What do you say?

I've been meaning to post for a while now. I just don't have the words. Well, perhaps I have the words, but I just can't spill them yet, or ever in some cases. What do you say when you're dealing with things beyond your control and you can't talk about them? How do you write when your words are censored? How do you reach out for help, for strength, for comfort, for hope, when you can't share what you're going through? I don't know what to say, friends. Except I'm dealing with both joys and heartaches at the moment. Thrilled one minute and depressed the next. The holiday season is nearly at its peak...and my emotions are undulating. I know I'm worrying you with these statements. You should know: I AM OK. I just need some time. I realize I've asked for time a lot this year. As I've said before, this year has been a rough one. I find myself wondering how I can possibly ask you for anything, when I've given you little to nothing in return? For someone who's been so open with you about everything, I'm having a hard time not letting it out. Unfortunately, some parts are not my stories to tell...and others are too uncertain to share just yet. For now, I only ask for the love and support, prayers, hope and friendship I've counted on from you in the past. I thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart.

Ups and Downs

I sometimes wonder where all my motivation goes. I mean, for a while there, I was really into running. In fact, I'm still really into it. It's just that I can't fathom running when the high today was 27 degrees. Does that make me a quitter? I feel like I start a lot of things I don't finish. Some of those things are silly side projects and it doesn't matter if they get done any time soon.

I've realized, though, that I've started a lot of different things over the last few years to try to lose weight, or at least get in better shape, and no matter what, I fail to complete it- or even keep it up for a reasonable amount of time. I am so frustrated with myself about this. Every day I look into the mirror before I step into the shower and suck in my stomach and try to push my fat about to see what it would be like to look more like an hourglass and less like an apple on a stick.

I am often found trying things on and then getting frustrated because yet another clothing item no longer fits. It's sort of funny sometimes that this weight issue seems so BIG to me because I'm really not THAT overweight. In fact, by most standards, I'm not overweight at all. It's just that, if I replaced the fat with muscle, I'd fit into things better and just generally FEEL better about myself. It's strange to look in the mirror and not recognize myself...or to look back to my college days and wonder where that girl went. That confident girl with the skinny waistline and the long flowing hair. She could conquer the world. I can't even conquer my body issues.

Poor Love is constantly having to reassure me that he still finds me attractive. I don't think he knows how deeply this body-hate goes. It's so different to see your body after it's been ravaged by pregnancy. I'll spare any Men in my audience from details, but nothing is ever the same. You feel like a shriveled up raisin. The other day I tried on the jacket from one of my favorite suits and found I couldn't button it. So, that night I did pilates at midnight. A few days later I'm wondering to myself, "Just exactly what did that accomplish?"- because I haven't bothered to exercise since.

I'm full of excuses why I don't have time to exercise, and truthfully, I have no idea how to stop that mind frame. I'm also full of reasons why I should- mostly complaints about the way I look- I am my worst critic. I never wanted to be that person who hated her body. I always swore I would stay in shape so I never had to feel like I didn't love my body. But...I didn't. Now it seems impossible to get back to where I was.

I'm not disillusioned into thinking that I'm going to ever look the same as I did in college. The fine lines under my eyes and the pregnancy have told me that much. I'd just like to get to where I can feel good in my clothes. Have a little bit flatter tummy, get my waistline back, and feel strong and healthy. This is something I would like to achieve soon so that I can pass that feeling on to Zoe. I want to get in shape for myself...but also for Love...and for Zoe.

She is watching me now. She's learning from me how to be a woman. She's watching me to see if I love and respect my body, or if I hate it. She's watching...and I'm not being a good example. I want to teach her to love her body...but the trouble is...I don't know where to start on myself...let alone my daughter. I need a plan...a winter plan. When it gets warm, I'll run again...but I don't want to wait that long. I want to stop feeling like a failure.

Needed to get that out. Thanks friends.

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm going to be honest with you. This has been a rough year for me and my family. Truth be told, I will be especially grateful when it's over...and will be hoping for a much better year to come. However, as our U.S. holiday creeps up on me, I've been able to reflect over the wonderful things in my life and wanted to share with you what I am thankful for. Since I'm in a silly mood, I will do it as I spell out the word "Grateful"! (Bear with me.)

Gospel teachings. Heavenly Father is my rock. To try to live day to day without His wisdom, His guiding light, His comfort, His peace, His forgiveness is unfathomable to me. There have been many times in my life, and throughout this year, where I have turned to Him for help, comfort, or direction in my life and He has always been there for me. Also, I am thankful for Jesus Christ- for His example and especially his great atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. I'm thankful for the knowledge I've gained and an increase in my spirituality this year. I'm also thankful for my trials because they push me to be better than I am.

