Monday, July 30, 2012


This past week we moved to a new house with more than double the square footage of our old house and just a few blocks from both of our works.

All I have to say is moving with a baby is tricky. And even more exhausting than moving in 105-degree weather would normally be.

He loved unpacking. Even the boxes that were already packed.

And watching the movers.

Luckily he went to play with his daycare friends while we cleaned the old house yesterday.

He is completely unaffected. His parents, meanwhile, are still trying to find their shoes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

a broken world

People will make today about gun control, violent video games, homegrown terrorism and even why parents would bring a little baby to a midnight showing.

For the record, I hate guns and wish we could ban them. The fact that CNN can publish a robust timeline of mass shootings makes me ill. I would love to have a passionate debate about the craziness that this country does not have a ban on assault weapons.


But for today, I wish we could just be sad at the brokenness of our world.

I wish we could be sad for the victims - the terror, the fear, the death that occurred in an innocent place.

I wish we could be sad that the shooter felt this was his best course of action. Sad for whatever was happening inside of him that went unresolved.

I am sad that the shooter was described as a loner by his neighbors, as so often they are. I wonder if someone would have taken the time to get to know him if he wouldn't have felt the need. Or if he was just too sick in heart and mind for anything to be done.

I don't know why it all happens except for the fact we live in a world at the intersection of good and evil. For me, it's evidence of a God that loves so much that he's given us the freedom to choose between the two and who weeps when we choose evil.

But I hope today is less about politics and judgment and more about simple grief.

"Tragedy is more important than love. Out of all human events, it is tragedy alone that brings people out of their own petty desires and into awareness of other humans' suffering. Tragedy occurs in human lives so that we will learn to reach out and comfort others"
--C. S. Lewis

Thursday, July 19, 2012

powell gardens

Henry won't remember any of them fun things we do in his first three years, which makes me kind of sad. Despite that, we're trying to explore Kansas City, often with a kid as an excuse to visit places we always intended to but never did.

A few weeks ago we went to the Powell Gardens Boom and Bloom party and finally saw their Fairies and Forts exhibit followed by fireworks. Alas it was 105 degrees so the lemonade stand was way more enticing than the beautiful grounds and neato forts. Based on his facial expressions though, I am pretty sure Henry felt like we were torturing him.

But like my mother always says, "what do you think babies did when there wasn't any air conditioning?"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

(not) making friends

I was never one of those girls surrounded by a huge group of friends. I didn't need that though and strongly preferred a few really close friends. They changed every couple of years as my life changed and I have only a few hold overs.

When I read a recent New York Times article: "Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?" it was like, "Hey, you too?!"

The article states three conditions that are crucial to making close friends: 
  • proximity
  • repeated, unplanned interaction
  • a setting that encourages people to let their guard down

One of my bestest friend lives 222 miles away. Add in busy lives, husbands, kids and gas prices and it's more like one million miles. I have some awesome friends I left behind in Minnesota, which is 438 miles away. I have a college friend less than 20 miles away and some newer friends in my city but...

Repeated, unplanned interaction.
The only unplanned interactions I have are at the grocery store every Sunday and these are not always desirable. I mean, I guess I could become close friends with the cashier at Trader Joes but generally everything in my life is planned. Actually, I can't even think of a time in recent memory that I just ran into someone I knew unexpectedly. 

Most of the moms I know from church and otherwise are staying at home with their babies. So they go on outings and play dates during the day. The working moms I know are catching up on everything they missed during the week on the weekends.

Guard-down setting.
This happened when we were in a small group with our church. After a year, the guard came down. But we don't meet anymore. The most my guard gets let down is the five page emails I send the to the 222-mile-away friend. I have friends I let my guard down about certain areas of life but the hubs is the only one I can walk into a room with tears streaming down my face for NO REASON (i.e. hormones) and be OK with myself.

Other than these external factors, the article cites a period of self-discovery: "After 30, people often experience internal shifts in how they approach friendship. Self-discovery gives way to self-knowledge, so you become pickier about whom you surround yourself with. The bar is higher than when we were younger and were willing to meet almost anyone for a margarita."

Perhaps this will be a glaring reason of why I don't have a ton of friends, but I do not like to hang out with people that annoy me. Especially when I am tired. 

It's harder to hang out with people that make a lot more money than us, live a completely different routine or have different goals. Not that I don't love to have those kinds of friends but they will rarely enjoy spending a Friday night with us or truly understand what it's like to be me. Other moms do. Well, other moms with the same philosophies on parenting and marriage. Who have some free time. 

