Life through the eyes of a diabetic, first-time mom.
Since our family doctor is basically taking the next three weeks off we got Lyla in for her nine month well child check up today.
It was one of those moments where I can really see how she’s changed since the last visit.
Now she’s sitting up on her own, wants to get into things and is much more squirmy. Last time she was totally cooperative — remember she even opened up her mouth when the doctor came at her with a tongue depressor — but this time she was not as willing and much more curious about everything in the room.
And, of course, there’s the fact she’s bigger. At her last visit she was 25 inches tall and 13 pounds, 10 ounces. This time at nearly nine months old she is 15 pounds, 13 ounces and 26 1/2 inches tall. She’s been eating solids since her last appointment, starting with breakfast and dinner (oatmeal then veggies and fruit) now to three times a day (oatmeal and fruit, yogurt and fruit, then veggies and fruit) in addition to plenty of formula. So, I was kind of expecting a bit more growth but she’s still around the 10th percentile for weight.
Still, I’m not too stressed that she’s remained small. Something that has been a concern since I found out I was pregnant was Lyla’s size. You want to make sure, as a diabetic (especially if you’re overweight as I am) not to let the baby get too big, and the way of doing that is a strictly controlled diet while pregnant.
There’s two reasons for this:
• Big babies are harder to deliver, especially for first time moms
• Big babies are more likely to have weight issues later on in life (take me as an example, I was almost 10 pounds and have had weight issues for much of my life)
So, the fact that Lyla remains small is good. I can only hope that it points to a long term outcome of healthy weight.
Once we got Lyla weighed and measured, our family doc gave her a thorough exam and asked us about milestones such as rolling over, grasping things, sitting up unsupported, food and so on. He checked her sight, her hearing, her hear beat, pulse, belly and so on. While he was giving her the once over she was quite adamant that she didn’t want her ears to be looked at as she kept squirming away.
If she could talk I am sure she would have said, “Doctor, please, don’t touch my ears. No, seriously. Don’t. Um, no thank you, my ears are fine.”
While on the exam table she squirmed, grabbed for anything the doctor was holding and even whined a bit.
Our doc said everything looked good and we’re doing a good job. Yay!
Best part for all involved was the fact there were no routine vaccinations this time around.
Lucky girl, we’re taking her back on her first birthday in November for her next well child check.
Hey, Lyla, happy birthday, have some shots!
Good thing she won’t remember any of this but she can always look back at the blog if she wants to know.
Last night I was looking at the blog and I realized I hadn’t posted in nearly a month. Uh oh.
During the past five or so years July has become one of the busiest months of the year for me. There’s a ton of stuff going on in the area that I write about such as Covington Days and then there are a number of other events that are on the calendar.
Every July the National Hot Rod Association brings its road show to Pacific Raceways. Since 2004 I’ve written about and attended this event. This year I went all out and wrote three stories instead of one. I went and shot photos during Friday qualifying then on Saturday, July 10, Jason, Lyla and I went to the race together. It was a great day, warm, fun and also a bit stressful.
The next day I had hoped to head back with Lyla while Jason was working but something came up and I had to deal with something in Bellevue instead.
And let’s not forget the previous weekend was the Fourth of July.
The next weekend was Covington Days, though I didn’t get a chance to get to it, then there were a ton of other things I was taking care of on weekends after that including regular errands as well as getting ready for my friend Melissa’s wedding and celebrating my mother-in-law and brother-in-law’s birthday (July 15 and July 30, respectively).
Melissa got married to Daniel, who is a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps and SNCO at the recruiting station in Covington, on July 31. It was a beautiful day for a wedding. Lyla looked adorable in her little pink dress and she was a hit during the reception.
In the middle of all that I was waiting for my Nikon D80 to be repaired. I shot Lyla’s eight month photos on July 18 and the next day when I was at the groundbreaking for the Witte Road/Southeast 248th street improvement project in Maple Valley my camera quit on me. The shutter mechanism shorted out, it seems, but at least I got Lyla’s eight month photos. I need to run out to Photo-tronics in Seattle tomorrow to pick it up.
But, here’s my cutie at eight months old.
