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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Packing Is The Hardest Part

I can't believe that the trip we planned five months ago is finally here.

We are flying to Sydney tonight and on Sunday I get to see my old friend, Sophie again! I am so excited I could pee in my pants!! :)

I feel like I have been organizing, making piles and lists, prepping and stressing for weeks. With less than 10 hours until our flight, we are as ready as we will ever be! I think I have packed everything, but the kitchen sink.

By the way, 80% of the contents in the luggage in the picture is your stuff, which means undoubtedly I will not have enough to wear. Guess that means that mommy will get to go shopping!?!

This was by far the hardest trip to pack for despite Sophie's suggestions. Apparently the weather could be very temperamental this time of year in New Caledonia, and while she has most everything that we'll need while we are visiting her, 15 hours is a very L O N G time (think: books, food, formula, snacks, blankets, diapers, toys, extra clothes, etc. etc.) to be on an airplane with a toddler. Not to mention, we have several days in Sydney on each end of our trip. I'm looking forward to being on the plane and on our way! I'm ready for a new adventure.

I am going to take this opportunity to unplug and disconnect from my computer for a while, even though I just went public with my blog to another group of friends (you know who you are), but don't worry, I'll be back.

The best is yet to be.

Day 57/100


Every Day Is Earth Day

I know tomorrow is Earth Day, but I will be flying over the Pacific, so I wanted to post this today.

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Let this Earth Day inspire you to do something to reduce your carbon footprint. Even if it means taking baby steps, there are plenty of things we can do to make a difference.

Listed here are ten simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint on Earth Day.

1. For one day, eat no disposable food items or beverages. Add to that no paper plates, plastic utensils or other disposable dinnerware. We all have cupboards full of dishes and glasses that we pass on when we grab a paper plate for that quick snack. For just one day, pass on the paper products.

2. Pay your bills online. And while you are at it, opt for receiving your billing statements by e-mail instead of snail mail.

3. Adjust the thermostat. Cut back on your heating and air conditioning by lowering your thermostat in the winter and moving it up a notch or two in the summer. Just a couple degrees in either direction can really make a difference in your energy use.

4. Cook one meal entirely from organic non-processed ingredients. It's easier than you think and will be healthier in the process.

5. Lose the plastic water bottles. These leave a huge carbon footprint. Purchase a reusable bottle or canteen for your water.

6. Change your light bulbs. Purchase compact florescent light bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs. The compact florescent bulbs use less energy and last longer. According to the EPA, "An ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb."

7. Only use your clothes washer, washing machine and dishwasher when they are completely full. Using them fully loaded means you utilize them less thus using less energy. Think of it as doing less loads of laundry and fewer times to unload the dishwasher.

8. Read the newspaper online. By doing this you use less paper and save trees.

9. Use a laptop instead of a desktop model computer. Buy using a laptop computer your energy savings could range from 50 to 80 percent.

10. Unplug your phone charger when not in use. This applies to other appliances as well. Many plugged in appliances continue to draw energy even when not in use.

In our home we practice at least six of the above actions on a day to day basis and one I'd add is using reuseable bags. I made it a New Year's resolution and now it's a habit. It is little, simple changes that can make a big impact.

I sincerely hope by the time you are old enough to read this that Mother Earth is in much better shape than she is today.

The best is yet to be.

Day 57/100

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Most Important Meal Of The Day

After my post, Worst Mother Of The Year, I realize now that I should be keeping an on going list of things that I swore I wouldn't as a new mom. Something tells me it is going to get worse before it gets better...

Today's act actually shocked me.

Okay, "shocked" is a bit of an exaggeration.

You wanted nothing to do with your high chair or bananas and cereal so, I followed you around the living room with your breakfast in order to get you to eat it. It worked... for you and made me mad at myself. While I do believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I'm happy that I found a way to get you to eat it, I don't want to start a bad habit.

This got me thinking about some of the other things I have done as a mother (so far) that I'm not proud of:
  • Letting you play with my iPhone.
  • Talking entirely too much about poop... color, texture, size. Blech!
  • Leaving you sleeping in the car (gulp!) while I ran into pick up my dry cleaning, a sandwich and pay for gas. Not all at the same time.
  • Putting you in a shopping cart without a seat protector.
  • Wiping your nose and then wiping my hand clean on the jeans that I've been wearing for three days in a row.
  • See above about the jeans. I have worked my butt off to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans and am proud to say that I now weigh what I did at my first OB appointment, but I live in yoga pants, tank tops and hoodies. I hardly ever wear make up and most of the time, I smell like you. I never thought I'd let myself go.
Before becoming a mother, I had many ideas and ideals about motherhood being the perfect mother. I thought that some moms were just lazy, ill-informed or both and that I was clever enough to break the cycle. I was going to break new ground. It didn't take long to learn that all those impressions I had were going to go right out the window.

