Monthly Archives: December 2005

On Getting Older

I need to face the facts. I am getting older. As much as I have wanted to delay and deny it, age is creeping up on me and there is pretty much nothing I can do to stop it. I mentioned recently that we got a new minivan. Well, here is another first. I actually shopped for and bought some items at a store that weren’t part of the juniors section. *sigh* This was a hard thing for me. For a long time I have shied away from the misses sections because I just haven’t felt ready to dress that “old.” But after several excursions to the juniors section with a baby in tow, I decided that maybe I am just a little out of place there. Crop-tops don’t look so great on my belly full of post-baby stretch marks either.

So I begrudgingly tried out the misses section. I was pleasantly surprised to find several sweaters AND a pair of jeans that are not dowdy or too mom-ish. At least, I think so. Or maybe my old-age blinders have got me confused and befuddled.

However, in spite of finding a few choice items in the misses section though, I am still frustrated at the overall selection. I had to sift through a lot of items to find stuff I liked, as so many of the clothing items were so not fashionable. Where in the world can a late 20-something person shop and still feel trendy? I am not the most fashion-conscious person in the world, but I still want to look my age. Sure, I am a mom, but I am not that old. I still have a few good years left.

I don’t want to be like the Mom Jeans skit (my favorite skit of all time) from Saturday Night Live, which states,

“I’m not a woman any more. I’m a Mom.”

Labor of Love

Today at the Christmas service, a song was sung by Andy Pancratz and Karen Pancratz called Labor of Love. It is originally done by Andrew Peterson and Jill Phillips from the Behold the Lamb of God CD. The lyrics to this song are incredible and really fit in to some things that have been running through my mind for a couple weeks now in regards to the miraculous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Calloused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

Having given birth to my first child this year and as I have watched her grow up into the sweet little 8 month old baby that she is now, the account of Jesus’ birth has really become fresh and new to me this year. I have been thinking about it a lot for the past few weeks. Trying to imagine what it must have been like for Mary to give birth to the Savior of the world. To give birth to God’s own Son. How amazing! I just cannot comprehend what thoughts must have been running through her mind.

Even though he was fully God, he was also still a “helpless” infant too, right? I don’t want to sound sacrilegious, but I mean, she had to take care of God. Completely. She would have had to bathe Him, feed Him, and change His diapers. What did she think about when she would do this? Did it ever weird her out? Did she ever get annoyed by His crying at 3:00 in the morning? Did she ever get frustrated with baby Jesus and hand Him over to Joseph the minute Joseph came in the door after finishing his workday?

This song this morning brought more views about the birth of Jesus to my mind that I hadn’t thought of before. Mary had to give birth alone. Sure, Joseph was there, but there wasn’t a doctor or even her mother present to attend to her. No sanitary hospital beds. No epidural. I know her faith in God was strong, so strong that she was chosen by God for this task. But I think I still would have strongly wanted my mother there.

I love the Christmas story. It is one that I want to keep fresh in my heart. That God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. That God loved us so much that He would be born as a baby in the humblest of conditions and go through this life so that He could then die in our place. What a loving God we serve and what a labor of love.

Christmas Eve and Crawling

On Thursday, December 22nd, we left Denver to drive to Kansas so that we could spend Christmas with Greg’s family. We left late in the evening. My thought was that we could leave around Adrianna’s bedtime and hope that she slept the whole trip (overnight) so that her sleeping schedule wouldn’t get messed up by her sleeping in the car during daylight hours. While this was a good plan in theory, it unfortunately did not pan out.

Adrianna’s new carseat sits more upright than her old one, so she isn’t able to sleep as well in it without her little head bobbling forward. After a few hours, she was screaming and just plain unhappy to be confined to her seat. Since it was getting close to 11 or 12 at night, we decided to pull into a motel.

The first motel only had smoking rooms left. Yuck. So we went over to a Days Inn across the street. They only had one nonsmoking room left, so we took it. (What is up with so many smoking rooms?)

