Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's My Birthday

Dear Sweet Henry,

I love you. I really, really love you. And, I love being your mom.

It's my birthday today, and I loved spending it with you. I love that you are my new constant companion. I love that you run errands with me and go with me to get coffee and snuggle up on the sofa with me. I love trying to eat with you on my lap. I love swaddling you up to go to bed.

I love the sweet, precious moments with you. When you smile up at me when you're nursing. When you wake up from a nap happy and babbling to yourself. When you snuggle up against my neck.

I love hearing you laugh. I love that you look around to find my face when someone else is holding you. I love that you save your best smiles for your dad and I.

I love seeing you grow. I love how much you like your bouncy gym. I love how you stare at the dog and try to grab her ears whenever she gets close. I love how you have discovered the sound of your own voice, and the squeals and screeches that make you so happy.

I love your sweet baby face! Your chubby cheeks and chubby thighs. Even your little fingers are so fat and chubby! I love your happy face and your hungry face and your I'm-about-to-cry-pouty-lower-lip face.

I even love the things that drive me bonkers. Like when you spit up all over yourself & myself JUST as we're trying to walk out the door. When you wake up ravenous in the middle of the night. When you blow out your diaper and there's not a changing table anywhere to be found in the known universe. When I'm trying to discreetly feed you in a public place and you jerk the nursing cover off when my attention lapses for the teeeeniest tiniest second, exposing your cute milky face and MY boob to the whole world. The way you seem to wake up from your nap the instant that I sit down to eat.

It's easy to love you when you are being sweet and precious. But how can I love the annoying moments? The moments when I question my sanity? The moments when I think I might actually scream out loud? Those awful stressful moments?

Well, I'l tell you.
Because in those moments, I know that I am your mommy.
Because in those moments, no one else will do.
It's not anyone else's job to wipe your bottom, or your face, or feed you, or hold you while you cry. It's my job.
And I will keep cleaning you up, and filling you up, and snuggling you up. Because I'm your mom.
I'm your mom and I will take care of you as long as you need me, as long as you will let me.
Because I love you. And, I love being your mom.

It's my birthday, kiddo. And you are my best present. By far.

Love,
Mom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pajamas!

Henry looks so cute in pajamas. So. Cute.
Maybe its because they cover him from head to toe.
Maybe its because they make him look so snuggly.
Maybe its because when I see him in them, I know he's about to go to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

When he was a little newborn munchkin, these were my favorite of his jammies.

But, *sigh* he grew out of them.
Since then, these have become my new favorite jammies:
(Okay, could he GET any cuter?!?!? Look at those cheeks! Gotta squeeze 'em, gotta squeeze 'em, gotta squeeze 'em. Ahem. Excuse me.)

But, *really BIG sigh* he is about to outgrow them too! What's a momma to do!?!
Bust out the 6 month size clothes, thats what.
Which, I did. Yesterday. Pulled them all out of his drawers, took all the tags off & tossed them in the washer.
Here's my big boy showing off his FIRST 6 month size outfit today.
Check out those big blue eyes!

Check out that little green dino!

Check out that goofy smile!

I can't wait to get him in some new jammies tonight.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eavesdropping


Conversation overheard between the 2 contractors working on my bathroom:
Guy 1: That chick on Burn Notice is pretty hot, huh?
Guy 2: Oh yeah. She has a nice body.
Guy 1: Yeah.
This exchange was made especially notable by the fact that it is the ONLY thing they have said to each other all day except for a few scattered phrases like "hand me that pipe," "one more coat," or "lets seal that next." In fact, this conversation was sandwiched between atleast an hour and a half of total silence on either side.

Seriously, people. I love eavesdropping. Spice it up some more for me. Please?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

If I Could Talk To Famous People

Dear Ke$ha,
What is an 808 drum? I have been wondering for a long time. I don't really need you to answer anymore, because I asked David, and he Googled it, and apparently it's some kind of programmable electric drum, like so:

I am so glad I finally know.

But, a few other thoughts, just while I've got you..
  • Whats up with the $ sign in your name? It really has no phonetic place. Is it because you have a lot of money? Or, because you know you are money?
  • Girl. Dental hygiene. Get some. A bottle of Jack is not going to prevent cavities or promote good gum health, and you should really be flossing eveytime you brush too.
  • Your song is my drug. Keep 'em coming!
Love,
Rachel

p.s. David wants everyone to know that although he did google 808 drum for me, he already knew what it was, he was just illustrating for me that he was indeed right. He is so smart and musical. Bow to his pop culture prowess.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bathrooms, Part 1

We love our house. Love, love, love it.

