Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010


2010 was definitely one of the best years of my life, for many reasons. But, of course, a certain cute and captivating almost-8-month old little girl has a whole lot to do with it.

May your new year be blessed and filled with more love than you know what to do with (is that really possible? :).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

3rd Anniversary :)

We don't get very much sunshine around these parts, these days. But today was an especially sunny day, in every aspect. We celebrated our 3rd year as Mr. and Mrs. A, with our new addition dressed in a new pink outfit (that we picked up from Costco yesterday after signing up for our first membership :).



But before we embarked on our special day's adventure (aka taking a trip to a very delicious and local gluten free bakery, and dropping by a scrumptious bbq place to pick up our dinner), Jose and I exchanged gifts. I received the beautiful flowers above, along with a dark chocolate Toblerone (one of Jose's first dating gifts to me).

I loooove sunflowers (which is why he included those sunny golden flowers above), but roses are an important part of our special day, so Jose included them in the bouquet. He said the color combo reminded him of love and sunshine, and I agree. Roses are special to quite a few people, but a poem about them was included in a portion of wedding vows.


I like giving homemade gifts, but I wanted to give Jose something relevant to our anniversary. This gift didn't require much making, and I'd been wanting to do it for awhile now...

We wrote a portion of our vows; I finally got a chance to print and frame them. Jose's vows to me are on the left, my vows to him are on the right. The middle picture is pretty familiar, isn't it? ;) I had to laugh when I was putting this together. Take a look, my vows are about twice as long as Jose's. I just read a few days ago that women utter quite a few more words than men on a daily basis. I think that definitely applies to our marriage! :D



Jose thought of a fun anniversary idea. He said that, starting this year, we should record a "state of the union" meeting. He said we should discuss the high and low points of the year, so that we can watch the videos every year on our anniversary to see how we've grown as a couple. I love that idea!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Than 100 Reasons

Yesterday I came across something I really could not relate to.

I don't want to post the link here. I realize that people have a right to express themselves however they want, and I am thankful for that freedom. I also realize that there are some folks who really do not want children, and that is fine too. Because, honestly, there would be many more unhappy people in this world if more children were born to parents who didn't want them.

I'm not promoting anything (political) by saying that. In fact, if you check out my other blog posts, you'll understand my views on everything from family to children. But I still couldn't help but feel a bit put-off by the many claims made in that blog entry. How can anyone confidently make a list of 100 things that they like about never having a child, if they've never had one? They listed everything from having more money, to having a better marriage.

The irony of it all is this: I've found that my life and heart are both richer after having Mirabel. I've also fallen even more in love with Jose after having Mirabel. I've seen how he loves on her, and it just makes my heart melt. No, it certainly isn't always easy being a mom (or dad), but let me tell you, it is so worth it.

I could go through that list and literally offer a rebuttal for every claim. After reading it, I realized that I certainly have more than 100 reasons why I LOVE being a mother. There are definitely more than 100 things I love about Mirabel, too.

Instead of responding to that blog post, I chose to write a poem for Mirabel. True love of any kind can't be captured in a list, or even a poem. But this is just an outline, really. Kind of like what results when you attempt to trace a detailed painting. Anyway, here it is...

If I had to limit myself to 100 things or reasons,
I would take a lesson from God and run my fingers through the wispy strands of hair on your head, and try to count them
but then
I would miss the fine hairs on your ears
and the tiny creases on the soles of your feet, and their softness:
what walking around barefoot on the sand, or the dirt, or on uneven sidewalks will take away.

But I digress. 100 things...

I had to wait ten seconds for the test results, then I was certain you'd be mine. And in the split second following those ten, before you even had 10 fingers and 10 toes, I already had 100 reasons.

Time has always been the thief; memory its rival. But the minute you were born, I realized it was on my side, that only you could steal the better part of me (my heart), and that I'd formed a memory I'd never have to struggle to keep.

No, my freedom has not been taken from me. Instead, it was given to me after 40 long weeks, when I learned to put myself second. I gained a greater understanding of true beauty, then.

