March 30, 2009

March 29, 2009

The Weekend of Sleep

Grammy came to visit on Thursday, en route to Texas. She hid jellybean eggs in her bag, and James went searching for them. At bathtime, James said "Grammy," plain as day. Grammy will be back on Wednesday to stay another night. I know James is hoping for more jellybeans!

Ms. Stella slept for 5-6 hour stretches over the past two nights. Thank you, rice cereal and formula mix. We tried to get her to 12 weeks without bringing out the big sleep guns (aka the rice cereal), and we made it to almost 14 weeks. Poor little Princess was just hungry (you can look at her and just tell it!) We had big plans to move her up to her nursery tonight (bought a soft new mattress and everything), but then I thought we ought to let the mattress air out for a few nights, since it was wrapped in plastic...and I distinctly remember reading somewhere that un-aired-out mattresses were a contributing factor to SIDS. So we wait until later in the week, then. Still, baby girl is doing great with her sleep, and she seems to finally be over the sniffles.

James, now seventeen months, is fantastic as well. He is readily using the word "Mommy" and mostly to his advantage, and to my detriment. He waited so long to use the word, that now when he does, I melt like hot butter. "Mommy." Oh the dear boy knows just what to do.

He's talking up a storm now. He's got a little devil in him, and yet, he's the sweetest little pile of sugar in the world. He readily uses the words "please" and "juice," "Mommy" and "Daddy" and "Sissy." He can identify most anything on his plate: bread, cheese, banana, fruit, meat, peas, beans, rice, chicken (chick-un), cheerios (chee-os), cracker (crack-uh), orange (unge), apple (ah-ple), yogurt (gurt), applesauce (ah-ple cup), pudding (puh-din). He basically repeats everything we say now, and recollects things that he has only heard once. Last weekend, Jason and I were eating breakfast, and from across the room, he exclaimed "Bis-cuits!" He hears a plane, and points up says "plane" and "sky." Other words he now has in his repertoire : baby, buggies, heart, Papa, girl, feet, hands, nose, eyes, ears, hair (hrrrr), head, toes, clap, jump, boing!, square, shoes, socks, shirt, pants, tubby, potty, gorilla (gu-lla), dress, giraffe (d-raff), Barney (B-ney), Sesame Street (Street), Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie, hamburger (bur-gur), McDonalds (Donnas), ketchup (catch-ee), bath, cloth, teeth, mouth, plate, spoon (sooon), cup, drink, milk, water (w-tur), outside (side), bye... this is the list I can recall.

I swear, the boy woke up one day, and just started talking. And funny... boy, oh boy, is that kid hilarious.

On a more serious note, some very dear friends of ours are going through a difficult time. Their sweet baby daughter might be facing a troublesome genetic disorder. We are all are hoping for the mildest form of it... actually - we are hoping for a complete miracle and healing. I am so thankful for my two healthy babies, and my heart breaks for our friends; yet, it makes me nervous to know that everything can just plug along perfectly, only to have a heartbreak like this, years later. As my mom always says, when you are on the mountiantop, the valley is right below.

Thank you all for your wonderful love and support. Please keep our friends' dear little girl in your thoughts and prayers.

March 24, 2009

A Woman Should Have

A poem commonly attributed to Maya Angelou, but actually written by author, Pamela Redmond Satran. Still worth reading. I will start reading this out loud to Stella now. :)

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a youth she’s content to leave behind….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

A WOMAN SHOULD friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a feeling of control over her destiny.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to fall in love without losing herself.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship…


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…that she can’t change the length of her calves,the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..whom she can trust,whom she can’t,and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…where to go…be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…or a charming inn in the woods…when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…what she can and can’t accomplish in a day…a month…and a year…

March 20, 2009

Our Family Signs

What fun. Scorpio, Saggitarius and Capricorn. Our little family horoscopes... I really see the Scorpio in James.

Happy Friday, all!

