March 31, 2011

the easter bunny's got nothing on me

When I was in high school, and completely enveloped in my then-new relationship with my now-husband, a friend said to me: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

She was speaking to the insane amounts of time my now-husband and I spent together.

Of our near isolation from the rest of our friends.

On week days, weekends, school breaks, you name it ... We always ended up together. Just us. Whether over the phone or in person, that's just the way it was. We got along so well, why wouldn't we take advantage of those moments? Why wouldn't we want to be together?

The whole "eggs in one basket" chiding didn't sit well with me ... She was just upset that we weren't spending more "couples time" with her and her then-boyfriend. It wasn't really advice meant to help me ... More so to try and make me feel guilty about how my priorities were different than hers.

But sometimes you have to be selfish.

Sometimes you have to go with your gut.

Sometimes there isn't a "Plan B" to fall back on.

I am 100% confident that, if I hadn't taken the time to really connect with my now-husband back in our early days, to begin to construct that solid foundation, things would be drastically different today. If I hadn't made the conscious choice to dedicate myself to our cause, to really and truly immerse myself in us, we wouldn't be married and we certainly wouldn't have our sweet little son.

In many ways, I'm not much different from my high school self.

I continue to keep my "eggs" in one basket.

If I (stubbornly?) set my mind and my heart on an outcome, then there really is no alternative ...

If I sign up as a Biology major my first year of college, I'm going to stick it out no matter how difficult the coursework becomes.

If I take a job at the most dreadful Catholic grade school in all of Cuyahoga county, I'm going to honor my contract, even if most days end in tears.

If I decide on a natural labor and delivery, I'm going to see it through until the end (complete with unexpected back labor).

If I want to stay home with my child and simultaneously hold a full-time job, I'm going to make it work.

I'm not a quitter, and for as long as I have been me, I have never been one to do things "half way."

I see now that the key is maintaining focus. Putting your faith in something so much bigger than yourself and pressing on. Keeping your intentions true. Filling that basket with all of your eggs and protecting it with everything you've got.

Sure, sometimes an egg jostles loose, falls overboard, cracks.

Feelings are hurt, expectations squashed, dreams put in to question ... But you pick up the pieces and keep going.

You carry that basket ... Vow to handle it more carefully.

Learn from your mistakes.

But you stay focused.

Always, always stay focused.

You keep your eyes forward and take one step at a time.

If I stop and really think about it, I honestly couldn't imagine my life any other way than how it is right now. I know that everything that's happened to me up to this point, from the biggest of events to the seemingly insignificant details, has put me at this exact moment ... All of my eggs, tucked safely away.

Sometimes "Plan A" is enough.

March 29, 2011

crackers (with a side of cheese)

It's hard to be stuck in the house all week ... Especially for a toddler who has had a small taste of the outdoors (darn Cleveland weather!). So, I was really excited to get to spend an afternoon at a friend's house, with Malcolm along for the ride.

I wasn't sure what to expect of the little guy. Sometimes he's 100% outgoing and crazy, and other times he stays walled-up under a quiet, cautious little shell. For this particular visit, he started slow, but by the time we left, he was as comfortable there as anywhere.

In fact, he was putting on quite a show.

It all started with some Ritz crackers ...

Followed by lots and lots of cheese ...

Onesie: Old Navy ($1.50)
Tee-shirt: Baby Gap (thrifted for $0.50)
Jeans: The Children's Place (thrifted for $2.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $3.00)

I wonder if this outing will make my friend welcome children when the day comes ...

Or scare her off of the idea for good!

March 25, 2011

independence is his middle name

As of Wednesday, Malcolm turned eighteen months (a year and a half!!!) old ...

This concept (a year and a half!!!), to me, is downright ridiculous!

Absolutely unbelievable!

I mean, just yesterday, I brought him home from the hospital ... All pink and squishy and new.

Just yesterday, I spent the afternoons laying with him on his ocean activity mat.

Just yesterday, I watched him roll over for the first time.

Just yesterday, I fed him his first solid food.

Just yesterday, I bid goodbye to his gummy grin as his first baby tooth made its appearance.

Just yesterday, I laughed as he bounded back and forth in his doorway bouncer.

Just yesterday, I watched (in awe) as he crawled across the living room floor.

Just yesterday, I teared up as I entered his room and saw him standing in his crib for the first time.

Just yesterday, I cheered him on as he took his first wobbly steps.

Really and truly.

Just yesterday, he was still a baby.

Today, he is (officially) a toddler.

It's definitely been a fun journey, so far.

I can't wait to see what's farther down the road ...

March 24, 2011

new kid no more

My sister-in-law gave birth to her second child a week ago.

A boy.

On one hand, this new addition thrills me to no end because Malcolm will have a little "partner in crime" for the rest of his life. He will have someone to hang out with during family functions and vacations ... Someone with whom to make memories ... And tell secrets ... And play games ... And have sleepovers. Ultimately, when they are big enough, he will have an instant friend, one that (unlike a sibling) won't have to compete for parental attention.

On the other hand, seeing this new baby makes me equal parts sad and nostalgic.

For one thing, just look at how gigantic my baby currently is!

At only a week old, the new guy is obviously a tiny, little peanut ... Yet he is already bigger than Malcolm was at this exact same moment a year and a half ago (in fact, he's got him beat by a full pound and a couple of inches!).

