Friday, May 29, 2009

Dear Abigail

Dear Abigail, 

It's Friday night and you are in your crib sleeping.  I think I probably owe you a few thank yous for being such a good sleeper.  

Every night, we put you to bed around 7pm.  Every night you go down without a fight.  And at some point, every night, your dad or I say "we have such a good baby"  It's so true.  We often ponder how or why we were blessed with your easy going temperament.  Most people agree that if we ever have another child, they are destined to be terribly difficult.  Probably true.  But, for now, thank you for taking it easy on us.  

Tonight before your dinner, you spent a few hours with me and your dad.  We were playing with you and you were so engaging and...cute.  You are awfully cute.  Especially when you giggle - it's like our kryptonite - we both go weak in the knees and can't focus on anything but your smile.  You are so happy.  We played for a good 45 mins with a burp cloth.  I'm most certainly feeling like you're starting to become attached to these.  I have mixed feelings about that - but mostly I think its ok.  One day, when you leave it at the park and cry for a week afterwards - I'll probably regret it.  But for now, I love that you love it.  So, hug, hold, grab, and chew on your lovey all you like. 

I got off track - back to tonight.  Your dad and I had a lot of fun playing with you.  It was a happy little moment with you in between us - and we were taking turns making faces or singing songs to make you smile and laugh.  You never stop moving.  I think you flailed and kicked and rolled and laughed for a solid few hours.  ....Hm, no wonder you go to bed so well. 

I just found myself wanting to write - to you - to let you know about this one day in our lives.  This one day when you were 5 and a half months old that your dad and I stopped everything in our world to bask in your giggles.  

We love you so much, and more every day.  ~mom

2 videos

Another video we took yesterday of Abby being ticklish.  She's funny.  :)

And this one is Abby just playing with dad.  It makes me laugh. Sorry it's a little dark.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Here is a short video of Abby enjoying her oatmeal.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

first food!

Kyle and I took Abby for yet another check up and weigh in today.  She weighed in at 12 lbs and 3 oz.  So, she's still on the charts and our doctor seemed fine with it.  She also gave us the green light on starting solids.  As Kyle and I were headed to the grocery store after the doctor's visit anyway - we couldn't help ourselves and bought Abby her first food - oatmeal.

We are intending to make Abby's food.  And we are intending to buy organically as often as possible.  I, however, have no interest in trying to make my own oatmeal - so thank you Gerber for doing that part for me.  

We got Abby a high chair yesterday.  She's so tiny that it just swallows her up, but Kyle was so excited about getting it.  He proudly put it together without looking at any instructions.  

So, we pulled out the bib and the baby spoon and mixed up some oatmeal for Abby to try.  She ate a lot of it - but more of it found its way to her chin.  She was delightfully messy.  I have a video of the milestone that I will try to upload later, for now, here are some pictures of Abigail's first experience with solid food. 

ready or not, here I come


this is great mom!

hey dad, have you tried this stuff?



Abby loves oatmeal

all done and happy

time for a bath!

Good job tonight Abigail - you've only just begun and we can't wait to introduce you to a whole world of foody goodness.  

Monday, May 25, 2009


Any day that starts with this face is a good day in my book.  

my little peanut - I've grown to love that she has no real eyebrows, yet the skin where they would be turns red when she's waking up, tired, mad, or surprised.

So far, Kyle and I have had an eventful and enjoyable weekend.  Friday, as previously mentioned, was Kyle's birthday.  He had fun on his scavenger hunt - which took him all day, and then we went out for dinner that night.  We came home and watched some basketball and called it a day.  

On Saturday, we had a low key morning around the house - which was nice.  Just worked on household chores and such and got a lot done.  Of course any good lazy morning includes a good nap on dad...
That evening, Kyle's uncle, aunt and cousin came to visit.  Kyle hadn't seen his uncle in 7 or 8 years, and he hadn't seen his aunt or cousin in closer to 15 years.  They live in California, and so the opportunities to get together are rather slim.  However, Chis (Kyle's cousin) was graduating from a high school nearby and they decided to take the opportunity to join us for dinner.  

