Monday, November 30, 2009

"I Like Your Baby, Honey!"

The Friday before Thanksgiving, (November 20th), my Grandma Meyer passed away. At 96, she lived a very good and very full life.

On the coattails of Thanksgiving, I was able to reflect perhaps more than I would have under normal circumstances, about how thankful I was for her life, and my own. I am so thankful for every day we had with my Grandma. For the sweet way she would ask me, "What do you know, Johanna?" for the way she pointed out the birds from her chair, or commented on my outfit; especially when it was pink, her favorite color by far. But maybe what I am most thankful for, is that she was able to meet Marin.

My Grandma had Alzheimer's, and although it wasn't the worst case known to man, it was pretty advanced in the last few years. She didn't always remember that she had met Marin before, or what her name was, or even necessarily always connect that Marin was her great granddaughter; but I know she loved her all the same. I was asked to give my Grandma a eulogy at her funeral last week. And in the eulogy I said how much my Grandma lit up around Marin. She loved to hold her and watch her play. And every time she saw her, she would lean in close to me, touch my arm sweetly and say, "I like your baby, honey." I hope that I never forget the way she said that.

Marin's first Thanksgiving was a happy one. We went to my Grandma and Grandpa Martin's home for Thanksgiving. My Grandma and Grandpa Martin are 89 and 91 and continue to insist on preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people. And it is all fresh, beautiful food prepared from scratch and served at the loveliest of tables. I am very thankful to be able to return to that table year after year. Everyone should be so lucky to have grandparents like my Grandma and Grandpa Martin. They are the absolute best!

And I am thankful for the people who shared our tables this weekend. My parents, who are always wonderful to Jason and I, have been so especially this year, as we have been renovating our house. My brother and his wife, my in-laws, and sister in law, Lindsay, have all helped us at every turn that was humanly possible. My Aunt and cousins were all in for my Grandma Meyer's funeral, and although that wasn't under the best of circumstances to see one another; it was so fun to be together- along with my Uncle, my parents and Jake and Katy- celebrating Grandma's life and recounting all the times she made us laugh.

I am thankful for my friends. You are one in a million. I am thankful for the many, many laughs we share.

I am thankful for our home, and for as perfect a move as possible. I am thankful for every bit of sweat that has been poured into our home. For every worker (friend or hired) who has passed through the door and has taken pride in the work that they have completed. I am especially thankful to Jason for literally bleeding love into our home. For working every single free second he has on building a beautiful home for our family.

And of course, I am thankful for my little angel love, Marin. Who has brought so much joy to everyone in the past few weeks. Babies should be a requirement at every funeral. It should be part of the package sold to you by the funeral directors. Because there is just no match for their innocent smiles, and their unwavering comfort, and their boundless love.

I feel very blessed. For the life I live and the people I share it with past and present. And I am thankful for the phrases like, "I like your baby, honey!" that make me smile again and again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nine Months Old!

9 Month Stats:
18 lbs.9 oz.
27 inches long

Marin was nine months old on Sunday. She's changing every day. We had a doctor's appointment today and are proud to report that Marin is growing perfectly. Best news a mom can ever receive. Here are a few of this months developments:

- Marin's favorite toys of late are her wooden blocks. They were Uncle Jake's, actually, and Grandma saved them for her someday grandchildren. We're so glad that she did; Marin loves them. They are brightly colored and are all different shapes. Marin especially loves the short round pieces, because they fit perfectly in her hands and the tops of them fit into her mouth. She likes to play with the blocks for a while, and then she carries the round ones with her around the room.

- Marin still does not have a single tooth. She gums on just about everything for relief.

- She is beginning to eat a few bigger pieces of food. Even though she is all gums, she can still chew food with her gums if it is soft enough. We all eat dinner together, and when Marin sees our food, she makes a chewing motion with her mouth like she wants a bite. We have given her pieces and she does a pretty good job. I'm totally petrified that she's going to choke though.

