Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy First Birthday Logan!
This is such a special day. It's the day we remember when you made your arrival into the world & joined our family. It's a major celebration! Your first birthday is extra special because we also reflect on what your first year of life has been like & how our life has changed.

It has been an amazing year, that's for sure. The day you were born was the most incredible day for us. While you were making your way out, I was laughing & joking around with the nurses. You were born & I couldn't stop smiling, saying "You're finally here! I can't believe it!" Seeing you for the first time will forever be etched into my memory.

The first months were fascinating, watching you grow & learn so quickly. Your new found smile melted my heart. I laughed when you figured out how to crunch out of your swaddle...little strong man! Seeing you roll around, looking at the world was so much fun. My favorite memories of your early months were the three of us cuddled up in the bed in the morning. With you kicking & waving your arms, making cute little noises & us just laughing & playing with you.

As you got older & it was warmer outside, we enjoyed family adventures around town. We went to the zoo & the aquarium, where you had so much fun watching the animals. We hiked some beautiful trails with you in the Bjorn & back pack. That was a lot of fun taking you outdoors. We went on family vacations & we moved to our new town across the state. Through all of these new experiences, you were such a trooper. You enjoyed the fun times & stayed pretty calm during the hard times. I was so proud of you.

The last months of your first year have been a blast. You are a perfect sleeper, always easy to get down for a nap & bed time is not really a challenge at all. We think you like to sleep as much as us. Which is a lot. Meal times are so much fun too. You love almost everything & try to sneak food to Buddha whenever I turn my head. You let me brush your teeth without complaints & do a great job by yourself already! You really are an easy baby. I am such a lucky Mom.

You are so, so cute. From day one, we always talked about how our boy was the cutest baby out there. Of course, we're biased, but it's true. Everyone we meet just adores you. From your smile & your secret "baby language" that you often whisper, to your excitement about everything you do.

You are incredibly sweet. You are so happy when we get you get of your crib when you wake up. It's so fun how you raise your arms for us to pick you up. Throughout the day as you are busily playing, you often stop to run over & give me a hug & a baby kiss, which is an open mouth on my knee. When Dad comes home from work, you are so happy, running up to him with your arms stretched out so he can scoop you up to give you a hug. It's the best feeling in the world when you want to cuddle with us. It's a morning routine to cuddle on the couch together watching your favorite morning cartoons. You are a very loving baby.

You are very smart. You learned how to call Kitty & Buddha over at a very young age. You were just a few months old! Your Dad & I were amazed that you knew how to do this. You love to read books, even by yourself. You figured out how to play with all of your toys, puzzles too. We think you're a little genius.

You are like a little tornado of energy & very strong. You've always been like that, even before you were born. I used to joke about how you were my little Olympic soccer player or martial artist, doing karate kicks on my ribs. I also used to kid that it must have been the creatine protein shakes that I drank before knowing you were gong to be a part of our family. Since your birth, you've learned how to crunch, roll down a flight of stairs, crawl at lightning speed & walked very early. You run more than walk now. You actually run around in circles. All day long. It's very entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, you are a funny little guy, always making us laugh. You "sing" as loud as you can when you're in your car seat. You also try to scream louder than the vacuum cleaner & chase after me while I'm cleaning the carpets. You love to tease Buddha by playing peek-a-boo with him, trying to get him to howl his special peek-a-boo bark. You know what makes me laugh to the point of tears & you do it over & over & over to keep me in stitches. Our days are filled with smiles, giggles & big belly laughs.

As you can see, you've learned so much in your twelve months of life so far. But, what's amazing is what you've taught us. Your parents have learned some very important things about life since your arrival & making us a family. You've taught us about patience & that sometimes Moms need time-outs too. Having a clean house isn't as much of a priority compared to singing songs & reading books. If Dad's working late, it's OK to stay up past your bedtime so he can kiss you goodnight. You've taught us that having a big expensive house & the material things that life has to offer are nothing in comparison to spending quality time as a family. Really, you've helped us learn what being a family is all about. It's all about love.

We've given up many things to have the special family that we have. We don't regret a single sacrifice that we've made. The love we all share is so much more valuable. I never knew that I would have the opportunity to love so much. My love for you is beyond words. I will never be able to explain how much you mean to me. It's impossible. I never knew that I would love your Dad more now than I ever did, either. While we may not be the richest family in terms of money, we are certainly a very wealthy family in terms of love & happiness.

Happy birthday Little Man! The next year is going to be fun & exciting. I can't wait to see what toddlerhood has in store for you.

