31 October 2011


LE was a big, scary (ok, super cute, cherry on top, drooling) cupcake at her baby Halloween party yesterday. 

 Watch out or I'll get you with my big sloppy kisses!
(Thanks for the costume, Auntie Sarah!)

These days our latest activities end by 5:30pm, and the only parties we get invitations to are from 1 year olds.  Who knew having a 5 month old would equal such a booming social calendar...from birthdays, to holiday parties, to baby happy hours.  Oh and my favorite yet, the Engineer taking LE to Chucky Cheese.  

LE, you have managed to turn your lazy, introverted folks into some bizarre form of socialites!  Just the other day I had a pregnant mom approach me because she heard I organize a mom group.  The Engineer and I just looked at each wondering how I became the go to mom in our complex?  I mean literally we lived here for 2 years pre-LE and not ONE single person ever talked to us.  I guess we were meant to do this baby thing...and, therefore, we'll have to have more.  But not for a really, really long time!  Just in case you were wondering, we are on a Engineer finish school before we can even say the word "baby making" timeline. 

Forget "boo", "baby making" is way more scary this Halloween!

29 October 2011

the week

It's been a White House and poop in the tub kind of week.

LE and I ventured downtown with another mommy friend and baby.  We had fun showing our little ones the sights and really just getting out of the house.  Then the Engineer and I were invited to do a tour of the West Wing.  It was scheduled for after LE's bedtime, so I almost skipped out, but at the last minute I decided to be brave and leave my sweetie pie for our first evening "date".  Being a stay at home mom is awesome, but it makes it hard to ever get away.  I love LE to pieces, but sometimes I miss how carefree and lazy the Engineer and I used to be.  We'll have it back in a decade or two and then we'll probably miss the chaos of our kiddos. 

On a less significant note, LE pooped in the tub twice this week.  There's always those moments when she makes her strained pooped face in the tub and I think "Oh crap don't do it."  And she never did, until this week.  Apparently the relaxing warm water gets things a moving. 

Isn't she looking so big?  My little baby is growing up.  Well not too much, I guess, since she poops in the tub!

24 October 2011

one fell off and bumped her head

I'm feeling like a bad momma today.  While watching my neighbors son, I proped LE up in the corner of the couch and a few minutes later I heard a thud followed by screaming.  I remember my mom telling me every baby eventually falls off a couch or a bed.  But I thought, why would that happen?  Once LE is rolling I'll just make sure I put her in safe places.  And even though I knew it wasn't smart, I left her in the corner of the couch for just ONE minute.  Turns out I'm just like everyone else, I'm no super mom...

Becoming a parent certainly helps you extend grace to your own parents. Before being a parent you talk about all the ways you'll do it differently and after becoming a parent you realize your parents were trying really hard, but they too were human.

I also set off the fire alarm making pot roast and paid several hundred too much for new tires today.  My Engineer, being the kind soul he is, told me "It's just a Monday."  He also said he was glad LE fell off the couch on my watch that way he won't feel so bad when it happens to him.  I appreciate his grace for all my Monday mishaps.

In good news, the weekend went well, so I'm feeling more confident about travel again.  Here's some pics of trip:

LE is such a great air traveler. 

A big fan of the window seat!

Papaw has the magic touch for putting LE to sleep.

Lovin on grammy.

Our family sans brother. 

19 October 2011

a little too ironic, yeah, i really do think

So, I told EVERYONE that we were on a traveling hiatus this month.  And we especially were not going to go to OHIO.  The thought of traveling causes me anxiety.  It was traveling that kicked off this whole "LE not sleeping" thing; and therefore, traveling is no longer my friend. 

And then life said, "Hey you, get over yourself.  You're going to Ohio!"

Looks like we're going to Ohio for my grandmother's funeral.  Fingers crossed it'll be a good thing.  It's making the Engineer take some time off of work and will hopefully be a nice get-a-way, family bonding sort of trip.

On a side note, LE has actually slept through the night a couple of times!  She'll throw us a bone and then go back to her old ways of waking up every a hour or two.  Please, what is the magic combination, dear child of mine?!  But, nonetheless, there's light at the end of the tunnel.  And again, the baby minimalist me is being a huge hypocrite and doing everything possible to replicate LE's sleep arrangements in Ohio.  Money I will spend and stuff I will collect, if it gives me any hope of LE sleeping well.

Oh the irony.

17 October 2011

my grandma

You know what the best thing about a grandma is...they say the darnedest things.  Just like a little child, they say exactly what pops into their head.  No beating around the bush, just the honest truth. (remember this post?)

When the Engineer met my grandma she was in the ER on a bed (took a fall off some steps on her way to our house).  She looked at him and said in a very matter of fact tone "I thought you'd be taller."  The next time she saw him (she was home and sitting up) she told him "You've grown!  You're very handsome."  Perspective, I guess, changes things for both a grandmother and a child.

