Saturday, September 30, 2006

Our afternoon at the farm
I'm so glad I was feeling better this weekend. I made sure to drink a lot of water & rest up. We went to Harvest Farm to go through the corn maze & just have some family fall fun. Boy, did we have fun!

We got there & ate hot dogs to gear us for the rest of the day. We saw that they had a petting zoo & decided that would be really fun. Logan LOVED it. There were llamas, goats of all kinds, sheep, cows, pigs, ducks, geese, chicken, roosters & rabbits. Pretty much every animal that you would think of living on a farm. We pet all of the animals & I was excited to use our farm animals signs that we just learned a few days ago. Logan didn't pay any attention to me, but I still got a kick out of signing. Logan's favorite animals we the rabbits, baby goats & piglets. He really liked the rabbits most though. So much that Bill blurted, "We're not getting any rabbits" as Logan was petting them.
Then we headed into the corn maze. Both Bill & myself have never been in a corn maze before. We thought it would be interesting. We didn't look at the map & knowingly chose to do the most difficult part. Yeah, we're idiots. After getting lost for a while, Bill figured out where we were & did an excellent job directing us out. I thought being lost wasn't going to be very fun, but we did really well.
After the maze, we hung out in the corn sand box. There were dump truck & sand box toys for the kids to play with. Logan had a great time feeling the corn & playing with the trucks. He even made a few friends while rolling around & crawling in the corn.
We decided to go back to the petting zoo for a second time before we left. Bill bought some feed to feed the animals. I thought Logan would like to do that, but changed my mind thinking that they would eat his fingers instead. We spent some time playing with the animals again & then headed on home.
It was awesome to hang out as a family & enjoy the wonderful weather. We all had a great time. I have to say, life is amazing when you get to share it with your happy child. This is definitely going to be a family tradition of ours now.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You've got to be kidding me
What in the sam hell is going on here? It seems like everyone across the world, moms & babies alike, are getting sick. Now I'm one of them too! ACK!

For the last few days I've had a slightly sore throat. I didn't think much of it. Then the runny nose started. Then last night was the headache, nose, throat & just feeling like crap. I hate being sick. I really can't remember the last time I had a cold.

If Logan had a cold (which I think he did & passed it on to me), I'm really proud of him for being such a trooper. He was still his cheerful little self, ate well, slept well & had no complaints. Except for when I had to clean out his nose. Then he wasn't too happy. But I can't blame him.

We were supposed to go to the landromat to dry our clothes last night (because we are still waiting for Bills final paycheck from the other gym & haven't been able to get to the other house to get our stuff. Washer & dryer included). I was feeling so crappy, Bill offered to go by himself while I stayed at home with Logan. That was awesome.

Logan & I just hung out, playing on the floor. He climbed all over me & laughed when I brought out his lion puppet. It was fun. But it was tough. All I wanted to do was crash on the couch. Logan was a little ball of energy & stayed up an hour past his bedtime. I didn't have it in me to even give him a bath. Besides that, Bill was drying all of Logans pajamas anyway.

While Bill was cooking dinner, I told him that I was feeling sick & how much that sucked. "It really sucks. A lot. Moms don't get sick days. I'll still have to get up at 5 in the morning. I'll still have to chase the little man around the house. I'll still have to feed him & take care of him & entertain him". Then Bill turns around. "Well, if it gets really bad, I'll take a sick day & take care of the both of you". I thought that was really sweet.

I'm feeling a little better today. Logan slept in a little & we've just been kickin' it in our jammies all day. I hope I'm at 100% tomorrow because this weekend looks like it's going to be beautiful. Great hiking weather & maybe a trip to the corn maze for hay rides.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I thought nutritional planning for adults was time consuming
Logan is coming up on his eighth month this next week. His nutritional needs are changing drastically. He's now ready to eat protein & he'll need larger portion sizes to accommodate his new skills & activity.

We still haven't been able to get him in for his sixth month check up at the doctor because of insurance problems, or incompetence really. It looks like we're going to skip the sixth month & go in for the ninth month. I have yet to talk to his pediatrician about solids.

I wasn't too bent out of shape about it. Figuring it out for the sixth & seventh month was pretty easy. Logan loved all of his foods & other than balancing acidic fruits that caused more diaper rash, there weren't any problems.

I sat down yesterday to figure out his plan for the next month or so. It took me a little bit of time to balance it all out & convert measurements. I remember thinking, "Man, if I haven't had done this before, I wouldn't know what to do". It was easy to see how some kids don't get a balanced diet at home.

This is what a day will look like:
He nurses before every meal & one time in the early morning
Breakfast- 3 TBS cereal, 2 TBS Fruit, 1 TBS Protein
Lunch- 3 TBS cereal, 2 TBS Fruit, 2 TBS Vegetable
Snack- 2 TBS Fruit, 2 TBS Vegetable
Dinner- 2 TBS Vegetable, 1 TBS Protein

I'm going to wait a few more months before giving him cheeses because of the milk reaction a couple months back. I'm not going to regularly give him juice either. Maybe once a week or so. It's just not that nutritious. We've decided that we'll give him finger foods when we start seeing teeth, even though he can pick it up just fine. We tried giving him some puffs & he's not quite ready yet. We've been practicing drinking out of a sippy cup, but he would rather try to drink out of it like a regular cup. He ends up chewing on the nub if we don't take the lid off.

It looks like this next month is going to be a lot a fun & full of really good food!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

34 weeks
Logan has been doing a lot of new things lately. He crawls so fast, it's like a sprint. And he does it every where. He likes to race me to the kitchen when he knows that I would like him to stay in the living room. He did it this morning while I was trying to get the dishwasher unloaded. I'm beginning to understand the phrase "pick your battles". I let him stay in there with me & climb on the dishwasher. At least it was clean. He also likes to climb over my legs while I play with him on the floor. He'll go back & forth, sometimes either getting stuck or tired & he'll just lay there across my lap. He loves it when I rub his back then.

