Thursday, December 09, 2010

Got Milk?

Yesterday, I went out and got organic whole milk to introduce the baby to sippy cups (we do straw cups with water).  I was kinda hoping to lead her towards weaning.  I really want her to lead the process, but I thought she might like a new option. 

So, I gave her a traditional sippy cup with milk...hated it.  Then, her straw cup with milk...nope. 

I just gave her a snack and some water and hoped to try it again tomorrow. 

An hour later, she came up to me and laid her head down on my shoulder.  There are many things my girl is: brave, strong, resilient, smart, curious.  However, she is not cuddly.  She likes to be held but rarely does she lay down on me.  Instead, she wants to look around and explore.  She has always been this way.  So this sudden cuddliness was sweet but accompanying some moaning and whining got me thinking...what is up, Cdubs? 

All the sudden it hit me...SHE WANTS TO NURSE!  She has never been really vocal about it because we have a schedule and on a rare occasion when teething and I'll nurse her to help a girl out.  But it really hit me hard.  SHE WASN'T READY!

I think part of it is because she doesn't really have a lovey or attachment item.  So, I guess it is me!  Nursing is her safe base, her comfort, and her constant in a very changing world that the three of us live in.

I didn't think we'd nurse this long...but on we go...nursing past 12 months!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Cdubs

A year ago today...we were blessed beyond measure.

We had a pre-birthday party after thanksgiving dinner.  And my godmother made Cdubs the same birthday cake she made me for my first birthday. 

She was not in love with all of the sugar...and mess.  She is her mother's daughter.

To say that I am so in love with my life as a mom and my daughter is the biggest understatement.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Cowardly Lion

There are many reasons that I am cowardly.  Many reasons that I don't do what I am supposed to do: trust in God.

My cowardliness has and will take a toll on my relationships.  So I am putting what I am scared of...out into the blogisphere:

1.) Going back to Austria.
Maybe our lifestyle will sound glamorous or exciting to someone.  However, not sleeping for 5 nights in a row in a hotel, husband and wife being stressed at each other with getting around foreign cities, and a baby striving for routine, does not feel glamorous.

I am scared to my core of going back.  As much as I hate being away from Kdubs for many weeks, I and the baby have thrived being in a stable environment.

2.) Not being a good mom.
I, so much, want to be a good mom and role model to my daughter.  And this takes a lot of thoughts, time, and it should

3.) Not being a good wife.
The balance between wife and mother is so hard.  When the question becomes, whose needs become more important?!?

There are many other things that I am scared of...but these are the top three.

What are you scared of?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Halloween 2010

 I am a little late on updating about Halloween.  Well, story of my life it seems.  To play catch up:
1.) Kdubs has been gone back to Europe on a 40 day work excursion around Central and Eastern Europe
2.) Cdubs and I have been staying at my parents house in the ATL (we also spend some time with the in-Laws in SC). 
3.) We missed him, but we made it...
(and there was much rejoicing...yea!)

We were having a hard time picking out what Cdubs would be for Halloween, and by we, I mean me, my mom, my mother in law and my sister in law.  Not Kdubs. 

Since I hate making choices, we did two:
1.) (above) was the Monkey for the Monkey Baby, which is what my family calls her.
2.) (to the right) is Dorothy using the dress that Kdubs bought her from Belgium when I was pregnant...yes, before we knew our baby was a girl.
 We already had red shoes and I fashioned a wig out of yarn and a headband...I couldn't figure out how to make the back.  So it is like a reverse mullet.

I was the cowardly lion....fitting, right?

There is a whole post that needs to be written about my cowardliness at the moment.  But I also need to write Cdubs' birth story (now that it is almost a year past), travel tips with a baby, and show you all the craft that has been going on here.
I'll get to it.

But again, I use the Cdubs to distract and entertain:
As RuPaul and my great grandmother demonstrated, no one looks as good when the wig comes off.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

She always comes to my rescue

This is my friend, Crouton. We have been friends since we were in eighth grade.

We have done a lot of things together, but never on purpose.

We chose to go to the same college (we didn't want to cling to each other so we did not room together), we got married a few years apart (she was my maid of honor, I was her matron), and then we had babies months apart.

Through out our 15 years of friendship, we have had a very unique relationship.  Today, while we were hanging out after several weeks of not being able to set a time (vacationing, sickness, etc), she summed up our relationship perfectly:  We never spent all of the time attached at the hip together.  We ebb and flow.  We would hang out in the spring consistently because in the summer I was at camp and the fall she was doing band.

We had other friends, some of them we didn't agree upon.

But we always were there for each other.  Bad times, good times, birthdays, medical issues.  We know and love eachothers families. 

And now, having babies together, has cemented our friendship. I love seeing the babies together and imagining them being friends as they get older.

