Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Friends the Experts: My Pops Gets Down to Business

The last two years have been pretty loaded with significant life events for my parents.  Their oldest daughter (yours truly) got married and finally gave them a grandchild. Their youngest daughter graduated from high school and gave them an empty nest.  And this month, Dad ended his 34-year professional career and entered into retirement.

Career in the Defense Industry
My pops joined his company as a manufacturing coordinator after earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and serving as an officer for four years in the U.S. Navy.  He soon became manufacturing project leader and later progressed into the field of program management.  During his career, he also was a director of quality assurance during the launch of Six Sigma.  He became a general manager in 2000 when he inherited a small and fresh communications group that is now a half-of-a-billion dollar business.  He had an exceptional 34-year career at the same company, the last 12 years as vice president and general manager of various businesses leading a diverse portfolio of radios, encryption products, key and identity management and all kinds of other cool government things that I don't even know about.

A Wise, Wise Man
Dad has given me a lot of good advice over the years. Personally, but especially professionally. This month for My Friends the Experts, I wanted to share with you some pearls of wisdom I've collected from him over the years.

I hope you will read my entire list of wise words from John Cole, but here are just a few of my favorites:
  • Work is about people.  Smile in the hallways. Make a point to remember people's names, their spouses' names and kids' names.  Sit with different people in the lunch room and get to know them.
  • Proofread your emails before you send them and always write in complete sentences. Compose every email as though it could be forwarded to the president of the company.
  • Support your boss.  If you can't or won't, get a different job.
  • Ethics and Integrity trump Outcome.  When deciding how to handle a situation, consider how your behavior would look as a headline in the local paper.  Otherwise known as the 'what would my mother say' litmus test.
  • Before making major changes, always stop to ask the question: What problem are you solving?  

On the day of his retirement "party"
in the cafeteria at work.  Standing room only,
and lots of tears!
Being My Dad's Daughter At Work
My dad's retirement affects me greatly because I have had the unique experience of working for the same company as my pops for almost eight years (my whole post-college career).  Of course I never worked directly with him, but while most people live in two parallel universes of personal and professional lives, we shared both worlds.   And that was pretty cool.

We would grab lunch in the cafeteria sometimes on Fridays and I always knew I could pop into his office any time to say 'hi', or pick his brain, or cry in his private bathroom in the rare event I was having a personal crisis.

Of all the things that coworkers or strangers-who-knew-him would come up and tell me about working with my father, the recurring theme was that he cared about people.  Alongside intuition and integrity, something that made me proud to be my dad's daughter was when people told me that he had affected their life or their career in a positive way.  He took a chance on them, or invested in them, or simply listened.  He always believed in mentor-ship and developing people, not just managing them.

What an inspiration he is.

A Trivia Tribute:
Those who worked directly for my dad know that he always started his staff meetings with a trivia question to "break the ice" as he said.  It must have worked because he seemingly had a very candid relationship with his staff, relatively speaking.

I leave you with his favorite trivia question, feel free to use the next time you need to break the ice!
How many major metropolitan areas are home to a team for all four professional sports (NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB)?  And name them all...


Monday, April 29, 2013

Penny Jane: Nine Months Old

Nine months. Weighing in at 16 pounds 5 ounces and measuring 28 inches tall, our little monkey brings us lip-smacking, raspberry-blowing, hand-clapping fun.

She changed a lot this month as she went from "sort of crawling around" to GETTING INTO EVERYTHING.  Her Orangutan Crawl (she swung her butt and one leg around while only using the other leg) has become more of a Frog Crawl as she carefully steps with her feet and avoids her knees touching the ground.  She pulls herself up on furniture and can transfer from standing at one object to standing at another near by, but she's nowhere near standing up by herself or walking yet... or so I tell myself.  From a standing position she very gingerly bends her legs and lowers herself to sit back down -- we think this is super cute.  I attribute her strong core muscles to all the time she spent playing and scooting around on our memory-foam bed.

Penny and I both are captivated by the charming Fred Rogers as we watch archived episodes of his Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, brought to us by Amazon Prime Video.   I truly love viewing this gem from my childhood now through adult eyes.  Penny lights up when the theme song comes on or when the trolley music starts.  Did you know the first episodes were in black & white??