So, I survived July, though I ended up skipping out on the Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering. I was going to go on Aug. 1 but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to write about Darren Motamedy and the only opportunity to interview him was that morning — which is when I had planned to go to the Scottish Highland Games. Ah, well. It was worth it. And there’s always next year. I wanted to take Lyla to see the Wicked Tinkers, a pipe and drum band that performs there every year. I suspect she’ll enjoy it more in 2011 when she’s a bit older. Or, she’ll hate it.
Then last weekend we celebrated those July birthdays on Saturday. It was nice to spend time with my husband’s whole immediate family. On Sunday the family theme continued when I drove back to Bellevue to take my mom out to lunch. I try to get together with her every two weeks so she can visit with Lyla. Our baby girl has such devoted grandmothers.
This weekend I am going to try and take a breather because tomorrow is going to be quite busy. Lyla’s nine month well child check is scheduled for tomorrow morning — it’s a week early because our family doc will be on vacation the next two weeks, but, that’s fine — then I have a couple of meetings tomorrow afternoon for work.
Because Thursday is going to be pretty busy I will need to spend Friday making sure everything is together for work. And I may head out to the Division 6 NHRA Lucas Oil Series Race at Pacific Raceways (more drag racing, I can’t resist, plus I want to meet up with some of the racers I interviewed in July for the big national event I mentioned earlier) that afternoon before I go home.
Saturday I am hoping to just relax. Then again, I said that about this past Sunday and I ended up leaving the house about 90 minutes after I got up, then spent five and a half hours out of the house with my mom then running errands. Apparently I do not have an “off” button.
Well, I will be heading to the Maple Valley Farmers Market Saturday morning to visit Jennifer Orchard, who I will write a post about later this week. She makes some awesome baby items and she lives in the area. I’ve got her working on a personalized clock for Lyla’s room.
But, after that, I’m going to relax. Yeah. We’ll see if that actually happens.
I better do it now while I can, I’ve got mom meet ups through MVCA Moms and my friend, Amanda, who is throwing a first birthday play date for her daughter, Bella in a couple weeks.
Before you know it my birthday will be here and that happens to be the day after school starts. With that brings high school sports which means I’ll be out shooting and covering those events plus city governments ramp up what they’ve got going in the fall, too.
When people ask me, ‘How are you Kris?’ I always say, without fail, ‘Busy.’
And that is just another hallmark of being a working mom. But, I like being busy, it keeps me out of trouble. And that’s good because Lyla is going to be crawling soon and I’m going to be too busy trying to keep her out of trouble to get into trouble on my own.
Not surprisingly, the past two weeks with Lyla have been eventful and busy.
On Monday, June 28, she cut her first tooth. The whole weekend before she was fussier than usual, crying in spurts of two hours or so at a time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She’s not really one to cry for extended periods of time. So, we were a bit puzzled by this.
I went to work that Monday morning having not had much time with Lyla so, when I got home, imagine my surprise when Ellie said, “Your daughter has cut her first tooth!”
We’ve been waiting for this milestone for months. I would guess she had been teething for about a month leading up to the tooth finally cutting through the gum.
Once I got settled in after getting home, I scooped Lyla up, cuddled her and tried to get a look at her first tooth. She wouldn’t let me. Figures. So, I ran my finger over her bottom gum and there it was, a pointy baby tooth sticking up on the lower left side.
It was soooooo cool. It reminded me a bit of when I lost my baby teeth as a kid and my adult teeth started coming in.
And the upside was that the fussiness was gone. Woot!
Just a few days later was Independence Day, Lyla’s first Fourth of July.
In Maple Valley, where we’ve lived for a little more than six years now, lighting off your own fireworks is legal. The first two years we lived here we didn’t light off our own at home but eventually we decided to do like our neighbors and set off fireworks in front of our house.
From my home we can also see to the southwest the city of Black Diamond’s show at Lake Sawyer right over the rooftops in front of us and behind us to the north we can the city of Maple Valley’s fireworks display at Lake Wilderness.
By the time those start, though, things have been booming in Maple Valley since fireworks went on sale on June 28. We only light fireworks off on the Fourth of July, safe and sane fireworks, of course. We like to buy Black Cat products.
