Tonight I'm Feeling Pensive

Do you ever wonder why life is so complicated? Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by it. Even when it may appear so from the outside, no one has a simple life. We all have emotional turmoil and difficult decisions to make and we're so afraid of other people (often with good reason).

Tonight I was thinking: maybe life is so complicated to remind us that life is really very simple. Two things are important: loving God and loving others as you do yourself. Everything else in life fits into those two categories. That may sound simplistic... and it is, I guess. But that's the point!

I don't mean to say that our turmoil and decisions and fears are unimportant. They are very important. But we don't have to be overwhelmed by them. I'll use my depression as an example. I get so caught up in my own thoughts and fears sometimes that it seems like an impossible situation. How can I ever make sense of my pain?

Love God. Love others. How do I love God in my depression? I pour my heart out to Him and believe in his deliverance. How do I love people in my depression? I share the things that God has taught me and use my experiences to comfort others in similar situations.

Does that make any sense? Is there something in your life that seems overwhelming? Are you willing to try thinking about it in this way? Call it an experiment...


Things that Annoy Mommy

1. Not being able to go to the bathroom by myself.

2. Hearing the same word repeated over and over again; especially when that word is a question that I can't answer because I can't figure out what the girl is saying.

3. Never making it to the end of the day without at least one smear of snot and/or food on my clothes.

4. Straightening up the living room, turning around, and discovering that a little cyclone has come along behind me and pulled all the toys back out.

5. Constantly having to rework my schedule due to ever-changing nap times.

6. Not getting to carry on an uninterrupted adult conversation with my husband until after 8:30 p.m.

7. Getting hugs and smiles from the sweetest little girl in the world -- no, wait, I like that part... :)


Things that Annoy Lila

1. Getting water in her face and Having her face wiped clean after a meal.

2. Having a Mommy and Daddy who are not psychic and can't always figure out what she wants.

3. Not being allowed to eat animal crackers for every meal and snack.

4. Being told, "Not right now," when she wants to be picked up and carried around (again).

5. When Mommy won't let her play on Mommy and Daddy's freshly made bed. (i like it to look nice for a few minutes...)

6. People, other than Mommy or Daddy, touching her without permission. This doesn't scare her, it just annoys her and is usually met by a scowl and pushing away.

7. Cold weather, because going outside just isn't fun!


Finally Back Online

Whew! The past week has been crazy. We were iced in for three days last week and then it cleared up enough that I was able to fly to New York on Thursday. I got home late on Sunday night and spent Monday and Tuesday recovering. It's taken me this long to catch up on things enough to take the time to blog. Like I said, whew!

The trip to NY was lots of fun! I missed Doug and Lila a LOT, but only moped a little. Renee and I stayed up way too late most nights and walked our tushies off during the day, so I was exhausted by the end of the trip. We ate out for nearly every meal and I discovered the best chocolate cake in the world (at Max Brenner's). I walked up 5th Avenue and stopped into Saks long enough to have some guy in mascara tell me (in a very polite and tactful way, of course) that the area around my eyes needs work and I should buy some $150 eye cream.

I attended 2/3 of a mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and bought Lila a new I [heart] New York shirt since she's just outgrown her old one. Then it was on to the half-price ticket line, followed by the NY Public Library. The show we saw was Spamalot and it was hilarious! After that we went to the top of the Empire State Building - not something I recommend doing at 11 p.m. in the middle of January!

We also did some shopping on the Upper West Side, saw a movie ('The Painted Veil' - sad, but very good - i recommend it), and had dinner at an exceedingly cool and expensive restaurant called Duvet. Their gig is that you eat on beds instead of at tables. The photo here is taken at our bed. Excuse my wind-chapped cheeks and hat hair. The place is very cool and you can check it out at www.duvetny.com.

Anyway, those were the highlights. Add in miles and miles of walking and lots and lots of eating and you've got a pretty good idea of my Solo Adventure in New York!


Snow Day

Cold cold cold. Ice ice ice. Stuck at home. Blah!

