birthday boy

How do I even start?  I’ve been sitting here staring at my blank screen through two cups of coffee and one entire episode of Sesame Street.  I really don’t know how to start writing about this journey on my son’s very first birthday.  So I guess I will just write exactly what is going on in my rambling mind.  My baby boy is one year old today, so first off – a very very happy birthday to you my sweet sweet lover boy.  Ugh, I’m stuck again. I don’t even have words.  I love you so deeply and feel so incredibly grateful for you, for every minute with you.  My baby boy Carter.  How in the world are you already a year old?  I remember the day my water broke, the drive to the hospital, the elevator ride up to the the labor and delivery room, the nurse, my anxiety, your first cry, the feel of your little body on my chest, introducing you to Sadie, coming home as a family of four, all of it, as if it just happened a few weeks ago.  But somehow, in some twisted time warp, it was actually one year ago.

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This first year with you has been an absolute dream.  You make me SO happy.  I love everything about you and can’t think of a single thing about that I would change, not even a little bit.  You are so many things; kind, sweet, funny, playful, strong, stubborn, brave, curious, creative, smart, loving, tough, determined, independent and magical.  I feel so proud of you all the time.  It’s hard for me to not be talking about you at all times.  When you go to bed at night, sometimes your dad and I sit up and just talk about how awesome you are and how happy we are that you have joined our family.  We sit and grin as we recall the amazing list of things that you did that day and how wonderful your relationship with your sister is.

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On this day one year ago, you were born at 6:30am and weighed a mere 6 lbs 10 oz.  Now at one year old, I have no clue how much you weigh but I’d take a guess it’s somewhere around 25 lbs.  You sit, you crawl, you walk!  You can say Mama, Dada, dog, Sadie (say-cee), and you say voom-voom when you play with your toy cars.  You mimic anything anyone says, so really you say a lot more than that.  But those are the words you consistently say without someone saying them first.  You never took a bottle or a pacifier but you can drink out of a straw or a sippy cup.  You are a good eater.  You never did purees and went straight to mushy solids.  You love bagels and cream cheese, pizza, mac n’ cheese, spaghetti, peas, carrots, watermelon, raspberries, apples.  But the thing you want most in this world is beer.  I have no idea what intrigues you so much about it, but anytime anyone has a beer – whether it be in can, glass or bottle, you go straight for it and are completely relentless about getting it.  This usually ends with you throwing yourself on the floor crying.

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You are built like a linebacker.  And have no fear.  You climb slides and attempt to climb shelves and ladders like any other 5 year old on the playground.  You already know how to use Sadie’s scooter.  Anytime you see another baby you tower over them grabbing at their face and body saying “ooh ooh ooh”.  We say that your spirit animal is a silver back gorilla.  Your body build and your attitude is so gorilla.  All you need to do is learn to beat on your chest and it would be off to the zoo with you.  It cracks us up.

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I can’t wait to see what you will become as you get older.  And I’m looking forward to this next upcoming year, watching you learn to speak.  I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.  I wish there was a way I could write and convey how spectacular your personality is.  You are very truly one of a kind, so very special.  And you and your big sister are two peas in a pod.  You love each other deeply.  My god, you guys are so rough with each other.  You pull each other’s hair, shove your hands in each other’s mouths, sit and roll on top of each other.  It’s just crazy mayhem over here.  But you two just laugh and giggle and can’t get enough of it and each other.  In the mornings when you wake, the first thing you look for is your sister, “say-cee”.  And same goes for her.

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You are growing and maturing so fast, I hope you still let me hold you and snuggle you for a while longer.  I am definitely not ready for you to no longer be a baby.  Honestly if you decided to stay my little sweet one year old forever, I wouldn’t protest.  One year old.  So crazy.  A year ago I didn’t even know you yet.  I didn’t know how you would rock my world.  I had no idea how much my heart would grow and stretch and make so much room for you.  I didn’t know how you would fit perfectly into the nook of my arm.  I didn’t know the sweet sweet joy of when you close your eyes and open your mouth and come in for a kiss (which is just a lot of baby slobber on my lips) but it melts me.  A year ago I had no clue what was in store for me.  So thank you.  Thank you for being the most incredible human gorilla boy there ever has been.  I feel so lucky.  So so lucky.  Happy birthday baby boy.  I hope you squeeze every ounce of joy out of this world.  I know I will try and make you as happy as I can.  But I don’t think there will ever be a way to repay you for how happy you make us.  We love you baby Carter. xo.

