Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Need A Ride?

Not even two, and he's already hitching a ride!

Wordless Wednesday: Carry Me Close

You can't see it very well, but that super rad wrap is from Kiddie Winkles, and I am madly in love with it.

Rock Me Baby

I have a confession to make: I still rock my baby to sleep every night. And yes, that baby is 19 months old. I've heard all the warnings that he'll never be able to sleep without rocking, but you know what? I've never met a 26 year old who needs to be rocked to sleep. I'm just sayin'.

Toward the end of my pregnancy, I used to sit in the glider and rock every night. I'd talk to my stomach and tell him (though I didn't know for sure I had a him in there) that we were ready for him. Our first night home from the hospital, I rocked with him snuggled in my arms, and I could hardly believe he was here. Since then, we've rocked nearly every night. As he grows, his feet dangle off my lap, and it's not the same snug fit we once had. But somehow, his body still molds itself into my arms as he sinks into sleep.

This is our quiet time, our time to nurse, and then cuddle into each other. I smell his hair, I study his impossibly long eyelashes,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Can't Help...

Lovin' that MOM of mine.

I need to dedicate a post to my mom, because she is simply amazing. I feel that amazing doesn't even begin to sum her up, and there are so many things I could share with you about why my mom is amazing that I'm not even sure where to start.

I remember when I was in high school, and I first started to realize that my mom was amazing. It occurred to me on nights when my friends would show up randomly for dinner, and my mom would never complain, just set an extra plate. See, we were the family that always ate dinner together, that always had a delicious meal on the table, so my friends who didn't have this? They came for dinner. Right after I graduated from high school, I started spending a lot of time with my friends, knowing I'd be leaving for Indiana University soon. One night, my friends and I were out late at a movie, so they all ended up crashing at my place. When my mom woke up the next morning to discover my friend Rachel sharing my room and THREE boys in the living room, did she get upset? No, she said, "I guess Erin had a sleepover," and proceeded to make us homemade blueberry pancakes and bacon. See, my mom knew we weren't up to anything bad, no drinking or sex or anything of the sort. She knew we were just being kids, and she embraced that. I knew right then that I wanted to be this mom, the safe haven who made blueberry pancakes.

My mom is a huge fan of The Birth Story on TLC. See, my mom saw an OB who supported natural childbirth (even in the 70s!), but due to my brother having the cord wrapped around his neck, my mom had a c-section. And since VBAC was unheard of at this time, my mom had c-sections with all of us. Yet, my mom loves to watch these birth shows, even though when I lived at home, I'd make faces at the sight of a baby being born. When I was 8 weeks pregnant, and we told my mom, my mom said, "Get a doula!" And we did, of course. When I asked my mom if she wanted to be in the delivery room when the baby was born, she shyly said, "If you want me to..." but I knew she wanted to be there, and she knew I wanted her there. And so she was, she and my dad both. When I was in labor with Luke, she sat up with me while Shane slept. She helped out, and when Luke was born, the first noise I heard was my mom cheering. My mom is not the mom who cries a lot, but when she called my sisters to tell them the news, she was speaking through tears. The day we got home from the hospital, my mom had put clean sheets on the bed (my water broke while in bed), and we were greeted by a clothesline of onesies above the front porch that spelled out, "IT'S A BOY!" When I had trouble nursing at first, my mom who breastfed all four of her kids (two were twins!) at a time when breastfeeding was frowned upon, gave me calm advice and let me know that it would get better. And my mom who breastfed me until I was almost two has never been anything but supportive of toddler nursing.

And today. Today, I pulled into the driveway after a long day of work. My parents watch Luke on Fridays. When I got out of my car, I realized that my mom had planted mums out front. And when I came inside, I realized that my mom had washed a load of cloth diapers for me. My mom is who she is not because she feels she like she has to be this person, but because this IS who she is. Because she is amazing, because she is beautiful, and because when she became a mom? She meant it.

Right after her 5th grandchild was born...

Our welcome home greeting

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Gift of Rain

After all this rain, we were graced with a beautiful rainbow. It was too big to fit all of it in my camera, but I tried my best!

Luke was rather unimpressed with the rainbow, but he was very happy to be outside.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

First of all, huge congrats to Stephanie who welcomed a baby girl into the world early this morning and to Mimi who was also there to welcome her new granddaughter! I can't wait to see pictures.

