Friday, December 17, 2010

World Revolves From Night to Day

I can't believe how big Olivia is getting! She turned three months old a couple of weeks ago and she is now nearly fifteen pounds. She loves being read to, shiny lights, being naked, and her birds (a mobile).

I have always loved the holiday season. I drive Bob nuts listening to straight Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas day. In the car, he races me to hook his iPhone in first so we can listen to his music rather than my holiday jams again!

There is nothing more fun than having a kid at Christmas. Even though Olivia has been with me when I've bought all of her Christmas presents (and wrapped them too), I'm so excited to open them up with her! We even have it on good authority that Santa has a few gifts for her as well...

I put up our Christmas tree while she was napping and had just plugged in the lights when she awoke. I picked her up and brought her into the front room and you could just see the wonder and excitement in her eyes as she stared at the twinkling lights. It was so magical, seeing the light in her eyes. I place her Bumbo chair in front of the tree and she'll sit there for twenty minutes (a long time for her) staring at the lights.

Bob thought I loved the holidays before, but he has no idea how bad it's going to get in the future!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Weary Travelers

Bob, Olivia, and I in Soho last week.
Last week, Bob and I decided to try something bold and adventurous! We took Olivia on her first big trip, all the way across the country to New York City. Bob was going already for some work meetings, and the baby and I hung out in the city both with and without him.

Bob and I love to travel. We love experiencing new places, seeing new things, meeting new people, and eating weird food. When we thought about having children, we always thought it would be important to share those desires with them, and hopefully be able to share in some exciting experiences with them as well. So when the opportunity arose to take her as a two-month old, we jumped at the chance. How hard could it be?

Well, we now know a little better. Gone are the days where we can carry on all of our luggage. Babies require a ridiculous amount of accouterments, and Bob thought that I packed heavy for myself! We no longer can stay out late at night in the city (not that we were big clubbers to begin with), babies need to go to bed at night. But we were able to do a lot of things and Bob and I were able to share some of our favorite Big Apple things with Baby Liv.

When you're fantasizing about the children you will have 'one day,' it's easy to become idealistic and imagine the great life that you are going to provide for them. I worried that some of our dreams were a little far-fetched and that children would make certain actions improbable if not impossible. It was refreshing to take our sweet baby girl on a fairly large endeavor and have it turn out alright in the end. The plane ride wasn't as relaxing, trips out took a lot more accessories, and we had to constantly be aware of what amenities a locale had in case of a sudden diaper or feeding need. But the trip was incredibly fulfilling, because we were together as a family, the three of us, and nothing could have been better in my mind. (Though honestly, I think that she might have preferred staying home. Hopefully, she'll enjoy the next trip a little more.)

I hereby call this trip to New York, a success!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Myself

Last week I turned 25, a quarter of a century! I love birthdays, and though I'm march ever onward toward the dreaded 30, this year was no exception. It's funny how aging works, I don't feel that old, but I look at 20-year-olds, and I definitely feel older than them.

I don't think Olivia quite got into the celebration. The hat started to bother her after a while, and she wasn't able to eat any of the delicious birthday cupcakes. Ah well, hopefully she'll understand it a little better by the time her own birthday rolls around next September.

This year, we went on a hike up Millcreek Canyon to Dog Lake with the whole family. The five of us trekked through the gorgeous yellow-leaved aspens, though Olivia slept the whole time strapped to Bob's chest. It was pleasant to reach the top and enjoy what will most likely be the last dog swimming session of the year.

Now there's snow on the ground, and the leaves are mostly fallen from the trees. So long beautiful autumn, and so long another lovely birthday for me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nothing Much Here

Bob and the dogs on a walk.

I don't know what I want to say tonight. My baby has zits and it's raining outside.

It's been a lazy afternoon. Olivia has better things to do than sleep. She's actually surprisingly alert for blowing through her traditional 4-hour nap. So we've read lots of books and I've watched lots of Hulu as I've tried to soothe her into drowsiness.

She's smiling a lot now, but mostly not at people. She enjoys lights and fans and her butterfly rattle. She keeps growing longer and longer, though not plumping up much despite her voracious appetite.

I guess I still don't have anything else to say, but here we are.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn is a Second Spring When Every Leaf is a Flower

Olivia is getting ready for the cooler weather by donning her favorite beanie!

I love the fall; it's the best season. Autumn smells of cinnamon and pumpkin and freshly sharpened pencils and crisp coolness. Autumn is full of incredible colors, greens and yellows and reds and oranges. Autumn is when the coolest people are born (e.g. Olivia, me).

This September just flew by, probably because of the whole having-a-newborn thing, and I feel like I need to really take advantage of the fall before it's gone in a flurry of snowflakes. It's Olivia's first Fall, and I feel like she needs to enjoy it, though I'm not sure how to facilitate that when she can't hold her head up on her own yet. Perhaps we'll go for a Fall drive next week.

I really want her to enjoy all of the things that I love. I read her books every day, hoping she'll pick up my love of reading. (Speaking of that, having a newborn is great for reading, I'm blowing through lots of books during feedings and late night rockings!) I play and sing for her music that I love. Under close supervision, we play with the dogs. We go on walks outside, drives to beautiful places, and she's even been on a couple of hikes. I hope that when she grows up, we'll be able to enjoy some amazing things together, while still allowing her to be her own person.

