Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Wanna Be In Pictures

It occurred to me that I promised pictures would be showing up soon, and that was over a week ago! Here are a few of my recent favorites:

Colton was laughing hysterically at Tess as she sniffed him.

He thought it would be fun to dump his oatmeal all over himself and the high chair here.

Staring off into his glorious future.

Not much happening lately to speak of. I finally got around to scheduling Colton's 6 month well visit- although by the time he actually has it, he'll be seven months. I was feeling REALLY guilty that we missed his four month appointment because well, we had just moved and had no insurance at the time.

I am also finally getting my hair cut on Saturday. It's been over a year. Yeah, can we say yikes??? I guess that's really not even a priority when you have a small baby. I am so ready to get rid of all these split ends and not spend ten minutes every morning detangling.

Colton just woke up from another nap and is calling (screaming) for me...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Updates (Creative Title, Right?)

Guess what I'm wearing right now? My favorite pair of pre-preggo jeans!! That's right, I tried them on the other morning and they actually fit. They had been relegated to my bottom dresser drawer since last March. So I have a little secret to confess: I've been wearing maternity jeans all this time. (Hanging my head in shame). After having Colton, my tummy is a lot less toned than I'd like it to be. I haven't exactly done much to change that situation over the past six months, however.

I think I avoided trying on any pair of regular pants because I was resigned to the fact that I just wouldn't fit into them. But it was time to bite the bullet. I had grown too comfortable in jeans that didn't require buttoning or zipping, and there is a problem with that. So they're still a little tight and I still have several pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but they do fit and yes I can even sit in them!

Speaking of it being six months since Colton was born, I can't believe he's this old already. Every day he looks less baby and more boy. When I put him in a sitting position, he'll stay there for a little while until he leans too far forward and flops over onto his side. He's finally learned how to roll over. This morning I found him in the crib on his stomach, and he was whining for me to rescue him since he hates being on his tummy. I was so excited I called Gregg in to look before picking Colton up.

I think my little man is teething, too. He is drooling like crazy and chewing on everything he can get his hands on. He's also crankier than usual during the day and turning up his nose at being spoon fed. I've busted out the teething ring and book for him to gnaw on to soothe his gums. I know it could still take another month or two before that first tooth makes its appearance, so I hope Coltie isn't in too much discomfort.

In other news, we've had to replace our minivan recently. It crapped out on us two Fridays ago when Gregg was backing it into the driveway. He borrowed his mom's car to take back and forth to work while we explored our options for another vehicle. We ended up purchasing a 2005 Ford Freestyle, which is slightly smaller than a regular sized SUV. It still has plenty of room for a car seat and stowing, just no sliding doors that we both loved on the van because it made getting the baby in and out so easy.

Gregg had bought our van at auction last March with about 152,000 miles on it, and it was just supposed to be an "around the town" car. I was only commuting three minutes each way to work then too. All the trips back and forth to North Carolina and New Jersey last year, as well as Gregg's hour ride to work every day since January, took their toll on on our poor Windstar and it just gave out. We were hoping to get another few months out of it so we could save up more money to first buy a second car for me and then replace the van later.

So now I have to wait a little longer before I'll have a vehicle of my own to go around town with, which I'm bummed about. At least the weather will be getting warmer soon and I can take Colton for walks in the stroller, so we won't be cooped up in the house all the time. My friend Laura has also offered to pick me up on Wednesdays for the ladies' Bible study at church. She couldn't go this morning because one of her girls is sick, but since we still have my mother-in-law's car I went by myself. It was nice to get out and join other women for prayer & Bible teaching. Colton was really good in nursery, and everyone oohed and aahed over him. It was a bit of a struggle to carry him from the car to the church because he is getting so heavy. I think we'll be replacing his infant carrier with the bigger car seat by spring.

Well, it's time for me to get him up from his nap and feed him again! More pictures will be posted soon...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy 6 Month Birthday Colton

Dear Coltie,
My how time flies. You're half a year old already! It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming you into the world. I remember seeing you for the first time and thinking how perfect (and tiny!) you were. I couldn't believe something so beautiful and amazing was actually mine. I just marveled at how wonderfully and fearfully you had been made.

