Monday, June 28, 2010

Today

Talmage in the hospital shortly after he was born
Last night I was looking for a quote about motherhood and I came across this poem:

I Will Not Feel Guilty

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

-Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

This was a poignant reminder to me that I need to make sure I don't let menial tasks get in the way of my spending time with Talmage! Sometimes I get so fixated on little things that seem so important and neglect that which is the very most important.

Later that evening, I found myself rocking Talmage in his room, watching him drift into blissful slumber and desperately trying to memorize the moment...

the spiderweb veins criss-crossing over his eyelids...
the two cowlicks he has on his head--one in the front and one in the back--just like his daddy...
the way his hand rested securely on me, seeking reassurance that his mommy was still close by even in his sleep...
the way his eyes rested only half-closed and darted around beneath the lids...
the warmth of his body as he lay curled in my arms...
the sweet little dimple on the top of his ear...
the perfectly smooth, soft, blemish-free baby skin...
the little button nose...
the blanket covered in little blue and yellow trucks...
the green and blue striped pajamas...
the round, blue binky that occasionally moved in sync with his sucking...
the two bright, slightly crooked teeth I knew lay beneath that binky and the big, piercing, deep brown eyes I knew lay beneath his long, dark lashes...
the rhythm of the rocker as I rocked him back and forth, back and forth...
the sleepy bug I gently wiped from the corner of his eye...
the soft whirring of the ceiling fan...
the dusk-colored light that streamed through the blinds on the large window in his room...

...each exquisite detail was a heaven-sent reminder of the blessing of motherhood. I hope I never lose sight of that.

I continued to rock and bask in the beauty of the moment. Into my mind came visions of our sweet little Talmage on his first day of kindergarten, graduating from high school, leaving on his mission, going off to college, bringing home a very special girl he has given his heart to, and advancing through life as a capable adult...one who was once so innocent and helpless, just seeking the security and warmth of being held.

From the other room I could hear my own husband talking on the phone to his sweet mother, and thoughts about how he was once her sweet, helpless little baby flooded my mind. Now he is grown, married, capable, educated, and raising a son of his own, just as our little Talmage will be before we know what happened to the squirmy, drooling, Cheerio-eating, loudly babbling package of delight we have now. The thoughts tore at my heart with a mixture of exquisite joy and heart-wrenching sadness. It was a beautiful message given to me from Heavenly Father to live in the moment and rejoice in today, regardless of our individual circumstances for if we live only for tomorrow, we will be left with a lot of empty yesterdays (to paraphrase Meredith Wilson).

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Letter

Dear cousin Peter and cousin Maxton,

Thank you for teaching me to play ball. It is now one of my favorite activities, and my aim is getting much better! I can't wait to play with you guys soon!

Love,
Talmage

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cruisin'

Now that Talmage is cruising along the furniture and walking while holding onto our fingers, he is pretty dissatisfied unless he is doing one of the two things. I set him down at the edge of the loveseat, and within seconds he walks down the length of the loveseat, turns the corner, walks down the length of the couch, and starts playing with his swing. He almost always goes to his swing and starts playing with it, throwing frequent glances over his shoulder to make sure he can still see me.

See his hand on his swing?
He'll play with it backwards, too...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Paddle Boats and Ducks

On Saturday for our date, Sam and I got to take advantage of the paddleboats our apartment complex has for the residents to use! There is a big lake in the middle of the complex with ducks, turtles, muskrats, and even the occasional alligator! (Don't worry, they closed the lake when they found one in there after a hurricane...) It was so fun!

There are cute little babies all over that stick very close to their mommies.
We fed these ducks right after we got on the lake, and they followed us the rest of the time we were out! I was holding a piece of bread in my hand and turned to say something to Sam, and one of them jumped up and bit my hand! They were very aggressive ducks.
A bunch more going after the bread we threw in
Sam throwing bread

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When I Grow Up...

...I wanna be like Daddy!



