Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our child is a GENIUS!

So I know that when you look at your own child, you often see all of their amazing qualities. Not that you don't recognize their faults, but there is a certain amount of "blindness" you feel in respect to your child. And since Connor is our first, and I have absolutely no idea when he should be hitting certain milestones (except the obvious), I find that whenever he does something surprising, I find it absolutely amazing, and worthy of sharing with the entire world in a "my child is a genius" kind of way. I suspect every mother probably feels this way about their child(ren), but since C is my first, I am relishing in these great little surprises each and every time they happen.

The first happened last week, when I asked C if he wanted some "juice" (which is really a little juice, but mostly water) to go along with his snack. He immediately pointed and started walking towards the fridge (where said juice is kept), and his eyes lit up. Not only adorable, but GENIUS!

Later in the week, C was playing with a stuffed tiger one of my swimmers had given me when I started coaching. He had abandoned the toy for a few minutes, and when I asked Connor to show daddy where the tiger was, he turned around and pointed, then went over to get it, and gave it a kiss. (C gives the BEST kisses, complete with sound, and will now blow kisses to anyone who asks for them). GENIUS!

The best story happened earlier this week. Anyone who knows C knows he LOVES to open cabinets and drawers and pull anything and everything he can find out of them. The most fun stuff is locked up, but his favorite thing in the kitchen is my rolling pin, which is in a cabinet that is right at his height. He loves to walk around holding it. He did this the other night, holding it by one handle, and roaming around the kitchen and den. It was almost bedtime, and I offered him his milk (also known as "ga"), which he LOVES. I poured his milk into a cup, and handed it to him. He was about to reach for it when he realized he was still holding the rolling pin. He looked at the cup, then at the rolling pin, turned around, walked back over to the cabinet, opened it, put the rolling pin back in the cabinet, and closed the cabinet. Then, he walked back over to me and took his milk. How in the world did he know how to do that?!? So amazing to me.

A few other things that are amazing to me. C loves to read, and can frequently be found in his room, surrounded by books, and "reading." He often brings books to Philip or I, and waits for us to read to him. So cute.

He asks for "fire" to be made, by pointing at the fire place, and saying something that sounds like "ire".

He can identify hot "ha" and cold "col". We're still working on finishing our words.

His new favorite word (and what I discovered him pointing to in one of his books this morning) is "girl". Obviously he likes the ladies.

Though I have no pictures of the above feats, here is one of him playing "peek-a-boo" (one of his other favorite pasttimes) and getting food all over his face (and in his hair, ears, etc.)

C starts "school" on Tuesday, so I promise to post some pictures of him on his first day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So much to say . . .

How time has flown . . . and how much has changed . . . this past year has been full of adventure, and as 2010 draws to a close, I am so grateful for all that we have experienced this year.

In September, Connor turned one. It was hard to believe it had been a full year since we were in the hospital with a newborn, and even harder to believe what a little boy C is becoming. We love it.

Since his first birthday, Connor has changed so much. He is happily exerting his independence. He started taking steps about a month ago, and now is walking more than he is scooting. (For those of you who haven't seen it, scooting was Connor's preferred method of transportation. Basically, he sits on his butt and propels himself forward using his abs, and at times, his arms--you wouldn't think it, but scooting was actually a very fast and effective mode of getting around. I never did get it on camera, but if I do, I will post a video so you can see it--it's hilarious). The below picture is of Connor on his tricycle (which his Auntie Allie gave him for his birthday). He LOVES it and is hysterical on it. He backs up, goes forward, and "parallel parks." Hilarious.

He is also now talking up a storm. Most of it is still gibberish, but we are starting to understand more and more of it. For instance, on Friday, Connor and I sat down to watch a little bit of Finding Nemo together. At first, he was more intent on walking around the coffee table, but once he turned around to watch the tv, he pointed and said "ish?" I couldn't believe it. He had said "ish" once before repeating it back to me as I pointed to our neighbor's fish tank and said, "fish". However, it blew me away that he could identify that what was on the tv screen was the same as what was in the tank. He also has recently identified lights and leaves, although they sound almost exactly the same when he says them. Adorable.

Let's see what else . . . the other day, Connor scooted on over to Oliver's bowl and began taking food from his bowl. I was worried, because a few months ago, he put pieces of Oliver's food in his own mouth. But, this time, he simply took each piece out, and then fed it to the dog--one by one. Oliver was great with him, and even moved over so Connor could get closer to his bowl. A boy loves his dog.

