Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

So once again I am going to join the masses and write out my new year's resolutions, full of optimism and hopefulness that I will be able to follow through and end up a better person in 2009. Forgive the cliches... I really do mean them. And for anyone who is actually reading this, please ask me if I am following through! I need some accountability. Here goes:

1. Exercise! I still look like I am pregnant, especially after I eat a big meal. I have a good stroller, I live near a walking park, our gym has childcare.... there are no excuses. I even have a bunch of home exercise equipment like little dumbells, etc. that I can use in the living room while Lucas is playing.

2. Eat better! I haven't been following the guidelines that I set with Betsy... no dairy products, no soy, less bread and packaged products, more veggies, less sugary products. It's just so hard because convenience foods are so easy, especially when I am busy with Lucas all day. And I need to be taking my vitamins and supplements regularly.

3. Figure out some way I can actually make money at home, and stick to it. I think I have concluded that the scrapbooking gig is more of a hobby thing than a money maker, which is fine b/c it is a lot of fun and a good way to get together with friends. I just need something else to make some money. I am taking over my mom's website so I will do my best to make that work to bring in a little money, but that will take a while to get started. I may need to find one other thing. Hopefully the right thing will come along.

4. Allow time for my creative side. I have been itching to learn adobe illustrator and photoshop. I want to create some of my own graphics and make some cute cards and things... I also want to sew and create some goodies for lucas and his friends. I want to learn to draw. How I will do all these things, I don't know, but I know they are good for my soul, so I need to make time.

5. Come up with a great financial plan. Ryan and I want to buy our house eventually, and we want to be debt free (or close to it) before we do so. We need to come up with and stick with a good plan to get us where we want to be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is there such a thing as bloggers block?

Is there a such thing as bloggers block? I've never had a problem writing, but for some reason the last couple weeks I have not been able to write. I've started a couple blogs and gotten half way through, and though, "this is stupid", so I deleted them. I think my thoughts are so scattered that I can't seem to arrange them into words and instead it turns into a jumbled mess... this is already a jumbled mess, but I'm still going. I think I'll change the subject.

I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I can't believe my son is almost one year old. He is running around the house, talking to me, and I am left wondering what happened to the sweet little baby I held in my arms just a few months back. Not that he isn't sweet now.... when he isn't running around he is giving me hugs and kisses with his arms wrapped around my neck. I love hugs from him. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we will go to Ryan's parents house to celebrate, with lots of food and fun gifts for the kids. This year we opted to go all out for the kids instead of buying big gifts for us adults. We already have everything we need, and it's more fun to see the little ones playing with their new toys anyway. Christmas day we will go to my parents house to celebrate. Once again, delicious food and lots of spoiling for Lucas. He already got to peek at one of his gifts... a table and chair set just his size!

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends again this Christmas, and so happy to be able to share it with Lucas this time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful, and it made me remember everything I have to be thankful for. However, this year was unlike any Thanksgiving before.

As a kid I remember going to my grandma's house for thanksgiving, with my aunt, uncle, and cousins visiting from the bay area. We would watch "Home Alone" over and over again, walk to the park up the street to play, and enjoy a delicious meal. My favorite part was always the black olives.... I'd load them up on all ten fingers and eat them one at a time. My grandma always had an extra olive dish just for me.

The last few years as myself, my brother, and cousins grew older, we celebrated at my parents house with whoever was available to come. We transitioned to gluten free thanksgivings, as all other meals had become. We had fun with new recipes for stuffings and pies, and always had the delicious turkey and fun family time.

Then I married Ryan, and we started having 2 thanksgivings each year, one at each of our parents house. We spent half the day at one house eating a full turkey day meal, and then moved on to the next house to eat yet another full turkey day meal. We would leave stuffed, but happy to have had the time with our families.

Next came Lucas, and this year, a couple months before Thanksgiving I started thinking... I wanted Lucas to have a big Thanksgiving with everyone he loves. Just as I remember big happy family thanksgivings as a kid, I want to give him memories like that as well. So Ryan and I decided to join our families for a big Thanksgiving! Needless to say, it was a blast! We had so much fun with everyone together. Boys watching football, girls in the kitchen, kids playing in the living room with grandparents on their tails, music coming from down the hall once the instruments had been broken out, and most of all, lots of smiles, hugs, laughter, and good food.
I'm proud to say we pulled it off, with lots of help from our parents of course. I'm not embarrassed to admit I was freaking out about the
turkey (my first time cooking one) when my mom hadn't arrived when she said she would... Anyway, it was a wonderful experience, and I hope we can do it again in the future.

Here are some fun pictures...

The Jaeger family... (clockwise from the left) Ryan, Bill, Alan, Kylan, Kelly (and Alek), Patti, Sylvia, Me, and Lucas

The Malmin/Weber family... (clockwise from top left)... Ryan, Dave, Andy, Kevin, Brian, Jenny, Elle, Judith, Barbara with Lucas, Suzanne, Matt, and Sam lower center.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Sew Tie Blanket

I am so proud of the blankets I made today! One for Lucas for his birthday, and one for soon to be baby Alek, Luke's cousin... These were so easy and fun! The only annoying thing was that Joan Fabrics sale signs were misleading, so I ended up spending a lot more than I planned.... lesson learned.

