Our Noble Pursuits

Living the good life. And writing about it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

11 Months!

We are knock knock knocking on the door of 1 year with Annie.  Tuesday she turned 11 months old.  As always, this month has been full of new developments and changes for her as she grows into a big girl.  I don’t know where my little baby has gone, but it gets more apparent each day that she has left the building and this sweet, smart, funny, precious little girl is replacing her.

I believe you call this striking a pose.  Oh boy.

Here are a few of Annie’s new tricks…

Walking: This is the big one, right?  I had a friend tell me I can stop qualifying this because most parents start to tell people their child is a walker after he/she takes a few steps – even when they are the wobbly, get-me-from-here-to-there-before-I-fall-down type of steps, but I can’t help it.  I’m a qualifier.  Annie is not walking well or even predictably, but each day she takes a handful of steps unassisted and without holding on to anything for support.  And she loves it.  I’m not sure how long we have before she is motoring all over the place on two feet, but I have a feeling it won’t be long.

Standing alone:  A couple of weeks before she started taking steps, Annie started standing on her own, without holding on to furniture or us for support.  The first time she did it, we were at our friends’ house playing in their fabulous baby/kid pool.  Now she stands alone pretty often, but we still make a big deal out of it so she is still really impressed with herself when she does it.

“Uh oh”:  Annie continues to add sounds and noises to her “vocabulary,” and she has added an honest-to-goodness word too.  I never thought any word could sound so cute, but this kid has got me with her new habit of saying “uh oh.”  Her little mouth draws up really small on the “oh” part and her inflection is precious.  And she says it at appropriate times – sometimes I think she throws something off the highchair or changing table just so she can say it.

The picture doesn't match the text - just wanted to share some pictures from our trip to our friends' pool.
Hugs:  Over the course of an afternoon, my mom taught Annie how to give hugs.  Now you can hand her a stuffed animal or doll and request that she “hug the bunny” and she will bring it up close to her face and squeeze it, smiling all the while.  She will do it to us too, if the mood strikes her.  Often, her preferred method of showing affection is to put her head in our laps, but every once in a while we will get an actual hug around the neck.

Using her push toys:  Annie fully understands the concept of push toys now – or really, walking behind anything that will move with her.  Toy boxes, toys, laundry baskets – if it is sturdy enough to hold her weight, yet light enough to be push-able, she will move it all over the floor.

Climbing:  Fortunately, Annie hasn’t yet attempted to climb out of her crib (and hopefully, thanks to her trusty sleep sack, she won’t try), but she has done a little climbing on other perhaps less dangerous objects.  Namely, my mom’s hearth, which is one step off the ground.  Oh, and there was the time she climbed up on to her dinosaur push toy.  That may have been a little dangerous, but she did it like a pro and didn’t act the least bit nervous (unlike her mama!).

I think this has been the biggest month for Annie’s personality development.  And one of the ways her little personality is coming out is through cuddling.  Which I am loving.  Once she got past the initial newborn phase Annie sort of stopped being cuddly.  She would rather be moving around than be held almost any time.  And although she is still very active and doesn’t sit still long, she does have more and more moments where she just wants to be snuggled.  And we are, of course, happy to oblige!  I can't believe the next one of these update posts I do will be for Annie's first birthday.  How time flies when you have no idea what you are doing...and are having fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things I'm Loving Right Now (Part 2)

I'm been making mental lists again.  Lists of things that I really like about my life right now.  I hate to sound like a broken record or a Pollyanna, but we've really been blessed up in this Noble house and I'm sort of rolling around in that right now.  So I thought maybe a repeat performance of Things I'm Loving Right Now might just be in order...

Story Time with Annie
When Annie was new, reading books was sort of lost on her.  When we instituted a bedtime routine around here I originally wanted a bedtime story to be a part of it.  I didn't really take into account the fact that newborns aren't so much in to bedtime stories.  So we set the idea aside for a while.  And now, although she still doesn't have the attention span for, say, War and Peace, we can sometimes get through a few pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear before she rips the book out of our hands and inadvertently (or not...) smacks us with it.
Reading with Daddy.

Morning Talks with My Mom
As any of you who know me very well probably already know, my mom and I are very close.  Like talk at least once a day kind of close.  It used to be that, in the old, pre-baby days, that I would talk to my mom every day on my way home from work.  Sort of a check in and see how life is treating us sort of phone call...that sometimes turned into her counseling me about something or the two of us solving the world's problems in nine minutes.  After Annie came along, that time frame just didn't work so well.  So now we have developed the habit of a morning conversation each day after I drop Annie off at daycare and while I drive to work by way of the McDonald's drive-thru for the best Diet Coke on God's green earth.  That provides sufficient time for our check in chats.  I miss these talks on the rare occasions that we can't have them.  And I think my mom likes the daily updates on her granddaughter's latest display of cuteness and superior intelligence.