He pulls himself up on to every thing as well. He likes to pull himself up on his walker to play with the toys rather than actually being in the walker. He hasn't figured out how to get down, so he stands until his legs get tired & they slowly slide into the splits. He's a little hysterical at this point, so I have to pick him up & sit him down. This morning while we were on the floor playing with his toys, he kept pulling himself up on me. A few times he let go to stand by himself. He stands for only a brief second, but I can believe he's trying to do this already.

He was standing in the kitchen by his high chair & the railing yesterday. He walked from the rail to his chair, still holding on. He actually took a few steps! By himself!! I was amazed. He did this twice last night. Crawling probably isn't going to be a very long stage in our house.

He stands by the stairs, trying his best to climb them. Bill has been teaching him to climb. I'm not sure if that's such a good idea. It's like we're asking for trouble, but oh well. That's what Dads do best. Teach their boys to get into trouble.

He's been a little weird the last couple of days. He likes to sit & bounce his head off of whatever is behind him. The wall, the kitchen garbage can, the front door, the couch. He just sits there & knocks the back of his head into stuff. It's obviously not hurting him & he's just learning about movement & reactions. But it's still a little funny to look over & see him bouncing his head off of whatever.

We finally started actively working on baby signs. I found a DVD at the library that teaches babies ASL rather than made up signs. I like this idea better. It's a skill that he'll be able to use for the rest of his life. In the morning after breakfast, play time & a diaper change, we sit on the couch & watch the DVD together. He loves it. He watches the T.V., then looks at me repeating the signs & smiles when I make him do the same. It's really fun for the both of us.

Logan learned how to smack his lips this week too. We went to the store to grab some ingredients for dinner. I carried him in rather than strapping him into a cart. As we're walking through the isles, he keeps smacking his lips & making all sorts of sounds. It was really funny. What's even more funny is that he's not doing it again!

Then the most adorable new skill this week is the new smile. I don't know where or how he learned how to do this, but it's the cutest. Smile. Ever. He gets a cheesy grin on his face & wrinkles or scrunches up his nose. It makes me laugh so hard. He does this all of the time now. Especially when he's having a really good time or when he's particularly proud of himself for doing something, like climbing the stairs. Or if he thinks he's just being really cute. Which of course, he is.

Monday, September 25, 2006

There's nothing like feeling like you're going to puke in the middle of spin class.
After a weekend of chips, a cookie, pumpkin beer, wine & home made pumpkin pancakes, I was due for a really good workout. Bill played with Logan this morning while I went to spin class.

The instructor is flat out crazy. She does the most intense climbing & hovering combos I've ever done. It's great. I was giving it my all to make up for all of the treats in the last few days. Then I started to feel like I was going to hurl. I haven't had a work out like that in a long time. My legs are heavy & wobbly & I'm sure I'm going to feel it for the next two days.

I've stopped tracking my nutrition because I'm back to where I was before we moved. It didn't take long at all. A week, actually. Since I eat pretty much the same thing every day, tracking gets really boring. Besides that, I don't give a hoot as to what I eat for dinner as long as it's not fast food & I've had a healthy breakfast & lunch. I'm going to keep tracking my exercise because it's good to see what the week has been like & to make sure I stay on track with that.

Bill has been cooking some awesome dinners in the last few weeks & I'm not about to curb it. He's such a good cook. And really, they're pretty healthy too. Chicken tacos/burritos, ground chicken chili & pumpkin pancakes (ok, probably not that healthy, but oh so good). He wants to cook something new every week. Hey, I'm all for it!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tour de Fat!
Today was a pretty fun day. It was like an early Halloween. My favorite holiday. We went to Tour de Fat. Bill & I were planning on riding our bikes with Uncle J while Aunt Ju-Ju watched after Logan. However, it was in the low 50's. Not very good bike riding weather. Uncle J & his friends still rode & had a great time. Aunt Ju-Ju, Bill, Logan & I stood on the side lines as we watched all of the bikes & crazy people in their costumes ride by. Logan smiled the whole time. He had so much fun.
After the ride, we headed down to the New Belgium brewery for the music, food & beer. We just hung out & played with Logan & Uncle J's nephew. It was an awesome place to people watch. And boy, was it quite a spectacle.
We're going to ride in it next year with Logan & Baby B in the burley behind us. I really hope the weather is better than today. As you can see, it was so cold that Logan is bundled up & looked a little funny. I think I went over board. A long sleeved onesie, a sweater & a jacket on top of that. Better to be over layered than cold I guess!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I never thought I would let him do this so early
Logan is watching cartoons now. He's been watching them for about a week or so. I was never going to be "that parent" who never lets their kids watch T.V. because really, that's just crazy. I did have strong opinions about babies watching T.V. though.

Childhood obesity is something that really grabs me. There are two parts to this problem: the food choices that children are taught to make & the activities & lifestyle that they are taught to lead. My very firm opinion is that parents are major contributors to the issue. It's very easy for parents to let the T.V. be the in house babysitter. Often times, it gets out of control & kids end up watching hours upon hours of T.V. like little zombies. I've always wanted to be a good example for Logan & help him make healthy choices. I thought he would be too young for T.V. for quite some time.

Last week I was trying to make myself breakfast & Logan was crawling around underneath my feet. I kept picking him back up & into the living room with his toys. After doing this 10 or so times, I decided to turn on the T.V. He'll watch it every now & then, like when we're nursing he'll stop to watch Dr. Phil or whatever else is on. So I thought it might distract him for a bit while I cooked some eggs.

I looked through the guide & found a bunch of cartoons. I put one on & he loved it. He sat there & watched for a little bit, then played with his toys, stopped to watch again & then played. He went back & forth between cartoons & toys for a good while. It kept him busy & let me cook without worrying about him getting stepped on or burnt.

