Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hey, it's me, Trale Lewous

Not many are so bold as to demand a special blog post dedicated just to them. Leave it to Uncle Kevin to make such a request. Luckily, he proved himself worthy.
Exhibit A. You'd swear Jake & Kevin were besties from way back. Aside from Kevin's need for 'relief', these two were basically inseparable. Any peep Jake made from his swing, or any time he woke from a nap, Kevin was right there to comfort him in any way he could.

They even spent time having serious discussions:
I'd say Godfather/Uncle (Guncle) Kevin was pretty impressed with his nephew. After all, he had to admire Jake from afar:

And, we're positive Jake loved meeting his guncle because Jake had some pretty important milestones, if you will, while Kevin was here. We have a chain hanging down from our attic opening upstairs, and while we were all standing around getting Jake ready for his bath, he looks up & reaches for the chain. We all stopped and stared at each other. It was the smallest, most amazing thing!
Jake also was responding to his name continuously. I was upstairs changing Jake's diaper and talking with him when Kevin walks in. He stays out of the line of sight, but says "Jake Liam" and Jake searched for where it came from. It would seem that he was just responding to the new, deep voice, but Gary and I were having conversations on and off during that time and Jake didn't waiver from me. Plus, he didn't respond the same as when Kevin said his name. He was more deliberate in finding where his name came from, as opposed to finding that voice he loves. It was incredible.

Uncle Kevin was able to make Jake laugh in ways we surely never thought of! But, I guess that's an occupational hazard as parents! We have a need to stare at his beauty and Kevin wants to see what Jake can really do ;) Just, please, wait til he's older to start "the helicopter" and wrestling. Seriously. Please.

Oh, and something that solidifies every relationship.... Kevin and Jake shared a WMD.....gas

Kevin, even though you're one of the smelliest people I know, it was really great to have you out here. Our door is always open. Jake really loves you, and so do we!

We are not an incestuous bunch....Swearsies

I must begin this post with a picture:
So, I'm thinking that some of the weird looks we got from the senior crowd (Madre...why did we always end up 'out' during the early bird dinner??) were because, other than our proximity to one another, it'd be quite difficult to tell where brothers ended & the procreation partner began.

Now that that's out of the way....

We had one great visit from the fam. We visited my mom's favorite restaurant evah, Cracker Barrel, & received less than stellar service, but I'm pretty sure she forgives. She loves the Barrel, tried and true. Just like being the Dodger fan she is...you stick with 'em, no matter how disappointing.

For Gary and myself, it was really great to see my 'tough-guy' brothers showing nothing but love to our love bug:

And then, there's my madre. She'd clothesline me, without a second thought, to get to her first grandchild:
I guess there could be worse traits in a grandma :)

We're so grateful everyone took the time and effort to make the trip out here to see us <3 We went out a couple times, no extravagant outings, but it was awesome to have everyone here. I loved making breakfast for hungry boys in the morning, and watching Brian Regan & Daniel Tosh dvd's at night. Not to mention, Keeping Up with the Kardashians...ya know, high brow television.

It was hard to part, but a simple trip to Shoney's, following a walk around Opryland (that cost $19.67 in parking for each car we took!!) and and attempt to park at Opry Mills, was the setting for our 'see ya later's'. We did go our separate ways before any tears flowed (ahem....grams), and managed to get some great pics:
All in all, a success!!

Jake's First Christmas!!

Jake's first Christmas was one to remember! Not only did he love seeing the flashing lights & music of many of his Christmas gifts, but he got to spend it with the love of his Grammy & uncles, and the long distance love of his Gramps! But, Gramps is proving to be of the persuasive type. Here, he's trying to sway our little man:
Hey, let's allow him to form his own opinions! ;)

It was nice to have a house-full of family on Christmas morning! I made monkey bread while my mom took Uncle Kevin to the airport. Ahh, the responsibilities of the college wrestler! Waiting for my mom to return from the airport resulted in a happening fit for Ripley's...for the first time since I've been alive, the gifts remained intact past the tender time of 5am! At least the rest of us were distracted by the 417th showing of 'A Christmas Story'.

