Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Time Under The Trees" - an ode to slowing down

Enjoying the breeze, his blanket, the rustling leaves, and a chat with Mom. (He's telling me to lighten up.)

Today ended up being a great day...

After all the recent construction inside and around our house, a week of being gone on vacation, and trying to figure out how to integrate working from home and my responsibilities as a wife and mother, I was beginning to feel the water rising.  Then Robbie woke up uncharacteristically early at 4:30am this morning.  After pulling him into bed with me as a last-ditch effort to get a few more hours of sleep out of him before beginning the day, Rob and I discovered that after he fell back asleep, his breathing was rapid and shallow.  He would take 4 or 5 short gaspy breaths in and then let one back out.  He repeated this over the course of about 10 minutes, and we finally decided to wake him up and give him a bottle out of fear that he wasn't getting enough air.  We called our Pediatrician and I took him in for an impromptu checkup.  He is as healthy as can be (at, ahem, 19 lbs 2 oz! oh my goodness!), and the doctor wasn't concerned about the episode.  They sent me home with him saying that he's growing and happy and that I shouldn't worry, but to continue to monitor him closely and return if it happens again.  Ugh.  I hate that feeling as a mom (flashback to Robbie at 2 1/2 weeks... you get my drift).  You never know if something is 'something' or nothing.  I always err on taking him in and letting the doctor judge if it's 'something' or not!

Sometime just after lunch, I realized that (sadly) I had not really played with Robbie all day.  So I decided to close my laptop and turn off my cell phone.  We packed up and headed to the park for a quiet afternoon on the handmade blanket Grammy gave to Robbie before he was born.

I needed that time with Robbie as much as he needed it with me.  The last picture is actually my favorite one, even though you can't see our faces.  I was trying to get him to look up at the trees in the sky, which he loves to look at on our walks.  But he wouldn't look up - his eyes were locked on mine, and he was reaching over to me with both of his hands - intentionally these days! - and quietly talking to me.  I could almost understand the secret he was telling me... It is one of those moments I will never forget, it was so serene and innocent and pure and full of love.  

Life was as it should be on that blue blanket.

Like I said - today ended up being a great day.  I was reminded of the importance of slowing down and spending time.  I thought about people I know or strangers' situations I'm aware of that have great heartache, are experiencing loss, are in mourning, are missing someone they love, are wondering when the sun is going to shine for them again.   

I soaked in the time I had with Robbie in the shade of the trees by the elementary school I went to as a little kid.  The thought was never far from my mind that those tiny voices I could hear from the playground across the row of trees would one day include my son's voice, and that time under the trees with him might be harder to get as time passes.  I'm not sure how long we were there, but it could have been 20 minutes or 2 hours.  It doesn't really matter, because the sun seemed to stand still and let us have our afternoon without rushing us on.  

I'm so thankful for the time I have right now with the people I love most.  God has poured out His blessings on us this summer.

Why I Haven't Posted In A While

Construction on our porch, walk and driveway - making it impossible for Robbie to nap for 3 days, thus our pilgrimage to my parents' house.  Where our computer is not.  (But we have beautiful cement now!)

Robbie is keeping me busy, channeling his inner Houdini.  Can't take my eyes or hands off of him anymore!

This is the view from my parents' lake house, where we spent a week with Rob's family last week.  It was awesome and there are plenty of pictures - 550+!  But I wouldn't know where to start, so I posted a bunch on my Facebook page and I'm leaving it at the following 2 for the blog.  Unless you all yell at me.  Then I may post more. :)

We're glad to be back! 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Goodbye, Aunt Kelsey ::sniff::

It's day 2 of the Armbruster / Livingston family vacation (minus a handful of members of each family)... and we're enjoying playing in the sun, riding on the boat, squirt gun fights, and just being together. Robbie is fond of cousins Nicholas and James, and I think they feel the same about him since James was giving Robbie kisses and 'love' on the boat today!

But today was also a sad day. My sweet little sister, Kelsey, left to go back to Taylor from being here at the Lake with us. We have had the best summer together, and today it hit us just how quickly it flew by. (We had planned to play a lot of tennis - oops. Never got on the courts!)