She loves to eat.  She's still getting all her nutrition from breastmilk, but we've given her all kinds of things to try.  So far the only thing she has rejected was a plain green bean.  She even seems to love an experiment I made with peas, pears and blueberries -- which I thought was completely disgusting. She especially loves guacamole from Chipotle and mashed up spaghetti with marinara.  We also started her on a few dairy items and she loves cottage cheese, pieces of Baby Bell cheese, and greek yogurt.  We tried the sippy cup for water a month or so ago, it took several weeks of patient attempts for her to figure it out, but now she drinks water without assistance.

Her pincer grasp developed this month and quickly graduated from clumsily grabbing piles of cheerios and spilling most of them on the floor, to elegantly picking them up one at a time with thumb-and-finger as she walks around the coffee table.  She is extremely proud of herself for this feat and we spend about 30 minutes a day on this activity.  The dogs wait patiently for the casualties.

Little busy bee hates sitting still or stopping what she's doing to have her diaper changed or to get dressed.  She has gotten quite vocal and squirmy about this, and we've had to get really creative [and FAST] with those mid-play diaper changes.

She laughs hysterically when I dance or march around the house, or if Dan makes faces.  New nicknames for our little one include "Odagootie" and "Oodaboodie" and "The Wriggly Giggly Thing" [from a favorite bedtime book I Kissed the Baby].  "Monkey" still rolls off my tongue often, especially as she chows on bananas.

It is getting more and more challenging to keep baby toys and dog toys separate in the eyes of their possessors.  The dogs do much better at leaving baby toys alone than they used to, but Penny is extra-interested in putting dog toys in her mouth.  She's going to have one heck of an immune system.

She got the highest fever she's ever had, 102 degrees, for almost two days and with no other symptoms.  To this day it the fever is unexplained, but I can only assume she has a few teeth descending. 

We celebrated a major holiday (Easter) at OUR house for the very first time, opening our doors to both sides of the family.  Our headcount was 42 including kids.  Translation -- PJ was so excited to visit with everyone that she didn't nap.  At all.  No nap.  The next afternoon she slept for 4 hours.

Dan took Penny for her very first swimming pool experience.  She loved all 8 minutes of it, probably because she was completely naked.

We also went backpacking in the mountains for Penny's first camping trip, which you can read about here if you missed it last week.

Our little friend 8-month-old baby Ainsley stayed with us for two days while her mommy and daddy had a nice weekend away.  Penny's first sleepover party!  Dan and I got a glimpse of what it would be like to have twins.  We expected the weekend to deter us from discussing potentially thinking about maybe talking about potentially maybe having another baby... but it went surprisingly smoothly...

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Mean Girls

Flashback to middle school, 6th grade. 
Party at my house, perhaps it was my 12th birthday? A handful of girls, my friends, were going to spend the night. I can't remember much else besides what it felt like to look for them as they hid from me. Confused. I had just gone to get something from another room, where were they?

I don't think at the time I really understood the conniving domination tactics that were going on as two ringleaders corralled the others into a small storage closet, so as to remind the clueless new girl [me] that she was socially powerless. I didn't see it for what it was... but my mom did.

Also powerless, Mom was boiling. I assume she ended up having one of those embarrassingly irrational heated conversations with the other girls' moms, probably one at a time.  Those discourses all mothers get into when someone picks on their kid and the animal instinct to protect one's young overturns any ability to speak rationally or stay calm.  I remember wishing she wouldn't, even defending the girls in my mind... it wasn't that big of a deal.  In my 12-year-old brain, Mom getting involved could only make it worse.

I so wanted them to like me. Cool hip kids are magnetic to non-cool non-hip kids.  All in the class are at the mercy of the cool kids' kindness or stealthy meanness.  It's about power.

Not everyone was awful to me, but it only takes a few instances to forever impact a twelve-year-old girl.  Both these ringleader girls attended a nondenominational church that taught that Catholics aren't Christian.  I was Catholic.  This is funny to me now.

New city, new school.  That's a tough circumstance for any pre-adolescence, but especially one without siblings close in age who also has a aptness for dorkiness and bad fashion sense and is taller than everyone else.  I didn't have a clue.  Thus began a tendency to shy away from female friendships that it took years and some really special women to help me grow out of.

Cut to high school.  
A different crowd, no one from my middle school attended.  I knew a lot of really nice cool kids in high school (and a few not so nice), but I still never felt like I fit in.

 There was one girl who I sat with in a science class at a lab table. She was hilarious, and in my eyes very cool. Aside from the time I got caught passing a note in third grade, this was the most I ever got in trouble in school my whole life.

