Monday, January 31, 2011

Does it get any better than this?

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We had a great weekend here; mostly because Chris had three days off in a row. It was lovely to be together as a family for such prolonged hours. And super lovely that there was another parent to take care of our sick little guy. Miles has had a cold for almost two weeks now which seems to make him a bite fussier.

And on Saturday as I was making some baby food, I heard the words that I have been longing to hear. As Chris was trying to keep Miles happy, I heard him say, “Miles, I don’t know how your mother does this everyday!”

Love it!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I’m sure that everyone that reads my blog also waits anxiously for me to update my Facebook status, so they probably already know this, but I will finally write about here: we are moving to Colorado Springs this summer!

The Colorado job market, as we’ve been told for years and years, is notoriously hard to break into. I guess it’s something about the beautiful mountains and the 300 days of sunshine each year. This led us to believe that we would never be able to live there. Well at least not any time soon. For  this reason, we almost decided to go to Denver for residency, thinking it would give us a greater chance of getting a job there, but their program is 4 years instead of 3, and it just didn’t seem right.

Charlotte has been a pretty good fit for us. We have made some great friends, traveled to a few places that we wouldn’t have if we were out west (DC, Asheville, and the beach a few times), and had a nice, little townhouse in the suburbs (more on this house later).

But Chris spent months and months trying to network in Colorado while we got letters and fliers in the mail almost daily of other jobs trying to recruit. Colorado doesn’t recruit. They don’t have to. They just wait for people to find them. In fact, they don’t always have websites with phone numbers to call. But as it turns out, there is a Charlotte alumni that works for a group in Colorado Springs. And Chris happens to be really good at what he does, he wouldn’t say it himself, but I’m pretty sure any group is lucky to have him.

We traveled to Denver for a few interviews in November and Chris went back a few weeks later for a formal interview in Colorado Springs. And we were officially offered the job last week. Now we have to sell our house and find a place to live in Colorado.

The house goes on the market in three days for far less than we bought it for 2 1/2 years ago, and less than we owe on it now. Clearly, this is not the greatest time to try to sell a townhouse in the suburbs of Charlotte. But if we’re lucky, it will sell. We’ take ANY reasonable offer because we do NOT want to try to rent this place. Or pay for it to be vacant. We’ll probably end up renting once we move because we want to make sure we end up in the right area, and probably more importantly, we’ll need some time to save up for a down payment. And pay back my parents that have graciously offered to help us get out of this place. It’s seems a bit backwards to me that we will have to ask for financial help after almost 6 years of being married and when we are finally finishing the student/resident part of our lives. We’re really grateful for the help though.

Now there is definitely a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. We’ll miss Charlotte, but we’re excited to finally settle down and put down roots.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A rather serious post

I’ve been thinking about this post for some time now, but didn’t know if there was really a point in writing it because it contains no pictures of Miles. I’m not even sure that I know how to write an entry without pictures anymore. I’m am, however, pretty sure that I have a serious case of  what I like to call “mommy brain,” meaning I find myself searching for words more, making silly mistakes, etc. I don’t know if there is a scientific reason or if it’s just because I am still getting up one, two, or three times at night.

A good friend of mine had a “Holiday Book Swap” party in December. No, we did not trade copies of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf on a Shelf with each other, but instead we all brought one of our favorite books and did a white-elephant style swap. A great majority of us were English teachers, and those that weren't were well-read, so there were some good books. I ended up with Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Wells. This is the true story of the author’s maternal grandmother who grew up on a ranch in Arizona and then spent the majority of her life teaching in one-room school houses in rural Arizona, working a large cattle ranch with her husband, and raising two kids. I found myself absolutely amazed at the life she led and how vastly different is than my life. This book was apparently the author’s second book, her first being her own memoir, The Glass Castle. I read both books rather quickly because they were so good. So quickly that Chris was frustrated that I didn’t give him time to buy the second one to put in my stocking.

The Glass Castle is what really made me think about parenthood. Wells truly had a remarkable upbringing, one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Her parents were so irresponsible, often doings things that made me want to cry for their children that were forced to take care of themselves (and sometimes their parents) from very young ages.

But what it really made me think about is the strength of the parent-child relationship. Once the children were grown, they all moved to New York and were later followed by their parents who then lived mostly on the streets or squatting in run-down buildings. But their children did everything they could to help their parents. And that’s what amazed me. In my eyes, their parents did not deserve to even have relationships with their children because they had done so little for them. But perhaps I only feel this way because my parents were (and are) great parents. I, of course, would do everything to help my parents if they needed my help because I am in debt to them for so many things.

And then I watched an episode of my guilty please, Hoarders, last week that made my jaw drop. The woman on this episode was hoarding lots of trash and lots of animals. She had chickens living in rubbermaid tubs with grates over the top but never cleaning out their droppings, so the poor chickens were being squashed. She apparently had 10 children that had all been removed from her home when they were younger because she was abusive and neglectful. But it was two of her daughters that wanted to help their mother. They didn’t want to see her go through another winter without heat. They didn’t want to see her living in such squalid conditions because they love her when as far as I could tell, she didn’t deserve love.

