Thursday, December 30, 2010

splish splash

Lola loves to swim. She loves it so much that she asks, daily, if we can go swimming.

Well, we don’t live in a town with a community center, but we are fortunate enough to have the chance to go to open swim at the high school from time to time. My one (tiny) complaint is that the open swim hours are not exactly working mom friendly. Like 7-9 p.m. Fridays. When her bedtime is 7:30 p.m. And 1-3 p.m. when her naptime is noon. But that is my problem, not theirs (the school district’s). We just keep her up later than unusual and let her operate on adrenaline while splashing around.

Always, it is a great time.

Yet, my little Miss Independent hates that she is constricted. She hates that I hold her and guide her and move her around.

“No mommy hold Lola!”

“Lola do it!”

“Mommy, let go!”

So, well, I did. I let her sink. Only to where the water covered her mouth and nose for a split-second, and then caught her again, lifting her above the water with a smirk meant to say, “See, that’s why Mommy holds on.”

Instead? Lola loved it.

In fact, she spent the next ten minutes or so hanging onto the wall and dunking herself. She would only cover her mouth and face, but she was so proud of herself.

“Lola underwater!”

“Lola like underwater!”

Of course, then she got a little too into it. And she dunked her whole head. She came up very upset, asking for a “othcoth” (translation: washcloth). And I just helped wipe the water from her face and explained that the fun of swimming is getting wet. It happens. She was OK, and soon went back to dunking herself. Halfway in.

Still, I would like to find her some floaties or a life jacket, just so she can “swim” without needing me to hold her. It is just the wrong time of year.

We only get to the pool once every three weeks or so. I have to work and the times do not always work for us.

But, as expected, the first thing she said this morning when she woke up was, “Mommy swim with Lola today?”

- Bethany :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lola's third Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas. We got to see all of our families, even if it was just for a short amount of time each. But at least we saw everyone who was available.

Lola, I think, was a bit present-ed out by the end of the weekend. We got home Sunday, after all of our Twin Cities Christmases, and said "no" when we asked her if she wanted to open presents from Daddy and me.

So we didn't. Instead, we opened all of her other gifts and let her play. And she loved it. Then, an hour or so later, we opened our family gifts.

There are many, many memories we will remember from this year.

One of them, I think, will always be "Frosty."

Lola was in the backseat on Christmas morning as we left Maple Grove to drive toward my parents' place. She started talking about the "snowman" so Ray and I were looking around outside, along 694, looking for the snowman. We didn't see anything.

But Lola would not let up. And, finally, Ray figured out that she was saying "snowman show," referencing the (original) "Frosty the Snowman" TV show, her newest favorite.

We didn't know where this was going until we, faintly, heard "... heard him holler, 'Stop!'" on the radio.

Sure enough, Lola immediately had realized that "Frosty the Snowman" was on the radio. And it was the them3e to the "snowman show" that she loves so much.

Throughout the weekend, she would always be the first to realize when the "snowman song" came on the radio. She would smile and start dancing. pretty cute.

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

random thoughts

Right about the time Ray and I got married, or shortly thereafter, I would wonder what it would be like if I could just see - just for a minute - what life would be like five years in the future. Not that we weren’t happy and all that (well, actually, the first year of marriage, for us, was hell-ish), but we had our little quirks and problems and I just wanted to know if they turned out well.

In retrospect, we did just fine. I’m not sure how I would have handled the whole seeing us in Bemidji part of the equation, but once I caught even a glimpse of little Lola, I would be sold.

And packing my bags.

Roughly twelve months ago I wrote that I was not crazy in love with the idea of moving on to 2010 … 2009 had, overall, been a really great year for us.

And in retrospect?

That’s harder to say.

We’ve had a wonderful year on so many levels – Lola (always!), moving into the house, and, currently, living through the experience of carrying our second child.

But we had so many downers too – the house issues (i.e. the sewer issue) and the car situations. We miscarried in August. On Primary Election Day, actually (great timing for a reporter, I might add). It was pretty awful.

But, looking back, it all seems to have worked out. We survived.

These past few weeks, since just before Thanksgiving, we seem to be gelling a bit again. Everything seems to be clicking back into place. We’ve finished Christmas shopping. We even got the wrapping all but done (one gift left, I need a box). Lola is watching the piles of gifts get bigger. She is experiencing Christmas holiday shows for the first time with awe (“Frosty the Snowman” is her latest favorite).

Christmas is for the kids. I’ve heard this before. But to see it, to watch her watch me wrap gifts and wonder why we are “hiding” the toys or whatever, it’s enlightening. She runs around the house pointing to all of our Baby Jesus figurines and pictures. She signs along the “Jingle Bells” and begs nightly to drive around the city looking at Christmas light displays.