So now in the morning after he eats breakfast & I start to make mine, I'll put on his cartoons for a short time. He really likes them. He even has his favorites. He likes to watch Higgly Town Heroes & Little Einsteins. I think they're pretty cute & don't mind watching them with him, unlike other kids shows (Teletubbies. Yuck).

Yesterday afternoon was a true testament as to how much he likes them. Bill was downloading songs to rebuild our music library since the "Big Crash" after the move. We had a bunch of kids CD's for Logan in a special "Logan's music" file. One was "Here Come the ABC's" by They Might Be Giants. Bill found it again & noticed that they sang the theme song for Higgly Town Heroes.

Logan was playing on the floor & Bill started the song. Logan stopped what he was doing & stretched his neck to look at the computer. He got really excited & was trying to watch his cartoon. We just cracked up laughing. It was really cute.

I don't think I could stop doing something that he enjoys so much. As long as we remember "everything in moderation" & keep up with our active lifestyle & keep a variety of activities available for him, like reading books...I think we'll stay balanced.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sleeping in his own bed
This really makes me want to cry. Logan is going to start sleeping in his own bed from the time we put him down to the time we get up & start our morning.

Logan has always been pretty good about going to bed. There have been only a few challenges here & there. Now, he is an all star sleeper. I put him down & he know's it's time to sleep. I don't even have to turn on his mobile anymore. All he needs is his blanket & binky & he's out like a light.

He's been sleeping through the night for a little over a month. He always wakes up at 5 or 6 am to nurse & from the beginning, I've always kept him in bed to cuddle for a few more hours. I was so tired from getting up throughout the night, co-sleeping for those few hours in the morning was essential. There's no excuse anymore. I'm getting a good nights sleep (sort of) because he's doing so well at night. He wakes up & cries for just a minute maybe once or twice, but he settles back down pretty quick on his own.

This morning he woke up at 5:45 am to nurse. Like always, I brought him into bed, nursed & then cuddled. We were sleeping with our window open & it was very windy out. Logan kept watching the wind blow through the tree in the back yard & making his "hooting" sounds. I thought to myself, "He's not going to go back to sleep at all. He's just going to lay here & look out the window". So I picked him up & put him back to bed in his crib. He fussed once shortly after I got back into bed & I had to get up to settle him back down. Then he slept until 8:30 am.

We all slept really well this morning. My gut was telling me that it was time to let Logan sleep in his own bed, all of the time.

This is so bittersweet. On one hand, it's really good. I thought that co-sleeping in the morning was one of those "parenting mistakes" that I was making. I was willing to do it because I was so tired. I knew that there may be a battle of the beds down the line & I was preparing myself for the war ahead. I don't have to though. Logan's ready & willing to be easy about it.

On the other hand, it's really sad. Our cuddle time in the morning was one of my favorite times of the day. It was so nice to snuggle & then to open my eyes & see him looking at me, smiling. It was an amazing way to start the day. It was so special. It's over & it makes me want to cry. There is a lump in my throat & my eyes are welling up as I type this out. Ok, now I'm crying. In my coffee. Great.

In celebration of Logans independence, which really is important to me...for his sake, I made another montage. It seems like an appropriate way to "let go" on this windy, gray, cold morning. And of course, it's sentimental & sappy. Like they all are.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

33 weeks & on another hike!
Since Bill has an awesome schedule, we had some time to go up in the mountains again for another hike yesterday afternoon. We went up a few more miles from the place that we hiked last weekend. We drove up to Roosevelt National Forest & just picked out a trail. The trees were starting to turn more than just a couple of days ago. The weather was perfect & the hike was a great workout. We were all in much better moods, so it was a lot of fun. Logan had a good time hanging out in the pack, checking out the view.
I swear Logan's going to be a personal trainer when he grows up. Every time I stopped on the trail, he would start kicking my butt (literally) & grunt, as if he were trying to tell me to keep moving. It was hilarious.
Bill took some more great pictures too. He read the manual that came with the camera (something that we probably should've done when we bought it) & learned some new tricks. He also downloaded a new program that compliments Photoshop, so he can do some really neat stuff to his pictures.
We decided that next summer is going to be a camping & fishing summer. Logan will be old enough to eat hot dogs & smore's (maybe) roasted over the campfire. Bill asked for fly fishing gear christmas & we drove by some beautiful fly fishing spots that we would want to check out. I am so excited. It's been years since we've been camping. I was an avid camper in my early teens with church outings & girls camp. I love being out there & roughing it. We're going to look into getting some protection (a gun was mentioned) from black bears & mountain lions. Both have been running around the area (even close to home) & have been caught by wildlife services. Scary!

The weeks ahead are going to be full of hiking adventures because the weather is gorgeous in the early fall. It's one of our favorite times of the year to hike. Logan does really well in the pack too. He's such a cute little boy scout already!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Butterflies in my stomach
I'm trying to overcome a pretty big fear of mine right now. The fear of putting myself out there & getting rejected. I'm sending in my application to join a Mom's group.

What's strange is that when I was working, I was the most outgoing, social person in the gym. I had no problem starting a conversation & my clients worked with me for months. In fact, most of my clients were long term clients. I've changed quite a bit since staying at home.

I was always careful with whom I chose as friends outside of work. I don't know if I would call myself a snob, or just being selective. I don't know if it's because I have a hard time trusting people, or if I learned to be careful because of the kinds of people I've met throughout the years (Vegas was quite interesting in that respect). Everywhere Bill & I have lived, we seem to make one or two really great friends that we stay in touch with. I can count on one hand all of our very good friends.

I've wanted to join a Moms group mainly for Logan. To have a group of kids to play with & activities to get us out of the house so he can experience more in life. Now it's more for the two of us.

