The 1st Birthday

January 5th, 2014

The first birthday is a huge milestone. Not only for the soon-to-be toddler, but all the parents. At the one year mark, you look back at all that has been accomplished over the past twelve months: surviving on three hours of sleep, mastering diaper changes, and learning the intro songs to early morning PBS shows.

To celebrate Max’s big day, we went with a monster theme. Being born so close to Halloween, it was only fitting. Besides, he’s our little monster who goes bump in the night. From invites, to favors, to decorations, it was all MONSTER.

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Front of Max’s Invitation.

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The Back with Deets.

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Do I Take Themes Too Literally? Yes. The Answer is Yes.

Close Up of the Cake

Close Up of the Cake.

 

I Weep for the Hours These Stole from Me.

I Weep for the Hours These Stole from Me.

Until He Tasted Cake, This Was His Favorite Part of the Fiesta

Until He Tasted Cake, This Was His Favorite Part of the Fiesta.

Not too sure about the smash cake...

Not Too Sure About the Smash Cake…

Definitely Sure About the Smash Cake!

Definitely Sure About the Smash Cake!

Some of the items you won’t see here were toothpicks with googley eyes, monster favor bags with all monster themed items, and a few other miscellaneous decorations (on my Pinterest board here). If you’re wondering, the invites are from Pear Tree Greetings (love their stuff!), the decorations came from Oriental Trading (tons of options) and the treats were hand made (instructions for the cake are here and cookies here).

The best part about the party? All the family and friends who joined us from across the city, state and country to be a part of the special day. So many new memories were added to our growing collection of epic Max moments.

Did we stress? Yes. Did we overdo it on a few things? Of course. Would we do it again? Chyeah.

 

 

Months 4 through 12 Anybody?

November 4th, 2013

So, a funny thing happened on the way to update the blog. Or rather, DIDN’T happen. Between us both working full-time jobs, taking care of a baby, and finding time (what’s that?) to retain a sense of normalcy, we’ve neglected cyberspace. Rather than bore you posts that I backdated in order to look like I had them waiting in my drafts folder the whole time…we’ll pretend I’m doing you a favor by rolling all these fabulous, event-filled months, into one blog.

So here goes:

Month 4 – We have a roller! Max is regularly rolling from front to back, and occasionally from back to front. Those pesky, but adorably chubby baby arms seem to get in the way every time. He loves, loves, loves Sophie, his activity mat, magic blanket and wubba-nub (all covered in a previous post).

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Learning to love the camera as much as it loves him.

Month 5 – Those pesky chubby arms that got in the way of rolling? Pfft. Old news. Max can now roll every which way! He’s full of smiles and quite the charmer. Ladies in his presence swoon. Men bow down in awe. Or something along those lines. The best part about this month? SLEEP! 7.5 hours? Boo-yah. The worst part about this month? EAR INFECTION. A minor cold morphed into a full-blown infection and Max had to take his first round of antibiotics. He took it like a champ and never lost his smile.

Tucson Festival of Books. Putting the "fly" in flyleaf.

Tucson Festival of Books. Putting the “fly” in flyleaf.

Month 6 – Spring is in full bloom and Max is growing like a weed. He experienced his first Easter ever with the grandparents in Sedona. The bunny costume? Beyond cute. At this point we’ve realized Max has the gift of gab. He babbled quite a bit before. However, this month…he wakes up at 4 a.m. to talk to himself. Seems everyone can’t get enough of Max. Even him.

Max pulling off bunny chic better than Peter Cotton-Whosit.

Max pulling off bunny chic better than Peter Cotton-Whosit.

Month 7 – This kid is on the move! I thought crawling was impressive. Yet, in just a few short weeks he is able to sit-up, army crawl and scoot. We also took Max in the pool for the first time ever. He couldn’t get enough. We all love pool time because the buoyancy helps alleviate the strain of hauling around an 18-lb. baby. Max starts to chew on everything he can find: coasters, dog bowls (don’t worry, they were cleaned beforehand) and his parent’s arms. We soon find out why when we see his first tooth emerge!

Total waterbug.

