Our day in parts

Part 1: Science Experiment – Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

The original experiment, to drop colored water on top of shaving cream and watch it “rain” down into the water below, kept Casey interested for a surprisingly long time before we needed another clear vessel to just mix the colors in.20170329_102131

And a bowl to pour the water in.

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But of course in the end it all came down to being allowed to just play in the shaving cream!

 

Part 2: The Park

The walk over, pure attitude.

New Tricks!

 

Part 3: Home down time : Down home time

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Part 4: Disc-Golf

Late naps and decent weather = Get outside and wear them out!

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Chasing the Boom

Last night I sat in our darkened living room and watched my husband hold my son as they kept watch at the window. We had turned the lights off, the television was off; all three of us simply sat or stood contentedly, looking out our front window and waiting for the next boom.

About thirty minutes earlier, a thunderstorm had begun to roll in. It was mostly south of us but we could still see flashes of lightning and, a while after, hear the distant rumble of thunder. We took Casey outside and watched his awe filled expression as he heard thunder for the first time. I have been waiting for this moment since last year when we moved back to the Midwest and into the land of thunderstorms. We had some good storms in those first few months back but this year all the bad weather seems to go around us, for which I am both thankful a bit discouraged. There is nothing I love more then a good thunderstorm and I’ve wanted to be able to share one with my son for a long time.

When we heard the first thunderclap, Casey squealed with excited terror. He had a big grin on his face as he looked towards the sky and ran to his dad. “Bup, bup!” he cried, wanting to be picked up. Alex swept him off the ground and into the safety of his strong arms. He pointed to the sky. “That’s thunder. Boom!” “Boom,” Casey repeated.

With each successive roll of thunder, Casey pointed upwards. “Boom,” he cried and traced his finger across the sky, chasing the boom of the thunder as it rumbled its way through the clouds.

Later, we sat in the living room watching for the flash of lightning and then waiting for the boom. When it was clear that we weren’t in for a big storm (most of it had moved through south of us) we went on a drive. I had a craving for a fruit smoothie and we wanted to kill a bit of time until our little night owl became sleepy. Driving through town, we sat on the edge of the weather. To the south of us dark clouds menaced the horizon and to the north a clear blue sky appeared as if unaware of the disturbance. We drove in the convergence of these two landscapes, a band of gray and purple churning against the soft white and yellow, glowing with the setting sun. I glanced behind us as I gave Casey a sip of my smoothie and saw a mass of thick, fluffy clouds, standing against the constant grey of the sky. The falling rays of sunshine illuminated them and it looked like a bright pink castle had arisen out of the darkness.

This past Saturday, we woke up early and went out to a disc golf course that I really like. It’s in the woods but it is mostly flat and we were able to push Casey in the stroller so that I could play. It was a perfect Saturday; one of those days where everything just worked out. Casey was able to take a nap as we walked, he ate snacks picnic style in the woods and when he just couldn’t sit any longer, we were able to let him walk along side of us as we played since the course wasn’t very crowded that early in the day.

These are some of my favorite times- when it is just the three of us and we are able to let go of expectations and simply go with the flow.  We aren’t taking pictures or trying to document the moment but we are making the memories and forging the links that family bonds are made of. These are the moments I will remember; my memories so much sweeter and long lasting than any picture I could take. Years from now I will still remember the way Casey delighted in trying to throw the discs like we were, the flash of fear and astonishment in his eyes when he heard the crash of thunder overhead, and the way his tiny finger traced an arc across the sky, chasing the boom.

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Toddler mode.

Casey has been in full on toddler mode today. Waking up, he thought it was funny to start hitting me in the face until I told him that it was NOT nice and that he should give us kisses instead (which he did). Later, waking from his nap he threw a temper tantrum when I wouldn’t immediately take him outside.   I made him sit with me and rock and cry it out until he calmed down, at which point we had a little lunch and then I talked him through getting dressed and putting on our shoes and coats before we finally ventured out into the cool breeze and sunshine. As I unloaded the dishwasher, he helped by taking the plates out and putting them on the floor and then crawling on the open dishwasher door. He took the dirty clothes out of the hamper and made a pile on the floor as I gathered all his laundry together and when I switched the wet items from the washer to the drier, he took out each piece as soon as I put it in and piled them on the floor, across the room. The towels were unfolded as soon as I folded them, until I sat on my folded pile and refused to let him grab them from underneath me. Toys were thrown. Peas were thrown. His water bottle was thrown. He became a level 5 clinger as soon as I tried to walk anywhere where he was not. And yet, I couldn’t be happier with the way this day has turned out.

