Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Picture Story

Chloe had her first Halloween today. She was a little unsure of the costume, but ended up having a great time. Okay, so maybe she didn't know what was going on, but whatever.

In the first picture, Chloe is checking out all of the costumes the kids are wearing. I think she noticed another monkey in the background and was a little mortified. It is quite the faux pas to show up in the same outfit. The second picture shows her hiding her face in embarrassment. (Notice the other monkey in the background.)

Of course we took tons of pictures. I did my best to make her laugh, which proved to be difficult because she was mad at me for making her wear that costume. Eventually I got a few giggles out of her and it brought out my double chin. I apologize. Pregnancy brings it out in full force.
It was never lost on us that next year we will have two little girls Trick or Treating. We laughed about the fact that Baby No. 2 already has her Halloween costume for next year. And then we laughed because all of her outfits, costumes, and anything else she has will be handed down. Poor little girl.

Just hanging around, because that's what monkeys do.

Because of the whole they made me wear this costume situation, Chloe had her hand in her mouth the entire time. I think it was some sort of coping mechanism. She didn't make a peep at all. This was one of the few times we didn't hear chatter from this girl.

I don't know who this little fella is, but he stole my heart. Elvis with attitude. So stinking cute.
Hope all of you had a great Halloween!

I'm off to bed. I'm too old and pregnant for all of this excitement. My double chin needs to rest.

I've always loved monkeys.

But I'm thinking...

That this little monkey...

Might just be my very most favorite monkey of all.

Happy Halloween!
For a spooky and true story, visit this blog. I still get chills thinking about it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Best Song of All Time

"Wake Up" is by far, one of the greatest songs of all time. In my opinion. Or should I say IMO. I can't stand all of those little abbreviations for everything. I once saw this abbreviation posted somewhere and I had to look it up at to understand it. If you have to look it up in an Urban Dictionary of any sort, it should not be used. Why can't you just type the words out? Are you that busy? But old school terms like BFF and LYLAS are totally appropriate and can be used at any time.

Back to the original post. Arcade Fire. Be still my heart. After I purchased the album, Funeral, a few years ago, I listened to it for six months straight. We're talking all the time. Didn't listen to anything else. This album rocked and continues to rock my world. Ask my husband, and he will tell you that I believe this song is the best song of all time. It makes me lift my hands up in the air, sway (my version of dancing), and sing at the top of my lungs. And you know for a wasp-y girl like me, that's saying something. When I heard it on the preview for "Where the Wild Things Are", I was so happy. This song has been kicking around since 2004 and I love that it has comes back, more popular than ever a mere five years later. 

If you do not own Funeral, you must purchase it now. Just do it. You won't regret it. There's a song called "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" that will also knock your socks off. Takes me straight back to Chicago. It was the worst winter we had there. Reminds me of running in the snow. I was all bundled up and freezing. It was glorious.

Go find them on iTunes. Arcade Fire: Funeral. 

As for me, I'm going to listen to it now. Full blast. Swaying and lifting my hands to the music. I just hope no one's watching.

TTYS--- that means "Talk To You Soon" just in case you didn't know. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

She can date, as long as she's home by curfew.

Why do parents feel the need to joke about their babies or small children having boyfriends or girlfriends? It's something I really haven't paid much attention to or frankly cared about until becoming the parent of a little girl and pregnant with another one. I'm having trouble understanding this need to pair off your children, even though I know it's often done in good humor. And if you can prove me otherwise, go for it. I'm just going with my visceral reactions here, and sometimes those reactions can be oh, so wrong.
Chloe had a swim lesson a couple of weeks ago, and it was just another boy and Chloe that particular day. The little boy's mom said, "Oh it's a baby date. Carter*, is Chloe your girlfriend now?" I tried to smile and blow it off, but it made my skin crawl. I said, "I've decided she can't date until she's a year old. We had trouble with her getting home by curfew a few weeks ago..., " or something stupid like that. Yes, I'm sure it was that stupid. But I know that my face said it all. It always does. I would not be good at poker. 

All I could think about is this sweet, little innocent girl. My little rugrat of a child who doesn't have a care in the world. Who wants nothing more than to play and to be happy. And then I think about her growing up, and I think about the day that she will want to date. That she will be interested in boys. That she will have boyfriends. And until that day, I don't ever want her to worry about having a boyfriend. I want her to have confidence in herself. I want her to have as many friends as she wants; girls and boys alike. I never want her to think that having a boyfriend is something that we praise or admire, or something that will make her more than she actually is. She's perfect just being Chloe. I always want her to feel that way. I want her to feel that way so when she does date, she will not find value or self-worth in it. She will find that in herself. 

