Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Birthdays and balloons

Today is in fact my birthday. Don’t ask me which one because I can’t remember and, yes, I know that a little bit of mental math could help me figure it out, but I don’t want to know that badly. But whatever birthday this is, I follow some absolutes when it comes to birthdays.

1. I sleep as much as I can on my birthday. Miles has been getting up earlier and earlier over the course of the last few weeks. I think he is ready to transition to one nap, but the attempt we made at that this week was not enjoyable. So…he gets up early in the mornings because he is so well rested. This means that today started at 5:45. Not cool; however, Chris wanted me to be able to sleep in until at least 7 on my birthday, so he took morning duty even though he got home after I was in bed last night.

2. I don’t work out on my birthday. And, just so you know, no one that knows me has to work out on my birthday either (or so my mom and I decided today). You’re welcome.

3. I don’t do anything that I don’t have to do on my birthday. This means that I cleaned everything last night so that I wouldn’t have any guilt today or have to look at my gross bathroom anymore. ( I did have to go to the grocery store though because we ran out of milk this morning).

4. I eat whatever I want on my birthday. And a lot of it. Oh, and I don’t cook any of it. Ever. Breakfast was provided by Yoplait. Lunch by Chick-fil-a. Dinner from Qdoba. And dessert, a slice of carrot cake bought by my wonderful husband at the grocery store.

So today was a pretty good birthday by my account. Of course, it would have been better if Chris could have been around for more of it. But he did buy me some shoes that he knew I was kind of obsessed with. Oh, and a gift card for something called a hot stone pedicure. Sounds exotic.

Miles celebrated my birthday by getting his first balloon at the grocery store. I’m just glad it didn’t pop.


And I also hope that I don’t pop. I might not be able to get into any of my clothes tomorrow. What am I wearing right now, you ask?  Sweat pants. Did I not mention that as another rule?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Live action beachin’

Chris thought it was a really great idea to feed the seagulls right off of our balcony at the beach. Not sure if you’ve ever met seagulls, but they know that people food is much easier to catch than actual bird food. And although I don’t have video of it, he also did this while holding my child in his arms. Dangerous? Perhaps.

And now for some adorable babies playing in the water and sand.

More adorableness

As promised, we took more pictures of Miles at the beach yesterday. Our previous attempts at sand and sea had not yielded much excitement from the little man, so we had very low expectations for our last outing but were pleasantly surprised when he showed some real promise.

As Chris and I were sorting through our pictures last night, we came across this one and realized that at some point, we learned to understand every little gesture that Miles makes. When we look at this picture, we know exactly what he is feeling. We know the sounds that accompany throwing up his hands. And we know it means how excited he is. (And I’m sorry that all of outdoor pictures are always overexposed. We’re too lazy to figure anything out with the camera that we probably paid too much for).


And because no beach trip would be complete without eating sand, Miles just had to have a taste. It’s better than my childhood habit of eating cigarette butts at the beach.


I think he actually liked it.


Now on to the sea. Miles wasn’t having it until Joseph showed him how much fun it was to sit in a pool dug out by his dad down by the waves. And then I think Joseph wanted to try some of that sand.



And after spending quite some time splashing around, Daddy wrapped him in  warm blanket and insisted that I take a picture of this cute face. Don’t have to twist my arm.


And after a nice dinner out, we needed at least one family picture in real clothes (mostly because there was a swimsuit picture embargo imposed on the entire trip). Not that I hate my body or anything, but I’m super pale. And by the end of the week, there was definitely had a vacation belly going on. So goes life. And motherhood. But it’s all worth it for my favorite men.



On the second full day of our get-away, we took the boys (did I mention that we went with our friends that have a boy three weeks younger than Miles?) to an aquarium just 10 minutes down the road from our condo. I’ll be honest, my idea of beach vacationing involves just sitting on beach with a book and some sun, but I also realize that vacationing with a child requires much more flexibility and accommodation and, yes, selflessness, than what I am used to. And yes, I might have been a bit of a grouch about going at all, but I’m still new to this parenting thing—fyi, how long can I say that?

The aquarium was equipped with fish, of course, but also a variety of other things. Like quail. Weird, huh?


And an albino alligator named Luna, which Chris just informed me means moon. I don’t know why he thought I didn’t already know that.


Then we took the boys to the touch pool where Miles was pleased to pet a horseshoe crab. And maybe a starfish, but I can’t remember because there is no picture to prove it.


The aquarium wasn’t very big, but Miles’ attention span isn’t very long. Especially this day when he had been awake between the hours of 11 pm and 3 am. Teething? Being in a new environment? Being woken up by his parents walking in to the room? All of the above. So after a quick attempt at eating lunch there, we took our bundle of joy back to the condo for a nap while I got some quiet beach time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Not to brag or anything, but I’m updating the blog while sitting on a balcony that overlooks the ocean. Just sayin’.