I know that once I let go of these ideals and stop trying to be perfect, I will relax enough to enjoy my son and be the mother I was meant to be.

For all you moms out there, what did you always vow that you’d never do as a parent, but find yourself doing today?

By the way, stay tuned, the list above is sure to grow. :)

The best is yet to be.

Day 56/100

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Adventures In Dining

Dinner last night was comical and exhausting. We went out for sushi with our neighbors and their two children; Pierce, who is almost two years old and Roman, who is almost one, and if it wasn't one kid complaining, it was the other.

We were in and out in almost an hour flat and because we were tending to our tots, I don't think one complete conversation was had.

From the waterfalls, turtle pond, lights, other patrons, windows, fans and the always fun to play with dishes, chop sticks, menus and mommy and daddy's food, you were mesmerized by all there was to see and touch.

We tried feeding you with the food we brought, but you were more interested in what P & R had, so we shared. We tried entertaining you with the toys we brought and you were antsy and only settled down when your dad and I took turns taking you on walks to visit the sushi bar, turtles and hostess stand.

The best part of the evening was that we all laughed about it, during and afterward. Welcome to dining with children! The sushi wasn't bad either. :) Oh well, we tried, right? Next time, it will be just the four adults. No offense, kids!

The best is yet to be.

Day 55/100

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This Little Piggy

Even though you are in the 95th percentile on the weight and height scales, all of you is little to me. I especially love your tiny feet and hands and nothing brings me more joy than seeing your itty bitty fingers pick up a Cheerio or piece of cheese. You have such precision in the task and I just can't get enough of it!

Until recently I didn't have the heart to cover up your little piggies with anything other than socks and jammies with feet. Sadly, your dad (AKA the shoe horse in the family) bought you several pairs of shoes that you never got an opportunity to wear because you have already outgrown them. Last week I finally broke down and got you two new pairs; a so ugly they're cute pair of Crocs and a classic pair of navy blue Converse All Stars, with tie laces.

You don't seem to mind them one bit and I seriously don't think they could be any cuter.
You are a bit obsessed with the laces, so the next pair might need to have Velcro.

"If the shoe it in every color." - Anonymous

The best is yet to be.

Day 55/100

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Not All About Me

Motherhood is based on many challenges and I know that my journey has only just begun, but having said that, I am enjoying the ride too. I do, however, have a few complaints:
  • I didn't have a child to have finger prints all over my glass doors, windows and walls.
  • I don't appreciate changing countless diapers, especially the stinking, smelly ones!
  • We don't have a dog, so the Cheerios, puffs, tiny pieces of cheese, chicken, carrots and whatever else you decide to throw on the floor are not fun to pick up.
  • It never used to take me twice as long to get out of the house, but with as much gear as you require, even the simplest outings can be painstakingly difficult.
  • I never really minded doing laundry once a week, but now it's never-ending! There are so many piles that I'm starting to feel sorry for the washer and dryer.
  • Before I had a child, I used to think I was busy. What a laugh!
  • Call it my post-pregnancy brain or just the fact that you go through A LOT of stuff, but seriously, how many times can one person visit the grocery store in a week? I think my record is five!
  • Can someone please explain to me how a 10 month old's nails grow so fast? And I will not take "calcium" as an answer!
  • Scheduled date nights? Really?
  • I didn't ask for any of the guilt, lack of energy, worry or anxiety.
  • I used to love our home, but now that you have taken up every. single. room., coupled with the fact that we spend entirely too much time here, I want to redo it from top to bottom or move.
  • No matter how hard this job gets, I can't quit.
  • It's not all about me.
ON THE OTHER HAND, motherhood is full of wonderful blessings and benefits too:
  • I never knew my heart could hold so much love.
  • No one has ever looked at me/right through me like you have.
  • I have discovered that I am a lot stronger than I thought... physically and emotionally. Any mom that can hold a child in one arm, while feeding them a bottle, collapse a stroller with the other, have an over sized diaper bag around their neck stepping on to an airplane without assistance has to have super powers, right?!
  • I didn't think I could life in the moment or roll with the punches as well as I do. You can cry one minute and laugh the next. You love the feeling of the wind, touching plants and trees and playing peek-a-boo. Your natural appreciation and wonder at the world is good for my soul too.
  • I never thought I'd hear myself sing so many silly songs so off key. I appreciate tapping into my creative side.
  • The moms I have met since becoming one myself are some of the kindest, most generous and understanding woman I have ever met. I am proud to be a member of this elite club.
  • I love it whenever you see me, you smile bigger than anyone ever has before.
  • I love your dad more than ever and can't believe that together we created a whole life...from scratch.
  • It's not all about me.
The hardest part of motherhood by far is soaking up the good parts without obsessing about the bad and above all being patient with myself. I am a work in progress.