Thank you, Kelsey, for having so much love for Robbie - for wanting to learn how to feed, change, diaper, burp, bathe, walk, rock, and soothe him. You make him smile and laugh differently than anyone else, and I know you hold a special place in his heart. He got to spend so much time with you this summer! What a lucky boy. Thank you for watching him so that Rob and I could go out for dinner and ice cream. Thanks for being there at the very beginning in March, driving home from Taylor the minute you heard I was in labor even though you had to go back for finals a few days later... for spending your whole spring break helping me adjust to being a mom... for spending your first 'college summer' with us when you could have been doing anything in the world. We love you more than you will ever realize, and this summer is full of memories that we will always have to make us smile when the days are not as bright.

Enjoy your sophomore year at Taylor! (I really think it's the best year of college for so many reasons.) And keep an eye on your mailbox. Something might just be coming your way soon. We will miss you so much!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy 5 Month Birthday, Robbie!

That's right... I couldn't bear to let August 15th pass by without a) taking pictures of Robbie with Hippy, and b) posting them to our blog!  These are busy days for sure, but not THAT busy.  
This month's pictures were more challenging than the last - now that Robbie is starting to learn to sit up, it's all he wants to do.  And 'leaning back in the glider' does NOT count as 'sitting up' to him (making it difficult to get a good picture of him upright - I had one hand on him most of the time he was in the chair).  I had to laugh as I looked at the images I had captured after the shoot - there were plenty of him straining to sit up, pulling his head forward, toppled over sideways, and chewing on Hippy and the arm of the chair.  He's got to be teething now, since he gets frustrated and slightly aggressive when he starts to chew on things.  And the drool down the front combined with the bright red chin rash... ugh.  Everything is dripping with slobber these days.

So enjoy what I was able to get - our little guy is growing so fast!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where's Robbie?

He's at Grandma and Grandpa Armbruster's (with me) this week, while we have work done at our house.  The dust and noise was not going to have a positive effect on our little guy or his schedule, so we are enjoying all that Aurora, IL has to offer! 

Next week we will also be gone - we're spending the week at my parents' lake house with Rob's parents, his sister and her family, and my parents.  We're really looking forward to our time together there, and on top of a fun and busy week, there's no guarantee that we'll have internet access while we're there since it's spotty.  SO - we promise to catch you up on these 2 weeks when we return and get back to everyday life in Wheaton.  (We have lots of great pictures for you!)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Blues

My new favorite picture, ever!

Cookout with the Roth Family

Steve and Kris brought their adorable kids, Jack and Annie, over for a cookout on Saturday night.  We had a great time, and Jack enjoyed exploring our back yard, playing with the neighbor kids, and splashing the overflow bucket by the hose!

Sweet baby Annie Grace

Steve and Jack

Kris and Annie

Jack and I playing in the back yard... isn't he cute!?

"Hmmm, what's down this little path?..."

"Look what I found!"
(And yes, I let him splash away because the pictures were just too cute!   But I cleaned him up afterwards.)

The bigger the mess, the more fun a boy has.   :)

The neighbor kids LOVED Jack... he's way more fun than Robbie!

They played between the fence for quite a while like this.  Don't you just love summertime?

Thanks for a fun night, Roths!

Weekend Fun

We enjoyed a very relaxing weekend, and when Robbie wasn't sleeping 2/3 of the day (like he did on Saturday!) I took a few pictures of him with my new camera.  Which I love, by the way.  I have already been teased about really needing another camera to take MORE pictures - to which I say 'It's not to take more pictures, just BETTER ones!'.  I'm finding it hard, however, to take less pictures.  I do find that I'm taking more.  They're just so beautiful, and I love my subjects - Rob and Robbie!

Getting very good at holding his head up for long periods of time on the floor... sometimes even trying to crawl!  But just with his legs and feet.  The arms aren't quite there yet.

Right now, every time I put him in the bath his hands immediately go to his mouth.  I think he likes the water on his fingers.

Hmm, no water to blame here... the boy just loves putting things (toes) in his mouth.  
Isn't baby flexibility cute??

He sat in this bouncy seat, pulling himself up by the bar for a while - and seemed pleased when he could get far enough forward to suck on the poor bears.  I'm finding so many new uses for  my Pampers "Anywhere" spray!

Robbie experienced his first shoulder-ride on Daddy this weekend!   It was hilarious... I think I took about 20 pictures and couldn't cut more of them out when I was picking which ones to post to the blog. (Sorry.)  Robbie is barely bigger than Rob's head in this picture!  He has no idea what is going on or what to do.  So cute.

LOVE this face!  Where did that come from!?

Starting to have a good time... oh those little baby feet!

Liking the view from up high.

The dismount

What a long boy!