Real friends are far and few between for many, but I have several. Some live closer to me than others, some I've only met in internet world, but all of you have touched my life for the better and have stuck by me through good times and bad. I want you to know that your constant support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. I consider myself so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. You all are the family that I chose!

A love of reading, of music, and of the arts. Books take me to far away places and let me explore life through the eyes of thousands of characters. I'm grateful that I love to read and that my daughter has grown to also love to read. Music touches my soul in a way I can't describe. I love all forms of music, dance and expression and I'm so grateful for not only my musical talent, but for the talent of all people in this world who have grabbed my heart with their music and movement. I love many forms of the arts and am grateful that so many of you share your artistic talents with me through the internet.

Toddlerhood. Zoe is my greatest gift. I love being her Mother. I love the laughter and joy that she brings to my life. She pushes my buttons and exercises my patience but, no matter how frustrated she makes me, I love her just the same. She is so smart and sweet and lovely. She continues to be my little miracle. I have enjoyed watching her grow and learn as she went from baby to toddler. I'm grateful for the sweet moments when I get an unexpected show of affection, a silly laugh, when she dances to the music, when she talks...I could go on and on. I thank Heavenly Father every day for entrusting her to my care. I love you Zoe!

Employment. My heart aches for those who don't have jobs or who are having financial troubles because of lowered wages or effects of the economy. It's easy to think of only yourself and your troubles...and I have been up until recently. Then I realized how incredibly blessed we are just to have stable employment. I am especially grateful for my work-from-home job. It allows me to prioritize my life the way I need to as a Mother and I couldn't be more thankful. Our jobs may only pay the bills and little more, but because of them I have a house, food, a car and the necessities of life. That is truly a blessing right now.

Family. I have a great love for my family- which includes the one I married into. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people that I call family. People that will be there to help me, no matter my need. People who love and accept me for who I am. People who love my daughter as much as I do. To my blood family, thank you for dropping everything when I come home so I can get in as much time as I can with you, thank you for your love, your support, your friendship, your phone calls, your concern and for always being there when I need you. To my in-laws, thank you for stepping in as my family lives far away, for providing me sisterly/brotherly love and advice, for accepting me into your family as one of your own, for babysitting, for your friendship and for your service and support. To all of you, I wouldn't be where I am without you and I love you all dearly.

Unceasing service from others and for the opportunity to serve. This year has presented me with so many wonderful opportunities to serve and receive service. Whether through church, to a friend or from a friend, to or from neighbors, to or from strangers, I have seen so much selfless love this year. Service is a way to help people feel loved, relieved, supported, acknowledged and cared for. I pray I will have many more opportunities to serve my fellowman and to experience the kind of love for every person that Heavenly Father has.

Love is my partner in life, he is my best friend, my lover, my confidant and my shoulder to cry on. Without him, my life would be incomplete. He treats me as his equal and loves me more than I ever thought possible. He supports me in my decisions and encourages my growth. He is an amazing Father. To watch him with Zoe is a constant joy to my heart. He works so hard to take care of our family. I'm so grateful I am married to him for ETERNITY! I love you, Love!

I hope each of you take a minute to express what you're grateful for this year, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. I hope those of you that do celebrate have a great time with your families and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

On the same page?

Recently I've had to make a few house rules for Zoe to keep her out of trouble/ harm's way. Since I'm the one home with her most often I enforce those rules, but sometimes forget to pass them on to Love. So the other day Love and I were in the car and I brought it up:

Me: I think it would be a good idea to sit down and write out some house rules.

Love: ...

Me: It's just that I want to have it written out so that we're on the same page.

Love: I thought we were on the same page...or have you skipped ahead a few pages?

Me: Well...

Love: ...'cuz you tend to do that sometimes. I'm sitting there on page one and you've skipped ahead to like page 25. Or, I'm stuck in the pre-log...the...what is that before the first chapter? (Love hates to read.)

Me: The prologue?

Love: Yeah, I'm stuck in the prologue and you're on like chapter 5.

I guess I need to be better at communication???

Be Ok

I am leaving on Wednesday to go to New Mexico to visit my family and celebrate Halloween. I am so excited to see them! This will be Zoe's first "real" Halloween. She's going to re-use her fairy wings from my sister's wedding and go Trick-or-Treating with her Uncle A. It will be fun! In my absence I will leave you a video of Zoe dancing to "Be OK" by Ingrid Michaelson. My child loves music and will dance nearly every time she hears some. I just love her!


