First things first: Brooklyn.
Brooklyn has been learning new things daily and growing like a little weed. The first thing I should mention is the cutting of her first two teeth. That happened about a week after I posted my last blog. She had her first tooth break through on a Saturday morning and then her 2nd one came through a couple days later. I was so excited! She got very tired of me putting my fingers in her mouth to feel for teeth! Since then, she has already cut her 3rd tooth which happened last week. It's her top, left one. We expect the right one to come soon since her bottom two came in together. She now will grind her teeth together - which makes me CRINGE! But she seems to like it so I don't stop her.
She has also begun pulling up on EVERYTHING. She loves to stand and practice walking. She "cruises" already around things like the coffee table and her crib and pack n' play. She really wants to walk, you can tell. She hasn't shown much interest in crawling. She'll get on all fours and then give up after a few seconds and then lay on her belly and fuss until you pick her up. I think she will walk before she crawls for sure. She just seems totally uninterested in crawling.
Brooklyn has developed quite a personality as well in the past month. She gets very excited over new things and will clap and wave her arms around. She can also go to the complete opposite extreme and put her serious face on and just stare at whatever she is focusing on. It's quite entertaining to watch her go to these two extremes. She just keeps us laughing and on our toes. I can't imagine life without her!
I'm now at 10 weeks left of school before we are done for this school year. This year has really gone by fast! Now that spring break is over, we won't have any more days off or long weekends until the last weekend of May. This is where the year gets a little discouraging because it feels like forever since there are no breaks. I have to admit that I'm not very happy with my job right now. I get frustrated at how much disciplining I have to do and how rude and disrespectful kids are getting these days. It's unbelievable how entitled they feel to do whatever they want. And the worse part is that the parents feel that they "can't do anything about it"!! It's the most absurd thing I've ever heard of. So the parents' lack of discipline makes my job much more difficult. I look forward to the summer and to the day that I either don't have to work at all or that I can switch to a private school. And that's all the complaining I'm going to do.
We just got back yesterday from our spring break ski trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We went with Waylon's cousin, Rebecca, and her husband Paul, Gabe (Paul's brother), Taylor (Gabe's roommate) and my friend Emily. We had a great time! We drove up there on Monday and came back Friday. We made great time on both driving days, arriving at our destinations before the sun even went down! That made me very happy. The skiing was really fun. I'll admit that I've never been a good skiier. I can stop and I can even go fast, but I've never been good at controlling my speed or turning. On this trip, it was my goal to fix those two problems. So I went slow and worked on turning without doing the "pizza" (also known as the "snow plow"). The first day we skiied was Tuesday and it was a short day on the slopes. First off, Waylon wanted to try snowboarding so that we would be on the same level - which worked really well for that aspect. But he didn't enjoy snowboarding. It is quite a bit different and more difficult than skiing, which he is very good at, and requires a lot of falling when you are first learning. He actually had a bruise from all the falls he took on his rear! He got quite frustrated with snowboarding. Meanwhile, I was re-learning how to ski, since the last time I went was in December of 2006. My first run I only fell once and I wasn't even moving - I just got tangled in Rebecca's skiis. But I went very slow and snow-plowed most of my way down the mountain. Little 3 & 4 year old kids were skiing faster than I was and they didn't have poles! One thing I discovered after that first day is that snow-plowing actually requires a lot more energy and puts a lot more stress on your legs since you are applying pressure the ENTIRE time! My legs were starting to shake when I reached the bottom on my first run! I had to take a little break before going back up! I can't imagine how bad it would have been if I hadn't been doing boot camp at work. Sheesh. We ended up only doing 3 runs that day before quitting and going home. We were all exhausted. Emily was also ready to go. She was taking it easy as well since she broke her arm snowboarding once and didn't want to push herself too hard. I totally understand that! I've never broken anything skiing and I have no desire to push myself into getting really good! lol
The second day was much better. I had gained quite a bit of confidence in my turning ability from the first day and was able to pick up the speed a bit. I definitely hit some "high speed" times where my heart got to racing a bit because I was wondering if I was going to wipe out. But I didn't! I even tried a different green slope that was a bit steeper than the other one and ended up liking it better. There was only a couple of upsets that day. One of them was when Waylon convinced me to try a blue-green slope. It started blue, but was only blue for a very short time and then turned green for the rest, and majority, of the way. He convinced me that I could handle the short amount of blue. He had not been on this slope though and didn't know what was on the horizon. The first little bit was fine; I went down much faster than I had been, but I was still in control and the slopes had some areas that flattened out enough for me to slow down a bit. Then we hit the slope of death. At least that's what it looked like to me. It was MUCH steeper than any hill I had been on, which wouldn't have been a problem if it had been a SHORT steep hill. But it wasn't short. I looked like it went on forever. I knew I would lose control and wipe out if I attempted going down this hill. There was no way my legs were strong enough to keep up the constant turning I would have to do in order to make it down in one piece. I was petrified and furious all at the same time. In one of my not-so-fine moments, I began yelling at Waylon. There may or may not have been a couple of cuss words thrown out at that moment. My memory is fuzzy so I can't really say one way or the other...ahem. I did tell him in no uncertain terms that I was enraged at him in a very loud, angry yell. Again, I'm not proud of how I acted during that moment on the hill. I then began to try to walk down the hill on my skis, sideways. That proved to be exhausting and more frustrating. So I ended up taking my skis off and sliding down the hill on my butt - which I ended up sliding down WAY faster than I thought I would and even that scared me a bit! When I got down to the flat area, I rested for a bit and Waylon and I exchanged a few more words and then I slid down the next small hill as it too was too steep and a bit to long and I was just too angry to even try it. The rest of the trail was fine and I made it in one piece. That day we probably did about 6 or 7 runs and then went home. I've never felt so physically exhausted in my life. Skiing is a lot of work and good skiers make it look SO easy...which is ISN'T.
