Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Winter West Virginia Weekend

This past weekend, we visited my sister, Diana, in West Virginia.  We didn't get to see them over Christmas, so this was sort of a belated holiday for us. The drive down was blessedly snow-free (we weren't so lucky on the way back) and Calvin slept most of the way.  When he got a little impatient toward the end of the trip, my mom, who caught a ride with us, did so well calming him from the back seat.  

It was wonderful seeing my oldest sister and her family, and spending some time away from home with a great hostess.  Calvin had grown a good bit since Diana had last seen him (for his birthday), and she was delighted to see him running around, hear him talking and experience all of the new things he can do now.

Friday night, we arrived around 10:00, and us girls stayed up absurdly late, chatting and watching TV, as is our custom.  Saturday morning was leisurely; after a late breakfast, Diana and I headed out for a workout at her gym.  It was awesome!  I hadn't worked out in a gym in years, and it was so fun having a buddy next to me.  I got a good total-body workout, plus some cardio, and although I was sore afterward  (I probably tried to show off a little), it felt really good.  So good, in fact, that Brian and I just joined our local branch of the same gym!

After our workout, we grabbed showers, then all the girls, plus Calvin, went out to do some mall shopping.  Really, it was more for getting in some time together, and giving Calvin some room to run around and burn off some excess energy (closely supervised, of course).  
He had a great time, and sure enough, he shopped til he dropped.

Just some of the many deer we saw

We then returned home and made dinner (well, Diana and my mom did, haha) and got in some more quality family time, before heading off to bed.

Sunday was another lazy morning, full of coffee, breakfast and relaxation. Calvin warmed up to Diana's dogs, especially Oakley, the enthusiastic young basset hound who's particularly fond of giving kisses.  We left in the afternoon, and made it home just fine, even through a snowstorm (I'm very used to driving in that stuff).

All in all, we had a lovely time, and I was so happy that Diana and her family got to experience Calvin at his current stage of development explosion, and of course it's always awesome to spend time with family.  Just wish it could happen more often.

I am loving... 

...Nonna with her baby grandson.

Leisurely breakfasts.

Photos of beautifully colored birds, squirrels that steal birdseed, and curious pups.

Finding beauty in everyday objects.

Dogs that beg for the baby's food.

Moments of sacred simplicity.

Baby naked time.  ;)

And most of all, this boy, who constantly steals my heart and makes me incredulous he's really mine.  Love.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I have what some would refer to as a potty mouth.  (Not me, because I hate that word.)  I tend to curse a lot, and I would most definitely be lying if I said I never cursed around Calvin; though luckily he had no understanding of the words.  But now that he's getting older (14 months old now!) and his little baby vocabulary is expanding, I've started making a concerted effort to watch my mouth around him. (Not to mention that I feel it's in my best interest to keep my mom from backhanding me when she hears a naughty word escape my 33-year-old lips.)
gotta protect precious little (newborn) ears
So, substitute words have trickled their way into my everyday usage.  Lame stuff like, "GOT-blessit" (I don't even know), and "shiza" (which I guess is the Americanized version of the German word?) and "eff-ing" (yes, I'm super creative).

One substitute word I started using even before Cal was born was "goodness." And it has a very odd genesis.  So.  There I was in the hospital labor & delivery unit, room 2307, working very hard to give birth to the most wonderful, beautiful little one I've ever seen.  And it is generally accepted fact that this process tends to be quite difficult and painful.  Even though I'd had an epidural earlier in the process (best. decision. ever.), it's still very, very hard work.  But for some reason, I didn't feel... right about cursing in front of the various nurses and doctors ***(as if they haven't heard everything in the book).  To this day I don't /know why I suddenly became so proper - maybe I was attempting to make up for */**half the world getting a full-on view of my undercarriage.  So instead of peppering my language with various words that start with d, s and f, I instead kept repeating the word "goodness."  Getting through another contraction? "Oh my goodness..." Catching my breath after an intense series of pushes? "Goodness!" The more I think about it, though, I also think maybe it was my way of keeping control over the insanity that is giving birth.  But for whatever reason, it worked for me, as my birth experience was absolutely wonderful overall.

Nowadays, 14+ months later, I still say "goodness" all the time.  At Cal's school, they always respond to a sneeze with a hearty "goodness!" and we've picked that up at home with him.  He smiles every time.  :)

And I've been thinking lately about all the goodness in my life, as well.  The goodness that flows freely with Calvin runs up to me for a hug.  When he snuggles close after a bath.  How divine he smells after I've slathered him in baby lotion.  The way I feel all fluttery inside when I glance at him in my car's rear-view mirror as we're driving, watching him make silly faces in the mirror facing his car seat.  How delightful it is to watch him interact and play with his friends at school, and to hear from his teachers about the shenanigans they've been up to.  How fun it is when he points up at birds he sees in the sky (oh, he just loves birds). Lounging in bed together on a weekend morning and his gales of contagious giggles as we tickle him.  And right now, listening to him crack up watching Brian play an old Nintendo game.

Parenting can be SO challenging (and I only have 1!), but there's also SO much goodness to be had, and I feel like I must be doing something right when the good far outweighs all the rest.