Sunday, February 28, 2010

We just have so much fun!



I will never get tired of hearing this boy's laugh.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Some thoughts

I'm not very creative when it comes to blog titles, especially for the posts that have random thoughts thrown down. Hence the title, "Some Thoughts."

Anyway, some day we'll get a good family picture where Stevie is smiling. This will do for now. We all were a bit tired (and cranky...perfect time to try to take a family picture, right?), so I'm ok with the result. How 'bout the little acorn? Call me cheesy, or nutty (oh, I crack myself up), but I think it's cute.

I'm pretty excited! I won yesterday! Well, I was able to buy something from ebay. I'm a newbie at that. Is "won" the correct terminology for ebay? I guess they did send the email saying "I won." Whatever. With 19 seconds to go, I placed my bid for a Mei Tai baby carrier. Ok, so the one I won (I had to retype that a few times...the won I one, haha) isn't the name brand. It's an off-brand, but I'm excited nonetheless. Hey, it was half the price of a real one. Hopefully, it holds up. My boy is getting ridiculously heavy, and he still likes to be toted around. Stevie your 8 months, will you walk already? Ok, just kidding. I hope he doesn't wear the carrier out before baby #2 makes it's way. Just thinking about carrying my big boy around with a big belly. Yikes! I can't wait to hear how big he is though. His 9 month appointment is in 2 weeks. Matt and I both think he's going to be a decent sized boy when he's all grown.

That brings me to my next thought. This week, I could barely turn the grocery cart full with Stevie and my groceries around the corners. I must have been a sight. Swinging wide was an understatement. I was pulling with my abs and arms with feet sliding. Part of it was probably due to the fact I didn't care to organize the groceries in the cart. So, they may have placed in a way that would be easier to push. Regardless, I really need to do some serious weight lifting. Somebody send me a shake weight! I have to start small. I have also noticed I started sticking my hips out while holding Stevie...to be able to hold him. If I add a pregnant belly to the mix in the future, I'm going to have a very curved back. Anyone have specific exercises for "Mom-strengthening?" You know, for all those muscles for lifting, carrying (inside the belly and out) your kiddos? I am very serious that I need it. I'm sure something is better than nothing...so I'll keep working with my dollar store Australian man workout dvd. I think I need more for my back though.

On a completely different note, we have been house hunting. It's been an experience to say the least. We've had our share of laughs already. That's probably all I'll say about that until we get one, whether that's tomorrow or 50 years from now.

Oh, and I'm about to dip my toes into cloth diapering. That's a pretty picture. What I'm trying to say is we're thinking of giving it a try a soon. We hope to be able to try it in a few weeks. I'm treading lightly with no guarantees. I have been doing research on it since before I was pregnant with Stevie. I have finally found the one I want to try. It's the Flip system. I'm sure there will be more to come on that adventure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Stephen

Dear Stephen,

A week from tomorrow, you will be 9 months old. How did that happen? These last 9 months certainly flew by much faster than the 9 months (or ya know, 10 months) you were in my belly. You are growing into such a little boy. We are so blessed to have you in our family.

Books are one of your favorite things. You will play with books for a long while on your own, and you absolutely love story time before naps. You snuggle up, look at the pages with interest, and smile at certain repetitive phrases. You are beginning to try to grab some of the objects in the pictures too. Your favorite book is "How Many Veggies?" by Phil Vischer. When Percy, the pea, shows up on the page, well your little pincers try to grasp him just like you do with real peas. When we finish reading, you fuss. You want more. I hope your love for reading continues till your an old, old man.

You continue to love bath time. Without fail, you do the "Superman" flying pose as we carry your little naked self to the bathroom. You are still using your blue infant tub over the bathroom sink and your favorite activity is leaning over the side to grab the mouthwash container. The colorful blinking frog is a good piece of entertainment too, along with the splashing while in the tub...and of course, that cute little boy in the mirror.

You're not so much a fan of getting your teeth brushed (the same goes with nail clipping time), but sometimes we need to do things we don't want or like to do.

