Sunday, May 22, 2011

when I count my blessings, I count you a Trillion Times....

Last night I spent the night away from my family.
Now, this is something I've done before. Many times.........I worked nights for the first three years of my marriage and until Maddy was ten months. But that was work. And I HAD to do it. Job stuff, ya know? Not fun stuff.

However, last night was voluntary. And out of town. And for FUN. Gasp.

My dear friend of a million years is getting married on Friday and I can't make the wedding. But I could make a night of friendship and fun in St. Augustine for her bachelorette weekend on the beach. So I went. Sans family.

I had fun with the girls. And don't worry, we didn't get too crazy. We're mostly all OLD people now who by 10 pm and three drinks were all ready for bed. But we collectively decided as a group to "hang till at least midnight." Ha. It's important for me to still define myself as something other than "wife and mother." It was a push and struggle for me to go but I am SO very glad I did. And to celebrate sweet Erin who is marrying her love of six years.

This time away from my sweet family made me realize even more: I am so in love with my beautiful life. And I welcome all struggles for they make the sweet things so much sweeter.

Our beautiful baby is turning one in a few weeks. ONE.

While I welcome this wonderous milestone, I am also very suprised by my emotions toward it. I am more EEYORE than EXCITED right now. Little Madelyn is growing up. And getting big. And won't be a BABY any more. AND IT WENT BY SO FAST. One year ago, I would rock in the rocking chair counting the baby kicks and would imagine what she would look like. When would she be born? Would she have hair? How much would she weigh? Would she be cute? And smart?

But, with this big-girl-age, let me just say:
-Maddy is beautiful.
-Maddy is so smart.
-Maddy is so brave.
-Maddy is determined.
-Maddy is easily frustrated.
-Maddy is busy.
-Maddy is lovable.
-Maddy loves to hug.
-Maddy loves to eat.
-Maddy has a sweet tooth.
-Maddy has never had juice.
-Maddy loves water, and can drink from a straw.
-Maddy hates swimming in cold water.
-Maddy loves her wading pool.
-Maddy loves the dogs, and loves to call them "dog!!"
-Maddy can say "duck" and "qwack qwack." (Though it sounds like "rahhh! Rahh!"
-Maddy loves to say "littlelittlelittlelittle" copying what Mommy calls her.
-Maddy CAN walk....but won't. Only a few steps a few times. Scardy cat.
-Maddy hugs on her teddy bear before she falls asleep.

She is amazing and I welcome every day with her. And thank God a million times a day for this life he has given me, and the blessings he has put in it. I have an amazing husband and haven't met a better man than him. Ever. And this little girl God is allowing me to raise.........she ROCKS. =)

Monday, April 4, 2011

School's in Session.....and We're Broke.

Monday was her first day of school.
And YES, I know I am referring to the place we are voluntarily dumping Maddy every day as "school" but......"Learning Center" is in its title and they do learning exercises every day with the babies. And they use the Abeka curriculum. So quit judging and let me call it "school" to emotionally deal with the fact that I abandon my child. By choice. Every day. For a "better job." How lame.

No, but seriously----My prayers (and half of northeast Florida was praying for us) were totally answered. Not only did she have a GREAT day, she barely said "bye bye" to Da-Da when he dropped her off and only half-waved. Jason was walking out while Maddy was literally smashing & knocking a (smaller) kid down to get to the toys on the shelf. The teacher was saying "nice touch, Maddy, NICE TOUCH!!!" as he was leaving.
Atta' girl.

Okay, so let me back track....and update ya'll.
Basically, I was going crazy doing night shift on an increasingly crap-tastic floor. Without sleeping prior. OR after. All to take care of Maddiest. I know this was my choice. And I do not regret for one second that I was able to work full time and spend 9.5 months caring solely for my kid. However, I was seriously considering antidepressants (to deal with sleep deprivation side effects) and Jason was considering joining our church's "Single Parent's Group." Not really, but you get the idea.
Let's just say that the vision I have in my head of myself is an overweight, crabby, frumpy, b*tch with huge bags under her eyes. And baby food smeared on my clothes. Gross.

So, Jason (being very supportive through this process-----i would TOTALLY not stay with me if I were him) literally found me this dreamy too-good-to-be-true job @ Mayo Clinic. No holidays. No weekends. 4 Days/wk. Cushy. Better pay. Better benefits. Better environment. Still in my Heme/Onc specialty. So I applied. And had a 3 hr interview.


