Saturday, September 29, 2012

Best Birthday...Ever?

I'm just going to come out and say it: this was my best birthday. Ever. (Best thus far, I rush to add. I'm not sayin' it couldn't ever get better.)
First, I was inundated with singing phone calls, non-singing phone calls, emails, video emails, cake pops, candy, sweet baby hugs and kisses, and a mountain of Facebook greetings. It's pretty awesome to feel the love like that all day long.
But it gets better. When I woke up that morning, I found two envelopes carefully decorated by my cute kids. That would have been birthday gift enough. But no - inside the first envelope was a gift card to our favorite used bookstore. The second envelope had a note from Kevin saying he'd be home at noon so I could go pick out some books and then go enjoy a massage(!). He had booked me an appointment for later that afternoon.
It was heavenly. And when I came home, Kev and kids were making me dinner. It was cuter than cute. And delicious. We ate quickly and went to Stellan's soccer practice, where I enjoyed the late afternoon breeze on the sidelines while tuning and learning to play my new ukulele (double !).
Oh, but that's not all. The next evening, our dear Emily (the one that Rachelle loves more than anyone in the world, including me) threw me a birthday party. A themed birthday party. A nerd themed birthday party. It was nothing short of amazing. She had completely decorated her house; imagine family portraits replaced with the cast of "The Big Bang Theory", pithy nerd quotes and jokes, astronomy posters all over the walls, math flash cards strung up as banners, tablecloths covered in complicated equations. And did I mention it was a costume party? Because it was.
We played nerdy games and had nerdy food. We chatted and joked, we reveled in our nerdiness. However, the highlight of the night was an unanticipated group of partycrashers. About an hour in to our get-together, someone knocked. When Emily went to the door, it was a couple of younger guys with snacks in their hands asking if this was the party. Although she didn't know them, she said it was, and invited them in. It took them about half a second looking around the room at the nerd decor and the nerds in it, they looked confused. Then Emily realized that her neighbors, also younger men, have regular weekend parties and she sent them on their way. But the looks on their faces were priceless. I guess they never knew nerds could party so hearty.
So thanks to everyone and anyone who sent birthday wishes, thought birthday thoughts, nerded it up, and made my birthday the best ever. Things really do get better with age.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Annie Is 6 Months Old

My sweet baby is six months old. It is hard to believe it's been six whole months since she was born, and it's equally hard to believe she hasn't always been a part of our family.

In case you don't see her often enough, here are some things to know about Annie at this age:

  • Still not a cuddler. Annie prefers to be held (though not always by Rachelle), but doesn't like to be snuggled or cuddled closely.
  • Definitely an introvert. When she's happy, she's the quietest happy baby I ever saw. I could count the number of times she has laughed even I were a t-rex, and it's been over a month since the last time. She does have a big cute precious grin that lights up my world, but she is no giggler. Not yet, anyway. I think she's saving it up. Annie watches everything closely, but doesn't seem to want to engage actively. She's probably afraid of being trampled by her brother and sister; she's probably right to be worried.
  • Knows the score. Though she doesn't say much, she tells me with her eyes that she gets everything going on around her. She still likes to hang back with me and appreciate the peaceful moments in life. She is pretty sure that she'll get everything she needs even if she never learns to crawl or even roll over (neither of which seem to interest her at all).
  • Loves her mommy. Loves her daddy more. Her whole being glows when Daddy pops into view. But there are still times when only Mama will be able to calm her. And I love her for that.

Here are some photos of my beloved Annie. Warning: overexposure to cuteness has been known to cause certain grandparent types to request prints from their nearest drugstore.


Dunkin Donuts has finally come to Fort Walton Beach. We braved the super long line to pick us up some donuts, and then headed to the Oak Tree Nature Park to enjoy them. After we indulged, we went for a hike along the trail. Here are some photos of us in action:

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Really Really Long Time

An actual conversation between Stellan and I:

Stellan: [proudly] I just had my third bowl of macaroni and cheese, Mom!
Me: Stellan, that's great. You are so cool. I want to be just like you when I grow up.
Stellan: [rolls eyes] You're already grown up.
Me: Dang it. I guess I've missed my chance to be like you.
Stellan: You can be like me when...when you grow up into a grandma.
Me: Oh, sounds good. When will that be?
Stellan: Not for a really, really, REALLY long time. [Pause.] Like 2 years or something.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

RaRa's Big Week

Rachelle is potty training. Should I even put this information onto the Intertubes? Someday a college admissions officer will find this and roll her eyes. Or maybe she'll be impressed that RaRa is a potty-training champion at only 2 years and 3 months old. (Note to admissions officer: even at this early age, Rachelle is remarkably bright with a keen sense of humor and a selfless nature that defies her developmental age bracket. She has a strong sense of adventure and an innate curiosity that has no doubt transformed her into the perfect candidate for your institution of higher learning in subsequent years.)
Anyway, it's going very well. I won't post photos, but she's having the time of her life running around naked and eating M&Ms as a reward for her accomplishments. Her grandmothers observed that she has a feral quality about her. They are right. She's gone wild, while I've gone a little crazy confined to our house until she's ready to face the wide world as a big no-diapers yes-underpants girl. Here's hoping it's soon; 8 loads of laundry in a week seems like overkill, but I shouldn't complain because, housebound as I am, what else do I have to do?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Annie Eats!

Poor little #3 kid. Most of her major milestones will go undocumented. She is photographically underrepresented compared to her siblings. And she never gets a moment's peace to contemplate these injustices.
However, in honor of her first bite of solid food, I busted out the camera. Here's a still photo of the grand event, and I've included a video also. The video is mostly for the grandparents and other overly interested parties, but also to prove that I was right - I was so sure she was ready for solids that I started her a couple weeks before 6 months (a firm marker for the other two kids). As you can clearly see, she took her first bite as confidently as if she'd been doing it for months. That's my girl!