Friday, March 18, 2011

Golf and pigtails and messiness

As some of you may know, John is an avid golfer. As long as being an avid golfer means you go about four times a year, plus a few to the driving range. Golf is an expensive sport!

You may also know, if you have been reading my blog, that we here in the Libby house are very eager for spring to come.

Not very surprising to me, then, when John came home from Wal-Mart with Sophia's very own golf club/ball/bag set! And all for the grand total of $5, a total steal for how much enjoyment she has gotten out of it. Especially considering we haven't even been outside with it yet!




Sophia searching for her lost golf ball for the very first time!

And now we must move from golf to pigtails.




I could have included many more pictures of pigtails, so count yourselves lucky to only be inflicted with three! We have done pigtails a few more times since that first time, and each time they stay in marginally longer. Someday they will last a whole hour!

Now on to the messiness!


Really? Is it necessary to wear your full yogurt bowl as a hat?!


Yes, Mama, it is.

Now this is not golf or pigtails or messiness, it's just silly Sophia. Little Miss Independent decided I was taking too long bringing her oatmeal in from the next room, so she was done with rolled up sleeves. Apparently she couldn't figure out how to get the right side unrolled without turning her onesie into a toga. Not the cutest picture ever, but I love the toga!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time to celebrate!

Today was a day to celebrate the little things that make a big impact:

~ Riding with the car windows not just cracked, but down a few inches.

~ Going to get ice cream with Sophia, and sharing her first-ever baby cone!

~ Seeing the large pile of "stuff" in our yard left over from when we cleaned out the basement in the fall reappear as the mountains of snow melt. (This is how I gauge the melt this year, so backwards!) Hmmm, guess this one is a mixed blessing, as it involves several trips to the dump later this spring.

~ Wearing flip flops! Legitimately, that is . . .

~ Feeling hot in my long sleeves.

~ Going on yet another "nature" walk with Sophia . . . we never did get much past our driveway, there is just that much more to discover today.

~ Perhaps we have filled our oil tank for the last time this winter . . . fingers crossed!

~ Listening to Sophia repeat the last word of every sentence I say, my current favorite is when she says "syrup" . . . "syr-pup."

~ Going in to see John at work on a whim, brightening his day and ours.

~ Long naps and a kiddo with a big appetite!

~ Summer squash soup and berry muffins for dinner tonight.

What brightened your day today?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I think it is safe to say that I have never wanted spring to come as badly as I have this winter. I thought last winter was long, but at least then Sophia still took two very long naps a day and I had lots of time on my hands to work on whatever projects I had going at the time.

This winter? Sophia naps once a day, and two hours is her usual max, two and a half if I am lucky. There has been lots of keeping busy and occupied . . . inside. It gets old fast, for mama and Snuggler. There is only so much you can do when one of you eats crayons and play dough like it's going out of style.

So spring really can't come soon enough. I even got inspired by late winter doldrums to start working on a "picnic quilt" that we can take to the beach, or just use outside on our lawn this summer. (Pictures to come, I am almost done!)

This week we have finally started to see signs of spring. I looked at the 10-day forecast yesterday, and today is actually supposed to be the coldest day with a high of 39, and all the rest should have a high in the 40's! That makes me super happy after all the bone-chillingly COLD days we have had this winter, sucking down up to 200 gallons of oil a month the past couple months to heat our little house!

Since the weekend Sophia has insisted on taking at least two walks a day outside, and she gets a little nature collection going with each outing. Yesterday we finally took the camera along to document our early spring nature walk.


Right by our front stoop, do you see what I see?


It is! Some sort of plant coming up out of the ground! I am obviously not a gardener, and in fact whatever that is must have gotten there accidentally, because I don't remember it being there last year. Although I could have missed/ignored it then, so who knows.


Taking a nature walk with Sophia is a long endeavor, not something to be embarked upon if you only have five minutes. There is lots of sitting on the sidewalk to investigate small pebbles, and if there is something she likes in particular (like the spot under one neighbor's tree where you can find lots of mini-pinecones), you will be in that spot for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes she will make like she is going to keep going, then turn around after a yard or so and go back to pick up more goodies. Then repeat x10.





She was not quite sure about the snow, but there was a little twig in there that was so tempting. What's a girl to do?!


Too cold for my little finger, guess it will not be coming home with us!


Sophia may collect as much as she can carry in her own two little hands, and here you can see just how much that is! She organized her little nature bits for quite a long time, and only attempted to eat one of the twigs twice.


Organizing your bits from outside is very serious business, as you can see. I am just wondering what we are going to start bringing inside as the snow melts in earnest; I had to talk her out of the nasty little bits of paper trash that we found here and there.