So my running program went on hiatus for a couple weeks. Mostly because I got busy with work and motherhood and blah, blah, blah and figured that was the easiest to give up. Also, because it got cold...very suddenly. After almost two weeks I really thought about it and decided that taking care of my body was more important than housework or really anything else...because if I let my body down...I will let everything and everyone down in not being able to do what I normally do. Plus I missed it...A LOT. I FEEL so much better when I've exercised. I feel healthy, happy, and in control- which you know is like breathing to me. Also, I'm sick of the unsightly bulges. So I emailed Love and told him I needed to figure out some way to run again. I figured he'd email me back some encouragement and I'd need to start brainstorming. Instead he emailed me and said he'd permanently put Zoe to bed on the nights I wanted to run- we usually switch off every two nights- so I could just go as soon as my dinner had settled. After a week of this I really think it's going to work. It freed me to go whenever I was ready instead of worrying about getting Zoe to bed first or coming up with excuses (like laziness) not to. It helps that it also gives me motivation in the form of guilt: "If Love is going to put Zoe to bed, I can't really just be lazy and not run." I'm so grateful, not only for his support, but for him enabling me to create a healthy habit. Besides, I figure it's a win-win for him. He gets time with Zoe on his own (while I get time on my own) and, if I get in better shape, he'll reap the benefits. :) Hello, week 3

Am I Doing This Right?

As a (relatively) new mother, I've come to the abrupt realization recently that I have no idea what I'm doing. Finally I realize why so many parents turn to other parents, mothers, parenting books and doctors for advice all the time. I think in the first year of life your main focus is to keep your kid alive. You have to make sure they are getting enough food, sleep, attention, playtime, etc. Then suddenly they begin to crawl and you must make sure to keep them out of harm's way and teach them how to master things like stairs and to refrain from using that chair that topples backwards to pull themselves up. You finally get to a point where you are trusting them more and more and then they start to walk. It's a whole new ballgame, walking. Suddenly, because they are mobile on two legs just like everyone else, they think they are big. They begin using their daily accumulated vocabulary not just to practice sounds, but to communicate ideas...or frustrations. They want to start doing things themselves and you want to let them. You try not to hover while they climb up the stairs and stand up dangerously close to the edge. You praise them for their good behavior and do your best to divert them from violent behavior (like hitting, scratching, and pinching), dangerous behavior (like running into the street), and annoying behavior (like screaming). Then you watch shows about a Fantastic English Caregiver who gives parents discipline coaching and see all these kids who's parents were just like you...doing their best to raise kids into productive members of society without really knowing how...and their kids went the complete opposite of their hopes. You see these little monsters and you think, "Oh, my kids will never be like that." How do you know??!! I sometimes see a stubbornness and defiance in my daughter at a tender age of 15 months that I didn't expect to encounter until her teen years and I wonder how I'm ever going to do this RIGHT. I don't want her to turn into a little monster because I let her get away with everything (which I don't)...yet I also don't want to be that overly controlling mother that every child hates because she won't let them be their own person. I want her to have all the opportunities in the world to choose from. I want her to be able to decide on her own what she likes and dislikes, what kind of person she wants to be, etc. I also want to pass on to her important pearls of wisdom I've strung around my neck over the years. How does one do all this right? If you know, I'd invite you to tell me. I'd guess that you don't. I don't think anyone does. In fact, I'm fairly certain every single parent in the world asks themselves after every parenting action, "Did I do that right? Did I do the best I could? Will I help them? Will I hinder them?" and so on. I guess I'll just do my best to try to live in the moment. Second guessing the past will do no good most of the time...and my hopes for her future are just that- hopes. It's likely that she'll go a completely different direction than I could ever imagine. It's likely there will be many mistakes, fun, heartache, joy, and surprises (happy and sad) over the course of her life. I'm sure she'll teach me more than I'll ever teach her. I just hope when she looks back on her youth she'll forget my mistakes and just see how much I love her and how much hope I will always have for her future.

Zoe Talks

Another taste of Zoe's talking skills. In this video she was particularly chatty. Unfortunately I had just finished taking pictures and switched to video so quickly to catch her mood that I forgot to turn the camera. So, sorry...again, you will have to turn your head to watch!