We arrived yesterday to Carolina Beach and are having a tremendous time so far. As soon as we got here, we attempted to put Miles down for an afternoon nap, but he wasn’t having it; he knew there were things to explore and people to play with. So we took him down to the beach—did I mention that it’s right outside our window?—for his first ocean experience. This is what he thought of that. (Pay no attention to the pasty, white woman holding the adorable child—she’s working on it).


Granted, the water is very cold this time of year, it being off-peak season and all, but that’s what we could afford. Instead, he thought it a better use of his time to just watch those little waves roll in. You know, keeping guard of his family. A man’s job.


Chris then decided to take him down to chase the waves safely about them. I wasn’t there, but I think Chris managed to get a smile or two from the non-napper.


That is until he decided to test the waters, so to speak.


It wasn’t long after this (a grand total of maybe 20 minutes after we unpacked) that we went back up to the condo and tried napping again—this time successfully. Miles did much better with the sand and the water today (2 whole hours, in fact), but we had forgotten to put the SD card back into the camera before going down to the beach and were too lazy to go back. But with two more days to come, I’m sure we’ll get some more adorableness captured on film.

But stay tuned for the video of Chris feeding seagulls. Only Chris would do something so strange, but that’s why we love him. I suppose.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Birthday song, fail

As promised, here are the very amateur videos of Miles’ first birthday song. The first video is taken by yours truly while I was also trying to put the cupcake (with a lit candle) in front of the birthday boy. Don’t know why I didn’t ask for help. As you watch, you might be confused as to why the singing suddenly stops. Well let me explain: my wonderful husband thought it was dangerous to put a lit candle in front of the baby—like I was going to leave it there without supervision!

And for some reason, I accidentally turned off the camera while being reprimanded by my hubby, but then turned it back on just in time to hear one of our guests say that they hoped we were still recording because apparently watching Chris and I bicker is really fun. And here’s when the video gets really good because I turned it sideways. But let me explain—the camera looks like an iphone and the picture rotates based on the way you are holding it, but for some odd reason, doesn’t actually change the way it’s recording. Silly, I know.

I hope Miles doesn’t hold it against us when he’s older. But I’m sure there will be plenty bigger things that will cause him more trauma than this. Right?

Birthday party overload

I know that not everyone likes to throw birthday parties for their kids (especially when the kid doesn’t even know what’s going on), but since we don’t have family to get together with informally, we decided to have a small party to celebrate the fact that we survived a year of parenthood. But I totally understand why we were only allowed friend birthday parties every other year; I’m exhausted!

I picked a “theme” many moons ago after being inspired by my amazing cousin, Kimba, and then running across some great ideas online. I’m not normally a very creative person—meaning, I cannot come up with an idea myself, but I can copy someone else. Mostly. So I was excited when I found a company that designs the invitations, decorations, etc. and then sells the PDF that can be personalized and printed at home. Awesome! (Except that we quickly discovered that our printer really eats the ink). Not awesome. Suffice it to say, I spent the bulk of the past few days decorating and baking and shopping.

The theme was “bouncy balls,” I guess. It ended up being more polka dots than anything else, but as it turns out, there’s a lot of stuff out there that fits that theme. Here’s the cute pennant banner and dots for my little boy. And because Target has wrapping paper that matched the theme, I wrapped the square wall hangings above our TV. I’ve always talked about wrapping these with Christmas paper during the holidays, but now I realize that it takes longer than it’s worth.

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And now for the big reveal…



But the biggest deal was the homemade ball pit. As Chris was putting the balls in the pool this morning, he made fun of me because there was only one layer of balls. Not really a pit, in his opinion. But because we had a bunch of babies coming, I knew it would be perfect.


Miles seemed to like it when we put him in there.


But he liked it even more when his friends joined him.


That boy stayed in there longer than any one else. In fact, I left the ball pit in tact so that I can pull it out tomorrow after church.

But what would a birthday party be without cake?

Funny story. I put Chris in charge of the still camera while I was holding the video camera and giving Miles the cupcake (with candle). I don’t know why I didn’t ask anyone to record the milestone for me, but oh well. We lit the candle and started singing as I put the cupcake in front of Miles. At which point Chris chimes because he thought I was going to leave the lit candle in front of the baby, all while I’m trying to video. So we actually stopped singing so that I could explain to Chris that I’m not that stupid, and then we started singing again. I would include the video, but as you can imagine, it’s rather shaky. As far as the cupcake goes, Miles wasn’t really sure what to do. I was worried about this happening, so we practiced eating cupcakes yesterday after I baked them. I let him try some, and he really liked it. Today…not so much.