We had a great time!  Obviously, I had never met any of them and I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know a few of the other...rather, the only other Shachmuts around. 

Daria, me, Kyle, Abby, Ken, & Chris
We enjoyed a very yummy dinner at a new modern italian place in the South End.  It's called Stella and comes highly recommended.  I'm no restaurant critic, but I had some swordfish that was so very yummy, and I've been craving their artichoke heart appetizer since we left.  Food aside, I think we all had a really nice time getting to know each other and catching up.  I know I did!

On Sunday, we woke up to the strange phenomenon that is thunder.  It was weird - but nice.  I don't recall ever seeing dark storm clouds like the ones we had yesterday - it reminded me of home and the air was all eerie and electric.  I love that feeling.  Kyle, not so much.  Anyway, we headed to church and then ran several errands around town.  We joined some friends for dinner at their house and again enjoyed food and company before coming home.

daddy time!

Today, we're hoping to go out and do some shopping for the Abster.  I'm hoping to finally pick up a jumper/exersaucer as well as some food prep gear - solids are just around the corner!  We go to the doctor tomorrow for another weigh in, and we'll ask about starting food.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

I feel like lately I've barely had time to blog- and when I do I'm just rushing through little updates about this and that - I'm hoping that I'll find some time for some more interesting bloggage in the near future...things are just very busy at the moment.  Of course, I guess we're all pretty busy, huh?  

Anyway, hopefully I'll find my regular writing routine soon.  Today, I'll leave you with this picture I shot as I got off the train....for no other reason than I just like it...and it reminds me of all things spring. 

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today I am not at the high school.  I picked up a few other cases for some co-workers that were overburdened with referrals.  It's nice- it helps them out and it gives me a chance to practice my elementary school skills.  

The first kid I saw today was a 5th grader.  A 5th grader with many, many issues.  Issues deeper than I think I can get a grasp on in our measly 2 hours together.  I think I need to brush up on some childhood disorders that may be in play.  Either way, It was good for me to remember how different little kids are than the high schoolers.  I mean, the high schoolers have problems too - but for the most part, they know it.  Or they can articulate it.  When you're young - you don't always have the skills or the ability to express what you feel.  So then you have all of these behavior issues and other things that are really just the poor kid trying to understand himself.  I heart projective testing, by the way.

The second kid I'm going to see today is a 3.5 year old.  I called the mother for an interview yesterday and she talked for 15 mins straight about all of the disorders, medications, developmental delays, and trials that this kid has already been through.  Can you imagine?  We take our fussy babies and out tantruming toddlers for granted sometimes.  This little girl has been in therapy since she was born....and may never live without it.  

Anyway.  Since I finished my first appointment early, I found a park next to the school and enjoyed a rare, but nice, lunch outside in the park.  It's beautiful here today.  Blue skies, warm air, slight breeze.  It's so rejuvenating to be outside on a day like today.  Add to that the fact that I could pick up a wifi signal - and everything is perfect. 

So I've ben sitting outside for the past 45 mins, working, checking my mail, researching childhood disorders, upadating facebook of course, and now blogging.  All from outside.  

(insert content sigh)

In other news: today is Kyle's birthday! Yay!  Remember that wicked hard scavanger hunt he sent me on for Mother's Day?  Yeah, well today it's his turn.  Of course, he'll probably like least I kinda hope he does.  

I made Kyle a big breakfast of everything-eggs and sweet italian sausages.  No big plans for tonight, but maybe we'll go out to dinner.  

I'll update later.  For now - gotta go meet this little girl. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

tricky words

warning: pretty pointless post ahead. 

When I was little, there were certain things that always confused me.  I always got "fair" and "circus" mixed up.  I could never remember which one was which.  For a while, I had a hard time with collar and leash - but that one got better after we got a dog.  Of course, right and left took me forever to get...and I didn't really feel confident with them until I broke my left arm and could always use that as a reference. 

Then there were the verbal things.  Crayon and Crown.  I said them both like the latter.  Then there was the day that my 2nd grade teacher spent a good 10 mins with me in front of the whole class trying to teach me that "whale" was pronounced differently than "well"  I said them the same....blame the southern accent.   

