Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blueberries, sunflowers, and cheese straws

This past weekend our family took our first trip together. All four (of course Amos is included) of us and seemingly 3/4th's of our household items were packed tightly into the car for a short trip to Bliss, USA. We traveled to a place where everything is perfectly slow. We traveled to a place where every true Southern lady has her own recipe for cheese straws. We traveled to a place where picking blueberries on a Sunday afternoon before a thunderstorm is as normal as going to get the mail. We needed this little first getaway as a family. Even the little guy knew he was somewhere different but somewhere so good.

There is just something about those South Georgia back roads that tickles at my heart every time we make the trek back to Brad's home town. Once you pull off the interstate in Perry the cars disappear and the sunflowers or seasonal crop takes the place. We always roll the windows down about half way and open the sunroof just to let the fresh, un-Atlanta air sneak into our lungs. Slowly but surely we both relax and for a short while we are even eerily quiet. In our short 18 months of marriage a majority of our best conversations (the fun ones and the challenging ones) have taken place on these back roads....it's something about the lack of billboards and Range Rovers that just makes my thoughts and my heart swell. I am much more able to figure out who I am and where I am going when I am en route to Brad's home town. Thank goodness for a haven to sneak away to when the city life starts to cramp us. Brad and I can't wait for Brooks to truly experience the South Georgia lifestyle too. We may be biased but we agree that he will surely be the coolest kid on the block when he can name the buildings in the Atlanta skyline just as fast as he can start a fire in the woods or point out the different crops among acres and acres of vegetation (sidenote: though I may love my trips to South Georgia I can't quite claim that I know the best activity that is analogous to" naming the buildings in a skyline." You can certainly make fun of my analogy if you choose but in my perfect world "huntin", starting fires, and knowing crops is quite the southern boy thing to do. Sidenote end.)

And going home to Plains sure makes me fall for Mr. Brad a little more each time. I love to see him at home both physically and in his heart. His face seems a little brighter the moment we turn in the gravel driveway. We picked blueberries in mema's yard Sunday afternoon just as a big, bad thunderstorm began to invade the sky. You have never seen someone more unphased by a daunting, black sky than a Southern boy who knows the ways of a good South Georgia thunderstorm.I could tell he had seen many of those in his younger years. I loved the thrill that came as we tried to pick as many plump balls of goodness as we could before the bottom fell out of the sky. Secretly, I think we both didn't really care if we had been caught in the middle of the magnificent thunderstorm.

I love the stories, too, that I hear each trip we make. Just when you think you know someone I hear another tale from an old neighbor or better yet, Brad tells me about selling IBC rootbeer with his best buddy for some pocket change. He always seems to tell his childhood stories with much more color and detail and I just love it! Honestly, I learn more about my husband a few times a year when I get to meet more of his childhood friends than with living with him on a daily basis.....like I said, there is just something that takes over all norm when we travel south of Macon.

Anyway, I feel a little lighter as I always do after our quick trip to Plains. Brooks hasn't stopped talking about it either....he just loved our little getaway too! What a lucky girl I am to have married a good ole south Georgia charmer! Here are a few pictures from our adventure.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New camera!

3-4 weeks

Me and my friends at our first "social"

I love bath time just like mama!

My dad lets me sit on the porch and listen to the traffic when nothing else makes me happy.

Thank you Uncle Matt for my fun towel! I hate getting out of the bath though....

Bottom line....I am cute.

One month milestones

Once upon a time I was the best record keeper I knew. The husband would probably attest to this fact. I can remember if he brushed his teeth four nights ago and exactly how much we spent at dinner the night of our anniversary. Therefore, he would agree (with a snarl) that I am the worlds best mental record keeper. I wish I wouldn't keep such good notes on people and myself. I'd give everyone more of a break if I could just forget things!
I am talking about written records though. I have had a locked journal since I was 6. Literally. I wrote about my favorite friend and color and when I wanted to go to Disney World. In 3rd grade my cousin and I wrote secrets in a journal we made and we hid them in the Whitney Houston record album cover in dad's box of records in his office. It was fun to forget about them and find them years later and laugh about the things that I thought needed to be secret at the mischievous age of 10. And as many of you know, I have loved writing on a blog for several years now thanks to Charlsie - she got me into this whole gig and I love it!

