Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jenna's Baptism

We baptized Jenna last weekend (Memorial Day weekend) at Christ the King Church. Nick was confirmed and was an alter boy here many moons ago. I can say that getting to the point of the baptism was a bit of a struggle in having the baptism class cancelled and getting it arranged and apparently we ended up with the last date to have the baptism in the church as they're remodelling it as of this weekend. Had we decided to have her baptised while it was being remodelled, it would have ended up out on the lawn under a large tent.

OK, enough of the logistics, lemme get to the good stuff, the pictures.

The day went swimmingly, likely due to the fact that we wanted it to be a mellow, low key kind of event. We only had the Grandparents, Aunt Heidi and the Godparents in attendance.

Nanny brought down the bib they used to baptize Nick, but as I'm showing here, it's way too small for Jenna's head. Apparently that's the difference between baptizing a preemie and baptizing an 11 month old.

Nanny & Jenna pre-ceremony. Jenna had a beautiful bracelet made by her Great-Aunt Reenie and a cross of her own (tucked inside the onesie) that was blessed after the ceremony. Both pieces are stunning.
Please ignore my 'I'm stressed, when are we getting out of here' face. My Mom and I, pre-Mass.
Awwww.... He's so wrapped around her finger, it's crazy.
She didn't cry. But that doesn't mean she wasn't questioning what kinds of shenanigans we were up to.
Taking a good look up above.
There was one other baby being baptized that day, too. He was 6 months old.
Our little family :)
Us, the priest, and Jenna's Godparents, Uncle Mike and Karin.
:) Jenna and her Godparents
Us and her Grandparents.
Back to the house for food... and CAKE!

Karin & Jenna
Struttin her stuff...
Winning over her Godfather with that smile...
Uncle Mike got to feed Jenna. She's getting better with the bottle.
Jenna with her absolute favorite toy... a water bottle. Dunno why we purchase toys. They're useless!
I love this smile. Can't get enough of it.

All in all, everything came together beautifully.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jenna and family

We got together at Aunt Heidi and Uncle Mike's for Mother's Day brunch. It was good to get Jenna aquainted with her 4 legged (wait... her only) cousins. 

Left to right: Reuss, Poppie, Jenna and Aunt Heidi. LOVE this picture. 

Madison checking Jenna out towards the end of the day. Jenna is inspecting something that got stuck to her hand while crawling around. This is so normal, but I don't catch it on film because I just don't like it. I hate that no matter how much I clean, or sweep, or keep her in a bubble, she still finds stuff on her hands. Hey, maybe I should embrace it. She's entertained, right? Oh, and at least Madison got to check her out without actually confronting this little person. 
Reuss, on the other hand, was all about playing with Jenna. He loooovvvees her. 
I realized I haven't taken a good picture of my Mom and Jenna in a longer time than I care to admit. So... mini photo shoot proved successful. They were both having a blast. My Mom knows how to get her giggles going. I love it. 
Ah, quick one with Pop and Jenna... she loves to watch people talk on the phone. 
Back to Grandma... 
This one's my favorite. 

11 Month Letter

Dear Jenna,

You're now 11 months old. I'll admit to not seeing this as a very important milestone due to it being the bridesmaid to next months very large milestone, but looking at you in your 11 month glory, I'll admit to loving this age. 

You've been quite the active little one this month. You're cruising furniture like crazy, and starting to 'leap' between pieces. I'll admit to thinking you were going to be walking by now, but, just like with crawling, you keep teasing us with all the little pieces of the behavior, but not putting them together. That's OK, there will be plenty of time for walking in the future. 

You still put everything in your mouth. EVERYTHING. Our house has been redecorated to have low surfaces completely cleared of items (we call it the minimalist look) whereas higher surfaces (that you can't reach) now houses the items of every day life.  This includes the 4 bags I drag in and out every day (my purse, my pump bag, the small bag that the pumped milk and parts go into and your diaper bag) along with the bottles of wine we open to celebrate the end of another day, all parties intact. 