The best is yet to be.

Day 53/100

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Say What You Need to Say

"Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say"
Say What You Need To Say, John Mayer

This is my 200th post! I can't believe it.... I never thought I'd reach 100, let alone 200!

Lucas will be a year old soon (!) and this blog is an account of his life and my gift to him. I can't wait to share it with him someday, but in the meantime, I truly appreciate you following along with all of my random mommy musings as I fumble my way through motherhood.

My cup (glass) runneth over for all the kind comments that you share (on and offline), advice that you offer (on and offline) and the connections I have made through blogging. I have said it before and surely will say it again and again... blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me and I love doing it. I have learned a lot about myself through my writing and the kind of sister, friend, wife, and woman I am, mother I am striving to be and child I want to raise. This
is my space and I am happy to have it.

If you do read
Letters For Lucas and haven't become an official "follower" yet, please do and as always, I LOVE feedback, so comment and comment often on anything that strikes a cord with you, makes you laugh, or rubs you the wrong way. I'm also open to advice and will often ask for it. I know that there are a lot of first time and seasoned mommies out that I could learn a ton from. Thank you, everyone!

200 posts?! And still, I have so much more to say, discover, learn and share.

The best is yet to be.

Day 53/100

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Guest Post

I am starting to really stress out about our trip Down Under... only four more days until we leave and my mind is racing out of control and my credit card is getting a work out. Your aunt Leah has been here all week putting up with my random travel and packing ramblings, oral "must have" lists and trips to Target. As always, she has been a trouper and a lot of fun to hang out with.

Here is her guest post for the month:

Dear Lucas,

Here you go with my 5th guest post for your mom’s blog. Well, next week you are off to Australia, you lucky duck! I was there two January’s ago and I loved it. It is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. I certainly came back exhausted after that trip!

I can’t tell you how fortunate you are to be able to do all this fancy traveling. I mean, you got to spend your first Thanksgiving on this planet in Italy! Not many kids have that opportunity. I think it’s awesome that your parents are getting a head start on filling up your passport. It’s so important to travel and experience new things and see how people live in all parts of the world.

Your mom and I were two of those fortunate kids growing up. As you know, our parents taught at American international schools overseas so that was our life. Needless to say, we traveled tons! Every long weekend, Christmas vacation, Spring Break, and more, we would either go to another city in our country of residence or leave the country to visit one nearby. Sadly, at the time, I don’t really think I fully appreciated it. Looking back on it now, I know that I was having a once in a lifetime experience, was incredibly spoiled and very lucky!

Here’s a short list of a couple very cool things that I got to do because we lived overseas: I rode on a camel, an elephant and an ostrich. I had a pet goat. My best friends were usually from another country and they taught me all about their culture. I learned a little of lots of different languages and really got to use them with the locals. I got to try sometimes-crazy food and learned to have an adventurous pallet. Those are some pretty amazing things, huh?

Having said all this, I do think it’s both brave and a little stupid to be putting you through these long flights over there. Your flight to Sydney will be 15 HOURS LONG!!! Whew! That is going to be tough but thankfully, you have two smart parents with four very capable hands to occupy you. Your mom is packing plenty of diapers, formula, clothes, and of course new toys for you to enjoy.

I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be well taken care of on this trip. I will miss you very much and will hopefully still be getting daily phone pictures from your mom.

Love you with all my heart,

Aunt Leah

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain

The best is yet to be.

Day 52/100

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I've Been Tagged!

My friend and fellow blogger Natalie (Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins) has tagged me in a game of One Word Meme. What is a One Word Meme, you ask? It's a chain-like e-mail you complete and them pass along to others, otherwise known as a way to get to know other bloggers and increase blog traffic.