I have not lost myself. I have only lost what I never wanted anyway, the part of me that was afraid of loving this much.

As a result, I have far more than 100 reasons.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The weather outside is frightful







...that lonely tree is our Christmas tree. We put him on our porch after deciding, on the day after Christmas, that we needed the space in our living room. Maybe I should crochet him a sweater? ;) Mirabel seems to be enjoying the view from inside.

Snowed in

Right now...
We are snowed in! For the past 2 days, we've been restless, stuck inside.
BUT we are enjoying our time together. We've taken naps, watched movies, eaten good food, played with new toys, messed around with our (aka my) blog, changed the title...and why the title change? I've always thought homes with white picket fences in front were cute. We don't own a house, and we are always moving around, so this is our pseudo online home :). Behind the picket fence = what goes on in our lives (no surprise there). A new title for the new year. And a new header for the new season.

I'll be back with pictures of the blizzard. Yep, if you look up the weather in the Boston area, it'll say "blizzard". Our last blizzard, perhaps?



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feeling joyful...and festive :)

Finally...I'm out of bed and cooking! Actually, just roasting some veggies, but it feels good to be back in the game. It looks like our first Christmas will be an enjoyable one after all.

Notice those 2 new ornaments? Well, the little snowman isn't new. I gave him to Jose last year (and he isn't hanging by a noose ;). The footprint? That's Mirabel's. We picked up a "baby's first Christmas ornament" right after Halloween. I think it was initially intended for a newborn's footprint, but I'm so glad hers still fits in the frame :). And the two people in the background? They're the presents too big to fit under the tree, gifts that keep on giving (and I'm not just referring to Mirabel and her diapers :P).

On another note, here's a nice poem someone shared recently. I think it's sweet and wanted to share it with you all.

Today I dined with great saints of the Lord. I cleaned their faces and washed their hands.
Today I tied the shoes of great warriors. Those who will defend truth and rely on His joy to be their strength.
Today I ministered to royalty. I dried tears and whispered truth in young ears.
Today I worshiped with the pure in heart. We danced unashamed; in awe of our creator.
Today I am blessed to be a mom. Capturing each moment, enjoying every giggle, and shepherding these gifts.
-Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Venting: Sometimes I feel like I'm failing this test

How do people with multiple children survive when they are ALL sick? I just don't know, but I want what they've got. I think I've probably got to start doing a lot more praying, and a lot less relying on my own personal strength. I really don't have too much of that these days. Jose started out sick, and he is still hacking away at night unable to sleep. Then Mirabel got sick, and that was much worse. I felt so bad for her, she just refused to sleep. Now she is better, but is still waking up with cough attacks at night. Then Friday night (thankfully I'm the last one), I was shivering for a few hours, then sweating up a storm. I was hoping to sleep since Mirabel was having a good night, but a fever kept me up. I had bodyaches, sore throat, and a fever for 2 days. Then I got the congestion and 2 migraines. I had a feeling I was getting a sinus infection because of how much strange looking phlegm I was hacking up (sorry for the graphic description)! I went to the doc and he said he wasn't sure if it was a sinus infection or virus, so he said to just hold on to the meds until I got worse. Well, fast forward 2 hours past the doc appointment and my fever goes up to 101.6 (and it was my 4th day with a fever). It hasn't been that high this whole time. So I decided I probably have an infection. All night I've had a fever, and Mirabel decided she wanted to wake up 5 times to eat. She is not very happy these days. She loves her dad, but I think she knows something is up with me. She starts crying when she's with him and then she stops when I hold her. But I'm shivering cold most of the time, coughing, or blowing my nose so it's not easy to console her, or carry her around when I'm exhausted myself. Thankfully, Jose is done with his finals so he can help out more, but he is working on a probono project, so he'll be gone half the day today :/. I worry about how much motrin/tylenol I'm taking because I know it goes to the baby, but I'm only able to take care of Mirabel when I'm not feverish (it's one of those fevers that makes you want to hide under 10 layers of blankets, and even that's not enough). These antibiotics should start working soon, though. I just pray I don't get bronchitis again. I don't have the best lungs, thanks to asthma, and I usually end up on steroids when I get sick like this. Again, I'm more worried about Mirabel ingesting it. They say it's safe to take when BFing, but c'mon, there is no such thing as benign medication :(. I hope this is all over before Christmas!