Here are the instructions for anyone interested...

You will need 2 yards of fleece material each for the front and back of the blanket.
You can choose two solids, or mix it up with one solid and one print.
Lay your material on top of each other making sure it is lined up perfectly, you may even use pins to secure it but pin the material away from the edges at least 4 inches.
Once your material is lined up cut out a 4x4 inch square from all four corners of the fleece material.
Now you will begin cutting around the edge of the material. Use your thumb as a guide and cut lines the width of your thumb and then up 3 inches-4 inches. Make sure the cuts are even around the entire edge.
Once this is done begin Knotting the material. On the corners do not, knot the material too tightly. You will be tying the material from the front to the piece in the back. This will create a neat, knotted fray around the entire blanket. If you use a buddy it will take you about 30 minutes to do one blanket .
If you used pins to secure the material together, remove them. When you are done you can roll this up and it looks really neat with the different colors. You can even wrap with a bow or leftover material.

May you be happy and peaceful

Something Nancy taught me on Thursday, and I love it so much it is going to be with me every day. I hope I got the words right...

May you be happy and peaceful
May you be healthy and strong
May you be safe from harm
May you move through the world with ease.

May I be happy and peaceful
May I be healthy and strong
May I be safe from harm
May I move through the world with ease.

Repeat this to yourself daily, in the car, in the shower, before you go to sleep, any time you need to calm yourself and bring yourself to a place of peace. Feel your breath flowing in and out of your body as you say these words. Feel how alive you are. Find yourself in awe of your body and and how beautiful it is, how beautiful life is.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Letter to Lucas


I want to tell you what I love about you! I love your spirit, your beautiful personality, that little spark in your eye that seems so mischevious. I love that devilish smile you flash at me just before you tear across the room for your favorite toy. I love your deep belly laugh that radiates so much pure, utter, happieness. I love to watch you explore new things, you are amazed and infatuated by life and everything around you. I see joy on your face when you spot our dog or cat, or any animal for that matter. I know you are pure and good in your heart. I love how you can make me smile on the worst day, just by looking in my eyes. You make me laugh when you stare right at my face and then grab my glasses off before I have the chance to stop you. You are beautiful and perfect and I am so proud to be your mom. Your personality is amazing to me. You are curious, strong willed, determined, happy, shy, and you wear your heart on your sleeve. You are uninhibited. You have a killer smile, you are going to be a handsome man someday, I can tell already. Your hair makes me laugh too! It is so curly and long and out of control. It is free spirited, just like you. You have such a happy personality and I never want that to change. I love you, I love you, I love you.

I want to tell you some things... give you some motherly advice. First of all, this may sound cliched, but try as hard as you can to always be yourself. Don't be shy to show people who you really are. Stand up for your opinions and your own thoughts because they are not wrong. They are what make you, you. Second, do not judge other people. You will make the best friends, meet the most interesting people, and learn so much if you are open and non judgemental in your relationships. I have so many hopes for you... that you find what you love to do, that you meet someone wonderful and fall in love, that you have your own beautiful children someday, that you have every opportunity to see and experience the world. I also hope that you learn to see the beauty in everything - in small and simple things. I hope that you know faith, and that you find a spirituality that you are comfortable with. I hope that you can take what your dad and I teach you and take it in your own heart, and grow with it for a lifetme. I hope that you know how much we love you, and always will love you no matter what you choose to do or who you choose to be.

I want to tell you how much you mean to me Lucas. You have changed my life. I am so proud to be your mom. I don't know what I used to do with my life before you came into it. You have shown me what really matters in this world. Happiness is family, love, and the experences we share together. It is not material, not found in money or posessions, status or popularity. It is in being true, being me, being you. I want nothing but the best for you... the best life, the best opportunities, the best experiences, and I will do everything in my power to give you everything you deserve. I can't wait for the years of experiences with you Lucas.

Love and hugs,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother’s Day Meaning

My mom gave me a gift years ago, a little wall hook that said, “You’ll never know how much your mother loves you”. It has moved with me from my first apartment, to all the homes I’ve had with Ryan. It was always special to me, but of course I didn’t fully understand what it meant, or what it must have meant to her. Today, it has a different meaning to me, and I’m sure I’ve just barely scratched the surface of beginning to understand and feel a mother’s love.
When Lucas was born, I loved him immediately, the first cry, the first time I looked in his eyes, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, hearing, and feeling. But every day that love has grown stronger and stronger and so many times I feel like I can’t even describe with words how much I love him. Who can understand this, other than another mother? My mom can, and this year, I have a new, different appreciation for my mom, a new understanding of what we are celebrating on mother’s day, and a deeper feeling of love than I’ve ever felt in my life. I think I may put that little sign in Luke’s room someday, and hope that he will come close to knowing how beautiful he is to me, how he gave new meaning to my life, and how much I have and will always love him.