Boys can wait. There's time for all of that. Until then, I want to protect her and give her the chance to remain a little girl. The word "boyfriend" will not be uttered in our house until the word comes out of her mouth. 

And I know this will probably be on her first day of kindergarten.

And she will have a boyfriend.

And this post will come back to bite me, and will be deleted immediately. 

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When your mother-in-law is in town.

You know that Chloe is having a blast. Pretty much won't even look at me. Wants nothing to do with me. Cries when her Nana puts her down. 

Do I have my feelings hurt? Nope. I choose to take full advantage of the opportunity. It is only noon, and I've done a few things I don't normally get to do. Like:

-Go to the YMCA and work out for over an hour. I have to admit that I felt a little strange walking in and out of there without Chloe, but I got over it quickly. I still couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting something.

-I actually went into the gas station to get snacks. a.)Who likes to go into a gas station with their kids? You're crazy if you do. It takes too much time to get them in and out of the car for a quick trip, you know what I mean? b.) I ate a huge honey bun and chugged a V8 fruit juice. Both of those things are not in my daily diet. But again, I took full advantage of the opportunity. And I totally undid all of my hard work at the gym. Great.

-I washed, vacuumed and cleaned out my car. And I enjoyed every minute. I'm a freak like that.

-Went to Trader Joe's and meandered around the aisles for 30 minutes. I only walked out with a belly full of samples and a box of oatmeal. And again, I enjoyed every minute.

-I came home, took a long, hot bath...not a 20-second shower...fixed my hair, put on makeup, and got dressed in something other than my workout clothes. Like jeans and a cute top. 

-And now I'm sitting at the table and playing around on my computer. Well, I pretty much do that regardless, but whatever.

We absolutely love having her here. I'm lucky she's my mother-in-law. And by the way, she showed up at the Cleveland Airport wearing these babies:

You know I love a woman in leopard print heels. 

And yes, I tried unsuccessfully to squeeze my size 8 feet into those size 6 shoes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When a girl needs her mom.

(Chloe, at 3 1/2 months, snuggling with mama)

For the first few months of Chloe's life, swaddling was a way of life around our house. When she was a newborn, we kept her swaddled 80% of the time, gradually weaning her the older she became. In that time, she has grown in her independence. She loves to play by herself, entertain herself and show us her determination and stubbornness whenever she gets a chance.

For the past couple of months, she has not been swaddled at all. Our bedtime routine has also changed. It used to be, that I would swaddle her and rock her to sleep. But since we stopped swaddling her, she wants absolutely nothing to do with me trying to help her fall asleep. We read our books, say our prayers, sing a lullaby, and put her in her bed. She likes falling asleep on her own.

Of course this progression is what we've been working towards. Falling asleep on her own, without swaddling her was the ultimate goal. But I have to admit that there are times when I wish that she would let me swaddle her up, rock her, love on her, kiss her sweet little face, and put her to sleep.

Well, I got my chance the other night. We put her to bed, and when I went to check on her, she was on her stomach with her head buried into the mattress. It kind of freaked us out. So we flipped her over and she got mad! Screaming and crying. She would not go back to sleep. So I picked her up, grabbed a blanket, swaddled her little arms, and began rocking her. 

She immediately became calm. Her cries began to subside. And she melted

In that moment, I cried a few tears because of the sweetness of it all. No matter what, I'm her mom. I'm the one, in those moments when she can't figure it out on her own, that she needs. I'm comfort to her. I pray that I remain that rock for her. I pray that I always have the wisdom to know how to ease her spirit. 

I know that my role as her mother will change as she grows. God willing, there will be a time when she is an adult and I become more of a friend. But I also know, as an adult, there are still times when you just need your mom. That voice is the only one that comforts. I pray that I can be the kind of my mom my mother has been to me. The kind that knows exactly what to say at the right time. The kind of mom that rescues you when you need it the most. The kind of mom that wants nothing but happiness and success in your life. The mom that encourages you, no matter what.

I just love being her mom, and I hope that in one way or another, she always needs me.

A little selfish, I know. But I just can't help myself.

