All text and images are property of Valerie Sadler unless noted. Please link but credit this site. Powered by Blogger.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spontaneity...

I used to love spontaneous adventures. The time in between each was spent looking out for the next one. Now, they are few and far between. With having to plan for naptimes, meal times and diaper changes, not to mention freak, spring storms and blistering heat, we never seem to do the fun things we used to jump up and do.
Photobucket
Last night, we proved we've still got it. After a long day of Father's Day Weekend preparations out and about, we spotted a carnival and couldn't resist. We quickly did the math to make sure the dog's eyeballs weren't floating, to make sure we had enough food for Cole and to be positive it wouldn't coincide with a much needed nap. We decided to risk it and one giant u-turn later, we were on the right track.
Photobucket
It was a blast! One of the best times I've had in a long time and the perfect way to start off Greg's first Father's Day. The overnight storms had produced the slickest mud but the coolest breeze... a fair trade, I'd say.
Just Greg, Cole and myself making taking a rare opportunity and seizing the day. We had no stroller. I had no way to carry just one diaper and a sippy cup without hauling the gigantic diaper bag with us. We had to park crazy far away. But, we figured it all out and dove in.
Photobucket
We ate a dinner of gyro's (don't ask me what is in them because I was too starving to think twice) and water. It was quite perfect if you ask me and I really do want to know what was in it because I totally want to recreate it sometime.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We walked around, snapped pictures and blew Cole's mind with the lights and gigantic, death-defying rides. His eyes were glued to the 3 story swings. He was rubber-necking every where we walked.
Photobucket
And, of course, every good carnival deserves a delicious sweet you wouldn't normally have. We opted out of our usual funnel cake and were disappointed to find they had no cotton candy. Don't worry. We discovered a stand that made "hand-churned, home-made ice cream". Probably the best risk we ever took. It was a.maz.ing! Greg tried some maple type of ice cream while I dominated some cookies'n'cream (no mint chip....). As you can see, Cole made the most of our lack of stroller and used his proximity to his advantage.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

After a smile-filled car ride home, we washed the mud off our feet and Cole and I jumped into a late night bath to top the evening off perfectly.

Enjoying his lasts...

An emotional stream-of-consciousness post…

Photobucket
Photobucket
I was introduced to a book about understanding and enjoying the lasts your child does. So often we focus on the firsts. The first time trying solid foods, the first time crawling or the first words. Sometimes though, the lasts slip away without us realizing they’re leaving. I didn’t and won’t read the book because it would destroy me in a way that I may never recover from. I am, perhaps, the most sentimental person alive. I wouldn’t let anyone feel the baby kick in my stomach until Greg could. I won’t do any big experiences with Cole unless Greg is present. Heck, I still have the skittles wrapper from the first movie Greg and I saw 7 years ago. Sentimental. So a book like that would kill me. It points out that there is no skittles wrapper to the last time your child takes those wobbly steps and turns them into steady running. You have to stop and cherish each moment of the rapidly changing life or it will go by even faster than it already does.
Photobucket
Photobucket


I am good at cherishing each moment. I am all too aware that its slipping by at lightening speed. Its the fact that I have nothing to do about it that scares me. I’m not a control freak but having no power over these moments and their speed kills me. He has changed so fast. I miss the times when he wasn’t mobile and was content to lay squished up next to me with a teething ring. I miss the face he used to make when he was going number two because that stopped about a month ago. Even now, that “uh-oh” he frequently used so much is dwindling. These habits and tricks of his that we love so much are passing and being replaced with more difficult words or more complex actions. And, while I understand that it’s the way of life, I will never again experience these. Not with my first born baby who I have been lucky enough to focus on completely. Next time there will be many more distractions. I will be focusing on the new one’s firsts and lasts while watching an older Cole experience a whole new set of challenges. I just know it won’t be the same and I can’t do anything to slow it down. I am entirely too emotionally dependent but it works for us. I’ve always lived each moment of my life with passion and zeal knowing full well that it was fleeting. I’ve never wavered in that mentality and it has only extended to cherishing moments with Cole in addition to those moments with Greg. I have no problem going out without Cole or even planning an overnighter we’ve got in the works for a few months from now. I do think I’m healthy but I hate seeing these things slip by probably more than the average person because I am so sentimental.
Photobucket