You find getting your ears cleaned a unique experience. You certainly don't complain as I clean some of the gunk out around your ears with the baby cotton swab. You lay very still, facing up at the ceiling, with a closed mouth grin. I can tell it tickles. I bet you'd let me do that all day. You have such a sense of humor. When the baby lotion is being squeezed out and makes a tooting noise...well, that is a wildly funny thing to you. You still wrestle my arm as I change your diaper and enjoy scratching your bottom as it airs out, grossing me out but making me laugh too. You are so interested in our shadows on the wall next to your changing pad. You stare at me. You stare at my shadow. You turn back to me and my wave...you look back at the shadow. You don't understand it, but it sure makes you smile.

Witnessing and being a part of your joy is one of the best parts of being your mother. Whether we sing and jump around the room, or you sit on my lap as I do "Round and Round the Garden" on your belly and then tickle you under your arm, we both end up laughing. You love it when Daddy tosses you in the air every night after getting you into your pj's. I wait patiently in the rocking chair to give you your bedtime bottle, watching you giggle hysterically. My favorite part: you stare directly into my eyes the entire time you're being tossed and laughing. "Are you seeing this, Mom?" Yes, Stephen, I'm watching. I'm glowing. I'm delighting in your joy. I hope when you're grown, you fondly remember your "little one" years as being full of joy.

Eating is still amongst your favorite activities. You love shoveling those Cheerios and Puffs in. You find it entertaining when the spoon of whatever fruit or veggie flies around to different noises in front of you. You're my best pal in that high chair when jobs need to be done in the kitchen. You happily snack, play, and watch while I do the dishes, cook, bake, or clean. I end up with more dishes in the end from the ones I give you that end up on the floor, but seeing your curiosity as you twirl the measuring cups and lids in your cute hands, is worth it.

Your hands. I'm amazed at the size of your hands when gently touching mine. I often wonder what those hands will do one day. However you choose to use them, do it for the glory of God, dear Stephen. He has great things in store for you. I love you so much. Continue to be the joyful boy you are. I pray as you grow, that we inspire you to grab hold of the joy that will last forever, the joy of the Lord.

Love always,
Mom

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"To the end of the road"

Matt and I have spent so much time traveling in our relationship. He was in the military (and on leave) when we met. Within a couple of days, he was flying back to Hawaii where he was stationed. I heard a rumor that I might get a letter from him that summer. I was in PA as a camp counselor...waiting. I came home and started my next semester. Then I received his phone call (well, message on my parents' answering machine no less). From there, the emailing, phone calling, and instant messaging with web cam became a daily occurence. That December, he came home thinking the military life was behind him. We officially started our courtship and much of that time was spent driving around, talking, and dreaming. I felt so safe with him driving. (Even though one time we hit a guard rail, haha...a story for another time). In May, we were engaged. The next December we were married and travelled by car to our humble honeymoon location with the Just Married sign in our back window. We explored that area and just enjoyed our time together. We always did...we always do. More travelling was ahead of us, as we learned in March, Matt had been recalled to the military. Heartbreaking in so many ways for us, but we treasure the experience nonetheless. We spent the summer months, driving, talking, dreaming. In October, I saw his plane take off to California. Unable (not allowed) to go, I waved goodbye with the most hurt ever. We talked by phone, emails, and instant messenger whenever we could. I visited twice before he deployed, and the next 7 months following those visits were the longest months and days in my life. But, we were in this together though we were so far apart. When it was time for his arrival back to the states, I flew out to CA to welcome him home. That was like walking down the aisle all over again. I love that man. We drove, talked, and dreamed across California. We came home. We moved. We had our baby boy. We've been through a lot these 3 years of marriage, but life is moving ahead. We still go on dates (sometimes the 3 of us), driving, talking, dreaming. I love you, Matt, "to the end of the road..."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dreams