When I was checking us out of the room, the lady at the front desk asked if there was anything they could have done to make our stay more pleasant. I told her that they could’ve done something about the crying baby that kept me up most of the night. Oh wait. That was my baby. I feel really sorry for the people in the rooms on either side of us. We did our best to keep Adrianna quiet, but I am sure they were quite annoyed by her crying. I figure we only got maybe 4 or 5 hours of sleep that night. Adrianna woke us up early and wouldn’t be placated, so we got an early start back on the road.

Chloe and Molly were absolute angels on this trip. We were wondering how they would behave in the minivan. With our car, they are really good about sitting on the seat and staying put, but then with that small of a vehicle they don’t really have too many other options. With the minivan, there isn’t really a way to just confine them to a seat. But they stayed put on the captain’s chair for the entirety of the trip. They just curled up and slept. I was quite proud of them; they travel so well. Even at the motel they were quite well-behaved.

We got to Greg’s parents’ house around lunchtime on Friday. That has to be a record for us; usually we arrive at their house in the middle of the night. Kristi arrived just an hour or two later.

On Saturday, Jeff and Jess flew in from Vancouver. We met them at the airport, along with Jess’ family. Lunch was spent at Chipotle. Before we knew it, it was time for the Christmas Eve service at church.

I absolutely love Christmas time. I love singing all the beloved Christmas songs and hymns. I sing to Adrianna every day, and right now most of the songs are composed of Christmas songs. I have quite a repertoire built of Christmas songs that I know the words to from my days as a Holiday Caroler in Omaha. (We dressed up in Charles Dickens’ era outfits and everything.)

After the Christmas Eve service, we had waffles for a late dinner. Having waffles for dinner on Christmas Eve is a Reimer Family tradition from Greg’s childhood. Greg and I really enjoy this tradition and plan on continuing it with our children as well.

Since Jeff and Jess had to leave after lunch on Christmas Day, we decided to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Another great thing that the Reimer Family does is draw names for Christmas gifts. This way, it is much less stressful (and less expensive) to buy gifts since each person only has to buy for one person. You do not find out who drew your name until it is time to open the gifts.

I really scored this year. Greggor bought me a nice sewing machine which I am excited to learn how to use. I have been wanting one for awhile and hope to put it to good use. I also got the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and a bunch of scrapbooking supplies from Grandpa (Elmer) Reimer, who had drawn my name for the exchange. Greg received some kind of “knob” for his computer that was purchased at thinkgeek.com by Jeff and Jess. I don’t know exactly what it is, but he is pretty happy about it.

Adrianna made out like a bandit. She got an adorable red outfit, a puppy dog piano/xylophone, and a couple children’s CDs and board books from her Grammy and a great activity toy from her Aunt Kristi. She also enjoyed the pile of wrapping paper and boxes from all of our gifts.

Most exciting though – Adrianna totally started crawling. Really, it should be mentioned that she has been crawling (kinda) for a few weeks now, but she would only take maybe three little steps forward max. However, last night she made a beeline for the Christmas tree and crossed the living room. There was much commotion as Greg and I scrambled for the video camera to document this important occasion.

Feverish

Adrianna has a fever of 100.4 today. I am pretty sure it is related to her immunizations yesterday, since she got a fever last time too. Poor Adrianna slept fitfully all night. She was breathing heavily and when she is awake she does lots of little grunts and groans. Even in her sleep she lets out lots of little, pathetic sighs. Her little body is hot to the touch, so I undressed her to help cool her off and have been feeding her lots of liquids. I hate it when she doesn’t feel very good; I don’t like seeing my little baby in any kind of pain.

I hope she isn’t catching the bad cold that Greg had this past week. I am catching that darn thing though. Just one more case of it being better to give than receive. I stayed home sick from work today. Ugh.

Greg was a real sweetie. He got up with Adrianna this morning and let me sleep in since I wasn’t feeling well. I sure needed the sleep, and am feeling a bit better now.