Religion and Spirituality - May 11, 2008

A couple of days ago my grandpa, the minister said to me. "I'm going to tell you something Suzi, and I've never told this to anyone before. I really believe you let God run your life". And I thought to myself, "yes, that is what I want, and that is what I do try to do." I have always believed that the right thing will come, that God has a plan for me and Ryan and that if we have open minds and open hearts, everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I have a lot of faith that we are making the right choices. We have been very blessed in our lives so far. We have had wonderful opportunities and great experiences together. We may not always be making the most responsible choices or the choices that other people think we should make, but we are following our hearts, and the plan that God has put together for us. We are very lucky, and very fortunate to have had all the opportunities we have had. I really believe that if we continue to live our life the way we do, and to enjoy ourselves as much as possible and wait for the right things to come our way, we will lead very happy and inspiring lives, and teach Lucas and any siblings those same values.

My faith has always been strong, but the way I believe and the way I show my faith has really changed over my lifetime. When I was a little girl I prayed to Jesus every night to keep my family safe and keep me healthy. I was afraid to do anything that would be a sin, for fear that something bad would happen to me. I was afraid to swear or lie or cheat or do anything wrong. As I grew older I continued those fears, and added to my prayers every night a plea to God to protect me from the things that I was afraid of. I feared that if I did anything wrong or said anything wrong I would be subjected to those fears, and tortured with them. I continued to think that faith was going to Church regularly and believing in God and Jesus. In middle school and high school I started hearing people talk about "having a relationship with God". I didn't know how to do that. I said my prayers. I went to Church. I participated in youth group. But i did not understand this relationship that I was supposed to have. I wondered if I was really safe from Hell since I didn't really feel I had this relationship. In high school I went to Mexico to build houses for the poor. I did this twice and those experiences brought me closer to God and the deepest into Christianity and the Church than I had every been before. I started to feel like I had this relationship, or at least a better understanding of what God wanted me to do, and be like. But I still held on to the fears I had had as a child. I started going to Church more regularly on Sundays, and continued to go to youth group and be involved with the Church. Once I got to College things slowed down a bit. I was shocked into this new life on my own. I was supposed to be an adult and was out of my comfort zone. i was scared and I was sick. I went to a few Campus Crusade for Christ meetings and felt the familiar good feelings I had felt in my hometown youth group. But something stopped me from going regularly. I was having such a hard time away from home, and I didn't have any friends. I was too quiet to try and make new friends in the group. So I didn't keep going and I ended up up leaving the university after a quarter beause I was sick. I felt like I had failed at being an adult, at being on my own. From this point I entered into the hardest period of my life. I struggled with my health, with my relationship with my parents, with my own identity, and with my life in general. I went through many medical diagnoses from hypoglycemia to mononucleosis, none of which turned out to be correct. I was put on antianxiety meds and antidepressants, harnessing any last bit of my true self. It was a fight, a struggle, but I finally got through it, discovering my true condition, celiac disease, and started a path to healing. I tried during this period to go back to Chuch, but never quite suceeded. It wasnt fitting with my lifestyle, and something still felt like it was missing.

In the back of my head, as a child, there was always something wrong with what I was being taught. We were told in Church that "God" was the only real God, and that Christianity was the only real and true and right religion. That never made sense to me. Why, then, were there so many religions in the world? Why did so many people believe in so many different forms of God? How could the God I was taught about, the one who loves every person in the world like they are his own child, send all these people to hell because they believe the wrong thing? The God I believed in just couldn't do that. So I always had some question in the back of my head about religion. I still believed in God, and followed what I was taught, but there was this doubt in the back of my mind. I felt like that doubt was bad, like I would be punished for it, like it was a sin, so I tried to push it away.

Once I had resolved my health problems, gone back to school, made new friends, and started my relationship with Ryan, I went through a period where I was preoccupied, and sort of shut religious activities out of my life for awhile. I stopped going to church, and hardly prayed anymore. I still believed, but was so confused that I didn't know what I believed, so I just didn't think about it much. I went through a period of about 5 years of dating, traveling, going to school, working, looking for who I was and what I wanted out of life. I graduated from college, got a real job, and got married. At this point is where I started thinking about religion again. But this time, it had a new name - spirituality.

Being spiritual made more sense to me. I felt as though I'd always been a spiritual person. Rather than believing there was only one way to believe, this opened up my eyes and made the world make more sense. I new my answers were hiding somewhere in the definition of spirituality. I bought an audio recording of Dr Wayne Dyer speaking on his book, "There is a spiritual solution to every problem", and as I listened to it, I was amazed. It made sense of every question, every doubt, every bit of confusion I'd ever had about my religion, and I realized I had been believing the wrong thing for 25 years. I was believing in a story book Jesus, a fairy tale religion. I was now able to admit to myself, without feeling guilty, like I was sinning, that I could believe what I feel in my heart.

