Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beach Blizzard

We had a legitimate blizzard in Virginia Beach this weekend...somewhere around 6" of snow! It was beautiful to see everything coated in white powdery snow. Although this was not Parks' first exposure to snow...
...it was his first time being able to run around and play in the snow! He had a blast. The only bummer was we didn't have a snowsuit for him so we could only stay out for short amounts of time.












Brrr that was cold!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

taking the plunge


I never thought I would do this but, I'm doing it. I'm signing up for my first ever CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from a local Virginia Beach farm,
Skipper Farms to be exact.

This is basically like a "farm share" where every week I will go the Farmers Market and pick up a basket of local, in season produce from the farm with my name on it. I don't pick what we get it's simply whatever is in season at the time. I will have to create my meal plan for the week around what's in the basket! I am so excited to do this. I think it's going to be really challenging, rewarding and fun. Challenging because we will be eating what is in season and that might include things like beets and radishes and things that are out of my culinary comfort zone. Rewarding because we will be supporting our local farmers and sustainable agriculture and NOT the big, bad food industry!

I watched "Food, Inc.", a documentary on the food industry in the U.S., this weekend and it is disturbing to put it mildly. I highly recommend it. Our food industry is whack. I'm more convinced than ever that the food we eat in America is contributing to a wide variety of health ailments. So I want to do what I can to eat the healthiest foods we can afford, even if it means trucking out to the Farmers Market 30 minutes away every week.

It is my intention to be more aware of what we're putting into our bodies to be better stewards of what God has entrusted to us, especially now with a child. It is not my goal to elevate healthful living to an idol status and inappropriately prioritize it in our life, which is definitely a danger in our culture I think. I read an article from a natural, whole food eating mama blogger and she gently reminded her readers that God has numbered our days already. He is the one who truly sustains us, not our efforts to be healthy. So, it is with that hopefully balanced perspective that I embark on this local, natural food journey! If you live in the area, consider participating in the CSA. It's remarkably affordable (although you do pay up front for May-October). It equals about $75/month for all your produce--trust me, I know grocery store prices and that's not bad.

Watch Food, Inc. it's fascinating!

Bon Appetit!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Case of the Missing Letters

I had a mystery on my hands this week. I recently purchased some magnetic letters for our fridge for Parks to play with. Yes, I know he's too young to understand what they are but I figured he would like putting them on and taking them off. I was right, he does enjoy playing with the letters. Lately, I've been noticing that there are fewer and fewer letters on the fridge every day and I had checked in all the usual places. Under the fridge, under the cabinets, tables, etc. I didn't find one. So, I increased my sleuthing skills and I finally made a connection.



Exhibit A: The crime scene and suspect.

Parks loves playing with the trashcan, which as you can see in Exhibit A, is very close to the fridge. He loves to push it, open the top, etc. Given my son's habits of putting things in strange, grotesque places...one day I got a hunch that perhaps my newly purchased letters were ending up in the trashcan. Parks was walking around with a letter and then I heard him over by the trashcan and the letter was nowhere to be found.


Exhibit B: The Evidence

Sure enough, there was the missing "P" right there on top. I followed my hunch and put my hand in the trashcan and looked in the bottom....three more letters were there!

The perpetrator declined to comment and did not want to be photographed.


P.S. I do realize I just showed the world a photo of my trashcan and there was a box in there that should be in the recycling bin. Have mercy!

what we've been up to


Trying on Mommy's sunglasses
Wearing "big boy" pajamas

Learning how to pass the football to my daddy
Wrestling in the "big bed" with daddy

Grrrr I'm ready to pounce!

Getting pretty quick on my feet! (He's got some junk in that little trunk, huh?)

Asking mommy to read me books!


Helping Mommy clean


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Breakthrough

Parks and I have had a breakthrough. I think I've finally figured out what works for us in terms of our schedule and what doesn't. This "semester" I'm going in to my dad's office two mornings a week to help with the campaign while my mom watches Parks at her house. This time is really fun for me. I love getting dressed up in the morning and have some time to work on creative things that I love. Parks loves spending time with my mom and being at her house with the "dagh dagh" or dog dog.

On Thursdays we have our Music, Mommy & Me class in the morning (which has been going better I might add). Then we usually have a couple playdates on the other days. Voila! Stuff to do, places to go = sane mommy and happy baby.

Sitting at home just did not work for me OR Parks. I'm so thankful that I think we've finally come up with a balanced system of enough activity to keep us both from being bored. I'm no longer about to lose my mind when Jackson walks in the door! Praise!

In other news, Parks has started communicating much more both verbally and non-verbally!

Here is a dictionary of Parks' language:

Na-na = Mama

Da da = Daddy

Attah = Water

Yessshh = Yes

Dagh Dagh = Dog Dog

Digh = Light

Dis dis = Take me to this

He also signs "more" and "please" and "all done" and has started to wave. It's so much fun to see him communicating and I swear he understands everything I say! The past week I'll say something like, "Parks are you ready for your bath?" And he smiles and runs to the bathroom! Or I'll say "Parks let's go outside" and he gets excited and goes to the door. When I ask him if he's hungry he even says "yessssh". Sometimes he'll point to the right body part when I ask where it is. The difference communication makes in any relationship is amazing. He is finally responding to most of what I say. Such a fun and gratifying milestone!

I'll try to do some more fun posts soon. :)



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is it worth it?

Is it worth it to let Parks spend 1 hour of fun at the indoor playground at the mall only to then have a week long cold with a nasty runny nose that prevents us from going to all our usual fun outings and we wind up housebound???

