Monday, November 30, 2009

christmas caught the stomach flu

it has commenced. christmas has vomited itself all across my den. the excitement that is buying and wrapping and decorating and rushing and drinking eggnog and loving every moment of the cold yucky weather has begun! i may not have time to wash clothes or scrub the toilets, but i will always have time for christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

destruction is his middle name.

from the moment he breathed his first breath, i was looking forward to the next step. i couldn't wait for him to coo, to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, to now walk. and with each step, people would say, "oh, just enjoy this time. don't rush into the next thing. it's so much easier at this stage than the next." i should have listened, although i am finally realizing that i just want to stay in this stage for a while. finn is exhausting and he's not even walking yet. he is in everything, more vocal than ever, wanting to be on my lap or in my arms regardless of what i need to get done at that moment. if he only realized that the only reason i am trying to clean this house or do the laundry or make lunch or relax for a split second is because of him. baby, you are already the center of my universe, there is no need for me to prove it by crawling on the ground or carrying you around all day or making noises that i am glad no other adults are in ear-shot. i fear walking. i seriously fear it.

yesterday, he did give me a few chances to get some housework done. after the few minutes of quiet, i knew something was up and every time he just smiled proudly to show off the mess he made. how can i possibly discipline this 11-month old charmer?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

spreading holiday cheer

we had a girl's shopping weekend...without babies. it was amazing. seriously, i didn't realize how much work taking finn to everything with me really means. i didn't have to worry if i had enough diapers and toys, keeping him occupied and happy, tearing up his food before i get to eat (then eating chaotically so we finish at the same time), investigating odd smells and the subsequent diaper changes. oh, and packing was a breeze. it took me about 3 minutes. fantastic. i had one small bag and i could manage to carry everything all on my own. seriously, amazing. but of course, by hour 4, i wanted to see my baby finn again. i missed him so much. it was the first time that i was away from him overnight since he was born. i'm not exactly sure he even was aware that i was gone, because when i came home, he just smiled and carried on like i had been at work for the day. i was hoping for a greater expression of his love, but oh well.

we had such a great time. each year, we go to schaumburg and we weren't sure we would get to go this year (i don't know about you, but 2009 just seems to be a much busier year than normal). but...we made it. it was a little early for me to be in the full christmas spirit, so a lot of my packages were things for the house or new clothes for myself. whoops. one store, urban outfitters was really boosting my christmas spirit with their selection of ornaments. one ornament in particular, my aunt was not terribly fond of, so she took it off all the racks. hysterical. there were 3 empty racks in the christmas section and a basket underneath covered by a sweater. i agree though, why on earth do we need an ornament to say that and who is buying that to put on their christmas tree? oh, kids these days...we also got to venture to my favorite little restaurant in chicago, PORTILLO's! they have chicago-style hot dogs that are particularly amazing. i think i would drive the two & 1/2 hours just to get to have one of their hot dogs. i am not a huge fan of mystery meat or eating with my hands, but this place could make me morbidly obese if i lived any closer.

oh, and i noticed that if we don't have the babies, alyssa and i take far fewer pictures. i really need to work on documenting my life and not just my child. maybe the next weekend away, which will probably be when i go into having another baby. i just can't bear to leave him again. pathetic, right?

Friday, November 13, 2009

praying to the rock gods

it was if i were back in high school. a couple weeks ago, our life group was over just to hang out, so of course we had to break out rock band. when the beatles version came out a couple months ago, i was a little hesitant that we would never play it and the huge band set (drums, mic/mic stand, two guitars) would sit sadly in the corner collecting dust. instead, we have had many afternoons/nights of rocking out to the extreme. some of us get so much better (me!) and others pathetically worse (robbie) with each new song. and josh is just the resident rockstar. he may not be as good as brother josh, but i'll still be his groupie.

don't trust the quiet

in a house that experiences quiet only when the baby and pooch are asleep (or when josh isn't watching one of his 'it-needs-to-be-loud' movies), i was struck with slight fear not once but twice in the last two days. you know, that instance when you realize that you haven't heard a peep for way longer than normal. in fact, you can't even remember the last noise that you heard. instance one, josh and i were in the kitchen figuring things out for dinner. no noise from finn for an absurdly long duration, so i hurried into the office to find him stuck. under the chair. it took me far too long to pry him out. i still wonder how he managed to get into that position and not get fearful for his life (i hate enclosed spaces).scenario two, i was watching tv on the couch with finn just at the end on the floor playing with toys. i hadn't heard a noise, so i joyfully thought, "wow, he finally realizes he can play by himself." not twenty seconds later, i hear this insane laughter and i leaned around to see him. apparently, toys are for dummies. the real excitement lies in the new box of kleenex that was just on the side table. i know what we'll be getting him for christmas!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

being old and making friends.

