologized to my husband for making him take off from work early. I got up to  use the bathroom and promptly began leaking onto the floor. I turned to my husband in irritation, "This is what I was talking about," I told him. My quick witted hubby called  for the nurse .  She tested what had fallen on the floor, and sure enough it was amniotic fluid.

She told me to put my gown back on and get into bed.  I must have been a bit confused because I asked "Can I go home now?".  Through the bathroom door I heard my husband and the nurse call out "No!".
 The nurse looked me in the eye and said "You are not leaving this hospital without a baby."

I was stunned. My due date wasn't until the 23rd. I was not prepared. I had nothing. No overnight bag, no change of clothes, no camera, not even a toothbrush.  The nursery was just an empty room with a crib box in it.

My doctor came in and talked with us about having a C-section. I could feel my heart breaking. I had so wanted natural childbirth., but because I wasn't dilated and the baby hadn't dropped my doctor was concerned about the baby's health and safety.  My husband and I talked about it, and prayed, and in the end went with the doctor's recomendation of a C-section. So at 9:24pm 12-6-2010 our little bumper came into the world, and when my husband placed her in my arms, all I could do was thank God for sending us the blessing of a healthy baby girl. It was not the birth experiece I imagined, it was what God had wanted for me. Later my doctor told me there had been a rupture in the amniotic sac, and  my baby  would not have survived a prolonged induced labor. God knows best and I have no complaints.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Last night I did something every parent hopes they will never do: I dropped my five week old infant onto the floor.  I had her in my arms and was going to carry  her back to her room. In the town house where we live, the living room is a step down from the dining area and everything is hardwood. I tripped up the step, and she fell out of my arms, and SMACK onto the floor. I was devastated. I felt like the worst parent in the the world. Right away I called her pediatrician, and they told me to take her to the ER.  So int the freezing rain and sleet I drove our little bumper to the hospital. They gave her a head scan and Praise God she was not seriously hurt.

All of this taught me a lesson: I need to slow down, do one thing at a time and TAKE CARE OF MYSELF!
I dropped her because I was sleep deprived, and not carefully watcing where I was going. I can not take care of her if I do not take care of mysel.f  My life is unmanagable and the only way to help that is to pray and take one day at a time