Doug, Lila, and I have been (mostly) home bound for the past couple of days and it's driving me nuts! I had lunch plans yesterday and lots of plans today, which all had to be rescheduled. The three of us did venture out to nearby restaurants for lunch both days, just to get out of the house. Lila and I both get restless if we have to stay home all day.

The fun part was that Lila got to see her first snow today. She likes looking at it through the windows and keeps saying, "'nowing. 'nowing. 'nowing." It is very cute. Before lunch, the three of us got all bundled up and walked over to the park by our house. Lila thought it was pretty cool at first, but after about 5 minutes she decided that it was a little too cool. I don't think she liked having the cold bits hitting her face (it was more like sleet than snow at that point).

The kitties are just confused because Doug has been home for four days in a row and all of the blinds in the house are closed. Cordy was making mad runs around the house earlier to express her displeasure at not being able to see outside.


Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

It's mid-afternoon and Lila and I are sitting at a table outside Border's. The weather is beautiful; mid-sixties and mostly sunny. Lila is eating her first ever grilled cheese sandwich (on whole wheat) and playing with a plastic fork. I'm sipping on my soda, watching the breeze ruffle my baby's hair and enjoying the peace of the moment.

I lean toward Lila and rest one arm on the table.

"Lila, can I tell you something?"

She turns her attention away from her snack and looks me in the eye, waiting.

"I love you."

Lila leans forward, sandwich in one hand and fork in the other, and gives me a kiss.

She understood what I meant. And, though she doesn't have the words yet to return the sentiment, she told me, without question, that she feels the same way. I lean back in my chair, basking in my child's love, and hope that someone nearby saw what just took place.

One moment like this can make an entire day like Tuesday just disappear.


Crazy in the Head

Behold this photo of my little prodigy, writing her own name! . . . Okay, maybe not. But that's certainly the way it looks, isn't it? What you are actually viewing is Lila's decoration of her name, which I had written on the paper earlier in the day.

Today has been another tumultuous one for us. For example, I just asked Lila if she was hungry (naptime is soon, so i want to give her a snack now) and she said, with delight in her face, "Nih-nih?" That's 'dinner' - her generic word for any meal. I said, "Let's go have a snack!" She obviously approved of this idea because she followed me into the kitchen saying, "'nack! 'nack! 'nack!"

When we got there, I asked her if she wanted a cereal bar. She just grinned and chuckled. I wanted to make sure this was really what she wanted, so I kept asking until she said, "Bar bar bar?" (that's 'cereal bar') Great! I pulled out the bar and started to open it. She scowled and said, "No." "You don't want the cereal bar?" I asked. When I started to put it back in the pantry, she looked even more distressed and reached for it.

I unwrapped the bar, and handed it to her. She held it in her hand, pointed at the refrigerator, and started saying, "Nih-nih? Nih-nih? Nih-nih?" When I told her that it was not time for dinner, but she could have the cereal bar and some milk, she disolved into tears. Not willing to participate in the theatrics, I left the room. So now she is wandering aimlessly around the kitchen, wailing.

This is the way it's been for most of the day. No wonder we all think our mothers are crazy. They are! And we're the ones who made them that way!


Monday Monday

Well, Lila handled her Daddy's absence on Thursday and Friday very well. I was quite pleasantly surprised. However, she's pulling the freakout routine this morning. Right now, she's sitting in the floor, screaming because I won't pick her up. The problem is, she won't be any happier if I do pick her up. I was carrying her around earlier and she was just grunting and pointing me in the direction of various things she can't do right now (like go outside, where it's only 39 degrees and i'm still in my jammies), then getting hostile when I told her no. We've had the Use-Your-Words-Please "discussion" many times already. Naptime may have to come a little early this morning...

At least we had a good weekend. There was enough going on to keep us from being bored, but not enough to make us feel busy. The only bummer was not being able to find a babysitter so that we could go to a friend's birthday party on Saturday night. I always dread trying to find a babysitter. We have some very generous friends who cheerfully babysit for us and we are so grateful! The problem is that everyone seems to schedule parties for the same night. At least half of our babysitting list already had a party to go to themselves on Saturday. It's nutty!