Connor wakes up every morning calling for "Dada". And he refuses to say "Mama." In fact, when you ask him to say "Mama", he smiles, and then says, "Dada." He's teasing me already.

Connor loves, loves, loves the water. In fact, he gets so excited when he hears the bath water running, it is nearly impossible to get him undressed, he is THAT anxious to get in. He also like to poke his head (and hands) in the shower if Philip or I are in there, and play with the water coming out of the spigot. He ends up soaked, and half the time, he ends up taking a shower with Daddy. He loves it.

I have SO many more stories, but he is currently banging around upstairs in his crib, which means his nap is over. Seriously, it sounds like he is jumping out of the crib, but usually he's just throwing his legs up in the air, and dropping them onto his mattress. Is that where the old "herd of elephants" saying came from??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bermuda . . .

So, Philip and I are finally taking our long-awaited trip to Bermuda. It feels like we have been planning and waiting for it for a very long time. It has surpassed all its hype. I have not traveled extensively, but I know one thing for sure, this place is special. It is absolutely the most beautiful place I have ever been. Incredibly green with pops of the pastels and whites that make up the houses here. The sea is a beautiful, rich blue, with turquoise mixed in--all of my favorite colors in one place. I have never wanted to document so much of the landscape of one place before, and I have never been so sure I will come back to a place as I have about this.

I know it is a little weird for me to be writing while I am on vacation(!), but I always find inspiration at the strangest of times, and I find if I don't write my thoughts, I forget what I was going to say. And I wanted to always remember these thoughts. . .

First of all, this place brings me back to portions of my childhood. Those of us who grew up going to the beach on a regular basis know what I mean. There's something intoxicating about the smell of the beach. Not just the "roll-down-your-windows-smell" you get while driving near the beach. It's that you can smell the beach in everything--in the shower, in the wind, in your hair. What a perfect smell.

Second, I have never been so sad to see the end of a vacation, but so happy to see it end at the same time. I have missed Connor immensely, and though I know he is in the best of hands, I can't help counting the minutes until we see him. At the same time, all couples should have the chance to go on trips without kids as often as possible. I hope this does not make me sound like a bad mother, but we (Philip and I) really needed this. I have felt so wound up and crabby lately, and unfortunately, my husband becomes the brunt of my "stressed-outedness". Ugh. It's amazing how a few days away can give you so much perspective. I am SO lucky to be married to Philip. He is sweet, caring, and the best husband and dad a woman could hope for. We were on a ferry back from Hamilton to Southampton last evening, and there was a couple coming over for dinner. Upon conversation, we discovered that they were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary. The couple next to them mentioned that they were celebrating their 30th (they came to Bermuda on their honeymoon), and when I told them we had just celebrated four years, one woman mentioned that she and her husband had been discussing the fact that they thought we had just gotten married and were celebrating our honeymoon here. I take that as the greatest compliment in the world--that someone would mistake us for honeymooners! I hope we still act like we are honeymooning thirty, forty, fifty years from now. What a great life we will be leading . . .

Third, when I was younger, I never slept late, and needed to go for long walks on the beach to keep the boredom at bay when laying on the beach for long periods of time. Not so anymore--perhaps it is because we have a little one, and the time for relaxing is so scarce. Or maybe it's just that we appreciate any time we get to relax together, but we have slept in late every day, and spent 5 hours on the beach reading only together this afternoon. I have finished one 500-page book already, and am halfway through my second at this writing. I hope I get through a third before I'm done.

Fourth, I have a love-hate relationship with the sun. When I was younger, I definitely loved to lay in the sun, for the chance for a "burn that would turn into a tan". Ugh. Now I prefer sunscreen and shade. Not that I still don't love the sun, but I much prefer an umbrella to shade me from it. I also am surprised that, after having a baby, despite the fact that my body is not as good as it once was, I am more comfortable in a bikini than I've ever been in my life. Something about being proud of what my body has been able to do or something like that.

And lastly, I know I have said it before, but I'll happily say it again--I have the most amazing husband on the planet. I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin as I do when I am with him--I have never laughed so hard, or felt so understood. Philip makes me incredibly happy, but also seems to make my happiness his top priority. I'm not sure what I did to deserve to be so blessed, but I thank God every day for the many gifts he has bestowed, and for making my life as wonderful as it is.

I feel like every time I write, I gush about how happy I am. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments of self-doubt, and frustrations and stress . . . but on the whole, I wonder at the idea that I feel so incredibly content every day. And in Bermuda, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't feel it too!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lucky . . .