With all of the love in the Universe for you,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Birthday Celebration Check List
  • Cake recipe made from scratch: Check
  • Cup cake recipe with icing made from scratch: Check
  • Alternative place for playgroup party: Check
  • First Birthday Letter: Half check (Bill will write his letter tonight)
  • First Year Montage: Check
  • Overwhelming feeling that it's been a whole year & Logan is a toddler: CHECK

Monday, January 29, 2007

I thought about it.
After I took the time to create a super secret "invitation only" password protected blog, got a new email address for it & began to move posts & pictures over; I changed my mind.

To be frank, I'm freakin' attached to this one. I like the people that I've met. While I applaud those who manage to keep two blogs up & going, that's not my gig. Time management is not my strong point now that I'm a stay at home mom. It used to be, but my life has changed. It's hard enough trying to keep this blog without it interfering in Logan's wake hours & when Bill comes home from work.

So, I'm staying put until I get death threats. Then I might change my mind again.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ready for another ride?
You know how I always talk about our life being like a roller coaster? Well, it's so true. It's crazy. The good thing is that we're climbing up right now. Bill called to tell me that after working at this new gym for only a month, he's being promoted to Sales Manager. He will be salaried, plus bonuses & benefits.

You want to know why this is such a crazy ride? Because yesterday (& the day before) I was crying about how me needing to go back to work was becoming more of a reality. I finally got to the point where I could think, "OK, I have to do this for our family", then we get this news. Yeah, I'm not crying anymore. Well, maybe for joy & relief, but that's different.

Let the party begin!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jumping ship
There's been quite a commotion going on in the blogging community. A lot of people are abandoning their pubic blogs to go to a safer, invitation only place on the internet. I had questioned myself about this way back when Logan was a newborn. I thought long & hard about posting pictures of him & our family for everyone to see. I don't regret how I've done things & Bill has supported me 100% I've always tried to play it safe. But you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your family.

There are stalkers out there. There are people who don't have anything better to do with their lives & spew hateful comments about other people & the choices they make. It hits a little close to home. I was surprised when I had anonymous comments calling me names because of things that were happing in our family. I didn't think much of it at the time other than, "Wow. Kind of crazy that someone feels so 'moved' to make that kind of comment about my life". Now I see what it can turn into. It's no longer a matter of what can happen in the blogging world, but what does happen.

One thing is for sure, I can't just give up blogging. Now way, Jose. I've found a lot of great friends out there. I've been able to look back at our life & cherish wonderful memories that I would've forgotten because my mind is like a sieve. I have something very special to share with Logan when he's older. This is an opportunity for my out-of-state family to keep up with our life & see us grow. I have a place to vent my feelings about life & express my opinions about parenthood. Blogging is a part of my life & it's been an awesome "hobby".

I'm not making any rash decisions right now, but I'm seriously considering making some changes. I may end up deleting this blog & creating two new ones. One that is invitation only for friends & family that follows the same kind of format that I've been doing on here. The other one will be completely anonymous, where I can rant & rave about life & following more of an essay format (crap, that means I'll really have to write & be more aware of my terrible grammar & punctuation mistakes). I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with two blogs at the same time. I know some people do it, but I wonder if I can.

If we decide to go through with those changes, it will be after Logan's birthday. It seems like an appropriate time for change & a pretty cool grand finale. There's still some time to think about it, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Far & few between
The posts this week may be far & few between. I'm working on getting Logan's First Birthday together. His one year letter, accompanied by another sentimental montage (of course) are taking up quite a bit of time...& Kleenex. I didn't think I would cry. I was wrong. After trying to type his letter & reviewing the last montages that I made throughout the year, I'm having a hard time even seeing the computer screen. I'm glad I'm giving myself a week to work on it.

We're going to spend some of our fee time doing some birthday present shopping, then I have to figure out how to decorate his cake. I found a healthy recipe & Bill tells me that I should decorate it like a rocket ship. I'm also going to make cupcakes for his birthday party. Which I still haven't decided where to go.

We were going to have all of the kids from the playgroup come over (about 10 kids or so). I was thinking about just having a relaxed party, more along the lines of "playgroup with cupcakes & balloons". However, nobody has been able to host playgroup at their homes because of the stupid snow. The huge snow drifts make it so nobody has any parking. We've been meeting up at the mall for the past month. Our house is included in the snow drift snow-in. Now I have to do a little bit of thinking here.

So, I'll try to post when something interesting happens, otherwise, I've got my hands full for the next week.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

First hair cut!
We've been talking about getting Logan in for a hair cut for weeks. We finally decided that this weekend before his birthday was the best time to do it.

We went to a kids hair salon that had been recommended by some of the other moms that I know. It was a cute place with video games for older kids to play, toys (conveinently displayed & marketed) & a play area with a wooden train set. It was a good thing that there was plenty of entertainment for Logan because we waited for 30 minutes before getting him back.

While we waited, I chatted up another mom waiting for her 5 year old to finish up. Bill took Logan walking around the salon, showing him the trucks & stuffed dogs in hand bags (for the girls, but he really loves dogs). Then we hung out by the train set. Logan really liked that.

