Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our hearts to yours, prayers for a blessed and meaningful Christmas for you all!

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
the all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Day is Almost Here!

It has been a very busy week around here! I was able to get out for a full day of shopping on Monday while Michaela stayed home with Elizabeth. After not really being able to enjoy Christmastime since 2008 (before we knew Michael had cancer), it has been refreshing to focus on the blessings of the present and not the disappointments and heartaches of the recent past. With a baby it is hard to do it all, but I have done enough, I do believe.

Yesterday I celebrated my 44th birthday. I don't really mind being my age, but I do wish I were younger so that having more children could be an option at some point. That is my only problem with being 44. I celebrated the day by leaving Michaela with my parents for a little while and taking myself for a manicure and a pedicure. What used to be a regular way to pamper myself has become a once-in-a-great-while treat, and a nice way to enjoy my special day. In the evening, my sister and I (I was just the sous chef) made a delicious dinner of meatballs and polenta for a family dinner at my parents' house. Julie also made panacotta for dessert. Delicious! We enjoyed having my dear friend Teresa, and her beau Toby, and their little son Wren join us.

Tomorrow we will go to my parents, and that's when I hope to get my wrapping done. So much to do, so little time left to do it! Christmas Day is almost here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

She Crawls!

I knew this day was coming. I've been saying, "She'll be crawling by Christmas" for sometime now. In the last couple of weeks she has had just about all the moves, but then she'd straighten her legs out behind her and give up. It didn't stop her from getting where she wanted to go, but now it's a whole new world.

Papa will be coming by tomorrow to help me start baby-proofing. Any suggestions for managing a crawler?


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Michaela @ Seven Months

Oh, my! How did she get to be seven months old already? I know that time flies when you're having fun, and we are having fun, but I really wish her babyhood wasn't speeding by so quickly.

Growth: No official weight and measurement this month, but she is still wearing some 9 month and some 6-12 months sizes. I've finally figured out her shoe size, I think. After purchasing shoes from a number of makers, it appears that she's a size 3 - most of the time. Carter's is the exception. She's got a cute pair of 2s from Carter's and they fit her perfectly right now. In my attempt to find her size, I ordered 3s and 4s, but only one of those pairs is something she can currently wear. The good thing is she has lots of shoes to grow into over the next few months.

Feeding: Michaela is a ho-hum eater. She can take solids, or leave them. Nevertheless, she gets a breakfast portion and a lunch portion. This past month, I introduced rice crackers, yogurt melts, and sweet-potato puffs to her. Her diet also includes purees of apples, pears, bananas, prunes, sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken, and turkey. Typically she does not finish the small portion I prepare for her. Oh, well.

Sleeping: We are still co-sleeping and loving it. She sleeps through the night about ten hours total. Naps are not as lengthy or consistent as I wish they would be.

Fun Stuff: Michaela has learned how to clap. She will clap in response to "patty cake". Michaela has learned how to sit up when I put on the floor in that position, but she can't get herself in that position just yet. She is still pre-crawling, but I expect that she will crawl very, very soon. She has the best disposition, and she babbles and squeals with delight all the time. Michaela is a very social baby, and she loves all the special people who care for her during the week. She prefers to be held or played with all the time. This makes it very hard for Mommy to get much of anything (dishes, laundry, etc.) done. I try to remind myself to be a child-centered and not a task-centered parent, but it's hard sometimes.

Lastly, Michaela has cut two teeth this month. Just like I expected, she cut her bottom two teeth first. Those were some tough days for her and her caregivers, but she seems to be through the worst of that for now.

It has been a wonderful seven months!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ho, Ho, Waaaaaa!

Mom, who is this guy, and why am I sitting on his lap?!

I don't think I've blogged about my decision to play down Santa in the years to come. He's just not going to be the star attraction of our Christmas seasons, and he's not going to be promoted as nonfiction. Perhaps more on that another time as there are several reasons why, and I'm just too tired at this point to explain myself. However, I would like to have a yearly picture (while she's little) of Michaela on Santa's lap, if she's a willing participant.

Michaela had no idea what was going on today, and the whole thing sort of took her by surprise. She had just awakened from a short nap, and was still kind of groggy when we entered Santa's whatever-you-call-it. It was a little house-like dwelling with a single room and a counter behind which several "elves" with cameras were doing their thing. It was cozy enough, I suppose, and the gentleman in the red suit was very good with her. Nevertheless, she was not sure about this new experience, and she started to cry shortly afterward. This was the best shot we got before she really let me know what she thought about the whole thing.

In the end, Mommy got a cute picture, and the experience of dressing up my sweet baby girl in a darling wintry outfit. Mission accomplished!

Edited to add other moments with Santa as taken by Grammy:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Birthday . . .

Today would have been Michael's 56th birthday. A few weeks ago I began thinking about how we could honor his memory on his birthday - for all our sakes, but especially for Michaela. She needs to grow up experiencing things that help her appreciate her daddy and who he was. I decided that both sides of the family should get together for a dim sum lunch at the place Michael and I liked. I hadn't been there without him, but it was a lovely way to be together on his birthday. Cameras were flashing throughout lunch, but not mine. I had my hands full with my baby girl. Hopefully, I will be able to post some later as they show up on Facebook or in my email.

Speaking of Facebook, it became obvious to me that some of Michael's FB "friends" didn't really know him all that well. Some of their birthday wishes were stated in such a way that they must not know that Michael is no longer with us. I notified a couple of them, and one lady (seemed like a high school acquaintance) was really apologetic and asked me to remove her comment on his wall. I gladly did so. Sheesh!

It really wasn't a hard day for me emotionally because I was too preoccupied with Michaela. Poor little thing is teething. Consequently, she is very clingy and fussy. Funny how the Lord uses other things in my life to get me through what I always anticipate will be difficult days. Since knowing I was pregnant with Michaela, and all that that entailed, I have been blessedly distracted on days that should be difficult.

That's not to say that I don't miss Michael. I miss him all the time. I miss being married. I miss all the thoughtful things he did for me. I miss his companionship. There is a huge hole in my life and in my heart that is only mitigated by knowing where he is and that I will see him again. I can't wait to see that smile again, and to feel his embrace.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

A sweet picture of Michaela and Mommy (and Sophie) on Thanksgiving.

 Could she be any cuter? I think not!