Updating in list form:
* I haven't posted for several reasons (you will see them as you read on). I've been super busy with work, new responsibilities, and trying desperately to keep up with the housework- easier to keep up than to deal with ransacked house and the end of the week.
* Zoe's had diarrhea for the last 3 days and a super painful, blistering bum-rash as a result. It breaks my heart to change her bum as she cries and screams "Nonononono!" every time I wipe her. It seems to be getting better though.
* This came after two weeks of cutting molars and a month of terrible naps. It's been a struggle to be a Mom lately. Fortunately, she is hilarious and I LOVE her so I have built a well of patience. I'll admit now that it's drying up. I hope she starts napping soon.
* Also in Zoe news (what? I'm home with her ALL DAY, EVERYDAY...what else would I talk about?) She is getting tubes in just-shy-of two weeks. I'm really nervous about the anesthesia and the surgery...but I'm hoping it will prevent multiple ear infections this Winter. I'd love to hear (happy) stories about this if you have them.
* I went the the Killers concert on Saturday with Love- got him the tickets for Father's Day and he said he'd only take me (they're nearly the only band we both like). I have to say, it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. You hope a band you love will be awesome live and they did not disappoint. We heard a decent opening band (they didn't say their name clearly) and were surprised by a Mariachi band just before the Killers came on. I have to say, I like Mariachi music...it reminds me of home. However, maybe not the best idea at that kind of concert. Finally the Killers came on and from the start (after fixing some technical difficulties) it was a huge rush- literally. We were general admission floor and were fortunate enough to be maybe two rows behind the stage...except when we were nearly smashed flat as the Killers struck the first chord and the entire crowd surged forward. We kept our ground and once we sorted out our centimeters of space everyone was dancing and singing along. The best part was being there with Love...seeing him grin ear to ear was so worth it!
* I have finally (after several weeks of restarting) made it to week two of the Couch-to-5k running program. Knee injuries, sickness, lack of motivation, and general laziness have been my excuses...then I get out there and run and I truly enjoy it. The peace and quiet, the moon lighting my way, the stress relief...all of it. To tell the truth, I was feeling pretty good and had become comfortable with week one's routine. Week two kicked my butt yesterday, but it felt good to work a little harder. I'm certain if I keep at it, I'll continue to feel better about myself, increase my strength, and hopefully lose a little weight and get into better shape for the next pregnancy.
* We are trying again. No luck yet, but this time I haven't concerned myself with it too much. It's only been a couple months. I stay so busy with Zoe, Love, work, housework and with trying to do things for myself (read, run, play the piano, etc) that I can't dwell on it so much. Also, I refuse to be the paranoid person I was then- unwilling to do ANYTHING that could possibly keep me from getting pregnant...living in a cocoon...crying all the time. I don't know if it's because I already have one baby, or because I have doubts about how I will handle two kids, or if I'm just in a better place with myself, but I feel like my mind is healthier this time...it feels easier to let nature take it's course. I wonder sometimes if Love is worried I will become single-minded again. I don't want to...but of course it's early on and I don't know what will happen, so we'll see. I did learn with Zoe that a baby will come when it's time...and no sooner. I just hope I can remember it.
I think that'll do for now. Sorry, this list isn't really a list...I'm sure with very little tweaking I could make it into a regular post...but it's late so it's fine. What have you been up to?

Let's Get Movin'

Zoe has been taking one or two steps on her own for a week or so, but in the last few days she is a walking machine. Here's a small clip I captured...though she's gone much farther than this!

I don't know if I'm ready for this yet!

Slow Down

Summer is winding down into the slower pace of Fall. The air has a slight chill to it and the Fall aromas are beginning to perfume the nights. The universe is telling me to slow down in all facets of my life. Well, I haven't been listening. All summer long I have been busy working, cleaning, playing, stressing, trying to find that state of balance...that "equipoise" that I'm supposed to be looking for here. It seems that finding equipoise is not done by filling your day with projects, scheduling yourself, expecting perfection.

Ever since Zoe was born I've been trying to get my house spotless- you know, like I had it before. After a year of her life, I've finally realized that it's just not going to be...and that I have to learn to be ok with that. Obviously, it's going to take me a long time to do that, but knowing is half the battle right? On top of wantinga spotless house I am trying to be a perfect employee. I've been working from home since May- something that sort of just fell into my lap. Since it's something that is rare in my company, I don't want to do anything to jeopardize it- which is a major stress all it's own. It's been a great blessing as it allows me to help support my family financially while also living my dream of being home with Zoe. Truth be told, though, it's a lot harder than I thought. I love my daughter, but sometimes I wish I could just escape to work, have less crying and more adult conversation. Before, when I was AT WORK part time, I could come home and truly focus on her...and on my days off I would get my cleaning and projects done during her naps. Now, I work during all of her naps so I find myself doing the cleaning and projects when I feel like I should be focusing on her. She is my priority...and I do play with her often and take her outside, read her books, let her explore, let her create...but sometimes I feel like I'm allowing my perfectionist nature about my house take up time I should be spending being an engaged parent. It's become really hard for me to find a balance in this.