Mainly, she is just a great person and a great friend...who has always been there for me.  I am very lucky.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Best Friends

Part of my personality quirkiness is the need to have a best friend.  Maybe it is part of being one of three kids (esp. the oldest with two brothers), but I always felt a little odd-person-out.  And my family moved/I changed schools in those formative years 5th, 6th, 7th, growing up was a little like a "Where's Waldo?" in trying to find my best friend.

College was wonderful.  I found wonderful friends...almost a dozen best friends. And then my ultimate best friend: Kdubs.

As much as I love having Kdubs as my best friend and now joining the moms club, I realize that I have isolated some of my old friends. 

Combine that with a six hour time difference and months of no-face-time...and I really have very few IRL (in real life) friends to speak of.

I miss having girl friends, ones to shop with, ones to confide in, ones to be silly and girly with...however, I find incredible solace in creating my own little "friend." It gets lonely being a nomad.

While she doesn't necessarily chose to be my friend, I love spending time with her.  And my eternal best friend:

Friday, October 08, 2010

A month gone, too much to post

There has been so much going on with our temporary move stateside.

We are finally getting settled back in the ATL.  It seriously took me almost 2 weeks to unpack.

We have been visiting in-laws and getting our routine re-established.  It has been a bumpy road.

Add to that 2 more part time jobs and getting Kdubs ready to make a 6 week trip back to Central and Eastern Europe...and I am wiped.

We have had a difficult time adjusting to living in a "community" setting again (read: live with my parents and new pseudo-adopted brother).  and I have realized that I have lost a lot of my friends stateside.  People have gotten used to not calling me and seeing me...and that makes re-inserting myself into their lives harder.

I am also somewhat overwhelmed with all the things that I can do with my time here: take classes, start new projects, etc.

And when I am overwhelmed, I hide like an ostrich.  It is one of my lovely personality foibles.

I really should use my blog to release some of that energy, but after hours of database and website work, I just want to be away from the computer.

I would love to hear if anyone is still out there?  Care to de-lurk?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Homeward Bound

Horrible movie (I hate movies with talking, real animals--freaks me out, please don't ask why).

We are heading home in 4 days!  4 DAYS, people!
And Cdubs and I will be there for close to 6 months.

Part of my plans for being home include a bunch of classes.
I am taking cooking classes with my dad (this was Kdub's gift to me for my birthday) and sewing classes with my sister in law.  I have never sewn with a machine before and my mom is giving me one for the last couple of birthdays (she has wanted to give me one for years, but we haven't been in a place to get one, I want to make stuff for I said, "screw it, I'll just haul it around with me".)

We have so much to do before we get home, and it is going to be a busy time after.  But I am thrilled.
Pictures from the past couple of journeys coming up.

I also need to work on the site revamp and post more...I'm a true slacker.
Please be distracted by the cheeks:

let the checks mesmerize you

focus on the cheeks!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Another hotel room, another beer***aka. TRS and Google can't spell

Just days after cutting a sliver of a tooth, Cdubs has loosely agreed to come on a couple of trips with us before we head home on Sept. 19th.

Today, we are in Ljubjana*, Slovenia.  And no, I can not spell that name without the help of Google.
*Kdubs just informed me that even Google got it is Ljubljana....something like that.

It is a very small but very pretty city.  It is like all major European cities: it has a picturesque countryside, nice city center square, and a river in the middle.

But Ljubs is like a European city meets Epcot.  It is so clean and almost too picturesque.  It seems like the metrosexual of all the Eastern European cities: well groomed to a point of questionability.

However, tonight, Kdubs is out to a work dinner and I am in a hotel with a sleeping baby, my Kindle and the local beer: Lasko.  It is pretty good.  Def. in the top 5 beers of the Eastern bloc.

Tomorrow, we leave for Zagreb.  Until then, I bid you zbogom (goodbye) and srečno (good luck-in Slovenian).

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


We have less than 20 days until we go back to the States.  This time for a  LOOOOONG visit.  5-6 months!  This means that I need to clean, clean, clean.  I like to leave the apartment IMMACULATE so I can come back to a spotless (although dusty) place.

Before we leave, we are hitting three more countries and the baby has decided to teeth and/or hit a growth spurt that means we are out many hours of sleep.

Needless to say, I have less time for blogging than I would like.  However, I should do it...because I have time...I have just been spending it with my newest internet distractions:

StumbleUpon:  Have you done this yet? It is crazy.  You list your interests and then just hit Stumble! and you get tossed to all sorts of interesting and different sites.  It is the most fascinating thing.  I have found some weird sites, some great sites and some in between.  But it is now this itch I can't stop scratching!  The next stumble will be even better than this more time...and then I'll clean...