(I just realized that many of my pictures lately, have been of me in my glasses, no makeup, with my hair in a ponytail. I'm sorry. My deepest apologies. One of these days, I'll get all dressed up, take some pictures, post them, and knock your socks off. Or maybe the size of my belly will knock your socks off. Either way, those socks are coming off, baby.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

...So I Prayed, Like Really Prayed

I feel like I need to change the title of my blog to one of the following:

My Life in Diapers
The Poo Diaries
Confessions of a Diaper Changer
The Blow Out Blog

If you're not a mom or you have a weak stomach, you might just want to stop reading now.

I thought I had that daughter. The daughter that in her life as an infant maybe had five blow outs. Literally, I think I could count them on one hand. I thought I was sooooooo lucky. Diapers were a breeze. 

Things have changed.

For the past few weeks, I think I change on average, five to seven blown out diapers weekly. And these diapers aren't just bad diapers. They are the worst diapers I have ever seen. Not only is the diaper completely soaked in poo, but her pants, shirts, socks, and anything else she's wearing are covered as well. 

The other day, I suspected a blow out, took her to her room and started to take care of business. Once I realized the damage, I prayed. 

That's right, I prayed about a diaper. Let me repeat. I prayed about a diaper. I had no other option.

I didn't pray that God would make me a bird. I didn't pray that God would make the poo disappear. I didn't even pray that God would make the blow outs stop. I prayed that God would give me direction in changing the diaper. I didn't know how to attack it. How do I take off her pants without getting poo all over her legs and socks? How do I take off her onesie without getting poo all the way up her back, on her arms, in her hair? How do I take off this diaper without getting poo all over her changing table, in such a way that throwing it away is the only option? How do I get out of this with my dignity, my charm, my grace?

My prayer was answered, because I'm still here to speak about this today. Dignity, charm, grace? No longer intact.

But the great thing is...the only redeeming factor is that you get to call your friend, and eventually your conversation turns to diapers. The friend you used to talk about fashion, boys, gossip and other various things with, now discusses with you the woes of diapers. You also talk about how even after multiple hand washings, hand sanitizer squirts, and various other hand cleaning methods, your hands still smell like poo. Gross, I know. But true. 

The friend shall remain nameless. I, however, have outed myself.

But it's worth it. For this little squirt. Okay, maybe I shouldn't call her Squirt. Too descriptive right now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Wishes

I usually don't care about my birthday. Don't get me wrong, I have fun when it's my birthday, but it comes and goes without much thought. But this birthday is different. It comes with a lot of thought. I don't know if it's because I'm a mom now, which makes every moment count--if it's the fact that I'm embarking on the last year in my 20's--if I realize the changes I've gone through in the past decade--or if I realize the changes I've gone through in the last year alone. 

I thought about my favorite moment since turning 28 last year, and I'm sure you're not surprised that it was the birth of my daughter. But more specifically it was this moment:

I had Chloe late in the evening, and after labor they took her to the nursery to clean her up and run tests. I went to my room, ate about five pounds of food and passed out. Around 3 in the morning, the nurse brought her into our room so that I could feed her. Waking up to her face, that little body, that sweet spirit was the best moment of my life. It was like Christmas. It was like an unexpected gift. I woke up, forgetting the events of the evening, forgetting that she was even here, that it was real--and then there she was. The rush of love and excitement that came in that moment by far trumped anything I have ever felt. It was immediately a different kind of love. Definitely the best moment of my life and of my 28th year.

When I think about the upcoming year, I feel so hopeful. I'm looking forward to so many things. Specifically, watching Chloe grow, meeting our new baby girl, and moving back to Oklahoma. I cannot wait to be home. 

But because it's my birthday, here's what I'm wishing for this year:

1. I wish to sleep in on my birthday. Wait, it's my birthday, and it's 5 AM. Okay, scratch that one. Insomnia.

2. I wish that the dad of the boy who "thought" his 6-year old boy was in a balloon, only to be "found" later in the attic, would stop "accidentally" setting off his latest invention to gain exposure on TV. I also wish that boy would stop puking on the Today Show. 

3. I wish to "edit" my "use" of "quotation marks".

4. I wish that I will really be able to get back into running after I have the baby. 10 mile runs on Saturdays would be great.

5. I wish for happiness for my husband, my children, and the rest of my family and loved ones.

6. I'm embarking on a "I wish for world peace" moment, aren't I? 

7. I wish that OU beats Texas. Normally I would never refer to football on my birthday, but it's OU/Texas today and we need to win. Please, please, please win.  A disgruntled husband could ruin the day.

