Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Little bird

There's a lullaby my mom sang to us--and other babies she's cared for--over the years. It's called The Little Birdie Song. Naturally, now that I'm a mother, I sing it to Jude. 

Tonight I had a thousand things to do. Homework waiting, dishes in the sink, laundry that needed done. Scott took Jude to his bedroom, gave him his milk and was working really hard to get him to sleep. But Jude just wasn't having it. He kept crying "mama, mama," which are the most heartbreaking four syllables a mom can hear, by the way. 

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my first thought was to wish that he would just go to sleep. I had so much to do and I was anxious to sit down at my computer and get to my homework that was due by 11:59 p.m. But something, maybe the Holy Spirit, whispered in my ear, "go be with him."

So, I got up from my post, went into his room, and started rocking him. And I started singing The Little Birdie Song. Actually, it was my own version of it, because I can never remember the full lyrics. As I sang, "Where are you going little bird? Where are you going little birdie? I am going to kiss my mama, I am going to kiss my mama, I am going to kiss my mama, sweet child," Jude smiled the biggest smile, pulled my face down to his, and gave me the sweetest little kiss. My heart felt more joy than I can describe and broke into a thousand little pieces all at once.

Tears formed in my eyes as I thought about how I would have missed that moment if I would have just let him cry and let Scott attend to him. And I thought about how he is going to be two in April and already doesn't need me as much as when he was just new. 

Being a mother is strange. Your heart can feel the greatest love and happiness and an intense pain and longing, all at once. That's the only way I can describe it. Strange but wonderful.

Tonight, I'm glad I listened to that whisper and went in and held my little boy. I'm glad I was reminded that my child doesn't need to have a spotless home to live in or care that his mama has a master's degree. All he wants is me. How amazing is that? That someone loves you so purely, that just your presence is enough. 

And just like all little birdies do, some day he'll leave the safety and warmth of his nest and fly away on his own. Until then, I plan to sing as many lullabies as I can, snuggle him while he'll still let me and, most importantly, be present. 


Oh where are you going, little bird, little bird?
Oh where are you going, little birdie?
I am going to the woods
I am going to the woods
I am going to the woods, little child

Oh what's in the woods, little bird, little bird?
Oh what's in the woods, little birdie?
There's a nest in the woods
There's a nest in the woods
There's a nest in the woods, little child

Oh what's in the nest. little bird. little bird?
Oh what's in the nest, little birdie?
There are five little eggs
There are five little eggs
There are five little eggs, little child

Oh what's in the eggs. little bird, little bird?
Oh what's in the eggs, little birdie?
There are five little birds
There are five little birds
There are five little birds, little child

Monday, March 21, 2016

Catching up

Catching up. Do we every catch up? My answer is "probably not," but I'll still attempt to catch up just a bit here on my blog.

First of all, I have an almost-two-year old son! I used to internally roll my eyes when people said "oh, they grow up so fast," but seriously, they grow up so fast. Right now I'm in the process of planning Jude's second birthday party at the Henry Doorly Zoo. He seems to really love animals and we thought it would be a lot of fun for our friends and family. I'm hoping to get our invitations in the mail next week because his party is at the end of April. I love a good theme, so naturally, we're going with a zoo animal theme. A few weeks ago Jude's Montessori school was closed for staff training, so he and I spent the day at the zoo. We had an unfortunate run-in with a super-loud monkey, so I'm hoping any of the memories from that are gone by the time his party rolls around. I have brought up the zoo monkeys a couple times and he starts saying "no no no" and hugging himself. Sorry, little buddy!

Most of my friends and family already know this, but I have been working on my master's degree over the past couple years. I started out going full-time, but once I had Jude it was just too much. I was working a full-time job and going to school full-time. So, now I am working full-time and going to school half-time. I have no idea when I will finish, but completing my master's has been a goal of mine for several years. I'm really blessed that my husband is supportive of my continuing education. Late last year I had a practicum and the hours involved were killer. My husband was seriously super-dad, taking great care of Jude on the weekends and several week nights while I worked. This term just started and will end this summer.

