Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home | An evening with The Little Engine That Could

I had to laugh a little as I sat on the floor of our bedroom, my huge stomach filling my lap, meticulously taping Sebastian's favorite book back together. We often leave books and toys in Seb's crib for him to play with/look at while he falls asleep or after he wakes up. A few days ago, I peeked through the crack of his door to see if he had fallen asleep yet, and what did I find, but a peaceful little babe lying on his back, studying a single page intently, all the others littered about him. He didn't really mean to destroy it, and felt quite bad about it, the poor little guy. Since then, he's been begging me to read The Little Engine That Could to him, but it was so torn up, I couldn't have possibly known where to start. All is well now, though, since I finally bought some tape, and tomorrow we'll read it again (and again and again and again) and remember not to leave it in his crib. Perhaps we should invest in the board book version... I love my life.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seb | The party

We had a wonderful time celebrating Seb's birthday with a few friends gathered around desserts and tasty punch, watching Seb learn to say he's two, and playing, of course, with his train set. Oh, and what birthday party would be complete without some homemade funfetti cupcakes!?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seb | What birthday morning brings

Late last night, I snuck into Sebastian's darkened room and set up his brand new Ikea train set. Cody came in to see the finished product and we collectively ooed and awed over it, Cody testing the whole track, until we just about woke Seb up.

Needless to say, Seb's first words this morning were "dhoo dhoo!"

Seb | Two years ago

Two years ago (TWO!), at 4:24 a.m., we met our precious Sebastian. He was so unfamiliar to us, so unknown, but so deliciously cute. I can't believe we've been so blessed and privileged to get to know his little soul, his personality, his goofy ways, his laugh, his smile, and so many other sweet little things that make Seb more marvelous than we could have ever dreamed he would be. What would we do without him? Happy birthday, dear boy. You couldn't be more loved.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Little One | Aden & Anais, and the one reason I wish I had an iPhone

I had my 36 week prenatal appointment at the birth center yesterday morning, which means that I also got to peek into the boutique and ooo and ahh over all the lovely goodies. Lately, they've had a huge Aden & Anais display right as you walk through the door, and I was seriously tempted to spend a chunk of birthday change on a blanket for the baby. Cody got me a single layer, organic one for Christmas last year, and it has been so wonderful to use for Sebastian. He always wants me to cover him up before he sleeps, but HELLO!, it's like 80 degrees in his room. With this super thin blanket, I can cover him without him getting too hot. So basically, I've always been in love with Aden & Anais, but I'm more convinced now that I have one of their products, that they're the best, and can't wait to get my hands on some more.  One of my favorite blankets is the Super Star Scout in blue, but I can't find any place to buy one individually online. The boutique has one, though! Shopping in the flesh is just so much better sometimes. 

So where does the bit about the iPhone come in? Well the display was so lovely, I just wanted to take a little snapshot of it, but one just doesn't lug around an SLR for jobs such as this. Quality photos need to be taken, but how fun is it to be able to document a moment in time, even if the quality isn't so great? Someday, perhaps, they'll make an "iCamera" just for me.

P.S. I got a lot off track... the main reason I wanted to post about Aden & Anais was to tell you that they carry crib sheets now! Liam the Brave is so sweet.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Nightstand, VOLUME ONE

I’d like to start sharing with you, with some regularity, the books that I’m reading. I won’t promise that what I write will be actual book reviews, or anything terribly inspirational, but I’ve been loving what I’ve been reading, and it seems a shame to not at least mention some things I’ve learned and thoughts that have arisen from the pages I’ve read. I would love for this to be a place for you to share about what you’ve read as well, or if you’ve blogged about the pile on your nightstand, drop me the link so I can check it out.
If you’ve been following my sidebar, you’ll see that I’ve been a little heavy on the birth/child rearing books. I’ve never in my life enjoyed this type of book before, but I’ve been soaking up all the information I can get my hands on in preparation for this baby. After he’s born, I think I’ll lighten up on them, though, and get into some good novels. I do love novels, and miss them. Captains Courageous will eventually be completed, but I feel like I’m in a race against time to learn what I need to about breastfeeding and birth. So Captain, you’ll have to wait a bit longer, I’m afraid. Then I think I might pick up some Austen or Helprin to celebrate the birth of my little one.
Now to the books, shall we? First off, I would highly recommend all the birth/parenting/breastfeeding ones I’ve read so far. Some I don’t agree with entirely, but they’ve opened up new thoughts about birth and breastfeeding and pregnancy. Creating with God: The Holy Confusing Blessedness of Pregnancy, helped me to have a deeper appreciation for what my body is doing in making a little child, and Energetic Pregnancy was invaluable in helping me understand how ones personality can positively and negatively affect ones approach to pregnancy and birth, and gives one tools to harness ones talents and overcome ones struggles.
The Birth Book was recommended to me by a friend who had a very positive birth experience with her son, and said this book helped her be very prepared. I had been wanting to read it for a while, but was never able to get my hands on a copy until a few months ago. I felt that it took a very balanced and common-sense approach to birth, and was extremely insightful. This is definitely my favorite general book on birth and worth reading, even if you’ve already had a baby.
My most recent read, and one that has sparked a lot of questions in my mind, was The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I think I can safely say that this book has been both the most challenging and insightful for me as I prepare to start breastfeeding again. And to think I almost didn’t read it! I really thought, “Hey! I nursed Sebastian for a whole year. I don’t really need to read a book about it.” Boy was I wrong. In reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I was able to identify at least a dozen things I did wrong that led to the struggles I had while breastfeeding Seb. It was difficult not to feel bad about things I should have done better with Seb, and for that reason, I think it would be especially difficult for a mother to read who had wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t. I didn’t feel that the book was unjust towards mother’s who haven’t breastfed, but they clearly lay out (about a million times) how much better breast milk is for your baby, and when you keep hearing that over and over again, it would be difficult not to feel bad about bottle feeding, even if it wasn’t by choice. As mothers, we want the best for our children, and even though I was blessed to nurse Sebastian for a year, I finished the book feeling bad that I hadn’t nursed him for two! But maybe that is just me. Regardless, the book brought up a lot of questions in my mind about my approach to breastfeeding, specifically in regards to frequency (On demand? For comfort? Scheduled?). For this reason, I picked up a copy at the birthing center today of Ina May Gaskin’s book, Babies, Breastfeeding, and Bonding, in hopes that I will learn more about the on demand breastfeeding approach and be able to make a more educated decision about what is right for my family. I feel like I know the arguments for weaning early and having a set schedule, but I’m not very familiar with the other ones that attachment parenting recommends. I hope to give you some more thoughts on the subject when I finish Gaskin’s book. Here's a quote from the introduction, in case you're interested: "My purpose is to empower women so that they have a real choice about whether or not to breastfeed. You may choose to breastfeed without knowing enough to have a good chance at succeeding, and that, to my mind, seems only a very limited 'choice.'" I say "amen" to that.  So while I uncover what Gaskin has to say about breastfeeding, I’d love to hear if there was a specific book on the subject that was particularly helpful to you or even just what your approach to/method of breastfeeding is (or was!).
So much to think about, but don’t you just love books? Now it's your turn. Go!