I just hope I am not sick for Christmas like I was last year. Throwing up in the car because you couldn’t get the window down or your seatbelt off in time while you are on a long road-trip in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, Kansas, with below-zero weather outside is not my idea of a fun trip. I certainly don’t want a repeat this year.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Last night we attended a Christmas party at Mark’s. One thing that Mark does well is plan functions and events, and last night was no exception. Lots of good food and plenty of wine. Neither Greg nor I are fans of wine, so we were thankful that there was also punch to be had.

The party also had a *White Elephant Gift Exchange. I was pretty proud of our gift that we gave. It included a bobble-head from a cereal box, a tacky gingerbread man ornament that we had received a few years ago at a different White Elephant Gift Exchange (don’t know why in the world we even kept the thing for this long), and best of all, a Tribute to Styper CD. I guess that is one way to get rid of unwanted items. I had Greg wrap the gift since he does such a great job with gift wrapping.

We had brought Adrianna to the party (with Mark’s permission first). She was so well-behaved. After awhile, one of Mark’s friends offered to hold her for me to give me a break. That was so nice. It is always great to go places that have ladies who either are or desire to be a grandma, because they always want to hold your baby for you. This lady, Pam, and her husband, were a really nice couple and I enjoyed talking with them. It was funny, because they started singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah to Adrianna, which happens to be Adrianna’s favorite song. But I hadn’t told them this. Adrianna fell asleep in Pam’s arms. I think she liked Pam because Pam reminded me a little of Adrianna’s Grammy. 🙂

*White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules

  1. Gifts can be bought if desired, but the best gifts are things you no longer need or never needed in the first place. The tackier the better.
  2. Wrap the gift. Fancy wrapping is a good thing. You want to make your gift look desirable after all, even if the contents inside are not.
  3. Each person brings one gift. All gifts go under the tree.
  4. Each person receives a number. This determines in what order the gifts are to be chosen.
  5. Number 1 picks a gift and unwraps it in front of everyone else.
  6. Number 2 either steals number 1’s gift or picks a new one from the pile and unwraps it. If Number 2 takes #1’s gift, then #1 takes a new one from the pile and unwraps it.
  7. Number 3 now has the option to take #1’s or #2’s gift or pick a new one from the pile to unwrap.
  8. Whenever a person has a gift stolen from them, they can then either take another person’s gift or take a new one from the pile. For example: #6 takes #2’s gift. #2 takes #4’s gift. #4 takes #3’s gift. #3 decides to take a new one from the pile. The round ends and goes on to #7.
  9. You cannot steal back a gift that has just been taken from you; you must wait at least one exchange and hope for another chance. For example, #7 takes #4’s gift. #4 can’t take it back, but they can take #6’s gift. #6 takes #5’s gift. #5 takes #4’s gift. Then #4 can take #7’s gift.
  10. After a gift has been stolen 3 times, it’s permanent. It can no longer be stolen, as otherwise the game could go on and on indefinitely.
  11. You must take home whatever you end up with unless you can find some poor sap to trade with you.

8 months old

Babyanna turns 8 months old today. I took her to the doctor for her well-baby checkup. The poor little girl had to get 4 shots. She wasn’t too happy. She also cried at the doctor, who was not only new to us (our regular doctors are on vacation) but was also a man and she is scared of most men right now. The doctor was really good about it; he was very patient and talked to her very sweetly. He also let her hold and touch the stethoscope and the ear thingy, which Adrianna liked. She is so inquisitive.

Adrianna is 29 inches long, which places her in the 98th percentile. The doctor asked if her daddy is tall, which at almost 6 feet 5 inches, he very much is. She weighs 18 lbs, 11 ounces, which places her in the 58th percentile. She was in the 90th percentile for weight just two months ago, but the doctor said not to worry. Now that she is more active, she is just burning more calories and that she is perfectly healthy.

