Thursday, July 31, 2008

A little less bush on Bush Street.

As Ryan was trimming the bushes in our yard, I convinced him to remove the overgrown shrubs that hid the front of our house. Here he is shaking his fist at me for adding more work.

Timber! Gee, I didn't know we had brick on the front of our house. hee hee. We plan to re-side and stone the house this fall. Very exciting.

When Christopher awakens around 6:30 every morning, we put him in bed with us. Its nice to spend time as a family before each day begins.

Happy Birthday Mom! Sunday we celebrated Mom's Birthday at our house. Christopher is trying a sippy-cup for the first time.

Granddad with his grandsons. Christopher was a lot more content than he looks in this picture.

Christopher spends most of his time on his stomach now.
He can really push up high on his arms.


"...and up...feel the burn..."

"...and down"

Silly Aunt Kristi made Christopher a chefs hat out of his pants!

"Back to life...back to reality..."

It's all coming to a screeching halt. Soon I will no longer be a 100% stay-at-home-mom. Aw, it ain't as bad as it seems. Things will be pretty much the same, only with me working one day a week. It just amazes me that it is approaching so soon. When people use to ask me "when are you going back to work?" I'd proudly answer "oh, not till he's six months old" each time smiling inside, thinking I had all the time in the world. Well Christopher is five months and one week old. Holy moly, how did I get here so quick? Over the past week I have been prepping for my return into the work force. I have had to leave Christopher behind, in the care of my mom, as I took care of business. It has only been for a max of four hours, which is nice, as it weans me into the "separation". So next week when I am gone for three long eight-hour days (orientation), it won't come as a utter shock. Maybe I won't cry. All this seems to not phase Christopher in the least bit. He is a happy-go-lucky kid.

I decided to apply at Franklin Square Hospital, so I could work much closer to home. I still plan to pick up a few shifts at Johns Hopkins, because I have a soft spot in my heart for neuro patients. This past Wednesday I attended a CPR re-certification class. Wow, if that wasn't a real "eye-opener" into how mushy my brain has gotten. I was so spaced out during the class, very clumsy and distracted. Not myself at all. Then the topic turned to infant CPR. I almost lost it, feeling compelled to run out of the room and phone home to check on Christopher. Man, when did I become such a softy? I thought it was just post-pregnancy hormones that made me tear up at a mere diaper commercial. But I am learning now that motherhood carves new places in your heart and never again are you the same. Anyway, I hope that at least my mental sharpness returns as I return to work. I am kinda worried about myself. Maybe its a good thing I'll soon be a 99% stay-at-home-mom.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"There's a baby on the loose!"

Psyching himself up for the momentous rollover.

Pardon the baby cleavage.

"I'm almost there!"

The Eagle has landed.

"Uh, what happened to my diaper?"
The sweetest face.

"I wonder if I could do that again?"

"This is easy now"

Wow! What a difference a day makes. Two Sundays ago Christopher rolled over for the first time. Then there wasn't any roll-over action for nearly two weeks, despite all our coaxing. Well, Sunday morning past, we wake up at Lulu's and Papa's only to find our little squirrel rolling over left and right. He did it twenty times. And everyday since, he has been rollin' and a scootin' and a rollin'. I swear in one 24 hour period the child has totally changed. I have heard many new mom's go through the same scenario: you deposit your little babe on the play mat in his room, only to return and find him missing! After a closer investigation you find that sneaky baby hiding under the crib or behind a chair. This happened to me this past Monday. What a shock it is to find your baby, not where you left him, but many feet away. It is the most incredible milestone yet: mobility. Along with this change comes his new array of vocalization. Riding in the car the other day, Ryan and I hear him talking, low and throaty, "oaaohh, errrah". He speaks it clearly and repeatedly with inflection in his voice. When we spy on him, we find him holding his teddy bear at eye level with both hands, carrying on his own conversation! I am continually amazed how children learn from us. This is the rudimentary beginning of his language. It is amazing to hear. Everyday since, we hear him talking, whether its in his crib in the dark or on his play mat on a sunny afternoon. All these changes I have noticed instantaneously. They catch me by surprise. I force myself to remember him months ago, fresh from the hospital, a tiny sleeping pink baby. Flash forward and now he is so big, capable of so many things that make me proud. All of this pleases and scares me at the same time. Where have these past five months gone?