From Stumble, I have found the Gawker sites:
Craftgawker: A world of crafty cuteness.  Since my mom is getting me a sewing machine for my birthday, I am on high alert for cute things to learn to create!
Weddinggawker: My SIL is getting married this winter...and I am hooked.
Foodgawker:  It is like asking the internet, "what should I make today?"  With beautiful pictures.
Dwellinggawker:  I don't have a house, I don't have anything to make beautiful, but I can NOT stop looking at ideas of what I might want to do for my dream home.

So, I am sorry I am not posting (all 2 of my readers)...I will become more disciplined and stop hitting the STUMBLE button!  Just after this next hit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

We like to Party, we like we like to Party

My baby is about to turn 9 months old... I am doing what every mother would be doing...


I am trying to come up with some cute themes, and I need some help.

My family calls her monkey baby, so I was going to do monkeys.  (However, my sister in law is kinda claiming them for her son (who is a few months younger than Cdubs).)  But then monkeys are not very girlie...and this baby is def. more monkey like.

Then I saw a really pretty theme called, "You are my Sunshine."  While yellow is not Cdubs best color, I still like it.  But it might be too summery for November.  All that yellow next to the beige of the GA after thanksgiving...CLASH!

And then Kdubs suggested a 'round the world theme, which I brushed off as "too adult."  But then I thought it would be super fun to do a "Where in the World is Cdubs?" ala Carmen Sandiego and dress her up in a red trench coat.  While, I like this might be better for birthday #2 because we will have finished our travels then.

Have you seen any cute girl themes that aren't too girly? 

A lot of the other ones I've liked would be great for when she is older--tea party, fairies, etc. 

I just want something cute and colorful.

Open to suggestions below.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brain Mish Mash

I have about 3 posts that I need to finish and post, so until I can commit to them, I figured I would just go through a few things that are going through my mind:

  • I recently started a new part time job.  It is only 10 hours a week, but it seems to be taking up all my nap time.  Until I can get a handle on things, my apartment is totally suffering.
  • #1 on that suffering list: Laundry.  I have been struggling for almost 2 months to get a handle on our laundry from the first two weeks of traveling.  But having a washer/dryer combo means that I can only put 1 sheet or 3 pairs of pants in at atime.
  • This, however, does not explain why I can't keep up with folding the clothes.  That is just me being lazy.
  • I could really go for a Twizzler right now.
  • I am also re-watching the first few seasons of How I Met Your Mother...happiness reigns in my tv life.
  • The baby is getting really big!  She is crawling...well more like army-crawling/inch-worming.  She is babbling more and more, but her favorite is still Da-da-da-da.  
  • I am loving introducing her to solid foods.  We have tackled a lot of purees (zucchini and peas with mint, mixed vegetables with italian seasoning, apples and cinnamon), finger foods (bananas, avocados, bits of toast).  And we are thinking about starting on some yogurt and/or soy beans.  
  • I still love breast-feeding, but she is getting less and less enamored with it.  She will nurse for shorter and shorter amounts of time, and she does not always want to nurse to sleep.  
  • She sometimes even wants to sleep on her own (with minimal crying).  Every so often, she will cry so much that I can then nurse her down.  
  • I dread the weaning process that has obvious started.
  • I am loving this Tracey Porter dinnerware. But I am not sure if it is a little over-the-top.
  • 33 days until we come home to Atlanta.
  • Living in Vienna is starting to grow on me, but I am still so excited to go home I can barely stand it!
  • I made red beans & rice from scratch this week...and now I have "Baby Got Back" in my head!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One more year of my 20s

Tonight, I am in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, and am about to start the last year of my 20s. I have never been a person who dreads getting older. I have gray hairs (I call them Kdub hairs, since they magically appeared after I met him)...I have never had a lithe or perfect body...

But one thing has hit me, this eve of my last year of my 20s, pregnancy and childbirth have made me feel and look old!

My hair is crazy looking. Because I won't try and get my hair colored in German I have awful gray roots...I am suffering from the worst bout of baby bangs I have ever seen! and I got the worst haircut of all times before I left. Lets just say no coloring, straightening, conditioning or whatever will fix all that is going on here!

My body feels not like my own. I didn't expect to be Heidi Klum and look normal after a month. I have actually lost a lot of the weight. My clothes mostly fit, they just don't fit right. I have a pooch which I have never had before...breastfeeding has made parts shift...and my skin is definitely not glowing (maybe it is the lack of the pregnancy glow). Too add insult to injury, I have developed carpal tunnel and an ankle sprain that prevents working out.

I feel like the hormones are leaving my body and making me feel "normal," but who the heck knows what normal is anymore.

So here is my resolution for the last year of my 20s. To come to a balance of diet and exercise that looks "effortless," esp to Cdubs. I don't want her to grow up with me obsessed with having to fix myself and I don't want to pass onto her my self-critical nature.

Of course, how critical can I be, sitting in my hotel bathroom (because Cdubs is sleeping in the main room), drinking a Zlatý Bažant beer with Kdubs and eating french fries from room service and some sort of Slovak dessert that may actually be goose liver pate.