As if I needed to add more, I've also decided recently that I needed to start doing things for myself before I had nothing at all to give to my children. I waited too long to make this decision and found myself slipping away as motherhood took over. So I've been trying to play the piano more, reading more often, and I began an exercise program- which brought on the universe's message:

SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!

That message came loud and clear when I hurt my knees running the very first day of the program. I didn't listen...instead trying for two weeks to get them to feel better- going running despite the pain because I don't want to lose my motivation. Before and throughout that, Zoe got sick with a double ear infection just after finally adjusting to being weaned to a bottle. For weeks she's been whining, crying, clingy, and just generally unsatisfied. It was my hope that this would stop once the antibiotics had taken effect- not so. A few days after finishing the antibiotic a tooth popped through...ah, this must explain it. SO we administered teething tablets and meds at night for pain...still whining, clingy, and not sleeping so great. On top of all this I've been trying to reach my goals for the month for work and this is the final week of the month.

Yesterday, I decided to walk instead of run and my knees are feeling better. This evening I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner and Zoe was all but climbing up my legs and crying. Finally I left the dishes, picked her up and we went into the living room and played for a while before bedtime. She stopped crying and that's when it hit me. I need to slow down. I need to continue my workouts but take a slower pace. I need to worry less about perfection and more about getting it done so I can have fun with my daughter. I need to focus on work when I'm working and leave it upstairs when I'm not. Finally, I need to take things a day at a time. Give myself daily goals, yes, but allow myself to decide daily how best to spend my time. Children grow too fast, knees aren't made of steel, I am not wonder woman, as long as it's sanitary, the mess can wait. So yeah, Universe, I got your message...loud and clear...slowing down now.

As a reward for making it through my long-winded ramblings here's some Equipoise family news: We're officially trying to conceive...again. I have more to say on this subject, but that is another post. Until then, slow down

Zoe 13 Months

I know everyone has been waiting anxiously for a Zoe update. I don't know why I hold myself to things I cannot possibly accomplish. So rather than never post another update...we are just going to skip all those months we missed and start fresh.
Zoe is hilarious. She makes me laugh every single day. She absolutely loves music. You'll find her dancing all the time. When she hears a song she knows she'll give you a gigantic open mouth smile and promptly dance to her heart's content. Funnily enough her two favorite songs currently are: "Lollipop" which she heard on the new Dell commercial and the intro song to Gilmore Girls. (I'm too lazy to link.) I have both recorded on the DVR. :) She also watches bits of Sesame Street and has a great fondness for Elmo. She says quite a few words nowadays. Life sure is a bit easier with words like "Yes", "Done", "No", "Mama", "Dada", "Wah (water or walk)", "Bah" (bottle, ball, or balloon :)), "Down" and "Desitin (not exact but so close)". She will also say "woof woof" if you ask her what a puppy says, give you "five", will try to make a fish face if you ask, and her elephant sound is priceless (basically she makes raspberries). She is trying so hard to walk. She's taken up to 3 steps so far and falls...but that doesn't stop her from getting up and trying again. She has a couple baby walkers to push along and practice. She likes to go outside (she'll go to the door or window and say "ou sa" (outside) when she wants to go out) and walk up and down the sidewalks- where she stays. She's still not a huge fan of grass, though she has ventured onto and across it a few times in recent weeks (progress!). Recently she started knocking on everything from the front door to her head. So funny! She's starting to be helpful. If she finds a rag or towel on the floor she will "clean" it for you. She helps me pick up toys and other things around the house. She likes to take the silverware out of the dishwasher to "help" me put it back. She also loves books. Often you will find her on the floor with a book in her lap "reading" aloud to herself. I hope her early love for books continues throughout her life as mine has. She is very loving, giving us hugs and puckered kisses often when asked and sometimes unprovoked. She is sweet and mellow (for the most part) and I just can't get enough of her little personality. My favorite new thing is she will sit on the linoleum and use her extended feet/legs to propel herself around in circles. She loves her Daddy. She knows the sound of the garage and will rush to the door to greet him when he gets home. Then she gets upset when he goes upstairs to change. She tests limits often, just to see if I'm paying attention, has no patience, and hates to be left alone...making for a few rough days here and there. She also started hitting for a while (still does occasionally) but we taught her to gently stroke your face and say "so soft" (or "sa sa" in her words) instead. But she's young and she's learning and the good outweighs the bad most of the time. We couldn't imagine life without her.
Here are some highlights of the last few months:
Sleepy little 8-month-old
Little Drummer Girl
Playing in the crib
Zoe with Grandpa S when his Father (my Grandpa) passed away (9 months)
Playing with cousin B at Grandma D's house
Tired, but enjoying Easter spoils
Easter Egg hunt (eat?) with Mom's help
Family Picture Easter Sunday
Zoe likes to keep her hands free
Cousin B turned 1 and I'm almost 10 months!

