Sam’s 1st Birthday Celebration

On Tuesday night, we started the celebration a little early because I wanted to shower Sam with balloons while Kasen was home instead of at work. We had two big black garbage bags filled with balloons and as we sang happy birthday we dumped the balloons into his crib, but he was screaming terrified. We have a lot of photos and couple videos. They are so pricelessIMG_8192I made him breakfast pancakes the next morning and sang him the “Happy Birthday” song about a million timesIMG_8197IMG_8206He had free reign in our entertainment center to yank out all the DVD’s and controllers, one of his favorite things to doIMG_8216He helped mom bake his birthday cakeIMG_8228And played with his alphabet magnets, which was one of his birthday gifts from usIMG_8220The other gift was this rocking horse, and he actually really loves it. A classic, non-toxic wooden horse

He also had a nice warm bubble bath. Again, a favorite pastime, an obsession reallyIMG_8232And although all things didn’t go smoothly or as planned yesterday, it was still just such a sweet day to celebrate Sam’s birthday, and as one of my friends said, a celebration of MY “birth” day. The day I became a MOM! Such an amazing memory

Here’s pictures from his mini party:

The cake (a little piece of hell to frost). Very far from perfect, but it tasted better than it looks so I don’t even care! And here I am saying this, knowing I will make more cakes in the future…IMG_0478The food, simple, self-serve/buffet style. Really tasty chicken tortillas, black beans, lime, avocado, tomatoes, cheese + fruits, veggies, lemon h20, etc. IMG_0503Simple decor, a mint banner from a free printable alphabet on Pinterest. I moved it from his room since he kept tearing it down!IMG_0486The balloons on the other side of the room for the cousins to play with since he has absolutely no interestIMG_0492 Singing and blowing out the candleScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 10.24.04 PMAnd both hands full of cakeIMG_8248It was perfect. And so is he…IMG_0484

Samuel: ONE YEAR

My sweetheart turns ONE (tomorrow), and in an effort to use time wisely, I’m blogging about it tonight. We’ve got a few things going on tomorrow + food and cake prep, so hopefully all goes well. It’s a very small gathering with my parents and siblings + their families to keep it simple and budget friendly.

So here’s what he’s up to at ONE year:

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Sam is learning to feed himself with utensils (very messy, but they’ve got to learn somehow)

He could spend all day in the bath

He loves unwinding toilet paper rolls

And drinking out of ‘big kid’ cups (AKA no sippy cups or bottles)

He LOVES music. A mini man after my own heart

He finally learned to open cupboards, so the real baby proofing will begin after the festivities are over

He really loves time with Kasen, dare I say… Kasen is the favorite, and I’m okay with it, because I know he still loves me

He attempts to stack blocks and he gets it sometimes, but the majority of the time he prefers to destroy the block towers

He stands very well on his own

He took his first steps before we left to Brazil and now he will walk solo to us or between pieces of furniture but still not confident enough to do it alone or for long periods

He loves sharing his food with us and the cats, so much that he will force it into our mouths. It’s so cute, but so gross sometimes

He loves trying to get people to chase after him, and gets so excited he falls over as he tries to run away

He loves clapping

He loves his books, probably more than any other toy (this is his favorite)

He has the cutest curls and when his hair is wet, it’s totally a mullet… and there is something oddly cute about it. Guilty! But don’t worry, it’s not gonna’ stay

He has the most contagious laugh

He has five pearly whites

And… get this… he is finally sleeping through the night consistently. Hallelujahhhhhhh! It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work on both his and our parts, but we are THERE!

Oh, and we learned tonight he is terrified of balloons

Sometimes it hurts to think of how fast time went, and how we have already done so many of Sam’s “firsts,” but we still have so much to look forward to. I think of that cheesy Dr. Seuss quote, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened…” It’s so true though. I have so much to smile about and I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be his mom.

He is truly an amazing kid, and I’m so grateful for his sweet spirit, resilience and patience with us as first time parents.

