Thursday, January 28


I'm sure I'll get frowns for this when N gets old enough to realize what I've done, but I had to show off how grown up she looks in her big-girl panties! They are of the boy short variety, so at least they're modest ;)

On a related note, EC is going very well. We had regressed for a little while (or Mama and Daddy had gotten a little lazy - tomato/tomato), but we have been more alert to her subtle signs lately and it's paying off. I don't think day care is taking to it very well becuase they just accepted a bunch more kids and it's been a little crazy around there. When she's at home though, she usually either makes a "ssss" sound or goes into the bathroom, which cues us in that she needs to go.

Sadly, distractions happen and if you're not watching for the cues it's easy to miss them so we have had some misses; but we can tell she is getting tired of diapers and I think that is going to help move things along now that she is very aware of when she needs to go. She got to wear her panties for about an hour last night and was actually sad when we switched back to the diaper ::tear::

Monday, January 25

Bittersweet Homecoming

We survived. A whole week apart, and I think we faired pretty well. I kept busy enough to not dwell too much on what I was missing and Bear enjoyed her time with Daddy.

Since school cancelled on Wednesday due to weather, they got 3 full days at home together and, from what I hear, they had lots of fun. I could tell when I got home that they seemed more connected. I was surprised how easily N just let things go back to normal -- I had envisioned her being very clingy and perhaps regress a little in her confidence of me always returning, but after the initial excitement of seeing me it was just as if I had never left.

Well, mostly. I think my trip may have been the final straw for our nursing journey. I chose not to bring my pump on my trip (which was a terrible idea BTW -- boy was I in pain!) mostly because I thought it would be a hassle but also because thought I had reached a point where I would be OK with weaning if N started showing signs of being ready. Part of me wanted to make it to age 2, but physically I had become really burnt out and I was constantly reminding myself that we should only continue if both of us were still happy with the arrangment.

That's what I thought. But now that I've returned and she has only asked to nurse a couple of times, and both for very short periods, I'm feeling immense guilt over it. I feel like I pushed her into it instead of waiting until she was ready, and I'm doubting that I was really as ready as I thought. At least I didn't want it to end like this -- I always thought we'd talk about it first and plan a final goodbye and ultimately agree on the decision together. Of course I know 16 months is a long time and that if she truely is weaning it doesn't diminish the huge accomplisment we made, but it doesn't keep me from mourning the end of this part of our relationship.

I'm truely torn between hoping she'll still change her mind and appreciating that this was such an easy transition for her; however, despite my own hesitations I'm going to let her make this decision for us. If it is the end, we had a great run and I can only hope that the bond we created will continue to grow. In the meantime, I'm going to soak up the hugs and smother her with kisses, and try to make up for some lost time. Don't be surpirsed if I don't post much this week -- I'll get back to blogging as usual in a week or so.

Thursday, January 14

Preparing to Part

I'm going out of town for a week beginning Sunday. It will be the longest period of time I've been away from N to date.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, she's been having some separation anxiety already due to all the changes we've been through in recent months, and I'm nervous this trip is only going to intensify our power struggles. Of course she'll be with her Daddy, but he still has to work. Besides, sometimes a girl just needs her Ma.

So what's a mama to do? Well, truthfully, I don't know and I'm open to suggestions. What can I do to make this easier on my Bear?

While I figure it out, we've been spending lots of time cuddling, playing and being silly. Here's the proof:

This will be my last post for a little while as we take time to wind down, gear up, and say our goodbyes. I want to get in as many snuggles as possible before I head out, and once I get back I'm sure we'll be long overdue for some R7R.

Wednesday, January 13

Today I...

Didn't cry at drop off! I had fun listening to a story about snowmen shapes and coloring a snowman. I didn't need my nuk at all today!

Nora's been having a hard time adjusting to the new day care and all of our changes lately. She really likes her teacher and her new BFF JoLee, and she is always in a good mood when we pick her up; she has just been making it very difficult to leave her. She gets very emotional when she gets dropped off, and she has become very clingy at home too after a day at day care. So when there was no crying today, that was a big hooray!

Friday, January 8

Finding Faith

This post may be a little controversial, but it something that has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. My intention for this blog is secondarily to keep the family informed about Nora and our family, and I enjoy sharing it with you all; but my primary intent has always been to create a journal for Nora to revisit through the years and provide her with a story of her life and our journey as a family. With that in mind, this is a topic I have been wanting to address for some time now, and I hope you'll be respectful of our beliefs as we have been of those around us.

Religion is something I have struggled with my whole life. Truthfully, I have spent most of my life not even knowing or putting much thought into what I believe to be true. Having a child has made me want to know, made me want to explore my faith and spirituality because how can I ever teach her to be herself and stand up for what she believes if I don't know what I believe and can't demonstrate the same?

