January 2010


I find it a little ironic that a person who cares as little for sports as I do shares her birthday with no real celebrities other than baseball players – Nolan Ryan and Jackie Robinson, to be exact. How surprised are you, dear reader, that I even know who they are? 🙂

Today was wonderful, as my awesome hubby always ensures that my birthday will be. We started the day with Madeline’s first visit to the nursery at church, where there was a 3:1 nursery worker/baby ratio. I think the nice ladies were just happy to have someone cuddly to hold. We came home for lunch and cake, followed by presents! Dan was so eager to please that he worried I wouldn’t like my gift. I love my monogrammed toiletry bag and all its smell-good, girly contents! Madeline even gave me her own gift – eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Ahhhh…

We had a nice dinner at Village Tavern and my loving husband is currently upstairs trying to calm a cranky baby and convince her that it is, once again, bedtime. He’s so good to me.

Warning: cheesy, mushy reflections ahead.

I’ve never been much of a cheesy, mushy reflections kind of girl. Well, there was the phase that every middle school girl experiences when every gum wrapper you get from your bff’s house earns a spot in the coveted shoebox of memories, but since then I’ve been pretty cynical. But, I digress.

As I was waiting for Dan to pull the car around to the front of the church so Babyhead wouldn’t get cold, I realized how happy I really am. I have an incredible husband, a beautiful, healthy baby girl, great friends, a wonderful family, and an awesome God to thank for all of it! How fabulous is that?? Could I ask for more? Who would want more than that? I am head over heels, punch-drunk, stupid in love with my husband and the life we are creating together. I was cooing and talking to my offspring in a sing-song voice, right in the middle of a crowded restaurant where people could hear me and I did not care! Let them hear me. Let them think I’m crazy or annoying or both. I love this baby girl and I will make dorky sounds as long as it makes her smile.

So, here’s my birthday present to myself – I am going to let it be OK that I am not a perfect wife or a perfect mother. I feel pretty guilty right now because Dan is putting Madeline to bed, and I am on the couch updating this blog. But, it’s OK. He’s bonding with his little girl and most importantly, he WANTS to do it. I do not have to be all things to all people.

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes. Thanks to God for everything I have and everything I am. Thanks to my husband for being who you are.

Happy Birthday to me!

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You never appreciate having the world at your fingertips until that world is destroyed by a cup of Maxwell House. But, we are now reconnected and ready to fill you in on all the happenings of the last week.

As you read before, Dan and I had a wonderful anniversary and are so very grateful to God for giving us this year together. I still think it would be fun to be contestants on The New Newlywed Game, if for no other reason than to have a conversation with Carnie Wilson and clear up a few things. “Heather, what would you say is the one thing Dan wishes you would spend less time on?”  “That would be my make-up, Carnie. Now, would you please explain the concept of your new reality show? I don’t quite get it.”  Yet another  fun idea that Dan chuckles about, but doesn’t take seriously. And, thank you, Aunt Ann, for the lovely anniversary album. It really is beautiful and we’re eager to fill up the pages!

Earlier this week, Miss Madeline finally met my friend, Jenn. We had a nice lunch and great conversation while Madeline slept like an angel until it was almost time to go. Then, I woke her up to say hello but she was groggy and I doubt she has any idea that she met someone new. No matter. There will be plenty of time for her to spend with the Hendersons and their two great kids!

Our growing girl also turned eight weeks old yesterday! She’s smiling like crazy, acts as if she wants to roll over, and I can tell she really wants to laugh. Her first round of shots happened yesterday, and the former dog owner in me wants to find out where to have her registered since I’m pretty sure the AKC won’t take her. She’s right on target for weight at almost 11 pounds, and still a little taller than average. I’m still hoping she’ll be tall & skinny, since that’s a gene I did not get.

Here’s a picture of our beautiful girl at eight weeks, and there will be more posts to come!

This was a few minutes before falling asleep on the floor gym. 🙂

Yesterday was Dan’s and my 1st anniversary. What a great year! We celebrated with dinner out (accompanied by Madeline, of course!), followed by the traditional consumption of the wedding cake and a glass of our wedding day champagne. It was a nice, quiet anniversary with lots of cuddling and kisses – for us and the baby.

I’m a very lucky wife and cannot wait to see what the next 75 years have to bring us!

Madeline is wonderful and we’re good. The computer is…well, not so good. Apparently, computers do not like coffee as much as I do. Dan is going to take it to work to see if they can fix it. If not, I guess we’ll be getting a new one.

