Monday, August 22, 2016

I don't want to forget

I have to admit - every next stage is my "favorite" stage when it comes to being a parent... especially a parent to Colin.  He is such a nut..... and I'm so scared that I'm going to forget it all.

I'm scared to forget:

  • his incredible use of also in a sentence
  • the way he completely used damn-it correctly when a superhero potato head came apart
  • the way he can turn an argument off by asking about the strangest things "yeah, mom, but what about the honey badgers?!"
  • making me realize how much he doesn't mean it when I start to get huffy at something and he looks at me and asks "mom, are you mad at me?  are you frustrated at me? are you happy at me?"  How can you stay mad or frustrated???
  • how he's learning to color in the lines and he gets so mad when he colors outside and wants to erase the marker or crayon from the open space.
  • how he surprised me at lunch on Sunday by knowing how to write his own name without me giving him the dashed lines to trace, and how he was completely able to sound out his middle name and write it with almost zero prompting or help from me (!!!!)
  • how he amazes me when he does MATH.... and how he can just look at something and be able to know the number without counting each piece
  • the way he LOVES hot sauce (even with ghost pepper) and even had his first chicken wing (2 actually)
  • how he'll cuddle up next to me when going to sleep and say how he's "so cooozy" in such a weird little voice that makes me smile
  • how he can race me down the street and, when I have my backpack on, legitimately win
  • the way he is perfectly happy with choosing the direction of a conversation because "he already talked about that" or "I don't want to talk about that with you"
  • how he can absolutely make us into pushovers because sometimes his arguments are really tough to argue against
  • how he knows that when he wants to watch a show on the computer he can say "I'll turn it off straight" when he means that he will turn it straight off as soon as the episode is over
  • how if you hit it just right you can say that he needs to take a stroller nap before he does something and he curls right up and falls asleep within moments of the walk
Overall -- he's just amazing.  I am happy that we are (mostly) done with the sleepless nights, but I do still love when he crawls into bed with us and just SOMETIMES will sleep in until 8am on the weekend.  He loves his mommy fiercely, and while sometimes it drives me nuts because a break would be awesome, I love that he wants to cuddle up with me at the end of the day.  We chat about school, and superheroes (of course), and he twirls his blanket in the air so that it creates a fan and gets the fabric all nice and cool so that he can lay it up next to his face.  

He truly is a crazy kid... and he does drive me crazy... but he's so smart and fun, and blows me away with the way his mind works.  I'm excited for all the next changes... I just don't want to forget where we are.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The way back machine

I was thinking that I would kind of work my way back in some semblance of order -- but then I realized that I can do whatever I want, I run this thing.  So I said "forget it" ... I'm just going to hop, skip, and jump my way through whatever time I want.  That means that I'm taking us back to October and November of last year.  We went on a family vacation to Hawaii with my dad.  We had been planning it since February, and we took 10 days... It was so amazing that when I came back I researched how easy it would be to get my PE license transferred over to Hawaii ($75 application fee, in case you were wondering) and was wanting to sell everything and move to the islands.  John talked me off the ledge (lame), but I do think that both of us agree that we want to go back.

We planned this trip around my friend Selena's wedding.  We didn't think we could handle an 8 hr flight with Colin from Chicago to Honolulu, so we cushioned a trip to Arizona around it so that it could be taken down to a 6 hr flight instead.  I was terrified about the flight with our little 18 month old who didn't like to sit still and when cranky really enjoys screaming (not much has changed in 6 months).  But shockingly, he was a freaking rock star.  Seriously... he had a couple of minor moments, but he truly did better than we could have ever predicted.  We brought his car seat on the plane (yup, we are those people.....) and he took a substantial nap, and then we were able to use his seat to store the incredible amount of stuff that we brought with us.  We read through more books, watched more Frozen and Pitch Perfect than we knew what to do with - but we made it safe and sound.

Reading books with Dada and Grandpa

Grandpa carrying the elephant bag

We have arrived in Honolulu!!

Lucky us hanging more in the airport waiting for our flight to Kauai 

Conked out after all the travels

We rented a condo at a resort on Kauai - 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom... ocean front.  It was just incredible.  I took some advice from my friend who had traveled to San Diego and looked up baby rental places on the island.  So we had to bring nothing but a car seat with us -- we rented a pack n play, a stroller, and some beach toys.  It was so great.  Everything was there when we got to our room, and we had to do nothing!  We were able to open the doors and listen to the ocean, we had a full kitchen so we went grocery shopping and had things for breakfast and lunches.  Colin loved the balconies, and spent nearly every morning standing on them (he only threw my phone off once) and looking for all the roosters that run wild everywhere.  

We were lucky (??) enough to watch most of the sunrises on Kauai thanks to Colin adjusting to the time change

Rocking the diaper on the balcony

Again, another beautiful sunrise

Chillin' by the pool

Colin took some of the best naps and most sound nights.  The sound of the ocean with the open doors were better than any sound machine we could have had.  It was awesome.  We drove all over the island, went to beaches at the end of the highway, went through the mountains, took a helicopter ride (so nervous, but so beautiful), saw as much as we could in 6 days.

We road a train through a plantation

Got wind-blown on the train

Played at the beach in between the rain storms

Saw so many roosters - they were Colin's favorite

Went to a bird sanctuary with a brilliant view

Saw a lighthouse!

Pretended to be a lion at the lighthouse

Read books about turtles

Saw waterfalls

Wow... just wow

Took a grumpy baby on a walk

Let the grumpy baby run along the path so he could stop being grumpy

Saw a water spout

Took a helicopter ride!

