Thursday, September 30, 2010

Augustine's Weekly Wee-View (9.21.10-9.27.10)

This was a special week because I was in CO visiting (some of) my family from September 24th-28th.

1) I like to keep Mom guessing, so I sleep really well for a few nights and then mix it up with an up-every-few-hours night. Also, I was getting bored waking up with my little whine, so I have decided to start screaming when I wake up on those long nights--more exciting for everyone, right?? (In reality, I think he is having a bit of separation anxiety--Luke and I have never heard him cry that way, but he is fine as soon as we pick him up).

2) Despite missing our connecting flight both ways (for a combined 9 1/2 hours of extra airport time), I did really well traveling. I even got my own seat on a couple of the flights!

3) Our trip to CO was awesome, and I loved seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles and Bapa! My cousin Tavian is only two months younger than me, and we are best friends. It will be so fun to live near him someday!

4) Apparently I have allergies--specifically to the foliage in Colorado (Or maybe to the hay at the pumpkin patch?? Or maybe just to grass...we don't have that in our yard in VA...). I had a runny nose during our trip, but it cleared up when we got back home.

5) I am crawling super fast now, and I have learned to crawl to Mom so she will pick me up!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Augustine's Weekly Wee-View (9.14.10-9.20.10)

The weeks just keep get getting faster!!!

1) Mom thinks I am coming down with something...or getting ready to cut my top teeth. I didn't have any symptoms before my bottom two came in, but the past couple days I have not been sleeping well and have had a little runny nose (and lots of maybe it is just a cold?).

2) When I "crawl" now, I alternate arms and legs and go really fast! But I am not up on my hands and knees...yet.

I love to crawl under my table and play with my cd player--I even open it and take my lullaby cd out...and bang it until Mom comes and takes it.

3) Mom started planning my 1st birthday party this week!!! I will actually probably have two parties--one in CO since we will be there for my actual birthday and one is VA a week or two later. Mom decided to do an elephant theme--surprise, surpise. Let the DIY decorations and favors begin!

4) We have purchased our tickets to MA for Thanksgiving with Dad's family. It will be a 5 night trip, but a few of those nights will be a vacation from our vacation--perhaps Humarock or Cape Cod? Yes, please.
5) This Friday we leave for COLORADO!!! I can't wait to play with my cousins! We have a lot of fun things planned with family. We are staying at Aunt Cait, Uncle Cole, and Tavian's house--Tavey and I are going to have so much fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Well, Luke's 7th season playing professional soccer has officially come to a close, which is always a bittersweet time of the year for us.

Bitter because there are no more soccer games to go to (and the fun social aspect that goes with that), Luke doesn't get to do something that he enjoys so much for a few months, and summer is over.

Sweet because I get my husband back on Saturday nights (and Sunday mornings...), Luke doesn't have to leave us to go on road trips to away games, and we get to travel together as a family--Colorado, here we come!! (During the season (i.e. summer, i.e. most popular time to travel to weddings, etc), it is virtually impossible for Luke to leave town, except for soccer games, of course. So, unlike most of the country, we do our traveling between September and February).

Luke was drafted by the MLS during his senior year of college and has been playing professionally in some capacity since. It makes me happy that he gets to do something he loves, and I am very proud of all the hard work and persistence he has put into achieving his childhood dream.
Going into this past season, I was worried that the adjustment to being a new Daddy (and the consequent lack of sleep) would be a distraction to him and he many not play as well. Fortunately, being a Dad seems to have had the opposite effect, and he had his best season to date!
Luke was named "Man of the Match" at 4 of the Kickers' 10 home games. He was also named to the USL-II Team of the Week several times and was one of eleven players in the league to earn First Team All League honors.
But those are just statistics. It is harder to quantify, and of less interest to the newspaper, the many other ways that Luke stands out as a soccer player.

Like the way he greets his many youth fans after the games, signing autographs and smiling for pictures.

And the great example of hard work, sportsmanship, and respect he is for everyone who watches him play--let me tell you, it gives me great peace to sit in the stands knowing that my husband will never be heard cursing on the field or exhibiting poor sportmanship.

And I just love to watch him coach. One Mom came up to me last year and said, "We give Luke a hard time because when he scolds the kids during practice he just says, 'You knuckleheads!'" These "kids" were 14, but I love that he doesn't yell at them or insult them. (I can remember many a coach using really harsh words back when I played high school sports...).