My mom was gracious enough to take the bull by the horns and get Christmas dinner going. I was way too distracted with the wonder that is our little man's first Christmas. I would have just assumed order a pizza... while staring at Jake of course! But, I suppose seeing my mom in our kitchen could have resulted in worse photo ops:
Since I'll be turning the big 2-5 in a few weeks, am married, & have a child, I tell my mom that I feel like I should be going over stock options, & complaining about social security or something. I feel like I should feel older. But I don't. Instead, this is how I feel on the inside:I feel so blessed to have such great people surround my little family. Gary, Jake, & I have been looking forward to our first Christmas as a threesome since I found out I was pregnant. But, this Christmas was so much more than I could have hoped for. I can't believe that I took a picture in front of Jake's first Christmas tree.
(I wish I could have found a tree topper I loved, but none of the stores around here had one that dazzled me. I want a keepsake that will be around for as long as Jake can remember; something that means something to all of us. Suggestions? I didn't want to order online but it seems that's what I'll end up doing. But, I digress...)

It's all so surreal, but this is the best reality I could ever imagine:
And, at the end of one great day, the boy and I were spent

Kev, this one's for you


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jake & his many talents!

Jake has grown by leaps & bounds just about every day. He loves to smile & give kisses. He REALLY loves sleep. Things we get to see on the daily basis. But, I'd have to say that my favorite aspect of our days together are our times in bed. There's always an hour a day we go upstairs, I lay him on the bed & I lay next to him, & we lay there and talk. He's learned to roll himself on his side, so he'll roll to the side I'm on, start talking like crazy, & keep that constant smile on his face. It's such an amazing time. Those are the times I'll be telling him about when he's older.

It gets even better when Daddy gets home. We all lay together & Jake mimics Gary's facial expressions. When we put our mouth into a we're-about-to-whistle form and say "OOOOO", he looks at our lips & does the same. Gary & I are just tickled to pieces! He amazes us every day.

Something he JUST did that ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS makes me smile, gives me that "mom pride" is when he laughs in his sleep. Right now, he's swinging away & he just let out a laugh & smiled.

I'm sure there's a million things I'm forgetting, but, for now, all I need to remember is that he is happy, & that's what makes his mama & daddy happy. And, the cherry on top...Gary will be home in about an hour & I get to love on both my men. They make my whole life.

Sleeping Through the Night

On the days I am too tired to put one foot in front of the other, I pray for one full night's rest. My eyes are heavy, & all I want to do is nap all. day. long., but there's something that always creeps into the back of my mind. I know that when his sleeping through the night is more of the rule than the exception I'll miss those times in the wee hours where we spend time in the quiet glow of a Roseanne marathon on Nick at Nite. Jake only wakes once a night, but that 1:30 am feeding is a favorite of mine. He'll fuss, or coo, to let me know he's hungry & when I go into his room to pick him up I gently place my hand on his belly so as to not startle him. The best part is, he's generally facing away from me, but, once he feels my touch, he turns toward me, looks up, & gets a huge smile and lets out a soft, now-I'm-so-comfortable-because-mama-is-here sigh. It brings tears to my eyes now to think about, but, in that moment, I'm too touched to do anything but paste a goofy smile across my face.

It's amazing what he's done for our life. Just a few short weeks ago, I was sleeping 9-10 hours a night, slapping Cocoa Butter with Shea on the belly, & wondering what kind of little babe I was baking. Now, there's this little man swinging a few feet away from me that brings such happiness in the smallest of ways. Watching Jake play with his daddy, or those forehead wrinkles he gets when he's really studying something, or the smiles he gets when he sits up on the couch by himself just turn us into blubbering puddles on the floor.

Gary & I were always incredibly aware of how blessed we are to have found each other, to have a life together. But, now, we're almost in awe of each other. We look at this beautiful little boy that we created, that has such an amazing demeanor, & we talk about the ways to make his life as best it can be. We vow to always show him unconditional love, to help him realize his greatness, to help him know that happiness has everything to do with how you feel & with whom you surround yourself. We want him to grow up to be the person who will defend his actions, fight for his happiness, & to turn the other cheek when appropriate. Life is too short to not make the most of every single day. & that's what we hope to teach him. We will help him to grow into the good, upstanding individual he already is. We're going to help him make the most of his days. Life is too short to not spend every single second as happy as you can be.

