Monday, December 31, 2012

Dearest Peanut #2

Dearest Peanut,

I don't know how to break the sad news to you but I feel it's best to be honest. It is with deepest regret I have to inform you that the Christmas tree will be coming down this week. The thought of taking down the tree makes me feel like the proverbial evil stepmother. Who forbids her step daughter from seeing her best friend ever again (your much to young to want a prince)!

The tree was there to console you, usually between 7 to 9 every night, when nothing else could. This sparkling beauty filled your eyes with wonder and amazement particularly, when all other lights were out. The trance like state it would put you in would allow me to shower, eat dinner (while it was still hot), and get you to sleep at night. Indeed, I too am mourning the thought of disposing of the most useful tool in my "mothering toolbox."

I know this parting will be rough on the entire family (and the neighbors), we may even regret this decision for a time but we will pull through. I am trying to focus in the positive aspects such as decluttering the living room and having more floor space. I just hope our new friend the bouncy chair will help with the transition. Be patient and find joy in watching the washer spin round, while you bounce in your chair. My smelly armpits will thank you for it!

With all my love,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time to say goodbye

This month we have had the sad experience of planning a double funeral for some dear friends of ours. Their passing didn't come as a surprise but did come with great sorrow. We knew that our time enjoying their company was short so we made the most of it. Their names were Bertha and Borg Gourd, they were created October 10, 2012. Their total awesomeness caused complete strangers to stop and stare. 

Bertha and Borg Gourd

The neighbor children couldn't resist them either. They were caught outside our door pretending to be the artist who created them. Their conversation went like this, "Did you paint these horrific pumpkins?" "Why yes I am the artist that painted these pumpkins, you can buy one for 100 dollars" replied the second Girl. The first girl then thoughtfully responded, "Let me think about it and I'll get back to you." It was at this point the girls noticed The Germ and I coming up the stairs, dropped Bertha and Borg, and ran into their apartment. The next day they sheepishly came up to us and told us, "We just couldn't resist! They are the COOLEST pumpkins EVER!" We then graciously gave the girls visitation rights so long as they didn't drop them anymore. We also stipulated that any money made from selling Bertha and Borg would be divided 90/10.

Thankfully, the Gourd family were not sold. They stood as sentinels in front of our door as we were away having our first child. They never left their post and continued to stand guard even after their enlistment expired (November 1, 2012). They guarded us through Thanksgiving, Finals, and Christmas. Alas, their diligence was their undoing. The elements eventually got the better of them and we had to say our goodbyes.

We know that no pumpkins can take their place in our hearts and that they are in a better place. The best way to honor them is cherish their memories.

Borg before receiving his hair plugs

Bertha in the process of putting on her make up *pardon my belly I was 39 weeks pregnant

both of us pulling our "ugly one eye" face

Maybe they are cousins

They will be greatly missed!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some big pants to fill

When I first found out I was pregnant I started doing all kinds of research on how much it would cost to have a baby. I was searching for any way to cut the costs, since the germ and I are both full time collage students. One of the ways I found was with cloth diapers. I was nervous at thought because of the horror stories my mother told about her life with cloth diapers. Stories about washing poopy diapers in a toilet, rubber pants melting, blow outs in the store, bread bags, and leaving fully loaded diapers in the car on a hot summers day.

I was also worried that my hormones were taking this "nesting" thing a bit to far. Pregnancy hormones can cause all rational thought to be tossed out the window in exchange for manic visions of baby bliss. After some debate I decided to do it.  My Grandmother was so excited at the thought of me cloth diapering, I thought she would burst with joy.

After having peanut I decided I would break those colorful poop catchers out as soon as finals were over. It was difficult enough having a baby at midterms, no need to push my luck!

So one morning I broke out the diapers and started. After strapping that sucker on peanut's bum I busted out laughing. Her bum grew three sizes that day! All week the song, Fat Bottom Girls played in my head! The good news about her bum enhancing diapers is that her pants now stay on her skinny little butt!

Long story short I love cloth diapering and giggle every time I change her bum! Double win!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All to get a smile

When my sister was born my mom decided to have professional pictures taken of her. It was this day that I learned that babies have a natural tendency to smile big cheesy grins when no camera is in sight but stop as soon as one emerges from the case. Then as you proceed to go to ridiculous measures to get a smile, they stare at you like your some whack job running down the street in a chicken suit.