Now on to the rain. Oh, I do not like Ike! The rain started on Thursday, and it came in bursts until Saturday, when it started and DID NOT STOP. It rained so much that most area schools are closed due to flooding. Saturday night, Luke and I stayed the night at my parents' house because Shane's monthly poker game was at our house. The poker games go late, and it is hard to get Luke to bed with a houseful of men. We left my parents' at about 9 Sunday morning. I knew it had rained a lot, but I didn't think it'd be that bad yet. Well, a 20 minute drive turned into an hour drive because the roads were so bad. I drive a Ford Focus, which is not exactly made for navigating high water. There was one time on a main road, crossing a bridge, where I was really scared. I didn't realize how high and how fast the water was until I got into the middle of it, and my car started to pull. At one point, I hit the gas, and the car didn't respond, but I made it through. When I was almost home, I drove through water, then got to another spot where I knew I wouldn't be able to get through. I pulled over to the side of the road and called my husband, in tears. He told me to stay on the phone with him, to turn around, and try and get back through the water I'd just driven in. I did and made it, but I wasn't sure how to get home. I finally made it, winding around back roads, and I was glad to be home! Shortly after, I got the phone call that school was canceled, and I celebrated with a few glasses of wine to try and calm my nerves!

In August, I posted about some flooding we had. After the rain finally let up last night, we took a walk to the same area, and wow! It was way worse than August. These are not the best photos because it started to get dark quickly, but you can get an idea of how much more water there is than in August.

I zoomed in to show that the metal guardrail (which you can see in the August photo) is completely underwater.

While we were down there, these guys in a huge monster truck drove past and gave us the peace sign. They then drove through the water, with the doors open, cheering the entire time. It was hilarious! And because I'm a dork, I waded in to my ankles to feel how fast it was moving. Even in the shallow parts, it was fast and ICE cold. And yes, I'm wearing my pajamas!

We went out this morning for much-needed items (Starbucks and beer, duh), and I was surprised at how flooded everything still is. This is the entrance/exit ramp to I65, still very under water.

This is a restaurant about ten minutes south of our house, on the Kankakee River.

The area beyond the black wrought iron gate is actually an outdoor dining area, but as you can see, it is all under water. The river itself is up to the very bottom of the bridge, and the water is creeping higher still because the bridge is jammed with debris--there was an entire tree stuck there! As the water drains into the river, I expect it'll get higher as the day goes on. We saw farmers out sandbagging along fields, but I imagine a lot of crops are ruined. I am thankful our sump pump was working overtime, so we did not have any water in our house.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You'd Have My Vote

If you're reading this and you're a presidential candidate (and I'm sure you guys--and gals, apparently--have nothing better to do than peruse my blog), let me tell you how to snag my vote. Sure, you could promise to cut taxes, but to be honest, I don't mind paying taxes that much. If my tax dollars go to good programs, I'm pretty pleased. No, to get my vote, all you have to do is make EVERY weekend a three-day weekend. Not too hard, right? I'm not particular about whether we get a Friday or a Monday off, just as long as one of them is no longer a work day. Hey, you could even alternate!

Here is why I think three-day weekends rule: On a normal two-day weekend (AKA, LAME), I really only get so much done. I spend one day grocery shopping, and I spend another day doing laundry. By Sunday night, I feel as it has all gone too fast. But on a three-day weekend, I get those things done and STILL have a day to play! You see? It's perfect.
Why, what did I do on this three-day weekend? Saturday, I went out for bagels and coffee at a local place, then I went grocery shopping, followed by a walk to the library. Saturday afternoon, I did some laundry, but it was pretty laid back, as I knew that I had TWO MORE DAYS to deal with the laundry.

On Sunday, we went to a winery with friends. This was pretty sweet because instead of being all, Ooh, I have to WORK tomorrow, I was all, Hey guys, let's buy a bottle of chilled champagne and go watch a Jim Gaffigan DVD, because WE DON'T HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW.

Incidentally, Future Presidents, imposing a law that all bottles of wine must cost no more than $4 would be a pretty sweet thing to do.

Today, we went to a parade. Parades are generally cool because they involve things like balloons and free candy, but I'm not insisting that every three-day weekend involve a parade. One every so often would be nice, though. Hey, Barry and Johnny (Barack Obama and John McCain to those of you who aren't supplying the candidates with totally awesome ideas), maybe you could throw a parade in my honor for giving you a winning idea? Just a thought.

Now, I'm certain there would be some logistics to work out, in terms of salary changes or how to fit 40 hours into 4 days, but I'll let you Presidential types debate on those points.