Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mom's take on the matter

So I know most of the Nathan's blog readers don't necessarily live in Conway and aren't all subscribers to the Log Cabin Democrat, but I wrote a column this past week about the way I feel about motherhood after a year and I thought it would be easier to just post it here rather than ramble on trying to explain it. So here it is:

Working on my motherhood degree
It's a difficult thing for me to both admit and believe, but I have been a mother for a year now.
My little five-pound bundle of joy born last July celebrated his first birthday with two count them, two huge blow-out bashes over the past few weeks and has shoved more than his share of cupcakes into his face over that time period.
Yes, he is a full-grown 25-pound toddler now, and as I work everyday to talk to teachers, principals and kids across Faulkner County about what they are learning and why they are learning it, I have never stopped to think about just how much I've learned in the past 12 months.
My son and I took off a few hours from work and day care Monday morning to visit the pediatrician's office for the 12-month check-up and a few not-so-fun shots and as I watched him interact with other babies and move about the waiting room, I realized that as much as he has learned in his short lifetime, I've learned even more.
So to mark one of the most important milestones in my life, I'd like to share a few of those lessons with my readers.
Yes, I have a high school diploma and right after that came a bachelor's degree from University of Central Arkansas so I'd like to think I'm a pretty educated person. But the day that little boy was born, I came to the realization I did not have any type of degree in motherhood.
Sure, I've read a few of the books and I've listened to a few pieces of advice from my mom, mother-in-law and every other woman I've ever met who's now a mother, but my husband and I mostly figured it out for ourselves.
And the biggest realization I've made recently is that it all goes by entirely too fast.
Everyone is using the word "toddler" in conversation with me now, and although he can't quite "toddle" just yet, he's getting a lot closer to "kid" and a lot further from "baby."
Since last summer I've learned a baby's cough can really just be a cough, formula only tastes good to babies (don't ask), teething really does hurt and a cell phone is better than any toy Fisher-Price can invent.
In one year, we've gone from bottles to cups, from smiles to laughs, from babbles to my new favorite word, "mama," and there is no telling what's next for us.
I feel like I just came back to work after a three-month maternity leave and the worst thing about it is I'm told by other mothers that the years to come will fly right by, too.
From first-day-of-kindergarten tears to skinned knees from baseball to the teenage years, my kid and I have a lot to learn.
No, I was not classically trained in parenting before July 7, 2007, and I know I have plenty of new experiences ahead of me, but there has to be some kind of honorary degree I've earned this far in.
I don't have an instruction manual for where we've been or where we're going, but in my mind, I'm working hard toward my doctorate in motherhood.

Event of the Year (Round 1)

So I don't know if you heard or not, but Nathaniel Thomas Bauer turned one last week. You could possibly have known because of the two huge parties, several lunch dates and ridiculous amount of presents that have been flowing into my house since then, but if you missed all that, here's a short update. So we kicked off the birthday extravaganza with his big party here at the house Saturday, July 5. We had about eight little ones here with us and three kiddie pools and let me tell you, that was a great combination! It seemed like the kids, including Nathan, loved splashing around. The theme was pool party, so we had a beach ball cupcake cake which was wonderful, beach ball accessories, beach balls (duh) and a big beach ball pinata that Riley broke with his powerful skills. Nathan got so many cool toys that day and a new toy box to fit it all in (although, it's already getting tight in there). Nathan has also had three and a half cupcakes since he turned one, every one of which he has been able to polish off in about two minutes. Our kid is a pretty impressive eater. Nathan absolutely loved everything about his first birthday party and I had a really good time planning it and making it happen. It went by too fast and I'm afraid I'll be planning the second one before I know it. :)

Happy Birthday, America!

Nathan's first Fourth of July was a huge hit! We had a big party at Grammy and Poppy's house outside of town that included all of the family plus a few close friends and we all had so much fun together. Nathan and the babies loved watching the older kids with their sparklers and the dads show up the neighbors with their fireworks display. Nathan wasn't at all scared and actually stared at the sky the entire time, waiting for more of the show. The party also featured a game of soccer, washers, bubbles and lots more. I definitely think we need to make this an annual thing. Enjoy the pictures! :)

Making up for lost time

So let me start this off with an apology to all of Nathan's adoring fans out there for the lack of blogging that has been going on here. Since the last post, our family has been ridiculously busy. Today is the first day I'm just sitting at home with nothing to do and I am so truly thankful for it. Every weekend this summer has been jam-packed with either work, weekend trips, or one of Nathan's many first birthday parties. I'm working on getting a job with Hendrix College and Jonathan's working on getting a better job within his company, so stay tuned for more positive financial news from us. As for what we've been doing since the last post (err.. Mother's Day...), I'm just going to post a bunch of pictures since then so you can see for yourself. Here's a few pictures from June to see what you've missed out on. :) The first are pictures of Nathan's new very favorite thing to do - swim at Nana's! He's completely fearless in the water and he'd much rather be out of the baby floatie just splashing around the pool. And there's also some random super cute pictures so you can see just how cute he's getting. More to come...