Our Noble Pursuits

Living the good life. And writing about it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Photo Update

Life is a little bit more hectic these days.  I have to readjust to being away from home all day and trying to make the most of the time we have with Annie in the evenings.  This doesn't leave as much time for blogging.  But I'll get back into the swing of it all, I know.  For now, though, here are some pictures from our weekend...our first St. Patrick's Day with our little leprechaun.

First we played on the porch for a while.  Annie loves her new activity table.  And it's "learn Spanish" setting is teaching mama a thing or two.  (Please excuse the dirty porch floor.  Ugh.)

Then we headed downtown to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day parade.  We met up with Annie's friend, Hank, and his parents.

Then we sat on the grass while we waited for the parade.  The weather was perfect and it was nice to spend some time outside.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rushing Things

Confession time.  If I allowed myself to be, and if my husband wasn’t so fundamentally opposite of this, I could become one of those moms who constantly worries whether her child is doing what the other kids are doing, developmentally I mean.  As much as I hate to admit it (and I do hate to admit it, but there is something cathartic about doing it), I want my baby to not only meet milestones on time, but to meet them early.  Left unchecked, while I wouldn’t be one to push her (how do you do that to an almost 9-month old anyway?), I would spend more time than I would like worrying about it.  Okay, I already do spend more time than I should thinking about it and without my husband and my mom to give me some perspective, I’m afraid I would easily fall into the comparison trap.

And while that is ridiculous and dangerous on so many levels, the most ridiculous part of all is that I believe my daughter to be perfect.  I really do.  Not that she will always act perfectly as she grows or do exactly what I want her to when I want her to do it, or be without flaw of any kind, but I honestly believe God gave us a wonderful, perfect gift when He chose to give us Annie.  In my eyes, there is no baby more perfect – no baby smarter, funnier, more beautiful or more full of personality.  I make no apologies for that and admit that with no shame.  I mean, it’s kind of part of the job to think these things, is it not?  Well, whether it is in the mama job description or not, it is true with us.  And I like it that way.
Somebody can wear little bows in her hair now.

So why don’t I focus on that instead of wondering whether she is crawling later than the other kids in her class at daycare?  Why do I care whether some other kid is pulling up before she does?  Or eating more table food?  Intellectually, I know that all babies develop differently, and my baby certainly isn’t behind.  So why can’t I internalize that information and get rid of the desire to prove to myself that Annie is right on target? 

I think competition between parents over the development of their children is inspired, in many cases, by anxiety.  You so want your child to fit in, so want her to be included and accepted and “normal.”  Any evidence (or question) to the contrary is scary.  And I guess on some level, when you talk with other parents and find out that their 6 month old is rolling over and yours isn’t or their 8 month old can say “mama” and mean it when yours can’t, you worry that it’s a sign.  A sign that life will be harder for your perfect, beautiful, wonderful child.  But how ridiculous is that?
For the record, I think we're knocking on the door of crawling.
Here’s one thing I know to be true: my baby is happy.  Whatever her abilities (which, I feel compelled to say, I think are right on track), she is happy – loved, well cared for, and generally, just a pleasant child (although sometimes strongly opinionated, which I'm okay with…).  Isn’t that what’s most important?  Isn’t that what really matters?  And not only is she happy, but she is also healthy.  That right there is a gift…and one I don’t take for granted.  Isn’t that the true blessing here?  What more could you ask for as a parent?  Absolutely nothing. 

So here’s to internalizing what every pediatrician, childcare professional, and grandparent will tell you – all babies develop differently.  And here’s to celebrating that difference.  I feel especially silly typing this because just today I got all misty-eyed when I heard a tiny newborn crying in Target.  I saw the weary look on her mother’s face which said both "I didn't get enough sleep last night," and "I don't know quite how to make this stop" and I remembered a specific time when I know I had the same look, in the same baby department, of the same store.  And now, somehow time has moved at warp speed and we’re just over three months away from a first birthday party.  I know time will continue to move faster than I want it to.  I know there will come a day very soon when I will wonder why I was in such a hurry for Annie to meet milestones.  Because, you see, meeting milestones means growing up.  And who in their right mind wants to rush that?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Quick Update

I feel like I should do one more blog post before my new job starts (on Monday!) and my schedule gets a little less, um, free of activity.  So I figure a nice little update on what’s been going on around here is in order.

Annie –
Just to give you some evidence of how quickly infants develop, Annie has added some new things to her repertoire just since my 8-month post last week.  Almost as soon as I hit the “publish post” button last Wednesday she started saying “mama.”  Mind you, she doesn’t just say it to me, but at least she’s getting the word out now.  And in addition to waving, she now points her finger up in the air, as if to say “number 1.”  I think she’s practicing to support the UK basketball team in the upcoming SEC and NCAA Tournaments.  She will also fist bump you if she feels the spirit.  Oh, and if you give her a high five she thinks you are hilarious.

I love love love watching her little personality take shape!  She’s so social and happy.  I really hope she stays that way because she truly is a joy to watch these days. We really won the lottery in the baby department, I’m here to tell ya.

We have also recently moved family meals from the living room couch, where David and I have been dining for four plus years of marriage (don’t judge, it’s comfortable) to the dining room table.  Annie sits in her highchair and enjoys little bits of what we are eating and other finger foods.  She was getting so cranky playing on the floor while we ate on the couch and never got like that when we went out to eat (and she sat at the table with us in a highchair)  that I finally caught on to the fact that she wanted to be a part of what we were doing.  So now we have a happy baby while we eat and the time David and I spend talking to each other instead of watching the same local news stories for the third time in a row is doing us some good too.
Sort of doing the "Number 1" point.
Just to prove she doesn't always look delighted.  I just don't usually publish the sad face pictures.

David –
I have been greatly lacking in the reporting on the adults in the household business on this blog.  I guess I figure Annie is more interesting (and adorable) than we are.  But I know some of you would probably like to know what is going on with the other two members of the household, so I will try to do better with that.  David’s work has been doing really well.  Working in construction, sometimes the winter months can be a little slow, but this year has been a completely different story.  The company David works for is really growing and the jobs have been steady, and we are really grateful for that.  He celebrated a birthday earlier this week too.  It was fun to watch him celebrate with baby girl for the first time.  I kept thinking of how fun it will be in the coming years to go shopping with Annie for Daddy’s gift.  I expect David’s twin (aka Annie) will really get into that.
Happy birthday to Daddy!

Yours truly –
The biggest news with me is, of course, my new job.  I will officially begin my work in the non-profit world on Monday and I could not be more excited.  People keep asking me if I am nervous and I suppose that is a reasonable question.  I mean, I am completely switching gears here and starting a whole new career.  But I feel no anxiety or nervousness at all.  I am just ready to get started.  Ready to see what lies ahead.  Ready and hopeful to have found a job I actually want to go to in the morning.  It’s sad to say, but that will be a dramatic change for me.  A change I am so excited to have.

We are traveling to Indiana this weekend to visit David’s parents and I am sure Annie will enjoy some quality time with her Nana and Papa.  She had her first overnight stay by herself at Grandma’s last weekend and I think everyone had a great time.  We are so fortunate to have such doting and loving grandparents for our daughter.  Although, that’s the kind of parents they have always been, so we should expect nothing less I suppose.  It is so fun to watch her relationships with them unfold.

Until next week!  Happy weekend, everyone…oh, and “Go Cats!”