Spring has sprung in my opinion, and I am hurrying to finish my picnic quilt now. We'll start out using it to built forts inside (it's 8 feet square!) and move on to picnics and beach trips as soon as the weather allows. So if you come by the Libby house in a month or two, don't bother knocking on the door and going inside. I'm pretty sure we will be laying out in the yard, taking in the view, enjoying a yummy snack, and reading library books while we breathe in the fresh air.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pregnant running

When I was pregnant with Sophia, I ran until 26 weeks. Then life happened, I took a few weeks off . . . then a few more . . . then I was 33 weeks, and forget restarting at that point! I got back into it when Sophia was about six weeks old. By four weeks I was dying to go for a run, but obeyed my OB's strict instructions that I was not to run until at least six weeks out from my C-section. Torture!

This time around, my goal was to run until at least 32 weeks. Then four weeks ago life happened.

Sophia got sick, requiring multiple nebulizer treatments thru the night for several weeks in a row, and this mama ain't getting up to run at 6 a.m. when she already has been up at midnight and 4! Then after that, John's work schedule changed to four days a week, requiring him to be at work by 7. Now, when he had to be at work at 8 it was doable, but running and being home by 6:30 so he can leave? So not happening right now.

So for the past few weeks I got in some cross training, some eliptical at the gym, some workout videos on youtube . . . and no running.


Then my mom came over to hang out with Sophia on Wednesday, yay for Grammy! (Hmm, not sure if she is -y or -ie . . . pretty sure she'll comment to let me know!) And I debated between more eliptical at the gym or a run outside . . . the run won out!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I started out at my (previous) usual pace, on my 3 mile out-and-back run. Not a big out-and-back fan, but there is something to be said for knowing exactly how far you are running sometimes! Said out-and-back heads up a little incline for the first quarter mile, and then levels out to being pretty flat for the rest of it, not too much of a challenge.


In the four weeks since I had run, that little incline had grown. Not into a little hill, but into the Devil's Back at Houghton College. Anyone who ran cross-country with me in college knows what I am talking about. Devil's Back was the name of this ginormous hill that pretty much required you to go on hands and knees to get up it. Really, those of us who were on the slower side actually walked the whole thing in a hunched over position, hands grabbing at the dirt in front of us, which was really at waist level because the incline was straight up.

So here I am, gasping my way up my new version of Devil's Back. And to really appreciate the struggle, here's what you can do. Go ahead and strap on a few five pound bags of flour to yourself . . . one on your belly, one on your butt, and another almost-full bag on your boobs. (Sorry, but that's my reality.) Then hike up a mountain. At a run.

"I feel good . . . gasp . . . I feel good," I kept telling myself. "It's the warmest day in March, and I am outside with the sun on my face, this is great . . . gasp, gasp."

It was the warmest day of the year, pretty much, which was nice. That was counterbalanced, however, by the fact that I was running slower than a possum carrying six little babies on it's back. When you are running that slowly, make sure you are wearing enough layers! Thankfully, I had forseen that this might be an issue, and had enough layers on to run in the Arctic. And never got hot. And if I were being perfectly honest, my bottom half could have done with more layers, judging from my almost-but-not-quite-numb quads.

John has been known in the past to make sarcastic comments about runners as we pass them. No comments on the fast runners with a good stride, but anyone else is fair game. My favorite: "Why don't you try walking instead? You could go faster!" (No one but me hears these, they are said inside the moving vehicle with windows up! Not that he has any business mocking runners, since he is not one!) At any rate, I'm pretty sure I was nearing that pace on Wednesday's run.

At any rate, I finally made it up the monstrous hill after an eon, and spent the next two miles recovering from it. I didn't walk at least (though I guess it might have been faster!). That's probably the best thing that can be said about that run. I didn't walk.

Round ligaments stretching out with each bouncing step, breath huffing, pace shuffling, but I didn't walk for any of the three miles!

I'll tell you when I did walk. The next day. Barely. When I gingerly walked about with aching muscles. And decided that I HAVE to run at least twice a week if I really want to make it to 32 weeks. Because this running every four weeks is not a good plan. At least not if I ever want to be able to walk downstairs without gripping the railing and making it a controlled "flop" down the stairs. Some of you know what I mean.

So strap on your flour bags and join me, people. This mama is going to be running on Mondays (John's day off), Wednesdays (Grammy's visit) and once on the weekend. That's the goal anyway.

In the immortal words of the Penguin: Waddle on, friends!

Monday, March 7, 2011

To be or not to be . . .

a mother. Seems to me to be something you decide before the kiddos arrive, not after!

I was at work the other night, and in some brief downtime I checked my e-mail and then logged out, when an article caught my attention. The article was about, in brief, mothers who have chosen to leave their children behind in order to pursue a different life.

I had so many feeling when I read that article that I just kicked them aside for the moment and got back to work. Now, days later, I keep finding myself going back to it, and trying to process it all. Having feared losing Sophia first when she was in utero and had heart problems, and then when she was so sick this past November and we didn't know what was going on, I don't understand how a mother could make a conscious decision to leave her child.

First I was just straight up angry. How can we accept this in our day and age? How is it okay to have children, and then decide that it wasn't the best path for you, and then move across country to have new life? What kind of mother abandons her children like that?