P.S. Don't you love how short his tie is? Looks like we need to get the toddler size for this tall guy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eight Months Old!

Talmage turned 8 months old on the 11th! Last week I took a bunch more pictures of him before Church. He was good for a picture or two before he started looking anywhere except the camera and pulling any face except for a smiling one!
He's worried about the pending pictures. I was worried about the potential for fire ants to bite him while he was sitting in the grass.
"I can't see you, Mom! I can't see you!"
"Wow, what a tall tree...and there's Daddy up on our balcony, coming out to say hi!"
A little attitude

"Now I'll just let go and watch the cars driving by."

Finally, a smile!

Picture of innocence

At eight months he is bursting with energy and usually dissatisfied unless he's on the move.

-He now says, "Mama" as well as "Dada," and it's more than just in his babbling. He definitely says our names to us. He calls for me when he is crying so it sounds like, "Waaa-Mama! Mama!-Waaa!" So cute! And he says "Dada" when he sees Sam or pictures of him. Sometimes he leaves off the last letter and says, "Dad?" or "Mom?" which makes him sound so old!

-He gets so upset every time I try to get him to crawl! He has finally started scooting around a little bit, but he loses patience with it very fast. Instead of crawling, he only wants to walk. He cruises quickly around the furniture now and is always squirming to get off our laps and either walk around the furniture or walk while we hold his hands.

-He loves being outside. He also loves a thrill. From being tossed into the air to being spun around to crash landings in our LoveSac, he loves things that give him a little thrill.

-There isn't much that scares him. However, the other day I was using the food processor and he started sobbing so hard every time I turned it on! He still loves vacuums and blow dryers, though.

-He is fiercely independent. Sometimes I will try to put Cheerios or something in his mouth, and he will calmly but firmly push my hand away, take the Cheerio away from me, and put it in his own mouth. If he doesn't like how I am touching him or where I am resting my hand, he will stare me down, grab my hand, and adamantly move it without a fuss. But it is very clear what his message is!

-He has texture issues. He loved all store bought baby food, but when I tried making my own, he gagged on it and wouldn't eat it because it had a lumpy/grainy texture. He won't eat regular food mashed up, but he will eat it if it is cut into bite-sized pieces...usually. I was trying to give him a piece of a breadstick, and he wouldn't take it no matter how hard I tried. But then he promptly grabbed the whole breadstick and shoved it in his mouth and began chewing on it. The biggest issue is that he just wants to be exactly like us, so if our food isn't in little pieces, he doesn't want his in little pieces either! Silly boy. I also made a card for Sam for Father's Day with Talmage's handprints in it, so when there was paint on his hands, he loved that texture! And if some of the food on his high chair tray is squishy or something, he will start smearing it everywhere in fascination.

-He is incredibly social and loves to meet new people--especially little kids. He absolutely loves it when little kids come get in his face and loudly talk to him. It makes me cringe, but Talmage almost always has a huge smile on his face!

-He is so determined, and I can see his scientific nature coming into play all the time. Several months ago he figured out that if he couldn't reach something, he could bang his hand hard on the table or couch and make whatever he was reaching for jump toward him. I see him experimenting with things all the time, and there is virtually nothing that will distract him from whatever he is set on getting.

-One of his most desired objects lately have been electrical cords! I am constantly grabbing him away from whatever cord he found before he can put it in his mouth and chew on it.

In essence, our pediatrician was right when he told us to make sure our house was baby-proofed because Talmage would find trouble fast! He is so full of energy and definitely has a mischievous streak. He will sneakily smile as he reaches out to yank my hair, always gives me a huge grin when I tell him "No" about something, and loves playing teasing games. He has taught us to have more enthusiasm for life in general. He makes us laugh harder than you can imagine, and melts our heart with his sweetness and unconditional love. We are so grateful for this precious gift we have been sent and thank Heavenly Father multiple times each day for him!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!


"Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven."
-James E. Faust
Thanks to our fathers for showing us daily glimpses of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. We will be forever grateful for your positive influence. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's All About Perspective

Our trip to Utah I posted about below was indeed wonderful--even worth the infestation of cockroaches we came home to. They took over the kitchen yet again while we were gone. Thankfully my attitude has turned to one of apathy, for the most part, so I just squish them and move on. I think we're starting to get a handle on them...yesterday I saw 30 or so throughout the day, but today I have only seen a few. Anyway, I was feeling pretty exasperated by it all for a while yesterday, and I asked a woman in our ward who lives out in the country if she had bug problems.

She shook her head. "No...not really. We get lots of junebugs. And big tree roaches that fly. And some black widows. And some tarantulas. And quite a few mosquitoes because of the creek that goes behind us." Add to that the frogs, lizards, and snakes they get, and you can imagine I was feeling pretty sheepish about complaining about the little harmless roaches in our kitchen! Especially since she said they didn't have a bug problem! Perspective changes everything, doesn't it?

A Little Jaunt to Utah

Talmage and I had a fantastic trip to Utah to see my family while Sam was at his sister's wedding in Mexico! Sadly, we weren't all able to go (thank you graduate school... :), so we took that opportunity to go to Utah rather than be home all alone. It was so wonderful to see everyone!
This little trio has grown up so much!
Here are Talmage and Peter, swinging together in the baby swing.

My dad and Talmage
Here was our first attempt at a photo shoot of the three babies together. It didn't go over so well...note to self: don't wake up a baby whose schedule has been knocked off kilter and expect him to be happy and smiling for pictures.

Talmage: Maxton, what do you think you are doing? Keep your hands to yourself!
This was the best one we could get.
Peter: Hey Maxton, let's gang up on Talmage! Woohoo! This is fun!
Look at Peter's little mischievous face! He's even getting poor Talmage with his foot! Maxton is just wondering what on earth is going on. He's so well behaved and wonders why his cousins can't act the same way! This picture makes me laugh every time...what funny boys.
Peter kept moving further and further away from the other two...
Peter: If I don't look at him, maybe I can sneakily grab his binky.
Maxton: Not if I get to it first.

Parental intervention
Maxton decided that leaves do not make a good evening snack. Look at that face!
Here Peter is trying to comfort Talmage.
I took matters into my own hands and took Talmage away to calm him down. Peter was devastated that his helpful intentions didn't work!
Poor Peter.
Look how happy cute little Maxton is to get his shoes off!
A picture of the things that would cooperate
Finally, a smile!
We had fun surprising Grandma Sue at work!
Talmage liked banging on her adding machine. When she tore off the paper and let him play with it, he promptly started playing peek-a-boo with her!
We decided to meet up and try the pictures again with the three boys. Peter was happy about the waffles he had just eaten for breakfast.
Cute little powerhouse Maxton. He is such a strong, stocky little guy!
Things went fairly well when there was a bit of distance between the boys.
But when we moved them together, Peter and Maxton started ganging up on Talmage again.
I can rarely get a decent picture of Talmage outside! He is always too interested in what is around him.
Talmage, Maxton, Peter
Inspecting the bugs, according to Aunt Jocilyn. :) I guess after living in Texas he isn't used to such normal looking ones! Today he was intrigued by the wasp about 2 inches long that kept buzzing around him. Needless to say, we went inside.
Tough boy
Trying to climb up the tire
He is going to make his daddy proud.
Peter wasn't thrilled about being left by the tire, so instead we took a happy picture of him with his mom.
Talmage and Uncle Bronson
We didn't even ask them to! Jocilyn was holding both of them up, and suddenly they leaned in and grabbed each other and gave each other kisses! We're still working on aiming for the cheek, though...it was sweet anyway.
Poor Talmage was just tuckered out by everything I put him through while we were there! He is still trying to get back on track, even though we have been home for 8 days now. But it was so worth it to see everyone!
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