But with the expansion of our family I can't seem to remember the boy's name - I constantly call him the dog's name - much less, I can hardly remember what happened this morning enough to write about it....but alot has happened. So, for our own sake and that of our families here are a few milestones that come to mind. I hope I can do a better job in the future remembering even the little things that happen throughout the day......
A few of Brooks' most admirable accomplishments:
*Lifting his head on his own when he lays on his tummy
*Gaining over 2 lbs since he left the hospital!
*Turning atleast one corner of his mouth up continuously to work on his smile AND he has given us a rare first smile in the last few days (this makes me so excited for the day when he truly smiles at us because he is happy. I know I said I wouldn't wish the days away but I would love to know that he is happy sometime.)
*Growing out of his newborn pajamas because his feet are so stinkin long
*Blowing up his diaper all the way to his shoulders (this was fun)
*Making his first starts of sounds other than crying (It sounded like he said "Beer"....uh oh!)
*Catching his own gaze in the mirror that I hung on the changing table
*Enjoying nightly baths
*Peeing on his daddy nearly every time he changes him
*Sleeping about 4.5 hours at a time at night (this is truly a good thing compared to his initital 3 hour intervals)
*Coughing, sneezing, burping, and tooting all at one time!
*Sleeping in his own crib
*Enjoying the bouncy seat or the crib for longer than 5 minutes
*Spending some time awake after he eats rather than passing out drunk right away from a good feeding

And a few of our most admirable (or not so admirable but memorable) accomplishments:
*Forgetting Brooks was in the car as we went in and out of the car last week looking at houses
*Taking Brooks on walks nearly every night....he loves the bumps!
*Learning to let him cry a little in the crib in order to put himself to sleep (this has truly paid off already)
*Changing diapers and clothes from a "Blow-out-up-the-back-to-the-shoulders" type of stinky diaper
*Getting peed on nearly every diaper change. You would think that we would learn.
*Towing Brooks around Atlanta like we would a tourist....the pool, Marietta, Brookhaven, midtown, Alpharetta and everywhere in between has been visited. We want him to love his city!
*Leaving the babe with a generous babysitter already......my mom
*Discovering the best soothing technique by sitting on the porch and letting the sound of the traffic hush the babe (this accomplishment is all thanks to Brad. This is his best kept secret and he plans to write a book for dads on how to properly soothe the baby that cries right when the husband walks in the door.)

More to come next month. I know the list will only continue to grow daily and probably at a more rapid pace. I can't take all of the change so quickly. Where did our newborn go?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Brooks!

Brooks is one month old today! Everyone eat a cupcake at lunch for him. I can't believe one month has already gone by and I can't believe the little guy is over 10lbs already!
I received this book in the mail yesterday, the Wonder Weeks. A friend suggested I find it because it talked about all the growth stages babies go through in the first year. They claim there are 8 "wonder weeks" in a babies life. Well, last night I was reading to Brad about the 5th weeks' developments. Fussiness is common because babies senses are heightened during this time and everything around them is becoming more vivid - sights, sounds, touch, and even tastes. The book also said that during this time you will notice that a baby is more clingy. Well clingy and fussy are the two words I would use to describe the little man as of late.....until today! This morning the little bug has been working on his goofy smile all morning. I never thought a little person could be so entertaining! Who needs the beach....this is good stuff! The book says that as the baby comes out of this first wonder week you will notice that he seems a little more grown up (true), he won't burp as much (true true), and you will start to see more of a smile in response to things (true true true!) Thank you, Melissa, for suggesting this book! 8 weeks is the next big transition so stay tuned.
In the meantime, eat a cupcake and say a prayer of thanks for the sweet little guy. Hopefully we'll have a camera some time today and can post some updated pictures. He is a little Brad if you ask me. Yay for 1 month!

Monday, June 22, 2009


I am camera researching constantly these days. As I A) have no tv to occupy anytime but per the post below - this is a good thing and B) Broke my camera last week at the baby's first play date. I know that many of you are checking this blog only to see pictures of the little booger grow (rather than to read about my mindless posts) so we need a new camera asap! HELP! Do you have a camera you love? I want one with a really good zoom. What are mega pixels? Do I really care about them. I know I do if I am going to blow pictures up and stretch them out. I have now spent nearly 2 days looking at every camera on the market. I am not a good decision maker though so until someone that I admire tells me that I should buy a certain camera I will continue to scour the internet for advise from strangers and Ashton Kutcher.

Daytime t.v.

I apologize in advance if I offend you. I never really knew what was on daytime television. Like most of you, I have either been working for a living during the day and didn't choose to spend any of my days off in front of the tube. Or - at a later season in life when I was working from home I couldn't have the t.v. on because I was on the phone all the time and needed to maintain a 'professional environment.'

