Wednesday, May 17, 2017

one year of mae

Happy birthday, Mae!


It's hard to believe you are already a year old! Here's a look back on Mae's first year "by the numbers."

Diapers dirtied: about 2400 (200 newborn, 1000 size 1, 1200 size 2)
Weight gained: 9 lbs 3 oz (that puts her at 17 lbs!)
Teeth: 12 (3 more molars this month)
Ounces of formula consumed: about 2500 oz in the past 3.5 months (about $500 worth)
Flights taken: 4
Actual words spoken: 0
Almost words spoken: 2 (dada, mama)
Miles walked: 0
Miles crawled: lots!
Doctor visits: 15
Lactation consultant visits: 7
Urgent care visits: 1
States visited: 9
Number of times I've listened to "The Happy Apple" song: 6, maybe 7 billion?


We had Mae's birthday party last Saturday. I had way too much fun planning the Very Hungry Caterpillar theme. I made a birthday banner and caterpillar cake, and we ate all the food items from the book with little signs to identify each item on the table.


I am super proud of the cake. This is the first time that I've decorated a cake that hasn't looked like a complete disaster (Dan can attest to this). The caterpillar body is made from a Bundt cake cut into sections (idea found on Pinterest), and I made a small cake for the head as a "smash cake" for Mae.


Mom had a biopsy surgery on Friday, so we moved the party from our house to theirs so she wouldn't have to travel. Fortunately, that meant that several of my cousins and their families were able to come! The kids had fun playing hide-and-go-seek around the house. So adorable!


I loved watching their faces when we offered Mae her "smash cake." They look simultaneously jealous and horrified. (Don't worry, there was plenty of decapitated caterpillar body and tons of mini cupcakes for the party guests).



Mae started dessert by daintily poking the caterpillar in the eye. After I put a blob of frosting on her tongue, she got more into it. She was double-fisting cake by the end!




She had fun showing her frosting-covered fingers to Uncle Tim and David on FaceTime. She even offered them a bite of cake from her hand!


Batman happily helped Mae finish off some of the cake. She thought it was pretty fun to feed him globs of frosting off her fingers.


Mae got lots of new books, cute clothes, and some fun toys for her birthday. She has already played in her sandbox from GranE and Batman and is looking forward to coloring with her crayons at her little table from Grandma and Grandpa! Today we built block towers and drove her plastic truck all over the family room.


She wasn't interested in tearing the wrapping paper, but she loved playing in the piles of paper and bows. On the other hand, Oliver was thrilled to help with the unwrapping. He is going to be so excited to open gifts on his birthday in just one month!


I'm so glad Mom was feeling well enough to enjoy the party. We had such a good time!



It was fun to have our families together, and I'm so glad Dan's parents were able to be here to celebrate Mae's birthday. They even babysat Mae on Sunday while Dan and I saw "Beautiful: The Carol King Musical" with tickets they got us for Christmas. A lovely Mother's Day for me!



Phew, that was a lot of photos, but I had to show all the fun moments from Saturday. Finally, here's the aftermath of the cake (top destruction by Mae, bottom by Kelsey and Dad... at least they used forks instead of their hands!)


So proud of my little girl... Can't wait to see what year two brings!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

mother's day

It's a beautiful holiday to honor our amazing mothers. But I think for so many people, there must be a tinge of sadness attached to this day of celebration.

I spent today thinking about Nolan. The baby boy who made me a mother. I only knew him for the shortest time, but it changed me more than any experience of my life. Whenever hard times are looming, Dan tells me he knows we can get through anything because we've already gotten through something harder.

I spent today thinking about Mae. The baby girl who made me a mommy. I'm watching her drift off to sleep in her crib as she daintily counts her fingers and twiddles her pacifier. Now her hands are still and her little body rises and falls rhythmically as tiny snores reach my ears. Just a few seconds next to her before I go to bed is enough to wash away all the stresses from my day. I've never felt such peace.

I spent the day thinking about Eileen... the woman responsible for raising the guy I love more than anything. She is around babies all day for her job, so I love to hear her reassure me that Mae is smart and beautiful and healthy since I'm sure it's a purely objective professional opinion not clouded at all by grandmotherly love. Also, Mae loves cuddling her more than anyone in the world, including me.

But mostly, I spent today thinking about my own mom. She is one of only two people in this world who can comfort me when I turn into a puddle of tears. She is my rush hour entertainment and makes time for me multiple times a week so we can chat while I drive home. She listens to hours of stories about Mae and helps me relive the cute moments and survive the not-so-cute ones.

We found out over Easter weekend this year that, after 13 years cancer-free, my mom has breast cancer again. Since then, she's undergone scans and biopsies and tests and procedures, but she stays positive through it all. She even comforts me when I'm having a hard time dealing. I laughed through my tears last week, telling her, "You're not supposed to be the one comforting me." But, that's just who she is... strong through everything.

So, while you are thinking of your mom tonight, please tack on an extra prayer for my mom. I know lots of her strength comes from all the prayers that have already been sent her way. (Also, she told me to pray for peace for myself through this difficult time. So while I'm selfishly praying for myself, I want to make sure someone out there has her covered.)

I'll finish with an excerpt of a reflection my mom sent last week, along with a photo of Kelsey and me, our mom, and her mom from almost 10 years ago.

"Do not long for the absence of problems in your life. That is an unrealistic goal, since in this world you will have trouble. You have an eternity of problem-free living reserved for you in heaven."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

painting my own pottery

Several weeks ago, I went with Kathy and her mom to a nearby pottery painting studio for a Ladies' Night special. We had lots of fun sipping wine and exercising our creativity. (I only accidentally dunked my paint brush in my wine cup once.)

I selected this planter as a new home for the little pothos plant that I've been nursing back to health since someone abandoned it in our office break room a few years ago. The only downside is that now the plant has lots of healthy vines... which obscure my pretty artwork! Here's some photos pre-plant. Love how it turned out!