Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three Months.

Happy Quarter Year Birthday!
Look who's three months old!!  The last month has had a few challenges (some tummy trouble and a much stronger opinion on things such as bottle temperature and sleeping arrangements to name a few), but I think it's also been my favorite.  Hard to say, everything with Colin is my favorite, but it's so awesome to see him start expressing more personality.  And I can't get enough of that smile!

Colin is hugely into smiling and laughing lately.  He LOVES to laugh and play with me.  It's sometimes challenging to catch it on camera because he greatly prefers to smile at me than the funny black contraption I insist on holding between us.  I think kitchen time has replaced bath time as my favorite part of the day.  I put him in his high chair and dance and sing while I make dinner and clean up.  So much fun.

He's got the most incredibly blue eyes.  I'm not sure if they'll stay this color forever or not, but I love them.  He get's lots of compliments on his eyes.

Colin is finally showing some interest in toys (mostly in kicking them) but his favorite activity is still eating.  I'm not sure what he weighs now, but he's a big boy.  We are wearing mostly 6 month clothes now, although they tend to be long in the legs.  He's also seeming less interested in the moby lately.  He still loves daddy's carrier.  I suspect it's because he's enjoying interacting face to face more often.

Take that, Lion! I'm a big guy now.
On his 3 month birthday, Colin rolled over for the first time!  Daddy even caught the moment on video.  He also slept through the night last night.  I'm not going to fool myself into thinking it's forever yet, but I'll take every night we can get!  I can't wait to see what the next month holds.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seven Years Ago...

Seven years ago today I met the man I would spend the rest of my life with.  

I love you, Gavin.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

Surprisingly, I've been reading quite a bit.  Sometimes I read while feeding the baby, but most often I read when winding down after the baby has gone to sleep. Gavin often admonishes me to sleep as well, but I need some time to unwind.  Recently, Colin's schedule has been very predictable, at least at night.  We take a bath at around 7 and play for a while in his room.  Then I feed him for a very long time and he's asleep by 9.  He was waking up at either midnight or 230, but (knock on wood) the last few nights he's gone all night!

Anyway, one of the books I've finished recently is How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopegood.

I really liked it!  (Unlike the last parenting book I read).  I encouraged Gavin to read it as well.  I suppose it's not surprising I like it.  If I were forced to define our current approach to parenting, I would call it 'the middle path.'  For most hot topic parenting issues, we look at the extremes (there are always extremes) and aim for the middle.  In this book, Hopgood explores the parenting methods and practices that differ dramatically from culture to culture.  From sleep habits to potty training, to discipline, the book provides interesting examples and in most causes cultural context.

There are lessons, good and bad, to be taken from every culture.   In some cultures babies eat 20 times a day, in some, they are feed on a rigid schedule every three hours.  In some cultures, babies are permitted to cry until they fall asleep, in others their mothers comfort them immediately.  In some culture children are potty trained beginning as early as they can sit up and in others it's much later.  In all of the extremes, the majority of children grow up to be well rounded, healthy, functioning members of society.

For me, that is the primary lesson of the book: there is more than one way to successfully parent a child.  It's something I try to remind myself whenever I find myself becoming overwhelmed or feeling like I'm doing something wrong.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I forgot my blog's birthday!

Happy belated birthday, blog!

Three years of blogging bliss, come and gone.  I still blog about photography and cooking, which were the topics that I started with.  Over the years I've added running, crafts, and travel adventures.  Clearly the most notable addition this year is parenting.

I suppose my blog is (at least partially) a mommy blog now.  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the genre.  My general complaint is over sharing.  I wouldn't want to write anything that years down the road could be found and used again Colin by his future employers, potential girlfriends, or high school bullies.  I want to blog as a digital scrapbook; a fun way to track our adventures and growth as a family and keep in touch with those we care who can't be here everyday.

So I'm still not sure where I fall on the privacy issue.  For now, my blog floats in and out of private status.  More importantly, I try to be very conscientious and remember that nothing published on the web is fully retractable or private.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Fun!