I turn 30 this fall . . . kind of a big birthday in my opinion. I feel that when you are 30, you are no longer a "kid in your 20's" but rather the dreaded "grown-up". For my birthday (which is obviously still quite a few months away!), I've decided to run my first marathon, and my wonderful husband has agreed to run it with me. What I love about running is the same thing I always loved about swimming . . . that when you need to work something out, you have time to do so, and when you want to avoid thinking, you can focus on the task (the breathing, the steps (or strokes), etc.) Sundays are our "long runs", and on Sunday I did quite a bit of thinking about where I am in my life, especially as I approach that looming "30". Ten years ago, I was a junior in college, spending the semester in Washington, DC, preparing for what I assumed my career would be. For as long as I can remember, I had wanted to be a lawyer, and most of the decisions I made, and steps I took were in anticipation of fulfilling that dream. At 19, I had never been west of the Mississippi (or been out of the country), thought Washington, DC was far from home, and wanted to be a lawyer (and only a lawyer--I hadn't even considered another career path). Ah, how things have changed . . . and how wonderful those changes have been. In reflecting on those changes on Sunday, I found myself remembering something profound my grandmother (Kennedy) used to say while teaching my sister and I to play cards. Often in our games one of us would be losing terribly . . . and understandably so, would be feeling frustrated at our lack of "luck". My grandmother would laugh, and say that it was much better to be lucky in love, than to be lucky in cards. And as I look at my own life, I realize how that statement makes me the "luckiest" person. I may not win contests, be the best athlete, have the most money, or have my dream career (yet!), but what I have in love is an "embarassment of riches" and I would take being lucky in that aspect over any other lucky I could be . . .

Ironically, Connor is named after my grandmother (her maiden name was Connor), and so his presence in our lives has added to that feeling of luck. It is amazing how mcuh he changes on a daily basis. He is babbling up a storm, and knows who his "Dada" is. Yesterday, we went to Target, and on the other side of the aisle was a VERY unhappy baby who was crying quite loudly. Connor was at first surprised by this revelation, but then decided the baby was speaking to him. So, of course, my very social baby responded . . . by "talking" very loudly to that baby, particularly when there were lapses in the baby crying. I couldn't help laughing. The same thing happened at lunch on Sunday--there was another 10-month old at House Pizzeria (YUM!) in Austin. Connor and the other little boy had a conversation back and forth--it was hysterical.

The top four teeth are continuing to come in all at once. It has made for some long days the last few days, particularly because he does not want to nap.

We have given up on "Gerber", and are introducing real food. So far, he has loved noodles with melted cheese the most (although he also likes bread quite a bit). He loved peaches, avocado, and sweet potato. He wasn't as crazy about the regular potato I gave him last night (but I may have overcooked that slightly--oops!), and surprisingly, he is not crazy about real banana--he always loved the jarred baby food banana. He definitely has his opinions.

He is moving more and more, and I am noticing he has stretched up and thinned out (in every place but his cheeks!). He is trying to pull to standing from just the floor, so we think it is a matter of time (God help us all when that happens).

And, he can clap! This is not a new thing, as he learned while we were in DC, but I love it when he does it, and, though I know all babies do it in some form, still
makes me think I have the world's smartest baby. He is certainly a keeper . . .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where does the time go?

I was inspired on Sunday by Paige and Sarah to get cracking on this blog again . . . It is amazing how difficult I have found keeping up with this blog. When I was working full-time, I had access to a computer regularly during the day, but didn't have access to pictures to post. Now I have a myriad of pictures to post, but no time for the computer. Who knew that what once was so simple would become something of a chore with a little one? So, finally I have a free moment--the C-man is sleeping, the laundry is done (at least a few loads of it), and there are no dishes to do. I'll ignore the dog hair on the floor for the time being so I can give a little update . . .

Yesterday, I was going through Connor's dresser, and pulling out clothes that no longer fit him. I had rather a profound moment when I realized I was pulling out all of the 6-9 months clothes to make room for 12-18 months. When Connor was born, our friends and family were so generous, and gave us so many cute outfits for Connor to wear. Most were in the 0-6 month range, but we did get a few items that were sized 12 months. I remember thinking it would be SO long before he'd be able to wear these adorable outfits . . . and now, they fit him perfectly, which means he is growing up (at quite a remarkable rate), and I am not sure I am ready for that. But like it or not, my little baby is becoming a little boy . . .

Connor has quite the personality. He smiles ALL the time, and loves to flirt. He loves going to the grocery store or Target, or wherever that he gets to ride in the front of the cart and look around, and of course smile at everyone he passes. It has gotten so I cannot go down any aisle without someone stopping me to tell me how happy he is. I am obviously a proud mama.