I have been going crazy (or have already been crazy) since Logan has been born. Isolation & the life change to being a stay at home mom or post-partum depression? I don't know, maybe both. It's been a little frustrating to say the least. Bill really has no clue how I feel. I think it may be impossible for men to understand women anyway. But that's the root right there. I feel very misunderstood.

So, while Logan gets to see & play with other kids, I'm going to meet other stay at home moms who understand. Women who understand what it's like to be at your ropes end when your baby has been whiny all day long. Who understand what it's like to be sleep deprived. Who understand the emotional changes that happen when you become a Mother.

It's a little scary & very different for me. Throughout my life, most of my friends have been guys. I have had some amazing girlfriends that I still keep in touch with, but the guys outnumber the girls. It's just the way it's been. Now, I can't relate to men at all. It's like they are aliens from another planet. Bill included.

The next meeting isn't until October 10th. I can go to the meeting without having to join, just to see if it's something I would be interested in doing. Or, if I want, I could send in my application with my membership fee (I had no idea that you had to pass a screening test & pay...interesting) & start going to the activities that are scheduled for this month. I haven't decided on what I'm going to do. Either way, I'm a little nervous.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Allergies? A Cold? Who knows.
Logan is sick for the first time. He's had a runny nose for a few days now. He's not really acting sick though. Not really coughing, maybe once or twice. He's been sneezing, but not excessive. No fever. Eats well & sleeps well too. He doesn't have itchy, water eyes. They are red after he sneezes every now & then. No swelling. He's not even grumpy. He's been his cute, little trouble maker self. Active & getting into everything. Bill seems to think that Logan has be "blessed" with our family allergy issues. I swear, we need to live in a plastic bubble just because of it. Bill has been having a hard time with his allergies right now because the pollen count is so high, so it makes sense.

Yesterday we decided that it's confirmed. Logan says "Mom". Again, he only says it when he's really upset. The day before yesterday, Logan was crawling around in the kitchen, trying to pull himself up onto everything he could grab. Chairs, table, high chair, the metal railing that separates the kitchen from the den on the garden level. While he was holding onto the railing, his feet slipped out from underneath him & he fell on his head. It wasn't too bad of a bump, but he cried. And then he cried out "Mom"! It was clear as a bell & it startled me a bit.

I picked him up to cuddle & kiss his head better & he stopped crying. "He just said Mom", Bill exclaims. "There's no doubt. He really did", I said wide eyed. I always thought that when I heard Logan say "Mom" or "mama" for the first time, I would burst out into tears. I was so shocked & busy comforting him, I didn't cry. I haven't cried the other few times he's said "Mom" in the last two days either. Mostly because he's only calling me when he cries. I don't think it would comfort him anymore if I was there crying along with him.

We went on a hike to Gateway Mountain Park yesterday afternoon. We've wanted to get up in the mountains to see the Aspen turn yellow. I think we were a little early. The trees are just starting to turn. It was nice up there nonetheless. We didn't get any good family pictures because we were hiking during Logans' nap time. He was a little grumpy & so was I. Not a very good Kodak moment. Bill took some nice pictures of the area though. We'll have to go again this next week if the weather permits & we're all in better moods.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mean girls
The other night we watched one of the national news programs that had a story on "mean girls". It was pretty interesting & actually very, very sad. There was a boy in middle school who had been teased & bullied so much (by both boys & girls) that he committed suicide. Choked up & with tears in my eyes, it was so hard to see the father of this boy tell his story, wishing he could tell his son he loved him again. His family made a plaque for the school grounds that read, "Always remember the fragility of adolescencs and (sons name)".

It made me think about Logan in school. What is he going to be like? Are kids going to be really mean to him & how is he going to deal with it? How can we as parents prevent this kind of tragedy in our home?

It's difficult as a Mother to come to grips with the fact that I won't always be there to protect Logan from everything & everyone. He's going to have to learn how to stand up for himself & deal with the drama of school politics. We've all been there.

I thought back to my years in school. I was never the "mean girl", but I had been on the other end. There was the time in 7 th grade where Evan was making fun of me on the school bus. We ended up getting into a hair pulling fight & I made him cry. If there's one thing you learn about fighting with kids in school...don't fight with the kids who get whooped on by adults. They know how to take a punch & they sure as hell know how to give it right back to you.

Then there was 8 th grade. My two best friends, Joy & Tonya turned on me. For no reason at all. We always ate lunch together, hung out at our lockers together, we were like three peas in a pod. And then it all changed, right out of the blue.

One day they wouldn't eat lunch with me. They ditched me every time they had the chance. Tonya even went as far as to break into my locker & leave me really mean notes. She went & bought contest ribbons (blue ribbon, first prize, kind of ribbons) & wrote terrible things on them. I was hurt, but at that time I was dealing with more serious problems at home. So this was small potatoes. I pretty much thought of them as loosers & made friends with older girls in high school. That really showed them. My new friends were great & helped me through the most difficult time in my life.

Middle school had to be the worst, because I don't remember anything like that in high school. I had a great time my freshman year (in school, that is) & when I moved right before my sophomore year, I was able to make wonderful friends there too. I made it out alive & with good memories. I guess there is hope for Logan too.

Friday, September 15, 2006

To beta or not to beta. That is the question.
The big buzz in the blogger world is blogging in beta. When I first saw this option, I didn't think I was that impressed. "Meh", combined with a shoulder shrug. However, it seems like everyone is switching over. My big concern is once you do it, you can't go back. I would die if anything happened to all of my entries. I would lock myself in my room for weeks, I'm sure.

So, what do you all think? For those who've switched, do you like it? Is it really that much better? Or could you have lived just as well keeping it the way it was? For those who aren't going to, why?