Ruled by the benefic planet Jupiter, Sagittarians possess a natural exuberance, sense of adventure and love of life that makes them one of the most optimistic zodiac signs of all. Like their astrological symbol - the Archer - Sagittarians are renowned for aiming their sights towards whatever it is they find alluring - a love partner, dream job, vacation - and making it their own. They believe that anything is possible - and because of this belief system, Sagittarians are adept at seeking out their very own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But sometimes trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is frustrating for those around them. Sagittarians are happiest on the move - exploring new cultures and ideas and many are attracted to occupations related to travel, the media, outdoor work and philosophical pursuits. In love, their catch-cry is "don't fence me in". But once they find a partner who understands their need to retain their own sense of self and identity, Sagittarians can be the most big-hearted, generous and fun-loving companions of all. Freedom loving, optimistic and honest, Sagittarians are ruled by Jupiter, the planet of abundance and higher learning. The wisdom of Jupiter imbibes Sagittarians with an inherent need to develop their own unique philosophy of life. The Centaur is their astrological symbol, and it gives many insights into the Sagittarian personality. The higher-evolved Sagittarian learns to integrate the two ends of the Centaur (half-human, half-beast) in order for their arrow (another Sagittarian symbol) of higher aspirations to be more on the mark. Although they are intellectually and spiritually advanced, Sagittarians are notorious for their lack of tact. In relationships they demand independence, but when in love, it can't be denied that they are one of the most big-hearted signs of the zodiac.

Meredith & James: SCORPIO
Reputed to be the "most powerful" sign of the zodiac, Scorpios lead fate filled lives and have intense and dramatic personal relationships. Even as children Scorpios are often found to be wise beyond their years. Many astrologers call this the sign of the "oldest souls". Old and wise beyond the average, Scorpios often know all the answers, except sometimes; they too often have difficulty finding what they need to develop their own happiness. Passion, desire and power go hand in hand for Scorpios. Their biggest challenge and test in life is choosing between the power of love and the love of power. Coming to grips with their extraordinary emotional depths and sensitivity isn't easy for those around them. They are different from all other zodiac signs and this difference has them walking, working and loving to a different beat. Others can often live with a Scorpio partner for years, but not really know them. Much to do with a Scorpio remains ever secret. Their eyes often blaze with feelings that words never express, and beware on the days or nights they hide their feelings behind dark glasses, there is likely to be a storm of some kind brewing. When you deal with a Scorpio you have to always deal with them on a psychic intuitive level. They often wear a mask. Too often they say "no" when they really mean "yes". They have contrary natures. Once they find true love they can be the most faithful dedicated of all partners but fall out badly with a Scorpio and you are likely to find they will never forget or forgive. Most Scorpios are winners.The main thing they have to worry about is their attitudes, which make up their mind powers and can either make or break them. When they are negative about something or someone, or critical of themselves, they can tend to get in their own way. Scorpios operate on three levels of soul evolvement; adding up to three distinctively different types of Scorpios. The first level is the Scorpion. This is the least evolved and most drawn toward using their powers the wrong way. The criminal element of Scorpio comes under this level. Then there is the eagle - the highflying, entrepreneurial, successful Scorpio, who seems able to rise above adversity and transform bad-times into good. Then the highest expression of this sign is the Phoenix Resurrected. These Scorpios are detached and extremely powerful. They are wise beyond their years and act as leaders and are an inspiration to others. Quite frequently a Scorpio goes through the three levels of evolvement in one lifetime - but the levels can operate out of sequence.

The sign of the high roller, Capricorn is regarded as the zodiac’s top, but also quiet, life and business achievers. But, there are two very different types of Capricorns. The first is represented by the mountain goat, always climbing higher and higher; never content until reaching the top. The second is the garden goat, with little adventurous spirit or ambition-happy to remain within a small domain, refusing to budge unless it is pushed. Either type of Capricorn, however, is patient and persevering. They reach their goals because they know the longest journey commences with a single step and that the first step is always the most difficult. The one thing a Capricorn must always try to do is balance work with play; otherwise they can become too one-sided and work can replace true personal emotional fulfilment. Continually climbing the eternal mountain of success, Capricornians rise to the occasion when faced with a new task or deadline. Even if something comes to a grinding halt, their ambition to reach the ultimate keeps them moving forever onwards and upwards (prompted by the strict influence of ruling planet Saturn). Although conservative and cautious, Goats are willing to try unusual approaches on their road to success in business or in love. Romantically, they desire a permanent relationship with someone who'll give them the affection they crave (and often neglect to give themselves!) The rulership of Saturn - the planet representing responsibility, structure and hard work - ensures that Capricorns in their truest of expression, are ambitious, practical and superb organizers. Although many Capricorns are borderline workaholics, this doesn't necessarily make them dull or gloomy! They have an offbeat sense of humour, which seems to erupt at the most unexpected moments. Their motivating force in life is success, money, status, authority and - although many might not admit it - love. By nature Capricorns are cautious when entering a new love relationship, but once they feel 'safe' with their partner, the cool exterior melts away to reveal a sensitive and loyal heart beneath. As a friend, Capricorns can be relied upon to provide the strongest and most sympathetic pair of shoulders in the zodiac...