Though Connor is not crawling yet, he wants to be on the move constantly. It is part of the reason I don't dare be on the computer when he is awake. He throws himself from a sitting position at a toy he deems worthy (usually a cell phone, camera, or remote). He also likes books, but mostly to turn the pages of, and bang on. He is fascinated by toys that play music, and "dances" by bouncing up and down. While crawling isn't really his thing, he badly wants to walk. He now pulls himself up to standing, stands holding onto furniture (or your legs if you are sitting), can shift sideways while holding onto the table (mostly to get said remote or cell phone which is sitting on the table), and will walk 20 or so steps while holding onto someone's hands. His new thing is to walk holding on with one hand while his other hand reaches for something he wants.

He recognizes voices very well. Last week, Connor was sitting facing me while I was ironing, and when Philip came in the door downstairs and Connor hears his daddy's voice, he shifted his bottom a full 180 degrees so he was facing the bedroom door when daddy walked in. He loves his daddy!

He also loves the water (I mean, no surprise here, he IS my son!) He loves his bath, kicking in the pool, and recently, he has discovered the "sprinkle park" where he sits and the water shoots out of little spouts. What a little fish.

He has two teeth currently (the bottom two), but the top FOUR(!) are coming in all at once. Makes it all the better to eat with! No surprise here, he LOVES food. We go the Gerber route, but also have added bread, avocado, shredded cheese (thanks, Paige for that recommendation too!) and fruit. He also loved frozen yogurt (which I gave him a few tiny bites of last week)--maybe not the best to get my child sweets, but I think he'll be ok.

Most importantly, we are crazy about this child. He is an absolute joy, and I have been so blessed to be home with him all summer. I have loved every second of it.

I promise to be better about updating--particularly now as I have more stories to tell.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And . . . we're back . . .

Every writer experiences writer's block . . . though these last 5 months weren't really a block, I did have trouble finding time to keep our little blog updated. I promise to not let that happen again, Ali.

Our little C-man is not so little anymore. He is almost six months old! Where has the time gone? Philip and I still wonder at the miracle of it all, and somehow still feel that it is all a little surreal, but maybe it will set in soon :).

I know all mothers think their children are as close to perfect as possible (at least in the beginning) and that is certainly the case here. Connor is the sweetest, most easy going baby, and the best part? He loves his sleep . . . at least at night . . . which fits in nicely with his two parents who also like their sleep at night! Connor is rarely crabby (although as I write this, he is fussing), except when he is hungry and tired. Although lately we are experiencing the dreaded effects of teething, and that certainly is not fun for any of us.

Connor LOVES to smile and laugh. He giggles at the craziest things, like the dog whining to go outside. Connor thinks the dog is hysterical, even when he is licking his face.

He is constantly wanting to be "on the move." He doesn't like to sit or lay for too long without some form of entertainment. He loves his exercauser (greatest invention ever!), and loves to watch the world around him. He follows everything and everyone, and it is easy to soothe his fussing by taking him to the window or taking him outside to "see the world."

We have introduced rice cereal, and at first, he was not so impressed. But, we are getting the hang of it, and next, it's on to fruit and vegetables!

Philip and I are settling into parenthood. It was tough to go back to work for me, and I still have days where it's the last thing I want to do (which I'm sure it true for all of us), but luckily summer is RIGHT around the corner! I am forever trying to catch up on the mountains of laundry that build during the week (C is a spitter-upper), and I feel that and the dog hair are never-ending battles that I constantly lose. After a little hiatus, we have gotten back into running, and tried to run our first half marathon in a year yesterday, but after several weeks of spring like weather in Texas, winter reappeared for the day, and they cancelled the race. After driving the hills we would have had to run, I can't say I was terribly disappointed :)!

And so, after a week of spring break, and hanging with my favorite little boy, it's back to work tomorrow. I hope dropping him off at daycare tomorrow won't be too difficult . . . anyone know of a way to become independently wealthy quickly??

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grammy and Poppy's visit!

Philip and I are both so fortunate to have so many great friends in Austin. But, we do miss being close to our families--especially now that Connor is here. However, Connor's birth has ensured we will be seeing our families a little bit more, which makes us all very happy!

My parents were just here for two whole weeks, which was amazing. The two of them are tireless, and got our house in top shape. They orchestrated projects that have been on my "list" since we moved in July of '08, and filled our refrigerator and freezer to the BRIM with food. We are both so appreciative, and it gave us some time to relax, and I really have been lucky to not feel totally exhausted with all of the help I have already received from my wonderful husband, Lon and Mary (Philip's dad and stepmom) and my own parents. As we have said so many times, we are so very lucky to have such great families.

