Thursday, December 23, 2010

Barrett - Twelve months old

My dear baby Barrett

Well this is it, baby. Can I still call you baby, now that you're one year old? I think so, because to me, you'll always be my baby! Throughout the last few days I keep thinking, what was going on one year ago now? One year ago now, I was thinking the baby would never come, we were on our way to the hospital, I was in labor, we learned a c-section was inevitable, you were born! What a whirlwind those days were. What a time of exhaustion, of pain but total and utter joy. I couldn't imagine past those first few days, of a crying newborn and sleepless nights. But here you are, playing in front of me as I write this, chewing on your Elmo toy, listening to your music table and dancing with it and looking up at me and saying hi as our eyes meet. You have become 1 year old in the blink of an eye. It is a very emotional time for mommy as I realize you are more of a toddler now than a baby.

You are becoming quite a talker and know at least 5 words now and when to use them. Impressive!! You can say mommy, ball, uh-oh, hi and bye. And the last two are accompanied with hand waving. It is unbelievably cute! When I pick you up to leave the room or when you can tell someone else is leaving you say "buh-bye!" and wave. So cute! You're so proud of this new party trick too and seem very eager for people to come and go so you can use it. Even a walk into the other room to change your diaper will elicit this grand goodbye and you smile when everyone laughs and waves back. You also say "muh" and point when you want something but I don't know what this means - mine or more maybe?

You get around so easily now, crawling and creeping along furniture at the speed of light. But no standing or walking alone and when we hold you up to encourage you to stand, you let your little legs buckle. You can do it, but I think you'd rather be held so you don't try. Silly duck. I recently read though that good crawlers may be slow to walk because they can get around so well already and I'm wondering if that will be true in your case.

Still silly with the food and somewhat picky. You, however, tried birthday cake on your birthday at Mimi and Papa's house and I think it was instant love. You clamped your lips and refused to open them until I put a dab of frosting on your lips and then you gobbled it right up. It was a vanilla cake with raspberry filling and whipped frosting and you couldn't get enough. We have your birthday party right around the corner and I know you'll be in cake heaven when you have a little one of your own.

We love you so much, baby. This last year has been an amazing whirlwind of joy and I am so happy to have you in our family!


Loving everyone singing Happy Birthday to him

Clapping after the candle is blown out

Yum, CAKE!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family and 1 year photos

This past weekend we had Barrett's 1 year photos/family Christmas photos taken. Our photographer sent us a sneak peek of her favorites and I am very pleased with them!

We managed to get full cooperation from the little guy too, which sure beats the last time we had them done, with teething and tears. Below are some of the shots we got. But not all - some will be included in this year's Christmas card (if I ever manage to get around to actually getting them started), so those shots have been excluded.

However, just because I got these 1 year pictures taken does not mean that I am allowing this whole 1 year birthday thing to happen. Can I please continue to leave in my safe and happy world and pretend that in a mere 10 days my baby will NOT be turning one year old?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Counting down the days...

One year ago tomorrow was my due date. One year ago I was still at work, hoping every night when I went to sleep that *that* night would be the night. I envisioned waking up with contractions, taking a warm bath, then waking up Tim to say those two anticipated words: "It's time." But it wasn't to be. Every morning I woke up and laid there for a minute, making sure that I still felt perfectly normal and there were no contractions to be felt. Then onto rolling myself out of bed, waddling around the house to get ready, drive to work and here those three dreaded words: "You're STILL here?" Ugh. It was kind of cute the first time but by the 312th time, I wasn't so amused. Although it was a little funny when people asked when I was due and I said "last Friday." Funny now, although I'm pretty sure my 41 week pregnant self wasn't laughing.

I did everything I could think of to get this kid out of me. I spent hours walking around the mall with nothing to show for it but blistered heels and swollen feet. I bounced on an exercise ball every night. I tried evening primrose oil. I ate buffalo wild wings every weekend for a month. I ate an entire pineapple by myself for pete's sake.

This was one determined child. Even after 20 hours in the hospital, 12 days late, I remember the nurse telling me he was so far north he was practically in Wisconsin. I had visions of him clinging to my lungs with white knuckles, holding on for dear life. But out he came, though not willingly, by doctor's scalpel and prying hands. When I was laying on that table, I could feel the pressure as the doctor pushed and pulled, way up under my rib cage, to pry him out. He had a will that was not giving in!

