I might be married to one of the most laid-back men in the world. If there were an award given for "Laid-Back-ness / Up-For-Whatever-ness," he would win the prize. Rarely does he have a staunch opinion on the piddly things (where to eat for dinner, what movie to watch, etc.). If there are big decisions to be made, we discuss them together, and then I follow his lead. However, when it comes to the little stuff, I usually end up making most of those choices for us. This includes how we fill up our social calendar. Seriously, he is always up for whatever I'd like to do that day, and he just has a good ol' time in whatever situation he finds himself.
I love that about him.
We are so different. So very different. If I'm not careful, I will take advantage of this laid-back quality and end up trying to run the show in all aspects of our marriage. And when that begins to happen, things just don't work. Not at all.
You see, I've been really convicted lately about taking deliberate steps to show my husband just how much I respect him. Not because he's told me to. Not because we are fighting. Not because he is of the 'my wife should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, cookin' me meals all day long' mentality.
I want to do better about showing him that I respect him....because I want to.
One of the first ways I've decided to improve myself in this area is by asking him before making any social commitments for the two of us or before I make plans to leave him home with Baby E. Russell is so great about being a good sport for whatever I or our friends want to do, so I wanted to make an effort to have his opinion heard. Even if he truly, honestly does not care what we all end up doing, I want to give him the space and opportunity to SAY so.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, I've enacted the 'courtesy call' over the last few weeks, and he has appreciated and noticed the effort. Even though most of my inquiries are still met with an "I'm good with whatever," he's thanked me for asking. And you know what, there have been a couple of times that his plans have not been the same as the ideas being concocted in my Type A, planner-to-the-max brain.
And that's okay. It's great, actually. In some weird way, it feels good to sometimes let go of what I'd planned in deference to my husband's plan. He's the person I love and respect more than any other on this planet, so it pleases me to defer.
Some of the time.
My point is that I'm learning just how much respect I can show by doing little things. Checking in with him before planning something, or asking for an opinion on a matter I'd normally just charge ahead with. He has the patience and ease of temperament to go along with my plans for the most part.
So, I'm learning the value of the non-required, much-appreciated courtesy call.
Because, really. Who wouldn't want to call this guy?
(So, in your marriage, what have you learned about displaying respect or love towards your spouse as the years have gone by?)
A friend of mine asked if I would make her son a cake for his third birthday, and he requested a 'trucks' cake. It was so fun to make! I got to be messy, and it was SUPPOSED to be messy...the best part! ;)
Everything (except the toy trucks) was edible...including the 'dirt'!
This past year, I had so much fun going through my first pregnancy with two very good friends who also just happened to be pregnant:
It was such a fun and special season for all of us, and it was so unique to get to experience it all together. Our due dates were mere months apart, and we were all pregnant with little girls. Fun!
A few weeks ago, I concocted a little project while at the local craft store (after ducking and weaving my way around Older-Lady Cashier...you can read more about that here...). Anyway, here's the finished product:
Little black shirts with each girls' birth month complete with a tiny birthstone. Gotta love easy, iron-on projects. ;)
Today we decided to get the girls together for a little photo op in their sparkly t-shirts. Needless to say, trying to pose three babies is a bit like herding cats...BUT we managed to snap a few good pictures!
When we got home, I had to snap just a few more pictures before E grew tired of her skinny jeans and sandals (this is only her second foray into the world of footwear. She usually manages to kick out of whatever I put on her feet!)
If you've ever seen the musical Chicago (or Kurt's audition for Glee Club...), you'll remember the song "Mr. Cellophane." This song talks about how a man feels that people just look right through him, walk right by him, etc. as if he were made of cellophane.
I can totally relate!
You see, after having a baby (the first grandbaby on either side of our family, mind you...), I have come to the realization that, when we are asked over for a visit or are meeting family for whatever reason, my husband and I are no longer of any real interest. They blaze right past us, elbows jabbing, dust being kicked up, all in an effort to be the first to grab and snuggle up with the baby.
It is comical, really.
Sometimes we'll make wagers on who will get to her first (usually E's Papa or my sister), and after a few minutes of watching baby E wrinkle her nose, look at her hands, or something else COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY WONDERFUL AND AMAZING (their words...), our family will eventually remember that two semi-tired and semi-frazzled new parents that come as a set with Wonder Baby are lurking nearby.
And you know, I kind of love it.
All joking aside, it is so surreal how much attention is lavished upon you when you are carrying your first baby. Oh my, all the questions, looks of love, baby showers, gifts, helpful acts of service...loved it. I had so many people tell me to soak it all in, because, they said, when Baby came, no one would remember I even existed! In a way, they were right.
But I can't tell you how gratifying it is to see people, my family in particular, love on my sweet Birdie girl. There is something so fulfilling about watching the people I love the most bond with my pride and joy. Watching them hold her, kiss her, ASK to change her diapers or babysit her, and the joy that comes from them when we share her latest accomplishment (who knew everyone would be so excited about EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP!, or POOP!, or SHE FOUND HER TOES!) is so touching. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is proving true, and I love my little 'village' of family and friends. And if the village wants to squeal with delight and knock everyone out of the way to get to her when Baby E comes to visit, that's just how it should be.
I love that.
And, you know, being Mrs. Cellophane isn't all that bad after all.
Because if we're now in the background, we get a front row seat to watch all that love being poured on our child.
Lemon #3: window getting stuck (while rolled DOWN) on second car while first car is in the shop. Very. Hot.
Lemon #4: window shattering and door breaking while husband was trying to fix it. Now, I must awkwardly climb through the one working and hot car from the passenger side. Cool.
Lemon #5: the bill = $900+
So many lemons all in one day.
