Monday, May 27, 2013

Taking the time

A few weeks ago J and I took a class called, "Bringing Baby Home." It a two day marriage seminar that gives couples tools to use to keep their relationship strong after babies come along. (It was a great class, that I would highly recommend to any new parents or new parents-to-be.)

As part of the class, we realised that a value we shared was taking time as a family to relax and refresh. We decided to go away to Bellingham overnight as a family and enjoy the holiday weekend. So we headed north - we managed to avoid any of the crazy traffic that we had anticipated with the collapsed I-5 bridge that we had to detour.

We stayed the night in the same hotel that we had spent our wedding night, only this time we had a suite not just a room. We actually got an upgrade which was such a treat! I think we are spoiled for life now! We had a corner suite, with windows overlooking the water on both sides. We had a beautiful bedroom, a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and a living room where we set up the pack and play for Levi.

We spent Sunday watching the Kayaks launching for the last leg of the 'Ski to Sea' relay race that was taking place. We could watch from the warmth of our room until the wet weather blew past. Then we went out and walked along the water. Levi loved all the boats and his little pointer finger was very active making sure to show us everything that was happening! We went out to lunch at our favourite pizza place and then got some picnic things for dinner since we knew Levi would be sleeping and we would be hunkering down in the hotel room after that! We came back to the hotel with a stop at the waterfront fire pit.

Today we got up and went out to breakfast - we were at the restaurant by 9am...we didn't realise it was so early! Levi didn't get up super early, but I think we were relaxed from the day before and were able to get up and going easily. Once we were full we headed back to the hotel for Levi to take a nap before we headed out for some more wandering around town and then headed home. While he slept, I did homework - trying hard to get ahead so that when we are on vacation I do not have to miss out on too much sunshine because I am stuck inside studying, Jeremy went on a run and literally ran into one of his best friends and his wife who were out walking their dog while they were in town for the Ski to Sea race. We had no idea they would be here, and to add to the fun and games, we found out they were staying in the smae hotel as us, just afew rooms away!! Such a coincidence!

We were able to visit with them for a short time which was an unexpected and much appreciated surprise. They hadn't seen Levi since Christmastime and he loved showing off all his new skills to this captive audience! He is such a ham.

On the way home the weather was awful. Downpour the whole way but it was nice to be home and have an excuse to pull out the packed away blankets and snuggle with a cup of tea. We finally watched 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' which if you haven't seen it is fabulous - I highly recommend it.

It was a special weekend, a real time of connection for J and a time to create some sweet family times and to make time to focus on our little family. We needed this time, we need it more often.

We enjoyed this day, free to do as we wished. And for that we say a prayer of thanks on this Memorial day to those who have paid the ultimate price, and for those who serve and who have served in the armed forces to protect this freedom. We are sincerely thankful for your service.

Monday, May 20, 2013

In to EVERYTHING - in bullet points

Levi is down for him morning nap, and I am giving up a few minutes of my valuable baby free time to blog. Because this season is exhausting and wonderful and there is so much I am afraid I will forget so here are a few bullets.

* You are obsessed with toilet brushes. I think you have some weird baby radar because it doesn't matter how many times we move them, or try to hide them you manage to find them. Not quite sure what is so exciting, but it won't be long until I decide to give up stopping you and start teaching you how to scrub that toilet bowl.

* You have officially reached the stage where your lack of noise makes me come running to see what you have got into...and you never fail to surprise me.

* Your have discovered our stereo (yes, we still have a stereo) But you and your pointer finger like to push the buttons, open the cassette deck (yes, it's has a cassette deck) you have also figured out the on and off button so that your button pushing can actually make music start or stop as you play CD's. You are just so into learning how stuff works and this is no exception. You watch us as we show you different buttons making different things happen and you copy and learn. You are little sponge taking it all in.

* You love opening cupboards. We have child locks on some, but you have turned your attention to the ones you can get into. You especially enjoy the pots and pans cupboard. It makes cooking with you underfoot complicated and noisy!

* You love chomping on raw carrots. You may only have 2 teeth but they work hard to chomp off little pieces, and I am sure it feels good on your gums.

* Favourite food of the moment - Yogurt.

* Bath time is still a highlight of your day. I am eager to sign you up for swim lessons soon because your are fearless and I want you to learn early.

* You are a skillfully quick toilet paper un-roller.

* You love to read books which warms my heart. I enjoy our morning snuggle times when you let me eek out a few more minutes in bed by sitting and reading books with me. You especially like the book, Baby Giggles full of photos of babies, and all books with flaps to open.

* You can reach the changing mat from your crib and sooth yourself to sleep by pulling it onto the floor at every opportunity. We are just waiting for you to figure otu if you pulled into the crib you could use it to help you climb out... I am glad you can't read this to get any ideas sooner than you think of it on your own.

So many more but you will be waking up soon and I need to get ready for the day before that happens -  I laughed the other day watching a morning TV show when they talked about mothers of young kids and having a beauty routine in the same beauty routine consists of brushing my teeth (most days)!
Life is full and busy but I want to be certain to stop and breath in little moments each day.

Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Looking forward to summer changes

I miss this space. I miss taking time to process life. To find the lessons and beauty all around. But life is busy. Too busy if I am honest. And in that vein, I am making some changes to try and find a better balance between being productive and being present.

Studying for classes is 100 times harder with a baby. Considerably more than I had anticipated and stress levels have been rising in all areas of life as I have let things slide in order to get assignments completed. With only three classes left to take after this quarter I had considered just plowing on, but for the health of our family as well as me personally I am going to take the summer off to focus on being wife and mother. I am SO looking froward to the break.