Total waterbug.

Month 8 – Max pulls himself up on everything. He’s tasted the freedom that crawling has given him; he now wants to walk. With his second new tooth popping through, he’s exploring all kinds of foods: puffs, apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes. This month also brings forth another dreaded sickness: Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Otherwise known as “%$@#%$@#  %$@%@$   @%$@%@” disease. With blisters emerging on his limbs and mouth, life is pretty miserable for a solid week. This sickness is brutal and raged like a wildfire through the daycare. 10 out of 12 kids in his class were down for the count.

Max showing you how to keep cool in the desert heat.

Max showing you how to keep cool in the desert heat.

Month 9 – The cute levels at this stage are beyond description. Max claps, babbles, explores, hides, and mimics what he hears. This month also marked his first plane ride, first trip out of state and first trip to the beach! This kid is going places…but only in the safety of our laps.

The puffs as teeth get me every time...

The puffs as teeth get me every time…

Month 10 – Max is super interactive. He loves to clap, dance, wave, wiggle – you name it, he’s on it. His favorite word to use is “Uh-ohhhhh” which is a relief because my sailor mouth could have created a much more dire circumstance. This month we also took a baby sign class to learn key phrases such as, “Milk,” “More,” and “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” Max catches on a like the baby pro he is.

At least half ended up in his belly.

At least half ended up in his belly.

Month 11 – Now that he knows sign language, Max can demand things so much more efficiently. MORE puffs. MORE MILK. MORE MORE MORE. Some of his favorite discoveries this month include the bouncy-ness of rubber balls, the float-aculer appeal of bubbles and the refreshing taste of cucumbers. All the parents from daycare class love Max because he waves and smiles to them as they come and go. Mr. Congeniality.

Twice as cute without food on his face!

Twice as cute without food on his face!

Month 12 – Wait a minute. A near-toddler is in our midst. WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy and most importantly – How?! As we prep for the birthday festivities, Max is cruising around the house pushing objects with him for stability. He loves chicken, cheerios and Megablocks. It’s hard to believe that he’s such a little boy now. G and I regularly fawn over his baby photos and marvel at the changes we’ve been fortunate enough to experience.

Striking a pose.

Striking a pose.

This first year has been amazing. G and I have been growing there right along with him. We’ve learned how to change diapers, survive on mere hours of sleep, multi-task with one-hand, and love wholly and unconditionally.

Thank you, Max.

Max’s Favorite Things

February 28th, 2013

Whiskers on kittens? Not here!

It’s fascinating to watch Max gravitate towards certain objects and toys. The best part is, they entertain him for more than five minutes at a time. Five minutes. You know what I can now do in five minutes? Especially with both hands? It’s a sonic boom of cleanliness in the house when I have a spare moment.

So, without further ado, these are the things Max loves:

1) Vulli Sophie Giraffe Teether: I’ve heard myths about this object. For decades, this has been a baby’s go-to toy. I didn’t believe them when they told me so; especially when I squeaked her the first time for Max. Needless to say, he was nonplussed. It was only around the 3-month mark when he could really start reaching and holding objects that he took to Sophie. Now, he lights up when he sees her. Squeaks when she squeaks. Loves playing with her tiny rubber feet along his tiny rubber gums. He’s in love.

2) WubbaNub: I came across this miracle toy at a local baby boutique here in Tucson. Binkies are noise hole plugs. They are amazing, especially when nothing else seems to work. They also have a tendency to bounce 3,000 feet away to land underneath a neighbor’s couch the next county over. No lie, there is a Max binky at the bottom of the duck pond at our local park. This toy is easy for Max to hold, easy to find, and it stays put when it lands. Max loves this toy so much that if you hold it in front of him, he kicks excitedly and opens his mouth. Worth. Every. Penny.

3) Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym: Perhaps any activity gym would have made Max happy, but we’ve been so pleased with the quality of this toy. There are tons of little surprises sewn into the mat and into each hanging toy. It’s so fun to see Max find a new favorite creature each time he’s playing. There are times when he’s played on the mat for more than 30 minutes at a time. 30 minutes! I bragged about five minutes earlier, do you know what 30 means?!