Anyways, this is me saying...happy birthday went through a hell of a lot this past year and you made it...congrats. Now buck up and let's blow #29 out of the water.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I know

I know God exists because of her:

da da da from trs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That is Solid, Man...

So we have been introducing solids to the baby...and it has been interesting.

I am making all the food myself.  Not because I am a real granola crunchy kinda girl...but because I can't read the labels on the baby food around here.  And I am not sure about how her stomach will handle different brands/systems...

That might sound silly, but I am not willing to take the chance.

Especially, since she is spitting up a bit with new foods sometimes...mainly carrots or harder veggies...I think it might be a matter of preparation.   We also seem to not be working well with oats.  We are working on it.

But she has just progressed to three meals a day...usually:
breakfast: rice cereal in the morning with banana or pears
lunch: rice and veggies
dinner: rice, veggies and usually a fruit.

The veggies we've tackled and like: peas, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini. 
Fruits: pears and bananas

Not our favorite: sweet potatoes and peaches.
I hope to tackle soon: apples, squash, potatoes, berries...

What do you suggest?
Also, we looking to start finger foods.  Cdubs is getting much better and is showing signs of being a leftie with her pincher grasp.

She also has developed new skills: getting to table top, sitting up, drinking from a straw, and giving high five.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great Recipes

We hosted the babies club this week, and I have to share this great recipe:

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips:


  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 necatrine diced
  • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
  • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • butter flavored cooking spray
  • 2 cups cinnamon sugar


  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. 
The chips were tedious to make, but incredibly worth it!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Miss My Mom

I am 28, and I miss my mom.

I used to think that was a sad thought.  To be a grown up and want my mom.

And now, I hope Cdubs never does NOT miss me.

Because I went 20 minutes to the store today without her...and I missed her.

Us in Poland ... soaking up the polish park experience... where they sandboxes are lined with pierogis...

Friday, July 16, 2010

The problem with being me

I don't think I am very complicated.  Or very deep.

But I am kinda needy (aren't we all in our own ways).

Even though, I am getting better at handling our adjustments back and forth, and it is an adjustment every time in both Atlanta and Vienna, and the baby is sleeping better and is getting adjusted...I am discontent.

Maybe it is just me, but when I get discontent, I look at my marriage to make sure that it is in a good place.  I constantly worry that I will let it slip...the problem with that is that I pick at little things and nag and fret over the big and little things.  This is my personality and Kdubs (after many years) realizes that when I get into an frantic "fix-it" mode with any aspect in my life, I just need to be soothed, hugged, and then distracted.  We then try and "fix" whatever it is when I am less neurotic.

This may be an over-share or a duh...but even after my usual "OMG the baby's sleep pattern needs to be fixed, THE APARTMENT IS A MESS! You don't love me anymore" hormone and stress induced panic attacks, I still feel like I miss something here in Vienna. 

Yes, I miss home, but I also miss a sense of connection to this place.  I miss friendships and bonds.  And that is something that I always want IMMEDIATELY when we have moved.  I want to find a group of friends or a go-to best friend.  The person or people who GET ME...who understand my humor, is available for coffee/diet coke/wine, understands or at least empathizes with some aspect of my life.

When we have moved before, I expected God to place them in my life.  And He does...just not within my first few weeks of moving and not after running around feeling like a disgraced fat kid on the playground thinking "won't you be my friend?" 

And while I know it usually happens after some time...I just don't see the point here.

Because of my visa situation (Austria won't give me one), I have to leave the country for 6 months of the year.  This is great that I get to come home so much and Kdub's work lets him come home with us for a lot of that time. However, there is no incentive for people here to befriend me...I am not here a lot.  And the friends I have in Atlanta have more consistent friends and consistent routines that make it hard for me to be included.  Part of me realizes that if I did get attached at either or both places it would be a constant tearing and mending of friendships: "yea, we have so much fun together" then "balls, you are leaving for 3 months...this sucks."  But I WANT IT!  I want friends!!!  I want to fit in!

And the people here (even in the baby group I force myself to go to in hopes of making a connection) don't get me.

This group is nice, we all have babies in the same month of each other.  However, these are women from around the world, who live here.  Most of them have married Austrians and/or speak the language very well and like/know the culture.  No one is here temporarily, no one thinks that going home is a treat, they all act like America is a cultural wasteland, and most of them, as my sister-in-law-who has met them says, are wet blankets.

The ones that seem okay are either people who have been here for eons and have tons of friends...they don't seem interested in making more than casual acquaintences with anyone in the group or English is their second language and my sense of humor doesn't seem to translate well.

There really doesn't seem to be much of a solution for this, but I just wanted to vent into the Internets to blow off some steam...which I can make a lot of with no A/C and 95+ temps.

Ruht Roh

Messed up my links while doing some maintenance and updating of the old blog.
I also have lost all your comments and links to your sites.