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Summer Out

Summer for us is just about done.  We have just under two weeks before Sadie starts back up at school and life ruled by routine starts back up again.  We’ve done so much this summer and seen so many people that I never got around to documenting.  You know, this whole keeping up a blog while having two young kids is a lot harder than it looks.  So here are a few various outtakes from some fun summer outings or stayings we had this summer. IMG_0094 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_0122 IMG_9099 IMG_9093 IMG_8956 IMG_8936 IMG_8928 IMG_8921 IMG_0642 IMG_0591 IMG_0565 IMG_0437 IMG_0418 IMG_0374

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Some highlights are the county fair, beach days, fixing up our backyard and reaping the benefits of planting a vegetable garden.  As Sadie says, “I WUB YOU SUMMER!”  I’m not ready to give you up, but I know it’s time I must.  Until next time.

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Just Beachy

One huge goal I have always had in life is to be a mother.  A few goals after that is to be a mother of total beach bums.  I’ve dreamt of having sun-kissed, barefoot, blonde-tipped babies for much of my adult life.  I want to spend my days watching them play at the beach and swim in the waves along side.  I want to have sandy bubble baths at the end of every night.  And my kids to pass out as soon as the sun goes down because they are drained from exploring the beach.  My babies are getting older and I think I’m finally getting closer to making that dream a reality.

We just got back from a quick “glamping” trip to Santa Cruz.  We stayed at the KOA campsite that we stayed at once before during our RV trip two years back.  This time we opted to stay in one of their airstream rentals.  Such a good decision.  This thing was so amazing.  Very clean, very fuctional, and even kind of spacious for being a trailer.  Our spot was pretty quiet and private and was covered in wonderful shade.  This particular camp is wonderful for traveling with kids.  They have a huge built in bouncer, mini golf, a train ride, 3-wheel bike rentals, playground and a pool.  We went to the playground at dusk one night and it was pure anarchy – in a good way.  We were literally the only parents there.  The place was swarmed with kids of all ages in swim suits, pajamas, or just shorts and no shirts.  They were all going totally nuts running around playing rough and free.  Totally wild and mostly unsupervised but coming from this kind of over-protective mom, I found it completely heartwarming.  It reminded me of my childhood.  Seeing kids run around outdoors getting dirty and sometimes even hurt, but living life and making friends and sharing s’mores.  That is totally what childhood is for.

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Our trip started off with a bang, or rather a blerch.  As soon as we pulled up to the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk I jumped out of the car to run to grab Carter who had been in hysterics in his carseat for a good 30 mins, when all of a sudden I hear a burp and a gurgle.  I look over to see Sadie puking her guts out while still strapped into her carseat.  I tossed Carter off to Devin and ran to Sadie’s side to pull her out of the car mid-puke.  Her and I both ended up with quite a lot of her breakfast on us, but I think her carseat really took the bulk of the fallout. I guess a bowl of strawberries and a tall glass of OJ coupled with a long curvy mountain road don’t really sit well with the stomach.  Not really a great scenario when you are about to go camping and won’t have access to a laundry machine for a few days, but with a change of clothes, shoes and an entire pack of wet wipes we made do.  And off to go ride roller coasters and eat cotton candy we flew.

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The bulk of our trip was spent soaking up the waves and sun at Manresa State Beach.  What a lovely, lovely place that is.  Beautiful beach.  Warm water, gentle waves, not too crowded.  Devin and I would take turns watching the kids so we could each go out into the ocean and swim and dive and play in the waves.  And it felt SO. GOOD.  I haven’t actually submerged myself in the ocean since our honeymoon and now that I’ve felt that feeling again I’m craving it so hard.  So much so, that we booked ourselves a night to go back down in a few weeks to get some more swimming in.  Sadie loved the waves.  I’d wrap her up in my arms and we’d plow through waves laughing and splashing.  There was a whole mess of seals swimming in the waves with us, just a short distance away.  And as majestic as that experience was I immediately got my Shark Week brain on and figured that seals = sharks so I scooted me and my little lovely back a few yards to more shallow and easily escapable levels of ocean.