So, where am I now? I am a student of God, a student of spirituality. I listen to the teachings of Jesus, of Buddha, of any spiritual leaders that have touched humanity, and I take what makes sense to me. I believe in heaven and hell in a whole different way than I did as a child. I know in my heart that if I am a good person, that nourishes my spiritual self, and gives to humanity, makes a difference in the lives of others, and is loving, open, and true to myself, that I will be in this world, in a good place, for a very long time. i won't be in this body forever, but I will always be me. And when I do leave this body, I will be capable of experiencing and seeing, and loving, and being more than I ever could while walking on earth. I know I will be with those who love me, and I will be there for those that I love as well.

I am finally at peace with my beliefs. I no longer feel guilty for not going to church every sunday. I don't think it's wrong to be inspired by the teachings of Buddah. I want to teach my son about the good inside people, and the good of God in this world. I want him to know God not as a fairy tale, and not in fear, but in love and all the beauty that can come from it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

3 Month Photo shoot

Yesterday Lucas and I decided to commemorate his 3 month birthday (which was a week ago) with a special photo shoot. We went through four outfits and lots of props like blankets and stuffed toys. He loved it - although he was very interested in the camera’s flash and payed more attention to it than me - you will see in most of the pictures he is starting at the camera very seriously. He saved the smiles for when I put the camera down.
The photos are posted on our shutterfly website -, and a few are posted on the Lucas Photos page here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The first 12 weeks