So, if you are out there. Leave a comment so I can get you back on my blog roll.


Ps. Any one guess what the title of this post is from?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tough while Traveling

If I haven't mentioned it before, Cdubs is an amazing traveler.  She finally has tackled that little issue of thinking her carseat is going to kill her (and its cohort, the stroller).  She takes naps on the road and finds new people fascinating and doesn't mind being in one seat for a long time (as long as it is on someone's lap).

But once at our destination, the poor thing has some trouble adjusting.  She doesn't seem to understand why the 24 hour feeding fest should stop, why mom can't hold her continually, why she should play with things on the ground.  We have had almost 8 weeks now of interrupted sleep and crazy schedules.  The past two nights have been a reintroduction of scheduling.  Including (do not yell at me), Crying it Out at night.

She usually goes to bed nicely (if she nurses almost to sleep--we are trying to break that).  Sometimes she can go down more awake and listen to her music toy or she just cries for 5-10 minutes.   Then, a few hours later she may wake up and cry for a bit.  Sometimes she can flip herself back over and go to sleep...other times, we go in and flip her and rub her back.  Picking her up, we have learned, does no good.  So now, we check on her...if rubbing her back is useless we just let her cry.

It hasn't been perfect but I am hoping that within a week or two, she will be able to sleep through the night again.

Our introduction to solids has taken a backseat while traveling.  So we are back to square one: rice cereal and veggies (this week: peas).  She got incredibly constipated right before we left the US and I wasn't sure if it was the carrots or something else that caused it, but we are going back to 1 veggie/fruit a week and monitoring its effects.

If you have any tips on introducing solids or helping with sleep.  I'd be really appreciative.

Thanks so much

I love being your mom.  Even though you can't really talk or do much, I think you are HILARIOUS!  Thank you for all the smiles and laughs you give me.

Thank you for the grunting and moaning that signals, "Hey, vend-a-moo, get over here and feed me!"  and thank you even more for the sighs and moans of contentment.

Thank you so much for letting me see your new tricks.  You are so close to crawling we can taste it...but the sitting up makes you seem like SUCH a big girl.

And lastly, thanks so much for the gratuitious spitting up on MY side of the bed this morning.  That was a treat worth sharing....why don't you aim for Daddy's side next time?

Love you Monkey,

Friday, July 09, 2010

We be travelin'

As soon as we got back to Vienna, we had to start traveling for Kdubs work.

Our itinerary for the 9 days:
Train from Vienna to Warsaw (8 hours)
Warsaw for two days
Train from Warsaw to Krakow (5 hours)
Krakow for two days
Krakow to Prague (8 hours)
Prague for two days
Prague to Vienna (6 hours)

It was a full schedule.

The baby was a wonderful traveler and a less than stellar sleeper.
We are back and working on sleeping through the night again.

I will be posting pics from our trips coming up, but here is a picture of Cdubs to tide you over:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Broadcasting Live From Vienna

So I came back to Vienna with Kdubs...
Not only did my dad insist, who is out of the hospital and is doing okay...

When I decided to stay with my family, I got an immediate and overwhelming feeling that the decision was wrong.  And that was weird.

I had been dreading my leave date, and I thought that staying would make me elated!

I realized very quickly that keeping Cdubs away for an indefinite amount of time from her dad was not good or that I would not be very effective helping my family without him. 

I know I made the right decision...the flight over was great...she travels like a dream.  Now, I wish she would sleep long enough to let me dream for real :-)

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers over the last few weeks.  I appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Up and Down

Dad came home on Saturday....and it was wonderful.

And then...I got sick on Sunday....on top of the baby not sleeping at all.  She is getting up every hour or two crying....when we flip her back on her stomach and pat her back, she is fine.  But this is getting old!

Then on Monday he had some problems with his heart rate. They told us to come to the ER.  They gave him some medicine and sent him home in a few hours.

After three days of feeling gross and not sleeping, I needed sleep. I went to bed early early only to not be woken by the baby but my mom saying they needed to go to the hospital.  Dad was having another episode.

My mom is not a good person to wake up at certain times at night.  There are hilarious stories about my dad telling her it was her turn to turn off my monitor (I was on a breathing monitor for many months as a baby) mom turned off the VHS...came back to bed and socked my dad in the stomach.  Last night was similar.  She couldn't find certain documents even though they were in her hand.  She freaked out about leaving her glasses at home and wanted to drive back before dropping off my is not good.

We are getting ready to go back to Vienna on, I'm not sure what to do.

He has been checked into the hospital for a few days because his heart rate is not stabilizing.  To say this sucks is an understatement.

I will be honest...I was not thrilled about going to Vienna again and leaving my it seems impossible to do.

My dad says, "you are not a medical are not needed." 
Kdubs says, "If you need to stay, stay."

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I have no idea what to do.