Enquiring minds want to know...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Giving first time Moms some credit.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's weighed heavily on my mind. There's one thing that first time Moms hear from almost everyone. They don't know anything about raising children or how to be a Mom. I'm calling BS.

I have to say, I'm pretty darn confident in my skills & role as a Mom. That's not to say I'm perfect, because I have made my fair share of mistakes. I cleaned Logans' umbilical stump too much & it hung on forever. I didn't know when to stop swaddling him (even though that worked itself out on it's own) & I underestimated his mobility abilities & he rolled down a flight of stairs. But you know, I'm human. Everyone makes mistakes in life, first time Mom or the Mother of 10. Other than my youngest sister (who is 11 years my junior), I've never taken care of a baby before. By no means do I call myself an expert on infants, but I do think I'm an expert on being Logans' Mom.

Again, this may be where my personality flaws come in. I've mentioned them before, but for those who forgot....I'm stubborn. Probably the most stubborn person I know. I'm a know-it-all. I know this bothers a lot of people. I don't like to ask for help. If I don't know something, I'll go figure it out for myself. I really don't like to look like an incompetent, ignorant person (I can only imagine how difficult it is to live with me). With all of these traits combined, along with common sense & Mother's intuition, I really think I know what I'm doing.

I've been told that parenting is a "guessing game". I have to disagree. This may have been true for past generations who didn't have valuable resources of information other than experienced family members. However, today we live in the "information age". We have the internet & we have the ability to connect with people all over the world. There are experts on breast feeding, infant care, sleeping solutions & much more, all right at our finger tips.

The internet is amazing. If there's anything I need to know, it's just a few clicks away. Yesterday, for instance. I've never cooked shrimp before. I love to eat it, but have never had it at home. I bought some to make for lunch. I didn't know how to cook it. I found a million recipes & tada! I'm having shrimp for lunch today. I've also learned that we have Gray Squirrels in our back yard & they love to eat acorns & pine nuts (Bill & I want to start putting food out for them). I've learned that there are 4 different types of spiders in Colorado (all of which I've found in our house) & that the "Brown Recluse" isn't common in this area, like I've been told. The "Black Widow" is the deadliest spider here (which we found in the house this last weekend). I've found all of these tidbits of information in the last week or so (this really doesn't help my know-it-all flaw at all).

When it comes to taking care of Logan, I've used the internet & my instincts. I really don't feel the need to call someone up (who the last time took care of infants was in 1980. Bet you can't guess who that is) & ask for their opinion. I feel like I can figure it out for myself. I don't think I'm the only first time Mom who feels this way either. Really, the days of being a "clueless Mother" are over. Life is all about learning & experiencing new things. I'm thankful that I live in a time where the availability of information & expertise make it easier.

Really though, my biggest gripe isn't that there's information readily available for us to do our own problem solving, it's that there is a huge mistrust in what nature installed in us. Instincts & intuition. There is something to be said about combining modern advances in science with "Mommy instincts" when it comes to raising children.

If there's one nugget of advice that I would give any new Mom, it would be, "Trust your gut. You know more about being a Mom than you think you do. Don't let anyone make you think otherwise". If you think your child is hungry, most likely...they are. A Mother knows her baby best. We know their body, their temperament, their personality. We know what makes them smile. We know when they aren't feeling well & we know what comforts them the best. It doesn't take researching the internet or advice from an experienced Mom to know these things.

I think it's time to have a different attitude towards first time Moms. I don't think it's fair to think of our inexperience in a negative light, saying that we don't know "anything" & feeling like there's reason to chime in with "advice". Sure, there's a lot we don't know. But there's a lot we inherently do know. It's time to encourage Mothers to trust their instincts & give our generation of first time Moms some credit.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

32 weeks
I can't believe how much energy this kid has. Now that he's crawling everywhere, it seems like he's always on the go & never stops. Last night after his bath, we decided it would be good for him to have some naked time. He's had a pretty persistent rash & I don't think the creams are working that well. I'm almost thinking it could be a food allergy, but since I thought that it was just a rash, I don't know what food it could be.

So Logan loved naked time. I put 4 big beach towels on the floor, just in case. He crawled faster than I've ever seen him crawl before. It was almost like a sprint. He went everywhere & off of the towels, of course. He really likes to "walk" now too. So we were holding his hands & he walked all over the living room. He was so active that he was starting to breath heavily. He was having such a good time.

We've been going to the park a lot lately. Logan loves to swing, slide & play in the grass. Bill has been able to come along the last couple of times too. It's been amazing to see the bond between the two of them grow since we've moved. Bill is Logans play pal. They have such a good time together. I noticed this for the first time when I was giving Logan a bath instead of Bill. When Dad walked into the bathroom, Logan was so excited. He smiled so big & splashed everywhere.

They've had a lot of time together recently. Since I've made it a priority to go to the gym, Bill & Logan hang back & play. Bill talks about how much fun it is & how he looks forward to their time together while I'm gone. It's been so nice for me because while I get some "me" time, I know they are having fun & everything is ok. Logan hasn't been as clingy to me either & has actually been reaching out for his Dad sometimes. Yeah!
Teething is rearing it's ugly head again. Logan was a little fussy in the late afternoon & was using his binky to rub his gums with his "pit bull" shake. He likes it when I hold his binky & rub for him. I think I can do it faster & with more pressure. I gave him a cold dinner & he bit the spoon every time. I gave him some baby Orajel & Hylands too. Before bed I gave him a little Tylenol. He slept well, until 3 am. Then it wasn't very fun. I ended up bringing him to bed to cuddle with me after he cried off & on for about an hour. Hopefully he feels better soon.

Logan has changed up his sleeping pattern a bit. He used to wake up at 6-6:30 am to then fall back asleep until 9 am. Then he took naps at 10 am, 2-3 pm & sometimes at 5 pm. They were never very long, usually lasting about 30 minutes. He was always ready to go to bed by 8 pm.