Jason saw visions of a better marriage in his head while I saw visions of normal work hours and sleeping while it's actually dark outside, and.......CRAP.

No other choice, people. All the lucky mommies at my work have aunties and cousies, and parents who watch their 7 children. We are losers who moved away from our families and thus have no choice.

We searched. We interviewed. Bottom line---we are at the top of our price range and are LITERALLY paying what it would cost to put TWO point five (You heard me, 2.5) freaking kids through Catholic School. It is crazy how much daycare costs.

But hey. This is our baby. I can only fit into rags anyways, so there is no better person to spend our $$ on than Miss Maddy Loo. And her care. =)


I knew this was going to be rough for me......I mean, let's face it: I had spent the last 18 months of my life caring for this my tummy, and in my arms. The only time I had ever really left her was when I'd work at night. However she and the rest of the world were sleeping so it was "okay." I just felt very guilty over the fact I was lucky enough to have a job where i COULD stay home. But at what expense? My sanity? My marriage? It wasn't working.

This past week was AWESOME. great for her, great for me. She was cheerful EVERY SINGLE DAY we picked her up and all the teachers say she is "the happiest baby!" I am confident that she won't grow a second head or have behavioral problems her whole life because she had to go to daycare. I am confident she will be "just fine."

So, I was so excited for Saturday. It meant sleeping in, and getting to spend the whole day with my little Bugs Bunny.............
Maddy must have been excited too because she decided to get up at 545 this morning. Sigh.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feast Your Eyes

Nothing but pics.
Saturday was beautiful and so is this chickadee.
Enjoy, lovers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Loving my ONE baby.

When Jason and I were pregnant we used to always day dream about the kind of kid Maddy would grow up into. Based on the constant crazy activity she had going on in my belly (the kid NEVER stopped....and I mean NEVER) we developed our day dream into a spunky, into-everything, curious, rough housing tom boy of a girl. We used to joke about when she is older and we can't find her to look outside and we'd see her rolling around the dirt of a back yard we have with the dogs. She'd be the one playing ball with the neighborhood boys yet do dance classes after school. She wouldn't be a prissy girl yet would make mud pies and catch lizards and snails.

Call me psychic. This is our girl.

Our rambunctious 8 monther dressed in pink with her little flower earrings is nuts. Fearless. Not prissy AT ALL. As of today, her favorite things are:
-Shoes. Any type. They taste SO good. The dirtier the better.
-Dog toys. Especially the blackened-with-dirt green bone.
-Trash can lid.
-Any type of leaf, grass, trash she can get her hands on.
-Dirt piles in the house when Mommy sweeps the floors. Those are the funnest!
-The dog bowls. The water splashes just like bath time!!
-Chewing on the dog tails. Epecially Fenway's (because he'll let her).
-Favorite lounge place: the dog beds. Total dirt pile. She comes out covered. Sick.

I don't know HOW many times a day Jason and I wipe her hands, knees, FACE and change her bib because they are black with dirt. From the porch. The yard. The dust piles she finds. Now, I know I don't clean the floors multiple times a day but I promise that I clean them on a DAILY BASIS and try to keep up with the mopping. Our girl is just into everything.

Her favorite word lately is da-da. She loves him. She also is smart and shouts "Doh!!" everytime the dogs walk by. They have quickly gone from protective and in love with this baby to being terrified of her. They hear her shout their names and they run away as fast as they can.

Don't tell her doctor but I have sneaked her some stuff. So far, on the list of forbidden foods are:
-A baked Cheeto. Yum!
-Licks of Mommy's frozen yogurt. This is probably her favorite. She is def my child.
-Cool Whip

Hey-I figure that the kid deserves some sweetness. Bribery, right?

Basically, I wouldn't trade her OR her personality for the world. She is pretty much awesome and what would we do with a boring kid? Lame.
Our little rough housing girl is a reminder to us that dreams do come true.
(Even though we never dreamed about how much soap we'd have to use on her).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bottles, Babies and Bumpers...

Crib bumpers are bad.
Doctors advise against them, the APA puts out literature linking them to SIDS. Mommy groups across the U.S. scream and picket (well, maybe not picket) against them.
Confession: I use them.