I had a dream last night. I just found out I was pregnant. Let me repeat, it was a dream. It was a surprise to us. The dream skipped ahead. I found myself at the hospital. A nurse felt my belly and the baby. She put my legs in these stirrups. She told me I could practice pushing. Huh? I ended up having the baby. I'm pretty sure it was a girl. Whether boy or girl, the baby was big. The baby was very big. My mom keeps telling me our next baby is going to be a petite little girl. Well, if this is any indication, only the gender guess will be right. By the time I saw her, she already had her little hospital hat on. She was 9 lbs 15 oz. I was nervous about delivering her, and she was already out. I thought Stevie was big at 9 lbs 1 oz. He looked like this baby we all heard about in the nursery, only Stevie had more hair. He was placed next to a 5 lb 7 oz baby. We laughed. Back to my dream. My baby was 9 lbs 15 oz. That just seems ever so much bigger. (Matt was 10 lbs 1 oz. I would prefer not to climb that mountain.) I woke up. I told Matt the dream. He had no comments. Maybe he was still sleeping. I'm now feeling like I'm not ready to have another baby. Ever. That's not really true, but I woke up nervous. I'll just keep telling myself, "If my body grows it, my body can push it out. If it can't, God can."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sometimes

...I see myself in him. These aren't the best pictures for similar faces...but do you notice any other similarities? Like the arm/hand thing? He had been looking up at the camera the same way at one point too.




He has several of Matt's features too. When they are both looking in the same direction, their profiles are SO similar. Pictures to come! And get this...I'm thinking Stevie is going to be more on the blonde side this summer like his dad was as a boy. Remember how dark his hair was at birth? It is so amazing how Stevie is the combination of us both. What a miracle!


My little Valentine buddy yesterday (Yes, taken in the bathroom...getting ready for his favorite nightly activity, bath time.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

SM

SM. S.M. stands for SuperMan. Ok, it really stands for Stephen Matthew, but no, it really is SuperMan. (He lucked out on that one. His Dad's are M.S. ..in the military his coveralls said MS Hakes...Ms. Hakes, um, yeah, he was given a bit of a hard time.) When Stevie was little-er :), he just had this look that said, "If anyone looked like Superman as a wee one, well, it would be me!" Sometimes he even had the little "S" curl on his forehead.



The boy is strong. There is no getting around that. He's incredibly strong. Everyday, it seems, he lifts something else, a heavy something else, over his body and head. It baffles me the strength and lack of fear in the boy. His little steering wheel driver toy (heavy plastic with batteries) has klunked him in the head a lot. Sometimes it bugs him. Other times, hey, it's part of the territory when you're so strong but not incredibly skilled yet.

Yesterday, my brother Pete was watching him (or rather, being entertained by him) for a few minutes while I was switching laundry. I came back to my happy boy and started folding laundry. Pete was still sitting by him. Then he says to me, "Do you want him to have this?" and Laurel is saying something like, "Oh my goodness!" (in pure disbelief). I look over, and he has grabbed one of his uncle's old, old semi trucks. They are old and heavy, as long as he is, all metal, and not safe. Stevie was lying on his back (still his play time position of choice) holding one over his chest and head. Yikes! I wrangle it out of his arms and explain that he commonly seeks out the biggest or heaviest thing he can find in a room...will grab it...and pick it up over himself. He does this with the laundry basket, his bath tub, ...he'd try his swing if he could. He goes under and pushes the seat part up and swings it...


(He's faster than a speeding bullet.) We're still working on the "leaping tall buildings" part.


He's humble too...when the camera comes out, he's more of a Clark Kent type. "What? I didn't lift it."

He's a big boy. We weighed him a week or so ago. 22lbs 4 1/2oz. He's long too, but I'll get that measurement at 9 months. At church last week, my mom carried him around while she greeted people. A visitor walked in who has known my parents for years. He looked at Stevie, and mom introduced him to the man, and then he said, "He's cute! What is he about 18 months?" Wow, 18 months, really? Umm, he's 18 months minus 10! Here's a picture with Pete and Laurel's little girl (yes, she's petite). Rockin' cousins. Stevie 8 months, Annabeth 20 months. Looking at their sizes, they could possibly pass as twins.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Helpful tidbit?

