Wednesday, May 26, 2010

this week: good things

I got a package in the mail for my birthday.
As soon as I cracked open the box I could smell it-
Grandma Murray's zupfe (sounds like "sut-fa") bread. I haven't had zupfe bread for years. It was
every bit as good as I remembered, and if I microwaved it for a few seconds it almost felt like it was fresh from the oven.
I ate six slices the first day, in fact, it's almost all I ate that day-
this is the kind of bread you can use as an entire meal all on its own.

It was my birthday on Monday. And it was a good day-I felt lots of love from phone calls, emails, and other sweet little notes.
My mom sent me a box of goodies and a beautiful book, Another Testament.
Kent's mom sent me a gift card to get something pretty for the house.
I got a letter from my brother Josh that, I admit, made me cry just a little. So sweet.

I miss him.

After work, Kent brought home my "cake," a strawberry-banana cream pie from Marie Callendars. Scrumptious, and pretty too!
The Jensens came over after Nicholas was in bed and Kent and I escaped on a little date. We went to Paesanos, where the food was awesome. Fun, fancy place, fantastic company-a very good time.
Unfortunately, when we returned, the Jensen's car had been towed (grrr... HOA policies) and Kent drove them out across town to pick it up. He didn't get back until 1:30 am, and then both of us were up again at 3-ish being sick. Food poisoning, maybe? We felt fine by the next morning. And I don't think it is going to stop us from returning to Paesanos-the food really was very good.

Kent ordered these for my birthday. Ugh. So good. They had to raise for 9 hours, so we put them out overnight, and I was so glad I wasn't sick anymore the next morning, because,
well, chocolate croissants are heaven.
We ate them too fast for me to take a picture.

Rain, rain, rain. A welcome relief from the upper 90's temperatures we've been having lately. I'll take Texas rain over Texas heat any day.

And is there anything cuter than a barefoot baby boy in overalls?
I don't think so.

Friday, May 21, 2010

in fourteen hundred and ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Having a new crawler in your house is a lot like having a mini Christopher Columbus-
exploring uncharted waters, discovering previously unknown lands and places.

Unfortunately most of my pictures of this little Columbus turn out like this:A blurry-faced, open-mouthed, I'm-ready-to-eat-that-camera Mom, picture.
Now before you judge my camera skills, why don't you try and take a picture of someone who is rapidly crawling towards you with the intent to drool on your camera.

Let's take a look at what Nicholas has discovered since he began crawling.

The dishwasher: Endless sticky entertainment.

The piano: Experience the music from directly under the feet of the musician.
The shoe tray: The best place to do studies on where Mom and Dad have been. These studies are best conducted with one arm in the air.

The household media: It's really fun to help Dad learn new techniques for game playing by attempting to take his controller from him.
What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Eating a barrel of monkeys, of course.
Under the kitchen table: We are beginning to think that Nicholas tosses his food down here on purpose so that he can come back later for a snack.The stairs: So far, he's only made it to the third step. It's time to buy a gate.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"this is how

the Andersens watch movies."
Or LOST, for that matter.

And that is the title that Kent suggested I use for the post
he suggested I make.

I guess he's just a little excited about the present he got this year.It's his "Father's Day Birthday Christmas" present. Because he's not getting anything else big this year,
and he's perfectly fine with that.
The complete setup.

To say that Kent has been wanting a projector for a long time is an understatement. He's been craving, dreaming about, and pleading for a projector.
I'm a girl. To me, a TV is a TV and a big screen is cool, but that's about it.
(Although I do admit that watching LOST with in real-life size definitely made the already-crazy-awesome-2nd-to-last episode even more intense.)

But I'm glad I could give him something that made him this happy.

Who wants to come watch a movie with us?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

nine months

Before I know it, this kid is going to be walking.
Sometimes it is hard for me to even believe that he was ever a newborn that couldn't do anything,
he's getting so independent, and
determined (read: stubborn),
and smart (read: mischievous),
and silly, and charming (read: irresistible in every way).
When I find him somewhere new, kneeling like that as he discovers and explores...Mmmm.
I still just want to eat him up every single day.

I love that he's getting tougher, and we wrestle together in the living room so I can have a chance to
squeeze him "this" tight because I'm hoping that maybe,
just maybe,
I can stop him from growing.
He's crawling like a pro now, and I am in love with it. I love to hear his little hands pounding across the floor as he comes from the other room,
trying to find me.

It is also fun to watch him as he explores the house in a way he never has before,
finding his reflection in the oven door, taking all the shoes out of the shoe tray, discovering the dishes in the dishwasher, learning how to turn on and off Dad's playstation,
unplugging our laptops,
finding a tissue box and pulling out every single tissue.

Oh yes, good times.

I can never be upset with him, though, because,
well, he's just too cute.
He's got quite a little personality now, and he knows exactly what he needs to do to make us laugh. He even has a fake laugh, and throughout the day I hear him crawling around saying "heh, heh, heh."

He also likes to crawl around making a dinosaur noise, growling and trying to catch us.

He has the most unique babbling I've ever heard from a baby.
He says, "dada," "Teh, teh," and "sss." Sometimes, when he's eating, he'll say "lalala."
Perhaps he'll have excellent diction when he's older since he's mastering all of the most difficult sounds first.

