Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grotesque confession

This little confession may ban me from ever being a part of the civilized business world again but I'll take the risk.

I am a picker. Brad is happy that Brooks is on the scene now so I don't spend my evenings with tweezers picking at him. Poor Brooks - he doesn't know better yet and doesn't fight me off too much. I love to comb through any matted hair. I love to cut his finger and toe nails. I love to wash his face constantly to clear any baby goo away. He had a baby sized pimple last week and I may or may not have tried to squeeze it while he was preoccupied with his mac and cheese. Yestreday's find about tops them all. Go ahead and X out of this page if you have a weak stomach or if you are a former employer or someone who thinks I am amazingly clean and put together. Brooks had been growing the hardest, longest little baby boogie for about 3 days now and yesterday after much anticipation I decided it was time for the operation. I'll spare you any more details or pictures but just be at ease knowing that Brooks was just as giddy as I was that he could now breathe out of his right nostril. I was worried for a second that I pulled his precious little brain out but he laughed afterwards so I laughed and we all embraced. And we lived happily ever after. Until the next speck of a boogie makes it's appearance....

I know I am not alone in this confession. Fess up girls!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I can't think of a title

So please send me your comments and title this quick post. Nothing seemed fitting enough.

I'll start with this.
Psalm 34
(4)I sought the Lord and He answered me, He delivered me from all my fears.
(8) Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

These are two verses I know I have heard over and over but this morning as I shut my eyes and listened to the eloquent lady read them they just sounded inviting....the kind of invitation that seemed only to be for me. My friend invited me to a mom's bible study this morning or maybe I invited myself but nonetheless it was great to have a friend next to me. At first I was excited to go and then when the moment came I selfishly just wanted to go work out and sit still with no human interaction and with no baby {this seems to be a theme lately doesn't it?} This is the first morning babysitter I have hired since Brooks was born. Oh my goodness, this is a drug. I am now addicted to babysitters! I love spending time with Brooks during the day, I love teaching him, I love him teaching me and as I mentioned the other day - I want to soak it all up. BUT pass me the babysitter once a week, please! It was so wonderful to walk out the door and not feel guilty because I wasn't paying her (the way I usually feel with family help) and to know I had her there for 3 hours and I had those hours to do everything or nothing. Well, I did go to the bible study as planned and I am so glad I did. There is something about sitting in a room of women in your same stage in life that fills you like no work out or nail pampering or shopping trip will ever do. Another friend had warned me that often she found tears streaming down her cheek in the midst of this time. I was definitely that girl today and I am so glad I was.....I have needed something to jolt me, something to grab me and luckily, this morning my few hours away did just that!

Though I don't feel like I have had the energy to seek the Lord the way I would hope or the way I once thought He expected, I know that He knows my heart and more so, he knows my needs. Thus, this morning I felt the start of being released [delivered as the verse says] from many of my fears regarding motherhood. Let's face it - fear that I'm not good at being a mom in the first place, fear of intimacy with my family, fear that I made a mistake in the first place, fear that I will never again have a real moment to myself void of a physical child or the worry of a child that isn't with me, fear that I don't know how to ever discipline, fear that any of the baggage I may have taken from my childhood will effect Brooks and his brother, fear that any brokenness or emptiness I may ever feel is too big to ever actually be able to give my heart to children and a spouse - goodness, those are alot of fears to even start to sort through. I am just thankful this morning something registered with me. I don't have to fix all of my fears before I embrace this role. Can I get an Amen. For the first time in a long while this morning I tasted that sweet taste of the Lord's goodness and I saw and felt that it was so good. And for the first time, too, in many months I want to take refuge in the goodness of a God who knows me, knows what I need, and in His own way gives me just what I need. What a perfect way to begin to celebrate Easter week (though a few days late!)

Not to add, this weather is intoxicating. Thank you, Lord, for this rejuvenating morning. Thank you for babysitters. Thank you for being my safe place to land.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I feel it, I feel it, I feel it! Yes tonight might be a good night but in other more important news - I felt the tip top of Brooks' bottom tooth with my very own {clean} finger! Sadly, I like my toothless baby but I know for reasons such as steak and blowing bubbles with bubble gum the boy will some day need teeth. You probably won't see said tooth for many months as the boy still has his mommy's syndrome, aka chubby cheeks! Hopefully I can get a snapshot soon for the baby book that I have yet to start. This just might be my motivation!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The same but different

Let's see where this goes. I lost a year of my life and I really want it back. Last week I was taking my 1153rd turbokick exercise class at my second home. I'm not obsessed but close to it and I don't mind it one bit. I stand in the same corner of the group fitness room and wear about the same clothes - sometimes clean, often not with remnants of a baby at home. My belly is as far out as it was this time last year and I was 2 months more expecting (I had been hoping that part wasn't true about a second pregnancy). After class a co-fanatic of mine asked me when I was due and without thought I said late May. I left the class a few minutes early - as always - and found my car after 8 minutes of searching like I always have to do. I punched in the code, put my hands on the wheel and as the sun burst through the windshield I realized what I had just said.

Oh yes, it's 2010 - almost one year after Brooks' May birthday and for some reason it just all feels the same but I know it's very different. Basically, I've misplaced the most magical yet challenging year of my life and now I am wanting it all back - the sleepless nights in the beginning, the days at the hospital, the first real smile, even the news of a potential move....I just don't want to have lost so many short lived but rich chapters.