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Carter is a little ninja in the sand.  He’ll be three beach blankets down and into someone else’s picnic basket in the time it takes you to shake out a towel.  He kept us busy.  But he had such a great time and even spent some time in the water himself.

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We had a terrific short trip and plan on spending many, many more afternoons just like that.  And the whole airstream thing… 2 thumbs up.

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the 4th of July

We had a super fun 4th of July party Holiday in our pocket of the world.  We started it off at our town’s annual 4th parade and ended it late into the night with a bbq at our home with good friends and lots of kids and babies.  Plus my parents were in town for an added bonus of special-ness.

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I feel so lucky to spend another holiday with the great friends I’ve met since we moved here.  And so much has happened since last year, just take a look…

Last Year’s 4th:

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This year’s 4th:

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As you can see, we’ve expanded quite a bit.  You will probably also notice that Sadie and I are wearing the same thing we wore the year before.  We like to keep it consistent.

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The hammock was obviously the hit of the day.  And was still in strong usage well into the night, even after the glowsticks came out.

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Three cheers to the red, white and blue.  And four cheers to beer, bbq, sunshine, whiskey nightcaps and glowsticks.

 

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10 months

Oh dear.  aggghhh.  I don’t even know how to start this.  Great, I’m already crying.  I guess it’s just hitting me how fast all of this will be gone.  My baby love is already 10 months old.  Holy crap!  How did that happen?!  Don’t you guys just remember me announcing his birth? I feel like that just happened.  I look at him and melt.  What in the world has he done to me?!  It’s crazy that I used to worry if I’d be able to love a second child as much.  Oh lordy lord, I had no clue of how much my heart could grow.  This boy is my world.  Right now as I write this, I’m watching him pull every book out of our bookshelves  and drool inside all of our fancy coffee table art books.  And all the while, I’m just thinking over and over again in my head… i love you, i love you, i love you.  My love for him is so deep.  So all-consuming.  So so so strong and wide.

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Creeping right around the corner from his first birthday, he is growing up so fast.  I want to freeze time.  I know people say that ll the time.  But I feel kind of mini-crazy-obsessed with the idea.  I don’t want a thing to change.  Not his voice or the sounds he makes.  Not the weight of his body in my arms.  It’s all so perfect.

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Carter is way on the move.  He crawls at lightening speed.  By the time you even notice he’s not by your side he’s already down the hall with his head in the toilet.  He loves toilet water.  He loves to climb as well.  He climbs bookshelves and step stools and stairs if he can find em.  He enjoys chewing on electrical cords, trying to jam his fingers in electrical sockets, eating anything on the floor, grabbing our dogs butthole, pulling every last book off the bookshelf (8 times a day), breaking past the safety locks to get into the chemical cabinet, doing the riverdance during every single diaper change and raiding the fridge for anything and everything edible.   He also loves me.  No matter how upset or tired he is, if I pick him up and hold him tight he slumps into by body and gives into the cuddle.  He loves his sister and wants to do all the things she does.  He mimics the way she plays with her toys and the sounds she makes.  If she’s in the bath he wants in, if she climbs out he’s heading out too.  He wiggles his arms and legs and squeals when he sees her every morning.  He loves his Daddy.  When he hears Devin coming home from work, he crawls as fast as he can toward the door to greet him.  He tugs on his beard and immediately tried to eat his nose.

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He still loves to be carried in the ergo carrier.  And often falls asleep walking around in it.  He’s a big eater, and skipped the purees and went straight to table food.  He unlike his sister, likes to eat meat.  He also likes bread, pasta, veggies, fruit, yogurt, crackers, muffins, bagels, cheese, tofu, anything, anything and anything.  He sleeps well.  We are still co-sleeping, but i”m starting to try and transfer him into his crib.  I’m taking it slowly but hoping to have him in his own room somewhere around his 1st birthday.  He has two bottom teeth and 3 top teeth.

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He is really just the happiest dude around.  He’s all smiles, always putting on a show for everyone he sees.  He hardly ever complains, and is super tough about pain.  He’s been so adaptable which is such a relief having two kids.  So far, he’s been great going with the flow of the day and having his naps or bedtime thrown off.

