When our friends, Amanda and Grant bought Avery these adorable jammies before she was born, I thought, "Get out of here! Like I'm going to have a child that is EVER ready for bed!". Well, those jammies must have been sprinkled with some magical sleepy dust because this girl is ALWAYS ready for bed! Each day I'm amazed by how consistently she is sleeping through the night, and with Eric taking over with Wyatt at night, I'm more rested as a mother of two that I EVER was as a mother of one (or a handful depending upon how you look at it :-))
Ever since she was born, I'd lay her down swaddled like a little burrito, and she'd be in exactly the same position the next morning. Just recently, she has been getting a little more mobile, and a couple of days ago I came in to greet her only to find that she was at the complete opposite end of the bed, on her tummy, and completely out of her swaddle. That's when I learned that she could actually roll from her back to her tummy.
Here she is struggling to roll back to the supine position.
Wyatt LOVES to be a part of greeting Avery when she wakes up from her naps. Depending on the time of day, he'll either barge in (startling her half to death) with an eager, "Good Morning Sissy!" or a simple, "Hi Sissy" (waving his hand uncontrollably). His routine is to then climb into her bed and play with or love on her. Just today I had the great fortune of capturing both.
He is VERY proud of his ability to share and isn't shy about broadcasting it when he does.
He is also very fond of stroking Avery's hair, which may often be followed by an unintentional (or slightly intentional) blow to the head. Awww....big brothers...you gotta love 'em!
Here he is showering her with kisses. She looks really annoyed, but I'm sure she'll look back fondly upon it one day.
Showin' the ultimate love! I guess he could also be trying to strangle her...hard to tell, but I'm sure his intentions were good.
I find it very interesting how much time Wyatt actually likes to spend in Avery's bed, seeing how he despised it when he was a baby. In fact, he likes to pull the blanket over him and pretend he is sleeping.
If I could only get him to do this in his OWN bed!
I count my blessings everyday--for both my sleeping beauty AND my night owl.
As I lay quiet and motionless in complete darkness this evening--PATIENTLY pretending to be asleep--Wyatt tried ever-so-persistently (as usual) to resist the inevitable defeat brought forth by his arch enemy, Mr. Sandman. You may remember my recent boasting of our Christmas miracle--well let's just say THAT miracle ended along with season. So much for thinking we had turned a corner! Hehe!
After about 30 minutes of silence, and thinking he was just about to enter dreamland, he very purposefully rolled over and whispered in my ear, "Shhhh! BE QUIET! (PAUSE) Mommy sleeping."
Yeah...if only I could be so lucky!
Had I not already been lying there for what seemed like an eternity, it would have been nearly impossible to contain myself. But I allowed myself to laugh hysterically on the inside. I had to, as the alternative was to roll over and knock him out!
What I found most funny about the incident was that it was almost as if he could actually hear the conversations taking place in my head at the time.
Wine Selection: Fetzer Merlot--may now be one of my most favorite wines.
...of Catrina time ...of peace and quiet ...of total relaxation ...of complete mental cleansing ...of daydreaming ...of pure HEAVEN!
I had the amazing fortune of experiencing all of these things in a single 90-minute period this morning as I treated myself to a massage after accomplishing phase 1 of my post-baby weight loss goal--50 lbs GONE forever! If I get to experience such bliss after reaching every weight loss goal, then I'm more motivated than ever to rid myself of the last 30 pounds. If you made it through 2nd grade math, you can deduce that pregnancy has not been very kind to me! :-)
You never really realize how tense you are until you actually experience what it feels like to have all of the tension and knots in your neck and shoulders released all at once. At one point, the massage therapist strongly encouraged me to perform a lot of neck stretches since my muscles were very "ropey". I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I definitely didn't like the sound of it. I'm telling you, there are only a few things in this world better than a professional massage. I mean, husbands do an okay job--if you consider intermittent foot strokes during commercials a MASSAGE! Seriously, if cats dig it, then it must be good!
Wine Selection: What do you know...I'm actually drinking a chardonnay!
Our family dynamic can be very interesting at times. Eric is your typical Type A personality with a splash of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (aka OCD), while I have an extremely laid-back disposition in which I'm constantly striving to just live in the moment without taking life too seriously. Unfortunately, Eric often interprets my quest for peace and tranquility as being "flighty", or "aimlessly floating through life without a goal". He's entitled to his opinion, although I do find his attitude to be fairly typical for someone with his personality handicap. HA! (for those who didn't catch the sarcasm).
