Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Easiest Christmas Tradition

William was sleeping in his bed, my lunch was eaten, hair washed and bladder empty, all immediate needs met.  Perfect time to finish painting my kitchen so I can do some Christmas baking and decorating. Cue music!  After stupid teeny bopper holiday love song was over, classic Dean came on crooning and convincing me to let it snow.  I loved it!  Though my emotions took their cue to adjust into holiday mode: happy, sad, energized, exhausted.  You name it.  Sometimes explainable, sometimes not.  You know what I'm talking about.  Christmas music just does something to me.  Us.  This song (not to mention the movie scene) can break me in the strongest of moments.  But I'm ok with it.  Being overly emotional is the easiest Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living Room Wish List

Area Rug
Framed Wall Art
Framed Shelved Photos
Storage Baskets
Large Floor Mirror
Round Hanging Mirror

Everything but a place to sit.

I'm busting at the seams to decorate.

We'll get there one day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

William's Nursery

I didn't day-dream about it pre-pregnancy.  I didn't put much thought into it.  I was reluctant to give up the little bedroom that I did day-dream about being my nook.  But it is now sweet William's perfect little place in our home and I love it.  Aiming for a more neutral look that would transition with age, gender and placement in different rooms, I picked out the crib, dresser and lamp.  Everything else was either a gift, on loan from a friend or we already had.  It all fell into place perfectly!  Come take a peek:

View walking in from the living room.  Our stork sign was a gift from Kellie (who has an incredible business in downtown Greenville, SC named The Pink Azalea) to hang on our hospital door.  I hung it on our front door for all to see until William was eight weeks old.

The closet doors are painted the same color as our living room. (Behr's Gentle Mist)

Inside is my favorite area of the nursery to obsess over...

Baby clothes!!!  On top are items he can wear now.

Down below are clothes for him to grow into, wipes, a monkey bucket, and sweet keepsakes. (Framed invitation to my baby shower, a monogrammed silver cup holding William's hospital bracelet and Matt's baby brush, piggy bank and silver rattle.)

Leftie closet isn't as cute, but serves good purposes.  Diapers up top, stuff in the middle, grocery bags for dirty diapers and behind that a bag for outgrown clothes.
A place for a dirty hiney, dirty clothes and clean things on the wall.

Photograph of a miracle waving hello.
This hand painted plate is my favorite item in the room.  Other than the baby.  Duh.
Our stompin' grounds.
Six dresser drawers full of (1) blankets, (2) blankets, (3) toys, (4) clothes to grow into, (5) onesies, pants, socks, hats

and (6) diapers, bibs, burp cloths, lotions, potions galore. (Drawer dividers from Ikea.)
We happened to already own the soft yellow, green, blue and white bedding - perfect!  Puppy dog is a hand-me-down from William's second cousins.  Neither Matt nor I have needed to sleep in the bed, but it has been perfect for resting, cuddling, swaddling, rocking and bouncing.
I like that our classic Jenny Lind crib is living on the edge in black.  And the bunny bedding is perfect for our Easter baby.  The chair, on loan from our living room, was added later as middle-of-the-night nursing became more efficient and we no longer needed to find a TV playing The Nanny re-runs.

And we've come full circle.  A tiny circle perfect for our little firstborn.
And lastly, cards recieved before and after William's birth.  I have stared at those cards, the words inside them, the names on them evening after evening, night after night.  They have provided me with company and hope during lonely and tough moments.

Making our house a home one room at a time...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Seven Years Ago

September 2004.  Matt was less than two months into grad school.  I made my first of many flights from ATL to DFW for a weekend visit.  He lived in a poor man's bachelor pad with great roommates, one of whom took this photo.  (Thank you, Jeremy.)  We were two goofballs in luuuuv.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Buying Baby Clothes is Fun

I love to stretch a dollar.  Used furniture, flea market finds, BOGO deals, second hand clothing for me and now kids clothing too.  My neighbor and I recently explored two consignment sales in the area.  She is very pregnant and I am very nursing so we didn't arrive early with the birds for first pick, but I did find duds for my dude among the leftovers.  The grand total, including a tags-still-attached Lands End snowsuit and brand new three piece Ralph Lauren set that still smelled like a department store, $30.  Less than this week's glorious outdoor Friday night dinner date. 