Thanks, Natalie and keep up the great mommy-ing and blogging. I enjoy checking in on you every day and encourage my followers to do the same. :)

So, here I go:

Hair: Brown
Your Mother: Missed
Your Father: Emulated
Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers
Dream Last Night: Nothing
Favorite Drink: Water (Oh, who am I!)
Room You're In: Kitchen
Hobby: Reading
Fear: Dying young
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something You Aren't: Patient
Muffins: Zucchini
Wish List Item: Spa
Where You Grew Up: Everywhere
What Are You Wearing: Jammies
Your Pet: None
Friends: Many
Something You're Not Wearing: Make-up
Favorite Store: Target
Favorite Color: Navy
Last Time You Laughed: Now
Your Best Friend: Loved
Place You Go Over And Over: Gym
Person You E-Mail Regularly: Colleen
Favorite Place To Eat: Subway

My turn to tag...

Leah, you're it! When my sister moved to Los Angeles in January, she started a blog called LA 'n' LA, which chronicles her new life in southern California. She also writes about all kinds of other fun things like; family, friends, music and travel, so if you have a minute, check it out!

The best is yet to be.

Day 52/100

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

No Escape

Loss is a part of my life and I can't deny or ignore it, but I don't want to own it and I certainly don't know how to embrace it... yet.

My parents have been gone for two and a half years today.

Two and a half years too many.

There is no escape from loss.

Loss follows you wherever you go.

Reminders are everywhere.

Grief and loss are exhausting.

Time is no cure for grief or loss; they are constant.

As much as I don't want the loss of my parents to define who I am, it is part of me.

I think about them every day and miss them more than words can describe.

I'm angry that they were taken from me too soon and heartbroken that you will never get to meet them.

This photo was taken on my wedding day, August 4, 2007. It was the last weekend I saw my parents alive.

I am grateful for the 35 years I had with my mom and dad, my memories of happier times, the lessons they taught me, photos I have of them, letters they wrote me, books, music and movies that we shared and enjoyed as a family and my sister, who shares my loss. Together, along with your father, we will make sure that you know your grandparents.

"Our loved ones are never truly gone from us. They remain in the landscape of our own life, as we will for those who come after us. So do right by them by celebrating your own greatness as well as remembering theirs." - Allison DuBois

I press on because I know that my parents would want me to and because I believe that best is yet to be.

Day 51/100

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Half Way Point

Today marks the half way point of you wearing the Doc Band. We had our fourth follow up visit this afternoon and your head is moving in the right direction, rounding out in the way the therapist is pleased with and your facial features are noticeably more symmetrical.

This has been an interesting journey and I'm grateful for how easy you've made it on us. Since day one it's like you're not even wearing it. It hasn't seemed to bother you in the least bit, however, we do see an extra spring in your step (AKA swagger in your crawl) when it's off and we know that it's hot and must be uncomfortable by the end of the day.

I have been so pleasantly surprised at the encouragement from strangers and how many people have come up to us at the park, grocery store, shopping mall, airport, etc. to tell us how successful the Doc Band was for their own children, grandchildren, friend's children, nieces and nephews. It seems as though we are a part of a special group now and when yours comes off, I'll be sure to do the same. In fact, your grandma and I saw a little girl wearing a Doc Band while walking through La Jolla last week and I had to stop and comment on how adorable she looked it in. Her parents had painted flowers all over it, where as we have been partial to stickers.

The first 50 days went by in a flash and I know that the next 50 days will as well.

The best is yet to be.

Day 50/100

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The Buried Life

Remember when MTV only played music videos? I do, but I have to admit that a couple of my favorite guilty pleasure programs are on the legendary channel.... "Sixteen and Pregnant", "True Life", "Punk'd", "Unplugged" and my latest favorite, "The Buried Life". I was up way past by bed time recently watching all eight episodes of Season 1.

This amazing show is the real life adventure of four young men and their purple bus, Penelope on an epic quest to prove that anyone can do anything. With cameras rolling, Duncan, Ben, Jonnie and Dave set out with a list of 100 dreams: everything from kissing Megan Fox to giving a toast at a stranger's wedding to giving away a million dollars to falling in love.

If you had one day left to live what would you do? Ride a bull? Throw an unforgettable party for everyone you love? Help deliver a baby? Now if you had your whole life to live, would you lose that drive, or would your list just keep getting longer?

