Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nine Months In, Nine Months Out

The progress from month eight to month nine has been huge. The change from immobile to mobile baby feels like a lifetime of difference. I sometimes long for the days when my baby didn't move. And didn't have permanent bruises from the learning processes.

I'm only adding a few pictures because not many are needed to illustrate what life is like now that I have a mobile baby.

Most of the video I take is for Jericho but thought I'd share this one with you. It makes me laugh. This is what crawling Sydney is like. The first crawling was in a perimeter of about 5 feet. Then slowly got bigger and is now limited only by walls and doors and mommy. It's hard to take pictures of her if I sit on the floor, because once she sees me with the camera, this is what happens. If I didn't know she was making a dash for the camera, I'd be afraid she was coming to eat my face.

Nine-month coolness: 
~rolling from back to belly (finally)
~still eats like a champ
~can grab finger foods and gets them in her mouth about 75% of the time
~roughly understands the concept of a sippy cup
~lost all interest in her toys and only has eyes for everything she's not supposed to
~crawling up a storm
~pulling up and standing
~slow shimmy around the ottoman while standing/holding on
~4 visible teeth
~occasionally lets me hold her while she goes to sleep. this is huge
~people's shock when they hear how loud such a sweet-looking baby can be

Smith Family Fun Fact: there is a picture of me in this same chair at about the same age. If I had a scanner, I'd have a super cutesy side-by-side comparison of us. We actually don't look that much alike.

Don't you wish you was as cool as me.

Oh and I am now 20 weeks pregnant. The half-way mark! More or less. And ya know what else? I get my gender ultrasound this week. Care to venture a guess?? But I'm not finding out the gender that exact day. I'll explain later. I hope my little plan works out because it should be cool. Time sure does go by faster with the 2nd baby. If I wasn't already growing out of my clothes, I'd probably completely forget that I'm pregnant.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The New Guy

When people find out I have a little baby and I'm doing it by myself right now, they say things [in soft, sweet, "bless yur heart" tones], like "Wow. I don't know how you do it", or "And you're doing so WELL." 

For one, NOT doing it isn't really an option. Doing it well? Doing it with patience and a happy-go-lucky grin on my face? That's just what I try to do in public.

I used to work in downtown Raleigh at its height of demo and construction. One thing I learned while working so close to the construction scene was how they handle the new guy situation [I actually have not confirmed this so I could very well be completely wrong]. One day while walking to lunch, I saw a group of workers with one guy wearing a different safety vest than the others. It said something like "danger" or "trainee" or "novice" or "new" on the back. I didn't ask them about it but concluded that on a construction site, it's important to note who the new guy is. Like the vest is saying, "I'm new so if you see me with a nail gun or blow torch, be on the ready because it is totally expected that I may injure you during my learning process but I'm new, so either help me out or cut me some slack."

I sometimes think moms need a vest. Mine would be a "new-mom-in-training" vest. Others could say, "potty training" or "teenager driving" or "24/7 colic". That way when you see a mom break into tears because they're out of her favorite shampoo, people will just know and say a little silent prayer or buy them an ice cream cone instead of thinking they're crazy. Or like with me, walking around with my one-socked baby or third day in a row without washing my hair, all judgements will be set aside.

The other day I was standing outside a restaurant with baby Sydney because she was being frustrating and noisy. [Most of the time when I take her outside places, it's just as much to calm me down so we aren't both being spastic in public.] A lady passed by and said with a smile, "I remember those days." It was a kind little boost. I didn't even need a vest.

Another benefit to wearing a mom vest is so the need for help can be implied. Even at this, my most neediest point in life ever, I don't know how to ask for help or what to ask for. People offer all the time and I honestly don't have answers for them. It's hard to say, "Just follow me around all day and do my dishes and put my clean clothes away and spray my face with water and hand me a towel." But, if I had a snazzy vest, I wouldn't have to come up with stuff. We could all know that when we see someone's respective mom vest to just snap into action. Because, I don't know about you, but I don't normally go about my day thinking up stuff for people to do for me.

As is true with most, I would love for my outward behavior to always proclaim, "I got this", but I have a feeling that's not going to happen for a while. Once my new-baby vest is gone, I'll be donning a toddler + 2nd-new-baby vest and I'll feel like the newby all over again. And yes, I'll be needing an ice cream cone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eight Months in Pictures

March 29th, Sydney turned eight months old. I can no longer take my standard aerial shot to show how much Sydney has grown in the past month. She's too big and she's way too squirmy. A lot has happened with this little monkey in one month. I've taken a lot of pictures to send to Jericho because there are just so many great little things she's doing. So now I'm putting them on the blog because this is what I do now.

She smiles all the time but when she's not, those faces are just as great. The girl will stare you DOWN. 