Spelling has never been a strong suit.  I took the same spelling test 4 times in 3rd grade when I kept spelling "indian" "indien"  Phonetics.  Ugh.  I also had a hard time figuring out if words should end in "le" or "el"  Maybe I was supposed to be French.  To this day, there are things I always misspell and second guess.  I'm hoping that by flushing them out, I'll finally overcome these silly words.  Here they are.

1.  Minute. As in 60 seconds.  I always read that word as minute, as in very small and I often misspell it as Minuet if I don't think about it.  Most of the time, you'll notice, I just substitute the abbreviation, "min."

2.  Definitely.  I always misspell this as Definatly.  Then I realize its wrong and change it, but I rarely get it right the first time.  I also tend to read it as "defiantly" Go figure.

3.  Each Other.  I always alway always want to type this as one word.  They hugged eachother. It just seems so much more natural. 

4.  Mathematics.  Why is there an e there?  I guess you're supposed to pronounce it. :)  I don't though, and so I have to think about it. 

5. Calendar. I always try to write "calender" Again, because that's how I spell it. 

Ok, I think that's enough self flogging for now.  

I don't know why these words refuse to melt into my permanent knowledge base - but they just don't.  I bet most people have a few words that trip them up.  Right?  Sure they do.  Well, except my sister.  I'm pretty sure she's perfect. 


I apologize for the delay in getting this post done.  But without further ado - Happy Graduation Kyle!  :)

On Monday, Kyle officially graduated from Boston College with his Masters in Education.  His specialty was in religious education, but his actual degree is an MEd (which is nice and versatile).  I have a ton of pictures for you. 

The day started early with Abby wanting to help dad get ready...  Um, it's a little big on you sweetie, but no worries, you'll have your own someday.  

A sweet kiss from Dad before he leaves for the ceremony.

Abby and I got ready, and I carried her in the Ergo over to the college.  It was nice not to have to worry with parking and cars and everything.  It was a little less exciting to walk all over campus in heels - but it was fine - the things we do for the ones we love...  Abby and I got to the stadium where they hold the main ceremony for EVERYBODY.  We found some friends to sit with and awaited the events to begin.  Oh, did I mention that it was freezing?  It was 47 degrees, and raining, and windy.  Perfect, huh?  

Here's Abs sporting her latest "hey, I thought it was spring but it feels like winter, but it doesn't matter cause I'm gonna support my daddy anyway" wear. 

Luckily, Abby stayed snuggled in the Ergo for the entirety of the ceremony.  She was comfy and warm and dry.  I only wish I could have said the same for the rest of us.  
Here's a shot of the graduates...apparently mortarboards don't count as umbrellas.

Me and Stephanie - I'm glad she brought an umbrella

After listening to an overly verbose and long speech by Ken Burns (the beginning and end were great, but he could have cut out the entire middle and I don't think anyone would have noticed), Each of the different schools within the colleges were called to stand, one school at a time, and hood themselves as a gesture of their graduation.  After the ceremony, all the schools dispurse into smaller ceremonies where you actually walk and get your diploma.

Abs and I struggled to walk across campus, up "the" hill while I clutched programs in one hand, a purse in the other, and tried to keep the baby from crying and falling out of the ergo.  Eventually, we made it to the new location and found a perch under a tree where we could watch the ceremony.  I didn't get many pictures here because Abby was awake and at em and I was juggling her and the video camera - so the still shots took a backseat.  

But, here is Kyle about to walk up to the stage to get his big 'spensive pretty piece of paper. 

Abby and I were perched so that Kyle would walk right by our tree.  As he walked by, I called his name, but he couldn't find us.  I had the baby in my lap, the video camera in one hand and I was saying "Kyle!  Kyle! Over here! We're in the tree."  In hindsight, I understand why the people around me were laughing. 

All's well that ends well.

More daddy kisses!

our little family.  Abs was pretty excited about her new chew toy

Behold, Master Shachmut ;-)

I really like the way his diploma looks.  Although, I think that the word "Bostoniensis" sounds a little bit like a disease. 