I should probably go ahead and admit that it is not really our house. Teeeeechnically it belongs to my parents, who, in a wild spasm of generosity, offered to rent it to us when we moved to Norfolk almost two years ago.
This house has ruined us for apartment living forever. Just ruined us. We love it. Love the space to have lots of people over, love having a yard, love being in a neighborhood, love the house projects, just plain old love, love, love this house. We have decided we cannot move out until we are financially prepared to buy our own house, which, could quite possibly be never. (JUST kidding Mom & Dad... sort of.)
Anyway, part of the deal when we moved in was that we would rent the house from Mom & Dad, and in return we would tackle some long-needed home repair projects. So far we have refinished all the floors, painted the bedrooms, put doors on the once doorless closets, replaced all the ceiling light fixtures, installed a ceiling fan, finished a sunporch room, created flower beds around the house, and a few other teeny tiny projects.
Aaaaaaaaand then we reached the end of our handyman know-how. (Okay, honestly, we reached the end of handyman knowhow riiiight about when we finished unpacking. We've been winging it this whole time.) We reached... the bathrooms.
Now, these bathrooms are done in the traditional 1950's vintage style, which, in case you don't know much about 1950's bathroom architecture, is not cute at all.
At. all.
The hall bathroom is done in a lovely blueish gray & more gray color scheme, and the master bathroom is a breathtaking combo of pinkish tan & brown. It's bad. Real bad.Pottery Barn would not approve.
But, more importantly than their distressing color schemes, both bathrooms were kinda falling apart. Leaky floors, chipping tile... did I mention the pink toilet with the flowery lid? Yeah, it was bad.
So, anyway, we have finally tackled the bathrooms. With the assistance (assistance meaning he did everything, I just picked out what I thought was pretty) of our trusty bathroom contractor guy Alex, we have totally ripped out both bathrooms. And, I am happy to report that one bathroom is successfully competed. YAY!
Aside from copious amounts of tile dust layering the house, two treacherous days in which our only bathroom with a working toilet did not have a door on it, and the general weirdness of having two men in my bathroom all day, it's been a pretty painless adventure. And, TOTALLY worth my new, shiny, pretty, sparkly, clean bathroom. Ahhhh.
So, here are the before & after pics of the finished bathroom- the previously blueish gray & gray bathroom. Stay tuned for the next bathroom... it should be finished in about a week.

Before.... (ugh)





After.... (ooooh, ahhhhhhh)





Isn't it lovely?!?! I know, I know.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Henry!

Five months old today! Wowsa!

He looks like SHREK!!!

What does a five month old Henry do, you ask? Well, other than being extremely cute, these days Henry also...
  1. rolls over from tummy to back.
  2. puts everythiiiing in his mouth... his hands, his feet, toys, my hands, my hair, sweet tates ear... etc.
  3. has discovered his voice and like to entertain himself by babbling, giggling, laughing, and - newest addition- screeching and squealing (He finds this last one extremely entertaining. The first few times he did it I rushed into the room, fully expecting to see something awful happening- wild animals tearing him apart perhaps? aaaaand he just smiiiled up at me, screeched once more, and then just started giggling at himself. Or was he laughing at me...)
  4. loves to read his board books (and eat them.)
  5. drools like a puppy.
  6. LOVES baths, and just being naked in general... can you tell from the pictures?
  7. eats 6 times a day, takes 3 or 4 naps, and sleeps for about an 8 hour stretch... most nights. :)
  8. stares at sweet potato whenever she is in his line of sight.
  9. absolutely loves the outdoors. He is so happy walking around the block, looking out a window, playing on a blanket in the backyard. It's like magic.
  10. Is still fitting into most of his 3 month clothes... but is stretching out his pajamas... so it may be time to move up in that department.
  11. Is still so cuddly, and likes to snuggle up close (please, please, dont let him outgrow this anytime soon. please, please please.)
  12. is mesmerized by watching people eat. It might be time for some solid food soon...
We love you Henry! You are such a jolly, snuggly, cute baby boy and we think you are the best thing EVER! Seriously, ever.
To celebrate you, I am making chocolate chip coconut cookies today. I know you can't eat them, but... one day. It's always good to have something in life to look forward to. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If I Could Talk to Famous People...