- Marin is "cruising" all over the place. She walks very well while holding onto the furniture, nearby hands or legs, Norah's back- anything she thinks will steady her enough to get her where she wants to go. She looks a little like a monkey sometimes. One hand on the chair while she walks along looking for the next spot where she can grab. I predict that she'll be walking on her own by next month.

- Marin stands on her own for short periods of time. The longest I have seen her stand is about 30 seconds.

- Marin continues to LOVE music. As soon as it plays she starts moving and dancing. She loves to dance.

- She loves jewelry. 'Atta girl, Marin. She loves anything that sparkles and she pulls on earrings and necklaces. We are constantly saying, "Marin, gentle." She loves playing with the heart charm at the end of my bracelet, and tries to put it in her mouth.

- Marin does not want to stop moving. Ever. Gee, I can't imagine where she gets that from. :)

- She's in a bit of a carseat boycott stage. Once she is in she doesn't make a peep, but she pitches a bloody fit going in. I usually try to distract her by singing a song or making some crazy noises accompanied by ridiculous facial expressions. That usually does the trick.

- Marin is a good little sleeper. Jason jokes that she gets this from her Aunt Lindsay. She goes right to sleep at night when we lay her down, and I usually have to wake her up the next morning to go to daycare. The two times we have let her sleep in, she has slept until almost 9am! She did go through a little phase where she would wake up at night and want her pacifier again, but the whole ordeal took about 30 seconds. Sometimes her eyes weren't even open. She does sometimes fight her naps a little bit. This she definitely gets from me. I hate naps. Always have; always will.

- Marin says "dada" a lot. I think she has even said it with recognition a few times. She definitely knows who "dada" is when we say it to her. She gets very excited. Of course I'm the one who bathes her, feeds her, clothes her, birthed her, and keeps a journal of it all... and she says "dada" like its going out of style. :) She has also said what sounded like "hi" twice, and she did actually say mama once a long time ago, but she was just mostly making noises.

- She also waves goodbye. She does this to me most mornings when I drop her off at daycare. It breaks my heart.

- Marin has little interest in the sippy cup. She wants to drink out of a "real" cup. It is a bit messy, but we still let her on occasion. I think mostly the cold water pooling on her gums feels good when she drinks out of a cup. We'll keep trying.

- Marin's easy going, happy personality is in tact. She really lets anyone hold her at any time. She does sometimes reach for me when someone else is holding her and I am close by, but she really doesn't fuss about it. In fact, we can go whole days without hearing any tears or fussing.

We have a big month ahead; including Marin's First Thanksgiving, moving into our new house and Marin's new room, and picking out her first Christmas Tree!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"I've Never - Mommies Edition"

If you were born between the years 1965 and 1990, you've played (or at least heard of) the game "I've Never". Those of you who say you haven't, are either lying or are boring.

For what I'm guessing is decades, college students across this great country of ours have sat in tiny crowded dorm rooms with a case of the cheapest beer they could convince someones older brother or sister to buy, to play "I've Never"; the game where you drink too much and share too much- both on purpose. One person says something that they supposedly never did, and if you have done that thing, you drink. It's a very mature and sophisticated game. Your parents tuition dollars hard at work.

When I became a mother, and my inhibitions were thrown out with the days of uninterrupted sleep, I began to laugh to myself at some of the things I was doing and the places in which I was doing them. One trip to play group made me quickly realize that I wasn't alone. So I got to thinking, what if mothers got together and played "I've Never - Mommies Edition"? Imagine what they'd have to share! My guess is that it would be enough to make the college kids nicely buzzed on Natural Light, stare bug eyed and wince.

