Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrate Good Times

The past week has brought so much joy as we celebrated both Mary Kate's baptism and the first anniversary of our marriage. It is so truly surreal that less than a year after our wedding, we are bringing our child into our faith. We are really, really blessed.

While Mary Kate did not particularly enjoy the Mass prior to her baptism, or Fr. Tim pouring water over her head, and while she made sure that the entire Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the surrounding Savannah squares heard her voice, it was still a very special day. To have the two priests who celebrated mine and Ross's wedding turn around 5 minutes 11.75 months later and welcome our child into our church was amazing. Every dream I ever had came true. Mary Kate wore the gown my grandmother's mother made, the gown my dad and 4 siblings wore and the gown my sister and MK's godmother wore. It was plenty wrinkled by picture time but the love inside that beautiful gown was easily seen! The people who love MK most were by her side as she screamed as she entered the Catholic faith. Despite a quicky baptism and a looong Mass prior to it, we enjoyed a beautiful day and are so thankful to Fr. Tim for celebrating and to our families for traveling and being a part of this day.

 Thank you to Aunt Roo/Godmother for making a beautiful cake

My precious grandmother's mother made her baptismal gown in 1950
MK, mom and dad with sweet Fr. Tim and godparents Aunt Roo and Uncle Steve

After a special day, we went spent a few days in Hilton Head with Ross's family and are really thankful for the vacation away. We had great time with family and great time in prayer and reflection. It was wonderful. MK has a little bit of a rough time adjusting to all the newness but thankfully the Ninnesses were very patient and loving to our little pain in the neck!

This new mama doesn't take beach photos but here is a sweet one from a delicious seafood dinner at Skull's boathouse.

After a 7.5 hour trek home from Hilton Head (someone thinks that her carseat is filled with nails), we made it home. We finished the week with MK's two months shots, two weeks late and then some awful football with good friends. And exactly one week from MK's baptism day, Ross and I celebrated our one year anniversary. We ate our weight in Italian at Alfredo's (please please gift yourself with dining here!) and talked about where we hope to be September 26th 2020. We shared a bottle of amazing wine and I sat, staring at this man, and wondered how my kid and I got so lucky. Sorry for the cheesiness, but one year in and I am smart enough to know how truly blessed I am.

So excited to wear makeup and go out without a nursing cover in tow!

All in all, this week has been about celebrating the life God so inexpicably gifted us with. It has not been without its stress (it's my life, after all) but it has been full of  grace and goodness. I am so, so thankful!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What makes me happy

I came across a new blog this week, and sweet Erin made me smile. She is the little sister of Nat and I have loved having her as a kind of 'two for one' friend. One of her past posts was entitled "What makes me happy." I was encouraged to sit back and think about this. Because we allll know what makes me unhappy. Admittedly, I dwell a little too much in glass half empty land. So in an effort to retrain my cynical little brain to 'accentuate the positive' (sorry, I couldn't resist), I decided to steal Erin's blog for the day. And as we recall, every one who blogs loves a list post- so much less brain power.

Today, September 14th, the things that make me happy

  • the little girl in the next room who is napping. naps make me very happy, even if they are not my own, sometimes especially if they are not my own.
  • that same little, dainty girl who, at Mass Sunday during the quiet part of Eucharistic prayers, tooted so so loudly and for so long. Call me an 11-year-old boy but that was so funny.
  • the new jeans that my friend Rachel gifted me. They are a size bigger than usual but I love 2 new pair of free Joe's jeans no matter what size they are
  • when my husband looks at me and says 'babe, you look great!'
  • garage sales
  • Kashi go lean cereal bars
  • diet coke- though I'm trying to quit so look forward to a post about what doesn't make me happy
  • 4-5 hour sleep stretches
  • phone conversations with old friends
  • when my kid smiles at me so big that her eyes are squinting
  • play dates with encouraging moms and spunky kids
  • 6:30 pm when dad comes home and takes baby and dog for a run
  • jogging strollers gifted from generous friends to make my hour of heaven possible
  • reading blogs
  • reading a good book
  • the ocean- oh how healing and soothing the beach will always be to me!
  • feeling productive, being busy
  • Mass at the Gift of Grace- so small but so intimate, being known and loved by the sisters
  • seeing my daughter curl up on her dad's chest, clutch his shirt collar and be so content
  • eating Mexican with my mom
  • meeting with small groups of younger women, being inspired by them
  • Praise and worship music (or as R calls it 'the loaf')
  • feeling in shape (not currently but soon!!)
  • thunderstorms, especially at the beach or in the middle of the day, esp with a book in hand
  • smocked dresses
  • rocking chairs
  • fall weather in the south
  • sugar-brownies, candy, ice cream, cake- you name it, I love it
  • surprises-like the edible arrangement my sister sent 'just because'
  • Savannah, Tybee, mass and supper with my grandma, shopping with mom and katie-just being home
these folks also make me happy

go gamecocks???!! Lord help my fall Saturdays
          the 2010 Tyler family babies

the back river of tybee

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2 months old

Yes, I am now that mom writing her child a letter on a blog. Remember when I said that we use blogs for different reasons. Well, this one falls under 'in case I never finish your baby book.' Anyone other than family, feel free to go read Darby :)

