Friday, December 30, 2016

beach baby

I have a lot of blog catching up to do! For starters, I totally forgot that we went on a vacation recently. This happens when life is a complete blur post-vacation. I knew it would be like this, but it still caught me off guard. We went to Turks & Caicos in mid-November for a blissful week of fun and relaxation. I knew once we got home it would be a mad rush to Charlie's first birthday and Christmas, and I was not the point that it feels like our vacation was ages and ages ago.

But it did happen, and we had a blast. It was so great to get away together. It certainly helped that traveling with baby was a breeze this time. Sure, we had to bring a lot more stuff with us, but some key items made for a smooth vacation. We brought a little travel high chair, which was perfect for meals by the pool or at places that didn't have a highchair. We also packed our nest cam video monitor. We stayed at a very small resort (I could see our condo unit from the pool) so we let Charlie nap in the room while we watched him on the monitor from the pool. 

It was almost like Charlie knew he was on vacation. He was so happy and easy-going the entire trip. He loved splashing in the pool, eating all the delicious food, and trying to figure out what the heck sand is all about. He slept great, napped like a champ, and even dozed off on the plane - I can't remember the last time he took a good plane nap. He was on a first name basis with pretty much everyone at the resort after the first couple of days. One fellow-vacationer seemed quite relieved when he told us, "Your baby never cries!" To which I responded, "There's no crying on vacation."

Like father, like son.
Yeah, but when can I get back into the water?
Lunch by the pool

What is this stuff?

No really, tell me what this stuff is.

Water, I know this!

He even woke up happy on vacation.
This might have been the highlight of Charlie's vacation.
Turns out all he needs is a large coffee table just his height + a bonus hidden drawer! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

santa baby

I owe you first birthday and Christmas rundowns, but in the meantime, enjoy these photos of our visit to Santa. The closer we got to Santa, the tighter Charlie clung to me. Poor Abby would have none of it either. Their shell-shocked faces in the last photo are priceless. But don't worry, they were both happily scarfing down french fries minutes later. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

gobble, gobble

We are busy, busy around here gearing up for Charlie's first birthday and Christmas, but we can't forget Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving because: 1) the food and 2) it's the beginning of Christmas season. :) We've been traveling out of the country (or I've been extremely pregnant) the last few years so it's been too long since we had a proper Thanksgiving.

We headed down to southern Virginia to visit Jon's brother and his family. Nana and Grandpa were able to come up from Arkansa so we could all be together. We all teamed up to make the meal, and it was quite the delicious feast.

We had to leave on Friday to head back so Jon could finish a work project, but we had time to help decorate their tree before we left....Charlie, of course, being the biggest helper of them all.

Enough of these photos. When do we eat??
Caught him standing - happens more and more each day. 
Charlie's first plate. Don't worry, this isn't all he ate.
He had at least three rolls, and he really liked the green bean casserole.

Decorating with Aunt Monica.

And a few videos of all the fun he had with Nana & Grandpa - blanket rides and head bobs!

Monday, December 5, 2016

DC Sightseeing

I often take for granted that we live in (or at least very near :) one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. On a nice fall day, it's hard to beat. On one such day recently, we took advantage of both to do some sightseeing with Charlie. Baby's first trip to the monuments!

This is my quiet, respectful face.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

eleven months

One month to B-Day! And finally growing into that bowtie.

Again, the photo is on time, but this blog post is not. We've been having too much fun enjoying Thanksgiving and getting our house decorated for Christmas. But I'm glad I'm behind this month because within a few days of hitting 11 months you did some major changing. According to the book, which has become my baby bible of sorts, you aren't in a developmental leap right now, but you have every sign of being in one. You are learning new skills, making new sounds, and having just a bit more trouble falling asleep at night. I think you might be playing catch-up from the last leap, which you may have "missed" because you were so busy cruising!

This month was big fun with lots of highlights and very few lowlights. That probably all begins with sleep. When baby sleeps, everybody sleeps. You are sleeping through the night like it's your job (it is), which means a solid 12-13 hours + two 1-2 hour naps. Man, being a baby is tough. The best part is that even when you are awake, you'll happily play in your crib for a long time before fussing. In the morning, you wake up around 7, but you play and/or drift in and out of sleep for another 1-1.5 hours before you really wake up and want some attention.

Your second job is eating, and you earn high remarks in that regard too. You really like fruit and anything in the bread/carb family, but you also happily eat protein and vegetables. The one problem is that you've learned how to throw things, which is great when it comes to balls, but no so great when it comes to food. I've found food pieces halfway across the kitchen. We are down to three nursings/day - morning, bedtime and once in between. We've started offering a little cow's milk during meals, and you like it just fine.