Saw MORE waterfalls

And hidden beaches

And had to stop to see a crazy bridge

Cried at the bridge because he wanted to walk

That doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of Kauai.  I took hundreds of pictures, and there truly isn't enough space on this blog to write about all the things we did or show all the amazing places we saw.  

We had local beer (Kauai Beer Co), local coffee (Kauai Coffee Co), local rum (Kaloa Rum Co) bought a Hawaiian shirt for Colin to wear, took in some of the greenest greens and bluest blues.  The roosters ... oh the roosters.  They crow in the morning, chase each other around through the day.  It's such a small island, but it was one of my favorite places I've vacationed.  I wish we had spent a little more time relaxing, a little more time at the beach, but I think we took in a little bit of everything the island had to offer.

After our time in Kauai, it was time to fly back to Honolulu and spend some time in O'ahu.  We also got to spend some time with Mike while we were there!  It was great to see him, and he was a determined tour guide.  Ha.  He took the time to drive us around the island and take us to shaved ice, Waikiki Beach, lunch, you name it.  We stayed at a condo in Ko Olina which shares the community with a couple other resorts - with golf cart access to everything.  I think Colin might have found that one of the more fascinating parts of the trip --- car seat free!

We spent some time at Pearl Harbor.  Colin had a little bit of a meltdown during the movie, but we were able to walk him around outside and ride the ferry over to the memorial.  It was so overwhelming, and the video they show is just incredible.  I know about the bombing of Pearl Harbor of course, but seeing real footage and hearing true accounts was intense.  

Moana Hotel - where the rich and famous vacation

Waikiki Beach

Surfboards lined up and waiting

Lunch with Grandpa Mike

Too bad you can't hear through pictures - so just imagine the sound of a pterodactyl 

All the names of the lost

Such an incredibly beautiful and humbling memorial

USS Arizona lies beneath

Isn't this just tropical paradise?

We went to a luau --- it was interesting, but will be happy to skip that next trip

Playing in the backyard of the condo

Making sure the coast is clear

Life talks with Dada on the beach

I loved our little vacation.  It was worth the planning, worth the wait, and something I won't forget for a long time.  Colin is such an experienced traveler already, it's awesome to see how well he adapts to new places and new schedules.  Fun fact, he's not that good at adaptation at home but seems to thrive on it when we are in a new place.  He even takes on time changes like nothing!  

So if you don't hear from me for a while.. you might want to see if a PE license has been applied for in Hawaii... we might be new residents... 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Let's play catch up - Part 1 of 123298123521 - aka Colin is 2

I have been falling behind.  Exceptionally far behind.  We have done so many amazing things since I last wrote, and even MORE since I shared pictures.  I'm going to do my best to try and recap it without sending everyone into a "please stop sharing, that's enough" mode.

I think I will start at the end and go backwards - because that makes sense, right?

The biggest news??  We have a TWO YEAR OLD!  An opinionated, talkative, smart, animal-obsessed two year old.  I'm just in awe about how quickly time went, but we are loving it.  The older he gets, the more fun he is.  Of course more fun also equals more head-shaking and deep-breath taking on our end.

We had a wonderful birthday party with our friends and family.  I am so appreciative that they took the time out to celebrate Colin.  It means so much to me that we have such wonderful people in our lives.  Colin loved it too.  He got to hang out with Wylie and they ran around like crazy people which was so fun to see.  It made me realize that we should probably try to make some more kid friends for Colin.  He apparently likes hanging out with kids his own age as much as hanging out with his parents (when did he get to be a teenager?).

So here are a few pictures from his 2nd birthday to kick it all off.  I am in all of my freshly broken wrist glory (it had happened the Wednesday before his Saturday party)... so you'll have to excuse my completely disheveled look...

Blowing out candles

We've created a monster about donuts now.. but can't resist the Happy Birthday Donut from Glazed & Infused!

Nom nom nom

Seriously, aren't balloons just about the greatest thing ever?

Then, just to make sure my arm was surely documented?  We did some family pictures the next day.  Our friend is a photographer and has been taking pictures of our little family since the beginning.. doing our pregnancy photos too.  Colin wasn't in much of a mood for pictures, but we got a few in there before he freaked out and just wanted to sleep on my shoulder.  Carrying around a 25 lb child with a casted elbow is pretty tough though.

I realize this is essentially the same picture but Colin is looking at the camera, but I can't resist the one where he's staring at us and laughing.  

And this one of the two of them might be one of my favorite things...

Then we got tired boy.... But I love the cuddles.

We still need to take the obligatory bear photos in the chair, but we'll get there.  We are so good at sneaking things in against the wire.  Hopefully we get one in before the last day before he's 3!  

Loving who this little boy is becoming.  He says "I love you", and "thank you for helping me <>" which melts me every time.  He has learned "I want" which is just about two of the worst words in our home since they often times lead to extreme yelling.  He loves when all his people are in the same room.  He has learned to move over on the sidewalk to let people pass, but sometimes that means waiting for all the people he can see for multiple blocks have passed us "more peoples mama, more peoples... wait".  But goodness do we have fun.  He loves puzzles, and singing songs.  He often sings to us, and always loves a good rendition of "animals on the bus" which is apparently much more interesting than "wheels on the bus".  When he comes into our bed in the morning and wakes up in a good mood, those are some of my favorite moments of the day.  He'll lay there between us and just talk - he'll count, sing, go through the ABC's, list off all the animals he knows, all the people in his family, anything he can think of.  It's pretty awesome.

We'll catch up more later... this is just a start.