8. This is my last and most important birthday wish. I cannot stress how important this one is.   My wish is that I not be pregnant on my 30th birthday. I've so enjoyed being pregnant on my 28th and 29th birthdays, but I need a break for my 30th. At least give me until my 31st. Do we have a deal?

Why do I have the sinking feeling that number 7 and 8 are not going to come true? 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

22 Weeks

Here I am at 22 weeks. I'm sure I will say this every time I talk about being pregnant, but it's true; I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going. I was counting down months yesterday, and I'm 4 months away from my due date. I absolutely cannot believe it. Little scary, but very exciting.
The one thing I've noticed about this pregnancy is how hungry I am. I eat all the time. Even when I'm eating something, I think about what I'm going to eat next. Granted, it's mostly healthy stuff (except for the Oreos), but even the healthy stuff starts to add up. I guess this little girl's a ravenous thing. I honestly don't remember being this hungry with Chloe. Oh well. As long as I'm doing well with the weight gain, I guess it doesn't hurt.

This little girl has really been making herself known. I got a kick the other that day that literally scared me. She kicked so hard! She is a little mover, and I love feeling her roll around in there. I love trying to figure out what her little personality is going to be like. I can already tell that she's a sweet one!

We're so excited to meet you in a few months, little girl! Until then, I hope you enjoy the Oreos!

By the way, I feel like I need to apologize for changing the background of my blog so much lately. I'm trying to get it where I like it. And I'm hard to please these days. Bear with me. Thanks!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Letter of Sorts

Dear Mother Nature:

Hi! It's me. I was wondering if we could have a little chat sometime? No? You don't do that sort of thing? Well, I was wondering if you could just hear me out. This pregnancy insomnia is about to do me in. Waking up at 3 AM five days out of the week is starting to get a little tough on me. No matter what I try, it's really hard for me to go back to sleep during the wee hours of these restless mornings. And I'm tired. 

I've heard it said that pregnancy insomnia, and waking up five times a night to use the restroom prepares you for the wakefulness you experience with a newborn. But the thing is, I'm prepared. I get it. I've been there. I was just there.  I don't need practice. I really, really don't.

What I would like to happen is to catch up on my sleep before Baby No. 2 gets here. Everyone else in my house is getting full nights of sleep, how about me too? 

So, I propose that we strike some sort of deal. You give me full nights of sleep in exchange for--I'll recycle. I'll take longer walks outside. Maybe enjoy your beauty a little more. I won't complain about long and treacherous Midwestern winters. I'll shovel snow with glee. I'll stop scaring women out of pregnancy with my horrific tales of morning sickness and breast feeding. I'll go green. I'll eat organic. 

Will any of these things work? Just let me know. You know where to reach me. You somehow find me every morning.

Thank you for your consideration, Morgandi.

P.S. I've been thinking about the "not complaining about snow" thing, and I don't know if I can do that one. You make some really long winters around here. I'm just saying.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Friday, I'm in Love

I have this new camera and I'm learning all sorts of new things. I have a camera! A real camera. A DSLR. A camera that is my birthday and Christmas gift for years to come. Apertures, f-stops, ISOs, exposures, white balances, bokehs, shutter speeds...these are all terms I never imagined existed. Aren't you just supposed to grab your camera and then point and shoot? Oh right, my cruddy point and shoot is what got me into this predicament in the first place. All I want is to take beautiful pictures of my family. No more blurry pictures with poor quality. 

All I can say is that I'm learning. I take nearly 200 pictures a day and I'm reading everything I can get my hands on. Slowly but surely I'm getting better. Mediocre at best, but better than keeping the darn thing on the automatic setting the whole time. I'm venturing out. But venturing out means you need subjects to shoot. So far, it's been Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Lash and Chloe. They are tired of me pointing a camera in their faces. And frankly, my 7-month old daughter has started posing. Posing, I repeat! No more pictures for her. Until she does something precious. Which will be in like 5 seconds flat. Vicious cycle. 

Anyway, after playing on the floor with my girl all afternoon, I found the perfect subjects. They do not whine, move, balk, or raise a finger. Perfect. May I introduce you to--

Girl and Giraffe
They look rather mangled, don't they? Let's see if I can fix this. Here's how.