Dancing to the music
The littlest fairy fast asleep at my sister's wedding (nearly 11 months)
Ahh! Comfy pillow!
Opening Birthday Presents on the actual day (she loves books!)
"The Mean Face"
Playing with new toys!
Make a 1st Birthday Wish!
Fireworks are fun! (For Mom too!)
Independence Day trying fruit dip
Family/ Friends Party to celebrate Zoe's Birthday
Enjoying her gifts- thanks so much everyone!
First time getting wet outside. (The dress is darker on the bottom, but not that dark. See the wet spot behind her?)
Enjoying a good book
The artist at work
Her first masterpiece
Goodbye Uncle E! See you in 2 years!
Standing up on her own
Nearly 13 months old!
Zoe, one day when you read this and wonder why it took me so long, know that I was with you instead.


As much as I hate it, there's nothing quite like knowing you worked your muscles hard enough to heat them up and cause you to sweat. Recently I have stopped merely complaining about my weight and started to do something about it. I'm paying attention to the amount of calories I put in my body and I've been working on fitting exercise into my schedule. Neither have been easy and I haven't been perfect. I decided, however, that perfection does not matter. I'm simply proud to be doing SOMETHING. I've been on a few walks...a couple with Zoe, but we're going to wait on that until it cools a bit before she goes with me again. Tonight I decided to try running again...it's been a while. As hard as it was, and as many times as I slowed to a walk, it still felt so good to really get my muscles moving. I had forgotten my favorite parts: the wind rushing past my ears, the tightening of my abs, the burning in my thighs, the steady rhythm of my breathing as my music paced my feet. I was determined to go today, so I ran in the dark- which I don't recommend as I listened to my music quietly and was so alert the whole time I couldn't fully enjoy the release of running- but at least I went. As I sit here, still feeling the burn of my lungs, I feel accomplished...and ready to do a little better tomorrow.

P.S. I really appreciate everyone's comments on my last post. As you've probably guessed by the running, I'm feeling much better now. :)


Around 11 monthsof age Zoe had to visit the doctor for yet another illness. At that time I decided to ask the doctor how and when I should begin weaning Zoe to cow's milk if I wanted to be finished breastfeeding around her 1-year mark. The doctor told me to wean her gradually, for example...one feeding per week, until she was completely weaned. She also told me that I could start right away and to try to wean her to a cup since she already uses one for water.
Zoe was not fond of the cup idea.

Actually, that's putting it lightly. She absolutely HATED the cup...to the point that it took me a few days to get her drinking water properly again.
To counter this reaction we thought we might buy her new cups just for milk. We took her along with us to the store, picked out a cup, and left feeling pretty confident.

No deals. This kid was not weaning to a cup...unless I wanted to take 5 months to stop breastfeeding.
SO, we weaned her to a bottle...fairly easily. It took us 6 weeks. There were a couple feedings that took her longer to give up...mainly breakfast and lunch. (The doctor wasn't thrilled that we went to a bottle...said we'd taken a step backwards. Yeah.)

Admittedly, bedtime still isn't all calm and serene. She went to bed
SCREAMING.BLOODY.MURDER. several nights last week. It's only been just over a week on the night-time feedings though. I think she'll be fine in the next few days.

Now to the point.

Here I was thinking that was the end of it. It's not, my friends...it's the beginning...of the pain.
My thought process was that, since I had weaned her gradually over a six week period- and hadn't had much if any pain yet, that my milk would just stop coming in. Well here I sit a week and a half after her last latching and I can't hardly hold her, or hug anyone, or be touched. I sat on my couch for two hours with a heating pad today- trying to sooth a clogged milk duct (pain on top of pain). I called the nurse who said it could be a good two weeks before I get any relief! I tried taking ibuprofen, hoping it might take the edge off...it didn't touch it. I'm to the point where I wonder if I really should have stopped nursing at one year. There were reasons...something to the effect of trying to conceive again soon (in case it takes forever again) and having my body belong to me again for a bit (which is nice, I must say). In any case, here I sit...dreading bed after being awakened by a wrong move several times last night. I hope this is over soon.

Moms...experiences? advice? consolation? Talk amongst yourselves

Happy First Birthday, Zoe!