Do I stay and let Kdubs go on without me?  That means, a.) being away from him...b.) going back to Vienna by myself...c.) no knowing when we are going to be back together in a "norm" again.

Do I go and not be here for my family?  What if they DO need me?  What if...

I am putting my faith in that God will make this decision clear before Sunday. 
But I am also praying for more sleep...I'm not sure which I am praying for harder.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Waiting for my dad to come home

I was EXTRAORDINARILY blessed with a dad who kept banker's hours...sometimes even less than banker's hours.

He was home to play with us before the sun went down.
He came to every game or recital.
He took us to practices.
He helped us with homework.

Until recently, he took one trip a year to Las Vegas with his best friend for the Super Bowl.  His current job mandates that he travels more (and it was a big shock to the family when that started--even though we were all high school age or older).

As many children, my brothers and I would wait by the window when my dad was away (for the weekend or for a day).  We would cheer at the sight of his car and bombard him when he came through the door (if not the driveway). 

I am so happy he is doing well after surgery.  He is being discharged today and will stay in a neighboring hotel for a few days to make sure no complications arise.

We are just waiting for him to come home...and it feels like I'm in elementary school again, waiting by the window.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dad's big heart***update***

So, my dad is going through heart surgery tomorrow.

He was diagnosed a few years ago with a genetic disorder called hypertrophic cardiacmyopathy.

Tomorrow, he goes through open heart surgery to thin the middle wall of his heart.

To say I am scared, is an understatement....I am scared sh*tless.

When he left on Sunday...and he said, "well if I don't see you next week, I'll see you in a 50-60 years in heaven."

This is why I hate him and love him all in the same moment.  He is hilarious and strong and wonderful.

This was him while I was laboring: cool and calm and collected.
That is my dad.
Until he walked in the room with my legs up in stirrups getting stitches after labor...he blanched and turned tail so fast...he doesn't love blood or me being hurt...

But he loves Cdubs.
He gave her her first nickname: Monkey baby.
He walked into the room and said, "where is my monkey baby?"
He is so great with her.  He is the first one I left Cdubs with for any extended time (a dentist appt.).  He loves to put her in the crook of his arm and rock her in the chair and "bristle" kiss her on the back of her neck.  

He is a glue, a lubricant, a teddy bear, a comfort, and an inspiration.

Prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated.

***Dad is out of surgery and doing well--thank you for your prayers***

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sleeping like a big girl

This week is going to be hard,
Not only is my dad going into heart surgery (more on that later), but we are trying to get cdubs to sleep "like a big girl."  No sleep aids.  No wrap, no positioner...we will not be sleeping much, but we haven't all week so we might as well make it productive.

She has learned to love her jumpy machine:
But she loves it so much, that she wakes herself up doing a jump jump motion (to be blunt she looks like she is humping the air when she is lying down). 

So we are hoping that learning to sleep on her own (on her tummy or whatever), will help her to learn to sleep on her own, and get through this exciting period.

We are traveling a lot the next week and then the month after that.  She needs to learn this now rather than later.  Let's hope this works.

***I will be doing a big post about my dad soon.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cdubs first solid food

Cdubs had her first solid food a week ago...delicious delicious rice cereal ala breast milk.
And you would have thought the girl had tasted nothing better in her life

I am not really sure where to go from rice cereal. 
we are doing a little bit in the morning and a little bit in the evening.
That judgey look is just for my mom, who is taking pictures..."don't get in on this, Lolly!"
***I love that she tries to guide my hand to her mouth***
Proud dad looking on...she never looks away or seems full...this chunk loves her food!

I don't know where to go from here...when do you start the next type of food? How long? What should you start with? It is a fun new world we are embarking on!  Advice needed!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back in the States

Sorry for the lack of posts, but we have been back in the States. 

Cdubs did a great job on the trip, but she has had the hardest time adjusting. 

Teething, time zone change, growth spurt, EVERYTHING...

we weren't getting more than 2 hours sleep at a time each night.  She is slowly getting better, but it is slowly killing me.

Since we've been home, she has started solids, been in the swimming pool, loves her Johnny Jump up, and is learning to drink from a sippy cup.

This month is a doozy for our big/little girl!

Monday, May 10, 2010

On Accident

We attended a party this weekend, and, of course, I worried about the important things:

What am I going to wear and more importantly, what is Cdubs going to wear?

My SIL gave C a cute black-and-white sweater dress that she will not be able to wear when the weather is more appropriate (read: cold), so I had her wear that.  I was thinking of putting her in pink shoes and being done with it...

For me I was going to wear black because I was photographing the event and black is what you wear...

Then came three simultaneous events:
1.) can't wear my usual brown carrier with black clothes (so I wore my red Moby), which meant I could wear my red shoes with my all black outfit.
2.) C's pink shoes didn't fit and she hated the white I had to switch her to her red leggings to keep her warm.
3.) C puked on my solid black skirt, leaving me to change into my black and white polka dotted one at the very last minute.

