Thursday, November 26

Trading Traditions Part 4: Giving More Than Gifts

First, I'd just like to note that while we are finishing up our packing this weekend and will be staying in Des Moines for Thanksgiving, this is the last holiday we will be spending away from family. Come Christmas we'll be settled and ready for the chaos to begin! And in future years, Charlie's 18-hour Black Friday schedule will no longer prevent us from having turkey dinner with those we are most thankful for.

This is part 4 of a four part entry on holiday traditions. I found this one to be highly appropriate for a Thanksgiving entry. I'd love for you to comment and share your favorite traditions of holidays past and the ones you want to start with your little ones in years to come.

Part 1: Christmas on Christmas Eve
Part 2: Back to the Basics
Part 3: A Toy for a Toy

4) Giving More Than Gifts. It's true the holiday's are a time of giving, but people are in need of much more than presents under the tree. Each December we are going to choose a place to volunteer as a family. Donating our time allows us a way to get out together during a season that usually encourages staying in and provides an opportunity for reflecting on how blessed we are to have what we have. Maybe we'll find a favorite place to volunteer each year or maybe we'll use the opportunity to help someone new -- what's important is that we are using our time to better the community in which we live and give gifts of food, hope, and warmth to those who do not have basic necessities.

Happy Thanksgiving all. See you soon!

Wednesday, November 25

Trading Traditions Part 3: A Toy for a Toy

This is part 3 of a four part entry on holiday traditions. I'd love for you to comment and share your favorite traditions of holidays past and the ones you want to start with your little ones in years to come.

Part 1: Christmas on Christmas Eve
Part 2: Back to the Basics

3) A Toy for a Toy. Much like an eye for an eye, for each gift Nora receives we plan to encourage her to pick one to give to kids in need. A new toy can replace an old one she doesn't play with anymore, and a new outfit can fill the hangar of clothes she has outgrown. Since they are her belongings, she also will get to pick which charity or organization she would like them to go to.

Tuesday, November 24

Trading Traditions Part 2: Back to the Basics

This is part 2 of a four part entry on holiday traditions. I'd love for you to comment and share your favorite traditions of holidays past and the ones you want to start with your little ones in years to come.

Part 1: Christmas on Christmas Eve

2) Back to the Basics. We have decided we don't want to overdo the consumerism side of holiday giving. I have no doubt in my mind that I will never be able to persuade our families to tone-down the gift giving because, well at 23 I'm still poked and prodded for a Christmas list every year despite my insistance that it is no longer necessary to spoil me rotten. Absurd amounts of gifts under the tree is just what they do (and hey, I'm not complainin!); however, at home, we have decided we prefer to just stuff stockings and then give one other very special gift. In part, this new tradition (and the one coming in #3) is inspired by our 625-square-foot house and the need to keep it simple, but I'm also hoping minimizing the materialistic aspect and broadening the act of giving will have a positive impact on her as she grows and learns what the holiday's are really about.

to be continued...

Monday, November 23

Trading Traditions Part 1: Christmas on Christmas Eve

I'm a planner. I'm a planner by trade and a planner by nature. I plan everything. I love the idea of spontaneity, but in reality it's stressful for me not to know what's going to happen next. Everything I do has a list; half the time my lists have lists.

This compulsive mindset carries over into my parenting frequently. I feel like I need to plan every week, decision, change, and lately, traditions, ahead of time. I can't help it. So with the holiday's fast approaching I've been doing a lot of thinking (read: planning) about how I hope to convey the meaning of the holidays and Christmas to Nora. This thinking has since translated into a list of traditions I would like to carry on and start with her each holiday season.

To spare you from having to spend a whole day reading my ramblings, I would like to share my list in four parts over the next four days as we lead into Thanksgiving. I'd love for you to comment and share your favorite traditions of holidays past and the ones you want to start with your little ones in years to come.

1) Chrismas on Christmas Eve. Growing up we always had that trying to fit everyone into one day of feasting and gift devouring just wasn't possible. Thus, we started celebrating at home on Christmas Eve. Of course the actual reason was because Santa couldn't possibly make it to everyone's house in one night so he had to visit us early, but I kind of get the side eye when I tell people that so my cover is that we just didn't have time to do it all in one day. Since Nora has inherited my HUGE multi-sided family and the Buskirks, we're most definitely going to have to continue the 2-day celebration tradition. Plus, as a kid, it's pretty cool to tell all your friends you get to open presents a day early.

to be continued...