Which was worth every penny.  Not a morsel of rice was left on our plate.  Only those leaves sticking out of a cucumber.  Friday was also William's five month birthday.  He celebrated in the stroller.  In a new outfit.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I am still a postpartum basketcase.  Crying when I see new babies in public; I want to hug the parents and tell them it will be okay.   Lingering on the diaper isle in front of Newborn sizes; I want to cuddle an 8 pounder again.  Barely making it through the summer Olympics with P&G's advertising campaign focusing on Mom's.  (I just made it 30 seconds watching the ads on You Tube before sobbing into a burp cloth.)  All these outside triggers are tough, but I can make it.  What really gets me is when I think of the past five months.  I wonder where it went.  And want to remember more than I can.   That breaks me down in the worst of wonderful ways. 

If it is possible to be any more happy with a baby, I don't want to experience it.  My heart would be too full and I would be too overwhelmed with infatuation and intrigue to know what to do.  I am on the edge of that possibility now and it is the most interesting burden.  But this has not always been the case.

I joked for years that I wanted to skip the newborn months and start parenting at four months.  Turns out it was no joking matter, but was my brain prematurely jumping to conclusions that were very accurate.  The fourth trimester... Only three months... A mere twelve weeks... Less than 90 days...  The length of a school kid's summer break.  It is a very short period of time.  But when spent with a newborn baby, one hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred minutes is a looong time.

Until it's over. 

And then, miraculously, a still-recovering yet always-sentimental momma can be caught baby lusting over the picture of an infant on his Mom's shoulder printed on a box of Newborn diapers.

Quickly fading are my memories of the days and weeks when the first thing out of my mouth when visiting with anyone was, "Why do people have more than one kid???!!!???!!!"  They would laugh and say, "I know, isn't it crazy?"  And I waited.  And waited.  Doe eyed and drooling for the answer and a magic morsel of motivation.  My inner monologue screaming, "I'm serious!  Not a rhetorical question! ANSWER ME YOU FOOL WITH 4 KIDS AND TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE NEXT TEN THOUSAND MINUTES WITH THIS UTERUS TURD!" But nothing.  They were off wiping their own kids butt or taking care of their own pregnant belly or so far removed from this phase all they could remember is that their maternity clothes weren't cute.

So I forged on.  Hunched over the crib, pacing in the street, sobbing in the shower.

And now, somewhat suddenly, over two hundred thousand six hundred minutes have passed.

I remember laying on the couch one morning, five day old William laying next to it in his Nap Nanny, my Mom walking through the door for our 8:00am shift change, greeting her with a prepared smile but true feedback about the previous ten hours:

"Third night [home from the hospital] was a charm, it keeps getting better and better." 

Little did I know I had the answer all along. 

Time will be my enemy and friend. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Long story short: we patronized a niche of America's laboring workforce over the weekend.  On Friday night.  Saturday all day.  And Sunday morning.  Thank you plumbers and septic boys everywhere for doing what you do, at all hours of the day, every day of the week. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nap Nanny Weaning

Before William was born we were gifted with a Nap Nanny and it quickly became one of our favorite infant items.  Matt remembered to pull it out of the closet when he was 4 days old and we never ever forgot about it again.  It has spent time on the floor in every room of our house.  We traveled by car with it in the trunk and packed it in a suitcase for the airplane.  Daytime naps and nighttime sleep, we used it every time. Until today.  I have been so nervous and hesitant to wean him from this foam baby recliner, but as he is wanting to sit up and getting closer to rolling over, it's time.  I searched the web for encouragement and an easy answer to my desperate question, "how do I do it??" But no one provided it.  All I found was dozens of mom's saying, "how do I do it??"  I guess once they figured it out those mom's moved on to other things to worry about.  Like I will tomorrow.  So today I'm taking a moment to share the magic answer that may come up in future frantic mothers' web searches... just do it!  Our process went like this:

This morning after his nap I took the chair out of the crib.  That's pretty much it :)

When we returned to the nursery for his afternoon nap I had forgotten about my plan until I saw the empty crib.  This simple move was key for me.  The recliner was already gone so I figured I may as well let William give this sleeping flat thing a try.  I didn't elevate the mattress, but did roll a blanket up in a U-shape to cocoon his body a little.  And I laid him down close to the edge to foster a more cozy atmosphere.  That's it.  I could tell he was a little thrown off, but he didn't put up a fight.  It took him a little while to fall asleep (typical) and he has woken off and on, sometimes putting himself back to sleep.  It'll take a couple days to adjust I'm sure. We have a video monitor that I watched like a hawk.  I was/am especially nervous about this transition regarding his reflux/spitup issues.  Seeing him choke on spitup and sometimes having it come out his nose over the past 4.5 months has stuck with me.  But he's older and all that is much better.