I really had no idea how Lyla would handle it because for those of you who don’t live in Maple Valley, let me explain to you what it sounds like on the Fourth of July…
it is as close to a war zone kind of atmosphere I have experienced. I know a couple of Iraq War veterans who live in the area who prefer not to be here on the Fourth because it just brings back unpleasant memories.
And if you don’t believe me, I have videos I shot.
As you can see, Lyla wasn’t fazed by the fireworks at all, in fact she fell asleep around 9:30 p.m. She woke up when I took her out of her stroller after we were all done around 11 p.m. but she was out again about a half an hour later and slept until 10 a.m. the next day. Which is crazy. She never sleeps that late!
This past weekend was pretty eventful as well. We took Lyla to the 23rd Annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. It’s probably the biggest event at Pacific Raceways each year and tens of thousands of spectators attend the race. It can be loud, especially with the nitromethane-fueled funny cars and top fuel dragsters which run at 300 MPH and generate 7,000 to 8,000 horsepower. My friend Bambee lent us a child size headset to protect Lyla’s ears.
We slathered her with 100 SPF sunscreen and sat in the stands for about an hour and a half. She did pretty well but eventually due to the fact she couldn’t really get a good nap (I knew we should have brought the stroller!) and couldn’t hear much due to the headset she finally had enough. Once we got a little bit of distance between us and the drag strip, we took the headset off, just as a pair of nitro funny cars did their burn outs then made the run down the strip.
My mini adrenaline junkie smiled, giggled, kicked her legs and waved her arms in a display of what I can only describe as joy. That’s her happy dance. Heh. It will be interesting to take her to the track next year when the NHRA comes to town and she’s almost 18 months old. By then she’ll surely be walking.
In fact, I think it may be sooner than later.
Lyla hasn’t really expressed much interest in getting around on her tummy, no crawling, creeping, scooching, nothing. She’ll roll around and even lay on her belly, push herself up off the ground, kick her legs and look around before rolling over onto her back.
She does, however, love to stand. She’s been bearing weight on her legs since she was barely two months old.
On Sunday, Lyla and I visited my mom in Bellevue. We had lunch, I took my mom to run an errand then we went back to the condo she shares with my sister, Elizabeth, and my sister’s boyfriend. For months my mom has been trying to get Lyla to take a step or two while standing supported. Basically baby girl would just get all stiff and stand there.
This time, though, my mom stood Lyla up on her bed and she voluntarily took a few steps while grasping my mom’s fingers. It was SO cool to see.
For the past month Lyla has been sitting up really well on her own. It’s only a matter of time before she starts pulling herself up on the couch and cruising. She may still crawl since unsupported sitting is a key milestone to hit before crawling but it’s apparently common for babies these days to skip crawling altogether.
I showed Ellie this trick this morning before I left for work and I wouldn’t be surprised if she works with Lyla on taking steps and learning the basic mechanics of walking during the coming months.
I was walking at nine months. I won’t be surprised if Lyla is, too, but I won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t walk until later.
Either way, baby mobility is looming near and I really need to get cracking on baby proofing.
Life is just always busy with Lyla and it stands to reason it’s only going to get busier. I can’t say that I mind.
This morning I was laying in the dentist’s chair — actually, he’s a specialist of some kind but let’s say dentist for now — waiting to have my aching upper right teeth looked at in order to figure out why they’re aching.
The dental assistant, Hannah, was asking me if I had any work done on that area lately and I said, ‘No, my last fillings were on the other side of my mouth. I didn’t have any work done there last year because I was pregnant.’
And before I knew it we were talking about babies.
Hannah said the dentist she works for (who was minutes away from torturing my aching teeth) has a 2 year old, so, she’s heard about parenting from him thereby getting the dad’s perspective. But, she was curious, as a woman, ‘how much of it is instinct?’
For me, so much of it has been instinctive, and whatever I didn’t know I could look up on the Internet.
“The first time we gave her a bath,” I told her, “I looked up a video online on how to do it.”
It’s true! We set up the infant bath tub on the dining room table just as the video instructed us, then we took the laptop over to the tub, and went through it just as the video instructed.
Hannah thought it was brilliant yet amusing.
As we were talking, the dentist comes in and asks, ‘Are we talking about babies?’
Oh, yes. And to be honest, I love talking about being a mom so much I can’t help but work it into conversation more often than not.
