Monday, February 27, 2012

Ten months this week

One goal that I had in creating this journal was to jot my son's development.  Any regular reader of my blog can already point out that I've failed.  Thankfully, I have have failed because I've been spending so much time with my son, and not a lot of time writing about him.

Years from now, I'll struggle to remember exactly when he cut his first teeth (heck, I'm struggling to remember that now!), but I doubt that I'll regret that I chose to be with him instead of updating this blog.

To note a few milestones:

While Declan still does not crawl, he does manage to get from one place to another a few feet away with relative ease.  He does it by somewhat crawling, somewhat scooting, somewhat crab-walking.  It's fascinating to watch.  Of particular interest to him (i.e. things that he often moves toward) include the dog's water bowl, six packs of beer, and kitchen tools such as pots/pans.

Declan LOVES to stand with support.  He has even showed enough daring to let go of said support for a few seconds at a time.  Yes, we are a bit worried that he'll skip crawling all together and go straight to running.  One behavior currently holding him back from this possibility is his habit of "dancing" once in a standing position.  Declan likes to rock his body back and forth while bobbing his head.  It is dangerously cute.

He is still a champion eater and breastfeeder.  Kid eats like food is going out of style.  Particular dietary favorites include oatmeal, bananas, sweet potatoes, saltines, graham crackers, and anything on Daddy's plate.  Declan will wolf down an adult serving of oatmeal after breastfeeding, and then demand to wash it down with more fresh breast milk.  All this eating has certainly fattened him up a bit, but I confess that I'm growing tired of the "Oh, he looks healthy now" comments.  Declan did suffer from low weight, that is true.  But Declan was always healthy.  He was always alert, never suffered from "failure to thrive" and was never at risk of any significant, or permanent health problems.  Sorry for the defensiveness, but I must counter the misinformation.  Still, we love our little chunky monkey very much and have always done everything we could to care for him in the best way possible.**

Back to fun milestones.

His language cognition is amazing.  He has known his name for a long while now, but he also recognizes the words "bounce," "jump," "more," "milk," "food," "dog," and "phone."  (And those are just the ones I can recall right now.)  We are using sign language to assist his communication.  Babies usually begin signing at around 14 months or so, so Declan does not sign back yet.  But we were told to sign to him as much as possible from about 6 months onward.

Declan has a new favorite toy: his exerciser!  After a few incidents where we paid good money for an item for him only to have him reject it, we were a bit worried.  He to this day dislikes the swing, and has no love for the pack-n-play, to name a couple.  But we let him try out the toy at the store and he seemed to adore it.  He'll still in it and jump, and jump, and jump (hence the word recognition above).  He just has a ball.

Still not sleeping all the way through the night, but he does do very well.  Typically he is asleep by 10:30 and he'll sleep with occasional nursing until about 5:00 or so.  It takes anywhere from a half-hour to an hour to get him back to sleep, but then we can usually count on him to rest until at least 8:00 or 9:00.  During the day he will typically cat nap a couple of time.  Oh, how I wish he were one of those babies that sleeps in a swing or bouncer.  No, Declan will only nap if held or worn and then only for a little bit.  Today, however, is proving to be the exception.  He's asleep in my lap at the moment and has been for the last two hours and 45 minutes!  Wow!

He is still in the stranger phase--he usually does not tolerate being held by anyone other than mom, dad, and big sister.  He began this phase at about 7 months, so it certainly made our visiting relatives rather awkward last month.  In the last week, he has shown a couple signs of progress, so we are hopeful that he'll start enjoying the company of others soon.