It has been an incredibly wonderful (and of course difficult) year. A year with so much joy and so much growth. I’ve literally felt my character stretching beyond my comfort zone, but the love has grown proportionately to it. It’s truly amazing.

Happy Birthday my boy. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it

Little Victories

After these stressful and exhausting few weeks, I’m proud to say I earned myself a freakin’ medal today. At least I think so. A medal to me, from me because:

  • I put make up on
  • I put jeans on
  • I changed our bedsheets
  • I made our bed after not making it since coming home, which is so unlike me
  • Sam and I went on an impromptu park date with one of my girlfriend’s and her kiddos
  • Banana bread is currently baking

And this is what it’s come to… celebrating in my “little victories” to get myself through the day, when it is so much easier to feel discouraged and be hard on myself.

I’m proud of me today.

Soul Stretching

So here we are… sick again.

I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but it almost seems unfair. At least the immature, entitled person in me tells me it’s ‘unfair.’ I feel like such a child saying that word, but it so feels that way.

Remember the last time I blogged and told you the sickness was rocking my socks off? Well, it got worse from there. Like, bad enough that I was on the kitchen floor at 3a.m. ready to throw my guts up and my head was surely going to fall off my shoulders. I couldn’t move and every inch of my body ached. And then Sam wouldn’t sleep with his fever and congestion.

I know the guy gave me what he had, and it makes me sad to think a little baby could get that sick. Endless amounts of laundry that Sam vomited on, no clean sheets, sleeping on towels so that at least the mattress would stay clean if he threw up again. And poor Kasen had to work the next day but managed to still take care of us during the wee hours of the night. It was just bad. Bad enough that I actually almost cancelled my ticket to Brazil.

Of course, we all got better at the “last hour,” so I stuck it out and to Brazil we went. I’ll blog about that soon enough.

We started traveling back on Tuesday and got back Wednesday afternoon. Sam was not as happy to see us as the last time we were separated. I definitely think a week was frustratingly long for the both of us. He made it very well known and would not let us touch him without screaming and crying. Not fun. Broke my heart into a million little pieces. But he slowly warmed up to us. We also stayed at my parent’s house the night we got home to make the transition easier for Sam + we were exhausted. It all worked out.

We got back to our place on Friday and unpacked, which was a great thing, but somehow we ended the night all sick, yet again. We had to cancel family photos (and thankfully we did) because we didn’t sleep more than an hour at a time on Friday night. It was horrible.

I texted my mom at 4 a.m. asking her to come over and help me the next day, because I was so desperate. She did, and it was such a gift to me. She cooked comfort foods while Sam obsessed over her company, chatting with his “Gram” nonstop. Kasen got home from work and we laid in bed together, entirely and completely exhausted in so many ways.

This has been our life over the past handful of weeks and I feel so stretched beyond my capacity to handle. As we laid there, I asked Kasen “Why is this so hard?” And his simple, logical response, “Because if it wasn’t hard, we wouldn’t learn anything.” As we were fading out, he softly nudged my leg three times with his foot which means, “I love you” and I weakly squeezed his hand three times in response. It’s our thing.

And a tear rolled down my cheek. I said a little prayer and tried to rest my mind. But of course, it wouldn’t.

I thought about our life together. And when we first met. And how we fell in love when it was just us. And how we didn’t realize the amount of growth we would experience from such a tiny person. The love, the patience (or lack thereof), the exhaustion, the joy. And here we are, needing help, and so unashamed to ask for it at this point.

But I’m grateful for him and his constant companionship. He is such an anchor to me.

Life is sweet, even in these soul stretching moments. And as much as it tastes like vinegar to say this, I wouldn’t have it any other way. True story.

Samuel: Eleven Months

My, oh my. It’s been a whirlwind as usual, but also more than usual. We have travelled the last two weeks, and we’re off again next week for an entire week, and again without Sam.