Notice that I forgot to unwrap the cupcake. First time parenting is tricky. But even with the paper off, he wasn’t sure what to make of the icing. Look how gingerly he is picking at it. No more doubting his pincer grasp capabilities here.


So after trying a few small bites, he decided to do this:



Whose child is this? We do not throw cupcakes on the floor in this family! That’s practically Rule # 1.

He did eventually try some more, but still not a big fan. I’m glad I didn’t make a bigger cake for him because that would have been a much bigger waste of time.

After cupcakes, Miles and Chris opened some presents. And I just can’t resist including this picture because isn’t it mandatory to have a meltdown at your birthday party? I’m not sure why he was crying, but it’s probably because he loved his present so much that it brought him to tears.


Overall we had a great time celebrating the birth of our little boy. The only bad part is the clean-up. Still haven’t taken down the decorations. Might leave them up for a while. Perhaps until we move.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Miles: 12 months (yes, we survived a year!)

Today marks a big day in our family because one year ago, we welcomed Miles to the world. It’s strange to think that this time last year we were in the hospital still quite amazed that we had a baby. Really, we were truly amazed that we even made it to the hospital at all. Need a reminder? Read it here.

In the past month, we have noticed a few small changes in personality. Some cute. Some not.

For example, he has grown very attached to his binky and his elephant. We have been using the binky since he was a few weeks old, but since he has started standing up in his crib, he has also started throwing or spitting his binky out on the floor. And then crying or talking until someone brings it back to him. Not cute.

But the elephant that has also been in his crib with him for a long time has recently become one of his favorite things. If I have to wake him up from a nap early, he has to hold onto it for quite some time to adjust to being awake. Cute. We sometimes bring the elephant to church with us in the hopes that maybe he’ll use it to take a nap during his regular time (doesn’t work), but he gets so excited when he sees it come out of my purse. He immediately grabs it and pulls it over his face and holds it there. Double cute.

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Other new developments? No more nursing!! I’ve been phasing it out since he was about 10 1/2 months because I thought it would take longer than it did, so he’s been drinking formula during the day for a while. But I’m now 100 % done nursing. And I don’t miss it at all. Not. At. All. Although I have gained a pound or two that I am blaming on that.

He absolutely loves to be outside. When Chris is home in the evening, he’ll take Miles and the dog outside while I’m making dinner, and this is what they do.



He’s still not walking but is getting much more confident in his standing. He doesn’t need to pull so hard to stand up anymore, which make me a lot less nervous. A few weeks ago I was adjusting the mattress height of his crib and letting Miles crawl around the room while I did it. I was on the last of four difficult screws when he pulled the end table with the humidifier (which landed on my head, drenching me in water) and space heater on it. He of course was bawling because he was terrified, and I just felt so bad for him. So hopefully we’re past that (at least until he tries to climb something).

And we can’t leave the month of April without mentioning where we were when William and Katherine were married. We were here, doing this:


Miles even woke up early to watch. Yippee.

Oh, that’s the other big development. We’re in a sleep transition. What this means is that I can’t count on anything anymore. I think he was trying to get rid of his morning nap, but he’s clearly not ready to stay awake, at least not happily, until 1:00 in the afternoon, so we’re transitioning. I don’t really have a great action plan yet because, again, I’m waiting until after our vacation next week when everything will get screwed up anyway.

Now on to birthday stuff.

Since we are having a very small party for Miles on Saturday, we played it kind of low-key today. We did open up some family presents because it didn’t seem right to wait. Not that he cares at all. I wrapped most of them during his nap thinking that he would like to tear the paper. He didn’t.

We started with some fun “puffy balls” from the dollar spot at Target. We wasn’t sure what to make of them. I think they felt too much like grass.














Then we moved on to a little scooter that doubles as a walker. Neither adjustment were big hits. He’ll have to grow into this.

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And then the big toy from my parents. This boy loves music, so they got him a musical table. Instead of just saying things as it lights up, this table sings everything! And it can be done in Spanish. I’m pretty happy with it right now, but as it goes with any toy that makes noise, I might hate it later.


Is this not the cutest little boy ever?

We are so blessed to have Miles in our family and love him right to pieces. And we’ re excited that his future years he’ll be much closer to family, both my family that will be in Colorado and Chris’s family that will now be a day’s drive instead of a really expensive plane ticket away.

And what does this day really signify? Let me put it this way: I leaned over to Chris during church and said, “Only six more months until he can go to the nursery.”