We took a trip to Colorado in February and visited Copper Mountain and Vail. Scott and I had a wonderful time with Jude. Traveling was fun before kids, and I'll be honest--I wasn't sure how traveling would be after kids. It's different, and more challenging, but good. Experiencing different things through your child's eyes is magical. Before we had Jude, Scott and I always said that we wouldn't be the type of people who stopped going places because they have kids. And I'm really proud to say that we've been able to keep that promise to ourselves. However, you get really skilled at distraction, making up songs and games, hauling bags and supplies like a pack mule and teamwork.

Both Scott and I are making a better effort to eat healthier foods and exercise more. I started exercising at the YMCA again and it feels good. I'm in terrible shape compared to where I was when we moved to Omaha (and 45 pounds heavier!) but I'm working at it. One day at a time.

I'm usually someone who dislikes warm weather, but this year I'm really looking forward to summer. I can't wait for fun at the splash park, meals on the deck and time spent outside. And I'm hoping to blog more, too. I really enjoy writing and blogging, but over the past couple years, I've been doing so much writing for school and work that writing for pleasure has taken a back seat.

So that's it for "catching up." This week is Holy Week which is special to many people, including to me as a Catholic. Whether or not you celebrate Holy Week, I pray that you are blessed this week.


Thursday, September 3, 2015


This photo was taken in 2009. I was healthy and happy. Running every night, lifting weights and swimming. I had completed my first triathlon just a few months prior. 

Sometimes I look at this photo and it evokes a sadness in me. I suppose because the body I have now looks and feels nothing like the one in this picture. 

But today, instead of feeling sad, I am choosing to look at this photo and feel hopeful. I am hopeful that my body can look and--more importantly--feel this way again. 

When were you at your best physically?  How did you feel?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pineapple Pink Lemonade Pool Drink

I wanted to share the recipe for a sweet, easy pool drink I mixed up while we were on vacation in Florida last week. My goal was to create something that didn't use 2,000 ingredients and tasted fresh. 

This recipe makes a huge batch. So either put it in one gigantic pitcher, or just use about half of each of the bottles/containers (listed below). I made mine in two batches. And I eyeballed the ingredients because I am a rebel like that. 

Pineapple Pink Lemonade Pool Drink

1 bottle pink lemonade (I used Trader Joe's)
1 bottle pink lemonade vodka
1 can/container of pineapple juice

Empty half of each bottle/container into a large pitcher (or the entire bottle of each into a gigantic container). Serve over ice. Enjoy.

My husband found some really tacky and awesome plastic pineapple containers with straws at a Dollar Tree near our resort and that's what we put our drinks in. They worked out great because they kept bugs/dirt/whatever out of our drinks and were pool-friendly. 

I also think you could come up with some great garnishes such as pineapple, lemon wedges or fancy swizzle sticks. This would be a great party or girls night out drink!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Jude | FIve & Six Months

Jude, months five and six have been full of so much change and so much joy. You've changed so much in the past two months. I know it is so, so very cliche, but I can't believe how fast time has passed. I remember like it was yesterday, watching the doctor hold you up--pink, purple and perfect. A brand new life.

Diaper size  |  Size two
Weight  |   17 pounds

You've been a very healthy little boy so far. At six months, however, you did get a case of pink eye. Yuck! You had to go to the doctor and then stay home from daycare for a full day while you started eyedrops. Putting the eyedrops in are about as fun as wrestling an angry bear. You have two teeth on the bottom and now you're working to cut the two teeth on the top. Your poor gums look so red and swollen and I can see two little white marks on your gums. We try our best to relieve your pain with teethers, homeopathic gel, ice cubes inside a mesh feeder and sometimes Tylenol.

From around the end of your fifth month to the beginning of the sixth, you've had a bit of a sleep regression. You have a bath, play and take a bottle and then go to sleep around 8 p.m. You proceed to wake up a couple times during the night to eat. You wake for the day around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. During the day you take "cat naps."

You are getting formula and breast milk. We're looking forward to trying to start solids with you soon, as you're starting to show some very early signs of "readiness."

You're starting to sit up very well on your own. You also roll very well. It seems like you're doing something new almost every single day and it amazes us. 

You are truly one of the happiest, most fun-loving children I've ever met! I hope you keep this happy personality. You just love to laugh. You laugh at daddy picking you up and holding you in the air. You laugh at being kissed and when we "eat" your neck. You laugh when we say "boo." You also love sitting in your highchair. I think it makes you feel like a big guy. Your favorite toys are your vibrating owl we named "Owly" (super original), Sophie the giraffe and books. You absolutely love reading books with us. You also love being outside and going on walks.
You don't like when mommy uses the Nose Frida on you. And you hate your pink eye drops. 