Last weekend Kasen and I got to go to the Superbowl with some of my family and it was a blast. It was also our first time traveling without Sam, which was wonderful in some ways, and the saddest thing ever in other ways. I’m such a baby.

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The wonderful parts:

  • Sam did very well and had some quality time with his Grammy Cahill + one of his cousins
  • The rest of the weekend he spent some good time with his out-of-state nana Burris. He was a happy camper
  • Kase and I were able to fly without having to worry about Sam
  • And we had some good time one-on-one time together

The not so wonderful parts:

  • I totally did not get more sleep like I thought I would. In addition to all the events, my body is used to waking up during the night with or without Sam. So, I’ve pretty much given up on sleep
  • I missed the heck out of Sam
  • When we FaceTimed Sam on Saturday, he cried and cried every time he saw our faces. It broke my heart
  • And of course, we didn’t win the Super Bowl. Sad day

The good thing is, I was able to bump my flight earlier and get home at 8 a.m. Monday morning, instead of 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. However, it meant getting two hours of sleep the night before. Clearly, it had to be done.

My mother-in-law picked me up from the airport, and I sat in the back with Sam. He slept the whole ride until the end. As he woke up, his eyes were barely open and rolling into the back of his head and I quietly said, “Hiiii” as I smiled at him. He gave me the world’s most dazed and most sweetest smile I have ever seen in my entire existence, and he kept on smiling and laughing the whole time as he was waking up. Sweetest reunion ever. I could relive that moment over and over again. But that would require me leaving him, so maybe not haha.

Now, Sam and I are both sick, and it is really rocking my socks off. I’m. So. Tired. It’s been pretty rocky as we try to get some routine during the week in between our travels. I don’t know how well we are doing, but it doesn’t feel like we’re doing very well at all! Although, I’m sure we are probably doing better than we think. Such is life. No surprise there.

Anyway, onto Sam’s 11-month update. Craziness. One month short of a year… Oh, those long days and short years. Truly.

Here’s what my quirky cutie pie is up to lately:

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He is superrrrr chatty

He has an obsession with taking his socks off and swinging them in the air. It really doesn’t sound that funny, but with how uncoordinated he can be, it is really adorable

He literally gasps with excitement

One of his new things is a really cute whine when he doesn’t like something, and I’m not one for whining, so that’s saying something ;)

Anytime he hears the bath water running, he hurriedly crawls to the bathroom and stands right up next to the bath knowing he’s getting in no matter what it takes. Babies are such intelligent creatures

His favorite toy is a mini shower gel bottle from Lush. He cries every time I take it away from him, so I just don’t anymore. I don’t blame him though, the stuff smells like candy

His other favorite thing is his banana toothbrush which doubles as a teething toy + his tasty toothpaste. It’s totally a treat to him

He is still obsessed with our cats and tirelessly chases them. One cat loves it, the other one not so much. He loves rubbing his head on them and grabbing handfuls of their fur. We’re obviously still trying to teach him what ‘soft’ means

He really loves giving me slobbery kisses and it’s so cute, but so gross sometimes. But I’ll take it!

He has really been digging cuddles lately, so I kind of love that. Bring on the cuddles!

He is obsessed with finding and pushing buttons and turning the lights on/off

He also learned to say ‘all done’ in sign language after eating. It’s not perfect, but he has his own special little way of doing it. Now we know exactly what each other wants! Booyah

His newest trick is standing up on his own for about 10 seconds at a time. It’s so unusual to see. Again, the whole tiny human thing… it just cracks me up.

He’s still not brave enough to take a step alone. I’m not worried at all though. In good time. Babies always eventually get there, and sometimes it’s overnight, I swear. They just really follow their own timetable

And he still doesn’t sleep through the night, but we’re getting there. Between teething, travel and sickness… it has jumbled things up. But we are down to one feeding around 4a.m. so I’m hopeful

Happy Thursday <3

Motherhood Comes in Moments

Today was a sweet day. A day where my heart is so full I can’t help but write about it. Motherhood truly comes in moments.