for those of you who don't know, i joined a mops (mothers of pre-schoolers) group this year to help me meet other moms and get out of the house a couple times a month. it has been such a blessing, because this whole motherhood experience is isolating and lonely at times. to focus my entire energy on a being whose communication style is screaming and slapping and giggling and melting down is exhausting. mops gives me that opportunity to have adult conversations. true, i work part-time, so i get adulthood at work, but there is something amazing about coming together with other christian moms and talking about what is really central in my life.

today, the discussion topic was hospitality. at the beginning of the speaker, i did a mental roll-of-the-eyes, because seriously, what more is there to say about hospitality? invite people in to your home and enjoy their company. boy was i wrong. by the end, i felt so compelled to open myself up to people and felt a desire to experience community. i feel like once i graduated college, i didn't know where to meet people in the same stage of life as myself and how to become friends with anyone new. yet instead of pulling people in and nurturing new relationships, i got nervous to call people, to reach out, to open my house up, to do anything. i am experiencing now what i experienced in 4th grade moving into a new school. i just want people to like me and to be my friend. i get anxiety before hosting a group, because i feel like everything needs to be in order and perfect. who cares? if i go over to someone's house, i never notice the piles of junk or the dirty countertop or the unwashed dishes. if someone calls me to hang out, i never think "that's so weird that they just invited me to hang out." i just feel glad that i get to experience life with someone else. i need to just assume they won't think i'm weird or too messy or too outgoing or too (insert any adjective). i really do just need to relax and enjoy the moment that i am in right now. okay. now please be my friend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

don't eat leaves or other kid's snacks

we spent the afternoon in happy hollow with our friends elisa and joey again. it's november and it's still in the 60's and wonderful. i count my blessings every day we get to spend just a little more time outside. these days are numbered. we had snack-time while resting out in the crisp air. poor child (joey) didn't know what hit him. joey sweetly nibbles on his puffs 1 by 1, while finn ate an entire container of his own puffs then stole joey's by the fistful, at one point trying to pry one out of the sweet child's mouth. and of course his bad behavior is just amplified by the fact that he can't eat cleanly and has crumbs covering the blanket, his clothes, his hands, his face, you name it. i still do not understand how he gets crumbs in his diaper. i think we have finally hit the point where 2 baths a week just isn't cutting it. he's filthy enough that i can no longer say, "oh, babies just get messy sometimes...." he's gross. but so darn cute.

these boobs are mine again

with sadness in my heart, i finally have given up nursing mr. finn. i kind of eased him into doing it only twice daily about a month & 1/2 ago, then suddenly, he was too old for it and was done. for the last 2 weeks, i've been a little sad. it really was amazing though. when finn was about 4 or 6 weeks old, i wanted nothing more than to stop nursing. the nerve in my neck was pinched and the pain was nearly unbearable. i remember telling myself that i really didn't want to nurse anyways and that it was all just something that i got guilted into. but it really became so much more once i got the hang of it and my physical therapy was over. sure, it was totally healthy for finn, but honestly, it fed my desire for meaning, for purpose, for the closeness that no man can have with his child because he was not blessed with the gift of lactation. i'll miss those moments of quiet and snuggling, especially since this child won't snuggle any other time and is always on the move (stupid man hormones raging through his body).

one thing i was not to sad to give up...the pump. i made a lovely stew of pump parts as i did the final boiling process to sanitize the pieces and pack them away for baby #2. we had a good run, medela, but these puppies deserve a break.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

monkeying around.

mr. finn had his first halloween and was a monkey. we decided on this costume solely based upon finn's reaction to seeing and feeling it. in the middle of children's place, he immediately starting laughing when he saw it. then, i let him touch it and he squealed with delight. decision made.

we really wanted to take him trick-or-treating, but we thought it might be weird taking a 10-month-old around to houses asking for candy. really, we would only be there to have them tell us our child was cute and to feed us their sweets. so we opted to go to kathy's for a quick photo pretending to be trick-or-treating, then came home to hand out candy. problem: no one came. poor finn just sat in his costume for over an hour waiting for people to come and he was very disappointed. oh well, lots of candy for us.

funny story: the day before halloween, i had pulled finn's costume out and was acting goofy wearing the monkey face hat and chasing finn around. he yanked it off my head and put it on his. for most of the remainder of the day, he kept that hat on and giggled when it touched it.

in his first halloween bib
mcdowell family
getting squished into the car seat

number 23

on november 1st, the last day it was open, josh finn & i ventured through the corn maze in lafayette. it was insane. i initially thought, "okay, let's spend 30 minutes inside this thing and never get lost and zip through and cross it off your list." boy, was i wrong. next year, we are going to invite everyone to go with us, because it was absolutely confusing and fun and could have taken us so long to get through the whole thing. if it hadn't been for daylight savings time (which i hate), it wouldn't have gotten so dark so quickly and we could have maybe made it through without icicle fingers and red noses. let me just tell you, it wasn't creepy until the sun started going down. suddenly, ideas about children of the corn came rushing through my head and i was certain we would die in the middle and no one would find us. didn't happen. we're alive. and we'll go again next year.