Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sleeping Game

First of all, Happy New Year's Eve!

It's funny, I spent so much time looking forward to Christmas break and the change that it would bring...and here I am looking forward to getting back into the ol' routine again. Not that I'm dying to get back to work, it's just that I'll be happy to get June back to her little routine.

June takes 2 naps a day. She'll sometimes take more if it's been an active day or if she gets a little catnap in the car. Her naps usually take place during daycare hours and she gets in a little groove that's predictable and works for us. When we go on vacation...that changes.

We tried to put June down for naps around the normal times or when she seemed tired but she wasn't having it. First of all, she didn't have her normal crib to go down in. Also, she was constantly surrounded by a bunch of people who wanted to play with her, see her and enjoy her (lucky girl!). So when we tried to remove her to a place to nap, she wanted to get back to the action! Plus there was the added issue of having a more demanding and less flexible schedule. We tried to make due where we could, but we ended up with naps:

On Grandma Mickie's living room floor...

Quite a few in the car seat...
A Christmas living room nap...
And, when all else failed, in the Ergo...
(Seen here while Daddy played Scattergories. Wish I would have gotten a picture while he played Euchre with her in the Ergo with a sweater zipped over both of them!)

In the past 9 nights, June has slept in her own crib only twice and one of those times was after we got home at midnight from a late flight home. So, even though it means leaving family and returning to work, there is a part of me glad that June can get her routine back.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Day

June's first Christmas started out, of course, with cookies and milk set up before bedtime. Getting this picture taken was a bit challenging since she kept diving for the cookies. What can I say? She is her mother's daughter.
She was kind enough to let her parents sleep in, which these days means waking up at 5:30 to eat and then sleeping again until 8. We'll remember these days fondly one day when Christmas morning will start at 5:30 and not involve going back to bed.

Grammy and June show off her Baby's First Christmas pajamas.

Wish NOT granted!
She got some really cute clothes, some books and some toys that she will hopefully still love playing with once she's done ONLY wanting to stand up on things.

(That is the infamous NAU Soccer shirt from this post.)
After Christmas morning we headed to the home where Michael's grandma and grandpa live.
Staring contest. GO.

We then headed to Michael's uncle's family's house to spend time with the whole group.
Ah, joyous Christmas memories! So many things make this picture hilarious. Whose face is funniest? Or is it the fact that June looks like the Fonz?
This was the first time in a long time that I've been at a Christmas with several kids in attendance. I'd forgotten how fun and frantic the mania of present opening is. (And the potential for one kid opening another's gift.)

Mimi and the kids...

We could have stayed there all night but had to cut the evening a little short to get June home. She had a rough time as the night wore on due to a lack of napping. Still, it was a wonderful end to a really great Christmas. One for the baby book!

Christmas Eve

Michael, June and I flew to Indianapolis to spend Christmas with his family. Although my family usually celebrates in Danville, a 1.5 hour drive from Indy, most of them decided to celebrate in Arizona this Christmas. My Grandma Mickie was still in Danville, however, so we took a day trip out to see her and arrange some quality time with June.

We even got to stop in to see my Uncle Mike at work!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Active Holiday

In a few pictures I can show you what our holiday felt like:

June has reached the stage where she is ALWAYS on the go. Crawling, standing, shuffling, can try to leave her alone for about 20 seconds but when you get back she will have gotten into something new.

It's a really fun time to see her developing and learning so much, but I have to admit that it can be exhausting. Thank goodness we had so many family members willing to help out with June slash let us not help out very much with anything else because we were so preoccupied!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas from my new iPhone!

So many great times to write about and photos to share, but for now I'll just leave you with this.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Sight

December 22, 2004

It was early in the morning. As I got ready I tried to turn on as few lights as possible with the rationale that if I never fully woke up, I'd easily be able to fall back asleep on the plane. No makeup. Hair in a ponytail. Wearing a tee-shirt. Wait…December in Illinois is really cold. I looked around the destruction zone commonly referred to as the bedroom of a college student home on Christmas break about to fly to visit the Grandmas for the holidays. The only thing not packed or sleeveless was a long-sleeved NAU Soccer tee-shirt. It was gray and baggy but it would be warm, and it wasn’t like I was meeting my future husband that day anyway.

We flew from Phoenix to Houston, switched planes and then flew on to Indianapolis. From there my family would rent a car and drive to Illinois. I don’t remember much about the layover except for the usual awkwardness of moving about in a warm airport while trying to manage your purse, carry-on bag, sweater and coat on various modes of airport transportation.

We waited around at the baggage claim. Mom and I guarded our pile of belongings while JP and Dad fished for our checked luggage. I glanced over my shoulder and made eye contact with a man standing several yards away. He was young but older than I was. Very handsome, dark features. He was standing with his own family, wearing a black jacket and an orange scarf. He was sort of leaning back on his heels, arms crossed in front of him. Head tilted back and a very slight smile, which I found intriguing. I don’t know what I did. I might have smiled back. I might have given him a flirtatious look.

