Monday, April 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals!

SO because I've been out of town for the last five days, this post comes a little late, but better late than never!

I am so excited to be participating in the biggest thing to sweep the blogosphere since . . . well, I don't know what, but it sure is fun and exciting! Carol Anne over at This Is Rock Salt has organized a pen pal food swap in Europe, much like The Lean Bean Green has done in the States. Link up here or on the right hand side of my blog to see how you can become a foodie pen pal too!

Basically, Carol Anne matches everyone up with another foodie and we are responsible for sending them a food package, spending no more than 10 euros, and in return we also get a food package from another foodie. Before putting together our parcel we contact the recipient and get some info, like any food allergies, likes, dislikes, healthy vs. sweets, cook vs. baker, etc. You can send ready to eat food, or food that needs to be prepared, or spices, or whatever!

Friday, April 20, 2012

bumps and bruises . . .

In one hour of play today, Liam has fallen countless times and hit his head or his face at least five times, crying for less than a minute each time. He even rolled onto his face one time and cut the inside of his lip with his little tooth. He just whimpered that time because it wasn't a hard fall, he just rolled at the exact right angle. Now that Liam is crawling and pulling up, he LOVES to be standing and cruise the  world  ottoman because he has learned there's a whole other perspective up there!

And all this crawling and pulling up and standing has led to more falls and rolls and tumbles . . . inevitably bumps and bruises are in our future. And that's ok.

The first night Liam and I returned from Georgia, Keith and I decided that we would let Liam cry it out that night to help with his self-soothing. Because I was jet-lagged Keith let me go to bed while he stayed up watching the monitor and listened to Liam. The next night we did it together and I asked Keith how he could stand to hear Liam cry, all alone the night before while I slept soundly . . . he said that the one thought that kept him from going to pick up Liam was that this would not be the hardest thing we go through with our son.

I think about that statement a lot since then. First, because my husband was so strong and realized that the bigger picture and ultimate goal was worth the temporary heartache he was enduring. Second, because he is so right.

Letting Liam grow up means that there will be times he is hurt, both physically and emotionally -- and as his parents we can be there and soothe his pains, but in no way can we prevent most of them. Pain is a part of life and it's important for him to learn to endure and recover. And watching him in pain is teaching me to endure and recover as well.

Being a parent is not easy by any means and I know it's only going to get tougher. There are much harder decisions to be made than "cry it out." There will be worse cries than those from falls or tumbles. Kisses might heal knees, but there will be some things that parents can't make better. And I've got to be ok with that.

But for now I will kiss and hug and hold, while he still lets me.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

. . . Liam's Law

Today was the very first time I've left Liam in the care of someone other than family . . . and we both survived! I wanted to attend the monthly IWCE meeting at Thermae Son like I did last month, but this time I would be taking Liam and letting him play in the creche (what they call daycare here) with the other kids while I got to attend the meeting and have lunch with friends. I was a nervous wreck, to say the least!

But before we left Liam decided it was time to take a nap, which was fine because he normally takes an hour morning nap and I would much rather him sleep in his crib than get a not-so-decent nap in the car or at the creche. He went down at 9:30, which normally would have been perfect . . . however, this morning Liam's Law was in full effect.

Liam's Law states: "Whenever there is a time that Mom or Dad need to be somewhere at a given hour, Liam shall sleep extra long and make Mom or Dad late."

Good for Liam, bad for Mom or Dad.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

. . . Liam lately (8 months)

These days are so much fun with Liam! I feel like he is learning new things every day and immediately continues to do whatever it is -- no more waiting days before we see his tricks again! The way he moves and babbles and interacts with us is absolutely amazing. I feel so blessed, lucky to be his mom and have this opportunity to take care of him each day.

So, without further adieu, here are some more of Liam's 8 month pictures, along with more about my little boy . . .

Dorito! Lorito! Loteria!

Lindsey and I before the game started --
she still likes me here
Our lovely coordinator for Baby Toddler Play, Mariana, planned a fun game night for us moms last Friday night -- it was a kid-free, husband-free evening filled with lots of delicious food, prizes for everyone, and the best company around. Mariana is Mexican and had the idea to the play the game Loteria, which is like a Spanish BINGO with pictures instead of numbers. Each card had a different combination of sixteen random pictures, but there were probably about 30 pictures total,  like "el sol" (the sun),"el parajo" (the bird), and "el violoncello" (the violin). It is purely a game of luck, much like BINGO, but those of you who know me know that I am competitive no matter what the game! Keith won't even play Taboo with me anymore because I get so mean into the game. sigh.

So Loteria was no exception -- I picked out my card and told everyone they might as well give up now because I was going to the be the big winner! Like Keith always says, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" However, Mariana planned the night to ensure that everyone went home a winner, so we continued to play round after round until everyone had won a prize. We decided before each round how it would go -- whether you had to get the middle four, full card, or a diagonal, horizontal, or vertical line , etc. When you had the winning combination you got to yell out "LOTERIA!" Except many people would forget what to say or mispronounce it or even yell "BINGO!" It was pretty funny to see what people would scream out when they won. : )

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter!

It's hard to put into words what Easter means to me . . . I was on the verge of tears throughout the day as I thought about the resurrection and read things by people who can put it into words much better than I can. It is the most defining of days for Christians, where in a single moment we were granted the opportunity to have eternal life. God loves us that much, that He would watch his Son suffer and die so that I might truly live. Wow.

Easter here was probably like most of yours, spent with family. I got to prepare Liam's first Easter basket and watch him sort through it, which to be honest, was a bit anticlimactic at this age. I did put a lot of thought into what I wanted him to have in there, and I also had to do some improvising because it was difficult to find anything Easter-y here besides some chocolate bunnies and eggs. No traditional Easter baskets (which was fine with me), no green plastic grass (also fine), but I think the end result turned out great . . .

Monday, April 9, 2012

. . . sweet cousins

And because I think it deserves it's own post, here are some precious pictures of Liam and Bailey from our trip . . . I'm so glad they are close in age and will get to grow up together. : )

Liam is thinking, "What's going on? . . . "

wedding weekend!

Anyone who has had the honor of standing beside a friend on their wedding day knows that it can be the most fun, beautiful day, and both emotionally and physically exhausting! I had such a weekend in preparation for one of my best friend and sorority sister's wedding. We had two full days of events that started with the bridal luncheon on Friday afternoon . . .

We met at Park Cafe in Duluth for an absolutely exquisite lunch hosted by Lindsey's aunts. We had our choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert, and I seriously did not eat one bite that wasn't mouth-watering. I got a picture of my appetizer and dessert, but devoured my crab cake sandwich before I had the chance to click the camera!

fried green tomatoes with warm brie, candied pecans,
 and a bacon balsamic emulsion -- wow
praline cheesecake . . . perfection 

Georgia on my mind . . .

Two weeks ago Liam and I boarded a plane and headed back to Georgia -- just the two of us! I really prayed a lot before the trip about our flight, and specifically the people who I would encounter on our journey. It really couldn't have gone better, thanks be to God. We had a day flight, which meant that I had to feed Liam all his meals (breastfeeding and solids) three times during the flight. Yikes! Out of the nine hour flight, Liam took three thirty minute naps on my lap -- that made for one very long day! Lucky for me, Liam never cried, but just fussed a few times when he would get tired or hungry. We also were fortunate to have the nicest people around us, all young folks who loved to give Liam attention, which let's face it, is what the boy lives on . . .

Liam and Gram Gram : )
Case in point: he loves to be held!