Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Lil Man!

Lil Man,

Happy first birthday to the sweetest, happiest, most adorable little boy! I could not be more proud to be your mommy and am incredibly blessed to have you as a permanent ray of sunshine in my life. Your smiles brighten even the darkest of moments and there is no greater miracle in life than watching your child grow before your very eyes.

I have a confession to make. I was afraid of becoming a mom. When I used to babysit, I never felt I was good with kids and honestly, I lacked the attention span to deal with their 20 questions and mundane activities. Was this the kind of mother I was destined to become? When I heard your heartbeat for the first time during my 8-week appointment, I knew instantly that loving you would be the greatest chapter in my life. One that I would embrace without hesitation or fear.

I will never forget seeing you for the very first time. Your bright eyes and beautiful face. You see, we didn't know if you were going to be a boy or a girl. The world simply knew you as "Lil Arch." Sometimes I miss being pregnant with you. For nine months, I got to hold you close, feel you kick and laugh whenever you danced to Eric Church's Creepin'. Those days when I got to hold my belly and know you were safe and right where I left you... as a mobile terror, those days of stillness and cuddling are long gone.

Since you'll never remember anything about your first year, allow me to fill you in. Right before Christmas, you became pretty sick during a very aggressive flu/RSV season. My first month of motherhood was spent rocking you in the nursery... keeping you upright, listening to you wheeze and being scared out of my mind. Remember to someday thank Aunt Z for going into Respiratory Therapy so she could teach me how to extract snot from even the farthest regions of your brain and FaceTiming in the middle of the night to watch your chest rise and fall.

Even though you were feeling pretty crummy, when you were only four days old, we caught a glimpse of that smile that can still melt my heart even now. Your smile is contagious and no one can feel anything but happiness when they see it. Your dad and I would always go into your nursery together first thing in the morning (after you slept 10-12 hours straight through... yeah buddy!) because your first smile of the day was priceless. It was my morning coffee... my personal sunshine... the reason my heart was ready to burst.

We spent nine glorious weeks of maternity leave curling up under the Christmas tree, watching it snow, visiting Grandma Z and getting in all the kisses I would miss when I had to go back to work. You loved to be in your bouncy seat and hated when it was tummy time. As you got older and stronger, the exersaucer became your new favorite hangout because you loved to jump and make as much noise as possible. When it was time to start eating solids, it was clear you had my genes when it came to having texture issues. Now you eat anything. Your favorites are most fruits, graham crackers, juice, suckers and all the lint off the floor.

You love making bird chirps, fish faces and monster noises. You fight me when it comes to wearing shoes and hats, but love your batman slippers and sleeping with a blanket wadded up around your face. You get hangry when food isn't brought to you fast enough, but Cheerios and puffs always quiet down your yelling. Zora's water bowl is your favorite thing to play with because water fascinates you. You loved playing in Grandma's pool during the summer and baths are your favorite time of the day. Changing your diaper as you got older turned into wresting an alligator doing a death roll, but the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or letting you chew on the hairbrush/A&D tube/wipe holder/(unused) nasal aspirator could calm you down most of the time. My favorite song to sing to you is "You Are My Sunshine" and I will always cherish our snuggle times as they were few and far in between.

Zora is the best big sister you could ever ask for... minus the fact that sometimes she chews on your toys. When you were small enough to fit in the bouncy seat, you'd get super excited and let her lick the inside of your mouth. Gross? Maybe. She was building up your immune system, whatever. As your motor skills developed, you pulled so much fur out of that dog. You especially liked her long butt flaps. But she let you do it, because she loves you too. I know you two will be best buds someday.

I think you've grown up more in the last couple months than maybe I was emotionally ready for. Sure, you've always been a big boy... starting out at 9 lbs. 2 oz. is a lot of baby to lug around and is why Grandma Z and I have developed "Brody elbow." Now when I look at you... walking around the room, flipping through your books, reaching up at me calling out "Mama,"... my heart wants to cry and burst with amazement all at the same time. "Babies grow up fast" will forever be the biggest understatement. You turned into a little boy overnight.

Brody, being your mom is the most beautiful, rewarding and exhausting honor I will ever have. Having a child opens up a part of your heart that you never even knew existed. I never really knew what fear, anxiety and exhaustion were until I became a mom, but I also never understood what it meant to love another human being so much that you do anything and everything for them. I look forward to watching you grow, learn and play every single day, and although there are things I'm anxious for in the future, I never wish away these precious moments as they already come and go so quickly.

