Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick Update

Audrey had her 4 month appointment this past week! 

She was not the littlest baby in the waiting room this time.  She oooh'ed and coo'ed and put her toys in her mouth.  She tried rolling over (still unsuccessfully) on the table.  She smiled and laughed at us as we played with her and waited for Dr. M.  She hiccuped, like she always does after a laughing fit. She covered her face with the sheet of paper covering the table and tried to eat it.  She got two shots and wailed for only a minute before returning to her happy self.

She weighed in at 13lbs and 7oz (50th percentile), measured 26 and 1/4 inches (97th percentile!!!) and her head size is in the 75th percentile.  Blake keeps saying "big brains, big brains!" 

We were instructed that:
  • She can and should sleep at least 10 hours at night without needing anything.  This means the dreaded let her cry.  We're supposed to let her cry for 15 minutes, go in and comfort her (but not pick her up or give her a pacifier), and then let her cry for 20 minutes, and so on, until she falls asleep.  I'm having a hard time with this.  A really hard time.  For one, I don't like hearing her cry.  It makes my heart hurt.  For two, it's so easy to fix her crying with a quick snack, that I'm up, at it, and back to bed in fewer than 15 minutes.  But, in the long run, I know she needs to learn.  So tonight will be the night.  Or tomorrow night.
  • At 5 months, we can start feeding her rice cereal.  "Real" food!  I put together the highchair (though she can't sit up in it yet) and am going to wash the spoons and little bowls soon! Dr. M. said its not really for nutrition, but for practice... the real stuff will start at 6 months!
  • We are to still work on tummy time but also start practicing sitting up!  She's almost got this down already!

Okay, so this wasn't as quick as I thought it would be.  BUT, I did knock out TWO difficult letters in one post.  Success.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Letter to My Pretty Baby

Dear Audrey,

Since the minute you were born, we've heard a gazillion times how pretty you are.  Of course, we agree.  It's a parent's right to believe, and express, how perfect they think their children are.  We exercise this right.  We think you are the cutest darn baby we have ever seen.  We think your long hair is amazing.  Your laugh is worth all the money in the world.  Your smile melts our hearts.  Your Darth Vadar voice, it, my dear, is hilarious.  When people comment on how oh, so pretty you are, I feel happy and proud and blessed to have such a pretty baby.

But I also feel scared.

I'm scared that you will grow up and only be oh, so pretty.  I'm scared that you will hear those words more than any other and that your self-esteem will be based upon them.  I'm scared that you will seek compliments but never learn how to give them.  I'm scared that you will put your time and energy into being pretty, staying pretty, getting prettier, rather than into other talents or endeavors.  I'm scared that if you are as pretty as a young woman as you are now, people will judge you by your cover and not by your mind or heart.

Of course, as your parent, it will be my job to make sure that these fears do not become reality.  It will be my job especially, as your mother, to teach you that you are only as beautiful as you are on the inside and that intelligence, kindness, loyalty, humor and hard work are worth far far more than being oh, so pretty.  It will be your father's job to convince you to respect yourself, to never sell yourself short, and that you are  lovable and deserve to be loved - by men and women alike - no matter what. 

I don't know whether your dad and I are fully capable of doing all these things.  Only time will tell.  But, I do promise you this, we will do our very very best to nurture and encourage ALL of your talents so that you can be a well-rounded person.  You will always be my pretty baby. But, I can't wait for you to become my smart, kind, loyal, funny and hard-working baby, too.

Love you,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Calling in the favors and a bit of love from John Denver

Since I started this blog almost a year ago, it has been viewed 11,725 times. 
Just yesterday, it was viewed 90 times. 
The most popular post?  The one on Maggie's wedding with 521 views.
The next most popular?  A is for Audrey and Out of the Kettle with 198 and 194 views, respectively.
Facebook has referred 3,177 views and Google 522.
My friend Kady's blog, Our Becker Blog, has spurred nearly 400 visits.  (Thanks, Beckers!)

Yet, I only have 14 followers that are not me!  So, unless each of my followers has visited this blog 8,375 times each (which would be 161 visits per week per follower) since I started this thing, I have to assume that I have more followers than I have followers.  Do you follow?