After his ceremony with the school of education, we headed over to the school of theology where all of Kyle's friends were graduating.  We hung out and enjoyed their reception of yummy things.  We also enjoyed that they were under a tent.  We hung around and said lots of hellos and congratulations, we took more pictures, gave hugs, passed around the baby, and eventually decided to leave. 

Our friends Jon & Stephanie joined us after for a nice late lunch at one of our favorite low-key pizza places.  It was nice to unwind and relax (in the warmth) before heading home.

It was a full day.  We didn't get home until after 5pm and we were all pretty tired

But, tired or not - We are SUPER proud of our Kyle.  He has put in a lot of work over the past 2 years to achieve his degree.  He has learned a lot and has narrowed down the kind of work he would like to do.  What's next you ask?

Next year, Kyle is attending a program at Boston University, just down the road.   It's a 2 year program that will give him a specialist degree in media and instructional design.  From there?  We'll see where the wind blows us.  

Congratulations Kyle, we love you very much!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

weekend fun

We had a busy weekend. :)

On Friday night, Kyle and I kept things low key by staying home and watching Bolt. Cute movie if you haven't seen it. It made me laugh several times.  On Saturday, we met up with one of my friends and co-workers.  Our plan was to go spend the day at one of the harbor "beaches" and enjoy some time outside - but the weather was lukewarm at best so we opted for an indoor lunch and just a quick stroll around the park.  I didn't get any pictures of that event, but the beach/park we went to was nice and I can see how on a sunnier day it would be a lot of fun.  

After we left, my friend came over to our place to babysit for us.  A very generous offer right when Kyle and I were both freaking out about not having anybody lined up. We got to go out to dinner with our friends Jon & Stephanie for a dinner cruise.  We went on one of these last year and our experiences were mediocre - so they gave us 4 free tickets.  

We decided to go on the nicer later cruise - and I can say that our experience this time was much nicer (not that last time was awful, but this time was great).  The only exception was when the waiter accidently dropped a fork into Jon's soup bowl and lobster bisque covered him from head to waist.  Poor Jon.  :)

It was super foggy out, but it kept things from getting too cold.  We enjoyed a nice night out with our friends.  It was fun getting dressed up, and it was fun having a date with the husband. BIG thanks to my friend Jenn who babysat for us!  

Here's a picture of the boat ( I stole it from their website)

Here's a bad picture of us in the fog/humidity - sorry, it was the best I could get in the dark. 

And here's a nice shot of the city from the boat.  Here, the fog actually makes things look kinda cool I think. 

So on to Sunday.  After going to mass, we did a family grocery store run and then decided to splurge and eat lunch out.  We went to Eagle's deli for some yummy burgers and breakfast.  After lunch, we came home and I made several desserts to bring to a party we were attending later that evening.  We eventually made our way down to a friend's house (actually, her parent's house) for a gathering of Kyle's friends and fellow graduating cohort. 

Wendy, Nat, Bridget, Susan, Mary, Jon, Moria, & Kyle

Abby discovered the joy of plastic cups.  We also gave her her first bit of ice chips - I wish I had her face on camera - she looked mortified, intrigued, happy, and furious all at once. :)  But the plastic cup was a big hit.

Abby's boyfriend Tim was at the party.  He has recently learned to say Abigail (well, more like "Abbygo" but close enough.  He is always very happy to see her and very concerned whenever she is unhappy.  He checks the carseat as soon as he sees it, and if she's not there, he looks puzzled and asks "baby? Abbygo?"  

Here he is going in for the kiss ;)
...of course Abby just thinks Tim is another thing to chew on.

The party didn't start until 6pm, and so after being surrounded by strange people and being passed among many - Abby let us all know that she was ready for bed. ...

Finding somewhere for her to sleep in a house full of activity was very hard.  I ended up sitting in a recliner with her until we were ready to go - about 3 hours.  At least she slept well.

All in all, we had a great time all around.  Of course, yesterday was Kyle's big graduation day - but that deserves a post all of its own - hopefully I can get it up today. 

Oh, one more set of pictures for you - just because I'm not sure where else to put them, but I like them.  