In the last two weeks, my parents (and Philip and I) watched Connor change SO much! We had a little trouble with feeding at first, but seem to have the hang of it now, and Connor is filling out quite nicely (and sometimes looks like he has a little bit of a double chin--SO cute!) At our last doctor's appt., Connor was back up to 7 lbs. 10 oz. (babies lose weight in the first week usually), and was up to 21 1/2 inches. He is in the 25th percentile for weight for boys his age, and 75th (!) percentile for his height. The nurse told us that basically, Connor is "tall and skinny!" Connor is awake more and more, and has these big, beautiful eyes that I could stare at forever. He makes adorable noises, lots of cooing and content sounds, and is very rarely fussy--unless he is hungry or wet, which it seems like he is a LOT of the time :)! He sleeps amazingly well for a 2 1/2 week old--sometimes 5-6 hours stretches at night. I hope this isn't just a phase, and that he is like both of his parents and will remain a good sleeper (Philip and I both LOVE our sleep!) Connor also randomly smiles mostly while he is asleep. He gets these huge smiles on his face, and I cannot figure out WHAT he is smiling about--I mean, what do babies dream about at this stage?!

Oliver loves his little brother. He is very curious, and also protective. Anytime Connor is fussy, Oliver goes over to see what is wrong. Oliver is still trying to figure it all out, but he has been so sweet with our little one.

Here are a few pictures of Connor with his grandparents, and with us, and also a picture of Oliver "protecting" Connor in his cradle. I cannot believe how wonderful motherhood is, and feel so blessed every time I look at my beautiful son. I am already hating how quickly time passes, as I don't want to miss anything with him! I can only imagine what our parents feel like when they look at us and see us with a child--it must be a little bit surreal to see their "babies" with a baby :)! But I digress . . . here are some pics!

Connor and his Mommo

The whole family

Oliver protecting his brother

Connor and his grammy

Connor and his poppy

Making a funny face for Daddy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And Baby FINALLY makes three!

On Friday, Philip and I were incredibly blessed when we finally welcomed our perfect, adorable son, Connor Vaughan Lehr. When I say he is perfect, I feel that is actually an understatement. I am incredibly awed by this child, and SO in love. Labor definitely wasn't easy, but worth every ache and pain! When they handed me this beautiful boy, I cannot even describe what a profound moment it was. How lucky both Philip and I feel to have this little miracle with us.

Connor's name is something we are also very proud to share. I often tell Philip how much his Grandmommy, Virginia, reminds me of my grandmother, Dorothy. Unfortunately, Philip never did get to meet my grandmother, because she died within a month of us meeting. She was a wonderful person--completely selfless, generous, loved her family and friends, and loved life. She was independent, and intelligent, spiritual and optimistic. I could go on for a long time about what a wonderful woman she was. Virginia (Philip's grandmother) is every bit as impressive, and embodies all of the above qualities, and many more. How lucky Philip and I are to have these two women as a part of our lives. We named Connor after both women. Connor is my grandmother's maiden name (Dorothy Connor) and Connor's middle name is Vaughan, named after Philip's grandmother (Virginia Vaughan). We can only hope that Connor will have the inspiration of his great-grandmother and become a great man! (I'm sure he will!)

Connor has already proven his stubbornness, and took his time on the way out--about 18 hours in fact! His stubbornness has not subsided (not surprised by this because both Philip and I are both stubborn), but he is the SWEETEST baby I have ever met. I cannot stop starting at him. I LOVE being a mother. I don't even mind the lack of sleep. He is just so perfect, I don't want to miss out on a minute of his life. And Philip is such an amazing dad. I love the way he looks at Connor. He is so proud. And he has gotten to be a PRO at changing diapers. I think I've changed two since Connor was born!

Connor weighed in at 7lbs. 13 ozs., and was 21 inches long. He was a 10 on the Apgar scale(!), and as I have mentioned a few times before, absolutely perfect. I promise to be more regular about posting pictures, etc. on here! Here are a few from our first few days!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let me count the ways . . .

Today Philip and I have been married for three wonderful years. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone. To celebrate, my wonderfully romantic husband surprised me with a weekend trip to a great bed and breakfast in Texas's hill country. It was perfect. I feel so lucky to be married to my best friend, and thought I would share just a few of the things I love about him:

I love his sense of humor, and how makes me laugh constantly. I could be steaming mad (for some silly reason no doubt), and Philip pops his head in, makes a comment and all of a sudden, I've forgotten why I was mad in the first place.