It’s a beautiful day outside and walking up and down the street, Casey was enthralled with the crocuses, that are just starting to show themselves, and the way a leaf was blown out of his hand and twirled to the ground in the wind. He lifted the leaf again and again to watch it, spellbound, as it fluttered, momentarily suspended midair and then carried along by the gentle breeze until it came to rest a few feet away. Again and again this small moment of magic stopped him in his tracks and I, proud mama, felt my heart lurch at the smile of wonder that played on his tiny lips.

More and more, I cannot imagine quite what life was like pre Casey. I think of the amount of freedom I had, the moments to myself wasted on TV and worry and self-consciousness. Sometimes I yearn for these pre baby days; a time when I could live according to my whims and wishes, before I was forced to put another soul’s needs before my own. But these moments of yearning seem to grow farther and farther apart. There is so much that I can not wait to experience with our little boy, so much I want to share with him and I can no longer picture our life without him in it.

Yesterday, we had our 12 month check up. Our doctor exclaimed that Casey was the picture of health and was impressed with how strong and mobile he was. Casey is 30 inches long (2’6”), which puts him in the 70th percentile for height and, at 21.8 lbs, he is in the 50th percentile for weight.

Here are some other Casey facts:

  • He thinks being chased by dad and chasing after mom are the be all and end all of fun.
  • Some of his favorite foods include: cheese, banana, Avocado, chicken, peas, and the Tomato Garden flavored Gerber crunchies.
  • He loves shoes. He tries to put his on by placing them on top of his feet and he continually carries our shoes around the house.
  • He loves using the cat as a pillow and playing tug of war with our dog.
  • He likes cleaning.  His favorite toy is a small toy push broom we got him for his birthday.  I couldn’t be happier about this, although I sometimes wonder exactly which genetic line this comes from.
  • He hates being on his changing table but will put up with it if he is entertained with funny voices and silly faces (especially by dad).
  • He is the silliest little guy I know.  He already has an absolutely wicked sense of humor and his imitation game is on point.  If you wink at him he will look at you solemnly and blink both of his eyes in an exaggerated manner.
  • The kid loves disc golf. Case in point- when Alex suggested playing a quick 9 holes after work yesterday, Casey immediately went to the back porch, ponted outside saying “this, this,” pulled our Ergo carrier off the couch and moments later, running into the kitchen after hearing a loud crash, we found him hunched over Alex’s disc golf bag, which he had pulled down off of a shelf, taking out each disc and putting them in a pile.

 

The cold weather yesterday didn’t seem to phase him:

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Totally content to hang out, all bundled up against the cold, and disc a quick 8 holes with mom and dad.

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Right after this picture was taken, he attempted to move all of the chairs into the adult waiting room of the doctors office.

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What’s a mom to do when her one year old falls asleep all sprawled out like this? I wonder..

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Mornings are best spent outside.

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This mischievous look kills me every time. He’s about to start dropping his peas onto the floor.

 

 

 

On the course again.

The upbeat warbling of the Gees’s Gabble as they fly across the sky.

Tiny steps and tiny treasures, excavated with care.

Smell the earth, emerging from snow’s melt.

Pungent.

Fungal.

The squelch of boots tromping through the mud covers the rattle of bare branches as they dance in the wind.

Spring blowing in.

As winter slowly releases its icy grip, the hope of Spring appears in the tiny green buds stretching their arms as they yawn into the light.  We, too, have been able to stretch our legs on daily walks as the temperatures warm up and the snow disappears.  It feels good to be outside again.  After taking our first walk outside without the sharp wind biting at our noses, it has become the first thing Casey wants to do every morning when he wakes up.  It is almost impossible to keep him indoors as he bangs on the sliding glass door of our back porch and clings, monkey-like, to my legs as I struggle to get a cup of coffee ready to go and wrestle him into a jacket and shoes. Yes, shoes!  The cutest pairs of tiny Vans and Toms that he favors as he toddles up and down the sidewalk, exploring the tiny rivulets of water within IMG_5096the cracks of the sidewalk, finding the tiniest acorns from last fall and curls of pretty bark and leaves revealed as the snow melts.  He hands me these treasures with an enthusiastic “this” and moves onto his next project.  He has especially enjoyed walking to the corner and watching the cars drive by, pointing at them as the approach from either direction and then zoom by.

