Sunday, June 29, 2008

Relay For Life

There's a lot that I could say about our time spent at the Relay For Life that took place yesterday morning through this morning, but it all seems caught up in a hazy fog of incredible heat and humidity combined with sore feet and legs as well as a lot of exhaustion from getting only 2 1/2 hours of sleep. The most significant thing that I can say for sure is that it was humbling, sad, and joyous, all rolled into one event for a very worthy cause...the fight against cancer.

While we celebrated 2 battles won (Kyrstyna and Jean), an ongoing battle (Dan Topper) and two other battles lost (Grandpa Bob and his sister Beth), there were so many others that were thought of as well. What a great event and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh what fun - look who's one! (Or some other cheesy tag line for a 1st birthday.)

All day yesterday I would look at the clock and think, "a year ago at this time, I was doing *this*". At 6:00am I began experiencing some cramping. Around 11:00am, because the contractions had stopped earlier in the morning, I had the brilliant idea that if I did laps around the block, pulling 2 kids in a wagon, that it might jump start labor again. When that didn't work we went back to the house to relax. (Maybe resting would do the trick!) At 2:00pm I was sitting on the couch, trying to nap but spent more time whining about how I was going to be pregnant FOREVER because nothing was happening and it was all just another false alarm. Around 3:00pm I decided that the cramping that had come back was definitely turning into regular contractions about 10 minutes apart. "But surely this would not last either so let's just take our time packing up the kids and head into to town to wait things out."By 4:00pm we were racing through traffic in order to make it to the hospital before I had the baby in the front seat of our car. And by 4:45pm, I was admiring our new son who had made his entrance about 10 minutes prior and had already managed to pee on the nurses several times indicating that his one kidney was working perfectly.

Although I think this way on the kids' birthdays every year, it really doesn't have the same impact as it does for that first year. It all flies by so quickly that the sleepless nights, crying fits, sickness, etc, which at one point felt as though they might never end, now feel to me like they flew by in a blur. And in reality, they probably did.

The first year is the hardest and so far one of the most rewarding for me. The kids change and grow so much that it feels like I'll miss something if I happen to blink for too long. And although the years are definitely not slowing down and the kids are growing up far too fast for my taste, I know that with the first year hurdle down, we can begin to relax a little as Robert turns from a baby into a toddler. The growing and changes that seemed to have taken place before our very eyes now begins to slow down to a steadier pace. To a pace that seems more manageable for our day to day lives. From here on out the obstacles become a bit bigger but perhaps it's the simple fact that we are sleeping through the night (most of the time) that makes it easier to breathe. (Amazing what sleep deprivation can do to a person's perception!)

So after a full year of topping off the growth charts, dealing with snot, more snot, wheezing, doctor upon doctor visits, a hospital stay for good measure, more wheezing and tons more snot, Robert is now a normal, (relatively speaking - he is a Baker remember) healthy 1 year old. He weighs 24lbs, 12 1/2 oz and is 30" tall. He's cruising furniture now, has two teeth with two more only mili-seconds away from popping through on top, and although the only word in his repertoire right now is Da-Da, he says it with a vengeance. He's a happy kid and rounds out our family perfectly. I can't imagine life without him.

Happy 1st birthday Robert Paul Baker!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Brothers and Sisters

I walked around the corner the other day to find this on the back deck. As Megan and Matt were sharing an afternoon snack, they apparently decided to sunbathe together. So if Matt can go topless, then why can't Megan?!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

Some of my favorite memories growing up in small town, south-central PA were of summer vacations. Mom and Dad both worked back then and because we lived out in the country, the summers were laid back and as a young kid I would have told you that they were BORING! These days with all the running around that we do, there are times when I long for boring summer days to unwind both my body and my mind.

I remember the hot mornings when my sister and I would wake up, pack some drinks and hop on our bikes for a long ride before the summer heat would dictate that we slowed things down and stayed inside. We'd come home, sweaty and tired and plop ourselves on the floor in front of the box fan in a desperate attempt to cool down.

We spent a lot of time at our cousin's on their circus trampoline. We'd spray it and ourselves down with the water hose, terrorizing Pinky the dog as we'd bounce like maniacs above his head. We'd ride our bikes during the day when Aunt Janet and Uncle Ron were at work and then do crazy things like have food fights, attempt to survive Aunt Janet's flaming hot, spicy BBQ pork chops, go for walks and catch the neighbors doing questionable acts up on their second floor, tour the Gettysburg battlefield and climb all over Devil's Den in the evenings or on Aunt Janet's days off.

On the quiet times when we were back at home we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. Rain storms always provided the perfect excuse for cooling off and playing in puddles. Riding bikes, playing wiffle ball and hide and go seek until dark with the neighbor kids are memories that I look back on fondly.

I want my kids to be able to create memories like these that they can in turn share with their own kids later in life. I wish that I could go back in time to really appreciate these things as they should have been back then. But I'll settle for seeing the joy and happiness in my kids' faces as they splash in the puddles after a summer rain.

Hot Date With Daddy

Megan and Bill had their annual date to the Father/Daughter dance this past Friday. Once again I got away with buying a new dress for her at the bargain price of $10.00!! (Two years running...can I make it to her prom at those prices?)

The most important part for Megan was her request for straight hair. So off we went to buy a flat iron...

While Matt and I shared a quiet Mommy and boys night at home with chinese food, Dad and Megan danced the night away. Ok, so Megan ran around with her friends, but I was told that they shared two dances. That's better than nothing, right?