I figured it wouldn't be a huge traumatic deal or anything, but now that we have a baby who sleeps well I didn't want to alter anything that would risk changing that.  But it had to be done sooner than later.  Sooo... if you're working up the nerve to wean your baby from their cozy Nap Nanny... just do it!!  It will not hurt to try.   Just lay your baby down flat in the crib and go from there.  Maybe he/she will still need an incline in the mattress, maybe not.  You won't know until you try.  I hope this helps encourage someone out there.  Please let me know how your transition went and if I can offer you any more encouragement.  Lord knows we all need it.

Now the question is to go cold turkey, or let him sleep in it tonight...

First day home, three days old.

UPDATE 9-2-12: I went cold turkey that night.  And every nap and night since.  It's been five days.  No more Nap Nanny!  His sleep was disrupted a wee bit, but not bad.  Not bad at all.  I've noticed he smells like spitup more often when I get him out of bed now (with NN, that became rare during sleep) but there have been no setbacks.  (Well, his "lovey" ends up on his face more often now. Perhaps because there is no incline to help it fall elsewhere.)  Tonight he's sleeping without the "blanket roll."  Baby Boy really has adapted well.  I'm glad we're past this minor change.  I definitely dramatized it in my head.

PS: Despite my weaning anxieties I would still recommend this product in a heartbeat!

First nap without the Nap Nanny, almost five months old.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Additional Blog

As mother hen and father goose instincts override everything we do, Matt and I present to you our second blog.  We would like to avoid photos of William appearing in random Google searches and being seen by blog surfers around the globe.  So this is an invitation only blog where you can read about and see a more personal side of Manna's World.  Just leave me a message or shoot me an email or send me a text or fire up a smoke signal letting me know you want access.  All I need is your email.  But do not let our discretion scare you away!  If you are in any way connected to us (directly or through the milkman) please don't hesitate to make yourself known.  No matter who you are, let me know if you want to get a better view of the cutest first born baby boy we've ever mothered and fathered.  Join us over at the Robinson Family blog.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today May I Remember:

  • That I requested more intentional path crossing in the morning. So my husband kindly followed me into the room where I fed William breakfast for a quick moment together before he left for work.
  • I saw a baby with a flatspot on the side of his head more pronounced than my baby's.  Ahh, relief.
  • But that baby's momma probably thought "Her infant is HUGE.  And that drool rash on his neck... oh my," then sighed relief.
  • Driving 30 minutes there, and 30 minutes back, at nap time, for a 30 minute baby program at the library can be worth the effort.  It was today.
  • I have a healthy body that needs to be exercised. So I took a walk. Twice. 
  • My husband said he would try to eat whatever I cooked. So he ate sauteed veggies.
  • Feelings of loneliness do pass.  Our new neighbor invited me over to make chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


At the time I thought I'd never forget these things, but now I just may if they don't get written down

Coming home from the hospital and realizing I hadn't brushed my teeth during the entire stay.

Waking up on Mother's Day at 5am after going to sleep at midnight.  William was 5 weeks old and that was my first 5 hour sleep stretch.  He smiled at me for the first time during that early morning feeding.

After shaking with chills and nursing while sitting in front of the space heater on the bathroom floor, I realized something was wrong.  Mastitis and the need for medicine got me out of the house on my own with baby for the first time.  I think William was 3 weeks old.

Matt dressed William for his 2 week checkup.  He put the baby's clothes on backwards.

Matt dressed William for church the first time we took him to the nursery.  He put the baby's clothes clothes on backwards.  I think he was 6 weeks old.

Getting 4 ingrown toenails at once because I went from not being able to reach my toes while pregnant to not giving a flip as to the hygienic needs of my toes while having a newborn.  Still recovering from this. 

Finding drip marks on the floor around the house from my leaking udders. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Don't Think I Like Blogging

I'm going to whip this out without much thought.  I think.  I've been sitting at the computer for nearly 90 minutes trying to get a new post going... but have wasted my time fiddling and failing to make a photo collage and reading other blogs.  Even now I am having trouble simply putting my cursor back a sentence to change things but MY CURSOR WON'T MOVE!  Somewhere somehow I started blogging for you.  Not for me.  And it changed my enthuiasism.  Spell check isn't evens wurking.)( Oh there goes the cursor problem again.  What is wrong with my computer?) Who is you?  I don't know.  But you're not me.  Baby is crying.  Naptime wasted.  Except for the chips and bean dip and chocolate and almonds and orange juice that I ate. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Think I Caught My Breath, Though Dark Circles Are Still Under My Eyes.