P.S. Some interesting articles regarding breastfeeding, childbirth, and attachment parenting (1/2/3) posted on Marvelous Kiddo today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seb | Just because my sister took lots of pictures with my camera

Joanna is our budding family photographer, and took advantage of having my nice camera in the house. She got some really cute shots of Seb with my mom and youngest brother that I thought were too sweet not to share.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Home | Mary turns... two?

Yesterday was my 25th birthday. We had a family party at my parent's house, per tradition, but this year, it was a little different. The decorations weren't pretty flowers and a feminine tablecloth, but Thomas and Friends with a matching cake. Sebastian's birthday is just 11 days after mine, so we decided to smoosh them together, and the result was all things 2 year-old-boy, which we loved. It seemed like we were all young again. And let's face it, all I cared about was getting my requested coconut cream pie made by my mom. (I got it and it was delicious).

It was so fun to make Seb a crazy themed cake, too, with the helpful assistance of my youngest sister Joanna. Growing up, mom always went all out to make us themed cakes, and I hope I can carry on the tradition with my kids. I think we're off to a good start.

So here's my birthday post, and it's all about Seb. I will tell you, though, that I got some pretty Saltwater sandals from Cody, among other great things from my parents, and that just about made my day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seb | Visiting auntie

We traveled to visit Cody's sister this morning, and Seb had the best of times. Well, as far as I know. I totally slept on the couch the entire visit. Guys, I'm struggling. This baby is zapping all of my energy. At least Cody and Seb were sociable, and it was fun to see Anna in her new apartment, giving Seb a bike ride, blowing bubbles, and looking at the cars out the window.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Husband | Three years

Three years, two babies, and one happy lady.

I know this is kind of an odd photo choice for an anniversary post, but I picked it because it shows so well just what I love about being married to Cody and how I love the everyday with him. He is one of the most selfless people I know, never hesitating to change every single dirty diaper, feeding Seb breakfast, taking him outside in these days when I can barely walk 3 feet without getting winded, looking totally smokin’ in his new glasses, and always keeping a scruffy face just for me (unless I accidentally shave one of his sideburns off...). He is mellow when I’m flipping out, and laughs at my jokes, even the self-deprecating ones that fly out of my mouth with reckless abandon during pregnancy (I know this sounds bad, but seriously, I feel better when I’m frank about how I feel, even If I don’t look the way I feel). He is the best dad and the best husband, and I am so blessed to have him as the leader of our family, and can’t to see what the future years hold.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Seb | A lunch date at The Greene

Look at how lazy I'm getting... stealing pictures from my mother-in-law! Well she does take some good ones, and it's fun seeing pictures through someone else's lens every once in a while.

Our days in Hillsdale are behind us now, and we are spending the week with my family. But on the way down this morning, we stopped to meet Cody's parents and sister and have lunch with them. It was loads of fun and wore Sebastian out. It's so exciting to see the joy he gets from being around family and to watch him light up when he spots them coming towards him.

In other news, the baby has dropped! Sebastian was born just 11 days after he dropped, but I'm really hoping it takes a bit longer this time around, because 11 days would be the 23rd, and that's the day we return to Durham. Oh the suspense.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Travel | Hillsdale buds of the mini variety

Joey and Seb enjoyed a little playtime with Seb's new Charley Harper nesting blocks, compliments of Auntie Bekah, while us mamas enjoyed snapping a few photos of our cuties. We love you, Joey!

Our week in Hillsdale is coming to a close, but this weekend will be packed with lots of visiting with some dear friends and making the most of the time left. Posting will continue to be limited because we're using my computer for Seb's noise machine, and since this kid sleeps like he's getting paid for it by the hour, it's not very available for my use. It's a nice break, really, but I hope to pop in with some photos now and then.