March 18, 2009

Happy 12 Weeks Miss Stella

Happy 12-week birthday, Stella Rae. You are an amazing little gal.

We are blessed to have you.
And we love your precious brother too, who with each passing day becomes more and more of a dear little boy, and less and less of our sweet "baby" James.

And special thanks to Mia and Papa for "saving me" while Jason was away on a trip. Papa got some good napping in, and Mia read books and "played monster" with James all weekend. James and Stella are very blessed to have Mia and Papa in their lives.

March 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Mia and Papa are coming to visit tomorrow. We are so excited! Happy Friday everyone!

March 9, 2009

95th+ Percentiles and Nekkid Time

Baby girl Stella went to the doctor for her 8 week check-up (even though she's almost 10 weeks). I like to delay these things, hoping any negative side-effects from vaccinations will help with a two week delay.

She was 14.5 pounds (over 95th percentine!) and 23 inches long (75th percentile). The doctor said she is healthy and "perfect", and perfectly rolly. I was glad to hear it. And the doctor also mentioned how alert and responsive she is (genius!). I need to lookup how big James was at that age... but I think she's beating him. I found myself almost tearing up when the doctor told me she was over the 95th percentile for weight. Not that I was sad that she's such a big girl, but because she's so innocent to it. There is only one precious time in a woman's life where weight doesn't matter... and she's at that time. Babyhood and childhood.

And thus it begins... the pressure I feel from having a daughter. The crucially important way in which I talk about my body image, and my self-esteem around her in the future. The way I must never focus on my weight or her weight, but rather on our health, our happiness. This makes me realize how unbelievably important it is that Jason and I are (finally) working out again, eating good food and staying away from the garbage. Our children must be surrounded by health, wellness, and exercise in order for it to absorb into their core beings. I do not want to look sweet Stella in the eyes at sixteen, and have her curse me for any sort of "weight curse" or negative body image that I passed down to her. By taking the selfish time for myself, to workout and to shop for good food, I am hopefully creating a life and a love for these children that just makes sense.

In related news, James stripped down "buck nekkid" tonight and played in his room before bed. I asked him, "Are you ready for your tubby." And he simply responded, "Kay."

Boys, on the other hand... do not really seem to have this body-image problem. And for that, they are lucky little rascals.

PS - James is Elmo obsessed. He says "E-Mo."

March 7, 2009


.... are the best. It's not like we, as new parents, really catch up on sleep on the weekends, as we used to do, but still... the weekends are precious times to spend with our boy and our girl. The weekends help alleviate the working-mother guilt I carry around like a truck of potatoes. Our fantastic (and reliable!) nanny helps alleviate that as well. I do not worry about the kids when I am at work, because I know Staci will take care of both of them, not call me with some ridiculous drama, and just simply do the job of caring for our munchkins. We are so thankful for her, and the love she has for James and Stella. An answer to prayers...

James is a fully self-sufficient eater now, with all sorts of developing opinions and attitudes (some of that attitude, we are going to have to put an end to, and quickly). Stella is growing like a flower, not a weed, because she is too precious to be a weed! She seems to be wise beyond her nine weeks, and is exceptionally alert (all hail the genius flag!) We are tired, oh-so-very-tired... but our little family is still the most amazing gift, and for that I am thankful.

Jason and I are "in training" for a 5K race at the end of April. We'll see how that goes. Today at the park, we might have died running, but I blame the 80 pound stroller, and the uphill climbs. :)

March 1, 2009

Snow Babies

It seems like once a year, since J and I got married, there is a fantastic snow day. I love these days. And today is one of them.

We joke about "Ice Storm 2000", which paralyzed Athens, but we relished skipping school for almost three days. There is no school to skip these days, ...but more of a cost-benefit analysis to have (e.g., "Do I really want to get on I-85 at 6am when it's 26 degrees and snowing?". Answer: "No.")
I look back so very fondly on snow days with Jason. And now we are making new ones with James and Stella.

Even regular days with the babies are precious, like snow days. One day we are going to look back, fondly at these times, as they will be gone in a white flash.