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There are so many things I hope to remember and keep from this age.  I hope I can remember his beautiful smile and his sweet happy demeanor.  I hope to remember how he seems to make everyone around him so happy.  Since I know my days of nursing and co-sleeping are numbered – I hope to always remember the weight and warmth of his body next to mine as a lay in our bed and nurse him to sleep.  The way he kicks and squirms and tries to fight drifting off to sleep.  Then how his body slows and his weight sinks and just his warm deep breath remain.  And before I tip toe out of the room to put Sadie to bed I sit there and watch his face continuing to do the suckle motion and his eyelids flutter from his little baby dreams.  He is illuminated by the lights of the tennis court of the park in our backyard.  He is peaceful and happy and warm in his dinosaur footie jammies.  And I haven’t even left the room yet and I’m already missing holding him and look forward into climbing into bed at my bedtime so I can snug up against him until the sun comes up.

Happy 10th month Carter.  Let’s slow it down a bit shall we?  We have our whole lives to grow up, let’s be mommy and baby for a while more.

Oh Dear.

Dear Stephenie Higgins,

I can’t believe you are about to have a baby.  Being at your baby shower this past weekend was so wonderful and special.  Once I returned home I kept thinking about you and me and Jamie and the life we’ve lived being friends/sisters for so long.  And now we are all married with kid(s).  I was thinking of all the stages of life we’ve been through together and all the changes and questionable decisions we’ve made throughout our years growing up.  It’s so completely cool to have a friend that has known me so long.  And it’s so amazingly awesome to think about the past and just freak out over the concept that we are like actual real adults now and people (little tiny people) totally depend on us.  HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!

I remember so many amazing Stephi stories from the past.  And in lieu of you now growing life inside you I’d like to take a moment to reminisce over a few faves.

I remember a young super blonde and always sun burnt Junior High Stephi.  I remember you always having Twinkies in your house because your Dad was the Hostess man.  The coolest job ever as far as a kid is concerned.  I remember going to your house one day.  We went into your bedroom where you quickly closed the door and rushed over to your dresser and opened the bottom drawer and a REAL LIFE KITTEN popped his sweet little head out and said meow.  You explained to Jamie and I that your mom wouldn’t let you have a pet, so this was how you decided to approach that situation.  Totally normal.

I remember so many things about our raver days.  A real shining stand out Stephi moment has to be the time we went to that rave at the Orange Show and it got shut down by the cops.  All the ravers forgot about the PLUR and started going crazy trying to break down the gates to get in and dance.  Things got out of hand and the cops starting shooting tear gas and rubber bullets.  Kids covered in glitter and beads and 40 inch round Jnco pants were running everywhere, glow sticks in hand.  We were among the commotion.  As we were all making a mad dash to get into the safety of our car you hear a, “Guyyyyyyssss!!  Wait for meeee!  Oh my goddddddddd!” Behind us quite-a-ways was Stephi dressed in a mini skirt, pigtails, knee high socks, raver bracelettes and ROLLER SKATES.  Frantically tripping over herself trying to out roller skate the rubber bullets flying in our direction.  Probably one of the best moments of my life.

I remember our Hollywood apartment days.  I remember the time Blaze, your 11 fingered and one eyed cat, brought a dead pigeon inside the apartment.  You didn’t know how to dispose of it so you carefully placed a towel over it and left it there on the floor to deal with at a later time.  Or how about the “Cooka Drawer” the drawer in the kitchen that no one was supposed to open because it’s where the cockroaches lived.  I remember many MANY 3am Del Taco runs.  Ah, also the time that we all got matching Siamese kittens and when I got home there were two kittens in my apartment because you found out yours was a jerk and dumped him on me.

I remember our twenties and the Echo Park days.  The camping trips, the parties, the always ending up at your place for after hours parties.  I remember swivel chair ballerina down your driveway. I remember you getting Devin and I to kiss for the very first time by yelling “make out” at us over and over until we finally did.  (thank you for that)

And now I am watching us grow up.  Steph, you have the gift of making everything fun.  You have an infectious laugh and a caring loving nature.  If I haven’t already told you this, I think you are going to be such radical mom.  Your son doesn’t know it yet, but he is about to have the most fun life ever.  He is very very lucky.