Happy birthday, Lil Man. I love you with all my heart.

- Mom

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dum Dums and Tippy Toes

No, I didn't die... just sounds like I'm going to. I've been trying to get this post out for a couple weeks now, but between a sinus infection, Brody being sick, a ton of Etsy orders/freelance projects, general holiday madness and getting ready for Brody's 1st birthday... I'm pooped.

These past couple weeks have been so incredible though! Lots of huge changes have happened in my life and my lil man has grown up significantly right before my eyes. I couldn't be happier with where things are at right now. I feel incredibly blessed.

Walking Machine
Yup, Brody is officially walking. Well, most of the time. When he's in the mood, he can walk clear across the room (unless I'm trying to show someone how well he walks... then he turns me into a bull shitter.) This tiny dancer seems to only want to walk on his tip toes though. I'm hoping the cool walking shoes Mama Z and I picked up for him will help him out.

First Haircut
Watching lil man get his first haircut was so exciting and sad at the same time. My baby is growing up so fast, but I was extremely proud of how well he did. I was almost certain I'd have to put him in a head lock in order to get his hair trimmed up, but thankfully the stylist came to the rescue with a Dum Dum sucker. Kid didn't budge the entire time. He LOVED IT! We just took off a little bit all the way around... nothing too drastic. I like his bangs a little longer, but he's so adorable regardless. xoxo

Not the greatest of a "before and after," but he's a wiggly little boy.

Down with the Sickness
I have a pretty great immune system... until that 20-something pound snot machine coughs in my face. I can instantly feel the sickness coming on and sure enough, within 24 hours, I'm down for the count. Brody's been battling a nasty cough for quite awhile now, so it was inevitable I was doomed. Last Saturday, I developed a horribly dry cough that has persisted ALL WEEK. I'm sure my co-workers have had it with my hacking. After depleting every OTC med with absolutely no relief, I went to the doctor's this morning. Apparently I have a sinus infection and a whole slew of new meds to take. I'm super excited about my codeine-induced coma tonight.

It's a Paw-ty!
A week from today is Lil Man's first birthday! Holy cow!!! I've been hauling ass to get things ready for his doggy themed paw-ty. ;) C'mon folks, how could I miss out on a chance to blend the two loves of my life together? So yes, it's a Brody/doggy explosion in my basement right now and I cannot wait to share with you all the annoyingly cutesy decorations I've been whipping together. Gah. Adorbs. 

Sunshine Fridays
The thought process behind my Sunshine Friday posts was to refocus my attention on the positives in my life. These last few months have been pretty rough on my family and it was time for me to take stock of my life. Get rid of the people and things that caused me pain and self-doubt and only surround myself with love and happiness. As I said earlier, I feel incredibly blessed right now. I have a lot to look forward to right now and as my birthday approaches, I'm anxious for what 28 has to offer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sunshine Friday

Welp, not much happened this past week which was pretty nice for a change. My days have been packed lately and I think a low key week was much needed.

1. We survived our first Daylight Saving Time. Sweet Jesus. Where were all you moms and dads with the helpful warning?! I guess I wasn't aware that all hell would break loose after setting the clocks back a measly hour. Brody was unbelievable cranky all day Sunday. He normally naps for 5-6 hours total throughout the day... we got a whopping 75 minutes out of him. His meal times were out of whack, he didn't want to sleep, play, be held, set down.... NOTHING. Because he hadn't slept since 11:00 AM that day, Monday morning began at 4 AM. And so did Tuesday. And Wednesday. Thursday we were fortunate enough to sleep in until 5:00. Next year, we're going to Grandma Z's house for Daylight Saving Time. Geesh.

(Yes, I realize my Sunshine Friday posts are supposed to be about things that made my week happier, but this shit happened... so I'm going to tell you about it. Ok? Good.)

2. So you remember when I was all sorts of pumped about getting my toes hacked to pieces so that my ingrown toenail problems could be solved? Yeah, the podiatrist botched one of them. He left a huge chunk of nail still embedded in my toe which made it very sore and infected AND the sides that he told me he removed permanently... well, they're growing back not even a month later. 

So I had to go see a different podiatrist to fix my poor piggies. He said the one was so damaged that the best way to fix it would be to remove the entire nail and "start from scratch." I tell you what, one more problem with my damn big toes and I'm chopping them off myself. So once again I'm hobbling around with a big white bandage around my big toe.

