September 25, 2013

Lily :: One Year Old

Last week, we did a lot of celebrating. Lots of singing, lots of cake eating, lots of friends and family showering love down on this little person. It has been hard to sit down and write about Lily turning one. It's a real transitional time for her, and for us as a family. I still call her "baby girl", but she's more of a toddler now (my weekly Babycenter emails tell me so). She walks, she babbles, she has an attitude, she willingly hugs Sean and I. She is feeding herself and no longer drinking from bottles. She formed an attachment to a stuffed animal and is falling asleep clinging to it rather than falling asleep in my arms at the tail end of a bottle.

Lily, you are so much fun. You make each day brighter. I love being your mama and am so excited for a new year of adventures, trying new foods, going on our first vacation, and watching you blossom even more. I love your spunky, firecracker personality. I love that you reach up for us to pick you up now, and hug our legs, and cling to our necks when we're holding you. I love that when I pat your back at night, rocking you to sleep, I sometimes feel the soft pat you your hand to my back.

You now have 4 teeth, and you rounded out your first year with two single ear infections, one double ear infection, one ER visit, a quite a few colds. Your hair is coming in thicker and thicker, and it's a beautiful blondish auburn to compliment your blueberry eyes and pale skin. The back of your head is growing in curly, like a little duck butt.

You are testing your own limits, as well as ours. You are looking for our reaction, whether we react at all, or laugh. You love making us laugh and will do silly things if we keep laughing. You are also starting to mimic motions, facial expressions, and sounds, so we need to start making sure we're on our best behavior!

It's been a heck of a year - a real adventure. We've learned a lot, about ourselves, each other, and who this little girl is becoming, day by day. There have been numerous challenges, joys, and a lot of laughter and tears. I wouldn't trade our family for anything. I've felt more love in my life squeezed into this past year than ever before. It's awesome. Cliche, but awesome.

And anyways, I like cliches.

August 22, 2013

lily :: 11 months

Nicknames: Lil, Pumpkin, Peanut, Lala

This summer has been bittersweet. You're getting so big. You're getting more sassy. You're becoming a toddler. You're almost a year old.

I have been soaking up all the snuggles I can get when you want them, because you've been more and more pushing away, wanting to be on the floor playing, cruising around the apartment, exploring everything. I know I "shouldn't", but I still love rocking you and singing you to sleep. Let's face it, we don't get as much time together anymore. I need those quiet moments to close out the day. They give me peace.

You are not walking independently yet, but we keep saying "any day now". You are growing more and more sturdy, and will even walk holding just one of our hands, or one finger. But you won't let go yet. I'm so ok with that. Whenever you're ready, you'll let go, and then there'll be no stopping you!

When you're mad, you scrunch your mouth and nose up into this quasi-duck face and nasally say "noo noo noo". It reminds me of the Snorks. I know that reference will be totally lost on you.

You're eating more solids and less formula. We'll switch to milk soon, but in the past week along you've really started rejecting anything pureed or on a spoon. You just want to feed yourself.You've been eating a lot of blueberries, peas, turkey lunchmeat, Cheerios, pancakes, corn and mixed veggies, salmon, ground turkey, pasta sauce, sausage, bananas, banana bread, yogurt, carrots, strawberries, and black beans. You are not a fan of broccoli, green beans, or hot dogs. You will gladly take a bite of our ice cream or popsicles, but those a treat.

Your 10th month was crazy - we traveled almost every weekend. It exhausted all of us. We're finally getting you back on a sleep schedule and we're all better off because of it. We also pushed your bedtime an hour earlier and you seem much more eager to go to sleep. I feel terrible that you were probably overtired the past couple months, which made bedtime so hard. We're constantly learning and adjusting.

You are a crazy little firecracker. Your tongue hangs out of your mouth while you explore and play and laugh. You still love to blow raspberries. You shriek and giggle and love playing peekaboo. You laugh while you practice walking. You're so excited to get wherever you're going.

Seriously, though. The tongue is always sticking out.

You can clap now. Cutest. Thing. Ever. I love the sound of your little hands patting together. Another adorable thing? You blow kisses.