Thank you for being my life friend.  I hope our future has just as many stories – this time they’ll all include babies though.  Love you.  I’ll leave you with pics from your shower.  It was such a blast.  Keep these photos so you can show them to your son, Sven Hans Super White Aryan Race Becker.

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xoxo

Stacey

 

 

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My Day in May

As time goes by (quickly) I’m realizing that I really suck at blogging.  I don’t know how people manage to stay current.  I’m at a rate of posting things at least two weeks after they occur at this point.  Hopefully I can improve that, but probably I won’t.

So about two weeks ago we, and most of the world, celebrated Mother’s Day.  It was a glorious day.  First off, it started with me sleeping in!  Oh lord that felt good.  I only slept til about 8:30.  But contrast to what I’m used to, it felt like I slept for half the day.  We spent the afternoon laying out and relaxing on the beach of Lake Anza.  What a beautiful gem that place is.

I have to say it feels really good to have a day dedicated to thanking you for all you do.  I felt loved and appreciated.  Sadie really had a grasp on the meaning of the day and she really put some thought into making me feel special.  And Carter makes everyday feel like paradise for me.  That sweet sweet baby boy.

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Motherhood is by far the best thing I’ve ever done with myself.  It gives me so much life and so much meaning.  It’s also harder than anything in the world.  It’s filled with worry and heartache and stress and exhaustion.  But every minute of it, even the bad ones, are so very very worth it.  I love my littles and I love being mom to them.  Happy Mother’s Day, indeed.

Egg Day

This is so late and so embarrassing to even post at this point.  But I love being able to preserve special days and memories on this blog- so I’m posting it anyway!  I will, however, stop from ranting on and on about the day and just say that we enjoyed a wonderful Easter holiday in the city with amazing friends and their beautiful children.

I feel fortunate to have been able to spend such a perfect day with my family and friends.

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The Binky Fairy Cometh

The time has come.  Well, actually, the time came long long ago I just nervously brushed it off and kept on trucking.  But the time REALLY came and I finally sucked it up and put on my big girl pants and did something about it.  And herein lies the tale of the “Binky Fairy”.

Just to put it out there…. I have been embarrassed that my 3.5 year old still uses a pacifier for a long long time.  I’d see other kids out with binkies in their mouths, younger than she, and would think how odd it looks for such a big kid to have one.  But there I was myself, living with a child that needed at least 5 binkies on her person to take a nap or go to bed or even ride in the car.  She was so beyond obsessed with these little suckers, literally, that I was petrified of the fallout from taking them away.

I’d heard all the ideas… tie them to a balloon and set them off into the air, bring them to Build-A-Bear and have them stuffed inside a teddy bear so she’ll still know its there, the Binky Fairy, cold turkey, slowly weaning, etc… I decided my whimsical child would die 1000 deaths no matter how I took them away, so I might as well try and make it a little magical just for fun.  So the Binky Fairy route was the plan.

It started off of Sadie’s prompting really.  She’s been potty trained for a long while now, but still had her little potty in her room that she would use most of the time.  One day she said that she thinks she has outgrown her little potty.  I, overjoyed with the idea of not emptying her potty several times a day, said yes! you have outgrown your potty!  And I tucked it away in the garage.  The next day or so, Sadie said to me, “Mom, what else am I outgrowing?”  So, I just sort of went for it.  I said, “You know what, you’re kinda outgrowing your binkies.”  And I told her all about when she really did outgrow them for real, the Binky Fairy would come and take them and leave them up with the stars.  But she would bring a present for her in their place.  I asked her what she hoped the Binky Fairy would leave for her, she thought a lollipop sounded good.  She asked me when the Binky Fairy was coming, and I told her I didn’t know.  But she would come when she was sure that the binkies had been officially outgrown.

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We talked about this here and there for about a week or two.  And then one day last week you know what happened?  That lovely little Fairy came to visit while Sadie was at school and did her thang.

She didn’t just take the binkies and leave a gift.  She had a PARRRTY in Sadie’s room to celebrate how proud she was of Sadie.  She left streamers, balloon and glitter (all in pink and purple – Sadie’s fave colors, of course) and she did indeed leave Sadie a lollipop as well as a toy kitty and a little note.