 Hanging out with her in chemistry class was a daily glimpse of what it was to be awesome. One time I even solidified our friendship by forging an excuse note from her mother to enable her to leave campus for the afternoon. I thought maybe that's what cool girls with stellar handwriting do for their friends.  I even felt cool that she asked me to do it.

But she only sat next to me because our last names required her to. We weren't friends. Whenever there was free time, she would migrate to another table where her actual friends sat, leaving me to do homework from another class by myself.   Soooo many hours doing homework at school. Maybe this is why I was such a good student. I digress.

Now, this ain't no pity party. 
I'm a grown woman now with enough self-assurance to navigate the social climate of my current life.  And to be clear, I was not friendless.  Though my guards were up, I had friends, some really neat girls, some of whom may even be reading this post today.  And in all my years of being a girl trying to survive in the social amazon, I did some mean things too.  For those things I hope I have been forgiven.

As I reflect, I try to prepare myself for the day that someone picks on my kid.  To feel how a mother feels when her kid is hurting and lonely and there's nothing she can do about it.  

Or perhaps worse, the day I get the phone call from a different kid's shaky-voiced mother telling me that MY kid was mean.   Please no, not my kid.

I thought about it this morning as Penny and I attended our Friday morning mom/baby group.  This week, Penny was one of the oldest babies there.  I watched my baby interact with others, all of them so innocent and unaware of how their actions affect others.  And us mothers so forgiving, "oh don't even worry about it" when one steals another's toy.  Calm, cool and collected.

I thought about my beautiful girl and what lies ahead for her and how much of it I can [not] control.

I thought about the friendships I am cultivating with these other mothers, and how we have each trudged through our own social hardships, gathered scars, and come out on the other side.   How cool hip moms can be friends with non-cool moms because of the things that makes us all the same.

A new chapter for this woman.  I'm trying to enter it with guards down.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


We've always said that if we want to be an 'active family' we need to start doing active things with our kid(s) when they are real little.  That we did.  Dan and his cousin Justin took us up the Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains this weekend for what would prove to be be quite the adventure.

Our first overnight backpacking trip!

The group: Dan, our nephew Hunter (10), Justin, Me, and Penny in the Osprey pack.
As you can see, Luna and Apollo packed in their own food and water.

See me smiling big before we started the hike.
When we were three miles up with no end in site... let's just say I wasn't taking any self portraits...

Each of our five nephews will get to come on a "manhood" backpacking trip with Uncle Daniel, 
the summer after they turn ten.  Hunter here was the pioneer, and he was a champion!

Dan's pack weighed about 50 pounds.  
What a guy carrying extra stuff so his wife could carry the baby and not break her back.

Penny was delighted to wake up from a snooze to find everyone setting up camp!

Resting.  We made it.

Making delicious MRE's for dinner.

Sunset from our campsite.

Dan taught Hunter how to use a flint.

Penelope's first campfire.

My sleeping bag buddy woke up early with the birds this morning.

The dogs were so wonderful.  They stayed with us like true companions 
wagging their tails most of the way.  Here's Luna keeping watch while I breastfeed.

Penny loved playing in the tent.  So many zippers, so little time!

The group, in all our glory, at "the saddle" at the top on our way home today.
We had hiked three miles up to the top and then almost a mile down the other side to camp.
My body was, in a word, done.  But the intensely strenuous exercise was followed by peaceful beauty and solitude.  A weekend I will never forget.

Years ago when I was single and would go hiking and see parents with their kids and dogs trekking up a trail, I always hoped that someday that would be me with my family.  I am so thankful that I married a man who not only has the gear, but also the patience and strength to take his amateur wife and their baby and pups on a weekend like this.  And thank you so much to Uncle Justin... we could not have done it (and I wouldn't be nearly as sore) without you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Follow Up: "What Gosnell and Gospel Mean To the Brave"

Thank you to Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience Blog for writing this beautifully intense post on a subject that I struggled to even muster my thoughts about enough to put them to text.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Atrocity in Philadelphia and My Aching Heart

Warning: this post might make you uncomfortable.

Right now there is a murder trial happening in Philadelphia.  A pretty big one; one guy, eight counts of murder.  Haven't heard about it?  It's not your fault, it hasn't gotten a lot of front page attention since the trial began almost a month ago.  But it's starting to trend.