The favor?  Follow me!  Just hit "join this site" and then hit "follow this blog."  If you are, for some odd reason, embarrassed to follow me publicly, do it privately.

Why?  Because.  Uncle Kracker says so. 

Plus, having only 14 followers is like having only 3 friends on Facebook.  That kind of stat would cause anyone to wonder "why am I even doing this?"  I mean, I will continue to write this blog for my family, for myself, for posterity, and for my 14 followers no matter what.  But, I'd sure feel a lot better about myself if the 14 could grow to say 28, or 128.  Or more.

Why else?  Because I'm competitive and like to win.  The blogs I follow and admire the most have between 1500 and 2700 followers.  I'm not going to get too big for my britches here and think that I can achieve those kind of stats overnight - they are reserved for full-time, paid bloggers, with potty-mouths, depression, and all sorts of problems that I'm thankful not to have.  BUT, I can certainly do better than 15. 

Oh, you have an excuse?  You don't know how to become a follower? I don't buy it.  Given that 3,177 of my views have come from Facebook, I know that most of my readers are at least savvy enough to hit the two buttons and fill in the minimal info required to follow me.

You want to know what's in it for you?  I don't exactly have any benefits to give that you aren't already receiving, but in the future, if I can get enough followers, I will work on things like a more sophisticated template and design of the blog and a feature that will send updates to followers via email.  Also, if there is a good following, the blog can become a good place for dialogue among followers on topics that matter (and topics that don't).  If and when those good things happen, I encourage you to not be a free-luncher.  Pay the free price and just follow me now.

And if you need more convincing, or you are a Kappa Kappa Gamma and want to feel nostalgic about the good old days, this should do it.

Please and thank you.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Opportunities for Optimism - Life Rocks

Every situation is an opportunity for optimism. 
Even the worst things give us a chance to make the best of things. 
If we choose to, we can smile through tears. 
We can learn from adversity. 
We can find peace amidst chaos. 
I repeat, every situation is an opportunity for optimism.
Life can rock us or we can rock it.

Proof that it's better to rock it.

Audrey and Great Grandma - rocking in the oldest rocking chair in America.
Audrey and Wolverine - rocking in the bluest Lay-Z-Boy in America.

Cousin Chloe - rocking the coolest Colts hardhat in America.

Audrey - rocking the cutest knit hat in America.

Audrey at three months - not rocking, but eating her zebra.

Me and Lauren - rocking the year of the 30th birthday.

Me and Audrey - rocking the Bjorn.

Audrey - not so sure about the jumperoo, but she will learn soon, it rocks.

Audrey - rocking the sultry pose.

Me and Audrey - rocking the new sling.

Me being a mom. Ultimate proof that life rocks.
Rock on.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago Tomorrow

Folks older than me regularly date themselves by saying things like
"I remember where I was when I heard that JFK was assassinated."

"I remember exactly what I was doing when I learned about Martin Luther King, Jr."

"I dropped whatever I was holding when they told me that John Lennon was dead."

Of course, I don't have those memories. 
I don't remember any of those things. 
No one in my generation does.
 I couldn't. 
We couldn't.

But we remember 9/11.

And we will never forget it.

I will forever date myself by saying it
I know exactly where I was that Tuesday morning.
I was a sophomore at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
I was waking up in the cold dorm at Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
My roommates were stirring and the showers were all running.
I checked my email in my pajamas.
From: Mom
I love you.
Say a prayer for the people of NYC.
It didn't take long for me to decipher the cryptic email.
But I believed it must have been an accident.
I went to class.
Race Relations in America.
Our professor drove in from Bloomington and apparently hadn't heard the news.
He carried on class as usual, though angry about why only half of us were there.
The other half were members of POSSE.
From New York.
"Professor, we need to turn on the TV."
"What channel?"
"It doesn't matter."
There was a second plane. And a third. And a fourth.
The first tower had fallen.
Our hearts and sense of security with it.

Ten years later, I still get teary-eyed listening to NPR accounts of that day
and the heroes we lost.

Rest in peace Twin Towers
and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lost their lives
ten years ago tomorrow.