Thursday, October 11, 2012

9 Months & Fabulous!

Delilah May is 9 months old!

This past month has been full of so much growth and development. 
Delilah has been crawling for some time now, but she has mastered her crawling skills now and is really, really fast. Chasing after her is a real workout. She pulls herself up to stand on anything that she can get her hands on. She can stand up on her own without assistance or something to hold on to and she makes it about 1 or two steps until she falls on her tush. She is fearless and my guess is that she will be walking on her own very soon. 

She still snuggles, but only when she is sleepy and ready for a nap or bedtime at night. I miss our days that were full of snuggle time. Her baby days are turning into toddler days much too fast. We have been so lucky and spoiled to have a baby who has slept through the night from very early on. This past month however we have not been so lucky. We have been waiting and waiting for her teeth and they have finally started to arrive and they are making a loud entrance. 

On September 28th after a long couple of nights, Delilah's first tooth broke though her gums. Her first tooth was a top tooth. It is all the way through the gum and drops down a little each day. A few days later her second tooth arrived this time a bottom tooth right below her new top tooth. Her second tooth is all the way out of the gum and working its way up a little bit each day. Number three and four are on their way out. Delilah is trying to figure out what these new things are in her mouth. She now sucks her thumb on the side of her mouth away from her teeth. She has also figured out how to bite things with her new extremely sharp teeth. The other night she latched onto my nose and it was not fun for me. It was like being attached by a wild animal. She was hanging from my hair, biting down on my nose and kneeing me in the face. Patrick & Delilah thought it was hilarious! Momma took a time out after the abuse. Who knew a 9 month old could beat you up. 

She still has an allergy/sensitivity to oatmeal. By now she should have outgrown an oat protein intolerance so I tried to re-introduce oatmeal into her diet. Same reaction as always, and it isn't pretty. She breaks out in a rash all over her chest of tiny little bumps like prickly heat. The bumps are raised and they get real raw and itchy and they stick around for weeks. Along with the lovely rash, oats give her awful tummy and digestive issues. With an oat allergy/sensitivity we have to really take a good look at all of the ingredients in her foods and body products. 

Patrick has been making Delilah's baby food every night. He is having so much fun coming up with new recipes for her and his meals are delicious. I feed her while he cooks our dinner, yes he does 99% of the cooking in our house, I'm super spoiled. While she eats after every bite she says "momma, yum yum!" It's adorable! Patrick tries to explain to her that he made that delicious meal for her and she just keeps going with "momma, yum yum!" I love it! He might stop cooking for both of us soon. 

On Monday she has her 9 month check up and I am looking forward to seeing our pediatrician, I love him. He is wonderful with us and the baby. I'm interested to see what he has to say about the oat intolerance and I'm excited to see how much she has grown since her 6 month check up. I am not however looking forward to her shots. Now that she is older and more aware I have a feeling it will be much more traumatic for her and me.

 I can not believe that we are so close to her 1st birthday. Trying to plan a 1st birthday party during the holiday season will be a bit of a challenge. Our family is full of holiday birthdays so this isn't anything new for us. I have visions of a winter wonderland party and I hope that we can pull it off. I better get to planning! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My encounter with Ben Harper


                                NATE AZARK, GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PHOTOGRAPHER

Every year when Ben Harper comes to town, I claim that day as my religious holiday. Ben Harper's music is a spiritual experience for me. Being in his presence and experiencing his music live cleanses my soul and renews my spirit. 

When I went through the most challenging times in my life, his music got me through it and comforted me. It gave me hope that all things would be ok. 

In perfect harmony, in some of the best times of my life his music was there to celebrate and keep my spirit lifted. 

Many of his songs hold a very special place in my heart where I hold a memory from my life experiences be it good or bad. The emotion that he puts into every word that comes out of his mouth can only come from a man who has lived a life of love and pain. A man with the heart, soul and courage to feel real emotion and express it. 

I do believe that most things in life happen for a reason and that you can to a certain degree manifest your own destiny. I also believe that there are some things that are just completely out of our control. 

A few years back I was challenged with some of the most painful months of my life. Too many things were all happening at once. The worst of them was my fathers cancer diagnosis. 

I was on a flight back from Charleston, SC after visiting my dad. I was full of emotion and the entire flight home I listened to my Ben Harper albums on my IPod. Zoning out into the clouds in the sky and letting my mind relax. When I arrived in Chicago and made my way to the baggage claim Ben Harper was standing there right in front of me. I was certain that I was definitely hallucinating. 

Once I realized that this was definitely reality, my heart started to race. He was standing there peaceful and all alone. I am not one to make a scene and I definitely did not want to bother him but if I did not say something to him then I was going to regret that for the rest of my life. 

As I walked closer to the baggage claim and closer to Ben Harper so many words rushed through my head. There is so much that I would like to express. I wanted to tell him how much his music has meant to me throughout the year. I wanted to thank him for sharing his talent with the world. I wanted him to know that the music he makes changes lives and makes the world a better place. 

My shyness was taking over, the words in my head were beginning to jumble and I was looking down at the floor. Then the most amazing thing happened. Ben Harper grabbed his phone from his pocket and when he looked down towards the ground he noticed my foot, yes my foot. He looked at me and he said "nice ink".  I know that I thanked him and that I talked really fast most likely telling him all about my tattoo. Then a bunch of words came flying out of my mouth and I'm not really sure how they all came out. I tried to tell him all the things that were running through my head. It must have all come out ok because the conversation ended with a great hug. He was wearing the softest baby blue hoodie and he smelt so fresh and clean like freshly folded laundry. 

Ironically, that night he was in town to play a show at The Park West. The Park West is a music venue that my father opened, owned and operated in the 70's. I knew after my meeting with Ben Harper that everything was going to be ok with my father. Today my father is happy, healthy and living cancer free.