So in the spirit of fun and full disclosure, here is the part of the fictional "I've Never - Mommies Edition" that would have me motioning to the bartender for a refill:

- I've Never breastfed my baby in the backseat of my car.
- I've Never breastfed my baby in a dressing room.
- I've Never breastfed my baby in front of my dad.
- I've Never breastfed my baby in front of a stranger.
- I've Never licked a pacifier after it fell to the floor, convinced that my saliva alone made it clean enough to give back to the baby.
- I've Never sat in on a conference call while using my breastpump.
- I've Never led a conference call while using my breastpump.
- I've Never knowingly put on clothes with spit up on them.
- I've Never blotted purred peas off my shirt to avoid an outfit change.
- I've Never used the restroom with my baby on my lap.
- I've Never changed a diaper in a bar.
- I've Never changed my shirt at a stoplight.
- I've Never left the crib bumper on even thought the book said I should remove it.
- I've Never sang the same nursery rhyme for an hour straight because it made my baby smile.
- I've Never put the aspirator up my own nose to be sure it worked.
- I've Never been seduced at the thought of mom jeans.
- I've Never sat in the bathtub just a few minutes longer when the baby began to fuss through the monitor.
- I've Never worried about something ridiculous, then talked myself out of it, only to worry about something bigger.
- I've Never thought my kid was cuter than your kid.
-I've Never stood over my baby's crib watching her chest rise and fall to be sure she was still breathing.
- I've Never dreamt of a playroom.
- I've Never fantasized about my husband changing diapers and folding onesies simultaneously.
- I've Never convinced myself that Karen Neuburger nightgowns were as sexy as they are comfortable.
- I've Never sniffed an article of the clothing, passed it to my husband and asked, "Is this dirty?"
- I've Never pumped and dumped- the next morning.
- I've Never gone to the park in my pajamas.
- I've Never reheated my coffee five times in one morning.
- I've Never begged to go to Bunko.
- I've Never not brushed my teeth until noon.

I've done some crazy things as a mother. Definitely things "I never" dreamt I'd do, when I was young and naive in college and likened motherhood to babysitting . But in a circle of my own kind- perhaps during a girls night out- with the kids safely asleep in their suffocation hazard free cribs, and our husbands in charge of their midnight diaper changes- after a few rounds of "I've Never - Mommies Edition", we'd all be drowning in our cosmos. Only instead of hiding our shame after admitting to all of your dorm floor that you have fantasized about your RA; in the "Mother's Edition" we'd hold our head's high with pride at the lengths we went to love our babies. Even if it came at the price of close to indecent exposure in a public place.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marin's First Halloween!

Trick or Treat!!

Marin had a great first Halloween! Auntie Molly made Marin this adorable Candy Corn costume from scratch! Can you see the booties?! She made those, too! And without a pattern! She just dreamt them up! They are so cute I could die! In fact, Molly had to modify the entire costume, because the pattern was for an older child. Is there anything Molly can't do? I'll spare you the breath, and just answer "no". The girl can seriously do it all, and we are certainly grateful to be the recipients of her craftiness!

Before Miss Kathy left for vacation, she organized a Halloween party at Marin's daycare. It was darling. All of the children dressed up, and Miss Kathy asked the neighbors on her street if we could come trick or treating a week early. Marin got more adoring coos than she did candy, but Mommy still enjoyed a few pieces. :)

Thursday night we carved pumpkins together. Marin was so curious about the process and the goo that came out from the inside of the pumpkins. When we got downright silly, Marin really looked at us all like we were nuts, but squealed in delight despite the fact. And then we put her in the pumpkin. That's where she drew the line.

Saturday we headed to the Illinois vs. Michigan game for the afternoon, with Molly and Brian. My parents and Jason's family were also there, and everyone loved seeing Marin all bundled in her costume. Since both Molly and Brian are Michigan alumni, it was a friendly rivalry that, by shock to all parties, ended in Illinois' favor. With so few wins this season, we Illlini fans celebrated like it was the National Championship. Molly and Brian were great sports and let us revel in our few hours of victory fueled pride.

We ended the weekend with a Martin Family dinner last night with Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy. Marin took the week long festivities in stride, proving to be quite the party animal. Sure, we think this is cute now... but someone remind us of this when she is in high school. :)