What I want to remember...
About Lucas’s birth:
The moment I saw him - when they told me to open my eyes and they placed him on my belly, and I touched his head for the first time. It was the most amazing moment of my life. In an instant I was a mom.
About bringing him home from the hospital:
The car ride home - when we knew this was for real, we were taking him home, that he was ours forever. We were so worried with him in the car seat. He was sleeping peacefully and I kept waking him up to make sure he was ok. Ryan’s parents met us at home to welcome us with balloons and banners. My parents brought us dinner. Jenny and Brian came over to meet Lucas for the first time. After everyone left we were so tired. That night was one we will never forget. I was a mess from the delivery and in so much pain I could hardly get up and down. I was taking some very strong painkillers which made me feel pretty weird as well. We tried to go to bed, but Lucas was finally getting over his sleepy stage and was awake most of the night. He wasn’t in the mood to sleep any more. We took turns holding him, we put him in his little swing and tried to get a few moments of sleep at a time. I fed him constantly. I don’t think I got any actual sleep at all. I remember the medicine and lack of sleep making me feel so sick, as well as the pain being terrible. Ryan hurt his back on the hospital bed the night before, and could hardly bend over to pick lucas up. We changed diaper after diaper, no clue what we were doing. We were overwhelmed and bewildered and so in love with little Luke. That night was the hardest night, but it was our crash course in parenting on our own. It was our first night alone with Lucas!
About our first trip out, and my first trip out with him:
We went out to lunch at Corralles. We packed up the stroller and diaper bag and took a short walk from the park to the restaurant. We were so proud to walk our little guy for the first time! He slept the whole time - we weren’t gone long and then headed back home. It was a couple weeks later that I went out by myself with Lucas for the first time. Since my recovery was difficult, it took awhile. After Ryan was back at work, I took Lucas out and went to my mom’s store with him as our first outing. I couldn’t get the stroller unfolded! It was raining and I ended up making several trips from the car to the shop to get all my baby gear inside. Now I’m a pro and can have the stroller assembled in a flash. Phew!
About his first smile:
We saw a lot of smiles from Lucas when he was just a newborn, but we new they were just reflexes. When he started smiling for real, it was the most amazing and beautiful thing! To see some of his personality start to show through, to understand better what makes him happy, was so much fun. That adorable smile helped strengthen our bond, and it can cheer me up in an instant. No matter how tired I am, or grumpy I am, when he gives me that toothless smile, so big that his little eyes get smooshed closed, I am the happiest mommy in the world. His smile is contagious!
About my maternity leave:
Sleeping in... those quiet moments to myself that I spent thinking about Lucas, and how I wanted my life to be as a mom. I was able to think about what I wanted to teach him, and the kind of mom I hoped to be. Those few weeks spent at home, organizing the house, preparing his room and all the baby gear, and mentally preparing myself for the biggest change of my life, were essential in my start with Lucas. I loved decorating his nursery. My mom and I spent hours arranging it, shopping for just the right accessories. There were many trips to Babies R Us to pick up the last necessities. It was so much fun preparing for him!
About our family and friends:
The moment we realized we could not take care of Lucas on our own during those first couple of weeks. We were adjusting to the shock of parenthood and trying to deal with sleep deprivation, and I was recovering from the delivery, both physically and emotionally. I called my mom at 7am the first morning we were home with Lucas, and she was there right away to help us out. My dad came later, and my grandma, and Ryan’s parents. They worked in shifts, allowing us some time to sleep. Before Lucas’s arrival I had expected that Ryan and I would be fine, and able to handle it ourselves from the start, but that was not true. We could not have gotten through those first couple weeks without our families and friends coming by to help us out with Lucas, bring us food, and give us time to sleep. Thank you so much, all of you!
About seeing Ryan as a dad:
I have loved seeing Ryan with Lucas during these early weeks. His love for his son is so strong. He took charge in the beginning, changing all the diapers, giving him his first bath, taking care of me throughout my recovery. He has his own tricks for holding, soothing, and playing with Luke. He is not afraid to be goofy, in fact, he thrives on being goofy and Lucas loves it! He has really taken on the role as dad amazingly well, and he is such a proud daddy. It has been fun to see him pushing the stroller out on walks, wearing him in the front pack carrier around the house and when we go out, and the excitement in his face when he comes home from work to play with his son.
About seeing Lucas with our parents:
It is amazing to me how much of an effect he has had on them. They love him so much, and it seems as if they just can’t get through the week without seeing him. I was so proud to be able to hand him to my mom and dad and grandma in the hospital, and to see their faces as they held their grandson for the first time. Being able to give them this experience has been wonderful for me. I know Ryan feels the same way about sharing Lucas with his parents. We’ve only been parents ourselves now for 3 months, but it has given us a tiny glimpse of what our parents went through with us, and how they must have felt when we were born.
About my recovery:
It was so much harder than I had thought it would be. Lucas is 13 weeks old and I am still recovering, having just had another surgical procedure done to repair damage from the delivery. I had thought recovery would be a breeze, but I did not know what I would actually go though at the birth, and the measures the doctors would have to take to get Lucas out. I will never forget those moments of panic in the hospital when I was terrified that I was going to lose him, and compared to the potential outcome, this recovery has been nothing. I don’t wish it any other way because Lucas is here and he is healthy, and my body will eventually heal.
About the shock of being a new mom:
I couldn’t believe he came out of me! I couldn’t believe we made this beautiful little boy. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get through those first few weeks, and how hard it would be to be on duty 24/7. But I love it! I love him, I love being a mom. It’s amazing how it just comes so naturally.
About sleep deprivation:
This has honestly been the hardest part of having a baby. I feel like I’m losing my brain because of the lack of sleep. On the days when I’ve only gotten about 3 hours of sleep, I find it so hard to be patient with anyone, or remember anything I need to do, and I just get so frustrated. But on those days, I look at Lucas and he gives me the biggest smile, and everything gets better. In the early weeks this was the hardest. Ryan and I worked out a sleeping schedule where we took shifts, before Lucas had any kind of sleeping pattern. I learned to take naps, which I’ve never liked in my life. Now that he will sleep through the night with only a couple feedings most of the time, things are getting easier.
About Lucas’s first cold and doctor visit:
Lucas got sick when he was 5 days old. He started sneezing and gurgling, and his nose started running. We took him to the doctor, and the doctor said we just had to wait it out. But, he’s only 5 days old, I thought! Couldn’t they do something? But no, they sent us home with a nasal aspirator, aka snot sucker, and said to go to the ER if he got a fever. Needless to say, we were scared to death. We watched him like a hawk, one of us, or one of our parents, was with him at all times. This was baby boot camp I think - why not throw this on us at the same time we are learning how to take care of him in the first place. But we quickly learned what to do for him, and now we are pros at snot sucking! Just when that first cold went away, finally, the poor guy ended up with another one at about 6 weeks, and it is still somewhat there now, at 13 weeks. We are hoping the cold and flu season is over soon, and he will finally be feeling better for awhile.
About the early weeks of breastfeeding:
The very early weeks were a major learning experience. I had no clue what I was doing, and everything was a mystery, from how often I should feed him, how long he should eat, when to start pumping, how to pump, etc. Being the only one that could feed him and comfort him was difficult early on when I was still recovering. Once he and I got the best positioning down, and I was able to learn what Lucas needed and how to read his cues, things got better. By the time we hit the six week mark, it was more enjoyable. Now I am very, very glad I made the commitment to breast feed. It was a big factor in helping me bond with him as well. I love being able to feed him, to look down and watch him fall asleep as he is eating, or see him looking up at me, sometimes stopping to smile at me. I definitely plan on continuing to breast feed as long as he wants me to.