Updated:
Ok, so I'm not very technologically savvy, but in case someone might be interested (as I was), I thought I'd share. I just disabled the right click option so people can't easily copy my pictures of my precious boy! Here's the website to help you do the same if you'd like. If you are technologically savvy and would like to inform me of a better or more secure way, please do!!

Tiffany offered another blogger's helpful tips. One of the tips I appreciated was to disable being able to open the pictures enlarged on another page. She also recommends having a separate email account for your blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hi, My Name is Becky

and I own a Snuggie.

Yes, I own a Snuggie. I received it as a birthday present, and the thought behind the gift was, well, as they usually are, thoughtful. I am often cold wherever I am. Ask Matt, my hands are always freezing. It makes sense, therefore, that I was given this gift to be able to keep warm.

I gave optimism a whirl that evening I received it and took it out of it's zippered plastic bag for an audience of 1 (Matt, who chuckled)...maybe 2 (Stevie, who had big eyes). "It's soft. Oh, it's big. It's ...really big." And from there optimism went out the window and reality of this silliness burst forth. I was free to laugh. Matt said, as he often does, "This is going on the blog isn't it?"

The name in itself is the antonym of what it is. Unfortunately, the Snuggie is not exactly very snuggie. It is a 1 size fits all. Apparently, I am the problem. My frame does not know that it is included in "all." All of me could be wrapped up in it about 42 times. Now that we have discussed the girth of it..or me...or the girth of me in it, let's move on to the length. I have pretty much always been ok with my height. I am 5 feet 4 inches tall. I'm about average (yup, I even looked that up) and never cared to be particularly tall. Until I met my Snuggie, I was ok with that. The Snuggie is made for "all" people... 7 feet tall. Actually, I might be able to sit on Matt's shoulders (he's 6'2") and still make it work. I'd probably look like the ghost of Christmas future, but hey, I'd be included in "all." I could probably put my legs in the sleeves too. They are long and big, certainly not easy to dip my hand in that bowl of popcorn like they advertise. Turning a page in your book, forget it! There's no real way to keep it from falling off your arms and shoulders without raising your arms high in the air.

My particular color is brown. I refer to it as my "Snuggaluffagus." It's endearing, I know. All I need is a big, brown trunk.

It's basically a thick, soft, over grown, hospital gown without the snaps. Yes, the back is completely open. How my back and bottom is supposed to stay warm...well, I guess I'm supposed to be sitting. Sitting is a luxury with an 8 month old. Long before the time I would get myself wrapped up in it (those 42 times), Stevie would need some attention. Here comes the big brown bear monster! Yikes! After tripping over the bottom and holding my arms up angelically (or, monster-like) as I move toward my child, we'd have more problems. I can already hear the crying, his and mine.

Another problem with my dear Snuggaluffagus? It sheds. After only taking it out once, it left brown fur(?) EVERYWHERE! I read a review online that says not to wash it. After one wash, it loses these huge patches of 'fur' all over it. Poor, disease stricken Snuggaluffagus. And the smell after not ever washing it...well, we can imagine...wet dog? wet bear?

I thought briefly of adding pictures, but I'm going to let you all use your imagination.

So in light of this, I thought I'd offer my first giveaway. Cheers. Clap. I have 1, brown, gently used Snuggie to give away to a lucky reader. Just comment here and tell me all the wonderful ways the Snuggie will enhance your life. I'll randomly pick a winner!*

*Just kidding. Umm. Well. Would you like my Snuggie?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baby Blues

My boy has the most (beautiful) handsome blue eyes ever (in my opinion of course).


Happy 8 months little man!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I can smell the coconuts in the breeze

No, I'm not going on vacation. I sort of wish I was, but I'm not. I have started something new. I started implementing the Curly Girl ideas. Unfortunately, I've also flopped in the process.

I've debated writing about this. To try to keep myself more regular at blogging, I decided I'd write and save...and decide whether to post or not later. Obviously, I decided to post.

Warning, this is long...

