Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home after a long weekend

Bear and I made the six hour drive to Nashville this weekend and had lots of fun. We went mostly to attend a friend's wedding, but Bear also got to spend lots of time with his Grandma Holt and had some fun with his uncles (my brother and Max's brother both live in N'ville). Friday was spent mostly driving around. Because Bear was so well behaved, we made it to Nashville in record time. He spent most of the trip sleeping, with the exception of about half an hour when we stopped and had lunch. We briefly stopped at Grandma Holt's house and then headed to my friend Andrea's wedding rehearsal picnic. I didn't take any pictures that day--it was too cold to mess with it and we didn't look very good due to traveling all day. After the chilly picnic, we went over to visit my friend Julie's 6 month old twins. It was nice to finally meet the babies, but Bear was in a horrific mood by that point, so again, no pictures were taken.

The next day was much better. We went out to lunch and shopping with Grandma. We managed to find a really cool children's consignment shop, where we picked up a fall/winter wardrobe for Bear. We headed for the wedding that afternoon. We were almost late, but it was probably better for us to sit in the very back anyhow. Bear yelled a few times during the exchanging of the vows, but I found some Cheerios in my bag and managed to keep him mostly quiet. At the reception, he spent a good bit of time exploring the floor and getting into my purse:

Then we found him a highchair and he was happy to sit there and eat crackers for a bit.

He got held by lots of people and played a bunch with the other kids that attended the wedding, so he was pretty tired by the time we pulled back up to Grandma's house:

The next day, we shopped with Grandma again and invited his uncles over to Grandma's house for dinner. Bear had a whole lot of fun with both of his uncles!

His favorite thing to do with Uncle Nick was to pull his beard.

And with Uncle Seth, pulling off his glasses was the fun activity.

The next day, we went to the university where Grandma teaches so she could show him off to her colleagues. He loves to show off, so he was ready to go!

After lunch and a nap, we took Bear to a bookstore that had a great kid's area. Bear spent lots of time at the train table.

It got really cold that night, so we had to use Grandma's fireplace to stay warm. Bear WOULD NOT leave it alone.

Overall, it was a good trip. The way home was similar to the way up, in that Bear slept much of the way. We were both a little crabbier, probably just ready to be home. Bear sure was happy to see his daddy! We didn't sleep very well last night, unfortunately. I think Bear got used to sleeping in the same room as me. We'll have to work on that tonight...I just didn't have the energy to deal with a lot of crying last night. I feel at least a little rested today, though, and we have NO PLANS for a change, so maybe I can even take a nap when he does. Judging from the whining little boy on the floor, it's about time for a nap right now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is going on with the world?

I have been upset since yesterday afternoon and things keep happening to make me more upset. Nothing bad has happened to us, but it seems like the universe is not treating people well lately, so I'm keeping my eyes open. I'm not very superstitious and I try to have a positive outlook, but it's hard not to be cynical when total crap keeps happening to people.

I got word yesterday that a high school friend lost her house in a fire on Monday and I am so worried about her. We haven't actually talked in a few years, but we email and keep up with each other through blogs and I still care a lot about her. She has 3 kids and while no one was hurt in the fire, they lost EVERYTHING (including their pets, which is horrible!). Thank goodness they weren't home, but I cannot imagine losing everything I own and having to explain to three kids that their pets are gone.

Today, I opened my myspace account to find that one of my friends from college, who is pregnant with her first child, just found out for sure that her son has a birth defect. A pretty scary one, too. I don't know anything about the birth defect and had never even heard of it until today, but apparently it's a fairly common one. I guess kids can live after the surgery to fix the defect, but the fact that some don't makes me cry. How stressful, to learn that your baby is sick only halfway through your pregnancy! I remember how hopeful and excited I was to be pregnant with Bear and I cannot fathom extreme worry being a part of those emotions as well.

Then, I checked the blogs that I read daily to see that someone who was expecting to start the IVF process today has to wait longer, AGAIN. Now, I don't actually know this person in real life, but when you read about someone's thoughts and emotions everyday, you start to feel like you know at least a little about her and you sort of experience those emotions along with her. This girl has been through some serious crap trying to become a mom and it has lasted a number of years. I was so hopeful for her this week and to hear that she has to wait for better conditions AGAIN hurts me, too, although I'm sure it's nothing like what she's having to deal with.

So there you have it: the reasons my eyes are red and why I won't even bother putting mascara on today. I just hope that things get better for everyone soon.

