Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Thoughts


My parents felt strongly about not celebrating Halloween and I was pulled out of school on October 31st each year. Often, I spent the day with my mom's friends who homeschooled their children. For a while I thought it was cool; the whole getting out of school and playing with friends was fun.

But as I got older and more classmates asked me why I wasn't in school, I resented the attention and asked my mom if I could "just dress up." I'd tell her it wouldn't mean anything to me to dress up and she would point out all of the reasons we hadn't celebrated Halloween since I was in kindergarten. I'd get upset and storm off. After some time, my mom would find me with her file folder (it was the 1990's) of articles about the origins of Halloween.

One of my high school years I was successful in getting to dress up (but I could not attend a party) and in all my growing up years (before I was 18), I think I dressed up three times for All Hallow's Eve.

My college years proved less challenging than I had imagined. It turns out other people thought Halloween was "lame" and therefore didn't dress up either. I'm not much of a party goer, so I managed to avoid dressing up, which I equate with "celebrating" Halloween.

Each October, I grapple with Halloween to some extent and hold my breath hoping I won't be asked to go to a party/dress up. But now I have my own child and I've spent the last week month being asked "what's Maggie going to be for Halloween?" and the issue is now being forced unlike before.


It's less than 13 hours until my daughter goes to daycare where they have a Halloween parade and less than 24 hours until our doorbell may ring with trick-or-treaters. I have no costume for Maggie and no candy for trick-or-treaters. All week, I've been telling myself Maggie doesn't need a costume because she's too young to know what's going on and we live on a busy street so we won't get much foot traffic.

Earlier today, I came across this article and can't stop thinking about the potential for meeting neighbors if we decide to turn on the porch light and open the door tomorrow night. Is it too late to make a costume for Maggie so I can parade her around and hope to meet my neighbors?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Maggie: 15 months


Maggie is still loving life and growing up as fast as ever. She has started to play with other children at daycare and it's so fun to see her interact with them. They chase each other, play peek-a-boo and take each other's shoes.


All in all, Maggie seems pretty social, but still has her moments of shyness. We had friends over for dinner recently and she acted a bit clingy, which made me think she suspected we were going to leave. Once she warmed up to them, she started her usual tricks (holding her sippy cup with just her mouth).

Some things you may not be able to tell from the photos:

  • Maggie is a chatterbox. We can only make out every seventh word, but she talks all the time. 
  • She does not smile/pose for photos anymore.


Likes:

  • walking everywhere, especially outside
  • talking and singing
  • milk
  • sitting on her pack and play and bottom step 
  • putting on shoes


Dislikes:

  • being hot or cold
  • having her space invaded by the dog



Maggie's monthly updates:
1 month // 2 months // 3 months // 4 months // 5 months // 6 months // 7 months // 8 months // 9 months // 10 months // 11 months // 12 months // 13 months // 14 months

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wake me up when September ends


Remember that song? Years ago, my boss and I would say it was our theme song each September, considering all that the month typically entailed for those of us working in education. In my work life, it has meant the start of another school year complete with long work days.

Nearly all of September has passed and I barely sat down to blog this month. I also took fewer than usual photos this month. Yet I find myself asking where the month went so quickly. As the last days of the month are upon us, I thought I'd recap the month with its highlights in a few photos I managed to take (albeit with my iPhone).


Breakfast dates --since Brandon started his new job last month, we have enjoyed weekends together as a family. His previous job required him to work various weekend days and we're so grateful to be able to go to breakfast on a Saturday or stay home and make pancakes. Our weekends have been more about rest and together time, which has been a blessing.

First steps --Maggie took her first steps this month and hasn't looked back. She's trying to run lately and gets around a little better each day. She has had her fair share of bruises from falling, but that doesn't slow her down. I love watching her walk with such enthusiasm.

Taking time to "be still," even in the midst of life's stuff --I plan to write more about this, but Maggie sitting in her toy box sums up the month. We have a lot of stuff (both physical and mental) and as much as I'd like to get rid of the physical somedays most days, because it (often literally) trips me up, I am learning to be content with what we have and where we are. To be content with an unfinished doorframe in the living room and toys strewn about the living room after Maggie is in bed and Brandon and I spend an evening catching up on life or watching a TV show.

What have you been up to this month?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maggie: 14 months


She's becoming less of a baby and more of a little person each day. I know it's only natural, but I'm just in awe of watching her discover the world.


Maggie is also quite chatty at home. In public or at a friend's house, this is not always the case. She acts shy, which surprises her mama.

It has grown increasingly difficult to get a good photo of Maggie. Remember when she used to sit in one place AND smile (or at least look pleasant) for photos? Here's one of her in the chair I used to photograph her in monthly, but she climbed out before I could get a photo.


Speaking of getting around, when she was just 14 months (a week ago), Maggie is standing and since then taken her first steps and is now walking. She is now walking almost everywhere. She loves her newfound mobility. Can you tell?


Something you may not be able to tell from the photos is that her vocabulary now consists of:
bye-bye // mama // dada // no // go // uh oh // bubble // ball

Maggie's likes:

  • walking on her own
  • playing with a ball and saying "ball"
  • dropping things over the baby gate and saying "uh oh"
  • holding and "reading" books

Maggie's dislikes:
  • having the dog lick her face
  • different foods from day-to-day (we were spoiled previously by her goat-like eating habits)


We are so grateful for each day we get to be her parents. To hear her giggles and listen to her vocabulary develop is pure joy! 

Maggie's monthly updates:
1 month // 2 months // 3 months // 4 months // 5 months // 6 months // 7 months // 8 months // 9 months // 10 months // 11 months // 12 months // 13 months


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

transition is hard


We are going through yet another transition in our house. Last week, Brandon started a full-time job, which means Maggie is now in full-time daycare. As with most things, there are both benefits and drawbacks to this new chapter of our life.

It was sad to say goodbye to our friend who has watched Maggie three days per week since she was six months old. Grace was a trusted friend even before I left my only child with her. Having her care for Maggie was truly a blessing. Drop off and pick up was a time to chat for 5-10 minutes and catch up on small things in life.


In contrast, when I dropped off the paperwork for Maggie's new daycare last week I met the woman who oversees the infant room for the first time. As I walked to my car, I realized I had just met the woman I'd be sending my daughter to be with five days per week. My stomach knotted and tears flowed.

There would be no drop off chat about common friends or what was planned for the weekend. I cried that afternoon and tried not to dwell on the upcoming transition. But I had to be honest and reminded myself transition is hard.

Then I made a little list of the good this opportunity brings our whole family.
  1. My husband gets to work not only closer, but within walking distance of our house!
  2. Being around other children Maggie's age on a more regular basis will benefit her socially.
  3. Her immune system is stronger than it was eight months ago when Grace started caring for her. 
  4. Maggie has an easy-going and adaptive personality.
  5. The daycare facility is only about a mile from our home.
Those five things don't guarantee I won't cry in the car after I drop Maggie off some mornings. Nor do they erase the mommy guilt that creeps in. But they are reminders of a God who provides.

Car time is on the decline(...hey, gas ain't cheap!)
Prior to this change, my husband's commute was previously 1-2 hours ONE way and I spent about 50 minutes in the car on my way to and from work.

We'll get more time together as a family. 
For more than 75% of our marriage, Brandon's worked hourly jobs with hours outside of 9am-5pm and finally we're  back to "regular" hours.

Opportunities to get better connected to our community.
By not spending time commuting longer distances, we'll be able to know more people in the who live nearby, along with meeting people through Maggie's daycare.

We've been hoping to get more connected with our community, spend more time together as a family and less time commuting for about two years!