Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gabriel - 11 months


The 11th fell in the dead center of a trip to visit my parents. I remembered to bring the kangaroo but forgot to account for the temperament of a newly mobile 11 month old in a house full of novelty. This is the closest to a passable picture I managed to capture. Only one more month of these posed shots to complete the set. Definitely going for a slightly different take after he hits the big 0-1. 

BREIF UPDATE

  • He walks, he thinks he can run, he falls on his face. 
  • He signs all the time. Unfortunately 99% of the time the sign is "More." We're pretty sure he thinks it means WANT. (Today he finally learned drink, he was very excited to make the connection. I was excited too because this little mister tries to bite when he can't make himself understood.) 
  • He says Dada more than Mummy. Today I found him at the bottom of the stairgate trying to squish his face through, calmly hollering, DA-DA! DAAADA! The expression on his face obvious that he fully expected Mark to appear out of thin air at any moment. 
  • Making real progress learning not to smack. In the past two days I've only gotten smacked on the face twice and Jessica has only had her hair pulled once I think. It's a baby miracle!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Remember to breathe

I had a little extra time putting my daughter to bed tonight. Normally, the littlest goes to bed after she does so I'm always in a hurry to get back to him and prevent the bedtime meltdown. Today time moved differently. Instead of an early morning nap, he held strong through an entire puppet show and lunch with friends, crashing out around 1:30. He was obviously interested in napping around 5 but there's no way I wanted him to sleep until 7 and then not be ready for bed until 10 or 11. So we played hard until 7ish and I had him asleep by 7:30! 

For the first time in a while, when my precious daughter asked if I could lay with her for a bit, I could actually say yes. Yes my love, for a little while. Her small arms wrapped around my neck as she snuggled up close. She kissed my nose and closed her eyes. I closed my eyes and after a few blissful moments of peace, in charged my intrusive thoughts, "Is she asleep? I wonder if I can get up?" It took me a second to realize what I was actually thinking was:  I'd like to check in with Facebook- someone posted something about a dog... there is that pinterest page on cupcake shaped cakes - maybe I can make one for Gabriel's smash cake at his party, ooh I need to upload photos, if the baby is still asleep maybe I can watch a show while I fold some clothes, did I put the leftovers in the fridge? and that's when it hit me.

WHAT AM I DOING?!

There is no way that in 10 years I'm going to look back and say, "Man I wish I'd paid more attention to what acquaintances and strangers were saying about random things on facebook." Or that I didn't feel like I'd spent enough time admiring other people's ideas on pinterest. What I WILL be thinking is, "How did my beloved baby girl grow up so fast?" 

So I took a deep breath, I cleared my mind and I looked at my daughter. She'd rolled over but was still holding my hand. Every few minutes her eyes would flutter open just enough to reassure her that I hadn't snuck away. I laid there and I attempted to memorize everything I possibly could about this wonderful girl that God had sent to me to love. I thought about how I thought she was the most perfect girl I'd ever met and then counted up how many times she'd gotten in trouble just today. 

We watch them navigate this world and all our odd social rules. We want to protect them, shield them, but let them experience everything at the same time. At the puppet show this morning they called a few children up onto the stage to participate. I knew Jessica would want to be up there. I hoped they'd choose her. They did not. From at least 20 feet back I could see the tears welling up in her eyes, I braced for her to coming running to me when they didn't choose her. She stood there with her hand raised until it became painfully obvious no one else was getting called. But you know what? She didn't. She sat quietly back down with her friends and watched the rest of the show. At the end she told me she was sad that they didn't choose her, but she didn't dwell on it. She's growing up so fast. 

Once, when I was talking to my mother about how quickly Jessica was growing up, she looked at me calmly with her big brown eyes that look the same to me now as they did when I was 10 and said, whilst rocking my newborn son, "and before you know it, she'll be bringing home her babies for you to rock." Message received Mom, message received. 

When her eyelids stopped fluttering, her breathing became deep and regular and finally she was still, I kissed her forehead and quietly slipped out of her room. A little more relaxed, a little more peaceful and a whole lot happier than if I'd spent those 15 minutes at the computer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

His First Steps

Gabriel started standing on his own almost 2 weeks ago. When I say started, I mean two seconds here, three seconds there. We've been in no hurry for him to walk. Babies will walk when they want to. That said, I can't pretend that there hasn't been some good natured ribbing from his parents along the lines of "Jessica took her first steps at 10 months 10 days old, you have 3 days left..." etc etc (it's okay as long as they can't understand English yet right?)  In the past couple days he ramped up his standing time to stretches of 5 or 10 seconds so last night, 10 months and 10 days Gabriel time, we decided to give him some dedicated walking time incase he wanted to match his sister ;) Turns out he did!