About our early bonding and attachment:
Early bonding was hard. I was in so much pain, and I could hardly move around. I couldn’t get up and around the house easily for the first 3-4 weeks. Because of this, it was hard to hold him, rock him, take him out of the house, get up at night to change his diaper, etc. I had to rely on Ryan and our parents to do a lot of that. All I could really do was sit and hold him, or feed him. I didn’t get to feel like I was really taking care of him like I wanted to since I was such a mess still.
From the moment I saw him, I loved him. I instantly bonded, but it was a different kind of bond than I feel now. I didn’t know him yet, I just loved him so much. It wasn’t until about 5 or 6 weeks that I felt true attachment and bonding. One day, as I was holding him, it just felt different, I felt like I was getting to know him so well, and I felt like he needed me, that we had become this little pair. I was his source of nurturing, and he was this beautiful little boy that I loved.
About his first shots:
It was horrible. The sound of his cry of pain is the worst sound that he can make. As a mommy, it breaks my heart to hear that cry. He was a brave little guy though, I was so proud of him. He just cried for minute, and then he was happy again. They gave him a little band-aid and sent us on our way.
About watching him grow:
I love watching him grow and change. I look forward to all the development, and watching him learn and attempt new things. At the same time I wish he weren’t growing so fast, because he has already outgrown the newborn phase. Before long he won’t be a baby any more. He grows so fast. Sometimes I swear he grows overnight. I will look at him and he just seems bigger. Every time we visit the doctor, which has been very frequently with him being sick for so long, he has gained another pound. Now at 13 weeks he is already 13 1/2 pounds!
About eating out, and our first meal in a restaurant:
Our first attempt at a real restaurant was PF Changs. We brought the stroller in and Lucas slept until we were ready to leave. We gently jiggled the stroller the whole time to keep him sleeping, and it worked! We had our meal and we were thrilled! We felt like pros at this parenting thing! It was wonderful to get out and go to a restaurant.
About his first bath:
Ryan gave Lucas his first bath. We used his little blue bath tub. I took pictures while Ryan did the hard part. Lucas liked the water and he was a good sport until it came time to wash his hair. Overall, he did very well, and so did we!
About our first date night:
Our first date night was fun, but we missed Lucas the whole time. We left him with Ryan’s parents and went to a movie. We sent text messages to check on him during the movie, and called to check on him when it was over. We decided to go get dinner at the natural cafe after the movie, and we sat there thinking about him and talking about him, and finally just rushed through eating and went to pick him up. But it was really nice to get away for a few hours and spend some time together. We still haven’t had another date night, but hopefully soon we will do it again.
About introducing him to our pets:
Our pets did great meeting Lucas. It was easier than we thought. They actually didn’t really care too much that he was there. Ruffy and Gizzy sniffed him a bit, but were more interested in getting their dinner and some attention from us, than the baby.
About his routine, and being at home with him:
Being at home with Lucas has been a blast. He keeps me on my toes! Just when I think I’ve got the routine down, something changes. He likes to surprise me. It has been a bit hard coming up with new ideas of things to do with Lucas at home. I make up new games as much as possible, and try to remember all the ones I used to use as a babysitter. We sing songs, we roll around on the floor, we play game after game after game. Ahhh!
About his favorite toys:
Lucas has especially loved his baby einstein activity mat. He can lay under that for so long, listening to the music and playing with the dangling toys. He started off just looking, then swatting at them, and now grabbing them with his fingers and kicking them with his feet. He also has really liked his squishy turtle book, and his little pink telephone rattle.
About our favorite places to visit together:
We have had lots of visits to the mall, and to target, where I can just wander around and look at fun stuff while lucas naps. Now that he is older, he loves going to the grocery store with me - all the bright lights and colors on the shelves are so interesting to him. We like to go on walks around our apartment building, and to the dog park with Ruffy.
About the new confidence he gave me:
I used to be much quieter, shy I suppose for certain things. i never really spoke up for what I wanted. Now, all of a sudden, I find myself speaking up more, and asking for what i want, whether Lucas is involved or not. This started when I was pregnant, I guess I felt I had an extra boost of confidence with my big belly. It has continued and gotten stronger now. I feel like I need to speak up now to make sure I get what I need, and that Lucas gets what he needs. I am hopefully setting a good example for him, and caring for him to the best of my abilities.
About mommy hormones:
Mommy hormones, mommy instincts, they all kicked in as soon as Lucas arrived. Somehow I can be completely brain dead in every other aspect of my life, but I can remember exactly when he ate, slept, pooped, or cried last. I am in tune to all his different noises, and I wake up in a split second in the middle of the night - sometimes I wake up just minutes before he does. It’s crazy!
About spit up:
It’s everywhere! On the floor, on the bed, on me, Ryan, Lucas, everywhere! I feel like I constantly have a wet shoulder. He’s starting to drool now too, so it’s spit up and drool all the time!
About my free time:
What is free time? I thought I was busy before I had a baby. i don’t know what I was thinking! In the beginning I barely had time to take a shower. Now, thanks to Ryan, I get a shower almost every day! :-) Other than that, my only free time is when Luke is with his grandparents, and then I am running around like crazy trying to get a million things done. I end up staying up late at night after Luke goes to bed, when I should be sleeping, to get some time to myself. I think I’ve come to accept that my life has changed, and I no longer have time to myself. Now, it’s time for little Lucas.
About learning his different cries, and how they evolved:
Luke had the cutest little cry when he was born. It was so tiny sounding, short little cries. These evolved over the first few weeks until he really got a set of lungs on him. He can cry louder than I can yell! But, thankfully, he really doesn’t cry often - just when he’s hungry, or tired, or bored, or in the car..... he seems to hate the car seat! Over the last 12 weeks I’ve learned to know the difference between all his cries, and I’m pretty good at figuring out what’s wrong and fixing it quickly.
About driving with Lucas:
Unless he’s sleeping, driving is miserable! He doesn’t like to be in the car seat. If we’re driving non stop, he will quiet down and fall asleep, but if we’re stopping at lights, or slowing down, he can’t stand it. He cries in the car! In the first couple months, he seemed to cry uncontrollably, but now that he is 3 months, he kind of cries and whines, and occasionally starts screaming. I hope eventually the car will be fun for him, because we love road trips!
About leaving him for the first time:
The first time we left him was only for about 45 minutes. We were visiting my parents for dinner when he was probably 3 or 4 weeks old, and wanted to go to Lowes, which is only 5 minutes from their house. He was sleeping and my mom was holding him, so we took off quickly. The whole drive there we kept saying we should go back. I called them at least 4 times while we were gone. We rushed through the store and drove back home quickly, and Lucas was still sleeping, never knew we were gone.
About visiting the shop with Lucas:
My first trip out by myself with Lucas was to my mom’s shop. From then I just started visiting about once a week. Lucas gets to visit with his grammy, and I get to visit with my mom and the customers. I’m enjoying it now because I know before long Lucas will be running around and we won’t be able to just hang out and visit as easily anymore.
About the things Ryan did to help me:
Having a baby brought out another side to Ryan that I hadn’t seen before. He took such good care of me in those first few weeks when I couldn’t move off the couch. He cleaned and cooked and got up to get Lucas for me all night long. He was so sweet and took such good care of both of us. He still makes sure I have water ever time I’m feeding lucas, and he will get up any time I ask him to during the night. He also makes sure I get to take a shower every day! He loves to give Lucas a bottle any chance he gets, and is much more patient than I am when trying to get him to sleep.
Well, that’s only a handful of my memories of the first 12 weeks. It has been a challenge but it has been the most rewarding 3 months of my life so far. I can’t wait to see what Lucas does next!