Gavin isn't a huge fan of Valentine's Day.  He is, however, a huge fan of games.  So for Valentine's Day, I decided to make a Trivia game for him!  I hid 10 questions throughout the house where I expected he'd find them going about his day (on his towel, in the microwave, in the baby wipes, on the cat food, etc).  The instructions told him to text me the answers.  I also hid the prizes in places I didn't think he'd find them, and texted him their location after receiving a correct answer.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Fun?  I thought so.
1.  What question did I ask you almost everyday when we first met?
2.  Fill in the blank:  That____ is far away.
3.  What day did we move in to our house?
4.  What was the first name we tried for Lucky?
5. Where did you first meet my parents?
6.  What was the first drink you introduced me to that included beer (hint: Vegas, Summer 2006)?
7.  Name at least one game we played together in Australia?
8.  What was our favorite drink at Halekulani?
9.  What new food did we discover together on our Honeymoon?
10. Essay Question: What is your favorite Valentine's day together?
Gavin did pretty well, he found almost all of the questions during the day and only missed one answer!

This isn't my first experiment in creating a game for Gavin.  A few years ago I created a game I dubbed "WooT! the Game."  In it, Gavin could earn 'dates' through the month.  In February, we visited WooT on each of the 'dates'.  He could opt to have that item and forfeit the rest of his dates, or reject that item and move through his dates.  He ultimately won a video camera (which is sorely underused, btw).  I thought that game was fun as well.  My favorite part was that I created a brochure and left it out where he randomly picked it up.

Gavin brought me red roses and made a delicious steak dinner.

People often complain that Valentine's Day is just a commercial holiday about buying flowers and chocolates, and they have a point.  My goal is to use the holiday as a reminder to show the people I love that I care in creative and personalized ways.  I'm so excited for all of the holiday celebrations with Colin as he grows up!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Valentine's Day isn't usually a big production around our house (although I did create a pretty cool surprise this year!)  And although I suspect that the first few months after having a baby aren't the most romantic time in any relationship, it is wonderful to have this day to reflect on how grateful I am to have my husband.

Australia, 2010
Hawaii, 2009

Our House, 2008

Monte Carlo, 2007

Somewhere between Chicago and Orange county, 2006

Present Day

For every adventure, for every year, for every stage, for every kiss, for every hug, past present and future, thank you Gavin.  I love you, always.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So long Year of the Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year!  I wish I had thought ahead some and had a better way to celebrate than by watching videos on YouTube and posting in my blog.  I'm incredibly grateful for last year.  Not long after I became pregnant with Colin, someone mentioned to me that the year of the (water) Dragon is a particularly lucky year to be born.  I won't insult Chinese culture by rambling on about my Google research into the topic.
Bellagio Dragon
Around Chinese New Year's last year, I was in Vegas visiting my parents in Vegas.  We visited the gorgeous Bellagio Dragon Display in the Gardens.  The trip was incredibly difficult for me.  I remember standing in the garden wondering what the year would hold.  Praying and wishing it would be different than the last.

It was.  I am so grateful for my miracle dragon baby.  Happy Chinese New Year!


I don't think it's a play date at this stage so much as a mom date.  At best, the babies stare at each other and at worse they tag team cry.  Even with the crying, it's awesome to be in the company of someone who completely understands how you are feeling because they are right there with you.

I have been doing my best to meet like-minding parents.  Although I'm not entirely sure what my 'parenting mind' is yet, it's fairly easy to weed out people I have nothing in common with.

Jax lives in Ladera and is only 5 weeks older than Colin.  We met Jax's parents (I'm pretty sure eventually we all lose our names for a while, might as well be today on this blog!) in a community group for people without kids.  Although we see Jax most, I still haven't manage to capture them in a picture together.

Kai's parents know us from the WSOP Math House.  Kai is 3 months older than Colin.  At this stage, that gap seems huge, but as time moves on I'm sure it will seem like less and less.

Colin almost outweighs his older friend already!
We also met another Colin at our hospital support group.  His mom seemed to have more in common with me than the other mom's, and as I get to know her, we have even more in common that I thought!  This Colin is about a week older than our Colin.

All the action is stage right, apparently.
I am so grateful for the friendships we've made already and so glad Colin will have other little boys his own age to grow up with!

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Road Trip!

Last weekend we braved the highways for our first (mini) road trip with Colin.

Ready to Roll!

We were nervous for the approximately five hour drive across a rather barren desert with a 2 month old baby.  We were right.  Overall, Colin did great, but at about 2.5 hours each direction, he'd had enough of the car.

Our trip was amazing and full of firsts!

First Trip to Grandma's (and First Super bowl!)
First Visit with Ms Jen!
First Training, watch out mini heavy weights.
I am not sure when we'll next brave the highways with baby, but it was still a fun trip!