“Coming from someone with a two year old,” the dentist said, “it just gets better.”
We talked about various other things after that, but, my favorite part was impending mobility.
“When she starts to crawl, knock her over, don’t let her walk until she’s 12,” he said.
His daughter, he explained, starts running without fear the moment you pull her out of the car seat. She has no concept of consequences, he explained, and an insatiable curiosity.
For example, he and his wife and daughter rented a house in Chelan, and next thing he knows his toddler is climbing up the ladder to a top bunk.
Horrifying enough as that is to this dad, it was watching her try to get down without understanding how to go in reverse, that freaked him out.
Luckily, he was there to catch her when she miscalculated her ability to reach down two steps instead of one.
Dude, we really need to get cracking on baby proofing the house.
Oh, and I get to have a root canal. And I need a crown, too.
At least I can learn more about life with a toddler next week when I go back for the root canal.
I am putting this on my blog for those of you who may not read the paper regularly, either because you don’t live in our circulation area or because you don’t pop onto the website, because I wanted to share this with you all. I just read it again (I wrote it last week) and I have to say I got a little choked up. That’s a rarity, to be sure.
Father’s Day through different eyes
This Sunday is Father’s Day and this year I am looking at it in a whole new way.
After my dad died in 1986, Father’s Day became a non-holiday, there was no reason to celebrate it.
My husband’s family has embraced me from the start, so by my early 20s I came to look at Father’s Day as a bittersweet time. We would celebrate my father-in-law by grilling delicious hunks of meat, corn, eat potato salad, pie or cake or ice cream and generally have a great time. My father-in-law would get tools and barbecue accessories or firefighter paraphernalia — he retired May 3 after 25 years as a professional firefighter — or a Home Depot gift card, maybe something for his Jeep, the kind of stuff you’d get a man’s man.
Quietly I’d think about my dad, try and remember him, all while chuckling at the fun gifts and silly cards and recovering from a good meal.
In some ways this year will still be bittersweet because my dad, whom I adored and whose death broke my 7 1/2-year-old heart into tiny pieces, is not here to celebrate as a grandfather.
But in other ways it will be completely new and wonderful because we can celebrate my husband. It’s his first official Father’s Day. At some point when my father-in-law can mesh his schedule – which is filled with a mile long honey-do list – with that of his sons, it looks like they’ll go for a round of golf. That makes me happy because my husband loves to golf and I don’t want him to miss out on those things just because we have our pretty baby girl, Lyla.
I am looking forward to celebrating Jason as a daddy. We’ve always been a team, trying as much as possible to split things down the middle, though it hasn’t always worked out that way. When it comes to parenting, however, my husband is a great teammate.
Before Lyla began sleeping through the night — blessedly that started when she was 10 weeks old — we would take turns getting up with her for the 2 a.m. feeding and the hour and a half rocking her back to sleep.
There were some moments of strain due to sleep deprivation, but generally speaking we worked together pretty well through that period.
Now we take turns feeding her, changing her, getting her dressed, carrying her around, we work together to bathe her, but there are some special daddy and Lyla moments.
Every night he rocks her to sleep and puts her down in her crib. That’s daddy time and he loves it.
Jason has a goatee, which I love, and nowadays he will rub his beard against Lyla’s neck to make her giggle and squeal. Funny thing is when he kisses the back of my neck it tickles me, too.
Earlier this month Jason and I took a week off. We took Lyla to her first Mariners game. Daddy carried her all around the ballpark strapped into a baby carrier, her head to his chest, her feet dangling around his belly button. She enjoyed walking around the ballpark looking at everything from the viewpoint of chest high on Jason, who is 6 foot 3.
On a side note, the Mariners were really awesome to us. When we got to the park, the folks at the gates asked if it was her first game, and because it was they directed us to Guest Services. Once there, the nice Mariners employee filled out a certificate for her baby book with the important details about her first game, as well as gave us a Mariner Moose card.
“Oh, look at you,” the woman said, “all pretty in pink!”
Yes, she was wearing a pink Mariners ball cap, a pink Mariners onesie, jeans and pink socks. Pink is officially a neutral color to me these days.
Later on we visited the Moose and snapped a few photos. The nice person in the Moose costume even sat down and held Lyla, who was enthralled with his nose, so we could get a photo of just the two of them together.