Chopsticks and Rocket Launchers

This is a photo of Lila eating baby food with a chopstick. We were all having lunch together and Mommy and Daddy were using chopsticks. So, naturally, she wanted to do the same. She actually had much more success than you might think, but got tired of it after a while and went back to her spoon. Silly girl!

I was planning on one of my surprise late movies again last night, but ended up staying home. I looked at which movie I'd be seeing before I left, which was a mistake. It was one I'd never heard of and I wasn't that excited about it. Now, it might have been a very funny movie, but since I was skeptical, I chickened out. We ended up watching the last half of 'Commando' instead. That was really quite fun though because it's a terrible movie and we had a blast making fun of it. There's not much dialogue, so Doug and I filled in our own - complete with bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions.

We then stayed up later than Doug really wanted to because we got sucked into watching 'Carrie'. I decided that I'm definitely a better mother than Margaret White.


Lila's Busy Day

What I didn't get to tell you yesterday, because I ran out of time, was how helpful Lila was while we were getting our new living room furniture set up. She wanted nothing more than to help her Daddy assemble the new end tables, as you can see in this photo. Unforunately, her idea of helping involved climbing and generally getting in the way, which led to repeated relocations by Doug.

When she finally got tired of being turned away from that task, she moved on to exploring the area behind the sofas that had previously been inaccessible. I had already moved the bowls of cat food from the floor onto a low table, but I was much mistaken if I thought that would somehow keep Lila away from them. She promptly found the food bowls and then spilled Charlie's food all over the floor.

I got out the vacuum, cleaned up the mess, and left the room with the bowls, in search of a new home for them. While I was out of the room, Lila moved on to playing with the jar of pens that had been set on the windowsill. Playing with the pens was fine, but playing with the ceramic jar (in the shape of Woodstock's head) -- not so much. While I was out of the room and Doug was occupied with the end tables, she dropped the jar on the floor where it broke. I thought Doug was going to cry.

After getting the vacuum out again and cleaning up the shards of ceramic, we decided to just keep it handy for the rest of the day.


Doug and I received a surprise Christmas gift of money this year and we used it to buy new living room furniture. We wanted to use it on something that we didn't need, but would really like to have or replace. The first consideration was a surround sound system, but we settled on the furniture instead. Our old sofas were getting pretty worn out.

Oops! I'd write more, but I need to get Lila out of bed and run to lunch...


Walk more slowly, please.

It is very difficult to take photos of a walking Lila. It's almost as bad as when she started crawling and I couldn't get her to stay in one place for a picture anymore. Now, I try to take photos of her walking and -- get this -- she keeps moving! The camera is slow enough that I push the button and by the time the picture actually takes, she's no longer in the frame!

Anyway, the one you see here is the best I've gotten so far. It's also funny because her belly is hanging out. :)

Doug and I each got to spend some time out and about alone yesterday. We both had gift cards from Christmas that we wanted to use and that is best done without a baby in tow. I, personally, spent about two hours at the Gap. Last time I was there, I found so many things that fit and that I liked that I had to leave some behind. This time, I had a hard time finding enough things that worked!

I did, however, end up with a very cute dress and some more comfy casual clothes. Because, you know, there weren't enough things already in my closet with the GAP brand on them...


Daddy Insanity

My sweet little girl loves her Daddy a LOT. And in the past week-and-a-half, since he's been on vacation, she has said his name approximately 3 million times... per day. Yesterday, I went in to get her up from a nap and she greeted me with a smile and, "Mama." And then she craned her head to look out the bedroom door and said, "Daddy?" That's how it is anytime he's around. Mommy's alright, but Daddy's the best! I don't really mind. Much.

I'm a bit scared of what Thursday is going to be like. That's when Doug goes back to work and Lila and I return to our normal life. The Daddy Show will be over. Will she be able to stand it? Will the Mommy Show be enough for her all day or will it propel her into screaming insanity? For everyone's sake, I hope I'm able to keep her sufficiently entertained/distracted all day. She has enough new toys to keep a whole army of children entertained and I have some new tricks up my sleeve. We'll do just fine, obviously, but it might be a tumultuous couple of days.

Angela's Shameful Confession of the Day: Yesterday, I bought Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Half-Price Books. And I'm giddy.