Tuesday, June 30th, we celebrated Zoe's First Birthday with a few presents and a little family party. We'll be having a larger family and friends party on Sunday in the park. She really enjoyed her first birthday cake:

She has grown in so many ways by leaps and bounds this year. More pictures and updates of the past few months to come. For now, Happy Birthday Zoe! We love you!

All Done!

Zoe is becoming quite the conversationalist!  Here she is after the birthday cake!  (For some reason I couldn't get both videos to work on the same post!  Grr.)

Returning Sheepishly

I know it's been a long silence. I'm happy to report that I'm better...things are better. The troubles are not over, but they have settled for now...enough that I can think of other things. I'm not trying to be cryptic, it's just private. Anyhow, I decided it's high time I get back to writing.

Recently, I started working from home. The first week was extremely overwhelming. I often found myself wondering why I thought it would be a good idea. Suddenly Zoe's naps, that had formerly been my time, became work time and all my rest and house cleaning went out the window. Well, ok, maybe not out the window. If you asked Love he'd say it was pretty clearly strewn about the house...but you get my drift. After the first week I figured out that I could accomplish things when Zoe was awake and still make time to play with her and be attentive, I could ask Love for some "Me time" when he got home, and I could do this. Why? I am now (except for one day a week) a "stay-at-home" Mom. This is something you all know I've been wanting since Zoe was born. It's not quite what I thought it would be, but it is what it is and I couldn't be happier to be home with my sweet baby girl.

Speaking of my sweet baby girl...she is about to be one. You don't have to remind me that I've been a total slacker and haven't posted a monthly update in ages. I promise it's coming. Right now I'm super busy working and trying to soak up the last two weeks of her first year of life. I find myself tearing up some days at the thought of how fast and how much she's grown. Yet I'm so proud to be her Mother...to see her day to day accomplishments...to make her laugh...comfort her sadness...and cheer her on. I'm also trying to plan a little family/ close friends party. This is not as easy as one might think. Any advice on this subject is welcome.

I'm looking forward to a few things. My Sis and her Husband are coming up to visit us on the 4th of July weekend! My Brother is going on a mission to Carlsbad, CA in a little over a month- he got his mission call when I was home for my Little Sis's wedding. I get to go home in a little less than a month to see my family. I'm not thrilled that he'll be gone for two years because I'm really going to miss him...but he's doing an amazing thing and I'm so proud of him.

I know it's not a thorough update, but it's late and I need to hit the sack so I can start again tomorrow. More to come...and thanks for sticking around. Your comments meant a lot to me.

And just because I know a couple people who are dying to see her...an updated picture of Zoe to swoon over. :)


I Know

I've been quiet. I promise to post at least two posts this month.  I know I owe you two months of Zoe updates. :) Anyway, the major thing going on in my life right now...the thing that plauges my thoughts...makes me cry...makes me scared...makes me worry...well I can't talk about it here. So that's why I'm quiet. Please give me some time to sort things out and I promise I'll be back...so don't leave for good. Thanks everyone.

Proof of Zoe's Mobility

Ok, so I admit it. Now that she is finally crawling, she gets into everything, her sleep has been disrupted, and she's not as easy to keep track of...but how cute is that?
Also, we do actually dress her...it's just that most of her videos are done in the morning or at night!

Hello World

I know I haven't been on here in a while. Truthfully I wasn't sure what to write. I'm still not sure. I really should write Zoe's 9 month post...but wonder if that undertaking isn't more than it's worth sometimes. Maybe I need to find a new way to go about it that doesn't create novel posts. Anyhow, you're not getting that one today. I've been thinking a lot lately about life. A couple weeks ago my Grandpa C- my Daddy's Father- passed away. While it wasn't completely unexpected, it felt sudden. Rushed. When my Mom's Daddy- Grandpa L passed away a couple of months ago, I got to say my goodbye to him over the phone...and I was sort of hoping he would leave this life...just so he could be at peace. His health had been slowly deteriorating for so long that, even though we would miss him, we knew it was time for him to go. After the beginning of the year my Grandpa C started going downhill. He has been suffering from Dementia for a few years now. It was hard on all of us- his family- to watch his mind deteriorate. I knew the day would soon come that he would leave us...I just thought I'd have more time. I guess that is the way of many of us in this world. We always think we'll have more time. We keep placing agendas on tomorrow's to do list until we eventually run out of tomorrows. Anyway, the day my Grandpa passed away- March 22nd, I was sad, but he hadn't eaten in days and was completely bed ridden and so I was a bit relieved. On the day of the viewing, I fell apart. It didn't really hit me until I was there that he was gone. I will miss him greatly. I'm comforted by the knowledge that he is in a better place. I'm sure he's up there teasing and joking with our relatives gone before him- the way he did with us growing up. Still, his passing has been harder on me than I thought. I think it has something to do with both of my Grandpas leaving me so close together. I worry about both Grandmas and hope they know how much they are loved and hope they can find comfort now. I suppose with both of my Grandpas I have a bit of regret lingering. I called often, but could have called more. I wish I could have been there more. The more I think about it the more I let these things go. I know that they both know how much I love them. I know I will see them both again. I guess what you could conclude from my ramblings is that I'm missing a couple of wonderful men from my life...and it's caused me to think more about what I'm doing with that life. I'm still not sure other than my role as a wife/ mother/ daughter/ friend. Other than that, I'm still thinking.