I love how simply my grandmother thought.  She truly had a childlike faith.  I remember her telling me that Jesus didn't actually drink wine, it was really just grape juice.  I just agreed with her...what would be the point in discussing cultural contexts and historical facts?  She also had an amazing ability to forgive others and love in spite of their sins.  I'm always setting boundaries and protecting myself and family from being hurt, and even though I think my choices are mostly healthy, I admired my grandmother's ability to let go and love. 

Last night she met her creator.  And I know without a doubt that she was filled with a childlike excitement when she saw Him.

Betty Coleman
04/27/1934- 10/16/2011

14 October 2011

ppd revisited

So before we get into the depressing stuff (yes, I mean that literally), lets have an "awwwww, she's so cute" moment...

(Thanks for making LE a personalized onesie, Angela!) 

I don't really want to dwell too much on the topic, but I figured an update was in order.  Last week was a bit rough in our house.  LE is acting a bit like a newborn at night for the last several weeks and it finally caught up with me.  I started to feel my post partum depression symptoms return.  It starts with anxiety, moves into insomnia, and depression follows.  Luckily I was able to acknowledge it and work towards moving on, again.  It's two steps forward and one back, right?  For the most part when I have a bad day or week I know that I just need to push through it and things will pass in a few days.  Last week a sleep aid help me get back on track. 

It seems that the question people ask me most in person is if I had to take any medication to help with my PPD.  And the answer is YES.  I've never taken an anti-depressant before, but I also never had to take care of a baby 24/7 before.  When my PPD hit I felt like I couldn't just press through it on my own, because I needed to be happy for LE and to be able to take great care of her.  So, when the doctor suggested an antidepressant  my first thought was "Will this effect my breastmilk?" and once I was reassured it was safe I decided it was the right move for me at that time.  Although, it hasn't been medication alone that has helped me...as you've noticed through my blog posts.

The thing about entering into motherhood is that life is no longer just about you.  Even when I married the Engineer life was still essentially about me.  I could nap when I wanted to nap, eat when I wanted, sleep in, take my good ole time getting ready for the day; sure there's the money thing and learning to live with someone else, but for the most part we were both pretty self centered.  Now everything is pretty much on LE's terms.  I have lost complete control over sleep.  I sleep when she does and wake when she does.  And it's that loss of control that threw me off the most and caused me so much anxiety.  I'm learning to let go and appreciate the lessons God is teaching me on becoming less self centered and more patient. 

What I have found most helpful recently is praying while I'm putting LE to sleep (which can be a long process).  If I pray for her and the Engineer, it tends to melt any frustrations I have towards them and helps me to be a more loving mother and wife.  This has also made my toughest time of the day a more enjoyable time, a time for reflection. 

There you have it.  Everyday is not always pretty, but 'big picture' life's looking much better.  If you're a fellow PPD momma, it can be tough and scary, but hang in there and get the help you deserve!

09 October 2011

stuff, it's everywhere

Once upon a time we were baby minimalists...

And then stuff happened.  One borrowed item, one gift, nothing purchased, but some how everything has been gathered in what seems like every corner of the shoebox.  (and a very big sincere thank you to the family and friends who have given/loaned all these items to us).  The Engineer told me the other day as he carried the exersaucer into our home, that the pre-baby Julie would hate the current baby-clutter-Julie.  True, but reality has hit and trying to keep a baby happy and entertained all day leaves me stuck with...well stuff, because it turns out it's a harder job than I ever realized. 

08 October 2011

that's how we do dessert

Last weekend when Auntie Sarah was here...

And we made and ate this beast of a dessert...

It includes a brownie base, followed by a layers of peanut butter, milk chocolate, peanuts, vanilla ice cream, more peanut butter, nuts, and chocolate, and finally whip topping with a cherry on top!

I encourage you to treat yourself to one of these.  Or better yet, come visit me and I'll treat you to one!

04 October 2011

3 years and 1 baby later

Happy Anniversary to my favorite guy!

The Engineer and I were married in Ohio at a State Park called "Ash Cave".  It's one of my favorite places to go hiking.  I'm looking forward to taking LE there for a visit someday soon.  We had a small wedding with our closest family and friends.  It was simple and perfect, all in one.

It's fun to reminisce about your favorite memories.  My wedding day and LE's birth are at the top of my list, followed by our trips to Rockport, MA, the Mediterranean, and our honeymoon in Mexico.  We keep a goal book to track what our dreams and hopes are and then record them as they come true.  Traveling has a significant section in this book.  Since many of our fondest memories have been on trips we hope to take LE (and future children) on lots of fun adventures.  LE is was one of our dreams in our book and I'm so thankful she came true.  When a goal/dream comes true we write that in there as well.  It helps look back and see how good God has been to us.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
-Psalm 37:4

Well, since I can't hang out with you today (stupid grad school), I guess a blog post to you will have to do! 

I love you, Engineer!