Just so this post isn't completely sad, here's a picture of me and Bear. My friend took this of us at McDonald's yesterday and it turned out really well! This may have to be my new profile picture. I was just looking at the one from July 4th that I am currently using, and Bear looks so young! He is 9 months today, but I haven't taken any pictures of him yet today. I will later and will post those for your viewing pleasure soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All about Bear

I've noticed that my blogging is becoming more and more sporadic with each passing week. I don't know where the time goes and apparently my mind is shot, because I don't have any really good blogging ideas lately! I don't want to give up the blog entirely, as it's a good release for me when I can find the time. Bear and I have gotten so much busier, though! We've made some friends through our moms club and the activities get us out of the house at least twice a week. Also, Bear is taking shorter naps (which is fine, because he's sleeping through the night most of the time) and it's just harder to find the time. I used to be able to plop him down and write a post while he was playing, and that's nearly impossible at this point. He requires just about ALL of my attention just about ALL of the time. It's not that he can't play by himself, because he totally can and does. It's more about the fact that he's so mobile and into everything that I have to be pretty close by to make sure he doesn't hurt himself crawling onto something or fall over when he pulls up on furniture.

One of my favorite times of day is becoming the time when I wash his bottles. I know, sounds weird, right? But I can put him in his high chair and give him a sippy cup of water and a snack and he's as happy as can be watching me clean the kitchen. I talk to him and he babbles back at the appropriate time, so that it almost seems like we're having a conversation. He has just started babbling a "guh" sound and he'll say it over and over again and then laugh. I have no idea what he's talking about, but it's definitely the beginning of language development. It's so exciting to think about the day when he will communicate something to me! I do some sign language with him, but he hasn't signed anything back to me yet. He's still a little young, according to the books that I have, but that doesn't mean he doesn't understand when I sign.

He has also started understanding what I mean when I say "no", which is great! He likes to play in our gas fireplace, which is just not a good idea. Unfortunately, it's not very high up off the floor and is just at his eye level when he's crawling. It has lots of little heat conducting rocks in the bottom and I don't want him to choke on them, but also, I just don't want him to think that the fireplace is a toy. When he first started crawling, I put a piece of cardboard in front of it, because he would just smile and keep on going when I told him "no". Now, though, he turns around and looks at me, sometimes still smiling, but he stops. Sometimes he'll try again, but I just repeat "no" and he moves on to something else. Every once in a while, he'll cry when I tell him not to do something, but that's usually only when he's pretty tired already. I use "no" sparingly, too, because from what I understand, if you say it all the time, babies tend to tune it out. I only say it when he's going for the fireplace or the dog food bowls or when he pulls my hair or bites me. It's just so neat to watch him processing the fact that he's not allowed to do something.

We have to go shopping later today, because one of Bear's playgroup friends is turning 2 soon. We have a playgroup meeting tomorrow and we are going to be celebrating her birthday by dressing up in Halloween costumes. I'm glad for Bear to get to wear his costume because, honestly, there aren't very many opportunities for little ones to put them on. It's not as if I'll be taking him trick-or-treating or anything! There are lots of fun activities around here at the zoo, at parks and at churches, but most are in the evening and Bear would just be too cranky to attend. The moms club is going to visit a nursing home with all the kids in costume, but Bear and I will be out of town for my friend's wedding. Oh well, I'll dress him up on Halloween so we can greet all the older kids in the neighborhood when they come by for candy.

Speaking of my friend's wedding, we are getting ready to head to Nashville for a long weekend to attend it. We decided it would be best for Max to stay home and for Bear and I to go by ourselves. That saves us money by not having to get our dogs boarded, but it also will make it a more pleasurable trip. Don't get me wrong, I would love to spend time with Max, but it would have to be a rushed trip if he went, so that he could get back to work. This way, I can spend time with my mom and some friends that I haven't seen in a while. I have one friend who has 5 month old twins that I would love to meet and another friend that I just miss a lot. I lived in the Nashville area for most of my life, so I still know lots of people there and enjoy spending time with everyone. I do not, however, enjoy the traffic! I have gotten used to the not-so-crowded ways of Mississippi. I can brave it for one weekend, though. It's worth it to get to spend time with everyone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Separation anxiety