You have four new teeth! All of your top four teeth came in at the same time. All things considered, they didn't cause much angst. You are already putting them to good use eating things you maybe wouldn't have been able to chew before like apples. I've caught you sucking your thumb more over the last month, and I think that was probably due to the teething.

It's a good thing you sleep so well because when you are awake it's go-go-go all the time. While on vacation, you learned how to climb stairs. Our condo unit had a sunken living room and by the end of the week, you were going up the two stairs that connected the living spaces. At home, if I put you down outside while I unlock and open the front door, you will crawl over the big step and let yourself in the house.

It's hard to say exactly how close we are to taking steps, but I don't think it will be long. You are becoming more steady on your feet every day. You use less and less support as your cruise and get around. As you've grown taller, the list of things you can get into grows as well. I caught you trying to turn a doorknob the other day, and you love pushing doors back and forth. You've even been caught standing on your own. Of course all this moving comes with bumps and bruises, but you are a tough little guy. You usually get right back up without any shed tears.

You finally started to clap...and now you won't stop. Mom changed my diaper - clap, clap, clap! Mom came in to get me after my nap - clap, clap, clap! I love all this positive reinforcement. You are also really good at helping get dressed. It can still be a wrestling match, but at least you help put your arms through sleeves now, and you'll lift up your foot for me to put on a sock or shoe. You are pretty consistent with your high fives these days. I guess maybe you can teach a stubborn baby new tricks.

You babble all the time, but no discernible words yet. You say dada, but it doesn't appear to be connected to daddy quite yet. No sign of mama. Rude. You make this great noise that Dad says sounds like a reptile. I really don't know how to describe it, but it's the background noise I hear all day long. You've also shown some sings of "dancing" lately. You do this funny head bob all the time - sometimes in conjunction with bouncing up and down. It's already quite obvious that you won't be a better dance than either of your parents.

You love books - especially touch & feel or anything with lift-up flaps. You also love to climb. During Pilates class with Mom, you like to climb over me while we're doing exercises on the mat. Sometimes I give up trying to participate in class and just play airplane with you instead - it's a favorite. I'm not alone - the latest report from nursery was that you liked climbing on the other kids. Uh-oh.

You still love bath time. It might be the best part of your day. You love getting undressed because you know it means you are about to take a bath or eat food. You'll do this thing when we pick you up where you start excitedly kicking your legs and and making your happy noise. You crawl straight into the bathroom when you hear the water running. You like to throw your bath toys out of the tub, and, of course, we pick them up for you every time. You love banging on the toilet, and yes, you've learned how to flush. It's only by God's grace that you haven't discovered how much fun toilet paper is yet.

You are coming out of your serious shell little by little. I've caught you smiling at more people lately. Sometimes you'll give a huge smile and then turn and bury your head into my shoulder out of shyness. It's almost like you embarrassed yourself over such a public display of emotion. You'll also spontaneously laugh at a toy you find delightful or clap when music plays. You still give plenty of side eye looks, but it's so much fun to watch you become more emotive.

You are quite ticklish - we love attacking you with kisses and tickles when you are in your high chair or on the changing table and can't escape. You laugh and laugh and laugh. We had our final Kindermusik class of the fall, and it was definitely your favorite one yet. We played with the parachute and you were so enchanted with it that you literally fell over with glee.

We went on vacation to Turks & Caicos this month - you got your second passport stamp. It's almost like you knew we were on vacation because you were so good the entire time. Several other people staying at the resort commented that you never cry! You smiled at everyone, loved swimming in the pool, but couldn't figure out what to think about sand. You slept great, and since the resort was really small, we were able to use the wifi monitor down by the pool while you napped up in the room. The lowlight was when you pooped in the bathtub...while Dad was in there with you.

This vacation also marked your 21st flight. Whew. I can't believe you've been on that many flights without any major incident. I'm pretty impressed with your jetsetting ways.

Of course not everything was sunshine and roses this month. You still hate getting out of the bath tub, and the few minutes after bath but before getting to nurse are filled with much complaining. You also aren't a huge fan of diaper changes although we can usually give you a toy to keep you happy. I think you just don't like having to be still. You also had your highest fever (103.6) ever the day we came back from vacation, but even with that, you still did great on the long travel the diaper blowout at the very end while we were waiting for our bags to go home.

You really are such a delightful little boy. I spend most of my time resisting the urge to constantly kiss your chubby cheeks. You were just so darn happy and content this month. You do great with your routine and are pretty predictable, which makes it easy for me to keep you happy. I'm doing everything possible to simultaneously plan your birthday party without thinking about the fact that you have a birthday coming up. You have a sweater that says "Never grow up," and that's exactly how I feel about that. Love you, Little Bub.
Monday, October 31, 2016

happy halloween

Anybody can dress up like a pumpkin. It takes a real man to be a carrot.