7-8 Months

Dear Zoe,

One thing you will learn from your mother, if you haven't already, is the terrible knack she has for procrastination.  In fact, I procrastinated so much this time that I must combine two months into one post.  So as to not bore our dear readers, I will attempt to keep it simple and full of pictures.

You spent the beginning of your seventh month in a new place. As I mentioned in your 6 month post, we went to New Mexico to stay with Great Grandma so we could go to Great Grandpa's funeral.  We were able to spend a couple days there and a couple days at Grandma N's house.  When we got home you got sick pretty quickly and were a very unhappy baby.  Also, you decided you didn't want anything to do with your poor Dad after being away from him for a week.  Dad even bought you a cute penguin toy- more about him later- as a welcome home present and you were scared to death of it!  To be honest, January was rough.  I didn't think you would ever get better.  Double ear infections are evil.  The doctors gave you this "bubble gum flavored" antibiotic that you detested.  You even managed to knock the whole bottle off the table onto the brand new carpet.  Mom still hasn't been able to get that stain out.  All the sickness and changes and travels made January a rough month on everyone around you, but we got through it.

Great things about month 7 included first, learning to sit more independently.  Around Christmastime you began to sit on your own.  For a few weeks following Christmas you spent most of your time sitting like this:



This was more for my sanity, but I think we skipped out on some head bumps because of it.  With sitting came the big bathtub- which you tried for the first time at Great Grandma's house.  Mom was so nervous that first time, but you did great.  Soon, you were playing on your own- with Mom an arm's reach away, of course- with your new-found bath toys.  Suddenly bath time is a wonderful thing.



I'm hopeful we don't have a fight later in life about posting pictures of you on the Internet in your birthday suit.

Not long after mastering the bathtub you learned of the most wonderful existence of independence- A.K.A. finger food.


At first you weren't too sure about these new textures...but it didn't take long for you to decide feeding yourself was great fun- you are still learning though.  Another form of independence you learned was to reach for things just out of your grasp- something you are now a pro at.


Shortly after turning 7 months you caught another virus which gave you yet another ear infection.  Since these infections were so close together, they gave you a stronger antibiotic.  Unfortunately, that antibiotic gave you thrush and a yeast diaper rash (I think that's what it's called) and possibly caused more trouble than it was worth.  However, you were back to your old self within a few days and life got a bit easier.



When you got better, Mom decided to take you on a walk one day because it was sunny and warmer than usual.  You loved to be outside.  I thought you might break your neck trying to look at everything!


Also, you made friends with the penguin.

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Last month you celebrated your first Valentine's Day.  We went out as a family to Rodizio Grill.  It was delicious and you were an angel!

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What I have enjoyed most about the past two months is watching you explore your independence, listening to you talk- especially when you say "Mama" or "Dada"..."though you tend to say "Dada" more!)- celebrating each successful reach for a far away object, rejoicing as you find your mouth with a finger food.  You are truly a joy to be around.


We love to be near you and are constantly watching to see what you'll do next.


Something you hated, but Mom was thrilled about:


Getting your hair into a ponytail!  I had to cut your bangs because they were getting in your eyes though.  :(


Look at that face!  I swear you look more grown up with each passing moment.
I thought I'd document what you learned most recently:

You make me smile every day.  I'm so grateful to have you in my life.  I love to watch you learn and explore the world around you.  I know you'll be crawling any day now.  Part of me wishes you were still newborn and helpless...until I rejoice at you getting your knees up under you.  It's true the time passes too quickly for me.  I'm sure it always will.  Yet the joy I experience in your triumphs is worth every minute of time that goes by.  I love you my darling.


Sneak Peek

I know I've been a picture slacker and haven't written Zoe's 7 month post. So, months 7-8 are going to be combined...when I get a second to sit down and write it! In the meantime here are a couple pictures to tide you over. She's growing so fast!

She's chosen a side...

She loves the big bathtub!