Friday, October 30, 2009

Two Inches...

My 17-year-old nephew was in a car accident this morning, and the paramedics told him that if he had been two inches taller, he probably wouldn't have survived. He crashed into a semi-truck and the entire roof caved. Apparently he hit the central wheel base of the truck, and if the impact would have been to the right or left even slightly, the top of the car would have been completely cut off. I saw the pictures of the car and it made me feel sick. Apparently the driver of the truck didn't even approach Nick's car because he assumed the worst. Over the years my nephew has struggled with being the kid who's shorter than all his peers. All I can say is that I am thankful beyond words for the two inches that have turned out to be vital to Nick's life.

He is okay. Bruised, scraped, and scared...but thankfully okay. After seeing those photos, I'm honestly not sure how he walked away from a crash like that with only a band-aid and a headache. I know that if I would have seen something like this on the road, I would have assumed the driver of the car probably hadn't survived. I could cry. Thankful does not even come close to my thoughts tonight. Thoughts of how much worse this day could have been send shudders down my spine.

They took him to the hospital, and have done every kind of scan you can imagine to make sure there are no internal injuries. My family is in the process of piling in the car and driving down to Indiana to visit. It's probably not essential that we go there, but we all just want to give Nick a hug and tell him we love him. I am feeling pretty shaken right now, and still pretty upset, but also tremendously thankful that he wasn't seriously hurt.

This was written earlier today. We are back home in MI now, and all seems to be as well as could be expected with Nick. Tonight I am really wishing that he wasn't quite so far away, but it is what it is. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Half a Year Ago...

Half a year. When you say it like that, the time seems so much longer, and so much more momentous, which is exactly how it feels to me. I honestly cannot believe Charlie is six months old today. He is the greatest blessing I could ever have asked for, and I am awed by his existence. Six months ago today, our lives were on the cusp of great change, though we didn't know it at the time. On that fateful late April day, a tiny star was born. I am immensely grateful for the life of our son, and for the tremendous sacrifices made by his first mother so that he could be.

My sincere thanks go to Tracey for the adorable sweater Charlie is wearing here!

Charlie is an amazing little boy. He delights me every single day with his sweet personality, and with all the new things he learns. He is joyful, and his happiness is catching. He has recently started babbling in his sleep, and even laughing sometimes too. It is the most darling thing I've ever seen or heard. When I look at him, it is crystal clear to me: we needed this little boy! People tell us all the time that he's so lucky to have us, but I know we're the ones who are lucky! There is nothing sweeter to me than when I look into his soulful, brown eyes and see so much love reflected there. The way he watches me, and the way he smiles when we find each other, it is purely golden. Though I feel buoyed by his love for me, his need of me, I also feel that I'm not worthy of such adoration from this little person. I guess all mothers feel that to an extent?

There are a lot of changes forthcoming with the physical age of six months. He gets new pacifier nipples, new bottle nipples, and he can begin eating a much greater variety of solid foods now, all of which is very exciting.

I spent a good portion of this past weekend making baby food for him, and I had so much fun! I made butternut squash, carrots, green beans, and apples, which I hope he will like. I'm excited for this new phase of babyhood and all the new experiences!

He started with green beans today... far he's not too thrilled about them!

I'm not sure why exactly, but I've gotten a lot of satisfaction out of making Charlie's food. I think it must be similar (though very different, of course!) to that feeling a mother gets when she's breast feeding her baby. The knowledge that I'm giving my baby the best there is, and saving money at the same time is empowering!

In other developments, Charlie has recently become very good with his hands, which is pretty amazing to watch. He grabs at almost everything he sees now (including our glasses at the dinner table, and the glasses off my face!) and he will practice moving objects from one hand to the other. I love watching him do this over and over as he experiments with different items.

Today we went out in the back yard and played in the leaves. Of course, he kept wanting to put the them in his mouth, but he quickly figured out they're not the best tasting things in the world.

I guess Mommy knows a thing or two when she says the leaves taste yucky!

He's also sitting up on his own now, though he will still topple occasionally if he's not 100 % balanced. We are still waiting on the teeth, but I keep thinking they will make a grand entrance any day now! He seems to really enjoy touching things. Often when I'm holding him he will rub my face with his hands, and grab my mouth while I'm talking. It is both funny and sweet when he does this.

He won't go to the doctor until next week, but he currently weighs almost exactly 16 pounds, and I would guess he's about 26 inches long. He's loving bath time these days, which I think is due at least in part to the fact that he can sit up in his tub now. His nails certainly do grow quickly though! Do any of the rest of you have trouble keeping up with your little one's nails? This is something that's been a lot harder for me than I ever expected. I have to cut them almost every three or four days, and with all the face touching and grabbing lately it's problematic if I forget.

Though they have been a complete whirlwind, these past six months have been some of the best of my entire life. I mentioned in this post that I had a good feeling about my 33rd year, and it turns out my predictions were correct, our baby was already on the way a few days after I wrote that post. My truest self is the part of me that is "mother." I am loving being able to finally walk in those shoes. I am so glad, and so relieved that I no longer have to daydream about being a mother, and that I can now finally get down to the business of being one!

I hope and pray that those of you who are still waiting have your heart's desire fulfilled soon too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Boy + One Box = A Blast!