I love his dance moves. I have absolutely zero rhythm, but Philip is always the first one on the dance floor and the last to leave. I even love the "tentacles" he gets from working himself into a sweaty frenzy from those crazy dance moves.

I love his sense of adventure. He is willing to try anything, and his spontaneity has made me try things I would never try. I particularly appreciate this quality in him when it comes to food. Any recipe I find and want to try, he is game, and I love how he is honest, but sweet, in evaluating the results.

I love his sensitivity. Philip wears his heart on his sleeve, which sometimes he thinks can be a negative, but he always has the best intentions, and I love what a great heart he has.

I love his passion . . . from everything to Longhorn football (well really, sports in general) to people, he puts his whole self into everything he does (except maybe cleaning, but that's ok, I hate cleaning too!)

I love how he loves his family . . . and mine. He genuinely enjoys spending time with family and checks in with everyone on a regular basis. We both feel so lucky to have the families we do, and can only hope our children feel the same way about us that we do about our families.

I love the way he looks at me. It gives me chills sometimes. As I said earlier, he wears his heart on his sleeve, and I definitely feel how much he loves and adores me everytime he looks at me. It makes me feel incredibly special.

And finally, I love what a great dad I know he is going to be. I have no doubts about how much he already loves this baby, and I love to watch him as he feels the baby move and kick and how he says good night to my belly! He hates shopping, but he has gone with me to look at baby stuff, and last night, he went to pick up the crib with me, and put it together, even though it was 9 p.m. and I know he was starving!

This is just a small list of everything I love about Philip. I am so lucky to have a husband that I am so crazy about, and I look forward to celebrating anniversaries for MANY years to come!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nursery Progress . . .

I can't believe it is less than two weeks before school begins again (at least for teachers). I have been anxiously trying to get as much done as I can before that date, but of course time has gotten away from me. Luckily, I still have 7-8 weeks left before baby arrives, and a VERY helpful husband, so we'll get everything done. At least I hope so!

Our crib still has not arrived, which makes decorating the nursery a little difficult, but thankfully Philip's grandmother made sure we were not without a place to lay baby's head. She (with Mary's help) made sure we are now in possession of the Collins' Family cradle, the same cradle Philip's grandfather, and many since, slept in nearly 90 years ago. Mary brought it up for us last week, and fitted it with a sheet and bumper. It is a beautiful cradle that also rocks to lull baby to sleep (yay!) Oliver has already been sniffing around it, wondering what the heck it is doing here! Here is a picture of the cradle awaiting baby's arrival!

And a quick picture of the nursery "in progress." We've painted it and added a chair, and as you can see, Oliver snuck into this picture--he definitely doesn't want to be left out! Will post more pictures of the nursery as it is updated!

And finally, a big happy 21st birthday to my brother! I know he is happy, and my parents are relieved, that he is finally legal! PTD, hope you have a wonderful day--wish we could be there to celebrate with you, but doubt a pregnant lady would do much to up the celebration factor of a birthday centered around drinking :)!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

32 weeks and counting

Tomorrow I hit 32 weeks, which makes only 8 weeks to go (or less or more depending on when he decides to arrive!) until baby makes his entrance into our world. Wow. He is moving even more now, but it is less kicking, more flipping. Currently, he is "butt down", but fortunately, there are a few more weeks before he is in his "set position" so I'm not too worried.

Recent events in our lives:
First, Sarah and Mary threw me the best shower. It was sentimental and sweet, the food was delicious, and there were no cheesy games which I love (Sarah knows me VERY well. She had our parents send baby pictures of Philip and I, and also had them send along stories of us as babies. Then she mixed the stories up and had everyone "Guess which baby". Perfect game for a shower. I will definitely be stealing that one (when I host my first baby shower of course!) The pics from the shower came out a little fuzzy, but here is one to share with you. This one is of me opening a receiving blanket from Philip's grandmother. It is one she used with her own kids, and so it is extra special.

Last week, Mandy and Kara came to visit me (and Austin for the first time). I tried to get them to see as much as possible, but did leave a little bit out so I make sure they come back and visit! I had SUCH a good time with them--I miss my college friends so much being so far away. I feel so lucky to have such great friends that I am still so close to, just wish we all lived closer to each other. While here, we had to get a little TexMex, so Hula Hut it was. Here are the three of us after dinner (SO full!)