Hallelujah!  Sound the happy bells!  Throw your hands in the air and hug your neighbor's neck!  There are two (Lord, please oh please keep them) predictable baby naps in my day!  And I am back.  But today is just a teaser entry, for I chose to spend my free time showering and shaving because (ring more bells!) my husband flies home tonight after a two week trip away.  Hal-uh-loo-YUH.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcome Baby!

William Reid Robinson
Saturday, April 7, 2012
2:53 PM
7 lbs, 15 oz
20" long

Friday, March 30, 2012

Annapolis Baby Shower

On March 3rd our (still nameless) little boy was celebrated again!  This time Annapolis friends helped prepare Matt and me for our future roommate.  It was the biggest blessing to look around the room and see around 20 faces that have become my friends through many different ways.  One of the best elements of the party was when everyone introduced themselves and how we met in the order of when we met.  Of course Mom went first, then Hillary and Meghan (both friends from TX currently living in DC.)  Everyone else I met through various activities at church over the past couple years.  And because of just that... the fact that I have not known those people for longer than two and a half years maximum (6 months for some) and they wanted to love on me and celebrate our unborn child is amazing. 

I've been loving the gray and yellow color combination, so my friends ran with it.  The invitation and party favors (a wrapped chocolate chip cookie) were adorable.

All the party details were such great surprises.  I LOVED IT!  We had an excellent salad bar that included chicken, candied pecans, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apples, blueberries, strawberries, mushrooms, various cheeses, rolls and the best homemade salad dressings I have ever tasted!

Lovely lemons and yellow accents were beautifully tucked around the house.

We drank lemonade and water from Mason jars with fun yellow striped straws.

For dessert there were homemade cupcakes, lemon bars, delicate tasty vanilla things and our chocolate chip cookie party favors.

Party ain't over till the fat lady eats.  34 weeks preggo.  

Mom's "pre-baby visit" coordinated with the shower date.  So glad she was able to be there to visit with old friends and meet new ones.  There was another perfectly behaved three month old baby boy at this party too!  Beren was a trooper as he was passed around from lap to lap for snuggles.  

Towels, onesies, diapers OH MY!  This boy was given such a generous loot!  We are much more well equipped now than had we had to do it on our own.

This little "Matt look-alike" khaki pants outfit inspired the telling of this story, when friends dressed up as us for Halloween :)

Thanks to Jenn, Meredith, Julie, Allison and Lisa for a more-perfect-than-I-could-have-imagined baby shower!  Thank you forever to everyone who has and is continuing to help Matt and me gear up for parenthood!

Aiken Baby Shower

Baby Boy Robinson (aka BooBoo) was joyfully & generously celebrated by many of his Aiken fans in February.  Judy, Betty and Kathy threw a marvelous shower!  I am in awe of how this baby, whom none of us have yet met, can be loved and cared about already.  Thank you endlessly to all of you who have helped prepare us thus far through gifts, prayer and kind words of wisdom and encouragement.

30 weeks pregnant and happy to be standing near a table of food! 

Sweet decorations on the punch table.  There was also a slideshow going of Matt's and my baby pictures.

It was a lot of fun having Angela and Heather there to cut-up with :)

Our taste buds were indulged with a very southern refreshment table full of the most colorful fruit salad I have ever seen, little ham & poppy seed sandwiches, open faced cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad pastry cups, nuts, a cheese ball and hands down the BEST glace petits fours I have ever had!  All centered around gorgeous blue hydrangeas, my favorite flower.

Baby Lane willingly allowed Peg and the rest of us to get some baby boy snuggles in a little early.

Our son received many fantastic goodies.  If the size is right, I would love for him to leave the hospital in this footed newborn outfit.  Sometimes it looks so large (how could something that big be inside me?!?) and sometimes it looks so small (how can life start off that little?!?)

It wasn't all about the baby and me.  Matt's needs were remembered as well.  This hilarious homemade Daddy Doody Kit included clean baby clothes, adult Tylenol, rubber gloves, a face mask, hand sanitizer and tongs to dispose of soiled diapers.  Funny!

Our thoughtful and generous hostesses along with the most creative diaper cake I have ever seen.  Thank you EVERYONE from the bottom of my uterus heart :o)

"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom." ~Author Unknown~