When I look back at pictures from us bringing Brooks home from Northside to meet his brother, Amos or from his first swim at the pool last summer when he was barely two months - it seems like chapters and chapters have been written and I've lost them all somewhere unknown. But then when I find myself doing the same things that I was doing last year - I mean, the exact same things - I often don't think any of the "in-between" ever happened. The "in-between" includes a new human life and a stint in another city! Pretty big things to lose in my book.

Anyway, in the words of the famed Aerosmith, I don't want to close my eyes....I don't want to miss a thing from here on out. I've listened to moms for 20 years now as they pinched my cheeks and told me I was growing up too soon and their words went right in and right out - kinda like this past year. Did I think I would actually be able to stop time in a particular season just to savor every last drop of it? I did! Tonight Brooks allowed me some extended snuggle time before bed and I felt so special and so adored and for those 10 minutes I allowed myself to not think about the next life that is growing or worry about any of the things that aren't just right for the moment. I embraced his baby drool on my chin and rubbed his sweet little shoulders as he curled up to me on his belly. I often miss these little joys because I allow illegitimate guilt (I'll explain) and often just exhaustion rob me of the most perfect moments this side of heaven.

I hope a few of you out there can relate - whether "kids" or other types of relationships are your subject - I often look at Brooks and I feel the silllyest guilt that a baby brother is on the way. It sounds silly even as I type it yet I feel it often. I'll picture Brooks wondering about, discovering the world around him while I am tied to a newborn baby that needs me literally for everything for a little while. I know there are advantages to having two kiddie-poos close in age and I know more so, the tiring months that are to come but what I think most about is how quickly our time is coming to a close with just one child and how soon our attention will have to be split. Brad's so good for me. He reminds me that Brooks would be more upset in the long run if my selfishness resulted in him never having another sibling. He says he'd be bored of me soon enough anyway and need a companion.

It's always seemed obvious because never do you meet a mother who openly prefers one child over the other but I really do question how I will be able to love any other child the way I love Brooks. He is my buddy and he has been through a very challenging year with me - the whole time just offering his healing toothless grin and fat-belly laugh for my comfort. Please tell me your heart just gets bigger with each child, each difficulty, each year, each triumph and each failure? I have always believed that God gives us just what we need and nothing more for any situation. He gives us the grace, the love, and the tenacity for anything life throws at us.....therefore, maybe I should just enjoy today - with our one child and not miss it - and when it's needed, know that He will give me what I need for another little blessing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What a Saturday should look like

I love thinking of Saturday's in Charlton Forge; the neighborhood where I spent most of my childhood days. I haven't seen the house since we moved in 2001 except for a quick drive by but I remember it being humongous with a never ending yard. A politician owned the house far behind us and in between the two houses he bought the acre of land so as to keep his space and thus, ours private. My parents would open the doors and windows on a spring or fall Saturday and while mom cleaned in the kitchen or scurried about like moms do, dad would cut the grass. The younger kids and I would tend to our duties of devouring the sugary cereal and flipping through the Saturday cartoons. That's all I remember but it is enough to create the perfect memory of the perfect Saturday. Now grown up Saturday's are just as anticipated but not always as relaxing - but today was the exception and hopefully the example.

I woke up early with the other crazies to hit to local garage sales. I figured if they were at the two largest homes in the neighborhood there may be some special find for baby oh, a bed or something essential. Unfortunately, I didn't find any big finds except for a cute bag for Brooks and his things when he goes to grandmas for $2. I was feeling quite thrifty and efficient seeing as my $2 were spent before 8am so I headed to our local coffee shop, Library coffee, for the special coffee of the day that I shouldn't partake in due to this growing baby but I do anyway and don't feel an ounce of guilt. I love jittery babies. Anywho, on a whim I scheduled a much needed hair trim and brow wax with the most talkative hair dresser in Atlanta. And as everyone should after they pay too much to get their hair done - I went to take a killer exercise class. I know you are loving all of these Saturday details. It was too perfect not to recount so bare with me.

Enter the little man and the big man and another bigger man dressed as an animal with big ears. Now say hello to the crying baby. Brad and Brooks met me at the gym which also serves as a restaurant/bar/hair salon/nursery/country club of sorts without the golf. Today the Easter bunny was visiting so we thought it would be the perfect time for Brooks to come meet his first furry, imaginative seasonal character. He'd rather crawl on pinecones I think per the not so cute pictures below.

After calming the baby and assuring him that he would never wake up to find an overstuffed bunny staring at him in his crib we headed to our first cook-out of the season. What a perfect afternoon! We ate yummy food, fraternized with friends we hadn't seen in awhile due to our brief stint in Savannah (of which several people didn't even know had happened....nice to be noticed, huh?), and enjoyed the sunshine to the fullest. Husband was so happy to be out and about that he threw a fit when I mentioned that we should maybe take the little guy home for a nap. He quickly jumped in to super dad mode and strolled him around the block until he fell asleep - just to be able to take in a little more sun (and maybe a beer and a cupcake or two!)

We finished the afternoon picking up the pine cones in the front yard and romping around with our shoes off. This is what Saturday's are supposed to feel like and I am just grateful that things were the way they should be today! I love making the most of a beautiful day! I hope your weekend was just as relaxing and rejuvenating.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


10 fingers, 10 toes,
10 fun months of watching me grow!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring time fun!