As I walked into the party, I looked down...gasping, I realized, "oh shit, we match!"  I have become one of those mothers. 

Next stop: matching hats.

I do this somewhat often...not matching but coordinating outfits.  Always always always by accident.

I think that when I am imagining her outfits I cross-reference my own wardrobe OR

I am subconsciously bringing out my latent issues that my mother would not wear our matching Laura Ashley dresses to church every Sunday like I wanted to.

Doesn't this picture say it all...the mom looks like she is ready to shoot herself and the daughter looks estatic.  I mean, what women doesn't look great in the same dress as their toddler?

Oh well, at least she was happy:

Friday, May 07, 2010

1st Excursion: Budapest

This week, we went on our first excursion to Budapest, Hungary.  It is three hours away from Vienna by train, which was Cdubs's first train ride (see right-she seems really pleased, right?). 

It was a nice train trip, and she was very well behaved.  She is slowly becoming less and less tolerable to sleeping or eating while things are going on around her.  Kdubs was great with her and played with her, letting me read and relax a bit.
Kdubs is what I like to call a tourist-from-hell.  He has to see a million things and runs around town checking things off his "must-see" list.  He is not leisurely, he never dallies, and he never takes it easy.  We are very different tourists.  I love to get up late and soak up culture.  I love to tackle maybe two things in a day and really get to know them.  While neither of those two ways works really well with a baby, she somehow let us both compromise in a way we haven't been able to before.   We knew that we couldn't stay out all day and night seeing things (like Kdubs would like to), but if we were going to see anything we needed to tackle it while we could.  So we went and took pictures in front of the big monuments (checking things off ala Kdubs), but spent a lot of time near our hotel in case someone needed anything (more my style).  We saw so much and Cdubs did great...because, well she napped through most of it.

The only bad thing I have to say about Budapest is that their idea of a/c is a joke!  It is like an elephant's hot breath is circulating the air in the room. 

Traveling with an infant was challenging and continuing a bedtime routine is a joke, but it could have been worse.  We are back in Vienna for a few days and then we leave for the States in 6 days!!!!

I am so excited to go home for a bit, but transatlantic air travel with an infant is never calm and with the Icelandic atmosphere, I am simply praying for no delays and safe journeys.  Everything else is gravy...maybe that should be my new saying.

Here is what C thought about Budapest:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sleep-the great love maker

Sleep allows me to love my family more...

Sure, I love them unconditionally, but the sleep conditions my love to be silky and smooth.

Cdubs has been a pretty good sleeper after the first two months.  She nixed her night feeding after 2 months (ok, we nixed it for her).  And we have been pushing up bedtime earlier and earlier to where she was getting 8-9 hours of sleep without waking up.

And then, teething happened and napping more regularly and well a mouse pissed on a cottonball somewhere in the hemisphere and began disturbing her rest....regularly.

However, last night was as close to nights of yore as we've had in a week:
no late night feedings, no inconsolable crying, just a little fuss at midnight that a bit of snuggling cured and nothing else till 6:30.

I have become better with dealing with less sleep...but not by much.  I have always needed sleep.  It is actually the most selfish thought I had when I found out I was pregnant: great, there goes my sleeping habits, esp my naps.  I used to be able to nap at a drop of hat, but now I stay up analyzing random things and/or hearing her noises.  So when I finally do fall asleep (after an hour of getting to a good sleeping place), SOMEONE is ready to get up.  Now, Kdubs, God love him, offers to let me sleep in or take naps and he'll handle her for a couple of hours...except IT NEVER WORKS.

I'll hear her fussing from the next room or not hear her and worry about why I can't hear her and then there goes any progress I had towards deep sleep.

I know, I know that this will be life until she is 30...

However, I have come up with a genius idea: a turkey timer in the baby that goes off before bedtime that tells you "hey, i'm not sleeping tonight."  I think if I knew she wasn't sleeping, I could steal myself for cramming for a test or pulling an all-nighter.  It is the lure of sleep lost that kills me.

This all being said...when she lets me sleep (esp. when I haven't had it in a couple of nights), oh she is gorgeous! sleep with her works transactively...her letting me sleep makes her more gorgeous. 

As if that is possible. (I know I need to take better pictures!  But I am either tired or in spending too much time kissing those cheeks!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fun with Photo Booth

We have had some fun photo shoots with our Mac Photo Booth throughout the last few months:

Here is a smattering!
Modeling our new monogram blanket
sleeping at Mimi's
 sleeping on mom
Picture for Dad
tummy time
Mom as backpack

putting on our party dress
Being punk rock
Falling asleep with Mom and Dad in bed

I think it is really funny to see how much hair she had just a few short months ago! I also love looking at these pictures and realize how much more vibrant she has much more fun she is each week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Medical Questions

One of my biggest fears with a baby is that she will get sick.