Now he's waking up around 5 am, falls back asleep until 7 am & he's ready to start his day. He will nap somewhere between 9:30-10 am & sleeping for a long time. Like an hour and a half or more. He takes another nap at about 2 or 3 again & sleeps for 45 minutes or longer. He's only taking a third nap if he's been really active that day, but he's consistently pushed his bedtime back to 9 pm. He's been keeping me so busy that my bedtime has gone from midnight, to falling asleep on the couch by 10 pm.

Logan has figured out how to use his voice in a new way. It's kind of a high pitched squeak. He does it when he "talks" to Buddha or when he "talks" to us from crawling around on the floor. It's like he's telling us that he's excited about all of his new discoveries. I love it, it's so cute.

Logan is trying to really talk too. He's not very consistent, maybe a little shy about it. We think he says "hey" & "hi" along with "mom", but he only says "mom" when he's upset & only on occasion. He still says "key" for "kitty". I was feeding him dinner the other day & Kitty stood up & put her paws on the tray to see what he was eating. Logan looked over & smiled really big, "Hey key!" I was very surprised & very excited. This happens so infrequently, that I don't know if it's "real". I hope it is!

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Later
It's mind boggling to think of how one day can change your life forever. It changed the way I thought about the world. It changed Vegas. It changed our marriage. It changed our life & until then, the great way it was going.

We are now part of a generation that has experienced extreme trauma & terror at it's worst. Much like past generations who lived through WWI, WWII, Pearl Harbor & Vietnam, we will always talk about 9/11 & the subsequent war on terrorism. Where we were, what we were doing, how it effected us & how we will always remember.

That day I didn't have to go to work until later that afternoon. Bill was already at work when I woke up. I don't know what I was doing until our neighbor, Jesse, came knocking frantically on our door. I usually didn't answer the door when he was there because he was a DJ who lived up to the stereotype. He totally creeped me out. He made very poor choices with the consequences of getting utilities turned off & running out of money for food. Bill & I were nice enough to help him out with food for him & his dog, hot water & sometimes, a warm place to hang out. I thought he needed something when he showed up that morning.

I let him in & he told me to turn on the TV. We watched the news for a while in absolute shock. He left shortly before I watched the second plane crash into the second tower. My stomach dropped & I didn't know what to think. I watched the chaos in sue as people were trying to escape to safety. I watched in horror as people jumped from the towers. I watched as another plane hit the pentagon. The towers collapsed & a plume of destruction flowed through the streets of New York. I watched as information came about that flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. I started to sob.

I was glued to the T.V. I kept watching, even though they were reporting the same thing over & over & over again. I will never forget the video of the Doctor who strangely had a camcorder with him. I watched his first hand experience of trying to help others as they were all engulfed in dust & debris from the falling towers. I cried even harder.

I still went into work that afternoon. We had patients show up, but it was very surreal. Very quiet. The news was on the whole day. The head Doctor & director of the office had parents living in New York & a brother who was an airline pilot. He was lucky enough to find out early that every one was ok.

We weren't sure what to do for the rest of the day, other than live. Bill & I were supposed to go to the 311 concert at the House of Blues, but it had been cancelled. There was nothing to do but stay home & continue watching the news. Not that we were in any mood to do differently however, the constant coverage was really getting to be too much to handle.

Vegas became a ghost town after that. It was so strange. There weren't any tourists. There weren't any planes. There was nothing. It took a toll on the economy. People started to lose their jobs. Casinos were laying off people left & right. Businesses started to close. Bill lost his job too.

He came to my office the day after 9/11. He took me into the massage therapy room & told me that he had been let go along with 3 or 4 other co-workers. I cried & cried & cried. I didn't know what we were going to do. He hugged me & assured me that everything would be ok.

We were losing patients at the office because they were losing their jobs & health insurance & couldn't continue treatment. The Doctor started letting some people go. I was fortunate enough to stay (because I was the one running pretty much the entire office), but my bonuses were taken away & my salary was cut in half. Bill & I were in financial trouble now.

Bill was unemployed for six months. In those six months, he tried to get a business up & going with our friend Joe. It went nowhere. Then he found a job & shortly after that, they let their people go & closed. Then he found another job. It wasn't what he wanted to do, but it brought money in so we could eat. I started working at the gym as a second job to bring in more money & as a job to transfer to when we moved to Oregon. We had to get out of Vegas. It was a dead-end place for us. It was killing us.

With stints of unemployment & my decrease in pay as well, we were drowning. We had debt from our wedding & getting our life started. We were working on it & doing fine before 9/11. After Vegas fell apart, we were in over our heads. We had to file for bankruptcy. This was the last straw. I was moving to Portland to go back to school, even if it meant living in our car. Our time in Vegas was up. Our luck ran out.

9/11 & our life there after makes me think about many things. It makes me think about how lucky we were to stay together during one of our most challenging times in life. Others weren't so lucky. There were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers & children lost on that day. We still have each other. It reminds me to cherish out time together, because you never know what the future may bring.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I've been possessed. That's the only explanation for my behavior this morning.
Last night Logan decided that he wanted to crawl around the entire house. Before, he was pretty content on the carpet in the living room or on the edge of the tile in the entry way. He never ventured very far from that. Then last night he went into the kitchen. We put up the baby gate on the stairs to the garden level. I learned my lesson about stairs last time.

The whole time Logan is crawling around & exploring parts of the house he's never explored before, I was thinking about germs. The germs that the animals have been tracking around while going in & out of the house. The germs on our shoes that we took off while standing on the tile. The germs on the garbage can & behind it. I felt like I had a complex.

This morning Logan woke us up pretty early. We started our day at 7 am. We hung out in bed & cuddled for a little while. Bill made coffee & played with Logan while I started to clean the house. I started cleaning at 8:30 am. I just finished & it's 2:30 pm. Five solid hours of scrubbing every nook & cranny in the house. Every place that little fingers can reach. There wasn't a square inch of the house untouched or unsanitized.