Who needs sleep, anyway?

It is 2:13 am and I am awake. I am in bed with my laptop, staring at the video monitor of Lucas sleeping in his crib. He is sick with a cold and a bad cough, so as his mommy, I am keeping an extra eye on him as he makes little squeaks and coughs and wiggles his way down the wedge we’ve placed him on to elevate his head. I can’t seem to sleep tonight. Normally, I would be trying to get back to sleep, knowing how precious the few hours during the night are when I can get some time to rest, but tonight for some reason, I just wanted to stay awake and watch him.
Being a mom is a glorious new experience for me. I am loving him so much. He has opened my eyes to a whole new meaning in life, renewed my sense of self, and given me such physical and mental strength that I didn’t know I had. My body and my brain have been challenged more in the last 10 weeks than they ever have before. I have learned so much about myself and what I want out of life, for Lucas, for myself, for my family. Watching Ryan be a dad is just as rewarding. I see his face light up when he comes home from work to his little boy, and he grabs him up in his arms. Lucas saves special smiles and coos for his daddy every day.
Today I found myself driving to one of my newfound favorite places - the pacific view mall. I don’t go there to shop, nope I go there to walk with Lucas. I put him in his wrap carrier and I walk around with him strapped to my chest, until he falls asleep. Then I go to the food court and enjoy the luxury of eating lunch with two hands. Afterwards I may wander around and window shop as Lucas naps. I notice that other moms seem to have the same idea. There are strollers everywhere being pushed by tired looking parents. Today I watched the kids visiting the Easter bunny and contemplated torturing Lucas with a visit to his lap. I decided against it, since waking him up didn’t seem like an enjoyable thing to do at the time. I remember looking at the pictures of my brother and I with the Easter Bunny when we were just little babies and thought it would be cute to have those memories for Lucas. Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow. Anyway, as I was standing in the food court today eating my tacos while standing up and bouncing my little guy, I suddenly thought to myself, I am SO lucky! I have everything I have ever wanted. I have a great family now, a wonderful husband and beautiful new baby. I couldn’t ask for anything more than this. Suddenly everything that used to seem so important to me seems so trivial. The only thing that matters to me now is my family. What a great new perspective!
As I sit here, knowing that tomorrow morning when Lucas wakes up refreshed and I wake up with a mommy hangover, I will regret the moment of insanity that drove me to grab my computer at 2am, but for now I am happy sitting here, thinking about Lucas, and enjoying the quiet time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My thoughts on Lucas

