So, I tried to download the audio book of Ready Player One recently, becuase I’d heard great things from people whose opinions are often in line with my own and assumed I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, the library’s audio version didn’t work on my phone, so I read it the old-fashioned way (on my eReader, obvs.), and I loved it. LOVED. IT. You guys should all read this book. Seriously. It’s great.
I raved about it to Tim, who then listened to the audio book (his phone, it turns out, is better than mine). I overherad some of it, and, you guys, I’m sorry, but it was awful. I know, I know. You are all gaping at your screens right now saying “But it’s read by Wil Wheaton!” (I know!) “Who is awesome!” (I agree!) “And what could be better than a geeky book read by him?” Let me tell you what’s better than a geeky book ready by him — a geeky book NOT read by him. It was sooooo slow. Agonizingly so. When I read the book, I found it to be an exciting, fast-paced adventure story. But then Tim put it on for the drive home from my parents’ house one weekend, I fell asleep, and when I woke up two hours later, I couldn’t believe how little progress we’d made into the book. Nothing had really happened yet. After TWO HOURS.
(Also, W.W.’s voiceing of the main character/narrator was a little too smug and, well, icky for my liking. So much so that it made me kind of dislike the narrator, a character I’d liked quite a bit when I read the book myeslf. But that could be 100% a result of my having already read the book and given the narrator a voice in my mind. and therefore no matter who gave him a voice in real life, if it didn’t sound exactly like it sounded in my mind, it was going to be All Wrong.)
The worst part, though, hands down, was the list reading. See, in the book, there’s a scoreboard, with players’ rankings changing somewhat frequently throughout the plot. When reading the book in print, it was easy to skim the list of players/scores, get the relevant information, and move on. On the audiobook, you have no choice but to listen to W.W. slowly (SO SLOWLY) read every player’s name and score every. single. time. the scoreboard makes an appearance. It’s a LIST, you guys. A list of names and numbers that he had to read outloud, which, okay, I get it, becaues it’s not like you can skim when you’re reading an audio book, but still, he was reading a list. And it was painful.
Tim finally finished reading/listening and agreed that it was a good book. However, he alternated between listening to it while watching the baby over his Christmas break and reading the print version when he wasn’t otherwise occupied, and he told me that without a doubt, the book was MUCH better in print than in audio format. And based on what I heard, I wholeheartedly agree.
(Although ever since he finished, Tim has been on the lookout for The Big Book of Lists read by Wil Wheaton. He’s gotta have more lists!)
Seeing as how Alexander’s 10-month birthday is fast approaching, it seems like maybe I should get the 9-month post hammered out, yes?
Alexander became very mobile this month, moving from his army crawl…
…to full-on, hands-and-knees crawling. The child cannot be stopped, you guys! He has places go to, things to see, cords to chew on.
OMG the cords. He has ferreted out every single cord in our house, and the fact that we don’t let him play with them only makes them the most appealing toy in the whole world. We’ve child-proofed and moved cords out of reach as much as possible, but it’s a constant battle keeping him away from the ones that can’t be moved. He sees it all as a hilarious game, naturally.
(Yeah, he opens cabinets and drawers now, too.)
You know what else is a fun game? Figuring out how to climb the stairs. Except there wasn’t really any figuring out. One day, he just did it. He got up on the first step and, with me hovering protectively right behind him, proceeded to climb the full flight of stairs. Like most of his new discoveries, climbing the stairs is his New! Favorite! Thing! Thank goodness for baby gates.
Okay, let’s talk about something other than the ways my baby is turning into a toddler right before my eyes.
Alexander’s been having a great time spending the summer with Tim. They’ve spent many relaxing days together, sometimes at the big neighborhood pool…
And sometimes just splashing around in the baby pool on the deck. This boy seriously loves the water.
Alexander helped Tim celebrate his first Father’s Day. They had a great day together, chillaxing at home before Tim enjoyed a super yummy Thai steak dinner on the deck prepared by yours truly.
Tim also showed Alexander an extra special present he made for him: His very own batch of Scotch, made by Tim, which is all set to age for the next 20 years so it’ll be ready for a Father-Son toast on Alexander’s 21st birthday.