Finally, we were called back for our appointment. We were asked to pick out a video to distract Logan. Lucky for us, they had Little Einsteins. The stylist got him buckled in a fire truck chair & got him ready.

Logan was great! He didn't fuss, but he sure did squirm. He watched the video for about five seconds, so I had to distract him with his books that I brought. That worked like a charm. You show this kid a book & he's all over it.

He wasn't afraid of the clippers or the small group of people that gathered around watching him get his first cut. It was kind of funny, actually. People were asking how old he was, if this was his first cut & telling us how cute & well behaved he is.

After he was finished, the stylist took his picture & a clipping of his hair & put them in a keepsake card for us. I loved it, it was great. I just looked at Logan in amazement because he looked so much older. It was like he aged a few years in just a few minutes.

Before (He's so cute in a smock)

During ( I love how he's checking it out)

After (caught by surprise)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dad & his son
Logan absolutely loves his Dad. Every morning I get up earlier than Bill when Logan wakes up, ready to start his day. When Bill finally wakes up & decides to join the land of the living, Logan is so excited. He smiles so big & he is so happy to see his Dad.

It's very special to watch them play together. Bill teaches Logan how to play with his wooden puzzles, they wrestle & Bill plays "upside down baby" with him. The other night, Bill taught Logan how to tickle his feet. So now if he's hanging out on the couch, Logan will run up & tickle Bill's toes. It's adorable.

The most heart warming part of our day is when Bill comes home from work. If we're playing in the living room & Bill walks through the door, I say "Look! Daddy's Home!" Logan smiles his biggest smile & runs up to Bill with his arms up. He hugs his knees, then Bill scoops him up to give him a big hug & a kiss. It's the most wonderful display of affection.

Last night Bill & I were talking about how cute it is that Logan loves him so much. It means so much to him that he shares a special bond with his son. It's something that he never had as a son & wants to create that special relationship with Logan.

We talked about how this wouldn't have happened if we never moved & stayed in our new house. Bill would've been at work all of the time & missed out on creating that bond with Logan. "You know, it's worth it. Even if the house goes into foreclosure. If you're on your death bed, it's not like you look back & wish you had a better credit score." I said.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's story time
A while back, I let the cat out of the bag that our family turmoil with the in-laws sent us into marriage counseling. This, by far, was the best thing to have happened to us in such a crappy situation. I cannot even begin to describe how much better our relationship is now compared to three or four months ago. We've really been working hard & trying our best for our family. It's awesome.

I still want to keep that part of our relationship private & sacred. However, I would like to share some reading that our therapist gave us yesterday. It hits the nail on the head & it really gets at some of the truth of the situation. So sit back, grab a cup of joe & I hope this is useful to anyone else in similar situations.

The book is "The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work", by John M. Gottman, PH.D. Pages 189 -193 are "Relations With In-Laws". Establishing a sense of "we-ness" or solidarity, between husband & wife.
Although mother-in-law jokes told by men are a traditional staple of comedy routines, the real family tension is more frequently between the wife and her mother-in-law. Invariably the differences between the two women's opinions, personalities, and life views become evident the more time they spend together. A decision to go out to dinner can create dissension over such minutiae as where to eat, when to eat, what to eat, how much to spend, who gets the check, and so on. Then, of course, there are the deeper issues of values, jobs, where to live, how to live, how to pray, and whom to vote for.

Although such conflicts usually surface quite early in a marriage, in-law difficulties can be triggered or revived at many other times, such as when children are born or pass major milestones in their development, and again as the parents age and become increasingly dependent on the couple.

At the core of the tension is a turf battle between the two women for the husband's love. The wife is watching to see whether her husband backs her or his mother. She is wondering, "Which family are you really in?" Often the mother is asking the same question. The man, for his part, just wishes the two women could get along better. He loves them both and does not want to have to choose. The whole idea is ridiculous to him. After all, he has loyalty to each, and he must honor and respect both. Unfortunately, this attitude often throws him into the role of peacemaker or mediator, which invariably makes the situation worse.

Solution The only way out of this dilemma is for the husband to side with his wife against his mother. Although this may sound harsh, remember that one of the basic tasks of a marriage is to establish a sense of "we-ness" between husband and wife. So the husband must let this mother know that his wife does indeed come first. His house is his and his wife's house, not his mother's. He is a husband first, then a son. This is not a pleasant position to take. His mother's feelings may be hurt. But eventually she will probably adjust to the reality that her son's family unit, where he is the husband, takes precedence to him over all others. It is absolutely critical for the marriage that the husband be firm about this, even if he feels unfairly put upon and even if his mother cannot accept the new reality.