Everyday that I look at my boy, I am so touched by how much he is becoming a little boy.  No longer the newborn that I brought home with me all those months ago.  He has such a personality, such charm, and a definite independence.  I just cannot believe that in only a couple of months, he'll be a year old!  Oh, and did I mention that he now has SIX teeth!?  *sigh*

**Just a note: We are very touched that so many of our friends were worried about our boy.  Alas, some of those friends went too far and began spreading misinformation about his health and wellbeing--even going so far as to suggest that we, his parents, were not caring for him adequately.  Let me just point out that parenting, even when it goes beautifully, is stressful.  Having to squelch rumors of bad parenting is even more stressful.  Rest assured that I am the BEST mother for Declan, and Brian is the BEST father for him, too.  And either one of us would be happy to chat one-on-one about his wellbeing should anyone really want to do so.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

that one thing doesn't exist in my life

While listening to NPR this morning, I heard a snippet about a guy who gave up a good career to follow his somewhat unconventional dream.  Over the years, I have heard a few such stories.  Often, I wished that I could follow in such footsteps, except I cannot for one simple reason: 
I do not have just one dream.  I have too many.
Never in all of my years have I been obsessed with just one thing.  If I did, life would be so much simpler.  No, I have always been the person who just LOVES too many things to even count.  There is no way that I could boil it all down to just one obsession.  
How else can I explain why I devote so much time to Deco, but also have a closet full of medieval clothing?  Because I just cannot decide on ONE hobby.  (Is this where I should also mention the boxes upon boxes of other hobbies that are clutter my home?)
I love to game.  I love to sew.  I love to read.  I love, and love, and love to do too much.  I want to travel, but I also want to homestead.  I’d love to work, but I love staying at home.  I could go on and on.
Oh, if only it were simpler.  But, perhaps, it would not be nearly as much fun.  (Teensy bit of diverse evidence below.)

Anachronistic 14th Century Mama

The family that BRRRAAAINS together...

Cigar?  Don't mind if I do

Friday, February 17, 2012

Falco Friday

One year ago I decided to stop by a little sausage restaurant in Costa Mesa to grab some lunch to-go.  As I walked up to the spot, I saw the above sign declaring the day as Falco Friday.  Luckily, I had arrived just in time to witness the celebration.

I was so thrilled to see one of my favorite musicians from my middle school days being honored, that I asked the event host if he'd do one again in 2012.  He said he would, so I happily wrote a note in my calendar.

I awoke today excited about participating in the 2nd Annual Falco Friday only to later learn that the venue which hosted it last time had closed its doors.  A web search for Falco Friday proved fruitless.  So, I'm celebrating my own Falco Friday today.

Rock me, Amadeus!

Holiday Vacation

I'll go ahead and state the obvious--I'm WAAAY behind.  But that is just one of the lovely side effects of having children.  Particularly when they are of the "don't you dare put me down" variety.  Only this week have we finally found a device that keeps Declan entertained for longer than a few seconds.  Since he is currently bouncing away in this new exerciser, I will try to compose an update.

Over the Xmess holidays, we decided that it was time for my family--mostly based in Texas--to meet my husband and son.  As the prospect of flying from southern California to Texas with an eight month old was not ideal--not to mention expensive; we decided to do something potentially sillier, we drove.  By driving, we knew that we could stop in Phoenix to see some of Brian's family.  We also knew that we would not be beholden to someone in my family to cart our happy butts around.

Declan did surprisingly well, actually, on the drive.  He had only two meltdowns, one each way.  And each meltdown was eventually soothed with a prolonged stop.  Ultimately, I am glad we drove as it allowed us some liberty to go and do a few fun trips.

One such trip was an afternoon of wandering downtown Fort Worth.  I have always loved the city, though I did spend a LOT of time playing in Dallas in my twenties.  But there is something special about Fort Worth that I cannot quite put my finger on.  Perhaps these photos will do the city justice.

I LOVED the Water Gardens as a child.

Sadly, this was as far as I could go due to my fear of falling.

Taylor braves the wall.

I can recall climbing it often as a child.

Almost there!

The Bass Hall

Gorgeous Angels

Deco theatre!

More Fort Worth Deco--detail
More Fort Worth Deco

More Fort Worth Deco

Fort Worth Deco

Fort Worth Deco
Another trip was a few hours at the San Antonio Riverwalk.  Not much Deco, but still a beautiful place.
Naturally we found an Irish Pub

Declan wants some of Daddy's brew.

For Brian's (and Declan's, too) first trip to Texas, it really was rather pleasant.  We managed to have a great balance of family time, free time, and time with good friends.  


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