Toward the end of the month, my life-long BFF Amy came to town with her daughter Mackenzie, who is 5 days older than Alexander. We all had busy schedules that weekend, but we managed to get the babies together for a quick playdate one afternoon.They shared some toys and babbled at each other — Alexander’s a big chattermouth these days, with lots of MAMAMAMAs and DADADADAs, even though he (probably) doesn’t have any idea what those sounds mean yet — and good times were had by all.
Speaking of playdates, I finally got around to organizing a neighborhood moms meetup at the park. It was super low-key — I just posted on the neighborhood Facebook page that Alexander and I would be at the park at noon if anyone wanted to join us — but it worked out well. Several other moms showed up, and Alexander got to play with some other neighborhood kids while I was able to meet some new potential mom friends. Definitely a successful afternoon!
The same weekend Amy and Mackenzie were in town (I told you we were busy!), Tim and I dropped Alexander off at my parents’ house and spent our first night away from him so we could attend another good friend’s wedding up in the mountains. It was a gorgeous wedding, and we had so much fun celebrating with all our college friends. We knew Alexander was in good hands with his Grandparents, and we were able to just kick back, relax, and enjoy being adults out in the world for a night. Obviously we missed the baby, but it was such a nice break to escape to our pre-baby life for one night.
When we got home again, we tried introducing Alexander to solid, non-pureed foods. He was…not a fan. He pulled an awful face at the texture of the food in his mouth, and completely failed at actually chewing and swallowing. In fact, he just started drooling like crazy until the food eventually worked its way back out of his mouth. He slowly improved and started to actually pick up pieces of food and put it in his mouth, but chewing and swallowing still eluded him. (Spoiler alert: He finally figured it out a few days after his 9-month birthday. We’ll discuss it more in next month’s post.)
Oh, and this also happened.
STANDING. My baby is pulling himself up on furniture and STANDING UP. And with that, we’re back to ways in which my baby is rapidly becoming a little boy. OMG.
(I joke about how he’s growing up too fast, but seriously, he just keeps getting more and more fun with every day and every new milestone. Just when I think it can’t get any better, he goes and develops a new skill and blows me away with just how much more fun he can be.)
Here he is on his 9-month birthday:
I was surprised to learn at his 9-month checkup that he hadn’t gained much weight — he’s still hovering right around 20 pounds even though he seems HUGE to me. He did get a few inches taller (measuring in at 29.25 inches) and his head continues to be massive (to make room for all the brains, obviously). He’s in the 50th percentile of weight, 80th percentile of height, and something like the 95th percentile in head circumference — my little Q-tip!
Hey guys! Alexander here. My mom’s gotten terrible about remembering to blog — can you believe she never wrote my 7-month post?! — so I figured I’d step in and do it for her. A lot has happened in the last couple of months, and I have so much to tell you!
First, I celebrated my first Easter. It was pretty fun! Mom and Dad took me to church where they officially became godparents at my friend Mattelynn’s baptism. Then we hung out with Matty and her parents all day long. It was such a nice day that I didn’t mind too much when the grown ups stuck these silly rabbit ears on my head and made me pose for pictures. (Who am I kidding, I’m a total ham for the camera!)
I also learned how to sit up. At first, I was a little wobbly and toppled over pretty easily. But now I’m an old pro. You can sit me up anywhere and I’ll play happily for quite awhile without falling over.
Of course, I’ve recently discovered something even more fun than sitting: crawling. Well, not crawling, exactly…it’s more like I drag myself around on my stomach mostly using my arms and pushing off with my feet a little. But I’m getting ahead of myself — that’s a skill I just learned in the last week. Let’s get back to my seventh month.
Mommy and Daddy took me to the park where I learned about swings. It was a little confusing, but mostly fun. I hope I get to go back to the park again soon!
You guys, do you know what’s exhausting? Eating! Usually it’s pretty great — I mean, what’s not to love about all the exciting new flavors and colors that I get to smear all over myself? But this one time, Mommy was feeding me when I was tired, and as soon as I finished my last bite, I just laid my head down and took a nap, right there in my high chair. It wasn’t the most comfortable nap I’ve ever taken, but I just couldn’t help myself. Sometimes you just gotta take a break, you know?
Here I am the day I turned 7 months old. I weighed about 20 pounds back then…I’d say I’m creeping up on 25 by now. I’m a growing machine!