Well, I'm off for now, I guess I should go make an apple pie or something!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Tender Look Which Becomes a Habit

Maggie and Olivia (and Butterfly Rattle) Wish You a Good Day.

Back in June, we got a phone call from our case worker. A prospective birth couple wanted to meet us, and we went to what I can only describe as the most intense job interview ever. We found out a few days later that they had chosen us, and that we were going to be parents to a (presumably) beautiful baby girl. Olivia's birth parents are great people that we loved getting to know.

I have a hard time describing our relationship to Olivia's birth parents, it seems so unique. We became acquainted in such an intensely personal way in a very brief time period. I think of them as closer than friends, more like family. And from the very beginning, for merely considering us as potential parents of the incredible baby they were placing for adoption, we loved them. Now that she is born, I can see we won't ever have the same sort of relationship, but I will cherish the memories that we have and I can't wait to tell Olivia one day about the beautiful path she took to us and the wonderful people that made it possible.

It's hard not to see the hand of God in a scenario like ours. Olivia is our baby, she is meant to be in our family. These truths have been testified to us over and over again in incredibly beautiful ways. We are so lucky. And Olivia is so lucky, she is loved by so many people!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Night Is a World Lit By Itself

I've been spending more time up in the middle of the night lately. I used to love that time when the world was sleeping and I was up reading or writing or taking melancholy self-portraits. Then I grew to loathe the hours after midnight and before the dawn, if I was up it meant sleep-deprivation the next day. The classes would be hard to sit through or I would need an extra jolt of caffeine to stay alert during the monotonous commute. I became a crepuscular being, enjoying the dusk and dawn the most. I loved driving eastward to work as the sun slowly creeped over the Wasatch range, violent colors of the day's birth streaking the sky.

Now I've come to love the middle of the night once more. I have nowhere to be at 7 am, I can nap if I want to. At first Olivia loved being awake then, staring and grasping. Now she just likes to chug her bottle in peace while I gently rock her and read. The wind often blows and I sit in comfortable silence and think about the turn my life has suddenly taken.

Olivia and I sent Bob back to work today, he was at the end of his paternity leave. It's just the four of us now, and everyone seems to be napping by me. I think they're on to something, the middle of the night is so much more interesting than the middle of the afternoon.

(By four of us I mean me, Olivia, and the dogs Maggie and Sammi.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This weekend, a miracle occurred. Olivia Jocelyn Fawson was born, and a few days later she came to live with us. She came from a loving and beautiful pair of birth parents, and though her journey is irregular, we know that she was meant to be in our family.

I'm sure I'll have loads more to talk about in this vein, but for now I'm feeling a tad sleep deprived. So I bid you adieu, fair reader, with this brief but important announcement of the birth of a beautiful baby girl.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Times They Are a Changin'

Bob and I in front of the Gloriette at the Scheonbrun Palace in Vienna (May 2010). One of two pictures we have from this entire trip where we are both in the frame.

This is going to be one of those posts that you, loyal readers, all hate. The kind of post where I allude to the very real fact that amazing, astounding, and life-changing things are happening to me, and then I don't tell you what is going on with me.

It's true. Stay tuned, and expect incredible news in the next two weeks (give or take). I hope to renew regular posting, but I've broken such promises in the past.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In the Air Tonight

I'm listening to Phil Collins (don't ask) and feeling lonely. Bob has started travelling again, and thus I descend into the interminable nights when I sit alone in our empty house talking to the dogs and watching Hulu until I finally fall asleep. It's nights like this that remind me of high school, sitting on my dad's iMac late into the night chatting with friends on the internet, discovering new music, taking baths, and reading Tolstoy. I thought those days were the beginning of something great. I knew I'd fall in love with a musician (and had one in mind), and I figured the rest of my life would be a continuation in kind.

I've always enjoyed alone time. Time to sit and think and read and please no one but myself. It has been quite a while since I felt like I could do that. I felt like the second the music/tv/book stopped, was the second my mind would start playing it's slideshow of pity, something I have to desire to live through. So I would constantly barrage myself with media in an attempt to (not in a scary way) drown out the voices in my head. And you know what I've found? It's harder to avoid than to actually feel and remember and think and sulk. It hasn't made me weaker.

Hello Cassandra, it's nice to hear from you again. It's been a long time.

Next goals: Forgiveness, Honesty.

Public Service Announcement: I learned a lot from my visit to a hospital's micro lab today, but most importantly, vaccinate your kids. Seriously, vaccinate them. Protect me from short Southern women, and vaccinate them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year: New You

A classic shot of Bob eating. This time it's pizza from Settebello on New Year's Eve.

2010 has already begun flying by at the speed of light. Bob and I have been bitten with the classic resolution bug, deciding to reorganize our lives, starting with finishing our basement remodel and moving our furniture around. We will (soonish) no longer have a man-den, so hopefully all manish clutter will remain in the garage. Women don't create clutter, didn't you hear?

I recently read, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I recommend it wholeheartedly for anyone interested in organizing, or otherwise improving the happiness they receive from day to day. I found it extremely enlightening.

I'm excited for 2010, and I'm going to try dreaming again. We'll see how it pans out for me.