Peanut, peanut butter, little pumpkin, pumpkin butt, punk, boo boo, boo boo bear, boo berry pancakes. (Why is this list growing every month!? Ha!)

Things I want to remember
You had your first trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch, your first trip to the Joslyn Art Museum for the Andy Warhol exhibit and your first Halloween recently. For Halloween you were a cute little monkey and we trick-or-treated to your Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Holcomb's house in Arcadia. We spent Halloween weekend with Grandpa and Grandma Hickman and it was a lot of fun. Jude, you are the light of our lives and this is such a happy time with you. We're looking forward to the next six months!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jude | Four Months

Jude, you are four months old!

Diaper size  |  Size two
Weight  |   15+ pounds (we think!)

Chomp, chomp, chomp! You got your first tooth right around your four-month birthday. We got you an amber teething necklace and I'm not sure it works. I may have noticed a tiny bit less drool when you wear it. Otherwise, we manage the discomfort with cool teethers, homeopathic gel and Tylenol. You also might be getting your first little cold. I knew it was inevitable since you go to daycare. You had a bit of a stuffy nose.

Your typical routine is to have your bath at 9 p.m. followed by playtime, food and rocking you to sleep. You will sleep from about 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. You eat and then go back to sleep until around 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. You take a few short naps throughout the day.

You are still getting breast milk and being supplemented with formula. You eat a four ounce bottle about every two hours or so.

Of course, your first tooth is a huge milestone. You've also began to hold your head up without help and now you reach for your toys and grab them. 

You love, love, love to laugh and smile. You have a smile for everyone and it melts my heart. You love tummy time and playing on your play mat. And you're totally a "toy child." Toys of all kinds pique your interest and you love to use your hands to explore them. You also still like your bath time and get really happy after you're clean. 

You really don't have too many dislikes right now. You're not a big fan of me wiping your nose and you don't like to be hungry. Other than that, you're a happy camper. 

Peanut, peanut butter, little pumpkin, pumpkin butt, punk, boo boo.

Things I want to remember
Your laugh is music to my ears. You LOVE to laugh, smile and have fun. When daddy bounces you or "Supermans" you, it makes you squeal with joy. I also love how you nuzzle your head into my neck when I pick you up. And when I come to get you from daycare, you just light up. Jude, you are the light of my life, little boy. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Jude | Three Months

Jude, you are three months old!

Diaper size  |  Size one
Weight  |   13+ pounds

Nothing to report in this department. You're still a healthy baby! Although you have been drooling a bit more and chewing on your hands. Maybe you're teething early?

Your typical routine is to have your bath at 9 p.m. followed by playtime, food and rocking you to sleep. You will sleep from about 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. You eat and then go back to sleep until around 6 a.m. You really don't like to nap during the day and when you do, it's only for a half-hour to 45 minutes. 

You are still breastfeeding and being supplemented with formula. Lately your appetite seems to be increasing, so I'm suspecting it's the three-month growth spurt. You eat a four ounce bottle and breastfeed about every two hours or so.

Jude, you recently started laughing! It was the best sound I've ever heard. Mommy was kissing on your face at a restaurant and you let out a big laugh. My heart melted. We're still working with you on tummy time and being able to hold your head up. You'll get there soon. You also like to make a lot of noise! You coo, yell and babble. Another developmental milestone is that you've started to reach for items and grasp them. You're just getting started with this skill, but are making progress. Recently, you found your tongue and really like to stick it out at us. One big milestone is that on your three-month birthday, you rolled over! 

You love "talking" to mommy and daddy. You also love your play mat and mommy bought you a bouncer seat this week so you can sit in the kitchen while I cook. You like when mommy reads you books (especially your black and white books). And at bath time, you're all smiles when I lotion you up! You also still like spending time in your swings.

Jude, you really don't like to nap. Even worse? You hate being tired! Yep, it's a double-edged sword. You fight sleep and then get pretty crabby if you're overtired. Luckily, it doesn't happen too often because mommy watches your sleep cues closely. As soon as you yawn or act tired, we start a calm process of going to sleep. I also discovered that you don't like me to wipe your nose or clean your ears. 

