Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nursery Updates!

So I was pretty happy with the way the nursery turned out. But life being as it is, we have already made a few improvements and updates. For one, we got a glider. I'm a huge fan of buying baby items from garage sales, and I finally found a good one - via my mom, who is the queen of garage sales. Pre-baby, I was pretty certain I didn't want one (I mean, how much more cliche can you get), but after previewing one at Mother's Haven in Idaho, I was converted to the dark side of Mommyhood. I am not going to post a picture of said glider, as Everett is currently sleeping. Don't be mad.

But here are some other pictures!

Glassybaby in top left in "Little Boy Blue;" moose in top right from Marbar; bookshelf from Ikea filled with books, toys, and the like.

Lamp and shade from World Market. Get a nicer monitor than the one we have.  We haven't used ours once.

And check out this personalized art gifted to us by our crazy-awesome friend! She made the canvas herself and designed it just for our nursery. She does special orders, so let me know if you are interested!

What's In a Name?

Last weekend, we had the pleasure and honor of playing the roles of Ring Bearer and Flower Girl in our friends P&K's wedding. It was an awesome event, and I definitely had whip lash from all our creative dance moves. The wedding was gorgeous. Our BGF (best gay forever) did flowers, and our friend S crafted dozens of candle holders she made from old wine bottles. Their creativity transformed a plain room into a warm, beautiful setting for a reception. What an event!

Wine bottle candleholder (oops I stole it from the reception) next to flower girl basket.

We headed to western Washington to be a part of the wedding festivities, and figured we might as well check out the Tulip Festival. Seeing the tulip farms has been on my Bucket List, and we had a bit of free time on a weekday (suggested to avoid the massive crowds). Let's do it!

Of course I forgot my camera, so the only pictures I have are from my cell phone/Instagram.

To get to Mt. Vernon, home of the Tulip Festival, one must drive through Everett, Washington. Yay! I had never been there before, and I was interested in seeing what the place looks like. When one googles "Everett, Washington," these are the images one might view:

How quaint and scenic is that?

But when you drive through Everett, Washington, this is really what you see:

Neither quaint, nor scenic.

So for the rest of our time on the west side, I found myself saying, "This is Everett. We didn't name him after the town." 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Everett...

We have brought you into a scary, scary world. Wars rage, threats abound, and innocent people lose their lives every day. Children starve, mothers weep, fathers abandon their children. We see others turn their backs on those who love them, and some who withhold love out of selfishness.

Dearest, sweetest Baby, there will be times you'll be afraid to leave the house. You may think there are monsters outside your window. You may be right. These things we witness will form you into the man you will someday be, but I hope and pray that, despite all of this, you will be a stronger person.

Although I do not know who you will become, I will love you unconditionally, no matter what. Know that I brought you into this world - amidst the evil and chaos - to be a beacon of truth and innocence. I want you to believe, and live out the belief that you are

A good man.
A wise man.
A man who respects others.
A man who is passionate about what is right.
A man who loves with all his heart. 

There is so much good in this world. Seek those who are good, become good, and share your goodness with others.

These things I pray, and pray, and pray.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

These last few weeks, we have been focusing on becoming successful working parents. Our efforts have been somewhat successful. Fact is, this shiz is HARD. You spend all day dealing with other peoples' problems, then you come home and soak up all the time you can with your little one before he goes to bed 2 hours later. Then it's chores time. Weekends are for running errands and catching up on chores you had zero time to do during the week.

Jeff is a counselor, so he gets to deal with all kinds of fun things during the day. Here is what my typical day looks like:

"Hello, Miss Emily. I had a call from that parent who is scheduled on your calendar. She says you need to give her son $20,000 in scholarships so we can make his dream of coming to Gonzaga come true. If you don't give him the money, she says she would hate to have to go to the Dean. (his office is right next to mine...) And I have a parent on the phone I need to transfer to you. She wants to know why her son has to pay such a high tuition rate. So. Here. You. Go."

Call me crazy, but why does this happen? I'm pretty sure that when I was applying to colleges I didn't call people and expect them to lay a red carpet for me. In fact, I didn't apply for colleges if I knew I couldn't afford them. So could someone please explain parents' logic these days?

After dealing with this BS for 9 hours, I come home and want to do nothing other than cuddle with Everett. And eat.

Little Man is happy, the house is relatively clean, we are eating solid meals. BUT, my crazy day leaves no room for taking care of myself. There is no time to run, I am too exhausted to read, I have fallen so far behind in The Vampire Diaries, and social interactions are limited to one weeknight a week*. I registered for Bloomsday, a 7.5 mile race which will take place in May, and have only had time to run three miles a week. It will prove to be interesting.

Running is important to me. It gives me a chance to feel as though I am physically escaping the cares of the day (and I can eat whatever I want when I'm running...and I wanna lose 3 pounds). Reading offers much the same in that I can be taken to another world, if only in my imagination. I am not exactly surprised that these hobbies have been snatched from me, but I am still mourning the loss of this part of my individualism. Good news: I am feeling worn down, but not broken. In all honesty, I would rather have a mowed lawn than go on a 3 mile run. No one wants to be the one living in that house.