My eighth month was pretty great, too. Mommy worked from home for a couple weeks, which meant I got to hang out with her a lot more than usual. Even if she was being boring and sitting at the computer most of the time (can you believe she wouldn’t let me have a turn? I’d LOVE to get my hands on that keyboard!), she also played with me a lot and let me hang out in what I like to call my “Arm Chair.”
Get it? Because it’s a chair? But it’s also an arm? Hahaha I crack myself up.
One day, all this big, flaky white stuff fell out of the sky. Apparently this has happened before, but this was the first time I’d ever noticed it. It was completely mesmerizing.
And then, just like that, a few days later the sun was shining again and I got to play outside. (Did I mention that I grew a bunch of hair? Yeah. That happened.)
I’ve gotten pretty good at holding my own bottle — sometimes I even multitask and hold a bottle and a toy at the same time. I’m just that good.
But sometimes, when I’m feeling lazy, I just have my toys hold the bottle for me. My elephant is especially good at this. One of many reasons he’s always been my favorite.
You know what else I’m really good at? Removing socks! Mom and Dad keep putting them on my feet — or on my cousin Maeta’s feet — and I just keep pulling them right off. It’s one of the funnest games I know.
I got to help Mom celebrate her first Mother’s Day. I gave her lots of love and snuggles, played with my cousin Maeta and my friend Mattelynn while Dad grill a delicious meal for my Mom and my Auntie Jenn and Mattelynn’s mom, and then Dad and I took Mom shopping for flowers for the deck. I think Mom had a pretty great day — she sure seemed happy!
Speaking of the deck, it is a really fun place! Grandma and Grandpa came and spent a week with us, and we all spent a lot of time out on the deck. They even took my walker out there so I could chase the dogs around. I hope we get to have a lot more deck time this summer.
Let’s see…what else have I been up to? There’s the pseudo-crawling, the dog chasing, the teeth…oh yeah, the teeth! I have two of them! Right in the middle of the bottom of my mouth. Can you believe that? I’m going to be eating big kid food before you know it!
(I know you can’t see my teeth in this picture, but I assure you, they are there.)
Just last weekend, Mom and Dad introduced me to another fun thing about summer: Swimming! I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, but then I realized that the pool is basically just a giant bath tub. And, you guys, I love the bath tub! Mom and Dad let me float around a bit, and then they took me out of the floaty and held me so I could really splash around. The only thing I didn’t understand is why, whenever I splashed with my arms, someone kept throwing water in my face. That part was a little confusing, but I still had tons of fun. Daddy says he doesn’t have to work all summer, and that means we get to go to the pool whenever we want. I’m so excited!
Here I am today, on my 8-month birthday. Can you believe how big I’m getting? Mommy and Daddy say I get cuter every single day, and I tend to believe them.
Okay, I think we’re all caught up now. I’d say I’ll try to convince my mom to post more often, but I think we all know how easily distracted she can be. She just gets so busy playing with me that she runs out of time to blog about me. I guess I can forgive her for that, though.
Guess who learned how to roll over this month.
Alexander did! And he is so darn proud of himself and his new skill. It’s positively adorable.
With his new-found ability to roll (front to back AND back to front), he no longer hates Tummy Time the way he used to. Now that he has a choice about how long he stays on his tummy (not to mention a lot more neck strength), he’s a lot happier to hang out there for awhile, looking at the world from a different angle and practicing swimming motions that I’m sure are just a few well-placed wiggles and squirms away from actual crawling.
Also, have you seen this boy’s big blue eyes? Because they slay me every single time.
It was an exciting month for the rest of the family, too, as Tim’s sister adopted a beautiful baby girl. Alexander was super excited to meet his new cousin, Maeta, and I think they’re going to have a lot of fun growing up together. Between Maeta and my brother’s two girls, Alexander has three fun cousins to play with — and they all live nearby, which means they’ll get to spend lots of time together. I love that Alexander’s going to grow up surrounded by so much family.
When he wasn’t busy rolling over or meeting his new cousin, Alexander was happy to chillax on the couch with Daddy or help Mommy unwind with a glass of wine after a long day at work.
It’s official: having a son is the Best Thing Ever.