This is not to suggest that a man do anything that he feels demeans and dishonors his parents or goes against his basic values. He should not compromise who he is. But he has to stand with his wife and not in the middle. He and his wife need to establish their own family rituals, values, and lifestyle and insist that his mother (and father) respect them.

The rest of the chapter goes onto give two real life examples of couples living with these dilemmas & the choices they made to create that "we-ness" in their marriage.

I was moved to tears after reading this chapter. This was us! This is what's going on! There's a solution!! Now the hard part is for Bill to have that conversation with his family.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

50 weeks old
The weekly count is starting to sound ridiculous. 50 weeks? Really???

The developments that have been happening are all very amusing. Logan is still a great sleeper & back down to two naps a day again. The funny part about his sleeping is listening to him play in his crib, talking (screaming) to himself & throwing all of his stuffed animals out. I usually wake up with a grin every morning listening to him play while I try to get an extra 15 minutes of sleep (this really never happens).

Meal times are changing a bit. His appetite is not as big as it used to be. I did some reading on toddler nutrition & evidently, this change is very normal. He's not really a picky eater, he eats a little less & he just likes to throw his food all over. His favorite is feeding the animals. When I'm sitting next to him eating my lunch or whatever, Logan tries to sneak Buddha some food. I stop mid-bite & give him "The Look". He looks at me with a straight face & shakes his head "no". It takes everything I have to be serious, because this is just way too funny. Logan clearly knows that he's not supposed to feed the dog. Last night while he finished his dinner, I left the room for a second. The next thing I know, I hear him laughing & giggling. I peer around the corner to see what was so funny. There he is, holding his empty bowl out while Kitty is sitting on the chair next to him. She would lick the left over sweet potato & chicken & he would just get so excited.

Play time is where developments are progressing the most. He still loves to read his books & now, when he wants me to read to him, he walks over & brings a book with him. We sit & read together, with him "reading" aloud along with me. He's figuring out how to put his wooden puzzles together. Bill's actually been working with him a lot on this. Bill will hold the puzzle piece over the spot where it fits & Logan will take his hand & push it down. He also knows the hand gestures to songs that I sing to him. This was a cute surprise this week. I was singing the "popcorn" song to him while I was changing his diaper. He got this huge smile on his face & started doing the "popcorn" hand gestures. I think I screamed, "Oh my God! Look at you! You're so smart!"

He started so say "Dada" this week. Although, he's still really stubborn about repeating words. He speaks when he wants to, which is infrequent.

He's still running (yes, running) around the house like a crazy person, doing laps back& forth & all around the living room. He tries to climb over boxes (we have an empty pampers box for him to play with) & loves to crawl & climb all over the couch. He figured out how to get behind the couch where I keep the really annoying toys (out of sight, out of mind...not so much anymore).

He knows where my belly button is. He's still learning that he has one too & so does Dad, but he knows exactly where mine is. It used to be cute, now it's kind of irritating. If I'm on the floor with him climbing on me, he instantly pulls my shirt up & sticks his finger in my belly button. "Yes, that's my belly button. Where's your's? OK, stop pinching & slapping my fat", is usually how the conversation goes.

Logan knows how to play with Buddha too. I'm still trying to get this on tape. Taking pictures or filming any kind of event is becoming increasingly difficult. The minute Logan sees a camera of any sort, he stops what he's doing & lunges for the shiny silver thing in Moms hand. I still try though, because I have to get this on tape. It's the funniest thing ever. Logan will hold Buddha's stuffed mouse & shake it back & forth right on, not in, Buddha's face. He laughing hard & so excited knowing that at any minute, Buddha is going to run around to play.

Play group is more fun every week as well. Logan is becoming more confidant being on his own exploring & running around with the other kids (thank GOD!). Yesterday we met some of the MOMS Clubbers at the mall play area. Logan ran around, crawled with some other kids, attempted to drink strangers coffee that they (stupidly) left on the ground, watched & tried to help another mom change her newborns' diaper & he even was brave enough to try to run out & escape the play area. I actually had to go running after him to bring him back. I think we're on the tail end of the separation anxiety phase. I'm so excited about this because now I can start putting him in the gym daycare while I go workout & not have to worry about him having a total melt down.

Next month we're going to add more activities to our schedule. We'll have our regular playgroup, then the in-laws want to pay for music playgroup (once a week for nine weeks) for his birthday. A lot of Logan's friends are starting gymnastics too. We get a great discount & it will be a fun way for him to burn off some energy, play with his friends & learn some new physical skills (like balancing, swinging, etc.). I want to keep us busy during the winter months so we're not inside glued to cartoons. While it's cute that he has favorite cartoons (Blues Clues is a new one) we're watching way too much TV. It started to get excessive when we were sick & snowed in, now it's just a habit. One that I'm breaking right now.

