Friday, April 29, 2011

Did You See the Easter Bunny? Part I

We did!  Well, by accident really. He was at brunch at the Hyatt, giving out colored eggs! My 4 year-old nephew LOVED him! Sam followed that bunny around and even got to dance with him! My 2 year-old niece would very shyly take his eggs and then tell him with fear and trembling in her voice, "BYE BYE, Bunny!" Lucas had a different reaction. Not knowing what this creature was at all, I think he put the adult dressed as a funny rabbit in the "dog" category of his brain. Lucas LOVES dogs! He laughs and laughs just at their presence and then he grabs them and squeezes them! This is what he did to the Easter Bunny!

Lucas and his cousins looking at their egg treasures!  Well, Lucas is eating his!

I love his admiring look in this picture... like he wants to be "big" too!

Being a first-time parent and having gone through Luc's first Christmas and now Easter, I've been doing some reflecting about the holidays. I'm surprised at how awkward I feel about them. Growing up, my Christmases were spent like most of us...with family, eating and opening presents! I think I believed in Santa, at least for a few years. I had 2 older siblings who pretty early on let the cat out of the bag.  My brother (who was supposed to be sleeping) saw our dad getting gifts out of his truck. He woke my sister and showed her the "proof" that it was really Dad and NOT Santa.  She cried. So, in their bitterness, they spoiled the "magic" for me at a pretty early age. And somewhere along the way, I distinctly remember thinking that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy sure did have similar handwriting!   My husband believed for a little while too.  And neither of us experienced in trauma in finding out it just wasn't true.  

Our neighborhood has had some interesting experiences regarding Easter.  We live in a great neighborhood close to the center of the city. We really like it a lot.  Tons of young families and parks!  It's a very active community as well... many civic-minded, neighborhood-association-types. There's an online forum and a Facebook page where we all communicate regularly.  And, it's very liberal community.  As Christians, we are for sure "odd-balls."  Last year, one of the moms tried to organize a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.  People went nuts on the forum.  They were outraged that someone was pushing their religious beliefs onto others in the neighborhood... and that the neighborhood would even sponsor such a thing.  I was shocked at how angry people got.  And then, one Christian guy wrote in and said, "I can assure you that children hunting for colored eggs and an adult dressed as an animal has nothing to do with my most sacred holiday!"  He made me laugh :) Hesitantly, the Spring Egg Hunt was a go last year.  And this year... "The Annual Mueller Egg Scramble" was a big hit!  It's catchy, right?  And that Easter Bunny... he was there!

I'm not sure whether to laugh at everyone for being so uptight about the name of the egg hunt... or be glad that it's not called an Easter thing because I don't really want Lucas thinking that's all Easter is!

Recently, I read an article in Relevant Magazine titled "The Hunt for Easter: Looking for Meaning Amidst the Kitsch."  It was a great read about how Christians don't really know what to do with our seemingly most sacred holiday.  So, most try to avoid Martha Stewart's version and at least add in some church and family time.  That's what we did.

I'd love to hear how you celebrate Easter with your family!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Post I Never Published

This was written on April 10, 2010 (a year ago)

I went to the doctor on Tuesday and we have good news! My endometriosis has not grown in the last 4 months! This is a small miracle considering that I've been doing nothing (medically)to treat it. Most of the time, if I'm not treating it, it's growing. So, praise the Lord! This is incredible news for us. It's so tiring trying this treatment and that treatment and changing the hormones in my body every few months. Felipe has never known me without it... so maybe now he's getting to know the real me :). I joke, "maybe I'm not sooo moody!" When I saw the doctor, he asked how I was doing. I said, "Well, I'm only taking one medicine (for thyroid) and I haven't seen you in 4 months! I'm doing great!" He smiled. And on top of that, physically, I feel really good. I still have one ovarian cyst and one small fibroid (tumor), but for now, they are nothing to worry about.

When we finished fertility treatments, I thought it was totally over. But when we went to the doctor in December and found that endometriosis had returned and cysts were growing, it was very disheartening. I look forward to a day without doctors.