I’m always aware of the firsts in life and now even more aware of the lasts. I have every movie stub from every movie Greg and I have ever gone to. I have every ticket from every sporting event or concert. I have every love note Greg has ever written me. I have every shred of paper used to plan our wedding. I have every tiny souvenir from Cole’s birth and subsequent hospital visit in a box in his room, which is still too painful to go through…but I have it. I have video taped every single new food Cole tried up until about 8 months old. I was always afraid I would miss a funny reaction to something new. And don’t even get me started on my pre-Greg life. Boxes of treasures downstairs that I will never be able to give up because I can’t bear not having a memento from those moments in my life. So, you can see how each passing day that leaves only a memory or a few photos as a memento is painful for someone like me. The memory will never be as vibrant or meaningful as the actual moment.
Photobucket


Tonight, I am sad. But I’m also proud and triumphant. Cole is officially down to one nursing session per day. I choose to leave the morning one for last as milk tends to be the fullest in the morning hours for most women, including myself. The night nursing session had been almost pointless for a while now because he nursed for a few minutes before he fell asleep. He’s been down to two per day for a solid 3 weeks so I knew it was time to stop procrastinating. The nighttime one was the sweetest because it was just us and the quiet peace of night. I could stop everything else and focus solely on him. After that, all there was to do was sleep. No lists. No impending demands. No stress over what was to happen next. Just us. His steady breathing, his soft swallowing and the way his hands would always search out for my finger until he found it and held on so tightly to be sure I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m sad that its ending. I’m even more sad that he adjusted to the change seamlessly. I’m happy for him that there was no struggle but it was so bittersweet. He rolled around for a moment or two while I laid next to him because I couldn’t bear to give up my cuddles. Then, he went still while I rubbed his back. He was out. I guess I expected it to affect him as much as it is me. But babies are so resilient. I understand that it had to end. He is ready and I think I am ready. I am so sad to see it go. It was the time when we were the closest. The sweetest. The most focused on each other. The time when all we saw was each other and needed nothing else. No urge to go exploring or accomplish one more task for the day.
Photobucket

I know I’m rambling but I’m struggling to put into words just how much this has meant to me. I’ve been at war with myself for a week or two. I’m split down the middle. I know we would both be happy to continue on for many more months. I’m blessed enough that my supply never failed me. I just know its an emotional attachment that I will never be ready to relinquish. There are many benefits to us ending it now that can’t be denied but I’m still being pulled in the other direction. Again, emotional crutch.


It saddens me so much to know that there are women out there who didn’t get the opportunity, for whatever reason, to breastfeed. It has meant the world to me. We’ve had our struggles with it but its been the most beautiful gift. Our bond is so much stronger from spending the amount of time doing nothing but staring into each other’s eyes for minutes on end. It is the most healthy and beautiful thing in the world. I don’t want to offend anyone or cause guilt because everyone has their own path. I am just here to talk about my journey and perhaps someone would be inspired to give it a chance based on my review. I do believe it’s the best thing for the baby and after this last year, I would go through any amount of struggles to have this with any future children.
Photobucket

So, as we are winding down this most precious of times in the journey of Valerie and Cole, I’m hyper aware of the many lasts we’ve been experiencing. Its part of the beauty. Its what makes us cherish them so much more. They say that death gives life meaning. In the same way, the last gives the firsts and the in betweens meaning. Knowing that phases don’t last forever brings us closer and causes us to stop and enjoy that much more. I know I will struggle with myself in the future thinking that I should have stopped and enjoyed even more. And, while there may be some truth to it, I have done the best I can do. I dug my heels in and bathed in each day to the best of my ability. I have soaked in the moments and will have beautiful memories that hopefully will never fade.
Photobucket


I want my tombstone to say that “she loved her family with her entire soul and being”.