We had an impromptu play date today with one of Brooks' first and best friends. There are no better words to describe the joy my heart felt watching these two boys enjoy the sunshine. Thanks Emilie and Lee for coming over to see us today. We were spoiled by your visit!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chronicles of the Non-Nap

Every afternoon is a bizarre around our abode. Many of you know what I am talking about. The 1600 to 1900 hours used to be the biggest spectacle. The activities I've pulled out of my behind to entertain a curious young mind before bed time have even surprised me. Let's crumple newspaper! Hey Brooks, how fun is it to empty dad's underwear drawer on the floor and then put them all back and then do it again - 3 times! Anyone want to bang blocks together just to see how loud and annoying the sound can get as it roars through or few hundred square feet? Cool. Hey, Brooks - do you want to play in the tub with no water so I can atleast use the little girls room without you on my lap?

Well, thankfully, those days are getting a little easier because buffet boy likes to eat and within a 4 hour span he'll now eat about 3 times which takes up a majority of my used-to-be-creative-playtime. Now the new challenge awaits us. I'll give you a hint - it' starts with an "N" and ends with a "P" and usually doesn't actually happen thanks to new found skills and the development of a little person.

Yesterday while I was drinking a mimosa and getting my nails done playing my ephemeral tennis match Brad did a little afternoon babysitting. When I got home he told me that Brooks nearly gave him a heart attack trying to swing from the curtains in his room during his supposed "nap." I should have paid more attention because nothing seems to scare Brad when it comes to his son. He's a boy, he says, and needs some bruises and bumps to learn the ways of the world. Ouch. Today I got to see first hand just what he meant and I did jump to get my camera to make sure the entertainment was documented have a heart attack. Thankfully, for our worrisome followers out there I did not catch the first shot of him dangling from his turtle mobile like a trapeze artist at the circus. This boy has some talent, though, believe me!

I did, however, catch him as he attempted to play peek-a-boo with himself and the newly discovered custom made curtains [that don't belong to us]. He would have crawled up them had I not caught him and politely asked him to lay down [never will I say "no" again}.

I tip toed back down stairs and for 3 long minutes I heard nothing. I sat back in my chair, took off my shoes and began dreaming before my eyes even closed until the house began to shake violently. Amos jumped off his couch and we both raced up the stairs to find the crib gorilla shaking the railings of his caging with an eerily humorous smile. I don't know your politics on bumper pads but as the mom of a 1-day-shy-10-month-old I am so thankful for them! I am certain they have spared Brooks many goose eggs on his precious head. Once again, too much commotion this episode for any photography.

Attempt number 4 to curtail the afternoon N-A-P was more entertaining than harmful. This time I walked slowly up the stairs taking in the beautiful sound of a baby laughing at himself. Whether or not a nap is ever in our future again I will trade it for the belly laugh of any baby especially when just laughing at himself. If throwing your socks out of the crib is wrong than I don't want Brooks to be right. This, my friends, is the look of a proud chunky baby.

Because the baby is actually asleep or fooling me yet again I am actually going to use the quiet time and post some recent pictures. Please remind me to take as many pictures of this next little guy! I've yet to even take a belly pic or much less think about maternity clothes - though I need to - isn't it funny how different the 2nd surprises are from the first?? I vowed not to be that mom but I am that mom in every way. There's no other option with a 10 month old roaming around!

Brad's favorite part of a long day.....the night time bottle and snuggling that ensues.

You mean I'm getting to eat again? Swwweeeet!

Mom, do I use cold or warm water for the white laundry?

Doggie door = Baby door to freedom!

Un-nap time is quickly over - always too soon! I'm coming Mr. Brooks......

The weekends look a little different

I can't blame our 6-month-home. This winter has been cause for depression no matter where you live. There have been few days of sunshine like our normal winters here in the South coupled with triple the amount of snow or below freezing days. Alas, Spring has finally sprung (officially) and yet again.....I am watching the snow flakes fall on the back porch as I type! I'm just thankful to not have a day job this winter because I can sit inside while Brooks naps and clean and take care of things and watch the awful weather rather than have to get out in it every morning. Of course, maybe the alternative is worse - being stuck inside all day with little human interaction. Unfortunately, our 6 months in Savannah were mostly marked by just that and cloudy skies and unusually cold temperatures so we were unable to truly get out and enjoy the coast the way we had hoped. That doesn't take away from any of the lessons learned but it certainly contributes to many of the lessons on finding contentment even when the circumstances outside do not bring contempt.

Anyway, this weekend was one of the first absolutely perfect Saturday's that the metro area has seen in a long while. I think it is because we moved back and now mother nature is happy. Friday night we did as every other Atlanta resident and headed to the nearest patio serving cold drinks and Spring time laughter. Brooks ate for probably an HOUR while we conversed with other new parents and good friends and then Brooks and his buddy Whit went on some outdoor every boy should do on a warm afternoon.

Saturday we also did as every other Atlantan seemed to be doing....grill shopping! Who buys a grill on the first day of Spring? We do. I am sure there was a late night meeting at Home Depot to mark up all grills and patio furniture for the goobers like us that would put on our flip flops and head out Saturday to buy a grill at all costs. This is so against my usual need to find the best deal in town but it was sunny and I didn't care. Plus, hopefully a grill will help me out with some dinners at night since nothing can come between a man and his grill well, and a beer. Brad did a test run last night before he cooks for me this week because admitedly, he hasn't prepared a food item in over 2 years. I take good care of my sugar daddy.