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When Sadie came home from school, she took off to her room right away – I assume to look for her binkies.  She saw the streamers, and said, “Whoa! What the heck happened here mom?!”  “Is it my party?”  “Is it my birthday?!”  I told her I had no idea what happened, but it was so exciting.  But soon enough we found a note.  The note was to Sadie from the Binky Fairy.  In it, she told Sadie how proud and excited she was for Sadie.  She said outgrowing your binkies is a really big deal and she was so happy for Sadie that she wanted to throw a party and leave her some gifts to celebrate.  In reading this to Sadie, I tried to keep up the super excited atmosphere while trying to gauge a feeler on what emotions were brewing in Sadie.  She seemed to completely understand what happened, there was no false delusion that her binkies got left behind.  She really seemed to comprehend that they were gone and that was that.  She outgrew them.  And apparently she was totally cool with that.

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The entire day went on like that.  I was amazed.  She never once asked for them or about them.  Then night came and I was already amped to pull an all nighter, knowing that there was no way in hell she would go to bed or stay asleep without them.  I mean, she never ever had before!  But nope, night came and off to sleep she drifted, without a word of them.  This continued for several days.  It had been about 3 days or so before she even made note of them.  And still, to this day she has never cried or tantrumed about not having them.

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I feel like such a dunce!  If I had just known it was going to be this easy I would have done it years ago!  I’m still shocked at how well she took it.  I really honestly don’t believe it.  I spent years worrying about this day.  And it was about as traumatic as giving her candy.  I guess she was just, ready.

Goes to show you – so many of our setbacks and errors in parenting are often driven by the parents’ hangups and emotions.  I am constantly surprised at how well kids adjust and adapt if you just give them the chance.

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all in a week

At my first go at this parenting thing, I took note of how much easier life got for me once Sadie was able to sit up unassisted.  That happened for her at her 6 month mark.  So going into this for the second time I was anxiously waiting for the exciting six month mark where I knew I would gain some freedom for my weary arms.  Carter was a little late in giving me the gift I so wanted.  He was 6 months and almost 3 weeks by the time he started sitting up.  But it was nonetheless exciting.  It is truly amazing at how helpful that milestone is.  Babies go from being completely reliant on you for physical support and entertainment to being able to play and explore alone, just like that.  I welcomed this new stage of sitting baby with welcome arms.  But I got more than I bargained for.

Within one week of Carter being able to sit up alone, he began crawling.  I immediately set up the baby gate in the kitchen and got into the habit of scanning the floor for dangers and choke-able items every two minutes.  (You gotta be on your toes when you have a 3 year old running around dropping legos and barbie shoes).

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About four days after he began crawling, he decided that wasn’t enough and started puling himself up on things to stand.  I put him down next to a bucket of blocks and looked down to check my phone.  About 20 seconds later I look up and he’s just, oh you know, STANDING THERE leaning over the bucket grabbing the blocks inside the bucket.

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Not enough for one week??? Nope, it’s not.  Later that day we are playing on the floor.  I stand up and start to walk into the next room and he looks at me and cries, “Mama!!”  And just like that he said his first word.  First and favorite.  He says it every I enter a room, exit a room, make him smile, leave him to cry, put him to bed, pick him up from bed and so on.

Within one week, ONE WEEK, he started sitting, standing, crawling and talking.  Oh, and his two bottom teeth are just starting to poke through his gums.  My nipples are just loving that, by the way.

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It’s insane!! I wanted him to sit – not turn into a toddler!  He is scary strong so I’m really hoping walking is not coming right around the corner.  I wouldn’t mind having a baby for a little while longer.

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His mobility is only making his bond with his sister stronger.  They can rough house even stronger than before!  They get to play together which is the sweetest thing ever.  Sadie will give him a toy character to be and she’ll orchestrate a role play game.  Carter obliges by holding the toy and chewing on it.  Somehow this works out and they spend long spans of time playing together unsupervised.  By unsupervised, I mean I’m in the next room listening to every word and move and have a view of them.  Just as I was typing that “in my view of them” I noticed Carter barfed on himself.  Look at what a great parent I am… noticing barf on my baby from another room.

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Anywhoo.  I love the stage we are at as a family right now.  I hope it just doesn’t slip by too fast.  I’m looking at you Carter!

 

 

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