Here is a cute picture of Kyle reading to Abby.  She loves the bright pictures in her "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" book.
and here is our little superstar showing off her new independence. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

still here

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever - and it has been a while now.  

We're still here.  We have just had a very very very busy weekend.  A good one, but a busy one.  Tomorrow will be just as busy.  I'm hoping to catch up soon.  Maybe tomorrow night.  I have a lot to cover and pictures to match.  

Gotta go for now, but just wanted to let you guys know that I didn't completely fall off the face of the earth.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5 month pictures

It was a nice day yesterday, so we took Abs outside for a little bit.  She's still not really sure what to make of the great outdoors.  The wind still freaks her out a little bit, and the flowers made her sneeze - but in a cute way.  Enjoy the pics. 

Abby's first encounter with a flower.  She's such a quiet observer, and this picture captures that well I think. 

I know, I know - but I couldn't resist. 

pretty girl

This picture makes me happy

Abby loves to fly.  Unfortunately, moments later, Kyle was covered in baby vomit.  It was gross, but it was funny.  Maybe not so much up and down motion next time, dad. 

my baby

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5 months old

Yesterday, Abby turned 5 months old. :)  So, Happy 5 month birthday Abigail!

In celebration, we had a doctor's appointment to get Abs weighed in again.  We were very, very pleased to find that she had gained nearly a pound in just one week!  Way to go, kid.  So, she now officially weighs in at 11.8 lbs.  I mean, that's still pretty small for a 5 month old - but at least we're back on the charts.  

We were able to help her gain the weight by adding in 2 more bottles a day.  Since my supply couldn't keep up with her demands, we were using formula for those bottles.  The upside is that she successfully gained weight (her little cheeks are notably rounder now).  The downside is that the increase in bottles made her lazy and this is now day 6 of her nursing strike.  One morning she just decided she was done and she hasn't wanted to nurse since.  I still try everyday, but it just makes her mad.

It's a little bittersweet.  I don't think I was (am?) ready to be done with nursing, and it's a little sad to be rejected, y'know?  At the same time, it takes some of the pressure off of me too.  I'm still pumping so she's still getting about 2 milk bottles a day and I hope to at least continue doing that for a while.  In the meantime, there are more bottles to wash than ever. 

In other health news, the formula we introduced changed Abby's...shall we say, digestion? a bit. The result was a diaper rash that turned into a yeast infection.  The poor baby let us know how bad it hurt.  I couldn't change her diaper without her screaming and gasping for air.  Very sad.  We tried some triple-paste diaper ointment stuff, but it wasn't helping.  The doc gave us a prescription for some medicated cream yesterday and as of this morning, it looked like it was already helping.  

However, last night the rash was obviously bothering her.  We had our first rough night in longer than I can remember (please don't hate me mommies of sleep hating babies).  Abs was basically up from 2:30-4:30.  Makes for a tired mommy too, but I'll live. Hopefully tonight is better. 

At 5 months old, Abby is more interactive than ever.  She responds to my faces from across the room.  I can give her a look and make her smile.  She's responding to her reflection in the mirror now - she smiles at it every time.  It's cute.  Her feet are her favorite thing and as soon as I unswaddle her every morning, the first thing she does is put her foot in her mouth.  She giggles often now and has shown that she is ticklish just about everywhere....but those floating ribs are the best. She's still working on learning to sit on her own and is making progress - but the diaper rash has interfered with that a little bit.  She would rather not sit on that at the moment, thankyouverymuch.  Let's see, what else?  

She no longer cries when we put her in the car seat.  She's usually very good in the car and on trips in general.  She prefers to be on her tummy now, but still isn't quite sure how to roll back over once she's tired.  She loves the Oball we got her and will hold it all day.  She's also now able to sit really well in her bumbo seat.  She's starting to show a little interest in food now - in that she will watch me eat.  Yesterday she was in a fit of giggles watching me chomp on some red pepper.  It was like a magical disappearing act I suppose. Oh, and the big new trick that she's  now mastered is holding her bottle.  She holds it every meal and if I give it to her first, she can lift it and put it in her mouth and hold it until she's done.  Good job, Abigail. :)

Other than that, she continues to be a very chill, laid back, observer baby.  She's got her dad wrapped tight around every finger and he's still as smitten as ever with her. 