I find it completely amazing how my heart has changed through this process. There has to be a God! I mean, we've always wanted to adopt, regardless of what happened. But I didn't know how I would feel if we weren't able to have a baby. I'm the girl who used to follow pregnant women and get lost from my mom in the store. I wanted to be a doula (a birthing assistant), I wanted natural childbirth and the whole nine yards. I actually wanted pregnancy as much as a baby. But, in the surrender of it all, something amazing has happened. I still get that glowing feeling when I see a pregnant girl, but I don't feel the deep pain that I once did. I don't feel envy anymore. I was in a baby store the other day and asked a girl for help in the stroller aisle. Side note: seriously, how many strollers does one person need!? For crying out loud... why are there so many to choose from? I felt so overwhelmed like I do in the tooth paste aisle! Girl at Buy Buy Baby was very helpful. She asked me how old my baby was. I told her with all the giddy-ness I have that I'm adopting!! I feel pregnant, but I'm not nauseas or bloated! Another side note: people used to say things like that to me about adopting... well if you adopt, you won't have to go through birth and all the bad things. Just FYI: only I can say things like that. It's like you can say something about you being overweight, but your friend just shouldn't :) And timing is everything. My heart had to get there. And today, I can look on that side of this.

Walking through the journey of infertility is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, even if I believed in the whole hate-your-enemy-thing. Felipe and I know a pain that I never knew existed. And we are learning the secret of contentment in it. I believe it comes from thankfulness. Now don't get me wrong, I had some shaking my fist at God, cursing him and yelling at Him moments. I was devastated. Yet, in the quiet, when I could force my will, in my darkest hours, through my sobs, I thanked Him. His word tells us to give thanks in ALL things. So, I thanked him for endometriosis. I thanked him for each day we didn't have a baby, for when we got to go on a bike ride without getting a babysitter, for sleeping in, for the pain, for the loss, for our embryos, for our friends and family, and for His sacrifice for us. I thanked Him for the joy I knew would come in the morning... or is it mourning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All About Lucas!

As of today, Lucas is 10 months and 3 weeks old. His hair is getting blonder and he has some golden strawberry highlights. He needs his nails cut :) Three days ago, he pulled himself up to standing all by himself. Now he keeps doing it and wants to cruise around the furniture... very wobbly of course! He weighs about 20 lbs and still has those awesome cheeks! He has 7 teeth! 4 on top and a 3rd coming in on bottom. He loves his dog! Right now they are playing on the floor with a ball. Sometimes they have a hard time figuring out whose toy is whose? Lucas' favorite activities: banging on any surface he can (if he has a stick to do it with... all the better!), playing with his blocks, crawling all over the house, swinging at the park, looking at books, Skyping with Grandlilly and eating "big people food." I'm hoping to soon add "playing at the pool" to that list. He's a great sleeper: 12 hours at night and 2 naps a day. That's our boy!

I haven't posted any new pictures on the blog in a while. There are more up on Facebook. So, enjoy! I sure do love this kid!

Jake, the dog, in bed with Lucas! Luc thought this was a riot!

Lucas and Daddy at church on Palm Sunday. I wish I had better pictures of that outfit! He was sooo cute! Today, Lucas said his first word... "Dada!" So sweet :)

Bathtime last week!

Right out of the bath :)

Family time before bed! I always try to give Lucas a bottle, but if Daddy and Jake are in there with us... he ends up on the floor playing.

I gave Lucas one shelf on the bottom of the butcher block in the kitchen. So the items on that shelf are his to play with. I found my spatula in the bathroom this morning. Wonder how that got there!

This was a few weeks ago. Just playing! People ask me all the time if he's always happy. My answer is "Yup! Pretty much."

This picture is my new screensaver on my computer! I think that's a maple and barley teething biscuit all over his face! Just in case you were wondering if it's something fun like a cupcake... no, not yet! We plan to give him his first taste of sugar on his birthday. Nana says it's mean to deprive him! But right now, I have a kid who likes kale, plain oatmeal and carrots. You don't mess with that!

Naked playtime! He loves his train David and Phaedra :)

Hanging at the park with Tia Marlene! This was in January at his cousin, Samuel's 4th birthday party!

Playing with his cousin Sydney!

Early January at Zilker Park. I can't believe how much he's growing.

Bath time at Nana's house!