Was Malcolm ever really that small?!

It's hard to remember ... And now he seems like a full-fledged giant by comparison.

As if that biological clock wasn't ticking loud enough already ...

March 22, 2011

spring fever

The singular day of gorgeous weather at the end of last week did not go unappreciated in our household.

Instead of moping around the house (as is usually the case), Malcolm and I spent a good hour or so exploring the backyard.

Onesie (short-sleeved!): Circo (thrifted for $0.50)
Hooded sweat shirt: Circo (gift)
Fleece pants: Baby Gap (gift)
Socks: Circo (gift)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $3.00)

There's nothing quite like a warm, spring day to boost your mood!

March 18, 2011

mr. technology

And we keep telling ourselves that he is absolutely NOT going to have a cell phone ...

March 16, 2011

baby's first crush

This is the face of a boy in love:

Those big, sparkling eyes.

That dopey grin.

(His father used to look at me like that!)

And here is the object of his affection:

Her name is Candice Night.

She is part of the "Renaissance Rock" band Blackmore's Night.

My husband put in a DVD of their concert months ago (more to amuse himself during an evening alone with the boy), and Malcolm just took to it ... He loves "dancing" to the music, clapping his hands with the beat, and, of course, gazing at the loveliness that is the lead singer.

I'm in trouble when he becomes a hormonally-charged teenager!

March 15, 2011

blooming recklessly

Someone had a little extra spring in his step on Sunday, even though he "lost" an hour of sleep the previous night ...

He was rolling around the floor like a dog (something he's never done before).

He was struggling to escape the Tickle Monster (AKA Dad).

He was running from the one end of the house to the other (with Spot in tow).

Polo shirt: Old Navy ($1.95)
Onesie: Old Navy ($1.50)
Pants: Faded Glory (thrifted for $1.50)
Socks: Circo (gift)
Shoes: Stride Rite (thrifted for $2.50)

That is, until the time shift (and all that activity?) suddenly hit him like a ton of bricks and he settled in to read a good book ...

Before taking a two hour nap.

(If only I could be so lucky!)

March 10, 2011

tick tick tick

I had my yearly appointment with my OB/GYN last week.

It's been more than a year since I have been to her office ... The last visit was actually in November of 2009 when I was told that my body was "back to normal" after giving birth.

On one hand, it really doesn't feel that long ago, but on the other I can't believe how much time has gone by ... I mean, the last time I was there, Malcolm was only six weeks old. He was squishy and squirmy and slept through the whole thing in his car seat. It was hard to carry both him (in the seat) and his diaper bag ... I was still figuring out how to juggle a baby and all his stuff.

Things are different now.

This appointment, my hands were empty.

Tick, tick, tick.

That sleepy six week old, is less a baby and more a boy.

Tick, tick, tick.

He is becoming more self-sufficient (and self-aware) with each passing day.

Tick, tick, tick.

He wants to do things his way, on his time.

Tick, tick, tick.

I wonder what kind of big brother he'll be?

I'm not sure if it was all the pregnant women in the waiting room, or just the memories of days gone by hitting me like a ton of bricks ... But something about being there felt good. Comfortable. Right.

Tick, tick, tick.

What's that sound?

I wonder if I'm the only one that hears it.

March 8, 2011

one and done

Sometimes clothes sit in the closet waiting to be worn.

Sometimes they are purchased, worn right away, and immediately retired.

Thus is life with an ever-growing toddler.

I made a stop at the Salvation Army last Wednesday and purchased another bag full of clothing for Malcolm. Most of my purchase consisted of tee-shirts, shorts, and light pants for the summer (What can I say? I'm eagerly awaiting the warm weather!), but I did find a few long-sleeved onesies to use right now.

At least that was the plan ...

Unfortunately, although he has yet to hit the eighteen month benchmark, he is already too big for some of his "new" eighteen month-sized clothes.

Case in point: The striped onesie in today's outfit ...

Onesie: Faded Glory (thrifted for $1.00)
Hooded sweat shirt: Baby Gap (gift)
Fleece pants: Wonder Kids (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)

Not only did it barely reach all the way around his diaper, but the sleeves were too short (hence the need for the hoodie)!

It's a good thing that I'm a "bargain hunter" when it comes to this kid's clothes ... I'd be a bit annoyed if I had actually paid full price!

March 7, 2011


Malcolm has always enjoyed reading with Dad ...



My, how time has flown!

March 4, 2011

not ready for his close up

Someone has decided he doesn't like taking pictures anymore ...

I guess I'll have to get creative!

March 1, 2011

cure for the winter blahs

After a week of sickness and snow, it was nice to (finally!) venture out of our pajamas ... And out of the house!

Lucky for us, we had a busy weekend of birthdays and family gatherings (for the aforementioned birthdays) all lined up.

Wouldn't you know?

The change of pace was just what the doctor ordered.

Malcolm was bursting with energy and enthusiasm ... And looking quite cute in the vintage-looking dress shirt that I've been sitting on all winter.

Dress shirt:
Old Navy (thrifted for $1.00)
Onesie: Old Navy ($1.50)
Jeans: The Children's Place (thrifted for $2.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Faded Glory ($6.00)

I can't wait until the snow completely melts and the weather warms up, so that he can wear it without the long sleeves underneath ...