Saturday, September 25, 2010

This week's menu

This may be my most domestic post yet! I'm considering doing this every week -- planning my menu and going grocery-shopping, then posting it here to see how I do. On tap this week (Monday through Friday menus):
  • Parmesan chicken and mashed butternut squash (Barefoot Contessa recipes; this will be my very first experience cooking with butternut squash!)
  • Pot roast and wild rice
  • Baked ziti with spinach
  • Vegetable beef soup
  • Asparagus quiche (recipe courtesy of Kate)

Wish me luck!

Absolutely random

  • I run my dishwasher at least twice a day, sometimes three. I feel like a raging environmentalist might target me for punishment. But it is the only way I maintain a clean kitchen and a pile of clean bottles for both my kids. And this, my friends, is sanity. (Of course, my hands are nearly raw with chap from rinsing all those dishes and washing after a zillion dirty diapers...I could use a good recommendation for lotion, and don't tell me Eucerin because I despise the stuff.)
  • I would give serious money to be able to bottle up a smell; namely, "eau de Lucy's neck." She has that milky-sweet smell that all new babies have, yet it is also somehow uniquely her. I must kiss her neck a thousand times a day.
  • Will and I had a great day today. Basically, I let him toddle around, emptying drawers and cabinets and playing with their contents (closely supervised). He thought this was the greatest thing ever. I had a blast just watching him enjoy himself so much. (Why is anything more fun when it's usually off-limits?)
  • I browse a lot of blogs. I haven't been able to do this very much in the last few weeks (for some reason or another, *snort*), but since returning to my usual blog reading I've been struck more than ever by the disparity of experiences out there among women my age. The separation in financial blessing is perhaps the most shocking -- there are a few girls who truly have more money than sense -- but also the differences in life circumstances. Some seem to be virtually problem-free whereas others are struggling with situations that are beyond my comprehension in levels of pain and suffering. My takeaways are usually the same -- first, "Becky, don't judge." You just never know what a person may be hiding. I hid a horrible marriage for years and years. Made everything look dandy and kosher on the surface, yet in private, hurt very deeply. Second, "Becky, don't compare." I've found that comparison breeds envy faster than rabbits have babies. And envy opens the door to so many other nasty feelings: self-pity, greed, discontent. Yuck to all. Which leads me to my third takeaway: "Becky, be thankful." God has blessed me beyond my wildest imaginings. I once thought my life was an irredeemable wasteland but God made beauty from those ashes. And it's so important for me to always keep this perspective!
  • I made an observation to a dear friend the other day that brought me up short: in commenting on her busy life, I rather absentmindedly observed that besides my husband, kids, and home, I have no commitments. I was shocked to realize this! I've always had my fingers in various inkwells -- coffee dates, yoga classes, Bible studies, family activities, etc. But here in Tennessee where my social network doesn't extend beyond my four walls, neither does my life. Part of me is extremely thankful for this; a host of other commitments would surely drive me to the looney bin (well, faster than I'm headed there now, anyhow). However, a girl needs to do something outside her domestic duties! The only thing is, I've tried branching out socially and all attempts failed. So I'm wondering what I could do? I'm contemplating freelance writing, if anyone would publish something I write. It's worth a look-see, in any case. Anybody have any other ideas?
  • I'm obsessed with Pottery Barn. I swear, in the last few catalogs, they have really upped their game. A couple years ago they seemed to be veering toward more American styles, which is absolutely not my taste. Lately, however, the products seem to be more and more European-influenced. Seems like every other item is Provence-this or Tuscany-that! YES, please!!! I told Marty that he's going to have to find a way to support my Pottery Barn habit. Right now I'm confined to mere window-shopping and that ain't gonna cut it!
  • I hear Lucy waking up so that's all the randomness from me for the moment. Happy weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

She's a Lucy, alright

Please meet my daughter, the redhead:

Lucy's paternal great-grandfather was actually known as "Red Conway" for his hair; I think she is definitely a throwback to him! When she was born, her hair was light brown, almost blond-ish, but with each hairwash her hair turns a little more red. The hair at the nape of her neck is darker, so I'm not sure which way she's going to go -- auburn or strawberry-blond. In any case, she's a Lucy alright!

(p.s. This explains a lot about the drama involved in my pregnancy with her and her birth.)
(p.s.s. And yes, this is Lucy's serious face. She furrows that brow trying to figure out her world!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

One month

My dearest Lucy-girl,

Today you are one month old. A mere 4 weeks ago today, at 7:54 in the morning, you drew your first breath and started your life's adventure. I can't tell you what a privilege it is to be your Mommy, to be one of the honored to nurture you and love you along your way.

You are my real-life baby doll, and I'm still tickled pink to get to dress you in tiny dresses and hairbows. I call you my "pretty pretty Princess." I also call you "Squeaker" because you often make squeaking noises in your sleep and as you're coming around to wakefulness (and the realization that you're hungry!). Daddy calls you "Lucy Beth" and your Aunt Katie calls you "Lulu." It's funny how fast a person garners nicknames!

Your cord finally fell off yesterday -- I think 29 days might be a record! That thing was bothering me, but it was a powerful reminder of the fact that until very recently, I carried you in my belly. My pregnancy with you was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced, but the reward of having you here makes every one of those tough moments infinitely worthwhile. Anyway, you now have the cutest belly button; it's sort of an innie and an outie, if such a thing is possible. I referred to it as a "noutie" and made your Pa-Pa laugh.

Speaking of Pa-Pa, we are here staying at Nana and Pa-Pa's house for a few weeks, so Mommy can rest and recover from your birth. Daddy is back at home in Tennessee, working hard to take care of us, but he misses us so much and can't wait to get here on weekends.

I can't believe how fast you're already growing and changing. Your face is filling out, as are your little thighs! You've definitely put on some baby fat, though you're still so tiny and light as air (Daddy says you're "light as clouds"). You have such soft, downy hair and I confess, I love to stroke it. After it's washed, it looks almost strawberry-blonde, so we're very eager to see what coloring you will have! You still have electric-blue eyes, a darling button nose, and a rosebud mouth. You are, quite simply, a gorgeous baby.

You are starting to be a little more wakeful, and seem quite curious to take in the world around you, especially those who happen to be holding you. You study faces with such a serious expression, as if you are intent on learning your loved ones. You are more easily soothed (with the help of a couple raspberry-colored soothies that Nana bought you!) and prefer to be swaddled tight and have your bottom patted for the first hour or so after nursing or taking a bottle. You seem to really know me and respond best to my voice and touches, and I admit, I love that you are so attached to me! Your brother Will is still just mildly curious about your presence in our lives. He giggles at your movements and only occasionally displays some jealousy. I think the two of you will be great friends and happy playmates.

I pray for you every day, my little Lucy-girl. I pray that you will be kept safe and that you will grow big and strong. Your Daddy and I love you so very much, and we are so happy that you have joined our family.

Your Mama