Let's see. Now for some lemonade.
My home AC works. I have more than one mode of transportation when one fails. My husband tried his best to fix these things before taking the cars to the shop. We have very helpful family and friends who are there for us in a flash. Things break and can be fixed in a relatively short amount of time. I still got to go out with a friend for sushi and then attend a fun Zumba class with another friend. Now I am sitting in a lovely home with my favorite people.
There. I did it.
Much to be thankful for. Much to appreciate. Much is taken for granted daily.
You are five months old, my dear! When, oh, when did this happen!? You are growing so quickly that I can hardly keep up. Each day is a blessing, a challenge, and the best gift I could ever ask for, because YOU are in my life.
Here are some of the things you have done and accomplished in month five!
-At your four month (and one week) appointment last month, you were 17 pounds and 27 inches long. We measured and weighed you today, and you weigh 18 pounds and are 27.5 inches long. You are tipping those charts at the 99th percentile, and your pediatrician called you 'stout' last time. So funny and so true!
(You had to get shots, and you were pretty slumpy afterwards. Daddy didn't mind the cuddles.)
-You are mostly wearing 9-12 month clothing. I have no problem with the fact that you out-grow clothes quickly...more shopping for sweet baby girl clothes!
-It is time for a new car seat. Actually, you probably should have been moved into your big girl car seat a month ago since your feet dangle over the edge, and we can no longer move up the shoulder straps! The bigger car seat is in the mail!
-Since you no longer have a middle of the night feeding, you are nursing about 5 minutes on both sides now. You eat around 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6pm, and I dream-feed you one more time at around 11pm before I go to bed.
-You tried rice cereal for the first time, and you seemed to like it...but ever since the first time, you have not been too interested. You roll it around in your mouth and look at us as if to say, "What in the world is this doing in my mouth?" It is pretty funny to watch your expressions. You'll get down about 1/3 of what we offer...but I think it is only by accident!
-You are getting more consistent on your naps, and you still take about 3-4 naps a day. Your naps range from 45 minutes up to two hours. Sometimes you wake up too early (right at 45 minutes), and you are very mad about it! You end up fussing yourself back to sleep after about 10 minutes. You've worked very hard on the skill of putting yourself back to sleep, and we are so proud of you!
-In your crib, you will scoot all around until you can smoosh your face against the breathable bumper up in the corner, and then you fall asleep with your butt in the air, knees and arms tucked under you. How this is comfortable, I'll never know!
-At night, you go to bed between 7pm and 8pm, and you don't wake up on your own until sometime between 6am and 8am. We decided you did not need your middle of the night feeding anymore after you seemed less interested in eating and more interested in looking at me and smiling during that feeding...! Little stinker. So, after a few nights of waking up only to be plugged up with your paci by Daddy, you got the hang of it. You've shown us you were ready for this change, and we are happy for the more solid sleep. ;)
-In the car, you no longer fall right to sleep when the engine starts, but when you do, it is one of the sweetest things to see. You stare out the window for awhile, and then, out of nowhere, I'll look back at you and you're asleep with your sweet cheeks pressed up agains the car seat, neck elongated, lips pursed, eyebrows raised. It is quite possibly the most precious and hilarious face that you make!
-You have become so accustomed to sleeping in your crib or pack-n-play that you actually prefer those places than sleeping on Mommy and Daddy! This makes me equally proud and sad. Every once and awhile, I will get to hold you as you snooze on my chest like you used to when you were first born, and I wouldn't trade those months of snuggling for anything!
-Your bedtime routine goes as follows: bottle and rice cereal from Dad, bath time (usually with Daddy), baby massage from Mommy, pacifier, read a few books while rocking in dim lighting in your room, and then we sing one song ("I'll Love You Forever") and say a little prayer before putting you in your crib. You'll usually roll around and look at your feet for a few minutes before falling asleep quietly.
-Some of your new vocal exercises include wheezing, growling and squealing in a high pitch range! This is pretty funny to hear from our formally exclusively low-pitched baby.
-We have been reading the same few books to you at night (Pat the Bunny, The Hungry Caterpillar), and it is so neat to see you starting to 'remember' the books. You will reach out to touch the soft bunny fur or to scratch the Dad's face, and you will try to flip the pages when we count through what the caterpillar ate that day. You are learning. So neat to see.
-Speaking of using your little hands, you like to lightly scratch anything and everything you touch. Mommy has to keep your nails short now, for sure! You still love to play with my hair, but now you've learned how to grab and pull...needless to say, I've put aside the big earrings for now!
-Rolling over has been your biggest accomplishment in play this month. You rolled from back to tummy first, and then a week later, you could roll right back over again! You usually roll to the left either way. If we lay out a long blanket and put you down at one end, you will roll all the way down to see us at the other!
-You are starting to push up with your arms to look around, and you are tucking your knees to try and scoot. You haven't figured out how to do these two things at the same time though. Usually, you'll get up on your knees, but you'll use your head like a tripod. Pretty funny. Pre-crawling activities? I think so!
-Drooling. Everywhere. All the time.
-You went with Mommy on a few girl's trips: to Grand Lake with our friends Naomi and Katie, and then the two of us headed to OKC to see my family. You were quite a sweet little traveling companion, and you pretty much went with the flow!
-You open your mouth up wide when we go in for a kiss. Either you want to kiss back or you are trying to eat our faces. Whichever way, it is pretty sweet.
Sweet baby, you are such a source of JOY for us and the rest of your family. We are constantly commenting on how boring life must have been before you came into our lives. You make me so proud to be your Mommy, and I can't wait to see what will happen next.
You are like my heart outside of my body, and I never knew I could love this way.