We've discovered the swings. They're pretty much awesome. 
Her focus kills me. She's totally a tag girl. And remote controls. And my cell phone. Who needs toys?? And couldn't you just eat those cheeks!!!!
And I get my picture taken every now and then. At least my hair looks nice. As much as I love my house, my parents' house still makes for a better picture backdrop.
See. She smiles. 
This is what happens when she learns how to move on her own. I came back in the room and this was definitely not where she started. The drawstring on the shorts was far too tempting to stay where she was.
She's still a bit small for her big girl high chair. So she insists on sitting like this while waiting for food.
My sweet little baby got her first cold and subsequent ear infection last week. I thought this was good cause for making up her sick bed in mama's bed and letting her watch TV with me. Plus we only have one box of tissues and since I was still sick too, we had to share the tissues and humidifier. She also now thinks the bulb snot sucker is the devil. 
Playing in her corral of pillows. It's not to break her fall but to keep the little toy balls contained since she likes to roll them as far away as possible and mama gets tired of hunting them down.
And check me out! I grew things! I wish I had a picture of all the tulips in bloom. I planted 75 last fall. My yard was a-popping with color. [Pay no attention to my still-dormant grass.]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I CAN Write Things

Jericho recently asked me if I had anything to blog about. "Nope." I got nothing. This year has been complete creative rubbish. If I didn't have my baby, I don't think I'd be blogging at all. I feel about blogging like I do about giving presents. I don't want to do it unless it's something totally stellar. If I write something that I'm not proud of or, even worse, something that people aren't going to read, I won't write it. But I have now resolved to make a greater effort to blog more, regardless of my worries. Think harder. Be more creative. Observe more. Write. Write. Write. 

Someone once told me I could find a story to tell about anything. I laughed and doubted his assessment. He then said "No seriously. Fire hydrants. Go." And then I proceeded to tell him a story about a series of paintings I did in art class in elementary school of a fire hydrant in various environmental stages. And that the reason I picked the fire hydrant as my stationary subject for the paintings was because of stories my mom told of growing up in downtown Philadelphia and playing in the hydrants during the summers. "See", he said. Fine.

I thought maybe I should take this route whenever I'm stuck on something to write about. Since I don't have a someone to give me random topics, I thought I'd consult this:

This is a Journal Jar. I think I got it as Mia Maid from one of my teachers. It's filled with little topics to write about if you're getting started with journal writing and need things to write about. The quote on top is from Spencer W. Kimball: "Get a notebook... a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels will quote from it for eternity." Bah! None of mine from ages 12-18 will be quoted unless the angels are sitting around for some comic relief, slapping their knees going, "Oh oh, hold on, here's a great one from the night of her first kiss."

I thought I'd write about the first slip of paper I pulled out but it said "Tell everything you did today." And MAN, would that be boring. So I kept pulling until I found one blog-worthy. I managed to find two that were nicely related.

What were/are your fears about getting married? 
What were/are your expectations about getting married? 

I'm going to answer this as best I can in past-Kelley thoughts since now that I've been married a whopping 3 years, my fears have changed and are fairly non-existent and are things like, "My marriage will end if I forget to pay the bills while Jericho is away." 

My greatest fear as a teen about marriage was that it would never happen because no boy would like me because all my friends at boyfriends and I didn't and I didn't have cute hair or cute clothes and I'd have to settle for some loser guy who couldn't do any better. My greatest fear as a young adult was that I wouldn't be able to find someone with whom to fall in love. I loved boys. I loved dating and kissing. A LOT. But I never had the love bug or the commitment bug. For a WHILE. It took a lengthy relationship and a very, very patient Jericho to realize I could do it. 

My young-Kelley expectations about marriage probably involved freakishly similar tastes in all things in life. Agreeing on all subjects. Laughing boisterously at the same jokes. Playing tennis on Saturdays in matching white outfits. Giddily in love every second of our lives. Once I got into the real-life dating world, my expectations were mainly centered on happiness. I wanted whatever it took to be happy forever. 

In one of our super final of all final conversations about getting married, I told Jericho I would marry him on three conditions. 1- He would always find a way to provide for our family. Always. 2- He would take me to Europe. 3- I can't for the life of me remember what the third one was. It was probably something like- Always tell me I'm drop dead gorgeous no matter how fat I get when I'm pregnant.

In all honesty, my fears/expectations changed once I decided to marry Jericho. One of the reasons I wanted to marry him was that I never feared anything. I felt so incredibly secure with what our future would be, our family, everything. It's one of the reasons this time apart hasn't been nearly as tough as it could be. Sure there are still "what ifs" in the back of my mind and I know things will come up as we go through life together. But part of my decision-making process to marry Jericho was realizing that the whole fears/expectations thing about marriage diminishes greatly when you are with the right person.

The End. I'll stop dropping my still-somewhat-newlywed pearls of marriage wisdom on you.

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