Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

For being the one who 9 times out of 10 gets up in the morning when Ryan gets up so that I get a few more minutes of sleep, knowing that he won't want to eat right away if I'm not the one to get him.

For always being so gentle, kind, caring, and loving towards your Ryan.

For loving me even when I get frustrated with you when I shouldn't.

For being braver than I am when it comes to taking Ryan to new places. You always have a "Yeah, we can do it!" attitude. And you have yet to be wrong!

For showing your love so freely towards Ryan, even in silly ways: zerberts on his belly, "Naked, naked, NAKED!" silly chants, tons of kisses when you come home from work, singing (he loves when you sing!), dancing, and playing on the ground right at his level.

For taking on your new father role with such grace and ease!

For all these reasons and more, you are a WONDERFUL Father. Ryan and I are so lucky to have you in our lives!

I love you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Ryan took a two hour morning nap every day last week. He then typically took an hour to an hour and a half nap in the early afternoon, and a third (short) nap in the late afternoon. It was GLORIOUS! I got so much done. I felt so refreshed. It made it so I was so very engaged with him when he was awake. I didn't spend half my day trying to get him to go back to sleep. Both Ryan and I were so happy each day, every day, all day.

This week is exactly the same as last week. No changes in his routine or schedule....and yet....he has now AGAIN decided that napping for more than 40 is over-rated....WHY?????? WHY?????? WHY????????????????????????????????

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Some people win lotteries. Others win raffles. Still others hit the jackpot on the slots. I have done none of the above. But I did hit a far more important "jackpot:" the "Parent Jackpot." I was lucky to be born to two people who I believe are the most amazing parents ever to inhabit the earth. I know that is a lofty statement. But if you knew my parents you would begin to understand what makes me say this. Today, my parents celebrate their 37th Wedding Anniversary. In those 37 years they raised three children and are now the proud grandparents to three beautiful babes. We are all who we are because of the love my parents surrounded us with from the moment we were born.

I have always been aware that my parents were special people. Yes, even during my teen years I was grateful for them! But now, being a parent myself I realize even more just how special they are.

My Mom and Dad have always put their children first. I knew this, I appreciated it, but I didn't fully understand what this meant until recently. I guess I've always thought being a parent means putting your children first. Well, let me rephrase, being a good parent means always putting your children first. And well, since I knew my parents were not only good, but excellent parents, I thought the "putting us first" thing came easily. But I now know it is not easy. It is not just one decision that is made when you choose to have children. Rather, I now realize that the decision to put your children first is a decision that you make over and over again every day, multiple times a day.

We often take for granted the idea of putting your children first. But actually doing it does not just happen. It is intentional, and it is done repeatedly, every day of a child's life. It is an active decision that a parent makes every time they choose to forgo their own convenience/desire/want in the best interest of their child. But this is what parents do for their children out immense love. It would be easy to slip up and choose not to do this. There are many opportunities to slip up, and choose to put yourself first. It is an exceptional parent who is able to make the correct decision over and over again. I can't think of a single time my parents slipped up. Rather, my mom and dad have made the selfless decision to put their three children and three grandchildren first billions of time. They still choose to do this every day. Even as they are retired (or in my Dad's case nearing retirement) and their "baby" is 29 years old. For this, I say thank you!

Mom & Dad, thank you for being the amazing parents you are. Thank you for always putting us first! Thank you for the love you give so freely; a love that made me the wife and mom I am today. Thank you for my wonderful brothers! Thank you for being such a caring and devoted husband and wife to each other. Thank you for being a stellar example of a strong, committed, realistic marriage. Thank you for showing me that by putting your children first, your relationship as husband as wife can still flourish and grow (even through the hard, difficult, challenging times!). Thank you for making it so that I hit the most important jackpot of life! I love you! Happy 37th Anniversary!


Monday, June 7, 2010

5 Months

Dearest Ryan,

Today you turned 5 months old. And wow! What a difference a month makes! You can do so many more things now than you could a month ago!

One of the biggest changes is that you started eating "solid" food. We started with Rice Cereal, and then moved to Avocado, Peas, Carrots, and Bananas. You have yet to meet a food you don't like (although sometimes you don't like it immediately)! You also have started using a sippy cup with a little water. You look like such a big boy with that sippy cup!

You are becoming SO MUCH more physically adept. You can reach and grab toys with ease (no more of that wobbly grab where it takes you 5 seconds to get what you want!). You are getting closer to crawling: you can prop yourself up on your elbows and sometimes your hands for quite a while. You can "scooch" but not yet crawl. Although sometimes I put you down on your activity mat, and then when I turn around you are 5 feet from where I left you and I'm never sure how you got there! You are so squirmy: when holding you, when changing your diaper, when giving you a bath, even sometimes when nursing you! If you hear something you will turn your head around to see what is going on. You don't want to miss a thing! It's cute, but it makes feeding you take  a little longer than it used to! You still love that excersaucer, even if you do get frustrated sometimes when a toy won't fit in your mouth the way you want it to.

You are becoming more and more verbal, and have on a few occasions said what sounds like a perfect, "Hi!" We are constantly trying to get you to say it, and usually you just laugh at us. But every now and then you say it at appropriate times. We won't yet call it your first word, but I have a feeling it will be!