Moments of complete exhaustion, like that story I told about a couple days ago at 4 a.m. being completely covered in throw up, or comforting Sam while teething, when heaven knows I could use some sleep.

Moments of messy. Everything he does is messy. When he eats, when he plays, when he finds something new. His face, his hands, the food in his hair. The cabinets emptied, the pots and pans, the DVDs. The hands in the diapers.

Moments of frustration and annoyance and surely there are plenty.

But also the good moments.

Moments of pride in my little one and everything he is. When I know he is listening to me read to him. When I know he is soaking things up as I teach him. When he responds to his name. When he comes when I call him. When he does things that scare him. When he tells me “all done” in sign language after eating.

Moments of sweetness, when little arms wrap around my neck and scratch my skin (sometimes not so softly), or when he dives into my face and rubs his all over mine, then gives me super wet kisses.

Moments of such intense love, my head and my heart can’t comprehend how I could ever love anything more than I love Sam.

Being a mom is the greatest thing of my life. I could die happy.

Florida Travels

Last week Friday we took a trip out to Orlando to spend time with Kasen’s parents in Cape Canaveral. His dad was on a work trip, so we thought, why not go out there and have his mom do the same?

It was a relaxing trip, filled with more “firsts” for everyone. Everyone’s first trip to Florida in general so that was exciting

We started off waking up at 3:30 a.m. for an early morning flight. Not my best idea, but we wanted to get to Florida at a good hour and account for the three hour time difference. Sam did amazing. We did have a vomiting ordeal on the plane mid-flight, but we caught it in our hands, his blanket, and Kasen’s pants. I know, gross. But we asked the flight attendant for a bag, bagged up his clothes and the blanket, wiped things with baby wipes, had an extra outfit for Sam, and used hand sanitizer like mad. It went so smoothly it almost seemed unfair haha. No one even knew what happened

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Despite the long day of travel, we were able to take naps on our flights, and had a decent layover in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. That made all the difference for us because it gave Sam some time to crawl around, stand and play

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And then when he was ready to take a nap, we swaddled him up and laid him in his car seat. Again, so smooth, it didn’t seem fair

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We arrived around 7:30 p.m. Friday night, then Kasen’s mom arrived Saturday morning. We slept in, then went to the pool when we woke up. Sam’s first time. He loved it. No surprise there

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Sunday, we made a quick stop at the beach and Sam was completely fascinated at the sand sinking between his toes. He wouldn’t look anywhere but down at his feet + the sand. Then we brought him down to the water and he gasped with joy. On our way back to the car I showed him the seagulls, we chased them and he LOVED that

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Then went back to the hotel and cuddled and ate

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On Monday, we had another pool day and napped by the poolside

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And went to the beach later that day

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Then had dinner that night at a place called Sunset’s and it was gorgeous. Of course photos would never do it justice

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On Tuesday, our last day, we were able to see the rocket launch for my father-in-law’s company. We arrived just in time to see the last bits of the sunset.IMG_7355

Here are the photos of the rocket/launch. The middle light on the water is the rocket. So, here it is at sunset

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Here it is in the dark

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And here it is taking off

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It was incredible. I mean, look at the size of the people compared to that burst of light that lit up the entire horizon. We were about 8 miles away. Truly, a once in a lifetime experience.

Then we travelled back home on Wednesday. Another very early flight. Another bittersweet thing. Sam was even better on the flights back home, and made a million more friends. I think what also helped this time around is that I seemed to care a lot less about what people thought if he fussed a little. We were all so tired

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Overall, we loved Florida and loved spending time with Kasen’s parents. I guess I should say, we loved Cape Canaveral. People were friendly, and it was like being in an exotic place with a southern twist. Plus it was really quiet (at least in the winter time)

We are definitely happy to be back home though. There really is no place like it. Home is where my heart is