Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nate - My Great Mate

Nate is an incredible husband and dad.  He is so dedicated to me and Andrey.  

Early in my pregnancy we went to San Franscisco.  I had terrible morning sickness through the entire trip.  I needed several breaks.  We went on an airplane, boats, busses and tolleys.  It was rough on my somach to say the least.  Each time I took a break, Nate would sit with me and comfort me.  Or he'd go get me an ice cream...

One of many breaks.

My strange caregiver.
 My hubs is funny and serious.  He loves beautiful places.  When we were in Oregon he couldn't stop talking about how beautiful everything was.  I love that about him.

Walking at a park in Lincoln City, OR.
 When Andrey came Nate was so calm.  It was a crazy time with her being early.  There were many times he could have panicked, but he was organized, purposeful and excited.  When I was in labor and totally terrified he kept saying "I can't wait to meet my baby girl".

In the NICU.

Andrey looking at her daddy.
 When we got home, he did everything he could to help.  He ended up taking a month off of work.  He got up in the middle of the night, every night, that whole month.  

He is a loving, compassionate, dedicated dad.  He is thrilled with his little girl.  She is so blessed to have him.

Nate, you are an amazing man.  Thank you for being present in our lives.  For doing everything you can to connect with Andrey.  You make her smile every day and she just adores you.  You are all I could have hoped for and more.  Love you Mr. P!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ode to My Daddy

I had high expectations for my children's father because I have a wonderful dad myself.  I needed a kind, funny, smart, sensitive, compassionate, Christian man who could fix anything around the house.  I found one in Nate.  Nate is a wonderful father, just like my dad.  But we'll get to Nate another day...
Dad playing with Mac's photo distortions. Haha!!

I remember waiting at the front door as a kid, desperate to get the first hug from dad when he got home from work.  He'd scoop me up and tell me how much he missed me that day.  He played with all of us, down on the floor, letting us jump on his back and kick him in his kidneys.  My dad was the kind of dad that played with other kids, because maybe they didn't have a daddy.  He was always swarmed with strangers at the neighborhood pool.  Climbing all over him, asking him to throw them (I loved being tossed in the water!).  He was and still is a great playmate!

Playing with grandson Ethan.
My dad is tender hearted.  After sticking his foot in his mouth (which he still does, don't deny it dad) he always sought out an apology, teaching us that we are accountable for our actions.  He made up moral stories about Wootsie-Poo and Pootsie-Poo (fictional characters he invented), teaching us life lessons about sharing, money, kindness and more.  He's known for his clever quips like "spend a little, save a little, give a little".  And when in a crowded room he will lean over and whisper "I looked around this whole room and you know what?  You're the prettiest girl in here."

Strange picture I know.  He's holding a flashlight while my mom files A's nails.

My dad taught us about God.  His love for the Lord was always apparent though his prayers and dedication to reading his Bible.  He encouraged our own faith without demanding it.  Each time we went into the mountains he would pull aside on the road, have us all get out and look at what God created (and as young kids we didn't get what was so great about some boring mountains).  My dad sees God's creation as a chance to worship.

When I was pregnant and we learned Andrey wasn't healthy, my dad prayed and prayed hard.  He cried with us, and begged God for a healthy girl.  For a miracle.  He and I spoke many times during that trial about how we had a new relationship with God because of my daughter.  He loved her so much before she was even born.

With Andrey at NICU Zoo reunion.

My dad is an amazing father and daddy.  He is such a gift to me and my family.  I love you dad.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Watch Out Michael Phelps

Water is my friend.  We're like Woody and Buzz.  I like to drink it, yes, but I love to swim.  So far, the same is not true for my daughter.  Andrey is such a happy bath taker I just assumed she would love the pool.  I was wrong.  She will have many years to make up for a terrible first experience with the pool.  And when she finally understands how much fun it is...good old Mikey Phelps will have to watch out!

Love the look on her face here.

Hat change - getting ready to try the water.

I sat right down in 2 inches of water and barely touched her toes in...

...and she was ticked!

Taking a break under the tree.
I'm not giving up.  We will be back pool.  Oh yes, we will be back!

Friday, June 24, 2011

You Call This Solid?

We waited the recommended six months to try out "solid" food with Andrey.  I hesitate to call it solid, because it's pretty mushy.  It's the consistency of runny baby poo.  Too descriptive?  I thought so too.

Getting ready for her first taste.

We started with rice cereal.  I tasted it.  I didn't like it.  Andrey spit it out like a champ, but she was brave and just kept opening her mouth.  I know most babies put everything in their mouths (my mom loves to tell me about the time I put a daddy long leg in mine), but my girl puts everything in her mouth.   So I think she would keep opening up no matter what we offered.  I'll probably be proven wrong soon...

After two days of that crap nutritious first food - I decided to make my own.  I peeled, chopped, steamed and pureed two yams.  I intended on getting sweet potatoes, and all they had were yams.  Same thing?  Well, kind of.  Google it if you want to know.  What do you think this is, a cooking blog?

This went much better!  After each serving I've given her this week I've discovered hidden leftovers in her neck creases, hair and fingernails.

Next up: avocados, bananas and apples!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Halfway to One

I'm so shocked it's already been six months.  And yet, sometimes I think - It's only been six months?  But alas, my girl is halfway to one.  

Andrey is an integral part of our family.  She is a permanent fixture of my day.  An easy smile to wake up to each morning.  She is a happy, easy going girl.  She has made me a mommy.  

She is alert and aware of everything around her - listening to me sing, whistle, hum.  She smiles at me when I return to her after only a moment gone.  Her doggie takes all her attention.  Her daddy makes her giggle.  

After six short and long months she is the love of my life.  A reason to be better, stronger, wiser and weirder.  She has aided in the much needed growth of my patience, the ache of my cheekbones, the use of my washing machine.   

This girl is a true gift from God.  I thank Him for her every day.  I pray to be a great parent.  I pray for her safety, health, future friends and husband, integrity, sense of humor, kindness, education and more.  

Andrey Grace, you have made me the most proud and thankful mommy.  I love you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Worth It

I may not be able to go shopping...

or buy feta cheese...

or eat out at nice restaurants...

or add to our savings account...

or get a Starbucks every time I think I deserve one (um everyday, hello)...

or go on nice vacations...

but I do get to watch my girl learn and grow...

and play footsie...

I get to take my time with her and slow down...

and never miss a moment.

It's more than worth it.  I wouldn't trade it for any amount of money in the world.