Adrianna Grace

Official Parenthood

We broke down and purchased a minivan last night. Gasp! I guess you could say we have officially entered parentdom. Actually, I am quite excited about the van. It will give us so much more room on road trips since we usually have not only ourselves but our two dachshunds too. Greg is happy that he will now have room to pack his guitar and/or banjo when we go places.

The minivan is a silverish 1997 Chrysler Town & Country LX. It has almost 80,000 miles on it, which is actually about the same amount that our 2002 Corolla has (which we had bought new).
Our new minivan

It is amazing how long it takes to buy a vehicle from a dealership. All the rigmarole you have to go through. We were finally brought into the office to sign all the paperwork after spending two hours at the dealership. Up to that point, Adrianna had been really well-behaved and patient. But when we got to the office, she started to cry. She must have saw the figures for our monthly payment.


No worries though; our monthly payment won’t really be too bad since the vehicle is used and we put a nice chunk of money down. She was really crying because she has this whole thing right now where she is scared of men, excepting her daddy of course.

Baby and Bills

This afternoon Adrianna was “helping” me sort through the mail so I could pay our bills. Actually, she really ended up resorting it from the nice piles I had into piles that only she could understand. I am guessing they were according to how good they tasted, because everything got its turn in her little mouth. So if I pay my bills late or they got lost, do you think my creditors will take the excuse, “Sorry, but I think my baby ate the mail?”

Adrianna sorts the mail

Adrianna sorts the mail

Christmas Shopping

This weekend we, along with Shad and Lynette, braved the Christmas crowds at two different malls. While I absolutely abhor the traffic this time of year, I think it is actually fun to shop when there are so many other people shopping. As long as the people don’t get in my way, which is pretty much impossible with such large crowds. So yeah, I guess I just contradicted myself, but that is how I feel. I like it (the crowds), but I don’t like it (people in my way).

One thing I am really thankful for is the “Expectant and New Parent Parking” that one of the malls we go to has. I think every shopping center and grocery store should adopt this practice. It is such a blessing to find one of those spots open so that we don’t have to trudge Adrianna around in the cold from clear across the huge, packed parking lots. I also found those spots a huge boon when I was hugely pregnant.

Shopping turned out to be a success. We got Adrianna a new carseat as she had outgrown her old one and a new coat. We also finished up our Christmas shopping for the most part. What a relief! We also determined that we are in dire need of a larger car. I don’t think I can take one more car trip, even a short one, cramped up in that little back seat. I love our Toyota Corolla as it has been a great, reliable car, but with our growing family (and Adrianna’s new, larger carseat) I am really seeing the need for a larger vehicle.

Adrianna discovers the Christmas Tree
Adrianna discovers the Christmas Tree

Our little Reindeer
Our little Reindeer

Ebony and Adrianna

On Friday evening I babysat my 5 year old niece, Ebony. She is Adrianna’s only cousin. Ebony was such a joy to watch. She was so helpful and wanted to help me with Adrianna, so I let her feed Adrianna some dinner.

Ebony and Adrianna

Ebony and Adrianna

After dinner, Ebony and I played with some My Little Ponies that I have from my own childhood. (I am so glad my mom kept so many of our things from when we were growing up!) Before I knew it, it was time to put Adrianna and Ebony both to bed. The three of us went upstairs and Ebony wanted to read a couple books. She in in kindergarten so she is learning her ABCs. She can also recognize some simple words by sight. So, with my help, she read a couple books to me and Adrianna before both girls went to bed.

Reason for Crawling Delay?

I have a theory as to why Adrianna hasn’t actually started crawling yet. We know that she is perfectly capable of taking off at any time; I just think that she doesn’t know it. She is always getting on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. But instead of actually trying to move her knees forward across the floor, she is instead lifting her little bottom high up in the air as she tries to get up on her hands and feet. It is actually quite comical to watch. This feat takes extra balance, so she hasn’t mastered it yet. She’ll do one of several things: get tired and get back on her belly and do the superman flying pose, do a semi-face plant onto the carpet, or turn her body so that she is sitting down on her bottom.