You place Girl and Giraffe nicely by the basket you bought at the dollar store. And then you invite their friends to join in.
And then you find a kiddy mirror that's been slobbered on, licked, scratched, tortured and spit-up on, and you take a self portrait. A self portrait where no one can see the ponytail and no-makeup face you're sporting. Genius! Just see if you can find me. Look through the filth and scratches. As far as you know, I managed to get out of my workout clothes that day. Nate and Holly, does this mirror bring back any memories?

And then you practice purposely focusing on objects.

Focus on the monkey. Focus on the glass. Focus on the monkey. Focus on the glass. Do you see it? No? Just keep moving on down the page. Or exit out of your browser. 

And then you see your husband's guitar equipment. And you start messing with cables, turning knobs, retuning the strings, and you jam. No you don't! You just happen to take a picture you like.

And then you start doing things you just shouldn't do.
You take pictures of your feet. And you need a pedicure.

And then you put a teething ring on your face.
And then you turn your camera off, put it in its case, slowly walk away and curl up in the corner, rocking back and forth. And then you blog about it and show your neurosis to the world. 

Happy Friday. It doesn't get much better than today. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Others

It's my nap time. Why am I sitting with pumpkins?

And the digression begins.

Now I'm trying to talk her into a good mood. I want just one picture with her. 

And this is the best I get. I'm picking at her ear. She looks a little perturbed. And I need to get my hair colored. The Lashley girls were not photo ready that day. 

For the successful picture, look below. Personally, I think these pictures are pretty cute. Bad mood Chloe is just as cute as good mood Chloe.

One Success

Made it to the pumpkin patch. She didn't poo her pants, but she was uspet and very tired (my fault) the entire time. 

But, I got one semi-successful shot.

The rest are pitiful, but oh, so precious. I will post those later. Get ready for one disgruntled little girl. 

But for now, I give you...success.

Monday, October 5, 2009

This is what happens when you poo your pants on the way to the pumpkin patch

You watch while your parents pull over in a parking lot, attempt to change your diaper, realize it's an extreme blow out, realize it's all over you, poo gets everywhere- all over your clothes, our clothes, the car, the diaper bag, anything else that's in the car- strip you down naked, wipe you down, run out of wipes, put another diaper on you, stick you in your car seat, and head back home, totally grossed out and covered in poo.

And you get to ride home with nothing but a diaper and a bow to your name.

Friday, October 2, 2009

After My Own Heart

While I was vacuuming the house this afternoon, I stuck Chloe in her exersaucer so that I wouldn't find her messing with the rug in the living room, stuck under the table, or rolling around on the dirty kitchen floor. When I was finished, I came back in to find her in our dining room, by this disgusting outdoor table. Which is funny, because I put her in the middle of the living room and she somehow scooted herself over there. 

Well, she found a little prize on the table.

The October issue of Vogue.

Look how proud she is with her fashion discovery.

When I took it away from her, she started crying and immediately grabbed it back.

A girl after my own heart. She knows good fashion when she sees it.

Hope you have a fashionable weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Papa is Coming to Town!

Jason's dad is coming to visit us this weekend and we are so excited. First of all, we love having visitors, and second of all, anyone who will visit us in Cleveland is a saint. This will be a great weekend because he'll be able to spend time with Chloe and watch the OU football game with Jason. This is Jason's favorite thing to do...watching football with his dad. He is very, very excited. I have a feeling that these three are going to have a lot of bonding time.

Look at that goober! And I mean Chloe, people. How rude! Jason's dad is not a goober. She is so, so tiny in this picture.

Anyway, Jason's dad claims that he's here to watch football with Jason and spend time with us this weekend, blah blah blah... but really, deep, deep down, I think he's here for one reason. 

To watch football with me.

You see, he's heard about my expertise in the football arena. It's legendary. It's one-of-a-kind. It's been a lifelong learning process, and just a second, a fleeting moment around me during a football game is a gift. You will learn more about plays, defensive and offensive strategies, etc. than you've ever learned from anyone else. 

So today, in preparation, I will put away the fashion magazines, pull out my Football for Dummies book, and practice saying "uniform, uniform, uniform", because uniforms are not called outfits. And I will never, ever reveal that I love the color of USC's outfits, I mean uniforms. They just look like Autumn. So pretty.

So here's to a great weekend with Jason's dad. 

Uniforms. Uniforms. Uniforms. Lather, Rinse and Repeat.