10 months 10 days old ~ Gabriel's first steps. 
(His first steps were actually about 5 minutes earlier but I didn't have the camera out because I wanted to be fully present. I'm trying to work on things like that ;))

Now that's he's taken his first steps he can relax and just chill for a while. Jessica didn't take off and proper walk for another month. hahaha

Honestly I doubt he would have been that interested in walking if Jessica had stayed in bed like she was supposed to. He loves making her laugh, giggle, squeal, scream.... you name it. Attention from his sister in any way shape or form makes his world go round. 

He also figured out how to push our make-shift baby gate out of the way for clear access to the stairs. Proper baby gate arrives tomorrow. 


For now it's like we're just piling anything we can into the barricade. 24 more hours of this required, totally secure right?  [UPDATE: Not even this configuration is besting the beast. He slides the chair and then moves the cube like a finely practiced tetris move. oh why oh why did I not spring for 1 day shipping?]




Friday, May 16, 2014

Gabriel - 10 Months


This shot pretty much sums up the photo shoot this month. Chaos. Complete and total chaos. By the end there were two crying children and a husband who didn't understand why I do this to myself every month.



No cute numbers, he's not looking at the camera and Mister Kangaroo has toppled but at least Gabriel seems happy (ignore that tear on his face, he totally wasn't crying a few minutes earlier, totally.)



and this is how we all felt by the end... Don't worry, we made it up to them by going to PDQ, strawberry picking and having ice cream.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Got sprinkles?


One of the perks of being four, sprinkles and strawberry ice cream = instant happiness.

Friday, April 25, 2014

His first real photoshoot

A couple weeks ago a photographer friend of mine mentioned that she was looking to photograph some babies to build up her portfolio. I readily volunteered Gabriel. Professional photos of the babybear? Of course, thank you! Obviously he's no stranger to the camera but it was so much fun (and relaxing) for me not to be behind the camera for once. Letting someone else do the hard work? I could get used to this.

We met at Joyner Park on a beautiful Friday morning. When the shoot started out with me letting Gabes pull the prop chair on top of himself... I was doubtful that we were going to get any good shots. Waiyi really knows her stuff though and was able to get some amazing pictures! Not to mention, she was really good with Gabriel (always important from a family photographer!)










Now the hard part. Trying to decide which ones to print and put on the wall!

Family - choose your favourite and let me know and I'll get you some prints.

If you're in the Raleigh - Triangle area and you're looking for a good photographer, I can definitely recommend Osbrink Photography


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gabriel - 9 Months

11 days late. Not too bad considering we just spent a week traveling to Kentucky and back to visit family.





Stats: 18lbs 13oz 32%
           27.5in 12%
           47cm head circumference 93%
           2 teeth, bottom front

You should never ever assume that because you've had one child you'll know what to expect with a second child. Oh. My. Gosh. Night and day people! For starters, this boy child opens every cabinet he can find, chases the cat, throws things (seriously folks, actual over his head throwing!), eats like a horse... a horse who likes to cover himself in food, pushes the test button on the carbon monoxide alarm...  and then laughs and tries to  investigate EVERY outlet in a mile radius. 

He's going to be a handful. A laughing, smiling, living life to fullest, HANDFUL. It seems like at least once a week someone asks us if he's always this happy. I love that when we answer it's always the same. I look at Mark, Mark looks at me, we nod and reply. "Yes!" It's amazing. I'm not saying he doesn't cry. Don't try to put him in a crib or leave him by himself, but honestly, the majority of the time he is one crazy happy baby. 

He stands perfectly and he can cruise at will but I don't think he'll be walking as soon as Jessica was. He doesn't see the need. He crawls like a speed a demon. Faster than she ever did. 

He's started babbling more but his only consistent words are still Mama and Dada. I'm super curious about what he's going to start calling Jessica. He's still smitten with her and she's taken to calling him her prince. 

He did really well on our trip... almost no crying in the car at all. It was awesome. I was very impressed with him. 
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