It's funny now, but he still has that will. He's generally a pretty mellow-ish little one, but when that will comes out, boy does it come out. As he tries his hardest to flip over and crawl away during diaper changes and squirms and cries and struggles to win the fight and get away, I tell him "do not get into a battle of wills with your mama, because that's one battle you're going to lose."

It's hard to even remember one year ago. It's hard to picture myself being 40 weeks pregnant, now that my body has returned to its normal self again. If it wasn't for that scar on my belly, I'd wonder if the entire pregnancy was some dream, it seems so foreign now. Sometimes I miss that little body in my belly, rumbling and tumbling around inside me but I sure do love that little boy, tumbling and crawling all over me when I lay on the floor!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A very St Louis Thanksgiving

Yes, this is a very belated Thanksgiving post. What can I say, I am beyond swamped with Christmas, a very special upcoming birthday, and incredibly busy times at work.

Nonetheless, we had a great Thanksgiving and had so much to be thankful for this year. This was an especially meaningful Thanksgiving because of the little guy in the below pictures and how much he has blessed our lives this year. It's surreal to think that last year my parents came up to see me, because I was only 2 weeks away from my due date, and I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner with a belly that barely allowed me to reach the stove. This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with that squirmy little sweetheart seated to my right, munching away on turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, and rolls. Crazy what a difference a year makes!

It was especially fun to get together this year because of the two little cousins. Caroline is 8 weeks younger than B and so it is always fun to see the two interact. 8 weeks is such a difference at this age.

Eating breakfast together

Barrett definitely was in awe of the bigger boy cousins. Here he is mesmerized by Jack (nearly 5) playing the Wii

But not too mesmerized to not play with Caroline also

A new house = lots of things to get into. He has entered the phase where he realizes it is tremendous fun to pull things off of shelves, to sweep them onto the floor and throw food/cups onto the floor. What a great game!

Here he is checking out the drawers

And playing his favorite game - making a mess, we call it

Lots of yummy pies. I realized we didn't take any pictures of dinner or B in his "first Thanksgiving" bib. Oh well
The pies were, from top to bottom, pecan, apple, pumpkin turtle (graham crust, bottom of pecans and caramel, topped by pumpkin, and finished off with layer of cool whip topped with caramel drizzle and crushed pecans) and Apple/oat pie (apple with a oat/strudel topping, drizzled with caramel).
There was unbelievably good food and I think I gained 5lbs that weekend. YUM.

More playing time

Mimi and her grandbabies

Next up is Christmas - I have so much to do and am starting to think I overcommited myself this month!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Barrett - Eleven months old

Dear Barrett

Well, angel, we are in the home stretch of your first year. Wow! I cannot believe you are going to be a toddler in just one short month. I am seeing so many glimpses of the little boy you're turning into. And it's so exciting to see.

This past month you have grown so much. You are basically out of 9 month clothes now and into the 12 month jammies. They have non-slip feet. For walkers. For big, grown up walkers. Which you are now! Well, not on your own just yet, but you just discovered the joy of walking behind the little rolling walker. You have loved pushing it while crawling on your knees but as soon as you pushed it forward, you would drop down to your knees. Well not anymore! You now walk behind it with such an expression of joy on your face! I can foresee that you are going to be walking before I know it, toddling all over the place, and getting into everything! You are so curious these days - constantly pulling toys off shelves, grabbing everything and dying to explore. But you always know the way back to your momma's arms. I think you would be perfectly happy to spend the entire day being carried around in my arms. I am so torn - I want to make sure you're independent and can play alone, but I know the time that I can hold you and carry you around is so fleeting, so I can't pass up these moments.

You are becoming a better eater. You love your carbs (cheerios, graham crackers, toast) and I think you could make an entire meal of puffs if I let you. You like yogurt, fruits, beans, rice and water but are not quite as fond of veggies, meat or cheese, but we're continuing to work on it.

Teeth #7 and 8 appeared on your 11 month birthday as tiny white slivers under the surface. After those little bottom ones come in, you'll have 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. They make you look so grown up.

