Monday, March 31, 2008

Parenting Advice

I love when people you've never even seen before offer up their take on how you should raise your children. For instance, while perusing the yogurt section at Whole Foods today I heard someone behind me say "Well, if that isn't the Gerber baby!" This is not an uncommon comment about Liv... especially when I have her little tuft of hair sticking up! I probably hear this about 5 times a week and usually I smile and have a little chat with the person about how old she is or whatever other questions they pose. This woman, who was probably in her mid-thirties, smiled and said something about how cute Liv was. I thanked her and went back to reading the ingredient label on the yogurt I was considering. Then, right after she passed us, she turned around to me and said "You should always have your eyes on your baby... ALWAYS." What? It's not like I had left Liv on another aisle or even 3 feet from me... my hand was holding her foot for crying out loud! Does this woman seriously think it's possible to do any sort of shopping, let alone grocery shopping including disecting ingredient labels, with both eyes firmly glued to your child? Get a clue woman! I know there are wackos out there and I am always very attentive to Liv but I also believe that most of the general public are probably pretty nice, decent folks and that if I happen to avert my eyes from my daughter for, oh say, 30 seconds to read a yogurt container, that most people passing by will smile at her rather than harm her. Perhaps I'm too trusting but I don't think so... I really do believe most people can resist the urge to kidnap a child who is strapped into a grocery cart and whose mother has a firm grasp on her foot!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Weekend

We had a lovely Easter weekend. Saturday morning we got together with some friends from Canvas for breakfast and a little Easter reflection. We love these people and feel like they are family!

Here's Liv with Amy:

Some of the girls: Kathy, Nicole, me, Lisa, Amy & Liv

Sunday we went to the Rock Harbor service at the Pacific Amphitheatre. It was HOT!! Liv hung out with our friend Cat in the nursery & was chillin' in an exersaucer when we got back. It's always nice to see your kid having fun and being well-behaved when you're not around!

We had a little picnic with my parents and uncle that afternoon. It was so nice and warm and a perfect day to relax in the shade.

Liv kickin' back with Daddy...

and enjoying some Grandma time.

Kurt & I also had a nice little date night on Saturday. We went out for Indian food (thanks for the recommendation, Amy... we promise to take you next time!) and then saw a movie. We haven't been to the movies forever and the last time we went we took Liv. It was fun to be out together without Liv although I do kind of feel naked without her! :) She enjoyed her night with Grandpa and Grandma and was sound asleep in Grandma's arms when we got home. Thanks for babysitting, Mom & Dad!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blue Grout...

What? You haven't heard? Blue grout is the latest trend... yes even with your classic travertine or modern cement-look porcelain tile. Ok, fine. Blue grout isn't cool and hopefully it will never be a mainstream trend BUT... I am sporting it in my laundry room right now. So, if you decide to leave a nearly full bottle of liquid laundry detergent on top of your washing machine and then do a load of laundry, you too may come back to find a pool of blue soap all over your laundry room and if you're lucky you might just end up with blue grout.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First beach day!

Meghan & I took Liv & Wallace to the beach yesterday. It was Liv's first time going on the sand and feeling the cold water on her feet. She LOVED the sand!

Liv recently mastered the fine art of sitting up and she and Wallace were so cute sitting there in the sand.

Of course Liv couldn't resist the urge to put this new stuff in her mouth!

Wallace & Meg

After playing for awhile Liv was a little tired and she snuggled with me for a bit. This was so sweet because she NEVER sits still... she is such a busy body and the only times I really get to hold her like this are when she's asleep. She did nod off and took a little nap... I enjoyed every minute of it!

We had such a fun day and are looking forward to many more of these in the coming months! Hooray for Spring!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Home at last!

I have always loved the pictures in the newspaper showing servicemen (& women!) coming home from deployment and seeing their loved ones for the first time in months and sometimes for the first time ever for all those babies that are born while their daddies are away. I was really excited to be there when my brother came home from Iraq. I imagined a big bus pulling up and mass chaos as the troops exited the bus and rushed to their families. I imagined a warm afternoon with kids running around and a military band playing. Ok, maybe not the band, but the rest of it. I was a little off...

My brother was supposed to be to Camp Pendleton at 10 in the morning originally. As the day drew closer the time gradually got pushed back until finally, on the day of, it settled at 7:30 pm. My first thought was that 7:30 does NOTHING for the beautiful, emotional (not to mention well-lit) pictures I had planned out in my head. Yes, a somewhat selfish thought, but I wanted to document this well! My second thought was "oh goodie... Kurt can come!"

Kurt got home from work and we headed down to Pendleton, arriving just in time. Just in time to wait, that is. My dad likes to say that the military's slogan is "Hurry up and wait." So we waited. There were a bunch of people... wives, kids, parents, grandparents, girlfriends, boyfriends, you name it. They had food and music (no, not a military band... a couple of speakers blaring everything from country music to Dave Matthews) and a bounce house (obviously whoever planned this thing knew that the kids would need something to keep them entertained as they waited. Heck, I almost went in for a bounce myself.) Every so often they would stop the music and say that the guys were just about to come.

Around 9:30, after my toes had frozen through (don't wear flip-flops to Camp Pendleton at night in the middle of February!), they finally came. It wasn't a bus and mass chaos. Rather they filed in in orderly ranks... quietly, solemnly, dutifully. The anxious crowd was anything but quiet. Everyone cheered, patriotic music played, there was clapping and flag waving. It was all very moving. At that point I don't think it mattered what anyone thought about the war and whether or not the US should be involved. At that point everyone was proud of these men and women who had served well... Proud and glad that they were home after a long seven months!

The troops stopped in a long row of ranks as their commander barked out the last orders of this tour. They turned, backs to us and held that position for a moment. The commander shouted "About face." The crowd went nuts as the travel-weary troops faced us. Everyone scanned each face, hoping to find the familiar one they had missed so much. Then came the words everyone had been waiting for..."Company dismiss!" Then came the chaos. Michael knew right where we were and walked straight to us as we all squinted trying to pick out our camoflauged brother/son/husband in the dark.

Even though it wasn't well-lit and perfectly photographable, it was still beautiful and emotional to watch him greet his wife, my parents and Kurt. It was so fun to introduce him to Liv and see her face as she checked out her uncle. And of course it was great to give him a big hug myself and welcome him home. He had been gone longer while he was stationed in Japan but it was different this time and we were all so glad that he was home, safe and sound.