You and your Da watched Sleeping Beauty this week, and apparently your favorite character was Maleficent. You clapped when she turned into a demonic dragon. Yikes?

You attended your first convention! We went to Boston Comicon and you wore your Wonder Woman onesie and charmed the socks off everyone we passed by. Your Da was so proud to show you off and share a slice of the crazy world of being a geek family.

You went to your first wedding! Uncle Jim and Auntie Jen got married, and it was a beautiful day on the harbor. Everyone wanted to hold you and love you and take pictures of you. It was rough trying to get you to sleep, and Mimi and Papa came and rescued you so Da and I could dance and socialize.

You make a lot of different babbling noises. I wish I could understand what you're saying. I have a feeling you'll be a chatty one. I mean, you pretty much already are.

First official word: "dada". You know your Dada and you know how to get his attention now. I think you may have said "mama" this week, but it might have been random coincidence. You also sort of say "ah duh" for "all done".

Other shenanigans you like to play...trying to stand in the bathtub...throwing anything hard and plastic on the wood floor with purpose...banging on the balcony door and yelling at the squirrels...riding on me or your Da's shoulders and you lean over to peek at us..."sorting" anything that you can put in or pull out of a bag...giggling whenever we leave the apartment to go're a silly monster.

and finally....

DANCING! You love to bounce and dance to music. I can't even stand it.

Baby Girl, I hope you know how much we love you. This year has been amazing, and we can't wait to celebrate your first birthday in a couple short weeks!

July 16, 2013

lily :: 10 months

You are 10 months old now. I see the baby disappearing daily, and the toddler emerging. It's exciting and sad and scary and fun...all these emotions I've explored and experienced over the past 10 months of watching you grow, they become stronger and more raw.

You continue to draw people in everywhere we go. People stop in restaurants and parking lots and the grocery store and stare at you and smile and coo. You seem to bring a little slice of joy to these strangers' days. Your smile is infectious. Your eyes are enchanting.
You are big on giggling now, whether you're playing peekaboo, funny faces and voices, amusing yourself with your toys or trying to rip apart our faces with your tiny dagger fingernails. I love the sound of your laugh. It's music to the ears.

You are growing a bit wary of strangers. You definitely have your shy moments where you snuggle into me or your daddy. Sometimes it's out of shyness, and sometimes it seems like a coy little game, because you smiles and look away, but then turn back and flash a huge grin. I love how friendly you are, but I also love that I feel like I am helping you feel safe and protected and a source of comfort in my arms.
You are getting more steady on your feet. You don't like to have your hands held to practice walking, and you sit your butt right down, but you are happy to cruise along holding onto furniture. And your usual crawling consists of walking on your hands and feet, not your knees. It's freaking adorable.

This month we celebrated Father's Day and Daddy's birthday. We traveled home to visit family. You finally met Auntie Di and we had a fun sleepover at Great-Gram's house. We also went to see Nana, and you put a big smile on her face. She wasn't feeling well, and it seemed like seeing you helped her feel a lot better. You have that effect on people. You just make people feel better. I know your dad and I feel that way after a bad day at work. It melts away the second we walk through the door and you spot us and smile.

You had your first dip in Grandma and Papa T's pool last week! You splashed your arms and kicked your legs and really loved being in the water.

I started planning your first birthday, which seems crazy, but it's sneaking up on us! Only one more of these monthly updates and then the next will be 1 year! I know I always say it, but time seems to be going so fast. I am so proud of the tiny, curious, funny little girl you are.

July 1, 2013


While I'm sad to see Google Reader go, it's on to bigger and better things! I am really digging bloglovin', for a number of reasons. It's super easy to sign up and import the blog I was already following on GR, it's easy to find new, similar blogs to follow, and from a blogger standpoint, people viewing your blog through bloglovin' get pageviews counting towards your readership. It also shows you the title, first image, and snippet of each post so you can easily see if any given post is something your interested in clicking on and reading more of. Some weeks I just don't have time to check in and as the posts accumulate (much like my email inbox), it helps to be able to quickly and easily peruse what's waiting to be read.

Some other things I'm "lovin'" (ha) are that you can categorize your blogs (I have a lot of photography, design, and parenting blogs), and the ability to easily "like" and share posts.