In all seriousness, it seems to work out really well for us. We find that we're constantly challenging one another, making us better (and more balanced) individuals, as well as life partners. There are times, however, when (like most married couples) we just don't get one another--where we both find ourselves shaking our heads in utter disbelief as to the other person's distorted thought process.
For instance, a couple of nights ago Eric was torturing Wyatt in the bathtub by pouring water over his head in an effort to rinse out all of the shampoo...I know, how cruel! :-) We're pretty accustomed to Wyatt's protest to be clean, which is why I was waiting outside of the bathtub (with his puppy dog towel in hand) to scoop up the hysterical toddler. As I got him out of the bathtub, I placed his wet, wailing body directly on the bathroom floor and proceeded to get him dry. Eric just stood and stared in disbelief.
Eric: Why didn't you put the bath towel down before you got him out?
Me: Excuse me....WHAT?!?! [Wyatt still crying]
Eric [shaking his head]: Now the floor is all wet!
He continued to look at me in disbelief, as if what I had done was worse than breaking one of the ten commandments.
Me [sarcastically]: Oh, forgive me (as I dramatically retrieved the towel and tossed it on the floor to soak up the drops of water). There. Now it's not wet.
He was truly baffled as to why I didn't think to put the towel down beforeI got the wet baby out of the tub. I was in utter disbelief that it was actually an issue and that we were wasting time even discussing it. I would understand if it had more to do with Wyatt's safety--to keep him from slipping on the floor, but his concern lay only with the unnecessary dampness of the floor (which was an easy fix, in my opinion).
Me: You know, Eric, you may just be surprised at how many people don't actually put a towel down before getting their kids out of the bathtub.
Eric:NO. I think you'd be surprised at how many people would be surprised by what you just did.
Now, I've never considered myself to be THAT much of a rebel--to sway THAT much from the norm, but maybe I'm falling a bit more towards the laid-back extreme part of my personality. At any rate, I jokingly told Eric that I would take a poll just to see how many people find my behavior to be absurd.
So, what's the verdict? How important it is for you to have a drip towel/rug in place to prevent unnecessary water from accumulating on the floor (temporarily). Is it really a big deal to you, or are you laughing just as hysterically as I am right now?
Not much has changed the past month for Avery. She is still in the process of mastering all of the new skills she learned last month, but her drive to become more mobile is growing more obvious with each passing day. Although she is still very cautious when it comes to baby food, she will vigorously attempt to take a bite of anything that Mommy has in hand. She also likes to chew on crackers and spit out the crumbles, which makes for yet another mess I need to add to my list of daily cleaning tasks.
She is becoming much more social and interacting with her brother more frequently. Just yesterday, we were driving in the car when we suddenly heard Avery and Wyatt laughing hysterically at one another. I have no clue as to the reason behind their giggling, but it was so cute, nonetheless!
Avery continues to be a great sleeper, with 12-hour nights becoming much more frequent. Being swaddled and cuddled seem to be two of her very favorite things!
She still has no teeth, but since I’m a big fan of the toothless grin, I guess I’m not in a huge rush. Her cheeks keep getting chubbier, and her smile continues to melt our hearts. She is truly our Sweet Valentine!
It was about 30 degrees and raining/snowing this morning, but we still managed to bundle everyone up for a hike in one of my favorite Oregon locations--The Columbia River Gorge. To me, The Gorge encompasses everything you envision when you think of the Pacific Northwest-- plunging waterfalls, cascading waterfalls, mossy rocks and trees, magnificent cliffs, and spectacular views of an enormous river.
It was Avery's first time in the backpack. Fortunately for us, she seemed to enjoy it just as much as Wyatt did when he was a baby. She even managed to sneak in a little catnap during the hike.
The kiddos and me heading up the mountain
Wyatt (the daredevil that he is) insisted on walking on the very outside edge of the trail with steep drop-offs. In the picture, it looks like I'm holding his hand, but I'm really just trying to keep him to the inside and my nerves intact. This boy really knows how to stress me out sometimes.
We soon found a really neat hollow tree with a nice Wyatt-sized hole, perfect for taking a rest break, seeking shelter from the rain, or staging a cute photo. We chose the latter.
It would've been a really great picture if not for the somewhat catatonic appearance of his hands. Since he refused to actually wear his gloves, I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually frozen in that position.
We finally made it to the most impressive part of our hike--a beautiful plunging waterfall! Even more impressive is how the trail took us directly behind the falls for a completely different, yet equally spectacular view.
I think every time we go to The Gorge, I go on and on about how much I love the moss-covered rocks and trees. I'm sure Eric has the monologue memorized at this point! But seriously, apart from the waterfalls, I think it's the most gorgeous part (especially when it's foggy and misting a bit). Here is a picture of some rocks covered in moss with the Columbia River in the background (it doesn't even come close to doing it justice, but at least you have an idea).
Aside from the slightly frigid temperatures, it turned out to be a great afternoon activity. Wyatt even got to see the "busy, busy, busy" choo-choo trains hard at work. We could hear them and periodically see them from the trail, which I'm sure that alone made the hike worthwhile for him.
Wine Selection: Going with my favorite coffee this morning.
For the past couple of months, Wyatt has been living and breathing trains--they are all he thinks about during the day, and I'd be willing to bet that he dreams about them at night. Each morning I greet him with an enthusiastic, "Good morning, sweetheart! Did you have good dreams?", only to hear an overly excited, "CHOO-CHOO!" in response. I'm telling you, in his little two-year old mind there is no one more important in this world than Thomas and his friends.
We recently acquired a train table (thanks to our dear friends, The Klein's) to go with Wyatt's new train set Santa brought him for Christmas. While I think Wyatt's obsession is a bit extreme at times, it gives me an opportunity to channel my energy into something that really excites him--and since we can't spend much time outdoors these days, it's perfect. In fact, I have found track-building to be quite fun actually. I never thought I'd spend my evening hours (when the kids are asleep) trying to construct the world's coolest track. What makes this dynamic even more interesting is that while I find enjoyment in the track-building process, Wyatt finds equal satisfaction in the track destruction process.
This is when our harmonious train play becomes hostile!
I realize it's all part of the learning process, as it is how he learns to put things back together. But dang it...I spent a lot of time on that track! Meanwhile, Avery is sitting on the floor playing ever-so-sweetly with her toys as Wyatt and I are duking it out at the train table. I'm sure she's wondering what type of family she was born into!
Destroying the track is usually precipitated by a major crash that takes place on the Island of Sodor--we call these pile-ups. I usually know it's coming when I hear, "Oh, No! Look OUT! CRASH!!" Then I start to hear tracks flying. I actually managed to get a picture of the pile-up just moments before the Island of Sodor met its fate.
Wine Selection: Becoming a parent can be both one of the most exciting and most overwhelming life experiences. Once you finish ooh-ing, ahh-ing, and trying to decide which parent he/she looks like most, you are forced to try and function in the real world as you begin to search for a new normal--as life as you knew it is nowhere to be found. After a few weeks of being cried on, pooped on, and puked on (not to mention being completely sleep-deprived), you start to wonder why on earth people rave about life with children. But there does seem to come a time during your child’s development when you suddenly wonder in amazement where the time has gone and begin to cherish every smile, every cuddle, and every kiss (even at ). Somehow, it’s those very things that seem to make up for all of the sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and raging tantrums.
Our dear friends Kevin and Courtney are currently in the very early (exciting) stage, as they just welcomed their baby boy into the world just hours ago. It really is super exciting for us to witness more of our close friends transitioning into minivan-driving, diaper bag-carrying, baby-talking MACHINES!
Kevin was Eric’s roommate in college, and thinking back to those good old days for a moment, I realized that Kevin has been present or played some type of role in almost every stage of mine and Eric’s relationship. I vaguely remember one spring day in 2001 when a group of us friends (we weren’t yet dating at that point) got together for a pre-marathon dinner when a guy in our party that I had never met before (but was later introduced to as Kevin) pulled out my chair as I sat down at the table. “What a gentleman”, I thought to myself. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that my chair has not been pulled out by a man since! If you haven’t already gathered, my husband thinks chivalry is EXTREMELY over-rated!