Not just THE BIG SICK...I mean the little sick that she will get.

Even though, I made a deal with her two months ago that if she never got sick until she was 60 then I would give her a million dollars.

So, in case she renigs on my deal,  I need to ask all you experts out there what do you do when:

It is the middle of the night (no 24/7 pharmacy here either, so this is pre-planning) and...

1.) the baby is throwing up (do babies throw up?)
2.) the baby has a fever (below the take the hospital line-which I forget what that is now, but I have it written down in her medical book, I swear).
3.) she has diarrhea.

Any other ailments I haven't thought of?

I am making my list of new over the counter medicines to bring back when go to the states next month...because NOTHING here is over the counter.  Not even tylenol or vitamins.

So give me any medical wisdom you got people!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sorry for the mush

I will blame my last mushy post on homesickness.

And I blame the homesickness on the nasty weather and lack of sleep.

We are trying to get Cdubs to fall asleep without nursing.  She went down okay but kept getting up every couple of hours.

So I was exhausted to boot...

But today is Friday, the sun is shining and the cheeks, they are aplentiful.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The spark

When I first met Ken, we were in Russian politics.  And we didn't actually meet.  We just made eyes at each other, and he wouldn't talk to me when I tried to cross his path after class.  He claims shyness.  Even when we were just eye flirting...we had something...a spark.   That spark let me know that this was something.  Something special.

I don't think that THAT spark is something felt in just romantic love.  I think that with every type of relationship there can be a moment that you just know that they are special.

I have had it at college, I have had it at work, I have even had it with several bloggers (okay, I couldn't think of a way to make a third blog link, but here you go McMommy).

I have met these women and thought, "Oh yes, we will be friends." 

And I haven't had that here.  I mean, it has only been a two I can't expect the first person I meet to be my Austria-friend-soul-mate.  But I would really like it to happen like that. 

Is it just me?  Am I a plutonic-romantic-er-plutontic? 

My mom says I should just be friends with everyone and don't expect perfection...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swaddling: THOUGHTS and ADVICE

Oh, how I love the Swaddler.

With the actual swaddling blankets, I am all thumbs and elbows.

Cdubs can get out of those with one tiny puff of those cheeks.

But the velcro lovliness of the Swaddler has been essential in us getting to 8-9 hours of sleep at night.  (I know I am is not every night but it is close...and to make you feel better: she barely naps at all unless it is on me.)

Also, with the swaddler we use a sleep positioner to keep her towards one side (I was a "SIDS test baby" and the dr. said that keeping me on the side was says my does I). 

Now that Cdubs is getting more mobile/squirmy, I am a little worried about her being all pinned case she rolls off of the positioner (which would be a feat of strength, but she is a strong big girl...I would not put it past her).

I have been reading up on transitioning out of the swaddler: when to and how to...but when we've tried to let her sleep half swaddled or with a sleep sack, she keeps waking herself up....

Should we keep trying?  what do we do about the positioner?  when do we stop using that?

Or do we just keep going with nice luxurious sleep until she says otherwise?

THOUGHTS and ADVICE wanted and needed

Monday, April 12, 2010

An unintended bloggy break

Sorry for the bloggy break, but I have been enjoying time with my family...
Not my parents' family.
But mine

We have been trying to get out more with varied success.

Part of me has such a hard time leaving my nest...I am quasi-agoraphobic and the baby can both help repress and exacerbate this problem.

We have been going all around Vienna and exploring the different districts and sights.  To the right, is us at the Prater...the old Imperial hunting grounds now turned crazy-ass state fair.  It is tons of fun.

It has been fun and the perfect way to introduce the three of us to traveling together.  Kdubs knows that both of us need to be fed and comfy to be happy travelers.

That being said, most problems are all me.  I get nervous or uncomfortable about changing/nursing/crying baby out in public and I just want to go home.  After I get used to the idea that "hey, it's a baby; get over it people," then I am fine.  But when she gets into a crying jag, it is hard not to feel like a bad mom.

This past weekend, Kdubs surprised us with a boat tour down the Danube (well up the Danube) to the town of Melk. Through the wine region and up to the Abbey (picture right).  It was gorgeous and made me love Austria and miss home at the same time.

The area really reminds me of the Blue Ridge and my favorite lakes from the south, even though the weather was gross.

I wish there were more opportunities for pictures, but we are definitely taking family and friends here when the COME VISIT!

That being said, I am getting excited about coming home for a month+ in about a month+.  Here are some cute Cdubs pics to distract us all until May 14th.

Rocking her first pair of jeans
and giving what Kdubs refers to as her "judgey" look.

Easter Ready!
I am not a smocking type of mom, but if there ever was an occasion: Easter is it!

I hope everyone is doing well...and forgives this blogging break...but those cheeks are very distracting.