The next day, June 1, we took her to the Seattle Aquarium after lunch at Elliot’s Oyster House on the waterfront. Again she was strapped onto Jason’s chest in a baby carrier.
Lyla loved the fishies and I think she really enjoyed being close to her Daddy all day. She would reach up every now and then and touch his beard just, I think, to be sure of him.
Another cool thing my husband has done for Lyla was make from scratch her first solid food — oatmeal seasoned with cinnamon.
Lyla took to it immediately and Ellie, Jason’s grandmother, tells our little girl that “Daddy made this oatmeal just for you. Yummy”
Oh, I wish you could see the look on his face when he holds her, when he makes her laugh, when she’s sleeping in his arms. It’s wonderful.
My husband is a great father and I don’t think Lyla could ask for better.
Now, when he grounds her again for getting into trouble when she’s 15, Lyla may feel otherwise.
But this year, on Father’s Day, I am thrilled to celebrate my husband, the father of our beautiful daughter.
Solid food has begun!
Well, in truth, baby’s first foods are not solid… they’re just less liquidy.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the transition to Lyla’s first solid foods, and talked about making some of my own.
Jason, my awesome husband, made a big batch of oatmeal using steel cut oats. He said he used the recipe on the package of oats, added just a touch of cinnamon for flavor, then divided the batch up into eight little re-usable plastic containers.
On May 21, just a few days after Lyla hit six months, we put her in the brand new high chair I bought a couple weeks earlier and gave her some oatmeal.
Well, Ellie fed it to her. I missed it. I was in the shower getting ready for work. I have, however, fed her oatmeal often since then and she took to it quite quickly.
Here she is in her high chair the first time… but before we gave her oatmeal.
After that we went to peas, then carrots, which I haven’t fed her personally yet but Jason’s grandmother, Ellie, says Lyla loves carrots and enjoys the peas, too. They just need to be warmed up a bit.
I did get some Gerber Organic baby food because I found it for a good price. And just in case she didn’t like what we made.
Jason recently made a batch of sweet potatoes, though, and on Sunday I picked up fresh carrots, green beans and two avocados. On Sunday I mashed up the avocado and fed her some around dinner time to see how she’d take to it.
Lyla wasn’t terribly keen on it. I think it was the texture. Next time, I’ll puree it.
Last night I steamed then pureed the carrots and the green beans. I got four small containers, about two ounces each, of carrots and four containers of green beans. That should last a while. Jason just needs to make another batch of oatmeal. But, that first batch lasted a month, so I am happy with that.
Carrots before being steamed and pureed…
Carrot puree for Lyla!
I am not sure how Lyla will take to the green beans but we shall see.
Here they are before:
And here’s the green bean puree:
All together it took me about 30 minutes to whip up eight containers of baby food. I am really stoked about how easy and fun this was plus it’s cheaper than buying the food. Commercial baby food these days really is just fine, especially with first foods, but I feel like this is something we should do for Lyla so that eating food we make at home will be second nature. That’s what we do, we cook our own food at home as often as possible, it’s healthier, more cost effective and it’s even fun. Looking down the road at the commercial prepared foods for older infants and toddlers, I think that I want to avoid going that route, it looks more processed and frankly some of it looks gross. So, I think it’s good for us to get in the habit of making food for Lyla now, then it will be second nature for us, too.
The coolest thing I’m discovering is that many of my mom friends make or made their own baby food, too, so they are great resources and support. Plus there are tons of resources on the web and great books out there, so, there’s really no reason not to do it ourselves as often as possible.
Man, I’ve been slacking lately and I apologize. The end of the high school sports season (I spent a lot of time covering softball games) was kind of crazy and took up a lot of my time.
I’ve got a few different blog posts stored up but I figured I’d start with a recap of Lyla’s six month well child check. OK, I know, it was a month ago but better late than never, right?
We took Lyla in for her six month check up with our family doctor on May 20. She weighed in at 13 pounds, 10 ounces, was 25 1/2 inches long and her head was 16 1/2 inches in circumference. She’s still hovering in the 10th percentile for weight but approaching the 40th for height.
During the exam, she was down to her diaper as usual, and Jason was holding her in his lap while he sat on the exam table.
