Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fiona | 9 months part 2

I took a few photos of Fee the other day to capture her spunky nine month self. Nine months is easier in some ways than newborns or three months: she is learning what the camera is & will smile pretty easily when coaxed. Being more mobile though, she kept trying to crawl over to me to get the camera. I had to be quick! The beauty of taking her photos myself allowed me to take as long as I needed & at her prime-between naps, after a snack. And there was lots of downtime between photos. I'm really happy with how they turned out!

 I thought maybe giving her some beads would keep her in one spot. It did, but they were in her mouth the whole time! I'll have to find another strategy.

 We took advantage of a lull in the rain we've been living with for the past weeks to get outside. She definitely cooperated better for the outdoor photos. The lighting was much easier as well.

 And her blue eyes...oh my! They make my mother heart patter! I can just imagine her one beautiful life lived vibrantly when I see these blue wondering eyes. And it makes my heart ache just a little for all the hurts & challenges I know lie ahead for her too. And how I won't (and shouldn't!) be able to protect her from all of them.

 The little booties are courtesy of Aunt Wendy & have been worn daily since they arrived in the mail. My older sisters still spoil me, albeit via my daughter!
 Chubby cheeks, luscious eyelashes, sticky-outy ears, awkward tufts of hair. She is simply perfect in my eyes.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Fiona | 9 months

6 weeks
9 months

(!!! How does this ^ happen?) 

Hello, nine months. You are pretty fun. 
You're so curious. And a little bit daring. Edges are starting to intrigue you. You crawl like a champ-not very speedy, but you get where you want to go by a steady plod. The uncles have been pushing you to walk. I think you will walk only when you want to though. Most of the time you are pretty even-keeled, but you can be stubborn when you want to be. You don't like being fed & prefer to feed yourself whatever we are eating. Baby food is for babies & you think you aren't one anymore. Food is an adventure you thoroughly enjoy. I'm hopehopehoping it stays that way!!
Everything still gets put to the taste test. Some of your favorite foods are sausage! Bacon! And applesauce. You've stained more than one white shirt with orange cutie juice. (Who knew it stained!?) I've even been sneaking in a little dairy here & there. No huge reaction!
Sleeping's been a lesson in unpredictability & learning to roll with the punches. Sometimes it's a 3-nap day, sometimes it's a 1-nap day. Frequently you decide 3 am is a good time to complain about your sleeping arrangements. I've gotten pretty good at turning off the monitor & rolling over. (Bad mom!) What keeps me sane is your habit of sleeping in til 9. It makes the 11:00 bedtime doable. One of my favorite parts of the day is hearing you wake up in your crib & talk to yourself. I sneak in & just watch you chatter & pull on your bear's nose sometimes, in awe that you are mine.
You're getting a little snugglier (to daddy's delight!) & like to follow me around the house. Going bye-bye is your favorite. You are quick to wave & head towards the door if you hear those words! Cousin Livy is your buddy & so are most other littles. A little too much sometimes--you can be a little aggressive with your affection! Daddy's got the scratches to prove it.
You've really started to come alive this month: you "cheese" for the camera & are starting to think you're kinda funny.
**Also, fun fact. You've been wearing these onesies for 5 months. They are 3 month size. You weigh 14# 14 ounces. Your friend, who was born a few months ago, weighs 13# 9 ounces.  Though she be but little, she is fierce. 
And teeth! Here are your top two, in all their gappy-chiclet-y glory. They make you look so adorably goofy. Dad worries about the gap: I love it. It's just you. 
We love you so. And while this month brought some of the hardest days for me so far, it also brought the best. Being a mother is so so strangely distressing & wonderful all at the same time. There are days I want to quit. But that would mean no little you in my life & that, my dear Fee, would be so sad. And so I will keep getting up at 3 am to make sure you're ok. And I will let you smear your snotty nose on my. And wipe your sticky cutie fingers on my freshly laundered white sweater. And I will carry you in your heavy cumbersome carrier through the drizzling rain a hundred times a day to run a hundred mundane errands & listen to you complain all the while about being warm, & dry, & cozy. And I will sacrifice my meal times to chop up the chicken into the tiniest little bits you can feed yourself that I will spend the next four days stepping on barefoot on the kitchen floor.
You, little love of mine, have showed me how selfish I can be, & how pure God's love for me really is. And you've looked cute while doing it. I can't wait to see what the next month has in store!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