You are still a constant babbler. You say "mamama" a lot, which I think means mama and either mine or more, when you are pointing at something. You also repeat bye and sometimes lift your arm in a sort of wave goodbye.

There are two favorite tricks that you do - the first is clapping. It's so cute! You will clap along to patty cake or just clap out of no where. Sometimes I'll change your diaper and you'll give me a round of applause at the end. Thanks for the appreciation, my dear!
Another favorite thing you do is when we show you a picture of yourself and you get the biggest smile on your face. My dear Barrett, you are quite vain! You love the way you look and know when you're looking at a picture of yourself that you're looking at the cutest baby in the world. And you are correct, sir!

Your laughs are contagious. There's nothing more fun to hear in this world than that crazy cackle of yours (although hearing you say "mama" is definitely a close second). Your entire face scrunches up and you just laugh, laugh, laugh. Everyone around you can't help but laugh right along.

Each month I swear is my favorite so far and this has been no exception. You are so active and are such a busy boy. Always having to crawl, to explore, and to play. I cannot believe you are going to be 1 in a month!


And for fun, here are the 11 month rejects. I tried to take these on my own but this should definitely be a two person job. I managed to get the one good one above, which happened to be the first one I took. After that, the little wiggle worm refused to sit still and scared me half to death with his constant attempts to lunge off the chair!

trying to crawl towards Mommy

I gave him some desitin to try to distract him long enough to sit still momentarily

It did not work

nothing like a cute little diapered tush in the face

happy to be on his feet again

Monday, November 8, 2010

New showerhead - lucky me!

Sometimes luck is on my side and sometimes it isn't. Well it must have been one day recently because I was the big winner on Katie, over at Bower Power's, showerhead giveaway! 258 entries and I was the lucky winner, woohoo! It is a pink Grohe showerhead and a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the showerheads go to breast cancer research. And what a good reminder to perform self-exams.
It came in the mail a week or two ago and now we just have to find some spare time in our continuous home improvement projects to install it! (And by we, I mean Tim of course)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Skinny jeans

For the last year or two, I have been loving the skinny-jeans-tucked-into-boots look. However, last year I was in no position a year ago to be wearing skinny jeans. Let's face it, all jeans were skinny on me a year ago at 35 weeks pregnant! Well the baby weight has come off and I got my very first pair at Banana Republic recently, during a discount day, and I have to say that I'm sold! Tucked into my also new brown leather riding boots, I have to say it's a pretty cute look.

Yes, I am wearing two things I once said I'd never wear again - skinny jeans and higher-waisted jeans. I'm not going so far as to be accepting jeggings just yet though but I hear they're comfortable!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Well someone celebrated his first Halloween - and we have about a billion pictures to prove it, as evidenced below! Our brave little lion was pretty darn cute.

We didn't make it out trick-or-treating. We were debating going with some friends of ours, but I decided toting a 10 month old around with an open bag begging for candy that would clearly go to mom and dad might be a little shameless.

As usual, we didn't get as many kids as we'd thought we might so we have a few leftover bags - which are going straight out of this house, if I have anything to do with it. We got a fair amount of use out of the costume - he wore it for the music program and Halloween parade at his daycare and then on Halloween night. When we got it two months ago, it seemed enormous but didn't seem quite so big on him yesterday!

Fall program at the daycare. Each of the classrooms did a little performance. The infants' performance mostly consisted of the teacher singing while the kids managed not to cry - none did, so I'd call that a success!

Pumpkins - does the one on the right bear a striking resemblance to anyone??

Pooped out Pumpkin Payton!

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween too! It's hard to believe that next up is Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Barrett - Ten months old

Dear Barrett

This 10th month of you life has been pure amazement. It is so much fun to watch you become such a little boy. You are such a little character and have your own little personality. I love seeing the world through your eyes. You are still crawling around everywhere with no fear. You pull yourself up on your knees and to standing. Sometimes you'll even hold on with one hand. You crawl over things now and crawl with such determination - if Payton is in your way, you just keep on going head-first into him and he has to jump out of your way. You race all around, to grab things, to stick your hand in Payton's water bowl and splash the water, to chase balls. It's amazing to watch you throw a ball, with such aim, and chase after it. And you love to throw the ball to Payton and giggle with delight when you two play together.