Five months; I am so in love with this boy.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Got pregnant. Gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year I resolved to try a new vegetable recipe every month. I did this for about 5 months before getting distracted and stopping. But I did end up working more vegetables into my diet throughout the whole year, which was the overall goal of the resolution, so I’m going to go ahead and chalk this one up as a win.
My primary resolution for this year is simply to be the best mom I can be.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My best friend Amy had a gorgeous little girl 5 days before Alexander was born.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank goodness.
5. What countries did you visit? We stayed in the states all year. But in 2010 we visited 5 countries on our Mediterranean cruise. In 2011 we were too focused on selling the old house, moving into the new house, and growing a baby to do a ton of traveling.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? I’d like a calmer year this year. Last year we sold a house, bought a house, moved, and had a baby. That’s a lot of major life changes for one year. This year, I’d like to just sit back and enjoy all the wonderful things we have.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? October 2, the day Alexander was born. And, although the calender dates aren’t etched upon my memory, I’ll always remember the moment we found out we were having a baby, and then the moment we found out he was a boy. I always thought I wanted a girl, and when Tim and I talked about how many kids we wanted, I’d say “2, unless we have 2 boys, in which case I might want to try one more time for a girl.” I never knew how much I wanted a son until I found out I was having one. Now, having lived with my baby boy for over three months, I feel like I could have a house full of sons and be immeasurably happy.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Giving birth, no question.
9. What was your biggest failure? I wasn’t as focused on my dance classes as I could have been and, as a result, had a couple of performances in which I made several mistakes and didn’t perform as well as I could have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major, though I was completely caught off guard by how difficult it was to recover after Alexander was born. I assumed that since I was in good shape, the physical recovery would be a breeze, but boy was I ever wrong. Exhaustion and hormones aside, it was a full six weeks before I had all my energy back and could return to any sort of normal workout routine.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Our new house.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Tim, hands down. He has been my rock through all the craziness and emotional instability that comes along with pregnancy, childbirth, and new parenthood. I couldn’t have done it without him, and no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to adequately express to him how much I appreciate everything he does for me. I’d be completely lost without him.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The Realtors who sold our old house. They were mostly useless and unethical, and working with them was a nightmare.
14. Where did most of your money go? The new house. Worth every penny, though!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My amazing baby boy.
16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) Happier or Sadder? Happier. So much happier. Not that I was unhappy last year, but I was stressed about selling the old house, and I hadn’t yet experienced the life-changing happiness that comes with having a baby.
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Fatter, but I’m only about 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, so I don’t mind it so much.
(c) Richer or Poorer? Probably about the same financially (I think? I got a raise last year, but I’m also just coming off the un-paid portion of my maternity leave, and our mortgage payment is bigger, so I don’t really know.) Definitely richer in the non-material sense.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of? Slept, especially toward the end of the year.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cried. Pregnancy and post-partum hormones made me cry so much more than I normally do. I’m not a big crier, so this really bothered me. And then I cried about how much I was crying all the time. It was no good.
19. How did you spend Christmas in 2011? We went to Virginia to see Tim’s parents, then flew home Christmas Eve and spent Christmas with my parents. It was a busy couple of weeks, but lots of fun!
20. Did you fall in love in 2011? I fell head over heels in love with my son. And I fall more in love with my husband every single day.
21. How many one-night stands? What a married man and woman do in the privacy of their home is none of your business.
22. What was your favorite TV program? How I Met Your Mother. We finally discovered how hilarious this show is and watched all six seasons on Netflix before getting caught up with the current season.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Not even a little bit.
24. What was the best book you read? I enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy and The Night Circus. The Best Birth was great for preparing for labor and delivery.
25. What did you want and get? A new house. The most perfect baby boy.
26. What did you want and not get? A quick sale of our old house at a good price. But it eventually sold in the end, so I can’t complain too much.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28, and went to Ft. Collins and did a tour of my favorite Mexican restaurants. It was a delicious, burrito-filled weekend!
28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Elastic. Maternity clothing is a study in uncomfortable layers of elastic, and I’m so glad to be done with it.
29. What kept you sane? Tim. Also, being able to eat all the cheese and burritos my heart desired. But mostly Tim.
30. Who was the best new person you met? Alexander, obviously.
31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Nothing in the world can prepare you for the incredible joy that comes with being a parent.