He sings along with the radio.

He has a peculiar fondness for crawling through tunnels (between our legs, under the chairs, couch-pillow tunnels, and the like).He still wakes up during the night; he seemed to have a relapse in sleep habits since I wrote about him three months ago. Although the past week or so I've managed to work him down to just once or twice a night instead of the five or six times he was doing before.

He has six teeth now, and he loves to eat finger foods. His favorites are diced pears, bananas, steamed carrots, strawberries, noodles, pancakes, bread, and avocados. He is also quite partial to nibbling on Mom and Dad whenever he gets a chance. My shoulders are often red from his sweet little vampire bites.

He absolutely LOVES to play peek-a-boo, and he's even learned to cover his own face when I tell him to hide. When he gets excited he flaps his arms and kicks his legs and makes the cutest little giggle/squeal noises.
It's safe to say we're keeping him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

pool party

We bought a pool for Nicholas a few weeks ago, and this afternoon Kent decided to throw a pool party.
It was kind of last minute, but Nicholas's friend Jayden came and played.
Hopefully next time little Pax can join in the fun, too.

Because it was fun.
Simple, splashy, sunscreen-slathered fun.
Nicholas loved being in the water,
and the pool is big enough for the adults to join in the fun, too!
I had good intentions of making homemade strawberry lemonade, but it was not meant to be.
Too many missing or expired ingredients.
So we substituted with the can of lemonade mix in the pantry,
and I set it out with some flowers I picked from the field across the street.
It was a perfect summer Saturday.
After the party, we ate our dinner on the patio, went for a drive to deliver a birthday gift, wrestled in the living room with our little monkey boy, then put the baby to bed and the two of us ate ice cream on the couch while we watched a show.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

i baked a cake

While Kent was at work
I baked a cake,
filled it with blackberry-strawberry syrup,
and frosted it.

What was the occasion?Kent is going back to school.
He hopes to get his MBA.
Since he's working, he can probably only take one or two classes at a time,
so it may take a few years.

But at least it gives us a reason to have cake!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

bits of April

Thursday, April 1: My family's flight didn't come in until late that night...and then my dad got lost on the way to our house. We had their beds all ready for them to crawl into when they got here.
Saturday, April 3: Sarah carries our little Easter Bunny up the stairs to find his basket.
Sunday, April 11: The aftermath of our "planning party" with our friends. We had meals to coordinate, activities to plan, lists to make!

Monday, April 12: Nicholas oversees our yardwork from his high chair on the porch.
Thursday, April 15: One of the reasons I love going home to Kent's parents' is because everything there is beautiful. It's refreshing, and I always end up wishing I could stay longer.

Saturday, April 24: Nicholas's first time in a boat.
Tuesday, April 27: Bathtime at the end of the day. That lump on his shoulder is his hemangioma-it will eventually just go away on its own as he grows. Weird, but nothing to be concerned about.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am

I've been a mother for almost nine months.
I am not the same person I was nine months ago. (Or eighteen months ago, for that matter.)

I am softer. I am a different shape, but a shape better for cuddling and rocking and snuggling and nibbling on (he's teething) and wiping runny noses on.

I am more talented. I can hold a baby while I talk on the phone and apply makeup without letting said baby chew on the mascara tube (did I mention he's teething?). I can cook dinner while I sing and dance to entertain the baby that I'm also hand-feeding diced pears to. I can navigate from my bedroom to the nursery, pick up a 20-something lb nine-month old, and nurse him in my sleep. I can give a visiting teaching message while Nicholas is knocking on my face and squeezing my nose.

I am more tired. I am more careful. My left arm is capable of carrying a hefty little guy for quite a while without falling off. I am tied down, bound to this child who has changed my life. I am not able to sleep, shower, watch a movie, sit and read, or even type a blog post without interruptions.

I am working harder than I've ever worked in my life.


I am happier. Infinitely happier.
I am the one who gets to see Nicholas's sleepy, milk-drunk smile when I get up to feed him during the night.
I am the one who hears him giggling and singing to himself when he's playing in the other room.
I am the one he crawls towards.
I am the one he snuggles his head against when he's tired.
I am the one who taught him how to hide under his blanket when he wants to play peek-a-boo.
I am the one who loves every little piece of him more than anyone else in the world-his toes, his dimpled hands, his soft reddish-brown hair, his sweet breath on my neck, the twinkle in his blue eyes.
I am less selfish, more patient, more giving, and more loving than I ever thought I could be.

I am a mother.

And I wouldn't choose anything else in the world.

Oh, and one more thing. I am the one who got the most amazing Mother's Day present ever. I've been wanting this for...well, my whole life.
Yes, I own a piano. Yes, I've been playing it nearly nonstop since yesterday afternoon. Yes, I'm in love with it. And with craigslist. And with my sweet husband who bought the piano for me. (Not in that order.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

and he's crawling

Being at the beach house all weekend watching Jayden crawl
must have been good for Nicholas,
because as soon as we got him out of the car after driving back home that Sunday,
he took off.

And he hasn't stopped since.
It's the greatest crawl I've ever seen: heavy breathing, arms and legs pounding, a happy glint in his eye, and proud celebrating when he gets to wherever he's going. I love it.

Here are some quick little videos of his first moments as a mobile person.