And speaking of balls, you said your first word on your 10 month birthday! It was ball, said so charmingly as "ba." It's hard to tell when you're actually speaking versus babbling but you say it so clearly when we show you a ball so I know it's no fluke or babbling, you definitely know what you're saying. So exciting! Now if we can only turn that "mamamama" into actually meaning me, we're all set!

You are a little rascal sometimes - you have discovered the joys of the pantry and refrigerator and we have to watch those curious little fingers as they try to grab things. You love to pull the dishtowel down and pull open the oven drawer. You are often caught trying to steal food off the other kid's trays at daycare - you get up on your knees and sneak those little fingers to their cheerios and the kids yelp with annoyance but I can't help but laugh.

You have tried all kinds of new food - cornbread, raw apples, graham crackers, muffins, pumpkin pancakes, casseroles and soups. You are a carb-aholic like your mommy. You still love milk though and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Everything is such a discovery. You discovered the joys of playing with your tongue this month and are constantly running it over your teeth. You want to grab everything and touch it to see what it is. Yet, even though you are a man on the go, you are still wanting to be held and cuddled. As much as you love crawling and exploring, you prefer to be held and carried by us. You reach out those arms to be picked up and get so excited to be in our arms. I think my arms are getting stronger every day from carrying around my not-so-little baby boy.

We got out your fall clothes and you have recently had a growth spurt, I think. Your legs seem so much longer in the last few weeks and you are firmly in the 9month and up clothes. But even the 9 month stuff is starting to get small - your 9 month pajamas are barely long enough anymore so it's time to go shopping for some fleecy 12 month jammies.

Some of the most exciting news of all, however, is that you are finally sleeping past 6am! Within a week or two's time, you changed from waking up consistently around 5:15-5:30 to sleeping until 6, sometimes even past 7. It is wonderful for me. And you continue to go to sleep every night with rarely a peep.

It is so much fun to be your parents and we love seeing the world through your eyes. So much even more fun is ahead, I know!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The monster at the end of this book

One of my favorite books when I was little was called "The Monster at the End of this Book." As Amazon says, furry Grover begs you not to keep turning the page, for fear of the monster that is at the end of the book. Yet, you keep turning, with rising suspense as you get closer and closer to the climax ending, enjoying every page turn with building anticipation. Grover is begging you not to turn the page, constructing brick walls to try to stop you but you keep doing it anyway, giggling your way to the end (*Spoiler alert* - the monster is really Grover himself. Hope I didn't ruin this book for anyone!)

That's how I feel about my little one's babyhood. I am trying to hold on with all my might to keep him from turning older and he keeps on going, with a big smile on his face, crawling off to the next milestone. Silly Mommy! I wish I could put up a brick wall to keep time still for just a few extra weeks. His first birthday is a mere 2 months away and I can barely believe it's nearly here.

He's transitioned into the bigger kid room at daycare - still considered infants, but the kids that are mobile, the crawlers and walkers. He was starting to be a bully to the littlest babies - stealing pacifiers and pushing their bouncer seats along the floor - little bully Barrett! In his new room, I set him down and he's off to explore the new toys and new sights, with barely a look back. He pulls himself up and stands at his little music table and looks like such a big boy, I can barely recall when he was that 7lb baby with no teeth and dark hair in snuggly newborn pajamas and teeny diapers. Now he barely lays still for diaper changes and wants to flip over and crawl away, leaving me to try to keep up. He feeds himself and crunches cheerios in his teeth and gets annoyed when I get my hands in his way. I can barely believe that this little blond boy is the same one we brought home from the hospital and is going on a year. I see the next 18 years in a flash forward and wish I could somehow block the passage of time from going too fast! Too bad brick walls won't keep out the inevitable!

My little man at his music table

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The cutest pumpkin in the patch

This past weekend we went to a nearby pumpkin patch to pick out our annual pumpkins. My goal is to actually carve them this year... last year they sat on our porch until December when we eventually tossed them out. They are nice decor for the fall of course, but will be more fun turned into jack o'lanterns next week!

The weather was gorgeous. It might have been a little too bright for B who inherited his parents' sensitive blue eyes. Hence all the pictures of him amidst the pumpkins are of the top of his head. Oh well!