San Diego...with baby

We recently had the opportunity to go to San Diego. Dar & I were both anticipating a relaxing, sunny, warm getaway. A nice respite from the Oregon winter that has settled on the Valley with a vengeance. The weather was spectacular. The scenery everything we imagined.Relaxing? Not so much. Sigh. We are still such new parents. I mean, why on earth would we have thought Fee would enjoy being carted around, missing naps, snacks, & her familiar surroundings?!  
 I'm not sure how to say it without sounding like ungrateful & joyless. But the reality of our "relaxing getaway" was a full night of crying inconsolably, evenings where we settled for fast food, a little girl who hated sand & anything that didn't involve being held in her parents' arms. I kept telling myself, "We are in San Diego. I need to be enjoying this." As I was bleary-eyed & trying not to think a nap on our fast food food joint sounded more appealing than a stroll through Balboa Park. Am I glad we went? Absolutely. Was it a nice little getaway ala newlywed? Absolutely not. And when I look at this sweet girl with her (usually) sparkly eyes & the wonder of discovery in every breath, it is okay that my expectations for fun & relaxing were completely bombshelled. Because I love her dearly.
She did seem to enjoy Sea World. It was a lot of fun to see her show interest in the shows & aquariums. That was a foretaste of future vacations, I think. They aren't for the parents, that's for sure!

 A little Southern California sunset. Enjoyed briefly while Fee slept in our vehicle (we stayed close enough to watch her!).
 Our fist beach experience was wildly disappointing for Fee. She disliked her feet in the sand & the sun in her eyes. Poor little Oregon girl! We enjoyed watching the surfers & basking in the sun.

 My favorite beach: Coronado. Also, forgive me for a little sappy trip down memory lane: it was Dar & I's first date after we got engaged. Life doesn't look quite the same as it did then. There was no charming picnic basket with gourmet goodies, a quiet romantic leisurely dinner (what are leisurely dinners again?), & a trip off Coronado where I drove (!!). Here we were again, on Coronado, with a baby. Despite the frustration, lack of quality time to connect with my man, & constant thoughts of "Sleep!", I wouldn't go back to that first romantic date. Not if it meant a life without Fee or all the little storms we've already weathered! Shucks, I'm glad to be where I am.

 And the real reason we came back:

They aren't the littles I nannied. Noah is almost as tall as me now. Sophie has long surpassed me. Just for fun, here's a photo from November 2012, when I first moved to California. Same spot on the driveway, two of the same kids. 12 inches taller. It makes me a little weepy when I think how time flies. 
Someday, I won't remember the awful 3 am at our hotel in San Diego on that one trip we went on when Fee was a baby. I will just remember how glad I was that we took advantage of the opportunity to go. That we were there for Sophie. And that those first years of parenting were just so sweet...right? ;P.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

coloring & other little things | part 2

While my sister Shara was here with her family we took a little overnight trip to Newport. Four children, four takes a lot of stuff for just one night. 

It was worth the effort though. Seeing the kids enjoy the beach, the bay, & crabbing eased the torture it was to pack & drive three (crying, whining, hungry) children for two hours. The men & the fourth child went salmon fishing while we girls & Finn strolled the bayfront. Shara gives me inspiration to not panic at the thought of more kids. She's a pro at bringing snacks, toys, distractions, & doling out discipline. Lovingly, of course. 

After the men were done fishing, we went to the beach to enjoy some patchy sun & explore tide pools. Nye Beach is a kid-friendly beach, with a ramp leading all the way down to the sand. The tide pools are full of sea anemones, baby crabs, & mussels to explore. There's driftwood to climb on, & of course, sand to muck in.

The kids weren't ready to leave when we were. It feels like yesterday I was the one splashing in the water. Splashing in 60 degree Pacific Ocean water. Only a child would enjoy that. It's only a matter of time until Fee is there.
For now, she's still just our little bug. She looooved her cousins.
This was the view from our hotel room. We had an absolutely gorgeous evening & enjoyed some local seafood on our patio as the sun set over the Newport bridge.
We wanted to take the kids crabbing the next day. As life often does, we had as miserable a day as the prior day was lovely. But they still had fun watching the crab pots get pulled in. Deira was all about eating them right there.

We went home with just enough for everyone to have one. Which was enough. And we spent the remainder of their stay in Oregon coloring, fishing in the little pond, eating lots of snacks, etc.

And then they went home:(. But they'll be back, they assure me. We might have to go to Newport again: a third time means it's a tradition, right? A tradition I can totally live with!