Friday, November 22, 2013

A Toast to My Sissy

Last weekend we traveled to Playa del Carmen to celebrate my sister's wedding. It was quite the adventure traveling with a six month old. Maybe I will get around to writing more about that experience - for the most part he did great...until he didn't. ;-)

More importantly, it was a beautiful wedding and great weekend of celebrating the happy couple with family and friends!! 

Here is my toast to my sissy :)

Thank you to everyone who made the trip to celebrate this wonderful day with Bart and Kara. Looking around the room, I am so happy to see them surrounded by some wonderful couples who will support them throughout their marriage.

Whenever a friend or family member has a new baby girl, the first thing I say is, “Congrats! Now... you need to give them a sister!” I think every girl needs a sister and I believe that because I wouldn’t be who I am today without my sister.
It wasn’t always roses and sunshine growing up...ask my parents, they will tell you. ;-) Picture in your mind the younger sister (me) constantly following around and copying her older sister, Kara. Borrowing her clothes without asking...going so far as to actually take the clothes and change at school. When she found out I was taking her clothes, her response surprised me. She said, “If anyone compliments your outfit you have to tell them they are MY clothes.” I know there were many times we annoyed each other and everyone around us. (My parents nodding yes, yes this is true).

As we got older, our relationship changed. As Kara and I both love cheesy quotes, this is one that sums us up perfectly, Fate Made us Sisters, Hearts Made us Friends.

I followed my older sister to Arizona a few years after her and we had the best time living together. Again, not always roses and sunshine. If you know Kara well, you know she is a very neat and tidy person. Me, not so much. When I was about to move out to AZ, she called me concerned one night asking if I was planning on making my bed when I moved in? I said, “Sure, I’ll make it, but if I don’t, can’t we just shut the door?” She said, “Well, it’s just that your room is the room everyone sees when they walk into the apartment and it will seem smaller if the door is shut.” Needless to say, I’ve made my bed Every. Day. Since.
Kara truly is my very best friend. There is no one that knows me quite the way my sister does. She is my favorite person to laugh with and someone I can always turn to. Our family has faced a lot of trials, and just knowing that she knows what I am going through gives us both strength to carry through. Kara is an amazing woman and she deserves a wonderful man. I am so happy she has found that in Bart.

In the past there were times I knew that the person Kara was dating wasn’t right for her, but as a sister, you just stand by them and love them through it. You don’t judge, you just make sure you are there for them when they realize this on their own. Kara has always known exactly what she wanted and needed, she just didn’t always know she knew it.

When I first met Bart, I knew there was something different about him. It’s not that Kara changed, it’s that she finally felt comfortable truly being herself. Bart has brought out the very best in her. He knows how to balance her, to challenge her, and sometimes to tell her just how ridiculous she is acting. He knows how to love her exactly where she is.

Good things definitely come to those who wait. I could not have asked for a better man for my sister than Bart. He is a faithful man, a wonderful father to Maddox and Ava, and I know he will be an amazing husband who will love Kara unconditionally. I am honored for Bart to be my brother-in-law and uncle to Ted.

So congratulations to the happy couple and now, Bart and Kara...Ava needs a sister! ;-)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ted Picks - Six Months

I can't believe we were here just over six months ago! I look back over the last six months and I can't help but feel so blessed that I get to be Ted's mom. It truly is the greatest gift I could ever receive. That does not mean it does not bring with it some serious exhaustion or moments where I feel like I am making all the wrong decisions. 

Then...I see this smile and I know we must be doing something right.
Ted has developed quite the personality the past few months! He is so fun now! He is always smiling and laughing. I would give anything to know what he is thinking sometimes.
He is my stubborn little man for sure! Sometimes I will try to give him his beloved WubbaNub if he's sleepy and he will start screaming and push it away. Then he picks it up himself and plops it in his mouth. Stubborn and so independent. Not sure where he gets it.

He's full on crawling!! Not just scooting and rolling about to and fro, but 

Seriously, it's the cutest. He has to get himself all talked up for the big crawl, but once he's ready...he is off!

Way back here I wrote all about my favorite newborn items. Now it's not so much as what my favorite items are, but what are Ted's favorites.

So, here they are...

Ted's Picks 2013
1) The beloved WubbaNub - I love that Ted really loves this now! There is nothing cuter (albeit also stubborn) that he can pick it up himself and put it in his mouth. It also means we all sleep better at night because he can find it himself...unless it mysteriously gets launched out of the crib. Hmm... ;-)

2) Baby Einstein Piano - It doesn't really matter that it's Baby Einstein, it's more that it plays music. Ted really loves toys that light up or where he can push a button and hear music play. He doesn't even have this toy, but he makes a bee line for it when he goes to his friend Bridget's house.

3) Sophie the Giraffe - I didn't really get all the hype of Sophie at first. I bought Ted's on sale and just always put it in his car seat. He ignored it. Around 4 months he must have: a) noticed it was there b) realized he could pick it up and c) was on a mission to get all four legs in his mouth. He is well on his way to accomplishing this goal.

4) Infant Swim Class - Ted could be super grouchy, tired, teething, really doesn't matter, but the minute I get out his swim trunks he gets all jazzed and excited! He knows where he is going. He gives out a super cute shout/shriek of joy when we pull in the parking lot of the swim place. The second he gets near the water he is kicking and splashing all around. He loves it and it tires him out! I linked to the place we are at now because they offer free lessons until 7 months and they start teaching Infant Swim Resource from the beginning. Ted has already learned to turn his head up when he goes under water! I know, I know what you are son is a genius ;-)
*FYI - If you use us as a referral we both get credit towards future classes!

5) ERGObaby - We've tried other carriers...I've borrowed wraps and slings, and I can't seem to really get the hang of it. Nothing says "awkward new mom" like trying to tie a mile long cloth around you in an airport while your baby is screaming in your face, balancing a million carry-ons and everyone is staring at you and praying they are not sitting next to you on the flight. Soooo...I was pretty darn happy that my big baby could fit comfortably in the ERGO at about 3 1/2 months. He loves it and I love it because we get to shop for about 12 extra minutes.

6) Vtech Rhyme and Discover - This book is really cute and lights up and sings to him aaaand...he actually owns it. ;)

7) iPhone - I really should have listed this first...Ted could be swimming in a pool in the ERGO, with every single toy in the world at his fingers tips and he would STILL make a desperate mad dash for my phone if he sees it. In fact, just tonight he was nursing, saw my phone out of the corner of his eye and seriously jumped up and layed out for the snag. 

8) Baby Einstein Activity Jumper - I'm really only partial to this particular one because I scored it at our church's consignment sale for $15! It's in perfect condition and it keeps Ted entertained for all of 17 minutes...that's about 6 minutes longer than anything else. But again, if he saw the iPhone...I'm pretty sure he'd be diving bombing himself out of the jumper for the iPhone.

9) His mama :) Ted loves his toys, but honestly the way he smiles when I walk in the room or follows me with his eyes and now with his crawls tells me I'm still his favorite...maybe it's because I have the goods or maybe it's because it's my iPhone he covets. Either way, I don't really care because nothing can ruin my day when I hear that shriek of shear joy from my little man.

I know I keep saying this, but I can't help it...I'm just so in awe of this kid every single day. I have learned more about myself and the person I want to be in the last six months than I think in my whole life. I can't believe how lucky I am to be his mom. I know there are days that I feel like I might go crazy, but at some point in the craziness Ted seems to know to look up at me at just the right time and my heart just melts all over.
Be still my heart.