I am signed up for a math class this fall. Gross, but it's all I have left. And signing up makes me feel better about taking time off for summer. This means that if I take one class a quarter I will begin the new calendar year with 2 quarters left. Sigh. I had desperately wanted to be finished in 2013, but it was just not to be - especially considering all the classes I  have left are prerequisites for the next. Plodding along, the end in sight, just a little further off than I had expected.

I will get this Associates Degree if it kills me. Which it might, but hopefully that will be less likely after some long summer days enjoying the sunshine, spray parks days at the zoo, picnics, trips to the beach, outdoor concerts, hikes and generally squeezing the juice out of the summer here in the Pacific Northwest with both the wonderful men in my life.

Hoping the summer will also give me time to be here more, because the days are passing so fast, and I would love to have more memories of this time recorded to look back on. Levi is at such a darling stage right now. He is a sponge, learning things all the time. He doesn't miss a beat and sometimes it feels hard to keep up with his curiosity.

He wakes up early, and from the second he pops up to walk laps around the crib, Lovie in his hand, he is jabbering at HIGH volume. Telling us all about his night and how much he has missed us and sharing his plans hopes for the days ahead. It would be way less fun to wake up if he wasn't such a chipper little guy. I just want to stay in these moments forever. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear levi - Nine months old

Dear Levi.

Another month has gone by in a blur. You are growing up so fast and it's a joy to watch and exhausting to parent!

You have decided that your ninth month was the time you wanted to take your first steps. You have been steady on your feet for a while but out of the blue while your Dad and I were talking, you decided to take 3 steps across the room! It was thrilling to see the light bulb flick on in your little brain too as you figured out what you had done. You have continued to take a few steps here and there and are getting brave to step between the couch and the ottoman or other shorter gaps. You don't seem to realize that you can't actually walk yet however, and constantly start off across the room only to face-plant a few steps in when your eagerness pushes you faster than your feet can carry you - but you are not discouraged and get back up to do it all over again a few minutes later.

(Although you did celebrate your nine month birthday with a doozie of a boo-boo, poor guy)

You are starting to understand so much more about the world around you. We have started taking almost daily trips to Northacres park now the weather is nicer, and when I say that I am going to get the stroller, you look towards the garage door where we keep it and eagerly crawl over. You also recognise the garage door opening and look to see when Daddy will come in at the end of the day.

Your opinions are getting stronger too, you certainly know how to fake cry when you are told "no", or every single one of the thirty times a day we take away the cell hone/remote/laptop/monitor screen/electric cable/fireplace guard from you before (or just after) you put them in your mouth. Your face scrunches up and your cry is loud and forced. Not that it doesn't make my heart a little sad every time you do it, but knowing it's just the start of us disciplining you, I know I need to toughen up and be consistent. I have officially started to use your full name to discourage certain behaviour, and now, just hearing "Levi Rhys" in a stern tone can start the fake cry when you know that we can see where you are headed!

We are pretty sure that you are close to saying your first word too. You have been talking incessantly in baby gibberish for the last few weeks - even in your sleep you chatter - but you have been saying "Dada" a lot. You chatter away from the minute you wake up and don't stop unless you are asleep.

You have discovered your rhythm too and bob away whenever you hear music, or step foot to foot when you are standing. You even dance to Grandpa's elevator music :)

[Here are a few 9 month picture shots - these are getting harder and harder to take each month as his spirit of adventure increases...]

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Tonight, I rocked my 'full of snot' baby boy to sleep in my arms while we sat in the glider in his room. It was one of those moments I can imagine will keep my heart warm, open and soft forever, whatever the world may throw at me in the future.

His cold has made him extra sleepy by bedtime for the past few nights, in part due to the lack of good naps in the day because of his congestion. The glider was rocking, as he nursed, and his head was warm against my arm. He was close to sleep. He unlatched from nursing and was still, snuggled into me. It was the special kind of still that is accompanied by light snoring :)

All of a sudden, his head gently turned to look up at me, his big eyes heavy with sleep were blinking slowly. He was staring but not making any noise when suddenly he broke into the most heart melting smile. Before I knew it, the smile was gone, and his eyes couldn't resist sleep any longer. His body became heavy and peaceful and the snoring began in earnest. He was asleep.

As I laid him in his crib my heart was so thankful for the gift of being this sweet baby boy's mother. The reality of motherhood is much harder than I anticipated but in moments like that, I am blown away by the beauty it brings into my life. I always thought I wanted lots of kids close in age and while my heart would still love to carry another baby and grow our family, I am aware of how precious this time with just Levi truly is.

I love that Jeremy comes home from work every day and we sit together, watching Levi play as I fill him in on every detail of our day. We delight in everything he does...even when he is a stinker. We know we are blessed. A tiny piece of me feels a little sad that one day we might have another child because Levi will suddenly be faced with sharing our attention :) [and yes, I know that actually be a very good thing for him to experience so he doesn't become completely spoiled]

Moments like tonight when my precious, long-hoped for, baby boy gazes up at me and his eyes tell me that he feels safe and loved, I am thankful that God is giving me the ability to love him well. (And it's also at moments like that, I most crave another child to experience these beautiful moments again.)

In recent days we have seen our not so little 8.5 month old take his first steps, feed himself with ever developing skill and accuracy, and begin to fill our house with constant chatter. These baby days already feel fleeting and I am trying to take time, take a breath, and commit some sweet moments to memory.


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