Photobucket

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jimmy and Sophia

This was easily the most difficult session I have ever had. Note to self, when shooting toddlers, bring bribes and a few clowns. Out of 90 minutes, this was the best we could get. Luckily, Jimmy is my cousin and I will get some do-overs! I love him to pieces and his cousin, Sophie, is a doll. She has the sweetest heart! Thanks guys!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Stephanie's Maternity Photos

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day collages

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Sunday, June 5, 2011

11 Months Old

Photobucket
My little man is just that...a little man now. Every day he moves farther and farther away from my swaddled infant. His independence grows almost as much as his personality daily. And you know what...? I'M LOVIN IT MORE AND MORE!! I adore the tiny baby phase and I may be in a tiny bit of denial about just how much I miss it but he is so much fun! I'm sad and bored when he goes to sleep and I just. can't. get. ENOUGH of him during the day. He really is the best!
Photobucket

He's holding steady in the 17lb range which hasn't changed in 2 months. But, he is still gaining and has a healthy layer of 'fluff' so I'm not worried. He is one healthy boy. He eats well, sleeps well, plays well and loves like nobody's business.
Photobucket
Photobucket
He fell asleep standing up. I looked over and he was out.

He is one kissin fool. When he's eating, he takes a bite then wants a kiss, repeat. And they're not small, closed-mouth kisses either. He opens that mouth and gets ready to slop on one ya. And, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. They're precious! My mom calls baby drool "melting baby sugar" and it is so true.
Photobucket
He has been a talker since he was 4 months old. He said "nay nay" non-stop from that point on. He is constantly babbling and telling some story or another. For months he's been saying "mama" and "dada" or the more frequent "a-da" which we like even better but he hasn't been consistent with displaying his certainty in who or even what those words mean. He will call me mama exclusively for a few hours but then he will randomly call the couch mama. The same goes for dada. But, there is one word he perfected this month and there is no mistaking that he understands EXACTLY what it means. He says it at the perfect time every time. Now, he gets such a kick out of our reactions that he does things on purpose so he can say that word. Have you guessed what it is yet? "Uh oh". He drops things, looks at us and follows it up with the sweetest little uh oh all. day. long. When our air conditioner kicks on and makes the loud boom it is curiously doing, its followed by an "uh oh" from wherever he is in the house. His binky falls, uh oh. A car door slams, uh oh. He "accidentally" drops his cup, uh oh. Once, in the middle of the night and I'm convinced in the middle of Cole's sleep, the dog jumped off the couch and the resulting bang got a faint uh oh from the baby monitor next to my pillow. I clicked on the video screen and he was passed out. So, we are calling 'uh oh' his first official word that is said consistently with no mistakes.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