Friday, November 20

15 Month Checkup...A Little Early

Nora had her 15 month checkup (and shots ::sad face::) today. I realize she just turned 14 months on Monday, but I needed to buy some time before I would have to find a new pediatrition in Davenport so I asked if they would see her early since she hadn't had shots since her 9 month appointment due to our alternate vaccination schedule.

She weighed in at 21 pounds 15 oz and measured 30 inches long. Small weight gain from her last appointment, but boy has she gotten taller! She is right about the 50th percentile in both categories.

Wednesday, November 18

Word-ful Wednesday

My yoga instructor read this poem to my prenatal yoga class while I was pregnant with Nora. I loved it. I still love it. I even quoted the poem on a page of Nora's baby book.

It is inspiring, and at the same time, makes me reflect on my own birth experience and I feel defeated for not being able to have the type of birth I dreamt of. My birth was not empowering, in fact quite opposite. Words that come to mind for me are: Unnecessary. Premature. Belittling. Helpless. Abrupt...

In the past two years, I have grown from a girl who thought birth and anything related to it was gross to a woman who feels passionate about women's rights in birthing and the over-medicalized process it has become. Women shouldn't have to grieve their birth experiences; but I did - I am. It makes me angry every time I think about it. I want to help other women have the birth they long for because the guilt, sorrow, and and disappointment doesn't go away just because the baby was healthy. This poem is a strong representation of the empowerment that was once (and should still be!) embraced by mothers, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

To My Daughters
I’ll tell you about power:
We are born with the potential for every daughter we will ever have
embedded like pearls in the dark flesh or our ovaries.
You were already there, in me,
While I was yet curled within my mother, as she was, inside my great-grandmother;
each mother birthing her grandchildren
through her pelvis,
ivory cradles protecting secret worlds
within our own seas,
worlds of fierce hearts and minds beyond knowing.
Is there a greater power than holding the entire
universe in your belly?
All of Creation? What about our own galaxies pouring forth?
The summoning of all that is love
And alive into our very breasts, our marrow,
Our coursing blood, and luminous milky way
So bright it blinds, with all the power and force of life,
heaven meeting earth, giving to those worlds we hold,
That we see in the irises of our daughters’ eyes

Friday, November 13

18 Days til Moving Day

And all I have left to do is pack all of our belongings, change the address on all of our bills, finish making all my Christmas presents (have one started of like 13), sell another 2/3 of my furniture that isn't going to fit in the new place, pick up our medical records, pack my stuff at work and fill out a move request - oh and I guess finding an office space would be helpful too, find Nora a day care and a pediatrician, and find a truck to rent. After that I guess we're in good shape.

P.S. Is my baby (ahem, toddler) really going to be 14 months on Monday?!?

Wednesday, November 11

Wordless Wednesday: Honoring Those Who Serve

Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 9

The Baugh's Are Coming Home!

Closing date is set for Dec. 1 -- be sure to include us in your Christmas planning!

We'll be downsizing from 2300 square feet to 625, but we're so happy to be moving back to the QC that we can make it work. Here are some photos of our new shoebox-sized home ;)

Sunday, November 8

We Caught a Poo!

If you recall, we started doing EC about a month and a half ago. Admittedly, we haven't been as committed as we were right in the start, but the great thing about EC is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing and it's OK to take breaks.

A typical week for us consists of sitting on the potty maybe 5 or 6 times. Sometimes we have catches, sometimes we don't. We seem to have the best luck in the mornings, but we have had catches other times too -- Nora has definitely gained awareness of when she's going, which is the first, and most important, step. Up until now, we had only been catching pees, but today we caught our first poo!

Sometimes I second guess myself and think that this is all too soon, but now I feel reassured that this is the right choice for us. She's so proud of herself when she has a catch, and I tell you what, cleaning a baby bottom after a catch is significantly less time consuming than changing a diaper -- not to mention less of a power struggle. Our bear is growing up so fast :(

Saturday, November 7

Fall Fun

Can you guess what month these photos were taken?

If you said November, you're spot on! These were taken at the park is an unseasonably warm 75 degrees and sunny today, and we're enjoying it to the fullest.

Nora did get a little overly excited and skin her knee while attempting to run. She cried momentarily, then she was over it and on to eating rocks.

And as usual, we got some mommy-Nora photos too (hey, if I don't take them, who will?).