Saturday afternoon was spent with our favorite South Georgia grandma. She came up just to visit the three of us and it was such a perfect visit! Brooks showed her how to swing and play at the park and he also showed her about every other trick he has mastered in the last 2 months - including tongue thrusting, bouncing, clapping at Amos and reminding him every 10 seconds that he is a "da" (dog). He loves his grandma and loves the undivided attention he got from the 3 of us that glorious afternoon. I was enjoying the day too much to take any pictures - I hate that and I am sure you do too because you are tired of reading the details of our weekend with out any visuals of the chubby baby.

Saturday night we had our first 4 unexpected but welcomed house guests. I love living in a place where visitors are often traveling through. If it were up to me there would be an open invitation all week long for anyone to come, stay, put their feet up, and eat a good meal. I love hosting people in our home and for the first time in a while we are enjoying feeling like we are "home." Even our last months in the condo in Atlanta were spent worrying over our next step so this was such a treat to all sit at the dinner table, eat together, literally break bread together and just relax. Brad asked what I thought the weekend in Savannah would have looked like and I think it would have been splendid - slightly warmer, sitting on the dock, enjoying a long walk BUT you can't put a price on a weekend full of friends and visitors! I was truly in heaven this weekend. Not to mention, I won my tennis match again yesterday - in the rain and wind. My tennis matches on Sunday are such a treat for a stay at home mom - I seriously feel for a few hours like I should do really naughty, unlawful things while I'm all alone. Should I be worried?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My tongue needs a zip-code

For some reason Brooks has either found or forgotten about that most powerful muscle in his mouth. For two days he has walked around with it hanging to his knees. Did he just discover that it is there or do the teeth on the bottom that are {finally} popping through feel funny and thus he needs to hang his tongue out at all times???

Drama King

Sidenote: There was no physical or emotional abuse prior to this supposed taping of Brooks eating pizza. He is treated like a king and has rarely heard the word "No" until tonight when he had 3 bites of pizza in his mouth. Trust me, after this, I will leave all discipline to the father of the house because I can't do it. I've been loving on him and feeding him ice-cream ever since. He may need some saving from a grandparent or two - since we are just so mean!

Best $5.95 lunch around

Brooks and I just ate lunch for $6. Actually, $6.37 with tax and I am feeling so frugal and full that I just had to share with my neighbors. The new FIGO opened on Peachtree Dunwoody last summer. It's a short hop for us to get over there for lunch with a friend and there is always parking - which is a "must" when there is a dependent human in tow. The staff even seemed to enjoy the destruction caused by the two little ones while the mommy's were attempting to converse.

I'm afraid I'll jinx myself by sharing this amazing find but it is worth it - even for a yummy, inexpensive lunch today. I am not sure if this is an everyday deal but it looked like an everyday lunch special - for $5.95 you get to pick two from a selection of soups, salads, or paninis. The best part - after I ordered the lady at the counter asked if I wanted sweet or unsweet tea! Ummm.....I'll have sweet with a lemon please! I don't know anywhere in town where you can sit down, be waited on and get a filling lunch WITH drink for six bucks!

Just for saving money I went and rewarded myself with some more Easter candy. Is it me or do I only talk about food on this blog these days? You can chalk that up to pregnancy - thank you. I only get 20 more weeks of a hearty appetite and then I am on a fasting of sorts - fasting from giving in to every craving and fasting from having unplanned children!

Let's go to lunch this week - call me! On my weekly lunch budget - I can eat at FIGO almost 4 times for lunch and feel like I got a real treat. Yay for good lunch deals in Atlanta!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


And that's all that matters, we got the W.
The rest of our team lost
But we got the W.

After driving to East-Bumble-Fudge
Forgoing the FRIED chicken the other team was eating before the match
Playing through the freezing rain
For 3 hours
And having my legs shake from weakness


I looked silly and my bloomers were hidden because it was not 60 and sunny as predicted but we WON.

I'll enjoy a celebratory ice cream tonight, thank you very much. Back in the game!

First day jitters

I have my first competitive experience today in many years. In my past life I was quite the competitor. I like to win and I like to work hard to win even if I am the only person who knew I actually won. Since my new LWK I have lost any competitive bone in my body and almost steered in the opposite direction succumbing to mediocrity and a little bit of carelessness when it comes to goals and personal performance.

Well in T minus 2 hours I am back in the game! I have my first ALTA tennis match today (thanks to Lauren in Orlando for getting me on a team in Atlanta!) and I am not as cool under pressure as I once thought. My legs were shaking all during church this morning and my hands have already started to sweat. It's not that I am that concerned about playing but more so, I am a little uneasy being Betsy-the tennis player rather than Betsy-the mom. I know that sounds pathetic, I admit, but rarely in the past 9 months have I been introduced in any other role than Betsy, the new mom of a chubby baby. As I may have mentioned last week, I was even a little out of sorts at practice - talking about tennis, and the weather, and Athens connections without even a mention of the snoozing, silly baby at home. I feel like I should wear a button with "I LOVE BROOKS" and his picture on my tennis outfit today. Worse, I feel like I am at a substance abuse support group meeting by just writing this post and my substance is my baby - Hello, my name is Betsy and for 10 months I have forgotten about the world around me and have turned to my baby for my every need. Please help me.