Oh how I wish I could know what they were thinking at these moments but then again maybe not.

The other morning peanut woke up smiling and cooing, she looked so sweet that I desired to capture that moment. Instead she instantly stopped smiling and cooing, as if her goal in doing so was to see me act like a goof-ball for the next twenty minutes. The following are the result of my goof-ball like tactics (in chronological order):

From the looks of it my tactics may have freaked her out a bit! I am sure glad nobody took pictures of me during this photo session!

The hard work eventually payed of with this sweet picture.

With a smile like that I am sure there will be many more goof-ball like days in my future!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A mother's ninja like reflexes

Since having Peanut I have been thinking a lot about my babysitting days. I babysat for my aunt every Saturday night for about six years, while she and her husband were at work. During this time the family grew from having two children to four. While taking care of her young children I developed awesome ninja like reflexes.

I could leap over a love-sac in order to break up a fight in one bound. Picking up blankets and toys with my toes was a regular occurrence, while bouncing a screaming baby. A refined sense of hearing helped me detect the small pitter-patter of feet, sneaking in the kitchen for a treat. Even with these highly useful skills the most valuable was my ability to drop to the floor and crawl out of the nursery without making a sound. The fear that surges through your body when a sleeping baby opens their eyes is strong enough to stop a heart! That surge of adrenaline would bring out the ninja in any exhausted parent or caregiver. Personally, I would drop to the floor and lay completely still for about five minutes while keeping my breathing relaxed. Then I would proceed to crawl out of the room making sure to always remain below the baby's line of sight. I am sure I looked goofy but it is what was required of me.

This reflex to drop to the floor and freeze has comeback ten fold since peanuts birth. Although this is partly because Peanut still shares our room so I have to go in and out more frequently during nap time/ bed time. The main reason for this increase is because the stakes are so much higher. Comparable to the difference between putting some extra change in a slot machine and high stakes poker. Whether peanut gets enough of a nap or not could affect the mood for the rest of the day. My husband could come home to dinner on the table or me rocking in the corner mumbling "buh buh buh buh buh" with a half crazed look in my eye. Whereas with babysitting I could give the children back after a few hours.

I guess I am trying to say that I love nap time! In fact I love it so much that I am willing to crawl across the barren waste land of the bedroom floor in order to ensure it happens! Because when peanut gets a good nap she is like this for the rest of the day!

The naps must go on!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh that fiery redhead we called grandma!

Both of my grandmothers had red hair. One was born with red hair, the other became a red head with the help of Miss Clairol. Both of these feisty women were very influential in my life and taught me many important lessons. I want to focus my attention on the natural red head today.
(June 6, 1928 - November 2, 2012)

Her name was Melda and she was not lacking in the personality department! She had such curious mixture of personality traits that when pondering them all she almost seemed surreal. Like a character from a story book who was so outrages and wonderful, you could never imagine such a person truly existed. A person like that only belonged in your dreams or a story book. She was a curious mixture of circus ringmaster, feminist, and superhero.

Melda had eight children, that alone would make someone feel like they were running a circus! Her superhero strength was exhibited by the fact that seven of her children were born in less than a nine year span! While raising her own children and taking care of the home, she also ran the family fruit farm. When did she sleep? With her being the ring master she had to make sure that the show did go on. Making sure her children stayed out of trouble (no small task with four boys) while meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. She told my dad,"When I felt like I was on the verge of losing it. I would put on a show for the children and make popcorn and lemonade." My dad told me they ate a lot of popcorn and drank a lot of lemonade growing up! Her circus eventually expanded to include forty-nine grandchildren and thirty six great grandchildren all of whom received a phone call or card on their birthday.

She was the original feminist with traditional ideals. Some of my earliest memories are of her driving the tractor home from the orchard after spraying the peach trees. With her short red hair sticking out wildly from under her hat, wearing worn denim jeans and cowboy boots.  I wonder how much of her personality was genetic and how much was shaped by the early events of her life. She was raised on a fruit farm with one sister. Her sister became ill at a young age and never really recovered. So she became her fathers boy and her mother girl. She drove the cattle down the mountain on Saturday and crocheted blankets on Sunday. That was just the way she was. She was never intimidated by gender roles and knew she could accomplish anything she wanted. Yet, she held a strong belief in the importance of family and God.