I'm starting to contemplate weaning Logan from breast feeding. I have mixed feeling about this though. We made it to our (my) goal of a year. I'm ready to have my body back. I'm ready to start working out like I used to. I'm really open to extended breast feeding, but I know if I start doing the things that I want to do, I will totally dry up. He's nursing three times a day. I cut out his mid afternoon snack nursing time to increase the volume for his dinner nursing time. I don't think it will be too difficult to start decreasing some of the other times. It's just a thought right now, I'm not sure if I'm ready to follow through yet.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kids meals
We rarely go out to eat as a family, but when we do, Logan is able to eat meals from the kids menu. Earlier last week we grabbed some lunch before running around town doing our thing. We ate at a sandwich shop that we've never been to. I thought it would be a great, healthy place to eat. The kids menu offered four different sandwiches. PB & J (not an option for Logan yet), turkey, grilled cheese or cheese pizza. Along with a sandwich, the meal came with our choice of chocolate milk, juice or soda. My thought about healthy eating was squashed when seeing the options, & even more so when our sandwiches were ready.

I ordered a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with apple juice for Logan. Juice is a special treat for him, as water is our drink of choice at home. There's just way too much sugar in there for it to be a regular part of his diet. I was OK with this since it's occasional. When I unwrapped his sandwich I just rolled my eyes. It was just a slice of deli meat & two slices of bread. That's it. No veggies. Again, I thought "Whatever" because he eats really well at home.

When people develop kids menus, do they ever stop to think about nutritional values? Does anyone in the food industry have even basic nutritional education, or are they primarily operating off of business degrees?

I know it's the parents responsibility to make healthy food choices for our children. However, it would be nice if there were healthy choices to make! It seems like every where we go, I have to order side items & make a healthy meal from that rather than order the crapola options from the kids menu. It's kind of sad, really. These are our kids we're feeding here!

I'm glad that we eat out once a month or so. Making less than healthy choices at that rate is not a big deal. And then, the choices we make (even if I have to construct them from side items) aren't that bad at all. I just wish that people who develop kids menus put a little more thought into the health of our kids & provide more opportunities for healthier living.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Making the best of freezing temperatures
So yeah. It's been cold here. Not just cold, but COLD. Like the high is zero degrees. That cold. It's so cold that nobody is leaving their houses unless they have to. Good idea. I had to go to an appointment on Friday & got stuck in a two foot snow drift coming out of the driveway. Bill was not a happy camper having to dig me out when it was freakin' cold out.

Logan & I stayed in today while Bill ventured out to run some errands for us. It was good that we did stay in because Bills comment before leaving..."You know when it's so cold out, your boogers freeze? That's how it feels". I had to laugh. It made me think about the movie Dumb & Dumber. Logan has a bit of a runny nose & is teething pretty bad. His top right tooth erupted, his top left is on it's way out & the one next to that is swollen. I had to give him Tylenol this morning. I'm pretty conservative on the medications, so I know he's hurting when I break that stuff out. With him being in pain & the possibility of runny boogers freezing; it was a pajama day.

Bill came home with everything we needed, including hot chocolate. We're going to get the fire place going tonight, drink some delicious hot chocolate & try to stay warm.

***It's the last day of National Delurking week. If you haven't commented yet, you should!***

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Such a fun day today!
Today was supposed to be just a regular old day at home. The moms from MOMS Club were going to meet up at an indoor bounce house for some play time. We weren't going to go because Bill is slammed at the gym with everyone signing up for their New Year's resolutions & he can't make it home for lunch to trade off the car.

One of the moms offered to pick us up so we could go. That was awesome. We had such a good time. Logan was a little freaked out at first, clinging onto me for dear life, but once he warmed up he was all over the place. He crawled around & we chased each other. He laughed & giggled. He played peek-a-boo with other moms & ran around with other kids. We all had a blast.

Logan took a little nap when we got home. He totally wore himself out. It wasn't a very long one though & when he woke up, it was like he just had a cup of coffee. He had his frog rattle in his mouth, running back & forth in the living room, shaking his head (like he sees Buddha doing when he plays with his dog toys), screaming & laughing. I was laughing so hard. It was even more hysterical because my laughing just made Logan laugh & run around harder.
We had more fun during Logan's snack time. As he was eating cheese, crackers & veggies, I put my glasses on him. He thinks it's amusing to look like a little genius. I think it's just plain funny. And cute.
Man, Logan just cracks me up.

***Day four of National Delurking Week. If you're hiding out in Utah, Nevada, Oregon or Colorado, come out & leave a comment. I know your there...I see you in the stats!***

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

49 weeks old
We're getting close to the end of weekly updates! Then it will be month-by-month developments. Crazy!