Okay so maybe it's not that bad but I am a little nervous. My new team is full of law school grads from UGA sans children (except for a few) and for the first time in my life I may actually have nothing to talk about unless somehow mashed bananas and sleep patterns can mix with billing hours and tribunals (help me, Charlsie, are those even "law things"?) I'm actually not even sure if 18 week pregnant women are legally allowed to play ALTA? Will my baby bump make me more feared or will it literally stick out like a target? Maybe my partner whom I've never met is so competitive that there will be no spare minutes to talk about unrelated topics like kids, future kids in the oven, and careers? I'd hate for her to treat me gently just because I was with child!

Anyway, what do I wear? I still have my bloomers from 7th grade with my name on the backside. You know, just in case someone calls me Betty or something - I can bend over and make sure they get it right next time. My tennis shoes have never been worn but they were purchased 5 years ago when I first thought I'd get back into the game. Do you think they'll do? Maybe I should go put some marks on them so I don't look like the girl who went out and bought brand new shoes on her first day of school. And as for attire - I think half the battle is just showing up prepared and dressing the part but my mom told me last week that people don't wear tennis skirts anymore - they wear tennis dresses. Ohhhhh. Well, I may just have to find something that can suffice as a tennis dress and wear my threatening bloomers beneath.

I gotta go stretch out and get my game face on. I told Brad that he and Brooks were not invited to the first match. I need to see how this whole competition thing goes for me after being out for nearly a year. Next time though I can't wait to have my intimidating baby and chiseled husband to show off. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rain rain make my wondering mind go away

Yesterday I spent the perfect morning and lovely {treated} lunch with one of my dearest and oldest friends. We moved a few times in my childhood so I don't have too many of those "we went to kindergarten" or "we were in the same 3 year old swim class" type close friends so this friend is truly one of my oldest - by time spent together not by age. The last 11 of my almost 30 years I have had my perspective and experiences heightened by this one friend and I am better for it - and I think she is, too. Anyway, there is something about being with someone that has known you in past stages {wondering lost as a freshman at UGA among a sea of pretty faces and seemingly much smarter and more accomplished people to yet again, wondering around Atlanta as a young professional trying to figure out what the real world was all about to years of career confusion} that just makes my mind start wondering and longing. The rain doesn't help matters. A few days of rain makes you think the sunshine might not ever come out again and makes for ample time to just dream and just long.

I long for simpler days and I know even in saying that there aren't simpler days to be found on this side of heaven. Somehow, looking back at past stages that I went through seemingly unscathed - makes me not remember the struggle or challenges that that season presented. I know many people right now would tell me that my life will never be more simple. I stay at home with a crawling little person - not yet walking all over and not yet talking every waking second. I don't have to wake up and be anywhere that requires me to get out of my pajamas. I have a hard-working, easy-going husband who really doesn't expect alot of me but an occasional dinner, and a smile when he comes home. We don't yet have a mortgage or college to pay for and everyone in both of our families is healthy. I am so grateful for all of the above but I still often feel paralyzed by my own inability to enjoy the present.

Last night after Brad had put the eating machine to bed I sat in the living room and with a few tears told Brad I really didn't want Brooks to get older. I can't imagine that one day we will only have our baby to look at in pictures rather than to actually hold on our chest. I can't imagine that one day his innocent attempts to "talk" will actually turn into real words and one day - those words could just hurt me or Brad. Mr. Brooks brings me so much joy throughout my apparently uncomplicated days. I love toting him around town as I attempt to busy my day and I love even more our alone time at home that no one else will ever know or experience - despite my attempts to document the good, bad, and ugly on here. Nothing else can make me naturally smile - without forcing it - the way Brooks does.

I say that and then in the very next paragraph I will say this. It is hard. Being a mom, in my case, a stay at home mom is a sacrifice. A few of you come to mind because you do this job with grace and whether it may not be the full story - I read your blog, I see your pictures and I often think that I am just not as good of a person because I do doubt. While 45% of my day is spent just giggling with the little guy {and not believing there will be another one to follow} the other portion is spent longing. I long for our short first 9 months of marriage where we would thoughtlessly leave the condo at 8:30 at night for the walk around the neighborhood - just Brad and I and the famous dog - chatting about what a family of children might feel like, where we would vacation next, and what shirt we were eyeing at JCrew. I long to be unfulfilled at my last real job because even though I was unfulfilled I don't remember that part - I remember the lunches with adults and the camaraderie with the fun people I worked with and wearing a suit and feeling like I had something to offer. I long to live in the Terrace with 3 other supposedly carefree girls while we cared about boys and their attention or lack there of - but we had a fun time all the while.