Kermit Gosnell is on trial for first and third degree murder, illegal prescribing of drugs and related offenses. He might even get the death penalty.  The wikipedia article about him is currently flagged 'This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality'  but... you have a computer... you can do some research if you want to take the time.  The man ran an abortion clinic for just short of 40 years in Philadelphia, and according to the testimonies of some of his former staff members and clients... some really really terrible stuff happened there.  He wasn't certified to be doing surgery and apparently the clinic was unsanitary and did not comply with codes and standards. A handful of women came forward also stating that they did not receive adequate care, and one even died (maybe more?). Testimonies indicate that on more than one occasion, women were forced to have the abortion once they got in there, even after they expressed that they had changed their minds.  Hundreds of victims of late-term abortion [read: babies] were accidentally born alive at this clinic, only to have their spinal chords cut, essentially a beheading, or to undergo other methods of being killed.  It's gut-wrenchingly painful to even fathom.

I think we can all agree that anyone anywhere doing what he did must be stopped and held accountable for their actions, Yes?

I have spent a lot of time in my life considering both sides of the abortion debate.  Never once when considering science or logic have I concluded that human Life begins any later than the moment of conception.  [If it was later, that would mean abortion didn't actually "take a life" until whatever that later moment was. ]  But it wasn't until I had Life in my own womb for the first time that this fact completely blew my mind.  Just a week after I missed a period, there it was. A Heart. Beating.  I could hear it and see it.  It wasn't my heart, it was someone else's heart. In me. Someone Else. Tiny, yet undeniably: Another being.

I have known a handful of women who were pro-abortion at the time when I spoke with them about it, who have since given birth to their first child or are currently pregnant.  I do wonder if seeing and feeling their own child develop in their womb changed their opinion on the issue.   Always, but especially after becoming a mother, when I read about things like Kermit Gosnell's trial, or mandatory abortions in other countries, or even/especially just one woman's testimony about how she regrets her abortion... my heart aches in a way that it doesn't ache about anything else in the world.

To me, the real atrocity is the notion in our culture that purposefully taking the life of a developing child in the womb is completely acceptable, provided that the baby is killed before it is removed from the mother's body, and provided that the mother's health care needs are met according to legal standards.  This notion allows for the same exact things that happened at Gosnell's facility to happen every day, by the millions, and not be a big deal simply because the facilities are cleaner and the babies' body parts are smaller and less developed, and are disposed of properly.

The National Abortion Federation disclaimed Gosnell saying that they had denied him membership because his facility did not meet appropriate standards.  Planned Parenthood condemned him saying they would condemn any physician that does not follow the law or endangers any woman's health.

To them, the only tragedy is that some women can only afford to go to places like Gosnell's to terminate their pregnancies, instead of theirs or other legally compliant facilities. True... poverty is a tragedy indeed.. but what about the kids?  Their right to draw a breath of air and declare their humanity with their own voice? 

My heart aches for everyone involved.  I pray for everyone who has been touched by abortion in any way.

I stirred and stirred about whether or not to write this post.  No one wants to read this stuff.  If I were writing about a puppy mill where puppies were being killed, readers would probably be commenting asking how they could help the innocent puppies, adopt one, send money, etc.  But no, not this, it's too... fill-in-the-blank.  It's just too much.  Most people probably haven't made it this far in reading my long post.  But as media coverage of the Gosnell trial is [finally] amping up, it's been heavy on my mind and I had to write it.  My heart was aching too much to keep it in.

If you dare browse the internet to read the details upon details of the Gosnell Murder Trial and any of it bothers you; or if anything else I've included in this post bothers you... would you ask yourself Why?  Really why?  And do you think this is something worth talking about?

I leave you with a quote from Pope John Paul II's Christifideles Laici #38 in 1988.  The more I have pondered this quote word by word, the more it all makes sense. 

"The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example -- the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination." 


Hurting and Healing, Resources:

Looking for a doctor who doesn't perform abortions?

Pregnant and need help?


I am so proud of my little volleyball team.  These girls are nine- and ten-years-old, competing against mostly twelve-year-olds and they have been exceeding my expectations since the beginning of the season last November.  But today they is the first time in my coaching history with this age group where my kids have gone undefeated at a tournament.  Winning feels great, but not as great as it felt observing my players taking what I've taught them at practice with them onto the court in a real match! And working harder than they've ever worked!  They did so great!  Gahhhh I am beaming with pride!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Team Griffin Challenge

Changing It Up & Challenging Each Other

Dan and I are currently changing our life a couple of ways.  The first is how we handle our money, and the second is how we take care of our bodies.