It is for these reasons...and so many more...that Luke will always be my MostValuablePlayer. I am so blessed to have him as a husband, and Augustine is one lucky boy to have him as his Dad--hopefully, he will grow up to be just like him!
We are not sure what is next for Luke's soccer career. As of last weekend, he is a free agent, so there is always the possibility of changing teams. Aside from an offer from the Colorado Rapids of the MLS, however, there are few circumstances under which we would consider moving. Our "plan" (which is always subject to God's plan) is for Luke to resign with Richmod for a few more seasons...and then buy a house in CO! At that point, he may continue to play soccer (most likely in Richmond or Charleston), but we will live in CO for at least part of the year. There's always the chance that Luke would get picked up by the Rapids at that point, which would also be very cool.
As for the upcoming season, Luke will be negotiating his contract in the next couple months, so please keep him in your prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Augustine's Weekly Wee-View (8.31.10-9.6.10)

1) Last week I started saying, "mama" and meaning it. Sometimes it sounds like "mama" and sometimes like "nana"...but it always means, "I need (or want) you, Mama!" Mommy is very excited about this.

2) I made two new friends on our street, Zach and Donovan. Mom and I enjoy taking walks with them--and their moms--nearly everyday (especially in this awesome fall weather)!

3) After months of sleeping cozy in my Woombie cocoon, Mom and Dad have decided it is time to wean me from it--now that I am so mobile, I don't always like having my arms zipped up. The past few nights have been a little restless for me at times, but it's getting better!

Me in my Woombie! (photo taken three months ago)

4) Dad's season just ended and his coaching doesn't start for another week, so Mom and I got spoiled by having him work from home a lot this week!
5) As much as I love playing with Dad, I am becoming quite a Mommy's boy and love to hold on tight to her when other people try to hold me.
Enjoy a few more pics...of me in my Sunday best (note my new smile in the second pic)...and of me in the big bathtub!!

Friday Favorites: Baby Product

This is an easy one for me.
As someone who likes--ok, LOVES--to time things and is very particular, the itzbeen has been a lifesaver!

This nifty little gadget has so much to offer! As the name suggests, with just the push of a button, it will keep track of how long it's been since:

you last changed your wee babe's diaper;

your baby has nursed (or had a bottle);

your little one drifted off to sleep;

* (whatever else you want to keep track of--we use ours to record how long Augustine has been awake between naps).

Here is how it works: when you change a diaper, start a feeding, put the baby down to sleep, etc., you just push the corresponding button, and a timer starts counting up.

In the middle of the night, when you are barely coherant and you're not really sure how many times your child has been up or when he last ate, you just glance over at the iztbeen, and it will tell you! It great for knowing how many minutes your baby nurses for, too. We used the diaper timer more when Augustine was little, but it still comes in handy on especially busy days or when I am nannying (keeping track of four kiddos kinda makes you forgetful at times!). The nap/awake timers are great because I always like to know exactly how long Augustine sleeps (there's that particular thing creeping in...) and just as importantly, how long he is awake between sleeping.

It has some other really great features, too!

When you push the small round button, for example, the whole screen lights up for a few seconds--crucial during the middle of the night.

And if you push the light bulb button under the logo, the logo screen turns on as a flash light until you push it again to turn it off. I have used this to guide me down the hallway and into Augustine's room for night feedings, to shine on his precious face to check on him, and to help me find things in the dark without turning the light on.

You will also notice the toggle switch at the bottom to help one keep track of which side the baby should begin nursing on--way easier than pinning a safety pin on your bra strap (Does anyone actually do that?? It seems like a lot of work...).

Another key aspect of the itzbeen is the button lock on the side. It prevents the buttons from being accidentally pushed while the itzbeen is floating around in your diaper bag or purse (or being mangled and chewed upon by your baby...the itzbeen is just as popular as my cell phone when it comes to coveted "toys" for Augustine).

The clip on the back also comes in handy when your hands are full carrying your babe and a bunch of other things down the stairs. When I have too much to carry, I clip it right onto the waist of my pants since it goes everywhere with me.

And finally, the itzbeen allows you to set alarms for any of the timers. If you set the feeding alarm for 4 hours, for example, the alarm would go off if the timer ever got up to 4:00 (we set that alarm the first few weeks home with Augustine, so we could wake him up to eat in case he slept for more than 4 hours at night). If you were worried about forgetting to change your baby, you could set an alarm for that too...although that has never been an issue for us (Luke thinks I change Augustine too much).