As the doctor approached her with a light to look in her ears and check her vision, Little Miss Grabby, I mean Lyla, was reaching for the light and grabbing at his stethoscope. It was kind of hilarious.
Then the doctor grabbed a tongue depressor and as he approached Lyla, she opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue, all she left out was saying, ‘Aaahhh.’
“Wow, normally babies aren’t this cooperative with me,” the doctor said.
We talked with him about the fact we were about to start solids. He advised that we try one new food a week in case she’s allergic to something it will be easy to isolate and identify what caused the reaction.
He also reminded us not to prop up a bottle while feeding Lyla formula. I mean, that’s just common sense, right? I had to stop myself from saying ‘Duh’ but obviously there’s someone out there who has done it (and if you’re reading this and getting annoyed with, I apologize, but come on, you don’t want your kid to choke, right?) so we have to be warned accordingly.
And it’s important to be sure to give her an iron fortified formula. As far as I can tell, they all are iron fortified, however I could be wrong.
Otherwise, the doctor said she looks great, and that we’re doing a great job. Yay!
Then came the shots. First she got an oral vaccine then two shots, one in each thigh, and I held her down gently on the exam table while the nurse administered the shots. Jason is a bit squeamish when it comes to needles and I know it must be hard to watch her get shots, so, since needles don’t bother me and I am able to stay calm while Lyla gets them I hold her.
It works out, then, because Daddy gets to make it all better when it’s all done. I couldn’t get her to calm down right away or as easily as at the four month check up so I handed her to Jason and she calmed down almost instantly. We are already playing good cop, bad cop as parents. Oh, boy.
So, we’ll take her back in late August or early September, depending on our doctor’s schedule. We can’t take her in at nine months as recommended because our doctor will be on vacation. The nerve! I’m kidding, of course, we all need time away from our jobs.
Next post I’ll talk about making baby food and starting solids. After that I am going to share the column I wrote about Father’s Day.
So, this is part two of my Mother’s Day themed posts this week. Up until about two weeks ago I hadn’t been thinking too much about Mother’s Day.
As I mentioned in my previous post this week, I realized that I don’t really want much for Mother’s Day, just to be acknowledged. Oh, and someone to clean my super dirty Mustang.
This week I also asked my mom friends on Facebook to finish this sentence: “When I think of Mother’s Day I…”
There is something bittersweet about Mother’s Day for two of my friends who responded and another friend whom I talked to a bit about Mother’s Day this year.
For some moms, it’s harder than others.
My friend, Rachel, for example is having a bit of a rough Mother’s Day weekend. Her response wasn’t sentimental about flower bouquets or handmade cards. But, it was real, and I appreciated that.
When Rachel thinks of Mother’s Day she feels “very alone and forgotten. As the single mother of a young child, I get looked over on this day.”
Well I know that she is loved but right now she is in the middle of moving into a home she just bought while her significant other and his kids are far away. It’s rough and I hope she has some sweet surprises on Mother’s Day because she deserves it. Her little boy, Chase, is very loved. I’ve sent her Disney DVD codes so she can get him movies and merch for free. It’s a win-win because it makes her son happy and she doesn’t have to give up her hard earned money.
Another friend of mine is going through a divorce. She had been a stay at home mom. Like Rachel, she is working hard to take care of her son on her own, and she doesn’t get to spend time with her son, the reason she celebrates the holiday because she has to work to pay the bills.
On the other hand, the holiday can also bring back fond memories.
This is what Karen Evans said in response to my request.
“When I think of Mother’s Day, I remember my first Mother’s Day when my son Matt was born. For the first 1 1/2 weeks he was fussy and could not be put down without crying. Even when held he would cry, so I had to walk with him all of the time. On that first Mother’s Day, I sat in a rocking chair with him, eyes wide open, calm and not fussy. I felt like I had gone to heaven! We rocked like that for over an hour and a half. It was a miracle!”
When I think of Mother’s Day, I will always think of last year, the excitement of sharing the news that I was pregnant with our families. We celebrated on Saturday with Jason’s family and shocked everyone at the table when gifts were open after dinner.
I found my mother in law a Winnie the Pooh photo album, and on the front it said, “Grandma’s Brag Book.”