I don't want to be "that mom" who is a freakshow about germs to an unhealthy degree but I'm also realizing certain places are almost guaranteed to send your child away with a new illness...the indoor playground at the mall being one of them. Last time we were there two boys were running around hacking and coughing left and right. I thought it was so gross. Who lets their children run around 20 other small children hacking?!! I tried to keep Parks away from them but it was difficult, then three days later...he got a really bad cold.

It's such a hard line to walk as a parent. I err on the side of being really cautious about exposing other kids to my child's cold, just because I know how much it stinks when Parks get sick. We've skipped church a couple Sundays because of the snotty nose. Maybe this is a first-time mom thing and by the second and third child the world doesn't stop spinning because of a snotty nose.

What do you think? Is it worth it to go to these public playground type environments that you know are teeming with millions of germs and a week of sickness is likely to ensue? What's the line between being a realist who wants to avoid a sick child and a pyscho mom who unreasonably shelters her child?

When your child does inevitably get sick, do you cancel playdates, church, etc for a cold or do you keep marching on?





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the many faces of Parks

I know I'm biased, but some of his faces just crack me up! I love his big eyes!!!






Risky Business
No more photos please!
Caught!
Couch potato...please note: that is my beer, not his!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Spirited One

I can't thank you guys enough for your encouraging comments on my last post. It was so nice to hear from other moms that I'm not alone and this too shall pass. Thanks for your support!

I failed to mention that Jackson bought me the Canon Rebel XSI for Christmas so I've been practicing my photography skillz! I'm still a total novice but I've been enjoying the quality of the photos taken just on the automatic mode. It was a major upgrade from my fuzzy ancient of days point and shoot.

Here are some recent photos of the "The Spirited One" :)


This child has already had FOUR haircuts and is in need of a fifth!
Yep, still drooling...
We love bathtime!
This picture makes me laugh.
Click on this photo to enlarge Parks' "mad" face!
He absolutely adores reading! I'm thankful he enjoys this quiet, still activity!
Doesn't he look big in his highchair?? I can't believe it.
"Don't worry Dad, I've got the lawn."
Throwing the Football
Thank you Daddy for my long, beautiful eyelashes!! Mommy tells me the girls will go crazy for them!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

different

I don't know why, but I haven't felt like writing much lately. I haven't been drawn to my blog the way I used to be. Maybe it's because my lifestyle is changing, I'm not sure. Parks is changing. He's becoming a lot more active and by active, I mean reallllly active. Like, in constant motion, as in never stopping. My suspicions have been confirmed by seasoned parents, family and friends alike, Parks is a "live one". Not your average active toddler, a REALLY active toddler. As in I've got my hands full. I'll stop now, I think you get the picture.
We went to a "Music, Mommy & Me" class today and about 13 kids and parents were in the room. All the children sat happily in their parents laps....except, guess who? Parks! He was not pleased with being constrained he wanted to be on the move. I told my mom, "I felt like I had the special needs child". He was different than the other kids in the class.

Although I am confident that he is a healthy child (our pediatrician confirms this) he is different. His energy level and his need for interaction and stimulation is just different. I say this...almost as a confession. The last few months have been very difficult for me. I've been struggling to find joy in a day that seems filled with non-stop demands and a young toddler who is not easy to please. Nothing is easy anymore. Parks is already throwing tantrums (and I mean arched back, screaming, crying tantrums) when the simplest thing doesn't go his way. Can we say "Strong-Willed Child"?!!! He eats great one day and the next, he refuses everything and cries in his highchair. I can't eat out anymore, sometimes I can barely eat in peace at all. I've actually adopted the motto "A Baby Einstein a day keeps the crazy mommy away" What has happened to me??? The list goes on....

Don't worry, I'm not about to jump off a cliff or anything. Things have gotten better. I have an adoring, amazing, supportive husband who is a phenomenal dad who will do whatever it takes to support me in my new role as mom. I also have an awesome family in town who helps with Parks a lot. I'm not alone, and I've got lots of people around me to help me troubleshoot and give me breaks.

I'm just realizing, parenting is A LOT harder than I thought it was going to be. It's really hard not to look around and see other mom's LOVING staying home with their kids and having an absolute blast and having way more good days than bad. I'm humbled to say, that has not really been my reality. Of course, I love Parks. Of course, I want to stay home with him. Of course, we DO have lots of fun some days. That should go without saying. But, there are still really hard days that leave me wanting to pull my hair out and scream!

He's kind of at an in-between stage I think. Old enough and active enough to NEED stimulation and activity, but too young to really, truly enjoy the park, or the zoo, or other typical outings. I think we'll be a lot better off in the next six months or so.

But I'll tell you what helps, is just having people acknowledge that he's NOT an easy baby. It's funny how someone just acknowledging your reality makes you feel better. If people acknowledge he's more challenging, then I feel like the expectations on me are different and people understand that I'm dealing with a more challenging child.

Until then, I remain humbled and in need of God's grace and mercy on me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and tempted to sink into a pit of "poor me, look what I can't do anymore, look how boring my day is" instead of focusing on what an amazing blessing Parks is and trying to be the best mom I can be for him.

So, maybe that is why things have been a little different on the blog lately. Hopefully there will be more to come soon! Thanks for listening to my mommy ramblings!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

family love

One of the benefits of having my dad run for Congress is an excuse for fun family photo shoots! Parks was so good during this one and we got some awesome pics of the whole family. Thank you Jesus for a family that I adore!