So, here we are almost halfway through January, and I have yet to post ANYTHING this year.
Good thing my New Year’s resolution wasn’t to blog more, because obviously that would be a failure. I’d have more success losing weight.
OK, maybe not.
Here’s a picture-filled recap of the last few weeks.
After we opened Maggie’s presents on Christmas morning, we kept an anxious eye on the weather. We were supposed to be driving back to The Sticks to see my family but there was a big ice storm coming through PA and we didn’t want to get caught in it. If it would have been just me and Mike, we probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it, hopped in the car, and gone on our merry way. But with Maggie on board, I imagined brutal car accidents, or being stranded for days on end halfway between my house and The Sticks. With that in mind, I packed the car full of bottled water, Maggie’s snowsuit, a million blankets, a bag containing way more formula and diapers than we could possibly need, and extra layers of clothes for Mike and I, along with gloves and hats and scarves.
After consulting NOAA, we decided we had a short window of opportunity, so we piled into the car and were on our way. There was just a light drizzle at our house, but as we climbed into the mountains, that drizzle became a snowy icy mix. Ugh. I’m a real control freak about driving and like to always be the one in control, but I “allowed” Mike to drive (it was Christmas, after all, so I wanted to avoid a fight) and sat in the back seat with Maggie. I had a 4 hour panic attack the whole way there, clutching onto Maggie’s car seat, yelling “suggestions” to Mike on how to handle the bad conditions (he loved that), and refusing to blink because I might miss seeing the car in front of us careening out of control.
We made it there safe and sound, and thankfully the weather in The Sticks was manageable and much less treacherous. We spent the long weekend running around, back and forth from my grandparent’s house to my Dad’s house, into town to get fitted for my dress for my brother’s wedding this summer, and visiting friends.
Maggie was an absolute dream. She had her fussy moments, but she adapted well to being passed around, sleeping in a strange room, and being in and out of the car more times than we could count. She was worn out by the time we got in the car to come home on Sunday, and slept the entire ride. The weather had cleared up by then, so we had an uneventful trip home.
Mike had off work the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I, however, had to work Monday through Thursday. So on Monday morning, I was off to work while Mike and Maggie hung out all day. After I got home we did a quick cleanup of the house and threw some laundry in . . . .
. . . .because on Tuesday, Mike’s brother, his wife, and our niece and nephew arrived to stay with us for the week!
This was the first time they got to meet Maggie and it was so cute to see the kids with her.
The rest of Mike’s family came over on New Year’s Day for dinner and to exchange Christmas gifts.
At one point, both Maggie and I were really tired, so we had some quiet time together on the couch.
But then the next day Mike’s brother’s family had to head home, so we said our goodbyes. Our nephew had picked up on Mike and I calling Maggie “Magpie”, and when he said goodbye to her before heading for home, he gently touched her arm and said “Goodbye Maggiepie.” It was so sweet! I just wished we lived closer to them so that we could see them more often.
You would think all of the chaos would end there, but it didn’t. Next up was Maggie’s baptism, which was during the 5:00 Mass last Saturday. I had a million errands to run during the week leading up to the baptism, but we got snow almost every day around 5:00PM and then overnight, so my 8 mile commute to and from work sometimes turned into an hour (one way) and I gave up on the errands and concentrated on making it home to spend what little time I could with Maggie before bedtime. So on the morning of her baptism day, I left the house around 8:30 and didn’t make it back until around noon. My brother and his fiancée had made it there in the meantime, and my Dad and his fiancée arrived a little while later.
We left the house around 4:30 and met Mike’s family at the church. I was a little nervous about Maggie making it through the entire Mass. I envisioned a major uncontrollable meltdown, the kind where nothing would calm her. Our church is HUGE and the Saturday evening Mass is packed. Any other time, I could just leave with her, but since she was the center of attention (and we were in the front row), I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. I didn’t need to worry. She squawked a few times during Mass, but no one minded and the priest even made a comment about how excited she was. She was an absolute angel during the actual baptism. She was shocked by the cold, and jerked her hands up over her head all three times, but didn’t cry. It was a beautiful baptism, and the congratulations from the congregation afterwards were overwhelming.
Afterwards, we all went back to our house for dinner. It’s rare that my family and Mike’s are all in the same room together. In fact, I can’t even think of a time when it was just all of us. They’re all at the benefit we have each year, but being in a crowded bar isn’t the same. It was so nice for all of us to just hang out and relax.
On Monday, I took a half day of vacation to Maggie’s 4 month appointment. She now weighs 16 lbs 10oz; still in the 95th percentile, which is where she was at birth. She’s 26 1/2 inches long. The problem with her soft spot closing early seems to no longer be a problem, and everything else checked out OK. We were smart this time with her shots and gave her Ty.len.ol as soon as we got home instead of waiting until the fever (and the screaming) started, like last time. She wasn’t fazed at all and was her normal happy self all evening.