So it’s been six weeks.... a wonderful yet trying six weeks. Lucas is an absolute joy. He is the new love of my life, and Ryan’s too. We are finally a family! I have so many things to say about the last six weeks, so many emotions, so many thoughts, that I really don’t know where to begin.
Everything smells like spit up. Our bed, our clothes, Lucas, there are stains on our couch and chairs, our dog and cat are starved for attention. I have do laundry twice as often now. Dishes sit in the sink, cat hair on the carpet, I watch as dust collects on the shelves and counters and long to do something about it. But when I get a second... those things don’t get done.
I am a mom! I am a mom, and my life has completely turned upside down. I love it, now that I am adjusting to it. It has been hard, the hardest few weeks of my life so far. Everything is new.
The birth was not what we expected, but I won’t go into that right now. I’ll save that for another blog... As for now, our lives have completely changed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

blog for lucas - December '07

In all this anticipation of lucas's arrival I wanted to stop and think about my experience of being prenant. I am actually going to miss being pregnant. I have really, really enjoyed the experience of carrying him in my belly for 9 months. I feel honored and blessed to have had this experience of creating another human being, my son. Whenever I think about it I am truly amazed. Ryan and i created this little boy, this little baby, that is fully developed and now ready to come out and experience the world. He will start out a helpless baby, become a curious child, and develop into a self sufficient adult that will make his own impact on the world in his own way. We created actual life, we are contributing to this world, to society, to Ventura, to the spiruitual world that encompasses all our experiences and relationships.
My favorite things about being pregnant have been:
Feeling lucas in my tummy, when he tickles me or suprises me, when he gets the hiccups or gets really playful and active. I have loved sharing that experience with Ryan, letting him get to feel him moving too. I've loved hearing friends, family, and strangers tell their stories and wish me and my family luck. I've loved learning all the toys and supplies we're going to need to take care of him, and I'm so excited for being a mother.
Moments I remember most - the first ultrasound where we saw his heartbeat. I was so nervous up to that point that there might be something wrong or I might not really be pregnant. When we had it confirmed on there that he was inside me and growing as he should be, I was overwhelmed and excited, anicipating the rest of the pregnancy journey. It has been wonderful to see how excited our families are to welcome this little boy into the world. The amount of time and love and energy they have put into helping Ryan and I during this time, giving gifts, celebrating with showers, and thier pure and utter excitement for this new chapter in ours and their lives is amazing. I feel like we are not only bringing a son into the world, but also bringing a gift to our parents to enjoy and share and love. I'm looking forward to all the experiences we will have with our baby and them as well.
What else have I loved.... I have loved and feel so greatful for all that Ryan has done for me during this time. In my first trimester, when I was so sick and practically bedridden, he took such good care of me. He made me breakfast and dinner, picked up whatever food I felt like I could eat, made me eat so that I would feel better. He made me tea, got me club soda at midnight, canceled his plans and came home from work to take care of me, and took interest in everything I needed to talk about. The hormones were not fun during those early weeks and he did everything he could for me, didn't complain, read his pregnancy books to try and help me out and understand me, and did everything he could. He made me feel so much better, and that time was bearable because I had him to take care of me. Throughout the rest of the pregnancy he has been so supportive, taking interest in everything from decorating the nursery to making a plaster cast of my belly. He is looking forward to being a father, and I know he is going to be great. He has so much love and excitement for this little boy that it amazes me. When I see him with his little nephew, who is now 6 months old, holding him, changing his diaper, playing with him, I can only imagine how highly involved he will be in Lucas's life. I'm looking so forward to us being a family together.
During this pregnancy we have made some pretty big changes. Ryan took on a new job with much, much more responsibility and involvement that he has ever had before. We moved out of our living situation at Ryan's parents guest house and into our own apartment. I feel like we've finally become adults, on our own, with good jobs, and starting a family. I am so happy with our life together right now.
I'm most looking forward to figuring out how we're going to be as a family of three. With me planning to stay home I hope that I can take care of most of the household chores and errrands during the time when Ryan is at work, and that we can use our evenings and weekends for family time, spending time with lucas, going to parks or the beach with him and ruffy, spending time with our families, or just hanging out at home together. I want us to let lucas experience how we like to live, and not necessarily change our activities becase we have him, but bring him along with us to our favorite hang out spots, to see our friends, etc. I'm hoping to do things like hiking and bike riding and walking and going shopping with him there too. And staying home to play together or going to the pool or taking him to a lake or the dog park or disneyland or shabu shabu. I can't wait to take him to hawaii!

So anyway, i think i've digressed. I just wanted to say, I'm going to miss being pregnant. I have really enjoyed it, and I have been very fortunate to have it go so smoothly. I haven't had many problems - no crazy swelling, very little back pain or braxton hicks pain or other pain of any kind. I've gained weight only in my belly, not my bottom or my face or my hips or thighs, which is where most girls end up with extra weight. I really just gained it in my belly. My biggest problem has been my stomach - nausea in the begining and some issues throughout so that I haven't been able to take the vitamins as much as I would have liked to. but i did the best i could, and I've eaten as well as I could.

Lucas, I can't wait for you to come out so I can meet you. I will miss having you in my belly, but it is going to be wonderful to have you in my arms!

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