You're keeping us on our toes. You're stubborn. When you want something, you either a) get it and then ignore it because we haven't tried to take it away from you and therefore it must not be interesting or b) when we take it away from you, you throw a very large fit, crocodile tears included. 
You're mighty quick. You can go from one end of the house to the other in the time it takes me to drop those 4 bags at the end of the day. I think we've all lost our 'baby rolls' trying to keep up with you. 
You've officially said your first word. And you keep saying it over and over and over. "Doggie". At first we thought it was a fluke, but then we realized you were using it in context. You would see a dog across the park and get so excited, flapping your arms all over the place and saying "doggiedoggiedoggiedoggiedoggieDOGGIE!" You've since applied the word doggie to any furry creature. Anything with feathers is now labeled Duckie. (or, duckieduckieduckieduckie). You're 'speaking' your own language and mimicking our conversations and tone, which is pretty darn cute. You're still very much a dancer... and now instead of just bobbing your head like the guys from SNL, you're now swaying your hips. Particularly if you're wearing a skirt. 
We've loosely started 'potty training' or elimination communication... or as I like to call it "Making Mommy happy by not needing to change a dirty diaper" Just like with solids, we haven't been super consistent, but we have gotten the ball rolling. You do go on the potty on occasion and lemme tell ya, I love it. I'm not expecting miracles, but I like that we're getting started early. If it works, great, if you're still in diapers at age 4, so be it. 
You've been a fabulous addition to our lives. I can't believe how quickly time has gone, and, at the same time, it's so, so hard to remember life without you. You're a joy to everyone that comes in contact with you (except for maybe Noble at day care, but you dish it back out, too... I think one day you'll have an understanding, the two of you). I look back on the days when you were so tiny, when all you would do is cry, eat and sleep and I just can't believe how far we've come. You're such a little person. It really does boggle my mind. As much as I'm sad you're growing so fast, I'm looking forward to what the future brings. For you, for us. 

Thank you, Jenna. Thank you for enriching our lives in ways that I can't explain to those that don't have children. Thank you for every exhausted minute, every sloppy kiss (aka rescue breathing), every giggle, every tear. You've made me who I am today, and I only hope to return the favor. I'm doing all I can for you. I love you dearly. 

(which you still aren't saying, but I'm ok with that...)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I want to remember the following:

- Jenna's hands are so soft. She likes to grab and play with my hands when nursing and her hands are so soft and baby-like, I don't want to forget that. I would, however like to forget when she digs her talons into my collar bone or cuts my lip from grabbing at it.

- Nursing is the only cuddle time we really get. So as we approach the year mark and we start to transition towards WCM (whole cows milk) I want to soak up all the snuggly time I can get. I know it's going to get fewer and farther between snuggle sessions. That being said, she's getting better about just sitting in our lap for story time, as opposed to thrashing out trying to get away, or to eat the book, so maybe our quiet time together won't be forever lost...

- I've had to stop looking forward. Meaning, I've been so freaked out with Jenna coming closer to her first birthday, I wasn't taking the opportunity to enjoy my 10 month old. As a 10 month old. She's getting big, but she's still my baby. Always will be my baby, but before she turns to a toddler, I'm going to treat her like a baby while I still can.

- I keep reminding myself to slow down. Stop running through the motions and stop and make a goofy face at Jenna. I love stopping everything and doing whatever is necessary to elicit a full on belly giggle from Jenna. Nothing makes me happier. I really do live for her, it's crazy.

- We went to Bo's BBQ for Mother's Day dinner (yum!) Jenna was fantastic. She was eating away and a gentleman walked by and stopped. He said "Oh! She's just all kinds of Precious. Just all kinds of precious. I mean, you two are an attractive couple, but she. Wow. Precious. All kinds." Nick and I keep giggling over our "all kinds of precious" and I think we've got a new nick name for her ;)

- Jenna started climbing this week. She's been cruising like a champ all over the house and her crawling is unbelievably fast (Where'd she go!? I thought she was with you!). I was trying to prepare myself for walking, as she's really good standing, pushing stuff around the house (her walker, the laundry basket, the box from the diapers, her musical play table) but this week she started climbing. First on her rocking chair (climbed on it, was standing, holding the back of it and rocking.. nearly gave Nick a heart attack!) then on the box of diapers, on the nursing stool in her room, she now pushes stuff over to the couch to climb up. I.was.not.prepared.for.this!