David and His Goals
If there is one thing I know about this husband of mine it is that he is motivated by a goal.  And his latest goal involves a diet transformation - like not just a lose some weight sort of thing, but a lifestyle change.  Together, we decided a few weeks ago to become "Paleo" around here - a diet that involves lots of protein, few carbs, and little to no processed foods.  I failed miserably.  Repeatedly.  But he has embraced it like he was made for it.  And I am so proud to see him get determined, get motivated, get focused, and really show a goal who is boss.  One time when he got this way he ended up here, at the Columbus Marathon...

Columbus Marathon, October 2009
...so who knows where this might take us (or at least, him, since I'm sort of a Paleo Drop Out).

Getting Back in Running Shape
While the above picture sort of makes it look like I ran the marathon with David, I really only ran half of it...and then the last 0.2 miles with him as support.  I used to kind of be a runner.  Or at least I was starting to think of myself that way.  And I am finally coming back around to that.  I have made a commitment to myself to run 3-4 days each week, with my sights set on another half-marathon in October.  I really want Annie to see her parents being active, and being active is important to me personally.  So here's to lacing up those running shoes at 5:30 a.m. and hitting the pavement!

Watching Annie's Personality Take Shape
Okay, so here's the thing...our kid is funny.  Like laugh out loud funny.  And lately she has started to show us that she knows we think she's funny.  She makes funny faces and does things she knows will make us laugh.  And I love it!  More and more, we get glimpses of what she's going to be like as she grows, and it is so fun to watch her develop her own sense of humor, likes and dislikes, and personality traits.  It really does keep getting better and better.

I think this is her "uh oh" face - her new favorite word.  Who wouldn't love this baby?
And just for fun, here are a few more pictures of what Annie's been up to these days.  Have a great week!

Bathing beauty.  Oh, except for the fact that she didn't understand why she shouldn't crawl out of the pool.

This kid loves that dinosaur push toy.  Seriously.  She makes a bee line for it when she comes in the door.

Post-peek-a-boo hair.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I feel like I should have something profound to say today, on this, my first Mother's Day as a mama.  But words kind of fail me.  This blog is generally about what being Annie's mom means to me, but I'm not really sure how to put into words what today means.  I know the meaning of this day and what I feel toward my own mother is more intense than it has been before.  There's something about becoming a mother that makes you finally realize how much you must mean to your own mom.  I have found myself, many times over the past ten and a half months thinking, "My mom felt this way about me when I was a baby...My mom feels this way about me now."  It really has put the relationship I have with my mom in an even greater light for me, this being a mom myself thing.  And I am so proud of the woman who raised me.  So proud of the grandmother she is to my daughter.  So grateful for the countless ways she has encouraged me, uplifted me, and flat out helped me get the job done as I've begun this journey as Annie's mom.  Without her, I would be lost.  That much is true.  Thank you, Mom.  I love you.

And then, of course, today has been about what it means to me to be a mama.  There are countless ways motherhood has changed me - or at least countless things it has made me see or develop in myself.  I used to worry that I would do something wrong with Annie - that I would mess something up.  But today I just focus on how very much I love her.  I know I won't mess that up.

 This morning, before church.
And although I feel like I should have something big and profound to say today, I find myself thinking over and over of someone else's words.  I keep thinking of the lyrics to one of the songs I've worked into Annie's bedtime routine.  A song that isn't traditionally a lullaby, but one that I heard a few weeks ago and could only think of my baby girl.  A song that says exactly what I feel motherhood is about right now.  And one that made me cry as I sang it again for my sweet girl tonight.

"Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan)

When the rain is blowin' in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong.

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawlin' down the avenue
No, there's nothin' that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love.

Though storms are raging on the rollin' sea
And on the highway of regrets
Though winds of change are throwing wild and free
You ain't seen nothin' like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love. 
Nothing like a little Dylan to express how you feel, eh?  And if you haven't heard Adele's version of this, you must.  Listen here. Do it now (well when you finish reading this).  And yeah, that whole bit about holding her for a million years and knowing from the moment that we met where she belonged...tears every single time.
Nothing else in my life has been as monumental as having Annie...as being her mama.  I am blessed beyond words.  Happy Mothers Day everyone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Weekend In Review

Annie was sick pretty much all last week, but was back to normal on Friday.  This resulted in all of us being ready for some fun this past weekend!  Here is our weekend in pictures…

Friday, baby girl spent the whole day with Daddy, as David is now working four 10-hour days at work and has most Fridays off.  They shopped and played and met Mama for lunch, which was certainly the highlight of my day.

