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??