Finances. We just completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a nine-week course on personal finance that completely blew our minds and got us speaking the same language about spending, budgeting, investment goals, etc.  It has been revolutionary for our marriage.  Through the class we not only learned Dave's great 6-step process for paying off all your debt then investing wisely for life... but we also learned a lot about ourselves and our natural tendencies, as well as roles in our marriage as they pertain to money.  Now that the class is over, we face the reality that we need to put it all into practice for the long term. To say that we each have strengths and weaknesses in this area would be an understatement.   It's hard  to change things up when you've been doing something one way all your life.

Personal Health.  In case you didn't hear, I had an C-Section last summer.  For those of you who have never recovered from a C-Section... you don't really feel like yourself in your body for about the first six months after birth, at least this has been my experience.  It was just very recently that I felt like my torso could handle all the twisting and stretching and bending that it could do before I was pregnant.  Needless to say, I haven't exercised much.  Other little-known-fact about me: I love dessert.  Well, pretty much all high-calorie foods, but especially dessert.  Mmmmmm ice cream....  Put those two things together and you get a mother of an eight-month-old who still doesn't fit into 95% of her pre-pregnancy wardrobe. And don't even say the word swimsuit. Guhhh I shutter.   Dan isn't struggling with this in the same way that I am, but he certainly wants us to be a healthy couple and for me to feel good about myself.

Both of us -- me being a firstborn and Daniel working in Sales -- thrive under pressure and with stated incentives.  So... as of this weekend, we have two friendly challenges going on in our household.

Challenge 1: Fight the Urge Contest

The Jist: 
Who can go longer?  Me not eating dessert, or Dan not buying things that are not covered in our monthly family cash flow plan.


  • I don't eat "dessert", as defined by 'anything that could be classified as dessert.' 
  • Dan doesn't talk about, research, shop for or purchase any items that are not specifically covered in our monthly budget.  
  • Whoever cracks first loses. We have not yet defined what the winner gets -- suggestions are welcome.  Dan thinks if I eat a dessert he gets a new mountain bike. But let the record show that I did not agree to this.   
  • I can eat a dessert if and only if Daniel gives it to me on his own volition. 
  • Dan can talk about something he/we want to buy that's not in this month's budget if and only if I bring it up.

It's difficult for both of us, but I can see already that this is igniting positive change in our attitudes and our lifestyle. This challenge directly addresses two of our biggest weaknesses, and in the end, everybody wins more and more the longer we go.  It is a test of will power, a test of honesty, and an opportunity to tangibly honor the other person by loving them through their weaknesses.

Challenge 2: Quid Pro Quo

The Jist: 

I break a sweat, Dan puts down the games.


  • For every day that I work in half an hour of purposeful physical activity, I earn one day of Dan not playing any games on his phone.  
  • Preferably fifteen minutes in the morning and at night, my physical activity must be sweat-producing and in promotion of good health.  Added bonus if it's something we do as a family, like a walk, bike ride or hike.
  • Volleyball practice counts only if I work up a sweat for fifteen minutes or more.
  • On days I do this, Daniel disables all the games on his phone from midnight to midnight the next day.
Our time is ever-precious these days with both of us working outside the home, me in the midst of volleyball season, and having all kinds of weekend trips and activities planned.  We both spend (read: waste) time in various ways... I like to catch up on tv shows when Dan's not around and I spend way too many minutes scrolling my Instagram feed.  Dan likes to play all kinds of games on his iPhone and view all kinds of useless articles and videos on the internet when he's by himself.  I'm sure many of you can relate -- it's very easy to let electronic devices nibble away our days, and this cuts into valuable time doing other more important things... like exercise... and laundry... and stuff. This challenge helps both of us to channel our time in healthier ways.

If you glance in our windows in the near future, you just might see me doing ridiculous virtual reality stunts in front of the tv... don't worry, I'm just utilizing my new favorite exercise mechanism via the Xbox. Who's playing video games now??  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Penny Jane: Eight Months Old

"bah bah bah bah bahhh"

At the end of my Lenten season of fewer blog posts, I sloppily drafted out the things I'd been randomly jotting down for the last two months... things that I didn't want to forget about my daughter as she is in this oh-so-precious stage of wonder and sweetness...before she grows even bigger...

7 months

Three days of complete misery produced her first two teeth, on the bottom.  They came together, and now they are fully visible in every photo of her smiling.

