Friday, November 30, 2012


This week, I'm obsessed with tippy toes.

They're all over the house, morning, noon, and night.

But with each passing day, they become steadier and stronger. They flatten just a bit and can nearly support you on their own. It's just a matter of time.

And this week, you are obsessed with crawling quickly towards the stove while saying, "ah, ah, ah" (hot, hot, hot) and when I pick you up to move you, you make the sign for "hot". I don't have a picture because I'm too busy scooping you up.

Obsessed. Both of us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ELEVEN months!

When he was brand new, just days old, Uncle Cory told me that when he saw Eddy's eyelashes he couldn't help but think of things at a molecular level. They were but wisps, only millimeters long. As I sat on my new mom's nest and nursed him, I swore that I could watch them grow.

11 months later, I feel as though I can watch his brain grow. He is making new sounds, learning new signs, and becoming more stable on his feet each and every day. His sense of humor is fantastic and I feel like we are really getting to learn about a little kid named Eddy.

This month, he has perfected his cheesy grin and knows it makes me laugh every time. To keep things balanced, he can also pout his little lip out to make an excellent, overly dramatic face.

Eddy started signing "milk" to me about 4 months ago and then kind of developed a general hand sign - flipping his hand up and down - that he would use in response to my signs. He signs "off" and "on" when we pass lights and fans and "leaf" when we are outside playing with crunchy, fall leaves. When he nears the end of a meal and starts to lose interest, I can ask if he's "done" and he will respond with that sign. His Pops got to witness how cool this was while we were at their house for Thanksgiving. At the end of lunch, I asked if he was done and he paused for a second, looked at me, and then signed "done". Brilliant. And as we drove home from Houston, I sat in the backseat with him and shared a snack. I signed "more" each time I gave him more Cheerios and he started signing back to me. I started laughing and singing, "More More More More!" which he totally loved. Besides getting to watch him flex his brain, it is incredible how much power is in those signs. Instead of grunting or crying with frustration, he can just tell me what he needs.

And just as he began with a general hand sign, his favorite word right now is "AAAHPOO", which sounds like apple, hammer, uncle, a book, a ball, etc. As he played with a stick at the park, I kept saying, "Stick!" and he responded every time with, "AAAHPOO!" I joked with our friend that he was probably thinking in his brain, "Geez, Mom! That's what I'm saying!" When he really really wants to tell me something, he takes his time to draw out each syllable.

He spends most of the day on his feet, perched by Lucy at the window sill, holding on to chairs and furniture, and playing at our 20-year-old table that Grandpa Gus made when Uncle Cory and Uncle Matt were little. He finds his balance a little more each day - that mommy/baby yoga must be paying off! - and can now ease his way down to his bottom instead of plopping all the time.

Our main man's 11 month birthday fell on Thanksgiving day and he proved to definitely be part of the family as he ate everything in front of him. That's my boy!

Look at those beautiful teeth!

One month. One more month and we will have a one year old. Ain't it funny?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

For months, I was in the Sunday habit of keeping track of what our little family was thankful for but quit for one reason or another. This week, I was reminded that, even on really crummy days, there is so much to be thankful for. Even when I'm so stressed that I could cry, the reasons that I am stressed are something to be thankful for: a house to clean, mouths to feed, family to be with.

We gathered around a very full table this past Thursday, Tim's family and my family all packed around gravy bowls and stuffing and cranberry sauce with one new guest at the Thanksgiving table - Eddy!

Our meal started as it does every year for most families I'm sure. I was the first to say what I was thankful for and I'm surprised that I got the words out. "I'm thankful for being a mom." Next went Tim: "I'm thankful for my family and for being a dad." Around the table it went, 2 uncles, 2 sets of grandparents, and everyone was thankful for family, friends, food but mostly for Eddy. By the time everyone had given their thanks, I was a mess.

I'm not sure what I did to have so much love in my life - and to have these people to love me - but I sure am thankful.

So let's try this again. This week, we are thankful for:

cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
safe arrivals
friends and family near and far
beautiful weather
sweet potatoes with marshmallows
new running shoes
sleeping in
Notre Dame Football
days with no plans
our sweet Lou
family runs
yeast rolls
running into old friends
And, of course, everyone's favorite little guy

Couldn't be happier.
She skipped from lap to lap throughout the meal.

My 2 begging babies

Sleepy Ed mornings

So thankful.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Eddy's Wishlist

Since people have been asking - and since this was so fun to make! - I put together a little wishlist for our sweet boy. Links to websites are below.