Dear Mary Kate,

Tomorrow you will be 2 months old. Today you are asleep, where you have been for the last 3 hours. This is not normal. It's because you have caught your first cold. Dad and I were typical new parents, worrying over you like crazy last night and this morning. We called our fav friend/ped Dr. Stu who gave us the low down until your pediatrician opened. She agreed and gave us a prescription for a vaporizer and lots of TLC. Done and Done.  So, one milestone reached. In other news, you are a chub. Dr. Wolf concluded that you have nearly doubled your birth weight in 2 months and today sit in at a hearty 11 lbs, 11 oz. I'm not surprised. We find new rolls and new chins every day. And I love each one of them.

This month you have begun sleeping longer stretches, no doubt thanks to your fuller belly. You still wake me at 4 or so a few times a week but throw in an 11p-6a just often enough to make me think I will survive this "4th trimester." As much as I have griped about sleep issues, last night I layed in bed missing you. Your dad takes the 9:30 ish to 12:30 am ish shift and usually I head to bed. I have to put the fan on extra loud so I don't rush to you with every peep. You mostly love this time with dad, as he does with you, but it can also be a fussy time of day for you. I was reading in bed last night, willing myself not to go take you from his arms. We all need this special time. You and he together, and, as much as I don't want to admit it, me by my lonesome. So, I read and I slept and was not at all unhappy when that nasty congestion woke you at midnight. and 2:30 and 4:15 and 7:30. I finally realize what aunt Natalie was talking about when she said she did find herself loving that middle of the night time with her boy.

**the rest of yesterday was a wash as that cold took you over. today is your actual 2 month birthday!**

I'd take a picture of you but you are asleep in your carseat, in your crib, where you have been mostly since 1am. You are sleeping so much and dad reminds me that you need this to kick that cold. But I miss you kiddo. Yes, the bottles are washed and the bed is made. Yes my teeth are now brushed and hair, while dirty, is brushed and up. Mail is sorted. You sleeping makes these things possible but I really don't care. I miss you little nugget.

Since this post has absolutely no organization, I figure I will just write some things I don't want to forget. I didn't do a birth post and already find some of those memories fading. So on your 2 month birthday, some memories of your birthday and the most joyous two months ever that have followed.

On July 9, 2010, we went in for a scheduled induction. We really prayed over the decision to induce you and for many reasons, chose to go ahead. Turns out, it wasn't that necessary as our precious nurse said you would have been born that day anyway, at the latest the next morning. So we got the best of both worlds- knowing you were fully baked and ready to meet us, and the amazing ease of an induction. Piedmont hospital was so fantastic and while I can definitely wait to have another baby, I will be thrilled to go back there. Your great uncle Howard pulled some mega strings and got us a fantastic anesthesiologist and some rationed additional drugs. I did not even feel the dreaded epidural. (Let it be known that while the epidural was occuring your dad had run home to get a jacket- which mom suggested he bring that morning but he didn't :), so, Aunt Katie was there to support me while the long needle went into my back!

I remember labor as pretty easy. I was texting our great friend Ashley and she texted "I assume you got an epidural since you are texting me during labor!" She was right and I loved it. Labor was not bad but it lasted for danged ever and I was exhausted by pushing time. Pushing was not great. I will leave it at that. I was tired and emotional and I just remember saying "I'm not a good pusher, through many tears." I also got very sick during this phase and was profusely apologizing to nurses, again through tears, who quickly asked me to re-focus and get this kid out!

So, at 6:59 pm, exactly one minute before our beloved nurse Shannon had to leave, you were born. Shock and awe are the only way to describe it. It took your dad a minute to proclaim "It's a ..." We were both thinking boy, mostly because I was gifted with an impromptu ultrasound at work and thought I inadvertently saw little boy parts. So we were flooooored when dad finally said "we have a daughter. it's a girl!!" He had sweet tears in his eyes and as they put you on my chest, he put his arms around us and finished the only part of our "birth plan" that went according to plan. He prayed in thanksgiving for you, for your health and mine, and for our new family. I had looked forward to that moment more than any other and will treasure it.

I wish I had video of dad going out to tell his mom that she had her first granddaughter after 5 grandsons. I wish I could have seen my mom's face, knowing that her granddaughter was here. But I will relish the photos of memaw Sullivan's first look at you and tears filling her eyes and of Busha holding you in the corner of our room. I remember mostly just being in shock- that I had birthed a baby, that it was a girl. I also have to give credit to your dad. For a guy who is a little old school and wouldn't have been too opposed to being in the waiting room with a cigar, he was more present than he ever thought he'd be. With only one nurse, he had no choice, but he was a rockstar and there is no way on this planet that I could have endured turning the epidural down VERY LOW and finished the biggest physical challenge of my life without him. He has continued this incredible level of involvement every minute since you were born and I am only a decent mother because of who my teammate is in this new, hard, wonderful game called parenthood.