So if you move over to bloglovin', be sure to add me to your list!

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June 25, 2013

the girl and her "da"

Father's Day was 9 whole days ago, and I have not yet written about it.

The truth is, every day is Father's Day.

It's like any of those appreciation holidays, when people say "Why does this exist, we should celebrate these people every day!"

Heck yes. Yes we should. So, my dear husband, Happy Tuesday. You are awesome. Thank you for being you, because you are the greatest.

I will just say it. I am not a good gift giver. I am good at procrastinating and throwing stuff together at the last minute and failing to mail an anniversary card to my brother and sister-in-law on their anniversary 3 years ago and it's still sitting in the back pocket of my driver's seat. I am not good at these things. I get anxious about gift-giving. I always want to give something special, personal, memorable, that translates to the person "This is how much I love you, and then some".

I wanted to do something like that for Sean for Father's Day. The truth is, though, I didn't know how on earth I could show him how much he means to me. I can't even think about how beautiful it is watching him be Lily's "dada" without getting teary. I have just come to accept that my life will be lived with tears in my eyes because he is so good. I knew waaaaaay back when we were dating that he was a keeper. I knew he'd be a great husband and dad. And then Lily was born and he surpassed any and all expectations. He amazes me.

I talk a lot on here about how I feel about motherhood, and how I see things as Lily's mama. So I thought I'd share some things about Sean.

When Lily was born, I had a very hard time the first couple days. It was excruciating to get out of bed, stand, walk, or use the bathroom. Sean changed all of her diapers the first 3 days. Every last one. He did it with pride, and probably a little amazement ("Dear GOD, what IS that?!").

Sean and Lily are napping buddies. They are like two peas in a cute little sleepy pod.

She loves it when he comes home from work, or anytime she sees him, period. She lights up and grins and giggles.

He is her #1 peek a boo buddy. He can make her laugh like no one else.

He buys her frilly tutus and dresses, and likes to tell her about how he'll probably embarrass her at their first father-daughter dance with his crazy dance moves.

When he has to work late, I leave her bedroom door open so he can kiss her goodnight when he comes home. He always kisses her goodnight.

There's really no way to show him how much he means to us, so last Sunday, I made him some Darth Vader pancakes, he played some video games, and I made this little video. It may not seem like much, but my gift is photos. Nothing makes me happier than seeing these two and how crazy about each other they are.

June 24, 2013

approaching 30

In 3 months, I'll enter a new decade. It seems a little strange that I'll be saying I'm in my 30s, but it's just life, you know? We keep getting older, and there's no use in trying to cling to youth. My youth was good; I had a lot of opportunities to explore my interests, my talents, and fail at a number of things. I was surrounded by supportive people and lived in a great little town where I didn't really have to worry about a thing. But I did spend a whole lot of time worrying - about my image, about decisions I made, how my peers might view me and if I should try more to fit in.

Yup, I'm quoting one of my favorite Amanda Bynes (pre-hot mess) movies. Besides it being one of my guilty pleasure movies (included in the Slumber Party Pack with A Cinderella Story and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), it's a damn good quote. Why do we try so hard to fit in? Why do we try to change who we are so others will like us? If someone won't love us for who we are, then why would we want their love anyways?

As I approach 30, I have been reflecting a lot on life, my dreams, facing challenges and learning about who I am. I am more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever been.I feel like I have a pretty good attitude and outlook. I am speaking my mind more, being more open and honest (or at least trying), and really carpeing that diem.

You know those cliches? You only live once and stuff like that. Well, it's true! It's so true. It has taken seeing some real tragedy, accidents and hardships in the lives of people I love to really drive that point home. What are we living for if we're spending our time worrying about what others think of us, or if we'll ever get out of that job we hate, or buy a house, or travel, or do whatever that thing is that we feel passionate about doing? So my resolution for life, because this isn't just about being 30, it's about being human, is to live out loud. Let the freak flag fly. High and proud, ya'll. And I'm not going to wait 100-ish days to start. I'm starting now. It's on. You should get in on this. We're all a little weird. That's what makes this world such a great place to live in. And finding people you can be weird with is the best thing ever.