Saturday night, Philip and I finally went to see the bats under the Congress bridge in Austin. It is quite a phenomenon. There are close to 1 million bats now that sleep under the bridge and make their flight at night to find food. It is two steady streams of bats out from under the bridge, and it is truly amazing to watch. We took Oliver, and here he is (patiently) waiting for the bats to make their flight.

Finally, it rained today!!! I know to some of you, that is not big news since it has been raining all summer. But, not here, and we got about 20 minutes worth today (and maybe more on the way!) I wish I knew a rain dance!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wedding Austin style

Last night, Philip and I went to our good friends' Ellen and Marcus's wedding. It was spectacular. The ceremony was held at this beautiful little chapel (where Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey got married, actually!), and the reception was held at this beautiful downtown Austin hotel. We had a great time. It is hard to pick a highlight. The wedding favors were a personal favorite of Philip's, as he did not take the sunglasses off all night long -- he said they made him feel invincible on the dance floor. (Well, it was either that or the beers!) The cake(s) were a personal favorite of mine. The groom's cake was a chocolate-chip cookie cake, and the wedding cake was delicious. What really made the night was the 80's rock band hired for the occasion. Those of you who have been at a wedding with Philip know how he likes to dance--well, these particular songs had him on the dance floor until the last note, and I have pictures to prove it! All in all, a great night, and I can't wait to see the pictures that come out of it. If this wedding is any indication of Ellen and Marcus's marriage, they are sure to have a blast for the next 60 years or so (which we already knew they would!) I'm attaching some pictures so you can see what a beautiful bride Ellen was, and also some of the details that made the night so great!

Ellen & Marcus saying their vows

Philip & I (before P's crazy dancing!)

The wedding cake & the groom's cake

Philip in action--Notice the sunglasses everyone was wearing (inside at 12:30 a.m.!) in the last pic!

Today we paint the nursery. Wish us luck. We didn't have so much success in painting our own room (we had to use multiple cans, and one of the later ones was lighter than the first two, which we didn't know until it dried--we are still figuring out how to fix that one!), but will only TWO months left, and school looming back on the horizon, we definitely need to get cracking on getting this nursery done, or we will have a baby, and nowhere to put him! Speaking of baby, he is doing fine. Growing and stretching like crazy. I often find him stretching against my rib cage (not so much fun), but so far he hasn't kicked or jabbed too hard. He did have the hiccups this morning, and it was so cute! He definitely moves more than ever, and I'm sure that shows his likeness to his dad--as last night was a prime example!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3rd Trimester . . . Already?? AH!!!!

So, according to (related to and, tomorrow I officially switch over to my 3rd Trimester! WHAT?!?! How did that happen? I seriously am having trouble believing that it is already here. Or maybe I am just in denial about how close this baby really is to arriving, since I still have a lot to do, and a LOT to get! (Still haven't even started the nursery with the exception of ordering the crib!) I'm sure it will all fall into place, but for now I am feeling just a little bit panicked!

Sunday marked Philip's first "Father-to-be" day. We celebrated by going to see the Disney/Pixar movie "Up." If you haven't seen it, it is absolutely a MUST see. It is emotional, funny, sweet and definitely entertaining. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Last week we also saw "The Hangover" when my cousin, Owen, and his girlfriend, were in town. It was HYSTERICAL! I laughed through the entire movie. Funniest movie I have seen in a LONG time!

Tomorrow we leave for San Diego for the wedding of a childhood friend of Philip's. We haven't been out to California since we left four years ago. I can't believe it has been so long. I personally am looking forward to the moderate weather. It has been over 100 degrees here for the last week (at least), and though I understand that it is summer in Texas, I can't get used to this much heat. I can't wait for the short respite!

I still feel good, although despite having not too much to do during the day, I am totally exhausted. I am chalking it up to the heat, and enjoy getting into bed early. I just stocked up on three new books, which I can't wait to read: Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth; Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns (which I have been dying to read; and Anne River Siddon's new book, Off Season. I'll let you know how they are :)!

And, finally, a VERY happy 30th Anniversary (yesterday) to my parents. I feel SO lucky to have such amazing role models for my own marriage. I know they were having a quiet anniversary together, and I hope it was perfect. M & D, wish I could give you that trip to Ireland that you both deserve, and hope someday I can :)! Love you both so very much!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My little worm . . .

I cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy is passing. I am almost in double digits of days left in this pregnancy, and am only about a week away from my third trimester. I still have a LOT to do :)! For now, I am feeling pretty well. For most of my 2nd trimester, I was feeling great, but I am starting to feel pretty tired again. I am exhausted by the end of the day, no matter how much (or how little) I actually get to during the day. Fortunately for me, having the summer off makes resting much easier, and I am able to sleep in most mornings.