1. Blocks! Every kid needs 'em!
2. Apparently split sole shoes are good for new walkers which is what we will probably have sooner than later. He wears a 3.5 - 4. How funny that he has a shoe size!
3. A name puzzle - but one that says 'Eddy' preferably.
4. We love Eric Carle around here and this kid's brain is growing by the day so flash cards would be cool!
5. A quiet book - doesn't that sound so nice if Mama has a headache?
6. And then a Walk and Roller for when Mama doesn't have a headache.
7. Our very stylish little guy looks particularly cool in clothes from Old Navy, Gap, and Children's Place. He is currently wearing size 12-18 months and will probably be in 2T by the spring.
8. How cute is Rody the Hopping Horse?
9. It's learning time!
10. Old Navy pajamas are our favorite. He wears 12-18 months now and will soon be in 18-24 months.
11. Eddy's very favorite book. We picked it out from the library months ago and he loved it. We think the main character is some kind of love pimp.
12. There is now an H&M in Houston and Austin! We especially love their kids' clothes because they have snaps at the neck - perfect for big-brained boys!
13. Bath time is a favorite time in our house and he is really starting to love toys that pour. This Green Toys company is very cool - all recycled, minimal packaging, and totally affordable.
14. Remember these parachutes from elementary school? Who didn't love these?!
15. The best part of building a tower is knocking it down.
16. Trucks. Enough said. (Another Green Toys item)
17. A friend gave us a few Sandra Boynton books when Eddy was teeny and she is totally our favorite author. These sets have books that we don't own yet.
18. Our boy has the rhythm in him and his music class teacher swears that this brand of bongo drums is the best.
19. We absolutely love our Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers. Ed has the inner workings of a champ so he goes through diapers quickly. More diapers means less laundry! We like the One Size variety in fun colors.
20. Plan Toys are just beautiful. Affordable and hand-me-down quality for sure.
21. A Plan Toys shape sorter for my budding genius.
22. A rain stick - this is one of Eddy's favorite instruments in music class.
23. This was a puzzle that Papa really loved when we were searching online.
24. If you plan on buying him a warm winter hat, please overestimate :) 3T and up!
25. This was a record player that Papa and I had when we were kids. Classic.
26. It seems that his sweet, little bedroom sure could use a cool clock.
27. I just love this little sitting tuffet and think it's perfect for when we hang out with him in his bedroom.
28. He plays with these blocks at his friend Olivia's house. They are soft and great for building.
29. Swim lessons! They are tons of places near the house, including the YMCA and scuba shops, that we could take lessons at to prepare for an awesome summer!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Always and Especially

So so very.

We are thankful for each other and for you.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our little family.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear Eddy, Month 10

Dear Sweet Boy,

Month 11 is very, very quickly approaching so this note is passed due. Month 11. My goodness.

A few months ago, I began training for a half marathon for the second time in my life. The first time was about 3 years back, training was spotty and after the race was completed I hit a few bumps in the road and totally fell off the wagon. This time around has been much better and I'm excited every time I reach the end of a run and realize that my body carried me the whole way and that I didn't die. I've heard people compare long distance running to child birth and I will say that there have been many challenging moments so far when I think back to the day that I pushed you out and I tell myself, "Don't stop. Don't stop." Seems to be working so far.

So, running and me are not soul mates or sole mates or anything remotely cute. We pretty much just tolerate each other. However, I do have to give running some credit. It allows me time to work out thoughts, plan ahead, and resolve problems. I think about what we should have for dinner. I think about Papa and if we've recently had an argument I will realize that it wasn't a big deal after all. But mostly, I think a lot about you, and about the person that you are becoming, about the kind of mom I have become and the kind of mom I want to be, about how you change everyday and how that change seems to have reached a fever pitch.

Despite advice I've gotten from running pals and training coaches, I plug into music while on my long runs. In years past, I spent significant time planning my running playlists - what I needed to hear at the beginning, middle, and end of a run - but recently I leave the mix up to Pandora and The Talking Heads station seems to generally match my pace. There is, of course, a hefty portion of David Byrne & Co., along with a little of The Cure, some David Bowie, The Cars, and Velvet Underground. And then there is also Paul Simon, who is responsible for more than a few lumps in my throat while I pound the pavement.

You and I listen to a lot of Paul Simon around the house. When You Can Call Me Al comes on during a run, I can see you bobbing in your high chair, finding the beat. This is one of your newest skills and perhaps my favorite yet. We have our own version of this song that we sing while we eat lunch together - "If you be my bodyguard I can be your long last pal. I can call you Eddy and Eddy you can call me, you call me mom."