I think separation anxiety has officially hit my poor Bear. I just don't know the best way to get him over it. The only time I leave him with anyone is when I go to the gym, which is usually 2-3 times a week. He was fine with it from the beginning (when he was around 5 months old)--he had a favorite lady and he appeared to even have fun with the toys in there. Ever since a week or so ago, he has absolutely hated it. He has not wanted to go to anyone, even his favorite person, and has been clinging to me so that I have to loosen his grip on my shirt before I can hand him over. Then, when I come back from working out, usually in about an hour, I am greeted by a red-eyed, snotty-nosed baby that can't calm down until we are on the highway back home, where he falls asleep. I'm just not sure what's best at this stage and I'm getting conflicting advice. My mom friends tell me that I should leave him for shorter periods of time so that he starts to realize that I'm coming back. One friend told me that she did this with her son and started with only leaving him for 15 minutes at a time. Call me selfish or whatever, but I am not driving all the way to the gym for a 15 minute workout. So I tried half an hour today and that's probably what I'll do the next few times to see if it works. I did get grilled by the childcare worker today, though. She wanted to know why I wasn't gone for as long as I usually am, so I told her what I was trying. She told me that she's been working with kids for a long time and that he'll get over it, even if I go for my normal hour. So now I don't know what to do. I don't want to traumatize the little guy and sometimes I feel selfish for even going to the gym. But, dang it, I'm supposed to go the gym! I need to lose weight, I need some alone time and I need to make exercise a regular part of my routine! So help me out--if you have any words of wisdom, please share!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Bear and I went to a pumpkin patch with our moms club yesterday and it was so much fun! I, for one, am still a little worn out from lugging my heavy little boy all over the place, but it was still a good time.

We were one of the first ones to get there, so we had to wait for the rest of our group. We spent time looking at all the animals on the farm. Here's Bear and his friends (notice they are ALL girls!) sitting in a row under the rabbit cages.

The pumpkin patch had some little photo op areas set up that we took advantage of while we were waiting for the hayride to start. It started to rain a little, so we had to hurry. This is a cute picture, but I could not get the boy to smile!

When we finally started the hayride, Bear was very interested in the hay.

He played with it, threw it and I think he even tasted some.

Then he got bored.

He woke up when the tractor stopped at the actual pumpkin patch. Just in time!

There is another patch not too far from our house that I'd like to visit as a family. Hopefully we'll do that soon and I'll post more pictures then!

Oh, I almost forgot...I wanted to post a picture of him happily swinging. I've been putting him in the swings at the park ever since he could hold his head up, but he never looked like enjoyed them much. He didn't complain, so I figured he liked it, it was just that he never smiled. He just started really enjoying himself the other day, and I was amazed at how much he laughed and kicked his legs.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Busy times

My best friends in the moms club each have a little girl, so Bear is often surrounded by shrieks, hollers, temper tantrums and the like. That's not to say that these particular little girls are badly behaved--not by any means! They're just normal little girls with big voices. Anyhow, Bear hardly ever makes a peep when we're in public. At home, he's always making tooting noises with his mouth and lately he's been making these little high pitched noises that sound an awful lot like the beginnings of actual language. My friends have rarely heard Bear's little sounds, but today, when we were out to lunch, Bear yawned and made the loudest sound I've ever heard him make! My friends looked at me with surprised faces and couldn't believe he'd yelled out so loudly. We all started cracking up.

I just realized today that I am having the best time of my life. Up until this point, college has always been what I would call the best. I had a ton of friends who were always up for fun, no real responsibilities other than attending class and basically a lot of free time on my hands to do whatever I wanted. I made the first friends that I really felt that I had something in common with, some of which are still my friends today. Of course, I was always poor and I hadn't met Max yet, so those are some downfalls, but there are bad sides to any situation. I also could never figure out what it was I wanted to do with my life...never felt sure about my major and didn't feel passionately about much of anything. After college was also good, because I met Max and had lots of fun dating him, but I missed having lots of friends around. I also started thinking that my job was not a very good one, but I still didn't know what to do with my life. I got a graduate degree, but I had trouble finding work and then we moved to Texas. I still couldn't find a good job, so I accepted one that was less than desirable. I made some friends there, but no one that I keep in touch with. Then we decided to move to Mississippi...again, not a great job to be found, but the one I did find is the best I've ever had. I worked for a bit and then got pregnant, not realizing all the changes my life was about to go through.

I always knew that I wanted kids, but I never realized the world that would be opened up to me once I had one! The moms club (and no, they're not paying me to say this!) has been a lifeline for me. I've never been as involved in a club as I have been in this one and it has been well worth my while to get involved. Since I stay home with Bear, I didn't have a whole lot of friends to reach out to. My friends from college don't have kids yet, so we can't really swap kid stories about middle of the night puke or changing explosive diapers. Through the moms club, though, I have found all of that and more. Bear and I attend most of the activities that the club offers and I think both of us are better for it. I have friends that live nearby again and Bear gets exposed to lots of other kids of various ages. I have much less free time than I've ever had in my life, but I'm mostly happy to do the things that now fill my time, even if it involves cleaning up gross stuff. I'm so thankful to be have a club that exists in our area and am so thankful that I've found other moms that I have more things in common with other than the simple fact that we have kids. I feel really lucky to be able to stay home and to have a husband that wants me to be able to do that.

Hmm...this post turned a completely different direction than I meant for it to, but that's okay! I am grateful for everything and I should say it more often. I'll have to post pictures tomorrow of Bear all happy in the swings at the park.