Ahhhh... fun times. Really, really fun times. I love my munchkin.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Honor of Mother's Day

This weekend is Mother's Day. It's my first mother's day. I'm kind of in awe. So, in honor of this momentous occasion (to me) I'd like to list a few things I've learned thus far...

- I'm a good Mom. It's hard to admit that, but I've come to realize that I need to commend myself for making it through the last 10.5 months and doing the best I can. I have more respect than ever for all Mom's out there whether they're working or a SAHM.

-Never say never. I remember when I was pregnant I had all these ideas of the type of parent I was going to be. The fact that my child would STTN (sleep through the night for those that aren't in the know) by 4 months, that I would breastfeed until Jenna decided to stop, that I would be able to get out of the house perfectly coiffed each day. I imagined that I would be going on monthly date nights and having another night just for the girls. I had wild, crazy dreams. Then I became a Mom. Reality set in. Ask me where I am now? Gee, Jenna has only STTN a handful of times (and when she does, I've learned not to celebrate too loudly as it often jinxs the following night!) Jenna's still being nursed but won't take the bottle (well, she will, when Irma gives her a bottle, but no one else... we're working on Nick being able to feed her now) which cuts out date nights and GNO's.

- Motherhood is demanding. Duh, right? Well you just can't explain it to someone until they've been there. They've been in the trenches and understand it if you happen to take a shortcut or veer from the norm. An example: I don't have Jenna's convertible car seat in the center because it's too hard on my back to get her in and out of the center position. It hurts! I'm not following the 'safety guidelines' to put your child in the center position, but you know what? Jenna's safe. She's buckled safely in her car seat using the latch system (thank goodness! so much easier than using the shoulder belt! No more shifting!) But we had to make that decision. Follow the guidelines or do what works for our family? We're doing what works for our family.

- I still don't believe I'm a parent. I'm still coming around to the idea that I'm a Mom. But there are days that I look at Jenna, well up with tears and can't believe she's ours. We get to keep her. And when the 'P' word (parent) is used, I freak out a bit. I have parents. I grew up with parents being authority figures, adults, grown ups. They go to work and take care of their children. It's weird, I fit the role to a T and yet can't comprehend that I, in fact, am a parent.

- Time flies. I keep saying it over and over. This time has gone by so quickly. It's hard to try to grasp onto the memories as they fly by. I feel like I'm in one of those clear boxes with cash flying all around me and I can't grab any of it. Thankfully, I'm starting to figure out the balance of having the camera in my hand just enough to capture memories, but not so much that I lose out on the experience.

So, I started this post, before Mother's Day. Now I'll finish it from a different perspective.

I love being a Mother. I really, really do. It's a lot of work. I'm running from sun up (or before that) to sun down and then some. The best thing about my first mother's day was the note inside the card Nick got for me. It said something to the effect of "Thank you for all you do, it means a lot". I actually think it was more insightful and sweet than that, but it meant a lot to me. I think that's exactaly what I wanted out of Mother's Day. To be recognized for all that I do for the family. For Nick, for Jenna and for me. It's amazing what the last 11 months have done to me as a person. I'm so proud to be a mother. I'm so proud to be Jenna's mother and Nick's wife.

I also wanted to take a minute to thank all of those I've turned to since becoming a Mother. To all the Mom's out there (you know who you are!) Thank you. Thank you for supporting me, listening to me, helping me when I'm clueless and letting me help you when I've been through something you haven't. We're in this together, raising awesome children and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for being one of my very sturdy rocks.