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Tag, I'm It!"

The past few weeks, I have learned so much about the blog world. Things I never realized before, like people actually make a living from blogging. Or that there are conventions for bloggers. There are blogs about blogs. It is a huge cyber-society. Which brings me to my next point, bloggers can tag bloggers. And I have been tagged! Tagging is a fun way to learn about other bloggers and bring others to your blog site. Carabee from tagged me ***thanks Cara!***

The rules are as follows:
-Link the person who tagged you
-Share 6 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
-Tag 6 people at the end of your post by leaving links to their blogs.
-Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
-Mention the rules on your blog

Katie's Quirks:
1. No matter how hard I try, I can't stop sleeping on my stomach. It leaves me achy and sore every morning.
2. My heart is on the wrong side. That would be the right side. All my organs are flipped, actually.
3. When I was in 8th grade, I was chosen to be a poster child for the Catholic Church's Lenten Appeal, sort of a charitable fund raiser for the Lent season. This "honor" included a photo shoot, some billboards of me on Maryland highways and...wait for it...a radio commercial. Nothing like riding the middle school bus at 6:30 am, only to hear your own voice broadcasting on Mix106.5 speaking about your faith.
4. That same year, (also 8th grade) I got suspended from school for fighting with a 6'5" black kid with a beard. FYI I was barely 5' then, I am sure it was a comical scene. He was picking on a shy plump girl in class, I was just trying to stand up for her. Fortunately I didn't lose the Lenten Appeal gig.
5. I married my Financial Advisor.
6. It annoys me when others are s-l-o-w. I can't help that I am always on a "high speed setting".

I don't really follow many blogs, but here are 5 out of 6. (I know its a little heavy on the "Gill Family" side, but they are a bunch of bloggin' fools.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Birthdays to Playdates

Happy Birthday Lulu and Papa!

On Sunday we celebrated Ryan's parents' birthdays (they are 4 days apart). Lets back-up, Saturday we went to Crazy Court in Pa. to celebrate their birthdays the Crazy Cousin way. That is, with cake, bonfire, lots of kids and plenty of wine. Lets just say between Kim and I,we put a hurtin' on Billy-Bob's wine stock. The babies slept well that night, after their night cap of spiked breast milk.
"Soooooo Big!"

"You talkin' ta me?"

Happy Birthday! I think they are officially senior citizens? I could be wrong. He he.

Every morning, Christopher and I say "hi" to our backyard bunny friend. He is always back there and sometimes with his momma.

Helping with the laundry at Aunt Amy's. Notice Amy's pregnant tummy invading the picture.

The "after" shot of Sophia's room. Wednesday all the ladies, except Sarah (she had to work) went to Amy and Marnell's house to ready the Baby's room for her impending arrival. It turned out lovely, and organized to boot.

Christopher had his second play date. My good friend Stacey and her son Ryan came over for a visit Thursday. The boys enjoyed each other, mostly grabbing and gumming at each other.

So much fun! Ryan is seven months, Christopher will be five months next week. Imagine the trouble these two will get into as they get older.

Drivin' the bus. "Move on back!"

Without warning, Christopher turns and starts sucking on Ryan's toes. Hilarious!

Then Ryan returns the favor.