It really can be a magical time of year.

And we're enjoying living it.

Merry Christmas,
- Bethany :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Apparently I have a belly

I have been wearing maternity pants for a while, but I'm hesitant to break out the maternity shirts. They look too big on me and I just look like I had a few too many Twinkies last week.

I'm not keeping the pregnancy a secret, but neither have I been announcing it from the rooftops either.

Anyhow, while waiting for court to start last week (for work, in case you were wondering), I bumped into a guy I know through work. He is one of those who has to put up with my incessant question-asking every week or so. But I haven't seen him much lately.

I was wearing an unzipped jacket with a sweater. Nothing particularly revealing or form-fitting. But he took one glance at me and asked, "Are you having another baby?"

I really wanted to say no, just to be difficult. But the man is dealing with some health stuff and I did not want to add to his stress. So I just smiled and confirmed.

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a heartbeat

Ray, as often as he can somehow drop it into a conversation, likes to remind me that I didn't cry when Lola was born. That he, not I, was a bumbling mess when they finally handed me our daughter.

I had no reaction. I might have had the tiniest smile.

Of course, I attribute this to the 30 hours of labor and three hours of pushing, but he doesn't care about that.

During our first pregnancy, I remember reading online about all these expectant mothers who bawled when they heard the heartbeat.

I didn't.

And then I would read about those who cried when they saw their babies on the ultrasound screen.

I didn't do that either.

In fact, the only time I remember crying while expecting Lola was after the 41-week doctor checkup when she told me it would be at least one more week before she would consider inducing me. (You'd cry too.)

So today?

When I finally heard that heartbeat (this time I actually recognized it!)...

I still didn't cry.

I smiled. But didn't tear up.

It wasn't until I left the office and drove toward work that I realized I really wasn't attached much to this pregnancy, didn't expect it to be real - or stick - this time. (Maybe that explains the too-frequent binges on Pepsi and Mountain Dew and the too-infrequent prenatal vitamins...).

Then I teared up. For just the split-est second.

And I got to work and poured myself some water. And took my Flintstone vitamins.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

fun family times

How many activities can you pack into four-plus days?

I'm still exhausted from this past week's trip to the Cities. But we all had lots of fun, I think.

We got into town Wednesday evening, spending a relaxing night with Ray's parents for dinner and my parents just visiting and getting settled.

And Thursday, the events started ... and they didn't stop until we got in the car Sunday to head home.

Thursday morning, us Wesleys met with Grandma and Grandpa Wesley and Auntie Wendy to visit Como Zoo, where we were very pleased to spend time walking alongside some greenery in the conservatory and then visiting as many animals as we could.





Lola's favorites were, by far, the seals and the giraffes. She was terrified of the 500-pound gorilla, who had the audacity to take a few steps in her direction. She liked the tigers and the monkeys, but she kept wanting to return to watch the seals some more.

Unfortunately, we could not see the polar bears' new exhibit, but their building still had plenty of other things to see - and touch.



We said goodbye to the Wesleys and Lola's daddy just after noon or so. Ray went to meet some friends for a couple of days (and win some poker dollars).

Lola and I then joined up with Grandma Evans, spending the rest of Thursday getting some Christmas photos taken and going to the local mall for some rides.

Lola has been asking to ride "Blacky," on the big carousel since she heard we were going to visit Grandma. She loves the horsey rides. A lot.




And now the mall also has a little train ride, so she and I tried that out, too.



Friday, us three girls went to the Mall of America in the morning, where Lola was completely impressed by the the sights and sounds. She was a little intimidated of Nickelodeon Universe, though she liked to watch the activity. She, especially, was impressed by the big Dora and Boots forms, which were visible from the third floor when we stopped for lunch.

Friday evening, Grandpa Dave met us all at home and we made our annual visit to downtown Macy's to visit the eighth floor.



She was absolutely mesmerized by the display.



Now if only Macy's was willing to, you know, change the display every couple of years... But that is a rant for another day.

Saturday, we just spend the morning at my parents' place until the afternoon, when we left to head to our first Christmas celebration.

We drove in this for 2.5 hours.




And I use the term "drove" very loosely. We mostly sat in place and waited.

But we made it to my brother's house, and enjoyed an evening of food, fun and, yes, a few presents.

Lola loves her new paint set.



She wouldn't even let Ray sit next to her in fear that he would try to "help" or have some painting fun himself.

Too cute.

***

So we've been busy! And we did so much more - like visiting friends and meeting new babies. It was, really, a great weekend.

But an exhausting one.

- Bethany :)