Tonight I put my son in his crib for the night for the first time. It's unsettling, I can't help but constantly look at the baby monitor. I'm hoping he sleeps through the night as he has been recently. Looking at Little Man and having some quiet time for myself has allowed me to think about my life as a whole. And maybe about my place in this world.

I can't remember a time in life that felt quite this complete and ... right. Some times there are moments when I would like to do something (knit, clean, cook, call someone), but instead I have to be a mom and take care of my son because he's crying and needs something. For a second it can be an irritation, but at the same time I'm happy knowing that I can fulfill almost any need he has. It's a good feeling to know that I'm needed. The sense of satisfaction that I feel when Lucas calms upon seeing me or hearing my voice is indescribable. For the time being my life at home is as complete as I can hope for.

I'm glad that I've made the decisions that I have. Despite all the reasons I could have had to not take up my husband's first offer of a date, I did. When he asked me to marry him, I could have run off screaming and clung to my life of detached wandering, but I didn't. I chose to be his mate and to follow him. I chose to become the mother of his children. If you know me at all, then you know that these have been some of the best decisions of my life and a thousand times better than the decisions I've made in the past. Even though I have a long list of adventurous tales to tell about my life - really, the only ones that matter to me anymore are the ones that I have about now. I loved my life as a single woman living abroad and roaming around the world in search of something I could wrap my head around, but this- being close to my family, nurturing that which is dear and valuable to me, pouring myself out to people - that's all that really matters. I think just now I've finally understood the vision of the woman pouring the water into the dry creek bed. I'm there. I'm where I am supposed to be.

That in turn made me think about giving in general. I realize that my heart is most full when I've emptied myself of everything I have to give. A life lived alone is lived for nothing and I'm happiest when my table is surrounded by friends and family. Sharing life with people and being sacrificial with my time, love and resources is what really makes my life with others on this earth so moving. I feel like I've been given certain talents so that I can in turn give more and give more abundantly.

I don't know if any of that makes sense. It does to me. My thoughts are scattered because I had a full day and I'm tired.

I had a conversation with a close friend recently. I shared with her that I don't feel like I'm doing enough and she contradicted me. At the time when she said that, I don't think I believed her. Thinking things over now, I think she may have been right after all. I am only one person after all. It's better to invest in quality rather than quantity. Salt spread too thin doesn't have any taste, but in concentrated doses...
Heat wave! It's sweltering here and I really don't like having to spend so much time indoors because of it. I managed to convince my husband that we need to get out of the house at least once we made a little excursion to the new Super Target that opened downtown. My husband picked out a new hair color for me. I feel ready for a change. For a reddish change even. Even if I don't end up going anywhere I try to make a point of showering, putting on makeup, doing my hair and getting dressed. I don't want to get in the habit of hanging out in my pajamas all day and doing nothing but being a mommy covered in spit-up. Don't get me wrong - I love being a mom so far, I take the challenges with the cute moments, but I'm more than just a mom and I'm doing all I can to retain my own personal identity.

In other news - hot peppers! Hubby's jalapenos are delicious. And spicy. I've cooked at least one meal with his peppers every day for the last week. The very first ones that he picked still tasted a little tangy, but the second picking was perfectly ripe. They go well with enchiladas, scrambled eggs and just about any other way he wants them apparently. But then again, this is a man that won't touch 90% of his food until it's got at least a few drops of hot sauce and usually a generous amount of ketchup on it, too. :)

Yesterday's goal of casting on for the raglan sweater was a success. I managed to get a couple of rows in before having to be a mom again. I think I convinced my friend to start her second knitting project, a cardigan. I was under the impression that she had more experience knitting, but come to find out her only FO is a scarf. In between chores and baby duties I managed to squeeze in a few more today. I've got about an inch and a half on the needles. Only 20 times that amount to go and the body will be done... I've been trying to master the art of knitting over Little Man's head while he naps during nursing. So far, so good.

Well, I'll keep it short today. I have to get up early to attend my husband's promotion ceremony first thing in the morning. I can't elaborate on how happy I am for the pay increase that comes with this promotion... with another person in the household it's going to make a world of difference.

Hope everyone has a great start to their week!
I. Am. So. Freakin'. Tired. Exclamation Point. Little Man's been going through another growth spurt. At first I was majorly happy that he hit the sack earlier than usual last night. While the heartbeat sound setting lulled him to Dreamland I was able to power clean, do laundry, sterilize milk storage bottles and receive a very much needed loving massage from my husband after recruiting his help with a few chores. The downside is that I didn't go to bed until after 2:30 a.m. and Little Man had me up every two hours and was wide awake by 7:30 a.m. Thankfully my husband took the baby downstairs this morning and I stocked up on another two hours of blissful, silent rest.

I think I'm finally starting to wake up now. The irritated sleepy haze has faded to around the perimeters and is disapating quickly. In about an hour my friend will be dropping off her two-year old for a few hours while she and her husband attend a wedding sans offspring. I would have been willing to take on their darling newborn as well, but as she explained, when it comes to babysitting it's better to split them up so no one gets overwhelmed. I think I probably have to agree.

In other non-daily-grind news, today I am on a mission to finally cast on something. My Knit Picks order is still on it's way, so I won't be starting my cardigan quite yet. BUT - I did find a very alterable pattern for a comfy raglan. Last week I bought 4 ginormous skeins of Rainbow Boucle on sale from JoAnn's with the intention of making them into my dad's wedding present. Then I started swatching and playing with it. Yeah.. no. The boucle is far too textured to lend itself to any kind of recognizable stitch pattern and I don't think I can stomach another straight garter stitch afghan on such a large scale. Yesterday I brought back two skeins of the boucle, keeping two for the raglan and accessories and picked up three sets of needles that I was missing. In the end I only spent an extra six dollars, so I'm glad I traded the yarn for sticks. Plus I managed to accomplish the whole trip in under an hour which saved us all from another baby break down.

In closing: check out this amazing Mario rug!
I'm trying to get back to a few of the activities I enjoyed pre-baby - such as going downtown to knit with the ladies on Wednesdays and getting out of the house at least once a day. Yesterday I conquered the art of stuffing the stroller into the back of the truck and toting the baby around with me and K while browsing the craft and book stores. Miraculously he slept the whole time. The downside of the 3-hour outing was that we all came back famished and slightly dehydrated, but it was well worth it.

Everyone has something different to say about when it's okay to start taking your newborn in public... Some say a couple weeks, a month, six weeks and then some simply don't care. Well, the way I see it, if it's okay that I bring my three-week-old newborn to pediatrics and have to expose him to dozens of germy, snotty little sick kids, then I don't see the harm in taking him to places where the chances of getting sick are significantly less. I figure it's another one of those issues that I, as a mother, have to feel comfortable about doing.

Beyond just escaping the confining quarters of home and the rinse & repeat cycle of nursing-diapering-napping, the highlight of yesterday was probably picking up the new fall issue of Knitscene (yay for 40% off coupons!) and falling in love with 9 projects at first glance. Seriously, I've never wanted to knit so many things out of one magazine. Generally there are a couple of ideas I like per magazine, but the fall issue has so many wearable knits I don't even know where to start. Here are the top six - in the order I'd like to knit them.

I'm probably getting in over my head knitting-wise though... I'm waiting to receive my yarn order from Knit Picks so I can knit the Short-Sleeved Cardigan With Ribbing from the Fitted Knits book by Sefanie Japel. On top of that, yesterday I picked up four large skeins of Rainbow Boucle in red/burgundy that are destined to become a late afghan wedding present for my father and his new wife. Of course, I have no idea how I'm going to find the time to knit everything.