Since that joyous day, you have smiled your first smile, cooed your first coo, blown out more diapers than I knew could happen, slept through the night, been to Savannah twice and Athens once, been blessed by grandFather Tim and Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta, been cuddled by our MC friends, taken your first hike with dad, taken your first swim with dad, watched your first gamecock game (go dawgs!), and had many playdates with Brady, Sadie, Grant, Leah, Madeline, Thomas, Gabe and Langston.

You are finally waking up and I am happy. Last night you slept in my arms while we rocked. Dad read Entertainment Weekly on the chaise and I read American Wife with a glass of wine on the nightstand. We agreed that the hardest part of you being sick isn't your stuffy nose or fussiness, it's seeing you different from the person we now know you to be. We realized that you are already YOU. Seeing you sick made us realize how much we know you, how unique you are with your own little personality and we miss it. But you are strong and are already getting much better so we look forward to our beautiful, strong-willed, sometimes fussy but always loved little girl getting back to normal!

Happy 2 month birthday precious girl!

talking to dad on labor day~ 9.6.10

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

praises and prayers

So, here at casa Ninness, we are making great gains and experiencing some humbling set backs. Currently, my child is asleep- in a swing. as in. not on my chest. It's 10:16 am- ergo this could potentially be classified as a MORNING NAP??!  We pulled out her cousins' old school graco bucket swing and this is what the doctor ordered, for us both. This is huge, but let's be clear this is day one. Baby girl likes to switch it up on her mother. And it's probably because she was up at 4. and at 5. Are ya'll tired as heck of listening to our sleep adventures? Anyway, the good news is that super star dad has managed to get her sleeping almost through the night most nights. Eventually I will stop worrying about her and sleep myself (though every experienced mom likes to tell me this will happen when she's 22. nice.)  The biggest lesson I've learned in the past 2 months other than to pray every millisecond for wisdom and grace, is to find what works for you. We have broken many a rule and are definitely NOT on the American Academy of Pediatrics honor roll. But who the heck cares. My kid is sleeping more, smiling more and I am now making slightly more coherant sentences.

MK will be two months old Thursday. It feels like she has been here forever. She is finding her little 'voice' and, knowing both her big mouth parents, I am sure it won't be a 'little' voice for long. Her coos and huge smiles crack me up. She inherited some not so desirable traits from us, hair from dad, droopy eye from mom, but she's pretty much the most gorgeous kid that ever lived. So there :)  I love the way she wraps both her arms around Ross's neck when she's on his chest. I love that the changing table, previously a torture device, is now where I get my biggest smiles. I have been known to read books to her right there after diaper changes. I now love to nurse her and feel proud to be able to nourish her like this. I love, love, love Sunday Mass with R and our girl. It is where I feel most like our own little family. I love to put her in a smocked dress that her aunt Roo or I wore and snuggle her and pray into her sweet ears.

I will also keep it very real here though and say that on some levels, this job is getting harder. I am having some slight identity crises and have to constantly remind myself that this is where I know I am supposed to be. I love that kid with every breath I take. But on paper, my job description has changed from helping folks live and die with dignity from HIV to changing 10 diapers a day and running the laundry as many times. I have gone from talking to physicians about what they can and cannot do with a patient's discharge plan to telling Monty to sit and deciphering Mary Kate's gas issues. I have gone from feeling competent and able to, many days, feeling like a total failure at this mom job. Now, I know not to trust the paper too much. I know that the greatest job I can possibly have, the greatest priviledge, is to raise this little chicken into a woman of faith, grace and compassion. But I struggle with contentment in my new job. I struggle with feeling successful without a paycheck, as meager as it may have been. I struggle with wanting to be successful at home- I never really cared if the floors were clean or dishes were put up (former roommates are nodding!!) It's hard to shift my brain into redefining what success is for me. My friend Elizabeth suggested choosing one thing, maybe cooking, that made me feel successful at the end of the day (former roommates now laughing) but she's got a point. Right now, I am just praying for contentment in this new life we have willingly and prayerfully created for ourselves. I wouldn't change it for a second but ooooh is the grass always greener on the other side! So, if you would, pray for my husband's continued compassion for me and patience with me. Please also pray for my heart to catch up to my head and be filled with confidence that I'm where I was created to be. Many thanks!!

And totally off topic- but sweet pics of a great labor day with friends!

E and B with Mary Kate and I. E has been one of my closest friends since 9th grade. And oh how pool days have changed for us ;)

my husband two of his greatest loves- his little girl and playing a good game of cornhole

our girl- napping outside. again, empasis on the word napping! (We should have known something was up though. Poor kid came down with her first head cold 24 hrs later. )

Happy Wednesday kids!