And as the article also points out, it's even more challenging to meet couple friends since both wives and husbands have to click. Not that we're picky but it's not always that easy.

Bottom line.
I also know my priorities are different. All my energy goes to Henry first. If there is any left over, Shea gets it. Then there is school, work, church and family. So as good as a glass of wine on a patio sounds, getting Henry to bed at 7:30 so that our week starts off in a more sane manner is more appealing. And now I eat dinner at 5:30 and some nights I am asleep by 8 so when you ask me to meet you for dinner at 7 it's a bigger decision for me to make. 

We have good dinners with good people every few months. It's fun and we walk away promising to be more intentional. And then life happens.

Friday, July 13, 2012

cow appreciation day

Free chicken at Chick-fil-a for wearing a cow costume.

I see a new annual tradition in our family's future!

Jealous of Henry's cow diaper? Get your own.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

eleven months

Sweet Henry,

I feel like you've grown into a little boy this month. You are curious, always pointing your index finger at something new as if you are waiting for an explanation. You love to wave at everyone in such a delicate little fashion. You are walking along furniture guiding yourself with one hand. Any day now I will look and see you doing it all on your own.

This month has brought a new level of love for stuffed animals, which you hug passionately. Books are suddenly much more interesting and you are able to point to the sun and water in your Hello, Animals book. You have quite the sense of humor and love to play peekaboo games and have me chase you as you crawl rapidly across the room. You have been a help as we pack for moving to a new house this month, holding down the box flaps so mama can tape them. I can see that unpacking though will be your forte.

Your favorite foods this month are cheese, bananas, YoBaby yogurt, taco meat, black olives, Ritz crackers, carrots and sweet potatoes. You are in the process of mastering the sippy cup (with water) though if we're not careful you end up with a wet chest. Just this week you appear to have fully weaned despite my best efforts to keep you going. I will miss our time together more than I ever realized.

This month you celebrated Daddy's first Father's Day by taking a long nap together at his request. You attended your first wedding and wore the CUTEST sailor suit.

We celebrated Fourth of July with a trip to Powell Gardens where you played in the Fairies and Forts exhibit and then a party the next night where you touched your first snake.

You were unsure about fireworks, watching curiously but holding on tight.

One more month left in your first year. I can't believe it. You bring so much fun and laughter to our days!

Love you,

Monday, July 9, 2012

another one bites the dust

We don't buy on credit unless it's zero interest for many months. We used a Best Buy card to get our awesome camera, an even more awesome lens and then reluctantly, a new oven for the condo. There is nothing worse than buying a new appliance you don't actually get to use.

On second thought, it was more awful to pay for a cleaning lady that cleaned a space I do not get to live in.

But to the news of the day! We paid off our Best Buy account. Which is less awesome than the second mortgage, but still awesome.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

weaning hormones

Henry has started to wean.

The last three nights he has gone to bed with his daddy. He reads a book, cuddles in close and falls right asleep. He didn't need to nurse to calm down, he just did it all on his own.

I was so relieved to be done pumping and also still able to nurse a few times a day that I didn't have time to think about when the last time might be.  Lately he nurses for a few minutes, looks up and me giggling like "Hey mom, I'm just entertaining you a bit longer."

There have been signs. His love of food has directly correlated with my dipping supply. His ability to rip a privacy blanket off in public led to more private nursing. My tight shirts aren't feeling so tight anymore and I am suddenly a bit more aware that the habit of eating all the time like the calories will melt off is coming to an end.

It's been a good thing for both of us free of really any of the common complications. Sure, weaning will bring even more freedom - the final step in reclaiming my body after 20 months of donating it to someone else.

We're busy packing for a move and by the time I collapse into bed next to Henry, I realize we haven't nursed since the morning. I want to wake him up and snuggle him in, just one more time.

Because I had a rough couple of months initially with such deep sadness and then an anxiety that only has tempered itself, I have been worried about the hormones and emotions weaning can bring. I've tried to keep myself in check, taking an emotional timeout when I feel heavy.

All I can imagine is Henry as a little boy playing baseball, then a teenager looking a colleges and then a man getting married and him really no longer needing his mother anymore. I get teary thinking about him saying 'I do' and he's not even a year old. (I will not be that mom, I will not be that mom). He can't even walk and he's already stepping away from me.

{Deep breath}

I don't know when the last time will be. I just hope it wasn't this morning.