I'm hoping to take some "official" 5 month pictures with the child this afternoon. The weather here has turned so nice, maybe we can get outside.  

minutes old 

5 months old

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Better late than never, right?  

I wanted to write something for mother's day - about the other mothers in my life.  I thought about it and I was having a hard time figuring out how to go about it - I also realized that I have more "mothers" than I thought.  So, I decided to do this - A small tribute to a few of the major players in my life.  A quick intro and a favorite memory to share with the masses. Oh, and for the record, I have many more mother-figures than I can mention here.  I love you all. 

Mom.  My mom.  THE mom.  I can't say enough good things about my mom.  She is infinitely patient, kind, creative and unique.  One of kind for sure. :)  Obviously, I have more than one favorite memory for my mom - I have thousands.  But among my favorites is this: I was about 7 years old and my brother and I were spending our day exploring the house and yard.  One of our finds was an old white cabinet in the garage - I believe it belonged to my mom's father.  The other thing we found was a bottle of red fingernail polish.  Well, it didn't take us long to know what we wanted to do.  I told Michael, "Let's paint a picture for mom"  Michael, as all good 5 year old brothers do, said "ok" and went along with it.  We spent the next 30 mins or so painstakingly painting a big giant heart on the front of the cabinet.  I drew an arrow through it so you would know that it was a love-heart.  As it turns out, fingernail polish on a hot cabinet in summer is hard to paint with - but we persevered.  Eventually, our dad found us.  While I don't remember the exact  words, his displeased reaction with our vandalism was pretty clear.  He went and got my mom.  Mom came and took one look at the cabinet, looked at dad, and said, "At least they're artistic!"  Then she smiled at us - and I didn't even have to say "it's for you" 

Grandma.  My grandma is perfect.  I know she would say otherwise, but don't listen to her.  She's the piano playin', bread makin', brownie bakin', music composin', hug giving, matriarch of the Armstrong clan.  My only complaint is that she lives so far away.  Or rather, I live so far away (she deserves to be the point of reference).  A favorite grandma memory.  When I was in 1st grade I decided to cast my friends and teach them to perform Phantom of the Opera.  Yeah.  I was cool.  I cast the parts, explained their roles, and we practiced at recess.  It didn't take long for me to realize that we needed a script.  So, while at Grandma's house, I asked if I could use their computer and I began to type out the script from memory.  One letter at a time - and I'm sure, while phonetic, nothing was spell correctly.  But, I was determined.  My grandpa came in and, halfway teasing me asked if I had the copyrights to the script.  I panicked.  But, no fear, grandma quickly came to my rescue - and told me that I should always write what I wanted to write (not that she was endorsing plagiarism or anything)  Then, she brought in some cookies and let me play my Phantom tape while Michael and I acted out the scenes in her kitchen.  Good times. 

Mama Shachmut.  Kyle's mom.  I'm not sure a kinder soul exists (no pun intended for those of you who know her maiden name...)  I think the first time I met her was when I told Kyle that he would be taking me to winter formal, that I was on my way over to pick him up, and that in 5 mins he better be wearing a tie.  I got to their house and Kyle (in tie) introduced us.  I think we may have even taken a picture.  Again, I have a lot of favorite memories here.  We've had a lot of good times together.  From my first time to the beach, to playing charades until we were laughing so hard we couldn't breathe to learning her recipes (she might laugh at that, but poppy-seed chicken is a Steph signature dish).  One of my favorite, more recent, memories would be the phone call we made to tell her we were pregnant.  I was on the phone, but Kyle was doing the talking.  We chatted for a bit and eventually, he broke the news.  I anxiously awaited a reaction - but there was just silence.  Silence for about 7 seconds and then a scream that I could have heard from Boston without the phone.  The next several mins were a mixture of happy words that were mixed with tears and laughing.  It's a good memory. 