At first she was confused when she looked at it then I saw the light bulb go on over her head.
“Are you pregnant,” she asked.
All I could do was nod and grin like a fool. She almost had a heart attack and cried tears of joy.
It was totally awesome.
Ginger Passarelli, whom everyone simply calls “Mama,” Mother’s Day makes her “think of how thankful I am that mine are grown and making me grandbabies!”
And boy does she have some cute granddaughters. I met one of them last summer while I was pregnant. I was writing a story about the ladies of Baked Goodies who were one of the many wonderful vendors during the inaugural season of the Maple Valley Farmers Market last summer. They used Ginger’s kitchen at her restaurant, Mama’s Steak and Pasta in Black Diamond, to bake their tasty treats they sold at market. So, I visited one day while they were baking up a storm and Ginger was there getting ready for the dinner service and one of her daughters and sweet little granddaughter was there.
Just look Ginger up on Facebook. You’ll see I’m not exaggerating. She has cute grandbabies!
For my friend Emmily, the response was a reflection on the past and an opportunity to ponder future Mother’s Days.
“When I think of Mother’s Day I feel joy and excitement for the first time in my life. I am due to become a mother on May 21 (but maybe any day now!). I could hardly sleep last night just thinking about meeting my new baby and the transition into a whole new role and life! But the flip side of this is that this comes after a lifetime of difficult years and now estrangement with my own mother. Typically, Mother’s Day was one of heartache for me because of how damaged and dark that relationship was/is. I wish things were different, especially now as I approach this new chapter in my life. It hurts when people ask me, “Has your mom been helping you get ready?” That’s not my path. But what I do know is I won’t let that happen between me and my child. And I am already so filled with love for my “Little B” that I know it never will.”
To all my mom friends, I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, whatever stage of parenthood you are in now.
A year ago I could never have guessed how amazing it would be to become a mom. I knew it would be awesome but I had no idea how awesome. I’m looking forward to spending the day with my mom and sister eating Indian food for lunch then do dinner with Jason’s family. It looks like it’ll be sunny and warm. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Well, except for a clean car. Oh, and one other thing — could somebody else go to Costco for me next time? OK. Thanks!
I am SUCH a mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Up until a few days ago I hadn’t thought much about Mother’s Day as how it pertains to me as a mom.
Then I realized no one had asked me what I wanted to do, if anything, for Mother’s Day. And I realized no one asked me if I wanted a gift for Mother’s Day.
And I started to get annoyed.
This is my first Mother’s Day as a mommy.
OK, I was a mom-to-be last year but I had just found out I was pregnant and we were so focused at that time on breaking the news to our families not to mention the impending joy of being parents as well as the insanity that my high risk pregnancy was going to be for the next many months.
Last year I wrote a story for our print edition that came out the Friday before Mother’s Day. I visited with a co-op group who was touring a fire station in Maple Valley and asked a mom who was pregnant with her second child and was in the group with her pre-school aged daughter about the holiday.
She basically told me that even though she’s a mom the day is still more about her mother than a day to celebrate her mommy-hood.
At the time I didn’t get it.
Now, though, I totally do.
I’ve just been pondering how to celebrate with my mom as well as Jason’s mother and grandmother.
But, I do want to be acknowledged. I don’t want some great big party. Up until this morning I wasn’t really sure I even wanted a gift.
Then, as I got into my filthy 2000 Ford Mustang this morning to head to work, I realized what I want for Mother’s Day — someone to thoroughly and lovingly detail my beloved Mustang.
This car is 10 years old. It has nearly 150,000 miles on it. And it is not a family car by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, my dream car. I was 23 when I got it, just three months after I was diagnosed with diabetes while living in Las Vegas, and for years I had driven junkers and hand me downs.
This is the first nice car I’ve ever owned. I love my Mustang. And now that it’s paid for, I want to take care of it, but it’s hard as a new mommy. It gets regular oil changes and all but hand washing the exterior and carefully wiping down the interior is quite low on my priority list.
So, it would be super awesome if someone would be willing to detail my car and make it sparkle like a blue jewel.
Yeah, I’m a momma in a Mustang. When I drive around with my baby I want it to look gorgeous.
Now, to point Jason to this blog post… a nice subtle hint for what I want for Mother’s Day. Heh.