3. I had the opportunity to work with Flyin' Heroes again... this time on a new brochure. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and I'm very thankful they kept me in mind after I did a quick logo tweak for them a few months back. I highly suggest you check them out as they do great work with local veterans.

4. Mama Z spent some considerable time this week helping me plan for Brody's 1st birthday that's coming up in 3 weeks from today! Crazy! We've got food all planned out, testing out some ideas for his cake and cupcakes and I made some substantial headway on his decorations last weekend. I can't wait to share with you all what his puppy party is going to look like. Soon. :)

5. Mama and Papa Z came over this evening to help me with yard clean up. My parents are so wonderful. Holland only has a leaf disposal site open a few Saturdays during the fall for a 4 hour window and I don't have a truck or trailer, so they loaded up their trailer and took all my leaves back to the Muskegon disposal. Thanks for all your help and a yummy dinner! xoxo

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay warm. Get your leaves cleaned up (especially you, neighbors). Adios!

Sometimes... life is a little rough. Those days where it's a struggle to climb out of that debilitating funk and refocus attention towards the positive. We've all had 'em. As a working mom, I know I have less than 7 miles to tune out all the negativity from whatever may have happened earlier that day and get into happy mommy mode. Even though Brody is my own little ball of sunshine and always capable of bringing a smile to my face, my Friday posts are now dedicated to recapping all the moments during the week that made my life a little brighter...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sunshine Friday

1. I hope everyone had an excellent Halloween! I sure did. I cashed in one of my vacation days to show off this adorable little chicken to co-workers, family and friends. I've been anxiously awaiting Halloween for two years now... ever since I became pregnant with Brody and found a zillion adorable baby costumes on Pinterest. I was leaning towards Rainbow Brite and a Sprite, but opted to go with a chicken instead.  

Have you ever seen a more adorable chicken? Ever? I think not. Gaaaaaaaahhhhh. I die.

Stay tuned later for a quick tutorial on how Mama Z and I put together this easy, inexpensive costume.

2. Brody vs. Winnie... who wore it better? Sorry Jimmy Fallon, but Brody wins.

3. Can you believe last year at this time, I was 36 weeks pregnant? What a difference a year can make.

4. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile... or dog... and pizza. Whatever.

5. My little boy turned 11-months old on Tuesday. Whaaaaaaat?! :(

I'm busy cranking out birthday decorations, planning dinner and finishing up his birthday gifts. I'm so excited to celebrate at the end of the month with family and friends. 

6. So crazy story of the week. I got caught in this cluster of a gas station one day after work to fill up. Gas was about $.35 cheaper here, so super busy. When I finally was next to go at one of the pumps, the lady in front of me said there was a sign on that pump saying "cash only." I didn't see a sign on any other pump, so I ran in to clarify if a credit card could be used or not. The cashier told me that that particular pump couldn't accept credit cards, but I could still pay with a card inside. 

So I filled up... $70 later. Went into pay and the same cashier told me that no credit cards could be accepted. At all. Ummmm??? I reminded her of what she told me not 2 minutes earlier, but she just kept repeating that she couldn't accept a credit card. So I grabbed my check book and she said that was a no-go as well. I asked her what she expected me to do with the whole whopping $20 in cash I had on me. After almost two minutes of silent stare down, she started grabbing cash out of the drawer, took my $20 and told me I was all set (in a super snotty tone.)

Ummmmmmmmmm. So, yay? What a weird situation. I almost thought about sticking around watching future shinanigans since no other pumps said "cash only" and I'm pretty sure most of those people were planning on paying with plastic. 

7. I won something! I know, right!? I sign up for random blog giveaways like some sort of addict. Jennifer, over at The Chic Pad, was giving away a faux leather and faux calf hair leopard clutch and I won! Yay me! Should be here soon. :)

So week wrap up... won a new clutch, got gas super cheap, my lil man is growing up so fast and he is by far the cutest chicken ever. :)

Sometimes... life is a little rough. Those days where it's a struggle to climb out of that debilitating funk and refocus attention towards the positive. We've all had 'em. As a working mom, I know I have less than 7 miles to tune out all the negativity from whatever may have happened earlier that day and get into happy mommy mode. Even though Brody is my own little ball of sunshine and always capable of bringing a smile to my face, my Friday posts are now dedicated to recapping all the moments during the week that made my life a little brighter...
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