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 Debut

December 27th, 2012

Around mid-October, I was getting the unmistakable pregnancy waddle. Sleeping was increasingly uncomfortable, swelling caused my feet to look like balloons and my hands to ache from carpal tunnel symptoms, and anything on the floor, well, it just stayed there or was kicked out of sight. I expected to continue this trend well into November since this was my first pregnancy and I was certain Max would show up a week past his due date of October 25.

However, being a type A personality, I figured I could push things up a bit.

I was right.

Apparently, a night of hot wings and a long morning walk did the trick. By Sunday evening, I was feeling contractions. I wasn’t sure if they were the real thing or Braxton Hicks. By ten p.m. I could no longer sleep and was Googling “Should I go into work with contractions?” I started timing them. They were definitely getting stronger and were pacing at 5 minutes apart.

Then, the big moment. My water broke. 11:30 p.m. “Expletive. Expletive. Expletive. Expletive.”

I ran to wake up Graeme, “Um, we need to go to the hospital.” Our bags were packed, the diaper bag was ready, the birth plan and insurance papers were firmly in hand. We scrambled to the car.

Game face.

We arrived at the hospital a little past midnight and were the only two patients in the maternity ward. Not one to pass up opportunity, I quickly asked, “Can we have the biggest room?”

As they checked us in, I could really feel the contractions. It was getting harder to concentrate and I needed to focus on my breathing. Luckily, Graeme was right there to help me and keep things moving. We were going to meet our little boy soon!

That’s when things took a turn for the worse. The nurses noticed my blood pressure was going up. It was stellar all through pregnancy and I certainly felt fine, but their charts indicated otherwise. Apparently, I was developing symptoms of preeclampsia during labor. That happens? This was not in my birth plan.

Then, Max decided to speed up the whole delivery process. I dilated from 2 to 5 centimeters in less than an hour. Soon after that, I was at 7. The contractions were big now. So big, that when one would happen, Max’s heart rate would drop. WHAT?!

The nurses would quickly rush in, checking monitors, flipping me on my side, putting new bags of fluids in my IV, and telling me to focus on breathing from an oxygen mask. Max’s heart rate was pacing at 140 most of the time. Then 100. Then 80. Then…40.

40. Those moments felt like an eternity. Time slowed with his heart rate.

This wasn’t working. Max was stressed. Any labor progress I made was quickly diminishing. The million people (hyperbole!) staring down at me in the room suggested I take the leap.

C-Section.

After 7 hours of controlled, yet panicked labor and at the advice of the surrounding doctors and medical professionals, I agreed to take the leap. My dreams of bouncing on a labor ball and getting massages flew out the window hours ago anyway. It was time to get serious. My birth plan was toilet paper.

It’s amazing how quickly a medical team can prep you for surgery. Within minutes I was in the OR. I was frightened. I had never had surgery before. Ever. 3 minutes is not enough time to mentally prepare for this sort of thing. Luckily, I had an amazing husband and medical team by my side. Graeme held my hand. The doctors talked me through everything. And then…

Max.

I couldn’t see him, but I could hear his cry. They quickly brought him around the sheet to show me. I bawled.

That moment.

The moment you meet your destiny.

You experience past, present, and future all in one tiny, but significant moment.

Screw the dreams of a perfect labor, what really mattered was my perfect baby.

Maxwell Winter Hunt, born October 22, 2012 at 10:33 a.m. at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

 

Love him!

 

Maxwell or Chun Li?

August 27th, 2012

Max has a tendency to really rev up his kicking abilities late in the evening. The constant barrage of lightning kicks to my side is reminiscent of my favorite Street Fighter character, Chun Li. Just so everyone is in the loop on what it feels like, here you go:

 

Vampire with a Sweet Tooth

August 12th, 2012

The dreaded glucose test. I heard about this from other soon-to-be mothers. The drink is horrible, makes you nauseous, and gives you a headache the rest of the day. Needless to say, I wasn’t eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take this test.

As the 5-month mark approached, I knew it was only a matter of time before it was my turn to experience the wrath of the phlebotomist (read: vampire) and their quest for vein domination (read: sweet, sweet blood nectar). The funny thing is, I was more afraid of being hungry than having my blood drawn. My doctor assured me I didn’t need to fast, but would have to eat a healthy breakfast so as not to skew the results. The idea of being 5-months pregnant and going 12+ hours without food sounds like the premise for a horror film. My entire neighborhood was relieved to know I could eat beforehand. Whole wheat toast for the win!

Upon arriving at the vampire’s lair, they provided me with a small bottle of orange liquid. GLUCOSE. I assessed my enemy, twisted off the cap, and glugged. And glugged.  And -would this 12 ounce drink ever end? – glugged. Between you, me, and the entire Internet, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. But this…this…concoction, would make hummingbirds tremble from its sweetness.

After I willed my way through the last 2 ounces, I was instructed to wait an hour and not to drink too much water before they drew blood for results. Being two minutes from home, I thought, “Awesome! I’ll get chores done.” By the way, I don’t know at what age I matured to the point where I thought chores seemed like a cool alternative to anything else. Pity me. So I headed home and decided to be old.

I was only home for about 15 minutes when it hit. There I am, watering the garden and BAM! Colors – so bright. Noises – so loud. Everything – so intense. I’m pretty sure I can fly at this point. Then I remembered I resemble more of a penguin with my rounded shape and pathetic waddle. And we all know, penguins can’t fly.

Around the time I was contemplating my flight path, the nausea and shakiness set in. This much sugar at once? No bueno. I started to feel queasy and regretted leaving the doctor’s office. Would I be able to drive back? I’m such a foolish, high, penguin! So, I went inside to rest and wait out the remaining 30 minutes watching VH1 Classic (I’m old, remember?).

Luckily, the queasiness started to subside and it was soon time to go back for the blood draw. Unlike the first appointment where they tested my blood for everything (vampire buffet), they only needed two vials (vampire appetizer).  I’m in and out of the office in less than ten minutes. Aside from the wide-eyed, highly alert appearance, and the delusions of flying grandeur, I was perfectly fine.

All in all, the glucose test wasn’t terrible. I was pretty cranky throughout the day and had a slight headache. Mostly just irritable. Wait…kind of like being pregnant.

So the lesson in all of this is: sugar’s a hell of a drug.

I passed the test.