Something I’ve recently noticed is that being a parent has brought out two things in me: my inner crafter and my inner coupon clipper. Allow me to explain.
The inner crafter
During the holidays shortly after Lyla was born I got into making stuff. Crafty stuff. The kind of stuff that requires going to Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s. I’ve bought things like stamp pads and scrap book paper and the like.
For example, with the stamp pad I took a picture frame that had some spiffy matting with pink highlights and a white space to the left of the opening for the photo. So, I put a photo of Lyla and put that in there, then I took her footprint with the stamp pad and put it on the white side of the matting. The finishing touch was her name in black letters that I grabbed from the scrap booking section at Jo-Ann’s.
Another thing I did with the stamp pad was make a footprint “Daddy” tie for Jason. I got a lilac colored silk tie from the Nordstrom Rack at the Super Mall and put Lyla’s footprint on it. He loved it. And I think the whole thing cost me about $12. Oh, but, I’ll get to the cheap skate, er, I mean inner coupon clipper in a bit.
I had also hoped to make a blanket for my sister-in-law for Christmas. Got all the stuff for it, but, just didn’t get to it. Maybe I’ll get it done by her birthday in October.
About a week ago I took some of the wallet size photos of Lyla from the Our 365 photo shoot and made a photo collage. We had purchased a bunch of frames for the photos from that session. One of them was for an odd sized 10 by 13 photo collage so we bought dusty rose colored mat board so we could custom cut it for a frame. Jason cut the mat out and put that together. There was a square of board left so I decided to make the photo collage. Got my hands on a glue stick, more scrap booking stickers, and put it all together. I posted a photo of the finished product that I put in a floating frame and offered it up. My sister claimed it.
My next little project will be putting some iron-on transfers I got from Jo-Ann’s onto onesies and T-shirts for Lyla. One says, “Party At My Crib.” Another one has guitars with the necks crossed and so on then it says, “Sleep, Hugs and Rock n Roll.” Totally cool.
I haven’t done this much arts and crafts stuff since I was a teenager working as a counselor at Camp Orkila. If I start trying to do pottery again, someone haul me back from the edge. OK?
My inner coupon clipper
I have always been a fan of scoring a good deal but I found clipping coupons or buying gently used stuff generally abhorrent.
Then I had Lyla.
Buying stuff for a kiddo can really leave a hurtin’ on your wallet, especially if you buy everything new.
Luckily I did a story on Kid to Kid in Covington shortly before I got pregnant. That has been a great resource for all kinds of cool stuff. I’ve saved money on clothes and other items there, not just for myself, but for friends who have had or will have babies in recent months.
I’ve also signed up for the coupon savings e-mails through Carter’s, Osh Kosh B’Gosh and The Children’s Place. In mid-March my mother-in-law and I went shopping for clothes for Lyla to wear from six to nine months to add to the handful of things I had already. Beyond newborn and three to six month stuff, bigger clothes were few and far between, something I suspect a lot new parents encounter.
We got Lyla plenty of clothes during the shopping spree to get her through spring and summer. The way she outgrows clothes is in height. She’s not yet been too heavy for anything. Even now, as she approaches five months old, I’m starting to think I’m going to have to move her to six to nine month size clothes because quite a few things are not long enough.
Anyway, I had coupons and there were a bunch of sales going on. For me, I have taken bargain hunting to a whole new level.
With how quickly she’s growing at this point, it makes no sense to buy everything full price, to not take advantage of coupons and sales. It’s simply smart and cost effective.
Since Lyla is also formula fed, I’ve signed up for Similac’s Strong Moms program. Basically, that entailed giving them some personal information online. In exchange, I’ve gotten about $30 worth of formula from them and already $10 in coupons, which I will use next time I buy formula for her.
Maybe I should sign up for coupons from Pampers, too, since babies go through a couple thousand diapers in the first year of life, give or take a few hundred.
Next, though, I’m trying to find the best deal I can on the high chair I want to get. I foresee a trip to the SuperMall in the near future as a trip to Kid to Kid was unsuccessful and searching on Craigslist didn’t turn up what I was looking for, either.
It’s interesting to discover the ways in which parenthood has changed me or brought to the forefront qualities I had but in ways I never would have previously imagined.