I don't know how it happened so soon. Already, we are playing good cop/bad cop at our house. While at home with me, CRW can be pretty grouchy at times, and when he isn't he sometimes acts disinterested in our activities together. Then, at the end of the day, in walks Ryan, home from the office. Christopher jacks his head around to locate Daddy's voice. When he sets eyes on him, his face lights up as if to say "My hero!". Ryan then scoops him up, lays him on our bed and proceeds to entertain the little guy. The once sullen baby boy now lights up with smiles. His laughter rolls out with every antic Ryan can come up with. I can't even tell Ryan about our day, because he is so involved with Christopher. I stop talking mid-sentence, unnoticed. It's male-bonding and I am left out. It only gets worse, or better depending on how you look at it. For bedtime, Ryan continues to be in charge. He changes Christopher into his sleeper, dims the lights and rocks Christopher into a sleepy calm. (Something I could never do with him) While he is drowsy but still awake, Ryan gently lays him in the crib. Christopher smiles, sighs then drifts into blissful sleep. Why is this so awful? Because this is after I had repeatedly put Christopher down for naps earlier the same day, with plenty of crying objections. I guess it isn't so awful, just tough when I try so hard and Ryan waltzes in and makes everything look so easy. Seriously though, I am thrilled to see how well the two get along. And I love how Ryan pleasantly takes over for me after a long day. I'm just sayin'...

On a VERY happy note, I am pleased to announce that Kevin and Sarah are expecting! We are so happy for the both of you. The McClain Clan keeps on growing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Get That Baby Rollin'!

Christopher hit a big milestone Sunday morning, he rolled over! Ryan was playing with him downstairs, encouraging him with toys. I was upstairs unpacking from our Fourth of July weekend, when I heard Ryan shout for me. I ran quickly down the steps, not knowing what to expect, only to find Christopher on his tummy and Ryan smiling down at him jubilantly. "He rolled over!" Ryan proudly announced. I was so happy that Ryan was able to see this "first" first-hand. We placed Christopher back on his back and coaxed him over again! I was so amazed, so proud! Of course, the rest of our day we spent trying to get him to do it again, but those were the only two instances.
Our little family spent the Fourth of July in Milford with the McClain Clan. Saturday we went to a pool party with Ryan's family. It was a great weekend.
This week I plan to do lots of scrap booking, so my time blogging may be limited, as I put most of my creative energy down on paper. So if you don't hear from me in awhile, that is why.

Aunt Kristi brought us lunch during her "Thursday visit"

I love these pictures.
He can't get enough of his toes.
As soon as he is on his back, up spring his feet!
CRW also reaches for everything in sight including the camera.

With Grandma Millie last Wednesday.

While visiting in Bayside last Wednesday, Lisa and I took Leif to the beach. He loved it. With each passing minute, he ventured a little further in the water. Until finally his ears were wet!

On the way home from the beach, Leif rode in the stroller wearing only a towel.

CRW final visit with Oma Ru.

Life is good! Christopher's first pool party. The hostess, Nancy, Brings him a cocktail.

Then its time for a dip in the pool.

Then a deeper dip!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Playing. Before I snapped this shot, Christopher was intently staring at his toy dangling overhead, with both hands slowly and steadily reaching out. He was concentrating so hard on grabbing a certain toy that swivels away as soon as he touches it. One out of three times he could grab it and get it to his mouth. Those skills are getting sharper by the day!

It was such a good turn out at Amy's baby shower.

This cake was delicious!
Laura's craftiness strikes again. Amy's gift "goodie basket" included home-made wooden toy blocks, stamped onsies, a recipe book, soaps and lots of other stuff I can't remember. Great gifts.

A Polo onsies from Amy's friend Bridget, whose family is known to wear lots of Polo.

Leif on our front stoop. I couldn't get him to look at the camera. How does Laura do it?

Aunt Nancy, Lisa, Mom and Grandma helping to assemble Amy's shower favors. They turned out great, chocolate covered nuts in little pink boxes that had "Sophia" stamped along the side.

Christopher loves Grandma Ru. Every single time she talked to him, she got a smile! Grandma was great with him too, she played with him, read to him and changed his diaper. He will miss her when she leaves.

Smiling at his Oma Ru.

Jason and Leif visited last Thursday. Here Leif is reading one of Christopher's books.

Christopher is getting so strong. When in his bouncy chair, he pulls his head up as if doing stomach crunches. He is very close to rolling over; he gets 3/4 the way there, only to return back to his starting position. Tummy time is now one of his favorite activities, he can spend over 10 minutes on his stomach. And lastly, Christopher is gaining strength in the "Pod" chair. He no longer needs to lean over on one arm, while playing with the other, instead he holds himself up straight and plays with both hands. (See above video)