Bill sat on the couch with Logan. "You know, it's good for babies to be exposed to germs. It strengthens their immune system". I look up & catch my breath for a minute. "Yeah, but I want to feel like we're living in a bubble. Logan's never been sick & I don't want him to stick dirty hands & fingers in his mouth. I think we're going to need another bottle of hand sanitizer down here in the kitchen. I'm going to start washing his hands before he eats now".

Bill just laughed & had a good time playing with Logan all day. Me on the other hand...I'm dead tired. I think this has been my work out for the day. It feels great not to worry about where Logan is going to crawl to & what he's going to get his fingers in though. My cleaning schedule has increased from one day a week to three. I think I'm going to need a maids outfit or something.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'm headed into some dangerous territory
I just started looking into digital scrap booking. Like I have time to be messing around on the computer even more than I do now.

It seems like a logical hobby to me though. I won't spend enormous amounts of money on supplies & we live in the digital age now, where we do almost everything at our computers. Besides, all of Logan's pictures are digital & stored on the computer. It would be ridiculous to print them out just for scrap booking.

Bill is going to laugh hysterically at me when I tell him this. This is what I know he'll say: "You have two other scrapbooks that you haven't finished yet. How much is it? This is going to be like your beaded vases".

This is his standard response when I tell him I'm going to do anything crafty. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Whoa. The move has been great for the family, but not so much my fitness. When we went hiking, I tried on my hiking pants. I really like them (other than the fact that they kind of fit like mom jeans...yuck) because you can zip the legs off if you get too hot. They were quite snug. So much that I decided to wear something else. Something that wouldn't make me feel like a sausage.

Yesterday we went to the gym. Bill had a meeting & Logan hung out in the nursery. I stepped on the scale. Wow. I forgot how fast things change when you pork out on food everyday. The first week we moved here, we ate out every day, for every meal. It was one of those "I really don't feel like unpacking the kitchen or attempting to cook" feelings for a while. It's lasted all month. Not too mention the generous helpings of ice cream, chocolate & beer from the local breweries. I've gained a solid 5 pounds in 4 weeks. Gross.

I'm so back to "Nutrition Nazi" status again. I'm cutting out all sugar, dairy & alcohol & starting the "Six Pack Abs" plan that I developed. I told Bill come hell or high water, I'm going to the gym every day & taking spin classes 3 times a week. No matter what.

I'm usually not a fan of diet or fitness blogs because I think they are the most boring read ever. I started one about 6 months ago & it went no where. I got to my goal (even better before we moved. I fit into Aunt Ju-Ju's size 4 pre-preg jeans), but not with the help of the recordings of a blog. This time I think I need some accountability.

Last time my major motivator was to not feel like the chunky trainer if I was going to train again. I didn't end up training my potential client because we moved & it happened really quick. There's no fear to motivate me now (which is a major motivator for me). There's no fear unless I publish my attempts for the whole world to read.

I really liked what Jezer was doing to keep herself accountable. I think it will be something that keeps me accountable too. So, now everyone will see the workings of the "Six Pack Abs" plan in detail & action. I promise to be totally honest in my recordings (something that I wanted to kill clients over in the past) & I also promise not to turn the blog into a fitness tracker. Now I'm off to make myself breakfast & get started.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

31st week & going on a hike
Yesterday we decided to go for a hike around Horsetooth Reservoir. Logan is old enough & strong enough to use the "big" back pack now. It's a Kelty pack that Aunt Ju-Ju & Uncle J got us for christmas last year. It was great, even though we really didn't do that much & I wouldn't have called it a "hike" by any means. Logan had a blast bouncing around & pulling on my pony tail. He "talked" the whole time. It was a lot of fun.

Now that Logan is crawling, he keeps me busier than ever. Like this evening while I was trying to fold & put away the laundry. Every five seconds I had to stop & grab him because he was crawling away (& fast) toward the stairs or into other kinds of trouble. This afternoon when I was hanging the laundry out to dry, I brought him along to sit in the grass. He instantly crawls off with a mouth full of dirt & a handful of leaves.

We've been working on signing a bit more. I've focused on two signs (that are very similar). "Bye-bye" & "popcorn". I don't know if the popcorn sign we're doing is the right one, but I've sung one of my favorite childhood songs about popcorn to him since he was born.

I looked out he window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise –
Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn’t really so, But it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

Every time I say "popcorn", I do a hand gesture. I think he's catching on. When I start the beginning of the song, he does the "popcorn" gesture, but it's a little backward. I'm really going to have to sit down & study up on the signs now.

This is such a fun age that Logan is in right now. I'm loving every minute of being a Mom & I don't think I could be any happier.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mission Complete
"Operation Video Tape" has been a success. Over the weekend Bill & I worked as a team to record the "elusive crawl". With Bill on the floor with Logan, it minimized the amount of distraction. Not all of them though, as you'll see.

There's the fireplace that he loves to crawl to & pat on the glass. Then there's Buddha, AKA: The Land Walrus. And Logans' favorite distraction, the electric cord to the fan. I can't count how many times a day I watch him crawl to the cord & tell him "No, No" while picking him up & taking him back to his toys.

So again, the quality sucks. We've downloaded a bunch of different video editing programs, tried an Svideo cable & messed around with program still looks exactly the same as the last video. Bill thinks it may be our video card or maybe that we just need a new computer (after this one bites the dust). Until then, we'll just have to enjoy a silent, off color, pixilated video of cuteness.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A change of perception
This weekend was another good life lesson. It was a lesson in forgiveness. It was a lesson on the concept of perception. It was a lesson on second chances.