But they also made a promise to themselves. For every goal they achieve on their list, they help a stranger do something on theirs.

This is where the show gets really interesting, funny, very emotional and someone's dream become a reality.

At each stop, they challenge strangers with the ultimate question: "What do you want to do before you die?" The boys help people of all ages, from all places, discover, organize and attempt their wildest dreams. With each new city or town comes a new set of challenges as the team races to make the impossible happen, all before leaving on their next adventure.

This series explores the exciting wonders of human potential and the exhilaration of going after one's dreams - those dreams too often buried by everyday life. This is the incredible and hard to believe true story of a journey called "The Buried Life".

"The Buried Life" is named after the 1852 poem by Matthew Arnold:

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,
Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet!
I feel a nameless sadness o'er me roll.
Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,
We know, we know that we can smile!
But there's a something in this breast,
To which thy light words bring no rest,
And thy gay smiles no anodyne.
Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,
And turn those limpid eyes on mine,
And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Are even lovers powerless to reveal
To one another what indeed they feel?
I knew the mass of men concealed
Their thoughts, for fear that if revealed
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;
I knew they lived and moved
Tricked in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves - and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast!
But we, my love! - doth a like spell benumb
Our hearts, our voices? - must we too be dumb?

Ah! well for us, if even we,
Even for a moment, can get free
Our heart, and have our lips unchained;
For that which seals them hath been deep-ordained!

Fate, which foresaw
How frivolous a baby man would be--
By what distractions he would be possessed,
How he would pour himself in every strife,
And well-nigh change his own identity--
That it might keep from his capricious play
His genuine self, and force him to obey
Even in his own despite his being's law,
Bade through the deep recesses of our breast
The unregarded river of our life
Pursue with indiscernible flow its way;
And that we should not see
The buried stream, and seem to be
Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,
Though driving on with it eternally.

But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;

A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us - to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves--
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpressed.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well - but 'tis not true!
And then we will no more be racked
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,
From the soul's subterranean depth upborne
As from an infinitely distant land,
Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey
A melancholy into all our day.

Only - but this is rare -
When a beloved hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,
Our eyes can in another's eyes read clear,
When our world-deafened ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caressed--
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth for ever chase
That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose,
And the sea where it goes.

What do you want to do before you die? I'm working on my list and promise to share it soon....

The best is yet to be.

Day 50/100

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beauty Is All Around Us

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it's all around us too, if you look close enough...

Aside from wanting to raise a family with your dad and believing that children are some of the most charming and delightful people I know and can grow into charming and delightful adults, one of the selfish reasons that I wanted to have a child was because I thought it would s-l-o-w me down enough to more take notice and be more appreciative of my surroundings. So far, it's working beautifully.

Everything is brand new to you and you are genuinely interested, curious and intrigued by all of it. I'm learning to see the world again through new eyes.

The best is yet to be.

Day 49/100

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Par Avion

I am beyond excited for our upcoming trip to Australia and New Caledonia. I can't wait to see my dear friend Sophie (A Token Of Love And Affection) and her husband, Luc again, meet their daughters and introduce you to all of them. Plus, this is a part of the world I never imagined I'd get to see.

With eight successful round trip airplane rides under your belt (six domestic flights and one international trip to Italy), I like to think of you as a professional traveler, but with only one week left until our 15 HOUR ONE WAY excursion to Sydney, I am starting to worry... A LOT!

My feelings range from dread to panic. How on earth are we going to feed, entertain and comfort a 10 month old for 15 hours on our laps for what is essentially two days for you?

For me, the worst part of traveling is the packing! I absolutely hate it. I never know what to bring for myself to wear, let alone, you! Packing for the plane ride is the worst part... knowing how many diapers you are going to need, formula you are going to drink, snacks you are going to devour or outfits you are going to go through is down right impossible, and don't even get me started on medicines I hope we won't need, books and toys.

Let the list making begin!

I have learned exactly two things about traveling with a baby; 1) bring at least one new toy that you have never seen before, along with a couple of your favorites and 2) have at least two blankets in your carry on... one for comfort and warmth and one that can double as a burp cloth/snot rag/pillow. I also learned, the hard way, I might add to pack more than one extra outfit for you.

Other than that, I am hoping that the universe and travel gods will be on our side. Any toddler travel advice you can offer, that preferably doesn't involve drugging my son up, is much appreciated. :)

Wish us luck, patience and an empty seat!