Adrianna's version of crawling

Adrianna's version of crawling

Adrianna's version of crawling

Adrianna's version of crawling

Adrianna's version of crawling

Conflicted Emotions

In less than a couple months, Greg has the opportunity (through work) to fly out to California for a web design conference. I would really like to go with him. Of course I would have to pay for myself, but it would be so awesome to go. I have never been to California and I am sure it will be warmer there than it is here.

But I am conflicted, for as badly as I want to go with Greg I also am scared about leaving Adrianna. My mom already offered to watch her, so she would be with someone I trust and who loves her. But for a whole 5 days? Yikes. The longest I have ever left her anywhere was for maybe 4-5 hours max. I am afraid that I would be too worried about her to have a good time. That does run in the family after all. When I was about a year old, my dad drove out to Colorado Springs from Indiana for a vacation. My mom flew out to be with him. She was so worried about me and missed me so much that, even though my aunt was watching me, she flew back that same night or the following day. (She cannot remember which, but it was right away.)

Another thing I need to think about if I were to leave Adrianna is the whole nursing thing. I never really have had a set plan about how long I would nurse, but in the back of my mind I always thought that I would aim for a year since that is the recommendation by the American Association of Pediatrics. Adrianna will only be about 9 months old when the trip is to take place. I have already cut her breastfeeding sessions down to about 2 or 3 a day, but I just am not ready to cut them out completely.

I am so torn. On one hand, it would be heaven to have so much time with Greg. Granted, he would be gone each day at the conference, but we would still have plenty of time in the evenings to hang out. And to get uninterrupted sleep. Oh, what bliss that would be. I haven’t gotten 8 straight hours of sleep since maybe the first couple months of my pregnancy. Over a year ago. But staring at me from the other hand is my darling baby girl whom I just don’t think I can bear leaving for that long without completely losing myself to worry and stress. So when is that next flight back to Denver?

No more Bah-Humbugging this year

I decided to get ambitious today and put up our Christmas tree while Greg was at work. Last year we didn’t even decorate for Christmas since it was just the two of us and we were going to be out of town for Christmas anyways. I was tempted to just skip to whole decorating thing this year as well. It is so much work. (Now I can see why my mom drug her feet about decorating the house for Christmas when us kids were older.) But I gave in today, mainly for Adrianna’s sake. After all, it will be her first Christmas. I know that she will not remember it, but I want to take pictures of her by our tree in our house. Especially since I know we will not be in this house much longer. I bought her the cutest little dress to wear for Christmas too, so I am looking forward to snapping a bunch of pictures of my little angel in her new holiday dress.

Now that the tree and some other decorations are up, I am really glad I made the effort. A lit Christmas tree just makes a living space seem even more cozy and homey.

A brief look into our day

Adrianna scooted her way (backwards) underneath one of our dining room chairs. She still hasn’t started crawling. She is SO right on the brink, but I guess I have been saying that for weeks now.
Adrianna scooting backwards

Here she is, acting like she is going to share her Arrowroot biscuit with me. But I know better.
Adrianna eating a biscuit

Adrianna’s bangs were getting so long that I actually had to trim them back. I was getting tired of brushing them back or to the side. I think they are totally cute now.

First Bump

Today Adrianna received her first bump on her head. She was hungry and fussy, but her diaper beginning to leak so I went upstairs to change the diaper and her clothing before feeding her some dinner. As I sat her up to put on a fresh shirt, I was prepared to catch her in the event that she threw her head and body backwards, which she often does during her little temper fits. However, she threw me for a loop and thrust her head forward instead. I didn’t catch her in time and BUMP! Her forehead thumped the side bar on the changing table. Oh, how she cried.

I felt horrible! I immediately scooped her up into my arms to comfort her. My poor little baby.

After I started feeding her, she was totally fine and back to her normal, cheery, and talkative self. But every time I saw that little goose-egg on her forehead I just cringed. Now that several hours have passed, it looks much better, but she still has a little bump on her forehead.