Upon reflection, part of me is still angry, but a larger part feels so sorry for these confused and disillusioned women. Moving, or taking a new job, or finding a new mate, or starting over in any other way is not going to bring happiness. Neither would staying with their children, for that matter. How can anyone have fulfillment without a relationship with our Creator?

I have been re-reading my favorite books lately, the Anne of Green Gables series. At times it makes me feel wistful, and I wish for simpler times. Back then, a mother was a mother. There weren't the same pressures to "be" something else. In fact, it was taken for granted that when you married, that was the end of any "career."

Please understand me, I am not saying it is wrong for a woman to work, anyone who knows me knows that I still work as a nurse! But sometimes it seems like now there are almost too many options in this crazy world we live in, and apparently one of them is that it is ok to abandon your kids if you get the whim.

At any rate, both the article and Anne of Green Gables have me thinking of how to slow down and cherish the time that I have with Sophia and Libby Baby #2 that is coming in another 19 weeks (Ha! Probably more like 21 weeks!). And how to simplify our lives, to change from the frantic pace we run at to a more leisurely stroll. I'm not much of a stroll-er, so it is going to take some time. Time I have, though, because this mama ain't goin' anywhere!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sweet girl

Sophia has been healthy for a couple of weeks now, and has energy like I have never seen before! I don't know if it is the changes to her medications or what, but she is like a new kid. She runs around the house chattering away, saying who knows what, and playing with gusto. I love it! I love seeing her so happy and healthy, and am reveling in it all.

As crazy as she can be, she is still our sweet little Sophia who likes to cuddle in my arms before bed, and I love that too. Last night John and I heard her cry out, just once, but it was a good enough excuse to go get her and bring her into our bed. She woke up a little, but cuddled in sucking her thumb and fell right back to sleep. I was holding her close to me, with her feet on my belly, and just then the baby started moving. I stayed awake holding Sophia and feeling the baby kick his/her sister.

Sophia loves dogs so much, it is precious but also sad. We were driving home the other day, and I was attempting to keep her awake while she was trying to fall asleep, when I saw a golden retriever sticking his head out of the car next to us. We stayed right next to that car as long as I could, driving into Auburn. I'm sure the other drivers behind us were furious with me, but Sophia was waving and saying "hi" for all she was worth. We finally had to turn off, and Sophia said "bye bye" and waved one last time.

Later we were at the WalMart gas station and the driver in the pickup next to us was holding the ugliest pug ever while his wife filled the tank. Sophia was enthralled, and just broke down crying when they drove away. As much as I am not a dog person, if we could erase her dog allergy I would get her one in a heartbeat.

And today.

Today at naptime Sophia got her leg stuck between the bars of her crib, and I had to come in and rescue her. I actually had a hard time getting her leg back out, and it was all very traumatic for both mama and bambino. I held her for a little bit, then we cuddled under a blanket and I read her a story before putting her back to bed. Tucked her back in with teddy and blankie, and said goodnight as I headed out and closed the door.

It didn't take long before I heard her crying, and hard hearted mama that I am I ignored it. It wasn't I-have-my-leg-stuck-again crying, but just a mild protest.

Then she started saying "baby." Over and over again, while crying. I couldn't ignore that. I headed downstairs to find baby doll and take it up to her. I opened the door to see her sitting at the end of her crib, back to me, despondently slumped over crying and quietly saying "baby."

I lowered baby into the crib, and the crying stopped instantly. Sophia let me help her lie down, cuddling baby in one arm, teddy next to her on the other side, thumb in mouth. I covered her with the blanket, yet again, and not a peep did I hear again.

She is such a sweet little Peanut, full of fun but also so sensitive and lovey. God knew she was the perfect addition to our family, and I am so full of anticipation for the next Libby baby to arrive and show his/her colors. I know Sophia will be such a good big sister, she practices constantly with baby doll!

A new way to cook

I have to say, often my least favorite time of the day is that window from 3-5 when a grumpy kiddo wakes up and tortures me with crabbiness while I attempt to prepare dinner. It usually ends in frustration on both sides, with the Snuggler crying and clinging to my leg. That then leads to more crying when she falls over as I attempt to move . . . all in all, an ugly scene.

Recently, I have been trying to think of ways to address that window of time in a more productive way that wouldn't end so badly. Pack'n'play time has helped, and Blue's Clues, I have to admit. But I still have wanted to figure out how to interact with Sophia, rather than push her out of the picture.

Enter the kitchen chair! I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, except that I didn't pray out my frustration as soon as I might have.

Now Sophia is my little helper, and we don't have any more battles. We push the chair up against the counter and she stands there and watches me cook or wash dishes. I tell her everything I am doing, and she helps hold ingredients. (Often eating them while she holds them; I have to allot extra carrots/apples/cheese, etc when she "helps!") She is very inquisitive, and loves to stir, or add an ingredient to a bowl. I had thought she was too young to cook with me, but she loves to prove me wrong!




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