So I pick myself up by my bootstraps, roll out of bed and get to work, drink a giant cup of coffee, and sigh in exasperation as I listen to my voice messages. Another day, another dollar. At least I have a cute baby with whom I can play. And at least it's Friday.

And stay tuned because BIG things are happening. Okay fine, not really that big. However, now that Jeff is done with grad school and we have 2 incomes again (sort of), we are planning some awesome house projects for the summer months. Since we don't have enough to do.

And now, a video for you:

*Unless social interactions are productive. Tonight my friend is going to come over and help me decide which clothes in my wardrobe I should keep, and which ones will go in a box marked "Garage Sale." We will also drink wine.

Friday, April 5, 2013

4 Months

See how they grow.

My how time flies! It's hard to believe that a short 4 months later we have a sweet, happy little guy. What was once a little bundle of joy is now a bundle of cuddles and smiles.

He is content to be loved, simple as that. He is happy singing songs, being bounced, straightening his legs and standing up, getting kisses on the cheeks (and they are oh-so kissable), sucking on his hands, being naked (he gets upset when the diaper goes back on), and grabbing his feet.

He still hates tummy time, and is sad when negative emotions are expressed around him.

At our 4-month checkup, Everett was 12 pounds 2 ounces (5-10%) and 25 inches tall (75%).

He was a little grumpy yesterday after getting his second round of shots. He wanted so badly to be happy! He kept smiling and cooing, then would stick out his bottom lip and hyperventilate. I think his little legs were sore from the injections. 

Please ignore the dog hair and baby vomit.

Why We Chose to Vaccinate

There are passionate opinions surrounding the vaccination of infants. I was on the fence about doing so with Everett until a couple months before he was born. But you see, unlike breastfeeding and circumcision, not vaccinating your children affects people other than yourself.

Anyone who has seen the movie Balto knows just how important vaccines are when children become afflicted with a preventable disease. I picture the same sense of urgency and dread when we hit the rewind button on life and go back in time.

Scene: 1955 Chicago, Illinois.
My uncle contracted polio at the age of 10. His sisters (my mother included) were quarantined as he recovered in the hospital. His life was saved, but before his parents' prayers were answered, the disease left its permanent mark; part of his throat was paralyzed. He was lucky, because many others were left without the ability to walk or talk, or they simply lost their lives. To this day, my uncle suffers the effects of this terrible disease, and it is necessary for him to cough frequently to compensate. A stranger might think him a smoker, but his family and close friends know he was just lucky. His three uncles who died years before were not so lucky, for they lived during a time when there was no vaccine for diphtheria.

I often wonder what life would be like without my uncle. He is a good man, always ready to give love and support. His sense of humor is inspiring, and it is fun to see him make my mom laugh so hard that she pees her pants.

If he hadn't survived, I realize I would not know the difference, having been born almost 30 years later. But it is nice to know I have his hospitality, loving arms, and that whiskery kiss when I visit him in Chicago.

And then I think of the middle school across the street from where I grew up, and which Everett drives by every day when going to his babysitter's house. It is called Salk Middle School, named after Jonas E. Salk; that saint whose work saved the life of thousands of children. We do ourselves few favors when we ignore history and let the past repeat itself.

Scene: 2012 Spokane, Washington.
Last fall our office received a troubling email. A worker in our building was diagnosed with whooping cough, and he introduced this virus to the college campus on which we work. Being pregnant at the time, I was incredibly worried. Then, with the help of gossip, we discovered who the individual was. I was even more horrified to discover that the individual in question worked with a friend of mine who was also pregnant at the time. She had to take special antibiotics, and was put under incredible stress during an already complicated pregnancy. This all happened because someone did not want to vaccinate himself or his children, and therefore exposed thousands of people to a serious disease which could have been prevented otherwise.

This sealed it for me. Believe me, I have nothing against people who do not vaccinate their children. Like I said before, I was on the fence about the issue. I just know I could not live with myself if my decisions and agenda harmed others around me. All the hooplah and worry about vaccines causing asthma, autism, and SIDS is something every mother should consider and research. But please make sure you are reading accurate and up-to-date articles when making this decision.

Scene: 2013 Spokane, Washington.
You remember all that media hype a few months ago about nurses refusing to get flu shots?  Well guess what. My mom is a nurse and she refused to get a flu shot. I kept giving her a hard time about it (because she was totally participating in the nursing Zeitgeist), and she stubbornly argued that you can still catch the flu even with a flu shot.

A few weeks later, she of course caught the flu. After being bedridden for four days she said to me in a croaking voice, "Next year, when I tell you I'm not going to get a flu shot, remind me how terrible I feel right now."

And here's where I inundate you with more photos!

I'm a pro at grabbing now...

I especially love grabbing my feet.

I'm teething and chew on my hands a lot.
But for the most part, I am a happy boy.

I am a fan of baths.

And I love, love, LOVE to sleep....
A lot...
And Mom's a creep because she stares at me when I sleep.

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