a bit of holiday catch-up

We are all still alive. It has been a long time since I’ve written, I know. My only excuse is holidays. We left for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, came home for three weeks–just enough time to put up our own Christmas tree and a few Christmas lights before we went to see my husband’s family for two weeks of Christmas vacation. Now, of course, another holiday weekend is coming to an end, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to get back on track with my posts. That still hasn’t exactly happened, but at least I’m not two full months behind anymore.

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So, here’s a recap: We headed to Mississippi for Thanksgiving, and it was the longest drive Baby Guy has ever endured. He actually did quite well, and about 14 hours, 5 million Cheerios, and 17 organic food pouches later, we arrived at our destination. We enjoyed the balmy weather, had some great quality family time, ate tons of delicious food courtesy of my mom and sister, and even managed a complete transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, meaning that we headed home in full Christmas mode and laden with full hearts and many gifts.

Once home, we unpacked, got back in the swing of things, took care of Baby Guy’s first ever ear infection, went out seeking a perfect and petite Christmas tree for our brief stay at home, took advantage of our first good snowfall of the year (to get our Christmas photo and let Baby Guy play in the snow for the first time) and attended a number of church Christmas events. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that we kept Amazon, UPS, and the USPS our fair share of busy with all of our online shopping, too.

Next, we packed up for our two weeks in Tennessee. We left a day after we’d planned (due to inclement weather), but had an uneventful drive (Baby Guy’s second longest ever) and arrived in good spirits. We spent time with family, ate plenty of great food, did some shopping, enjoyed the outdoor play that 80 degree weather (the week before Christmas!) affords, and when our time was up, once again headed home with a van full of new gifts and good memories.

We only drove halfway home before we stopped in Ohio to spend New Years Eve with family. They graciously took us in for the night on short notice, and we had a great time visiting!

On New Years Day we headed first to IKEA, and then to L. L. Bean, both of which are exciting luxuries for us, and after leaving both stores earlier than we wanted to (but still two hours late for the little guy’s nap), we grabbed some food to go and headed the rest of the way home.

Now, two weeks later, our Christmas tree is down, our floor is, more often than not, littered with new toys and books that Baby Guy is enjoying, and we are pretty thrilled that we were able to spend so much time with our families this year.

Baby Guy was a champion throughout the holidays. He consistently slept well, ate fairly well, and behaved quite nicely (with a few exciting toddler assertions of opinion here and there).

I hope that each of you had happy holidays, and I wish you a calm, stress-free remainder of January and a new year full of blessings!

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it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. 

It was a little more than a year ago that we brought Baby Guy home from the hospital, and it has been a big year. By the time we made it home with our little bundle I felt like we’d already run the gamut of the ups and downs of parenting. I won’t even mention the struggle of labor and delivery; that’s 40 hours of story that you probably don’t need to hear tonight. No, it wasn’t that. It was things like the excruciatingly joyful moment that he was born and we laid eyes on him and he was healthy and he was ours. It was the moment my husband sang to him and it was clear that Baby Guy already knew his voice. It was when they told us that our precious, perfect baby would need an IV for antibiotics because labor had been too long. It was when he was placed under the bili lights in that little box and we could only take him out for 10 minutes every couple of hours to feed him and change his diaper. It was listening to him and realizing that no matter how improbable it was, our son had the cutest sounding little squeaky toy hiccups in the history of the universe. Those highs and lows and all the exhaustion and hormones really made me think that we’d pretty much been through the emotional extent of parenting already.

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Fast forward a year, and I still think that those first few days are a pretty demanding roller coaster of experiences. I also know now that the roller coaster never really stops. Here are the top three things I’ve learned after a year of being a full-time parent: Continue reading

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bye bye baby

My last few weeks with a bona fide baby are running out furiously, so I’m trying to focus more on enjoying my little one in this sweet, sweet stage of life.

My son took his first step yesterday. It was awesome, because, well, the first steps are awesome. But it was even more amazing because my husband and I were both there to witness it. Baby Guy hasn’t repeated the feat, but he’s standing around without holding on to things more often and for longer periods. He’s started gesturing and playing while he’s standing there, so we can tell he’s more comfortable. We’re on the cusp of complete mobility and Continue reading

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next stop: toddlerhood

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Baby Guy is 11 months old and continues to surprise us every single day with new aspects of his personality, skills, and propensities for danger.

He’s cruising around the furniture, standing on his own for a few seconds at a time, and looking like he’ll try to walk any minute now. One of his favorite things to do is pop up next to us when we’re sitting on the couch. He thinks it’s hilarious and honestly; I do too. Continue reading

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cloth diapers, pt. 4: the long, wet night

This is the fourth in a series of posts about cloth diapering. If you’re interested in starting from the beginning, you should begin with cloth diapers, pt. 1: why, oh why?. If you’ve already decided that you want to cloth diaper, learn more about some different diapering choices with cloth diapers, pt. 2: decisions, decisions. For basic information about the day-to-day issues involved with cloth diapers, head to cloth diapers, pt. 3: the grind.

This post will focus specifically on cloth diapering overnight. I touched briefly on this subject in the third post in this series, but given the fear and trepidation that many people have regarding using cloth overnight, it seemed appropriate to dedicate a post entirely to this issue.

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if i only had a brain

It’s been a rough couple of weeks to be me. It’s not because I have such a difficult life. I have nothing to complain about, truly. It’s just that my brain used to function, but it doesn’t anymore.

For real, people, I used to have it pretty much together. Not in a little-miss-perfect kind of way, but in a functional-thinking-human kind of way. I was a teacher, and a pretty good one. I started and finished projects. I remembered people’s birthdays. I showed up on time (usually). I used to have a working brain.

Fast forward to the past fourteen days and all of that is behind me. Continue reading

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a purple martin

There have been a few times in my life when I’ve discovered, too late to stop it, that disaster was about to strike. Continue reading

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