Friday, March 28, 2008

Road Trip

We are staying in Houston tonight. Ryan is with his dad at the Regional Semifinals of the men's NCAA tournament. I have gotten over my jealousy and am enjoying a quiet night in the hotel room while Molly is sleeping in her pack-n-play. (Part of my ability to get over my jealousy was my consumption of a medium mushroom pizza while my gluten intolerant husband was away.) I was nervous about the long car trip with the baby, but she did wonderfully. The trip took us 5 hours, just a half hour longer than the time predicted by mapquest. Last I checked, they don't take into account stopping along the way for diaper changes.

I guess we timed it well, because soon after we left home, Molly settled in for her first nap. While she was sleeping, we celebrated the odometer in my car reaching 100,000. The milestone occurred near Bubba's Bar B Q and Steakhouse. As their billboard advertises, "You never SAUSAGE a place!" Shortly after she roused from her nap we stopped for a fill-up (gasoline and breastmilk) at Woody's Smokehouse. Disappointed not to see any kolaches (sausage rolls- typical Texas breakfast fare... think Sausage McMuffin meet doughnut shop fried goodness), I quickly was distracted by the full-service jerky counter. Amazing! I had never seen such a thing. I was tempted to browse and begin my Christmas shopping way too early. I remembered that I had a baby on my hip and several hours of driving still looming. I grabbed a stick of jalapeno beef jerky to enjoy with my coffee and headed toward the cashier.

The rest of the trip proceeded relatively uneventfully for me, as I was the one behind the wheel, and Ryan had the task of entertaining the baby. I know that food should be reserved for being eaten at the table, but it does wonders to distract a child! Molly gummed at a piece of banana in her self-feeder while Ryan marvelled at the sweet and sticky mess. He then entertained her quite a while with her bottle filled with ice water. Another highlight for me was passing a motorist stopped by a police officer and learning that sheriff's deputies in Texas really do wear cowboy hats. A short nap later, and we were arriving at our hotel.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Toilet Sitting and Silly Molly

As a mom of an infant, I spend time sitting on toilets doing things that I never used to do. Every night as part of her bedtime routine, I give Molly a bath. Sometimes I help her sit up and play in the shallow water, but usually she lays on her back chewing on a toy. She likes to relax this way for quite awhile, and I sit on the toilet and talk to her, sing, or just watch. Last night I was feeling like I needed a little relaxation, so I brought some red wine and chocolate to enjoy while sitting on (but not using) the toilet.

Additionally, I believe that women should have the right to breastfeed in public. And, while it is legal to do so, I prefer to nurse Molly in women's restrooms. I hate covering up while nursing; it gets very hot. So, it is easier to find a private spot. I often wonder if people think it is odd for me to be in the stall for quite a while sometimes murmuring some encouragement to Molly. Today as she was finishing up, I felt a little uncomfortable asking, "All done?" The people in neighboring stalls cannot see or hear the baby. I hope they don't think I'm conversing with myself while sitting on the toilet.

At Buffalo Wild Wings today, Molly sucked on a celery stalk for the first time. She enjoyed it until she made a projectile out of it. She also got her very first balloon. We were quite nervous as she grasped it and dug her fingernails into the latex. Happily it did not pop, and she enjoyed watching it bounce on the end of its string.

When she awoke at 6 this morning, Ryan brought her into our bed to snuggle. She loves to climb on us and tackle the comforter. She was very funny this morning. Shortly after arriving, she looked directly at Ryan and emitted a belch. She's also been perfecting the skill of making a razzing sound by forcing air through her closed lips. She practiced this a couple times. Then, as she pulled herself up to my bare shoulder, she put her lips on my skin and did it to me. After moving on to a more interesting toy, she was sitting between us. The fireworks in her diaper then began. Pop! Pop! Po-o-o-o-o-p! Pop! She kept us quite entertained and wondering how soon we can teach her to say, "Excuse Me!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Little Irish Molly

The Cost of Water

A couple weeks ago a magazine from Compassion International arrived in our mail. Therein I read an article about a project to provide clean drinking water for people in the Dominican Republic (to read, click here). The author tells of impoverished families forced to choose between paying for clean water and other basic necessities. The tap water there is so contaminated that people get sick from bathing in it. Compassion is helping to provide safe water at a fraction of the cost that they would normally pay. I often thank God for our abundance of water that we freely use for hot baths, watering our plants, and brewing espressos.

Several days later, we received in our Sunday paper a insert of coupons from Procter and Gamble. They are participating in an initiative called the Give PŪR® Water Project. For each coupon redeemed, P&G will provide one liter of clean water to someone who thirsts. So, when I buy my Tide detergent, I can save 50 cents and help provide a drink! They are doing the same thing for their April coupons.

In striking contrast to people with unsafe water, I was shocked by a few things I read in the paper a couple days later. There was an ad for a plastic surgeon encouraging men to have abdominoplasty to sculpture their abs. There are some very important uses for plastic surgery and reconstruction. However, I think that a washboard stomach should come about the old fashioned way. People are free to spend their money as they please, but this overindulgence scares me.

When we were working with Athletes in Action, Ryan and I would share with people that sport is one of the largest religions in our nation. Consider this, prime seats in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium require and initial payment of $150,000 and an annual ticket fee of $3400. It is possible to finance your football tickets over 30 years just like you would a home. See for yourself at the local newspaper's website. It appears that about 1/6 of the new stadium has this club seating, with the cheapest of the club seats costing $16,000 one-time, and $3400 a year. Inconceivable, isn't it?

With the recent news of the pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, I cringe slightly before drinking, but then I take a swig, thankful that a few traces of antibiotics are the greatest of my worries. And I pray that all of us, including those spending tens of thousands for stadium seats, would give a little to provide clean water for others.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Six months

Molly weighed 16 pounds at her check-up this week. She is getting big! She is busy, as usual. She enjoys her toys and books, as well as whatever paper or magazine mommy or daddy is trying to read. Yesterday, I caught her taking a bandaid off of her leg and attempting to put it in her mouth. She requires a lot of supervision!

Doesn't she look like a boy next to girly Jorja in this picture? I think she really looks like my dad in this picture.