Peanut, peanut butter, little pumpkin, pumpkin butt, punk.

Things I want to remember
You have such a funny little personality. You smile at us all the time and love talking to us. When daddy walks in the room, you always look toward his voice and give him a grin. Lately I've been trying to spend as much time holding you as possible, especially when you nap, because on Monday I have to return to work. The past few months at home with you have been some of the best days of my life and I love you so much. But I know the ladies at your daycare will take excellent care of you and you're going to learn and grow. Other things I want to remember include taking you to see daddy race his BMX bike for the first time, you having a pretty epic meltdown in church (thank goodness for the nursery), and you being a good little shopping buddy to me. Jude, you are such a sweet, smiley little boy and I'm looking forward to how much you'll change and grow in the next month.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New recipe post at Simple.Chic.Savory | Garbanzo Bean Salad

Head over to my cooking blog and check out my latest recipe for Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad. It is seriously delicious, healthy and super-easy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jude | Two Months

Jude, you are two months old!

Diaper size  |  Size one
Weight  |   12.1 pounds

You've been a pretty healthy baby. On Monday, July 7 you had your two-month check-up and shots. The pediatrician got you to coo for him. When you had your shots, you let out a bit of a cry and then calmed right down. Mom was preparing for the worst, but you did great.
Fourth of July outfit. Not happy, but cute.

You don't sleep through the night, and that's okay. We have, however, had two six-hour stretches of sleep from you in the past week. Your typical routine is to have your bath at 9 p.m. followed by playtime, food and rocking you to sleep. You will sleep from about 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. You eat and then go back to sleep until around 5 a.m.
Loving your play mat.

You are still breastfeeding and being supplemented with formula. You take eating very seriously and squeal and scream when we have to use the burp rag to wipe your face in the middle of your meal. I think you get that from mommy.

Jude, you are a cooing and smiling machine! You smile when people interact with you and coo very loudly. In fact, you've been smiling since you were three weeks old! You also follow things with your eyes very well and even like watching mommy vacuum. We're also practicing “tummy time” which you seem to like. This week I watched you try to roll over during tummy time. You're very strong.

Riding in the Baby Bjorn.

You like when we talk and sing to you. Your play mat/baby gym is also a hit right now. Another “like” is your swings. Yes, swings (plural). We have the Mamaroo but you loved the swing grandma keeps at her house so much that mommy and daddy bought one for you also. You love the crazy faces and noises your daddy makes at you and get especially happy when he howls at you like a wolf (we're a strange bunch, what can I say?). You also like your bath time. When we're done, mommy always gives you a baby massage with lotion and puts fresh pajamas on you. You get really happy afterward!

Sleeping in grandma's swing.

You don't like to be held facing people. You like to be able to see what's going on. You also don't like to have a wet or dirty diaper. As soon as we change you, you're all smiles. You also don't like to sleep that much. I think you feel that you're going to miss out on something. I assure you, when you sleep, mommy isn't doing anything fun.

Peanut, peanut butter, little pumpkin, pumpkin butt. You'll just hate that I called you these someday. I promise to drop them once you're old enough to be embarrassed.

Things I want to remember
You are just such a happy little boy. Sometimes when I'm trying to get you to go to sleep and I go to check on you, you give me a huge grin. I tell you that you're supposed to be sleeping and you give me the gummiest smile and it melts my heart. You've enjoyed seeing a lot of your family lately including Grandpa Duane and Grandma Dianne. They came to visit and we all went to lunch together. We spent the Fourth of July weekend with Grandpa Doug and Grandma Michelle and Aunt Kara and Uncle Kevin. It was a blast and grandma and I had fun dressing you in a patriotic outfit. We also stopped by mommy's office for lunch so that my co-workers could meet you. You were very good and fell asleep while we were there. You also met your great-grandmother Naoma this month. She thought you were pretty special. In August mommy goes back to work full-time and you will start daycare. It will be a bittersweet day for sure. I'm excited to go back to work and see all my great co-workers but I will deeply miss the time we spend together every day. But I love your daycare and I think it will be very good for you. It's a Montessori school and I'm sure you'll learn so many new things and explore your senses. Jude, you bring so much joy to our lives and I am so thankful that you are our son!