Now that I am a mother, I am always wondering how my children will view their own childhoods. Will they see me as a good mother? What will they remember? I just don’t want my children to ever have to explain to others why they love me when in others’ eyes I may not deserve it. I want them to grow up in a home that is comfortable and nourishing. I want them to thrive in an environment that fosters creativity.

And now I don’t know how to end this. I wish I had a recent picture of Miles to include. Let me do some searching. Not recent, but will still do.

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At least Miles can tell people that his mom let him eat Christmas trees.

The End.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow day

Early Monday morning, the snow moved in to the Charlotte area; this wasn’t the first snow of the season for the area, but since we were in Texas for the first go-round, this was the first snow for Miles. Luckily, I thought ahead and picked up a winter coat for him on consignment over the weekend. I just didn’t see the point of buying him a jacket that he will only wear for the next couple of months especially since it won’t fit him next year.

When Chris came home from work, we took the obligatory first snow picture. And since we don’t have a tripod, there always has to be more than one picture.

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Scout always wants to be near me in pictures, but we can’t get her to understand the concept of facing the camera.

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Miles will face the camera, but isn’t sure if he should smile when he hears me talking to him when he can only see the big, black thing in front of my face.

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The dog really enjoyed the snow. And Miles really enjoyed watching her run.

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And then I just really liked this next picture.

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Later that night, the snow turned to freezing rain so that everything had a thick layer of ice on it the next morning. Chris had to take my car because his has a hard time making out of our neighborhood on ice, which means I haven’t left the house in several days. But today the ice is all melted, so maybe we’ll venture to the grocery store. Yippee!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The non-resolution resolution

As a rule (as of about three years ago), I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I used to. I liked the idea of having the opportunity to re-commit to the things that are important to me. But it always ended up looking like a list of things that I needed to DO and not things that I wanted to become. Last year, I’m pretty sure my only resolution was to have a baby. Accomplished!

Admittedly, Chris and I did set a goal to eat more at home (and that doesn’t mean ordering more pizza) and being more active. We have a beach trip scheduled in May and don’t want it to sneak up on us.

This year, I wanted to think about some habits that I think will help me to be a better person. So that’s what I did. I thought about them. I didn’t want to utter them aloud because that would put me in some sort of binding contract with whomever heard me say them. So I’m not even going to write them down. I’m just hoping that I can change a few habits.

I will, however, admit that one goal was to blog everyday for the first 21 days of the year because that’s how long it’s supposed to take to turn something into a habit. Clearly I did not follow through. In my defense, I did think about things I could write about each night as I was lying in bed. Also, Chris has been working on his monthly presentation over the past couple of days which means that I have far less time with the laptop.

Let’s just say that I hope to blog more but am making no promises.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Miles: 8 months

Note: these entries may not be interesting to anyone but me, but this is how I am planning on journaling this phase of life. Sorry.

Turning 8 months old is a pretty great way to start the new year, if you ask me, which you pretty much did by reading my blog.  Yesterday we said goodbye to the year of Miles and hello to the year of unknowns. Don’t get me wrong, Miles will still be a pretty big part of 2011, but it’s not his birth year anymore, making it open for whatever else wants to come our way (i.e. a new job, home, etc.).

This past month seems to be the month that Miles has changed the  most since he was born. But I’m pretty sure I think that every month. Although he could sit up at 7 months, he is way more comfortable sitting up now and can do it for much longer without getting tired and fussy. He sometimes still cries when he falls over, but that’s mostly when he is close to nap time.

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His favorite toys happen to not be toys. TV remotes, computers, and phones. I usually give him my phone, but as of yesterday that must stop. He let bite marks. He peeled some of the shiny stuff off (probably swallowed it). Tonight I pulled out the TV remote that we don’t use and gave it to him for his very own. He was very excited.

Oh, that’s the other major thing. He has teeth. His two bottom teeth are up. I noticed them about three weeks ago when he bit my finger one morning. He wasn’t too fussy, though, which is nice. He has since bit other body parts. Not cool. Not cool at all.

Over Christmas I started giving him cheerios. He seems to really love them. And they seem to keep him happy. A new great tool for church and restaurants.

He is still napping really well, and in the past week or so has started to drop his late afternoon nap. Sometimes this means he is a little fussy around our dinnertime, but it’s nice to have a longer stretch in the afternoon/evening to get some errands done if I need to. He is not sleeping through the night. In fact, he is still consistently waking up twice. I would try to stop nursing him both times, but he seems to nurse so much better at night. He just can’t be bothered to nurse well during the day—too many other things to see and do. Hence the biting. I think I read somewhere that I can stop feeding him overnight at 9 months, so I’ll wait until we see the pediatrician next month to make sure I’m not starving him.

He is eating solids much better now, too. He still love avocados (much to Chris’s dismay), but will eat anything I give him. We are about to start some more meats and beans to make sure he is getting enough protein, so we’ll see how that goes.

Chris has decided that Miles is officially fun now. He has developed a personality and enjoys playing with his Daddy, which is all Chris cares about. I’ve noticed that Miles is quite a flirt, especially during church. He loves to smile at whomever is sitting behind us, even if they don’t smile first. He seems to really enjoy going to class because he things the teacher is talking only to him.

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I’m still loving being home with him. I’m about to start teaching online for North Carolina, so I’m a little worried that it will be harder for me to juggle my schedule, but I’m sure we’ll work it out.