I don't long for any of this because it is any better than this season now. I know me so I know that when these two little kids are in grade school I will long to be less than 30 again- carrying around just one inquisitive little man. I think many of us would agree with this - life seemed more easily swallowed when there were less responsibilities yet I know it was not as rich either. I don't think anyone ever says we are ready to have little humans constantly under our watch so that we can constantly worry about them or atleast constantly have a hand on them thus allowing us never to have a "selfish" moment again. Nope, because even though sometimes that is how it feels being a mom [or a dad] the reward far outweighs the work. I look at my mom and my sweet mother in law. Oh my goodness, there isn't a thing in the world they wouldn't do for the very people that exhausted them, at time brought them to tears, and ultimately stole their last minute of uninterrupted-worry free sleep! At times I want to be there - in my glorious 50's just watching the successes and smiles of the children I gave my life to with a joy that can not be matched. But then again, I don't want to miss these moments. I don't want to miss Brooks laying his head on my shoulder as I walk him up the stairs at night singing Amazing Grace. I don't want to miss his toothless grin when he spots me from the babysitters hip as I come to pick him up at the nursery. I don't want to miss the belly laugh that has any other belly laugh beat. I think the more substantial the baby belly the more substantial the baby giggle.

I just need some older/wiser women to tell me it is worth it and it is hard. It isn't as perfect as everyone's pictures always seem. Being a parent is a sacrifice. What Brad would give, he says, to walk out the door at night to walk around the block and hold my hand the way we used to - just leaving Brooks to the watchful eye of the Amos dog. What I would give to just get in the car sometimes and drive to the store without the constant inclination to occupy the little ones mind in the back seat. Actually, I would probably give a lot of money but then when I was out by myself or as we walked around the corner we would both desperately miss the little guy that takes everything from us but gives us everything in return. Like I said, I am just needy and needing a daily message of affirmation that it IS hard and it IS selfless and it IS exhausting but it IS worth every ounce of sometimes frustration or tiredness - every single ounce.

I am grateful that God, my father in heaven, doesn't leave me with the dog when he gets a little tired and needing some space. Instead He seems to come closer and assure me that His love is unconditional and always available. I am grateful, too, that I am getting just a taste of the Fathers love for His children. To be able to raise and influence just one life I know will be the most gratifying thing I will ever do. Can you imagine having the whole world in your hands?

Question of the day

{Replies from any non-mothers are appreciated! Your comments are often the best solution - how is it that not having kids helps one to see things so clearly??}

How do you keep a 9.5 month old wiggling, flipping, turning, twisting acrobat from doing just that for merely 45 seconds while you change a brown filled diaper?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brooks lately

My tongue should have it's own zipcode.

Nise and I had a good time at my cousins birthday party. She wanted me to eat cake so bad but my mama wouldn't let me until my first birthday. Mom, you are so mean!

I was crawling around all over the place in order to keep up with the big kids!

And baby makes 4

Today was a surreal day. Partly surreal because grandma Nise mothered Brooks for about 11 of Brooks' 12 hour day. I haven't had a day like this since last April and it was enjoyable. I only fed my baby one bottle today and I only changed one diaper. In the meantime, I did crazy, unruly, sinful things. I ventured to the doctors office by myself and I may have danced on the doctors table with some mardi gras beads just because it felt illegal to be without the baby. Then I shopped for the perfect "i'm-really-pregnant-and-need-either-a-harido-or-a-hot-new-shirt-to-make-me-feel-good" shirt at the mall. Mama and Brooks came along but I wouldn't have known because I pretty much did my own thing. After the mall, mom and Brooks played on the floor while I attempted to nap in order to prepare for my kickboxing class - without the worry of Brooks in the nursery thus cutting the workout short. And finally Brad and I did the unthinkable. We went down the road to enjoy a dinner for two complete with an adult beverage for the father to be and an over sized dessert (mind you - the 3rd one of the day!) for the over sized pregnant lady.
Surreal, I tell you. I am in heaven and just feeling so relaxed and rejuvenated. I think a day without my favorite compadre once a week are quite essential. Hint hint.

Oh, I almost forgot.....we also found out whether or not Brooks would be a big brother or sister...I mean whether he'd have a baby brother or sister (I've been saying that all day!) and for brad and I - knowing the sex of the baby in the tummy makes the baby real. Until today I knew I was "pg" again, I felt it many weeks in Savannah as I cried and curled into a ball wishing the sickness would pass and lately I have felt it in my waste line but other than that we both literally forget there is an amazing life growing below the belly blubber. I know this is hard to believe but really, the poor 2nd baby is so easily forgotten already (and I vow to stop that today because I am real sensitive to birth order biasness). As of 2 hours ago as Brad and I sat and slowly ate our celebratory meal - reality has set in - we will have another babbling, drooling, pooting, giggling little baby in a few short months. CRAZY! It's kinda creepy, too, to know that we will be having a baby boy/girl (you'll have to keep reading) very soon. For instance tonight at dinner we started talking about what Christmas would like like in a few years and how Brooks would beat up his little sibling in the front yard on a hot summer day but one day he'll be the big brother he is - and literally go to bat for his best friend. Knowing the sex of this next baby allows us to dream and to imagine what life may start to look like. And not that it ever goes the way you think - but it sure is fun to sit and dream and allow the reality to hit us! We are thrilled that the 4th member of the family is healthy, heavy (8oz already), and happy! Any complications that once existed are now gone and that is really the biggest news. Praise God for His hand in this precious life even when our lives have been too hectic to even acknowledge what was going on.