Those first few weeks were strange and difficult as I tried to navigate my new role as your mommy. But we made it through them together just fine. Now it feels like you've been in our lives forever. It's hard to remember what life was like without you. You bring me such joy every day as I watch you grow and develop. You are constantly taking in the world around you, eager to learn new things. I enjoy introducing you to new toys, books, music, food. I love holding you at night before you fall asleep. I love seeing you smile and laugh when I sing, make funny faces, or tickle you. Your laugh is the best sound in the world.

At six months, you are exploring everything. Grabbing everything in sight, including the dinner plates and utensils! You love to watch Tess and are fascinated by every move she makes. You can almost sit up all by yourself. You have a hearty appetite and have mastered the art of eating with a spoon. You like to hold your bottle while I'm feeding you, too! You have started to realize that you have hands and they can help you do all sorts of neat things.

Colton, you are loved so much. By me and your daddy, your grandparents, Jesus. I thank God for you every day and pray that you will have a personal relationship with the One who created you. I pray that you will keep your child-like wonder and won't let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams in life.

I look forward to watching you grow up more over these next six months. You are very, very special, and I am so blessed to have you as my son.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Interview Meme

Okay, so courtesy of Brittny, here’s my interview…

But first here are the rules:

If you would like me to interview you, just leave a comment and I will email you the questions! Here are the directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

And now, Brittny’s questions for ME:

1. How did you and Gregg meet?

We met seven years ago on Yahoo Personals (go ahead and laugh). I had just moved back home after finishing graduate school and thought it would be fun to post an ad and "see what happens". I was very specific about what kind of person I was looking for and what kind of values he needed to have. About a month later, I received an email from Gregg saying that he saw my profile and included a short blurb about himself. We wrote back and forth for almost a week and exchanged pictures before I decided I would show up at his church one Sunday, you know, since I was "looking for a church to get involved in close to home". I brought a friend along and waited outside with her after the service so Gregg & I could meet in person for the first time. He later told me that he figured if I turned out to be a psycho or something, I'd probably never be able to find him there again since it's a church of about 10,000 people! So we're standing there and eventually I hear a voice from behind me say "Are you Marisa?" (I must have been incredibly obvious looking). I whipped around to find Gregg wearing a yellow shirt like me (we hadn't planned this), and my friend said we should take a Sears picture. We talked for a little while and he said he would email me later that evening to set up a date sometime that week. I knew after that conversation I was going to marry him. And almost exactly six months later, I did!

2. How have you surprised yourself over the last year?

By the way I've stood up for myself more, both professionally and personally. At my last job, I worked with some very tough kids who were in the foster system. A few were absolute sweethearts, but there were also those ones that could be rude and disrespectful a lot of the time. I'm normally a push-over, but I was faced with situation after situation where I had to confront their behaviors and let them know it was not okay to treat me the way that they were. In my personal life I've had to put my foot down more than once recently with my own mother, who has always been difficult to deal with. I have needed to stand up for my beliefs and establish boundaries with her, as well as say when she did something hurtful towards me.

3. What's a typical day like for you?

Wake up around 6am, see Gregg off to work, jump in shower. After getting dressed, I'll wake Colton up if he isn't up already and feed him and get him ready for the day. Throw in a load of laundry next. Then while he's playing at the kitchen table in his hook-on chair, I'll eat breakfast and check email/blogs. I'll try to get some housework done while Colton is taking his first nap of the day. When he wakes up, I fix him some cereal and a bottle, change him, read a story, set him down in his walker (usually) to play while I move laundry and get some more housework done. Then it's time for lunch and shortly thereafter another bottle for Colton along with, you guessed it, another diaper change. Are we having fun yet? Then I play with Coltie for a little while and move onto folding and ironing clothes. He usually takes another nap at this point. If I have time, I might check out some more of my favorite blogs or post to my own before making dinner and giving Colton his final bottle along with fruits or veggies. Then Gregg comes home, we eat (usually while the baby shrieks to get out of his chair), I put Coltie to bed, watch some tv, go to sleep. Then wake up the next day and do it all over again. Ah, the exciting life of a suburban stay-at-home mom.

4. What are you most proud of?

Becoming a mom almost six months ago, and battling & overcoming what I think was a mild case of PPD. When Colton was still a teeny tiny helpless newborn, I doubted that I would ever be capable of being the mother he deserved. But now I know I am, and while it's sometimes exhausting and frustrating taking care of him, I'm very proud to do it.