This past weekend, we’ve enjoyed the weather as a family by playing disc golf both days.  It felt good to be back walking along the course.  I don’t even play the sport but I love the game.  I love that it’s an activity that we can enjoy as a family; each of us content in our own things without stepping on each other’s toes or compromising our needs.  Alex loves the game.  He loves the physics of throwing the disc and the competition of playing against someone else.  I love the walk, being outdoors and hiking along the trails; watching my favorite courses change with the seasons.  Casey is content to ride along on my back and simply likes being outside, taking everything in.  I love that Alex and I have been doing this for years and now our son is a part of it too.  We have been bringing him disc golfing since he was about four months old and I look forward to the day when he starts to play along.  Maybe I’ll pick up a disc then too- I’ll be about the same speed as Casey.

Also, by the way, Casey is one now.  One.  Twelve months.  One whole year (and 8 days).  We celebrated with family and balloons and sprinkle cake and a trip to the Conservatory where Casey was simply awed by the lush plant life and gardens.  He’s definitely a toddler now.  His speed increases along with his vocabulary, although most of his energy has gone into developing exceptional motor skills (we don’t crawl at all any more but walk with more confidence and agility everyday).  Right now he says “this,” “that,” “yes,” something that sounds a lot like “hi dad,” “dada,” “mama,” and as of yesterday, “light.”  He also has recently demonstrated the fact that, when asked, he knows where his feet, his head, his mouth and his belly are.  This last one took a week of work by his Bubby [She’s gonna kill me for posting that but we decided that this was a good alternative to Grandma, for her] during her visit a week ago.  Whenever he eats something he goes “mmm” and she showed him how to pat his belly at the same time.  At first he would walk over and pat her belly when he went “mmm” but eventually he got it.  What a smarty pants 🙂

This Tuesday we go in for our one year check up so I’ll find out where he ranks on the heigh and weight scale but I’m not worried.  In fact I’m excited for him to literally ‘walk’ into the office for the first time.

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I think he likes it.

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On the course.

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My kid’s got game.

 

 

 

 

Weekend.

IMG_2623Although, I am a stay at home mom, that doesn’t mean that every day feels like a weekend.  Because Alex works at home, we definitely abide by the rhythm of a five day week followed by two days of rest.  However, the last three days have felt like a true three day weekend for me.  It’s been wonderful, filled with friendship and laughter and the joys of family.  Throughout these past three days I was able enjoy a full spectrum of weather and truly appreciate the changing tapestry of the seasons as summer fades into autumn, my favorite time of year.

Friday was beautiful.  Sunny, cool enough for a sweater but warm enough that I could take it off once we got moving without sweating too much.  Casey and I joined my friend Briana and her son for a picnic in the park.  Finger foods and easy conversation flowed effortlessly.  Afterwards, we took a leisurely walk around the river during which a small ceramic bowl was unfortunately sacrificed as we ran from a nosy bee.  Despite that, it was a wonderful few hours.  It was great to spend time with Briana.  We reconnected through email during my pregnancy and she is currently pregnant with her second child, expecting a little girl later this year.  I look forward to many more picnics and walks as we get to know each other more fully as women, mothers, individuals; as we watch our children run and grow and laugh together.   Later in the afternoon, Casey and I snuggled for a two hour nap which was really refreshing.  I can’t get enough of his snuggles!!   Alex got off of work half an hour early so we could take advantage of the last light of the day to go throw a round of disc golf.  Our friend Austin joined us and as we worked our way through the course we enjoyed Casey’s constant nonsensical commentary. He babbles nonstop these days: “a ba ma, ba ba, aah ba, hapa p puh ba.”

Saturday dawned early, after a restless nights sleep, with our second swim class.  We went as a family and Casey seemed to enjoy it as much as last week.  There were more people participating than last week which at times made it seem a bit frenetic.  Oh well!  The classes are really just to get Casey used to the water and on that score he is doing great.