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. The biggest development is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but much worse. Logan is grinding his teeth. His two top teeth are still coming in, just as slow as the first two. But they have finally cut. The other day I heard this sound that stopped me in my tracks. "What is that?", I said with a twisted face like I'm getting tortured. "Oh my God! He's grinding his teeth! Ahhh! Stop grinding your teeth! How do you make a baby stop grinding their teeth!?" Bill just laughed & laughed. "I don't know". So, that's what I'm going to look into today & see if it's just a phase (which I'm sure it is) & if there's anything I need to look out for (like pieces of baby teeth laying around).

Other than that, he's still a champion eater & just started learning how to use a spoon this morning. It's going to take some time to get the hand-eye coordination down, but he completely understands that he's supposed to put food on it & eat from it.

He's now not just walking, but running. He tries to run so fast that he trips & does a face plant on the floor. Usually he's just so excited that the forehead to tile contact doesn't phase him. He does have a few red marks on the noggin though.

Since he's mastered his walking skills, he's finished with his "other skills" strike. For a while he refused to shake his head "no" & wave bye-bye. Skills that he learned some time ago, but I guess it was old news & walking was cooler. Now he's back to being like a little circus monkey, showing off all of his tricks.

He's getting better at fitting blocks into the shape sorter (through the correct shape slot) & is beginning to recognize pictures in his books. He is very fond of cats & dogs, but especially cats (or kitties, really). He smiles & has a high pitched squeal that sounds just like the one I make when I'm petting & playing with our cat. He's been trying to point to the picture of the cats in his book.

He loves, loves, loves, to throw all of his toys & binkies over the baby gate in the kitchen. We've even been playing "baby tennis" the last two days. He throws his toy over, I throw it back. He runs off to go grab it & throws it back over. This is usually going on while I'm unloading the dishwasher or cooking him a meal & he's "stuck" on the other side of the gate in the living room. It's way too cute.

Logan is also very loving. He's been so cuddly & frequently stops playing to run over to me & give me a hug & a kiss. It's the cutest thing ever. I love it! He's been giving hugs to Bill too (which he didn't used to do very often).

His vocabulary is getting there. He still babbles all day long & sings in the car, but he's definitely saying "Mamamama" & repeats it when asked if he can say "Mommy". We've been hearing "shhhh" a couple of times as well. It looks like language took a back seat to physical skills. I'm not surprised.

Logan has also been having a great time with the other kids in MOMS Club. We went to a meeting yesterday morning. While the moms were talking about various upcoming projects, Logan was being fed goldfish crackers by another little girl. She was sitting on a chair next to her mom & was giving Logan crackers. He would take them, shoving them all into his mouth. She then tried to hand feed him a few more. He was content to hang out over there with them while they were still able to share crackers. Once Logan was finished hogging all of her snacks, he promptly came walking back over to me, gave me a hug, then off to read a book. Without a doubt, he's having fun.

The next couple of weeks are going to be fun & busy planning Logan's birthday party. It's going to be a big day with lots of people & lots of things to do.

***Day three of National Delurking Week. Leave a note to say what your kids are up to & what first birthday's were like!***

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For science nerds everywhere!
I've often talked about that I am in fact, a science nerd. My choices in literature are quite boring to the non-science nerd person. I like to read about facts. I like to learn something new if I have the time to read the book that's in my hand. I absolutely can not stand to read fiction, with the exception of a few Stephen King, Michael Crichton & the Harry Potter series (why, I don't know).

Bill does not share the same taste in literature. Although, he mostly likes non-fiction as well. He's more into autobiographies & memoirs. I can read these if they're interesting enough. He's become much more of a reader since Logan's birth (because we're at home a hell of a lot more?) & is constantly picking up new books from the library. There have been a few of his choices that have caught my attention, like all of Chuck Klosterman's books, "The Dirt", Motley Crew's memoirs & "Kitchen Confidential" by Chef Anthony Bourdain. There is one book that he picked up this weekend that took me by surprise. It's not something he would read, but something that totally fits my science nerd interest.

I found it, not knowing he got it. I've never heard of it either. I read the back of the book & then the inside covers. My jaw dropped. "What on Gods green Earth made him pick this up?", I thought to myself. It was "A Short History of Nearly Everything", by Bill Bryson. I asked him about it & he said that it was recommended by a lot of people. "This so doesn't seem like something you would read. I might have to read it with you. It reminds me of Dave C." I said.

Dave was a personal training client of mine when we lived in Portland. He was a martial artist that had trained with Monks in Tibet & all over Asia & was an extremely smart guy. We got together because he needed to strengthen his core & work on neuromuscular retraining for his back.

We hit it off in our first conversation before he started training. He was excited to get started because we had the same sense of humor & he was really impressed with my background in biophysics & my personal training techniques. We quickly became great friends.