We decided on Thursday not to go skiing as we were both super tired and Waylon was very badly burnt on the face. Emily was also feel sick and wasn't going to ski either. So we headed into town for some gift shopping and site seeing. I really enjoyed that day and I'm glad we chose to do that.
Our drive back home Friday would have been pretty perfect (besides Emily still not feeling well, which sucks when you have to ride in a car for 13 hours) until Waylon got a speeding ticket near Amarillo and found out his license was suspended (reason unknown as of yet). Awesome! So I ended up driving for most of the trip, which wasn't so awesome. And now we have an almost $200 ticket to pay for and who knows what else to get his license un-suspended.
The hardest part of that whole trip though was, by far, being away from Brooklyn for 5 days. I still can't believe I left her for that long already. She did great for my parents though, which I knew she would because she already knows that she gets whatever she wants over there. We got to skype with her and my mom on Wednesday which helped me with the emotions I was feeling. I couldn't wait to hold her and see her Friday. I've been enjoying her all day today!
One of the reasons I haven't blogged in a while is because I've been a bit emotional about a story I was following. Many of you already were following the story of 2 year old Layla Grace and her fight against cancer, which she lost on March 9th. I'm the kind of person that if I'm really sad or depressed, I can't really think of anything else and I just couldn't get on here and type up happy, fuzzy posts when my heart was breaking for Layla and her family. I've never been so affected by the story of someone I don't know as I was about little Layla. I guess now that I'm a mom, stories about little kids dying of cancer are just going to affect me more strongly than they did before. But I don't think it was just that. I think it also had to do with the fact that they live here in Texas, just a few hours South of me and that Layla looked a lot like Brooklyn before she got sick. She was a chubby, healthy baby with no signs of cancer. It literally changed her in a matter of a few days and she would never be the same again. This story just made me realize how fragile life is and how things can change so swiftly from one moment to the next. In the back of my mind I kept thinking "That could be us in a few months." While it upset me and depressed me and I cried many times over it and prayed even more for a miraculous healing for little Layla, it also made me appreciate my time with Brooklyn so much more. It made me savor all the little moments with her that I hadn't really thought to savor before. All the times I just sit with her in my lap and watch TV or try to read or do something else - I enjoyed those times and watched her more closely and thanked God for her over and over again. I do not want to have any regrets when I look back on Brooklyn's infant and toddler years. One of Layla's mom's posts was about regrets. She remembers days when she wished for silence because Layla was so active and kept things busy around the house. Once she was sick, she wished Layla had the energy to do all those things again and she would do anything to be able to go back and enjoy those moments and take advantage of the time she had with her before she was gone. Layla's life was short but it impacted literally millions of people. She was a beautiful baby girl and now she is in heaven, cancer free and pain free, getting to spend time with Jesus.
Reading her story and seeing how emotionally involved I became and how it literally crippled me emotionally, I came to the realization that I do not have the fortitude to follow stories like this all the time. I feel for families that have to go through this and I know that God has some sort of divine plan for what happens in these tragic situations, but I can't carry around the sadness for every family with a sick child or I will miss out on the life of my own. I will still pray for the families of these hurting babes and pray for miracles and the knowledge that there are more sick kids out there is still in the back of my mind, reminding me to appreciate and savor my own child and future children, but I can't keep reading about these tragic stories. At least not now. I hope this doesn't come across as being selfish or apathetic towards these sad stories, because it's really not that at all. I just take it all too personally and I have to learn to distance myself from it and say prayers for them and then put them in the Lord's hands and continue to live my life.
I know this may seem crazy that I let myself get drawn into this story so deeply, but I did. I have learned a lot from it and I know God had a purpose in my reading about little Layla and He showed me some areas I need to work on in my spiritual life. Things like trusting him and not worrying about the future. I've never considered myself a worrier. Having a child has completely changed that aspect about me. I have a whole new perspective on things now. A perspective that hurts when it sees a young child dying of cancer or hears of a father dying in Afghanistan and leaving behind a young wife and new born baby girl that will never know her daddy. It's different when you're a parent. You finally understand the love a parent has for their child and you can begin to imagine how God felt watching His son die on the cross for us. We will never know the full extent of God's feelings during that time but being a parent puts that kind of pain in a new perspective for sure.
I knew this post would be long but I honestly didn't plan for it to be this long. I had more to write about but I will save it for another post. It is more suited for it's own post anyway!
If you've made it this far, then you truly are a dedicated reader of mine. And I appreciate it! Hopefully it won't be another month before my next post!