4) The Magic Blanket: This blanket was a gift to us, so I have no idea where it comes from. However…it’s miraculous. It’s chenille on one side, with super thick chunky chenille-like material on the other. Whenever we have trouble soothing Max or getting him to sleep, this is our secret weapon. He loves to play on it, nuzzle in it, chew it and fall asleep while wrapped in it. If I could, I would make all his clothing and bedding from this material because he loves it so damn much.

5) Mommy and Daddy: That’s right. We’re the coolest toys ever. We squeak at him, soothe him, play with him and nuzzle him. Swiss Army Knife parents: multi-faceted and multi-functional. It’s fascinating to watch him discover and love new toys, but there’s nothing like the smile you get when he’s playing with his absolute favorite toy–you.

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Insta-Sleep with the Magic Blanket.

The Nursery

February 17th, 2013

Originally, we weren’t going to find out the sex of the baby. Only a few months into pregnancy and the secrecy was driving us nuts – we wanted to know. However, we still wanted to keep the room gender neutral. The hardest part about gender neutral rooms is that most of the items available for sale are either brown or yellow – not my favorite choice of colors. We also thought about using gray since that’s the main color throughout most of our house, but we still wanted it to be colorful and fun – it is a baby’s room after all.

We finally settled on a colorful polka-dot theme by Skip Hop. Not to make the room too matchy-matchy, we decided to incorporate a bird theme as well. To do this, we added a tree decal to one of the walls to give the room some pop. Plus, it’s best not to have too many things hanging on the walls, especially above the crib. This easily solves that problem.

Paint was the hardest choice. What we ended up choosing was a light pistachio green. Not too baby-ish, gender neutral, and can grow with him for several years. We thought about blue once we found out the sex, but we had a blue room in our old house and  frankly, were pretty sick of looking at it…

Furniture was an easy choice! We knew we wanted something modern and convertible. The bed we chose converts to a toddler and twin bed later on down the road. The dresser slides apart to reveal a changing table. When he’s older, he can use it as a desk, or just slide it back and use it as a dresser. This particular set is called “Cube” by Baby’s Dream Furniture. There are plenty of cheaper, modern sets out there, but Baby’s Dream doesn’t use particle board and is built right here in the U.S.A. It was worth the extra $100.

 

Max in His Crib 

No, we don’t let him sleep with bumpers or stuffed animals, this is just for show.

Looking into the Nursery

The color of the room looks a little yellow here. I didn’t have time to color correct it. Newborn, remember? To keep with the bird theme, we bought the cutest little LED branch light from IKEA to hang over the changing table. It’s perfect for late night diaper changes.

Corner of the Nursery

Again, looks darker and more yellow than it really is. We accented the room with white and red. Max LOVES staring at the red curtains and the red birds. He’s also mesmerized by the dots in his crib.

If I had to do it all over again I would:

1) Start sooner. Technically, you don’t need the nursery for the first few months. However, trying to paint the room at 7 months preggo was no fun. It’s really hard to manuever… Also, the dresser ended up being on back order for nearly two months. Once the baby is here, it’s harder than ever to pull the room together because you’re so busy taking care of him. I would have started it at 5-6 months pregnant.

2) Not fret so much over everything being perfect. Nesting is at an all time high in the final months of pregnancy and I panicked his room wouldn’t be ready. Of course it wasn’t ready. And that’s ok. All Max really needs the first few months is the be held, fed, and loved.

3) Not listen to input. People love to offer their opinions. You don’t need them. You’re the one who will be spending the most time in that room. Especially at 11 p.m., 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Do the room to your liking. If I didn’t love those birds, I should as hell wouldn’t want to stare at them for hours a day. I like how the room looks and it works perfectly for us.

4) Remember it’s a work in progress. Not all the photos are hung. This is because the best memories are yet to be made and captured.

5) Realize that pee, spit-up, and explosive poo will end up all over the…well, everything. Don’t get too invested in stuff. Babies will combust all over your perfectly matched nursery.

6) Seriously, pee everywhere.