Dear Rhianna & Eminem,
O.
M.
G.
It's so, so good. I love it, absolutely love it. Rhianna, your voice is lovely. Aways has been, always will be. Eminem, I have almost learned all of your rap parts in the song, and I think its hilarious when you say "thats why they call it windowpain."
Every time it comes on the radio, I get that "ooh, ooh, ooh" feeling & my fingers spontaneously reach for the dial to turn it up. It's an absolutely faaaaabulous song! FABULOUS! It's so passionate, so emotional, so raw. It's a masterpiece of contemporary pop music. However, it is also abusive & perhaps even homicidal, and that is what I'm here to talk to you about today.
RhiRhi, lets start with you. Okay, girl. You like the way it hurts? You love the way he lies? Now listen. I know you went through some rough stuff with Chris Brown- I mean the guy bit you- and you are probably still recovering from that. And, I can also sympathize with loving something that is not good for you. But, girlfriend, sometimes, you have to say no to things, even though you like them.
Example: I love cupcakes. However, if I ate every cupcake that came my way, I would be so big they would have to medivac me out of my house. Even though the cupcake is good, I have to say no. Rhianna- you gotta say no! No more biting, no more hitting, no more hurting, no more lying. Little girls everywhere think you rock (and big girls too- case in point- me!) and they need to know that it is NOT okay to let boys hurt them.
Eminem. Why do I like you so much? Is it because of your great songs? Maybe. Is it because your name sounds like a delicious chocolatey treat? Definite possibility. But really, I think its becuase you have conviced everyone that you- a skinny, blond, white guy- are a badass! That is a feat. I'm impressed.
But, you gotta step away from this abuse business. It was bad enough when we found out you were knocking Kim around. It really takes some balls for you to sing a song ABOUT domestic abuse, WITH an abuse victim, when YOU yourself are a known abuser. (Although, perhaps this is what makes the song so good? Both of you are really deep into what you are singing about? Not the point...) It may be time for anger management classes. I feel like deep down you want to be a good guy, so you gotta nip this in the bud. And listen carefully, because this part is really important: If you tie Rhianna (or anyone else) to the bed & set the house on fire, I will no longer be your fan. I mean it.

Your adoring (yet slightly concerned) fan,
Rachel

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lake House Heaven


We're back! We returned late Sunday night from our week-long blissful sun-soaked vacation on the balmy shores of Lake Gaston. Rest, relaxation, and sunshiney gloriousness.
Anaaaaad, then we came home to a house with no working showers or sinks. There is one working toilet, but the bathroom does not have a door on it, so unless you have a very bold personality, that may be an issue. (No, we did not move to the ghetto without telling you. But, we are in the process of remodeling BOTH of our bathrooms. I will post copious before & after pics at another time, its gonna be awesome, totally worth dealing with the toilet-door problem for a few days .)
I am blaming my case of the blues on the bathrooms & the mild state of turmoil that it throws our house into. But, really, its probably not the bathrooms. I always feel like this after vacation.
It's a lot like the day after Christmas. Still so joyful & thankful, but a little sad at the realization that the long awaited day (or week) has passed. The realization, perhaps, that not every day is quite as special or as beautiful as that day.
The Lake house days, are so special, so beautiful. I sort of like to imagine heaven as one loooooong vacation at the lake house. I heard a pastor say once that when you think about heaven you should just think about the most AMAZING scenario you can come up with, and then just know that heaven will be even better than that. Well, the lake house is the best thing I know of, so that's what I'm imaging heaven as. Tha'ts allowed, right?
One morning on the deck, Dad read from a book called "The Rhythm of Life" by David Adam- a book of Celtic prayers. One of the prayers read:

"In your goodness, you have made us able to hear the goodness of the world.
The voices of loved ones reveal to us that you are in our midst.
A divine song sings through all creation."

It feels so true to me, that the voices of my loved ones reveal that Christ is in our midst. The reason the lake house feels heavenly to me isn't really because of the water, or the sun, or the food, or the relaxation, but because of the people, because of the ones we love. Spending time with them, away from the roar of the world does indeed help me to hear more clearly the goodness of the world. Of course, the sun & water certainly don't hurt things either. :)

Mary Alice & Justin- if you read this, I desperately want your pics from the lake house too!

Strange Family- if you stumble upon this one day, out in cyberspace, please know, I love your lake house. And I love you for letting us use it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


Henry took naps in the cabana on the dock all week.
Father & Son
Magdalena & the ADORABLE sun hat she knit for Henry
Ahhh, a boy after my own heart.
I don't know what they are doing here... but its kind of funny.


Auntie Annie & Henry in the baby pool!





We didnt really let him drink it. Please don't call social services.
Henry with his Uncle Frankie
Trampoline + Water = Fun

This is how we deal with rain at the lake.

Henry meets his Uncle Justin & Aunt Lauren! He loves them!
bliss.

Until next summer...