This morning my Dad & D came over to play with Logan & take more pictures. We grabbed a cup of coffee & went out to lunch. We talked a little bit about the differences of little boys & girls, because Logan is such a busy body & I guess my sisters & I weren't nearly as "spastic". Dad was saying that that's the way boys are. They're just wired that way. It was small talk throughout the day as we went to the city Museum & checked out some historical artifacts. There was a local Native American festival going on at the same time, so of course I had to get an elephant ear.

We took Logan to the park to swing on the swings. He loves it. He kicks his legs & flaps his arms with the biggest smile on his face. It's the best feeling in the world when he giggles with glee with every push. I love it.
They wanted to buy Logan some shoes, so we went to a second hand boutique that Bill & I just love. They have the best clothes. They bought Logan four pairs of shoes & loaded him up on some jackets & pants. It was a nice shopping spree.

The whole weekend my Dad was trying so hard. He really wants to be there for us & be the best Grandpa he can be for Logan. It was very evident. I never gave him the 3rd degree, because I really didn't know what to say. Or really, how to say it. I didn't think it would be fair to put him under a spot light after 10 or so years of not having a relationship. I decided it would be best to just enjoy our time together & let him have some good quality fun with Logan.

I never let the wall down though. After all of these years, it's difficult to just flip a switch & let it all out. We were pleasant & there weren't very many emotional moments. However, the information I gained was valuable.

I have new perception on the concept of perception & my past. Knowing (sort of) what my Dad & his siblings went though as kids helped me to understand the choices that he made. It doesn't make them right, but I understand. I know that what happened to my sisters & me wasn't because we were bad kids or burdens. My Dad never intentionally did things to torture us. It happened because he had problems & he didn't know how to cope. Drugs & alcohol were his way of dealing with his issues. It effected his children, but that's what addiction is. It takes over your family. Your life. Your happiness. Your purpose.

I have better understanding of why he left again when I was an adult. It really hurt that he wasn't able to make it to our wedding. He explained that he couldn't afford to. I thought about how much of a blow to the ego it must have been to not go to your daughters wedding because of finances. It put everything into perspective.

He has been clean & sober for many years now. He doesn't even smoke. He's made many changes in his life & is trying to pick up the pieces. He's trying to be a different person. I feel better knowing that the past is the past & it won't be repeated. I don't fear that he'll disappear again, leaving Logan without a Gramps & leaving me to explain what happened (I do understand that maintaining relationships is difficult for him & it will take effort on my part as well). I feel better understanding that the past wasn't about me, but him.

It's interesting to have a change of perception & to look at someone in different light. I don't know if it was possible because I'm an adult, or because I'm a parent. Either way, I felt like I grew as a person. I've healed a bit & moving forward is much easier. Our next visit will be in November when we fly out to Portland when Baby "M" is born. I think it will be a lot less awkward & a bit more comfortable.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Meeting Gramps for the first time.
Hmmm. It's hard to put today into words, because really, it's hard to sort out the feelings. My Dad & his long time girlfriend (wife, my step-mom?) got into town a couple hours earlier than expected. Apparently he was really excited to get here. I spent my morning cleaning the house & didn't have time to jump in the shower when they called saying they were in town.

Logan was taking his morning nap when he called but woke up shortly after I hung up. I held him & paced back & forth from the kitchen to the living room, all the while singing "I'm a little tea cup" to him. I kept compulsively looking out the front window to see if they were there. If any neighbors saw me peeking out, they probably think I'm a crazy person now. It was comforting to hold Logan while doing this. He was almost like a security blanket for me. I thought about this as I was pacing, thinking "How strange. I'm usually the one being clung onto".

They pulled up in a little car. I didn't recognize my Dad at all when he stepped out. He is much bigger than I remember. Then as they walked up to the front door, the first thing I thought of was how much he looks like my Grandma Nancy. It was weird.

I hugged him saying that it was good to see him again & hugged "D" too. She's been with my Dad for years. I remember her when us girls would spend time at Dads house after the divorce. As I handed Logan over to meet Gramps, it wasn't like what I expected. Well, frankly, I didn't know what to expect. But it wasn't like some fantasy family reunion with tears of joy. Again much like last night, there wasn't much emotion. The distance was still there.

Logan was great though. He was due to eat lunch & usually if he doesn't eat as scheduled, he's very grumpy. He hung out with Gramps, pulling on his long goatee & playing with his wallet & cell phone. He was content to hold off on lunch for another half hour.

While feeding Logan lunch, we talked about a bunch of stuff. What he does for work, the town they live in & a little bit about genealogy. This struck me as odd. I told him about one of my sisters wanting to look into our family history a bit. Apparently, this is a pretty big interest for him. He told me about some things he's looked into & who's buried where. The reason I thought this was odd...genealogy is an interest of mine as well. It started out as something that "needed" to be done for church & ended up just being interesting. So much that Bill makes fun of me when I want to look at historical "pioneer" stuff all of the time. I guess it runs in my genes.

After a couple of hours of hanging out, Bill came home from work & I jumped in the shower. I got ready, we went out for lunch & then Target. Gramps wanted to buy Logan a walker. Logan likes it a lot. He really doesn't run around in it yet, but he's fascinated with the toys on the toy tray.

I never poked & prodded for answers in our conversations this afternoon. I told him that we went though some hard times as kids after the divorce & how I will never talk to my mom again. Ever. I asked him if he remembered us girls getting our teeth in. He didn't. That told me right there that he probably wouldn't remember much. He told me about how he really tried to stay in contact with us as kids, but my mom always blocked him. During their drinking days he would be drunk, crying about how much he wanted to see his girls. He explained that the reason he couldn't make it to the wedding was because he was flat broke at the time.

Tomorrow we're spending the day together again. I think we'll go to the park & just play it by ear. I'll probably have questions for him tomorrow, but I'm not sure what I'll ask.