Is she trying to look under the table? Reach the dogs? Do a dance move? No it's her silly body tilt move.  I wish I could snap a photo of it but it's just too quick!  Torso movement seemed to be a theme at 7 months as she also slept in twisted positions and finally learned to roll from her back to her front.

She started sleeping through the night.  I repeat... she started sleeping through the night (queue hallelujah chorus)!  The first few nights that she was in her own room, Dan and I slept in the guest room right next door.  She still often wakes up once or twice in the night, but goes back to sleep on her own.

Nursing her was a real treat: we had bubble blowing, humming, and her deciding when she wanted to switch sides and letting me know by unlatching then looking at the other one, grunting.

We had many pleasurable dinner outings that month and I now immediately ask for a few spoons when we first sit down at a restaurant. She loved eating foods that I made: butternut squash and sweet potato. She hates oatmeal but we still give it to her to see the hilarious faces she makes.

8 months

She has little interest in crawling other than the fact that it gets her from A to B, she is much more enthusiastic about pulling herself up to a standing position so she can experience the world like a big girl.

No more fuzz-hawk 'do.  Her hair has grown longer and now lays flat on her head, except for the one sprout in the back.  Her cheeks and thighs are delightfully chunky and she weighs 16 pounds.

She eats like a boss. In the regular meal rotation she has apple, banana, pear, potatoes, carrots, squash; and she's also tasted cottage cheese, apple sauce with cinnamon, one small bite of frozen yogurt, guacamole, tortilla, pizza crust, the hard heel of french bread, Cheerios, and other bites of whatever mom and dad are eating.

The laughing and babbling has evolved a bit to more "baby talk" and less moans and grunts.  She is a very happy little kid. She cries when she needs to eat or sleep, and when she is confined and wants to move or when she hurts herself... but that's about it for fussing. She might be starting to wave "hi" on purpose, or it might always be a coincidental arm movement.

She plays by herself a little bit every day. She does really well on days I work from home, tumbling around on her play quilt with various toys on the floor in our office.

She loves three beings above the rest: Elmo, our dog Apollo, and her daddy.  She loves me a lot too... preferring me to others when she is a little sleepy or in a new place.  I don't want to encourage separation anxiety so I make an effort to be sure she's passed around even when I'm in the room... but I secretly like it when she just wants her mama.

She wore shoes for the first time on March 15th and didn't seem to mind, although they were huge on her (size 3, a baby shower gift).   She played in the base grass for the first time this month too.

Some accidental favorite toys: Harkins Movie cups, water bottles, and paper.  She is also obsessed with our cell phones, although she is not allowed to have them.

Dan or I read her books every night in our guest room next to the nursery, which has perfect soft lighting and no distractions to get her mentally prepared for bedtime. Sometimes she grabs at the pages or squirms, but usually she is a pretty captive little audience for book reading.  This is always one of my favorite parts of our day.

She's this little tiny person, and she's amazing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Napping Beauty

Sweet little girl... you would never know this, but I have been downstairs to your room three times during this nap to put my hand on your back and feel you breathing. You have been sleeping now for over three-and-a-half hours.  Who is this kid? And, although I can watch you on the video monitor... I just wanted to feel your peaceful breathing for myself.

A three hour nap is unheard of for you.  I suppose you could be making up for yesterday, Easter Sunday, when we hosted 40 people at our home and you refused to nap because you didn't want to miss out.  Or perhaps you are exhausted from all the playing you did this morning, standing up at the coffee table rolling plastic balls around and then climbing all over Luna while Apollo searched the backyard for leftover Easter eggs.  Or perhaps it was the time you spent in the kitchen at lunchtime gnawing carrots, sampling the apple sauce that I made fresh for you, and banging messy spoons on a pot.  Maybe it was the shower we took after you had food all over you; you learned a lot about water and how it flows from one big cup to the other and you worked really hard giving Sophie the Giraffe a bath in those cups.

Whatever it is... you are a darling little napper.  Your face so sweet, your hands so relaxed.  I rarely get the chance to watch you sleep these days since you moved down to your own room at night time, and you typically take such fleetingly short naps during the day it's all I can do to get a shower in on the days I am home.

I do so appreciate the time you've given me to get so many things done... a load of laundry, a meal for myself, all kinds of paperwork, a shower, cleaning up the kitchen... but I'm ready for you to wake up now.   I miss your sweet giggles.

Oh how amazing the difference a good nap makes!
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