After a terrific thunderstorm, the sun came back out and we headed back to the disc golf course.  Once again we were joined by Austin who brought a friend of his of whom I will say little except to share this description which went through my head as we walked the course:

The tops of plump butt cheeks squeezed out uninvitingly above a studded belt, slung too low and thread through the belt loops of jeans a size too small, cuffed to accommodate his stout frame.   He had to pause and wiggle them up his hips, before each throw.  I dodged his cigarette smoke as we walked the course and when we saw a beautiful deer standing on the top of the hill above us, he told our friend Austin that he would give him a quarter if he could hit it.  (Thankfully Austin is a wonderful person and didn’t take him up on this bet.)

That’s all I will say.  I am a people person which doesn’t mean I have to like all people but that I am quite interested by the human species in general.

Sunday we woke languidly and slowly.  I could hear a strong breeze rustling the leaves around the driveway through our open window and frosty light illuminated the room, growing lighter and darker as clouds floated in front of the sun.  Sunday was about football, relaxation and putting the laundry off until Monday.  And we managed to make it back out to the park to throw a round of disc golf.  It was cooler Sunday, grey, and on the last three holes we got caught in the rain.

You may have noticed a theme to this weekend- that of disc golf.  To clarify, I don’t actually play the game.  Instead I enjoy walking the courses.  It’s a great way to get outside and walking our usual course proves quite the workout carrying Casey (who now weighs 18+ lbs!!!) in his Bjorn as we traverse up and down hills.  Alex is quite good at the game; it’s something he has enjoyed since before we met each other.  We’ve been taking Casey to the disc golf course since he was about eight weeks old.  At first it was a race against time, hurrying along before Casey started crying, mad and anxious when we were caught behind other players.  Now, Casey loves it and happily takes in the scenery for the entire time it takes to throw the 18 hole course.   I look forward to a few years from now when he can throw his own disc and ‘play’ with daddy.  Maybe I’ll take up the game then too.  Although we lost a sock somewhere along the course earlier in the week, I have been unable to find it on any of our return trips and am considering it a gonner.  Oh well.  We’ll put one socked foot forward and move on.

Dapper in our Sunday Best.

Dapper in our Sunday Best.

Beautiful Day for a Walk

Beautiful Day for a Walk

His expressions are the greatest.

His expressions are the greatest.

Our first high chair out at a restaurant!!!

Our first high chair out at a restaurant!!!

It's a bird, it's a plane…no it's Super Baby!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no it’s Super Baby!

Waffle Tacos & Caffeine Withdrawal

IMG_1795I wish I had something really great to blog about today.  I feel like I have been neglecting this blog, not necessarily because I have so little time to write (although that’s part of it) but because I can’t think of anything spectacular to say!

We live in a society where just about every part of our lives is documented.  Our pictures and funny quips are posted as our status on Facebook, things we find interesting are posted on Pinterest and reposted in our news feed; the best parts of ourselves are put out there for everyone and anyone to see, admire, and “like.”  It seems like just about everyone is doing extremely interesting and important things everyday of their fabulously lit lives.   And I want to be a part of this.  I would like to have some fantastic story to tell, something slightly humorous with a deep message that makes me feel like I am really contributing.  I don’t.  But maybe that’s a good thing.

My life today is ordinary, predictable, extremely happy and fulfilling with just the right amount of boredom and bad moods mixed in for good effect.  This past weekend is the perfect example.  Saturday was a blah day.  It started out ok.  We had a plan to get up early and try out Taco Bell’s waffle taco.  I mean come on!  There’s a waffle taco out there and we haven’t tried it yet?  This situation needed to be remedied.  So, Saturday morning, we got up (after way too little sleep) and, with our happy baby in tow, we hit the drive-through and arrived home with our waffle tacos and two cups of Taco Bell coffee (dubious to say the least).  The waffle taco was much smaller than I pictured it and seemed to be a bit over-cooked.  I would like to give Taco Bell the benefit of the doubt (don’t ask me why). Perhaps it was just the end of breakfast.   I suspect, however, that if we ever forget this day and decide that a waffle taco is a good idea, I will once again pick it up and  tap it against the cardboard packaging to demonstrate it’s density.  Also, the coffee was crap.   It was one of those fantastic moments where we laughed like loons over the  epic failure of an eagerly awaited breakfast, knowing that the story of the “waffle taco” had forever entered our shared repetoir, but the laughter died down as we slowly realized we were disappointed, still hungry and experiencing the beginning stages of caffein withdrawal.