In our sessions we would talk about nerdy science stuff. I felt like he was one of the only people on Earth that "got me" when it came to this. He was the only person that I could have conversations about quantum physics with (yes, I am that much of a nerd that I had long deep conversations about quantum physics). Bill & I don't have conversations like this because I would bore him to death. Dave & I would often work out together outside of sessions (lucky him, it was like getting free sessions) & go out for beers after work while I waited for Bill to get off. Together, we even developed training techniques that were specific to martial arts. It was pretty cool.

When Bill got his promotion that moved us out to Colorado, Dave was on vacation in China, then in New York. We moved so fast, that I never saw him again. It's sad. He was a great guy. Bill & I often wonder what he's up to now.

So, in memory of Dave, this is a book that I'm going to read. I have some extra time on my hands & would rather read about particle physics than clean the bathroom.

***It's also day 2 of National Delurking Week. If there are other science nerds reading, say Hi!***

Monday, January 08, 2007

National Delurking Week
There's really nothing new to write about today. Thanks to everyone's comments about their kiddos sleeping patterns, I'm over the fact that Logan has inherited our "sleepy genes", besides that, I really think it's his learning how to run (no joke...he was running last night) that's wearing him out. I'm taking advantage of the extra blogging time right now!

Because there's nothing new to write, I'm jumping on the National Delurking Week bandwagon. I would love to know who's reading about our crazy life. I would also love to know who the anonymous commenters are that seem to come out during our times of family drama. I promise that I'm not going to send you any hate mail. Really, cross my fingers & hope to die...I promise. I just have a sinking suspicion that I've been found by the in-laws.

So, drop me a line & say hi. It would be cool to know who's out there, how you found me & it would keep me busy by checking out other blogs (you know, now that I have all of this extra free time on my hands). And hey! Even if you comment all of the time & we obsessively check each other's blogs, say hi anyway :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

My little Rip Van Winkle
I guess I shouldn't be worried about this, as most parents fight to actually get their kids to sleep; but I'm wondering if Logan sleeps too much.

I'm thinking this sleeping marathon started as he was walking, so I always justified his three naps a day as wearing himself out. He sleeps through the night just fine, going to bed at 8 pm & waking up between 7 & 8 am. He needs a morning nap at 10 am & an afternoon nap at 1 or 2 pm. For a couple of weeks now, he's been taking a third nap at 5 or 6 pm. All of the naps last about an hour to two. All in all, I think he's getting a total of 15 hours of sleep (which now that I've done some research, is all normal. 12 month olds need about 14 hours of sleep a day).

I feel like a neurotic first time mom being concerned about this. Bill laughs & reminds me of our family sleeping motto: "If you're tired...sleep!" Logan really is tired at these times & I'm not just putting him down because that's the schedule. I wait until he gets fussy or yawning & rubbing his eyes. It's gotten to the point where Logan lays his head in my lap & closes his eyes. Today he took a pillow from the couch to lay down on it. Those are signals that can't get clearer than that. The kid is exhausted.

I guess the concern comes in because I hear about other kids his age dropping their morning naps & taking a long after lunch nap. I suppose if I stopped comparing his sleeping pattern to other kids, then it wouldn't be a problem. I would enjoy the three or four hours a day that I get to myself & maybe get an extra nap in as well. OK, I'm going to do just that. Lord knows I need some more sleep myself.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Not my favorite season
I hate winter. Really, I do. Granted, it can be beautiful with tree branches dusted in snow & how the snow sparkles like glitter in the sun, but I still hate it. It's cold. Being cold is so uncomfortable. We don't do any winter sports so we're stuck inside, sitting & putting around the house. Boring!

This morning Logan & I were supposed to meet some other moms at the mall & let our kids run around in the play area. It snowed last night & this morning creating an ice rink on the streets. Bill almost rear ended someone on the way home from work & suggested that we stay home. I've driven in the snow once. I think that was last Friday. I did OK, but slid around a bit. I do not want to risk getting into a car accident because I'm not a competent winter driver just to get out & about.

So, I hate winter. I'm counting the days until spring when I feel like I'm not risking our lives on the streets & we can run around at the park, take walks, go on family hikes & camping trips. We can play out in the back yard feeding birds & squirrels. We can take naps in the hammock that we got for Christmas. I can wear one layer of clothing rather than three. Seriously. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The evolution from a couple to a family
This is something that I've been wanting to write about for a long time. I've put it off, thinking that I needed more life experience (even if it was a matter of months). Now I feel like we are just getting the hang of the transition & I'm a little more qualified to put in my two cents.

I never imagined how challenging it was to start a relationship as a couple & magically morph into a happy family. It's a complex concept. It's not just the couple, or unit that makes a transformation, but each individual is changing in that same moment.