5. Who do you have a celebrity crush on?

I don't know... I've always thought Brad Pitt was very attractive. Not so much anymore since he decided to dump Jennifer Aniston and marry Angelina- could you have made a worse choice?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Well, it's snowing again. BIG surprise. Sometimes it feels like this winter will never end. I have literally ached for spring to be here these past few days. I've come to the conclusion that when (and if) I decide to have another baby, it will not be during winter! Being shut up in the house for most of the week doesn't help break up the winter doldrums, either.

I was relieved to get out on Saturday with Gregg and Colton for a while. We went to Babies 'R Us (my husband's favorite place, ha) so that I could finally return some items we received during the summer at my baby showers. The amount was added to the gift cards we already had, totaling nearly $100. I decided to get some new clothes for Colton with the gift card, along with a baby gate. I can't believe we're actually almost at the point where one of those will come in handy!

Afterwards, we dropped by Grandma's for a pit stop because we were (sort of) in the neighborhood. I changed and fed Coltie there, and we stayed for over an hour, longer than we meant to. On the way home, we stopped at Outback for dinner. I had been looking forward to a dinner out the whole week. We reworked our budget after Gregg got his first paycheck, and decided that we would allow one meal out each week.

We were kinda hesitant to bring Colton along and considered leaving him with Gregg's parents, since he was getting rather fussy. The best of intentions... We actually got to the restaurant early enough that there was no wait yet, and settled into a booth towards the back. Colton was okay for the first five minutes or so in his carrier, then wanted out. Gregg offered to hold him until our dinner arrived. He ended up trying to eat his dinner with one hand while holding the baby with the other, because our son wasn't happy any other way. All seemed to be going well until Colton began screaming and was not content to sit on his daddy's lap anymore. Gregg had to get up and bounce him, then came back to the table. This continued a couple more times until we just gave up and aborted our attempt at a nice, civilized dinner.

We had our food wrapped up, quickly paid the check, and left. Gregg was stressed, I was stressed, and we ended up getting into an argument on the way home while Colton wailed in his car seat. We settled the matter later over ice cream from Dairy Queen after I put the baby to bed. Dates are hard to come by these days, that's for sure.

The next day we made it out to church. For the first time in five weeks! I confess we hadn't gone to church at all the entire month of January. Since Christmas Eve, to be exact. One of us was sick (and then got sick again), and last week there was no way we could have made it to Gregg's company outing if we had gone to service. It was so good to be in church again. Not because I think skipping church is necessarily sinful, it's just always refreshing to be in the company of other believers. To worship God with our voices. To hear God's word spoken and preached. A few people stopped us and said how it is a blessing to have us in their congregation again. And we responded that it is a blessing to be back.

After the particularly frustrating and stressful evening we had the night before, it was wonderful to be ministered to in the church that has always felt like home to us. Colton was even "as good as gold" in nursery. Ha, if they had seen him only 15 hours beforehand.

It was important for us to be in service, I think because more than anything it reminded me of who I am. Who I am in Christ, I mean. I am a mother and a wife of course, but I'm also a Christian. I believe I've been called to live out those roles in a Christ-like fashion. I'll admit, I haven't been feeling very "Christ-like" lately. The weeks have just zoomed by in my life these past few months without much time devoted to prayer or Bible reading. I have become convicted recently that my child doesn't stand a chance against the powers of this world if I'm not praying for him. Speaking God's word and truth over him. Daily.

Every day after Colton's second feeding and changing, I read to him a little bit. He has a sizeable collection of books by now, including Curious George and The Eric Carle trilogy (author of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"). He even has a "My Adventures with Winnie the Pooh" book with him written in as one of the characters. Noticeably missing from this collection however, is a Bible. This struck me the other day, and I made it a point to get one for him (in a child's version).

When we showed up at Gregg's parents' house for Sunday dinner this weekend, my MIL had a gift for Colton as she frequently does. With some "help" from his cousin Kate, Coltie opened the package revealing... a picture Bible! I'm so glad I can start to introduce my son to Bible stories, even at this tender young age. He needs a firm foundation in his early years, because as he grows older there will be so many other things vying for his time and attention.

I've recently picked up "When Mothers Pray (God Listens)" by Cheri Fuller. I received it as a gift back in September, and it's been sitting in the small basket placed beside the glider ever since. Of all the countless things I can teach my child, I want the most important thing to be that he was created for a relationship with the God of this universe. I have to think about the kind of legacy I want to leave for my children. Is it the one of worry and anxiety my mother passed on to me? I don't think so.