We did end up getting a cup of decent coffee and got our grocery shopping done but the afternoon found us on the couch, eyes growing heavy as the weight of  taco bell and the gloom of the day set in.  I convinced Casey to take a nap in bed with me while Alex dozed on the couch.  We woke up way too late in the evening, cranky, the day having passed us by.   Despite everything we managed to salvage the evening.  We got Casey to bed (a bit later than usual) and I made us a nice dinner.  The day wasn’t a complete failure but it sure didn’t make us feel as if we were taking advantage of our weekend together.

Sunday was better.  In fact it was an unexpectedly beautiful day.  I made us a delicious breakfast of french toast with homemade blueberry syrup and bacon.  The coffee was excellent.  We spent the afternoon outside at one of our favorite disc golf courses with some of our close friends.  While the guys (who are now all men) enjoyed some friendly competition, Casey and I simply accompanied them along the course, enjoying the sunshine and the company.   Casey was perfectly content in his bjorn, smiling at the guys and sleeping for a while in my arms.

So I don’t have a fantastic story to post on FB, nor do I have perfectly lit pictures that make my life look exciting and romantic.  I do have great pictures though, particularly since my cute baby boy and handsome husband have cameos in them.  I think that this just means that everything is just as it should be.  There may not be anything going on in my life right now that stands out as the perfect story for this blog, but there also isn’t anything in my life right now that I have to complain about.  Casey is growing.  He’s healthy and about the happiest 4 month old I’ve ever met (although I haven’t actually met or spent time with too many 4 month olds but that is beside the point).  Our day to day life is as it should be- the laundry gets done, food gets cooked, the house gets cleaned,  sometimes, and Casey and I spend plenty of time playing and napping to keep us both smiling.  I have a wonderful husband who is working hard to support this family (and who bought me a new vacuum this weekend for which I am besides myself with joy because it actually works on all our area rugs.[#adultmoment] )

In other news:

  • We have been going strong with cloth diapering Casey for the past few weeks.  He’s in cloth about 95% of the time but still sleeps in disposables 2 out of 3 nights as we have yet to find a great cloth solution that actually keeps him dry since he sleeps for so long!!
  • I feel like I am getting my groove back (me & Stella).  Our days have a comfortable routine and I’m finding a lot of time to do “me” things.  I’ve been sewing a lot!  I’ve made a few toys for Casey: a large soft block, a soft tube for him to chew on, a rattle and a flat cloth toy with plastic inside so it makes noise when he crinkles it and ribbon loops on the sides, since he seems to like to chew on them.  I’ve also made myself a nursing necklace that we both love and I have plans to make a few more so I can match them with my outfits.
  • Alex and I have also settled into a weekly routine.  We are slowly working our way through Downton Abbey Season 4 in the evenings after Casey goes to sleep.  I LOVE this show but had to take some time off after season 3 because I was mad at the way it ended and, oh yeah, I had a baby!  We also went out to eat the other night, Casey in tow, at our absolute favorite Mexican restaurant.  We had been dreaming about this restaurant while we lived in Seattle and finally couldn’t wait any longer.  Casey was happy to sit in his car seat in the booth with us and we had a wonderful, relaxed family dinner out, one of our first since baby made three 🙂

 

Ok here are some pictures:

My beautiful family.

My beautiful family.

Wearing daddy's hat!

Wearing daddy’s hat!

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Beautiful Blue skies

 

He gets the purpose of the nursing necklace I made and we love the hat!

He gets the purpose of the nursing necklace (grab it rather than my hair) and we love the hat!

Yep, I'm holding my son up by his head.  He just wanted to sit up and play so bad but when I let go it was a free fall forward!

Yep, I’m holding my son up by his head. He just wanted to sit up and play so bad but when I let go it was a free fall forward! You can see the rattle I made in the center of the bottom of the photo.  It has a loop on one end for him to hold onto and a bell inside.  

Immediately got that the soft rattle I made him jingled when he shook it!

Immediately got that the soft rattle I made him jingled when he shook it! Smarty pants 😉

Nothing like a nap outdoors.

Nothing like a nap outdoors in mommy’s arms.

Yes I realize this block is as big as his head.  I have a smaller set in the works.

Yes I realize this block is as big as his head. I have a smaller set in the works.