And, now we’re back to “normal”. No trips planned, no visitors, no running around like crazy. Work has been hectic lately, so sometimes it’s a struggle to get out the door at 5:00 or shortly thereafter, but I’m slowly coming to accept that I only have an hour or so with her in the evening during the week and try to make the most of it.
Cloth diapering is going really well. Not nearly as gross as I had imagined it to be, and I’ve gotten into a rhythm of washing them every other night and doing other laundry on the nights in between. There was a little bit of trial and error when it came to figuring out how many inserts to use to make sure she didn’t wet through, but we were able to make it work. I was mostly concerned about what would happen overnight, since she’s in the same diaper for 12 hours, but those diapers are so amazing that it wasn’t an issue. She’s (thankfully) still sleeping like a champ. There have even been a few nights where she woke up every hours and soothed herself back to sleep and we didn’t even have to go in once to put her pacifier in!
So, that’s what has been going on in our lives lately. Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a little more consistently over the next few weeks instead of doing such a massive catch-up post!
Thanks for all of your kind words about Aunt Mary’s passing. I had a lot to write about, but didn’t want to jam it all into one post, and my little tribute to her definitely deserved top billing. My Vegas recap is still in the works (if “in the works” means I need to start writing it), so I’ll save that for later. Trailing on the end of our whirlwind week that involved a trip to Vegas, a trip to New Jersey and back, and, oh, that almost-neglected thing called WORK, Mike and I had a dinner to go to. A volunteer recognition dinner for the American Cancer Society.
We did it again! We are proud and honored to be the recipients of the 2007-2008 American Cancer Society’s Greater Pittsburgh Unit Income Development Merit Award.
We met some amazing people at the dinner. The woman next to us was a lung cancer survivor and had the most positive outlook. She’s been through a lot in the past few years and still has some small tumors that are inoperable and will just need to be monitored. She had always been a worrier about every little thing, but once she was told that she had cancer, the worrying went away. She felt calm. She knew it wasn’t her time to go and that she had to make the most of what time she does have left and realized that worrying about it would get her nowhere. It was so inspiring to talk with her.
We also got to spend some time with the director of our local office. She showed such an interest in our benefit, our motivation, and our vision of taking the benefit to the next level. She lost her own mother to cancer 25 years ago, so working for the ACS is not just a job to her.
Since we had won last year, we didn’t expect to win again this year. I think both of our jaws dropped open as soon as the announcer said our names–we were stunned! It’s such a great feeling to have our efforts recognized and gives us even more motivation to make next year’s event a smashing success!
Nine years ago today, I walked down the long long aisle of Heinz Chapel to you. I smiled at some point, or at least I thought I did, but in all of the pictures I have that scared “deer caught in headlights” look.
Like a lot of brides, I was nervous. But my nerves were from being the center of attention, having hundreds of eyes all trained on me at one time. The idea of getting married to you didn’t phase me at all. But the process? I could have just skipped right on past that “walk down the aisle” part. And of course our church had a loooooonnng aisle.
I remember that day like it was yesterday, yet it was almost a decade ago. Was it a special day? OF COURSE. But in some ways it was just a formality. We had times together before that day that are special (although I could only come up with these pictures without tearing the whole house apart),
and we’ve made our memories together since.
That day made it official. Permanent. But I like to think that I could show my commitment to you in a more meaningful way than throwing a big party (although we throw some ROCKIN’ parties!)
and buying a dress that I would wear for just hours. You knew of that commitment well before that day, well before that day was even a thought in either of our heads. And as time marches on, I promise to show you that commitment continually.
A few weeks ago, when I made the comment to my sisters-in-law that you weren’t romantic, you took it as an insult. I meant it as a compliment. I don’t need the traditional perception of “romance.” I don’t need poetry or flowers or fancy dinners or expensive chocolates (cheap chocolate is fine!). I don’t need all of the “stuff”; I just need you. I need you to be there when I wake up in the morning. I need you to be the last thing I see when I close my eyes at night. I need you to be able to know how I feel just by reading my expression. You know when I need a hug, sometimes when even I don’t know that I need it. That’s all the romance I need.
You call me your bride. Even though it’s been nine years since we walked back down that aisle together.
And sometimes I do really feel as if we’re newlyweds, as if we’re just starting out. Because I know that there’s so much more for us to experience. There will be all kinds of good times, which I look forward to. And there will be bad times along the way, I’m sure, as there always are. But I don’t have that anxious fear of the bad that I would have if I were on my own. Because I have you. And the two of us together can get through anything–I think we’ve proved that over and over throughout the years.
So, on this day of our anniversary, I can’t help but to think that it’s really just like any other day. And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.