I do not kid when I say it goes everywhere with us. Each night it rests right beside the monitor on my night stand, and it even has a special compartment in my purse!

Ironically, I registered for the itzbeen because I stumbled upon it on the Babies 'R' Us website and felt like I needed more things on my registry. But I didn't end up getting it as a shower gift and wasn't going to purchase it for myself. When my sister, Ellen, arrived in town the night before Augustine was born, however, she brought it as a gift without having ever seen it on my registry. I had no idea how much I would love it! Who knew nine months later I would still be carrying it around like a security blanket! (Thank you, Ellen!!).

A runner up in this category would be the Boppy Pillow (Augustine's personal couch for the first four months of his life).

I want more ideas from all of you Moms (or aunts!). What is your favorite, can't-live-without-it baby item??

Friday, September 3, 2010

100 Goals for My Life

Recently, my Dad unexpectantly sold his house. Great news for him, especially in this economy, but stressful news for me, knowing that I still had an old bedroom full of "stuff" that needed to hit the road some time before the news owners settled in--stuff that I haven't seen, let alone used, in at least three years. You see, when I moved across the country to be closer to a special someone 3 1/2 years ago, I didn't realize that I wouldn't be coming back!

Anyway, being the good sisters that they are, Caitlin and Sarah offered to box up my room for me...and they came across some interesting things along the way--

like my porcelin doll and stuffed animal collections;

a bureau drawer full of butcher knives that I had been given as a gift;

shelves full of neatly arranged binders containing every class note I had taken in high school and college;

and my alcohol stash in the closet--buying it was always more fun than drinking it, and most of it was still sealed. (Caitlin did mix herself up a drink with one of the open bottles of rum, however, and swears it almost killed her...haha...who knew alcohol could go bad??).

And, amdist the random itmes lying about, they found two pieces of college rule notebook paper, folded in thirds and titled: 100 Goals for My Life. Sarah was sweet enough to mail it to me (and without reading it, to boot!). As I opened the envelope the other day, the paper was immediatly familiar to me--I remembered writing "the list" with my friend, Amanda, many years ago. It must have been at some point during college, as #1 on the list was: Graduate from college.

I will not bore you with the entire list (a few of them are too embarassing to share and others are just plain strange), but I will share a few highlights with you...

Early in the list, my goals are typical, but I am so blessed to be able to check them off:

2) Get married. (Thank you, Jesus, for my best friend and love of my life!)
3) Have kids. (I suppose we are still working on the plural aspect of this goal, but I consider it accomplished, even if God only gives us one).

5) Own a house.

There are a few that I still very much aspire for and hope that I have done, but they are difficult to measure, and I don't know that I will ever be able to conclusively check them off. Maybe it's better that way, so I continue to pursue them:

27) Totally feel God's presence.

28) Convert someone to Christianity.

51) Save an unborn baby.

Some of them have little chance of ever happening, but they are fun to think about:

33) Invent something.

35) Eat a bratwurst in Germany.

Others I am totally at peace with never checking off:

45) Milk a cow.

65) Do the splits.

68) Ride a motorcycle by myself.

A few of my goals I am pretty proud of accomplishing:

15) Run a half marathon.

41) Be a Eucharistic minister.

And others I would still like to do someday:

57) Renew marriage vows.

59) Go to a high school reunion.

70) Go to Hawaii.

And last but not least...

easily the least noble,

yet most entertaining:

10) Kiss a REALLY hot guy. (Check!)
In the origianal text, "really" was capitalized and underlined twice! Ah, the aspirations of a 20 year old...

Goals are important. As my husband always says when giving talks to younsters:

"If you don't know where you are going, anywhere will do."

"If you don't know where you are going, you're lost!"

Take a moment and write down some of your own goals!

BTW, about a year ago I wrote down a new list of no, making a human sand castle is no longer a top 100 priority for me...but if the situation presents itself, I may just get to check it off the list!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good News for Chocolate-Lovin' Mamas!

So, I read today in a magazine [American Baby, September 2010, page case you need proof...] that, "a daily chocolate fix in pregnancy makes for a baby who smiles and laughs more at 6 months."

These pictures are from Augustine's six month photo shoot...
I guess my hard work paid off. And let me tell you, it was tough eating chocolate ice cream and M&Ms everyday, but, for the little guy, I'd do it everyday for the rest of my life...

...As if I needed another reason (excuse?) to love chocolate!