Back to her smiley self again.
Friday evening we ventured across the street to our friends’ house to enjoy a little conversation and relaxation.  Annie loved playing with her friend (their son), Sebastian’s, toys.  The big hit?  A little car she could ride on.
"Watch me go!"
As most of you know, particularly those of you in Kentucky, Saturday was the Kentucky Derby.  Annie went to not one, but two Derby parties and even let us put a hat on her – for about 4 seconds.  You have to be quick the camera/I-Phone around this girl!


 Sunday, I took Annie to the playground at her daycare, which is right around the corner.  She LOVED the swing.  Every time we go, she gets progressively more enthusiastic about her swing experience.

After a busy weekend, I think Annie was glad to get back to daycare yesterday. So it's back to the grind for us as we look forward to another fun, busy weekend coming up, including Annie's baby dedication at church, a visit from Nana and Papa, a dinner with my family, and Mothers' Day.  We better rest up!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

10 Months!

I almost refuse to believe another month has passed already.  My baby girl can’t be 10 months old already, can she?  Why is this so hard for me to wrap my mind around?  Obviously, time is going to pass and she is going to grow up, but it seems to be happening so fast!  I look at her these days and can’t believe how quickly she has gone from looking like a little baby to looking like a child.  This month has been all about her independence.  And Mama and Daddy spend a lot more time keeping tabs on her than we used to!

Some new developments this month include:
* Crawling EVERYWHERE!  If you remember from last month’s post, Annie took her first official moves forward on her hands and knees on her 9-month birthday.  After that, it took her about 3 or 4 days to go from virtually immobile to able to go wherever she chooses.  She’s all over the place.  And she’s quick too!

* Annie has completely mastered pulling up to standing and cruising around furniture.  In fact, bath time is nothing but standing up and sitting down.  She has also gotten over her initial hesitancy about getting from a standing position to a sitting position.  She used to sort of freak out when she was standing up playing and wanted to sit back down.  She was afraid to fall.  Now she actually propels herself down as quickly as possible, landing on her Pampered bottom with a thud.  It’s a game to her now…thank goodness!

* High fives and blowing kisses – The blown kisses come much less frequently, but the high fives are in abundance.  If you come into contact with Annie and she raises her hand up in your direction, she wants you to give her a high five…and she will hold her hand right there until you relent and give her one.  Just sayin’, be prepared.  She is quite proud of herself and loves to show off this skill.

* Clapping hands – For whatever reason, this milestone is the one that made me cry.  All of them make me a little teary, the crawling, the sitting up again after lying down, the standing up in her crib…because they mean she’s getting older.  But the one that got me just because, well, I don’t know why, was the clapping.  Perhaps it was how it happened.  The night before taxes were due (yes, we know, we know…procrastinate much?), when David (bless his heart) finally finished them and pressed “submit” or whatever button it is on Turbotax that releases you from the burden of having not done your taxes, he cheered.  It having been a particular stressful year where tax-submission is concerned, I cheered too.  Next thing you know, baby girl gives us a big smile, a laugh, and a hardy hand clapping session to show she was celebrating too.  Cutest.  Thing.  Ever.

* Annie loves to share with us now.  She hands us toys so we can play with her.  She feeds us pieces of whatever she is eating.  And she thinks it is hilarious to stick her pacifier in our mouths.  I love to see this sharing spirit.  And, although I know it’s a developmental thing and doesn’t necessarily indicate anything about her character or personality, I like to think it actually does show that she will be a generous soul.  Could be, right?

Just in case you are wondering, no, we still don’t have any teeth yet.  We have drool.  Lots and lots of drool.  We have constant chewing.  We wear bibs and get rashes on our chin because of all the liquid coming out of our mouth.  But we don’t have any teeth to show for it.  But we also don’t have any extra inexplicable fussiness yet either, so that’s something to be thankful for.

As always, I am still amazed by how much I love this baby.  I remember the first moment I looked at her and that feeling of awe that I had that she was ours and that we made her.  I think I thought that feeling would sort of dull with time, but you know what?  It totally hasn’t.  If anything, it has gotten more intense.  Because now I look at this precious sweet girl with her head full of blonde hair and wearing her “big girl” pjs and I am even more amazed that this time last year she was being made inside me.  What a miracle.  What a gift.