So what is the Curly Girl method? Well, you can click on the link in my first paragraph for a pretty thorough explanation. I heard about it from some curly headed gals, and let's face it, I'd pretty much try just about anything for this head of mine. Remember this old picture? I know, try not to be jealous of my poofy, frizzy hair that has a mind all it's own! Oh, yeah, and I know those pj's are quite the deal too. So, I have curly hair that's frizzy and poofy, and controlling it takes lots of product and then still...I'm not usually very satisfied. If the weather cooperates, and I'm going some place "nice," I like to straighten it. Anyway, this new trial recommends (demands?) that I only wash my hair as needed and in the meantime, do rinse washes or conditioner washes. Huh?? Yeah, I wondered the same. I also wondered, won't that make my hair totally nasty and greasy?

Well, a few answers from what I've been told and from my experience so far. (No, I haven't taken before pictures or pictures throughout the process. I guess you could say I didn't care to.) The reason for the fewer shampoos is because the shampoo dries out your hair. If you're a curly girl, your hair needs all the moisture it can get. So, on that preliminary information...I started doing conditioner "washes." I was not ready to let go of any "cleansing." I also had to ditch my hair spray and only use my gel. You can't use anything with silicones or "cones" in the ingredients. Ok, I can try that. Then I had to switch my shampoo for one without any sulfates. (Same sulfates used in harsh dish soap to get the grease off pots and pans...which also dries us out.) So goodbye to my favorite green, "fruity" smelling shampoo, welcome expensive, organic, coconut smelling shampoo. I have washed my hair once in 3 weeks. Eww, I still can't get used to that, but I confess on my public blog anyway. Aren't you glad you decided to read this? I figured that even though this shampoo is a couple more dollars than my old stuff, it would even out since I don't wash my hair everyday anymore.

Anyway, complications arose! First of all, I continued using my old conditioner. I love that green fruity smell! Don't take it away! The problem is my conditioner contains the "awful cones." So, I went out and bought cheap coconut conditioner (without the cones) to match my shampoo. It's sort of a soft, calming scent, but it isn't my old childhood bubble yum smelling shampoo. Sigh. Well, I thought I bought conditioner. I bought shampoo. I even checked it twice in the store, but my brain which was on vacation smelling the coconuts made the mistake. Returned shampoo a few days later (unused). Bought conditioner. Used conditioner. Then I decided to read the labels again on my "good" shampoo since I'm making so many mistakes. My shampoo has cones!! It doesn't have the sulfates, but it has some cones. Ugh. Are you kidding me? For now, I'm sticking with it, and probably messing up my hair...because I spent $5 on that shampoo (I know, whoa, slow down big spender! Hey, I usually buy generic of my green fruity stuff). It will probably be next year before I'm done with it at this rate. So, it's been a little over 3 weeks since I started this whole thing. I was still using the "bad" conditioner for the first 2. So, am I officially only 1 week in? I still have shampoo that's not quite what I'm supposed to have though.

Ok, results? The first few days, my head went crazy. It was itchy. My hair was a frizzy mess. Nice, I know. However, they say, "your hair may get worse before it gets better." The oils may overcompensate for the damage you've done, etc. Well, I must've done some damage to it. Anyway, after a couple days of itchiness, it really felt fine. My hair was softer than ever, and it started to get even curlier. When I asked what he thought, Matt told me it was "a lot curlier." He doesn't usually notice a lot of details. Frizz was still existent, but I could see a little improvement. That's when I switched conditioners. I'm going through greasy and frizzy hair all over again. I'm hoping it will get better soon. I'm supposed to give it maybe 6 weeks? I'm glad I'm a stay at home mom. I still have no idea how often I'm supposed to wash it. I'm supposed to know my hair type and it's needs. Right...all while it's going through this transition...and for a girl that doesn't know much about such things anyway (hey, I thought I needed to wash it everyday), crazyness. I'll give it time, but if I'm not pleased, bring on the sulfates and cones and my fruity shampoo and conditioner!

I am Man, Hear Me Roar

Male bonding. It doesn't matter what you wear, silly stripes or drool puddles (umm, grin?). It doesn't matter how big you are. You just have to be a male...on our living room floor.

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5 months



7 1/2 months

Just in case, you know, you don't have enough grunting in your background noise, I thought I'd share.