During Mother and Child Reunion, I fast forward to you in college, road tripping with Papa (hopefully not too far). I can't see what you look like when you're all grown up but I know that I am proud of you and that the pride overshadows how much I miss you. You're not even a year old and I already miss you when you're at college.

And Loves Me Like a Rock just pretty much sums up my whole heart.

My mama loves me, she loves me, she get down on her knees and hug me. 
Oh she loves me like a rock! She rocks me like a rock. 
Oh baby, she love me love me love me love me.

I love that we are already creating our soundtrack and I know that it will continue to grow as you do.

Thank you for giving me a sweet distraction during those long runs. It is greatly appreciated and I don't think I could do it without you.

Sweet view.

The best running partner.

But, oh man, if I hear "Ground control to major Tom" one more time...

Monday, November 12, 2012

A day at the McNay

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
                                                                                   Thomas Merton

Sunday, November 11, 2012

California dreaming

A few weeks ago, Eddy and I acted like jet-setters and split a week between northern and southern California. The weather was a dream, the scenery was a postcard, and we ended every day with smiles on our faces.

On our trek, Eddy:

I am still finding sand in interesting places.

We can't wait to go back.

Friday, November 9, 2012

love letter

I could write you a love letter everyday

to tell you that I love that you have dimples instead of knuckles,

and that I love that, even though you are growing and stretching, you still haven't lost your rolls,

and to tell you how it makes me feel to make you squeal with laughter,

and to tell you that I am amazed everyday that your papa and I made you,

and to tell you that sometimes right after you fall asleep, right after your breath slows to a rhythmic in and out, right after your eyelids become too heavy to hold open, you chuckle straight from your belly and I wonder what your beautiful brain is thinking,

and to tell you that I may wash your clothes in Dreft forever so that you always smell just like this,

and to tell you that we are just starting to hear what your voice sounds like and it sounds like music,

and to tell you that I count my blessings a thousand times a day that I get to spend it with you,

and to tell you that my heart swoons because you don't dance to every song you hear, only the ones that make you groove,

and to tell you that I love how much you love when your papa comes home, and how you have a best friend named Lucy,

and about this and this

I could write you a love letter everyday to tell you that you are my boy and I am your mom.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I ain't afraid of no ghosts

Pieced together from thrift stores, the garage, Cookie's sewing machine, and things borrowed, it was a team effort plus one late night but our costumes turned out better than I had hoped. We paraded in Cherrywood, walked the streets in our neighborhood, and everywhere we went we made people smile. I had a portable speaker set up in the wagon playing songs from the Ghostbusters soundtrack and Eddy found his groove. He danced all night, pointed at flashing lights and cool costumes, and loved staying out past his bedtime.

It was a good night for our family. I rode this high for days.

Ghostbuster, Slimer, Janine Melnitz, and Stay Puft. I'm obsessed.

Cookie the ghost!

Now, I imagine that future costumes will be a bit trickier as the kid develops what I've heard people refer to as an "opinion".

We'll see! Halloween 2012 - success.

Bustin' makes me feel good.

PS - I used my very novice Photoshop skills to take a photobomber out of the top pic, so if you thought you were seeing a ghost, worry not. We busted it.

We VotED. Have you?

It's an exciting day in our country! We get to exercise the incredible right to choose our leader.

Still undecided? Vote for this kid!

Left or right, red or blue, Eddy likes you all the same. He just wants to make sure that you get out there! 

Polls close at 7. Hurry hurry!

Monday, November 5, 2012

10 months!

What an awesome month we had. We got to split a week between northern and southern California to visit Aunt Jen, Uncle Jeremy, Bongo, Aunt Hanna, and Pam. There were new trees, dogs, birds, plants, and buildings to see everyday and you made sure that we looked at all of them. And it comes as no surprise that you are in love with the beach. I really think that you could have watched the waves roll in and out for hours. Oh, and sand? Delicious.

Your Papa was very happy to have you home and he swears that you grew while we were gone. I totally disagreed until I realized that you really are growing and changing everyday. It is kind of incredible. You are crawling quickly, pulling yourself up and cruising all day long, laughing until you can't any more and even doing things that you know make us laugh, feeding yourself and leaving lots for Lucy to clean up, and the day we came back from California you tried your very darndest to tell Papa everything that we did by making all kinds of fantastic, jibber jabber noises.

So this is what a 10 month photo shoot looks like when Mama is alone with you, forgets the fancy camera, only has 15 minutes on the meter, and parked a block and half from the Capitol. I don't think you stayed still for even half a second. I picked the X - Roman numeral 10 - in Texas to represent your tenth month.

Ten months old. You, my boy, are awesome.