My bad. 😦

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this question:

Why do people use masculine pronouns when referring to my little girl? Twice now, even though she’s wearing a shirt with pink hearts or covered with a floral blanket, someone has said something along the lines of, “Oh he’s fast asleep!”  Is there a new ‘babies in drag’ trend that I missed? Just curious.

How stinkin' cute are they?

There they are. The two greatest loves of my life. I adore these two people more than I can express with mere words. So, naturally, I make it a point to learn everything I can about how to love them more and take care of them as best I can. While reading and researching, I have come across an interesting phenomenon: The Mommy Wars.

The term specifically refers to the battle between working moms and stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), but reading about it reminded me of some conversations I have had with friends. What it boils down to is something of which most of us have been guilty at one time or another: comparing ourselves to others.

I realize I have only been a mommy for six weeks, but I am well versed in the art of comparing myself to other women. Evaluating my mothering skills based on those of other moms began when I was pregnant. Was I going to be a bad mother because I bought over-the-counter prenatal vitamins instead of prescription? Because I I had an X-Ray at the dentist’s office? Because I took Tylenol when I had headaches? According to some of the things I was reading at the time, there are many women who would say I didn’t care about my baby for those reasons.

I have read (and heard straight from the mouths of other moms) some of the meanest, most judgmental comments about other women concerning how they feed their children, whether or not they choose to go back to work, what they let their children do or watch, etc.  I worked in a child care center during my first year of college, and I would hear it from the veteran moms and grandmas who worked there whenever a new mom would drop off her child – “She doesn’t know what she’s doing.” “Did you know she took that baby to ___??” “Did you see what that little boy was wearing? What was she thinking?” “She doesn’t even ___!” “Her child can’t even ____ yet!”

For six weeks, these comments played in my head. I didn’t want to be the mom who didn’t know what she was doing. The last thing I wanted was to have anyone think I was a bad mother, for whatever reason. But, I can’t think that way anymore because I have realized that what is right for me may not be right for someone else, and vice versa.

Some friends and I have talked about some hot button mommy issues, and here’s what we have concluded:

If you are a mom and you are able to breast feed like a champ and always produce enough milk, congratulations. But, please do not look down on women who feed their children with bottles. You don’t know her situation or what works for her family. For all you know, there could be pumped breast milk in that bottle. (I read on one website that there are women who will let their children go hungry for hours when their milk supply is low, just to avoid giving them formula.) The goal is a well-fed, healthy baby, not to use your child to make a statement about feeding.

If you choose to stay home with your children, great! If you choose to go back to work, great! Both decisions are wonderful. You are not a better mother because you do not work outside the home; what makes you a better mother is that you are doing what is right for YOUR family. I actually heard a woman say that if a woman wants to work outside the home, she shouldn’t have children. I suppose she’s unaware that there are families who need two incomes, because that statement could only be made in ignorance. Working moms, there is no such thing as “just a housewife.” I have worked harder these past six weeks than I ever did as a teacher. The point is God calls women to all sorts of duties. He has not called all women to be SAHMs (see Proverbs 31) anymore than He has called all women into the workforce.

Those seem to be the two big issues in the Mommy Wars phenomenon, but let me address a few more.

You are not necessarily a better mother if you don’t give your child a pacifier, if your child sleeps in his/her own room OR in your room, if you have a car seat with all the fancy bells and whistles, if you drive an SUV or minivan, if your child has never spit up or had diaper rash, if your child goes to the church daycare as opposed to ABC Childcare, if you never turn the TV on when the baby’s awake, if your child’s clothes always match, if your house is always spotless, if you have all the  latest toys, if you babyproof the homes of everyone you know, or if you only feed your child food that you have grown yourself on your own farm using compost made from what you find in your own cat’s litter box.

And, you are certainly not a better mother if you teach your child that it’s ok to judge other people because they make a choice that’s different from yours.

I’d like to hear from other moms. Do you compare your mothering skills to others? Anything you’d like to add to the list?

Our baby girl has started to light up the room with her breathtaking smiles. It doesn’t take much to make her put on a happy face, either. She smiles when her daddy sings to her, and she seems to really like the “E-I-E-I-O” part of “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” She grins when we smile at her, and when mommy sings “Smelly Cat.” Sometimes, she even flashes a friendly smile at her toy dinosaur or the giraffe table that was in her daddy’s nursery when he was a baby. (Yes, daddy was once as little as Madeline.)

All this smiling certainly makes us smile in return, and we can’t wait until we hear that first laugh!

As requested, here are more pictures.

Roll Tide!

My daddy went to the game and I'm too little to go! I want my daddy!

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