So, here's how it went....I skipped to my appointment without the baby. I waited. I waited. I picked at my nails. They called me but only for that dang urine sample (sorry for the details - it just gets me every time....I get excited my name is call only to have to go back out and sit down!) So I wait and wait and text Brad that I am still waiting. Then my name is called beautifully by the Persian lab tech (literally, what a pretty way to say "Elizabeth") and I lay on her table for AN HOUR as she measured and calculated and smiled and made small talk....all the while not even commenting on some little boy parts or lack there of. Finally 53 minutes later she asked if I knew what I was having and as I said no she almost told me until I slapped her out of her chair onto the floor exclaiming that my husband would "kill me" if I knew before him. I picked her up and asked her to write it in an envelope. I then skipped home in the rain with my secret in tow. Grandma Nise was so anxious she wanted to go straight to Brad for the big reveal. I was just more excited to get to exercise that afternoon without Brooks that I couldn't think about the secret in the envelope. Plus, let's be honest - it's a weird thing once you find out because then there is no more "well, if it's a boy then they'll be best friends" or "if it's a girl we'll call her 'Penny' - seriously, Brad has been calling it "Penny-Betsy") - once you know, you know and there could be the death of a dream all in a quick second. Anyway, mama and I decided to let a bystander in on our surprise. Really, we just wanted to eat some chocolate. We asked the man at the American Cookie Company counter to open the envelope and decorate a cookie cake with the appropriate icing for the gender revealed in the envelope. Oh gosh, if you want to make random-Joe's day let him open your secret and decorate a cake for you. This guy was so stinkin excited and really wanted to just tell us the news but he obliged and made us a cake. We shopped, mom picked up the cake. Joe left a little colored icing on the box top so mom licked it off and secretly hated and loved that she already knew the news - or so she thought. A few hours later - husband and I went around the corner to eat dinner and find out our news. We opened the box, Brad screamed, I did a flip and then had a tear or two, Brad ripped his shirt off and beat his chest, and we ate cake and then ate dessert again because the restaurant offered us some champagne and a dessert of baby's choice. We texted our families and friends the news and we hugged and kissed and called Mark Richt to tell him that we'll have two little linebackers come August!!!!

The funny thing is mama was sure that the baby was a little girl because sneaky Joe left PINK icing on the box. Soooo clever! When we texted her she said we were crazy and she was shocked. How funny! I'll have to go back tomorrow and show Joe the pictures of the magic he created.

I'm officially outnumbered and will need weekly girls trips to get my nails done and eat girl food. I can't wait!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pretty much the perfect day

Everything is going to seem like peaches and cream for atleast a few paragraphs. If you have a 9 to 5 job you are going to hate me when you are done reading this so I apologize in advance. My heart is full and tired from this perfect Spring day and I think the world should know!

I woke up 30 minutes before Brooks starting babbling his dreams from the night to me from the confines of his crib. Those 30 minutes are the most splendid minutes of any day and some how they seem to go very slowly. Thank you, God.
I was able to eat my typical egg whites with a sprinkle of cheese and a whole wheat English muffin in peace. I even drank my half cup of coffee slowly and I held the glass in between just to let it warm my fingers. I read a soothing devotion and even checked in our finances since I am now in charge of meeting a budget. And, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, fed the Amos dog, and got to see a quick recap of the Oscar dresses on the morning news - all before even a whimper from the wee-man. Like I said, those 30 minutes alone are enough to qualify any day as a superb one but this day just kept going.

We'll bypass the morning because it doesn't make the story as pretty but come lunch time we were back on track. I ate a homemade turkey sandwich on hoagie bread - which just makes the sandwich out of this world! Try it! Then, I met a friend for an impromptu walk around the neighborhood. Hello sunshine! I was actually hot today. I was sweating and had to roll my long sleeves up. The constant sunshine on my face felt so inviting. So, we took the invitation and headed to the park in the neighborhood for some more play time in the sunshine. Brooks got to swing with one of his best buddies and I got to spend a little more unexpected time talking to an adult who happens to be a favorite friend - an added bonus! After our marathon afternoon in the sun we both headed home for a little nap. For once, I was actually able to fall asleep - the puddle of slobber on my arm being the proof. After the much needed shut eye we received yet another unexpected phone call with an invitation to the dog park. When we lived in Atlanta before we made a trip to the "dp" about every afternoon. It sounds crazy, but some of my dearest friends were found at the dog park. Amos was on his absolute worst behavior in heaven running around greeting his old friend and Brooks and I enjoyed seeing our old buddies and getting yet another stroll in for the day. We came home to a casserole I had made earlier in the day. Tomorrow I will video Brooks eating his 2nd helping of casserole. You have no idea - the grunting and kicking this boy can do when his tummy starts telling him he has found something good. OH MY GOODNESS!

And this deserves it's own paragraph. As I write at 9:16 PM my favorite husband is venturing out to get us a sweet treat. The baby needed something sweet to top off the perfect day and Brad loves to make the baby happy. I can't wait to see what he brings back! Could this day have been any more enjoyable? (Maybe, had I not finished the peanut butter M&M eggs last night because they had been a good mid-day snack. And, maybe had Amos not eaten the entire weeks worth of Board Head Turkey from the counter as I was on a walk. And maybe if the Bachelor was still on tonight. But otherwise, there is nothing I would have added to this perfect Spring day!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunny and close to 70

I'll take one of those please! Or maybe 3 or 4 in a row if that isn't asking too much?
I can feel the jitters of everyone in Atlanta as we wait patiently for the temperature to make it's slow climb tomorrow. Don't you just love that first real Spring weekend where everyone - I mean everyone - is out running pointless errands with the windows down, sporting their dusty flip flops, and finding any reason to just get outside? Well, it's going to be one of those kind of weekends I can tell. I remember visiting Piedmont park (aka- the place of every 3rd couple in Atlanta's my engagement) with Brad last March. We both sat mesmerized and entertained watching all of Atlanta's finest and craziest frolic around in their shorts and sundresses. I bet you were there, too, because there wasn't a soul inside the Perimeter not showing off their dog and their bare legs at the park on that first warm March weekend. Well, it looks to be that weekend again if our trusty weather man has his way and I couldn't be more pleased and anxious.