My friend Charlsie came to visit yesterday and she was telling me how last week she realized that it was summer (just like I did) but more than anything she realized that during the summer people are at the pool, eating lunches under umbrellas and slaving away in the sun with a cocktail in hand. When you are working 50+ hours a week you just sort of forget that there is a whole world of mama's and kiddos that pile in suburbans and head to country clubs and they play all summer long...all day, everyday. It's really quite beneficial that you forget that this happens. I would hate to really know what kinds of bliss people are experiencing in the summer while I was sitting in an uncomfortable fake leather chair in an office with the only window across the hall and the AC cranked so high that I can't even sit in one position long enough to attempt to daydream about a cocktail and a pool with a lifeguard. Welcome to Corporate America during the summer time! Occasionally my old company would bring in some buckets of ice cream and a few toppings on a Friday afternoon just to help us take in the summer months. This was certainly a nice attempt. A for effort.....or is it "E" for effort?

The same is true for day time television. I didn't even know it existed until now. I thought it ended when Perry Mason went off the air, back when my mama served me a fried bologna sandwich and spaghetti-o's for lunch. I remember being home with my mama when she was raising four kids and I would see shows like Days of Our lives and Three's Company on in the living room while mama ironed and played house. But surely the really white haired man on Days of our Lives couldn't still be running the airwaves of daytime tv! In these first 4 weeks of motherhood - I have found that I have been wrong. He is still there a long with many of the same characters and story lines from the 80's. Now instead of absolute trash on tv though there are a few daytime shows seeking to make me better.....like The Doctors (10am). And then there is Tyra - as in Tyra Banks the supermodel. I have been missing her advise on anything from fashion to family boundaries all these years! Tragic! At 2pm you have Miss Martha Stewart followed by the witty Rachael Ray. Now, I really do like Rachael. I have never actually made one of her meals she models but I do like that she is joyful and positive and a breath of fresh air for day time tv. Even though I can tell you the daily line up I would still tell you that I don't actually watch this stuff. I just like to have it on while the babe and I hang out in the condo - waiting for his immunities to build and my energy to come back (hopefully as he starts to sleep longer). But last Thursday I was writing some thank you notes and all of a sudden our beautiful tv made a funny sound and turned off. Ever since then there have been three constantly blinking lights. I am very proud to say - I did some troubleshooting of my own and found the problem. Now we are waiting for a lamp to come in the mail that supposedly will fix the tv. At first, I thought nothing of the little tv crash. I don't watch it anyway. But after about 7 minutes of absolute silence I was going nuts! I realized then and there that I am addicted to the noise of the tv. Maybe I feel like I am having adult conversation or something or that I have "friends" over during the long baby-filled days. I sound like a lunatic saying that I am actually 'friends' with my tv but try staying home in the heat of summer, alone, with a person that can only communicate through crying and see if you, too, start begging someone on the screen to just listen to you....or better yet, watch the baby so you can go potty! Ha! (Side note: I LOVE my time with the babe! I love that I get to sit at home and watch him grow ever so slowly with very few interruptions. I think I am the luckiest girl in the world to enjoy days like these at home with a little one around.)

Anyway, The lamp should come tomorrow and I am thrilled. Never again will I think any horrid thoughts of people who sit and watch daytime television all day and then buy things off QVC or off of the horrendous ads that run throughout the day. It sure has been an interesting 5 days with Brad and I having to find other things to occupy the time that we swore we weren't watching tv. We've walked the neighborhood 8 times over. We have looked at every house on the market in the Metro-Atlanta area just to dream. We have vacuumed 4 times now and everything has been put exactly in it's place. I am sitting here writing to you just to help me forget that I am missing Whoopi's voice as she rants and raves on the View. Never did I think I would say that! I can see how families without televisions are forced to interact on a much more intimate level. I have been forced to turn on my soothing music for the baby to hear some white noise. I have finished thank you notes that were long over due and Brad and I have enjoyed some great conversation this week (though he may have been wishing he could actually see the US OPEN rather than have me pretend narrate it from a blank tv screen....I'm so entertaining!)

Bottom line: If it weren't for the eerie quietness during the day I would truly be okay if the lamp for the tv never showed up in my mailbox. Soon enough the bambino will start having conversations with me and there will be no need for the expensive little part anyway.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June already!