Now onto the most important topic: SLEEP! You are still doing pretty well at night (usually only waking up once between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am) although you did have a setback for a week or so when we were probably feeding you too many vegetables and your little GI system couldn't handle them. You're getting back on track now though. But as for naps....we have good news to report!!! You have made such progress! You now always sleep in your crib (unless Mommy runs errands and you fall asleep sooner than she would expect in the car...or on one occasion when Mommy laid you on a blanket outside (after you helped Daddy wash the car) and you fell asleep instantly!) You're also developing more of a schedule. You seem to have a long nap in the morning (which has at times exceeded two hours!) then a short nap in the early afternoon and a medium nap in the later afternoon. Mommy couldn't be more pleased with the progress you've made in napping!The better you sleep, the more joyful you are!

Speaking of joyful, you are just such a happy little guy (most of the time!). You giggle at so many things now: Daddy blowing raspberries on your belly, your bath, Mommy imitating your laugh, Nana rubbing her hair in your face, being held high in the air. You just seem to smile all day long. You attract the attention of strangers everywhere you go. You love to look at new people and new people love to look at you! You're such a flirt!

Here is a brief summary of the milestones and new things you experienced this month:
May 9th:    First cold :(
May 13th:  First "solid" food!
May 14th:  Went to feed the Baby Ducks at Waugh Chapel Lake
May 26th:  Consistently sleeping in crib for naps
May 30th:  First time playing with the hose and helping Daddy wash the car
June 1st:    First time at the Pool (you were indifferent)
June 6th:    First outing with just Daddy: To the Grocery Store!

It is so much fun being your Mommy, Ryan. I love you more than you will ever know!

Happy 5th Month day!



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reflections on My 29th Birthday...

29 years ago today, I was born. Thus, as birthdays often tend to be, today has been a day during which I have been reflecting a lot on life. I wanted to write a blog post today, seeing as it is my first birthday as a mom, but I wasn't sure exactly what to write. And then, I read this post on a blog I read frequently. And, I was inspired.

In sum, the post I linked to above talks about how as moms we can often find ourselves talking openly about the difficult parts of parenting, because in many ways this is what is expected. We're supposed to be tired and complaining about the lack of sleep and the daily frustrations (i.e. Naps, or in Ryan's case the LACK of good naps) and talking about how "life is NOT the same" since we had kids. And it's not. And in some ways, we need to talk about these challenging parts because we need support and to hear that it will get better and that we will survive.

It's rare, that in daily conversation, as moms, we go on and on about how wonderful life is; How GREAT it is being a mom; How much we LOVE it. Perhaps we're afraid of coming across as a gushing annoying mom who thinks her kid is better than the rest. Perhaps we are tired (because we all are!) and can't always take a step back to realize the wonderful parts. Perhaps we are just so preoccupied with the constant mental "to do" list we have running that we can't stop and just chat about the good things. Likely, it's all of the above. So, today, this is where I take the time to write about how amazing life is, today, as I turn 29 years old. Yes, I may sound gushing, and bragging, but today, as a present to myself I'll allow it. And as your present to me, you'll tolerate it :)

First of all, I can't talk about how great life is without talking about my Husband, Matt. I hit the jackpot when I met him for the first time just over 10 years ago. He is a kind, caring, gentle, funny, intelligent, loving, selfless, and talented person. He makes me so very happy, every day. I have been grateful for him ever since we became an official pair back in September of 2000, when I was a wee freshman in college. I have grown in my respect, adoration, and love for him as I have spent the past (nearly) 5 years as his wife. He teaches me daily about selflessness, teamwork, and kindness. And over these past five months, watching him blossom into an amazing Dad has been inspiring. He loves Ryan with every ounce of his being. It is evident in the way he can't put his stuff down fast enough when he comes home from work so that he can hold and snuggle Ryan; it is clear when he gives him a bath and talks/sings/laughs to him while gently making sure every inch of Ryan is clean; it is obvious in the way he continues to love me, Ryan's mom, endlessly. My husband is truly a very special Daddy.

And then, this brings us to Ryan. Ryan is such a JOY lately. Granted, on most days, he still won't nap for longer than 45 minutes at a time, but even with what seemingly is a lack of adequate sleep, he simply oozes joy. He smiles, laughs, and giggles regularly throughout the day. He smiles as his stuffed Puppy, at the crinkle sound of the Tostitos bag, at the spinning fish in his excersaucer, at the funny songs Mommy sings to him. He laughs at Mommy blowing raspberries, and Daddy crawling next to him on the floor. He giggles when Mommy and Daddy bob up and down while holding him or when Daddy rubs his hair on his face while giving him a bath. He flails his arms and legs in excitement as we sit him in his high chair and as he hears the water running for his evening bath. His joy, in turn brings us joy. It reminds us hundreds of times daily why we wanted children and why we longed for our first born. Ryan has enriched not only our lives, but our marriage.

Sure, being a parent is hard. It puts some added strain on our relationship. But it adds so much more. Matt and I are no longer just focusing on each other. No, we are now responsible for the well-being, happiness, and development of a tiny human being. This awesome responsibility, at times overwhelming, brings our relationship to a new level. It gives us a new sense of achievement. It gives us new insights and joys. It allows us to see each other in a new light. A light that at the end of the day, when we snuggle in each other's arms, makes us that much more grateful for each other.

Yeah, life at 29 years is pretty darn good. (And I haven't even gone into how my parents, brothers, sister-in-laws, and nieces play into my joy! They too enrich my life daily!). 29 years ago, I can't imagine my little newborn self imagined a more wonderful life. I am one lucky woman.

The Cam Fam has been Published on:

Scary Mommy