If I thought our little boy was moving a lot before, he is really moving now. I told Philip last night that it feels like a little worm moving inside of me, wriggling about, and Philip put his hand on my belly last night and got quite a few big kicks to let him now baby appreciated the attention (as did I)! Belly is getting bigger, although still isn't too worthy of a belly "pic". I'll pass along one when I have one worthy of sharing!

Still not a lot of cravings. I did, however, perk way up today when I went to Wal-mart to look for something, and found that they carried Cappuccino Coolers. These are basically coffee flavored, individually packaged, sugar packets that you combine with a big glass of milk (and ice for me). They are delicious, and since moving to Texas, I have not been able to find them ANYWHERE. I bought two packages at Wal-mart, but will no doubt be making multiple trips now that I made this amazing discovery!

On Saturday, I tried my hand at making a dessert. I usually avoid making desserts--one time I made chocolate chip cookies and halfway through baking the batch I had made, I got bored, and put the dough in the fridge to make at another time. I think I just ended up eating the dough instead of baking the rest of the cookies. Anyway, I digress. My mom suggested this super easy dessert pizza, and it turned out amazingly. (I think the recipe is Pampered Chef, or maybe Gourmet or Bon Appetit--she got it from one of her magazines!) The "frosting" on this dessert pizza is so good I wanted to drink it. For those of you looking for an easy dessert, this is it! Buy a package of crescent roll dough. Roll out and pinch together so it makes a "crust". I also used a rolling pin to roll it out slightly thinner so it didn't puff up TOO much. Bake according to directions. Let cool. While cooling, make the frosting. Combine 1-pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/3 c. granulated sugar (I used low-fat cream cheese just so I felt a little better about myself), and I whipped using my stand mixer. Spread frosting on crust once the crust is cooled, and then top with fresh fruit. I used Texas peaches, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, but obviously any fruit will do! Here is a picture of what mine looked like just in case you are a visual person (like I am)!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer is Here . . . Finally!

School is finally done for the year. For some reason, this year has felt particularly long, perhaps because it ended after Memorial Day, or perhaps because I was feeling like I had SO much to do to prepare for baby. Either way, I am happy to report that I am officially on vacation. Since we ended school last Thursday, I have been making my lists and trying to get things in order. We finally purchased and put together bedroom furniture (a bed and a nightstand) for ourselves, ordered our crib, and I started my registry. I'm on my way . . .

Two things I discovered yesterday that made me happy. First, Babies 'R Us is not nearly as overwhelming when you are excited about acquiring baby stuff. The first time I went in there (to purchase a gift for a friend), I nearly had an anxiety attack. But yesterday, I found it much easier to navigate. Maybe it was the scanner that gave me my false sense of security. Either way, I only managed to register for a few things, since I still am clueless about some more of the technical aspects of baby . . . namely feeding, changing, bathing, etc. Hopefully I will learn some from a class, and hopefully more as we go with this little one. We are certainly in for an adventure.

Secondly, in my trip to the grocery store yesterday, I discovered that most goat cheeses in HEB are PASTEURIZED! Now, that may not seem like such a revelation to the rest of you, but as someone who LOVES goat cheese and has been avoiding it because there are a list of cheeses you are supposed to avoid while pregnant because they are normally unpasteurized and goat cheese is on that list. Alas, my life is complete once again as I discovered that is not the case, and goat cheese is back on my list!

Other than that, the pregnancy progresses well. I am tired from not sleeping through the night, though I suspect that is in preparation of the many sleepless nights that lie ahead, but I do have energy, and still can't complain. I am quickly approaching my 3rd trimester, which I find hard to believe, but the excitement builds as the culminating event approaches! Baby is moving like crazy, especially at night, and according to 3D pregnancy, has fully formed ears that can hear what we say. Guess I better watch my mouth.

Finally, I leave you with my first attempt at using our new camera. MUCH better quality pictures, and believe me it is NOT because the photographer (me) has improved . . . although hopefully with practice, I will. The following pictures are of our crazy (but cute) puppy, Oliver. My brother taught him to climb one of the trees in our backyard when he was here in November, and the thrill has not worn off for Oliver, although he likes it better when he has an audience (he barks at you if you don't follow him to watch). The first picture is of Oliver up in the tree. The second picture is of Oliver with his new "toy" which he has not figured out how to use yet. We bought him a little pool because he loves the water, and because it is already approaching 100 here in Austin. So far only the birds in the backyard have gotten any use out of it. Oh well, maybe he will figure it out soon enough.