The best is yet to be.

Day 48/100

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

No, No, No!

How can one little word, just two letters long hold so much meaning, exhaustion and frustration whether it is being said or heard? The word is 'NO' and in the last couple of days, I have said it enough times to last a lifetime and you have certainly heard it enough.

You are into EVERYTHING and while I appreciate your adventurous nature and eagerness to explore your surroundings, it doesn't change the fact that you can't touch the heater, climb into the dish washer, push every button on the remote control, hammer on my computer, or play with my phone!

I get it, your job as a toddler is to be a free spirit and constantly test your limits and my job as your parent is to keep you safe, promote positive behavior and raise you to be a good human without completely losing my sanity in the process. Having said that, how and when do you teach your toddler that no means no? What kind of discipline, if any works on a 10 month old?

My current technique is to say something like the following; "no, that's the stove and it's hot, please don't touch it," and then physically remove you from the situation/temptation. I have given you a description, warning and distraction. Inevitably, however, you crawl back over to the stove (or other inticing object) 17 more times because you don't understand the word "hot", let alone the concept of "no" and so the process is repeated over and over and over.

Help me, moms, how early do you teach your children right from wrong, self control and respect? How early is too early for time outs?! My ears are open wide....

The best is yet to be.

Day 47/100

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

National Start! Walking Day

Walking is one of my favorite pastimes.

Walking is my favorite form of exercise.

I love to walk.

I walked almost 500 miles while I was pregnant and I average 70-80 miles per month now.

I took you on your first walk on July 1. You were less than one month old.

I have walked almost 120 miles (over the course of six days) for breast cancer awareness and will do it again this October.

I enjoy walking on the beach, through my neighborhood, on a treadmill or all over the city of Paris and I am not afraid of hills.

Walking led me to running, which led me to countless 5Ks and a half marathon, a feat I never thought I could accomplish. I still enjoy running occasionally but not as much as walking.

Walking clears my head, helps me stay in tune with nature, allows me time to catch my breath, chat with a friend on the phone, or listen to my iPod.

There is nothing better than a new pair of sneakers. Yesterday I broke in my 15th pair of Nike Air Pegasus. For me, it is the ONLY shoe to walk in.

I keep track of every mile I walk, calorie I burn and time it takes.

I have the strangest tan lines and never leave the house without sunscreen.

Walking is good medicine. Studies show that just one hour of vigorous exercise, like brisk walking will increase your life expectancy by two hours.

Today is National Start! Walking Day and I encourage you to move your feet... one step at a time.

The best is yet to be.

Day 43/100

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ten Months

Your grandma is coming to visit today and it also marks your tenth month with us; and what a great month it was! The most exciting accomplishment you had this month was that you started crawling and it has been so much fun to watch you explore your world and enjoy your independence. Here are some of your other milestones at ten months. This month you:
  • Learned to pull yourself up to standing and usually only hold on with one hand.
  • Have slammed your pudgy little fingers into drawers and cabinets more than once and gotten yourself stuck under our coffee table and bar stools. I am told that it is all a part of your new found freedom and exploration.
  • Recognize puppies, babies, books, the train and of course, mom, dad, aunt Leah and nanny Angel.
  • Use sign language to indicate when you are "all done", want "more" and hear the train passing by.
  • Love to people watch as much as your dad and I do, which make places like the park and airport do-able.
  • Your diet has expanded to include chicken, cheese, kidney beans, lentils, spinach and potatoes.
  • Graduated from your first music class and have started a second one.
  • Visited the Wild Animal Park.
  • Celebrated your first Easter and met the Easter Bunny.
  • Have been wearing the Doc Band for 42 days today... we are almost half way there and I am happy to report that it is doing exactly what it's meant to.
  • Bounce to music.
  • Still have blue eyes.
  • Attended your fourth one year old's birthday party.
  • Love to knock blocks, or anything will work, together to make noise.
  • Hosted your first Mommy & Me play group.
  • Can roll a ball back and forth to us.
I can't wait to see what the next month has in store for you!

As a side note, the photo above was taken with my iPhone using a very cool new photography app I downloaded called Hipstamatic. Check it out!

The best is yet to be.

Day 42/100

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Monday, April 5, 2010

You're Asking Me?

I have a couple of friends that are pregnant for the first time and they have been asking me for advice on everything from diapers and strollers to bottles and bibs (can you imagine?!).