I just realized it was June last night as I lay in bed after a 2am party with the baby. Did you know it was already June? School is out, the temperature is near 90 everyday in Atlanta and the 4th of July is near. Oh, and last night there were lightning bugs everywhere on our walk. I really couldn't sleep last night as I lay there letting the weeks and months catch up to me. I guess because we had such a monumental event happen in May I blocked out the other months leading up to that day and I guess I didn't know how time would go on after that day. And then of course the last few weeks have been a whirlwind full of firsts, tears, laughs, confusion, nerves (as I try to venture out in the world with a 10lb human), visits, and sleep deprivation. So it dawned on me last night that it is June which means half of this year is over. I hate that I spent the first part of the year longing for May to come as now it has come and gone and the little baby is already grown and ready to date girls! Seriously, last night was his first night sleeping in his own room, in his own bed. I admit, I was a little emotional as Brad put him to bed at 10:30 last night. I just want time to stop and let me stare at the little guy for a few weeks and then things can pick back up. Even though my whole day is devoted to Brooks I wouldn't trade this short little season for anything. Can't he just sleep in my room for the first year? Amos sleeps in our room. I hate for Brooks to feel left out. Plus, I was a negligent mother with Brooks in his own bed last night. At 2am when I could hear that Brooks was looking for a snack through the monitor I politely turned the monitor off so I wouldn't wake up Brad. I subconsciously decided another two minutes in bed would make up for the hour I would be awake so I gave myself 2 more minutes. That 2 minutes turned into 40 and I woke myself up in a panic remembering that Brooks had started to wake up nearly an hour ago. Oops. I guess crying is good for them as the pediatrician says it is about the only exercise they are getting at this age......and he got a good 40 minute workout last night! Poor guy......I felt so awful for my little mistake. Tonight I'll let him back in our room so I don't get sent away for my negligence to our dependent infant.

Anyway, it is June and I am floored. Though I know that there is a little thing in our lives that could fully entertain us throughout the day - I am feeling like I need some BIG things on the calendar. Like a beach trip! That is what we normally do in the summer and I think Brooks would like to see his parents happy at the beach. Or what about a summer concert at Chastain? We love Chastain Amphitheatre in the summer under the stars with some yummy food in a picnic basket. Ironically, we have no weddings for several weeks. We have no supper club, no bible studies, no nothing for awhile! So please invite the three of us somewhere. I want to do summer things now that I realized the summer is in full swing. Maybe Brooks and I will play on the slip and slide today and eat those cheap little Popsicles in the plastic wrapper. The blue one is my favorite flavor. I wonder which one will be Brooks' very favorite????

Here are a few pictures that my dear friend Kerie took of Brooks last week. I think she is truly the best photographer around. I love that she always captures the perfect expression for the perfect moment (like the ones of our wedding below.) What a treat!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I never would have thought

that you would have found me and Brad at a park on a Saturday evening dining on a sandwich under a big shady tree. Not that we are above this sort of activity at all - actually, my little heart prefers this type of Saturday night but I just never would have guessed we'd be in a place where life had slowed down enough to enjoy the green grass and the breeze and the ducks on the pond on a Saturday evening in June.

But this is exactly how we spent our first normal Saturday. Normal means we didn't have company and we weren't being taken care of by any of our dear parents (both things we love). It was just as it will be for awhile...the dad, the baby, the dog and the mom figuring out this new normal. We met one of our favorite Brookhaven couples and their newest addition. The boys held the little people like footballs in one arm with a cold beer in the other. The girls chatted about things I never thought I'd chat about...spit up, baby pimples, pediatricians, medicine for infants and yes, breast pumps. The kiddos enjoyed being out in the open air and the dog was in heaven leaping through the lush green grass chasing after a football. All was well as you can see from the pictures below. And not just well....all was perfect and I think we all truly enjoyed our Saturday evening affair.

The funny thing is that Brad and I sat here for hours before wondering how we might entertain ourselves on this particular Saturday night with a two week old. We had to cross out many appealling options because Brooks would make a frown when we mentioned anywhere too crowded or too far away. We weren't sure we'd be welcomed in too many of these places anyway. Luckily, we got a last minute text from our friends wondering if Brooks would be interested in a pic-nic? What a fabulous idea on a pretty weekend evening. I am not sure why we wouldn't have done this before. Brad and I both crave anytime in the open air. We don't necessarily thrive in a bar in Buckhead - we get too tired. We love finding frugal ways to enjoy our city and as long as Brad can drink a cold beer you can park him anywhere. So, I guess this pic-nic date will make it's way onto our calendar quite often this summer. I am slowly starting to enjoy this new, slower paced lifestyle. Thank you, Brooks, for slowing your mama down and forcing her to truly stop and smell the roses and soak in all of God's creation (including you!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