So after much thinking, pondering and internal battling, here is what I do know about what I believe:
  • I believe we create our own happiness. There is no destiny or predetermined path laid out for us in which we have to fulfill to be happy; happiness is achieved through learning to appreciate the good in our lives and not let the bad get us down. Happiness is 90% mental and 10% circumstances.
  • I believe no god or higher power exists as a judge of whether we are right or wrong and good or evil, and I do not agree with such being used as a scare tactic to convince people to do the right thing. God is not a being which exists or has ever existed, rather the image of a divine being was created as an example of how we should strive to live our lives.
  • I agree with the moral lessons that can be found at the root of most organized religions. Compassion, caring, hope, grace, selflessness, acceptance, love, and honesty are all values I hope to be able to instill in my daughter whether through religious exploration or otherwise.
  • I believe the search for spirituality should be about creating a good life and finding inner peace without regard to living impossible standards. For me, faith is not about a greater being -- it is about creating a framework of morality and hope.
  • I believe the earth was created by a series of scientific events with no supernatural intervention. I believe in evolution and the science that proves it. Nature in and of itself is a miracle on earth and there is much to be learned from it.
  • I believe evil and wrongdoing are a result of human nature, lack of morals and values, and poor judgement. I do not believe we are being tested or that a force exists solely to tempt and encourage sin.
  • I believe life's purpose is about the journey, not the endpoint. The ultimate goal is to look back and have no regrets; to live life and die happy. To live for the afterlife is to always be searching for something better which ultimately hinders having happiness today (see bullet 1).
So there you have it, my deepest, most inner thoughts on paper (or screen, really). While I mostly disagree with much of what is taught in church, I appreciate the sense of community and generally positive influence it can have, especially on impressionable children. This being another driving force behind my search for spirituality, I have been on the hunt for church-like community with others like me.

Just before moving, a friend brought Unitarian Universalism to my attention. After further research, I found a Unitarian church in Davenport and was drawn in by this statement:

We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the
final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not
within a book or person or institution, but within ourselves.

Isn't it beautiful? To me this boldly screams, we create our own happiness. It says that it doesn't matter if you believe what I believe, as long as we're both fulfilling our spiritual desires we are both right.

So we decided to give it a try. Last Sunday I willingly went to church without pressure or peer influence for the first time in...well possibly ever. I went confidently knowing that I would not be judged or told what to believe.

Unfortunately, Nora had other plans and her patience only lasted about 10 minutes into the service. My thoughts and absorption of the environment were far from uninterrupted as I suddenly became more concerned with my restless toddler. We will try again this Sunday.

Tuesday, January 5

Tumblin' Bear

Nora went to her first tumbling class yesterday. She is by far the youngest in her class. Typically the youngest they take for tumble bears is 18 months, but since between my sisters and I we've been going to Kim's for over 20 years, N gets special accomodations :)

Overall, it went pretty well. She did very good at participating and following directions when it was her turn. We will need to work on sitting on her square when it's not her turn though -- she certainly wasn't shy or quiet, and she loved running up and down the mat while the other girls were taking their turns.

Sommersaults with Miss Kelli

"Look at your button!"

Backrolls on the cheese mat

Ring around the rosie

And a video...don't mind me conversating with a 2 year old in the backgound :)

Friday, January 1

Out With the Old, In With the New: Recapturing 2009

January: Nora hit quite a few developmental milestones including learning to roll and starting to teethe.

February: All dressed up to go out for Mama's 23rd birthday!

March: Nora started eating (and L.O.V.E.D) solid food. She still does.

April: First encounter with the Easter Bunny. In hindsight, this was much more successful than Santa.

May: First I-Cubs game.

June: Busy month! We made a couple trips to Onawa for Aunt Shannon's bridal shower and wedding, Nora had her first trip to the Omaha zoo, and Nora finally got to meet cousin Milo, Great Aunt Julie and Uncle Ken, and Great Uncle Butch and Aunt Chris at the Wood family reunion.

July: Nora got to experience frozen yogurt at the Pleasant Hill Days parade...I'll let you decide what she thought.

August: First steps! We also celebrated Grandma Mary Lou's birthday, retirement and her and Grandpa's 50th wedding anniversary.

September: Our Bear turned 1! We also said goodbye to Grandpa Cupp.

October: Nora played in the snow for the first time. We also made a trip to Missouri to visit Grandpa Barnes, and Nora dressed as a flower for Halloween. We also put an offer on the house that 31 days later became our new home.

November: Most of the month was spent packing. Nora was a big helper.

December: Home at last. We settled in to our mini house and enjoyed travel-less holidays with family and friends.