Monday, November 15, 2010

pumpkins, parties and pop-pop oh my!

My posts have been a little scarce lately so I thought I would share a photo montage of what we have been up to. a few birthday parties, a lake trip, one trick or treat stroll around Homewood (ok, just down our street) and lots of other fun stuff. enjoy!

alexander turned 2
the party was cowboy themed. My dad came dressed as Woody from Toy Story or basically as himself.
the train tent Margaret gave him from our favorite line of tents and play structures Bazoongi.
this picture is super blurry but these two had a blast going in and out of the tent. Until...
Alexander opened his train set. And then Margaret was not allowed to play. I think he took his nap with the controller in his hand.
pop-pop is the pied piper to wee ones and all things furry. Animals and children flock to him.
my parents have a great park in Roswell that we took the kids to
Alexander had to show Margaret the ropes

My friend Kristin's little boy Michael turned one

Michael loves cake...

Margaret loves Michael.

the next day we drove back to Birmingham to trick or treat in our neighborhood. Isn't Margaret the cutest little piggy?!

The hat lasted all of 2 seconds. So she really looked like a piece of cotton candy or something. But Daddy wore the hat and she got a kick out of that.

trick or treat Uncle Griff! Are you home? Check out the tail-love it.
and this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

and the next weekend My sister Meredith and Alexander joined us for a weekend at the lake.
it was chilly but we bundled the babes up and headed to a local farm's Fall harvest party. Lots of fun.

Phew! Are you exhausted yet? I am and this week is thanksgiving! I just finished my first pumpkin burboun cream pie and I'm now off to make another dish...
bye for now!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

love affair

I am a Birmingham transplant. I can't claim this city as my home town but it is now my home. Sure, there are days when I wish I had the many varied restaurant choices that Atlanta has to offer. The aquarium would be a great afternoon trip for a chilly winter play date. And you can't argue that the shopping in Atlanta is only surpassed by New York or Chicago. But I am madly in love with Birmingham. I love that it takes me 10 minutes tops to get downtown. Or that the longest I have been stuck in traffic is 20 minutes on highway 280 (this is a dream trip by ATL standards). Strangers nod and wave at each other, your door will always be held for you and every child you meet will you call you ma'am. Recently I have been introduced to two new Birmingham attractions that have made my heart swell even more for this town. The Railroad Park is our new favorite play spot. I am amazed that this 19 acre slice of heaven is in our city. There is plenty of green space for a picnic or to let the little ones run free-and a wonderful toddler friendly gated playground. You can grab lunch at the dining car and watch the trains pass by. If you haven't been to experience this park it should be moved to the top of your to do list.
The next thing I have just been introduced to-last night. One of my mom friends set up a mom's night out for our playgroup at a new place in Cahaba Heights called Urban Green. This is by far the coolest thing going on in Birmingham right now. It originally started as a Consignment shop but then the owners decided to add a t-shirt bar to the store called Green Tees. Basically they have all sorts of fabric scraps, vintage buttons and jewelry, and so many other trinkets and embellishments. You take these items and design a shirt, headband, scarf, dress, guest towel-whatever you can think of with their material. Once you have laid out your design they pin it together and then send it off for someone to do the dirty work. Basically you design whatever your heart can dream up and they take your design to a professional to complete the sewing or whatever is needed to complete your item. I could literally go back every day. Ok, maybe every week. But either way it is the most creative, fun, entertaining thing I've done on a Friday night in a long time. I'm kicking myself that I didn't come up with this idea ;) So, grab a bottle of wine and some girlfriends and go create something. I'll post pictures of the shirts I made as soon as I get them back.

What are y'all enjoying this weekend?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whatever You do don't leave me the same...

Today was my first day to officially wear my doula hat. I met this morning with a momma and her sweet 6 week old baby girl Violet. It was the first time in a long while that I have held such a tiny baby. She was so precious and I could see the bond that mother and baby had already made. There wasn't much that this mom needed help with today. Nursing was going well- she was on the recovering end of a bout of Mastitis and things were back to normal-her fridge was stocked and she was rested (as rested as a mom of a 6 week old can be). I showed her some swaddling techniques and she didn't even need the Moby wrap I brought to share with her. She greeted me at the door with Violet in her own! I have to say I left our visit one happy doula. Of course this visit brought up memories of my time with Margaret when she was that little. I can hardly remember parts of that time now. When I have moments of reflection like this I still can not help but feel a little sad. Part of me is still mourning what I feel I missed during this time because of my struggle with post partum anxiety and depression. I hate to say it but I sometimes become a little jealous of moms who are so at peace and able to relax and enjoy their time with a brand new infant. My mind was constantly in hyper-drive trying to predict what Margaret would need next before she even had to let me know she needed it. I never really sat back and enjoyed the moments. And then before I knew it my anxiety and worry turned into a deep depression. I hid it well. I didn't want to believe that I was struggling. I had read all of the books and was doing everything "perfectly" by the standards I had set for myself. Never mind that I wasn't really sleeping and that I cried a LOT for no reason and was sure that Margaret was not getting enough to eat or sleeping the right way or whatever my mind would think of to keep me in a constant state of panic. And then the bottom fell out. The days/weeks that followed were the darkest I have ever experienced. I literally cried out to God "Why are you doing this to me?" I could not see through what I was feeling to the other side. Now in retrospect I can see that God was breaking me to rebuild me into a better mother, a better woman. But at the time all I could feel was darkness. I truly admire people who can be in the middle of a difficult time and say that they know that God has something good in store for them. I could not see that in the midst of everything. Now that I am on the other side of things I honestly would not trade what I went through for an easier experience. Although I do have pangs of sadness over missing the beginning of my love affair with Margaret I know without question that I wouldn't be the mom I am now without going through that dark time. My ppa/ppd helped me find a passion for helping new moms and babies get off to a wonderful start. It made me more confident in myself and taught me to trust my instincts as a mother. It opened my eyes to the fact that my time with Margaret is so precious. It changed my relationships with my family and friends. In the last month I have realized that God used this experience to answer a prayer that I had prayed for so long. I was looking back over my journal and came across something I had written down from a book I was reading at the time. It is something that I prayed over and over again. I begged it more than prayed it. This passage is from the book Having a Mary Spirit. Let me give this disclaimer. Don't say this prayer unless you are truly ready for God to change you-because He will.

a work in progress

"Lord Jesus, I give you my life. I invite you to have your way in me. Take me and break me. Shake me and make me. Fill me and spill me. Change me and rearrange me. But whatever You do, Lord...don't leave me the same. Spirit of wisdom and revelation, I welcome Your work. Open my eyes so I can ears so I can hear...I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency. Lord, make me forever Yours. And most of all, make me like you. Amen."