He is now one mobile dude. He didn't crawl til 10 months but now he doesn't stop crawling. He repeatedly wakes himself during the night by rolling onto his stomach and winding up on all fours before he knows how he got there. He can't seem to stay off of his stomach now that he knows it gets him from A to B. In the bath, all he wants to do is wiggle around on his hands and knees. We've had to barricade our living room with one of those 8 piece linkable gates because the dogs don't quite know what to make of the mobile thing that pulls on their tails. He is pulling up on everything and has almost mastered his way up to crawling on the couch. When that happens, its all over. Right now I can take the dogs out our flip over the laundry when he is in his area but soon I will have to anticipate him falling off the couch. It just gets harder and harder, doesn't it? I'll be happy when the need for baby-proofing is finally over with all of our kids. Then I'll have Cole in school and a whole new batch of fears to consume my time. Anyway, back to the motor skills. He does walk when he is holding onto something or with his walker. I still think its going to be a while before we see any real, unassisted steps but I'm not in any hurry. This kid is a puzzle solver and a talker if I ever saw one. He is so stinkin smart, its crazy. He can get his way out of anything, into anything, analyze everything and do basically anything I can do. Now, I'm no Einstein but he still impresses me and keeps me on my toes. He uses tools. Like the cavemen did in their adult-hood. He finds long items to knock things down from shelves too tall for him to reach, he assembles things I didn't expect him to be able to do for many more months. And anything can be used to make music. He has got the beat.
Photobucket
He got into the pudding at a bbq.
Photobucket
Meal-times are going well. I was strongly urged by my OB and my Pediatrician to breastfeed through one year. I am pleased to announce that I will make that goal!! I fretted, worried, researched and prepared myself and it all paid off. Our weaning schedule is going perfectly (a few slip ups due to sickness and teething) and I will have him completely weaned within a couple weeks after his birthday. We're solidly down to the morning and the night nursings. Beyond that, he gets big boy food. We're still doing some purees because I have a ton of them and because he is under weight and eats much more quantity with purees. We're still introducing new solids all the time. I adopted Krystal's morning smoothie routine into our own because the only green thing he will eat is green beans (go figure). This smoothie has bananas, strawberries, apple juice, a wee bit of whole milk (to get his system used to it) and a handful of fresh spinach. The strawberries mask the taste of the spinach and he gobbles it all up. I make it thick and have to spoon feed him because he just won't drink out of the top end of a straw, despite my best efforts. I am still having a very difficult time getting him to eat meat of any kind. I can occasionally get him to eat one of the mixed meat and veggie jars of purees but I usually have to tip the spoon of each bite with something sweet. He loves fruit of any kind or texture. Purees or solids, he gobbles 'em up. I think we can safely say he has a sweet tooth. The vegetables, not so much. But, I will prevail! I will find some way for this kid to get a well balanced diet if it kills me. But, lets just say, I'm not stressing out about it too much right now. He eats and I'm grateful. I'm going to the Farmer's market on Saturday morning and am planning to stock up on everything fresh so I can take a whack at Krystal's muffin recipes too. Because Cole decided he no longer likes his oatmeal. He has been eating oatmeal every morning since 5.5 months but now, he won't have anything to do with it. He violently shakes his head no every time I get near his face with it. I can, of course, lead it with some applesauce on the spoon but I don't want to have to trick him into eating every single thing by caving into his sweet tooth. Speaking of spoons, he is getting more and more interested in holding the spoon and feeding himself. I'm excited about that!
Photobucket
Photobucket
It is officially summer here in the Gateway to the west and we are a'cookin. But, our subdivision pool opened and we're livin it up! He didn't really know what to think of it at first but he has really come around. He even starts to drift off if we hold him still in his floatie. I so desperately wanted to take him swimming but with the c-section, I just didn't have the strength to do anything. But, we're making up for lost time now! He is my kid so his gills should start showing through soon. I'm not quite ready to take him in the lake at my mom's house yet but he is going to have many years of swimming the 170 acre lake with me.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We are in full swing with birthday party plans. Invitations have gone out. Games and crafts have been made. The food has been planned. Now all we need is Mother Nature to cooperate. C'mon dry weather. Keep your fingers crossed for July 3rd. His birthday came really fast. I worried that if I got too wrapped up in the planning early that it would make the time go by that much more quickly and I was right. I feel like he was 9 months old shopping for the first of the craft supplies with me just a week ago. Now, its only just a few short weeks away. I'm happy and oh so nostalgic. I can't believe how big he is and its incomprehensible how quickly it went.
Photobucket
first hair cut
Photobucket

Here are some outtakes from a trip to the park. His sun/squinty face is hilarious.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Dear Cole,

We are coming to the end of your infancy and I just want you to know how much fun we have had with you during these last 11 months. You are easily the best thing that ever could have happened to us and I'm so grateful at the wonderful blessing you are. God truly picked the best baby for us and you prove it every day. You are just like us in that you demand constant physical affection. Grandpa always worried that I wouldn't find a man affection enough to keep up with me but I did and we have instilled that quality in you. You are happiest when you are snuggled between us getting smooches from both sides. You are a kisser and a hugger just like us. You always want to touch. You prefer to explore the world by making us go with you. You're happy to discover on your own but you light up when you see that we're right next to you discovering too. You love to bring us your treasures and show us how they work. You like to share your food with us; sometimes forcefully so. You are such a delight and already have the qualities that many adults could stand to learn from. We pray you continue to grow in love and wisdom and in a confident knowledge that you are loved beyond measure. You are everything we hoped for and so much more than we ever knew to want. I love you with every fiber of my being and every bit of my heart. You are my baby and will always be.
Photobucket

About Me

My photo
I'm a new wife and an even newer mom. I have a secret dream to be super-mom. I love to craft, cook, dance and fill my life with as many adventures as possible. I'm slightly crunchy granola but enjoy a good steak. I'm right brained and type B (with some type A tendencies). I thrive best when I get to use my creative juices. I dabble in photography and party planning. I play piano and have a dream to learn the cello. I want to make the most of this one, short life I find myself living.

Recent Posts

There was an error in this gadget

About This Blog

This blog was originally intended to be a personal journal of my pregnancy journey and all that that entails--shared with only a few close family members. It was a way for me to keep them posted on all things baby and occasionally post a picture of my growing torso so they could see the progress. After several posts, I started to get hooked on other blogs and became motivated to attempt to do more with mine. We'll see how it goes....







  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP