Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My not-so-little boy

Evidently, this is the week of reminiscing. I've suddenly realized that my baby boy is growing up way too fast. Maybe it's because he's been having a developmental growth spurt and is suddenly learning and practicing dozens of new skills. Maybe it's because I bought him what I perceive to be his first "big kid" toy (and that quickly made me realize that he's not as much of a baby as he used to be). Maybe it's because my husband and I had a violent case of food poisoning this weekend and thought we were going to orphan our dear baby.

Somehow, buying THIS toy made me feel more like a "mom"
than any other toy I've purchased.
Whatever the reason is, I just can't believe how much Brayden has grown. He has always had so much personality, but now it's not just a personality. Now he's acting on his personality and developing his own behaviors. He's able to devise plans and follow them through. He's climbing up stairs. He's grabbing our dog's tail and stroking it with a questioning look on his face (as if trying to figure out the mechanics of it all). He's making new noises and putting together different syllables. And he's communicating with us even more than before. He crawls over to me and puts his arms around my neck when he's ready for a nap. He bangs on his high chair tray when he wants more food (or more quickly!). He bobs his torso forward and backwards in an uncoordinated dance when he's really giddy about something.

Happily exploring Gymboree.
He has all these new quirks and personality components that are making him even more of his own person. And I'm realizing that he's not a little baby any more. This weekend, Lauren asked me "Remember how excited we were when he rolled over for the first time? Now it seems like he can do anything." It does seem like he can do anything. He's not just a helpless newborn anymore. He's his own person in his own right. And he is simply amazing. He is completely separate from me now and although he still needs to be taken care of, he's getting more independent every day. He really wants to explore the world. And I'm doing everything I can to let him.

I don't know that I've ever been so proud of anything in my life. He's the happiest, most amazing little boy ever. And just knowing that I've helped create and nurture this incredible being is something I never could have imagined. I've been so blessed for the last eight months to have him in my life. I can't even imagine what the next eight months will bring - the millions of ways he will continue to amaze me, the new facets of his personality that are always developing, and the immeasurable amount of joy he will continue to bring to our lucky family.

I probably ask Lauren a dozen times a week "Isn't Brayden the best?" I honestly and sincerely mean it. ♥

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Hubby's Pop Quiz


I told the hubby not to get me anything for Valentine's Day this year (and I actually meant it). But it doesn't mean he was off the hook. I called him this morning and gave him a nice little lover's test. Here's the transcript of our conversation (well, most of it).

(Note: Krystin = pink, Husband = blue)

How long have we been married?

Uh…. Since '06? Or is it 07? Hang on. So… 05… 06… okay, I think it was since September of 06. And it’s not yet September of 2013. So six years.

Wow, that took you a long time.
It’s effing early and I’m tired.
He got it right (eventually). September 3, 2006. ♥
Where was our first date?
Ugh. Um… I assume the party at the fraternity doesn’t count?
(Rhetorically) Does it?
No. So then Applebees... which is where we drew Elmo. (Long pause) Is that true, or no?
I don’t think we really had a "first date."

Where was our first kiss?
That was outside the fraternity house after the party.
The Halloween party?
I think so. Because you were dressed up as Raggety Ann.
(Note: I never dressed up as Raggety Ann in college. Looks like he had more than one "first kiss" that night.)
Who is my celebrity crush?
It’s not still that Tampa Bay hockey player, is it?
Nah.
(Thinking)
Come on, I’m sure you can think of one.
Taylor Lautner?
Are you serious?
No. I didn’t think so... but I don’t know. Johnny Depp?
No.
Michael Buble?

No!

Is it a guy on a cooking show?
No. You can't think of one? Are you picking guys you think are hot?
I thought I was picking guys you thought were hot! Who is it?

How about Ryan Reynolds for starters?
Oh.
(Note: I guarantee he knows who my girl crush is)
He couldn't come up with this guy? Really?
What is the best meal I have ever cooked you?
Um… the one that came after sex.
Are you being serious?
Apparently not.
I don’t remember this.
I feel like it might have happened.
Are you just making stuff up?
No. Well, maybe. Okay... um... that steak was pretty amazing. So that's my answer. The prime rib.
That wasn’t prime rib.It was beef tenderloin.

Oh, yeah. That one.

What is the worst meal I ever cooked you?
The worst? I don’t know! You cook a lot of bad meals.
What???
No. Bad meals don’t come that often so when they do I usually forget about them. Probably the one when we were in the CSA and it was all kale.

What is the most-played song on my iPod?
Probably a Who song. And my guess would be Baba O'Riley. Although at this point it could be any number of Raffi songs.
Yep. I listen to those when I’m jogging.
 
What would I say is your most annoying habit?
(Immediately) Talking.
(I start laughing and just can't stop) You answered so quickly!

If you could throw out one item of my clothing what would it be?
Your bras.
One item of clothing.
A bra.
Because I won't just wear other ones?
They'll get dirty faster and then you won't be able to.

What would you say is your favorite thing about me?
Hmmm… I think lately, it would have to be that you’re such an awesome mommy. But if I had to choose another one, I’d say it’s that you’re so much fun.
I looked for a picture of me being "fun" but they mostly involved making
stupid faces or covering my face with stickers. Instead, this is from just before I got
pregnant. One of the most fun weekends Lauren and I have had in a while.
Describe me in three words.
Hmmm… How bout happy mommy projects.
I don’t understand.
You’re happy and you’re a mommy and you do a lot of projects.
The correct answer is "awesome at everything."
Oh, that’s true. That was the correct answer? Can I change it?
(He then proceeded to backtrack and try telling me that by happy, he also meant sweet and nice and a bevy of other adjectives that he should have said)
How would you complete this sentence: My wife is a natural-born ___________.
Brunette.
That's what I get?
I didn't realize that these were such important questions. I'm so tired! Okay then, bombshell.
You are really bad at this.
I know.
Other than our wedding day and the birth of the little guy, what one day of our marriage would you most like to experience again?
(Laughing) Probably the time we stayed up all night watching movies, but that would require you to be sick. ...Or any day we lived in Valpo so  could sit on my ass and do jack sh*t.
While I worked all day?
Exactly.
He was a happy guy when we lived in Indiana.
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life. With a side of CRAZY.

Ah, chaos. The glue that holds my lovely life together. I'm at one of those crazy junctures of life where everything has a extra side of "nuts" added on.

Lauren has been working what seems like 80-hour weeks lately due to a project he's on. This means I've more or less been playing the single mom role. It also means the house looks like I have eight children instead of just one.

Brayden is teething right now and going through a spurt where he is practically velcro-ing himself to me. (Yesterday afternoon, I couldn't even put him down without him crying.) The teething also means he hasn't been sleeping well (I can't blame him) so nap times have become quite loud and unproductive.

I made the mistake of putting him down yesterday so I could get his lunch ready.
As you can see, that makes me a horrible mother.
Given the time of year and the lack of attention they've been getting lately, our dogs also have a severe case of cabin fever. I'm wishing I could go jogging with them outside, but both the weather and my schedule have made that nearly impossible.

And then there's my stuff. I recently joined a local mom's group, so I've been busy with book clubs, play dates and other festivities. I'm also trying to get Brayden signed up for gym classes and have been going to the trial classes for the local facilities that have been recommended to me. With Valentine's Day upon us, I also (of course) had to get some festive photos taken of little man and make crafty goodies for everyone.

Headstand time at "My Gym"
Making some lovely treats
I also decided that since I don't have enough going on in my life right now, I'd try to come up with my own chocolate chip cookie recipe from scratch (good timing, don't you think?). It's going good so far, but I'm still a few batches away from the desired yumminess level.

Batch #1.
Being a mother, wife, chef, maid, dog-walker and socialite isn't enough, however. I've also added travel agent into the mix lately. We have four trips coming up that I've been busy trying to plan for. And since one of them is on the other side of the pond, I'll need to figure out all the specifics for getting a baby-passport.

Ah, chaos. The glue that holds my lovely life together. This is certainly one of those frenzied times in life. All I can say is that perhaps I'm crazy, but I've been enjoying every moment of it. Other than wishing my dear husband was around more, things are great. My little boy is cruising around the house and being as cute as ever (no surprises there), I've been doing some super fun activities with him, meeting some nice local moms, and finding time to do some hobbies. The crazy that I'm speaking of is the best kind of crazy. The kind that fills your life to the max with smiles, love and joy. ♥

And I certainly don't mind missing out on some sleep or having a messy house for that.

Happiness.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Secret Baby Manual

I recently found a few pieces of paper in Brayden's crib (discreetly tucked next to his mattress). Turns out it's a super-secret-manual for babies everywhere. Given his recent behavior, I'd say the Baby Council would be very proud of my little guy for fulfilling his newbie duties with such dedication and flair. I've pulled out the sections that Brayden has been working especially hard on lately. Enjoy.

Section I: Toys

A. There are good toys and there are bad toys. The best ones are the things that your parents play with. Be warned, though - they want to keep these toys to themselves! The more they try to keep something to themselves, the better toy it is. So keep trying to get them by any means possible.

B. Other good toys include things with cords, blinking lights or screens.

C. When your parents run towards you yelling "don't touch that!" you've hit the jackpot of all toys. Make it your personal goal to play with this toy as much as possible.

Playing with Daddy's video games, trying to open an electrical socket and
changing settings on the universal remote.

Section II: Sleep

A. Don't do it.

B. If you must, make sure to follow these rules:
  • Stay awake when your parents are begging you to sleep. And fall asleep when your parents show indications they want you to stay awake (ten-minute car rides, stroller rides and nursing, for example are great times to nod off).
  • Make your parents think you've taken a nap. Instead, do gymnastics and wind sprints in your crib. This way, they'll think you're rested but you're really just extra wired.
  • Keep changing the rules about when you like to fall asleep and for how long. It really keeps those adults on their toes.
We had to buy a video monitor to figure out that when Brayden
was in his crib for naps, he was doing everything except napping.
Like having conversations with the lamp attached to his crib.
Section III: Movement

A. Try your best to learn to crawl before your parents have a chance to set up any safety measures like gates.

B. Secretly practice in your crib so they have no idea how much you can move. Then, when the opportunity presents itself, you'll take them by surprise.

This boy's got wheels. Big monster truck wheels.
C. As soon as your parents are getting a glass of water or going to the bathroom, hide somewhere in the room to freak them out. Alternatively, move as quickly as you can to something you've wanted to do but haven't been allowed to do.

Heading right to the dogs' bowls. Not pictured: trying to dive down the stairs.

Section IV: General Behavior

A. When eating, make as big of a mess as you can. This is especially true for those times when Mommy forgets to put a bib on you or doesn't clasp it tight enough (and leaves a gap between your neck and the bib). 

Me. Want. More. Food.
B. Every so often, do something totally weird and unexpected. 

I can't possibly think of a caption as funny as the picture itself.

C. When you're not busy completing the above tasks, be as adorable as humanly possible. This ensures that you'll be able to continue your quest to take over the house world.