He walked past me to grab his bag off the carousel. I noticed that it was a gigantic duffel bag with the ADIDAS brand on it. I had some fleeting thought about a shared interest in sports.

And then he was gone.

We didn't speak. When I flew home a few days later I would look around the waiting area to see if he was on my flight. He wasn’t. He slipped from my mind. I’d never see him again. He’d been A Passing Stranger.

Seven years later I’m flying to Indiana again. The man with the scarf will be in the seat beside me. I'll carry his ring on my finger and our daughter on my lap.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reactions to Breastfeeding

Can you think of anywhere that would be more awkward than a car dealership to be openly breastfeeding, without a cover or anything? Other than maybe an anti-breastfeeding conference? (Do they have anti-breastfeeding conferences? If so, anyone want to participate in a sit/feed-in with me?)

First of all, it's overrun with men. Before the feeding began I was approached by no less than four men in ties (salesmen) or coveralls (service department) asking if I wanted bottled water, a hamburger, hotdog or backrub.* They stopped by to make googly faces at June and tell me how many children/grandkids/nieces and nephews they have.

I was there to get our Prius serviced so I wasn't ther eto buy, but Michael still thinks they were trying to sell me something. I just think they were being nice. (I'm still sticking to my story that I will be the bad cop in all future car buying experiences.)

No one approached me while feeding and no one protested. I find this interesting because a pregnant mother made a passive aggressive anti-BFing comment near us at a burger joint the other day. A pregnant mother! Mom on mom hate! I couldn't believe it. I wish I could get in to a heated public debate about this but I would probably start crying because I don't do well with confrontation.

So my closing thoughts on this are: why would I get less hassle from a bunch of car men (Carmen?) than from a fellow mom? Women who think their own God-given breasts are gross or indecent confuse and sadden me.

Feed on, ladies!

* Okay, they didn't really offer a backrub.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Christmas Wishes for June

On this, your first of a lifetime of Christmases, allow me make some wishes for you.

I wish for you enjoy your family and the one you marry into. May it be a difficult decision which one you spend your Christmas with because you want to spend time with both, not neither. May you carry with you charming stories of wonky family members and not be one of the damaged people who hates the holidays because of memories. I have been blessed in this way and I want the same for you.

I wish for you to love and appreciate the glow of candlelight.

I wish for you to love the smells and flavors of Christmas. To have a healthy sweet tooth, to enjoy but not overindulge. When you learn the trick of this, teach it to me. I wish for you to enjoy the warmth that spreads through you when you take the first bite of your still-warm Christmas cookies, but to appreciate more the warmth you feel when you wrap up the rest to give to others.

I wish for Christmas music to fill you with joy, and to have forbearance when you must suffer through yet another rendition of “This Christmas.”

I wish for you to look outside to see falling snow and feel wonder, not annoyance or dread.

I wish for you to understand the real meaning of Christmas, that this is the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I wish for it to remind you of what kind of man Jesus was and that the most important thing in this life is how we make other people feel.

I wish for you to keep within you a childlike love for the holidays. Keep this light shining within you forever, no matter what.

Sometimes I start to feel my grip on Christmas slipping. I give in to the siren song of Planning and start focusing more on the things that need to be cleaned and gifts that need to be found and the laundry that needs to be done and then packed. I hope that I can hold on and hold out. That you can help me keep sight of the things that are important, that together we can love and look forward to this season because of – and not in spite of – all the craziness that accompanies it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

iPhone Finds

Look what JP found on his phone:
JP, Michael, Kai, his "Junebuggy" and a full-size mounted marlin on the wall...all looking cute!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Green Tomato Pie

What do you do when your boss gives you a bunch of green tomatoes?
You Google "What to do with a bunch of green tomatoes, not fried green tomatoes." The result I liked the best: Green Tomato Pie.

Some of the reviews said that it tasted like apple pie and that it's not all that uncommon in the South. I was intrigued.

It called for you to stack/layer all of the sliced tomatoes and then pour the sugar mixture on top. This went against my intuition because I kept picturing delicious sugary goodness on top and marinara pie on the bottom.

The pie came out beautiful. I love homemade crust.
The results:

First of all, I didn't have the thickening agent or any substitute, so I just did without. This worked out fine with a peach pie I made once and I had hopes for this one. This didn't turn out so well since tomatoes have a lot of liquid in them. It was a little soupy.
But once I cut the first piece I was able to drain the pie, as it were.

The taste really was good. I couldn't believe how sweet it was (actually I can, the recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of sugar. I actually think it might have been better without that extra quarter cup). It did taste like apple pie and this crust recipe was so delicious.

Even my coworkers liked it, and I'm including one picky eater and two foodies!
In summation:

- Don't leave out thickener
- I think I'd like the tomatoes cut into smaller pieces because they didn't fall apart as much as I thought they would.
- I don't like raisins so I substituted craisins. They were delish.
- Use a little less sugar than it calls for

Friday, December 16, 2011