On a positive note, it started snowing yesterday! Just in time for Christmas. It's beautiful outside!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The best part about Christmas

My cousin posted this link on her FB feed and I really enjoyed reading it. Wanted to share with you all. Can't help but feel proud to be a human being after reading that :).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lovely poem

It was a rough night last night, actually the past 2 nights have been rough. Poor Mirabel got her dad's bad cold and, with a fever that wouldn't break and a stuffy nose, she refused to sleep. She literally only slept 3 hours in a 24 hour period. Thankfully, her dad, seeing how tired I was, stayed up and held her upright for 4 hours so I could get some rest. AND the poor guy is in the middle of finals; he's yet to start studying for the toughest one that's on Monday.

This may sound silly, but even though times like this are stressful and would've probably made us argue before Mirabel was born, we are closer now that she is here precisely because of these moments, and in the toughest part of these moments. Instead of getting impatient at 2 AM because we're both sleep-deprived, we laugh and dance around in our PJs with dried baby boogers on our clothes, spit up in our bed (actually, mine and Mirabel's bed ;) and just pray that we maintain a tiny bit of our sanity. Instead of worrying about his Corporate Finance final on Monday and getting upset about how he has to sleep so he can study, Jose grabs Mirabel and lets me sleep. No complaints are made, all signs of frustration and concern are non-existent. For 4 hours, he does nothing but tenderly hold his baby in his arms. He can't sleep, because he doesn't want to drop her, I'm sure; he also isn't nearly alert enough to study. But he takes it like a mature, loving, selfless adult; a truly respectable man of God.

I don't know if it's the sleep-deprivation or if I'm just the cheesy, sentimental type. I think it's probably the latter, but I really enjoyed the poem below and wanted to share it with you all...

This poem goes out to the awesome Dads as much as it goes out to loving Moms, biological and spiritual. This is for all of you. I found it on this site. Enjoy.

For All Mothers

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at soccer games instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see my goal?" They could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick children in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Meyer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here."

This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can't find their children. This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see and for the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes and for all the mothers who don't.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleeping to dread, from bed to crib at 2 a.m. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

Is it the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?

I think so.

So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn't.

This is for reading "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then reading it again, "Just one more time".

This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started to school and for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

For all the mothers who bite their lips (sometimes until they bleed) when their 14 year olds dyed their hair green.

This is for all the mothers who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won't stop.

This is for all mothers who show at work with spit-up in their hair and milkstains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

This is for mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home or are grown.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves.

This is for all the mothers whose children have gone astray and who can't find words to reach them.

This is for all the mothers who sent their child to school with a stomach ache, assuring that they would be just FINE once they got there, only to get a call from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working moms and stay-at-home moms. Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money and mothers without.
This is for you, so hang in there. The world would be a terrible place without the love of mothers everywhere. You make it a more civil, caring and safe place for the precious children in our world.
Author Unknown


Monday, December 13, 2010

My hope for 2011 (Here we go again...)

I did it. I got a referral to see my OB (because we need referrals for that here), and I'm going to talk about my "options" during my up and coming appointment. I realize at this point I don't have many, since Mirabel is still nursing around the clock, and biology is complicated...but I think she'll be weaned by 1. So what's my hope for 2011? A positive pregnancy test.

I knew I wanted my kids to be close in age, but I didn't realize I'd want another one this soon. It is tough sometimes, especially since I still haven't slept through the night in almost 7 months, but I've gotten used to it. She is getting 4 teeth on top and another on the bottom; I feel like I'm losing my little baby :(.

Believe it or not, Jose has also been asking me when we're going to have another one because he also wants another one already!