It really is the little things in life that matter, which I was reminded of tonight after school. When I got home, there was an unexpected package waiting. The surprise turned out to be an adorable pair of overalls for Charlie, from his Auntie Nani. After all the years of loving on, and (I admit) spoiling my nephew and nieces, it is so sweet to realize that I have a little boy who other people now want to spoil! Anyway, though I am so thankful, that's not really what this post is about.

It's more about the fact that I am so in love with the way Charlie is overjoyed by even the simplest things in life. This is what I absolutely love about babies, they are the only humans I know who are literally thrilled by simplicities such as cardboard boxes. Pure joy!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tasty Toes!

There is something so very special about the baby stage Charlie is in right now. To say that this is the golden age of babyhood is a grand understatement. I am enjoying him so very much these days! I love that Charlie has found his toes, and...while I obviously want our son to grow...there is some part of me that wishes this delicious baby could stay around forever!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kreativ Blog Award

Thank you to Mary B. and Tracey for the Kreativ Blog Award's nice to see a new award making its way around the blogosphere. :)

Here are the rules:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
  4. Name seven things about yourself that people may not know.
  5. Nominate seven Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.
So let's things people may not know about me:

  1. In movies, I'm more sad if a dog dies than if a person dies. Yeah, I love dogs that much.
  2. I abhor Reality TV shows of any kind
  3. I actually don't like TV very much at all, and consequently end up mostly watching whatever Michael wants to watch, when I watch it at all. I think this makes it hard for people to relate to me, or maybe it's the other way around. However, I do have a major weak spot for Desperate Housewives...go figure!!
  4. I hate that feeling when you meet someone you really like at first, but as you get to know them better, you realize there are significant things with which you really can't relate...
  5. I feel obligated to be a good role model for the young 20-somethings with whom I attend school. I feel sort of like an older sibling to them, in a way.
  6. Sometimes I think I have a really big vocabulary until I read things written by true authors. I learned the word vitriolic this way.
  7. I have an obsessive/compulsive habit (need) to organize my dollar bills both numerically, and so that they all go the same direction. So on the rare occasions when I have a stack of money, I have $20s on the bottom, followed by $10s, then $5s, and then $1s. All bills are "face up" and stacked neatly. I get this from my dad, and when I see him do it all I can do is roll my eyes.
And now for my seven nominations:
  1. Hope 548
  2. Debbie
  3. Andi-Bo-Bandi
  4. Sarah
  5. Kel
  6. Alicia
  7. Jill
That's all for now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Charlie's Childhood

This post has been one that's been churning in the back of my mind for a while now. Ever since I became a mom...which is to say, ever since I fulfilled one of my life's greatest dreams, I've been thinking a lot about the pressure I think most mothers feel regarding their children. I don't know if I can give words to my thoughts, but I'm going to try:

Now that we have Charlie, there's this thing...this magical "other" that is much bigger than me, and that is happening almost of it's own accord. This thing, this almost tangible entity that is being created as the days slip into months, which blend into years is Charlie's childhood.

When I look at our little boy, I am amazed and humbled by the essence of his life. This other human being has now been placed in my care, for better or worse. By and large, the quality of his life is now dependent upon me. Everything I do, every decision I make, whether small or large, now impacts another human being. There is no way to not feel a little overwhelmed by that. But I mostly feel overwhelmed in a good sense if that's possible. Maybe "overwhelmed" is the wrong word anyway. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say I feel awed by the sheer responsibility, and ultimately, the joy of it all.

And that's not to say that all aspects of being a mother are joyful. There are a lot of mundane, and even gross aspects of the job too. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. But it also shines through me, and puts an extra spring in my step. I guess what it boils down to is that I don't really think I can articulate what goes through my mind when I look at Charlie's face. To say that I love him is an understatement of epic proportions. Even something as big as love doesn't quite cover "mother."

I think most mothers probably feel that same sense on some level, even if they don't actively think about it. But "mother" means many different things to many different people, as does "childhood."

To me, childhood is a precious time, and something that people carry with them throughout life. When someone has a traumatic or difficult childhood, you can bet there will be lifelong repercussions. Likewise, those of us who are lucky enough to have had a good childhood treasure that as one of our greatest lifetime gifts. My husband and I were both lucky in that regard, and we want nothing more than to be able to give our son the gift of a happy and carefree childhood as well.

But the thing is, he's only one boy. Sometimes when I think about all the hurt and abuse out there, I can actually feel a physical pain. Every baby deserves to be loved as much as Charlie is loved, and it's sometimes too much for me when I think about those who are not. Today at the store I actually saw a grown woman telling her crying toddler to shut up. When he then ran away from her down the isle, she told the other adult she was with to, "Just run over him with the cart, maybe then he'll get out of the way." Yeah, this actually happened...and it made me so angry.

Sometimes I can be guilty of thinking too much, or of being too emotional and too sappy, but I don't understand how some people honestly don' t think (or worse yet don't care) about the impact they have on their children. Parenthood is a precious gift, and I wish more people could think of it as such. What would the world be like if every baby were loved?

I would never wish the pain and heartache of infertility on anyone, ever. But I sometimes do wish people would realize...stop and think about what they have when they look at their children. We waited so long to become parents, and I'm endlessly glad that period of our lives has come to an end. I love that we are now moving forward again, and that we get to relive so much of the joy of life through our son.

Still, I can honestly say that I'm now thankful for those waiting years. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that those years made me the mother I am. It is that very same heartache, that very same waiting that keeps me constantly in check about the impact I have on my son, about the kind of mother I want to be, and about the kind of childhood I want Charlie to have.