Brooks and I have been going to the park everyday since we moved back as though the sun would shine on us a little brighter if we did. Rarely did it and nearly everyday I end up running home with a crying baby in tow - looking quite negligent if you ask me. Finally, Mr. Brooks - I tell you no lies, you can experience the joy of the park sans the frigid wind and crippling temperatures. Your mama's gonna treat you good this weekend and maybe even take you to Brewsters just because she's always wanted to take her kiddos to get ice-cream on a sunny day and she just can't wait any longer. Life's short - 9 month olds need ice cream!

Anyway, this post is random and probably a waste of your 2 minutes so I apologize. My mind started racing on the many ways I would get my season's worth of vitamin D this weekend and I had to get you readers on board too and hopefully stir a little emotion! So, get excited - come Monday there should be many a cute picture of a plump little boy, a well groomed dog, a worn out husband, and a rather un-appetizing pregnant lady from their adventures in the sun over their first real Spring weekend in their new-old city! I-scream, you-scream, we all scream for ice-cream and warmer weather!

P.S. - The Office has a baby tonight and I am so thrilled. This isn't trash tv like The Bachelor. This is good for you, smart t.v. Lastnight I dreamt that Jim was interested in me. Not lusting or anything - just fascinated by me. I told Brad about this dream and he didn't really care to hear about it but I think it's funny. Then two nights ago I dreamt our baby was Jim's but Brad didn't care in the dream - he was happy that Jim was the dad. I don't have a super star crush on Jim so I don't understand these series of events but I do look forward to waking up in the mornings just to see what Jim and I may have been up to the night before. Don't worry Mr. Brad - I day dream about you and our baby and our beautiful life together all day long. I only have eyes for you. Bottom line - I can't wait to get under my favorite wedding gift - a perfectly weighted Ralph Lauren blanket, with a cup of hot tea, and sink into my oversized chair tonight to watch the birth of my favorite t.v. show's baby with zero distractions. Gotta go.....starting now!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have a good feeling about March. As you know, I love months that start on a Sunday or Monday. It just seems fitting. Everything about everything felt like a fresh start yesterday (well, until I ruined my brain with mindless t.v. for 3 hours last night!). We bought a new refrigerator Sunday after running all over the city to try to make a decision. It was delivered yesterday morning and I had this fresh-new feeling about having a fresh-new-spotless refrigerator. I won't lie - I would much rather spend too much money on other things but it did feel good to open the side by side doors and see not a drop or morsel of residue from months of use. Then, yesterday afternoon after Brooks and I made the "we just moved and have not even a stick of butter in the pantry" type shopping trip (which is quite refreshing in itself to start anew even with the condiments that had to be bought) we went to the park down the street. Brooks didn't have on a coat so I looked like the negligent mother that I am but nonetheless, we had fun playing in the sandbox, swinging, and riding a car around the sidewalk. Even though as I type it is snowing out every window - yesterday was just a glimmer of hope of the spring weather that is to come. I love March for that reason...warmer temperatures are sure to head our way.

Last night I also cooked my first dinner in our new kitchen. It feels so good to cook in a new place - and I enjoyed it all the more just knowing I hadn't used any of the appliances before. Can we say easily pleased? I am fully in charge of making sure we meet our budget this month so I felt like cooking in on the first night of the month was a great way to kick start a month of eating in....well, atleast more than usual. Well, after dinner and in between commercials from the television show that Brad and I so shamelessly watched last night - we read Proverbs. That sounds fitting doesn't it. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and crazy enough - 31 days in March so we thought it a novel idea to read a chapter a night and have a little marital discussion. I like fresh new starts and I was happy to spend this time with Brad but the irony of last night is that chapter 1 is all about discipline and unfortunately, discipline was nowhere to be found in our house yesterday - on the first day of March. It's Easter season and I just had to buy Brooks my favorite Easter candies since they are only around seasonally. Well, a half a bag of Cadbury Milk Chocolate mini eggs later and no workout accomplished - I was feeling quite icky reading about discipline. Not to mention, I couldn't have turned from the awful tv show we have followed for a season now to do something more productive if my life depended on it! So, discipline begins today - on this 2nd day of March. I WILL EXERCISE DESPITE THE SNOW OUTSIDE AND THE CADBURY EGGS IN MY BELLY. I WILL.

So, here's to March and a new house, and a new job, a new refrigerator (and hopefully grill soon!), a new park and neighborhood to explore, a new trimester, 31 chapters of Proverbs, and a new mischievous baby who has discovered that crawling actually takes him to places he wants to go and then he can pull things out on the floor and as long as he doesn't cry and is occupied- his mommy doesn't care. I love new beginnings!

Monday, March 1, 2010