I have no idea how long it's going to take, and I really don't even know what'll work the second time around. 3 rounds of Clomid didn't do anything the first time around...or maybe it did, but I didn't get a positive test until a month and a half after taking my last pill.

Even though it'll be a bit of a rollercoaster, I know it'll be easier this time around. I already have the one thing I've always wanted. The rest is just icing on the cake, and of course I'll love them equally, but it's still different this time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feeling Hopeful

Though I used to often wonder as a kid what it'd be like to have parents whose marriage wasn't destroyed by alcoholism and mental illness (things my dad struggled with when I was younger), the holidays were the one time I was usually pretty content with what I had, as far as family was concerned. I spent the early part of my life surrounded by extended family, so I wasn't unhappy.

What's odd is, now that I have a family of my own, sometimes I go back to wondering what it'd be like to go home to that kind of ideal place: where my mom and dad would be there together to welcome all of us , including their new grandchild. But we live in a broken world, so when I'm ungrateful and have unrealistic hopes, I try to change the way I think and hope for less selfish things that are more important. Thankfully, those hopes aren't impossible ones.

My dad has been sober for quite a few years now. It hasn't been easy for him, though, which is why I now respect him for staying away from alcohol and drugs. It wasn't always this way, hence my use of the word now. When I was younger, I didn't realize how much my dad struggled. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia aren't terms that most 7 year olds are familiar with (at least I wasn't). So I just chalked it all up to him not loving my mom or me enough, but at 26, I realize that's far from the truth.

I just got off the phone with my dad, and though he didn't outright say it, I know he is better.
His tone of voice gives it away. When he was struggling earlier, refusing any medical or emotional help, he sounded broken. I admit, it was tough to talk to him because I wanted him to be happy. I'm not the type of person who can easily cut themselves off emotionally--so I felt what he felt, just not to the extent that he felt it. To me, being happy seemed so simple, but I don't have what he has. I also haven't lost what he did, a wife and child.

My father has come a long way. He hit rock bottom when my parents divorced, and I didn't know that until my aunt explained the situation a few years ago. Though he is still healing and can't work because of his mental state, I've been able to witness his progress from across the miles. Becoming a grandpa brought happiness back into his life, too.

It may sound silly to the average person, but just hearing my dad talk about putting up Christmas lights at my grandparent's house, or decorating his Christmas tree, really brightened my spirits this morning and did for me what going "home" does for a person who comes from a non-broken family. My heart is warmed when I hear joy and hope in his voice because I know that he is very familiar with sadness. This is one of the things that makes me feel hopeful and content this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Santa pic

Mirabel loves people...BUT she sometimes freaks out when someone else holds her. This is why I expected the "posing with Santa" pics to turn out a bit sour. We were wrong! The girl was pretty fussy the entire time we were in line earlier this afternoon, but as soon as it was her turn to shine, she did just that. I'm not sure if she just loves being on camera, if she thought our attempts at making her laugh were pathetic (so she smiled out of pity for us), or if she really liked jolly ol' Santa, but we got a smile! A big toothy grin.

Sidenote: Now, this picture might look a little funny (thanks to me). At first I completely forgot to add something for Santa to sit on. I realized he was squatting in the air, which looked pretty strange, so I added a chair. Jose thinks the chair looks weird, but I think the Santa squatting in mid-air looks more odd. :P

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Freebies

I love free stuff. I'm no longer a college student, but I still do a little dance when I see the word "free", especially when food is involved. No food today, but lots of free cute/crafty stuff from other sites! Just as good, maybe? I think so :).

Christmas images for scrapping can be found here
Free fonts can be found here
Free December desktop that can be personalized to feature your favorite photos can be found here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He's probably right...

We decorated the house (or our apartment, we moved back in yesterday) for Christmas. I, of course, felt that the blog should reflect the holiday. :D Jose believes I have a record for the amount of times a blogger can change their layout...he's probably right. Please bear with me :P. Thanks!!!

Mirabel dancing

 

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