Hanging out in Mommy and Daddy's bed a few months ago. Look he had no teeth! Sweet boy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Entering the Resurrection Years

Well, maybe I'm back to blogging. I'll give it a try again. Lucas, my 11 month-old is crawling around and just started banging on my husband's classical guitar. We'll see how long this lasts :)

I'm turning 33 this week...entering what my brother called "the resurrection years." And for some reason, I'm reflecting on my age. I don't usually do the reflect-on-your-birthday-thing. But, I've been thinking how fast the last 10 years of my life have gone.

***Blog Break #1 (26 min.) Time for his nap.***

Where was I? Oh... life. It's hard to believe I've been out of school for 10 years. I know, some of you are thinking, "Wait 'til it's been 40!". I'm at the age now where I could have been on that show "thirtysomething" back in the 80's. They seemed so old at the time. I'm comforted by the fact that in double my lifetime, I'll only be 66.

I do have to say, I have thus far loved my 30's. I don't mean that life has been easy, but I like getting older (emotionally and spiritually... I could skip the physical aging). And most healthy people always say it only gets better. That too is comforting.

But I have a question. Am I young or middle aged? At a church retreat a couple of months ago, they asked the "older" people to go around and lay hands on the "young" people and pray for them. Pass the baton sort of thing. I sat there confused for a second. There were college students there who I meet with to mentor. Those entering college are almost half my age. I looked at my "younger" friend (who by the way is too young to remember who Mary Lou Retton is!) and she knew what I was thinking. She told me to stay put and be "young!" So, I did. I'm comfortable there. I think I feel older than I am. The last 5 years have certainly taken their toll on my life and my body. And even though I don't want to go backwards... it sure would be fun to be youthful! We can still do that right? Water fights with neighbors, tee peeing/rolling houses, and chinese firedrills (Why did we call it that? That can't be P.C.!) But it was fun! I'm trying to picture what my neighbors would do if I tried to start a water fight! Are we fuddy duddies?

***Blog Break #2 (7 minutes) Not going to sleep***

5 Things I did in my 33rd year that are worth recording on a blog:
1. I adopted the most beautiful, wonderful little boy (who is still not sleeping!)
2. I have learned to keep house better. That may seem small to some... but it's a giant feat in my world.

***Blog Break #3 (2 minutes) I caved! He's up. Not one of my best accomplishments.***

list con't:
3. I spent time meeting with an amazing college student (talking about life, relationships, dreams, etc) and got to watch her grow.
4. I spent time pushing my little boy on the swing at the park.
5. I have begun the certification process to become a doula (a birth and labor support companion). I'm now an official volunteer doula for the GALS (Giving Austin Labor Support) and Any Baby Can project offering free doula services to mostly at-risk teen moms.

***Blog Break #4 (5 min) Meltdown ensued! OMGoodness! Sheesh!***

7 Things I look forward to in my 34th year:
1. Spending time at my in-law's new house... there's a pool and me and Lucas are soon to be in it!
2. Lucas' 1st and Felipe's 32nd birthday party in June! Is it odd that I'm more looking forward to their birthday party than my own?
3. Dedicating Lucas
4. Volunteering with GALS
5. Possibly having/adopting our 2nd child
6. Becoming a better friend
7. My 5th wedding anniversary!

***Blog Break #5... I'm done. It's the 2nd meltdown and just time to be done!***

A 3rd list just for fun and he's finally back down:

Things I looked up while writing this blog:

1. The show "thirtysomething"!

2. The word "hunky dory" because I thought about using it. Decided against it.

3. The word "feat" to make sure I was spelling it correctly: A notable act or deed, especially an act of courage; an exploit. 2. An act of skill, endurance, imagination, or strength; an achievement. ...
I'm using it in the "achievement" sort of way.

4. Chinese Firedrill:

A Chinese fire drill is a gag performed by a vehicle's occupants when stopped at a traffic light, especially when there is a need to change drivers or procure something from the trunk: Before the light changes to green, each occupant gets out, runs around the vehicle, and gets back inside (but not necessarily in their original seat). If one of the participants lags, the others may drive off without them.

Figuratively, a Chinese fire drill is an act—especially, any large, ineffective, and chaotic exercise—by a group of individuals that accomplishes nothing. It is dangerous, and illegal. Ha Ha! I say we laugh at that in our youth!

Origins are also listed at Wikipedia if you're interested.