Friday, June 25, 2010

The Tree

 The Tree

When I was growing up, we never really took any amazing vacations.  There were a few camping excursions and one memorable rip to Martha's Vineyard, but for the most part we went to Iowa.  My father grew up in a very small town in Western Iowa and most of his 6 siblings stayed in the area.  Every summer we would pack up whatever small car we were driving at the time and head due north.  It's amazing to think about now. There were no DVD players or PSPs to keep us entertained.  My brother and I mostly fought, played roadside bingo, or just stared out the window.  We loved visiting the small town where no one locked their doors and we could walk to the corner store for candy.  My grandmother (Nana) and Aunt J would cook wonderful meals and many, many homemade pies.  Oh, the pies! For many years, I never missed a visit.  For the last two summers I haven't been able to go because of a lack of time off or the fact that I was giving birth, like I was last year.  Thanks to the generosity of my parents, we were able to purchase three plane tickets and so we headed to Iowa!

L enjoyed the airport and the airplanes.  He had a major meltdown as we landed, but it turned out he had a dirty diaper and we didn't know it.  (He was much better on the return trip.)


We stayed with my aunt and uncle on their farm and I think the kids thought that one of their books came to life.  There were tractors and cows and barn cats.  L went fishing and made friends with a very patient black lab.  There were lots of walks with Dad, too.


One of the things I really wanted to do was visit the big tree.  This tree has been around for years and years.  My father played in it, and so did I.  I was so happy that I was able to bring my kids there. I hope that my grandchildren will someday play there, as well.

Alone with the Tree 

With Daddy

L and E made themselves right at home and had a great time.
The Good Life

Fashion Statement

The hassle of flying with two kids was huge.  I think we will be driving, if at all possible, for our future trips.  However, once we got there, I was so glad we made the time.  Now that I am lucky enough to have kids of my own, I realize how much the trips to Iowa influenced me.  The hardworking, down to earth people in this small community are a part of me and a part of who I have become.  It brought me so much joy to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins playing with the kids.  Every time I visit, I never want to leave.  This time was no exception. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One Year

Dear E,

One year ago you came into the world and made our family complete.  I admit that I wasn't really ready for you, but the moment we met you we knew that you were the missing piece in our lives and hearts. We have never looked back.

The first year of your life was full of a lot of change that you aren't even aware of.  Through all of it you were a happy little baby with nothing but a smile and a giggle when we needed it the most.  Your brother is fascinated with you.  He always asks about you when you aren't around and even though he sometimes tips you over or takes your toys, I know he loves you very much.  I think that someday soon you will both be conspiring against me!


Your favorite pastime is eating.  You also love music and start to dance any time you hear a tune.  I can't go anywhere without having you in my arms or at my feet, which is sometimes hard because you are one big girl!  Climbing is another one of your hobbies, but we can sometimes talk you into sitting in a chair and drawing. We haven't been able to talk you out of eating the crayons, though.

I was always afraid that I wouldn't be a good mother to a daughter and I still have that fear, especially as you get older.  I can already see your personality coming through.  You have just the right mix of happiness, curiosity and skepticism.  I hope you keep that and I hope you always know that I love having a daughter.  As much as I would love to slow time just a little,  I cannot wait to watch you grow into a toddler, a girl, and then an amazing woman.  Happy birthday, little one


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

May Update - Forward and Back

In many ways, May was a month of progress.  We unpacked more boxes and M was able to do a lot of small repairs around the old house so we can put it on the market.  Unfortunately, I had to stop running in order to give M time to do that.  I felt like ti was a huge step back and I miss it.  The lack of a regular babysitter is beginning to be a problem.  Despite all of the unpacking we've done, it feels like our house looks just as terrible.  Is it possible that the pile is growing??  

The very end of the month took a turn for the comically awful when we bought a new van.  The night that M drove up to try to jump on a deal for a vehicle we really wanted, he broke down on the way there.  By the time he and the truck limped to the dealership, the van had been sold.  He left the truck there for repair and a good friend rescued him.  It was no small favor since the dealership was about an hour away.  The next day,  he went out a bought a 2010 and we gave up on trying to find the perfect deal.  I know I swore that I would never own a minivan, but it's very nice and extremely handy.  I have been assimilated.

Even though I had to stop running, I managed to lose five pounds in May!  I did this by being stressed out all the time and being much more strict with what I eat.  I reduced my portions at dinner, quit drinking my glass of wine (no drinking on weeknights only - I'm still human, after all) and I have a can of soup for lunch every day.  I also curb the snacking, which was not hunger related, by chewing gum. It is amazing how much better my clothes fit and how much more enjoyable it is to face myself in the mirror.

My goals for June:

Keep Losing Weight! - I am only a few pounds from my initial goal weight and I want to keep going.

Keep Unpacking - I know the bottom has to be there somewhere

Go to the Doctor and Start Running Again - I jammed my toe into the door a few weeks ago and it's still swollen and painful.  I think it might be broken.  I need to take care of that before I can run again.  Oops.