I am no expert I tell them, but there are five things I know for sure about having a baby:

1. If you are planning to have more than one child, buy all of your big items (stroller, car seat, swing, high chair, etc.) in a unisex color/print so that both kids can use them.

2. If you are going to use formula, serve your baby bottles right out of the fridge. It seems a little strange to give your baby cold milk but according to our pediatrician, it's easier for them to digest and a lot simpler than messing with the microwave.

3. Make noise while your baby naps... you'll be glad you did!

4. Becoming a mother has been the most challenging and life changing thing I have ever done in my life, but also the very best.

5. Trust your gut. Only you know your body, limitations, patience and frustration level, when to call the doctor and your child.

What do you know for sure about being a mom?

The best is yet to be.

Day 41/100

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Fab Four

My father was a huge fan of The Beatles. He bought many of their albums in duplicate, one to listen to and one that he kept in the plastic casing. I wonder how he knew that these never before opened records might be worth something someday.

Born and raised in a very, very small town in Texas, my dad followed the British Invasion and loved this mob-topped quartet mostly I think, because, not only were they from very , very far away and spoke with funny accents, they played their own instruments and wrote their own lyrics. They weren't produced. Their songs are simple, catchy and fun to sing along with.

Thirteen albums, twenty-two singles, seven years and a legacy to last a lifetime.

I once read that Not liking The Beatles is as perverse as not liking the sun.

I couldn't agree more.

Growing up, I heard a lot of Beatles music and became a fan myself. I wish I had asked my dad which Beatles song was his favorite before
he died. He probably, like me wouldn't have been able to name just one.

The song
In My Life makes me cry every time I hear it with it's heartfelt declaration of love and dedication and I love the entire Abbey Road album, their last.

Strawberry Fields Forever
evokes a dreamy psychedelic state that I often long to be in and All You Need is Love is an outstanding anthem that will always remind me of the Cirque du Soleil show that I have had the pleasure of seeing twice! I have never left a performance feeling lighter or happier. I wish my dad could have seen it.

has beautiful lyrics and is arguably their most covered song (according to Wikipedia, over 3000 times!), but Blackbird is the one that I sing to you. It's lyrics are haunting, yet hopeful:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

he last line of the last song of the last album The Beatles recorded is: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. How appropriate, 15 beautiful words that sum up The Beatles and their legacy. These are also pretty good words to live by.

The best is yet to be.

Day 40/100

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Adjustment Period

As I shared in my post, Happy Anticipation, I had a perfect pregnancy with none of the usual symptoms; no morning sickness, food cravings or aversions, heartburn, constipation, bloating, swollen feet or pregnancy brain... until now!

I think our bodies and minds are still in a state of shock the nine months or so after delivery because my post pregnancy brain is in full swing. I forget EVERYTHING! I have always been a list maker, but since I became a mother, I sometimes make two, having completely forgotten about the first one. I miss friends birthdays, walk into stores and can't remember why I'm there, misplace things and feel like I'm in either in slow motion or on fast forward most of the time.

According to an article I read in the latest issue of FitPregnancy, many experts attribute the sluggishness to to the hormonal upheaval that inevitably occurs after childbirth. Shannon Seip, co-author of Momnesia thinks sleep deprivation is just as much a factor.

I am completely exhausted at the end of the day and definitely earn the eight plus hours of horizontal time I get, so that can't be it in my case.

The article goes on to say that the huge learning curve of taking care of a newborn also contributes. "You're gathering so much new information, so worried about simply keeping your baby alive and well-fed that it consumes your brain," Seip explains.

Now, this I can identify with, but for me it's more than just keeping you alive, it's keeping you entertained and engaged as well. I especially find myself obsessed with your toys and wondering (worrying) if you've outgrown some of them.

While research shows the fogginess can last up to a year after having a baby, many woman start to see at least some improvement once they adjust to their new lives. Adjust to their new lives, huh? Hmmm... I wonder what the research says about how long it takes to adjust to motherhood? One year? Six? 18?

The best is yet to be.

Day 39/100

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hoppy Easter

Even though we don't really celebrate Easter in the religious sense, when you are a bit older, we will decorate eggs and the Easter Bunny will hide them and leave you an Easter basket full of sweet treats and other goodies.

Today your aunt Leah and I took you to meet, said Bunny:

From our family to yours, Happy Easter!

The best is yet to be.

Day 37/100

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