Kevin was also present the night Eric and I made it known to the world, as it seemed, that we had a thing for each other (I’ll spare you the gory details). He was also there when we had our first fight, in which Eric stupidly tossed brownie into my face. I could always count on Kevin to take my side, as he never passed up an opportunity to tell Eric he was being an idiot. While Kevin wasn’t actually present when Eric proposed to me, he WAS the one that got suckered into playing me in the mock proposal just before the real deal. Oh, how I wish I could have been a fly on THAT wall! He also shared in our wedding celebration as one of Eric’s groomsmen. We were ecstatic when he met Courtney, as we were starting to think he would die a lonely man with only his 70 pairs of shoes to keep him company.
It’s been great getting to know Courtney over the past several years, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our periodic email chats and updates on the pregnancy. In fact, it’s quite interesting how the wives seem to have assumed the role of maintaining and nurturing old friendships. Seriously, if not for us making that extra effort, I have a feeling that Eric would probably have no clue that one of his best friends just became a father! Hehe!
Now that you have a little history, you hopefully have a better understanding of just how excited we are for them to be able to experience one of the greatest blessings on earth.
Welcome Baby Nathan! Don’t let your daddy talk you into playing soccer!
Wine Selection: The transition from one year to the next seems to automatically facilitate change. In my mind, I think of it as an opportune time to de-clutter my life--to sort through and rid myself of physical or mental baggage keeping me from experiencing the kind of peace and happiness for which we all deserve. While I don't necessarily believe in making New Year's Resolutions, I do feel that it is healthy to periodically examine various aspects of my life and make improvements when necessary. So, as I have been hard at work detail-cleaning my house, car, and organizing stacks of loose papers, I have also come to the realization that as much as my hard-working husband would probably love to sit down and create a blog entry, I just don't see it happening.
As I'm sure many of you have noticed, in the six months since we started this blog, Eric has neglected to write a single post (sigh). I'm sure that his random bouts of seven-day work-weeks haven't helped, but I have a sneaking suspicion it has more to do with his very recent admission that his wife (that's me :-)) is actually better at it [blogging] than he is. For those of you who know him, you understand how painful it must have been for him to actually force those words from his lips!!! Ha! At any rate, I concluded that MY blog needed a bit of refreshing.
It's definitely a work in progress. As is usually the case, the type of layout I envisioned for my blog does not seem to exist which means I have to create one--and so to quote my son's favorite tank engine [Thomas], "OH, BOTHER!" The idea of taking on really big computer-type projects like this scares me, which means I need to work on it in phases. Hopefully phase two will be underway shortly, but I wouldn't hold your breath!
I can't believe we were actually successful in our attempt to keep Avery from trying her first solid food until our trip back home so that the grandparents would have the opportunity to experience such a fun first. It was certainly no easy task, as you've never seen a baby with such lightening-bolt reflexes when any spoonful of yummy goodness came near her. So, when finally presented with her own spoonful of Mommy's favorite winter squash, you'd think she would welcome it with a wide-open mouth, right? NOT SO MUCH! She was so cautious as to taste just a teensy bit that we placed on her very pursed lips. She was, however, very intrigued with the spoon. Maybe that's what she wanted all along! :-)
I guess we'll move on to bigger and better things, like peas and carrots. Mmmm...
It's hard to believe that Avery's first six months have come and gone. Before we know it, she'll be toddling around the house and learning how fun it can be to torment her big brother. This has most definitely been a milestone month for our little Avery. She FINALLY decided to take the plunge and roll over--from her tummy to her back. She has also mastered the art of sitting without any assistance. What I wouldn't give to have such perfect posture again! Since we have been in Tulsa, her stranger anxiety (which I considered extreme only a few weeks ago) is almost non-existent. It didn't take her long to realize that a single smile coupled with a quick bat of an eye would melt the hearts of everyone in her presence. She certainly doesn't seem to mind sharing the spotlight with her big brother anymore.
She is babbling quite a bit now--enough that I think her first word is going to be "da-da". And we weren't sure if she was going to be a daddy's girl--what were we thinking! She still enjoys being swaddled at bedtime, and her favorite toy these days is her new Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo that she received from Grandma and Papa for Christmas. She really likes to boogie to the music--she must get that from me! :-)
We don't have her 6-month stats yet, but when we took her to the doctor last week, she weighed 16 lbs 10 ounces.
My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition
(most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and
kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great
outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match
that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very
characteristic of a merlot.
“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771