So, I guess when the time comes for our little man to get rid of that 1:30am feeding, it'll be time to realize he's well on his way to all those things we hope for him. He's a really great little boy that already makes us so proud. My husband makes me so proud. I am so proud of our family.

I thank God every day that I'm able to wake up happy. That I have incredible people surrounding me. That the man that I love most in the world helped me to create the most amazing little boy. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Immunizations, be damned

Jake had his first shots this week, and I've decided shots are an instrument of torture. My poor child had to get THREE shots, 2 in his left thigh 1 in his right, & an oral one that actually went just fine.

We left there with a laundry list of tips & tricks to make his first-shot-experience as comfy as possible. He needed thigh massages, to have his legs "bicycled" during diaper changes, Tylenol through a dropper, & a warm bath. It seems that things went quite well; he didn't develop a fever & no knots in his legs. Success!

Before we were "allowed" to leave, we were supposed to hang out for 15 minutes to make sure Jake didn't have a bad reaction. While we waited, Jake was the talk of just about everyone who passed by! Smiles from men & women alike confirmed our child is a looker. See, I'm not biased...

Although, the doctor we saw this time treated Jake & me like she didn't want to be murdered in her place of employment & we were so thankful for that, there are still a few things that bewilder me. Why do people tell you about your child? The nurse proceeded to tell me what color Jake's hair is, why he was crying, & what would make him happy. I assured the know-it-all nurse that his hair only has a red tint in certain light, that it's actually a brown shade, that he only cries at the hospital because too much is going on for him, & that once we left his appointment he would be just fine. Smiles & cooing would resume. She, in turn, decided to assure ME that his hair IS red, that he was crying because he didn't enjoy being undressed--hey, he's my child, he DOES NOT mind being in his birthday suit, & that he'll be happy once he's not around strangers anymore. FAIL. Oh, and because I was talking to him in a soothing tone while he was being weighed/measured, the nurse gives me the stink-eye & says "I can tell you're a first time mother" Why? Because I want to comfort my child? I apologize, but I will comfort my child no matter who's around. Just because I don't rip your head off & am agreeable doesn't mean I'm naive. It just means I want to make things go smoothly. Promise, & kisses...

Ok, so I'm learning that because I'm young people ASSume that I know nothing about caring for my child. As infuriating as it can be, I'm learning to let it roll off my back. Their thoughts mean nothing. I have a child who only fusses to let you know he's hungry, has a loaded diaper, or wants a nap--& we have witnesses that can attest to these facts! And, that's only when I haven't realized those things before he has! Hell, he wakes me most nights by cooing! We must be doing something right, and, no matter the opinion of any turd we come across, it works for us & Jake. So, I will take a deep breath & realize that nothing any nurse on post says, Jake is a happy baby & we are doing right by him. Ignorance is not one of my favorite personality traits, but it's important I tell them to "eff off" in my head & move on. If they will continue to be that way, it's up to me to act accordingly. It's only an hour of our life every couple months. We can deal & we will. I laugh just about anything else off & this will not be the exception.

We're just going to be thankful this doctor was good to us. Plus, if the next doctor we see gets especially out of line, I can always administer a punch to the throat ;)

Our First Thanksgiving!

Jake is officially part of things; he participated in his first eat-until-you-can't-move holiday! Of course, he had to wait a couple hours to get his turkey dinner, but he got it nonetheless.

Because time passed without my approval, it was Thanksgiving Eve before I realized we didn't have a turkey. Luckily, Gary's sergeant & his prego wife invited us over to have some super tasty food & NO CLEAN UP. Win win.

I had every intention of getting a nice family photo of our first holiday together, but, never fear, our camera died while we snapped a quick pic as we ran out the door. It could look worse, I suppose ;)

There's something about the holidays that make Jake seem older. I'm sure this is normal, but the combo of him constantly talking, smiling, cooing, & eating....sometimes all at the same time....& my planning all the ways we want to mark his first holiday season makes it seem like he's already a teenager. I did not sign off on that.

All in all, our first Thanksgiving as a trio was a success. We're just thankful for any time we have together. The Army, just like time, never gets our approval before making decisions.