Now, let me explain.......and try to look past the vain and shallow argument:
The bedding we got for Maddy is DANG cute and the bumpers are probably the cutest part.
It was always my intention to keep them on UNTIL she learned to roll over--and then I would swiftly and promptly remove them. Besides,I keep going back to my mother's theory: "all you kids had crib bumpers and were fine." Well, due to the intense "swaddle of Jason" that practically took a crow bar to remove her from, that little sucker wasn't rolling anywhere. Thus, the cute bumpers remained.
Once she learned to bust through the swaddle it was time for the sleep sack--which also inhibited her roll sessions. And again, the bumpers stayed.
However, due to her "big girl" status, she is crawling/scooting from one end of the crib to another....and having too close for comfort collisions with her face and the bumper.
The other night I checked on her before I went to bed and was horrified to see her face SMASHED COMPLETELY UP againt the bumper. She was fast asleep.
Freaking out like most 2010 mommies would, I went to Jason who calmly said "She is fine. She will be fine," (which she was and would be) but I still knew I would not sleep that night.....unless.....we removed the bumpers.
Which we did just then.
Which we woke her up while removing them.
Which she FREAKED OUT. Hard core. FREAKED OUT.

This poor child found herself suddenly in a different crib which she could see out of, and no comfy cushy sides. Now, for those of you who know Miss Maddy, you know she is a LOVER of routine. (From her Daddy). SHE FRRRRREEEEEEAAKKKKKKEEDDDDDD OUT.

Multiple times that night we were up to the sound of hysterical screaming to which we had to spend considerable amount of time soothing her and trying to convince her that "it's your same crib, Maddy!" She didn't care. That chick wanted her bumpers back more than I did (let's face it, the crib is def not as cute without them).

Around 3 or so in the morning after she continued to wake up and wake up and wake up SCCCRRRREEEAAAMMMING we began to consider replacing them. Just for the night. Just so we could all get some sleep. But the mommy in me said "stay strong. Don't put them back."

After yet another freak out session, Jason went in to help her and found her on her knees repeatedly head banging her head into the crib railing.

The bumpers went back on.
And that girl slept.
And secretly I am happy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blogging ain't for sissies....

So sue me. It's been over a month since I've posted but quite frankly, I've been avoiding this post. Yes, this is the post that should have been MOST on-schedule. The "our baby's first Christmas" post. Sometimes (though I don't like to admit it) I will avoid things. Do I avoid confrontation? NEVER. It's one of my favorite pasttimes. Do I avoid chocolate? Are you JOKING? Do I avoid meals? You must be crazy. But, do I avoid blogging about the psycho woman Tammy who almost destroyed our first Christmas and who ROBBED US ON CHRISTAMS EVE?

Only for a month. Then I can't avoid anymore.

So, here goes. Only going to blog about it once. Honestly, I'm tired of telling the story. To the police (500 times). To co-workers. To friends (who I love for your support). To my blog. So here it is. The Gebhardt's First Christmas as Mommy & Daddy:

It was 10:15 Christmas Eve. My parents were about 45 min away from arriving at our house. We were PARENTS this Christmas and, because Santa Clause would be visiting Maddy this year, we were hosting our 1st Christmas. Ever. Even using the wedding china for the 1st time. I had just finished feeding baby Maddy some bananas and cereal (because she is a big girl, and that's what big girls eat) and Jason was running back in forth from the garage to the back off the back porch, washing the dogs, doing that "man stuff."
So anyways--I went into the nursery to change Maddy's clothes and diaper. 5 minutes total. I heard my cell phone ring in the kitchen and assumming it was my parents, hurried up with Maddy and went out to the kitchen. On my way to the kitchen I noticed a black car in our driveway. Thinking it was one of our neighbors, I went on to my phone where there was a missed call from Jason. Who was in the back yard. So, I went (like most wives would do) with Maddy on my hip and yelled out the back door "what do you want, and why did you call me?" He looked up confused and said "I didn't call you; I don't even have my phone." Then I said "Well, whatever. Can you please see who is at the front door? I am still in my pajamas and I still have to get dressed before my parents get here."

So he came inside.
And then we noticed the door leading from the garage to the laundry room was open. The door leading from the laundry room to the kitchen was open. His truck was not in the driveway. His wallet was gone. His cell phone was gone. BOTH sets (yes, BOTH) of our keys were gone.

Let me just say: The craziest things ALWAYS happen to me. If it's going to be crazy, it's going to happen to Steph. Embarrassing things. Weird things. And this is no exception. So, hold on to your butts.......and try to keep up....

There was a pile of clothes on our kitchen floor. That was not ours. Like, in the movies when the body disappears but the clothes remain in a heap..YEP. A pile of woman's clothing. Including boots. And a belt. ON OUR FLOOR.

There was a purse on the table. With money in it. Even lots of cash. And a license. That belonged to a woman named "Tammy." Who wasn't all that bad looking.

Long Long long story short...........after freaking out, yelling obscenities to my mother "were were just FU**ING ROBBED!!!!!!!!!!!" on the phone, dropping Maddy off of my bed onto the hard wood floor while trying to get dressed before the cops showed up, having our locks changed before CSI took finger prints (whoops)...they caught the psycho bitch.

Apparently, Jason's truck was on empty (woo hoo!). She ran out of gas and tried to use his credit cards at a gas station. Because we had already froze them, (and our insurance card didn't work which she tried to use as well) she jumped into someone's car. While they were in it. Because, that's what crazy people do.

Was she naked, you ask? Since she left her clothes in a heap on our kitchen floor?
No, silly! She STOLE JASON'S SHIRT AND MY NURSE SHOES AND THAT'S WHAT SHE WAS WEARING WHEN THEY ARRESTED HER. freak of nature., basically, a naked psycho woman was in our house naked putting on my husband's clothing. DISGUSTING.

anways, the people whose car she jumped in called the police. they found Tammy running around the gas station wearing Jason's shirt (ha) and she handed them Jason's license when they asked for hers. So, b/c she doesn't look like a 36 year old man they arrested her. Then realized his truck was stolen. So, after only about 3 hours we got a call that they had found her and Jason went to go get our truck.


-Maddy's carrier seat. From our living room.
-A baby hat.
-Baby gloves.
-My nurse bag (stethoscope, syringes, etc).
-Jason's shirt
-My nurse shoes
-A box of Cheeze-its.
-A 2 liter of Diet coke.
-A bag of almonds.
-Jason's Ski Jacket
-A woman's winter vest
-An afghan that she dropped in the kitchen on her way out the door.

She threw all his CD's out of his window and also his cell phone. Which was brand new. Not even a week old. We never got those back.

Anyways--she is arrested on a million felonies and we've already taked to the prosecuting attorney. She is probably crazy and more than likely she will walk on "I'm crazy, don't throw me in jail" charges and just have to do stupid counseling or something. She was strung out on drugs, but probably won't get in trouble for it.

I guess I'm still angry about it. That she took baby stuff. Had she just stripped naked in our house and grabbed a bunch of food and crap like she did, I probably would be laughing by now. But take a bunch of Maddy's stuff and i will wig. Which is pretty much what I did.

Needless to say.........we are SO SO SO lucky. No one was hurt. no one had to see the naked lady. She didn't steal maddy. She didn't hurt his truck. She is in jail (and SUPER scary looking, btw). We were able to still have Christmas at our house. Even all my Christmas presents that were in Jason's truck...I even got to open those Christmas morning!!

so, that's it. tammy. weirdo naked drug addict.

On a happier note, Maddy is almost crawling. She screams like a pterodactyl when she can't figure out how to. It's quite piercing of a scream. I just wish she'd figure out how to get that leg underneath her so my ear drums will quit ringing.

Her Aunt "Sissy" came to visit with a few other nun friends. Maddy was obsessed. espesh with their rosaries.

She has 2 teeth on the bottom poking out. sniff. SO PROUD of my boo. Working on eating 3 big girl meals (aka cereal & jar food) per day.

She has a rat tail. And it's awesome.

She is obsessed with Jason. When she hears him on speaker phone she all but pukes from being so happy. And when he comes home from work? She freaks out. Almost starts crying she is so happy to see him. He is her hero =)

Her favorite toys are the rings you put on the wooden stand and a "Frosty the Snowman" that sings and dances. She screams SO FREAKING LOUD everytime that thing goes off. She loves it.

So. We are getting an alarm system.
Don't be afraid to come visit.
And stay off the cocaine, people.


About Me

Jace, Steph & Maddy. And 2 dogs. Happy, healthy and hopeful living this wonderful thing called life.