All the others.  I've been blessed my whole life to be surrounded with nurturing and caring women (and men of course).  From church members and family friends, to influential and inspiring teachers, taekwondo instructors, college professors, neighbors, friends, blog-friends, my december mama friends, aunts, sister and all the rest - I've been surrounded by amazing women my whole life.  And to ALL of you - I say thank you for the support and love you've shown me through the years.  You've shaped my life into what it is today - and I'm very pleased with how things have turned out. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

first mother's day

I wasn't really sure what to expect for my first mother's day - it's kinda weird that I'm a real life mom this year.  My brother wished me a happy mother's day and then quickly followed that with a "woah, how weird is it to say that to you?"  To which I responded, "yeah, how weird is it to have a kid?"  I remember telling my friend Billie Jo that I'm not sure that the reality of being a mom ever really sinks in.  Maybe it does, and I have moments that it seems normal, but by and large, it's still kinda surreal. 

Anyway. Kyle was out of town all weekend, and so I considered being kinda sad about spending Mother's day alone.  I decided against it.  I decided to make the most of the day.  So we did our morning routine just like always and then Abigail helped me open a few surprises.  My siblings sent flowers, and my parents sent a gift card and a little decorative piece, and Kyle got me a gift card for a teething necklace I've been wanting from smartmom jewlery.

It was all fabulous, and it was nice to have some special things to open.  Abby helped of course.  

After her morning nap and lunch, Abby and I headed out to Target.  She's developed a bit of a rash (and by bit, I mean - its really bothering her and I can't change her diaper without her breathing like she's hyperventilating and screaming) so we needed some special creme for that.  Of course, I wasn't at ALL using that as an excuse to go shopping at Target for other things too (shaking head vigorously).  I heart Target.  I got several things that made me really happy - important things, like a bottle drying rack, and a pacifier clip, and a new shirt for Abby (and maybe one for me too)  Anyway, Abs did great in the store and I had a lot of fun perusing everything and taking my time.

When we got home, Kyle called and told me that Abby had something to give me too.  He then sent me a clue and thus begun my mother's day scavenger hunt.  It was cute -all the clues rhymed and everything.  So, I found the one in the ice bin, in his shoes, under the sink, in a wii game box, then I had to go down to the car and find one there, come back up to the apartment to find one more.  But were we done?  Oh no. 

The "last" clue had six sentences with blanks.  I had to fill in the blanks.  They weren't easy, let me tell you.  THEN I had to take all of the words from the blanks, which equaled 22 letters, and rearrange them into five words.  Yeah.  So, let me ask you - how many five word phrases could you come up with out of: TAJRUCKUSHEYPETEROCSIR.  I know!  Impossible.  At this point, I was done trying and Abby wanted a nap, and I had a friend coming over.  I asked Kyle for a clue and he graciously sent me the first letter of each word. 

Well, my friend Stephanie came over with her son Tim (they were also stranded on Mother's day with dad being out of state) and we went out to dinner.  Luckily the restaurant had paper on the tables and we sat together and tried to figure it out for about an hour.  Finally, we came up with: 

So, after dinner we head back home.  I used my first cheat of the 6-week challenge to have some ice cream with Steph and Tim.  Half pistachio and half maple walnut.  It was perfect and I didn't feel bad about using my first cheat.  Yummy stuff.  Eventually, I make it back to our building and head down to the garage.  After some searching, I found an enticing box on top of the spare tire.  It was from the same place where we got my engagement and wedding rings. 

Color me surprised! It's a lovely pearl "infinity" necklace.  Kyle said Abby wanted to do something really special for my first mother's day.  I told him that she was setting the bar kind of high.  :)  He said that eventually, he knew I would be happy with finger paintings.  So true.  

So thank you Abby (and Daddy) for my very special gift.  Love you both!

I put Abby to bed and waited for Kyle's plane to land in Boston.  I had to go pick him up since he got in after the trains stopped running.  It was a true work of art transferring Abby from crib to carseat to car and back again - and she only woke once.  Whew.  I'm very glad Kyle got to go home for the weekend, but I sure am happy to have him back too.  

All in all, we had a great Mother's day!  There is so much more I want to write- but I'm at work and HAVE to get some things done.  So it will have to wait until later.  I'll leave you with these:

Happy Mother's Day Mom!