He's still cute

Brad's baby has acne. Not my baby. His baby has acne and his baby cries for no reason. During the day my baby doesn't let out a noise even close to a cry and his skin is as smooth as butter. Brad gets home and the baby greets him with an unnecessary wail of a cry (is that how you spell "wail"?) and a pimple pops up on his chin. My book says the tears indicate his "fussy time." Why must fussy time start right when dad walks in the door? I am sure after a long day at work that is the last thing Mr. Brad longs to hear but I guess - welcome to parenthood, right? The internet says the bumps are due to the surge of hormones during late pregnancy. I am glad I am not the only hormonal basket case around here. The only thing normal about our days is Amos. I just love that you can count on your dog for a sense of normalcy. He still eats twice a day, loves peanut butter and chases things that we never actually see. We swear he has ESP and sees through the walls. He still comes and lays his head on my lap when I may be a little blue or exhausted. He can sense it. He comes to get me too when Brooks cries. It is quite endearing. I am so glad we have an Amos dog to teach Brooks the ways of the world in these coming months.

On other notes - I put clothes on at 3:24pm today. I think having a baby has hit me. The first days out of the hospital I took Brooks around like my show and tell toy at school. Last night I hit a wall of exhaustion and so did Brooks. He was up every two hours last night and though he was wide awake I know he was just overdone for the day and too tired to even sleep. So today I did what most post-pardom ladies do - nothing. I was fine until the rain came and I was really trapped inside. So tonight as Brad and Brooks have napped on the couch (sooooo cute!) I went and walked up and down the stairs of the condo in the rain. Nothing seems out of the norm these days and I blame everything unusual on hormones (which supposedly they have left my body and that is why I feel so out of it)....I think I'll stick to that excuse for a while though.

And on other other notes my seester turns 18 tomorrow! I changed her diapers! I am just in shock tonight that this day has come. My baby seester is all grown up and about to spread her wings to fly. I am excited about this next adventure at UGA for her but I am selfishly wishing I could still dress her in clothes and play with her like my own live toy. I hope we can see too much of each other in this next season even though she will be in Athens. She is going to be the most fun aunt I just know it. HAPPY 18 MARY LAUREN (I am the only one that still calls her Mary Lauren.) Oh how I love her!

Mary Lauren and the 8lb watermelon I swallowed the day before he pooped out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pray not to miss it!

An experienced mama friend of mine told me something while I was pregnant that I didn't know would end up being the best advise I heard the whole 9+ months. She has a precious son who will be one in August and both Brad and I have just loved watching her and her husband parent their little boy. Brad would steal this kiddo if he could sneak him out of his nursery one day and make him part of our family. He hopes Brooks grows up to be just like him!
Anyway, a mama-friend had told her to pray that she doesn't miss "this" - whatever stage "this" is....
It is so easy to look towards the next stage with much anticipation. Now that we have a newborn at home who likes to wake up and party a few times at night it is so easy to wish for the day when he might want to dream a little longer and therefore, let me sleep a bit more. I can't lie, I have sat in my swivel chair a few times these past 10 days with my eyes so heavy and weary and I have thought for a split second that a full night of sleep would fix everything but I quickly pray, "Lord, help me not to miss this. Help me to rest right in this moment and enjoy every part of it....his innocent sounds, his wondering eyes when they meet mine, his teeny tiny hands and feet and his utter dependence on me. Father, I ask you to do this now so that I do not miss anything." And this prayer has truly been what has gotten me through these first weeks with somewhat of a level head. I can sleep when I die, right? Sleep is overrated when you have a little man wanting to wake up and be with you during the night. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed our nights together. We pray. I sing. He cries when I sing so I may have to get a cd player in the room or something. We stare at each other and relive those months together. I try to bundle him up in a ball just to see what he was like when he was in my stomach. He is now back to his birth weight of 8.1lbs so it is even more realistic to think this is the little booger that took up all my room and gave me heartburn for 9 straight months. He even has this pose that he does when I lay him on my lap that I know was his favorite position in his temporary home.....one leg straight out in my ribs and the other curled up jabbing my side. I still can't believe I was ever pregnant or that I will ever be a mom. When will reality hit me that this has already happened and that I am already a mom?
Now, the opposite is also true as well. Often I look at the little buttercup and I get weepy just thinking that one day he will have to go to college and one day he will fall off of his bicycle and get hurt. And one day he will hurt me and he may disappoint his dad. One day, too, he will have his own family and maybe look at his own son the same way we do. I know I am sounding like a fruitloop thinking so far ahead but I get so emotional just thinking that he won't always be the perfect 10 days old. He won't always need me in the middle of the night. And therefore, I continue to pray that I don't miss a thing and that I truly enjoy every single day, every single sound - even the loud ones, every single outfit, every single attempt to smile and every single poot or funny noise that comes out of him ( I love these in the middle of the night...quite entertaining). Thank you to my sweet mama friend for the best advise a mom to be could hear!