Change is hard. It's something that we usually fight & resist because we aren't comfortable with something new & different. We like our safe, predictable lifestyles & responsibilities. We tend to cling on to familiarity. When there's a shake-up, even if it's a planned shake-up, it's still change. It's something that we don't control. It's still uncomfortable, even in it's most amazing miracles of life.

I've said it before & I'll say it again: Becoming a parent helps you to become a better person. You see your faults as they are. You learn about your strengths. You become motivated to make life more enjoyable now that there's a little person here who's going to live it right there with you. These are good changes. Great, in fact. But it still doesn't make it easy.

As individuals in a relationship change, even for the better, the relationship itself changes. You are essentially becoming two different people who shift the relationship to accommodate that evolution. This to me, is one of the most uncomfortable changes that happen. What you once knew, is no more. It's something different. It's foreign. It takes some getting used to. Maybe for us, we didn't even know it to begin with & we are now just learning what it's all about.

Today I realized how painful & difficult this evolution is. However, it dawned on me that nothing good in life comes easy. The most wonderful things in life take blood, sweat & tears to obtain. It takes heavy digging in the trenches, the real hard work. I got a surge of joy & excitement knowing that right now, at this moment, we are facing those challenges head on. The end result is going to be beautiful.

We started our evolution almost two years ago with a positive pregnancy test. The first nine months were lifestyle changes. After Logan's birth, we got to a deeper level. There were personal changes. It seems that the next phase is the continuation of those personal changes but now moving to a depth that's at the core. The heart & soul of our family.

I was totally unprepared for the types of changes our family would go through. I nievely thought that it would be just a lifestyle change. I thought we would go out less, stay home more, understand that there would be different & added responsibilities. There would be more life stress knowing that we have a son to take care of, making sure he has everything he needs. The pressure to not screw up is intense.

I knew that our marriage would be different. I knew we wouldn't have the "fun" that we used to have, going to concerts regularly, spending money frivolously, wasting time like it was nothing.

I did not anticipate the personal changes we would go through. The better people we would try to become. I did not know how those changes would create a deeper respect & love in our relationship. I did not know that we would have to learn about our new selves, our new marriage & our new family.

It's hard work. It's challenging. But it's worth it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Silent Film Festival
I've been able to film Logan doing some of his many cute skills. Again, the quality is kind of crappy & the audio still doesn't work (I think we just need a new camera). But, regardless....Enjoy!

Monday, January 01, 2007

11 months

Logan's last weeks of babyhood are quickly passing by. Soon he'll be a full fledged toddler. Wow. It seems as though he's already there this week. He's learned so many new things in these last few days.

He's still a wonderful sleeper (back to three naps again, sometimes two very long ones). He's still a great eater, even with his third tooth coming through (top left). He's now walking almost all of the time. He only crawls when he wants to get somewhere fast & even then, he's trying to run before resorting to crawling. When we've been running errands & shopping, if Logan gets antsy, all I have to do is hold his hand & walk with him around the store. He LOVES it. He smiles his biggest smile for everyone to see.

At home, we've been reading our books, but now Logan doesn't want to be read to. He would rather do the reading & page turning himself. He actually gets a little angry if I try to read to him. He kicks his legs, screaming & frantically turns the page as if to say, "I can do this myself!" He only enjoys my reading of quiet bed time stories.

We play with puzzles, learning about shapes & colors. I've really been more conscious of his sponge-like state of learning & try to explain everything. I felt like I was slacking & just living day to day without making it a new experience for him. As exhausting as it is, it's so much more fun. I can see the spark in Logan's eyes as he begins to understand a new concept.

Little Einsteins, his favorite morning cartoon, has taught him something extremely cute. When they get ready to take off in their rocket, they pat their legs. Logan pats along with them. After they gain enough patting power, they raise their arms as high as they can & say "Blast Off!". Logan raises his arms too. Whenever we say "blast off", he reaches up. Bill gets quite a kick out of this & is constantly saying "blast off" to Logan all day long.

Logan & I have been having fun teasing Buddha this week. Buddha is a very good alert dog. Not quite a guard dog, but he barks if someone knocks at the door or rings the doorbell. So, Logan & I knock on the door to get him riled up. Buddha barks up a storm while Logan grins. Buddha does this when we play peek-a-boo too. He has a specific peek-a-boo howl that he makes. It's rather strange, but very funny. Whenever Logan & I play peek-a-boo, I take my hands away from my face & he quickly looks over at Buddha to see him howl. Logan has even stood next to Buddha & played by himself, taking one hand away from his mouth. It looks like he's blowing a kiss, but he's trying to get Buddha to howl.

He's even learned to make little Indian sounds. It's so cute because he'll use the back of his hand or his fist rather than his fingers. He likes to do this all of the time.

These next few weeks of new skills are going to be exciting. Logan is quick to learn. He's keeping me on my toes, that's for sure!