Years of hard farm work helped develop her superhero like strength! One example of this strength was when she grabbed the horses reigns with one hand and pulled her teenage son off the horse with the other. He needed a friendly reminder that his behavior was unacceptable. I remember as a child being amazed at how fast she came sprinting towards me after I got injured playing in her backyard.  Her other superhero like qualities were exhibited when she nursed sick and dying family members for years on end. She gave of her self like a true hero and never spoke a gossiping word. Her greatest superhero like quality was her ability to be a friend. She befriended the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the wise and the less wise. 

The Kryptonite of her life was her stroke. It slowed her down like nothing had before but it never fully stopped her. She was always fighting back, trying to regain freedom from it's firm grasp. While her mind was more than ready to work and serve her body was not. She did her best to stay positive and find joy in other areas of life but not being able to serve others was her greatest frustration. 
Last month she was finally able to be reunited with husband, mother, father, and sister. I know she is running through heavenly orchards and serving those around her as we speak. I am so grateful Peanut was able to met her before she passed away. During that visit grandma said, "Her hair is the color of peaches! We need more red heads in the family!"
Now my thoughts turn to peanut who was born with the same color of red hair. Will her hair stay red or will she be a red head with the help of Miss Clairol? Will she have the same strong and feisty personality? Only time will answer such questions. All I know is that Peanut and I are truly blessed to have such a women as part of our heritage. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dearest Peanut

Dearest Peanut,
I love how you wrestle dragons and box with ogres in your sleep. How do I know this you ask? Well you create a wild and noisy ruckus every night. You are only two months old and you already wake up on the other side of the bed. Your blanket are in disarray and not being very effective I might add. You have your fists swinging and feet moving at a frenzied pace. Your grunts and growls are so loud that we are unable to sleep, for fear that there might be a monster under the bed! There is only one explanation for all are Peanut the Great! Girl who wrestles dragons back in to their caves and boxes ogres into submission. Dreamland is a much safer place with you there defending it! Thank you so much for protecting my dreams from such monsters!
I do have one question and I don't mean to sound ungrateful but is there anyway you could do it more quietly? Just think about it.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A little break and good conversataion


We are loving Christmas break! Having a baby at midterms made it difficult to just relax and spend time together as family. It felt at times like we were just switching shifts with the baby so the other could go to work or school. The good news is that we all survived and we both got all A's! We were truly blessed this semester. Some of the blessings include having flexible schedules, understanding professors, and a baby that started sleeping at least 5 hours at night after she turned two weeks (dont hate me). This semester also taught us that we can do hard things! These last two months since having peanut have definatly been the most wonderful, difficult, exciting, happy, exhausting, and adventerous time of our lives!  Good thing we love adventures!
Anyways we are enjoying spending time together. Today, I was able to capture this sweet picture of The Germ reading to Peanut about the wild night lives of snowmen! I doubt we will ever think of snowmen the same way again! They also had a nice long conversation while he did the dishes and she supervised (she wants to go into government). They had a riviting discussion about Chewbacca (she does an excellent impersonation), butterflies, and how delicious her fist tastes. What a wonderful way to spend chistmas break!

HERE I AM!!!!!!!

I am finally joing the blogging communitiy! It may seem like I am joining this community a little late but considering I didn't even start reading other people's blogs until about a year ago, I think I am doing pretty darn good! My hope is that our family living abroad will be able to see what is happing in the Germ household. I also hope it will help ease our move to medical school this summer as we try to stay in touch with our family. So here is a little about the Germ household.
I am Dooney! You are probably thinking something along the lines of "Wow that is a weird name!What was wrong with your parents when they named you?" Well to clarify things Dooney is my nickname. My Grandpa's favorite cookies were Lorna Doone short bread cookies. Since I was his favorite granddaughter (wink wink) he started calling me Lorna Doone. Having a big family has caused it to morph into many variations such as: Doone, Dooners, Dooney-toesocks, Dooney Looney, and so forth.
I love to cook, mountain bike, hike, snowboard, camp, read, sew, learn new things, and most importantly spend time with the fam-bam.
This handsome man is The Germ. He has a long story behind his name as well but I will share that some other time. He is a husband, father, and full time student currently preping to go to medical school this fall.    
This sweet girl is Peanut. She was born with red hair which has now fallen out (except for her awesome mullet) and it is now coming in blonde.  She has a sweet and fiesty personality. We are totally in love with this little munchkin and grateful for all that she is teaching us.
So that is our little family in a nutshell!